the soil of his plantation, the horse which draws it, and the slave who guides it by one and the same tenure. The profit of the master is the great end of the slave's existence. For this end he is fed, clothed, and prescribed for in sickness. He learns nothing, acquires nothing, for himself. He cannot use his own body for his own benefit. His very personality is destroyed. He is a mere instrument, a means in the hands of another for the accomplishment of an end in which his own interests are not regarded, a machine moved not by his own will, but by another's. In him the awful distinction between a person and a thing is annihilated: he is thrust down from the place which God and Nature assigned him, from the equal companionship of rational intelligences,—--a man herded with beasts, an immortal nature classed with the wares of the merchant! The relations of parent and child, master and apprentice, government and subject, are based upon the principle of benevolence, reciprocal benefits, and the wants of human society; relations which sacredly respect the rights and legacies which God has given to all His rational creatures. But slavery exists only by annihilating or monopolizing these rights and legacies. In every other modification of society, man's personal ownership remains secure. He may be oppressed, deprived of privileges, loaded with burdens, hemmed about with legal disabilities, his liberties restrained. But, through all, the right to his own body and soul remains inviolate. He retains his inherent, original possession of himself. Even crime cannot forfeit
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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