point out to him its dangerous character and tendency, and its purpose to strengthen slavery by expelling the free people of color, whom the slaveholders instinctively deemed a constant source of danger on account of their intelligence and their ability (if so disposed) to disaffect the slaves.
One of these, under the signature of ‘A Colored Baltimorean,’ contributed two remarkably able and vigorous articles in reply to another colored correspondent, a eulogist of the Society, and exposed with great keenness its fraudulent pretences.1
So eager were the Southern Colonizationists
to get rid of the free colored people that they even invoked special appropriations for the purpose from their State Legislatures and from Congress, and the proposition was favored by Henry Clay
, who was the foremost supporter of the Colonization Society in Kentucky
; but these schemes failed.2
A long address by Clay
before the Kentucky
society was elaborately reviewed and criticized in the Genius
, who began his series of articles with a fresh avowal of his admiration for Clay
, and of the 3
satisfaction with which he looked forward to his ultimate elevation to the Presidency,—‘the champion who is destined to save this country from anarchy, corruption and ruin.’
This did not prevent his dealing faithfully with the errors, sophistries and shortcomings of the address, and he hastened to assert, at the outset, the equality of the human race:—
‘I deny the postulate that God has made, by an irreversible decree, or any inherent qualities, one portion of the human race superior to another.
No matter how many breeds are amalgamated—no matter how many shades of color intervene between tribes or nations—give them the same chances to improve, and a fair start at the same time, and the result will be equally brilliant, equally productive, equally grand.’