Imágenes de páginas

place in it; though he is not aware that he has sacrificed to the demands of limited space, anything, the omission of which would materially depreciate tl character of the work. He begs his readers to excuse the imperfection of his first edition.

H future editions will be the result of contemplated improvement, which cann well be made at this time.

He makes no especial dedication of his production ; but resigns it his fellow citizens, who take an interest in such matters, for their us and convenience.

[ocr errors][merged small]




Abolition Party.

nature better than all the world besides, and RISE AND PROGRESS OF.

that in consequence they were found meddling

with concerns with which they had nothing The extraordinary increase numerically of

to do. He was in favor of laying the petition the Abolition or Anti-Slavery party of this on the table. He would never consent to country cannot be better illustrated than by refer petitions, unless the petitioners were exan exhibit of the increase of its vote, each clusively interested. succeeding election from its initiation as a Messrs. Fitzsimmons and Hartley of Pennnational organization to the present day.

sylvania, Parker, Madison and Page of VirIt first made its appearance in national ginia, Lawrence of New York, Sedgewick of politics in the Presidential contest of 1840, Sherman and Huntington of Connecticut,

Massachusetts, Boudinot of New Jersey, when its ticket, with James G. Birney of favored a reference. Messrs. Smith, Tucker, Michigan as its candidate for the Presidency, and Burke of South Carolina, Baldwin and and Francis J. Lemoyne of Pennsylvania, as Jackson of Georgia opposed a reference, for its Vice-Presidential candidate, polled 7000 very much the same reasons advanced by Mr. votes. In 1844, with Mr. Birney again as its Stone, and in favor of its going to the table. candidate, it polled 62,140 votes. In 1848, On the next day the following memorial was with Martin Van Buren as the Presidential presented and read: candidate of the Buffalo Convention, and Gerrit

“A memorial of the Pennsylvania Society Smith as that of the more ultra anti-slavery for promoting the abolition of slavery, the men, it polled 296,232 votes. In 1852, with

relief of free negroes unlawfully held in John P. Hale as its nominee for the Pre

bondage, and the improvement of the African sidency, it polled 157,296 votes. In 1856, with

“The memorial respectfully showeth: John C. Fremont as its Presidential candidate, “That, from a regard for the happiness of it polled 1,341,812 votes.

mankind, an association was formed, several

years since, in this state, by a number of her Abolition Petitions.

citizens, of various religious denominations, On the 11th of February, 1790, Mr. Fitz-, for promoting the abolition of slavery, and for simmons of Pennsylvania presented a memo

the relief of those unlawfully held in bondage.

A just and acute conception of the true prinrial of Quakers, praying the abolition of the ciples of liberty, as it spread through the slave-trade.

land, produced accessions to their numbers, Mr. Lawrence of New York presented the many friends to their cause, and a legislative memorial of the “Friends” of New York City co-operation with their views, which, by the to the same effect.

blessing of Divine Providence, have been Mr. Hartley of Pennsylvania moved that uccessfully directed to the relieving from the first named petition be referred, which bondage a large number of their fellow-crea

tures, of the African race. They have also was seconded by Mr. White of Virginia. the satisfaction to observe, that, in consequence

Mr. Stone of Maryland feared that action of that spirit of philanthropy and genuine indicating an interference with this kind of liberty which is generally diffusing its benefiproperty would sink it in value, and be inju-cial influence, similar institutions are forming rious to a great number of the citizens, par- at home and abroad. ticularly of the Southern States. He depre That mankind are all formed by the same cated the disposition of religious sects to Almighty Being, alike objects of his care, and imagine they understood the rights of human equally designed for the enjoyment of happi


ness, the Christian religion teaches us to be- men would, they would do things which wou lieve, and the political creed of America fully incur punishment, and cause their owners coincides with the position.

use a severity with them they were not “Your memorialists, particularly engaged customed to. in attending to the distresses arising from Mr. Smith of S. C., amongst other thir slavery, believe it to be their indispensable said, that the states would have never enter duty to present this subject to your notice. into the confederacy unless their property h They have observed, with real "satisfaction, been guarantied to them, for such is the st: that many important and salutary powers are of agriculture in that country, that with vested in you, for promoting the welfare and slaves it must be abandoned. Why will the securing the blessings of liberty to the people people then make use of arguments to indu of the United States;' and, as they conceive the slave to turn his hand against his m that these blessings ought rightfully to be ter? A gentleman can hardly come from t) administered without distinction of color to country with a servant or two, either to t all descriptions of people, so they indulge place or Philadelphia, but there are perso themselves in the pleasing expectation that trying to seduce his servants to leave him, a nothing which can be done for the relief of when they have done this, the poor wretch the unhappy objects of their care will be are obliged to rob their master, in order either omitted or delayed.

obtain their subsistence; all, therefore, who a “From a persuasion that equal liberty was concerned in this seduction are accessories originally the portion and is still the birthright the robbery. ** We look upon this measure of all men, and influenced by the strong ties an attack upon the palladium of the proper of humanity, and the principles of their in- of our country; it is, therefore, our duty stitutions, your memorialists conceive them- oppose it by every means in our power. selves bound to use all justifiable endeavors Mr. Page of Va., said he lived in a sta to loosen the bonds of slavery, and promote a which had the misfortune of having in h general enjoyment of the blessings of freedom. bosom a great number of slaves ; he he

“Under these impressions, they earnestly many of them himself, and was as much in entreat your serious attention to the subject rested in the business as any gentleman. of slavery; that you will be pleased to coun- he was to hold them in eternal bondage, tenance the restoration of liberty to those un- would feel no uneasiness on account of t happy men, who alone in this land of freedom present menace, because he would rely up are degraded into perpetual bondage, and who, the virtue of Congress that they would n amidst the general joy of surrounding free- exercise any unconstitutional authority. men, are groaning in servile subjection; that

After a long debate, the memorial was co you will devise means for removing this inconsistency from the character of the Ameri- mitted, by a vote of yeas 43, n'ays 11. can people; that you will promote mercy and

The nays were, Messrs. Baldwin, Jackso justice towards this distressed race; and that and Matthews of Ga.; Bland and Coles you will step to the very verge of the power Va.; Burke, Hager, Smith, and Tucker of vested in you, for discouraging every species C.; Stone of Md.; and Sylvester of N. Y. of traffic in the persons of our fellow-men. The other memorials were in like mann Bens. FRANKLIN, President.

referred. “Philadelphia, February 3, 1790."

The committee to whom the memorials we The debate was resumed on the memorial referred, made a report, which was referr of the Friends presented the day before. to the committee of the whole House, whic

Mr. Tucker of S. C., was sorry it had had amended the report of the select committe a second reading, as it contained an unconsti- and resolved, amongst other things :tutional request, for which he wished it thrown

“That Congress have no authority to inte aside. He feared the commitment of it would fere in the emancipation of slaves, or in th be a very alarming circumstance to the South- treatment of them within any of the states ern States, for if it was to engage Congress in it remaining with the several states alone an unconstitutional measure, it would be con- provide any regulations therein which hy sidered an interference with their rights, mak, manity and true policy may require.” ing them uneasy under the government, and causing them to lament that they had ever On the 26th of Nov., 1792, a memorial o put additional power into their hands. He Warner Miffin, one of the people called Qu: was surprised to see another memorial on the same subject, signed by a man* who ought kers, was presented and read to the Hous, to have known the constitution better. He stating certain reflections for the consideratio thought it a mischievous attempt as it res of Congress, and in relation to the Africa pected the persons in whose favor it was in- slave-trade, and to the humane treatment of tended. It would buoy them up with hopes slaves in the United Sates. without a foundation, and as they could not reason on the subject, as more enlightened

It was ordered that the said memorial an * Benjamin Franklin.

representation do lie on the table.

On the 28th of Nov., Mr. Steele of N. C., | ought to be referred to the Committee on the called the attention of the House to the above Fugitive Slave Law. He believed them to be memorial of Warner Mifflin. He was sur-free people, and contended that they had an prised to find this subject started anew by a

undoubted right to petition the House and to

be heard. fanatic, who, not content with keeping his Mr. Swanwick defended their right to petiown conscience, undertook to become the tion. keeper of the consciences of other men; and, Mr. Blount said the laws of North Carolina in a manner which he deemed not very decent, did not permit a man to manumit his slaves. had intruded his opinions upon this House.

Mr. Sitgreaves of Pa., defended the petition. Had an application been made to him to pre

Mr. Heath was clearly convinced that these sent such a petition, he would have avoided a people were slaves, and that the object of their compliance with it. Gentlemen of the North petition was within the jurisdiction of the legis

lature of the state, and not the United States. do not realize the mischievous consequences Mr. Madison of Va., thought it a judicial which have already resulted from measures case. If they are free by the laws of North of this kind; and, if a stop were not put to Carolina, they ought to apply to those laws it, the Southern States would be compelled to and have their privileges established. He apply to the General Government for their thought they could obtain their due in a court interference,

of appeals in that state.

Messrs. Rutherford and Gilbert defended He concluded by moving, “ that the paper a reference. purporting to be a petition from Warner Mr. W. Smith thought that the petition Mifflin, be returned to him by the Clerk of the ought to be sealed up and sent back to the House; and that the entry of said petition be petitioners. expunged from the Journal.”

Mr. Christie was much surprised that any Mr. Ames of Mass., who had presented the gentleman would present such a petition, and

hoped the gentleman from Pennsylvania would petition, defended his presentation of it on

never band in such a one again. the ground of the general right of every

citi Mr. Holland contended that it was a judicial zen to petition Congress. The petitioner's question, and that the House ought not to representative being absent, he had not, on pretend to determine the point. that account, felt at liberty to decline present

Mr. Macon of N. C., contended that justice ing it. He had no idea of supporting the would be done them in his state. He conprayer of the petition ; but had made up his ceived it a delicate matter for the general mind long since that it was inexpedient to government to act on, and hoped the petition

would not be committed. interfere with the subject.

Mr. W. Smith, alluding to a remark of Mr. That part of the motion directing the peti- Thatcher, that he wished to draw these people tion to be returned, was agreed to. The re- from a state of slavery into liberty, did not mainder was withdrawn by Mr. Steele, the think that they were sent there to take up the mover.

subject of emancipation.

Nr. Varnum of Mass., and Mr. Kitchell, On the 30th of Jan., 1797, Mr. Swanwick defended the right of the memorialists to petiof Pa., presented the petition of four slaves, tion, and hoped their petition would be rewho had been emancipated as they allege,

ceived and be committed.

The motion to receive the petition was representing that, under some law enacted by North Carolina, they could again be reduced negatived. Yeas 33 ; Noes 50. to slavery; that they had escaped to Pennsyl

On the 30th of Nov., 1797, Mr. Gallatin of Fania to avoid its effects; and petitioned Con- Pa., presented a memorial of the annual meetgress to look into the matter, as also to the ing of Quakers, relative to the oppressed state case of a fellow black, who was once manu- of their African brethren, particularly those in mitted, and, under the same law of North North Carolina, who had been manumitted and Carolina, was again reduced to slavery; and again reduced to slavery. It also was directed who, escaping therefrom, was lying in the against every species of extravagance and disjail of Philadelphia, under the sanction of the

sipation, such as gaming, horse-racing, cock act of the General Government called the fighting, shows, plays, and other expensive Fugitive Slave Law, &c., &c., &c.

diversions and entertainments. Mr. Swanwick hoped the petition would be

The reception of the petition was debated referred to a select committee. Mr. Blount from N. C., hoped it would not

at great length. Finally it was referred to a even be received. He said, under the law of select committee, consisting of Messrs. SitNorth Carolina they were slaves, and could greaves of Pa., Nicholas of Va., Dana of be seized as such.

Conn., Scharman of N. J., and Smith of Md. Mr. Thatcher of Mass., thought the petition On the 29th of Jan., 1798, Mr. Sitgreaves,

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »