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TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY.
GENTLEMEN,—The words of John Bright must ever sound strangely in the ears of enlightened and upright men, and produce immense mischief in stirring up animosity and strife both in the Old and New World. “Privilege came forth every morning, and with blatant voice cursed the American republic. Privilege had beheld thirty millions happy and prosperous, without an emperor or a king, or a state bishop or priest.” By the word "privilege," I suppose Mr Bright means the aristocracy with its vested rights, and its use in the above relationship presents him to the view of mankind as the opponent of monarchy and a paid ministry, denouncing them as “kingcraft and priestcraft.” But as monarchy and the noble ordination of the ministry will not lack noble intellects, hearts and arms to defend them in this country, should the occasion demand it, let us lift up and make to pass in review before us“ squatter sovereignty," another
name for aristocracy, or privilege, in America. Our
squatter sovereigns” are divided into two classes. The first is an aristocracy of men-stealers, or slaveholders. These look on slavery as the normal condition of the negro; consider property in him as inviolable as any other in the country; cherish a decided preference for that species of property so called ;. consider any interference with it by others as presumptuous, intrusive, and diabolical; avow that the emancipation of the slave would be dangerous to society and a curse to himself; certify that slavery is a great blessing, a kind of alkali which neutralises the antagonism of whites and blacks for the mutual interest of both; contend that slavery is invested with the sanction of religion and guaranteed by the constitution; affirm that they view it with thankfulness and gratitude as a providential arrangement ordained by the Almighty, and declare that all who call in question or entertain a doubt concerning the humanity and divinity of slavery display“ bottomless
“ ignorance," unteachable fanaticism, and blasphemously intrude between the negro and his God.
What fearful vested rights are disclosed in the above form of our so-called "privilege" in America. Into what bright forms the hideous features of slavery are transformed to woo and charm the unsuspecting and ignorant. With what presumptuous daring and matchless effrontery is it associated with the sacredness of religion. And with what subtlety and cunning do these “squatter sovereigns," or aristocrats, seek to
hide from the view of men the bloody slave-whip which is ever doing its cruel work, the red-hot branding iron which is ever hissing in the flesh of the wretched victims of its cruelty—and the anguish and sorrow which dwell in the hearts of multitudes of the oppressed!
( for a million tongues
To thunder freedom's name,
The indignant cry of shame!
Our eagle's talons are red
With the reeking blood of the slave,
O’er the sight of freedom's grave.
And hasten the day which shall open the way
But whoever may speak against negro slavery, say our “squatter sovereigns,” England must be silent, for if it be sinful and cruel to hold men in bondage, she has a heavy load of guilt to bear, since she first gave slavery to us in America. If true, England gave other things to us besides slavery, and we would not have them. She gave us Stamp Acts, but these created Riot Acts; she put threepenny taxes on our tea, and we threw it into the waters of Boston Harbour; and she imposed taxation without representation, and we resisted it with the rattling musketry of Bunker Hill and the roar of cannon from New Orleans to Saratoga. Each and all these we repudiated
because we did not like them, but we kept slavery because we liked it! How fearful, therefore, to
, delude ourselves and to seek to deceive others by casting off an awful responsibility which it becomes us to feel and meet with manly courage.
And this we call privilege in America.
There is, however, another class of aristocrats in America whose "privileges” associate them with the
aristocracy of skin,” which is the vilest thing the world ever knew or saw.
These look upon the negro as a “superior animal” or “domesticated brute," and consider him as belonging to an inferior race to themselves. They say, “as the crocodile is to the negro, so is the negro
to the white man; and as the white man may treat a negro, so the negro may treat a crocodile.” “Prejudices,” say they, “which neither refinement, nor argument, nor education can subdue, mark the people of colour, bond and free, as the subjects of a degradation inevitable and incurable ; subject them to every imaginable insult in their expulsion from the railway car, steamboat saloon, social circle, sanctuary, the states of Illinois and New Jersey; and with beseechings made soft with tenderness, cause the President to entreat them to leave the country, whilst he solemnly and earnestly reminds them that America can never be the black man's home, and that his country cannot continue to be polluted with their footprints. “Besides,” say our Northern aristocrats, “God has piovided for the negro a Canaan in Liberia; and when it shall be great and prosperous it will then doubt
lessly be seen (say they) that a wise Providence suffered the negro race to pass through a long season of oppression in order that they might be elevated and purified, and demonstrate that God had been long elaborating in the depths of his unfathomable counsel, just as he elaborates the diamond in the mine, a gem of Christian civilisation, to blaze on the sable brow of Africa; so that what Christianity could not do for them in America, it could, would, and should do for them in Africa, and this is what we sincerely believe
; to be no fault of the coloured or white man, but an ordination of Providence, and no more to be changed than the laws of nature.”
Influenced by such considerations and governed by such principles and motives, need we wonder that our Northern class of aristocrats should spurn the negro, as the bigot of old did the Jew, or as the Turk did the Christian ; reveal a fixedness of purpose never to allow the coloured man equal social, political or religious privileges with themselves ; avow that in America the negroes “must be for ever debased, useless, and a nuisance from which it were a blessing for society to be rid;" and pass decrees of a most oppressive character which are to stand against them in all their rigour, and which they say were enacted to work out their “ultimate and unbounded good” in order to relieve us of “their unwelcome presence where they are not wanted, and to induce them to emigrate en masse to Liberia, where they could repeat with the highest gratification to each other and feel the captiv