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The following additional resolution was adopted, Yeas, 33-Nays, 1.
Resolved, Tha slavery being an admitted moral and political evil, whose continuance, wherever it exists, is vindicated mainly on the ground of necessity, it should be circumscribed within the limits of the states where it has already been established; and that no new state should hereafter be admitted into the Union, whose constitution of government shall sanction or permit the existence of domestic slavery."
These resolutions were finally receded from by the Senate, not because they had any disposition to retreat from the principles laid down in them, but to preserve a greater majority in the House.
A decision has been given by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, whereby every slave brought by his master upon her soil, becomes free. The praise given to Massachusetts for this decision will sound almost as strangely hereafter, as the blame. No state that sincerely desires her soil to be free, can suffer any person to use the services of slaves upon it, and surely not a citizen of another state any more than one of her own. If a citizen of Louisiana may bring a troop of slaves at his heels, to be used as chattels or carried off as such, slavery is effectually reinstated in Massachusetts. Her own citizens have only to go to the great southern shambles and buy as much human flesh as they please. They may bring it home with them and use it as it is used in South Carolina. If there are any who think the citizens of Massachusetts so strong in virtue that she might safely have had the 'comity' to allow slaveholders commorant in her territory to enjoy the comfort of having their shoes untied and their coats unbuttoned by their own peculiar "property," let them remember that multitudes of the citizens of Massachusetts resort to the South to obtain wealth which is to be expended in their native state, and in their sojourn among slaveholders learn their ways. The case in question illustrates this remark. The girl Med, who was declared free by the Supreme Court, had been brought from New Orleans, by a Mrs. Slater, who came to reside with her father, Mr. Thomas Aves, in Boston. If the law had allowed this in one case, it might have done so in ten thousand. Slaves would soon form a prominent part of the fortunes brought back from New Orleans. The only wonder is, that Massachusetts should so long have neglected to defend herself from this inlet of slavery. The decision was, in
fact, the only means she had of preventing her own citizens from re-establishing slavery in her own territories.
While this action at the North assures us that we have not been laboring in vain to effect a change of public opinion here, there is not wanting a bow of hope even on the black cloud of the southern horizon. The tone of the South is lower. The slaveholding legislatures demanded of the free, that they should suppress abolitionism by penal enactments, which the free have refused to do. The earth is not moved from its course-the land does not bristle with steel nor flow with blood. The free states hold their place upon the map, and there is less prospect of a "Southern Convention" than ever. Every day is making abolitionism better understood at the South, and while some, the more they know of it are the more exasperated, others, and their number is not small, are conscience smitten, and secretly pray that the cause of right may succeed. When it is remembered that slavery imposes upon all the whites at the South the most absolute and every-where-present despotism, that even individual slaveholders themselves are gagged by the inexorable system of which any one of them is but an infinitesimal part, it will not be wondered that southern abolitionism is secret and silent. Still it gives unquestionable signs of its existence. The very fear expressed by determined elaveholders would be proof enough of itself. When they represent themselves as reposing upon a magazine of gunpowder, it is at the doctrine. of immediate emancipation in the midst of them that they are frightened, and not at the danger of slave insurrection, which long familiarity has taught them in a great measure to despise. But with all their effort to convince the northern people that they are one on the subject of slavery, the fact leaks out that abolitionism is taking root among them.
The North Carolina Watchman, printed at Salisbury, says,
"It (the Abolition Party,) is the growing party at the North, we are inclined to believe that there is even MORE OF IT AT THE SOUTH THAN PRUDENCE WILL PERMIT TO BE OPENLY AVOWED: if ever this faction become the majority, of which there is great danger, &c."
Says a gentleman in a slave state, writing to the editor of the Philanthropist, "I am pleased with the onward movement of Anti-Slavery principles." A minister of the Gospel in Kentucky, writing to the same editor, says, that his neighbors "have no sympathy with the indignation generally
expressed at the South against the abolitionists," but on the other hand, consider the South "as infatuated to the highest degree." They also begin to express more horror at "the traffic in slaves by ministers of the Gospel," and have some scruples against hearing them preach.
The following testimonials have also been received by the editor of the Philanthropist, to the estimation in which his paper is held in the midst of slavery:
April 30, 1836.
"So far as the general principles of immediate abolition are developed here, so far opposition to them, as principles, ceases: and much of that heat manifested on the first appearance of the Philanthropist has cooled. Your course is generally approved, and your friends here trust and believe that as you have begun, so you will continue, mild, calm, Christian like-YET COOL, firm, and umoved."
From another in a Slave State, April 18, 1836.
"Your paper is regularly distributed here, and as yet works no incendiary results; and, indeed, so far as I can see, general satisfaction is here expressed, both as to the temper and spirit of the paper, and no disapprobation as to the results."
A gentleman in Kentucky wrote to Gerrit Smith, Esq. under date of August 31, 1836.
"I am fully persuaded, that the voice of the free states, lifted up in a proper manner, against the evil, will awaken them from their midnight slumbers, and produce a happy change.'
The Maryville Intelligencer, a newspaper in Tennessee, says,
Through the urgent solicitations of an esteemed friend, we have concluded to commence the publication, in our next paper, of "The Report of the Synod of Kentucky, proposing a plan for the moral and religious instruction of their slaves." It is an able document, and but for its length, and one or two occasional aberrations, from what we consider a fearless defence of the rights of man, we should not have hesitated to have given it a place in our columns some time ago."
The "Report" referred to, so far as the full exposure of the wickedness of slaveholding is concerned, is a thoroughly abolition document. It flinches from a "fearless defence of the rights of man," only in allowing that the slaveholder may be innocent when he holds the legal relation of master for the slave's good. This republication, we must remember, is after a law making it penal in Tennessee to receive any Anti-Slavery paper or pamphlet. Yes, making it a penitentiary offence to receive this very Report of the Kentucky Synod.
Even in the city of Charleston itself, where more than one thousand human beings are sometimes advertised to be sold at auction, in a single newspaper, the Common Council has had under consideration a proposal for "the establish
ment of a mart for the sale of negroes, in a place more remote from observation, and less offensive to the public eye, than the one now used for that purpose."
At the session of the New-York Annual Conference, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in June, last year, exceptions were made by a prominent member to the ministerial character of the Rev. S. C. D. for reading and showing an abolition paper to some of his parishioners. During the examination, there was present a southern travelling preacher, a resident of a slaveholding state.
When the Conference adjourned, he came to the minister whose conduct was censured, and addressed him as follows:
"Don't give it up-don't bow down to slavery. You have thousands at the South who are secretly praying for you; they get some of your publications, and they are converted by them. The Abolitionists have not misrepresented things; they have not yet told half the abominations of slavery."
A gentleman present who was struck with this avowal, took occasion to make particular inquiries of this southern minister, and he confirmed the following statements:
"1. That the South is not that unit of which the pro-slavery party boast. There is a diversity of opinion among them in reference to slavery; and that it is only Lynchism, or the reign of terror, which suppresses an expression of their opinions.
"2. That there are thousands who believe slaveholding sinful, particularly among the less opulent part of the community-that these were secretly wishing the abolitionists success, and did believe that God would bless the present movements to destroy slavery.
"3. That in despite of some northern postmasters and southern mail violators, Anti-Slavery publications find their way to the South-are read, and make converts. Hence the anticipations of Duff Green are verified, who was more afraid that the abolitionists would convert the southern master, than that they would incite the slave to insurrection. And,
"4. That those ministers of the Gospel and ecclesiastical bodies who indiscriminately denounce the abolitionists, without doing any thing themselves to remove slavery, have not the thanks of thousands at the South-but, on the contrary, are viewed as taking sides with slaveholders, and recreant to the principles of their own profession." Zion's Watchman.
Testimony of this kind might be extended through many pages, and however apocryphal some may please to consider it, to the spirits of those who have been toiling under the burden and heat of this cause, it has been as springs in the desert. But setting the testimony aside, ought any man, on the ground of human nature itself, to doubt the existence of such feelings at the South? An entire community can hardly be made to harmonize in any system or theory, right or wrong, much less can full concurrence be secured to a system of practical oppression. Never was the enginery of
self-interest set in fuller motion than to secure "unity of faith" under the Roman Pontiffs of a few centuries ago.How few and faint and hopeless the sparks of free thought, that no sooner appeared above the surface, than they were drowned in an ocean of omnipresent despotism! Hear the universal acclaim of Europe, like the waves of the sea, shouting Hosanna to the Pope? Who would have thought that the tremendous power of that system, binding every man, from the throne to the dunghill, with the three-fold cord of superstition, lucre and lust could be broken. Who would have thought that there slumbered under that sea of corruption a moral energy which would one day make the spiritual Autocrat content to retain the shadow of his power? Yet such an energy there was, which when kindled to action, like the gunpowder in the granite rock, was the more efficient from the firmness of the barriers which enclosed it. Just so, there is mind at work, under the iron rule of the slave system which no voice reveals, but which works the more powerfully for that. The more profound the silence now, the louder the explosion by and by.
To these sources of hope, we may add the recent developements of a Providence which never establishes the throne that frames mischief by a law. The commercial world is now passing into one of those collapses which never fail to succeed an overblown system of credit. The scramble for wealth has probably been rendered more than usually ardent and headlong by the general peace which has existed since the last great man-tiger was caged at Waterloo. Men have not been contented to await the natural products of capital and industry; nor fairly to share with each other the results when they came. There has been a prodigious effort, by blowing up the system of credit on the one hand, to convert the products of the future into the wealth of the present, and on the other, to forestall and monopolize the wealth that is to be. There has been a general system of crediting to be credited, the men of real wealth little recking that in thus avariciously grasping for more, they have been bidding premiums for idleness and dishonesty. Among those who have seized these premiums with most avidity, and whose faithlessness is doing most to bring the whole system to its ruin, are the slaveholders. Since the genius of Arkwright took the distaff and the spindle from the hands of the busy housewife, and multiplying them by