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More than fifty years have passed since Rev. Dr. Wilson, (late President of the Ohio University,) established a Sabbath school, in a little village in South Carolina. He was compelled, by threats of violence, to withdraw his school from the village. About thirty years ago, Rev. Dr. Bishop, (late President of Miami University,) was more than once presented to the grand jury, for opening a Sabbath school for slaves, in Lexington, Ky. And now the blame of these severe laws, and this exquisite sensitiveness, is laid at the door of abolitionists.”—Pam. p. 15.
This is giving to abolitionism, a power of retrospective action, more than fifty years before it was born. I request special notice, that Dr. Bishop, not unknown in this region, was more than thirty years ago presented to a Lexington grand jury, for teaching slaves in Sabbath school. Yet, we are told, vauntingly, that Kentucky has no statute opposed to the education of slaves ! Grant that teaching slaves is not expressly, and in terms, prohibited; yet, the laws make their condition such as to render their not being instructed, a moral certainty. I will just read what my friend says :“ There is no law against teaching slaves to read, in Kentucky.” Yet, he says, also, that abolitionism broke up all the schools in Kentucky. What is this but a confession by Dr. Rice, that slavery, and its friends, out of spite toward abolitionism, broke up the schools for slaves in Kentucky, against law? This is worse for him than if there were a law against teaching slaves. I will, moreover, prove shortly, that slavery and the instruction of the slaves, cannot co-exist. That enlightened slaves will not remain slaves ; i. e. that ignorance is of slavery itself. Thus, I will bring forward the very points which he calls for, in due time. But, I respectfully suggest to my friend, that he had better answer the arguments which I do adduce, while they are fresh, instead of calling for those which I do not adduce. It seems to my brother, that if I were to bring any other arguments but just the ones which I present, he could get along better.
And now, gentlemen moderators, and respected fellowcitizens, though it is unpleasant to dwell upon the subject of cruelty to slaves, I must briefly advert to one fact. Last night I adduced a statement by the Rev. James Nourse, of Mifflin county, Pa., a gentleman with whom I am acquainted, who said that a minister had, on a visit to a ministerial brother, found that he had tied up to his gate-post a female slave, for the purpose of flogging her ;-that he plead with him not to whip her, but that he did lash her severely. As an offset against this statement, which is in a printed volume, compiled by a committee, who published a book of statistics of slavery, my brother receives the chance testimony of a Mr. Lindsley, a member of his church, now in this house, who says the fact was not so. I refer to this matter, not to controvert Mr. Lindsley's staternent. I cannot find in my heart to comment severely on him. Seeing his pastor, whom he loves, einbarked in this unfortunate undertaking, he naturally wished to throw him a plank. Yet, I must say, that for my own part, I am not influenced by testimony coming in this way: mere oral testimony, struck out by debatem a side whisper thrown in to rebut a printed document, long spread out before the country, and never answered or disputed. I know Mr. Nourse, and I do not think it probable he would make two contradictory statements of the same fact.
Moreover, as to the cruelties of slavery, I may be compelled--though I was not, by nature, designed for a surgeon or butcher, or to look on pain unmoved—to consider the lacerations and scourging of slaves at length. I hate this topic of the cruelties of slavery; yet, after what has been said, I must devote a few minutes to its consideration, which I shall do in a short speech.
There are three circumstances, which, when you see, you will feel the force of; which show that the slave is liable to worse cruelties than the brute. I wish this proposition to be distinctly understood. I say not, that the slave is worse treated than the brute—that is not my proposition. My friend is not happy in quoting my remarks, and, therefore. I
am, perhaps, over-particular. I say there are three circumcumstances, each of which goes to show that the slave is liable to many cruelties to which the brute is not, and to worse cruelties than brutes are. First-the slave is of a race' superior to brutes. He is a man, with soul and body, and made in the image of his God. 66 After his own likeness created He him." He belongs to an order of beings as high above animals as that platform on which his God hath placed him, “a little lower than the angels," is above the bottom of the stye! Now, because he is so superior to brutes, he is capable of provoking his master worse than brutes, and thus is exposed to greater cruelty. That is the point which I make. I have seen a man smite his fist against a post, which had hurt him, though, being an inanimate object, he will not punish a post much. But a very irritable man will do that. The same man will beat an ox worse than he will a post, because an intelligent creature. And he will beat a horse still worse, for a similar reason: the horse provokes him worse. And if we travel on, up through the immense vacuum, between the brute and the human race, and remember that when a man undertakes to make intelligence property, he has got his match, you see, at once, that a man can provoke another man a thousand times worse than a brute can; and if he is in the power of his hand, as the brute is, then comes that horrid, haggling cruelty, undiscribeable for its savage excess, which man practices upon man alone.
The "New Orleans Picayune," of Tuesday, June 10, 1845, contains a late example of this monstrous inhumanity; and the New Orleans Tropic states that the Attorney General, who was consulted, gave his opinion, that there is no law by which the owner of Auguste, or the jailer, could be punished, for their merciless brutality.
The case, here detailed at length, is this: A young slave boy, named Auguste, was sent by his owner to the jail of the first municipality, and, so flogged, for a succession of days, that he was one mass of putridity. He was discovered by his falling down, when attempting to crawl home;
was placed by humane persons on a window-shutter, face downward, and carried to the hospital; where some of the first physicians examined him, and pronounced that there was little hope of his life. This is not from an abolition publication, but from the New Orleans Picayune, of June 10th, ult.
Remember, that this inhumanity was perpetrated at the police jail, of the first municipality, where it is customary for slaves to be sent to be whipped, and where the lash is applied according to the direction of masters, or the flogger loses his fee.
Remember, too, that the Attorney General has given his opinion, that there is no law in Louisiana by which this outrage could be punished! It is true, that some citizens, disgusted at the shocking enormity, interposed and remonstrated. And, I thank the living God, that not all men are yet brutes, who are involved in this brutal system; that, even in New Orleans, some sentiment of humanity still remains.
I adduce this instance to show that such is slavery—that cruelty is of its essence; not to show that slave-holders are monsters, and not men. They are men like ourselves in their condition; men whose race God made upright; but they have sought out many inventions; and one of the most infernal and unaccountable of them all, is, that man should make human beings property.
And now, what signifies the pretence that abolitionists slander slavery by tales of cruelty.
Tell me not that such revolting inhumanities are incredible; that masters are kind and gentle, etc., etc. Human nature is a streaked thing; and the heart of man is hard and soft, in streaks. The same person may be gentle and kind to his equals, but a savage monster to his slaves. And when the owner of a slave is provoked, and the law puts it in his power; as there is no animal which can provoke like man, so none were ever known so to maul, and mutilate, and haggle the victims of their rage.
But as to the possibility of such diabolical cruelties actu
ally existing, or whether they are only mere false reports and stories of abolitionists, I have an authority, which, I know, my brother will be glad to hear quoted, viz: his own synod of Kentucky. I will quote from a document prepared by some men whose names stand high with him, no others than his own father-in-law, Mr. Burch, Nathan H. Hall, of Lexington, President Young, of Danville, Breckenridge, of Louisville, and others--all Kentuckians, and most of them slave-holders. This committee of the Synod of Kentucky, in a published address on slavery, which they were appointed to prepare, say:
“Cruelty may be carried to any extent, provided life be spared. Mangling, imprisonment, starvation, every species of
be inflicted upon him, and he has no redress. But not content with thus laying the body of the slave defenceless at the foot of the master, our system proceeds still further, and strips him, in a great measure, of all protection against the inhumanity of every other white man who may choose to maltreat him.”'
[“ In Kentucky the slave has the same protection that the child has."]-Leclures on Slavery, by N. L. Rice, p. 17.
Synod add: "In describing such a condition, we may well adopt the language of Sacred Writ—Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment.' "Such is the ESSENTIAL character of our slavery.”
Address of Synod of Ky. p. 6. Again: as to the infliction of barbarous cruelties, synod say:
“There are now, in our whole land, two millions of human beings exposed, defenceless to every insult and every injury short of maiming or death, which their fellow-men may choose to inflict. They suffer all that can be inflicted by wanton caprice, by grasping avarice, by brutal lust, by malignant spite, and by insane anger. Their happiness is the sport of every whim and the
of every passion that may occasionally, or habitually infest the master's bosom. If we