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for this remarkable display of legal | of Canaan had been by the Israelites erudition and acumen, is not re- under Joshua. Indian slavery, somecorded, but it probably included a times forbidden by law, but usually liberal consideration for wear-and- tolerated, if not entirely approved, by tear of conscience. Two or three de- public opinion, was among the early cisions from British courts were, at visages of New England; and from different times thereafter, obtained, this to negro slavery—the slavery of substantially echoing this opinion. any variety of pagan barbarians-was It was not till 1772 that Lord Mans- an easy transition. That the slaves field pronounced, in the ever-memo in the Eastern colonies were few, and rable Somerset case, his judgment | mainly confined to the seaports, does that, by the laws of England, no man not disprove this statement. The could be held in Slavery. That judg harsh climate, the rocky soil, the rugment has never since been disturbed, ged topography of New England, nor seriously questioned.
presented formidable, though not The austere morality and demo impassable, barriers to slaveholding. cratic spirit of the Puritans ought to Her narrow patches of arable soil, have kept their skirts clear from the hemmed in between bogs and naked stain of human bondage. But, be- blocks of granite, were poorly adaptneath all their fierce antagonism, ed to cultivation by slaves. The there was a certain kinship between labor of the hands without the brain, the disciples of Calvin and those of of muscle divorced from intelligence, Loyola. Each were ready to suffer would procure but a scanty livelihood and die for God's truth as they under on those bleak hills. He who was stood it, and neither cherished any compelled, for a subsistence, to be, appreciable sympathy or considera- by turns, farmer, mechanic, lumbertion for those they esteemed God's man, navigator, and fisherman, might enemies, in which category the sav- possibly support one slave, but would ages of America and the heathen ne- | be utterly ruined by half a dozen. groes of Africa were so unlucky as Slaveholding in the Northern States to be found. The Puritan pioneers was rather coveted as a social disof New England were early involved tinction, a badge of aristocracy and in desperate, life-or-death struggles wealth, than resorted to with any with their Aboriginal neighbors, in idea of profit or pecuniary advanwhom they failed to discover those tage. poetic and fascinating traits which It was different southward of the irradiate them in the novels of Coo- Susquehanna, but especially in South per and the poems of Longfellow. Carolina, where the cultivation of Their experience of Indian ferocity Rice and Indigo on the seaboard had and treachery, acting upon their the early furnished lucrative employment ologic convictions, led them early for a number of slaves far exceeding and readily to the belief that these that of the white population, and savages, and by logical inference all whose Sea Islands afforded peculiar savages, were the children of the facilities for limiting the intercourse devil, to be subjugated, if not extir- of the slaves with each other, and pated, as the Philistine inhabitants | their means of escape to the wilder
GEORGIA A FREE COLONY.
31 ness and to the savages. South Car- | characterized the British system of olina, a century ago, was as intense- Imprisonment for Debt, he devoted ly, conspicuously aristocratic and himself to their reform, and carried slaveholding as in our own day. through the House an act to this end. But when Slavery had obtained eve- His interest in the fortunes of bankrywhere a foothold, and, in most col- rupt and needy debtors led him to onies, a distinct legal recognition, plan the establishment of a colony without encountering aught deserv- to which they should be invited, and ing the name of serious resistance, it in which they might hope, by inwere absurd to claim for any colony dustry and prudence, to attain indeor section a moral superiority in this pendence. This colony was also inregard over any other.
tended to afford an asylum for the The single and most honorable ex- oppressed Protestants of Germany ception to the general facility with and other portions of the continent. which this giant wrong was adopted He interested many eminent and inand acquiesced in, is presented by fluential personages in his project, the history of Georgia. That colony obtained for it a grant of nearly ten may owe something of her preëmi- | thousand pounds sterling from Parnence to her comparatively recent liament, with subscriptions to the foundation; but she is far more in- | amount of sixteen thousand more, debted to the character and efforts of and organized a company for its her illustrious founder. JAMES OGLE- realization, whereof the directors THORPE was born in 1688, or 1689, at were nearly all noblemen and memGodalming, Surry County, Eng- bers of Parliament. Its constitution land; entered the British army in forbade any director to receive any 1710; and, having resigned on the pecuniary advantage therefrom. Berestoration of peace, was, in 1714, ing himself the animating soul of the commended by the great Marlborough enterprise, he was persuaded to acto his former associate in command, cept the arduous trust of governor the famous Prince Eugene of Savoy, of the colony, for which a royal by whom he was appointed one of his grant had been obtained of the aids. He fought under Eugene in western coast of the Atlantic from his brilliant and successful campaign the mouth of the Savannah to that against the Turks in 1716 and 1717, of the Altamaha, and to which the closing with the siege and capture of name of Georgia was given in honor Belgrade, which ended the war. of the reigning sovereign. The Declining to remain in the Austrian trustees were incorporated in June, service, he returned, in 1722, to Eng 1732. The pioneer colonists left land, where, on the death of his England in November of that year, elder brother about this time, he in- and landed at Charleston in January, herited the family estate; was elected | 1733. Proceeding directly to their to Parliament for the borough of territory, they founded the city of
the ensuing thirty-two years, and, be- suing month. Oglethorpe, as director coming acquainted with the frightful and vice-president of the African abuses and inhumanities which then | Company, had previously become
acquainted with an African prince, I was retaliated by a much stronger captured and sold into slavery by Spanish expedition, which took Fort some neighboring chief, and had re- St. Simon, on the Altamaha,. and turned him to his native country, might easily have subdued the whole after imbibing from his acquaintance colony, but it was alarmed and rewith the facts a profound detestation pelled by a stratagem of his concepof the Slave-Trade and of Slavery. tion. Oglethorpe soon after returned One of the fundamental laws devised to England; the trustees finally surby Oglethorpe for the government of rendered their charter to the Crown; his colony was a prohibition of slave- and in 1752 Georgia became a royal holding; another was an interdiction colony, whereby its inhabitants were of the sale or use of Rum-neither of enabled to gratify, without restraint, them calculated to be popular with their longing for Slavery and Rum. the jail-birds, idlers, and profligates, The struggle of Oglethorpela in who eagerly sought escape from their Georgia was aided by the presence, debts and their miseries by becoming counsels, and active sympathy, of members of the new colony. The the famous John Wesley, the founder spectacle of men, no wiser nor bet- of Methodism, whose pungent deter than themselves, living idly and scription of Slavery as “the sum of luxuriously, just across the Savannah all villainies," was based on personal river, on the fruits of constrained observation and experience during and unpaid negro labor, doubtless his sojourn in these colonies. But inflamed their discontent and their “ another king arose, who knew not hostility. As if to add to the gov- Joseph ;" the magisterial hostility to ernor's troubles, war between Spain bondage was relaxed, if not wholly and England broke out in 1739, and withdrawn; the temptation remained Georgia, as the frontier colony, con- and increased, while the resistance tiguous to the far older and stronger faded and disappeared ; and soon Spanish settlement of East Florida, Georgia yielded silently, passively, to was peculiarly exposed to its ravages. the contagion of evil example, and Oglethorpe, at the head of the South soon became not only slaveholding, Carolina and Georgia militia, made but, next to South Carolina, the most an attempt on Saint Augustine, infatuated of all the thirteen colonies which miscarried; and this, in 1742, in its devotion to the mighty evil.
12 Oglethorpe lived to be nearly a hundred and is much above ninety years old; the finest years old-dying at Cranham Hall, Essex, Eng figure you ever saw. He perfectly realizes all land, June 30, 1787. It is not recorded nor
my ideas of Nestor. His literature is great, his probable that he ever revisited America after
knowledge of the world extensive, and his facul
ties as bright as ever. * * He is quite a preux his relinquishment of the governorship of Geor
chevalier; heroic, romantic, and full of the old gia; but he remained a warm, active, well gallantry.” informed friend of our country after, as well as Pope—who praised so sparingly-had spoken before and during, her struggle for independence. of him, not quite half a century earlier, in terms In 1784, Hannah More thus wrote of him : evincing like admiration; and many other contem
"I have got a new admirer; it is Gen. Ogle- | poraries of literary eminence bore testimony to thorpe, perhaps the most remarkable man of his his signal merits...-See Sparks's American Biotime. He was foster-brother to the Pretender, / graphy.
SLAVERY IN THE REVOLUTION.
The American Revolution was no convinced of the danger and essential sudden outbreak. It was preceded iniquity of Slavery, and the conservaby eleven years of peaceful remon- tive who argues that few or none strance and animated discussion. perçived and admitted the direct The vital question concerned the application of their logic to the case right of the British Parliament to of men held in perpetual and limitimpose taxes, at its discretion, on less bondage, are alike mistaken, British subjects in any and every There were doubtless some who did part of the empire. This question pre- not perceive, or did not admit, the sented many phases, and prompted inseparable connection between the various acts and propositions. But rights they claimed as British freeits essence was always the same; and men and the rights of all men everyit was impossible that such men as where; but the more discerning and James Otis, John Adams, Thomas logical of the patriots comprehended Jefferson, and Patrick Henry, should and confessed that their assertion of discuss it without laying broad foun- the rightful inseparability of Repredations for their argument in pre- sentation from Taxation necessarily mises affecting the natural and gene affirmed the grander and more essenral Rights of Man to self-government, tial right of each innocent, rational with the control of his own products being to the control and use of his or earnings. The enthusiast who | own capacities and faculties, and to imagines that our patriots were all the enjoyment of his own earnings.
1 Witness the Darien (Ga.) resolutions. In the eulogizes “the firm and manly conduct of the Darien committee, Thursday, June 12, 1775:
people of Boston and Massachusetts,' acquiescing
in all the resolutions of the "grand American “When the most valuable privileges of a peo
Congress in Philadelphia last October." The ple are invaded, not only by open violence, but
second resolution is denunciatory of England, by every kind of fraud, sophistry, and cunning,
in shutting up the land office, and in other opit behooves every individual to be upon his
pressive acts. The third is opposed to ministeguard, and every member of society, like bea
rial mandates under the name of constitutions. cons in a country surrounded by enemies, to
The fourth is denunciatory of the number of give tlie alarm, not only when their liberties
officers appointed over the colonies by the in general are invaded, but separately, lest the
British crown, and their exorbitant salaries. precedent in one may affect the whole; and to
The fifth is as follows: enable the collective wisdom of such a people
15th. To show the world that we are not into judge of its consequences, and how far their
fluenced by any contracted or interested motive, respective grievances concern all, or should be
but a general philanthropy for all mankind, of opposed to preserve their necessary union.
whatever climate, language, or complexion, we Every laudable attempt of this kind by the good
hereby declare our disapprobation and abhorpeople of this Colony, in a constitutional manner,
rence of the unnatural practice of Slavery in has been hitherto frustrated by the influence
America (however the uncultivated state of our and authority of men in office and their numer
country, and other specious arguments, may plead ous dependents, and in every other natural and
for it), a practice founded in injustice and cruelty, just way by the various arts they have put in
and highly dangerous to our liberties (as well practice. We, therefore, the representatives of
as lives), debasing part of our fellow-creatures the extensive district of Darien, in the colony
below men, and corrupting the virtue and morals of Georgia, being now assembled in congress
of the rest, and as laying the basis of that liberty by the authority and free choice of the inhabit
we contend for (and which we pray the Almighty ants of the said district, now free from their
to continue to the latest posterity) upon a very fetters, do Resolve—".
wrong foundation. We therefore resolve at all There are six resolutions in all. The first / times to use our utmost efforts for the manumis
The principles of civil and political | arraignment of British tyranny; but liberty, so patiently evolved and so which were, nevertheless, widely and thoroughly commended during the deeply felt to be an important and long controversy which preceded integral portion of our case. Even the appeal to arms, were reduced divested of this, the Declaration to axioms, and became portions of stands to-day an evidence that our the popular faith. When Jeffer- fathers regarded the rule of Great son, in drafting our immortal Britain as no more destructive to Declaration of Independence, em- their own rights than to the rights of bodied in its preamble a formal and mankind. einphatic assertion of the inalienable No other document was ever issued Rights of Man, he set forth propo- which so completely reflected and sitions novel and startling to Euro- developed the popular convictions pean ears, but which eloquence and which underlaid and impelled it as patriotic fervor had already engraven that Declaration of Independence. deeply on the American heart. That The cavil that its ideas were not Declaration was not merely, as Mr. original with Jefferson is a striking Choate has termed it, “the passion- testimonial to its worth. Originality ate manifesto of a revolutionary of conception was the very last merit war;" it was the embodiment of our to which he would have chosen to forefathers' deepest and most rooted lay claim, his purpose being to emconvictions; and when, in penning body the general convictions of his that Declaration, he charged the countrymen — their conceptions of British government with upholding human, as well as colonial, rights and and promoting the African slave- British wrongs, in the fewest, strongtrade against the protests of the est, and clearest words. The fact colonists, and in violation of the that some of these words had already dictates of humanity, he asserted been employed—some of them a truths which the jealous devotion of hundred times—to set forth the same South Carolina and Georgia to slave- general truths, in no manner unfitted holding rendered it impolitic to send them for his use. forth as an integral portion of our The claim that his draft was a pla
sion of our slaves in this colony upon the most safe against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes and equitable footing for the masters and them- | which he urges them to commit against the LIVES selves."— American Archives, 4th Series, vol. i., l of another." 1774 and 1775.
3 Mr. Jefferson, in his Autobiography, gives the ? The following is the indictment of George III., following reason for the omission of this reas a patron and upholder of the African slave- | markable passage from the Declaration as adopttrade, embodied by Mr. Jefferson in his original | ed, issued, and published: draft of the Declaration :
"The clause, too, reprobating the enslaving "Determined to keep open a market where MEN | the inhabitants of Africa, was struck out in should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his complaisance to South Carolina and Georgia, who negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to had never attempted to restrain the importation prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And of slaves, and who, on the contrary, still wished that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact to continue it. Our Northern brethren also, I of distinguished dye, he is now exciting those very believe, felt a little tender under those censures; people to rise in arms among us, and purchase for, though their people had very few slaves that liberty of which he has deprived them, by themselves, yet they had been pretty consideramurdering the people on whom he also obtruded ble carriers of them to others." -- Jefferson's them: thus paying off former crimes committed | Works, vol. i., p. 170.