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4 > Page 4 of American churches the bulwarks of American slavery / by James G. Birney.

4 then the minister invited him and another lawyer to meet Weld at dinner at his house. Here, also, the rigrht of property in man problem was in order. But to the stunning surprise of the minister, he learned that Birney was already fully convinced, intellect- ually, that only the right of the kidnapper could be urged for holding such property ; and that kidnapped human chattels could never be owned, or held as lawful possessions, though sanctified by transfer and conveyance through a thousand generations The discussion continued, earnest and more earnest, all day and evening, even the minister's wife leaning to the Birney side; tea was had and drank; and at a late hour Mr. Birney invited Weld to dinner next day with him, and to come to his office in the morning. And he went in the morningf and found his host in profound meditation, sitting alone in the inner office, and readv to confess that he had slept only little the past night, but that he was fully assrired of his duty, and that his slaves must have their freedom, then numbering, as Mr. Weld now thinks, forty-two. Mr. Birney had for some years been giving much thought to the African-colonization system. He had even accepted an agency in that iniquitous and slavery devised and slavery cherished enterprise, his field of operations including five of the large slaveholding states. But he soon found himself laboring in the interest of a movement adapted and intended to perpetuate the very curse he himself deplored, and was working, as he supposed, to destroy. So, having already liberated his slaves, and generously provided for their well-being and well-doing so far as he wvag able, he espoused the cause of "immediate and uncon- ditional emancipatioDn," and by purse, pen, and voice com- mencedits proclaination. Driven fromhis native state for his anti-slavery fidelity, lie crossed over into Ohio and estab- lished an anti-slavery newspaper. But he was repeatedly mobbed, his press, types, paper, and other office property being( taken out and sunk in the Ohio river, the city authori- ties in large numbers evidently sanctioning, as did many of