Speech of Hon. Wm. Lowndes Yancey, of Alabama, on the annexation of Texas to the United States, delivered in the House of Representatives, Jan. 7, 1845. Page: 12 of 14
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ly, "it would be well for us to have some remembrance
of what were the opinions of our ancestors
on this question of slavery." Aye, sir;
I agree it would be well. Our ancestors were
as hardy, as clear-headed, and as pure minded a
set of men as ever breathed. They had no difficulty
in settling the question of slavery upon a
permanent footing. And yet some of their de
scendants are heard, at this day, prating of their
consciences and their enlarged views of liberty!
And men of to-day, as it were, gravely urge, as
an excuse for their traitorous des:gns, that the
Declaration of Independence declared black, as
well as white, to be free, and that our ancestors
so understood it. Sir, neither our ancestors as a
body, nor the ancestors of those who particularly
urge this, so understood it; neither did he who
urges it so understand it. Many of the signersit
is more than probable the most of them-were
slave owners. Slaves were held, in 1776, in
every one of the 13 colonies. Aye, sir; and
could I now trace back the title to what few I
own to him who imported their progenitors from
Africa, nine chances out ot' ten would be that I
derive title from some old New England merchant.
They were the slave traders of that day;
and Jo you think that those who signed that declaration
designed thus to liberate their slave property!
No, sir. An industrious friend, fond of
research into old and musty volumes, has furnished
me with a few facts going to show the
view taken of the effect of that declaration, as
well as how very glib those grave puritans were
in the phraseology which their conscientious descendants
can now hardly read in a Southern paper
without shuddering at, as evidernce of the
great moral depravity of the slave breeders!
Constitutional Journal and Weekly Advertiser,
Boston, July 4, 1776.
"A Negro Woman for Sale.
To be sold, a likely young negro woman, that understands
house-work, common cooking, his upper fore-teeth stick out; speaks good English;
has been nineteen years from Africa. Whosoever
takes up said negro, and returns him to me, shall
have one dollarreward. (Signed.) Jour HUNTER.
N. B. All masters of vessels are hereby desired not
to barhor, conceal, or carry away said negro, so as to
avoid the penalty of the law."
From Penn. Journal and Weekly Advertiser,
July 17, 1776.
"To be sold, a large quantity of inch pine boards,
that are well seasoned. Likewise, a negro wench.
She is disposed of for no fault, but only that she is at
present with child. She is about twenty years of age,
has had the small-pox and measles, atnd is fit for town
or country business. Enquire of the Printer."
From the Continental Journal and Weekly Adv.
Boston, Oct. 26, 1780.
"To be sold, a likely negro boy, about 13 years old,
well calculated to wait on a gentleman.
Enquire of Printer.
Also, to be sold, a likely cow and calf.
Enquire of the Printer."
I trust this remembrance and review of some
of the "opinions of our ancestors" will be cherished
and reflected upon, and have some efftct in
restraining the tongue of the puritan of to-day,
lest, in slandering the living slaveholder, he traduce
the character of the puritan of 1776, from
whom we derive title.
I said, too, that theimmediate ancestors of some
of those who urge as an excuse the Declaration
ef Independence, did not think that instrument
operative upon the servile portion of the community
of that day. In proof, I refer to the treaty of
peace between the United States and Great Britain,
made on the 3d Sept. 1783. The 7th art.
stipulates that "his Britannic majesty, shall, with
all convenient speed, and without causing any destruction,
or carrying away, any negroes or other
property of the American inhabitants, withdraw
all his armies."
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Yancey, William Lowndes. Speech of Hon. Wm. Lowndes Yancey, of Alabama, on the annexation of Texas to the United States, delivered in the House of Representatives, Jan. 7, 1845., book, 1845; Washington. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2415/m1/12/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .