Viewing page 5 of 16

OCTOBER, 1860.     DOUGLASS' MONTHLY.     341
[[line across page]]

[[3 columns]]
[[column 1]]
alone responsible for his coarse and brutal doctrine. The moulders of public opinion- the clergymen, the philosophers, and the statesmen- in this country, know the difference between a man and a horse. They do not teach that the political statue of the teamster is the same as that of the nag he drives. Our laws do not herd men and mules, young girls and colts, together on one political common. This poor creature has spent his life in a horse barn, and does not know the difference between his own human nature and the nature of the brutes he grooms.'

But this case does not admit of any such excuse or palliation. This man was not a sinner above or below others. He was a man of average intelligence, able to read his Bible and his Democratic newspaper, accustomed to the sound of such gospel as the American pulpit supplies to its hearers, and was really expressing the average social,religious and political sentiment of this country and the age. Practically the prevailing theology and the prevailing political philosophy of this nation, is adjusted to the doctrine that there is no difference between the social and legal rights of a black man and a horse.- The most numerous, wealthy  and popular  churches and sects among us maintain this doctrine in practice. In the Presbyterian General Assembly, which  met in this city a few months ago, there were leading clergymen and Doctors of Divinity who hold some of their church members by the same tenure, and on the same legal level as as they hold their horses. Dr. THORNDYKE, who made a somewhat conspicuous figure in the ecclesiastical debates of that Assembly, with all his learning and piety, has not yet learned the legal and social distinction between the man who brushes his clerical coat, and the nag which draws his clerical gig. He would sell a child with as little compunction as he would sell a colt. Dr. SPRING, the Moderator of that Assembly, would not lift the four millions of slaves in America from the status of horses, from the condition of goods and chattels to that of men and women, if he could do it by a single prayer. These divines do not know, practically, the difference between a man and a horse, any more than did the countryman whose speech forms our text He was preaching their religion, and upholding their style of godliness in that speech. He was only giving blunt utterance to the prevailing sentiment of every pro-slavery church. He had the General Assembly to support his dogma, that a black man is on the same level as a black horse. 'Is  not a man better than a sheep ?' triumphantly asked the Savior of the Pharisees. Had a Presbyterian divine been present in that crowd to whom the Savior spoke, he would have answered, 'No ! a black man stands on the same level as sheep and horses.' 

'Is a man better than a horse ?' is the great problem with which the American mind is now laboring. It is essentially this question which throws our churches into such a maelstrom of agitation, and breaks our political parties into opposing factions. It is this simple question with which the Methodist Church has been grappling in terror for twenty years. Her ministry can tell you how to get happy ; but they have come to no Conference decision, as to whether thousands of their members, including class leaders and preachers, are better than horses. They have 
[[/column 1]] 

[[column 2]]
long since decided the questions involved in the doctrine of Sanctification ; but the question of whether a man differs from a horse in rights, is still under debate among them.- They would turn a man out of the Conference who preached against perfect love ; but they cannot oust a private member who sells his brother's children with his colts, and sets up his brother's wife at auction by the side of his spavined mare. Methodism in 1860 has yet to learn the difference in rights between ten thousand black persons within its communion, and ten thousand horses running in the pastures of its members. Shade of WESLEY ! Is not this an age of progress ? Is not the millenium near at hand ? 

'Is a man better than a horse ?' This question is the grand hinge of American politics, as well as the pivot of American religion. Some people think it decided by the Declaration of Independence ; but the horse in this controversy, whether mounted by DOUGLAS or BRECKINRIDGE, charges through and through that fine piece of Jeffersonian rhetoric, and gallops unrestrained over the whole plane of the Constitution, driving the black population from the protection of both these defences. Successive Democratic Administrations, from JEFFERSON all the way down to BUCHANAN, have stood forth in the championship of the horse as equal in political rights with the African. The Supreme Court has discharged its heaviest ordinance on the quadruped side of the controversy. The United States army has gone forth to conquest under the banner of horse Democracy, and in favor of the equal political rights of horses and men. The exciting question of the present campaign is but a a mere side issue in this horse and man controversy. One party is denounced as made up of traitors and Union smashers, because it insists that in the Territories men shall not be 'taken and adjudged,' harnessed and driven to unpaid toil, like horses and cattle. Another faction insists that if black men are raised to a plane of rights above horses, the Union shall go down amid blood and thunder, and perish in fire and slaughter. A Roman Consul commanded that divine honors should be paid to his horse, and deified the brute. The American Democracy, in the afternoon of the nineteenth century, are trying the adverse experiment of reducing four millions of human beings, made in the image of God, to the legal and social level of horses.  The Roman was a heathen barbarian in an age of darkness.  The American Democrat professes to be a Christian in an age of unparalleled light and progress. 'The horse knoweth his kind,' but the Democrat refuses to distinguish, legally, his kind from the quadrupeds that draw his coach!

It will not do, then, to be harsh with the fellow who furnished us with our text, and to denounce him as peculiarly ignorant and vile, because he ignores the social and legal difference between a man and a horse, for in this matter he is on a level with the leading divines, philosophers and statesmen of his country and his age. He did but blurt out the popular thought. He condensed the popular religion and popular political philosophy into a single sentence of uncouth rhetoric. He is backed up in his utterance by the conservative church and the hitherto triumphant Democracy. Drs. LORD and SPRING,
[[/column 2]]

[[column 3]]
Profs. STEWART and GRANT are on his side. The Tract Society preaches a gospel which herds horses and men together in one common pasture of rights, and refuses to put a political or social difference between them. The New York [[italics]] Observer [[/italics]] and the New York [[italics]] Herald [[/italics]] unite in support of his dogma. The 'rulers' are in favor of the equality of men and horses, and the weight of power, and the sanctions of both Democracy and Orthodoxy are on the quadruped side in this great controversy of Horses [[italics]] vs. [[/italics]] Humanity. Yes 'to this complexion have we come at last,' and our civil progress 'hath this extent and nothing more,' that neither our religion nor our laws make any distinction between the rights of a man and the rights of a horse.

[[line]]

A POLITICAL TEXT-BOOK FOR 1860: Comprising a brief view of Presidential Nominations and Elections: including all the National Platforms ever yet adopted; also a history of the struggle respecting Slavery in the Territories; Election Returns, &c., &c. Compiled by Horace Greeley and John F. Cleveland. New York: Published by the Tribune Association.

It is said that Americans have no memory for political affairs. Events transpire, transactions of great importance take place-men observe them for the moment, and make them the subject of passing and transient interest; but in a few months or years, owing to the rapidity of the onward movement of the nation, like the ever varying landscape seen from a railroad train dashing on at the rate of forty miles an hour, they are soon forgotten. In the early days of the Republic, great political facts came singly, and fixed themselves in the memory, and became a part of the solid knowledge of the people. Now, the people only feel the past as the indistinct glimmerings of a dream. All this national forgetfulness might do well enough for a people having no voice or responsibility in the government of the State; but not so with us, where every white man at least is constituted a ruler. If this form of government shall prove a hopeless failure,the fault will belong to the people. It will fail because the people have failed to bear in mind the fact of their own political history, and to act with a wise reference to the lessons they teach.

In the Political Text-Book before us we have a full and complete statement of all the great questions of public policy, all the leading issues between contending parties, all the declarations of sentiments of political bodies and their leaders, extending over a period of thirty years. The book is well named a Political Text-Book, provided with an index of subjects under striking and suitable headings, by which the reader may easily find the leading facts appertaining to any of the great questions of the day, or of those overlapping them from the past, and instantly make himself master of them. With this Text-Book in his hand any man with a moderate share of understanding may make himself acquainted with the political history of the country for the last thirty years, and form an intelligent judgment as to the questions which now divide the public mind, and combine the people in different political parties. The book is admirably adapted to the wants of the people in the present political canvass.

[[line]]

HAYTI AND COLORED EMIGRATION.-We have received an important document of this subject from James Redpath, Esq., which shall appear in our next number.
[[/column 3]]
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.