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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Cazenovia Fugitive Slave Law Convention, August 21-22, 1850.
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yet been called christians. But, will they be called christians--nay, will they so much as make themselves believe, that they are christians--if, when the question before them is, whether on the one hand, to vote for the followers of Christ, who, for Christ's sake and the sake of His poor, lies in prison, or, on the of other, to vote for the heartless candidate who will keep that follower of Christ in prison, they shall decide to vote for that heartless candidate? Again, we beseech you to nominate William L. Chaplin. That nomination will try the temper of the people--the spirit of the church. To the bosom of every voter it will bring home the question: "WILL YOU VOTE FOR THE INNOCENT AND BELOVED PRISONER, OR FOR HIM WHO WILL HOLD A PRISONER?" Nominate William L. Chaplin, and you will thereby, send to the polls the great question: "FOR THE PRISONER OR AGAINST THE PRISONER?" And, remember, too, that, in the trying of this great question, the question of slavery, or humanity, of religion, will be tried--and tried too, more officially than they have ever yet been tried in this guilty land.
Our petition and our reasons for it are now before you. In disposing of them, may you have the Divine guidance.
The Resolutions are as follows:
1st. Resolved, That Slavery is the curse of curses; the robbery of robberies, and the crime of crimes.
2d. Resolved, That inasmuch as it is the duty of every man to serve God with all his power, it follows that no man has the right to curtail his powers by going into Slavery; but that every man who is in that condition, is bound to get out of it, if he can; and futhermore, that, on the principle of the brotherhood and identity of men, he is no more bound to get out of it, if he can, than others are to help him out of it, if they can.
3d. Resolved, That our hearts are in the cell of Wm. L. Chaplin, and that whilst his enemies deride his condition and his false friends are ashamed of his chains, he will ever be in our eyes, and that, too, whether he die in the dungeon or on the scaffold, a scholar, a statesman, a philanthropist, a gentleman and a christian.
4th. Resolved, That in that day when the slaveholder shall find, in each slave he has retained in Slavery, a millstone around the neck of his soul, may Charles T. Torrey20 and William L. Chaplin will find in each slave, whom they may have delivered, a welcome remembrancer of their faith in God and love to man.
5th. Resolved,That, odious in the sight of the American people as is the "slave-stealing," which is charged upon William L. Chaplin, that is, nevertheless, a sham republicanism, and a sham christianity, which does not endorse it.
6th. Whereas, whatever may be said of Slavery in the States, it is admitted by all the intelligent and candid, that the Federal Constitution can authorize, can suffer, no Slavery in the District of Columbia; and that the Slavery which exists there, exists simply out of comity to the slaveholding portion of the country; Resolved, therefore; that. William L. Chaplin, and they who occupied the carriage with him, the evening of the 8th instant, were a company of innocent freemen; and that they who stopped it were guilty of the insolence and violence of highwaymen, and should be, and, if this were a land of law and justice, would be, promptly punished as highwaymen.
7th. Resolved, That there is not in the Congress of the United States one liberty-loving and law-loving man who can consent that its present session shall close until Drayton, Sayre,21 Harris and Chaplin have been released from prison, and Slavery expelled from the District of Columbia.
8th. Resolved, That Slavery in the District of Columbia is a fearful precedent, which cannot be too speedily overthrown; for, if Congress can make slaves of some persons there, it can make slaves of all persons there; and tbe like power can it exercise wherever, in any State,there are National "forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings," and upon whatever persons may visit them, or enter a Post Office, or a Custom House, or a Federal Court House.
9th. Resolved, That, whether there is or is not Constitutional Slavery in the States, the Federal Government should see to it, that all the slaves, and the posterity of all the female slaves who have ever been, though but for a moment, and though with or without the consent of their masters, within the limits of the District of Columbia, be immediately restored to liberty: for
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