Rev. Richard Allen - Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. American Colonization Society. William Penn. Quakers. John Newton. William Wilberforce. Missouri Compromise, 1820. Lift up the standard of emancipation . . . . till every chain be broken,
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Lift up the standard of emancipation
. . . . till every chain be broken,
and every bondman set free! . . .
I do not wish to think,or to speak,
or write, with moderation. No! no!
Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm . . . tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen . . . .I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.
Wilmot Proviso, 1846
Compromise of 1850
Fugitive Slave Law, 1850
He tried his utmost to corrupt the pure principles my grandmother had instilled. . . . I turned from him with disgust and hatred. But he was my master, I was compelled to live under the same roof with him.
He told me I was his property; that I must be subject to his will in all things. . . . But where could I turn for protection? No matter whether the slave girl be as black as ebony or as fair as her mistress. In either case, there is no shadow of law to protect her from insult, from violence, or even from death. . . .
Southern women often marry a man knowing that he is the father of many little slaves. They do not trouble themselves about it. They regard such children as property, as marketable as the pigs on the plantation; and it is seldom that they do not make them aware of this by passing them into the slave-trader's hands as soon as possible, and thus getting them out of their sight.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
John Brown's raid, Harper's Ferry, 1859
I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible . . . . [which] teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. . . . I have endeavored to act on that instruction. I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons.
I believe that to have interfered, as I
have done,. . . in behalf of His despised
poor, is no wrong, but right. Now, if it
is deemed necessary that I should forfeit
my life for the furtherance of the ends of
justice, and mingle my blood farther with
the blood of my children and the blood of
millions in this slave country whose rights
are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and
unjust enactments, I say let it be done.
A counterfeiting law-factory, standing half in a slave land and half in a free!
What kind of laws for free men can you expect from that?
Henry David Thoreau
With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and the unbared heads,
With . . . the sombre faces,
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn