Slavery, the condition of absolute bondage, in which one person is the unconditional property or chattel of another, and obliged to labor for his master's benefit, without his own consent. It has existed in some form in all nations, and still exists in many countries, though modern slavery differs in several respects from ancient slavery. It was in perfect existence at the dawn of history, and allusions to it are found in some of the earliest extant writings. Kidnapping was a common mode of obtaining slaves for commerce, and it was extensively followed by the Phoenicians as much as 3,000 years ago, and the slave trade was then in full vigor. Slavery first appears in Chinese records about 13 centuries B. C. In India the number of slaves was small, and it has even been asserted that slavery was there prohibited by positive law; but the lower castes could be enslaved for debt. Slavery existed among the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Persians after they had become conquerors. The conquering races who established their rule, in succession, in that quarter of the globe, found slavery there existing, and in some instances they increased its extent; but the general tendency of extensive conquests was to lessen the number of slaves, for when different races became subject to the same royal line, and peace prevailed, as in the Persian empire, which extended from the borders of Ethiopia to India, the supplies of slaves were largely cut off, as those supplies were principally obtained through war.
The Hebrews had some form of slavery from the time of Abraham. The Mosaic legislation concerning servitude was very mild, and contained numerous important limitations of the rights of masters. In Phoenicia slaves were very numerous, and were extensively employed in all the branches of industry that were pursued by that enterprising people. They formed much the larger part of the populations of such cities as Tyre and Sidon. - Slavery was a firmly established institution of the Hellenic heroic age. It was the consequence of invasion and conquest, and it led to further wars that were waged in order to procure more slaves. Piracy and kidnapping were resorted to for the same object, and no degree of life was exempt from the effects of this state of things. Yet in the heroic age Grecian slavery was mild. "In Homer," it has been truly said, "the condition of the slave seems everywhere tempered by the kindness and indulgence Of the master." The condition of women, however, was worse than that of men. The female slaves performed the principal work in the interior of the house. Not only do they seem to have been more harshly treated than the males, but they were charged with the hardest and most exhausting labor which the establishment of a Greek chief required.
The treatment of slaves was very different by the different Greek communities. The Athenians were very kind toward them, and throughout Attica prevailed the mildest form of servitude known to the world of antiquity. Athenian legislation protected the personal rights of the slave, and promoted his efforts to obtain freedom. There were both public and private slaves at Athens, the former being the property of the state, some of whom were educated and filled important offices, such as those of secretaries of the commanders and treasurers of the armies. Sparta was regarded by Greece as furnishing the practical antithesis to Athens in the treatment of slaves. The helots of Sparta furnish the type of all that is calamitous among the oppressed, and there is much in Spartan history that justifies this view of their condition. They were slaves of the state, and those by whom they were held could neither liberate them nor sell them out of Laconia. They appear to have occupied some such position as the serfs of the middle ages, but the central authority had more power over them. (See Helots.) The supplies of slaves were obtained in most parts of Greece through war, commerce, piracy, and kidnapping.
There were regular markets for their sale, the principal of which were held at Athens, Sanios, and Chios. Negroes were among the slaves imported, Egypt furnishing the larger number of them; and they were valued for their complexion, and considered as luxuries. Most of the domestic and personal slaves were barbarians, that is, persons who were not of Greek blood, for it was the Grecian custom to allow prisoners of their own race to be ransomed. The number of slaves in Greece was very large, and it is even estimated to have been three or four times as great as that of the free population. Unlike the Romans, the Greeks did not seek to possess many slaves from motives of luxury and ostentation, but of profit. Fifty slaves were a large number for a wealthy Athenian to own, while some Romans owned 20,000 each. There were many slaves employed in the mines, but they were of the least valuable kind, and their labor was destructive of life. Most of the slave insurrections in Attica were brought about by the mining slaves, and on one occasion they took possession of Sunium, and held it for some time. The Athenian slaves were not, save on extraordinary occasions, employed as soldiers, like those of the Dorian Greeks. They fought at Marathon and at the Arginusae, but these were remarkable exceptions.
Manumitted slaves in Greece could not become citizens, but became luetics, and were still under certain obligations to their former masters, neglect of which made them liable to be sold into slavery again. - In Italy slavery prevailed even more extensively than in Greece, though in the early times, it has been contended, and before the foundation of the Roman dominion, the number of slaves was so small, and they were so well treated, as hardly to deserve the name; but as there is evidence that the Etruscans had negro slaves, the slave trade must have been extensively carried on between Italy and Africa at a remote period. The Romans had slaves at the earliest dates of their annals, and far earlier than that time which is recognized as the beginning of their authentic history; but there was a great difference between the institution as it existed in the opening years of the republic and as it became several generations before the establishment of the imperial rule. As the kingdom of Rome is believed to have been far more powerful than was the Roman republic during the first two centuries of its existence, and had commercial relations with the Carthaginians, the principal slave traders of the time, the just conclusion is that slavery was more extensive under the later kings than it was under the praetors and early consuls.
In the early times nearly all the domestics of the Romans were slaves, and so were the majority of the operatives in town; but that excess of agricultural slaves which in later times became a marked feature of Roman industrial life was then unknown. Agriculture was considered an honorable pursuit, and the haughtiest of the patricians often cultivated their fields with their own hands; for they were not all rich, as the story of Cincin-natus shows. The first slaves of the Romans were exclusively prisoners of war made from the peoples in their immediate vicinity, and sold at auction by the state as booty; they strongly resembled their masters, so that their condition was probably not hard; but there was a constant change for the worse as the circle of Roman conquest extended. So long as the wars of the Romans were confined to their own immediate part of the world, the numbers obtained by war could not have been very large; but when their armies began to contend with distant peoples, and to conquer them, they were counted by myriads.
They acted on the principle of sparing the humble and subduing the proud, granting both life and liberty to those who surrendered, but taking captive all those who resisted their arms, and consigning such of them to slavery as were not reserved for a fate more immediately severe. The Romans were not sparing in the infliction of this rule of war, and the consequence was, not only that the slave population was rapidly increased, but that it was made to include the most cultivated classes of the most cultivated period of antiquity, as the Roman conquests did not begin until after the highest of ancient races had completed their development. Roman slavery began to assume its great proportions in the same age that saw the beginning of its long quarrel with Carthage, which opened in 264 B. C. When the Romans made their first invasion of Africa, 256 B. C, under Regulus, they landed in a portion of the Carthaginian territory lying between the Hermrean headland and the Lesser Syrtis. This fine country was given up to all the horrors of ancient warfare, " and 20,000 persons, many of them doubtless of the highest condition, and bred up in all the enjoyments of domestic peace and affluence, were carried away as slaves." Most of the captives taken at the conquest of Carthage, who had surrendered, were sold into slavery.
This treatment of the Carthaginians, a highbred and refined people, shows the character of Roman slavery, which was not confined to the barbarous races, or to any peculiar people, but swept all within its nets who could be conquered or purchased. Corinth, one of the richest and most luxurious cities of Greece, was destroyed at the same time with Carthage, and the Corinthians were all sold into slavery; and nothing but the influence of Polybius with the younger Scipio Africanus prevented the entire population of the Peloponnesus from sharing their fate. Two generations earlier, Capua, a city not inferior to Carthage or Corinth in culture, the wealth and magnificence of which were proverbial, had many of its best citizens sold into slavery, their wives and children being also thus sold; "and it was especially ordered that they should be sold at Rome, lest some of their countrymen or neighbors should purchase them for the purpose of restoring their liberty." After the close of the second Punic war, the conquests of Rome went on with great rapidity, and the numbers of the slave population increased at the same rate, so that in 70 years even the free agricultural population of Italy had mostly disappeared.
The absorption of small freeholds in large estates, along with war, led to the decrease of that population, and the places thus made vacant were filled by the purchase of slaves, the latter being taken in war to a considerable extent, though the slave traders were by no means idle. One of the consequences of the successes of Aemilius Paulus in Macedonia was the sale of 150,000 Epirotes, who had been seized because their country was friendly to Perseus. The demand for slaves became very great full two centuries B. C. in Sicily, which had then fallen completely under the Roman dominion, and because corn was much wanted in Italy, then beginning to recover from the effect of the Carthaginian invasion and occupation; and the state of things in Sicily was so favorable to the aggregation of wealth, that it soon extended to Italy, where the land passed into the hands of the few. Great estates succeeding to the many small farms that had been known in the preceding generations, the soil was now cultivated or attended to by great masses of slaves, the property chiefly of the leading members of the optimates, or the high aristocratical party.
The wars in Spain, Illyria, Greece, Syria, and Macedonia furnished large numbers of slaves, the common sorts of whom were sold at low rates, and were employed in the country. The invasion of the Roman territories by the Teu-tones and Cimbri, which ended in the total defeat of those barbarians by Marius, added considerably to the number of slaves, 00,000 of the Cimbri alone being taken captive in the last great battle of the Avar. The conquest of Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey in Greece and the East, actually flooded the slave markets, so that in the camp of Lucullus, in Pontus, men were sold for four drachmae each, or about 62 cents of our money. Cicero sold about 10,000 of the inhabitants of the Cilician town of Pindenissus. The Gallic wars of Julius Caesar furnished almost half a million slaves; and Augustus sold 36,000 of the Salassi, nearly a fourth of whom were men of military age. In the Jewish war which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem, 90,000 persons were made captives. But Roman slavery would not have been so comprehensive if the Romans had been compelled to rely solely upon war for slaves. Commerce has been a chief means of feeding slavery from the beginning of the world.
Before the Romans had obtained dominion over Italy, they were slave purchasers from the Carthaginians, who drew their principal supplies of men from the interior of Africa, the slave trade of that region, like that of Asia and Greece, being much older than history. Many slaves were obtained by commerce from the East, and the cities on the shores of the Euxine were among the chief slave marts of antiquity far down into the days of the empire. Barbarians of whom the Romans otherwise knew nothing found their way to the imperial city as slaves. At the height of her power Rome had slaves from Britain, Gaul, Scandinavia, Germany, Sarma-tia, Dacia, Spain, the different countries of Africa, from Egypt to the Troglodytes of Ethiopia, the western Mediterranean islands, Sicily, Greece, Illyria, Thrace, Macedonia, Bithynia, Phrygia, Cappadocia, Syria, Media, and almost every other country to which ambition or avarice could lead the soldier or the trader to penetrate. All races furnished their contributions to the greatest population of slaves that ever existed under one dominion.
Unlike the Greeks, the Romans "acknowledged the general equality of the human species, and confessed the dominion of masters to flow entirely from the will of society;" but this did not prevent them from enslaving all men upon whom they could lay their hands, while they were much harsher toward their slaves than the Greeks were. Not a few slaves were procured by kidnapping persons, and it was notorious that even Roman freemen were seized and shut up in the ergastula of the great proprietors, which invasion of personal rights the whole power of the government was unable to prevent. Children were sometimes sold into slavery by their parents, either from love of gain or to save them from starvation; and the number of these sales was large in times of general distress. Men were also sold for debts due to the imperial treasury. Under a variety of circumstances poor people could sell themselves into slavery, but such sales were not ir-revocable until the second century of the empire, and then the law was somewhat limited, the object being to punish those who had sold themselves with the intention of reclaiming their freedom, the purchaser in such cases having no redress.
Romans who had committed crimes that were ignominiously punished became slaves through that fact, and were known as servi poenoe, or slaves of punishment, and were public property. They remained slaves even if pardoned, unless specially restored to citizenship; and it was not until the reign of Justinian that this form of slavery was abolished. In early times, persons who did not give in their names for enrolment in the public force were sold into slavery, after being beaten; and incorrect returns to the censors led to the same punishment. Poor thieves, who could not make a fourfold return of the amount of their booty, became slaves to the party stolen from; and a father could give up a child who had stolen to the prosecutor. Poor debtors were sold as slaves. - The employments of Roman slaves, both public and private, were very various, and were minutely subdivided. Besides filling all the more menial offices, many of them occupied the positions of librarians, readers, reciters, story tellers, journal keepers, amanuenses, physicians and surgeons, architects, diviners, grammarians, penmen, musicians and singers, players, builders, engravers, antiquaries, illuminators, painters, silversmiths, gladiators, charioteers of the circus, etc.
Before a slave could become a soldier he was emancipated, and into the Roman armies of the early republic not even freedmen were allowed to enter; but the demand for soldiers did away with this delicacy, and slaves were regularly enlisted in the second Punic war, and did good service to the state. Many of the Roman slaves were on the most intimate terms with their masters, and must have been well treated, or the state of society would have been intolerable; and we read of not a few instances in which the lives of masters were saved by their slaves, in the times of the proscriptions and massacres of Marius and Sulla, and of the triumvirs, and on other occasions. But the masses of the slaves were treated harshly, and the law's and regulations affecting them were mostly severe. The Romans were generally hard masters; and "the original condition of slaves, in relation to freemen, was as low as can be conceived. They were not considered members of the community, in which they had no station nor place. They possessed no rights, and were not deemed persons in law; so that they could neither sue nor be sued in any court of civil judicature, and they could not invoke the protection of the tribunes.
So far were these notions carried, that when an alleged slave claimed his freedom on the ground of unjust detention in servitude, he was under the necessity of having a free protector to sue for him, till Justinian dispensed with that formality." Slaves were allowed only a special kind of marriage (contubernium), and they had no power over their children. Few of the ties of blood were recognized among them; and they could hold property only by the sanction or tolerance of their masters. The criminal law was equally harsh, slaves being treated under it as things, but it was gradually meliorated. The severest and most ignominious punishments were shared by slaves with the vilest malefactors, as crucifixion and hanging, and later they were burned alive. Under the empire the condition of the slaves was better than it had been under the republic. The emperors were, however, far from pursuing a uniform policy toward the servile class, and some of them even restored cruel laws that had been abolished. In theory Roman slavery was perpetual, and to this theory the practice conformed, inasmuch as by no act of his own could the slave become free. Freedom could proceed only from the action of the master.
Manumission was not uncommon, and there were numerous freedmen who exercised much influence, as well in public life as in families. Freedom was the reward of good conduct, and the ease with which the places of freed slaves could be filled up by new purchases made manumission much more frequent than it would have been under other circumstances. Dying masters freed slaves by the hundred, in order that they might swell their funeral processions. On joyful occasions a wealthy master would manumit many of his slaves. Sometimes slaves were liberated in the article of death, in order that they might die in freedom. Manumission was often the result of agreement between masters and slaves, the latter either purchasing freedom with money, or binding themselves to pursue certain courses that should be for their former owner's interest. The republican period was favorable to emancipation, and freedmen were so numerous at the formation of the empire that some of the early emperors sought to restrict manumission, less however to promote the interest of slaveholders, or to increase the number of slaves, than for the purpose of increasing the numbers of the ingenuous class, an object much thought of and aimed at by several generations of Roman statesmen, but always without success.
The later emperors favored emancipation, particularly after they had become Christian; and Justinian removed nearly every obstacle to it. Augustus labored strenuously to limit emancipation, but even he had recourse to the society of freedmen, in accordance with a custom of the great men of his country; and in 30 years after his death the Roman world was governed by members of that class of persons. Julius Caesar employed no freedmen, and Tiberius employed but few, and gave them none of his confidence, thus imitating Caesar rather than Augustus; and even Caligula used them but little. Claudius they ruled, and through him the empire. - It is impossible to estimate with an approach to accuracy the number of Roman slaves. Gibbon thought it was equal to that of the free population, which Zumpt pronounces a "gross error;" and Blair estimates that during the 14 generations that followed the conquest of Greece, there were three slaves to one freeman. Gibbon's estimate, which applies to the reign of Claudius, would give 60,000,000, and probably it is not far from the truth, though we may agree with Blair that it seems much too low for those places which were inhabited by Romans properly so called.
Many individuals owned immense numbers, though the figures in some of these cases are perhaps exaggerated, or the results of the mistakes of copyists. The prices of slaves were not fixed. Good doctors, actors, cooks, beautiful women, and skilled artists brought heavy sums, and "ruled high;" and so did handsome boys, eunuchs, and fools. Learned men, grammarians, and rhetoricians also sold at high rates. Some descriptions of artisans and laborers would sell at good prices, upward of $300 of our money each; hut $100 was a fair average price for a common slave, and when a slave could be bought for about half that sum the price was held to be low. Insurrections and servile wars were not uncommon. Two such wars broke out in Sicily after the conquest of that island by the Romans, and were extinguished only in the blood of myriads of men, and through the exertions of consular armies. Toward the close of the 7th century of Rome the war of the gladiators, waged on the one side by slaves alone, from general to camp servants, brought the republic to the verge of ruin. The war was commenced by a few-gladiators from the schools of Capua, under the lead of Spartacus, a Thracian, 73 B. C, and lasted for more than two years.
Several Roman armies, commanded by praetors and consuls, were defeated, and for a time the revolted slaves had the peninsula more at their command than it was at the command of the Romans. The country was horribly ravaged, and it was not until Crassus took the field, and 200,000 men were employed, that the insurrection was subdued; and the final battle was won by the Romans more as the consequence of the death of Spartacus before it was half fought than from their superior generalship. Six thousand of the slaves were hanged or crucified after their defeat. The punishment of rebellious slaves was always very severe. Many slaves had enlisted under Sextus Pompey, and thousands of them who fell into the hands of Octavius were sent to the horrible death of the cross, with the general approbation of the citizens. They were crucified solely as fugitives, as all whose masters could be found were restored to them; and the cruel act was perpetrated in violation of plighted faith. It more than once happened that Roman leaders in the civil wars either called upon slaves to rebel, or availed themselves of the services of slaves. Marius, on his return from Africa to Italy, and just before his death, proclaimed liberty to all slaves who would join him, and at least 4,000 enlisted under his banner.
Before his exile he had tried the same plan, but without success. The Cornelians of Sulla were 10,000 freed slaves, who had belonged to members of the Marian party that had been proscribed by the conqueror, and who took their appellation from the gentile name of their patron. - The slave trade of antiquity comprehended the whole hemisphere in its circle. Its origin is unknown, for it was practised in all its parts at the earliest period of which any knowledge is to be obtained. The Phoenician slave trade was very extensive, and supplied in part by piracy. They stole Greeks and sold them 12 centuries before Christ, and they also sold stolen people to the Greeks. They had a land traffic in slaves, obtaining them in the countries between the Black and Caspian seas; and they exchanged Hebrew slaves for the productions of Arabia with the Sabaeans and Edomites. The Greeks were also great slave traders, and were as skilful in kidnapping persons as were the Phoenicians. Their slave traffic extended to Egypt, Thrace, Phrygia, Lydia, Syria, and other countries. From Egypt they obtained blacks, then regarded as slaves of luxury. Their slaves came mostly from the north and the east.
The chief Grecian slave marts were Athens, Samos, Chios, Ephesus, Cyprus, and Corinth. The Carthaginians, who were the Phoenicians of the west, rivalled their progenitors in the extent and comprehensiveness of their slave traffic. They had an immense traffic with the interior of Africa, a caravan trade, like that of the Egyptians and of the Cyrenaeans. "Women were preferred to men in the trade with the African slave dealers, as they sold for much higher prices in some northern countries. There was a large demand for negroes in the Balearic islands, and especially for women. Corsica also furnished many valuable slaves to the Carthaginians. The Roman slave trade as much exceeded that of any other country of antiquity as the institution of Roman slavery exceeded slavery in other countries. In remoter times the Romans were no better than robbers in their treatment of foreigners, imitating the Etruscans in this respect, who were the worst pirates of antiquity. Corinth had been the chief slave mart of Greece toward the close of its independence, before it fell into the hands of the Romans, and at the time when slavery was beginning to increase rapidly in Italy; and it is supposed, its situation being favorable to trade of the kind, that many slaves were sent thence from the East to the cities on the eastern Italian coast.
But the destruction of Corinth by the Romans, 14G B. C, transferred the slave trade to Delos, which became the most noted slave market of that age, though the trade in slaves was but one branch of the immense commerce that centred there. The importance of the slave trade in that island was owing to the Roman demand, as it was most favorably situated to minister to the desire for slaves from eastern countries - Greeks, Syrians, Phrygians, Bithyn-ians, and others. According to Strabo, it was possible, so complete were the arrangements, to import 10,000 slaves in one day, and to export them on the same day. But all this prosperity came to an end when the forces of Mithridates entered Greece. They landed on Delos, and devastated the island, so that it never recovered from their ravages. The Mediterranean pirates had supplied Delos with many slaves; and at Side, in Pamphylia, they had a great market of their own, at which they disposed of their captives, many of whom were captured far inland, even Italy itself not being safe from their ravages, and its villas and highroads furnishing victims to the marauders, who became very powerful during that disturbed period of Roman history in which occurred the social war and the contest between Marius and Sulla. From Alexandria the Romans obtained slaves, Egyptians and Ethiopians, that city having a great trade in men.
Others were drawn from Thrace, which continued to be a slave-breeding country long after the fall of Greece. After the devastation of Delos, the slave trade fell back nearer to its sources, and the Romans obtained slaves direct from the marts on the Euxine, where the trade had existed from time immemorial, being fed by the constant warfare that was waged by the neighboring tribes. Many came from Scythia, and Scythian and slave were all but convertible terms. The Galatians carried on an extensive slave trade; and between Italy and Illyria this commerce was considerable in the first days of the empire. The Roman wars fed the slave trade, and enabled those who carried it on to accumulate immense fortunes. So long as those wars were fought near home, the victors could sell their captives easily, without much aid from traders; but as soon as they extended to any distance from Italy, the trader's aid became necessary. The trader followed the camp, and in the camp the human booty was sold, and often at prices so low as to appear incredible. The Romans neither encouraged nor discouraged the slave trade. They held the slave trader in contempt, and deemed his business utterly unworthy of merchants.
Special names were given to such traders, implying that they were necessarily cheats; but their enormous wealth made them powerful. - Slavery is regarded as one of the chief causes of the decline of Rome. The institution existed in all parts of the Roman empire, and prevailed in the countries which were formed from its fragments, though essentially modified by a variety of circumstances. The influence of Christianity upon it was very great. It had indeed existed before the extension of the Roman dominion, and was known to most of the peoples who invaded and overthrew the empire, and on its ruins established the feudal system and serfdom. (See Serf.) The rise of the Saracens tended to increase the number of slaves, and to feed the trade in them, as Christians felt no scruples about enslaving Mussulmans, and the Mussulmans were quite as unscrupulous toward Christians. The wars between the Germans and Slavs furnished so many of the latter race for the market, that the word slave is derived from them. The great commercial republics of Italy were much engaged in slave trading. The Venetians had many slaves, and the history of their commerce shows that they pursued the slave trade with vigor and profit.
In spite of the efforts of the popes, they sold Christians to Moslems. Slavery also existed in Florence, though the slaves were almost exclusively Moslems and other unransomed prisoners of war. In England, under the Saxons, the slave trade flourished, Bristol being the chief mart, whence many slaves were exported to Ireland. But in this island slaveholding was never very popular, and the Irish early emancipated their bondmen. - At the close of the middle ages two peculiar forms of slavery and the slave trade began to be known, one of which has but recently ceased to exist, while the other is not yet entirely extinguished. The new phase of Mohammedanism that came up with the rapid development of the power of the Turks, in the 14th and 15th centuries, nearly synchronizes with the origin and progress of what is known specifically as negro slavery. The Turks completed the establishment of their power in Europe by the conquest of Constantinople in 1453; and not quite 40 years later the last Mussulman state in Spain, Granada, was conquered by the Christians. These two events had a remarkable effect on slavery.
The fears of Christendom were excited by the rapid and sweeping successes of the Turks, and the anger of the Mussulmans was roused by the overthrow and enslavement of their brethren in Spain; and from these feelings the system of slavery received an impetus and acquired forms that under other conditions it never could have known. We have seen that the church, at a much earlier period, did not object so much to the traffic in men as to the traffic in Christians, and that lay legislators took the same view of human duties; and it was also the case that the selling of Christians to Moslems was more strictly forbidden than was the selling of Christians to other Christians. The sentiment that prevailed while the Saracens were so strong as to excite fears throughout all Christendom for its safety, was revived in the 15th century, and did not become altogether extinct until after the middle of the 17th. In the East, and for the greater part of the time in most of N. Africa, the Mohammedans were in the ascendant, they having become masters or Barbary and lords of the Levant. Between the Turks on the one side and the Italians and Spaniards on the other the long struggle was principally carried on in the south, the English being too remote from the scene to take much part in it, while the French, though occasionally furnishing some gallant volunteers, were as a nation the friends and sometimes the allies of the infidels.
The knights of St. John of Jerusalem, first in Palestine, then at Rhodes, and afterward at Malta, carried on perpetual warfare with the Mussulmans. The contending parties divided between them the whole of the sea dominion of the Romans, and the compound rivalry of religion and race doomed multitudes of civilized people to slavery. Men who were taken in war did not alone compose these slaves, but among them were many women and children, the victims of razzias that were undertaken by the parties to the bitter and prolonged contest. The light, low vessels of the Mussulmans often ran into the ports of the Spaniards and Italians by night, and plundered and burned them, while the inhabitants were either murdered or carried into captivity. Watch towers were built along the coasts, that the approach of the corsairs might be detected. So marked a feature of the war then waged was this form of slavery, that it furnished much matter for the romantic literature of southern Europe, in which nothing is more common than incidents connected with bondage in Barbary. Cervantes himself was for five years an Alge-rine captive, and he. formed a project for a slave insurrection, there being 25,000 enslaved Christians at that time in Algiers alone.
Enormous numbers of captives were employed as rowers of galleys, Christians on board those of the Mussulmans and Mussulmans on board Christian vessels. "When the Turks lost the battle of Lepanto, in 1571, 12,000 Christian captives, galley slaves, were released from the prizes made by the allied fleet. When Charles V. took Tunis, in 1535, 20',000 Christians were released from slavery. Great numbers of women were taken as slaves, and sold in the markets of Turkey and Barbary. The corsairs passed out of the Mediterranean, sailed far to the north, and seized people on the coast of Ireland. This brought upon them punishment from the English, but that did not put an end to their Atlantic cruising. There were some places in Barbary on the Atlantic from which corsairs sailed, and those of Sale were among the most famous of the brotherhood. The European powers made frequent war on the Barbary states; and of the early contests in which the American Union was engaged none were more brilliant than those which it carried on with some of those states, in defence of the liberty and commerce of its citizens.
But the jealousies of the European powers prevented them from putting an end to the piracy and slavery of Barbary long after the Turks had ceased to be able to protect the corsairs, and tribute was paid to the petty powers down to the beginning of the 19th century. The successful bombardment of Algiers in 1816, by an English fleet commanded by Lord Exmouth, put an end to white slavery in Barbary, it having previously ceased to exist in the other countries of N. Africa, to which the exploits of the American navy had much contributed, though at first the government of the United States had paid tribute to the pirate chiefs. - At the same time that slavery was acquiring its peculiar form in the countries on the Mediterranean, negro or African slavery came into existence. This form of slavery belongs entirely to modern times. As we know, the slave trade in negroes existed 3,000 years ago at least, and the Carthaginians brought numbers of black slaves from central and southern Africa, by means of their caravan commerce, a mode of traffic that was common long before the Carthaginians had a political existence; but in trading in negroes, the slave traders of antiquity only did that which they did with all other descriptions of men, and as the slave traders of the East have always done until now.
The fact that the ancients regarded black slaves as luxuries, proves that their number could not have been large in the European countries to which they were taken, either by the way of Egypt or that of Carthage. Such details as we have concerning the black slaves of antiquity all serve to show that they were not numerous, far less so indeed than were slaves belonging to some of the highest of the white races. They were probably more numerous in the East than in Greece and Italy, and most numerous of all in Egypt and other parts of N. Africa, because of the comparative ease of acquiring them in those countries. The Venetians, who carried on a large trade with Africa, no doubt distributed some negro slaves over the various European nations which they visited. In the Mohammedan countries there have been black slaves from the time of the prophet, and they have often risen very high, as well in the state as in the household. But in all these cases the negro has but shared the common lot, and might have been sold on the same day with the Greek or the Arab, and by the same trader. The negro was then sold, not because he was a negro, but because he was a man whose services could be turned to profitable account.
Negro slavery, in its special form, is one of the consequences of that grand movement in behalf of maritime discovery and commerce which began in the 15th century. Portugal took the lead in this movement, which was already prominent more than four centuries ago; and it was headed in that country by Prince Henry, son of John I. In 1441 two of Prince Henry's captains seized some Moors, who were taken to Portugal. The next year these Moors were allowed to ran-som themselves, and among the goods given in exchange for them were ten black slaves, whose appearance in Portugal excited general astonishment, and who led the van of the African slave trade. This was openly commenced in 1444, by a company formed at Lagos; and though it is doubtful whether that company was formed expressly to trade in men, and it is by no means certain that the 200 persons whom its agents seized and brought to Europe were negroes, it is from that time that the negro trade is generally dated. The first negroes taken by the Portuguese in the negro country were but four in number, in 1445, and they were rather taken accidentally than of set purpose to make them slaves; but the trade in negroes as slaves was quickly regulated, and a Portuguese factory was established in one of the Arguin islands, where the slave trade had been commenced.
Every year 700 or 800 black slaves were sent from this factory to Portugal, while other slaves of the same description from the countries that furnished those sent to Portugal were sold to other traders, who took them to Tunis and to Sicily. But Prince Henry and those who followed in his path did not regard the trade in slaves as a thing to be encouraged. They thought rather of the conversion of the Africans to Christianity, both the Portuguese and Spanish discoverers being enthusiastic propagandists. Had it not been for the discovery of America in 1492, it is altogether probable that the African slave trade would never have exceeded the dimensions it had known in antiquity; and it is believed that between 1455 and 1492 that trade had fallen off considerably, and that the number of negroes taken by the Portuguese for exportation did not exceed 300 or 400 a year. In fact, Europe presented no field for the labor of black slaves, the employment of which must have been confined to the houses of the great, as in the classic times, with rare exceptions.
The negro trade was verging to extinction, when the success of the great enterprise of Columbus imparted to it new life, and made it one of the most lucrative branches of commerce. - Soon after the discovery of America the Spaniards began to enslave the natives, large numbers of whom were sent to Spain as slaves in 1495. The system of repartimientos (slave distributions) was begun in 1496. Columbus appears to have had no scruples on the subject, and had indeed been engaged in the Portuguese slave trade, He strongly recommended the trade in the cannibal Indians; and the Spanish sovereigns, though in general their legislation was kindly toward the natives, did not discourage his proposition. At a later period Isabella sought to make a distinction between Indians who had been sold into slavery after being taken in war, and others who had been seized in consequence of failure to pay tribute; and she was very angry with "the admiral" for making the seizure, and ordered the sufferers to be released and returned to America. Under the Spanish rule the Indians perished in immense numbers, until they became extinct in the islands, or were absorbed by the other races.
Slavery itself was not, unknown in America, and had a well defined system in Mexico. The desire of the Spaniards to have laborers, and the inability of the natives to perform the labors required of them, soon led to the sending of negroes to the new world. Interest and humanity promoted their rapid increase in the Spanish colonies. They could perform the work to which the Indians were unequal, and throve under it. The government of Ferdinand feared that the sending of many negroes to America would prove injurious, but Charles V. granted a license to a Fleming to import negroes into the West Indies. Thenceforth the trade went on vigorously. The demand of the colonists for negroes was supported by the benevolent Las Casas, and by other leaders in the Roman Catholic church, who were desirous of preventing the extinction of the Indians. One negro was counted as worth four natives. There was a negro insurrection in Hispaniola as early as 1522. The African slave trade, under such stimulus as was afforded by the American demand, rapidly increased, and England took part in the work of supplying the Spaniards in 1562, previously to which negroes had been landed in England, and there sold, in 1553. Queen Elizabeth is charged with sharing the profits made by Sir John Hawkins, the first Englishman who commanded a regular slave trader.
The English were far more cruel traders than the Portuguese. In the times of the Stuarts four English companies were chartered for carrying on the African slave trade, and Charles II. and James II. were members of the fourth company. While duke of York, James II. was at the head of the last company. After the revolution the trade was thrown open to all; and at later periods the royal African company received aid from parliament. These companies furnished negroes to America; and in 1713 the privilege of supplying them to the Spanish colonies was secured to Englishmen for 30 years, during which 144,000 were to be landed. The French, the Dutch, and other European nations engaged in the traffic; and the first slaves brought to the old territory of the United States were sold from a Dutch vessel, which landed 20 at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1620. The culture of cotton began the next year. Slavery soon came into existence in nearly every part of North America, and Indians were enslaved as well as negroes. • The son of King Philip was sold as a slave. The trade between North America and Africa was carried on with considerable vigor. Some of the colonies remonstrated against the trade, but without success, as the mother country encouraged it.
In 1776 it was resolved by the continental congress that no more slaves should be imported; but when the American constitution was formed, in 1788, congress was prohibited from interdicting the traffic before 1808, at which time it was abolished. The state of Georgia prohibited the slave trade in 1798. America was thus in advance of other countries in fixing a time for the cessation of a traffic which has been as generally condemned as it has been persistently pursued for four centuries. In England the slave trade was early denounced by individuals, but it was regarded by most men as a perfectly legitimate branch of commerce. The last act of the British legislature regulating the slave trade was passed in 1788, the same year that the first parliamentary movement for the abolition of the trade was made. The Quakers were opposed to slavery and the slave trade from the beginning of their existence as a body, but neither their influence nor their numbers were large. English lawyers were nearly unanimous in their support of the legality of slavery, and the trade in negroes was in various ways encouraged by law.
In the 18th century a sentiment of hostility to the system of slavery, never altogether unknown since the Christian era, became very common, and was shared by many literary men, philosophers, and statesmen, who labored with zeal for the suppression of the system. Of these, the most noted was Granville Sharp, who exerted himself for half a century in the emancipation cause; and it was chiefly through his labors that the decision of Lord Mansfield, in the case of Somerset, was given in 1772, that decision being that the master of a slave could not by force compel him to go out of the kingdom. "The power of a master over his slave," the English chief justice of the court of king's bench observed, "has been extremely different in different countries. The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasions, and time itself from whence it was created are erased from memory. It is so odious that nothing can be suffered to support it but positive law.
Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England, and therefore the black must be discharged." Lord Mansfield's decision has been greatly overrated as to the importance of its terms, and it is incorrect to say that it was the first in the order of time. More than ten years earlier, the admiralty court of Glasgow liberated a negro slave who had been imported into Scotland ; and 70 years before, Chief Justice Holt ruled that " as soon as a negro comes into England he is free; one may be a villein in England, but not a slave;" and later: "In England there is no such thing as a slave, and a human being never was considered a chattel to be sold for a price." The decision of Lord Mansfield was made almost under compulsion, so strong was the feeling in England against slavery at that time ; and immediately the enemies of both the trade and the institution went to work, and began those exertions which were not to cease until their country had abolished, first the commerce in negroes, and then the practice of enslaving them. The Quakers presented to parliament the first petition for the abolition of the slave trade. Mr. Clarkson began his anti-slavery labors in 1786, and Mr. Wilberforce joined him soon after.
In June, 1787, a committee, composed of 12 members, all Quakers save Clarkson, Sharp, and another, was instituted for " effecting the abolition of the slave trade." In spite of the care they took to define their object and to conciliate popular prejudice, they encountered the violent opposition of the most eminent men of the country. The duke of Clarence denounced them in the house of lords as fanatics and hypocrites, including Wilber-force by name. The subject was brought before parliament, May 9, 1788, but the abolitionists were beaten, as they also were in 1789. Mr. Pitt, chief of the ministry, and Mr. Fox, chief of the opposition, joined them in 1790; and soon nearly all the leading members of the house of commons, of both parties, became abolitionists ; but still defeat met every proposition for abolition till 1793, when the commons passed an act for the gradual abolition of the trade, which failed in the house of peers. The commons changed their mind in 1794, but passed another bill the next year, which the peers threw out. The agitation was continued, but the abolitionists failed in parliament till 1804, when another act passed by the commons was lost in the upper house.
Another failure in the commons was experienced in 1805. In 1806, when the fox and Grenville ministry ruled England, abolition was brought forward as a government measure, and was carried in 1807, after the death of Mr. Fox. The abolitionists then began to labor for the removal of slavery itself, but not with much effect till 1823, when a society was formed " for the mitigation and gradual abolition of slavery throughout the British dominions." The principal leaders in this new movement were Clarkson, Wilberforce, and Buxton. About this time appeared a pamphlet, written by Elizabeth Heyrick, a Quaker, and entitled "Immediate, not Gradual, Abolition." Her views did not at first command the assent of those who controlled the operations of the society, but subsequent reflection and discussion, and the resistance of the colonial authorities to every scheme of amelioration proposed by parliament, finally led them almost unanimously to the conclusion that she was right, and they abandoned the doctrines and measures of gradualism for those of immediate and unqualified emancipation on the soil. The cause from this time advanced with great rapidity.
The question exerted a controlling influence in the election of the reformed parliament in 1832, and when, near the close of the year, that body assembled, the government avowed its purpose to bring in a bill for the abolition of slavery. The anxiety of the abolitionists as to the character of the proposed measure led to a conference, composed of 369 delegates from every part of the kingdom. A deputation of more than 300 members of this conference had an audience with leading members of the cabinet, to urge the necessity of total and immediate emancipation. The government measure was brought forward April 23, 1833. It proposed an apprenticeship of 12 years for the slaves, and to pay out of their earnings to the masters the sum of £15,000,000. The friends of emancipation remonstrated against these features of the plan, and it was finally modified by a reduction of the term of apprenticeship to six years, and a provision to pay the masters £20,000,000 out of the national treasury. The bill passed the house of commons Aug. 7, the house of lords Aug. 20, and received the royal assent Aug. 28,1833. The day fixed for emancipation was Aug. 1, 1834, and it was left optional with the local legislatures respectively to adopt or reject the system of apprenticeship.
Antigua and Bermuda rejected, while the other islands adopted the system. The apprenticeship system did not work well. In some instances the local legislatures voluntarily abolished it, and in 1838, two years before the time of its appointed expiration, it was brought to an end by act of parliament. In 1843 Great Britain emancipated more than 12,000,000 slaves in her East Indian possessions. - France had been as much committed to negro slavery as England, but moved sooner for its abolition. The national assembly, May 15, 1791, virtually granted equal political privileges to all free men without regard to color, and this led to those struggles in Santo Domingo which put an end to slavery there. Napoleon I. succeeded in restoring slavery in most of the French colonies, but failed in Hayti. In 1815, during the hundred days, he issued an order for the immediate abolition of the slave trade, which the government of Louis XVIII. reenacted, and the French slave trade ceased in 1819. The congress of Vienna denounced the slave trade. After much discussion in the reign of Louis Philippe, slavery in the French colonies was abolished by the provisional government in 1848, without indemnity to the masters.
Sweden abolished slavery in 1846-'7, Denmark in 1848, and the Netherlands in 1860. Spain agreed in 1814 to abolish the slave trade in 1820. The Netherlands abolished it in 1818, and Brazil in 1820, but the Brazilians continued to prosecute it notwithstanding. In the United States it was prohibited by law from 1808. In 1820 a law was enacted declaring it piracy, but no conviction was obtained under this statute till November, 1801, when Nathaniel Gordon, master of a vessel called the Erie, was convicted at New York and executed. A similar statute was passed by the British parliament in 1825. But the trade by no means ceased because of these vigorous efforts for its abolition, which Great Britain and the United States supported by the presence of powerful fleets on the coast of Africa. The demand for slaves continued to be great, and the profits on the cargoes of slaves that were landed in various parts of America were so heavy that-the traders could afford to lose many of their vessels. Not until the breaking out of the American civil war did the trade cease to be profitable, but that and the agitation for emancipation in Brazil nearly put an end to the slave trade across the Atlantic. In the interior of Africa it still has considerable vigor and constant activity, although it is much shorn of its profits by the loss of foreign markets. - Except in Cuba, slavery in Spanish America has disappeared.
In Brazil it continued to flourish with considerable vigor till 1871. For several years preceding that date a strong agitation for its gradual abolition had existed, in which the emperor was understood to sympathize. The speech from the throne at the opening of the chamber on May 3, 1871, announced the belief of the government that the time had arrived for the final solution of the slavery controversy, and that a bill would be introduced for that purpose. The bill was finally acted upon Sept. 27, when it was adopted by a considerable majority. The children born of slaves from that date were to be considered free-born, but were to remain with the masters of the mothers until reaching the age of eight, when the master had the option to retain their services until they should be 21 years of age, or to receive from the government a compensation of 600 milreis. If he should accept the compensation, the government was to take charge of the minor and of his education. Every minor was to be at liberty to free himself from service by making compensation to the master proportioned to the period for which the service was to continue. Ill treatment or neglect of support or education was to entitle a child to his discharge from service.
Children ceded or given to the government or taken from their masters by it might be delivered to privileged societies to be kept until they were 21, under an obligation securing them support and education. An emancipation fund, to be made up of certain taxes, the proceeds of certain lotteries, and other specified resources, together with, donations, was to be employed annually in manumitting slaves, and they were to be entitled to purchase their freedom. The following classes were to be free: slaves of the nation; slaves given to the crown in usufruct; slaves of the religious orders (within seven years); slaves belonging to vacant inheritances; slaves who saved the lives of their masters, or the parents or children of their masters, and slaves given up by their masters. The law was received with general satisfaction. - The whole number of Africans taken for slaves is estimated at 40,000,000, or nearly 100,000 per annum since the beginning of the traffic; but for 80 years after the trade began their exportation was very limited, and probably not 30,000 were taken by the Portuguese between 1444 and 1493. The greatest part of the exportation was during the years that elapsed after movements for the abolition of the trade were commenced, the demand for tropical produce having immensely increased in the present century.
Some of the slaves were sold in European countries, and it was supposed that there were 15,000 in the British islands at the time of the decision of the Somerset case. African slaves were said to be " dispersed all over Europe." Spain and France took some of them, as well as England. The number of slaves imported into those British colonies which became the United States in 1776 is computed at 300,000 down to that year. At the first census, in 1790, the slaves in the United States numbered 697,897, all the states but Massachusetts (which then included Maine) having some servile inhabitants, though Vermont had but 17, and New Hampshire-only 158. In 1800 their number was 893,041, slavery having ceased in Vermont, and but 8 slaves being left in New Hampshire. The census of 1810 showed 1,191,364 slaves, there being none in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Ohio, the last a new state, created out of territory that was a wilderness in 1776.
In 1820 the slaves numbered 1,538,022; in 1830, 2,009,043; in 1840, 2,487,455; in 1850, 3,204,313; and in 1800, 3,953,760. - The feeling in the United States was generally averse to slavery at the time their national existence began, and in some of the southern states that feeling was stronger than it was in most of the northern ones. The ordinance of 1787, excluding it from the 1ST. W. territory, was supported by southern men, and some southern states abolished the slave trade with Africa while northern states continued to carry it on. Vermont abolished slavery in 1777, before she had joined the Union. Pennsylvania in 1780 provided for the gradual emancipation of her slaves, of whom 64 were still living as such, in 1840, the relics of her 3,737 in 1790. In Massachusetts the supreme court declared that slavery was abolished by the act of adopting the state constitution of 1780, which had been so framed in one part as to provide for such a decision. Rhode Island gradually emancipated her slaves, and had but 5 left in 1840; and Connecticut did the same, having 17 in that year, and having had 2,759 in 1790. New York adopted a gradual emancipation act in 1799, at which date she had upward of 20,-000 slaves; and in 1817 she passed another act declaring all slaves free on the 4th of July, 1827. New Jersey pursued the same course in 1804, her slaves in 1790 numbering 11,423, of whom 236 were living in 1850. That the southern states did not imitate the emancipation policy of those of the northern part of the American Union, is to be attributed to a variety of circumstances, the principal of which were the difference of climate and the difference of social life, which made slavery far more profitable in the south than it could ever be made in the north, where it never flourished, and where in some instances the young of slaves were given away.
The invention of the cotton gin made slavery very profitable, and so helped to change that opinion which had existed in the south, both in the colonial and in the revolutionary times, and which, as expressed by such men as Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry, looked to the .extinction of slavery. That opinion passed away, and slavery was upheld in the southern states as an institution excellent in itself, and to be in every way promoted and extended, some of its more ardent friends advocating the resumption of the slave trade with Africa. The system of American slavery, unlike that of Greece or of Rome, was based on the alleged inferiority of the African race. The Greeks and the Romans enslaved white men of all races with whom they came in contact. So did the Barbary states, in which, notwithstanding their proximity to the country of the blacks, there were probably as many white as colored slaves. In America the idea of holding white men in slavery was always abhorrent to the most devoted supporters of slavery. But owing to the illicit amalgamation of the white and black races which is a concomitant of slavery, there was no inconsiderable number of American slaves in whom the proportion of African blood was so slight as to be almost or quite imperceptible.
The aversion to color was so far shared in the non-slaveholding states, that before the late civil war in only one of their number (Vermont) were negroes entirely the equals of the whites before the law; and socially they were everywhere treated as an inferior caste. - Slavery was opposed by eminent men in the United States from the beginning. Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Jay, Hamilton, and many more of those who took a conspicuous part in laying the foundations of the government, regarded slavery as a great evil, inconsistent with the principles of the declaration of independence and the spirit of Christianity. They confidently expected that it would gradually pass away before the advancing power of civilization and freedom; and, shrinking from what they regarded as insurmountable obstacles to emancipation in their own time, they consented, in forming the constitution, to give the system certain advantages which they hoped would be temporary, and therefore not dangerous to the stability of the government. Societies to promote the gradual abolition of slavery were formed in many of the states. The "Pennsylvania Abolition Society," founded in 1775, continued in existence until slavery was destroyed.
Its first president was Benjamin Franklin, its first secretary Benjamin Rush. In 1790 it sent a memorial to congress, bearing the official signature of "Benjamin Franklin, president," asking that body to "devise means for removing the inconsistency of slavery from the American people," and to "step to the very verge of its power for discouraging every species of traffic in the persons of our fellow men." The " New York Manumission Society" was formed in 1785, John Jay being the first president, and Alexander Hamilton his successor. Similar associations were formed in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. These societies exerted a strong influence in favor of the abolition of slavery in several northern states. In 1819-'20 the opponents of slavery made a stern resistance to the admission of Missouri to the Union as a slave state, and were defeated. (For particulars on the compromises which ended this and a similar struggle in 1850, and the whole of the political conflicts in regard to slaveholding in the territories of the United States, and the laws regulating the rendition of fugitive slaves, see United States and the notices of the presidents and the principal party leaders, such as Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Stephen A. Douglas.) The Missouri conflict was followed by a period of profound repose in regard to the whole subject.
The publication, by Benjamin Lundy, a Quaker, of a small journal at Baltimore entitled " Genius of Universal Emancipation," was almost the only visible sign of opposition to slavery until William Lloyd Garrison established " The Liberator" in Boston, Jan. 1, 1831. Accepting the definition of American slavery furnished by the statutes of the slave states, which declare the slaves to be "chattels personal, in the hands of their owners and possessors, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever," he asserted that slaveholding was a sin against God and a crime against humanity; that immediate emancipation was the right of every slave and the duty of every master. On Jan. 1, 1832, the first society on this basis was organized in Boston by 12 men, Arnold Buffum, a Quaker, being president. The "American Anti-Slavery Society" was formed in Philadelphia in December, 1833, Arthur Tappan being its first president. This society and its auxiliaries expressly affirmed that congress had no right to abolish slavery in the slave states, and they asked for no action on the part of the national government that had not, up to that time, been held to be constitutional by leading men of all parties in every portion of the country.
They pronounced all laws admitting the right of slavery to be "before God utterly null and void." They declared that their principles led them " to reject, and to entreat the oppressed to reject, the use of all carnal weapons for deliverance from bondage;" their measures, they said, would be " such only as the opposition of moral purity to moral corruption, the destruction of error by the potency of truth, and the abolition of slavery by the spirit of repentance." By means of lectures, newspapers, tracts, public meetings, and petitions to congress, they produced an intense excitement throughout the country, the effects of which were soon manifest in the religious sects and political parties. The American anti-slavery society and those affiliated with it were opposed to the formation of a distinct anti-slavery political party, deeming it wiser to attempt to diffuse their principles among the members of all parties. In 1840, on account of differences upon this and other matters affecting the policy of the movement, a portion of the members seceded and formed the " American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society." The "liberty party" was organized in the same year, mainly by the seceders and those in sympathy with them.
This party was mostly absorbed by the "free-soil party" in the presidential election of 1848, though a small number of persons, holding the opinion that the national government had constitutional power to abolish slavery in every part of the country, continued under the name of liberty party for several years. The free-soil party was in its turn absorbed by the republican party, which in the presidential election of 1856 first exhibited great strength and commanded a popular vote of upward of 1,300,000, though it failed to elect its candidates. In 1860 it elected Abraham Lincoln president and Hannibal Hamlin vice president by the vote of all the free states except New Jersey. In 1844 the American anti-slavery society openly avowed its conviction that the so-called " compromises of the constitution" were immoral; that, consequently, it was wrong to swear to support that instrument, or to hold office or vote under it. From that time until the secession of the slave states, the abolitionists of this school avowed it to be their object to effect a dissolution of the American Union and the organization of a northern republic where no slavery should exist.
The "American Abolition Society" was formed in Boston in 1855, to promote the views of those who held that the national government had constitutional power to abolish slavery in every part of the Union. The " Church Anti-Slavery Society" was organized in 1859, for the purpose of convincing the American churches and ministers that slavery was a sin, and inducing them to take the lead in the work of abolition. There have been few slave conspiracies or insurrections in the United States, and the servile population never produced any band of men to be compared with the Maroons of the West Indies, who so long baffled the exertions of the whites to subdue them. It is estimated that more than 30,000 American slaves, after escaping from bondage, found an asylum in Canada. They were aided in their flight by opponents of slavery in the free states. An attempt, in 1859, at subverting the slave institutions of the United States by an insurrection ended in speedy defeat, and was followed by the execution of the leader, John Brown, and some of his associates. The secession of the states which formed the government of the Confederate States in 1861 wholly changed the relations of the government of the United States to the institution of slavery.
Although President Lincoln hastened to make strong assurances of the purpose of the government to abide faithfully by all the compromises of the constitution relating to slavery, and in all the military orders endeavored to provide for so conducting the war as to avoid disturbing the relation of master and slave as it then existed under state laws, it soon became evident that a vigorous prosecution of the war must of necessity make serious inroads upon the institution, if not wholly destroy it in those districts which the federal army should occupy. In May, 1861, Maj. Gen. Butler, commanding the department of Eastern Virginia, declared slaves who had been employed for.military purposes of the confederacy to be contraband of war, and appropriated them to the purposes of his own army. In August following Gen. Fremont, commanding in Missouri, issued a general order wherein, among other things, he proclaimed free all the slaves of those who should take up arms against the United States, or take active part with their enemies in the field. In the particular specified this order was modified by direction of the president, but slaves who had performed any service for the confederate army, whether as servants or as day laborers, were in general treated as "contrabands" by all the military leaders.
In the annual report of the secretary of war, Dec. 1, 1861, the following passage occurs : " It is already a grave question what shall be done with those slaves who were abandoned by their owners on the advance of our troops into southern territory, as at Beaufort district in South Carolina. The number left within our control at that point is very considerable; and similar cases will probably recur. What shall be done with them ? Can we afford to send them forward to their masters, to be by them armed against us, or used in producing supplies to sustain the rebellion ? Their labor may be useful to us; withheld from the enemy, it lessens his military resources; and withholding them has no tendency to induce the horrors of insurrection, even in the rebel communities. They constitute a military resource; and being such, that they should not be turned over to the enemy is too plain to discuss. Why deprive him of supplies by a blockade, and voluntarily give him men to produce them?" Nevertheless several ofthe commanders of Union armies allowed masters to appear within their lines and carry off into slavery fugitives found therein.
An order of Gen. David Hunter, commanding the department of the South, dated May 9, 1862, declaring the states of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina under martial law and the slaves therein free, was annulled by proclamation of the president ten days later. On Aug. 22, 1862, the president in a public telegraphic despatch addressed to Horace Greeley, in response to a letter from that gentleman, gave utterance to his views as follows: "If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I-do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I believe doing more will help the cause." Meantime, on March 2, 1862, the president had recommended to congress that a resolution be adopted "that the United States, in order to cooperate with any state which may adopt gradual abolition of slavery, give to such state pecuniary aid, to be used by such state in its discretion, to compensate it for the inconvenience, public and private, produced by such change of system." The resolution was adopted, but produced no effect.
Immediately after the battle of Antietam the president issued a proclamation (Sept. 22,1862), in which, after declaring his determination to prosecute the war for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the Union and the several states, and that it was his purpose at the next meeting of congress to recommend some practical measure of assistance in emancipation to those states which would voluntarily accept it, he proceeded to announce that on the first day of January, 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state, the people whereof should then be in rebellion, should be then, thenceforward, and for ever free, and the executive government, including the military and naval autlioritv thereof, would maintain such freedom. He further proclaimed that on the said first day of January he would by proclamation designate the states and parts of states then in rebellion, but that any state which should then be represented in congress by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters participated, should in the absence of strong countervailing testimony be conclusively deemed not in rebellion.
After then calling attention to legislation of congress bearing date March 13, 1862, forbidding the employment of military force to return fugitives to slavery, and that of July 16, 1862, for the confiscation of property of rebels, including slaves, and enjoining the observance thereof, he closed with the assurance that in due time, on the restoration of constitutional relations between the Union and the respective states, he should recommend compensation to loyal persons for all losses, including that of slaves. The final proclamation of freedom was issued on Jan. 1, 1863. It designated the following states and parts of states as then in rebellion : Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemine, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the 48 counties designated as West Virginia, and the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth). The president enjoined upon the freedmen to abstain from all violence unless in necessary self-defence, and recommended to them in all cases, when allowed to do so, to labor faithfully for reasonable wages; but gave notice also that suitable persons would be received into the armed service of the United States. This proclamation had no very marked effect upon the relation of slavery beyond the lines of the federal army, but it gave consistency and unity to the action of the federal commanders, and it facilitated and hastened the incorporation of freedmen and other colored persons into the federal armies.
On June 9, 1862, a law had been enacted which terminated for ever the long and bitter agitation beginning with the contest about the admission of Missouri to the Union. This declared that "from and after the passage of this act there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in the punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." On June 23, 1864, all laws for the rendition of fugitive slaves to their masters were repealed. On Jan. 31, 1865, the final vote was taken in congress submitting to the states for their approval and ratification the following amendment to the constitution: "Article XIII. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction." On Dec. 18, 1865, the secretary of state issued his proclamation declaring that this amendment had been approved by the legislatures of Illinois, Rhode Island, Michigan, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Maine, Kansas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia - in all, 27 of the 36 states - and was consequently adopted.
The assassination of President Lincoln put an end to any very serious thoughts of making provision for compensation for losses of slaves; and the fourteenth amendment to the constitution, ratified by a majority of the states in 1867-'8, absolutely forbade compensation being made either by the United States or by any state. Thus terminated for ever in the United States the system of bondage which had been its chief reproach in the eyes of the world and of its own people; which from the outset had been the principal source of solicitude to its statesmen; and the southern defenders of which finally assailed the life of the nation with a power and persistency from which it barely escaped, after losses and sacrifices such as few peoples in modern times have been called upon to suffer. - The abolition of slavery has rendered the laws of the several states concerning it of little practical interest, but a few points may be mentioned. The slave was a chattel, for an injury to whom the master might recover damages as for an injury to a beast. Nevertheless he was recognized as a person, so far as to be made amenable to the criminal code, and was punishable as such.
The master had a power of discipline over him which did not extend to life or limb, and for any excess in punishment he might be criminally responsible, as he might for excessive violence to a child or apprentice. The police laws of the state were at the master's service for disciplinary purposes, and stringent regulations were made in his interest.
The slave had no legal family relations, and any that should be voluntarily formed might be changed at the will of the master, by sale or otherwise. Slaves might be emancipated by the master, by deed or will, under state regulations; but in some of the states the laws were adverse to emancipation, and interposed various obstacles. Whatever was acquired by the slave belonged to his master, and it was therefore legally impossible for the slave to purchase his freedom; nevertheless masters frequently received from their slaves sums which they had accumulated by extra services, and gave them freedom in return. The general doctrine of the courts was that the master by voluntarily taking his slave into a free state gave him his freedom, and this rule was supposed to be applicable to the free territories of the United States until the decision of the supreme court in the case of Dred Scott in 1857, which denied the constitutional power of congress to prohibit the holding of persons in slavery in the territories. Near the same time the doctrine that a master might lawfully hold his slaves in passing through the free states found able advocates among lawyers.
Slaves were not allowed legal rights in courts, though persons held as slaves but claiming to be free might bring actions to recover their freedom. Slaves might be witnesses for or against each other where crimes were charged, but were not allowed to be witnesses against white persons. In general the teaching of slaves to read and write was prohibited, as tending to render them discontented with their condition. Prima facie in slave states all colored persons were slaves. Since the abolition of slavery persons living together as husband and wife, and continuing to do so, have been recognized in law as being legally married; but until they had voluntarily assumed that relation after becoming free, they were at liberty to marry others without incurring legal penalty. - The colonization of emancipated American slaves in Africa was undertaken in 1820, when the colony of Liberia was founded. (See Colonization Society.) The colony of Sierra Leone was founded by England in 1787, being composed of American slaves who had joined her flag under promises of freedom. (See Sierra Leone.) - The following are some of the most important modern works on the subject of slavery: Thomas Clarkson, "History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade" (London, 1808); George Stroud, "Laws relative to Slavery" (Philadelphia, 1827); William Blair, "An Inquiry into the State of Slavery among the Romans" (Edinburgh, 1832); L. M. Child, "Appeal in behalf of that Class of Americans called Africans" (Boston, 1833); Theodore Weld, "American Slavery as It Is" (New York, 1835); William Jay, "A View of the Action of the Federal Government on Slavery" (New York, 1838); David Trumbull, " Cuba, with Notices of Porto Rico and the Slave Trade" (London, 1840); Richard Hildreth, "Despotism in America" (Boston, 1840); W. Adam, "The Law and Custom of Slavery in British India" (Boston, 1840); William Goodell, "Slavery and Anti-Slavery" (New York, 1843); Wallon, Histoire de l' esclavage dans l'antiquite (Paris, 1847); Fuller and Wayland, "Domestic Slavery" (New York, 1847); Copley, "A History of Slavery " (London, 1852); Horace Mann, " Slavery, Letters and Speeches" (Boston, 1851); John Fletcher, "Studies on Slavery " (Natchez, 1852); "The Pro-Slavery Argument" (Charleston, 1853); F. L. Olmsted, "A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States," "A Journey through Texas," "A Journey in the Back Country," and " The Cotton Kingdom "(New York, 1856-'61); the Rev. Albert Barnes, " An Inquiry into the Scriptural Views of Slavery " (Philadelphia, 1855); Theodore Parker, "Trial for the Misdemeanor of. a Speech against Kidnapping" (Boston, 1855); the Rev. Nehemiah Adams, " A South Side View of Slavery" (Boston, 1855); George Fitzhugh, "Sociology for the South" (Richmond, 1855); Arthur Helps, "The Spanish Conquest in America, and its Relation to the History of Slavery," etc. (London and New York, 1856-'60); Weston, "Progress of Slavery in the United States " (Washington, 1857); T. R. R. Cobb, "An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery " (Philadelphia and Savannah, 1858); John C. Hurd, "Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States " (Boston, 1858); J. R. Giddings, "Exiles of Florida" (Columbus, O., 1858); H. R. Helper, " The Impending Crisis of American Slavery" (New York, 1859); A. Gurowski, " Slavery in History" (New York, 1860); Horace Greeley, "The American Conflict" (2 vols., Hartford, 1864-'6); E. M'Pherson, "History of the Rebellion" (Washington, 1865), and "History of Reconstruction" (Washington, 1868); A. H. Stephens, "The War between the States" (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1868-'70); S. J. May, "Recollections of the Anti-Slavery Conflict" (Boston, 1868); and Henry Wilson, "Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America" (3 vols., Boston, 1871-'6).