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acts like these of national sympathy and love, will have a tendency to allay these passions and promote the permanent peace of these two great nations.
HELP THE FREED-MAN! Their number and their wants demand your aid. Four millions is a number easily recorded, but very difficult to conceive. London with its squares, streets, alleys, and lanes; its teeming population ; its crowded thoroughfares, and its ever-extending boundaries, presents an object, even to its inhabitants, overwhelming in its magnitude. If however you could gather the emancipated slaves of America into one city, that city must be able to accommodate a million more inhabitants than the British capital. Let it also be remembered that this great assemblage is in circumstances to excite our sympathy and to require our most liberal aid. The system of Slavery has unfitted them without help to emerge at once into the duties and responsibilities of liberty. They require even the humblest dwellings to hide them from the weather, the roughest garments to conceal their nakedness, and food to supply their craving hunger. They are also in a state of great mental and moral degradation. In a large number of cases they have been treated as beasts of burden rather than as men. Like animals they have been branded to indicate their masters' property. Like animals they have often been propagated without respect for the law of marriage. Like animals they have been sold, and children and parents were separated, with as little regard to their feelings. Like animals they have been driven by the lash of the task-master to their daily toil. Such circumstances must naturally produce great degradation. The most miserable pauper in the poor-house would be as little prepared for the use of boundless wealth as these poor slaves for the glorious possession of freedom.
HELP THE FREED-MAN! and thus be followers of God as dear children. His people were once slaves in Egypt. They cried by reason of their oppression, and he heard their cry. By a series of terrible judgments he punished their oppressors, and broke their bonds asunder. Like all slaves they emerged from their captivity requiring special help. By a series of wonderful miracles God did for these emancipated slaves what we are required to do by the ordinary means of Christian charity. He rained down food from Heaven to supply their hunger. He made the flinty rock pour copious streams of water to satisfy their thirst. Their clothing he suffered not to wax old, and He instructed them by means adapted to their depressed intelligence. The most wonderful truths were presented through the simplest pictures. He thus made their senses the vehicles to their understanding.
Let us ponder this divine example and endeavour to imitate it in the present instance. As in the case of Israel, there may be much to try our zeal and love in seeking the elevation of these sons of Africa. But let us bear with their manners and constantly repeat our attempts to raise them to the mental and moral stature of men in Christ Jesus.
HELP THE FREED-MAN! properly trained they may become great benefactors to the world. Could we have beheld Israel a rude multitude of half-clothed men, women and children, rushing along in confusion from the scene of their captivity, to the liberty of the wilderness, we could not have expected that for for them so bright a future was in reserve. That they would have more exalted conceptions of the Divine nature than that afterwards attained by the boasted philosophy of Greece or Rome; that they would number amongst their offspring the greatest warriors, the sublimest philosophers, the most distinguished sovereigns and prophets, whose writings would unfold the future of every age; yea, that from these emancipated slaves should come Jesus, the desire of all nations, and the Saviour of the world.
Many a proud white man treats the Negro with supercilious contempt, Should it be so ? The colour of his skin is all that creates the difference :
“He is man, for a' that," having the same intelligent spirit and the same immortal nature.
No one can have studied Negro life but must perceive that here is a rich and prolific soil, that will abundantly repay earnest and continuous culture. Their warm affections, cheerful fun, ready wit, toilsome labour, patient endurance, and, withal, their devout spirit, are elements of character in the black man capable of many great and good things for the benefit of society and the service of God. We anticipate that the state of freedom to which the Negro in America is now raised, if properly improved, will soon produce specimens of human nature that will be an honour to our race.
Let the senators of America employ the influence of their high position in Congress to help the Freed-man. Let all classes of American Society put forth the energy by which as a people they are distinguished to advance this object, and let the churches of America unitedly lead on this great and patriotic enterprise.
We would, however, appeal especially to England to use her wealth and philanthropic zeal in this good work. Women of England! only a few years have elapsed since you transmitted an address to your American sisters signed by half a million of names, from the most exalted ladies the land to the humblest cottager. This address called upon American women to use their utmost influence to terminate slavery, with its cruelty, injustice, and crime. They have nobly responded to your call. They have given up their fathers, their sons, and their husbands to fight the battle of liberty, and the slave is free ! You are now called upon to render that liberty a blessing. You cannot turn a deaf ear to this appeal. You dare not. As you pleaded for the liberty of your sisters in slavery, you are now pledged for their elevation. We have all been familiar with the picture of a Negro, in an imploring attitude, kneeling on one knee, with fettered feet and enchained hands; and underneath the picture appear the words, “ Am not I man and a brother."
The same figure still appears, with one exception, that the manacles are broken off, and the chain is shivered to atoms. He is free! but the same
imploring figure still requires and supplicates your aid. Shall the delivered captive sue for your help in vain ?
HELP THE FREED-MAN! The agencies for his help are at hand. It is not necessary that you should expose yourselves to the inconvenience and dangers of a long voyage across the Atlantic for his benefit. The Christian people in America are alive to this work. Various agencies are in operation for the benefit of these emancipated captives. These aim to supply their wants, improve their social condition, and promote their education in general and religious knowledge in order to fit them for the benefits of freedom. The Freed-man's Aid Society has been formed for their benefit, and is prepared to transmit money or clothing to the recognized agencies existing in America for their benefit.
THE CLAIMS OF THE FREED-MEN,
BY THE REY, HENRY M. STORRS, D.D.
Speech delivered at the Town Hall, Preston, June 26, 1865. TAKEN in some of its aspects, the subject certainly presents a special appeal to an audience of an industrial town. It is a subject removed, of course, at once from the arena of political partizanship; it has nothing to do with those questions concerning the cause of the late war in America, or the constitution which preceded it. It is not a question moreover, of religious partizanship; it is simply and broadly a question of humanity. It has to do with the sufferings of men, women, and children who, by the mystery and ordination of providence, have been suddenly thrown upon the world en masse, and who must be relieved by the charitable living within it. An appeal is made on behalf of four millions of men, women, and children, the great mass of whom are under circumstances of great physical distress, and all of whom, under that instruction which it was proposed to give them, would benefit by the permanent blessing of freedom. Consider the effect of four millions of
persons-something like the whole population of Scotland, men, women, and children-being suddenly dispossessed of every article they held, including those used in their labour, and turned upon the world without any money or means to earn their own living; but that would be nothing compared with what had recently occurred in America by the emancipation of the negroes, all of whom had been turned upon the country without any implements of labour, tools, or food, and with little or no clothing they could call their own; without a hut to live in, or a cabin in which they had a right to remain for a single day; without a loaf of bread for their sustenance, or without a single possession. Conceive four millions of slaves suddenly set free, without anything to live upon, or anything to turn their hands to, and rendered still worse by the condition of the country around them, which has been impoverished by the late
Conceive, if possible, the position of the liberated, multitudes of whom are diseased men, women, and children, on the verge of death, without any one to take care of them, and realise to a still further extent the great work which is required at the hands of the people, not only of the North, but of the civilised world. Again, out of the four millions alluded to, at least onefifth of them are under twelve years of age, or, in other words, 800,000 were mere children. Of these 150,000 or 200,000 are orphans, without any relative to take care of them or provide support for them.
In the prosecution of the late war, slave owners seized the middle aged men and women, tore them from their families, and sent them away to other remote districts of the South, so that now that the war is over, it is impossible for these poor parents to return or to recover their sons or their daughters. Out of the four millions emancipated, a large number have been kept upon plantations for breeding purposes. In one State there were 1,500 living in that condition, most of whom had been joined in temporary alliances, to be separated and rejoined to other parties just at the discretion of their masters. Then, again, the slaves were uneducated and very ignorant. The free school system which had done so much for the American people, was virtually inoperative not only to the slaves but to the children of the poor whites, who obtained great advantages from such schools in the North. The slave owners appropriated the schools to their own purposes ; indeed, they had owned and appropriated nearly everything in the South. The war has, however thoroughly destroyed the wealth of the South. The slave owners as a body have been reduced to such circumstances that they have nothing to spare. The class of small farmers who live among them have likewise been reduced, and the small tradesmen and artisans suffering from the demands made upon them and from conscription for the army have been almost driven from the country, or decimated by the war. Then as to the “poor white trash,” as they are vernacularly called, they are in as great distress as the negro. They were indolent and would not work, even in the best of times, if they could help it. They were in a degraded state, and were probably the most ignoble class of people in Christendom. The fourth class of persons inhabiting the south is the negro.
The feeling of the poor whites to the negro is, if possible, better than that of the pro-slavery men of the north. They had some respect for the negro when in bondage, but the moment they were liberated that feeling gave way to one of strong personal dislike and hostility. Such being the facts of the case as to the condition of the south and the slave, they could not look for sympathy and support to the negro from the south, and however much they might be otherwise disposed to act towards the freed slaves by providing them with food, lodgings, or clothing, it is almost impossible for them to render the Negro any aid, since they seem to be nearly all despoiled by the war. Such being the case there has been originated in North America the Freed-men's Aid Society, for providing and attending to the present wants of the emancipated ; and there is another society in existence there, called the American Union Association, whose object is to distribute food, clothing, and implements of labour to the “ white trash” of the South to preserve them from starvation. Thus it will be seen that a great work is going on in America, and that there is a great demand upon the charitable, not only of that country, but of all the world ; and if the sympathy even of the whites can be given to the emancipated black, it will go far to alleviete the suffering which he has experienced.
Though the war has terminated, the feeling against the poor Negro is not allayed. He has been loved as a slave, but every annoyance is being manifested to him in the South now that he is free. Thousands were driven from their former homes, as they were unwilling to remain longer slaves ; and there are thousands of negroes now destitute and naked in the midst of an impoverished district. Around Mobile alone there are no fewer than 30,000 perishing and destitute and almost naked blacks, and yet there was a strong opposition by the resident whites to their freedom. It might be asked, why are not the emancipated put to labour and provided with food? When the war concluded it was too late to plant crops. Unlike the climate of England, when the spring rains have ceased in the south of America the torrid sun prevents anything just sown from natural root or growth. They might as well put seeds into the oven to bake their bread as put them into the land after the spring rains. Many of the escaped slaves have during the past winter been frozen to death during the exposure of night. So varied is the climate of North and South America, that while in winter the Ohio was frozen over, and made the teamster's highway, in summer it was such a rapid stream that it was with difficulty anyone falling into it could be rescued. The sufferings and privations of the negroes and the poor whites of America are indeed very great, much greater than is imagined, though the people of this country know something of privations. When the Lancashire operatives were thrown out of work by the scarcity of cotton, the whole of the British nation was aroused for their relief, and during that crisis the people on the other side of the water had watched with generous admiration the noble conduct of the Lancashire workman in his distress, and had been gratified to see that they were willing to suffer their privations if it would bring about the emancipation of the four millions of slaves in America. The people of America had also been glad to have the opportunity of being permitted by the British people to join their mite to the large sums of money which were raised for the relief of the operatives of this country. And yet the sufferings of the Lancashire operatives were not a tithe of those now being experienced by the freed negroes and poor whites of South America, who numbered eight millions, and who required food, clothing, and lodging. The Government of America was differently constituted to that of England. It was said that the Government of America had brought the present suffering upon the nation, and consequently ought to provide for the wants of the people it had emancipated. The Government had already done much in that respect, and though the constitution prevented them from making suitable provision, it had given more than £100,000,000 already simply to feed and