Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas Page: 17 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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wrongs, slavery is the greatest. It denies to man his humanity,
and all its highest and holiest righlts. And of all slavery, the
African is the most monstrous. Other men have fallen under
this doom by the fate of war. They have bought life at the
price of bondage. With Africa there has been no war but that
of the prowling man-stealer ! He has gone up among the riverglades
of that ill fated land ; he has torn men and women and
children, from their country and their homes, who never did him
any wrong; he has hurried them to his prison-shop; he has
plunged them into the dungeon of "the middle passage"middle
passage-phrase that passes in universal speech for all
the atrocities that human nature can inflict or endure-he has
thrust them down into that dark, unbreathing confine, in mingling
and writhing agony and despair and disease and corruption
and death; he has borne them away, regardless of their
tears and entreaties and sold them into hopeless bondage in a
strange land; forty millions-it is calculated-forty millions of
human beincs have suffered this awful fate ! Oh ! it is the great
felon act in human history ! Oh ! it is the monster crime of
the world !
The fruits of this act, shall God permit to endure forever?
Shall man keep them unquestioned, and enjoy them unharmed?
It cannot be!
I solemnly believe that it cannot be; and when I say this, I
am sensible that 1 express a very serious opinion not merely
with regard to the Annexation of Texas, but with regard to
slavery itself. I wish that ollr Southern brethren could appreciate
this opinion, not merely as mine, but as the opinion of multitudes
of sober and dispassionate men in the whole civilized world.
They denominate our Northern feeling on this subject, fanatical.
Regarding the slave as in a state of childhood, of imbecility, of
incompetence to take care of himself, they believe-honestly I
have no doubt, many of them believe that his subjection to
them is a proper condition, is the best condition for him; and
they deem it mere fanaticism on our part to desire his relief from
it. I have sincerely endeavored to understand their feeling on
this subject; and I wish they would endeavor to understand
ours. They do not seem to know what we feel for this being
as a man-as a brother-man--as possessing the great attributes
of humanity-as invested with its moral and momentous rights
-as entitled, like their own, to be ci,lt va'ed and carried up to
heaven. If it is fanaticism to feel this sacred claim, be that
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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/m1/17/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .