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able being, the instant his Creator has breathed into his nostrils the AMERICAN SLAVERY.
breath of life. Over this infant heir to immortality no mother has ADDRESS OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN a right to watch—no father may guide his feeble steps, check his
ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY THE MODERATOR, OFFICE wayward appetites, and train him for future usefulness, happiness, BEARERS, AND MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL Assembly and glory. Torn from his parents and sold in the market, he soon Of the FREE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
finds himself labouring among strangers, under the whip of ..
driver, and his task augmenting with his ripening strength. Day GENTLEMEN, - It is not in the spirit of hostility, or even of con- after day, and year after year, he is driven to the cotton or sugar troversy, that the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti- field, as the ox to the furrow. No hope of reward lightens his slavery Society venture to address you on the subject of American toil—the subject of insult, the victim of brutality, the laws of his Slavery in relation to the American Churches; but feeling, as they country afford him no redress ; his wife, such only in name, do, that it involves the liberty and happiness of nearly three mil- may at any moment be dragged from bis side ; his children heirs lions of human beings, they are anxious to submit to you certain only of his misery and degradation, are but articles of merchanpoints which, in their judgment, are of great weight, and which dize; his mind, stupified by his oppressor, is wrapped in darkness ; they respectfully and earnestly commend to your grave consider- his soul, no man careth for it; his body, worn with stripes ation.
and toil, is at length committed to the earth like the brute that The origin of slavery in the United States is not lost in the perisheth.” obscurity of by-gone ages. It is a plain historical fact, that it
In practice, the system of American slavery presents the most owes its birth to the African slave-trade, now pronounced by every revolting features. To detail them would require a volume. The civilized community the greatest crime ever perpetrated against Committee would direct attention to a few of them only, by way humanity. By the laws of Great Britain and the United States, of example. that traffic is declared to be felony and piracy, and in the latter Connected with American slavery as you are probabably aware, country, pronounced to be worthy of death. Such was the origin there is a vast internal slave traffic carried on between what are techof American slavery. And how is it perpetuated ? By laws which nically called the slave-breeding and the slave-consuming states. The yield not in their atrocity and wickedness to the original act | victims of this odious trade are variously estimated at from 30,000 which tore the Africans from their native homes, and doomed them to 90,000 per annum. Taking the lowest estimate, the Committee to perpetual slavery on a foreign shore. By these laws slaves are would ask who can sum up the amount of guilt contracted by the not ranked among sentient beings, but among things; they are traders on the one hand, and of suffering endured by the victims declared to be chattels personal in the hands of their owners to all on the other? Neither can be computed. But, gentlemen, this intents, purposes, and constructions whatsoever. Such is the inter-state slave-trade derives it chief supplies from the abhorred cardinal principle of slavery. Its legal incidents as set forth by practice of rearing slaves, as cattle are reared, for the market. Judge Stroud, in his sketch of the slave laws of the United States, In some of the older states it is carried on professionally, and are as follows:
all means are employed to render it productive. The basest passions " The master may determine the kind, and degree, and time of are elevated to the character of a pursuit. Compulsory unions are labour, to which the slave shall be subjected. The master may made by the proprietors of slaves ; and if they prove unproductive, supply the slave with such food and clothing only, both as to they are broken up without regard for decency or feeling. It is quality and quantity, as he may think proper or find convenient. The impossible, however, to refer with minuteness to the practices which master may, at his discretion, inflict any punishment upon the prevail; it is sufficient to state, that the whole system is an outrage person of his slave. All the power of the master over his slave on religion and morals. may be exercised not by himself only in person, but by any one Another feature of American slavery is, that it practically dooms whom he may depute as his agent. Slaves have no legal rights of the great mass of the slave population to ignorance and vice. The property in things real or personal; but whatever they may acquire severity of the laws against the instruction of slaves finds its belongs, in point of law, to their masters. The slave being a commentary in the measures adopted by slave-holders to prevent personal chattel is at all times Jiable to be sold absolutely, or the light of knowledge from penetrating their minds. Hence we mortgaged, or leased at the will of his master. He may also be find a heathen population in the midst of a country which boasts sold by process of law for the satisfaction of the debts of a living, of its religious institutions. From them the Bible is systematically or the debts and bequests of a deceased master at the suit of withbeld. The great mass of them are destitute of the gospel, creditors or legatees. A slave cannot be a party before a judicial and ever will be under the present state of things. These are not tribunal, in any species of action, against his master, no matter mere assertions ; they are admitted facts by all who have any how atrocious may have been the injury received from him. Slaves knowledge of the slave states, their laws, and their practices. cannot redeem themselves, nor obtain a change of masters, though In 1833, a Committee of the Synod of South Carolina and cruel treatment may have made such change necessary for their Georgia, to whom was referred the subject of the religious instrucpersonal safety. Slaves being objects of property, if injured by tion of the coloured population, made a report which has been third persons, their owners may bring suit, and recover damages, published, and in which this language is used :for the injury. Slaves can make no contract.” And to crown “Who would credit it, that in these days of revival and benevothe whole, slavery is declared to be “hereditary and perpetual." lent effort, in this Christian republic, there are two millions of It is not deemed sufficient to hold the innocent parents in bondage, human beings in the condition of Heathen, and, in some respects, but these laws, which violate every principle of justice, humanity, in a worse condition. From long-continued and close observation, and religion, remorselessly consign their innocent offspring to the we believe that their moral and religious condition is such that same state of degradation and sorrow.
they may justly be considered the HEATHEN of this Christian "Such,” to use the language of Judge Jay, “is American country, and will bear comparison with heathen in any country slavery—a system which classes with the beasts of the field-over in the world. The negroes are destitute of the Gospel, and ever will whom dominion has been given to man—an intelligent and account- Í be under the present state of things. In the vast field extending
from an entire state beyond the Potomac to the Sabine river, and | adduced to prove it-namely, the increase in the slave-population. from the Atlantic to the Ohio, there are, to the best of our know- The Committee admit that increase ; but, gentlemen, a slight ledge, not twelve men exclusively devoted to the religious instruc- glance at the statistics of the subject will convince you that that tion of the negroes.
In the present state of feelings in the South increase is dreadfully disproportionate to that of the free people of a ministry of their own colour could neither be obtained nor their own colour, notwithstanding all the means resorted to in the TOLERATED.
slave-breeding states to produce a different result. “But do not the negroes have access to the gospel through the The slave population of the United States in 1820, amounted to stated ministry of the whites? We answer, No; the negroes have 1,538,064; in 1830, to 2,009,031 ; and in 1840, to 2,487,355. no regular and efficient ministry ; as a matter of course no churches; The increase in the first decennial period was 470,967, or nearly neither is there sufficient room in white churches for their accom- 31 per cent.; during the second decennial period it was only 477,398, modation. We know of but five churches in the slave-holding or but little more than 23 per cent. ; representing a loss of life states built expressly for their use; these are all in the state of between the two periods, on the slave population, of about 150,000! Georgia. We may now inquire if they enjoy the privileges of the a palpable proof of the murderous severity of the American slave gospel in their own houses, and on our plantations? Again we system. But when we come to compare the relative longevity return a negative answer. They have no Bibles to read by their between slaves and the free men of colour, the case assumes a inore own fire-sides—they have no family altars ; and when in affliction, fearful aspect still. According to Porter, who has examined the sickness, or death, they have no minister to address to them the tables of population with scientific care, it appears that the number consolations of the gospel, nor to bury them with solemn and of free people of colour between the ages of ten and fifty-five, in appropriate services.”
every ten thousand of that class is 6,243, whereas among the The marriage tie is not permitted to slaves. Hence the unions slaves, it is but 5,195, showing a loss of life between these ages of which they form are liable to be constantly broken up. The slaves 1,018. Between 55 and 100 the disparity is still greater: free feel this most acutely. But what avails it?, Their feelings and people of colour, 736; slaves, 406. From these facts the general their affections are utterly disregarded. The agonies of a slave severity of the slave system may be gathered. Now it must not mother, bereaved of her children, are no more respected than the be supposed that the slaves are less prolific than the free people lowing of cattle after their young. But the Committee beseech of colour. The reverse of this is the fact. The case stands thus : you, gentlemen, to remember that this state of things involves Free people of colour under ten years of age, 2,884, slaves, 3,39+. a direct violation of God's ordinance of marriage, and leads to a It is necessary to refer to the practices resorted to in the slavesystem of immortality too gross to be pourtrayed, and too hateful to breeding states to account for this fact, for there production outbe endured, in any community where slavery does not exist. In weighs every other consideration. Another word is not, the the case of religious slaves, separated from each other by sale Committee presume, required to prove the murderous cruelty and or otherwise, the Baptist Church decided in 1835, that they were disgusting immorality of this atrocious system. to be regarded as civilly dead, and might, therefore, form new But it may be asked, what have these statements to do with the connexions.
American Churches ; are they not the guardians of truth, the In the sale of slaves, it occasionally happens that some of this exemplars of purity, the enemies of slavery, the friends of the unhappy class are Christians. Favoured by some providential oppressed ? You do not mean to bring an accusation against them? circumstances, they have learned to value the gospel and embrace Yes, gentlemen, speaking generally, the Committee are compelled the Saviour. In these cases, to enhance their value in the market, to say that they are the bulwarks of American slavery. Take the fact of their Christianity is dwelt upon with more than ordinary any branch of the Churches in the slaves-states, you please, with eloquence. But what, gentlemen, is this, but putting up the image of two or three honourable exceptions, and you will find them not the Redeemer for sale, and vending in the public market-places the only the apologists, but the abettors of slavery, and the most graces of the Holy Spirit? Thus we perceive that in the practice determined opponents of abolition. of American slavery, the most daring profanity is linked with The Committee have before them the proceedings of
many so great an amount of atrocious cruelty and moral turpitude as to these Churches, or branches thereof, to some of which they will till every rightly constituted mind with feelings of horror and briefly refer. The Charlestown and Carolina Baptist Association, dismay.
in a Memorial to the Legislature says, “The undersigned would It is against this execrable system that American and British represent that the said association does not consider the Holy Abolitionists lift up their voices, and demand with unceasing Scriptures have made the fact of slavery a question of morals at energy, its immediate and total abolition. If, gentlemen, under a all.” And adds, “ The right of masters to dispose of the time keen sense of the degradation and outrage inflicted on the helpless of their slaves has been distinctly recognised by the Creator of all and unoffending—if, viewing their innocent fellow-creatures things.” The Union Presbytery of the same city avow their manacled, lacerated, and destroyed, under a system of relentless opinions as follows: — “ Resolved, that in the opinion of this tyranny—if, beholding their fellow-men stripped of their manhood; Presbytery the holding of slaves, so far from being a sin in the and women, the glory of men, stripped of their liberty and virtue— sight of God, is nowhere condemned in his Holy Word ; that if seeing the father unable to protect his son, the mother her it is in accordance with the example, or consistent with the daughter from cruelty and infamy, they have sometimes denounced precepts of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, &c. The Synod not only the system which admitted of these crimes, but its of Virginia has declared its opinion in the following terms :supporters and abettors—if in the excess of their zeal they have “ Resolved unanimously, that we consider the dogma fiercely not always acted with discrimination and prudence, surely they promulgated by the said anti-slavery associations--that slavery, might be forgiven this wrong.
as it actually exists in our slave-holding states, is necessarily sinful, The Committee do not make these remarks by way of apology and ought to be immediately abolished, and the conclusions tha for any who may have been betrayed into the use of language naturally follow from that dogma, as directly and palpably conunworthy the dignity of the great subject they have advocated, or trary to the plainest principles of common sense and common which may be supposed to violate the courtesies and charities of hamanity, and to the clearest authority of the Word of God.” life ; but they do feel it to be necessary to request you to turn your It cannot be wondered at that the men who could be parties thoughts away from the advocates of the slave, whose measures to such declarations as these should pronounce the Abolitionists to you may condemn, to the consideration of the wrongs of the slave be actuated by “a misguided and fiendish fanaticism ;” or that himself, and in his person to vindicate the claims of humanity, a clergyman of Virginia should close a letter, “To Sessions of justice, and religion.
the Presbyterian Congregations, within the bounds of the West On the character of the recent exciting meetings which have Hanover Presbytery,” in the following words :-“ If there be any been held in Scotland, the Committee pronounce no judgment, stray goat of a minister among us, tainted with the blood-bound inasmuch as they are neither responsible for their origin, the mode principles of abolitionism, let him be ferretted out, silenced, exin which they have been conducted, nor for their results. They communicated, and left to the public to be disposed of in other feel it, however, to be a duty to entreat you to deal with the respects. — Your affectionate brother in the Lord, Robert N. question to which public attention has been directed, on its Anderson.” From an address circulated in South Carolina, written own merits, with that calm and unbiassed judgment which is by a clergyman of the M. E. Church, the Committee make the necessary for its proper decision.
following extract :-“ From what has been premised, the following By some the heavy charges brought against the American slave conclusions result:-1. That slavery is a judicial visitation. system are said to be grossly exaggerated, and one fact is usually That it is not a moral evil. 3. That it is supported by the Bible.
4. It has existed in all ages. It is not a moral evil. The fact the civil law of the land may give a master over his slaves as that slavery is of Divine appointment would be proof enough with chattels personal, it cannot but be a sin of the deepest die in him the Christian that it cannot be a moral evil. So far from being to regard or treat them as such ; and whosoever commits that sin a moral evil, it is a merciful visitation-'IT IS THE LORD's in any sense, or deals otherwise with his slaves than a Christian DOING AND MARVELLOUS IN OUR EYES.' And had it not been man ought to deal with his fellow-man, whatever power the law for the best, God alone, who is able, long since would have may give him over them, ought to be held disqualified for Christian overruled it. IT IS BY DIVINE APPOINTMENT.” A clergyman communion.” Your condemnation is here levelled against the oppresof North Carolina, in his sermons on the rights and duties sive slave-master, not against the system which he upholds. You of slave-holders, maintained the following propositions. “That treat the relation between master and slave as innocent: you no man nor set of men in our day, unless they can produce a new launch your thunders only against its abuse. At least such is the revelation from Heaven, are entitled to pronounce slavery conclusion to which the Committee have arrived in reviewing your wrong ; and that slavery, us it erists at the present day, is decision. Now, if the enslavement of innocent human beings, and agreeable to the order of Divine Providence.” The Divine rights their posterity after them, no matter under what plea, or circumof slave-holders he set forth in all their fulness; their duties he stance, be not malum in se, there is an end of the argument; and the held to be the moral obligation to punish slaves when they deserved principle of judgment must thenceforth be applied, not to the it, not however to chastise them when in a passion, nor to over- institution, but to the conduct of the individual who abuses it work them; and to be careful to have the slave-children baptized, to the injury of his slave. But, in the judgment of the Committee, and orally taught to say the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the the institution is itself the greatest abuse. Look at its origin, its Ten Commandments."
tendencies, its results. They bespeak its nature and its opposition These sermons received the approbation of the bishop of the to God and goodness. It is absurd, the Committee venture to diocese, were published, and extensively distributed in vindication think, to say that a man may be held as a slave, but not be of the claims of the Episcopal Chuch to be considered the champion treated as such; that he may be regarded as chattel personal, but of slavery. Nor was this all. In South Carolina “The Society not used as such; that the legal relation may be maintained, but for the Advancement of Christianity," consisting of clergymen that the rights belonging to it may not be claimed. Slavery they and laymen, with the bishop at their head, reprinted them as hold to be evil, only evil, and that continually. And in maintaining a religious tract for gratuitous distribution. In 1844, the writer, this view they but assert an old doctrine under which most of the Dr. Freeman, was elevated to the bench as Bishop of Arkansas ancient forms of slavery disappeared. and Texas, a fitting reward for so important a service. To multiply In the Jus Municipale Magdeburgense, ascribed to the Emperor quotations is unneccessary. The Committee feel persuaded that Otho the Second, the author, after attempting to show that neither you, gentlemen, must have been revolted by the references already Cain, nor Ham, nor Esau, nor Nimrod, introduced slavery, promade. How different in their spirit and truthfulness are they ceeds thus :-"How could Noah or Isaac bring any one else into to the noble decision of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian slavery when no one can give even himself into slavery? But, in Church of the United States in 1793, when it adopted the "judg- truth, we find slavery to have its origin in war, captivity, oppresment” of the New York and Pennsylvania Synods in favour of sion; and ancient princes, by custom of long time, have usurped “universal liberty ;” and appended in 1794 the following as a note it, as though it were of right, whereas it is against equity.-. to the eighth commandment as expressing the doctrine of the “For the most High God is believed to have formed man in Church on slave-holding :
his own image, and redeemed one as much as another by his “1 Tim. i. 10, The law is made for man-stealers. This crime passion, and made him free by his glorious blood. How then can among the Jews exposed the perpetrators of it to capital punish- so noble and magnificent a liberty be reduced to slavery?" The ment; Exodus xxi. 15; and the apostle here classes them with Jus Provinciale Suevicum, in a spirit which would do honour sinners of the first rank. The word he uses, in its original import, to the most enlightened times, asserts that there is nothing in comprehends all who are concerned in bringing any of the human Scripture to sanction slavery; and prays God to pardon the man race into slavery, or in retaining them in it. Hominum fures, who first imposed it on mankind. The Speculum Juris Saxonici, qui servos vel liberos abducunt, retinent, vendunt, vel emunt.- one of the later compilations of German law, observes :—“As far Stealers of men are all those who bring off slaves or freemen, and as we can perceive, there is no example of slavery, according to KEEP, SELL, OR BUY THEM. To steal a freeman, says Grotius, the truth of Holy Scripture and the divine law.” is the highest kind of theft. In other instances, we only steal“ The Lord Jesus also, in the temptation of the coin, indicated that human property, but when we steal, or retain men in slavery, we no man was the property of another, saying, 'Render unto Cæsar seize those, who, in common with ourselves, are constituted by the the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are original grant lords of the earth.”
God's.' From these words it is collected that man belongs to God; But alas! for its consistency. In 1816, the General Assembly, and he who keeps him in bondage sins against the power of the while it called slavery a “mournful evil," directed the ERASURE Almighty." These laws were the embodiment of the public sentiof the note from the eighth commandment. Two years afterwards ment of the times in which they were compiled, and clearly show it adopted an “expression of views,” in which slavery is called that sentiment had its origin in the oppugnancy of revealed religion “a gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human to slavery. nature,” but it only called on the violators of those rights to In 1102 a council was held in London by royal authority, at exert themselves to get rid of slavery “with no greater delay than which were present the bishops and abbots of the whole kingdom. a regard to the public welfare demands.” But since that time They agreed, among others, on the following important canon :nothing has been done to promote the abolition of slavery. “Let no one henceforward on any account presume to carry on
To how great an extent the Church has become tainted with that wicked traffic (nefarium negotium) whereby men hitherto this crime may be gathered from a declaration of the Rev. J. used to be sold in England like brute beasts.” In Ireland, “the Smylie, of the Amite Presbytery, Mississippi, in a pamphlet pub- whole clergy being assembled at Ardagh” (A.D. 1171) went a lished four or five years since. He says—" If slavery be a sin, step further, and decreed “That in all places of the island the and advertising and apprehending slaves, with a view to restore English should be released from the chain of servitude and restored them to their masters, is a direct violation of the Divine law, and to liberty.” The traffic in men they had previously condemned as if the buying, selling, or holding a slave, FOR THE SAKE OF GAIN, enormous wickedness,” In the times of Wycliffe, “It became is a heinous sin and scandal, then verily, THREE-FOURTHS OF ALL a prevailing opinion,” says Dr. Henry, “among the people of all THE EPISCOPALIANS, METHODISTS, BAPtists, and PRESBY- ranks that slavery was inconsistent with the spirit of Christianity, TERIANS, in ELEVEN STATES OF THE UNION, are of the devil, and the rights of humanity, offensive to God, and injurious to man. They 'hold,' if they do not buy and sell slaves, and with few Wycliffe and luis followers,” he adds, "inculcated this doctrine with exceptions, they hesitate not to 'apprehend and restore' runaway great warmth, and their declamations had a great effect. “And let slaves, when in their power.” Such being the case the Church it be remembered that the recognition and application of the dochas become powerless for testimony against the sin of slavery. trine, that slavery is a sin against God, and ought, therefore, to be
Last year the Free Church pronounced a heavy condemnation abolished, has led to the most triumphant results. It has led to upon American slavery as its exists in practice. You declared the legal extinction of slavery in every part of the British empire ; that there could be “no question as to the HEINOUS sin involved and is destined, the Committee believe, to overthrow that giant in the institution of American slavery.” But you did not condemn iniquity in the United States. But in order to effect this, there slavery per se. You observed, however, that "whatever rights must be no compromise with slave-holders, no recognition of that spurious Christianity which, while it professes to honour its Divine revolting a plea ; and, it may be added, the consciences even of Founder, wrings from the coerced toil of slaves the means of its slave-holders themselves will not allow of its validity. But what support; which affects to feel for the miseries of the heathen was the nature of that slavery which, it is affirmed, was sanctioned abroad, but has no bowels of compassion for those who perish at by the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles ? “According to the home.
strict principles of the Roman law," says Mr. Long, “it was a The Commissioners of the Free Church went to the United consequence of the relation of master and slave that the master States on what was regarded by many as a noble errand; they could treat the slave as he pleased; he could sell him, punish hin, were welcomed with affectionate respect; and had they confined or put him to death.” Slaves were held pro nullis, pro mortuis, their mission to the free states they would have been welcomed pro quadrupedibus, and for worse than even this as A. Faber has home again with joy. But they did not do this. They travelled shown. As to their practice, “ time would fail us,” says Potinto the slave states; they fellow-shipped with slave-holders; they giesser, “should we recount the various kinds of tortures which received their hospitalities, and took their gold to cast it into your the Romans reserved for their slaves alone.” Did the Divine treasury. By this act they struck a blow at the very heart of Founder of Christianity, or his immediate disciples, sanction this abolition, which has been felt and deplored on both sides the system of guilt and misery? As well might it be said that they Atlantic. And, not content with this, they have libelled the sanctioned the bloody gladiatorial shows then prevalent, or the character of the faithful band of Abolitionists in the United States, fierce despotism of Nero, under which some of them suffered, and by that means attempted to bring them into disrepute. Had because they did not in express words condemn them. they used as much diligence in making their acquaintance as they The Committee have been led further than they intended in this did in securing the contributions of slave-holders, the result would communication; but they feel it to he their solemn duty to protest have been different; at least they would have been more discri- against the proposition that slave-holders, whatever their profesminating, if not more temperate, in their censures. They were sions or pretensions, are fit and proper persons to be admitted to warned. The Executive Committee of the American and Foreign the sacred fellowship of the Christian church ; and they would Anti-slavery. Society addressed them faithful remonstrance, on earnestly implore you, gentlemen, as the representatives of an the 2nd April, 1844, in which they set before them in vivid colours influential and important branch of that church, to give forth your the true character of the slave system in its religious aspects ; and testimony to that effect; and by way of giving emphasis to that affectionately exhorted them to refuse all connexion with it. One testimony, to restore the money which in an evil hour your
Comparagraph from the address will show its spirit. “The Christian missioners were induced to receive from the hands of slave-holders. Abolitionists of this land need your aid, dear brethren, in pulling Gentlemen, had these slave-holders presented to your representadown the strongholds of oppression ; and they feel that you will tives slaves instead of money, they would have indignantly refused not be sustained by your consciences, or by that numerous and the gift. Yet the money which they received, may have reprevenerated body which you represent, if you directly or indirectly sented, in some instances, the value of men, women, and children, oppose them, by strengthening the hands of their opponents. You who had been cruelly deprived of their liberty; or, at all events, will hear the Abolitionists of this country denounced by ministers, the value of their uncompensated toil, a toil wrung from them by elders, and private professors of the Presbyterian Church, as well the fear or the torture of the whip. Such money comes not with at the North as the South; but in order to judge how far the a blessing, but a curse. They would therefore hope that not one denunciations are correct, you will naturally compare their farthing of it will ever be allowed to be appropriated to the purdoctrines and measures with the doctrines and measures of the poses of the Free Church. Abolitionists in Great Britain, and not take up an evil report on
I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, hearsay, and without due investigation.” *
* « For
On behalf of the Committee, twelve years the Abolitionists of this country have been contending
Yours respectfully, with great earnestness, amidst reproach and contumely, not only
JOHN SCOBLE, Secretary. from the slave-holding states, but from interested politicians, and
Note. Since writing the above, the Committee have received professing Christians of every denomination, for the poor slaves, extracts from a sermon preached at Philadelphia, a short time our brethren and fellow-countrymen, and for their own rights and since, by the Rev. Albert Barnes, of the New School Presbyteprivileges, as intended to be secured to them by their constitution rians, a name deservedly honoured on both sides of the Atlantic, and government. Believing that the American Church is the from which they make the following selections :-" Let all evanbulwark of American slavery, they have laboured to arouse it to a gelical denominations but follow the simple example of the Quakers due sense of its sin, to repentance, and works meet for repentance. in this country, and slavery would soon come to an end." There is Some progress has been made. Our Christian brethren in Eng- not vital energy enough-there is not power of influence and land, Ireland, and Scotland have aided in the good work by their numbers enough out of the church, to sustain it. Let every prayers to God, and their remonstrances with the American religious denomination in the land detach itself from all connexion Church. With this aid we have sought to sever the unholy with slavery, without saying a word against others ; let the time alliance subsisting between the slave power and the professed
come when in all the mighty denominations of Christians, it can followers of Christ.” In concluding their appeal, they say be announced that the evil has ceased with them for ever; and let “But should you, despite of our friendly warning and urgent the voice of each denomination be lifted up in kind but firm and Christian remonstrance, solicit money acquired by the sale of solemn testimony against the system with no 6 mealy' words ; American Christians, and men made heathen by the cruel system with no attempt at apology; with no effort to throw the sacred of slavery, we can only express our firm confidence that your con- shield of religion over so great an evil, and the work is done. stituents, the Free Church of Scotland, will refuse to receive the There is no public sentiment in this land—there could be none polluted silver and gold, and return it to those who gave it.” created—that would resist such a testimony; there is no power out
To the Committee it is a deeply affecting circumstance to find of the Church that could sustain -slavery an hour if it were not that some men of reputation and standing in the Free Church of sustained in it." Scotland are engaged in defending the slave-holding churches of the United States, by an attempt to prove that slave-holders were admitted to communion in the apostolic churches, and that what
THE SUGAR DUTIES. they did, the churches of Christ, in these days, may do, and, in The alteration in the sugar duties proposed by Sir Robert Peel, point of fact, ought to do.
and the amendment intended to be moved thereon by Lord John It has hitherto been one of the chief glories, as well as one of the Russell, have engaged the attention of the Anti-Slavery Committee; brightest evidences of the truth of Christianity, that by the force of and, in conformity with one of the fundamental principles of the its principles it has overcome some of the most revolting and bloody Society, they have again laid before the Legislature and the Country practices of ancient times, slavery among the rest; and that were their views on the important question. its just and beniga precepts universally applied, the crimes which There are now thrce propositions before the country in relation now so deeply afflict and degrade humanity, would speedily dis- to those duties: First, Sir Robert Peels. The honourable baronet appear. To make this divine system the patron of slavery, because intends to propose to Parliament that the present duty on sugars some of its professors practice or wink at the iniquity, is, in the not equal to white clayed (Muscovados), the produce of British judgment of the Committee, a wickedness scarcely to be paralleled possessions in America, of Mauritius, and of the East Indies, shall by the sin which it is intended to uphold. Happily the moral be 14s. per cwt.; and on sugars equal to white clayed—that is, the sense of the Christian people of this country will not admit of so finer class of unrefined sugars—shall be 16s. 4d. per cwt. Instead,
however, of the present differential duty on foreign sugars, the which it has been carried by the Legislature of this country, has produce of free labour, of 9s. 4d. per cwt. in the case of Muscovados, undoubtedly operated as a severe check to the slave systen, reand 12s 8d. per cwt. in that of clayed, over and above the duties stricted its operations, and diminished the amount of its criminal charged on sugar of equal qualities from the British possessions profits. abroad, Sir Robert intends to reduce them to 5s. 10d. and 8s. 2d. “That your petitioners would, therefore, rejoice if your honourable per cwt. respectively; so that, if he carries his measure, the duties House would take the necessary steps for giving practical effect will be, on British Muscovados, 14s. per cwt., foreign Muscovados to the principle of exclusion of slave-labour produce; and at the 198. 10d. per cwt. ; on British clayed sugars 16s. 4d. per cwt., on same time, equalize the duties on all produce raised by free labour, foreign clayed sugars 24s. 6d. The duty on foreign slave-grown whether imported from foreign countries or from the British plantsugar to continue as at present, 63s. per cwt. Secondly, Lord John ations and possessions abroad. Russell's. The noble lord proposes that the duties on British sugars “ Your petitioners would, therefore, earnestly and respectfully shall continue as at present; but that the differential duties on
entreat your honourable House that when the proposed foreign sugars, without distinction of origin, whether raised by free
measure relating to the sugar duties shall come under its men or by slaves, shall be the same as those intended to be applied
consideration, to refuse assent to any proposition that by the Government to sugars free from the taint of slavery. Thirdly, would strengthen the slave system on the one hand, or that of the Anti-Slavery Society. The Committee propose that the
continue a system of differential duties on the other, beduties levied on sugar, the prodúce of free labour, whether raised
tween foreign free-labour sugar and that raised in British in the British possessions or in foreign countries, shall be equalized.
possessions abroad, and that your honourable House would In other words, that the differential duties on this class of sugars
be pleased to equalize the same, and thereby both digshall be wholly done away. In conformity with these views the
courage slave-holding and the slave-trade, and promote Committee proposed, at a special meeting, held on the 2nd June,
the abolition of slavery in those countries where, at present, 1846, the following resolutions—viz.,
it unhappily prevails.” “Ist. That every fiscal regulation which would extend or con
This petition which was intended to be presented' previously to solidate the system of slavery in foreign states, or stimulate and the debate on the 12th ultimo, but has not yet been presented to increase the African slave-trade, ought to be firmly resisted by the the House of Commons by Lord Morpeth, in consequence of the friends of the anti-slavery cause throughout the United Kingdom. debate on the sugar duties having been postponed. “2nd. That the amendment of which the Right Hon. Lord John
The Committee further addressed a circular to the friends of the Russell has given notice that he will move, when the proposition Anti-Slavery cause throughout Great Britain and Ireland, sugof the Government relating to the sugar duties shall be brought gesting the propriety of their calling on their representatives in under the consideration of Parliament-namely, that foreign su- Parliament, to affirm the proposition of the Society, for the equaligars, whether the produce of free or slave-labour, shall be allowed zation of the duties on all free-labour sugar. to be imported into Great Britain and Ireland on equal terms
In transmitting copies of the resolutions and petition to the would undoubtedly have that effect, and ought to be earnestly and Members of the House of Commons, the Committee called their energetically opposed.
attention to the fact that the increase of commerce in cotton-wool “3rd. That the proposition of the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, with the United States had extended and strengthened the system to levy a differential duty on foreign free-labour sugars of 5s. of slavery in that country. They say:10d. per cwt. on Muscovados, and 8s. 2d. per cwt. on the
“ About fifty years ago, slavery, in that country, appeared finer clayed sugars, as compared with sugars of similar qualities likely to become extinct. There was then but little demand for produced in the British possessions abroad, will, in their judgment, cotton-wool beyond the limits of the Union ; but certain discooperate injuriously to the interests of the consumers of sugar in veries having been subsequently made in cleaning the article, the this country, retard the progress of improvement in tropical demand for it rapidly increased, and the result has been a vast agriculture, both in the East and West Indies, and, above all, extension of human slavery, with all its degradation and suggerings. as there are just grounds for believing, prevent immediate mea- The following table will prove that the extension of commerce has sures from being taken for the abolition of slavery in the sugar no tendency to destroy slavery, but on the contrary to strengthen colonies of one or more European powers.
it:“4th. That this Committee would, therefore, respectfully, yet earnestly recommend to the Hon. the Members of the House of
Cotton expa. to
G“ Britain, 189,316 lbs. Slaves, 657,437 Commons, the importance of equalizing the duties on sugar, the
Do. bona fide produce of free labour, whether imported from foreign
Do. 1,299,872 states or from the British possessions, in order that they may
Do. 124,893,405 Do. 1,733,162 come into full and immediate competition in the British markets,
Do. and would call on the friends of the anti-slavery cause generally to
270,979,784 Do. 2,310,882 1840,
Do. sustain this proposition."
540,959,568 Do. 2,487,213 1845,
Do. 560,000,000 Do. 2,750,000 >> These resolutions have been extensively advertised.
They go on to observe:The Committee also adopted the following petitions to the house
“Now as similar causes produce similar effects, there can be of Commons, as a further embodiment of their views, viz:
no doubt that were the British markets open to the reception of the “SHOWETH,—That your petitioners are fully convinced, from sugars of Brazil and Cuba the most frightful consequences would long and painful experience, that whilst slavery exists there is ensue. In those countries the importations of African slaves, under no reasonable prospect of the extinction of the slave-trade. present circumstances, have gone on from year to year to an almost
“That the coercive measures hitherto used for the suppression incredible extent, notwithstanding the presence and activity of of the slave-trade, however much the members of this Society fleets of British cruizers on the African coast. The resources of may differ in judgment on the lawfulness of employing such a diplomacy have been exhausted in vain to prevail on the authorimode for that purpose, must be pronounced to have signally ties to aid in the suppression of this dreadful traffic. The demands failed of accomplishing their object.
of commerce have broken through all restraints. The faith of trea“That slavery and the slave-trade having been happily abolished ties, national honour, the claims of humanity, the awful sanctions and declared unlawful throughout the whole extent of the British of religion have been trampled under foot for the love of gain. empire, it is in strict harmony with the principles and policy To remove the present fiscal restrictions on slave-grown sugars avowed by your honourable House to limit, as far as possible, would open the flood-gates to the inhuman trade, and augment to the extension of slavery and the slave-trade in foreign states, and a degree, which it is frightful to contemplate, the miseries, the that this is due to the general freedom, civilization, and happiness degradation, and the enslavement of mankind.” of mankind.
And that they are not singular in this opinion, they quote in its “That it is an indisputable fact that the commerce which already support the deliberate judgment of men well versed in commercial exists in articles produced by slave-labour has greatly extended the transactions. For instance, that of “the highly respectable and system of slavery, and stimulated the slave-trade; and that should wealthy house of Drake, Brothers & Co.,” of the Havannah, who it be wholly unrestricted in future it will aggravate the suffer- said, in a memorial to the Captain-General of Cuba, against the ings of the slave, and still further multiply the victims of the slave- continuance of the slave-trade," that they had no expectation of trade; whereas the exclusion of such articles, to the extent to the price of sugar being improved, except by having the English