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Can any one believe that this language was meant to apply to a free man, hired for his labor? Do
hired servants your money? Or do you claim authority to punish them with a rod ?
6. That these servants were not free men, is equally manifest from Exodus xxi: 26. “If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free, for his eye's sake; and if he smite out his man servant's tooth, he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake."
How could liberty be granted to them in consequence of the loss of a tooth or of an eye, if they were free before?
Friday, 4 o'clock, P. M., Oct. 3, 1845. [MR. BLANCHARD'S TENTH SPEECH. ] Gentlemen Moderators, and Gentlemen and Ladies, Fellow
While the house is getting quiet I will glance hastily at some points which my friend has raised. I request your careful attention while I do so.
My brother would have you think that the action of the Scotch General Assembly is the same in principle with the action of the Old School Assembly, which lately met in this city—whose report, written by Dr. Rice himself, contains not one word condemnatory of slavery or of those who practice it. I will read one part of the Scotch Assembly's Report which brother Rice omitted.
6 All must agree that whatever rights the civil law may give a master over his slaves as “chattels personal,' it cannot but be a sin of the deepest dye in him to regard or treat them as such : and whosoever commits that sin in any sense, or deals otherwise with his fellow men,
the law may give him over them, ought to be held disqualified for Christian communion.”
That is far enough from his Assembly's action.
He has presented for the third or fourth time, the proposition that men are not fundamentally wrong on one point, and fundamentally sound on all others. He evidently attaches some importance to this point, from which affirmation for it is but assertion ) he wishes to infer that slave-holders, being admitted to be sound on other points, cannot be sinning in holding slaves.
In answer, I observe that Rev. John Newton, while right in every other point of faith and practice, was engaged in the slave-trade on the coast of Africa. We all
that the slave-trade is piracy. He therefore was unsound on one point while sound on all others.
Moreover, sinners commonly become blind to the truth point by point. They fall before some one temptation, and seek to find a creed which will fit that one indulgence ; so that his argument does not hold, being defective in his main proposition. It is not true that men are never found sound on all points but one and defective in that.
He seemed to say something in reply to what I advanced showing that the doctrine, that slave-holding is sin, was the potent principle which abolished Roman slavery. His remark was, I think, that there was no comparison between Roman slavery and ours because Roman slaves were not colored persons. In this he is mistaken, as to fact, Africa was one chief source of slaves sold in the Roman market. And great numbers of African females especially, were kidnapped and sold in the Balerian Isles, at the highest price commanded by Roman slaves.
I was glad to hear my brother avow himself a gradualist, opposed to slavery, and approving of its abolition in New Jersey and other northern States, where it is either abolished or fast perishing by the operation of anti-slavery laws. I could not help reflecting, however, that an expression of his deep hostility to slavery would have been highly appropriate in his report to his last General Assembly. But no, not one sentence or word or syllable does that report contain -.1..-!ated to lead any one to conjecture that strong opposition which its author finds it proper to express here, against slavery.
I could not help remembering too, as I heard his warm zeal for gradual emancipation declared, that there is another Kentuckian who is a gradualist; I allude to Cassius M. Clay, before whose intellect common minds do homage, and acknowledging the superiority of his genius, cordially love the warm and honest sincerity of his heart. Yet we have heard from Kentucky lips—aye, from clerical lips, a sneer at Cassius M. Clay on account of one single expression, for which he was made an offender and his press mobbed down. The phrase was an over-ardent depicting of the dangers of men of wealth—from slavery; warning them that “ but a single pane of glass intervened between the smooth skinned woman on the Ottoman,” and the hard hands in the streets which the slave-system makes and keeps poor and poverty makes desperate.
I considered it an unfortunate expression, though in an ordinary political paper, and on any other subject, it would have excited no special alarm, and passed as the eloquent rounding of a period. No human creature, not absolutely insane, would
suspect him for a moment, of a desire to stimulate slavery to cut the throats of the ladies of Kentucky. C. M. Clay is in favor of gradual emancipation, and proves it by earnest efforts to bring it about. Dr. Rice is a gradualist also, and evinces his zeal in the cause of gradual destruction of slavery by attempting to prove slave-holding to be no sin, denouncing abolitionists, and sneering at the writings of C. M. Clay. His words at least in this debate look toward emancipation but his deeds all run toward slavery.
For the fifth or sixth time he has arraigned the abolitionists for “running off slaves," that is, for aiding those who are running off; and he seeks to make the impression upon your minds that the angel who sent back Hagar, (whom he considers a runaway slave ) to Abraham, was really an instance of arresting and sending back fugitives from slavery
to their owners. This he says, proves abolition principles to be wrong, because they lead them not to follow this angel's example in sending back runaways; but to an opposite course, viz: running them off to Canada. Yet when I urged him, he himself declared that he would not help take up runaways - and I say he would be a ruffian if he would. [Applause. ] But how is it that this angel's example binds abolitionists and not Dr. Rice? The whole point of his ostrepeated argument is that abolition principles are wrong because they lead to a practice different from this angel's: yet in almost the same breath he tells us that he himself will not follow this angel's example in sending fugitive slaves back to their masters. If he means this argument for an argument; the next time Betsey or Sue or Peggy sets out for Canada through Ohio, my friend is bound by the rules which he seeks to enforce on others, to call on God to send this angel or some other along with him and scratch gravel after her as she dashes away for the land of freedom. [A laugh.] Let him stand up to his own principles or cease to upbraid abolitionists for not following an example which he rejects. Consistency is indeed a jewel.
The fact is, abolitionists are not the only ones who aid slaves to escape. I stood in the window of an inn one bright night, and saw some two thousand men gathered in the town square at the door, swearing they would raze the house unless the landlord gave me up to be murdered or insulted as an abolitionist. And I was amused at the trick, when unbeknown to me, the landlord sent some person, by a back way into the skirt of the crowd, who ran down a street crying, “Here he goes !” “Here he goes !” when the whole crowd ran off at full speed in the pursuit.
This inn-keeper, though a genuine latitudinarian landlord, in favor of no particular principles, and, especially, no abolitionist, yet would help off runaway slaves. He told me about 12 o'clock that night, when all was quiet, how he found two in his wheatfield who had come from Georgia, near 400 miles, all the way by night. He noticed something had trailed down the young green wheat and followed them under an apple tree where they lay hid in a little ravine, with eighteen green apples which they had stolen for food, each about as large as the end of your thumb. They had divided them equally, nine apiece. When the poor creatures saw they were discovered they ran off to a saw-mill pond, and dived among the logs and slabs, down into the muddy water like "black ducks." And," do you think," said the landlord, “when I got them by the feet to pull them out (for they scemed determined to drown themselves,) I saw that the poor creatures had worn almost every particle of skin off the bottoms of their feet in travelling. When I got them out, they fell on their knees crying “Oh God-amercy massa, we be no thieves, we be only runaways, massa! Oh God-a-mercy massa!' 'Never mind,' said I, 'if that's all, you shant be hurt.?»
He then went to a paper-rag warehouse and from the cast off rags got them tolerable suits of clothes, and, aided by another benevolent man of the village, concealed them, and finally bought one for a nominal price of the master who came in pursuit. “But,” said my landlord, with a rueful look; “He would'nt sell the other for love or money, and so we were obliged to slip him off. The one we bought has paid his purchase money, works up here, and is doing well."
Now can any minister of Christ condemn and denounce that inn-keeper for the part he took in aiding those wretched men. If he can, be he who he may, I say again, though he may have the exterior of a preacher, he has a ruffian's heart!
My friend still insists that I bring no argument from the Bible. I have already told you that I have prepared a speech, of an hour and a half of the kind he calls for; and I intend by the help of God, in due time to give that branch of my subject a full and fair consideration; and to show that the apostolic or New Testament churches did not receive slaveholders to their communion. Meantime, I will, in passing, give him a slight taste of the argument, as he seems famishin for it.