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LAWYER'S LAW FOR SLAVERY.
29 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, 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 a
among mer chief justice of England, and both to be chancel. chants as merchandise, and also being infidels, lors. Yorke, sitting in the latter capacity, with there might be a property in them suficient to the title of Lord Hardwicke" (in 1749), “ had maintain trover.'”-Hildreth'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, 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 overturn. their 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.
for this remarkable display of legal | of Canaan had been by the Israelites erudition and acumen, is not re- under Joshua. Indian slavery, some corded, 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 usages 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 Hazelmere, which he represented for Savannah in the course of the enthe 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, 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 Oglethorpe" 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 preus 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. perceived 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.?
I 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 peor Congress in Philadelphia last October.” The ple are invaded, not only by open violence, but by every kind of fraud, sophistry, and cunning,
second resolution is denunciatory of England, it behooves every individual to be upon his pressive acts. The third is opposed to ministe
in shutting up the land office, and in other opguard, 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 the 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
16 5th. To show the world that we are not in. to judge of its consequences, and how far their
fluenced by any contracted or interested motive, respective grievances concern all, or should be opposed to preserve their necessary union.
but a general philanthropy for all mankind, of
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. ous dependents, and in every other natural and
country, and other specious arguments, may plead
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 the extensive district of Darien, in the colony below men, and corrupting the virtue and morals
as lives), debasing part of our fellow-creatures 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.