Slike strani

of pollution wiped from her brow, and her garments of blood made white like snow? Who that assumes to be a man, much more a patriot and christian, will dare to contend, that either the honor, prosperity or security of the nation, requires the continuance of a system of all possible villanies at the Seat of Government ? A territory of equal size, reeking with so much pollution, and illed with so much oppression, probably cannot be found in any part of the world. It is the head quarters of the dealers in slaves and the souls of men : the noise of the whip, the shrieks of violated innocence, the groans of heart-broken men and women, the clanking of chains, and the voice of the slave-selling auctioneer, are heard in the midst of it continually. Its prisons are crowded with doomed victims; its slave-trading ships are actively engaged in the commerce of blood; and cofAes of slaves are as regularly driven from its soil as from any portion of benighted Africa. These horrors bave been enforced by Congress for almost half a century; and how much longer they are to be tolerated by those upon whom the awful responsibility rests,—the American people,--the God of the oppressed only knows. The President of the United States declares, with a brow of brass and a heart of stone, that they shall not cease so long as he occupies his present station. With a solly as surprising as bis wickedness is transcendant, he bids defiance in advance to any expression of the will of the people on this subject, and pledges bimself to be governed in his conduct by a slaveholding banditti. In his inaugural address, he proclaims that he has gone into the Presidential Chair, the inflexible and uncompromising opponent of every attempt, on the part of Congress, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, against the wishes (not merely of Maryland and Virginia, but) of the slaveholding States!!—No bill,' he adds, 'conflicting with these views, can ever receive my constitutional sanction.' No-not though a majority of the people call upon him to undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free; though all that is merciful and just beseech him to relent; though the voice of God thunders in his ear, “Execute judgment, and deliver bim that is spoiled out of the hands of the spoiler.' He cannot,

must not, will not break the rod of oppression. When the tigers of the South shall signify, that their appetite is glutted with blood, and that they desire the release of their prey, then, and not till then, will he consent to the deliverance! And he has the effrontery to add, that experience has proved his views "to be humane, patriotic, expedient, honorable, and just'!— Humane’ to place mothers and daughters under the lash of the slave-driver, and surrender up their bodies to pollution ! Patriotic' to deprive thousands of guiltless men and women of their inalienable rights! • Expedient’ to join hands with thieves and adulterers, and to license the trade in human flesh! • Honorable' to withhold the hire of the laborers, fatten upon stolen wealth, annihilate the institution of marriage, sunder all the lies of consanguinity, and make havoc of all the relations of life! • Just’ to make man a thing, the priceless soul property ; to fetter, scourge, maim, murder the innocent; to blot out the intellect of beings created in the image of God, and to consign them to remediless bondage! Such is the humanity, such the patriotism, such the religion of a man, who aspires to be the representative of democracy, of christianity! Democracy, in its purity, rejects with indignation his bollow pretensions. Christianity associates him with her enemies. He has voluntarily thrown aside his mask, and revealed the deformity of his features. Having in the pride of his heart demanded, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let the oppressed go free?" it is no marvel that he is resolved to regard the will of the people disdainfully. But let him beware. Like ancient Pharaoh, he has placed bimself at the head of a slaveholding army, and chosen all the chariots of Egypt, and is pursuing those, who, trusting in the living God for deliverance, are led by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. Into the Red Sea have the persecuted gone forward, though at first ready to despair ; and the waters have become a wall unto them on their right hand and on the left. Their implacable foes are just bebind. Let them not tempt the Almighty, but retreat while they may. Already they drive heavily, for their chariot-wheels the Lord is taking off! If they persist in their merciless intentions,

the depths shall cover them—they shall sink as lead in THE RED SEA OF PUBLIC OPINION!

These animadversions are stimulated by no political antipathies, no party predilections. Fidelity to the sacred cause which we espouse calls them forth. Up to the present time, the antislavery enterprise has been prosecuted with the utmost impartiality toward all men ; and this is proved by the fact, that men of all religious sects and all political parties are united in its support. It must continue to stand aloof from partyism, from sectarianism. Whoever or whatever assails it, must expect to be rebuked, and, if possible, removed out of its path. The spirit of abolition is of heaven, not of men : it is the spirit of Him who was anointed to preach good tidings unto the meek who was sent to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound—to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God. Whatever, therefore, resists it, is Anti-Christ. As all are not Israel, who are of Israel ; so neither are all abolitionists, who profess to be. Some have joined themselves to the anti-slavery ranks, who love their sect or their party more than they love the perishing slaves. Such will find themselves necessitated to withdraw, unless indeed the hope of exciting divisions shall induce them to remain. To love any man,-ay, even a father, a mother, or wife, or child,-more than this cause, is to be disloyal to it. We have the confession of Mr. Preston, of S. C. that the District of Columbia is THE CITADEL OF AMERICAN SLAVERY. The President of the United States is the chieftain who guards it, and resolves to defend it to the last. In opposing him as an individual, abolitionists make no war upon democratic principles. In associating himself with the enemies of our race, he must expect to meet with the same opposition that they are justly exciting. The democratic party are not called upon to abandon their principles, but only the man who has betrayed those principles. It is certain that they must make this sacrifice-which truly is no sacrifice,—and select some worthier candidate, or they will find themselves in a minority at the next Presidential

election. The balance of political power is already in the hands of the abolitionists, and their number is multiplying with unexampled rapidity. Into which ever scale they shall throw themselves, by their regard for humanity above all party considerations, they will outweigh all opposition. None would deprecate the necessity of such a movement more than themselves. But, without a full retraction of the tyrannous pledge which Mr. Van Buren has given respecting the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, they can neither consistently nor conscientiously vote for his re-election. They must oppose him as they oppose all who uphold the slave-system.

At the last session of the Legislature of this State, a large number of petitions was presented to the Senate and House, requesting those bodies 'to protest, without delay, in the name of the people of this Commonwealth,' against a resolution of the House of Representatives of the United States, adopted January 18th, 1837, laying upon the table all petitions, me. morials, resolutions, propositions, or papers, relating in any way, or to any extent whatever, to the subject of slavery, or the abolition of slavery, without being either printed or referred,

and that no further action whatever shall be had thereon.' This resolution was justly declared to be a virtual denial of the right of petition, a violation of the American Constitution, and dangerous to the union of the States. The memorials were referred to a committee, consisting of Messrs. Lee of Templeton, Richardson of Boston, Eaton of Haverhill, Thompson of Charlestown, Huntington of Northampton, Collins of Chester, Cooley of Hawley, Newton of Washington, Goodrich of Roxbury, Perkins of New Bedford, Barstow of Rochester, Crosby of Brewster, Coffin of Edgarton, and Upton of Nantucketthat is, one from each congressional district in the State. Before this committee, in behalf of the petitioners, appeared George S. Hillard and Henry B. Stanton. These gentlemen were listened to by the committee in the most respectful and courteous manner, at great length, with no symptoms of impatience, and to great acceptance-the conduct of the chairman (Mr. Lee of Templeton) furnishing a striking and honorable

No one.

contrast to that exhibited by Mr. Lunt, of Newburyport, on a similar occasion in 1836. Mr. Hillard spoke with ability in desence of the right of petition. The argument of Mr. Stanton was one of extraordinary power, covering the whole ground of controversy. Its effect upon the committee, and upon the crowd of anxious spectators that filled the Representatives' Hall, was electrical. It was first stereotyped in their understandings, consciences and hearts, and has since been stereotyped in another form, and printed for circulation through the length and breadth of the land. Thousands and tens of thousands have read itbut who has ventured to deny its premises or conclusions ?

It is unanswered, simply because it it unanswerable. Hundreds of thousands, yea, a long line of posterity, even after the overthrow of slavery, shall yet peruse it with admiration and thanksgiving. In listening to it, as it fell like inspiration, in burning strains, from the lips of the speaker, men began to feel the divinity stir within them, and the meanest of their race rose in their estimation almost to the height of a seraph-only, indeed, ' a little lower than the angels.' Their sluggish blood grew warm; for the fires of truth and humanity were kindled within them, consuming their prejudices like flax, and melting their rocky hearts with fervid intensity. The occasion was one of great moral sublimity. Mr. Stanton, though laboring under physical indisposition, was happily enabled not only to meet but even to transcend the high expectations of the friends of liberty. His words became living coals; and his eloquence bore all things onward like an overflowing stream. More graphic, heartstirring thoughts, sentiments, appeals, cannot be found in the same compass from the lips of any ancient or modern defender of the rights of man. Take the following as a specimen. Alluding to the fallacious hope, which certain statesmen of the South seem to cherish, that, by dissolving their connection with the North, they will be able to shut out the effects of anti-slavery agitations, he eloquently remarked

"Never! The effects of anti-slavery agitations are not hemmed in by State lines, nor circumscribed by local boundaries. They are moral in their nature; obey no laws but those of the human mind; owe allegiance to no constitution but that of

« PrejšnjaNaprej »