Promotion of Abolition of Slavery in the Southern USA

The Sydney Herald

3 July 1834

We have seen in a letter which we have received from New York, that a great planter of Porto Rico, whose name is given, had sent for a body of free labourers from Teneriffe to work his coffee plantation, out of an apprehension that he could not much longer command the services of his slaves, or from a feeling that their labour was more expensive than that of free men.

These free labourers, to the number of 150, had arrived at Ponce, and their arrival had excited a great sensation in the island. In the north-eastern and New England states of North American Union, an extraordinary effect has been produced by our Emancipation Act, and the discussions by which it was accompanied or preceded.

Societies have, in consequence, been established to promote the abolition of slavery in the southern sections of the Confederacy, popular meetings have been held in most of the large towns for the object, sermons have been preached, and pamphlets have been published, all breathing the same spirit, and directed to the same end.

We have received several of the latter publications, which we would willingly introduce to the notice of our readers, if we had room, as evidences of the proud attitude in which our country is placed in the eye of foreigners by the great act of last session, and a sure prognostic that our glorious example will be followed by other nations.

This tardy enthusiasm of the American people, in such a cause, is the more remarkable, as innumerable proofs occur, not only in the works of Captain Hall and other writers of the Tory school, but in those of Mr. Stuart and of other liberal travellers, that the citizens of the northern states, if they did not participate in the crimes of the plantation states in keeping negroes in bondage, participated at least in their feelings of contempt for the negro character and their indifference to negro wrongs and degradation. We shall, perhaps, recur to this subject.