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Abolition

Title: Article About the Slave Case
Type: Newspaper
Date: 1860
Source: Minnesota Historical Society

Description: Abolitionists often used the local newspapers as a way of expressing their views about the Eliza Winston case. This republican writer was visiting Minnesota at the time of the escape.

Transcription:

SLAVERY IN MINNESOTA

MR. EDITOR:—It has been my fortune to spend the last few weeks in your beautiful City, and as a Republican I have watched with great interest the pulse of the party, General opinion of party members. on the great and absorbing question of Slavery.

On turning to your Constitution I find in Sec. 2 of Article 1, the following words: "There shall be neither Slavery not involuntary servitude in the State otherwise than in punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." And in the face of this plain provision Slavery has existed right there in this City, without a complaint, without a murmur. But within a few days past a great outrage has been committed, a black woman has been assisted in procuring Getting. her freedom. How has an outrage been committed? Have the laws of the State been violated, and if so, who has done it? Is it the man who attempts, nay, so far as his own acts go, makes this a Slave State, contrary to law, or the man who assists in enforcing the laws as they exist?

The Slaveholders themselves know that their chattels Moveable property. cease to be such the moment they land in our State, they then "have rights that white men are bound to respect." They are contraband Illegal property. property, and so far as their owners are concerned, are confiscated. Taken away. It is a game of chance and the chances are against them. The policy of interference on the part of individuals may be questioned, but the right never.

But say these freedom-lovers, Sarcastic reference to slave oweners. "What business has any man to interfere, and let the slave know the law, and its effects? " We would in reply ask when and by what authority was the mouths of white men padlocked? Has the time come in Minnesota when you dare not express you own opinion? The expediency Appropriateness. must be left for men's consciences to decide for themselves.

The most convincing argument appears to be put in this manner, Are they not spending their money freely among you, and benefitting the whole community? This is the milk in the coacoa nut; The financial benefit of having Southerners with slaves vacation in Minnesota. this is the conclusion of the whole matter. Gold is put in once scale and liberty in the other. It is a shame, a lasting disgraces, that thinking, intelligent men are found using the fallacy, Falsehood. for I will not call it argument. Supposing they do leave a few dollars with your landlords, your doctors, livery men, merchants, and shoemakers. What of it? Is that to be compared to a whole lifetime of servitude Entire life as a slave. of this one Eliza? Tell me not of principle, when you decide so. Tell me not that you believe "all men are born free and equal." Your actions give the lie to your profession.

Statement of belief.

"A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty,
Is worth a whole eternity of bondage."

There is one question to be answered, and that is this: Was she entitled to her freedom? If she was, why this whining and cringing? We should thank God that there is one more human being breathing the pure free air of liberty. He who rejected the occurrence, and "Bends the supple hinges of the knee, that thrift may following fawning," is unworthy to be a freeman, "is unworthy of the blessing of the brave, is base in kind, and born to be a slave."

We have even heard some strong, active, enthusiastic, intelligent, high minded Republicans, talk of lynching Execution without trial. those concerned in procuring the poor woman her freedom. Shame on such liberty-loving christians. We have been more disgusted with the general tone of these doughfaces, Northerners who sided with the South on the issue of slavery. than with the language of the slaveholders themselves. They come out like men, and say they knew your laws before they came here, and don't ask you for your sympathy. They know just how far your sympathy goes—to their pocket, and of course you are not thanked for it.

Pardon me, Mr. Editor, for occupying so much of your space, for this subject should be thoroughly ventilated, and I hope to see you as an independent journalist do it.
REPUBLICAN.