Rev. John Angel James’s Opinion of the Dred Scott Decision

Source citation
“Rev. John Angel James’s Opinion of the Dred Scott Decision,” Liberator, Boston, 18
September 1857, p. 1.
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Boston (MA) Liberator
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Rev. John Angel James’s Opinion of the Dred Scott Decision
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Patrick Sheahan
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The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original. 


The Independent of the 11th publishes the following letter from the well-known English preacher and author, Rev. John Angel James, dated Birmingham, May 9th, 1857, to his friend, the Rev. W. Patton, D.D., of New York:
‘The decision of your Supreme Court fills us with astonishment, horror and indignation. It is, indeed, the most terrible outrage upon humanity that has been perpetuated for ages, and will do more to lower the moral character of your country than even the present system of slavery. All Europe and the whole civilized world will blush for you. It is the first time, that I know, when a whole race was put without the pale of social life on account of the color of their skin. Will your country submit to it? Can it be conceived that the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers will bow to so horrible a rebellion against the precepts of Christianity and the dictates of reason?
‘My dear brother, what are the Eastern States about, that they do not rise en masse against this dictum of a few men upon the bench? However, there is one hope. It is so bad, and shows so clearly the advance of the slaveocracy in your country, that it must help on, eventually, the cause of abolition. The American Union of the states appears to me to be becoming an idol, before which your people are willing to make the most costly sacrifices of moral principles. Anything so that the Union be preserved. If it is attempted to be preserved in this way, God, with one of the thunder-bolts of His vengeance, will by-and-by shiver it to pieces.
‘I read with admiration Cheever’s eloquent papers in the Independent. Oh, he is a noble champion, not only for the rights of the negro, but for the honor of your country!’

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