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cumstances, as in our own case-in conformity to some definite internal pressure, or by reason of less definable international circumstances. In our own legislative enactments on this subject (1818-1819), members of Congress were not-as some wrongly suppose actuated by self-sacrificing conviction of duty to an abused and weaker race; but contrariwise, their acts were scarcely less selfish than the practices of the smugglers who almost openly violated them. For the more northernly states of the Union had already found slavery unprofitable, and in the Southern states-where the institution was believed to be profitable, and planters of the great staples of cotton and tobacco constantly demanded accessions to their supply of slave labor-the more thoughtful element saw plainly the disadvantages and dangers of the ever increasing Negro population. However, most of those directly-though temporarily-benefited by human chattelism were quite willing to close their eyes and ears to existing conditions and future consequences.

CHAPTER VII

The Attitude of Christianity Toward Slavery in Colonial Times-Other Facts

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ANY have made the claim that the secret of our modern civilizations, with their greatly improved moral standards, is to be sought and found in the Christian religion. If this statement is rigidly restricted to the moral teachings of Jesus it certainly contains an element of truth, but if it be made to cover the history of the church, and the practices of those calling themselves Christians, its claims will not stand the test of investigation. For the history of the church is closely associated with a most abhorrent reign of crime and bloodshed.

Christians have always condemned the cruel practices of the Mohammedans while extolling their own institutions, and teaching doctrines which they rarely practice in daily conduct. They strive to forget their own history and to conceal the records of their dark deeds from each succeeding generation. But with all their temporal authority, and wholesale murder, in past centuries, of those who loved truth even better than life, they have not been able to blot out the secular records of such inhuman conduct as the seven, or to include only the more notorious-the four scourges of the Christian Crusaders against a people and a faith quite as sincere, if not so well founded in its initial moral precepts.

There are few if any chapters in human history more revolting, and blood-curdling, than those of

the Christians against the Saracens, in the Spanish Inquisition, and the persecutions of such men as Bruno and Galileo, for teaching the great truths of nature. They conveniently forget to remember their own atrocities, while retaining a vivid recollection of the less horrifying crimes of other religions. They are more than willing to magnify and exhibit the mote in the eye of other faiths were they not blinded by the real magnitude of the beam in their own.

Let us take for instance the siege of Jerusalem and the crimes enacted within its walls on the 15th of July, 1099. After laying siege to the city for more than a month, and causing the wholesale death of men, women, and children by starvation, it was taken by storm. When finally these merciless Christians entered the city's walls they vented their wrath by indiscriminate murder. The brains of babes were beaten out against the curbstones. They spared not youth, nor age, nor sex, but murdered the poor helpless children and babies along with all conditions of men and women. Nor can they justly claim that they temporarily lost self-control in the heat of passion; for their leaders afterwards wrote home exultingly, "In Solomon's Porch and in his Temple our men rode in the blood of the Saracens up to the knees of their horses."

It

These highly immoral practices of so-called Christians are cited merely to show that the part played by professing Christians in our American slave-trade, as well as throughout the entire history of Negro slavery in America, is nothing strange or new. has always been the case that Christian institutions have manifested more of emotional profession than of moral example. The more recent conduct of the various Christian'isms, or sects, in connection with Negro slavery, is not one whit less censurable thar

the crimes of the Crusaders, or the cruel practices of the Spanish Inquisition.

We have referred briefly to the merciless raids of Christian peoples upon the homes of African Negroes, during which they murdered the babes and the aged, preserving only the lives of those most salable.

It was a Christian people-or several Christian peoples-that perpetrated these intensely immoral acts. The very people who came to this country for religious freedom immediately denied the same to others. They denied the Negro the right to live, unless his existence could be readily converted into dollars and cents. We cannot cease to wonder whether or not these early Christian settlers—in their greed for gain-ever paused to reflect what Jesus would have done in the premises. The pessimist often tells us that humanity is growing worse; but on the whole we cannot agree with him, for there is an abundance of evidence to the contrary. But during those centuries of Negro slave-trade, and slave-holding, we Caucasians certainly lapsed into a state of mind sufficiently immoral and inhuman to have paralleled the records of any legalized practices of the past. Not one of the early colonial communities is exempt from this odium. It is true, however, that New England saw the error first, and ever after waged an honorable war against the continuation of the institution. Contrary to the general conviction of the Southern people, yet without intended reflection, it must be admitted, that (with certain prominent exceptions) the Northern half of our common country has always been-and still is-entitled to the honor of leadership in both thought and action. This is by no means a pleasant admission for a Southern man to make, but we hold it nobler to confess the truth than to appear more loyal by attempting to pervert or suppress the

evidence.

Many Southern people believed that the only difference in the attitude of the two sections regarding human chattelism was that the North found it unprofitable while the agricultural requirements of the South made the system highly remunerative. Unquestionably this view contains a certain amount of truth, but it has been greatly exaggerated by some Southern people, who evinced to the bitter end, a dogged determination to perpetuate slavery, right or wrong, simply because it could be turned to profitas they thought. Like all other peoples, in all historic times, they tried to convince themselves by ingenious arguments that the course they elected to persue was the moral one. As an extenuating circumstance in the South's attitude toward slavery, and the slave-trade, it should be remembered that the Negro is certainly a much lower order of being than the white man, and that harsh treatment does not produce in him the mental anguish that it does in the higher race. This, however, by no means justifies the conclusion that he is wholly devoid of such attributes as love, sympathy, and altruism in general. These qualities are superficially quite as intense as in the higher races, but not perhaps so deep-seated and enduring. Individuals have often shown themselves to be the equals of the whites in such qualities. Mulattoes, with a preponderance of white blood, must have been nearly equal to the master class in these respects.

In the year 1618 (1620 some give it) when the Dutch vessel landed the first Negro slaves at Jamestown, England and other European countries had already largely come to look upon the practice as contrary to justice and natural right. It was established opinion throughout Western Europe that

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