Anti-slavery and Reform Papers
S. Sonnenschein & Company, 1890 - 141 pages
This book contains a compilation of Henry David Thoreau's works about slavery and civil reform. Its editor, H.S. Salt, introduced Thoreau's works to Mahatma Ghandi.
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Page 24 - Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, As his corse to the rampart we hurried ; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot O'er the grave where our hero we buried. We buried him darkly at dead of night, The sods with our bayonets turning ; By the struggling moonbeam's misty light And the lantern dimly burning. No useless coffin enclosed his breast...
Page 22 - But it is not the less necessary for this ; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.
Page 27 - There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin, sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing...
Page 30 - Thus, under the name of Order and Civil Government, we are all made at last to pay homage to and support our own meanness.
Page 34 - ... I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name— if ten honest men only— ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America. For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.
Page 23 - Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law...
Page 25 - ... distinctions, they are as likely to serve the Devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it. A wise man will only be useful as a man, and will not submit to be "clay...
Page 50 - ... treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellowmen. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Page 40 - Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.
Page 25 - How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.