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The Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts),

October 1, 1831




        The account of the treatment of a white gentleman in Virginia, published on our first page from the New-York Daily Sentinel, is a disgrace to civilization. It is, too, an awful commentary upon the condition of the South.


        The narrator, it appears by the tenor of his disclosures, is not a believer in christianity, and consequently he sneers at its professors. They richly merit those sneers, who are slave owners. The church, in the slave states, is full of all uncleanness, and read with innocent blood. Its rulers and members constantly trade in the souls of men. Ministers and people, with a few exceptions, alike steal and murder, and will alike go down to hell and to the blackness of darkness forever, unless they speedily repent.


        The fact must now be self-evident to the dullest observer, that the lives of the planters are in imminent peril—and they know it. Their refuges of lies are swept away, behind which they have so long and so successfully taken shelter. The words ‘Freedom,’ ‘Equal Rights,’ ‘ALL MEN ARE BORN EQUAL,’ if uttered in the presence of a slave, turn their cheeks pale, and cause a trembling through all their joints. Not one of them rests easy upon his pillow at night—dismay is universal. So unrelenting, indeed, is their tyranny, and so excessive their terror, that many of them openly advocate the expediency of putting the whole black population to the sword!! This bloody proposition is supported even by females!


        The Indians of North America were never more savage, blood-thirsty and revengeful, than our southern slaveholders, as [p. 104] a body. Look at the letter copied into our Slavery Record—that will sustain our assertion. Acts of barbarity are there recorded, which exhibit the ferocity of tigers. Yet we owe their development to the accidental sojourn of a New-England man in that quarter! How many more of a similar tragic character have been committed, ‘No eye may search—no tongue may challenge or reveal!’



Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 103-104.

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