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occurs in a letter which I sometime since received from a friend at Baltimore. The subject of slavery is introduced quite incidentally by my benevolent correspondent, who is giving me an account of the proceedings of "The Young Men's Bible Society." I send you the extract with the more pleasure, because, while it illustrates the general feeling with respect to the Slaves, it indicates also the progress of benevolence, and affords evidence of those philanthropic efforts by which many of the inhabitants of Baltimore are eminently distinguished. My friend observes:
"I am very certain it will give you much pleasure to learn that the coloured part of our population are beginning to benefit by the very great and general exertions that are now making in this country to ameliorate the condition of the wretched. I can speak more particularly of the state of Maryland. As an instance, application was made at our board of directors of the Young Men's Bible Society, for a donation of Testaments for a Sunday-school in a distant country, under the following circumstances. A gentleman who had a number of slaves, determined to teach them to read the Scriptures, and for that purpose formed them into a Sunday-school, the superintendence of which he took on himself. So strong were the prejudices of his neighbours against him, that for some time he was compelled to go armed to his school for his own protection; but persevering in his good work, of teaching his ignorant servants, and such others as could be received by him, he at length overcame all opposition; and his neigh
bours, from being inveterate opposers, became his most zealous supporters. His school increased to 150 learners, and more schools were organizing in the same and adjoining counties. It is unnecessary to say, that a very generous donation was made by our Bible Society."
While a master cannot teach his slaves without being armed against the attacks of his free White brethren, can we wonder at the suspicions of the acute aborigines, conveyed in the following interesting little narrative, recorded by Dr. Boudinot?
"The writer of these sheets," remarks Dr. Boudinot, “was many years ago, one of the corresponding members of a Society in Scotland for promoting the Gospel among the Indians. To further this great work, they educated two young men of very serious and religious dispositions, who were desirous of undertaking the mission for this purpose. When they were ordained and ready to depart, we wrote a letter in the Indian style to the Delaware Nation, then residing on the north-west of the Ohio, informing them, that we had, by the goodness of the Great Spirit, been favoured by a knowledge of his will as to the worship he required of his creatures, and the means he would bless to promote the happiness of men both in this life, and that which is to come; that thus enjoying so much happiness ourselves, we could not but think of our Red brethren in the wilderness, and wish to communicate the glad tidings to them, that they might be partakers with us. We had therefore sent them two ministers of the Gospel, who would teach them these great
things, and earnestly recommended them to their careful attention.
"With proper passports, the missionaries set off, and arrived in safety at one of their principal towns. On their arrival, the chiefs of the natives were called together, who answered them, that they would take the subject into consideration ; but in the mean time they might instruct the women, but must not speak to the men. They spent fourteen days in council, and then dismissed them very courteously, with an answer to us. This answer made great acknowledgments for the favour we had done them. They rejoiced exceedingly at our happiness in being thus favoured by the Great Spirit, and felt very grateful that we had condescended to remember our Red brethren in the wilderness. But they could not help recollecting that we had a people among us, who, because they differed from us in colour, we had made slaves of, and made them suffer great hardships, and lead miserable lives. Now they could not see any reason, if a people's being Black entitled us thus to deal with them, why a Red colour should not equally justify the same treatment. They therefore had determined to wait to see whether all the Black people amongst us were made thus happy and joyful, before they put confidence in our promise; for they thought a people who had suffered so much and so long, by our means, should be entitled to our first attention; that therefore they had sent back,the two missionaries, with many thanks,-promising, that when they saw the Black people amongst us restored
to freedom and happiness, they would gladly receive our missionaries "
Such was the moral lesson which these wild sons of the forest, these uncultivated heathens, read to enlightened Christians. We slighted their lesson, and, as if to silence these untutored monitors, and drown the voice of truth and nature, we overcame their virtues, we corrupted them by our example: and I found slaves held in bondage by the Indians themselves-in the nations of the Creeks, the Choctaws, the Chickasaws, and the Cherokees.
I am, &c.
Portsmouth, New-Hampshire, 19th Feb. 1821.
My last letter mentioned our safe arrival at Portland. The house in which we obtained beds at last, was a second-rate tavern, filled with second, or rather fifth or sixth-rate legislators, who had left their appropriate callings in the field, the shop, or the laboratory, for the more splendid but not less arduous duties of legislation. Not indeed that they appeared to think them arduous, or to suppose that there was much mystery in the affair. Not one of our own Radicals could pronounce with more self-complacent familiarity on those difficult questions of law or government which the wisest statesmen and philosophers have approached with diffidence, and decided upon with hesitation. In the public room into which I
was shown, I found three or four of them sitting, who from their appearance, I supposed to be small farmers; and there was nothing in the professional titles which I soon heard echoed about, such as colonel, major, doctor, &c. to remove the idea. They were discussing the propriety of abolishing the Court of Common Pleas, and throwing all the business into the Supreme Court; some of them conceiving that a supreme and subordinate court savoured too much of aristocracy, and that by diminishing the number of courts, they should diminish the number of trials and clip the profits of the lawyers, who are at present in rather bad odour in the young state of Maine. One of them (I think it was the colonel) took the opposite side of the question. For his part, he said, "he did not like to throw great criminal cases and petty suits into one hopper; and that, as far as his information went, history presented no instance of it." His opponent replied, that "that was no reason at all why, they should not do as they pleased." He rejoined, that he thought it was; for though they were an independent state at last, he did not see why they should set themselves up as wiser than all the other states: and that, though little causes ought to be settled with as much correctness as great ones, he, for one, should oppose their being thrown into one hopper!
Other questions were decided with equal profundity; and if the young man who was sent into a European cabinet to learn with how little wisdom the world is governed, were still alive, and required a second lesson, I would recommend