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The Remedy For Slavery

The Remedy For Slavery image
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Last week we showed that the liberty of the slave could onlybe attained by his own efiorte, by fighling for freedom, or by running avsay from slavery : or it musí be obuined through the actipn of the masters either by individu-al, voluntary acts of omaneïpation, or by a general law of the whola community. We found, on examination, that oll the slaves could not run away ; and it was not probable t!mt thev would soon successfully fight for their freedom. Wo will iipw consider the prospect of thoir delivorance tlirough tho aotion of the white race of men. The lcirned teil 3 that slavery has existe! eversinco theFlood, and probably befie. It bas existed in norly all nations, with various shades offcverity and rigor. In e vQry country, individual nías ' te.-s. from various motives, havo emancipatei a part or all of iheir slavcs ; but therê is no instance on record where Siavry has been aboliálieJ, throughout a whoíe nation, by acts of individual jusüce of this character. Tyrants aro not very mach inclinod voluntarily U rel;nquish their ,Ul-gottep power. But some say, cannot we convincc the masicr that it is wrong to huid his fellow as a slave'? Periia;s you ca.i. Putit does not thsre'bre foliow that he will give him his freedom. You can convince the rumseller that it is wrong to sell rum : but not one in ten will th3re.foro stop selling it. So of every vice. A i-w will forsake their cvil was when convinced that they are wrong : but the great Tiass will go on without recurd to conscience or justice.Bat, says another. we can do more than tliat. We can show the mastenhat it is his IXTEKE8T to emancípate his slaves - thathe will add to his own comfort, safety and wealth by doing so. Ferhaps you can ; but there is no certainiy hc will therefore change bis course. You can c-nvince the drunkard that it will bc lor hiè interest to cease drinking altoge:hcr ; that hewill be vastly thegainer in health, char.cter, respectability. happioess and wealth. He will acknowleáge thatyour argument is correct ; and vet the nexl hour he may be found in the ditch. If, thc:i. you cannot reclaim your-jntemperm neigh'jor by appeals to reason, conscience, and his own interen, you canI empecí to reclaim the slaveholder I from a practice approved by almost the Hióle comraunity where he lives - a practice transmitted to him by his ancesto.-s, and one that is highly gratifyingto liisfeelingsof pride and ostent:ition. But, says a third, we have strenger mnlives than even natural justice oï self-intersst can suggest. "We have "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God" on our sidc! That wiW do away with thisand o ery oiher evil. The Skveholders have l::u! t'.eBibic nll .the whüc they hnvehad slnves : and why lias líoi the of !3ib!e bollshed Slavery ? The mortcnscienttoug of the ïöostett go to the B:tle for a trfvricc of slaveholding ; and n great army of slaveholding ]rcachers, of ÖiSerënt ricnouunations, stand arraycdiu recular buttaiions,to pr-ve that the holding of in accordance wiih Chriátiau.t.-. Under such pceaching of tlie Gospel, how long before the masters wil! all be converted, and free their slaves ? Besides, the Gospel does not remedy eviis in all cases ly direct aciion on the inind of the offander. The Gospel most positively condemns drunlvcnness. The pre-ichers have snid so for hundreds ol year-s. Kobody uispu'es thom. Yct ihousandsof men live v.vA die drunkards every y.ear, in spite of the precepts of the!, which are prrpetually sounding in their ears, But the Gos,-.el tcill ultimaely abolish drunkenness, not by reclaiming tvery jlrunkard, but by ils aciion npon tJiosc who are not drunkards. So h will. abolish Slavery, by influencing those are not the holde rs of slaves, to exeri Ihemsolves by legislation, and in every rightfu] ay, for itsremoval. Emancipations by indivduals may become hereafter more froq;ent than they have been ; but they ennnot be relied upon to keep down he increase of ihe slave populauon, much less can they be regarded as an adequate remedy fur Slave rv.To what, then, can we look, as a cure for this widc-spread evil,un!e3s it be to the action of the sounder portion ofcommun'ty,through the processof Leoislatiox 1 We regard this as rhe only peiceful remedy : and it has been found every where perfectlv efiectual, beneficial r.nd safe. We will enumérate a few instances where it has been tried. Without going back toancient history or the dark ages, we will mention that in 1766, less than a century ago, Slavery -was abolished in Prussia b)r a special edict. In St. Domingo, Cayenne, Gundalaupe, and Martiniqne, ín 1794, where more tliAn 600,000 slavea wera emancipated"by the French Government. In ;&va;.l811 ; inCeyloD, 1815 in BuenosAyrcs, 1816; in St. Heleno, 1816; in Colombia, 1821 : by the Congress öf Chili, in 1821 ; in CapeColony, in 1323; in Malaccn, 1825; in the souihcrn provincos of Burmah, 1826 ; in Peru, Guatemala and Monte Video, in 1823 ; in Jamaica, Barbadoes, Bermuda?, Bahamas, the Mauritius, St. Chrislophcr's, Nevis, Virgin Islands, Antigua, Montserrat Pomin ico, St. Vincents, Grenada, Bwbe, Tobago, St. Luc'a, Trinidad, Honduras, Demorara, and the cape of Goud Mope, on the first of August, 1S34 : in Hong Kong, in 1815. The Govemnieuts of hofland, Franco, Spain, Portugal, Swieden, Denmaric, Austria, Prussio, Russia rnd Germany, hnve all legisJa:ed upon Slayery, nnd given their testimony that the right of emmcipating slaves lcgitintely belongs to the law ninking power of the State. The same truth ha been esablished by ïhonctionof the legislaros of our own country. It was abolished by the legislativo authority in Pennsylvania in 17S0 ; inConneciicut,in 1784 ; in Rhode Island, in 1784 ; in New York, in 1790; in New Jersey, 1604. In Vermom it was abolished by the Constitution, in 1774 ; in Massachusetts, ia 17S9 ; and ia New Hampïhire, In 1784. T!.e action f Congress also shows that the whole subject, so as it can be acted on nationnlly, comes within thoir juridic:ion. Thcy have legislatod upon slnvcry in vnrjous ways. They have prohibited Slavery in the North West; Üry have Vccnescd siave trading at Washington ; they have regulated itin the Fe eral District, and on the Occin, Ly special laws; they havo establishcd Slavery in many Stales. as well as in the Di-trict of Culumbia, by positivo enactmeats, and they have 6anctioxed it by admitting cight or Jen new Slave States. In all these inst.-mces of legislytion b}' mo3t modern rvations, we have evidencethat the power of abolishing sliivery lies with the people, or with the Governmenis ordained by them. Thu re-ults of cmanc;pation in every one tf these instances, have been beneficial. We also notice that during the last century, Slavery hns heen abolisheJ in no tcay bui by lcgislative authority. From the examinntion of this whole subject, we conclude that, unless emane;pation Le too long delayed, Slavery will be pcacefülly removed from our country by the aciion of the people in their legislativo capacity. As to the fact tha! tlic freedom of the slaves wül ultima! ely besec-ured, either b' violenceon their part, or by legal authority on the part of the community, it cannot bodoubted by any attentive reader of hi.-tory, or any exiensive observerofthe tran-actions of his own times. Emancipation may come in the Uniied States the last of all nations ; but it will cov.e ! In some future nnmbers, we inter.d to show row this great work can be done