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The Negro Character

The Negro Character image
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The history of the West Indian i cipation tenchcs us, that we are holding u bondage one of the best races of the human famiiy. The negro is among the mildest,gentlest of men. He is singularly susceptible of improvement from abroad. His cbildren, it is said, receive more rapidly than ours the elemcnts o!' knowledge. llow far he can origínate improvements, time ouly can teach. üit; naiure is ailecticn;Uc,easily touched,hcncc he is more open to rcligious rftpressiön than the white man. The Europea n race imve mauifesied more courage, enterprise and inventionjbut in thedispositions whieh Christianity particularly honors, how inferior to the Alïicnn! Wheu 1 cast iny eyes over our suuthern región, the land of bowie knivelynch luw and duels, of chivaliv, lionor and ruvenge; and vhen 1 consider thal christianity is deelared lo be a spirit of charity, "which seekelh not its own,isnot easily provoked, thinkeih no cvil, and endureth all things," and is also declared lo be "ihe wisdom from ribove, which is first pure, ihcn peaceable,gentle, easy tu be entrealed, full of mercy and guod fruits;" can 1 hesilate in decidmg to of the races in thul land christiamty i must adapted, and in which is noblest diseiples are likcly to le rea red? lt may be said, indeed, of all the Eüropean n;tions, that they nre Ölstibguistiëd by i 'qualiiies oppofod to the spirit of Christianj iiyj and il is one of llie most rcmaikable ' èytónts of history, that the religión of Jesuá ! shuuld have struck inot amoug ilicm. As j yet il has nol subduod ihem. The 'luw i of honor,1 the strongesi ofalllaws in the Europea n race, is, lo this day, diiecily ! hostile to ihecharuuier and word of Christ. ! Tlie AlVicai) canies wiihin him, nnich more than wc, the gerins of a medí, lungsuñtíring, loving virtue. A siiort residence among Uie negrocs in the West Indies impiessed me With their capacily for improvemcüt. Ou all tides l beard of their ichgious icndencict--, the noblest m human nniure. 1 smv. luo, on the plantation where I resided, a graceluluess and diguiI ty ol' form and uiouon, raio in my övh nam e New Eiigiaud. And tbis is the race wliich has been sclccted lo bc troddendown and conlounded with the brutes! Undoubtedly tho negi-oes are debased; lor were slavery nol cJebasing, 1 should have little quanol with it. liut let not their degradalion be alleoged i:i pn.of of peculiar iucapacily of moral clövauón. They are given to iheii; but tliere is no peculiar aggravated sienling from those by wnorii they are rwbbedofall iheirrights ind their very persons. They are given io fuk-ehood; but ibis is the very bffeCt produced by uppressioii ou the Iriah peasunlry. They are uudoubtedly sensual;and yet ttie Alncan countenance seituuii shows lliat coarse, brutal setisuuliiy, whieh is so cummoii ín the face of white men. I should expect f rum ihe African race, ii' civihzed, less eriérgy, less courage, less intellectual originality than in uur race. but more arniubleness, tranquility, gemleness, and content, They might nut riátí to un equnlity in qulwiird condi(ion, bul would probably be a much happier race. Thero is no reason fur holding such a race in chains; tliey need no chain tu :i:ake ibern htutnleas. Tlic t'ollowing is üii exuact f rom J. M., a leciurer m Ihe Anti-slavcry cause, dated Belltíurie, Va. August 20, 1841"There is one branch of the Anti-Slavery mpvernent. as J thjnk it may bejustTy regarded, which is mak ing renjurkabie progiess in this Stale, and tliu.t is the sclfeinancipaliiig departtnent. I have been surprisëd at tho numbér of "Jugiliyés iVoni injuslicc," as Mrs. ChiKl calL thetn, whp are continu. illy passing through iho central part ol'ihe State, on t hei r way lo ihe North: and at the deep interest rnanifested by tlie iuhabiiunis, in ilieir t-uceess and sufety. In one town, tlie name of which tur obvious reatíons i need not mention, a short time befure i carne there, a family cumposed oi a mol her and seven or eight chilclren, had reoently ouglit reluge on their way to the land of freedom. Tney vvere closely pursued, and it was only by the most active vigilance, and much risk of detection on ihe part of some ol tho inhabitants, that they were sa.yed. l'or the purpose of putting them sai'e bcyond tlie power of tlicir pursuers, íiv individúala contributed a sumofabout sixiy-live dollars out of their own pockets. In another town wliere I had occasion to stop, and where our cause is but little underslood,a band of seven on their way to Canada, bad stoppcd for rest but a few days previous. My informant told me that lliey were among the finest looking men he had ever scen. Thcy were inielligenland apparantly sincerely rcligious. Their flight seeoied to have been tho result of much premeditation and preparalion. liich man had u pistol and dirk, and they aliexpressed their determination to die rather than to be taken back. Il is not difficult to understand hovv they could be "sincerely roligious,,' and at ihe same time under the popular error, that violence in self-defence and for the sake of liberty is justifiuble. In anolher place, a vülage named Newport, not fur offlheroulc to this place, quite a scène had taken place, a short time before I carne along. Three -men claimed as slaves were apprehended soinewhere near, and their claimauts vyere carrying them back to the Soulh, when one of themwhether determincd to destroy himself rather than to return to slavery, or in a vain effort to escape, does not uppear, but for some reason jumped into the canal and was drowned. This so awakened ihe sympathics of the people of Nevport,and tlieir indignation against the slave holdders, that ihey,although always beforebit. icrly opposed to abolition, came out and rescued ihe rernainlng two and set ihe,n firce. Suils, l was informed, have been comrneneed by the slaveholders against some oi' the persons engaged in ihe res_ cue. You secfrom ihescfacls, that tliere isa spirit nrnong the slaves thernselvos ih;U is helping on the work of einancipvtion.. A young man in Carlisle said to mp "Give mestíveri oreight d;)llars,and I w colonice as tnany slaves as Mr. Pinney cp.n with yo many hundred." And so I suppose hc could, and more justly, in a ghorler time, and more hnppily tbr i'no slave.