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to be particeps criminis to the theft. Granting that slave products are stolen goods, which we have not much disposition to deny, the question is not one of legal technics but of morality. The buyer is certainly particeps if his motive be thievish-if he consents to the theft or silently enjoys its profits. But let us put a case sufficiently near the parallel for the purpose of illustration. A man offers to sell me wheat which I know to have been stolen from one who keeps it for sale. Suppose there is no law or public sentiment by which I can compel him to restore, or bring him to justice, and suppose my refusing to buy will not in any considerable degree spoil his market. Here is a case substantially like the slaveholder's. Were I to buy the wheat silently I should be a particeps. But I say to the seller, You stole this wheat, and were I to take it without paying a cent, I should serve you no worse than you served the owner. But as I know the owner wants the money, and I want the wheat, I pay you a fair price for it-go and hand the money to the owner, and know that if there is an honest man above ground he shall hear of the transaction. Am I a particeps? I spend more to bring the thief to justice than the profits on the bargain. Am I to be considered a particeps? There is a point somewhere at which I stop being responsible for other men's wickedness. If non-intercourse were the appropriate cure of common avarice, overreaching and dishonesty, we should be bound to use it with many of our neighbors, but our correspondent himself confesses that it is not, and it is difficult to see how the mere enormity of slavery excepts it from the same rule.
From these considerations we think that our correspondent in showing that the purchase or consumption of slave produce is "a transgression of the divine law," has been obliged to rely solely on his reason, and his reason has failed him. Still, though we differ from him altogether as to the reason for abstinence, we do not probably differ much as to the practice. He admits in his exception of "necessity" as much license in the purchase and use as our rule would allow.— The difference is this. We hold the purchase or use of any slave products to be no wrong in itself, but perfectly right unless it appears that abstinence would so much benefit the slave as to be required by the divine rule of doing to others as we would be done by. And we do regard every
sacrifice of these things which can be made without materially impairing our usefulness, of which conscience must judge, to be a duty we owe to the slave, simply as a testimony of our sympathy with his sufferings and remembrance of his wrongs. This rule will certainly exclude slave sugar and molasses, to say nothing of rum and tobacco which ought to be tabu as mala in se. And it will give a decided preference for linen and free labor cotton over fabrics which are partly, though in very small part, the products of slave labor.
Our correspondent thinks the purchase or use of any products of slave labor to be SIN, except where a "strict necessity" requires the use. This rule, after all, gives as much play to the conscience as ours. What is a strict, actual necessity? It would seem from our correspondent's own interpretation that it includes much more than merely saving life some degree of usefulness and comfort must be saved. And how is conscience to decide the how much any more surely under his rule than ours? We leave the candid reader to judge..
Slaveholding is a malum in se, which no circumstances or consequences can convert into a bonum. The use of some of the products of slave labor is a bonum in se, which may and often does become a malum, per consequentia. THE EDITOR.
CASTE IN THE UNITED STATES: A REVIEW.
BY THE EDITOR.
MARIE OU L'ESCLAVAGE aux ETATS-UNIS, Tableau de moeurs Américaines ; par GUSTAVE DE BEAUMONT, l' un des auteurs de l'ouvrage intitulé ; Du Système Pénetentiaire aux Etats-Unis. Bruxelles, 1835.
[MARIA OF SLAVERY in the UNITED STATES, a Picture of American manners; by GUSTAVUS DE BEAUMONT, one of the authors of the work entitled: Of the Penitentiary system of the United States. 2 vols. 12 mo.]
In our country religious tyranny and toleration are equally unknown. All sects are quite at home here. None have a monopoly of power. None live by sufferance. Hence a
common feeling of patriotism is to be found in all. Indeed, we may say, the more singular and extravagant a man's creed, the more does he love the country which protects him in the full enjoyment of it. We think it will be found on examination that none are more devotedly attached to American institutions than the members of the weaker sects, or indeed, than the insulated and unbelieving dissentients from all sects. Now we presume that any scholar who has mastered the A B C of American politics will say that our country owes much of her quietness and safety to her not respecting creeds, to her looking at what a man does and not at what he believes, to her not having a favorite church. Here are men whose dories are at everlasting war, and yet the men themselves live together in tolerable peace under the same government-simply because, with their doxies the government has nothing to do. And our scholar need be little more profound to discover that the whole charm would be broken by putting any one sect, however small, under the ban of the government, or what would amount to the same, under the trampling feet of popular proscription. The moment the governing power begins to measure men's rights by their creeds, liberty of conscience is overboard with a millstone around her neck.
Here a practical inquiry meets us. How comes it that a government which never cares for the color of a man's creed should take him to do for the color of his coat? Is it that a man's religious belief has less to do with the well being of society than the tint of his broadcloth? Lest the governing power should excuse itself by saying that belief is involuntary, while the color of a coat may be changed at pleasure, we will just suppose that in spite of drapers and tailors a man's vestments, by a sort of anti-chameleon property, are infallibly assimilated to a certain dingy hue, which is fated to stick to him as tight as the skin in which he was born. Where would be the righteousness or the good policy of teazing and worrying this individual to dress in orthodox blue, when it is out of his power to wear any thing but brown, be his desires what they may? Now the folly and wickedness of such tyranny, bating that our supposition should have been carried a little deeper, to wit,-skin-deep, is precisely that of which the governing power in our republic is deeply guilty. It would be thought downright injustice to
make a man ineligible to office for want of belief in the trinity, and monstrous bigotry, to exclude one from a table, or a pew, or a coach, or a steamboat-cabin for a belief in transubstantiation. Such crimes are unheard of. Yet it is thought no injustice nor bigotry, but a very just and proper and politic thing to proscribe a man for wearing the skin which his Maker gave him. It would be thought a very barbarous thing for men of learning and talent to stigmatize and contemn all people of slender intellect, and a very impolitic thing for the rich to make enemies of the poor, and a very unpatriotic thing for any body to increase the temptations of the vicious; but so common, nay, universal a thing is it to stigmatize and maltreat persons of a certain color, or rather who are NOT of a certain color, that some who in their hearts abhor it, feel compelled, as they love their daily bread, to do it; and those who, following their hearts, refuse to follow custom, are thought to injure, by their ultraism, the very cause they love. Yes, let a white man invite a colored one to sit with him in his pew or in his parlor, and he can hardly expect to be able afterwards either to rent or purchase a pew or a house without being called upon to pledge himself never to repeat the act. If he had declared open war upon decency and spurned from his house the very mother that bore him, the white public would not shrink from him with more pious horror, than they now profess to feel. Pray, what is the matter? we ask of a generous and enlightened public. The reply is couched with quaking apprehension, in the appalling interrogatory; would you have your daugh ter marry a negro? And the utter slavery to which this tyrant prejudice has reduced every thing that is noble and good in the land, is evinced by nothing more clearly than by the pains taking of even abolitionists to show that colored men may be enfranchised and elevated without bringing on the dreaded consequence. Not a word to vindicate your daughter's sacred right to the disposal of her own affections! Not a word for the equally sacred right of the colored brother to win affection where he can! But a tacit, crouching, slavish assent to the terribleness of the bug-bear.
From such slavery, we humbly pray, good Lord deliver us.
Call submission to it policy or what you will, it is too much in the line with the driving of the tyrant we oppose
for us to have any complacency in it. We must fling off the last fetter before we can breathe freely. We have a mind to let the public know that they may as well attempt to scare us from common civility to the professors of a different creed by asking-would you have your daughter marry a heretic?--as to choke our friendship for the deserving colored man, by the other question. If the immaculate advocates of pure blood deem this a punishable heresy, let them come upon us where we sit, with tar-apt emblem of their own virtue and feathers of the goose, and work their will, but we beg of them not to commit any more of those dastardly assaults upon the innocent colored people.
Being sure that this caste of color, skulking among our free institutions like the devil in paradise, is the natural offspring and prime minister of slavery, and lives nowhere apart from its parent abomination, we were not at all surprised at the book which we have placed at the head of this article. A refined Frenchman, who had never learned to curl the lip at his Maker's taste in tinging some of His roses and violets of a darker hue than the rest, could hardly resist the temptation to entertain the Parisians with the incidents to which the courtship and marriage of a colored damsel by a white gentleman would lead in the United States. The object of M. de Beaumont is to paint the manners of our people, especially as they stand related to slavery.
We will glance at the tale on which he has seen fit to build his remarks, premising that he was associated with M. de Tocqueville, as a deputation from the French government to examine our penitentiary system, after despatching which jointly, in a luminous report, M. de Tocqueville has taken up in scientific style our democratic institutions, while M. de Beaumont has served up our manners. Here is the story. A Frenchman, disgusted with his country, where his political predilections were on the popular side, while his family connections were with the aristocracy, betakes himself to America. From New-York he follows the current of emigration up the majestic Hudson, traverses the grand canal and the lakes till he finds himself in Michigan on the borders of the Saginaw. On this outmost wave of civilization the traveller discovers among the rare indications of human labor which begin to disturb the primitive wilderness, a remarkable structure, a cottage, whose elegance of form is