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[67] or adhered to them in times of peril or calamity, or who had simply given the best years of their lives to the enlargement of their wealth, had been effectual in reducing, by manumission, the aggregate number of slaves much faster than it was increased by the preponderance of births over deaths. The chances of war, of invasion, and still more of insurrection and civil convulsion, had operated from time to time still further to reduce the number of slaves. Even the licentious and immoral connections between masters and their bondwomen, so inseparable from the existence of Slavery, tended strongly toward a like result; since it was seldom or never reputable, save in slaveholding America — if even there — for a master to send his own children to the auction-block and consign them to eternal bondage among strangers.1 Quite often, the slave-mother, as well as her child or children, owed her emancipation to the affection, the remorse, or the shame, of her master and paramour. So long as slaves were mainly foreigners and barbarians, often public enemies, of fierce, strange aspect and unintelligible speech, there would naturally be little sympathy betwixt them and their masters; but when children who had grown up together — sprung, indeed, from different castes, but still members of the same household — familiar from infancy, and to some extent playmates, came to hold the relation, respectively, of master and slave, it was inevitable that kindly feelings should frequently be reciprocated between them, leading often to devotion on the one hand and emancipation on the other. It was not without reason, therefore, that the founders of our Republic and the framers of our Constitution supposed they had provided for the gradual but certain disappearance of Slavery, by limiting its area on the one hand, and providing for an early inhibition of the Slave-Trade on the other.

But the unexpected results of the purchase of Louisiana and the invention of the Cotton-Gin were such as to set at naught all these calculations. The former opened to slaveholding settlement and culture a vast domain of the richest soil on earth, in a region peculiarly adapted to the now rapidly and profitably expanding production of Cotton; for Whitney's invention had rendered this staple far more remunerative to its producer than any rival which the South


That the practice of buying and selling servants, thus early begun amongst the patriarchs, descended to their posterity, is known to every attentive reader of the Bible. It was expressly authorized by the Jewish law, in which were many directions how such servants were to be treated. They were to be bought only of the heathen; for, if an Israelite grew poor and sold himself, either to discharge a debt or to procure the means of subsistence, he was to be treated, not as a slave, but as a hired servant, and restored to freedom at the year of Jubilee. Unlimited as the power thus given to the Hebrews over their bondservants of heathen extraction appears to have been, they were strictly prohibited from acquiring such property by any other means than fair purchase. ‘He that stealeth a man and selleth him,’ said their great Lawgiver, ‘shall surely be put to death.’ --Encyclopoedia Britannica, vol. XX., p. 319.

The above passage seems scarcely just to the Law given by Moses. The true object and purpose of that Law, so far as bondage is concerned, was rather a mitigation of the harsher features of an existing institution than the creation of a new one. Moses, “for the hardness of your hearts,” says Jesus, allowed or tolerated some things which “ from the beginning were not so.” How any one can quote the Law of Moses as a warrant for Slavery, yet not admit it as a justification of free-and-easy Divorce, is not apparent.

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