Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nathaniel Peabody Rogers: Reverend Ralph Randolph Gurley, December 8, 1838

[From the Herald of Freedom of Dec. 8, 1838.]

We must give the whole of this euphonic line, so harmonious to the colored ear. This silver-spoken expatriationist has appeared again, we understand, in our New England horizon, with his northern aspect on, having doffed his slaveholder phases, as he crossed his equinoctial—the Mason and Dixon line. He ranges from tropic to tropic along his crooked ecliptic—from New Orleans on the south, to — the old town hall in Concord (his northmost declination) on the north—shifting his disk, like the changing moon.

Hail to thee, in the “clear cold sky” of the North, thou star of evil promise to liberty! Welcome, caterer of slavery, to the regions of paid labor! Thou reverend advocate of a double origin of the human family, and denier that “God hath made of one blood all nations of men,” &c. Thou promoter of human banishment, and sunderer of the strong ties of native country, hail to thy dubious aspect—thy Janus facies! Come, stir, with thy magician's rod, among the hushed and abashed mobocracy of your native New England. Kindle afresh the slumbering fires of prejudice. Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of persecution! Mount the consecrated pulpit, under the ushering of the shepherds of the flock, who care for the sheep, and “pour” thence “your leprous distilment into” the common ear, till “public sentiment” shall “posset and curd” under your infusion, and the blotch and tetter of colonization shall “bark out over all” the surface of the body politic.

Thou angler for consent to exile! thou fisher for funds in the pockets of prejudice! thou recruiting sergeant for the ranks of banishment! Thou art earning the deep and indelible displeasure of thy colored brother. He must forgive thee unpardonable enmity, and “seventy times seven,” and God help him to charity unbounded—for he needs it in this emergency.

Elliot[T] Cresson, too, a satellite of the Secretary, is up here, on a winter campaign. Why does not Elliot cast the shadow of his broad brim on the snows of Canada, this winter, in the service of the Patriots, and help them become a free republic, and so break up that nest of self-emancipated niggers? For if this province of Canada were only a free, democratic state, it would not afford a refuge to those insolent fugitives, but they would have to be “given up on claim of those to whom” their souls and bodies, their time and eternity, “might be due.” Bethink thee, Friend! Elliot, thou mightest strike a capital stroke for thy master (who can enlarge his brim till it is as broad as William Penn's, to suit his turn) in the extinction of this tyrant monarchy, this refuge of runaway democrats. Thou mightest solicit the fugitives, with good prospect of colonizing them. If thou shouldest succeed in abolishing monarchy in said province, and open a way for the restoration of the lost property to be found there, thou mightest then solicit it for consent to great advantage. Thou mightest offer the candidates, either a sudden, and, as it were, a reluctant return to the patriarchs from whom they strayed, (with fetter on heel and hand-cuff on wrist,) or the glorious alternative of voluntary emigration, “with their own consent,” to the steepled paradise of Liberia. And would they not be free to go or stay? Yea, verily. Thee would say to them, "Friend, I do thee no injustice. Go to Liberia; but go freely. I abate not a tithe of thy free, thy voluntary, thy spontaneous choice. Go if thee choose. If not, stay and return south with me, whence, in an evil hour, thou came out.” Peradventure some of them would "consent," For They Have Been South. Yes, reader, they have been south.

SOURCE: Collection from the Miscellaneous Writings of Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, Second Edition, p. 54-6 which states it was published in the Herald of Freedom of December 8, 1838.

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