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that are influenced by any indiscreet zeal are always in too much haste: they are impatient of delays, and are therefore for jumping to the uppermost step first, before they have taken the preceding steps, whereby they expose themselves to fall and break their bones. Oftentimes in their haste, they overshoot their mark, and frustrate their own end. They put that which they would obtain further out of reach than it was before, and establish and confirm that which they would remove. Things must have time to ripen. The prudent husbandman waits till he has received the former and the latter rain, and 'till the harvest is ripe, before he reaps.
Having in view the application of these principles to the case in hand,-which is stated to be, not a question in regard to the principle of law or duty, binding upon all our citizens in their relation to this large class of our fellow beings, but in regard to the plans to be adopted and the means to be used by the humane and religious community to secure its full and most beneficial manifestation,-Mr. Gurley proceeds to argue in favor of the Colonization Society and system. The following he deems to be established points:
1. Some circumstances, beyond the control not only of the christian community, but of the American people, and for which they of course are not responsible; and others for which they are responsible, but which no enlightened man can expect, (at least for ages to come,) will be materially changed, operate to prevent the free people of color, while in this country, from rising to that elevation, happiness, and usefulness which they might enjoy in Africa. Not here can they feel the same sense of freedom, the same enterprise and hope, and those strong motives of action, which might cause their elevation in a distant community, and on a wider field for honorable and useful conduct.
2. Nothing can be safely and peacefully done for the direct and immediate abolition of slavery, but with the consent of the masters.
3. In the present state of things, no general effort (and by this I mean no effort in which good men from every State of the Union can unite) can be made for the benefit of any portion of our colored population, except such as in its direct action shall be confined exclusively to the FREE.
4. Such a general effort, for the benefit of the FREE, if connected with their colonization in Africa, will exert a far more powerful influence in favor of the voluntary manumission of slaves, than if directed to their improvement in the United States; because of the prevailing opinion at the south, that the instruction and elevation of the free will produce such discontent in the slaves, that they would prove of comparatively small value to those who enjoyed them; and that the emancipation of the slaves, should they remain in this country, would be followed by evils greater than slavery itself. This opinion may be erroneous, but it cannot be suddenly changed, and if erroneous, will be soonest corrected by the reflections which the prosecution of the scheme of African colonization will inevitably excite.
As to the matter of instruction, we may be permitted to add, that the greatest objection to it, on the part of the slave-holders, at the present time, arises from the efforts of some northern friends of immediate abolition to circulate publications among the slavepopulation, whose direct tendency,-to say nothing of their design,
-is, in the opinion of the slave-holders at least, to promote insolence, jealousy, and insurrection on the one hand, and increased severity of discipline and legislation on the other. Those who look into the statute-books will find that those laws which are complained of as most 'sanguinary,' have been passed with obvious reference, as to time and mode, to these injudicious, ungenerous, and, in our opinion, unchristian exertions of the indiscreet friends of freedom,' to operate upon what the New-York Emancipator calls the physical force of the enslaved.' Mr. Gurley speaks of immediate abolition:
To dissolve this connection now, would, I conceive, in numerous instances, be, on the part of the masters, a positive violation of that law of love, which, as disciples of Christ, they are bound to obey. It would be doing to others as, in an exchange of circumstances, they would not wish others to do to them. The correctness of this opinion will be evident, if you consider the position of a christian master, inheriting a large estate in Virginia or South Carolina, upon which are numerous slaves, ignorant, unprepared (from servile habits of dependence upon the will of another for direction and support,) to manage for themselves, connected by marriage with slaves on neighboring plantations, over which he has no control, and who can give liberty to his slaves, only on condition of their expulsion from the limits of the State. The question for such a master to decide is not (so far as his conduct is concerned) whether the laws of his State be right or wrong, but one of individual duty towards the unfortunate human beings of whom he is recognized as master, and towards the community in which he resides. That he is morally right in sustaining the relation of master on any other principle than that of the law of love, or any longer than he can do it with obedience to that law, I neither believe nor admit.
All this, it should be observed, Mr. Gurley applies to the present state of things. In this connection he gives the following reasons for supporting the Colonization Society:
1. This Society proposes the only plan of benevolent action, for the benefit of this population, in which our whole benevolent community can be expected to
2. The plan of the Society is the best that can be devised for those most directly interested in it-the free people of color. No reflecting man can deny, that causes not under the control of humanity, legislation, or religion, retard the improvement, depress the mind, and limit the happiness and usefulness of this class in the United States, and that these causes have no existence in Africa.
This is not a matter merely of theory, but a matter of fact. We have the testimony of emigrants themselves, confirmed by that of respectable citizens of the United States, and of enlightened foreigners, to prove that the free man of color in Liberia, feels himself relived from embarrassments which are thrown around him here; that he experiences the influence of new motives; finds himself in
He is placed in
a school of discipline exactly suited to develope his faculties, excite enterprise, and form him for high and honorable action. the widest field for usefulness, and exerts a most beneficial, and (as the colony shall advance) may be expected to exert a most extensive influence upon the African tribes.
3. The Society is most happily adapted to exert a powerful influence in favor of the voluntary emancipation of slaves.
I do not hesitate to acknowledge, that my hope of the peaceful abolition of slavery in this country, rests mainly upon the moral and religious sentiments of my countrymen. The spirit and principles of our government, the precepts of our holy religion, and the general feelings of our people at the south as well as at the north, are against it as a permanent system. But it must be abolished by and not against the will of the south.
Two things have operated in the United States against emancipation. 1st, Apprehension on the part of the south, of rash and dangerous interference from the north. And 2dly, Fears that abolition could not be effected without producing evils greater than slavery itself. By the Colonization Society both the obstacles have been in a great measure removed. Southern men adopted the plan of the Society, at its origin, not only as benevolent in itself, but as one which, if successful, would, in their opinion, be extensively adopted by individuals and states, with a view to emancipation; and northern men approved of it, not only because they saw its benevolence towards the free people of color, and its promise of good to Africa, but because of all plans this alone received the sanction of their southern brethren, as well adapted to promote the voluntary abolition of slavery. The fact that the Society has assumed common ground, on which the benevolent from the north and the south can unite, adds immensely to its moral influence on the system of slavery. It creates mutual confidence. It represses the overheated zeal of the north, and excites the too inactive humanity of the south.
It is a prevailing opinion among the humane and virtuous citizens of the south, that whenever slaves can be liberated with benefit to themselves, without danger to the public, they ought to be liberated. The sentiment of humanity and charity, to which we must look for their emancipation, requires, doubtless, to be generally strengthened and excited to greater activity. The Society shows the practicability of emancipation on both the conditions just mentioned, and this gives the opportunity and offers powerful inducements for the discharge of an acknowledged obligation. It leaves no valid excuse for perpetuating slavery on the ground of necessity. It does more. It constantly invites public attention to the subject of slavery, excites every where reflection upon it, and by indirect influence (the more efficient because indirect) awakens reason and conscience to perform their office in making evident our duties, and enforcing the fulfilment of them towards our whole colored population.
The only desirable influence to be exerted by any voluntary association, on
this subject, then, must be to produce deeper, more universal, and more active feelings of kindness and affection towards the slave, a moral sentiment of power enough to determine the will of the south in favor of emancipation. Now it is universally true, that the generous and humane feelings of men, are moved far less by argument and direct appeals, far less by showing that they ought to be moved, and why they ought to be moved, than by indirect influences, by touching examples of goodness, by the beautiful and beneficial effects of such feelings in the lives of those who cherish them, and as manifested in the blessed consequences resulting from their exercise, to those who are the objects of them. Such an indirect influence, gentle, persuasive, but mighty, does the Colonization Society send forth on the public mind in favor of emancipation. Since its origin, it has done more to produce voluntary emancipation than all other causes and influences; and the growing success of its enterprise adds daily and immensely to its moral power.
The following are considered as some of the fundamental errors of opinion entertained by the abolitionists:
1. The doctrine that a temporary relation, (involving authority on the one side and dependence and a general obedience and service on the other,) between master and slave, can in no case be innocent.
2. That such a relation ought to be instantly dissolved, without regard to the interests of the parties concerned.
3. That in present circumstances, slavery ought to be abolished by means not acting solely through, but to a great degree against and in defiance of the will of the south.
4. That our colored population can be as prosperous and happy and useful in this country, as if formed into a community, separate and distinct from the whites. 5. That in the expression of our individual opinions, and the exertion of our individual influence on the subject of slavery, regard is not to be had to circumstances and consequences; that we are no less at liberty to inform the slaves of their wrongs, degradation, and misery, than bound to proclaim truth to those who are prepared to receive it, and to enforce moral obligations upon the masters. 6. That the best way, if not the only way, to produce the abolition of slavery in this country, is to thunder forth denunciations against it, as a flagrant crime, universally, against God and man, not to be tolerated under any modifications, for a moment, but to be destroyed at a blow.
Were doctrines like these true, (and I believe them to be false,) the publication of them by citizens of the northern states, while opinions at the south remain as at present, can do little but arouse the deepest and most violent feelings of our nature, in hostility towards those who inculcate them; and produce a fixed purpose to repel at all hazards any attempted invasion of southern rights on the subject of slavery. It will, if persisted in, I fear, produce a conflict between the north and the south, more appalling than any ever witnessed in our country.
These suggestions appear to us well worthy of a most serious consideration. We earnestly commend the entire letter to the attention of every class of our readers.
HISTORY OF A SLAVE.
A case has recently occurred in this city, illustrative of the aspect which the Colonization scheme presents to the unprejudiced colored man, and of the perfect fairness with which its operations are carried on.
The individual referred to, was born on the plantation of General N. in one of the Southern States. When he had reached the age of twelve years, that gentleman disposed of a large portion of his property to defray heavy expenses incurred during the revolutionary war, and our slave-lad, among others, was sold to an Ohio planter. From that time he never saw or heard of his parents. After several years' residence with his new master, the desire of freedom impelled him to effect his escape into the western wilderness. Soon after, falling in with a company of speculators, who were on their way to Maryland with a large drove of horses, he was, for the sake of his assistance, taken under their protection; and he continued in their company as far as Pennsylvania, being enabled to proceed securely by means of a passport and some pecuniary assistance which they afforded him. For some years he procured a subsistence by a sea-faring life, but finally settled in the State of Maine, where he supported a large family by the produce of a little farm. Here he experienced the kindness of several neighboring gentlemen. Having imbibed religious impressions while quite young, from his father, who was a Baptist, and being of a serious turn of mind, he acquired the habit of borrowing books from these friends, with the perusal of which his wife, who could read, enlivened the winter evenings, and occupied the leisure intervals of the Sabbath. Among the rest, the African Repository and other publications of the American Colonization Society fell into their hands. An acquaintance with the establishments and objects of that Society naturally induced a desire to procure for their children, (several fine boys,) the benefits of colonization. After much discussion and inquiry, and with the advice and aid of the gentlemen just mentioned, the husband sold his little farm, and having procured clothing, utensils, &c. took passage with his family for Boston, in order to make application for a conveyance to Liberia. During the voyage, however, his wife, disheartened by sea sickness, began to doubt the expediency of the enterprise. The gentleman to whom they were recommended, also frankly declared his fears of the effects of the African climate upon the constitution of persons so advanced in years. The result was a