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SLAVERY AMONG THE ANCIENTS.
25 the tender orphan, and the out-worn, hend that it was cheaper to buy the seedy prodigal, betake themselves to beef he required in the grass-market his lodge, and humbly solicit his per- at Glasgow than to obtain it withmission to earn bread and shelter by out price, by harrying the lowland tending his flocks and herds, or by farms. So the first man who ever any other service to which their ca- imbibed or conceived the fatal delupacities are adequate. Some are ac-sion that it was more advantageous cepted from motives of thrift; others to him, or to any human being, to under the impulse of charity; and procure whatever his necessities or the greater portion of either class, his appetites required by address and exulting in their escape from hunger, scheming than by honest work-by cold, and nakedness, gladly remain the unrequited rather than the fairly through life. Marriages are formed and faithfully recompensed toil of his among them and children are born, fellow-creatures was, in essence and who grow up adepts in the labor the in heart, a slaveholder, and only patriarch requires of them, contented awaited opportunity to become one with their station, and ignorant of in deed and practice. And this sinthe world outside of his posses-gle truth, operating upon the infinite sions. If his circumstances require varieties of human capacity and cula military force, he organizes it of ture, suffices to account for the uni
servants born in his household.' versality of slaveholding in the anteHis possessions steadily increase, and Christian ages, for its tenacity of life, he becomes in time a feudal chieftain, and for the extreme difficulty of ruling over vassals proud of his emi- even its partial eradication. The annence and docile to his will. Thus cients, while they apprehended, perit has been justly remarked that the haps adequately, the bitterness of condition of Slavery has ever preceded bondage, which many of them had the laws by which it is ultimately experienced, do not seem to have regulated; and it is not without perceived so vividly the correspondplausibility that its champions have ing evils of slaveholding. They saw contended for it as a natural form of that end of the chain which encircled society-a normal development of the ankle of the bondman; they do the necessary association of Capital not seem to have so clearly perceived with Labor in Man's progress from that the other lay heavily across the rude ignorance and want to abund- throat of even his sleeping master. ance, refinement, and luxury. Homer—if we may take Pope's word
But Slavery, primarily considered, for it-observed that has still another aspect—that of a
"Jove fixed it certain, that whatever day natural relation of simplicity to cun
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away;"! ning, of ignorance to knowledge, of weakness to power. Thomas Car- but that the slaveholding relation eflyle, before his melancholy decline fected an equal discount on the value and fall into devil-worship, truly ob- of the master appears to have escaped served, that the capital mistake of him. It is none the less true, howRob Roy was his failure to compre- ever, that ancient civilization, in its
1 In a letter on Copyright.
various national developments, was courtly Felix tremble. The prelates habitually corrupted, debauched, of the lately persecuted Church were and ultimately ruined, by Slavery, the favored companions and counwhich rendered labor dishonorable, selors—too, often, alas! the courtiers and divided society horizontally into also--of Emperors and Cæsars; but a small caste of the wealthy, edu- they seldom improved.or risked their cated, refined, and independent, and great opportunity to demand obea vast hungry, sensual, thriftless, and | dience, in all cases, to the dictates of worthless populace; rendered impos- the Golden Rule. The Church had sible the preservation of republican become an estate above the people; liberty and of legalized equality, even and their just complaints of the opamong the nominally free. Dioge- pressions and inhumanities of the nes, with his lantern, might have powerful were not often breathed vainly looked, through many a long into its reluctant ears. White Sladay, among the followers of Marius, very gradually wore out, or faded or Catiline, or Cæsar, for a speci out; but it was not grappled men of the poor but virtuous and with and crushed as it should have self-respecting Roman citizen of been. The Dark Ages, justly so the days of Cincinnatus, or even of called, are still quite dark enough; Regulus.
| but sufficient light has been shed The Slavery of antiquity survived upon them to assure us that the the religions, the ideas, the polities, accord of priest and noble was comand even the empires, in which it had plete, and that serf and peasant its origin. It should have been abol groaned and suffered beneath their ished, with gladiatorial combats and iron sway. other moral abominations, on the The invention of Printing, the disaccession of Christianity to recog-covery of America, the Protestant nized supremacy over the Roman Reformation, the decline and fall of world; but the simple and sublime Feudalism, gradually changed the doctrine of Jesus and his disciples, of condition and brightened the prosPaul and the Apostles, had ere this pect of the masses. Ancient Slavery been grievously corrupted and per- was dead; modern Serfdom was subverted. The subtleties of Greek stantially confined to cold and barspeculation, the pomp and pride of im- barous Russia; but African Slavery perial Rome, had already commenced --the slavery of heathen negroes drawing the Church insensibly fur- had been revived, or rëintroduced, on ther and further away from its divine the northern coast of the Mediterrasource. A robed and mitered eccle- nean, by Moorish traders, about the siasticism, treacherous to humanity Tenth Century, and began to make and truckling to power, had usurped its way among Spanish and Portuthe place of that austere, intrepid guese Christians somewhere near the spirit which openly rebuked the guilt middle of the Fifteenth. of regal, voluptuous Herod, and made The great name of Columbus is
2"In the year 990, Moorish merchants from the gold and slaves of Central Africa."--Banthe Barbary coast first reached the cities of Ni. | croft's History of the United States, vol. i., p. gritia, and established an uninterrupted ex- | 165. change of Saracen and European luxuries for ' "The Portuguese are next in the market. An
ORIGIN OF NEGRO SLAVERY IN AMERICA. 27 indelibly soiled and stained by his | Religion was speciously invoked to undeniable and conspicuous implica- cover this new atrocity with her tion in the enslavement of the Abori- broad mantle, under the plea of regines of this continent, so improperly lieving the Indians from a servitude, termed Indians. Within two years which they had already escaped after his great discovery, before he through the gate of death. But, had set foot on the continent, he was thaugh the Papacy was earnestly imconcerned in seizing some scores of portuned to lend its sanction to this natives, carrying them to Spain, and device, and though its compliance selling them there as slaves. His has been stoutly asserted, and was example was extensively followed. long widely believed, the charge rests The fierce lust for gold, which in- upon no evidence, is squarely denied, flamed the early adventurers on his and has been silently abandoned. track, incited the most reckless, For once, at least, avarice and cruelty shameless disregard of the rights and have been unable to gain à sacerhappiness of a harmless and guileless dotal sanction, and compelled to fall people, whose very helplessness should back in good order upon Canaan and have been their defense. Forced to Ham. But, even without benefit of hunt incessantly for gold, and to clergy, Negro Slavery, once introducminister in every way to the imperi- ed, rapidly, though thinly, overspread ous appetites of their stranger tyrants, the whole vast area of Spanish and they found in speedy death their only Portuguese America, with Dutch and relief from intolerable suffering. In French Guiana and the West India a few years, but a miserable remnant Islands; and the African slave-trade remained. And now the western was, for two or three centuries, the coast of Africa was thrown open to most lucrative, though most abhorreplace them by a race more indura rent, traffic pursued by or known to ted to hardship, toil, and suffering. mankind. It was the subject of
tonio Gonzales, who had brought some Moorish 5" It was not Las Casas who first suggested slaves into Portugal, was commanded to release the plan of transporting African slaves to Histhem. He did so; and the Moors gave him, as paniola; Spanish slaveholders, as they emigra
curled hair. Thus negro slaves came into Eu Ibid. rope.”
66 Even the voluptuous Leo X. declared that * In 1444, Spain also took part in the traffic.
not the Christian religion only, but nature herThe historian of her maritime discoveries even
self, cries out against the state of Slavery.' And claims for her the unenviable distinction of hav
Paul III., in two separate briefs, imprecated a ing anticipated the Portuguese in introducing I curse on the Europeans who would enslave In. negroes into Europe.”—Ibid., p. 166.
dians, or any other class of men.”-Ibid., p. 172. 3" Columbus himself did not escape the stain. ? Upon the suggestion of Las Casas in favor of Enslaving five hundred native Americans, he
| negroes for American slaves, in contradiction to sent them to Spain, that they might be publicly the Indians, negroes began to be poured into the sold at Seville." -Ibid.
West Indies. 46 In 1500, the generous Isabella commanded “It had been proposed to allow four for each the liberation of the Indians held in bondage in | emigrant. Deliberate calculation fixed the her European possessions. Yet her native number esteemed necessary at four thousand. benevolence extended not to the Moors, whose | That very year in which Charles V. sailed with valor had been punished by slavery, nor to the a powerful expedition against Tunis, to attack Africans, and even her compassion for the New the pirates of the Barbary States, and to emanciWorld was but a transient feeling, which relieves pate Christian slaves in Africa, he gave an open, the miserable who are in sight, not the delibera- legal sanction to the African slave-trade."--Ibid., tion of a just principle.”-Bancroft's Hist. U. S., p. 170. vol. i., p. 128.
gainful and jealous monopolies, and the facilities for acquiring vast wealth its profits were greedily shared by at the cost of little or no labor in the philosophers, statesmen, and kings. Eden to which they were attracted.
When, in 1607, the first abid- Probably no other colony that ever ing English colony-Virginia—was succeeded or endured was so largely founded on the Atlantic coast of made up of unfit and unpromising what is now our country, Negro materials. Had it not been backed Slavery, based on the African slave- by a strong and liberal London comtrade, was more than a century old pany, which enjoyed for two or three throughout Spanish and Portuguese generations the special favor and America, and so had already acquired patronage of the Crown, it must have the stability and respectability of an perished in its infancy. But the institution. It was nearly half a climate of tide-water Virginia is gecentury old in the British West In- nial, the soil remarkably fertile and dies. Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, facile, the timber abundant and exand British vessels and trading com- cellent, while its numerous bays and panies vied with each other for the inlets abound in the choicest shellgains to be speedily acquired by fish; so that a colony that would fail purchasing, or kidnapping, young here could succeed nowhere. Tonegroes on the coast of Guinea, and bacco, too, that bewitching but selling them in the American colonies poisonous narcotic, wherewith Proviof their own and other nations. The dence has seen fit to balance the inearly colonists of Virginia were estimable gifts of Indian Corn and mainly adventurers of an unusually the Potato by the New World to the bad type-bankrupt prodigals, gen- Old, grew luxuriantly on the interteel spendthrifts, and incorrigible vals of her rivers, and was eagerly profligates, many of whom had left bought at high prices by the British their native country for that country's merchants, through whom nearly good, in obedience to the urgent per- every want of the colonists was supsuasion of sheriffs, judges, and juries. plied. Manual labor of all kinds All were intoxicated by the common was in great demand in the English illusions of emigrants with regard to colonies ; so that, for some time, the
8"A Flemish favorite of Charles V. having treachery, and force, he procured at least three obtained of this king a patent containing an ex- | hundred negroes, and now sold them at Hisclusive right of importing four thousand negroes paniola."-Ibid., p. 83. annually to the West Indies, sold it for twenty "Ferdinand" (in 1513) ' issued a decree defive thousand ducats, to some Genoese mer claring that the servitude of the Indians is warchants, who first brought into a regular form the ranted by the laws of God and man.”-Ibid., p.32. commerce for slaves between Africa and Ame- ! " Every freeman of Carolina shall have absorica."-Holmes's Annals of America, vol. i., p. 35. | lute power and authority over his negro slaves, “In 1563, the English began to import negroes
of what nation or religion whatsoever."--Locke's into the West Indies. Their first slave-trade
Fundamental Constitution for South Carolina. was opened the preceding year on the coast of 9 According to Bancroft, upon the establishGuinea. John Hawkins, in the prospect of a | ment of the Assiento Treaty in 1713, creating a great gain, resolved to make trial of this nefari- | Company for the prosecution of the African Slave ous and inhuman traffic. Communicating the Trade, one-quarter of the stock was taken by design to several gentlemen in London, who be- Philip of Spain; Queen Anne reserved to herself came liberal contributors and adventurers, another quarter, and the remaining moiety was three good ships were immediately provided; to be divided among her subjects. “Thus did the and, with these and one hundred men, Hawkins sovereigns of England and Spain become the sailed to the coast of Guinea, where, by money, largest slave-merchants in the world."
LAWYER'S LAW FOR SLAVERY.
banishment thither of felons from the garded only with vague curiosity and mother country seems to have pro- marvel, like that which would now voked no serious objection. That be excited by the experimental insuch a colony, in such an age, should troduction of elephants or hippopothave existed thirteen years prior to ami as beasts of burden. Human the introduction of Negro Slavery, rights, in the abstract, had not yet indicates rather its weakness and been made a theme of popular dispoverty than its virtue. The proba- cussion, hardly of philosophic specubility is that its planters bought the lation: for English liberty, John first slaves that were offered them; Hampden had not yet poured out his at any rate, the first that they were blood on the battle-field, nor Algerable to pay for. When the Pilgrim non Sidney laid his head on the Fathers landed on the rock of Ply- block. The negroes, uncouth and mouth,10 Virginia had already re- repulsive, could speak no word intelceived and distributed her first cargo ligible to British or Colonial ears, of slaves."
when first imported, and probably There is no record of any serious had a scarcely clearer conception of opposition, whether on moral or eco- their own rights and wrongs than nomic grounds, to the introduction of had those by whom they were surslaves and establishment of Slavery rounded. Some time ere the middle in the various British, Dutch, and of the Seventeenth Century, a British Swedish Colonies, planted along the Attorney-General, having the quescoast between the Penobscot and the tion formally submitted to him, gave Savannah rivers during the succeed- his official opinion, that negroes, being century. At the outset, it is cer- ing pagans, might justly be held tain that the importation of negro in Slavery, even in England itself. chattels into the various seaports, by The amount of the fee paid by the merchants trading thither, was re- wealthy and prosperous slave-traders
10 December 22, 1620. The first slaves brought | attorney and solicitor general of that day. Acto Virginia were sold from a Dutch vessel, which cording to this opinion, which passed for more landed twenty at Jamestown, in 1620.
than forty years as good law, not only was bap11 “In the first recorded case (Butts v. Penny, tism no bar to Slavery, but negro slaves might 2 Lev., 201; 3 Kib., 785), in 1677, in which the be held in England just as well as in the Coloquestion of property in negroes appears to have nies. The two lawyers by whom this opinion come before the English courts, it was held, | was given rose afterward, one of them to be 'that, being usually bought and sold among mer- chief justice of England, and both to be chancelchants as merchandise, and also being infidels, | lors. Yorke, sitting in the latter capacity, with there might be a property in them sufficient to the title of Lord Hardwicke" (in 1749), "had maintain trover."" -Tildreth's Hist. U. S., vol. ii., recently recognized the doctrine of that opinion p. 214.
as sound law. (Pearce v. Lisle, Ambler, 76.) “What precisely the English law might be He objects to Lord Holt's doctrine of freedom, on the subject of Slavery, still remained a mat- secured by setting foot on English soil, that no ter of doubt. Lord Holt had expressed the reason could be found why slaves should not be opinion, as quoted in a previous chapter, that equally free when they set foot in Jamaica, or Slavery was a condition unknown to English | any other English plantation. All our colonies law, and that every person setting foot in Eng. are subject to the laws of England, although as land thereby became free. American planters, 1 to some purposes they have laws of their own! on their visits to England, seem to have been His argument is that, if Slavery be contrary to annoyed by claims of freedom set up on this English law, no local enactments in the Colonies ground, and that, also, of baptism. To relieve could give it any validity. To avoid overturntheir embarrassments, the merchants concerned | ing Slavery in the Colonies, it was absolutely in the American trade" (in 1729) - had obtained necessary to uphold it in England." Ibid., p. a written opinion from Yorke and Talbot, the | 426.