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And so we come, Gentle Reader, to sections Thirteen, Fourteen And Fifteen of the 1851 edition of Josiah Priest's Bible Defence Of Slavery. And we also reach the end of Priest's contribution to the work, though not the end of the book, which contains 'additions' in the form of a piece by the publisher and pamphlets from several other contributors. But this does seem to be a convenient place to pause and take stock.
Firstly, the easy bit. Some advice (which I touched on in a related piece yesterday) for anyone thinking of taking on a similar project.
- Start with something fun. Seriously, this material, being both abhorrent and, in many aspects, very reminiscent of various bigoted attitudes which still exist—indeed many of the descriptions of black people's appearance and behaviour are still common, unwatered-down, currency amongst far too many racists to this day—makes for extremely uncomfortable reading, only partly mitigated by the need for the proof-reader to concentrate on the minutiae of presentation at the expense of reading for comprehension. If you're taking on something which might be the beginning of a kind of hobby, I'd suggest that something which periodically causes one to stare at the wall and ponder humanity's worst aspects may not be the best choice of entry into that hobby.
- A spellcheck program is going to be almost worse than useless. Between antiquated spellings, collections of nonsensical symbols introduced by the OCR process and the probability that many 'typos' will, by pure coincidence, form perfectly properly-spelled words (hate→hats, for instance), you're left relying on good old-fashioned human eyeballs for most of the time.
- Do your proofing in an easy-to-read font, in a much larger size than you would normally employ when reading. If you've never tried this before, you'll be amazed how easily the eye is tricked into disregarding the most obvious OCR mistakes. As readers, we tend to look at the 'shape' of a word, half-informed by context as to what word we should expect to see. You may think it would be simple to spot the difference between 'pliers' and 'phers,' but it really does seem that we trick ourselves into seeing what we expect to see, far more often than we realise. Having that larger font size doesn't completely remove this problem of self-trickery, but it does help.
- You really want to be doing this in a word-processor which gives the ability to make macros and create custom buttons and/or hotkeys to run those macros. You'll want, at least:
- A way to format words in italics and bold without selecting the whole word
- Buttons to instantly change the case of a letter, word or phrase
- If you're working mostly with the mouse, a delete button
- Buttons to surround text with the appropriate HTML tags, if you're working with marked-up text (my own preferred method, as it means I don't have to muck about with visual styles; which would later need to be surrounded by mark-up in order to create an e-book anyway)
- Buttons to format styles for headings, blockquotes, lists, differently styled paragraphs, etc, if you're not working with mark-up
- If working with mark-up, a one-click method to insert a paragraph break and associated tags, and another to delete them
It'll depend partly on how flexible your word-processor is, and on how much time you want to spend refining macros, but the more of that you can do by just clicking into the text to be formatted, without using drag-to-select, the happier and less achy your mouse-clicking finger is going to be. Equally, if working more with your keyboard than with your mouse is your thing, then you'll want to avoid uncomfortable, three-finger activations as much as possible.
- If you find that your concentration's wavering, or that you're 'reading' when you should be 'proof-reading,' stop. Take a break
- This may seem petty, but decide on a consistent method for marking which point of the work you've reached, before exiting the file. This should also include a note of where you are in the reference source-material; the pdf's page-number, the name of the jpg file, whatever
And now, the work itself. According to Wikipedia, 'Priest's works were among the most overtly racist of his time,' and I can well believe it. His disgustingly patronising version of what Kipling was to term the white man's burden, makes Kipling—who, at the risk of seeming to downplay his racism, at least framed it as a responsibility to help raise 'primitive' people up, rather than as an excuse to mistreat them—seem positively benign. All the tired comparisons to apes and monkeys are there, and the classification of black people as less intelligent, less prone to the 'finer' emotions, more lazy than whites, yet at the same time somehow more suited to back-breaking labour.
Away from the racism, the special pleading for particular readings of tiny snippets of Biblical text, in order to 'support' his prejudices, should also be eerily familiar to anyone who's crossed rhetorical swords with modern fundamentalists; as should his ability to twist and skew passages which quite obviously don't say what he wants them to say, to anyone reading without an agenda.
My take from all this Biblical stuff, as I said earlier on in this series of posts, is that yes, the Bible clearly does support slavery, and clearly does impose a much harsher version of it on non-Hebrews than on Hebrews. The idea, though, that the nations of Israel and Judea—or indeed any of the nations in that time and place—gave a damn about skin colour when deciding who could and could not be subjected to the harshest forms of slavery, remains, to me, completely unsupported by either the Bible or any other reading I've ever done which touched on the topic.
Slavery, though I can imagine an enlightened pre-industrial-revolution society managing without it, does seem to have been somewhat inevitable, in societies which had no access to machinery to take the place of mass-labour. I remain convinced, though, that the system used in the Americas introduced a relatively new concept into the rhetoric of enslavement.
Perhaps it's a sign that enlightenment was indeed creeping into many people's world-views, that it became necessary for those who wished to so horribly mistreat their fellow human beings, to excuse that mistreatment by claiming them to be, as a class, less human, subhuman, less able to feel pain, or somehow perversely happy with their lot. We are though, to a large extent, still living with the effects of that rhetoric, with the stereotypes, prejudices and clichés which it popularised and presented as fact, to those gullible enough to believe them.
And now that I've thoroughly depressed myself, I'll stop prattling and let you, should you want to, read the final three chapters of Priest's contribution to this horrible book.
(Oh, and for an apparently popular writer, I have to say; he couldn't express himself clearly for toffee.)
A further exhibition of the opinions and doings of abolitionists in America—Consequences, if they carry their plans into effect—Sympathy is the lever by which they operate—Men should beware how they array themselves against the decrees of God—Mysterious providences of God toward man—Proposal to abolitionists, by the author, to assail other mysterious providences of God, as well as the one which respects negro servitude—Reckless opinions of abolitionists respecting the southern states—Effects of freeing the negroes in the British West India Islands—Effects, were the slaves of the southern states freed all at once—Proofs respecting the insincerity of English philanthropy toward enslaved negroes, and of their non-reliance upon the labor of freed slaves—Proofs of a suspicion that English vessels are now engaged in getting slaves from the interior of Africa, as formerly—Consequences, should the Union become divided on the slave question—Great possessions and power of the English all round America—Their designs—Intended possession of the Oregon territory—Cruelties of the English in India, where they have conquered—Coalescing of American abolitionists with the English, on the subject of American negro slavery, as shown in their speeches in London, with many other matters.
ON the subject of negro slavery, abolitionists have said and done much in America, to raise a tumult among the people; and they have succeeded, by resorting, like hackneyed politicians, to all kinds of extravagant arguments, positions and stories, with the view of winning their way to political power in the country. When this shall be accomplished, if ever it can be, we will venture to foretell that the Union will be two distinct governments. The southern states are determined to hold the rights granted to them in the great compact of the Constitution, with respect to negro slavery, as in this right they feel, to a man, that their happiness and security, as to wealth and its resources, depend; for it is impossible, without this, to cultivate the country: any and all advances, therefore, of the North, to meddle with that subject, will be repelled with anger and violence—the natural result of encroachments upon the resources of any people. If, therefore, abolitionism is persisted in, there will arise a division of the states, as sure as effect will follow its cause, with all the horrors of such an event.
The great lever by which abolitionists operate, is that of a pretended sympathy for the negro race, in their condition of slavery, causing the people who hear them to take for granted, as truth, all the horrible stories of atrocities and crimes, perpetrated by southern planters, committed on the bodies and souls of their slaves. No matter whether the revolting stories are true or false; so long as they can get them to be believed, they will answer the purpose just as well. Men should beware how they enter the list against the decrees of Heaven, on any subject, and contend about its judgments, marshaling their eloquence and intrigues in battle array against them, if such judgments or decrees happen not to suit the views of discontented and designing men, who would lead a well meaning public as they list, with no other views than the exaltation of themselves to public place and power. When this shall be accomplished, if such a thing can ever happen, the great sympathetic impetus by which the machine now is moving, will cease to exist, passing away like the fogs of the night, leaving the negro race to look out for themselves as heretofore. Thus will end the mooted subject of negro excellencies; the men who now admire the race, and see in them the germs of prodigious mental powers, will not be found, as other business than the exaltation of a people, upon whom God has passed his decree of servitude and inferiority, secured in the imbecilities of their very natures.
Suppose the negroes in the southern states were all set free; would the southern and tropical countries get their plantations of corn, tobacco, cotton, indigo, oranges, rice and sugar cultivated? The whites cannot labor effectually in those countries, as they can in the North, but the negro man is created in such a manner as to resist, or rather to agree with, the heat, fogs and dews of that atmosphere, so that he is not injuriously affected by it, as are the whites.
There is no system but that of compulsory servitude, by which this labor, on which so much depends, can be done; for if it is left to the free will or the necessities of the blacks, there could never be any certainty, as instances of freed blacks in the English West India Islands refusing to work, has often occurred, and this even among the better sort, such as were members of religious societies. If, therefore, these occurrences take place among the better sort of blacks, what may not be expected from those of a more improvident turn of mind, such as is the great mass. On the island of St. Domingo, says Barclay on Slavery in the West Indies, pages 8, 137, 350, 357, once justly termed the Queen of the Antilles, cultivation has nearly ceased, the exportable commodities having dwindled down from one hundred and fifty one thousand tons, to little more than seventeen thousand. President Boyer, of St. Domingo, offered to the free negroes of America, six thousand in number, to give them land in the island, if they would come and live there and work the land. But when they had seen the country, and the people of their own race, they were glad to return to America, as, bad as their condition is represented to be in the United States, which they preferred to all the mighty privileges of Hayti, under a black president or king.
Barclay further states, that the case of the Maroons in Jamaica is no better, showing how little the possession of mere freedom betters the negro’s condition. They have been free ever since the English took possession of the island. Have they, inquires Barclay, become more civilized, or more industrious? Every one knows they have not. The men continue to roam half naked in the woods, hunting and fishing, compelling their women to do the work, entirely disregarding all the conveniences of industrious life, choosing rather to be thus wretched than to labor. This is exactly the character of their brethren, the Hottentots, and the other tribes of Africa, who are so lazy and improvident, says Damberger, the traveler, Vol. I, page 57, that they will nearly starve before they will even fish or hunt, preferring to wander in the woods, living on berries and roots.
With this view, it would be national madness to emancipate the southern blacks; besides, the irreparable injury to the very negroes themselves, in casting their myriads—poor, ignorant, helpless and naked—upon imbecile resources, placing them in a condition favorable to immediate destruction. The slaves of the southern states, it is said, amount to more than three millions. Were this almost countless host set free to–day, who can calculate the horrible mischief and ruin that would follow, not only to the white population, but to the blacks also? On the first night of the day of their emancipation, there would be heard over the entire land, the bleat and bellowing of flocks and herds—fires would be seen in all directions, by which their cooking in the open air would be carried on. All this would be foreseen by the calculating whites, who would be prepared with guns and defensive arms, when murders and strife would rage in all directions. What next? The military would be put in requisition, when the work of death and slaughter would go on like a fire in the wilderness, over the entire southern states. The negroes would now become the objects of terror and midnight dread to houses in remote and unprotected places. Prisoners would be taken in multitudes, who would be shot down or hanged without judge or jury. In such a state of things, the negroes would take to the woods and caves of the mountains, and the morasses of the lower lands, from whence sallying forth in different portions of the country, as they should be impelled by hunger, revenge, or love of violence and robberies, perpetrating deeds of horror and crime every where. To head and lead them on, there would not be wanting base white men, who, to profit by the times, would furnish arms and provisions, exciting the wrath of the blacks, on account of their former slavery and present trouble.
But, says one—an abolitionist—all this, as above, is but conjecture—a mere fiction—which supposes that the negroes would not be willing to labor on the southern plantations, were they emancipated. But experience, in all cases where the thing has been tried, proves that the conjecture is true, in a great measure, and, besides that, they manifest no such emotion as gratitude on such occasions. An exhibition of their feelings, when set free, is seen in the fate of the white owners on the island of St. Domingo, who, when the French National Assembly, 1791, decreed that all the negroes of that island were free and equal with the whites, they immediately butchered the whole population.—Butler’s History of the United States, Vol. III, page 392.
This was one of the wild, deluded and mad decrees of the horrible French revolution, which had for one of its immediate effects, the total extermination of the white population of St. Domingo, in which neither age nor sex were spared from the dagger. The women were violated of all ages, and then killed, so great was the hatred and violence of the freed blacks. Were the same course pursued by the great South, in setting the slaves all free at once, there would, beyond all doubt, follow a tragedy of the same description, as there is no natural love between the races, especially when the negro is made free and equal. In this particular, the abolitionists of America, in their doctrine of an immediate and simultaneous emancipation of the negroes of all the southern states, are as far out of the way, as were the furious mobs of the French revolution, who could not see the difference there is between black and white. Were the three and a half million of slaves of the South set free, and were they, to a man, to manifest no hostile feelings, yet, how could they be saved from becoming paupers over the whole of those countries, seeing they have no land or means of support? Their natural improvidence of mind is well known to all; on which account they would, as to the great mass, have to be supported by the whites as legal paupers, unless they were compelled to labor, to prevent such a result, which compulsion would be but a renewal of slavery, were it resorted to. Perfect and unqualified liberty, extended to the slaves of the whole South, would be the certain ruin, not only of the great negro population, but of the whites also, as the required labor would not be performed; and yet the blacks would have to be supported by the whites, who would soon have nothing to do it with, as the wealth of the whole slave states depends on agriculture alone.
The interference of the northern states with the slave question, as to the principle of the thing, is a most unwarrantable violation of state rights, inasmuch as the slave system, as practiced in the South, is no injury to the North, but rather of immense good, as shown in the production of tropical commodities; in which fact it is clearly seen, that the interests of the two regions of the Union are blended in one. He, therefore, who favors the interruption of state rights granted in the great compact, as set forth in the Constitution, is a disorganizer, and is blind to the interests of the great family of the Union, therein agreeing with the bitterest enemy (the English government) America has among all the nations of the earth, who are ever aiming to cripple the commerce and productions of this country, in order to favor that of their own. In agreement with this disorganizing spirit, there is, at this moment, existing a powerful combination of abolitionists, who have formed a multitude of lines or routes, by which runaway slaves are enabled to make their escape from the respective states bordering on the North. These men furnish money, horses, and all necessary aids for the escape of runaways, giving them countenance and support in their houses, until they can reach the Canadas; thus coalescing with the British in robbing the citizens of the South of their property, as recognized in the Constitution of the States.
What is to be thought of such men, who not only violate the ceded and acknowledged right of the slaveholding states, but are also united with an ancient enemy of the Union, in disturbing and endangering the peace and safety of the whole country?
In pursuance of this kind of violence and outrage upon the feelings and lawful interests of the public, the Massachusetts Legislature of 1843, have passed a law, that no difference shall be made by the agents of steam cars on the railroads of that State, between black and white passengers; in this way compelling citizens of their own state, and those of the others, as well as foreigners, to mingle and associate with blacks, whether it is agreeable or not.—See “Daily American Citizen,” Feb. 2, 1 843.
Do the people of Massachusetts, or abolitionists in general, imagine they have a right to make laws to compel an association between two races of men, so different from each other as are negroes and white men—a difference which God himself is the author of, and was, therefore, never to be infringed? Such conduct is nothing short of rebellion against God, manifested in this attempt, confounding the order of creation.
Is it not far more wise to let the negro race remain as they are in the South, than to set them free, and thereby put them in a position of becoming immediately, in all the states, wherever they may choose to wander, an expense as paupers, and, at the same time, destroy the agricultural interests of one-half the United States, as it is impossible to supply the place of the slaves with white laborers, in the hot climates?
It is said by abolitionists, that on account of the slavery of the South, that the costs of carrying the mail in those regions, amount to more than the income, because slavery, they say, discourages labor; but this position of theirs must be false, as, without the negro’s services, there would be no agricultural labor at all; in which case the costs of carrying the mail would be immensely increased, and the income depreciated in the same ratio.
There is, therefore, no way under the light and auspices of Heaven, by which the southern portions of the United States, and other tropical countries, can be inhabited by civilized men, but by that of negro labor. And as negroes will not labor, unless compelled, there is, therefore, no way left in the Divine Providence to accomplish this, but that of their enslavement.
That the English put no dependence in the dispositions of the freed blacks to do the work of their plantations in the West India Islands, and elsewhere in their various and great possessions in different parts of the world, is shown in their new expedient of inveigling away from their homes and country, a certain class of the natives of India, called Hill Coolies, who they employ instead of the slaves they have freed, whose labor will cost them even less than their former slave labor. For an account of the Hill Coolie business, see Little’s Museum of Literature, Science and Art, Vol. 34, No. 189, p. 140, year 1838.
These Hill Coolies are not negroes, but a yellow, swarthy race, of the lowest of the laboring casts in India. According to the work above quoted, it is said that there are circumstances attending the inveigling these men from their country, to traverse half the globe in quest of labor, which shows that some principle, far enough from justice or mercy, actuates the English in this business, notwithstanding their seemingly noble generosity in manumitting their slaves, which is trumpeted over the whole earth, as a deed of immense benevolence and sacrifice. The Parliament of England do not often make sacrifices in their bargains, nor relinquish their grasp of power, in any particular, gratuitously; if they did, they would not oppress their own subjects as they do, on which account the great mass of their people lack their daily bread. This is well known to all the world, and is occasioned by perpetual and exhorbitant taxations, causing the people of both England and Ireland to run away to America, and other countries, to avoid being starved to death.
Even the abolitionists of America denounce the English government in the most direct and accusitory terms, in relation to insincerity, respecting their profession of philanthropy toward enslaved human beings under their control, in the conquered countries of India. The abolitionists charge the English with aiding in the emancipation of the negro race, just as much as their political interests invite them, and no more; this is no doubt a true charge.
To show the truth of this charge, as well as the fact of English insensibility to the negro’s liberties, we see, in the N. Y. Express, June 21, 1842, that they are now actually in the business of getting negroes from the wilds of Africa, along the coasts of the river Gambia. This, however, they do not affect in the same way as heretofore, or prior to the compact of the nations on this subject, but they do it under a form of law, in the shape of an indenture, the same as taking apprentices. In affecting this, the negro is compelled to take a pen between his fingers, while the hand is guided by the grip of the master, so that the name of the negro is set to the seal of the instrument, who is as ignorant of the power of the article as would be a monkey, were one compelled to write.
The blacks, thus apprenticed are brought from the interior by negro capturers, as formerly employed by the English, and paid for so doing. The term of time they are thus apprenticed, is fourteen years. But when the time is up, who is there to tell them they are free? will their masters?
As late as February, 1842, a vessel of five hundred tons left the river above named, laden with five hundred such apprentices. Thus, it is seen, that the English have invented a way by which they avoid the virtue of the treaty of the nations, who have decreed it piracy to procure slaves from Africa, and yet desire to be lauded, because of her great love for the liberties of the negro race, especially such as are slaves in America.
There is another view, in which this great and seemingly generous act of the English, in setting her negroes free, is to be examined; and this relates directly to the destruction of the produce of the southern states. Could England but cripple America in this particular, and lessen in any degree, or wholly destroy the production of rice, cotton, tobacco, &c., it would increase their own trade in these articles, as these very products will soon be poured forth from their possessions in Africa, in amount sufficient to supply all their own wants, and even to sell to American manufacturers. Now let the negroes go free in the southern states, and this great job is done.
It is evident, therefore, that true benevolence and philanthropy, had no influence on the mind of the English parliament in emancipating her slaves, but rather, in that transaction, there was designed to be sown the seeds of future profit and speculation in the division and ruin of the United States. If the negro question can but be pushed hard enough and long enough to provoke the southern states, to separate themselves from the North, and to form a new government, then a civil war will arise in the country, when the English will fall on, as opportunity and advantage may offer. All her powers in the Canadas, the Indians of the far north-west, with the runaway negroes, the latter of whom amount, even now, in Canada, to many thousands of drilled troops, who are ready for a day or an hour to rush to the battle, as directed by their masters.
To this mighty plan of ruin, the abolitionists are blinded by the deceitful flatteries of an enemy, who invite them to England to talk about the awful sufferings of the poor slaves in the free states of America, to make speeches and to weep, while they encourage the fanatics to go on in their political adventure, of sooner or later getting an abolition president, senate and congress; then would be achieved the liberties of the negroes, an event which the English care just as much about, so far as it relates to the happiness of the race, as they do about the liberties of the kangaroos of New Holland, except as such an event would make for their own interests, in the ruin of this country.
The possessions of the English nearly surround the United States at this moment, commencing at the West India Islands, from thence to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Lower and Upper Canada, New Britain, reaching quite to the Rocky Mountains, and a part of the almost boundless Oregon, comprehending all that region of unexplored country beyond or west of the Rocky Mountains, quite to the ocean. This vastly important country they had the impudence to claim, because, as they say, Captain Cook discovered the coast in one of his voyages round the world, and have actually made a settlement on an island in Queen Charlotte Sound, at the confluence of the Columbia with the Pacific. Here they have a park of artillery, consisting of a hundred large cannon, with all the other munitions of war, besides several ships of the line, always afloat in those waters. At this place they furnish their hunters with articles for the Indian trade, consisting of guns, hatchets, knives, clothing, trinkets, ammunition, &c., paying no duties to the American government for the introduction of these wares, as they ought to do. In return, they receive of the Indians and traders, the furs and peltry of that vast region, inhabited by many Indian nations. In this very region of country, there are more than eighty thousand inhabitants under British law. They have also recently taken for debt, from the government of Central America, a large tract of land, so situated as to eventually command the isthmus of Darien—that narrow strip of land which unites North and South America, a position which, ere long, will give them untold advantages, in case of the construction of a ship canal through, from the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, instead of going round Cape Horn, as they do now.
The name of this place, at the mouth of the Columbia, is Vancouver. It is evident, that the English do, in reality, covet the control of the whole earth; for at this moment, she gives law to more than sixty millions of the human race, in the Indies alone, and will, eventually, to all China, Hindoostan, &c., beyond the Russian possessions, and the other countries of Europe. The English parliament, at this moment, govern more than one-eighth of the human race, which consists of about eight hundred millions, one-eighth of whom are under the control of the lords of England. Is not this a power to be dreaded, and to be watched against? The possession of the Oregon region is of very great importance to the future glory and benefit of this country, as, by it, not only many new states may be added to the Union, over which the benign principles of a republican and popular government may be extended, but the trade with China, and the whole vast countries of the western ocean, along the coasts of Asia, would be secured to the cities, towns and countries yet to rise, all along the coast of the Pacific, which belongs to America.
It was in these very regions, along the coast of the Pacific, that the first inhabitants of America, after the flood, settled, who came from China, across the ocean, peopling the islands in their course. These first inhabitants were the authors and builders of the great cities now in ruins, found in both South and North America, the discovery of which so much astonishes mankind at present. And the reason why they had a knowledge of architecture so perfect, as is manifest by the ruins now every where being discovered in the western and southern regions, is, because they derived it from the family of Noah, at a time so near to the flood, that the art was not then lost when they came to this country. The ruins, therefore, above alluded to, are specimens, not only of the architecture of the first age after the flood, but also of the antediluvian world, as it cannot be supposed that any other mode of building would have obtained so soon after that event, and when the nations were but young. Were we even to conjecture that Shem the great Melchisedek of the Scriptures, may have visited America; we do not feel that it could be considered as a thing impossible, when it is recollected that he lived five hundred years after the flood. Long before five hundred years had passed by, the children of Noah had begun to people the shores of the eastern ocean opposite to America, as well as the islands adjacent. They had a knowledge of ship building, as shown in the construction of the ark; on which account mankind, and, among the rest, the Phœnician negroes, availed themselves of navigation. What, therefore, was to hinder his visiting the new settlements, not only on the islands, but those on the continent itself. Among the Mexicans there is still a tradition of the great Manco Copac, who once was among them, from whom they received all knowledge respecting agriculture and the arts. Were this not so, or, at least, had not the people of Peru, and of Mexico, have had, at the outset in this country, some extraordinary impetus of the kind, they would not, in all probability, have arrived at so great a perfection, as they did in many respects, as was seen when the Spaniards overran those countries, and as is seen in the amazing ruins now being discovered which denote a state of architectural knowledge far beyond any thing done by the native nations since those first ages. It was along that coast and the countries adjacent, that the heft of the first population existed, when the regions of America, along the shores of the Atlantic, were in a wild and unknown state, except where the Chinese had crossed the continent, as at Yucatan, and other places further south. Europe, at that time, was unknown, as men had not found their way so soon through the unknown wilds from the Euphrates, a distance of more than four thousand miles to the Atlantic.
This very region, the coast of the Pacific, along the whole length of the Oregon, which is a country of nearly seven hundred miles in length, by four hundred wide, is destined to become again as populous as at first, and that, almost immediately, when the ocean of the Pacific shall again be whitened with the sails of commerce, carried on between America, China, and the Indies. Were it not much better that the Americans should avail themselves of all this greatness, than that the English should do it? which is the plan they are in pursuit of, as well as the subjugation of all the eastern world west of this country.
The English, in their secret councils, had determined that the United States should be bounded on the west by the Rocky Mountains, on the north from sea to sea, by the Canadas and British America, and the south by her own and the Mexican empire: thus, the design was to hem the United States in on every side. Now, with a view to aid in the accomplishment of all this, press the glorious negro question hard, and still harder, till the southern people shall be provoked to declare themselves independent of the North; then one grand step toward the final ruin of America will be taken, never to be recalled.
From the circumstance of the transportation of the wretched Indian men by the English to work their plantations in the hot countries, it is evidence beyond all argument to the contrary, that they do not, and dare not depend on the emancipated blacks to do this work. On this account the great argument of abolitionists, namely, that the negroes will certainly work faithfully for their former masters, out of pure gratitude for the gift of their liberty, is refuted, and should open the eyes of all honest abolitionists to a sight of the phantom the English have put them in chase of.
To exalt the negro race to an equality in Christendom, politically, with white men, will not subserve the purposes of humanity toward that race, as they are not capable of sustaining a standing on ground so high. Had not the Creator have estimated the African race as exceedingly inferior, the decree of servitude would not have been announced against them. To exalt this people, therefore, to political equality, will be to admit of a deteriorating element in the midst of superiors, which will amount to nothing more or less than a blemish in the heart of the institutions of the country, on account of their natural incongeniality of natures, passions, character and constitutional make.
In all the states where they are free, the negro population decreases in numbers with a rapid stride, on account of their natural improvidence, which occasions the premature death of their infants; the doctrine of emancipation, therefore, is but a doctrine of death to the negro, though bearing the sweet name of liberty written on its front.
That the great men of England, her rich merchants, &c., are not honest in the prejudice they have occasioned in the world against America, on account of negro slavery, is seen in the remarks of Sir Robert Peel, Premier of the Empire, who accused the merchants of his country of being still deeply interested in the slave trade, and stated that the evidence of the fact could be produced.
As a further and still more striking evidence of their hatred of human liberty, we notice their late operations in India, see the following account, given by the Rev. J. Piermont: “The sanguinary war by which Great Britain has subjugated millions of India, and the stern despotism with which she rules and starves them, that her merchant-princes may roll in splendor and bask in voluptuousness, have a voice which the whole thickness of the globe cannot keep from our ears. A more beautiful country than that from Cuddalone to Tanjore, in Madras, cannot be imagined. The dense population and rich soil give their energies to each other, and produce a scene of surpassing loveliness. But the taxes and other causes, keep down the laborers to a state below that of the southern slaves. Go with me into the north-west provinces of the Bengal presidency, and I will show you the bleaching bones of five hundred thousand human beings, who perished of hunger in the short space of a few months. The air, for miles, was poisoned with the effluvia of the dead—the river choked with floating corpses; jackalls, vultures and crocodiles, fattened upon the bodies of men, women and infants, in many cases, even before life was extinct. This occurred in British India, in the reign of VICTORIA I.”
Under the administration of Lord Clive, a famine in the Bengal province swept off three millions; and, at the same time, the British speculators had their granaries filled to repletion with corn, which the inhabitants were too poor to buy, while the grain was exported elsewhere, and sold at a higher price than it could be sold for in that country.
This is the people and government with whom the abolitionists are now coalescing on the subject of human liberty and human rights, to the very great injury of America, and to their own expungeless shame.
That abolitionists have been, and are now, in secret and open compact with the leading characters of England, on the subject of slavery in America, is shown from the speeches made in the great meeting of the abolitionists of both countries, held recently in London.
A Mr Wendell Phillips, in a set speech in that mighty convention, stated as follows: “That though the connection had been dissolved between this country (England) and America, as far as holding its own parliaments, and directing its own affairs, yet they were in its vassalage, as far as talents and genius were concerned. The anti-slavery abolitionists had eloquent and devoted men in their cause, but the American public would not listen to them. England, and England alone, was the fulcrum by which American slavery was to be uprooted forever. It was not with America (to do this), for it was beyond her power.”
If it is beyond the power of America, in her legislative halls, to help herself in any respect, whether in relation to slavery or any other matter, how is a foreign power to assist but in a way of aggression and insult, as invited by abolitionists, in their adulatory and fulsome speeches, as is seen in the above? In this speech of Mr. Phillips, it appears that he readily and eagerly gives the meed of praise, in relation to genius and talent, to America’s worst enemy, the English, which is an infinite untruth; for, as yet, that government have not genius nor talent enough to be just, liberal and wise, toward her own subjects, but crushes them down in every corner of their empire, with taxations unbounded and without end.
In this speech of Phillips, the English are fairly invited to take a part in revolutionizing America on the subject of slavery, when he said in that oration, that “England, and England ALONE, was the fulcrum [or lever power] by which American slavery was to be uprooted forever.”
In that meeting, a Mr. Galusha, an American, who thought to say something which would greatly tickle the ear of the nobility, and, withal, if possible, to go beyond his brethren in extravagant remarks, said, “The only apology he could offer for his country (on the subject of slavery) was, that it was possessed by the devil. The delegates from America asked for the aid of the people of England, to cast this devil out.” This man must be a believer in witchcraft.
In some of the West India Islands, where the slaves have been set free, it is known that a state of almost universal vagrancy among the negroes has taken place, who do not labor more than one day in six, and barely enough to keep soul and body together, the residue of the time being spent in thieving, drinking and debauchery, which has been the character of the race in all ages.
It is well known that the negro nations are unconquerably fond of ardent drinks, which, in a free condition, is one reason of their misery, the use of which, in a state of slavery, they cannot indulge, as their masters will not allow it. Their liberation, therefore, would only fill the entire country with straggling paupers, especially the northern states, as is seen in all the towns and cities of the free North, as very few of the blacks elevate themselves above a condition of vagrancy, when in a state of freedom. In the different states of the Union, where the negroes are free, there are found many little settlements of this people, but always in some out of the way place, from whence they sally forth by night to steal, in a small way, from the farmers of their neighborhood. But in the slave states, this they cannot do, as slaves are fed and clothed by their masters, far better than those who are free, and are also withheld from rambling and wandering about the country. If such settlements and such neighbors are desirable appendages to white communities, then set the negroes free in all the states, when the object will be abundantly realized, as a reciprocation of the immunities of white men in their social capacities, can never be extended to the blacks, however visionaries may fume and bustle to the contrary; as the very elements of the physical existences of the two races—the whites and the blacks—render such an event impossible, except by amalgamation, which would be the end of both races, in the production of a mulatto species, which were produced, not by the Creative hand as being original, but by a sin against the laws of human nature.
Were the three millions and a half of slaves in the South set free, the whole states would become infested with gangs and bandit parties, in all the wild and more unsettled regions of the country, instead of cleaving heart and soul to hard labor, as does the white man, for the sake of bettering, physically and morally, the condition of his race, and to keep it thus bettered.
In the New England states, where the negroes have been free these fifty years, have they in the least elevated their characters or condition as men, who set a proper estimate on human liberty? They have not, for every where among them, the negro is seen to be a negro still. In all the free states of the North, it is the same with this people; there is no real elevation of character beyond the power by which they are surrounded, and this is the influence of the customs and manners of the white population.
‘Twas on Euphrate’s shore, confusion blent,
To build the tower, just as the flood was spent;
Whose architects were negroes, black and brown,
And brought upon their work the Eternal’s frown.
So in the western world, old Nimrod’s friends
Are building up a tower for certain ends,
On which ’tis written—Abolitionism:
Meaning wild disorder, or any kind of schism.
But God, who sees their work, may laugh to scorn
And blast the parent ere the child is born.
Replies to various abolition questions proposed to the author—Circumstances in which men find themselves possessed of slaves beyond their control, which is held to be God’s providence in securing negro slavery, in agreement with his decree by Noah—Difference of negro sensibilities from that of the whites, on being separated from wives and children, proven by facts—Argument of abolitionists in favor of negro equality, founded on God’s having given the rule of all animals, as much to the blacks as to the whites, replied to—Ham and Nimrod’s opposition to the religion of Noah, founded on their hatred to him, on account of the curse, who originated idolatry in the world—None but negroes engaged in the project of the tower—Happiness and well-being of the negro race seem to lie in the direction of the white man’s control—Fates of all the ancient negro kingdoms—Different estimate of the negro, respecting human liberty and its uses, from the white man—The races set out, after the flood, with equal opportunities, but who has won the prize?—Practical undervaluing of the negro character by abolitionists—A curious position of abolitionists, which supposes the hiring out of the race of Ham to the other races would fulfill Noah’s curse, replied to—A certain great objection of abolitionists to slavery, which charges owners of slaves of giving them no wages, replied to—The patriarch, nor did the Jew, pay slaves any wages as hired men, with many other matters.
DURING the time we have been occupied in producing this work, the question has been frequently asked the writer, if he does not consider it a Christian duty to enslave and hold in bondage, individuals of the African race, seeing that we build our whole belief in this matter upon the Divine Oracles? Therefore, say they, ought not Christian men, and all others, to make the thing binding on their very consciences, and perseveringly assist in the accomplishment of so great a duty, as we should any and all injunctions of the Scriptures not abrogated. Our reply to this question is, that the Scriptures do not command the enslavement of the negro race, but they give a history of that people, in which is related the account of their being cursed by the mouth of Noah, and of the indorsement of that same curse in the law of Moses, giving the right and privilege to the races of Shem and Japheth to enslave them, if they will, in which practice not even the New Testament opposes any objection.
But, says one, if it was not a command that the two races of Shem and Japheth should enslave the race of Ham, how then could there be any certainty that the judicial decree of God, as announced by Noah, that they should be servants, be secured to take place? Our answer to this is, that the commands of God make nothing sure, as all men are free to disobey as they are free to obey; but the decrees of God are sure, without man’s obedience or disobedience—the Deity taking care so to shape things and circumstances, that his veracity shall not be impeached. It is on this ground, and no other ground, that the judicial decree of God, respecting Ham and his posterity, was made sure to take place, which, as all the world knows, has been fulfilled, and will, doubtless, still continue to be thus fulfilled, in some shape or other, till the end of the world.
There can be no doubt but the chief means by which the Divine wisdom has secured the accomplishment of the personal enslavement of Ham’s race, is the position they hold in relation to the other two races. The white and red men of the first ages, as well as the same races now, being actually of a more noble and intellectual description of person and countenance, overawe the more imbecile and cringing negro, who, on this account, naturally looks up for protection and support to the more conservative and powerful races of Shem and Japheth. This being so, which all men must acknowledge, they have naturally and fortuitously become slaves, in myriads of instances, and thus have secured the same fate to their offspring in perpetuity. In this position there is nothing that savors of sin, as it is but the weaker seeking protection of the stronger—it is the natural operation of circumstances, not to be avoided without much trouble and resistance. How many freed blacks there are in this country, who have gone again to their former masters, having found it impossible to take as good care of themselves free, as when slaves. But there are other ways in the mutations of society, occasioned by the revolution of nations, in which, as it relates to individuals, there is no sin to be charged upon them, though the negro race fall into their hands as personal slaves, which is under the direction of that Eye who will secure the accomplishment of his decrees.
As it respects the cases of millions of families in this and all countries, they find, as children and heirs, that they are in possession of black slaves, without their knowledge and consent, the same as the rest of inherited estates and property. So it may be that, in most cases, where the negro man is found a slave, that some uncontrollable circumstance at first necessitated the purchase of the black man as a slave—thus securing, without sin, the servitude of millions. Africa herself, in all ages, has stood ready with her billions of slaves, to tempt the cupidity of men in their purchase, selling their own race for the merest trifle a head—this has always been done by their chiefs. In this, who is to blame? The negro is too ignorant and imbecile to be charged with sin, in the proper sense of the word, on this account; and the purchasers, what else could they do but take them when offered, as their condition in life could not be made worse by the transfer, but far better? Thus the Divine Providence, in an arbitrary manner, has taken care to accomplish its own judicial appointment of the negro race to slavery.
Abolitionists, in their opposition to the principle of negro slavery, contend that, as the Supreme Being dealt severely in the way of judgment, with the Egyptians, for refusing to let the Hebrews go free from their condition of bondage in that country; it is made clear, therefore, as they believe, that he is not pleased with the practice which enslaves the black race. But, between the two cases there appears to be no parallel—no likeness of condition—on which account, though God punished and rebuked the Egyptians for their behavior toward the Hebrews in that affair, yet this furnishes no reason why we are to believe that, therefore, negro slavery is against his will.
The Hebrews were sent from the land of Canaan down to Egypt by God himself, where they were received as citizens, and placed in the richest part of the country, namely, in Goshen, as in the hollow of his hand, who preserved them there during four hundred years, till such time as he should be ready to return them again to the land of Canaan, as he had promised to Abraham; Gen. xv, 16. We do not learn from the Scriptures that the Hebrews, during their stay in Egypt, were slaves in the abject or property sense of the word, and that they were bought and sold as such among the Egyptians; but that they were vassals only, and were compelled to pay a heavy tax, in labor, to the government, which, toward the close of their stay in that country, became exorbitant in the extreme.
Respecting this labor, which they were compelled to render, it does not appear that it was exacted during the whole time they were in Egypt, but only toward the end of that sojourn. We come to the conclusion that they were not held as personal slaves, the same as negroes are in the southern states, because, it is seen from Exod. xii, 32, that they had vast herds of flocks and of cattle. If flocks and herds, then they had the possession and occupancy of land, which would also suppose houses, in which they dwelt, enjoying all the domiciliary appendages of society, governing themselves, yet in a tributary condition. That this was the fact, is shown from Exod. ix, 7, where it is written, that “Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead.” But to what place did Pharaoh send to find this out? To Goshen, the country which was given to the Israelites, when they came first into Egypt, as is seen from Gen. xlvii, 4, 11; which Goshen was in the land of Ramases, the very best in the country of Egypt. If the Hebrews were actual slaves, as persons are who are bought and sold, then it was impossible for them to possess property, as land, houses, cattle, and herds, or to have maintained a system of nobility or eldership, which they certainly did, as appears from Exod. xii, 21, who at the very time of their oppression and of the plagues, lived in Goshen, as is evident from Exod. viii, 22. Had they been slaves, this could not have been, as people of that cast have no titles, or dignitaries, no nobility of any description, property, or social compacts, as the Hebrews had at the very time when Moses demanded their release from Pharaoh, and when he delivered them out of the country.
The bondage, therefore, to which they were subjected, was that of vassalage, and the payment of exorbitant taxes, required to be paid in labor, beyond their power to perform. It is very likely, that the persons who performed this labor, in making brick, were drawn out by draughts, so many from every hundred, and then sent to the king’s works for a given time, and then returned again, when others were draughted in their turn. Had this not been so, the Hebrews could not have had possessions in the country, or maintained any form of society whatever, as they certainly did.
The Egyptians, from their earliest history, practiced buying and selling slaves of the property character, as is seen from the history of Joseph, who was sold as a slave to an Egyptian, by the Ishmaelites, and from other sources. But the Hebrews came into Egypt, not as slaves, but as citizens, in full fellowship and equality with the lords of Egypt, in virtue of their relation to Joseph, the savior of Egypt in the days of the famine. We do not find that the Scriptures have blamed the Egyptians because they held the Hebrews in a condition of vassalage, but because they abused them, and would not let them go, when God called for them by the ministration of Moses. We see no parallel, therefore, between the condition of the Hebrews in Egypt, and the slavery of the negro race, as ordained from the lips of Noah, and from Mount Sinai.
Egypt was the house in which God saw fit to place the seed of Abraham, till such time as the nations of the land of Canaan should become ripe for destruction, when he intended to take the Hebrews away from the Egyptians, as he had promised Abraham; i Gen. xv, 13, 14. The sojourn of the people of Israel in the country of Egypt, was not, therefore, a state of bond slavery, in which the Egyptians claimed and held them as their property, but only as a nation of vassals, providentially placed among them, who, on account of their rapid increase in the country oppressed them grievously, in order to keep them from becoming numerous, as appears from Exod. i, 9–11. Had they not been a body politic in Egypt, they could not have acquired wealth, so as to have left the country possessed of great substance, besides that which the Egyptians, in their fear, bestowed upon them, when they went out of the country, toward the Red Sea. Egypt, it is true, is often alluded to in the Scriptures as having been the house of bondage to the Hebrews, and their condition while there, that of bondmen, yet of the vassal character, not property slaves; states of human being widely different from each other.
The United States, while under the yoke of Great Britain, was a condition of national bondage, but no man was a bond slave on that account, and yet, in PRINCIPLE, their condition was just the same with the Hebrews in Egypt, except the latter were more severely treated. There were many reasons why the Supreme Being saw fit to place the lineage of the Messiah in the condition the Hebrews endured in the country of Egypt; one of which was, that, thereby, occasion might arise for him to exhibit his power as the God of the universe, by which means the insignificance and nothingness of all other gods might be seen. The judgments, therefore, which were let loose in ten signal displays upon Egypt, as well as the death of many ten thousands in the Red Sea, were in pursuance of that design, as well, also, as to punish the haughty and cruel negro king of the Nile for not letting the Hebrews go, when they were called for by the God of the universe.
The rebuke, therefore, of the Egyptians, on that occasion, affords no argument in support of that opinion, that God was ever displeased with negro slavery, as, between the two cases, the Hebrews in Egypt, and the negroes under the curse, present no parallels to each other, as to the reasons or principle of the occurrences. If the argument which abolitionists draw from that history and circumstance, is correct namely, that God is opposed to negro slavery, how came it to pass, in a few months after those awful displays of his power upon the Egyptians, that he gave a permit to the Hebrews to enslave the negro heathen people of old Canaan, in the very law of Moses, given from Heaven on Mount Sinai? If, as abolitionists say, God punished the Egyptians for holding the Hebrews in a state of slavery, and from that alone, how could he justify the enslaving of the Canaanite heathen immediately after? The idea is preposterous, irreconcilable and absurd. Thus falls to the ground, every argument and position which abolitionists conjure up from the Scriptures, which goes to contradict the decree of God on the negro question.
There is one trait among the incidents of negro slavery, upon which abolitionists fix their eye with an awful and fierce intensity, calling on all mankind to come and see the horrid sight; and this is the circumstance of separating the families of slaves, by their being sometimes sold to other masters. On this subject, abolitionists argue the same as they would were the case their own, imagining that negro parents feel such a circumstance as acutely, and as sentimentally as white families would under similar circumstances. But this is a mistake, as we believe, and does not apply to the negro’s case, as it would to that of the whites, on account of a want of the higher intellectual faculties of the mind of the blacks. On occasions of severe bereavement, the feelings of negro parents seem to be of shorter duration; as it is well known that the bond of marriage and family obligation with that race, is of but secondary considerations, or of slight influence, as a knowledge of, and a participation in, high intellectual love and elevated affections, is not reached by the black man’s soul.
On this very account, the desire of promiscuous intercourse prevails in negro society far more than among the whites, and is carried out in their practice. The power of this trait of their constitutional make, no doubt operates in lessening their attachments to refined family endearments, so that when separated from each other by being sold, it is not so grievous a thing as it would be to the mind and feelings of a white man or woman.
This trait of the negro character was always thus, a striking proof of which is related by Herodotus, Vol. vi, p. 77, as follows: “At a certain time, when the Persians had the mastery of Egypt, there was a tribe who had revolted, and after an unsuccessful struggle against their conquerors, the male part of the population of their citadel or town, came to a resolution of secretly making their escape, leaving their families and kindred behind to look out for themselves, while they should reach, if possible, the Ethiopian country, that lay at the head of the Nile.
“But as soon as it was known to the Persians, they pursued the fugitives and soon came up with them, when a parley took place. The Persians endeavored to persuade the negroes to return, by alluding to their gods, their wives and children, from whom they were to be forever separated, if they persisted in their project. But when this appeal was made, to the dearest sensibilities of the human mind, one of their number leaped out from the midst of his fellows, and in a loud stentorian voice, said, as he exposed himself improperly, wherever we go (perveho TALIS) more wives and more children can be obtained, when they took to their heels and were soon out of sight in the wilderness.”
In agreement with this disposition, it is said by all travelers, and those acquainted with the true African negro character, that parents will sell their little children for almost any trifle, as a piece of cloth, a girdle of beads, a bottle of wine or brandy, or any trinket which strikes their fancy; and this they will do with the knowledge of the certain enslavement of their offspring.—“Universal Traveler,” page, 404.
We know, it can be said, that the Jew would sell his child, but it was with the knowledge of its release in six years to freedom again. It may also be said, that the Circassians, who are white, will sell their daughters to the Turks, but this is done, not to enslave them, but to exalt them to the honor of being a member of some great man’s harem—this is owing to their false education, not insensibility of nature.
But the negro man sells his babe as an abject slave, brutally, for almost no reward, never to see it again, the transaction taking place on the part of the negro parent with all the apathy and indifference they would sell a dog.
In all this, does it not appear that there is a difference between the affections of the two races toward their offspring, and that the separating of negro parents from their children is not as grievous as abolitionists seem to believe?
This being true, in compliment to the ameliorating genius of the age, it were as well, perhaps, to discourage occurrences of the kind—it would be more patriarchal and fatherly.
It is not very likely that Ham and his family were very well pleased with the curse and denunciation of Noah, which put them, with all who should proceed from their house, under the ban of everlasting servitude to the races of their brethren. This circumstance, beyond all doubt, raised up in the minds of that people, an unconquerable hatred, not only toward Noah, but also toward Shem and Japheth, with their entire posterities, in those ages.
On this account, it was that Ham left the paternal tents and altar of sacrifice, near Ararat, much sooner than did the other sons, wandering still further down the Euphrates toward the sea, till they came to the great flats of Shinar, where Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, commenced the foundation of his empire, and where he, with Ham and all the race, set about building the tower, as a defense against another flood, and as a temple of idolatry and a rallying point for their tribes in coming ages. It was, no doubt, on the account of Noah’s curse that Nimrod, the great leading spirit, like Satan among the fallen angels, opposed himself so cruelly with all his power, to the religion of Noah, as propagated by Shem, who was Melchisedek. His grand object was to produce and consolidate a power by which to protect his race against the threatened servitude of Noah, his grand-sire, announced in the curse, as well as to establish a contrary system of religion, which would subserve the same end.
At the time of the confusion of the language, there was none of the races of Shem and Japheth there; that operation—the building of the tower—was wholly of negro invention, who had the requisite geometrical knowledge at the time, derived from the house of Noah, who brought this knowledge, with all other, from beyond the flood. On this account, for some hundred years, the first people of those countries had more scientific knowledge than the nations, many of them, had a thousand years afterward.
But, how is it known that the races of Shem and Japheth did not participate in the wicked project of the tower? It is shown from the natural antipathy of the children of Shem toward the blacks, and also from its being an idolatrous temple, or tower, from which the descendants of Shem and Japheth would turn with horror, especially while Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, and others of the patriarchs of the holy line, were yet alive, and the dictators of the religion and morals of the people.
Josephus says, in his Jewish Antiquities, p. 19, that Nimrod was a bold man and of great muscular strength. The Jewish Rabbi say, also, in their tradition, that he was a mighty giant, and of a morose, cruel and savage temper, a tyrant among his people, who forced men from the fear of God, threatening to be revenged on God for destroying the world by water. Moses says he was a mighty hunter before the Lord; to which the Rabbi add, that he not only hunted and destroyed the wild animals which abounded beyond measure in that early age, but that he also killed men, unless they would unite with him against God and the religion of Noah.
That the blacks of that age and of the house of Nimrod were violent persecutors of the race and religion of Shem and Noah, as related by Josephus, is supported by a Persian tradition, which says that they having, at a certain time, got into their hands a child of the family of Terah, which was Abraham, they cast it into a strong fire. But when they looked to see it writhe and agonize in the flames, behold, the place of the fire had become a hedge of roses, in full bloom, where the infant lay embedded, as on a couch of down formed of those flowers.
NIMROD, Ham, and coadjutors, therefore, were the great fathers of idolatry in the world after the flood, who inducted the people into their system of religion by combining the indulgence of one of the strongest passions of animal nature with the worship of the gods, making such indulgence one of the chief virtues, because, from this indulgence proceeded the human race, as they believed, by which means the world was peopled—a religion in exact agreement with the naturally obscene propensities of the negro race.
In the bosom of a negro man, the idea of liberty, freedom and independence, does not give rise to the same sensations, hopes, and expectations, that it does in the bosom of the whites. To the mind of a slave, or even of a free black man, with but small exception, the idea of liberty is but the idea of a holyday, in which they are to be let loose from all restraint or control; they are to play, work, or sleep, as may suit their inclination, following out, to the utmost, the perfect indulgence of indolence, stupidity, and the animal passions.
But to the mind of the white man, liberty is the means of the moral and physical improvement of himself and race; it is the field of labor, out of which will arise, as wheat from the seed, a harvest of knowledge, intellectual refinement, well ordered society, the advancement of the arts and sciences, government of the passions, with every good thing that can charm the elevated mind and conduce to the bliss of human existence. The races set out with equal opportunities, at the subsiding of the flood, but who has won and taken the prize of power—of social and mental improvement?
It cannot be denied, that, to the perceptions of a white man, the negro’s case is a hard one, and was fully foreknown to the Creator, who is merciful and kind; yet he did not see fit not to create them, and to create them in the loins of Ham, a degraded race, as well as to appoint them to servitude, while the father of the race was yet alive. If the hard lot of this people affords at present a reason why they should be set free, such as are in slavery, it can be said in reply, that the same reason existed at first, in the eye of the Divine foresight, with all the force that it does now.
Such a course, however, namely, not to create them, did not please the Maker, as it was agreeable to him that they should exist, and exist as we find them, a race totally different from the whites, in every respect that can be thought of, except that they are human, but of the lowest order, and eminently adapted to a state of servitude.
But, says an abolitionist, we do not disagree to the African race being servants, if they desire it—that is, hired servants—as in this way the Scriptures, or word of prophesy by Noah, can as well be fulfilled as that the race should be slaves. To this position we reply, that it is extremely short-sighted; as he who hires himself out to labor is not a slave servant, in any sense of the word, but is a free man, having, at his own will, disposed of his labor, not of his body, as he saw fit. The Scriptures, in the law of Moses, make a great distinction between a slave and a hired man. See Levit. xxv, 39, 40, where it is written as follows: “Thou shalt not compel him [a Hebrew] to serve as a bond servant, but as a hired servant.” But, notwithstanding the discriminating remark of Moses, abolitionists can discover no difference in the two cases, confounding them together, because they will, and not because they do not know better. Were this the way in which the spirit of God directed Noah to curse the race of Ham with servitude, and the way in which he intended its fulfillment, namely, that they were generally to hire themselves out to work for other people, then it would follow that this curse applied as much to both the other races as it did to Ham’s race; for there are found as many laborers among the other races, and especially the whites, who work on hire, as among the blacks, and a thousand times as many, as they are a more industrious people. Surely, the Supreme Being could never have intended to call a man cursed because he should hire himself out to labor: there must be, therefore, some worse meaning attached to the idea of a bond servant, than the hiring of one’s self out. On this view of the subject, bond service cannot be made out, as personal bondage supposes the holding of our bodies as property; consequently, when Moses said to the Hebrews, that if they wanted bondmen and bondmaids, who were to serve them forever, they were to buy them—not hire them—of the heathen, and to hold them by compulsion, as a possession for themselves and their children after them, which they could not do with a hired man.
From this view of the subject, it is easy to perceive that the arguments of abolitionists entirely neutralize the force of the denunciation of Noah, respecting Ham’s race, causing it to refer as much to one people as to another, who may chance to hire themselves out to labor, making it a curse to do so, and they who do it a cursed race. Is not this a fair result of their position?
But, says an abolitionist, we do not believe that the curse of Noah signified or related, in any sense, to such a thing as the personal bondage of any of the race of Ham, with a view to their bodily enslavement; that curse, we hold, was wholly of a national character, and was fulfilled, as it related to Shem’s rule, when the Jews subdued old Canaan; and, as to Japhet’s rule, when the white nations, under Alexander, destroyed old Tyre and Zidon, with other negro countries, putting them under tribute and national servitude.
To this, as to the other problem, we must reply, that it will not do, as, by this mode of interpretation, all the other nations of the earth, who have alternately subdued each other by war, policy, or stratagem, and laid one another under vassalage and tribute, are, therefore, equally cursed with the Race of Ham, as to the quintescence of the thing, as it was no worse for the negro Canaanites to be put under vassalage and tribute, than any other people, so that they were no more under a Divine curse than any of the rest of mankind when conquered. Wherefore, in this way of explaining the text, abolitionists make it void and indefinite, as to its particular application, which the whole history, as written by Moses in the ninth chapter of Genesis, disallows.
There is but one way remaining to give that scripture, Gen. ix, as well as the clause in the law, Levit. xxv, a consistent meaning; and that is to allow that both recognized the individual and bodily slavery of the race of Ham by the two other races—the circumstance of their paying tribute, at any time, as a people, to other nations who might conquer them, having nothing to do toward the fulfillment of that denunciation of Noah, as that decree related not to national, but to individual slavery. If this is not the true sense of those passages, and especially that of Gen. ix, 25–27, it would remain, as yet, uncertain whether that curse or decree has been in any degree fulfilled.
The fond idea, or we may say the fanaticism and foolish notion of abolitionists, which supposes the hiring out of the race of Ham, at their own discretion, to the other races, falls, therefore, to the ground, so far as it relates to the fulfilling of the curse of Noah upon the posterity of Ham, his youngest, but wretchedly profligate, son. Thus, having disposed of the foregoing objections and positions of abolitionists, we now address ourself to combat another error of their creating. This is, the circumstance of the slaves laboring, as they say, for no reward or wages; and, therefore, slavery is not according to the principle of eternal rectitude, but is a sin of the blackest dye.
Now, do not frown, dear reader, when we tell you that this is not true of slavery, as slaves do not labor without a hope of reward; and that reward they generally receive. It is true, however, that their wages is not as much as many other laborers obtain, and then again, it is much more than many receive who are not slaves. The laboring classes of men over the whole earth, and among all people, operate under very different circumstances, which has been the case in all ages, and will continue to be thus to the end of time. In all countries, minors, apprentices and children, labor till of age, for no other reward than their food, shelter and clothing. In millions of cases, men labor all their lives, and never receive anything more than their food and raiment, and yet, they were not bondmen, but free. Do not black slaves receive as much as this, and is not this a reward to which they look with all the eagerness of any other kind of laborers? Do they not hail the hours of meal times as the bright spot of their destiny, with as much joy as do other laborers? The clothes they receive, are they not better far than their original nakedness in the wilds of Africa? Who rewarded them then?
Millions of free men over the whole earth, do not receive as much wages as do the negroes of the slave states in America; but, with their freedom, actually starve to death, even in England and her dependencies, not from idleness, but from oppression. Among freemen, how many beggars do we meet with, who have received no wages? But among negro slaves there are no beggars. Food and raiment is all that a man can receive on the earth, which is as sure to a negro slave as to the rest, and is the whole reward of animal labor and of animal existence. The rich, though they control more than they can individually consume, have, in reality, nothing, after all, more than a slave, except injurious and ruinous luxuries. Wherefore, as it respects mere physical existence, slaves are on a perfect level with the rest of mankind, which is not only philosophically, but scripturally, true; for Solomon says, Eccl. vi, 7, that “all the labor of man is for his mouth,” which is his portion and reward under the sun.
Negro slavery, therefore, on that account, is not contrary to the principle of Eternal rectitude. It is true, however, that their hope of speculation is not as great as it is among the whites; yet the amount, upon the whole, which they receive, is just the same, as their food, raiment and shelter are made much surer to them, especially in Christian countries, than among the free blacks. The servitude of the race of Ham, to the latest era of mankind, is necessary to the veracity of God himself, as by it is fulfilled one of the eldest of the decrees of the Scriptures, namely, that of Noah, which placed the race as servants under the other races. This is noticed by Newton in the same light, which has been, and now is, being every where fulfilled, with all the punctuality that all the other decrees are, and have been, fulfilled; and should convince all abolitionists of their unavailing error, in opposing this great and nearly most ancient decree of the Divine Oracles.
God is just and good, in the adaptation of circumstances to the well-being of every creature of the earth, which is as manifest in the negro’s case as in the case of every other grade of animal being. If the white man is more intellectual than a negro, so much the more are his cares and responsibilities. On this principle, we notice, that in the negro character is fixed, as a kind of antidote or recompense for slavery, a certain disposition to levity, peculiar to themselves, which takes off much of the weight of their seeming sorrows. THIS enables them more cheerfully to endure, without thought, their condition of servitude. One trait of this peculiar character of the negroes is, their fondness of singing and whistling, in which they universally indulge, even under circumstances which would make a white man weep. They generally have voices of the most melodious character, and can whistle with their thick lips, better than all mankind beside, in the sounds of which they forget all things else, rejoicing in the lightness and levity of their peculiar natures. Who has not witnessed this, that has seen and noticed this people at all?
Thus mercifully is thrown into the negro’s being, circumstances which go to make his condition tolerable, though created black and doomed to servitude, rendering him, upon the whole, not less happy than are the other races of men.
Thus, with balanced eye, the great All-seeing
Has made each race with an equal being—
Has with the ills of life some blessing mix’d,
Though in our grades a gen’ral state is fix’d,
The white man soars, as with an eagle’s flight,
While the black man dips in the wave of night;
And both, rejoicing in their sev’ral spheres,
Should offer thanks in the Eternal’s ears.
That the Gospel doctrines and their tendencies is against negro slavery, as asserted by abolitionists, shown to be a mistake—Examination of the golden rule of our Savior, in relation to this matter—That the condition of slaves among the Jews was a condition of comparative comfort, as is asserted by abolitionists, refuted—Care of slaves, as far back in time as the days of Job and Abraham—The subject of judicial law and the law of lore examined, in relation to negro slavery, and are found to harmonize—The great and stronghold of abolitionism in support of negro equality, and the propriety of amalgamation by marriages, founded on God’s striking Miriam, the sister of Moses, with leprosy, because she found fault with her brother for having married an Ethiopian woman, overturned and shown to be blasphemous—Curious fact of the blood of the negro race being guarded against, as affecting the blood of the line through which the Messiah was to come—First preaching of the Gospel directed to the countries inhabited by white men, not negroes—This was done afterward—All the present arts of the world nearly of white men’s invention, not negro’s, with many other deeply interesting subjects.
IN the following pages, we are to meet a few more objections of abolitionism, as well as present the reader with some other matters, when we shall finish the labor of this work. It is said, by this class of men, that the benevolence of the Gospel contemplates the personal happiness of every human being; and as individual freedom is an item in the sum of mortal enjoyments, therefore, the Gospel, in its spirit and tendencies, is against slavery of every description, and demands its abolishment.
But, we answer this position, by saying, that, although the spirit and tendencies of the Christian religion most assuredly does contemplate the entire and perfect moral happiness of the whole human race, upon certain conditions, as obedience to its commands, &c., yet it does not, and cannot interfere, as we have before said, with the judgments, decrees, or judicial acts of God, until the purposes of such acts are accomplished in the earth. Although the Gospel, as announced in the New Testament, is a message of benevolence from Heaven toward the sufferers of the earth, yet death is not, and cannot be counteracted, as yet, by its influence, because death came by the appointment or judicial act of God, on the account of sin, placing the direful circumstance beyond the redeeming nature of that great system of atonement. Neither can it affect matters of less importance, such as the circumstance of man’s being compelled by a Divine judgment to get his bread in the sweat of his face, with pain, toil, and uncertainty. The case of the woman, who was placed by the same power, judicially, in a certain circumstance, which is that of great pain and danger, is also placed beyond the reach of the benevolence of the spirit of the Gospel, because she hearkened to the voice of the serpent, in the matter of the forbidden tree. Does the Gospel, and its benevolent principles, remove one item of the vast amount of what is called natural evil, which the human race now is heir to, such as sickness, poverty, accidents, mistakes, difference of men’s opinions, which are all the effects of the judicial proceedings of the Creator toward man, on the account of sin?
Now, if the spirit and tendencies of religion, cannot, as yet, remove these disabilities or obstacles to man’s happiness in this world, how, therefore, can it be expected that it can alter the doom of the negro race, which, as the Bible establishes, is founded on the same foundation, that of the decree of God, and raises a barrier which is impassable and insurmountable to all earthly power: even the famous words of our Lord called the Golden Rule, cannot apply here. Neither does this rule appear with power to break down any civil establishment of society; it was not so intended or understood, by the first disciples and writers of the New Testament. It was not intended by that great and good doctrine, that servants and masters, debtors and creditors, rich and poor, should change condition, or even to be put on a par with each other by that precept of the Lord. It signified nothing more than that all men, under all circumstances of trouble, should do by each other in all kindness, just what they would reasonably desire done to themselves in like circumstances. This precept, therefore, was not meant to reach the case of slavery, as to its abolishment, any more than it was the other cases, as above named. It enjoined on masters to extend to servants, minors, and slaves all needed tenderness and consideration, as they themselves could reasonably desire were they in a like condition.
The patriarch JOB did thus toward his slaves, and no more, see chapter xxxi, 13, where he says, that he did not “despise the cause of his man or maid servant,” and yet he did not manumit them, after all. It will not answer to extend that rule to extremes, as by persevering in such a course, we should unhinge all the regulations of society, at the voice of every complaint, effecting nothing but a continued change of circumstances, from one extreme to another, without adding a whit to the comfort of any body permanently.
Abolitionists contend, in their publications and lectures, that the condition of bondmen among the Jews, was a condition of comparative comfort and equality with their masters, and that the law of Moses made it so. But we have never been able to discover this, while we have found the entire contrary. On this subject, the statement of Adam Clarke may have some weight, as no man on the earth was better informed respecting Oriental manners in those ages. See his comment on the passage above quoted, from Job xxxi, 13, as follows: “In ancient times, slaves had no action at law against their masters; they might dispose of them as they did their cattle or any other property. The slave might complain, and the master might hear him if he pleased, but he was not compelled to do so. Job states that he admitted them, however, to civil rights; and far from preventing their case from being heard, he was ready to permit them to complain, even against himself, and to give them all the benefit of the law.” Job was a righteous man, and in that thing did right; and yet we do not learn that he set his slaves free. Let every slaveholder do the same. Josephus states, Antiquities of the Jews, book 4, p. 130, that slaves were not allowed to be witnesses in any court.
From all this, it appears that the case of the negro slaves of those times, and among the Jews in particular, was in no wise superior, if it was as good, as in America, except in such cases as when they fell into the hands of men as good as were Job and Abraham. Consequently, the notion that the slaves of the Jews, under the law of Moses, was a comfortable condition of life, as held by abolitionists, falls to the ground, as does most of their doctrines and positions.
It is affirmed by abolitionists, that because God, at first and prior to the fall, and as soon as he had created man, said, that every thing which was made, was very good, that, therefore, negro man was made equal with white men. But this comment of theirs fails, when it is recollected that there was, at that time, no negroes in existence, nor never would have been, had not God have seen fit to produce them, about one thousand five hundred and fifty-six years after the original creation of man, in the way and manner already described on the first pages of this work, and soon after to appoint him to slavery.
It has been urged upon the attention of the writer of this work, by abolitionists, that we ought seriously to examine the difference there is between Judicial law and Divine law, in relation to the enslaving of negro men in ancient times. The judicial law, said that the Jews might buy and possess slaves, but the Divine law says, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Is slavery consistent with this Divine law?
In answer to this question, we dare not array these two laws against each other, seeing they are both of the same origin. We think it were a much safer course to say, that these laws, so different in their effects, have a high regard for each other and do not encroach upon their respective powers and applications.
Judicial law requires execution, and the law of love delights in mercy; but till an equivalent is paid down, mercy can do nothing. Now who has redeemed the negro race from the curse of Noah and the force of that judicial law? It has never been done.
The law of love says, love thy neighbor as thyself. But who is our neighbor? We answer, that our neighbors are of various descriptions, and the Divine law says, love them all, in their respective characters, whether slaves or free, rich or poor, wise or simple, learned or unlearned, black, white or red, good or bad, and all this without politically meddling with their domestic affairs.
The Supreme Being having seen fit to adjudge the negro race to a condition of servitude among men, are we not, therefore, bound to believe that this adjudication is not contrary or inconsistent with the law of love as it relates to man; as we see that we may love a slave in the religious sense of the word, and yet have nothing to do with his state of bondage, unless we have an inclination to manumit them if they are our own property; but there is no law which requires this, whether judicial or Divine, or it would have been noticed by St. Paul, when he had the subject of negro slavery under his pen, upon which we have already treated in a former section of this work.
There is another argument to answer, which is brought forward by abolitionists in favor of the equality of negroes with white men, and in favor of the amalgamation of these two races. This argument of theirs is founded on the twelfth chapter of Numbers, one of the books of the Decalogue, or the laws of Moses. But before we enter upon an investigation of that chapter, in relation to the doctrine alleged by abolitionists, we will merely observe, that they are a strange set of logicians, inasmuch as when the law of Moses is appealed to as an evidence of the legal enslaving of the negro Canaanites, then that law is found to be antiquated, out of date, and of no force; but when, in the same law, there happens to be found a passage that seems to make in favor of any of the dogmas of abolitionism, lo, it is seized upon with avidity, and held to be of the greatest force and authority, and by no means antiquated, or inefficient, being first rate Scripture.
The chapter alluded to, reads as follows: “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses, because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married, for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. […] And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam: come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation; and they came out. And the Lord came down in the pillar of a cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forth. And he said, hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I, the Lord, will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream, my servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold; wherefore, then, were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle, and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow; Aaron looked upon Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, alas! my Lord, I beseech thee, lay not this sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. […] And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying: heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the Lord said unto Moses, if her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days, and after that let her be received again? And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days, and all the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.”
On examining this chapter, does it appear on what account Miriam was made a loathsome leper, and driven out of the camp—was it for finding fault with her brother Moses, for marrying the black woman, or because she had joined with Aaron and others, in doubting whether God had indeed spoken only by Moses? It appears that her crime consisted wholly of the latter, which was for invading by contentious words, the divine dictatorship of Moses, to the exclusion of all others, over the twelve tribes.
In her punishment, God said not a word about the woman Moses had married, nor respecting Miriam’s having found fault with the marriage, but confined his remark wholly to the subject of the mission of Moses, as God’s mouth to the people, as is seen by referring to the sixth, seventh and eighth verses of that chapter. There is no doubt, however, but the circumstance of her brother’s having married one of the cursed race, was one of her reasons why he ought not to possess alone the dignity of being sole dictator. The circumstance, as she seems to have thought, was degrading, on which account she found fault with him, as reads the first verse of the chapter.
That the Hebrews were not to marry with the negroes of Canaan, is evident from Deut. vii, 3, and reads as follows: “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them (the Canaanites): thy daughter shalt thou not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou not take unto thy son.” Here, it is plain that the law of Moses forbids amalgamation of the Jew blood with that of the negro’s; and yet abolitionists contend, that God, who was the author of that law, struck Miriam with a loathsome disease in token of his anger at her, because she found fault with the very thing the law found fault with and forbid.
This view of the matter is sufficient to convince any man that the crime of Miriam was not about the marriage but the sacred office of Moses only.
But says one, an abolitionist perhaps, the writer in this opinion of his, has got himself into a tangle at last, as we cannot see but he is compelled to show up Moses as a flagrant sinner against his own law, for having married that Ethiopian woman. Not so is our reply, for Moses did that thing some forty years before the time the Law was given to him from Mount Sinai, at a time when he knew no more of the will and law of God than any other man, who had been born and brought up among the Egyptians. But when he received the law, then he became informed of the will and designs of God, in that, as well as in all other matters.
As to the fate of the woman he had married in the land of Midian, at the time he fled from Egypt for killing an Egyptian, see Exo. ii, 12, we learn nothing from the Scriptures further than that she came to the Jewish camp, with Jethro her father, in the wilderness.
Thus it is certainly clear, that the abolition opinion, of the equality of negroes with other men, and the propriety and righteousness of amalgamation by marriage with them derives no support from that portion of Holy Writ, but receives a rebuke of the most decided description from the very law itself.
Respecting this race, we find that God took particular care that their blood should not become mingled with the line through which the Messiah was to come. This is a remarkable fact. To prove this, see Gen. xxxviii, the whole chapter, where is related the history of Judah’s having had three sons by a Canaanitish woman, who, of course, was a negress. Two of those sons were slain by the Lord for a certain wickedness they did, while the third son, Shelah by name, escaped (Gen. xxxviii, 7, 10), but is not reckoned in the line of the holy seed, which was continued through another branch of Judah’s blood, namely, by the son of Tamar, a Jewess. Is not this fact a proof that the negro blood was not estimated to be as good as the blood of Shem, even by the Creator himself, as manifested in that transaction? He even preferred the line of the illegitimate son of Tamar, by Judah, for the line of the Messiah, rather than the line of the Canaanitish race. In agreement with this rejection of the negro blood, as it related to things holy in the Jewish religious economy, it is seen, that although the two sons of Moses by his Ethiopian wife, whose names were Gershom and Eliezar, were reckoned with the tribe of Levi, yet, in the service of the temple, they were never allowed to officiate in any office above that of porters, scribes, or some kind of laborious service. Even the temple, and the priesthood of the Jews, had negro slaves, who were the whole tribe of the Gibeonites, one of the nations of Canaan, appointed to that doom by Joshua, chap, ix, 23, as follows: “Now, therefore, ye are cursed; and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for the house of my God.”
This class of slaves, says Adam Clarke, were called “Nethinims, or slaves of the temple,” and had been thus from the days of Joshua till the time of Solomon, and from thence to the time of the great Babylonian captivity, when it is likely, says Clarke, they remained among the Chaldeans, as, by going back to Judea, they could gain nothing but their old condition of bondmen.
Now from the time of Joshua till that captivity, was over eight hundred years, during which time it is not hard to conjecture, that many millions came of the race, all of whom were born slaves, for Joshua had said that none of them should ever be freed from a state of slavery, as is seen in the above quoted Scripture. From this fact we discover, also, that the jubilees did the negro Canaanite slave no good, as is contended by abolitionists, as they were never to be made free. If, then, the negro slaves of the temple could not be freed by the jubilees, how much less, therefore, the more common slaves among the people.
But says one, how is this? You assert, that the blood of the progenitors of Jesus Christ, was never, through that long vista of time, from Noah till his advent, contaminated, or mixed with negro blood—and yet RAHAB, a Canaanitish woman, was one of his ancestors, according to St. Matthew, chapter i, verse 5. In that chapter you will find that SOLOMON the father of Booz, who was the father of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, and the father of King David, married this said Rahab of the town of Jericho, a Canaanitish city. Now sir, continues the objector, as that woman was a Canaanite, she was, according to your theory a negress, of the very race of HAM, and, consequently, her blood was mixed in the lineal descent of our Lord.
To this severe criticism, we reply as follows, and assert, that although Rahab was a citizen of the town or city of Jericho in the land of Canaan, yet was she not a negress, nor at all descended of the race of Ham, nor was she a Canaanitess by blood or race.
But how is this made out? We will show you: see book of Deuteronomy, chapter vii, verse 3, and onward, as well as the book of Joshua, chapter xxiii, 12, 13, where it was strictly forbidden, under the displeasure of Jehovah himself, to every individual of the twelve tribes of the Jews to marry with any of the Canaanitish race, which consisted of seven mighty nations, all of whom are set forth by name in this same seventh chapter of Deuteronomy.
Now, if Rahab had been of that race, and belonged by blood to any of those seven nations, SOLOMON, would not, as a prince of the tribe of Judah, have been allowed to have had this woman for a wife. Rahab, therefore, was of the blood of Shem, and but a citizen of the country, as an inhabitant only—while by race, she possessed no consanguinity to the blood of Ham.
Solomon, as a prince of the regal line of Judah, of which tribe came our Lord, could not have violated the law of Moses, in so flagrant and horrid a manner, as to have married a black woman, a Canaanitess; and thus to have provoked the vengeance of the God of Abraham, which is everywhere threatened, as often as the subject is alluded to in all the books of the law. Thus, we defend, as we believe, our opinion, which asserts that the blood of the negro race did not at all mix with the lineal blood of the Savior of Mankind.
Now, as we find this grand interdiction, respecting Jewish intermarriages with any and all the seven negro nations of Canaan—we may with the utmost propriety, believe in addition, that the interdiction extended to the whole race, settled in other countries, beside old Canaan, as it would have been equally deleterious and corrupting to the sacred descent of Jesus Christ, to have been connected with the blood of negroes out of Canaan, as within that country.
But in the whole book of God, there is no command either direct or implied, against Jewish marriages, whether before or after the giving of the law of Moses, with the race of Japheth, the progenitor of the white race of mankind. And although Jesus Christ is the proffered Savior of all the human race, blacks and all, yet was it abhorrent to God, as we believe, that the immaculate blood of his Son, which was to be offered as an atonement, should he contaminated by that of negro extraction.
It is a remarkable fact, which, in connection with the above, cannot fail to make due impression on the reader’s mind, that persons who had flat noses could not be a priest of the sanctuary of the Mosaic worship; see Leviticus xxi, 18. This regulation was, doubtless, to guard the blood of the priesthood from any contamination of the race of Ham, as a prominent feature of that people, is a flat nose. There was never a king nor prophet of the Jews who had negro blood in his veins; and yet there were multitudes of the Jews, as well as the Israelites, who were thus tinctured by unlawful connections with the Canaanites, which was against the law of Moses, as well as the law of nature.
It is a singular fact, that all the first labors of the apostles, after the resurrection of Christ, were directed northward from Jerusalem, among the whites, and not southward in Africa. To the north, in Italy, was the place of the throne of the Roman empire; to the north lay all the Grecian tribes, among whom Paul and his associates went preaching the Gospel. Is not this a proof of the superiority of the white blood above that of the African? Or these first missionaries would not have thus chosen that race as the conservators of the new system of divinity, given to the world by Jesus Christ.
In accordance with this view we notice that the Holy Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, were given to the protection of the white race, and by them have been preserved and handed down to the present time. The New Testament, in particular, has been preserved by the white race after the age of the apostles, as the Jews deride that part of the Scriptures as false, and the African had nothing to do with its original preservation or compilation.
Abolitionists say that negro slavery is a curse upon earth, and that the curse of God is on the country and families wherever the thing is practiced; and yet we find in the Scriptures, Gen. ix, that when God, by the mouth of Noah, blessed Shem and Japheth, he gave them as one item in their blessings, a right to make servants of the race of Ham. It was the same with the Hebrews many hundred years after under the reign of Moses, as a law giver, when God promised his blessings upon them as a people, upon condition of their obedience, making one item of those blessings to be the privilege of enslaving the Canaanites.
If to hold slaves is a curse to any man or country, as abolitionists say it is, then principles must have strangely changed in the administration of God’s Providence since the days of Abraham; for to him the possession of bond men and bond maids was one item in the great amount of the mercies and blessings of God to that patriarch, in whose seed all the families of the earth were to be blessed. See Gen. xxiv, 35, as follows: “And the Lord hath blessed my master (Abraham) greatly, and he is become great, and hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and man servants and maid servants, and camels and asses.”
But Abraham did right by his slaves, of whom he owned vast numbers; on which account the blessing of having bondmen was not changed to a curse, as are all the mercies of God when abused by the wicked. How, therefore, is it true, as abolitionists say, that the enslaving of the race originated in the foulest wickedness? It is not true, never was and never will be, except in the abuse of the institution.
With the origin of slavery, the present existing slaveholding population of the United States, had nothing to do—therefore, for that they are not to be held accountable. They did not bring the blacks from their native land, either by purchase or as prisoners of war. They came into existence with them in their possession, the same as their landed estates and every other species of property which they inherited from their fathers, and are, therefore, under the Divine supervision, morally and politically bound to protect and shield them from all physical suffering, the same as they are bound to protect and shield their children, apprentices, or other dependants. In this, the kind Providence of that all-wise Being, who rules among the inhabitants of the earth, is benevolently displayed toward the descendants of Ham in North America. The experience of the blacks themselves, and the observation of all others, prove this to be their most happy condition; for, with but few exceptions, all those who have gone out from this protection, are found among the most miserable of the human family. All experience proves that were the principles of abolitionism carried out practically, the slaves would be placed in an infinitely worse condition, both morally and physically, than that in which we now find them.
But, says the objector, this is the white man’s fault, for if the negro man and woman were but received into society upon an equal footing, with the whites, they would become their equals. This is granted, they would indeed become the equal of the white man. But how? Not by the elevation, morally, mentally and physically, of the black man, but of the complete degradation of the white man, as the God who created both races has decreed, and as is manifest from the difference, the radical difference, there is between them, proving that their amalgamation cannot be effected, but by a loathsome deterioration of the superior race. This the experience of all time abundantly demonstrates, as well as that amalgamation is the inevitable result of political equality of the races.
Look, for example, at the population of the Mexican states. Not only is it characterized by physical weakness, but by moral and mental inferiority of a most frightful description. And how is this to be accounted for? From the fact that there has been a mixture of Mexican and negro blood for ages. God forbid, therefore, that we as a people, should seek to elevate this race by so great a sacrifice, by so horrible a violation and prostration of the sacred laws of the Creator of the Universe. In all this we do not disparage the black man, but only set forth the actual difference there is between the races, neither of which are to be praised or censured respecting the attributes of their respective natures. These were wisely ordained by that Being who created all things, by the counsel of his own will, and the wisdom of whose appointments man has not the right to question.
There is another evidence, that the habitations of this race (the blacks) are of Divine appointment, and that is, that they are suited in their formation and physical constitution, to a torrid region. As the torrid region of North America is, therefore, best suited to their comfort and happiness, we conclude it is their natural home. And, as this country, through the providence of God, has been put into the power and ownership of the white race, and as the two races cannot exist together in a state of political equality, it follows that if the negro race exist in the South at all, as a people, it must be in a condition of surveillance or subordination of some sort or other.
The negro man has as good a right to exist as has the white man: but he has not as good a right to rule or give laws to society. This is evident from the black man’s mental inferiority, and consequent inability to discharge those high functions, as the history of the past and the observation of the present, abundantly prove.
This being true, we find that his place on the earth is that of serveillance of some description or other; and as the hand that formed them is good and munificent in his provisions and appointments for the comfort and support of all his creatures, we are irresistibly led to the conclusion, that a condition of this character is the most conducive to the well being and happiness of the negro race.
But, says one, that one human being should become, under any circumstances whatever, the property of another human being, is abhorrent to all the conceptions of the human mind relative to what is right or wrong. On this subject, we may argue thus, and not become obnoxious to the charge of sophistry, as we fondly hope. It is the labor which a serving man or woman can perform, that makes them at all valuable in the affairs of men. When a slave is transferred from one possessor to another, the labor which said slave may reasonably be considered capable of performing, is the consideration of value that is taken into the account, and not the mere body of the servant. How differs then a transaction of this kind from those which are of daily occurrence in every civilized community, viz: the hiring of one individual to another to labor a specified time for a stipulated amount? The difference consists alone in the terms, not in the nature, of the transaction; for, in either case, it is the labor of the individual that constitutes the thing of value. In the one case, the hireling receives for his services a stipulated sum of money; in the other, the slave has secured to him, by the laws of the land, the necessaries and comforts of life, consisting of food, raiment, protection, &c.. (Give them their liberty, emancipate them and place them upon their own resources, and all experience proves that not one in ten is capable of providing themselves and their families with the necessaries of life.) In either case the laboring faculty cannot be separated from the body of the laborer; therefore, it becomes necessary that the person of the servant should be present where the labor is required to be performed.
But, continues the objector, suppose it does not suit the serving man to go where the labor is required to be performed, is he to be forced to go against his will? To this we answer, that his is a necessitous condition, and that in yielding to the laws of imperious necessity, he is doing nothing more, is making no greater sacrifices, than is a large majority of the whole human family compelled, by the same laws of necessity, to make, whether they will to do it or not. All are more or less governed by overruling circumstances, and although there may be and there is a great variety of necessities accompanying the various conditions of human life, yet are they equally as imperious and often more severe and uncompromising, than are the commands of the master of a slave.
Indeed, it is a fact that cannot be denied, that the average condition of the slave population of the United States, is superior to that, not alone of the manufacturing population of Great Britain and the great masses of European nations generally, and of Mexico, but of a very numerous class of the free white population of the free States of North America. If then, the philanthropic (?) votaries of abolitionism desire a field in which to exercise their feelings of charity and benevolence, they have it in their own midst, without hazarding any changes of climate or opposition of conflicting interests. Charity is a Christian virtue, a heavenly principle, and one which we wish to see practiced to the utmost ability of every member of the human family; but, under the guidance of modern abolitionists, it reminds us of him who could discern a mote in his brother’s eye, without ever having discovered the beam in his own. We hope our neighbors of this class, will cast a glance around them, before they attempt to scan the sunny regions of the South.
Mexico, we are told, is a free country; “the hateful stigma of slavery attaches not to that delectable region of the earth.” But this is a mistake: a system of slavery and beggarly oppression, of the most revolting character, has existed in that country from time immemorial. All that class of citizens who are not landholders, are compelled to labor for their daily subsistence. The wages which they receive for their services, are so small that they are forced from necessity to go in debt for the comforts of life. Not being able to liquidate those debts according to agreement, they are, in accordance with the laws of the country, sold to work until their debts are paid. But, as their wants always exceed their wages, their servitude becomes perpetual, and they are transferred from one to another, without regard to their feelings or happiness. Thus, is the great mass of the Mexican people in a state of miserable servitude infinitely more deplorable than that which exists in the United States. No one cares for the wants of the poor Mexican slave. Food, clothing, medicines, are not provided by the master; for, should this be done, it would still enhance the amount of indebtedness, and thus rivet still more securely the manacles of his bondage—placing the goal of liberty still further in the distance. Hence is it that this class of the citizens of Mexico are sunk down into a state of hopeless misery, though of the same blood and race of their masters.
But we rejoice to know that such is not the condition of the negro slaves of the United States. Here the well being of the slave is a matter of deep interest to the master. Like the venerable Patriarchs of olden time, they delight to administer to the wants and happiness of those whom God has committed to their hands. If the slave is sick, a physician administers to his wants; if hungry or naked, he has but to look to his master who provides what is necessary without any care on the part of the slave. No constable or sheriff dogs his steps, for he is out of debt and free from all responsibility, save that of good and honest behavior. The affairs of government disturb not his mind, and if war invade the land, he is not called to the field of carnage.
But the case is far different with the Mexican slave. Contrary to his will he is pressed into the service and forced to fight the battles of his country, though he own not a foot of soil, nor never can. Surely then, the condition of the slaves of our Southern States, is far superior to that of the people of Mexico.
But terrible as is the condition of that people, in their state of worse than Russian serfism, the tender hearted and sympathetic abolitionists are, by their short sighted policy, urging forward the entire black population of the South to an equally miserable condition. By their policy, the present protective system of slavery would be dissolved, and the whole slave population in the United States emancipated in our midst and thrown upon their own resources for subsistence. What would be the consequence? A state of degradation and misery, similar to that which now exists in Mexico, must inevitably follow. For landholders, to any extent, they can never become, and, without this, how are they to be saved from certain misery? Says our objector, this is easily shown—they can hire out and by their wages sustain themselves and their families, as do other poor men of the land. But this is a conclusion which practical experience does not sustain. The immense number of the slave population (amounting to nearly four million and rapidly increasing) would of necessity prevent it. Were this vast host to be made dependent upon their daily wages for a support, it would fail them. They could not compete with the white laborers that would immediately flood the States which they now inhabit. The consequence would be, that they would be again cast upon the mercy of the whites, who do now, and always will, compose the landholders of the country. In this condition of things, in order to prevent an unbounded increase of pauperism throughout the entire United States, which in time would certainly ensue, “vagrant laws” would have to be enacted, by which they would be curtailed in their liberty of wandering from place to place, and thus become in all probability as wretched as the miserable serfs of Mexico. A condition, as we have shown, far more distressing than the present system of slavery can ever bring upon them.
There exists but one hope of escape from a fate so dreadful, and death is that hope; for it is well known that in all the free states, the blacks have decreased rapidly in numbers. In the state of New York, where they have been free only since 1828, they have decreased in population more than one-half. This is, doubtless, occasioned by their extreme poverty, and imprudence toward their infants, which, for want of care, as respects a covering from the elements, suitable food and clothing, and medical attendance, die in great numbers. This last is not a matter of surprise to us at all, as it is but a natural characteristic of the race.
The principles of abolitionism are alike subversive of the well-being and happiness of both races. Indeed, not a movement has this political faction ever made, that did not tend to increase the degradation and misery of the negro race. In the state of Kentucky, the removal of slavery has, doubtless, been retarded, by their influence, not less than ten or twenty years. Besides, the actual condition of the slaves has been made worse by the unhallowed excitement and indignation which it has engendered on the part of the masters, who, becoming naturally enraged at being thus unceremoniously molested in their social and domestic affairs, have been forced to deprive their servants of those liberties which they were wont to extend unto them, lest they should be decoyed away by those unprincipled wretches, who have shown themselves alike the enemies of both master and slave. It has also prevented, in a multitude of instances, masters from learning their slaves to read—a blessing which many a Christian master would gladly have extended to his slaves, had he not been thus prevented.
To the slaves we would say, regard not the abolitionist as your friend, for such he is far from being. The best friend you have on earth is a kind master or mistress, whom you can all secure by faithfully doing your duty. Serve them faithfully, be content with your lot, and give no heed to those who would take you from your homes, and God will reward you for it.
We once supposed that the principle upon which the abolitionists acted in the matter of negro emancipation, was a good and virtuous principle; but long have we had reason to think otherwise. The leaders of this unhallowed faction are bold to assert, that to better the condition of the black man is not their object. To free the soil of what they term the odium of slavery, is the end and aim of all their operations; and whether this improve or injure the condition of the black man, is a matter about which they care not. Clear the soil of the stain of slavery, is the cry, no matter how great the cost, or how vast the sacrifice. If a division of the union of the states, or civil war, be the result, let it come, we heed it not. Thus are we forced to believe, that, of all the factions and evil influences which conspire to undermine and subvert the grand superstructure of American Liberty, that termed Modern Abolitionism is the most dangerous and fearful.
That there are many honest-hearted men in the party, who are actuated by pure sympathy for the slave, in what they have been erroneously taught to believe is the unhappy and oppressed condition in which he is placed, we freely admit. But these people are deceived; they have allowed themselves to be duped and imposed upon by corrupt and unprincipled demagogues, who are prompted by no other than a desire to build up their own fame and fortunes upon the ruins of those of the honorable and unsuspecting of our land. That they are deceived, is proven from the fact that nine-tenths of those who travel through the southern states, and see the slave contented and happy in the enjoyment of that liberty and those blessings which a humane and Christian master delights to provide for those intrusted to his care, return, fully convinced that the servant is the happier of the two, and that to change their relations might be a benefit to the master, but not to the slave. Had the masses of the abolition party the opportunity of making these observations personally, we honestly believe that the universal conclusion of all the good and virtuous would be the same. The average condition of the free blacks of the North, will not bear a comparison with that of the slaves of the South. Were we to advocate the removal of slavery at all, we should be actuated rather out of sympathy for the master than the slave.
That there are evils growing out of the institution of slavery, we do not deny; and that it is liable to abuses, as is every other institution of Divine appointment, we are free to admit. We go further, we admit that it is a moral and political evil of vast magnitude, as is proven by the low state of public morals in the South, and by a comparison of the slave states with the free, in general improvement and prosperity. But, as the history of its every movement, from the period it was first ushered into life in the British House of Lords, to the present time, abundantly testifies, abolitionism is inadequate to the task of its removal; nay, as we have shown, all its operations only tend to rivet more securely the manacles of the slave, and perpetuate the institution of slavery. How unreasonable, how contrary to the dictates of common sense and strict propriety, that its advocates should continue to urge its claims upon the people of the United States.
In view of all this, and of the fact that it is a thing of British origin, of lordly birth, nursed in the cradle of despotism, and fed by the hand of royal aristocracy—as has been every opposing principle and plot against American republicanism—we cannot but regard the leaders, at least, of this unhallowed faction—this dissevering principle of strife and contention—as the worst enemies of our country; nay, as traitors to the government, whose very existence is hazardous to the well-being and prosperity of the nation. The time is not far distant, we trust, when they will be led to see the error of their ways, and to turn from their folly. When this is done, and this unhallowed and unnatural war upon southern interests and institutions shall cease, we believe that the natural goodness of heart, the wisdom, philanthropy and Christianity of the people of the slave states, will lead them either to devise a plan for the complete removal of slavery, in harmony with the interests and feelings of both master and slave, or so ameliorate the physical, moral and intellectual condition of the slaves, that their separation from their masters would, like that of Hagar from Abraham, partake more of cruelty and persecution, than of kindness and Christian charity.
Many are bold to affirm, that they would rather dissever the Union than fail in their warfare against slavery. But were this to be accomplished (an event which we pray the Lord may never happen), slavery, if affected at all by it, would but be perpetuated. The condition of the slave, if changed at all thereby, would be for the worse. The North would open her arms with still greater boldness to those who could make their escape from their masters, and the result would be, a curtailing of the usual liberties of the slave and the adoption of a system of servitude far more rigid and severe. This the operations of that party have already effected to a very considerable extent, and as they increase in numbers and in the boldness of their attacks, will continue to effect, to an extent that will cause the slave to curse the day that gave birth to abolitionism.
Having now, as we believe, given a true history of the origin of the negro race—of his character, morally and physically—the nature of Noah’s curse—its indorsement by Moses in the law—the fortunes of the race in past ages, as well as in the present times—we desist from further remarks, having done what we can toward allaying the conflict now raging between the slavery and anti-slavery classes of the great public; believing that good men, whose consciences have been formed by reading the Scriptures on this subject, will honor the source of their education, by soothing, all in their power, the unhappy ferment, and thus, if possible, prevent the separation of the states, and a horrible civil war in America, which, were it to happen, would be the joy of all the monarchies of Europe, and their friends in the United States.
But, in closing this work, we ought not, perhaps, to hide it, that the feelings, the sympathies, the education and preconceived principles of the writer, have once been all at war with the facts brought from the Bible on the subject of negro slavery. But now we feel the amazing importance of bowing these prejudices to the word of God, submitting, with all lowliness of mind, this mysterious matter to a higher adjudication than is to be found among men, in which frame of spirit we must remain, till a stronger light than hitherto has shone on the mind of the author, shall irradiate his understanding in relation to the principles advanced in this book, respecting the fortunes of the race of Ham.
We desire it to be understood, that in all we have said in this work, we have had an eye to truth, so far as we could ascertain it, and that we have not written a word from prejudice against the people of the blacks; having exhibited them as we have found them, for which we feel no manner of accountability, as the difference, in all respects, between the negro and the white race, as to the physical and mental being, is of God, the Creator.
Here ends our labor, whether good or bad,
Of which our pen assures that she is glad;
And if light is shed on the misty space
Of ancient times, and the dark negro race,
Then we rejoice; but if not, then we mourn,
And know not where for truth our face should turn.
But, as a vessel sent the winds to brave,
We launch this book upon the public wave,
Where rocks and shoals may cross its dubious way,
And dash its sides and sails amid the spray.
And yet this may not be its final fate,
Though many who may read, may also hate—
Yet some, perhaps, may love, of thinking men,
And justify the author and his pen.
Should this be so, which hope our thoughts inspire
A better goal than this we can’t desire.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
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