« ZurückWeiter »
Bt. from the Cadmus feekshope
OFFICE OF THE AMERICAN AND FOREIGN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY, ?
61, John street, New-York, October 7, 1850.
This Review of the infamous Bill recently passed by the Congress of the United States has been hastily prepared, with a view to meet the present exigency, and the author bas freely availed himself of such helps as were at hand. A wide circulation should be given to the pamphlet. To enable the friends of freedom to accomplish this object, it will be sold by the thousand or hundred at the bare cost. They are earnestly entreated to have a copy put into the hands of every citizen in the Free States, and to have copious extracts made for the public press.
The Executive Committee of the Society believe that the heart of every antislavery individual will deeply sympathize with the panting fugitive. They trust that the dwelling of every citizen will be an asylum, or place of protection; and that in view of his extraordinary circumstances, and the approaching cold weather, clothing, and other necessary articles, will be furnished with a liberal hand. They would not recomm-nd that fugitives go to Canada, at least on the approach of winter; but if any go, that they be men without families. It is well for every fugitive to avoid large cities and public houses.
The free people of color are advised to remain at their posts, unmoved and “ unawed," and each one to consider bis dwelling his castle. In case of assault or molestation, they may be assured that they will be effectually aided by their white friends. The opposition to the wicked Bill is general and strong; and if those exposed to be its victims are circumspect and fearless, the opposition will increase, and the sympathy will be deeper and more general, until the “law” is indignantly and for ever swept from the statute book.
Those who aid the fugitive, and defend the free people of color from being kidnapped, act on conscientious, and many of them from Christian principles. The administration of the iniquitous and unconstitutional law is therefore a matter of persecution. In every way in which it can be viewed, it is a disgrace to the nation, an act of extreme cruelty, and can be viewed as an experiment on the part of the Slave Power to see how much the Free States will bear, with reference to future experiments upon their rights and feelings.
LEWIS TAPPAN, Cor. Sec.
CIVIL LIBERTY OUTRAGED.
The First FRUITS OF THE COMPROMISE !
THE FIRST UNITED STATES OFFICIAL SLAVE-CATCHER IN NEW-YORK!
THE FIRST OUTRAGE UPON CIVIL LIBERTY ON FREE Soil, IN A FREE STATE !
Let the following plain statement of facts be read by every American citizen, and the public judgment be passed upon the authors of the law under which they took p'ace, and their aiders, abettors, and approvers.
On the 26th day of September last, one THOMAS J. CLARE came to the city of New-York from Baltimore, with a power of attorney, purporting to be executed by one Mary Brown--not by her signature, but by her mark—authorizing him to take and carry to Baltimore a man represented to be her slave. Bringing with him a copy of the Fugitive Slave Law, just passed by Congress, as one of the heralded measures of peace in which that body has been engaged for the last ten months, certified to be authentic by Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, Clare appeared before Alexander Gardiner, Clerk of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New. York, and Commissioner under the Fugitive Slave Law, and in virtue of this law, constituted a slave-catcher, and made an affidavit that George Hamlet, a mulatto man, about 30 years of age, who has resided in the neighborhood of this city for the last two or three years, and who has a wife and children there, was the slave of Mrs. Brown, and that he escaped from her in Baltimore about the year 1848, and asked for a warrant to arrest him.
Commissioner Gardiner, entering promptly upon the execution of his new office under the law-one of the provisions of which gives the Commissioner ten dollars, provided he decides the man is a slave, but only five dollars in case he decides him to be a free man-forthwith prepared the necessary papers, issued the demanded warrant, and placed it in the hands of the United States Marshal, who, through one of his deputies, arrested Hamlet, while pursuing his ordinary business as porter in the store of Tilton & Maloney, 58 Water street, New-York city-having formerly lived with Mr. Silas Wood, in this city-and brought him, according to the directions of the warrant, before Mr. Gardiner. He was then taken into a retired room in the second story of the old City Hall, and the Commissioner, without any notice to any acquaintance of the prisoner, without assigning him any counsel, or giving him a moment's opportunity to send for assistance, proceeded with hot haste, ex-parte, to take the testimony of Clare, the son-in-law of the alleged claimant, and young Gustavus Brown, her son, in proof that the prisoner was her slave.
By accident, a gentleman who has some sympathy for the distressed, heard what was going on, and sent for a gentleman of the New-York bar to appear as counsel for the prisoner, who arrived only in time to elicit, by a cross-examination of the witnesses, the admission that at the time of the alleged escape of Hamlet, he was not in the employment of Mrs. Brown, but had for some time been hired out as servant in a Baltimore Shot Company, for whom Clare was clerk. Hamlet insisted that his mother was a free woman, and that he was a free man, and denied that he was a slave. But the law prohibited his testimony from being taken, and Commissioner Gardiner, upon the testimony of the two family witnesses, the son-in-law and son of the alleged owner—who by her mark upon the power of attorney, it appears, cannot write her name, and whose name was evidently used in the matter for the benefit of Clare and young Brown-decided that the prisoner was the slave of the claimant, and doomed bim to perpetual bondage, by delivering him up to Clare as his property.
The demand was then made that the Marshal of the United States, at the expense of the United States, take the prisoner to Baltimore. The law sanctions the demand, and a warrant for that purpose was immediately issued, and this man, torn from his wife and children
and doomed to perpetual bondage, not by the verdict of a jury, but by the fiat of a mere clerk, whom this law has constituted slave-catcher for Southern masters, and upon the testimony of the parties in interest, was then taken into custody by deputy Benjamin H. Tallmadge, (who is son of Henry F. Tallmadge, U. S. Marshal) hand-cuffed, and with his limbs thus cramped in irons, forced into a carriage prepared and standing at the court-house door. With two men on the driver's seat and three inside the carriage, he was hurried to the steamboat and taken to Baltimore, and lodged in the slave prison of the successor of Hope H. Slatter, a well-known hell upon earth, there to remain till a favorable bargain can be made for his sale and shipment to a Southern market. The expenses, amounting to between $70 and $80, have been paid by the United States. His wife and two children, who had no knowledge of his doom till he was gone, remain among us, deprived even of the mournful consolation of bidding farewell to their husband and father, who has been torn from them for no crime, under the sanction of and in conformity to a law made by the representatives of the people of these United States.
Young Tallmadge lost no time, after seeing that Hamlet was safely lodged in the slave prison at Baltimore, in communicating the news to his father's office. By a telegraphic dispatch from Baltimore he sent intelligence that the victim whom he had volunteered to take in chains to the dungeon in that city, was securely incarcerated. This young man, we regret to say, is the grandson of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge of the revolutionary army, and once an Aid of General Washington !
James Hamlet is a highly esteemed young man. In the language of the subservient Journal of Commerce, he is “ a steady, correct, and upright man,” “ a member of the Methodist Church,” and “ can be redeemed for $800.” The Journal says the decree was according to law and the Constitution. The LATTER ASSERTION IS FALSE, as the act tramples upon the Constitution, as well as upon the law of God. The caitiff editor sneers at a “higher law," and exults in the prostration of civil liberty, while he, with an affectation of benevolence, solicits money to purchase Hamlet, that he may be restored to his family. It is said that a silver pitcher is in preparation to be presented to the editor by slaveholders, in testimony of their appreciation of his services on behalf of the institution the past year.
This “ law,” called the FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW, is said to have been