A Kentucky Protest Against Slavery: Slavery Inconsistent with Justice and Good Policy, Proved by a Speech, Delivered in the Convention, Held at Danville, Kentucky

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Pub. at the Office of the Rebellion Record, 1812 - Slavery - 13 pages
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Page 9 - Because the holders of slaves are not the just proprietors of what they claim; - freeing the slaves is not depriving them of property, but restoring it to the right owner; - it is not wronging the master, but righting the slave - restoring him to himself...
Page 8 - I purchased them ; they therefore become my property, I have a legal claim to them. To repeal this law, to annihilate slavery, would be violently to destroy what I legally purchased with my money, or inherit from my father. It would be equally unjust with dispossessing me of my horses, cattle, or any other species of property. To dispossess me of their offspring, wouloV be injustice equal to dispossessing me of the annual profits of my estate.
Page 4 - I do him greater injury, when I deprive him of his liberty, than when I rob him of his property. It is in vain for me to plead that I have the sanction of law; for this makes the injury the greater, it arms the community against him, and makes his case desperate. If my definition of a Slave is true, he is a rational creature, reduced by the power of legislation to the state of a brute, and thereby deprived of every privilege of humanity, except as above, that he may minister to the ease, luxury,...
Page 7 - Slavery naturally tends to destroy all sense of justice and equity. It puffs up the mind with pride; teaches youth a habit of looking down upon their fellow creatures with contempt, esteeming them as dogs or devils, and imagining themselves beings of superior dignity and importance, to whom all are indebted. This banishes the idea, and unqualifies the mind for the practice of common justice. If I have, all my days, been accustomed to live at the expense of a 8 A KENTUCKY PROTEST AGAINST SLAVERY.
Page 7 - ... and, in the next, that they shall neither acquire nor possess it during their existence here ? Can I trust my life, my liberty, my property in such hands as these ? Will the colour of my skin prove a sufficient defence against their injustice and cruelty? Will the particular circumstance of my ancestors being born in Europe and not in Africa defend me ? Will straight hair defend me from the blow that falls so heavy on the woolly head ? If I am a dishonest man, if gain is my God, and this may...
Page 13 - Holding men in slavery is the national vice of Virginia; and while a part of that state, we were partakers of the guilt. As a separate state, we are just now come to the birth; and it depends upon our free choice whether we shall be born in this sin, or innocent of it. We now have it in our power to adopt it as our national crime; or to bear a national testimony against it. I hope the latter will be our choice; that we shall wash our hands of this guilt; and not leave it in the power of a future...
Page 4 - ... preferred. The brute may steal or rob, to supply his hunger ; the law does not condemn him to die for his offence, it only permits his death ; but the slave, though in the most starving condition, dare not do either, on penalty of death or some severe punishment. Is there any need of arguments to prove, that it is in a high degree unjust and cruel, to reduce one human creature to such an abject wretched state as this, that he may minister to the ease, luxury, or avarice of another? Has not that...
Page 9 - Emancipation would only take away property that is its own property, and not ours ; property that has the same right to possess us, as we have to possess it ; property that has the same right to convert our children into dogs and calves and colts, as we have to convert theirs into these beasts ; property that may transfer our children to strangers, by the same right that we transfer theirs,-^ Rice.
Page 5 - RICE. is a free moral agent legally deprived of free agency, and obliged to act according to the will of another free agent of the same species: and yet, he is accountable to his Creator for the use he makes of his own free agency. When a man, though he can exist independent of another, cannot act independent of him, his agency must depend upon the will of that other ; and therefore, he is deprived of his own free agency ; and yet, as a free agent he is accountable to his Maker for all the deeds...
Page 4 - All he has to do is to show the insufficiency of my proofs. A slave claims his freedom; he pleads that he is a man, that he was by nature free, that he has not forfeited his freedom, nor relinquished it. Now, unless his master can prove that he is not a man, that he was not born free, or that he has forfeited or relinquished his freedom, he must be judged free; the justice of his claim must be acknowledged.

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