8 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2017
    1. Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom?

      In the following three paragraphs, the author uses question marks for many times, strongly indicating that he has so many questions left without having a proper answer from the government, the church, and the law. It is very ironic just like what he says after making this questions that seem obvious but are impossible to answer for those who support slavery.

    2. I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors.

      The author uses his own experience to demonstrate how serious the problem of slavery is at that time. From the persepective of a child, readers can feel the emotions much more stronger, since even a child, without realizing how serious the actual condition is, often feels a sense of horror.

    3. God speed the year of jubilee The wide world o’er When from their galling chains set free, Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee, And wear the yoke of tyranny Like brutes no more. That year will come, and freedom’s reign, To man his plundered fights again Restore. God speed the day when human blood Shall cease to flow! In every clime be understood, The claims of human brotherhood, And each return for evil, good, Not blow for blow; That day will come all feuds to end. And change into a faithful friend Each foe. God speed the hour, the glorious hour, When none on earth Shall exercise a lordly power, Nor in a tyrant’s presence cower; But all to manhood’s stature tower, By equal birth! That hour will come, to each, to all, And from his prison-house, the thrall Go forth. Until that year, day, hour, arrive, With head, and heart, and hand I’ll strive, To break the rod, and rend the gyve, The spoiler of his prey deprive — So witness Heaven! And never from my chosen post, Whate’er the peril or the cost, Be driven.

      Considering the special social background of that time, having a religious poem can give more credit to the authenticity of his article. It is more convincing at that time.

    4. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen, in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God.”

      The author surprisingly mentions China in this paragraph, maybe showing that his concerns of racial problems not on in African Americans but also in some other minority groups. He also infers that China and African countries will rise in the future.

    5. Did this law concern the “mint, anise, and cumin” — abridge the right to sing psalms, to partake of the sacrament, or to engage in any of the ceremonies of religion, it would be smitten by the thunder of a thousand pulpits. A general shout would go up from the church, demanding repeal, repeal, instant repeal!

      The author ironically points out the injustices in law despite it gives people civil and religious liberty. He mentions" mint, anise, and cumin" which seem to be good things in the law, but these things are the least important in actual human rights. So these law makers and politians are hypocrites in the author's view.

    6. Where these are, man is not sacred. He is a bird for the sportsman’s gun. By that most foul and fiendish of all human decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in peril. Your broad republican domain is hunting ground for men. Not for thieves and robbers, enemies of society, merely, but for men guilty of no crime. Your lawmakers have commanded all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. Your President, your Secretary of State, our lords, nobles, and ecclesiastics, enforce, as a duty you owe to your free and glorious country, and to your God, that you do this accursed thing.

      There is an excellent metaphor in this paragraph. The author compares slaves with birds for the sportsman's gun, which refers to republicans and slaveholders. The republican domain is like the hunting ground of the birds, and other people involved in this hellish business, are the supportors of this horrible sport.

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