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ble to the moral law than slaveholders; and here is the basis of our opinion: Ordinarily, thieves wait until we acquire a tonsiderable amount of property, and then they steal a dispensable part of it; but they deprive no one of physical liberty, nor do they fetter the mind; slaveholders, on the contrary, by clinging to the most barbarous relic of the most barbarous age, bring disgrace on themselves, their neighbors, and their country, depreciate the value of their own and others' lands, degrade labor, discourage energy and progress, prevent non-slaveholders from accumulating wealth, curtail their natural rights and privileges, doom their children to ignorance, and all its attendant evils, rob the negroes of their freedom, throw a damper on every species of manual and intellectual enterprise, that is not projected under their own roofs and for their own advantage, and, by other means equally at variance with the principles of justice, though but an insignificant fractional part of the population, they constitute themselves the sole arbiters and legislators for the entire South. Not merely so; the thief rarely steals from more than one man out of an hundred; the slaveholder defrauds ninety and nine, and the hundredth does not escape him. Again, thieves steal trifles from rich men ; slaveholders oppress poor men, and enact laws for the perpetuation of their poverty. Thieves practice deceit on the wise; slaveholders take advantage of the ignorant.
We contend, moreover, that slaveholders are more criminal than common murderers. We know all slaveholders would not wilfully imbue their hands in the blood of their fellow-men; but it is a fact, nevertheless, that all slave
holders are under the shield of a perpetual license to murder. This license they have issued to themselves. According to their own infamous statutes, if the slave raises his hand to ward off an unmerited blow, they are permitted to take his life with impunity. We are personally acquainted with three ruffians who have become actual murderers under circumstances of this nature. One of them killed two negroes on one occasion; the other two have murdered but one each. Neither of them has ever been subjected to even the preliminaries of a trial; not one of them has ever been arrested; their own private explanations of the homicides exculpated them from all manner of blame in the premises. They had done nothing wrong in the eyes of the community. The negroes made an effort to shield themselves from the tortures of a merciless flagellation, and were shot dead on the spot. Their murderers still live, and are treated as honorable members of society! No matter how many slaves or free negroes may witness the perpetration of these atrocious homicides, not one of them is ever allowed to lift up his voice in behalf of his murdered brother. In the South, negroes, whether bond or free, are never, under any circumstances, permitted to utter a syllable under oath, except for or against persons of their own color; their testimony against white persons is of no more consequence than the idle zephyr of the summer.
We shall now introduce four tables of valuable and interesting statistics, to which philosophic and discriminating readers will doubtless have frequent occasions to refer. Tables 22 and 23 will show the area of the several
HOW SLAVERY CAN BE ABOLISHED.
States, in square miles and in acres, and the number of inhabitants to the square mile in each State; also the grand total, or the average, of every statistical column; tables 24 and 25 will exhibit the total number of inhabi tants residing in each State, according to the census of 1850, the number of whites, the number of free colored, and the number of slaves. The recapitulations of these tables will be followed by a complete list of the number of slaveholders in the United States, showing the exact number in each Southern State, and in the District of Columbia. Most warmly do we commend all these statistics to the studious attention of the reader. Their language is more eloquent than any possible combination of Roman vowels and consonants. We have spared no pains in arranging them so as to express at a single glance the great truths of which they are composed; and we doubt not that the plan we have adopted will meet with general approbation. Numerically considered, it will be perceived that the slaveholders are, in reality, a very insignificant class. Of them, however, we shall have more to say hereafter.