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A Sailor's Conscience

A Sailor's Conscience image
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Benjamin Shaw, a methodist minister, preaelied last Sabbath at the Anti-Slavery Cimrch; this evening he delivered an nnti-slavery lectureon political action against slavery. Before he entered the house, he was accosted by a sailor in the street, thus- "Mister, I heard you last Sunday, and mv conscience has troubled me ever since'" To whjch Br. Shaw replied, '-'Perhaps you deperve it." To thia the sailor made no reply, but asked, "Is conscienre the voice of God?" Br, Shaw replied, "There aro two kinds of conscience- an enlightened consoience, and an evil conscience; - the first is, the second is not, a voice from God." What further conversation passed between them the wmer did not hear, his attention beng caUed anothor way. After Br. Shaw had delivered an uddress, in wliich he shpwed that Sluvery made men treai their slaves worsc than their horse?, (for who ever heard of a man'a whipping his h,orse until ihe blood ran down to his heels, as an example to terrify oiher horses from running away,) he proved vcry clqarly that it was our duty to carry our opposition to slavery to the polls, and to qaat our votes in favor of Liberty. At tho close of his address, ho sent round sorae pledges, intimating that while the gentlemen present wero signing their names, thoro was ono in the room just from the South, who could relate to the audience a litile of what he had sen and known whilo in that región. Upon this the penitent sailor arose and eaid - "Ladies and Gentlemen, I ara not accustomed to speaking in public, and muat thereforo draw largely upon your charitable indulgence, ehonld I not be al)le to expross myself properly. I havo been to the South, and when I returned, 1 determinod to say nothing a bout what I Baw and heard thcre. It has often beenSiiid that tho abolüionists exaggerato the cruelües practiced towards the shivos. 1 teil you friends, it is not the case, - it is impossible, - it is far wor3o thati you have been told! On my arrival at Now Orleans I heard thcre was to be a slave auciion, and as 1 had nevor eeen a man sold, 1 determined to go to that nuction. I ihere saw a man and his wife.with three children (ono an infant at tho breast,) for sale. - Tho oldost daughter, a girl ot' nbout thirleen years, was knncked off to a person, and about to be eoparalod from her forever. The mother wept bitterly, and as tho tears rollcd down her cheeks, Í stepped up to her and said to her, 'There ia ono on high that sees your tears - He will remember thom.' At this the slaveholders sourrounded mo, chnrgod mo wiih hcing an abolitionist, and it was wilh much difiicully I escaped. Afler that, going along iho wharves in scarch of employmonl, a Ctiptain of a vessel askod me to go with him to Dog River for a load of lumber. There tho manager (a Franchmun) had lus hand bound up with a handkerchief. We asked lijm wliat was the matter with it. The monster replied, 'One of ihe d n niggers ran away - he was brought back - so 1 lied him down,and gave him fifty lashes. Wel!, then, I took a live cat and dragged her fore and aft along his back twentyfive time3, in doing which the cat bit me in the wrist, and then I pickled him with pepper and vinegar.' One honest tar asked him if ho thought he had received punishment enough for euch cruolty. With thal the overseer becaino enraged, and told the Captain not to lot him put his foot on shore, for if he did he would shoot him." The con3cience strickon sailor told many other heart-rending circumstances. which time does not allow ua to record; but we will add that he gave it as his opinion, (Hhat there was more tears shed, more blood flowed,moro suffering endurcd by the slaves in the town of Mobile, occaBioned hyfemale slaveholders, (either inflicted by their own hands, or at the guard house by their orders,) than there vvus bymale slaveholders P' At tho close of his pninfully thrilüng narration, the aailor turned round lo the audience, and said tothcm, "lithere is at ny person here from Mobile, I nppoal to him or her, if what I havo Baid 6 not notoriously true; and f I have uttered or.e word which is not strictly according to the facts, lot them correct me." Of course there was no reply. One of TnE Audience. The pFodge waa in these words: "The subscribers are determined to vote for such candidates,and for Buch only as are in favor of the inmediato abolition of slavery. These pledges were signed by about Ihreo-fourths of all the gentlemen present.