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8 > Page 8 of American churches the bulwarks of American slavery / by James G. Birney.

8 and connected with the principal chain. They are in this way driven along the highways (the small boys, the women, aned girls following), without any release from their chains till they arrive at the ultimate place of sale, Here they occupy barracoons, till they are disposed of, one by one, or in lots, to those who will give most for them. III. Ministers and office-bearers, and members of churches are slaveholders-buying and selling slaves (not as the regular slave-trader), but as their convenience or interest may from time to time require. As a general rule, the itinerant preachers in the Methodist church are not permitted to hold slaves-but there are frequent exceptions to the rule, especially of late. IV. There are in the United States, about 2,487,113 slaves, and 386.069 free people of color. Of the slaves, 80,000 are members of the Methodist church; 80,000 of the Baptist; and about 40,000 of the other churches. These church members have no exemption from being sold by their owners as other slaves are. Instances are not rare of slaveholding members of churches selling slaves who are members of the same church with them- selves. And members of churches have followed the business of slave-auctioneers. V. In most of the slave states the master is not per- mitted formally to emancipate, unless the emancipated person be removed from the state (which makes the formal act unnecessary), or, unless bya special act of the legislature. If, however, he disregard the law, and per- mit the slave to go at liberty and " do" for himself, the law-on the theory that every slave ought to have a mas- ter to see to him-directs him to be sold for the benefit of the state. Instances of this, however, must be very rare. The people are better than their laws-for the writer, during a residence of more than thirty years in the slave states, never knew an instance of such a sale, nor has he ever heard of one that was fully proved to have taken place. VI. There is no law in any of the slave states forbid- ding the slaveholder to remove his slaves to a free state; nor against his giving the slaves themselves a " pass" for that purpose. The laws of some of the free states present obstructions to the settlement of colored persons within