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A Southern Lawyer

A Southern Lawyer image
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At n Rhode Island Aritielnvery Convention i 8iort timo sinco, a South Carolina lawyer took ihe sinnd in defence of Slavrry. Wo find his remnrks roportcd as follows : Mr. Wigfalí, a slaveholder of South Carolina, at the invitation of some of the friends present, spoke at tnuch length, giving his views upon slavery, and the slave (rade. Ho is the disciple of Calhoun - a lawyer. He studied with the grent Nullifier ; and he is thoroughly tnarked by his master's opinions. He began by telling us he was ' a slaveholder ; a trafficker in human flesh : " he believed with John Randolph '' in calling' agourd handle, a gourd handje." He never concealed the character of slavery under the name of " peculiar inslitution." He called it what it ifas - Slavery. He said, that f he adtnilted the premises oí' the abolitionists, ho must come to their conclusions : if slavery is a sin, or on evil, eitherfborally, sociallyor politica]!y, it ought to be abolished and he would go for abolition, but he maintaioed ihat it was no evil in any sense. He afiirmcd thatit was a humane instilution - a blessing to master and slave, and to the country. He denied the truth of the "Virginia abstractions," that all men were created f ree and equal, and endowed vyuh unalienable rights. No man, said he, is crealed free - the properly of our paents until we are of age - and as to equalty it is perfectly absurd - men aro nol orn equal in anything, physical, intelectual, moral, socinl or political condition, and to assert it s Jo assert absolute nonsense. He defended the African slave-trade as right in itself, though now iccotnpanied with some abuses, resulting rom the injudicious attempt to suppress t, and thought it should be Tcgulatcd by aw, that it might be carried on in a humane manner. He denounced the hypocrisy that would pronounce the slave rade piracy in África, and license il at lome - and said ifit was piracy to buvand sell slaves there, it wns piracy in Washington or Sputh Carolina ; bul the trade was humane, ibr it introduced savage nnd idolatrous people into a land of civilization and Chnstianity, and both Slaverv and the Slave-trado wereamhorzed in llieBible. His whole proof was drawn from the Bible, and his argumcni proved that hehad studied Dr. VVayland and Fullcr carfifully. He went over the usual commentary on a few pnssages in the Bible, disposed to moko the great law of Love bend to a single text, rather than make the text bend to the spirit of Love. He contended that Godlished slavery among the Israelites, when ihey were ree from it tliat it was no toleration or permission of a long establislicd custom, buf. the commenccmcnt ol a system of Slavery by authoritv of Gud, and the same was also true of the slave trade. For this reason, it could not be sin, oranevil of any kind. Jesus Chrisr never condemned slavery, though always surrounded by f, nor could he have done it, for he is God, and as God, had already authorized the establishment of a system of slavery to continue k fo rever." Some one asked him if the Biblc authorized enslaving hlacks. "I do not know," said he, " that it made any difTerence in color, and we are not at particular whether tliey nro black or white, provided we can makethern work well." He defended the policy of South Carolina in imprisoningcolored seatnen, as necesary, and asserted that they would never submit to any attempt of the Federal Government to prevent it. Nor would they reimin in the Union an hour, f the proleclion of the National Government was taken from slavery. He was ready for the North to dissolve the Union as soon as it chose. Mr. Wigfall was a fiuent, and al times an eloquent speaker, and had an air of frankness and sincerity about him that almost convinced us, that he had deluded himself into :he belief of the monstrosities which he asserted. He had a very unfavorable audience to opérate upon, for they were mostly abolitionists, and he evtfenily had but Hule sympathy from them. He told us that his argument was only addressed lo those who believe in the divinity of Chrlst. To Uniiarians he had nothing tosay. O, Jesu?, Thou Beautiful Lover of Man i what Cruelties and Crime are done in thy namo !