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As it happens-under existing circumstances-the authority conferred upon Congress, in that clause of the Constitution now before us, is of the highest consequence. Not being invested with any authority over the system of slavery in the several states, it can do nothing directly to abolish it in those states. But the clause, we are considering, makes it the imperative duty of our general government to hear the representations, which may be made to it of the slavery, and the slave trade within its own jurisdiction; to institute a thorough inquiry concerning these outrages upon humanity; to entertain a full and free discussion respecting them; and to enact such laws or devise such measures as shall tend to establish justice, in sure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare. Thus it is enabled, nay required, to to do indirectly, in effect, what it may not attempt to do by any direct action. For whatever may be said on the floor of Congress of the intrinsic wickedness of slaveholding, of its demoralizing influences, and its impoverishing tendency
-as reasons why it should be abolished in the Districtwill apply with equal pertinency to it elsewhere. And thus, while laboring as they have a right to do, nay are bound to do, under the Constitution to accomplish the redemption of the 7000 in the District, the friends of impartial liberty in Congress, will be loosening the chains of the millions of our countrymen, who are elsewhere groaning under our republican despots. This the slaveholders and their abettors foresee, and they are greatly alarmed at it. Conscious that the system, they would uphold, cannot bear to be scrutinized, they try to prevent the eye of inquiry from being turned towards it; and are therefore furious in their
states of Virginia and Maryland prescribed, in the cession of the District. But the history of that transaction does not inform us of any such conditions. The only article in "the Act of cession," which prescribes any limitations to the possession thereby given of the District, or any limitations to the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress, is the following "Provided that nothing herein contained, shall be construed to vest in the United States any right of property in the soil, or to affect the rights of individuals therein" (i. e. in the soil) "otherwise than the same shall or may be transferred by such individuals to the United States." (Burch's Digest, p. 214.) We have also the opinions of some of our ablest civilians, that it is within the power of Congress to control, regulate or abolish the institution of slavery in the District. Nor indeed do we see how it would have been Constitutional for Congress to have acceeded to any such condition, as is supposed to have been prescribed, seeing the language of the Constitution is explicit and imperative on this point, that it "shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever."-Fourth Annual Report of Mass. A. S. Society.
bat slavery; and it must yield! This system of abominations will be uprooted, overthrown, annihilated! The fear and fury of its supporters are presages of our victory. They dare not commit their base cause to an honorable conflict with facts and arguments, in the fair field of free discussion. But come they must to this. They may vapor, and vaunt, and threaten and rave. But all this will be of no avail. The spirit of our Constitution, and the spirit of our age demand, that nothing should stand, which cannot stand on its own merits. They my secede from the Union, but this will give them no relief. They will be just as near to God, just as near to truth, just as near to the abolitionists. They must secede from the earth; nay, they must dissolve the moral government of the universe, before they can escape the necessity of meeting openly and fairly the great question of liberty and slavery. They cannot avert the discussion, nor avert its issue, which must be fatal to slavery.
"guided by our country's laws,
IS SLAVERY FROM ABOVE OR FROM BENEATH?
"Every GOOD gift, and every perfect gift, is from ABOVE, and cometh down from the FATHER OF LIGHTS.'
Outline of an inquiry into the genius of the Mosaic system, and the teachings of the Old Testament on the subject of human rights.
THE spirit of slavery never takes refuge in the Bible of its own accord. The horns of the altar are its last resort. It seizes them, if at all, only in desperation-rushing from the terror of the avenger's arm. Like other unclean spirits, it hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its deeds should be reproved. Goaded to madness in its conflicts
with common sense and natural justice, denied all quarter, and hunted from every covert, it breaks at last into the sacred enclosure, and courses up and down the Bible, seeking rest and finding none. THE LAW OF LOVE, Streaming from every page, flashes around it an omnipresent anguish and despair. It shrinks from the hated light, and howls under the consuming touch, as the demoniacs recoiled from the Son of God and shrieked, "Torment us not."
At last it slinks among the shadows of the Mosaic system, and thinks to burrow out of sight among its types and symbols. Vain hope! Its asylum is its sepulchre; its city of refuge, the city of destruction. It rushes from light into the sun; from heat, into devouring fire; and, from the voice of God, into the thickest of His thunders.
If we would know whether the Bible is the charter or the death warrant of American slavery, we must first determine just what slavery is. In order to this, the thing itself must be separated from its appendages. A constituent element is one thing; a relation another; an appendage another. Relations and appendages presuppose and prove the existence of other things, of which there are relations and appendages. To regard those as the things themselves to which they are attached, or as constituent parts of those things, leads to endless fallacies. A great variety of human conditions, relations, and tenures, and some of them not only innocent in themselves, but indispensable to the social state, are often confounded with slavery; and, thus, slaveholding comes to be regarded as quite harmless and even virtuous. We will specify some of the things which are often confounded with slavery.
I. POLITICAL DISABILITIES.—1. Privation of suffrage. Then minors, and, in some of the states, all, rot freeholders, are slaves.
2. Ineligibility to office. Then all females are slaves.
3. Taxation without representation. Then three fourths of the people of Rhode Island are slaves, and all in the District of Columbia.
4. Privation of one's oath in law. Then the free colored people of Ohio are slaves, and, in most of the states, all disbelievers in a future retribution.
5. Privation of trial by jury. Then the thirty millions in France, and as many more in Germany are slaves.
6. Being required to support a particular religion. Then all the English are slaves, and all the people of Connecticut previous to 1816, and of Massachusetts previous to 1821.
7. Cruelty and oppression. Wives are often cruelly treated; hired domestics are often oppressed; but these are very different forms of oppression from slavery.
8. Apprenticeship. The rights and duties of master and apprentice are correlative and reciprocal. The master's obligation to the apprentice is the tenure of his claim upon him; and the claim of the apprentice upon the master is inseparable from his obligation to the master. The doctrine of an equivalent for value received, is at the bottom of apprenticeship. The rights of the apprentice are secured and his interests are promoted equally with those of the master. Indeed the law of apprenticeship, while it is just to the master, is benevolent to the apprentice. Its main design is rather to benefit the apprentice than the master; to promote his interests, while guarding from injury those of the master in doing it. The law secures to the master, from the apprentice, a mere legal compensation; while it secures to the apprentice from the master both a legal compensation for value received, and, virtually, a gratuity in addition, inasmuch as the apprentice is of the two decidedly the greatest gainer. The law not only recognizes the right of the apprentice to a reward for his labor beyond his food, clothing, schooling, &c., but appoints the wages and enforces the payment. Further; the master's claim covers only the services of the apprentice, and those only on the fulfillment of specified conditions. The apprentice's claim covers equally the services of the master. The master cannot hold the apprentice as property, nor the apprentice the master; but each holds property in the services of the other, and BOTH EQUALLY. Is this slavery?
9. Filial subordination and parental claims. Both are nature's dictates, springing out of human necessities, and indispensable not only to the highest good of the whole, but to the very existence of the social state; their design the promotion of mutual interests and happiness; and the means, those natural affections created by the relation of
parent and child, and binding them in one by irrepressible affinities; and, thus, while exciting each to discharge those offices incidental to the relation and called for by the circumstances of the other, they constitute a shield for mutual protection. The parent's legal claim on the services of his children, while minors, is surely a meagre equivalent for the care and toil expended on their infancy and rearing, to say nothing of the outlays for their support and education. This legal provision for the good of the whole, is, with the greater part of mankind, indispensable to such an existence of the family state, as would make it a blessing. The child, in helping his parents, helps himself—increases a common stock in which he has a share; while his most faithful services but feebly acknowledge a debt which money cannot cancel.
10. Bondage for crime, or the claims of the government on criminals. Must innocence be punished because guilt suffers penalties? True, the criminal works for the government without pay; and well he may. He owes the government. A century's work would not pay its drafts on him. No matter how long he works for it, he is a public defaulter, and will die so. Because laws make men pay their debts, shall those be forced to pay who owe nothing? Besides, the law makes no criminal PROPERTY. It restrains his liberty: it makes him pay something, a mere penny in the pound, of his debt to the government; but it does not make him a chattel. Test it. To own property is to own its product. Are children born of convicts in state prisons government property? Besides, can property be guilty? are chattels punished?
11. Restrictions upon freedom. Children are restrained by parents-wards by guardians-pupils by teacherspatients by physicians and nurses-corporations by charters, and legislators by constitutions. Embargoes, tariffs, quarantines, imposts, vetoes, and acts of incoporation keep men from doing as they please. Are these restrictions slavery? Restraints are the web of civilized society, warp and woof. If they are slavery, civilized society is a mammoth slave a government of LAW, the climax of slavery, and its executive a king among slaveholders.
12. Involuntary or compulsory service. is impannelled against his will-and sit he must. orders his posse-bystanders must turn in.
A sheriff Neither love