The National Era
Unsigned Article
Washington, D.C.: 13 May 1852


Adopted by the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, at its annual meeting in New York, May 11th, 1852.

  Resolved, That American Slavery develops cumulative evidence of its sinfulness, its hostility to the peace, union, and prosperity of the country, its disastrous influence upon the religion, social order, literature, and renown of the nation; and therefore all who uphold or approve it, uphold or approve a system inimical to the welfare of man, and hateful in the sight of God.

  2. That the continuance of Slavery at this day, in this Republic, with the number of slaves augmented from half a million to three millions—when our fathers in obtaining their own freedom solemnly declared to the world that "all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and added, with the solemnity of an oath, "for the support of this DECLARATION, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our SACRED HONOR"—is a reproach to the memory of the Revolutionary patriots, a mockery of Democratic Republicanism, and an insult to the Ruler of Nations.

  3. That nearly allied to Slavery, in meanness and turpitude, is the spirit of CASTE, under the influence of which our colored fellow-citizens are debarred an equality with other citizens before the law, and the opportunity of rising in the community according to their talents, industry, and moral character; a spirit the more reprehensible, as we invite to these shores, and admit to all the occupations of society, immigrants of every complexion, condition, and religion, from the old world, many of whom possess less Anglo-Saxon blood than do our proscribed fellow-countrymen.

  4. That whereas the Fugitive Slave Act is, in the opinion of Chief Justice HORNBLOWER, and other eminent jurists, unconstitutional, and, according to the first opinion of DANIEL WEBSTER, enacted in opposition to the "plain import" of that instrument; and whereas it not only authorizes seizure without process, trial without a jury, consignment to Southern prison-houses upon ex parte testimony, without opportunity of defence, but punishes humanity as a crime, and can be enforced only by outraging all the charities of life and the great principles of the common law—it is a "Bill of Abominations," and its authors, advocates, and enforcers, deserve the severest condemnation, while the Act itself should be everywhere disobeyed and execrated.

  5. That while we would throw no obstacle in the way of our colored citizens emigrating to Sierra Leon, Liberia, California, the West Indies, Canada, or any other portion of the globe, as their enterprise, business, or inclination, may lead them in common with other citizens; and while we will aid them in the accomplishment of their own wishes, we will ever discountenance and oppose all schemes, whether devised by State or National Governments or Colonization societies, of coercive expatriation, and all efforts to place the people of color in such positions that, as a choice of evils, they will consent to leave the land of their birth and their chosen residence.

  6. That we deeply sympathize with our colored brethren throughout the whole land, bond and free, in the peculiar circumstances of trial in which they are placed by the cupidity, tyranny, and contempt of large portions of the people of this country, and that we solemnly pledge to them our best efforts to vindicate their rights, to redress their wrongs, while we exhort them to place implicit confidence in the promises of Him who has declared that he is no respecter of persons, that he is the God of the oppressed; and that he will break the rod of the oppressor.

  7. That while we honor those Legislators and Ministers who have been true to freedom, we believe that the political and ecclesiastical partisans who have proved recreant to the cause of liberty and humanity have forfeited all just claim to the confidence of the people, and that no reasonable expectation can be indulged in the prevalence and success of republican or Christian institutions, until our citizens carry out the principle of the Declaration of Independence, and the precepts of the sermon on the Mount.

  8. That we call upon the women of this country for their persuasive influence in the great work of emancipating their sex from the degradation and miseries of slavery, and for their effective aid in the cause of universal liberty, reminding them what it was ELIZABETH HEYRICK who demonstrated to Wilberforce the duty and safety of immediate emancipation; and that, in the recent work of HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, we have a portraiture of American Slavery that is read by tens of thousands, causing very many of them to weep and pray, and resolve that they will strive, while life shall last, for its overthrow and annihilation.

  9. That the example of the humane and disinterested advocates of Freedom among the editorial and literary corps is a just rebuke to the subservient individuals and societies who have meanly expurgated their own works, or the works of others, of all sentiments denunciatory of slavery, lest they should be denounced by slaveholders and their apologists.

  10. That the thanks of this meeting be given to the friends of the oppressed in Canada, for acting the part of Good Samaritans toward the unhappy subjects of oppression who have fled to them for refuge, and to the friends of impartial liberty in England, Canada, the West Indies, and elsewhere, who have strengthened the hands of American abolitionists; and that we entreat them, while they deservedly rebuke their own countrymen who, on taking up their abode with us, prove recreant to the Anti-Slavery cause, to be equally faithful to Americans among them who affect to be the friends and advocates of Emancipation, while silent or opposed to the cause at home.

  11. That for the sake of the slave, for the prosperity of the country, and for the good of the church of Christ, we earnestly desire the union of all abolitionists, and their harmonious action in behalf of their colored brethren, believing that the highest obligations rest upon the people of these States to remove Slavery by moral and political action, and being determined, in the fear of God, and in sympathy with every friend of humanity who will cooperate with us, so far as the means shall be furnished, to enlist the pulpit and the press in the cause of the suffering and the dumb, to aim at a purification of the churches from all participation in the guilt of slavery, to encourage the labor of freemen rather than that of slaves by giving a preference to their productions, sparing no exertions to bring the whole nation to speedy repentance—our trust for victory being in GOD, through whom TRUTH, JUSTICE, REASON, and HUMANITY, must and will gloriously triumph.