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of white men intrudes steadily upon the old
vocation of the blacks.

This constant sale of slaves out of one
state into another, implies, of course, the
disruption on a large scale of family ties, and
all those outrages upon domestic feeling which
have been so vividly depicted in the history
of Uncle Tom. We have said, however, that
Uncle Tom, Aunt Chloe, and their friends
are, perhaps, rare specimens of negro
character. It is no mitigation of the inhuman
character of slavery to say, that in the
majority of cases, negroes have been depressed
so far towards the state of simple beasts of
burden, that they have acquired the hearts
and brains of horses and of oxen. Rational
education of their minds is jealously withheld.
They are taught to regard, as the
sole object of their lives, not the advance of
their own souls, but the increase of their
master's cotton. Every look they get, even
the kindest, every tone they hear, confirms
their knowledge of the fact that they are
chattels. "A slave," says one of the codes,
"is in the power of the master to whom he
belongs. The master may sell him, dispose
of his person, his industry, his labour; he can
do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire any
thing, but which must belong to his master."
It is the greatest horror of the slave system
to our minds, when men can live contented
under so complete an abnegation of their
manhood. Born to the system, bred to the
system, degraded by being set to labour in
sight of a whip, like the brutes, so working
on a motive against which even a well-bred
brute comes to rebelthousands of negroes
are content to be well fed and housed,
occasionally patted on the head or played
with, and, when their master finds it needful
to reduce his stock, part with a mere
transitory brutish pang from a contented wife in
Maryland, perhaps, to lie down content with
a new wife in a new stall in Tennessee. Burning
alive, and all the tortures that were racked
out of ingenious brains, are the most trumpery
of wrongs compared with this treading of all
things that are precious out of human hearts.
It is pleasanter to think of slaves in Cuba
flying before blood-hounds, than to know that
the slaves of North America learn to identify
themselves with their masters, and to lie down
contented with their place among farm animals,
because they are well fed; and that in the
year 1850, out of three million slaves only a
thousand fled away in search of liberty: the
greater part even of that thousand seeking
not liberty for its own sake, but as a means
of escape from the punishments incurred by
theft and other crime.

The writer to whom we have already
referred, illustrates from his experience the
content with which negroes in North America
remain enslaved. In a plantation in the
parish of Saint James, in which he spent
some days, he tells us that there were ten or
fifteen negroes who had laid by more than
enough to purchase freedom, but who would
not purchase it. One of them, when questioned
on the subject, answered: "I am well treated
and not overworked; if I am sick, I am
attended to; if my wife bring me a child,
they rear it; when I become old I shall be
allowed to restand would you have me quit
all this for an uncertain future?" Precisely
thus, a horse or ox might talk, could there be
offered to it the gift of reason, with full liberty
to quit the stall, to think for itself, and to labour
on its own concerns. "I have seen a lady,"
said M. Leconte,"about to leave America for
France, taking a slave negress with her as the
children's nurse. Arrived at New York, the
negress so earnestly desired to be sent back
to New Orleans, though the soil of France
would give her freedom and New Orleans
was her place of slavery, that the lady was
compelled to grant her wish." Perhaps this
negress had submitted in New Orleans to
a slavery that chains the freest to one patch
of soil. M. Leconte further tells us of a
certain Doctor M——, who had brought three
of his black domestics to New York. One of
them, an excellent coachman, fell among
abolitionists and left his master, who refused
to use the power of the law for his recovery,
saying, that if he could not be retained in his
service by kind treatment, he did not wish
him to be retained at all. After a time the
fugitive returned and desired restoration to
his old position. He was condemned to suffer
five more years of liberty; at the end of the
five years he might return or remain free as
he pleased. He returned at the end of the
term, and was a good slave ever after.

Why did he return? Did he find no rest
for the sole of his foot among the free
Americans, and did he flutter back into slavery,
as the dove fluttered back into the ark? In
truth, it must be acknowledged, that the free
Americans, the very abolitionists themselves,
are stout supporters of the slave system in
act, whatever they may be in theory. In the
free states of America, the negro is no less
forced down out of his just position as a man
than when he works under the planter's
whip. Even in an English drawing-room, the
American who meets by chance a guest with
negro blood marked on his forehead, feels
like a cat upon whose domain some strange
dog has intruded, and is not easily restrained
by the rules of English courtesy from spitting.
However respectable the position earned by a
free negroand, as Mrs. Stowe truly points
out, free negroes know how to come by the
respectabilities of moneythough he be clean
of body, neatly dressed, and by the colour of
his mind a man of sense and honour: there is
not a white fellow, black with dirt in his
body, and black with rascality in his mind,
who would not scorn to sit beside him on an
omnibus; there is not a kitchen scullion
claiming to be white under his grease and
soot, who would not consider it an insult to
be told that he must dine at the same table