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A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin by A. Woodward

Who originated the African colonization society


I

know that the subject of slavery is a perplexing question, and that its abolition will be attended with dangers and difficulties, take what course we may; but shall we for that reason, fold our arms, sit still and do nothing? Or else flee from its hydra-headed ghost in dismay? No, my friends and fellow citizens; to those who put their trust in God, and have the wisdom to plan, and the will to work, all things are possible. It is, however, folly for us to flatter ourselves, that slavery can be extirpated in the United States in a short time. It will require time and patience to attain an object, so desirable. Hasty and inconsiderate action will be likely to prove abortive, and result in no good to either master or slave; if not in irretrievable ruin to both. We should avoid everything in word or deed, which has a tendency to irritate the South and arouse them to resistance. Abolitionists by their low abuse and vile misrepresentations, have done everything in their power to excite and irritate them; hence, there is an impassable gulf between them and Southern men. We should beware lest we fall into the same error. The course of the North towards the South, should be kind and conciliatory. We should consult her interests, and appeal to her patriotism, and thus may the North and South as a band of brothers, heartily co-operate in the great and glorious work, of restoring liberty to the enslaved Africans, and of enlightening their minds and thereby qualifying them for the enjoyment
of freedom. What patriot, what philanthropist, does not respond a hearty Amen? Not one. Show me the man who says no, and you show me a man in whose bosom a patriotic, or philanthropic sentiment never found a resting place--a man who is an entire stranger to every sentiment of humanity--to every tender and sympathetic emotion of the soul--to all the kindlier and better feelings of our nature.

I have in the preceding pages endeavored to show, that the visionary schemes of abolitionists can never accomplish anything for the slave; but that they are on the contrary, potent for evil, and powerless for good. It is therefore incumbent on me to reply to the interrogatory, what can be done? By what means can slavery be abolished in the United States? Is it practicable? Yes; it can be done; and the only means by which it can be accomplished, is by colonization. There is no other safe and practicable method, or way, by which slavery can be abolished in the United States. It is probable that an objector will point to the African colonization society, and ask, what has it accomplished towards the abolition of slavery? But little, I admit. The reason is obvious. It grows out of the immense distance of Africa from the United States and the vast difficulties, and expenditures, consequent upon the transportation of free blacks from the United States, to the colony in Africa, and also the unwillingness of a majority of the free blacks to leave this country, or at least, to be transported to Africa.

Those philanthropists, who originated the African colonization society, had another object in view. Their prime object was, the regeneration of Africa; and in this they will probably succeed. We must colonize the free blacks nearer home. We must have territory set apart for that purpose, somewhere on this continent; if we expect to accomplish anything toward the abolition of slavery by colonization. Slaveholders must get their eyes open. They must have light on the subject. They must become satisfied that it is not only their duty, but their interest, to prepare and qualify the rising generation of slaves for the enjoyment of freedom. Slaves must be educated and enlightened before they are liberated.

We of the North must approach our Southern brethren in a spirit of kindness, conciliation and concession; and talk to them as brothers, and not denounce and stigmatize them as murderers, rogues, rascals, slave-catchers and kidnappers. We have mistaken Southern men and Southern character.


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