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could never have been adopted on any other basis, for, as we have elsewhere seen, many of the colonies or states, while strenuously advocating the stoppage of the African trade, were holding fast to their human property-rights with the most unyielding tenacity. Particularly was this true of certain Southern states, with Virginia included in that group, although at times, and through the influence of certain superior citizens-Virginia's legislative bodies were closely divided on the question.

Lincoln has said, in substance, that desire is determined by two factors, (1), the moral sense, and (2), self-interest. Of course a man of such renown and influence must have precedence for his utterances over ordinary mortals; but we believe, none-the-less, that if he had reversed these two controlling factors -giving self-interest preference over moral sense— he would have more correctly stated the case. It is also probable that if he had been writing sociology or philosophy, instead of making a political speech -in which he was, very laudably, trying to secure votes he would have given "self-interest" precedence over what he calls "moral sense." If one would be sure of his ground in anticipating average human conduct he should reckon first with what the people-however erroneously-believe to be selfinterest; then count all other influences as subordinate. On no other basis can we account for the support which slavery and the slave-trade received from Christianity. It is true, this modern alliance of Christianity with crime and atrocity is but a repetition of its earlier history; yet it is astounding that in this more enlightened age the pure morality and humble brotherly love, which Jesus so clearly taught, could be so distorted, and disguised, as to lend its support to a practice that so manifestly violated the

lofty tenets of the noble Nazarene.

"Is it not a little surprising," said Patrick Henry, "that Christianity, whose chief excellency consists in softening the human heart, cherishing and improving its finer feelings, should encourage a practice so totally repugnant to the finer impressions of right and wrong? What adds to the wonder is that this abominable practice has been introduced in the most enlightened ages.

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Although Jefferson was not a Christian in the religious sense, and was regarded as more or less materialistic-but more correctly agnostic-he penned these godly-sounding words in his "Notes on Virginia" in reference to the enslaved Negroes.

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God; that they are not violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."

To review the names of these early statesmen— whether they be Northern or Southern-who unreservedly condemned the practice of slavery is to mention, practically, the entire list. They all saw its injustice, but the great mass of slave-holding people-who resided in the South-based their reasoning on self-interest-as they saw it-and overlooked or disregarded the moral aspect. It was not until we were well into the first quarter of the nineteenth century that Southern politicians began to whitewash, or attempt to whitewash, the practice of human chattelism.

There can be no question that many ordinary planters and other citizens, having known no higher state of society, and being incapable of independent

reasoning, sincerely believed the system to be just and proper. A like regard for authority and teaching-irrespective of morality-among the great mass of our people, is equally amazing to-day.

Apart from the cutting off of the slave-trade-in so far as its legal status was concerned by an act of Congress effective January 1, 1808, and the growing sentiment in favor of individual manumissions, the condition of the Negroes-who were largely concentrated in the South-underwent little change during the thirty years from the ratification of the Constitution (1788) until the revival of political anti-slavery sentiment in 1818.

During this span of three decades of freedom from agitation the condition of the bondsmen, while slightly improved as to its cruelties, remained in every essential respect the same. One thing should be kept ever before the mind in scrutinizing the actual condition and environment of Negro slaves during the period with which this chapter has to do; which is, that the condition of slaves was as varied as was that of the masters. There were house-servants whose environment was at once comfortable, hygienic, and elevating. The position of valet to a Virginia gentleman was-to a man devoid of that sense of wounded pride, which we Anglo-Saxons would have felt-a most care-free and comfortable situation. Such servants really entered into nearly every pleasure of the master. In the chase, for instance, he was always a well mounted attendant, and by reason of his recent condition of savagery probably got more real enjoyment out of the sport than did the masters themselves.

As much may be said of the female attendants of the ladies; these maids were often humored and indulged, they literally dwelt in palaces and breathed

the atmosphere of the finest Southern culture. Servants of this class, both men and women, were in every material sense far better off in slavery than in freedom, so long as the master was solvent; but they always stood in the grim shadow of financial reverses and bankruptcy on the part of their owners, which usually meant ruin to such favored servants along with the rest. They were then liable to fall into the hands of unscrupulous slave-traders or less indulgent masters and mistresses.

A much harder lot was that of the great mass of Southern slaves, generally known as field-hands; this class was usually entrusted to taskmasters or overseers, who in turn were responsible to the owners for requiring of them all the hard labor of which they were capable, and that too with the smallest possible outlay for their support. Hard indeed was the lot of the field-hand. They were on very much the same footing as the mules and oxen which they drove. It was considered highly improper, and in many localities illegal, to bestow upon them even the merest rudiments of education. They could rarely read or write an accomplishment very common among house-servants. The overseers were permitted to flog and otherwise punish the toilers entrusted to their keeping, which subjected this class of slaves to the consequences of ill-nature, caprice, and an unusual degree of race hatred. These overseers were required as a condition to their continued employment-to force the field-hands to their utmost capacity, and to turn their labors to financial profit. Many a frail or ill man has been forced or beaten to death under the exacting requirements.

This, however, was by no means the worst fate of the bondsmen, cruel and inhuman as it often was, it is not to be compared with the lot of that large

number who, for one cause or another, sooner or later, fell into the hands of the slave-trader; for this was a veritable hell on earth, as all know who have given the Negro question even casual attention.

The occupation of slave-trading was so repulsive that it attracted, almost exclusively, the most degenerate individuals—men devoid of pity and incapable of remorse.

When a gentleman made an assignment-which was common- -at least a portion of his human chattels were sold at auction and some purchased by the slave-trader. It makes one shudder for shame on the one hand, and for pity on the other, to call back to view the circumstances that this was more likely to be the fate of the maimed, aged, or pretty housemaid, than that of the stronger, grosser and pureblooded Negroes. Those familiar with "Uncle Tom's Cabin" already have a vivid impression of the horrors of home slave-trade (as distinguished from African trade). To those who would know it better, but who have not read that admirable book, we unhesitatingly commend it.

There can be no doubt that many slave-holders and Southern planters were good to their slaves and cared tenderly for the aged and incapacitated, and threw a protecting arm about their young mulatto women; but, as we have shown, human nature is weak, and where we find one such master many there were who put self-interest so far above humanity, and the natural rights of the black man, that his treatment, on the whole varied, all the way from exacting requirements to the most outrageous debauchery and unendurable cruelty. If all masters could have possessed the character of General Robert E. Lee, slavery would still have been unjust and degrading, and contrary to the natural laws of human

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