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one fourth part, or twenty-five thousand per annum, are destroyed ; a mortality, which may be easily credited after the preceding state
At length the ship arrives at her destined port, and the unhappy Africans, who have survived the voyage, are prepared for sale. Some are consigned to brokers, who sell them for the ships at private sale. With this view, they are examined by the planters, who want them for their farms; and in the selection of them, friends and relations are parted without any hesitation ; and when they part with mutual embraces, they are severed by a lash. Others are sold at public auction, and become the property of the highest bidder. Others are sold by what is denominated a “scramble.” In this case the main and quarter decks of the ship are darkened by sails hung over them at a convenient height. The slaves are then brought out of the hold and made to stand in the darkened area. The purchasers, who are furnished with long ropes, rush at a given signal within the awning, and endeavour to encircle as many of them as they can. Nothing can exceed the terror, which the wretched Africans exhibit on these occasions. A universal shriek is immediately heard — all is consternation and dismay the men tremble — the women cling together in each other's arms - some of them faint away, and others are known to expire.
About twenty thousand, or one fifth part of those, who are annually imported, die during the “ seasoning,” which seasoning is said to expire, when the two first years of servitude are completed ; that of the whole number about one half perish within two years from their first captivity. I forbear to trace the subsequent scenes of their miserable lives, - worn out in toils, from which they can receive no profit, and oppressed with wrongs, from which they can hope for no relief.
The scenes, which I have described, are almost literally copied from the most authentic and unquestionable narratives published under the highest authority. They present a picture of human wretchedness and human depravity, which the boldest imagination would hardly have dared to portray, and from which (one should think) the most abandoned profligate would shrink with horror. Let it be considered, that this wretchedness does not arise from the awful visitations of Providence, in the shape of plagues, famines, or eartlıquakes, the natural scourges of mankind; but is inflicted by man on man, from the accursed love of gold. May we not justly dread
the displeasure of that Almighty Being, who is the common Father of us all, if we do not by all means within our power endeavour to suppress such infamous cruelties? If we cannot, like the good Samaritan, bind up the wounds and soothe the miseries of the friendless Africans, let us not, like the Levite, pass with sullen indifference on the other side. What sight can be more acceptable in the eyes of Heaven than that of good men struggling in the cause of oppressed humanity ? What consolation can be more sweet in a dying hour, than the recollection, that at least one human being may have been saved from sacrifice by our vigilance in enforcing the laws ?
I make no apology, Gentlemen, for having detained you so long upon this interesting sul In vain shall we expend our wealth in missions abroad for the promotion of Christianity; in vain shall we rear at bonne magnificent temples to the service of the Most High. If we tolerate this traffic, our charity is but a name, and our religion little more than a faint and delusive shadow.
DELIVERED BEFORE THE BOARD OF OVERSEERS OF HARVARD COLLEGE,
[First published in the American Jurist, April, 1829.]
It will be at once perceived, that the argument is strictly confined to the mere question of legal right. The author, in opening his speech, expressly disclaimed any intention to inquire into the
* The following statements, on the subject of the claim of the resident Instructers, are chiefly borrowed from a pamphlet published in 1825, entitled “ Remarks on Changes lately proposed or adopted in Harvard University. By George Ticknor, Smith Professor," &c.
“ The management of the College at Cambridge has been heretofore in the hands of three bodies of men, who hold their authority under an Act of the General Court, passed in 1642; a Charter given in 1650, with an Appendix, dated in 1657 ; the fifth chapter of the Constitution of the Commonwealth, made in 1780, and revised, but not altered in relation to the Colleye, in 1821 ; and an Act passed in February, 1814, by the Legislature of the Commonwealth.
“ The first of the bodies, who, under the provisions of these acts, or by powers mediately derived from them, have had the management of the College, is, the Faculty or Immediate Government, consisting of the President, and a part of the resident Instructers, amounting in all to from ten to thirteen persons, who have the entire discipline of the students in their hands, and have been obliged to meet together as an executive body, to decide on every punishment above a small fine; a body, which, both in Cambridge and in other Colleges, is too large for the prompt, consistent, and efficient discipline of such a collection of young men.
“Over the Faculty is the Corporation, which derives its powers from the Charter of 1650, the Appendix of 1657, and the Constitution of 1780, and consists of the President, the Treasurer, and five · Fellows, as they are technically called; and of the gentlemen, who now  compose that body, three, namely, Mr. W. Prescott, Judge Jackson, and the Rev. W. E. Channing, reside in Boston ; one, Mr. Justice Story, resides in Salem ; and one, Rev. E. Porter, resides in Roxbury.
expediency of such a choice, supposing it not a matter of right; considering that to be a topic of a very large and comprehensive nature, and that no case was then before the Board, which required or invited such a discussion.]
The Corporation have the management of the funds and revenues of the College; appoint its instructers and other officers, and assign them their duties and pay; make laws for the government of the instructers and the students; and fill vacancies in their own body ; but are restricted in their powers, and can do almost nothing without the expressed assent of the Overseers.
“ The Overseers are the last and highest body for the government of the College.
They hold their power by virtue of the Act of 1642, the Constitution of 1780, and the Statutes of 1810 [&] 1814, and consist of the Governor of the Commonwealth, the Lieutenant Governor, the Council, the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives ; in all fifty-three persons ; together with the President of the College, and fifteen laymen and fifteen clergymen, elected, and to be elected, from the community at large, by the whole Board; so that out of eighty-four members of the upper Board for the government of the College, fifty-three are annually elected by the people, and, therefore, completely and truly represent the public interest in the institution.” *
“On the 24 of April, 1821, eleven of the resident teachers, namely, five Professors engaged in the instruction of undergraduates, two engaged in the instruction of graduates, and four Tutors, offered a memorial to the Corporation,” containing certain • statements and considerations relative to the mode, in which, according to the charter of the institution, the Corporation of the same ought of right to be constituted,' (Memorial, p. 1.) and preferring to the Corporation as “matter of chartered right, the claim of the resident Instructers to be elected to vacancies in the Board of the President and Fellows.' (Mem. p. 31.)
“ To this memorial the Corporation returned no formal answer, on the ground, as has been stated by the memorialists, that, if the claim were well founded, the members of the Corporation, to whom it was sent, not being rightfully · Fellows' of the College, were not competent to perform any act in its government; and could only resign their seats. On the 1st of June, nine of the same memorialists presented the same claim and memorial to the Overseers; giving, as one reason for presenting it at that particular juncture, that they understood the Overseers were then engaged in considering important measures relative to the organization of the College. This memorial was by the Overseers referred to a committee, and so the matter rested for some months.” — Remarks, pp. 11, 12, 13.
“ After this memorial had been presented to the Overseers, a report on it was made, January 6, 1825, by Mr. Hill, of the Council, on behalf of the committee appointed to consider the subject, in which report it is maintained, that it is not necessary, by the charter or otherwise, that the Fellows of Harvard College be either resident in Cambridge, Instructers, or Stipendiaries. The memorialists desired to be heard in reply. They were so heard on the 4th of February ; Professor Everett and Professor Norton appearing on their behalf. The discussion was very interesting, and one of the most thorough ever witnessed among us. It lasted three days. At the end of this time, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted, at a remarkably full meeting of the Overseers: • Resolved, that it does not appear to this Board, that the resident Instructers in Harvard University have any exclusive right to be elected members of the Corporation. Resolved, that it does not appear to the members of this Board, that the members of the Corporation forfeit their offices by not residing at College.'
I REGRET that I am compelled, by a sense of duty, to enter upon the discussion of the question presented by the Memorial, at the distance of more than a century and a half aster the foundation and charter of the college. I entertain a very great respect for
“ It may be added to this, that, as a legal question, few have ever been examined among us with more laborious care, or by persons better qualified to decide what is the law. In the Corporation, at the time, were Mr. W. Prescott, Mr. H. G. Otis, and Mr. J. Davis, District Judge of the United States. In the Board of Overseers, Mr. Justice Story, of the Supreme Court of the United States, delivered his opinion against the memorial in a long argument. He was succeeded, on the same side, by Chief Justice Parker, of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, Mr. Justice Jackson, Mr. F. C. Gray, and some other persons of distinguished talent. On the final question, not a voice was raised in the Board, or elsewhere, I believe, in favor of the memorial. The profession, in particular, seemed unanimous on all the points; and many years will probably elapse before any important question will be decided with such a great weight of legal talent and learning, after so long, so patient, and so interesting a discussion.” — Remarks, pp. 25, 26.
- The charter of 1650, under which chiefly the Corporation hold their powers, and the memorialists make their claim,” (Remarks, p. 13.) commences as follows:
“ Whereas, through the good hand of God, many well devoted persons have been, and daily are, moved and stirred up, to give and bestow sundry gifts, legacies, lands, and revenues, for the advancement of all good literature, arts, and sciences, in Harvard College, in Cambridge, in the County of Middlesex, and to the maintenance of the President and Fellows, and for all accommodations of buildings, and all other necessary provisions, that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country, in knowledge and godliness;
“ It is therefore ordered and enacted by this Court, and the authority thereof, for the furthering of so good a work, and for the purpose aforesaid, from henceforth, that the said College in Cambridge, in Middlesex, in New England, shall be a Corporation, consisting of seven persons, namely, a President, five Fellows, and a Treasurer or Bursar; and that Henry Dunster shall be the first President, Samuel Mather, Samuel Danford, Masters of Arts, Jonathan Mitchell, Comfort Starr, and Samuel Eaton, shall be the five Fellows, and Thomas Danford to be present Treasurer, all of them being inhabitants in the Bay, and shall be the first seven persons, of which the said Corporation shall consist ; and that the said seven persons, or the greater number of them, procuring the presence of the Overseers (rendered unnecessary by the Appendix of 1657] of the College, and by their counsel and consent, shall have power, and are hereby authorized, at any time or times, to elect a new President, Fellows, or Treasurer, so ost, and from time to time, as any of the said persons shall die or be removed; which said President and Fellows, for the time being, shall for ever hereafter, in name and in fact, be one body politic and corporate in law, to all intents and purposes ; and shall have perpetual succession ; and shall be called by the name of the President and Fellows of Harvard College, and shall from time to time be eligible as aforesaid.". Mass. Col. Laus, &C., 78, 79.
Besides the Memorial, and the Remarks of Mr. Ticknor, several other pamphlets have been published in relation to the claim of the resident Instructers, namely, “ Remarks on a Pamphlet printed by the Professors and Tutors of Harvard University, touching their Right to the exclusive Government of that Seminary.” “A Letter to John Lowell, Esq., in Reply to a Publication entitled, Remarks on a Pamphlet,” &c. This Letter is from the Hon. Edward Everett, then a Professor in the