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CHAPTER VIII.

POSITION OF ENGLAND IN REFERENCE TO SLAVERY.

The position of England in reference to the subject of Slavery, is deemed of sufficient importance to be entitled to a separate consideration. Her views and sentiments are especially important to the people of this country, on account of her expressed wish to see Slavery abolished in Texas and in the United States.

We have the principles and the policy of the British government distinctly laid down in a de. spatch from the Earl of Aberdeen, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, *to the Right Hon. Richard Pakenham, dated De. cember 26th, 1843. His Lordship states, that –

“ It must be, and is well known, both to the United States, and to the whole world, that Great Britain desires, and is constantly exerting herself to prccure the general abolition of Slavery throughout the world. But the means which she has adopted, and will continue to adopt, for this hu. mane and virtuous purpose, are open and undis. guised.”

Again :

“With regard to Texas, we avow that we wish to see slavery abolished there as elsewhere, and

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we should rejoice if the recognition of that country by the Mexican Government should be accompanied by an engagement on the part of Texas to abolish Slavery eventually, and under proper conditions throughout the Republic."

And again:

“The government of the Slave holding State may be assured that, although we shall not desist from those open and honest efforts which we have constantly made for procuring the abolition of Slavery throughout the world, we shall neither openly 'nor secretly resort to any measures which can tend to disturb their internal tranquility or thereby to affect the perpetuity of the American Union."

We have in these extracts the principles and policy of England distinctly disclosed. We are informed, 1st. That England desires the abolition of Slavery throughout the world. 2ndly. That she has been openly exerting herself to bring about that result, and 3rdly. That she will continue to exert herself for that purpose. As to the views of England upon the subject of Slavery taken in the abstract, we have nothing to do; she has a right to her sentiments upon that, as úpon all other subjects, and so long as those views do not Head her to act injuriously upon our interests, we can, and ought to say nothing. When, however, or abstract notions upon any subject lead her to interfere in our domestic arrangements, then we have a right to speak, and we will speak.

But what are the measures that England has openly adopted to procure the abolition of Slavery throughout the world? We hear of no steps taken by her to liberate the forty or fifty millions of white Slaves in Russia. We have heard of no hint or even a suggestion to the Russian Government on the subject. In the East Indies, Slavery prevails to a very great extent, nevertheless, we hear of no efforts on the part of the British Gor. ernment to abolish it, though the country forms a part of her own dominions. Slavery likewise prevails in Turkey, Persia, Egypt, and in various parts of Germany, but we hear of no effort on the part of England, to bring about its abolition, though in all those countries she exerts a very powerful influence through her several diplomatic agents. In Africa there are not less than forty millions of abject Slaves; nevertheless, no at. tempt is made by England to liberate them. The assertion of Lord Aberdeen then, that England has been making open and honest efforts for "proouring the abolition of Slavery throughout the world,” must be taken with some limitation.

But what are the open and honest efforts which hav: been made by England to abolish Slavery in

the United States? We have heard of no propo. sition to the General or State Governments in reference to the abolition of Slavery. If, then, England has been exerting herself to procure the abolition of Slavery in the United States, her efforts have not been open and undisguised as she represents, but just the reverse.

We hear of no proposition on the part of England, to the Brazilian Government, to abolislı Slavery in that country. None, direct'y, by the British Government to Spain, on the subject. In reference to Texas, the Earl of Aberdeen says:

“We have put ourselves forward in pressing the Government of Mexico to acknowledge Texas as independent.”

And again he says:

"We shall rejoice, if the recognition of that country by the Mexican Government shall be ac. companied by an engagement on the part of Texas to abolish Slavery eventually, and under proper conditions throughout the Republic.”'

From these declarations it is evident that Eng. land endeavored to bring about the abolition of Slavery in Texas. The object was to be accomplished by means of her influence in Mexico. The recognition of the independence of Texas by Mexico, was to be accompanied with the condi. tion of abolition in the former.

But though Great Britain has done nothing di. rectly to bring about the abolition of Slavery on this side of the Atlantic, except in the case of Texas, she has done much indirectly. This has been accomplished through the agency of aboli. tion societies, and through the influence of par. ticular abolitionists. Prominent abolitionists have been appointed by her to important positions in Slaveholding countries, on this side of the Atlantic, with a view of acting upon the subject of Slave. ry. We have a prominent example of this, in the case of Cuba. Since the year 1817, England has been permitted, by the treaty which was then ratified between herself and the Spanish Govern. ment, to keep a permanent commission at Ha. vana, for the execution of said treaty. Her efforts at first were directed to the abolition of the Slave Trade, but after the emancipation of the Slaves in her own West India possessions, she wished to go further and bring about an abolition of Slavery in Cuba likewise. In the year 1839, agents were sent by the British Anti-Slavery socie. ties, to the city of Madrid, in order to make proposi. tions to the Spanish Government respecting the abolition of Slavery in Cuba. Among other things, it was proposed that the owners of Slaves be compensated as in the case of British emancipation.

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