Plagiarism in ClotelIn the appendices of Plagiarama! William Wells Brown and the Aesthetic of Attractions, published in March 2016 by Columbia University Press, I have listed the plagiarisms in Brown's work and their sources. On this site, I have uploaded the full texts of the plagiarized passages, in a format that enables readers to see exactly what Brown took from his sources and what (if anything) he altered in the process.
In the list below of plagiarized passages in Clotel, I have put the words that Brown copied from the source-text in bold-face type, the words that he did not copy from the source-text in roman type, and the words that he himself added in brackets.
Wilhelm de Wette, Human Life (Boston: Monroe, 1842); quoted in William Bowditch,
Slavery and the Constitution (Boston: Wallcut, 1849), 56-57. Google Books.
“Marriage,” says De Wette, “is genuine only when single and permanent. It is then also the first and most important institution of human existence; the foundation of all civilization and culture; the root of church and state. It is the most intimate covenant of heart formed among mankind; and thousands are first made aware by it that they have within them a nobler impulse and a nobler want than to labor, to acquire, and to enjoy. It is the union of manly strength with feminine gentleness; the tempering of masculine rudeness by female delicacy; and, for innumerable [many] persons, the only relation in which they feel the true sentiments of humanity. It gives scope for every human virtue, since each of these is developed from the love and confidence which here predominate. It unites all which ennobles and beautifies life,—sympathy, kindness of will and deed, gratitude, devotion, and every delicate, intimate feeling. As the only asylum for true education, it is the first and last sanctuary of human culture. As husband and wife, through each other, become conscious of complete humanity, of every humane [human] feeling and every humane[human] virtue; so children, at their first awakening in the fond covenant of love between parents, both of whom are tenderly concerned for the same object, find an image of complete humanity, leagued in free love. The spirit of love, which prevails between them, acts with creative power upon the young mind, and awakens every germ of goodness within it. This invisible, uncalculated, and incalculable influence of parental life acts more upon the child than all the efforts of education, [whether] by means of instruction, precept, and [or] exhortation.” (210 words)
William Bowditch, Slavery and the Constitution (Boston: Wallcut, 1849), 57. Google Books.
How true and yet how faint a picture of the vast influence for good of the institution of marriage! But if marriage thus unites all which it ennobles and beautifies life; if, as a means of education, its influence is uncalculated and incalculable, what must be the moral degradation of that people to whom marriage is denied? Must not the degradation also be uncalculated and incalculable? And yet such is the condition of the slaves! Not content with depriving them of all the higher and holier enjoyments of marriage[this relation], by degrading and darkening their souls, the slaveholders deny to their slaves[slaveholder denies to his victim] even that slight alleviation to their[of] misery which would result from their marriage-relations being protected. (59 words)
“An Auction,” New York Evangelist, 29 April 1847, 1. American Periodicals Series.
“How much is said for this beautiful healthy slave girl—a real albino—a fancy girl for any gentleman?” . . . This was a Southern auction—an auction at which the bones, muscles, sinews, blood and nerves of a young lady of nineteen [sixteen], sold for one thousand [five hundred] dollars; her improved intellect for six [one] hundred more; and her Christianity—the person of Christ in his follower, for four hundred more. (40 words)
George Allen, Resistance to Slavery Every Man’s Duty (Boston: Crosby and Nichols, 1847), 15-16. Google Books.
What words can tell the inhumanity, the atrocity [and the immorality] of that doctrine which, from exalted office, commends such a crime to the favor of [enlightened and] Christian nations [people], as the deliberate counsel and practical wisdom of a great and enlightened Christian republic! What indignation from all the world is not due to the government [and people] that puts [who put] forth its [all their] strength [and power] to protect and extend such barbarity [to keep in existence such an institution]! Nature abhors it; the age repels it; and Christianity needs all her meekness to forgive it. (53 words)
“Hunting Robbers with Bloodhounds,” Utica Daily Observer, 25 September 1848, 1. Old Fulton NY Postcards.
The following exceedingly clever description of the chase of two robbers who had plundered the captain of a steamboat at Baton Rouge, La., is from the N. O. Delta. The robbers, two white men, had made their escape with $1700 in bills and silver, when it occurred to some one that they might be traced by a fine pack of bloodhounds kept in the neighborhood, and sometimes used to trace runaway negroes. We have seldom seen a better account of the peculiarities of these sagacious and savage animals. . . .
They soon took the swamp which lies between the highlands, and which was now covered with water, waist deep; here these faithful animals, swimming nearly all the time, followed the zig zag course, the tortuous twistings and windings of these two robbers [fugitives], who, it was afterwards discovered, were lost; sometimes scenting the tree wherein they had found a temporary refuge from the mud and water; at other places where the deep mud had pulled off a shoe, and they had not taken time to put it on again. For two hours and a half, for four or five miles, did men and dogs wade through this bushy, dismal swamp, surrounded with grim-visaged alligators, who seemed to look on with jealous eyes at this encroachment of their hereditary domain; now losing the trail—then slowly and dubiously taking it off again, until they triumphantly threaded it out, bringing them back to the river, where it was found that the robbers [negroes] had crossed their own trail near the place of starting. In the meantime a heavy shower had taken place, putting out the trail. The robbers [negroes] were now at least four hours ahead. It is well known to hunters that it requires the keenest scent and best blood to overcome such obstacles, and yet these persevering and sagacious animals conquered every difficulty. The robbers [slaves] now made a straight course for the Baton Rouge and Bayou Sara road, about four miles distant; before entering it, however, they each donned a nice clean shirt of the Captain’s, which, together with a box of blackening, with which they intended to put a gloss upon their shoes as they entered the villages on their route all the paper money, and $600 in specie, they had lugged thus far into the bowels of the land. Feeling hungry now, after their morning walk, and perhaps thirsty, too, they went about a half mile off the road and ate a good hearty, substantial breakfast. Robbers [Negroes] must eat as well as other people, but the dogs will tell on them. Here for a moment, the dogs are at fault, but soon unravel the mystery and bring them back to the road again; and now, what before was wonderful, becomes almost a miracle. Here in this common highway—the thoroughfare for the whole country around—through mud and through mire, meeting wagons and teams, and different solitary wayfarers, and, what above all is most astonishing, actually running through a gang of negroes, their favorite game, who were working on the road, they pursue the track of the two white men [negroes]; they even ran for eight miles to the very edge of the plains—the robbers [slaves] near them for the last mile. At first they would fain believe it some hunter chasing deer.
Nearer and nearer the whimpering pack presses on; the delusion begins to dispel; all at once the truth flashed upon them like a glare of light; their hair stands on end; ‘tis Tabor with his dogs. The scent becomes warmer and warmer. What was an irregular cry now deepens into one ceaseless roar, as the relentless pack rolls on after its human prey. It puts one in mind of Actaeon and his dogs. They grow desperate and leave the road, in the vain hope of shaking them off. Vain hope, indeed! The momentary cessation only adds new zest to the chase. The cry grows louder and louder; the yelp grows short and quick—sure indications that the game is at hand. It is a perfect rush upon the part of the hunters, whilst the robbers [negroes] call upon their wearied and jaded limbs to do their best, but they falter and stagger beneath them. The breath of the hounds is almost upon their very heels, and yet they lug the precious silver along with a miser’s grasp [have a vain hope of escaping these sagacious animals]. They can hold out [run] no longer; the dogs are upon them; they hastily throw the booty away; the little robber attempts [attempt] to climb a tree, and as he [the last one] is nearly out of reach, the catch-dog seizes him by the leg and brings him sprawling to the ground; he sings out lustily, and the dogs are called off. (598 words)
Lydia Maria Child, “The Quadroons,” in The Liberty Bell, ed. Maria Weston Chapman (Boston: Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Fair, 1842), 115-23. Google Books.
Among the beautiful cottages that adorn it was one far retired from the public roads, and almost hidden among the trees. It was a perfect model of rural beauty. The piazzas that surrounded it were covered with Clematis and Passion flower. The Pride of China mixed its oriental-looking foliage with the majestic magnolia, and the air was redolent with the fragrance of flowers, peeping out from every nook, and nodding upon you in bye places, with a most unexpected welcome. The tasteful hand of Art had not learned to imitate the lavish beauty and harmonious disorder of Nature, but they lived together in loving unity, and spoke in according tones. The gateway rose in a Gothic arch, with graceful tracery in iron-work, surmounted by a Cross, around which fluttered and played the Mountain Fringe, that lightest and most fragile of vines. . . . (115-16) 141 words
The tenderness of Rosalie’s [Clotel’s] conscience required an outward form of marriage; though she well knew that a union with her proscribed race was unrecognised by law, and therefore the ceremony gave her no legal hold on Edward’s [Horatio’s] constancy. But her high, poetic nature regarded the reality rather than the semblance of things; and when he playfully asked how she could keep him if he wished to run away, she replied, “Let the church that my mother loved sanction our union, and my own soul will be satisfied, without the protection of the state. If your affections fall from me, I would not, if I could, hold you by a legal fetter.”
It was a marriage sanctioned by Heaven, though unrecognised on earth. . . . (117-18). 120 words
The iris of her large, dark eye had the melting, mezzotinto outline, which remains the last vestige of African ancestry, and gives that plaintive expression, so often observed, and so appropriate to that docile and injured race. . . . (118-19). 37 words
The edicts of society had built up a wall of separation between her and them. . . . (116) 14 words
Happy as Rosalie [Clotel] was in Edward’s [Horatio’s] love, and surrounded by an outward environment of beauty, so well adapted to her poetic spirit, she felt these incidents with inexpressible pain. For herself, she cared but little; for she had found a sheltered home in Edward’s heart, which the world might ridicule, but had no power to profane. But when she looked at her beloved Xarifa, and reflected upon the unavoidable and dangerous position which the tyranny of society had awarded her, her soul was filled with anguish. The rare loveliness of the child increased daily, and was evidently ripening into most marvellous beauty. The father rejoiced in it with unmingled pride; but in the deep tenderness of the mother’s eye there was an indwelling sadness, that spoke of anxious thoughts and fearful foreboding.
When Xarifa entered her ninth year, these uneasy feelings found utterance in earnest solicitations that Edward would remove to France, or England. This request excited but little opposition, and was so attractive to his imagination, that he might have overcome all intervening obstacles, had not “a change come o’er the spirit of his dream.” He still loved Rosalie [Clotel]; but he was now twenty-eight years old [becoming engaged in political and other affairs which kept him oftener and longer from the young mother], and, unconsciously to himself, ambition [to become a statesman] had for some time been [was] slowly gaining an ascendency over his other feelings [him]. . . . (119-20). 181 words
Among those on whom his political success most depended was a very popular and wealthy man, who had an only daughter. His visits to the house were at first of a purely political nature; but the young lady was pleasing, and he fancied he discovered in her a sort of timid preference for himself. This excited his vanity, and awakened thoughts of the great worldly advantages connected with a union. Reminiscences of his first love kept these vague ideas in check for several months; but Rosalie’s [Clotel’s] image at last became an unwelcome intruder; for with it was associated the idea of restraint. Moreover Charlotte [Gertrude], though inferior in beauty, was yet a pretty contrast to her rival. Her light hair fell in silken profusion, her blue eyes were gentle, though inexpressive, and her healthy cheeks were like opening rose-buds. He had already become accustomed to the dangerous experiment of resisting his own inward convictions; and this new impulse to ambition, combined with the strong temptation of variety in love, met the ardent young man weakened in moral principle, and unfettered by laws of the land. The change wrought upon him was soon noticed by Rosalie [Clotel].(121-23). 191 words
John G. Whittier, “The Great Slave Market,” Emancipator and Republican, 23 November 1843, 120. American Periodicals Series.
Another woman, whose looks and manner were expressive of deep anguish, sat by her side. 15 words
Known to God only is the dreadful amount of human agony and suffering which, from this slave-jail, has sent [sends] its cry from the slave markets and negro pens, unheard and unheeded by man, up to his ear. The mother [mothers] weeping for her child [children], the wife separated from her husband, breaking the night-silence with the shrieks of their breaking hearts. (43 words)
“Views of the Benevolent Society,” Alexandria Gazette, June 22, 1827, 2. America’s Historical Newspapers.
From some you will hear the burst of bitter lamentation, while from others, the loud hysteric laugh breaks forth, denoting still deeper agony. (21 words)
“Prospects of Slavery,” Liberator, 29 April 1853, 65. America’s Historical Newspapers.
The once unshorn face of nature [had given way, and] now [the farm] blooms [blossomed] with splendid harvests; the distant valleys are wedded with iron nuptials; earth gives up her buried wealth; each share the products of all; while year after year discovers new resources, whose development hold up a future of unexampled wealth and power. (10 words)
[Helen de Kroyft,] “Beautiful Letter,” North Star, 8 August 1848, 4. America’s Historical Newspapers.
This morning finds me at Mr. Ledger’s delightful “Lake Cottage,” [the neat cottage stood in a grove] where Lombardy poplars lift their tufted tops almost to prop the skies—the willow, locust, and horse-chestnut, spread their branches, and flowers never cease to blossom. (26 words)
[William F. Hutson,] “The History of the Girondists.” Southern Presbyterian Review 2 (1848): 401-02. Google Books.
We [I] have searched in vain for any authority for man’s natural rights. If he had any, they existed before the fall. That is, Adam and Eve may have had some rights which God gave them, and which modern philosophy, in its pretended reverence for the name of God, prefers to call natural rights. We [I] can imagine they had the right to eat of the fruit of the trees of the Garden; they were restricted even in this by the prohibition of one. As far as we can [I] know without positive assertion, their liberty of action was confined to the Garden. These were not “inalienable rights,” however, for they forfeited [both] themand life, with the first act of disobedience. Had they, after this, any rights? We cannot imagine them; they were condemned beings, they could have no rights, but by Christ’s gift as King. These are the only rights man can have as an independent isolated being, if we choose to consider him in this impossible position, in which so many theorists have placed him. If he had no rights, he could suffer no wrongs. Rights and wrongs are therefore necessarily the creatures of society such as man would establish himself, in his gregarious state. They are, in this state, both artificial and voluntary. Though man has no rights, as thus considered, undoubtedly he has the power,by mutual and common consent, to establish in society such arbitrary rules of Right and Wrong as his necessity enforces. (234 words)
[James H. Thornwell], “The Religious Instruction of the Black Population,” Southern Presbyterian Review 1 (December 1847): 108. Google Books.
The Bible furnishes to the slaveholder [us the] armour of proof, weapons of heavenly temper and mould, whereby he [we] can maintain his [our] ground against all attacks. But this is true, only when he obeys [we obey] its directions as well as employs its sanctions. Our rights are there established, but it is always in connection with our duties; if we neglect the one, we cannot make good the other. Our domestic institutions can be maintained against the world if we but allow Christianity to throw its broad shield over them. But if we so act as to array the Bible against our social economy, then our social economy [they] must fall. Nothing ever yet stood up long against Christianity. Those who say that religious instruction is inconsistent with our peculiar civil polity, are the worst enemies of that polity. They would drive religious men from its defence. Sooner or later, if their [those] views prevail, they will separate the religious portion of our community from the rest, and thus divided we shall become an easy prey. (158 words)
“Charlotte Corday,” Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature 17 (June 1849): 275-76. Google Books.
Her form was tall and graceful, her features regular and beautiful [well-defined]; but there was mingled with a woman's softness of expression, something of the resolve which marks a manly face. [and] [h]er complexion was illuminated by the freshness of youth, beauty, and health; her dress was suited to her moderate means; her habits were temperate and simple. (22 words)
Allen, Resistance, 13.
We must try the character of Slavery, and [our] duty in regard to it, as we should try any other question of character and duty. To judge justly of the character of anything, we must know what it does. That which is good, does good; and that which is evil, [does] evil. And as to duty, God’s designs indicate his claims. That which accomplishes the manifest design of God is right; that which counteracts it, wrong. Whatever, in its proper tendency and general effect, produces, secures or extends human welfare is according to the will of God and is good; and our duty is to favor and promote, according to our power, that which God favors and promotes by the general law of his providence. On the other hand, whatever, in its proper tendency and general effect, destroys, abridges, or renders insecure human welfare, is opposed to God’s will, and is evil. And as whatever accords with the will of God, in any manifestation of it, should be done and persisted in, so whatever opposes that will should not be done, and, if done, should be abandoned. Can that, then, be right, be well-doing—can that obey God’s behest, which makes a Man a Slave?—which dooms him and all his posterity, in limitless generations, to bondage?—to unrequited toil, through life? (220 words)
Edmund Rack, quoted in Gleanings from Pious Authors, ed. James Montgomery (1846; rpt. Philadelphia: Longstreth, 1855), 50. Google Books.
True Christian love is of an enlarged, disinterested nature. It loves all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity [, without regard to colour or condition]. (20 words)
William Meade, quoted in Bowditch, Slavery and the Constitution, 41-42
How purely and sincerely does Bishop Meade thus continue imparting the gospel! p. 116 (Brooke’s “Slavery,” &c. pp. 32, 33) : —
“‘All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them;’ that is, do by all mankind just as you would desire they should do by you, if you were in their place and they in yours.
“Now, to suit this rule to your particular circumstances, suppose you were masters and mistresses, and had servants under you, would you not desire that your servants should do their business faithfully and honestly, as well when your back was turned as while you were looking over them? Would you not expect, that they should take notice of what you said to them? that they should behave themselves with respect towards you and yours, and be as careful of every thing belonging to you as you would be yourselves? You are servants: do, therefore, as you would wish to be done by, and you will be both good servants to your masters and good servants to God, who requires this of you, and will reward you well for it, if you do it for the sake of conscience, in obedience to his commands.” (41-42) 186 words
“You are not to be eye-servants. Now, eye-servants are such as will work hard, and seem mighty diligent, while they think anybody is taking notice of them; but, when their masters’ and mistresses’ backs are turned, they are idle, and neglect their business. I am afraid there are a great many such eye-servants among you, and that you do not consider how great a sin it is to be so, and how severely God will punish you for it. You may easily deceive your owners, and make them have an opinion of you that you do not deserve, and get the praise of men by it; but remember that you cannot deceive Almighty God, who sees your wickedness and deceit, and will punish you accordingly. For the rule is, that you must obey your masters in all things, and do the work they set you about with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good-will doing service as to the Lord, and not as to men.” (35) 189 words
But the bishop, if he believes in his own argument, must be sorrowful that he is not himself a slave, so easy does he say is the slave’s road to heaven! —
“Take care that you do not fret or murmur, grumble or repine at your condition; for this will not only make your life uneasy, but will greatly offend Almighty God. Consider that it is not yourselves, it is not the people that you belong to, it is not the men that have brought you to it, but it is the will of God, who hath, by his providence made you servants, because, no doubt, he knew that condition would be best for you in this world, and help you the better towards heaven, if you would but do your duty in it. So that any discontent at your not being free or rich or great, as you see some others, is quarrelling with your heavenly Master, and finding fault with God himself, who hath made you what you are, and hath promised you as large a share in the kingdom of heaven as the greatest man alive, if you will but behave yourself aright, and do the business he hath set you about in this world honestly and cheerfully. Riches and power have proved the ruin of many an unhappy soul, by drawing away the heart and affections from God, and fixing them on mean and sinful enjoyments; so that, when God, who knows our hearts better than we know them ourselves, sees that they would be hurtful to us, and therefore keeps them from us, it is the greatest mercy and kindness he could show us.
“You may perhaps fancy, that, if you had riches and freedom, you could do your duty to God and man with greater pleasure than you can now. But, pray, consider that, if you can but save your souls through the mercy of God, you will have spent your time to the best of purposes in this world; and he that at last can get to heaven has performed a noble journey, let the road be ever so rugged and difficult. Besides, you really have a great advantage over most white people, who have not only the care of their daily labor upon their hands, but the care of looking forward and providing necessaries for to-morrow and next day, and of clothing and bringing up their children, and of getting food and raiment for as many of you as belong to their families, which often puts them to great difficulties, and distracts their minds so as to break their rest, and take off their thoughts from the affairs of another world. Whereas you are quite eased from all these cares, and have nothing but your daily labor to look after, and, when that is done, take your needful rest. Neither is it necessary for you to think of laying up any thing against old age, as white people are obliged to do; for the laws of the country have provided, that you shall not be turned off when you are past labor, but shall be maintained, while you live, by those you belong to, whether you are able to work or not.” (44-45) 508 words
We conclude our extracts from Bishop Meade’s book with the following (Brooke’s “ Slavery,” pp. 34, 35):
“There is only one circumstance which may appear grievous, that I shall now take notice of, and that is correction.
“Now, when correction is given you, you either deserve it, or you do not deserve it. But whether you really deserve it or not, it is your duty, and Almighty God requires that you bear it patiently. You may perhaps think that this is hard doctrine; but, if you consider it right, you must needs think otherwise of it. Suppose, then, that you deserve correction, you cannot but say that it is just and right you should meet with it. Suppose you do not, or at least you do not deserve so much, or so severe a correction, for the fault you have committed, you perhaps have escaped a great many more, and are at last paid for all. Or suppose you are quite innocent of what is laid to your charge, and suffer wrongfully in that particular thing, is it not possible you may have done some other bad thing which was never discovered, and that Almighty God who saw you doing it would not let you escape without punishment one time or another?And ought you not, in such a case, to give glory to him, and be thankful that he would rather punish you in this life for your wickedness than destroy your souls for it in the next life? But, suppose even this was not the case (a case hardly to be imagined), and that you have by no means, known or unknown, deserved the correction you suffered, there is this great comfort in it, that, if you bear it patiently, and leave your cause in the hands of God, he will reward you for it in heaven, and the punishment you suffer unjustly here shall turn to your exceeding great glory hereafter.” (47) 307 words
[“Lastly, you should serve your masters faithfully, because of their goodness to you. See to what trouble they have been on your account. Your fathers were poor ignorant and barbarous creatures in Africa, and the whites fitted out ships at great trouble and expense and brought you from that benighted land to Christian America, where you can sit under your own vine and fig tree and no one molest or make you afraid. Oh, my dear black brothers and sisters, you are indeed a fortunate and a blessed people. Your masters have many troubles that you know nothing about. If the banks break, your masters are sure to lose something. If the crops turn out poor, they lose by it. If one of you die, your master loses what he paid for you, while you lose nothing. Now let me exhort you once more to be faithful.”]
Charles Colcock Jones, quoted in Bowditch, Slavery, 50.
Mr. Jones thus catechizes the slaves (“ Catechism,” pp. 129—131): —
“Q. What command has God given to servants concerning obedience to their masters? — A. ‘Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.’
Q. What does God mean by masters according to the flesh? — A. Masters in this world.
Q. What are servants to count their masters worthy of? — A. ‘All honor.’
Q. How are they to do the service of their masters? — A. ‘With good will, doing service as unto the Lord, and not unto men.’
Q. How are they to try to please their masters? — A. ‘Please them well in all things, not answering again.’
Q. Is a servant who is an eye-servant to his earthly master an eye-servant to his heavenly Master? — A. Yes.
Q. Is it right in a servant, when commanded to do any thing, to be sullen and slow, and answer his master again? — A. No.
Q. If the servant professes to be a Christian, ought he not to be as a Christian servant, an example to all other servants of love and obedience to his master? — A. Yes.
Q. And, should his master be a Christian also, ought he not on that account specially to love and obey him? — A. Yes.
Q. But suppose the master is hard to please, and threatens and punishes more than he ought, what is the servant to do? — A. Do his best to please him.
Q. When the servant suffers wrongfully at the hands of his master, and, to please God, takes it patiently, will God reward him for it? — A. Yes.
Q. Is it right for the servant to run away, or is it right to harbor a runaway ? — A. No. (278 words)
[“Q. If a servant runs away, what should be done with him?—A. ‘He should be caught and brought back.’
“Q. When he is brought back, what should be done with him?—A. ‘Whip him well.’
“Q. Why may not the whites be slaves as well as the blacks?—A. ‘Because the Lord intended the negroes for slaves.’
“Q. Are they better calculated for servants than the whites?—A. ‘Yes, their hands are large, the skin thick and tough, and they can stand the sun better than the whites.’
“Q. Why should servants not complain when they are whipped?—A. ‘Because the Lord has commanded that they should be whipped.’
“Q. Where has He commanded it?—A. ‘He says, He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.’
“Q. Then is the master to blame for whipping his servant?—A. ‘Oh, no! he is only doing his duty as a Christian.”]
“Curious Funeral Service,” Albany Evening Journal, 5 May 1845, 2. America’s Historical Newspapers.
The following curious funeral service was preached in Washington county, Md. It must have been peculiarly touching to Joe, the brother of the deceased. It is said by the Hagerstown News to be no hoax:
“Friends and neighbors! you have congregated to see this lump of mortality put into a hole in the ground. You all know the deceased—a worthless, drunken, good for nothing vagabond. He lived in disgrace and infamy, and died in wretchedness. You all despised him for getting drunk as he was poor and that sort of people have no right to do so; they should do as the wealthy dictate. You all know beloved friends the deceased [his] brother Joe who lives on the hill? He’s not a bit better, though he has scraped together considerable [a little] property by playing at cards, which is looked upon as a saving clause in his character [cheating his neighbors]; yet notwithstanding his wealth, his end will be like that of this loathsome poor devil [creature], who you will please put into the hole as soon as possible. I wont ask you to drop a tear, but brother Bohow will please raise a hymn while we fill up the grave.” (110 words)
“Southern Atrocities,” Liberator, May 11, 1849, 76. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
The Republican, published at Houston, Chickasaw county, Mississippi, of the 31st ult, gives the following detail of a shocking occurrence in that county, derived from the testimony.
Mr. J. Higgerson attempted to correct a negro man in his employ, who resisted, drew a knife, and stabbed him (Mr. H.) in several places. Mr. J. C. Hobbs (a Tennessean) ran to his assistance. Mr. Hobbs stooped to pick up a stick to strike the negro, and while in that position, the negro rushed upon him, and caused his immediate death. The negro then fled to the woods, but was pursued with dogs, and soon overtaken. He had stopped in a swamp to fight the dogs, when the party who were pursuing him came upon him, and commanded him to give up, which he refused to do. He then made several efforts to stab them—Mr. Roberson, one of the party, gave him several blows on the head with a rifle gun; but this, instead of subduing, only increased his desperate revenge. Mr. R. then discharged his gun at the negro, and missing him, the ball struck Mr. Boon in the face, and felled him to the ground; the negro, seeing Mr. Boon prostrated, attempted to rush up and stab him, but was prevented by the timely interference of some one of the party. He was then shot three times with a revolving pistol, and once with a rifle, and after having his throat cut he still kept the knife firmly grasped in his hand, and tried to cut their legs when they approached to put an end to his life. (242 words)
John Gorham Palfrey, Papers on the Slave Power (Boston: Merrill, Cobb, 1846), 55. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
No community can be prosperous, where honest labor is not honored. No society can be rightly constituted, where the intellect is not fed. Whatever institution reflects discredit on industry, whatever institution forbids the general culture of the understanding, is palpably hostile to individual rights, and to social well-being. (48 words)
Child, “The Quadroons.”
At length the news of his [the] approaching marriage [of Horatio] met her [the] ear [of Clotel]. Her head grew dizzy, and her heart fainted within her; but, with a strong effort at composure, she inquired all the particulars; and her pure mind at once took its resolution. Edward[Horatio] came that evening, and though she would have fain met him as usual, her heart was too full not to throw a deep sadness over her looks and tones. She had never complained of his decreasing tenderness, or of her own lonely hours; but he felt that the mute appeal of her heart-broken looks was more terrible than words. He kissed the hand she offered, and with a countenance almost as sad as her own, led her to a window in the recess shadowed by a luxuriant Passion Flower. It was the same seat where they had spent the first evening in this beautiful cottage, consecrated to their youthful loves. The same calm, clear moonlight looked in through the trellis. The vine then planted had now a luxuriant growth; and many a time had Edward [Horatio] fondly twined its sacred blossoms with the glossy ringlets of her raven hair. The rush of memory almost overpowered poor Rosalie[Clotel]; and Edward [Horatio] felt too much oppressed and ashamed to break the long, deep silence. At length, in words scarcely audible, Rosalie[Clotel] said, “Tell me, dear Edward [Horatio], are you to be married next week?” He dropped her hand, as if a rifle-ball had struck him; and it was not until after long hesitation, that he began to make some reply about the necessity of circumstances. Mildly, but earnestly, the poor girl begged him to spare apologies. It was enough that he no longer loved her, and that they must bid farewell. Trusting to the yielding tenderness of her character, he ventured, in the most soothing accents, to suggest that as he still loved her better than all the world, she would ever be his real wife, and they might see each other frequently. He was not prepared for the storm of indignant emotion his words excited. (336 words)
True, she was his slave; her bones, and sinews had been purchased by his gold, yet she had the heart of a true woman, and [h]ers was a passion too absorbing to admit of partnership; and her spirit was too pure to form a selfish league with crime.
At length this painful interview came to an end. They stood together by the Gothic gate, where they had so often met and parted in the moonlight. Old remembrances melted their souls. “Farewell, dearest Edward [Horatio],” said Rosalie[Clotel]. “Give me a parting kiss.” Her voice was choked for utterance, and the tears flowed freely, as she bent her lips toward him. He folded her convulsively in his arms, and imprinted a long, impassioned kiss on that mouth, which had never spoken to him but in love and blessing.
With effort like a death-pang, she at length raised her head from his heaving bosom, and turning from him with bitter sobs, she said, “It is our last. To meet thus is henceforth crime. God bless you. I would not have you so miserable as I am. Farewell. A last farewell.” “The last?” exclaimed he, with a wild shriek. “Oh God, Rosalie[Clotel], do not say that!” and covering his face with his hands, he wept like a child.
Recovering from his emotion, he found himself alone. The moon looked down upon him mild, but very sorrowful; as the Madonna seems to gaze on her worshipping children, bowed down with consciousness of sin. At that moment lie would have given worlds to have disengaged himself from Charlotte [Gertrude]; but he had gone so far, that blame, disgrace, and duels with angry relatives, would now attend any effort to obtain his freedom. Oh, how the moonlight oppressed him with its friendly sadness! It was like the plaintive eye of his forsaken one, like the music of sorrow echoed from an unseen world.
Long and earnestly he gazed at that dwelling [cottage], where he had so long known earth’s purest foretaste of heavenly bliss. Slowly he walked away; then turned again to look on that charmed spot, the nestling-place of his young [early] affections. He caught a glimpse of Rosalie[Clotel], weeping beside a magnolia, which commanded a long view of the path leading to the public road. He would have sprung toward her, but she darted from him, and entered the cottage. That graceful figure, weeping in the moonlight, haunted him for years. It stood before his closing eyes, and greeted him with the morning dawn.
Poor Charlotte [Gertrude]! had she known all, what a dreary lot would hers have been; but fortunately, she could not miss the impassioned tenderness she had never experienced; and Edward [Horatio] was the more careful in his kindness, because he was deficient in love. . . . (123-28). 759 words
One day, as their barouche rolled along a winding road that skirted Sand-Hills, [the forest near Clotel’s cottage, when]her attention [of Gertrude] was suddenly attracted by two figures among the trees by the way-side; and touching Edward’s [Horatio’s] arm, she exclaimed, “Do look at that beautiful child!” He turned, and saw Rosalie[Clotel] and Xarifa[Mary]. His lips quivered, and his face became deadly pale. His young wife looked at him intently, but said nothing. . . . (128-29). 57 words
Suspicion was awakened [in her heart], and she soon learned that the mother of that lovely girl [child] bore the name of Rosalie[Clotel]; with this information came recollections of the “dearRosalie” murmured [a name which she had often heard Horatio murmur] in uneasy slumbers. From gossiping tongues she soon learned more than she wished to know. She wept, but not as poor Rosalie[Clotel] had done, for she never had loved, and been beloved, like her; and her nature was more proud. Henceforth a change came over her feelings and her manners; and Edward [Horatio] had no further occasion to assume a tenderness in return for hers. Changed as he was by ambition, he felt the wintry chill of her polite propriety, and sometimes in agony of heart, compared it with the gushing love of her who was indeed his wife.
But these, and all his emotions, were a sealed book to Rosalie[Clotel], of which she could only guess the contents. With remittances for her and her child’s support, there sometimes came earnest pleadings that she would consent to see him again; but these she never answered, though her heart yearned to do so. She pitied his fair young bride, and would not be tempted to bring sorrow into her household by any fault of hers. Her earnest prayer was that she might never know of her existence. She had not looked on Edward [Horatio] since she watched him under the shadow of the magnolia, until his barouche passed her in her rambles some months after. She saw the deadly paleness of his countenance, and had he dared to look back, he would have seen her tottering with faintness. Xarifa[Mary] brought water from a little rivulet, and sprinkled her face. When she revived, she clasped the beloved child to her heart with a vehemence that made her scream. Soothingly she kissed away her fears, and gazed into her beautiful eyes with a deep, deep sadness of expression, which Xarifa[Mary] never forgot. Wild were the thoughts that pressed around her aching heart, and almost maddened her poor brain; thoughts which had almost driven her to suicide the night of that last farewell. For her child’s sake she conquered the fierce temptation then; and for her sake, she struggled with it now. But the gloomy atmosphere of their once happy home overclouded the morning of Xarifa’s[Mary’s] life.
“She from her mother learnt the trick of grief,
And sighed among her playthings.”
Rosalie[Clotel] perceived this; and it gave her gentle heart unutterable pain. (129-31) 370 words
LaRoy Sunderland, Anti-Slavery Manual, 3rd ed. (New York: Benedict, 1839). Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
To claim, hold, and treat a human being as property, is felony against God and man. (40) 16 words
The Christian religion is opposed to slavery in its spirit and its principles; it classes men-stealers among murderers of fathers and of mothers, and the most profane criminals upon earth. (140; quoting Bishop Porteus) 18 words
Theodore Weld, The Bible Against Slavery (New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1838), 11. Google Books.
Slaveholding is the highest possible violation of the eighth commandment. To take from a man his earnings, is theft. But to take the earner, is a compound, life-long theft—supreme robbery, that vaults up the climax at a leap—the dread, terrific, giant robbery, that towers among other robberies a solitary horror, monarch of the realm. (29 words)
[Sarah Grimké], An Address to Free Colored Americans (New York: Dorr, 1837), 24-25. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
When the Redeemer of men was about to ascend to the bosom of the Father and resume the glory which he had with Him before the world was, he promised his disciples that the power of the Holy Ghost should come upon them, and that they should be witnesses for Him to the uttermost parts of the earth. What was the effect upon their minds? ‘They all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women.’ Stimulated by the confident expectation that Jesus would fulfil his gracious promise, they poured out their hearts in fervent supplications, probably for strength to do the work which he had appointed them unto, for they felt that without Him they could do nothing and they consecrated themselves on the altar of God, to the great and glorious enterprise of preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ to a lost and perishing world. Have we less precious promises in the Scriptures of Truth, may we not claim of our God the blessing promised unto those who consider the poor, the Lord will preserve them and keep them alive and they shall be blessed upon the earth. Does not the language ‘Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me,’ belong to all who are rightly engaged in endeavoring to unloose the bondman’s fetters? Shall we not then do as the Apostles did, shall we not in view of the two millions of heathen in our very midst, in view of the souls that are going down in an almost unbroken phalanx to utter perdition, continue in prayer and supplication that God will grant us the supplies of his Spirit to prepare us for that work which he has given us to do? Shall not the wail of the mother as she surrenders her only child to the grasp of the ruthless kidnapper, or the trader in human blood, animate our devotions? Shall not the manifold crimes and horrors of slavery excite more ardent outpourings at the throne of grace to grant repentance to our guilty country and permit us to aid in preparing the way for the glorious second Advent of the Messiah, by preaching deliverance to the captives and the opening of the prison doors to those who are bound. (385 words)
William Weston Patton, Slavery, the Bible, Infidelity: Pro-slavery Interpretations of the Bible. (Hartford: Burleigh, 1847). Google Books.
For my own part, I believe that if we admit the premises of the infidel, we shall be forced to his conclusion—[He, you know, was bordering upon infidelity, and] if the Bible sanctions slaveholding [slavery], then [he will naturally enough say that] it cannot be [is not] from God—for the argument from internal evidence is not only refuted, but actually turned against the Bible. (6) 24 words
If the Bible sanctions slaveholding then it misrepresents the character of God. (7) 12 words
At first sight, it might appear preposterous, to denounce the Bible on the ground that it sanctions slaveholding, when [T]he Old Testament contains this explicit condemnation of it, “He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, [he] shall surely be put to death,” and “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor’s service without wages and giveth him not for his work”; when also the New Testament exhibits such words of rebuke as these, “Behold the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them who have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth.” “The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons.” A more scathing denunciations of the sin in question, is surely to be found on record in no other book. (5)182 words
How, then, it may be asked, can the infidel have the hardihood to affirm that the Bible sanctions slaveholding? The answer may be returned without difficulty. The infidel erects his superstructure on the foundation which professedly Christian hands have laid. He surveys the church, and lo! thousands and tens of thousands of her accredited members actually hold slaves. Members “in good and regular standing,” fellowshipped throughout Christendom except by a few anti-slavery churches generally despised as ultra and radical, reduce their fellow men to the condition of chattels and by force keep them in that state of degradation. Bishops, Ministers, Elders, and Deacons, are engaged in this awful business and do not consider their conduct as at all inconsistent with the precepts of either the Old or New Testaments. Moreover, those Ministers and Churches who do not themselves hold slaves, very generally defend the character of those who do and accord to them a fair Christian character, and in the way of business do not scruple to [frequently] take mortgages and levy executions on the bodies of their fellow men, and in some cases of their fellow christians.
Now is it a wonder, that infidels beholding the practice and listening to theory of professing Christians, should conclude that the Bible inculcates a morality not inconsistent with chattelizing human beings? And must not this conclusion be strengthened, when they hear Ministers of talent and learning declare that the Bible does sanction slave holding, and that it ought not to be made a disciplinable offence in Churches? And must not all doubt be dissipated, when one of the most learned professors in our theological seminaries, asserts that the Bible “recognizes that the relation may still exist, salva fide et salva ecclesia,”(without injury to the Christian faith or church), and that only “the abuse of it is the essential and fundamental wrong”? Are not infidels bound to believe that these Professors, Ministers, and Churches understand their own Bible, and that consequently, notwithstanding solitary passages which appear to condemn slaveholding, that Bible sanctions it? (5-6) 296 words
[Grimké], Address to Free Colored Americans
When he designed to do us good, he took upon himself the form of a servant—surely we should love and honor this office. He took his station at the bottom of society, He voluntarily identified himself with the poor and despised. (14) 34 words
The warning voices of Jeremiah and Ezekiel were raised at this juncture, to save if possible their guilty nation—with the women as well as the men they expostulated, and admonished them of impending judgments, but the people scornfully replied to Jeremiah—‘As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee, but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our mouth’ [in olden time, against sin. Let us not forget what followed.] ‘Therefore, thus saith the Lord—ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming liberty every one to his brother, and every one to his neighbor—behold I proclaim a liberty for you saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence and to the famine.’ Are we not virtually as a nation adopting the same impious language, and are not exposed to the same tremendous judgments? Shall we not in view of those things use every laudable means to awaken our beloved country from the slumbers of death, and baptize all our efforts with tears and with prayers, that God may bless them. Then should our labor fail to accomplish the end for which we pray; we shall stand acquitted at the bar of Jehovah, and although we may share in the national calamities which await unrepented sins, yet that blessed approval will be ours.—‘Well done good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord.’ (28) 168 words
[Georgiana had viewed] [t]he right to the enjoyment of [enjoy perfect] liberty is [as] one of those perfect, inherent, and inalienable rights which pertain to the whole human race, and of which they can never be divested, except by an act of gross injustice. (5; quoting Samuel McDowell Moore, House of Delegates, Virginia, 1832) 33 words
“Lucy Stone,” Anti-Slavery Advocate 1 (January 1853): 29.
Modest and self-possessed, with a voice of great sweetness, and a most winning manner, she could, with the greatest apparent ease to herself, hold that large audience in breathless [engage their] attention for more than an hour at a time. (23 words)
Thomas G. Key, “My Little Nig,” Liberator, 27 December 1844, 208. American Periodicals Series.
“MY LITTLE NIG.
“I have a little nigger, the blackest thing alive,
He’ll be just four years old if he lives till forty-five;
His smooth cheek hath a glossy hue, like a new polished boot,
And his hair curls o’er his little head as black as any soot.
His lips bulge from his countenance—his little ivories shine--
His nose is what we call a little pug, but fashioned very fine:
Although not quite a fairy, he is comely to behold,
And I wouldn’t sell him, ’pon my word, for a hundred all in gold.
“He gets up early in the morn, like all the other nigs,
And runs off to the hog-lot, where he squabbles with the pigs—
And when the sun gets out of bed, and mounts up in the sky,
The warmest corner of the yard is where my nig doth lie.
And there extended lazily, he contemplates and dreams,
(I cannot qualify to this, but plain enough it seems;)
Until ‘tis time to take in grub, when you can’t find him there,
For, like a politician, he has gone to hunt his share.
“I haven’t said a single word concerning my plantation,
Though a prettier, I guess, cannot be found within the nation;
When he gets a little bigger, I’ll take and to him show it,
And then I’ll say, ‘My little nig, now just prepare to go it!’
I’ll put a hoe into his hand—he’ll soon know what it means,
And every day for dinner, he shall have bacon and greens.” 257 words
“A Visit to a Kennel of Blood-hounds, Kept for the Purpose of Hunting Slaves,” London Nonconformist, 29 December 1847, 912. Access Newspaper Archive.
When I was traveling through the southern portion of the United States, I remained for a few days at Columbia, South Carolina, the seat of the state legislature. One evening, I was much surprised to see a great number of men on horseback, accompanied by dogs. Upon inquiring who they were, I was informed that they were negro-hunters, whose horrible business consisted in tracking and catching runaway slaves. They came into the yard attached to the boarding-house at which I was stopping. When they had kenneled their dogs, and were about to feed them, I felt a curiosity to go out and see them. The dogs [They] were of a species between the blood-hound and [the] fox-hound, and were ferocious, gaunt, and savage-looking animals. [They were kept in an iron cage, and]Their masters fed them exclusively on Indian corn-bread. This kind of food, they told me [he said], made the dogs [them] eager and lively for their business. (29 words)
“Sentimental,” Water-Cure Journal (New York), 1 June 1849, 165. American Periodicals Series.
The Wilkinson (Mississippi) Whig gives us the following, as coming from a “slave,” the property of a gentleman in that neighborhood, who, on Christmas, gave his servants something to make their hearts merry and their dance light. The master having called upon each for a toast, was met with a snicker, and “ I don’t know how to do dat, massa,” from one and another, until Joe’s turn came, (whose cotton basket is always the heaviest of the gang,) when he held up his glass, with ludicrous gravity, and gave:
“The big bee flies high,
The little bee makes the honey;
The black folks makes the cotton,
And the white folks gets the money.” (24 words)
Harriet Martineau, Society in America, 3 vols. (London: Saunders and Otley, 1837), 2:107. Google Books.
What social virtues are possible in a society of which injustice is the primary characteristic? in a society which is divided into two classes, the servile and the imperious [masters and slaves]? (24 words)
W. Tillinghast, “Chattel and Wages Laborers,” Liberator, 20 April 1849, 61. America’s Historical Newspapers.
The [English] laborer for wages may be oppressed—he may be defrauded, cheated, swindled, [and even] starved, but it is not slavery under which he groans. (21 words)
Theodore Weld, American Slavery As It Is (New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1839), 7. Google Books.
Every man [Everybody] knows that slavery is a curse [in its best and mildest form is wrong]. Whoever denies this, his lips libel his heart. Try him! Clank the chains in his ears, and tell him they are for him; give him an hour to prepare his wife and children for a life of slavery; bid him make haste, and get ready their necks for the yoke, and their wrists for the coffle chains; then look at his pale lips and trembling knees, and you have nature’s testimony against slavery. (76 words)
“The Dismal Swamp,” New York Commercial Advertiser, 7 July 1848, 1. America’s Historical Newspapers.
At about sun down and after, all the animal life is in motion. Every throat is open. The croaking of the bullfrogs, buzzing of insects, cooing of turtle doves, and the sounds from a thousand musical instruments, pitched on as many different keys, make a assemblage of harmony and discord that defies description [made the welkin ring]. (25 words)
J. Mac C. Simpson, “The Slaveholder’s Rest,” Liberator, 23 November 1849, 188.
“Come, all my brethren, let us take a rest,
While the moon shines so brightly and clear;
Old master is dead, and left us at last,
And has gone at the Bar to appear.
Old master has died, and lying in his grave,
And our blood will awhile cease to flow;
He will no more trample on the neck of the slave;
For he’s gone where the slaveholders go.
“Hang up the shovel and the hoe—
Take down the fiddle and the bow—
Old master has gone to the slaveholder’s rest;
He has gone where they all ought to go.
“I heard the old doctor say the other night,
As he passed by the dining-room door—
‘Perhaps the old man may live through the night,
But I think he will die about four.’
The old [Young] mistress sent me, at the peril of my life,
For the parson to come down and pray,
For says she, ‘Your old master is now about to die,’
And says I, ‘God speed him on his way.’
“Hang up the shovel, &c.
“At four o’clock at morn the family was called
Around the old man’s dying bed;
And oh! but I laughed to myself when I heard
That the old man’s spirit had fled.
The children all [Mr. Carlton] cried, and so did I pretend;
And old [Young] mistress very nearly went mad;
And the old parson’s groans did the heavens fairly rend;
But I tell you I felt mighty glad.
“Hang up the shovel, &c.
“We’ll no more be roused by the blowing of his horn,
Our backs no longer he will score;
He no more will feed us on cotton-seeds and corn;
For his reign of oppression now is o’er.
He no more will hang our children on the tree,
To be ate by the carrion crow;
He no more will send our wives to Tennessee;
For he’s gone where the slaveholders go.
“Hang up the shovel and the hoe,
Take down the fiddle and the bow,
We’ll dance and sing,
And make the forest ring,
With the fiddle and the old banjo.” 332 words
“Emancipation in Maryland.” Liberator, 15 August 1845, 130. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
(quoting speech of James McDowell in Virginia legislature, 1832)
You may place the slave where you please—you may dry up to your utmost, the fountain of his feelings, the springs of his thought—you may close upon his mind every avenue to knowledge, and cloud it over with artificial night—you may yoke him to your labor, as the ox which liveth only to work, and worketh only to live—you may put him under any process, which, without destroying his value as a slave, will debase and crush him as a rational being—you may do this, and the idea that he was born to be free, will survive it all. It is allied to his hope of immortality—it is the eternal [ethereal] part of his nature, which oppression cannot reach—it is a torch lit up in his soul by the hand of the Deity, and never meant to be extinguished by the hand of man. (127 words)
“The Free Colored Veterans,” New Orleans Daily Picayune, 9 January 1851, 2. Quoted in William Cooper Nell, Services of Colored Americans, in the Wars of 1776 and 1812 (Boston: Prentiss and Sawyer, 1851), 21-22. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
. . . . The New Orleans Picayune, in an account of the celebration of the Battle of New Orleans, in that city, in 1851, says:—
“Not the least interesting, although the most novel feature of the procession yesterday, was the presence of ninety of the colored veterans. . . . Their good deeds have been consecrated only in their memories, or lived but to claim a passing notice on the page of the historian. Yet, who more than they deserve the thanks of the country, and the gratitude of succeeding generations? Who rallied with more alacrity in response to the summons of danger? Who endured more cheerfully the hardships of the camp, or faced with greater courage the perils of the fight? If, in that hazardous hour, when our homes were menaced with the horrors of war, we did not disdain to call upon the colored population [negro] to assist in repelling the invading horde [invasion],we should not, when [why should we, now that] the danger is past, refuse to permit them to unite with us in celebrating the glorious event, which they helped to make so memorable an epoch in our history [deny him a home in his native land?].” (53 words)
Alvan Stewart, A Legal Argument Before the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey (New York: Finch and Weed, 1845), 7. Google Books.
Nothing has been held so cheap as our common humanity, on a national average. If every man had his aliquot proportion of the injustice done in this land, by law and violence, the present freemen of the northern section would, many of them, commit suicide in self-defence, and would court the liberties awarded by Ali Pasha of Egypt to his subjects. Long ere this, we should have tested, in behalf of our bleeding and crushed American brothers of every hue and complexion, every newconstitution, custom, or practice, by which inhumanity was supposed to be upheld, the injustice and cruelty they contained emblazoned before the great tribunal of mankind for condemnation; and the good and available power they possessed, for the relief, deliverance, and elevation of oppressed men, permitted to shine forth from under the cloud, for the refreshment of the human race. (143 words)
John McDonogh, Letter of John McDonogh, on African Colonization (New Orleans: Commercial Bulletin, 1842). Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
From the day on which I made the agreement with them, notwithstanding they had at all times previous thereto, been a well-disposed and orderly people, an entire change appeared to come over them; [T]hey were no longer apparently the same people; a sedateness, a care, an economy, an industry took possession of them, to which there seemed to be no bounds but in their physical strength. They were never tired of laboring, and seemed as though they could never effect enough. They became temperate, moral, religious, setting an example of innocent and unoffending lives to the world around them, which was seen and admired by all. (18) 73 words
Mr. Parker, finding at length, from the refusal of such a large sum of money [$5000] for him [Jim], that there was no hopes of obtaining him, observed to me well, then, Mr. McDonogh, seeing now that you will not sell him at any price, tell me, [W]hat kind of people are those of yours [they]? to which I replied, how so, Mr. Parker, I suppose [, observed Carlton, that] they are like other men [people]; flesh and blood, like you and myself; when he replied, [W]hy sir, [continued Parker,] I have never seen such people; building as they are next door to my residence, I see, and have my eye on them from morning till night. You are never there, for I have never met you, or seen you once at the building; tell me, sir, said he, where do those people of yours live, do they cross the river morning and night? I informed him that they lived on the opposite side of the river, where I lived myself, and crossed it to their work, when working in New Orleans, night and morning, except when stormy, (which happened very seldom,) when I did not permit them to cross it, to endanger their lives; at such time they remained at home, or in the city. Why sir, said he, I am an early riser, getting up before day; and do you think that I am not awoke every morning of my life by the noise of their trowels at work, and their singing and noise, before day; and do you suppose, sir, that they stop, or leave off work at sun down? no sir; but they work as long as they can see to lay [a] brick, and then [they] carry up brick and mortar, for an hour or two afterwards, to be ahead of their work the next morning. And again, sir, do you think they walk at their work? no sir; they run all day—you see, sir, said he, those immensely long ladders, five stories in height; do you suppose they walk up them? no sir, they run up and down them like [so many] monkeys, the whole[all] day long. I never saw such people as those, sir, [these in my life.] I do not know what to make of them; was there [Were] a white man [with them and] over them with a whip in his hand, all day, why then I should see and understand the cause of their [the] running, and incessant labor; but I cannot comprehend it, sir; there is something in it, sir—there is something in it. Great man, sir, that Jim—great man, sir— [I] should like to own him, sir, should like to own him. (24-25) 258 words
Child, “The Quadroons,” 138-39
As yet, her [new] purchaser treated her with respectful gentleness, and sought to win her favor, by flattery and presents [knowing that whatever he gave her he could take back again]; but she dreaded every moment, lest the scene should change, and trembled at the sound of every footfall. (37 words)
“Quite a Blunder.” Emancipator and Republican, 16 August 1849, 1. American Periodicals Series.
On the 6th inst., the Hon. Daniel Webster and family entered Edgartown, on a visit for health and recreation. Arriving at the hotel, without alighting from the coach, the landlord was sent for to see if suitable accommodation could be had. That dignitary appearing, and surveying Mr. Webster, while the Hon. Senator addressed him, seemed woefully to mistake the dark features of the traveler as he sat back in the corner of the carriage, and to suppose him a coloured man, particularly as there were two coloured servants of Mr. Webster outside. So he promptly declared that there was no room for him and his family, and he could not be accommodated there—at the same time suggesting that he might perhaps find accommodation at some of the huts “up back,” to which he pointed. So deeply did the prejudice of looks possess him, that he appeared not to notice that the stranger introduced himself to him as Daniel Webster, or to be so ignorant as not to have heard of such a personage; and turning away, he expressed to the driver his astonishment that he should bring black people there for him to take in. It was not till he had been repeatedly assured and made to understand that the said Daniel Webster was a real live senator of the United States, that he perceived his awkward mistake and the distinguished honour which he and his house were so near missing. (241 words)
Thaddeus Stevens, “The Slavery Question,” National Era, 7 March 1850, 37. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
That government is despotic where the rulers govern subjects by their own mere will—by decrees and laws emanating from their uncontrolled will, in the enactment and extension of which the ruled have no voice, and under which they have no rights, except at the will of the rulers. Despotism does not depend upon the number of the rulers, or the number of the subjects. It may have one ruler or many. Rome was a despotism under Nero; so she was under the triumvirate. Athens was a despotism under her thirty tyrants; under her four hundred tyrants; under her three thousand tyrants. It has been generally observed that despotism increases in severity with the number of despots; the responsibility is more divided, and the claims more numerous. The triumvirs, each demanded his victims. The smaller the number of subjects in proportion to the tyrants the more cruel the oppression, because the less danger from rebellion. In this Government, the free white citizens are the rulers—the sovereigns as we delight to be called. All others are subjects. There are perhaps, some sixteen or seventeen millions of sovereigns, and some four millions of subjects.
The rulers and the ruled are of all colors, from the clear white of the Caucasian tribes to the swarthy Ethiopian. The former, by courtesy, are all called white, the latter black. In this Government the subject has no rights, social, political or personal. He has no voice in the laws which govern him. He can hold no property. His very wife and children are not his. His labor is another’s. He, and all that appertains to him, are the absolute property of his rulers. He is governed, bought, sold, punished, executed, by laws to which he never gave his assent, and by rulers whom he never chose. He is not a serf, merely with half the rights of men like the subjects of despotic Russia; but a naked [native] slave, stripped of every right which God and nature gave him, and which the high spirit of our revolution declared inalienable—which he himself could not surrender, and which man could not take from him. Is he not then the subject of despotic sway?
The slaves of Athens and of Rome were free in comparison. They had some rights—could acquire some property; could choose their own masters, and purchase their own freedom; and when free could rise in social and political life. The slaves of America then lie under the most absolute and grinding despotism that the world ever saw. But, who are the despots? The rulers of the country—the sovereign people! Not merely the slaveholder who cracks the lash. He is but the instrument [in the hands] of Despotism. That despotism is the government of the slave States, and the United States, consisting of all its rulers—all the free citizens. Do not look upon this as a paradox because you and I and the sixteen millions of rulers are free. The rulers of every despotism are free. Nicholas, of Russia, is free. The Grand Sultan of Turkey is free. The butcher of Austria is free. Augustus, Antony, and Lepidus, were free while they drenched Rome in blood. The Thirty Tyrants; the Four Hundred; the Three Thousand, were free while they bound their countrymen in chains. You, and I, and the sixteen millions, are free, while we fasten iron chains, and rivet manacles on four millions of our fellow men; tear their wives and children from them; separate them; sell them and doom them to perpetual, eternal bondage. Are we not then despots—despots such as history will brand and God abhors? (602 words)
Milton Maxcy, An Oration, Delivered in the Dutch Church in Schenectady (Albany: Whiting, 1803), 18-19. Google Books.
The loss of a firm national character, or the degradation of a nation’s honor, is the inevitable prelude to her destruction. Behold the once proud fabric of a Roman empire—an empire carrying its arts and arms into every part of the eastern continent; the monarchs of mighty kingdoms dragged at the wheels of her triumphal chariots; her eagle waving over the ruins of desolated countries. Where is her splendor, her wealth, her power, her glory? Extinguished for ever. Her moldering temples, the mournful vestiges of her former grandeur, afford a shelter to her muttering monks. Where are her statesmen, her sages, her philosophers, her orators, her generals? Go to their solitary tombs and inquire. She lost her national character, and her destruction followed. The ramparts of her national pride were broken down, and Vandalism desolated her classic fields. (138 words)
Alvan Stewart, Slavery in New Jersey, 9-10
Said Mr. S., lifting his head and turning to the north-east, directing all to look, and see what they could behold on the last day of November, 1620, on the confines of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Lo, I [we] behold one little solitary tempest-tost and weather-beaten ship, it is all that can be seen on the length and breadth of the vast intervening solitudes, from the melancholy wilds of Labrador and New England’s iron-bound shores, to the western coasts of Ireland and the rock-defended Hebrides, but one lonely ship greets the eye of angels or of men, on this great thoroughfare of nations in our age. Next in moral grandeur, was this ship, to the great discoverer’s; Columbus found a Continent; the May-flower brought the seed-wheat of states and Empire. That is the May-flower, with its servants of the Living God, their wives and little ones, hastening to lay the foundations of nations in the occidental lands of the setting sun. Hear, the voice of prayer to God, for his protection, and the glorious music of praise, as it breaks into the wild tempest of the mighty deep, upon the ear of God. Here in this ship are great and good men. Justice, mercy, humanity, respect for the rights of all; each man honored, as he was useful to himself and others; labor respected, law-abiding men, constitution-making and respecting men; men, whom no tyrant could conquer, or hardship overcome, with the high commission sealed by a spirit Divine, to establish religious and political liberty for all. This ship had the embryo-elements of all that is useful, great and grand in Northern institutions; it was the great type of goodness and wisdom, illustrated in two and a quarter centuries gone bye; it was the good genius of America.
But, look far in the south-east, and you behold on the same day in 1620, a low rakish ship hastening from the tropics, solitary and alone, to the New World, what is she? She is freighted with the elements of unmixed evil, hark! hear those rattling chains, hear that cry of despair and wail of anguish as they die away in the unpitying distance. Listen to those shocking oaths, the crack of that flesh-cutting whip. Ah! it is the first cargo of slaves on their way to Jamestown, Virginia. Behold the Mayflower anchored at Plymouth rock, the slave ship in James river. Each a Parent, one of the prosperous labor-honoring, law-sustaining institutions of the North; the other the Mother of slavery, idleness, lynch-law, ignorance, unpaid labor, poverty, and duelling, despotism, the ceaseless swing of the whip, and the peculiar institutions of the South. These ships are the representation of good and evil in the New World, even to our day. When shall one of those parallel lines come to an end? (446 words)
John Scoble, “American Slavery,” Anti-Slavery Reporter, 1 July 1846, 97. Slavery and Antislavery.
The origin of American slavery is not lost in the obscurity of by-gone ages. It is a plain historical fact, that it owes its birth to the African slave trade, now pronounced by every civilised community the greatest crime ever perpetrated against humanity. (43 words)
Benjamin Hughes, Eulogium on the Life and Character of William Wilberforce (New York: The Emancipator, 1833), 13. Slavery and Antislavery.
Commiseration for human suffering and human sacrifices awakened the capacious mind, and brought into action the enlarged benevolence, of Wilberforce [Georgiana Carlton]. With respect to his [her] philosophy--it was of a noble cast. It was, that all men are by nature equal; that they are wisely and justly endowed by the Creator with certain rights, which are irrefragable; and that, however human pride and human avarice may depress and debase, still God is the author of good to man--and of evil, man is the artificer to himself and to his species. Unlike Plato and Socrates, his [her] mind was free from the gloom that surrounded theirs. (101 words)
“Christianized Sensibility vs. Christianity,” New York Evangelist, 15 April 1847, 58. American Periodicals Series.
We learn from Scripture, and it is a little remarkable, that it is the only exact definition of religion found in the sacred volume, that “pure religion and undefiled before God, even the Father, is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep one’s self unspotted from the world.” “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” “Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them.” “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (96 words)
William Lloyd Garrison, An Address Delivered Before the Free People of Color (Boston, 1831). Slavery and Antislavery.
Remember that not only the eyes of the people in this place, but the eyes of the whole nation, are fixed upon you. I dare not predict how far your example may affect the welfare of the slaves; but undoubtedly it is in your power, by this example, to break many fetters, or to keep many of your brethren [yet] in bondage. If you are temperate, industrious, peaceable and pious; if you return good for evil, and blessing for cursing; you will show to the world, that the slaves can be emancipated without danger: but if you are turbulent, idle and vicious, you will put arguments into the mouths of tyrants, and cover your friends with confusion and shame. . . . (5-6) 38 words
Remember what a singular relation you sustain to society. The necessities of the case require not only that you should behave as well as the whites, but better than the whites—and for this reason: if you behave no better than they, (and I do not think the task would be difficult to excel them,) your example will lose a great portion of its influence. It should stand out to the world, like a pillar of light, above and beyond that of any other people.
2ndly. Make the Lord Jesus your refuge and exemplar. It is out of my province, and far from my object, to sermonize; but, believing as I do, that through Christ strengthening you, you may do all things—that His is the only standard around which you can successfully rally, and He the great Captain of Salvation in this warfare—I cannot but commend him to your imitation and confidence. If ever there were a people who needed the consolations of religion, to sustain them in their grievous afflictions, you are that people. (6-7) 94 words
It is [You had] better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. Happy is that people whose God is the Lord! (8) 20 words
Get as much education as possible for yourselves and your offspring [children]. Toil long and hard for it as for a pearl of great price. An ignorant people can never occupy any other than a degraded station in society: they can never be truly free until they are intelligent. (10) 34 words
The Colonization Society, therefore, instead of being a philanthropic and religious institution, is anti-republican and anti-christian in its tendency. Its pretences are false, its doctrines odious, its means contemptible. (22) 10 words
If we are to send away the colored population [negroes] because they are profligate and vicious, what sort of missionaries will they make? Why not send away the vicious among the whites, for the same reason and the same purpose? (22) 35 words
Thomas Reade, quoted in Gleanings from Pious Authors, 24.
The most beautiful flowers soon fade, and droop, and die: this is also the case with man; his days are uncertain as the passing breeze. This hour he glows in the blush of health and vigour; but the next he may be counted with the number no more known on earth. 51 words
McDonogh, Letter, 26
They were all on the deck of the ship, and your servants who have not gone were on the shore bidding them farewell, when, from every tongue on board the ship, I [they were] heard [giving] the charge to those on shore, Fanny [Sam], take care of [Misus] our master; James, take care of our master; take care of our master [Marser], as you love us, and hope to meet us in heaven [de Hio (Ohio), and in heben; be sure and], take [good] care of our beloved master [Misus and Marser]. 26 words
[Jane S. Welch], “Jairus’s Daughter,” New England Offering 1 (August 1848): 108. Google Books.
In the midst of the buoyancy of youth, this cherished one had drooped and died. Deep were the sounds of grief and mourning, heard in that stately dwelling, when the stricken friends, whose office it had been to nurse and to soothe the weary sufferer, beheld her pale and motionless in the sleep of death.
O, what a chill creeps through the breaking heart, when we look upon the insensible form, and feel that it no longer contains the spirit we so dearly loved! How difficult to realize that the eye which always glowed with affection and intelligence; that the ear which had so often listened to the sounds of sorrow and gladness; that the voice whose accents had been to us like sweet music, and the heart, the habitation of benevolence and truth, are now powerless and insensate as the bier upon which the form rests. Though faith be strong enough to penetrate the cloud of gloom which hovers near, and to behold the freed spirit safe, forever safe in its home in heaven, yet the thoughts will linger sadly and cheerlessly upon the grave. 185 words
Peace to his [her] ashes! he [she] has fought the fight, obtained the [Christian’s] victory, and wears the crown.—But if it were that departed spirits are permitted to note down the occurrences of this world, with what a frown of disapprobation would he [hers] view the effort being made in this hemisphere [the United States] to retard the work of emancipation for which he [she] so long and so faithfully labored [and so wished to see brought about]. In what light would he [she] consider that hypocritical priesthood who give [gave] their aid [and sanction] to foster a popular prejudice against a portion of the community to whom they are immeasurably indebted [the infamous “Fugitive Slave Law”]. (64 words)
Robert Purvis, A Tribute to the Memory of Thomas Shipley, the Philanthropist (Philadelphia: Merrihew and Gunn, 1836), 8. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
[If] [t]rue greatness consists in doing good to mankind. If this be true, then the subject of our address was [Georgiana Carlton] an ornament to human nature. If I should be asked in what consists the evidence, I would point to [Who can think of] broken hearts made whole—to [of] sad and dejected countenances, now beaming with contentment and joy. I would point to [of] the mother, now offering her free born babe to heaven, and to [of] the father, whose cup of joy seems overflowing in the presence of his family, where none can molest or make him afraid. (61 words)
“Smart Boy,” Rural Repository (Hudson, N.Y.), 6 June 1846, 159. America’s Historical Newspapers.
"Are you an Odd Fellow?"[asked one.]"No Sir! I'vebeen married a week [month]." "I mean, do you belong to the Order of Odd Fellows!" “No! I belong to the Order of Married Men." "Thunder! how dumb! "Are you a Mason?" “No: I'm a Carpenter by trade." "Worse and worse! Are you a Son of Temperance?" "Confound [Bother] you no! I am a son of Mr. John Cosling [Gosling]." (56 words)
Edward Baines, “Testimony and Appeal on the Effects of Total Abstinence,” British Friend, January 1853, 10. Google Books.
I say boldly that no man living, who uses intoxicating drinks, is free from the danger of at least occasional, and, if of occasional, ultimately of habitual excess. I have myself known such frightful instances of persons brought into captivity to the habit, that there seems to be no character, position, or circumstances that free men from the danger. I have known many young men of the finest promise, led by the drinking habit into vice, ruin, and early death. I have known such become virtual parricides. I have known many tradesmen, whom it has made bankrupt. I have known Sunday scholars, whom it has led to prison. I have known[—] teachers, and even superintendents, whom it has dragged down to profligacy. I have known ministers of religion, in and out of the Establishment, of high academic honours, of splendid eloquence, nay, of vast usefulness, whom it has fascinated, and hurried over the precipice of public infamy, with their eyes open, and gazing with horror on their fate. I have known men of the strongest and clearest intellect, and of vigorous resolution, whom it has made weaker than children and fools. I have known[—] gentlemen of refinement and taste, whom it has debased into brutes. I have known[—] poets of high genius, whom it has bound in a bondage worse than the galleys, and ultimately cut short their days. I have known statesmen, lawyers, and judges, whom it has killed. I have known[—] kind husbands and fathers, whom it has turned into monsters. I have known honest men, whom it has made villains. I have known[—] elegant and Christian ladies, whom it has converted into bloated sots. (231 words)
“Worshippers of Mammon,” Anti-Slavery Bugle, 10 April 1846, 4. Chronicling America.
Mr. Pillsbury, editor of the Concord (N.H.) Herald, says of the Massachusetts manufacturers:--‘They [You] talk of a [your] holy religion; but their [your] robes[‘]of righteousness are woven at Lowell and Manchester; their [your] Paradise is high per centum on Factory stock[s]; their [your] palms of victory and crowns of rejoicing are triumphs over a rival party in politics on the questions of Banks and Tariffs; they [If you could, you] would turn heaven into Birmingham, make every angel a weaver, and with [the] eternal din of looms and spindles drown all the anthems of the morning stars!’ (69 words)
John Reilly Beard, The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture (London: Ingram, Cooke, 1853). Google Books.
It appeared there in a form unusually repulsive and deadly. It seized persons who were in good health, without any premonition. Sometimes death was the immediate consequence. Happy those who were immediately carried off! Ordinarily it was slow in its progress as well as frightful in its inflictions. The disorder began in the brain, by an oppressive pain accompanied or followed by fever. The patient was devoured with burning thirst. The stomach, distracted by pains, in vain sought relief by efforts to disburden itself. Fiery veins streaked the eye; the face was inflamed, and dyed of a dark dull red colour; the ears from time to time rang painfully. Now mucous secretions surcharged the tongue, and took away the power of speech; now the sick man [one] spoke, but in speaking had a foresight of death. When the violence of the disorder approached the heart, the gums were blackened. The sleep, broken, or troubled by convulsions or by frightful visions, was worse than the waking hours, and when the reason sank under a delirium which had its seat in the brain, repose utterly forsook the patient’s couch. The progress of the fire [heat] within was marked by yellowish spots, which spread over the surface of the body. If, then, a happy crisis came not, all hope was gone. Soon the breath infected the air with a fetid odour, the lips [were] glazed, despair painted itself in the eyes, and sobs, with long intervals of silence, formed the only language. From each side of the mouth spread foam, tinged with black and burnt blood. Blue streaks mingled with the yellow over all the frame. Death came on the thirteenth day, though more commonly it tarried till the seventeenth. All remedies were useless. (214-15) 249 words
In the midst of disorder and confusion death heaped victims on victims. Friend followed friend in quick succession; the sick were avoided from the fear of contagion, and for the same reason the dead were left without burial. (216) 38 words
Martineau, Society, 2:325
They never [were given up, but neither] ate, nor slept, nor separated from each other, till the day when they were taken into the New Orleans slave-market. (18 words)
Child, “The Quadroons,” 137
There she [they] stood, trembling, blushing, and weeping; compelled to listen to the grossest language, and shrinking from the rude hands that examined the graceful proportions of her[their] beautiful frame[s].(27 words)
[Here were two of the softer sex, [A]accustomed to the fondest indulgence, surrounded by all the refinements of life. . . . (12 words)
“The Woes of Slavery,” Pennsylvania Freeman, 18 November 1852, 186. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
[She soon, however, knew for what purpose she had been bought; and an educated and] cultivated mind and taste which made her see and understand how great was her degradation, now armed her hand with the ready means of death. . . . She had taken poison! (29 words)
“A Peep into an Italian Interior” Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal, 16 April 1852, 244. Google Books.
This was a most singular spot, remote, undefended [in a dense forest], spreading over the summit of a cliff that rose abruptly to a great height above the sea; but so grand in its situation, in the desolate sublimity which reigned around, in the reverential murmur of the waves that washed its base, that [though picturesque,] it was one of our favourite resorts [a forest prison]. (51 words)
Child, “The Quadroons”
Xarifa had scarcely given an answering signal to the low cautious whistle of her lover, when the sharp sound of a rifle was followed by a deep groan [heard, and the young man fell weltering in his blood, at the feet of his mistress]. . . . One wild shriek, that pierced the brains of those who heard it, and she [Jane] fell senseless by his side. For many days she had a confused consciousness of some great agony, but knew not where she was, or by whom she was surrounded. The slow recovery of her reason settled into the most intense melancholy, which moved [gained at length] the compassion even of her cruel purchaser [master]. The beautiful [bright] eyes, always pensive [pleading] in expression, were now so heart-piercing in their sadness, that he could not endure to look upon them [their gaze]. (139-40) 71 words
Her master cursed the useless expense she had cost him; the slaves buried her [In a few days the poor girl died of a broken heart, and was buried at night at the back of the garden by the negroes]; and no one wept at the grave of her who had been so carefully cherished, and so tenderly beloved. (141) 19 words
“Story of a Slave Mother,” Pennsylvania Freeman, November 18, 1852, 186. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
It tells not only its own story of grief, but speaks of a thousand wrongs and woes beside, which never see the light; all the more bitter and dreadful that [because] no help can relieve, that no sympathy can mitigate, that [and] no hope can sustain them [cheer]. (40 words)
Beard, Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture.
The evils consequent on slavery are not lessened by the incoming of one or two stray rays of light. If the slave [only] becomes conscious [aware] of his condition, and aware [conscious] of the injustice under which he suffers, if he obtains but a faint idea of these things; and if the master learns that a desire for liberty has arisen in the slave’s mind, or that free men are asserting anti-slavery doctrines, then a new element of evil is added to those which before were only too powerful [he will seize the first opportunity to possess himself of what he conceives to belong to him]. (19) 44 words
On their side, the men of colour, [Aware of their blood connection with their owners, these mulattoes] labouring under the sense of their personal and social injuries, tolerated, [and tolerate,] if they did [do] not encourage in themselves, low and vindictive passions. (21) 20 words
Toussaint [He had] heard the twang of the driver’s whip, and saw the [warm] blood streaming from the negro’s body; he [had] witnessed the separation of parents and children, and was made aware, by too many proofs, that in slavery neither home nor religion could accomplish its purposes [the slave could expect no justice at the hand of the slave owner]. (27) 33 words
Dessalines [He] was of a bold, turbulent, and ferocious spirit; now [and] from revenge, now from ambition, he imbrued his hands in the blood of both white men and black men [all the whites he could meet]. Hunger, thirst, fatigue, and loss of sleep he seemed made to endure as if by a peculiarity of constitution. His air was fierce, his step oblique, his look sanguinary. (167-68) 42 words
“Pauline.” Anti-Slavery Reporter, 1 July 1846, 102-03. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
She was [immediately] conveyed to the prison cell [, there to await the orders of her master]. There, [F[or many weary months [days], uncheered by the voice of kindness, alone, hopeless, desolate, she waited for the advent of the new and quickening life within her, which was to be the signal of her own miserable death [time to arrive when the chains were to be placed on her limbs, and she returned to her inhuman and unfeeling owner]. (20 words)
Beard, Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture.
Without scruple and without pity they [the whites] massacred the herds of [all] blacks whom the fate of war had thrown into their hands; two hundred they immolated at the fort of Mount Nolo; a little further on, six hundred fell beneath their murderous hands [found beyond their owner’s plantations: the negroes, in return, set fire to houses, and put those to death who attempted to escape from the flames]. Thus carnage was added to carnage, and black [the] blood [of whites] flowed to avenge white [the] blood [of the blacks].. . . These are [were] the horrible devastations [ravages] of slavery. (192-93) 23 words
No graves were dug, no mounds were raised for sepulture [for the negroes]. . . . The French, carried away by the movements of the war, gave no attention to the religious duty of burial, so that the [their] dead bodies became food for dogs, [and] vultures and crocodiles; and their bones, partly calcined by the sun, remained scattered about, as if to mark the mournful fury of servitude and lust of power. (193) 35 words
[Seth M. Gates,] “Slavery in the District,” New York Evangelist, 8 September 1842, 1. American Periodicals Series.
A smart and active female slave was placed in this prison, having been sold for the southern market, and the time of her departure was at hand. Her particular history I cannot give.—Whether it was the dread of the cruelties and starvation of a southern cotton plantation; the dread of the abuse and violence of some licentious purchaser; or the grief of being suddenly and forever separated from husband, children, and the friends of her youth, that drove the unhappy woman to adopt, not only in the theory, but in practice, the sentiment of Patrick Henry—“Give me Liberty, or give me death,” I know not. Whatever was the cause, the sentiment was adopted; and at dusk of the evening previous to the day when she was to be sent off, as the old prison was being closed for the night, she suddenly darted past her keeper, and ran for her life. It is not a great distance from the Prison to the long bridge, which passes from the lower part of the city across the Potomac, to the extensive forests and woodlands of the celebrated Arlington Place, occupied by that distinguished relative and descendent of the immortal Washington, Mr. George W. Custis. Thither the poor fugitive directed her flight. So unexpected was her escape, that she had quite a number of rods the start before the keeper had secured the other prisoners, and rallied his assistants in pursuit. It was at an hour when, and in a part of the city where horses could not readily be obtained for the chase; no blood-hounds were at hand to run down the flying woman; and for once it seemed as though there was to be a fair trial of speed and endurance, between the slave and the slave catchers. The keeper and his forces raised the hue and cry on her pathway, close behind; but so rapid was the flight along the wide avenue, that the astonished citizens as they poured forth from their dwellings to learn the cause of alarm, were only able to comprehend the nature of the case in season to fall in with the motley mass in pursuit, or, (as many a one did that night) to raise an anxious prayer to heaven, as they refused to join in pursuit, that the panting fugitive might escape, and the merciless soul-dealer for once be disappointed of his prey. And now, with the speed of an arrow—having safely passed the Avenue—with the distance between her and her pursuers constantly increasing, this poor hunted female gained the ‘Long Bridge,’ as it is called, where interruption seemed improbable, and already, did her heart begin to beat high with the hope of success. She had only to pass three-fourths of a mile across the bridge, and she could bury herself in a vast forest, just at the moment[time] when the curtain of night would close around her, and protect her from the pursuit of her enemies.
But God, by his Providence had otherwise determined. He had determined that an appalling tragedy should be enacted that night, within plain sight of the President’s house and the capital of the Union, which should be an evidence wherever it should be known, of the unconquerable love of liberty the heart of the slave may inherit; as well as a fresh admonition to the slave-dealer, of the cruelty and enormity of his crimes. Just as the pursuers crossed the high draw for the passage of sloops, soon after entering upon the bridge, they beheld, in the distance three men slowly advancing from the Virginia side. They immediately called to them to arrest the fugitive, whom they proclaimed a run-away slave. True to their Virginia instincts, as she came near, they formed in line across the narrow bridge, and prepared to seize her. Seeing escape impossible in that quarter, she stopped suddenly, and turned upon her pursuers. On came the profane and ribald crew, faster than ever, already exulting in her capture and threatening punishment for her flight. For a moment she looked wildly and anxiously around to see if there was no hope of escape. On either hand, far down below, rolled the foaming [deep foamy] waters of the Potomac, and before and behind the rapidly approaching steps and noisy voices of pursuers, showing how vain would be any further effort for freedom. Her resolution was taken. She clasped her hands convulsively, and raised them, as she at the same time raised her eyes, towards heaven and begged for that mercy and compassion there, which had been denied her on earth; and then with a single bound, she vaulted over the railing of the bridge, and sunk far beneath the waves of the river! (667 words)
“The Mother,” Albany Evening Journal, 10 January 1849, 2. Old Fulton NY Postcards.
We were never more strongly impressed with the strength of a mother’s feelings than by a little incident that occurred during the fire yesterday morning. The wind blew strong, and swept the flames in the [that] direction of a row of tenements occupied by poor Irish families. Broad sheets of fire would envelope and entwine the frail buildings in their burning folds, threatening the whole with inevitable and speedy conflagration [were blown again and again over that part of the building], and then a change of [the] wind would turn the impending danger aside, and lift the smoky pall [of smoke] again, as if to show [which showed] that the work of destruction was not yet accomplished. While the doomed buildingswere [was] thus exposed, and before the destroying element had made its final visit, as it did soon after, many a willing hand was lent to save the families and effects of the poor tenants [George was standing by, and hearing that much depended on the contents of the box, and seeing no one disposed to venture through the fiery element to save the treasure, mounted the ladder and made his way to the window, entered the room, and was soon seen descending with the much valued box]. In groping around in the dense smoke, a young man, who was assisting in saving the property, laid his hand upon a rude bench, on which was sleeping a little child, rolled snugly and warmly in a blanket. He seized the bench, and bore it with the little sleeper to a place of safety. (50 words)
William Lloyd Garrison, “Declaration of the National Anti-Slavery Convention.” Liberator, 14 December 1833, 198. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
Their [The] grievances [of which your fathers complained, and which caused the Revolutionary War], great as they were, were trifling in comparison with the wrongs and sufferings of those for whom we plead [who were engaged in the late revolt]. Our [Your] fathers were never slaves [; ours are.]—[Your fathers were] never bought and sold like cattle—never shut out from the light of knowledge and religion—never subjected to the lash of brutal taskmasters. But those, for whose emancipation we are striving—constituting at the present time at least one-sixth part of our countrymen,--are recognized by the laws, and treated by their fellow beings, as marketable commodities—as goods and chattels—as brute beasts;--are plundered daily of the fruits of their toil without redress;--really enjoy no constitutional nor legal protection from licentious and murdering outrages upon their persons;--are ruthlessly torn asunder—the tender babe from the arms of its frantic mother—the heart-broken wife from her weeping husband—at the caprice or pleasure of irresponsible tyrants;--and, [F]or the crime of having a dark complexion [skin, my people], suffer the pangs of hunger, the infliction of stripes, and the ignominy of brutal servitude. They [We] are kept in heathenish darkness by laws expressly enacted to make their [our] instruction a criminal offence. (76 words)
Charles Chauncy Shackford, quoted in “Shackford’s Letters on the War with Mexico,” North Star, 10 March 1848, 1. Slavery and Anti-Slavery.
A traditionary freedom will not save us [you]. It will not do to praise our [your] fathers and build their sepulchers. Worse for us [you] that we [you] have such an inheritance, if we [you] spend it foolishly, and are unable to appreciate its worth. Sadfor us, if having served as the scaffolding only to the glorious temple of universal freedom, we should be at last pulled down. Sad, if the Genius of a true humanity, beholding us [you] with tearful eyes from the mount of vision, shall fold his wings in sorrowing pity, and repeat the strain, “Oh land of Washington, how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate.” (98 words)
“The Translation of St. Catherine,” People’s Journal 2 (1847): 255. Google Books.
The noble engraving which we to-day present to our readers, is the embodiment [Mr. Green alighted and was shown into a superb drawing room, the walls of which were hung with fine specimens from the hands of the great Italian painters, and one], by the [a] German artist Mucke, of [representing] a beautiful monkish legend connected with “the Holy Catherine,” an illustrious lady of Alexandria, who suffered martyrdom under the Emperor Maximin, about A. D. 307. (18 words)
“The Mother,” 2.
With breathless anxiety the mother gathered her child in her arms and pressed it to her aching bosom; and while her lips muttered a prayer to Him who alone is a friend to the poor, [George Green was silent, but] the fountains of mingled grief and joy stole out from beneath her [his] eye lashes, and glistened like pearls upon her [his] pale and care-worn [marble-like] cheeks. (21 words)
And [T]he bells there called [the people] to mass and prayer-meeting [the different places of worship], and Methodists sang, and Baptists immersed, and Presbyterians sprinkled, and young mothers smiled through tears upon their new-born children,—and maidens and matrons of that great city sat in their cool verandahs, and talked of love, and household joys, and domestic happiness; while, all that dreary time, the poor slave girl lay on the scanty straw of her dungeon, waiting—with what agony the great and pitying God of the white and black only knows—for the birth of the child of her adulterous master [and Episcopalians read their prayers, while the ministers of the various sects preached that Christ died for all; yet there were some twenty-five or thirty of us poor creatures confined in the ‘Negro Pen,’ awaiting the close of the holy Sabbath, and the dawn of another day, to be again taken into the market, there to be examined like so many beasts of burden]. (12 words)