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American Liberties Subverted

American Liberties Subverted image
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Tliis is the title of a communicauon in the Fricnd of Man by Br. Goodell. We extruct the following which is well wórth reading. Speaking of the rule of the House of Representativos refusing to rcceive petitions, which he rightly dislinguishes as a National Gag, he says: But methinks I hear some sophomore politician exclaiming, "What! Compare Lite condition of the Americans with ihttt of the Asiatics! Have we not the power of chuosing uur own rulers? And are not our iiberlies therel'ure secure?" And so liberty consists (does it?) in the mvilege of choosing our despots! Have we indeed sunk imo the guüer of such rov.ellihgand swinishconceptions? Then are we indeed descended u number of degrees bnlow tlie negroos in the servility of our habita. There is not a slive on a cotton or sugar plantalion throughout the whole South that eould not give us a beltcr definilion of liberty hap that. Ñut a soul of thecn is so stupid as not to understand that the privilege of choosing amaster a not e manerpat iün. And must t re(juire a philosopliical treatise to get it through the hair and skull of a northern voter that no President the people can choosecan be other ihan a desput wiili imlimiied power, during the prevalenee of the doctrine that cloihes the President with the riglit of desiguaiing, by hls mosáage, on whal subjects the peoplc may pelition? But the right of petition, we are (sorncwhat faintly) encouraged lo hope, may possibly be resiored, at the ne.xtsessionol'Óongress.Perhaps it wiil. The Roman dictatorship was not made perpetual, at the first experiment. Th e re was good policy in showing the people that the yoko could be taken ofij as well as put on, at the bidding of the nmsier. Tlius it is that animáis are subjected to man. ín o ox wears the yoke night and day. No ass !ias the bit m itsmoülh all the time. The tact tlial the animal can have the bit put into nis mouth satisfïes the mastcr that it is an ass, and not a man that he has to deal witli. Why should he keep the bit in the mouth, when there is no need pfU? It is "only jast for this once," and under ''peculiar cireumstances," thut men can bndle and bestride their asses and their mules. If the white people of this country can be allernately enslaved and made (ree, and if this condition can appease their apprehensions, we liave fresi) evidence that northern freemen (as ihey are graciously callcd) would do well lo take icssons hi tho science of human hbeny negro slaves. The master knows belter than to gag him one day, and let liim run loose the nexl, wnh the exjpèclatipn that the alternation wül reconcile the viclirn to his lot. Perhaps, I repeat it, the next session of Congress may restore to the American people iheir lost right of petition. But be [bat as it may, there is anolher thing that Í will venture to aflirm. And that is, if Samuel Adam?, and John Hancock, and Patrick Henry, and the race that lived with them, were now living, THAT C0NGRESS would never do it! FOR ÍT WOULD NEVER BE PERiMlTTEDTO ASSEMBLE! 1 say notthat they would be right ia taking this position, any more than I do that they werc right in 'raising the standard of military revolt against the government that, in a much smaller mea8ure,oppressed them. 1 arn too much of a peace man to say thut. Yet I have not the shadow ofa doubt that if the generation were now living that lived in 177G, the national gag of 1841 would excite an almost infinitely decper sensation than did the tyranny of Parliament. A petty tax on tea, the Stamp act, the right ot' representation denied - what was all this, compared with adenial of the right of pelition? Such a stretch of despolic authority the British Pariiamenl never dreamed of. No, never! British Purliament had never trod an inch in such a direclion. A British monarch,to be sure, in his strug gles to subdue a British Parliament, had been guilty of a series of usurpations; oí which a faint attempt to restrict the freedomof petiiion had been the fatal climax. It had cost the monarch kis hcad. And three of thü judges who condemned him had been successfully sheltered in the New England Colonies, then subject tothe crown, after the restoration of the despot-ic dynasty. It is not on record that the British Parliament ever attempted to restrict the right of Americans to petüion. - But an American Congress has done it - the Congress of Juno, 1841. 1 affirm there iore, that, at the present moment, there exists a stronger necessity and a greater occasion for the friends of liberty in America to raise the standard of revolt against the American Congress than there ever did to revolt against the British Parliament. The only statesmanlike argument that could be raised against it by those whojustify the American Revolution,with its sanguinary contests, would be, that the friends of liberty are now toolean a minority of thenaiion to expect success. This argument, I confesa, would be a plausible one, andunless the oppressed of the South ern States, irrespective of color, should be taken into the account, I admit that the conclusions of prudence, even among a military people, would be against such an enterprise, and this only shows the depths to which, as a people, we have descended. Par be it from me to favor auy revotutionary measures connected wilh the sheddingoí blood.' Bul this does not alter the fact ihat I have underlaken to exhibit, to wt. that American mbertt IS suuserte bv the KATioAGAGOFeighteenhund,-cd and forty-one, and that the prospect íor h8 restoration is al least dubious. It may be iiat ihc serviles and tyranls who have denicd aaiation's right of petition, may tliiit inexpcdient to interfere, at presentv witU the funns of the popular elections. Ths was more than the Cacara dared do, fbra long time tfier Roman liberty was sub. verted . It may be that the f rienda of free. dom, in the interim, may have zeal ancl self-denial, and devotion and energy enough to enlighten and arouse a majority of the people, and peacefully place au üq. tislavery administration in the place of tbc. present corrupt dynasly. This is the only hope, not of jn-eserving, hut of RESTO RING the liberties of the Amerfcan people; and to this single object should the effuris oí'every truc republican he directN