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now whether we are secured and protected in the liberty of speech? So far from public sentiment being what it ought to be, we could not secure a confortable place of meeting for this society. We are shut out of every church and hall of any size in the city, and driven to a stable. Never, NEVER have I felt so deeply ashamed of this city. I was born here, and have always been proud to say it, but now I am ashamed of my own native Boston. (Applause.) But I rejoice to think that there is a better spirit in the country, a redeeming spirit, and I call upon those who have come from the country to tell the city how it looks, and shame Boston into decency. (Applause.)
But I did not intend to make a speech. I got up to ask you whether you would help to deliver our country from reproach, and help to undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free. Will you give money or pledges to sustain the Massachusetts AntiSlavery Society? Will you help us to send forth throughout the country a supply of the Liberator-that organ that first began the battle against oppression, and that now is the essential weapon for every thorough abolitionist. (Applause.)
Mr STANTON hoped it would be understood, to what object the present subscriptions were to go. In prosecuting his agency in this State, it had been a part of his business to solicit the payment of pledges made at the last anniversary; and he found that many pledges were made with the expectation that the money was to go to the general cause. What is now proposed goes to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.
He would say, too, that he had been greatly retarded in the duties of his agency, by having to turn aside to collect these pledges. The business of an agent is to rouse up the public mind that has never yet been excited, not to go about waking up snoring abolitionists. (A laugh.) He had found that abolitionists the widest awake at an anniversary, get fast asleep as soon as they go home.
As people were moving, he would remind them, before he sat down, of the meeting this evening at the Representatives' Hall. Nor could he refrain from calling attention, for encouragement, to the decided vote by which that place was granted to us. The vote is a fair index to the state of abolition throughout the State. The country members voted for the resolution—the city members against it. Our friends are in the country, and are numerous : and so it is, you see when Boston votes, we go into a stable-but when the STATE votes, we go into the STATE HOUSE.(Great Applause.)
[It was afterwards stated by a gentleman in the house, that all the Boston delega. tion did not oppose the resolution. It originated with a Boston member.]
Several pledges and donations were announced, both from individuals and from Auxiliary Societies. Amongst the latter was a pledge of $100 from the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, for the support of the Liberator. (Announced by Mr. May. Applause.)
WEDNESDAY EVENING, Jan. 25.
Society met in the Representatives' Hall, in the presence of a crowded audience, many hundreds being obliged to go away, for want of room. Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Goodman, of Dracut.
Rev. Mr. SCOTT, of Lowell, offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That in view of the success which has hitherto attended the promulgation of anti-slavery doctrines in our land, we should not be disheartened, but thank God and take courage.
The resolution I hold in my hand, said Mr. Scott, takes a view of the past, present, and future. The effects produced by the promulgation of anti-slavery doctrines, so far from dispiriting or discouraging us, should inspire us with new zeal and fresh courage. It is the promulgation of anti-slavery doctrines that has awakened public attention, and produced this mighty movement throughout our land. And what are anti-slavery doctrines? They may all be summed up in one word: Slavery is sin, and must be immediately abandoned. The principle that one man has a right to make a brute of another, to sell him under the hammer, exchange him for brutes, take from him the Bible, and all means of mental and moral elevation, is fundamentally wrong, whether practised by the good or the bad. No sacredness of character can sanctify it. A minister of the gospel or a deacon of the church, can have no more right than the most vicious man in the community, to make a brute of his fellow-man of an immortal spirit, destined to the judgment. This principle must be abolished. Make it appear that it is not a bad principle, and then we will cease to contend against it. But, so long as it is admitted to be bad, we will contend that it should be immediately abandoned.
The doctrines to which I have alluded have been promulgated, in spite of opposition and lawless violence, in spite of all the malice of men and devils. It is the success which has attended the promulgation of these principles, which inspires us with fresh confidence in their correctness, and their adaptedness to accomplish the object we seek. Within the last year, there has been 300 per cent. added to our cause. Two years ago, there were but 200 or 250 societies in our land-now there are 700 or 800, and the old ones have been growing in numbers. Our country is awakened; the pulpits begin to be opened. Men of influence are taking ground with us. Notwithstanding the annual meeting of this society has been driven into a stable, there has been success. In the city that I came from, we have recently sent 2300 names to Congress, for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, with almost no effort. It is said, 'I am an abolitionist, except the measures.' What do you differ from what has always been the sentiment of our whole country? Until very recently, nobody has attempted to defend slavery in the abstract. But, what has this sentiment amounted to? Slavery has grown up under it till it is now become a great Oak, which defies the storms of public sentiment—ay, the winds of heaven too! But, apply this objection to other subjects. Suppose an individual should say, 'I am benevolent, except the measures.' What will it amount to? Every body is willing to say to the poor, Be ye warmed, be ye filled;' but when we come to the measures for feeding and clothing them, the miser starts back! Such benevolence does no good. Suppose a man should say, 'I am a strong temperance man, except the measures.'— What good will he do? It is the measures, which have given success to the Temperance Reformation; and so it is the measures that must give success to the antislavery cause. Ten or twelve years ago, many benevolent men felt as deeply on this subject as they now do; but their feelings and efforts were scattered. Mr. Jefferson, and William Wirt, and many other patriots and philanthropists, have been opposed to slavery; but what has their opposition amounted to? But the movements of the abolitionists have concentrated these feelings upon one point, where the rays of light will continue to blaze and burn, until a fire is lighted, which will burn up slavery.Suppose the British Anti-Slavery Society had left off the measures, what would have become of the slaves in the West Indies?
But, it has been said, we are so severe, so harsh, so violent in our language. With respect to severity of language, its propriety depends upon circumstances. If truth
requires the use of severe language, we are justifiable in using it. Jesus Christ and his apostles, and the Reformers, used plain and pointed language. The Declaration of Independence is couched in severe language. Temperance lecturers have used hard language, and sometimes spoken unadvisedly; but, when has this been brought as an objection against the cause they advocate? But is there no palliation in this case? When has a set of men been placed in more trying circumstances than the abolitionists? They have encountered hard speeches, bitter revilings, persecution, violence. It would require them to be superhuman, never to speak unadvisedly, never to say any thing which they ought not to say. But, sir, the severest language ever used by abolitionists, is calling slaveholders men-stealers and robbers. But, if the doctrine contained in the Declaration of Independence is correct, it is true, that every slaveholder is a man-stealer and a robber. What says it? We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are born equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Now, if this be a fact, 70,000 children of slaves, born equal, are stolen every year, and robbed of their liberty and the right of seeking happiness in their own way. The children at the South are born as free as the children at the North. If they are born equal, as the Declaration of Independence declares, they are entitled to the same rights, and every slaveholder, who makes slaves of the children of his servants, is a man-stealer-he steals the children and robs them of their rights-he is a man-stealer and a robber.
I like to hear things called by their right names. Let a robber meet you on the highway, and forcibly plunder you of your money, is it severe language to call him a robber? But, which is the greatest robber, the man who takes my purse, or the man who takes myself, my wife, my children, and all I have? It was hard language that the pirate used to Alexander.
But, it is said, Abolitionists are obstinate-headstrong; they brave public opinion, &c. But, in maintaining great principles, men must be headstrong and obstinate.Daniel was obstinate. He was alone, in a strange land, a captive promoted. How important that he should maintain his influence and popularity with the throne, for the good of his nation! The modern doctrine of expediency would have come in well to his aid. He might have said, I can worship my God, these thirty days, just as well with my windows closed, and then save myself from being thrown into the lion's den, and my nation from the loss of my influence. But, Daniel felt that when his rights and the religion of his God were in danger, then was the time to hold them with a death-grasp.And so also, the three Hebrew children, as they are called, were headstrong. According to the modern doctrine of expediency, they might have said, 'We can worship our God as well prostrate, as any other way-we will fall down with the multitude; but we will not worship the golden image-we will pray to our God. It is not expedient for us to sacrifice our lives, and go into the fiery furnace, when our influence is so much needed, by our captive brethren.' But, no; they felt that it was the time above all others for them to stand firm. The king was willing to show lenity---he offered to give them another trial; but no-they declared they would not bow down to his image of gold. Sir, Daniel braved public opinion--these three men braved public opinion. If they had followed the modern doctrine of expediency, they would have avoided these dangers; but, it will always be found, as in their case, that the path of duty will come out right. But, take away our measures, and what will be left? We want a sentiment that speaks out.
Mr. H. B. STANTON, offered the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the District of Columbia, being under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress in all cases whatsoever, the existence of slavery and the slave trade in that District is to be charged upon the people of the free States-is a foul blot upon the character of the nation-and ought to be immediately annihilated.
Resolved, That the refusal of the House of Representatives of the United States to read, refer, or discuss the memorials of THE PEOPLE, praying for the abolition of slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, is virtually a daring denial of the right of petition, and an act of high-handed despotism, which ought to alarm and arouse all the friends of the Constitution and their country, all who value their dearest rights-and which ought to be visited in retribution upon the heads of those recreant representatives who voted in favor of the outrage.
In support of these resolutions, said Mr. S., I shall bring forward but few of the many reasons which might be profitably adduced. The question is often tauntingly put to the abolitionists, 'What have the people of the North to do with slavery? We admit it to be an evil, moral and political-a system of enormous wickedness and cruelty but why agitate it here ?-why do you not go to the South and labor, where the evil exists?' I answer these queries, said Mr. S. like a true son of New England, by putting others. To my opponent, I say, 'You admit slavery to be a sin?' 'Yes.' 'That it ought to be immediately abolished?' 'Yes.' That those who have the power, are bound instantly to exercise that power, in its entire abolition?' 'Yes.' That they are recreant to humanity, to their country, and their God, if they refuse?' 'Yes.' And now ask what has the north to do with slavery. Look at the District of Columbia, the common capital of this Republic, where 7000 MEN, bearing the image of God, and touched with his immortal fire, are held as goods and chattels, to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever! Where exists and flourishes the foulest slave market on the face of the globe! Where men are licensed, at $400 a year, to sell, at public auction in lots to suit purchasers, native born American citizens, and the money for such license is appropriated to purposes of internal improvement ! Where a free citizen of Massachusetts, on business before the national legislature, may be seized and thrown into prison, on suspicion of being a slave, and if he fail to prove himself a free man, may be sold into perpetual slavery to pay his jail fees, and the proceeds of the sale, deposited in the public coffers! Where the slave trader from the coast of Africa, with his crew, may be condemned as Pirates, and hung at the yard arm, while their cargo of human cattle' is sold to Franklin and Armfield, the proceeds put into the public treasury, and then the American slave trader may, under the protection of American laws, send them to the New-Orleans market, or sell them in parcels to Republican Senators! What has Massachusetts to do with slavery? Why, the stentorian eloquence of her own Webster, pleading for liberty in Greece and in Texas, is lost in the clamors of the slave auctioneers, shouting, under the very walls of the Capitol, How much for a citizen of Massachusetts, sold to pay his jail fees? Going! How much? Or, the shrill tones of her own Adams, pleading for Constitutional reform, are overpowered by the shrieks of American mothers, torn from their infants, to be sold into distant slavery, desolate and heartbroken. Thus, tyrants laugh at our boasted equality, and the friends of liberty abroad, sink the burning brand of hypocrisy deep into the forehead of the Republic. And who is responsible for all this hypocrisy, treachery, cruelty and crime? THE CONGRESS OF The united sTATES. It, according to the U. S. Constitution, has the power of exclusive legislation over the District of Columbia, in all cases whatsoever. Slavery and the slave trade in the District, are the creatures of law. In 1800, the Congress framed an act, confirming the acts of Maryland and Virginia, in regard to said District, and thus made their acts its own. Therefore, slavery, with
all its abominations, its robbery, its heathenism, its groans, its tears, its blood, its contempt of God, in the imbruting of his image, is the handy work of Congress. It lives and breathes and riots there, by the express and special permission of the pres ent Congress. Yes, said Mr. S., while I stand here to-night, Congress might shiver every fetter in the District, and its 7000 goods and chattels might stand forth men, redeemed, disenthralled, emancipated. Do the Congress refuse? Then, on the admission of my opponent, I brand them as recreant to humanity, to their country and their God.
The free states are, in a great measure, responsible for the continuance of this dread evil. They elect a large majority of the House of Representatives-and the majority of the Senate, if we include its presiding officer;-and I call upon the people of the free states, of all political parties, to remember, that their political influ ence is capital, loaned them by God, to be invested for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia,—that their votes should be pledged to humanity, and their names given freely and immediately, to the cause of the suffering and the dumb.
Is it yet asked, why do the abolitionists agitate this subject before the northern public? To arouse the sovereigns of the nation to command their servants to do this work in the District of Columbia immediately. It is in vain that we look to Con gress to arouse, while the people slumber. Its members will not move till impelled onward by public sentiment at home. Go to our constituents,' they will say, if you would have us act.' We are but the passive quick-silver in the public thermometer. If you would have us mount up to abolition heat, you must warm up the atmosphere, -the people.' And, said Mr. S. we are doing it! We are, by our speeches, our publications, our societies, our conventions and our prayers, kindling up a sacred fire that shall cause the public mind to glow with impartial benevolence, and the servants of the public shall feel its warming influence. Agitate then! The member of Congress is but the index to the opinions of his constituents. His bark floats on the popular tide, and his sails catch the popular breeze. Raise the wind, then, among his constituents. Being but the hands upon the public clock, he keeps time according to the pendulum's stroke. Abolition has its fingers on the pendulum. Says the Representa tive, 'I am but the weather-cock on the public building, to indicate the course of the wind. If you would have me point South, the wind must blow from the North.' I repeat it, said Mr. S., the abolitionists are raising the northern wind. They are calling it down from every hill-top and mountain in Massachusetts; and the southerners might as well stand upon their frontier, and, catching the northeaster in their fist Chain it to Mason and Dixon's line, lest its chilling influence should fall too roughly upon the delicate bodies of the South, as to arrest the abolition tempest now bursting from the white hills and green mountains, the Wachusetts and Monadnocks of free, unbought, unawed New-England.
Mr. S. next glanced at the motives which should impel us to labor strenuously for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District.
1. If we succeed, the chains would fall from the limbs of 7000 men our brethren. 2. The internal slave trade, the bloodiest feature in the whole system, would receive a staggering blow. 3. The Capital would be cleansed. Our altars would no longer smoke with human sacrifices; and there, Liberty might unveil herself to adoration, unspotted with human gore. 4. But these are minor considerations compared with the mighty moral effect of this work. The abolition of slavery in the District, would be like a mill-stone around the neck of the whole system of slavery, which would soon drown it in a sea of popular abhorrence. Such an act would be the verdict of the