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discussion_on_american_slavery

DISCUSSION

ON

AMERICAN SLAVERY,

BETWEEN

GEORGE THOMPSON, ESQ.,
AGENT OF THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN SOCIETY FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, AND

REV. ROBERT J. BRECKINRIDGE,
DELEGATE FROM THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES, TO THE CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF ENGLAND AND WALES:

HOLDEN IN THE

REV. DR. WARDLAW'S CHAPEL, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND,

On the Evenings of the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th of June, 1836,

WITH AN APPENDIX.

NEGRO UNIVERSITIES PRESS
NEW YORK


Originally published in 1836
by Isaac Knapp, Boston

Reprinted from a copy in the collections
of the Brooklyn Public Library

Reprinted 1969 by
Negro Universities Press
A Division of Greenwood Press, Inc.
New York


SBN 8371-2766-1

PRINTED IN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


[Pg 1]

INTRODUCTION.


The following were the preliminary steps connected with the Discussion reported in the succeeding pages:—

Mr. Breckinridge's Letter, expressing his willingness to meet Mr. Thompson at Glasgow, was occasioned by the following passage in Mr. Thompson's Letter, which appeared in the London Patriot, in reply to the extracts inserted in that Journal, from the work published by the Rev. Drs. Cox and Hoby, entitled, "The Baptists in America":—

"In the mean time, I am ready to meet Dr. Cox in Exeter Hall, in his own chapel, or in any other building, to justify my charges against America and American Ministers; my general policy in the Anti-Slavery cause, and any particular act of which Dr. Cox complains. I am ready, also, and anxious to meet any American Clergyman, or other gentleman, in any part of Great Britain, to discuss the general question, or the propriety of that interference, of which so much has been said by persons who are otherwise engaged, and most praiseworthily so, in interfering with the institutions, social, political, and religious, of every other quarter of the Globe."


MR. THOMPSON'S CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

To the Editor of the London Patriot.

SIR,

A friend in this city, with whom I have stopped for a day or two, on my way to Scotland, has put into my hands your paper of the 23d inst., which contains Mr. George Thompson's letter of the 13th, attacking Dr. Cox.

As to the difficulties which exist between those two gentlemen, I, of course, have no right to speak.

Mr. Thompson, however, has not contented himself with urging a particular controversy with Dr. Cox;—nor even a general controversy, free for all who desire to engage him, or call in question his 'charges against America, and American Ministers'—as slave-holding Ministers and Christians on the other side of the water. 'But,' says he, 'I am ready, also, and anxious to meet any American clergyman, or other gentleman, in any part of Great Britain, to discuss the general question, &c.:' that is, the general question of his 'charges against America and American ministers, touching the whole subject of African slavery in that country.'

After mature and prayerful consideration, and full consultation with a few friends, I am not able to see how I can avoid taking notice of this direct, and almost personal challenge; which, I have some reason to suspect, was probably intended for me.

And yet I feel myself encompassed by many difficulties. For some may consider me defending the institution of slavery; whereas I myself believe it to be contrary to the spirit of the gospel, and the natural rights of men. Others might naturally look for more full proofs, and more exact information than I can give, when relying almost entirely upon mere memory. While by far the greater part, I much fear, are as impatient of all investigation on the subject, as, I am sorry to say, they seem to me, totally unacquainted with its real condition in America.

I have concluded, however, to accept the somewhat boastful challenge of Mr. Thompson. And I trust the following suggestions and conditions will be considered most reasonable, when the peculiar circumstances of the case are considered:—

1. I will meet Mr. Thompson at Glasgow, any time during the three first weeks of June; and spend three or four hours a day, for as many days consecutively as may be necessary—in discussing the 'general question,' as involved in his 'charges against America, and American Ministers,' in reference to the whole subject of slavery there.

2. But as my whole object is to get before the British churches certain views and suggestions on this subject, which I firmly believe are indispensable, to prevent [Pg 2] the total alienation of British and American christians from each other; I shall not consider it necessary to commence the discussion at all, unless such arrangements are previously made, as will secure the publication, in a cheap and permanent form, of all that is said and done on the occasion.

3. I must insist on a patient and fair hearing, by responsible persons. Therefore I will agree that the audience shall consist of a select number of gentlemen, say from fifty to five hundred; to be admitted by ticket only,—and a committee previously agreed on to distribute the tickets—only to respectable persons.

I take it for granted that Mr. Thompson would himself prefer Glasgow to any other city, for the scene of this meeting: as it is the home of his most active supporters. And while the selection of the particular time of it cannot be important to him, my own previous arrangements are such, as to leave me no wider range than that proposed to his choice above.

More minute arrangements are left to the future; and they can, no doubt, be easily made.

I must ask the favour of an early insertion of this note, in the Patriot; and beg to say, through you, to the Editor of the Glasgow Chronicle, that I shall feel obliged by its republication in his paper.

R. J. BRECKINRIDGE,

A Delegate from the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church of the U. S. America,
to the Congregational Union of England and
Wales.

Durham, May 28,1836.


TO THE EDITOR OF THE GLASGOW CHRONICLE.

London, June 1, 1836.

SIR,

I forward you, without a moment's delay, a copy of this evening's Patriot, containing a letter from the Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge, of Baltimore, United States. The following is my reply, which you will oblige me by immediately inserting, in company with the communication to which it refers.

I feel thankful that my overture has been accepted; and, notwithstanding the arrangements I had made to remain in London during the whole of the present month, and the announcement of my name in the public advertisements to lecture during the forthcoming week, I shall, D. V. be in Glasgow on Tuesday next; and shall be ready to meet Mr. Breckinridge, in the Religious Institution House, South Frederick Street, at noon of that day, to settle the preliminaries of the discussion, which, I trust, will commence the following morning.

It is my earnest hope, that every thing said and done, will be in accordance with gentlemanly feeling and christian courtesy.

Your's respectfully,

GEORGE THOMPSON.


NOTE.

The Speeches and Documents in this Pamphlet having been submitted to the correction of the Speakers, the Report may be relied on as an accurate and full account of the important proceedings.


[Pg 3]

DISCUSSION.

FIRST NIGHT—MONDAY JUNE 13.

Agreeably to public advertisement, the discussion betwixt Mr. George Thompson and the Rev. R. J. Breckinridge, was opened Monday evening, June 13. By half-past six, the hour fixed on by the Committee, Dr. Wardlaw's Chapel contained 1,200 individuals, the number agreed upon by both parties. A great number could not gain admittance, in consequence of the tickets allotted, being bought up on Saturday. On the entrance of the two antagonists, accompanied by the Committee, the audience warmly cheered them. By appointment of the Committee—


Rev. Dr. WARDLAW took the Chair. Having thanked the Committee for the honor they had conferred on him, and which, he trusted, would meet with the concurrence of the meeting, he said he had accepted the honorable post with the utmost confidence in the forbearance and propriety of conduct of the two gentlemen—or antagonists, should he call them? who were to address the meeting; and also, with the most perfect confidence in the good conduct and sense of propriety possessed by the meeting. Had he not possessed such confidence, he would never have thought of undertaking the present task. Had he imagined that the present meeting would give way to similar expressions of feeling as had taken place within these walls on some former occasions, he would at once have declined the task, as one for which he was totally unfit,—he was not fit to manage storms. The parties on the present occasion were different from those to whom they had listened at the time to which he referred. One of them, it was true, was the same, and his character all of them knew. They knew his sentiments, his zeal, his eloquence, his devotedness to the great cause of which he was the fearless advocate. In reference to his opponent, on the present occasion, he would not dishonor that gentleman by naming him along with an individual who had stood before them formerly in opposition to their eloquent friend. He felt it to be his duty to introduce to them his friend—for he was allowed to call him so—the Rev. Mr. Breckinridge. That gentleman had come to this country, the accredited agent from the Presbyterian church—a large and [Pg 4] influential body of Christians in America, to the congregational union of England and Wales. It was proper that he should state to the meeting that Mr. Breckinridge was no advocate of slavery—that he believed it to be opposed to the letter and spirit of the gospel, and as a proof how far he was in earnest in his professions in this matter, he had freely parted with a patrimonial estate so far as it consisted of slaves. (Cheers.) Having stated this, it might be further necessary that he should mention what gave rise to the present meeting. They were all aware, then, he said, that since his return from America, Mr. George Thompson had been lecturing in various parts of the kingdom. In the course of his labors he was accused of having brought extravagant and unfounded charges against the American nation, and especially against the ministers of religion in that country. In consequence of this, Mr. Thompson published a challenge in the Patriot newspaper, in which he called upon any American minister to come forward and defend his brethren, if he were able, from the charges which he brought against them. This challenge, through the columns of the same newspaper, had been accepted by Mr. Breckinridge, and now they were here met to enter upon the discussion. The Chairman then read the regulations with regard to the conducting of the discussion which had been agreed upon by the Committee. In addition to what they contained, he might add that the chairman was not to be considered judge of what was relevant or irrelevant, nor was the speaker to be interrupted on any account. He would especially beg their serious attention to the rule requiring the entire suppression of every symptom of approbation or disapprobation. He trusted that his interference would not be required, but if it were he would feel himself called upon by imperative duty to enforce this regulation with the utmost strictness. Mr. Breckinridge had heard from some quarter or other very unfavorable accounts of the decorum of a Glasgow audience. He hoped that their conduct on the present occasion would disabuse that gentleman's mind of any unfavorable opinion he might entertain of them on that score. In conclusion, he might repeat, that he placed the most perfect reliance on the good sense and gentlemanly feeling of both speakers. Let them both, then, be heard fairly. He solicited favor for neither—he demanded justice for both.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said, it was not easy to conceive of circumstances that were more embarrassing than those in which he was placed this evening. They had already taken for granted all that had been said and done on one side of the question; their minds had been already made up to oppose those conclusions to which it was his purpose to bring them. Their affections and feelings had long been engaged to his opponent in this cause; and all that he could say would necessarily have little effect in changing what he would not hesitate to call those unhappy opinions, which were long ago [Pg 5] formed against him. Another cause of his embarrassment was, that he would be rejudged of all he might say here. What he said would be approved by one party in America, but would be disapproved of by another. In the United States they were differently situated from what the people were in this country. Here the people seemed now united on this subject, but in America they were split up into a great number of different parties, whose opinions and feelings were arrayed against each other in as great a measure as it was possible to conceive. Whatever, therefore, he might say in this country, would be disapproved of by many in the United States, while nothing was more certain than that, what was said by his opponent, would the more commend him to his friends on the other side of the Atlantic; and nothing he could say would probably lower him in the good opinion of his friends here. Hence arose the difficulty of the situation in which he (Mr. B.) found himself placed, and his unusual claim upon their patience in the course of the discussion. Still he should be unworthy of his country, he should be forgetful of the power of truth, he would have little trust in God, if he was not ready to espouse the cause which he believed to be right; and more especially if he was not ready, before a Scotish and a Christian audience, to defend the principles he adopted and avowed. He had no desire to attempt a mitigation of their hatred to slavery; and if, at a future time, he should meet in America with any one now present, he would prove to them by the friendship of those who loved and respected him, and the opposition of those who did not, that he hated slavery as much as any one of those present could do. It was said by one of the ancients, 'I am a man: I consider nothing that relates to man, foreign to me.' It was a true and noble sentiment. The fate of the most hopeless might be theirs if power could make it so; and their condition might have been that of the poorest wretch on earth if God had not smiled upon them and their ancestors as he had done. He did not wish them to interfere with slavery in America. They might interfere, but the question was, how were they to do so? He wished in the course of the discussion to bring before them facts to show, that if they did at all interfere with slavery in America, it must be done as between individuals, not as a national question. That, whatever they did, they do as Christians, not as communities. That they must not, for a moment, look upon it as a question of rival power and glory, as a question between Great Britain and America. If they did so in the slightest degree, their chance of success was gone for ever. In the prosecution of the question, they should not allow themselves to be identified in their efforts with any party in America, in politics, in religion, or metaphysics; more especially, with a small and odious party as they had done to a deplorable extent. They should not identify themselves with a party so small as not to be able to obtain their object, and so erroneous as not to deserve success. Whatever they did should be done meekly, [Pg 6] and in the spirit of the gospel; they should not press the principles of the gospel with the spirit of a demon, but with all the sweetness and gentleness of the gospel of peace. These were the principles which he intended to endeavor to impress upon their minds by details which he would adduce in the course of the discussion. It was nothing more than just to the audience that they should know, that they should understand it distinctly, that as far as regarded his opponent, he neither was nor could be any thing more to him or his countrymen than as an individual who had identified himself with certain parties and principles in America. Neither he nor the Americans could have any object in underrating or overrating him. America could have no desire to raise him up or to pull him down. It is not, it cannot be any thing to America what any individual is, or may be, in the eyes of his own countrymen. The King of England is known to America only as the King of Great Britain; if he ceased to be the King of that kingdom, he was to them no more than a common individual. Let it not be supposed that either he or America had any wish, even the most remote, to break down or injure the well earned or ill earned reputation of his opponent. They looked upon him only with reference to his principles, and had no personal motive on earth in reference to that gentleman. Let them not, therefore, think that in any remarks he might make, or charges he might bring forward, he had any intention of implicating his opponent as being solely responsible for these results. He called in question, not the principles of a particular individual only, but those also of a party in America, to whom he would have to answer when he returned to that country. Having said thus much, he would now proceed to the question before them, but would previously make a few preliminary remarks, which he thought necessary to enable them to come to a proper understanding of the subject. He did not think it necessary to trace the progress of the great cause to the present moment. For forty years they had suffered defeat after defeat—yet these defeats only strengthened their cause, even in this country, till they had arrived at a given point. He would not wish to hurt the feelings of a single individual now present, but he was sure he spoke the feelings of all in America, when he said that the great day of their power to do good, as a nation, was to be dated from the passing of the Reform Bill. From that period, they started in a new career of action, both at home and abroad. The sending out of agents was one of the great lines of operation attempted upon the Americans. This the Americans complained of as having been done in an imprudent and impossible way, and sure to meet with defeat. They have sent out agents to America who have returned defeated. They admit they were not successful, though they say they retreated only, that they were not defeated. They have failed—they admit they have failed in their object. One of these agents on his return made certain statements as to the condition of[Pg 7] the slaves in America; and as to the state of the churches in the United States, which implicated not only the great body of Christian ministers of the country, but the government, and the people of America, except a small handful of individuals. If, as was admitted, the number of pastors in America was twelve to fifteen thousand, and only one thousand had embraced these views, were they anything but a small party? While yet the whole nation was denounced as wicked—and the wrath of Heaven invoked against the country. It was only a very small handful that came in for a share of the praise of his opponent; and the sympathies here were invoked, on the assumption of principles which it was his object to prove false and unfounded. What could be the cause of such an anomaly? that those principles which are said to be loved and admired here, are repudiated there to the extremity of pertinacious obstinacy? This cause it would be his duty to point out; first, he would say what perhaps no one would believe, that the question of American slavery, is in its name not only unjust, but absurd. There was, properly speaking, no such thing as American slavery. It was absurd to talk of American slavery, except in so far as it applied to the sentiments of what was the minority, although he would say a large minority, which tolerated slavery. It was not an American question. In America there were twenty-four separate republics; of these, twelve had no slaves, and twelve of them tolerated slavery. Two new states had recently been added to the Union, and God speed the day when others would be added, till the whole continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific was included in union, carrying with the union, Liberty and Independence. Of the two states which were lately added, one was a slave state and the other free. Of the twelve free, independent, sovereign states of America to which he had alluded—one, Massachusetts, had, for a longer time than his opponent had lived, not tolerated slavery. There were no slaves in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois, and in four of them there never had been a slave. Eight of them, of their own free will and choice, abolished slavery without money and without price. By the influence of the Spirit of God, and the influence of divine truth, they had totally abolished slavery. Of the twelve states, at least four, Ohio, with a million of inhabitants, Indiana, Illinois, and Maine, never had a slave. Since 1785 till this hour, there had not been one slave in any of these states. These twelve either never had slaves or had abolished slavery without any remuneration. These states contain seven million out of the eleven million of the white population of the Union, and nearly two-thirds of the territorial extent of the republic as now peopled. And when we remember that they have stood as they now do for the last twenty years, as it was now more than twenty years since slavery was abolished, how could they be charged with the responsibility of the existence of slavery in other states,[Pg 8] or be charged with fostering slavery which they were the first people upon earth to abolish, and the first to unite with other nations in putting down the slave trade as piracy. This he was aware would be denied; but though Wilberforce had labored in the cause for twenty years, the American constitution had fixed a limited time for the abolition of the slave trade, and the moment the twenty years had elapsed, the Congress did abolish it; and this was in the same month, and some days before the Abolition Bill had passed through Parliament. Thus, America was the first nation on earth which had abolished the slave trade, and made it piracy. If we judge by the number of republics which tolerate no slavery—if we judge by the number of American citizens who abhor slavery, it will be found not to be an American question, but one applicable only to a small portion of the nation. If he wished to prove that the British were idolaters, he could point to millions of idolaters in India, under the British Government, for every one in America who approved of slavery. If he wished to prove the British to be Catholics, and worshippers of the Virgin Mary, he could point to the west of Ireland, where were one thousand worshippers of the Virgin Mary for every one in America who did not wish slavery abolished. If he were to return to America, and get up public meetings, and address them about British idolatry, because the Indians were Idolaters, or on British Catholicism, because many of the Irish worshipped the Virgin Mary, would not the world at once see the absurdity and maliciousness of the charge; and if he heaped upon Britain every libellous epithet he could invent—if he got the wise, the good, and the fair, to applaud him, would not the world see at once the grossness of the absurdity. And where, then, lay the difference? The United States Government have no power to abolish slavery in South Carolina—Britain can abolish idolatry throughout its dominions. It was absurd to say it was an American question. America, as a nation, was not responsible, either in the sight of God or man, for the existence of slavery within certain portions of the Union. As a nation, it had done every thing within its power. The half hour having now expired, Mr. B. sat down; and


Mr. THOMPSON rose. He said he did not stand on the platform this evening to explain to them his views in reference to slavery. He would occupy no portion of their time by an exposition of any of the principles or views entertained by himself on the subject of slavery as it has existed in our own dependencies, or as it exists in America at the present moment, or in other portions of the globe. He stood there to justify that policy which in a distant land he had deemed it right to pursue; he stood there to justify the policy which had been adopted and pursued, and was still pursued by certain individuals in the United States, whether many or few, whether a handful or a multitude, who were known by the name of the abolitionists of the United States of America. [Pg 9]He stood there to justify himself and them in the act of fearlessly, constantly, unceasingly, and universally, to every class and color on the face of the habitable globe, enunciating the great principles of equal justice and equal rights—of enunciating this great truth that slaveholding is a crime in the sight of God, and should be immediately and totally abolished. That God had in no instance given to man a discretionary power to hold property in his fellow-man; that instant emancipation was the right of the slave; that instant manumission was the duty of the master. That no government had a right to keep a single soul in slavery; that no nation had authority to permit slavery, let that nation exist where it may; if professing to be a Christian nation, so much the more atrocious was their wickedness. The nation which permitted the keeping in slavery of God's creatures, which allowed the traffic in human beings for 400 pieces of silver, even in the capital itself, was not entitled to be called a christian nation, and if professing to be a christian nation, so much the more pre-eminently wicked and infamous was the nation. By that act that infamous, wicked nation violated every christian feeling, and was worthy of being exposed to the scorn and derision of every nation under heaven, christian or pagan. This was a most momentous question, and he spoke strongly upon it, but he spoke advisedly. He did not speak angrily, but he did and must speak warmly on the subject of Slavery. He could not talk of millions of men and women, each of whom was endowed with a soul which was precious in the sight of God—each of whom was endowed with that principle which out-valued worlds—he could not speak of such, registered with the brutes, with calm unconcern, or classed with chattels, and be calm—if he could do so, he should be ready with these nails to open his breast, and tear therefrom a heart which would be unworthy of a man. He could and would speak calmly on other topics, but this was a subject which required energy, unceasing energy, till the evil was removed from the face of the earth, till all the kingdoms of the world had become the kingdoms of our God, and of his Christ. He was thankful for the present opportunity which had been afforded him of entering into this discussion; he was thankful that his opponent, for so it seemed he must be called, was an American, that he was a christian minister, that he was an opponent of slavery, that he brought to the question before them, talent, learning, patriotism, and christian feeling. Such an opponent he respected and wished the audience to respect. He would ask them to cherish his person, to respect his opinions, to weigh his arguments, to test his facts, and if they were just and righteous, to adopt his principles. If he (Mr. T.) knew the strongest expression he had ever used regarding America, he would use it to-night; if he knew in what recess of his heart his worst wish towards America was deposited he would drag it forth to the light, that his opponent might grapple with it in their presence. He would not soften down[Pg 10] any of his language; he would not sugar over his words, he would not abate one iota of what he had ever said in reference to the wickedness of America on former occasions. Let his opponent weigh every syllable he (Mr. T.) had uttered, every statement he had ever made, every charge he had ever brought against his country or against his cloth, and if he found that he had exaggerated facts or stated what was not true, he would be glad to be shown it. He was there before them and his opponent to search after the truth, truth which would outlive Mr. Breckinridge—truth which would outlive Geo. Thompson—truth which was far more valuable than the proudest victory—truth which was invaluable to both—and let the truth stand out during the discussion which might follow; and when they had found out the truth, if they saw anything which had to be taken back—anything to be given up—anything for which to be sorry, he would try to outstrip his opponent in his readiness to retract what was wrong, to yield what was untenable, and to express his sorrow before God and the audience for what he had undeservedly said of America. With regard to the feelings he entertained towards the Americans, he need only refer to the last letter he had published to the American people, from which he would read a passage to show the feelings he entertained towards that country, as well as to those of her citizens who might reach these shores from America. Mr. Thompson then read the following passages:—

I love America, because her sons, though my persecutors, are immortal—because 'they know not what they do,' or if enlightened and wilful, are so much the more to be pitied and cared for. I love America, because of the many affectionate friends I have found upon her shores, by whom I have been cherished, refreshed and strengthened; and upon whose regard I place an incalculable value. I love America, for there dwells the fettered slave—fettered and darkened, and degraded now, but soon to spring into light and liberty, and rank on earth, as he is ranked in heaven, 'but a little lower than the angels.' I love America, because of the many mighty and magnificent enterprises in which she has embarked for the salvation of the world. I love her rising spires, her peaceful villages, and her multiplied means of moral, literary, and religious improvement. I love her hardy sons, the tenants of her vallies and her mountains green. I love her native children of the forest, still roaming, untutored and untamed, in the unsubdued wildernesses of the 'far west.' I love your country, because it is the theatre of the sublimest contest now waging with darkness and despotism, and misery on the face of the globe; and because your country is ordained to be the scene of a triumph, as holy in its character and as glorious in its results, as any ever achieved through the instrumentality of men.

But though my soul yearns over America, and I desire nothing more eagerly than to see her stand forth among the nations of the world, unsullied in reputation, and omnipotent in energy, yet shall I, if spared, deem it my duty to publish aloud her wide and fearful departures from rectitude and mercy. I shall unceasingly proclaim the wrongs of her enslaved children; and, while she continues to 'traffic in the souls of men,' brand her as recreant to the great principles of her revolutionary struggle, and hypocritical in all her professions of attachment to the cause of human rights.

I thank God, I cherish no feelings of bitterness or revenge, towards any individual in America, my most inveterate enemy not excepted. Should the sea on which I am about to embark receive me ere I gain my native shore—should this be the last letter I ever address to the people of America, Heaven bears me witness, I with truth and sincerity affirm that, as I look to be freely forgiven, so freely do I forgive my persecutors and slanderers and pray—'Lord lay not this sin to their charge.'

In another part of the same letter he had thus expressed himself:— [Pg 11]

Should a kind providence place me again upon the soil of my birth, and when there, should any American (and I hope many will) visit that soil to plead the cause of virtue and philanthropy, and strive in love to provoke us to good works, let him know that there will be one man who will uphold his right to liberty of speech, one man who will publicly and privately assert and maintain the divinity of his commission to attack sin and alleviate suffering, in every form, in every latitude, and under whatever sanction and authorities it may be cloaked and guarded. And coming on such an errand, I think I may pledge myself in behalf of my country, that he shall not be driven with a wife and little ones, from the door of a hotel in less than 36 hours after he first breathes our air—that he shall not be denounced as an incendiary, a fanatic, an emissary, an enemy, and a traitor—that he shall not be assailed with oaths and missiles, while proclaiming from the pulpit in the house of God, on the evening of a Christian Sabbath, the doctrines of 'judgment, justice, and mercy,'—that he shall not be threatened, wherever he goes, with 'tar and feathers'—that he shall not be repudiated and abused in newspapers denominated religious, and by men calling themselves Christian Ministers—that he shall not have a price set upon his head, and his house surrounded with ruffians, hired to effect his abduction—that his wife and children shall not be forced to flee from the hearth of a friend, lest they should be 'smoked out' by men in civic authority, and their paid myrmidons—that the mother and her little ones shall not find at midnight, the house surrounded by an infuriated multitude, calling with horrible execrations for the husband and the father—that his lady shall not be doomed, while in a strange land, to see her babes clinging to her with affright, exclaiming, 'the mob shan't get papa,' 'papa is good is he not? the naughty mob shan't get him, shall they?'—that he shall not, finally, be forced to quit the most enlightened and christian city of our nation, to escape the assassin's knife, and return to tell his country, that in Britain the friend of virtue, humanity, and freedom, was put beyond the protection of the laws, and the pale of civilized sympathy, and given over by professor and profane, to the tender mercies of a blood-thirsty rabble.

These extracts were from the last letter that he had written to the people of America, and which had been widely published there; and he was glad of an opportunity of now laying them before a Glasgow audience, and of having them incorporated in the proceedings of the evening, in order to show that he then forgave America, that he now forgave America. He would stand there to defend the right of Mr. Breckinridge to a fair hearing from his (Mr. Thompson's) countrymen; and stand forward as his protector, to save him from the missile that might be aimed at him, and to receive into his own bosom the dagger which might be aimed at his heart. His opponent might be anxious to know what report he (Mr. T.) made on his return to Britain of his proceedings in America. He would therefore read an extract from the minutes of the London Society for Universal Emancipation:—

George Thompson was then introduced to the Committee, and communicated at length the result of his Mission in the United States, and the present cheering aspect of the Anti-Slavery cause in that country. The following is a brief outline of his statement:

He desired to be devoutly thankful to Divine Providence for the signal preservation and help vouchsafed to him in all his labors, perils, and persecutions. He considered it a high honor to have been permitted to proclaim in the ears of a distant people the great principles held by the Society.

He sailed from this country on the 17th August, 1834, landed at New York on the 20th September, and commenced his public labors on the 1st of October. His public Lectures were continued down to the 20th October, 1835, during which period he delivered between 2 and 300 public Lectures, besides innumerable shorter addresses before Committees, Conventions, Associations, &c. &c. His audiences had invariably been overflowing, and composed from time to time of members of State Legislatures, the Heads of Colleges, Professors, Clergymen of all denominations, members of the legal profession, and the students of nearly all the Theological and Academical Institutions in New England. The result of his labors had been the multiplication of Anti-Slavery Associations to an unprecedented extent. Up to the month of May, 1835, he met with no serious or formidable opposition. At that time the National Society reported the existence of 250 auxiliaries, and its determination to appropriate during the ensuing year the sum of 30,000 dollars in the printing of papers and pamphlets to be gratuitously circulated amongst the [Pg 12]entire white population of the country. The Southern States, previously almost silent and inoperative, soon after commenced a system of terrorism, intercepting the public conveyances, rifling the Mail Bags, scourging, mutilating or murdering all suspected of holding Anti-Slavery views, and calling with one consent upon the Free States to pass laws, abridging the freedom of speech and of the press, upon the subject of slavery. The North promptly responded to the call of the South, and in every direction through the Free States the Abolitionists became the victims of persecution, proscription and outrage. The friends of Negro freedom every where endured with a patience and spirit of christian charity, almost unexampled, the multiplied wrongs and injuries accumulated upon them. They ceased not to labor for the Holy cause they had espoused, but perseveringly pursued their course in the use of all means sanctioned by Justice, Religion, and the Constitution of their country. The result had been the rapid extension of their principles, and a vast accession of moral strength. G. T. gave an appalling account of the condition of the Southern Churches. The Presbyterians, Baptists, and Episcopal Methodist Churches were the main pillars of the system of Slavery. Were they to withdraw their countenance, and cease to participate in its administration and profit, it would not exist one year. Bishops, presiding Elders, Travelling Preachers, Local Preachers, Trustees, Stewards, Class Leaders, private Members, and other attendants in the Churches of the Episcopal Methodists, with the preachers and subordinate members of the other denominations, are, with few exceptions, Slaveholders. Many of the preachers, not merely possessing domestic Slaves, but being planters 'on a pretty extensive scale,' and dividing their time between the duties of the Pastoral Office and the driving of a gang of Negroes upon a cotton, tobacco, or rice plantation.

In the great pro-Slavery Meetings at Charleston and Richmond, the clergy of all denominations attended in a body, and at the bidding of vigilance Committees suspended their Schools for the instruction of the colored population, receiving as their reward a vote of thanks from their lay Slaveholding Brethren 'for their prudent and patriotic conduct.'

G. T. gave a most encouraging account of the present state of the Anti-Slavery cause, as nearly as it could be ascertained by letters recently received. He stated that there were now, exclusive of the Journals published by the Anti-Slavery Societies, 100 newspapers boldly advocating the principles of Abolition. Between 4 and 500 auxiliary associations, comprising 15 or 1700 Ministers of the Gospel of various denominations. G. T. stated also a number of particulars, shewing the rapid progress of correct opinions amongst the Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists, producing a Document just received from the last named body, signed by 185 Clergymen, being a reply to a letter addressed by the Baptist ministers in and near London to the Baptist Churches of America, and fully reciprocating all their sentiments on the subject of immediate and entire emancipation. The cause was proceeding with accelerated rapidity. Ten or twelve Agents of the National Society were incessantly laboring with many others employed by the State Societies, of which there were seven, viz. Kentucky, (a slave State,) Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Gerrit Smith, Esq. a competent authority, had stated that every week witnessed an accession to the ranks of the Abolitionists of not less than 500, in the State of New York alone, and he did not know that in all the Societies there was one intemperate or profane person. G. T. in describing the character of the persons comprising the Anti-Slavery Societies in America, stated, that they were universally men and women of religious principles, and, in most instances, of unquestioned piety. He had never known any benevolent enterprise carried forward more in dependence upon Divine Direction and Divine Aid, than the abolition cause in the United States. In all their meetings, public or social, they committed themselves to God in Prayer, and he had found that those who had been most vehemently denounced as 'Fanatics and Incendiaries' were men sound in judgment, calm in temper, deliberate in council, and prudent, though resolute, in action. The great principle on which all their Societies were founded was the essential sinfulness of slaveholding, and the consequent necessity of its immediate and entire abolition. The great means by which they had sought to accomplish their object, was the fearless publication of the truth in love, addressed to the understandings and hearts of their fellow citizens. Expediency was a doctrine they abjured. Free from a time-serving or timid spirit, they boldly relied upon the righteousness of their cause, the potency of truth, and the blessing of God. They were entitled to receive from the Abolitionists of Great Britain the warmest commendation, the fullest confidence, and most cordial co-operation.

He was happy in being able to state, that wherever the principles of immediate abolition had been fully adopted, prejudice against color had been thrown aside, and that the members of the Anti-Slavery Societies throughout the country were endeavoring by every proper means to accomplish the moral, intellectual, and spiritual elevation of the colored population.

He hoped he would yet have ample opportunities of replying to the positions assumed by his opponent. He thought he would be[Pg 13] able to show that slavery in America was American slavery; that the Congress of America—that the Constitution of America made it an institution of the country, and therefore a national sin of America. In reference to any question as to the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, he was glad he had to do with a gentleman who knew these well, who held a high character for his Constitutional and legal attainments; and he hoped he would be able to show that Slavery in America was American Slavery—that the people in the North did not hate slavery—that they did not oppose slavery—that they were the greatest supporters of slavery in the United States—that slavery in America was a national question. But he would keep his proofs till he had time to say something along with them. Our interference was not a political interference with America, it was only a moral interference, to put an end to slavery—and he hoped the people of this country, would continue to denounce slavery in America; and at the same time he was quite willing that his opponent should denounce the idolatry of our eastern possessions.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said, he would take up the line of argument in which he had been proceeding; but before doing so he wished to make one observation. How did it happen—admitting all that had been said by his opponent to be true and fair, how did it happen, that the same arguments and the same principles were so differently received in different countries? How did it happen that the individual who advocated the same cause, with the same temper, and almost in the same words, in Glasgow and in Boston, should in the one place be supported by general applause, and in the other be ill-treated and despised, and even made to flee for his life? This was a question which was yet to be solved. Mr. Thompson had spoken of the Northern states as the greatest friends of slavery, forgetting that he had formerly represented the clergy as such. This was one of the principal reasons of his want of success—of what might justly be called his signal failure. He had brought unjust charges against an entire people, and had in consequence been ill-treated. Mr. Thompson had shown the better part of valor, discretion, in taking care never to visit any of the slave states. He had never seen a slaveholder, except, perhaps, he had met such an individual in a free state. At least if he had done so, it was a circumstance which was not generally known, one of those hidden things of which it was not permitted to read. Having made this observation, he (Mr. B.) would proceed to state that in the slaveholding states there was a large minority—in some, nearly one half of the population—zealously engaged in furthering the abolition of slavery. In Kentucky, slaveholding had been introduced only by a small majority. When some time after, a convention canvassed the subject, that majority was diminished, and, still at this hour in that State, in which he had been born, one of[Pg 14] the greatest political questions agitated was whether slaveholding should be abolished or retained as an element of the constitution. A law had long ago been passed imposing a fine of six hundred dollars on whoever brought a slave into the State for sale, and three hundred dollars on whoever bought him. A fine of nine hundred dollars was thus made the penalty of introducing a slave into Kentucky as merchandise. He was sorry to have to speak of buying and selling human beings; but, to be understood, it was absolutely necessary that he should do so. In Virginia also, from which Kentucky had been in great measure peopled, not many years ago a frightful insurrection had taken place, and many cruelties had been practised—it was needless to say whether most on the side of the blacks or the whites. The succeeding legislature of that State took up the question of slavery in its length and breadth—passed a law for giving $20,000 to the Colonization Society,—and rejected only by a small majority a proposal to appropriate that fund equally to the benefit of slaves to be set free—as of those already free. He mentioned these things merely to show that there was a great and an increasing party in the south favorable to the abolition of negro slavery. In fact, in some of the Southern states the free people of color had increased faster than the whites; in Maryland alone there were 52,000 of a free colored population, all of whom, or their immediate progenitors, had been voluntarily manumitted. It was needless to say, therefore, that in the Southern states there was no anti-slavery party. There certainly was not such a party in Mr. Thompson's sense of the word; but Mr. Thompson's definition was not the correct one, as he (Mr. B.) would explain directly. Was it fair then, he would ask, to hold up to the British public, not only the people of the free states, but also this great minority in the Southern states as pro-slavery men. Let slavery be denounced, but let not the denunciation fall upon the whole American people, many of whom were doing all they could for its abolition. If Louisiana resolved on perpetuating slavery, let this be told of Louisiana. If South Carolina adhered to the system, say so of South Carolina; but do not implicate the mass of the American people, so many of whom are as much opposed to slavery as is Mr. Thompson himself. He had heard it said that the sun never sat on the British dominions. As well, then, might the British people be identified with the idolatry which prevailed in Hindostan as the Americans be identified with negro slavery. The question was not American; it existed solely between the slaveholder and the world. It was unfair, therefore, to blame the Americans as a nation: the slaveholder, and the slaveholder alone, should be blamed, let him reside where he might. Having thus disposed of the first branch of his argument, he was naturally led to explain the wonderful phenomenon of Mr. Thompson's reception in America—to give a reason why that reception was so different from what the same gentleman met with in Glas[Pg 15]gow. Mr. Thompson had taken up the question as one of civil organization. Now the fact was, that the American nation was divided into two parties on the subject, namely, the pro-slavery, and the anti-slavery parties. One party said, let it alone; the other, and by far the most numerous party, said, something ought to be done in relation to it. In the last named class, was to be included the population of all the non-slaveholding states. He declared, in the presence of God, his conviction, that there was not a sane man in the free states who did not wish the world rid of slavery. He believed the same of a large minority in the states in which slavery existed. The pro-slavery party themselves were also divided. One section, and he rejoiced to add, a small one, called into exertion in fact only by that effervesence which had been produced by the violence of Mr. T's friends—spoke of slavery as an exceedingly good thing—as not only consistent with the law of God, but as absolutely necessary for the advancement of civilization. This party was organised within the last few years, and met the violence of Mr. Thompson's party by a corresponding violence, as a beam naturally seeks its balance. Another section of the pro-slavery party, considered slavery a great evil, and wished that it were abolished, but they did not see how this could be effected. They had been born in a state of society where it had an existence, and they could see no course to adopt but to let it cure itself. These were the two sections into which the supporters of slavery were divided. The anti-slavery party was also composed of individuals who had different views of the subject. The one class had been called Gradualists, Emancipationists, and Colonizationists.—The other were called Abolitionists. With the latter class, Mr. Thompson had identified himself. And now, as while in America, by his praises of Mr. Garrison, and all their leaders, his abuse of their opponents, and his efforts to chain the British public, hand and foot, to them and their projects, shows his continued devotion to them. He would refer to this party again, but, in the mean time, he would only say, that its members manifested far more honesty than wisdom. In 1833, the abolitionists held a Convention in Philadelphia, at which they drew up a Declaration of Independence—a declaration which he dared to say Mr. Thompson cherished as the apple of his eye; but which had been more effectual in raising mobs than ever witch was in raising the wind. The document of which he spoke announced three principles, to the promulgation of which, the members of the Convention pledged their lives and their fortunes. A number of the particulars specified, in support of which they said they would live and die, went to change materially the laws and Constitution of the United States, and yet it was pretended that this was not a political question! Their first principle was, that every human being has an instant right to be free, irrespective of all consequences; and incapable of restriction or modification. The second was like unto it, that the right of citizenship, inherent in every man, in the spot where he is born, is so perfect, that to deprive him of its[Pg 16] exercise in any way whatever—even by emigration, under strong moral constraint, is a sin. Their third principle was, that all prejudice against color was sinful; and that all our judgments and all our feelings towards others should be regulated exclusively by their moral and intellectual worth. Mr. B. said he stated these principles from memory only—as he did most of the facts on which he relied. But he was willing to stand or fall, in both countries, upon the substantial accuracy of his statements. Mr. Breckinridge here closed his address, the period allotted to him having expired.


Mr. THOMPSON was anxious to lay before the meeting documentary testimony, in preference to any thing he could say himself. Rather than set forth his own views, as he had done on many former occasions, he wished to bring forward such documents as even his opponent would admit to be really American. He pledged himself to show that this was an American question. He was not prepared for this branch of the subject, because he had not expected that Mr. Breckinridge would exonerate America from the charge of being a slaveholding nation; nevertheless, he was perfectly ready to take it up. He would undertake to prove that the existence of slavery in the United States was the result of a compromise—that the Constitution of the United States was, in fact, based upon a compromise, in relation to this subject. At the time when the Constitution was agreed to, the then slaveholding states refused to come into what was called the confederacy of republics, unless slaveholding was permitted. At that time there were only three hundred thousand slaves in the Union; now there were two millions and a half. So much, said Mr. Thompson, for what the good and influential men of the South, spoken of by Mr. Breckinridge, had done for the abolition of slavery. Then there were three hundred thousand; now there were two million four hundred thousand. The method by which these good and influential people had gone about extirpating slavery, had been an Irish method; it had shown distinctly the extent of their zeal and usefulness. Why, setting aside their influence altogether, they might, had they been as numerous as represented by his respected opponent, have manumitted as many of their own slaves. It was said, no doubt, that the laws prevented this; but who made the laws? The child could not do what her mamma had commanded her to do, because she was tied to the mahogany table, she could only answer, when asked who tied her, that it was herself. In like manner, he could turn round on those whom his respected opponent represented, as haters of slavery. Emancipationists they wished to be called; colonizationists they ought to be called. He would ask them, what had they done? Had they not compromised every principle of justice and truth, by permitting slaveholding in their Union? Had they not even bestowed exclusive privileges on the slaveholders? Had they not bestowed on them such privileges as that, even now, they sent twenty-four or twenty-five represen[Pg 17]tatives to Congress more than their proportion? His respected opponent had said this was not a national question. Why, then, send six thousand bayonets to the South for the protection of the slaveholder? Why were the American people taxed in order to maintain bayonets, blunderbusses, and artillery in the South? Not a national question! Why, then, was Missouri admitted a member of the Union—Missouri a slaveholding State, admitted by the votes of the Northern republics. Mr. Breckinridge had fought very shy of the state of the Capital, and the power of Congress to suppress the internal traffic in slaves. He (Mr. Thompson) trusted, however, that this branch of the subject would be taken up. His opponent himself, in a letter addressed to the New York Evangelist, had stated, that Congress possessed full power to suppress the internal traffic in slaves; and yet they did it not. There was in fact no question at all respecting the power of the Congress, in this matter; yet it was said the question of slavery was not national. The people of the Northern states,—the slavery-hating, liberty-loving people of the Northern states had said they would fight shoulder to shoulder with the Slaveholders of the South, should the slaves dare to rise and say they were men, and after all this, it was asserted that this was not a national question. Mr. Breckinridge had said, that he (Mr. Thompson) got all his information at second hand. He might have told the reason why; he knew, however, that such a revelation would have been awful. He knew that pious men, advocates of the cause of abolition had been hanged, butchered, their backs ploughed up by Presbyterian elders; and if such had been done towards natives of New England, what could a stranger such as he have expected? He (Mr. T.) had, it seems, got all at second hand. He would tell the meeting where he had obtained some of his information. From Mr. Breckinridge himself; and he must say, that sounder or juster views respecting slavery—or a more complete justification of the mission in which he (Mr. T.) had been so lately engaged, could scarcely be met with. This was evidence which he had no fear could be ruled out of court. It was that of the friend and defender of America. Mr. T. then read the following passage from a speech delivered by Mr. Breckinridge:—

What, then, is slavery? for the question relates to the action of certain principles on it, and to its probable and proper results; what is slavery as it exists among us? We reply, it is that condition enforced by the laws of one half of the states of this confederacy, in which one portion of the community, called masters, is allowed such power over another portion called slaves; as

1. To deprive them of the entire earnings of their own labor, except only so much as is necessary to continue labor itself, by continuing healthful existence, thus committing clear robbery.

2. To reduce them to the necessity of universal concubinage, by denying to them the civil rights of marriage; thus breaking up the dearest relations of life, and encouraging universal prostitution.

3. To deprive them of the means and opportunities of moral and intellectual culture, in many states making it a high penal offence to teach them to read; thus perpetuating whatever of evil there is that proceeds from ignorance.

4. To set up between parents and their children an authority higher than the impulse of nature and the laws of God; which breaks up the authority of the father over his own [Pg 18]offspring, and, at pleasure, separates the mother at a returnless distance from her child; thus abrogating the clearest laws of nature; thus outraging all decency and justice, and degrading and oppressing thousands upon thousands of beings, created like themselves, in the image of the most high God! This is slavery as it is daily exhibited in every slave state.

Here, continued Mr. T., is slavery acknowledged to be clear robbery, and yet it is not to be instantly abolished! Universal concubinage and prostitution, which must not immediately be put an end to! Oh, these wicked abolitionists, who seek to put an immediate close to such a state of things. What an immensity of good have the emancipationists of the South, as they wish to be called, of the colonizationists as they ought to be called, done during their fifty years labor, when this is yet left for the Rev. R. J. Breckinridge to say. Dear, delightful, energetic men! Truly, if this is all they have been able to effect it is time that the work were committed to abler hands. Mr. Thompson then read an extract from the Philadelphia declaration. Mr. Breckinridge had called it a declaration of independence, but it was only a declaration of sentiments;—

We have met together for the achievement of an enterprise, without which, that of our fathers is incomplete, and which, for its magnitude, solemnity, and probable results upon the destiny of the world, as far as transcends theirs, as moral truth does physical force.

In purity of motive, in earnestness of zeal, in decision of purpose, in intrepidity of action, in steadfastness of faith, in sincerity of spirit, we would not be inferior to them.

Their principles led them to wage war against their oppressors, and to spill human blood like water, in order to be free. Ours forbid the doing of evil that good may come, and lead us to reject, and entreat the oppressed to reject the use of all carnal weapons, for deliverance from bondage—relying solely upon those which are spiritual, and mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.

Their measures were physical resistance—the marshalling in arms—the hostile array—the mortal encounter. Ours shall be such only as the opposition of moral purity to moral corruption—the destruction of error by the potency of truth—the overthrow of prejudice by the power of love—and the abolition of slavery by the spirit of repentance.

Their grievances, great as they were, were trifling in comparison with the wrongs and sufferings of those for whom we plead. Our fathers were never slaves—never bought and sold like cattle—never shut out from the light of knowledge and religion—never subjected to the lash of brutal task masters.

But those, for whose emancipation we are striving, constituting at the present, at least one-sixth part of our countrymen,—are recognised by the laws, and treated by their fellow-beings as marketable commodities—as goods and chattels—as brute beasts; are plundered daily of the fruits of their toil, without redress;—really enjoy no constitutional or legal protection from licentious and murderous outrages upon their persons—are ruthlessly torn asunder—the tender babe from the arms of its frantic mother—the heart-broken wife from her weeping husband—at the caprice or pleasure of irresponsible tyrants;—for the crime of having a dark complexion—they suffer the pangs of hunger, the infliction of stripes, and the ignominy of brutal servitude. They are kept in heathenish darkness by laws expressly enacted to make their instruction a criminal offence.

These are the prominent circumstances in the condition of more than two millions of our people, the proof of which may be found in thousands of indisputable facts, and in the laws of the slaveholding states.

Hence we maintain:—

That in the view of the civil and religious privileges of this nation, the guilt of its oppression is unequalled by any other on the face of the earth—and, therefore,

That it is bound to repent instantly, to undo the heavy burden, to break every yoke and let the oppressed go free.

We further maintain:—

That no man has a right to enslave or imbrute his brother—to hold or acknowledge him, for one moment, as a piece of merchandise—to keep back his hire by fraud—or to brutalize his mind by denying him the means of intellectual, social, and moral improvement.

The right to enjoy liberty is inalienable. To invade it is to usurp the prerogative of Jehovah. Every man has a right to his own body—to the products of his own labor—to the protection of law—and to the common advantages of society. It is piracy to buy or steal [Pg 19]a native African, and subject him to servitude. Surely the sin is as great to enslave an American as an African.

Therefore, we believe and affirm:—

That there is no difference in principle, between the African slave-trade and American slavery.

That every American citizen who retains a human being in involuntary bondage, as his property is (according to Scripture) a man-stealer.

That the slaves ought instantly to be set free, and brought under the protection of law.

That if they had lived from the time of Pharaoh down to the present period, and had been entailed through successive generations, their right to be free could never have been alienated, but their claims would have constantly risen in solemnity.

That all those laws which are now in force, admitting the right of slavery, are therefore, before God, utterly null and void; being an audacious usurpation of the Divine prerogative, a daring infringement on the law of nature, a base overthrow of the very foundations of the social compact, a complete extinction of all the relations, endearments, and obligations of mankind, and a presumptuous transgression of all the holy commandments—and that, therefore, they ought to be instantly abrogated.

He would ask if there was any thing here different from what he had read from his respected opponent? The sentiments were the same, though not given in Mr. Breckinridge's strong and glowing language. Mr. Breckinridge's description of slavery was even more methodical, clearer, and better arranged; he was therefore inclined to prefer it to the other. He would, however, ask Mr. Breckinridge not to persevere in speaking of the violence, as he called it, of the abolitionists, only in general terms. He hoped he would point out the instances to which he alluded, and not take advantage of them, because they were a handful and odious. They were not singular in being called odious. Noah was called odious by the men of his day, because he pointed out to them the wickedness of which they were guilty. Every reformer had been called odious, and he trusted to be always among those who were deemed odious by slaveholders and their apologists. He repeated, that he wished Mr. Breckinridge to forsake general allegations, and to specify time and place when he brought forward his charges. The time was passed, when, in Glasgow, vague assertions could produce any effect. The time was not, indeed, distant when even here the friends of negro freedom had been deemed odious—when they were a mere handful, met in a room in the Black Bull Inn. But from being odious they had become respectable, and from respectable triumphant, in consequence of their having renounced expediency, and taken their stand on the broad principles of truth and justice.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said, he had on so many occasions and in so many different forms uttered the sentiments contained in the passages which had just been read as his, that he was unable to say from what particular speech or writing they were taken. But he had no doubt that if the whole passage to which they belonged were read, it would be seen that they contained, in addition to what they had heard, the most unqualified condemnation of the irrational course pursued by the abolitionists. He believed also, that, whatever it was, that writing had been uttered by him in a slave state. For he could say for himself, that he had never said that of a brother be[Pg 20]hind his back, which he would be afraid or unwilling to repeat before his face. He had never gone to Boston, to cry back to Baltimore, how great a sin they were guilty of in upholding slavery. The worst things which he had said against slavery had been said in the slave states, and had Mr. Thompson gone there and seen with his two eyes, what he describes wholly upon hearsay, he would, perhaps, have understood the subject better than he seems to do. As he felt himself divinely commissioned, he should have felt no fear, he should have gone at whatever hazard, he should have seen slavery in its true colors, though he had read it in his own blood. If Saul of Tarsus had gone to America to see slavery—I dare to say, with the help of God, he would have been right sure to see it. He did not say that Mr. T. should have gone to the Southern states if his life was likely to be endangered by his going there; but he would say this, that Mr. Thompson ought not to pretend, that he had been, in the least degree, a martyr in the cause, when, in reality, he had exercised the most masterly discretion. With regard to the acts of the abolitionists, as he had been called on to mention particulars, he could not say that he had ever heard of their having killed any person, nor had he ever heard of any of them being killed. He might mention, however, that he himself had once almost been mobbed in Boston, and, that too, by a mob stirred up against him, by placards, written, as he believed, by William Lloyd Garrison. He had never obtained direct proof of this, but he might state, as a reason for his belief, that the inflammatory placards were of the precise breadth and appearance of the columns of Garrison's paper—the Liberator, and the breadth of the columns of no other newspaper in that city. Mr. B. stated a second case, in which, on the arrival at the city of New York of the Rev. J. L. Wilson, a missionary to Western Africa, in charge of two lads, the sons of two African kings, committed by their fathers to the Maryland Colonization Society for education; some friends of the Anti-Slavery Society of that city, with the concurrence, if not by the procurement, as was universally believed, of Elizur Wright, Jr., a leading person, and Secretary of the principal society of abolitionists—got out a writ to take the bodies of the boys, under the pretence of believing, that they had been kidnapped in Africa. These two cases he considered, would perhaps satisfy Mr. T's appetite for facts in the meantime; he would have plenty more of them when they came to the main question of debate. One other instance, and he would have done. There was a law in the United States, that if a slave run away from one of the slaveholding states, to any of the non-slaveholding states, the authorities of the latter were bound to give him up to his master. A runaway slave had been confined in New York prison, previous to being sent home, an attempt was made to stir up a mob, for the purpose of liberating him. A bill instigating the people to take the laws into their own hands, was traced to an abolitionist—the same Elizur Wright, Jr. He brought to the office of one of the princi[Pg 21]pal city papers, a denial of the charge—in a note signed by him in his official capacity. He was told that was insufficient, as it was in his individual, not in his official capacity, that he was supposed to have done the act in question. He replied, it would be time to make the denial in that form, when the charge was so specifically made; meantime he considered the actual denial sufficient. Then, sir, said one present, I charge you with writing the placard—for I saw it in your hand writing. These instances were sufficient to prove the charge of violence which he had made was not unfounded. In reference to the statement made by Mr. Thompson regarding the number of slaves in the United States, at the commencement of the Revolution, Mr. B. said, it was impossible to know precisely what number there was at that time, as there had been no statistical returns before 1790, at which time there were six hundred and sixty-five thousand slaves in the five original slave states. The exertions of the American nation to put an end to slavery were treated with ridicule, but he would have them to bear in mind, that there were in the United States four hundred thousand free people of color, all of whom, or their progenitors, had been set free by the people of America, and not one of these, so far as he knew, had been liberated by an abolitionist. In addition to these, there were not less than four thousand more in Africa, many of whom had been freed from fetters and sent to that country. He would ask if all this was to be counted as nothing. If they were to consider for a moment the enormous sum which it would take to ransom so many slaves, they would perceive the value of the sacrifice. They might say that they had given $150,000,000 towards the abolition of slavery. It might seem selfish to talk of it thus; but if the conduct of Great Britain, rich and powerful as she was, was not reckoned worthy of praise for having done an act of justice, in granting emancipation to the West India slaves, at the cost of $100,000,000, or £20,000,000, how much more might be said of £30,000,000, being paid by a few comparatively poor and scattered communities, and individual men. They had been told some fine stories of a mahogany table, to which the people of America had tied themselves, and they were left to infer that it was quite easy, that it merely required the exertion of will, for them to set their slaves free. Now, on this head, he would only ask, had he the power of fixing the place of his birth? No. Nor had he any hand in making the laws of the place where he was born, nor the power of altering them. They might, indeed, be altered and he ought to add, they would have been altered already, but for the passionate and intemperate zeal of the abolitionists; but for the conduct of those who tell the slaveholders of the Southern states, that they must at once give freedom to the slaves, at whatever cost or whatever hazard, and unless they do so, they will be denounced on the house-tops, by all the vilest names which language can furnish, or the imagination of man can conceive. And what was the answer the planters gave to these disturbers of the public peace? [Pg 22]First, coolly, 'there's the door;' and next, 'if you try to tell these things to those, who, when they learn them, will at once turn round and cut our throats, we must take measures to prevent your succeeding.' Such conduct was just what was to be expected on the part of the slaveholders. They saw these men coming among their slaves, and where they could not appeal to their judgments, endeavoring to speak to the eyes of the black population by prints, representing their masters, harsh and cruel. It was not surprising that such unwise conduct should beget a bitter feeling of opposition among the inhabitants of the Southern states. They themselves knew too well the critical nature of their position, and the dangers of tampering with the passions of the black population. Let him who doubted go to the Southern states, and he would learn that those harsh laws, in regard to slavery, which had been so much condemned, were passed immediately after some of those insurrections, those spasmodic efforts of the slaves to free themselves by violence, which could never end in good, and which the conduct of the abolitionists was calculated continually to renew. They ought to take these things into account when they heard statements made about the strong excitement against the abolitionists. He would repeat what he had before stated, that the cause of emancipation had been ruined by that small party with which Mr. Thompson had identified himself: but to whose chariot wheels he trusted the people of this country would never suffer themselves to be bound.


Mr. GEORGE THOMPSON said, the work he had to do in reference to the last speech was by no means great or difficult. They had heard a great many things stated by Mr. Breckinridge on the great question in debate, but every one of these had been stated a thousand times before, and answered again and again within the last sixty years. Within these very walls they had heard many of them brought forward and refuted within the last four years. But there was one part of his opponent's speech to which he would reply with emphasis. And he could not but confess that he had listened to that one part of it with surprise. He knew Mr. Breckinridge to be the advocate of gradual emancipation; he (Mr. Thompson) had therefore come prepared to hear all the arguments employed by the gradualists, urged in the ablest manner, but he had not been prepared to hear from that gentleman's lips the things he had heard—he did not expect that the foul charge of stirring up a mob against Mr. Breckinridge for advocating the principles of colonization, would be brought against William Lloyd Garrison. But they would here see the propriety and utility of his calling upon his opponent to leave generalities and come to something specific—to lay his finger on a fact which could be examined and tested circumstantially. And what did they suppose was the truth in the present case? Simply this, that when Mr. Breckinridge[Pg 23] came forward to explain the principles of the Maryland colonization scheme, the noisy rabble who sought to mob, did so only so long as they were under the impression that he was an abolitionist. Mr. B. and his brother, who was along with him on that occasion, did their best to let the meeting know that they were not abolitionists but colonizationists, and whenever the mob learned that, they became quiet. This was the fact in regard to that case—he would willingly stake the merits of the whole question on the truth of what he had just stated, and he would call on Mr. B. to say whether it was not true; he would call on him to exhibit the placard which had been written by Mr. Garrison, or tell what it contained. He had a copy of the Liberator of the day referred to, and he would ask him to point out a single word in it which could be found fault with. He would dare Mr. B. to find a single sentence in that paper calculated to stir up a mob, or to induce any one to hurt a single hair of his head. With regard to the Maryland colonization scheme, he was not going to enter upon its discussion at that hour of the evening, but the next evening, if they were spared, he would endeavor to show the gross iniquity of that scheme, recommended as it was by Mr. Breckinridge. In the mean time, to return to the next charge, they were told of an active abolitionist—Elizur Wright. And here he would at once say, that it was too bad to bring such a charge against an individual like Elizur Wright, than whom he knew no man, either on this or the the other side of the Atlantic, whose nature was more imbued with the milk of human kindness, or whose heart was more alive to the dictates of Christian charity—it was too bad, he repeated, to bring such a charge against that man, unless it could be substantiated beyond the possibility of doubt. They were told that Elizur Wright had stirred up the people of New York to insurrection, by inflammatory placards. Here indeed was a serious charge, but they ought to know what these placards were. Again, he would call upon Mr. B. to show a copy of the placard, or to say what were its contents. In explanation of the matter he might state to the meeting that there was a little truth in what had been said about this matter; and in order to make them understand the case properly, they must first know, that in New York there were at all times a number of runaway slaves, and also, that there was in the same city a class of men, who, at least wore the human form, and who were even allowed to appear as gentlemen, whose sole profession was that of kidnappers; their only means of subsistence was derived from laying hold of these unfortunates, and returning them to their masters in the South. Nothing was more common than advertisements from these gentlemen kidnappers in the newspapers, in which they offered their services to any slave master whose slaves had run off. All that was necessary was merely that twenty dollars should be transmitted to them under cover, with the marks of the runaway who was soon found out if in the city, and with the[Pg 24] clutch of a demon, seized and dragged to prison. These were the kidnappers. And who was Elizur Wright? He was the man who at all times was found ready to sympathise with those poor unfortunate outcasts, to pour the balm of consolation into their wounds—to come into the Recorder's Court, and stand there to plead the cause of the injured African at the risk of his life—undeterred by the execrations of the slave-masters, or the knife of his myrmidons. And was it a high crime that on some occasions he had been mistaken. But Elizur Wright would be able to reply to the charge himself. The account of this meeting would soon find its way to America, and he would then have an opportunity of justifying himself. As to the charge of error in his statistics, on the subject of American Slavery, it was very easily set at rest. He had said that the slave population amounted to but three hundred thousand, at the date of the Union, and that it was now two millions. The latter statement was not questioned, but it was said that there were no authentic returns at the date of the Union, and consequently, that it was impossible to say precisely. But although they could not say exactly, they could come pretty near the truth, even from the statement of Mr. Breckinridge. That gentleman admitted, that in 1790, there were only six hundred and sixty-five thousand slaves in the states. He (Mr. T.) had said, that in 1776, there were only three hundred thousand; but as the population in America doubled itself in twenty-four years, he was warranted in saying that there was no great discrepancy. But the question with him did not depend upon any particular number or any particular date. It would have been quite the same for his argument, he contended, whether he had taken six hundred and sixty-five thousand in 1790, or three hundred thousand in 1776. All that he had wished to show, was the rapid increase of the slave population, and consequently, of the vice and misery inherent in that system, even while the American people professed themselves to be so anxious to put an end to it altogether. Had he wished to dwell on this part of the argument, he could also have shown, that the increase of the slave population during the first twenty years of the Union, had gone on more rapidly even during that time, the trade in slaves having been formally recognised by the Constitution during that period, and a duty of $10 imposed on every slave imported into the United States. The following was the clause from the Constitution:

Sec. IX. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited prior to the year 1808, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding $10 for each person.

To sum up Mr. Breckinridge's last address, what, he would ask, had been its whole aim? Clearly, that they should consider the abolitionists as the chief promoters of all the riots that had taken place in America on this question, by making inflammatory appeals to the passions of the people. He would call upon Mr. Breckinridge [Pg 25] again, to lay his hand on a single proof of this. He would call upon him to point out a single instance where language had been used which was in any degree calculated to call up the blood-thirsty passions of the mob as had been represented. If the planters of the South were roused into fury by the declaration of anti-slavery sentiments—if they were unable to hear the everlasting truths which it promulgated, was that a sufficient reason for those to keep silent who felt it to be their duty, at all hazards, to make known these truths. Or were they to be charged with raising mobs, because the people were enraged to hear these truths. As well might Paul of Tarsus have been charged with the mobs which rose against his life, and that of his fellow-apostles. As well might Galileo be charged with those persecutions which immured him in a dungeon. As well might the apostles of truth in every age be charged with the terrible results which ensued from the struggle of light and darkness. In conclusion, Mr. Thompson said, that on the following evening, he would take up the question of the Maryland colonization scheme.


Dr. WARDLAW announced to the meeting that the discussion closed for the evening. In doing so he complimented the audience on the very correct manner in which they had observed the rule regarding all manifestation of applause. The attention and interest of the audience were much excited throughout the whole proceedings, indeed, at few meetings have we observed so lively an interest taken in the entire business of an evening, and yet there was not a single instance in which the interference of the chairman was required. On several occasions the rising expression of applause was at once checked by the general good sense of the meeting.


[Pg 26]

SECOND NIGHT—TUESDAY, JUNE 14.

Mr. THOMPSON, before proceeding with the discussion, would make one or two preliminary observations. Last evening he had been led into an error, as regarded both number and time, in speaking of the amount of slaves in America at the adoption of the Constitution; and he was anxious that every statement made by him should be without a flaw; and if there should be an error committed he would be the first person to admit and correct it when discovered. He stated that at the adoption of the American Constitution, there were only about three hundred thousand slaves in the United States. There were not many more in 1776, when the states declared themselves independent: in 1788 when the Constitution was settled there were more; and in 1790, there were between six and seven hundred thousand slaves in the United States of America. His error consisted in his subtracting 1776 from 1790, and saying twenty-four years instead of fourteen. He mentioned this error to show that he held a regard to truth to be the ultimate end of their discussion. There was one other preliminary remark. His antagonist had repeatedly said that George Thompson had published himself a martyr. George Thompson never did publish himself a martyr. Mr. Breckinridge, in the course of his speeches last night, had said more of himself than he (Mr. T.) had ever done during all the speeches he had ever made on the question. He had only referred to himself when urgently requested to give an account of his personal experience. He never had a wish to be considered a martyr. If, when he had finished his course here; if, when this probationary scene was over, he was found to have done his duty, he would be fully satisfied. He was not pharasaical enough to imagine that he had performed any works of supererogation. Mr. Breckinridge had said this was not a national question; that slavery in America was not American Slavery; that it was not a national evil; that it was not a national sin; that is was merely a question between the State Legislatures and the slave owners. He (Mr. T.) had said last night, that slavery in America was a national sin, and he would now adduce the reasons for his statement:—First—The American people had admitted the slave states into the Union; and by consenting to admit these states into the confederacy, although[Pg 27] there were in them hundreds of thousands in a state of slavery, they took the slaves under the government of the United States, and made the sin national. Second—For twenty years after the adoption of their Constitution, and by virtue of that very instrument, the United States permitted the horrid, unchristian, diabolical African slave-trade. Third—Than the Capital of the United States of America there was not one spot in the whole world which was more defiled by slavery; and considering the professions and privileges of the people, there was not a more anti-christian traffic on the face of the earth. Fourth—each of the states is bound by the Constitution to give up all run-away slaves; so that the poor, wretched, tortured slave might be pursued from Baltimore to Pennsylvania, from thence to New Jersey and New York, and dragged even from the confines of Canada, a fugitive and a felon, back into the slavery from which he had fled. He might be taken from the Capitol: from the very horns of the altar, to be subjected by a cruel kidnapper to the most horrid of human sufferings. It is not a national question! When the North violates the law of God—when it tramples on the Decalogue—when it defies Jehovah! what was a stronger injunction in the law of Moses than that the Israelites should protect the run-away slave? But in America every state was bound by law to give up the slave to his slave-master, to his ruthless pursuer; and yet it must not be called a national question! Fifth—The citizens of the free states were bound to go South to put down any insurrection among the slaves. They were bound and pledged to do this when required. The youth of Pennsylvania had pledged themselves to go to the Southern states to annihilate the blacks in case they asserted their rights—the rights of every human being—to be free. So also was it in New York, and in the other free states, and yet we are to be told that slavery is not a national question. The whole Union was bound to crush the slave, who, standing on the ashes of Washington said, he ought to be, and would be free. Yes, Northern bayonets would give that slave a speedy manumission from his galling yoke, by sending him in his gore, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. Yet it is not a national question! Sixth—The North is taxed to keep up troops in the South to overawe and terrify the slave; and yet it is not a national question! Seventh—Mr. Breckinridge has shown in a letter published by him, that the Congress has the power to put an end to the international slave trade, and yet this trade goes on in America. Mr. B. well knows that at least one hundred thousand human beings—slaves—change hands annually; he must have seen the slaves driven in coffles through his own beloved state, to be sold like cattle at Washington and Alexandria; he knows that thousands of Virginia and Maryland slaves are sold at New Orleans yearly, and yet he tells us that slavery is not a national question! Eighth—How did they admit Missouri into the Union with slaves? Were they Southern votes which admitted it? [Pg 28]No! But they were the votes of recreant New Englanders—false to the principles of freedom, who sold the honor of their country, and with it the liberty of thousands of human beings in Missouri—or at least consented to their bondage. And yet it is not a national question! He (Mr. T.) would last refer to the remarks of a constitutional lawyer, who was able, eloquent, sincere, and high minded. Mr. T. then read the following extract:—

Such thoughts (referring to the judgments to be expected) habitually crowd upon me when I contemplate those great personal and NATIONAL evils, from which the system of operations (vis., the movements of the Colonization Society) which I stand here to advocate, seems to offer us some prospect of deliverance.

From that day (1698) till the present, there have flourished in our country, men of large and just views, who have not ceased to pour over this subject a stream of clear and noble truth, and to importune their country, by every motive of duty and advantage, to wipe from her escutcheon, the stain of human tears.

It is generally known, that the original members of the American Colonization Society anticipated, that, at some future period, the General Government, and some, if not all the State Governments, would co-operate in their exertions for the removal of an evil which was obviously NATIONAL in all its aspects.

Now who was the writer from whom he had quoted?—His friend Mr. Breckinridge. This was his final reason. If Mr. Breckinridge's argument survived these reasons, it would have a life like that of a cat, which is said to have nine lives; for they were nine fatal thrusts at his position, that slavery in America was not American slavery. Mr. B. admits the existence of slavery, but lays no blame either in this quarter or in that; he does not lay it on the states, nor on the General Government. Slavery does exist in America, but—interminably; but, but—coming as these buts did from a temperance country, he wondered much that they had escaped being staved. Slavery exists in America, but it is not a national question! There are upwards of two millions and a half of slaves in the United States of America, and of these, at least one hundred thousand changed hands annually, thus sundering, without remorse, the tenderest ties of human nature; at whose door, then, lay the guilt of this sin? To whom were the people of this country to address their warnings—over whose transgressions were they to mourn—whose hearts were they to endeavor to humanize and mollify—where were the responsible and guilty parties to be found—how are we to get access to their consciences on behalf of the slave? Mr. Breckinridge says the system is one of 'clear robbery,' 'universal concubinage,'—'unmitigated wickedness'—and yet it is not to be immediately abolished! If it be clear robbery—if it be universal concubinage—if it be unmitigated wickedness—let the horrid system immediately, and totally, and eternally cease—a worse system it was impossible to have if these were the evils it entailed. Mr. B. triumphantly makes out my case for immediate and complete emancipation. The duty is plain and indispensable. Mr. Breckinridge says the abolitionists are the most despicable and odious men on the face of the earth. Those who love liberty are always odious in the eyes of tyrants. The lovers[Pg 29] of things as they are, of corruption of despotism—men who look at every thing from beneath the aprons of their grandmothers, invariably regard as insufferably odious all who are lovers of reformation and liberty. This always has been, and always will be the case. As it was said in the service of the church of England, it might be said on this subject, 'As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be' if not 'world without end,' at least to the end of this world. On the 6th day of January, 1831, Mr. Breckinridge delivered in Frankfort, Kentucky, an able address in favor of the Colonization Society. In that address, Mr. B. stated that the Society was established on the 21st day of Dec. 1816, and was of course, at the time of his speech, fourteen years and sixteen days old. Mr. Breckinridge said the legislatures of eleven states of the Union had recommended this Society to Congress; that the ecclesiastical tribunals of all the leading sects of Christians in America had testified their approbation of its principles; and yet there were, after fourteen years and sixteen days, with all this support and high patronage in church and state only one hundred and sixty auxiliary societies existing throughout the Union. Now, as to the contemptible and odious abolitionists! as they were called by the gentleman who differed from him. The National Society for the immediate abolition of American slavery, was formed on the 6th of Dec. 1833; and on the 12th of May, 1835, when the anniversary was held—without being recommended to Congress by any of the state legislatures—without a testimony of approbation from any of the ecclesiastical tribunals—being only one year and six months old—how many auxiliary societies were connected with this abolition organization? Two hundred and twenty-four. That was the number then on the books of the Society; and the Secretary said the whole of them were not inserted from the want of proper returns. In a letter addressed to him (Mr. T.) by the Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society, dated New York, 31st March, 1836, were the following words:—

Never were societies forming in all parts of our country with greater rapidity. At this moment we have four hundred and fifty on our list, and doubtless, there are five hundred in existence. We have at this time eleven agents in the field, all good men and true, and all fast gaining converts.

And yet the abolitionists are a handful! The one society in fourteen years and sixteen days, having one hundred and sixty auxiliaries; the other in two years and three months, having, without the support of state legislatures, or of ecclesiastical tribunals, not fewer than five hundred; and yet the abolitionists are a handful. He (Mr. T.) held in his hand a list of delegates to the New England Convention which was held in the city of Boston, on the 25th of May, 1835. In that list he found two hundred and eighty-one gentlemen, who, at their own expense, had come from all parts of New England, to attend that Convention. On the 27th May, it was stated that the Massachusetts Society were in want of funds, and a[Pg 30] committee was appointed to collect subscriptions. That committee in less than an hour obtained $1,800, and on the following day, $4,000, for the American Society. In New York, at the anniversary, there had been collected $14,500—and yet the abolitionists were a handful. The American Society at its anniversary, had collected a larger sum than was collected by all the other societies together, during the week set apart for the purpose; and in Boston, $6,000 had been collected in two days; whilst in two months, a friend of Mr. B's, viz. Mr. Gurley, had only been able to collect, in the same city, about $600 for the Colonization Society. By their fruits shall ye know them; do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? You may send to New England any foreigner you please—but he must show his cause to be sound and practicable before he can draw a dollar or a cent from a New Englander, who gets his bread by early rising, and laborious attention to business—yet $6,000 were collected in two days. But the abolitionists are a mere handful! Yes—they may be a handful, but they are most precious and multyplying seed. Mr. B. said that many of the slave-owners were doing all they could for the emancipation of the slaves; whether they were doing any thing or nothing, we find New Englanders had endeavored to retrieve the honor of their country, by a subscription for emancipation of $6,000 in two days—and yet it was said, they were an odious handful! When he saw the Colonization Society like a Juggernaut, endeavoring to crush the bodies and spirits of colored men and colored women, he would league himself with the despised and 'odious handful,' and labor with them, and for them, till, by the blessing of God, on their exertions, the slaves were elevated to the condition and dignity of intelligent and intellectual beings. Mr. T. would give another proof that the abolitionists were a handful of most odious creatures. He would refer to the New York Convention. Mr. B. knows well that the pro-slavery prints pointed forward to the New York Convention in October last, as likely to be a scene of blood. Not rendered so by the abolitionists, for they were men of peace, but by the fury of their opponents. Notwithstanding, there were six hundred delegates assembled in Utica, at 9 o'clock, on the first day; and when they were driven from that city by a mob, headed by the Hon. Mr. Beardsley, member of Congress, and by the Hon. Mr. Hayden, Judge of the county—and the greater part of them went to Peterborough, these six hundred were joined by other four hundred, making one thousand delegates, for one state—and yet they were a mere handful. He would next refer to the Rhode Island Convention, at which, though held in the smallest State in the Union—in the depth of winter—and at a time when many of the roads were impassible through a heavy fall of snow, four hundred delegates attended, and $2,000 were collected—but yet the abolitionists were a mere handful! Gerrit Smith had said that there was an accession to the anti-slavery societies, in the State of New York alone, of five hundred weekly, among whom he says,[Pg 31] there is not known one intemperate or profane person;—five hundred weekly added to one state society—yet they are a mere handful! If they go on increasing at this rate in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and throughout New England, they will not long be a small handful! Besides, many of those who were formerly on the side of colonization, have now come over to the ranks of the abolitionists. Where are now the Smiths, and Birneys, and Jays, and Coxs, that once were the eloquent and munificent advocates and patrons of the Colonization Society? They are now, with all their souls and energies, on the side of immediate abolition. Nor these alone. He might—he ought to name such men as President Green, and Professors Wright, Bush, Follen, Smyth, and Gregg. He ought to speak of a Leavitt in New York, a Kirk in Albany, a Beman in Troy, a Weld in Ohio, a Garrison in New England; and of a Mrs. Child, a Mrs. Chapman, a John G. Whittier, a May, a Dickinson, a Phelps, a Goodell, a Bourne, a Lundy, a Loring, a Sewall, and a host of others. All these men esteemed it their joy and honor to be amongst the most odious of the contemptible handful referred to. These were men of mind, of piety, of influence, of energy; men not to be deterred from doing their duty by the harsh music of the birds of ill omen, from the Upas Tree of Slavery, who sent forth their croakings, by night and by day, to scare the nation from its indispensable work of Justice and Truth—and yet these men are odious and contemptible! Your agent, too, is contemptible—he was the agent of the 'goodies' of Glasgow—and—his fair auditors could scarcely believe what epithets were lavishly bestowed on him and them—yet their agent, as contemptible as he was, was, perhaps, the only Englishman, who had ever been honored as he had been by the President of the United States of America. He who was so contemptible in the eyes of the Americans—who was a most impetuous, and untameable, and worthless animal—who was the representative of the 'goodies' and superannuated maids and matrons of Glasgow—was honored by a notice and a rebuke in the message to Congress of the President of the United States! This looked much like being insignificant and contemptible! He did not seek the honor which had been thus conferred upon him—it came upon him unaware—but he had not therefore refused it. It was an honor to be persecuted in the United States with the abolitionists of 1830. And when their children, and their children's children looked back upon these persecutions, they would exult and be proud to say they were the sons, the grandsons, or the great grandsons of the Coxs, the Jays, the Garrisons, the Tappans, and the Thompsons of England and America. After alluding to the treatment he had experienced from the New York Courier and Enquirer, Mr. T. said—let us bear these honors meekly—when calumniated for truth's sake, let us be humble, while we are joyful. One word more as to the odious handful. Seven-eights of the Methodist Episcopal ministers in the New[Pg 32] Hampshire Conference, and seven-eights of the New England Conference were abolitionists. The students of the colleges and institutions, academical and theological of the country, known by the names of Lane Seminary, Oberlin Institute, Western Reserve College, Oneida Institute, Waterville College, Brunswick College, Amherst College, and the Seminaries of Andover, were many of them in some, and all of them in others, abolitionists; and yet, when all these societies, and ministers, and men of learning, and students were put together, they were, in their aggregate capacity, but an odious and most contemptible handful! He would now proceed to speak of the Maryland scheme—a scheme of obvious wickedness. When Mr. B. came to Boston to advocate that scheme, he says a placard was published, calling on the rabble to mob him. This placard he attributes to Mr. Garrison and the abolitionists, as he says it was of the same size and appearance as the type and columns of the Liberator newspaper, and that therefore Mr. Garrison was the publisher. This he (Mr. T.) most pointedly, and distinctly, and solemnly denied, and challenged Mr. B. to the proof. Did Mr. B. show the placard? No. Did he demonstrate its identity with Mr. Garrison's paper? No. He had not done so. To make Mr. Garrison the author or publisher of such a placard, was to publish him a coward and a villain; for he who could point out any man, still more a Christian minister, to the fury of a mob, was a moral monster, a coward, and a villain. He called on Mr. B. by his regard for truth and justice, and his reputation as a minister of Christ, to adduce the proofs necessary to sustain so grave an accusation, and he (Mr. T.) pledged himself to cast off the dearest friend he had, if a crime so base could be fixed on him. To return to the Maryland scheme. In the month of July or August, 1834, Boston was visited by his respected opponent, his brother, Dr. J. Breckinridge, and an agent of the Maryland Colonization Society, and a meeting was convened to enable those gentlemen to set forth and recommend the scheme of that Society, in aid of which the legislature of Maryland had made an appropriation of $200,000. He (Mr. T.) was fully prepared to show, that the object of the Society was to get rid of the free colored population, and that according to their design the state legislature had, in immediate connection with the grant of money, passed most rigorous and cruel laws. The Colonization Society was the net cast for the colored people—the laws of the state were the means devised to drive the devoted victims into its meshes. This was called helping them out of the country with their free consent. He (Mr. T.) would bring forward abundant proofs when he next addressed them—he would then read the laws which he could not now produce for want of time. Mr. Breckinridge might or might not notice these general charges against the Maryland scheme; but he (Mr. T.) would hereafter fully support them, and show, too, that the National Colonization Society was equally culpable, having at its ensuing annual[Pg 33] meeting fully approved of the plan, and recommended it as a bright example for the imitation of other states.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE then rose. He had last night understood Mr. Thompson to say, that this evening he would take up and expose the colonization scheme. It was possible that he had been wrong in this; but such was certainly the impression made upon his mind. Instead of adopting such a course, however, Mr. Thompson had treated them to a second edition of his last night's speech the only difference being that the one they had just heard was more elaborate. If they were to be called on to hear all Mr. Thompson's speeches twice, it would be a considerable time before they finished the discussion. He congratulated Mr. Thompson on his second edition, being in some respects an improvement, on his first. It was certainly better arranged. In the observations he was about to make, he would follow the course of the argument exhibited in Mr. Thompson's two speeches; but he, at the same time, wished it to be understood that he would not be cast out of the line of discussion every night in the same manner. As to what had been said about the 'handful,' he did not think it necessary to say much. He would simply remind Mr. T., that however great or however small the 'handful' might be, one pervading evil might pollute it all. A dead fly could cause the ointment of the apothecary to stink. But to come to the point. Mr. Thompson had said that the question was national as it respected America, because slaveholding states had been admitted into the confederacy. The simple fact of these states having been admitted members of the Union, was, in Mr. Thompson's estimation, proof sufficient, not only that slavery was chargeable on the whole nation, but that there had been a positive predilection among the American people in favor of slavery. In clearing up this point, a little chronological knowledge would help us. He would therefore call the attention of the audience to the real state of matters when the confederacy was established. At that period, Massachusetts was the only State in which slavery had been abolished; and even in Massachusetts its formal abolition was not effected till some time after. For in that State it came to an end in consequence of a clause inserted in the Constitution itself—tantamount to the one in our Declaration of Independence, that freedom is a natural and inalienable right. Successive judicial decisions, upon this clause, without any special legislation, had abolished slavery there; so that the exact period of its actual termination is not easily definable. This recalls another point on which Mr. Thompson would have been the better of possessing a little chronological information. He had repeatedly stated that the American Constitution was founded on the principle, that all men are created free and equal. Now, this was not so. The principle was no doubt, a just one; it was asserted most fully by the Continental Congress of 1776, and might be said to form the basis of[Pg 34] our Declaration of Independence. But it was not contained in the American Constitution, which was formed twelve years afterwards. That Constitution was formed in accordance with the circumstances in which the different states were placed. Its chief object was to guard against external injury, and regulate external affairs; it interfered as little as possible with the internal regulations of each state. The American was a federative system of government; twenty-four distinct republics were united for certain purposes, and for these alone. So far was the national government from possessing unlimited powers, that the Constitution itself was but a very partial grant of those, which, in their omnipotence, resided, according to our theory, only in the people themselves in their primary assemblies. It had been specially agreed in the Constitution itself, that the powers not delegated should be as expressly reserved, as if excepted by name; and, amongst the chief subjects, exclusively interior, and not delegated, and so reserved, is slavery. Had this not been the case, the confederacy could not have been formed. It had been said that the American Constitution had not only tolerated slavery, but that it had actually guaranteed the slave-trade for twenty years. Nothing could be more uncandid than this statement. Never had facts been more perverted. One of the causes of the American Revolution had been the refusal of the British King to sanction certain arrangements on which some of the states wished to enter, for the abolition of the slave-trade. At the formation of the Federal Constitution, while slavery was excluded from the control of Congress, as a purely state affair, the slave trade was deemed a fit subject, by the majority, for the executors of national power, as being an exterior affair. And at a period prior to the very commencement of that great plan of individual effort, guided by Wilberforce and Clarkson, in Britain; and which required twenty years to rouse the conscience of this nation—our distant, and now traduced fathers, had already made up their minds, that this horrid traffic, which they found not only existing, but encouraged by the whole power of the King, should be abolished. It was granted, perhaps too readily to the claims of those who thought, (as nearly the whole world thought) that twenty years should be the limit of the trade; and at the end of that period it was instantly prohibited, as a matter course, and by unanimous consent. How unjust then was it to charge on America, as a crime, what was one of the brightest virtues in her escutcheon. Mr. Thompson had next asserted, that slavery of the most horrid description existed in the Capital of America, and in the surrounding District, subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress. He (Mr. Breckinridge) did not hesitate to deny this. It was not true. Slavery did exist there; but it was not of the horrible character which had been represented. It was well known that the slavery existing in the United States was the mildest to be seen in any country under Heaven. Nothing but the most profound ignorance could lead any one to as[Pg 35]sert the contrary. Mr. Thompson had a colleague in his recent exhibitions in London, who seemed to have taken interludes in all Mr. T's speeches. In one of these, that colleague had said, he knew of his own knowledge a case, in which a man had given $500 for a slave, in order to burn him alive! Mr. Thompson, no doubt knew, that even on the supposition that such a monster was to be found, he was liable in every part of the United States, to be hanged as any other murderer. Slavery was bad enough anywhere; but to say that it was more unmitigated in America than in the West Indies, where emigration had always been necessary to keep up the numbers, while in America, the slave population increased faster than any part of the human race, was a gross exaggeration, or a proof of the profoundest ignorance. To say that the slavery of the District of Columbia was the most horrid that ever existed, when it, along with the whole of the slavery on that continent, was so hedged about by human laws, that in every one of the states cruelty to the slave was punished as an offence against the state; the killing of a slave was punished every where with death; while in all ages, and nearly in all countries where slavery has existed besides, the master was not only the exclusive judge of the treatment of his slave, but the absolute disposer of his life, which he could take away at will; these statements can proceed only from unpardonable ignorance, or a purpose to mislead. As to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, there might, at first sight, appear to be some grounds of accusation; but yet, when the subject was considered in all its bearings, so many pregnant, if not conclusive, reasons presented themselves against interference, that though much attention had been bestowed upon it for many years, the result had been that nothing was done. It was to be recollected that the whole District of Columbia was only ten miles square; and that it was surrounded by states in which slavery was still legalized. It was thus clear, that though slavery were abolished in Columbia, not an individual of the six thousand slaves now within its bounds, would necessarily be relieved of his fetters. Were an abolition bill to pass the House of Representatives to-day, the whole six thousand could be removed to a neighboring slave state before it could be taken up in the Senate to-morrow. It was, therefore, worse than idle to say so much on what could never be a practical question. Again; the District of Columbia had been ceded to the General Government by Maryland and Virginia, both slaveholding states, for national purposes; but this would never have been done had it been contemplated that Congress would abolish slavery within its bounds, and thus establish a nucleus of anti-slavery agitation in the heart of their territory. The exercise of such a power, therefore, on the part of Congress, could be viewed in no other light than as a gross fraud on those two states. It should never be forgotten that slavery can be abolished in any part of America only by the persuasive power of truth voluntarily submitted to the slaveholders them[Pg 36]selves. And though much is said in that country, and still more here, about the criminality of the Northern States in not declaring that they would not aid in the suppression of a servile war—such declamation is worse than idle. But there is a frightful meaning in this unmeasured abuse heaped by Mr. Thompson on the people of the free states, for their expressions of devotion to the Union and the Constitution, and their determination to aid, if necessary, in suppressing by force—all force used by, or on behalf of the slaves. Is it then true, that Mr. Thompson and his American friends, did contemplate a servile war? If not, why denounce the North for saying it should be suppressed? Were the people of America right when they charged him and his co-workers with stirring up insurrection? If not, why lavish every epithet of contempt and abhorrence upon those who have declared their readiness to put a stop to the indiscriminate slaughter and pillage of a region as large as Western Europe? Such speeches as that I have this night heard go far to warrant all that has ever been said against this individual in America, and to excuse those who considered him a general disturber of their peace, and were disposed to proceed against him accordingly. It was, however, the opinion of many that Congress had no power to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. Mr. B. said his opinion was different; yet it must be admitted that the obstacles to the exercise of this power were of the most serious kind, and such as, to a candid mind, would free those who hesitated, from the charge of being pro-slavery men. Perhaps the great reason against the exercise of that power, even if its existence in Congress were clear, was, that it would inevitably produce a dissolution of the Union. When he spoke of the free states bringing about the abolition of slavery in the South, he was to be understood as meaning that these states, in accordance with what had been so often hinted at, should march to the South with arms in their hands, and declare the slaves free. Now, even supposing that the people of the North had no regard for the peace of their country—that they were perfectly indifferent to the glory, the power, and the happiness resulting from the Federal Union—was it certain, that by adopting such a course, they would really advance the welfare of the slave? Every candid man would at once see that the condition of the slave population would be made more hopeless than ever by it. The fourth proof brought forward by Mr. Thompson, in support of his proposition that America was chargeable, in a national point of view, with the guilt of slavery, was the fact that the different states were bound to restore all run-away slaves. But this was a regulation which applied to the case of all servants who leave their masters in an improper manner. Apprentices, children, even wives, if it might be supposed that a wife would ever leave her husband, were to be restored as well as the slaves. Were this not provided, the different states would form to each other the most horrible neighborhood that could be imagined. No state is expected to say, that any man is of[Pg 37] right or should be 'held to service' of any kind, in another state; for such are the words of the Constitution, But the purely internal arrangements of each state, must necessarily be respected by all the others; or eternal border wars must be the result. In the re-delivery of a run-away slave, or apprentice, therefore, the court of the one state is only required to say what are the law, and the fact of the other state from which the claimant comes, and to decide accordingly. And when Mr. T. says that this proceeding is not only contrary to the spirit of the gospel, but to the express command of God under the Jewish dispensation, I need only to defend the practice, by questioning his biblical capacities, and referring for explanation to his second printed speech before the Glasgow Emancipation Society. In that, he states a fictitious case as regards Ireland—resembling remarkably the case recorded in holy writ, of Egypt under the government of Joseph; and while all men have thought that Joseph came from God, and was peculiarly approved of him—Mr. T. has represented, that he who should do in Ireland, very much what Joseph did in Egypt, could be considered as coming only 'from America, or from the bottomless pit!!!' As long as the Holy Ghost gives men reason to consider certain principles right, they may be well content to abide under the wrath of Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson said, in the fifth place, that slavery was a national crime, because the states were all bound to assist each other, in suppressing internal insurrection. To this he would answer, that as it regarded the duty of the nation to the several states, there were two, and but two great guarantees—namely, the preservation of internal peace, and the upholding of republican institutions, tranquillity, and republicanism. Carolina was as much bound to assist Rhode Island as Rhode Island was to assist Carolina. All were mutually bound to each; and if things went on as of late, the South were as likely to be called on to suppress mobs at the North, as the North to suppress insurrection at the South. It was next advanced by Mr. T. that the people of the North were taxed for the support of slavery. Now, the fact was, that America presented the extraordinary spectacle of a nation free of taxes altogether; free of debt, with an overflowing Treasury, with so much money, indeed, that they did not well know what to do with it. It was almost needless to explain that the American revenue was at present and had been for many years past, derived solely from the sale of public lands, and from the customs or duties levied on imported articles of various kinds. The payment of these duties was entirely a voluntary tax, as in order to avoid it, it was only necessary to refrain from the use of articles on which they were imposed. As for Mr. T's argument about the standing army, employed in keeping down the slaves, its value might be judged from the fact, that, though even according to Mr. T's own showing, the slave population amounted to two and a half millions, the army was composed of only six thousand men, scattered along three frontiers, extending two thou[Pg 38]sand miles each. Throughout the whole slaveholding states there were not probably fifteen hundred soldiers. The charge was, in fact, complete humbug, founded upon just nothing at all. Mr. Thompson's seventh charge was, that Congress refused to suppress the internal slave-trade. This was easily answered. There was in America not one individual among five hundred who believed that Congress had the power to do so. And, although he (Mr. B.) believed that Congress had power to prevent the migration of slaves from state to state, as fully as they had to prevent the importation of them into the states from foreign countries; and that the exercise of this power, would prevent, in a great degree, the trade in slaves from state to state, yet very few concurred with him even in this modified view of the case. And it must be admitted that the exercise of such a power, if it really exists, would be attended with such results of unmixed evil at this time, that no one whatever would deem it proper to attempt, or possible to enforce its exercise. It was next said, that as Missouri, a slaveholding state, had been admitted into the Union after the full consideration of the subject by Congress, therefore the nation had become identified with slavery, and responsible for its existence, at least in Missouri. But on the supposition that, before receiving Missouri as a member of the confederacy, it had been demanded of her that she should abolish slavery; and supposing Missouri had acceded to the terms proposed, that she had really given her slaves freedom, and been added to the Federal Union in consequence: suppose Missouri had done all this; what was there to prevent her from re-establishing slavery so soon as the end she sought was gained. No power was possessed by the other states in the matter, and all that could have been said was, that Missouri had acted with bad faith—that she had broken a condition precedent—that she had given just cause of war. According to the most latitudinarian notions, this was the extent of the remedy in the hands of Congress. But Mr. Thompson, being a holder of peace principles—if we may judge by his published speeches—must admit it to be as really a sin to kill, as to enslave men; so that, in his own showing, this argument amounts to nothing. But when it is considered that every state in the American Union has the recognized right to alter its Constitution, when, and how it may think fit, saving only that it be republican; it is most manifest that Congress and the other states have, and could have in no case, any more power or right to prevent Missouri's continuing, or creating slavery, than they had to prevent Massachusetts from abolishing it. But, if we were to stand upon the mere rights of war, he (Mr. B.) did not know but that America had just cause of war against Britain, according to the received notions on that subject, in the speeches delivered by Mr. Thompson under the connivance of the authorities here. But the causes of war were very different in the opinions of men, and in the eye of God. If Mr. Thompson was right in condemning America for the guilt of Mis[Pg 39]souri, then they should go to war at once and settle the question. But, if they were not ready for this conclusion, they could do nothing. In the edition of Mr. Thompson's speech which had been delivered on the preceding evening, an argument had been adduced which was omitted in the present. The argument to which he referred, was concerning the right of the slaves to be represented. A slight consideration of the subject might have shown that the whole power over the subject of citizenship in each state, was exclusive in the state itself, and was differently regulated in different states. In some, the elective franchise was given to all who had attained the age of twenty-one. In some, it was made to depend on the possession of personal property; and in others, of real property. That in the Southern states, the power of voting should be given to the masters, and not to the slaves, was not calculated to excite surprise in Britain, where such a large proportion of the population, and that in a number of instances composed of men of high intelligence, were not entitled to the elective franchise. The origin of this arrangement, like many others involved in our social system, was a compromise of apparently conflicting interests in the states which were engaged in forming the Federal Constitution. The identity of taxation and representation, was the grand idea on which the nation went into the war of independence. When it was agreed that all white citizens, and three-fifths of all other persons, as the Constitution expresses it, should be represented, it followed of course, that they should be subject to taxation. Or, if it were first agreed that they should be taxed, it followed as certainly they should be represented. Who should actually cast the votes, was, of necessity, left to be determined by the states themselves, and as has been said, was variously determined; many permitting free negroes, Indians, and mulattos, who are all embraced, as well as slaves, to vote. That three-fifths, instead of any other part, or the whole should be agreed on, was, no doubt, the result of reasons which appeared conclusive to the wise and benevolent men who made the Constitution; but I am not able to tell what they were. It must, however, be very clear, that to accuse my country, in one breath, for treating the negroes, bond and free, as if they were not human beings at all—and to accuse her in the next, of fostering and encouraging slavery, for allowing so large a proportion of the blacks to be a part of the basis of national representation in all the states, and then, in the third, because the whole are not so treated, to be more abusive than ever—is merely to show plainly, how earnestly an occasion is sought to traduce America, and how hard it is to find one. He came now to the last charge. He himself, it seems, had admitted, on former occasions, that slavery was a national evil. He certainly did believe that the people of America, whether anti-slavery or pro-slavery, would be happier and better, in conscience and feelings, were slavery abolished. He believed that every interest would be benefited by such an event, whether[Pg 40] political, moral, or social. The existence of slavery was one of the greatest evils of the world, but it was not the crime of all the world. Though, therefore, he considered slavery a national evil, it was not to be inferred that he viewed it as a national crime. The cogency of such an argument was equal to the candor of the citation on which it was founded. He would now come to matters rather more personal. In enumerating the great numbers of anti-slavery societies in America, Mr. Thompson had paraded one as formed in Kentucky, for the whole state. Now, he would venture to say that there were not ten persons in that whole State, holding anti-slavery principles, in the Garrison sense of the word. If this was to be judged a fair specimen of the hundreds of societies boasted of by Mr. Thompson, there would turn out but a beggarly account of them. He found also the name of Groton, Massachusetts, as the location of one of the societies in the boasted list. He had once preached, and spoken on the subject of slavery, in that sweet little village, and been struck with the scene of peace and happiness which it presented. He afterwards met the clergyman of that village in the city of Baltimore, and asked him what had caused him to leave the field of his labors. The clergyman answered, that the anti-slavery people had invaded his peaceful village, and transformed it into such a scene of strife that he preferred to leave it. And so it was. The pestilence, which, like a storm of fire and brimstone from hell, always followed the track of abolitionism, had overtaken many a peaceful village, and driven its pastor to seek elsewhere a field not yet blasted by it. He would conclude by remarking, that Mr. Thompson and he (Mr. B.) were now speaking, as it were, in the face of two worlds, for Western Europe was the world to America. And it was for England to know—that the opinion of America—that America which already contained a larger reading population than the whole of Britain—was as important to her, as hers could be to us. What he had said of Mr. Garrison and of Mr. Wright, he had said; and he was ready to answer for it in the face of God and man. But he had something else to do, he thanked God, than to go about the country carrying placards, ready to be produced on all occasions. Nor where he was known, was such a course needful, to establish what he said. When those gentlemen should make their appearance, in defence or explanation of what he had said, he would be the better able to judge—whether it would be proper for him to take any notice—and if any, what—of the defence for which Mr. Thompson had so frankly pledged himself. In the mean time, he would say to that gentleman himself, that his attempts at brow-beating were lost upon him.


Mr. THOMPSON said he should commence with the end of his opponent's speech, and notice what that gentleman had said in regard to the charges brought by him against William Lloyd Garri[Pg 41]son and Elizur Wright. It appeared as if Mr. Breckinridge expected that, because in his own country his character for veracity stood high, that therefore, he was entitled, if he chose, to enter an assembly of twelve hundred persons in Great Britain, and utter the gravest charges against certain individuals 3,000 miles away, and when called upon as he had been for proof, that he had nothing to do but turn round and say, 'Why, I am not bound to furnish proof; let the parties accused demonstrate their innocence.' This was American justice with a vengeance. This might be Kentucky law, or Lynch law, but could hardly be called justice by any assembly of honest and impartial persons. Such justice might suit the neighborhood of Vicksburg, but it would not recommend itself to a Scotish audience. He (Mr. T.) would not undertake at this time the task of justifying the men who had been calumniated. He knew these gentlemen, and had no doubt when they heard the charges preferred against them in this country, they would be able and ready to clear themselves before the world. He would not say that Mr. Breckinridge did not himself believe the allegations to be true, but he would say that had that gentleman possessed a knowledge of the true character of those he had spoken against—had he known them as he (Mr. T.) knew them, he would have held them incapable of the dark deeds alleged against them. With regard to Mr. B's remarks upon the number of the slave population, the amount of the troops in the United States, and the existence of slavery in the district of Columbia, he must say that they were nothing but special pleadings; that the whole was a complete specimen of what the lawyers termed pettifogging. He (Mr. T.) was not prepared to hear a minister say that because only 1500 troops out of 6000 were found in the southern states, that, therefore, the nation was not implicated—that because, if the slavery of the district was abolished, there would be no fewer slaves in the country—that, therefore, the seat of government should not be cleansed from its abomination. He would remind his opponent that they were discussing a question of principle, and that the scriptures had declared that he who was unjust in the least, was unjust also in the greatest. Mr. Breckinridge had still cautiously avoided naming the parties in the United States who were responsible for the sin of Slavery. They were told that neither New Hampshire nor Massachusetts, nor any other of the Northern states were to blame; that the government was not to blame, nor, had it even yet been said, that the Southern states were to blame. Still the aggregate of the guilt belonged somewhere; and if the parties to whom reference had been made were to be exculpated, at whose door, he would ask, were the sin and shame of the system to be laid. The gentleman with whom he was debating had repeatedly told him (Mr. T.) that he did not understand 'the system.' He frankly confessed that he did not. It was a mystery of iniquity which he could not pretend to fathom; but he thought he might add that the Americans them[Pg 42]selves, at least the Colonizationists, did not seem to understand it very well neither, for they had been operating for a very long time, without effecting any favorable change in the system. A word with regard to the representation of slaves in Congress. Mr. B. had spoken as if he had intended to have it understood, that the slaves were themselves benefited by that representation—that it was a partial representation of the slave population by persons in their interest. How stood the fact? The slaves were not at all represented as men, but as things. They swelled, it was true, the number of members upon the floor of Congress, but that extra number only helped to rivet their bonds tightly upon them, being as they were, in the interest of the tyrant, and themselves slaveholders, and not in the interest of the slaves. What said John Quincy Adams in his celebrated report on the Tariff:—

'The representation of the slave population in this House has, from the establishment of the Constitution of the United States, amounted to rather more than one-tenth of the whole number. In the present Congress (1833,) it is equivalent to twenty-two votes; in the next Congress it will amount to twenty-five. This is a combined and concentrated power, always operating to the support and exclusive favor of the slave-holding interest.'

Here was a mighty engine in the cause of oppression. It was a wicked misrepresentation to say that the slaves were benefited by such an arrangement. Instead of being a lever in their hands to aid them in the overthrow of the system which was crushing them, it was a vast addition of strength to the ranks of their tyrants, who went to Congress to cry down discussion, to cry up Lynch law, and shout Hail Columbia. Mr. Thompson then proceeded to give some account of the Maryland Colonization scheme.

The first movement on the subject was in March, 1831, when Mr. Brawner submitted the following resolutions to the Maryland Legislature, which were by that assembly adopted. He begged particular attention both to the letter and spirit of this document, exhibiting as it did, the feelings of 'the good people of the state' towards the colored population:—

Resolved, That the increased proportion of the free people of color in this state, to the white population, the evils growing out of their connection and unrestrained association with the slaves their habits and manner of obtaining a subsistence, and their withdrawing a large portion of employment from the laboring class of the white population, are subjects of momentous and grave consideration to the good people of this state.

Resolved, That as philanthropists and lovers of freedom, we deplore the existence of slavery amongst us, and would use our utmost exertions to ameliorate its condition, yet we consider the unrestrained power of manumission as fraught with ultimate evils of a more dangerous tendency than the circumstance of slavery alone, and that any act, having for its object the mitigation of these joint evils, not inconsistent with other paramount considerations, would be worthy the attention and deliberation of the representatives of a free, liberal-minded, and enlightened people.

Resolved, That we consider the colonization of free people of color in Africa as the commencement of a system, by which if judicious encouragement be afforded, these evils may be measurably diminished, so that in process of time, the relative proportion of the black to the white population, will hardly be matter for serious and unpleasant consideration.

Ordered, therefore, That a committee of five members be appointed by the Chair, with instructions to report a bill, based as nearly as may be, upon the principles contained in the foregoing resolutions, and report the same to the consideration of this house.

Such was the first movement on the subject. At the next ses[Pg 43]sion of the legislature Mr. Brawner presented the report of the committee, some of the extracts from which he (Mr. T.) would read:—

The committee to whom was referred the several memorials from numerous citizens in this state, upon the subject, of the colored population, Report,—

That the views presented by the memorialists are various, and the recommendations contained in some of the memorials are entirely repugnant to those contained in others. The subjects, however, upon which legislative action is required, may be embraced under a few general heads:

First, That a law be passed prohibiting the future emancipation of the slaves, unless provision be made for their removal from the state.

Secondly, That a sum of money adequate for the attainment of the object, be raised and appropriated for the further removal of those already free.

Thirdly, That a system of police be established, regulating the future conduct and morals of this class of our population.

And, Fourthly, There are several memorials from different parts of our state, signed by a numerous and highly respectable portion of our citizens, recommending the entire abolition of slavery in the state.

On the 14th of March, 1832, the State Legislature of Maryland appropriated for the use of the State Colonization Society the sum of two hundred thousand dollars, payable in sums of twenty thousand dollars per annum for ten years. Having made the grant, the legislature next proceeded to pass acts to obtain the consent of the colored population to quit the state and country, and emigrate to Africa. He (Mr. T.) claimed special attention to some short extracts from those laws. They would reveal more powerfully than any language of his, the benevolent or rather atrociously cruel designs of the 'good people' of the state. He should quote first from 'An Act relating to Free Negroes and Slaves,' passed within a few days of the grant and part and parcel of the same benevolent scheme:—

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland, That after the passage of this act, no free negro or mulatto shall emigrate to, or settle in this State; and no free negro or mulatto belonging to any other state, district or territory, shall come into this State, and therein remain for the space of ten successive days, whether such free negro or mulatto intends settling in this State or not, under the penalty of fifty dollars for each and every week such persons coming into, shall thereafter remain in this State; the one half to the informer and the other half to the sheriff for the use of the county. * * * and any free negro or mulatto refusing or neglecting to pay said fine or fines, shall be committed to the jail of the county; and shall be sold by the sheriff at public sale, for such time as may be necessary to cover the aforesaid penalty, first giving ten days previous notice of such sale.

Sec. 2d. And be it enacted, That no person in this State, shall hereafter hire, employ, or harbor any free negro or mulatto who shall emigrate or settle in this state, after the first day of June next, or any free negro or mulatto who shall come into this state from any other state, district or territory, and continue in this state for the space of ten successive days as above, under the penalty of twenty dollars for every day after the expiration of four days, any such free negro or mulatto * * * shall be so employed, hired or harbored, and all fines accruing under this act, * * * one half thereof to be applied to the informer, and the other half to [Pg 44]the use of the county; and if any negro or mulatto shall remove from this state and remain without the limits thereof for a space longer than thirty consecutive days, unless before leaving the state he deposits with the clerk of the county in which he resides, a written statement of his object in so doing, and his intention of returning again, or unless he shall have been detained by sickness or coercion, of which he shall bring a certificate, he shall be regarded as a resident of another state, and be subject, if he return, to the penalties imposed by the foregoing provisions upon free negroes and mulattoes of another state, migrating to this state: Provided that nothing contained in this act shall prevent any free negro or mulatto from visiting Liberia, and returning to the state whenever he may choose to do so.

Sec. 4. And be it enacted, That it shall not be lawful from and after the first of June next, to import or bring into this state by land or water, any negro, mulatto or other slave for sale, or to reside within this state: * * * and any person or persons so offending, shall forfeit for every such offence, any negro, mulatto or other slave brought into this state contrary to this act, and such negro, mulatto or other slave, shall be entitled to freedom upon condition that he consent to be sent to Liberia, or to leave the state forthwith, otherwise such negro or mulatto or other slave, shall be seized and taken and confined in jail by the sheriff of the county where the offence is committed, which sheriff shall receive ten dollars for every negro, mulatto or other slave so brought into this state and forfeited as aforesaid, and seized and taken by him. * * * Moreover, said sheriff shall receive five dollars for such negro, mulatto or other slave actually confined by him in jail, and the usual prison fee as now allowed by law, and any person or persons so offending under this act, shall be punished by indictment in the county court of the county where the offence shall be committed, and upon conviction thereof, the said court shall, by its order, direct said sheriff to sell any negro, mulatto or other slaves so seized and taken by him, under this act, to the Colonization Society for said five dollars, and the prison fees * * * to be taken to Liberia: and if such Colonization Society shall not receive such negroes, mulattoes or other slaves for said five dollars each, and the prison fees of each, upon refusing, said sheriff shall, after three weeks' public notice given by advertisements, sell any such negro, mulatto or other slave to some person or persons, with a condition that any such negro, mulatto or other slave shall be removed and taken forthwith beyond the limits of this state to settle and reside.

Such was the scheme which had been advocated in Boston and elsewhere by his opponent. He now left the matter in his hands, recommending him to exert all his eloquence and ingenuity in behalf of the honor of Maryland, but warning him beforehand that his labors would be in vain.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said, he would now proceed with what remained of the argument on the general question. He had been asked to point out the responsible parties in regard to slavery, and this was what he was about to do. It was indeed much more easy to show who were the responsible parties than to prove the innocence of those unjustly accused—it was perhaps his duty to do both—the first he had been attempting. It would be easy to do the other, and he trusted, that after he had done so—if the good people of Glasgow on any future occasion should meet to pass resolutions applauding Mr. Thompson, for the vast sacrifices he had made, and the suffering he had endured in the cause of emancipation, they would not again feel obliged to pass resolutions condemning the whole American nation, as the vilest nation that ever existed, for maintaining slavery. He would say, then, that he considered the owners of the slaves, as in the first place, responsible. The slave-owner had two important duties to perform in reference to those of his fellow-beings, who were held in bondage. In the first place, he was bound to inform himself of the whole question, in its length and breadth, and having done so, he ought, in the speediest manner possible, consistent with the happiness of the slaves themselves, to set them free. This was the duty of a slave-owner, as an individual. But, as his lot might be cast in a slaveholding state, it was his duty, in addition to freeing his own slaves, that he should use every lawful means to enlighten public opinion. Whatever faculties he possessed, it was his duty to use them in the attempt to remove the prejudices of those[Pg 45] whose minds were not yet enlightened on this important question. But, while it was his duty to do this, he was to refrain from every thing which would naturally tend to exasperate the minds of the masters. He was not to go and take hold of a man by the throat, and say, 'You are a great thieving, man-dealing villain, and unless you instantly give your slaves liberty, I will pitch you out of this three story window.' That was not the mode in which a prudent man would go to work. And he (Mr. Breckinridge) would like, above all things, to make Mr. Thompson, and his fellow-laborers sensible of this important truth; that in their efforts to give freedom to the slaves, nothing could be done without the consent of the slave-owners. And unless it was kept in view, Mr. Thompson might labor, to use an American homely phrase, 'till the cows come home,' but he would not move a single step nearer his object. While on this head there was another saying which he had no doubt Mr. Thompson had frequently heard in America, and which might be of some use for him to bear in mind, if he revisited that horrible country; it was that one 'spoonful of molasses would catch more flies than a hogshead of vinegar.' With regard to the mode in which the question of slavery should be taken up in those states where it existed, he would say that every thing had been done—agitation, as it was called in this country—to enlighten the public mind on the whole question, was the only thing that could advance the cause. If there was any thing else that could be taken advantage of for that end, he was willing to learn it, and to go home and try to teach his countrymen who were laboring in the same cause. In the second place, Mr. B. proceeded to say, that the parties responsible for the existence of slavery were the states which tolerated it. If slavery were wrong, as he was fully prepared to assert it to be, then those states or communities which tolerate it were justly responsible at the bar of God, at the tribunal of an enlightened world. If slavery were wrong, those who have power were bound to abolish it as soon as it could be done consistently with the greatest amount of good to all concerned. Now, slavery could end in any state only by violence, or by the consent of the masters. This made it obviously the duty of all who had right views in such communities, to extend and enforce them in such a way as shall appear most likely to secure the object in view—namely, peaceful, voluntary, and legal abolition. It demonstrates too, that whenever the majority of such a community are ready to act in this behalf, they are bound to act in such a manner as will constitutionally and speedily effect the object, even though multitudes in that community should still oppose it. But here again it is most clear that such a result can never be brought about, till the majority of such slaveholding communities shall not only consent to it, but require it. So that in every branch of the matter, it constantly appears how indispensable, light, and love, gentleness, wisdom, and truth are; and how perfectly mad it is to expect to do[Pg 46] any thing in America by harsh vituperation, hasty and violent proceedings. But, say the anti-slavery people, you can abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and might purchase the freedom of all the slaves throughout the whole of the states with the public money. But it was not the price of the slaves that was the chief difficulty in making an end of slavery. The inhabitants of the Southern states reckoned this the least part of the case. To take away our slaves, say they, is to take away not our property alone, but our country also; for without them the country would not be cultivated. He did not say that the Southern planters were right in thinking so, but he knew that they did think so; and therefore, it was necessary to take their opinion into account. This was only an instance of the many difficulties by which the question was beset, and would let them see that it was not a mere matter of pounds, shillings, and pence. In reference to the efforts made by the American people to abolish slavery, Mr. Breckinridge said they had done much in this cause before Mr. Thompson was born, and possibly before his father was born. They had labored for ages, he might almost say for half centuries. During that time they had effected much, and they would have done more but for the interference of the party with which Mr. Thompson was identified. A party whose principles were based on false metaphysics—on false morality, who came often with the fury of demons, and yet said they were sent by God. He would say the cause of emancipation had been much injured by the ill-designed efforts of that party, they had thrown the cause a hundred years farther back, than it was five years ago. In reference to the Maryland colonization scheme, of which they had heard so much from Mr. Thompson, he would only be able, as his time was nearly expired, to make a remark or two. That Society had existed for about four years. In its fourth annual report there is a statement from the managers of the Maryland State fund, that within the preceding year, two hundred and ninety-nine manumissions had been reported to them, which, with those previously reported, make eleven hundred and one slaves manumitted, purely and freely manumitted, within four years in that State: while the total number of colored persons transported to Liberia since the Society commenced its operations was then only one hundred and forty, as exhibited by the same report. Nothing could show more clearly the falsity of those statements which represent the scheme of Maryland colonization, as being cruel, oppressive, and peculiarly opposed to the progress of emancipation. The direct contrary is in all respects true. With regard to the book from which Mr. Thompson had read some extracts, purporting to be the laws of Maryland; if he were not mistaken, that book was a violent and inflammatory pamphlet written by some person, perhaps Mr. Thompson himself, shortly after his (Mr. B's) visit to Boston. He would not enter upon the discussion of the merits of that pam[Pg 47]phlet, against which it had been alleged in America, at the place where it originated, and he believed truly charged, that instead of containing faithful extracts from the laws of Maryland, it did in fact, contain only schemes of laws which had been proposed in the Assembly of Maryland, but which had never received their sanction; chiefly in consequence of the opposition of the friends of colonization. In conclusion, he would say, that the Maryland scheme was, as a whole, one of the most wise and humane projects that had ever been devised. He had no objection on proper occasions, to go fully into it, and he hoped to be able to show that it would do much for the amelioration of the negro race.

[Pg 48]


[Pg 49]

THIRD NIGHT—WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15.

Mr. BRECKINRIDGE, the subject for discussion this evening by two appointments, was the great cause of colonization, as it presented itself in America; and he was aware that of all the parts of the subject of these discussions there were none on which their opinions were more decidedly made up against what he believed to be the truth. It was, therefore, peculiarly embarrassing for him to enter upon the subject, but he did so with that frankness and candor with which he had entered upon the other topics of discussion; and if he would not show them sufficient reason to commend the principle of colonization to their minds and feelings, he could only expect that they should remain of their present opinions. The scheme of colonization was not a new one in America. It had been spoken of 40 or 50 years ago, by him who in his day ranked next to the father of his country in the affections of the American people, Mr. Jefferson, before he filled the president's chair, while he was president, and afterwards occupied his thoughts with this great scheme. Being himself a decided enemy to slavery, he tried to rouse the minds of his countrymen to the advantages which would arise from the colonizing of the free blacks of America on some part of the Western coast of Africa. With this view he entered into negotiations with the Sierra Leone Company in this country, to receive into their colony free people of color from America; and he also had applied to the Portuguese government, at that time a large African proprietor, for a place where the free blacks might be allowed to colonize themselves. Whether these efforts, which were applauded and aided by many wise and good men, deserved to be praised or blamed, was not the topic to be taken up at present; but they showed that the scheme was one which could not be called a new scheme. This proposal of colonizing the free blacks of America on the West coast of Africa had obtained the approbation of nine tenths of all those throughout America who took any interest in the fate of the black race: for even the great bulk of those who were now in favor of "abolitionism," were at one time the friends[Pg 50] of colonization. Whether they had good or bad reasons for the change which had taken place in their opinions, would be more apparent, perhaps, when they arrived at the end of the discussion. It was in the course of the years 1822 or 1823 that the first colonists were sent out from America. He might not be perfectly accurate in his dates, as he gave them from memory, but the present argument did not depend on exact accuracy in that respect. The society for promoting the colonization scheme was organized some years before the date stated above, when an expedition was sent out to explore the coast of Africa with a view to establishing the colony; and afterwards another to purchase territory; and then the colonists were sent out, which he believed took place for the first time after 1820. The society continued to pursue the scheme for a period of 9 or 10 years, and met with no opposition except from some parties in the extreme South; but had the concurrence of almost all the wise, the good, and the benevolent in America. It was not till about 1830 that any very violent opposition was made to the society's operations; and he believed Mr. Garrison was among the first who opposed it, on the ground that its operations were injurious to the interests of the colored race in America. Mr. Arthur Tappan also seceded from the society about the same time, but upon different grounds from Garrison. His opposition arose from the society's not taking up his ground in reference to Temperance. He had no hesitation in saying that Mr. Tappan was right, and that the society was wrong; as they did not go far enough in regard to this point. He the more readily admitted that in this particular Mr. Tappan's views were right, as he was wrong in every other point which he assumed in reference to the society. But it was not till about 1832, that an organized opposition to the society began to manifest itself. In 1833 the American Anti-Slavery Society was established, one of the fundamental principles of which, and perhaps the one they most zealously propagated, was uncompromising hostility to the colonization scheme. In the progress of events too, it turned out that all the friends of colonization did not see alike on all parts of the subject. Many of them thought that the interests involved were too important and too great to be left to a single board of management or staked on a single series of experiments. Some considered that one general principle of operation could not be made broad enough for the circumstances of all the states, and hence arose several separate societies,—as that of Maryland, organized on peculiar principles, which have direct reference to general emancipation; and as those of New York and Philadelphia, which have founded a colony on principles of peace,—the temperance principle being held equally by them and the Maryland society. The general society at Washington assumed the ground of colonizing, on the West coast of Africa with their own consent, persons of color from America who were of good character, and[Pg 51] who were free at the time of their being sent out. The Maryland Society went a step farther. They saw that the colonization scheme would have a reflection favorable to emancipation; and they carried on their operations with a direct and avowed reference to the ultimate emancipation of the slaves in that state. The New York and Philadelphia societies were founded, as I have above said, on the principles of temperance and peace—the former principle being common also to the Maryland scheme. The united societies of New York and Philadelphia first took 120 slaves who had been manumitted by the late Dr. Hawes, of Va., and formed them into a colony. The Parent Society's territory in Africa was called Liberia. It was about 100 leagues in length along the coast, about 10 or 15 leagues deep, and there were 5 or 6 settlements, all under the general control of that society. There were in them all about 4,000 colonists, a great portion of whom were manumitted slaves. The colony of the Maryland Society was farther South than that of the Parent Society. It was situated on that point of the coast called Cape Palmas, and was itself called Maryland in Africa. It was under the charge of a board of management in Maryland, and consisted at this time of between two and three hundred colonists, who were chiefly manumitted slaves. The other colony, that belonging to the New York and Philadelphia Society, was at Bassa Cove, and was under the charge of the directors of that society. There were in all about 5000 colonists under the charge of these societies. For the first few years of the existence of the Parent Society, it was supported by a number of gentlemen for different reasons. At the commencement it was not perhaps perfectly clear how it might operate. Some advocated the cause and supported the interests of the society, on the principles of direct humanity to the free colored persons of America. Others again supported it as calculated to produce collateral effects favorable to the slaves, and the general cause of emancipation in the country. Others on the ground that it would enable the country to get rid of the colored population, without much reference to what might be the result to the colored population themselves; just as if in England there were individuals who would promote emigration, to get the country rid of those who were as they supposed given to idleness and a burden upon the country. There may have been some who supported the society from an actual love for slavery, and as a means which they supposed might lessen some of the evils by which it was accompanied. During the first years of the society's operations, many thousands of speeches were delivered, and many hundreds of pamphlets were published about the society, its operations, and their effects; and it was quite possible that Mr. Thompson might be able to bring forward some sentences and scraps from the speeches of a slave-owner, who looked upon the society as a means of perpetuating slavery in America; or he might produce some speech, in which the soci[Pg 52]ety was supported as a means of ridding the country of the free people of color, no matter what became of them afterward. But it was uncandid and unjust to take this plan of opposing the cause; because it was well known that whatever might be the case in particular instances, the general fact was, that the great majority of the supporters of the society had always supported it, because of the good effects they anticipated from it in favor of ultimate emancipation, as well as its present and immense benefits to the free blacks. Now I challenge Mr. Thompson to the plain admission, or the plain denial of these statements. If he denies them I am content; for in that case, he will stand convicted in America, for the denial of that which every man, woman and child there knows to be true. If he admits my statements to be substantially true, then the entire point of the charges brought by him and his friends against colonization, is broken off; and all he or they can allege against it, can equally be alleged against every thing, good or bad, that ever existed, namely, that men supported it for various, or even opposite reasons. I go farther—I assert, and call upon Mr. Thompson to admit or to deny it, I care not which—that just in proportion as the cause has developed itself, and its natural and legitimate influences been plainly exhibited—those who favor slavery have cooled in its support, or withdrawn entirely from it—while those who favor emancipation, and desire the good of the free people of color, have, in the same degree, and with increasing cordiality, rather avowed it, insomuch that it will be difficult if not wholly impossible for our evidences of friendship to it, from an avowed friend of slavery, to be culled out of all his scraps, as occurring within the last three or four years. Indeed no persons were more persecuted after what Mr. T. calls persecution in some of the Southern states, than those who advocate the cause of colonization, a fact which began to occur as soon as those slave owners, who desired slavery to continue, clearly saw that the natural result was the ultimate emancipation of the slaves. How far the conduct of Mr. Thompson and his friends was calculated to produce a reaction in the South, and incline moderate and humane masters to the views of the emancipationists, cannot now be determined. But that the increasing wisdom and benevolence of the South will compensate for the folly and phrenzy at the North, there is good reason to hope. He would now proceed to give a few reasons why this scheme of colonization should be supported. But he would first call their attention to a resolution proposed by Mr. George Thompson at a meeting of the Young Mens' Anti Slavery Society of Boston:—

That as the American Colonization Society has been demonstrated to be in its principles unrighteous, unnatural, and proscriptive, the attempt now made to give permanency to this institution is a fraud upon the ignorance and an outrage upon the intelligence of the public, and as such deserves the severest reprobation.

[Pg 53] The verbiage of this resolution showed its parentage. No one who had ever heard one of Mr. Thompson's speeches could for a moment doubt the authorship of the resolution. But what were they to think of an individual who, being almost a perfect stranger in America, came forward at a public meeting, and spoke in terms like these of a society, supported and encouraged by the great majority of the nation—embracing in that majority most of what is distinguished by rank, by knowledge, or by virtue, in the country? What but universal execration from the violent, and pity and contempt from all—could be expected to follow such proceedings. And yet London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, celebrate the prudence of Mr. George Thompson in America, and praise his conduct there on their behalf! It was not demonstrated that the scheme was either unnatural, proscriptive, or foolish. He wished much to hear Mr. Thompson attempt that demonstration. He (Mr. B.) would attempt to prove, on the other hand, that in itself the scheme was good, wise, and benevolent. His first reason was that it was good for the free black population of America, for whose benefit it was intended, whatever might be the opinions entertained regarding slavery; whatever might be the opinion as to the duty of admitting the free colored population to all the rights and privileges of white people; taking it for granted that slavery should be abolished, taking it for granted that the free colored population should have the same rights and privileges as the white population; admitting, as so many have declared, that these free people of color are generally very little elevated above the condition of the slaves; granting the existence of the absurd prejudice among the white population against people of color; taking as true, all the assertions of all, or any parties, on this subject, and then say, if it is not a good, a wise, a humane reason for encouraging the society, that they are able to snatch 1000 or 10,000 of these degraded, ruined, undone, and unhappy people from the condition they are placed in, and plant them in comfort, freedom, and peace in Africa? While Mr. Thompson and his friends were trying their schemes to terminate slavery, and break down prejudice against color—schemes which were likely to be long in progress, if we were to judge by the past—it seemed most extraordinary that they should object to our efforts to take a portion of these people out of the grasp of their present sorrows, and do for them in Africa all that has been done for ourselves in America. Above all things, is it not inexplicable, that they should consider slavery on one side of the Atlantic, better than freedom on the other,—a thought, proving him who held it unworthy of freedom anywhere. If this was not a scheme, full of wisdom, of goodness and benevolence, he know not what wisdom, goodness, or benevolence meant. They proposed to do nothing without the free consent of the colored people. And now, if a similar offer were made to every poor and unfortunate inhabitant of Glasgow, and all[Pg 54] of them chose to remain here, except one, and that one were captivated by the account of some distant El Dorado, and chose to push his fortune there, could the rest assume over this one the right of saying, you shall not go; we are determined not to go, and equally determined not to let you go. Yet the abolitionists have been going about, from Dan to Beersheba, not only attacking and vilifying the whites, for proposing to colonize the blacks with their own free consent; but equally attacking the blacks for availing themselves of the offer. And though the colony had been stigmatized as a grave, as a place of skulls, it was the very place fitted by nature for the black population, the land granted by God to their fathers. It is in one sense, then, a matter of no moment, what the causes are which induce the society to make the offer, or the black population to emigrate to Africa—even on the showing of the abolitionists themselves, the colored population are kept in a state of degradation; and it is certainly just and good that means should be afforded them for getting rid of that degradation. In the second place, he maintained that this colonization scheme naturally tended to promote the cause of general emancipation. To illustrate this, Mr. Breckinridge read the following extract from the Maryland report of 1835, p. 17:—

The number of manumissions in the state reported to the board since the last annual report, is two hundred and ninety-nine, making the whole number reported as manumitted, since the passage of the act of 1831, eleven hundred and one.

This extract showed that the scheme did not prevent manumission, but had tended gradually to increase its amount. That this was the intention and actual effect of the colonization scheme, he would now prove to the meeting in so far as regarded Maryland; and if he did so of that state, he supposed they would not find it difficult to believe the same thing of other states, as it was against Maryland that Mr. Thompson had expended his peculiar virulence. Mr. B. then read the following:—

Resolved, That this society believe, and act upon the belief that colonization has a tendency to promote emancipation, by affording to the emancipated slave a home, where he can be happier and better, in every point of view, than in this country, and so inducing masters to manumit, for removal to Africa, who would not manumit unconditionally.—3rd A. Rep. page 5.

Maryland, through her State Society, is about trying the important experiment, whether, by means of colonies on the coast of Africa, slave-holding states may become free states. The Board of Managers cannot doubt of success, however; and in exercising the high and responsible duties devolving upon them, it is with the firm belief that the time is not very remote, when, with the full and free consent of those interested in this species of property, the state of Maryland will be added to the list of the non-slave-holding states of the Union.—3 A. R. page 6.

It has been charged, again and again, against the general scheme, that its tendencies were to perpetuate slavery; and, at this moment, both in this country and in Europe, there are those who stigmatize the labors of men like Finley, Caldwell, Harper, Ayres, Ashmun, Key, Gurley, Anderson and Randall, as leading to this end. Unfounded as is the charge, it has many believers. The colonization law of Maryland is based upon a far different principle; for the immigration of slaves is expressly prohibited, and the transportation of those who are [Pg 55]emancipated is amply provided for. In accordance, therefore, with the general sentiment of the public, and anxious that colonization in the state should be relieved from the imputation put upon the cause, resolutions were unanimously adopted, avowing that the extirpation of slavery in Maryland was the chief object of the society's existence.—3 A. R. page 33.

Throughout the report the same current of events was referred to; and they were found to be everywhere the same as to the effects of the colonial scheme on the manumission of slaves. To show the cause of the objections to the scheme by free persons of color, Mr. B. read the following extract:—

The Board would here remark, that in collecting emigrants from among the free persons of color in the state, the greatest difficulty they have experienced has grown out of the incredulity of these with regard to the accounts given to them of Africa. Even when their friends in Liberia have written to them, inviting them to emigrate, and speaking favorably of the country, they have believed that a restraint was upon the writers, and that the society's agents prevented any letter from reaching America, which did not speak in terms of praise of Africa. The ingenuity of the colored people in this state devised a simple test of the reliance that was to be placed in letters, purporting to be written by their friends; which they have, during the last year or eighteen months, been putting into practice. When the emigrant sailed from the United States, he took with him one half of a strip of calico, the other half being retained by the person to whom he was to write when he reached Africa. If he was permitted to write without restraint, and if he spoke his real sentiments in his letter, he enclosed his portion of the calico, which, matching with that from which it had been severed, gave authenticity and weight to the correspondence. Many of these tokens, as they are called, have been received, and their effect has been evident in the greater willingness manifested by the free people of color to emigrate; especially those of them who are at all well judging and well informed.—4 A. R. page 6.

Whatever difficulties now exist as to getting free people of color to avail themselves of the society's scheme and emigrate to Africa, arise in a great degree from the efforts of the abolition party to misrepresent the intentions of the society, and the state and prospects of the colony, to the free colored people of the United States,—thus showing the double atrocity of preventing these people from being benefited, and of traducing those persons who wish to benefit them. In an address from Cape Palmas, by the Colonists to their brethren in America, dated in October, 1834, there was a distinct avowal of the fact that it was better for them that they had gone there; and urging others to come also. Mr. B. then read the following extract from the address:—

Dear Brethren—Agreeably to a resolution of our fellow citizens herewith enclosed, we now endeavor to lay before you a fair and impartial statement of the actual situation of this colony; of our advantages and prospects, both temporal and spiritual.

We are aware of the great difference of opinion which exists in America with respect to colonization. We are aware of the fierce contentions between its advocates and opposers; and we are of opinion that this contention, among the well meaning, is based principally upon the various and contradictory accounts concerning this country and its advantages; receiving on the one hand from the enthusiastic and visionary new comers, who write without having made themselves at all acquainted with the true state of affairs in Africa; and on the other, from the timorous, dissipated and disheartened, who long to return to their former degraded situation, and are willing to assign any reason, however false and detrimental to their fellow citizens, rather than the true one, viz:—that they are actually unfit, from want of virtue, energy and capacity, to become freemen in any country.

We judge that the time which has elapsed since our first arrival, (eight months,) has enabled us to form a pretty correct opinion of this our new colony, of the climate, and of the fitness of our government. Therefore we may safely say we write not ignorantly. And [Pg 56]as to the truth of our assertions we here solemnly declare, once for all, that we write in the fear of God, and are fully sensible that we stand pledged to maintain them both here and hereafter.

Of our Government—We declare that we have enjoyed (and the same is for ever guaranteed to us by our Constitution) all and every civil and religious right and privilege, which we have ever known enjoyed by the white citizens of the United States, excepting the election of our chief magistrate, who is appointed by the board of managers of the Maryland State Colonization Society. Other officers are appointed or elected from the colonists.—Freedom of speech and the press, election by ballot, trial by jury, the right to bear arms, and the liberty of worshipping God agreeably to the dictates of our own consciences, are rendered for ever inviolate by the Constitution.

That we may not weary your patience or be suspected of a desire to set forth matters in too favorable a light, we have been thus brief in our statements. It will naturally be supposed, brethren, that the object of this address is to induce you to emigrate and join us. To deny this would be a gross want of candor, and not in unison with our professions at the outset. We do wish it, and we tender you both the heart and hand of good fellowship.

But here again, let us be equally candid with you. It is not every man we could honestly advise or desire to come to this colony. To those who are contented to live and educate their children as house servants and lackeys, we would say, stay where you are; here we have no masters to employ you. To the indolent, heedless and slothful, we would say, tarry among the flesh pots of Egypt; here we get our bread by the sweat of the brow. To drunkards and rioters, we would say, come not to us; you can never become naturalized in a land where there are no grog shops, and where temperance and order is the motto. To the timorous and suspicious, we would say, stay where you have protectors; here we protect ourselves. But the industrious, enterprising and patriotic of what occupation or profession soever; the merchant, the mechanic, and farmer, (but more particularly the latter,) we would counsel, advise and entreat to come and be one with us, and assist in this glorious enterprise, and enjoy with us that liberty to which we ever were, and the man of color ever must be, a stranger in America. To the ministers of the gospel, both white and colored, we would say, come to this great harvest, and diffuse amongst us and our benighted neighbors, that light of the gospel, without which liberty itself is but slavery, and freedom but perpetual bondage.

Accept, brethren, our best wishes; and, praying that the Great Disposer of events will direct you to that course, which will tend to your happiness and the benefit of our race throughout the world,

We subscribe ourselves                        
Yours, most affectionately,

JACOB GROSS,
WILLIAM POLK,
CHARLES SCOTLAND,
ANTHONY WOOD,
THOMAS JACKSON.

The report having been read, it was then moved by James M. Thompson and seconded, that the report be approved and accepted. The yeas and nays were presented as follows:—

Yeas—Jeremiah Stewart, James Martin, Samuel Wheeler, H. Duncan, Daniel Banks, Joshua Stewart, John Bowen, James Stewart, Henry Dennis, Eden Harding, Robert Whitefield, Nathan Lee, Nathaniel Edmondson, Charles Scotland, Nathaniel Harmon, Bur. Minor, Anthony Howard, James M. Thompson, Anthony Wood, Jacob Gross, Wm. Polk, Thomas Jackson.

Nays—Nicholas Thomson, William Reynolds, William Cassel.

N. B. Those who voted in the negative, declared that the statements contained in the report were true, both in spirit and letter, but they preferred returning to America—whereupon the meeting adjourned, sine die.

A true copy of the record of the proceedings.

WM. POLK.

If any weight was due to human testimony, it was made probable, at least, if not certain, that the intentions of the promoters of the scheme were that it should be most kind to the black man, in all its direct action, and by its indirect influences, the precursor of the abolition of slavery; and if the society had fallen into a mistake, the colonists themselves had also fallen into the same; as in this address they say the scheme has proved successful. He would, therefore, conclude this second reason, by maintaining that he had sufficiently[Pg 57] proved that the scheme had been productive of good, not only to the colored population, but also to the cause of universal freedom.

The reasons he would now offer would be more general. And in bringing forward the third head of argument, he observed, that the uniform method which God had selected to civilize and enlighten mankind, and to carry through the world a knowledge of the arts and laws, with all the kindred blessings of civilization, was colonization. Amongst the first commands given by God to man, was to replenish and subdue the earth; and there was a striking fulness of meaning in the expression. While there seemed to exist in the whole human family an instinctive obedience to this command, God had so directed its manifestation, that he believed he might safely challenge any one to show him any one nation which had located the permanent seat of its empire in the native land of its inhabitants. Every nation had been a conquered nation; every people has been in turn enlightened from others, and in turn colonists again. This nation, which has reputed itself the most enlightened in the world, and far be it from him to controvert the opinion in their presence, might trace its superior enlightenment in part to the fact of its having been so much oftener conquered than any other, and the consequent greater mixture of nations among the inhabitants. Again, he observed, that God had kept several races of men distinct, from the time of Noah down to the present day; and in their mutual action upon each other, there was this extraordinary fact, that wherever the descendants of Shem had colonized a country occupied by the descendants of Japhet or Ham, they had extirpated those who were before them. When the descendants of Japhet conquered the descendants of Shem, they were extirpated before them; when the descendants of Shem conquered those of Japhet, the case was the same; and so of the descendants of Ham upon either. But when Japhet conquered Japhet there was no extirpation, and when Shem conquered Shem there was no extirpation, as also of Ham conquering Ham. Now as to the continent of Africa, if history taught any truth, they must roll back all its tide, or Africa was destined to be still farther colonized. As yet, the pestilence, like the flaming sword before the garden of the Lord, had kept the way hedged up, the white man and yellow man away from the spot,—reserved till the fit hour and people came. If we take the bodings of Providence all is well. But if we rely on the lessons of the past, the only means in our power to prevent the ultimate colonization of Africa by some strange race, and the consequent extirpation of its race of blacks, is to colonize it with blacks. If they let Shem colonize there, the blacks will be extirpated; if they let Japhet colonize, the blacks will be extirpated. Africa must be undone, or she must be colonized with blacks; or all history is but one prodigious lie. To Britain seems specially committed, by a good Providence, the destinies of Asia; and we say to her, kindly and faithfully, Enter and oc[Pg 58]cupy, till Messiah come; enter at once, lest we enter before you. To America, in like manner, is Africa committed. To do our Master's work there, we must colonize it by blacks, we must enlighten it by blacks. And when Mr. T. and his friends come to us with their quackery, scarcely four year's old, and require us to forego for it our clearest convictions, our most cherished plans, and our most enlightened views of truth and duty, we can only say to them, "We are much obliged to you, but pray excuse us, gentlemen; we have considered the matter before." Every benevolent and right thinking person must see that the scheme of colonizing Africa by black men, is necessary to enlighten Africa, and prevent the extirpation of the black men there. He would, in the fourth place, take up the question of christianizing Africa, separate from the other question of mere civilization and preservation. There were only three ways, as had been argued, in which the works of missions could be possibly conducted. In an admirable little treatise on the subject, published in this country, and he regretted he knew not the author, or he would name him in pure honor, these methods were ably defined and illustrated. One method was, to send out missionaries, and do the work, as many are now attempting it, in so many lands. Another was, by bringing the people to be converted, to those whom God chose to make the means of their conversion. And when Britain thinks harshly of America about slavery, let her remember, and melt into kindness at the thought, of what we are doing to convert the tens of thousands of Irish Catholics she sends to us yearly. The third way was by colonization; and this, in past ages, has been the great and glorious plan. By this, Europe became what she is; by this, America was Christianized; and he would again refer them to the little book of which he had spoken—which, not being written by a slave owner, nor even an American, might possibly be true—to convince them, that it was, in all cases, a most efficient means to save the world. But in this peculiar case, it seemed to be the chief, if not the only means. The climate suited the black man, while hundreds of whites had fallen victims to it. So peculiar does this appear to me, that I have never been able to comprehend how the pious and enlightened free blacks of America could so long, or at all, resist the manifest call of God, to go and labor for Him in their father land. There she is, "sitting in darkness and drinking blood,"—with a full capacity, and a perfect fitness on their parts, to enlighten, to comfort, and to save her—their mother, doubly requiring their care, that she knows not that she is blind and naked! And yet they linger on a distant shore; and fill the air with empty murmurs, of time and earth, and its poor vanities; and Christian men around them caress and applaud them for their heathen hard-heartedness; and Christian communities, in their strange infatuation, send missions to them, to prevent them from becoming the truest missionaries that the earth could furnish! Shadows[Pg 59] that we are, shadows that we pursue! It was, in the fifth place, the only effectual and practical mode of putting an end to the slave trade. There was, indeed, another way—by stopping the demand. But while they disputed the means of stopping the demand, there was another way—the stopping of the supply. This had long been an object dear to several nations. The government of Britain, the government of America, and the governments of several other states, had sent several cruisers to stop the supply; but would any slaves be taken from Africa, if there was even a single city on the western coast, with ten thousand inhabitants, and three vessels of war at their command? They would put an end to the trade the moment they were able to chastise the pirates, or make reprisals on the nations to which they belonged. Why is it we never hear of the stealing of an Englishman, a German, or a Turk? Because the thief knows that reprisals would be made, or that he or some of his countrymen would be chastised or stolen in return. So that all that was required, was to plant a city on the west coast of Africa, and this would give protection to the population of that country. Nothing is plainer, than that any nation which will make reprisals, will have none of the inhabitants stolen. If reprisals were made effective, the slave trade would be immediately stopped. It is the course pursued by Mr. Thompson and his friends, not the course pursued by us, which is likely to continue the slave trade. On one hundred leagues of African coast, it is already to a great degree suppressed; and if we had been aided as the importance of the cause demanded, instead of being resisted with untiring activity, this blessed object might now have been granted to the prayers of Christendom.


[Pg 60] Mr. THOMPSON earnestly hoped that every word which Mr. Breckinridge had that night uttered respecting the principles of the Colonization Society, and what had been effected by that institution, would be carefully preserved; that on other occasions, and by other persons, on both sides the Atlantic, Mr. Breckinridge's arguments might be canvassed, his facts investigated, and his sentiments made known. I shall offer no apology (continued Mr. T.) for referring to a point discussed last evening, but not fairly disposed of. I am by no means satisfied, nor do I think the enlightened, and least of all the Christian world, will be satisfied with the doctrine which for two evenings has been laid down and maintained by Mr. Breckinridge, that America, as a nation, is not responsible before God for the sin of slavery. I cannot, sir, receive that doctrine. I cannot lightly pass it over. Much hinges upon this point, nor will I consent that America shall lay the flattering unction to her soul that she is not her brother's keeper; that any wretches within her precincts may commit soul-murder, and she be innocent, by reason of her wilful, self induced, and self continued impotency. I do not believe the doctrine of "the irresponsibleness of America as a nation" to be politically sound; still less do I believe it to be the doctrine of the Bible.

Sir, I fearlessly charge America, as a nation—as the United States of America—as a voluntary confederacy of free republics—as living under one common constitution, and one common government—with being a nation of slave-holders, and the vilest and most culpable on the face of the earth.

I charge America with having a slave-holding president; with holding seven thousand slaves at the seat of government; with licensing the slave trade for four hundred dollars; with permitting the domestic slave trade to the awful extent of one hundred thousand souls per annum; with allowing prisons, built with the public money, to be made the receptacles of unoffending, home-born Americans, destined for the southern market; with permitting her legislators and the highest functionaries in the state to trample upon every dictate of humanity, and every principle sacred in American independence, by trafficking "in slaves and the souls of men."

I charge America, "as a nation," with permitting within her boundaries a wide spread system, which my opponent has himself described as one of clear robbery, universal concubinage, horrid cruelty, and unilluminated ignorance.

I charge America, before the world and God, with the awful crime of reducing more than two millions of her own children, born on her own soil, and entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," to the state of beasts; withholding from them every[Pg 61] right, and privilege, and social or political blessing, and leaving them the prey of those who have legislated away the word of life, and the ordinances of religion, lest their victims should at any time see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should assume the bearing, and the name, and the honors of humanity.

I charge America, "as a nation," with being wickedly, cruelly, and, in the highest sense, criminally indifferent to the happiness and elevation of the free colored man; with crushing and persecuting him in every part of the country; with regarding him as belonging to a low, degraded, and irreclaimable caste, who ought not to call America his country or his home, but seek in Africa, on the soil of his ancestors, a refuge from persecution in the land which the English, and the Dutch, and the French, and the Irish, have wrested from the red men, and which they now proudly and self complacently, but most falsely style the white man's country.

I charge all this, and much more, upon the government of America, upon the church of America, and upon the people of America.

It is idle, to say the least, to talk of rolling the guilt of the system upon the individual slave-holder, and the individual state. This cannot fairly be done while the citizens throughout the land are banded, confederated, united. It is the sin of the entire church. The Presbyterians throughout the country are one body; the Baptists are one body; the Episcopalian Methodists are one body; they acknowledge one another; they cordially fellowship one another. They make the sin, if it be a sin, theirs, by owning as brethren in Christ Jesus, and ministers of Him, who was anointed to preach deliverance to the captives, men who shamelessly traffic in rational, blood-redeemed souls; nay, even barter away for accursed gold, their own church members. It is pre-eminently the sin of the church. It is the sin of the people at large. It is said the laws recognize slavery. I reply, the entire nation is answerable for those laws. We hear that the "Constitution can do nothing," that "the Congress can do nothing," to which I reply, Woe, and shame, and guilt, and execration must be, and ought to be, the portion of that people calling themselves Christians and republicans, who can tolerate, through half a century, a Constitution and a Congress that cannot prevent nor cure the buying and selling of sacred humanity; the sundering of every fibre that binds heart to heart, and the dehumanization and butchery of peaceful and patriotic citizens within the territories over which they extend. In whatever aspect I view this question, the people, and the whole people, appear to be, before God and man, responsible, politically and morally, for the sin of slave-holding. They are responsible for the Constitution, with any deficiencies and faults it may have, for they have the power, and it is therefore their duty, to amend it. They are responsible for the character and acts of Congress, for they make [Pg 62] the senators and representatives that go there. In a word, they are properly and solemnly responsible for that "system" of which we have heard so much, and for "the workings of that system;" and I declare it little better than subterfuge to say, that the people of America, the source of power, the sovereign, the omnipotent people, are not responsible for the existence of slavery and all its kindred abominations, within the territorial limits of the United States.

The charges which he had here made were important, grave and awful. He made them under the full and solemn impression of his accountableness to mankind, and the God of nations. He believed them to be true; he was prepared to substantiate them. That not one tittle of them might be lost or misrepresented in Great Britain or America, he had penned them with his own hand, out of his own heart, and he was prepared to support them in England, or in Scotland, or in America itself: for he hoped yet again to visit that country, and there resume his advocacy of the cause of the slave.

He would now come to the colonization question, on which he felt completely at home. In adverting to this question, however, he experienced a difficulty, which he had felt on many former occasions, that of not being able to compress what he had to say within the compass of one address. He would not only have to reply to what Mr. Breckinridge had advanced, but he would have to touch on topics which Mr. Breckinridge had overlooked—principles affecting the origin, character, and very existence of that society, which Mr. Breckinridge had taken under his special protection. He (Mr. T.) would show that the improvement of the black man's condition was not the chief object of the Colonization Society; that its operations sprung from that loathing of color which might be denominated the peculiar sin of America. Slavery might be found in many countries, but it was in America alone that there existed an aristocracy founded on the color of the skin. A race of pale-skinned patricians, resting their claims to peculiar rank and privileges upon the hue of the skin, the texture of the hair, the form of the nose, and the size of the calf! But for this abhorrence of color, Mr. B. would not have been contented with the means proposed by the Colonization Society for the amelioration of slavery; he would not have spoken a word of colonization, or of that Golgotha, Liberia.

Acquainted as he (Mr. T.) was with America, he had been able to come to no other conclusion, but that the prejudice of color was that on which the colonization of the free negro was founded. There had been a great deal said of the inferior intellect of the black race, and of a marked deficiency in their moral qualities; but these were not the grounds on which it was sought to expatriate them; the injustice practised towards them rested solely on the prejudice which had been excited against their external personal peculiarities. Every word spoken by Mr. Breckinridge in defence of colonization, went directly[Pg 63] to prove this. The whole scheme rested on the dark color of those to be expatriated. Had the sufferers been white in the skin, Mr. B. would have advocated immediate, complete, and everlasting emancipation.

He would now turn to a matter, regarding which he considered Mr. Breckinridge had treated the abolitionists of America with injustice—with unkindness—with something which he did not like even to name. Mr. B. had charged the abolitionists with having published a law as the law of the state of Maryland, which had never been adopted by the legislature of that state; and when he (Mr. T.) had required of Mr. B. evidence in support of his grave allegations, it was in this case precisely as in the case of Mr. Garrison and Mr. Wright,—the proofs were non est inventus. Now, he would ask, was this fair; was it magnanimous; was it generous; was it Christianlike?

The charge had been distinctly made, and then it had been asked of the parties accused to prove a negative. Mr. Breckinridge was not likely to be long in Glasgow, and it was therefore most easy, and most convenient, to prefer charges which could not, even on the testimony of the parties implicated, be answered until Mr. Breckinridge was far away, and the poison had had full time to work its effect. He (Mr. T.) would, however, give it as his opinion, that his fellow laborers on the other side of the Atlantic, would triumphantly clear themselves of this and every other imputation, and finally emerge from the ordeal, however fierce, pure, untarnished, and unscathed.

Such a charge, however, should not be brought against him (Mr. T.). The laws of Maryland, he cited, were to be found in the pages of the Colonization Society's accredited organ, the African Repository, an entire set of which was on the platform, open to inspection.

Mr. Breckinridge had taken great pains to make out a case for the Maryland Colonization Society. This was not to be wondered at. That society was a protege of his own. It had been patronized and fostered by him. For it, it appeared, he had almost suffered martyrdom, when, in advocating its cause in Boston, he had been mistaken for an abolitionist,—in that same city of Boston, where a gentlemanly mob of 5000 individuals, fashionably attired, in black, and brown, and blue cloth, had joyfully engaged in assaulting and dispersing a peaceful meeting of forty ladies.

He had not yet done with the Maryland Colonization Society. He was prepared to prove that it was, taken as a whole, a most oppressive and iniquitous scheme. The laws framed to support it prohibited manumission, except on condition of the removal of the freed slaves; thus submitting a choice of evils, both cruel to the last extent,—perpetual bondage, or banishment from the soil of[Pg 64] their birth, and the scenes and associations of infancy and youth. He could show, that free persons of color, coming into the state, were liable to be seized and sold; and white persons inviting them, and harboring them, liable to the infliction of heavy fines.

These, and similar provisions, all disgraceful and cruel, were the prominent features of the laws which had been framed to carry into effect the benevolent and patriotic designs of the Maryland Colonization Society!

That expulsion from the state was the thing intended, he would show from newspapers published in the state. What said the Baltimore Chronicle, a pro-slavery and colonization paper, at the time when the laws referred to were passed? Let his auditory hear with attention.

"The intention of those laws was, and their effect must be, to EXPEL the free people of color from this state. They will find themselves so hemmed in by restrictions, that their situation cannot be otherwise than uncomfortable should they elect to remain in Maryland. These laws will no doubt be met by prohibitory laws in other states, which will greatly increase the embarrassments of the people of color, and leave them no other alternative than to emigrate or remain in a very unenviable condition."

What said the Maryland Temperance Herald of May 3, 1835?

"We are indebted to the committee of publication for the first No. of the Maryland Colonization Journal, a new quarterly periodical, devoted to the cause of colonization in our state. Such a paper has long been necessary; we hope this will be useful.

"Every reflecting man must be convinced, that the time is not far distant when the safety of the country will require the EXPULSION of the blacks from its limits. It is perfect folly to suppose, that a foreign population, whose physical peculiarities must forever render them distinct from the owners of the soil, can be permitted to grow and strengthen among us with impunity. Let hair-brained enthusiasts speculate as they may, no abstract considerations of the natural rights of man, will ever elevate the negro population to an equality with the whites. As long as they remain in the land of their bondage, they will be morally, if not physically enslaved, and, indeed, so long as their distinct nationality is preserved, their enlightenment will be a measure of doubtful policy. Under such circumstances every philanthropist will wish to see them removed, but gradually, and with as little violence as possible. For effecting this purpose, no scheme is liable to so few objections, as that of African Colonization. It has been said, that this plan has effected but little—true, but no other has done any thing. We do not expect that the exertions of benevolent individuals will be able to rid us of the millions of blacks who oppress and are oppressed by us. All they can accomplish, is to satisfy the public of the practicability of the scheme—they can make the experiment—they are making it and with success. The state of Maryland has already adopted this plan, and before long every Southern state will have its colony. The whole African coast will be strewn with cities, and then, should some fearful convulsion render it necessary to the public safety TO BANISH THE MULTITUDE AT ONCE, a house of refuge will have been provided for them in the land of their fathers."

Yet this was the plan of which the American Colonization Society, at its annual meeting in 1833, had spoken in the following terms:—

Resolved, That the Society view, with the highest gratification, the continued efforts of the State of Maryland to accomplish her patriotic and benevolent system in regard to her colored population; and that the last appropriation by that state of two hundred thousand dollars, in aid of African colonization, is hailed by the friends of the system, as a BRIGHT EXAMPLE to other states.

[Pg 65] Mr. Breckinridge had lauded the Colonization Society as a scheme of benevolence and patriotism. He (Mr. T.) did not mean to deny that there had been many pious and excellent men found amongst its founders and subsequent supporters, but he was prepared to demonstrate that it had grown out of prejudice, was based upon prejudice, made its appeal to prejudice, and could not exist were the prejudice against the colored man conquered. It had, moreover, made an appeal to the fears and cupidity of the slaveholder, by setting forth, that, in its operations, it would remove from the southern states the most dangerous portion of the free population, and also enhance the value of the slaves left remaining in the country. The doctrines found pervading the publications of the society were of the most absurd and anti-christian character. He would mention three, viz., 1st, that Africa, and not America, was the true and appropriate home of the colored man; 2dly, that prejudice against color was invincible, and the elevation of the colored man, therefore, while in America, beyond the reach of humanity, legislation and religion; and, 3dly, that there should be no emancipation except for the purposes of colonization. How truly monstrous were these doctrines! How calculated to cripple exertion, to retard freedom, and mark the colored man out as a foreigner and alien, to be driven out of the country as soon as the means for his removal were provided. Such had really been the effect of the society's views upon the public mind in America. If the colored man was to be expatriated because his ancestors were Africans, then let General Jackson be sent to Ireland, because his parents were Irish; and Mr. Van Buren be sent to Holland, because his ancestors were Dutch; and let the same rule be applied to all the other white inhabitants of the country. Then would Great Britain, and France, and Germany, and Switzerland recover their children; America be delivered of her conquerors, and the red man come forth from the wilds and the wildernesses of the back country, to enjoy, in undisturbed security, the soil from which his ancestors had been driven. Mr. Breckinridge had said much respecting his (Mr. T.'s) presumption in bringing forward a resolution in Boston, so strongly condemning the measures and principles of the Colonization Society. He (Mr. T.) might be permitted to say, that if he had acted presumptuously, he had also acted boldly and honestly; and that the auditory should know, that the resolution referred to had been debated for one entire evening, and from half past nine till half past one, the next day, with the Rev. R. R. Gurley, the secretary and agent of the Colonization Society, who, for eight or nine years, had been the editor of the African Repository, and was, perhaps, better qualified than any other man in the United States, to discuss the subject—always, of course, excepting his Rev. opponent, then on the platform. He admitted, the resolution was strongly worded; that it repudiated the society as unrighteous, unnatural, and proscriptive; and declared the efforts then making to give strength and permanency to the institution, were a fraud upon[Pg 66] the ignorance, and an outrage upon the intelligence and humanity of the community. But this country should know that he had defended his propositions, face to face, with one of the ablest champions of the cause, before two American audiences, in the city of Boston. That the assembly then before him might judge of the character of the debate, and know its result, he would read a few short extracts, taken from a respectable daily paper, published in Boston, and entirely unconnected with the Abolitionists. The editor himself, B. F. Hallett, Esq., reported the proceedings, and thus remarked:—

"One of the most interesting, masterly, and honorable discussions ever listened to in this community, took place on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The hall was as full as it could hold. * * * * * * The whole discussion was a model for courtesy and christian temper in like cases, and did great credit to all parties concerned. We question if a public debate was ever conducted in this city, in a better spirit, and with more ability. There was not a discourteous word passed, through the whole, and no occurrence which for an instant marred the entire cordiality with which the dispute was conducted. It was not men but principles that were contending, and we venture to say that no public discussion was ever managed on higher grounds, or was more deeply interesting to an audience. The resolution was put, all present being invited to vote. It was carried in the affirmative with FOUR voices in the negative."

So said the Boston Daily Advocate.

The following extracts from the published addresses of some of the most eminent and gifted supporters of the Colonization Society, would show, that the compulsory removal of the colored population, had from the first been contemplated. If it was replied, "You cannot find compulsion in the Constitution," he (Mr. T.) would rejoin, No; but herein consists the wickedness and hypocrisy of the scheme; that while it puts forth a fair face in its constitution, it does, really and in truth, contain the elements of all oppression. The written constitution of the Society was but the robe of an angel, covering an implacable and devouring demon. He would make another remark, also, before submitting the extracts in his hand. Mr. Breckinridge had strenuously endeavored to lay the guilt of the oppressive laws in the south upon the Abolitionists, declaring that those laws had resulted from the spread of Anti-slavery principles. From the passages about to be cited, and, more especially, from the words of Mr. Clay, it would be found, that long prior to the "quackery" of the Abolitionists, there had existed harsh and cruel laws, calling forth the regrets and censures of Slaveholders themselves. Even admitting the truth of what Mr. B. had said, did it follow that the truth should not therefore be published. By no means. The Israelites, in their bondage, murmured against the measures of him whom God had raised up to deliver them, and complained that their burdens had increased since Pharaoh had been remonstrated with. He would quote, for the benefit of Mr. B. a very laconic remark, by an old commentator, "When the bricks are doubled, Moses is near."

1. Charles Carrol Harper, Son of General Harper, to the voters of Baltimore, 1826. Af. Repy., vol. 2. page 188. For several years the subject of Abolition of Slavery has been brought before you. I am decidedly opposed to the project recommended. No scheme of abolition will meet my support, that leaves the emancipated blacks among us. Experience has proved that they become a corrupt and degraded class, as burthensome to themselves, as they are hurtful to the rest of society.[Pg 67]

Again, page 189, "To permit the blacks to remain amongst us after their emancipation, would be to aggravate, and not to cure the evil."

2. Extracted with approbation from the Public Ledger, Richmond, Indiana, Af. Repy., vol. 3. page 26. "We would say, liberate them only on condition of their going to Africa or Hayti."

3. Extracts from an address delivered at Springfield, before the Hamden Col. Society, July 4th, 1828. By Wm. B. O. Peabody, Esq. published by request of the Society. Af. Repy., vol. 4. page 226. "I am not complaining of the owners of Slaves; they cannot get rid of them; it would be as humane to throw them from the decks in the middle passage, as to set them free in our country." Upon which the following eulogy is pronounced, page 230. "We need hardly say that Mr. Peabody's address is an excellent one. May its spirit universally pervade and animate the minds of our countrymen.

4. Extracts from an Address to the Col. Socy. of Kentucky, at Frankfort, Dec. 17th., 1829, by the Hon. Henry Clay. Af. Repy., vol. 6, page 5. "If the question were submitted, whether there should be immediate or gradual emancipation of all the slaves in the United States, without their removal or colonization, painful as it is to express the opinion, I have no doubt it would be unwise to emancipate them. For I believe that the aggregate of the evils which would be engendered in Society, upon the supposition of such general emancipation, and of the liberated slaves remaining promiscuously among us, would be greater than all the evils of Slavery, great as they unquestionably are."

Again, page 12. "Is there no remedy, I again ask, for the evils of which I have sketched a faint and imperfect picture? Is our posterity doomed to endure forever, not only all the ills flowing from the state of Slavery, but all which arise from incongruous elements of population, separated from each other by invincible prejudices, and by natural causes? Whatever may be the character of the remedy proposed, we may confidently pronounce it inadequate, unless it provides efficaciously for the total and absolute separation, by an extensive space of water or of land, at least of the white portion of our population, from that which is free of the colored."

5. Extracts from the speech of Geo. Washington Park Curtis at the 14th Annual meeting of the Amer. Col. Soc., Af. Repy., vol. 6. page 371-2. "Some benevolent minds in the overflowings of their philanthropy, advocate amalgamation of the two classes, saying, let the colored classes be freed and remain among us as denizens of the empire; surely all classes of mankind are alike descended from the primitive parentage of Eden, then why not intermingle in one common society as friends and brothers. No, Sir; no. I hope to prove, at no very distant day, that a Southron can make sacrifices for the cause of Colonization beyond seas, but for a Home Department in those matters, I repeat no, Sir; no. What right, I demand, have the children of Africa to a homestead in the white man's country?

"If, as is most true, the crimes of the white man robbed Africa of her sons, let atonement be made by returning the descendants of the stolen to the clime of their ancestors, and then all the claims of redeeming justice will have been discharged. There let centuries of future rights, atone for centuries of past wrongs. Let the regenerated African rise to Empire; nay, let Genius flourish, and Philosophy shed its mild beams to enlighten and instruct the posterity of Ham, returning 'redeemed and disenthralled' from their long captivity in the new world. But, Sir, be all these benefits enjoyed by the African race under the shade of their native palms. Let the Atlantic billow heave its high and everlasting barrier between their country and ours. Let this fair land which the white man won by his chivalry, which he has adorned by the arts and elegancies of polished life, be kept sacred for his descendants, untarnished by the footprint of him who hath ever been a slave."

6. Mr. Henry Clay's speech, before the Society, January 1st, 1818—2d Annual Report, page 110. "Further, several of the slaveholding states had, and perhaps all of them would, prohibit entirely, emancipation, without some such outlet was created. A sense of their own safety required the painful prohibition. Experience proved that persons turned loose who were neither freemen nor slaves, constituted a great moral evil, threatening to contaminate all parts of society. Let the colony once be successfully planted, and legislative bodies who have been grieved at the necessity of passing those 'prohibitory laws,' which at a distance might appear to 'stain our codes,' will hasten to remove the impediments to the exercise of benevolence and humanity. They will annex the condition that the emancipated shall leave the country, and he has placed a false estimate upon liberty, who believes there are many who would refuse the boon, when coupled even with such a condition."

Here there was compulsion, both in principle and precept. In the laws of Maryland, and elsewhere, were found abundant evidences of compulsion in practice, and where there were no direct acts forcing them to depart, a public sentiment had been created, which, in its manifold operations, brought the colored man, crushed and hopeless, to the conclusion, that it would be better for him to say farewell to[Pg 68] home and country, than remain a proverb and a nuisance amongst a prejudiced and persecuting people. No colored man could justly be said to go to Liberia, or elsewhere, with his free and unconstrained consent, until the laws were equal, the treatment kind, prejudice founded on complexion destroyed, and he presented himself a voluntary agent, and asked the means to transport him to a foreign shore. As one proof that compulsion had been openly and unblushingly advocated, he would quote the words of Mr. Broadnax in the Virginia House of Delegates:——

"It is idle to talk about not resorting to force; every body must look to the introduction of force of some kind or other—and it is in truth a question of expediency, of moral justice, of political good faith—whether we shall fairly delineate our whole system on the face of the bill, or leave the acquisition of extorted consent to other processes. The real question, the only question of magnitude to be settled, is the great preliminary question—Do you intend to send the free persons of color out of Virginia, or not?

"If the free negroes are willing to go, they will go—if not willing they must be compelled to go. Some gentlemen think it politic not now to insert this feature in the bill, though they proclaim their readiness to resort to it when it becomes necessary; they think that for a year or two a sufficient number will consent to go, and then the rest can be compelled. For my part, I deem it better to approach the question and settle it at once, and avow it openly.

"I have already expressed it as my opinion that few, very few, will voluntarily consent to emigrate if no COMPULSORY measure be adopted.

"I will not express, in its full extent, the idea I entertain of what has been done, or what enormities will be perpetrated to induce this class of persons to leave the Slate. Who does not know that when a free negro, by crime or otherwise, has rendered himself obnoxious to a neighborhood, how easy it is for a party to visit him one night, take him from his bed and family, and apply to him the gentle admonition of a SEVERE FLAGELLATION, to induce Kim to consent to go away I In a few nights the dose can be repeated, perhaps increased, until, in the language of the physician, quantum sufficit has been administered to produce the desired operation; and the fellow then becomes PERFECTLY WILLING to move away.

Finally, on this part of the subject, he would cite the Rev. R. J. Breckinridge, who, at the annual meeting of the American Colonization Society, in 1834, had used the following language:—

"Two years ago I warned the Managers of this Virginia business, and yet they sent out TWO SHIP-LOADS OF VAGABONDS, not fit to go to such a place, and they were COERCED away as truly as if it had been done with a CART-WHIP.

His grand complaint against the Colonization Society was this—that instead of grappling with the reigning prejudices of the community, it falsely assumed the insensibility of those prejudices, and proceeded to legislate accordingly. They thus sanctioned and perpetuated the greatest sources of suffering and wrong to the colored population. The prejudice against the people of color had greatly increased since the formation of the Society. The present supporters of the Society were those who thoroughly loathed the free people of color, and the most cruel and sanguinary opponents of the Abolitionists were the boisterous defenders of the American Colonization Society. For example, when a mob assailed the inhabitants in New York, broke up their meetings, assaulted their persons, and sacked the house of Mr. Lewis Tappan, that mob could, in the midst of their ruffian-like and felonious exploits, most unanimously and heartily shout, "Three cheers for the Colonization Society," and "away with the[Pg 69] niggers." In travelling in steamboats and stage coaches, he (Mr. T.) had invariably found that his most furious and malignant opponents, and the most determined haters of the black man, were loud in their profession of attachment to the principles and plans of the society. Why had not the wise and benevolent members of the society denounced that prejudice? Because the best among them were themselves partakers of that prejudice. It was evident, from all that Mr. Breckinridge had said, that he was deeply imbued with that prejudice. It gave tone, and color, and direction to all his remarks. Such men might profess to love the black man; but they were likely to be suspected of insincerity, when they uniformly manifested their love by driving the object of it as far away as possible. Such a mode of expressing love was contrary to all our ideas of the natural manifestations of that feeling. If the Colonization Society was indeed so full of benevolence and mercy, how was it that its character was so misunderstood by the colored people, for whose special benefit it had been originated? Surely they were likely to be the best judges of its effect upon their welfare and happiness. What was the fact? The entire free colored population of the United States were opposed to the expatriating project. But his opponent would say it was owing to the abuse poured upon the society by the foul-mouthed Abolitionists. He (Mr. T.) should, however, deprive the gentleman of this refuge, by laying before the meeting a very interesting fact, which would at once show the feeling of the colored people when the plan was first submitted to them. It would show, that in a meeting of three thousand, convened in the city of Philadelphia, to decide whether the society should, or should not, receive their countenance, they decided against it without a dissentient voice. He would lay before them a letter written by a highly respectable, enlightened, and wealthy gentleman of color in Philadelphia, Mr. James Forten. The letter was written to the editor of the New England Spectator, in consequence of a remark made by Mr. Gurley, during the debate in Boston.

Philadelphia, June 10th, 1835.

Rev. W. S. Porter,—Dear Sir,—I cheerfully comply with the request contained in your note of the 3d inst., to give you a brief statement of a meeting held in 1817, by the people of color in this city, to express their opinion on the Liberia project. It was the largest meeting of colored persons ever convened in Philadelphia,—I will say 3000, though I might safely add 500 more. To show you the deep interest evinced, this large assemblage remained in almost breathless and fixed attention during the reading of the resolutions and the other business of the meeting; and when the question was put in the affirmative you might have heard a pin drop, so profound was the silence. But when in the negative, one long, loud, ay, tremendous NO, from this vast audience, seemed as if it would bring down the walls of the building. Never did there appear a more unanimous opinion. Every heart seemed to feel that it was a life and death question. Yes, even then, at the very onset, when the monster came in a guise to deceive some of our firmest friends, who hailed it as the dawning of a brighter day for our oppressed race,—even then we penetrated through its thickly-laid covering, and beheld it prospectively as the scourge which in after years was to grind us to the earth, and, by a series of unrelenting persecution, force us into involuntary exile.

I was not a little surprised to learn that Mr. Gurley professed to be ignorant of this fact; for in the African Repository he reviewed Mr. Garrison's Thoughts on African Colonization; and a whole chapter of the work, if I mistake not, is taken up with the sentiments of [Pg 70]the people of color on colonization, commencing with the Philadelphia meeting. Perhaps Mr. Gurley did not read that chapter. But if his memory is not very treacherous, he ought to have known the circumstance, for I related it to him myself in a conversation which I had with him at my house one evening, in company with the Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge, and our beloved friend, William Lloyd Garrison. The subject of colonization was warmly discussed; and I well recollect bringing our meeting of 1817 forward as a proof of our early and decided opposition to the measure. No doubt Mr. Garrison also remembers it.

Three meetings were held by us in 1817. The two first you will find in the "Thoughts on Colonization," part 2d, page 9. Of the protest and remonstrance adopted at the third meeting, I send you an exact copy. It is in answer to an address to the citizens of New York and Philadelphia, calling upon them to aid a number of persons of color, whom they said were anxious to join the projected colony in Africa. Those persons were mostly from the south, and it was to disabuse the public mind on this subject, that our meeting was held.

I remain, with great respect,

Yours,             JAMES FORTEN.

He (Mr. T.) could pledge himself that such were still the feelings of the free colored people of America. Wherever they possessed a glimmering of light upon the subject, they utterly abhorred the society, and would as soon consent to be cut to pieces, as sent to any of the colonies prepared for their reception. Was it not then too bad that Christians should be called upon to support a society so utterly at variance with the wishes and feelings of the parties most nearly concerned? As a few moments yet remained, he would occupy it in quoting the opinions of two gentlemen, ministers of religion, and standing high in their own country, who had furnished lamentable evidence of the extent to which prejudice might possess otherwise strong and enlarged minds. The first quotation was from a report of a committee at the Theological Seminary at Andover, Massachusetts, presented to the Colonization Society of that institution in 1823. It was from the pen of the Rev. Leonard Bacon, now pastor of a Congregational church at New Haven, Connecticut.

"The Soodra is not farther separated from the Brahmin, in regard to all his privileges, civil, intellectual, and moral, than the negro is from the white man, by the prejudices which result from the difference made between them by the God of nature. A barrier more difficult to be surmounted than the institution of the Caste, cuts off, and while the present state of society continues, must always cut off, the negro from all that is valuable in citizenship."

The other was his opponent on that platform; who, in a letter to the New York Evangelist, had said, that emancipation, to be followed by amalgamation, at the option of the parties, would be reckless wickedness. But lest he should misrepresent that gentleman, he would turn to the paper, and quote the passage cited.

"I know that any abolition without the consent of the States holding the slaves, is impossible; that to obtain this consent on any terms, is very difficult;—that to obtain it without the prospect of extensive removal by colonization, is impossible; that to obtain it instantly on any terms, is the dream of ignorance; that to expect it instantly with subsequent equality, is frantic nonsense; and that to demand it, as an instant right, irrespective of consequences, and to be followed by amalgamation at the option of the parties, is RECKLESS WICKEDNESS!"

All the alarm created on the subject of amalgamation was totally unfounded. The views of the Abolitionists were simple and scriptural. They held that there should be no distinctions on account of color. That to treat a man with coldness, unkindness, or contempt,[Pg 71] on account of his complexion, was to quarrel with the Maker of us all. They held that this prejudice should be given up, and the colored man be treated as a white man, according to his intellect, morality, and fitness for the duties of civil life. They did not interfere with those tastes by which human beings were regulated in entering into the nearest and most permanent relations of life. They confined themselves to the exhibition of gospel truth upon the subject, and left it to an overruling and watchful Providence to guard and control the consequences springing from a faithful and fearless discharge of duty. Mr. Thompson concluded, by observing, that he considered the readiest way to make men curse their existence and their God, was to oppress and enslave them on account of that complexion, and those peculiarities, which the Creator of the world had stamped upon them.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said, he would commence with a slight allusion to two references which had been made to himself by Mr. Thompson. And in regard to certain passages which had been read from speeches of his, he would only say, that he had never written or uttered a single word on this subject, which he would not rejoice to see laid before the British public. But he had a right to complain of the manner in which these passages had been quoted. It was not fair, he contended, to break down a passage, and read only half a sentence, passing over the other half because it would not answer the purpose of the reader; in fact, because it would alter the sense of the passage altogether. He charged Mr. T. with having been guilty of this in the last quotation which he had made, and, in order to show the true meaning of the garbled passage, he would read it as it stood: [See the passage as it appears in Mr. T.'s speech.] He had read this the more particularly, in order to show the consistency of his present opinions with those which he had held and uttered two years ago. They would now perceive, he said, that when the sentence was given entire, he said, that setting the slaves free without reference to consequences, constituted a material and an omitted part of that procedure, which he had characterized as reckless wickedness, whereas by breaking it up in the middle, he was made to say, that to permit voluntary amalgamation, after instant abolition, was by itself to be so considered. He was now ready to defend this statement as he had at first made it.

The next thing he would refer to, was the report of a speech which he [Mr. B.] had delivered at an annual meeting of the American Colonization Society. And with regard to it, if he was in America, he would say, decidedly, that it was not a fair report: that it was an unfair report, got up by Mr. Leavitt, the editor of the New York Evangelist, to serve a special purpose. He would not deny that he had said something which might give a pretext for the report. He had charged the parent society with having been guilty of a gross dereliction of duty to the colony and the cause, in sending away two ships' cargoes of negroes to Liberia, who were not fit for that place, and he[Pg 72] believed that those two expeditions had done much to injure the colony itself, as well as to impair public confidence in the firmness and judiciousness of the parent board. They were emigrants unfit to be sent out—the refuse of the counties around South Hampton in Virginia; who were hurried out by the violent state of public sentiment in that region, after the insurrection and massacre there. Like a man conscious of rectitude, he had gone to the very parties concerned, and declared his grounds of complaint; a line of conduct he could not too often commend to Mr. Thompson, and no proof could be more conclusive than this anecdote afforded, that the active friends of colonization in America, however they might differ about details, meant kindly by the blacks, and by Africa. Mr. B. again expressed his surprise that Mr. Thompson should occupy the time of the meeting by repeating his own speeches. He had adverted to this matter before, he said, and as he was in a poor state of health, and had work elsewhere, and as there was much ground yet to go over, and Mr. T. declared his materials to be most abundant, he thought those repetitions might have been spared. They who took the trouble to read the published speeches of this gentleman, would find, that however exhaustless might be the boasted stores of his facts, proofs, and illustrations, about what he called "American Slavery," he was exceedingly economical of them. After reading six or seven of them, he found them so very like each other, that the same stories, in the same order, and the same illustrations, in the same sequence, and the same unfounded charges, in the same terms of unmeasured bitterness, may be often expected, and never in vain. Indeed, so meagre was his supply of wit, even, that it also went on very few changes. The whole case exhibiting a most striking illustration of the truth uttered in a personal sense by one of their own statesmen and scholars, and now proved to be of general application, namely, that when a man resorted to his memory for his jokes, it was very probable that he would draw upon his imagination for his facts. As he [Mr. B.] had been so often asked to produce certain placards for the purpose of substantiating some of his statements, there could be no better connexion in which to call upon Mr. Thompson to bring forward proof of those charges which he brought against certain persons, and classes of persons, unless he wished the world to believe that he had brought those charges without having a single iota of evidence on which to found them. He would call upon Mr. Thompson to bring forward his proofs in support of all those charges, those reckless and extravagant charges, which he brought against the ministers of religion in America. Mr. Thompson had stood before several London audiences with a runaway slave from America, who charged certain individuals with unparalleled cruelty! Amongst other things, with burning a slave alive; a matter to which Mr. T's attention had in vain been called, and his proofs demanded. He would take no further notice of the gross things he had uttered of the president of the United States than to say, that if he (Mr. B.) could condescend to imitate his conduct,[Pg 73] and utter ribaldrous things of the king of Great Britain, he should richly deserve to be turned with contempt out of this sacred place. He would proceed, then, with his remarks on the Maryland colonization scheme. They had been told by Mr. T. that the object of the Maryland society was compulsory expatriation, as a condition precedent to freedom. When proof of this was required, he could bring none; and when he (Mr. B.) had showed that it was not so, but that its object was of unmixed good to the blacks, an object accomplished as to many, on their showing, in the proof produced, Mr. Thompson turned round, and said, that it was entirely contrary to his preconceived notions, and repeated statements, and must be false! But facts were better than notions and statements both. And what were the facts in the present case? Why, that on the one hand Mr. Thompson asserts that no slave can be manumitted in Maryland except he will instantly depart the country; whereas Messrs. Harper, Howard and Hoffman assert, in an official report, on the 31st of last December, that 299 manumissions within that state had been officially reported to them within a year, and 1101 within four years. At the same moment I have produced a record of the very names and periods of emigration, of 140, bond and free, all told, who, within the same four years, under the action of the very laws in question, had gone from the state; admitting half of whom to be of those particular manumitted slaves, there would be left 1021 more of them to prove that Mr. T. either totally misunderstood, or mis-stated, that of which he affirms—either way, his assertions are demonstrated to be untrue. As to the laws of Maryland, of which mention had been made, he had not seen them since his visit to Boston two years ago, and in adverting to them he had stated in general terms what he understood them to be. The great object of these laws was said to be the driving out of the free blacks from the state of Maryland. Now that the means taken to promote this end were not of that grinding and iniquitous character which Mr. Thompson had represented them as being, would be sufficiently obvious to the meeting, when it was considered that in that state there were three times the number of free persons of color, than were to be found in the majority of the free states, and considerably more than there were in any other state in the Union. If the laws were found more oppressive in Maryland, how did it come that the free blacks congregated there from all other parts of America? Or if they were set free by the people so much opposed to their increase, why did they not rather go to Pennsylvania, which was separated from Maryland only by an imaginary line, and where free blacks enjoyed almost the same rights as white men? But, again, it was said, that that colonization scheme was an awfully wicked scheme, because it sought to prevent the increase of free persons of color in Maryland. But if this were a grievous sin, were the people of Great Britain not equally guilty in sending away out of the country ship loads of paupers, free whites, to other parts of the globe, in order to prevent the increase of pauperism in this country? Why[Pg 74] had not this branch of the subject been adverted to by Mr. Thompson? Why had he not, in the paroxysms of his enfuriated eloquence, while abusing the American colonizationists, not included the king and parliament of Britain for allowing the existence of laws, or if there be no such law, for a practice rife in England, of expatriating thousands of paupers not only by contributions, but at the public expense. He would be told that the paupers were sent away to distant parts of the globe, where they would be more comfortable in every respect than they were at present. And had Mr. T. bowels of compassion only for the black man? Is it lawful to export a white man against his will, at the public charge, while it is unlawful to export a black man, with his free consent, by private benevolence? Is America so detestable a place, that England may lawfully make her the receptacle of the refuse of the poor houses of the realm; while Africa is so sacred a place, that no one that can even do her good is to be permitted to go there from America, if his skin is dark? May Britain say, she has more paupers than she can support, and so make it state policy to force emigration from Ireland, by a system which makes a quarter of the people there beg bread eight months out of twelve, and produces inexpressible distress; and yet is Maryland to be precluded, on any account, or upon any terms, from seeking the diminution, or rather preventing the disproportionate increase, of a population, anomalous, and difficult of proper regulation? He should be most happy to receive an explanation of these strange contradictions! There was another feature of the Maryland laws, which he might mention, which forbade the emigration of slaves into Maryland, even along with their owners. Mr. Thompson had prudently omitted all notice of that enactment, while he had said a great deal about the registration of free persons of color, as if it were a most intolerable hardship. He (Mr. B.) was unable to see in what respect the great hardship consisted. Was not every freeholder in this country registered? But the free black was not allowed to leave the state of Maryland without giving notice, it was said. There was nothing very oppressive in all that. It was no worse interference on the part of the government, than for the king of Great Britain to say to his subjects, You must return home under certain contingencies; you shall not dwell in particular places, nor fight for certain nations. Were the governments of America, because they were republicans, not to have the power which other nations had, of controlling the actions of that portion of their population, whose movements must be regarded by all who regarded the peace of society or the public good. He admitted, that some of the laws in several of the states were hard and severe in reference to the free colored population, but while he said so, it was but fair to add that he considered the conduct of the abolitionists, in spreading their new fangled notions, had done much to alter these laws for the worse. In many instances the bad laws had become worse, and good laws had become bad, solely through the imprudent conduct of Mr. Thompson's associates. And this specific law of[Pg 75] registration, and loss of right of residence, by removal for any considerable time out of the state, was obviously intended to prevent free persons of color from going out and becoming imbued with false and bloody theories, and then returning to disturb the public peace. The law says to them, Abide at home, or, if you prefer it, depart, and find a home more to your mind; but if you go, prudence requests us to prohibit your return. Mr. T.'s complaints of this enactment, showed how necessary it was to have made it.

In conclusion, he would recommend to Mr. Thompson, should he ever return to America, he need not be so tremendously prudent in regard to his personal safety, if he would just not be so tremendously imprudent in the principles and proceedings he advocated, and the statements he made with regard to the conduct of the American people. He had now gone over the assertions of Mr. Thompson, regarding the Maryland colonization scheme, and he trusted that he had shown the unfounded nature of those assertions. All that had been said by Mr. T. as to the principles and objects of the colonizationists, and the scope and influence of their course, had no other proof than the writings of those persons, who for some years, had formed a very small portion of the supporters of this great interest; and who, without exception, belonged to those classes, who at first, as had already been admitted, supported it, for reasons, some of which were entirely political, others perhaps severe to the slaves, and others unjust or inconsiderate towards the free blacks. But that directly opposite views, statements and arguments, could be more amply procured from the still greater, and still proportionately increasing party, who support this cause, as a great benevolent and religious operation, must be perfectly known to the individual himself. If he admit this, said Mr. B., it will show his present course to be of the same uncandid kind with all the rest of his conduct towards America, in selecting what answered his purpose; that always being the worst thing he could find, and representing it as a fair sample of all. It will do more, it will show that what he calls proof is no proof at all. But if he denies my repeated representations as to the various classes of the original supporters of the parent society, and the present state of them, I am equally content; as, in that case, all America would have a fair criterion by which to test his statements. As to the Maryland plan, and that pursued by the united societies of Philadelphia and New York, if they have any supporters except such as love the cause of the black man, of temperance, and of peace, the world has yet to find it out.

The time being expired, Mr. B. sat down.


[Pg 76]

FOURTH NIGHT—THURSDAY, JUNE 16.

Mr. THOMPSON said that before proceeding to the subject decided upon for that evening's discussion, he must, in justice to himself and his cause, offer a remark or two. He had on the previous evening been struck with surprise at the extraordinary injustice of charging him (Mr. T.) with quoting unfairly from the letter of Mr. Breckinridge in the New-York Evangelist. It must have been obvious to all, that in the first instance, he quoted from memory, but all would recollect with the avowed wish of avoiding misrepresentation, he had gone to his table—produced the letter, and read the passage entire without the omission or interpolation of a letter or a comma. He, therefore, emphatically denied the charge of garbling. Mr. Breckinridge did himself, immediately afterwards, read the passage, and read it precisely as he (Mr. Thompson) had read it. The imputation, therefore, was equally unfounded and unfair. He (Mr. T.) was thankful that his argument needed not such help. It would be as absurd as it would be wicked for him to attempt to support his cause by any garbled statement.

He begged also that it might be distinctly understood that he had by no means exhausted the evidence in his possession on the subject of Colonization. He could adduce a thousand times as much as that which had been already brought forward. He had much to say of the colony at Liberia; the means taken to establish it, the nature of the climate, the character of the emigrants, the mortality amongst the settlers, how much it had done towards the suppression of the slave trade, &c. In fact, he was prepared with overwhelming evidence upon every branch of the subject, and was willing to return to it at any moment, confident that the arguments he could produce, and the facts by which he could support them, would, in the estimation of the public, destroy forever the claim of the Colonization Society to be considered a pure, peaceful, or benevolent institution. I now, (said Mr. T.) come to the topic immediately before us.

It is my solemn and responsible duty to bring before you[Pg 77] to-night the principles and measures of a large, respectable, and powerful body in the United States, known by the name of Immediate Abolitionists. A body of individuals embracing not fewer than fifteen hundred ministers of the gospel, and men of the highest station and largest attainments. A body of persons that have been charged upon this platform with being a handful, "so small that they could not obtain their object, and so erroneous (despicable was, I believe, the word used) as not to deserve success,"—charged with being the enemies of the slave-holder—taking him by the throat, and saying "you great thieving, man-stealing villain, unless you instantly give your slaves liberty, I will pitch you out of this third-story window,"—charged with carrying in their track a pestilence like a storm of fire and brimstone from hell; forcing ministers of religion to seek peaceful villages not yet blasted by it,—charged with saying that they were sent from God, when they possessed the fury of demons,—charged, finally, with having "thrown the cause" of emancipation "a hundred years farther back than it was five years ago." These are fearful indictments, and Mr. Breckinridge has a weighty duty to fulfil to-night, for he is bound to sustain them. They have been brought by himself, a Christian minister, the professed friend of the slave; and he must, therefore, abundantly support them by incontrovertible evidence, or stand branded before the world as the worst foe of human freedom—the foul calumniator of the friends and advocates of the oppressed, the suffering, and the dumb.

He would lay the principles of the American abolitionists before the audience in the words of their solemn and official documents. He would go back to the commencement of the five years mentioned by his opponent, and read from the "Constitution of the New-England Anti-Slavery Society," a lucid exposition of the principles and objects of the first Anti-Slavery Society (technically so called) in the United States.

"We, the undersigned, hold that every person of full age and sane mind, has a right to immediate freedom from personal bondage of whatsoever kind, unless imposed by the sentence of the law for the commission of some crime.

We hold that man cannot, consistently with reason, religion, and the eternal and immutable principles of justice, be the property of man.

We hold that whoever retains his fellow man in bondage, is guilty of a grevious wrong.

We hold that a mere difference of complexion is no reason why any man should be deprived of any of his natural rights, or subjected to any political disability.

While we advance these opinions as the principles on which we intend to act, we declare that we will not operate on the existing relations of society by other than peaceful and lawful means, and that we will give no countenance to violence or insurrection.

With these views, we agree to form ourselves into a society, and to be governed by the rules specified in the following constitution, viz:

Article 1. This Society shall be called the New-England Anti-Slavery Society.

Article 2. The object of the society will be to endeavor, by all means sanctioned by law, humanity, and religion, to effect the Abolition of Slavery in the [Pg 78]United States, to improve the character and condition of the free people of color, to inform and correct public opinion in relation to their situation and rights, and obtain for them equal civil and political rights and privileges with the whites."

He would now pass on to the formation of the National Anti-Slavery Society, in December, 1833, and submit all that was material in the "Constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society."

Article 2. The object of this Society is the entire abolition of slavery in the United States. While it admits that each State in which Slavery exists has, by the Constitution of the United States, the exclusive right to legislate in regard to its abolition in that State, it shall aim to convince all our fellow-citizens, by arguments addressed to their understandings and consciences, that slave-holding is a heinous crime in the sight of God; and that the duty, safety, and best interest of all concerned, require its immediate abandonment, without expatriation. The Society will also endeavor, in a constitutional way, to influence Congress, to put an end to the domestic slave trade; and to abolish slavery in all those portions of our common country which come under its control, especially in the district of Columbia, and likewise to prevent the extension of it to any State that may hereafter be admitted to the Union.

Article 3. This Society shall aim to elevate the character and condition of the people of color, by encouraging their intellectual, moral, and religious improvement, and by removing public prejudice; that thus they may, according to their intellectual and moral worth, share an equality with the whites of civil and religious privileges; but the Society will never in any way countenance the oppressed in vindicating their rights by resorting to physical force.

Article 4. Any person who consents to the principles of this Constitution, who contributes to the funds of this Society, and is not a slave-holder, may be a member of this Society, and shall be entitled to a vote at its meetings."

He would next read the "Preamble" to the Constitution of the New-Hampshire State Anti-Slavery Society:

"The most high God hath made of one blood all the families of man to dwell on the face of all the earth, and hath endowed all alike with the same inalienable rights, of which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; yet there are now in this land, more than two millions of human beings, possessed of the same deathless spirits, and heirs to the same immortal hopes and destinies with ourselves, who are nevertheless deprived of these sacred rights, and kept in the most cruel and abject bondage; a bondage under which human beings are bred and fattened for the market, and then bought, sold, mortgaged, leased, bartered, fettered, tasked, scourged, beaten, killed, hunted even like the veriest brutes,—nay, made often the unwilling victims of ungodly lust; while, at the same time, their minds are, by law and custom, generally shut out from all access to letters, and in various other ways all their upward tendencies are repressed and crushed, so as to make their "moral and religious condition such that they may justly be considered the heathen of this country;" and since we regard such oppression as one of the greatest wrongs that man can commit against his fellow; and existing as it does, and tolerated as it is, under this free and Christian government, sapping its foundation, bringing its institutions into contempt among other nations, thus retarding the march of freedom and religion, and strengthening the hands of despotism and irreligion throughout the world; and since we deem it a duty to ourselves, to our government, to the world, to the oppressed, and to God, to do all we can to end this oppression, and to secure an immediate and entire emancipation of the oppressed; and believe we can act most efficiently in the case, in the way of combined and organized action:—Therefore, we, the undersigned, do form ourselves into a Society for the purpose."

If there was anything for which the abolitionists as a body were peculiarly distinguished, it was for the perfect uniformity of sentiment upon all great points connected with the general question of slavery. This was attributable to the clearness and[Pg 79] fullness with which the principles of the Society had been enunciated. Not so with the Colonization Society. You quoted the language of the most eminent of its supporters, but were immediately told that the Society was not answerable for the views or designs of its advocates. How very different a course did the Colonizationists pursue towards the Anti-Slavery Society. That Society was not only made answerable for all which the abolitionists really said, and really designed, but for things they never said, and never designed. No Society was more conspicuous for the simplicity of its principles, or the harmony of views subsisting among its members. All regarded slave-holding as sinful. All considered immediate emancipation to be the duty of the master and the right of the slave. All deprecated the thought of a servile insurrection to effect the extinction of slavery. All abhorred the doctrine that "the end sanctifies the means." But all deemed it a solemn duty to pursue, with energy and boldness, the overthrow of slavery; all were one in believing and teaching, that the means adopted should be honest, holy, peaceful, and moral. It had been said that the only weapon should be "persuasion." He (Mr. T.) believed that if no other weapon than "persuasion" was resorted to, slavery would be perpetual. He believed that the gathered, concentrated, withering scorn of the whole world, Pagan and Christian, must be brought down upon slave-holding America, ere much effect could be produced. If this was insufficient, it would be the duty of Britain to consider well whether it was right to hold the destinies of the slaves of America in her hand and not act accordingly. It would be the duty of the friends of the slave to point to slave-grown produce, and cry, "touch not, taste not, handle not" the accursed thing! Great Britain had the power, by adopting a system of prohibitory duties or bounties, to affect very materially the question at issue, and he (Mr. T.) doubted not, that, if some such course was adopted, certain of the slave States would immediately abolish slavery that they might find a readier market and a higher price for their produce.

Notwithstanding, however, the precision with which the abolitionists had stated their principles, and the wide publicity they had given them, designs the most black, and measures the most monstrous and wicked, had been charged upon them. They had been represented as "firebrands," "incendiaries," "disorganizers," "amalgamatists"—as promoting "disunion," "rebellion," and the "intermixture of the races." Again and again, had they solemnly disclaimed the views imputed to them, and pointed to their published "constitutions" and "declarations;" but as often had their enemies returned to their work of calumny and misrepresentation. How totally absurd was it to[Pg 80] charge upon the abolitionists the design of promoting amalgamation, while, under the system of slavery, an unholy amalgamation was going on to the most awful extent; demonstrated by the endless shades of complexion at the south; and when nothing was more obvious than this, that when a female was rescued from her present condition—inspired with self-respect, and became the protector of her own virtue,—and when fathers, and brothers, and husbands, were free to defend the honor of their wives and daughters, the great causes, and incentives, and facilities would cease, and cease forever, and to prove to the world how solemnly the abolitionists had denied the imputations cast upon them by their enemies, he would read from two documents put forth during the great excitement which prevailed through the United States in August last. The American Anti-Slavery Society, in "An Address to the public," thus anew declared their principles and objects.

"We hold that Congress has no more right to abolish slavery in the southern States, than in the French West-India Islands. Of course we desire no national legislation on the subject."

"We hold that slavery can only be lawfully abolished by the Legislatures of the several States in which it prevails, and that the exercise of any other than moral influence to induce such abolition is unconstitutional."

"We believe that Congress has the same right to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, that the State Governments have within their respective jurisdictions, and that it is their duty to efface so foul a blot from the national escutcheon."

"We believe that American citizens have the right to express and publish their opinions of the constitutions, laws, and institutions, of any and every state and nation under Heaven; and we mean never to surrender the liberty of speech, of the press, or of conscience—blessings we have inherited from our fathers, and which we intend, as far as we are able, to transmit unimpaired to our children."

"We are charged with sending incendiary publications to the south. If by the term incendiary is meant publications containing arguments and facts to prove slavery to be a moral and political evil, and that duty and policy require its immediate abolition, the charge is true. But if the term is used to imply publications encouraging insurrection, and designed to excite the slaves to break their fetters, the charge is utterly and unequivocally false. We beg our fellow-citizens to notice that this charge is made without proof, and by many who confess that they have never read our publications, and that those who make it, offer to the public no evidence from our writings in support of it."

"We have been charged with a design to encourage intermarriages between the whites and blacks. The charge has been repeatedly, and is now again denied, while we repeat that the tendency of our sentiments is to put an end to the criminal amalgamation that prevails wherever slavery exists."

These were only extracts from the address, which was of considerable length, and thus concluded:

"Such, fellow-citizens, are our principles. Are they unworthy of republicans and of Christians? Or are they in truth so atrocious, that in order to prevent their diffusion you are yourselves willing to surrender, at the dictation of others, the invaluable privilege of free discussion, the very birth-right of Americans? Will you, in order that the abomination of slavery may be concealed from public view, and that the capital of your republic may continue to be, as it now is, under the sanction of Congress, the great slave mart of the American Continent, consent that the general government, in acknowledged defiance of the constitution and laws, shall appoint, throughout the length and breadth of your land, ten thousand censors of the press, each of whom shall have the right to inspect every document you may commit to the Post-Office, and to suppress every pamphlet and newspaper, [Pg 81]whether religious or political, which, in its sovereign pleasure, he may adjudge to contain an incendiary article? Surely we need not remind you, that if you submit to such an encroachment on your liberties, the days of our Republic are numbered, and that, although abolitionists may be the first, they will not be the last victims offered at the shrine of arbitrary power.

ARTHUR TAPPAN, President.
JOHN RANKIN, Treasurer.
WILLIAM JAY, Sec. For. Cor.
ELIZUR WRIGHT, Jr., Sec. Dom. Cor.
ABRAHAM L. COX, M. D., Rec. Sec.
LEWIS TAPPAN, Member of the Executive Committee.
JOSHUA LEAVITT, Member of the Executive Committee.
SAMUEL E. CORNISH, Member of the Executive Committee.
SIMEON S. JOCELYN, Member of the Executive Committee.
THEODORE S. WRIGHT, Member of the Executive Committee.

New-York, September 3, 1835."

The other document to which he had referred, was an "Address" adopted at "A meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, duly held in Boston, on Monday, August 17, A. D., 1835," signed by W. L. Garrison, and twenty-seven highly respectable citizens of Boston, on behalf of the Massachusetts Society, and others concurring generally in its principles. He (Mr. T.) would only quote a few brief passages.

"We are charged with violating, or wishing to violate, the Constitution of the United States. What have we done, what have we said to warrant this charge? We have held public meetings, and taken other usual means of convincing our countrymen that slave-holding is sin, and, like all sin, ought to be, and can be, immediately abandoned. We have said, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, that "ALL MEN are created equal," and that liberty is an inalienable gift of God to every man. We know of no clause in the Constitution which forbids our saying this. We appeal to the calm judgment of the community, to decide, in view of recent events, whether the measures of the friends, or those of the opposers of abolition, are more justly chargeable with the violation of the Constitution and laws."


"The foolish tale, that we would encourage amalgamation by intermarriage between the whites and blacks, though often refuted, as often re-appears. We shall content ourselves with a simple denial of this charge. We challenge our opponents to point to one of our publications in which such intermarriages are recommended. One of our objects is to prevent the amalgamation now going on, so far as can be done, by placing one million of the females of this country under the protection of law."

"We are accused of interfering in the domestic concerns of the southern States. We would ask those, who charge this, to explain precisely what they mean by "interference." If, by interference be meant any attempt to legislate for the southern States, or to compel them, by force or intimidation, to emancipate their slaves, we at once deny any such pretension. We are utterly opposed to any force on the subject, but that of conscience and reason, which are "mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds." We fully acknowledge that no change in the slave-laws of the southern States can be made, unless by the southern Legislatures. Neither Congress nor the Legislatures of the free States have authority to change the condition of a single slave in the slave States. But, if by "interference" be intended the exercise of the right of freely discussing this subject, and, by speech, and through the press, creating a public sentiment, which will reach the conscience, and blend with the convictions of the slave-holder, and thus ultimately work the complete extinction of slavery, this is a species of interference which we can never consent to relinquish."


"We respectfully ask our fellow-citizens, whether we are to be deprived of these sacred privileges,—and, if so, whether the sacrifice of our rights will not involve consequences dangerous to all mental and even personal freedom. We have vio[Pg 82]lated, we mean to violate, no law. We have acted, we shall continue to act, under the sanction of the Constitution of the United States. Nothing that we propose to do can be prevented by our opposers, without violating the Charter of our rights. To the Law and to the Constitution we appeal."

Such were the sentiments of the abolitionists of the United States of America.

He (Mr. T.) would embrace the present opportunity of saying a few words respecting his own mission to the United States. It had been much denounced as an impertinent foreign interference; but he thought the charge had neither grace nor honesty when it came from those who were engaged, and, as he believed, most conscientiously and praiseworthily, in seeking, by their missionaries and agents, to overturn the institutions, social, political, and religious, of every other quarter of the globe. Mr. Breckinridge had said that it would be as just on his part to inveigh against England on account of Roman Catholicism in the west of Ireland, or Idolatry in India, as it was on his (Mr. T's.) to condemn America for the slavery existing in that country. The cases were not quite parallel. Before they could be compared, Mr. B. must prove that the population of Ireland were constrained to worship the Virgin Mary—that in India, men were forced by British Law to worship idols. No British subject was compelled by any law of this country, or any other country to which British sway extended, to be either a Papist or an Idolator. But in America, men were converted into beasts, "according to law," and their souls and bodies crushed and degraded by a system most vigorously enforced by the strong arm of the State. His opponent had said, however, that slavery was not a national sin. He (Mr. T.) had to thank a friend for suggesting an illustration of the knotty problem. Suppose a number of Agriculturists and Merchants and Highway Robbers were to meet together to form a Union, and the Highway Robbers were to say—come, let us unite for the purpose of common security, and common prosperity: we will defend each other, and trade with each other, but we will not "interfere" in each other's internal affairs. You, gentlemen, Agriculturists and Merchants, shall promise that you will take no notice of my felonious and cut-throat proceedings, and I, on my part, will pledge my honor not to intermeddle in the affairs of your farms or counting-houses: and suppose they were to shake hands, complete the bargain, and ratify an indissoluble union of Agriculturists, Merchants, and Highway Robbers! would the world hold the farmer or the merchant guiltless? Mr. B. had said much of the purity and emancipation principles of Massachusetts, and New-Hampshire and Maine. How came it to pass, then, that they were in terms of such close and cordial fellowship with South[Pg 83] Carolina, and Georgia, and Louisiana, and so ready to mob, stone, and outlaw those who deemed it their duty to cry aloud on behalf of the oppressed? To return to his own mission. He would never condescend to apologize for speaking the truth. He had a commission direct from the skies, to rebuke sin and compassionate suffering wherever on the face of the earth they existed. This world belonged to God; and all men were His subjects and his (Mr. Thompson's) brethren. Men might be naturally divided by rivers, and oceans, and mountains; they might be politically divided by different forms of government, and specified lines of demarkation; but he (Mr. T.) took the Bible in his hand and deemed himself at liberty to address every human being on the face of the earth in reference to those eternal principles of justice and truth, which are alike in all countries and in all ages, and which the subjects of God's moral government are everywhere bound to respect. He would say to America and to England, silence your cry of foreign interference, or call home your Missionaries from India, and China, and Constantinople. To shew that the object of his mission was in accordance with the spirit of the gospel, he would read an extract from an article in the first number of the "Abolitionist," the organ of "The British and Foreign Society for the Universal Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade"—a Society with which he was connected when he went to America, and whose Agent he still was. The objects of his mission were thus set forth:

"1. To lecture in the principal cities and towns of the free States, upon the character, guilt, and tendency of slavery, and the duty, necessity, and advantages of immediate and entire abolition. These addresses will be founded upon those great principles of humanity and religion, which have been so fully enunciated in this country, and will consequently be wholly unconnected with particular and local politics. This work will be carried on under the advice and with the co-operation of the Anti-Slavery Societies at present in existence in the United States.

2. To aim, by every Christian means, at the overthrow of that prejudice against the colored classes, which now so lamentably prevails through all the States of America; and to regard as a principal mean to obtain this desirable object, their elevation in intellect and moral worth.

3. To suggest to the friends of negro freedom in the United States the adoption and prosecution of such measures as were found conducive to the cause of abolition in this country, and may be found applicable to existing circumstances in that.

4. To seek access to influential persons of various religious denominations, and especially to ministers of the gospel, for the purpose of explanatory conversation on the subjects of slavery and prejudice.

5. To endeavor to effect a junction between the abolitionists of the United States of America and great Britain, with a view to the abolition of slavery and the slave trade throughout the world."

The principles of the American Societies, his own principles, and the objects proposed by his mission to America, were now before his opponent. He called upon him to throw aside his quibbles on legal technicalities, and point out, if he were able, anything in the documents he had read, or the sentiments he[Pg 84] had advanced, inconsistent with the spirit of Christianity, or the genius of rational freedom. It had been said that abolitionism was "quackery," only four years old. He would give them a little of the quackery of Benjamin Franklin, in the year 1790. He held in his hand a petition drawn up by that celebrated man, and adopted by the "Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery," the preamble of which recognizes the doctrines which are maintained by American Abolitionists at the present day, and expresses the (now incendiary) desire of diffusing them "wherever the evils of Slavery exist." Of this Society, Dr. Franklin was elected President, and Dr. Rush the Secretary. In 1790, this Society presented to the first Congress a petition, from which the following is an extract:—

"From a persuasion that equal liberty was originally the portion, and is still the birth-right of all men, and influenced by the strong ties of humanity, and the principles of their institutions, your memorialists conceive themselves bound to use all justifiable endeavors to loosen the bands of slavery, and promote a general enjoyment of the blessings of freedom. Under these impressions, they earnestly entreat your serious attention to the subject of slavery; that you may be pleased to countenance the restoration to liberty of those unhappy men, who, alone in a land of freedom, are degraded into perpetual bondage, and who, amidst the general joy of surrounding freemen, are groaning in servile subjection; that you will devise means for removing this inconsistency from the character of the American people; that you will promote mercy and justice towards this oppressed race, and that you will step to the very verge of the power vested in you, for discouraging every species of traffic in the persons of our fellow-men."

(Signed)                 Benjamin Franklin,

President.

Philadelphia, February 2, 1790."

Besides the venerable Franklin in 1790, he might refer to the truly able speech of the Rev. David Rice, in the Convention held at Danville, Kentucky, before, or soon after the petition just read—to the sermon of Jonathan Edwards, the younger, in the year 1791—and to a most excellent sermon by Alexander M'Leod, through whose zeal and labors chiefly, the Reformed Presbyterians were brought to the determination to rid their church of slavery, an object they accomplished in the year 1802. It was a painful fact that the American community had retrograded in feeling and sentiment upon the subject of slavery. The anti-slavery feeling of 1820 was neither so pure nor so strong as in 1800, or 1790; and in 1830 the feeling had become still weaker, and the views of the community still more corrupted. This was owing to the formation of the colonization society, which, like a great sponge, gathered up and absorbed the anti-slavery feeling of the country, and by proposing the removal of the colored population, and constantly preaching such doctrines as were calculated to advance that object, drew public attention away from the duty of immediate emancipation on the soil, and caused the Christian community to rest in a scheme based upon expediency, and fully in unison[Pg 85] with their prejudice against color. To those who compared the various sentiments contained in the writings and speeches of the colonizationists, with the pure and uncompromising principles advocated towards the close of the last, and the beginning of the present century, nothing was more obvious than the fact he had just stated, namely, that there had been a gradual giving up of sound views and principles, for others accommodated to the prejudices and interests and fears of the different portions of the community. For instance, nothing was more common in the records of the Colonization Society than the recognition of a right of property in man; to find the advocates of the Society, when speaking of the slaveholder and his slaves, saying, "we hold their slaves, as we hold their other property, sacred." Mr. Breckinridge might say "these are not my opinions;"—but he must know they were the published opinions of the managers and chief advocates of the Society, and it was for him to explain how he could lend a Society his countenance and aid, which promulgated and upheld so impious a doctrine as the right of property in God's rational, accountable, and immortal creatures. He (Mr. T.) knew, however, that the Society could assume all colors, and preach all kinds of doctrines. At one time it was promoting emancipation, and at another, increasing the value of slaves, and securing the master in the possession of them. It had one face for the north, and another for the south—a very Proteus enacting every sort of character; having no fixed principles—never consistent with itself in anything but its determination by all means to get rid, if possible, of the colored man. If there was any one thing which, more than another, was calculated to demonstrate the true character and tendency of the Society, it was the opinions everywhere entertained respecting it by the colored population. It was a fact that they loathed and abhorred the Society. No man advocating it could be popular amongst them. Even Mr. Breckinridge, with all his virtues and benevolence, was considered by the colored people as practically their enemy, by helping to sustain a Society which they regarded as the most effective engine of oppression ever invented. Surely they were qualified to form a judgment upon the subject. They had looked into its workings—they had narrowly watched its movements, and had satisfied themselves that it was full of all unrighteousness. If, on the other hand, the abolitionists were, by their measures, doing vast injury to the cause of the free colored people, how came it to pass, that they had the love and confidence of that entire class of the population? How was it that even the arch fiend of abolition, George Thompson, was by them caressed and beloved, and that they would hang for hours upon the accents of his lips—and that the tear of gratitude would start[Pg 86] into their eyes wherever he met them? The secret was soon told. He (Mr. T.) spoke to them and of them, as men. He compromised none of their rights—he exhibited no prejudice against their complexion. He did not recommend exile as their only way of escape from their present and dreaded ills. He preached justice, and kindness, and repentance to their persecutors, and maintained the right of the bleeding captive to full and unconditional liberty, with all the privileges and honors of humanity. Therefore they loved him—therefore they would lay down their lives for him. He would read a list of places, in all of which the colored people had held meetings, and denounced the plans of the Colonization Society, viz,—

Philadelphia, New-York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington; Brooklyn and Rochester, in the State of New-York; Hartford, Middletown, New-Haven, and Lime in the State of Connecticut; Columbia, Pittsburg, Lewistown, and Harrisburg, in the State of Pennsylvania; Providence, in the State of Rhode-Island; Trenton, in the State of New-Jersey; Wilmington, in the State of Delaware; New-Bedford, in the State of Massachusetts; Nantucket; in the National Convention of free colored persons, held in Philadelphia, in 1831—by the same Convention in 1832, and, he believed, in very subsequent Conventions.

To return to the Anti-Slavery Societies of the United States. He (Mr. T.) knew them to be composed of the finest and purest elements in the country. They were numerous and powerful. It would soon be proved that, with the blessing of God, they were omnipotent. Knowing the piety, intelligence, wealth, and energy of the abolitionists of America, it required some effort to be calm when Mr. Breckinridge stood before a British audience and compared them to Falstaff's ragged regiment. The Society of Kentucky might be small in regard to numbers. He believed, however, they were highly respectable. He referred to Mr. J. G. Birney on this point. Mr. Breckinridge might represent on the present occasion, if it pleased him, the abolitionists of his (Mr. B's) country as beggarly, odious, and despicable: but if he lived to revisit England (and he hoped he might) he believed he would then have to find some other illustration of their character, numbers and appearance, than the ragged regiment of Shakspeare's Falstaff.

Having stated the principles of the Anti-Slavery Societies in America, he would exhibit, in the words of the Philadelphia declaration of sentiments, their mode of operations. The National Society, formed during the convention, thus made known to the world its intended course of action:—

We shall organize Anti-Slavery Societies, if possible, in every city, town and village in our land.

We shall send forth Agents to lift up the voice of remonstrance, of warning, of entreaty and rebuke.[Pg 87]

We shall circulate, unsparingly, and extensively, anti-slavery tracts and periodicals.

We shall enlist the "Pulpit" and the "Press" in the cause of the suffering and the dumb.

We shall aim at a purification of the churches from all participation in the guilt of slavery.

We shall encourage the labor of freemen rather than that of the slaves, by giving a preference to their productions: and

We shall spare no exertions nor means to bring the whole nation to speedy repentance.

Our trust for victory is solely in GOD. We may be personally defeated, but our principles never. Truth, Justice, Reason, Humanity, must and will gloriously triumph. Already a host is coming up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and the prospect before us is full of encouragement.

Submitting this declaration to the candid examination of the people of this country, and of the friends of liberty throughout the world, we hereby affix our signatures to it; pledging ourselves that, under the guidance and by the help of Almighty God, we will do all that in us lies, consistently with this Declaration of our principles, to overthrow the most execrable system of slavery that has ever been witnessed upon earth; to deliver our land from its deadliest curse; to wipe out the foulest stain which rests upon our national escutcheon; and to secure to the colored population of the United States all the rights and privileges which belong to them as men and as Americans—come what may to our persons, our interests, or our reputations—whether we live to witness the triumph of Liberty, Justice, and Humanity, or perish untimely as martyrs in this great, benevolent and holy cause.

Signed in the Adelphi Hall, in the City of Philadelphia,
on the 6th day of December, A. D. 1833.

True to the pledges given in this declaration, the abolitionists had printed, preached, and prayed without ceasing. As a proof of what they were doing in one department of their work, he would exhibit a number of newspapers, tracts, pamphlets, and other periodicals, which were in circulation throughout the country. Mr. Thompson then produced copies of the "Slaves Friend," "Anti-Slavery Records," "Anti-Slavery Anecdotes," "Human Rights," "Emancipator," "Liberator," "New-York Evangelist," "Zion's Herald," "Zion's Watchman," "Philadelphia Independent Weekly Press," "Herald of Freedom," "Lynn Record," "New England Spectator," &c., and an "Anti-Slavery Quarterly," edited by Professor Wright, the Secretary of the National Society, and distinguished by considerable literary talent. These were amongst the means pursued by the Abolitionists. They were peaceful and honorable means, and under God, would prove effectual to bring the blood-cemented fabric of Slavery to the ground. Other than moral and constitutional means, the abolitionists sought not to employ. Their's would not be the glory reaped upon the crimson field amidst the carnage and the din of war. Their victory would not be a victory achieved by the use of carnal weapons, effecting the freedom of one man by the destruction of another. Their victory would be a victory won by the potency of principles drawn from the Gospel of the Prince of Peace—their glory the glory of those who had obtained a bloodless conquest over the consciences and hearts of men. In the full conviction that the principles he (Mr. Thompson) had that night maintained, were[Pg 88] the principles of the word of God, he would still prosecute the work to which he had for some years devoted himself. He called upon those around him to be true to those principles, and to continue zealously to advocate them, and leave the consequences in the hands of God. Let the friends of human rights again rally under the banner which had aforetime led them to battle—under which they had together fought and together triumphed—and to remember that the motto inscribed upon its ample folds—a motto which, though oft abused, had oft sustained them in the hour of conflict—was, Fiat Justicia ruat Cœlum.


Mr. Breckinridge rose. Having taken a good many notes of what Mr. Thompson had said in the speech now delivered, he was prepared for replying, if an opportunity were presented after he should have finished saying what seemed to him more pertinent to the subject in hand. In the meantime, he would introduce what he had now to say by reading another version of the events which had been represented as one of Mr. Thompson's triumphs at Boston.

Mr. May introduced a resolution denouncing the Colonization Society as unworthy of patronage, because it disseminates opinions unfavorable to the interest of the colored people.

Mr. Gurley replied. He finished the consideration of Mr. May's objections, went into an exposition of the advantages of the Colonization Society, and contrasted its claims with those of the Anti-Slavery Society. In doing this, he exhibited a handbill, having a large cut of a negro in chains, with some inflammatory sentences under it. Here he was interrupted by hisses, which were answered by clapping. Mr. George Thompson rose and attempted to address the meeting. This increased the confusion, Cries of "sit down—shame—be silent—let Mr. May answer if he can—no foreign interference," &c., from all parts of the hall. Mr. Thompson persevered as few men would have done, but at last yielded to the evident determination of the audience, and took his seat. The hall then became still, and Mr. Gurley proceeded.

We do not know that any Anti-Colonizationist was convinced by these discussions; except men who are committed against the Society, we believe the very general opinion is, that their overthrow on the field of argument was as complete as any could desire. It is evident that the cause of the Colonization Society is gaining a hold on the convictions and affections of the people of New-England stronger than it ever had before. We say this in view of facts which are coming to our knowledge from various parts. The storm of abuse and misrepresentation with which it has been assailed, is beginning already to contribute to its strength.

Now he begged to remark that the paper from which he had read the foregoing extract, the New-York Observer, together with the one from which it was originally taken, the Boston Recorder, printed more matter weekly than all the avowed abolition newspapers, in America, put together, did in half a year. He would notice farther, in relation to the great display of abolition publications which had been made by Mr. Thompson on the platform, that one of the papers lying there on the table, had advocated his principles and cause when he was in Boston, and likely to be mobbed at the instigation, as he believed, of Mr. Garrison. Some of the remainder of the publica[Pg 89]tions were, he believed, long ago dead; some could hardly be said ever to have lived; some were purely occasional; the greater part as limited in circulation as they were contemptible in point of merit. Not above two or three of the dozen or fifteen that had been produced before them—and the names of which he (Mr. B.) required to be recorded—were in fact, worthy to be called respectable and avowed abolition newspapers. But to come to the point immediately in hand. He would on the present occasion attempt to show that abolition was not worthy to supplant the colonization scheme in the affections of Americans or Britons, or of any other thinking people. He acknowledged that there were many respectable men in the ranks of the abolitionists; but these, almost without exception, had been at one time colonizationists; and had he time he might show that many of them had deserted the colonization society on some peculiar or personal grounds, not involving the principles of the cause. He was prepared to show, however, that by whomsoever supported, the principles of the abolitionists were essentially wrong, and that their practice was still worse. He had not access to the voluminous documents brought forward by Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson had, indeed, that evening, on this platform, publicly offered him access to them. Had that offer been made at the beginning of the discussion, instead of the end of it, or during the four or five days we spent in Glasgow before it commenced, it might have been turned to some advantage. But as it was, the audience would know how to appreciate it; and he must rely solely upon memory, when he stated the principles promulgated by abolitionists; though at the same time he pledged himself that his statements not only were intended to be, but were, substantially correct and entirely candid. The abolitionists held, then, in the first place, as a fundamental truth, that every human being had an instant right to be free, irrespective of consequences to himself and others; consequently that it was the duty of masters to set free their slaves instantly, and irrespective of all consequences; and of course, sinful to exercise the powers of a master for one moment, or for any purpose. This was, in substance, the great principle on which the abolitionists acted—a principle which he was now prepared to question. He had, on a former occasion, shown that there were only two parties responsible for the existence of slavery, namely, individual slave-holders, and slave-holding communities. He would now attempt to prove, that, as applied to either of these, this principle was not only false, but that it was a mere figment, and calculated to produce tremendous evil. Let them first attend to what the abolitionists say to the individual slave-holder. Perhaps the person addressed was an inhabitant of Louisiana; where, if it is not directly con[Pg 90]trary to law, to manumit a slave—the law refuses to recognize the act. Was he to be told then that he should turn off his slaves, the young and helpless along with the old and the infirm, with the certain knowledge that so soon as they left his plantation, they would commence a career of trouble and sorrow most likely to end in their being seized, imprisoned, fined, and again enslaved. Mr. Thompson had mentioned, in nearly all his printed speeches, the case of a certain colored man, who had been thrown into prison at Washington city, and sold into eternal slavery to discharge the fees which had accrued by reason of his oppression. Now he (Mr. B.) took leave to say that this story was false, in toto. It was customary in some parts of America to sell vagabonds, in order to make up their jail fees; but they were bound for no longer a period than was necessary to do this. The system was this—they were taken up as vagrants. If they were able and willing to show that they had some regular and honest means of livelihood, they were of course acquitted and discharged; but when they were unable to do this, they were sold for as much as would pay the fees of detention, trial, &c. That any person, black or white, once recognized by the law as free, was ever sold into everlasting slavery, he positively denied, and demanded proof. In Louisiana, however, it being illegal to manumit a slave, those whom the abolitionists would set free, would not be considered free in the eye of the law. They might be harrassed, imprisoned as vagabonds, sold to pay expenses, as vagabonds, and so soon as set free again imprisoned. He admitted that such proceedings would be inexcusable; but what was a benevolent man, who had the welfare of his slave really at heart, to do with an eye to them? To act upon the abolitionist principle, would be to consign the slave to incalculable misery, for they had but one lesson to teach—turn loose the slaves, and leave consequences to God! The colonizationists, however, are provided with a better remedy. If Louisiana would not countenance manumission, nor suffer manumitted slaves to remain within her bounds, with the usual privileges of freemen, let them be taken to some other State, where such laws did not exist; or if this should not on the whole be desirable, let them be taken to Liberia. No, repeats Mr. Thompson; discharge your slaves at once, and leave the consequences to God. If, by the wicked laws of Louisiana, they are left to starve, or driven to desperation, or sold again into slavery, the responsibility is theirs; do you your duty in setting them immediately at liberty. It would require, however, that a humane individual should be very strongly impressed with the truth of this principle before he could persuade himself to do that which was evidently so cruel in its immediate effects, and so likely to be ruinous in those that are more remote. [Pg 91]Yet that principle was, to say the least, extremely doubtful, and ought not at every hazard to be crammed down the throats of an entire nation. If the laws of the community were bad, as he admitted it to be the case, he supposed it was the duty of enlightened citizens to seek a change of that law by proper means, but not in the meantime to do that which would be totally insubordinate to the State—and injurious to all parties. Whether, moreover, it was either fair or candid to denounce, as had been done, the free States as being participators in slavery, because, though they did not themselves hold a property in slaves, they did not choose to swallow such nostrums even without chewing, could not be a question. If it was so doubtful whether duty to the slaves themselves rendered the immediate breaking up of all relations between them and their masters a proper or even a permitted thing, it was still more questionable whether our duties to the State may not imperiously forbid what our duties to the slave have already warned us against. I have omitted all considerations of a personal or selfish kind—all rules of conduct drawn from what is due to one's self, one's family, or one's condition, or engagements. Common benevolence forbids, as we have seen, and common loyalty prohibits, as we shall see—what a man must do, or lie under the curse of abolitionism. For though it be our duty to seek the amendment of bad laws, because they are bad, it is equally our duty to obey laws because they are laws, unless it is clear that greater ill will follow from obedience than from disobedience. Now all our slave States are perfectly willing that their citizens should emancipate their slaves; only many of them insist on their doing it elsewhere, than within their borders. As long as other lands exist, ready to receive the manumitted slave, and certain to be benefitted by his reception, it is to preach treason, as well as cruelty, and folly as well as either, to assert the bounden duty of the individual slave-holder, at all hazards, to attempt an impossibility on the instant, rather than accomplish a better result by foresight, preparation, and suitable delay. It may therefore be boldly said that instant surrender of the authority of the master, irrespective of all other considerations, must, in many cases, be a great crime in the individual slave-holder. He would now speak of this abolition principle to which he had adverted as a rule of conduct for slave-holding communities. In this respect, also, he considered that it was at best extremely questionable. Let us illustrate the principle by the oft-repeated case of the District of Columbia. Abolitionism asserts that it is the clear duty of Congress to abolish slavery instantly in that District, without regard to what may occur afterwards in consequence of that act. Let us admit that the dissolution of the Federal Union is a consequence not worthy[Pg 92] of regard—even when distinctly foreseen; and that all the evils attendant on such a result, to human society, and to all the great interests of man throughout the earth, are as nothing, compared with the establishment of a doubtful definition, having an antiquity of at least four years, and a paternity disputed between Mr. Garrison and Mr. Thompson. As a principle concerning no other creature but the slaves of the District, and no interest but theirs, it can be shown to be false. If Congress were instantly to abolish slavery there, with a tolerable certainty that every slave in the District would be removed and continued with their issue in perpetual slavery; when by an arrangement with the owners, they might so prospectively abolish it as to secure the freedom of every slave in five or ten years, and of their issue as they successively arrived at twenty or twenty-five years of age; if Congress could do the latter, and were in preference to do the former, they would deserve the execrations of the world. The first plea is Mr. Thompson and abolitionism; the second express my principles and those of the despised gradualists. At all events, the truth of the principle involved in the former supposition was not so manifest as to justify Mr. Thompson in denouncing, as he had done, those who did not see proper to follow it. A wise man would hesitate—he would weigh well the resulting circumstances as one of the best tests of the truth and utility of his principles before he propagated, as indisputably and exclusively true, and that in despite of all results, such principles, with the violence which had been manifested—principles which, he repeated, were but four years old, and which he was still convinced, were but arrant quackery. There was another aspect of the subject. Reference had been made to the representation of the black population in the National Government. He would remark on this subject that it was the duty of every State to see that power was committed only to the hands of those qualified to exercise it properly, wisely, and beneficially. What would be said in this country, were Mr. Thompson to propose that the elective franchise should be made universal, and that the age at which it might be exercised should be fixed at fifteen years? He would venture to say that the ministry who would introduce such a scheme to Parliament, would not exist for three days. The proposal, as Mr. T. no doubt knew, would be considered altogether revolutionary and shocking. Yet it must be admitted that the average of the boys of Britain who are fifteen years old, are fully as well qualified for the exercise of the elected franchise, as the average of the slaves in the various parts of the United States are at the age of twenty-one years. But with us, as with you, twenty-one years is the age at which electors vote. As I have shown, in most of our States the elective franchise is[Pg 93] extended to every white man, who has attained that age; while the qualifications of a property kind, anywhere required, are so extremely moderate, that in all our communities nine-tenths at least of the adult white males are entitled to vote. Now let it be borne in mind, that abolitionism requires not only instant freedom for the slave, but also instant treatment of him, in every civil and political, as well as every social and religious respect, as if he were white, that is, in plain terms—if we should follow the dogmas you sent Mr. T. to teach us, and in which we have been held up to the scorn of all good men, for declining to receive, a revolution far more terrible and revolting would immediately follow throughout all our slave States, than would follow in Britain by enfranchising in a day, every boy in it fifteen years old—even if your house of lords were substituted by an elective senate, and your parliaments made annual! And it is in the light of such results, that America has received with horror the enunciation of principles which lead directly to them, while their advocates declare "all consequences" indifferent as it regards their conduct! And can it be the duty of any commonwealth to bring upon itself "instantly,"—or at all—such a condition as this? The abolitionists themselves had evidently felt that their scheme was absurd; for they had never ventured to propose it to a slave State. Their papers were published and their efforts all made, and their organized agitation carried on, and a tremendous uproar raised in States where there existed no power whatever to put an end to slavery; but hardly a syllable had been uttered where, if anywhere, some effect might have been produced beneficial to the slaves, had abolition principles been practicable anywhere. The conduct of the abolitionists had been of a piece with what would have taken place in this country, had an agitation been got up for the direct abolition of idolatry in China, or of popery in Spain. Their principles had never yet been advocated in the South, but by means of the post-office, the effects of which, in the tearing up of mail bags, &c., Mr. Thompson well knew, and had declared. But the fact was, that such metaphysical propositions as those propounded by the abolitionists—even admitting them to be true—were altogether uncalled for. Thousands of slaves had been emancipated before the abolition principles were heard of, and all that was needed, was, that those who were engaged in the good work should have been let alone or aided on their own principles. What was the use of blazoning forth a doctrine which was in all likelihood false and ruinous, but which, were it true, could do no good? For if you could persuade a man that his duty required him to give freedom to his slaves, and he became suitably impressed with a sense thereof—he would do it just as certainly and effectually as though you had begun by[Pg 94] saying to him—now as soon as I convince you, you must set them free immediately! He could indeed characterize such a mode of proceeding by no other term than that of gratuitous folly.

Again he might say that this principle of abolitionism was contrary to all the experience which America had acquired as a nation on this subject. Principles favorable to emancipation first took root where there were few slaves, and when the products of their labor were of little value. They had spread gradually towards the South, the border States being always first inoculated, till no fewer than eight States which tolerated slavery, adopted this principle, and successively abolished it. To these eight States were to be added four others, created since the formation of the Federal Constitution, which never tolerated slavery, thus making twelve States in which slavery was not permitted. By the influence of gradualism alone, had the cause of freedom advanced steadily to this point, and every day rendered its ultimate triumph throughout the whole empire more and more probable. At this time it might have been carried South by at least 5 degrees of latitude; and Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri, added to the free States; and the shackles of 1,000,000 slaves been in a process of gradual melting off. If fifty years had seen the rise of 12 free States, was it too much to hope that the next fifty years should enfranchise twelve more. For all the ruin brought on this glorious cause during the last four years by principles and practices of Mr. Thompson's friends, what have they to compensate suffering humanity? Have they or theirs released from his bonds a single slave? The abolition plan had in fact, been a signal, a total, absolute failure. Mr. Thompson himself did not pretend to say that a twentieth part of the population of America had embraced his views. The whole theory was as false as the whole practice was fatal; and just and pious men would hereafter hesitate before they sent out new missions to advocate them, or lent the influence of their just weight to denunciations levelled against all who did not think them worthy of their applause. The second great principle of the abolitionists, to which he would invite attention, was this—that it was the inherent and indestructible right of every man to abide in perfect freedom in whatever spot he was born; and that while it is a crime to deny him there all the rights of a man, a citizen and a Christian, it was not less so to persuade, to win, or to coerce him into what they called exile—this principle was levelled at the Colonization Society; and while instant abolition formed the first, and denunciation of what they call prejudice against color formed the last; hatred to colonization formed the middle and active principle of the band. Of this, it might be said, first,[Pg 95] that it had the advantage of contradicting all the wisdom and practice of mankind. Whether it was meant to embrace women and minors—or at what age to establish the beginning of rights so extraordinary and unprecedented, whether at twenty-one, as here, or twenty-five, as in some countries, or twenty-eight, as in others, had not yet been defined. Thus much at least might be said—that if these rights resided in black men, they resided in no others, of whatever hue or race; and the philosophers who discovered their existence had found out something to compensate these unhappy men for their unparalleled sufferings. It certainly need not create surprise that we should listen with suspicion to such dogmas taught by an Englishman, when we remember that, from time immemorial, all the institutions of his own country were built upon dogmas precisely opposite; and all her practice the reverse of the preaching of the semi-national representative. Mr. Thompson says, a man is a citizen by inherent right, wherever he is born; the British monarchy, which Mr. Thompson says he prefers to all things else, says on the contrary, that let a man be born where he may he is a Briton, if born of British parents; and it both claims his allegiance, and will extend to him every right of a subject born at home! Then why is not a man an African if born of African parents in America, as well as a Briton, if born of British parents there? Or why are we to be attacked first with cannon on one side, and then with Billingsgate on the other side of this vexed question? Nor did our own notions, adverse as they were to those of Britain, conflict less with Mr. T. and abolitionism on another part of the principle. All our notions permit men to expatriate themselves, many of our constitutions guarantee it as a natural right, and America had actually gone to war with Britain in defence of that right in her unnaturalized citizens. Britain had insisted on searching American vessels for British sailors—America had refused to submit to the search; because, among other things the man sought was, by naturalization, an American. America did not oppose any of her citizens becoming Britons, if they thought fit, and was resolved to maintain the right of those who chose to become American citizens, from whatever country they might have emigrated, and therefore could hear only with contempt this dictum of abolitionism. Again he would say that, this principle is contrary to common sense. Rights of citizenship were not to be considered natural rights. They were given by the community—they might be withheld by the community; and, therefore, to talk of their being indestructible, was sheer nonsense. No man had a natural right to say, I will be a citizen of this or that State; and in point of fact, the great bulk of mankind were not citizens at all, but merely subjects. There were laws establishing the present form of government, giving[Pg 96] a certain power to the king and to the Parliament, and regulating the mode in which Parliament was to be elected. These laws were altogether conventional; and as well might a man claim a natural right to be a king or a judge as to be a citizen. It might be as truly said that one is inherently a shark because he was born at sea, or a horse because he happened to have been born in a stable. So far is the theory of abolition from the truth; and so widely remote is their hatred to colonization, from being based in justice, or reason, that circumstances may occur in which it shall become imperative duty for men to emigrate. America presented a striking example of the truth of this. In this country it was customary to talk of America as a daughter of England. He had heard people talk as if America were about as large as one English shire, and settled principally from their own villages. But the fact was that America was an epitome of the whole world, peopled by colonies from almost all parts of it. It was an eclectic nation; and to talk to Americans, of the inherent right of a man to stay and be oppressed, where he happened to be born—or the guilt of seducing him to emigrate, is only to expose one's self to pity or scorn. To realize this, it is only necessary to take a map of our wide empire, washed by both oceans, and embracing all the climates of the earth, and get some American boy to tell you the migrations of his ancestors. To omit all mention of the red man, from Asia, and the poor black man, from Africa; there, he will say in New-England, are the children of the pilgrims, who were the fathers of your own Roundheads, driven out by the mean and vexatious tyranny of James I.; and there, in lower Virginia, three hundred leagues off, are the descendants of the Cavaliers and Malignants. There, in the back parts of the same ancient commonwealth, and in all western Pennsylvania, are the sturdy Scotch, whose fathers were hanged in the streets of your cities, by that perjured Charles II., who thus rewarded the loyalty that gave him back his crown. In the same key State, of the Union is a nation of industrious Germans; while in the empire state of New-York, are the children of those glorious United Provinces, that disputed with yourselves for ages, the empire of the seas; and between them both in New-Jersey the descendants of those ancient Danes who often ravaged your own coasts. The descendants of the Hugonauts, whose ancestors Louis XIV. expelled from France, and placed cordons on his frontiers to butcher as they went out, simply because they were Protestants, peopling parts of the south; in other parts of which, are colonies of Swiss, of Spaniards, and of Catholic French. The Irishmen is everywhere; and everywhere better treated than at home. Amongst such a people, it must needs be an instinctive sentiment, that he who loves country more than liberty, is unworthy[Pg 97] to have either; that he who inculcates or affects the love of place above the possession of precious privileges, must have a sinister object. But he might proceed much farther; and having shown that it might be the duty of men to emigrate under various circumstances, prove that such a duty never was more imperative than on the free colored population of America. Possessing few motives to remain in America that were not base or insignificant compared with those that ought to urge their return, every attempt to explain and defend their conduct revealed a selfishness on their part a thousand times greater than that they charge upon the whites; and a cruelty on the part of their advisers towards the dying millions of heathen in Africa, more atrocious than that charged, even by them, on the master against his slave. The love of country, of kindred, of liberty, of the souls of men, and of God himself, impels them to depart, and do a work which none but they can do; and which they forego through the love of ease, the lack of energy, vanity gratified by the caresses of abolitionists, and deadness to the great motives detailed above. But there was another, and most obvious truth, which shows the utter futility of the principle of abolition now contested. So far was the fact from being so, that anybody, black or white, held an inherent right of citizenship in the place of his birth; that it is most certain, no man had even a right of bare residence, which the state might not justly and properly deprive him of—upon sufficient reason. The state has the indisputable right to coerce emigration, whenever the public good required it; and when that public good coincided with the interest of the emigrating party—and that also of the land to which they went—to coerce such emigration might become a most sacred duty. It was indeed true, that the friends of colonization had not contemplated nor proposed any other than a purely voluntary emigration; for even the traduced State of Maryland not only made the fact of removal voluntary, but, going a step further than any other, gave a choice of place to the emigrant. I recommend Africa, says she, but I will aid you to go wherever you prefer to go. It should, however, be borne in mind that this power is inherent in all communities, and has been exercised in all time. And it were well for the advocates of abolition principles to remember that the final, and, if necessary, forcible separation of the parties is surely preferable to the annihilation, or the eternal slavery of either; while it is infinitely more probable than the instant emancipation—the universal levelling—or the general mixture for which they contend. He had still left a third principle advanced by the abolitionists on which to comment, but as only two or three minutes of his allotted time remained, he would not enter on the subject; but would read, for the infor[Pg 98]mation of the audience a speech delivered by Mr. Thompson at Andover, in Massachusetts, the seat of one of our largest theological seminaries, as reported by a student who was present. He wished this speech to be put on record for the information of the British public.

Students—I shall first speak of the natural and inalienable rights to discuss slavery. It is not a question; you ought to do it; you sin against God and conscience, and are traitors to human nature and truth, if you neglect it. Whoever attempts to stop you from the exercise of this right, snatches the trident from the Almighty, and whoever dares to put manacles upon mind must answer for it to the bar of God. It belongs to God, and to God exclusively. You are not at liberty to give respect to any entreaty or suggestion or to take into consideration the feelings of any man or body of men on the subject. The wicked spirit of expediency is the spirit of hell, the infamous doctrines of the demons of hell; and whoever attempts to preach it to the rising youth of the land, preaches the doctrine of the damned spirits. It is the spirit of the flame and faggot, revealing itself as it dares, and corrupting the atmosphere so as to prevent the free breathing of a free soul. Where are the students of the Lane seminary? Where they ought to be;—from Georgia to Maine, and from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains—far from a prison-house where fetters are forged and rivetted. They could not stay in a place where a thermometer was hung up to graduate the state of their feelings. It was not till Dr. Beecher consulted the faculty at New-Haven and Andover, to see if they would sustain him, that he ventured to put the screws on. But, perhaps you may say, we must bid farewell to promotion if we do as you desire. The faculty have the power, in a degree, to fix our future settlements by the recommendation, and, therefore, we must desist. What if you do have to leave the seminary? Far better to be away than to breathe the tainted air of tyranny. I proclaim it here, that the only reason why abolition is not countenanced at Andover is, because it is unpopular; when it is popular it will be received. In 1823, the Colonization Society was the pet child of the churches, the seminaries, and the colleges of the land; but now, forsooth, because it is unpopular, it is cast off. Aye, once the eloquent tongues voiced its praise, and the gold and silver were its tributaries—where is it now? Cast off because it is not popular. This is rather hard; in its old age, too. But I forbear, it is a touching theme. I return to the Lane seminary. Never were nobler spirits and finer minds congregated together; never in all time and place a more heroic and generous band. Dr. Beecher himself has pronounced the eulogy. In what condition is the seminary now. Lying in ruins, irretrievably gone! Dr. Beecher then sacrificed honor and reputation.

Mr. Thompson read extracts from an article in the Liberator, which went to show that the faculty at Andover advised the students to be uncommitted on the dividing topic of slavery. Yes, added Mr. Thompson, go out uncommitted; wait till you get into a pulpit and have it cushioned and a settee in it, and then you may commit yourself. The speaker observed that very ill effects had resulted from the failure of the students at Andover to form themselves into an Anti-Slavery Society—the evil example had extended to Philip's Academy, Amherst College, &c. He had been twitted about it wherever he had been, but you may recover yourselves, he added, condescendingly; there is some apology for you, only let a Society be formed instantly. Those who attempted to show from the Bible that slavery was justifiable, were paving the slave-holders' paths to hell with texts of Scripture. Mr. Thompson enlarged upon the merits of the refractory students at Lane Seminary, with a most abundant supply of adjectives; and the mean-spirited students of Andover, although not expressly designated as such, were understood by the manner of expression to be placed in contrast. Mr. Thompson remarked that such conduct would not be tolerated by the students of any college in England, Scotland, or Ireland. This abuse, of the faculty at Andover was more personal and pointed than I have described; one of the faculty was called by name, but the severe expressions I have forgotten. He would probably have outrun himself, and exhausted the vocabulary of opprobrious epithets, had he not been interrupted. At the conclusion of the lecture, with the strange inconsistency which belongs to the man, he remarked that he had a high respect for the members of the faculty, and that he would willingly sit at their feet as a learner.

He had only one remark before he sat down. It had been[Pg 99] publicly stated by a student of this seminary, that Mr. Thompson, in a conversation with him, had said, that every slave-holder deserved to have his throat cut, and that his slaves ought to do it. He could not, of course, vouch for the truth of this; but Mr. Thompson was there to explain. One thing, however, he could state as an indisputable fact, namely, that the professors of the seminaries had signed a document in which it was asserted that the young man had been in the college for three years, and that his veracity was unimpeached and unimpeachable. If the story were true—it was well that it was timely made public. If the young man misunderstood Mr. Thompson, he (Mr. B.) believed he formed one of a very large class in America, who had fallen into similar mistakes, and drawn similar conclusions from the general drift of his doings and sayings in that country.


Mr. THOMPSON, on rising, observed that no one could be more ready than himself to commend the gentleman who had just resumed his seat for the courage which he had shewn in dealing so frankly and faithfully with him, (Mr. T.) in the presence of those to whom he (Mr. B.) was comparatively a stranger, and whose favorable opinion he (Mr. T.) had had many opportunities of conciliating. He rejoiced that his opponent had, towards the end of his speech, attempted to state facts and specify charges, and had thus afforded him an opportunity of showing how completely and triumphantly he could meet the charges brought against himself personally, and support the statements he had made in reference to America. He would commence with the Andover story about cutting throats. The truth of the matter was this. A student in the Theological Seminary of the name of A. F. Kaufman, Jr., charged him, George Thompson, with having said, in a private conversation, that every slave-holder ought to have his throat cut, and that if the abolitionists preached what they ought to preach, they would tell every slave to cut his master's throat. Mr. Kaufman was from Virginia, the son of a slave-holder, and heir to slave property. The story was first circulated in Andover, and was afterwards published in the New-York Commercial Advertiser, in a communication dated from the Saratoga Springs. In reply to the printed version, I (said Mr. T.) printed a letter denying the charge in the most solemn manner, and referring to my numerous public addresses, and innumerable private conversations, in proof of the perfectly pacific character of my views. Then came forth a long statement from Mr. Kaufman, with a certificate to his veracity and general good character, signed by professors Woods, Stuart, and Emerson, of Andover. Here the matter must have rested—Mr. Kaufman's charge on one side, and my denial on the other—had the conversation been strictly[Pg 100] private; but, fortunately for me, there were witnesses of every word; and this brings me to notice other circumstances connected with the affair, constituting a most complete contradiction of the charge. I was staying at the time under the roof of the Rev. Shipley W. Willson, the minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Andover, and when I had the conversation with Mr. Kaufman, in which the language imputed to me is alleged to have been uttered, there were present, besides ourselves, my host the Rev. S. W. Willson; the Rev. Amos A. Phelps, congregational clergyman, and one of the agents of the American Anti-Slavery Society; the Rev. La Roy Sunderland Methodist Episcopal clergyman, and at present the editor of Zion's Watchman, New-York; and the Rev. Jarvis Gregg, now a Professor in Western Reserve College, Ohio. In consequence of the use made of the statement put forth by Mr. Kaufman, I wrote to Professor Gregg, and Mr. Phelps, requesting them to give their version of the conversation in writing; and their letters in reply, which, together with one written without solicitation by Mr. Sunderland, have been published. They not only flatly contradict the account given by Mr. Kaufman, but prove that I advocated in the strongest language the doctrine of non-resistance on the part of the slaves. These letters, however, never appeared in the columns of the papers which brought the charge and defied me to the proof of my innocence.

It may be well to give some idea of the conversation out of which the charge grew. Mr. Kaufman complained of the harsh language of the abolitionists, and challenged me to quote a passage of scripture justifying our conduct in that respect. I quoted the passage "Whoso stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death;" and observed, that in this text we had a proof of the awful demerit of the slaveholder; that he was considered worthy of death; and that the modern slaveholder, under the Christian dispensation, was not less guilty than the slaveholder under the Jewish law. I then reminded him of the political principles of the Americans, and cited the words of the declaration of Independence, "RESISTANCE to tyrants is obedience to God." I then contrasted the injuries inflicted on the slave with the grievances complained of in the Declaration of Independence, and argued, that, if the Americans deemed themselves justified in resisting to blood the payment of a threepenny tea tax and a stamp duty, how much more, upon the same principles, would the slave be justified in cutting his masters' throat, to obtain deliverance from personal thraldom. Nay more, that every American, true to the principles of the revolution, ought to teach the slaves to cut their master's throats—but that while these were fair deductions from their own revolutionary princi[Pg 101]ples, I held the doctrine that it was invariably wrong to do evil that good might come, and that I dared not purchase the freedom of the slaves by consenting to the death of one master.

He (Mr. T.) had thus disposed of one of the most tangible portions of his opponent's speech. He regretted there had not been more of matter-of-fact statement in the speech of one hour in length, to which they had just listened; a speech, which, however creditable to the intellect of his opponent on account of its ingenuity, was by no means creditable to his heart. Instead of dealing fairly with the documents he (Mr. T.) had produced, and which contained a true and ample statement of the views, feelings, principles, purposes and plans of the abolitionists, Mr. Breckinridge had manufactured a series of dextrous sophisms, calculated to keep out of sight the real merits of the question. Was it not strange, that, covered as that platform was with the documents of the abolitionists, his opponent had not quoted one word from their writings, but had based all he had said upon a statement of their principles made out by himself; and had then given to that statement an interpretation of his own, utterly at variance with all the views and doctrines entertained by the abolitionists. The gentleman had most ably played the part of Tom Thumb, who made the giants he so valiantly demolished. He would not attempt to grapple with that which rested altogether upon a gross misstatement of the principles and views of the Abolitionists. He had a right to expect that Mr. B. would go to the many sources of official information touching the principles he professed to denounce; but instead, he had put forth a creed, as the creed of the Abolitionists of America, which was nowhere to be found in their writings, and he (Mr. T.) should therefore wait until an objection had been taken to something they (the abolitionists) had really said or done.

Mr. Breckinridge had amused them with another Andover story. He had read an extract from a speech said to have been delivered by him (Mr. T.) during the protracted meeting he had held there. He would just take the liberty of assuring the audience that he had never uttered the speech which had that night been put into his mouth. It had been said that the speech was reported by a student. Had Mr. B. given the name of the student?—No. He (Mr. B.) knew that it was an anonymous communication, written by a vile enemy of a righteous cause, who was too much ashamed of his own productions to sign his name, but put the initial C. at the end of his libellous productions, which were greedily copied into the pro-slavery papers of the United States. The reports furnished by that scribbler were known in Andover to be false, and laughed at by the students as monstrous and ludicrous perversions of the truth. [Pg 102]Upon this point also, he (Mr. T.) had ample documentary evidence. He did not wonder that Mr. Breckinridge had so frequently twitted him respecting the multitude of documents which he (Mr. T.) was in the habit of producing. It must be peculiarly unpleasant to find that he (Mr. T.) had always the document at hand necessary to annihilate the pretended proof of his opponent. He would now read from a report of the proceedings at Andover—but a very different report compared with that they had just heard—not an anonymous one, but signed by a respectable and pious student in the Theological Seminary, R. Reed, Corresponding Secretary of the Andover Anti-Slavery Society. As reference was made, in the extract he was going to read, to a former visit, he would just state, that about three months after his arrival in the United States, he visited Andover, and delivered three lectures, besides undergoing a long examination into his principles in the College Chapel; and that on his return to Boston, where he was then residing, he received from the Institution a series of resolutions signed by upwards of fifty of the students, expressive of their entire concurrence in the sentiments he had advanced, and their high approbation of the temper in which he had advocated those sentiments, and commending him to the blessing and protection of Heaven. He (Mr. T.) need not say that such a testimonial from theological students, unasked and unexpected, was peculiarly gratifying.

The account of his second visit in July, 1835, was thus given in a letter addressed to the editor of the Liberator.

"It had been previously announced that Mr. Thompson would address us on Tuesday evening. The hour arrived, and a large and respectable audience were convened in the expectation of again listening to the—(Mr. Thompson here omitted some complimentary expressions.) After the introductory prayer, Mr. Phelps arose, and said he regretted that he was obliged to state that Mr. Thompson had not yet arrived in town, but he thought it probable he would soon be with us. He then resumed the subject of American Slavery. He had, however, uttered but a few sentences before Mr. T. came in. His arrival was immediately announced from the desk, and the expression of satisfaction, manifested by the audience, told, more eloquently than words, the estimation in which they held this beloved brother, and the pleasure they felt on again enjoying the opportunity of listening to his appeals. Mr. Thompson took his seat in the desk, and Mr. Phelps then proceeded at some length. When he closed his remarks, Mr. Thompson arose, and after some introductory remarks, answered, in a powerful and eloquent manner, the inquiry, 'Why don't you go to the South.'

"The first part of the three succeeding evenings was occupied by Mr. Phelps, in exposing the janus-faced monster, the American Colonization Society, which he did in so masterly a manner, that we are quite sure none of his auditors, save those who are willfully blinded, will hereafter doubt of its being 'a fraud upon the ignorance, and an outrage upon the intelligence of the community.'"

"Thursday evening Mr. Thompson vindicated himself against the aspersions heaped upon him for denouncing Dr. Cox. I would that all Mr. Thompson's friends had been present, and his enemies too, for I am sure that unless encased in a shield of prejudice more impenetrable than steel, they would have been compelled to acknowledge that his denunciation of Dr. Cox was just, and not such an [Pg 103]instance of tiger-like malice as some have represented it to be." "Friday evening (the evening to which the extract read by Mr. Breckinridge referred) he spoke of the 'armed neutrality' of the seminary and the course which had been taken in the Academical Institutions of Andover. He is accused of wantonly abusing our Professors and Teachers—of making personal attacks upon them. No personal attacks however were made; no man's motives were impeached. He attacked PRINCIPLES and not MEN for while he would render to the guardians of the seminary and academies all that respect which their station and learning and piety demands, he would at the same time condemn the course that had been pursued, as having a tendency to retard the progress of emancipation. Let the public judge as to the propriety of his remarks.

It would be recollected that the same question had been put to him here in Glasgow, as that which he had answered at Andover. "Why don't you go to the South?" He would tell his opponent on the present occasion, that even he could not advocate abolition sentiments in the South, purely and openly, without endangering his life. The reason he was able to express his views on slavery and remain unmolested, was because it was known that he denounced the abolitionists, and advocated colonization. The experience of Mr. Birney was in point. That gentleman hated slavery before he joined the abolitionists, and was in the habit of speaking against it, in connection with the colonization cause, and was permitted to do so without hindrance; but when he emancipated his slaves, and called upon others to do likewise, upon true anti-slavery principles, he was forced to fly from his residence and family, and was now in the city of Cincinnati.

It had been tauntingly Said, "show us the fruits of your principles." "Where are the slaves you have liberated?" He would reply, that in Kentucky, very recently, nineteen slaves had been liberated upon anti-slavery principles:—enough to answer Mr. B's demand, "point us to one slave your Society has been the means of liberating." But the question was not to be so tested. The abolitionists of Britain were often called upon in the same way; and their answer was, our principles are extending, and when they are sufficiently impressed upon the public mind, there will be a general emancipation of the slaves. On the 31st of July, 1834, they could not point to any actually free in consequence of their efforts; but the night came and passed away, and the morrow dawned upon 800,000 human beings, lifted by the power of anti-slavery principles, out of the legal condition of chattels, into the position of free British subjects. So in the United States. The principles of abolition would necessarily be some time extending, but ultimately they would effect a change in public opinion, and a corresponding change in the treatment of the black man.

Mr. Breckinridge had disputed the truth of the fact he (Mr. T.) had stated relative to the imprisonment and sale into bondage for life, in the city of Washington, of a black man, justly[Pg 104] entitled to his freedom. He (Mr. T.) trusted that in this matter also he should be able most satisfactorily to establish his own veracity. The evidence he would produce to support the statement he had made, was, "A memorial of the inhabitants of the District of Columbia, U. S., signed by one thousand of the most respectable citizens of the District, and presented to Congress, March 24, 1828, then referred to the Committee on the District, and on the motion of Mr. Hubbard, of New-Hampshire, Feb. 9, 1835, ordered to be printed." He (Mr. T.) held in his hand the genuine document printed by Congress, "22d Congress, 2d Session, House of Representatives, Doc. No. 140." The following was the part containing the fact he had mentioned.

"A colored man, who stated that he was entitled to freedom was taken up as a runaway slave, and lodged in the jail of Washington City. He was advertised, but no one appearing to claim him, he was according to law, put up at public auction for the payment of his jail fees, and SOLD as a SLAVE for LIFE. He was purchased by a slave trader, who was not required to give security for his remaining in the District and he was soon shipped at Alexandria for one of the southern States. An attempt was made by some benevolent individual to have the sale postponed until his claim to freedom could be investigated; but their efforts were unavailing; and thus was a human being SOLD into PERPETUAL BONDAGE at the capital of the freest government on earth, without even a pretence of trial, or an allegation of crime."

He should be glad to find that Mr. B. had a satisfactory explanation of this most revolting case. Such things were enough to make any man speak hardly of America. If he (Mr. T.) said severe things of that country, it was not, Heaven knew, because he did not love that country, for his heart's desire and prayer was, that she might soon be free from every drawback upon her prosperity and usefulness. He told these things because they ought to be known and branded as they deserved, that the nation guilty of them might repent and abandon them. He was not the enemy of America that faithfully pointed out her follies and crimes. No. He was the man that loved America, that seeing her, like some lofty tree, spreading abroad her branches, and furnishing at once shelter and sustenance to all who sought refuge under her shade, observed with sorrow and dismay, a canker-worm at the root, threatening to consume her beauty and her strength, and could not rest day or night in his efforts to bring so great and glorious a nation to a sense of her danger, and an apprehension of her duty. Let others do the pleasant work of flattery and panegyric, and be it his more ungracious, but not less salutary work, of proclaiming her errors, and denouncing her sins, until she learns to do justice and love mercy.

(He (Mr. T.) thought he might with some justice complain of the manner in which he had been treated by his opponent. He (Mr. T.) had made every concession which truth and justice[Pg 105] would warrant to Mr. B.; had honored his motives, and studiously separated him from those upon whom his heaviest censures had fallen—the lovers and abettors of the slave system. But a similar course had not been pursued towards him. In many ways his motives had been impeached and his statements so denied as to throw discredit upon his intentions in making them. In a word, Mr. B's. whole course had been wanting in that courtesy which he had a right to expect would be exhibited by one disputant towards another. At the same time, he earnestly desired Mr. B. to state freely all he thought of his motives and conduct.

A few moments yet remaining, he would say a word or two in reference to the designs attributed to the abolitionists, in respect of the privileges to which the colored people were entitled. He denied that the abolitionists had ever asked for the blacks, either in regard to political rights or social privileges, anything unreasonable. They asked for their immediate release from personal bondage, and a subsequent participation of civil rights; according to the amount in which they possessed the qualifications demanded of others. Where, in the documents of abolitionists, was the doctrine of instant and universal enfranchisement, of which so much had been heard? He knew not the abolitionist who had contended for such a thing. He asked nothing for him over and above what would be freely bestowed on him if he were white. Oh! it was an awful crime to have a black skin! There lay all the disqualification.

The great fault which Mr. B. seemed to find with the principles of the abolitionists was that they were too lofty; too grand; too little accommodated to the spirit of the age; that, in the adoption of their views and principles, they had not consulted the manners and habits and prejudices of their country; and the whole of his (Mr. Breckinridge's) argument had been in favor of expediency. He hated that word "expediency," as ordinarily used. It contained, as he had often said, the doctrine of devils. It was so congenial with our depraved nature to make ourselves a little wiser than God—to believe that we understood better than God's servants of old the best way of reforming mankind. Oh! that men would take the Almighty at his word, and simply doing their duty, leaving him to take care of consequences. Doubtless, the dauntless Hebrew, Daniel, was deemed, in his day, a rash man. He might so very easily have escaped the snare laid for him. Why did he not go to the back of the house? Why not shut the window? Why could he not pray silently to the searcher of hearts? Daniel scorned compromise. He prayed as he had ever prayed—aloud—with his window open, and his face to Jerusalem. He boldly met the consequences. He walked to the lion's den—he entered,[Pg 106] he remained: but lo! on the third day he came forth unhurt, to tell mankind to the end of time that, if they will do their duty and trust in Daniel's God, no weapon formed against them shall prosper, but they shall in His strength stop the mouths of lions, and put to flight the armies of the aliens.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said that, so far as the present respectable audience was concerned, he would make but a single remark. Mr. Thompson and he had already trespassed on their patience, but they would probably do so no longer than to-morrow night; at least so far as he was concerned, he thought it unnecessary, if not improper. The chief reason of his (Mr. B's.) coming here was to defend the churches, ministers and Christians of America, from the false and dreadful charges which had been proclaimed over Britain against them by Mr. Thompson, and which he had challenged all the world to give him an opportunity to prove. Upon this topic that gentleman had, as yet, fought shy. He could wait on him no longer. They might expect, therefore, that next evening he would take up that subject, whether Mr. Thompson should follow him or not. If the audience considered that the general subject had been sufficiently discussed already—as from some manifestations he was inclined to suppose—he would at once retire. (Slight hissing.) Was he to consider that as an answer in the affirmative? (Renewed hissing.) Why, then, he had erred in laying any of the blame of trying their patience on Mr. Thompson, and it was his duty to take it all to himself; and, when he returned home, to tell his countrymen that no charges were too gross or caluminous to be entertained against them—nor any length of time, a weariness in hearing them—but that the hearing of defence and proof of innocence was an insupportable weariness. (Increased hissing, with cries of 'no'.) The only remaining supposition was, that Mr. T's. partizans had become convinced he needed succor, and therefore gave it most naturally in the form of organized violence. (The hissing was again attempted, but was put down by the general voice of the meeting.) Mr. T., he said, had at length brought accusations against him, and had complained that although he (Mr. T.) had repeatedly and cordially expressed good feelings towards him, (Mr. B.) he had in no instance returned this kindness or justice; nor said a word favorable to him throughout the debate. He would appeal to the Chairman, to know distinctly, if Mr. Thompson had any right to demand, or if he (Mr. B.) were bound to express his opinion of that individual. Because, continued Mr. B., as I have in the beginning said that Mr. T. as an individual could be nothing to me or my countrymen, I have preferred to be silent as to him individually. If he is right, however, in bring[Pg 107]ing such things as charges against me, and continues to demand my opinion, I will give it fearlessly. But let him beware—for I will call no man friend who gains his bread by calumniating my country. Nor can he who traduces my bretheren—my kindred—my home—all that I most venerate and revere—honor me so much as by traducing me. They had been told that Mr. J. G. Birney had fled from Kentucky, and left his wife and children behind him in great danger, he being obliged to flee for his life. It was true, he believed, that Mr. Birney, excellent and beloved as he was, had found it best to emigrate from that State. But that he had fled, rested, he believed, on Mr. T's. naked assertion. That he had left his wife and children behind, believing them to be in personal danger, was a thing which it would require amazingly clear proof to establish against the gentleman in question. But he would show to the meeting that there was one individual who could do such an act. (Mr. B. then read the following extract from a speech, delivered at a meeting in Edinburgh, on the 28th of January, 1836:)

"He stood there not to defame America. It was true they had persecuted him; but that was a small matter. It was true they had hunted him like a partridge on the mountains; that he had to lecture with the assassin's knife glancing before his eyes; AND HIS WIFE AND HIS LITTLE ONES WERE IN DANGER OF FALLING BY THE RUTHLESS HANDS OF MURDERERS."

And again, from the preface to the same pamphlet in which the above cited speech is found, a pamphlet intended perhaps for America, and called, "A Voice to her from the Metropolis of Scotland," the following paragraph occurs:——

"Mr. Thompson having proceeded by way of St. John's, New Brunswick, embarked on board of a British vessel for Liverpool, where he arrived on the 4th of January, and on the 12th was happily joined by his family who had left New-York on the 16th December.

So that it appeared from these statements that Mr. Thompson, believing that the Americans meant to take away the lives of his wife and children, left them to their fate while he prudently consulted his own safety by flight. In regard to the alleged case of the sale of a free man of color, at Washington city, the proof stood thus: Mr. T. broadly asserted, again and again, that a free man had been sold, without trial, into eternal slavery. He, (Mr. B.) without knowing the especial facts relied on, but knowing America, and knowing abolitionism, had flatly and emphatically denied that such a thing ever did or could happen in the District of Columbia. Mr. Thompson re-asserts, and triumphantly proves it, as he says. His first step in the proof is, a printed scrap, which, he says, is the identical memorial laid on the table of the Senate of the United States, who, as they received and printed it, he insinuates, thereby avouched its truth. Upon which principle I also avouch all Mr. T.'s charges,[Pg 108] as I hear them and consent to their publication. But, he adds, there were once one thousand signatures to this document, all witnesses of the truth of its contents. To which I reply—I see no name to it at all now; and secondly, if there were a million, the paper does not assert, much less prove, what Mr. T. produces it to sustain. It merely declares that the man said he was free; without even expressing the opinion of the writer or any signer of the paper. Now, upon this case, and this proof, it is nearly certain that the man was not free, and extremely probable that the whole case is fictitious. For the glorious writ of habeas corpus, one of the main pillars of your liberty—a privileged writ which no English judge, for his right hand, would dare illegally refuse; that writ is one of the great heirlooms we got with our Anglo-Saxon blood, and is dearer to us than that blood itself. Here, by act of Parliament, you do sometimes suspend this writ; with us the tyrant does not breathe who would dare to whisper a wish for its suspension. Now, if this man was, or believed himself to be free, what hindered him, from the moment of his arrest to that of his sale, from demanding and receiving a fair trial? Will it be said he did not know his rights? But will it be pretended that the one thousand signers of the memorial, the many abolitionists at Washington of whom Mr. T. boasts, did not know his rights—in a land where every man knows and is ready to defend his rights? If they did not, they were thrice sodden asses, fit only to be tools in gulling mankind into the belief of a tale that had not feasibility enough to gull a child. Upon the face of his own proof Mr. Thompson had shown that he had not the slightest authority for the assertions he had so often made in arguing this case; by all of which he intended to make men believe that in America it was not uncommon to sell free men into slavery! Mr. Breckinridge then resumed the consideration of abolition principles; the third of which was, that all prejudice against color is sinful, and that everything which induces us to refuse any social, personal, religious, civil, or political right to a black man, which is allowed to a white one, not superior to him in moral or intellectual qualifications, is a prejudice, and therefore sinful. He believed this to be a fair statement of their principles on that head. And he would, in the first place, remark concerning them, that even if they were true, which he denied, the discussion of them was worse than useless. It could not advance the cause of emancipation, nor improve the condition of the free blacks. And whatever the abolitionists might say, the slaves when freed would follow their own course and inclinations; nor could the declaration of an abstract principle alter either their conduct or that of the whites, in any material degree. If, as Mr. Thompson asserted,[Pg 109] prejudice against color was the national sin of America, the plague-spot of the nation, it had just as often been asserted by others that the prejudice itself originated at first out of the relation of slavery. The latter was the disease, the former a mere symptom. If there were no black slaves on earth there would no longer be any aversion against that color, which went beyond the invariable and mutual restraints of nature, or was tolerated by a proper Christian liberty. They know little of human prejudices who do not know that they are more invincible in the bulk of mankind than the dictates of reason, or the impulses of virtue itself. The case of the abolitionists must therefore be pronounced foolish on their own showing. For they undertook to break down the strongest of all prejudices, as they themselves say, as a condition precedent to the doing of acts which, to do at all, required great pecuniary sacrifices and a high tone of moral feeling. But if, as I shall try to show, their doctrines are contrary to all the course of nature and all the teachings of Providence—their behavior is to be considered little else than sheer madness. Again: even if it did not prejudice the case of the slave—as none can deny it did—to agitate this question of color, and mix it up inseparably with the question of freedom, of what use was it to him? If the whites treat him with scorn, give him his liberty—and he may pity, forgive, or return the scorn. What advantage was he to gain as a slave, by the discussion, even if no harm came from it? What advantage was he to obtain as a freeman even if its agitation did not forever prevent him from being free? It is, in all its aspects, the most remarkable illustration of a weak, heady, and ignorant fanaticism which this age has produced, and has been, of them all, the most fruitful of evil. The truth was, that many of the rights and privileges of free persons of color were better secured to them in America than corresponding rights and privileges were to the white peasantry of any other country on the globe. With regard to the religious rights of colored persons, he could only say that he had sat in Presbyteries with them, that he had dispensed the Sacrament to them together with white persons; and that he and multitudes of others had sat in the same class with them at our Theological Seminaries. As for all the stories which Mr. T. was accustomed to tell about Dr. Sprague having part of his church curtained round for persons of color, he knew personally nothing, and noticed it only because it was told as a specimen story. He merely knew that Dr. Sprague was accounted a benevolent man, and common charity required him not readily to believe anything of him in a bad sense which could be justified in a good one. But if there was anything so very exclusive and revolting in these marks of superiority or inferiority in a church,[Pg 110] let them not look to America alone; nor limit their sympathies exclusively to the blacks. In almost every church in England in which he had been, from the cathedral of St. Paul's at London, to the curate's village church, he had seen seats railed off, or curtained, or cushioned, or elevated, and some how distinguished from the rest. And when he inquired why these things were so, and for whose accommodation, the answer was ready. "O, that is for My Lord this; or Sir Harry that; or Mr. Prebend so and so; or the Lord Bishop of what not." And very often, even in dissenting chapels, he had seen part of the seats of an inferior description in particular parts of the house, which he had as often been told were free seats for the poor; an arrangement which has struck him as favorably as the similar one in Dr. Sprague's church did Mr. T. the reverse. This preparation of free and separate seats for the poor is, if he is rightly informed, nearly universal, in both the Scotch and English establishments, whenever the poor have seats in their churches. Now, if Mr. Thompson wished to begin a system of levelling—if he meant to preach universal equality, why did he not begin here? Why did he not try to convert Earl Grey and Lord Melbourne, instead of going across the Atlantic in order to try his experiments on the despised Americans? As to the civil rights of the free blacks in America, the most erroneous notions were entertained in both countries, but especially here. The truth was, they enjoyed greater civil rights than the peasantry of Britain herself; and those rights were fully as well protected in their exercise. Their right to acquire property of any kind, anywhere, without being hedged about with exclusive privileges and ancient corporations; their right to enjoy that property, unencumbered with poor rates, and church rates, and tithes and tiends, and untold taxes and vexations; their right to pursue trades, callings, or business, without regard to monopolies, and innumerable vexatious and worrying preliminaries; their right to be free in person—subject neither to forcible impressment, nor to the serveilance of an innumerable police: their right to be cared for in sickness and destitution, without questions of domicile previously settled; their right to the speedy and cheap administration of justice without "sale, denial or delay"—and unattended with ruinous expenses; these, with whatever may truly be considered civil rights, are enjoyed by the free colored people in nearly every part of America, to a degree utterly unknown by millions of British subjects, not only in the East and West-Indies, but in Ireland, and even in England itself. If any rights had been denied them, as the following of certain professions, as that of a minister of the gospel, for example, as Virginia had lately done, he could point their attention to the time when these laws were passed, and show that it was not[Pg 111] till after the era of abolition; and that would never have been, but for its fury. It was not till after they had learned with bell book and candle to curse the white man, and teach sedition and murder to the slaves. The nature of political rights claimed by Mr. Thompson for the blacks, in his sweeping claim to have them put on a footing of perfect equality with the whites, seemed to be utterly unknown to him, both as to their origin and character. Whilst he advocated a scheme in America which demanded the most extensive political changes, and claimed political rights as the birthright of certain parties, he still persisted in assuring the British nation that he had never touched the subject in a political aspect! Now what political rights does he claim for the free blacks—and denounce all America for refusing, on account of this prejudice against color? Is it right of suffrage? is it right of office? is it perfect, personal, and political equality? If not, what does he mean? But if he means that it already exists in all the free States and in several of the slave States, in behalf of the free blacks, to a far greater extent than the same exists in England, as between the privileged classes and the bulk of the nation, though all are white,—I boldly assert, that a greater part of the free men of color in America did enjoy perfect political privileges at the rise of abolitionism, than of the white men of Britain at this day. There were more free black voters in North America, in proportion to the free black race, than there are white voters in all Britain, in proportion to the white inhabitants of the British empire. And this, even leaving out the red millions of the East, and the black thousands of the West-Indies; and making the Reform Bill the basis of calculation! If some have been deprived of these privileges, let abolitionists blame themselves. If in most places these privileges have been dormant, it only proves that their exercise was a very secondary advantage—that the present outcry is but the more wicked and absurd. As to the social rights which were demanded for the slaves and free blacks both, there seemed to be a complete confusion of ideas in the minds of the abolitionists. Did they mean to say that all distinctions and gradations of rank were iniquitous, or did they mean that men ought to enjoy rights because they were black, which were justly denied to the whites? Who had ever heard of a nobleman marrying a gipsy? or, of a king of England marrying a laborer's daughter? But the fact was, everything tended to prove that in preaching against the alleged prejudice against color, the abolitionists were really advocating general amalgamation. There were three opinions on the the subject: 1st. That in a State situated like most of those in America, public policy required the mixture of the races to be prohibited; so that, in nearly all the States, intermarriages were prohibited, and in many States[Pg 112] they were punishable as a felony with fine or imprisonment. 2d. That the practice was inexpedient, but so far innocent as to be left to the discretion of the parties, which he believed was the opinion of sober-minded people generally in this country. 3d. That, as the chief practical objection to it is a sinful prejudice against color, that prejudice is to be broken down, and the contrary right upheld, as neither improper nor inexpedient, when voluntarily exercised. This last, or even a much stronger advocacy of amalgamation, is the doctrine of abolitionism; facts deducible from their declaration of independence, and found in the whole scope of their writings and speeches. Mr. Breckinridge then went on to show the utter folly, and, as he believed, wickedness of advocating amalgamation; or so acting or talking as to create the universal impression that was what was meant. In the first place, the result after which the abolitionists seemed to strive, was impossible; in the most strict sense of the terms, naturally or physically impossible. He by no means meant to contend with some freethinkers, who, to upset the Mosaic cosmogony, asserted that the different races of men were not fruitful if intermixed beyond a given and very near point. But what he meant was this: all who believe the Mosaic account of the origin of the human race, must, of course, believe that they were once all of one complexion. Now, if they could all be amalgamated and made of one complexion again, those causes, whatever they are, which have produced so great diversities, would, after a time, reproduce them. And having gratified Mr. Thompson and his friends, by universal levelling and mixing the world, would soon find that they had done a work which nature did not permit to stand; and would again behold, in one belt upon the earth's surface, the black, in another the red, and in a third the white man. And to whatever degree they carried their principles into practice, they would find proportionately great counteracting causes—continually fighting against them, and continually requiring the reproduction of their amalgamated breed, from the original stocks. This, then, is a fatal objection to their scheme; the course of nature is against it. But again, he would say, as a second fundamental objection against all such schemes, that wherever, in the past history of the world, the various races of men had been allowed freely to amalgamate, one of two concomitants had universally attended the process, namely, polygamy or prostitution. If either of these be permitted, as innocent, amalgamation can easily be pushed through its first stage; without one at least of these two engines, no progress has ever yet been made in this work of fighting against the overwhelming course of events. He regretted he had not time to go over these branches of the argument with that pains which he could wish. If he had, he believed, notwithstanding[Pg 113] all that Mr. Thompson had said, or might say, about sophistry, they could each of them be demonstrated as clearly as that gentleman could demonstrate any proposition in geometry. Again, in the third place, he believed, from what was contained in the Bible, that in preserving distinct from each other the three families of mankind, as descended from the three sons of Noah, God had great and yet undeveloped purposes to accomplish. How far the whole history of his providence led to the same conclusion, he must leave to their own reflections to determine. But on the admission of such a truth as even possible—it was surely natural to look for something in the structure of nature that would effectually prevent the obliteration of either race. One may find this in those general considerations which make intermarriages, in his view, inexpedient; or another in the innate and absolute instincts of the creature. But both will receive with suspicion, as an undoubted and fundamental rule of Christian morals, a dogma which requires us to contend against the clear leadings of providence, and the good and merciful intentions of our Creator. We tax our faith but slightly when we believe that as soon as these purposes of mercy and glory are accomplished, and the signal revolution in the social condition of man now contended for shall be required by the Almighty, we may look for a channel of communication between him and the world more in accordance with the Spirit of his Son than any which has yet brought us messages on the subject. The fourth objection which struck him against this whole procedure was, that in point of fact the world has need of every race that now exists on its surface. It has taken forty centuries to adjust the nicely-balanced and adapted relations and proportions of a vast and complicated structure,—which the finger of all-pervading wisdom has itself guided in all the steps of its development. And now, a stroke of the pen is to subvert it all, and one dictum, of the world knows not whom, accomplish the most stupendous revolution which all these forty centuries have witnessed. Suppose the end gained. If any one race now existing was obliterated, or very materially altered in its physical condition, how large a proportion of the world's surface would become speedily depopulated, and so remain until the present condition of things were restored! If this could happen as to every race but one, what a wreck would the earth exhibit! He who will look with a Christian's eye abroad upon the families of men, must feel that to accomplish the great hopes that his heart has conceived for this ruined world, he needs every race that now peoples it; and must see the hand of God in arresting so speedily and so signally this pernicious heresy. In the fifth place, he suggested an argument against amalgamation, which at once showed the injustice of the outcry against America, and[Pg 114] the total inconsiderateness of Mr. Thompson and his party. The fact was that this prejudice of color, as it was called, was in all respects mutual; and so far from being the peculiar sin of America, was the common instinct of the human race, and existed as really, if not as strongly on the side of the colored population as on that of the whites. In proof of this, Mr. Breckinridge cited the case of Hayti, where no man is allowed the rights of citizenship, unless a certain portion of black blood runs in his veins; and that of Richard Lander, who, while travelling in the interior of Africa, as the servant of Park, was looked upon with comparative favor by the natives on account of his dark complexion, while his master, who was of a very fair complexion, was far less a favorite on that account. The North American Indians and the blacks more readily intermixed than the Indians and the whites, while the latter connexion, which is not indeed uncommon, is formed by the marriage of a white man with a squaw; never, or most rarely, of an Indian and a white woman, the slight, and most exaggerated number of mulattoes, are nearly without exception, the offspring of white men and colored women. These facts seemed to show the reality and nature or the mutual aversion of which I have spoken; an aversion never overcome but in gross minds. And the whole current of remark proves that those who attempted to promote amalgamation are fighting equally against the purposes of providence, the convictions of reason, and the best impulses of nature. He had much to say, which time failed him to say, on the spirit in which the abolition had been advocated in America. He would therefore merely remark whether it might be taken as a compliment, or the reverse, that the spirit of all Mr. Thomson's speeches, which he had heard or read—might give them a tolerable idea of the spirit of abolitionism everywhere: a spirit which many seemed to consider as from above, but for himself he prayed to be preserved from any such spirit. He had much also to say upon the malignant feeling and spirit of insubordination which had been produced by the discussion of these questions in the breasts of multitudes of free colored people. The riots, of which so much had been said in this country, were as often produced by the imprudence and insolence of these deluded people, as by the wanton violence and prejudices of the lowest classes of the whites. In consequence of the influence of the Jacobinical principles of the abolitionists, many free colored servants left employments they had held for years; because the claim then first set up, of perfect domestic equality with their masters, was refused; while many cases of insult to females, in the streets of our cities, signalized the same season and spirit. He had also much to say of the wide-spread feeling, looking[Pg 115] towards immediate deliverance, from a distance, and by force, which suddenly, and, if the abolitionists are innocent as they pretend, miraculously got possession of the minds of the slaves over all the southern country; and which led to such stern, and but the more unhappy, if necessary, consequences. It had been said, in justification of his conduct by Mr. Thompson, that persuasion had never yet induced any one to relax his hold on slaves—and that as for America, in particular, she would never be made to feel ought on the subject, till her pride and fears were awakened. To that he would reply that, as regarded pride, perhaps America had her share of it; but if abolition was not to be looked for till her fears granted it, he apprehended they would have sufficient time yet left to send Mr. Thompson on several new voyages before the whole country was frightened into his terms.

[Pg 116]


[Pg 117]

FIFTH NIGHT—FRIDAY, JUNE 17.

Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said that the order of the exercises of this evening had, without the fault of any one, placed him in a position which was not the most natural. Considering that it was his duty to support the negative of the point for this evening's discussion, it would have been most natural had the affirmation been first brought out. He said this arrangement was not the fault of any one, because it was not known that the point would fall to be discussed on this particular evening; for had it fallen on last night or to-morrow night, the order would have been as it ought to be. His position was, however, made somewhat better by the fact, that nothing that Mr. Thompson could say this evening, in an hour or two, could alter the assertions which he had already repeatedly made and published in Britain. Since the notice of this discussion had been published, he had, through the providence of God, been put in possession of six or seven papers and pamphlets containing the substance of what had been said by Mr. Thompson throughout the country, and reiterated by associated bodies of his friends under his eye. After reading these carefully, he found himself pretty fully possessed of that individual's charges and testimony against the ministers, private Christians, and churches of America; he would, therefore, take them as he found them in those publications, while Mr. Thompson's presence would enable him to explain, correct, or deny anything that might be erroneously stated. The first thing he should attempt to do, was to impeach the competency of Mr. Thompson as a witness in this or any similar case. Mr. Thompson had shown that he was utterly incompetent, wisely to gather and faithfully to report testimony on any subject involving great and complicated principles. He did not wish to say anything personally offensive to Mr. Thompson; but he must be plain, and he would first produce proof of what he said, which was as it regarded this whole nation perfectly ad hominem. He would show the audience what Mr. Thompson had said of them, and then they would better judge what was his competency to be a witness against the Americans. At a meeting in[Pg 118] the Hopeton Rooms at Edinburgh, since his return from the United States, Mr. Thompson said:

We were really under a worse bondage than the slaves of the United States. We kissed our chains and hugged our fetters. We were governed by our drunken appetite.

The lecturer, in the concluding portion of his address, depicted in a tone of high moral feeling, the degraded condition of Great Britain as a nation, in consequence of her extreme drunkenness. He shewed that habits of intemperance, or feelings and prejudices generated by intemperance, pervaded every class, from the highest to the lowest, the richest to the poorest. Statesmen bowed upon the altar of expediency; and, above all, the sanctuary was not clean. As a Christian nation, we were paralized in our efforts to evangelize the world—partly by the millions upon millions actually expended upon ardent spirits—partly by the selfish and demoralizing feelings which this sensual indulgence in particular was known to produce. How could we, as a nation, upbraid America with her system of slavery when we ourselves were but glorying in a voluntary slavery of a thousand times more defiling and abominable description? In our own country, it might be said that there was, as it were, a conspiracy against the bodies and souls of her people.

Now in any Court of Justice, he would take his stand upon the fact that the man who made that speech must be a monomaniac, and he believed no competent tribunal, after hearing it, would receive his testimony as to the character or conduct of any nation on the face of the earth. Or if there lingered a doubt on the subject, he should show from the burden of his charges against America, that he spoke in the same general spirit, and nearly in the very same terms of her as of Britain, although the fault found with each country was totally different. He spoke of each as the very worst nation on the earth, because of the special crime charged. Any man who could allow himself to say that the two most enlightened nations on earth were in substance the two most degraded nations on earth; who could permit himself to bring such railing accusations successively against two great people, on account of the sins of a small portion of each, which he had looked at till he could see nothing else, and with the perseverance of a goldleaf-beater, exercised his ingenuity in stretching out to the utmost limits over each community; a man who not only can see little to love anywhere that does not derive its complexion from himself, and who, the moment he finds a blot on his brethren, or his country, instead of walking backwards and hiding it with the filial piety of the elder sons of Noah, mocks over it with the rude and unfeeling bitterness of Canaan; such a man is worthily impeached, as incompetent to testify. Nay, I put the issue where Mr. Thompson has put it. If this nation be such as he has described it to be, I demand, with unanswerable emphasis, how can it dare to call us, or any other people, to account on any subject whatever? If, on the other hand, what he has said of this nation be false, I equally demand how can he be credited in what he says of us—of any other nation under the sun? After this caveat against all that such a witness could say, he would in the first place ob[Pg 119]serve, that all the accusations brought by Mr. Thompson against Americans, were imbued with such bitterness and intemperance as ought to awaken suspicion in the minds of all who hear them. There was visible not only a violent national antipathy against that whole country, but also a strong prejudice in favor of the one side and against the other in the local parties there, which, before any impartial tribunal, ought greatly to weaken any credit that might otherwise be attached to his testimony. Besides an open hostility to the nation as such, and a most envomed hatred to certain men, parties, and principles in America, the witness has exhibited such a wounded feeling of vanity from his want of success in America; such a glorying of his friends, and that just in proportion to their subserviency to him, and such a contemptuous and unmerited depreciation of his opponents, as should put every man who reads or hears his proofs at once on his guard. As to the opinions and conclusions of such a person, even from admitted facts, they are of course worthless; and his inferences from hearsay and idle reports, worse than trash. But what I mean to say is, that such a witness, considered strictly as testifying to what he asserts of his own knowledge, is to be heard by a just man with very great caution. For my own part, at the risk of being called again a pettifogger, by this informer, I am bound to say that his conduct impeaches his credibility fully as much as it has before been shown to affect his competency; and while I have peculiar knowledge of the facts, sufficient to assert that his main accusations are false, I fully believe that the case he had himself made, did of itself justify all good men to draw the same conclusion, merely from general principles. I will venture to go a step farther, and express the opinion that they who are acquainted with Mr. Thompson, as he exhibits himself in the public eye, and who have knowledge of the past success, which really did, or which he allows himself to believe did attend his efforts in West-India emancipation, (a success, however, which I do not comprehend, as the case was settled against him and his party, on the two chief points on which they staked themselves, namely, immediate abolition and no compensation,) they who can call to mind the preparation and pretension with which he set out for America, the gigantic work he had carved for himself there, the signal defeat he met with, and the terror in which he fled the country; may find enough to justify the fear that the fate of George Thompson has fully as large a share in his recollections of America as the fate of the poor slave. In the second place, I charge upon Mr. Thompson that those parts of his statements which might possibly be in part true, are so put as to create false impressions, and have nearly the same effect as if they[Pg 120] were wholly false on the minds of those who read or hear them. This results from the constant manner of stating what might possibly be true; and it is not only calculated to produce a false impression, and make the casual reader believe in a result different from what would be presented if Mr. Thompson were on oath and forced to tell the whole truth, but the uniformity and dexterity with which this is done, leaves us astonished how it could be accidental. He (Mr. B.) assumed that all of them had read or would read Mr. Thompson's charges. After doing so they would the better apprehend what was now meant; but, in the mean time, he would illustrate it by a case or two. Thus, when Mr. T. spoke of the ministers in the United States being slave-holders, he did it in such a way as to lead the reader to believe that this was a general thing; that the most of them, if not the whole of them, were slave-owners. He did not tell them that none of the ministers in twelve whole States were or could easily be slave-holders, seeing they were not inhabitants of a slave State; he did not tell them that the cases of ministers owning slaves were rare even in some of the slave States; and a fair sample of the majority in not a single State of the Union; he left the charge indefinite, and did not condescend to tell whether the number of ministers so accused was one half, or one third, or one fourth, or one hundredth part of the whole number in the United States. He left it wholly indefinite, on the broad charge that American ministers were slave-holding ministers; knowing, perhaps intending, that the impression taken up should be of the aggregate mass of American ministers; when he knew himself all the while that the overwhelming mass of American ministers had never owned a slave; and that those who had, were exceptions from the general rule rather than samples of the whole. It may well be asked how much less sinful it was to rob men of their good name, than of their freedom? Not content with even this injustice, Mr. Thompson had gone so far as to charge the ministers of America with dealing in slaves; slave-driving ministers and slave-dealing ministers, were amongst his common accusations. Now, said Mr. B., he would lay a strong constraint upon himself, and reply to these statements as if they were not at once atrocious and insupportable. The terms used by Mr. Thompson were universally understood in the United States, to mean the carrying on of a regular traffic in slaves as a business. The meaning was the same here, and every one who had heard or read one of his printed speeches, was ex vi termini obliged to understand this charge like the preceding, as expressing his testimony as to the conduct of American ministers generally, if not universally.[Pg 121]

Now I will admit that there may be in America, one minister in one thousand, or perhaps five hundred, who may at some period of his ministry, when he had no sufficient light on the subject, have bought or sold slaves a single time, or perhaps twice, or possibly thrice. But I solemnly declare I never knew, nor heard of, nor do I believe there exists in all America, one such minister, as is above described; nor any sect that would hold fellowship with him. He would throw under the third general head charges of a different kind from the preceding. Mr. Thompson, when generalities fail, takes up some extreme case, which might probably be founded on truth, and gives it as a specimen of the general practice; thereby creating by false instances, as well as by indefinite accusations, an impression which he knows to be entirely foreign from the truth. If he, (Mr. B.) were to tell in America that on his way to this meeting to-night, he saw two blind men begging in the streets, with their arms locked to support their tottering steps, while the crowd passed them idly by; and if he gave this as a specimen of the manner in which the unfortunate poor were treated in Scotland, he would not give a worse impression, nor make a more unfair statement of the fact, than Mr. Thompson had done, nearly without exception, in his statements of America. Such a spirit and practice as this, pervaded the whole of Mr. Thompson's speeches. He would select a few instances to enforce his meaning. There was a single Presbyterian Church at Nashville, Tennessee. Now he, (Mr. B.) happened, in the providence of God, to be somewhat acquainted with the past history of that church; and was happy to call its present benevolent minister his friend. He could consequently speak of it from his own knowledge. Mr. Thompson said that a young man went to Nashville, who, either through his own imprudence, or the violence of the disjointed times, was arrested, tried by a popular committee, found guilty of spreading seditious papers, and sentenced to be whipped; that he had received twenty lashes, and was then discharged. This he believed to be substantially true, and well remembered hearing of the occurrence; and taking the young man's account of it as true, he had been greatly shocked at it, and had now no idea of defending it. But in Mr. Thompson's statement of the case, there was a minute misrepresentation, which showed singular indifference to facts. Mr. T. said the young man went to Tennessee to sell cottage bibles, in which business he succeeded well, for the reason, adds the narrator, that Bibles were scarce in the South; although he could not fail to know, that before the period in question, every family in all those States that would receive a Bible, had been furnished with one by the various Bible Societies. This, however, was not the main reason for a reference to this case; but was mentioned incidentally, to show the nature of the feelings and accusations indulged in by this gentleman. His account went on to say, sometimes that there were seven, sometimes eleven elders of this Presbyterian Church. It was not intended to lay any stress on the discrepancy; as the fault might be the reporter's. But seven, or[Pg 122] eleven; it was again and again charged, that all of them, every one, was present, trying, and consenting to the punishment of the unhappy young man, "plowing up his back," and mingling, perhaps in the mob who cursed him, even for his prayers. To make the case inexpressibly horrible, it is added, that these seven or eleven elders, had as to part of them, distributed the sacramental elements, to the abolitionist, the very Sabbath before, the day on which the seven elders participated in this outrage. Now I say first, that if this story were literally true, no man knows better than Mr. Thompson, that no falsehood could be more glaring than to say or insinuate, that the case would be a fair average specimen of what the leading men in the American churches generally might be expected to do, in like circumstances. Yet for this purpose, he has repeatedly used it! No man could know better than he, that if the case were true in all its parts, it would every where be accounted a violent and unprecedented thing, which could happen at all only in most extraordinary circumstances. Yet he has so stated it, over and over, as to force the impression that it is a fair sample of American Christianity. But, said Mr. B. I call in question all parts of the story, that implicate any Christian. I do not believe the statements. Let me have proof. I do not believe there were either seven or eleven elders in the church in question. Record their names. If there were so many, it is next to impossible, that every one of them, was on the comparatively small committee that tried the abolitionist. Produce the proofs; and I believe it will turn out, that if either of them was present, it was to mitigate popular violence; and that his influence perhaps, saved the life of him he is traduced for having oppressed. He did not mean to stake his assertion against proof; but from his experience and general knowledge of the parties, he had no hesitation in giving it as his opinion, that the facts, when known, would not justify the assertions of Mr. Thompson, even as to the particular case; and believing this, I again challenge the production of his authority. But, if it be true in all its parts, I repeat, it is every thing but truth, to say that it affords a just specimen of the elders of the Presbyterian Churches of America. Another case resembling the preceding in its principle, is found in what Mr. Thompson has said of the Baptists of the Southern States. There are, says he, above 157,000 members in upwards of 3000 Baptist Churches, in those States, "almost all both ministers and members being slave holders." Allowing this statement to be true, and that each slave holder has ten slaves on an average, which is too small for the truth, there would be an amount of slaves equal to 1,570,000 owned by the Baptist of the Southern States. If this be true, and the census of 1830 true also, there were only left about 500,000 slaves to divide among all the other churches; leaving for the remainder of the people, none at all! So that after all this, though churches be bad, the nation is clean enough.

Let us now make some allowance for this gentleman's extravagance, especially as he did think he was speaking under correction, and di[Pg 123]vide his 157,000 Baptists into 52,000 families, of three professors of religion in each. This is more than the average for each family; especially in a church admitting only adults; and the true number of families, for that number of professors, would be nearer one hundred than fifty thousand. Twenty slaves to the family is below the average of the slave owning families of the South; so that at the lowest rate, the Baptists in a few States, according to this person, own 1,040,000 slaves at the least, or above half the number that our last census gives to the whole union. The extraordinary folly of such statements, would appear more clearly to the audience when they understood, that as large a proportion of all the blacks, as of all the whites in America are professors of religion; that above half of all slaves who profess religion, are Baptists; and that, therefore, if there are 157,000 Baptists in the Southern States, instead of being "almost all slave holders," at least a third of them are themselves slaves. He gave these instances to show that Mr. Thompson had taken extreme cases containing some show of truth as specimens of the whole of America, and had thereby produced totally false impressions. What truth there was in them, was so terrifically exaggerated, that no dependence whatever could be placed upon any of his testimony. And this would be still more manifest after examining the charge brought by Mr. Thompson, that the very churches in America own slaves; and several of his speeches contain a pretty little dialogue with some slaves in the fields, the whole interest of which turns on their calling themselves "the Church's Slaves." This was spoken of as it were in accordance with the usual course of things in the United States. Indeed, Mr. Thompson had not only spoken with his usual violence and generality of the "slave holding churches of America," and declared his conviction that "all the guilt of the system" should be laid "on the church of America;" but at the very latest joint exhibition of himself and his friend Moses Roper, in London, it was stated by the latter in one of his usual interludes to Mr. Thompson, perhaps in his presence, certainly uncontradicted, that, slave holding was universally practised by "all Christian societies" in America; the societies of Friends only excepted. It may excite a blush in America, to know that the poor negro's silly falsehood was received with cheers by the London audience.

What then should the similar declarations of Mr. Thompson, made deliberately and repeatedly, and with infinite pretence of candour and affection, what feelings can they excite; and how will that insulted people regard the easy credulity which has led the Christians of Britain to believe and reiterate charges in which it is not easy to tell whether there is less truth or more malignity? For how stood the facts? What church owns slaves? What Christian corporation is a proprietor of men? Out of our ten thousand churches perhaps half are involved in this sin? Perhaps a tenth part? Surely one Presbytery at least? No,—this mountain of fiction has but a grain of truth to support its vast and hateful proportions. If there be above five congregations in all America[Pg 124] that own slaves, I never heard of them. The actual number, of whose existence I ever heard, is, I believe, precisely three! They are all Presbyterian congregations, and churches situated in the southern part of Virginia, and got into their unhappy condition in the following manner:—Many years ago, during those times of ignorance at which God winked—when such a man as John Newton could go a slaving voyage to Africa, and write back that he never had enjoyed sweeter communion with God than on that voyage; during such a period as that, a few well meaning individuals had bequeathed a small number of slaves for the support of the gospel in three or four churches. These unfortunate legacies had increased and multiplied themselves to a great extent, and under present circumstances to a most inconvenient degree. A fact which puts the clearest contradiction on that assertion of this "accuser of the brethren"—representing their condition as being one of unusual privation and suffering. Of late years these cases had attracted attention, and given great uneasiness to some of the persons connected with these churches. I have on this platform, kindly furnished me, like most of the other documents I have, since this debate was publicly known—a volume of letters written to one of these churches on the whole case, by the Rev. Mr. Paxton, at that time its pastor. That gentleman is now on this side of the Atlantic, and may perhaps explain what Mr. Thompson has so sedulously concealed; how he was a colonizationist; how he manumitted and sent his own servants to Liberia; how he labored in this particular matter with his church, long before the existence of abolitionism; and how, finding the difficulties insuperable, he had written this kind and modest volume, worth all the abolition froth ever spued forth,—and left the charge in which he found it so difficult to preserve at once an honest conscience and a healthful influence. It will not, however, be understood that even these few churches are worthy of the indiscriminate abuse lavished on us, all for their sakes; nor that their present path of duty is either an easy or a plain one. Whether it is that there are express stipulations in the original instruments conveying the slaves in trust for certain purposes; or whether the general principle of law, which would transfer to the State, or to the heir of the first owner, the slaves with their increase,—upon a failure of the intention of the donor, either by act of God, or of the parties themselves, embarrass the subject; it is very certain that wiser and better men than either Mr. Thompson or myself, are convinced that these vilified churches have no power whatever to set their slaves free. If the churches were to give up the slaves, it could only have the effect, it is believed, to send them into everlasting bondage to the heirs of the original proprietors. They have therefore justly considered it better for the slaves themselves that they should remain as they were in a state of nominal servitude, rather than be remitted into real slavery. Such is the real state of the few cases which have first been exhibited as the sin, if not the actual condition of the American churches; and then exaggerated into the utmost turpitude by hiding every mitigating[Pg 125] circumstance, adding some purely new, and distorting all things. Whether right or wrong, the same state of things exists amongst the Society of Friends in North Carolina, to a partial extent, and in another form. They did not consider themselves liable to just censure, although they held title in and authority over slaves, as individuals, while they gave them their whole earnings, and had collected large sums from their brethren in England, which were applied to the benefit of these slaves. It is not now for the first time that charges have been made against the Church of God—that Judah is like all the heathen. But all who embark in such courses—have met with the common fate of the revilers of God's people; and they, with such as select to stand in their lot—may find in the word of life a worse end apportioned for them, than even for those they denounce, in case every word they utter had been true. We bless God that no weapon formed against Zion can prosper. There was one other instance which he had noted under this head as requiring some comment, which could not bear omission, regarding the private members of the Christian churches in the United States, of whom a casual hearer or reader of Mr. Thompson's speeches would believe that the far greater part actually owned slaves; that very few, and they almost exclusively abolitionists, considered slavery at all wrong; that with one accord they deprived the slaves of all religious privileges, and used them, not only as a chattel, but as nothing else than a chattel. According to our last census, there were about 11,000,000 of whites, 2,000,000 of slaves, and 400,000 free blacks in America, making a total of nearly thirteen and a half millions. All the slaves were gathered into the 12 most southerly states, free blacks were not far from half in the free and half in the slave states, and of the whites over 7,000,000 were in the free, and less than 3,000,000 in the slave states. The best information I possess on this subject, authorizes me to say—about 1 person in 9, throughout the nation, black and white, is a member of a Christian church, the proportion being somewhat larger to the north, and comparatively smaller at the south. There are, therefore, above 1,100,000 white Christians in the United States, of which about 800,000 live in the 12 free States, and neither own slaves nor think slavery right; leaving rather over 330,000 for the 12 slave States. Now, if these white Christians in the slave States own all the slaves, and the other 8-9ths of the whites owned none at all, there will be only about 6 slaves to each Christian there, a number far below the average of the slave holders; and all the North, and all the South, except Christians, free of charge and guilt, in the specific thing. But if we divide these Christians into families, and suppose there may be as many, as one in three or four of them, who is a head of a family, say 100,000; and that they own all the slaves: in that case, there would be an average of twenty slaves to every white head of a Christian family in the slave States. But here again all the slaves would be absorbed: all the North innocent, above two-thirds of the Christians at the South proved to be not slave holders at all;[Pg 126] and all the followers of the devil wholly innocent of that crime. These calculations demonstrate that these accusations are as groundless and absurd as any of the preceding. And while it is painfully true that in the slaveholding States far too many Christians do still own slaves; it is equally true, that they bear a small proportion to those who own none, even in those States. If we suppose the Christians in America to be about on an equal footing as to wealth with other people; and to have no more conscience about slavery, than those around them in the slave States; and that twenty slaves may be taken as the average, to each master; and a ninth of the people pious, as stated before, it follows that only about 11,000 professors of religion can be slaveholders; or about one in every hundred of the whole number in the nation. Yet every one of the above suppositions is against the churches, and yet upon this basis rests the charges of a candid, affectionate Christian brother against them all! The only remaining illustration of Mr. Thompson's proneness to represent a little truth, in such a way as to have all the effects of an immense misrepresentation, regards his own posture, doings and sufferings in America. "Fourteen months of toil, of peril, and persecution, almost unparalleled;" "there were paid myrmidons seeking my blood;" "there were thousands waiting to rejoice over my destruction;" "when any individual tells George Thompson who has put his life into his hands, and gone where slavery is rife; when I, George Thompson, am told I am to be spared," &c. Similar statements, ad infinitum, fill up all his speeches; and are noticed now, not for the purpose of commenting on, or even contradicting them, but of affording my countrymen, who may chance to see the report of this discussion, specimens, as our certificates often run "of the modesty, probity, and good demeanor," of the individual.

He would pass next to a fourth general objection against Mr. Thompson's testimony, as regards America, which was, that much of it was in the strictest sense, positively untrue. For instance, Mr. Thompson had twice put a runaway slave forward upon the platform at London; or at least connived at the doing of it; who stated of his own knowledge, that a Mr. Garrison, of South Carolina, had paid 500 dollars for a slave, that he might burn him, and that he had done so without hindrance or challenge, afterwards. This statement Mr. T. has never yet contradicted in any one of his numerous speeches, although he must have known it to be untrue. I have myself several times directed his attention to the subject, and yet the only answer is, "expressive silence." Then I distinctly challenge his notice of the case; and while I solemnly declare, that according to my belief, whoever should do such an act in any part of America, would be hung: I as distinctly charge Mr. Thompson, with giving countenance to, and deriving countenance from this wilful misstatement.

As an other instance of the same kind, you are told that a free man was sold from the jail at Washington city, as a slave, without even the form of a trial; which is farther aggravated by the assertion[Pg 127] that this is vouched as a fact, on the testimony of 1000 signatures. This matter, when Mr. Thompson's own proof is produced, resolves itself into this: that Mr. Thompson said, there had been a thousand signatures to a certain paper, which said, that a certain man taken up as a runaway slave, said he was free! If he was a slave, the whole case falls; whether he was a slave or not, was a fact that could have been judicially investigated and decided, if the person most interested, or any other, had chosen to demand it. So that in point of fact, Mr. Thompson's whole statements, touching this oft repeated case, are all purely gratuitous. And with what horror, must every good man hear that Mr. Thompson, within the last two or three weeks, told a crowd of people in Mr. Price's Chapel, Devonshire Square, London, in allusion to this very case, that the poor black had "DEMONSTRATED HIS FREEDOM," and afterwards been "sold into everlasting bondage!" And yet upon this fiction he bases one of his most effective "illustrations of American slavery," and some of his fiercest denunciations of the American people. Oh! shame, where is thy blush! He could if time permitted exhibit other cases,—in principle perhaps worse than these; in which neither the false assertions of Moses Roper—nor the pretended evidence of misrepresented petitions existed to make a show of evidence; and which nothing but the most extraordinary ignorance, or recklessness could explain. Such are the assertions made by himself or his coadjutors in his presence, that slaves are brought to the district of Columbia from all the slave states for sale; that five years is the average number, that slaves carried to the Southern States live; that slaves without trial, or even examination, were often executed, by tens, twenties, and even thirties; that the banner of the United States, which floated over a slave dealing congress, in the midst of the slave market of the entire nation, had the word "Liberty" upon it (which single sentence contained three misstatements;) that religious men weighed children in scales, and sold them by the pound like meat;—that there were 2,000,000 of slaves in America who never heard the name of Christ; that no white man would ever be respected after he had been seen to shake hands with a man of colour; all which unnameable assertions are contained, along with double as many others like them, in one single newspaper (the London Patriot of June 1, 1835;) and in a portion of the report of only two of Mr. Thompson's meetings! Alas! for poor human nature! Having now gone through all that his time permitted him to say, of the proof against America, he would lay before them some counter testimony upon several parts of this great subject. He had at one time greatly feared that he might be obliged to ask them to believe his mere word, perhaps in the face of other proof; but through the providence of God, he had been put in possession of a very limited file of American newspapers, from the contents of which he thought he should be able to make out as strong a case for the truth, as he had proved the case against it to be weak and rotten. There were so many denominations of Christians in America, that he[Pg 128] would only tire the meeting by enumerating them. They were of every variety of name and opinion. As to many of them he knew but little, and the present audience perhaps less. The Societies of Friends generally did not tolerate slaveholding among their members; neither did the Covenanters. The Congregationalists, or Independents, had not, he believed, a dozen churches in all the Slave States, and, of course, they should be considered as exempt from the charge. It was, however, the less necessary to occupy ourselves in general remarks, inasmuch as Mr. Thompson had laid the stress of his accusations on the three great denominations of America. "He took all the guilt of this system, and he laid it where? On the Church of America. When he said the Church, he did not allude to any particular denomination. He spoke of Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists, the three great props—the all-sustaining pillars of that blood-cemented fabric." Such were the words of Mr. T., and it would therefore be needless to trouble ourselves about the minor, if we could settle the major to our satisfaction. As to two of these denominations, he should say but little; his chief and natural business being to defend that one of which he knew most. In regard to the Baptists, he was sorry to be obliged to say, that he believed they were the least defensible of the three denominations, now principally implicated; indeed that some of their Associations had taken ground on the whole case, from which he entirely dissented,—and which, he was sure, had given great pain to the majority of their own brethren. He begged leave to refer them to the work of Drs. Cox and Hoby, just through the press, in which he presumed, for he had not seen it, they would find an authentic and ample information on this and every other point relating to that denomination in America. In relation to the Methodists, his knowledge was both more full and more accurate. Their discipline denounced Slavery, and prohibited their Members from owning slaves, and though their discipline itself was not carried into effect with rigid exactness, he did not believe that there was a Methodist Church in the United States, or upon the Earth, which owned slaves, as a Church. He believed that very few Methodist preachers—indeed, almost none, owned any slaves, and nothing but the most direct proof could for a moment make him believe, that one of them was a slave-dealer. The whole sect, or at least the great majority of it, might be considered as fairly represented, in the following Resolutions passed in the Conference, held at Baltimore; and which could be a set off to those read by Mr. Thompson, from one of the northern Conferences.

METHODIST'S RESOLUTIONS ON ABOLITION.

At a late meeting of the Baltimore Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held at Baltimore, the following preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted, and the names of all the members and probationers present, in number, one hundred and fifty-seven, were subscribed, and ordered to be published. The secretary was also directed to furnish Rev. John A. Collins, with a copy for insertion in the Globe and Intelligencer, of Washington City.

Whereas great excitement has pervaded this country for some time past on the subject of abolition; and whereas such excitement is believed to be destructive to the best interests of the country and of religion; therefore[Pg 129]

1. Resolved, That "we are as much as ever convinced of the great evil of slavery."

2. That we are opposed in every part and particular to the proceedings of the abolitionists, which look to the immediate indiscriminate, and general emancipation of slaves.

3. That we have no connexion with any press, by whomsoever conducted, in the interest of the abolition cause.

As to his own Connection, the Presbyterian, he would go as fully as his materials permitted, into the proof of their past principles, and present posture. And in the first place he was most happy to be able to present them with an abstract of the decisions of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. He found it printed in the New York Observer, of May 23, 1835, embodied in the proceedings of the Presbytery of Montrose, and transcribed by it no doubt from the Assembly's digest.

As early as A. D. 1787, the Synod of N. York and Philadelphia issued an opinion adverse to slavery, and recommended measures for its final extinction; and in the year 1796 the General Assembly assured "all the churches under their care, that they viewed with the deepest concern any vestiges of slavery which then existed in our country;" and in the year 1815 the same judicatory decided, "that the buying and selling of slaves by way of traffic, (meaning, doubtless, the domestic traffic,) is inconsistent with the spirit of the gospel." But in the year 1818, a more full and explicit avowal of the sentiments of the church was unanimously agreed on in the General Assembly. "We consider, (say the Assembly,) the voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by another, as a gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human nature; as utterly inconsistent with the law of God, which requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves; and as totally irreconcilable with the spirit and principles of the gospel of Christ, which enjoin, that "whatever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." They add, "It is manifestly the duty of all Christians who enjoy the light of the present day, when the inconsistency of slavery, both with the dictates of humanity and religion, has been demonstrated, and is generally seen and acknowledged, to use their honest, earnest and unwearied endeavors to correct the errors of former times, and as speedily as possible, to efface this blot on our holy religion, and to obtain the complete abolition of slavery throughout Christendom and if possible, throughout the world."

If, said Mr. B., he had expressed sentiments different from these, or if he had inculcated as the principles of his brethren any thing different from these just and noble sentiments, let the blame be heaped upon his bare head. These sentiments they had held from a period to which the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Here tonight, 3000 miles off, God enabled him to produce a record proving an antiquity of half a century, in full maturity! How grand, how far sighted, how illustrious is truth—compared with the wretched and new born, and blear eyed fanaticism that carps at her! These are the principles of the Presbyterian church of the United States. She has risen with them, she will stand, or, if it be God's will, she will fall with them. But she will not change them less or more. The General Assembly is but now adjourned. They have had this question before them—perhaps have been deeply agitated by its discussion. But so tranquilly does my heart rest on the truth of these principles, and on the fixed adherence to them, by my brethren, that nothing but a feeling that it would be impertinent, in one like me, to vouch for a body like that, could deter me from any lawful gage, that all its decisions will stand with its ancient and unaltered principles. In accordance with these principles the great body of the members of that church had been all along acting.—There were about 24 synods under the care of the General Assembly, of which about one third were in[Pg 130] the slave country. The number was constantly increasing, on which account, and in the absence of all records, he could not be more exact. The synods in the free states stood, he believed, without exception, just where the Assembly stood, on this subject. In the slave states, much had been done—much was still doing—and in proof of this as regarded this particular denomination—in addition to what he had all along declared, with reference to the great emancipation party, in all of those states, he asked attention to the several documents he was about to lay before them. The first was a series of resolutions appended to a lucid and extended report, drawn up by a large committee of Ministers and Elders of the synod of Kentucky—in obedience to its orders after the subject had been several years before that body. That Synod embraces the whole state of Kentucky, which is one of the largest slave states in the Union. The resolutions are quoted from the New York Observer, of April 23, 1836.

1. We would recommend that all slaves now under 20 years of age, and all those yet to be born in our possession be emancipated, as they severally reach their 25th year.

2. We recommend that deeds of emancipation be now drawn up, and recorded in our respective County Courts, specifying the slaves we are about to emancipate, and the age at which each is to become free.

This measure is highly necessary, as it will furnish to our own minds, to the world, and to our slaves, satisfactory proof of our sincerity in this work; and it will also secure the liberty of the slaves against contingencies.

3. We recommend that our slaves be instructed in the common elementary branches of education.

4. We recommend that strenuous and persevering efforts be made, to induce them to attend regularly upon the ordinary services of religion, both domestic and public.

5. We recommend that great pains be token to teach them the Holy Scriptures; and that to effect this, the instrumentality of Sabbath Schools, wherever they can be enjoyed, be united with that of domestic instruction.

The plan revealed in these resolution, was the one of all others, which most commended itself to his (Mr. B.'s) judgment. And he most particularly asked their attention to it, on an account somewhat personal. He had several times been publicly referred to in this country, as having shown the sincerity of his principles in the manumission of his own slaves. He was most anxious that no error should exist on this subject, which he had not at any time, had any part in bringing before the public, and which, as often only as he was forced to do so, had he explained. The introductory remarks of the Chairman, had laid him under the necessity of such an explanation, which had not so naturally occurred, as in this connexion. He took leave, therefore, to say, that this Kentucky plan, was in substance the one he had been acting on for some years before its existence; and which he should probably be among the earliest, if his life was spared, fully to complete. He considered it substantially the same as their system for West India Emancipation; only more rapid as to adults, more tardy, cautious, and beneficent as to minors; and more generous, as being wholly without compensation. In plans that affect whole nations, and successive generations, questions of time are of all others, least important; of all others the most proper to make bend to the necessities of the case. He went only to say further, that his brother, the Rev. Dr. Breckinridge, of whom Mr. Thompson speaks with such[Pg 131] affectation of scorn, had entered this good field before him, and taken one course with his manumitted slaves. That a younger brother, whose name, along with nine other beloved and revered names, is attached to this Kentucky report, had also entered it before him; and taken a second course, a different course still, in liberating his. When he came, last of all, he had taken still a third, different from each; while other friends had pursued others still. What wisdom their combined, and yet varied experience could have afforded, was of course useless; now that all the deepest questions of abstract truth, and the most difficult of personal practice, were solved by instinct, and carried by storm.

The next extract related to the great slave holding State of North Carolina, and revealed a plan for the religious instruction and care of the souls of the slaves, intended to cover the States of Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina, all slave States of the first class, as well as the one in which it originated. Its origin is due to the Presbyterian Synod, covering the whole of that State. The extract is from the New York Observer of June 20, 1835.

RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES.

"The Southern Evangelical Society," is the title of a proposed association among the Presbyterians at the South, for the propagation of the gospel among the people of color. The constitution originated in the Synod of North Carolina, and is to go into effect as soon as adopted by the Synod of Virginia, or that of South Carolina and Georgia. The voting members of the Society are to be elected by the Synods. Honorary members are created by the payment of thirty dollars. All members of Synods united with the Society, are corresponding members; other corresponding members maybe chosen by the voting members. Article 4th of the Constitution, provides that "there shall not exist between this Society and any other Society, any connexion whatever, except with a similar Society in the slave holding States." Several resolutions follow the Constitution; one of these provides that a presbytery in a slave holding district of the country, not united with a Synod in connexion with the Society, may become a member by its own act. The fifth and sixth resolutions are as follows:

Resolved, 5, That it be very respectfully and earnestly recommended to all the heads of families in connexion with our congregations, to take up and vigorously prosecute the business of seeking the salvation of the slaves in the way of maintaining and promoting family religion.

Resolved, 6, That it be enjoined upon all the presbyteries composing this Synod, to take order at their earliest meeting, to obtain full and correct statistical information as to the number of people of color, in the bounds of our several congregations, the number in actual attendance at our several places of worship, and the number of colored members in our several churches, and make a full report to the Synod at its next meeting, and for this purpose, that the Clerk of this Synod furnish a copy of this resolution to the stated Clerk of each Presbytery.

The next document carried them one State farther South, and related to South Carolina, in which that horrible Governor M'Duffie, who seems to haunt Mr. Thompson's imagination with his threats of "death without benefit of clergy," lives, and perhaps still rules. It is taken from the same paper as the next preceding extract;

RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES.

We cheerfully insert the following letter from an intelligent New Englander at the South.

To the Editor of the New York Observer.

I am apprehensive that many of your readers, who feel a lively interest in the welfare of the slaves, are not correctly and fully informed as to their amount of religious instruction. From the speeches of Mr. Thompson and others, they might be led to believe that slaves in our Southern States never read a Bible, hear a gospel sermon, or partake of a gospel ordinance. It is to be hoped, however, that little credit will be given to such misrepresentations, notwithstanding the zeal and industry with which they are disseminated.[Pg 132]

What has been done on a single plantation.

I will now inform your readers what has been done, and is now doing, for the moral and religious improvement of the slaves on a single plantation, with which I am well acquainted, and these few facts may serve as a commentary on the unsupported assertions of Mr. Thompson and others. And here I could wish that all who are so ready to denounce every man that is so unfortunate as to be born to a heritage of slaves, could go to that plantation, and see with their own eyes, and hear with their own ears, the things which I despair of adequately describing. Truly, I think they would be more inclined, and better qualified to use those weapons of light and love which have been so ably and justly commended to their hands.

On this plantation there are from 150 to 200 slaves, the finest looking body that I have seen on any estate. Their master and mistress have felt for years how solemn are the responsibilities connected with such a charge; and they have not shrunk from meeting them. The means used for their spiritual good, are abundant. They enjoy the constant preaching of the gospel. A young minister of the Presbyterian church, who has received a regular collegiate and theological education, is laboring among them, and derives his entire support from the master, with the exception of a trifling sum which he receives for preaching one Sabbath in each month for a neighboring church. On the Sabbath, and during the week, you may see them filling the place of worship, from the man of grey hairs to the small child, all neatly and comfortably clothed, listening with respectful, and in many cases, eager attention to the truth as it is in Jesus, delivered in terms adapted to their capacities, and in a manner suited to their peculiar habits, feelings and circumstances; engaging with solemnity and propriety in the solemn exercise of prayer, and mingling their melodious voices in the hymn of praise. Sitting among them are the white members of the family encouraging them by their attendance, manifesting their interest in the exercises, and their anxiety for the eternal well-being of their people. Of the whole number, forty-five or fifty have made a profession of religion, and others are evidently deeply concerned.

Let me now conduct you to a Bible class of ten or twelve adults who can read, met with their Bibles to study and have explained to them the word of God. They give unequivocal demonstrations of much interest in their employment, and of an earnest desire to understand and remember what they read. From hence we will go to another room, where are assembled eighteen to twenty lads, attending upon catechetical instruction, conducted by their young master. Here you will notice many intelligent countenances, and will be struck with the promptitude and correctness of their answers.

But the most interesting spectacle is yet before you. It is to be witnessed in the Infant School Room, nicely fitted up and supplied with the customary cards and other appurtenances. Here every day in the week, you may find twenty-five or thirty children, neatly clad and wearing bright and happy faces. And as you notice their correct deportment, hear their unhesitating replies to the questions proposed, and above all when they unite their sweet voices in their touching songs, if your heart is not affected and your eyes do not fill, you are the hardest-hearted and driest-eyed visitor that has ever been there. But who is their teacher? Their mistress, a lady whose amiable Christian character and most gifted and accomplished mind and manners are surpassed by none. From day to day, month to month, and year to year, she has cheerfully left her splendid halls and circle of friends, to visit her school room, where, standing up before those young immortals, she trains them in the way in which they should go, and leads them to Him who said, "suffer little children to come unto me."

From the Infant School room, we will walk through a beautiful lawn half a mile, to a pleasant grove commanding a view of miles in extent. Here is a brick chapel, rising for the accommodation of this interesting family; sufficiently large to receive two or three hundred hearers. When completed, in beauty and convenience it will be surpassed by few churches in the Southern country.

On the plantation you might also see other things of great interest. Here a negro is the overseer. Marriages are regularly contracted. No negro is sold, except as a punishment for bad behavior, and a dreaded one it is. None is bought, save for the purpose of uniting families. Here you will near no clanking of chains, no cracking of whips; (I have never seen a blow struck on the estate,) and here last, but not least, you will find a flourishing Temperance Society, embracing almost every individual on the premises. And yet the "Christianity of the South is a chain-forging, a whip-plaiting, marriage discouraging, Bible-withholding Christianity!"

I have confined myself to a single plantation. But I might add many most interesting facts in regard to others, and the state of feeling in general, but I forbear.

Yours, &c

A NEW ENGLAND MAN.

He would now connect the peculiar and local facts of the preceding statement, with the whole community of slave holders, in the same State, and show by competent and disinterested testimony, the[Pg 133] real and common state of things. The following extracts were from a letter printed in the New York Observer, of July 25, 1835:

I have resided eight years in South Carolina, and have an extensive acquaintance with the planters of the middle and low country. I have seen much of slavery, and feel competent to speak in regard to many facts connected with it.

What your correspondent has stated of the condition of one plantation, is in its essential points a common case throughout the whole circle of my acquaintance.

The negroes generally, in this State, are well fed, well clothed, and have the means of religious instruction. According to my best judgment, the work which a slave here is required to do, amounts to about one third the ordinary labor commonly performed by a New England farmer. A similar comparison would hold true in regard to the labor of domestics. In the family where I reside, consisting of nine white persons, seven slaves are employed to do the work. This is a common case.

In the village where I live, there are about four hundred slaves, and they generally attend church. More than one hundred of them are members of the church. Perhaps two hundred are assembled every Sabbath in the Sunday Schools. In my own Sunday School are about sixty, and most of them professors of religion. They are perfectly accessible and teachable. In the town of my former residence, in New England, there were three hundred free blacks. No more than eight or ten of these were professors of religion, and not more than twice that number could generally be induced to attend church. They could not be induced to send their children to the district schools, which were always open to them, nor could they generally be hired to work. They are thievish, wretched and troublesome. I have no hesitation in saying, and I say it deliberately, it would be a great blessing to them to exchange conditions with the slaves of the village in which I now live. Their intellectual and moral characters, and real means of improvement, would be promoted by the exchange.

There are doubtless some masters who treat their slaves cruelly in this State, but they are exceptions to the general fact. Public opinion is in a wholesome state and the man who does not treat his slaves kindly, is disgraced.

Great and increasing efforts are made to instruct the slaves in religion, and elevate their characters. Missionaries are employed solely for their benefit. It is very common for ministers to preach in the forenoon to the whites, and in the afternoon of every Sabbath to the blacks. The slaves of my acquaintance are generally contented and happy. The master is reprobated who will divide families. Many thousands of slaves of this State give evidence of piety. In many churches they form the majority. Thousands of them give daily thanks to God that they or their fathers were brought to this land of slavery.

And now, perhaps, I ought to add, that I am not a slave-holder, and do not intend to continue in a slave country; but wherever I may be, I intend to speak the TRUTH.

The next document related particularly to Virginia,—the largest and most powerful of the Slave States; but had also a general reference to the whole south, and the whole question at issue. The sentiments it contained were entitled to extraordinary consideration, on account of the source of them. Mr. Van Renselear, was the son of one of the most wealthy and distinguished citizens of the great free state of New York. He had gone to Virginia, to preach to the slaves. He had every where succeeded; was every where beloved by the slaves, and honored by their masters. He had access to perhaps forty plantations,—on which he from time to time preached,—and which might have been doubled, had his strength been equal to the work. In the midst of his usefulness—the storm of abolition arose. Mr. Thompson, like some baleful star landed on our shores; organized a reckless agitation, made many at the north frantic with folly—and as many at the south furious with passion. Mr. Van Renselear, like many others, saw a storm raging which they had no power to control; and like them withdrew from his benevolent labors. The following brief statements made by him at a great meeting of the colonization society of New York, exhibit his own view of the conduct and duty of the parties.[Pg 134]

The Rev. Cortlandt Van Renselear, formerly of Albany, but who has lately resided in Virginia, addressed the meeting, and after alluding to the difference of opinion which prevailed among the friends of Colonization, touching the present condition and treatment of the colored population in this country, proceeded to offer reasons why the people of the North should approach their brethren in the South, who held the control of the colored population, with defference, and in a spirit of kindness and conciliation.

These reasons were briefly as follows: 1. Because the people of the South had not consented to the original introduction of slaves into the country, but had solemnly, earnestly, and repeatedly remonstrated against it. 2. Because having been born in the presence of slavery, and accustomed to it from their infancy, they could not be expected to view it in the same light as we view it at the North. 3. Slavery being there established by law, it was not in the power of individuals to act in regard to it as their personal feelings might dictate. The evil had not been eradicated from the state of New York all at once: It had been a gradual process, commencing with the law 1799 and not consumated until 1827. Ought we to denounce our Southern neighbors if they refuse to do the work at a blow? 4. The constitution of the United States tolerated slavery, in its articles apportioning representation with reference to the slave population, and requiring the surrender of runaway slaves. 5. Slavery had been much mitigated of late years, and the condition of the slave population much ameliorated. Its former rigor was almost unknown, at least in Virginia, and it was lessening continually. It was not consistent with truth to represent the slaves as groaning day and night under the lash of tyranical task-masters. And as to being kept in perfect ignorance, Mr. V. had seldom seen a plantation where some of the slaves could not read, and where they were not encouraged to learn. In South Carolina, where it was said the gospel was systematically denied to the slaves, there were twenty thousand of them church members in the Methodist denomination alone. He knew a small church where out of 70 communicants, 50 were in slavery. 6. There were very great difficulties connected with the work of Abolition. The relations of slavery had ramified themselves through all the relations of society. The slaves were comparatively very ignorant; their character degraded; and they were unqualified for immediate freedom. A blunder in such a concern as universal abolition, would be no light matter. Mr. V. here referred to the result of experience and personal observation on the mind of the well-known Mr. Parker, late a minister of this city, but now of New-Orleans. He had left this city for the South with the feeling of an immediate abolitionist; but he had returned with his views wholly changed. After seeing slavery and slave-holders, and that at the far South, he now declared the idea of immediate and universal abolition to be a gross absurdity. To liberate the two and a half millions of slaves in the midst of us, would be just as wise and as humane, as it would be for the father of a numerous family of young children to take them to the front door, and there bidding them good bye, tell them they were free, and send them out into the world to provide for and govern themselves. 7. Foreign interference was, of necessity, a delicate thing, and ought ever to be attempted with the utmost caution. 8. There was a large amount of unfeigned Christian anxiety at the South to obey God and do good to man. There were many tears and prayers continually poured out over the condition of their colored people, and the most earnest desire to mitigate their sorrows. Were such persons to be approached with vituperation and anathemas? 9. There was no reason why all our sympathies should be confined to the colored race and utterly withheld from our white southern brethren. The apostle Paul exhibited no such spirit. 10. A regard to the interest of the slaves themselves dictated a cautious and prudent and forbearing course. It called for conciliation: for the fate of the slaves depended on the will of their masters, nor could the north prevent it. The late laws against teaching the slaves to read had not been passed until the Southern people found inflamatory publications circulating among the colored people. 11. The spirit of the gospel forbade all violence, abuse and threatening. The apostles had wished to call fire from heaven on those they considered as Christ's enemies; but the Saviour, instead of approving this fiery zeal, had rebuked it. 12. These Southern people, who were represented as so grossly violating all Christian duty, had been the subjects of gracious blessings from God in the outpourings of his Spirit. 13. When God convinced men of error, he did it in the spirit of mercy; we ought to endeavor to do the same thing in the same spirit.

The only remaining testimony relates to the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, in the south west. The letter from which it is taken is written by a son of that Mr. Finley, who perhaps more than any one else, set on foot the original scheme of African colonization; and whose name, as a man of pure and enlarged benevolence and wisdom, the enemies of his plans quote with respect. The son well deserves to have had such a father.

New-Orleans, March 12, 1835.

In my former letter I gave you some account of the leading characters amongst the free people of color who recently sailed from this port in the Brig "Rover." for Liberia. I then promised you in my next to give you some account of the emancipated slaves who [Pg 135]sailed in the same expedition. This promise I will now endeavor to fulfil, and I will begin with the case of an individual emancipation, and then state the case of an emancipated family, and conclude with an account of the emancipation of several families by the same individual.

The first case alluded to is that of a young woman emancipated by the last will and testament of the late Judge James Workman, of this city, the same who left a legacy of ten thousand dollars to the American Colonization Society. Judge Workman's will contains the following clause in relation to her, viz:—"I request my statu liber, Kitty, a quarteroon girl, to be set free as soon as convenient. And I request my executors may send her, as she shall prefer, and they think best, either to the Colonization Society at Norfolk, to be sent to Liberia or to Hayti; and if she prefer remaining in Louisiana, that they may endeavor to have an act passed for her emancipation; if the same cannot be attained otherwise; and it is my will that the sum of three hundred dollars be paid to her after she shall be capable of receiving the same. I request my executors to hold in their hands money for this purpose. I particularly request my friend John G. Greene to take charge of this girl, and do the best for her that he can." Mr. Greene provided her with a handsome outfit, carefully attended to her embarkation, and the shipment of her freight, and placed her under the care of the Rev. Gloster Simpson.

The next case, alluded to above, is that of a family of eleven slaves emancipated for faithful and meritorious services, by the will of of the late Mrs. Bullock, of Claiborne county, Miss. Mrs. Moore, the sister and executrix of Mrs. Bullock's estate, gave them 700 dollars to furnish an outfit and give them a start in the colony.

The third and last case alluded to above, consisted of several families, amounting in the whole to 26 individual slaves belonging to the estate of the late James Green, of Adams county, Mississipi. The following interesting circumstances concerning their liberation, were communicated to me by James Railey, Esq., the brother-in-law and acting executor of Mr. Green's Estate. Mr. Green died on the 15th of May, 1832, the proprietor of about 130 slaves, and left Mr. Railey, his brother-in-law, and his sisters, Mrs. Railey and Mrs. Wood, executors of his last will and testament. Mr. Green's will provides for the unconditional emancipation of but one of his slaves—a faithful and intelligent man named Granger, whom Mr. Green had raised and taught to read, write, and keep accounts. He acted as foreman for his master for about five years previous to his death. Mr. Green, by his will, left him 3000 dollars, on condition that he went to Liberia, otherwise, 2000 dollars. Provision was also made in the will for securing to him his wife. Granger has been employed since the death of Mr. Green, until recently, as overseer for Mr. Railey, at a salary of 600 dollars per annum. Granger declines going to Liberia at present on account of the unwillingness of his mother to go there. She is very aged and infirm, and he is very much attached to her. She was a favorite slave of Mr. Green's mother, who emancipated her and left her a legacy of 1000 dollars. Granger came to this city with Mr. Railey to see his friends and former fellow-servants embark: and when he bade them farewell, he said, with a very emphatic tone and manner, "I will follow you in about 18 months."

The executors of Mr. Green's estate were by no means slack in meeting the testator's wishes concerning these people. Mr. Railey accompanied them to New-Orleans, and both he and Mrs. Wood, who also was in New-Orleans while they were preparing to embark, took a lively and active interest in providing them with everything necessary for their comfort on the voyage, and their welfare after their arrival in the Colony, and placed in my hand 7000 dollars for their benefit, one thousand dollars of which were appropriated towards the charter of a vessel to convey them to the Colony, with the privilege of 140 barrels freight—sixteen hundred dollars towards the purchase of an outfit, consisting of mechanics' tools, implements of agriculture, household furniture, medicines, clothing, &c., and the remaining four thousand four hundred dollars, partly invested in trade, goods, and partly in specia, were shipped and consigned to the Governor of Liberia, for their benefit, with an accompanying memorandum made out by Mr. Railey, showing how much was each one's portion.

I will close this communication by relating one additional circumstance communicated to me by Mr. Railey, to show the interest felt by Mr. Green in the success of the scheme of African Colonization. The day previous to his death, he requested Mr. Railey to write a memorandum of several things which he wished done after his death, which memorandum contains the following clause, viz:—"After executing all my wishes as expressed by Will, by this memorandum, and by verbal communications, I sincerely hope there will be a handsome sum left for benefitting the emancipated negroes emigrating from this State to Liberia; and to that end I have more concern than you are aware of."

I am authorized by the Executors to state that there will be a residuum to Mr. Green's estate of twenty or thirty-five thousand dollars, which they intend to appropriate in conformity with the views of Mr. Green expressed above. Yours, &c.,

ROBERT S. FINLEY.

And now I rest the case, and commit the result to an enlightened public. Here are my proofs and arguments showing as I believe conclusively, that the slanderous accusations against my country and my[Pg 136] brethren which I have come to this city to repel,—are not only false, but incredible. Here are my testimonials, few and casually gathered up, but yet, as it seems to me, irresistibly convincing, that the people and churches of America—in the very thing charged,—have been and are acting, a wise, self-denying and humane part. That they should move onward in it as rapidly as the happiness of all the parties will allow, must be the wish of all good men. That obstacles should be interposed through the error, the imprudence, or the violence of well meaning but ill-judging persons, is truly deplorable. But that we should be traduced before the whole world, when we are innocent; that we should first be forced into most difficult circumstances, and then forced to manage those circumstances in such a way as to cause our certain ruin, by the very same people; or in default of submitting to both requirments, be forced first into war, and afterwards into a state of bitter mutual contention, only less dreadful than war itself, is outrageous and intolerable. While we justly complain of these things, we discharge ourselves of the guilt attributed to us, and acquit ourselves to God and our consciences, of all the fatal consequences likely to follow such conduct.


Mr. THOMPSON rose, and spoke in nearly the following words:

Mr. Chairman,

If I were to say that I rose on the present occasion without a feeling of anxiety regarding the issue of the discussion now drawing to a close, I should say what is not the truth. I cannot remember that I ever stood before an auditory in a more interesting or responsible position. The question before us is one of momentous magnitude; and that branch of it which to-night claims our special attention, is of all others, the most solemn and delicate. I am, therefore, anxious, deeply anxious, respecting the impression which shall rest upon the minds of this assembly, when I have occupied the attention of yourself and of it, for a portion of time equal to that which has been expended by my opponent. If, however, I were to say that I rose with any feeling of alarm in the contemplation of the result of that ordeal through which I am about to pass, I should speak that which would be equally at variance with the truth. So far from indulging any fear, or wishing to propitiate this audience, I pray that for the sake of truth, humanity, and the country represented by my opponent; for the sake of our character in the sight of God at the audit of the great day; there may be a severe, jealous and impartial judgment formed, according to the evidence which shall be submitted. Or, if it be impossible to hold the balance strictly even, I ask that the bias for the present, may be in favor of my opponent. It is true, I am not an American. It is true, I was in the United States but fourteen months. It is true, I never crossed the Potomac; never saw a slave, unless that slave had been brought to the North by some temporary resident. Receive, therefore, with caution and suspicion my statements. Let there be every discount upon my assertions which[Pg 137] my youth and rashness, my want of observation and experience demand. At the same time I ask that every proper degree of respect shall be paid to the witnesses I shall bring before you; and that however my testimony may be doubted, theirs at least may have the weight which their character, and station, and opportunities shall appear to entitle them to.

I am accused of monstrous injustice towards America, when I say that in that country slavery wears its most horrid forms. In saying this, I must not be understood as speaking according to the actual physical condition of the slave, or even of his legal and political condition, apart from the religion and institutions of the land in which he lives. I judge not by the number of links in his chain; the number of lashes inflicted on his back; the nature of his toil, or the quality or quantity of his food. It is, when irrespective of the treatment of the body, I find two millions of human beings regarded as merchandise; ranked with the beasts of the field, and reduced by the neglect of their immortal minds to the condition of heathens; it is when I find this awful system in full operation, surrounded by the barriers and safeguards of the Law and the Constitution, in the United States of North America; the land of Republicanism, and Christianity, and Revivals, that I say, Slavery in America wears a form more horrid than in any other part of the world. Yes, Sir; when I am told that in that land, liberty is enjoyed to a greater extent than in any other country; that the principles on which this liberty and independence rest are these: "God created all men free and equal." "Resistance to Tyrants is obedience to God;" and see also two millions of captives; their dungeon barred and watched by proud Republicans, and boasting Christians; I turn with horror and indignation away, exclaiming as I quit the sickening scene, Slavery wears its most loathsome form in the United States of America!

Before I come to that portion of my Address which I shall present as a reply to Mr. Breckinridge, I beg to say one word in vindication of the character and temper of American Abolitionists; and I am glad on this occasion to be able to cite the testimony of a gentleman, whom Mr. Breckinridge has not declined to call his friend; I mean James G. Birney, Esq., formerly residing in the same State with Mr. B., and now in Cincinnati. Mr. Birney made a visit to the North last year, for the purpose of ascertaining for himself, by actual observation and intercourse, the real character of the Abolitionists, and the manner in which they prosecuted their work. Having done this, he thus writes:

Last spring I attended the Ohio Anti-Slavery Convention; was present at the several meetings of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York, and at the Anti-Slavery Convention held in Boston. On these several occasions, I became acquainted, and deliberated with, it may be, not less than one thousand persons, who may be fairly set down as among the most intelligent of the abolitionists. Subjects on which the most diverse opinions were entertained, and which to ambitious and untrained minds would be agitating and dissensious in the extreme, were discussed with the most calm and unruffled composure. And while some of the leading journals were teeming with the foulest and the falsest charges of moral and political turpitude; while there were produced in their assemblies placards, calling on the mob for appropriate deeds, and designating the time and place of [Pg 138]holding their meetings, that its violence might know at what point it might most effectually spend itself; yet, never elsewhere have I seen so much of sedate deliberation of sober conclusion, of dignified moderation, sanctified by earnest prayer to God, not only for the oppressed, but for the oppressor of his fellow; not only for such as they loved, but for their slanderers, and persecutors, and enemies.

The above is a fair account, so far as my knowledge enables me to speak, of the character of those whom you are pleased to describe "a band of fanatical abolitionists." Light and rash minds, unaccustomed to penetrate to the real causes of great revolutions in public sentiment, will, of course, think and speak contemptuously of them, while the philosophic observer clearly sees, that such antagonists of error, armed with so powerful a weapon as the Truth, must, at all times, be invincible; and that in the end they will be triumphant.

A word, too, before I come to the state of the churches, with regard to Mr. Breckinridge's concluding topic last evening; to which I had not, of course, any opportunity to reply; and, as the time allotted for this discussion is now determined, I shall be permitted to dwell a few moments on the subject. Mr. Breckinridge did, I am ready to acknowledge, with tolerable fairness, state the views of the abolitionists with regard to prejudice against color; that it was sinful, that it ought to be abandoned, and that the colored man should be raised to the enjoyment of equal civil and religious privileges with the whites. But after he had laid down, generally speaking correctly, the views of the abolitionists, he proceeded to put the most unfair interpretation upon those views, and strangely contended that they were directly aiming to accomplish the amalgamation of the races in the fullest sense of that word. Once again, I deny this. Once again I appeal to all that the abolitionists have ever written or spoken: to their published, official, solemn, authoritative disclaimers; and I say on my behalf and on theirs, that with the intermixture of "the races," as they are called, (a phrase I do not like,) the abolitionists have nothing to do. What they have ever contended for is this, that the colored man should now be delivered from the condition of a beast; that he should cease to be regarded as the property of his fellow man; and that according to the laws of the state regulating the qualifications of citizens, he should be admitted to a participation of the privileges that are enjoyed by other classes of the community. We have never asked for more. We have left the doctrine of amalgamation to be settled by our opponents. The slave holders are the amalgamationists whose licentiousness has gone far to put an end to the existence of a black race in the South, and who are still carrying on, to use their own expression, "a bleaching system," whitening the population of the South, so that you may now discover all shades of colored persons; from those who are so fair that they are scarcely distinguishable from the whites, to the pure black of the unmixed negro. But my opponent defeated himself. While attempting to expose the folly and wickedness of amalgamation, he at the same time contended that the thing was physically impossible; that even a partial amalgamation could only be brought about by polygamy or prostitution, but that general amalgamation was hopeless, because physically impossible. If the thing be utterly beyond the reach of the abolitionists, why dread it as an evil? Why not let the abolitionists pursue their foolish and impracticable schemes? Why so much wrath[Pg 139] against them for aiming at that which nature has rendered unattainable. I leave Mr. Breckinridge to find his way out of this difficulty in the best manner he is able.

Again, we are told, that in attempting to bring about amalgamation, and in preventing Colonization, we are interfering with the purposes of God; fighting against His ordinances, and exposing Africa to the horrors of extermination, should the descendants of Shem or Japhet colonize her shores, and not the black man who has sprung from her tribes. I confess I am somewhat surprised, when told by a Presbyterian clergyman of Calvinistic sentiments, that I am to regulate my conduct towards my fellow-men by the purposes of God, rather than by the law of God. This is surely a new doctrine! What, I ask, have I to do with the decrees of the Almighty? Has he not given me a law by which to walk? Has he not told me to love my neighbor as myself? to "honor all men?" Am I not told that God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth? Where is the prohibition to marry with Shem or Ham. I know of no directions in the Old Testament respecting marriages, save such as were founded on religious differences, and I have yet to learn that there are any in the New Testament. That blessed Book declares, that in Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but all are one. The only injunction I am aware of is this, "be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers."

Mr. Breckinridge made a considerable parade of his knowledge of Universal History, and pretended to build his theory upon the most correct historical data. While upon this subject of amalgamation and extermination, I will take the liberty of submitting one or two inquiries to Mr. Breckinridge.

Is there any law in America forbidding ministers to celebrate marriages between Japhethite American Christians and Jewesses, (by birth, even if Christians by faith,) and Jews, (even if Christians.) to marry Japhethite, American females? If there be not, then, why may Shem and Japhet intermarry, but Ham with neither? Again: If there be no such law, then the doctrine about Noah's three sons, is not a principle on which the American people act, but Mr. B.'s individual dogma, got up to defend a line of conduct really proceeding without reference to any such principle. If it be said that Jewish and Japhethite Americans are very nearly, if not altogether, of the same color; and that there are no political evils to be dreaded from the intermixture of Jews with Japhethites; I reply, that, admitting the truth of both these representations, is not the sin of mixing Noah's sons, and counter-working the designs of God, the same in the case of Shem and Japhet as it would be in the case of Japhet or Shem with the tribes of Ham? Again,

Did the Romans, (Japhethites,) exterminate the Jews, (Shemites?)

Did the Arab Shemite conquerors of Egypt exterminate the ancient inhabitants (Hamites,) who still exist, and are known by the name of Copts or Cophti?[Pg 140]

Did not the Tartars, now Turks, a (Japhethite tribe,) when they conquered the Caliphs, embrace the religion of the conquered, who were Mohamedans and Shemites?

Did not the Shemite Mohamedans conquer the Persians, (Japhethites,) a part of whom, who would not embrace the Mohamedan religion, and could not be tolerated by the Mohamedans in theirs, (viz. fire worship,) flee to India, where they still exist, known by the name of Guebers, while the rest of the people, embracing Mohamedanism, amalgamated with their conquerors; and is not the modern Persian language a proof of this, in which all the terms of religion and science are Arabic, (Shemite,) the rest of the language being a colluvies of the Deri, Zend, and Pehlavi dialects, which the most eminent phylologists consider as all resolvable into Sanscrit, the most ancient Japhethite speech existing?

The cases of the Romans and Jews, and of the Arab conquerors of Egypt and the Copts, are instances of conquest without extermination; the parties remaining dissevered by religious differences. The cases of the Tartar-Turks, and the Arabs, and of the Arabs and the Persians, are cases of conquest without extermination, and with amalgamation; the conquerors in the first case having adopted the religion of the conquered, and the conquered in the second case, that of the conquerors.

Instead of the Americans proceeding in their conduct towards the colored people with any reference either to the divine laws or the divine decrees, they act solely under the influence of their pride and prejudice. How their prejudice was in the first place produced, it is not necessary at this time to inquire. I may just remark that color has long been the badge of slavery. Long have the negroes been an enslaved and degraded class. The child is tutored to look upon a colored man as an inferior, and this feeling of superiority, implanted early in the mind of the child, growing with his growth, and strengthening with his strength, becomes at last a confirmed and almost invincible principle, disposing him with eagerness to adopt any views of revelation which will permit him to cherish and gratify his pride and hatred towards the colored man. Hence has arisen the aristocracy of the skin. Hence the many lamentable departures from the spirit and precepts of the gospel, every day witnessed in the United Slates. Two illustrations of the force of prejudice are now before me. The first is a short article from the New York Evangelist, copied into the Scottish Guardian of this city. I will read it entire. It is as follows:

A Hard Case. A native born American applied to our authorities this morning for a license to drive a cart. He has been for years employed as a porter in Pearl Street, principally among the booksellers, who were his petitioners to the number of forty firms. He is an honest, temperate, and in every respect a worthy man; of an amiable disposition, muscular frame, and of good address, and every way calculated for the situation he seeks; besides being a member of the Society of Friends, a sufficient recommendation of itself; for the office is now filled in part by swearing, drunken, quarrelling foreigners, who are daily disturbing the quiet of our streets by their broils; and endangering the lives of our citizens by their infuriate conduct.[Pg 141]

Wm. S. Hewlett was refused by our Mayor, on the ground of public opinion! because

"——guilty of a skin
Not colored like his own."

Hewlett owns property in William Street, to the amount of 20,000 dollars; but prefers, unlike many of no more income, a life of industry and economy, to seeking "otium cum dignitate."

                "What man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush,
And hang his head to own himself a man."

The next is found in a letter written by a Professor Smith, of the Wesleyan University, Connecticut, who, while vindicating the University from the charge of having expelled a young man "for the crime of color," makes the following admission:

"That it would be difficult, in the present state of public feeling, to preserve a colored individual from inquietude in any of our collegiate schools, and to render his connection with them tolerable, is not denied."

I come now, (continued Mr. T.) to the state of the American Churches, in regard to Slavery; and to attempt a justification of the heavy charges I have brought against them. If at the close of this address it shall appear that I have misrepresented the Christians of America; that I have stated as facts, things which are untrue, I solemnly call upon those who have hitherto vindicated my reputation, and sustained me as the truthful advocate of the cause of human rights, to discard me as utterly disqualified to be their representative in so sacred a work, because, capable of pleading for JUSTICE at the expense of TRUTH.

Of slaveholding ministers in America, Mr. Breckinridge has asserted, that they are as ONE IN A THOUSAND, or at most, as ONE IN FIVE HUNDRED. The first document I shall quote to disprove this assertion, will be a letter in the "Southern Religious Telegraph," of October 31, 1835, addressed to the Presbyterian Clergy of Virginia; written to warn those ministers against pursuits calculated to injure their spirituality, destroy their usefulness, and prevent those revivals of religion with which other portions of the Church of Christ had been favored; also to account for an apparent declension in piety in the State generally. It is proper to remark, that the letter from which I make the present extract, was not written to promote the cause of abolition; that the writer never imagined it would be used on such an occasion; and that the newspaper in which it appears is pro-slavery to the very core.

"In one region of country, where I am acquainted, of rather more than THIRTY Presbyterian ministers, including missionaries, TWENTY are farmers, viz. (planters and SLAVEHOLDERS,) ON A PRETTY EXTENSIVE SCALE; three are school teachers; one is a farmer and a teacher; one, a farmer and a merchant, and joint proprietor of iron works, which must be in operation on the Sabbath; and one is a farmer and editor of a political newspaper. These farmers generally superintend their own business. THEY OVERSEE THEIR NEGROES, attend to their stock, make purchases, and visit the markets to make sale of their crops. They necessarily have much intercourse with their neighbors on worldly business, and not unfrequently come into unpleasant collision with the merchants."

O, Sir, what a revelation of things is here! These are not the calumnies of George Thompson, but the confessions of one, striving[Pg 142] earnestly to awaken the attention of the Virginia clergy to a sense of the degradation and barrenness of the church, and to direct their attention to the main causes of such lamentable effects.

Next, permit me to request your attention to an extract from "An Address to the Presbyterians of Kentucky, proposing a plan for the instruction and emancipation of their slaves; by a Committee of the SYNOD OF KENTUCKY. Cincinnati: published by Eli Taylor, 1835." We shall, in this document, get at the opinion of men, sensitively jealous for the honor, purity, and usefulness of the Presbyterian churches, from which Mr. Breckinridge is A DELEGATE. What say they of slavery in general, and the practice of THEIR CHURCH in particular:

"Brutal stripes, and all the various kinds of personal indignities, are not the only species of cruelty, which slavery licenses. The law does not recognize the family relations of a slave; and extends to him no protection in the enjoyment of domestic endearments. The members of a slave family may be forcibly separated, so that they shall never more meet until the final judgment. And cupidity often induces the masters to practise what the law allows. Brothers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives, are torn asunder, and permitted to see each other no more. These acts are daily occurring in the midst of us. The shrieks and the agony, often witnessed on such occasions, proclaim with a trumpet-tongue, the iniquity and cruelty of our system. The cry of these sufferers goes up to the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. There is not a neighborhood, where these heart-rending scenes are not displayed. There is not a village or road that does not behold the sad procession of manacled outcasts, whose chains and mournful countenances tell that they are exiled by force from all that their hearts held dear. Our church, years ago, raised its voice by solemn warning against this flagrant violation of every principle of mercy, justice, and humanity. Yet WE BLUSH TO ANNOUNCE TO YOU AND TO THE WORLD, THAT, THIS WARNING HAS BEEN OFTEN DISREGARDED, EVEN BY THOSE WHO HOLD TO OUR COMMUNION. CASES HAVE OCCURRED, IN OUR OWN DENOMINATION, WHERE PROFESSORS OF THE RELIGION OF MERCY HAVE TORN THE MOTHER FROM HER CHILDREN, AND SENT HER INTO A MERCILESS AND RETURNLESS EXILE. YET ACTS OF DISCIPLINE HAVE RARELY FOLLOWED SUCH CONDUCT."

Follow me now into the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, convened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May, 1835, and let the individual who addresses you be forgotten, while you listen to the things uttered in the midst of that solemn convocation. At the time when the passages I am about to read, were spoken, there were sitting in that Assembly, men from all parts of the country. The Southern Churches fully represented by row upon row of ministers and elders from every region of the slaveholding States. In that Assembly, one year from this time, did the Rev. J. H. Dickey, of the Chilicothe Presbytery, Ohio, (a clergyman who had passed thirty years of his life in a slave State.) and Mr. Stewart, a ruling elder from the Presbytery of Schuyler, Illinois, make the following statements, which have remained, I believe, uncontradicted to this hour:

"He (Mr. Dickey,) believed there were many, and great evils in the Presbyterian Church; but the doctrine of slaveholding, he was fully persuaded, was the worst heresy now found in the Church."

"Mr. STEWART—I hope this Assembly are prepared to come out fully, and declare their sentiments, that slaveholding is a most flagrant and heinous SIN. Let us not pass it by in this indirect way, while so many thousands and thousands of our fellow-creatures are writhing under the lash, often inflicted too by MINISTERS AND ELDERS OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH."

[Pg 143]


"IN THIS CHURCH, a man may take a free born child, force it away from its parents, to whom God gave it in charge, saying, 'Bring it up for me,' and sell it as a beast, or hold it in perpetual bondage, and not only escape corporal punishment, but really be esteemed an excellent Christian. NAY, EVEN MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL, AND DOCTORS OF DIVINITY, may engage in this unholy traffic, and yet sustain their high and holy calling."


"ELDERS, MINISTERS, AND DOCTORS OF DIVINITY, ARE WITH BOTH HANDS ENGAGED IN THE PRACTICE. * * * * * * A Slave-holder who is making gains by the trade, may have as good a character for honesty as any other man."


"No language can paint the injustice and abominations of slavery, But in these United States, this vast amount of moral turpitude is (as I believe) justly chargeable to the Church. I do not mean to say those church members who actually engage in this diabolical practice, but I mean to say THE CHURCH. Yes, Sir, all the infidelity that is the result of this unjust conduct of the professed followers of CHRIST; all the unholy amalgamation; all the tears and groans; all the eyes that have been literally plucked from their sockets; all the pains and violent deaths from the lash, and the various engines of torture, and all the souls that are, or will be eternally damned, as a consequence of slavery in these United States, ARE ALL JUSTLY CHARGEABLE TO THE CHURCH; AND HOW MUCH FALLS TO THE SHARE OF THIS PARTICULAR CHURCH YOU CAN ESTIMATE AS WELL AS I."


"The judgments of God are staring this Church full in the face, and threatening her dissolution. She is all life and nerve in matters of doctrine, and on some points where men may honestly differ; while sins of a crimson dye are committed in open day, BY MEMBERS OF THIS CHURCH WITH PERFECT IMPUNITY."

I appeal to you, Sir, and this audience; did George Thompson ever utter charges against the American churches more awful than those contained in the extracts I have read—extracts from speeches made in the General Assembly of the body from which Mr. Breckinridge is a delegate? I leave for the present the Presbyterians, and proceed to notice the state of the

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES.

Mr. Breckinridge displayed great regard for the reputation of this body. He believed they were almost free from the sin of slaveholding—their discipline was most emphatic in its condemnation of it, and he defied me to show that any Methodist was engaged in the infernal practice of slave trading. First, as to the probable extent of slavery in the church. On this point I shall quote from a solemn and authenticated document issued by a number of ministers in the Methodist Episcopal body in New England, entitled:—

"An appeal on the subject of Slavery, addressed to the members of the New England and New Hampshire conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church;" and signed by

SHIPLEY W. WILSON.
ABRAM D. MERRILL.
LA ROY SUNDERLAND.
GEORGE STORRS.
JARED PERKINS.

Boston, Dec. 19th, 1834.

In answer to the question—

"When will slavery cease from our church, if we continue to alter our rules against it as we have done for some years past?" they observe—

"But we will not dwell on this part of our subject; it is painful enough to think of; and as members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and as Methodist preachers, we readily confess we are exceedingly afflicted with a view of it, and still more with a knowledge of [Pg 144]the fact, that the "great evil" of slavery has been increasing, both among the membership and ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at a fearful rate, for thirty or forty years past. The general minutes of our Annual Conferences, announce about 80,000 colored members in our church; and it is highly probable, from various reasons which might be named, that as many as sixty thousand, or upwards of these, are slaves; but what proportion of these and others, are enslaved by the Methodist members and Methodist preachers, we have no means of determining precisely; but the alterations which have been made in the discipline, show at once that the number is neither few nor small; and if this evil was a "great" one fifty years ago, what must it be now? What will it be fifty or a hundred years hence, should the discipline be ALTERED as it has been during half a century past? Who can tell where this "great" and growing "evil," will end? We frequently hear Christians and Christian ministers expressing the greatest fears for the safety of the "political" union of these United States, whenever the subject of slavery is mentioned; but no fears as to the prosperity and peace of the Christian church, though this "evil" be ever so "great," and though it be increased every day a thousand fold. But can it be supposed that any branch of the Christian church is in a healthy and prosperous state, while it slumbers and nurses in its bosom so great an evil."

In reply to the challenge to produce one instance of a slave trading Methodist, I give the following from "Zion's Watchman," a Methodist newspaper, published in New York. It is from a letter of a correspondent of that paper:

"A man came among us where I was preaching, a class-leader, from Georgia, having a regular certificate, who appeared to be very zealous, exhorting and praying in our meetings, &c. I thought I had got an excellent helper; but, on inquiring his business, I found he was a SLAVE TRADER: come on purpose to buy up men, women, and children, to drive to the South!!! I expostulated with him; but he said it was not thought wrong where he came from. I told him we could not countenance such a thing here, and that we could hold no fellowship with him." He farther told me that on inquiring of a slave he had with him, what sort of a master he was, he replied, "I have had four masters, but this is the most cruel of them all;" and told him, as a proof of it, to look at his back, which, said the minister, "was cut with a whip, from his head to his heels!!" The Rev. S. W. Wilson, of Andover, United States, gives also an extract of a letter he had seen from a gentleman of high standing, who was at the South at the time of writing, which says, "The South is too much interested in the continuance of slavery, to hear any thing upon the subject. The preachers of the gospel are in the same condemnation, and METHODIST PREACHERS ESPECIALLY. The principal reason why the Methodists in these regions are more numerous and popular than other denominations is, THEY STICK SO CLOSELY TO SLAVERY!! THEY DENOUNCE BOTH THE ABOLITIONISTS AND THE COLONIZATIONISTS."

To show the extent to which THE BAPTIST CHURCHES SHARE THE GUILT OF THE SYSTEM OF SLAVERY IN AMERICA, it will be sufficient to read an extract from a letter addressed to the Board of Baptist ministers in and near London, by the Rev. Lucius Bolles, D. D., the Corresponding Secretary of the American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. The testimony is the stronger, because the whole letter is a carefully written apology for Southern religious slaveholders, and an attempt to silence the remonstrances of the English churches.

"There is a pleasing degree of union among the multiplying thousands of Baptists throughout the land. Brethren from all parts of the country meet in one General Convention and co-operate in sending the gospel to the heathen. Our Southern brethren are liberal and zealous in the promotion of every holy enterprize for the extension of the gospel. THEY ARE, GENERALLY, BOTH MINISTERS AND PEOPLE, SLAVE-HOLDERS."

In this connection, I may notice the recommendation of the work of Drs. Cox and Hoby. We are assured by Mr. Breckinridge, (though he confesses he has not read the book,) that every representation it contains relative to slavery among "the Baptists in America," may be relied on. That book, thus endorsed by Mr. B., informs us[Pg 145] that the deputation were permitted to sit in the convention at Richmond, Virginia, only on condition of profound silence, touching the wrongs of more than two millions of heathenized slaves. We are gravely told that the introduction of abolition would have been "an INTRUSION, as RUDE as it would have been UNWELCOME." It would, says the Delegates, have "FRUSTRATED every object of our mission;" "awakened HOSTILITY, and kindled DISLIKE;" "roused into EMBITTERED ACTIVITY feelings between Christian brethren, which must have SEVERED the Baptist churches." It would have occasioned the "UTTER CONFUSION OF ALL ORDER, the RUIN of all Christian feeling," and "THE DESTRUCTION OF ALL LOVE AND FELLOWSHIP;" and the Convention would either have been "DISSOLVED" by "MAGISTERIAL INFLUENCE," or "THE DELEGATES WOULD HAVE DISSOLVED THEMSELVES." Yet this was "a sacred and heavenly meeting," in which "the kindliest emotions, the warmest affections, the loveliest spirit towards ourselves, (the Baptist Delegates,) towards England and mankind" existed! Oh, Sir, is it possible to draw a more affecting picture of the withering and corrupting influences of slavery, than is here presented to our view in this description of the triennial convention of Baptist ministers, assembled in the city of Richmond, Virginia, in the year 1835.

AMOS DRESSER'S CASE.

I proceed to notice the case of Amos Dresser; the young man who was so inhumanly tortured by the citizens and professing Christians of the city of Nashville, Tennessee. I can assure my opponent, that the discrepancy in my statements which he has noticed, is an error in reporting. I am not aware of having ever stated the number of elders in the committee to be eleven. My statement of the case has always been simply this—that Mr. Dresser, a pious and respectable young man, was apprehended in Nashville, on suspicion of being an abolitionist; brought before a Vigilance Committee, and, according to "Lynch Law," was sentenced to receive twenty lashes with a cowskin, on his bare back. That he was so punished; and that upon the Committee were seven elders of the Presbyterian church, and one Campbellite minister. The whole case as narrated by Mr. Dresser, and published in the Cincinnati Gazette, is now before me. The Committee, by which Mr. Dresser was tried and sentenced, is called a "Committee of Vigilance and Safety."

The following are the names of the seven elders in the Presbyterian Church:

JOHN NICHOL,
ALPHA KINGSLEY,
A. A. CASSEDAY,
WM. ARMSTRONG,
SAMUEL SEAY,
S. V. D. STOUT.
S. C. ROBINSON.
The name of the Campbellite Minister, THOMAS CLAIBORNE.

[Pg 146] The Committee, after examining his books, papers, and private memoranda, and hearing his defence, found him guilty—1st. "Of being a member of an Anti-Slavery Society in Ohio." 2d. "Of having in his possession periodicals published by the American Anti-Slavery Society." And 3d. "They BELIEVED he had circulated these periodicals, and advocated in the community the principles they inculcated." The Chairman, (says Mr. Dresser,) then pronounced that I was condemned to receive twenty lashes on my bare back, and ordered to leave the place in twenty-four hours. This was not an hour previous to the commencement of the Sabbath. Mr. Dresser gives the following account of the infliction of the sentence:

"I knelt to receive the punishment, which was inflicted by Mr. Braughton, the city officer, with a HEAVY COWSKIN. When the infliction ceased, an involuntary feeling of thanksgiving to God, for the fortitude with which I had been enabled to endure it, arose in my soul, to which I began aloud to give utterance. The death-like silence that prevailed for a moment, was suddenly broken, with loud exclamations, "G—d d—m him, stop his praying." I was raised to my feet by Mr. Braughton, and conducted by him to my lodging, where it was thought safe for me to remain but for a few moments.

"Among my triers, there was a great portion of the respectability of Nashville. Nearly half the whole number, professors of Christianity, the reputed stay of the church, supporters of the cause of benevolence in the form of tract and missionary societies and Sabbath schools, several members and most of the elders of the Presbyterian church, from whose hands, but a few days before, I had received the emblems of the broken body, and shed blood of our blessed Saviour." (!!!!)

Mr. Breckinridge has twice referred to the appearance of a runaway slave at my lectures in London, and has accused me of carrying him about with me, to enact interludes during my meeting. I can assure Mr. Breckinridge that I never had any thing to do with the attendance of Moses Roper at my meetings, or with the speeches he delivered. On neither of the occasions mentioned had I any knowledge of his being in the chapel until I found him among the rest of my auditors. As for denying the facts stated by him, knowing as I do the brutalizing effects of slavery, and the state of society in the slave States of America, it is out of the question. I see nothing in the facts stated by Moses Roper at all improbable. Since I last came to this city, I have read in an American newspaper, an account of an affair in Tennessee, at which the blood runs cold. A black man having committed some crime, was lodged in prison by the authorities, but being demanded by the citizens, was given up to them, tied to a tree, and BURNT ALIVE! During my residence in the United States, a negro was burnt alive, according to a sentence given by one of the constituted tribunals of the State! It was called an exemplary punishment, and many of the papers throughout the country were filled with long and learned articles, justifying the horrid outrage. Mr. Breckinridge may point to the laws and the constitution of the country, but I tell him they and the authorities appointed to enforce them are alike powerless. I point him to the atrocities of Lynch law all over the land; to the brutal massacre of the gamblers in Mississippi, where men in the broad daylight were dragged forth, and tied by the neck to branches of trees, their eyes starting from their sockets,[Pg 147] and their wives driven across the river, in open boats; their lives threatened, for daring to ask for the dead bodies of their husbands. I ask if any law reached the fiends in human shape, who perpetrated these deeds. I ask Mr. Breckinridge if any law punished the felons of Charleston, who, seizing the public conveyances, violated the constitution, and the law of the State, by robbing the mail bags of their contents, and burning them? Did not the Post Master General encouragingly say, "I cannot sanction, but I will not condemn what you have done. In your circumstances I would have acted in a similar manner." Need I remind Mr. Breckinridge of the mobs at the North; the riots of New York; the sacking of Mr. Tappan's house, and the demolition of colored schools? Laws there may be, but while slavery exists, and is defended by public sentiment, and while the ferocious prejudice against color remains, they will want the "executory principle," without which they are but cruel mockery.

A glance at the moral and religious state of the slave population will show the amount of care and attention exercised by the Christian churches at the South.

What says the Rev. C. C. Jones, in a sermon preached before two associations of planters in Georgia, in 1831?

"Generally speaking, they (the slaves,) appear to us to be without God, and without hope in the world, a NATION OF HEATHEN in our very midst. We cannot cry out against the Papists for withholding the Scriptures from the common people, and keeping them in ignorance of the way of life, for we WITHHOLD the Bible from our servants, and keep them in ignorance of it, while we will not use the means to have it read and explained to them. The cry of our perishing servants comes up to us from the sultry plains as they bend at their toil; it comes up from their humble cottages when they return at evening to rest their weary limbs; it comes up to us from the midst of their ignorance, and superstition, and adultery, and lewdness. We have manifested no emotions of horror at abandoning the souls of our servants to the adversary, the roaring lion that walketh about seeking whom he may devour."

Again: what said the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, in a report on the state of the colored population, in respect of religious instruction?

"Who would credit it, that in these years of revivals and benevolent effort, in this Christian Republic, there are over TWO MILLIONS of human beings in the condition of HEATHEN, and in some respects in a worse condition. From long continued and close observation, we believe that their moral and religious condition is such, that they may justly be considered the HEATHEN of this Christian country, and will bear comparison with heathen in any country of the world. The negroes are destitute of the gospel, and EVER WILL BE UNDER THE PRESENT STATE OF THINGS. In the vast field extending from an entire State beyond the Potomac, to the Sabine River, and from the Atlantic to the Ohio, there are to the best of our knowledge, not TWELVE men exclusively devoted to the religious instruction of the negroes. In the present state of feeling in the South, a ministry of their own color could neither be obtained NOR TOLERATED."

Again: what says a writer in a recent number of the Charleston, South Carolina, Observer?

"Let us establish missionaries among our negroes, who, in view of religious knowledge, are as debasingly ignorant as any one on the coast of Africa; for I hazard the assertion, that throughout the bounds of our Synod, there are at least one hundred thousand slaves, speaking the same language as ourselves, who never HEARD of the plan of salvation by a Redeemer."

[Pg 148]

A writer in the Western Luminary, a respectable religious paper in Lexington, Kentucky, says,

"I proclaim it abroad to the Christian world, that heathenism is as real in the slave States as it is in the South Sea Islands, and that our negroes are as justly objects of attention to the American and other Boards of Foreign Missions, as the Indians of the Western wilds. What is it constitutes heathenism? Is it to be destitute of a knowledge of God; of his holy word; never to have heard scarcely a sentence of it read through life; to know little or nothing of the history, character, instruction and mission of Jesus Christ; to be almost totally devoid of moral knowledge and feeling, of sentiments of probity, truth and chastity? If this constitutes heathenism, then are there thousands, millions, of heathen in our beloved land. There is one topic to which I will allude, which will serve to establish the heathenism of this population. I allude to the universal licentiousness which prevails. It may be said emphatically, that chastity is no virtue among them; that its violation neither injures female character in their own estimation, or that of their master or mistress. No instruction is ever given; no censure pronounced. I speak not of the world; I speak of Christian families generally."

Again: I give the words of the son of a Kentucky slaveholder, who became an abolitionist at Lane Seminary, and has since induced his father to emancipate his slaves. Hear James A. Thome.

"Licentiousness. I shall not speak of the far South, whose sons are fast melting away under the UNBLUSHING PROFLIGACY which prevails. I allude to the slaveholding West. It is well known that the slave lodgings, I refer now to village slaves, are exposed to the entrance of strangers every hour of the night, and that the SLEEPING APARTMENTS OF BOTH SEXES ARE COMMON.

"It is also a fact, that there is no allowed intercourse between the families and servants, after the work of the day is over. The family, assembled for the evening, enjoy a conversation elevating and instructive. But the poor slaves are thrust out. No ties of sacred home thrown around them; no moral instruction to compensate for the toils of the day; no intercourse as of man with man; and should one of the younger members of the family, led by curiosity, steal out into the filthy kitchen, the child is speedily called back, thinking itself happy if it escape an angry rebuke. Why is this? The dread of moral contamination. Most excellent reason; but it reveals a horrid picture. THE SLAVE CUT OFF FROM ALL COMMUNITY OF FEELING WITH THEIR MASTER, ROAM OVER THE VILLAGE STREETS, SHOCKING THE EAR WITH THEIR VULGAR JESTINGS, AND VOLUPTUOUS SONGS, OR OPENING THEIR KITCHENS TO THE RECEPTION OF THE NEIGHBORING BLACKS, THEY PASS THE EVENING IN GAMBLING, DANCING, DRINKING, AND THE MOST OBSCENE CONVERSATION, KEPT UP UNTIL THE NIGHT IS FAR SPENT, THEN CROWN THE SCENE WITH INDISCRIMINATE DEBAUCHERY. WHERE DO THESE THINGS OCCUR? IN THE KITCHENS OF CHURCH MEMBERS AND ELDERS!

I shall now take the liberty of reading two letters from highly respectable gentlemen in the South, to friends in New England. The first is from a clergyman in North Carolina, to one of the Professors in Bowdoin College, Maine.

"You remember that when I was with you last summer, I was much opposed to the Anti-Slavery Society, and contended that the colonization scheme was a full, and the only remedy, for the evils of slavery, and that I made a sort of talk before the students on the subject of slavery. It was a poor talk, for it was a miserable theme. I do not think what I said had any effect against the Anti-Slavery people, or at all strengthened the cause of the Colonization Society. Be this as it may, I feel it a duty I owe both to myself and to the friends I have with you, to say, that my views and feelings, which were then wavering, have since, after mature deliberation and much prayer, been entirely changed, and that I am now a strong Anti-Slavery man. Yes, after mature reflection, I am the sworn enemy of slavery in all its forms, with all its evils. Henceforth it is a part of my religion to oppose slavery. I am greatly surprised, that I should in any form have been the apologist of a system, so full of deadly poison to all holiness and benevolence as slavery, the concocted essence of fraud, selfishness, and cold-hearted tyranny, and the fruitful parent of unnumbered evils, both to the oppressor and the oppressed, the one thousandth part of which has never been brought to light.[Pg 149]

"Do you ask, why this change, after residing in a slave country for twenty years. You recollect the lines of Pope, beginning,

'Vice is a monster of such frightful mein,
That to be hated, needs but to be seen.'

I had become so familiar with the loathsome features of slavery, that they ceased to offend; besides, I had become a Southern man in all my feelings, and it is a part of our creed to defend slavery. I had also considered it was impossible to free the slaves in this country. But it is unnecessary to investigate the ground of my former opinions. As to the Colonization Society, I have this among many objections that it has two faces, one for the North, and a very different one for the South. If the agents of the Colonization Society will come here and say what I heard them say in New York, I will insure them a good coat of tar and feathers for their labor. That Society has few friends here, a few large slaveholders who by it hope to send off the free people in their neighborhood, and a few others, whose consciences are not quite easy, get a salvo by advocating the Colonization Society. These last are many of them ministers. The mass of the people regard it as a Yankee plan, and hate it of course. I remember, among other things, I told the students in my address, that the only way to do away slavery was to give us more religion. This argument then seemed to be good. Send us preachers said I, and as religion spreads, slavery will melt away, it cannot stand the gospel. I did not reflect that the religion we have here, justifies and upholds slavery. Our religion does not permit the preacher to touch the subject. It is not the whole gospel. I have not yet seen the man who would venture to take for his text, 'Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal.' If every man in the country was a professor of religion, the religion we have, it would not much help the cause. I think that I can safely say that as a general thing, the Presbyterians are by far the best masters, and give more attention to the religious instruction of their slaves than others, but I know one of these, an elder, who contends that slavery is no violation of the law, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' and whose slaves are driven in the field with the long whip! But it is just to add, that they are not over-worked, and they are well fed and clothed. You are at liberty to inform the students, and others who heard me on that occasion, that I am now an anti-slavery man; but I do not wish the letter published with my name to it, as it would be copied by other papers, and find its way back, and do me injury, for no man is free, fully to express his thoughts in this country."

The next is from a merchant in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Clergyman in New Hampshire.

Saint Louis, Jan. 18, 1835.

Very Dear Brother.

I want to say a good deal to you, Brother, on the subject, which seems to interest you much at this time. I am now, and was before I left Hartford, an abolitionist; and that too, from deep and thorough conviction that the eternal rule of right requires the immediate freedom of every bond-man in this and every other country. Since my residence in this slaveholding State, I have seen nothing which should tend to alter my previous sentiments on this subject, on the contrary much to confirm me in them. You, who reside in happy New England, can have but very faint conceptions of the blighting and corrupting influence of Slavery on a community. Although in Missouri we witness Slavery in its mildest form, yet it is enough to sicken the heart of benevolence to witness its effects on society generally, and its awfully demoralizing influence on the slaves themselves: being counted as property among the cattle and flocks of their possessors, (forgive the word,) their standard of morality and virtue is on a level (generally) with the beasts with which they are classed: and I am credibly informed that many emigrants from the slave states, who own plantations on the Missouri River, finding themselves disqualified by their former habits of indolence to compete with emigrants of another character in enterprize, turn their attention to the raising of slaves as they would cattle, to be sold to the Negro dealers to go down the river. What sort of standard of virtue, think you, will have place on such a plantation; and at what period in the history of our country will these degraded sons of Africa be christianized under existing circumstances.

The ungodly man who is a slaveholder, is well enough pleased with the efforts and views of the Colonization Society, because he can manage to throw off responsibility, and date far a-head the time when he shall be called upon to do right; but state to him the sentiments and principles of the abolitionists, and he at once begins to froth and rage—all the malignity of his nature is called into action—and why? He feels the pressure of responsibility, he acts very like an impenitent sinner, pricked with the truth, and like him, too, he either comes on the side of right, or is hardened into a stern opposer. It is gratifying to notice the gradual influence the abolition principles are obtaining over the hearts and consciences of every slaveholding community, especially over the hearts of Christian slaveholders. Many of them who have allowed the subject to have a place in their thoughts, are greatly agitated, and dare not sell or buy again for their peace-sake. But more of this another time."

[Pg 150] I shall now lay before the meeting the sentiments of General George M'Duffie, Governor of the State of South Carolina; as contained in a message delivered by him to the two branches of the Legislature, towards the close of the last year. I charge these sentiments upon the State, 1st, because the representatives of its citizens, in a series of resolutions presented to the Governor, unanimously expressed their special approbation of them; and 2dly, because I am not aware that any protest has been entered against them by any part of the Christian community. Sentiments more atrocious were, perhaps, never penned.

The first extract, recommending legislation, has reference to the diffusion of Anti-Slavery publications.

"IT IS MY DELIBERATE OPINION THAT THE LAWS OF EVERY COMMUNITY SHOULD PUNISH THIS SPECIES OF INTERFERENCE BY DEATH WITHOUT BENEFIT OF CLERGY, REGARDING THE AUTHORS OF IT AS ENEMIES TO THE HUMAN RACE. Nothing could be more appropriate than for South Carolina to set the example in the present crisis, and I trust the Legislature will not adjourn till it discharges this high duty of patriotism."

Let us look at the theological views of this profound Statesman on the subject of Slavery.

NO HUMAN INSTITUTION, IN MY OPINION, IS MORE MANIFESTLY CONSISTENT WITH THE WILL OF GOD, THAN DOMESTIC SLAVERY, and no one of his ordinances is written in more legible characters than that which consigns the African Race to this condition AS MORE CONDUCIVE TO THEIR OWN HAPPINESS, THAN ANY OTHER OF WHICH THEY ARE SUSCEPTIBLE. Whether we consult the sacred Scriptures or the lights of nature and reason, we shall find these truths as abundantly apparent as if written with a sun-beam in the heavens. Under both the Jewish and Christian dispensations of our religion, DOMESTIC SLAVERY existed with the unequivocal sanction of its prophets, its apostles, and finally its great Author. The patriarchs themselves, those chosen instruments of God, were slaveholders. In fact the divine sanction of this institution is so plainly written that "he who runs may read" it, and those over-righteous pretenders and pharisees, who affect to be scandalized by its existence among us, would do well to inquire how much more nearly they walk in the way of godliness, than did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That the African negro is DESTINED BY PROVIDENCE TO OCCUPY THIS CONDITION OF SERVILE DEPENDENCE, is not less manifest. It is marked on the face, stamped on the skin, and evinced by the intellectual inferiority, and natural improvidence of his race. THEY HAVE ALL THE QUALITIES THAT FIT THEM FOR SLAVES, AND NOT ONE OF THOSE THAT WOULD FIT THEM TO BE FREEMEN, they are utterly unqualified not only for rational freedom, but for self-government of any kind. They are in all respects physical, moral and political, inferior to millions of the human race, who have for consecutive ages dragged out a wretched existence under a grinding political despotism, and who are doomed to this hopeless condition by the very qualities which unfit them for a better. It is utterly astonishing that any enlighted American, after contemplating all the manifold forms in which even the white race of mankind are doomed to slavery and oppression, should suppose it possible to reclaim the Africans from their destiny. THE CAPACITY TO ENJOY FREEDOM IS AN ATTRIBUTE NOT TO BE COMMUNICATED BY HUMAN POWER. IT IS AN ENDOWMENT OF GOD, AND ONE OF THE RAREST WHICH IT HAS PLEASED HIS INSCRUTABLE WISDOM TO BESTOW UPON THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH. IT IS CONFERRED AS THE REWARD OF MERIT, and only upon those who are qualified to enjoy it. Until the "Ethiopian can change his skin," it will he vain to attempt, by any human power, to make freemen of those whom God has doomed to be slaves, by all their attributes.

Let not, therefore, the misguided and designing intermeddlers who seek to destroy our peace, imagining that they are serving the cause of God by practically arraigning the decrees of his Providence. Indeed it would scarcely excite surprise, if with the impious audacity of those who projected the tower of Babel, they should attempt to scale the battlements of Heaven, and remonstrate with the God of wisdom for having put THE MARK OF CAIN AND THE CURSE OF HAM upon the African race instead of the European.

[Pg 151]

The Governor then proceeds to give his views on the political bearings of the question, and thus sums them up:—

"DOMESTIC SLAVERY, THEREFORE, INSTEAD OF BEING A POLITICAL EVIL, IS THE CORNER STONE OF OUR REPUBLICAN EDIFICE. No patriot who justly estimates our privileges, will tolerate the idea of emancipation, at any period however remote, or on any conditions of pecuniary advantage, however favorable. I would as soon think of opening a negotiation for selling the liberty of the State at once, as for making any stipulations for the ultimate emancipation of our slaves. So deep is my conviction on this subject, that if I were doomed to die immediately after recording these sentiments, I could say in all sincerity, and under all the sanctions of Christianity and patriotism, God forbid that my descendants, in the remotest generations, should live in any other than a community having the institution of DOMESTIC SLAVERY."

The conduct of the clergy of South Carolina, may be inferred from the following account of a great pro-slavery meeting, held in the city of Charleston, to denounce in the most malignant spirit, the abolitionists of the North:

(From the Charleston Courier.)
GREAT AND IMPORTANT PUBLIC MEETING.

One of the most imposing assemblages of citizens in respect of numbers, intelligence and respectability that we have ever witnessed, met yesterday morning at the City Hall, to receive the report of the Committee of twenty-one, appointed by the meeting on the 4th inst. on the incendiary machinations now in progress against the peace and welfare of the Southern States. THE CLERGY OF ALL DENOMINATIONS ATTENDED IN A BODY, LENDING THEIR SANCTION TO THE PROCEEDINGS, AND AIDING BY THEIR PRESENCE, TO THE IMPRESSIVE CHARACTER OF THE SCENE!

After thundering forth the most violent threats against the discussion of the subject of slavery, the meeting closed with the following resolution:

On the motion of Captain Lynch,

"Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting are due to the Reverend gentlemen of the Clergy in this city, who have so promptly, and so effectually, responded to public sentiment, by suspending their SCHOOLS in which the free colored population were taught; and that this meeting deem it a patriotic action worthy of all praise, and proper to be imitated by other teachers of similar schools throughout the State."

The following document will speak for itself. I commend it to the consideration of ministers of Christ throughout the world.

CHARLESTON PRESBYTERY ON SLAVERY.

Extract from the minutes of Charleston Union Presbytery, at their meeting on the 7th of April, 1836.

With reference to the relation which the church sustains to the institution of slavery, and the possibility of attempts to agitate the question in the next General Assembly, this presbytery deem it expedient to state explicitly the principles which they maintain, and the course which will be pursued by their commissioners in the Assembly. It is a principle which meets the views of this body, that slavery as it exists among us, is a political institution, with which ecclesiastical judicatories have not the smallest right to interfere; and in relation to which any such interference, especially at the present momentous crisis, would be morally wrong and fraught with the most dangerous and pernicious consequences. Should any attempt be made to discuss this subject, our Commissioners are expected to meet it at the very threshold, and of any report, memorial or document, which may be the occasion of agitating this question in any form. And it is further expected, that our Commissioners, should the case require it, will distinctly avow our full conviction of the truth of the principles which we hold in relation to this subject, and our resolute determination to abide by them, whatever may be the issue; that it may appear that the sentiments which we maintain, in common with Christians at the South, of every denomination, are sentiments which so fully approve themselves to our consciences, are so identified with our solemn convictions of duty, that we should maintain them under any circum[Pg 152]stances; and at the same time, the peculiar circumstances in which we are placed, constitute an imperious necessity that we should act in accordance with these principles, and make it impossible for us to yield any thing in a matter which concerns not merely our personal interests, but the cause of Christ, and the peace, if not the very existence of the Southern community.

Should our Commissioners fail of accomplishing this object, it is expected that they will withdraw from the Assembly, with becoming dignity; not willing to be associated with a body of men who denounce the ministers and members of Southern churches as pirates and men-stealers, or who co-operate with those who thus denounce them.

In conclusion, this Presbytery would suggest to their Commissioners the expediency of conferring with the Commissioners from other Southern presbyteries, that there may be a common understanding between them as to the course most suitable to be pursued at this crisis, and on this absorbing question. And may that wisdom which is from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, be their guide in managing the important trust committed to their hands.

Resolved, That this expression of our views be signed by the Moderator and Clerk; that a copy be given to each of our Commissioners to the General Assembly, and that it be published in the Charleston Observer.

E. T. BUIST, Moderator.

B. Gildersleeve, Temporary Clerk.

Resolutions of the Presbyterian Synods of South Carolina and Georgia, December, 1834.

"Resolved unanimously, That in the opinion of this Synod, Abolition Societies, and the principles on which they are founded, in the United States, are inconsistent with the best interests of the slaves, the rights of the holders, and the great principles of our political institutions."

The following declaration of sentiments has been published in Charleston, South Carolina, by the Board of Managers of the Missionary Society, of the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church:

"We denounce the principles and opinions of the abolitionists in toto; and do solemnly declare our conviction and belief, that, whether they were originated, as some business men have thought, as a money speculation, or, as some politicians think, for party electioneering purposes, or, as we are inclined to believe, in a false philosophy, over-reaching or setting aside the Scriptures through a vain conceit of higher moral refinement, they are utterly erroneous, and altogether hurtful. We consider and believe that the Holy Scriptures, so far from giving any countenance to this delusion, do unequivocally authorize the relation of master and slave. We hold that a Christian slave must be submissive, faithful and obedient, for reasons of the same authority with those which oblige husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sisters, to fulfil the duties of these relations. We would employ no one in the work who might hesitate to teach thus; nor can such an one be found in the whole number of the preachers in this Conference."

One other document in reference to South Carolina, viz., the resolutions recently passed by the "Hopewell Presbytery." On the subject of domestic slavery, this Presbytery believe the following facts have been most incontrovertibly established, viz:

I. Slavery has existed in the church of God from the time of Abraham to this day. Members of the church of God have held slaves bought with their money, and born in their houses; and this relation is not only recognized, but its duties are defined clearly, both in the Old and New Testaments.

II. Emancipation is not mentioned among the duties of the master to his slave. While obedience "even to the froward" master is enjoined upon the slave.

III. No instance can be produced of an otherwise orderly Christian, being REPROVED, much less EXCOMMUNICATED from the church, for the single act of holding domestic slaves, from the days of Abraham down to the date of the modern Abolitionists.

IV. Slavery existed in the United States before our ecclesiastical body was organized. It is not condemned in our Confession of Faith, and has always existed in our Church without reproof or condemnation.

V. Slavery is a political institution, with which the Church has nothing to do, except to inculcate the duties of master and slave, and to use lawful spiritual means to have all, both bond and free, to become one in Christ by faith.

Regarding these positions as undoubtedly true, our views of duty constrain us to adopt the following resolutions:[Pg 153]

Resolved, That the political institution of domestic slavery, as it exists in the South, is not a lawful or constitutional subject of discussion, much less, of action by the General Assembly.

Resolved, That so soon as the General Assembly passes any ecclesiastical laws, or recommends any action, which shall interfere with this institution, this Presbytery will regard such laws and acts as tyranical and odious; and from that moment will regard itself independent of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.

Resolved, That our delegates to the approaching Assembly are hereby enjoined to use all Christian means to prevent the discussion of domestic slavery in the Assembly; to protest in our name, against all acts that involve or approve abolition; and to withdraw from the Assembly and return home, if, in spite of their efforts, acts of this character shall be passed."

From the official account of the proceedings of the Synod of Virginia, I take the following

REPORT ON ABOLITION.

"The Committee to whom were referred the resolutions, &c., have, according to order, had the same under consideration: and respectfully report that in their judgment, the following resolutions are necessary and proper to be adopted by the Synod at the present time.

"Whereas, The publications and proceedings of certain organized associations commonly called Anti-slavery, or Abolition Societies, which have arisen in some parts of our land, have greatly disturbed, and are still greatly disturbing the peace of the church, and of the country; and the Synod of Virginia deem it a solemn duty which they owe to themselves and to the community, to declare their sentiments upon the subject; therefore,

"Resolved unanimously, That we consider the dogma fiercely promulgated by said associations; that slavery as it actually exists in our slaveholding States, is necessarily sinful, and ought to be immediately abolished, and the conclusions which naturally follow from that dogma, as directly and palpably contrary to the plainest principles of common sense and common humanity, and to the clearest authority of the word of God.

"2. Resolved unanimously, That in the deliberate judgment of the Synod, it is the duty of all ministers of the gospel to follow the example of our Lord and Saviour, and of his apostles in similar circumstances, in abstaining from all interference with the state of slavery, as established among us by the Commonwealth, and confining themselves strictly to their proper province of inculcating upon masters and slaves the duties enjoined upon them respectively in the sacred Scriptures, which must tend immediately to promote the welfare of both, and ultimately to restore the whole world to that state of holy happiness which is the earnest desire of every Christian heart.

"The above preamble and resolutions having been severally read, and adopted by paragraphs, the Moderator asked and obtained leave to vote with the Synod, on the adoption of the entire report. The question being put, it was unanimously adopted, every member it is believed, giving it a hearty response."

The last document I shall quote on this part of the subject, is one which will fill this meeting with horror; but it is right that it should be placed on record, to show the opinion entertained by a minister of the Presbyterian church of his brethren and fellow Christians, and to show also, what kind of communications pass current among the professed disciples of Christ in a slaveholding community.

"To the Sessions of the Presbyterian Congregations within the bounds of West Hanover Presbytery:

"At the approaching stated meeting of our Presbytery, I design to offer a preamble and string of resolutions on the subject of the use of wine in the Lord's Supper; and also a preamble and a string of resolutions on the subject of the treasonable and abominably wicked interference of the Northern and Eastern fanatics, with our political and civil rights, our property and our domestic concerns. You are aware that our clergy, whether with or without reason, are more suspected by the public than are the clergy of other denominations. Now, dear Christian brethren, I humbly express it as my earnest wish, that you quit yourselves like men. If there be any stray goat of a minister among us, tainted with the blood-hound principles of abolitionism, let him be ferreted out, silenced, excommunicated, and left to the public to dispose of him in other respects.

"Your affectionate brother in the Lord,

"ROBERT N. ANDERSON."!!!

[Pg 154] I trust I have adduced sufficient evidence upon this heart-rending topic, and abundantly proved the allegations I have deemed it my duty to bring against the American churches. No one can accuse me of wishing that any thing should be believed upon my bare assertion. I have furnished documentary proof of the truth of all my statements. Presbyterians, and Conferences, and Ministers, and Elders, and Synods, and Assemblies have spoken for themselves through their solemn and accredited Speeches, and Letters, and Reports, and Resolutions. Judge, therefore, whether I have libelled America; whether I am the foul traducer that some would have you believe, but for believing which they supply you no ground, save their own ill-natured vituperations. Let the facts I have brought before you be deliberately considered, and let such a verdict be given as will approve itself to the world and to God. Before sitting down, however, I must observe, that it has always given me the sincerest pleasure to notice any Anti-slavery movements among the clergy of America. With delight I have stated the fact, that in the General Assembly of 1835, there were FORTY EIGHT immediate Abolitionists. I refer again, on the present occasion, with unfeigned satisfaction, to the indications of a better state of things in many portions of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Breckinridge has quoted the Assembly's views on the subject of Slavery; so have I. In the recent meeting of the United Secession Synod, held a short time since in Edinburgh, I stated fully the sentiments of the Presbyterian body in America. At the same time, I could not omit naming one striking fact, viz. that in 1816, the Assembly struck out of the Confession of the Church, the following note, adopted in 1794, and which contained the doctrine of the church at that period on the subject of slaveholding. The note was appended to the one hundred and forty-second question of the larger catechism.

"1 Tim. 1:10. The law is made for MAN STEALERS. This crime among the Jews exposed the perpetrators of it to capital punishment; Exodus 21:16; and the apostle here classes them with sinners of the first rank. The word he uses, in its original import, comprehends all who are concerned in bringing any of the human race into slavery, OR IN RETAINING THEM IN IT. Hominum fures, qui servos vel liberos abducunt, retinent vendunt, vel emunt. Stealers of men are all those who bring off slaves or freemen AND KEEP, SELL, OR BUY THEM. To steal a free man, says Grotius, is the highest kind of theft. In other instances, we only steal human property, but when we steal or retain men in slavery, we seize those who, in common with ourselves, are constituted by the original grant, lords of the earth. Genesis 1:28, Vide Poli synopsin in loc."

Why this note has been cancelled, I shall not attempt to say. Neither Mr. Breckinridge nor this Assembly need be at any loss to imagine for what reasons so strong and unequivocal a passage was omitted by a body in which so large a proportion were slaveholders. I have recently read, and publicly commended, an address put forth by the Synod of Kentucky, containing a very faithful, though appalling disclosure of the state of Slavery in Kentucky; and expressing an earnest hope that the members of the Presbyterian body will, without delay, take steps to promote the education and emancipation of the slaves. Let me also state, that the following ecclesiastical meetings have passed resolutions, and many of them adopted rules of[Pg 155] church membership, in accordance with the views of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Some of them have specially approved the principles and measures of that body. I beg, while I read this list, to remind Mr. Breckinridge that these form a part of that ragged regiment, respecting which he was so merry in one of his by-gone speeches,

SYNODS of Utica and Cincinnati.
Eastern Sub-Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.
PRESBYTERIES of Delaware, Champlain, Erie, Chillicothe, Detroit, and Genesee.
General Association of New York.
Central Evangelical Association.
Cumberland Baptist Association.—Equally divided.
One Hundred and Eighty-Five Baptist Clergymen.
The vast majority of the New England and New Hampshire Conferences of Episcopal Methodists, and a large number of individual Churches.

Thus is the cause advancing! The purifying leaven is extending through all the country. The elements which are ordained to redeem America from the pollution and infamy of slavery, are working mightily. When I went to the United Slates, I took the principles I found lying comparatively forgotten, and proclaimed them abroad. I planted myself upon the American Bible, and the American Declaration of Independence, and preached from these that the varied tribes of men are of one blood, and that all men should be "free and equal." I have not labored in vain. There is now a mighty and indomitable host of pure and ardent friends to the freedom and elevation of the long degraded colored man. Let us thank God and take courage, and expect with confidence the speedy arrival of the happy day, when the soil of America shall be untrodden by the foot of a slave.


Mr. BRECKINRIDGE said he regretted to be obliged to say anything more on this subject, which he had wished to consider concluded, so far as he was concerned, at the close of his preceding speech. He felt obliged, however, by the importance of the whole case, to consume a portion of this, his last address—and which he had desired to occupy in a different way—in making a few explanations which seemed indispensable. It would be observed, first, that the great bulk of the testimonies produced throughout, and especially in his last speech, by Mr. Thompson, were individual opinions and assertions, often of obscure persons, and therefore, for ought the world could tell, fictitious persons; or if known persons they were often men of the world, and avowedly acting on worldly principles, and therefore, no more affording a criterion of the state of the American churches, than the immoralities of any public functionary here, could be justly made a rule of judgment of the faith and morals of British Christians. A considerable portion also were taken from the transient and heated declamations of violent party newspapers, which wrested from their original purpose and connection, might mean what never was meant, or even, if fairly collated, expressed what their authors, perhaps, would now gladly recall. How far would it be proof of the assertions of Mr. T. of America—if in some other land, some[Pg 156] bigot should quote as indisputable, Mr. Thompson's story of the colored man in Washington City, whose assertion, at third hand, that he was free, authorised the declaration that "he had demonstrated his freedom," and yet after all had been sold into everlasting slavery without a trial! And yet many of his proofs are of no more value to him, than his assertions ought to be to any who come after him. It is next most worthy of note, that so far as all his proofs establish any thing against either any portion of the American nation or the American church, they all run upon the assumed truth of all my explanations of their real state and operations. It is the slaveholding portion, it is the comparatively small body of slaveholding professors of religion, it is the minority of the nation, the very small minority of the Christians of it, implicated continually; and therefore, if every word produced were true, the sweeping conclusions from them would be gross fraud on the prevailing ignorance of all American affairs. But what is most important to observe, and what must be palpable to the capacity of every child who has attended to this discussion, the weightiest of Mr. Thompson's proofs ceased to be proofs at all, the moment the facts, cant words and circumstances connected are explained. He used words in one sense which he knows you will understand in another—sporting at once with your good feelings and your want of minute information while all the result is false as to us, and unhappy as to every thing concerned, except "Othello's occupation" which meanwhile is not gone. When decided and perhaps violent terms are used against "abolition" or "abolitionists" or "anti-slavery" or "the anti-slavery society," they are adduced to convince you that those who use them are pro-slavery men: that they understand the terms as you do; and that it is an expression of rank hostility to all emancipation on the part of the American tyrants, in whose nostrils according to this gentleman the slave and freedom equally stink! A metaphor nearly as full of truth as decency. The fact however is, that although many would decline the use of the harsh and vindictive language which, caught from abolitionists, has been turned against them; yet the bulk of the real sentiments, as brought forward by Mr. Thompson as proofs of American slavery, on account of American hatred to his peculiar plans, principles and spirit in attempting its removal, are true, just and defensible.—And I am ready to advocate and to defend much that he by a disingenuous citation has made at first odious, and then characteristic of America. They prove only that he and his coadjutors are most odious to the country, which is a fact never denied except by himself or them. And to what has the whole current of his testimony tended if not to show that they might reasonably have expected and did a great deal to deserve such a conclusion.—But it is now impossible to enter again upon these matters and upon the case as presented, he was willing for the world to pass its verdict. While he would therefore take no farther notice of any new matter contained in the last speech, there were several remarks necessary to be made, to elucidate subjects that[Pg 157] had already been several times before them. The first case was that of Amos Dresser the abolitionist whipped at Nashville. He would pass over what Mr. T. had said relating to his (Mr. B.'s) notice of the discrepancy in the number of Elders in the Nashville Church. He had treated that gentleman with great candor in the matter, which he had returned with incivility and injustice, and there he was content to let it rest. But how stood the facts of the case itself? Amos Dresser is reported to have said that there were seven elders of the church; that all of them were on the committee of vigilance of Nashville; that most of them were among his triers, and that some of them had administered the communion to him the preceding sabbath. Now let us admit that this is literally true—(which I believe however is not the case, in at least three particulars)—how does it justify Mr. Thompson in asserting as he did at London and elsewhere "that on that Lynch Committee there sat seven Elders and one Minister, some of whom had sat with the young man at the table of the Lord on the preceding Sunday"? Mr. Thompson positively contradicts his own and only witness when he says that all the seven elders sat as triers;—he enlarges his testimony when he insinuates that they not only concurred in his punishment, but were present and active in its infliction; and he infers without the least authority, and adds it to the words of the witness, that those very elders who administered the Lord's Supper to Dresser, on Sunday "ploughed up his back"—as Lynch Committee men on a subsequent day of the same week. How in the name of common honesty is such deceitful handling of the truth to be tolerated in a Christian community? Oh! what a spectacle would we behold—if I had but the privilege before some competent tribunal—to take the published accusations of this man in my hands and force him to reveal on oath the whole grounds on which he makes them!—Mr. B. then stated that after he entered the house to-night two packages had been put into his hands, which he could not examine then, as he was just about to open the discussion. He had snatched a moment during the interval to glance his eyes over their contents, and considered it his duty to say a few words in reference to each. One of them was a little volume from the pen of Dr. Channing, of Boston, on the subject of slavery, just passing through the press of an enterprising bookseller of Glasgow, who had done him the favor of presenting to him, in very kind terms, the first copy of the edition. They who would take the trouble of looking over the printed report of Mr. Thompson's second address to the Glasgow Emancipation Society, would find that in speaking of the Unitarians of America, he had used the following language:—"One of their greatest men, a giant in intellect, had already taken the right view of the subject, and there could not exist a doubt that ere long, he would bring over the body to the good cause." In this sentence, as it stands in the speech, at the end of the words "giant in intellect,"—stands a star,—at the bottom of the page another, before the words "Dr. Channing." Now it so happens that in this little book, there is a chapter headed "Aboli[Pg 158]tionism." I have looked through it casually, within the last hour; and I beseech you all to read it carefully, and judge for yourselves, of the utter recklessness with which Mr. Thompson makes assertions. The other parcel, contained a letter from an American gentleman residing in Britain, and one half of the New York Spectator, of October 1, 1835. Under the head of editorial correspondence, is an article above a column and a half in length devoted in great part to Mr. Thompson. Amongst other passages, it adverts to his doings at Andover, and the charges made against him there, on such weighty authority; and in that connexion has the following explicit paragraph:

Mr. Thompson in conversation with some of the students repeatedly averred that every slaveholder in the United States OUGHT TO HAVE HIS THROAT CUT; or DESERVED TO HAVE HIS THROAT CUT; although he afterwards publicly denied that he had said so. But the proof is direct and positive. In conversation with one of the theological students in regard to the moral instruction which ought to be enjoyed by the slaves, he distinctly declared THAT EVERY SLAVE SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO CUT HIS MASTER'S THROAT! I state the fact—knowing the responsibility I am assuming, and challenge a legal investigation.

On this tremendous document, I make but two remarks—The first is that Francis Hall & Co. the publishers of the Spectator, were in character and fortune, perfectly responsible to Mr. Thompson. The second is, that if Mr. Thompson's rule of judgment was just, in that branch of this same case—in the exercise of which he declared that another paper in New York could never be got to publish his exculpatory certificates in regard to this very transaction, because the publisher knew them to be true; then we are irresistibly bound on his own showing to conjecture, that for the same reason he declined taking up the challenge of the Spectator. There was only one more topic on which he seemed called on to remark; and that he had several times passed over, out of consideration of delicacy. It had all along been his aim to use as little freedom as possible with the names of individuals—and he could declare, that he had implicated by name, no one except out of absolute necessity—that he had forborne to say true but severe things of several who had been most unjustly commended during this discussion—and had omitted of the very few he had censured by name, decidedly worse things, than those he had uttered of them—and which he might have uttered both truly and pertinently. Amongst the cases of rather peculiar forebearance, was the oft cited one, of a misguided young man, by the name of Thome, who went from Kentucky to New York to repeat a most audacious speech which was no doubt prepared for him, before an assembly literally the most mixed that was ever convened in that city: having delivered which, he departed with the pity or contempt of 9 10ths of all the decent people in it, and went I know not whither, and dwells I know not where. The victory as there trumpeted, and now celebrated, of which he was part gainer, consisted of two portions—the destruction of the colonization cause—and the degradation of Kentucky, his native state. The death of the Society was signalised by a subscription of six thousand dollars on the part of its friends; and[Pg 159] the infamy of Kentucky was illustrated by the ready stepping forward of four of her sons to confront and confound the ingrate who commenced his career of manhood by smiting his parent in the face. Who made the defence, may be surmised from Mr. Thompson's bitterness—I will not trust myself to repeat his name. But this thousands can testify—that never was a great cause more signally successful—never were folly and wickedness more thoroughly beaten into the dust—never did any community heap more cordial and unanimous applause upon an effort of great and successful eloquence.

And now, Sir, (said Mr. B., addressing Dr. Wardlaw, the Chairman of the meeting)—I repeat the expressions of my regret, that these last moments allowed to me should have been required for any other purpose than that which so sacredly belonged to them. Exhausted by a series of most exciting, and to me perfectly new contentions, I am altogether unequal to the task, which I should yet esteem myself degraded if I did not attempt in some way to perform.

To this large committee which has so kindly taken up this subject—so considerately provided for every contingency—so delicately considered all my wishes, and even all my weaknesses—to these respected gentlemen surrounding us upon this platform, whose conduct amid very peculiar circumstances has been towards me, full of candor, honor, courtesy and Christian kindness, it would have been most gross ingratitude, to have forborne this public expression of my regard and cordial thanks.

For yourself, Sir, what can I say more, or how could I say less, than that in that distant country, which I love but too fondly, there are scores, there are hundreds, who would esteem all the trials through which this strife has led me, and all the weight of responsibility which my posture has forced me to assume, more than counter-balanced by the privilege of looking upon your venerated face. It is good to live for the whole world; and it is but just to receive in recompense the world's thanks.

And you, my respected auditors, whose patience I must needs have so severely taxed, and who have borne with much that possibly has tried you deeply, you who have given me so many reasons to thank you, and not one to regret the errand that brought me here; if in the course of providence, you or yours, should be thrown on whatever spot my resting place may be, you need but say, "I come from Glasgow, and I need a friend," and it shall go hard with me, but I will find a way to prove, that kindness is never thrown away.

But even as we part, let us not forget that cause which has chained us here so long. We are free. Alas! how few can utter these words with truth! We are Christian men. Alas! what multitudes have never heard our Master's name. Oh! how horrible must slavery be, when God himself illustrates the power of sin by calling it bondage! Oh! how sweet should union with Christ be thought, when he proclaims it glorious liberty! Freedom and redemption are in our hands; the heritage in trust for a lost world. It is not then[Pg 160] our own souls only, but our divine Lord, and our dying brethren, that we sin against and rob, when we mismanage or pervert this great inheritance. We needs must labor; but let us do it wisely. And though we may differ in many things, in this at least we can agree, to importune our heavenly Father to prosper by his constant blessing what we do aright, and overrule by his continued care all that we do amiss. (Cheers.)


Mr. THOMPSON then rose amidst much cheering, and said, Sir, after the valedictory address to which we have just listened, it would ill become me to touch upon any topic calculated to disturb feelings which I trust and believe that address has awakened in the breasts of this assembly. Sir, it is my conviction, that I and those with whom it is my joy and honor to act, in the advancement of the cause of Universal Emancipation, are much misunderstood. We are represented as the violent, acrimonious, ferocious and sanguinary foes of the slaveholder; when, if he could look into our inmost hearts, he would discover no enmity to him abiding there, but on the contrary, an earnest desire to promote his safety, his honor, and his happiness. If we act as we do, it is not that we love him less, but that we love truth and freedom more. It is not with us a matter of choice that we pursue our present course, but one of stern imperative duty; because we believe that God will vouchsafe his blessing only to those who preach the doctrine of an immediate, entire, and uncompromising discharge of duty, leaving to Him the consequences flowing from obedience to His law. To discover truth wherever it is hidden, should be the aim and effort of every rational mind. It has been my desire to arrive at truth upon the great question of Slavery; and after much investigation, and many conflicts, I have reached the conclusion, that slaveholding is sinful; that man cannot hold property in man; that to do right, and to do it now, fearless of results, is the doctrine of the Bible; and that a simple and strict compliance with the Divine Law, is man's noblest and safest course. These being my settled views, I say to the slaveholder, give immediate freedom to your slaves. To the non-slaveholder, I say, preach a pure doctrine; grapple with the prejudices and fears of the community around you; strive to raise the tone of public morals, and create a public sentiment unfavorable to the continuance of slavery. To the private Christian, I say, betake yourself to prayer, and the study of the Scriptures; and invoke a blessing upon every righteous instrumentality for the overthrow of the abomination. To the minister of the gospel, I say, be bold for God; cry aloud, and spare not, till the merchants of the earth cease to make merchandise of slaves, and the souls of men.

Much fault is found with our measures. What, Sir, are our measures, but the simplest means of making known our principles? Having deliberately and prayerfully adopted certain views, we take the ordinary, common sense, every day methods of making those views known, and of recommending them to the adoption of others. Be[Pg 161]lieving slavery to be sin, is it strange that we hate it, and speak strongly respecting it? Believing immediate emancipation a duty, is it strange that we pray, and preach, and print about it? That we take all peaceful means of making known the great truth; of warning men against the danger of delay; and exhorting them to repentance? The abolitionists have done no more. To have done less, would have been to prove themselves unfaithful to the high and heaven-born principles they profess. They court investigation. They scatter their publications on the winds to be read by all. They have not an office nor a book that is not open to the inspection of all. Their language to all who suspect their motives or their designs is, "search us, and know our hearts; try us, and know our thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in us." If in the ardor of their zeal, and inherited infirmities, and surrounded by influences, from which none of us are exempt; they sometimes apply epithets and bring charges with too little discrimination, "something should be pardoned to the spirit of liberty;" something granted to the advocates of outraged humanity; to those, who, remembering them that are in bonds as bound with them, plead as for mothers, children, sisters, and brothers; at present lost to all the joys and purposes of life. Sir, I think it hard that on all occasions like these, the heaviest artillery should be levelled against the abolitionists, and the small arms only directed against the slaveholder. I call upon those who act with such gentleness towards the latter individual; who are so fearful of doing him injustice and so readily to discover in him any thing that is amiable in character, or extenuating in conduct, to exercise some small portion of the same candor and kindness, and consideration towards the former. Let not that man be most hateful in their eyes, who of all others is most earnestly engaged for the deliverance of the slave.

A word before we part, for my honored co-adjutors on the other side of the Atlantic. Should this be the last address of mine ever delivered and recorded for perusal when I am gone to give account of my sayings upon earth, I can with every feeling of sincerity aver, that to the best of my knowledge and belief, there is not to be found on the face of the earth at the present time, engaged in any religious or benevolent enterprise, a body of men more pure in their motives, more simple and elevated in their aim, more dependent upon divine aid in their efforts, or, generally speaking, more unexceptionable in their measures, than the immediate abolitionists of the United States of America. It has been my high privilege to mingle much with devoted Christians of all denominations in my native land, and to enjoy the friendship of some of the noblest and most laborious of living philanthropists; but I have not yet seen the wisdom, the ardor, the humanity or the faith of the abolitionists of America exceeded.

Another word and I have done. It is for one whom I love as a brother, and to whom my soul is united by a bond which death cannot dissolve; of one, who, though still young, has for ten years toiled with unremitting ardor, and unimpeached disinterestedness in the cause[Pg 162] of the bleeding slave; of one, who, though accused of scattering around him fire-brands, arrows and death; though branded as a madman, an incendiary, and a fanatic; though denounced by the State, and reviled by a portion of the church, possesses a soul as peaceful and as pure as ever tenanted our fallen nature. I speak not to exalt him or gratify his love of praise. I know he seeks not the honor that cometh from man, nor the riches that perish in the using. He looks not for his reward on earth. With the approbation of his conscience, he is content; with the blessing of the perishing, he is rich; with the favor of God, he is blessed forever. He seeks no monumental marble, no funeral oration, no proud escutcheon, no partial page of history to perpetuate his name. He knows that when resting from his labors, the tears of an enfranchised race

Shall sprinkle the cold dust in which he sleeps,
Pompless, and from a scornful world withdrawn:
The laurel, which its malice rent, shall shoot,
So watered, into life, and mantling throw
Its verdant honors o'er his grassy tomb.

That man is William Lloyd Garrison. Sir, I thank God for having given him to the age and country in which he lives. He is a man pre-eminently qualified for the mighty work in which he has engaged. May the God of the oppressed bless him, and keep him humble, and cheer him onwards in his rugged path! May his lion heart never be subdued! May his eloquent pen never cease to move while a slave breathes to require its advocacy! Heaven grant, and I can ask no more, that the wish of his heart may be fulfilled; and that the time may soon come, when, looking abroad over his beloved country with the soul of a Patriot, and the eye of a Philanthropist and a Christian, he shall not be able to discover in State, or city, or town, or hamlet, a lingering trace of a tyrant or a Slave!

I shall not, Sir, attempt (turning to the Chairman,) to express the feelings of my heart towards you, or my opinion of the manner in which you have discharged the duties of the Chair, through four of the evenings of this discussion. I cordially unite with the gentleman opposite, in thanking you for the dignity and strict impartiality with which you have borne yourself. I know you look for the reward of your labors of love in another and a better world. In that world may we all meet! There our jars and discords will be at an end. There we shall see, eye to eye; and know, even as we are known. There, in the presence of one Saviour, our joys, our voices, our occupations will be one; and there I trust that we, who have been antagonists on earth, will together meet and celebrate the glories of a common redemption from the sorrows and the sins of earth. (Mr. Thompson resumed his seat amidst loud and long continued cheers.)


Mr. THOMPSON moved that the cordial thanks of the meeting be given to the Rev. Dr. Wardlaw, for his able, dignified, and impartial conduct in the chair, and also to Dr. Kidston, who presided on Thursday evening, which was carried with acclamation.


[Pg 163]

APPENDIX.

In reading the foregoing discussion, we have been utterly astonished at the grossness and magnitude of the falsehoods—not to mention the numerous miscolorings and misrepresentations—which the reverend apologist for slavery has, with brazen effrontery, unblushingly uttered even though aware of the fact that they were to be published to the world. It would seem as if feeling the necessity of defending a desperate cause by desperate means, he had resolved to pour out his misstatements and inaccuracies with such lavish liberality, that his opponent would be absolutely unable, in the time allotted to him, to correct them all, and thus contrive to make some of his falsehoods, because uncontradicted, pass for truth, and some of his distortions and perversions for fair representations. The event, we cannot help thinking, will show that he has presumed with far too much rashness on the supposed ignorance of the British people. Some of his falsehoods, mistakes, and misrepresentations, which were either wholly unnoticed, or not fully answered by Mr. Thompson, for want, as he has informed us, of time to do it, we shall briefly notice here,

First, however, we would call attention to the remark, that 'he is not a slaveholder,' with which Dr. Wardlaw introduced Mr. Breckinridge to the audience, and in reference to it quote part of a letter from Dr. A. L. Cox of New York, to the editor of the emancipator. 'The only knowledge I have on this subject,' says Dr. C., 'is what I derived from the confession of R. J. Breckinridge, extorted at an anniversary meeting of the Colonization Society in this city, in the spring of 1834.' After mentioning some of the circumstances which led him to speak,[Pg 164] the letter goes on to say, 'Just as Robert J. Breckinridge was on the point of speaking, one of the assembly inquired, 'Is he a slaveholder?' The orator seemed somewhat disconcerted, but answered 'I have that honor.'

In the first evening's discussion, page 6, Mr. Breckinridge says that the British people 'had sent out agents to America, who had returned defeated. They have failed—they admit they have failed in their object.' To say nothing of the accuracy which speaks in the plural number of a single individual, and which can easily be excused to one who in encountering him, probably felt that that individual was himself a host,—when or where has the alleged admission been made? Never. Nowhere. The assertion is untrue.

During the same evening, page 7, Mr. B. tells his audience that 'of the twelve [free] states, at least four, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Maine never had a slave.' What says the United States' census? In 1830, there were 2 slaves in Maine, 6 in Ohio, 3 in Indiana, and 747[A] in Illinois. In 1820, there were 190 in Indiana, and 917 in Illinois. In 1810, Indiana contained 237, Illinois 168. In 1800, there were 135 in Indiana. But Mr. B. says, that 'since 1785, till this hour, there never had been one slave in any of these states.'

'America,' he tells us, 'was the first nation upon earth, which abolished the slave trade and made it piracy.' See page 8. This will be unwelcome news to Messrs. Franklin and Armfield of Alexandira, D. C., whose standing advertisements in the Washington papers, offer cash for negroes of both sexes, from 12 to 25 years of age, and announce the 'regular trips' twice a month, of their vessels engaged in the slave trade between the District and New Orleans. It will be unpleasant intelligence in the city of Washington, where for $400 a year, the 'trade or traffic in slaves' is licensed for the benefit of the canal fund. It will be news to the keepers of the prisons in the District, who, in their official capacity, carry on the slave trade by selling men 'for their prison and other expenses, as the law directs.'

But Mr. B. means the foreign slave trade, not the domestic. The latter, indeed, may be licensed, and protected, and deemed honorable as it is lucrative. Those who engage in it, may be [Pg 165] like Armfield and Woolfolk, gentlemen 'of engaging and graceful manners,' reported to be 'mild, indulgent, upright, and scrupulously honest,' but the foreign trade is piracy by the law of the land. Very meritorious truly! and worthy of abundant eulogy! to prohibit piracy on the high seas, or the African coast, while selling permission to do along her own coast, and on her own territories, the same acts which, when done abroad, constitute piracy. But to what does her abolition of even the foreign slave trade amount? Do her cruizers ever capture a slave ship? Seldom, if ever. Does she consent to such arrangements, in her treaties with other nations which are in earnest in their endeavors to suppress the slave trade, as will prevent her flag from being made a protection to the detestable traffic? No. The N. Y. Journal of Commerce, in a recent article very truly asserts, that 'We neither do any thing ourselves to put down the accursed traffic, nor afford any facilities to enable others to put it down. Nay, rather, we stand between the slave and his deliverer. We are a drawback—a dead weight on the cause of bleeding humanity.' And a late number of the Edinburgh Review, speaking of the application of the British Government to this, for its co-operation, says, 'The final answer, however, is, that under no condition, in no form, and with no restrictions, will the United States enter into any convention or treaty, or make combined efforts of any sort or kind, with other nations for the suppression of the trade.' With what face, then, can she claim praise for having merely made a law, which she almost never executes, and to the execution of which, by others, she permits her flag to be used as a hindrance.

The next assertion of Mr. B's that we notice, is the astounding one, that America, 'as a nation, has done every thing in her power' for the abolition of slavery. See page 8. This, while the national domain is the home of slavery and the seat of the slave trade! While the domestic slave trade, so far from being abolished by the National Legislature, as it may constitutionally be, is shielded and licensed! This, while the moral power of the nation is slumbering, or if awake, arrayed to a great extent, in the defence of slavery! That a man who values his reputation—that a minister of the gospel of Mr. B's intelligence and knowledge of the country's condition and history in regard to this matter, should make such a declaration, is truly most[Pg 166] wonderful. Could he have expected it to be believed? Could he have believed it himself?

Mr. B., page 15, by way of explaining why Mr. Thompson was so differently received in Glasgow and Boston, applauded in the one place, and abused in the other, says that he took up the question of slavery as one of political organization. We give to this assertion, the answer of the editor of the Emancipator. 'This we pronounce utterly and unequivocally false. We were with Mr. Thompson, while he was in this country, as much probably as any other one individual. We were with him in private and in public, in the house and by the way, in the public convention and the public lecture, and we most solemnly declare, that we never heard George Thompson, on any occasion, take up or discuss the question of American Slavery, 'as one of civil organization.' He always discussed it primarily and essentially as a moral and religious question, and never went into its political relations and bearings, except to answer the objections of cavillers and opponents. And we are astonished that R. J. Breckinridge should dare to make such an assertion, when, we venture to say, he never heard George Thompson in America.'

The same editor has furnished a better solution than Mr. B's, of the—not very difficult—problem of Mr. Thompson's different reception in Boston and Glasgow. 'For the same reason that Knibb, and Taylor, and Burchell did not meet with the same reception in Glasgow and Jamaica—because, and simply because the slave spirit was diffused through the land, infecting and corrupting alike the leading influences of Church and State, so that Mr. T. could not condemn slavery and prejudice 'in Boston as in Glasgow,' without constraining the conviction and the outcry from the implicated and the prejudiced, "so saying thou condemnest us also."'

'There is not a sane man in the free states, who does not wish the world rid of slavery.' This Mr. B. states as his conviction, page 15. Perhaps it is correct, but if so, there are a great many insane men in the free states, or a great many who have a very strange way of manifesting their wishes. The fact is notorious, that Northern men who remove to the South, almost uniformly become slaveholders the moment their convenience or pecuniary interest can thereby be promoted.[Pg 167]

On page 20, Mr. B. accuses Garrison of having written placards to stir up a mob against him, when he lectured in Boston, in behalf of colonization. A charge more utterly false was never made, and it requires a great exercise of charity to believe that Mr. B. did not know its falsehood. It will have been seen that Mr. Thompson challenged proof of the accusation, but none was produced except the word of the accuser—evidence on which, any reader who compares his assertions in several other instances, with facts, will place very little reliance.

Another of Mr. B's accusations against 'some of the friends of the Anti-Slavery Society,' is, that they procured a writ to take the two 'African princes,' who had been sent to the Maryland Colonization Society to be educated, and that Elizur Wright was the instigator of the measure, on pretence that the boys had been kidnapped. See page 20. The truth of this matter as given in the Emancipator, on Mr. Wright's authority, is that, on learning that two native African boys, supposed to be slaves, were on board a schooner in New York harbor, bound for Baltimore, Mr. Wright made inquiries on board, and could only learn that they were brought from Africa by a passenger, and consigned to some one in Baltimore. To make sure of the means of prosecuting a legal inquiry, a writ was obtained, but as soon as Mr. W. discovered that the lads were sent to this country to be educated, he ordered the officer not to serve it.

The next slanderous charge uttered by the reverend delegate is, that Elizur Wright tried to stir up a mob to liberate a fugitive slave confined in New York prison. The story of course is wholly false.

In the second evening's discussion, Mr. B. says, page 34, the admission of a clause into the Constitution prohibiting the abolition of the slave trade for twenty years, 'was one of the brightest virtues in the escutcheon of America,' A dark escutcheon, then, must be hers, if the protection of the slave trade for twenty years is the 'brightest' spot on it. The 'importation of such persons,' &c. (meaning slaves,) 'shall not be prohibited prior to 1808,' says the Constitution, 'The brightest virtue in her escutcheon!' exclaims Mr. Breckinridge.

'It was well known that the slavery existing in the United States was the mildest to be seen in any country under heaven.' Page 34. Of this assertion of Mr. B., we have only to[Pg 168] say in the words of the Emancipator, 'It is "well known that the slavery existing in the United States," is not "the mildest to be seen in any country under heaven," and to say so is demonstration absolute of the most "unpardonable ignorance, or a purpose to mislead." Witness the fact, that the man who teaches the slave to read, or gives him the religious tract, or the Bible even, does it at his peril. Witness the fact, on the testimony of the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, that the large majority of the slave population are "heathen, and will bear comparison with the heathen in any country in the world." Witness the slave-code every where—particularly the following, which is the law of North Carolina, and in Georgia nearly the same, "that if any person hereafter shall be guilty of killing a slave, he shall, upon the first conviction, suffer the same punishment as if he had killed a free man"—(i. e. if any white man is witness, and will come forward to testify in the case, for the testimony of a million of colored men would go for nothing,) and "Provided always, that this act shall not extend to the person killing a slave outlawed, (and running away, concealment, and the stealing of a hog, or some animal of the cattle kind, to sustain life, outlaws him,) or to any slave in the act of resistance to his lawful owner or master or to any slave DYING UNDER MODERATE CORRECTION"—thus by the very law which prohibits, giving the master express license to kill as many, and as often as he pleases, provided he will only take care to do it, first, when no white men are present who will inform or testify against him, or secondly, when the slave is an outlaw; or, thirdly, when he lifts his hand in opposition to his master, no matter how cruel the punishment or how base the design upon his or her person; or, fourthly, by "moderate correction." Let him only see to it, that it is done in one or all of these ways, and under one or all these circumstances, and if reckless enough to do so, he may kill ad libitum, and nobody to say why do ye so. Witness the fact, trumpeted through all the papers within five years, that a Southern man seeing another passing across his grounds in the evening, and supposing that he was a runaway slave, shot him dead, because, although he hailed him, he did not stop—when lo! it appeared that he had shot a white neighbor, and that, the wind being high, he did not hear, and therefore did not stop at the summons!—a striking illustration of[Pg 169] the carelessness and perfect impunity with which, as a matter of fact, black men are and may be shot when attempting an escape from their thraldom. And, once more, witness the fact, that the way to emancipation is hedged up in this country so as it is in no other "country under heaven," and then say what but "ignorance, or a purpose to mislead," could lead to such statements?'

'Perhaps the great reason against the exercise of that power' [to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia,] was, that it would inevitably produce a dissolution of the Union. Put 'this and that together.' 'There is not a sane man in the free states, but wishes the world rid of slavery;' the free states contain 'seven millions out of the eleven millions of the white population of the Union;' (see page 7,) 'a large minority in the slaveholding states, in some nearly one half of the population,' (see page 13,) 'are zealously engaged in furthering the abolition of slavery,' and yet the exercise by Congress of its constitutional power to abolish slavery in the national district would 'inevitably dissolve the Union.' Verily, the old proverb hath well said that a certain class of persons should have a good memory.

Mr. B. sneers at 'Mr. Thompson's argument about the standing army employed in keeping down the slaves,' and declares that it was 'complete humbug, founded upon just nothing at all.' Will the citizens of Southampton county, Virginia, who called in the aid of the U. S. dragoons to quell an insurrection a few years ago, corroborate his testimony? 'An officer of the United States' army, who was in the expedition from fortress Monroe, against the Southampton slaves in 1831, speaks with constant horror of the scenes which he was compelled to witness. Those troops, agreeably to their orders, which were to exterminate the negroes, killed all that they met with, although they encountered neither resistance, nor show of resistance: and the first check given to this wide, barbarous slaughter grew out of the fact, that the law of Virginia, which provides for the payment to the master of the full value of an executed slave, was considered as not applying to the cases of slaves put to death without trial. In consequence of numerous representations to this effect, sent to the officer of the United States' army, commanding the expedition, the massacre was suspended.'—Child's Oration.[Pg 170]

And what says Mr. B. to this assertion of John Q. Adams, that were it not for the protection of the western frontier against the Indians, and of the Southern slaveholder against his human 'machinery,' this country would scarcely have any need of a standing army. Is that 'complete humbug' too?

Mr. B. ventures to say that 'there are not ten persons in the whole state of Kentucky, holding anti-slavery principles, in the Garrison sense of the word.' Page 40. We know not how many there may be now, but in 1835, a constitution of a state society, framed on anti-slavery principles, 'in the Garrison sense of the word,' was signed by more than forty persons.

Mr. B. tells about a minister who was driven, he says, from Groton, Mass., by the storm of abolitionism, and who seems to have fled to Baltimore, doubtless, seeking a congenial climate. See page 40. But Mr. B. forgot to mention the many cases in which the slave spirit, 'like a storm of fire and brimstone from hell,' has driven faithful pastors from their charges, just for the crime of praying and preaching now and then for the enslaved.

Mr. B. says of a document from which his opponent quoted certain Maryland laws that placed the 'benevolent colonization scheme' in any thing but a favorable light, that it was said in America, and he believed truly, to contain not the laws, but only schemes of laws which never passed the Assembly. See page 47. On this the Emancipator remarks, 'This was never alleged against the pamphlet. The pamphlet contains the laws precisely as they stand in the statute book of Maryland, as Mr. B. would have seen had he ever taken the trouble to compare them. And for him to make such assertions, without having done so, is only another instance of "unpardonable ignorance, or a purpose to mislead."'

In the third evening's discussion, Mr. B. asserted, page 50, that Mr. Garrison was among the first who opposed the Colonization Society, 'on the ground that its operations were injurious to the colored race in America.' To this the Emancipator says, 'This is partly true and partly not. The Society was decidedly opposed, at the outset, both by the colored people and by those who, up to that time, had been most active in promoting the cause of emancipation. As early as August, 1817, the subject came before the "American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery," &c., at its session in Philadelphia.[Pg 171] This body, representing for the most part Friends, and made up of delegates from abolition and manumission societies in different parts of the country, after a full discussion, appointed a committee on the subject. That committee reported, that "they must express their unqualified wish, that no plan of colonization shall be permitted to go into effect without an immutable pledge from the slaveholding states of a just and wise system of gradual emancipation;" and they conclude their report, which was approved and adopted by the Convention with the following resolution:—

"Resolved, As a sense of this Convention, that the gradual and total emancipation of all persons of color, and their literary and moral education, should precede their colonization."

When the Convention met again in 1819, the Pennsylvania society, in sending up a statement of its views and proceedings, warned the "abolitionists of our country to retain in view the lessons of experience, and avoid substituting for them, schemes however splendid, yet of questionable result;" and added, "for ourselves there is but one principle on which we can act. It is the principle of immutable justice! We can make no compromise with the prejudices of slavery, or with the slavery of prejudice. The same arguments that are now urged against emancipation, unless the subjects of it be removed from our territory, were used with more plausibility when abolition was an experiment, yet they were combatted with success."

Mr. B. says, page 52, it 'would-be difficult, if not utterly impossible, for evidences of friendship to the Colonization Society from an avowed friend of slavery to be culled out, as occurring within the last three or four years.' Says the Emancipator, "So far is this from being true, that the most decisive evidences of this sort are found, within the last three or four years. Scarce a pro-slavery mob, or speech, or meeting, during this whole time, but has contained, in one and the same breath, a condemmnation of abolition and a commendation of colonization."

After quoting the resolution against the Colonization Society, in Boston last year, Mr. B. remarks, 'that the verbiage of this resolution, showed its parentage. No one who had ever heard one of Mr. Thompson's speeches could, for a moment, doubt the authorship of the resolution!' This is a small mistake indeed,[Pg 172] and among so many great ones, scarce merits a notice, but to show that Mr. B's sagacity in conjecture, exceeds not much his veracity in assertion, we just mention in passing, that the 'authorship of the resolution' belongs not to Mr. Thompson.

'The abolitionists,' says Mr. B. page 54, 'have been going about, from Dan to Beersheba, not only attacking and vilifying the whites, for proposing to colonize the blacks, with their own free consent; but equally attacking the blacks for availing themselves of the offer.' An assertion utterly false, and wickedly slanderous.

On page 55, Mr. B. introduces an extract from an address of some of the Cape Palmas Colonists to their friends in America, for the purpose of showing the prosperity of the Colony. In connection with this, let the following letter from a colonist be read:—

'Cape Palmas, May 5th, 1834.

Dear Mother,—I write you with regret. It is true, I wrote to you of my passage, how I enjoyed it. I spent a very agreeable time, and also on my first arrival; but now I am distressed, and all Mr. C's family also. * * * O! I am sorry! yes, sorry that I ever came to this country. It is true, mother, had I taken your advice, I would not have been here. I have suffered and all my family, and Mr. C's family too, and we still continue to suffer. Not a cent of money have any of us got. Now, mother, if you can get any gentleman to advance the amount of three hundred dollars, or two hundred and fifty dollars I will work for them for it four years. I will serve as a waiter in a house, or any thing at all, to pay for it. My wife says she would maintain herself and sister, if that could get her home once more, for here they can do nothing, for we are not able, the country is so sickly—we have been sick ever since we have been here—* * * I will serve any way or at any thing. I will sell myself as a slave, for the sake of getting HOME once more. Try for me, if you please, for my family's sake. If I was by myself, I might scuffle for myself.'

In a subsequent letter, dated August 3, 1834, this same writer communicates the additional intelligence, that Mrs. C 'died of grief.'

'Every benevolent and right thinking person must see, that the scheme of colonizing Africa by black men, is necessary to enlighten Africa, and prevent the extirpation of the black man there.' So says Mr. Breckinridge. Doubtless it was to enlighten the poor natives, and prevent their extirpation, that a[Pg 173] brisk traffic in rum, tobacco, gunpowder, and spear-pointed knives, has been carried on with them by black men colonized in Africa—that nine pound balls from 'a gun of great power' were discharged into a body of eight hundred men, standing within sixty yards, pressed shoulder to shoulder, in so compact a form that a child might easily walk upon their heads from one end of the mass to the other' and 'every shot literally spent its force in a solid mass of living human flesh[B]—that by fraud and injustice the colonists excited the hostility of the Africans, and stirred up a war with King Joe Harris, which resulted in the slaughter of numbers of the ignorant barbarians, who were unable to cope with the superior arms, and discipline, and military prowess of the American blacks—the 'missionaries in the holy cause of civilization, religion, and free institutions.'[C]

'America,' says Mr. B., 'was christianized by colonization.' Yea, verily! and in this case we have another precious example of the enlightening, civilizing, and christianizing influence of colonies. The poor Indian has felt, and faded away before it, along the Atlantic-shores, and still the 'missionary' work is going on at the far southwest. Ask the Seminoles and the Creeks if colonization has not Christianized America. Ask the shades of Metacom, and Canonicus, and Sarsacus; ask the feeble remnants of the mighty tribes which once dwelt from the lakes to the Gulf, and from the ocean to the Alleghany, and learn of them the process of christianization which colonies have introduced into America. Is it by a similar process that 'colonizing Africa by black men,' is to 'prevent the extirpation' of the natives of that continent?

'The climate' of Africa Mr. B. says, page 58 'suits the black man, while hundreds of white men have fallen victims to it.' And how many 'hundreds of black men' have fallen victims to it? Those especially who have gone from the Northern states, have found it as fatal as have the whites themselves, nor has it been very remarkably healthy to any portion of the colonists.

Mr. B. is very certain that colonizing Africa will destroy the slave trade. He says the colonists 'would put an end to the [Pg 174] trade the moment they were able to chastise the pirates, or make reprisals on the nations to which they belonged. Nothing is plainer, than that any nation that will make reprisals, will have none of the inhabitants stolen. If reprisals were made effective, the slave trade would be immediately stopped.' A Christian mode of reforming vices and removing evils, truly! 'Any nation that will make reprisals!' So, if Peter steals John's child, John must steal Peter's by way of reprisal, and that will put a stop to the mischief at once! And why not reprisals prevent all other kinds of violence, as well as man-stealing? If an Englishman shoots a Frenchman, let a Frenchman shoot an Englishman in return, and the quarrel is settled, and peace restored! For 'nothing is plainer, than that any nation that will make reprisals, will have none of the inhabitants' shot. Does past history sustain this doctrine? Do present facts sustain it? No longer let our clergy preach, that 'all they who take the sword, shall perish by the sword.' 'Nothing is plainer,' than that those nations 'which take the sword' to 'make reprisals,' 'will have none of the inhabitants' injured by the sword. But where is the need of colonies? If the 'Foulahs' will only steal as many men, women, and children, from the 'Ialoffs,' as the latter from the former, 'nothing is plainer than that these two tribes will have none of the inhabitants stolen.' Do the various African tribes never make reprisals? How happens it then, that the slave trade, and the whole business of man-stealing has not been long since suppressed?

'On one hundred leagues of the African coast,' says Mr. B., 'it is already to a great degree suppressed' by the operation of the colonization societies and their colonies. To this the Emancipator says, 'These statements are far, very far from true, and we can account for them only on the ground of "unpardonable ignorance, or a purpose to mislead." Again and again have we been assured, and on colonial colonization authority too, that the trade still goes on in the vicinity of the colony as briskly as ever, nay, that it is even prosecuted within the limits of the colony, and in sight of Monrovia itself. Indeed, at this very moment the colony, instead of being able to suppress or destroy the trade, is in danger of being itself destroyed by it, and is sending out its appeal to this country for help, praying that some "American vessels" may be sent upon the coast to[Pg 175] seize the traders, and to protect the colony. Let our friends in this country and in England peruse the following extracts from the Liberia Herald just received in this country, and then say what shall be thought of the man or the men who, in the face of such and similar testimony repeatedly received, can unblushingly pretend "that on one hundred leagues of the African coast, the trade is already to a great degree suppressed?"

Extracts from late Liberia papers, received at the office of the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser:—

"Slave Trade.—This nefarious traffic is again lifting its horrid head in our vicinity, and increasing in a fearful ratio. Within one hundred miles of the settlement, there are at this very time, at least four factories for the purchase of slaves, and one of them not more than eighteen miles off! The consequences are most severely felt by the colony. It is now impossible to purchase rice, at any rate that would not starve the most fortunate man. In our immediate vicinity, it is reported, slavers have lately given the natives a musket for four cross! the retail price of which, in the colony, is six dollars! To the Spaniards, in view of a successful voyage, the profits of which are so enormous, goods are of no value; but it is far otherwise with us. The natives, like other men, disposed to get the most for their articles, will of course sell to those who will give the highest. This being the case, we ask, how are the people of this colony to live? We have sometimes thought if the people of the United States once knew the inconvenience to which the slave trade subjects us, and what an effectual check it is upon the advancement and prosperity of the colony, and how little of those surplus and useless millions, whose proper place of deposite has created so much contention, that without an exception, saints and sinners, politicians, philosophers, colonizationists, and abolitionists, anti-colonizationists, anti-abolitionists, and anti-all, would rise up, and with one general voice decree, that a small armed vessel shall ply between Sherbro Islands and Kroo country, and thus effectually protect a few poor OUTCASTS, while millions of their brethren are faithfully slaving to enrich us at home."

And so, notwithstanding the Paradise to which they have gone, and their "free consent" to go, they are "poor outcasts" when they get there after all; and the very trade which they were sent to abolish, is in a fair way of abolishing them, unless government vessels go out to their aid!'

Of the remark said to have been made by him at the colonization meeting, in 1834, that certain emigrants to Liberia 'were[Pg 176] coerced away, as truly as if it had been done with a cart-whip,' Mr. B. says 'it was an unfair report, got up by Mr. Leavitt, the editor of the N. Y. Evangelist, to serve a special purpose.' The Emancipator answers the assertion thus, 'This passage has been quoted and requoted in this country, in times and ways well nigh innumerable, but, to the best of our knowledge, it was never before pronounced an unfair report, either by Mr. B. or any other individual. And now, while we leave Mr. Leavitt to answer for himself on the question of its fairness, we take the liberty to say, that if unfair, it will not relieve Mr. B. of difficulty. For if the report be fair, and Mr. B. did say the things attributed to him, why then, as every body knows, he said what was true. If, however, it be unfair, and he did not say those things, then as every body knows, he did not say what was true, and what, if he had spoken the truth, he would have said. For that they were "coerced away as truly as if it had been done with a cart-whip," every body knows to be fact.'

Mr. Leavitt's Note to the Editor of the Emancipator.

'In reply to Mr. Breckinridge's allegation, that I "got up" a report of his speech, "to serve a special purpose," I will only say, that Mr. Breckinridge did prudently to go across the Atlantic before he made that charge. My character as a fair reporter, will not be affected here by such insinuations. I have no doubt that the report in question gives the ideas Mr. B. uttered, mostly in the very language he used. My recollection, in this case, is very distinct, and the words taken down at the time.

JOSHUA LEAVITT.

Mr. B. says, that 'in many instances the bad laws had become worse, and good laws had become bad, solely through the imprudent conduct of Mr. Thompson's associates.' Some of the most unrighteous, barbarous, and abominable laws ever enacted in this land, whose rulers have so long occupied the 'throne of iniquity,' and been so often and so deeply guilty of 'framing mischief by a law,' are cited in Stroud's Sketch, a work published several years before 'Mr. Thompson and his associates' had commenced their 'imprudent' measures. Those laws certainly were not occasioned by their imprudence. It is nearly a hundred years at least, since these statutes of pandemonium began to disgrace American legislation.[Pg 177]

In the fourth evening's discussion, Mr. B. asserts, page 88, that the N. Y. Observer and Boston Recorder, 'print more matter weekly than all the abolition newspapers in America, put together, do in half a year.' It is really matter of astonishment, that he should venture the utterance of such a glaring falsehood. He ought to have learned to keep at least within the bounds of probability in his fictions. There were at the time when his assertion was made—to say nothing of the monthlies—not less than eight or nine weekly anti-slavery papers, some of which circulated more widely than the Recorder, and not much less widely than the Observer. If we do not mistake, Mr. B. told a story at least forty or fifty times as large as the truth, and we are by no means sure that the proportion is not much larger.

Mr. Thompson, for the purpose of showing what the abolitionists are doing in one department of their work, produced copies of the Slaves Friend, Anti-Slavery Record, Anti-Slavery Anecdotes, Human Rights, Emancipator, Liberator, New York Evangelist, Zion's Herald, Zion's Watchman, Philadelphia Independent Weekly Press, Herald of Freedom, Lynn Record, New England Spectator, &c., and an Anti-Slavery Quarterly. Of these, Mr. B. said 'some of them were, he believed, long ago dead; some could hardly be said ever to have lived; some were purely occasional; the greater part as limited in circulation, as they were contemptible in point of merit. Not above two or three of the dozen or fifteen that had been produced before them were, in fact, worthy to be called respectable and avowed abolition newspapers.' Now for the truth. Not one of them was 'long ago,' or is now 'dead.' Only one of them is 'purely occasional'—the Anti-Slavery Anecdotes—but, with that exception, all are now alive, and nearly every one has a circulation as extensive as that of the Recorder—some, as already stated, still more extensive. And beside these which Mr. Thompson exhibited, there are several other weekly and monthly anti-slavery publications, which are neither dead, nor likely soon to be. The Philanthropist, (its publication suspended indeed, for a short time by the destruction of its press, but soon to be resumed,) the Friend of Man, the American Citizen, the Vermont Telegraph, the Middlebury Free Press, the Vermont State Journal, and a number more, weekly,[Pg 178] and some monthly periodicals are 'avowed abolition newspapers,' some of them devoted almost exclusively to this cause, and all 'respectable' both in character and extent of circulation. Some of them are of the very highest order in point of ability and merit, of the weekly periodicals of the country. Mr. T., therefore, instead of exaggerating in regard to the number of the abolition papers, fell considerably short of the truth.

'Was he [the inhabitant of Louisiana] to be told then, that he should turn off his slaves?' &c., asks Mr. B., page 90, Certainly not—at least, not by abolitionists. They propose that the slaves should be permitted to remain on the plantations and work as free laborers, where their services will be needed, and will be mutually advantageous to themselves and their employers.

Mr. B. denies, page 90, that any person legally free, 'was ever sold into everlasting slavery,' but his denial is only another evidence of the facility with which he can utter, not only gross falsehoods, but falsehoods which contradict notorious facts, and which of course cannot escape detection. Mr. T. has fully exposed this falsehood, by presenting documentary evidence of the fact denied.

Of Mr. B's declarations, on page 91, to which we refer the reader, the Emancipator says, 'All this, if not "gratuitous folly," is at least, unfounded and reckless assertion, which we have scarcely ever seen equalled.'

We ask our readers to turn back, and read again the paragraph on page 97, ending 'to COERCE such emigration, might be a MOST SACRED DUTY,' This has frankness at least, if it has no other good quality to recommend it. But it is the frankness of the tyrant, who, confident of his power to effect his purposes, fears not to avow them, however iniquitous or abominable. And if there be frankness in letting out the design, there is most unblushing impudence in calling its execution 'a sacred duty.' What utter heartlessness too, and what obliquity of moral vision does it exhibit. And this man dares to rank himself with the friends of the colored people! Such a friend as the Holy Inquisitors of Spain, to the heretical Protestants, whom they deem it their 'sacred duty to coerce' with rack and fire, to a renunciation of their heresies. Such a friend as Louis XIV., to the Huguenots,—James I., to the Puritans, and Charles II., to the Scottish Covenanters.[Pg 179]

On page 98, Mr. B. introduces what he calls a speech of Mr. T. at Andover, as reported by a student in the Theological Seminary. Mr. T. has met this anonymous report with counter testimony, not anonymous, but we will add that of the editor of the Emancipator, who says, 'Mr. B. although so often pretending that he had no documents, &c., here read the false and distorted account of Mr. Thompson's speech on this occasion, published at the time in the Boston Courier, and signed C. Having been there at the time, we here record our testimony to the fact of its being false and distorted in its representations.'

Mr. B. on page 109, alludes to what Mr. Thompson has said 'about Dr. Sprague having part of his church curtained round for persons of color,' and says he notices it 'only because it was told as a specimen story.' In the same connection he evidently endeavors to create the impression that the religious privileges of the free colored people are equal to those of the whites. On this, the Emancipator remarks, 'We can testify to the truth of the story in regard to Dr. Sprague's church; and although every church does not separate the blacks from the whites with so much care, or in precisely the same way, yet it is strictly true, that almost, without exception, the separation is made and carefully kept up, and this not only in the ordinary worship of the Sabbath, but even when the church gather about the table of their crucified and common Lord, to partake of the emblems of his dying love.' And after admitting that colored men have, in a few instances, been admitted to theological seminaries, and to a seat in ecclesiastical bodies, the editor adds, and truly, as all familiar with the facts can testify, 'Such instances, however, are few and far between, and whenever they do occur, the individuals concerned are, in many ways, made to feel their inferiority and to know their place. The impression made by Mr. B's representation would be, as a whole, incorrect.'

Mr. B. asserts, page 110, that the free blacks 'in nearly every part of America,' enjoy all civil rights 'to a degree utterly unknown to millions of British subjects,' in various parts of the empire, and 'even in England itself.' 'It would be easy,' says the Emancipator, 'to show that he is wrong in several particulars.' And then, as one, refers to the fact, that the colored man is not secure in his rights or person, but may be dragged into slavery, even from free states, without a jury trial. This one fact is certainly sufficient to disprove Mr. B's assertion.[Pg 180]

'But,' says Mr. B. 'If any rights have been denied them,' as for instance, that of preaching the gospel, 'which Virginia had lately done,' it was all owing to the fury of abolition. See page 110. Yet Stroud cites a law of Virginia, dating back as far as 1819, and being then but the re-enactment of a law before in force, which rendered all assemblies of slaves and free negroes in a meeting house or other place by night, or at any school for teaching reading and writing, by day or night, unlawful assemblies, and subjects any person, slave or free black, found in them, to the punishment of twenty lashes, by order of a justice of the peace. Stroud, page 89.

Mr. B. in the true colonization spirit, takes occasion to slander the colored people, accusing them of 'insolence and imprudence,' and of 'insulting females in the streets of our cities,' and 'setting up claim of perfect domestic equality with their masters,' &c. See page 114. We give the Emancipator's note on this wicked accusation, which is as cruel as it is false. 'This whole representation is false. Nothing can be more so. The modest deportment and the spirit of forbearance manifested by the colored people, from the outset, has been of the most marked as well as praiseworthy character, and in instances not a few, has secured to them the approbation of avowed enemies of the anti-slavery cause.' We add our own testimony, so far as our observation has extended, to the truth of this statement.

In the fifth evening's debate, Mr. B. complains, page 120, that Mr. Thompson 'did not tell them that none of the ministers in twelve whole states were or could easily be slaveholders, seeing they were not inhabitants of a slave state.' And why should he. Would not the mere knowledge of the fact, that 'they were not inhabitants of slave states' render it unnecessary that his hearers should be particularly informed that they were not slaveholders? Does Mr. B. believe that the people of Glasgow supposed Northern ministers to be generally slaveholders? We say generally, for we should not dare to assert that 'none' of them 'were,' whether they 'easily could be' or not. If we have not been misinformed, and we believe we have not, it has been our fortune, good or ill, to hear a northern slaveholding minister preach, a minister too, whose pastoral charge was in the very cradle of this free nation.[Pg 181]

'The overwhelming mass of American ministers,' says Mr. B., 'never owned a slave, and those who had, were exceptions from the general rule.' Mr. T. has demolished this position with a most tremendous broadside of evidence. We add the following quotation, which we find in the Emancipator, from a document published a few months ago, by the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia. 'The number of our ministers is but little more than half the number of our churches, and of those ministers not one fifth sustain any pastoral relation.' The number of ministers is about 100, 'and many of them are obliged to devote a part or the whole of their time to teaching, farming, or some other secular employment, to procure a support for their families.' Farming we all know, means in the slave states, 'slaveholding and slave-driving.'

Mr. B. seems very indignant at the declarations of his opponent, and Moses Roper, (a colored man who had been present at some of the meetings which Mr. T. addressed,) that slaves in America were owned, not only by ministers and church members, but even by churches themselves. He calls Roper's statement, 'the poor negro's silly falsehood,' and says, page 123, 'If there be above five congregations in all America, that own slaves, I never heard of them.' He then mentions three of which he has heard, all in the Southern part of Virginia. The Emancipator, in a note on this part of Mr. B's speech, remarks, 'True, it is not the general practice for churches or ecclesiastical societies at the South, to own slaves as church property, yet we suppose that the practice is by no means uncommon; and the proof is threefold: first, that a number of instances of the kind are actually known; second, that when such instances do occur, they never produce any special sensation in the public mind—are never spoken of as special and extraordinary cases, and never subjects such church to reproof or the loss of ecclesiastical fellowship with other churches; and third, that ministers very generally at the South hold slaves, and that oftentimes when they are unable to buy for themselves, some kind friend makes them a present of one or two for house servants; and if to the ministry, why not the church?' It then goes on to enumerate two instances, beside those admitted by Mr. B., of churches holding slaves, and one of a bequest of slaves to the Missionary Society, [A. B. C. F. M.] and gives also an adver[Pg 182]tisement of the sale of certain property 'belonging to the estate of the late Rev. Dr. Truman,' including land, 'a library chiefly theological,' and 'twenty-seven negroes, two mules, one horse, and an old wagon.' The note thus continues, 'And when these notices appeared in the Southern prints, no body was struck with amazement; no protestation was given to the public that they were extraordinary cases; no Christian minister or Christian newspaper, as we are aware, ever lifted their voice against them as rare cases, or bore their testimony against them as being as monstrous as they were rare. What then is the inference? Why, that such things, if not general, are yet never regarded as singular or uncommon. Now add to these; and others that might be named, the cases admitted by Mr. B., and to this, add the fact that Mr. Paxton at least felt that his church in Virginia could emancipate the fifty slaves they owned, but would not, and then say whose statements have most of the "silly falsehoods" about them, those of Mr. B., or the despised but honest-hearted negro?'

Mr. B. seems to regard it as a mighty grievance, that when there are so few slaveholding ministers, church members, and churches in America, his opponent should charge the guilt of slavery upon the whole American church. But why is not the whole church guilty, if any of its members persist in committing the sin, and yet are regarded as worthy members, in regular standing?—if any of its ministers with hands polluted by the abominable thing, are still allowed, without any ecclesiastical censure, not only to dispense the bread of life from the store-house of God's word, but to distribute the emblems of Christ's body and blood, to those who come around the table to commemorate a Saviour's dying love?—if any of its branches, claiming to hold God's image as property, and treating as 'chattels personal,' their Saviour, in the person of 'one of the least of these' his 'brethren,' are fellow-shipped as sister churches, and unreproved for their iniquity? 'Who dare pretend,' asks the Emancipator, 'That the American church does not uphold and countenance Christian slaveholders in their conduct? True, there are individuals, and individual churches not a few, who do not, but who bear a faithful testimony against them. But how is it with the governing influences of the church? Their character and their acts, and not those of a minority, however[Pg 183] large or respectable are the character and the acts of the church. What then is the position of the governing influences of the American church in regard to American slavery? It is that of protection and countenance. The proceedings of the last General Convention of the Baptists, and the last General Conference of the Methodists, and the last General Assembly of the Presbyterians are our confirmation—and they are "confirmation strong as holy writ." At this very moment, these three bodies stand before the world as the three great Patrons and Protectors of American slavery. Deny it as they will, the gains of the oppressor, the hire kept back by fraud is in their coffers, the blood of the oppressed stains their garments, and they refuse to confess or forsake their sin.'

Mr. B. would doubtless have thought it very uncharitable to cause a large army of Israelites to turn their backs before their enemies, and suffer a shameful and disastrous defeat, just because there was one Achan in the camp.

We cannot but think that the reverend disputant rather unfortunate in his reference to the book of Drs. Cox and Hoby, (see page 128,) for information about the connection of the Baptists with slavery. In looking there for light on that particular point, the reader might chance to stumble on some things about the wicked prejudice against the black man, as well as some sentiments in regard to the treatment of slaves and free blacks generally, that would ill accord with the expressed notions of the Presbyterian delegate.

On page 133, Mr. B. introduces a letter, published in the N. Y. Observer, and signed Truth, which represents the negroes of South Carolina as 'generally well fed, well clothed,' and enjoying 'the means of religious instruction,' and declares that 'great and increasing efforts are made to instruct them in religion, and elevate their characters.' We request our readers to turn back and read the whole letter, and then to compare it with the following extracts from a report on the subject of the religious instruction of the colored people, published in 1834, by the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia. 'We believe that their (the colored population's) moral and religious condition is such, as that they may justly be considered the heathen of this christian country, and will bear comparison with heathen in any country in the world.'[Pg 184]

'The negroes are destitute of the privileges of the gospel, and ever will be, under the present state of things. There were some exceptions to this, the Synod say, and they "rejoice" in it; but although our assertion is broad, we believe that, in general, it will be found to be correct.'

'They can have no access to the the scriptures. They are dependent for their knowledge of Christianity, upon oral instruction. Have they then that amount of oral instruction, which, in their circumstances, is necessary to their enjoyment of the gospel? They have not. From an entire state beyond the Potomac to the Sabine, and from the Atlantic to the Ohio, there are, to the best of our knowledge, not twelve men exclusively devoted to the religious instruction of the negroes.'

The report then goes on to say that 'the negroes do not have access to the gospel through the stated ministry of the whites,' that 'a very small proportion of the ministers in the slaveholding states, pay any attention to them,' that 'they have no churches, neither is there sufficient room for their accommodation in white churches,' and that, in some cases, for want of a place within, 'the negroes who attend, must catch the gospel as it escapes by the doors and windows.' 'We venture to say,' the report continues, 'that not a twentieth part of the negroes attend divine worship on the Sabbath. Thousands and thousands hear not the sound of the gospel, or ever enter a church from one year to another.'

The report says too, that they 'do not enjoy the privileges of the gospel in private, at their houses, or on their plantations. If the master is pious, the house servants alone, and frequently few or none of these attend family worship. In general it does not enter into the arrangement of the plantations, to make provision for their religious instruction. We feel warranted, therefore, in the conclusion, that the negroes are destitute of the privileges of the gospel, and must continue to be so, if nothing more is done for them.'

'We are astonished,' say the Synod, 'thus to find Christianity in absolute conjunction with Heathenism, and yet conferring few or no benefits.'

Our readers, after comparing the above with the letter read by Mr. B., can decide how much right the author of that letter had to sign it 'Truth.'[Pg 185]

Mr. B., page 155, endeavors to escape the force of the immense weight of evidence with which his antagonist presses him to the earth, by sneering at the witnesses as 'obscure,' and for aught that could be known, 'fictitious persons,' although the names are generally given, and yet he quotes evidence to sustain himself, which is absolutely anonymous. See page 132. The Emancipator pertinently asks, 'Can Mr. B. tell us who "Truth" and "A New England man" are? Or are the persons as "fictitious" as their stories?'

Upon Mr. B.'s assertion that Mr. Thompson's testimonies were of this worthless character, the Emancipator has the following note. 'We beg our readers to stop here, and go back and count the documents, and they will find that the very reverse of what Mr. B. has stated is the fact; and that while Mr. B.'s main proofs are, first, his own assertions, and, second, the assertion of individuals, or of anonymous writers in partisan newspapers, Mr. Thompson's main proofs are the formal resolutions and declarations of ecclesiastical bodies, and of those who represent the governing influence in church and state, and that the testimony of individuals, so far as it is used, is brought in only as confirmatory of the other.'

On page 158, Mr. B. attacks Mr. J. A. Thome of Kentucky, with characteristic virulence, because, in a speech at an Anti-Slavery meeting, that young man had boldly exposed the abominations of slavery in his native state. For this act his slanderer calls him 'the ingrate who commenced his career of manhood, by smiting his parent in the face.' But he cautiously avoids attempting—what he was doubtless sensible would be a somewhat difficult task—to disprove the statements of Mr. Thome. It is a little remarkable that the facts stated by Thome, and denied by Mr. B. and his brother at the time, were confirmed abundantly by an article published in the Western Luminary, a Kentucky paper, on the very day on which Mr. Thome made his statement in New York. Thus without any concert or arrangement, two witnesses at a long distance from each other, testified to the same facts, and unfortunately for the credibility of Mr. Breckinridge, those were the facts which he was almost at the same time stoutly denying. Other witnesses of unimpeachable veracity, have since attested the same facts,[Pg 186] and now Mr. B.'s impotent efforts to discredit Mr. Thome, only serve to show his own vexation, malignity and falsehood.

We do not pretend to have noticed all the slips of Mr. B.'s 'unruly member' in this discussion, or to have pointed out every instance in which he has labored with all that ability and ingenuity which we readily admit he possesses, to create false impressions on the minds of his audience; but enough have been pointed out to show in some measure, the degree of confidence which ought to be reposed in his veracity as a witness and his candor and fairness as a reasoner.

A few trifling errors into which Mr. Thompson has fallen, we feel bound to correct; in proceeding to which, however, we cannot but remark that considering the shortness of the time which Mr. T. spent among us, the amount of labor which he performed in lecturing, addressing conventions, debating, &c. &c. and the large portion of his time necessarily consumed in social intercourse with his extensive circle of acquaintance—nay, the very considerable share of it which was required for the mere answering of applications to lecture, which came from every quarter; we are actually astonished at the extent and minuteness of his information, the mass of facts and documents which he has contrived to collect, and what is more, at the general—the almost uniform accuracy of his knowledge of American affairs. The reader has seen how completely furnished he was, how armed at all points, and ever ready to lay his hand on the very weapon which was needed at any stage of the conflict, whether to parry the blow aimed at himself, or to send home to his antagonist's bosom, a vigorous thrust which neither the dexterity of sophistry could elude, nor the buckler of brazen falsehood ward off. Indeed the mass of his documents, and the readiness and aptness to the purpose with which he used them, seems to have been one of the chief causes of the bitter vexation which his opponent continually betrays. That he should have fallen into a few mistakes is nothing surprising—that he should have fallen into so few, is indeed wonderful, and proves the industry and diligence with which he labored at times when from the fatiguing nature, and great amount of his public efforts, one would have supposed he must have been obliged to indulge in perfect repose. But to the errors.[Pg 187]

He stated the first evening, page 12, that there were now, exclusive of the publications of the Anti-Slavery Society, one hundred newspapers boldly advocating the principles of abolition. 'There are,' says the Emancipator, 'about that number friendly to our cause, and that occasionally speak in our behalf, but not that boldly advocate our principles,' or, as perhaps would be the more accurate mode of expression, that do not boldly advocate our principles, in their application to the subject to which we apply them.

On the second evening, Mr. Thompson in speaking of the New York State Anti-Slavery Convention, page 30, said there were 600 delegates at Utica the first day, and that when driven away by a mob, these went to Peterboro', and were there joined by 400 more, making 1000 in all. In reality, it was estimated that nearly or quite 1000 went to Utica, and of these only about 400 went to Peterboro'. The error is indeed immaterial.

In the fourth evening's debate, Mr. T. alluding to Kaufman's slanderous story about him, calls Kaufman 'the son of a slaveholder, and heir to slave property.' Such was supposed to be the case, and we were not aware that this supposition was erroneous, till we met, in the Emancipator's note to this remark of Mr. T., an intimation that this report had been contradicted. 'Mr. K. is from Virginia,' says the note, 'but we believe not a slaveholder or heir to slave property.'

These are all the errors we have observed in the statements of Mr. Thompson, and these are of so little moment that we should not have considered them worthy of notice in his opponent.

It is perhaps unnecessary in concluding, formally to acknowledge, what the reader cannot fail to have perceived, our large indebtedness to the editor of the Emancipator for aid in the preparation of this appendix. The truth is, our hands are at this time so plentifully filled with business, that we have had but little time, to spare for this work, and were glad to avail ourselves of the labors of one who had, to such good purpose, just gone over the ground before us.

C. C. BURLEIGH.

Boston, Sept. 22, 1836.

FOOTNOTES

[A] Called indented apprentices, but from the connection in which it stands in the census, we infer that they are virtually slaves.

[B] See Gurley's Life of Ashmun, page 139.

[C] Speech of Henry Clay. Tenth Annual Report of the American Colonization Society.

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