« PreviousContinue »
conspiracies, and to put down all opposition to its just and proper laws, is implied in the grants of power to every supreme government. Without such power it would be impossible to overcome revolutionary movements, and to guard against conspiracies and insidious attempts to undermine its authority.
COLONIAL CHARTERS, GOVERNMENTS, AND LAW8.
All the American Colonies that united in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, were claimed by Great Britain by the right of discovery. With the exception of New York New Jersey and Delaware, they were all first settled by colonists from England, under charters for colonial governments granted by the Kings of England. The Dutch from Holland made settlements on Manhatten Island, where the City of New York now stands, and also at Albany, on the west bank of the Hudson River, established a colonial government, called the country New Netherlands, and held it as a colony of Holland, until the year 1661; when it was surrendered to the English, and became thereafter a British colony.
The first settlements were made as follows: in Virginia at Jamestown in 1607; in New York at Albany in 1614; in Massachusetts at Plymouth in 1620; in New Hampshire at Dover in 1624; in New Jersey at Bergen in 1624; in Delaware at Cape IIenlopen in 1630; in Connecticut at Windsor in 1633; in Maryland at St. Marys in 1634; in Rhode Island at Providence in 1636 ; in North Carolina at Albermarle in 1663; in South Carolinia at Port Royal in 1670; in Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1682; in Gcorgia at Savannah in 1733. New York as I have stated was first settled by the Dutch; New Jersey by the Dutch, Danes, and Swedes; Delaware by the Swedes and Finns. All the others colonies were first settled by the English.
The Dutch colony of New Netherlands extended their dominion over New Jersey, and in 1655 conquered the Swedes who had settled in Delaware, and extended their dominion over that colony also.
In 1665 New Jersey was granted to Lord Berkly and Sir George Carteret, and became a separate colony of England.
The title to Pennsylvania and Delaware was acquired by William Penn in 1682, and the two were united as one province or colony and under one government, until 1703, when the people of Delaware were allowed to establish a separate colonial government of their
The whole country forming the thirteen original colonies was subject to the dominion of England from the conquest of the New Netherlands (now New York and New Jersey) in 1664,-until the Declaration of Independence in 1776. After the conquest of 1664 nearly all the settlers to the colonies were from England. They brought with them the English language, English customs and opinions, the common law of England, veneration for English laws and institutions, and also the Protestant religion. All the colonies but one was first settled by Protestants—the Dutch and the Swedes were Protestants. Maryland alone was first settled by a colony of Roman Catholics from England, under Lord Baltimore; but he was more liberal and tolerant than the Puritans of New England, and established a system of government and laws more in accordance with the system of modern American protestantism and civil and religous liberty, than existed in any of the New England colonies except Rhode Island, previous to the American Revolution.
Each colony had its own colonial legislature elected by its own people, and a Royal Governor appointed by the King of England Each colony legislated for itself on all municipal and local questions and matters, subject to the veto of the Royal Governor. The colonies were all pendant branches from the same British stem, and had no political connection whatever except through the mother country. They were in fact entirely independent of each other, and their intercolonial commeree was regulated by the British Parliament. Each colony had its laws, of which the common law of England, and so much of the statute laws as the Colonial Legislature saw fit to adopt, constituted the basis. The British system of law and jurisprudence pubstantially prevailed in all, slightly modified in each by Colonial legislation and by local customs and usages, which grew up spontaneously, and were adapted to their local situation wants and industry. Each colony had institutions and a system of laws and jurisprudence differing more or less from those of every other colony. Such was the condition of the thirteen colonies; each entirely independent of the others, at the time of the meeting of the first Continental Congress in 1774.
SEC. 7. ANTIQUITY AND ORIGIN OF SLAVERY. Slavery existed among all the most civilized nations of antiquity, from a period anterior to authentic history. It existed among the Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Phenicians, and also among the Israelites, centuries before they became an independent nation. Sarah the wife of the Patriarch Abraham, had a bond woman named Hagar, as we read in the scriptures.
In the early ages of the world, and also among savage and barbarous tribes in modern times, it was common for captors to sell their captives taken in war, as slaves. Is was also common for parents to sell their children, and particularly their female children; and some sell their daughters in this age of the world.
Slavery thus originated in power and violence;-in the power of the captor over his prisoner, and in the power of the parents over their children. Precedent begat practice; practice grew into usage; usage expanded into common custom, and thus ripened into law, by the general acquiescence of the people, and of the legislative power, among nearly all ancient nations. Gibbon estimated that half of the Roman world were slaves. At the time of the Christian era, the slaves in the Roman Empire are generally supposed to have numbered more than fifty millions. SEO. 8. CHARACTER OF SLAVERY, AND HOW REGARDED IN THR
SCRIPTURES. Slavery is clearly inconsistent with the natural rights of man and contrary to the laws of nature established by the Deity in the nature of things and of man, and yet he tolerated it among his chosen people, the ancient Israelites. It is contrary to the principles of christanity, and inconsistent with the spirit of the Gospel, and yet it is not inconsistent with the letter of the Gospel. Neither Christ nor any of his disciples in any instance denounced slavery, or preached against it. They made no efforts to operate upon their own followers, nor upon the opinions of the Roman world, to induce the people to emancipate their slaves, as inconsistent with the duties of christians. On the contrary, they frequently exhorted slaves to obedience to their masters. See Ephesians, VI: 5 to 9; Colossians, III: 22; I Tim., VI: 2 and 3; Titus, II: 9; Exodus, XXI: 20 and 21.
Those exhortations of the apostles to servants to obey their masters, must have been given upon grounds of expedienoy only, to
preserve the peace of the community and the welfare of the slaves. The spiritual welfare, the eternal welfare of the slave must have been regarded, as better secured under the comparatively mild dominion of Roman slavery, than it could be in a state of insurrection, civil war, and the numerous murders massacrees devastations and destruction of human life, necessarily attending it. We cannot suppose that the apostle Paul intended to affirm the justice of slavery, and that it was established among the Israelites as a matter of justice. It was not however a religious, but a political question, and in any view which can be taken of it,-it seems to have been tolerated by God; and his chosen ministers taught scrvants and slaves to obey their masters, as a christian duty. We can see no grounds for it but expediency. How different the teachings of modern fanatics, who, assuming to speak as the chosen ministers of God, overlooking the peace of the community and its importance, and pretending to rely upon principle only, teach a total disregard of expediency. They attempt to superintend matters of governmeut, law, and social insti. tutions, as well as matters of religion and morals; and by connecting them all together, they assume to act upon higher and purer principles than those upon which the Gospel is based. Their assumption is that God has revealed to them a purer and more enlightened Gospel than he did to the apostles ; that slavery as a political and social institution is sinful and wicked, under any and all circumstances; and that millions of professing christians have not understood their duty, and have been very wicked, by reason of their holding slaves. The people have reason to fear and distrust teachers of so high assumptions, and so much wisdom, upon questions that are not religious, but political and social.
Christ and his apostles confined theinselves entirely to spiritual matters, and matters of religion and inorals. They never discussed, and never attempted to teach the people questions of government, politics, the justice and policy of war, nor social philosophy. But some of our modern ministers of the Gospel claim to be taught of God upon the question of slavery and upon many questions of political policy, and to be able to teach the people authoritatively upon such subjects. Much of their teaching is of a strange character They often attribute to God motives and purposes which seem unbecoming and unworthy of the Supreme Being. Such assumptions appear impious.
I believe it is possible to hold slaves under such circumstances, and to treat them in such a manner, as to do them no injustice,but to benefit them, to promote their welfare, and to commit no sin by reason thereof; and that such is often the case, under laws which prohibit emancipatioa, except on conditions that are impracticable. General Washington may be named as an example.
TIIE SLAVE TRADE, COLONIAL SLAVERY, AND EMANCIPA
The first expedition by an Englishman to the coast of Africa for negro slaves was by Capt., afterwards Sir John Hawkins, who procured a cargo of them, and took them for sale to the West Indies, in October, 1563. The first African slaves brought to the English North American colonies, were brought to the colony of Virginia by a Dutch ship of war, in 1620.
It is said in Putnam's World's Progress, that “Queen Anne directed the colonial government of New York to take care that the Alpighty should be devoutly and duly served according to the rights of the Church of England, and also that the Royal African Company should be encouraged, and that the colony should have a constant and sufficient supply of merchantable negroes at moderate rutes.” In the year 1786 (he says) England employed 130 ships in the African slave trade, and that there were 770,280 slaves in the British colonies and plantations at the period of their emancipation, in 1833.
Mr. Cary says, in his history of the Slave Trade, that "in 1714, the number of blacks was 58,850, and they were dispersed throughout the provinces from New Hampshire to Carolina." He estimated the number imported into the thirteen colonies prior to 1714, at 30,000—from 1714 to the end of of 1770, at 199,500, and from 1771 to 1790 inclusive, at 34,000.
These facts show how active the foreign slave trade must have been during the whole of the 18th century, how it was regarded by Queen Anne, and by the government and christian people of Eng. land at that period, and how rapidly the slaves increased in these states, ther colonies of England. There were more or less slaves in all the colonies.
The following is an estimate of the number of slaves in the several