A REVIEW OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN;
AN ESSAY ON SLAVERY,
BY A. WOODWARD, M.D.
CINCINNATI: PUBLISHED BY APPLEGATE & CO.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, BY A. WOODWARD, M.D., In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the District of Indiana.
For the last two years a "still small voice" has constantly whispered to me, in private and in public, at home and abroad, saying, write! It was in vain that I strove to quiet this inward monitor by pleading incapacity, poverty, want of time, &c.; he heeded not my excuses. I inquired what would become of my dependant family, should I relinquish the practice of my profession and engage in other pursuits? He answered, "Put thy trust in the Lord, and write!" I yielded not to his monitions, but continued with unabated ardor the practice of my profession, until the latter part of autumn, 1852, when I was suddenly prostrated by disease, and forced to desist from the practice of medicine. I then commenced as soon as I was able, the preparation of a work, which I contemplated bringing before the public at some future period, provided I should live. In accordance with the plan of the proposed work, an essay on African slavery was to close the volume. After I had finished about a hundred pages manuscript, in order, the question of African slavery in the United States suddenly thrust itself upon my mind with such force, that I found it somewhat difficult to investigate any other subject. My mind at the time was enervated by disease, and by no means well disciplined. Hence I could not control it. For this reason, I at once concluded to draw up a skeleton or outline of my essay on slavery; after which I contemplated resuming my work in regular order. It was about this time that my health rapidly declined, and I became so feeble that I could not sit at my table more than one or two hours in twenty-four. In this condition, by a slow process, I finished from chapter i, to the close of chapter xiii. The Introduction was written afterwards, to supply some obvious defects in that portion of the work alluded to.
None need tell me that there are defects and imperfections in the work. I am well aware of the fact, but could not remedy them without re-writing the whole, and that was impracticable under the circumstances. Critics need not trouble themselves about its defects as a literary production, as I lay no claim to merit on that ground. Having been actively engaged in the practice of an arduous and perplexing profession for the last twenty-five years, I am aware that my qualifications for authorship must be somewhat defective. I was moreover forced to write, when my corporeal system was exhausted, and my mental powers oppressed by a complication of diseases. There are not many, I conceive, who will find any difficulty in clearly comprehending the ideas I intended to convey; if so, my object is accomplished.
The work was written under disadvantageous circumstances; but such as it is, I cast it out on the great sea of public opinion to abide its fate. If good is accomplished thereby, I shall rejoice; but if it is destined to sink into oblivion, I shall console myself with the reflection that I had no other object in writing, but the correction of error and the welfare of my fellow creatures. I may err, but I appeal to "the searcher of all hearts" for the purity of my motives and intentions. Whatever may be the effects of this work on the public mind; light and truth were my aim, and the best interests of my fellow beings, my sole object.
I appear before the public with reluctance, and am exceedingly mortified that it has fallen to my lot to treat any portion of my fellow citizens with severity; but I am nevertheless prepared to meet the sneers and frowns of those implicated. I shall offer no apology for the harsh language which will be occasionally found in this volume; as a desperate disease requires an active remedy. If I could, however, have re-written the work, I would have changed, in some places, the phraseology. I have brought many and serious charges against the abolition faction in the United States, but those who are not guilty of the charges alleged, need not feel aggrieved thereby. My remarks, for the most part refer to what is called ultra-abolitionism.
It is probable that I have occasionally quoted the language of others, without marking the same as a quotation. If so, it was not intentional. I could not, in doubtful cases, refer to writers whose ideas I may have used, on account of ill health. In quoting from the Bible I relied almost entirely on my own memory; but I presume I am generally correct.
I have now finished a task—by no means a pleasant one—and I have done it with a trembling hand, for the subject is a delicate one—a subject of intense interest, under the existing circumstances, to every American citizen. To me, the signs of the times appear to be ominous—to forebode evil! I sometimes fear that our political sun has passed the zenith—lowering clouds intercept his rays, and at times obscure his former brightness, majesty and glory. The ship of State is tossed by furious winds, and threatened by boisterous waves—rocks and quicksands are on the right and left—an awful wreck awaits her, and can only be averted by vigilance, prudence, caution and circumspection on the part of her crew.
GREENCASTLE, IND., May, 1853.
Transcriber's Note: The CONTENTS are printed at the end of this book.
REVIEW OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN;
AN ESSAY ON SLAVERY.
Since the following chapters were prepared for the press, my attention was directed by a friend, to a letter published in a Northern paper, which detailed some shocking things, that the writer had seen and heard in the South; and also some severe strictures on the institution of domestic slavery in the Southern States, &c.
I have in the following work, related an anecdote of a young lawyer, who being asked how he could stand up before the court, and with unblushing audacity state falsehoods; he very promptly answered, "I was well paid; I received a large fee, and could therefore afford to lie." I infer from the class of letters referred to, that the writers are generally "well paid" for their services.
It has long been a practice of abolition editors in the Northern States, when they were likely to run short of matter, to employ some worthy brother, to travel South, and manufacture articles for their papers. Many of those articles are falsehoods; and most of them, if not all, are exaggerations.
No man who will consent to go south, and perform this dirty work, is capable of writing truth. And moreover, many of the letters published in abolition papers, purporting to have been written from some part of the South, were concocted by editors and others at home; the writers never having traveled fifty miles from their native villages. But some of them do travel South and write letters; and it is of but little consequence what they see, or what they hear; they have engaged to write letters, and letters they must write: letters too, of a certain character; and if they fail to find material in the South, it then devolves on them to manufacture it.
They have engaged to furnish food for the depraved appetites of a certain class of readers in the North; and furnish it they must, by some means. They truly, are an unlucky set of fellows, for I never yet heard of one of them, who was so fortunate as to find anything good or praiseworthy among Southern people. This is very strange indeed! They travel South with an understanding on the part of their employer, and with an intention on their part, to misrepresent the South, and to excite prejudice in Northern minds. How devoid of patriotism, truth and justice. The mischief done by these misrepresentations is inconceivable. If every abolitionist North of Mason and Dixon's line, were separately and individually asked, from whence he derived his opinions and prejudices in relation to Southern men, and Southern slavery, nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand would answer, that they had learned all that they knew about slavery and slaveholders from the publication of abolitionists: not one in a thousand among them having ever seen a southern slave or his master. "Truth is stranger than fiction;" and it is also becoming more rare. No wonder people are misled, when the country is flooded with abolition papers and Uncle Tom's Cabin. No one can read such publications without being misled by them, unless he is, or has been, a resident of a slave State. It is thus that materials are furnished for abolition papers and such publications as Uncle Tom's Cabin; and it is thus that the public mind is poisoned, public morals vitiated, and honest but ignorant men led to say and do many things, which must, sooner or later, result in deplorable consequences, unless something can be brought to bear on the public mind that will counteract the evil. The writer hopes, through the blessing of God, that the following pages will prove an efficient antidote.
Southern people have their faults; they err in many things: and far be it from me, under such circumstances, to become their apologist. It is not as a defender of the South I appear before the public, but in defense of my country, North and South. We are all brethren; we are all citizens of the same heaven-favored country; and how residents of one part of it can spend their lives in vilifying, traducing, and misrepresenting those of another portion of it, is, to me, unaccountable. It is strange, indeed! I entreat my countrymen to reflect soberly on these things; and in the name of all that is sacred I entreat you, my abolition friends, to pause a while, in your mad career, and review the whole ground. It may be that some of you may yet see the error of your course. I cannot give you all up. I trust in God that you are not all given over to "hardness of heart and reprobacy of mind." A word to the reader. Pass on—hear me through—never mind my harsh expressions and uncouth language. Truth is not very palatable, to any of us, at all times. Crack the nut; it may be that you will find a kernel within that will reward you for your trouble.
False impressions have been made, and continue to be made by the writers alluded to above; sectional hatred is engendered, North and South; and if this incessant warfare continues, it will, at no very distant day, produce a dissolution of this Union. This result is inevitable if the present state of things continues. Has the agitation and discussion of the question of African slavery, in the free States, resulted in any good, or is it ever likely to result in any? I flatter myself that I have clearly shown, in the following pages, that hitherto its consequences have been evil and only evil, and that nothing but evil can grow out of it in future. I think that I have adduced historical facts which clearly and indisputably prove that northern agitation has served but to rivet the chains of slavery; that it has retarded emancipation; that it has augmented the evils and hardships of slavery; that it has inflicted injury on both masters and servants; that it has engendered sectional hatred which endangers the peace, prosperity, and perpetuity of the Union. Why, then, will abolitionists persist in a course so inconsistent; so contrary to reason; so opposed to truth, righteousness, and justice? They need not tell me that slavery is an evil; that slavery is a curse; that slavery is a hardship, and that it ought to be extinguished. I admit it; but this is not the question. On this head I have no controversy with them. The question is, whether their course of procedure is ever likely to remove or mitigate the evils of slavery. Are we prepared, in our efforts to remove the evils of slavery, to incur the risk of subjecting ourselves to calamities infinitely worse that African slavery itself? Or rather, is there the remotest probability, supposing the plans and schemes of abolitionists should be carried out, the Union dissolved, and the country plunged into civil war, that slavery would thereby be abolished in the southern States?
These are the questions at issue between the abolition party and the writer; and these are among the prominent questions discussed in the following pages. It is true that I have hastily glanced at slavery in all its bearings, but it was the fell spirit of abolitionism which first attracted my attention, and induced me to investigate the subject. It was its revolutionary designs and tendencies, its contempt of all law, human and Divine, that first impressed my mind with the necessity of prompt and efficient action on the part of the friends of our country. It was the unparalleled circulation of Uncle Tom's Cabin that aroused my fears, and excited in my mind apprehensions of danger. If such productions as Uncle Tom's Cabin are to give tone to public sentiment in the North, then assuredly are we in danger. Should Mrs. Stowe's vile aspersion of southern character, and her loose, reckless and wicked misrepresentations of the institution of slavery in the southern States ever become accredited in the northern section of the Union I fear the consequence. I sometimes survey the condition of my country with consternation and dismay, and tremble in prospect of what may yet occur. History records the rise and fall of nations. We read of revolutions, butcheries, and blood. We have flattered ourselves that our beloved country for ages to come, and probably forever, is destined to escape these calamities. But, O God! how mortifying the reflection that there are now, in our midst, religious fanatics and political demagogues, who for a little paltry gain or notoriety would plunge us into all these evils!
I have repeatedly, in the following pages charged the abolition faction with revolutionary designs and tendencies. Some may doubt the truth and justice of the charge; but I beg such persons to recollect that abolition writers and orators have, times without number, avowed an intention to overthrow this government; but it matters not what their avowed designs and intentions are, for their lawless and seditious course leads directly to that result. If they ever succeed in carrying out their plans and schemes we know that revolution and disunion will be the consequence. It was remarked by Mr. Frelinghuysen, of New York, on a certain occasion, that "abolitionists are seeking to destroy our happy Union." Chancellor Walworth says, "They are contemplating a violation of the rights of property secured by the Constitution, and pursuing measures which must lead to civil war."
The union of these States is based on what has been called the slavery compromise; and the Union would have never taken place, had not the right to hold slave property been secured to the slave states, by a provision in the Federal Constitution. Had not the free states relinquished all right to interfere with slavery in the slave states, no union of the slave and free states could ever have taken place. The right to hold slave property, and to manage, control, and dispose of that property in their own way, and at their own discretion, was secured to the slave states by a solemn contract between the slave and non-slaveholding states, and that contract binds every individual in this nation, North and South. Slave property then, is held under the protection of the supreme law of the nation, and any citizen invading the rights of the South, is guilty of a civil trespass. Hence, all interference with slavery by northern men, is a violation of the spirit, if not of the letter of that constitutional compact, which binds these states together. Any attempt by northern men, either direct or indirect, to dispossess the South of her slave property, or in any way to endanger or injuriously to affect their interests therein, is a violation of the supreme law of the nation. It is an act of bad faith—of gross injustice, and none but bigoted corrupt fanatics, and low political demagogues, would be guilty of so base an act.
It is clear then, that the slave states never will yield to the requisitions of abolitionists, and should that faction ever become the dominant party in the free states, dissolution of the Union will be a necessary consequence Intelligent men, who will persist in a course of conduct so unjust, so illegal, with a perfect knowledge of the probable consequences; are to all intents and purposes, as truly traitors to their country, as was Benedict Arnold; and as such, they should be viewed and treated. Mark my words, reader, I say, intelligent men, for nine out of every ten among those who have been seduced into the abolition net, are objects of pity, and not of contempt or indignation. Poor souls, they are ignorant; it is, I suppose, their misfortune and not their fault.
In order that I may be clearly understood, I will reiterate tho foregoing argument. Before the adoption of the Federal constitution, the states were to a great extent sovereign and independent, and of course were in a condition to settle terms on which to form a more perfect union. The North and the South, otherwise, the slave-holding and the non-slaveholding states met in convention to settle those terms. The North in convention conceded to the South the right to hold slave property; and the sole right of making all laws necessary for the regulation of slavery. It was thus, we see, by a solemn contract or agreement, that the South acquired exclusive right to control domestic slavery within her borders. What right then, have the citizens of free states, to intermeddle with it? They have none, as long as the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The union of these states is based on that instrument, and whenever we cease faithfully to observe its provisions, the Union must necessarily cease to exist. All interference then on the part of the North, endangering the rights or injuriously affecting the interests of the South in slave property, is a violation of the supreme law of the nation. I need not say more; the argument must be clear to every one; and I think the duty of all concerned equally clear.
Ralfe, referring to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, says, "It was no easy task to reconcile the local interests and discordant prepossessions of different sections of the United States, but it was accomplished by acts of concession." Madison says, "Mutual deference and concession were absolutely necessary," and that the Southern States never would have entered the Union, without concession as to slave property. And Governor Randolph informs us, "That the Southern States conceived their property in slaves to be secured by this arrangement?"
We are also informed by Patrick Henry, Chief Justice Tiglman, Chancellor Kent, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Justice Shaw, Chief Justice Parker, Edward Everett and others, that no union of these states ever could have taken place, had not the right to hold slave property, and the sole right to control that property been conceded to the southern States. And, Edward Everett, moreover, tells us that the northern States "deemed it a point of the highest policy, to enter with the slave states into the present Union." The reader will observe, that a majority of the authorities referred to, are northern men of the highest distinction.
I remarked in the preceding pages, that whoever invades the rights of the South in her slave property, violates the law of the land, and is guilty of a civil trespass; and I will now prove from the sacred record, that in opposing the civil laws of their country, they violate the laws of God, and consequently are guilty of a moral trespass. The primitive church of Christ was, under all circumstances, and at all times, subordinate to the civil authorities. They never stopped to inquire whether the laws were good or bad, just or unjust; their business was to obey the laws and not to find fault with them.
Christ and his apostles enjoined on their followers unreserved obedience and submission to the civil authorities. I need not here quote the language of our Saviour; it must be familiar to every Bible reader. I will, however, quote the remarks of St. Paul and St. Peter, on this topic. The former says, "Let every soul be subject to the higher powers." "Whosoever therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." He instructs Bishop Titus to put his flock "in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, and to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." "To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing meekness unto all men." St. Peter says, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of men for the Lord's sake; whether to the king as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers." There is neither precept nor precedent in the Bible, which will countenance opposition to the laws of our country. No, not one word in the sacred volume, that can be thus construed. Opposition and resistance to the civil authorities, is one of the many corruptions winch have crept into the church of Christ. Men "have become wise above what is written;" and truly as our Saviour said unto the ancient scribes and pharisees, "they shall receive the greater damnation."
What a marked contrast between Christ and his apostles, and the apostles of modern reform, alias abolitionists. How dare they professing Christianity to fly in the face of the laws of their country? How dare they resist the execution of those laws? How dares Mrs. Stowe inculcate disobedience and open resistance to her country's laws? Great God! shall our country ever be freed from the dark and damnable deeds of religious fanatics? Shall our country ever be freed from the curse of curses, religious ultraism, bigotry, and delusion? Let those who profess to be the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus—those who profess to take the Bible as their guide, cease from their unwarrantable and seditious opposition to the laws of their country; or otherwise let them renounce the Bible, lay aside their Christian garb, and appear before us in their true colors, that we may know who they are, what they are, whom they serve, and under what standard they are fighting. Throw off your masks, gentlemen; don't try to deceive us any longer; some of us understand you, and we intend to expose you, and hold you up to the public gaze, as long as the good Lord will vouchsafe to us health and strength sufficient to sit in our seats, and hold a pen in our hands. Your conduct is a reproach to the Christian name, a stigma on the Christian character.
There are nearly four millions of slaves in the United States; and the question now presents itself to every free born American citizen; what are we to do with them? The abolition party demand their immediate emancipation. Is it practicable, safe, or proper? What would be the consequences? What would be the consequence of turning loose upon ourselves four millions of human beings, to prowl about like wild beasts without restraint, or control, and commit depredations on the white population? Four millions of human beings without property or character, and utterly devoid of all sense of honor and shame, or any other restraining motive or influence whatever! And they too, under the ban of a prejudice, as firm, as fixed as the laws which govern the material universe. In that event, is it not probable; is it not almost certain, that there would be either a general massacre of the slaves, or otherwise that the white population would be forced to abandon the soil? Will any one pretend to deny that either entire extinction of the African race would be likely to result from universal emancipation, supposing the manumitted slaves should remain in our midst, or that otherwise the consequences would be disastrous to the white population? None, I presume. What then shall we do? The slaves are among us; they must be governed and provided for, and is it not our duty in making provisions for them, to act with reference to the general welfare of all concerned—white and black? Is there an intelligent man in this nation, who has reflected on the subject, that really believes that the condition of the African race in the United States, would be bettered or improved in any respect, by immediate emancipation? I have clearly shown in the following pages that it would not. Facts prove the contrary. Yes, stubborn undeniable facts, that none but a knave or a fool will gainsay. We know that improvidence, idleness, vagrancy, and crime, are the fruits of emancipation; not only in the United States, but also in the West Indies. We have already stated on good English authority, (Lord Brougham), that the West India free negroes, are rapidly retrograding into their original barbarism and brutality; and the London Times quite recently asserted, that the British emancipation experiment was a failure; that the negro would not work; that his freedom was little better than that of a brute; that the island was going to the dogs, and the negroes would have to be removed, &c. Have we any reason to believe, that a different result would follow emancipation in the United States? No, we have none, for it is a notorious fact, that free negroes are everywhere idle and vicious in this country, and that crime among them is ten-fold more common than it is among Southern slaves.
We hear a great deal about emancipation—the freedom of the African race—free negroes, &c. It is all sheer nonsense. Strictly speaking, there is not a free negro in the limits of the United States! There never has been, and there never will be. The white and the black races have never co-existed under the same government, on equal footing, and never can. Their liberty is only nominal! "It is all a lie and a cheat!" Is the negro free any where in the Northern States? No, he is not. There is no sympathy between the two races. Northern people loathe and despise free negroes. They cannot bear the sight or smell of them. The negro then is not free anywhere in the Northern States. Not only the prejudices, but also the laws of the free states proclaim it impossible: and the prejudices of the whites against the African race is stronger in the free states, than it is in the slave states. Every free state in this Union is disposed to cast them off as a nuisance. They cannot bear their presence. Their very color renders them odious; and this aversion to the African race, is daily becoming stronger and stronger in every free state in this union. Nothing can counteract it—nothing can overcome it. It is in the very nature of things impossible. No, no! Negro novels piled mountain high in every street and alley, in every city and village in this Union, will accomplish nothing for the poor despised African. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots," then may ye who are accustomed to loathe, shun, and cast off the African race, receive them to your kind embraces.
It is true that abolitionists affect to have a great deal of sympathy for them while they are slaves in the South, but they have none for the ignorant, degraded, half starved, ill clad, free negroes in the North. No wonder, for their Southern sympathy costs them nothing, but Northern sympathy might empty their purses. Show me the abolitionist who is willing to meet the free negro on terms of equality. No man can point to one—no, not one. The African is neglected, scorned, and trodden under foot every where; by abolitionists and every one else. This prejudice is invincible, irremediable. The poor African is hopelessly and irretrievably doomed to scorn, contempt and degradation while in the midst of the white race. Is the African allowed the ordinary privileges of the white man any where in all the liberty loving North? Show me the spot! Where is it? Show me the state—show me the neighborhood—the man—the woman among all the white race in all the North, who is willing to allow the despised African, the ordinary privileges of white men. Ah! you cannot do it. Shame! shame! Hold! cease,—for God's sake cease your hypocritical cant about Southern slavery. No! no! there is not a state in all this union where they enjoy the privileges of white men. There is not—there never has been—and there never will be! They are no where equal parties in an action at law. They are no where credible witnesses against white men. They are no where allowed the right of suffrage; or if the law allows it, they are not suffered to avail themselves of it. They are no where admitted as judge, juror, or counsellor. They are no where eligible to any office of profit, trust, or honor. Their children are no where admitted into the same school-room with the whites. They are no where protected, encouraged, and rewarded in all the North. They are victims of injustice, scorned and despised in every free state in this confederacy. And abolitionists are as far from making equals of them, or associating with them, as any one else.
The city of Baltimore presents the largest and most intelligent mass of free negroes found in the United States. These in an appeal to the citizens of Baltimore, and through them to the people of the United States, say, "we reside among you, and yet are strangers,—natives, yet not citizens—surrounded by the freest people and the most republican institutions in the world, and yet we enjoy none of the immunities of freedom. As long as we remain among you, we shall be a distinct race—an extraneous mass of men irrecoverably excluded from your institutions. Though we are not slaves—we are not free."
Judge Blackford, speaking of free negroes, says, "They are of no service here, (in the free states,) to the community or themselves. They live in a country, the favorite abode of liberty, without the enjoyment of her rights."
Dr. Miller says, "if liberated and left among the whites, they would be a constant source of corruption, annoyance and danger. They could never be trusted as faithful citizens."
There is at last no sympathy between the two races, except in the slave states. There, for the most part, we find kind feelings and strong attachments between the slaves and the families in which they reside. I must, however, refer the reader to other parts of this volume for additional remarks on the subjects discussed in the preceding pages,—more particularly to chapters, 4, 5, 6, 7. But I would ask, in the name of all that is sacred, what advantage, what benefit under these circumstances is conferred on the Southern slaves by emancipation? I know from personal observation, that Southern slaves are better fed, better clothed, and better housed than are free negroes, either North or South; in short, they are better paid for their labor. The South is the only part of the United States, where ministers of the gospel are successful in Christianizing the African race—the only part of the United States where there is anything like good order, good morals, or Christianity among them. The only place at last, on this continent, where the African is cared for and provided for, and where there is any thing like sympathy, kindness or fellow-feeling between the two races.
It would be well for the people of the United States to inquire into the origin of this slavery agitation. It is of foreign origin! It was our old enemy England, that first sowed broadcast the seeds of dissension in our midst. Abolitionism in this country first originated in, and has been sustained by, foreign interference, and religious fanaticism. It is the last hope of European monarchies to destroy our republic. The fact is notorious, and is susceptible of proof, that the abolition excitement was first set on foot in this country by British influence. There has been a constant effort in England, to array the North against the South. "We have the best of reasons for believing, that her original object was the severance of this Union." One English journal says, "The people of England will never rest, till slavery is terminated in the United States;" and another says, "Slavery can only be reached through the Federal Constitution." That is, slavery can only be reached, by destroying our present form of government, and dissolving our Union. The English are well aware, that they cannot reach slavery in this country, except by dissolving our Union and involving us in civil war; in which war, of course, they expect to take an active part. In the name of God, are we prepared for all this? Have we ever counted the cost? I hope I shall be pardoned for using strong language, when I allude to this subject. It is enough. Who that loves his country, can keep cool, while reflecting on these things? Is it not almost enough to make a Christian swear? No my friends we will not swear about it; but I entreat you to keep your eyes upon that old rascal, John Bull. He needs watching, and his Northern allies in the United States, are as vile scamps as he is.
I might quote from English journals, and English statesmen, to show what her feelings, views, and intentions have been in relation to this country; but I forbear at present. We know that her unwarrantable interference with the civil institutions of our country, did not originate in any sympathy that she felt for the oppressed African in our midst. The idea is ridiculous. The whole history of the English government proves the contrary. Talk about the English government sympathizing with the oppressed of other nations. It is nonsense—a ridiculous inconsistency. No part of the English government can be pointed out, in which there is not worse slavery in some form or other, than there is in the United States:—yes, worse, far worse, than negro-slavery in the Southern States. What says Southy, the English poet, of the great mass of the English poor? He says that "they are deprived, in childhood, of all instruction, and enjoyment. They grow up without decency—without comfort—without hope—without morals, and without shame." The North British Review expressed similar sentiments. If I am correctly informed, negro slavery, itself, is not extinct in the British dominions. I am aware that they call it an apprenticeship, but it is slavery notwithstanding. Yes, it is involuntary slavery and nothing else. But yet she would have us believe that she feels an intense interest in African slavery, in the United States. How does it happen that she is so interested about slavery among us, but is deaf to the cry of her own enslaved and starving millions, in British India, and other parts of her dominions? It is said that in 1838, five hundred thousand perished of famine, in a single district, in British India; and that too within the reach of English granaries locked up, and guarded by a military force! This is a fair sample of English benevolence; alias, English cupidity. And what says Allison the English historian of wretched Ireland? Her history and her sufferings are familiar to every one. He avows the opinion, in his History of Europe, "that it would be a real blessing to its inhabitants, in lieu of the destitution of freedom, to obtain the protection of slavery." And Murray the English traveler says of the slaves of the United States, "if they could forget that they are slaves, their condition is decidedly better than the great mass of European laborers." And what said Dr. Durbin a few years ago of the British nation? He told us that "the mass of the people were slaves, and the few were masters without the responsibility of masters." He proceeds to tell us, that the condition of the slaves of the United States, is in every respect better than millions in Ireland and England. This is the testimony of a distinguished minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, (North,) whom, nobody will suspect of any undue partiality for Southern slave-holders. When we look at the "degradation, the slavery, the exile, the hunger, the toil, the filth and the nakedness," of the English poor, we are astonished at the brazen impudence of that cruel, godless, and hypocritical nation! Nor are we less surprised, when we think of the ungodly crew of fools and fanatics in the United States, who are leagued with that monster England to overthrow their own government! I have said, and I boldly reiterate the assertion, that slavery exists in every part of the British dominions, in a form far worse than negro slavery in the United States! And I am able to corroborate the truth of the remark, by a volume of the most reliable testimony; and much of that might be drawn from the admissions of English Journals, and English statesmen. I will quote a few more English authorities, and dismiss the subject. The British Asiatic Journal says, "the whole of Hindostan, with the adjacent possessions, is one magnificent plantation, peopled by more than one hundred millions of slaves, belonging to a company of gentlemen in England, whose power is far more unlimited than any Southern planter over his slaves in the United States." And the same authority tells us, "that in Malabar, the islands of Ceylon, St. Helena and other places, the English government is a notorious slave-factor—a regular jobber in the purchase and sale of slaves; and that this system is carried on and perpetuated by the purses and bayonet of the English government." Dr. Bowering affirms of the British subjects in India, "that the entire population of that empire are subjected to the most degrading servitude—a deeper degradation than any produced by American slavery." The same writer declares "that a regular system of kidnapping is carried on by the English." The Duke of Wellington remarked in the House of Lords, that "slavery does exist in India—domestic slavery in particular." Sir Robert Peel made the charge and offered the evidence, "that British merchants are even now deeply and extensively engaged in the slave trade;" and that the English government was, at the time he spoke, "engaged in a new system of English negro slavery, by the forcible capture of negroes in Africa, &c." We are told by the London Times of Feb. 20, 1853, "that British slavery is ten thousand times worse than negro slavery of the United States," and that the condition of those, whom he denominated British slaves, "is a scandal and a reproach, not only to the government, but to the owners of every description of property in England." This is strong language, and the reader will please recollect, that it is the testimony of a leading English Journal, so late as February, 1853.
Here is an array of English testimony that cannot fail to convince every one that slavery exists to the present moment in the English dominions, in a form far more aggravated than African slavery in the United States. How is it then, that she has been, and is to the present time, making ceaseless and untiring efforts to exaggerate the sufferings and the disabilities of the African race in our midst, while there is so much suffering and oppression among her own subjects? Is it not an, extraordinary circumstance, that a nation who has expended so much blood and treasure in invading the rights of others—a nation that to the present hour tolerates and legalizes slavery in its worst possible forms—or rather, in every possible form; should affect so much solicitude about its extinction in a foreign government? In view of all these facts, is it not a humiliating circumstance; or rather, is it not an outrageous insult to the American people, that Madam Stowe, after having basely caricatured, slandered and misrepresented her own country, to flatter and please the English people, and their Northern allies in the United States; should with her ill-gotten gains fly across the ocean, to join the slanderers, denunciators and libelers of our beloved country? The world can't produce another instance of such insulting, arrogant, bare-faced knavery and hypocrisy! A thousand reflections force themselves on my mind, and had I a voice as seven-fold thunder, and could I congregate around me in one solid phalanx, every man, woman and child, on the North American portion of this continent; I would warn them of their danger. I would direct their attention to the history of nations wrecked, torn to pieces, and almost obliterated from the face of the earth by internal feuds and dissentions—by envy, jealousy and hatred; and that not unfrequently instigated by foreign powers. I would point to the catalogue of crimes—the commotions, the dissentions, the tumults, the strife—the envy, the jealousy, the hatred—the wars, the butcheries and bloodsheds, that have been incited by visionary, bigoted, fanatical religionists. I would inculcate the fear and love of God; the love of our country, and the love of our neighbor as paramount virtues; and meekness, gentleness and patience, as Christian graces of the first importance; and resignation to the will of God, and obedience and submission to civil authorities, as the duty of all good citizens. And to the ladies I would say, return home ladies, and love your husbands, nurse your babies, attend to your household affairs; and recollect, that nothing adorns your sex so much, as the ornament of a meek, a quiet spirit. I would also advise you to read your Bibles and other good books, and never again to read or write another novel. And, dear ladies, if you have hitherto worn either bloomers or breeches, lay them aside. I must return from this digression to the subject under discussion.
It was said a few years ago, that one of the nobility of England openly declared, that the sovereigns of Europe had determined upon the destruction of the government of the United States; and that they expected to accomplish their infamous designs by involving us in "discord, disunion, anarchy and civil war." He is reported moreover to have said, that they expected to accomplish this, by flooding our country with their vicious refuse pauper population, and by agitating the subject of slavery among us. Unfortunately for us, England in her nefarious designs upon our country, has always found too many allies, aiders and abettors, in our midst. I will not say, that Mrs. Stowe had designs upon the liberties of her country, when she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin; but this I will say, that in writing that book, she performed an acceptable service for the enemies of her country, for which it seems, from recent demonstrations, they are profoundly thankful. Be it as it may, she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin; the work was republished in England, and we are credibly informed, that it has almost supplanted the Bible in that country. Travelers tell us, that nothing else is talked about throughout the British dominions. They received it, I suppose, as a revelation from heaven—revelation of higher authority than the Bible, for the reason, that it is of more recent origin. Well, she is invited to England by the nation en masse; and if the Saviour of the world should perchance make his advent into the British Isles, on the day that she lands in that country, I think it highly probable, that he would be forced a second time to take lodgings in a manger. He might wander through the country unnoticed and unknown, while the whole nation were draggling after Mrs. Stowe's petticoat. He might again be forced to exclaim, "the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" to rest. No Marthas and Marys would be found in that reprobate country, to minister to him. If so, they would be found among the "lowly," and we understand that they have no part or lot in Mrs. Stowe's visit. No! no! she has made money enough by her "life among the lowly" and now she is preparing to take her stand among the aristocracy of England.
We have had from time to time all sorts of isms and schisms in this world; and Yankee ingenuity has furnished us, withal, with a great variety of notions and notable things; among which, wooden nutmegs, wooden bacon hams, horn gun flints and wooden seeds of different kinds, are not the least remarkable. We certainly have had isms enough to indulge the whims and caprices, and to suit the peculiar predilections, prejudices and prepossessions of all concerned; but it appears from present indications, that we are about to have a new ism forced upon us, whether we will or no. I allude to Uncle Tomism, which I beg leave to call Tomism, as it will sound rather more euphonious. It is rumored that this new sect, viz., the Tomites, have spread with great rapidity through the New England States within the past year; and it is moreover reported, that they have many adherents in other parts of the Union. It must have been the rapid spread of Mormonism that first suggested the idea to Mrs. Stowe, the founder of this sect; for like Jo. Smith, she has furnished her adherents with a novel for their Bible; and it is said that a Key to its mysteries is forthcoming. In order that nothing should be wanting for their enlightenment, edification and comfort, a distinguished D.D. of a neighboring city, has furnished them with an elaborate Commentary. The Key and Commentary I have not seen, but their Bible, viz., Uncle Tom's Cabin, I have read. However popular Tomism may be in America, it is said to be more so in England. It appears that this Woolyism, alias, Tomism, has spread with unparalleled rapidity throughout, the British domains, and Mrs. Stowe has hastened to that country to instruct them in the doctrines and mysteries of this New Revelation. I would suggest to the English nation, that they suffer Mrs. Stowe to make her debut on the lord chancellor's woolsack. Black wool, of course, would be most appropriate on this occasion, and withal, most significant of her mission.
However the English nation may shed their crocodile tears over the woes and wrongs of the African race in our country; we know that they are a nation of murderers, thieves and robbers. Their religion is little else, but legalized hypocrisy. Justice and humanity never yet found a place in their moral code. It looks well in them to talk about oppression in other lands; but so it is the world over. Men as vile as crime can make them, will arrogate to themselves the right to judge and censure others. The history of England for centuries past, is but a record of crime—of wars, butcheries and bloodshed—rapine, injustice, oppression and inhumanity. But she will talk about negro slavery in the United States notwithstanding—and of liberty, and justice, and truth, and righteousness, and the rights of man! "Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye."
Perhaps, my English friends, while Mrs. Stowe is in your midst, you had as well suffer her to look around among your "lowly." Perchance she might find material for another novel. Ah! that would be cruel indeed. Well, it would—but then it might turn out a good speculation "among the lowly;" and a Yankee is always ready for that. Well, seriously, my good friends across the water, you had better not trust this lady too far. We are aware that when you invited her to your country, it was no part of your design, that she should spend any portion of her time among your servants. Well, then, I would advise you as a friend, not to trust Yankee cupidity too far. Watch the lady well, otherwise she might yet make a little money by a "life" among your "lowly."
But the English nation have had another object in view, in fanning this flame of discord among us, by keeping up the slavery agitation. It was to conceal their own dark and damnable deeds. It is the universal practice of those who are guilty of criminal acts, to bring railing accusations against others, in order to divert public attention from themselves. So it has been with England. She has grown rich by injustice and oppression. Hence, her attempt to divert the attention of the world from herself to her rival, the United States. We know that it is a common occurrence for persons to attempt to conceal their own crimes, by directing attention to the crimes of others—to justify themselves, by making the impression, that others are just as bad as they are. It has often brought to mind an altercation I once witnessed between a couple of boys. One remarked to the other, that he was a thief. "I don't care," (replied the little urchin,) "if I am a tief; you are a tief too." So it has been with old mother England, she knew well, that she was a "tief" but she did not care, provided she could make it appear that her daughter, the United States, was a "tief" too.
I will now dismiss John Bull and return to Mrs. Stowe and her abolition coadjutors in general—one and all. I am heartily sick and tired of this whole abolition clap-trap, catch-penny business. I cannot express my views on the subject better than in the language of Graham's Magazine. Alluding to Uncle Tom's Cabin, and other kindred publications, he very justly remarks, "that they are all together speculations in patriotism—a question of dollars and cents, not of slavery or liberty. Many persons who are urging on this negro crusade into the domain of letters, have palms with an infernal itch for gold. They would fire the whole republic, if they could but take the gems and precious stones from the ashes. They care nothing for principle, honor or right, &c." No, they care nothing about negro slavery, or negro oppression. Money is their sole object in all these publications. Sympathy for the poor benighted African, has no agency whatever in the matter. The object is to make money out of the woolly heads, and after that is accomplished they have no farther use for them. The same motives prompt them to write books on slavery—negro oppression and the negroes woes, that induce the cotton grower and the sugar planter to work slaves on their farms. Money is as truly the object of the former, as it is of the latter. And facts prove that the cotton growers and sugar planters, have more sympathy for the African race, than Northern abolitionists.
How mortifying the reflection, that such a work as Uncle Tom's Cabin, should have become so popular in England and America. As an American, we can but view it with shame and regret. Where is the Bible? Where are Shakespeare and Milton, and Addison and Johnson? And where are our own immortal poets and prose writers? Who reads the chaste and beautiful writings of Washington Irvin? What has become of our well written and instructive histories and biographies? Why is it that a filthy negro novel is found in every body's hand? Uncle Tom's Cabin! What is it? What can be expected from it? Will it improve the manners, the morals, or the literary tastes of our country-men, and fair country-women? No! Never! Its very touch is contaminating. Filth, pollution, and mental degradation, follow in the train of this class of writers. In what consists the merit of Uncle Tom's Cabin? It is hard to tell. Look at its dark design—its injustice—its falsehoods! Its vulgarisms, negroisms, localisms, and common place slang! Its tendency to pervert public taste, and corrupt public morals. How remarkable that a work of its character, should have been so much read and admired! We may boast of our intelligence and virtue to our hearts content, the reception of this work is a sad commentary on the age in which we live. We may boast of our religion; it is little else at last, but self-righteous phariseism! We throw around ourselves religion as a cloak; the more effectually to conceal our dark designs! Yes, verily, while we stab an erring, or unerring brother in the dark! We are all prostrate before the god of mammon, and there are but few of us, who would not sell our Saviour for less than thirty pieces of silver! Professedly we are Christians, but practically we are infidels! The Bible is no longer our guide. The fact is, we know but little about it, and care less! We profess to believe that it is the word of God; and yet it is laid aside for any impure negro novel, or other filthy tale, that may chance to fall in our way? Uncle Tom's Cabin has been read more within the past year, than the Bible had been for the last ten years, immediately preceding its appearance! Thousands of Christians have gloated over its pages with rapture and delight, from the rising till the setting sun, for days and nights in succession, who had not during their lives read a dozen chapters in the Bible! We will now remove the veil and look within. Its high time that the motives which prompt us to action were exposed to public gaze. Let us then take a peep at the "inward man."
A portion of our fellow citizens in another part of this Union, had, by no fault or agency of their own, become involved in the evils and calamities of slavery. We turned our eyes in that direction, and looked on the dark pictures. We felt that we were great sinners. Guilt pressed heavily upon us. "The sorrows of death compassed us: and the pains of hell got hold upon us;" and we "found trouble and sorrow." The anguish of our guilt was insupportable. We were in deep distress, and we longed for some thing to soothe and ease our troubled minds: but we did not, with the Psalmist, call upon the Lord to "deliver us." No! By no means, for we thought if we could find worse sinners than ourselves, it would afford us some relief.
Twas thus we sought, but sought in vain A panacea for all our pain! Are there not those more vile than we— If baser mortal man can be! We looked around—and looked again, And searched the world—but searched in vain; For more depraved—more vile than we Sure there were none—none could there be! Alas our souls are steeped in sin! Though clean without—impure within— As sepulchers adorned with paint A devil within—without a saint!
Our condition was pitiable indeed. We said among ourselves, "What now shall we do?" "Where! O! Where shall we find worse sinners than ourselves?" Our woe-begone looks betrayed the secret workings and intentions of our hearts; We again went forth in search of those more wicked than ourselves; but we were destined to disappointment, for we sought in vain,—they were hard to find. They were neither here—nor there—nor any where to be found in all the land of the living! Worse sinners than ourselves could not be found upon this terrestial globe—among all the degenerate sons and daughters of Adam. When we had well nigh given up in despair, we again directed our eyes to the dark picture of African slavery. "Oh!" said we, to ourselves, "how it would soothe and tranquilize our troubled consciences, if we could but find worse sinners than ourselves." "We know that we are vile and depraved, but are not those slaveholders, a little worse than we are?" Anxiously and intensely we gazed on, but we were disappointed! The picture was dark, to be sure; but we failed to observe all that we expected! We then called for glasses that magnified a thousand fold, and again, and again, we surveyed the dark picture! Ah! we saw something at last! What was it? Well, we either saw something, or, otherwise, we thought we saw something. Chagrin and despair seized upon us, and we exclaimed in the bitter agonies of our souls, "merciful God, are we sinners above all sinners—are there none, so vile as we are?" "But stop—hold on," (said we), "we are not done with negrodom yet—we cannot let those rascally slaveholders off so lightly—we will yet make it appear, that they are more wicked than ourselves—or, at all events, we will not give them up yet." It was but seldom that we troubled the good old Bible, but as we were in a difficulty, we decided at once to consult her—perchance she might talk about right on the subject of slavery. After a long search we found the old book; brushed off the dust and opened it. Well, now, we felt quite certain, that the Bible would tell us, that we were better Christians than slaveholders; for we had already succeeded in persuading ourselves, that we were not quite so bad as we imagined at the outset; and we moreover thought, that we got a glimpse of some thing dreadful about these Southern folks, but hardly knew what it was. We then proceeded to examine the Bible. "Where is it," (said we), "that the Bible denounces these slaveholders, as the chief of sinners?" "Well, we don't know, but we think it says something dreadful about them; but we don't know where it is, or what it is." We searched, but searched in vain; almost ready to abuse the good Boob, because it refused to abuse slaveholders. We then soliloquized in the following words. "We don't like these slaveholders—never did—nor did our fathers before us. Our fathers told us that they were bad men—that they were guilty of many horrible things; and that they were not good Christians, like the people out here North." We were, nevertheless, still oppressed by a load of guilt, and felt the insupportable gnawings of a guilty conscience. We had oppressed the poor and robbed the widow and orphans! We had defrauded our neighbor and slandered our brother! We had lied to both God and man! "Can it be possible," (said we to ourselves), "that there are human beings living, who have been guilty of more abominable crimes?" "What is more odious?" "What could be more detestable?" "What could render a human being more obnoxious to eternal vengeance?" We were in this deplorable condition, when we first set about trying to deceive ourselves. We pondered the matter well, and could devise no means, that in our judgment, would be so likely to bring relief to our troubled minds, as to find that there were others who were as bad, or probably a little worse than ourselves. We flattered ourselves, that while we were talking about the sins of others, we might forget our own; and at length be able to persuade ourselves that we were Christians. But it was all of no avail. Our consciences said "nay"—the Bible said "nay." It was at this critical moment, that Uncle Tom's Cabin came to our relief, and it settled the difficulty. It proved to our satisfaction, that these Southern people were infinitely worse than ourselves. We now found but little difficulty in persuading ourselves that we were really Christians. We then had Southern men just where we had long been trying to place them. We had nothing then to do, but to compare ourselves with them; and the result of the whole matter was, Mrs. Stowe had made them out so much worse than ourselves, that we were forced to the conclusion, that we were good Christians at last.
Mrs. Stowe was a shrewd Yankee woman, and seeing the difficulties and embarrassments in which we were involved, and being in need of a little money, and knowing that we were willing to pay almost any price for something that would flatter ourselves, and blacken the characters of Southern people; she wrote her book. We received it with transports of joy, and cried aloud at the top of our voices, HUZZA FOR MADAM STOWE, and her incomparable negro novel; viz., Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life among the Lowly. And so we go, in England and America! This is a marvelous world, and it is inhabited by a wondrous species of animals, called man!
The conclusion of the whole matter is, abolitionism is little else at last, but hypocritical self-righteous phariseism, and Mrs. Stowe wrote her book to flatter their pride, indulge their whims, tickle their fancies, and pick their pockets. I have remarked, that this is a marvelous world, and among the many wondrous things that fall under our observation, there is nothing more remarkable than Yankee ingenuity! The Southern people, it is true, receive the proceeds of the labor of the slaves, but then, they must first expend money in raising them; feed and clothe them in health, nurse them in sickness, and provide for them in old age. But Mrs. Stowe without contributing anything for their support, has made more money out of them within the last year, than any half dozen sugar planters in the State of Louisiana! This is truly a wondrous speculation in negroes.
"But all their works they do," (says our Saviour,) "to be seen of men." "But God shall bring every work into judgment." And if our motives are selfish, or impure, we incur the risk of falling under the condemnation of a just and holy God. Too many "make clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within, they are full of extortion and excess."
There are a class among the abolition party, whose leading object is pecuniary gain. With them, "gain is godliness," and their pretended godliness is all for gain. That is, all is well, if they can make money; if not, they are off. When English emissaries are sent over to this country, to lecture on the subject of slavery, they are well paid for their services, either by the abolition party; or, probably, more frequently by the English government. In our own country, the editors of abolition papers, the writers of negro novels and other abolition productions; together with the numerous agents and other notable functionaries, that are employed to carry out their diabolical schemes and machinations; are all well paid for their services. Like the young lawyer alluded to, in the preceding pages, they receive a "large fee," and can therefore "afford to lie." But by far the larger portion of them are operated on by different feelings, views and motives. I have already indicated certain motives that prompt the abolition party to action; but there are yet others, to which I have but incidentally alluded. Sympathy for the African race with them, is a mere pretence, or affectation of superior sanctity and philanthropy. Like the pharisees of old, they are always ready to thank God, that they are not as other men. I am holier than thou, is their universal cry to all that dissent from their peculiar views, or take exceptions to their conduct. Bigots, fools and fanatics of every class, grade and description, the world over, are guilty of the same; yes, I am holier than thou, is their universal exclamation.
Every man is conscious that he ought to be a Christian, or at least a philanthropist; and every man desires to be esteemed such. But as it does not, in all cases, accord with the interests and inclinations; or, is otherwise, incompatible with the beastly and sordidly corrupt natures of a large portion of the human family, to become either Christians or philanthropists; therefore, they can do no better than to affect to be either one or the other, or both. Plain, simple, old-fashioned Bible Christianity is not sufficient for them. It is too quiet—too lowly and unassuming for them. They would have us believe, that they are brim full of humanity and benevolence—so full, that they are constantly running over—surcharged with a superabundance of kind, generous and sympathetic feeling for their fellow creatures. They must, at least, make the world around them believe that they are such. This is their object—this their aim. To accomplish this, everything is brought into requisition—all their energies, all their efforts are directed to this end. They wish to deceive the world, and make the impression on the mind of mankind, that they are a superior order of beings—better Christians—better philanthropists—have more humanity—more benevolence, and a greater regard for the rights of man, than mankind in general. I say their object is to make the world believe all this. Nothing is found to answer their purpose so well, in the accomplishment of this object, as African slavery in the Southern States. They have talked about negro slavery—negro oppression, and the negroe's woes, until they have really induced some to believe that they are persons of more than ordinary benevolence—that they are really humane, generous and just. But it is mere affectation—it is all hypocrisy. Facts prove it. England boasts of her philanthropy—talks about American oppression, and at the same time makes no effort to elevate her own miserable tenantry, whose conditions are far worse than American slaves. If she is really philanthropic, why refuse to do any thing for her own suffering poor throughout her vast dominions? This is proof positive, that John Bull is an old villain; a rotten, two-faced, bigoted, meddlesome old hypocrite. If abolitionists in the United States are really philanthropic, why have they not made some effort to relieve the suffering poor in their own midst; whose conditions in general, are far worse than Southern slaves? They have work enough at home, and it is an old and very true proverb, "that charity begins at home." It is certainly true, that home is the place where it should begin. What are they doing for the thousands of ignorant, ill-clad, half starved free negroes now in their midst? Nothing for either soul or body! They spurn them from their presence, or trample them under their feet, and turn around and wipe their mouths, and express the deepest sympathy for the poor slave in the Southern States; whose conditions are incomparably better than the free negroes, North! Ah! their benevolent souls are overflowing with sympathy for Southern slaves, who are generally well fed, well clothed, content and happy; but the poor, vicious, degraded and friendless free negroes, North, are left to shift for themselves. And what are they doing for the suffering poor of their own color? How many widows that they have defrauded, and orphans they have robbed, will confront them at the bar of God? I appeal to those among whom they live; to those who know them best; as citizens, as neighbors; are they humane, generous and just? Are they husbands to the widows; and fathers to the fatherless? Do they feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick? Are they ever ready to relieve the poor, the needy and distressed? In every city, village and neighborhood, throughout the length and breadth of the North, there are poor, wretched, miserable objects of charity, and here they have an opportunity to give us practical proof of the sincerity of their professions; and until they furnish evidence that they are what they profess to be, we wish them to cease their hypocritical cant about Southern slavery.
Abolitionists may affect as much sanctity and philanthropy, as they please, and pile their maledictions and execrations on the heads of slave holders mountain high! They can call them murderers, thieves and robbers to their hearts content! They can anathematize better men than themselves; and denounce slavery as a curse, an evil, a hardship! They can call slavery by what name they choose! For it matters but little what they call it; nor what it really is; nor in what it originated; nor yet, what perpetuates it; nor what our feelings and views may be; for slavery exists in our midst; and has existed in our world as a civil institution, for more than three thousand years: and when God in his amazing condescension, unbounded benevolence, and infinite mercy vouchsafed to us a revelation of his will; he informed us in language clear and explicit, how we should treat it. The duties and obligations of ministers, and churches—of masters and servants, are unfolded and enforced in the Sacred Record; and he that errs, is without excuse. "But men have become wise above what is written." God, alone, was competent to decide what was best for masters and servants, individuals, and nations. We are all the work of his hands, and it is his prerogative to dictate to us laws for the guidance and regulation of our conduct. Those, then, who receive the Bible as a revelation of the will of God, and take it as their guide and counsellor; cannot consistently do otherwise, than to treat slavery and slaveholders in accordance with its clear and unmistakable injunctions, warnings and admonitions, a precept or practice from the Sacred Oracles, is practical infidelity; and I here, openly and boldly assert, that no intelligent man, who reads and believes the Bible to be the word of God, ever did, or ever will embrace the extreme views of the abolition party in the United States. No! It is impossible: for they are in direct opposition to the plainest declarations of the inspired writers—to the whole spirit and tenor of the Sacred Volume. I care not on whom this may fall; nor where it falls, it is true. I am well aware, that nine tenths of mankind, neither read nor think for themselves—particularly on subjects that relate to their duties and obligations to their Creator, or their fellow creatures! No! They suffer others to read and think for them; and by the by, they too often commit their consciences, and their souls, to the keeping of those whose object is to secure the fleece, though the devil take the flock!
I have said that God, alone, was competent to decide what was best under the circumstances for masters and servants, individuals and nations. I have clearly shown in the following chapters, that as masters and servants, and as a nation we cannot do better, than to faithfully observe and carry out the injunctions of Holy Writ—that the best interests of all concerned will be subserved thereby—that there is no other safe and practicable course—that the Bible, and the Bible alone, is a safe and sure guide in this emergency. We "may bite and devour each other;" speculate, wrangle and contend to no purpose. No good will ever grow out of it. I have shown that nothing is likely to mitigate the evils of slavery—or rather, its abuses; or in any reasonable time bring about its abolition, but a rigid adherence on the part of masters and servants, to the duties and obligations imposed on them in the Sacred Volume. That it is the duty of servants to love, serve and obey their masters, and that it is the duty of masters to enlighten the minds and elevate the characters of their slaves—to prepare them for self government and the enjoyment of liberty, and then to colonize them.
And I flatter myself, that I have clearly and indisputably demonstrated, that the African race in this country, are not yet prepared for freedom—and that they cannot enjoy freedom in our midst, provided they were prepared for it—and consequently that the African derives no benefit from emancipation if he remain among us. Hence, the propriety of manumitting slaves is, to say the least, doubtful, unless they are colonized. Every man of truth and candor, who is acquainted with the condition of slaves and free negroes, North and South, must admit, that the conditions of slaves is better, than that of free negroes.
Mrs. Stowe has labored hard to prove that there are evils and abuses in the treatment of slaves in the Southern States; but then she would have us substitute greater evils for lesser—according to the old proverb, "out of the frying pan into the fire." Many of the Southern people as deeply deplore these evils, and are as fully impressed with the necessity of removing them, as Mrs. Stowe or any one else; but hitherto they have been unable to decide upon any plan by which these evils could be removed—except, at least, to a very limited extent. They knew well, that if they manumitted their slaves, it would involve both the slaves and themselves in greater evils than African slavery itself, as it exists in the Southern States.
I beg leave to digress for a moment from the subject under discussion. Mrs. Stowe has told her tale about Southern slavery; and what a wondrous story it is! Remarkable indeed! She has told of deeds, dark and revolting! A tale of injustice and wrongs—oppression and woe! I admit there are, and ever have been, occasional and rare instances of acts of inhumanity and cruelty among Southern slaveholders; too shocking for recital! But if any one will be at the trouble to spend a few months in the Yankee States, and take for granted all that is related to him by busy-bodies, idlers and others that have nothing else to do but to talk about their neighbors; they will find no difficulty in gathering up material, out of which, they could manufacture as dark a tale as Uncle Tom's Cabin. The free negroes in the North could furnish material for a shocking story! But, ah! it is all a contemptibly low business; we had better quit talking about our neighbors. There are the best of reasons why we should not give full credence to village and neighborhood gossip, old women's stories, and free negroes tales. What we see, feel, taste and smell, we know to be true: and that is about all we do know. As for the remainder, it is as the breeze which plays around us, or passes over our heads. It is here, it is gone, and we know not from "whence it cometh, or whither it goeth?" nor yet what pestiferous emanations might perchance float in the current. The sooner we get rid of negro novels and village gossip, and neighborhood slander, and busy-bodies, and idlers, and loafers, and liars, and the whole crew, who have nothing else to do, but to meddle with people's business, the better. God speed the day when we shall all find better employment. But to return to the evils of slavery.
Slavery is not an evil to those involved in it, under all circumstances. There are circumstances, under which it may be a blessing to the slave—and a blessing it would have proved to the entire slave population in this country, if both masters and servants had complied with the requisitions of the Bible. None are so much to blame for the evils and hardships of slavery as the abolition party. No! none! Not the slaveholders themselves. They have incited the slaves to deeds for which they have been cruelly punished. In consequence of their unwarrantable interference, slaves that were, previous to such interference, pious, contented and happy, have become discontented, impertinent and perverse, and have been too often cruelly punished for their dereliction of duty. Ah! well do I recollect the time when the months of Southern clergyman were closed, when rigid laws were enacted—when so many restrictions were thrown around slaveholders. I then saw, and deplored the evil, and hoped, but hoped in vain, that Northern men would desist from a procedure, so fraught with mischief to masters and servants—so contrary to the laws of God—so opposed to every principle of humanity, justice, truth and righteousness. I must refer the reader to chapter three, and return to the proposition under investigation, that slavery is not, an evil under all circumstances.
The peculiar condition of an individual may be such, that he is fit for nothing but a slave. He maybe physically, mentally, and morally disqualified for any other condition or station in life. To such an individual slavery is not necessarily an evil; but, on the contrary, to him it may be a blessing and not a curse. He may be utterly incapable of making provision for his own wants. Servitude may be the only condition or station in life, in which he could be provided for, and enjoy happiness. The disabilities of such an individual is a misfortune; or, as it is generally termed, a curse, an evil; but the evil consists in the incompetence of the individual, and not in that condition or station in life, to which his incompetency subjects him. It is, (to use common parlance), a curse, or an evil, to be physically, mentally, and morally disqualified to enjoy the rights, privileges and immunities of a free man; but if such be the condition of the individual, slavery to him is a blessing. It is, at least the only condition or station in life, adapted to his peculiar circumstances, and the only one in which he would be likely to enjoy happiness. I have shown in chapter eight, that African slavery originated in the inferiority of the African race, and that their inferiority originated in the transgression of God's laws.
Hence, the evils of slavery have their origin in its abuses. They have resulted from the cupidity, cruelty and inhumanity of masters, and the disobedience and perverseness of servants. Under the circumstances that the African race became servants to the citizens of the United States, servitude to them would have been a blessing, and not a curse, if both masters and servants had obeyed the commands of God. I have alluded to this elsewhere, to which I must refer the reader.
But in order to clearly comprehend the argument, we must contemplate the African in his native state, and survey the peculiar circumstances under which he became a slave. A large portion of the negroes that were transported to the United States, and sold as slaves, were captives taken in war, and if they had not been transported to the United States, they would have been subjected to slavery in their native country. Was it not better for those poor captives to have become the servants of intelligent and humane men, in the United States, than to have become the slaves of barbarians of their own race? It certainly was, for I observed while a resident of the South, that negro overseers were the most cruel, barbarous wretches, that ever were clothed with a little brief authority. Yes, they are the most barbarous relentless demons, that ever flourished a rod over a fellow being's back. Men in an ignorant, semi-savage state, when clothed with authority, (or otherwise when they have others in their power,) are universally cruel. Where we find most ignorance, there will we, as a general rule, find least humanity, for I observed while in the South, that intelligent men were seldom cruel to their slaves. Cruel masters in the South, are generally individuals of low birth, who, in early life, were white servants themselves; but by some lucky turn they got hold of a little money, and purchased a few negroes. These mock lords are the most cruel masters, and the most pompous gentlemen in all the sunny South. Such men are universally dreaded by the African race in the South. I wish here to impress the reader's mind with the fact, that a native semi-savage African, must necessarily be a cruel master. We need but reflect on their ignorance, barbarism and brutality, to satisfy ourselves of the truth of the remark. I have alluded to the fact in Chapter 8, that one portion of the African race have been slaves to another, ever since the earliest dawn of history; and it is said that by far the larger portion are slaves. It is then certain, that most of the native Africans who were originally enslaved in the United States, would have been slaves in their own country, if they had not been transported to this country. Wretched as the condition of slaves may be in this country, what is American, to African slavery? Slavery in the United States was but an exchange of African, for American slavery. The condition of the slaves of the South is better than the native African, formerly, or now; yes, it is better than that of African masters, and it must be infinitely better than the condition of African slaves. As a general rule, the native Africans who were originally subjected to slavery in this country; were not, as is generally supposed, deprived of their liberties; for they were for the most part captives, or slaves, when they were sold to the slave dealers. The reader will please recollect, that I am not justifying the slave trade. I am simply stating facts; and I deem it essential that these facts should be understood. Those who wish to know what my views are on the subject of slavery, will be under the necessity of reading this volume through.
 The reader will see Chapter 8; where the subject of slavery in Africa is treated at length.
Most of the native Africans that were transported to this country, were not only the lowest grade of barbarians, but they were the servants of barbarians. Here, in the United States, they have enjoyed to a considerable extent, the advantages of civilization, and so far as religious instruction is concerned; there is not, I suppose, four millions of human beings on earth, of what are called the lower classes of society, white or black, who have had superior religious advantages. I have remarked, however, at the close of chapter 11, that in consequence of their ignorance; religious instruction had failed to produce that decided, thorough and permanent influence, which otherwise it might have done. But I think it probable that there are not four millions of ignorant illiterate human beings living, on whom the doctrines of Christianity have exerted as salutary an influence; nor can there be found a body of ministers of the gospel in the world, who have made so great sacrifices to Christianize the "lowly," as Mrs. Stowe chooses to denominate them. The devotion of the Southern clergy to the best interests of the poor African, is worthy of all praise. Men without a tithe of their piety may calumniate and reproach them; but there is one who seeth not as man seeth, who has taken cognizance of their sacrifices and "labors of love." Ah! my friends, you may deceive yourselves, and deceive one another, but of one thing you may rest assured—you cannot deceive your God. Nor are you as successful in deceiving your fellow creatures, as some of you probably imagine. Some of us understand you.
Is it the duty of American slaveholders to liberate their slaves? I feel no hesitancy in replying to this interrogatory. It would be their duty, as Christians, to liberate their slaves, provided the condition of the slave would be improved thereby; otherwise it is their duty to retain them in bondage, and make that provision for them which their circumstances require. They should make ample provision for their physical wants—enlighten their minds; and so far as is practicable under existing circumstances, they should elevate their characters above that debasement and degradation, in which, ignorance, prejudice and vice has involved them. It is clearly the duty of slaveholders to place their slaves in that condition, which will conduce most to their happiness here and hereafter. But if this is their object, they could not, as a general rule, take a worse step, than to liberate them in their present condition and turn them loose among us. Nor do I consider the mass of the negro population in this country as yet prepared for colonization: but I would rejoice to see all well-disposed and intelligent negroes manumitted and colonized.
The poverty, vice and degradation of free negroes is notorious, throughout the length and breadth of this country—North and South; but having so frequently alluded to it, I deem it unnecessary to say more on the subject. I will however remark, that if the entire African population were manumitted and turned loose among us; they would be forced to subsist almost entirely by theft, and all the county jails and state prisons in the Union, would not contain one in a hundred of the convicts. The fact is, such would be their depredations on the white population, that the whites would shoot them down with as little ceremony as they now shoot a mad dog; and their ultimate extermination would be the inevitable consequence! I appeal to facts. It was stated a few years ago by an able writer; that in Massachusetts the free negroes were 1 to 74, viz., there were 74 white persons for every free negro in the State; and yet one-sixth of all the convicts were free negroes. That in Connecticut the free negroes were 1 to 34; and that one-third of the convicts were free negroes. That in New York the free negroes were 1 to 35; but that one-fourth of the convicts were free negroes. That in New Jersey the free negroes were 1 to 13; negro convicts one-third. That in Pennsylvania the free negroes were 1 to 34, and that one-third of the convicts were free negroes. He moreover stated, that one-fourth of the whole expense connected with the prison system of the entire North was incurred by crime committed by free negroes; and that the same was true with regard to the pauper expenditures of the entire North. In view of these facts, we can feel but little surprise, that Indiana and Illinois have enacted laws to interdict the immigration of free negroes into those States.