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Pro-Slavery Arguments J. D. B. De Bow The Industrial Resourses, etc.., of the Southern and Western States. Samuel George Morton (see “Observations of the size of the Brain in Various Races and Families of Man,” Philadelphia, 1849) has ascertained that the Negro’s brain is nine cubic inches less than the white man's. Lately; some attempts have been made by British abolitionists to distort the facts of science, by representing the African brain as equal to that of the European, and the mind of the former equal to the latter. A certain Dr. Robert Bentley Todd, of King's College, London, in a work on the “Observations of the Brain, Spinal Cord, and Ganglions,” (London, 1845,) endeavors to throw some doubt and uncertainty on the received and well-established facts in regard to the inferiority of the negro's intellect, the comparative smallness of his brain, and the larder size of his nerves. Also, James Cowles Pritchard, another British writer, author of the “Researches on the Physical History of Mankind,” in four volumes, (London, 1844,) an abolition work, disguised under the pretense that the authority of the Bible would be impeached if the great differences that natural historians and comparative anatomists professed to have discovered in mankind were not called in question. Pritchard...does not seem to be aware of what Cardinal Wiseman justly observes, “That it is only halfway science and half-way truths that militate against the authority of the Bible.” The whole truth, when brought out, and perfect freedom of science to pursue its investigations untrammeled to its terminus, have, in every instance, demonstrated the truth of the Bible; while imperfect investigations and the omission of the truth, or the tying science down to the narrow interpretations of biblical commentators, have generally led to skepticism and infidelity. Pritchard seems to be so much afraid that if the differences which Malpighi, Scemmerring, Cuvier, and other comparative anatomists have discovered in the negro's organization, approximating him to the monkey tribes, be admitted, the Bible will be invalidated, that he has taken much pains to try to overturn general truths and principles by partial exceptions. He adduces instances to prove that white persons have turned black, in whole or in part, and that the Negro’s skin has, in some instances, turned white. But he ought to know that the change of color in all such cases is the effect of disease. Dr. Rush was so much afraid that the black skin, thick lips, and flat nose of the negro would invalidate the Mosaic account of the creation of man, and the unity of the human family, that he published in the Medical Repository (vol. iv., p. 409) some suggestions, attributing the black color, thick lips, and flat nose to a disease resembling leprosy. But observation proved that, so far from the black color being caused by disease, the blackest negroes were always the healthiest, and the thicker the lips, and the fatter the nose, the sounder the constitution. Both Pritchard and Todd labor to prove by a few cases, exceptions to the general rule, that the brain of the negro and his mental capacity are equal to the white man, lest the Scriptures be invalidated, if any inferior slave race be admitted. They overlooked the fact that the Mosaic history distinctly specifies an
. imitative. lank hair. and much of their affection for their children may be traced to purely selfish motives. . . the bigger your brain. Asians This great division of the human species is characterized by a sallow or olive colored skin. . . restless. and slow in acquiring knowledge. The face is small in proportion to the head. . .. he ranked the world's races as follows: Europeans The Caucasian Race is characterized by a naturally fair skin. gave an accurate measure of intelligence. the nose large and aquiline. . In their intellectual character the Mongolians are ingenious. The nose is broad. . called Canaanites. The skull is large and oval. and the lips tumid [swollen] and compressed. with well-proportioned features. black. the lips are turned. have peopled the finest portions of the earth. and obliquely placed. from infancy to old age. They were especially interested in theories that connected the way people looked to their basic character—their intelligence. and their country taken from them. . by Divine command. of an oval form. and the eyebrows are arched and linear. ungrateful. . the mouth large..inferior slave race of people. sensual. present a continued childhood. black. Crania Americana Nineteenth century Americans were intensely interested in physical anthropology--the study and classification of human body types. . and its anterior portion full and elevated. . the cheekbones high. and seem to have no idea beyond providing for the present moment.So versatile are their feelings and actions. This race is distinguished for the facility with which it attains the highest intellectual endowments. the eyes are small.. . whose attention is perpetually changing from one object to another. The eyes are black and deep set. Excerpts from Samuel George Morton. Morton believed that cranial capacity. . . and short. the cheek bones broad and flat. and given birth to its fairest inhabitants. [Indians] . obstinate and unfeeling.e. The bigger your skull. .. &c. In his book Crania Americana (1839). . . the smarter you were... the brow low. . Gibeonites. and fond of war. their capacities for leadership or math violence. In their mental character the Americans are averse to cultivation. They devour the most disgusting [foods] uncooked and uncleaned. long. and deficient beard. Their mental faculties.. susceptible of every tint. revengeful. which appears to be drawn tight over the bones of the face. and wholly destitute of maritime adventure. their moral sense. and of various colors. and highly susceptible of cultivation [i. learning]. long black straight hair. They are crafty. . long and curling. which extending their migrations in every direction. and that these people were reduced to slavery. Morton collected thousands of skulls and measured their cranial capacity. hair fine. Native Americans The American Race is marked by a brown complexion. the size of the skull. and thin beard. The spontaneous fertility of [the Caucasus] has rendered it the hive of many nations. that they have been compared to the monkey race.
and a day of toil is with them no bar to a night of revelry.) is deduced from the existing relations of men to each other in free society.” A system of unmitigated selfishness pervades and distinguishes all departments of ethical. we would place Aristotle. the forehead low. and the mouth wide. of which the far extreme is the lowest grade of humanity. his appetites. and all their external senses are remarkably acute. domestic and national. the cheekbones prominent. the nose broad and flat. and accommodate themselves with amazing facility to every change of circumstance. flexible. The Bible.. FALSE PHILOSOPHY OF THE AGE. The Negroes are proverbially fond of their amusements. once overcome. and now . and attempts to explain.. the eyes are large and prominent. are not gregarious. woolly hair. a mere expansion and application of Political Economy. so that they readily acquire mechanic arts. the philosophy resulting from it must partake of its error and falsity. till we succeed in refuting or invalidating the principles on which free society rests for support or defense. his weakness. in order to sustain self.. they yield to their destiny. and black. but solitary and self-supporting. compel him to look without. . herds. bees. and of all other animals. . and are not deficient in personal courage. Next to it. . and the chin small. No successful defense of slavery can be made. and indolent. . the only rule and guide. and Economy.” or “Let alone. as a rule of action and guide of conduct. . But it should not be. the head is long and narrow. in which they engage with great exuberance of spirit. Cannibals All!(1857) CHAPTER V.and Political Economy may be summed up in the phrase. political. but strong powers of imitation. the lips thick. eminently social and gregarious. . if our current philosophy be true. But men and beavers. in all its ramifications.are not only averse to the restraints of education. even in this world. They have a great talent for music. (which term we use generically to include Politics. If that system of society be wrong. while the many nations which compose this race present a singular diversity of intellectual character. gave birth to a false philosophy. The Negroes have little invention. Africans Characterized by a black complexion.. because that philosophy is at war with slavery. require a different philosophy. with man especially. Ethics. His wants. it is. his affections. and beyond self. . Excerpts from George Fithugh. which has beer increasing and ramifying until our day.In fact. They practice political economy. the jaws protruding. .. to generalize and regulate those relations. to justify.) is far man's best guide. In disposition the Negro is joyous. The philosophy is partially true. slavery must be wrong. On the other hand. (independent of its authority. but. “Laissez-faire. . . They appear to be fond of warlike enterprises... Like most other barbarous nations their institutions are not infrequently characterized by superstition and cruelty. because selfishness. another guide of conduct. is necessary to the existence of man. because 'tis adapted to their natures. which effected much of practical good. and ants. by nature.The Reformation. The eagle and the owl. The moral and intellectual character of the Africans is widely different in different nations. and its relations false. and economic science. for he is. the lion and the tiger. The moral philosophy of our age. but for the most part are incapable of a continued process of reasoning on abstract subjects.
It is generally conceded. to the supreme sovereignty of the individual. where property is unappropriated. what position he is entitled to. who are not gregarious. what his individual rights. Bees and herds are naturally subjects or slaves of society. and the poor are slaves without the rights of slaves. *** What is falsely called Free Society. subject. It seems to us that the vain attempts to define liberty in theory.. There is no such thing as natural human liberty. are naturally free. arose the doctrines of Laissez-faire. by turning them loose in a world owned exclusively by the few (whom nature and education have made strong. strange to say. They are masters without the obligations of masters. always partly false and partly true. and beasts of prey. what duties he should fulfill. else their free labor would not have been cheaper than their labor as slaves. Man is selfish. promulged more than two thousand years ago.for emancipation liberated or released the masters from all their burdens. and their competition as free men to get employment. as Locke and his followers assume. of speech and of the press. he is born a part and member of society. it is. to those restrictions of liberty which are expedient or necessary to secure the good of the human hive. What are his obligations to society. and destined. cares and liabilities. ignorant and poor. even by abolitionists. but by birth and nature. free. proceed from the fact that man is naturally a social and gregarious animal. human equality. freedom of religion. LIBERTY AND SLAVERY. Birds. CHAPTER VIII. in the wants and capacities of the individual. Society. Their obligation to labor was increased. but he has also natural individual rights and liberties..threatens the overthrow of all social institutions The right of Private Judgment led to the doctrine of Human Individuality. and the abnegation of all government. They lost something in liberty. In the fanciful state of nature. is a very recent invention. when they become the exclusive owners of the earth and all the things thereon. depend upon a thousand ever-changing circumstances.. But. It proposes to make the weak. generally considered true for two thousand years. whilst it . and a Social Contract to restrict that individuality. born and lives a slave of society. and whom property has made stronger. Such is the theory of Aristotle. whilst man is always a limb or member of the Being. for they were compelled to labor more than before to obtain a livelihood. also. not by contract or agreement. he is also a Being himself. the strong have no weapons but superior physical and mental power with which to oppress the weak. to which he may belong. therefore. and universal liberty. that the serfs of Europe were liberated because the multitude of laborers.) to get a living. Modern philosophy treats of men only as separate monads or individuals. free competition. and in the necessities and well-being of the society to which he belongs. had rendered free labor cheaper than slave labor. because. Their power of oppression is increased a thousand fold. Hence. we hope.. The right of Private Judgment. because it is unnatural for man to live alone and without the pale and government of society. soon again to be accepted as the only true theory of government and society. or to secure its enjoyment in practice. and everything in rights . as well as social. leads to the right to act on that judgment. naturally enough. and does not bear to society the mere relation which the hand or the foot does to the human body. few seem to have seen that this is in fact asserting that they were less free after emancipation than before.
that even laws themselves. that constitution or frame of government . which leaves the subject entire master of his own conduct. is no other than natural liberty. on the other hand.) as is necessary and expedient for the general advantage of the public. when he endued him with the faculty o of will. (and no farther. Hence. will conduce to preserve our general freedom in others of more importance. could serve no purpose of common utility. and with power of choosing those measures which appear to him to be most desirable. . and to elevate the property-holding class. And this species of legal obedience and conformity is infinitely more desirable than that wild and savage liberty which is sacrificed to obtain it. when prudently framed. Political. if any public advantage can arise from observing such precepts. In our chapter on the Decay of English Liberty. which prescribes a thing seemingly as indifferent. we show that the whole struggle in England has been to oppress the working man. except in those points wherein the public good requires some direction or restraint. pull down the powers. are usually summed up in one general appellation. who are all ordered to be buried in woolen. but rather introductive of liberty.) where there is no law. So that laws. or a popular assembly. and the church. is alone calculated to maintain civil liberty. though it diminishes the natural. for it encourages the staple trade.) is a law consistent with public liberty. and one of the gifts of God to man at creation. a nobility. in great measure. But then. whether made with or without our consent. as the price of so valuable a purchase. would wish to retain the absolute. which restrains a man from doing mischief to his fellow citizens. without any good end in view. (a dress for the dead. however ridiculous the fashion then in use might appear. This natural liberty consists properly in a power of acting as one thinks fit. the control of our private inclinations. being a right inherent us by birth. in consideration of receiving advantages of mutual commerce. and then there would be no security to individuals in any of the enjoyments of life. Locke has well observed. unless by the law of nature. because. therefore.increased both the labors and the cares of the liberated serf. uncontrolled power of doing what he pleases. there is no freedom. on which. in one or two particular points.that system of laws. Thus the statute of King Edward IV. by supporting that state of society which can alone secure our independence. or civil liberty. and. are regulations destructive of liberty. without any restraint or control. increases the civil liberty of mankind. and denominated the natural liberty of mankind. endowed with discernment to know good from evil. the consequence of which is. whereas. which is that of a member of society. the nobility. But the statute of King Charles II. (as Mr. are by no means subversive. but that every wanton and causeless restraint of the will of the subject whether practiced by a monarch. so far restrained by human laws. that every other man would also have the same power. if they regulate and constrain our conduct in matters of mere indifference. which forbade the fine gentlemen of those times (under the degree of a lord) to wear pikes upon their shoes or boots of more than two inches in length. obliges himself to form to those laws which the community has thought proper to establish. For no man that considers a moment. was a law that savored of oppression. we may collect that the law. the restraining it by pecuniary penalties. depends the universal good of the nation. when he enters into society. gives up a part of his natural liberty. privileges and prerogatives of the throne. is a degree of tyranny: nay. for. But every man. BLACKSTONE on Liberty: “The absolute right of man. considered as a free agent.
We do not mean to say that the Negro slave enjoys liberty. We mean to involve ourselves in no such absurdities. flourish in their highest vigor in those kingdoms where it falls little short of perfection. asserts and preserves the personal liberty of individuals. . well governed and well protected. the law of England regards. and of all governments. and the general good and their own good.” Now. that what we have quoted from these great authors. being peculiarly adapted to the preservation of this inestimable blessing even in the meanest subject. and rooted even in our very soil. and our negro slaves enjoy liberty. and of course the laws of England. and he will see that they are in pursuit of an ignis fatuus that eludes their grasp. that in this kingdom. we may make the same observations as upon the preceding article. in general. which. the moment he lands in England. He will see more. or the public good. not liberty. Our theory is. so as best to promote his own good and that of society. Concerning which. though the master's right to his service may possibly still continue. at the South. and. Next to personal security. and they never fail to do it. let the reader examine and study these definitions of Liberty by Paley. The free laborer has no such securities. of changing situation. that the laws of England have never abridged it without sufficient cause. for instance. that will redound to the general good. not desirable. It is the interest of employers to kill them off as fast possible. without imprisonment or restraint. Montesquieu and Blackstone. is all fudge and nonsense. and can only be lost or destroyed by the folly or demerits of its owner: the legislature.The idea and practice of this political or civil liberty. This personal liberty consists in the power of locomotion. They are. according to Blackstone. intended them for slaves. But we do say that he is well and properly governed. restriction and control. that it is a right strictly natural. are free. are calculated to vest an arbitrary and despotic power of controlling the actions of the subject. Paley and Montesquieu. And this spirit of liberty is so deeply implanted in our constitution. that a slave. because the restrictions on their free will and free agency not only redound to public good. Take. and so far becomes a freeman. Very different from the modern constitutions of other States on the continent of Europe. because their liberty is only so far restricted as the public interest and their own good require. That each is in pursuit of good government. Blackstone's definition of civil liberty. Liberty is unattainable. unless by due course of law. These are the aims of all social institutions. Negroes. that their liberty is a mere modification of slavery. There can be no liberty where there is government. falls under the protection of the laws. without the explicit permission of the laws. The degree of government must depend on the moral and intellectual condition of those to be governed. That each of them proposes that degree of restraint. although slaves. in the prince or in a few grandees. This the slave has in the selfish interest of the master and in his domestic affection. because God and nature. We do mean to say further. or a negro. Government pre-supposes that liberty is surrendered as the price of security. and if attainable. They enjoy all the rights calculated to promote their own interests. and from the genius of the imperial law. or removing one's person to whatever place one's inclinations may direct. that they are not free. but are really necessary to the protection and government of themselves. but there may be security for good government. it can never be abridged at the mere discretion of the magistrate.
the superannuated. Take. and rigidly enforcing the performance of every social duty by every member of society. sailors. the many have gained in protection what they lost in liberty. by fairly dividing the burdens of life. of Paley's definition is. according to his capacity and ability. to children. in fact. the privilege of the few . November 29. of choosing or changing their domicile. by actual contract. he is the happier for performing his duties as slave to those classes of his slaves. But in Rome. But what becomes of that slavery of the ancients and of China. lunatics and idiots. at all times. “An obligation to labor for the benefit of the master. which Blackstone boasts of as one of the rights of Englishmen. and journeymen workmen. Liberty in England. but the master. Therefore. to wards. Yet Paley omits those obligations altogether. who are the most wretched members of society and its greatest pests. but in all countries as well as in England. the people of the South feel the most perfect security in the full assurance that they possess not only the willing obedience but the strong attachment of their slaves. to wives. and that half false. when capable to do so. The slave. 'Tis but half of a definition. for liberty permits and encourages the weak to oppress the strong. If incapable of doing so. belongs to the mass of them less than to other people. This right of locomotion. where the slave. denied them the right to bargain for their own wages. 1859. The great and glaring defect. legally. sells himself? This is not slavery according to Paley. If he be a good man. and yet. Not a bit .” live also in constant dread of insurrection and rebellion. to equalize advantages. and is now. p. smarting under a galling sense of his degradation. and go to our beds at night with the terrible apprehension that our throats may be cut before morning. 2 While the crazy fanatics of the North imagine that the poor negro. *** Democracy and liberty are antagonistic. In England. The master is under an obligation.not the right of the many. They are slaves without masters. whilst democracy proposes. is not only denied to the mass of the poor. has been. and how little of it is there in England! But. without the contract or consent of the servant. soldiers. to labor for them. is ready at a moment's warning to grasp the murderous pike and fight for his freedom. then. as in Rome and Greece.Liberty of locomotion. So much for locomotion. convicts. 2. It is a most egregious blunder to suppose that we who live in the enjoyment of all the benefits of the “peculiar institution. It does often happen that the obligations of the master are more onerous than those of the slave. and inspired by a noble impulse of resistance to tyranny. set them up in stalls and shambles for hire. theoretically and practically. who are always wandering. Greece. but far more secure than that of the master. the masses have neither liberty nor protection.” The sick. The Staunton Spectator. Paley defines slavery to be. and the infant slaves are under no such obligation in theory or practice. For five hundred years the poor laws-have confined the poor to their parishes. the infirm. that he omits the obligation on the master to provide for and protect the slave. however. this test of liberty. so far as possible. the master of twenty slaves is always a slave himself. must provide for the slave. His situation is less honorable. apprentices. and the Southern States of America. rogues. like cattle. must work for the master. c. and as late as 1725. there is a very large nomadic class of beggars. the law gives the slave a new master and protector.
In the prospect of further invasion of our State for the purpose of rescuing those who have already stained its soil with blood. . we see the people of Virginia leaving their wives and children in the hands of their faithful domestics. industrious and willing to work. Beecher says the free colored people at the North “are . and declaring that if he had the means he would gladly return to the old Virginia plantation. that they have ever been found in or are capable of. They leave their families behind without an apprehension of danger from those who are supposed at the North to be ready to massacre them at the first favorable opportunity. In a recent sermon. is borne by no less a personage than the notorious Henry Ward Beecher. . lamenting that he had ever left his former master. and that the slaveholder who trusts in the Almighty arm will find that arm a refuge and a fortress. But the most remarkable testimony on the subject. but the experience of a large majority of emancipated slaves and run-away negroes in the Northern States. surrounded by professed hands. is not an isolated case. Truth is their shield and buckler. And this. and their disposition to free themselves from bondage. the people of the South place their trust in a higher power. whose protecting care they expect in time of peril. . We sleep as soundly and sweetly as though we were surrounded by an armed body guard of chosen defenders. They believe that an institution of slavery is ordained in Heaven. from the insane crew who entertain such unfounded opinions in regard to the condition of the slaves. p. with arms and ammunition in abundance within their reach. . 1 We have never entertained a doubt that the condition of the Southern slaves is the best and most desirable for the negroes.And in any contest that may arise in so righteous a cause will have an abiding confidence that a thousand shall fall at their side and ten thousand at their right hand. cheated and driven from their presence. With the hour of deliverance at hand. . This fact has been demonstrated beyond a cavil by the experience of the negrophilists at Harper's Ferry. Mr. They expect to be delivered from the snare of the Abolition fowler and the noisome pestilence of fanaticism.” The state of public feeling at present establishes the fact that no apprehension of danger from servile insurrection is felt by the people of the South.of it. and repairing to the borders of Virginia. The Spectator. and they are not afraid of the terror by night nor the arrow that flieth by day. is vastly preferable to that of his free brethren at the North. until they come off conquerors. twenty-eight years old. in the confident belief that our ebony friends will not feel the slightest disposition to “rise”. . we have reason to believe. 1859. and in defiance of entreaties and exhortations and commands positively refused to “rise. 2. who purchased his freedom in Virginia and removed to Boston. weeping like a child. . c.—He is sober. There is abundant evidence to prove that the black man's lot as a slave. as a class. But in addition to their confidence in their own servants. he had been deceived. to repel the insolent foe. far away from their homes. prepared to lead them to the Canaan of deliverance. The writer describes him as bemoaning his hard lot. December 6. there Cuffee snored. but instead of meeting with sympathy from the Abolitionists. A Boston paper of recent date tells of a likely negro man. The danger is apprehended outside of the State. .
and especially the African soul. There is a vast deal of foolish talk about the delights of freedom and the hardships of slavery. with their faithful servants. objects of atrocious moral obloquy. white or black. in other regions. recognizes the fact that his lot is ordained of God. or overtaken by the infirmity of age.--This is the relation which slaves generally. down. and sheds tears of genuine sorrow at his grave. When sick himself. but for the death of a member of the family. The master orders his slave to work in a certain field. with but little sympathy for ignorance. when he perhaps would prefer to go elsewhere--this is slavery. leading to an interchange of all the comities of life. in cars and coaches. In one sense no one. down. we lift ourselves up to talk to the Southern people about the rights and liberties of the human soul. “He is crowded down. and yet even Mr.” Every word of this is no doubt true. as the slave ever feels. He then chooses to do and to bear what otherwise might be irksome and intolerable.” The negro cannot be employed as a stone mason. Such is the philanthropy of Abolitionism! The intelligent. They are snuffed at in the house of God. He does not regard his bonds-men as mere chattel property. is free in this world. through the most menial callings to the bottom of society. Beecher is an agent of the “under ground railroad. And notwithstanding all this. sustain to their white masters.--He is driven by as stern a necessity to labor with his hands or confine himself to business. and when he dies the whites grieve. We are all therefore slaves. side by side. or tolerated with ill-disguised disgust. not for the loss of so much property.” “We heap upon them. Here there are ties of genuine friendship and affection between whites and blacks. But is the master free to do as he pleases! Not so. and cheerfully acquiesces. but as human beings to whom he owes duties.” There is scarcely one of the common industries of life in which he can engage. bricklayer. Here the honest black man is not only protected by the laws and public sentiment.” “They cannot even ride in the cars of our city railroads.--But when the man. he becomes a free man in the only true sense. “There is scarcely a carpenter's shop in New York in which a journeyman would continue to work if a black man was employed in it. or carpenter. and stealing them away from the section where they have protection and sympathy. The slave nurses his master in sickness. While the Northern Pharisee will not permit a negro to ride on the city railroads. christian slave-holder at the South is the best friend of the negro.almost without education. and domestic servants universally. but he is respected by the community as truly as if his skin were white.” says Beecher. Southern gentlemen and ladies are seen every day. only that they may become. . he is kindly cared for.” actively engaged in fomenting dissatisfaction among slaves. whatever his complexion. “moral obloquy more atrocious than that which the master heaps upon the slave.
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