xt7mkk947z7b https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7mkk947z7b/data/mets.xml Birney, James Gillespie, 1792-1857. 1834  books b92326b5362009 English Garrison and Knapp : Boston, Mass. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. African Americans --Colonization. African Americans --Colonization --Africa. Letter on colonization, addressed to the Rev. Thornton J. Mills, corresponding secretary of the Kentucky Colonization Society. text Letter on colonization, addressed to the Rev. Thornton J. Mills, corresponding secretary of the Kentucky Colonization Society. 1834 2009 true xt7mkk947z7b section xt7mkk947z7b 




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T H E author of the following letter is a gentleman of education and fortune, a native of K entucky, and allied by b irth and marriage to many o f the principal families of that stats. H e has resided fifteen years in A labama, where he maintained the highest standing, both as a citizen and a professional man. F o r several years he has been known through out the South West as a devoted, exemplary, and influential C hristian. O n bis return to K entucky, he was elected first V ice President of the State C olonization Society. In 1832, he was appointed by the A merican C olo nization Society their permanent agent, with a liberal salary, for Tennessee, A labama, Mississippi, L ouisiana, and A rkansas, a nd he faithfully laboured in the cause. His writings were copied with approbation in the official magazine of the Society. N o man has a better knowledge of c olonization, and its practical effects at the south. F e w cotdd have made greater sacrifices than he has done, by espousing., advocating, and p ractising sentiments so obnoxious and unpopular as those of an " A bolitionist." N o document before the public on any subject exhibits greater ability. S uch a man has a right to be heard, a nd his arguments should be weighed with respect by every citizen of this nation.






Corresponding Society.



the Kentucky


SIR :     A t the a nnual m e e t i n g o f the " K e n t u c k y C o l o n i z a t i o n S ociety" in J a n u a r y l ast, i t p leased the m embers to e lect m e one c<| o f its V i c e P residents. 1 a m by no m eans i nsensible to the favor^Y" a ble o p i n i o n , w h i c h placed me i n c o m p a n y w i t h s uch a ble a nd $0* h onorable a ssociates : but I should be u n w o r t h y o f it, and w anting i n r espect to the officers and m embers, d id I not frankly a v o w , t hat m y o pinions o f colonization, in s ome o f its m ost e ssential . f eatures, h ave u ndergone a c hange, so g reat, as to m ake i t i n i , p erative o n me no l onger to give to the e nterprise t hat s upport ^ m il favor w h i c h are justly e xpected f rom a l l c onnected w i t h it. ),    In leaving m y s tation, i t is due to the g entlemen w i t h w h o m I


J AS. O. BIRNEY'sj L E T T E R .

h ave been associated, as w ell a s to myself, t hat I s hould at least g ive s ome o f the reasons w hich h ave persuaded me to this course. T h a t all the grounds necessary for an impartial and intelligent j udgment may be exhibited, I think it not unimportant to s tate, t hough very b riefly, the relation in w hich I h ave, for many years, s tood to the cause o f c olonization. A lthough a n ative o f K e n tucky, 1 r esided for fifteen years previously to last autumn, in the s tate o f A l a b a m a . It was in the year 1826, not very (ong after the publication o f the " A frican R upository" was begun, at a t ime when l ittle h ad been said, at least in the W e s t and Southwest, on the subject o f colonization, t hat it first arrested m y attention. I considered it, and I doubt not by very many o f those w ho g ave it their early support it was intended, as a scheme o f b enevolence to the whole colored population, and sis a germ of effort c apable o f expansion a dequate to our largest necessities in t he extermination o f slavery. It was on the 4th o f J u l y o f this y ear, t hat, u niting my o w n to the contributions o f other gentlemen a nd ladies privately s olicited b y myself, I was enabled to s end on to the T r e a s u r e r o f the " A m e r i c a n C olonization S ociety" the first c ollection o f money, so far as my information extends, t hat w as made for its purposes in H untsville, t he place o f my r esidence. I f I remember accurately, collections were afterwards t aken up, and the subject presented to the congregation f rom t he p ulpit f or several successive 4ths o f J u l y , i n the church I attended In t he summer o f 1332, I received f rom t he Secretary o f the A m e r i c a n C olonization S ociety a letter announcing to me my ap p ointment as its general Agent for the district composed o f T e n [lessee, A l a b a m a , L o u i s i a n a , M ississippi, a nd Arkansas. T h e c ompensation to be received for my services, though far inferior to the avails o f my professional labors, was altogether l iberal. It was, indeed, as much as I w ould h ave demanded, in the existing s tate o f the society's means, had it been left to me to fix the a mount. A fter t a k i n g such time as I thought necessary for de l iberation i n a matter so nearly touching my private interest, a gainst the advice o f nearly all my friends I consented to undertake the agency ; so strongly was I i mpelled b y the b elief t hat it w as a g reat w ork o f philanthropy to w hich I w as summoned, a nd t hat it c ould even in the South, be conducted to eminent success, especially when undertaken by one o f her own citizens ( himself f rom b oyhood a slaveholder) who c ould b ring to the aid o f p rudence and a sound character o nly m oderate qualifications o f t alent and address. T h e claims o f colonization I presented v ery f ully a t nearly t ill the important points in the district assigned m e, w ith a z eal t hat w as unchecked by ordinary obstacles, and w ith a s uccess disproportioned to be sure to the sanguine expec Cations w ith w hich I h ad set out, but not perhaps to the genuine m erits o f the cause. I have thought proper, thus, very cursorily,



to refer to the circumstances mentioned above, not only to show t hat I h ave been in a situation affording good opportunities to j udge o f the operation o f the principles upon which colonization h as been recommended and urged upon the public m i n d , but t hat I h ave been habitually friendly to i t ; -zealous in promoting its s uccess, and therefore inclined to indulge toward it a favorable j udgment. It might not, however, be improper further to add, t hat M r . P olk o f W a s h i n g t o n arrived in H u n t s v i l l e as Agent o f the A m e r i can Colonization Society, in the end o f 1829. A fter h e had consulted with several of the most intelligent and philanthropic gentlemen o f the place, t ogether w ith myself, it was determined upon, i n o rder to embody and excite to activity so much o f public sentiment as might be found favorable, to a ttempt t he organization of an auxiliary Colonization Society. In this effort, successful b eyond what had been looked for, I gave such aid as I was capable o f g iving, b y an a ddress to the assembly favorable to the p roposition. T h e society, t hus o rganized, contained w ithin it the v ery best m aterials the place afforded, and its reception by the c ommunity was, at first, encouraging beyond expectation. T h i s w as the first instance o f direct action in the South, for the benefit o f any p art o f the colored population, o f w h i c h I then had a p ersonal knowledge. I was greatly encouraged at the favorable a spect o f things on this, the first t rial, f or it was m ade i n a t own where, considering its size, t here i s unusual concentration o f i ntelligence, a nd in the very midst o f a population numbering a m ajority o f blacks. A t t hat t ime, I believed t here w as in the p roject so much o f a v ivifying s pirit, t hat t o e nsure s uccess it was o nly n ecessary for the people o f the South once to become interested i n it, t hat t here w as in it so much o f the energy o f l ife t hat it r equired nothing more than once to be set on foot, to put beyond a ll q uestion its continuance and growth. A s auxiliary to the i m pulses o f benevolence, I calculated upon the selfish a dvantages to the South. T h e s e I thought, could be so clearly and powerfully e xhibited, t hat t here w ould be n one t o gainsay or resist, and t hat, by the union o f benevolence and selfishness, the co-operation o f the whole South might be secured. I unhesitatingly declare, t hat the total incongruity o f t hese t wo principles did not stiike m y m ind a s it has done, since I witnessed their dissociable and mutually d estructive energy. O f the truth o f this remark, the H u n t s v ille s ociety w i l l f urnish good evidence, for notwithstanding its a uspicious beginning, and the excitement o f eloquent and animati n g a ddresses, d elivered, at different times, by gentlemen o f distinguished a bility, i t never was efficient, its excitability wore away as it advanced i n age, and it protracted a languishing existence u ntil l ast autumn, w h e n , I apprehend, it terminated its being, e xcept in name.




J A 3.




O ther i nstances might be g iven t ending to c onfirm t he same re m ark. M r . P olk s ucceeded, under the most encouragtng c ircumstances, in organizing a Slate Society, at Tuscaloosa, the s eat o f g overnment. It was w hilst the Supreme Court, and the L e g i s l a ture o f the s tate w ere in session. T h e most conspicuous gentlemen, m embers o f the bar, bench, and o f the general assembly, b ecame members, and very many o f them, i f I mistake not, life meinbevs. T h i s s ociety, a year afterwards, h eld i ts regular m eeting. T h e proceedings were somewhat o f a dissentious, not to say disorderly character. It never met again. In 1832, 1 m ade an attempt, in the prosecution o f my agency, to revive i i , hut its v itality w as thoroughly expended. I n N e w Orleans, as i n A l a b a m a , a c olonization s ociety had b een formed a few years ago, consisting o f more than eighty m e m b e r s ; and i ncluding i n t hat n umber many gentlemen o f the h ighest distinction for private worth, intelligence and p ublic i nfluence i n the s tate. W h e n I w as there, last year, it was w ith g reat d itfieulty t hat s ome h alf d ozen members c ould be assembled to transact any business connected w ith t he advancement o f the c ause ; the expedition for L i b e r i a j ust on the eve o f s ailing f rom t hat p ort, produced no f riendly e xcitement; the vessel [ A j a x ] c arrying o ut one hundred and fifty e migrants was permitted to l oose f rom t he levee, w ith n o effort by the friends o f c olonization t here, to produce the least throb o f sympathy in the p ublic m ini! ; a nd a city meeting o f w hich t ine notice had been c arefully j jiven, f ailed u tterly, in consequence o f the absence or the fears of gentlemen w ho had promised to participate in the p ublic e xercises. I m ention the institution o f the society at H untsville, a nd its decline, n ot for the purpose o f g iving its history as a matter o f interest i n itself, nor s olely, w ith the v iew o f showing my f riendly d isposition t owards c olonization ; but as an instance (to w hich t he condition o f the others mentioned, as w ell as t hat o f all the s maller s ocieties throughout the region in w hich I a cted, might be added,) f alling u nder my o w n observation, tending to demonstrate, the truth o f a proposition t hat e very day's experience is m a k i n g m ore palpable to my m ind, that t here i s not in c olonization a ny p rinciple, o r quality, or constituent substance fitted so to t ell u pon the h earts a nd minds of m e n as to ensure continued and p ersevering a ction. If t here be the connexion supposed, between the facts introduced above, and the proposition just stated, may 1 n ot ask y o u , sir, i f the l ittle t hat h as been done for c olonization by o ur own s tate, w here years ago it was welcomed w ith o pen a rms, and w ithin w hose l imits I c ould n ot state f rom p ersonal k nowledge t hat i t has a single enemy, and the present c rippled a nd u nmoving condition o f the numerous societies, a uxiliary to t hat w hose correspondence y o u so ably conduct, do not furnish t estimony v ery p owerful, i f not irresistible, t hat the whole matter

J AS. G . BIRNEv'S L E T T E R .

h as not in it any principle exciting to strenuous   to continuous a ction ? In s tating the objections t hat e xist in my m ind to colonization, r w ish i t to be understood distinctly at the o utset, t hat I d o not, i n the slightest degree, impute to the benevolent individuals by w hom it was originated, or even to a large majority o f those by w hom i t is s till w a r m l y cherished, any unworthy motive us p rompting t heir z eal. W h i l s t I v ery cheerfully attribute to this m ajority s tainless purity o f motive in what they have done, and are doing ; and further, a strong persuasion, t hat it is the o nly m eans o f rescue f rom the polluting and crushing folds o f slavery ; I s hould be insincere, were I not to state m y belief, t hat c olonization, i f not supported, is not objected to, by many a keen sighted s lave h older in the abstract, w ho has perspicacity enough to discern t hat the dark system in w h i c h he has i nvolved h imself, his p osterity and their interests, w i l l r emain as unaffected by it, as m id-ocean by the discharge o f a pop gun on the beach. N o r d o I intend to be understood, us m a k i n g any objection to the purpose o f the A m e r i c a n C olonization S ociety, as expressed i n its constitution, " to promote a plan for c olonizing ( tti'iA their consent) the free people o f c olor r esiding in our country, in A frica, o r such other place as Congress m a y deem most expedient." If its operations be l imited to the gratification o f an i ntelligent w ish, o n the part o f the free people o f color, or any other c lass o f our population, to remove to A f r i c a , w ith the v i e w o f establishing a c olony for the prosecution o f an honest commerce, o r f or any l awful p urpose whatever, t here c ould e xist, so far as 1 c an s ee, no reasonable ground o f opposition, any more than to t he migration, t hat i s n o w in progress, o f crowds o f our f ellow c itizens to T e x a s or any other part o f M e x i c o . I f, on the other h and, it is meant, t hat t his " consent" m ay l awfully be obtained by the imposition o f c ivil d isabilities, disfranchisement, exclusion f rom s ympathy ; by m a k i n g the free colored man the v ictim o f a r elentless proscription, prejudice and scorn ; by rejecting altogether his oath in courts o f j ustice, t hus l eaving his property, his p erson, his w ife, h is children, and all t hat G o d has by his very c onstitution m ade dear to h i m , unprotected f rom the outrage and i nsult o f every unfeeling tyrant, it becomes a solemn farce, it is t he refinement o f inhumanity, a mockery of all mercy, it is c ruel, u nmanly, a nd meriting the just indignation o f every A m e r i c a n , a nd the noble nation t hat b ears h is name. T o say t hat t he expression o f " consent" t hus e xtorted is the approbation of the mind, is as preposterous as to a ffirm t hat a m a n consents to surrender h is p urse, on the condition t hat y o u s pare h is l ife, o r, to be transported to Botany B a y , when the hand o f despotism is ready to s tab h i m to the h eart.


J A 3 . G. liiRNEY 's


N o w , i f the C olonization S ociety has done   is d o i n g this ; i f i t h as succeeded i n bringing around it, the learned, the religious, t he i n f l u e n t i a l ; i f by the m ultiplied r esolutions o f favoring legislatures, o f ecclesiastical bodies, w ith t heir hundred conventions, a ssemblies, conferences, and associations, it has so far exalted i tself i nto the high places o f public sentiment, as i tself to consti t ute p ublic sentiment; i f it has acquired g reat a uthority over the m ind o f this people, and u ses i t to encourage, and not to check t his h eartless a nd grinding oppression ; if, instead o f pleading for m ercy to the weak and helpless, it sanctifies the most open and c rushing i njustice, or even connives at it, by urging the necessity o f c olonization u pon the alleged ground o f the immutability o f t his s tate o f things, for the perpetuation of w hich i t is lending a l l i ts influence ; if, I say, it has done this, its unsoundness, its f oul n ess c annot be too soon, or too f ully e xposed, t hat t he just sentence o f condemnation may be passed upon it by every good man a nd patriot o f the land. W h e n , a lso, i n the progress o f its developement, it throws i tself b efore the p ublic, as the only effectual and appropriate rented} for s lavery, demanding upon t hat g round, o f the whole country a m onopoly o f its support, it is objectionable, as s eems to me, because o f the principles upon w h i c h i t is pressed upon the a ttention o f the c o m m u n i t y , b ecause o f their practical results, and of t he u tter i nadequacy o f colonization, whilst in connection w ith t hese p rinciples, to the extinguishment o f slavery. In order t hat the objections m a y be more distinctly exhibited, the}" w i l l be a rranged under the several general h eads o f



The practical


of Colonization

upon the


A l l g reat r evolutions o f sentiment i n m asses o f m e n , c alling, o f c ourse, for a corresponding change o f action, must lay their foundation i n some g reat principle ( or principles) undeniably t ree i n t heory; w h i c h a l l the facts pertaining to it, when taken singly tend to prove, and taken t ogether, f ully e stablish as true, to all unprejudiced minds. T h u s in religion   the g reat t ruth    man's entire alienation from God   is t he otdy one that h as ever been used successfully, to make men feel their need o f the remedy; p roposed by the gospel. A l l paring away, or attenuation o f this t ruth has, I apprehend, been attended w ith a c orresponding i n efiicacy i n the application of the remedy, and s imply o n this g round; t hat t he various p hases, a nd conditions, and circumstances o f m an's moral malady, tend i ndividually, to indicate this truth

J A3.




a nd no other, and in the a ggregate to establish it. T h e progress o f the temperance c ause w i l l s upply another llustration o f this p osition. T h e g reat t ruth h ere was   that jllcahol taken in any quantity   and in proportion to that quantity, is injurious to persons m health. M a n y a ttempts at public reformation had been made i n f ormer times, on the diluted principle, t hat a lcohol is injurious o nly w hen taken immoderately. T h e y were all unsuccessful W h e n the total exclusion from ordinary use o f ardent spirits, w as insisted upon, and a n earer a pproach to the t rue p rinciple was m ade, t here f ollowed a p roportionate success   so g reat, i ndeed, as to entitle the change effected in the habits o f the nation to the n ame o f ' Reformation.' But, 1 doubt i lot, i f it is to be made s till m ore thorough, or even to be held at its p resent s tate o f tension, a r esort to the t rue p rinciple o f entire abstinence from every t hing a lcoholic w ill be found necessary. A g a i n , S i r . W h a t was tho g reat t ruth, or p rinciple, u pon w hich the A m e r i c a n R evolution was supported? W a s it any other t han this, t hat ' all men arc created equal? ' T h i s was the trunk t hrowing o ut towards heaven its noble branches, ' t hat they are endowed by their Creator, with the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'' Y o u , I am sure, S i r , do n o t believe, t hat t his principle, had it suffered the least adulteration, w ould h ave been sufficiently v ivifying to produce the g reat r evolution t hat it did produce, in our condition; or, t hat h ad it been p olluted b y the smallest ingredient recognizing as true, the right o f o ne man to reign over his f ellow m en, for his o wn and not tJieir b enefit; or t hat a k not o f n obility w ere entitled to privileges independently o f merit; or t hat m en might jus.'y be compelled to worship G o d in a w a y w hich d id violence to their consciences; or, that i n fine, had the least particle o f impure leaven been kneaded into the elevating declaration o f man's equality, it w ould h ave retained t hat i ndistructible vigor, w hich i s, this moment, undermining t he foundation o f every tyrant's throne on earth. W h a t e v e r o f truth t here m ay be in the foregoing remarks, I w ish to apply it to the subject before us; to the a ttempt to show, t hat t he principles on w hich c olonization is recommended to the n ation, a rc unsound, imperfect and repugnant   Therefore, t hat t hey w i l l n ot, nay cannot, so long as man's n ature r emains as it i s, o perate e fficiently in producing a revolution in our p resent h abits so g reat as to extinguish slavery. T h e very n ature o f m i n d , c onfirmed by all ol>servation, proves the correctness o f this remark, t hat, w hen men are to be moved from their p resent p osition s till f urther on, i n a line with their habits, or prejudices, or passions, a false principle may be altogether a dequate, b ut w hen in opposition to them, t he principle on w h i c h a ction is demanded must be founded in the n ature o f things   it must be truth.


J AS. G . BIRNEY's L E T T E R .


N o w t he grounds upon w h i c h c olonization h as asked for favor f rom the people o f the U nited S tates, are m ainly t hese. 1. T h a t s lavery, as it is, i n our country, is justifiable, o r t hat immediate e mancipation i s out o f the question. 2. T h a t the free colored p eople are, o f all classes in the community, the most a n n o y i n g to u s; the most hopeless, degraded, v icious a nd unhappy, and t hat, t herefore   3. W e ought, in the exercise o f a sound p olicy foi o urselves, a nd f rom s ympathy w ith t hese p eople, to remove them to A frica, w here the causes o f their degradation, v ice, a nd misery w ill n ot f ollow t hem. 4. T h a t we s hall, i n sending them to L i b e r i a , by t heir instrumentality in c i v i l i z i n g a nd christianizing A f r i c a , p ay in some measure the debt we owe to t hat c ontinent for the m ighty t respass w e have committed upon her. H e r e w e see a strange mixture o f true p rinciples, w ith o thers t hat a re utterly false. N o one w i l l c ontrovert, for a moment, the p osition t hat w e ought to f eel s ympathy, aye, even to w e e p i n g . w ith t hat p oor and defenceless class among us, whose degradation a nd m isery originated in the avarice and pride o f our ancestors, a nd h ave been kept a live b y the same active passions i n us their d escendants^ . N o r w ill i t be more disputed, when it is rememb ered, t hat w e have not been the least efficient o f the parties in j. the great confederacy made up o f Pagan and M a h o m e d a n , C atho lio a nd Protestant, C hristian a nd I nfidel, t hat h as torn f rom A f r ica m ore than F O R T Y M I L L I O N S o f her sons and daughters, c onsigning t hem to hopeless and cruel bondage; so c ruel, so h opeless, t hat t here r emains not to this day, o f t hat v ast number, m ore than one fourth, after taking into the account all their l iatuMil i ncrease. I ropea., w h e n this is remembered in all its flug raucy, n o one w i l l d eny t hat w e owe to t hat i ll-fated p eople a d ebt o f f rightful a mount. B u t these true p rinciples, founded in sympathy w ith the i n j ured, a nd in a desire to repay what justice d emands; tending too, i n t heir f air a nd unobstructed influence, to the annihilation of s lavery, a re adulterated, rendered ineffectual, by being m i x e d u p w ith o thers t hat a re, in my v i e w , t otally false and unsound: v i z . t hat i t is a law of necessity that the free colored people should f orever r emain degraded and unhappy w hilst t hey continue a mong us, and, t hat i t is l awful, r ight, just, before G o d and m a n , in certain cases, in existing circumstances, ( o f w hich c ircumstances the wrongdoers arc the exclusive judges,) to h old o ur f ellow m an a J p roperty. So far f rom t his compound o perating to the exteri nitiation o f slavery, it is a l l t hat the veriest slaveholder in the abs tract ( i f t here be such a thing) asks; make to him but this conc ession, a dmit but this single ingredient, t hat, i n present circumstances, h e may h old h is fellow creature as properly, a nd y o u may m ake up the remainder o f the mass w ith w hatever ingredients best s uit y o u r feelings or your fancy; y o u may thunder a w a y w ith


you win kno p ovi hoes L trait whe 3ve i nge h as requ the 1 our to oi wout is fu poor necti slavt in it, t riun grad w hei mani l iber e d, n evidi destr happ Bt doctt the v ism ; ject t we a they been ly be t hat i i'eil, other to ab u pon equa has t f ount


y our c olonization and gradual emancipation speeches ' u ntil t he w inds d o crack their cheeks,' he feels easy and unconcerned, k n o w i n g , t hat h is interests are under convoy o f a false p rinciple, p owerful i n its influence, and overmastering, when running, as it b oes here, coincident w i t h h abits, and prejudices, and passions. L e t u s s uppose, for a moment, what w ould b e the probable t rain o f reflections, coursing through the m ind o f a slaveholder, w hose conscience had been somewhat aroused and was on the rwe o f healthful pulsations, after having heard one o f our most i ngenious a nd eloquent colonization speeches: ' ' T i s true, G o d h as said he has made of one blood all nations of men; t hat ho has r equired o f us at all times, to do justice and love mercy; a nd, in the history o f the good S a m a r i i a n , has taught u s t hat alt men arc our neighbors:   He has enjoined upon us love to our neighbor as to ourselves, a l ove t hat wor'clh no ill to him, a nd whatsoever we would that men should do unto us, we .    hould so do unto them. It is f urther true, t hat G o d has declared 1 m self t he avenger o f the p oor a nd the oppressed, and t hat h e has hitherto, inseparably con n ected w ith s lavery, the corruption a rid e ffeminacy o f the en s lavers; t hat h e has brought upon all nations who have persisted i n i t, judgments desolating and a wful, a nd given to the oppressed, t riumph i n the land, t hat h as looked upon their sufferings and degradation. I remember, too, t hat the Fathers o f our country w hen c ontending against tyranny, declared in the most solemn m anner, t hat all men are created equal, t hat t heir right to l ife, l iberty, a nd the pursuit o f happiness, is a truth t hat h as been e volved, n ot f rom a c omplicated train o f premises, but t hat i t is ' selfevident,' a nd, t hat w henever any f orm o f government becomes d estructive to l ife, a nd interferes unnecessarily w ith o ur pursuit o f h appiness, it is the right o f the oppressed to abolish it. B u t w hat do 1 n ow hear, f rom s tatesmen, orators, politicians, d octors of l a w , and doctors o f d ivinity, i n f ine, f rom m en, w h o m the whole country delight to honor for their intelligence, patriotism a nd r eligion, a nd who k n o w much more o f this delicate subject than I do? W i t h o ne consent, they say in substance, t hat w e are not under obligation, now, to do unto others as we w ould t hey should do unto us; or i f we are, our slaves whose lot has been ordered by G o d h imself so much !>elow ours, cannot certainly be included in the number to w h o m this obligation is due: t hat all m en are not c reated equal; in as much us some are authorised, n ay required, under existing circumstances, t o w ithhold f rom o thers their liberty, to b lock u p every avenue to their happiness, to abridge their l ives b y reducing them to slavery, and i nflicting u pon t hem all its concomitant enormities. O r i f men are created e qual, e ducation, and the influences under w h i c h t heir character h as been formed, have made them unequal; t herefore, i f t here be f ound a h r p e number o f our f ellow-mrn r educed to tnis i nnqunli-





t y, s unk into tho low grounds o f slavery, and suffering its hope d estroying s orrows, they must he t here d etained 'for the present,' ' as things now are,' u ntil t hey can be gradually prepared   it may b e, after some h alf d ozen generations have gone to their eternal h ome   for t heir safe transfer f rom t lip s uffocating feculence of s lavery t o the pure and health-giving air o f the high-grounds ol f reedom. A n d in reference to slavery itself, 1 hear it said   however h ateful, and w icked, a nd deserving o f tho execration o f every g entleman a nd christian, it ma} b e, in the abstract, h owever s inful o ur remote ancestors may have been in suffering it to be imposed o n them, and tho intervening generations in continuing it, y et, in the process by w hich i t has been transmitted d own to us n otwithstanding i ts v ictims h ave been m ultiplied to M I L L I O N S , a nd c ries, and tears, and curses, have in unbroken mass, ascendod, d ay and night, to G od's t hrone, it has been p urified f rom a ll its g uilt a nd injustice, and we now, i nstead o f rebuke and censure, d eserve somewhat, at least, o f sympathy and praise for submitting, w ith s o much patience, to the e vil o f keeping our ' neighbors,' l oaded w ith c hains and fetters o f interminable bondage.

A n d a m I not further t old, t hat t he free c olored p eople o f bur c ountry a re the most degraded and unhappy class o f the c o m m u nity; i s it not c ontinually a sserted, and I begin almost to believe i t, t hat o ur slaves are in a better c ondition, m ore happy, and c ontented than they ? W o u l d i t not then bo a great departure f rom the law of love, a w ant o f charity to m y trusty slave, whose fathers s erved m ine, and who is n o w f aithfully s erving me, to release h im f rom b ondage, and bestow upon h i m t hat f reedom w hich m ust degrade h i m f rom h is present comparatively enviable caste, a nd c onsign h i m to one in w hich he and t ill h is posterity must f orever r emain miserable? N o w in all this c onflict o f old truths, o f t he truths o f G od's w ord, a nd o f our government, w ith the p revailing a nd popular commentaries upon them, what s hall I d o.' T h i s I w i l l d o     T o say the least o f it, it is a ' delicate question;' it h as intrinsic difficidties, t herefore I ought to let it alone. M y own c ase is a peculiar o ne; I am in circumstances o f w hich no o ne is q ualified, o r has ( o f this 1 a m pretty sure) authority to j udge except myself. T h e s e may and probably w ill c ontinue unchanged d u r i n g my l ife, a nd, for aught t hat a ppears, they may r emain 'present circumstances,'' to my great, great grand c hildren; and t hus they, too, may enjoy all the advantages, without the sin o f s lavery. H o w e v e r , let the sin ami danger be what they may i n f uture, posterity w ill t ake care o f itself; ' providences' w i l l relieve t hem; it is no business o f mine; so I w i l l let alone the whole m atter.' N o w , s ir, this is a case o nly s upposed to occur on the presentation o f some e f the grounds o f colonizationists i n relation to s lavery. B u t , I doubt not, it is often an actual case, and that

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thus slavery as it U in practice'" i s j ustified.; t he consciences of m en a re put at e ase; t he great duty of m a n to do unto others as he w ould t hey should do unto h i m , and the great truth, t hat ' all men are created cfptal,' o n w hich o ur republican institutions stand, virtually lived do