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stituted and judicially exercised. It is, in fact, force and not reason — anarchy and not law.
No allowance is made for the difficulties in which the question of emancipation is involved. These people totally forget that they have no right to interfere with the question, unless they are prepared to pay for the negro's freedom, and his master is willing to sell him. They foolishly expect to coerce the Southern people to uproot their social fabric, and for ever impoverish themselves and their posterity. Nay, more, they have the effrontery to offer such an argument as this :
“ The average value of land in the Southern States would have been, but for slavery, at least equal to the average value of the North; but land in the North is worth $28.07 an acre, and in the South, only $5.34; therefore, as there are 331,000,000 acres held by non-slaveholders in the South, their land is depreciated $22.73 per acre. The Southern domestic institution owes the country this difference, as the amount of the damage the land has sustained. Our claim is $7,544,148,825. It will not avail to parley or prevaricate; our claim is just and overdue; your criminal extravagance has almost ruined us; we are determined you shall no longer play profligate, and fare sumptuously (Helper spells it fair) everyday at our expense. But in order to show how brazenly absurd are the howls and groans you set up for compensation, whenever we speak of abolition, suppose your negroes worth what you ask, and that we are bound to secure you all that sum before they can be set free, the account stands,
Non-slaveholders' account against slaveholders . 7,544,148,825 Slaveholders' account against non-slaveholders. . 1,600,000,000
So that, in truth, you have filched from us nearly five times the amount of the assessed value of your slaves.
“ Out of our effects you have long since overpaid yourselves for your negroes; and now, sirs, you must emancipate them, and speedily, or we will emancipate them for you; and, correctly speaking, it will cost you nothing. You have a landed estate of 173,024,000 acres, at $5.34 per acre, present value, therefore $923,248,160. With the beauty and sunlight of freedom beaming on it, the estate would be worth, at $28.07 per acre, $4,856,783,680, so that the probable enhancement of value whenever you abolish would be thus :
i. e. twice the estimated value of your negroes. So that by abolishing slavery you realise a nett profit of hundreds of millions of dollars. The hope of realising smaller sums has frequently induced men to perpetrate acts of injustice, we can see no reason why the certainty of becoming immensely rich in real estate, should make them falter in the performance of a sacred duty.” *
And to place the alternative to such an equitable demand in such a form as this :
“ Again : small-pox is a nuisance; mad dogs are a nuisance; slavery is a nuisance; slaveholders are a nuisance; so are slave breeders. It is our business, nay, it is our imperative duty to abate nuisances, therefore we propose to exterminate the catalogue from end to end. We are determined, we are wedded to one purpose, from which no earthly power can ever divorce us : to abolish slavery at all hazards, in defiance of all opposition of whatever nature which it is possible for slaveocrats to bring against us. Of this they may take due notice, and govern themselves accordingly.” | * Helper, p. 124.
† Ibid. p. 139.
“ It is our honest conviction that the slaveowners by being responsible for the continuance of the baneful institution among us, deserve to be at once reduced to a parallel with the basest criminals that now lie fettered in the cells of our public prisons. Were it possible to gather into four equal gangs of licensed robbers, slaveowners, thieves, and murderers, society, we feel assured, would suffer less from their atrocities than it does now.” *
“But, sirs, knights of bludgeons, chevaliers of bowie-knives and pistols, lords of the lash — particularly for five or six millions of Southern nonslaveholders, whom your iniquitous statism (what word is this?) has debarred from almost all the mental and material comforts of life,— we say you must emancipate and pay each slave at least sixty cash in hand, remunerating them at the rate of less than 26 cents per annum for the long and cheerless period of their servitude since August 20, 1620.” †
“ Compensation to slaveowners for negroes ! Preposterous idea, the suggestion is criminal, the demand unjust, wicked, monstrous, damnable. Shall we pat the bloodhounds for the sake of doing them a favour? Shall we fee the curs of slavery to make them rich at our expense ? pay these whelps
* Helper, p. 158. † Ibid. p. 185.
for the privilege of converting them into decent, honest, upright men ?"* Is not this fulfilling the warning:
“ Washington's Farewell Address. 6The constitution, which at any time exists till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government.
“ All obstructions to the execution of the laws ; all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organise faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force, to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often but a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the
* Helper, p. 328.