« PrejšnjaNaprej »
sanguinary requisitions, on the part of the South, which are to blacken the pages of American history through all time, but which lie had no disposition to rebuke, and found no occasion to mention.
Gov. Everett places himself in a fearful attitude, truly. • There is no cause in which he would sooner buckle a knapsack on bis back, and put a musket on his shoulder,' than in defence of that very evil' which an all-wise Providence, in his own good time, will cause to disappear'!—Thus we bave Edward EverETT, ' armed and equipped as the law directs,' versus JEHOVA Of hosts! Again : · Domestic slavery is justified by morality and religion '-yet it is ultimately to disappear before ' the gentle spirit of Christianity.' Here we have Religion versus CHRISTIANITY!
CALL FOR PENAL ENACTMENTS. Doubtless, encouraged by the fact, that such a sturdy supporter of slavery filled the gubernatorial chair in this Commonwealth, the Governors of Virginia, Northi and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, transmitted to his Excellency certain documents emanating from the legislative bodies of those States, to be laid by him before the Legislature of Massachusetts, at its last session. This was accordingly done, but unaccompanied by a single word expressive of surprise or disapprobation on the part of the Governor, in relation to their insolent demands. These documents, requiring the passage of a gag-law in Massachusetts on the subject of slavery, were referred to a joint committee, consisting of Messrs. Lunt and CHAPin of the Senate, and Messrs, Lucas, Corbett and Mosely of the House.
By order of the Managers of this Society, the Corresponding Secretary (Rev. Mr. Mar,) addressed a letter to the Chairman of this Conunittee, asking permission to appear before them, and show reasns why there should be no legislative action, condemnatory of the abolitionists. The request was granted; and on the 4th of March, the proposed interview took
place, in the chamber of the Representatives. Of the insolent and despotic manner in which the Chairman (Mr. George LUŃT) behaved on that and a subsequent occasion, the people of this Commonwealth, and the whole country, have already been informed. Nothing could have been more ungentlemanly or outrageous.* The gentlemen who addressed, or, rather, who attempted to address the Committee, (for they were all, more or less, prohibited a free utterance of their sentiments, were Messrs. Ellis GRAY LORING, SANUEL E. SEWALL, SAMUEL J. MÁY, CHARLES FOLLEN, William Goodell, and WM. Lloyd Garrison. The occasion was one of deep and solemn interest, and drew together a highly respectable audience,' made up of refined ladies, (among them the celebrated Miss HARRIET Martineau of England,) members of the Legislature, highly educated men, and religious and moral citizens.' The speeches were characterized by an earnest spirit, a grave manner, deep feeling, and uncommon intellectual power, in all respects worthy of that great crisis. Posterity will read them with delight and adıniration.
In their Report, the Committee eulogize the slavish demands of the South upon the Legislature, to enact PENAL LAWS for the suppression of anti-slavery societies, meetings and publications, as of the most solemn and affecting character’-as appeals to our justice as men ; to our sympathies as brethren ; to our patriotism as citizens; to the memory of the common perils and triumphs of our ancestors and theirs ; to all the better emotions of our nature; to our respect for the Constitution ; to our regard for the laws; to our value for the institutions of our country ; to our hope for the security of all those blessings which the Union, and that only, can preserve to us'!!! They further declare, that 'the right of the master to the slave is as undoubt
* Dr. Gamaliel Bradford and George Bond, Esq. (at the second interview,) were so indignant in witnessing liis scandalous behaviour, that, thongli not connected with the anti-slavery cause, they remonstrated in decisive and eloquent terms against such
Hon. Mr. Whitmarsh in the Senate, and Robert Rantoul, George S. HilJard, and G. H. Dursee, Esqs. in the House, declared in their place that the commit. tee were highly blamcworthy-Mr. Mosely excepted, who behaved in a very honora. ble manner.
ed as the right to any other property '--that any attempt, whether direct or indirect, to deprive him of this property, as of any other, is a violation of the fixed laws of social policy, as well as of the ordinary rules of moral obligation'-ihat ' his arguinent, that the property is his own, would seemn to be unanswerable '—that 'they (the Committee) feel that the conduct of the abolitionists is not only wrong in policy, but erroneous in morals '--that it is their duty,' so far as may be in their power, to recommend those measures which may seem best adapted to stay the progress of the evil '—&c. &c. Moreover, they endorse all the violent and calumnious charges brought against the abolitionists by the South, as strictly applicable. Finally, they append to their Report a string of resolutions, expressing their entire disapprobation of the doctrines avowed, and the general measures pursued, by such as agitate the question of slavery'and urging them to leave the whole affair in the keeping of a merciful Providence, who will not require of any man or nation, an unreasonable account'! But they say nothing about the enactment of any PENAL LAWS !
The Report, though ordered to be printed by the Senate, was laid upon the table, to find an eternal sleep.*
IMPORTANT DECISION. In August last, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts unanimously decided, in the case of the slave-child Medit brought by one Mary Slater from New-Orleans to Boston, that • an owner of a slave in another State where slavery is warranted by law, voluntarily bringing such slave into this State, has no authority to detain him against his will, or to carry him out of the State against his consent, for the purpose of being held in slavery.' This opinion was delivered by Shaw, C. J.
* At the next election, the Hon. Mr. LUNT could not be re-elected on account of his Report. He could not obtain even a nomination as a candidate for the Senate!
+ See the pamphlet, containing the Arguments Counsel, on both sides, and the Opinion of the Court, in the case of Commonwealth vs. Aves. This suit was prosecuted by that watchful, heroic, unfaltering band, the Boston FEMALE ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. It is to WOMAN, therefore, that Humanity owes this great decis. ion. Those indefatigable friends of human liberty, Samuel E. Sewall and Ellis Gray Loring, Esqrs. assisted by Rufus Chonte, Esq. conducted the plea for the Common wealthi. The Argument of Mr. Loring was a masterly effort, and has obtained for him no small amount of honorable and enduring renown.
CONCLUSION. 100 We have extended this Report much beyond the limits assigned by us at the outset ; and yet,--so eventful has been the past year, so fraught with good and evil to our blessed cause, so crowded with occurrences worthy of being chronicled in these pages,mwe have scarcely given a bird's-eye view of what has transpired, or of what iminejiately remains to be accomplished. Although the progress of anti-slavery principles has been rapidly onward, and the number of anti-slavery converts truly multitudinous—and although a thousand incidents have served to cheer our hearts and strengthen our hands, mightily-still we have preferred rather to dwell upon the formidable obstacles yet to be overcome, and the fearful crisis yet to be encountered, than to recount the number of our triumphs, or indulge ourselves by reposing, even pro tempore, upon the toils of the past. It is allowable, indeed, occasionally to stop and survey the ground won from the enemy, by way of encouragement in the strise of Christ with Belial : but it is better always to be occupied with thoughts of new conquests, while the Prince of Darkness retaios his supremacy, than to be admiring the trophies we have gathered in our past encounters. It is certainly yet problematical, which of the two deadly antagonists now struggling for mastery in our country, LIBERTY or SLAVERY, will prove victorious. It is yel extremely doubtful, whether our land is recoverable from the terrible maladies preying upon her constitution. While these things are so, it behooves us all to beware how we suffer ourselves to be deluded by the notion, that the danger has passed, and all is safe.
During the past year, Death has been busy in selecting victions of no ordinary worth, of no limited influence, from our long-extended ranks. Among those shining marks,' at whom his poisoned arrows have been fatally aimed, are those late venerable and patriarchal philanthropists, MOSES BROWN of Providence, R. I. and GEORGE BENSON of Brooklyn, Connecticut-the latter formerly the President of this Suciety when it was known by the title of the New-England Anti-Slavery Sociely. • They being dead, yel spcak.' Three of the Signers of the Declaration of the National Anti-Slavery Convention, have also fallen—THOMAS SHIPLEY and Dr. EDWIN P. ATLEE, of Philadelphia, Pa. (members of the Society of Frieuds, and pre-eminently distinguished for their active philanthropy and tireless zeal,) and the Rev. DANIEL S. SOUTHMAYD, an early and efficient supporter of the anti-slavery cause. Another strong, unblenching and most lovely coadjutor perished in the youthful yet perfectly mature person of HENRY EGBERT BENSON, youngest son of the lamented George Benson, and late General Agent and Recording Secretary of this Society. On the roll of American philanthropists, the name of this young martyr should shine among the best and brightest—for he hastened his exit by his unmitigated labors to loose the slave from his chains. As the publication of this Report has been delayed, we are called upon to record the loss of another most valuable and widely lamented co-laborer, Miss ANN GREENE CHAPMAN, daughter of Henry Chapman, Esq. and one of the inost efficient members of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. She died suddenly, with the peace of Heaven resting on her brow and the love of God barning in her soul-bequeathing (among other benerolent charities) one thousand dollars to the American Anti-Slavery Society, and her example to mankind ~a legacy both rich and rare.
But we can spare these beloved friends. Our trust is not in an arm of flesh, but in the Lord Almighty. It is His glorious prerogative to undo the heavy burden, break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free. Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Hath he spoken, and shall it not come to pass ?']
To the Corresponding Secretary of the Massachusetts Anti
Slavery Society. On reading the account of the last annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Sla. very Society, my attention was particularly arrested by that part of Mr. Johnson's speech,* in which he gives an account of a mnost barbarous murder, of which, he states, he was an eye-witness. As it is reported, it is without name, or date, or place, and no clue is given, by which its truth or falsity can be brought to the test. The Rev. •Dr. Dwight, in his poem called Greenfield Hill, published in 1794, alludes to a simifar case of cruelty in the following lines :
• Why streams the life-blond from that female's tbroat ?
She sprinkled gravy on a guest's new coat!! That a murder, equally atrocious, was committed in Georgia, about eight years afterwari, Mr. Johnson positively declares. His story, which I took froin his own lips, is in substance as follows :-
• I am a native of Africa, and belong to the Kisse tribe, who reside in the interior many hundred miles, a six weeks' journey from the mouth of the Gambia. I was kidu'apped when I was about the age of nine years, by persons of the Vey tribe, and was brought down to the coast near Cape Mount, and sold to a Dr. Jennings, who sold ine to Capt. Edward Boss of Newport, by whom I was brought to Savannah in the ship Hunter, commanded by Capt. Roberi Watt or Watts. I was then sold to Cominodore Oliver Bowen, who sent me to a Mr. Newman, to learn to work on a farm at a place called White Bluff. In consequence of being whipped, I returned to, Commodore Bowen, who moved to Pine Barren, then to Augusta, where he fought a duel with a Major Dennis, by whom he was shot in the bip, and died in about two months. By his will, he set his two slaves, Eliphalet and myself, free at his death. This will, his nephew, Jabez, violated, by selling Eliphalet to a Mr. Severn Jones of Augusta, and keeping me unlawfully as his slave. Alier a few years, Jabez Bowen was chosen a Judge of the Circuit Court. While he was in Savannah, he bought eleven slaves, took them to Waynesboro', thence he returned to Savannah, ibence to Bullock county, tience on bis circuit to Etlingham, thence to St. Mary's. At this place, about the year 1802, there was a dinner party at the house of a Mr. McIntosh. There were at the table, lawyers Bullock and Flournoy, Judge Mitchell, Christopher Olney of Providence, and the mistress or concubine of McIntosh. During the siting, Mr. Bullock called to Delia, a slave about 17 years of age, to hand him the gravy. She did so, and in doing it, accidentally spilt some of it on the gown of the female at the table. On seeing this, McIntosh rose in great wrath, seized the carving-kuife with one hand, and Delia with the other, dragged her to the wood pile, and cut her throat !! She died instantly. Some of the guests, with myself, rushed to the door and witnessed the transaction. Mr. McIntosh dropped the knife, aod called for a bowl of water to wash his hands. Mr. Olney, not being used to their ways,' inimediately called for his horse, and rode off, and was told the next day that he had better return to the North, than find fault with their customs. In a few years, iny master Bowen became deranged, and was taken to Providence, thence to Uxbridge by his brother Henry, and put under the care of a Dr. Willard. Some time after thai, hic bec:lme rational, and returned to Providence; became deranged again, and was sent to Philadelphia, where he died. From Providence I ran away to Boston, where I was taken and put in jail, in which I staid seven days, but was sent back to Providence, where I remained a year or two, and was then legally inanumitted.'
Here, Sir, we have the particulars of the horrid transaction. If they are truc, the fiend McIntosh, was only an imitator of his brother fiend, the St. Domingo planter. If Calse, the friends of humanity will rejoice, though at the expense of Mr. Johnson's veracity. Let the investigation be made, and the truth, whatever it is, be made known.
* See Proceedings of the Society, page xxvi.