Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas Page: 10 of 19
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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somewhat singular, that he has not brought within the pale of
civilization the rough, fierce Nothern energies to rend and tear
in pieces; that his nature is singularly childlike, affectionate,
docile and patient; this is but an increased appeal to pity and
generosity. Is it the part of a chivalrous and Christian people
to oppress the weak, to crush the helpless? Had ours been
Gothic or Dacian slaves, they had found their way to liberty
long tgo. But it is a simple and patiently suffering people;
and is that an argument for oppression ?
But it will be said to me, "You quite mistake the case. The
words that you involuntarily use, show that you mistake it.
You of the North don't understand the relation between us and
our slaves. It is a kindly relation. They love us, and we care
for them. There is no oppression here; there is no crushing
down; there is no cruel suffering. Our slaves are joyous.
They are better off than they would he in Africa; better off than
many of the poorest laborers in Europe."
In mere physical comfort they may be. If you had said all
this to show that their physical sulfferings, where they have kind
masters, may be overrated, it might be all true; but oh ! tell
me not that to be sold into involuntary and hopeless toil and
bondage; to have neither wife nor children for one's own; to
be liable any day to be parted from them forever; ay, to be
sold away-a man, with rent and bleeding sinews and bursting
heart, to be sold away from them foreverNor
wife nor children more shall he behold,
Nor friends nor sacred home;
tell me not, I say, that this is not a state of bitter and cruel hardship
! Tell me not that to be bought and sold at all, is not to human
nature, ahorrible thing ! Stand up, 0 man ! whosoever thou
art, and let that be done to thee which thou doest to others;
stand up at the slave-merchant's post; and let it be, that those
who are to dispose of thy fate were as superior to thee as thou
art to the African man; let it be that they were, the immortal geniuses
of the world, Homer and Plato and Shakspeare and Milton
and such as they; yet when thou heardest the words, "( how much
for this man ?" would not thy whole humanity cry out, in mingled
indignation and agony against it ? And if you have brought
down a human being so low that he hears this with apathy,
Here’s what’s next.
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Dewey, Orville. Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas, book, January 1, 1844; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2359/m1/10/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .