Page images
PDF
EPUB

great value, the slave of a neighboring planter was charged with the theft. McNeilly in company with his brother, found the negro driving his master's wagon ; they seized him, and either did, or were about to chastise him, when the negro stabbed McNeilly, so that he died in an hour afterwards. The negro was taken before a justice of the peace, who after serious deliberation waived his authority, perhaps through fear, as the crowd of persons from the above counties had collected to the number of seventy or eighty men near Mr. People's, the Justice's house. He acted as president of the mob, and put the vote, when it was decided he should be immediately executed by BEING BURNT TO DEATH. The sable culprit was led to a tree and tied to it, and a large quantity of pine knots collected and placed around him; and the fatal torch applied to the pile even against the remonstrances of several gentlemen who were present, and the miserable being was in a short time burnt 10 ashes.

This is the second negro, who has been thus burnt to death, without judge or jury in that county,

On the 25th of April, 1836, a negro was burnt alive at St. Louis by a numerous mob. The Alton Telegraph gives the following particulars:

All was silent as death. While the executioners were piling wood around the victim he said not a word. Probably feeling that the flames had seized upon him, he uttered an awful howl, attempting to sing and pray: he then hung his head and suffered in silence, excepting in the following instance. After the flames had surrounded their prey, and when his clothes were in a blaze all over him, his eyes burnt out of his head, and his mouth seemingly parched to a cinder, some one in the crowd, more compassionate than the rest, proposed to put an end to his misery by shooting him, when it was replied, that would be of no use, since he was already out of pain.

No! no!' said the wretch, 'I am not-I am suffering as much as ever. Shoot me, shoot me!' No, no, said one of his friends, who was standing about the sacrifice they were roasting, he shall not be shot. I would sooner slacken the fire if that would increase his mi. sery. And the man who said this was, we understand, an officer of justice.

We understand, says the New Orleans Post of June the 7th, 1836, that a negro man was lately condemned by the mob to be BURNED OVER A SLOW FIRE, which was put into execution at Grand Gulf, Mi., for murdering a black woman and her master, Mr. Green, a respectable citizen of that place, who attempted to save her from the clutches of this monster.

We have been informed, says the Arkansas Gazette of the 29th Oct. 1836, that the slave William, who murdered his master (Huskey) some weeks since, and several negroes, was taken by a party a few days since from the sheriff of Hotspring and BURNED ALIVE! Yes, tied up to the limb of a tree, a fire built under bim and consumed in a slow and lingering tortuie. Separation of a Wife from Her Husband and Children.

Sabbath, 29th July, I went to three places of worship, and heard most excellent preaching and fervent praying; but, among all these ministers and members, no prayer was offered for the poor slaves. But all seemed to be as happy as though the millennial day had ushered in.

Nothing had occurred up to this time to mar my happiness, or to make my visit unpleasant-and if I had left Philadelphia, then, I should have entertained my family and friends, on my return home, by relating to them the beauty, the regularity, and the splendor of this great city. But, it was otherwise ; and I have now to relate one of the most painful, as well as most disgraceful transactions that my eyes ever witnessed, the thoughts of which make my blood chill and my heart sick.

On the first of August, as I was walking in Chesnutstreet, near the Court House, I saw many people, both white and colored, going in. I inquired the cause, and was told thai a person claimed as a fugitive was to be tried. I went in; but, the person claimed as property had been tried, and the Judge was about to deliver his opinion. The house was filled - and all seemed to be waiting with the deepest anxiety. Soon the door opened, and the Sheriff entered, followed by a female, whose appearance was that of a white lady; she was in delicate circumstances-was leaning upon the arm of her husband; they

advanced slowly, and with great anxiety upon their countenances, and took their seats, with their eyes fixed on the judge. All was silent as the grave.

The judge now commenced with the testimony, which was, that this woman came to this city about five years ago-that during this time she was married—that she was the mother of one male child, which was said to be entirely white, and was now about two years old. After going through all the testimony, he seemed to come to a pause. This was a moment of awful suspense to this innocent female, as she sat trembling and pale, supported by her husband. Soon the judge broke silence, by pronouncing her a slave. No sooner had the words fallen from his lips, “I must give a warrant to take you back,' than she screamed and fell on the floor-her cries might have been heard far off, 'O, my child, my child ;-0, my dear, dear husband, I cannot, cannot leave you. While her husband appeared to be trying to comfort her, and was attempting to raise her up, with eyes streaming with grief, I heard a voice, saying, Take her to jail. She was immediately surrounded by a number of officers, taken up-put into a close carriage, and hurried off, uttering the most heart-rending cries that ever fell upon my ears. I turned aside to give vent to my feelings in å flood of tears.--Zion's Watchman of Sept. 2, 1837.

But it would far transcend the proper limits of this little work to give a thousandth part of the facts which might be adduced under this head. The foregoing, however, are sufficient to show the reader what American slavery is in the concrete—the wrongs which millions of our countrymen are liable to be doomed to suffer every day, without any redress, or even the privilege of complaining.

" Let sorrow bathe each blushing cheek,

Bend piteous o'er the tortured slave,
Whose wrongs compassion cannot speak,

Whose only refuge is the grave.”

CHAPTER

XII.

IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION.

We mean by this,

1. That the slave owner, so far as he is personally concerned, should cease immediately to hold or to use human beings as his property. And is there one slave owner in the nation who cannot do this? If there be one, then he must be set down as non compos mentis, or an idiot. Every intelligent being in the universe of God, can do right; and no man in the world can be compelled by law, or circumstances, to do wrong.

2. That the master, so far as he is personally concerned,should immediately offer to employ those whom he has held as his property, as free hired laborers; he should not turn them loose upon society, uncared for and unprotected, but he should treat them as men, and give them the liberty of choice, whether to remain in his employ at fair wages, or not.

3. So far as the State is concerned, it should annihilate the right of man to hold man as property ; and all who are now slaves should be immediately brought under the protection and restraint of suitable and impartial laws. But the want of action on the part of any State government should not, and need not, hinder any one from doing his duty as above described, any more than the want of laws in Massachusetts should hinder any one from ceasing to manufacture and use intoxicating liquors. Laws will be enacted for the suppression of intemperance in each of the States, just as soon as the habits of the people and public opinion call for them; nor indeed would they be of much use, were they to be

enacted before this; and just so with regard to slavery, when the habits of the people, and public opinion are sufficiently set against the sin of slaveholding, the States where slavery exists will commence legislation upon the subject.

[blocks in formation]

Emancipation from slavery does not confer the right of suffrage, but we contend that colored persons should be allowed its exercise, as soon as they possess the qualifications required of other citizens. They should also be aided and countenanced in their endeavors, by moral and intellectual culture, to become respectable and useful members of society.

We do not ask that they shall be harassed, and the country burdened by an oppressive and vexatious system of apprenticeship for grown men, as in Jamaica—but that they shall be employed as free laborers and paid equal and just wages, as in Bermuda and Antigua, where they are industrious and happy, and their employers safe and prosperous.

By the abolition of slavery we mean simply the repeal of the iniquitous slave code-the abolition of the unrighteous things wherein slavery consists—the restoration of men from the condition of 'chattels' to the con. dition of rational beings. If there are any reasons why this abolition should not take place now, they are reasons which will be equally valid, in all future time. And they are reasons urgeil against the inalienable rights of man, and the immutable laws of God !--R. I. A. Slavery Convention.

« PreviousContinue »