Book chapter--John Dixon Long--2/24/1857

    Source citation
    Long, John Dixon. Pictures of Slavery in Church and State; including personal reminiscences, Biographical sketches, Anecdotes, etc., etc., with an Appendix containing the views of John Wesley and Richard Watson on Slavery. Philadelphia: published by the Author, 1857.
    Original source
    Easton Star
    Author (from)
    Long, John Dixon
    Date Certainty
    Meghan Allen
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    “THE re-opening of the slave trade, spoken of in Congress, is not quite so horrible as proposition as it would appear at first sight. True, as it was once conduced, it was a disgrace to the governments that tolerated it, and a stigma upon the human race. It seems to have been prosecuted without reference to any thing save the profits resulting from it. The brutality which accompanied it in the days of its pristine prosperity was no hindrance to it. Cruelty was not taken into account as a drawback. But now, things are different. The people who might be interested in it at this time are a humane and highly cultivated people. The government which would tolerate it is abundantly able to throw such guards about it as would be necessary to prevent excesses and to insure humanity; and under proper restrictions it could not fail to be a blessing to the to the Africans, and to render the condition of very many of them as much superior to what it is at present, as that of the slave here is to the doom of the savage in the old world. It is to show the savage at home that I compile the papers which will follow. They will show him to be just about as miserable as it is possible for a human being to be. Savage is not the word to express the idea. He is a beast, with just enough intellect to make him worse than if he were moved by instinct alone.

    The proposition aforesaid was scoffed out of Congress. It was right, perhaps, that it should be, while men, with the films of prejudice and fanaticism over their eyes, are unable to see any thing but the phantasms of their morbid imaginations. But the day must come when philanthropy will make it a matter of more serious reflection. An enlightened philanthropy now is shocked at the idea of the African being forever doomed to the barbarity, to the revolting religious rites, to the brutal customs, and even to the slavery prevailing on his own continent. It would open emigration to him as well as to the rest of mankind, and give him a chance to see and improve by a civilization of which it appears unassisted he is incapable.”

    The above paragraph is taken from the “Easton Star,” Talbot Co. Md., issued Feb. 24th, 1857. Its author is reputed to be a ripe classical scholar. He has been engaged as an educator of the youth of the wealthy men of the Eastern Shore of Maryland for a number of years. It is presumed that the editor of the paper, and the writer of the article, are acquainted with the opinions of their patrons with regard to the subject in question. Ten years ago, public sentiment would not have tolerated such an article in Talbot County. We call the attention of our Northern friend to it, as a straw or feather which indicates the way the wind is blowing.
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