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Antislavery Poetry from San Francisco

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The Pacific Appeal was the leading African American newspaper on the West Coast during the early 1860s.  A newly-published set of eight antislavery poems from the journal's inaugural 1862 volume captures the sense of expectancy within the African American community for the imminent end of US slavery.  These poems include the work of James Madison Bell, a San Francisco plasterer, brickmason, and poet.  Read more... 
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An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade (XHTML)

A New Year's sermon given by George Lawrence in New York City in 1813, on the fifth anniversary of the banning of slave importation into the United States (New York, 1813). Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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<div class="Section1">
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
  <h3><span style='font-variant:normal !important;text-transform:uppercase'>on
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>DELIVERED</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>on the</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>First Day of
    January, 1813,</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>in the</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>African Methodist Episcopal Church</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>Published by
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>New-York;</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>Printed by
    Hardcastle and Van Pelt</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>No. 86,
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>1813.</b></p>
  <p>[unnumbered blank page]</p>
  <p>            <span style='font-size:10.0pt'>Little is known
    about George Lawrence, who delivered this New Year’s Day oration.  Lawrence was not among the early leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City, which was chartered in 1801 by black members of the John Street Methodist  Church.   There are no further known publications by George Lawrence. 
    Abraham Thompson, who offered a prayer at the beginning of this service, was
    one of the founders of the church and, together with James Varick and Leven
    Smith, one of the first three ordained ministers of this new congregation.  For
    further on the early development of the AME Church in New York City, see Carol
    R. George, <i>Segregated Sabbaths: Richard Allen and the Emergence of
    Independent Black Churches, 1760-1840</i> (New York: Oxford University Press,
    1973) 141-146.</span></p>
  <p><span style='font-size:10.0pt'>                This oration
    is an example of the New Year’s antislavery sermon tradition within the early
    African Methodist Episcopal Church.  For further on this rhetorical tradition
    and similar holiday sermons, see William B. Gravely, “The Dialectic of
    Double-Consciousness in Black American Freedom Celebrations, 1808-1863,” <i>Journal
    of Negro History</i> 67 (Winter 1982) 4:302-317, and Leonard I. Sweet, “The
    Fourth of July and Black Americans in the Nineteenth Century: Northern
    Leadership Opinion Within the Context of the Black Experience,” <i>Journal of
    Negro History</i> 61 (July 1976) 3:256-275.  </span></p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText2">                Lawrence gave his oration on the fifth
    anniversary of the abolition by the United States of slave importation. 
    However, as he notes, this was only a “partial restoration” of rights and a
    pre-condition to the “full fruits of emancipation.” (6) Lawrence sets
    contemporary conditions for blacks against the invocation of a utopian lost
    African civilization.  He reviews the bitter conditions of African enslavement
    and transport to the Americas, even while acknowledging that his audience may
    find confronting this history “excruciatingly painful.” (9) However, knowledge
    of this shared history, he argues, will enable the black and white communities
    to find union and “social love.” (10) Like many black social commenters of the
    period, Lawrence emphasizes black intellectual attainments despite oppressed
    circumstances, writing “the noble mind of a Newton could find room, and to
    spare, within the tenement of many an injured African.” (13) Lawrence concludes
    with a positive and optimistic vision of expanding liberties and social
  <p class="MsoBodyText2">                — Joe Lockard</p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">This is an annotated edition of
    the original text of George Lawrence’s <i>An Oration on the Abolition of the
    Slave Trade</i>, delivered on January 1, 1813 at the African Methodist
    Episcopal Church in New York City.  Original spelling, punctuation and page
    citations have been retained; minor typographic errors have been corrected.</p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">This electronic edition has
    been prepared for the Antislavery Literature Project, Arizona State University, a public education project working in cooperation with the EServer, Iowa State University.   Digitization has been supported by a grant from the Institute for
    Humanities Research, Arizona State University.  </p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">Editorial annotation and
    digitization by Joe Lockard.  All rights reserved by the Antislavery Literature
    Project.  Permission for non-commercial educational use is granted.<br
clear="all" style='page-break-before:always' />
  <h3 align="left" style='text-align:left'><span style='font-variant:normal !important;
font-weight:normal'>[unnumbered page 2]</span></h3>
  <h3><span style='font-variant:normal !important'>&nbsp;</span></h3>
  <h3><span style='font-variant:normal !important'>ORDER OF THE DAY</span></h3>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>________</p>
style='font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The service began with a piece of appropriate Sacred Music, sung under
    the direction of Mr. William Hamilton.</p>
style='font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>A Solemn Address to Almighty God, by the Rev. Abraham Thompson.</p>
style='font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>A Hymn.</p>
style='font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>An Introductory Address, delivered by Mr. Peter Malachi Eagans, who also
    read the Law Abolishing the Slave Trade.</p>
style='font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The Oration, by Mr. George Lawrence.</p>
style='font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>A Hymn.</p>
style='font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>A Solemn Address to Almighty God, by the Rev. William Miller.</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>________</p>
  <p>Samuel Reed, Chairman                                 Daniel
  <p>Peter Williams, jun. Sec.                                 John
  <p>John Marander,                                               William
  <p>William Miller,                                                Robert
  <p>Thomas A Francis,                                          Nicolas
  <p>Francis Williams,                                             George
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[unnumbered page 3]</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center;'><b>AN
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center;'><b>By
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center;'><i>January
    1<sup>st</sup></i>, 1813.</p>
  <p class="MsoBodyTextIndent">I rise to address the venerable appearance of this
    crowded audience, the dignity which I behold in the countenances of so many in
    this general assembly, the solemnity of the occasion upon which we have met
    together, joined to a consideration of the part I am to take in the important
    business of this day, fills me with an awe hitherto unknown, and heightens the
    sense which I have ever had of my unworthiness to filled this sacred stage.</p>
  <p>But allured by the call of some
    of our respected committee with whose request it is always my greatest pleasure
    to comply.  I almost forgot my want of ability to perform what they required;
    in this situation I find my only support in assuring myself that a generous
    people will not severely censure what they know was well intended, though its
    want of merit should prevent them from applauding it.</p>
  <p>And I pray that my sincere
    attachment to the interest of Africa and the descendants of Africans, and my
    hearty detestation of every design formed against her liberty and justice, may
    be admitted as some apology for my appearance in this place.</p>
  <p>I have always from my earliest
    youth rejoiced in the felicity of my fellow men, and have ever</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 4]</p>
  <p>considered it as the indispensable duty of every member of
    society to promote as far as in him lies the prosperity of every individual,
    but more especially of the community to which he belongs: and also as a
    faithful subject to the abolition of the slave trade, to use our utmost
    endeavours to detect, and having detected, strenuously to oppose every
    traitorous plot which its enemies may devise for its destruction.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[unnumbered page 5]</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>AN ORATION</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>&amp;c.</b></p>
  <p><i>Respected Audience</i>,</p>
  <p><b><span style='text-transform:
uppercase'>We</span></b> have again assembled with warm and grateful hearts, to
    celebrate our annual anniversary.  It presents a period rendered venerable by
    the wise and humane fathers of our liberties, who laid the foundation of the
    happiness we now enjoy, and plucked from the very jaws of destruction, our
    devoted mother country.  Gratitude then towards that veteran band of patriots,
    whose patriotism was crowned with justice, and shod with humanity, calls
    aloud.  And shall we be backward in showing it?  No, God forbid!  The name of a
    Sharp, a Pitt, and a Fox, as the strong tower of our defence, cemented and made
    still stronger by the aid of many others, shall ever dwell with delight on our
    memories, and be treasured up in our hearts as the choicest gifts of heaven;
    for heaven gave them and heaven again shall receive them.</p>
  <p>In our behalf they struggled long
    against a host of powerful and malignant enemies, who being supplied with the
    wisdom of Satan, and bound by the impulse of avarice, made an almost
    impenetrable defence: but that great and alwise being who holds the reigns of
    justice and destiny of nations, using them as arrows of his divine will, they
    passed the brazen walls of their opponents, and brought to light the august era
    of this thrice blessed and ever memorable day.  Animated by the reverse of our
    hard fortunes, my brethren, and beholding the many blessings incident to our
    present situations: anticipating </p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 6]</p>
  <p>the advantages necessarily arising from the good work
    already begun, as we verge towards the summit of our happiness, it becomes us
    to make public our joy, for which purpose we are convened.  We now celebrate
    the fifth anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and a partial
    restoration of one of those rights most congenial to the human heart, it
    becomes the grand epoch of our boast; a day joyful to every bosom through whose
    veins our noble blood does flow, we hail it as the birth day of justice and
    triumph over atrocious vice; we rejoice for a nation rising from the dark and
    dreary gulph of desponding servitude and shining forth conspicuously as she ascends
    the lofty mount of arts and sciences, giving presages of future greatness; and
    should we not rejoice when we consider that we make a part of this nation,
    although we were never exposed to all the pierceing blasts of adversity that
    they were, yet does the refulgent beams of prosperity, delate our hearts with
    joy.  We rejoice for the abolition of the slave trade; and our joy overflows
    when we reflect that this heaven born plant shall bring forth the full fruits
    of emancipation, and divulge that bright genius so long smothered in slavery.</p>
  <p>            The subject of this day calls for our serious
    attention; at the recurrence of this season we rejoice, not because we have
    gained a victory over our enemies by the arts of war, or that we have become
    rich and opulent, no, but it is the epoch that has restored to us our long lost
    rights.  It is a subject congenial with my heart, and I cannot but regret my
    inability to do it justice, although confident, that was my talents equal to
    the most eloquent and profound orator that ever graced the world, I could not
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 7]</p>
  <p>expound it.  The task is arduous—even experience might
    shrink before its magnitude.  The field is very extensive, presenting to view
    various objects of infinite magnitude; such as past sufferings, present mitigation,
    and future happiness.</p>
  <p>            All buoyed up to sign on the sea of reflection,
    the first forms a melancholy spectacle; a scene fraught with misery and
    horror.  We behold Asia, Europe and America, claiming an authority, as far
    distant from moral rectitude, or the laws of nature, as heaven is from hell. 
    They usurp the throne of justice, and she takes her flight from off the face of
    the earth.  They commence their traffic in the innocent sons and daughters of
    Africa.  View them divide their spoils dragged from our mother country, a
    country once rich in the enjoyments of liberty and all the glory nature could
    afford.  Nature there caused the wild desert to be more fruitful and fragrant
    than the best cultivated gardens, the inventions of men, ever could produce. 
    Her inhabitants was happy seated in the very temples of bliss and with nature
    for their guide, their employments were innocent, neither did they seek evil,
    contented in the enjoyments of their native sports; they sued not for the blood
    of their fellow men; they arose in the morning with cheerfulness before their
    God, and bowed down their heads at night, fully sensible of his goodness.  But
    ah, my friends!  the scene changes.  Alas!  the rose was nipt in the bud, and
    too soon did the canker worm enter the trunk of its support.  Africa!  thou was
    once free, and enjoyed all the blessings a land and people could.  Once help up
    as the ornament of the world, on they golden shores strayed Liberty, Peace and  </p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 8]</p>
  <p>Equality; but the usurping power of accursed demagogues,
    brought desolation within thy borders, thy populous cities are laid waste, thy
    mourning millions loaded with chains, are driven from their native homes, and
    far and wide does the ravages of merciless power, extend like the besom of destruction,
    sweeping off thy inhabitants without regard to age or sex.  Thus did the
    baneful deed of avaricious power pierce the hearts of our ancestors, separated
    and dashed asunder the most sacred ties of nature, and hurled them, my
    brethren, not only from their native country, but to enhance their misery,
    separated them from their dearest relatives; the aged parent from the tender
    child; the loving husband from the affectionate wife.  We cast the eye of
    retrospection, and behold the field crimsoned with the blood of those slain;
    and the earth drinks deeply of the tears of those that yet live, but to meet a
    worse fate,* while the heavens reverbrate with their shrieks, and nature stands
    amazed!  Yet the scene does not end here; misery is still pouring in like a
    deluge; we view them hurried on board some floating dungeons, whose rules, more
    like fiends, were never in the shape of men.  Tis here our ancestors drank the
    wormwood and the gall!—Tis here they even died for lack of that care, which is
    due to the most inferior of the brute creation!—Tis here some noble spirits
    fired with indignation, and disdaining to submit to savage rules, sought an
    asylum in the bosom of the sea!—Tis here death that grim monster, so dreaded by
    the na-</p>
  <p>* Slavery</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 9]</p>
  <p>tions of the earth, at whose approach crowned monarchs quake
    and tremble; at whose sight the countenance once flushed with the crimson
    vigour of health, turns pale, the vivid eye that flashed with cheerfulness,
    sinks dimly back in its sockets, not willing to meet this ghastly visage.  But
    view the contrast: Here injured innocence leaps to meet him, and receives him
    as a bosom friend.  Yet death is their only alternative and resque, from a set
    of beings, who through various customs, and the impulse of avarice, had trampled
    under foot, the most sacred rights of their nature.  They who commenced and
    supported a trade begun in savage wars, prosecuted by unheard of barbarity, and
    ended in perpetual exile and slavery.  But to harangue you on the sufferings of
    our ancestors I know is excruciatingly painful, yet bear with me a little,
    although it rends the tender heart, or forces the silent tear, it is
    expedient.  In reflecting on their situation, our celebration demonstrates
    itself, to be fully sensible of ours; we need but view theirs.  They were
    pressed down beneath the surface of nature; we soar aloft as the towering eagle
    to an eminence commanding a view of the world, and three fourths we behold
    drenched in human gore, and the loud clarion of war is forboding their total destruction;
    thus while the dark clouds of strife and contention are encompassing them in,
    we enjoy the perpetual sunshine of peace and happiness.  Then let us be united,
    the glory of people is union; united in the bonds of social love, they become
    strong and vigorous, wise and discerning; they press undauntedly forward, and
    are sure of conquest; the sturdy oak fall before them; the stubborn rock yield
    to their force, and as </p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 10]</p>
  <p>the sun bursting forth from behind some dark cloud, they
    disperse the icy mountains of adversity and soar up to the meridian of
    prosperity.  They are not tossed on the tempestuous sea of contention, but sail
    gently down the course of life, on the silver current of friendship.  Union is
    the foundation of liberty, and its perfection is social love.</p>
  <p>            <span style='font-size:10.0pt'>“This only can
    the bliss bestow,</span></p>
  <p><span style='font-size:10.0pt'>                Immortal
    souls should prove;</span></p>
  <p><span style='font-size:10.0pt'>                From one
    short word all pleasures flow,</span></p>
  <p><span style='font-size:10.0pt'>                That blessed
    word is <span style='text-transform:uppercase'>Love</span>.</span></p>
  <p>            Love shall never fail: the man of love shall be
    held in everlasting remembrance, his memory shall be blessed; no spices can so
    embalm a man, no monument can so preserve his name, as works of love.  Love
    gives worth to all its apparent virtues, inso much that without it, no quality
    of the heart, no action of the life is valuable in itself, or pleasing to God. 
    Without love, what is courage but the boldness of a lion, or the fierceness of
    a tyger?  What is power but merciless oppression?  What is justice but passion
    or policy?  What is wisdom but craft and subtlety?  Without love what is riches
    but a barren shore or congealed stream?  And what is man, that noble structure,
    but the ravenous wolfe, or more subtile viper?  What is devotion but mockery of
    God?  What is any practice, how auspicious soever in itself, or beneficial to
    others, but the effect of pride?  For says one of the ancient worthies, though
    I had faith that I could remove mountains, and had not love, I am nothing. 
    Though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and have not love, it profiteth me
    nothing.  Love is the chrystal fountain from whence flows all human happi-</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 11]</p>
  <p>ness; its golden mines shall never be exhausted, its silver
    brooks shall never run dry.  Let this then be our rallying point, for this
    shall ward against animosities and contentions—this shall bring down the
    blessings of heaven upon our heads—this shall cause our society to flourish,
    and this shall break the chain that still holds thousands of our brethren in
  <p>            My brethren, the land in which we live gives us
    the opportunity rapidly to advance the prosperity of liberty.  This government
    founded upon the principles of liberty and equality, and declaring them to be
    the free gift of God, if not ignorant of their declaration, must enforce it; I
    am confident she wills it, and strong forbodings of it is discernable.  The
    northern sections of the union is fast conceding, and the southern must comply,
    although so biased by interest, that they have become callous to the voice of
    reason and justice; yet as the continual droppings of water has a tendency to
    wear away the hardest and most flinty substance, so likewise shall we,
    abounding in good works, and causing our examples to shine forth as the sun at
    noon day, melt their callous hearts, and render sinewless the arm of sore
    oppression.  My brethren, you who are enrolled and proudly march under the
    banners of the Mutual Relief, and Wilberforce Societies, consider your
    important standings as incorporated bodies, and walk worthy of the name you
    bear, cling closely to the paths of virtue and morality, cherish the plants of
    peace and temperance; by doing this you shall not only shine as the first stars
    in the firmament, and do honor to your worthy patrons, but </p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 12]</p>
  <p>immortalize your names.  Be zealous and vigilant, be always
    on the alert to promote the welfare of your injured brethren; then shall
    providence shower down her blessings upon your heads, and crown your labors
    with success.  It has been said by your enemies, that your minds were not
    calculated to receive a sufficient store of knowledge, to fit you for beneficial
    or social societies; but your incorporation drowned that assertion in contempt;
    and now let shame cover their heads, and blushes crimson their countenances. 
    In vain they fostered a hope that our unfavorable circumstances would bear them
    out in their profane insinuations.  But is that hope yet alive?  No; or do we
    know where to find it?  If it is to be found, it must be in the dark abysses of
    ignorance and folly, too little, too trifling for our notice.</p>
  <p>            There could be many reasons given, to prove that
    the mind of an African is not inferior to that of an European; yet to do so
    would be superfluous.  It would be like adding hardness to the diamond, or
    lustre to the sun.  There was a time whilst shrouded in ignorance, the African
    was estimated no higher than beasts of burthen, and while their minds were
    condensed within the narrow compass of slavery, and all their genius damped by
    the merciless power of cruel masters, they moved in no higher sphere.  Their
    nature was cramped in infancy, and depraved in riper years, vice was showed
    them for virtue, and for their labor and industry, the scourge was their only
    reward.  Then did they seem dead to a better state, but it was because they
    were subject to arbitrary power; and then did their proud oppressors assert, though
    against their better judgment, that they</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 13]</p>
  <p>were destined by nature to no better inheritance.  But their
    most prominent arguments are lighter than vanity, for vacuous must the reasons
    of that man have been, who dared to assert that genius is confined to
    complexion, or that nature knows difference in the immortal soul of man: No! 
    the noble mind of a Newton could find room, and to spare, within the tenement
    of many an injured African.</p>
  <p>            My brethren, the time is fast approaching when
    the iron hand of oppression must cease to tyrannize over injured innocence, and
    very different are the days that we see, from those that our ancestors did; yet
    I know that there are thousands of our enemies who had rather see us
    exterminated from off the earth, than partake of the blessings that they enjoy;
    but their malice shall not be gratified; they will, though it blast their eyes,
    still see us in prosperity.  Our day star is arisen, and shall perform its
    diurnal revolutions, until nature herself shall change; and my heart glows with
    the idea, and kindles with joy, as my eye catches its radient beams dispersing
    the dark clouds of ignorance and superstition.  The spring is come, and the
    autum nigh at hand, when the rich fruits of liberty shall be strewed in the paths
    of every African, or descendant, and the olive hedge of peace encompass them in
    from their enemies.</p>
  <p>            Some of the most profound historians inform us,
    that if there is any truth fully ascertained by reason or revelation, it is
    this; that man is but to be happy.  Then it is evident that the human being
    never was formed for slavery; for between no two things in existence does there
    exist so irreconcilable opposition, as between the human mind and slavery. 
    Water and oil, fire </p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 14]</p>
  <p>and snow, may, by the powerful arts of chymistry, be taught
    to forget their friendly antipathies, and rush together into friendly embraces;
    but by no arts can human nature, even in the earliest stage of action, be
    taught to salute slavery as a friend—no!  Take the child of three days old,
    confine him in some obscure cell; and at once you behold anxiety and misery
    fixed on his countenance, square his life there agreeable to your own rule,
    with all the tenderness that state will afford, but teach him not to crave
    liberty if you can.  No, there is a something within him, tells him liberty is
    his own, and to have it is all his study; his noble mind without the help of
    arts and sciences, soars aloft and beholds throughout creation to liberty all
    lay claim, from the almost undiscernable plant to the stately oak their
    liberty, commands, the brute creation through their train enjoying all the
    liberty they are capable of and shall man who God created free and pronounced
    lord of his creation be enslaved by his fellow man, heaven forbid; man was made
    to be happy, therefore liberty is his undoubted right.</p>
  <p>            In all the ages of the world, whether we take
    the present or retrospective view, we behold mankind worshiping at the shrine
    of liberty, and willingly sacrificeing their all in pursuit of that fair
    goddess.  We behold the rational man walk undauntedly in the very jaws of death
    to retain his liberty; he surmounts all difficulties; wades through all danger;
    he industriously climbs the rough and craggy mount, and undauntedly leaps forth
    from its lofty and dangerous precipice if he but beholds the most distant
    gleams of liberty; so attractive, so congenial is liberty with the human heart:
    from the crowned mon-</p>
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  <p>arch down to the lowest miscreant the world affords, all sue
    for this; yes, that particle of creation cannot be found that either by words
    or actions does not lay strong claim to this celestial good, and it is evident
    that all creation, both animal and vegetable, were destined for liberty, for
    neither can thrive or come to perfection without it, and he who called this
    world to light from the dark and loathsome abodes of chaos, caused liberty to
    be the golden pillars on which alone can happiness dwell secure.</p>
  <p>            Then Fathers, Brethren and Friends, although
    depressed under many grievances, yet the strong fibres of that pressure must
    give way, and the time is not far distant when our tree of liberty shall reach
    the sun, and its branches spread from pool to pool.  Then let us stand firm in
    union, let us transmit to ages yet to come, deeds that shall bear record with
    time and not find their rival; let us cultivate the minds of youth; let your
    examples clothed with wisdom be strewed in their paths; by you let their tender
    minds be impressed with human principles; let your virtues shine conspicuously
    before them, as lamps that shall light them to a glorious victory over their
    enemies, and conduct them to the haven of immortal bliss; let malice and hatred
    be far from your doors; let your hearts be linked in the chain that bids
    defiance to the intrigues of your enemies; let not the cries of the widow and
    orphan pass you unnoticed: although this happy land abounds with humane
    institutions, yet has your individual aid, opportunities to alleviate the
    miseries of thousands; many are the miseries of our exiled race in this land,
    and dark are the clouds that shrouds them in woe.  O!  then, let us call forth
    our every power,</p>
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  <p>[page 16]</p>
  <p>arrayed in wisdom and ornamented with virtue, such as shall
    gain the applause of men and be sanctioned by God; these shall alleviate their
    present miseries and finally burst with the refulgent beams of liberty on their
    devoted heads.</p>
  <p>            And, O! thou father of the universe and disposer
    of events, thou that called from a dark and formless mass this fair system of
    nature, and created thy sons and daughters to bask in the golden streams and
    rivulets contained therein; this day we have convened under thy divine
    auspices, its not to celebrate a political festivity, or the achievement of
    arms by which the blood of thousands were spilt, contaminating thy pure fields
    with human gore! but to commemorate a period brought to light by wise counsel,
    who stayed the hand of merciless power, and with hearts expanded with gratitude
    for the providences, inundated in the sea of thy mercies we further crave thy
    fostering care.  O! wilt thou crush that power that still holds thousands of
    our brethren in bondage, and let the sea of thy wisdom wash its very dust from
    off the face of the earth; let <b>LIBERTY</b> unfurl her banners, <b>FREEDOM</b> and <b>JUSTICE</b> reign triumphant in the world, universally.</p>