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Address To The Slaves Of The United States

Address To The Slaves Of The United States image
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Tliia address. was written by Gerrit Stnith. and adopted entire by the State Convention ut Peterboro. The ntroduction insisls on the right of the friends of thesluve to huldcominuuication wilh him. The protest of the master against such an act should no more be regarded, than the protest oí the horse tlüof aguinst lbo efibrts made by the b'wné'r to obtain lus lawful properly. Abolitionists are bound to enter inloand maintain uil practicable cominunicalions with the sluve,and they have ;i perfect moral right tu go into tluï South, and ute their iiitelligencc to próïcötë the escape of ignorupl nd iihbrufdd slaves froin their prison house. Tlje Address next telis the slave what .bolitionis's are doin for him: First. We nsk the God of the oppressed to hnve mercy on ynu and deliver you. Sücond. We sk. our NatiooaL' and State egisdatures to exert all their respective Cuustiiutional power for lUe overthrovv of slavery. Third. We deny, that any bul nn oni-slavery man has i view of the Christian scheme so large and jusf, as to fit him to be a preacher of the Go?pel. Fourth. We deny, thal any but nn an li-slavery man is a república', or íit to m;ke laws for republicans. Fiíih. The hrguinents tö jüstiFy our course are to be read ia tho. innumerable pamphlets and scores 'of newspapers, which we publish; aml are to be heard iiom the o levturtrs ainont.S whomaie ! men eminent fut learning, loic and I Huence.The Addrcss dissuades the slave from attempting to regain hia Iiberfy Uv bfoodshcd, chieily because such a course wuuld be inexpedienl and probably disastrous, und the hid and syni)atliy of abolilionisls are promiscd only cui ihe express condiliun of their poaceable deportmeut. The bluve i?, however, advised to gain bis liberty in any way he can pcaceably, and "every sluve is called on, ho has the reasonable prospect of' being able to run avvay from sluvery, to uiake the experiment." The number of escapes from slavery is cqual to 1000 a yearj and the fugiiive necd have little nupreheuBioü after he has entered á freo S;ate. To the friends of the slavü at the South, a suggesiion is mace thut a pocket compasa and a few nialchos wiil be a very good subsliiute fur the N-ifih Ü:ar. The slaves are cautioned against theft. "Not purioining" ia an apostolic injucticn t1 slaves as uell a3 to oihcr se cv a als. - The Addrcss proceeds: "üo nol, howevei, suppose, that we forbid your iunocent jieidings to necessity. tVe are aware of the drèadful stráíls to whirli sume of you are at limes, reduced, and God fur bid, that we should teil you to slarve or hvf' when ïelief is possible. - in thofre strails you have the permission óf ilim, vl)o says, that "ihe lile is more than mout and the body rnore thun raimen?',?' to count ns your own that, of which you aiiincl in penshing need. And when too, you ure eseaping from the matclihssly horrible bastile, take, all along your route, in the Uec as well as the slave siates, so fur as is nbsoiuiely essential to your escupe, the liprBT, the boat, the fuód the cloihmg which you require; and fcel no more conipunction for this justifl.thlo appropriaiion than dues (he clrowiibig tnau fr posséssing himself of ihe plank, ihut floats ín his wuy." The last part of' the paragraph we consider exceplionable. The iirst part of tha quotalion covers ihe whole grotind which Christianiiy sarictins. The latter part will commonly be understood to recommend sieaüng, and ought to have been expunged. A moiion to this effect was made in the Conveniion, when only a minority of the members were present, and lust - iyes 48, nays, 127. Advice to the slave to "take" horses, boats, clothing, &lc. will generally be construed to be a recommendaiio to appropriale ihe6e thinga or the proceeds of them, for his permanent use or benefit. To say nothing of the rigU of the case, we should regard such at cuurse as inexpedient and highly injudicious. Wc coosider the following to be also ex. cepiionuhle: " confiJence in proslavery preacHdrs. Those sbnm ministère of ihe gospel, whelher t the Nonh or South, who dare not rebuke oppression, would barler away your souls for one smile of the proud tyrants, on whom they fawn. Reject their teachings, wilh holy indignation: and Goil's Spirit will supply iheir places wit h His own perfect lessous of truih." Novv this, as it will ba underslood at he South, is equivalent to advising the slave not to hear almost every minister nt the South, and of r.ourse lo cut loóse, nlmot entirely, from all rcügious conuections. - Is it nút true that the Bible, even when its precepts a:e bul partially undersloodand practiced, produces an iifl Hk in.the condition of society? Bc slavcs of the South who" nre PRd wilh religious societics mure favorably situated ihan thougb, they had no hnowledge of Christianity ? Why then ndvise ihem to withdraw from those connections b which they hxve hithcrtu beeh beutfi.ted? The Address urges on shivea to learn to read, as t will givo them a knowledge of the Bible, facilítate the ncquision of líber t y , nnd open the Ibuntains of general knowledge. It closes with abriefreference to a Cew of the fa.cta which nrgue the speedy overlhrow of t-lovery. The Address ís designed to be senl to ths white fricnds of the siaves in ihs el.ive states, and these, and the few colored people of the South whocan read, are relied upun to cornmunicate ihe coatcnjts of ihe Address lo the slavcs. We have thusgiven the substunccofthis document-a produciion, in severa! of its I posiiiorif, in advance of any lliiog previoiisly publtshed. It will inaké a strong impréssioñ on the slaveholders, and will probably excite their fears and ihór an ger more effectually thtin an any ihing which has recenily transpired.