Press enter after choosing selection

Remedies For Slavery

Remedies For Slavery image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Last week we showed that if the libefation of the slave is ever secured it mast be through the effbrts of the Slave himself. through the individual action ofSlaveholders, through the influence of Church Organizations, through the decisions of Courts of Justice, or by Legislative Enactments. We propose to consider how far the influence of each of these agencies can be brought to bear for his good. In considering how far the slaves can secure emancipation by their own effbrts, we found that Ihey must either jight, submil, or fee. Besides these threo there was no alternative. We found from examining their cbaracter and situation, that it is not probable the slaves will achieve their liberty by force of arms. unless some great political convulsión should favor such an attempt. To submit is to perpetúate slavery to all their posterity. To run away,wi] effect the liberation of a few, but cannot be relied on as a remedy for the whole system. Henee we concluded that, so far as emancipation depends on the exertions of the slaves themselves, we cannot hope that much willbe eifected. We proposed, in the next place tö consider how far this object can be attained by the Individual Action of Slave-holdebs. It is obvious that the condition of every slave will materially depend on the character and circumstances of the master. - Providence has established a direct and unavoidable connection between the characler of individuals & the happiness those who are dependent upon them. This we see exemplified every day in" the chain whichbindstogetherthe destiny of parents and children. Slaves are quite as depen dent on their masters, as children on their parents: and their physical and moral condition varíes with the varying character of the being who presides over their destines. It is a question, then, of some interest, can influences be brought to opérate on the minds of the individual masters, so that they shall be induced voluntarily toemanopate their slavesí If we look to history for ligbt, we shall find little encouragement for the hope that emancipation generaliy will beinducedin this way. The master who frees h is si aves acts from motives; and these motivas are eilher a Sense of Justice, or a perception of Interest. The sense of Justice, especially towards slaves, is dull rather than acute in a slaveholding community. - They are regavded asan inferior race, who are to be treated with as much kindness as is consistent with their absolute subjection. Henee the number who emancípate voluntarily from a sense of the wrong of slaveholding, is few, and probably always will be. The number of such emancipators may much increase. but no hopes can be rationally entertained that the mass of masters. bv their individual action, will ever voluntarily free their bondraen from a love of Justice. But it may be thought that the interest of the master, which would be highly promoted by emancipation, will be afar more powerful motive, and, as it can be made to opérate on masters of every character, the freedom of all the slaves may be thus secured from the mere desire of the masters to make the most out of their slaves. But here again several opposing causes preclude such a favorable result.1. The Slave States are governed by a few slaveholders, by a kind of military aristocracy. Henee the action of each individual slaveholder is greatly cdntrolled by the whole body of masters, who would discourage and throw legal obstacles in the way of voluntary emancipation. 2. The conviction of the profitableness of emancipation would reach the governing spirits of a slaveholding State at nearly the same time, and they would then I naturally agreeto act together. Henee emancipation will Uike place, and from the motive of Interest, but it will assume the form of Legislation. and not of individual voluntary action. It will be recollected that emancipation in the Free States, as well as in foreign countries, has uniformly been through the lato.We are compelled to come to the conclusión then, thot the voluntary individual action of slaveholders, however much it may be stimulated by additiopa! I intelligenco, cannot be relied on as a remodv for Síaver-j Hístory aíFords no instance of a large body ofslaves thus cmanC'pated. Hencewe cannot but regard those abolit'oniste as in error, who anticípate a Washingtonian movement among the slaveholdcris, vvhich shall sweep all slavery before it. The character of atiojcling cömmumty forbids such a result. It is governed hy a few; and when those few are convinced and act, their action will be much moreïikely to takethe cautiousand considérate form of legislation. I tban to follóiv the warm imptflsds of popular excitement. B ut the case ís dfiiTereni in tííe Freo States. Here the mass of the people think, speak, vote, act, and have theip opinions I on every subject; and we anticípate a Washingtonian movemerit in favor of the Liberty principies such as has not been witnessed since thé days of the Revolution. These principies are so broad,righteous, undeniable, and so consonant withthe spirit of the Gospel, that just as soon as certain political influences shall cease to opérate, they will spread through the land, and be accepted and embraced by thè virtuous and patriotic, and have free course and be glorified.


Signal of Liberty
Old News