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argument is, to us, as if some man should object to the scheme of the Temperance Society, the scheme of total abstinence, that it tends to reduce the price of ardent spirits, and thus to promote intemperance; because the more subscribers there are to this scheme, the less will be the demand for spirits; and the less the demand the less will be the market value of the article, and the easier will it be for the idle and the dissipated, to obtain the means of intoxication. To such an argument, if it should be thought worth answering, the answer would be ; first, that there is no danger that the cause will advance with so rapid and sudden a movement as to produce, even for the shortest time, any considerable disproportion between the demand and the supply; and secondly, that even should such an effect be incidentally and temporarily produced, the moral influence of the Temperance Society, the natural and inevitable tendency of its scheme, is to the suppression of intemperance. And this is the answer we should give to the argument in question, respecting the tendency of colonization.
The actual tendencies of the enterprise of planting colored colonies in Africa from America, are, so far as the abolition of slavery is concerned, the following. Our limits will permit us to exhibit but little more than a naked summary.
1. It secures in many instances the emancipation of slaves by individuals, and thus brings the power of example to bear on public sentiment. This is not conjecture ; it is proved by the induction of particulars. The friends of the Colonization Society, in their arguments on this subject, can read off a catalogue of instances, in which emancipation has already resulted from the progress of this work. We know that on the other hand it is said, that the arguments and statements of colonizationists prevent emancipation. But the proper proof of this assertion would be, to bring forward the particular facts. Tell us of the individuals who have, as a matter of fact, been effectually hindered from setting their slaves at large, by what they have read in the African Repository, or by what they have beard from the agents of the society. We say then that, unless the testimony of facts can deceive us, colonization is bringing the power of example to bear on public sentiment at the south, in regard to slavery. Each single instance of emancipation is indeed a small matter when compared with the continued slavery of two millions; but every such instance, occurring in the midst of a slaveholding community, is a strong appeal to the natural sentiments of benevolence and justice, in all who witness it.
2. This work, as it advances, tends to improve the character and elevate the condition of the free people of color, and thus to take
away one standing and very influential argument against both individual emancipation and general abolition. This, to an unprejudiced mind, is one of the most obvious tendencies of the African colonization. As we said on a former occasion,* so we say again, with the assurance that whoever may deny it, none will disbelieve it, · Not Hayti has done more to make the negro character respected by mankind, and to afford the means of making the negro conscious of his manhood, than Liberia has already accomplished. The name of Lot Cary is worth more than the name of Bover or Petion. It has done, it is doing, more to rescue the African character from degradation, than could be done by a thousand volumes of reproaches against prejudice.' And thus it has done, and is doing, more to accelerate the abolition of slavery, than could be done by a ship load of such pamphlets and speeches as some that we might mention. Elevate the character of the free people of color-let it be seen that they are men indeed—let the degrading associations which follow them, be broken up by the actual improvement of their character as a people ; and negro slavery must rapidly wither and die.
3. African colonization, so far as it is successful, will bring free labor into the fairest and most extended competition with slave labor, and will thus make the universal abolition of slavery inevitable. Doubtless the cultivation of tropical countries by the labor of free and civilized men, must at some time or other bring about this result, whether our colony is to prosper or to fail. We know what changes have taken place in Mexico and the South American republies. We know what changes are threatened and promised in the West Indies. But at the same time we are confident, that the most rapid and most effectual way to bring free labor into fair competition with slave labor, and thus to drive the products of the latter out of every market, is to establish, on the soil of Africa, a free and civilized commonwealth, whose institutions shall all be fashioned after American models, and whose population shall be pervaded and impelled by the spirit of American enterprise. This is the work which the American Colonization Society is prosecuting with all its resources. The friends of slavery may dream that this work is to secure and perpetuate that miserable system ; but if any of them do thus imagine, they err as widely in that, as they do in supposing that the repeal of the protective tarif will relieve them of their embrrassments. The free-trade principles, for which they are now contending, are the principles which will, by and by, bring all slaveholders to the alternative of universal emancipation or universal bankruptcy.
4. The prosecution of this work is already introducing into the the slaveholding states, inquiry and discussion respecting the evils of the existing structure of society there, and the possibility of its
* Christian Spectator, 1832, pp. 325, 326.
abolition. The great body of the friends of the Colonization Society at the south, no less than at the north, regard the scheme of that institution as something which will ultimately, in some way, deliver the country from the curse of slavery. All who oppose the society there, oppose it on the same ground; they look upon it as being, in its tendency and in the hopes of its supporters, an anti-slavery project. Thus in those very regions over which the system of slavery sheds all its blasting influences, there is constituted a party, the members of which are recognized by their opposers, and more or less distinctly by themselves, as hostile to slavery, and as looking for an opportunity to move for its abolition. In this way it was that when the occasion presented itself, a few months ago, the legislature of Virginia became the scene of earnest and public discussion on this long interdicted theme; and to the astonishment of the nation it appeared, that the party opposed to slavery was only not a majority. Had colonization never been thought of, -had the scheme of the American Colonization Society never been undertaken,—who believes that projects for the abolition of slavery would have been so soon, if ever, discussed in the legislature of Virginia ? Without that preparation of the public mind which the Colonization Society, in the calm and peaceful prosecution of its labors, has indirectly accomplished, insurrection and massacer, with all the fear and horror which they occasion, would have led only to new cruelties of legislation and of practice. There is no oppression so unrelenting or desperate as when the oppressor fears his subjects; and the unanimous feeling of Virginia would have been-erroneous indeed, but not on that account the less irresistible or inflexible-a feeling like that of him who holds a wolf by the ears ;-it is dangerous to keep him, but more dangerous to let him loose, and therefore the more furious the struggles of the prisoner, the fiercer and closer will be the despairing grasp that holds him.
We entertain no doubt that the discussion thus commenced will gradually become more free and thorough, and will appeal more directly to the great law that ackowledges the inalienable and universal rights of man, and will at the same time find its way still farther south, till it pervades and awakens every State from the Potomac to the gulph of Mexico. This is inevitable; the discussion of such a subject, involving such hopes and fears and interests, when once it has been opened, can never be suppressed. Nor is this all. Such a system as slavery cannot long withstand the power of free and full discussion. The hour in which the debate on slavery commenced in the capitol at Richmond, may be considered as having sealed the death-warrant of the system, not only for Virginia, but for the nation. And now it may be said that whatever is to be hereafter the success of the Colonization Society in the prosecution of its own appropriate enterprise, this great resul is ultimately sure. Not that it has nothing more to do by its indi rect influence in accelerating this result; certainly the greater the success which shall attend the colonization of Africa, the greate will be the progress of public opinion towards this consummation But let the society be dissolved, let the pirates of the African sea wreak on Liberia their cherished wrath; let Montserado be made again a mart for the slave-trade; let the spot now adorned with christian churches become again the scene of devil-worship; le the smiling villages on the St. Paul's be made desolate, and the now cultivated soil be overspread again with the vegetation of the wilderness; still it will be true that the indirect influence of the American Colonization Society, has secured the ultimate abolition of slavery.
The treatise in the American Quarterly Review, referred to at the head of this article, is an illustration of what we have been say. ing. It shows that the discussion is to proceed; that those interested in the perpetuation of slavery are constrained to come down from that high attitude of pride and defiance which they have been wont to maintain, and begin to feel the necessity of defending their cause by argument. “We have heretofore doubted,” says this writer, “the propriety of too frequently agitating, especially in a public manner, the questions of abolition, in consequence of (we suppose he means, on account of ] the injurious effects which might be produced on the slave population. But the Virginia legislature, in its zeal for discussion, boldly set aside all prudential considerations of this kind, and openly and publicly debated the subject before the whole world. The seal has now been broken, the example has been set from a high quarter; we shall therefore waive all corsiderations of a prudential character which have heretofore restrained us, and boldly grapple with the abolitionists on this great ques. tion.” The seal is broken indeed. A new order of things has already begun, when a slaveholding politician finds himself constrained to write seventy-five pages, of closely printed argument, against the abolition of slavery.
We shall not attempt the task of replying to this writer. That has been already done, as we perceive, and ably done, by another writer in the same work,* a writer
whose powerful and accomplished mind we are happy to see again employed on this so deeply inter esting subject. We shall take an early opportunity, however, to examine somewhat at length the various processes by which slavery might be abolished; and to inquire what would be the probable
* American Quarterly Review, No XXIV. p. 379.
fate of the colored population and of the southern country, if slavery should be abolished, and the emancipated blacks be left to shift for themselves in competition with an intelligent, enterprising, laborious, and growing population of another race.
Meanwhile we suggest, for the consideration of our readers at the south, a few inquiries addressed to their consciences as christians.
1. Is it not your duty to be continually promoting in your sphere of influence, inquiry and discussion respecting the practicability and duty of abolishing slavery? This may demand much prudence and meekness, and much courage; but now that the subject is fairly out for universal examination and debate, now that it is no longer at the option of the southern community whether such discussion shall be permitted, ought you not to inform yourself respecting the facts and principles that have a bearing on the controversy ? and as you have opportunity and influence, ought you not to lead your neighbors to similar inquiries ? so that, as you and they are called to act on this great interest, you and they may act, not under the influence of prejudice and passion, but calmly and with all the light which philosophy and history have thrown upon the subject.
2. Is it not your duty to befriend the free blacks by all the kind offices in your power? You look upon them as a dangerous class; wil they be more dangerous, think you, if christian philanthropy, remembering that God hath made of one blood all nations of men, searches them out in their degradation, and diligently seeks to do them good ? You say they are indolent, thriftless, and vicious; can you do nothing to give them employment, to encourage the beginnings of their industry, and to train their children to better habits ? Can you do nothing to waken their minds and to inspire them with new ideas and motives, by telling them of what benevolence has proposed for their benefit, and of that father-land of theirs beyond the sea, which offers them a refuge for themselves, and a broad and fair inheritance for their children?
3. Is it not your duty to insist on the instruction of the colored population, bond and free? Startle not-nor reject the inquiry till you have pondered it well. “Our danger," said a slaveholder* to the writer of this article, not many months ago, “is not from the intelligence of these people, but from their ignorance.” What can be more undeniable, what can be plainer than that it is ignorance which creates such fanatics as Nat Turner, and ignorance, dark and brutal ignorance, which fits their fellow slaves to be their dupes and victims?
A slaveholder-or, at least, one whose sympathies are all with the slaveholders
of the South