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How Slavery Can Be Peacefully Abolished

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How Slavery can Be Peacefully Abolished. In our discussion of the subject of Slavery for several weeks past, we came to the conclusion that this monstrous relic of barbarism and wickedness will surely be abolished. No observing man, who at all comprehends the lessons of history, or the spirit of the age, can have any doubts of its final extinction from our land, and ultimately from the earth. We found also, that its abolition in our country, would come by Violence on the part of the slave in breaking his chains; or by Liberation on the part of the master, by striking them off: and according to the example of all modern States and nations, this liberation will come through that form long since recommended by George Washington as "the only proper and effectual remedy for Slavery - LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY" We further found that efficient legislation against Slavery could not be attained by mere Moral Suasion, nor by any amount of Ecclesiastical Action; nor by attempting to dissolve the Union of the States; nor by the supremacy of a permanent national party organized only on the One Idea of Opposition to Negro Slavery: nor, lastly, under present circumstances, was it at all probable that it would be attained by organizing a new permanent national party on the basis of Equal Rights to All. How, then, can such legislation be obtained as shall abolish Slavery? We answer, BY SUCH AN UNION OF THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE FREE STATES, AS SHALL SECURE A REPEAL OF ALL NATIONAL LAWS SUSTAINING SLAVERY, AND THE EXCLUSION OF SLAVEHOLDERS FROM ALL NATIONAL OFFICES. This is the great central point to which all divisions of the Antislavery Army must come before they can achieve a final victory. They may start from different places, and travel different roads; but here they must all concentrate in one general union for the common object. - A few remarks upon this union are all we can find room for to day. 1.This Union must be of that nature that Slaveholders shall be excluded from national offices. Emancipation will never take place wbile the government is under their control. They must be utterly excommunicated, as unworthy, by their enormous and daily violations of the first principies of Republicanism and Christianity, of holding any office in the gift of a Free & Christian people. This, indeed, will require a great change in public opinion: but its a change that is steadily approaching. Great changes take place in a single life time. Sevenly five years ago, what business was more respectable than Slave-trading? Its righlfulness and utility were defended by bishops, judges, professors, princes and potentates. George the Fourth, before his accession, received a rich service of plate from the British merchants as a testimonial of their gratitude for his services in defending the African Slave Trade. Now that trade is condemned as piracy by most of the civilized world. Yet American Slaveholders & Traders are equally guilty with their predecessors of the African Trade. The latter enslaved men and women in their mature years; our American tyrants enslave them when too young to resist. The last is by much the most cowardly and meanest act of the two. Our readers will assent intellectually, to the truth of these remarks: but we know they will not realize them in their feelings. The people of this country, fifty years hence will regard an American Slaveholder with the same feelings that we now exercise towards an acknowledged African Slave Trader. But while our President and all his great officers are Slaveholders, such a state of public feeling cannot be expected. The exclusion of Slaveholders from office would not disarrange the affairs of the nation half as much as some people suppose. They are but about a seventieth part of the whole people; and the remaining sixty nine parts could get along very well without them. An Antislavery administration, once in power, without violating any Constitution, could strike the death blow of Slavery in all the States, by simply refusing to appoint any Slaveholder to office, and thereby setting a mark of disgrace upon the practise. The general government has a very long arm, reaching from its centre at Wasliington to the most distant log cabin post-office, & to appointments on the other side of the globe: and there are several seekers for every office. Let it be once understood that no slaveholder could receive any office, high or low, and the effect would be tremendous. Neither need all offices be filled by northern men. There are abundance of non-slaveholders in every State competent to fill all the national offices in that State. Political partizans may be slow in coming into this position of excluing slaveholders from office: but no effectual antislavery action can be had while they control the government. Any kind of a Union or party which proposes to act against Slavery, and yet vote for Slaveholders, will prove unworthy of the support of antislavery men. 2.This Union must be such an one as will repeal all national laws which tend to sustain Slavery. The number and importance of these laws is much greater than is generally supposed. Their repeal would be ominous to the slaveholder. The law of 1793 for returning fugitive slaves is one of the greatest supports of the system. Some years since, one of the Virginia Senators, Mr. Rives, we think, stated in Congress that the repeal of that law only would ultimately compel the Abolition of Slavery, as property in slaves, on the borders of all the Free States, would become utterly valueless, unless the right of re-caption could be enforced. 3. This Union must embrace a majority of the people of the Free States. It is through the influence and action of the Free States chiefiy that Emancipation may be expected. The leavened portions of society must leaven the remainder. The diseased parts of the system must be restored through the action of the healthy parts. An antislavery sentiment is indeed commencing in the South; but while it will be very efficient in the final extinction of Slavery there, it will not take the lead in spreading those measures which are pre-requisite to its extinction. Wherever Emancipation has taken place in modern times, it has been chiefiy through the action of the non-slaveholding portions of community. We say that a majority of the people of the Free States must concur in doing this work, because it cannot be done by a minority. The minority cannot elect men who will repeal the Slave Laws, and exclude Slaveholders from power. - Hence there must be a political union of a majority of the voters for this express purpose. The total number of votes polled in the Free States in 1844 was 1,809,745. The number of voters is now larger; and it may be safely laid down that the concurrent action of at least One Million of the Freemen of the North must be had, before the chains can be knocked from the limbs of the slave. Observe, we do not say that this number must join the Liberty party, or any other party; but that at least One Million must act unitedly together for the overthrow of Slavery, by agreeing upon and then electing to power such men as will accomplish the geeat work, by the repeal of the Slave Laws. Proposals for a general Antislavery Union have been thrown out by Kiah Bailey of Vermont, Burritt of Massachusetts, Hale of New Hampshire, and Dr. Bailey, S. P. Chase, E. S. Hamlin and Mr. Giddings, of Ohio. We shall examine their proposals in some future numbers.