Negro Insurrection in Kentucky, December 1856

From The Newport Kentucky News:

We learn from the Russellville Herald, of Wednesday last, that great excitement exists in the neighborhood of Volney and Gordensville. A negro belonging to one of the farm works of Tennessee, who knew something about their plan for liberty, died by the torture of the last, rather than tell on his brethren who had conversed with him on the subject of their freedom.

He received 750 lashes, at the hands of white savages, (too lazy to do their own work,) before he expired.

How the people of America can stand by, and see such atrocity committed in this professed land of liberty, and that, too, against a people whose only crime is that of seeking liberty, is more than we can understand. Even Kentucky—how can the liberty-loving people of this State stand it? Will the real producers and working men of Kentucky suffer these man-torturers to be unrebuked, until they themselves fall a prey to these barbarians, and suffer subjugation by the lash, and be bought and sold like the negro, when they now shoot, hang or whip to death for the crime of being known to possess an independent spirit?

If the white working-man suffer the black working-men to be thus treated, they must soon expect to share the same fate. The principle is the same. The white tyrant who sanctions a law to enslave blackmen for the sake of gain, would sanction a law to enslave the whites also for the same end; and then cut and slash, shoot, hang or whip to death, all who dared to talk about freedom or self-government. The working class of the Southern State are too thoughtless of their own doom. Man has enslaved his fellow-man the world over, and in all ages, without regard to color, whenever he has got the power by law to do so; and will do it here on this part of the globe, if he gets the power.

Says the Herald of Wednesday last:

At Cadiz, Trigg County, Ky., yesterday, a free negro was hung, after being tried by the Vigilance Committee, and a number more are in jail some of whom will he hung.

A white man was hung, not long before this, for denouncing this inhumanity to man, and another whipped because his heart was moved with sympathy in witnessing the horrid abuse of the negro, guilty of no crime but that of a love of liberty.

This, fellow-freemen, is a most horrid state of things, to exist in a free country. The black man is robbed of his labor by law, and the white man of his by fear; and not a press in the whole South dare proclaim the not (save the Newport News,) lost some tyrant would my, ‘Stop my paper! Both black and white, who labor for a living, are viewed as animals of like caliber and low groveling nature by the wealthy man-owner, except that the cringing white man, who reduces his own wages, and that of his neighbor, by fondling around the slave master, in least respected.

And, such as these are used to set on chase after runaway negroes, to bring them back to work for nothing, that white men may also be compelled to beg for a job, and then, like the negro get only enough to feed and clothe them for it. Oh! sweet institution of slavery! Oh! sweet barbarity! Sweet brutality and murder! Sweet wealth and poverty! Sweet learning and sweet ignorance! Oh! sweet trifling humanity!

You that dare speak out in Kentucky, let us hear your voice! Speak over your own signature like freemen or ask for yourselves a rope for the gallows! The time has come when we should know a skulking Tory from a patriot of liberty and know whether we must live by acting the tyrant, or die for imitating a Washington.

The Liberator

The Liberator

Collection: The Liberator
Publication: The Liberator
Date: January 2, 1857
Title: From The Newport (KY.) News. Negro Insurrection


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