« PreviousContinue »
Fiat Justitia Ruat Cœlum.
Terms of Subscription
GENIUS OF UNIVERSAL EMANCIPATION. VOL. XIII.
This work will henceforth be issued monthly, in the CITY OF WASHINGTON. It will be neatly printed on fine paper, and folded in the octavo form, each number making sixteen large pages. A title page and index will accompany each volume.
The price of subscription will be ONE DOLLAR per annum, always to be paid in advance.
Subscribers who do not particularly specify the time they wish to receive the work, or notify the editor (through the medium of a post-master, or in some other way,) of a desire to discontinue it before the expiration of the current year, will be considered as engaged for the next succeeding one, and their bills will be forwarded accordingly.
Any person remitting Five Dollars to the Editor in current money of the United States, will be entitled to Six Copies, for one year.
All letters, communications, papers, &c. intended for this office, must be addressed, as usual, to BENJAMIN LUNDY, Washington, D. C.-and forwarded free of expense.
AGENTS FOR THE PUBLICATION.
Dr. H. H. Way-Newgarden. Richard Moran-Lawrenceburg.
Rev. W. Burke, P. M.-Cincinnati.
N. Haines, P. M.— -Waynesville.
Thomas Thorn-South Charleston.
Rev. B. Brock-New Petersburg.
Evan Lewis-No. 94, N. 5th St. Philadelphia,
Wm. R. Jones-No. 18, Market Street, Baltimore. John Peck-Carlisle.
Abner M. Plummer-Newmarket. J. Fraquhar, P. M.— -Union Bridge.
GENIUS OF UNIVERSAL EMANCIPATION.
EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY BENJAMIN LUNDY, WASHINGTON, D. C. AT $1.00 PER ANNUM, IN ADVANCE. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."—Declaration of Independence. No. 11. VOL. III. THIRD SERIES.]
WHOLE NUMBER 287. VOL, XII.
plain before us, and we have nothing to do but
IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION. There are many who do not, or will not, understand what abolitionists mean by immediate emancipation. They associate with these words all the horrible ideas of insurrections, and mas-pect this to be accomplished? We answer, by sacres, and blood, which a diseased imagination moral suasion-by the power of reason, and arand a morbid intellect can invent, and then gument, and facts, and Christian principles. By gravely charge abolitions with a design to real-acting upon public opinion through the medium
ize all these scenes of desolation which their own fancy has created.
"FANATICS AND INCENDIARIES." One of the most conclusive and convincing arguments wielded by our opponents against abo litionists, is the use of nicknames. It is a very convenient method, we admit, of refuting an an tagonist, and one which is usually resorted to by angry children and silly disputants. The temp
of individual labors and public addresses, and tracts, and periodical publications. Abolitionists The opinion seems to have been adopted, with- are among the last men who desire the freedom out any evidence to support it, that abolitionists of the slave by the destruction of the master. wish to let the slaves loose upon society, without We are equally the friends of both the master employment, and absolved from all the restraints and the slave. They are both our brethrenof law. Nothing can be more idle and ridicu- and while we are constrained to open our lous, and more foreign from the designs of abo- mouths for the dumb," and to plead the cause of litionists. When we contrast our views with the oppressed, we equally desire the present those of the gradualists, we use the term imme-safety and future prosperity of the master; and diate-by which we mean that man should by advocating the immediate emancipation of cease to be recognized as the property of man, the slave, in the sense above explained, we think not gradually but immediately-that wholesome we are promoting both. laws, which would operate equally upon all classes, should take the place of domestic tyranny and the will of individuals. We wish to see the laws of our country afford equal protection to all its inhabitants, without regard to nation or color. No abolitionist desires the slaves to be turned loose upon society, without the means of subsistence, or the restraints to which all our citizens are subjected. We live under a govern-tation to call names is too strong to be resisted, ment of laws; and the emancipated slave would be amenable to the laws, and punishable for their infraction. But his punishment would be by the magistrate after legal conviction-not by || the whim and caprice of every petty tyrant who happened to claim him as his property. The assumed right of property of one man over another should be abolished, and that immediately. "To say that we will come out of the sin by de, grees that we will only forsake it slowly, and step by step-that we will pause and hesitate, and look well about us, before we consent to abandon its gains and pleasures-that we will allow another age to pass by ere we throw off the load of iniquity that is lying so heavily upon us, lest certain secularities should be injuriously affected—and that we will postpone the duty of 'doing justly and loving mercy,' till we have removed every petty difficulty out of the way, and gotten all the conflicting interests that are involved in the measure reconciled and satisfied:
when passion rules and reason is dethroned. It has become quite fashionable for the apologists of slavery and the advocates of African colonization, to apply the epithets "fanatics" and “incendiaries" to those who defend the precepts of the gospel, and the principles of the declaration of independence. If the apostle Paul were now to appear in his proper character, in republican America, and preach the truth with his wonted boldness, would he not be denounced as the worst of fanatics? If he spoke of practical righteousness, of doing to others as we would wish others to do unto us-of undoing the heavy burdens and letting the oppressed go free; and more especially, if he ventured to apply these fundamentals of the religion he taught to the "very delicate question" of slavery, would he not be an "incendiary," a fomenter of insurrection and murder, and a disturber of the union of the states? Such a "pestilent fellow" ought surely to be put down.
And what have abolitionists said or written inconsistent with what Paul preached and the apostles practised? Or is it more dangerous
Fiat Justitia Ruat Cælum.
"Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature of 1831 and 1832, by Thomas R. Dew, Professor of History, Metaphysics and Political Law, in William and Mary College. Richmond. 1832."
This is an elaborate work of 133 octavo pages, in defence of slavery. The author has prostituted his talents and learning in support of a system which the plainest dictates of common sense, and the unbiassed impulses of every man's conscience condemns. That one man is not born to serve another-that the extortion of un
tion of the natural order of creation-and that a
system which outrages the common rights of man, and debases and brutalizes the noblest work of creative wisdom, can neither be necessary nor expedient under any possible circumstances, are positions which the unsophisticated reason of every man will acknowledge and adopt as true, upon their first presentation to the mind.
emancipation. That many honest, but too crenow to " open our mouths for the dumb," and plead the cause of the widow and the fatherless, and those that have none to help them, than it was in olden time? Alas for my country! when the soundest precepts of the Christian religion, and the plainest principles of natural right, are denounced as fanatic and incendiary! A country, too, loudly boasting of civil liberty and gospel light. The judicial blindness and Egyptian darkness that prevail in a large portion of the community, on the all-important subject of slavery, are ominous of coming judg-requited labor from a fellow creature is a violaments. "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that his justice will not sleep for ever!" It is for my country I mourn, when I see a deaf ear turned to the voice of truth, of justice, and humanity, and the admonitions of philanthropy repaid by threats, denunciations and opprobrious epithets. We do not fear for ourselves, or quail at the impotent abuse of the interested and the designing. The shafts of the enemy fall harmless at our feet. Covered It requires consummate skill in the art of by the shield of innocence, and armed with the disguising the truth, and making the worse appanoply of gospel truth and republican justice, || pear the better cause, to make them appear even and feeling the consciousness of inward peace || plausible. We shall attempt to expose some of in the performance of an imperious duty, we our author's sophistry and false reasoning, and fear nothing for ourselves. But we fear for our expose the error of his pretended facts. country. We hear the distant murmurings of divine displeasure, at the accumulated wrongs which the American people are heaping upon the descendants of Africa. We see the sombre clouds of his indignation ready to burst upon us. We feel the deliberate conviction that the justice of heaven will not sleep for ever; and that the day of retribution and righteous inquisition for the innocent blood we have caused to be shed, is drawing near. And yet when the warning voice is raised, when the people are called upon to beware of the dangers which threaten them, and the means of averting the judgments which are hanging over the country are pointed out, the hue and cry is raised against the messengers of good to the nation, and they are stigmatised
But let "the wicked rage, and the heathen imagine vain things," it shall not divert us from our purpose. Our duty is imperative. Our country may yet be saved. The remedy for the evils which threaten us is easy and simple. It consists in doing justly and loving mercy. is for this we plead. It is for this we will continue to labor. And whether our countrymen will receive or reject our council, it is this only that can save us from the evil to come. It is this only that can avert the impending judgments of heaven, preserve unimpaired the blessing we enjoy, and secure the harmony and union of the states.
He says, in the first page, that "the parliament of Great Britain, with all its philanthropic zeal, guided by the wisdom, and eloquence of such statesmen as Chatham, Fox, Burke, Pitt, Canning and Brougham, has never yet seriously agitated this question, in regard to the West India possessions."
This assertion is refuted by the recent acts of the reformed parliament.
Again he says:-
"Revolutionary France, actuated by the most intemperate and phrenetic zeal for liberty and of color in the island of St. Domingo into all the equality, attempted to legislate the free people rights and privileges of the whites; and but a season afterwards, convinced of her madness, she attempted to retrace her steps, but it was too late; the deed had been done, the bloodiest and most shocking insurrection ever recorded in the annals of history, had broken out, and the whole island was involved in frightful carnage and anarchy, and France in the end has been the fairest and most valuable of all her colonial stript of the brightest jewel in her crown'possessions."
The apologists and advocates of slavery have harped upon the horrors of St. Domingo, and cited the insurrections and massacres in that island so often and so long, as an example of the danger of emancipation, that the world has been almost persuaded there was some foundation for apprehension. Nothing is more false and fallacious than the argument drawn from the exam. ple of St. Domingo in support of the danger of
Fiat Justitia Ruat Cælum.
dulous persons, should be deceived by the perpetual reiteration of the falsehood that the rising of the blacks in the island was caused by their being set free, is not to be wondered at. But we should have expected Professor Dew would have sought and obtained correct information, which was so easy of access. We would not willingly accuse him of deliberate and wilful misrepresentation, but his ignorance of facts is inexcusable. No apology can be offered for citing in support of his positions an assumed fact which is known to be false. The insurrections in St. Domingo were caused, not by eman. cipation, but by an attempt to reduce the black, who had tasted of liberty, again to slavery. There is no instance recorded in history of insurrections and bloodshed being caused by the emancipation of slaves. It is contrary to the natural order of cause and effect. No man is converted into an enemy by just and humane treatment. The emancipated slave has no inducement, no temptation to injure his benefactor. The idea is too absurd to deserve a serious argument.
We shall give some facts in proof, however, of the safety and advantages of emancipation
wherever it has been tried.
Of the many persons who declare themselves averse to slavery, and yet afraid to join in measures for its abolition, some perhaps have not paid much attention to the instances of emancipation that have already taken place. If any such will take the trouble to read the following account of the effects of emancipation as far as it has hitherto been tried, they will perhaps see that their fears on the subject are not justified by experience.
The history of Hayti, when separated from the accidental circumstances attending it, furnishes irrefragable evidence of the safety and advantage of immediate emancipation. It is true that much blood was shed there during the course of the French revolution; but this was not owing to the emancipation of the slaves, but was the consequence either of the civil war which preceded the act of emancipation; or of the atrocious attempt to restore slavery.
In September, 1793, Polverel, one of the Commissioners sent to St. Domingo by the National Convention, issued a proclamation declaring the whole of the slaves in the island free. Colonel Malenfant, a slave proprietor, resident at the time in the island, thus describes the effects of this sudden measure. "After this public act of emancipation, the negroes remained quiet both in the south and in the west, and they continued to work upon all the plantations. There were estates which had neither owners nor managers resident upon them, yet upon these estates, though abandoned, the negroes continued their labors where there were any even inferior agents to guide them, and on those estates where no white men were left to direct them, they betook themselves to the planting of provisions; but upon all the plantations where the whites resided, the blacks continued to labor as quietly as before." Colonel Malenfant says that when many
of his neighbors, proprietors or managers, were in prison, the negroes of their plantation came to him to beg him to direct them in their work. "If you will take care not to talk to them of the restoration of slavery, but talk to them of freedom, you may with this word chain them down to their labor. How did Toussaint succeed? How did I succeed before his time in the plain of the Culde-Sac on the plantation of Gouraud, during more than eight months after liberty had been granted to the slaves? Let those who knew me at that time, let the blacks themselves be asked they will all reply that not a single negro upon that plantation, consisting of more than 450 laborers, refused to work: and yet this plantation was thought to be under the worst discipline, and the slaves the most idle of any in the plain. I inspired the same activity into three other plantations of which I had the management. If all the negroes had come from Africa within six months, if they had the love of independence that the Indians have, I should own that force must be employed; but ninetynine out of a hundred of the blacks are aware that without labor they cannot procure the things that are necessary for them; that there is no other method of satisfying their wants and their tastes. They know that they must work, they wish to do so, and they will do so."
Such was the conduct of the negroes for the first nine months after their liberation, or up to the middle of 1794. In the latter part of 1796 Malenfant says "The colony was flourishing under Toussaint, the whites lived happily and in peace upon their estates, and the negroes continued to work for them." General Lacroix who published his "Memoirs for a History of St. Domingo," in 1819, says that in 1797 the most wonderful progress had been made in agriculture. "The colony," says he, "marched as by enchantment towards its ancient splendor: cultivation prospered; every day produced perceptible proof of its progress." General Vincent, who was a general of brigade of artillery in St. Domingo, and a proprietor of estates in the island, was sent by Toussaint to Paris, in 1801, to lay before the Directory the new constitution which had been agreed upon in St. Domingo. He ar. rived in France just at the moment of the peace of Amiens, and found that Bonaparte was preparing an armament for the purpose of restoring slavery in St. Domingo. He remonstrated against the expedition; he stated that it was totally unnecessary and therefore criminal, for that, every thing was going on well in St. Domingo. The proprietors were in peaceable possession of their estates; cultivation was making a rapid progress; the blacks were industrious, and beyond example happy. He conjured him therefore not to reverse this beautiful state of things; but his efforts were ineffectual, and the expedition arrived upon the shores of St. Domingo. At length, however, the French were driven from the island. Till that time the planters had retained their property, and then it was, and not till then, that they lost their all. In 1804 Dessalines was proclaimed Emperor; in process of time a great part of the black troops were disbanded, and returned to cultivation again. From that time to this, there has been no want of subordination or industry among them.
A gentleman who had been for upwards of twenty years past a general merchant in Hayti, frequently crossing to Europe and America
Fiat Justitia Ruat Cælum.
gave the following account of the condition of the Haytians to Captain Stuart at Belfast last winter. The present population he supposes consists of at least 700,000. He said that there was very universal happiness amongst them, and that though their conduct was not unexceptionable, yet there was a less proportion of such crimes as disturb the public peace in Hayti, and less distress than in any other country within his knowledge. That they obtain abundance by their own labor: that there were no paupers ex
cept the decrepid and aged: that the people were very charitable, hospitable, and kind, very respectful to Europeans, temperate, grateful, faithful, orderly, and submissive, easily governed, lively and contented, good mechanics, and that no corporal punishments are al
Cayenne and Guadaloupe were the only other French colonies in which the slaves were emancipated. In Cayenne the sudden enfranchisement was attended with no ill consequences; after their emancipation the negroes in general continued voluntarily upon the plantations of their former masters, and no irregularities whatever were committed by those men who had thus suddenly obtained their freedom.
In Guadaloupe the conduct of the freed negroes was equally satisfactory. The perfect subordination which was established, and the industry which prevailed there, are proved by the official reports of Victor Hughes, the governor of Guadaloupe, to the French government. In 1793 liberty was proclaimed universally to the slaves in that island, and during their ten years of freedom their governors bore testimony || to their regular industry and uninterrupted submission to the laws. The reports of the commissioners to the local government also speak of the tranquillity which reigned in the agricultural districts, and on the plantations. In a letter addressed by the supreme council of the colony in February, 1802, to the Commissary Valluet of the Canton de Deshayes, it is said Continue, Citizen Commissary, to maintain that order in your Canton which now reigns universally throughout the colony. We shall have the satisfaction of having given an example which will prove that all classes of people may live in perfect harmony with each other under an administration which secures justice to all classes."
prostitution of the use of language, and a palpable perversion of the meaning of words.
"We have not formed our opinion lightly upon this subject; we have given to the vital question of abolition the most mature and intense consideration which we are capable of bestow ing, and we have come to the conclusion,―a conclusion which seems to be sustained by facts and reasoning as irresistible as the demonstration of the mathematician,-that every plan of possibly conceive, is totally impracticable. We emancipation and deportation which we can cute these plans can only have a tendency to inshall endeavor to prove, that the attempt to execrease all the evils of which we complain, as re
sulting from slavery. If this be true, then the great question of abolition will necessarily be reduced to the question of emancipation, with a permission to remain, which we think can easily be shown to be utterly subversive of the interests, security and happiness, of both the blacks and whites, and consequently hostile to every principle of expediency, morality, and religion. We have heretofore doubted the propriety even of too frequently agitating, especially in a public manner, the question of abolition, in consequence of the injurious effects which might be produced on the slave population. But the Virginia Legislature, in its zeal for discussion, boldly set aside all prudential considerations of this kind, and openly and publicly debated the subject before the world. The seal has now been broken, the example has been set from a high quarter; we shall, therefore, waive all considerations of a prudential character which have heretofore restrained us, and boldly grapple with the abolitionists on this great question. We fear not the result, so far as truth, justice, and expediency alone are concerned. But we must be permitted to say, that we do most deeply dread the effects of misguided philanthropy, and the marked, and we had like to have said, impertinent intrusion in this matter, of those who have no interest at stake, and who have not that intimate and minute knowledge of the whole subject so absolutely necessary to wise action."
The author then goes into an examination of the origin of slavery among mankind, and attempts to prove its lawfulness from the fact of its general prevalence among the nations of antiquity, and in modern times among the uncivilized tribes of Africa. The argument in its favor, drawn from the practice of barbarous nations, is too futile to demand a serious refutation. If the example of the uncivilized heathen, in regard to slavery, is to justify Christians in violating the plainest precepts of their religion, the obligations of the moral are prostrated, and all the abominations of heathenism become the legitimate objects of imitation.
From the following paragraph it will be seen that our author deprecates equally "every plan of emancipation and deportation," and "emancipation with permission to remain." The first might easily be shown to be "totally impracticable," as well as utterly inconsistent with justice and sound policy. Besides, the incongruity of the words associated in the proposition reduces it to a mere nullity. It is a contradiction in terms. Emancipation associated with deport- But the claim of divine authority for the prac ation is no emancipation at all. It is only cal- tice of slavery, derived from the example of the culated to bewilder the understanding and mis-Israelites, partakes more of the character of imlead the judgment. But the idea that slavery in this country must be perpetual, is too gross to be sustained, even by the learning and talents of Professor Dew. To speak of truth and justice, or even expediency, on the side of slavery, is a
piety than argument. No man, who seriously believes in an overruling Providence, and the accountability of man for his actions, can believe that a system of slavery, similar to that now practised in a Christian country, would ever