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emancipated on condition of banishment; but whether the doctrines and principles of the Society accord with the doctrines and principles of the gospel, whether slaveholders are the just proprietors of their slaves, whether it is not the sacred duty of the nation to abolish the system of slavery now, and to recognise the people of color as brethren and countrymen who have been unjustly treated and covered with unmerited shame. This is the question-and the only question.
With such a mass of evidence before them, of the pernicious, cruel and delusive character of the American Colonization Society, I leave the patriot, the philanthropist and the christian to judge of the fitness of the following inflated and presumptuous assertions of its advocates :— The plan is of heavenly origin, against which the gates of hell shall never prevail a circle of philanthropy, every segment of which tells and testifies to the beneficence of the whole — addressing its claims alike to the patriot, and the christian, it being emphatically the cause of liberty, of humanity, of religion '*-' so full of benevolence and the hallowed impulses of Heaven's own mercy, that one might, with the propriety of truth, compare its radiant influences to a rainbow, insufferably bright, spanning the sombre clouds of human wrong, that have accumulated on the horizon of our country's prosperity, and beating back, with calm and heavenly power, the blackening storm that always threatens, in growling thunders, a heavy retribution' that citizen of the United States who lifts a finger to retard this institution, nay, that man who does not use his persevering efforts to promote its benevolent object, fails, in our opinion, to discharge his duty to his God and his country' (1) nothing but a distinct knowledge and a calm consideration of the facts in the case, is wanting to make every man of common intelligence, common patriotism, and common humanity, the earnest friend of the Colonization Society' !! §
There is one important consideration, which, owing to the contractedness of my limits, I have omitted to enforce in this work. It is this: the serious injury which our interests must inevitably suffer by the removal of our colored population. Their labor is indispensably necessary and extremely valuable. By whom shall the plantations at the south be cultivated but by them? It is universally conceded that they can resist the intensity of a southern sun, and endure the fatigues attendant on the cultivation of rice, cotton, tobacco and sugar-cane, better than white laborers: at least, their bodies are now inured to this employment. I do not believe that any equivalent would induce the planters to part with their services, or white laborers to occupy their places. In the great cities, and in various parts of the southern States, free persons of color constitute a laborious and useful class. In a pecuniary point of view, the banishment of onesixth of our population,-of those whom we specially need,-would be an act of suicide. The veriest smatterer in political economy cannot but perceive the ruinous tendency of such a measure.
† Rev. Mr Maffit's Plea for Africa.' § Christian Spectator.
(1) The clerical gentleman who presumes to utter this opinion is the same who has also the hardihood to assert that many of the best citizens of our land are holders of slaves, and hold them in strict accordance with the principles of humanity and justice'!!
IN attacking the system of slavery, I clearly foresaw all that has happened to me. I knew, at the commencement, that my motives would be impeached, my warnings ridiculed, my person persecuted, my sanity doubted, my life jeoparded but the clank of the prisoner's chains broke upon my ear-it entered deeply into my soul-I looked up to Heaven for strength to sustain me in the perilous work of emancipation—and my resolution was taken.
In opposing the American Colonization Society, I have also counted the cost, and as clearly foreseen the formidable opposition which will be arrayed against me. Many of the clergy are enlisted in its support their influence is powerful. Men of wealth and elevated station are among its contributors: wealth and station are almost omnipotent. The press has been seduced into its support: the press is a potent engine. Moreover, the Society is artfully based upon and defended by popular prejudice it takes advantage of wicked and preposterous opinions, and hence its success. These things grieve, they cannot
deter me. Truth is mighty, and will prevail.' It is able to make falsehood blush, and tear from hypocrisy its mask, and annihilate prejudice, and overthrow persecution, and break every fetter.
I am constrained to declare, with the utmost sincerity, that I look upon the colonization scheme as inadequate in its design, injurious in its operation, and contrary to sound principle; and the more scrupulously I examine its pretensions, the stronger is my conviction of its sinfulness. Nay, were Jehovah to speak in an audible voice from his holy habitation, I am persuaded that his language would be, Who hath required this at your hands?'
It consoles me to believe that no man, who knows me personally or by reputation, will suspect the honesty of my skepticism. If I were politic, and intent only on my own preferment or pecuniary interest, I should swim with the strong tide of public sentiment instead of breasting its powerful influence. The hazard is too great, the labor too burdensome, the remuneration too uncertain, the contest too unequal, to induce a selfish adventurer to assail a combination so formidable. Disinterested opposition and sincere conviction, however, are not conclusive proofs of individual rectitude; for a man may very honestly do mischief, and not be aware of his error. Indeed, it is in this light I view many of the friends of African colonization. I concede to them benevolence of purpose and expansiveness of heart; but in my opinion, they are laboring under the same delusion as that which swayed Saul of Tarsus-persecuting the blacks even unto a strange country, and verily believing that they are doing God service. I blame them, nevertheless, for taking this mighty scheme upon trust; for not perceiving and rejecting the monstrous doctrines avowed by the master spirits in the crusade; and for feeling so indifferent to the moral, political and social advancement of the free people of color in this their only legitimate home.
In the progress of this discussion I shall have occasion to use very plain, and sometimes very severe language. This would be an unpleasant task, did not duty imperiously demand its application. To give offence I am loath, but more to hide or
modify the truth. I shall deal with the Society in its collective form-as one body-and not with individuals. While I shall be necessitated to marshal individual opinions in review, I protest, ab origine, against the supposition that indiscriminate censure is intended, or that every friend of the Society cherishes similar views. He to whom my reprehension does not apply, will not receive it. It is obviously impossible, in attacking a numerous and multiform combination, to exhibit private dissimilarities, or in every instance to discriminate between the various shades of opinion. It is sufficient that exceptions are made. My warfare is against the AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY. If I shall identify its general, preponderating and clearly developed traits, it must stand or fall as they shall prove benevolent or selfish.
I bring to this momentous investigation an unbiassed mind, a lively sense of accountability to God, and devout aspirations for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Unless Hein whom there is no darkness at all,' pours light upon my path, I shall go astray. I have taken Him at His word: If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, and it shall be given him.' Confessing my own foolishness, I have sought that knowledge which
I would premise, that, like many others, I formerly supposed the Colonization Society was a praiseworthy association, although I always doubted its efficiency. This opinion was formed for me by others, upon whom I placed implicit confidence it certainly was not based upon any research or knowledge of my own, as I had not at that time perused a single Report of the Society, nor a page in its organ, the African Repository. My approval was the offspring of credulity and ignorance. I am explicit on this point, because my opponents have accused me of inconsistency-though it ought not surely to disgrace a man, that, discovering himself to be in error, he promptly turns to the embrace of truth. As if opinions, once formed, must be as irrevocable as the laws of the Medes and Persians! If this were so, accountability would lose its hold on the conscience, and the light of knowledge be blown out, and reason degenerate into brutish instinct. Much stress has been
themselves the cause of its motion. They constitute a complete whole. Take from it the consumers, and the work must stop. The merchant will not import an article for which there is no demand. The Slave holder will have no disposition to buy Slaves when the fruits of their labour are wholly rejected. The Slave ships will cease to haunt the shores of Africa when there is no demand for Slaves.
Those who already hold Slaves will be willing to emancipate them, when there is no employment for Slaves. Then, that fountain of human blood, which hath been flowing in Africa for ages, would be dried up. The carnage and misery attending the traffic in human flesh, would cease.
This great fountain of human blood, which flows in Africa ; whose streams have stained America and the West-Indies, is kept in motion by the consumers of the produce of Slave's labour. They are the subscribers, who furnish the fund by which the whole business is carried on
The feasts of the luxurious may be called banquets of human flesh and blood; and the partakers thereof considered as cannibals, devouring their own species; when we take into consideration the great destruction of human life: First, by the warfare carried on in Africa, in taking Slaves: Secondly, in transporting them across the ocean in the Guinea ships: Thirdly, in seasoning them; which is seasoning them to cruel whipping, hunger, and hard labour. In these operations, probably more than half perish; while the others are reduced to great sufferings; by which they are generally worn out in a few years.How is this vast destruction of the rational creation of God to be accounted for, to Him, whose justice is infinite? On whom will the guilt of this sacrifice to avarice and luxury fall? Certainly on the whole copartnsrship, who participate in the iniquity.
Having demonstrated that the consumption of the produce of Slave's labour, supports the Slave trade; and of consequence, that the consumers are parties in the business; let it be remembered, that the receiver of stolen goods is said to be equal to the thief. It is something paradoxical, that a man will refuse to buy a stolen sheep, or to eat a piece of one that is stolen; and not have the same scruples respectieg a stolen man.
The Apostle Paul, in endeavouring to remove the strong Jewish prejudice for the Mosaic Law, said, "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat asking no questions for conscience sake." 1. Cor. x, 25. But, that was relative to clean and unclean beasts, and their manner of killing them but that which is stolen, or taken by violence from its rightful owner is quite another thing.
If any one, after having fully considered the Slave trade, and the manner in which the fruits of Slave's labour is obtained, feel no doubts about partaking thereof, any more than about any thing obtained by the strictest honesty, I have nothing to say to him but to him who feels doubtful of its being perfeetly right, let it be observed, that Paul testifies, "He that doubteth is damned if he eat; because he eateth not of faith; for what soever is not of faith is sin."