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The Delaware abolitionist. (Wilmington, Del.) 1847-18??, January 01, 1848, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88053129/1848-01-01/ed-1/seq-2/

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àoes aught to prevent another from eryoying or
possessing his liberty is a wrong doer,
has a right to possess his liberty ; not the mere
privilege of purchasing it ; and consequently
the master can have no just claim upon him for
merely ceasing to do him a wrong. To infer
otherwise would involve a palpable absurdity.
It is altogether another question, how far the
•owner of a slave may possess a just claim upon
his fellow oiiizt'n8, who have, by their support
of the system of slavery, or their negleçt to ex
ert the powers they possess for its overthrow,
made themselves partners with him in the
wrong; and thereby perhaps been a means of
leading him into it. Let this be decided as it
may, it does not affect the right of the slave to
his liberty ; nor the duty of the master, and all
others combined by law or otherwise in the sup
port of slavery to cease their wrong doing. The
Tight of the slave to enjoy liberty being admit
ted, the duty of those concerned to proceed to
give it to him, with no other delay than that
which is necessary to go through the required
process, is necessarily assumed. To say that
a slave has a right to his liberty, but that under
the circumstances in which he is placed, it
would be wrong toset him free ; is only to ut
ter an absurdity, a contradiction in terms. None
are-capable of believing such a proposition, for
the belief of the one part destroys that of the
other. There are however many who from
want of attention to the true import of their
language make use of analogous forms of ex
pression. They probably mean that all men in
some fancied original state, had a right to liber
ty, but that under the operation of law or other
causes, that right has
stroyed, taken away, consigned to annihilation.
Hence, we frequently hear it said that the slaves
ar e deprived of every right , that of liberty among
the rest; a form of expression which must have
originated with the idea that human rights were
the mere creatures of law, to be given and tak
away at pleasure-privileges confered by
the supreme power in the state and nothing
more. And although the idea is now enter
tained 4,0 some c a tciu, *• man is endowed by
his Creator with certain unalienable Tights;"
een in some cases de
rights which cannot be made alien to him ; the
old forms of expression are still used, and that
too by persons who are very far from believing
what they say ; thus showing that the idea that
human rights are superior to human laws, has
not yet pervaded the public mind, so as to con
trol the habitual current of thought, and thus
change the forms of expression which have
grown to be common under the influence ol
other conceptions. I make these remarks not
for the purpose of provoking a controversy with
my friend, but for the benefit of all who may
have associated a meaning with the phrase un
conditional emancipation, which the words in
their common natural acception do not imply,
and who herein find cause of accusation against
Abolitionists, and excuses for their own do
nothing-ness in relation to slavery.
Harmony Grove, Dec. 10, 1847.
For the Delaware Abolitionist .
My friend, W. J., asks, what condition 1
would annex to the enjoyment of liberty by the
freed-man ?
1 would annex the condition that the slave
should not be worsted by the act of emancipa
tion, if he was old and infirm ; worn out in the
service of his master. 1 would stipulate that
he should have plenty to eat, drink, and wear,
the remaining portion of his life,—immediate
and unconditional emancipation would', in some
cases, deprive him of this. Slavery, bad as it
is, is not the worst condition of human exist
ance. There seems to be a kind of horror in
the term 44 conditional emancipation," when
the real evil belongs to " unconditional."
VV ho ever heard of 44 emancipation" being car
ried out and acted upon, without some kind of
W. J.
condition attached to ill The liberty for an
old, blind, decre'jjid'fffSH'^o work or starve, is
not so desirable; and this must be the effect of
blindly carrying out this unconditional princi
Again, the interests of the master may be sa
crificed. Slaves arb a species of property ac
quired under the sanction of law, and 1 think it
wrong to deprive a man of his property without
pensation, if legally obtained, eŸen under
a wicked law- QdndUional emancipation seems
therefore to be the only just and equitable plan.
Wilmington, Dc*., 12th mo. 24th, 1847.
Fox the Delaware Abolitionist.
One of the greaiest puzzles of the present
day, has been to -discover the why and where
fore, of the Mexican war. Our wisest men
have expended thnr wits on the subject, and
demonstrated nothing, exoept the wildness of
their conjecturés, and the impenetrable nature
of the mill-stonè through which they were en
deavoring to see.
Some say that itlexists by the act of Mexico,
others by that of President Polk : and so on.
Like the potato roti the only thing known
tainly about it, is, that it dues exist. Its ob
jects are equally enveloped in mystery. Some
suppose that our Government wants the whole
of Mexico, others dial we want Rone of it. It
is also said, that Ytnkee enterprize having ex
hausted all the rarir material which is to be
found in our own limited territory, must needs
step over the line, in order to find 44 ample
room and verge enough," for whittling, &c.—
However this may be, there are certainly some
individuals among us, largely bleseed with
•faith, hope, and charity, who seem ready to be
lieve that this Polking Of onr armies over the
bordeTis intended to extend the area of freedom.
But the majority, less credulous, see more
slavery than an/ thing else, at the bottom of
it. Tossed about on this restless sea of -con
Wailed with much in
terest the prospect Ifenry Clay would de
liver a speech on the subject; and high hopes
were raised that we should at last know
thing more about it than the one bare and in
comparable fact, that we were suffering under
its influence. But those hopes were vain, he
merely tells us, on this head, the people ought
to know, and it is the duty of Congress to tell
them, why, they should continue to shed their
blood, and pour out their treasure in support of
this war. W. W.
juftuo, tha publia
For the Delaware Molilionùt.
We often hear it asserted that many of the
Slave Statee, Virginia in particular, would, ore
this, have emancipated their Slaves, had it not
been for the " reckless and extravagant
sures pursued by Abolitionists."
That tho errors: of Abolitionists
emancipation from progressing as fast it would
otherwise do, canjiot bo doubted ; but have
they not, upon thenvhole, advanced the
ot freedom? Havj they, not, with all their
faults, done a great;work tor the nation ? They
have awakened a spirit of enquiry ; directed
public attention t| the subject of Slavery;
from small beginnings in a humble way, advo
cated the cause of tœ oppressed against the op
pressor, and althoijgh not always in the mild
est spirit, nor with the most efficient means ;
they have always bepn honest, sincere and con
scientious, until now the cause of liberty is
making its way into!the legislative halls of the
nation—into the religious, moral and political
institutions of our epuntry—agitating and sha
king the very foundations of our government.
Is all this nothing? Is it-nothing to awaken a
nation that is slumbering over a volcano, when
every hour is increasing tho danger and lessen
ng the means of escape ? Abolitionists, as a
party, do not expect to>do mor^.tb&n this; the
public must apply the remedy
As to the charge ol Abolition retarding the
cause of emancipation, a few facts will show
that the South were no better prepared to hear
the truth before the Anti-Slavery agitation iu
the North than they are now :
44 More than forty years ago, Father Gilleland
established a Sabbath School in North'Carolina
to teach the blacks to read the Word of,God. It
was disbanded by the slaveholders. About
thirty years ago Mr. John Rankin commenced
a similar school near Lexington, Ky., which
was soon broken up by an armed band of slave
holders. Some eighteen years ago some of the
members of the Strawberry Plains Ghurch,
East Tennessee, commenced instructing the
colored people to read God's Word. In a few
months it was broken up by slaveholders.
About twenty years since, a Theological stu
dent by the name of Hill, made in East Ten
nessee a few anti-siavery addresses. The sur
rounding country became so excited that for.
some time he dared not go out of the institu
tion for fear of his life. About eighteen years
ago a young minister by the name of Eaorleton,
preached a sermon against slavery in East Ten
nessee. For this his Presbytery took away
his license to preach and refused to return it
again until he had pledged himself not to
preach any moro against slavery. All these
facts occurred where slavery is found in its
mildest form. Many more might be given, but
these are sufficient to show that the Southern
mind was no better prepared to receive the
truth before the anti-slavery agitation in the
North than they aro now. The fact is the
South has not been so well prepared to receive
the truth Tespecting Slavery for the last foity
years as it is now. There are more decided
Anti-Slavery men
is now doing to extend Anti-Slavery principles
in the slave States, and these principles are b
ter received, than at any other time, as might
bo-Wj^ed by any number of facts."— Ameri
can ft I
attho South, and more
«Tarne« B. Brooke, Publishing Agent.
" Four colored women were whipped at New
Castle on Saturday week. They receivud SI
lashes each. A colored man, at the same time,
received 63 lashes. He was whipped on three
indictments, receiving .21 iaRhes for each_
One of the women is to he sold as a slave for
7 years, and another 23 years. One is lashed
on the back and sold as a slave, for stealing
twenty-five cents worth of tallow ! .It was
proved that the tallow was found under her
bed. The jury were out all night, and it is
said actually burnt more tallow in finding the
verdict than was stolen.
Sainuel D. Burris, a colored man, who wae
convicted of enticing away a slave from Kent
county, was sentenced to 10 months imprison
ment, and to be sold out of the State. Will
the Government pardon him? Oneoftho Judges
says the only testimony against him, was giv
ing a woman three Zips to get her breakfast, and
we think there are few who would not have
done the Barnc. Ho was convicted on testimo
ny that would not have convicted a white man.
—So says the Blue Hen's Chicken.'*
We clip tho above paragraph from the W
Chester Register & Examiner. It is not the
first of tho kind wo have seen. Our neighbors
very justly regard us as wanting in refinement
while such things are enacted among us. YV»
may add that they might as justly regard ns

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