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dially entertained. In a week or two after this, the whole seemed to have passed away like an unremembered dream: so much are the people of this city the creatures of impulse : easily excited, and as easily calmed; and passing with amazing rapidity from the most intense degree of earnest interest in any given subject, to its opposite state of entire indifference to the same.

CHAPTER V.

Deep-rooted Prejudices on the Subject of Slavery.-Murder of Mr. Lovejoy, the Aba

litionist, at Alton.-Conduct of the New York Press and People on this Subject.

Imperfect Views of the Value of a Free Press.--Sentiments of leading Men in Con*gress on this Act.-Resolutions of Legislatures refused Reception by the Senate.

Rejection of all Petitions on the Subject by the House of Representatives.- Deserv. edly bitter Reproach of Thomas Moore the Poet.---Contrast between Democracy and Slavery in the United States -Threats of Senators to hang up Abolitionists by Law. - State of Slavery and the Slave trade at Washington.-Resolutions of EpiscopalMethodist Clergy in Georgia.-Meeting of Democrats in favour of the Canadian Rebels.-Mr. O'Connell denounced at the Meeting as an Abolitionist.-Letter complaining of Coloured People sitting with Wbite Men.- Prejudice of Colour not es. tended to Indian Tribes.--Mr. Catlin's Lectures on the American Indians.

Amid the political anomalies which every day struck me with surprise, there was none so remarkable as the deeprooted and apparently almost unconquerable prejudice so prevalent among persons of all political parties on the subject of slavery. With the Conservatives, this question of slavery is regarded as one of those domestic institutions which it is not desirable to disturb, and the greater number of them are averse even to its discussion in any manner whatever. With the Democrats it is also regarded as a domestic institution, over which each state has sole jurisdic. tion; and by them it is considered an infringement of staterights for any one state to neddle with the question of slavery in any other. So imperfect are their notions of freedom, as the “natural and inalielable right of every man," according to the terms of their own Declaration of Inde. pendence, that they scarcely consider it to be a blot on their Republican escutcheon, that the several states of the Union in which slavery still exists should hold so many thousands of their fellow-men in unjust and unwilling bondage. But what is perhaps most surprising of all is, that so large a number of the clergy, and especially those of the Episcopal Church, including those who call them

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selves Evangelical, should be not merely palliators of this state of slavery, but advocates for its continuance, and dep. recators of all public discussion or agitation on the subject; so that if the Republicans understand civil and political lib. erty but imperfectly, the Christian professors seem to understand the liberty of religion and justice still less. Notwith. standing this, however, there is a large, though not an influ. ential, body of abolitionists in New York, who have a weekly newspaper, called “ The Emancipator," devoted to the ad. vocacy of their opinions; another, entitled “Human Rights," maintaining the same views; and another weekly paper, called "The Coloured American,” edited, printed, and published wholly by free negroes, and most respectably written and conducted. But these are in great, though undeserved odium with the richer portions of the mercantile community, who are afraid of offending their southern customers by recognising the abolitionists; and as the newspaper3 chiefly subsist by the profits derived from commercial pat. ronage, they are almost all against the abolitionists also, so that they have to encounter many difficulties in propagating their views.

A tragical occurrence took place during my stay in NewYork, which brought this question very prominently before the public. It was this: a minister of the Gospel, the Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, was engaged as the editor of a religious newspaper at the town of St. Louis, and in the slave-state of Missouri. In this state the mob had burned a coloured man alive for some offence for which he was never brought to trial. Mr. Lovejoy condemned this act, and reproved the judge, whose name was Lawless, for excusing the mob, as he had done, for their unjustifiable conduct. In consequence of this, the mob themselves retaliated on Mr. Lovejoy by attacking his house, breaking up his press, and throwing it and the types into the river, for which he could get no redress. He then removed to the town of Alton, on the opposite side of the Mississippi River, and in the free state of Illinois. Even here, however, his advocacy of abolition occasioned the mob to destroy his press a second time; another was procured to replace that, and they broke this in pie. ces also. A fourth press was purchased to replace this, but when it arrived at Alton, and before it was ever used, the mob attacked the store in which it was with a view to destroy it, and whatever else the store contained. They were encouraged to this outrage by the more wealthy inhab. itants of the place, who fancied they had an interest in sla

very being undisturbed ; but on this occasion Mr. Lovejoy and his friends determined to defend the store, and went with firearms for this purpose. While the mob were beating in the windows with stones and firing from the outside into the store, they who were on the inside fired a gun also, by which one of the mob was killed. At this the populace at first dispersed, but whiskey being profusely supplied to them by their abettors, and guns placed in their hands, they returned in larger numbers to the store, determined to set it on fire, and burn alive all who were in it. Mr. Lovejoy and four of his companions went out to drive away those who were actually setting fire to the roof of the building, and he was then shot through the body by one of the mob, and died in a few minutes afterward. They subsequently wounded several others, took possession of the press, broke it to pieces, and threw the fragments into the river. · On such a transaction as this it might be supposed that there would be scarcely a difference of opinion, or that the whole press of the country, in the free states at least, would have condemned such an outrage, and contended for the freedom of discussion. But by far the greater majority of the Whig papers, and some even of the Democratic, in New-York and elsewhere, condemned the pertinacity and obstinacy, as they called it, of Mr. Lovejoy, excused the conduct of the mob, and thought that any man venturing to publish sentiments which he knew to be obnoxious to the majority deserved to be put down by force. The NewYork American, a Whig paper, and the Evening Post, a Democratic paper, were the principal exceptions to this line of conduct, and spoke out boldly in condemnation of the lawless conduct of the mob, and in defence of the right of free discussion.

It is the more remarkable, that in the constitution of the very state in which this outrage was perpetrated, Illinois, there is a clause declaring" that it shall be unlawful to place any restraint on the entire freedom of publication on all subjects, which is claimed as the right of every citizen of the state.” In private society, however, the advocacy of the violent conduct of the mob was far more general than with the press. In the latter, some caution was necessary, to keep up the appearance of a decent attachment to liberty while excusing this gross violation of it at Alton; but in private circles, where no such necessity for caution existed, no restraints were felt; and it was quite common to hear

DISCUSSION BEFORE CONGRESS.

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persons priding themselves on their republican principles declare that they thought Mr. Lovejoy's treatment such as he fully deserved; adding to it a wish that all abolitionists who attempted to discuss the question in any shape or form might be treated in the same manner. It was in vain to tell them that if their principle" that sentiments not apo proved of by the majority ought not to be propagated by the minority' --were fully carried out, no truth could make progress, and no reform be effected; that Christianity itself originated with a very small minority, and was centuries be. fore it was generally received ; that all missionaries are sent abroad to preach doctrines unacceptable to the majority of the nation to which they address themselves; and that every great political, moral, or religious reform began with the minority. To all this they merely answered, that “ the question of slavery was a very different affair; and that, while the whites of the South thought their interest endangered by its mere discussion, the whites of the North had no right to discuss it all.” This very doctrine, however, is in direct violation of their own rule, as the whites of the South are greatly in the minority compared with the whites of the North, the proportion of their numbers being perhaps less than one fourth of the whole. But the prejudice of native. born Americans on this subject is so deep-rooted and so inveterate, that it is altogether invincible to reason, and cannot be moved by any power of argument or demonstration.

In the Senate as well as in the House of Representa. tives, the legislators seem to be as full of this prejudice as any of their constituents. Mr. Wall, of New-Jersey, presented some resolutions of the Legislature of Vermont, rec. ommending the abolition of slavery in the District of Co. lumbia, in which the City of Washington is placed, and over which district the general Congress has exactly the same ju. risdiction and power as the State Legislatures have over their respective territories. The reception of these resolutions, as well as of the numerous petitions presented in favour of the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, were equal. ly rejected in both houses : by some on the ground “that Congress had no constitutional right or power to deal with the question at all;" and by others on the ground" that the mere agitation of the question in Congress was full of danger to the Union.” The representatives of the Southern States, in which slavery principally exists, contended warmly for both these propositions; and yet, in the face of this, Mr. Calhoun, the senator from South Carolina, himself introduced a long series of resolutions, which embraced the whole subject of slavery, defending it as an institution favourable to the welfare of the country and the people it embraced, denying the power of Congress to interfere with it in any manner whatever, and denouncing the abolitionists as enemies to the Union and foes to the best interests of the whole country, from their mischievous attempts to obtain emanci. pation for the slaves. These resolutions, of course, gave rise to the very discussion which Mr. Calhoun and his supporters had so much deprecated when brought on by others, and for several weeks in succession the Senate was chiefly occupied with debating them.

In the House of Representatives they disposed of the question much more speedily, by resolving, by a large ma. jority, that the petitions of the people in favour of the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia should not be received, and they were therefore all laid on the table, without being either read, discussed, or printed ; so that the right of petition was wholly set aside, because it was thought to interfere with the more sacred right of the slaveholder over the slave. Since the days, therefore, when Thomas Moore wrote his celebrated Epistle from Washington, the reproach which he uttered has not been wiped away.

“Who can with patience for a moment see
The medley mass of pride and misery,
Of whips and charters, manacles and rights,
Of slaving blacks and Democratic whites,
And all the piebald polity that reigns
In free confusion o'er Columbia's plains ?
To think that man, thou just and gentle God,
Should stand before thee with a tyrant's rod.
O'er creatures like himself, with souls from thee,

Yet dare to boast of perfect liberty !" A short extract from one of the papers of the day, describing a portion of the proceedings of the Senate, the most dignified and important of the two houses of the Legislature, on Thursday, the 4th of January, 1838, as given in an administration paper, the New-York Evening Post, will be sufficient to show the tone and spirit of the leading men of that body. Mr. Preston, in his defence of Mr. Calhoun's resolutions, had said that all that the South wanted was to be let alone, and therefore they cried hands off' to all their Northern brethren ;' upon which the following observations were made by the parties named, as taken from the report of the speeches in the government paper of the day.

“Mr. Young, of Illinois, said he was surprised to hear senators from the South say. hands off.' He thought that the strength of the aboli

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