0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


item | thumbnails | details | text | pdf
Download this image
A D D R E s s TO THE PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY, ON THE SUBJECT OF EMANCIPATION. FELLOrW-CITIZENS: In August next the duty I of selecting delegates to the Convention called to remodel the Constitution of ourbeloved Corn- monwealth, will devolve on you. You have already been frequently addressed by those in favor of certain proposed reforms, who have not seen fit to urge on your attention the necessity of reform in relation to the greatest evil under w hich we labor. We regard slavery as by far the greatest of all the evils now afflicting the peopleof this State, and are deeply solieitousX that some steps shall be taken toward its gradu- al removal from among us. It is our present purpose to urge you to cooperate with us in the great and good work of Emancipation. We beg you to give us3 your attention while we proceed to enumerate some of the evils which slavery in- flcts onus, and to point out some ofthe many benefits which would result from its removal. I had control, by his will. In a letter to Genele8 Lafayette he said: "The benevolence of YOUr heart, my dcear Marquis, isso conspicuouson alloccasion;, that I never wonder at fresh proof-s of it; but your late purchase of an estate in the colony of Cay- enne, with a view of emancipating the slaves, is a genewous and noble proof of your humanil) . Would to God, a like spirit might diffitse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country! But I despair of seeing it. Some pe- titions were presented to the Assembly at its lasJ isession, for the abolition of slavery; but the' could scarcely obtain a hearing." In another letter addressed to John F. Mercer, he said: "1 never mean, unless some particlIlar cirt- cumstances should compel me to it, to possess another slave by purchase; it being among ma first wishes to see some plan adopted by mrhich sic- very in this anvrtry may be abolished Iy low." Mr. Jeffeison's abhorianie of slavery was of- When we examine American slavery by the teIm V pilms a. Allt LIiV 0r16--lp'- light of history, we find it condemned by large clarasion of Independence, he expressed the and respectable meetings of the citizens in the greatest indignation towards the British King slave States before the Revolution. We find the for capturing and bringing to the colonies I'a di deliberate opinions of such men as Washingtonant people who had never ofended him." In a Jefferson, Madison, Henry and Franklin record- letter to Mr. Warville, he gives the following ed against it. Commencing at the Revolution melancholy and yet trutlhful picture of slavery: and cominng down to our own day, we find a very "The whale commerce between master and large proportion of our own wisest legislators Slave is a peTpetu31 exercise of the most hoister. and statesmen testifying to its blighting and os passions; the most unremitting despotism nd s non the one part an'! degrading S 01' withering influence. In our own State. and in the other. Our children see this and larn tO the halls Of our own Legislature, it has frequent- imitate it; folrnman is an imitative animal. The ly been characterized as an institution weighing parent storms, the child looks on, catches the _o11th Poseit O t tae lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in down the prosperity of the State. the circle of smaler slaves, gives loose to his We venerate the memories of these men-the worst passions, and thus nursem, educated and lessons of political and moralwiadom'heytaught daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stain- ed by it with odious peculiarities. The man us we hope ever to cherish. Their opinions must be a prodigy who can retain his manners upon the great question of slavery must com- and morals undepraved by such circumstances, mand high respect from every well constituted And with what execration should the statesman mind, beloaded, who rermitting one-half the citizens Washingtnn, it is well known, provided for1 thus to trample on the rights of the other, trans Washington, it iq well known, provided fioT forms those into despots, and these into ene the emancipation of all slaves over whom he mies, destroys the morals of the one part. av4_