Objects of the Rebellion, and Effects of Its Success Upon Free Laborers and Civilization (Classic Reprint)
This is conclusive as to the views of Jefferson Davis. He was, evidently, not only willing, but anxious, that the slave-trade should be reopened.
On the question of providing for Africans taken by a ship carrying our flag, and returning them to Africa, Mr. Davis, in his remarks in the Senate, May 24, 1860, (Congressional Globe, p. 2303-2304,) said:
'Mr. President, in assuming an obligation upon our Government to stop the slave-trade with other countries, we adopted a policy upon which, if it were open for debate, I should have some opinions to express.'
And in reply to Mr. Fessenden, of Maine, Mr. Davis, in the same debate, said:
'Is it true, sir, that the little crews which go out on the crafts with which the Senator is more familiar than myself - for they go from his country, and not from mine - have invaded Africa, penetrated its wilderness, there to capture the free barbarian? or does not the Senator know that they go to the barracoons, upon the coast, and buy them from those who hold them in bondage: that they are traders, not soldiers: that they buy slaves - they do not capture Africans: that they take them in trade, not by violence?'
Mr. Davis had not then, as late as 1860, changed the views he expressed in 1849.
Mr. Spratt, a leading Secessionist of South Carolina, protested against the clause in the Confederate Constitution against the slave-trade. He says:
'I have been connected with the slave-trade measure from the start. ...I have been intrusted, by its friends, with a leading part in its advancement. ...Our suppression of the slave-trade is warranted by no necessity to respect the sentiments of foreign States. They will pocket their philanthropy and the profits together...
'I now oppose restrictions on the slave-trade. I oppose them for the wish to emancipate our institution. I regard the slave-trade as the test of its integrity. If that be right, then slavery is right: but not without.' - I Put. Rec. Reb., 364.
Mr. Spratt further says:
'I was the single advocate of the slave-trade in 1853. It is now the question of the time.'
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