1. Analyze the causes of growing opposition to slavery in the United States from 1776 to 1852. In your response, consider both underlying forces and specific events that contributed to the growing opposition.
Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Nathaniel Jennison, 1783, a decision upholding the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.
As to the doctrine of slavery and the right of Christians to hold Africans in perpetual servitude, and sell and treat them as we do our horses and cattle, that (it is true) has been[formerly] countenanced by the . . . laws . . . but . . . a different idea has taken place with the people of America, more favorable to the natural rights of mankind, and to that natural,innate desire of Liberty, with which Heaven (without regard to color, complexion, or shape of noses) . . . has inspired all the human race. And upon this ground our . . . Government,by which the people of this Commonwealth have solemnly bound themselves, sets out with declaring that all men are born free and equal—and that every subject is entitled to liberty, and to have it guarded by the laws, as well as life and property—and in short is totally repugnant to the idea of being born slaves.
Source: Benjamin Rush, a prominent White Philadelphia physician and reformer, letter of introduction for the Reverend Mr. Gloucester to Samuel Bayard, a resident of Princeton, New Jersey, 1810.
The bearer of this letter, the Reverend Mr. Gloucester, an [African American] ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church, visits your town in order to obtain pecuniary aid to enable him to purchase the freedom of his wife and children, for which the extravagant sum of 1,500 dollars has been demanded by their master and mistress. The friends of religion and of the poor Africans in Philadelphia have sent 500 dollars to them for that purpose and have subscribed liberally towards building him a church. At present he preaches to crowds of his African brethren in a schoolhouse every Sunday, and to great acceptance. The prospects of his usefulness to them are very great.
. . . By the present census it appears that the blacks in our city will amount to more than 2,000 souls. Their late great increase is from migration from the southern states.
Source: American Colonization Society, petition presented to Congress, February 2, 1820.
The last census shows the number of the free people of color of the United States, and their
. . . The least observation shows that this description of persons are not, and cannot be,either useful or happy among us; and many considerations, which need not be mentioned,prove, beyond dispute, that this is best, for all the parties interested, that there should be a separation . . .
[We] cannot believe that such an evil, universally acknowledged and deprecated, has been irremovably fixed upon us. Some way will always be opened by Providence by which a people desirous of acting justly and benevolently may be led to the attainment of a meritorious object. And [we] believe that . . . the colonization of Africa, in the manner proposed, present[s] the fairest prospects of success.
Source: William Lloyd Garrison, “Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society,” 1833.
With entire confidence in the overruling justice of God, we plant ourselves upon the Declaration of Independence, and upon the truths of Divine Revelation. . . .
We shall organize Anti-Slavery Societies, if possible, in every city, town, and village of our land.
We shall send forth Agents to lift up the voice of remonstrance, of warning, of entreaty and rebuke. . . .
[W]e will do all that in us lies, consistently with this Declaration of our principles, to overthrow the most execrable system of slavery that has ever been witnessed upon earth; to deliver our land from its deadliest curse; to wipe out the foulest stain which rests upon our [nation]; and to secure to the colored population of the United States, all the rights and privileges which belong to them as men, and as Americans—come what may to our persons, our interests, or our reputations—whether we live to witness the triumph of Justice, Liberty and Humanity, or perish untimely as martyrs in this great, benevolent, and holy cause.
Source: Angelina Grimké, “Appeal to the Christian Women of the South,” 1836.
Let [the Christian women of the South] embody themselves in societies, and send petitions up to their different legislatures, entreating their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, to abolish the institution of slavery; no longer to subject woman to the scourge and the chain, to mental darkness and moral degradation; no longer to tear husbands from their wives, and children from their parents; no longer to make men, women, and children work without wages; no longer to make their lives bitter in hard bondage; no longer to reduce American citizens to the abject condition of slaves, of “chattels personal”; no longer to barter the image of God in human shambles for corruptible things such as silver and gold.
Source: Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, 1845.
If at any one time of my life more than another, I was made to drink the bitterest dregs of slavery, that time was during the first six months of my stay with Mr. Covey [a White overseer]. . . . Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute! . . .
Long before daylight, I was called to . . . feed, the horses. . . . Mr. Covey entered the stable with a long rope; and . . . he caught hold of my legs, and was about tying me. . . . I gave a sudden spring, and as I did so, he holding to my legs, I was brought sprawling on the stable floor. Mr. Covey seemed now to think he had me, and could do what he pleased; but at this moment—from whence came the spirit I don’t know—I resolved to fight; and . . . I seized Covey hard by the throat; and as I did so, I rose. He held on to me, and I to him. My resistance was so entirely unexpected that Covey seemed taken all aback. He trembled like a leaf. This gave me assurance. . . .
This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning-point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood. It recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired me again with a determination to be free. . . . It was a glorious resurrection, from the tomb of slavery, to the heaven of freedom. My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place.
Source: David Wilmot, speech in Congress, 1847.
I make no war upon the South nor upon slavery in the South. I have no squeamish sensitiveness upon the subject of slavery, nor morbid sympathy for the slave. I plead the cause of the rights of White freemen. I would preserve for free White labor a fair country,a rich inheritance, where the sons of toil, of my own race and own color, can live without the disgrace which association with negro slavery brings upon free labor. I stand for the inviolability of free territory. It shall remain free, so far as my voice or vote can aid in the preservation of its character.
SECTION II, Part B部分