Liberator Masthead, John Quincy Adams

The U. S. Constitution is ‘A Covenant wwith Death and An Agreement with Hell

“Yes!  It cannot be denied — the slaveholding lords of the South prescribed, as a condition of their assent to the Constitution, three special provisions to secure the perpetuity of their dominion over their slaves. The first was the immunity, for twenty years, of preserving the African slave trade; the second was the stipulation to surrender fugitive slaves — an engagement positively prohibited by the laws of God, delivered from Sinai; and, thirdly, the exaction, fatal to the principles of popular representation, of a representation for slaves — for articles of merchandize, under the name of persons .. To call government thus constituted a democracy, is to insult the understanding of mankind.   It is doubly tainted with the infection of riches and slavery.  Its reciprocal operation upon the government of the nation is to establish an artificial majority in the slave reprepsentation over that of the free people,  in the American Congress,  and thereby to make the PRESERVATION, PROPAGATION  AND  PERPETUATION  OF  SLAVERY  THE VITAL  AND  ANIMATING  SPIRIT  OF  THE  NATONAL  GOVERNMENT.”

John Quincy Adams

(Liberator, April 16, 1852 front page, right of masthead)