Boston (MA) Herald, “A Conflict of the Races in Canada,” January 23, 1860

    Source citation
    "A Conflict of the Races in Canada," Boston (MA) Herald, January 23, 1860, p. 2: 1.
    Newspaper: Publication
    Boston Herald
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    A Conflict of the Races in Canada
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    Newspaper: Column
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    Sayo Ayodele, Dickinson College
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    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    A Conflict of Races in Canada.

    The effects of running fugitive negroes into Canada have begun to manifest themselves in a marked manner. Wherever they have settled considerable numbers on the Canadian soil, they have been regarded as a beggarly and vicious population, and the poor whites with whom they have been brought in contact have suffered a good deal from them. There seems to be no harmony between the races, even where color is no ground of political distinctions. – Wherever the negro acquires the advantage in numbers and brute force he becomes extremely arrogant, even in a climate which is calculated to cool his African blood to zero. A pretty fight is going on in Canada, not far from Detroit, upon the school question, at the present time. The white residents have an opinion that they ought to control the public schools, instead of the black population which has been run over the line from the States. Many crimes are committed, too, by these poor devils. It might be expected that such of the slave population as had become fugitives and made their escape to Canada, would prove unruly members of society to her Majesty’s dominions, for the philanthropists who assist them over the border generally give them assurances that when once beyond the shadow of the American flag they can have things all in their own way. Believing that they have arrived in a land where the negro is regarded as a little better than a white man, and feeling that they are justified in despoiling the whites at every opportunity, in order to balance accounts with the pale faces, they neglect no chance to make the most of their freedom. – Instead of rising in the social scale, or improving their condition in a moral or a pecuniary point of view, they degenerate still lower and become thriftless, and an unsavory element of the community where they are quartered.

    It would be too much to expect of our abolitionists that they should take charge of the negroes here in the States, educate them, mingle with them socially, and place them upon an equality with themselves. They are not disposed to do anything of the kind. They advise them to flee to Canada. They don’t want them to stop in Massachusetts. They don’t want to provide for them. They are willing to collect funds to pay for the expenses of the underground railroad, but the terminus of the road must be beyond the jurisdiction of Uncle Sam – in some province beyond the diocese of ministers of negro philanthropy.

    We have no doubt that the masters of escaped slaves would agree to their remaining in the free States, provided that the professed friends of the black man would become chargeable for their support and good conduct. And why should they not take to their homes and bosoms those whom they regard as their equals, and whom they look upon as terribly oppressed and in need of the deepest sympathy of all Christian men? That they cannot and will not treat the black man as he deserves is made evident every day. They are philanthropists on a certain theory. Some of them seem to advocate the cause of the negro from an instinctive hatred of the white man. But a majority of the abolitionists are mere abstractionists.

    So far as the practical results are concerned they are like the man who was an early riser “in the abstract” but laid in bed every day until noon. If they would live up to their principles they would  have in Massachusetts, depending upon them for support, hundreds of thousands of freed negroes. Instead of sending them to the inhospitable climate of Canada, a climate which is at least not suited to the warm-blooded African, they would have in Massachusetts, they would take them to their own homes and protect and cherish them. We should see the doors of Phillips and Garrison darkened every day with crowds of men escaped from servitude. But the negropholists of this class do not fancy this practical idea, and when the escaped slaves arrives here, or in any place where their “Committees” are operating, they insist upon their leaving post haste, or locomotive haste, for Canada. “Oh, don’t stop in Massachusetts, or Ohio, Michigan, for the slave hunters will be upon you if you do.” And under pretence of a fear of the U.S. Marshals, and Districts Attorneys, they send the poor fellows raw from the plantations of the South to the cold Canadas to beg or steal or starve, according to the new circumstances in which they may be placed.

    Our Canadian neighbors might demand with great reason, that the friends of the negro should at least send missionaries among the colonies of blacks who have been run into their provinces over the underground railroad, and teach them to live in submission to the laws in the land of freedom. The state of things in those parts of Canada which have been settled with free negroes, is not very creditable to the negro’s capacity for self-government, or to the magnanimity of the abolitionists who have sent them to Canada. It looks as though these professed and professional negropholists hated white men much more than they loved black men and only aided the negroes, to escape to injure their masters and the poor Canadians among whom they are sending them. It would be well for the sympathizers with Old John Brown to go up to the negro colonies in Canada, and spend some time civilizing and Christianizing their protégés, and in restraining them from the perpetration of such outrages as have lately been recorded against them.

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