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Page iv of The American slave code in theory and practice: its distinctive features shown by its statutes, judicial decisions, and illustrative facts.

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iv L E T T E R TO T H E A U T H O R . p ositions and demonstrations. The b ook i s not only true, Y o u show us the rack b ut i t is unquestionably time. c onstructed " according to l a w ; " we examine, at our l eisure, t he cruel but s kilful c ontrivance of its machinery; w e see the ministers of the law bind the v i c t i m on the i nstrument o f t o r t u r e ; we see one feature of humanity a fter a nother crushed and obliterated, t i l l a t last an i mmortal m an, made a l ittle l ower than the angels, and f or whose redemption the Son of God shed his blood on t he cross, is converted into a beast of burden a vendible a nimal, s courged at the w i l l o f its owner, and offered for sale i n the market w i t h horses and oxen. Y o u r b ook w i l l t ake from our N o r t h e r n dough-faces a nd s lave-catchers the flattering unction they are l aying t o their souls that " U n c l e Tom's C a b i n " i s a gross e xaggeration; that, of course, slavery is, after a l l , not so v ery b a d ; and that they, i n doing its biddings, are not as base as they seem to be. Y o u show them that the most e diicated a nd refined among the slaveholders have, for the p ast century, as legislators, been deliberately enacting the m ost fiendish of laws, i n utter defiance of the moral sense o f m ankind, a rid t he precepts of the blessed gospel of the L o r d J esus; and that their grave and learned judges k a v enfoi'ced these accursed statutes, i n a l l their execrab