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THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA AND ITS
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY.
GENTLEMEN,—It is quite easy to fascinate men with the beauteous imagery which is employed by those who have embraced the Federal cause and policy in this country, and to excite their admiration and heroic appreciation of America by representing it as a "model country," "a thing for angels to dream of," for men are naturally fond of what is marvellous; but as the superb grandeur which invested the dignified order of our "squatter sovereigns" in America, and the bright halo of glory which surrounded their virtues, disappeared like the mist before the rising sun, on lifting up the mask in our last letter; even so, by pushing our inquiries into the real condition and true character of our country, we shall find that its bright colours will rapidly fade before us, and its towering glories speedily vanish at every step, and from every standpoint where we can have a glimpse of it.
If we look at America in the light of our great charters of freedom, such as the constitution and declaration of independence, and also our written laws, we shall find our honour as a people trampled in the dust, and our name made a reproach and byword
amongst the nations. The constitution provides for all, without limitation, restriction, and distinction of colour, the act of habeas corpus, trial by jury, civil and religious liberty, the right of petition, and protection to person and property; and yet to the negro these grand clauses in the constitution have been as “inoperative as a bull against a comet" from the first hour of our independence until now; whilst through the perversion and misapplication of it the victims of slavery have increased from 617,000 to 4,000,000. What a black heritage of guilt has this tremendous feat of jugglery entailed on our land! How wonderful that an instrument which was associated with the bright angel of liberty, and was made to carry the eagles of freedom, should by some mysterious process have been made to carry "a devil" with it instead of an angel. Our declaration of independence avows that "all men are equal, and are born to life, liberty, and the pursuits of happiness ;" and yet, although it has been the motto of a thousand speeches, and the text of a thousand sermons, it is gravely alleged by the president and governors from their chairs of state, the senator in the senate chamber, legislator in the house of legislature, the judge from the bench of judicature, and the divine from the pulpit, that the negro is not a man, and that his equality with them is simply neither more nor less than the equality of the ox; for as the law of Moses commanded that the mouth of the ox was not to be muzzled, that treadeth out the corn, even so, to use the language of President Lincoln, who denies the
right of negroes to vote, sit on juries, and intermarry with white people, yet this same negro has one right reserved by the President, and this right claimed by him and the magi who think with him, is simply and solely deemed to be the right of (the ox) to eat the bread which his own hand earns.
We have not only great charters of freedom in the documents referred to, but we have written laws. It has been truly said that no people are better than their laws. If so, in what a mean, low, and debased condition must our slave laws-our "black laws SO called in the Free States-and our congressional fugitive slave law, put us as a people. Our slave laws reduce the negro to a "chattel personal;" make every child born of a slave, the property of his master or owner so called; subject the slaves to the lash for learning to read, and the white man to fines and penalties for teaching them.
Our black laws in two of our Free States, so called, decree that no black man or mulatto shall enter, and in all but two exclude them from voting, and in one of these require a property qualification, whilst in all the Free States they are made the badge of an ignoble distinction, which excludes them from social rights and sanctuary privileges, and marks them out as the victims of a cruel prejudice. And then there is the Fugitive Slave Law, which strikes down in the most cruel and summary manner the natural right of the slave to be free, tramples under feet two of the most sacred guarantees of the constitution-the Habeas
Corpus Act and trial by jury-creates a tribunal unknown to the constitution in the persons of commissioners, offers a bribe to send men into slavery, and requires all citizens, under the heaviest penalties, to doff their manhood, don the bloodhound, and go yelping on the track of the weary, wayworn fugitive, in order to secure his arrest, although they may feel that the above law is opposed to every noble impulse of humanity, the express command of Jehovah, and that the code of Draco, which was written in blood, was white-robed innocence when compared with it.
What a glimpse our written constitution and laws give of our highly eulogised country. Our free representative government so called, gives us a further and deeper insight into the "wonders and glories of our republic."
And first of all, there is our elective franchise, to which all citizens are entitled, and can therefore vote for the election of president, governors of States, mayors and members of city corporations; and those who are not citizens can be made so to subserve party purposes, whilst Indians sometimes are made to help. to turn the tide of electioneering in favour of favourite partizans; and if these manœuvres are not sufficient to accomplish party purposes, men who have no regard to an oath, are induced by bribery to perjure themselves; "plug uglies" are also called in to block up every avenue to the ballot box to keep out opposing parties; and, recently, for the first time in the history of the world, whole regiments have had
furloughs granted them to leave the battlefield that they might vote in the interests of their military dictators.
Need we wonder, therefore, that by the use of such means, and from the force of contending parties who make a virtue of necessity, we should have had a succession of presidents who have violated the great charters of freedom, which they were sworn to uphold? so that if they had been dealt with as the law of the case demanded, many, if not all of them, would have had to expiate their crimes on the gallows! And such has been the corruption, peculation, and fraud which have filled every department of the Government and States, that our representative form of government, with its "unbalanced" democracy-which ought to be called "mobocracy"-has been brought into almost universal disrepute. Instead of winning favour, it has created dark withering frowns and shrugged-up shoulders amongst men! In the place of hosannas, it is bringing down upon itself a world's thundering anathemas! Instead of being a blessing, it has become the pesthouse of fraud, the lazar house of corruption—a great world nuisance !
The provision made for the education of the people gives us another manifestation of our republic. This provision is plentiful, for no country in the world has more schools, colleges, or churches; but the education is corrupt in quantity, and defective in quality. This is obvious from the fact, that if the simplest elements of justice, feeblest deductions of reason, or the first and