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Slavery Circumscribed

Slavery Circumscribed image
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Some time since, we pubhshed an articla 6howing tbe number and efficiency of thosa nfluences vvliich opérate against. 6lavery.C But if jve take another view of it, and look at t merely asA a local instilution, weshali find that the sphere ot'its activity is perpetually diminishing in circumference, and that the epace over which it holds exclusive ot partial jurisdiction is becoming hemmedia by a variety of irresistible influencea. Tae territory ofslavcry is Jike a city surrounded by beeiegers, whose linee of circumvallation as they approach nearer and nearer, render the certainty of its ultímate capture moro and more apparer.t. Let us take a view of the confines of the slave country. 1. On tlie west of Missouri lieaa vast wil. derness, over which the red man of the forest roarri3 in all the freedom of nature. Here is a country large enough fur many States.. Itiscertain that the States which may ba forraed out of it wijl uot be adnntted into the Union as slaveholding States. Tbe in- creased number of free representutives ia Congress, under the new apportionuient, anl the growing anti slavery feelingatthe North - will prevent such a result. 2. As we go further South we find Texaa which has indeed opened its territories for the reception of planters and their slaves trom the United States, but we are notaware uf any provisión in its laws by which per3UD3 escaping from the Siates can be ogain enslaved. 3. A short distance from our coast is the British West Indies. It will be recollected that several cargoes of slayes havo already, been liberaled there by British authority; 4. The wilds of Florida have always afforded a convenient harbor to fugilive slaves, and probably always will, unles3 the United States shall keep a large 6tandmg anny there to catch theiu.5. We come now to the ocean. Is the slavo free on the ocean? The judgesofthe Supreme Court of the United States, in the great Mississippi case have solemnly determined, that slavery is a locnl institution in ils character and effects, and that the constitulion does not recognizeslavis as property, butas persons, Consequently when a &!ave is transponed out of a slave State to the high seas, in any vessol whatever, be becomes free the moment he enters the high seas, and it is kidnapping to hold or sell hira aftervvards as a slave. lio was held a slavo by the local lavv of the State: when he comes on to the high eas, that law ceases to opérate.-- This seems a great step to take al once, and yet the decisión of the Supreme Cour! covers the full lengrth and brcadth ofit. When it shall be carried out t will put a stop to the traific in slaves belween the several States now carried on by sea. The slaves will become free while on their voya'ge. The ocean will become another Canada. 6. Ae we look to the East and North we find that Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and other States3 have decided that slaves lirought into thosu States by their masters or employers becorne free immediafely. Similar decisions will doubiless be estabüshedin uil the ree States as soon as caaes shall oc cur which shall cali them forth. 7. In refeience to fugilivcs from slavery foor States havegranted them a trial by jury, and we have the teslimony of Mr. Wiset tliat t is utterly impossible to obtain a fugitive slavo through the verdict of twelve freemen. We have never heard of an instanco where one was relurned by a jury. So that jury trial granted to a slave is nearly equivalent to a. reusal to surrender him, If slavery, continúes a jury trial will probably be extended to fugitives in all the free states. Süch a law will be popular with the great mass of corumunity. Should the tivo last mentioned provisions become established in all the free states, tho slaves will be saved the trouble of their long pilgrimage to Canada. The border line of each free state wiH be an impassable barner to the cupidity of the oppressor.8. But the monster is not absolutely secur of the allegiancc of all his own subjects.- The discu8sions in Kemucky bid fair soon lo result in emancipaiion, and when one state shall have begun, and the result shall hare been found to exceed the most favorable an ticipations of any, who can teil how manjr states will immediately foJlow? The mind of the Western people, when oncr set in motion, opérale with efficiency añil vigor. f, then, we take our stand in the centra of the slave territory, and look to the Korth, or the South, the East or the West, to the ocean or the land, to civilized or savagedomains, to the old or new countries, with the single exception of Texas, we find ihe partial jurisdiction which elavery has exercised heretofore has nearly passed away, that the facilities which have been granted to it by the surroundiog free communities are novr about being forever withdrawn, and henceforth it will be regarded as a local institution, shut up within its own stnet boundaries, only securing attention through the earth by the abhorrence which is feit against it, and left to linger out a hateful existence in con tending with the principies of the Gospel and noble cfforts and gonerous feeling of hu manity, by which it must ultimately be or i thrown,