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ment by the Constitution.* But they have never asserted or intimated, it is believed, that Congress had any power to abolish slavery in the Southern States, or to legislate respecting their slaves, except in regard to the slave-trade carried on between the States.

They do, however, claim the right to express their opinions on the subject of slavery in the Southern States, freely and openly, and to address to slaveholders every fair argument in regard to it, which they think calculated to produce in them a change of principles and practice. They claim the right to remonstrate and expostulate with slaveholders on their conduct, and to declare the criminality of owning or dealing in human flesh and blood.

This right of attempting to exert a moral influence upon our southern brethren, is claimed by abolitionists on many grounds. They are freemen, and the freedom of the press is guarantied to them by the constitution; and they consider the subject of slavery no more beyond the limits of legitimate discussion, than any other topic of legislation or morals. This right they would claim, even if the Southern States were occupied by foreign nations. They think there is no impropriety in discussing the law of primogeniture, or the benefit of a reformed parliament in

*The Constitution gives Congress the power to exercise exclusive jurisdiction in all cases whatsoever, over such district, (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of government of the United States.' The jurisdiction of Congress over the District of Columbia, which was obtained for the seat of government under this provision, does not admit of dispute. Congress has also power by the constitution, to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States.' The slave-trade carried on between the States, evidently falls within this provision. It is under this provision that Congress had power to prohibit the foreign slave-trade. The constitution in the next section declares that 'the migration or importation of such persons, as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by Congress, prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight; but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.' This is a declaration of the constitution that, without this exception, Congress under the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, would have had an immediate right to abolish the foreign slave-trade. The right to abolish the slave-trade between the States follows as clearly from the power to regulate commerce among the States.

The power of Congress over the territories is given in explicit language by the 3d Section of the third Article of the Constitution.

England. May they not discuss similar questions in relation to their own country?

But many considerations occur which render exertions to put down slavery at the South by moral means, not merely a right, but a duty. The Northern States suffer directly from the existence of slavery at the South. The institution is the perpetual source of jealousy and irritation between the two sections of the country. No true harmony can subsist between them as long as it exists. If the Union is divided, slavery will be the cause of the rupture. The moral sensibility of the people of the North is constantly shocked by seeing runaway slaves, who have entered on their territories, carried back to the South: it would be still more wounded should they be called on to march to the South to quell an insurrection of the slaves, as they are liable to be under the Constitution. Besides all this, the moral principles of a large part of the citizens of the North in regard to slavery, are corrupted and impaired by the contagion of Southern èxample. Too many at the North apologize for slaveholding, forgetting that it is a sin, in language current at the South. Has not every one herea right to attempt to reform the morals of his fellow citizens?

Not only is slavery at the South sustained by the moral influence of the North, but the riches of the North are the greatest supports of the system. When we consume the cotton, the tobacco, and the rice of the South, are we not contributing to maintain slavery? If we and others did not purchase the productions of the planters, would they continue to raise them? It is true, they sell a part of their productions to foreign nations, but as far as we purchase them, we support the slave system. The slave who cultivates the cotton which we wear, or the rice which we eat, works for us as really, as if we were his owners or overseers, and drove him to his daily toil.

It is not necessary, in this place, to adduce all the particular reasons which justify the exertions making to extend at the North, correct opinions in regard to slavery. The society justifies them on the broad ground of a common humanity. In whatever part of the globe we see men suffering from poverty, ignorance, or oppression, they are entitled to our sympathy and compassion,

and our duty to assist in improving their condition, is only limited by our means of usefulness.

Great good, it is believed, may be effected in the Southern States by the exertions of this and kindred Societies. It is therefore a duty to continue these exertions. A strong hostility to slavery is already growing up in some of the Southern States, among a large part of the white population. It would be increased by a powerful expression of opinion on the subject from the North. Nay, it is believed that if the great mass of the population at the North were to adopt Christian principles on the subject of slavery, and to assert them boldly, it would strike the fetters from the slaves as certainly, as if the Northern States had the power of legislating for the South. In a country like ours, enjoying throughout a common language, and frequent and rapid means of communication, moral principles spread like other opinions. Slavery exists at the South, because the North has adopted the low standard of Southern morality on the subject. Let the North correct its opinions, and the reform must extend to the South. We do great injustice to our Southern brethren, if we suppose that they will all be obstinately deaf to the appeals of justice and humanity. The consciences of many of them may be roused and their principles corrected, if a loud voice from the North should direct their attention to the subject of slavery. We do injustice to our religion in doubting its power, to convince men of the iniquity of holding their fellow men in bondage.

Suppose that the opinions of the Northern States should be changed, and that all the members of Congress from the Northern States, following the people, should be convinced that slaveholding is a sin, and that the slaves have a right to immediate freedom, and should express these convictions with the frequency and earnestness which would be almost unavoidable in such a case, could slavery, under these circumstances, continue for many years in the Southern States ?

It is, however, insisted that the measures of anti-slavery societies tend to produce disaffection and insurrections among the slaves. No one who has fairly examined the publications of these associations in this country will pretend that they have any

design to excite the slaves to outrage and violence: the utmost that can be charged against them is, that their course has a tendency to produce this effect.

It is not necessary to deny that the 'exertions of anti-slavery societies may have, in some degree, the tendency which is ascribed to them, and yet when the nature and amount of this tendency is considered, the objection deserves little attention.

Astronomy teaches us that every particle of matter in creation attracts every other particle. If we should assert that the fixed star Sirius not only tended, but did in fact, affect the motion of the earth in its orbit, no philosopher probably would dispute the truth of the assertion; but yet this effect is so slight and inappreciable as never to be taken into account in astronomical calculations. So it is with anti-slavery movements, though their tendency to excite servile insurrections may be indisputable, yet this tendency is so unimportant that it ought to be entirely disregarded by any one who wishes to ascertain the efficient causes of the undeniable disaffection of the slave population.

Every thing that the slave sees or hears which leads him to compare his condition with that of a freeman, or to reflect upon his wrongs and sufferings, every thing which fans for a moment in his bosom the love of liberty, a flame which is never extinguished, has a tendency to excite disaffection and revolt. The very names of liberty and freedom, a statue of Washington, a fourth of July celebration, a history of the revolution, an account of the free schools of New England, the Bible-nay, the very west wind which braces his limbs, and invigorates his body,may any one of them serve as a spark to kindle an unquenchable conflagration. But these good things are not to be blamed as the great causes of the mischief. No. It is in vain to deny it, the chief, the only important cause of the slaves violating the peace of society, is the oppression under which they are groaning. Plots and insurrections are its natural and inevitable results. They have frequently taken place in this country before antislavery Societies were formed, and they will still continue to take place until slavery is abolished, whether the subject is discussed at the North or not. It is most unjust to accuse antislavery Societies of being the causes of evils, which they merely

predict; and endeavor to conceal the true causes-injustice and oppression.

The publications of these Societies are branded as incendiary, but publications which are ten-fold more inflammatory are freely circulated in the Southern States, with the approbation of their governments. If it is thought that pamphlets and newspapers in which slavery is attacked, on being read by slaves, (very few of whom, by the way, can read,) would excite them against their masters, one would suppose that the slave codes of Virginia and South Carolina, written, as they are, in blood, would drive them to acts of frenzy and desperation.

The Managers might say much more in vindication of the measures and principles of the Society, but to embrace every thing which the subject demands, would require volumes. They again congratulate their friends on the auspicious situation of the great cause in which they are engaged. They may be sure that Heaven smiles upon it, and that no exertion to promote it will be lost. The final success of truth and justice is certain. Every one who will devote himself to the object, can do something to promote its more speedy accomplishment.

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