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  • Cory Edmund Endrulat

Challenging The Freedom Fighters ~ 19th Century Abolitionists



The internet can be a place for learning what you weren’t taught in school, and if you look up a historic Abolitionist man named Henry Clarke Wright, you will come across a Wikipedia page which describes him as a “controversial figure” for “over two decades.” It even mentions that in 1837, he was fired from the American Anti-Slavery Society due to his “radical views.” Yet, it is this very man whom stuck by the side of William Lloyd Garrison and Adin Ballou, because these leading figures in the Abolitionist movement also often shared Wright’s unconventional and challenging views. Wright held up a standard to hold his peers accountable, for the true freedom that he saw the world deserves.

As an Abolitionist, simply put in defining slavery, he states it is “submission or subjection to control by the will of another being.” In regards to the American founding fathers, Wright, living not long after their time, states:


“There is nothing on the records of the world more shocking to humanity, than is this transaction, from beginning to end. The facts touching their arrest, their return to Washington, fettered and bound, and guarded like felons; their mock trial; their incarceration; the cruelty practiced on them by the officers of the United States; the sale of the recaptured slaves, especially some of the young females — one of the victims being a slave of the widow of President Madison; the sundering of domestic ties; children sold from parents, and parents sold from children; all this done in the capital of this Republic, and through the instrumentality of the federal Union... And there are men and women in Britain and Ireland, who are lending their direct influence to sustain these horrors among us. God forgive them!”


In regards to the U.S. Constitution, Wright states: “I abjure allegiance to a constitution that sanctions slavery or war. It has no authority over me, and I shall embrace every opportunity to make it and the government that is based upon it, the scorn of mankind.”

Furthermore, he details the nature of government and it’s alternative, telling us that “those who have the might have regarded the weak as lawful prey; they act as if might was right. It is an unnatural and unrighteous principle, and is the foundation of all tyranny and slavery. This is the basis of all individual and governmental oppression.” “God has a government & Man has a government. These two are at perpetual War… Man is trying to subject his fellow man to himself… God gave to man dominion over all beasts & fowls & fish. But this does not satisfy. Man is not content to rule over the animal creation. He would get dominion over man. He tries all arts to obtain this end. I regard all Human Governments as usurpations of God’s power over Man.”


“Politics has held such a ungovernable sway of the land for the last five or six years, that it seems to have well nigh absorbed the moral and intellectual faculties of the nation in its devouring element. Principles new and old are pushed forward on the stream of party influence, and are sacrificed at its shrine.


Men, as a government over men, in the legitimate use of their governmental powers, have, trampled under foot the moral government of God. Shall I refer you to Sparta? Athens? Rome? To the Romish Hierarchy, with the Pope at its head, reputed God's earthly vicegerent? Look at the history of the British government; at the empire of Napoleon; see their treatment of their own subjects and of foreign nations; see human governments in their connection with the Africans and Aborigines of this continent.”


“The following points have been established: 1. All human governments have been invested with the war-making power. 2. All human governments have considered war power essential to their existence. The proof of this is found in the theory and practice of every government that is or has been. If there be an exception, it is thine to present it for I never heard or read of one. The universal sentiment and experience of mankind, from the day when Cain claimed and exercised this power over the life of his brother, to this hour, declare that no human government can exist without it.” “Human government has made the earth a slaughter house of the human race for six thousand years.” “It is as absurd and irrational to authorize a government to kill men, to prevent men from being enslaved; or to empower them to make war, to abolish slavery.” (This speaks as to how governments cannot “abolish slavery” in the totality, since by it’s nature, it is founded upon slavery)

“States and nations are to be regarded as we regard combinations of men to pick pockets, so steal sheep, to rob on the road, to steal men, to range over the sea as pirates—only on a larger and more imposing scale. When men steal, rob and murder as states and nations, it gives respectability to crime—the enormity of their crimes is lost sight of, amid the imposing number that commit them, and amid the glitter and pomp of equipage. The little band of thieves is scorned and hunted down as a felon; the great, or governmental band of thieves, is made respectable by numbers, and their crimes cease to be criminal and hateful in proportion to the number combined to do them.”


“Have men, acting as individuals or as a state or kingdom, a right to prescribe the rule of action to themselves or others, and to punish all violations of the rule to prescribe the penalty and execute it? None will pretend that men possess this governing power over men as inherent, underived, inalienable.” “If slavery be the 'creature of law,' it is necessary that the law be abolished to insure its destruction. The moral influence of slavery is so debasing, that the seat of its disease can only be reached by the prosecution of high moral principles. It is quite common to hear men condemn the course of the government on this question, and they are equally severe in their condemnation of the ‘course pursued by those that are termed 'no-government men' for abstaining from the polls. We have neither the ability or wish to grapple with this question. We maintain that the rights of conscience should be held sacred. Let every man inform himself, and so let him act”


“Necessity.' By whom created? By human guilt. Sin always creates a necessity for sin; then the necessity, created by the first sin, is offered as an apology for the second. So, by sinning, men create a necessity for human government. Then offer that necessity as an apology. If the necessity is wrong, the government is wrong.”


Within Wright’s work, he details this problem extensively, which may come as a shock to anyone who studies him, or other so-called “radical” Abolitionists we don’t learn about. For many more quotes and a detailed analysis on the nature of slavery, feel free to read Slavery Gone For Good: Black Book Edition, a work by The Liberator 2 News.


 

Henry Clarke Wright:

“Thus each human being, man and woman, is invested with sovereignty over himself—and no one over another.

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