Imágenes de páginas

bloody, than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”

Several years since, a few transatlantic friends of Mr. Douglass raised the necessary funds to purchase his freedom from his master, for, according to the laws of the United States, the brilliant orator was the property of a Maryland trafficker in human flesh! But for this, Mr. Douglass, to-day, would be in imminent danger of seizure and reënslavement. His genius would avail him nothing-were he a Cicero or Demosthenes, a human brute would have the legal right to horsewhip him into subjection.

To those foolish people who contend that the African race is essentially a brute race, and far inferior to any other existing, we commend Frederick Douglass. He is perfectly competent to defend his race, and is himself an argument that cannot be refuted, in favor of the capability of the negro race for the highest degree of refinement and intellectuality. The more such men his race can produce, the sooner the day of its freedom will come. The sooner will the free blacks of the north rise to an equality with the whites. That singular and horrible prejudice against color, which pervades all classes, and which not even the religion of the day has affected, will vanish, when, as a class, the negroes are not only industrious and virtuous, but distinguish themselves for their love of learning and the fine arts. We mean no excuse for the negro-hating population of this country, but simply state a fact which black men should ponder. Every negro who acts well his part, is assisting his race to rise from its degrading enthrallment.


She re

We have no new information to communicate to the reader respecting the history of Mrs. Stowe, neither do we hope to make any profound criticisms upon her remarkable volume, and yet we cannot, in such a series of sketches as this, wholly pass her by. And so, though hundreds, here and in Europe, have written about her, praised her, blained her, criticised her great work with acuteness, we will venture to make her the subject of an article.

Mrs. Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, and is a little more than forty years of

age. ceived an excellent education and a great deal of energy of character from her parents. They removed to Boston when she was young, and there she enjoyed very superior advantages in the pursuit of knowledge. She commenced her career of useful- . ness as an assistant teacher in the female school of an elder sister in Boston. Her father subsequently went to the west, to preside over Lane Seminary, and Mrs. Stowe, with her sister, went to Cincinnati, where they opened a school for the education of young ladies. Lane Seminary is near Cincinnati, and in tho


course of a few

which were devoted to teaching, Harriet Beecher was sought and won by Calvin E. Stowe, professor of biblical literature in the seminary, and one of the most accomplished scholars in the country. The married couple took up their residence in one of the buildings connected with the seminary, and devoted to the use of the professors. For a long term of years this was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Stowe. It is not necessary for us to give à history of the anti-slavery excitement which at one time threatened to ruin Lane Seminary. It is well known that Cincinnati was for a long time the theater of violent agitation upon the question of negro slavery. In and around it the bitterest, the most unprincipled enemies of anti-slavery doctrines livedand also the warmest and most courageous advocates of liberty for all men. For years, to be an abolitionist in Cincinnati, was to be scorned, hissed at, and threatened with death. Mob law set aside the constitution, and screamed out threats of vengeance upon meek, Christ-like men, who, with a courage exceedingly rare at this day, asserted the truth, that “all men should be free.” Anti-slavery presses were destroyed again and again, and the buildings of Lane Seminary were often in imminent danger of being destroyed, because of the anti-slavery reputation of its scholars and professors. Mrs. Stowe could not well fail to see the inherent wickedness of an institution which could only be defended by drunken mobs with brick-bats and tar and feathers.


The diabolical persecution of the abolitionists won them many warm friends, and sympathy for their principles grew rapidly in thousands of hearts. Situated as Cincinnati is, the friends of the slave in its vicinity soon found that they could show their love for him in a more excellent way than by talking. Poor fugitives from oppression were constantly crossing the Ohio river, and the abolitionists banded together and built an “underground railroad” to Canada. Mrs. Stowe could not, if she had wished, escape from a knowledge of the negro character. She was often appealed to by some weary, half-starved, lashed, slave-mother for food and shelter. She saw time after time the shy, painful look of the fugitivem witnessed his joy at escape, or his sorrow at the thought of loved ones left behind in bondage. In the course of many years she gained, not only a knowledge of negro character, but of the terrible atrocities which are perpetrated upon slaves by brutal masters. She also had opportunities for knowing the character of slave-holders and slave-catchers, for hundreds of them were at any time to be found and met in Cincinnati. There are many who wonder how Mrs. Stowe could gain the knowledge of negro character, and of the character of men like Tom Loker and Mr. Shelby, so abundantly displayed in her

« AnteriorContinuar »