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Pro-Slavery Arguments
Digital History ID 276

Author:   E.N. Elliott


In the concluding remarks of the volume Cotton is King, the volume's editor argues that antislavery represents an attempt by Northerners to divert attention from their own society's mounting problems of inequality, social breakdown, and societal unrest.


...Many, however, in the North are engaged in the [antislavery] crusade to divert attention from their own plague-spot--Agrarianism. We all recollect the Patroon of Albany and the Van Rensellaer mobs,--the Fourierism and Socialism of the free States, and the ever-active antagonism of labor and capital.... For the time perhaps they have succeeded in hounding on the rabble in full cry after the South, and in diverting attention from themselves? But how will they be in the end.... Will they spare the hoarded millions of the money-prices and nabobs of the North?... Yet capitalists, ye merchant princes, ye master manufacturers, you may excite to frenzy your Jacobin clubs...but remember! the guillotine is suspended over your own necks!!...

Ye people of the North, our brothers by blood, by political associations, by a community of interest; why will ye be led away by a cruel and misguided philanthropy, or by designing demagogues? So long as you confine yourself to making or hearing abolition speeches, or forming among yourselves antislavery neither injure nor benefit the slaves.... But when you attempt to circulate among them incendiary documents, intended to render them unhappy, and discontented with their lot, it becomes our duty to protect them against your machinations. This is the sole reason why most, if not all the slave States, have forbidden the slaves to be taught to read. But for your interference, most of our slaves would have been able to read the word of God for themselves, instead of being so dependent, as they now are, on that oral instruction, which is now so generally afforded them....

Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute

Additional information: E.N. Elliott, ed., Cotton Is King

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