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We can furnish no accurate estimate of the proportion of negroes that attend divine worship on the Sabbath, taking the slave-holding states together. From an extensive observation, however, we venture to say, that not a twentieth part attend! Thousands and thousands heur not the sound of the gospel, or ever enter a church from one year to another.
We may now inquire if they enjoy the privileges of the gospel, in private, their own houses, and on their own plantations? Again we return a negative answer. They have no bibles to read at their own fire-sides-no family altars—and when in affliction, sickness or death, they have no ministers to address to them the consolations of the gospel,nor to bury them with solemn and appropriate services. Sometimes a kind master will perform. these offices. If the master is pious, the house servants alone attend family worship, and frequently few or none of these.
Here and there a master feels interested for the salvation of his servants, and is attempting something towards it, &c. We rejoice that there are such, and that the number is increasing. In general, we may however remark, that it does not enter into the arrangement of plantations, to make provision for their religous instruction ; and so far as masters are engaged in this work, an almost unbroken silence reigns over the vast field.
We feel warranted, therefore, in the conclusion, that the negroes are destitute of the privileges of the gospel, and must continue to be so, if nothing more is done for them.
Testimony of the Rev. C. C. Jones. The Rev. C. C. Jones, in a sermon preached be. fore two associations of Planters in Georgia, in
Generally speaking, they (the slaves) appear to us to be without God and without hope in the world, a NATION OF HEATHENS in our very midst. We cannot cry out against the Papist for withholding theScriptures from the common people, and keeping them in ignorance of the way of life, for we WITHHOLD the Bible from our servants, and keep them in ignorance of it, while we will not use the means to have it read and explained to them. The cry of our perishing servants comes up to us from
the sultry plains as they bend at their toil—it comes up from their humble cottages when they return at evening to rest their weary limbs-it comes up to us from the midst of their ignorance, and superstition, and adultery and lewdness.
Testimony of the Charleston Observer. A writer in a late number of this paper, says :
Let us establish missionaries among our negroes, who, in view of religious knowledge, are as debasingly ignorant as any one on the coast of Africa; for I hazard the assertion, that throughout the bounds of our synod, there are at least one hundred thousand slaves, speaking the same language as ourselves, who never HEARD of the plan of salvation by a Redeemer.
Testimony of the Western Luminary: A writer in the Western Luminary, a respectable religious paper in Lexington, Kentucky, says:
1 proclaim it abroad to the Christian world, that heathenism is as real in the slave States as it is in the South Sea Islands, and that our negroes are as justly objects of attention to the American and other boards of foreign missions, as the Indians of the western wilds. What is it constitutes heather ism? Is it to be destitute of a knowledge of God-of his holy word-never to have heard scarcely a sentence of it read through life--to know little or nothing of the history, character, instruction and mission of Jesus Christ—to be almost totally devoid of moral knowledge and feeling, of sentiments, of probity, truth, and chastity ? If this constitutes heathenism, then are there thousands, millions of heathens, in our beloved land. There is one topic to which I will allude, which will serve to establish the heathenism of this population. I allude to the universal licentiousness which prevails. It may be said emphatically that chastity is no virtue among them—that its violation neither injures female character in their own estimation, or that of their master or mistress. No instruction is ever given-no censure pronounced. I speak not of the world ; I SPEAK OF CHRISTIAN FAMILIES GENERALLY.
Testimony of J. A. Thome, of Kentucky, Licentiousness. I shall 'not speak of the far South, whose sons are fast melting away under the unblushing profligacy which prevails. I allude to the slave-holding West. It is well known that the slave lodgings (I refer now to village slaves) are exposed to the entrance of strangers every hour of the night, and that the sleeping apartments of both sexes are common.
It is also a fact, that there is no allowed intercourse between the families and servants after the work of the day is over. The family, assembled for the evening, enjoy a conversation elevating and instructive. But the poor slaves are thrust out ; no ties of sacred home ihrown around them; no moral instruction to compensate for the toils of the day; no intercourse as of man with man; and should one of the younger members of the family, led by curiosity, steal out into the filthy kitchen, the child is speedily called back, thinking itself happy if it escape an angry rebuke. Why is this? The dread of moral contamination. Most excellent reason ; but it reveals a horrid picture. The slaves, cut off from all community of feeling with their masters, roam over the vila lage streets, shocking the ear with their vulgar jestings, and voluptuous songs, or opening their kitchens to the reception of the neighboring blacks, they pass the evening in gambling, dancing, drinking, and the most obscene conversation, kept up until the night is far spent—then crown the scene with indiscriminate debauchery. Where do these things occur ? In the kitchens of church members and elders.
Testimony of the Rev. J. D. Paxton. Some slaves have, indeed, a marriage ceremony performed. It is, however, usually done by one of their own color, and, of course, is not a legal transaction. And if done by a person legally authorized to perform marriages, still it would have no authority, because the law does not recognize marriage among the slaves, so as to clothe it with the rights and immunities which it wears among citizens. The owner of either party might, the next day or hour, break up the connexion in any way he pleased. In fact, these connexions have no protection,
and are so often broken up by sales and transfers and removals, that they are by the slaves often called 'taking up together. The sense of marriage fidelity must be greatly weakened, if not wholly destroyed, by such a state of things. The effect is most disastrous.
But there is another circumstance which deserves our notice. What effect is likely to be produced on the morals of the whites, from having about them, and under their absolute authority, female slaves who are deprived of the strongest motives to purity, and exposed to peculiar temptations to opposite conduct! The condition of female slaves is such, that promises and threatenings and management can hardly fail to conquer them. They are entirely dependent on their master. They have no way to make a shilling, to procure any article they need. Like all poor people they are fond of finery, and wish to imitate those who are above them. What, now, are presents and kind treatment, or the reverse, if they are not complying, likely to effect on such persons! And the fact that their children, should they have any through such intercourse, may expect better treatment from so near relations, may have its influence. That the vice prevails to a most shameful extent, is proved from the rapid increase of mulattoes. Oh, how many have fallen before this temptation; so many, that it has almost ceased to be a shame to fall! Oh, how many parents, may trace the impiety and licentiousness and shame of their prodigal sons, to the temptations found in the female slaves of their own or neighbors' households! Irregular habits are thus formed, which often last through life. And many a lovely and excellent woman, confiding in vows of affection and fidelity, trusting to her power over her devoted lover, has, after uniting her fate with his, and giving him all that woman has to give, found, when too late, how incorrigible are those habits of roving desire, formed in youth, and kept alive by the temptations and facilities of the slave system.
Testimony of the Rev. John Rankin. The Rev. John Rankin has the following, among other statements, on this “ delicate subject :" Again, slaves, in consequence of the manner in which
they are raised, are generally prone to vicious indulg. ence, and many of them are exceedingly profligate : their master's children often mingle with them, and not only witness their vicious practices, but also listen to their lascivious conversation, and thus from infancy they become familiar with almost every thing wicked and obscene. And this, in connexion with easy access, becomes a strong temptation to lewdness. Hence it often happens, that the master's children practise the same vices which prevail among his slaves; and even the master himself is liable to be overwhelmed by the floods of temptation. And in some instances the father and his sons are involved in one common ruin ; nor do the daughters always escape this impetuous fountain of pollution. Were it necessary, I could refer you to several instances of slaves actually seducing the daughters of their masters! Such seductions sometimes happen even in the most respectable slaveholding families !
Testimony of S. A. Forral, Esq. Ne sses, when young and likely, are often employed as wet nurses by the white people ; as also, by either the planter or his friends, to administer to their sensual desires. This frequently is a matter of speculation ; for if the offspring, a mulatto, be a handsome female, 800 or 1000 dollars may may be obtained for her in the New Orleans market. It is an occurrence of no uncommon nature, to see a Christian father sell his own daughter, and the brother his own sister, by the same father.
BEARING OF SLAVERY UPON THE MORAL
CHARACTER OF SLAVEHOLDERS.
Testimony of Thomas Jefferson. The whole commerce between master and slave, is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the