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Slavery and Abolitionism
Transcript of Slavery and Abolitionism
Can you imagine picking all this by hand?
Early Emancipation in the North
Cotton Exports as a percentage of all exports
Most slaves work as field hands on cotton plantations
They are responsible for clearing land, planting, and harvesting crops
As soon as you could work you would be put into the fields
Some slaves would become skilled workers, artisans, or blacksmiths
A blind slave repairing fishing nets
State of Georgia Slave Codes 1848
Crimes punishable by death if committed by a slave or a free person of color
Insurrection or an attempt to excite it
Circulating incendiary documents
Committing or attempting rape on a white female
Murdering a white person, slave, or free person of color, or attempting murder
Punishment for manslaughter
Whipping at the discretion of the court and a branding on the cheek of the letter "M"
Punishment for striking a white person
First offense - any punishment not including death
Second offense - Death
Punishment for teaching a slave to read
Fine or whipping
Punishment for harboring runaways
Same punishment as the slave will recieve
Laws meant to keep slaves from running away or rebelling
No groups of more than 3
Cannot leave property w/out pass
Cannot testify in court
No reading or writing
Slaves work often 16 hours a day and whippings were common punishments
Southern Pro Slavery Propaganda
Owners could separate families by selling members to other farms
Strong extended families were formed in the slave communities
In 1831 a slave preacher named Nat Turner led a rebellion killing 57 whites
Turner was caught and hanged
The American Colonization Society
Set up a colony in West Africa for freed slaves
In 1822 the nation of Liberia was formed and several thousand free blacks chose to resettle there
Want to totally eliminate slavery
As a child, taught himself how to read and write before escaping slavery
Lectured throughout the US and England against the evils of slavery
Douglass started his own antislavery newspaper
The Grimke Sisters - Sarah and Angelina
Daughters of a wealthy southern slave owner
Spoke about evils of slavery
Led 300 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad
Harriet Tubman Quotes:
"I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other."
"I had crossed the line. I was free, but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land."
"Quakers are almost as good as coloreds...They call themselves friends and you can trust'em everytime."
"I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger."
William Lloyd Garrison
White abolitionist who started the anti-slavery newspaper "The Liberator"
He also started the New England Anti-slavery Society
In the first issue he said, "I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation...I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch."
The Levi Coffin House
Known as the "Grand Central Station" of the Underground Railroad
Located in Fountain City, IN
President of the URR
Slavery was peacefully eliminated in 1797 by the work of William Wilberforce
"...slavery had been the condition of all ancient culture, that Christianity approved servitude, and that the law of Moses had both assumed and positively established slavery....It is the order of nature and of God that the being of superior faculties and knowledge, and therefore of superior power, should control and dispose of those who are inferior. It is as much in the order of nature that men should enslave each other as that other animals should prey upon each other."
- Southerner Thomas Roderick Dew, 1832
"Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?...What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour."
- Frederick Douglass, on what the Fourth of July means to the slave, 1852
Abolitionists may talk twaddle till the crack of doom, but after all, Colonization is to be the great cure of negro slavery in this country, or it remains uncured. You may free the slave in the South, but he is nevertheless a slave North or South. His shackles are only to be cast off by returning to the land of his forefathers. Here he is surrounded by a wall of prejudice as indestructable as the everlasting hills. The fires of the volcano are not more inextinguishable than this prejudice, and we would therefore remove the black man from its influence, instead of encouraging him to break it down by an insolent bearing towards those who are in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, his intellectual superiors.
- newspaper editorial, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 1854.
Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln were firm supporters
There is a moral fitness in the idea of returning to Africa her children, whose ancestors have been torn from her by the ruthless hand of fraud and violence. Transplanted to a foreign land, they will carry back to their native soil the rich fruits of religion, civilization, law and liberty. May it not be one of the great designs of the Ruler of the universe (whose ways are often inscrutable by short-sighted mortals), thus to transform an original crime, into a signal blessing to that most unfortunate portion of the globe?
Should America Apologize for Slavery?