Viewing page 6 of 16

438    DOUGLASS' MONTHLY.     APRIL, 1861.


[[COLUMN 1]]
[[short line]]

It is the hard fate of criminals to be eternally harassed by apprehensions of punishment. They are anxious by day and alarmed by night. 'The thief doth think each bush an officer,' and a tyrant sees an armed assassin in his own shadow. For him, there is evermore a hand writing on the wall, to be interpreted. It is well. Wrapped up in this peculiarity of crime and its consequences, there is the prophecy of the final reign of justice and liberty among men. It is the flaming sword of heaven, bidding the oppressor beware! The slaveholders of our land have been for years looking for an uprising among their slaves, and have been preparing for it. For them there are always strange indications, strange sights and sounds. Some poor, heart-broken negro is heard praying in the woods, that God in his mercy would deliver him from bondage, and at once twenty horsemen are in the saddle, dashing in all directions to warn the country that the negroes are about to rise and murder all the white people! JOHN BROWN, JR., and JAMES REDPATH send off a few colored people to Hayti, and straightway the South is warned to be on the look out. We will not, as Mr. REDPATH has done, deny the truth of the following story, which originally appeared in the Chicago Times, and has been going the rounds of the pro-slavery press; but simply say that if we shall ever be a party to such a scheme, we shall take care that the slaveholders are not advised of it beforehand:

There are many facts which go to show that a daring scheme is on foot among the free negro population of the Northern States and the Canadas; that, under the direction of such turbulent agitators as Redpath, Fred. Douglass, and young John Brown, on whose shoulders has fallen most fully the mantle of his father's bloodthirsty fanaticism, they are proposing to take advantage of the first outbreak of war to consummate a raid upon the South, in which all the horrors contemplated by John Brown, Sr., will find their full realization. A few of the facts leading to 'this conclusion have been already given by us, and others have been furnished us by a gentleman whose source of information is very near headquarters. The facts already alluded to in this paper from time to time are, some of them, as follows: The presence of Gerrit Smith and other agitators in Canada, and the threatening language reported as held by them there; the movements of the notorious Redpath, who has been flitting like a spirit of evil all over the land for the past few months - now in Kansas, now in Canada, now on a mysterious voyage by sea, bound, in the opinion of some, for the coast of Georgia or Florida, and turning up unexpectedly in Hayti; John Brown, Jr., among the negroes in Canada, eating, living and sleeping with them, and using his efforts to persuade them into some scheme, the purport of which can only be guessed; letters have appeared in various Northern papers intimating that the negroes in Canada were arming with a view to the invasion of the South that they only awaited the declaration of war to take up their line of march, and that they feared nothing so much as compromise, and hope for nothing so much as coercion. These, and other facts which have at different times transpired, furnish ground for serious apprehension.

That this apprehension is well founded, we have reason to believe from additional information received by us yesterday. Monmouth, Illinois, is in this State, one of the foci of the eccentricity of Abolitionism - it is noted for the almost unanimity of its radical sentiment, and matters which, even in Chicago, would be told and talked of only in whispers, are there discussed with impunity, it being considered all 'en famille.' We are informed by a gentleman, a Democrat of that city, that it is no secret there that such a movement as that above intimated is fully determined on. In fact, many of the details are given with a circumstantiality that leaves little room for doubt. A prominent Abolitionist of that place, who is in correspondence
[[/column 1]]

[[column 2]]
with the plotters all over the country, says openly that an army of 8,000 Northern negroes, armed, equipped and well drilled, is ready to march at a moment's warning, and can be concentrated in forty-eight hours at any available point on the border; that they are in sympathy and concert with the free negroes of Canada, who will furnish several thousand more; that the men who are at the head of this movement are, ostensibly, Redpath, Fred. Douglass, and John Brown, Jr., but that their objects is known to and sympathized with by prominent Abolitionists of the North, and particularly of the Northwest, in and out out of Congress; that the mission of Redpath to Hayti is for the purpose of obtaining assistance in his scheme from President Geffrard, and sounding the negroes of that island with a view to raising an army there; that the plan of these gents is to strike the slave line, with there colored cohorts, somewhere in the neighborhood of the Mississippi, march in a body and directly for the Gulf, through the portions of the South most thickly populated with slaves, stir up insurrections among these as they go, force or induce the slaves to join them, pillage, plunder, murder and burn, - leaving their track as desolate as the desert, and black with ruin; reaching the Gulf, they will veer to the Southwest, ravage the Gulf coast, pass through Texas, skirt along the Mexican coast, and make themselves a home in Central America, where they are prospecting for the location of their colony.

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. - The Rev. W. M. Mitchell, of Toronto, has recently published in England a book on this mysterious institution. We have not seen the work, but the Boston Courier - a pro slavery paper - notices it as follows:

'If Mr. Mitchell's statistics be correct, no less than 1,200 slaves are annually conveyed into Canada; though we cannot but be incredulous as to the amount. They are taken from one friend to another, and only by night, until the borders of Canada are reached. Six to twelve miles are the ordinary journey of a single night. Of course, such a system must embrace a great many persons, and have an organization not unlike that of a postal department. In Canada it is estimated that there are 45,000 fugitive slaves from the United States. The negroes are a gregarious race, and they are disposed to settle in villages and towns, and to cling together. They are said to be better farmers than the Irish, or even the Canadian French. The thousand fugitive slaves in Toronto wash linen, make shirts, are blacksmiths, bricklayers, carpenters, shoemakers, painters, &c. - There are six colored grocers in the city, and there is one colored physician. One fugitive slave is worth $100,000. But the headquarters of the negro race in Canada is Chatham, on the Thames. Of its population of six thousand, two thousand are colored. Of the material prosperity, as well as the moral worth of the negro race in Canada, we have conflicting accounts; naturally enough, as each man's report is colored by his prepossessions. An accurate and unbiassed statement of their moral, social, material and sanitary condition would be of considerable value. We would be surprised to learn that this tropical race throve well in the rigorous climate of Canada.'

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, for April, has reached us. This number opens with an article entitled April Days. Then follows the Professor's Story, Bubbles, Cities and Parks, Life in the Iron-Mills, The Reign of King Cotton, Glimpses of Garibaldi, Two or Three Troubles, Marion Dale, Charleston under Arms, Reviews and Literary Notices, and Recent American Publications. The publishers announce that in the next number a new story well commence, written by Mrs. R. B. Stowe, and entitled 'Agnes of Sorrento.' The Atlantic is always a welcome visitor to our table and we are pleased at the success which it so richly deserves.

-Up to this date (March 27th) Fort Sumpter has not yet been evacuated, although it cannot hold out much longer.
[[/column 2]]

[[column 3]]
[[short line]]

[[short line]]

Shrieks and groans pervade the air,
As the lash descends on the shoulders bare,
And blood bespatters the verdant dell,
Which makes the loveliest scene a hell.
The victim longs to be in his grave,
O! who shall be found to avenge the slave?

The mother must list to the fatal knock
Of the hammer upon the auction block,
Which tears her infant forever away
From her ebon breast, more human than they
Who buy, and then kneel a blessing to crave;
O! that a blow could be struck for the slave!

Husbands and wives are torn apart,
And condemned to labor, and suffer, and smart,
Without a ray of comfort or peace;
Or a certain hope that it ever shall cease,
Except in the friendly rest of the grave.
Can no one loose the bonds of the slave?

Human aid seems powerless and weak,
E'en if the very stones could speak.
Martyrs and saints have died in the cause;
And fruitless attempts to alter the laws
Have been made by statesmen, valiant and brave,
But God alone can avenge the slave.

Ah! what do we see in the lovely fields
Of the sunny South, where the cotton yields
The wealth which makes the tyrant secure
That his iron sway shall always endure.
Can that be the master with stealthy tread,
With eyes of watchful and cowardly dread?

What is that which peeps from beneath his vest?
A pistol! and bowie knife hid in his breast!
Are these the signs of contentment and ease,
As his bent brow meets the evening breeze?
Full well he knows how much he shares
Of muttered curses instead of prayers.

And follow him home to his couch at night - 
Are his slumbers peaceful, and happy, and bright?
Then why does he start with sudden pain,
And grasp his revolver again and again,
List'ning for footsteps that never come.
Oh! the joys of a planter's home!

And his wife beside him, why does she
Clasp her infant convulsively,
And dream of fire and blood, and revenge?
In a mansion like this, 'tis passing strange!
While the poor unconscious slave can sleep
And dream of his home-land across the deep.

Nor is this all the curse that alights
On the head of the scorner of human rights.
Mark the fierce looks of the jealous wife,
And the hateful sounds of domestic strife,
As she sees the face of a favorite slave
Light up at the glance that her master gave.

And her sons - what a school for the youthful mind,
Trained to trample on human kind!
No wonder decease of body and soul
Should follow such outrage of all control.
The white man sinks to an early grave,
And God - O God HAS avenged the slave!

EDINBURGH, February, 1861.

THE ANGLO-AFRICAN has been sold or transferred to new hands. Judging from the contents of the last two numbers, it will hereafter warmly advocate Haytian Emigration. The paper appears to be in able hands, and well off financially. We observe, with some regret and even astonishment, that the character of the Anglo is to be changed in respect to one of its vital elements. It is no longer to be the free discussion paper it has hitherto been. It now assumes that no further argument against Haytian Emigration can be made, and by implication at least excludes all such from its columns. Blind as our people may be, we cannot think they will long be content to go it blind in the important matter of moving off en masse from their homes in America, to a country of which, at best, they can only have a partial knowledge. It is to come out next week in a new dress.
[[/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