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GEN. JACKSON FOR PENAL LEGISLATION.
ern journals and other oracles im- / sorts of publications, calculated to stimulate
Jy wrothfully demanded the them to insurrection, and to produce all the periously, wrathfully, demanded the
horrors of a servile war. instant suppression and extinction of “There is, doubtless, no respectable porthe incendiaries” and “fanatics," tion of our fellow-countrymen who can be
so far misled as to feel any other sentiment under the usual penalty of a dissolu
than that of indignant regret at conduct so tion of the Union ;' to which was now destructive of the harmony and peace of added the annihilation of Northern
the country, and so repugnant to the princi
ples of our national compact, and to the dicprosperity and consequence through
tates of humanity and religion. Our happia retributive withdrawal of Southern ness and prosperity essentially depend upon trade. The commercial and polit
peace within our borders--and peace de
pends upon the maintenance, in good faith, ical interests at the North, which of those compromises of the Constitution regarded Southern favor as the sheet upon which the Union is founded. It is for
tunate for the country that the good sense, anchor of their hopes, eagerly re
the generous feeling, and the deep-rooted sponded to these overtures, clamoring attachment of the people of the non-slavefor penal enactments and popular
holding States to the Union, and to their
fellow-citizens of the same blood in the proofs of Northern fidelity to Consti
South, have given so strong and impressive tutional obligations. The former were a tone to the sentiments entertained against not forthcoming; in fact, the most
the proceedings of the misguided persons
who have engaged in these unconstitutional adroit and skillful draftsman would
and wicked attempts, and especially against have found it difficult to frame any
dared to interfere in this matter, as to ausuch law as was required—any one
thorize the hope that those attempts will no that would have subserved the end longer be persisted in. But, if these expresin view—that would not have directly
sions of the public will shall not be sufficient
to effect so desirable a result, not a doubt and glaringly contravened the consti
can be entertained that the non-slaveholding tution or bill of rights of even the States, so far from countenancing the slightmost“conservative” State. Yet Pres
est interference with the constitutional
rights of the South, will be prompt to exerident Jackson did not hesitate, in
cise their authority in suppressing, so far as his Annual Message of December 2, in them lies, whatever is calculated to pro
duce the evil. 1835, to say:
"In leaving the care of other branches of “I must also invite your attention to the this interesting subject to the State authoripainful excitement produced in the South ties, to whom they properly belong, it is by attempts to circulate, through the mails, | nevertheless proper for Congress to take inflammatory appeals addressed to the pas such measures as will prevent the Postsions of the slaves, in prints, and in various | Office Department, which was designed to
3 The following is an extract from the Augusta Resolutions, similar in spirit and demand, were (Ga.) Chronicle of October, 1833.
adopted by the Legislatures of South Carolina, "We firmly believe that, if the Southern States North Carolina, Alabama, and doubtless other do not quickly unite, and declare to the North, if Slave States. the question of Slavery be longer discussed in any shape, they will instantly secede from the Union, 4 The Richmond Whig, in the course of a fulthat the question must be settled, and very soon, mination against the Abolitionists, said: by the SWORD, as the only possible means of
“The people of the North must go to hanging self-preservation."
these fanatics if they would not lose the benefit of February 16, 1836, both houses of the Vir- | the Southern trade, and they will do it. *** Deginia Legislature agreed to the following: pend upon it, the Northern people will never saca " Resolved, That the non-slaveholding States
rifice their present lucrative trade with the South, of the Union are respectfully but earnestly re
so long as the hanging of a few thousands will pre
vent it." quested promptly to adopt penal enactments, or such other measures as will effectually suppress
Not a bad calculation, provided " the Northern all associations within their respective limits purporting to be, or having the character of, Aboli
people" and the enjoyers of "the lucrative trade" tion societies."
| aforesaid had been identical; but they were not. foster an amicable intercourse and corre- | happily, be disappointed; if, in the face of spondence between all the members of the numerous and striking exhibitions of publio confederacy, from being used as an instru- | reprobation,'elicited from our constituents ment of an opposite character. The Gen- | by a just fear of the fatal issues in which eral Government, to which the great trust is the uncurbed efforts of the Abolitionists confided of preserving inviolate the relations may ultimately end, any considerable portion created among the States by the Constitu of these misguided men shall persist in pushtion, is especially bound to avoid, in its own ing them forward to disastrous consequenaction, any thing that may disturb them. I ces, then a question, new to our confederwould therefore call the special attention of acy, will necessarily arise, and must be met. Congress to the subject, and respectfully It must then be determined how far the suggest the propriety of passing such a law several States can provide, within the proper as will prohibit, under severe penalties, the exercise of their constitutional powers, and circulation in the Southern States, through how far, in fulfillment of the obligations rethe mail, of incendiary publications intended sulting from their federal relations, they to instigate the slaves to insurrection.” ought to provide, by their own laws, for the Had the President been asked to | trial and punishment by their own judica
tories, of residents within their limits, guilty justify his charges against his fellow
of acts therein, which are calculated and citizens of having « attempted to intended to excite insurrection and rebellion circulate, through the mails, inflam
in a sister State. * * * I cannot doubt
that the Legislature possesses the power to matory appeals, addressed to the pas
pass such penal laws as will have the effect sions of slaves, in prints, etc., etc., of preventing the citizens of this State and he must have answered that he had
residents within it from availing themselves,
with impunity, of the protection of its soverheard or read charges to this effect, eignty and laws, while they are actually emand had believed them. But it was
in a sister State, or engaged in treasonable in vain that the Abolitionists remon
enterprises, intended to be executed therein.” strated, and protested, and called for proofs. The slaveholding interest
A legislative Report responsive to detested and feared them; the mob
these recommendations was made in was in full cry at their heels; and it
May following, just at the close of was the seeming interest of the great
the session, which assumed to pledge majority of speakers and writers to
the faith of the State to pass such join in the hunt.
laws as were suggested by the GovGovernor Marcy followed in the
ernor, whenever they shall be requifootsteps of his party chief. In his
site! This report was duly forwarded Annual Message of January 5, 1836
to the Southern Governors, but not ---five weeks later than the foregoing
circulated at large, nor was any such he said:
action as it proposed ever taken“Relying on the influence of a sound and
or meant to be. Governor Edward enlightened public opinion to restrain and Everett (Whig), of Massachusetts, control the misconduct of the citizens of a
sente a Message to the Legislature of free government, especially when directed, as it has been in this case, with unexampled his State, communicating the deenergy and unanimity, to the particular evils mands of certain Southern States under consideration, and perceiving that its operations have been thus far salutary, I en
that anti-Slavery inculcations in the tertain the best hopes that this remedy, of Free States should be legally supitself, will entirely remove these evils, or
pressed, and saying:
pressed and saving. render them comparatively harmless. But, if these reasonable expectations should, un- "Whatever by direct and necessary ope
5"Now we tell them (the Abolitionists] that to make them understand this—to tell them that when they openly and publicly promulgate doc- they prosecute their TREASONABLE and BEASTLY trines which outrage public feeling, they have plans at their own peril ?" -New York Courier no right to demand protection of the people they and Enquirer, 11th July, 1834. insult. Ought not, we ask, our city authorities 1. 6 January 6, 1836.
'ATTEMPTS TO STIFLE DISCUSSION.
ration is calculated to excite an insurrection | interest had become diffused and inamong the slaves, has been held, by highly
tensified, and the Hall was crowded respectable legal authority, an offense against the peace of this commonwealth, which may with earnest auditors. The Rev. be prosecuted as a misdemeanor at common William E. Channing, then the most
eminent clergyman in New England, The Legislature referred the sub- appeared among the champions of ject to a joint Committee, whereof Free Speech. Professor Follen cona conspicuous champion of Slavery cluded, and was followed by Samuel was Chairman. The Abolitionists E. Sewall, William Lloyd Garrison, perceived and eagerly embraced their and William Goodell—the last-named opportunity. They demanded a hear- stigmatizing the demand of the South ing before this Committee—they be- and its backers as an assault on the ing accused of grave misdemeanors liberties of the North. Mr. Bond, a in the documents whereon it was to Boston merchant, and Dr. Bradley, act-and their request was tardily from Plymouth, were prompted by acceded to. On the 3d of March, the impulse of the hour to add 1836, they were apprised that they their unpremeditated remonstrances would be heard next day. They were against the contemplated invasion of duly present accordingly—the Com- time-honored rights. Darkness had mittee sitting in the spacious Repre- set in when the Committee rose, and sentatives' Hall, neither House being a low murmur of approving multiin session. Brief addresses in their tudes gave token that the cause of behalf were heard from Rev. Samuel liberty had triumphed. The ComJ. May and Ellis Gray Loring, who mittee reported adversely to the sagiwere followed by Professor Charles tators” and “fanatics" at the heel of Follen, who, in the course of his re- the session, but in evident despair of marks, alluded to the mob outrages any accordant action; and none was to which the Abolitionists had re- ever had. Massachusetts refused to cently been subjected, remarking manacle her own people in order to that any legislative enactment to rivet more securely the shackles of their prejudice would tend to encour- others. age their adversaries to repeat those Rhode Island was the theatre of outrages. The Chairman treated this a similar attempt, ending in a similar remark as disrespectful to the Com- failure. And if, in any other State, mittee, and abruptly terminated the like efforts were made, they were hearing. The Abolitionists thereupon likewise defeated. No nominally Free completed promptly their defense, and State, however hostile to Abolition, issued it in a pamphlet, which natu consented to make it a crime on the rally attracted public attention, and part of her people to “preach deliva popular conviction that fair play erance to the captive.” had not been accorded them was But the systematic suppression of manifested. The Legislature shared anti-Slavery teaching by riot and it, and directed its Committee to allow mob-violence was, for a time, wellthem a full hearing. Monday, the nigh universal. In New York, a 8th, was accordingly appointed for meeting at Clinton Hall, to organize the purpose. By this time, the public a City Anti-Slavery Society, having
been called for the evening of Octo- | in Union-saving, the actors were natber 2, 1833, there appeared a counter- urally impelled to extend it. At call from “Many Southrons" for a midnight on the 9th, the dwelling of meeting at the same time and place. Lewis Tappan was broken open by a In apprehension of a riot, Clinton mob, his furniture carried into the Hall was not opened; but such of the street, and consigned to the flames. Abolitionists as could be notified on The burning of the house was then the instant repaired to the Chatham- proposed; but the Mayor remonstrastreet Chapel. Their opponents met ted, and it was forborne. The riots in Tammany Hall, and, after making were continued through the next their speeches and passing their re- day; the doors and windows of Dr. solves unquestioned, were about to Cox's (Presbyterian) church being adjourn, when they were apprised of broken, with those of Dr. Ludlow's the meeting in the Chapel. “Let us church; while a Baptist, a Methodist, rout them !" was the general cry; and a Protestant Episcopal church, and they rushed noisily to the Chapel belonging to colored congregations, only to find that the Abolitionists had were badly shattered, and one of departed. “ Ten thousand dollars for them nearly destroyed, as was a Arthur Tappan!” was shouted; but school-house for colored children, and no one was molested, and the crowd | many dwellings inhabited by negroes, dissolved in the comforting assurance while others were seriously injured. that the Union was safe.
Many rioters were arrested during But on the 4th of July, 1834, an at- these days by the police, but none of tempt to hold an anti-Slavery celebra- them was ever punished. tion in Chatham-street Chapel was Newark, New Jersey, imitated this the signal for a furious and alarming riot on the 11th, but with indifferent riot. The prayer, the singing, and success. A church was somewhat inthe reading of the Declaration, were jured. endured with tolerable patience; but Philadelphia followed on the 13th a Declaration of the Sentiments of of August. Her riots lasted three the Anti-Slavery Society by Lewis - nights, and the harmless and powerTappan was interrupted by hisses ; less blacks were mainly their vicand when David Paul Brown, of tims. Forty-four houses (mostly small) Philadelphia, commenced his oration, were destroyed or seriously injured. it was soon manifest that a large por- | Among them was a colored Presbytion of the audience had come ex- | terian church. Several of the blacks pressly not to hear him, nor let any were chased and assaulted, one of one else. Rev. Samuel H. Cox in them being beaten to death, and anterposed in behalf of Free Speech; | other losing his life in attempting to but both were clamored down with swim the Schuylkill to escape his cries of 6 Treason! Treason! Hur- pursuers. rah for the Union!” and the meeting At Worcester, Massachusetts, Auquietly dispersed, without awaiting gust 10, 1835, the Rev. Orange Scott, or provoking further violence. who was lecturing against Slavery,
The leading commercial journals was assaulted, his notes torn up, and having commended this experiment personal violence attempted.
At Concord, New Hampshire, on Storrs attempted to deliver an antithe same day, a mob demolished an Slavery lecture, but was dragged academy, because colored boys were from his knees while at prayer, preadmitted as pupils.
liminary to his address, by a deputy At Canterbury, Connecticut, Miss sheriff, on the strength of a warrant Prudence Crandall having attempt issued by a justice, on a complaint ed, in 1833, to open a school for charging him with being a common colored children, an act was passed rioter and brawler," "an idle and disby the Legislature forbidding any orderly person, going about the town teaching within that State of colored and county disturbing the public youth from other States. She per- peace.” On trial, he was acquitted; sisted, and was imprisoned for it as a but, on the 31st of March following, malefactor. Having been liberated, after having lectured at Pittsfield, she resumed her school; when it was New Hampshire, he was again arbroken up by mob-violence.
rested while at prayer, on a writ The riots whereof the foregoing are issued by one who afterward became specimens were too numerous and a Member of Congress, tried the wide-spread to be even glanced at sev- same day, convicted, and sentenced erally. They were, doubtless, multi- to three months' imprisonment in the plied and intensified by the presence House of Correction. He appealed, in our country of GEORGE THOMPSON, and that was probably the end of the an eminent and ardent English Aboli- matter. tionist, who—now that the triumph At Boston, October 21, 1835, a of Emancipation in the British West large and most respectable mob, comIndies was secured-came over to aid posed in good part of merchants, asthe kindred struggle in this country. sailed a meeting of the Female AntiThat a Briton should presume to Slavery Society, while its President plead for Liberty in this free and was at prayer, and dispersed it, enlightened country was not to be William Lloyd Garrison, having esendured; and Mr. Thompson's elo- caped, was found concealed in a cabiquence, fervor, and thoroughness, in- net-maker's shop, seized and dragged creased the hostility excited by his through the streets with a rope around presence, which, of itself, was held his body, threatened with tar and an ample excuse for mobs. He was feathers, but finally conducted to the finally induced to desist and return Mayor, who lodged him in jail till to England, from a conviction that the next day, to protect him from the prejudice aroused by his interfe- further violence. At the earnest rerence in what was esteemed a domes- quest of the authorities, he left town tic difference overbalanced the good for a time. effect of his lectures. The close of At Utica, New York, the same this year (1835) was signalized by the day, a meeting, convened to form a conversion of GERRIT SMITH-hitherto State Anti-Slavery Society, was broa leading and zealous Colonizationist ken up by a most respectable Com
to the principles of the Abolitionists. mittee, appointed by a large meeting
In Northfield, New Hampshire, of citizens. The office of a DemoDecember 14, 1835, Rev. George cratic journal that had spoken kindly