Frederick Douglass

Slaveholders in the Free States

The following statement is selected from the last annual report of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society:

“Probably in every free state, there are some who own slaves in the South. We do not include Southern Slaveholders who reside at the North, of whom there are few, but native born citizens of the free states who own slave plantations. How many there are of these miscreants, we have no means of computing.”

A crier in the Christian Mirror, printed at Portland, says: “We have those in Maine, who are large owners of slaves at the South, whose slaves are under taskmasters.”

There are members of churches in the city of New York and vicinity, and doubtless in other places at the North, who own slaves at the South. Northern merchants have owned plantations and slaves in Cuba and elsewhere, and probably do so still. And numerous are the instances in which Northern merchants, members of churches as well as others, by their attorneys or other agents seize slaves on execution for debt, and either cause them to be bound out or sold, so that they may pocket the proceeds.

Our Northern preachers and politicians, who say, “What have we to do with slavery here? may, in the above facts, find an answer to their question.”

Collection: African American Newspapers
Publication: Frederick Douglass Paper
Date: October 30, 1851
Title: Slaveholders in the Free States
Location: Rochester, New York

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