• <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> General George Custer's Officer, James McLean Steele, 1868-1869 Diary. $30,000 - $50,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Exceptionally Rare Anti-Slavery Broadside, “A Crusade Against Slavery”. $4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Revolutionary War General Richard Montgomery, Exceptionally Rare War-Date ANS. $4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Albumen Photograph of the "Scouts of the Plains," from Cody's Personal Collection. $8,000 - $10,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Jefferson Davis, CDV, Signed and Dated to his Imprisonment in Fortress Monroe. $4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Robert E. Lee, CDV Signed Twice. $2,000 - $4,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> “Si Clack: Co. Q, 100th Indiana Vols.,” Written & Illustrated by Civil War Veteran, P.M. Radford. $2,500 - $3,500
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> General Meade Inspecting the 5th Corps, Civil War-Era Sketch by Alfred R. Waud. $2,000 - $3,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Rare Huey Newton Black Panther Party Poster. $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Lloyd's New Political Chart, 1861. $800 - $1,200
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> William J. Ferguson, “Our American Cousin” Cast Member, Lincoln Assassination Archive. $8,000 - $10,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Albert Einstein, Signed Photograph in his Favorite Leather Jacket. $2,000 - $4,000
  • <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> ACCADEMIA ERCOLANENSE DI ARCHEOLOGIA. <i>Ornati delle Pareti</i>, Naples 1796. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> AMERICAS. <i>Il Gazzettiere Americano…</i>, Livorno, 1763. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> BARROW, John. <i>Travels in China…</i>, London, 1804. £600 to £800
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> BENOIST, Felix. <i>Album de L'Ile de Jersey</i>…, Paris & Nantes, 1870. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> GAIL, Wilhelm. <i>Erinnerungen aus Spanien,</i> Munchen, [ca. 1837]. £1,800 to £2,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> HANCARVILLE, Pierre d'. <i>Recherches sur l'origine…,</i> London, Appleyard, 1785. £1,5000 to £2,000
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> HULLEY, T. <i>Six Views of Cheltenham.</i> London, R. Ackerman, 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> JEFFERSON, Thomas. <i>Notes on the state of Virginia</i>…, London, 1787. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> LEWIS, John F. <i>Lewis's illustrations of Constantinople…,</i> London, McLean, 1837. £3,000 to £4,000
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> MARQUARD, Johann. <i>Tractatus politico-juridicus,</i> Frankfurt, 1662. £1,800 to £2,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> MAUND, Benjamin. <i>The botanic garden,</i> London, 1825-42. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> Willughby, Francis; John Ray (ed.). <i>Ornithologiæ libri tres</i>. London, John Martyn, 1676. £1,500 to £2,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Thomas Paine, Autograph Letter Signed to Ira Allen, on a rendezvous at the Boston–a Paris café for political exiles, 1790s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Paul Revere, Autograph Document Signed, certifying the discharge of a captain from his regiment, 1779. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Pay order to express rider Jonathan Park to warn Congress of arriving British warships, 1776. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Autograph Letter Signed to Thomas Sim Lee, stating that the government is not authorized to intervene in the Citizen Genêt affair, 1793. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to Nathanael Greene, suggesting a way to obtain money for the Continental Army, 1780. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Andrew Jackson, Autograph Letter Signed to Senator John H. Eaton, on the Seminole Wars & Spain’s duplicity, 1819. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Harry S. Truman, Photograph Signed and Inscribed, showing a false newspaper headline about the 1948 presidential election. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Benjamin Franklin, vellum Document Signed, as President of the Supreme Executive Council of PA, 1786. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Henry Dearborn, two Autograph Manuscript items including a drawing of Bunker’s Hill, unsigned, 1818. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Andrew Jackson, <i>A New Map of the United States,</i> lithograph, circa 1828. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Lewis, Meriwether, and William Clark. <i>History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, To the Sources of the Missouri…</i> 1814, first edition. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Poe, Edgar Allan. <i>Tales.</i> New York: Wiley And Putnam, 1845. First edition, first printing, first issue. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Dürer, Albrecht, and Johann Stabius. [Map of the World as a Sphere.] [Vienna,] 1781 (From Woodblocks Cut In 1515). $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Ferdinand, Franz — Lala Deen Dayal [Photographer]. VISIT OF H.I. & H.R. THE ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND OF AUSTRIA ESTE TO HYDERABAD (DECCAN), JANUARY 1893. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Manuscript Letter Signed ("Yours Truly A. Lincoln") as Sixteenth President to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles Regarding William Johnson. $200,000 to $300,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2003 Issue

Slavery in the United States <br> Introduction

Pauldingintroduction

none


SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES

By J. K. Paulding
Published in New York in 1836

INTRODUCTION.

The subject of slavery, at all times one of extreme delicacy in the United States has lately assumed a vast and alarming importance, in consequence of the proceedings of the advocates of im­mediate emancipation, who have denounced it as utterly at war with the law of God and the rights of nature. It has become the fruitful theme of cal­umny, declamation, and contention; the stalking horse of political parties and fanatical reformers. It has produced lamentable violations of the laws, and disturbed the peace of communities and states. It menaces the disruption of our social system, and tends directly to a separation of the Union. The institution has been assailed on one hand with vio­lence and obloquy; on the other defended with in­vincible determination. The obligations of truth have been sacrificed to unmitigated reproach, and the laws and constitution of the country attempted to be trampled under foot, in the hot pursuit of the rights of humanity. The feelings and good name of millions of our fellow-citizens have been grossly assailed, their rights invaded, their firesides and social institutions disturbed, and their lives endan­gered without any regard to the dictates of our moral code, and religion itself made a pretext for the violation of its own benign precepts. In as­serting the natural rights of one class of men, the constitutional rights of another have been de­nounced as violations of the law of God; and, as if it were impossible to be sincere without becom­ing mad, a ferocious, unrelenting, unbrotherly war­fare has been, still is, waging against a large por­tion of the good citizens of the United States, which, if continued, must inevitably separate this prosperous and happy Union into discordant and conflicting elements, that, instead of co-operating in the one great end of human happiness, will be pro­ductive only of contention and ruin.

In this state of things it is thought that a calm, dispassionate consideration of the subject, on the broad general ground of its influence on the happi­ness of all parties concerned, might not be without its uses at the present moment. The question is pregnant with consequences of deeper interest than any that can occupy the attention of a citizen of the United States, for it involves the peace and in­tegrity of the Union, the condition of millions living, millions yet unborn. It is a question concerning rights and duties of the greatest magnitude, the decision of which must vitally affect the present age, as well as long ages to come. In short, it is a case in which nations are called to the bar, and the two great races of mankind are parties to the issue.

To enter on such a subject with reference to present political contests, or with party views, would disgrace any man, high or low. The suc­cess of any party, however weighty might be its consequences; the triumph of any system of policy however salutary; the elevation of one man or the depression of another—all these are as nothing compared with the final disposition which may be made of this agitating question. It is to decide whether THE UNION SHALL LAST ANY LONGER; that union which all good citizens believe to be the great palladium of their present happiness, and that of their posterity. To this party the writer professes allegiance, and to no other. His great principle, and one that it will be his endeavour to sustain in the following work, is, That no beneficial consequences to any class of mankind, or to the whole universe, can counterbalance the evils that will re­sult to the people of the United States from the dis­solution of the Union, and that, therefore, no project ought ever to be tolerated by them which places it in jeopardy. Whether this principle accords with the nice metaphysical subtilties or abstract dogmas of fanaticism, he neither knows nor cares.

Hitherto, almost all that has appeared on the subject has been on one side. The horrors of sla­very have been depicted in such glowing colours as to blind us to the consequences that may, and assuredly will result from attempting to get rid of it in the summary manner demanded by the advo­cates of immediate abolition, who, one might al­most be tempted to believe, consider it the only evil existing in the world. Regard to the honour of our country; justice to a great body of as upright, honourable, and humane citizens as any nation can boast; respect to the laws of the land, and rev­erence for the constitution, seem to demand that the reverse of the picture should be seen; that the mischiefs to be remedied, the cost of the remedy, and the good to be gained by its application, should be calmly considered, in order that all may, if they please, see for themselves and decide for them­selves, whether, in attempting to get rid of one evil, we may not inflict others of far greater magnitude; whether, in short, by applying rash and unskilful remedies, we may not kill the patient.

It will be perceived, in the course of the follow­ing discussion, that the writer does not consider slavery, as it exists in the United States, an evil of such surpassing enormity as to demand the sacri­fice of the harmony and consequent union of the states, followed by civil contention and servile war, to its removal. If the question were now for the first time to be decided, whether it should be per­mitted to ingraft itself on the institutions of the country, he would assuredly oppose it with a zeal at least equal to that with which he is about to combat the unlawful interference of the abolition­ists. But inasmuch as it is now deeply, rooted in our land, and inseparably intertwined with the in­terests, the habits, the domestic policy, and social relations of a large portion of the people of this Union; inasmuch as it is identified with the con­stitutional rights, and the value of the property of millions of free citizens who will not be persuaded, and cannot be controlled; and, above all, inasmuch as the treatment it may receive must and will deeply affect their peace, safety, and happiness, he is for leaving it to the humanity and discretion of those whom alone it concerns. If it be an evil, let those who cherish bear it. It is their business, not ours, since no duty renders it obligatory on us to go crusading about the world redressing wrongs, real or imaginary, which we had no hand in inflicting. If it reflects dishonour, none of it can fall to our share, since the institution of slavery is guarded by constitutional barriers which can­not be overleaped or broken down, and we have done our part by abolishing it wherever it was within our jurisdiction. If it be a crime to have inherited the property of slaves; if it be a crime to decline divesting themselves of it in a manner which all rational reflecting men believe will be equally pernicious to the master and the slave; if it be a crime to resent, resist, or counteract by every means in their power, any interference with a subject involving all that is dear to men, then let them meet the consequences; but let not us, their kindred, neighbours, and countrymen, become in­struments to scatter the firebrands of fanaticism among them, and lend a helping hand to insurrec­tion and massacre.

Let us not forget that in our furious zeal to give freedom to the blacks, we are laying the axe to the root of the fairest plant of freedom that adorns the New or the Old World; that in our ardour to bring about a questionable good, we are provoking vast and alarming evils; and that there is no precept of religion or morality more inflexible in its ap­plication than that which forbids doing evil that good may ensue. Where the evil is immediate and morally certain, on every ground of reason and experience, and the good remote, contingent, and hypothetical, it is the part of a wise and good man to shrink from thus arrogating to himself the attributes of Omniscience, and pretending to look into futurity. When mankind are gifted with a prophetic inspiration directly derived from Heaven; or when they acquire the prerogative of planning and controlling the economy of the universe, then, and not till then, should they dare to do evil in the presumptuous anticipation that the miseries they may inflict on the living, will be repaid by the hap­piness of those yet unborn.

New-York, Nov. 1835.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. June 12, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Ortelius. Theatrum orbis terrarum. Antwerp, 1570. FIRST EDITION. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Shakespeare, William. The Tragedie of Julius Caesar. London, 1623. 1st appearance in print, Complete from the First Folio. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Ernst, Max. Mr. Knife and Miss Fork. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. June 12, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. June 12, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. $7,000 to $10,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. June 12, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of Winnie-the-Pooh books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. $7,000 to $10,000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions