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same description are allowed to be held as slaves by the laws of this state.
“ It shall be their duty, as soon as may be, to pass such laws as may be necessary,
“1. To prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to and settling in this state, under any pretext whatsoever.
“ Schools and the ineans of education shall for ever be encouraged in this state.
" That the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
" That the accused cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.
“ That cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inAlicted.
“'That the free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and that every person may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty."
The consequences of the compromise began to show themselves first in the difference between the character of the population in Missouri and Illinois, the latter of which is two years older than the former. They lie opposite each other on the Mississippi, and both are rich in advantages of soil, climate, and natural productions. They showed, however, social differences from the very beginning of their independent career, which are becoming more striking every day. Rapacious adventurers, who know that the utmost profit of slaves is made by working them hard on a virgin soil, began flocking to Missouri, while settlers who preferred smaller gains to holding slaves sat down in Illinois. When it was found, as it soon was, that slavery does not answer so well in the farming parts of Missouri as on the new plantations of the South, a farther difference took place. New settlers perceived that, in point of immediate interest merely, the fine lands of Missouri were less worth having, with the curse of slavery upon them, than those of Illinois without it. In vain has the price of land been lowered in Missouri as that in Illinois rose. Settlers go first and look at the cheaper land; some remain upon it; but many recross the river and settle in the rival state. This enrages the people of Missouri. Their soreness and jealousy, combined with other influences of slavery, so exasperate their prejudices against the people of colour as to give a perfectly
diabolical character to their hatred of negroes and the friends of negroes, That such is the temper of those who conduct popular action in the state is shown by some events which happened in the year 1836. In the very bottom of the souls of the American statesmen who admitted Missouri on unrighteous terms, these events must kindle a burning comparison between what the social condition of the frontier states of their honourable Union is and what it might have been.
A man of colour in St. Louis was arrested for some of. fence, and rescued by a free man of his own colour, a citizen of Pennsylvania, named Mackintosh, who was steward on board a steamboat then at St. Louis. Mackintosh was conveyed to jail for rescuing his comrade, whose side of the question we have no means of knowing. Mackintosh appears to have been a violent man, or, at least, to have been in a state of desperation at the time that he was on his way to jail, guarded by two peace-officers. He drew a knife from his side (almost every man on the western frontier being accustomed io carry arms), killed one of the officers, and wounded the other. He was immediately lodged in the prison. The wife and children of the murdered officer bewailed him in the street, and excited the rage of the people against Mackintosh. Some of the citizens acknowledged to me that his colour was the provocation which aggravated their rage so far beyond what it had ever been in somewhat similar cases of personal violence, and that no one would have dreamed of treating any white man as this mulatto was treated. The citizens assembled round the jail in the afternoon, demanding the prisoner, and the jailer delivered him up: He was led into the woods on the outskirts of the city ; and, when there, they did not know what to do with him. While deliberating they tied him to a tree. This seemed to suggest the act which followed. A voice cried out, “ Burn him!” Many tongues echoed the cry. Brushwood was
" rooted up, and a heap of green wood piled about the man. Who furnished the fire does not seem to be known. Between two and three thousand of the citizens of St. Louis were present. Two gentlemen of the place assured me that the deed was done by the hands of not more than six ; but they could give no account of the reasons why the two or three thousand stood by in silence to behold the act of the bix, further than that they were afraid to interfere !
The victim appears to have made no resistance nor entreaty. He was, some say twenty minutes, some say half an hour, in dying ; during the whole of which time he was praying or singing hymns in a firm voice. This fact was the ground of an accusation made by magistrates of his being “ connected with the abolitionists." When his legs were consumed so that his body dropped into the fire, and he was no longer seen, a bystander observed to another, “ There ! it is over with him : he does not feel any more now. I do," observed the man's quiet voice from out of the flames.
I saw the first notice which was given of this in the St. Louis newspapers. The paragraph briefly related that a ruffian of colour had murdered a citizen, had been demanded by the indignant fellow-citizens of the murdered man, and burned in the neighbourhood of the city ; that this unjustifiable act was to be regretted, but that it was hoped that the veil of oblivion would be drawn over the deed. Some of the most respectable of the citizens were in despair when they found that the newspapers of the Union generally were disposed to grant the last request ; and it is plain that, on the spot, no one dared to speak out about the act.
The charge of Judge Lawless (his real name) to the grand jury is a sufficient commentary upon the state of St. Louis society. He told the jury that a bad and lamentable deed had been committed in burning a man alive without trial, but that it was quite another question whether they were to take any notice of it. If it should be proved to be the act of the few, every one of those few ought undoubtedly to be indicted and punished ; but if it should be proved to be the act of the many, incited by that electric and metaphysical influence which occasionally carries on a multitude to do deeds above and beyond the law, it was no affair for a jury to interfere in. He spoke of Mackintosh as connected with the body of abolitionists. Of course, the affair was found to be electric and metaphysical, and all proceedings were dropped.
All proceedings in favour of law and order; others of an opposite character were vigorously instituted by magistrates, in defiance of some of those clauses of the constitution which I have quoted above. The magistrates of St. Louis prosecuted a domiciliary inquisition into the periodical publications of the city, visiting the newspaper offices, prying and threatening, and offering rewards for the discovery of any probability that the institution of slavery would be spoken
against in print. In the face of the law, the press was rigidly controlled.
Information was given, while the city was in this excited state, of every indication of favour to the coloured people, and of disapprobation of slavery; and the savages of St. Louis were on the alert to inflict vengeance. In Marion College, Palmyra (Missouri), two students were undoubtedly guilty of teaching two coloured boys to read. These boys were carried by them to the college for service, the one being employed on the farm, and the other in the college, to clean shoes and wait on the young men.
One afternoon a large number of citizens from St. Louis, well mounted, appeared on the Palmyra road, and they made no secret of their intention to Lynch the two students who taught their servants to read. The venerable Dr. Nelson, who was, I believe, at the head of the institution, came out of his house to implore the mob with tears not to proceed, and the ladies of his family threw themselves down in the road in the way of the horses. The way was forcibly cleared, and the persecutors proceeded. The young men came forth as soon as summoned. They were conducted to the edge of the forest where it opens upon a prairie. There a circle was formed, and they were told that they stood in a Lynch court.
The younger one was first set in the midst. He acknowl. edged the act with which he was charged. He was offered the alternative of receiving twenty lashes with the horrid cowhide (which was shown him), or of immediately leaving the state for ever. He engaged to leave the state for ever, and was set across the river into Illinois.
The elder student made his trial a longer one. knowledged the act of teaching his servant to read, and made himself heard while he defended it. He pleaded that he was a citizen of Missouri, being of age, and having exercised the suffrage at the last election. He demanded a fair trial in a court of law, and pledged himself to meet any accusation there. At last it came to their binding him to a tree, and offering him the choice of two hundred lashes with the cowhide, or of promising to leave the state, and never to return to it. He knew that a sentence of two hundred lashes meant death by torture (it is so understood in Lynch courts), and he knew that a promise thus extorted was not binding ; so he promised. He was also set across the river, where he
immediately published a narrative of the whole transaction, and declared his intention of returning to his state, to resume the duties and privileges of citizenship, as soon as he could be personally safe.
The St. Louis Lynchers next ordered the heads of Marion College to hold a public meeting, and declare their convictions and feelings on the subject of slavery. They were obeyed, and they put pretty close questions to the professors, especially to Dr. Ely, who was a suspected man.
Dr. Ely came from one of the Eastern states, and was considered by the abolitionists of his own religious persuasion to be one of their body. Some time after he went into Missouri, it appeared incidentally in some newspaper communications that he had bought a slave. His friends at the East resented the imputation, and were earnest in his vindication; but were presently stopped and thrown into amazement by his coming out with an acknowledgment and desence of the act. He thought that the way in which he could do most good was by purchasing negroes for purposes of enlightenment. So he bought his man Abraham, designing to enlighten him for nine years, and then set him free, employing the proceeds of his nine years' labour in purchasing two other slaves, to be enlightened and robbed in the same manner, for the purpose of purchasing four more at the expiration of another series of years, and so on. It seems astonishing that a clergyman should thus deliberately propose to confer his charities through the medium of the grossest injustice: but so it was. When, at the enforced meeting, he was questioned by the Lynchers as to his principles, he declared himself opposed to the unchristian fanaticism of abolitionism ; spurned the imputation of being one of the body, and, in proof of his sincerity, declared himself to be the master of one slave, and to be already contracting for
The Lynchers returned to St. Louis without having committed murder. They had triumphantly broken the laws, and trodden under foot their constitution of sixteen years
If it could be made known at what expense they were saved from bloodshed ; if it could be revealed what violence they offered to conscience, what feelings they lacerated, what convictions they stifled, what passions they kindled, what an undying worm they fixed at the core of many a heart, at the root of many a life, it might have been clear to