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[177] still existed in the British West Indies at the time their slaves were liberated; but refused to pay for those of the Enterprise, or any other slaver that might be brought on British soil subsequently to the passage of her Emancipation act. Importunity and menace were alike exhausted by our diplomatists down to a recent period, but to no purpose. Great Britain stubbornly refused either to unite with us in a reciprocal surrender of fugitive slaves to their masters, or in paying for such as, by their own efforts, or through the interposition of Providence, might emerge from American bondage into British liberty.

Our repeated invasions of Florida, while a Spanish colony, our purchase of that colony from Spain, and our unjust, costly, and discreditable wars upon her Aboriginal tribes, were all prompted by a concern for the interests and security of the slaveholders of southern Georgia and Alabama, whose chattels would persist in following each other out of Christian bondage into savage freedom. Gen. Jackson, in 1816, wrote to Gen. Gaines with respect to a fort in Florida, then a Spanish possession:

If the fort harbors the negroes of our citizens, or of friendly Indians living within our territory, or holds out inducements to the slaves of our citizens to desert from their owners' service, it must be destroyed. Notify the Governor of Pensacola of your advance into his territory, and for the express purpose of destroying these lawless banditti.

Gen. Gaines, for some reason, did not execute this order; but a gunboat, sent up the Apalachicola river by our Commodore Patterson, on the 27th of July, attacked and destroyed the fort by firing red-hot shot, exploding its magazine. The result is thus summed up in the official report:

Three hundred negroes, men, women, and children, and about twenty Indians, were in the fort; of these two hundred and seventy were killed, and the greater part of the rest mortally wounded.

Commodore Patterson, in his official letter to the Secretary of the Navy, expressly justifies the destruction of this fort on the ground of its affording a harbor “for runaway slaves and disaffected Indians:” adding, “they have no longer a place to fly to, and will not be so liable to abscond.”

The resistance interposed by Gen. Cass, our Minister at Paris in 1840-41, to the treaty negotiated between the Great Powers, conceding a mutual right to search on the slave-coast of Africa, with a view to the more effectual suppression of the Slave-Trade, though cloaked by a jealousy of British maritime preponderance, was really a bid for the favor of the Slave Power. The concessions by our Government, of the right to search, since that Government has passed out of the hands of the devotees of Slavery, is suggestive. It was American Slavery, not American commerce, that dreaded the visitation of our vessels on the western coast of central Africa by National cruisers, intent on the punishment of a crime which had already been pronounced piracy by the awakened conscience of Christendom.

In fact, so long as more than one hundred members of Congress were chosen to represent, to advance, and to guard, before all else, the interests of Slavery, and one hundred electoral votes were controlled, primarily, by that interest, it was morally impossible that our Government should not be warped into subserviency to our National cancer. A “peculiar institution,”

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