In 1790 there were in the slave states south of the Potomac and the Ohio 20,415 free blacks. Their increase for the ten years following was at the rate of sixty per cent., their number in 1800 being 32,604. In 1810 there were 58,046, an increase of seventy-five per cent. This comparatively large increase was, in a great measure, owing to the free discussions going on in England and in this country on the subject of the slave-trade and the rights of man. The benevolent impulse extended to the slave-masters, and manumissions were frequent. But the salutary impression died away; the hand of oppression closed again upon its victims; and the increase for the period of twenty years, 1810 to 1830, was only seventy-seven per cent., about one half of what it was in the ten years from 1800 to 1810. And this is the practical result of the much-lauded plan of gradual abolition. In 1790, in the states above mentioned, there were only 550,604 slaves, but in 1830 there were 1,874,098 And this, too, is gradual abolition. ‘What, then!’ perhaps you will ask, ‘do you expect to overthrow our whole slave system at once? to turn loose to-day two millions of negroes’ No, gentlemen; we expect no such thing. Enough for us if in the spirit of fraternal duty we point to your notice the commands of God; if we urge you by every cherished remembrance of common sacrifices upon a common altar, by every consideration of humanity, justice, and expediency, to begin now, without a moment's delay, to break away from your miserable system,—--to begin the
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The conflict with slavery
Zzz Missing head
A chapter of history.
Thomas Carlyle on the slave question.
The Anti-slavery Convention of 1833 .
Reform and politics
Peculiar institutions of Massachusetts .
The inner life.
Dora Greenwell .
The Society of Friends
John Woolman 's Journal.
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