History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens
by George Washington Williams
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[Transcriber's Note: Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other inconsistencies. Text that has been changed to correct an obvious error is noted at the end of this ebook.]




FROM 1619 TO 1880.









1800 TO 1880.







This second volume brings the HISTORY OF THE NEGRO RACE IN AMERICA from 1800 down to 1880. It consists of six parts and twenty-nine chapters. Few memories can cover this eventful period of American history. Commencing its career with the Republic, slavery grew with its growth and strengthened with its strength. The dark spectre kept pace and company with liberty until separated by the sword. Beginning with the struggle for restriction or extension of slavery, I have striven to record, in the spirit of honest and impartial historical inquiry, all the events of this period belonging properly to my subject. The development and decay of anti-slavery sentiment at the South; the pious efforts of the good Quakers to ameliorate the condition of the slaves; the service of Negroes as soldiers and sailors; the anti-slavery agitation movement; the insurrections of slaves; the national legislation on the slavery question; the John Brown movement; the war for the Union; the valorous conduct of Negro soldiers; the emancipation proclamations; the reconstruction of the late Confederate States; the errors of reconstruction; the results of emancipation; vital, prison, labor, educational, financial, and social statistics; the exodus—cause and effect; and a sober prophecy of the future,—are all faithfully recorded.

After seven years I am loath to part with the saddest task ever committed to human hands! I have tracked my bleeding countrymen through the widely scattered documents of American history; I have listened to their groans, their clanking chains, and melting prayers, until the woes of a race and the agonies of centuries seem to crowd upon my soul as a bitter reality. Many pages of this history have been blistered with my tears; and, although having lived but a little more than a generation, my mind feels as if it were cycles old.

The long spectral hand on the clock of American history points to the completion of the second decade since the American slave became an American citizen. How wondrous have been his strides, how marvellous his achievements! Twenty years ago we were in the midst of a great war for the extinction of slavery; in this anniversary week I complete my task, record the results of that struggle. I modestly strive to lift the Negro race to its pedestal in American history. I raise this post to indicate the progress of humanity; to instruct the present, to inform the future. I commit this work to the considerate judgment of my fellow-citizens of every race, "with malice toward none, and charity for all."




Part 4.





Commencement of the Nineteenth Century.—Slave Population of 1800.—Memorial presented to Congress calling Attention to the Slave-trade to the Coast of Guinea.—Georgia cedes the Territory lying West of her to become a State.—Ohio adopts a State Constitution.—William Henry Harrison appointed Governor of the Territory of Indiana.—An Act of Congress prohibiting the Importation of Slaves into the United States or Territories.—Slave Population of 1810.—Mississippi applies for Admission into the Union with a Slave Constitution.—Congress besieged by Memorials urging more Specific Legislation against the Slave-trade.—Premium offered to the Informer of every illegally imported African seized within the United States.—Circular-letters sent to the Naval Officers on the Sea-coast of the Slave-holding States.—President Monroe's Message to Congress on the Question of Slavery.—Petition presented by the Missouri Delegates for the Admission of that State into the Union.—The Organization of the Arkansas Territory.—Resolutions passed for the Restriction of Slavery in New States.—The Missouri Controversy.—The Organization of the Anti-slavery Societies.—An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in New Jersey.—Its Provisions.—The Attitude of the Northern Press on the Slavery Question.—Slave Population of 1820.—Anti-slavery Sentiment at the North 1



Employment of Negroes as Soldiers in the War of 1812.—The New York Legislature authorizes the Enlistment of a Regiment of Colored Soldiers.—Gen. Andrew Jackson's Proclamation to the Free Colored Inhabitants of Louisiana calling them to Arms.—Stirring Address to the Colored Troops the Sunday before the Battle of New Orleans.—Gen. Jackson anticipates the Valor of his Colored Soldiers.—Terms of Peace at the Close of the War by the Commissioners at Ghent.—Negroes placed as Chattel Property.—Their Valor in War secures them no Immunity in Peace 23



No Proscription against Negroes as Sailors.—They are carried upon the Rolls in the Navy without Regard to their Nationality.—Their Treatment as Sailors.—Commodore Perry's Letter to Commodore Chauncey in Regard to the Men sent him.—Commodore Chauncey's Spirited Reply.—The Heroism of the Negro set forth in the Picture of Perry's Victory on Lake Erie.—Extract of a Letter from Nathaniel Shaler, Commander of a Private Vessel.—He cites Several Instances of the Heroic Conduct of Negro Sailors 28





The Security of the Institution of Slavery at the South.—The Right to hold Slaves questioned.—Rapid Increase of the Slave Population.—Anti-slavery Speeches in the Legislature of Virginia.—The Quakers of Maryland and Delaware emancipate their Slaves.—The Evil Effect of Slavery upon Society.—The Conscience and Heart of the South did not respond to the Voice of Reason or the Dictates of Humanity 31



The Antiquity of Anti-slavery Sentiment.—Benjamin Lundy's Opposition to Slavery in the South and at the North.—He establishes the "Genius of Universal Emancipation."—His Great Sacrifices and Marvellous Work in the Cause of Emancipation.—William Lloyd Garrison edits a Paper at Bennington, Vermont.—He pens a Petition to Congress for the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia.—Garrison the Peerless Leader of the Anti-slavery Agitation.—Extract from a Speech delivered by Daniel O'Connell at Cork, Ireland.—Increase of Anti-slavery Societies in the Country.—Charles Sumner delivers a Speech on the "Anti-slavery Duties of the Whig Party."—Marked Events of 1846.—Sumner the Leader of the Political Abolition Party.—Heterodox Anti-slavery Party.—Its Sentiments.—Horace Greeley the Leader of the Economic Anti-slavery Party.—The Aggressive Anti-slavery Party.—Its Leaders.—The Colonization Anti-slavery Society.—American Colonization Society.—Manumitted Negroes colonize on the West Coast of Africa.—A Bill establishing a Line of Mail Steamers to the Coast of Africa.—It provides for the Suppression of the Slave-trade, the Promotion of Commerce, and the Colonization of Free Negroes.—Extracts from the Press warmly urging the Passage of the Bill.—The Underground Railroad Organization.—Its Efficiency in freeing Slaves.—Anti-Slavery Literature.—It exposes the True Character of Slavery.—"Uncle Tom's Cabin," by Harriet Beecher Stowe, pleaded the Cause of the Slave in Twenty Different Languages.—The Influence of "Impending Crisis." 37



Intelligent Interest of Free Negroes in the Agitation Movement.—"First Annual Convention of the People of Color" held at Philadelphia.—Report of the Committee on the Establishment of a College for Young Men of Color.—Provisional Committee appointed in each City.—Conventional Address.—Second Convention held at Benezet Hall, Philadelphia.—Resolutions of the Meeting.—Conventional Address.—The Massachusetts General Colored Association.—Convention of Anti-slavery Women of America at New York.—Prejudice against admitting Negroes into White Societies.—Colored Orators.—Their Eloquent Pleas for their Enslaved Race 61



The Negro not so Docile as supposed.—The Reason why he was kept in Bondage.—Negroes possessed Courage but lacked Leaders.—Insurrection of Slaves.—Gen. Gabriel as a Leader.—Negro Insurrection planned in South Carolina.—Evils of, revealed.—The "Nat. Turner" Insurrection in South Hampton County, Virginia.—The Whites arm themselves to repel the Insurrectionists.—Capture and Trial of "Nat. Turner."—His Execution.—Effect of the Insurrection upon Slaves and Slave-holders 82



The Spanish Slaver "Amistad" sails from Havana, Cuba, for Porto Principe.—Fifty-four Native Africans on Board.—Joseph Cinquez, the Son of an African Prince.—The "Amistad" captured and taken into New London, Conn.—Trial and Release of the Slaves.—Tour through the United States.—Return to their Native Country in Company with Missionaries.—The Anti-slavery Cause benefited by their Stay in the United States.—Their Appreciation of Christian Civilization 93

Part 6.




Violent Treatment of Anti-slavery Orators.—The South misinterprets the Mobocratic Spirit of the North.—The "Garrisonians" and "Calhounites."—Slave Population of 1830-1850.—The Thirty-first Congress.—Motion for the Admission of New Mexico and California.—The Democratic and Whig Parties on the Treatment of the Slave Question.—Convention of the Democratic Party at Baltimore, Maryland.—Nomination of Franklin Pierce for President.—Whig Party Convention.—Nomination of Gen. Winfield Scott for the Presidency by the Whigs.—Mr. Pierce elected President in 1853.—A Bill introduced to repeal the "Missouri Compromise."—Speech by Stephen A. Douglass.—Mr. Chase's Reply.—An Act to organize the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska.—State Militia in the South make Preparations for War.—President Buchanan in Sympathy with the South. 97



Stringent Laws enacted against Free Negroes and Mulattoes.—Fugitive-slave Law respected in Ohio.—A Law to prevent Kidnapping.—The First Constitution of Ohio.—History of the Dred Scott case.—Judge Taney's Opinion in this Case.—Ohio Constitution of 1851 denied Free Negroes the Right to vote.—The Establishment of Colored Schools.—Law in Indiana Territory in Reference to Executions.—An Act for the Introduction of Negroes and Mulattoes into the Territory.—First Constitution of Indiana.—The Illinois Constitution of 1818.—Criminal Code enacted.—Illinois Legislature passes an Act to prevent the Emigration of Free Negroes into the State.—Free Negroes of the Northern States endure Restriction and Proscription 111



Nominal Rights of Free Negroes in the Slave States.—Fugitive Slaves seek Refuge in Canada.—Negroes petition against Taxation without Representation.—A Law preventing Negroes from other States from settling in Massachusetts.—Notice to Blacks, Indians, and Mulattoes, warning them to leave the Commonwealth.—The Rights and Privileges of the Negro restricted.—Colored Men turn their Attention to the Education of their own Race.—John V. De Grasse, the first Colored Man admitted to the Massachusetts Medical Society.—Prominent Colored Men of New York and Philadelphia.—The Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal and Colored Baptist Churches.—Colored Men distinguish themselves in the Pulpit.—Report to the Ohio Anti-slavery Society of Colored People in Cincinnati in 1835.—Many purchase their Freedom.—Henry Boyd, the Mechanic and Builder.—He becomes a Successful Manufacturer in Cincinnati.—Samuel T. Wilcox, the Grocer.—His Success in Business in Cincinnati.—Ball & Thomas, the Photographers.—Colored People of Cincinnati evince a Desire to take Care of themselves.—Lydia P. Mott establishes a Home for Colored Orphans.—The Organization effected in 1844.—Its Success.—Formation of a Colored Military Company called "The Attucks Guards."—Emigration of Negroes to Liberia.—The Colored People live down much Prejudice 125



The Possibilities of the Human Intellect.—Ignorance Favorable to Slavery.—An Act by the Legislature of Alabama imposing a Penalty on any one instructing a Colored Person.—Educational Privileges of the Creoles in the City of Mobile.—Prejudice against Colored Schools in Connecticut.—The Attempt of Miss Prudence Crandall to admit Colored Girls into her School at Canterbury.—The Indignation of the Citizens at this Attempt to mix the Races in Education.—The Legislature of Connecticut passes a Law abolishing the School.—The Building assaulted by a Mob.—Miss Crandall arrested and imprisoned for teaching Colored Children against the Law.—Great Excitement.—The Law finally repealed.—An Act by the Legislature of Delaware taxing Persons who brought into, or sold Slaves out of, the State.—Under Act of 1829 Money received for the Sale of Slaves in Florida was added to the School Fund in that State.—Georgia prohibits the Education of Colored Persons under Heavy Penalty.—Illinois establishes Separate Schools for Colored Children.—The "Free Mission Institute" at Quincy, Illinois, destroyed by a Missouri Mob.—Numerous and Cruel Slave Laws in Kentucky retard the Education of the Negroes.—An Act passed in Louisiana preventing the Negroes in any Way from being instructed.—Maine gives Equal School Privileges to Whites and Blacks.—St. Francis Academy for Colored Girls founded in Baltimore in 1831.—The Wells School.—The First School for Colored Children established in Boston by Intelligent Colored Men in 1798.—A School-house for the Colored Children built and paid for out of a Fund left by Abiel Smith for that Purpose.—John B. Russworm one of the Teachers and afterward Governor of the Colony of Cape Palmas, Liberia.—First Primary School for Colored Children established in 1820.—Missouri passes Stringent Laws against the Instruction of Negroes.—New York provides for the Education of Negroes.—Elias Neau opens a School in New York City for Negro Slaves in 1704.—"New York African Free School" in 1786.—Visit of Lafayette to the African Schools in 1824.—His Address.—Public Schools for Colored Children in New York.—Colored Schools in Ohio.—"Cincinnati High School" for Colored Youths founded in 1844.—Oberlin College opens its Doors to Colored Students.—The Establishment of Colored Schools in Pennsylvania by Anthony Benezet in 1750.—His Will.—"Institute for Colored Youths" established in 1837.—"Avery College" at Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, founded in 1849.—Ashmun Institute, or Lincoln University, founded in October, 1856.—South Carolina takes Definite Action against the Education or Promotion of the Colored Race in 1800-1803-1834.—Tennessee makes no Discrimination against Color in the School Law of 1840.—Little Opportunity afforded in Virginia for the Colored Man to be enlightened.—Stringent Laws enacted.—History of Schools for the Colored Population in the District of Columbia 147



John Brown's Appearance in Kansas.—He denounces Slavery in a Political Meeting at Osawatomie.—Mrs. Stearns's Personal Recollection of John Brown.—Kansas infested by Border Ruffians.—The Battle of Harper's Ferry.—The Defeat and Capture of Captain John Brown.—His Last Letter written to Mrs. Steams.—His Trial and Execution.—His Influence upon the Anti-slavery Question at the North.—His Place in History 214

Part 7.




Increase of Slave Population in Slave-holding States from 1850-1860.—Products of Slave Labor.—Basis of Southern Representation.—Six Seceding States organize a New Government.—Constitution of the Confederate Government.—Speech by Alexander H. Stephens.—Mr. Lincoln in Favor of Gradual Emancipation.—He is elected President of the United States.—The Issue of the War between the States 228



The First Call for Troops.—Rendition of Fugitive Slaves by the Army.—Col. Tyler's Address to the People of Virginia.—General Isaac R. Sherwood's Account of an Attempt to secure a Fugitive Slave in his Charge.—Col. Steedman refuses to have his Camp searched for Fugitive Slaves by Order from Gen. Fry.—Letter from Gen. Buell in Defence of the Rebels in the South.—Orders issued by Generals Hooker, Williams, and Others, in Regard to harboring Fugitive Slaves in Union Camps.—Observation Concerning Slavery from the "Army of the Potomac."—Gen. Butler's Letter to Gen. Winfield Scott.—It is answered by the Secretary of War.—Horace Greeley's Letter to the President.—President Lincoln's Reply.—Gen. John C. Fremont, Commander of the Union Army in Missouri, issues a Proclamation emancipating Slaves in his District.—It is disapproved by the President.—Emancipation Proclamation by Gen. Hunter.—It is rescinded by the President.—Slavery and Union joined in a Desperate Struggle 241



Negroes employed as Teamsters and in the Quartermaster's Department.—Rebel General Mercer's Order to the Slave-holders issued from Savannah.—He receives Orders from the Secretary of War to impress a Number of Negroes to build Fortifications.—The Negro proves himself Industrious and earns Promotion 260



Congress passes an Act to confiscate Property used for Insurrectionary Purposes.—A Fruitless Appeal to the President to issue an Emancipation Proclamation.—He thinks the Time not yet come for such an Action, but within a Few Weeks changes his Opinion and issues an Emancipation Proclamation.—The Rebels show no Disposition to accept the Mild Terms of the Proclamation.—Mr. Davis gives Attention to the Proclamation in his Third Annual Message.—Second Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln January 1, 1863.—The Proclamation imparts New Hope to the Negro 263



The Question of the Military Employment of Negroes.—The Rebels take the First Step toward the Military Employment of Negroes.—Grand Review of the Rebel Troops at New Orleans.—General Hunter Arms the First Regiment of Loyal Negroes at the South.—Official Correspondence between the Secretary of War and General Hunter respecting the Enlistment of the Black Regiment.—The Enlistment of Five Negro Regiments authorized by the President.—The Policy of General Phelps in Regard to the Employment of Negroes as Soldiers in Louisiana.—A Second Call for Troops by the President.—An Attempt to amend the Army Appropriation Bill so as to prohibit the Further Employment of Colored Troops.—Governor John A. Andrew, of Massachusetts, authorized by Secretary of War to organize Two Regiments of Colored Troops.—General Lorenzo Thomas is despatched to the Mississippi Valley to superintend the Enlistment of Negro Soldiers in the Spring of 1863.—An Order issued by the War Department in the Fall of 1863 for the Enlistment of Colored Troops.—The Union League Club of New York City raises Two Regiments.—Recruiting of Colored Troops in Pennsylvania.—Major George L. Stearns assigned Charge of the Recruiting of Colored Troops in the Department of the Cumberland.—Free Military School established at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.—Endorsement of the School by Secretary Stanton.—The Organization of the School.—Official Table giving Number of Colored Troops in the Army.—The Character of Negro Troops.—Mr. Greeley's Editorial on "Negro Troops."—Letter from Judge-Advocate Holt to the Secretary of War on the "Enlistment of Slaves."—The Negro Legally and Constitutionally a Soldier.—History records his Deeds of Patriotism. 276



Justification of the Federal Government in the Employment of Slaves as Soldiers.—Trials of the Negro Soldier.—He undergoes Persecution from the White Northern Troops, and Barbarous Treatment from the Rebels.—Editorial of the "New York Times" on the Negro Soldiers in Battle.—Report of the "Tribune" on the Gallant Exploits of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers.—Negro Troops in all the Departments.—Negro Soldiers in the Battle of Port Hudson.—Death of Captain Andre Callioux.—Death of Color-Sergeant Anselmas Planciancois.—An Account of the Battle of Port Hudson.—Official Report of General Banks.—He applauds the Valor of the Colored Regiments at Port Hudson.—George H. Boker's Poem on "The Black Regiment."—Battle of Milliken's Bend, June, 1863.—Description of the Battle.—Memorable Events of July, 1863.—Battle on Morris Island.—Bravery of Sergeant Carney.—An Account of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment by Edward L. Pierce to Governor Andrew.—Death of Col. Shaw.—Colored Troops in the Army of the Potomac.—Battle of Petersburg.—Table showing the Losses at Nashville.—Adjt.-Gen. Thomas on Negro Soldiers.—An Extract from the "New York Tribune" in Behalf of the Soldierly Qualities of the Negroes.—Letter received by Col. Darling from Mr. Aden and Col. Foster praising the Eminent Qualifications of the Negro for Military Life.—History records their Deeds of Valor in the Preservation of the Union 310



The Military Employment of Negroes Distasteful to the Rebel Authorities.—The Confederates the First to employ Negroes as Soldiers.—Jefferson Davis refers to the Subject in his Message, and the Confederate Congress orders All Negroes captured to be turned over to the State Authorities, and raises the "Black Flag" upon White Officers commanding Negro Soldiers.—The New York Press calls upon the Government to protect its Negro Soldiers.—Secretary Stanton's Action.—The President's Order.—Correspondence between Gen. Peck and Gen. Pickett in Regard to the Killing of a Colored Man after he had surrendered at the Battle of Newbern.—Southern Press on the Capture and Treatment of Negro Soldiers.—The Rebels refuse to exchange Negro Soldiers captured on Morris and James Islands on Account of the Order of the Confederate Congress which required them to be turned over to the Authorities of the Several States.—Jefferson Davis issues a Proclamation outlawing Gen. B. F. Butler.—He is to be hung without Trial by any Confederate Officer who may capture him.—The Battle of Fort Pillow.—The Gallant Defence by the Little Band of Union Troops.—It refuses to capitulate and is assaulted and captured by an Overwhelming Force.—The Union Troops butchered in Cold Blood.—The Wounded are carried into Houses which are fired and burned with their Helpless Victims.—Men are nailed to the Outside of Buildings through their Hands and Feet and burned alive.—The Wounded and Dying are brained where they lay in their Ebbing Blood.—The Outrages are renewed in the Morning.—Dead and Living find a Common Sepulchre in the Trench.—General Chalmers orders the Killing of a Negro Child.—Testimony of the Few Union Soldiers who were enabled to crawl out of the Gilt-Edge, Fire-Proof Hell at Pillow.—They give a Sickening Account of the Massacre before the Senate Committee on the Conduct of the War.—Gen. Forrest's Futile Attempt to destroy the Record of his Foul Crime.—Fort Pillow Massacre without a Parallel in History 350

Part 8.




The War over, Peace restored, and the Nation cleansed of a Plague.—slavery gives Place to a Long Train of Events.—Unsettled Condition of Affairs at the South.—The Absence of Legal Civil Government necessitates the Establishment of Provisional Military Government.—An Act establishing a Bureau for Refugees and Abandoned Lands.—Congressional Methods for the Reconstruction of the South.—Gen. U. S. Grant carries these States in 1868 and 1872.—Both Branches of the Legislatures in all the Southern States contain Negro Members.—The Errors of Reconstruction chargeable to both Sections of the Country 377



The Apparent Idleness of the Negro Sporadic rather than Generic.—He quietly settles down to Work.—The Government makes Ample Provisions for his Educational and Social Improvement.—The Marvellous Progress made by the People of the South in Education.—Earliest School for Freedmen at Fortress Monroe in 1861.—The Richmond Institute for Colored Youth.—The Unlimited Desire of the Negroes to obtain an Education.—General Order organizing a "Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands."—Gen. O. O. Howard appointed Commissioner of the Bureau.—Report of all the Receipts and Expenditures of the Freedman's Bureau from 1865-1867.—An Act Incorporating the Freedman's Savings Bank and Trust Company.—The Business of the Company as shown from 1866-1871.—Financial Statement by the Trustees for 1872.—Failure of the Bank.—The Social and Financial Condition of the Colored People in the South.—The Negro rarely receives Justice in Southern Courts.—Treatment of Negroes as Convicts in Southern Prisons.—Increase of the Colored People from 1790-1880.—Negroes susceptible of the Highest Civilization 384



Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.—The Legal Destruction of Slavery and a Constitutional Prohibition.—Fifteenth Amendment granting Manhood Suffrage to the American Negro.—President Grant's Special Message upon the Subject.—Universal Rejoicing among the Colored People.—The Negro in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.—The Negro in the Diplomatic Service of the Country.—Frederick Douglass—His Birth, Enslavement, Escape to the North, and Life as a Freeman.—Becomes an Anti-slavery Orator.—Goes to Great Britain.—Returns to America.—Establishes the "North Star."—His Eloquence, Influence, and Brilliant Career.—Richard Theodore Greener.—His Early Life, Education, and Successful Literary Career.—John P. Green.—His Early Struggles to obtain an Education.—A Successful Orator, Lawyer, and Useful Legislator.—Other Representative Colored Men.—Representative Colored Women 419



Its Origin, Growth, Organization, and Excellent Influence.—Its Publishing House, Periodicals, and Papers.—Its Numerical and Financial Strength.—Its Missionary and Educational Spirit.—Wilberforce University 452



Founding of the M. E. Church of America in 1768.—Negro Servants and Slaves among the First Contributors to the Erection of the First Chapel in New York.—The Rev. Harry Hosier the First Negro Preacher in the M. E. Church in America.—His Remarkable Eloquence as a Pulpit Orator.—Early Prohibition against Slave-holding in the M. E. Church.—Strength of the Churches and Sunday-schools of the Colored Members in the M. E. Church.—The Rev. Marshall W. Taylor, D.D.—His Ancestors.—His Early Life and Struggles for an Education.—He Teaches School in Kentucky.—His Experiences as a Teacher.—Is ordained to the Gospel Ministry and becomes a Preacher and Missionary Teacher.—His Settlement as Pastor in Indiana and Ohio.—Is given the Title of Doctor of Divinity by the Tennessee College.—His Influence as a Leader, and his Standing as a Preacher 465



The Colored Baptists an Intelligent and Useful People.—Their Leading Ministers in Missouri, Ohio, and in New England.—The Birth, Early Life, and Education of Duke William Anderson.—As Farmer, Teacher, Preacher, and Missionary.—His Influence in the West.—Goes South at the Close of the War.—Teaches in a Theological Institute at Nashville, Tennessee.—Called to Washington.—Pastor of 19th Street Baptist Church.—He occupies Various Positions of Trust.—Builds a New Church.—His Last Revival.—His Sickness and Death.—His Funeral and the General Sorrow at his Loss.—Leonard Andrew Grimes, of Boston, Massachusetts.—His Piety, Faithfulness, and Public Influence for Good.—The Completion of his Church.—His Last Days and Sudden Death.—General Sorrow.—Resolutions by the Baptist Ministers of Boston.—A Great and Good Man Gone 475

Part 9.





The Beginning of the End of the Republican Governments at the South.—Southern Election Methods and Northern Sympathy.—Gen. Grant not Responsible for the Decline and Loss of the Republican State Governments at the South.—A Party without a Live Issue.—Southern War Claims.—The Campaign of 1876.—Republican Lethargy and Democratic Activity.—Doubtful Results.—The Electoral Count in Congress.—Gen. Garfield and Congressmen Foster and Hale to the Front as Leaders.—Peaceful Results.—President Hayes's Southern Policy.—Its Failure.—The Ideas of the Hon. Charles Foster on the Treatment of the Southern Problem.—"Nothing but Leaves" from Conciliation.—A New Policy demanded by the Republican Party.—A Remarkable Speech by the Hon. Charles Foster at Upper Sandusky, Ohio.—He calls for a Solid North against a Solid South.—He sounds the Key-note for the North and the Nation responds.—The Decay and Death of the Negro Governments at the South Inevitable.—The Negro must turn his Attention to Education, the Accumulation of Property and Experience.—He will return to Politics when he shall be Equal to the Difficult Duties of Citizenship 516



The Negroes of the South delight in their Home so Long as it is Possible for them to remain.—The Policy of abridging their Rights Destructive to their Usefulness as Members of Society.—Political Intimidation, Murder, and Outrage disturb the Negroes.—The Plantation Credit System the Crime of the Century.—The Exodus not inspired by Politicians, but the Natural Outcome of the Barbarous Treatment bestowed upon the Negroes by the Whites.—The Unprecedented Sufferings of 60,000 Negroes fleeing from Southern Democratic Oppression.—Their Patient Christian Endurance.—Their Industry, Morals, and Frugality.—The Correspondent of the "Chicago Inter-Ocean" sends Information to Senator Voorhees respecting the Refugees in Kansas.—The Position of Gov. St. John and the Faithful Labors of Mrs. Comstock.—The Results of the Exodus Beneficent.—The South must treat the Negro Better or lose his Labor 529



The Three Grand Divisions of the Tribes of Africa.—Slave Markets of America supplied from the Diseased and Criminal Classes of African Society.—America robs Africa of 15,000,000 Souls in 360 Years.—Negro Power of Endurance.—His Wonderful Achievements as a Laborer, Soldier, and Student.—First in War, and First in Devotion to the Country.—His Idiosyncrasies.—Mrs. Stowe's Errors.—His Growing Love for Schools and Churches.—His General Improvement.—The Negro will endure to the End.—He is Capable for All the Duties of Citizenship.—Amalgamation will not obliterate the Race.—The American Negro will civilize Africa.—America will establish Steamship Communication with the Dark Continent.—Africa will yet be composed of States, and "Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her Hands unto God." 544


Part 4.






The nineteenth century opened auspiciously for the cause of the Negro. Although slavery had ceased to exist in Massachusetts and Vermont, the census of 1800 showed that the slave population in the other States was steadily on the increase. In the total population of 5,305,925, there were 893,041 slaves. The subjoined table exhibits the number of slaves in each of the slave-holding States in the year 1800.


District of Columbia 3,244 Connecticut 951 Delaware 6,153 Georgia 59,404 Indiana Territory 135 Kentucky 40,343 Maryland 105,635 Mississippi Territory 3,489 New Jersey 12,422 New Hampshire 8 New York 20,343 North Carolina 133,296 Pennsylvania 1,706 Rhode Island 381 South Carolina 146,151 Tennessee 13,584 Virginia 345,796 ———- Aggregate 893,041

On the 2d of January, 1800, a number of Colored citizens of the city and county of Philadelphia presented a memorial to Congress, through the delegate from that city, Mr. Waln, calling attention to the slave-trade to the coast of Guinea. The memorial charged that the slave-trade was clandestinely carried on from various ports of the United States contrary to law; that under this wicked practice free Colored men were often seized and sold as slaves; and that the fugitive-slave law of 1793 subjected them to great inconvenience and severe persecutions. The memorialists did not request Congress to transcend their authority respecting the slave-trade, nor to emancipate the slaves, but only to prepare the way, so that, at an early period, the oppressed might go free.

Upon a motion by Mr. Waln for the reference of the memorial to the Committee on the Slave-trade, Rutledge, Harper, Lee, Randolph, and other Southern members, made speeches against such a reference. They maintained that the petition requested Congress to take action on a question over which they had no control. Waln, Thacher, Smilie, Dana, and Gallatin contended that there were portions of the petition that came within the jurisdiction of the Constitution, and, therefore, ought to be received and acted upon. Mr. Rutledge demanded the yeas and nays; but in such a spirit as put Mr. Waln on his guard, so he withdrew his motion, and submitted another one by which such parts of the memorial as came within the jurisdiction of Congress should be referred. Mr. Rutledge raised a point of order on the motion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania that a "part" of the memorial could not be referred, but was promptly overruled. Mr. Gray, of Virginia, moved to amend by adding a declaratory clause that the portions of the memorial, not referred, inviting Congress to exercise authority not delegated, "have a tendency to create disquiet and jealousy, and ought, therefore, to receive the pointed disapprobation of this House." After some discussion, it was finally agreed to strike out the last clause and insert the following: "ought therefore to receive no encouragement or countenance from this House." The call of the roll resulted in the adoption of the amendment, with but one vote in the negative by Mr. Thacher, of Maine, an uncompromising enemy of slavery. The committee to whom the memorial was referred brought in a bill during the session prohibiting American ships from supplying slaves from the United States to foreign markets.

On the 2d of April, 1802, Georgia ceded the territory lying west of her present limits, now embracing the States of Alabama and Mississippi. Among the conditions she exacted was the following:

"That the territory thus ceded shall become a State, and be admitted into the Union as soon as it shall contain sixty thousand free inhabitants, or at an earlier period, if Congress shall think it expedient, on the same conditions and restrictions, with the same privileges, and in the same manner, as provided in the ordinance of Congress of the 13th day of July, 1787, for the government of the western territory of the United States: which ordinance shall, in all its parts, extend to the territory contained in the present act of cession, the article only excepted which forbids slavery."

The demand was acceded to, and, as the world knows, Alabama and Mississippi became the most cruel slave States in the United States.

Ohio adopted a State constitution in 1802-3, and the residue of the territory not included in the State as it is now, was designated as Indiana Territory. William Henry Harrison was appointed governor. One of the earliest moves of the government of the new territory was to secure a modification of the ordinance of 1787 by which slavery or involuntary servitude was prohibited in the territory northwest of the Ohio River. It was ordered by a convention presided over by Gen. Harrison in 1802-3, that a memorial be sent to Congress urging a restriction of the ordinance of 1787. It was referred to a select committee, with John Randolph as chairman. On the 2d of March, 1803, he made a report by the unanimous request of his committee, and the portion referring to slavery was as follows:

"The rapid population of the State of Ohio sufficiently evinces, in the opinion of your committee, that the labor of slaves is not necessary to promote the growth and settlement of colonies in that region. That this labor—demonstrably the dearest of any—can only be employed in the cultivation of products more valuable than any known to that quarter of the United States; that the committee deem it highly dangerous and inexpedient to impair a provision wisely calculated to promote the happiness and prosperity of the northwestern country, and to give strength and security to that extensive frontier. In the salutary operations of this sagacious and benevolent restraint, it is believed that the inhabitants of Indiana will, at no very distant day, find ample remuneration for a temporary privation of labor and of emigration."

After discussing the subject-matter embodied in the memorial from the territory of Indiana, the committee presented eight resolves, one of which related to the subject of slavery, and was as follows:

"Resolved, That it is inexpedient to suspend, for a limited time, the operation of the sixth article of the compact between the original States and the people and the States west of the river Ohio."

Congress was about to close its session, and, therefore, there was no action taken upon this report. At the next session it went into the hands of a new committee whose chairman was Caesar Rodney, of Delaware, who had just been elected to Congress. On the 17th of February, 1804, Mr. Rodney made the following report:

"That taking into their consideration the facts stated in the said memorial and petition, they are induced to believe that a qualified suspension, for a limited time, of the sixth article of compact between the original States and the people and States west of the river Ohio, might be productive of benefit and advantage to said territory."

After discussing other matters contained in the Indiana petition, the committee says, in reference to slavery:

"That the sixth article of the ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery within the said territory, be suspended in a qualified manner for ten years, so as to permit the introduction of slaves born within the United States, from any of the individual States: provided, that such individual State does not permit the importation of slaves from foreign countries; and provided further, that the descendants of all such slaves shall, if males, be free at the age of twenty-five years, and, if female, at the age of twenty-one years."

The House did not take up and act upon this report, and so the matter passed for the time being. But the original memorial, with several petitions of like import, came before Congress in 1805-6. They were referred to a select committee, and on the 14th of February, 1806, Mr. Garnett, of Virginia, the chairman, made the following favorable report:

"That, having attentively considered the facts stated in the said petitions and memorials, they are of opinion that a qualified suspension for a limited time, of the sixth article of compact between the original States and the people and States west of the river Ohio, would be beneficial to the people of the Indiana Territory. The suspension of this article is an object almost universally desired in that Territory.

"It appears to your committee to be a question entirely different from that between Slavery and Freedom; inasmuch as it would merely occasion the removal of persons, already slaves, from one part of the country to another. The good effects of this suspension, in the present instance, would be to accelerate the population of that Territory, hitherto retarded by the operation of that article of compact, as slave-holders emigrating into the Western country might then indulge any preference which they might feel for a settlement in the Indiana Territory, instead of seeking, as they are now compelled to do, settlements in other States or countries permitting the introduction of slaves. The condition of the slaves themselves would be much ameliorated by it, as it is evident, from experience, that the more they are separated and diffused, the more care and attention are bestowed on them by their masters—each proprietor having it in his power to increase their comforts and conveniences, in proportion to the smallness of their numbers. The dangers, too (if any are to be apprehended), from too large a black population existing in any one section of country, would certainly be very much diminished, if not entirely removed. But whether dangers are to be feared from this source or not, it is certainly an obvious dictate of sound policy to guard against them, as far as possible. If this danger does exist, or there is any cause to apprehend it, and our Western brethren are not only willing but desirous to aid us in taking precautions against it, would it not be wise to accept their assistance?

"We should benefit ourselves, without injuring them, as their population must always so far exceed any black population which can ever exist in that country, as to render the idea of danger from that source chimerical."

After a lengthy discussion of matters embodied in the Indiana memorial, the committee recommended the following resolve on the question of slavery:

"Resolved, That the sixth article of the ordinance of 1787, which prohibits slavery within the Indiana Territory, be suspended for ten years, so as to permit the introduction of slaves born within the United States, from any of the individual States."

The report and resolves were made the special order for the following Monday, but were never called up.

At the opening of the next session, Gen. Harrison presented another letter, accompanied by several resolves passed by the Legislative Council and House of Representatives, urging the passage of a measure restricting the ordinance of 1787. The letter and enclosures were received on the 21st of January, 1807, and referred to the following select committee: Parke, of Indiana, chairman; Alston, North Carolina; Masters, New York; Morrow, Ohio; Rhea, Tennessee; Sandford, Kentucky; Trigg, Virginia.

On the 12th of February, 1807, the chairman, Mr. Parke, made the following report in favor of the request of the memorialists [the third]. It was unanimous.

"The resolutions of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives of the Indiana Territory relate to a suspension, for the term of ten years, of the sixth article of compact between the United States and the Territories and States northwest of the river Ohio, passed the 13th July, 1787. That article declares that there shall be neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Territory.

"The suspension of the said article would operate an immediate and essential benefit to the Territory, as emigration to it will be inconsiderable for many years, except from those States where Slavery is tolerated.

"And although it is not considered expedient to force the population of the Territory, yet it is desirable to connect its scattered settlements, and, in admitted political rights, to place it on an equal footing with the different States. From the interior situation of the Territory, it is not believed that slaves could ever become so numerous as to endanger the internal peace or future prosperity of the country. The current of emigration flowing to the Western country, the Territories should all be opened to their introduction. The abstract question of Liberty and Slavery is not involved in the proposed measure, as Slavery now exists to a considerable extent in different parts of the Union; it would not augment the number of slaves, but merely authorize the removal to Indiana of such as are held in bondage in the United States. If Slavery is an evil, means ought to be devised to render it least dangerous to the community, and by which the hapless situation of the slaves would be most ameliorated; and to accomplish these objects, no measure would be so effectual as the one proposed. The Committee, therefore, respectfully submit to the House the following resolution:

"Resolved, That it is expedient to suspend, from and after the 1st day of January, 1808, the sixth article of compact between the United States and the Territories and States northwest of the Ohio, passed the 13th day of July, 1787, for the term of ten years."

Like its predecessor this report was made a special order, but was never taken up.

On the 7th of November, 1807, the President laid a letter from Gen. Harrison [probably the one already referred to], and the resolves of his Legislature, before Congress, and that body referred them to a select committee consisting of Franklin, of North Carolina; Ketchel, of New Jersey; and Tiffin, of Ohio.

On the 13th of November, Mr. Franklin made the following adverse report:

"The Legislative Council and House of Representatives, in their resolutions, express their sense of the propriety of introducing Slavery into their Territory, and solicit the Congress of the United States to suspend, for a given number of years, the sixth article of compact, in the ordinance for the government of the Territory northwest of the Ohio, passed the 13th day of July, 1787. That article declares: 'There shall be neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude within the said Territory.'

"The citizens of Clark County, in their remonstrance, express their sense of the impropriety of the measure, and solicit the Congress of the United States not to act on the subject, so as to permit the introduction of slaves into the Territory; at least, until their population shall entitle them to form a constitution and State government.

"Your Committee, after duly considering the matter, respectfully submit the following resolution:

"Resolved, That it is not expedient at this time to suspend the sixth article of compact for the government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio."

Thus ended in defeat the stubborn effort to secure a restriction of the ordinance of 1787, and the admission of slavery into the Territory lying west of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, now comprising the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

In his message to Congress at the commencement of the session of 1806-7, President Jefferson suggested to that body the wisdom of abolishing the African slave-trade. He said in this connection:

"I congratulate you, fellow-citizens, on the approach of the period at which you may interpose your authority, constitutionally, to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of human rights which have so long been continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best interest of our country have long been eager to proscribe."

This portion of the message was referred to a select committee; and in due time they reported a bill "to prohibit the importation or bringing of slaves into the United States or the territories thereof after the 31st day of December, 1807."

Mr. Early, of Georgia, the chairman of the committee, inserted a clause into the bill requiring that all slaves illegally imported "should be forfeited and sold for life for the benefit of the United States." A long debate ensued and was conducted with fiery earnestness from beginning to end. It was urged in support of the above regulation, that nothing else could be done but to sell them; that it would never do to release them in the States where they might be captured, poor, ignorant, and dangerous. It was said by the opponents of the measure, that Congress could not regulate the matter, as the States had the reserved authority to have slavery, and were, therefore, competent to say who should be free and who bond. It was suggested, farther along in the debate, that Congress might order such slaves into such States as prohibited slavery, where they could be bound out for a term of years. After a great many able speeches the House refused to strike out the forfeiture clause by a vote of sixty-three to thirty-six. When the act was called up for final passage, it was amended by inserting a clause imposing a fine of $20,000, upon all persons concerned in fitting out a vessel for the slave-trade; and likewise a fine of $5,000, and forfeiture of the vessel for taking on board any Negro or Mulatto, or any person of color, in any foreign port with the intention of selling them in the United States.

During these efforts at restriction the slave population was growing daily. The census of 1810 showed that within a decade the slave population had sprung from 893,041, in 1800, to 1,191,364,—an increase of 33 per cent. The following table exhibits this remarkable fact:


District of Columbia 5,395 Rhode Island 108 Connecticut 310 Pennsylvania 795 Delaware 4,177 New Jersey 10,851 New York 15,017 Louisiana 34,660 Tennessee 44,535 Kentucky 80,561 Georgia 105,218 Maryland 111,502 North Carolina 168,824 South Carolina 196,365 Virginia 392,518 Mississippi Territory 17,088 Indiana Territory 237 Louisiana Territory 3,011 Illinois Territory 168 Michigan Territory 24

On the 10th of December, 1817, Mississippi applied for admission into the Union with a slave constitution. The provisions relating to slavery dispensed with grand juries in the indictment of slaves, and trial by jury was allowed only in trial of capital cases.

During the session of 1817-8, Congress was besieged by a large number of memorials praying for more specific legislation against the slave-trade. During the session the old fugitive-slave act was amended so as to make it more effective, and passed by a vote of eighty-four to sixty-nine. In the Senate, with several amendments, and heated debate, it passed by a vote of seventeen to thirteen; but upon being returned to the House for concurrence, the Northern members had heard from their constituents, and the bill was tabled, and its friends were powerless to get it up.

In 1818-9, Congress passed an act offering a premium of fifty dollars to the informer of every illegally imported African seized within the United States, and twenty-five dollars for those taken at sea. The President was authorized to have such slaves removed beyond the limits of the United States, and to appoint agents on the West Coast of Africa to superintend their reception. An effort was made to punish slave-trading with death. It passed the House, but was struck out in the Senate.

On the 12th of January, 1819, the Secretary of the Navy transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives copies of circular letters that had been sent to the naval officers on the various stations along the sea-coast of the slave-holding States. The following letter is a fair sample of the remainder:[1]

"NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 22, 1811.

"SIR:—I hear, not without great concern, that the law prohibiting the importation of slaves has been violated in frequent instances, near St. Mary's, since the gun-boats have been withdrawn from that station.

"We are bound by law, by the obligations of humanity and sound policy, to use our most strenuous efforts to restrain this disgraceful traffic, and to bring those who shall be found engaged in it to those forfeitures and punishments which are by law prescribed for such offences.

"Hasten the equipment of the gun-boats which, by my letter of the 24th ultimo, you were directed to equip, and as soon as they shall be ready, despatch them to St. Mary's with orders to their commanders to use all practicable diligence in enforcing the law prohibiting the importation of slaves, passed March 2, 1807, entitled 'An Act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States from and after the 1st day of January, 1808.' The whole of this law, but especially the 7th section, requires your particular attention; that section declares, that any ship or vessel which shall be found in any river, port, bay, or harbor, or on the high seas, within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, or hovering on the coast thereof, having on board any negro, mulatto, or person of color, for the purpose of selling them as slaves, or with intent to land the same in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, contrary to the prohibition of the act, shall, together with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the goods and effects which shall be found on board the same, be forfeited and may be seized, prosecuted, and condemned in any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof.

"It further authorizes the President of the United States to cause any of the armed vessels of the United States to be manned and employed to cruise on any part of the coast of the United States, or territories thereof, and to instruct and direct the commanders to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States, all such ships or vessels; and, moreover, to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States, all ships or vessels of the United States, wherever found on the high seas, contravening the provisions of the act, to be proceeded against according to law.

"You will, therefore, consider yourself hereby especially instructed and required, and you will instruct and require all officers placed under your command, to seize, take, and bring into port, any vessel of whatever nature, found in any river, port, bay, or harbor, or on the high seas, within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, or hovering on the coast thereof, having on board any negro, mulatto, or person of color, for the purpose of selling them as slaves, or with intent to land the same, contrary to law; and, moreover, to seize, take, and bring into port, all ships or vessels of the United States, wheresoever found on the high seas or elsewhere, contravening the provisions of the law. Vessels thus to be seized, may be brought into any port of the United States; and when brought into port, must, without delay, be reported to the district-attorney of the United States residing in the district in which such port may be, who will institute such further proceedings as law and justice require.

"Every person found on board of such vessels must be taken especial care of. The negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, are to be delivered to such persons as the respective States may appoint to receive the same. The commanders and crews of such vessels will be held under the prosecutions of the district-attorneys, to answer the pains and penalties prescribed by law for their respective offences. Whenever negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color shall be delivered to the persons appointed to receive the same, duplicate receipts must be taken therefore, and if no person shall be appointed by the respective States to receive them, they must be delivered 'to the overseers of the poor of the port or place where such ship or vessel may be brought or found,' and an account of your proceedings, together with the number and descriptive list of such negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, must be immediately transmitted to the governor or chief magistrate of the State. You will communicate to me, minutely, all your proceedings.

"I am, sir, respectfully, etc. PAUL HAMILTON.

"H. G. CAMPBELL, Commanding Naval Officer, Charleston, S. C."

On the 17th of December, 1819, President Monroe sent the following message to Congress on the subject of the slave-trade:


"To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

"Some doubt being entertained respecting the true intent and meaning of the act of the last session, entitled 'An Act in addition to the Acts prohibiting the slave-trade,' as to the duties of the agents, to be appointed on the coast of Africa, I think it proper to state the interpretation which has been given of the act, and the measures adopted to carry it into effect, that Congress may, should it be deemed advisable, amend the same, before further proceeding is had under it.

"The obligation to instruct the commanders of all our armed vessels to seize and bring into port all ships or vessels of the United States, wheresoever found, having on board any negro, mulatto, or person of color, in violation of former acts for the suppression of the slave-trade, being imperative, was executed without delay. No seizures have yet been made, but, as they were contemplated by the law, and might be presumed, it seemed proper to make the necessary regulations applicable to such seizures for carrying the several provisions of the act into effect.

"It is enjoined on the executive to cause all negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, who may be taken under the act, to be removed to Africa. It is the obvious import of the law, that none of the persons thus taken should remain within the United States; and no place other than the coast of Africa being designated, their removal or delivery, whether carried from the United States or landed immediately from the vessels in which they were taken, was supposed to be confined to that coast. No settlement or station being specified, the whole coast was thought to be left open for the selection of a proper place, at which the persons thus taken should be delivered. The executive is authorized to appoint one or more agents, residing there, to receive such persons; and one hundred thousand dollars are appropriated for the general purposes of the law.

"On due consideration of the several sections of the act, and of its humane policy, it was supposed to be the intention of Congress, that all the persons above described, who might be taken under it, and landed in Africa, should be aided in their return to their former homes, or in their establishment at or near the place where landed. Some shelter and food would be necessary for them there, as soon as landed, let their subsequent disposition be what it might. Should they be landed without such provision having been previously made, they might perish. It was supposed, by the authority given to the executive to appoint agents residing on that coast, that they should provide such shelter and food, and perform the other beneficent and charitable offices contemplated by the act. The coast of Africa having been little explored, and no persons residing there who possessed the requisite qualifications to entitle them to the trust being known to the executive, to none such could it be committed. It was believed that citizens only, who would go hence, well instructed in the views of their government, and zealous to give them effect, would be competent to these duties, and that it was not the intention of the law to preclude their appointment. It was obvious that the longer these persons should be detained in the United States in the hands of the marshals, the greater would be the expense, and that for the same term would the main purpose of the law be suspended. It seemed, therefore, to be incumbent on me to make the necessary arrangements for carrying this act into effect in Africa, in time to meet the delivery of any persons who might be taken by the public vessels, and landed there under it.

"On this view of the policy and sanctions of the law, it has been decided to send a public ship to the coast of Africa with two such agents, who will take with them tools and other implements necessary for the purposes above mentioned. To each of these agents a small salary has been allowed—fifteen hundred dollars to the principal, and twelve hundred to the other. All our public agents on the coast of Africa receive salaries for their services, and it was understood that none of our citizens possessing the requisite qualifications would accept these trusts, by which they would be confined to parts the least frequented and civilized, without a reasonable compensation. Such allowance, therefore, seemed to be indispensable to the execution of the act. It is intended, also, to subject a portion of the sum appropriated, to the order of the principal agent, for the special objects above stated, amounting in the whole, including the salaries of the agents for one year, to rather less than one third of the appropriation. Special instructions will be given to these agents, defining, in precise terms, their duties in regard to the persons thus delivered to them; the disbursement of the money by the principal agent; and his accountability for the same. They will also have power to select the most suitable place on the coast of Africa, at which all persons who may be taken under this act shall be delivered to them, with an express injunction to exercise no power founded on the principle of colonization, or other power than that of performing the benevolent offices above recited, by the permission and sanction of the existing government under which they may establish themselves. Orders will be given to the commander of the public ship in which they will sail, to cruise along the coast, to give the more complete effect to the principal object of the act.


"WASHINGTON, December, 17, 1819."

In March, 1818, the delegate from Missouri presented petitions from the inhabitants of that territory, praying to be admitted into the Union as a State. They were referred to a select committee, and a bill was reported for the admission of Missouri as a State on equal footing with the other States. The bill was read twice, when it was sent to the Committee of the Whole, where it was permitted to remain during the entire session. During the next session, on the 13th of February, 1819, the House went into the Committee of the Whole with Gen. Smith, of Maryland, in the chair. The committee had two sittings during which they discussed the bill. Gen. Tallmadge, of New York, offered the following amendment directed against the life of the clause admitting slavery:

"And provided that the introduction of slavery, or involuntary servitude, be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes whereof the party has been duly convicted, and that all children born within the said State, after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be declared free at the age of twenty-five years."

A long and an able discussion followed, in which the authority of the government to prohibit slavery under new State governments was affirmed and denied. On coming out of the Committee of the Whole, the yeas and nays were demanded on the amendment prohibiting the introduction of slavery into Missouri, and resulted as follows: yeas, 87,—only one vote from the South, Delaware; nays, 76,—ten votes from Northern States. Upon the latter clause of the amendment—"and that all children of slaves, born within the said State, after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be declared free at the age of twenty-five years": yeas, 82,—one vote from Maryland; nays, 78,—fourteen from Northern States. And thus the entire amendment of Gen. Tallmadge was sustained, and being reported to the House, passed by a vote 98 to 56.

The bill reached the Senate on the 17th of February, and after its second reading was referred to a select committee. On the 22d of February, the chairman, Mr. Tait, of Georgia, reported the bill back with amendments, striking out the Tallmadge restriction clauses. The House went into the Committee of the Whole on the 27th of February, to consider the bill, when Mr. Wilson, of New Jersey, moved to postpone the further consideration of the bill until the 5th of March. It was rejected. The committee then began to vote upon the recommendations of the select committee. Upon striking out the House amendment, providing that all the children of slaves born within said State should be free, etc., it was carried by a vote of 27 to 7, eleven Northern Senators voting to strike out. The seven votes against striking out were all from free States.

Upon the clause prohibiting servitude except for crimes, etc., 22 votes were cast for striking out,—five being from Northern States; against striking out, 16,—and they were all from Northern States.

Thus amended, the bill was ordered to be engrossed, and on the 2d of March—the last day but one of the session—was read a third time and passed. It was returned to the House, where the amendments were read, when Mr. Tallmadge moved that the bill be indefinitely postponed. His motion was rejected by a vote of: yeas, 69; nays, 74. But upon a motion to concur in the Senate amendments, the House refused to concur: yeas, 76; nays, 78. The Senate adhered to their amendments, and the House adhered to their disagreement by a vote of 76 to 66; and thus the bill fell between the two Houses and was lost.

The southern portion of the territory of Missouri, which was not included within the limits of the proposed State, was organized as a separate territory, under the designation of the Arkansas Territory. After considerable debate, and several attempts to insert an amendment for the restriction of slavery, the bill creating the territory of Arkansas passed without any reference to slavery, and thus the territory was left open to slavery, and also the State some years later.

The Congressional discussion of the slavery question aroused the anti-slavery sentiment of the North, which found expression in large and earnest meetings, in pungent editorials, and numerous memorials. At Trenton, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and other places, the indignation against slavery was great. On December 3, 1819, a large meeting was held in the State House at Boston, when a resolution was adopted to memorialize Congress on the subject of "restraining the increase of slavery in new States to be admitted into the Union." The memorial was drawn by Daniel Webster, and signed by himself, George Blake, Josiah Quincy, James T. Austin, and others. The New York Legislature passed resolutions against the extension of slavery into the territories and new States; and requested the Congressmen and instructed the Senators from that State not to vote for the admission of any State into the Union, except such State should pledge itself to unqualified restriction in the letter and spirit of the ordinance of 1787. These resolutions were signed on January 17, 1820.

On the 24th of January the New Jersey Legislature followed in the same strain, with six pertinent resolves, a copy of which the governor was requested to forward "to each of the senators and representatives of this State, in the Congress of the United States."

Pennsylvania had taken action on the 11th of December, 1819; but the resolves were not signed by Gov. William Findlay until the 16th of the month. The Legislature was composed of fifty-four Democrats and twenty Whigs, and yet there was not a dissenting vote cast.

Two Southern States passed resolutions,—Delaware and Kentucky: the first in favor of restriction, the last opposed to restriction.

The effort to secure the admission of Missouri with a slave constitution was not dead, but only sleeping. The bill was called up as a special order on the 24th of January, 1820. It occupied most of the time of the House from the 25th of January till the 19th of February, when a bill came from the Senate providing for the admission of Maine into the Union, but containing a rider authorizing the people of Missouri to adopt a State constitution, etc., without restrictions respecting slavery. The bill providing for the admission of Maine had passed the House during the early days of the session, and now returned to the House for concurrence in the rider. The debate on the bill and amendments had occupied much of the time of the Senate. In the Judiciary Committee on the 16th of February, the question was taken on amendments to the Maine admission bill, authorizing Missouri to form a State constitution, making no mention of slavery: and twenty-three votes were cast against restriction,—three from Northern States; twenty-one in favor of restriction,—but only two from the South.

Mr. Thomas offered a resolution reaffirming the doctrine of the sixth article of the ordinance of 1787, and declaring its applicability to all that territory ceded to the United States by France, under the general designation of Louisiana, which lies north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north latitude, etc. But on the following day he withdrew his original amendment, and submitted the following:

"And be it further enacted, That in all the territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes, north latitude, excepting only such part thereof as is included within the limits of the State contemplated by this act, slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall be and is hereby forever prohibited. Provided always, that any person escaping into the same, from where labor or service is lawfully claimed in any State or territory of the United States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid."

Mr. Trimble, of Ohio, offered a substitute, but it was rejected. The question recurring upon the passage of the amendment of Mr. Thomas, excluding slavery from all the territory north and west of Missouri, it was carried by a vote of 34 to 20.

Thus amended, the bill was ordered to engrossment by a vote of 24 to 20. On the 18th of February the bill passed, and this was its condition when it came to the House. By a vote of 93 to 72 the House agreed not to leave the Missouri question on the Maine bill as a rider; but immediately thereafter struck out the Thomas Senate amendment by a vote of 159 to 18. The House disagreed to the remaining Senate amendments, striking out the clause restricting slavery in Missouri by a vote of 102 to 68.

Thus rejected, the bill was returned to the Senate shorn of its amendments. After four days of debate in the Senate it was decided not to recede from the attachment of the Missouri subject to the Maine bill; not to recede from the amendment prohibiting slavery west of Missouri, and north of 36 deg. 30' north latitude, and insisted upon the remaining amendments without division.

When the bill was returned to the House a motion was made to insist upon its disagreement to all but section nine of the Senate amendments, and was carried by a vote of 97 to 76.

The Senate asked for a committee of conference upon differences between the two Houses, which was cheerfully granted by the House. On the 2d of March, Mr. Holmes, of Massachusetts, as chairman, made the following report:

"1. The Senate should give up the combination of Missouri in the same bill with Maine.

"2. The House should abandon the attempt to restrict Slavery in Missouri.

"3. Both Houses should agree to pass the Senate's separate Missouri bill, with Mr. Thomas's restriction or compromising proviso, excluding Slavery from all territory north and west of Missouri.

"The report having been read,

"The first and most important question was put, viz.:

"Will the House concur with the Senate in so much of the said amendments as proposes to strike from the fourth section of the [Missouri] bill the provision prohibiting Slavery or involuntary servitude in the contemplated State, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes?"

The vote resulted as follows: For giving up restriction on Missouri, yeas, 90; against giving up restriction of slavery in Missouri, 87.

Mr. Taylor, of New York, offered an amendment to include Arkansas Territory under the prohibition of slavery in the territory west and north of Missouri, but his amendment was cut off by a call for the previous question. Then the House concurred in the Senate amendment excluding forever slavery from the territory west and north of Missouri by a vote of 134 to 42! And on the following day the bill admitting Maine into the Union was passed without opposition.

Thus the Northern delegates in Congress were whipped into line, and thus did the South gain her point in the extension of slavery in violation of the sacred compact between the States contained in the ordinance of 1787.

But the struggle was opened afresh when Missouri presented herself for admission on the 16th of November, 1820. The constitution of this new State, adopted by her people on the 19th of July, 1820, contained the following resolutions which greatly angered the Northern members, who so keenly felt the defeat and humiliation they had Suffered so recently:

"The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws, first, for the emancipation of Slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying them, before such emancipation, a full equivalent for such slaves so emancipated; and second: to prevent bona-fide emigrants to this State, or actual settlers therein, from bringing from any of the United States, or from any of their Territories, such persons as may there be deemed to be Slaves, so long as any persons of the same description are allowed to be held as Slaves by the laws of this State.

... "It shall be their duty, as soon as may be, to pass such laws as may be necessary,

"First, to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to, and settling in, this State, under any pretext whatever."

Upon the motion to admit the State the vote stood: yeas, 79, nays, 93. Upon a second attempt to admit her, with the understanding that the resolution just quoted should be expunged the vote was worse than before, standing: yeas, 6; nays, 146!

The House now rested, until a joint resolve, admitting her with but a vague and ineffective qualification, came down from the Senate, where it was passed by a vote of 26 to 18—six Senators from Free States in the affirmative. Mr. Clay, who had resigned in the recess, and been succeeded, as Speaker, by John W. Taylor, of New York, now appeared as the leader of the Missouri admissionists, and proposed terms of compromise, which were twice voted down by the Northern members, aided by John Randolph and three others from the South, who would have Missouri admitted without condition or qualification. At last, Mr. Clay proposed a joint committee on this subject, to be chosen by ballot—which the House agreed to by a vote of 101 to 55; and Mr. Clay became its chairman. By this committee it was agreed, that a solemn pledge should be required of the Legislature of Missouri, that the constitution of that State should not be construed to authorize the passage of any act, and that no act should be passed "by which any of the citizens of either of the States should be excluded from the enjoyment of the privileges and immunities to which they are entitled under the Constitution of the United States." The joint resolution, amended by the addition of this proviso, passed the House by 86 yeas to 82 nays; the Senate concurred (Feb. 27, 1821) by 26 yeas to 15 nays—(all Northern but Macon, of N. C.). Missouri complied with the condition, and became an accepted member of the Union. Thus closed the last stage of the fierce Missouri controversy, which for a time seemed to threaten—as so many other controversies have harmlessly threatened—the existence of the Union.

By this time there was scarcely a State in the North but that had organized anti-slavery, or abolition, societies. Pennsylvania boasted of a society that was accomplishing a great Work. Where it was impossible to secure freedom for the enslaved, religious training was imparted, and many excellent efforts made for the amelioration of the condition of the Negroes, bond and free. A society for promoting the "Abolition of Slavery" was formed at Trenton, New Jersey, on the 2d of March, 1786. It adopted an elaborate constitution, which was amended on the 26th of November, 1788. It did an effective work throughout the State; embraced in its membership some of the ablest men of the State; and changed public sentiment for the better by the methods it adopted and the literature it circulated. On the 15th of February, 1804, it secured the passage of the following Act for the gradual emancipation of the slaves in the State:


"SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Council and General Assembly of this State, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That every child born of a slave within this State, after the fourth day of July next, shall be free; but shall remain the servant of the owner of his or her mother, and the executors, administrators, or assigns of such owner, in the same manner as if such child had been bound to service by the trustees or overseers of the poor, and shall continue in such service, if a male, until the age of twenty-five years, and if a female, until the age of twenty-one years.

"2. And be it enacted, That every person being an inhabitant of this State, who shall be entitled to the service of a child born as aforesaid, after the said fourth day of July next, shall within nine months after the birth of such child, cause to be delivered to the clerk of the county whereof such person shall be an inhabitant, a certificate in writing, containing the name and station of such person, and the name, age, and sex of the child so born; which certificate, whether the same be delivered before or after the said nine months, shall be by the said clerk recorded in a book to be by him provided for that purpose; and such record thereof shall be good evidence of the age of such child; and the clerk of such county shall receive from said person twelve cents for every child so registered; and if any person shall neglect to deliver such certificate to the said clerk within said nine months, such person shall forfeit and pay for every such offence, five dollars, and the further sum of one dollar for every month such person shall neglect to deliver the same, to be sued for and recovered by any person who will sue for the same, the one half to the use of such prosecutor, and the residue to the use of the poor of the township in which such delinquent shall reside.

"3. And be it enacted, That the person entitled to the service of any child born as aforesaid, may, nevertheless, within one year after the birth of such child, elect to abandon such right; in which case a notification of such abandonment, under the hand of such person, shall be filed with the clerk of the township, or where there may be a county poor-house established, then with the clerk of the board of trustees of said poor-house of the county in which such person shall reside; but every child so abandoned shall be maintained by such person until such child arrives to the age of one year, and thereafter shall be considered as a pauper of such township or county, and liable to be bound out by the trustees or overseers of the poor in the same manner as other poor children are directed to be bound out, until, if a male, the age of twenty-five, and if a female, the age of twenty-one; and such child, while such pauper, until it shall be bound out, shall be maintained by the trustees or overseers of the poor of such county or township, as the case may be, at the expense of this State; and for that purpose the director of the board of chosen freeholders of the county is hereby required, from time to time, to draw his warrant on the treasurer in favor of such trustees or overseers for the amount of such expense, not exceeding the rate of three dollars per month; provided the accounts for the same be first certified and approved by such board of trustees, or the town committee of such township; and every person who shall omit to notify such abandonment as aforesaid, shall be considered as having elected to retain the service of such child, and be liable for its maintenance until the period to which its servitude is limited as aforesaid.

"A. Passed at Trenton, Feb. 15, 1804."

The public journals of the larger Northern cities began to take a lively interest in the paramount question of the day, which, without doubt, was the slavery question. Gradual emancipation was doing an excellent work in nearly all the Northern States, as may be seen by the census of 1820. When the entire slave population was footed up it showed an increase of 30 per cent. during the previous ten years, but when examined by States it was found to be on the decrease in all the Northern or free States, except Illinois. The slave population of Virginia had increased only 8 per cent.; North Carolina 21 per cent.; South Carolina 31 per cent.; Tennessee 79 per cent.; Mississippi 92 per cent.; and Louisiana 99 per cent. The slave population by States was as follows:


Alabama 41,879 District of Columbia 6,377 Connecticut 97 Delaware 4,509 Georgia 149,654 Illinois 917 Indiana 190 Kentucky 126,732 Louisiana 69,064 Maryland 107,397 Mississippi 32,814 Missouri 10,222 New Jersey 7,557 New York 10,088 North Carolina 205,017 Pennsylvania 211 Rhode Island 48 South Carolina 258,475 Tennessee 80,107 Virginia 425,153 Arkansas Territory 1,617 ————- Aggregate 1,538,125

The anti-slavery sentiment of the Northern States was growing, but no organization with a great leader at its head had yet announced its platform or unfurled its banner in a holy war for the emancipation of the Bondmen of the Free Republic of North America.


[1] I have in my possession large numbers of official orders and letters on the suppression of the slave-trade, but the space appropriated to this history precludes their publication. There are, however, some important documents in the appendix to this volume.




When the war-clouds gathered in 1812, there was no time wasted in discussing whether it would be prudent to arm the Negro, nor was there a doubt expressed as to his valor. His brilliant achievements in the war of the Revolution, his power of endurance, and martial enthusiasm, were the golden threads of glory that bound his memory to the victorious cause of the American Republic. A lack of troops and an imperiled cause led to the admission of Negroes into the American army during the war of the Revolution. But it was the Negro's eminent fitness for military service that made him a place under the United States flag during the war in Louisiana. The entire country had confidence in the Negro's patriotism and effectiveness as a soldier. White men were willing to see Negroes go into the army because it reduced their chances of being sent forth to the tented field and dangerous bivouac.

New York did not hesitate to offer a practical endorsement of the prevalent opinion that Negroes were both competent and worthy to fight the battles of the Nation. Accordingly, the following Act was passed authorizing the organization of two regiments of Negroes.


"SECT. 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, That the Governor of the State be, and he is hereby, authorized to raise, by voluntary enlistment, two regiments of free men of color, for the defence of the State for three years, unless sooner discharged.

"SECT. 2. And be it further enacted, That each of the said regiments shall consist of one thousand and eighty able-bodied men; and the said regiments shall be formed into a brigade, or be organized in such manner, and shall be employed in such service, as the Governor of the State of New York shall deem best adapted to defend the said State.

"SECT. 3. And be it further enacted, That all the commissioned officers of the said regiments and brigade shall be white men; and the Governor of the State of New York shall be, and he is hereby, authorized to commission, by brevet, all the officers of the said regiments and brigade, who shall hold their respective commissions until the council of appointment shall have appointed the officers of the said regiments and brigade, in pursuance of the Constitution and laws of the said State.

"SECT. 4. And be it further enacted, That the commissioned officers of the said regiments and brigade shall receive the same pay, rations, forage, and allowances, as officers of the same grade in the army of the United States; and the non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates of the said regiments shall receive the same pay, rations, clothing, and allowances, as the non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates of the army of the United States; and the sum of twenty-five dollars shall be paid to each of the said non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates, at the time of enlistment, in lieu of all other bounty.

"SECT. 5. And be it further enacted, That the troops to be raised as aforesaid may be transferred into the service of the United States, if the Government of the United States shall agree to pay and subsist them, and to refund to this State the moneys expended by this State in clothing and arming them; and, until such transfer shall be made, may be ordered into the service of the United States in lieu of an equal number of militia, whenever the militia of the State of New York shall be ordered into the service of the United States.

"SECT. 6. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any able-bodied slave, with the written assent of his master or mistress, to enlist into the said corps; and the master or mistress of such slave shall be entitled to the pay and bounty allowed him for his service; and, further, that the said slave, at the time of receiving his discharge, shall be deemed and adjudged to have been legally manumitted from that time, and his said master or mistress shall not thenceforward be liable for his maintenance.

"SECT. 7. And be it further enacted, That every such enrolled person, who shall have become free by manumission or otherwise, if he shall thereafter become indigent, shall be deemed to be settled in the town in which the person who manumitted him was settled at the time of such manumission, or in such other town where he shall have gained a settlement subsequent to his discharge from the said service; and the former owner or owners of such manumitted person, and his legal representatives, shall be exonerated from his maintenance, any law to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.

"SECT. 8. And be it further enacted, That, when the troops to be raised as aforesaid shall be in the service of the United States, they shall be subject to the rules and articles which have been or may be hereafter established by the By-laws of the United States for the government of the army of the United States; that, when the said troops shall be in the service of the State of New York, they shall be subject to the same rules and regulations; and the Governor of the said State shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to exercise all the power and authority which, by the said rules and articles, are required to be exercised by the President of the United States."[2]

Gen. Andrew Jackson believed in the fighting capacity of the Negro, as evidenced by the subjoined proclamation:



"Through a mistaken policy you have heretofore been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights in which our country is engaged. This no longer shall exist.

"As sons of freedom, you are now called upon to defend our most inestimable blessing. As Americans, your country looks with confidence to her adopted children for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government. As fathers, husbands, and brothers, you are summoned to rally around the standard of the eagle, to defend all which is dear in existence.

"Your country, although calling for your exertions, does not wish you to engage in her cause without amply remunerating you for the services rendered. Your intelligent minds are not to be led away by false representations. Your love of honor would cause you to despise the man who should attempt to deceive you. In the sincerity of a soldier and the language of truth I address you.

"To every noble-hearted, generous freeman of color, volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and lands, now received by the white soldiers of the United States, viz.: one hundred and twenty-four dollars in money, and one hundred and sixty acres of land. The non-commissioned officers and privates will also be entitled to the same monthly pay and daily rations, and clothes, furnished to any American soldier.

"On enrolling yourselves in companies, the major-general commanding will select officers for your government from your white fellow-citizens. Your non-commissioned officers will be appointed from among yourselves.

"Due regard will be paid to the feelings of freemen and soldiers. You will not, by being associated with white men in the same corps, be exposed to improper comparisons or unjust sarcasm. As a distinct, independent battalion or regiment, pursuing the path of glory, you will, undivided, receive the applause and gratitude of your countrymen.

"To assure you of the sincerity of my intentions, and my anxiety to engage your invaluable services to our country, I have communicated my wishes to the Governor of Louisiana, who is fully informed as to the manner of enrollment, and will give you every necessary information on the subject of this address.

"ANDREW JACKSON, Major-General Commanding."[3]

Just before the battle of New Orleans, General Jackson reviewed his troops, white and black, on Sunday, December 18, 1814. At the close of the review his Adjutant-General, Edward Livingston, rode to the head of the column, and read in rich and sonorous tones the following address:

"TO THE MEN OF COLOR.—Soldiers! From the shores of Mobile I collected you to arms; I invited you to share in the perils and to divide the glory of your white countrymen. I expected much from you, for I was not uninformed of those qualities which must render you so formidable to an invading foe. I knew that you could endure hunger and thirst and all the hardships of war; I knew that you loved the land of your nativity, and that, like ourselves, you had to defend all that is most dear to man. But you surpass my hopes. I have found in you, united to these qualities, that noble enthusiasm which impels to great deeds.

"Soldiers! The President of the United States shall be informed of your conduct on the present occasion; and the voice of the representatives of the American nation shall applaud your valor, as your general now praises your ardor. The enemy is near. His sails cover the lakes. But the brave are united; and if he finds us contending among ourselves, it will be for the prize of valor, and fame, its noblest reward."[4]

But in this war, as in the Revolutionary struggle, the commissioners who concluded the terms of peace, armed with ample and authentic evidence of the Negro's valorous services, placed him among chattel property.

And in no State in the South were the laws more rigidly enforced against Negroes, both free and slave, than in Louisiana. The efficient service of the Louisiana Negro troops in the war of 1812 was applauded on two continents at the time, but the noise of the slave marts soon silenced the praise of the "Black heroes of the battle of New Orleans."


[2] Laws of the State of New York, passed at the Thirty-eighth Session of the Legislature, chap. xviii.

[3] Niles's Register, vol. vii. p. 205.

[4] Niles's Register, vol. vii. pp. 345, 346.




It is rather a remarkable fact of history that Negroes were carried upon the rolls of the navy without reference to their nationality. About one tenth of the crews of the fleet that sailed to the Upper Lakes to co-operate with Col. Croghan at Mackinac, in 1814, were Negroes. Dr. Parsons says:—

"In 1816, I was surgeon of the 'Java,' under Commodore Perry. The white and colored seamen messed together. About one in six or eight were colored.

"In 1819, I was surgeon of the 'Guerriere,' under Commodore Macdonough; and the proportion of blacks was about the same in her crew. There seemed to be an entire absence of prejudice against the blacks as messmates among the crew. What I have said applies to the crews of the other ships that sailed in squadrons."[5]

This ample and reliable testimony as to the treatment of Negroes as sailors, puts to rest all doubts as to their status in the United States navy.

In the summer of 1813, Captain (afterwards Commodore) Perry wrote a letter to Commodore Chauncey in which he complained that an indifferent lot of men had been sent him. The following is the letter that he wrote.

"SIR:—I have this moment received, by express, the enclosed letter from General Harrison. If I had officers and men—and I have no doubt you will send them—I could fight the enemy, and proceed up the lake; but, having no one to command the 'Niagara,' and only one commissioned lieutenant and two acting lieutenants, whatever my wishes may be, going out is out of the question. The men that came by Mr. Champlin are a motley set—blacks, soldiers, and boys. I cannot think you saw them after they were selected. I am, however, pleased to see any thing in the shape of a man."[6]

Commodore Chauncey replied in the following sharp letter, in which he gave Captain Perry to understand that the color of the skin had nothing to do with a man's qualifications for the navy:

"SIR:—I have been duly honored with your letters of the twenty-third and twenty-sixth ultimo, and notice your anxiety for men and officers. I am equally anxious to furnish you; and no time shall be lost in sending officers and men to you us soon as the public service will allow me to send them from this lake. I regret that you are not pleased with the men sent you by Messrs. Champlin and Forrest; for, to my knowledge, a part of them are not surpassed by any seamen we have in the fleet; and I have yet to learn that the color of the skin, or the cut and trimmings of the coat, can affect a man's qualifications or usefulness. I have nearly fifty blacks on board of this ship, and many of them are among my best men; and those people you call soldiers have been to sea from two to seventeen years; and I presume that you will find them as good and useful as any men on board of your vessel; at least, if I can judge by comparison; for those which we have on board of this ship are attentive and obedient, and, as far as I can judge, many of them excellent seamen: at any rate, the men sent to Lake Erie have been selected with a view of sending a fair proportion of petty officers and seamen; and, I presume, upon examination it will be found that they are equal to those upon this lake."[7]

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