The Barbarism of Slavery: Speech of Hon. Charles Sumner, on the Bill for the Admission of Kansas as a Free State, in the United States Senate, June 4, 1860
Speech of Hon. Charles Sumner, on the bill for the admission of Kansas as a free state, in the United States Senate, June 4, 1860: In the debate over whether new states and territories should be free or slaveholding, few spoke more passionately than Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner. In this speech, delivered before the Senate in 1860 when Kansas applied for statehood, Sumner makes clear his abolitionist stance. Decrying slavery as barbaric, he criticizes various pro-slavery arguments and offers statistics to show how, in his opinion, slavery rendered the South economically inferior to the North.
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Page 25 - Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man, that slavery, subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. "This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
Page 55 - The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory, it is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law.
Page 62 - ... it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.
Page 19 - This contest has now reached such a stage and been attended with such decisive success on the part of the Provinces that it merits the most profound consideration whether their right to the rank of independent nations, with all the advantages incident to it in their intercourse with the United States, is not complete.
Page 26 - Me miserable ! which way shall I fly Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell; And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep Still threatening to devour me opens wide, To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
Page 60 - But when contending chiefs blockade the throne, Contracting regal power to stretch their own, When I behold a factious band agree To call it freedom when themselves are free...