On Walker, from “V”:

“V” quotes from Walker, and comments on specific arguments Walker makes. Here are some excerpts from “V”:  “Well done, David Walker!  I like your spirit, for it will work out the salvation of your brethren.  Verily, David Walker was a man!  ….. “Here let us pause to reflect.   What is to be the end of the American system of oppression?  Will it, can it last for ever?  And if it does not, how is it to be terminated?  — by the consent of the whites, or by the hands of the blacks?  ….. Three ways occur to me by which the blacks may possibly be emancipated without bloodshed, viz. by colonizing them elsewhere, by gradual abolition, or by free labor becoming more profitable than that of thralls.  ….As to the prospect of their liberation by some means or other, I consider it certain.  There are now about as many colored persons within the limits of the union as there were whites at the commencement of our revolution, and it seems to me impossible that they can be prevented from discovering their wrongs.  All the laws that can be made cannot wholly exclude the rudiments of learning from among them. …..Negroes have showed their mental capacity in St. Domingue ….That example of bloodshed and misery is before the eyes of our slaves; that tragedy, it seems to me, will soon be enacted on an American stage, with new scenery, unless something is speedily done to prevent it.  The actors are now studying their parts, and there will be more such prompters as Walker.  At present, they only want a manager.  I fear, very much fear, that retribution predicted in the book in question is at hand.  ……But — when the slaves shall have attained even the limited degree of knowledge possessed by the free blacks, if they do not rise up and strike for freedom, if they do not settle the account that has been scored for two  centuries, Mr.Jefferson will have been proved right in his opinion.  When they shall no longer have the excuse of ignorance, and shall not avail themselves of their strength, they will indeed  be proved to be baboons, unworthy of the name or privileges of men. (“V” then speaks of a white lawyer he knows who is certain that the condition of the slaves is well enough …and preferable to that of the poor whites in the north.  He then asks if such a white would change “conditions”  with a slave. “No: but the slaves are black, and that argument oversets all the rules of logic  — it is unanswerable.”

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