Page images

and for what purpose. If the Chartists of Great Britain can be starved into compelling their oppressors to abolish the monstrous corn laws, we could be liberated from customs and tribute, and have free commerce, and each pay directly his just share of the necessary public expenses.

The North is implicated in the guilt, the odium, and the responsibility of southern slavery, and perhaps it would be a fair way of compromise to let the North raise one-half the amount, and the South the other half. Of any thing contributed through, or by the general government, the north would pay three times as much as the south, that being about their relative ratio of support of government. But as, notwithstanding the implication of the North, it might be difficult to be persuaded that it has so much to do with Southern slavery as to submit to direct taxation for abolition; and as the "Public Lands," is, and is likely to be a vexed question, perhaps it will be better to waive any other disposition of them, and apply them to the extinction of human bondage, thus meet the south half way and make a compromise, not of principle, which is impossible, but in order to agree about the best means to attain it.

The British Nation paid in 1834, $88000 000 towards remunerating the West India Planters for about 800,000 slaves; this ratio would make for two and three-fourth millions of slaves in the United States, about $300,000,000. If the public lands were pledged to secure a fund of the amount of $200,000,000, the north would pay threefourths, or $150,000,000, being half of the whole; each Southern state willing to become free could tax all its property, including slaves, to supply the other half.

If this estimate be thought too low, be it recollected that the approximation from a paper credit currency towards a specie basis has condensed the value of money some fifty per cent, since the purchase of slaves by the British, which is the rate of their valuation here proposed; and in the event of abolition by the United States, there would be but few other buyers even at the lowest rates. Besides, the real estate of the south would then be enhanced at least one half, and its representation greatly extended, for instead of" three-fifths of other persons," they would have the suffrage of the whole five-fifths; the entire union would be no longer ruled by the representatives of slaves, nor the south by martial and mob law. It might perhaps be more equitable and convenient for both the North and the South, if the nett proceeds of the lands were pledged towards a fund of $200,000,000 with 6 per cent interest theron, for a term of twenty years, and then if found inadequate, the deficiency to be supplied by the general government, and the surplus lands to revert to the people of the Union. The immense national domain should, if well managed, produce a large revenue; we see great and growing states, as Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, carved out, but where are the proceeds of the spoils of the poor Indian, the rightful proprietor from time immemorial,-shared among the agents, squatters, and speculators. If the amount realized from the public lands, could be so large that one half would compensate the south, it were highly desirable that the other moiety be applied to universal education, including those liberated.

It is here proposed, that "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this,"


Article XIII. § 1. The public lands of the United States shall be pledged and appropriated as a fund on the part of the United States towards remunerating the slave states for the release of their slaves.

§ 2. Slavery is utterly and forever abolished throughout the United States, their territories, and domains; in all of which there shall be no disfranchisement or privilege on account of color or race, and any thing and every thing in any constitution or statute to the contrary is forever null and void.

§ 3. The United States will hold no intercourse by treaty, alliance, or commerce, with any nation, state, or people, that tolerates human slavery within its jurisdiction.

The words in the constitution, art. I, § 2, "three-fifths of all other persons," and the 3d clause, sect. 2, Art. IV, will thus become a dead letter. Any slave state unwilling to unite in this amendment and become free, can of course secede; it will leave a larger share of the land fund for the others.

As to the 3d section, We certainly have a right to say with whom we will associate, trade, or form alliances; and after we have done justice ourselves, to ask others to do likewise. The United States law of 1820, declares, not only that every citizen, but every person found engaged in the foreign slave trade shall be adjudged a pirate and shall suffer death. Besides, we should have to decline but few acquaintances, Spain and Portugal, Brazil & Co. If the united North would only say one word, "Ay!" would but hold up its hand in token of assent, would deposit its ballot in token of its decision, such an amendment might be adopted; the flaming fire-brand of discord which threatens general conflagration and chaos, be converted into the beaming torch of amity and unity. By this retrograde stride, the patriot and the philanthropist, the friends of justice and humanity would be set at liberty to attempt, in some degree, to repair the evils, the errors, and the crimes accumulated for more than half a century by the bloody dynasty of slavery.

Then might be realized, as is yet reversed, the aspiration of La Fayette in his farewell address to Congress, after he had achieved our emancipation, "May this great monument raised to Liberty, serve as a lesson to the oppressor, and an example to the oppressed;" then instead of being a warning beacon, we might become a guiding luminary to the nations of the earth; then no longer would the lines of Byron on Napoleon's failure, be applicable to the United States of America:

"A single step into the right had made

This Land' the Washington of worlds betrayed;

A single step into wrong has given

's name a scoff to 11 th

uds of heaven!"

J. R. A

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

Freedom's glorious Sun, dispelling the black chaos of Slavery.

May this great monument, raised to Liberty, serve as a lesson to the oppressor, and an example to the oppressed.-La Fayette.



« PreviousContinue »