Free Produce (Article)

Dublin Core

Title

Free Produce (Article)

Description

FREE PRODUCE.--The editor of the Standard thinks he could discern "a marked change" in the opinions of the Pennsylvania Abolitionists, on the subject of Free Produce, as manifested at our annual meeting. It seemed to him that their faith was not so strong as formerly, and that their conviction of the duty of abstinence from slave-grown products, had dwindled into a mere preference for the product of free labor where it could b conveniently obtained. We think that he has underrated the faith and the zeal of the Pennsylvania Abolitionists, in this matter, and are half inclined to suspect that his "wish was father to his thought." We readily, though sorrowfully, acknowledge that the principle in question is not so generally received and so faithfully applied, as its importance demands, but in justice to a large body of Pennsylvania Abolitionists, we must say that a strong testimony has, in this respect, been borne by them, against American Slavery, and that they are actively exerting themselves to enlist the consciences and hearts of the friends of the slave generally, in this department of our w[?]k. We trust that they will be increasingly diligent and hopeful. We are sure that such zeal and earnestness and theirs will never be satisfied with "a growing conviction that" it is "very well to avoid the produce" of the slave's extorted and unrequited toil, "when it can be done conveniently;" when, without much trouble, one can feed himself with sugar, and clothe himself with cotton, which is not moistened with the tears and stained with the blood of the slave. As to the discussion of this subject at the recent meeting, different opinions were of course entertained by the numerous auditors. We believe that the friends of Free Produce generally felt that the cause had not suffered loss by it, and that the attempt to maintain the rightfulness of such a support of Slavery as is afforded by the purchase of its fruits, proved unsuceessful. We hope that they will show the strength and vigor of their [?] by their works. 

We copy the above from the Pennsylvania Freeman, cheerfully submitting to be corrected if we are in the wrong. The impression we received, however, came from the expressed doubts of, at least, two somewhat prominent individuals who had hitherto been advocates of the Free Produce doctrine, but who are now questioning whether that doctrine could be insisted on as a principle. We thought we saw and felt that there was more doubt in the assembly than we had ever before remarked a similar meetings in Pennsylvania, as to the correctness of the position of our free-produce friends. It seemed to us that many seemed to feel the weight of the objection--that that which it was acknowledged could not be carried out, could not be insisted on as a principle; and that the objction was not answered by the reply, that if carried out we must cease to exist. For if a principle, and therefore a duty, we should act in obedience to it though at the expense of life. "It is necessary to live," said a suitor for royal bounty to Cardinal Richilieu. "I do not see the necessity," replied the Cardinal. It is not necessary to live, but it is necessary to do right.

Source

National Anti-Slavery Standard 10:25, p. 98

Date

11.15.1849

Citation

“Free Produce (Article),” No Stain of Tears and Blood, accessed March 5, 2024, http://productsoffreelabor.com/items/show/83.

Output Formats

Embed

Copy the code below into your web page