previous next
[4] differences, and the only hope of liberty seemed to be to transplant the old institutions of Britain—liberty of person, security of property, freedom of thought—to the wilderness, and there secure them forever by the ancient safeguards devised by the experience, the wisdom and the courage of their ancestors—habeas corpus, trial by jury, representative self government. So, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, many gentlemen in England emigrated with their property and their servants to the forests of New England, then including the north continent from the lakes to the gulf. With them they carried the opinions of their time and generation. The possession of the heathen was lawful and laudable sport for Christian men, and they straightway put them to the sword, seized their lands, their wives and their children, and divided them and all prisoners taken in war as slaves of the conquerors. This was the universal rule among all the English except in Pennsylvania and in Maryland. In the first the influence of Penn, in the last that of the Jesuits, saved them from such crimes against humanity. But the necessities of the new society, the constant struggle with nature, the forest, the flood, the fire, all made involuntary and controlled labor exceedingly valuable, convenient, comfortable and necessary. And when to the captive Indians were added cargoes of savage, cannibal Africans, no man could deny that it was a Christian duty to civilize them and teach them to work. Therefore, involuntary servitude existed in all the English colonies from the very first, and it was not until the American revolution stirred up generalizings and theories about the rights of man, that the idea got abroad that slavery was wrong. In the New England States it had long ceased to be necessary, for population had increased and roads been constructed, so that society was able to protect itself. It was troublesome, annoying, unprofitable. Slaves of different races—Indian, white and negro—confused the social order, and it was best to get rid of them. But it was not as

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.
New England (United States) (2)
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (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.
Penn (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: