previous next
[24] of a Christian age, companion of a celestial knighthood, Go forth, be brave, loyal, and successful!

And may it be our office to light a fresh beacon-fire on the venerable walls of Harvard, sacred to Truth, to Christ, and to the Church,—to Truth Immortal, to Christ the Comforter, to the Holy Church Universal. Let the flame pass from steeple to steeple, from hill to hill, from island to island, from continent to continent, till the long lineage of fires illumines all the nations of the earth, animating them to the holy contests of Knowledge, Justice, Beauty, Love.

Sumner on February 1847 delivered before the Mercantile Library Association a lecture on ‘White Slavery in the Barbary States,’ and afterwards repeated it before many lyceums in the State.1 It gives an account of the efforts of European governments and our own to abolish Algerine slavery, of the experiences of captives, their heroic endeavors to escape, and the generous sympathies which their cause inspired in Christian nations. It abounds in references to authorities and extracts from them, of which many must have been omitted in delivery. The lecture, however, had another than a literary intent. It was in fact, without its purpose being expressly stated, intended as a parallel between the slavery of white people in Algiers and the slavery of the blacks in the United States; and the object of the lecture was clear enough to the audience. The lyceums of the period were generally under the management of active and intelligent young men, who were themselves inclined to, or tolerant of, antislavery opinions. Other popular lecturers, like Beecher and Chapin, were accustomed, in the general tone of remark or an occasional allusion, to stimulate antislavery opinion; but no one had ventured so far in this direction as Sumner now went in this lecture. It drew attention to the geographical analogies between the African and the American slaveholding regions, and to the incidents of Algerine slavery, which none could fail to recognize as belonging also to American slavery. What was said of escapes from the former applied equally well to the fugitive slaves from the Southern States, in whose behalf there was at the time an intense interest. The various apologies for the extinct barbarism of northern Africa, which were urged centuries ago in its behalf, were precisely the same which were

1 Works, vol. i. pp. 385-485. Gerrit Smith was so much interested in the lecture that he sent fifty dollars to Joshua Leavitt, with a view to supplying a copy to every professional man in New England.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Algerine (California, United States) (2)
United States (United States) (1)
New England (United States) (1)
Europe (1)
Africa (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Christ (2)
George Sumner (1)
Gerrit Smith (1)
Joshua Leavitt (1)
E. H. Chapin (1)
Henry Ward Beecher (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February, 1847 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: