Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

suppose any one will answer in the affirmative; neither could we have believed, had it not been done by so many individuals, that a single person could have been found, that would have admitted it possible any one could, in this country, be driven about hither and thither, whether as soldiers or as slaves, without being able to ask the reason why, or without having the right, in any way or in any manner, of preventing such being the case. We think our fathers have not left us such a legacy; on the contrary, they not only took better care of their own rights, but took better care of the rights of their posterity; and it is the purpose of the following pages to show how and in what manner they have done it.

If we are successful in convincing this nation, or rendering any help to convince it, that there is and can be no legal slavery in this country under our present Constitution, as we ourself are convinced there can be none, we shall thank God and take courage. We therefore humbly dedicate this book to the people of the United States; and, although it has been written in hours snatched from business and relaxation, and its literary merits may be objectionable, we hope the ideas will be pondered and considered, and that we shall not rush blindfolded into slavery to our own

destruction, and to the destruction of the hopes of the great and good who have desired the liberty and happiness of mankind.

We would however observe, that in any thing we may say in the following pages, we hope no one will suppose that we would not be as careful of State rights as the most jealous person, whether in or out of the abolition ranks ; but we have no sympathy with those who are so sensitive with regard to them on some points, and yet pay no sort of regard to them when certain other points are under consideration.

We will take this opportunity to thank Mr. Coffin, and Mr. Snelling, of the State Library, for their politeness in allowing us the examination of such books under their charge as we wished.

G. W. F. MELLEN.

THE

UNCONSTITUTIONALITY

OF

SLAVERY.

CHAPTER I.

A GENERAL STATEMENT OF THE QUESTION.

THE idea having been advanced in some of our most prominent political and religious journals, and also in various addresses made to the public by members belonging to both political parties,1 that no person out of the slave States had any thing to do with slavery; 2 that its abolition belongs solely to the States in which it exists; that we have nothing more to do with it than if these States were foreign nations, and that we violate the law of nations by meddling with it; 3 and that, if these States were not of our own household, the proceedings of the abolitionists would be a cause of war; and, further, (the doctrine is advanced by some,) that slavery was by the Constitution guaranteed to the South, it is our purpose to con

1

'Democratic Address, delivered in Baltimore in 1838. Mr. Webster's Address, delivered in Richmond, October, 1840. Atherton's Resolutions, 1838.

2 Boston Quarterly Review, No. II. p. 242; also No. XIII. p. 95, * Boston Quarterly Review, No. II. p. 252.

4 Christian Examiner, Third Series, No. XIII. 1837, p. 84, &c.

« VorigeDoorgaan »