him in chains!
Were the surrender clause the only clause in our Constitution relating to slaves, Mr. Curtis
's argument would have some shadow of claim to plausibility.
has pledged her whole strength to the slave's injury.
She, as a member of this Union, promises the slave-holder to keep peace on the plantation; and if the slave rises to get his liberty, she will, as Edward Everett
once offered, “buckle on her knapsack” to put him down.
It is not for her now to turn round and treat him like a foreigner in whose wrong or welfare she has had no share.
The slave may well cry to her, “Treat me always
like a foreigner; cease to enable my oppressor, by your aid, to keep me in chains; take your
heel off my neck; and then I will not only not ask a place on your soil, but soon I will raise free arms to God, and thank him, not for Massachusetts
' mercy, but for Massachusetts
' justice and consistency.”
But, granting the whole of Mr. Curtis
's argument, he did not touch, or even glance at, the popular
objection to the Fugitive Slave Bill
, which is not that fugitive slaves are to be given up according to its provisions, but that its right name is, “A Bill for the more safe and speedy kidnapping of free colored people.”
The law-abiding citizens whom he addressed, complain that while every man found on Massachusetts
soil has a right, until the contrary is shown, to be considered a free man, this bill recognizes the right, not in the remotest manner alluded to in the Constitution
, of certain other persons to arrest and transport him elsewhere, without judge, warrant, process, or reason rendered to anybody; and even in cases of resistance to this, allows such a man to be carried hence on ex parte
evidence, of whose manufacture he had no notice, gotten up nobody knows where and by whom nobody has authority to inquire!
And that we are called to put implicit confidence in the peculiarly