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AN ESSAY, &c

JUBILEE, NO. 1.
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.

United States, July 4th, 1826. Friends and Fellow-Citizens.

A period of fifty years, a whole jubilee period, has elapsed, since you have become an independent nation; and as jubilees seem to have been originally intended as stated periods, for removing any oppressions and redressing any grievances, which may have existed or occurred during the preceding period, and advancing any improvements which may appear necessary or expedient to be adopted; it behoves us, to look back, and consider, in what respects the rights, happiness and prosperity of the human species have been advanced, during the preceeding jubilee period, and what still remains to be done, in order to promote and sccure those rights, and that happiness and prosperity, which are or ought to be the great end of all human associations and governments.

The past jubi'ee period commenced with a declaration of the independence of this country, then consisting of thirteen states, which had previously been in a state of colonial dependence on a nation and government about three thousand miles distant from them and this measure was unanimously adopted by them, in consequence of an attempt made and persevered in by the parent nation, to exert arbitrary rule and taxation over them, with circumstances of great atrocity, and an unfeeling disregard of their repeated petitions for redress. That independence was effected, after a war of about seven years, waged under circumstances of very great difficulties, privations,and embarrassments. These states soon after voluntarily united themselves under a general government, reserving to their own local governments, the power of managing their local concerns. This state of things has now lasted nearly forty years, with an increase of population wealth and power unprecedented in the annals of the world, and with all the liberty and security of those states & the individuals composing them, of which human society seems capable.

But was there not a very great evil existing in our country,at the commencement of this period? was not nearly a fifth part of the whole population in a state of slavery to the residue? an evil entailed on that enslaved population and their posterity; and

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was there not still a source of augmentation of this evil both by natural increase &by a continued importation of a similar population? Were our forefathers,the supporters of our independence & framers of our present constitution, unobservent of, or inattentive to this evil? By no means. The framer of our declaration of independence, Mr. Jefferson, & one of the first & warmest champions of our independence, Mr. Henry, both members of a slave holding state, with many others, bear clear and honorable testimony to the magnitude of the evil. But what could be done? The legislators of the slave-holding states were themselves generally slave-holders to a considerable extent, and much of their means of comfort and opulence depended on that kind of property; and so necessary did they consider laborers of that' description to them, that those members of the convention which formed the federal constitution, who wished the abolition of the slave trade, could not prevail on the members, from the southern states, to authorise congress to probibit the importation of slaves till 1808, upwards of 20 years after its formation, alleging that they could not, from their arrangements dispense with the importation of them, for that time. Congress however, acting on the power granted them, has prohibited the importation since the first day of the year 1808, has made the slave trade piracy, has employed vessels to obstruct that trade, has purchased a territory of considerable extent to accommodate such slaves as may be taken from slave vessels, having appropriated for that purpose a sum of one hundred thousand dollars, and in conjunction with the American society for colonizing the free people of colour of the United States, a colony has been founded on the coast of Africa in a very healthy situation, and which has advanced with uninterrupted success and unexampled rapidity for upwards of four years since its first settlement at Monrovia, at the mouth of Mesurado river, and its possessions must now occupy nearly 200 miles of a very fertile sea coast.

Thus far much has been done, if not for the removal, at least for the diminution of the evil; a further importation has, as far as government could effect it, been prevented; a settlement in their original country, where their persons and property will be protected, has been provided for such as are free, or may be liberated by their owners.

Such has been the case as respects our own nation; and if we view the state of other countries, we find also cause

joy and exultation. Almost the whole of this extensive continent of America has, from dependent colonies, become free and independent republican states, in which slavery is either almost er alto

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gether abolished; almost all the civilized powers of the world, and by far the greatest maritime power among them, have joined in the suppression of that scourge of Africa, the slave trade; and though it is still carried on to a considerable extent by one or two European nations, yet there appears to be a fair prospect of that infamous trade being soon annihilated. A powerful colony has been established by Great Britain adjacent to ours, with similar views of civilizing Africa, of bringing them to the use of making their support by industry, instead of doing it by enslaving each other, and of obstructing and annibilating the slave trade. The annihilation of the slave trade seems a prelude to that of slavery. The government of Great Britain, by far the most extensive holder of slave colonies, have declared a determination of removing the evil, and are taking efficient measures for the purpose. One extensive and populous West India island, consisting of a coloured population, has become an independent nation. Greece, that once great and celebrated country, the cradle of the arts and sciences, has, for several years past, made such a brave resistance against their tyranical rulers, as leaves hardly a doubt of their final independence. Sunday schools have disseminated, much more extensively than formerly, the blessings of education and information, and missionaries are actively diffusing the benefits of religion and civilization among nations hitherto unenlightened.

SIDNEY.

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NO. 2. Having in my preceding number, taken a brief view of the principal events tending to the amelioration of the state of the human family, which have taken place among ourselves, and in other parts of the world, during the jubilee period just elapsed; it remains, that we inquire, what we of the present day, ought to do for the same purpose ; but before I proceed to that subject, I shall speak briefly of the scripture regulations respecting human rights and liberty, and especially respecting the jubilee.

These regulations are founded on the personal rights of man. The history of the creation of man, in the 1st and 2d chapters of Genesis, merits our particular attention ; for whereas it is said, that God commanded the waters to bring forth the fish and fowl ; and the earth, the cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kinds, and that he made them ; of man it is said, that he made him in his own image, after his own likeness, that he breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a livé

ig soul; all which naturally infers, what the holy scriptures assares us 'is the fact, that he is immortal: we find also that he was to have dominion over all other living creatures, see Genesis, i. 26 and ii. 7. All this is conformable to that solemn passage in the declaration of our independence : “ We hold these truths e to be self-evident—that all men are created equal, that they are “ endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

But we find, on the fall of man, his labour became necessary for his subsistence ; one of the penalties of the fall is, that in the sweat of his face, he should eat bread, Genesis, iii. 19. Hence it comes to pass, that sometimes he tills the ground to obtain a subsistence for himself and family ; sometimes applies his labour to provide some convenience of food, raiment, ornament, improvement or gratification for others, for which he obtains from them, what he considers necessary or useful to himself ; and sometimes he finds it more convenient, to engage his personal labours to others, for what he coộsiders a sufficiently valuable consideration, and what the employer is willing to give him for them. As labour is the principal support of the poor, the injunction of paying the hireling his hire without delay, is particuLarly enjoined, see Deuteronomy xxiv. 15, and James v. 4. So far was a man, under the old testament laws, from being enabled to sell the labour of his posterity, that he could not engage

his. own labour for a longer time than six years, in the seventh year he was at liberty to go off, Exodus, xxi. 2. The cases in, and conditions on which, he could then, with his own free will, bind himself for a longer time, are mentioned in a few of the following verses of that chapter, and are unnecessary to be mentioned in this essay ; only it may be well to observe, that as this law of not permitting a man to be bound for a longer time than six years, seems founded on the idea of the seventh being a sabbatical year, and that founded on the circumstance of the creation of the world having been accomplished in six days, and God's resting on the seventh, a circumstance which we must suppose to have been well known to Abraham and the patriarchs, the institution of the Sabbath day being sanctified to be kept holy, having taken place immediately on the creation, Genesis, ii. 3, it is probable, that freeing a servant come to the age of maturity in his seventh year, was observed by those patriarchs ; and therefore, when we read of Abraham's servants born in his house, and bought with his money, Genesis, xiv. 14 and xvii, 23 and 27 verses, it is probable, their service was to a certain age ; or for a term of years ; especially too, as we find, that they were initia

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