Address on the annexation of Texas, and the aspect of slavery in the United States, in connection therewith: delivered in Boston November 14 and 18, 1845 Page: 29 of 56
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 Special Collections.
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they shall remain indifferent, or cease to be so, to the necessary
condition of a quiet alliance with the Slave States,
namely, virtual submission. Nothing can be plainer, if the
present state of things tends only to submission, than that
William Pinkney uttered a pregnant truth, when he declared,
at the time of ratifying the Constitution, that, if Slavery
should survive fifty years, one of its effects would be
traced in " the decay of the spirit of liberty in the Free
Politically considered, therefore, in reference to the provisions
of the Constitution, the administration of the government,
and the popular character, I think I must have shown
that slavery presents some claim to the consideration of the
people of the Free States, so far as they regard their rights
or their interests, and that it imposes on them duties which
they cannot neglect with impunity.
I shall take the time to say only a word of its social and
moral influences. In these respects slavery has been again
and again described by those most familiar with it; and
had I the disposition to draw the gloomiest picture of human
degradation, corruption, and infamy which the imagination
can sketch, I should only select the facts and borrow
the images with which slave-holders have exhibited and
illustrated slavery. There are, it is true, those amongst
them who have ventured to come forward as its apologists
and advocates ; but it is easy to see that they undertake a
task which they always fail to accomplish, and that their suppressions
and exaggerations betray the truth. All that we
can discover, when we search for facts, is the melancholy
proof that there is no moral or social evil with which slavery
is not identified, - that there is no moral or social tie which
it does not unscrupulously and habitually violate,- and
that, while it stifles the virtues and panders to the vices of
the master, and thus contributes to his degradation, it subjects
the slave to every influence which can thwart the moral
design of human' existence, and leaves him to become, so
far only as he is an animal, a man. That, in our unavoidable,
and not undesirable, intercourse with our fellow-citizens
of the Slave States, we must be exposed to the social and
moral influences which the slave-holder and the slave will
necessarily exert everywhere about them and beyond them,
and that these influences, if not guarded against at first,
will spread a contagion in our midst from which we may find
it difficult afterwards to escape, are propositions unfortunately
proved by so many striking facts, that I shall only
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Phillips, Stephen C. Address on the annexation of Texas, and the aspect of slavery in the United States, in connection therewith: delivered in Boston November 14 and 18, 1845, book, January 1, 1845; Boston. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2361/m1/29/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.