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editor was threatened with assassination, or with some other summary punishment above the laws. A price, if we remember right, was fixed upon his head. Strange indictments were framed, and brought into courts, as if it were possible to try a man in Carolina for offenses committed in Massachusetts. And to crown all, the senate of an eminently sovereign state, adopted a resolution offering five thousand dollars reward to any man who would apprehend and prosecute to conviction, the editor or publisher of the Liberator.
Not one of the evil influences of slavery is more obvious, than its power to infatuate both naster and slave. What but that blind propensity to take counsel of wrath and pride, rather than of reason, which is characteristic of slave-holding states and individuals, could have produced such an infatuation? Who, with half an eye, could have failed to see at the very beginning, that such a course as our southern fellow-citizens have taken in regard to Mr. Garrison and his publications, was the infallible way to identify his cause and his person with the freedom of the press, and to bring out the strongest possible demonstration of public sentiment in his favor ?
Who could not see that this was the way to make him immediately the patron saint, the very tutelar divinity of the people of color, both the bond and the free? Who could not see that this was the way to make all his papers and publications matters of universal interest, and to give him every where the greatest possible notoriety and influence? Were we in Mr. Garrison's place, and did we cherish such a love of notoriety as has been ascribed to him, we should value these things beyond all price. We would not on any account part with the Baltimore imprisonment, the Virginia ebullitions of anger and terror, the North-Carolina indictment, the South-Carolina gubernatorial message to the legisture, or the Georgia senatorial resolution.
The right of northern men to discuss slavery, and to take what measures they please to promote its peaceable and legal abolition, is a right which no northern man will intelligently renounce, and which no southern man can intelligently deny. Nothing that concerns the character and wants of human beings is beyond the sphere of legitimate discussion in a country where the press is free. We have a right to discuss the reform bill which is now agitating the British empire ; and who can restrain us in the exercise of that right? We have a right to debate the legitimacy, and to speak as we please about the cruelty, of the government which now tyrannizes at Lisbon ; we have a right to examine the legislation of Turkey, to say what part of it is right, and what oppressive; and
So, neither the king of Portugal, nor the successor of Mahomet can set up any reasonable complaint against us. And is Vol. IV.
if we do
there any part of our own country, the policy of which we have no right to examine, and in the happiness or misery of which we have no right to be interested ? What provision of law or constitution can be found which takes away from the people of one part of the United States, the natural right of discussing the forms of gorernment or the state of society and manners in any other part? On this principle, we have heretofore expressed our views in part, respeciing that great evil which threatens our common country with a common ruin ; and on the same principle we shall discuss the subject more at large, if we have opportunity, hereafter.
While we thus insist on liberty of discussion, and resolve to use that liberty, we would not forget that there are laws of discretion, which zeal is apt to overpass, and laws of christian kindness and gentleness, to which every man ought to be so thoroughly subject, as to become a law unto himself. Those however, are not the laws of the land enforced by government; no man can be justly put to death or imprisoned for any violation of them. A man may say in discussion many things tending to defeat his own ends; he may say many things in the spirit of irritation and wrath ; but so long as he utters no malicious falsehoods against individuals, so long he cannot be punished without sacrificing that invaluable inheritance, the freedom of the press. We will not attempt to vindicate Mr. Garrison's spirit, or the manner in which his publications are conducted. We will not say that he has not made bimsell obnoxious to those laws of the land which protect the characters of individuals from the tongue and pen of calumny.* We only say that the exceeding and noisy indignation of the south against bim, is the height of infatuation.
In respect to the address before us, we say, some things which it contains are good, some things are injudicious, and some things are exceedingly unfair and deceptive. All which we shall bare occasion to illustrate in the course of our analysis.
The object of the discourse is to rouse the colored people to hope and effort, and especially to show them what they can do to accelerate the arrival of that state of things in which they shall enjoy equal rights and privileges with other citizens, and not only the laws, but fashion, and the prejudices of the people, shall cease to recognize any difference between the negro and the white man.
The first advice which the orator offers to his hearers, is sound and
* For the sake of a definite allusion, we will say, we more than suspect that if certain statements concerning Mr. Maxwell of Norfolk, Virginia, published in the Liberator, May 5, 1832, were to undergo a legal investigation before a New-Eng land jury, they would meet a very stern rebuke, the alledged authority of an intelligent and respectable colored clergyman" notwithstanding.
good, and his illustrations of it are for the most part judicious. There is in fact, no lesson which the free people of color so much need to learn ; none, we may add, which they are generally so slow to learn, as that lesson of intelligent and manly self-respect which their friend tries first to teach them.
Respect yourselves, if you desire the respect of others. A self-love which ex-cludes God and the world from the affections, is a different thing from self-respect. A man should value bimself at a high price-not because he happens to be of this or that color, or rich, or accomplished, or popular, or physically powerfulbut because he is created in the image of God; because he stands but little lower than the angels ; because he has a spiritual essence, which is destined to live forever; because he is capable of exerting a moral power, which is infinitely superior to animal strength; and because he lives in a world of trial and templation, and needs the sympathy and aid of his fellow men. If he be dead to all these lofty considerations; if, in the words of the poet
He lies in dull, oblivious dreams, nor cares
Who the wreathed laurel bears;' if his highest ambition be to grovel with brutes ; it is not possible for him to coin. mand public or private respect; his company will be shunned; he will live and die a libel upon his Creator. So will it be with a people who are lost to thomselves and the world.
Do not imagine that you are only a blank in creation, therefore it is immaterial what you are in conduct or condition. 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 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.
Many of you, I rejoice to know, have found out the secret of preferment. I appeal to your experience and observation : as a general rule, have you not acquired the esteem, confidence and patronage of the whites, in proportion to your increase in knowledge and moral improvement? Who are they, commonly, that suffer the most among you? They who are intemperate, indolent and grovelling. Is it not so? Self-respect, my friends, is a lever which will lift you out of the depths of degradation, aud establish your feet upon a rock, and put a song of victory into your mouths-victory over prejudiee, pride and oppression.
The second particular, directing them to religious principles and bopes, is, for the substance of it, equally worthy of commendation. Some things however, which we find among the illustrations of this topic, we cannot quote as unexceptionable. To the following sentences all our readers will give their hearty assent.
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. You
turn to the right hand for relief, but in vain ; to the left, but no succor arrives. Your friends, though zealous
are few in number, and cannot change the hearts of men. Inia
gine for a moment, that there is no Deity in existence-no God that rules in all the earth-and what would be your condition or prospects? But if you do not implore his protection, he might as well cease to be, so far as your succor is concerned ; for be is a God that will be entreated.
In the third section he recommends to the people of color to sustain as far as they can, those periodicals which are devoted in their cause. Had there been here a few words of proper caution as to the spirit and style necessary in such a periodical, lo make it worthy of their patronage, nothing could have been said against the recommendation.
The fourth division we copy entire. It speaks for itsell. Every friend of the blacks ought to give them the same advice, and ought, as far as possible, to help them when they are disposed to follow it. To a great extent, the employments of the free people of color, when they are not employed as domestic servants, are directly degrading and demoralizing, because directly at war with habits of steady and methodical industry. The man who plies at stated hours his daily task, and who by extra exertion can earu extra wages, has many strong inducements to diligence and tbrist; but those men of whatever complexion, who are constrained to stand at the corners of the streets waiting for some little job, are almost necessarily indolent and shistless. Colored mechanics, if our limited opportunities for observation have not deceived us, are quite the most intelligent, orderly and respected class of colored people.
Whenever you can, put your children to trades. A good trade is better than a fortune, because when once obtained, it cannot be taken away. I know the difficulties under which you labor, in regard to this matter. I know how puwilling master mechanics are to receive your children, and the strength of that vulgar prejudice which reigns in the breasts of the working classes. But by perseverance in your applications, you may often succeed in procuring valuable situations for your
children. As strong as prejudice is in the human breast, there is another feeling yet stronger--and that is, selfishness. Place two mechanics by the side 1 of each other-one colored, and the other white; he who works the cheapest and best, will get the most custom. In making a bargain, the color of a man will never be consulted. Now there can be no reason why your sons should fail to make as ingenious and industrious mechanics, as any white apprentices; and when they once get trades, they will be able to accumulate money ; money be gets influence, and influence respectability. Influence, wealth and character will certainly destroy those prejudices which now separate you from society.
Mr. Garrison speaks next of education. Here too, some things are said, which we should rejoice to impress on the mind of every colored freeman, yes, and of every slave, in the land.
Get as much education as possible for yourselves and your offspring. 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. It is an old maxim ihat knowledge is not only is it power, but rank, wealth, dignity and protection. That capital
brings the higbest interest to a city, state or nation, (as the case may be,) which is invested io schools, academies and colleges. The greatest gift which a parent can bestow upon a child, is the knowledge of the alphabet. He wbo can read, may feel that he is elevated above all the kingly block beads in the world. Ifi had children, sooner than they should grow up in ignorance, I would feed upon bread and water, and repose upon the cold earth : I would sell my teeth, or extract the blood from my veins.
The sixth particular of advice, if it be not somewhat too far in advance of the present attainments and wants of the great body of those to whom it was addressed, is quite unexceptionable.
As it is by association that the condition of man is made better, and bodies of men rise up simultaneously from a state of degradation, I recommend to you the formation of societies for moral improvement. The wbites have their Reading Societies, their Debating Societies, their Literary Associations and Lyceums. What is the consequence? These are bursting open the arcana of knowledge, and distributing the hidden treasures of ages among the working classes. Every member goes to give what information he has got and returns with an accumu. lation of intelligence. Mind answers to mind-heart to heart-hand to band A common sympathy is felt in each other's condition-an enduring chain of friendship is formed, which time cannot rust. Be not content with one society in a place multiply and diversify your associations. Let the women have theirs -no cause can get along without the powerful aid of woman's influence. Begin at once to combine together. If you cannot get but two or three with whom to commence, no matter : begin-persevere-be active, and you will grow to great bodies.
Pp. 13. 14.
The three remaining divisions we omit to notice here ; because we cannot reckon them, on the whole, among the sound and judicious parts of the discourse.
We proceed now to give some specimens of what we consider ill-judged. Many we know, would give these things a harsh name, and would not hesitate to describe them as calumnious and mali cious; but we make many allowances for the youth and temperament of the writer, and for the many things which his previous indiscretions have encountered, tending to rouse bis ardor into reck
The first passage which we have marked as an example of the injudicions, is the following, which occurs under the first head of
For my own part, when I reflect upon the peculiarities of your situation ; what indignities have been heaped upon your heads ; in what utter dislike you are generally held even by those who profess to be the ministers and disciples of Christ-and how difficult has been your chance to arrive at respectability and affluence, 1 marvel greatly, not that you are no more enlightened and virtuous, but
you are not like wild beasts of the forests.
Is it judicious, in speaking to black men for their advantage and improvement, is it wise, thus to irritate and strengthen every prejudice, every unkind, angry feeling in their bosoms, against the great body of the community ? Admitting all the assertions and