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mercial agents in both countries and carry out fully the same principle. Our treaty with Prussia of 1785, by the 9th and 25th Articles, provides to carry out this duty.
The republic of the United States is open to every people of every nation, to kings and their exiled subjects, to the Pope, Jesuits, priests and to their anathematized victims, to Christians, to pagans, to Turks, to Hindoos, in short to all men without limitation. And not one of them can be delivered up by any officer of the state or national governments except in pursuance of a treaty, if any one is a fugitive criminal. The Supreme Court of the United States have decided that the President can only deliver up criminals to a foreign power in cases provided for by treaty.
SECTION THIRTIETH. OF SLAVERY AND THE SLAVE TRADE.
But this duty does not prevent a nation from liberating slaves escaping to its jurisdiction, or freeing slaves on board a slaver driven into a foreign harbor by stress of weather or any other cause. Indeed it is a duty to free all persons improperly restrained of their liberty that come into a nation's jurisdiction. Great Britain acts on this principle, and correctly applied it to the American
ship Creole, and the self-emancipated slaves on board. The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of the Amistad is lo the same effect. In the Parliament of Great Britain it is avowed as a permanent rule of action. At the Congress of Vienna the allied sovereigns resolved to lend their aid to suppress the African slave trade. This is a noble resolution and worthy of this enlightened age. Great Britain and the United States have by treaty bound themselves to maintain a naval force on the African coast to prevent their respective subjects and citizens from embarking in the infamous trafic. By the laws of the United States to our citizens this trafic is made piracy, and it is punished as such. It is piracy by the moral law of nations. It is the duty of all nations to use their best efforts to suppress this inhuman commerce in human flesh. Our republic, and the leading nations of Europe, are most laudably laboring to destroy the African slave trade.
The slave trade originated abroad, and is European so far as America has been connected with it. Some of the American colonies resisted the introduction of slaves, a trade forced upon them by foreign cupidity, and they complained of it in the American Declaration of Independence.
President Tyler, in a Message to Congress, in 1843, speaking of the African slave trade, appropriately says:
“It originated at a period long before the United States became independent, and was carried on within our borders in opposition to the most earnest remonstrance and expostulations of some of the colonies in which it was most actively prosecuted. Its character thus fixed by common consent and general practice, could only be changed by the positive assent of each and every nation, expressed either in the form of municipal law, or conventional arrangement. The United States led the way in efforts to suppress it. They claimed no right to dictate to others, but they resolved, without waiting for the cooperation of other powers, to prohibit it to their own citizens, and to visit its perpetration by them with condign punishment.”
Our statesmen and patiots have almost in a body declared their opposition to slavery.
Washington, speaking of slavery, says: “I can say, that there is no man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it; but there is but one effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by the Legislative authority, and this as far as my suffrage will go shall not be wanting.” In another letter he says: “It being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery may be abolished by law.”
Thomas Jefferson thus declared his opinion of slavery in his Notes on Virginia: “The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions; the most unremitted despotism on the one part, and degrading submission on the other. Our children see this and learn to imitate it.” “The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to his worst passions, and thus nursed, educated and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half of the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of one part, and the amor patriae of the other. For if a slave have a country, in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another; in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as far as depends on his individual endeavors to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him. With the morals of the people their industry is also destroyed. For in a warm climate no man will labor for himself who can make another labor for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God 2 That they are not to be violated but with his wrath ? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; and that his justice cannot sleep forever.” In 1814, Jefferson, after affirming that his opinions against slavery were confirmed, says: “The love of justice and the love of country plead equally the cause of these people; and it is a moral reproach to us that they should have pleaded it so long in vain.” In the same spirit of opposition to slavery the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Prigg v. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, (16 Peters R. 611,) says: “No nation is bound to regard or recognize the state of slavery as to foreign slaves found within its territorial dominions, when opposed to its own policy, in favor of other nations where slavery is recognized. If it does it, it is a matter of comity, and not as a mat. ter of international right.” This conforms to the