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[254] colored people were looked upon as an inferior caste, to whom their liberty was a curse, and their lot worse than that of the slaves, with this difference—that while the latter were kept in bondage ‘for their own good,’ it1 would have been very wicked to enslave the former for their good.2

To aggravate their wretched condition by fostering white prejudice was the manifest policy of the Colionization Society; to protest against and relieve it was the logical beginning of Mr. Garrison's agitation against slavery. No white American before him had convened this despised population to listen to appeals to their manhood and citizenship like those which he delivered on his way North from Baltimore jail; or like that address in Boston (December 10, 1830) for which his grateful hearers pathetically assured him: ‘We3 cannot sufficiently express our feelings; for nothing was ever uttered more important and beneficial to our color. Your remarks were full of virtue and consolation, perfect in explanation, and furnished a rule to live by and to die by.’ He had the courage, in the second number of the4 Liberator, to hold up for repeal an old Massachusetts statute imposing a penalty of fifty pounds for marrying5 a white person and a negro, Indian or mulatto, and declaring all such marriage ‘absolutely null and void.’ Against insinuations that he was seeking the repeal for6 his own benefit, he persisted in the demand from week to week; and, before the close of the session of the Legislature,

1 Lib. 1.10, 5.

2 The inhuman treatment of this class acted, even more than slavery itself, as a deterrent on Heinrich Heine, when tempted to seek a home in America. His poetic imagination gave him, on this subject, a truer moral insight than was to be found in pulpit or pew in the Northern United States. In his letters from Heligoland, under date of July 1, 1830, he writes: ‘Die eigentliche Sklaverei, die in den meisten nordamerikanischen Provinzen abgeschafft, emport mich nicht so sehr wie die Brutalitat womit dic freien Schwarzen und dic Mulatten behandelt werden. Wer auch nur im entferntesten Grade von cinem Neger stammt, und wenn auch nicht mehr in der Farbe, sondern nur in der Gesichtsbildung eine solche Abstammung verrath, muss die grossten Krankungen erdulden, Krankungen die uns in Europa fablhaft dunken.’

3 Lib. 1.26.

4 Lib. 1.7.

5 Act of June 22, 1786.

6 Lib. 1.35; Niles' Register, 41.448.

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