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The President's Message

The President's Message image
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The tenor and spirit of this document are direct and straight-forward, and the prompt and undisguised manner in which the President sets forth his views on national affairs, affords a favorable presage of the efficiency of the administraron. In reference to the slave trade the President holds the following language "I shall, also. at the proper season, invite your attention to the statutory enaclments for the suppresston of the slave trade, which may require to be rendered more efficiënt in their provisión. There is reason to believe that the traffic is on the increase. Whether such increase is to be ascribed to the abolition of slave labor in the British possessions in our vicinity,and attendantdiminuiion in the supply of those articles which enter into the general consumption of the world, thereby augmentting the demand from other quarters, and thus calling for additional labor, it wero needlcss to inquire. The highest considerations of public honor, as well as the strongest promptings of humanity, require a resort to the most vigorous efforts to suppress the trade." If it be needless to inquire whether the abolition of slavery in the West Indieshas increased the activity of the slave trade, why does he suggest it as a matter of inquiry ? Or does he mean to be understood that it is needless to inquire, because the fact is so plain as not to need iqquiry? - He assumes in the message, that men, while slaves, produce more of the articles of general consumption than the same persons will when in a state offreedom: con" sequently, in order to produce plenty in the world, t would be desirable not only to retain those whoare slaves, in slavery, but to reduce the laborers every where to the same condilion, because slaves will produce more than freeinen. Again, he assutnes that a partial emancipation incrcases the trade in slaves; and if cause and effect are reciproca!, he must conclude from his own premises, that universal emancipation would increase the trade still more; and that in proportion to the smallness of the market, there would be an increase of the supply, which is exacrty the reverse of the laws of trade. We would respectfully suggest to the President, whether "the highest considerations of public honor, as well as the strong est promptings of humanity,1' do not require some "statutory enactments" of Congress for the suppression of the domestic slave trade in the District of Colutnbia and between the slave states. We can say of this trade, what the President 6ays of the foreign trade - "there is reason to believe that the traffic is on the increase" Did our President ever seriously think that both public honor and humanity are outraged by this traffic? That slave traders are licensed to buy rr.en and women, and chain them together, hand to hand, and drive them in this condition through the 6treets of Washington, for the pakry sum of four hundred dollars, and that Congres3 continúes tosanction these liccnses, notwithstanding they have been applied to by a large number of the inhabitants of the District, to provide for the extinction of the traffic by legislative enactments? Does the President know that the Prison of the United States in Washington is used as a depository for the safe keeping of the slaves, prior to exporlation? Do not such facts as these affect our public honor" quile as much as the operations of a band of pirates three thousand miles off? What is the difference, so far as honor or humanity is concerned, between transporting a slave from África to New Orleans, or from Washington to New Orleans? Between buying a slavo at a factory ia África, or at an auction in Washington? Between tüiyíng a slave of a rough, illiterate pírate,or buying one of a gentleman who possesses the literaryand rehgious refineraent of his Excellency, John Tyler? Is it any less dishonorable or inhuman for John Tyler, a Chcistian magistrate of a civilized nation, to eell, or buy, or hold a slave,than for a poor, benighted, heathen princs of África, to do the same thing? We suggest these thinjis for the benefit of the President, and of his pro-slavery supporters hoping that they will give Ihem that consideration they deserve,and that thcy may not affect ignorance concerning the do- mestic slave trade, we subjoin the following statement deduced from the public documents, and published in the Philanthropist: "The States of KenUicky, North Caro" lina, Maryland, and Virginio, contained u slave population in 1830 of 983,552.- The ceiioiis of 1840 exhibits an increase in the two first States of but 2719; and a loss in the last two of 35,G75; or a loss on the entire slave population of the four States, 32,960. Now, f we suppose the natural increase of this population the last ten years, to have been as twenty-five per cent., which was below the ratio of increase of the H'hole slave popu'ation of the South in the decennial period ending 1830, there should have been an increase in the above four States, since that period, of 285,888 1 4; whereas there has been a decrease of 32,970. Allow that five thousand of these have been manumitted, gone to Liberm or escaped to Canada; and we have a total of 273,848, victims of the domestic slave trade of Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and North Carolina." The message contains no allusion to the fact that there is a God, or that his Providenee in any manner extends to the affairs of the nation.


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