Northern Labor and Antislavery: A Documentary History

By Philip S. Foner; Herbert Shapiro | Go to book overview

IV
Voices of Labor on Slavery and Abolition

IN THIS CHAPTER ARE FOUND MATERIALS FOCUSING ON RESPONSES OF THE AMERICAN LABOR MOVEMENT TO SLAVERY AND ABOLITIONISM DURING THE 1830s AND 1840s.

1. The following poem published in a labor newspaper portrays the agonizing resistance of a slave to his master.

The incidents alluded to in the following lines are strictly true; having been witnessed by a gentleman of veracity from the North.


THE SLAVE'S REVENGE

By Sarah W.

Lend, lend imagination wings,
While yonder sun in beauty wanes;--
Soar far away to southern clime,
Where souls in cruel bondage pine.

In yonder cabin kneels a form
That slavery's galling yoke hath worn;
In broken accents hear him cry,
"Must I in bondage always sigh?"

The morning dawned in beauty bright,
And chased away the darksome night;
But yet it brought no kind relief
To him whose soul was filled with grief.

The busy crowd the market throng,
And he whose prayer to heaven hath gone,
With heavy tread reached the stand
Where men are sold in Christian land.

His dark eyes flash in sleep despair--
You little group--his all-stands there;--
Alas! deep anguish fills his heart;
With wife and children he must part.

-195-

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Northern Labor and Antislavery: A Documentary History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in American History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Notes xxvii
  • I- Wage Labor and Chattel Slavery 1
  • II- Abolition Addresses Labor 83
  • III- Land Monopoly, Universal Reform and Slavery 126
  • IV- Voices of Labor on Slavery and Abolition 195
  • V- From the 1850s Crisis to Civil War 242
  • Index 297
  • About the Editors *
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