All agitation of the subject was deprecated as mischievous and tending to insubordination and restlessness on the part of the slaves, ‘who would otherwise remain comparatively
happy and contented’; emancipation in the District
would disturb the stability of affairs not only in the adjoining slave States, but throughout the South
; the inhabitants of the District
ought not to be deprived of the rights of property which had been theirs under the laws of Virginia
Moreover, the traffic in slaves constantly going on in the District
was actually beneficial, in that the transportation of slaves to the South
was one way of gradually diminishing the evil complained of; ‘and although violence might sometimes be done to their feelings in the separation of families, yet it should be some consolation to those whose feelings were interested in their behalf, to know that their condition was more frequently bettered, and their minds [made] happier by the exchange’! ‘It is precisely such a paper,’ declared Mr. Garrison
review of it, ‘as one might naturally suppose would be presented to a club of slaveholders assembled together to quiet their consciences by arguing that the existence of the evil would be less hazardous and demoralizing than its removal’; and he pronounced it ‘the most refined cruelty, the worst apology for the most relentless tyranny.’
It was a crushing blow to all further effort at that session.
One month later, Andrew Jackson
and the Democratic party came into power, and Congress passed no further resolutions in favor of freedom in the District
until the secession of the South
made it possible for a Northern Congress to remove the blot of slavery from the nation's capital.
Slave-hunting on Northern soil was so common an occurrence in 1828 that the frequent recapture and return to bondage of the poor fugitives excited scarcely any notice, and even such tragedies as the attempted suicide,2
at Rochester, N. Y.
, of one who preferred death to slavery, and the execution, in southern Pennsylvania