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ir way; strong and thorough enactments have provided for r instruction at the public expense; and the master, whose es are found untaught, is held guilty of a crime against the sperity and safety of the State. Suppose all this to be a reality. his what is meant by emancipation, immediate and complete? bis the instant and unqualified abolition of slavery? Tell us , that this must of course result in sweeping away the last vestiof servitude. The question is not, what will it grow to,-but at is it? Is it immediate abolition,-instantaneous, universal ancipation ? We answer, No. Emancipation,-abolition, means more than all
All this may be, while yet the slaves have not begun to be ir own masters. There is no emancipation till the slave is de a free man.
All short of this, is the improvement of his sdition, the alleviation of his bondage. To say, that the slave is mught under the protection of the law,” is something short of ying, that he is “instantly set free.” To make the slave an apentice for life, or for a term of years, or for a single year; to tablish, that he is not a chattel, but a person ; to secure for him
equitable compensation for his toil; to protect him against kuse; to legalize and guard his domestic relations; to provide r his moral and religious instruction, and for the education of his hildren, is not of course to make him instantaneously a free man. Ill this, is not all that the convention mean by emancipation, when bey get among their abstractions. There they demand for the lave, not merely a legal personality, not merely protection, comsensation for labor, domestic rights, and the means of instruction ; ut liberty, inalienable liberty,--liberty which is his already, and always has been, save as he has been and is precluded from the enjoyment of it by “laws which before God are utterly null and vid." Do they understand the extent of their demand? Do they intend to denounce, as an “usurpation of the prerogative of Jehovah," any law which, regarding the slave as a minor, an infant, incompetent for the present to control himself, should provide employment for him, and forbid him to stroll away from it,-should declare him incapable of making contracts, except under the direction and advice of his conservator,--should regulate the application and expenditure of his earnings, and should make arrangements for his being “gradually" introduced into the privilege of self-employment, of self-control, and of disposing of his own earnings at his own pleasure ? Is the immediate emancipation for which they contend, the emancipation inferable from their abstract principles? Or is it merely the abolition of those particulars enumerated in their description of slavery?
We have before us, in the “ Preamble and Constitution of the Anti-Slavery Society of Lane Seminary,” the following “exposition of immediate emancipation,” given for the very purpo “preventing misapprehensions.” “ It has been extensively ad ed,” say the writers of that document," as expressing the of abolitionists, and embodies substantially our own."
Wed not, that it was intended to express fearlessly all that they m and all that they do not mean, by immediate emancipation :
“By immediate emancipation, we do not mean that the slaves be turned loose upon the nation, to roam as vagabonds and aliens,
That they shall be instantly invested with all political rights and vileges,-nor,
That they shall be expelled from their native land to a foreign di as the price and condition of their freedom.
But we do mean,—that instead of being under the unlimited com of a few irresponsible masters, they shall really receive the protec of law; That the
power which is invested in every slave-holder, to rob then their just dues, to drive them into the field like beasts, to lacerate bodies, to sell the husband from his wife, the wife from her husband, children from their parents, shall instantly cease ;
That the slaves shall be employed as free laborers, fairly compensa and protected in their earnings ;
That they shall be placed under a benevolent and disinterested pervision, which shall secure to them the right to obtain secular and ligious knowledge, to worship God according to the dictates of the consciences, and to seek an intellectual and moral equality with
In this definition, or, as the young men of the Lane Semina choose to call it, this “ exposition of immediate emancipation the only particular which implies emancipation at all, in the seni of investing the slaves with freedom, is the demand, "that th slaves shall be employed as free laborers.” That expression, ta ken by itself, might be understood to mean, that they are o be immediately free to labor or not to labor at their pleasure free to find employment for themselves according to their liking and free to dispose of their earnings according to their own dis cretion. But against such a construction, the writers seem to have guarded at the outset, by saying, "We do not mean, that the slaves shall be turned loose upon the nation, to roam as vagabonds and aliens.” In other words, they do not mean, that the slaves are to be immediately invested with SELF-CONTROL.
This, if we understand the meaning of words, is not immediate emancipation. The slave, we repeat, is not emancipated, till be becomes a free man. You may make the master responsible, and limit his power. You may take the slave out of the power of his master entirely, and put him under an overseer appointed by the public. You may do for his physical comfort, for his protection, for bis instruction, whatever seems needful. He is not emancipated, til he goes forth, like the freed apprentice at the expiration of his indentures, his own master, “ loose to roam" whithersoever he pleases.
No man can tell what abolition is, till he can first tell what slavejy is. The immediate abolition of slavery, is the immediate anBihilation of that state of things which the word slavery denotes. Mr. Phelps, in the book before us, is the first immediate abolitionist whom we remember to have met with, who was not too immediate, in too much haste for abolition, to undertake a distinct definition of the thing to be abolished. “ Slavery," he tells us, " is ao assumed right of property in man; or, it is the principle, admitted in theory, and acted on in practice, that in some cases, each individual being his own judge in the case, it is lawful to hold property in man.” He accompanies this definition with several pages of explanation, from which we learn, that, in his view, whereEver a man holds his fellow-man as property, as not a person
but a thing such as an ox or a horse,' there is slavery, and there only. k would be unfair, after his explanations, to infer from the expression, "property in man,” that he condemns as slave-holding, the legal property of the master in the time, strength, and skill, acquired or acquirable, of his apprentice. By“ holding property in man,” he means simply,“ holding man as property," --simply holding and treating a rational and accountable creature of God, a brother of the human family, as a thing without rights, a mere article of merchandise. The thing, then, which is to be immediately abolished, and the extinction of which is all that is necessarily meant by immediate abolition, if Mr. Phelps' definition of slavery is a true one, is nothing else than the practice of owning men, or rather of assuming and claiming to own them, as chattels. ,
This definition of slavery is a very compendious method of proving, that the relation of the slave-holder to his slaves is invaribly, simply, and inexcusably sinful. Our objection to it is, that it is not a definition of all servitude, but only of that servitude which implies sin on the part of the master. It was obviously framed with a view to the proposition,-All slave-holding is criminal. It was framed by a mind desirous of giving to its own positions a
aspect, at least, of reason and consistency, and seeking a basis on which to construct the doctrine of irrmediate emancipation, a doctrine that shall make every master of slaves, in all conceivable circumstances, and without any possibility of explanation or defense, an oppressor, a man-stealer, a pirate, an enemy of the human race. If we understand the meaning of terms, a man may be constituted by law the master of slaves,
may exercise over them all the duties of guardianship and government, without considering them or treating them as property, and may yet be a VOL. VI.
slave-holder,—the master of slaves, in the common acceptatio of those terms among all who speak the English language Those slaves are slaves, so long as they are not emancipated They are not emancipated, as common sense understands emanci pation, till they cease to be under the control and guardianship another.
Mr. Phelps' definition of emancipation corresponds, as we migh expect, with his definition of slavery. In answer to the question “What does your immediate emancipation mean?” he says:
• It is simply, that the slaves be at once delivered from the control a arbitrary and irresponsible power, and, like other men, put under th control of equitable laws, equitably administered. Slavery, as I hav shown, is the principle, that man, in some cases, at his own discretio may hold his fellow-man as property. This, adopted as a practical prên ciple, is slavery ; rejected as a practical principle, is slavery reject ed. Immediate Emancipation, then, means that slave-holders, as ind viduals, and as a community, should at once give up this as a principi of action, and so doing, give up all that treatment which is based upo it, and thus put their slaves on the footing of men, and under the contre of motive and law. It is, for example, that England should at onc yield the principle of taxing us at pleasure, without our consent; and i this one act, yield of course, all the treatment growing out of, and base upon that principle.
Or more specifically, immediate emancipation means,
1. That the slave-holder, so far as he is concerned, should cease once to hold or employ human beings as property.
2. That he should put them at once, in his regard and treatment them, on the footing of men, possessing the inalienable rights of mai
3. That instead of turning them adrist on society, uncared for, b should offer to employ them as free hired laborers, giving them, how ever, liberty of choice whether to remain in his service or not :*
4. That from this starting point,--this emancipation from slaver itself, he should at once begin to make amends for the past, by enterio heartily on the work of qualifying them for, and elevating them to all privileges and blessings of freedom and religion ;-thus doing what can to emancipate them from their ignorance, degradation, &c.,
-in oth words, from the consequences of slavery, as well as from the thing itse
Suppose some of them are children, without parents, boys at fifteen ye of age. Ought he to give them that “ liberty of choice?" "Suppose one of the at the age of thirty, is but a boy of larger growth, as ignorant, as unfitted to emp himself, as incompetent to take care of and use his own earnings, as a chi Ought he to give to such an one that liberty of choice? Again, What do that liberty of choice amount to, as the laws are in the southern 'Stales ? what but a free choice between going forth and being arrested and sold by i sherif, on the one hand, and on the other hand, a continuance under the go ernment and protection of bis old master ? Not to leave an unfair impression specting Mr. Phelps' meaning, we add, that he himself says, on the precedis page, "We would not turn the slaves adrift on society, if we could. So far fru it, we are opposed to such a measure. We insist, even, that THE MASTER H. NO RIGHT THUS TO SET THEM AFLOAT ON SOCIETY, unlooked after and uncared for
Thus much in respect to the individual. In respect to the community # such, the scheme means,
1. That, in its collective capacity, it should yield the principle of ppperty in man, and thus cease to recognize any human being as the property of another.
2. That, by wise and equitable enactments, suited to the various circumstances of the various classes of its members, it should recognize them, all alike, as men,--as subjects of equal law, under its, and only its astrol, to be deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,' on no account but that of crime, and then, by due and equitable process of law.
And farther, in respect to those slaves, who might be disposed to kave their master's service, and become idle vagrants in society, the xheme means,
1. That they should come under the control of vagrant laws,-just white vagrants do.
% That, if they commit crimes, they should be tried and condemned, like other criminals, by due process of law.'
We understand by abolition, much that is not included in Mr. Phelps' description of it. Slavery, according to our definition, is that artificial relation, or civil constitution, by which one man is lavested with a property in the labor of another, to whom, by Virtue of that relation, he owes the duties of protection, support, and government, and who owes him, in return, obedience and submission. Our notion of the abolition of slavery, is the entire destruction of that artificial constitution of society, which takes away from one man the power of self-control, and puts him under the protection and control of another. The immediate emancipation of a slave by his master, is the instantaneous dissolution of the relation in that individual instance. The immediate abolition of slave15, in a state or country, is the instantaneous dissolution of that relation between all the masters and all the slaves, by some sudden violence, or by some act of legislation. While the slave is passing through a period of pupilage, controlled by the discretion of another, his emancipation may be in progress, but it is not compiete. While the slaves of a country are considered by the law as not yet fully competent to the responsibility of directing their own movements and employments, so long,—though the process of abolition may be going forward with great rapidity, and though the result may be as sure as the progress of time, and though the statute-book may have fixed the date at which the slaves shall be left to their own discretion,-slavery is not completely abolished.
In taking our stand, then, against immediate emancipation, as the duty of the individual master, and against immediate abolition as the duty of the legislature, we do not oppose what Mr. Phelps, and men like him, of logical and calculating minds, argue for, under those dames. As for the thing which alone they prosess to recog