: American and Foreign Anti-Slave Society
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, Excerpt from The Annual Report of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society: Presented at New York May 7, 1850, With the Addresses and Resolutions The Tenth Annual Meeting of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was held in the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, on Tuesday, May 7th, 1850, at 3 o'clock, P.M. In the absence of the President, the chair was occupied by Vice-President Hon. William Jay. Prayer was offered by Rev. Lewis Woodson, of Pittsburgh, Penn. The Chairman then delivered the following address: Gentlemen of the Society: - In the present fierce competition of Northern politicians for Southern votes, and Northern traders for Southern custom, we have witnessed many rich and precious sacrifices, basely and ignominiously offered on the altar of human bondage. One of the most remarkable incidents in this competition is the pledge given by the Senator from Massachusetts to vote for new facilities in catching and restoring to their prison-house, such of his innocent fellow-men and fellow-countrymen as had, through the providence of God, escaped from it. Before I examine the details of the bill which is to be honored with the support of Daniel Webster, allow me to inquire whence Congress derives the power to legislate on the subject. The power of the Federal Government is limited by the explicit declaration, "The powers not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Hence, if Congress possess the power to fine and imprison us for not hunting a fugitive slave, or for concealing him from his hunters, such power is delegated in the Constitution. Now what are the terms in which this power is delegated? Only the following: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due." Second Section, Article IV. Not another syllable in reference to fugitive slaves is to be found in the Constitution. If these few lines delegated Congress the power to fine and imprison me for not joining in a slave-hunt, equally does it delegate the power to hang every individual in this room guilty of the same crime. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.