Dickens On Slavery
Tn his "American Notes for General Circulation,"' Mr. Dickens has entered into th merits of SJavery at considerable length, and with an unsparing hand. He evidently looks at it wit! the eye of an Englishrnan. To shevv the actual condition of the slaves, and the tone of slaveholding society, he has eii'ojoined a great number of advertisements from Southern paper?, in which wcmen are described with yokes on their necks, iron bars on their lcgs, ears notched, cÃ¯ippled in tlie back, ends of their fingers missing, marked with irons, &c. fcc. He then refera to the duels, assassinations, affra}'s, lyncliings, and similar scÃ¨nes common at the South, and eums up the matter as follows: New, I appeal to every human mind, irnbued with the cominonest of common sense, and the commonest of common humanily; to all dispassionutp, reasoning creature?, of any shade or opiniÃ³n; and ask, with these revolting evidences of the state of fsociety which exÃ¯sts in and about the sluve districts of America before them, can tliey have a doubt of the real condition of the slave, or can they for a moiiient make a compromise between the inBtitutinn or nny of its fligrant, fearful features, and their own just conscirnces? Will they say of any tole oÃ' cruelty &, horror, however ag'ravated in degree, thtit it is improbable, vvhen they can turn to the public prints, and, running, read such signs as these, laid before them by the men who rule the slaves; and in their own acts, and under their own hands?UO we KllO'.v mal uia worst ciemrmuy ana Ã¯glinefs of slavery are at once the cause Ã¡hd :he effect of the reckless license takon by hese freeborn outlaws? Do we not know .hat the man has been bom and bred nmong ts wronrs; who bas see in lis childhood dusbands obligedat the wurd of command to log their wives; women, indecently compeN led to hold up their own garments that irea m'glit lay the heavier stripes upon their legs, Jriveiiand haried by brutal ovorseers in their time of tra vail, and becoming mothers on the field of toil, under ihe very lash itself; who lias read in youlh, and soen his virgin sisters read descriptions of rnhaway men and women, and their disfigurcd persons, which could not be published el.sewhere, or ro much stock upon a farm, or at a show of â beasts; do we not know that that man, whenever his wrath is kindled up, will be a brutal savage1? Do we not know that. as he is a coward in his domestic life, slalking among his shrinking men and women slaves armee! with a heavy whip, so he wil' be a coward out of doors, ana c.irrying cowards weapons hidden in his breast will, shoot men down and stab thoni 'vhen he qtiartels? And f our reason did not teach us this, and much beyond; if we were not such idiots as to close our eyes to that fine mode of training which rears up such men; should we n"t know ihat they who among their equals slab and pistol in the Ipgislative halls, and counling-house, and on the market place, must be to their dependants, even though they were free servants. so many merciless and unrelenting tyrants? What! shull we declnim against the ignorant peasantry of I .-eland, and minee the matter when these American task masters are in question? Sha'.l we oy sliame on the brutality of those who hamstring cattle; and spare the liglits of Preedom upon earlh who nolch the ears of men and women, cut pleasant po8Jee in the shrinking flesh, lenrn to write with pens of red-hot iron on the human face, rack their poeticfancies for livenes ofmulilation which their slaves sÃmil wear for life, and carry to the grave, break living limbs as did the Boldiery who mocked and slew the Savior of the world, and eet defenceless creatures up Tor targets! Shall we wlnmper overlegends of the torture practised on eacfa other by the Pagan Indians, and smile upon the cruelties of Christian men! Shnll we, so long as theee last, exult above the scattered remnants of that Btately race, and triuinph in ihe white onjoyment of their broad possessions? Rather, lor me, restore the forest and Indian village; in lieu of stars and stripes, let some poor f'eather flinter in the breeze ; replace the streets and squares by wigwams; and though he death-song of a hundred haughty warriora fill the air, it will be music to the shriek of one unhnppy slave. On one theme, which is commonly before our eyes, and in respect of which our national haracter is chnnging fast, let the plain truth e spolcen, and let us not, like dastards, beat bout the bush by hinting at the Spaniard and he flerce Italiau. When knives are drawn by Ã¯nglishinen in conflict, let it be said and cnown: "We owe this change to RepÃºblica! Slavery. These are the weapons of Freedom. With sharp points and edges such as these, jiberty in America doth hew and hack her slaves;. or, failing that pursuit, her sons devote them to a better use, and turn them on. each otlier.1' (Ls'BoucJc's majority for Governor of NewYork is 21,411.
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