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Address of the National Liberty Convention of A. D. 1841

Address of the National Liberty Convention of A. D. 1841 image Address of the National Liberty Convention of A. D. 1841 image
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To the Citizens of the United States : The National Convention of the friends of libert.y in the United Siates, cotivcned in the city of New York, on the 12th and 13th of May, 1841, for the pui)ose of considcring the propriety of nomimting candidates for President and Vice President of the Uniied States, to be sup)orted by ihem al the next election, havng, viili great unanimity, agreed upon he adoption ofthat meas'ure, and hnving unanimously selected as their candidates, TAMES G. BiRNEY, of New York, foi 'resident, and THOMAS MORRIS, öf Oirio, for Vice President, consider it likevise proper to accumpany the announcement of this result of' their deliberations, vitha brief statement of the reasons which ïave impelled them to adopt this policy, md an explicit avowal of the principies by t'hich, in their associated political action, bey conüider themselves under obligaliotj o be governed. Wc find the government of tha United States, as a rnatlor of existing fací, under ie control of the slave power. During the fifiy-two years of our naonal history, under the present constituion, the office of President has been held y a elaveholder, íorty years. Ths slave power has held thecy in our national councils during the enUre penod of our national cxistence, and under the administraron of all the contending parties that have, n turn, ruled over ihe destinies of the country. lTnder the reign of the Slave Power oyer this nation, we have witnessed the Psntional diplomacy and the treaty-mak mg powor uniformly and efficienlly subservient to ihe interests of slaveryat the expense of the National interests, and the national honor. The SLAVE POWER has moulded tue rneasures of the national government in all lts internat regulations, and its poliucal economy, in subservency to the wishes of the slaveholders, and in opposilion to the interests and general wishes of the non slaveholding States. Il has established a naúonal bank, then oeclared it unconstitutional and broken it down- again re-established it, and again broken it down at its picasure just as its own supposed interests mightseem, for the time being, to require. It has proscribed and prohibited foreign commerce, it has clamored for domestic manufactures and a protectivetariff; again it has demanded and obtained the abandonment of that policy, and a return to free irade, on a threat of a dissolution of the Union, unJess the free-labor States would concede to the demand. It has d,eclared vtur, under pretence of protecting that foreign commeree, carried on by the free North, which, at the same time, it declared to be a national curse, and which, the measuresitdictated, includmg the war, we e adopted, if nol intended toannihilate. It has shown, in its conduct of that war, and particulariy in its sham invasión of Canada, which it dared not annex to the free North, that the preservation, and iggrandizement of itself, was more regarded than the vindication of the national honor. It has terminated that war by a treaty of Peace, in which no redress was obtained for the past, and no security stipulated for the future. It has therefore, in effect, levied ataxof many rnillions of dollars upon the free laboring North, to sustain the expenses of a war of aggression upon its own interests, a-nd its own rights. Jn all this, it has manifestly sought to preserve the balance of power betvveen the impoverished South, and the more prosperous and industrious North, by crippling the energiesof thelatier, and reducing them, as nearly as possible, to the level of the former. The immense pecuniary sacrifices and burdens thusimposed upon the free laboring North, by the action of the Slave power through the National Government, has become still more insupportable, in consequence of other depreations upon our free labor by a process which no national administration can prevent, otherwise than by contributing the aid of ita constitutiona! authority, for the overlhrow of, slavery iiself. We allude to the mercantile and financial losses to the free North, which must unavoidably result from its business connections with the pauperised South. - Losües which can only be guarded against by a total intercourse between the free and slave States, or by the abc'.Uion f the slave system iiself. There is abundant data for the belie that no elaveholding community, relying on slave labor for its agricultura! producís ever supported, or can support itself, bu by direct or indirect supplies from, o depredationsupon other communities with which it holds intercourse. God never intended thatone hilfortwo thirds of a community should subsist upon the unrequited labor of the other half.-A shght acquaintance with history may assure us íhat it never yet has been done And a very moderate stock of common sense and common arithmetic may serve to convinco any candid inquirer," that never can be done. Itis well understood that the British West India Islands, provious to the gloriou3 acl of aboiition, were dependent on the moiher country, not on!y for their military defence ngainst their plundered agriculturalists, but also for their pecuniary meana of escaping the horrors of starvation. It has been affirmed that the slaveholdng Noríh American Provincos were rouglit into the measurc of joining the orthern and Eastern Provinces in ihcir evolutionary struggle against Great Brilin, chiefly by the beüef that a war would onfiscate or wipe out, in some way, the ast debt due from the slaveholding planers to the merchanta of England, and vhich they were unable to pay. From thal time to the present, it is not elieved that twenty years have, at any eriod clupsed, (and soldom more than ten ears,) without a general bankruptcy mong the planters of the slave Ststes, t!ic )urden of vvhich hns fallen, ultimaicly, pon their importers, their mechanicp, leir artizans, their manufacturers, and icir bankers; and lheso reside, chiefly ? inthe non-slaveholding States. The first National Bank owed its charter mainly to the fact that souihern baokruptcy needed loans from somo source which the South could not supply, and which its ingenuity could not devise, without a mingling up of iis own credit wilh that of thé free laboring JNortb, in a common partnership bank. The same bank lost its charter because the Soulh had become indebted to t, and to the northern merchants beyond their ability to pay,nnd therefore itbecame convenient to bury the creditor and his collecting agent in ono common gravo. The second National Bank owed its birth and its death to the same causes. Boston was overwhelmed wilh sudden and unexpected bankruptcy in 1823, be cause slie had sold her domestic manufacture and imported gooda to tho Süu(h,and the South was uuable to pay. A similar visitation, connected in part, with the cotton speculations, (comraenced at the South, and endeld at the North,) in 1S26, was infiicted upon the city of New York. Again, in 1837, something liko 100 millions of dollars was lost to the city of New Vork, and toother northern cities, tovvns, and villages, in proportiou, from a similar cause. The loss of 90 millions of dollars, by Ibe States of Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky, 1838, in consequence of tho refusal of the Mississippians to pay for the alavés illegally imported into that State, feil, uitimately, of course, (notwithstanding the recent decisión of the Supreme Court,) upon the northern people, whohad trusted them, in various farms, to thefull amount of the supposed preceeds of the slave traffic of 1836 and 7. Northern fund?, to vast amounts, have been engulphed and lost, forever, in the Pontine marshes of Southern Banks, and Southern State Stocks. Northern Banks within a few months past, have suspended or stopped specie payment, because they had purchased, er been founded on Southern State Stocks. it is now well known that the late United States Bank (of Pennsylvania) was ruiued chiefly by its connectiou with the slaveholding Suuth. Such are a few specimen of a class of facts, of which we can scarcely present the condensed outline. In such circumstances it is, that we find ourselves under the control of a National Government, governed by the elave pow er. Nor are mere pecuniary burdens, and embarrassments the sole, or the most grievous items in our catalogue of complaints. We only see in them the symbols of sorer chastisements. We read in them the evidence that we are beginning to taste the bitter fruits of a corrupt tree - thatwe are reaping the deserved penalty of past and present iransgression. The same slave power that plunders our purses has declared open war upon our civil, political and religious freedom. And the menace has already proved itself to be no idle threat. Already is our right oí petition cloven down, and the firs.t thrill of alarm that was feit, for a lime, through the free States, seems subsiüing, and settling down into the calm of quiet submission to a despotism too formidable to be successfully grappled with! The lawless violence, riots, mobs, arsons, lynchings, and murders, with which the slave power has attempted to fortify itself, both in the free and the slave Statea, instead of having been discountenanced and checked by our National and State governments, have been countenanced by the tcne of Executive messages, and by the action of the Post Office Department of the Federal Government.In connection with all this, and more than all this, we see reason to apprehend that the Jong deferred punishment of our great national sin, is about tu ba visited upon us, and wilh a weight proportioned to the Divine forbearance thal has hitherto withheld it, and that has given us, as a people, the opportunity of filling up the measure of our national guilt. lf a Jef'erson could tremble, fifty years ogo, under the apprehension that Gud is just, and hat his justice cannot sleep forever, shall we be considered fanatical furentertoining similar sentítuents, after so fearful an ad dilion to the just grounds of that fear? The intolerable national diigrace of ransförming the seatof our National Government into the most exlensive, odious, nd brutulizing slave marketin the known vorJd - a market by means of which paentsareseparaied f rom childrenand chilren from parent?, husbands from wivea nd wives trom husbands - a iralnc which as been prcsented as a nuisance by a rand jury of the Federal District itself - ■ traffic described in the petition of Judge Dranch, and eleven hundred citizens of the )istrict, as bcing more cruel in its operaoiif, and more demoralizing in ite effecta ïan the African slave irado itself, which as been prohibitod by our own laws aa iracy - such a disgrace, we can not buj


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