Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

11

tråtion, relays of horses, prëarranged the African Slave-Trade, coinciding in the absence of telegraphs, con- with the rapid settlement of the veyed from the deeply interested ne- Louisiana purchase and the triumph gro-traders, who were watching the of the Cotton-Gin, wrought here an doings of Congress at the national entire transformation. When fieldmetropolis, to their confederates and hands brought from ten to fifteen agents in the slave-selling districts hundred dollars, and young negroes of the neighboring States, the joy were held at about ten dollars per ful tidings which insured an ad-pound, the newly born infant, if wellvance of twelve to fifteen per cent. formed, healthy, and likely to live, in the market value of human flesh, was deemed an addition to his masand enabled the exclusive possessors ter's wealth of not less than one hunof the intelligence to make it the dred dollars, even in Virginia or basis of extensive and lucrative spec- Maryland. It had now become the ulations.

| interest of the master to increase the Slave-breeding for gain, deliber- number of births in his slave-cabins; ately purposed and systematically and few evinced scruples as to the pursued, appears to be among the means whereby this result was atlatest devices and illustrations of tained. The chastity of female slaves human depravity. Neither Cowper, was never esteemed of much account, nor Wesley, nor Jonathan Edwards, even where they were white; and, nor Granville Sharp, nor Clarkson, now that it had become an impedinor any of the philanthropists or ment to the increase of their masters' divines who, in the last century, bore wealth, it was wholly disregarded. fearless and emphatic testimony to No slave-girl, however young, was the flagrant iniquity of slave-making, valued lower for having become a slave-holding, and slave-selling, seem mother, without waiting to be first to have had any clear conception of made a wife; nor were many masters it. For the infant slave of past ages likely to rebuke this as a fault, or was rather an incumbrance and a brand it as a shame. Women were burden than a valued addition to his publicly advertised by sellers as exmaster's stock. To raise him, how-traordinary breeders, and commanded ever roughly, must cost all he would a higher price on that account.' ultimately be worth. That it was Wives, sold into separation from cheaper to buy slaves than to rear their husbands, were imperatively them, was quite generally regarded as required to accept new partners, in self-evident. But the suppression of order that the fruitfulness of the

Y

9 Mr. Edward Yates, a zealous and active friend of a married pair being sold together, but, without of the Union cause, in “A letter to the Women exception, so far as I was able to learn from the of England, on Slavery in the Southern States

negroes sold by the auctioneers, every grown-up

man left a wife and every grown-up woman a husof America,” founded on personal observation

band. * * * I saw Mr. Pulliam (of Richin 1855, gives revolting instances of the brutal mond) sell, to different buyers, two daughters handling of delicate and beautiful women, appa | away from their mother, who was also to be sold. rently white, by slave-dealers and their cus

This unfortunate woman was a quadroon; and tomers, in Southern sale-rooms. He adds:

I shall not soon forget the large tears that started

to her eyes as she saw her two children sold "At Richmond and New Orleans, I was pres away from her.” ont at slave-auctions, and did not see one instance Testimony like this is abundant.

SLAVE-BREEDING-COLONIZATION.

71 plantation might not suffer. We hers must share her own bitter and need not dwell on this new phase of hopeless degradation. It was long aço Slavery, its revolting features, and observed that American Slavery, with still more revolting consequences. its habitual and life-long separations The simple and notorious fact that of husband from wife, of parent from clergymen, marrying slaves, were child, its exile of perhaps the larger accustomed to require of them fidel portion of its victims from the humity in their marital relation, until ble but cherished homes of their separated by death, or by inexorable childhood to the strange and repulnecessity, suffices of itself to stamp sive swamps and forests of the far the social condition thus photo South-West, is harsher and viler than graphed with the indignant reproba- any other system of bondage on tion of mankind. And when we add which the sun ever shone. And that slave-girls were not only daily when we add that it has been caresold on the auction-blocks of New fully computed that the State of VirOrleans, and constantly advertised in ginia, since the date of the purchase her journals, as very nearly white, of Louisiana, had received more well-educated, and possessed of the money for her own flesh and blood, rarest personal attractions, and that regularly sold and exported, than her they commanded double and treble soil and all that was upon it would prices on this account, we leave noth- have sold for on the day when she ing to be added to complete the out- seceded from the Union, we need lines of a system of legalized and adduce no more of the million facts priest-sanctioned iniquity, more gi- which unite to prove every wrong a gantic and infernal than heathenism blunder as well as a crime—that God and barbarism ever devised. For the has implanted in every evil the seeds Circassian beauty, whose charms of its overthrow and ultimate deseek and find a market at Constanti-struction. nople, is sent thither by her parents, and is herself a willing party to the The conflicting currents of Amerispeculation. She hopefully bids a can thought and action with regard last adieu to the home of her infancy, to Slavery—that which was cherished to find another in the harem of some by the Revolutionary patriots, and wealthy and powerful Turk, where gradually died with them, and that she will achieve the life of luxury by which the former was imperceptiand idleness she covets. But the bly supplanted—are strikingly exhibAmerican-born woman, consigned by ited in the history and progress of the laws of her country and the fiat | the movement for African Colonizaof her owner to the absolute posses tion. Its originator was the Rev. sion of whomsoever bids most for Samuel Hopkins, D. D., who was her, neither consents to the transfer, settled as a clergyman at Newport, nor is at all consulted as to the per- R. I., in 1770, and found that thrivson to whom she is helplessly con- ing sea-port a focus of Slavery and signed. The Circassian knows that the Slave-Trade, upon both of which her children will be free and honored. he soon commenced an active and The American is keenly aware that determined war. The idea of coun.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

teracting, and ultimately suppressing, on it early in the following year. the Slave-Trade, through a system- About one thousand emigrants were atic colonization of the western coast dispatched thither in the course of of Africa with emancipated blacks the following seven years, including from America, was matured and sug- a small church of colored persons gested by him to others, even before which migrated from Boston in 1826. the outbreak of the Revolutionary The additional number dispatched war; and its realization, interrupted during the succeeding thirty years by that struggle, was resumed by him was not far from eight thousand. directly after it had been closed. The city founded by the original This was anterior to the British set- emigrants received the name of Montlement of Sierra Leone, and preceded rovia, and in 1847 the colony declared the appearance of Clarkson's prize itself an independent republic under essay, commanding public attention the name of Liberia. That republic to the horrors of the Slave-Trade. still exists, enjoying a moderate and Among Dr. Hopkins's European cor- equable prosperity, in spite of its unrespondents were Granville Sharp healthiness for whites, and for all but and Zachary Macaulay, who were | duly acclimated blacks, on account among the earliest and least com- of its tropical and humid location. promising of British abolitionists. But the Colonization movement, Through his influence and efforts, though bountifully lauded and glorithree colored youth were educated fied by the eminent in Church and in New England, toward the close of State, and though the Society numthe last century, with express refer- bered among its Presidents Bushrod ence to missionary labor in Africa in Washington, Charles Carroll, James connection with the Colonization Madison, and Henry Clay, has not movement. Two of these ultimately, achieved a decided success, and for though at a mature age, migrated to the last twenty years has steadily Liberia, where they died soon after. and stubbornly declined in importThirty-eight American blacks emiance and consideration. It has grated to Sierra Leone in 1815, ceased to command or deserve the under the auspices and in the vessel sympathy of abolitionists, without of one of their own number. The achieving the hearty confidence, initial organization of the American though it has been blessed or cursed Colonization Society took place at with the abundant verbal commendPrinceton, N. J., in the autumn of ations, of their antagonists. It was 1816; and that Society was formally soon discovered that, while it was organized at Washington, by the presented to the former class as a safe choice of officers, on the 1st of Janu- and unobjectionable device for mitiary, 1817. Its first attempt at prac- gating the evils, while gradually untical colonization was made in 1820 dermining the existence, of human on Sherbro Island, which proved an bondage in our country, it was, at unfortunate location; its present po- the same time, commended to the sition on the main land, at Cape favor and patronage of slaveholders Mesurado, was purchased December as a means of relieving the South of 15, 1821, and some colonists landed its dangerous free-negro element, and

11

[merged small][ocr errors]

CA

thus augmenting the security and a follower of Garrison and Wendell insuring the perpetuity of their be- Phillips. The constantly and widely loved institution. Moreover, as the diverging currents of American opinenhanced and constantly increasing ion soon left the Colonization movemarket value of slaves obstructed and ment hopelessly stranded. The diminished manumissions with a view teachings of the new Southern school to colonization, the class of subjects tended palpably toward the extirpafor deportation to Africa steadily tion from the South of the free-negro fell off in numbers, and in the quality anomaly, through reënslavement of those composing it. When, at rather than exile. Legislative efforts last, the South, under the lead of Mr. to decree a general sale of free Calhoun, quite generally adopted the negroes into absolute slavery were novel and extraordinary doctrine of made in several States, barely defeatthe essential righteousness and signal ed in two or three, and fully successbeneficence of Slavery-when the re- ful in one. Arkansas, in 1858–9, lation of life-long servitude and utter enacted the enslavement of all free subjugation to the will of a master colored persons within her limits, was declared the true, natural, and who should not remove beyond them most enviable condition of the la- before the ensuing 4th of July, and boring class anywhere—the condition this atrocious edict was actually enmost conducive to their happiness, 10 forced by her authorities. The nemoral culture, and social well-being- groes generally escaped; but, if any the idea of liberating individuals or remained, they did so in view of the families from this subjugation, and fact that the first sheriff who could sending them from peaceful, plenti- lay hands on them would hurry them ful, and prosperous America to be- to the auction-block, and sell them nighted, barbarous, and inhospitable to the highest bidder. And this was Africa, became, in this view, a trans- but a foretaste of the fate to which parent absurdity. No disciple of the new Southern dogma was morally Calhoun could be a logical, con- certain, in a few years, to consign the sistent colonizationist, any more than whole free colored population of the

M

10 “ What disposition God, in His providence, argument. * * * In the general march of human will eventually make of these blacks, cannot be progress, there is no one interest of humanity foretold; but it is our duty to provide for our which has advanced more rapidly than the instiown happiness and theirs as long as we can. In tution of African Slavery as it is in the Southern dealing with this question, it will not do to be States. It has stood the test of every trial. Its guided by abstract notions of liberty and slavery. mission is to subdue the unbroken regions of the We can only judge the future by the past; and, warm and fertile South, and its end is the hapas experience proves that the negro is better off piness and civilization of the human race, includin slavery at the South than in freedom else ing the race of the slave, in all respects.” where, it is the part of philanthropy to keep him

Said Mr. Jas. M. Mason, of Va., in the debate here, as we keep our children in subjection for their own good.”-De Bow's Review, vol. ii., p.

of the following day: 310.

"As to the slave population, I agree with the Mr., Chestnut of S. C., in a long pro-slavery. Senator from South Carolina. if a problem, it speech in the U. S. Senate, April 9, 1860, pre

has worked itself out; the thing is settled here, sented his views of the inherent excellence of

so far as the South is concerned, or the opinions

and purposes of the South, or their ability to human bondage, as regards the slaves them

make their opinions and purposes good. It will selves, as follows:

become, as it has already begun to be, the estab"But you say, 'I leave out of the considera- | lished policy of the South to have no more emantion the happiness of the race enslaved. By no cipation. Let them continue in bondage as they means. It is an important element of the moral | now exist, as the best condition of both races."

Slave States, had not those States resisted and protested, but only to been precipitated into their great be overborne by inexorable logic, and Rebellion. Individuals would have even more inexorable majorities.

VII.

THE MISSOURI STRUGGLE.

1

WHEN the State of Louisiana, pre- i "And provided, That the introduction of viously known as the Territory of

Slavery, or involuntary servitude, be prohib

ited, except for the punishment of crimes, Orleans, was admitted into the Un whereof the party has been duly convicted; ion, the remainder of the Louisiana | and that all children born within the said

State, after the admission thereof into the purchase, which had formerly borne

Union, shall be declared free at the age of the designation of Louisiana Terri- twenty-five years." tory, was renamed the Territory of On the rising of the Committee, Missouri. The people of a portion the Yeas and Nays were demanded of this Territory, stretching west- | in the House on the question of Ward from the Mississippi on both agreeing to this amendment; when sides of the river. Missouri, peti a division was called, and so much tioned Congress for admission into of it as precedes and includes the the Union as the State of Missouri; word “convicted” was adopted by and their memorials were referred | 87 Yeas—all from the substantially by the House to a Select Committee, Free Statesó except one of the two whereof Mr. Scott, their delegate, members from Delaware -- to 76 was chairman. This Committee re- Nays, whereof ten were from Free ported a bill in accordance with their States—Massachusetts (then includprayer, which was read twice and ing Maine) supplying three of them, committed; but no further action was New York three, with one each from taken thereon during that session. New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio,

The same Congress reconvened for and Illinois. The residue of the its second session on the 16th of the amendment was likewise sustained,

11

resolved itself into a Committee of Nays. The bill thus amended was the whole,4 and in due time took up ordered to a third reading by 98 the Missouri bill aforesaid, which was Yeas to 56 Nays, and the next day considered throughout that sitting was passed and sent to the Senate, and that of the next day but one, where the restriction aforesaid was during which several amendments stricken out by a vote of 22 to 16, were adopted, the most important and the bill thus amended passed of which, moved by General James without a division, on the last day Tallmadge, of Dutchess County, New but one of the session. Being now York, was as follows:

returned to the House, General Tall

1 April 8, 1812.
2 On the 16th of March, 1818.
4 February 13, 1819.

3 April 3d.

5 New York and New Jersey still held a few slaves, but the former had decreed their man.

« AnteriorContinuar »