This very English blood of ours — Saxon
— was the peculiar mark of slavery for five or six hundred years. The Slavonic race, of which we are a branch, is enslaved by millions to-day in Russia
The French race has been enslaved for centuries.
Then add this fact,--no race, not one
, ever vindicated its freedom from slavery by the sword; we did not win freedom by the sword; we did not resist, we Saxons.
If you go to the catalogue of races that have actually abolished slavery by the sword, the colored race is the only one that has ever yet afforded an instance, and that is St. Domingo
[Applause.] This white race of ours did not vindicate its title to liberty by the sword.
The villeins of England
, who were slaves, did not get their own liberty; it was gotten for them.
They did not even rise in insurrection,--they were quiet; and if in 1200 or 1300 of the Christian era, a black man had landed on the soil of England
and said: “This white race does n't deserve freedom; don't you see the villeins scattered through Kent
, and Sussex
Why don't they rise and cut their masters' throats?” --the Theodore Parkers
of that age would have been like the Dr. Rocks
of this,--they could not have answered.
The only race in history that ever took the sword into their hands, and cut their chains, is the black race of St. Domingo
Let that fact go for what it is worth.
The villeinage of France
wore out by the progress of commerce, by the growth of free cities, by the education of the people, by the advancement of Christianity.
So I think the slavery of the blacks will wear out. I think, therefore, that the simple and limited experiment of three centuries of black slavery is not basis enough for the argument.
No; the black man may well scorn it, and say, “I summon before the jury, Africa
, with her savage millions, that has maintained ”