"Where Shall They Go?," Boston (MA) Herald, February 1, 1860, p. 4: 1.
Boston (MA) Herald
Where Shall They Go?
Sayo Ayodele, Dickinson College
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.
Where Shall They Go?
We perceive that the Republican in presses are beginning to betray some alarm in reference to the “free blacks.” They don’t know what is to be done with them, where they can go or what they can do. The New York Evening Post talks about this matter. That paper sympathized deeply with John Brown, in his attempts to injure the whites in Virginia, and it sympathises fully with the Governors of Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin who desire to send the free blacks to homesteads in Central America. John Brown’s plan was to run negroes farther South, even to South America. The Post speaks of Mr. Jefferson as the wisest and most benevolent statesmen and philosopher in the world’s history, whose plans were all founded on a profound knowledge of the laws of nature, and Mr. Jefferson said that “nothing is more certain than the two races equally free, cannot live in the same government.”
It appears that our Republican friends begin to believe this. The troubles in St. Domingo many years, and the recent troubles in Chatham, Canada, have convinced the managers of the underground railroad that running slaves into freedom is like raffling a good deal for elephants and winning a good many of those animals. The abolitionists and the slaveholders have come at last to regard the free negro in the same light, (or darkness). The slave owners don’t want free negroes near them, and the abolitionised States of the North-west are passing laws against their settling there. They will receive Germans, Irish, Swedes or Turks, but they have pretty much done with taking in Africans. They object to having their own States, counties and towns Africanised, although they live move and have their living and earn their food and raiment by preaching with great vociferation the equality of the blacks with the whites.
What in the name of reason is to become of the black man? The slaveholders are often willing to emancipate slaves, provided they can be taken out of the Southern States, and they naturally look to their Northern brethren who profess so much love for the negro. They can’t understand why men who get voted into Congress and Governor’s chairs, by professions of abolitionism, should object to having their own towns and cities Africanised.
But the thing is plain and is growing plainer everyday, that the abolition party can’t stand contact with the blacks. They want a great gulf placed between themselves and all free negroes – the Gulf of Mexico. Their plan is now to expatriate their colored brethren, by “granting them homesteads in some rich region of Central or South American, to be acquired for that purpose.” This is their plan, and no doubt it is a very good one, but what will the colored gentleman who are striving to establish themselves on an equal footing with the whites, politically and socially, here at the north; say to this new phase of political anti-slavery? We fear that they will not relish this demonstration, in which the efforts of slaveholders and abolitionists would be in the same direction, viz; to separate the races geographically as far apart as they have been placed by nature in complexion.
The Post says frankly that “Theorists, not living where the distinction of caste exists, may imagine themselves superior to it, and that it needs but enlightenment to obliterate it. But as this is as impracticable as to annihilate gravitation, the problem for the true statesman is to conform his policy to it.” Therefore Mr. Jefferson’s colonization plan is approved by them and they advocate it as the true solution of the negro question.