Communications. Who Does Not Pity the Slave?

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Communications. Who Does Not Pity the Slave?



Who is the slave, that we should pity him? The slave! Knowest thou not, kind reader, that a slave is a man, and at the same time a chattel, a thing—the presumed property of his fellow-man—subject, like other property to be bought and sold—subject to be separated from all that is considered near and dear in life—not by death only—but by the caprice or discretion of his fellow-man. Who, then, does not pity the slave? I would that the question could be answered, “that person cannot be found.”

That the poor slave is pitied—truly, and sincerely pitied, but by a very few, is painfully evident. Perhaps that person cannot be found who will say that he does not pity him. But where's the evidence? Certainly, it is not in saying so, and then showing no evidence in conduct. It is not in calling the war with Mexico unholy, and unjust, and instigated by the dark, demoniac spirit of Slavery, and then joining an army for the overthrow of the Mexicans, and the extension of slave territory. It is not in calling those laws cruel, and oppressive, which in their operation, imprison a Torrey, or brand a Walker, and then make no sacrifice, or do nothing for their families. It is not in calling slaveholders man-stealers, and then aid them to the highest official rank in our nation.

It is not in professing to be an Abolitionist, and giving no other evidence of being one than pointing out the imperfections of those engaged in the Anti-Slavery cause. And I am unable to discover satisfactory evidence of any very great devotion to the cause of bleeding, suffering humanity, or genuine pity for the slave, in him, or her, who will preach, pray, vote, sing, talk, and write against Slavery, with a stolen shirt upon his back, or stolen dress upon her person, and stolen rice, sugar, or coffee, in his or her stomach. STOLEN, did I say? Yes. Worse than stolen. For, is not the paying the slaveholder for the products of slave-labor, doing more to perpetuate this nefarious system, than the stealing such products would? Most certainly. Charge me not with being unreasonably severe in the accusation which I have brought against those who justify this abominable iniquity. What is it that sustains Slavery; feeds it, supports it, keeps it alive? The money which thou and the multitude pay for the avails of Slavery. We read, from tolerable good authority, I think, “Go not with the multitude to do evil.”

Hast thou not done so in the matter under consideration? Think of it; and “Go and sin no more.” Suppose I am the slave-owner, and my father gave me thy wife—a title to her, I mean, as my property. I have a cotton plantation, and this wife of thine labors upon this plantation—grows the cotton which is afterwards converted into shirts. A man comes to me, and says I most give up that woman, that she may go to her husband.—The fact comes to my knowledge that this agent, and the man represented to be her husband, have upon their backs the identical cotton which this woman has helped raise. What is the natural answer? “Why, what will you do for shirts? ” More anon.



Lorenzo Mabbett


National Anti-Slavery Standard




Lorenzo Mabbett, “Communications. Who Does Not Pity the Slave?,” No Stain of Tears and Blood, accessed June 21, 2024,

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