The Morality of Slavery

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by KatieONell
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
African-American History

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The Morality of Slavery

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Abolition vs.


Harriet Tubman-escaped slavery in Maryland in 1849 via the Underground Railroad-helped more than 300 slaves escape, some called her the “Moses of Her People”

Am I Not a Man and a Brother? Print: Josiah Wedgwood’s Am I Not a Man and a Brother? print was originally created for the British abolitionist movement, but later became part of the American abolition movement, reminding people of slaves’ inherent human rights.

Sambo Stereotype: The “Sambo” stereotype of lazy, irresponsible African Americans pervasive in the the Antebellum Period came from the book Little Black Sambo.

Abolitionist Arguments-Christian abolitionists cited Luke 6:31 “Do to others what you would want them to do to you” and Genesis 1:27 which stated that man was created in the image of God. -The Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equal” therefore slavery was anti-American-slavery put too much power into the hands of slave owners-African Americans were not inherently inferior as demonstrated by the accomplishments of educated black Americans; therefore they should not be treated as inferior

Pro-Slavery Arguments-ending slavery would destroy the American economy; the south depended on slave labor to grow cotton and tobacco and the North depended on cheap southern cotton to maintain its booming textile industry -the sudden mass emancipation of slaves would lead to widespread chaos as well as mass unemployment for the newly jobless free slaves-slavery had existed throughout history-anatomically, whites were superior to blacks -slavery was mentioned several times in the bible and Jesus never spoke out against it-the Dred Scott decision maintained that black people were considered property-working conditions for Southern slaves were better than those of Northern and European industrial workers

“To this solemn resolution I came; I was free, and [other slaves] should be free also; I would make a home for them in the North, and the Lord helping me, I would bring them all here.”

William Lloyd Garrison-published the abolitionist newspaper “The Liberator” -helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society-once publicly set fire to the constitution because it didn’t ban slavery

“I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice… I will not retreat a single inch. And I WILL BE HEARD!”

Famous People

John C Calhoun-served as a Congressman, Secretary of War, Senator, Vice President, and Secretary of State- argued that slavery was a states’ rights issue, not a federal issue- claimed that social and political inequities between whites and blacks were irreconcilable

“It is impossible for [white and African Americans] to exist together in the same community.”

James Kirke Paulding-believed that slavery should be allowed in the south to preserve the Union-wrote Slavery in the United States which criticized the abolitionist movement -claimed that the bible, the constitution, and property laws protected slavery

“Anatomists and physiologists have classed the negro as the lowest in the scale of rational beings.”

Slave Narratives

"We had very bad eatin'. Bread, meat, water. And they fed it to us in a trough, jes' like the hogs. And ah went in may [sic] shirt till I was 16, nevah had no clothes. And the flo' in ouah cabin was dirt, and at night we'd jes' take a blanket and lay down on the flo'. The dog was supe'ior to us; they would take him in the house.”

“But honey chile, all white folks warn't good to dere slaves, cause I'se seen pore niggers almos' tore up by dogs, and whipped unmercifully, when dey didn’t do lack de white folks say.”

"Slavery was the worst days was ever seed in the world. They was things past tellin', but I got the scars on my old body to show to this day. I seed worse than what happened to me. I seed them put the men and women in the stock with they hands screwed down through holes in the board and they feets tied together and they naked behinds to the world. Solomon the the [sic] overseer beat them with a big whip and massa look on. The niggers better not stop in the fields when they hear them yellin'. They cut the flesh most to the bones and some they was when they taken them out of stock and put them on the beds, they never got up again.”

"Aunt Cheyney was jus' out of bed with a sucklin' baby one time, and she run away. Some say that was nother baby of massa's breedin'. She dont' come to the house to nurse her baby, so they misses her and old Solomon gits the nigger hounds and takes her trail. They gits near her and she grabs a limb and tries to hist herself in a tree, but them dogs grab her and pull her down. The men hollers them onto her, and the dogs tore her naked and et the breasts plumb off her body. She got well and lived to be a old woman, but nother woman has to suck her baby and she ain't got no sign of breasts no more.”

Mary Reynolds

Charity Anderson

Richard Toler


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