Thursday, July 11, 2013

"in self-defence and for self-preservation, to combine and take up arms"

Slavery a Nuisance.

   Slavery has made itself so offensive to conservative, peaceable men, that they are anxious to have it abated as a nuisance. It has intruded itself into the Free States, in a manner so unexpected and impudent, that the oldest of fogies feels the insult. It has disregarded the comity of nations, by imprisoning foreign, and native sea-men, when they were not white men. Commerce feels the insult, and looks around for redress.

   Slavery throws itself across the path of the peaceful traveler, and demands an explanation of his sentiments before he can proceed with safety. Men who before never thought on the subject of Slavery, nor cared for its perpetration on the African race, are now met at every turn, and disturbed in all their peaceful pursuits, by those who are attempting to force it upon the country.

   For a long time, the slaveholders were satisfied to rule and ruin their own States ; to drive out their own noble and liberty-loving sons. This accomplished, they then laid sacrilegious hands on the general government, and turned its vast powers to the subduing of freedom in the Free States. The outrages and annoyances thus perpetrated have, produced a revulsion in Northern feeling almost equal to a revolution, and bidding fair to break out soon in open insurrection. But to cap the climax, the Kansas iniquity was perpetrated, Here every right of man has been stricken down. Whether from a Free or a Slave State, has not been questioned; but whether in favor of slavery or freedom in Kansas. And if in favor of freedom, he has been subject to all the catalogue of insults and tortures known to barbarism. Men who are publicly known to be eminently conservative, who voted in Congress for the Fugitive Slave Law and the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill; or who have aided to enforce them, and in every manner shown their friendship for the South by sustaining slavery in its legitimate bounds, have been annoyed, falsified, vilified, persecuted, hunted down in private and public life, till, maddened by persecution, they have turned on their persecutors and armed, in self-defence.

   For twenty-five years past the Free States have been appealed to, to take action against slavery, because it was subversive of human liberty. To this appeal they have uniformly answered, "We have nothing to do with slavery." For a quarter of a century have the Churches of the Free States been appealed to, to take action against slavery, because it violated the precepts of our holy religion, and is a sin against God and man. To this appeal, the church has replied, that slavery was a Divine institution, against which they had nothing to say.

   Patriotism, humanity, and religion have been appealed to in vain. Liberty, Equality and Human Rights have also been smothered in the dust. The victims who were suffering by the violation of these Heaven-born principles, were of another race, whom we despised and hated, and were, therefore, unwilling to bless with the rights and privileges which we ourselves enjoyed. Having thus turned a deaf ear to the appeals of patriotism, philanthropy and religion, and eschewed all the higher motives of human action, the people have finally been compelled, in self-defence and for self-preservation, to combine and take up arms against slavery; not because they hated it, but because slavery interfered with them in all the peaceful and common pursuits of life. No man can travel with safety, or live in peace in his own home, or hold an office with approbation, or follow the ordinary pursuits of mercantile life, without being harassed, disturbed, insulted or ruined, by its impertinent interference, or open aggression.

   As the great organized bodies of the country, both political and religious, have decided that they cannot act against slavery either politically or religiously, the people have decided that it must and shall be abated as a nuisance, and Vox populi est Dei.

- The Kansas Herald Of Freedom, Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday, April 11, 1857. No. 33--Vol. 2. Pg. 1

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