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[121]

Hereafter the editorial charge of this paper will devolve on another person. I am invited to occupy a broader field, and to engage in a higher enterprise: that field embraces the whole country—that enterprise is in behalf of the slave population.

To my apprehension, the subject of slavery involves interests of greater moment to our welfare as a republic, and demands a more prudent and minute investigation, than any other which has come before the American people since the Revolutionary struggle—than all others which now occupy their attention. No body of men, on the face of the earth, deserve their charities, and prayers, and united assistance, so much as the slaves of this country; and yet they are almost entirely neglected. It is true, many a cheek burns with shame in view of our national inconsistency, and many a heart bleeds for the miserable African; it is true, examples of disinterested benevolence and individual sacrifices are numerous, particularly in the Southern States; but no systematic, vigorous and successful measures have been made to overthrow this fabric of oppression. I trust in God that I may be the humble instrument of breaking at least one chain, and restoring one captive to liberty: it will amply repay a life of severe toil.

It has been my aim to make the Journal of the Times actively philanthropic and uniformly virtuous; neither to lessen its dignity by vain trifling and coarse witticism, nor to impair its interest by a needless austerity of tone and blind inaptitude of matter; but rather to judiciously blend innocent amusement with excellent instruction. I have endeavored to maintain a motto which is superior to the prevailing errors and mischievous maxims of the age. Reason has prevailed with me more than popular opinion. In portraying the criminality and disastrous tendency of War—in exposing the complicated evils of Intemperance, and advocating the principle of entire abstinence—in denying the justice and lawfulness of Slavery—in defending the Sabbath from a violation by law—the weight of public sentiment has been against me. This nation is not eminently pacific in its principles—the recent triumph of the sword over the pen gives clear 1 demonstration of this fact. It is not sober in its habits—and proofs are multiplied all over the land, in every city, town and village, in every accidental gathering of large bodies of men together, and in almost every family. It is not willing to abandon its traffic in human flesh—or the foul blemish upon its reputation would no longer remain,—an immense shadow covering the


1 Gen. Jackson's election.

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