Excerpt from Horrors of Slavery

Book Excerpt

Transcription of Primary Source

From “The Christian Disciple,” no. 20

“Ceasing to import Africans affords but little relief to the multitude, who are still held in bondage, under our free government. If we have done going to Africa for Negroes, still the ‘slave trade’ is continued in another form, and our fellow beings are bought and sold like cattle, in the southern States; and many of them are abused and driven about, in a manner more cruel, than it would be lawful to treat the vilest of the brute creation. We may therefore reasonably expect, that ‘the shrieks and groans’ of these slaves will be continually ascending to the righteous Governour of the world, calling for vengeance on the oppressors.

“It will probably be pleaded, that those who keep no slaves have no concern in this guilt. But is this the fact? Do not those who keep no slaves protect the slave-holders in their oppression? What would be the fate of these domineering lords, if those who have no slaves should avowedly withdraw their protection, and leave the masters and the slaves to settle this one question; Whose turn is it to serve in future? […]

“If a small number of our white people happen to be subjected to bondage in the African states, or pressed on board foreign ships of war, how soon is the cry of injustice spread through the land! Yet how many can tamely and silently behold a greater number of blacks subjected to the most degrading slavery, than the whole amount of population in Massachusetts! Will not God be avenged on such a nation as this? Had we no other national guilt, this, if persisted in, would be enough to sink us into the deepest gulf of national wretchedness.

“If any of our readers shall think that this subject is too frivolous for the Christian Disciple; be entreated to consider what would be your views and feelings, should you be doomed to spend your days in slavery, and to have your children, from generation to generation, in the same deplorable state. What would you then think of the heart that could not feel for you, or the tongue that would not plead your case?


Curator Notes

Exact Title: 
Horrors of Slavery: In Two Parts. From Part II: Containing extracts, chiefly American, compiled from authentic sources; demonstrating that slavery is impolitic, antirepublican, unchristian, and highly criminal; and proposing measures for its complete abolition through the United States.
Kenrick, John
Place of Publication: 
Cambridge, MA
American Antiquarian Society
Catalog Code: 
Dated Pams.