xt7wwp9t2371 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7wwp9t2371/data/mets.xml Pendleton, J. M. (James Madison), 1811-1891. 1849  books b92326p3744lb2009 English N/A : Bowling Green, Ky. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Slavery --United States --Controversial literature --1849. Letters to Rev. W. C. Buck, in review of his articles on slavery text Letters to Rev. W. C. Buck, in review of his articles on slavery 1849 2009 true xt7wwp9t2371 section xt7wwp9t2371 


W. C.




J. M .


T hese l etters were published o riginally i n the L ouisville E xaminer.

J uly 7, 1849. J Messrs. Editors: T he f ollowing i s the first of a 8 eriesofletlers addressed to Rev. W i n . C . B uck, i n r eview of his articles on " S l a v e r y , " w hich appeared in the Baptist Banner a few weeks s ince. W ishing m y replies published i n his o wn p aper, I s ent to h i m about a month ago the communication I now inclose to you; but it w as returned to me by the last m a i l , a ccompanied w itli a p olite apology for its long detention, a nd a courteous refusal to admit it into his c olumns. I do not complain of this. H e has only e xercised a n editorial right. It is true t hat as he had said in his first article, t hat v oters' 'should c almly a nd dispassionately investigate i t [the s lavery q uestion] in a ll i ts bearings,'' I was led to conclude t hat i n order to an "investigation," i t m ight be w ell to have something said on both sides of the question. I thought, too, t hat " i n a ll the bearings" of the ^subject, there m ight be some "bearings" favorable to Emancipation, a nd these I desired to present t o the readers o f the Banner. M any persons, I know, w ish to h ear b ut one side of a question t hat t hey may d ecide upon its merits, and it must be admitted t hat i t is easier to decide before both sides are h eard. Whether the decision is l ikely to be correct is another thing. M r . B . lays down some p rinciples, w hich, if carried out, w ould i nevitably l ead t othe e xtinction of slavery in Kentucky; a nd yet hi-_ articles are referred to by pro-slavery m en as a triumghant vindication of the system of s lavery. I am anxious for his pro-slavery m en to see t hat i f those p rinciples were acted o ut, Emancipation w ould t ake place. But they do not w ish to be troubled w ith a nti-slavery notions, and the Editor of the Banner is resolved t hat they shall not be so troubled. M essrs. E ditors, I throw m yself o n your clemency. W i t h a l l respect, J. M . P E N D L E T O N .

Dear S i r     I h ave read w ith deep i nterest the a rticles on slavery recently published in your paper. I have aimed to bestow upon them the i mpartial c onsideration requisite to a proper decision of a controverted question. It is gratify i ng to me to be able to say t hat m uch or wha y ou have written receives my hcarly endorsement. Some of your views I think objectionable, a nd my saying so w i l l , I a m sure, give you no offence. Y o u prize the privilege of thinking for y ourself too highly, to refuse to accord it to others. Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are, in A merican e stimation, two rights of i ncalculable value. W i l l y ou, in your kindness, permit me to notice a few of the positions you have assumed? I f m y communications are not perfectly respectful, I hereby authorise you to commit them to the flames. A n d lest you may be disturbed by the apprehension t hat I s hall draw too largely on your columns, I now s tate t hat I do not expect to write more than three or four sheets. I t is proper, also, for me to say, t hat b ut for my absence from home, and other circumstances, y ou w ould h ave heard from me at an earlier d ay. I p erceive from your first article, t hat you have f allen i nto a very common but, as I conceive, u naccountable error. Y o u refer to the question of s lavery as " a purely p olitical o ne," and on this a ccount you are disposed to leave it "to U npolitical p ress." Suffer me courteously but emphatically to dissent from this opinion. If any question more deeply and v itally i nvolving m orals and r eligion, ever came before the voters of K e n tucky, I h ave yet to learn the fact. A ccording to the Constitution and laws of the State, slave holders can, whenever they please, sever the m arriage tie as it exists among slaves. Y oii w ill say t hat s lave marriages are not legalized.

T his i s t rue; b ut the a bsence o f a l egal lie binding the p arties together, o nly s tamps w ith g reater o dium the c ruelty w hich i s allowed to s under the moral t ie   the only t ie t hat u nites them. Slaveowners, too, have the p ower constitutionally a nd l egally c onferred, of dooming to hopeless separation s lave p arents a nd children. A n d this is n ot a ll. M asters a nd m istresses c a n , i f sodisposcd, p revent their slaves from ever learning to read the B ible, or from hearing the G ospel preached. T hey c a n keep them i n profound ignorance of G od a nd s alvation. Slaveholders i n t his C ommonwealth a re the depositories o f t his fearful p ower. O n t hem i s c onferred this terrible prerogative. B u t you w i l l p erhaps s ay t hat the exercise o f t his power i s an a buse o f s lavery, a nd t hat good m en do not a vail t hemselves o f t heir l egal r ight to use i t . This v iew of the c ase i s, I k now, e ntertained by some, a nd it is an a nodyne to their consciences. B ut let us l ook at i t. T o w hat does i t a mount? Evidently to t his   that our Constitution a n* l aws confer a p ower w hich gcod m en w i l l n ot e xert, and, therefore, i ts exerciseis r estricted to bad m en. This fact o f i tself s upplies a n a rgument of t ranscendent force i n f avor of t aking away the p ower. I f good m en w i l l not e xercise i t, bad men s hould n ot be a l lowed t o do so. T his i s as p lain as the sun in the heavens. I n v iew o f c onsiderations l ike t hese, h ow c a n the question o f s lavery be c onsidered a " purely p olitical o ne?" I f m orals a nd r eligion a re not i n i nseparable asssociation w ith i t i n some of its m ost important aspects, i t w ould require some reflection to fix on a subject i n w hich they are i nvolved. I a m a ware t hat a m isapprehension o f t his m atter h as c aused many politicians a nd p olitical editors to p our upon the heads o f the a nti-slavery preachers of K entucky t orrents o f g ratuitous a buse a nd superfluous denunciation. I t rust, h owever, t hat the m inisters w ho are n umbered among Emancipationists, w i l l e xemplify t he meekness o f t heir Master, a nd l ike H i m p ray, "Father forgivethem: they know n ot what t hey d o . " I f preachers should n ot t ake a n i nterest i n a subject w hich h as a m ost important b earing o n m orality a nd r eligion, I a^k w hat t opics should engage t heir attention a nd c all t heir energies into action? B u t I need n ot e laborate t his point. Tou in your first article admit w hat I c ontend for. S peaking o f c hristian v o. t ers, y ou say, " T h e i r views o f it [ h e q uestion of s lavery] i n a, religious point o f l ight, w i l l n ecessarily h ave paramount control over their a ct o n as m embers o f the body p o l i t i c . " T his, I



a ffirm, s hould be the c ase. Religious considerations ought to h ave "paramount control" i n determining the votes o f c hristians. A g a i n y ou s ay, " T h e subject i s one of g reat m oment i n its m oral, s ocial a nd p olitical b earings, considered c ither i n reference to the s laves, their owners, or the c o u n t i y . " Here also a re we agreed. I i nsist, therefore, i n v iew o f your own s tatements, t hat i t is an u nfair presentation of the subject to r epresent i t as " apurely p o.itical o ne." M a ny professors o f r eligion, I k now, speak o f it as i f i t w ere o n a l evel w ith ' tariffs,' 'national b anks,' & c ; and t his to me is a s ource o f profound m ortification. T h e i dea t hat s laves a re 'property' seems to h ave taken exclusive possession o f t heir minds, a nd h ence they overlook t he c apital f act t hat s laves a re 'persons' as w ell a s p roperty. This circumstance, i n my j udgment; v itiates the r easonings of the pro-slavery parly i n K e n t u c k y . B ut to proceed: I n y our second article ycu expatiate on t he p hilosophy of g overnments, a nd express sentiments, to a few c f w hich I w ish to c a l l the a ttention o f y our r eaders. Y o u employ this language: ' ' Bod approves of that system of things, which, under the circumstances, is lest calculated to promote the holiness and happiness of men; and that which God approves is morally right," T he i talicising is y our o w n , and it i ndicates the i mportance y ou a ttach to the p osition l aid d own. I a m happy a gain to c oncur w ith y ou i n o pinion. Here, h owever, a g reat q uestion arises for c onsidera' t ion a nd s ettlement. I t is t his: " I s l h e " s y s ' t em of things" i n K e n t u c k y (slavery i s e mbraced i n t his system) "under t he c ircumstances> best c alculated t o p romote t he h oliness a nd h appiness o f m e n ? " Y o u anticipate from m e a n egative response. Before heaven a nd e arth I do answer i n t he n egative. D o y ou not? I i n cline to t hink you do, b ecause i n y our fifth a rti c le (to w hich I n ow refer without waiting to c ome to it i n r egular order) you speak o f the pernicious i nfluence w hich i t [the s ystem o f s lavery] h as " exerted upon the s ocial a nd m oral i n terests o f m any i n the c ountry." N o w , i f s lavery exerts a " pernicious influence" over the " m o r a l i nterests" o f a p eople, i t s urely i s not p romotive o f " h o l i n e s s . " A n d you say t hat y ou do n ot r egard i t " a s e ssential to the h appiness a nd prosperity o f the w hite population o f t his c ountry!" I f, t hen, i t does n ot promote the h oliness a nd h appiness" o f the w hite people, i t f ollows, w ithout doubt, from your position, t hat, so f ar as they a re c oncerned, God does not a pprove t he s ystem. The only remaining branch


c f t he question is this: "Does the system of s lavery p romote the "holiness a nil h appiness" o f s laves? I am afraid I s hall offer an insult to the go.-'d s ense of your readers, if I a ttempt to s how t hat i t docs not. It w ould be l ike s howing t hat the sun is not the source of c old a nd darkness. One thing is certain: " I f slavery as it e xists in K e n t u c k y , promotes the "holiness and h appiness" of slaves, ignorance is essential to " holiness a nd happiness." A n d i f s o, w ho can a nswer the f ollowing question? W h y has God g iven us the B ible a nd the ministry of the gospel for our intellectual and moral enlightenment? t his enlightenment being designed to promoteour h oliness, a nd, by consequence, our happiness? A nother s uggestion p resents i tself: Happiness is our "being's end and a i m , " and it can be secured a lone by holiness. I f then it c ould b e established t hat s lavery promotes the holiness and h appiness of s laves, i t w ould f ollow t hat as it does n ot promote the holiness and happiness of the w hite p opulation it w ould b e w ell f orwhite people to be enslaved i n order to their holiness and h appiness. I write "the words of truth and soberness" w hile I s ay t hat so inextinguishable i s m y love of holiness and desire for it, t hat i f I b elieved s lavery promotive of it, much as I n o    detest t he system, I w ould w elcome the fetters of b ondage, and smile on a l l the a pparatus requisite to my deprivation of liberty. I n c xplanalion o f this declaration, I need o nly repeat t his Scripture: " W i t h o u t holiness no man s hall see the L o r d . "

ness" of slaves t hat p rolongs the existence of s lavery a mong u.=, but it is the imaginary i nterest of m asters t hat m akes them u nwilling for K entucky to become free. It is what the accomplished M a c a u l a y w ould t erm the "omnipotent s ophistry of interest." A l a s for us t hat so r uinous an omnipotence can be predicated of the sophistry of interest! I n m y next, I s hall n otice some things in your t hird a rticle. W i t h a ll courtesy, J. M . P E N D L E T O N .

T here is an additional thought worthy of consideration. U p o n the supposition t hat s lavery promotes the holiness and happiness of s laves, the c ontinuance of the system requires the free to perform a w ork of supererogation. They must not o nly l ove their colored "neighbors as themselves," but better t han themselves. Y o u concede t hat s lavery does not promote the holinets a nd happiness of the white people. W i l l y ou argue then, t hat the white people, In disregard of t heir own holiness and happiness, should perpetuate s lavery w ith a v iew to the holiness and h appiness of slaves? T h i s , I s ay, w ould be a w ork of supererogation. N o l a w , divine or human, r equires as much as this. B ut y ou know, and I know t hat s lavery "promotes theholinessand happiness" of neither the free nor the slave population of K e n t u c k y . T his b eing t he case, I, in accordance w ith y our own p osition, s ay t hat G od does not approve the system.

D ear S i r :     I n y our third article on the " S l a v e r y Q u e s t i o n , " you take your readers back to patriarchal times. Y o u refer to A b r a ham a nd say, " T h e fact is f ully c onfirmed t hat A braham o wned servants, or slaves, (for they wereBlavesin the f ull sense o f the term,) some o f w hich w ere bought w ith h is money, and s ome were born i n his house." A g a i n y ou remark t hat A braham's servants " were v erily s laves in the very sense i n w hich t hat t erm is u nderstood i n our language." I f the term " servant," as used in the Scriptures, is synonomous W'th the term " s l a v e " as used among u s, is it not remarkable t hat the Hebrew and G reek w ords translated servant are in no i n stance rendered slave? I think you w i l l f ind the term slave in o nly t wo passages of the B ible, t hat is to say, Jeremiah 2: 14 ; and Revelation 18: 13. I n the former passage it is in italict, w hich i ndicates t hat t here i s no word corresponding to it In the o riginal, n or is t here a c orresponding t erm in the Septuagint or in the V ulgate v ersion. I l l the latter passage t he G reek t erm l iterally means " b o d i e s , " as any G reek s cholar can see. I s tate these facts to s how t hat i t does not f ollow n ecessarily t hat A braham's s ervants were slaves in the A m e r i can a cceptation of the word. I admit t hat the B ible refers to a system of servitude in connection w ith A braham's f amily, b ut I affirm that t here are points of material d issimilarity between t hat s ystem and our system of slavery.    N ow f or the proof:

I n the fourteenth chapter of Genesis we are t old t hat w hen certain robber K i n g s had captured L o t and committed depredations on his goods, Abraham " a r m e d his trained servants, three h undred and eighteen, and pursued them." W o u l d A merican s laveholders In s imilar c ircumstances adopt a s imilar c ourse? Do not I t is not a regard for the "holiness and happi- m any of our S tates m ake it a penal offence for

a s lave to c arry a w eapon? Y o u w ill perhaps s ay that the safety of the white population renders this pruden'ial regulation necessary. If t his be admitted it o nly shows the d issimilarity for w hich I c ontend. T here is another species of proof to w hich you c annot object. Y o u concede that A braham h eld h is servants f ori/ieir benefit, and not his o wn. T h i s , I a m aware, is your v iew, and I a dmire the benevolence that has led you to adopt it. B u t let me ask, A r e A merican s laveholders influenced by considerations of benefit to t heir slaves to h old them iu bondage?   is t his the motive t hat c ontrols them? Surely it Is not, and if not, our system of slavery differs m aterially from p atriarchal servitude. I m ust content m yself w ith one more proof of d issimilarity, t hough the subject is by no means exhausted. Abraham at one time apprehensive of d ying c hildless, evidently supposed t hat i n t hat e vent, his Bervant, the steward of his house, (whom you c all h is "slave" i n J i tttlic'es the term) w ould be his heir. Is ii:' y r egulation l ike t his i n slave Stales?    i s ; i : s lave anywhere the heir of his childless ar? Such a q uestion w ill p robably excite i lia risibility a nd the scorn of slaveholders. In v iew o f the fact t hat i f Abraham had died c hildless, his servant w ould have been his heir, I assert that p atriarchal servitude aud A merican s lavery e xhibit essential dissimilarities. B ut s uppose, for argument's sake, the two s ystems were substantially the same. What t hen? W o u l d i t f ollow that o ursystein isright? B y no meuns, unless i l c a n be shown t hat w hatever Abraham did was right. T h i s , h owever, is a c ommon argument. Slaveholders say,    " Abraham h eld slaves, and therefore it is not w rong for us to h old t hem." T his species of l ogic m ight be employed to the great a nnoyance of i ts authors, l t m i g h l be said Abraham had a son by his servant Hagar, and therefore, & c .     A braham had concubines, and therefore, & c .     A braham was g uilty o f equivocation,and therefore, & c . A n argument w hich proves too much proves notthing. Y o u n ext proceed to the M osaic l aw in corroboration o f your views of slavery, and refer to the " G i b e o n i t e s " in proof of the " D i v i n e c lemency o f slavery among the Israelites. A d istinguished w riter of V i r g i n i a , R e v . M r . S tringfellow, i n his treatise on slavery a rgues that the bondage of the Gibeonites was the f ulfilment of the imprecatory prediction of N oah e lative to his grandson: "Cursed be Canaan: a



Bervant o f servants shall he be unto his b rethren." L e t us e xamine this matter: T h e G ibeonites, as w e learn from the ninth chapter of J oshua, were seized w ith c onsternation when the children of Israel entered i nto "the promised l and." T o a void u tter e xtermination they practised a d eception on Joshua, meeting him in h is t riumphant march, and saying that t hey were from " a far c o u n t r y . " Joshua "made a league w ith t hem, to let them l ive: a nd the princes of the congregation swore unto them," evidently u nder the impression t hat that t hey did not belong to any of the Cunaanitish tribes. W h e n t he deception had been detected the " p r i n c e s " w ere of o pinion t hat t he " oath " they had t aken should be sacredly regarded, and t hat t he G ibeonites s hould be made " bondmen, hewers of w ood, and drawers of water." B u t for the " l e a g u e " and the " o a t h " they w ould d oubtless have been utterly destroyed. It had been r epeatedly enjoined on the Israelites to "destroy all the inhabitants of the l a n d . " God let A b r a ham k now t hat s everal centuries w ould elapse f rom t he time he gave him a title to Canaan, u ntil h is posterity should take actual possession o f it. W h y this lapse o f ages a nd generations? T he reason w hich G od h imself g ives is this:    " t o r the i niquity o f the Amorites is not yet f u l l . " T he divine arrangement was t hat the f ulness of their i niquity s hould be the signal for t heir destruction, and the Israelites were to be their destroyers   a fact w hich i mplicates the d ivine goodness no more than the destructions caused by plagues, pestilences and earthquakes. N o w , i t seems t o m e a l ittle u nfortunate for y our and M r . Stringfellow's side of the question to refer to the Gibeonites at all. W h y were they made bondmen? It was done in ignorant violation of the    pos'tive command of God. Y o u do not, you cannot believe t hat i t w ould h ave been done had Joshua k n o w n t hat t hey were inhabitants of Canaan. T h i s i nstance of i * S criptural slavery " without doubt had its orlgin i n disobedience to God   disobedience i n d u . c ed, I a dmit, by the circumvention of the G ibeonites. T a k i n g a ll the facts of this transaction i nto consideration, I am greatly surprised t hat y ou can draw from t hem a lly i nference favorable to A merican s lavery. I might w ith m uch m ore propriety infer t hat s lavery is t raceable to a disregard of the divine w i l l . B u t M r . S tringfellow i nsists t hat the Canaanites h ave been slaves from the days of Joshua u ntil the present time. If this were so, I do not see w hat justification it furnishes for the enslave-


m ent of A fricans. C anaan was certainly in A s i a w hen I was pursuing my geographical s tudies. If the curse pronounced by N oah on h isgrandson Canaan authorised the subjection o f C anaan's posterity to bondage, (and this is a ll the authority contended for) how c ould the same curse contemplate the bondage of A f r i cans who, though descendants of H a m , are not descendants of Canaan? I a vail m yself o f a s yllogism to expose the absurdity of the argument I am answering. Here it is:   Noah's c urse justified the enslavement of a s mall fraction o f the inhabitants of A sia. C anaan's posterity c onstituted thatsmall fraction. Therefore i t i s right to make slaves of the iuhabitants of A frica. T h i s , i f I understand it, is the argument. A n d is t here a m an under the sun who c an see any connection between the premises a nd the conclusion? T h e y are as distant as " f rom the centre thrice to the utmost pole."



v ince the advocates of slavery of the unprofitableness of the system. T he M osaic l aw provided for the periodical e mancipation o f servants. E v e r y fiftieth y ear l iberty was proclaimed throughout the land "to A L L the inhabitants thereof." I know it has been said that t his proclamation of liberty had reference to Hebrew servants, and not to those o btained f rom h eathen nations. There is a c apital objection to this v iew. H ebrew servants w ent free theseventh year unless they chose to r emain i n servitude, and submitted to the ceremony o f having their " ears p ierced w ith a n awl." T he phrase "all the inhabitants," I s uppose, means a l l . H o w w ould A merican s laveholders fancy a periodical manumission of slaves? T h e y w ould resist the introduction of s uch a p rovision i nto the laws of their respective S tates. A f t e r a l l , I i magine their admiration of t he M osaic s tatutes i s by no means unqualiI h ave often wondered t hat the apologists of fied. T he s ystem of servitude under the M o s lavery refer w ith s uch frequency to the M osaic saic l aw was indeed benevolent compared w ith l aw, w hen it is evident t hat i f a prominent reg- o ur system of slavery. ulation o f t hat l aw had not been utterly disreB ut suppose the strongest pro-slavery intergarded t here w ould h ave been no slavery in pretation should be given to the s tatutes of M o A merica. M oses says, " H e t hat s tealeth a ses. L e t , for example, L eviticus x xv., 44, 45, m an a nd selleth h i m , or if he be found in his 4 6, (verses w hich p ro-slavery men quote w ith h ands, s hall s urely be put to death." H o w g reat f acility) be so explained as to make Jewish w ere A fricans first introduced into this coun- s ervitude and A m e r i c a n s lavery In substance try? T h e y were stolen f rom t heir native land the same. W h a t w ould f ollow? T hat A m e r i a nd brought h ere i n chains. Those who stole can s lavery is right? C ertainly n ot. U pon the t hem deserved death according to the law of s upposition I h ave made, what authority had M oses. the Jews to buy slaves f rom the " heathen round T he same law providod lor the freedom of the s ervant if any serious b odily i njury was i nflict ed o n him by his master. T h e loss of a "tooth,' or the l ossof a n " e y e , " secured immediate l iberty. There is no arrangement l ike t his in any of the slave S tates o f this U n i o n . I fear the M osaic r egulations, though often referred to, are not heartily approved. T he l aw of Moses forbade the delivery of a r unaway servant to his master. W o u l d not s uch a r egulation lead to the extinction of s lavery i n America? S ervants under the M osaic l aw did not labor m ore than two-thirds of their time. The land rested every seventh year   and all the males of the Jewish nation were required to attend t hree feasts at Jerusalem anuually. M a n y o ther r eligious o bservances consumed much time. The c alculation i s, I think, a moderate one t hat at least one-third of the time of Jewish servants w as abstracted f rom l abor. A n arrangement of t h i s k i u d w ould p erhaps in twelve months con a bout?" I answer the authority conferred by J ehovah h imself t hrough his servant Moses.    Permission was given them to buy   this was a ll   for no one w ill c ontend t hat a n obligation to buy slaves was imposed on them. Jews, then, were justifiable in buying servants, because divine p ermission was given them to do so. S i m i lar p ermission must be given to us Gentiles to j ustify o ur purchase of servants. B u t has such p ermission been given? Where is it to be found? It is not recorded i n the annals of time. T he M osaic r egulation was m unicipal, l ocal, and had no reference to Gentile nations. One p rominent design of the s tatutes o f Moses was to keep the Jews a distinct people   separate from other people   and yet, marvellous to t ell, one of these m unicipal s tatutes i s, in the nineteenth century, referred to as If its operation were co-extensive w ith the w orld! H o w a Jewish l ocal l aw, almost two thousand years after the abolition of the Jewish economy, can have a nything to do w ith G entiles, I am altogether

at a loss to conceive. B u t enough for the pre- l itulion " i n countiics i n w hich s lavery exists t han in those i n w hich i t does n ot   that i t w ould sent. F aithfully y ours, b ebetterfor the poor in Ireland to be slaves, & c . J. M . P E N D L E T O N . Y ou s ay, " T a k e Ireland for an example, and LETTER III. suppose the Government had so provided t hat, R E V . W . 0. B U C K : i netead of an oppressed and impoverished tenD E A R S I B :     I n t he commencement of your antry, subjected to the rapacity and h eartless exfourth a rticle you employ this language: " W e actions of overgrown landlords, the poor of the w ish our r eaders d istinctly to understand t hat c ountry c ould h ave s old t hemselves for a given w e acrmit^that the institution of slavery, through period t o the wealthy, so as to make it the duty t he c npidity^TKLrapaciousness of w icked m en, a nd the interest of the wealthy to provide for h as been a wfully pSrxr_tcd and abused. That the health and subsistence of the slave," & c . i t h as been the occasion ofenorjnous and c rying D o y ou intend your r eaders to infer t hat the s ins by both m aster a nd slave ; aird.that we do poor should be made slaves b ecause they aie n ot'appear as the apologist, much less the de- poor? I w ould s eriously object to an arrangefender of any perversion or a buse o f the i nsti- ment of this k ind. S o numerous   Te t he c hanges tution," & c . The system of slavery, then, w hich o ccur i n the course of human events, a ccording to your own concession is suscepti- t hat I w ould be constantly apprehensive of beble of perversion and a buse, a nd the perversion ing p laced in circumstances so necessitous as to a nd abuse are induced by cupdity and rapa- r equire my enslavement. A n d you might be ciousncss. Y o u restrict "    cupidity and rapa- p laced i n a s imilar p redicament, if indeed it be ciousness" to w icked m en. I shell not c all i n c ourteous for me to draw an inference from alq uestion the propriety of the restriction ; but I lusions y ou sometimes make to your pecuniary w ill s ay t hat i t is to be feared t hat m any men e mbarrassments. I n such a c ase we w ould b oth who are reputed g ood, Christians even, exem- oppose w ith a l l ihe intensity of a personal objecplify the cupidity to w hich y ou refer. I have tion, the philosophy w hich w ould m ake poverty heard professors of r eligion say t hat s lave labor t he basis of slavery. is c omparatively unprofitable in K e n t u c k y , and Y o u s ay c ould t he Irish " h a v e s old t hemselves t hat i t is much more lucrative " to raise negroes for a g iven period to the w e a l t h y , " & c . Please for sale." T hey absolutely speak of " r a i s i n g observe your words, "for a given period." W h y negroes " as they do of raising mules, cattle, t his qualification of the s entence? W h y not rea nd hogs. The idea is horrible. Rational bequire them to become slaves for l ife, a nd also ings, o n whose souls God has stamped immorp ut the fetters o f bondage on their posterity?    tality, ore placed on an equality w ith beasts T h i s w ould be something analogous to A m e r i c a n t hat p erish. You w i l l s ay this is a n a buse of s lavery. I f our system be defensible, let it be s lavery. V ery w ell. I t is just such an abuse t he model of every system t hat m ay be estabas the Constitution and laws of our S tate tolerlished, a nd even when a supposition is indulged ate, and you are of opinion t hat they should rei n r eference to slavery i n Ireland or anywhere main u nchanged. Y our k indness w i l l p ermit e lse, let our own " i n s t i t u t i o n " s uggest t hat m e to say t hat I c onsider you obnoxious to the s upposition. B ut the poor in Ireland c ould n ot c harge of inconsistency. Y o u are u nwilling to s ell t hemselves as absolute slaves. They might be considered either the " a p o l o g i s t " or " d e e come hired servants   but not slaves. Supfender" of any "perversion or a b u s e " of pose a ' ' w e a l t h y l a n d l o r d " were to propose to s lavery; a nd yet you w ish our p resent C onstitub uy his poor neighbors, for a certain sum, w ith tion w hich p ermits the perversion and a buse you the intention of enslaving them, and they were deprecate to remain as it is. N o w it seems to t o accede to his proposition. Just as soon as the m e you ought either to become the " a p o l o g i s t , " c ontract was consummated and the money paid n ot to say the " d e f e n d e r " of the abuses of to the suffering poor; not only w ould they, b ut s lavery, or advocate such a change in the C o n . the very money received by them w ould b elong s titution as w ill c orrect the abuses o f the systo the landlord. The quid pro quo, t he p rincitem. L e t the a buses, h owever, be corrected, ple necessary to the v alidity o f a contract, a nd I predict t hat s lavery w i l l not exist in K e n w ould be wanting. The bargain w ould b e n u l l tucky for a generation. I shall perhaps s ay a nd v oid. Y o u are aware t hat B lackstone i n more on this point in another place. h is c hapter on " M a s t e r and Servant" p resents Y ou express the opinion that there i s less "dest his v iew a nd shows the f olly o f attempting to





^ ase slavery on a contract between man and m an. I proceed to notice your remarks i n regard to the o riginal p urchasers of A frican s laves. A n d here I t hink you have drawn very largely on y our i magination. Y o u suppose that there were three c lasses of purchasers and t hat these pur c hasers "are the representatives of three distinct classes of slaveholders in this country at this time." T he first class of purchasers you suppose " selfish a nd sordid"   their object being to " e n r i c h themselves." Pecuniary gain was t he o nly c onsideration w hich operated on them. T he s econd class, " f r o m m ere impulses of humanity    love to their neighbors   resolved to purchase all they c o u l d , " & c . " T h e third class of p urchasers," y ou o bserve, " were Christians, who d id not o nly feel a l l the sympathy and generous philanthropy w hich i nfluenced the second class, b ut l ooking b eyond their temporal c ondition, m iserable as t hat w as, contemplated them as being without God and without hope i n the w orld, a nd s inking d own to the death t hat never d ies; a nd i n addition to, and above the i mpulses of philanthropy, their souls were stirred w ithvi t hem lor the salvation of their souls as w ell aa t heir bodies; they therefore resolved to b uy to the utmost of their means."



W h a t yuu s ay of your " s e c o n d and third c lass of purchasers," I am somewhat at a loss to understand. I am tem