At Port au Prince, in February last, << Prince Saunders>> , Esq.
Attorney General for the government of Hayti. We copy from the Commercial the
following notice of him:
"Mr. Saunders was one of the best educated colored men ever reared in this country. He was born in Thetford, Vt, where he received a good English education. About the year l806, he was employed to teach the free colored school of Colchester, Conn. and was subsequently, it is believed, graduated at Dartmouth College, after which he taught in Boston; from Boston he west to Hayti, where he was employed by Christophe, "the first crowned monarch of the new world," as his agent to improve the state of education in his dominions, and was sent to England to procure means of instruction. In England he was treated as minister plenipotentiary, and his cognomen being mistaken for his title, he was conversant with the nobility and admitted to the Society of the King, and quite at home at the house of Sir Joseph Banks, then president of the Royal Society.
From some cause of other, his conduct in Europe did not please his royal master, and on his return home he was dismissed from his employment. After remaining a short time in Hayti, he returned to this country, studied divinity, and at one time officiated in a church in Philadelphia.
How long he remained here the writer knows not, but he removed hence to Hayti again, and at the time of his death, was Attorney General of the government. As he was an extraordinary man, it is hoped this notice of his death may be the means of calling forth farther particulars respecting him."
On Wednesday May 29th, after a lingering illness, which he bore with christian fortitude and resignation to the Divine will James Burns, in the 25th year of his age.
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord - for they rest from their labors - and their works do follow them."
July 20, 1839
THE COLORED AMERICAN
New York, New York
FROM MEXICO. - Official information has been received of the capitulation of Tuspan to the government forces. The articles were signed by General Urrea, who is to continue in the enjoyment of his honors and employment, promising to use all his power to induce all persons yet in arms against the government to retire to their homes and behave themselves.
HYDROPHOBIA. - Two brothers, named Smith, residents of Fayette township, Pa., died of hydrophobia on the 7th instant, at which time two other members of the family were suffering from the same disease.
HANGING A BANK PRESIDENT. - The Macon Ala. Herald, of the 25th ult. says: "After the destruction of the Real Estate Bank, at Decatur, in this State, by a mob, the President of the Institution attempted to make his escape to Texas, but was pursued, overtaken, and hanged!"
Quebec, 8th July.
Yesterday, as ten persons were crossing in the scow which has been substituted for the bridge above the falls of Montmorency, carried away by the rise of the river in May last, the scow was carried down by the current against one of the pillars of the bridge, and filled; four escaped, and six were drowned.
QUEEN OF THE WEST. - It is stated that one thousand brick houses are now in progress of erection in the city of Cincinnati, and that five hundred more will be built in the course of the summer. Even this immense amount of new buildings will not supply the demand.
Court of Oyer and Terminer. - The trial of Ezra White for the murder of Peter Fitzpatrick on the 13th of February, at the house of Lawrence Gaffeny, corner of Broome and Willett streets, which lasted six days, ended on Tuesday, 16th inst. Judge Inglis' charge to the jury was learned and eloquent; he carefully recapitulated all the evidence and explained the differences between murder and the several degrees of man-slaughter. He was three hours delivering his charge. After an absence of four hours, the jury returned a verdict of willful murder.
Lightning. - In a severe thunder gust about 9 o'clock on Sunday morning in this city, a house in Henry Street was struck by lightning, and a female passing in the street at the time was knocked down and killed instantly.
Weekly Report of Interments. - In the city and county of New York, from the 6th day of July to the 13th day of July, 1839, 38 men; 26 women; 60 boys; 40 girls: - total 164. Colored persons 9.
Birds of a Feather. - Gov. Hamilton, of S. Carolina, Gen. Dunlap, Ambassador from Texas to the U.S., and Dr. Moore, Mayor of Houston were in this city last week.
The Markets. - In every section of the country, provisions are sold at reasonable prices, except New York. At Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and elsewhere the prices have fallen. At Washington the markets are unusually low. The following were the prices on Saturday last: - Beef 8 cts., mutton and veal 7 cts. - lamb 50c a quarter, butter 25c, - chickens $2 a doz. - eggs 16c., oats 55c., potatoes 75c., beets 77c. bush., cabbages (very plenty) 3c. a head; kidney beans 12c. a peck, cucumbers 8c. a dozen, squashes 12c. a dozen, tomatoes 50c. a peck, corn 18c. dozen, pears, fine and large, 37cts. a peck; apples 25 do, plums 50c., apricots 50 cts. crabs 25 cts.
Escape of a State Prisoner. - On Monday morning as the prisoners at Sing Sing were marching out to their work on the quarries, one of them, (whose name we did not learn) in a disguised dress, passed the outer guard and made good his escape for the time. He was however, pursued and was overtaken just as he was entering the village of Yonkers, where he was secured and taken back to his old quarters.
Breaking Jail. - In an attempt of the prisoners in Mobile to escape, on the 27th ult., one was mortally and another slightly injured.
The Woodville affair, Mississippi, in which Mr. Leigh was mortally wounded by Mr. Fielding Davis, has resulted in another fatal affair, which took place on June 27th, about 10 miles below the town, between Mr. Davis and Mr. Henry A Moore ... with rifles at 50 yards, at a present. Mr. Moore was shot through the body at the first fire, and died immediately. Mr. Leigh is sinking from his wound and it is thought will die.
A Florida correspondent of the Philadelphia Herald furnishes that paper with an account of the murder, by the Indians, of two more citizens, who were out squirrel hunting, and whose bodies were disemboweled and otherwise mutilated in a manner most horrible and disgusting.
The building occupied by the Howard Fire Company, in Paca Street, Philadelphia, was set on fire on Friday morning. It was with the utmost difficulty and some danger that the apparatus of the company was removed, and not until portions of it were injured by the fire. - Nearly all the other property of the company was destroyed, and among the rest was the valuable likeness of Colonel Howard, painted on copper, by Woodside. The combustible part of the building was nearly all destroyed.
<< PRINCE SAUNDERS>> , a notice of whose death was mentioned in a New York paper a few days since, and asking for information concerning him, was born in Lebanon, Conn. in February, 1785. His mother, who was formerly a slave of Charles Hinckley, Esq., deceased, is now living in Lebanon, at a very advanced age. His father, Cuff Saunders, familiarly called Doctor Cuffe, went into the Revolutionary war with the late Doct. Philip Turner, deceased, of Norwich, who employed Cuff as an attendant in the hospital, where he required considerable skill, and used to practice physics after the war till he died. - After the death of Charles Hinckley, Esq., his son, Orimel Hinckley, Esq., removed to Thetford, in Vermont, took Prince, who was a favorite, with him, and educated him at Dartmouth College, he taught the colored school in Colchester Academy. He went to England, and was treated with much attention, and introduced to the Royal Family. - From thence he went to Hayti, and was made Bishop of Hayti by Christophe. Since then he has been appointed Attorney General of Hayti, where he died, aged 54 years. - Prince was an uncommon colored man, had the best education the country could afford, and made good use of his advantages. A brother of his is now living in Lebanon, and is quite an enterprising and respectable man, cultivating a good farm, of which he is the owner. - Norwich Cour.
Singular Death. - Mr. Joseph Day, of Townsend, Mass., was killed a few days
since in the following extraordinary manner. He was engaged at a lathe in his
workshop when the ends of a handkerchief, which was tied round his neck, became
entangled; he was found a few minutes after he entered the shop, a corpse.
August 13, 1831
Boston, Massachusetts, Volume 1 No. 33.
A NOBLE COMMENTARY.
Since we commenced the publication of the Liberator, we have seen nothing in the newspapers which has given us more unfeigned pleasure than the following commentary from the Massachusetts Journal and Tribune, of this city. It will find a response in the bosom of every true patriot, and add another rose to the wreath of independence which crowns the head of its author.
Two things, however, we would premise. First— Col. Johnson deserves full condemnation, not for being the father of colored children,— for if these were legitimate, he need not be ashamed of them,— but for his avowed and shameless libertinism. We have no reason to suppose, however, that the disgust which was manifested by the Kentucky ladies had any reference to the licentious conduct of the Colonel, but only to the color of his daughter. Secondly— We agree with the editor of the Journal & Tribune, that, at the present time, mixed marriages would be in bad taste, but not that 'they are unnatural.' If the whites and blacks were not of the same race, then their union would be 'unnatural,' but not otherwise. A married couple can scarcely he found, whose shades of color are alike; but surely their marriage is none the less natural on that account! Are we right?
NOVEL INCIDENT. We understand that a good deal of excitement has been produced by an incident which occurred in Scott county, at the late celebration of our great anniversary. The incident has already been referred to in the prints of the day, nevertheless we have hesitated about noticing it. But, as recorders of passing events and defenders of the purity of society, we have felt ourselves bound to make our readers acquainted with it. The facts as we have heard and believe are these. Col. R.M. Johnson has a number of children by an African woman living in his family, either a slave or manumitted servant. The taste of the Colonel may be well questioned, but as we are told, there is no disputing about that, perhaps he might be indulged, and allowed in private to sing, 'I love you black Rose, Rose, I love you black Rose.' But it seems, on the 4th of July, he conducted in his carriage, one of his daughters to a Barbacue in Scott, where many of the ladies and daughters of respectable families of that county were assembled. When she entered the booth, or awning, in which they were dancing, they immediately displayed considerable agitation, and retired from the part of the temporary covering in which she was seated. The circumstance attracted the attention of the managers, and several of them were deputed to wait on Colonel Johnson, to inform him that his daughter must be withdrawn. He remonstrated, and urged that she was as well educated as any lady there. They told him it was not a debateable matter, and that she must be withdrawn any how; whereupon he reconducted her to his carriage, in which she remained until the Colonel delivered an address on the glories and virtues of the hallowed day.
If there be any inaccuracy in this narrative, we will with pleasure correct it, upon being satisfied of the error. Comments are unnecessary; but we cannot forbear remarking, that after the scenes at Washington, this attempt upon society in Kentucky was most unfortunate and highly censurable.— Kentucky Reporter of July 20.
The above anecdote will no doubt go the rounds of the papers, and be often quoted as a grievous insult offered to the ladies in Kentucky. But let us calmly ask ourselves whether the indignation is just. The writer says, 'after the scenes at Washington, this attempt upon society in Kentucky was most unfortunate and highly censurable.' Is there then no difference between a black skin, and a black conscience? It is just as great an insult to be compelled to associate with one whose complexion is darkened, as with one whose character is polluted? Out upon such a doctrine! It is contrary to the spirit of the Bible, and contrary to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. The fact is, we do wrong, very wrong, in indulging such prejudices against our black brethren. It is time for us to examine our own hearts, and see how much of pride and selfishness are at the bottom of these feelings. We are not about to enter into the question of slavery. We think it ungenerous to raise an outcry against the southern states for an evil which their best men regret as deeply as we do— an evil which it is far more easy to condemn than it is to remedy. We confine, ourselves to the question, are we governed by right feelings in our deportment towards the negroes? Is it right to keep a large class of our fellow beings in a state of perpetual degradation? To take from them all those motives and excitements, which rouse the sleepy intellect, and make ambition virtue? Let us, as men and christians, look these things in the face. Let us be bold and honest enough to expel these prejudices, (so far as our own individual hearts are concerned) if we find them to be wrong.
Is it the contagion of ignorance, stupidity, or vice, that we dread when we come in contact with a negro? No— if he were intelligent, cultivated, and pure, we should still shun him— and why? because God has made his skin black, and ours white. How ridiculous it would be for a company of fair-haired people to feel insulted by the presence of a black-haired individual!— or for blue eyes to flash with indignation at the sight of black eyes! Is the distinction we make with regard to the color of the skin one whit more rational?
It is a singular fact that we republicans are abundantly more exclusive in our feelings in this respect than our monarchical neighbors. In England, it is common to see respectable and genteel people open their pews when a black stranger enters the church; and at hotels, nobody thinks it a degradation to have a colored traveller sit at the same table. We have heard a well authenticated anecdote, which illustrates the different state of feeling in the two countries on this subject. A wealthy American citizen was residing at London for a season, which time the famous Mr. << Prince Saunders>> was there. The London breakfast hour is very late; and << Prince Saunders>> happened to call upon the American while his family were taking their morning repast. Politeness and native good feelings prompted the lady to ask her guest to take a cup of coffee— but then the prejudices of society— how could she overcome them? True, he was a gentleman in character, manners and dress; but he had a black skin; and how could white skins sit at the same table with him? If his character had been as black as hell, the difficulty might be overcome, however reluctantly; but his skin being black, it was altogether out of the question. So the lady sipped her coffee, and << Prince Saunders>> sat at the window, occasionally speaking in reply to conversation addressed to him. At last all retired from the breakfast table— and then the lady, with an air of sudden recollection, said, 'I forgot to ask if you had breakfasted, Mr. Saunders! Won't you let me give you a cup of coffee?' 'I thank you, madam,' he replied, with a dignified how, 'I am engaged to breakfast with the Prince Regent this morning!'
Such is the state of things in England. In this country, the negroes, if ever
so wealthy, must not send their children to the best
schools— they must not purchase pews in our churches— they must not sit beside a white man on the 4th of July to hear the orator read that 'all men are born free and equal'*— nay, at the very communion altar, they must wait till their white brethren have all retired— thus carrying the mockery of human pride to the very footstool of Jehovah!
We are well aware that this is not the popular side of the
question— that we shall be called vulgar, and radical, and the most clamorous democrats will be most shocked at such a sin against the 'prejudices of society.' We know a man, who thinks he is a sound republican, because he spits on a Brussels carpet, and wipes his mouth on the corner of a damask table-cloth, to the great annoyance of an aristocratic host. This man turned away a strong, faithful, industrious negro, who had been hired to work on his farm, during his absence; 'I am too much of a democrat,' said he, 'to have any body in my house, who don't sit at the same table with myself; and I'll be hanged if I am going to eat with the son of an Ethiopian!' This democracy is, we think, much of a piece with the religious humility that cannot kneel at the same altar with 'a skin not colored like our own.'
But we shall be told that the blacks are not naturally
intelligent— that even the free negroes, as a class, are proverbially ignorant and low in character. It is a mockery to call them free. The 'prejudices of society' form a burden almost as hard to bear as the chain of slavery. Who can be great without the incitements of hope? Who would not find it hard to be virtuous under perpetual and unavoidable degradation? The white knave, the white profligate, nay, the white fool, may rise in society, may attain a high station, and command influence. But what can the black man be? What can he do? even if he be as wise as his ancestors the Egyptians, or as enterprising as his black sister, the queen of Sheba? Why, he can clean boots, and sell old clothes, and tend table— and— all told. All other avenues of wealth and distinction are closed upon him. In the parlor, in the church, in the public halls, he is shunned as if the curse of leprosy were upon him— the very boys in the streets reproach him with his color. It is bitter mockery to call such men free! Give them the same opportunities, and the same motives for exertion, as we have, and then we can fairly decide whether they are naturally stupid and vicious. Such an unnatural state of bondage, inherited year after year, century after century, would wither the affections and blight the intellect of any people. The Egyptians were the fathers of science, and from their mythology the Greeks borrowed a world of poetic beauty— yet the Egyptians were black.
We shall be tauntingly asked, 'What would you have us do? Would you have us invite negroes to our parties, and give them our daughters in marriage?'— Give, if you can, a good reason why a virtuous, well-educated black should not be invited! As for mixed marriages, they are in bad taste, and are unnatural. They would never take place except in very rare instances; but we would leave men free to choose their wives, as they are to choose their religion. However, it is not to the purpose to discuss this question. We merely wish that each individual should seriously consider how far his own feelings and deportment towards this unfortunate class are consistent with true christianity and pure republicanism. We would have the Golden Rule applied to this and all other cases. We would have good schools and colleges for negroes. In stages, at taverns, at places of public meeting, we would have them treated like other citizens. In a word, we would have them judged by character, not by color. If vulgar and vicious, let them be treated as a vulgar and vicious white man should be treated— if well educated and virtuous, let them receive the same respect, and the same attentions we bestow upon good and intelligent white men.
We laugh at the narrow bigotry of the Mohammedan, who feels contaminated if a Christian shares his dinner; and who will not give his vile carcass burial, for fear of pollution. Is our prejudice against the Africans more rational or more just? There certainly is not a natural, instinctive loathing of a black skin,— for children love their negro nurses dearly. Nor is it because the devil is black,— for among the Africans, his majesty is described as white. The plain fact is, our prejudice has the same foundation as that of the Mahometans— both are grounded in pride and selfishness. A law has lately passed in Turkey, imposing a fine upon whoever shall call a Christian a dog. Let us try to keep pace with the Turks in candor and benevolence.
* It was a singular coincidence, that while Col. Johnson's legitimate daughter was driven out of the room, because she had some black blood in her veins, her father was delivering a 4th of July address, to eulogize American equality and freedom!!
November 2, 1833
Boston, Massachusetts, Volume 3 No. 44
ELIAS B. CALDWELL.
This individual, it is well known, was the first Secretary of the American Colonization Society, and one of as most active supporters. In the 149th page of my Thoughts on African Colonization,' I gave the following extract from a speech delivered by him at the formation of the Society:
The more you improve the condition of these people, the more you cultivate their minds, the more miserable you make them in their present state. You give them a higher relish for those privileges which they can never attain, and turn what you intend for a blessing into a curse. No, if they must remain in their present situation, keep them in the lowest state of ignorance and degradation. The nearer you bring them to the condition of brutes, the better chance do you give them of possessing their apathy.'
The above quotation was added to a strong array of testimony, showing that
the American Colonization Society prevented the instruction of our colored population
by denying the possibility of elevating them in this country, by asserting that
they were unavoidably and necessarily degraded here,' and by arguing that an
increase of knowledge would only increase their
wretchedness— thus measurably paralyzing all efforts that might otherwise be made for their improvement in the United States. Although this extract has been circulated throughout the country for a period of sixteen years, as deserving of the unqualified abhorrence of all humane men, in a work eminently entitled to [ ]* although it has been referred to, without contradiction, in almost every public investigation of the tendency of the Colonization Society; and although ingenuity and misrepresentation have been exhausted to impeach the integrity of my own work; yet neither the African Repository, nor the Christian Spectator, not a single reviewer, has even intimated that any unfairness has been shown to Mr. Caldwell. This remarkable silence has been owing either to a blind elusion, or to a conviction on the part of the reviewers that the extract was fairly made. It is scarcely conceivable that it escaped their notice; and if it had been a mutation and perversion of the speech from which it was taken, an exposure to the just indignation of the public would have been the immediate consequence.
At last, however, a partisan of the American Colonization Society has had the sagacity to discover, and the boldness to declare, that the extract from Mr. Caldwell's speech is 'a flagrant perversion of sentiment'. This individual seems determined to win for himself an immortality of infamy, and to bring upon his soul the blood of millions of perishing slaves. 'On his own baseness comment is useless.' Corruption covers him like a leprosy. There is no weapon too vile for him to wield, no falsehood too monstrous for him to utter, no tricks too despicable for him to use, against the cause of abolition and its adherents. I allude to the editor of the New-York Commercial Advertiser.
In reviewing the able, temperate and argumentative address of the New-York City Anti-Slavery Society to the Public, (extracts from which are placed in another column,) he states that he is 'quite sure that a discerning public will consign it to oblivion by abstaining from a purchase of the pestilent stuff,' and adds:
'The address asserts, as an evidence of the iniquitous intentions of the Society, and in authentication of the charge that 'It justifies keeping slaves ignorant,' that E.B. Caldwell its first Secretary said— 'The nearer you bring them (the slaves) to the condition of brutes, the better chance do you give them of possessing their apathy.' If ever there was a flagrant perversion of sentiment, deserving of the most unqualified reprobation of every honest and Christian man, this is one. Mr. Caldwell, now in his grave, was a man of as warm hearted benevolence as now treads the earth. Judge then of the candor, the truth, the honesty of a professedly Anti-Slavery Society, which in an official expose, can, by garbled extracts, make the words of a sainted philanthropist speak the direct reverse of its meaning. Take the context with the text, and it will shew a sample of the fidelity with which the organs of the Anti-Slavery party make their attacks upon the Colonization Society.— Mr. Caldwell, in the speech referred to, was inveighing against the continuation of slavery, and describing it as it existed in this country, in connexion with the degradation of all those among us who were assimilated to the slaves in color. He did indeed say, in reference to the present, actual, miserable condition of the blacks in our land that— 'the nearer you bring them to the condition of brutes, the better chance do you give them of possessing their apathy'— but, in the same passage, and immediately after the word 'apathy,' Mr. Caldwell added, as part and parcel of his remark, and a sequence of it— 'Surely Americans ought to be THE LAST PEOPLE ON EARTH, to advocate such slavish doctrines,— to cry, Peace and contentment to those who are deprived of the blessings of civil liberty. Those who have so largely partaken of its blessings— who know so well how to estimate its value, ought to be foremost to extend it to others.' And now we ask, in the name of all that is honorable and decent among men, what reliance can be placed upon the quotations of an official document which thus omits the sentence we have quoted in italics, in order to palm upon the world a false impression, for the purpose of furthering its own sinister purposes? On such baseness, comment is useless— and we have to say, in a spirit of charity, that we do verily believe that the persons under whose sanction the address has gone forth, did not know that it was thus garbled and virtually falsified. The atrocity was originally perpetrated by Garrison. They may have copied it, without being aware of the injury they were doing to the memory of a departed Christian worthy. The same incendiary author has led them into other errors equally palpable, and which greater leisure may give us opportunity to specify. But although charity may lead us to exonerate them from a foul motive, it cannot release them from the liability they are under to the public for lending to the calumny their official authority. Nothing can wipe away the stain, but an open, fair and liberal retraction— and that without delay. If they withhold it, they are equally guilty with Garrison.'
Before I proceed to comment upon the above paragraph, I would premise, first, that I have never seen the entire speech of Mr. Caldwell— it is not to be found in any of the publications of the American Colonization Society; and, secondly, that, at the time of compiling my work on African Colonization, I had seen only the extract which is inserted in it, divested of the passage which the editor of the Commercial Advertiser has put in italics. This exonerates me from the charge of garbling, even allowing that the part which was omitted 'speaks the direct reverse' of the other. It was not until I took up a copy (English edition) of Torrey's Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States, in London, that I was aware of the language which followed the quotation made from Mr. C's speech. I saw that quotation 'going the round,' naked, unchallenged, uncontradicted, and I therefore gave it a place in my 'THOUGHTS.'
The question then is,— Do the sentences which the Commercial has 'quoted
in italics,' reverse the meaning or modify the spirit of the preceding portion
of the speech? That paper, in its blind and precipitate hardihood,
says,— 'If ever there was a flagrant perversion of sentiment, deserving of the most unqualified reprobation of every honest and christian man, this is one.' Now I maintain the negative of the question. No injustice has been done to Mr. Caldwell. The obtuseness, the unfairness, the slander, and the corruption, all belong to Col. Stone. If I have injured the memory of 'a sainted philanthropist,' an ardent friend of African colonization— Dr. TORREY— has committed the first assault. In his 'Portraiture,' &c. he has quoted copiously from the speeches of Messrs. Clay, Randolph, Wright, and Caldwell, delivered at the formation of the Colonization Society. His first extract from Mr. Caldwell's speech is the following paragraph, which, the reader will perceive, contains that part about which the Commercial raises such a note of indignation:
'The more you improve the condition of these people, the more you cultivate their minds, the more miserable you make them in their present state. You give them a higher relish for those privileges which they can never attain, and turn what we intend for a blessing into a curse. No, if they must remain in their present situation, keep them in the lowest state of degradation and ignorance. The nearer you bring them to the condition of brutes, the better chance do you give them of possessing their apathy. Surely, Americans ought to be the last people on earth, to advocate such slavish doctrines, to cry peace and contentment to those who are deprived of the privileges of civil liberty. They who have so largely partaken of its blessings— who know so well how to estimate its value, ought to be among the foremost to extend it to others.'
Now, how does Dr. Torrey, the friend and admirer of Mr. Caldwell, interpret the above language? This is his commentary upon it:
'These sentiments, it will be readily perceived, clash diametrically with those which I had previously advanced in page 21, on the subject of extending mental cultivation to the African race in this country. And notwithstanding I have no inclination to retract the sentiments which I have heretofore had occasion to express, concerning the practical benevolence and ardent zeal of Mr. Caldwell in the cause of religion and human happiness; yet, it is out of my power to unite with him in his opinion, of the utility of subjecting men of any color, or any situation whatever, to 'the lowest state of degradation and ignorance,' and, as near as possible, 'to the condition of brutes.' Right education and knowledge should teach the legitimate slave fortitude, and the advantages of submission, duty, and fidelity; and should elevate the free man of whatever color, above the unhallowed crime of despising himself for its having been ordained this or that tint, or for its being obnoxious to those who have been created with a different color, or with none at all. Ask Capt. Paul Cuffee, << Prince Saunders>> , and many other well educated and worthy persons of African extraction, whether they hate themselves, or whether any body else possessing common sense, hates them, because they cannot repeal the laws of nature; or because there is a political and physical propriety in their being considered as foreigners and aliens in our country.'
So! the Dr. holds no fellowship with such sentiments! He understands them, as every man of common honesty and common sense must (of course, the editor of the Commercial cannot) understand them, as declaring the utility of subjecting the blacks 'to the lowest state of degradation and ignorance, and, as near as possible, to the condition of brutes.' He says that they 'clash diametrically with those which he had advanced in page 21, on the subject of extending mental cultivation to the African race in this country.' Let us turn to that page, and see what he has written:
'Intellectual and moral improvement is the safe and permanent basis, on which the arch of eventual freedom to the enslaved Africans may be gradually erected. Let the glorious work be commenced by instructing such of the holders and overseers of slaves and their sons and daughters, as have hitherto been deprived of the blessings of education. Let every slave, less than thirty years of age of either sex, be taught the art of reading, sufficiently for receiving moral and religious instruction, from books in the English language. For this purpose, the Lancasterian mode of instruction would be admirably well adapted. A well selected economical library of such books as are calculated to inculcate the love of knowledge and virtue, ought to form an essential appurtenance to every plantation.'
This is all very plain— Dr. Torrey, like a good man, was for giving the blacks as much instruction as possible, and Mr. Caldwell was for keeping them 'in the lowest state of degradation,' in this country. Hence the former repudiated the atrocious sentiments of the latter.
Once more. What is the charge made against the American Colonization Society
and against Elias B. Caldwell, in the address of the New-York City
Anti-Slavery Society, and in my 'Thoughts on African Colonization'? It is, of preventing the instruction of the blacks, bond and free, and justifying that policy which keeps them ignorant, in this country. Let us examine yet more closely the language of Mr. C. The first sentence is clear and explicit— 'The more you improve the condition of these people, the more you cultivate their minds, the more MISERABLE you make them in their present situation.' This is not spoken ironically— it is the earnestness of conviction; and he gives, in the next sentence, the solution of this strange effect of education. Thus— 'You give them a higher relish for those privileges which they can never attain, and turn what we intend for a BLESSING into a CURSE.' Hence the expediency of keeping the blacks ignorant is based upon that execrable doctrine, so pertinaciously advocated by the American Colonization Society— namely: 'Causes exist, and are operating, to prevent their improvement and elevation to any considerable extent as a class, in this country, which are fixed, not only beyond the control of the friends of humanity, but of any human power:— THIS IS AN ORDINATION OF PROVIDENCE, AND NO MORE TO BE CHANGED THAN THE LAWS OF NATURE'!!!
Infatuated with this view of the subject, Mr. Caldwell reiterates the brutish sentiment— 'No— if they must remain in their present situation, KEEP THEM IN THE LOWEST STATE OF DEGRADATION AND IGNORANCE. The nearer you bring them to the condition of BRUTES, the better chance do you give them of possessing their apathy.' Mark! he would not repeal a single law in the slave States, which makes it a crime to instruct the slaves, while they remain slaves, because, forsooth! they would lose their 'apathy' and become 'miserable'! This dreadful alternative leads him to exclaim— 'Surely, Americans ought to be the last people on earth to advocate such slavish doctrines, to cry peace and contentment to those who are deprived of the privileges of civil liberty. They who have so largely partaken of its blessings— who know so well how to estimate its value— ought to be among the foremost to extend it to othess.' In other words— it is perfectly right and eminently humane to keep the slaves ignorant 'in their present situation,' and as long as they remain in that situation; but shame on him who would advocate their perpetual degradation and servitude! Let us gradually rid ourselves of this direful necessity, by removing them out of the country!— This is the sum total of Mr. Caldwell's humanity, and it will ever be a foul blot upon his character; for sentiments more rankly offensive, or more palpably inhuman, it would be difficult to find.
Recollect that neither the Colonization Society nor Mr. Caldwell has ever been accused of being inimical to the rights of the colonists in Africa, but only of being opposed to the freedom and elevation of the blacks in this country. This accusation is just. They who are, in the excess of their republican and christian feeling, treading upon the necks of our colored population, and in the plenitude of their benevolence, are seeking their expulsion from this country, constantly affirm that they have no disposition to persecute their victims in Africa. Generous souls! magnanimous republicans! they are perfectly willing that the heartbroken exiles may be as healthy as they can under the sickening influences of an African climate; that they may be as proud, as rich, as happy, as enlightened, ay, as religious as they please, any where except on the continent of America, and particularly in these United States!!
I have done with this matter for the present. When the viper of the New-York Commercial Advertiser shall have eaten and digested this file, I will give him another upon which to try his teeth.
* Torrey's Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United
States— Philadelphia, 1817.