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Report: Of The Executive Committee Of The Michigan State Ant...

Report: Of The Executive Committee Of The Michigan State Ant... image Report: Of The Executive Committee Of The Michigan State Ant... image
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The Antislavery cause, during the pnst rear, has not been charncterizcd in tlu's State, by any remarable demonstrations f public sentiment. The very great poiticnl excitement of the laat Presidential (lection, has been succeeded, among the nass of the people, by a diminished acivity in polilicnl discussions and controrersies. Furious partisan zeal has, in iome mensure, given place to sober and lalutary reflection ; and a disposition is nanifested among our citizens generolly, o give less ottenlion to measures excluiively partisan in their character, and to upport more generally those which thev ;uppose will best subserve the interesls of heir country. It may, thereíore, be safey presumed that no better time than the nesent will ever arrive for laying broad md deep the foundationsoi our enlerprize, ind preparing the way for its general upport and its ultímate triumph. It may ïot be unprofitable, at this meeting of the ! society, to consider the extent ol' our uccess in the Past, and the nature of those inticipations which we may rensonably indulge for the Future. Moral Suasion. At the origin of the first general nnt- slnvery organizntions, thirteen yearsago, j the moral aspectsof the antislavery cause were deemed to be the most important, and moral suasion, as it was cailed, was nctually made its chief instrumentality. Il was the general expectalion that one great, united, irrcsistable antislavery sentiment might be formed, which, in itsopward career, would sweep every vcstige of Sla very from our land, and gathering force with each successive step of its progress, would give a powerful impress to the abrogation ofthe evil in every nation under Henven. The Churches wero in voked to aid in forming this great Moral League for the restoration of debased humanüy; more than five hundred Societioá were formed in all the Frce States embracing a hundred thousand members; - some hundred anlislnvery Lecturers were in the field, supported by the voluntary contributions of antislavery men; and n very rospeciable portion of the Press was loud in its denunciations of - Tlius, this Moral League, so far as its general influonce was concerned, bid fair to carry all before it. But while there was a general progression of the cause, so far as mere abstract propositions were requisite, the close observers, who had been pioneers in the antislavery rnnks. discovered that scarcely anything was DONE against Slavery.- They found that the colored man, both in the Slave and the Free States, as well as in the Natiunal Domains, was bound down and oppfessed by Lawsj and noessential relief could berendered to him till these Laws should be rêpenled; and the power of repealing themf or continuing Ihem in force, was vested in' tho hands rf a very few persons. The persons then' n power must be induced to repeal theso jppressive Laws; or othcr persons nuSt je clevatcd to thöir places, who would boillingto repeal them. Oneof ihesc two tl lings was to be done, or the antislavery P ïterprize must be abandoned. The first of these methods was decmed ie most eligible, and many hundredáof iousands of antislavery men and women stilioned their legislators for the repeal these iniquitous Laws. The result is n ell known to all. Legislative e. igs in nll tlie iStates and in Congros g ere governed by a few men who were " nbitious of power: that power could P' r bc atlained by Uie success of their P' iieul party; tlint party only could suc;ed whicli llio slaveholders should most . vor: and to obtain tlieir favor, botli th$ eat political partios refusou to do any ol fng for tlieabolition of Slavery. Henee, te ; the action of both partios, the " ïry petitions were refused a 'ocai lig or l msideration in both Houses of Congress; T id during the thirtecn yenrs of the ivery agitalion, only ono memher of g at body, out of 275, has ever ofieréd to ing in a bilí for the abolition of Slavery. But the Legiálators of the Nation have t. t only refused to libérate the Slave, but oy have not withstood the constant ai ressions of the Slwc Poioer on the rights v "thoFrce. A rkansas and Florida, both 8 aveholdii.g States, have been nuded to ie Union, and not a single member oposfd their admission on that account. - l foreign naiion has been incorporatod ntothe Union, with '25,000 foreign slaves, i ith territory large enough for a dozen lave States, and with a Constitulion endir.g Slavery over. all its borders. This ! utrage on the rights of the Free States vas perpetrated by a large mojority of )oth Oouses of Congress, thus evincing hat the supremecy of the Slüvc Ptnccr, n our National Councils is complete and )verwhelming.lended in 1839, by a vcry few, who liad jeen convinced by constant cxperience, hnt the men then in power coutd nol be c nduced to aholish Slavery. Politica l Actio.v. c lt only rcmained, therolbre. for anti-!( slavery men to adopt the olher alternative t ind elévate men to power who would be j pledged to do this. This was the origiri ( Df the Liberty party. It was an attempt s io secure political support from tlie n )le lor the express purpose of l ing the Slave Power. The Liberty " [y has existed five years. Du ring thai time, the political, moral, social and financial evils of Slavery have been } DÏted lo the voters of the naf'ión; fitld, in ( view of them, ihey I)ave been earnestly iressed to support tlie Liberty party on i he ground of ijs iniention to over'.hrow i Blavcry, lenving olher questions of public i nterest to rema ín ns they were, or to le ( letermined by the exigoncies of the linies. ' ÍJas the success of this attempt to ] 'anize a political party on the one idea f Opposition to Slavery been such, thus far, ns to give a reasonable avurance of ts ultímate tiiumph, and fhê consequent , nbolition of Slavery by the direct tionofthc Liberty pari y "1 The answer j to the inquiry is of momentous interest to us. If we are right in oür present coürse, and one-third or bne-halfoftlie thrce müüons of voters in llie Union can I)c nduced to leave all the other que.stions of public interest, nnd vote with the Liberty party solcly on accou:it jf its opposition to Slavery, we have only to persevere in our eiTorts, and careiully nvoidmg all othcr questions, pröclaim rtrirT-sTaVery truth with a loucler voice, and with more j earnestness nnd zoal. But fit bc lotiml that only a snirtll portion of c( niinimity have interen cnough in the Aboütion üf ' Slavery to induce them to postpono all politicnl considcratiuns till it succoeds, it { is evident ihat whatever infloondé the ( Liberty Party my have ution tbc other j parties, it ennnot ilsrlf nbolish Slavery, until the party adopt other principies of polilical aclion whicii will hrir.g to its ' ranks additional numbers and power. Mil . -! _ '11 1 . _ . 1 T ï . ' IM i"il1 I1 fiíU oiíivcry win uc auunonuu - nation before the prcsont politica) aritíslavery movcmont siitaidés, is n posiiioii tlmt no nttcntivc and impar! ib i observe can auesi'iop. The grcntneís of ihc evil itself- tlic rclbrmatory s[nl oftho age- the exampié of oiher notions- ihe general diíTusion of iníeHigeiicé- tile incrcasing power of pOblic újiHjion among natíorís, and tiie aritislayéry èp'mt of the Gospel of Chrisí. all conspiro lo prove tiiíil ihe present antisalvery movcmeni tvill gostendily onward, 0 spife of all opposition, to its final consummntion. For believing this we have the most abundant reason. But ihe precise channel wbich ihis miglny movement will !eroafler take 6 riot no obvioiís to íhé casual observer. Tó'abblitíh Sluvcry, tlie Lates nntliorizing ihé holdibg of Inen a8 prPert" mnsl he re péaled. Thcy muet bo fepealed by Legislatora. No Logislntors will repeal iheui uule Lhey are willmg to do: and none of ihose uow in power are willitig lo reteul ihe Slave lawu, nor have any menns beeri diecoyered by wluch Lbcy can be inducedio (I9 it. It followB then,lint olher Leginlntnrs. óf nntislavery principi les, mut-t be elevnted to their places. Thif F nial be done, if ht all, by n general consent of al mnjoriiy ol the voh;r., irrctpntive of party w -or, H ninst be dono tlirou.h tlie aotion of fe ome one potitiatt party iihich shall aúopl Jlb. e lilton as a partu principie. pi Tlic liistory of public ineasiires in otir couny tur fourthfl of a contury forbida the le xpeclatión ínat nríy generol unión, for to In real a resnlt, thould ever be formed, irrespecdi ve of pony. All succcssful projectsof nmch ú dlittcul imporinnce linvc Im3 n pnrly to BOpa [rt tfiem; nnd the vry genius of our nstituo ons rrttamüy Icds tliu.-e who would succeeu I i nny puliticul onterpriee lo combine logelher ti i dio Mipport of candidatos and measures. - íor íh sucli o successfnl voluntary movnnent bi t'iiio tn&sses, krespective of party, anticipail m liy .iiiy considerable nurnber of ntislavery a ícn. The proposition, tlierefore, needs no t irther investigation, nnd we proceed to inS nire whclticr cither of Ihe threc political ii rties now cxistiiig have, or wfll havo in fuR iro, the power and Ihc inclination to abolish ti .n-ery 1 D Tuk Dkmocratic Pautv. w Tlie'positinti of thc whole pemoerutic por,-, aa euch, on tho Slavery quesíion, s bu v 'cll summed up in a 'resoltition unanimoiisly 0 tloptcd at titer Nutiontil President-al Con enlion al fialtíroorc, in May, 184 I, and is so enerally susioiiK-d by t lie nclii-n of thnt pnr. y, and by hs }rns.-e-, poliiicimis aria iitHoelolder, tijat H iiny be tegarded us áil rxponnt, not of thtr prefcent, Úut t' their funre po'icy. Ureadstlius:li v 'i j ' ti( i ij. ii vjuit rv-i uur nu u ui) " nder tlie Conslitution to intcrteie wiih, or . ;ntrol ihe domes ie itisiiiti'ion ot" the t-evoral laico, uiul tiiul Midi S'.uu; nro tlie 8vlo aiid roper jut!g8 of et„ry iiuii opperloiiijng lo 1 tieir owii offitire. r.nt prohibi'ed by Ue tituliuii: timtull cflforts uf tlio Abolitiomsts, ir otlicrs, made to induce Uongross to ' ere wit h quosl'ione of Slavcry, or to take ipirnt t cfis in rolutioi) thcreto, are calculaied o l'-iii to mosi ulnrining and dongerous con rquencps, nnd thnt n II surh cffirtw have an ■ novitablc tcndency to diminislt tlie happincss i f the peop'e, und Ptidatier he stabihty and terinfinciipy of tlie Union, nnd ouglit not to be oiiiitenanced by Eiiy friend tó our pol'itical nslitutions' Ii wil! bc perceived tiiat Iliisresolutinn covrs very brond gronndi It dcclareá Miat all , (Toris of Abolitioíiisttí to rid our country oJ ïlavery, by petiiionp, voie.s or olheruise, are lanscroue. JHl qiiestioná of Slavery are in erdicted to Cunaros?-, whether the relntc to he iüstitution, orto the Slave Trn'de on the ' g Sens. in the Üistric of Columbio, or ilsewliere; and1 nll ncipient steps - such as i ippointing committees, receiym reports, &c. ( re pointedly condemnrd: and 50 far au the ac j ion of the IVmocraiic pnrty is concerned, , slavory and the Slove Tnde in our nation is ( o bo forevcr !et alone. Thai the whole mnss of the Democratie inrty will not nhvays uphold the positions hare tnkon, we well know; but they enn only ac fficierjlty ogoinst Slavery by leaving their larty, and uniling with sume otlier organisiaoii. The Democratie pnriy aa Ftich, while t cxíts, wül be sirictly and emphaticully the iliAVKKY pnrly. It will be led. governed and ■ontrolled, in fiiture, as it now 's, by Slnveïolders; and th idea of that p.irty, throngh ts present organizition, abolishir.g Slavery, s one ttmt no intelligent trian can b'efieve for . moment.Bui it is claimed that the Wliig party iö nuch more favorable lo Eniuncipation, nnd as ron as liiey can itltain '.he power, they will jo all tliut bnliskverv men are seeking tonecornplish'. TUut n pórtiori of ilie Vh p-irty are 6ncerely in fuvor of the aboütion of Slavery, and woulcl effect ft ÍT they had (iie power, we do not deny. Ju somo of the Kreo Sta'Pf the Wffig ptess have spoken out in favor of adopting Abólition as a principie of the Wliig pnrty. At iho heud of ihis portion of ilic party stunds Ex -üov. Seward, of N. Vork, a. gentleman who has never direcily tnken grouiidagain;t theolij?c;s of imiislavery tnun; bói in niany of liis rer-ent communicatiüns vvitfi pohticül budics, botJi of ihWhigind Iiborty pnrlícb-, lic hos rxpressfd Bil ciirm.-sl vvi.-li Cor Kimncipaticin-has spoknn of Slavery is tli'J {rreatt'st öVll oí' the n{iend of i.-Lü.ii, Hi)il H&è'itioiïed lineèlf iiVïavor of usinr i!l the )o'.verd öf the National Conslilution 'or its cxtiiiciion; and phoiild these prove insufilcient, lie would po tor stich omendments lo thal insiriiinent as vould endure the extirpation ol !Siocry from our rnnd.' Ttirse énlijhtened and libeiel v ie w p, freïaèikly nnd unroscrvedly exptepped by him, ind èntertiiincd by a portion of the Whijj, tavo altractéd the nttention of Liherly men,and led sornc i mem iu imim mui uw Wüiff party was aböul to odopt Liberty orincijiloe-, mid supsrested ld íí&bn? thé dea iliat we miglit f-ulbiy imite willi the VVhige, and by tin ir triumph oitr objoct would bc ceriiirtly nnd pêedify achicvod. J?m ilic cxjiecuiiotis of lliis close of i.:lierly in u are nol warraniod by any fucts ui hnve yel :rnns.irrd. 1 is I34U, the '.VliL pcrty luid .1 in:ii iity ifï boih Iloute of Congres and a PieBideiit of tiii'ir choicc,' vut abolition was nnt ccn proposed by tho TrcsiJcnt, or in Conuress. The VVhig condidate in 1344, tvfceri the party shotild l.ave beei stil! furthcr nbo!U tion-zed, rcileruled the eéntirneirt odvonded by him five ;eru bnfore, that ho rejoiced that neiilier of ilie rcat politica! porties of the nation hndany eatgtfoi oirri al tho nboütion of Slnvery.' ITe was bebidos perííOimlly a Slaveholder, who had done inore to Mistain and éxtend Sláverj iDán any man living. At the National Whijj Coriveiítioñ, liéld in May, 1844, tie propo.-iuon of abolition was nut mennóhed by a noütary mémber. Bince tlint time, VVliif State Conventions hiive beet) held in l went) -five States, and ín not ore of thcra has abblition been adopled, or evensed, a a Wliig principie, lü tñe Uurteen ree States are í00 counliea, and ih ncarly I thoie Whicr conventions hove been held ilhin two yeare, and in none of tbDse eava ur r live, hos abolition been adopted, or en proposed, as n principie of the VVhijJ Nor ha. e the Whigs in Congress n the ast favored the proposition. Puring tho sí five or six ycars, the Whigs hnvè bd R cided prepohderánce in the Senatej afid yeL íring thnt time a Sianding Rule of thé Sene Iüis existetl, by whicíi on the preséntálión " a petition for the nbolition of Slayery n tío istnct of Columblh, or éíse'.viíere, the irio011 to recDive is considered made, and thnt olion ia )aid on tho tablq. nnd there ihe Rulo fnr db ia known, stands nt t his day! Novv 1 the Vhip pany hn;l tuiv notioíl at al! of ívocating the nbolition of Slavery, ia it iri ie least probable that twenty-four Whig cnatore would sit ín tho Senutc six montha i the year, vinder the governmenl of ech a ule? Had the Rulo applicd to patitions for ie eetablishment of a TaníF cr a líationnl ii!i!x of ttie tiboli' ion of Slavery, it ould not have been tolorotd fur iíri hvir. ín our own State, a Whig State Cun-ntioii wns lield less thnn six months 50, and the propo'sííiófi to orne out for julition, so Tar frorn being adopted, was ot even mentioned. At the recent èleeon n this Stote, Whig cohvóntions wero cid h nenrly thirty counties, while m nly onc wns ihc propositiort ndópted. Finally, the very idea of going tSt thc bolition ofSIavery, as a party mnvsure, 1 ii 1 . _ ■ . . 1 1 , il 1 1U3 U'_ 11 UliUtillluU J J v in. -- - ntlal porticn of llic Norlhcrn Whig Vess, and! by ever y Whig paper in tho jlavc States, saving only that controlled y Cnssius M. Clny; nnd his press, on acount of its tibolitíon principies, has been leizèd b'y a roob, and carried out of the State ás a public nuisance; while Mr. :iay, nhhough himself a Whig, and livng in a Whig city and State,' was exposïd to imminent danger of his üfo. All these revelations of the state of eeling in the Whig party would seem to' )e enough to convince any person, that hc Whig party, uhder its present organzatioii, will never hecome such dn antiilavery party as will abolish the vil' from ur land. That the party may divide,' ind the antislavery porlion forsate the nain body and secede, and under anotlio1 rganization becorae highiy Instrumental n abolishing Slavery, may be true. But vhile the most distinguished Slaveholders f the South aro recognized as lèftJérs in he party, .and 'while it reiafns three or 'our hundred thousand Whig voters ia ihe Slaveholding States, it is utterly impossible, in the nature of Ihe case, that' the Whig party" slióuïd bècomé an Abólition pnrty. We may justly go furthor ihan Menry Clay, and say, ribt only that the Whig party haá now ho design of ibolition, but also' tliat it never Will be' :ome añ antislavcry j)áiiy. TE LlIiKHTY PARTY. Cut, nccordingto the positions we y&ve aken, the laws by whióh nieri áVe held as 3laves wil' bc nbolished by offie politicnt mrty; and that party, to be eficctual, must make the abolition of Slavery tho paramount party question, and it must have an interest direclly antagonistic lo the very existence of Slavery. These two requisitos of success, which do not," and liever wil! e.vLst in the olher partios,' are alrcady Anind in the Liberty party. While the .olher partios can make mór'éfuy coiiipruuiise íin uiuci), """ v can bv óppqsilion lo ií, thé tiBerty party can thrive only by itadftfeatj and triumpN oiily through iis unnihilation. The succcss of this pnrty, thus inr, appealing, ás it has done, dik-íly to one class of mei)', hos been as great as could reasonabW have been uii'icmntéd. About seventy thouca'nd voters Iinvc supported it at the polls during the past year in the Freo States and Territorios, being ófie twentysixth part of the whole riumbbr of votes cast in the l'Yce States. At the recent election in our State, the number of Liberty votes for Governor was 3,398, or about one in' VI of the wholë ñurnber cast. The Liberty vote was 234 less tlwn last year, while the vote of the other parties was each léss by ábout 6000 than at ihé tbc Prcsidential election. 'Hè uhohúoñ ot Slavery; in every State and Territory oC this Unión, by all just and righteous measures not contradictory to the Constitution oï the United States, should coniinue to be the fundamental iml paramount objtjet of tné Liberty party. This can be done vvilhbúl violnling a Single provisión of thnt instrument, by the action of the respective State Legisalurcfjjby tlíe íntérdíctíóh óf thé Domes-' tic Sla ve Trndc; by abolishing Slavery in the Ñatíorial Domains, and making the hál'ding of Slaves a penal ofl'ence; by establishing the equálity óf colóred men in all national business, in the Army and Navy, including the right to hold offices, carry tHo rÜails, testify in lile Federal Courts. and do all oiher thiligs that white' citizens inay of right to; by aboÜshing the unconstitutional Law of 1T93 for restor. ing fugitives from service; by wilhdraw.


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