THE FIRST OF AUGUST
The anniversary of West India Emancipation is again returning, and again we have to celebrate the freedom of another nation, while our own is disgraced by chains. The tendency of these annual remembrances is at once to humiliate and encourage us. But we have not a moment’s time to spare for weeping over the sins of our fathers or of ourselves. We are to work while it is day, keeping our eyes steadly fixed on the bright hopes and promises of the future; a future, of which the only uncertain point is the time of success………………………………
Whereas, in the formation and adoption of the Constitution of the United States, the following and criminal and dangerous concessions were made to the slaveholding power, namely: that the foreign slave trade should be safely prosecuted under the national flag, as a lawful branch of American commerce, for a period of not less than twenty years; that fugitive slaves should find no protection from their pursuers on any portion of the American soil; that slave insurrections should be suppressed by the combined military and naval power of the country if needed in any emergency; and that a slaveholding oligarch, created by allowing three-fifths of the whole slave population to be represented as property by their masters, should be allowed a place in Congress; — Therefore, regarding that Constitution as ‘a covenant with death and an agreement with hell’ the mighty prop that sustains the entire slave system, we, the undersigned, do signify our abhorrence of injustice and oppression, and to clear our skirts from innocent blood, do hereby pledge ourselves ……….to strive for the peaceable dissolution of the Union, as the most consistent, feasible and efficient means of abolishing slavery…………………………………..
(Liberator, July 4, 1845, pg 2)