By Lydia Maria Child
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Additional info for An appeal in favor of that class of Americans called Africans
If the slaves were "turned loose," would they go on a rampage against whites? Would emancipation bring economic ruin? What lessons should be drawn from the contrasting precedents offered by the Santo Domingo uprising of the 1790s and the process of gradual abolition by legislative fiat in the northern states? In the event that Colonization should prove unworkable, could blacks and whites coexist in harmony once slavery was abolished? To what extent did racial prejudice on one side and racial hatred or biological inferiority on the other pose insurmountable obstacles to the integration of blacks into the American body politic?
Possibility of Safe Emancipation," counters fears that emancipation would entail economic disaster and insurrectionary violence. The introduction of a free labor system would improve the economy of the South, she asserts, since slave labor has such serious disadvantages: "where slaves are employed, manual industry is a degradation to white people, and indolence becomes the prevailing characteristic" (73). As for the risk of unleashing another Santo Domingo, an "impartial and careful examination" has convinced her that "slavery causes insurrections, while emancipation prevents them" (80).
30 Though David and his fellow lawyers Sewall and Loring headed the list of doubters, they joined Garrison and Johnson in drafting the constitution of the New England Anti-Slavery Society. David even presided over the historic meeting of 6 January 1832, at which the constitution was adopted. )31 Symbolically heralding the obstacles that abolitionists would face, Page xxxi a "fierce north-east storm, combining snow, rain and hail," pelted the crusaders who struggled through the slush on this "dismal night" to seal their commitment to the antislavery cause.
An appeal in favor of that class of Americans called Africans by Lydia Maria Child