Tag Archives: National Anti-Slavery Standard
Independence Hall

The Colored Youth of Philadelphia (1867)

By a Massachusetts Teacher

Among many things that interested me in Philadelphia was a visit of three hours time to an institute for colored people, of which I had never heard till about a fortnight ago, when I attended its exhibition in National Hall. This institute has been in existence about ten years. It was founded by two Quakers, who left money in their wills to form a school in which colored children and youth should be thoroughly educated from the primary up to the collegiate department. It has an excellent building, three stories high, with large halls for schoolrooms. The primary departments are on the first floor; the academic on the second; and in the third story are recitation-rooms, with blackboards all round.

The exhibition was in the second largest hall in the city. Next year it is to be in the great Opera House. Every one of its present teachers is colored. The principal is a Mr. Bassett, who was educated in the Normal School of Connecticut. He is a broad-faced, very dark mulatto, in whom the negro nearly puts out all trace of the white. Nothing can be more modest and unassuming than his manners were at the exhibition. We had a Latin salutatory, a Greek oration, and several fine English essays and poems, by both males and females, of ages from twelve to twenty years. The exercises showed wit, humor, pathos, admirable thought and eloquence, and were well delivered. The primary classes recited simultaneously, first a poem, and then a psalm, making a really beautiful exercise.

Nothing could have been more creditable than all the performances, and they received rounds of applause from an audience of two thousand people, all of whom went in by ticket. In the two days before these performances there had been most searching examinations before the trustees and some of the best educated gentlemen of the city. And on the third day before, there had been a meeting of the alumni of the institute, on which occasion there were orations and poems. I understand that these were quite a marvel, and sufficient, as Mr. Turner said, to set at rest any doubt as to the equality of the negro to the white; for pure negroes did as well as any whites do on similar occasions. I was unable to attend the meeting of the alumni, but I was desirous to see the school in undress; so, after a week’s vacation, I went to Mr. Bassett’s.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.

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Northern Opposition to the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad consisted of a collection of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved American people to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause.

Several earlier (pre-Revolutionary War) routes existed for getting slaves away, but the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”.

Following Union victory in the Civil War, on December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution outlawed slavery. After its passage, in some cases the Underground Railroad operated in the opposite direction, as fugitives returned to the United States.

There were people opposed to the work done by these people as you can see in this article reprinted in the National Anti-Slavery Standard in 1858.

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

From The Syracuse Courier:

“Several prominent citizens of New York are soon to be exposed as “freight agents” on the Underground Railroad. Perhaps it may leak out that some of the “conductors” reside in this city.” — Washington Union

This announcement of the Washington Union should appear under the head of “Important if true.” We are at a loss to conceive how it has been possible, thus far, for the U. S. authorities in this vicinity, or those civil magistrates of the State of New York who have taken up the oath to support the Constitution of the State of New York, and to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability, to ignore the flagrant outrages upon the Constitution and Laws of the United States which are not only perpetrated, but publicly applauded by prominent citizens of Syracuse.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.
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The Slave Parent and Child

This article is an excerpt from a tract titled THE FAMILY RELATION, AS AFFECTED BY SLAVERY  by Charles King Whipple and appeared in the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

The Slave Parent and Child

We will take it for granted that the principles properly regulating this relation are found in the following precepts of Scripture:

“Train up a child in the way he should go.”

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord.”

Let us first look at this relation as it exists in the slave family.

The proper training up of a child requires, on the part of the parent, intelligence, a moral and religious character, a recognised authority, and a power to seclude the child from external vicious or otherwise injurious influences.

The very mention of these constituent parts of the parental relation shows how impossible it is for the slave father or mother to exercise them.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Slavery in America

This speech was given during the Twenty-seventh Anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society at the Cooper Institute in 1860. The large hall was well filled at the commencement of the exercises, and before the close of the session the number was largely increased, the hall being nearly full.

Mrs. Stanton, on rising, was greeted with loud and hearty applause. She read the following resolution, as containing the thought which she was anxious to urge upon the attention of those whom she was about to address.

Resolved, That the crowning excellence and glory of the anti-slavery enterprise is that, while its first grand design is the redemption of the Ethiopian of the South from chattel bondage, it is also, through the genius and power of Eternal Truth, liberating and elevating universal humanity above all the behests of custom, creed, conventionalism or constitution, wherever they usurp unrighteous authority over the individual soul; and thus, while our first care is the emancipation of the Southern slave, we are, under the Divine economy, at the same time working out our own salvation, and hastening the triumph of Love and Liberty over all forms of oppression and cruelty, throughout the earth.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Address (Abridged)

MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN AND LADIES: This is generally known as the platform of one idea—that is negro slavery. In a certain sense this may be true, but the most casual observation of this whole anti-slavery movement, of your lives, conventions, public speeches and journals, shows this one idea to be a great humanitarian one. The motto of your leading organ, “The world is my country and all mankind my countrymen,” proclaims the magnitude and universality of this one idea, which takes in the whole human family, irrespective of nation, color, caste or sex, with all their interests, temporal and spiritual—a question of religion, philanthropy, political economy, commerce, education and social life, on which depends the very existence of this republic, of the state, of the family, the sacredness of the lives and property of Northern freemen, the holiness of the marriage relation, and the perpetuity of the Christian religion. Such are the various phases of the question you are wont to debate in your conventions.

But in settling the question of the negro’s rights, we find out the exact limits of our own, for rights never clash or interfere; and where no individual in a community is denied his rights, the mass are the more perfectly protected in theirs; for whenever any class is subject to fraud or injustice, it shows that the spirit of tyranny is at work, and no one can tell where or how or when the infection will spread. The health of the body politic depends on the sound condition of every member. Let but the finest nerve or weakest muscle be diseased, and the whole man suffers; just so the humblest and most ignorant citizen cannot be denied his rights without deranging the whole system of government.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.
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Abolitionists vs. The Constitution

On February 15, 1844 the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society published this protest itemizing their reasons for opposing the United States Constitution’s codifying the institution of slavery. The protest was published in National Anti-Slavery Standard.


Protest of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society against the
Constitution of the United States, and the Union

We, the officers of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, assembled in the city of Boston, this 25th day of January, A. D. 1844, do hereby publicly record our solemn protest against the Constitution of the United States, and the union between the northern and southern States of this confederacy, for the following reasons:

  1. Because the Constitution prohibits us from giving succor and protection to fugitive slaves, when pursued by their masters, and requires that such “shall be given up,” to be returned into slavery; thereby imposing upon us, as citizens of a nonslaveholding State, the menial and degrading duty of guarding the plantations of southern slave-masters —a duty more vile and infamous in the eyes of the civilized world, than that of the miscreant slavedriver, who is stimulated to his loathsome task by the hope of pecuniary reward.
  2. Because, in the event of an attempt by the slaves to throw off their chains, and assert their freedom by a resort to arms, in imitation of the example of the founders of this republic, the Constitution requires us to aid in furnishing a sufficient military and naval force to compel their submission —which requisition makes us, emphatically, slaveholders —and compels us, contrary to our own convictions of duty and high sense of honor, to trample on the glorious sentiments of the Declaration of Independence, dishonor the memories of our fathers who fought and bled in their defense, and render ourselves base and despicable hypocrites — who, while prating of liberty, and man’s inalienable rights, stand pledged before the world to fight the battles of slavery.
  3. Because the Constitution, contrary to the principles of natural justice and republican equality, grants to the slaveholding States a property representation in Congress, and thereby greatly enhances the power and temptation to hold slaves, by paying a bonus to the master, in the shape of an increase of political power in the councils of the nation.
  4. Because, through the power of southern influence, slavery, and that most execrable species of piracy, the slave-trade, are legalized in our national capital; and we, in common with other citizens of the North, are taxed for the erection of prisons for the accommodation of slave-traders.
  5. Because we regard a political union and alliance with slaveholders, (man-stealers,) under all circumstances, as a curse and crime—a sin against God, and a foul blot upon our characters, for which no conceivable advantages could compensate.
  6. Underwood, of Kentucky, on the floor of Congress, “the dissolution of the Union is the dissolution of slavery;” and to sanction and sustain a Union thus “gloated and cemented with the blood and marrow” of millions of our countrymen, would be to draw upon ourselves and our common country the righteous indignation and just judgments of our Creator, who has given to all an equal right to freedom.
  7. Because our colored fellow-citizens are utterly denied the rights of citizenship throughout the slaveclaming States, and in many cases are thrown into loathsome prisons, and finally sold into perpetual slavery, to defray the expense of their imprisonment.
  8. Because, under the existing compact, according to a recent decision of the Supreme Court, any northern freeman may be seized by a vagrant southerner, and claimed as his property; if so claimed, he is denied the right of trial by jury, and must be sent into slavery—provided the person claiming him can satisfy one of the judges of the Supreme or the Circuit Court of the United States, that he has previously robbed him of his liberty.
  9. Because, if known to be abolitionists, we can have no protection for our persons or property in any of the slaveholding States, but are virtually outlawed, and exposed to the halter and fagot, throughout the entire South; and that, too, with the connivance of the civil authorities of those States.
  10. Because large rewards have been offered by the legislatures and people of several of the southern States, for the abduction of some of our most valued citizens; and these rewards still remain uncancelled.
  11. Because a worthy citizen of Ohio has recently been mulcted $1,700, on two verdicts rendered against him in the Circuit Court of the United States, in favor of a Kentucky slaveholder, for assisting a distressed family in making their escape from slavery.
  12. Because three citizens of a northern State, of blameless lives and uncommon moral worth, have recently been sentenced, for a term of twelve years, to the State prison of one of the slave States, for an act of philanthropy which none but thieves and pirates could condemn, and of which we should glory to have been the authors.
  13. Because the union of the northern with the southern States of this confederacy, is, in every point of view, far more guilty, disgraceful, and oppressive to the North, than the union of Ireland with Great Britain—a connection which most of us are now seeking, by the whole weight of our influence, to dissolve.
  14. Because, while we of the North have been taxed seven millions of dollars, within the last fourteen years, to support the post-office department in the South, the chivalrous people who thus depend upon us to pay their postage, have rewarded our generosity by rifling the mails of our letters and other papers, and publicly consigning them to the flames, or in some other way withholding them from the persons to whom they were directed.
  15. Because the sacred right of petition has been cloven down on the floor of Congress by the slave power, and our prayers and memorials cast unheeded under the speaker’s table, or thrown back with oaths and imprecations, into our teeth.
  16. Because our constitutional rights, as citizens, to the liberty of speech and of the press, are totally abrogated throughout the South; and we are denied the privilege of remonstrating with the people of those States against the wicked, disgraceful, and oppressive institutions which we are compelled by the Constitution to support.
  17. Because our representatives in Congress are habitually exposed to insult and personal abuse from slaveholding bullies, duelists, and assassins; and are compelled either to compromise the rights and interests of their constituents, or defend them in face of the dirks, pistols, and bowie-knives of a southern overseership.
  18. Because the northern States have recently been compelled by the slave power to furnish no less than $30,000,000 to carry on a bloody and disgraceful war with the Seminole Indians, the main object of which was the recapture of fugitive slaves.
  19. Because the experience of more than half a century has convinced us that liberty and slavery cannot co-exist under the same government; and that our only hope for the recovery and perpetuity of our own rights and liberties, is in a total dissolution of all political connection with those States which make merchandise of their own citizens.
  20. Because, finally, we have no inducement to perpetuate a connection, which, from its origin, has been characterized by a constant sacrifice of our rights and interests at home, and of our reputation and influence abroad, and has already drawn upon us the indignant and burning rebukes of the friends of freedom, and the bitter taunts of tyrants througout the civilized world—a connection, which, while it can do us no possible good, subjects us to continued insult and outrage from the very men who are dependent upon us for the protection of themselves and their families from the avenging arm of those whom they have deeply injured.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.

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