« AnteriorContinuar »
deepest depths of degradation. We propose to subvert this entire system of oligarchal despotism. We think there should be some legislation for decent white men, not alone for negroes and slaveholders. Slavery lies at the root of all the shame, poverty, ignorance, tyranny and imbecility of the South ; slavery must be thoroughly eradicated ; let this be done, and a glorious future will await us.
The statesmen who are to abolish slavery in Kentucky, must be mainly and independently constituted by the nonslaveholders of Kentucky; so in every other slave State. Past experience has taught us the sheer folly of ever expecting voluntary justice from the slaveholders. Their illicit intercourse with “the mother of harlots" has been kept up so long, and their whole natures have, in consequence, become so depraved, that there is scarcely a spark of honor or magnanimity to be found amongst them. As well might one expect to hear highwaymen clamoring for a universal interdict against traveling, as to expect slaveholders to pass laws for the abolition of slavery Under all the circumstances, it is the duty of the nonslaveholders to mark out an independent course for them. selves, to steer entirely clear of the oligarchy, and to utterly contemn and ignore the many vile imstruments of power, animate and inanimate, which have been so freely and so effectually used for their enslavement. Now is the time for them to assert their rights and liberties ; never before was there such an appropriate period to strike foi Freedom in the South.
IIad it not been for the better sense; the purer patriotism, and the more practical justice of the non-slaveholders,
the Mildle States and New England would still be groan. ing and groveling under the ponderous burden of slavery ; New-York would never have risen above the dishonorable level of Virginia ; Pennsylvania, trampled beneath the iron-heel of the black code, would have remained the unprogressive parallel of Georgia ; Massachusetts would have continued till the present time, and Heaven only knows how much longer, the contemptible coequal of South Carolina.
Succeeded by the happiest moral effects and the grandest physical results, we have seen slavery crushed beneath the wisdon of the non-slaveholding statesmen of, the North ; followed by corresponding influences and achievements, many of us who have not yet passed the meridian of life, are destined to see it equally crushed beneath the wisdom of the non-slaveholding Statesmen of the South. With righteous indignation, we enter our disclaimer against the base yet baseless admission that Louisiana and Texas are incapable of producing as great statesmen as Rhode Island and Connecticut. What has been done for New Jersey by the statesmen of New Jersey, can be done for North Carolina by the statesmen of North Carolina ; the wisdom of the former State las abolished slavery; as sure as the earth revolves on its axis, the wisdom of the latter will not do less.
That our plan for the abolition of slavery, is the best that can be devised, we have not the vanity to contend ; but that it is a grod one, and will do to act upon
until a better shall have been suggested, we do firmly and conscientiously believe. Though but little skilled in the deli
cale art of surgery, we have pretty thoroughly probed slavery, the frightful tumor on the body politic, and have, we think, ascertained the precise remedies requisite for a speedy and perfect cure. Possibly the less ardent friends of freedom may object to our prescription, on the ground that some of its ingredients are too griping, and that it will cost the patient a deal of most excruciating pain. But let them remember that the patient is exceedingly refractory, that the case is a desperate one, and that drastic remedies are indispensably necessary. When they shall have invented milder yet equally efficacious ones, it will be time enough to discontinue the use of ours-then no one will be readier than we to discard the infallible strong recipe for the infallible mild. Not at the persecution of a few thousand slaveholders, but at the restitution of natural rights and prerogatives to several millions of non-slaveholders, do we aim.
Inscribed on the banner, which we herewith unfurl to the world, with the full and fixed determination to stand by it or die by it, unless one of more virtuous efficacy shall be presented, are the mottocs which, in substance, embody the principles, as we conceive, that should govern us in our patriotic warfare against the most subtle and insidious foe that ever menaced the inalienable rights and liberties and dearest interests of America : 1st. Thorough Organization and Independent Political
Action on the part of the Non-Slaveholding whites of
the South. 2nd. Ineligibility of Slaveholders - Never another vote to
the Trafficker in Human Flesh.
3rd. No Co-operation with Slaveholders in Politics - No
Fellowship with them in Religion-No Affiliation with
them in Society. 4th. No Patronage to Slaveholding Merchants-No Guest
ship in Slave-waiting Hotels — No Fees to Slaveholding Lawyers No Employment of Slaveholding Physicians
-No Audience to Slaveholding Parsons. 5th. No Recognition of Pro-slavery Men, except as Ruf
fians, Outlaws, and Criminals. 6th. Abrupt Discontinuance of Subscription to Pro-slavery
Newspapers. 7th. The Greatest Possible Encouragement to Free White
Labor. 8. No more Hiring of Slaves by Non-slaveholders. 9th. Immediate Death to Slavery, or if not immediate,
unqualified Proscription of its Advocates during the Pe
riod of its Existence. 10th. A Tax of Sixty Dollars on every Slaveholder for each
and every Negro in his Possession at the present time, or at any intermediate time between now and the 4th of July, 1863—said Money to be Applied to the transportation of the Blacks to Liberia, to their Colonization in Central or South America, or to their Comfortable
Settlement within the Boundaries of the United States. 11th. An additional Tax of Forty Dollars per annum to be
levied annually, on every Slaveholder for each and every Negro found in his possession after the 4th of July, .1863—said Money to be paid into the hands of the Negroes so held in Slavery, or, in cases of death, to their next of kin, and to be used by them at their own option
This, then, is the outline of our scheme for the abolition of slavery in the Southern States. Let it be acted upon with due promptitude, and, as certain as truth is mightier than error, fifteen years will not elapse before every foot of territory, from the mouth of the Delaware to the emboguing of the Rio Grande, will glitter with the jewels of freedom. Some time during this year, next, or the year following, let there be a general convention of non-slaveholders from every slave State in the Union, to deliberate on the momentous issues now pending. First, let them adopt measures for holding in restraint the diabolical excesses of the oligarchy ; secondly, in order to cast off the thraldom which the infamous slave-power has fastened upon them, and, as the first step necessary to be taken to regain the inalienable rights and liberties with which they were invested by Nature, but of which they have been divested by the accursed dealers in human flesh, let them devise ways and means for the complete annihilation of slavery; thirdly, let them put forth an equitable and comprehensive platform, fully defining their position, and inviting the active sympathy and co-operatiou of the millions of down-trodden non-slaveholders throughout the Southern and Southwestern States. Let all these things be done, not too hastily, but with calmness, deliberation, prudence, and circumspection ; if need be, let the delegates to the convention continue in session one or two weeks ; only let their labors be wisely and thoroughly performed ; let them, on Wednesday morning, present to the poor whites of the South, a well-digested scheme for the reclamation of their ancient rights and prerogatives, and,