Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas Page: 11 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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have you not inflicted a worse evil than stripes-have you not
killed his very humanity?
But it may be said, " what shall we do ? Here we have this
body of slaves upon our hands; not by our own act; they
descended to us by inheritance. What shall we do with them?
We cannot send them back to Africa. We do not believe that
emancipation would benefit them here. They are not fit to
take care of themselves. And provided, they were emancipated
what is to become of them ? They cannot be a part of our
body politic. They cannot be electors. They cannot be eligible
to seats of magistracy and power. They cannotbe admitted to
intermarriage with -us, to free social intercourse, to social
equality in any respect. They will be in no fair situation for
men to occupy. All the principles of human nature show that
they are likely to become vicious, disorderly, dangerous in such
circumstances, or to decease and die out of the land entirely. It
would seem as if there were no adequate remedy for the case but
in their colonization, and entire removal from the country.
What then is to be done ? "*
I answer, do something. Do something to educate, to elevate
them; to prepare them for a higher condition, if you say they
are not fit for it. Something is to be done for a human being,
besides extracting fiom his limbs and sinews every iota of labor
that they can render; something more than is to be done for a
beast; something more than to heal him when he is sick. That
1 know you do, and many of you kindly do; but that you do
for animals also. Do something, I say; do something worthy
of men and Christians to do, now; and then the way will be
opened for future measures. But for God's sake, for humanity's
for honor's sake, do not this thing that is proposed. Do not bring
in another vast body of slaves to darken forever this terrible
problem of deliverance. Do not act as if you said, "we desire
not the solution but the accumulation of its difficulties." Do
not turn away in recklessness or despair and think that all you
* The reader is referred to a passage in Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, about the
middle of the 14th Query, on the physical differences between the two races. Although
those who claim to be the most sympathizing friends of the colored lman, profess to
have no delicacy about the discussion of these matters, the writer of this Discourse
confesses that he feels a repugnance to these details, arising from delicacy towards his
brethren of the darker hue, which he cannot overcome. Therefore he refers to the
testimony of Mr. Jefferson rather than quote it. It will be found to be strong on the
only material point.
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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/m1/11/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .