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[296] the South is seven times that actually transported to Africa by the Society in fifteen years. ‘By letting the1 system of slavery alone, then, and striving to protect it, the Society is encouraging and perpetuating the foreign slave trade.’

All these positions were overwhelmingly sustained by extracts from the Society's organ (the African Repository), its annual reports, and the speeches and writings of its well-known supporters, including, of course, Henry Clay, the open apologist of slavery, but also such men as Gerrit Smith, who bore witness that ‘Our Society has2 nothing to do directly with the question of slavery’; John A. Dix, who equally disclaimed for it any abolition3 purpose; W. B. O. Peabody, the Unitarian divine, who did not doubt that ‘the slaves are happier than they4 could be if set free in this country’; Eliphalet Nott, the Presbyterian President of Union College, who held that the free people of color, having been degraded by slavery, were ‘still further degraded by the mockery of5 nominal freedom’; Mathew Carey,6 whose dictum was: ‘We may, therefore, fairly conclude the object of 7 immediate, ’

1 Thoughts, p. 160.

2 Ibid., p. 44.

3 Ibid., p. 49.

4 Ibid., p. 62.

5 Ibid., p. 143.

6 Author of “Letters on the Colonization Society, and of its Probable Result,” etc. (Philadelphia, 4th ed., June 19, 1832), in which he designates Mr. Garrison as the Society's most formidable antagonist. The two opponents had met (Lib. 2.143): ‘We have had a personal interview with Mr. C., and we know that his prejudices against the people of color are active and inveterate. His notions of justice and pleas of expediency are utterly abhorrent to our moral sense. He persisted in saying that the condition of the slaves was better than that of the laboring classes in Great Britain!!— an assertion which makes his own countrymen a servile and brutish race, and which any man who knows the difference between black and white should blush to advance.’ Carey, it will be remembered, was a native of Ireland. Compare Dr. Channing's letter to Miss Aikin of Dec. 29, 1831 (p. 113 of “Correspondence” ): ‘But do you know how slaveholders reconcile themselves to their guilt? . . . “Our slaves subsist more comfortably than the populace and peasantry of Europe.” . . . I acknowledge the sophistry, but mourn that it should have so much foundation.’ Notice also that Mathew Carey had published in 1796 St. George Tucker's “Dissertation on Slavery; with a Proposal for the Gradual Abolition of it in the State of Virginia,” bearing this epigraph from Montesquieu: ‘Slavery not only violates the Laws of Nature and of Civil Society, it also wounds the best forms of government: in a Democracy, where all men are equal, slavery is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution.’

7 Ibid., p. 83.

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