Antislavery: The Crusade for Freedom in America

By Dwight Lowell Dumond | Go to book overview

NOTES
Chapter 1 Perpetual Servitude
Slavery in international law is discussed in John Codman Hurd , The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States ( 2 vols., Boston, 1858-62), I, pp. 151-65.
Dwight L. Dumond, Antislavery Origins of the Civil War in the United States, Commonwealth Foundation Lectures, University College, London, 1938-39 ( Ann Arbor, 1939), p. 52.
The controversy over slavery produced several legal treatises on the subject which must be consulted by the serious student in addition to the many compilations of the laws: Thomas R. R. Cobb, An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States of America ( Philadelphia, 1858); William Goodell, The American Slave Code in Theory and Practice; Its Distinctive Features Shown by Its Statutes, Judicial Decisions, and Illustrative Facts ( New York, 1853); Richard Hildreth, Despotism in America; an Inquiry into the Nature, Results, and Legal Basis of the Slave-Holding System in the United States ( Boston, 1854); John Codman Hurd, The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States ( 2 vols., Boston, 1858-62); George M. Stroud, A Sketch of the Laws Relating to Slavery in the Several States of the United States of America ( Philadelphia, 1827. Second edition with additions; Philadelphia, 1856); Jacob D. Wheeler , A Practical Treatise on the Law of Slavery. Being a Compilation of All the Decisions Made on That Subject, in the Several Courts of the United States and State Courts ( New York, 1837).
William Agutter, The Abolition of the Slave Trade Considered from a Religious Point of View. A Sermon Preached before the Corporation of the City of Oxford, at St. Martin's Church, on Sunday, February 3, 1788 ( London, 1788), p. 14.
Agutter was a very learned man; and he had a wide acquaintance with men who knew Africa and the slave trade. He said this: "In the extensive kingdoms of Africa, the most horrid wars, rapine, and desolation have been encouraged for more than 200 years, to promote this trade in human blood. Some are entrapped by deceit, but the generality are seized by violence. Their fields are desolated; their houses are burnt with fire. The mild and peaceable Negro is driven from his comfortable home; torn from all the tender connections of social life; branded with a hot iron; confined on shipboard amidst chains and nakedness, filth and pestilence. There they are crowded in such numbers, and treated with such cruelty, that death brings a happy release unto thousands... For those who escape the dangers of the sea, and endure the hardships of the voyage, new calamities are reserved in store, when they arrive at their places of destination."Ibid., p. 17.
See indirect references to the question in cases involving recovery of property values of slaves not in England in Butts v. Penny, 1667, 83 English Reports518; also in Gelly v. Cleve, 1694, 91 English Reports, 994. See also reference to the subject in Daines Barrington, Observations upon the Statutes, Chiefly the More Ancient, from Magna Charta to the Twenty-First of James the First ( second edition; Dublin, 1767).
Smith v. Brown and Cooper, 91 English Reports566.
The decision in the Sommersett Case is in 98 English Reports, 509. See also Francis Hargrave, An Argument in the Case of James Sommersett, a Negro, Lately Determined by the Court of the King's Bench: Wherein It Is Attempted to Demonstrate the Present Unlawfulness of Domestic Slavery in England. To Which Is Prefixed a State of the Case. By Mr. Hargrave, One of the Counsel for the Negro ( London, printed for the author, 1772).
One would be hard pressed to find an apologist for slavery who failed to blame the British for imposing slavery upon America. Some early antislavery writers did likewise. See John Atwood, The Blessings of Freedom Illustrated and the Horrors of Slavery Delineated ( Boston, 1824).
William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books. Edited by Thomas M. Cooley ( 2 vols., Chicago, 1884), I, p. 107; Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws ( third edition; Boston, 1846), p. 164.

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