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could calculate the amount of wo endured by ill-treated slaves, it would overwhelm every compassionate heart; it would move even the obdurate to sympathy." [Synod seem to think that my brother himself must feel for their intolerable sufferings; but they proceed.]
“ There is also a vast sum of suffering inflicted upon the slave by humane masters, as a punishment for that idleness and misconduct which slavery naturally produces. The ordinary motives to exertion in man are withdrawn from the slave. Some unnatural stimulus must then be substituted, and the whip presents itself as the readiest and most efficient. But the application of the whip to produce industry is like the application of the galvanic fluid to produce muscular exertion."-Synod's Address, p. 13.
My friend, he tells us, is exceedingly anxious to get this discussion into the Bible. Let him now take up his Bible, and tell us where, in the old or New Testament, he finds a system like this; and show that Christ approved of it. This is the Synod of Kentucky's plain description of slavery~ not of its cruel laws and adjuncts—but slavery itself; a system to the carrying on of which, the Synod show that cruel punishment is as necessary, as a whip is in driving a wagon.
I shall now quote an author, as respectable as any I have adduced, still further to show the actual sufferings of slaves under this system; I mean the Rev. David Rice; whose memory is justly honored as one of the first pioneers of civilization and religion in the wilds of Kentucky. He was one of the framers of her constitution, and went to sleep with his fathers, respected and beloved by all. Nor do I think the worse of him for being, collaterally, one of my brother's ancestors; but I commend his doctrines to the notice of his posterity.
In his speech in the convention to form the constitution of Kentucky, 1790, Dr. Rice says:
“ The master may, and often does, inflict upon him (the slave) all the punishment the human body is capable of bearing!"
And, as I have shown, the one circumstance, that slaves are capable of provoking their masters as much worse than brutes, as they are superior to them, shows fully the reason why they are often subjected to inhuman barbarities which brutes never suffer.
My second proposition on the subject of cruelties is, That there are a multitude of crimes and offences, which slaves can commit, and for which they are punished, which brutes cannot commit.
Slaves may upbraid, insult, and reproach their owners; but I never heard of but one brute's rebuking his master. A special power and permission was given to an ass to re
A horse will not commonly be whipped for petty larceny. An ox cannot have his leg broken for insolence. There is thus a large class of offences which slaves can commit, which render them liable to more and greater cruelty than brutes. On this point I have only farther to quote Dr. David Rice, in the convention which formed the Kentucky constitution.
“ He [the slave) is a rational creature, reduced by legislation to the state of a brute, and thereby deprived of every privilege of humanity.” [The very teachings of the abolitionists of the present day, rife and rampant in the convention which formed the Kentucky constitution.]
“ The brute, (adds Dr. R.,) may steal or rob to supply his hunger; but the slave, though in the most starving condition, dare not do either, on penalty of death, or some severe punishment."
Compare this bold language of the progenitor, with the talk which you now hear from this his descendant. But enough on the point, that slaves are punished for a multitude of crimes and offences for which brutes are not; and their condition, therefore, in this respect, worse than that of animals.
3. My third and last point, showing that the slave's condition is, in some respects, worse than that of brute animals, is this:- That the owner of a brute is not goaded to cruelty by the guilt of ownership. Oh! an upbraiding conscience often makes a man a ruffian! There is nothing so cruel as the criminal in heart, conscious of guilt; yet unwilling to make reparation. And this is precisely the condition of the slave-holder, with the spectacle of his crushed and stricken slaves perpetually before him, whom he has reduced to, or holds upon,
the dead level of the brute, in whose state they are, according to Dr. Rice, and the slave code. As the wretched creatures move to and fro across the kitchen, before his eyes, slinking to their unpaid tasks, that conscience, which was placed in the bosom for wise and just purposes-Oh! that conscience, gnawing evermore at his heart-strings, drives him to his cups; and in the triple intoxication of liquor, remorse, and rage, he wreaks his savage vengeance on the slave, because he has first deprived him of being a man.
I have now shown you three distinct grounds on which slaves are liable to more and worse cruelties than brutes. And it has struck me, how patiently the justifiers of slavery, who are scandalized at the cruel stories of abolitionists, will listen while I am proving general propositions, a thousand times worse for slavery than particular inhuman acts. No one winces under this. But if
state a instance of barbarity, that has actually occurred, the cry
is raised, that slave-holders are slandered; and shoals of testimony, from wincing auditors, is got up to disprove it. Yet it is necessary, not only to prove general principles of cruelty against slavery, but to illustrate and impress them by particular facts which they cause ; lying, like all general principles, at the root of individual cases.
I now give you the testimony of the Rev. Francis Hawley, pastor of a Baptist church in Wallingford, Connecticut-taken from a work called "Slavery as it is," which contains the testimony of one thousand witnesses, most of them from slave States, on the subject of slavery. It was compiled with the greatest care, and every precau. tion taken to secure correct testimony. Where unknown
persons sent testimony to the committee who made the book, such persons were required to refer to some persons mutually known, that the committee might, by correspondence, ascertain the credibility of the witness.
I now read the testimony of Rev. Francis Hawley, one of these witnesses, who has resided fourteen years in North and South Carolina. The Baptist State Convention [N. C.] a few years since, made him their general agent to visit the churches in their bounds. He
says: “I will now give a few facts, showing the workings of the system. Some years since, a Presbyterian minister moved from North Carolina to Georgia. He had a negro man of an uncommon mind. For some cause, I know not what, this minister whipped him most unmercifully. He next nearly drowned him. He then put him in the fence. This is done by lifting up the corner of a worm fence, and then putting the feet through--the rails serve as stocks. He kept him there some time-how long I was not informed—but the poor slave died in a few days. And, if I was rightly informed, nothing was done about it either in Church or State. After some time, he moved back to North Carolina, and is now a member of presbytery. I have heard him preach, and have been in the pulpit with him. May God forgive me!"
“ In R— county, North Carolina, lived a Mr. B., who had the name of being a cruel master. Three or four winters since, his slaves were engaged in clearing a piece of new land. He had a negro girl about fourteen years old, whom he had severely whipped a few days before, for not performing her task. She again failed. The hands left the field for home. She went with them a part of the way,
and fell behind. But the negroes thought she would soon be along. The evening passed away, and she did not come. They finally concluded that she had gone back to the new ground to lie by the log-heaps that were on fire. But they were mistaken
She had sat down at the foot of a large pine. She was thinly clad—the night was cold and rainy.
In the morning the poor girl was found: but she was speechless, and died in a short time.”
“ While travelling as agent for the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, I attended a three days meeting in Gates county. Friday, the first day, passed off. Saturday morning came, and the pastor of the church who lived a few miles off did not make his appearance. The day passed off, and no news from the pastor. On Sabbath morning, he came hobbling along, having but little use of one foot. He soon explained; said he had a hired negro man, who, on Saturday morning, gave him a little slack jaw. Not having a stick at hand, he fell upon him with his fist and foot, and, in kicking him, he injured his foot so seriously that he could not attend meeting on Saturday."
“I was present and saw Rev. J—W—, of Mecklenburg county hire out four slaves to work in the gold mines in Burke county. The Rev. H. M-, of Orange county, sold for nine hundred dollars a negro man to a speculator, on Monday of a camp-meeting.
“ Runaway slaves are frequently hunted with guns and dogs. I was once out on such an excursion with
rifle and two dogs. I trust the Lord has forgiven me this heinous wickedness! Yours, for the oppressed, “Colebrook, Conn. March 18, 1839. FRANCIS HAWLEY."
The above are not selected for any speciality of cruelty, though sufficiently horrid. They fall indefinitely short of a mass of facts which might be taken from the book, in point of savageness and suffering. They are simply ordinary household specimens of slave-holding society. I pause here to remind you that
brother told us, that if the abolitionists would go down south, and prosecute the church members who are guilty of cruel treatment to slaves, they would be turned out of the church. You here see what ministers and members compose the courts to try such offenders.
And now, why have I read these things ? to show that