I reminded the audience of the peril which surrounded this self- emancipated young man at the North,--even in Mas- sachusetts, on the soil of the Pilgrim Fathers, among the descendants of revolutionary sires; and I ap- pealed to them, whether they would ever allow him to be carried back into slavery,--law or no law, con- stitution or no constitution.
To illustrate the effect of slavery on the white man,--to show that he has no powers of endurance, in such a condition, superior to those of his black brother,--DANIEL O'CONNELL, the distinguished advocate of universal emancipation, and the mighti- est champion of prostrate but not conquered Ireland, relates the following anecdote in a speech delivered by him in the Conciliation Hall, Dublin, before the Loyal National Repeal Association, March 31, 1845.
One may get the idea, from what I have said, that there was bitter feeling toward the white people on the part of my race, because of the fact that most of the white population was away fighting in a war which would result in keeping the Negro in slavery if the South was successful.
I have never seen one who did not want to be free, or one who would return to slavery.
On the shores of our free states are emerging the poor, shattered, broken remnants of families,--men and women, escaped, by miraculous providences from the surges of slavery,--feeble in knowledge, and, in many cases, infirm in moral constitution, from a system which confounds and confuses every principle of Christianity and morality.
To fill up Liberia with an ignorant, inexperienced, half-barbarized race, just escaped from the chains of slavery, would be only to prolong, for ages, the period of struggle and conflict which attends the inception of new enterprises.
Blot out, ye friends of slavery, from the catalogue of human passions, brutal lust, cruelty, and the abuse of irresponsible power (of all earthly temptations the most difficult to be resisted), and when ye have done so, and not before, we will inquire whether it be the interest of a master to lash and maim the slaves, over whose lives and limbs he has an absolute control!
Why, public opinion in the slave States IS slavery, is it not?
If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose.
The manner," says he, "in which the governments of the States where slavery exists are to regulate it is for their own consideration, under the responsibility to their constituents, to the general laws of propriety, humanity, and justice, and to God.
It is often attempted to palliate slavery
by comparing the state of slaves with our poorer countrymen: if the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin; but how this bears on slavery
, I cannot see; as well might the use of the thumb-screw be defended in one land, by showing that men in another land suffered from some dreadful disease.
Then he is a parricide, and a cruel guardian of an aged parent; and this is real tyranny, about which there can be no longer a mistake: as the saying is, the people who would escape the smoke which is the slavery
of freemen, has fallen into the fire which is the tyranny of slaves.