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was one of the chief sources from which they were drawn, but not that a majority came from there.]
Well, be it so. I will not inquire, whether all slaves born in Africa were black: whether they were or not, my remark will hold good, that there did not exist, at Rome, in that day, the same prejudice in regard to slaves which exists at this day and in this country. In the Roman empire, as he very well knows, slaves generally did not differ in complexion from their masters, and therefore they were required to wear a cap and a coat of a peculiar shape, to distinguish them from free citizens. The slave had only to change his
and his coat, and wear the dress of a free man; and he would stand on a perfect equality with other citizens. It could not be known that he had ever been a slave. But with us, the color of the slave creates a prejudice against him; and so strong is that prejudice, that even a free colored man is not, in fact, free. He does not, and cannot, enjoy the privileges of a white man. There are insuperable difficulties in the way of his enjoying all the rights and privileges of a free man. As I have said before, I am in favor of the gradual emancipation of the slaves, and of having them placed, with their own consent, where these difficulties do not exist—where they will be free, not in name, but in reality.
I will here notice the statement of the gentleman, that in the Report adopted by the General Assembly, there is no intimation of a wish that slavery should ever be abolished at all. What is the language of that Report? I will read it:
“ We feel constrained further to say, that however desirable it may be to ameliorate the condition of the slaves in the Southern and Western States, or TO REMOVE SLAVERY FROM OUR COUNTRY, these objects, we are fully persuaded, can never be secured by ecclesiastical legislation. Much less can they be attained by those indiscriminate denunciations against slave-holders, without regard to their character or circumstances, which have, to so great an extent, characterized the movements of the modern abolitionists, which, so far from removing the evils complained of, tend only to perpetuate and aggravate them. The apostles of Christ sought to ameliorate the condition of slaves, not by denouncing and excommunicating their masters, but by teaching both masters and slaves the glorious doctrines of the gospel, and enjoining upon each the charge of their relative duties. Thus only can the church of Christ, as such, now improve the condition of the slaves in our country.”
Did not the Assembly intend to say, and does not their language clearly express the idea, that it is desirable to ameliorate the condition of the slaves ? and did they not immediately add, in precisely the same connection, and in the same sentence, “or to remove slavery from our coun"vy?" There stand the words in the printed report; yet my
xrate brother tells us, that it says nothing on the subject; tains not even an intimation of the faintest wish
the abject! I will not charge him with a deliberate purpose to misrepresent; but the truth is, that he reads, and sees, and feels, and talks one sided he is one-sided all over. [Laughter.]
The gentleman says, that my words look one way, and my actions the other—that I am anti-slavery in words, but pro-slavery in deeds. I now challenge him to refer to one single action of my life which shows that I am opposed to what I advocate in words, viz.: the gradual emancipation of every slave in the land; or which can afford the least justification of his ungenerous charge. He cannot point to one; unless, indeed, he chooses to consider the colonization of free blacks, with their own consent, opposed to emancipation.
The gentleman is very indignant at the removal of Cassius M. Clay's paper from Lexington, which, he tells us, was done simply because of an unfortunate expression-a mere flourish, to turn a period. I know Mr. Clay. We were, for a short time, school-fellows; and I regard him as a man of talents. But it is not true, that the tremendous excitement which resulted in the removal of his paper, was caused by a single expression-a mere rhetorical flourish. It is truly a singular method of rounding a period, to tell slave-holders that there are spikes in the streets, and only panes of glass between them and your “srnooth-skinned" wives and daughters! The obvious meaning of such language is—“take care, or the slaves will rise and murder your families;" and the direct tendency of such language is, to produce a servile insurrection.
But Mr. B. has great facility in concealing the odious features of abolitionism. When in the early part of this discussion I read the intemperate and disgusting language of Foster on this subject, he told us, that some considered him insane. And when I read paragraphs from Duncan's pamphlet, republished by the Cincinnati Abolition Society, containing sentiments equally abhorrent, he coolly remarked, that he did not approve of every comma and semi-colon in it! I replied, that the justification of slave insurrections and murders were something more than either commas or semi-colons. And then he urged me just to let “father Duncan's pamphlet alone; he was a very good man, and is gone to his rest.” I shall not deny that he had piety; but whether he had or not, he published doctrines not only false, but of the most ruinous tendency; and the Cincinnati Abolition Society have endorsed them. That society, therefore, stands before the public, chargeable with sending forth the most incendiary publications. The gentleman himself was most active, as he has informed us, in having it republished. He and his society, therefore, are fully responsible for all its abominable sentiments; for in having it reprinted they did not disclaim one sentiment it contains. But this by
I am not here to justify the course pursued toward Mr. Clay. I cannot justify it; but no man, who knows anything of human nature, can be surprised at it. In the articles which produced the excitement, it cannot be denied, that there were sentiments of dangerous tendency; and it is worse than vain for the gentleman to attempt to cover them
over by representing them as mere rhetorical flourishes without meaning. I was truly glad when Mr. Clay proposed to publish his paper. I did hope that he would calmly and prudently plead the cause of gradual emancipation, and that great good would result. Had he done so, I believe he might have gone forward without interruption; but his language was violent and intemperate, and the result is known. Although I cannot justify the course pursued against him, I cannot condemn it without first condemning
the aggressor. The gentleman says, I condemn abolitionists for helping runaway slaves, and yet I have said, I would not force them back. No—I have not condemned them simply for helping those who have run from their masters, but for sending emissaries into the slave-holding States, to render the slaves discontented, and induce them to run. And I condemn them for publishing papers and pamphlets urging them to leave their masters, and even encouraging insurrection and mur. der. I condemn them for publishing addresses to the slaves, as did Gerrit Smith, and the New York anti-slavery nominating convention, advising them not only to run from their masters, but to steal, along their route, in the free as well as the slave States," the horse, the boat, the food, the clothing," which they need! Conduct and sentiments of this character are unscriptural and abominable. True, I do not regard it as my duty to be a catcher of fugitive slaves, or to force such to return to their masters; but if I were to see a slave leaving a good master, I should advise him, as the angel advised Hagar, to return and faithfully discharge his duty. Most assuredly I would never be found engaged in the pitiful business of running a few slaves to Canada, to starve and freeze; but the gentleman's fraternity will. [A laugh.]
I do not say, that every abolitionist will do this thing ; but I do say, that Duncan's pamphlet, endorsed by the Cincinnati Abolition Society, urges it as the solemn duty of slaves to embrace the first opportunity to escape; and Gerrit Smith and his party advise them not only to run, but to steal ! But
there are amongst abolitionists so many parties, that I do not well know what is orthodoxy and what is heterodoxy amongst them.
I do, indeed, most strongly condemn both the principles and the conduct of the abolitionists; but I have also uniformly condemned all violence toward them. When Mr. Birney's press was destroyed in Cincinnati, I as editor of a religious paper, condemned the course of his opponents in language as strong as I could command ; and I took the
course in regard to the violence against Lovejoy, in Illinois. I go for freedom of speech and of the press, even though in some instances, evils grow out of it.
The brother says that I am anxious to put slavery on a par with marriage. Such, however, is not the fact, as I have repeatedly explained. I have said that he has not the right to bring an argument against slave-holding, which would be of equal force against marriage. An argument that proves too much, proves nothing. This all logicians maintain, and the gentleman will not deny.
He says, farther, that I affirmed that the apostles treated the relation of master and slave, and husband and wife, alike. I never said so. I have said that they did not treat the slave relation as the abolitionists do; but enjoined upon master and slave the discharge of their respective duties. I did not say they treated the two relations alike.
Having thus misrepresented my views he attempted to ridicule them by applying to the husband, Paul's language to the slave—“Art thou called being an husband, care not for it,” &c. It is often easier to misrepresent, and then ridicule the sentiments of an opponent, than to prove
them erroneous. Slavery is an evil; and liberty, to those who can appreciate and improve it, is a blessing. So poverty is an evil; and to possess a competency of the good things of this world, is desirable. The language of Paul to the slave, suffering under an evil, might be addressed to a man suffering from poverty—“Art thou called, being poor, care not for it; but if thou mayest be made comfortable, choose it rather.” As a