“Have you read Uncle Tom’s Cabin?” said a lady to her friend, a few days since. “Yes,” was the reply, “and O, how it makes me long to do something. Men ought to read it. All men ought to read it – they can do something.”
But cannot woman do something? True she cannot nor does she wish to go to the ballot-box, but lies there not a power back of this? Was not Hannibal ever an enemy in the Roman name? When only nine years old, his father made him take a solemn oath never to be at peace with Rome. Is not slavery a far greater foe to our country than was Rome to the Carthaginian nation? And O mothers, as we wish our country free of her greatest enemy, as we wish our children to enjoy the blessings of life, liberty, and happiness, temporal and eternal, let us follow the example of Hamilcar, and early and perseveringly teach our sons how vile, how dreadful a thing slavery is, let us teach them eternal hostility to slavery.
In the spirit of kindness let us show them the guilt and awful responsibility of those who, in any way, sustain this withering, blighting, heart-rending, soul-destroying curse of American Slavery. And O, as we value all the sacred endearments of home, as we love our husbands, as we cherish our babes and watch with jealous care lest some insidious foe tear them from our bosoms, let us feel for those mothers, with affections as deep, as strong, as holy as ours, whose little ones are snatched from them, not only by the tyrant Death, but by a more cruel, more dreadful tyrant Slavery, sustained by the laws of our free country. “O, these are noble laws – just laws – most equitable laws.”
How solemn the thought that from thousands of souls enslaved, is daily going up into the ear of Avenging Justice the cry, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our cause?” Why did Queen Mary “fear the prayers of John Knox more than an army of her enemies?” Can we not do something? Has the Christian power to prevail with God? Let our cry ascend before “the God of the earth,” not for judgment on the oppressor, but that God would give him a better heart, that he would “let the oppressed go free.”
From the Independent
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Frederick Douglass’ Paper, July 9, 1852
Image Source: Uncle Tom’s cabin