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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus
			


ca, and there seized upon the rude barbarian, as he strolled uncon-
scious of impending danger, amid his native forests, as free as the
winds that beat on his native shores.   Here, we see them dragging
these bleeding victims to the slave-ship by virtue of that instru-
ment, compelling them to endure all the horrors of the middle pas-
sage," until they arrived at this asylum of western Liberty, where
they were doomed to perpetual chains.  Now, I hold, in view
of this fact, no colored man can consistently vote under the United
States Constitution.  That instrument also provides for the return
of  fugitive slaves.  And, sir, one of the  greatest lights now adorn-
ing the galaxy  of American Literature, declares that the "Fugi-
tive Law" is in accordance with that stipulation;--a law unequal-
ed in the worst days of Roman despotism, and unparalleled in the
annals of heathen jurisprudence.  You might search the pages of
history in vain, to find a more striking exemplification of the com-
pound of all villainies!  It shrouds our country in blackness; eve-
ry green spot in nature, is blighted and blasted by that withering"
Upas.    Every  monument of national greatness, erected to com-
memorate the virtuous and the good, whether its foundation rests
upon the hallowed repositories that contain  the ashes of the first
martyrs in the cause of American Liberty, or lifts itself in solemn
and majestic grandeur, from that sacred spot where the first great
battle of the Revolution was fought, no matter how sacred the soil,
whether fertilized by the blood of a Warren, or signalizad by the
brilliant and daring feats of Marion!   We are all, according  to
Congressional enactments, involved in the horrible system of hu-
main bondage; compelled, sir, by virtue of that instrument, to as-
sist in the  black  and  disgraceful avocation  of re-capturing the
American Hungarian,in his hurried flight from that worse than Rus-
sian or Austrian despotism, however much he may be inspired with
that love of liberty which burns eternal in every human heart.
Sir every mnan is inspired with a love of liberty--a deep and abid-
ing love of liberty. I care not where he may dwell--whether amid
the snows of the polar regions, or weltering  beneath an African
sun, or clanking his iron fetters in this free Republic--I care not
how  degraded the man--that Promethean spark still lives, and
burns, in secret and  brilliant grandeur, upon his inmost soul, and
the iron-rust of slavery and uninterrupted despotism, can never
extinguish  it.  Did not the American Congress, professing to be a
constitutional  body, after nine months' arduous and patriotic leg-
islation, as Webster would have it, strike down in our persons,
the writ of Habious Corpus, and Trial by Jury--those great  bul-
warks of human freedom, batpized by the blood, and sustained by
the patriotic exertions of our English ancestors.
  The gentleman from Franklin, (Mr. Jenkins), alluded  to  the
Free Soil candidate for Governor.  I  will  here state,  that I had
the pleasure, during, the Gubernatorial campaign, to hear  Mr.
Smith  make a speech is opposition to the "Fugitive Law," in which
he remarked, that it was humiliating to him  to acknowledge that
our forefathers did make a guilty compromise with Slavery in or-
der to form  this Union; and  so far as the validity of that agree
ment was concerned, he felt that it was not binding upon him as a
                2




			
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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus


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