Jacksonian Miscellanies, #99 
October 8, 2001
Crocodile Tears

Copyright by the editor, Hal Morris, Hopatcong, NJ 2001.
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The following is an excerpt from Abolitionism Unveiled; or, Its Origin, Progress, & Pernicious Tendency Fully Developed, by Henry Field James.  I can find nothing more out about Mr. James.  The book was published in Cincinnati, in 1856.

If any reader knows anything about James, or the reception of this book, I'm sure we'd all like to know.  He is not listed in the Dictionary of American Biography, and though there were several references to him on the internet, all that I found were in mere lists of books and authors.

The speaker and I believe main character, "'Squire Henry Gray", quite possibly a stand-in for the author, lives on a Kentucky plantation across the river from Ohio.  In these two chapters, spanning pages 15-30, he explains why he has sold all of his slaves "down south", and bemoans the woes of slave-owners and slave-catchers in this age of "wicked" abolitionism.

The climax of the 'Squire's account of the terrible state of the world for slave-holders is an account of the "Christiana Riot" in which a Maryland man was killed in the act of trying to seize his runaway slave in Pennsylvania.  Just from scanning the table of contents, I can see that much of the books consists of hairsbreath escapes from abolitionist and "negro" mobs, from Cincinnati to Detroit to Canada.  About 40 pages deal with his adventures in Oberlin alone.

One wonders how seriously such an account, and the very slanted account of what happenned in Christiana, were taken by slaveowning southerners.

If you want other versions of what happenned in Christiana, try going to google and searching on "christiana" and "gorsuch".  For one thing, I learned in this way, of a book by Tom Slaughter, called Bloody Dawn: The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North.  Apparently it is not the first book on the subject.  An online review at www.oup-usa.org/isbn/019504634X.html mentions an earlier work on it.


'Squire Gray resumes the subject;-- The injury to Slave and Master, from Abolition interference, clearly pointed out.

Early the ensuing morning, David arose, and met his uncle in the parlor.

"Well, David," says he, "I hope that sleep, `tired nature's sweet restorer,' has prepared you for the duties of the day. The sun has just spread abroad his rays -- the little birds, with their sweetest songs have welcomed the returning day; but when I look abroad upon my extended fields, covered with numerous cattle and sheep, I feel sensibly the inconvenience to which I am subjected by the removal of my slaves."

"I have no doubt of that, uncle," replied David. "You have, from your infancy, been accustomed to them, and you have now to depend upon hired labor. I cannot say how it may succeed here; but in the cotton region I know it would be a perfect failure. It is possible you may contrive to graze most of your land, and cultivate annually only a small portion in grain, without the hiring of many hands; and in this way you may derive from your estate a moderate income."

"Be that as it may, David, I will never repent of what I have done. I did not act in haste, or from a sudden impulse of passion but upon full and mature consideration. The act afforded me no pleasure in the world; but on the contrary, it was one of the meet painful nature I ever performed."

"Oh! cruel destiny, uncle; what could have induced you to perform such an act of apparent cruelty?  Surely there must have been powerful causes to have constrained you to the performance of such a deed."

"Truly, truly, David; but now I will detail to you why I have thus acted -- not only myself, but many of my neighbors. We reside here near the Ohio river, on the borders of the state, and have suffered much from Abolitionism. Of its origin, progress, and pernicious tendency, perhaps you may, in some degree, be ignorant.

This is that foul demon that has come in among us, to produce those results which all humane persons so much deplore. As you are from the far south, you are not sensible of its encroachments. I rejoice, therefore, that I have it in my power to furnish you with a history of ABOLITION which you will find contains more truth than fiction. When you return home, you will remember the solemn declarations of your aged uncle, whose head is blossoming for the grave. I have passed the meridian of time, and I am now descending to the vale of death. What I shall take the liberty to utter in your hearing the present summer, I hope will make a lasting impression upon your mind. You are young--just entering upon the theater of life; hence when this poor frame of mine may rest quietly beneath the sods of the valley, upon you and the rising generation will this rich inheritance of freedom be devolved. By the blood of martyred patriots it was achieved, and it can only be preserved by eternal vigilance. That all the privileges we enjoy depend upon the preservation of the Union, I am firmly persuaded. Its dissolution would involve a train of evils too horrible to contemplate--civil war would soon rage between North and South, which would only end by entailing upon the country one long night of gloomy despotism.

"The commencement of the contest would be to liberete three millions of African slaves, but its end the enslavement of all without regard to color. Then, indeed, the iron rule of some military chieftain would hush to everlasting silence the wild fanaticism that goaded the South to madness. Its fearful visage never more would be reared to proclaim the inalienable rights of men, or to cheer on his way the parting fugitive.' When intolerable slavery shall press to the earth the teeming millions that may inhabit this vest western continent, there will be no room for the exercise of philanthropy. Pens and tongues would no longer be employed in the syren song of emancipating the world. Blot out this luminous spot on earth--the only spot upon which liberty has found an abiding place --then the sable cloud of despotism world enshrine the face of this globe. But I must answer the question which you have propounded. Old people must be indulged in a greater latitude of digression than would be allowable in a methodical treatise, or one governed by the strict rules of logic. You will pardon me, therefore, for those occasional flights into which I may sometimes be betrayed. I shall not fail, in the end, to give you the desired information.

"Now, as to the causes of that act to which allusion has been made. I had to perform it with the iron nerve of Cato. I am aware that in one region of our country I shall, by many, be deemed a monster of cruelty. But I flatter myself, when the whole story is heard, I shall stand acquitted of any impropriety in the minds of all good people, wherever they may reside either north or south. To the impartial arbitrament of the whole world I am willing for that act to be submitted, only claiming the privilege of being heard in my own defense before the final verdict shall be rendered.

"With slavery I have been conversant all my life--nursed by slaves and reared in their midst. I have had the management and control of them ever since I was eighteen years of age. I knew them well before Abolition was introduced; I know them now since its baneful influence has been felt. Look at the African slave in his native simplicity, before this wily serpent had crept in to mar his peace and happiness; and what do we behold?

"A dependent and faithful creature, looking up to his master as his best friend and protector. The relation between them being one of mutual kindness and affection. I have known many of the native Africans who were torn from their homes and sold into bondage in this western world. They all concurred in opinion that they were kidnapped and sold by their own people. The wrong of the whites­if wrong it must be called­­consisted only in buying.

"When I think how it used to be with my slaves, and what a great change was finally produced in them, I cannot forbear venting many heavy curses upon Abolitionism­the cause of this dire change in my affairs. A few slaves I purchased, but the most of those I owned descended to me by inheritance. They came down from remote ancestors, till they fell into my hands. I considered them an entail upon the present generation. Whatever might have been the iniquity of the slave-trade, we were innocent of it. It was by no means an original question when I came upon the stage of life: the evil­if evil it was­had all been perpetrated. These Africans were here, in our possession, and what to do with them, was the only question left for us to solve.

"So far as depended upon myself, I considered it my duty to treat those slaves I owned with all the humanity consistent with good government. No family establishment can be happy or prosperous without submission to the head. There must be some one to direct and control, as well as to labor. Thus the farming operations are carried on, whether by slave or free­labor. If I hire a man to work at wages, he must use proper diligence to do the work I assign him; otherwise I dismiss him from my employ. Obedience in both cases is required, though the mode of punishment for disobedience may be different. The same work has to be done either by white or black. Without 'the sweat of the brow' the seed will not be sown, nor will the corn be made or saved.

"The whole human family are mainly dependent on the products of the soil for subsistence. With the most diligent industry the annual products will be annually consumed. Those who are trying to destroy the agriculture of the slave states by enticing away laborers, are doing an injury that may be seriously felt. I have never thought it wrong to labor or require it of others. My destiny happened to be thrown among slaves, and to that kind of labor I have been accustomed from my infancy. To them I have always aimed to be kind and humane. Whenever I had to punish, which I had sometimes to do, it was always tempered with mercy. I never chastized to gratify a revengeful feeling; but did it purely for the benefit of the offender and to maintain good order in my family.

"Of my slaves I was always cautious not to require anything unreasonable or unjust. I worked them no harder­I might, in fact say not so hard as every laboring man has to work. I provided them good, comfortable houses in which to reside, and supplied them with good, wholesome food in sufficient quantities. Their clothing was warm in winter, made of wool, manufactured in the family: summer wear was either cotton or linen.

"To their health I paid strict attention. In sickness, medical service was immediately employed. They never suffered for the want of nursing. Thus I have endeavored to discharge every duty incumbent upon me. I was always anxious to promote the health and happiness of my slaves. I gave them many advantages­they had a truck­patch. From the sale of articles which they would thus raise, and from other sources, they were enabled to dress very finely on the Sabbath: at which time they usually appeared in their silks and broadcloth.

"Until recently, contentment seemed to prevail among them. Heretofore between them and myself confidence and good feelings existed. I held them to be my true and faithful domestics who would not, on any occasion, hurt a hair of my head; and hence I felt myself so safe in their company as anywhere else in the world. I maintained my patriarchal authority­for such I felt it to be and nothing more­with a steady and even balance.

"The responsibility of taking care of a portion of the African race­of administering to their wants in sickness and in health, I felt was placed upon me; whether rightfully or wrongfully, it were vain to inquire. I found them here as slaves, and if one didn't own them another would. I had done nothing to reduce them to this condition; into their native country I had not gone, to tear them away from relatives and friends, and transplant them in American soil. All this inhqmanity was performed before my day. The iniquity of the slave trade shall be fastened upon the right shoulders ere I am done. Let the guilty party answer to God and the world for this enormous outrage, and not those into whose possession the present generation of slaves has fallen.

"The slaveholders of this day can hold up their hands in the sight of high Heaven and solemnly declare that they have done nothing in producing this condition in the African race­that slavery is an entailment from former times which they cannot avoid. By the mysterious workings of Providence this relation of master and slave has been permitted on this western continent. Africa has been despoiled of her children; they have been cast into bondage among us, and for what wise purpose the future alone can disclose. That God wills the happiness of all his children, irrespective of colors, I firmly believe; and that good in the end is to be educed from slavery I feel equally confident­not only to the one race, but to both.

"I have already extended my observations too lengthily upon the present occasion. I fear, David, your patience is entirely exhausted."

"Dear uncle," replied David, "I take a deep interest in the subject you have been discussing; it is one of momentous interest involving in its issue the permanency of this mighty Union : for I am persuaded that, of all subjects, ABOLITIONISM is best calculated to produce alienation between the North and South, and finally disunion. I am, therefore, willing to listen patiently to whatever you may think proper to advance on this deeply interesting question. My studies and occupation have forbidden me from giving so much attention as you have to Abolition. Beside, my youth will deter me from often interrupting your narrative.

"I am aware that if the thread of old people's ideas be broken, it cannot be easily re­united. Much valuable information might thus be lost. I shall claim chiefly the privilege of a listener. I set out on my journy(sic) to acquire knowledge, and I am happy that I am now sitting under your hospitable roof: I have no doubt a whole summer's entertainment I may expect from your lips on this exciting question of Abolitionism. From your extensive knowledge of that subject, in all its various ramifications, from your having watched it from its earliest germ to its present overshadowing growth, you can portray its history in true and vivid colors."

"You place, David an over­estimate upon my humble abilities to do this subject anything like justice. I enter upon it with great distrust. I am actuated by a warm zeal for a common country. I cannot longer stand silent, and see this dangerous conspiracy against our liberty­ for as such I consider it­daily increasing; sustained too by foreign influence and gold, without an effort, however feeble, to unmask its deformities. Should the task prove unsuccessful, I shall still have the consolation to think I had the manliness to warn the public of the dangerous crisis approaching in our national affairs."


A continuation of the same subject.

"AT the last interview, David," said the 'Squire, "I was delineating the happy condition of the slave prior to the introduction of Abolitionism into his bosom. We then beheld him contented and happy, rendering a cheerful obedience to the lawful commands of his master. I will now show you how this happy relation has been destroyed, and how I have been reluctantly constrained to deprive myself of the services of slaves, to which I had been used from my childhood. They may, and likely will fall into the hands of worse and more severe masters but the fault is not mine, as I will undertake to show. It is chargeable to the disturbing influence from abroad.

"I shall have to refer to matters anterior to this period. Several years ago, I had a relative who purposed emigrating to Illinois. He owned two likely boys, named Jack and Joe, whom I was induced to buy­not because I needed them, but out of pure compassion to keep them out of the clutches of a negro trader who was striving to buy them. I paid for them sixteen hundred dollars, to retain them in this section, where I supposed slavery to exist in its mildest form. They served me a few years, and then made their escape to Canada.

"I resolved I would never buy another, and those remaining should never tread foot on British soil while they were mine. I kept a vigilant eye on the balance, intending, whenever I saw indications of elopement I would take my own mode of doing without them. I did not hesitate to converse with them freely. I told them they had a good home, and as long as they demeaned themselves properly, might remain.

"`Now,' said I, `as long as you may continue faithful and true to me I will be equally so to you. This is your home while I live, if you so desire it; but if you will have it otherwise, blame me not for it. My word to you I hold sacred and inviolate; I have never deceived, nor do I intend.'

"`That's true, Master,' said Tom `when you tells us anything, we knows you won't wary from it. God knows Jack and Joe went off without dese niggere knowing at all 'bout it. Howsomever, if we had found it out, dem boys never had went. Dat's God Almighty's troth!

"Now Tom, you have been in my family all your lifetime. I have known you from a child, and you have known me from my youth to the present time. Can you not confide in what I say? I can assure you no negro can be benefited by being sent to Canada; and why; because he arrives there poor and destitute­he has nothing, the climate is extremely cold, the winters long, and wages low. How can he expect to live without labor? He may find friends to help him on his way to Canada; but when he gets there, he will have none. Upon himself alone he must depend­farming is the only business he understands or can follow, and it will be very difficult for him to find employment and live, at that.'

"`Days God's blessed truth,' said Tom. 'We's better off in Kantuck among dese white folks as what knows us. Dey knows us, and we knows dem; but if de poor nigger gits in among dem strange white peoples, as doesn't know 'em, den he's got to suffer. Dem Yankees lubs demselves very good, but dem doesn't care for de poor, starving, freezing nigger. Dats sure. We libs well here­plenty good wittels to eat, and ebryting to make us happy. Den we never gwine to leave you, sure. Dat's sarten.'

"`Well, Tom, I hope this happy confidence, now existing between us, may long continue. Your fidelity will impose upon me obligations I will never disregard. I am your friend, as long as you continue mine; and your labor I shall prefer to all others:

"Since that conversation many years have elapsed. Within a year back I began to notice a great and material change in the demeanor of my slaves. They became gloomy and ill­natured, difficult to govern, and were disposed to be very insolent. I had long anticipated this result. I knew it was approaching, for I had closely watched Abolitionism in all the various hues it had assumed. I could discern it was secretly and steadily invading the rights of the South. Situated here, on the borders of the State, not far from Cincinnati, we would necessarily first feel the direful effects of this fanatical spirit.

"It had intruded itself in the halls of Congress, and produced that deep excitement and convulsion that terminated in the adoption of a series of measures usually termed the 'Compromise.' This adjustment was hailed by many as a panacea for all our political troubles. The fugitive slave law was as stringent as the South could demand; but in its faithful execution I never had the smallest confidence whatever. Having traveled much in the North, and intermingled freely with the people, I knew their feelings and prejudices thoroughly on the question of slavery. I was satisfied, years ago, that human ingenuity could not devise a law that would insure the apprehension and return of fugitive slaves. Although the Constitution of the United Staten declares in imperative language, that they 'shall be delivered up' upon the claim of the party to whom such service or labor is due and further, that no law or regulation of a State shall prevent it; yet, in utter defiance of this plain and positive provision of the Federal Compact, slaves are continually escaping without the possibility, on the part of the owner, either to find or reclaim. How shamefully is that sacred instrument­the ligament holding this mighty Union together, composed of thirty­one independent States evaded and despised. Here is practical Nullification, on the part of the North, of daily sad hourly occurrence, sinking into insignificance all South Carolina ever threatened to do.

"The North is thus uniformly trampling under her feet these solemn guarantees of the Federal Constitution, without being sensible of the great injustice she is doing the South. This owner, and that, is despoiled of his property by fanatical agency­the fugitive slaves are run into Canada, and there are men glorifying themselves upon the success they have in this illegal business. Now, remember how we have been treated in Boone. The fidelity of the slave has been destroyed ­distrust has taken the place of confidence, The evil is spreading­on the right, a slave escapes into Ohio­on the left, a dozen, for some slight offense or suspicion, are sold to go to the cottonfields of the South; thus the whole slave population among us is kept in a state of perpetual anxiety and dread. They are well apprised how sensitive the owners are, and hence the escape of a few is sure to redound to the damage of those remaining. Upon them the injury falls. In this way matters have been progressing for a few years. Now what is the result? I will candidly state to you what has taken place within my own knowledge.

"Over twelve months since, a neighbor came to me and stated his slave Charles and two others had escaped the night previous. He desired me to go with him in pursuit. I told him I was at his service­that he should not go alone­that I would stand by his side 'through evil as well as good report.' I felt anxious to test the value and efficiency of the Fugitive Slave Law, and I preferred having it tested in his case rather than one of my own. So we departed to Cincinnati­the point to which all our fugitive slaves are apt to go. On our route we ascertained where they had crossed the river, and that they had got to the city.

"'Soon we had one who was skillful in catching negroes busily at work. His stool­pigeons, as he termed them, were all actively engaged in the hunt. He assured us if they were in the city, they could not elude his and his spies' vigilance­that they should, ere­long, be forthcoming. He was frequently in communication with us­ at one time he was on the trail­he could almost tell us the identical house in which they lay concealed. But at other times he was apparently disheartened­the Abolitionists being so cunning and profoundly secret in their operations. For several days we were thus tantalised with intelligence, sometimes favorable, and, at others, the reverse. But in the end he finally and honestly confessed they had made a complete escape.

"As you may readily suppose, I returned home, well satisfied that there was no security any longer for that species of property in our county. I candidly told my friends that we should soon be deprived of slave­labor that the Abolitionists had so arranged matters that, if they could once get a slave in their possession in Ohio, the owner would never see or hear of him more. Those who professed to hunt fugitive slaves in a free State, had given up the job in despair, or at least, were entirely powerless to do us any service­that it was a delusion­the veriest delusion in the world, to expect to re­capture them, or to hold them much longer here on the borders in bondage. I was convinced we had to be deprived of them­willing or unwilling­convenient or inconvenient.

"But I was slow to act­I felt inclined to retain my slaves so long as any hope remained. The question, however, seemed to me to be narrowed down to one solitary point, and that was in what manner was this separation to take place? Must I lie dormant and wait for the Abolitionists to entice them away, and run them into Canada, beyond the power and jurisdiction of the United States­or had I not better adopt my own time and method of doing it?

"The latter alternative I decidedly preferred. After the occurrence to which I have alluded, I suffered a year or more to expire­­watching, with intense anxiety, the progress of events. I was resolved not to act with the least precipitation. For those poor creatures, whom Providence had made dependent upon me, I must confess, I felt a strong attachment. I thought to myself, here, alas! are boys and girls I have reared from their infancy­born on my premises­here, also, are old men and women hitherto faithful and true servants, who have descended to myself and wife from our ancestors­must I, in the decline of life, be deprived of their services? If so, I must do it in my own, way­not wait for the vile artifices of the Abolitionists to produce the same result.

"'Many events abroad and at home, opened the way for the act, the causes of which I am detailing. The riot in Boston­the open resistance to the United States authorities in that city, in their efforts to execute the Fugitive Slave Law­showed the South to have no security for their slave­property. But the tragical affair in Pennsylvania transcended in atrocity everything of the kind upon record­I mean the murder of Gorsuch, near Christiana. I shall be bound to relate the mournful incidents connected with this revolting tragedy, from memory. According to my best recollection the history of the case is this: Gorsuch was a citizen of Maryland, and lost several slaves who eloped to Pennsylvania. I have seen it stated, though I cannot vouch for its verity, that they wrote home to their master where they were, and requested him to come for them. Be this as it may, he and son started for the purpose of re­capture. Arriving in Philadelphia, he adopts legal measures for the recovery of his slaves. Accompanied by the United States marshal and a police officer, they departed for Christiana, where, he was informed, his fugitive slaves resided. In the evening the party stopped for the night within a few miles of that place. Early next morning they went on, and within a short distance of the town, they were waylaid, and old Mr. Gorsuch was shot down and his son wounded, by a mob in ambush. The officers fled and made their escape without injury. The mob then rushed up, and beat, with clubs, the head of old Gorsuch, to satiate their dire revenge.

"Now let me ask, what this good old man­for he was represented as very pious, and extremely kind to his slaves­had done to merit such a horrible fate. He had punctually obeyed all the requirements of the laws. Amply clothed with Federal authority, and in company of a marshal, he and his party were proceeding peaceably to claim the delivery up of those who owed him service or labor. This was his right, legally secured, and for daring to exercise it how awful the consequence! Shot down like a highway robber or pirate without a moment's warning! Thus fell one, whose 'head was silvered o'er with age,' by a mob of Abolitionists and free negroes --not for any crime he had ever committed or contemplated, but in the pursuit of lawful business."

"Permit me, uncle, to interrupt you for a moment. Have not all these cruel wretches been punished in the most exemplary manner, either by the United States laws, or those of Pennsylvania, for so bloody and daring an outrage? Sorely the perpetrators of this foul deed have not escaped with impunity!"

"Ah, David! there is the great ground of complaint. Crimes cannot be entirely suppressed by the most sanguinary laws. Violations of the laws will often happen, which no foresight can prevent. It is but too true, for crimes of so deep a dye, there ought to be inflicted condign punishment. But in this instance it seems no law was violated­no penalty was incurred. It happened not to be constructive treason by the Federal Laws, nor murder by the statutes of Pennsylvania. Hence you can but notice, the murder of a slave­holder is different from all other crimes in the world. Had Moses lived in our day, I think he would modify his law so as to make it read: 'Whose sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed,' except he kills a slave­hunter. For it is manifest, if a man in pursuit of his fugitive slave be shot down, it is held to be no crime at all. He is the only human being that may be killed at pleasure, and with entire impunity. Why! the vilest criminal that walks on the face of the earth, must not be destroyed without a fair and legal trial­much outlawry cannot be tolerated in this humanized age. Even Cain, who slew Abel, his brother­though he was made a fugitive and vagabond, and cried, in the anguish of his heart, `that every one that findeth me shall slay me,' what did the Lord say in reply: 'Therefore whoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken of him sevenfold.' `And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him: What had Gorsuch done­against him was any one's `blood crying from the ground? None, whatever. With conscious innocence, this pious old man, with benevolence beaming in his countenance, and under the aegis of the Federal Union, goes forth to obtain possession of his fugitive slaves, in the land of peaceful habits, and among Christian people­ citizens of a common country; and there falls, by the hands of a desperate mob, without a moment's warning, or any chance for defense. Of those engaged in this horrid tragedy, not a hair of their heads has ever suffered.

"So far from it, some of the Abolitionists have said, if his own slaves chose to murder their master, what is that to them? What evidence is there, that even this is the fact? None that I have ever seen. The whole is imaginary. Gorsuch and party stopped for the night near Christiana. Next morning early, they intended going into the town where his slaves were supposed to be. But it appears intelligence was conveyed to them and their friends, that night, of the contemplated arrest. An ambuscade was formed, and the party approached unapprized of this fact, until the discharge of fire­arms from each side of the road, announced to them the imminent peril by which they were surrounded. These are the facts of the case, as they have been impressed upon my memory.

"Do they not constitute murder in the first degree? The mob, with coolness and full deliberation, form themselves into a company for the purpose of killing Gorsuch. They quietly rest in ambush, watching the approach of their intended victim. With malice prepense, they perform the diabolical act. No sudden impulse of passion, or great provocation, induced the commission of this crime. In the coolness of the night­in the freshness of morning­they concoct their plan, and fall upon an old, harmless, defenseless man. The whole mob were principals in this crime; they were all acting together, and all equally guilty. Even admitting his slaves were there, and performed this dreadful deed, that does not exonerate others who were present­aiding and abetting­they are criminal in equal degree.

"But suppose his slaves alone were guilty of so outrageous a murder, by what code of laws can they be acquitted? how stand innocent of crime? How can so barbarous an act be construed into justifiable or excusable homicide? Would not the sensibility of mankind be shocked, if, by legislative enactment, any state should proclaim to the world that a fugitive slave who should turn upon his pursuing owner or agent, and slay him, should not only be ratified and excused, but should be honored and glorified as a hero? An Abolition member of Congress defended this heinous murder upon that very ground. Oh! everlasting shame upon such morality! upon such a perversion of all the well­known and established principles of the law! Of all the cases enumerated in the law books, of justifiable or excusable homicide, this one has never been mentioned; and it was reserved for this progressive age to make the discovery.

"The effects of the decision in this case, made by the Federal and State Courts, will be a general license to all persons who choose to slay at will slave­holders who shall venture to reclaim their fugitive slaves in any free state of this Union! What will the south think of such announcement? What will be the worth of their Constitutional rights? A mere mockery. Our slaves are enticed away­aided and assisted by these wicked Abolitionists­and death is the penalty, if the owner should pursue. Thus are we made outlaws in all the free states of the Union. When I learned the result of these trials at Christiana, I came to the firm determination of not owning any slaves, who could, in a few hours, be in the state of Ohio, where I could not pursue them without the forfeiture of my life. If, by that determination, my slaves have suffered­it is no fault of mine­but of their officious and crazy friends on the other side of the river."

"I have participated, uncle, in your excitement. I feel, as you do, deep exasperation for the murder of Gorsach, for not only Maryland, but the whole slaveholding region should feel outraged by the decisions in this case. I scarcely know how to believe your narrative; I fain hope some mitigating circumstance has escaped your observation, or eluded your memory, that a more thorough investigation may develop. With your general accuracy, I am greatly pleased. Whatever you assert, is entitled to much confidence, for I know you too well to suppose for a moment, you would willfully pervert the truth. These serious charges against the Abolition party sound very strangely to my inexperienced ears. But, as you seem exhausted at this time from your exertions, we will let the subject rest for the present." You can support this site at no cost if you make an Amazon purchase using this link to get to Amazon: Thanks