We further maintain—that no man has a right to enslave or imbrute his brother—to hold or acknowledge him, for one moment, as a piece of merchandise—to keep back his hire by fraud—or to brutalize his mind, by denying him the means of intellectual, social and moral improvement. The right to enjoy liberty is inalienable. To invade it is to usurp the prerogative of Jehovah. Every man has a right to his own body—to the products of his own labor—to the protection of law—and to the common advantages of society. It is piracy to buy or steal a native African, and subject him to servitude. Surely, the sin is as great to enslave an American as an African. Therefore we believe and affirm—that there is no difference, in principle, between the African slave trade and American slavery: That every American citizen who retains a human being in involuntary bondage as his property, is, according to Scripture (Ex. XXI. 16), a man-stealer: That the slaves ought instantly to be set free, and brought under the protection of law: That if they had lived from the time of Pharaoh down to the present period, and had been entailed through successive generations, their right to be free could never have been alienated, but their claims would have constantly risen in solemnity: That all those laws which are now in force, admitting the right of slavery, are therefore, before God, utterly null and void; being an audacious usurpation of the Divine prerogative, a daring infringement on the law of nature, a base overthrow of the very foundations of the social compact, a complete extinction of all the relations, endearments and obligations of mankind, and a presumptuous transgression of all the holy commandments; and that therefore they ought instantly to be abrogated. We further believe and affirm—that all persons of color who possess the qualifications which are demanded of others, ought to be admitted forthwith to the enjoyment of the same privileges, and the exercise of the same prerogatives, as others; and that the paths of preferment, of wealth, and of intelligence, should be opened as widely to them as to persons of a white complexion. We maintain that no compensation should be given to the planters emancipating their slaves: Because it would be a surrender of the great fundamental principle, that man cannot hold property in man;
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : Ancestry.— 1764 - 1805 .
Chapter 2 : Boyhood.— 1805 - 1818 .
Chapter 3 : Apprenticeship.— 1818 - 1825 .
Chapter 4 : editorial Experiments.— 1826 - 1828 .
Chapter 5 : Bennington and the Journal of the Times — 1828 - 29 .
Chapter 6 : the genius of Universal emancipation. — 1829 - 30 .
Chapter 7 : Baltimore jail, and After.— 1830 .
Chapter 8 : the Liberator — 1831 .
Chapter 9 : organization: New-England Anti-slavery Society .—Thoughts on colonization.— 1832 .
Chapter 10 : Prudence Crandall .— 1833 .
Chapter 11 : first mission to England .— 1833 .
Chapter 12 : American Anti-slavery Society .— 1833 .
Chapter 13 : Marriage.— shall the Liberator die? — George Thompson .— 1834 .
Chapter 14 : the Boston mob ( first stage).— 1835 .
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