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[423] institutions of man must perish like man's mortality, here the institution of slavery may end. Here the day of African bondage on this continent may close. Here the slave may be free. And here, under the same burning sun which yet beams on the birthplace of his ancestors, released from the discipline of the master, (if the earth shall endure so long,) a few succeeding generations of his posterity will find the African on America the same naked, wild barbarian that his forefathers were when landed on the shores of Massachusetts, or the coast of Virginia, vindicating the truth of Scripture, and verifying the eternal curse on the children of Ham. But until this great consummation of destiny, the African slave is entitled to a comfortable home with his master. He is entitled to pure air to breathe, land to work and to live on, with the enjoyment of abundance. Although the government of the United States has no right to liberate the slave by any measure, direct or indirect, no right to interpose between the master and the slave, though the authority of the master must remain despotic, mitigated and softened in its administration by State laws, the progress of civilization, and the charities of the Christian religion, the government is bound by every principle of justice to accord to the slave every right of humanity; thus it can never confine him within limits where he must suffer and perish for the want of bread without the violation of all these sacred obligations. If the extension of slavery into yet unexplored and unpeopled regions, where the climate and soil are congenial to the. nature of the slave, and the productions profitable to his labor, be, as every one must know it must be, necessary for his abundant and comfortable subsistence, his life and happiness, I challenge the application of any principle of the Constitution of the United States to prohibit that extension; and I maintain that the denial of the government to the master the right to emigrate with his slave to such region would be as wrongful, arbitrary, unjust, and despotic, as the denial of the master's right himself to emigrate without the slave. African slaves, under the Constitution of the United States, are regarded both as persons and property. As property, the master has unquestionably the moral and legal right to carry his slave to any territory within the jurisdiction of the United States, and there is no expressed or implied constitutional power to interpose a prohibition. As persons, in what letter, of principle, of our free and beneficent Constitution, can the arbitrary and despotic power be found to prohibit the emigration of the slave with his master, more than to prohibit the emigration of the master with his apprentice, the ward with the guardian, or the child with the parent? The Constitution of the United States, in all its provisions for those persons and relations, places the apprentice and the slave in the same personal and proprietary condition. It regards the apprentice, during the term of service for which he is bound, on the same footing as the slave for life. The master of the absconding apprentice, and the master of the runaway slave, have the same right to the rendition of their property, when found in any State into which the apprentice or slave may escape. If the right of the master to carry his apprentice into any territory of the United States has never been questioned, can any sufficient reason be assigned why the master should not carry his slave into the same territory? The public domain is the property of the nation. The institution of slavery is a national institution. History proves that for more than a century the young and vigorous energies of our whole nation under the colonial government of Britain were directed to the building up of this institution. History proves that Britain during the past century demanded and received from Spain, as the price of peace and friendship, the exclusive right and monopoly of the African slave-trade. History proves that the New England States were the great reapers of this rich harvest of commerce in African slaves,--in “human flesh,” if you prefer. History proves that the foundation of the present wealth and prosperity of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, was laid in the profitable traffic and in the labor of slaves. History proves that every one of the original thirteen States of this nation were once slave States, and that New York and New England had much more to do in building up the institution of slavery in this country than all the Southern States of the Confederacy. And history proves that, for twenty years after the date of the Constitution, the whole people of the United States, and every State of the Union, either by active participation or by tacit acquiescence, gave encouragement and aid in building up the institution of African slavery. It is, therefore, essentially and emphatically, a national institution, though now only existing in the South. It is as truly national as the custom-house on the import on commerce in the city of Boston. It was created by the nation; the nation has derived wealth and power from its creation; the na. tion is responsible for it. The Constitution protects it, and the nation is bound to find a comfortable home for these 4,000,000 of the African race, with their masters.

The African is a foreign and inferior race, domesticated with and attached to the American people, doing a great work — a work which must be done — a work not degrading to the proud white man — but a work he cannot do. It is exalting to the natural degradation of the black man. These laborers are numbered in the ratio and represented in the popular branch of the American government. The nation is bound by the charities of the Christian faith, by the principles of benevolence, and the rights of civilization, to administer to the African race born on its soil, cherished in its bosom, enriched by its labor, all the rights of humanity. I do


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