OCR Interpretation

The Columbia Democrat. [volume] (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1837-1850, July 29, 1837, Image 1

Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85025180/1837-07-29/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

I liao sworn upon llic Altar of God, eternal hostility to every form of Tyranny ocr the Mlutl of Mali." Thomas Jefferson.
Hwf tar
tana i&MPiim'E'aIsm
Front the New York 8lnr.
A gentleman of fortune in liis city ha3
lately received a letter from bin brother,
who is President of one of the Mobile
Banks- who mentions, among other mat
ters relative to the present distressing times,
spinofintoresling incidents touching the sale
01 incicuccis 01 a miu iiiurciiauiui iiiul uny
MrflTJ: This gentleman was possess
ed "blja beautiful female slave, about 18
Vcarslpf age. At'thc North she would have
ibecpitakcn for a brunette, being as much
unlike the French Creoles as possible. In-
dcqd'ii was said tliat she had not a drop of
French, and' but precious little African
lilood in her veins. Nevertheless she was
la slave ul tho time of her master's failure,
andjas such became the property of li is
Creditors. An individual" (a broker) to
fyhom he owed some $10,000, determined
tojpossess himself of this girl, if possible,
"and.it'was likewise the intention of tho bro-
kenjmcrchant to redeem her at all hazards.
ANrwc creditors, except the broker, agreed
thaillN. might retain his slave on giving a
ootllindorscd twelve months note for $1,-
6005 with interest. lie aloilc demanded
jtljcTsalc of the girl under the hammer,, and
thot unfortunate merchant was (oinpciled to
submit, determining however, to have some
fpfJiH.fricnda buy her for him. The day of
sale having arrived, Mr. N. was under no
apprehension but that he could retain his
'Martha for something less than 82,000
andjne had made arrangements to meet that
sumjin full, anil commissioned one of his
friends to make the purchase for him.
ButRvhat was his surprise and indignation
'tojseo his refractory creditor make the first
ShlfejBOO! He was not thus to be baulked,
and'.undcr instructions, his friend hid 2,000.
. .TTrW-Jilor however, persisted in over
bidding-, untn , ' ,T .
.ar" . fiiVJitiful Martha was
BtrucktolTto him at Si noti,- "
Itjfwas utterly out of tho power fntTie
bfflkon- merchant to raise money cvcit for
thoJiuMie had made upon his Martha, had
it -.'succeeded in' purchasing her, and his
creditor would doubtless have still overbid
"'gpflhad he gone higher, lie must thcrc
'forQIosc her, or pay tho full amount of the
StOlOOO debt, which it was impossible for
ihiSjo do. What was then to lie done.
iMartria would never consent to part with
jMppmastcr. Ho had purchased her on his
arrival at the South, more than eight years
tagtSfw her owil request, she then living
fabout twenty miles from Mobile lie had
given her every advantage of education,
andlbrought her up as tenderly as though
;b holy ere his own daughter, and now she
Would sooner part with life itself than be
come a slave.
Her feelings 011 learning her situation,
forEN. had carefully concealed the an-
ounccmout of tho sale from her,) wero
probably similar to those which the proud
jkmghtcr of any citizen would experience
jmrajike predicament, for the fact of her be-
.iinga slave was known to but few in Mo-
IpiIot She therefore sent word to her pur
chaser, that she would never leave her
resent abode alive. In answer to this
essage, he sent two officers to take her
Into custody. Mean time Mr, N. had cn-
ouraged her that she should cortainly os-
gape her doom, and embark for Now York,
Mmther hu would join her in a short linic,
ever again to return, and he would thoro
nnv her.
Iarlha was shortly after this placed in
jwcpmmon jail at Mobile, as a stubborn
jTtcryaiH, but, fortunately, the keeper inlcr
usled himself in her behalf, and she enjoyed
:craal comforts to those of her master's
3ust ten days after this, Martha signified
hooconsent to leave tho prison, and take up
Jjerjabodc with her new mastor, the hoart
toss; creditor of N. With ploasuro and sur-
rujo she was liborntod by tho purchaser,
Jip appropriated a handsome nnartment in
Town house to her use. The same night
VT.SH ....
thaatarfed for Savannah ntr exnrecs. un
known to any one eavo the faithful N.'
One thousan'l dolhira reward was immedi-
atoly offered for bet apprehension and the
doteetion of those who had aided in her
escape, and on the Oth day the reward was
doubled, messengers a!si having been sent
to New Orleans, and in several other dircc-
tions. A fort night passed, anil no tidings i
of the beautiful slave Martha. Every one
suspected, though none could prove, that
her former master had aided in her escape.
Mr. N. had now nearly arranged his affairs,
and was about to leave Mobile. His stub
born creditor had tried by evry means in
his power, to procure an indictment against
him, but without success, when on the eve
ning, of N's departure, his friend, at his dc
sirci railed upon the creditor, to endeavor
if possible to purchase a release to the title
of Martha. "No," replied the broker, "I
would sooner spend the 810,000, than be
tricked by the infernal Yankee!" N.
took his leave, depositing 0800 with his
friend, which was all the spare money he
had, anil instructing him to purchase with
it the freedom of Martha if possible.
Within one month from the time N. left
Mobile, the extensive house of 11. M. and
Brothers, cotton brokers stopped payment,
and in due time, the sale of their personal
property devolved upon an auctioneer. A
mnng the living chatties disposed off, the
title to the beautiful slave Martha, then, ab
sent, but who cost if 4, 500 was .struck off to
the friend of N. for sixty two dollars!
. This narrative is no fiction, the author of
the letter first mentioned being the identical
purchaser of the slave Martha. His imme
diate ohjcei in writing to the gentleman
who furnished us with the above, wa3 to
ascertain the whereabouts of his friend N.,
as he had been unable to hear froni him
since his important purchase, though he
had immediately written to 'New York, ac
quainting hiin with it. Wc have been
promised an introduction to the heroine of
this nanative, and her own happy husband.
' , AL1?' Jyjn idscrtiockc r.
One of the most striking imaracTeri.v
of the present age, is the highly excitable
state of the public mind. From the North
eastern boundary line to the Mp.ic.in gulf,
ftom the Atlantic to the 'Far West.' there
comes rumor after rumor of liot, insurrec
tion, and tumult. A f pecics of moral chol
era seems every where prevailing; and no
portion of our country is exempt from its
visitation. The cold and circulating sons
of New-England arc now rs readily lighted
up into these out-breakings against order,
as the hasty and inflammable spirits of the
south. The passions of the populace arc-
ever icuiiy lor explosion, and it matters not
what is applied to the train abolition, Gra
hamism, high prices of food, bank frauds,
or gambling, any thing, in fact, is made use
of by the people as an opportunity for tak
ing the law into their own hands. They
would be at onco jurymen and execution
ers, legislator's, and judges, when laboring
under maddened excitement, that renders
them wholy unlit for their assumed pow
ers. Though thorc have been riots among
mankind, since they were first gathered in
to ofgauized societies, and became nations,
yot wc do not recollect a period recorded in
history when these 'uproars among the
people, bore similitude to the riots of tho
present day, cither in their frequent recur
rence, or in the peculiar character of their
motive power. They wero generally, both
in ancierit and modern times, the teaction
of those natural rights of man, which had
been forcibly kept down by tyranny and
oppression; and theso insurrections wero
cither immediately checked by tho strong
arm of enthroned authority; or elso Lccamo
the glorious moans of restoring the peoplo
to their rightful privileges. But among us,
it is different. Our government acknowl
edged that 'nil men arc born free and equal,'
and tho people have neither tho disposition
nor tho excuse to rise in rebellion against it,
since they both foel and know tho blessings
it seoura them. Our mobs arc wrtpoUli-
ct!, though they are sometimes mado uso of
by designing politicians ; for wc never see,
even in the greatest excitement of party
against party, one portion of the populace
rising against those who differ from them
in their opinions of public men and mea-
surcs. In a philosophical sense, they may
be termed moral ones, for the exciting
cause is generally found to bo some imagi
nary or real Outrage upon the moral sense,
or upon- the honest but ignorant prejudices.
of the community. There is much truth in
the remark of Bishop Porteus, that 'the
mob may sometimes think right, but they
always act wrong.' Either the supposed
inefficiency ol the law3, or an impatient
unwillingness to await their slow decision,
rouses the multitude into a determination
to punish the offenders at once, and upon
this rash resolve, they madly wreak their
vengeance upon the original criminal, or
upon any one whom they fancy to be in
the least degree connected with him. In
furiated by their passions, they rush on
ward to the work of destruction, regardless
alike of law, of ju. l'c , of reason, and of
humanity. As in tho first taste of blood,
by the lion's cub every drop that it takes
makes it thirst - for more, so it is with the
mo s insatiate wrath, if left to itself, it
in ve can be glutted it never says 'it is
enough,' until every thing has become a
prey to its vindictive spirit.
The rapidity with which this tendency
to tiots has spread through our country,
and their frequent recurrence here, there,
and every w hero in our land is owing, in
a great i!cg'.:e, to the encouragement given
to them by the press, and by public opinion.
The light and of.cn commendatory notice
given of Ju lgn Lynch's proceedings, when
his sapient Judgeship happened to punish
rightly, according to the opinion of the wri
ter or speaker, has produced incalculable
mischief through our wide-spread commu
nitv. With these short-sighted individu
als the end justifies, and they thoughtlessly
cast these fire. brand opinions about, say
ing, 'Are we not in sport?' But let such
beware of this dangerous trifling, or they
tnrfi'teji!0 a conflagration, which will
i u n "xvwqr.of man to arrest,
and whose flanles mavg65ieiW.
until it h.w involved our prosperity, our'
liberty, and our government, in one vast
smouldering ruin.
However different may havs been the ex
citing o.iuses of thc30 tumults amo lg the
people, yet the characteristics of a mob,
when once roused into action, will ever be
found similar. Take those of any ago, and
of any country, and wc trace in their pro
oeediugs the same distinct! ire features.
The history of one is in this respect the
history of all, for its subject is humai na
ture. It is the wild misrule of the fiercest
passions of the multitudo gathered into
fearful combination, and infuriated to in
sanity. They arc for the time as incapa
blc of exercising reason or judgment, as a
band of maniacs; and it is this mental ami
moral derangement that invests them witl
a power so appalling. And it is also ow
ing to this, that sound-judging legislators
and humane magistrates have been forced
to acknowledge, that nothing but tho strong
arm of powor will be of any avail at such a
'crisis, and that in extreme cases, the seve
rest measures are often tho most merciful.
Like drunkards when raging in 'delirium
tremens,' they are not in a fit state to be
counselled or reasoned with, and thoir acts
of outrage havo to ho checked by force.
Although public safety, and the necessity
of preserving order, render strict procedures
needful, yet there is not a patriot or phi
lanthropist, whose heart docs not bleed for
the poor misguided populaecj when thus
excited to deeds of violence. The general
good requires tho punishment of tho actors,
hut tho responsibility of their crimes hangs
heavily upon their instigators. Sacred as
well as profano history points to those lead
ers as the greatest criminals. Tho desiro
for tho crucifixion of tho Saviour sprung
not spontaneously from tho multitude, for
thoy 'esteemed Him a prophet,' and would
havo taken Him 'by forco to mako him a
king.' It was tho wily 'chief priests and
tho scribes' who 'ncrsuaded thn nnnnln '
and 'moved them' to cry out 'Crucify Him,
crucify Him!' It was these who stimula
ted the ignorant and thoughtless mob, until
thoy thirsted for the blood of Him who had
healed their sicknesses, borne their infirm
ities, and compassionated their sufferings.
While tho mass of the people continue
unenlightened, they will ever be passive
instruments in the hands of those who stu
dy how to move them. In reason, they
are children, but in their passions they are
mon; and it is through this dangerous me
dium that they arc led on by their self-appointed
rulers. Wc fear that the true friends
of the people are comparatively but a small
band. It seems the interest of all classes,
and all parties, to keep them m ignorance,
that they may be more easily swayed to
suit their own purposes. It is as much the
desire of the partisan politician to keep the
crowd from judging for themselves, as it is
that of the most despotic tyrant. The re
suit, in making them do what they will, is
the same in both cases, though tho mean
which effect this are different; for the one is
gained by flattery, and the other by forco.
Wc have said that the friends of the people
are few, and even these few Stan ', aloof in
shameful inaction, and leave them to help
less prey to crafty disorganizes, erroneous
prejudices, and rabid infidelity. There is
an alarming degree of power left in the
hands of those who are both secretly and
openly striving to corrupt the populace, by
removing the only rwo restraining princi
ples that can be felt in their unonlighted
condition the belief in a God. and a future
state. Should these be taken away, we
may well tremble for our country, for the
turbid and polluted waters of anarchy and
vice will overwhelm it like a deluge.
To a calm and reflecting mind, an exci
ted mob is an object of compassion, and the
pious man will ever pray for the infuriated
multitude as his Saviour did: 'Father for
give them, for they know not what they do!'
The Am stirrings of tumult generally arise
from home cause that to their minds appears
a just one. They possess an intuitive sense
of right and wrong, which having hover
'ftaamided or enlightened by religion or
reason, can'ou..., , , , ., ,
A-,TTn t tAm k, Tilt., .
tiiwu i jutai. ugiiia, iiiiiiha.- WJJl
tnom by sophistry. They have not judg
ment to sift the specious from tho true; they
are prone to mistake appearances for reali
ty, and thus to them the worse can be made
to seem the better season. They both see
and feel instances of hardship and apparent
injustice, and they arc mischievously told
that the power of redress is in their own
hands, if they have but the courage to ex
crt it. While writhing under the loss of
their hard-earned savings, they see the men
whom they think were instrumental in ru
ining them, still living in case and opulence,
and some evil designer whispers, 'lte
vengc!' In the midst of their keen suffer
ings from want of employment, poverty,
and scarcity of provisions, they arc told that
tho exorbitant prices demanded for shelter,
food, and fuel, are owing to 'combinations'
& 'monopoly' among speculators, who are
fattening upon tho miseries of their fellows.
They stop not to examine tho truth ol this
statement, but givo it full credence, and take
summary vengeance upon the supposed of
fenders. Thoy are thus lashed into fury,
and imagine thoy can set all things right by
violence and tumult. This course appears
to them a 'justifiable expression of their
feeling,' for so mobs havo been spoken of,
again and again. They have never been
taught, that all out-breakings against law
and order aro deserving of censure and pun
ishment. No one has attempted to con
vince them, whilo they were in a lit state
to be reasoned with, that thoy are enemies
of their country, by thus draining off the
force of tho laws; and that by thoir throw
ing clogs upon tho inferior machinery of
government, they may stop the mighty en
gine itself, and shatter it into dissolution.
The peoplo have teachers, it is true, but
what are the lessons that arc given them?
.Thoir subtle tutors whcodle them by flatte
Number 14.
ry, and secure their confidence by avowing
themselves the friends of liberty and of vir
tue. This gained, thoy assemble them in
their 'halls of science,' and to try to under
mine their faith 111 God and revelation, and
their respect for all laws, whether human
or divine. In addition to this oral instruc
tion, they have the mighty aid of tho press-,
and pour out their publications daily, week
ly and monthly. Theso false teachers,
theso pretended friends 6f the people, have
been unceasingly active in their unholy
work. But what has been done by patriots
or philanthropists to counteract their efforts?
Has there been any thing like a strenuous',
concerted action among these, to enlighten
the public mind as to its true interests, and
to bring it to a healthful state of feeling and
action. Have they endeavored to prove to
the people the sophistry and falsehood of
those who are leading them into the bot
tomless pit of atheism, there to leave them
groping in its chadtic darkness! If nothing
has yet been done, then it is time for the
true friends of the people to be up and be
doing, for there is a great work before them.
There has much been effected toward the
moral reformation of the world, by exer
tions in the cause of Christianity and of ed
ucation. But the work of Which wc speak
is preparatory to both. One reason, per
haps, why missionaries among the heathen
arc more successful than those who labor
among our own miserable and vicious poor,
is, that the savage has never heard revealed
religion derided as a fable, and its profess
ors ridiculed as dotards, or censured hypo
crites. His ignorance and his natural sin
fulness are the only obstacles to be over
come; but in our civilized community,
there is a host of bitter prejudices, and
gross errors, to be driven from the way, be
fore the truths of Christianity can even gain
a Hearing, it it was tliouglit neeutul, be
fore the appearance of the Saviour, that
'Elias should first come,' 'to turn the hearts
if the fathers to the children, and the diso
'ledient to the wisdom of tho just; to make
ready a people prepared for the Lord,'
then may there not still be something that
is requisite to open the way for the recep
tion and diffusion of the truths of revela
tion? This preparatory work is the en
lightening of tho public mind on the various
""s,",,y'.Jloiwing frdm moral, social, and
political reIationS.xw..follibu in st
relief the misery and wrctclieUnca,, ,jlat
will necessarily flow from the misconduct
of tho people, as husbands, fathers and citi
zens, and to show them that prosperity and
happiness can only be expected In tho
faithful discharge of their duties in these
several stations. It is to remove the ex
isting prejudices against the religious por
tion of the community; to convince them
that the hypocrisy of some professors, 5t
tho sinful acts of others, are no arguments a
gainst Christianity, and to bring before them
simple yet etriking evidences of tho truth
of the holy Scriptures, in familiar and apt
illustrations. The proper education of pub
lic opinion is yet to bo accomplished.
The charge left by our venerable Wash
ngton, in his Farewell Address, needs still
to bo repeated, although forty years have
passed since it was given. After having
shown that 'religion and morality aro in
dispensable supports to political prosperity,'
and that it is to religion alone that we con
look for true morality, ho then recommends
tho general diffusion of knowledge among
' classes of the people, and afterward
says: 'In proportion as the structuro of
government gives force to public opinion, it
is essential that public opinion should be
By the enlightening o'f the public opinion,
the Father of his Country surely did not
moan tho oducatio'n of children in the rudi
ments of learning. It was to tho education
nf men, in their duties as members of the
body politic. It was to teach them to think,
and judge, and act, for themselves, that
they might rightly use their privileges as
freemen, and not ignorantly or heedlessly
abuso those blessings which wero bought
by the blood of revolutionary patriots. Tho

xml | txt