Funding from the National
Endowment for the Humanities
supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text scanned (OCR) by
Bethany Ronnberg and Kevin O'Kelley
Images scanned by Bethany Ronnberg and Kevin O'Kelley
Text encoded by Lee Ann Morawski and Natalia Smith
First edition, 2000
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
(title page) The Story of the Life of John Anderson, the Fugitive Slave.
Harper Twelvetrees, M.A.
184 p., ill.
William Tweedie, 337, Strand, W. C.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH
digitization project, Documenting the
The publisher's advertisements on pp. 183-184 have been scanned as images.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively.
All em dashes are encoded as --
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
Running titles have not been preserved.
Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.
Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998
LC Subject Headings:
[Title Page Image]
TO GEORGE THOMPSON, ESQ.,
LATE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE BOROUGH OF THE
THE STORY OF THE LIFE OF JOHN ANDERSON
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
IN RECOGNITION OF THE EMINENT SERVICES RENDERED
BY HIM TO THE
CAUSE OF FREEDOM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD:
OF HIS KINDNESS TO JOHN ANDERSON,
MANY OTHERS OF THE COLOURED RACE:
A SLIGHT EXPRESSION OF THE FRIENDSHIP AND ESTEEM
WITH WHICH HE IS REGARDED BY
THE STORY OF THE LIFE OF JOHN ANDERSON has been prepared for publication by the Editor at the earnest request of the Committee and of John Anderson himself, and whatever profits may accrue from its sale will be devoted to the benefit of Anderson, whose history must, in many respects, be regarded as an extraordinary one. The circumstances connected with the demand for his rendition are of such general interest, that the Editor makes no apology for presenting them in a permanent form in the following pages. He also desires to express, on his own behalf, and in the name of the John Anderson Committee, the warmest thanks to the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, for the noble manner in which they vindicated the cause of freedom, when called upon to resist a foul wrong attempted to be perpetrated on a
subject of the British Crown. A variety of circumstances combine to make the history of John Anderson one of deep interest. The novelty and peculiarity of the case itself, the excitement which it created in Canada, England, and the United States; the gravity of the proceedings to which it gave rise; the opinions of the many eminent men in Parliament, in the Cabinet, in Courts of Law, and of the Press, which it drew forth; the importance of the question to be decided, as affecting the freedom and safety of thousands of fugitive slaves in the British American possessions; the lofty, disinterested, and honourable position, which, from the first, was assumed by England; and the prompt, decided, and magnanimous conduct of the British Government; these, and other features of the case are brought out in the succeeding sketch of the brief, but singular and eventful, career of an American slave--now, happily, a slave no longer.
In addition to the above circumstances, the history of John Anderson will be found to illustrate the actual condition of a slave in all countries where chattel servitude is permitted. He is the type and representative of eight millions of the human race-- Africans and their descendants--who, at this hour, are held in
debasing and cruel bondage by nominally Christian nations. In the light of the facts of Anderson's slave life, we see the true nature and effects of Slavery, as it exists in the Confederate States of America, throughout the empire of Brazil, and in the islands of the Gulf of Mexico.
The father of Anderson was a slave, who--not, that he loved kindred less, but that he loved freedom more--forsook his wife and little one, and became an exile, a fugitive, and an outlaw upon the face of the earth. The mother of Anderson was a slave, who, but a few months after she became a parent, was left, virtually, a widow; her natural protector--he who should have been her counsellor and stay, and the example and guide of her child--lost to her for ever; and she, while yet that child was in its infancy, severed from it, sold like a bale of merchandize, or a four-footed beast of the field, and sent far from the scenes of her youth and the centre of her associations, to labour and to die upon the cane-fields of Louisiana. Behold the havoc which the execrable system of slavery makes of the sacred and divine relationships of the family!
The genealogy of an American slave is traced only through the maternal line. The progenitors on the male
side are rarely known in fact, and are never recognized in law. A slave, in law, has no father. The legislation of the Slave States makes no reference to paternal ancestry, and acknowledges the mother--not in respect to any natural rights, duties, or affections, but simply for the determination of the question of title, and for the purpose of fixing the legal status of the child. The natural relation between parent and child is not considered; and hence, neither in a legal nor in a religious sense, has a slave-born child either a father or a mother; as is the condition of the mother, so is the condition of the child. This is the recognized and law-established principle, laid down for the administration of the brutal system of American slavery. As early as 1715, it was enacted by the state of Maryland, and it has since become the general law of the United States, that children born of slave mothers are slaves during their natural lives. It was thus that the atrocious maxim,--Partus sequitor ventrum,--(the offspring follows the condition of the mother,) was introduced into the civil law; and from that day to the present, the condition of the mother has determined the fate of the child. Who is he, who does not at once perceive that this revolting and horrible maxim of civil law is one
of the most cruel and degrading principles by which the institution of slavery, for which the rebel states are fighting, is distinguished? By this law, any child whose maternal ancestor, even in the remotest degree, can be shewn to have been a slave, is declared the property of him who was the owner of its mother at the time of its birth; and it is, therefore, doomed to perpetual bondage, although its paternal ancestor, at every successive generation, may have been a free white man. Where is the man of intelligence who does not instantly see that this provision of human law perverts the divine ordinance of marriage from a holy institution, into a slave-breeding commerce between the sexes; into a perpetual manufacture of property in human flesh, for the profit of the slave master; that it breaks up and destroys the parental relation, and converts the children of slavemothers into household cattle, for the pecuniary benefit of the owner; that it abrogates the commandment of the decalogue--"Honour thy father and thy mother" --and that it makes the relation, between father and mother, that of mere agents for increasing the gains of him who claims a right of property in the human chattel, whose offspring, by law, are his? Well may that eloquent defender of the rights of the injured slave, Dr. Cheever, observe--
"The essence of American slavery, the central fundamental element of cruelty and crime by which it is sustained and made perpetual, is just this, namely, the incessant stealing of children from their parents, by the factorship of the marriage relation,--perverted, corrupted, diabolized, into an engine of anguish and debasement to the parents, and of gain to the masters; that hath on it, more than any thing else in the world, the stamp of hell."
The particulars furnished in the following pages, of the events in the slave-life of John Anderson, and of the condition and treatment of his companions in bondage, though far from exhibiting slavery in its worst horrors, do more or less, illustrate its peculiar evils. They show that slavery is human chattelism; that it reduces beings created in the image of God, to the level of the beasts that perish, or the clods of the earth. Anderson was a piece of property. It will be seen that slavery annihilates the heaven-ordained right of marriage, and encourages concubinage and adultery; that slavery ruthlessly sunders every conjugal, parental and filial bond; that slavery deprives the child of the protection, support, example, and instruction due to it from the parent; that slavery totally neglects the moral,
rational and spiritual faculties of the being claimed as property; that slavery denies the use of letters, and abandons its victim to intellectual darkness; that slavery transforms professing Christians into hypocrites, taskmasters and menstealers; and perverts the Word of God into a law in favour of robbery and oppression. Finally, that slavery is remorseless and unforgiving, and will abate no jot or tittle of its iniquitous demands.
H. T.Eversley House, Bromley, Middlesex, March 9th, 1863.
The Birthplace of Anderson.--Purchase of the Louisiana Territory.-- Missouri originally a part of that Territory.--Its Settlement by Slaveholders.-- Efforts made to bring it into the Union.--"The Missouri Compromise." --Its Admission in 1820.--Subsequent Repeal of the Missouri Compromise.--Geography, Climate, Products, and Population.
BEFORE entering upon the narration of the personal history of John Anderson, it may not be out of place to introduce a notice of the State in which he was born, and in which he spent the days of his enslavement. He was "raised" in the territory of Missouri. The admission of Missouri into the Union was a trying crisis in the life of the Western Republic, and occurred when the nation was yet comparatively young.
In the year 1787, and previous to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, an ordinance was passed by the Continental Congress for the government of "all the territories of the United States, lying to the North-West of the river Ohio. One of the provisions of this ordinance was as follows:--
"There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in punishment
of crime, whereof the parties shall be duly convicted."
When Ohio (in 1802-3) was constituted a State, the residue of the vast regions, included in the provisions of the ordinance of 1787, remained under the exclusive control of the Federal Government, as a part of the natural domain--the property of the nation, and sacred, therefore, according to the compact, to freedom, and free labour. It went by the name of the "Indiana Territory." From 1802 to 1807, inclusive, efforts were yearly made to induce Congress to allow slavery for a limited period in this territory, but without effect. It will be seen in what way this Ordinance has been since treated.
In 1803, the vast and indefinite territory, known by the name of Louisiana, was ceded by France to the States, for the sum of fifteen millions of dollars. The territory had just before been ceded by Spain to France, but without any pecuniary consideration. Slaveholding had been allowed under both these governments. The treaty, ceding the territory to the United States, guaranteed to the inhabitants their rights as slaveholders. The State of Louisiana, according to its present limits, was fully admitted into the Union, with a State constitution recognizing slavery, in 1812. The rest of the territory passed under the name of the Missouri territory. Those who chose to dwell in this territory continued to hold slaves within its scattered and thinly populated, but increasing settlements.
On the assembling of Congress in 1817, a delegate from Missouri was admitted to take his seat from that territory, and to present petitions from sundry of its inhabitants, praying for admission into the Union. The matter was referred to committee, who made a report to the House, but nothing was done during that session. In 1818, the subject was again introduced, when a resolution passed the House to the effect that Missouri should be admitted, provided--"That the further introduction of slavery, or involuntary servitude be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party should be duly convicted; and that all children of slaves, born within the said State after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be free, but may be held to service until the age of twenty-five years." The vote upon this resolution was 87 ayes to 76 noes. The bill, upon the basis of this resolution, was read a third time--ayes, 98; noes, 56. This bill was sent up to the Senate, and was returned to the House with the provisions contained in the above resolution struck out. The Senate adhered to its amendment, and remanded the bill to the House. The House adhered to its resolution, so the bill was lost in the struggle. A motion was then made to organize the Southern portion of the territory into a State under the name of Arkansas, whereupon it was attempted to apply the same provisions to that State also; but, ultimately, the bill for organization passed without any allusion to slavery. Arkansas thus became a slave State, and was fully admitted as such in 1836.
The second great struggle regarding Missouri, was in the following year, 1819, on the assembling of a new Congress. This protracted and celebrated conflict, between the friends of the extension of slavery, and the friends of restriction, ended in a compromise between the extreme men of the two parties. The champions of extension were conciliated by the agreement to receive Missouri as a slave State; and the leaders of the non-extensionists were won over by the consent of their opponents to a provision that slavery should, for ever afterwards, be excluded from all the territories lying north and west of Missouri. It was, in effect, an offer from the milder opponents of slavery restriction to the moderate and flexible advocates of that restriction. "Let us," said the former, "have slavery in Missouri, and we will unite with you in excluding it from all the uninhabited territories north and west of that state." It was, in substance, an agreement between the North and the South to that effect, though the more determined champions, whether of slavery extension or slavery restriction, did not unite in it. Such was the virtual termination of the struggle to prohibit slavery in Missouri: the opposition was overcome by the plan of offering instead thereof, an exclusion of slavery from the then Federal territory west and north of that State. This was the great Missouri compromise; the accomplishment of which is due, mainly, to the efforts of the great American statesmen, Henry Clay.
Notwithstanding the solemnity of the compact then
entered into, and the universal belief of the people of the free states that it would be perpetual, it was repealed by a clause in the fourteenth section of a Bill for the organization of the territory of Nebraska, the words of which are as follows:--
"That the constitution and laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said territory of Nebraska as elsewhere within the United States, except the eighth section of the Act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, approved March 6th, 1820; which being inconsistent with the principles of nonintervention by Congress with slavery in the states and territories, as recognized by the legislation of 1850, commonly called the compromise measures, is hereby declared inoperative and void; it being the true intent and meaning of this Act not to legislate slavery into any territory or state, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the constitution of the United States."
This repealing section of the Bill at once removed every impediment to the introduction of slavery into the vast and as yet unpeopled territories of the North-West, and led to the attempt made to establish slavery in Kansas, and all the outrages, horrors, and blood which were the consequence.
Missouri is bounded on the north by Iowa, on the west by the Indian territory, on the east by the Mississippi,
which separates it from Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and south by the State of Arkansas. Its length is 280 miles, and its medium breadth about 230; the area being about 65,000 square miles. Besides the great rivers, the Missouri and Mississippi, the country is watered by others of inferior magnitude, among the largest of which are the Osage, the Sult, the Chariton, the Gasconade, the Maranec or Merrimac, the Big Black, and the St. Francis.
The best and most thickly inhabited portions of the State are those lying between the Mississippi and the Missouri. Beyond the western limit of the State there is an almost boundless region of prairie land. A great part of the country is admirably adapted for the growth of wheat, rye, and oats. Indian corn is cultivated to the highest perfection, yielding from seventy to seventy-five bushels to the acre. With an adequate population, under the stimulus of free labour, Missouri might be made to produce wheat for all the inhabitants of the United States, eastward of the Rocky Mountains, and establish a claim to be regarded as one of the most prolific granaries in the world.
Missouri, above any other State in the Union abounds in fruits. The pumpkin, squash, and melon, are produced in profusion. The apple attains its utmost development and beauty. The vine is common throughout the country; one species of grapes ripens in June, a second in October, and a third during the winter. The peach is luxuriant and abundant beyond description;
and the pear, the apricot, and the melon thrive well. The mulberry tree is common throughout the woods, affording the means of breeding the silk-worm to any extent, and thereby raising Missouri to the highest position among the middle States as a country for the production of raw silk. Above all other regions in North America, Missouri is the land of flowers. In the season, every prairie is an immense flower-garden. In the early stages of spring there is a generation of flowers whose prevalent tint is peach blow. To this succeeds one whose line is of a deeper red, then follows one of yellow, and to the latest period of autumn the widely extended prairies are redolent of flowers exhibiting a golden lustre. Bears, wolves, panthers, buffaloes, elks, and deer, are found in Missouri. There are also myriads of waterfowl--swans, pelicans, cranes, geese, and ducks; and besides prairie hens, two large and beautiful kinds of grouse, turtle doves, and wood pigeons. The Virginia nightingale and parroquet are also frequently visitors.
The population of Missouri was, in 1810, 19,833; in 1820, 66,586; in 1830, 140,074; in 1840, 383,702, of whom 58,240 were slaves. In 1850, the free population was 594,622, and in 1860, 1,085,596; shewing an increase, in ten years, of 590,974. In 1850, the slaves were 87,422, and in 1860, 115,619; being an increase of only 28,197. It will thus be seen that there has been but a small positive increase of slaves, while, compared with the free population, which has doubled, there has been an enormous relative decrease.
His Parentage.--The Fate of his Father and Mother.--His Life on the Plantation.--His Marriage.--Is Sold and separated from his Wife.-- Character of his new Master.--Slaveholders' Morality. -- Why he resolved to Run Away.
LIKE the great majority of those reared under the institution of American slavery, Anderson is ignorant of the precise date of his birth, but believes that he is at the present time thirty-one or thirty-two years of age. His mother was the property of a person named Moses Burton, of the town of Fayette, Howard County, Missouri. Burton cultivated a farm, raised tobacco, and at the same time followed the business of a carpenter, and was the owner of several slaves. Anderson, at his birth, according to the law referred to in a preceding chapter, became the chattel personal of the man who claimed his mother, and was reckoned among his live stock. As he increased in years he increased in value, until at the age of manhood he was worth a thousand dollars, and was sold for that sum. During the time he was with his first master he was known as Jack Burton.
Anderson cannot remember his father, but has heard him described as a person of light mulatto complexion, who pursued the occupation of a servant on board the steam boats employed on the Mississippi. While Anderson was yet an infant, his father made his escape from slavery, and, it was believed, went to South America. When seven years of age, his mother, having given offence to her master, was sold to a negro trader for transportation to the slave market of New Orleans, and he was thus left an orphan. It was his good fortune, however, to possess a mistress of a kind disposition, who supplied, in a great degree, the place of the parents of whom he had been deprived. He invariably speaks of Mrs. Burton in terms of gratitude and affection, calls her his "mother," and says he was "raised" by her. This lady lived until Anderson was about nineteen.
Anderson grew up upon his master's farm, and was early put to agricultural pursuits. The produce of the land was tobacco, wheat, Indian corn, and various kinds of fruits. Anderson's youth does not appear to have passed unhappily. The whip was occasionally in requisition, and he, doubtless, sometimes felt its smart in common with the other boys on the farm. But his time, upon the whole, appears to have passed pleasantly. He was fond of athletic sports, such as running, jumping, and wrestling; enjoyed his evenings after the labours of the day; and joined with eagerness in the frolics and festivities permitted to the Negroes during
the Christmas holiday, which is the carnival and saturnalia of the plantation Negroes of the South.
Thus the time passed away, and Anderson became a man. He was expert in all the duties of the farm, could manage the tobacco crop for his master, and was allowed to cultivate a little patch on his own account, and also to sell the produce for his own benefit. This peculium is not uncommon in Missouri; and slaves, not unfrequently, by availing themselves of the privilege, are enabled to purchase their freedom with the money they obtain for that which they cultivate in their over-hours.
Anderson states that he made a profession of religion among the Freewill Baptists, and attended the ordinances of religion among the members of that denomination. Like other young men he, in due time, also entered into the matrimonial relation. The person whom he chose to be his future help-meet was Maria Tomlin, the daughter of Lewis Tomlin. Lewis had been a slave, but had obtained his freedom by purchase--had also purchased his wife, and was, when Anderson left Missouri, making his living as a barber in the town of Fayette. This marriage was contracted by the parties agreeing to live together as man and wife, and promising to be faithful to each other. A colored minister was present when Anderson pledged his troth to Maria. They were married at Christmas, 1850, and towards the close of 1851 the union was crowned by the birth of child. Maria was a slave upon the farm of Mr. Samuel
Brown, distant about two miles from the farm of Burton. Maria had been previously married to a slave of the name of Green Shepherd, by whom she had had two children, the eldest, Emily, now about thirteen; the second, a boy, now about eleven. She had been a widow twelve months when Anderson married her. She stipulated that Anderson should act the part of a father to her children, and that, should he succeed in obtaining his own freedom, and afterwards possess the means, he should exert himself as much for the freedom of his step-children as for the freedom of his own, which he agreed to do.
As nearly as it can be ascertained, with the assistance of Anderson, it was about the middle of August, 1853, when Burton effected the sale of Anderson to a man of the name of McDonald, whose residence was thirty miles distant from that of Brown, the owner of Anderson's wife. This separation was, naturally, a great trial to the young husband, and it was rendered more bitter by McDonald's refusal to permit Anderson to visit his wife and infant child. When Anderson requested a pass to return and see his wife and infant, he was told that he must abandon and forget them, and take a new wife, or mistress, from amongst the slaves of his present owner. Such is the humanity and morality of the owners of slaves in America! The motive which influenced McDonald was obvious, and was perfectly understood by Anderson. His master wished him to become the father of children who should
be born upon his farm, who should call his slave mother, and, hence, become his property, and increase the number of his live human stock.
To such an arrangement Anderson determined he would never be a party, and further, that if his master insisted upon his compliance, he would adopt means for making his escape from Missouri, and for reaching the free soil of Canada, from whose shores he might hurl defiance at slaveholders and kidnappers, secure of the protection of British law, and the sympathy and support of British philanthropy. At this time Anderson was ignorant of the nature of international treaties and the meaning of extradition laws.
Leaves the Plantation.--Bids farewell to his Wife and Child.--Encounters Diggs, a Slaveholder.--"Give me Liberty, or give me Death."--Wounds his Adversary and Flies.--Perilous Journey through the Woods.--Reaches the State of Illinois.--Hospitality of an English Settler.--Proceeds to Chicago.
As Anderson's master insisted that he should follow the practice usual among plantation slaves, he at once proceeded to carry out his resolution to bid Mr. McDonald and slavery, "good bye." He chose a Sunday at the latter end of September (having been but six or seven weeks in his new position) for his departure. The day seemed favourable for his project, as his master had been summoned from home to attend a church meeting, called to investigate a charge brought against a religious slaveholder of whipping a slave to death! To aid him in his flight he borrowed one of his master's mules, and two hours before daybreak made fast his blankets on the back of the mule, took a rope, some twenty feet long, to be of use in making a raft, and helping himself to a bridle, started for a ferry on the Missouri river.
This river was about thirty-five miles from the point of starting. Here he tried to induce the ferryman to give him a passage across, but being unable to produce a pass was compelled to retire. He betook himself to the wood and lay till night, when he returned to the river, and was about to seize a boat that was lying on the bank, when some one appearing, he was obliged a second time to retreat into the woods. About two hours before sun-rise he ventured again to the river side, and was fortunate enough to find a skiff upon the bank, but without oars. Furnishing himself with a piece of bark for a paddle, he launched the boat and succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, where he landed and drew up the skiff. This was the first time he had ever been in a boat. He immediately started for Fayette, the residence of his father-in-law. It was yet dark. Fayette was about six miles away, but he was fortunate enough to get a lift part of the way by a stage.
To Lewis Tomlin, Anderson made known his intention of making his way to Canada, and his determination to surrender his life rather than be captured in his attempt to gain his liberty. His father-in-law did not attempt to dissuade him from his purpose, and offered him a pistol for the defence of his person, which, however, he declined, saying he had a dirk knife which he thought would be sufficient for his purpose. He next visited his wife, with whom he had a brief and affecting interview; and after caressing his infant child, bade both
farewell, and hastened forth upon an unknown path to the soil whose touch gives freedom to the slave. He returned to Fayette to the roof of his father-in-law, and bidding him also adieu, pursued his journey.
We now come to Anderson's encounter with the man whom he is charged, under the laws of Missouri, with "wilfully, maliciously, and feloniously stabbing and killing."
About noon on Tuesday (the third day of his departure from McDonald's plantation), Anderson, while pursuing his journey to the North, passed a field belonging to one Seneca T. P. Diggs, who was at the time engaged in superintending the drying of tobacco. Diggs demanded of him who he was, where he was going, and whether he had the necessary pass. It should be known that, according to the law of the State of Missouri, any Negro, found more than twenty miles from the plantation of his master without a pass, may be arrested, and that the person taking him back is entitled to a reward of five dollars and mileage, at the rate of ten cents or fivepence per mile.
Anderson confessed to being without a pass, but represented that he had legitimate business in that direction, and that he was bound on that business to a certain place. Diggs told him to accompany him to the house, saying he would give him some dinner and then shew him the way. This offer Anderson declined, upon which Diggs expressed his belief that Anderson was a runaway, and that he should be restored to
his owner. Upon this Anderson immediately started; Diggs calling to three of his Negroes, saying, "Catch that runaway, and I will give you the reward." Diggs also pursued, having at the time an axe in his hand, which he threw at Anderson, but without hitting him. After about an hour's pursuit, Anderson fled into the woods, followed by the Negroes, whose number had been increased to half-a-dozen. When they had hunted Anderson for two or three hours they were joined by Diggs, who encouraged his slaves to seize the fugitive, and at last issued an order that they should take him dead or alive. Anderson had repeatedly shown his dirk knife, and declared that he would not be taken alive. He was now exhausted, and Diggs was able to come up with him, brandishing at the time a club; the Negroes, also, were near and armed, each with a similar weapon. Anderson's sole hope of escape now lay in the use of his knife. With this he struck a blow at Diggs and retired from the spot; but hearing him repeat his order that the slaves should take him dead or alive, and fearing that he had not inflicted sufficient injury to prevent pursuit, he returned and again struck Diggs, and effectually disarmed him. The Negroes followed for a short distance, but being advised by Anderson to go back and say they could not take him, they retired and left him to himself.
Anderson, the same night returned to his wife and informed her of what had transpired. She said that a rumour had reached her master's plantation of some old
slaveholder having been struck by a Negro with a knife, and exhorted him at once to make his way out of the State with all possible speed. She was much frightened when informed that her husband was the man who had committed the act of which she had already heard. After receiving a shirt or two from his wife, he again started for the land of true liberty, and has seen neither wife, nor child, nor his birthplace since.
Anderson commenced his distant and perilous journey with only a dollar and-a-half in his pocket. His travelling was, for the most part, performed during the night, and what rest he got he took, where he thought himself most secure, in the day time. He was often greatly in want of food, and for days together had to subsist upon what fell in his way--corn, hazelnuts, pawpaws, or raw potatoes. He had several narrow escapes from being captured. On one occasion, while resting himself by the wayside, a man on horseback rode up, and, charging him with being a fugitive slave, would have made him a prisoner, but he fled into a neighbouring field, and succeeded in concealing himself amongst some tall Indian corn. In the evening he ventured again into the public road, and observing a fire in the wood not far distant, and imagining that some of his own people might be engaged husking corn, he drew near the spot, and discovered, just in time to avoid the trap that had been set for him, that the fire had been kindled by the man from whose clutches he had escaped during the day. His enemy had adopted this method of decoying him into his ambush.
Under the provocation of extreme hunger, Anderson was sometimes impelled to levy contributions upon the eatable property of those whose dwellings lay in his way. Creeping into the back kitchen of a farm house, he filled one of his pockets with salt, and from a farm yard at another place he helped himself to three chickens, and having pulled their necks, retired into the woods to regale himself upon their flesh. He speedily deprived two of them of their feathers and roasted them; but in the midst of his repast, though not until he had nearly picked the bones of both birds, he was alarmed by the sounds of approaching footsteps, when, suspecting that the owner of the chickens was in pursuit, he hastily decamped, carrying the uncooked chicken with him, which was his entire supply of food during the next two days. He crossed the Mississippi as he had done the Missouri, by using a boat which he found on the bank. It was now Saturday night, and he had been just a fortnight absent from the plantation of McDonald, and had gained the free State of Illinois. Knowing however, that successful attempts had been made to recover fugitives in that State, he did not feel secure, and therefore resolved to observe the same circumspection he had practised in Missouri.
On the following day providence directed his footsteps to the threshold of an English settler, who gave him a cordial reception, and offered him a night's lodging. Before putting him to bed, his host furnished him with a good supper. Anderson's mind was afterwards
greatly disturbed, and his apprehensions excited, by seeing a gun in his lodging room, which he thought might be kept for the purpose of overcoming runaway subjects like himself. His weariness, however, soon got the better of his fears, and after a long and sound sleep he rose much refreshed. Before breakfast his kind entertainer supplied him with a razor, and he was enabled to indulge in the luxury of a shave. In addition to a substantial breakfast, the good-hearted Englishman filled his pockets with apples and bread, and he departed on his way well rested, well cleansed, well fed, and well supplied. After several adventures, some of them of a critical nature, during the day and the night that succeeded, Anderson again ventured to present himself at the door of a white man's dwelling. Here he got a breakfast, and purchased a loaf of bread of the housewife. The farmer undertook to direct him, and went forth with him under pretence of doing so. They had not proceeded far, however, when Anderson perceived that the man was leading him back towards the house, through a field in which two of his sons were working. Fearful that he was about to be betrayed, Anderson took to flight, and soon left the farmer and his sons far behind him.
At the end of two days he struck a branch of the Illinois river, which he crossed, and after proceeding some distance, came to a railway track, with the use of which he was acquainted. He kept by this track until he arrived within a short distance of Bloomington.
After various adventures he overtook some teams which were on the way to a place called Rock Island, and being permitted to mount one of them he reached the town that evening. The next day he hired himself to a barber, though quite ignorant of the art of shaving any one besides himself, but stayed with him only two days, and then started for Chicago, his fare being paid by a society of abolitionists. In Chicago, Anderson lived for three weeks with another barber, and then left for Windsor, Upper Canada, where he safely arrived.
Arrives at Windsor, Upper Canada.--His first employment as a Free man.-- Discovers a plot to got him back to slavery.--Changes his name and residence.--For five years remains unmolested.
ANDERSON reached Windsor in the month of September, 1853, and obtained employment as a labourer on the Great Western Railway of Canada, on that part of the line lying between Windsor and Chatham, and was paid at the rate of about seven shillings per day; his work consisted in laying "ties" for the rails, and the job lasted six or seven weeks. During the month of October, he got a friend to write two letters to his wife in Missouri, one of which he sent to the care of Tomlin, his wife's father, and the other to a free coloured man, of the name of Allen, following the trade of a shoemaker, in the town of Fayette; the information in both letters was the same--to the effect that he had got safely to Detroit. When he had finished his job upon the railway, he returned to Windsor; with his earnings he purchased himself some clothes and entered the institution of Mr. William Bibb --a fugitive slave, who had established
a school--resolving to devote one half of his time to his education, and the other half to manual labour, and thus be able to support himself and attend school at the same time. He found in a lady of the name of Evelyn a very kind friend; she was a widow, and obtained her living by teaching. This lady sent for Anderson to inform him that a letter had arrived in Windsor, stating that his wife and children had reached Detroit, and were waiting for him. Mrs. Evelyn read the letter to him, and told him it was her belief that it had been sent to decoy him across the river into the State of Michigan, and that if he crossed he would, in all probability, be seized and carried to Missouri. Mrs. Evelyn advised him to leave the institution, to remove to Chatham, and the better to avoid detection, to assume another name. He acted according to this counsel, and making up a small bundle of clothes, and leaving his trunk under the care of a Mrs. Jackson, immediately started for Chatham, which place was sixty or seventy miles from Windsor; he avoided the high road, and walked as far as Belle River, where he took the railway cars for Chatham. This change of residence took place in the second or third week of April, 1854. In Chatham he took another name. In Missouri he had always been called Jack, in Windsor he went by the name of John Anderson, but in Chatham he became James Hamilton. This was the name of a coloured man--like himself, a fugitive-- who resided in the town, and who was old enough to pass for his father. In Chatham, Anderson went to wood
chopping, by the "cord," for which he was paid at the rate of three and sixpence per cord, and he could do on an average two cords a day. He had not been many weeks in Chatham before a rumour spread among the coloured people of the place, that certain parties were on the look-out for him, and that a reward had been offered for his apprehension. The report alarmed him, and he deemed it advisable to go to a lawyer, and tell him in what way he had made his escape from slavery, and at the same time, take his advice as to the course he should pursue. Having related to him all the facts of the case, the lawyer told him he had better leave the neighbourhood, and again change his name, for though his enemies might not be able to "get him," they might give him a "heap of trouble."
It is difficult in the absence of reliable information, to furnish any connected account of the proceedings of Anderson during the five following years of his residence in Canada. He has stated that he travelled from place to place, and pursued various employments, until having learned the trade of a mason and plasterer, he settled down in the town of Caledonia, where he became the owner of a house. With this brief notice of his first six years of freedom, we proceed to record those events in his history, which excited so much public attention, and made his name so widely known.
Anderson's confidence is betrayed.--He is arrested, and afterwards released.--He is arrested a second time, and after some weeks confinement discharged.--He is a third time arrested, and is committed to the County Jail.--His rendition is demanded.--Diplomatic correspondence.
ABOUT the commencement of the year 1860, Anderson was imprudent enough to mention, in confidence, to a person of the name of Wynne, with whom he was at the time on terms of intimate friendship, the facts connected with his escape from slavery, including his encounter with Diggs. Wynne, in retaliation for some offence given him by Anderson, reported what he had heard to a Justice of the Peace of the name of Mathews; who, upon the information thus furnished, caused the fugitive to be arrested. It is believed that he (Mathews) further communicated the fact of Anderson's capture to the friends of the deceased Diggs. After several weeks' imprisonment--no witnesses appearing, Anderson was released. But on the 30th of April, and
only three days after his discharge, he was again arrested on the information of a man of the name of Gunning--a detective police officer, and professional slave-catcher, who came over from Detroit, in the State of Michigan, and deposed on oath, that he "verily believed Anderson had wilfully, deliberately, and maliciously murdered Diggs, on the 28th of September, 1853."
After some additional weeks imprisonment, Anderson was again set at liberty through the interposition of legal aid; but the man Gunning did not abandon his intention of procuring his extradition. Accordingly on his return to the United States, Gunning applied himself to the obtaining of evidence from Missouri in support of his original charge, and returning with witnesses, Anderson was once more arrested, and brought up for examination. The case was gone into on the 27th of September, when there appeared as witnesses, against him, William C. Baker, of Howard County, Missouri; also, two sons of the deceased Diggs; also a lawyer of the name of Holliday; also a constable of the name of Hazlehurst, and finally, a slave called Phil. The evidence of these witnesses having been taken, Anderson was committed to the common jail of Brantford, "to be there safely kept, until he should be delivered by due course of law." The warrant was dated the 28th of September, and was signed by Mathews and two other Justices of the Peace.
There appears to have been an immediate application by Anderson's prosecutors to Washington, as on the
2nd of October, the Secretary of State, General Cass, addressed a letter to the British Minister, requesting her Majesty's government to issue the necessary warrant to "deliver up the person of John Anderson, otherwise called Jack, a man of colour, charged with the commission of murder in the State of Missouri." There was an important omission in this official requisition. John Anderson was described simply as a coloured man and not as a slave; and therefore, a piece of property. This omission might have been attended with serious if not fatal consequences, as the proceedings, both at the British Embassy at Washington, and at the Foreign and Colonial offices in London, were based upon the presumption that Anderson was a free man, and that he was charged with the crime of murder in the capacity of a free man. At a later date, April 8th, 1861, Lord Lyons, in a despatch to Lord John Russell, says,--"When I despatched the requisition for the surrender, to Canada, I was not aware that John Anderson had been a slave, or that there were any peculiar circumstances in the case."
Lord Lyons, on receiving the requisition of General Cass, transmitted it to the Foreign office in London, and on the 22nd of October, 1860, Lord John Russell requested the Secretary of State for the Colonies "to take the necessary steps for complying with the application should there be no objection thereto." Accordingly, on the 27th of October, a despatch from the Colonial office, and a letter from the Foreign office, went out to Canada,
instructing Sir Edmund Head "to take such measures as were authorized by the laws of Canada, for the extradition to the authorities of the State of Missouri, of the person of John Anderson, otherwise called Jack, charged with the commission of murder in that State."
The Court Of Queen's Bench, Canada, issues a Writ.--The decision on the case is postponed.--Anderson petitions the Governor-General.--The extradition clause of the Ashburton Treaty.--Act of the Canadian Parliament. --The provision for its execution.--The arguments of Counsel, pro and con.
We return to Canada.
Justice Mathews, having decided that the evidenced adduced before him was sufficient to warrant a demand for Anderson's extradition, certified the Governor-General to that effect; but his Excellency's legal adviser, unwilling to take the responsibility of giving an official opinion, brought the question before the Court of Queen's Bench Of Canada, by Habeas Corpus. The writ was issued on the 20th of November, and was made returnable on the 23rd. The Judges, after hearing arguments, took time to consider, and fixed the 15th of December for the delivery of their decision. In the interval, the following petition was presented to the Governor-General, by John Anderson:--
"To His Excellency the Governor-General of Canada, &c., &c.
"The petition of the undersigned, John Anderson, confined in the jail of the county of Brantford, humbly showeth:--
"That your petitioner was born in the state of Missouri, one of the United States of America.
"That to the best of his knowledge he is of the age of thirty years.
"That he was the slave of Burton and another, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. That the plantation of Burton and the other, was within about thirty miles from the plantation of Samuel Brown. That in the last mentioned year your petitioner was married to one Maria Tomlin, who was the daughter of Tomlin, who had purchased his liberty from his master. That about six weeks before he formed the determination to come to Canada, for the purpose of obtaining his freedom, he was sold and transferred by said Burton, and his partner, to one MacDonnell, who lived about thirty miles distant from your petitioner's wife.
"That your petitioner had always felt that he had a right to his freedom.
"That he had never done anything to forfeit his liberty, and was not subject to any restraint through crime.
"That he might lawfully use any means within his power to obtain his liberty, and with that object ran away from MacDonnell. That he went to his wife,
who was a slave of, and lived with Samuel Brown, and consulted with her as to his intentions, and she concurred with him in his views, with an ultimate hope as to herself, and a young child, then about eight months old, the issue of our marriage, obtaining their liberty.
"That while he was then there he was pursued, but escaped. That in his course to Canada he had to pass the plantation of Seneca F. T. Diggs, and that while passing it he was accosted in nearly the manner mentioned in the evidence transmitted to your Excellency. That he made the excuse of wishing to go to Givens's, so that he, Mr. Diggs, would allow him to pass.
"That this will be manifest, or otherwise, your petitioner could have had no reason, under the evidence, for attempting to escape.
"That when said Diggs refused to allow this excuse for not having a pass, your petitioner found it necessary to make his escape, and endeavoured to do so.
"That your petitioner was run down, having been chased for nearly an hour in a circle, and at the moment he was looking for success, Mr. Diggs appeared before him.
"That he could not turn, his pursuers being at his heels with clubs, and being borne on by the first impulse, he dashed against said Diggs with an open knife, with which he had threatened his pursuers, as will appear from the evidence of Phil, hereto annexed, which is nearly true; whether your petitioner struck with it more than once, he cannot recollect; but whatever sudden impulse bid, that he did to obtain his liberty. That your petitioner
was imprisoned for about the space of three weeks, last spring, on this charge; but as no one appeared against him, he was discharged. That another warrant was issued against him for his arrest for the same crime, on the third day after his discharge, on an information quite insufficient, as he is advised.
"That your petitioner was not aware of such second warrant having been issued until he was arrested in the town of Simcoe, about two weeks since. That he had gone from Caledonia, where he resided at the time of his arrest, in the hope of obtaining employment at his trade as a mason. That your petitioner therefore prays that your Excellency will be graciously pleased to withhold an order delivering your petitioner to the authorities of the state of Missouri, inasmuch as by the British law he is entitled to be free there, and the evidence shows that he only used such force as was necessary to maintain that freedom there; and your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray."
his (Signed) JOHN X ANDERSON. mark.
(Witness) A. S. REACHIE, Deputy Jailor.Brantford, 1st October, 1860.
The article of the Ashburton treaty, under which the extradition of Anderson was claimed, is as follows:--
"It is agreed that her Britannic Majesty and the United States shall, upon mutual requisitions by them or their ministers, officers, or authorities, respectively made,
deliver up to justice all persons, who, being charged with the crime of murder, or assault with intent to commit murder, or piracy, or arson, or robbery, or forgery, or the utterance of forged paper, committed within the jurisdiction of either, shall seek an asylum, or be found within the territories of the either, provided that this shall only be done upon such evidence of criminality, as, according to the laws of the place where the fugitive or person so charged shall be found, would justify his apprehension and commitment for trial, if the crime or offence had there been committed; and the respective judges, or other magistrates of the two governments, shall have power, jurisdiction, and authority, upon complaint made under oath, to issue a warrant for the apprehension of the fugitive or person so charged, that he may be brought before such judges or other magistrates respectively, to the end that the evidence of criminality may be heard and considered; and if, on such hearing, the evidence be deemed sufficient to sustain the charge, it shall be the duty of the examining judge or magistrate, to certify the same to the proper executive authority, that a warrant may issue for the surrender of such fugitive. The expense of such apprehension and delivery, shall be borne and defrayed by the party who makes the requisition and receives the fugitive."
The act of the Canadian Legislature, prescribing the duties of the judicial and executive officers under the treaty, reads as follows:--
"Upon complaint made under oath or affirmation,
charging any person found within the limits of this province, with having committed, within the jurisdiction of the United States of America, or of any of such States, any of the crimes enumerated or provided for by the said treaty, any of the judges of any of Her Majesty's superior courts, in this province, or any of Her Majesty's justices of the peace in the same, may issue his warrant for the apprehension of the person so charged, that he may be brought before such judge or justice of the peace, to the end that the evidence of criminality may be heard and considered; and if on such hearing, the evidence be deemed sufficient, by him, to sustain the charge according to the laws of this province, if the offence alleged had been committed herein, he shall certify the same, together with a copy of all the testimony taken before him, to the governor, that a warrant may issue, upon the requisition of the proper authorities of the said United States, or any of such states, for the surrender of such person, according to the stipulation of the said treaty; and the said judge, or the said justice of the peace, shall issue his warrant for the commitment of the person, so charged, to the proper jail, there to remain until such surrender be made, or until such person be discharged according to law." (12 Vic. c. 19, s. 1.)
On behalf of the Crown it was urged, that the offence of Anderson was one which, if committed in Canada, would subject him to trial for murder; that Diggs, in attempting to arrest Anderson, was engaged in enforcing the laws of Missouri, and therefore the latter was clearly
guilty of murder, and ought to be given up in obedience to the requisition of the United States Government. On behalf of the prisoner it was contended, that the proceedings of the committing magistrate, were, in some respects, illegal; that the affidavit of Diggs's slave was improperly admitted, the witness being under constraint; but, mainly, that a slave attempting to escape from bondage, and killing the person who attempted to re-enslave him, did not, according to the common law, commit murder, but justifiable homicide, and that the rendition of Anderson, would be a virtual recognition, on British soil, of the slave laws of the United States.
The 15th of December, 1860.--Intense Excitement within and around the Court House in Toronto.--Description of the Crowd.--Appearance and Demeanour of Anderson.--Adverse Decision of the Bench.--Remarks of Mr. Justice McLean in favour of Anderson's Discharge. --Anderson is Remanded to Prison.
THE court room, on the 15th of December, was densely crowded with persons eager to learn the decision upon which the fate of the prisoner hung. Would he be delivered over to the tender mercies of slaveholders' law--the essence of cruelty and injustice--or would he be declared a free man, and go forth to inhale the atmosphere, and walk in the light of liberty? That was the question. Would he be pronounced a fugitive from justice--a criminal, a felon, and a murderer; or would he be proclaimed a man who had vindicated, in his own person, the rights of the whole human race, and in obedience to the law of nature, and in accordance with the universally allowed natural prerogative of our species, had struck a justifiable blow in defence of his personal liberty? Amongst the audience that awaited the decision of the bench were many persons of the same colour as the prisoner. They, too, had been
slaves--they, too, were fugitives from the house of bondage, and if Anderson were surrendered, their liberty would be placed in jeopardy, and they also might be dragged back to the toils of slavery from which they had escaped. The multitude on the outside of the court room presented an extraordinary spectacle: men of all ranks, degrees, and complexions, were animated by a common hope that, in the case to be adjudicated, right would triumph over might. The police mustered in large numbers, and piled their muskets in front of the hall; but no disposition to commit violence was manifested by the crowd. The people could not bring themselves to believe that the Judges would decide against the fugitive, and were confident that the law would set him free. In anxious expectation, the groups assembled within the court room awaited the delivery of judgment on some ordinary cases, and there was an eager stir when the prisoner, who had been freed from his fetters in the anteroom, entered the chamber, and was accommodated with a seat within the bar. He was described by a local paper as a stout-built man of middle height, and of a very deep yellow complexion, with a full development of forehead, and a countenance in which mildness and intelligence were strongly marked. He looked round upon the faces of the crowd, but apparently thinking that its sympathy could not avail him, he turned his gaze upon the Judges, and, with manifest intelligence, collected himself to listen to their decision--a deep sigh now and then escaping from his
broad chest. It must have been an anxious moment when, as the clock struck the hour of noon, the Chief Justice produced his paper and began to read. The life or death of a human being hung on his words. The liberties of hundreds of self-emancipated slaves depended upon the opinion of three fallible men! The thought must involuntarily have suggested itself to many--"Was this poor fellow, after he had by desperate adventure achieved his liberty, and enjoyed its sweets for more than five years, to be sent back to certain slavery, if not death? Were the hundreds of fugitives in a province of the British crown, who had committed what the laws of the slave states denominate felonies in effecting their escape, to be henceforth at the mercy of the man-stealer?"
Chief Justice Robinson and Mr. Justice Burns concurred in refusing the application for Anderson's discharge. Mr. Justice McLean dissented, on the grounds which every sincere hater of slavery, and everyone who admits the equal manhood of the black man, must deem conclusive. On a review of the proceedings of the Justice (Mathews), and the evidence in the case, he remarked:--
"Looking, then, at all the testimony taken before the justice of the peace, and rejecting such portion as is unnecessary and inadmissible, there is not a witness who connects the prisoner with the stabbing of Diggs, unless it be Thomas Diggs, in his statement of the death-bed declarations of his father to him, and these
only shew that the negro by whom Diggs was stabbed made certain declarations as to himself and his identity, which would be true if made by the prisoner; but rejecting the deposition of the slave Phil there is no testimony which establishes satisfactorily that the prisoner is the person who caused the death of Diggs. On the grounds, therefore, that the prisoner was arrested in the first instance on an insufficient complaint, and that he is now detained in custody on a warrant of commitment until discharged by due course of law for an offence committed in a foreign country; and on the further grounds, that the offence stated in the warrant of commitment is not one for which the prisoner is liable to be detained under the provincial act for carrying out the treaty with the United States for the surrender of certain fugitive criminals, and that the evidence, as given before the justice of the peace, is of too vague a character to establish the offence of murder against the prisoner according to the laws of this province, I am of opinion that the prisoner is now entitled to be discharged from custody."
The learned judge concluded his opinion in the following terms:--
"Can it then be a matter of surprise that the prisoner should endeavour to escape from so degrading a position; or rather, would it not be a cause of surprise if the attempt were not made? Diggs--though he could have had no other interest in it but that which binds slaveholders for their common interest to prevent the
escape of their slaves--interfered to prevent the prisoner getting beyond the bounds of his bondage, and, with his slaves, pursued and hunted him with a spirit and determination which might well drive him to desperation; and when at length the prisoner appeared within reach of capture, he, with a stick in his hand, crossed over a fence, and advanced to intercept and seize him. The prisoner was anxious to escape, and, in order to do so, made every effort to avoid his pursuers. Diggs, as their leader, on the contrary, was most anxious to overtake and come in contact with the prisoner, for the unholy purpose of rivetting his chains more securely. Could it be expected from any man indulging the desire to be free, which nature has implanted in his breast, that he should quietly submit to be returned to bondage and to stripes, if by any effort of his strength or any means within his reach, he could emancipate himself? Such an expectation, it appears to me, would be most unreasonable; and I must say that, in my judgment, the prisoner was justified in using any necessary degree of force to prevent what, to him, must inevitably have proved a most fearful evil. He was committing no crime in endeavouring to escape and to better his own condition; and the fact of his being a slave cannot, in my humble judgment, make that a crime which would not be so if he were a white man. If in this country any number of persons were to pursue a coloured man with an avowed determination to return him into slavery, it cannot, I think, be doubted that the man pursued
would be justified in using, in the same circumstances as the prisoner, the same means of relieving himself from so dreadful a result. Can, then, or must the law of slavery in Missouri be recognized by us to such an extent as to make it murder in Missouri, while it is justifiable in this province to do precisely the same act? I confess that I feel it too repugnant to every sense of religion and every feeling of justice, to recognize a rule, designated as a law, passed by the strong for enslaving and tyrannizing over the weak--a law which would not be tolerated a moment, if those who are reduced to the condition of slaves, and deprived of all human rights, were possessed of white instead of black or dark complexions. The Declaration of Independence of the present United States proclaimed to the world, that all men are born equal and possessed of certain inalienable rights, amongst which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; but the first of these is the only one accorded to the unfortunate slaves; the others of these inalienable rights are denied, because the white population have found themselves strong enough to deprive the blacks of them. A love of liberty is inherent in the human breast, whatever may be the complexion of the skin. 'Its taste is grateful, and ever will be so till nature herself shall change.' And in administering the laws of a British province, I never can feel bound to recognize as law any enactment which can convert into chattels a very large number of the human race. I
think that, on every ground, the prisoner is entitled to be discharged."
All the judgments were listened to with profound silence; but when Mr. Justice McLean concluded the delivery of his opinion with the words--"I think that, on every ground, the prisoner is entitled to be discharged," the suppressed feelings of the crowd found vent, and the and the court house was rent with acclamations. Those who watched the countenance of Anderson, as each of the judges in turn addressed the court, saw it darkened with sadness or brightened with hope, as the opinions given were friendly or adverse. Alas! the majority had decided that he must be surrendered. No wonder his eyes filled with tears, and the cloud of anxiety settled upon his brow, for would not the effect of that adverse judgment be to consign him to the hands of a jury of slaveholders? and had it not been publicly asserted that roasting to death, at a slow fire, was fate in reserve for him? One hope remained--the Court of Error and Appeal might yet reverse the decision that had been given, and establish the inviolability of the right of asylum--the proudest institution of the British empire.
The authorities, aware, perhaps, beforehand of the nature of the decision to be given, and fearing an attempt at a rescue, had prepared an exhibition of armed force; but this demonstration of power excited derision rather than indignation or terror.
The order made by the court on the termination of
the judgments, was--"That the said John Anderson be recommitted to the custody of the keeper of the gaol of the county of Brant, under which he had been detained, until a warrant should issue, upon the requisition of the proper authorities of the United States of America, or of the state of Missouri, for his surrender; or until discharged according to law."
At the conclusion of the case, the counsel for Anderson intimated his intention of referring the judgment just delivered to the Court of Error and Appeal, and the counsel for the crown said that no obstruction would be thrown in the way.
Character of the Meeting.--Resolutions Adopted.--Masterly Speech of John Scoble, Esq.--Memorial to the Governor-General.
THE excitement in Toronto, caused by the proceedings in the Court of Queen's Bench on the 20th and 23rd of November, was intensified by the decision delivered in the full court on the 15th of December; and, in the evening of the 19th of the same month, one of the largest and most enthusiastic meetings ever held in the City took place, over which the Mayor presided. St. Andrew's Hall was densely packed, and many hundreds were unable to find entrance. The speakers included the leading clergymen, lawyers, and merchants of the city. The state of the public feeling may be inferred from the fact, that the sentiments expressed by some of the speakers that the rendition of Anderson might result in the loss of the province to Great Britain, was warmly applauded. It will be admitted, therefore, that the proceedings of this meeting deserve to be permanently recorded.
It was moved by the Rev. Principal Willis, seconded by Alderman McMurrich, and RESOLVED,--"That this meeting, impressed with the danger to the cause of humanity and liberty which would result from the rendition to the United States of the fugitive Anderson, now imprisoned in this city, hold it an imperative duty to give expression to those feelings, on this subject, which were implanted in the human breast prior to all legislation, and which has been the honour of British law to recognize and vindicate."
It was moved by Professor D. Wilson, seconded by the Rev. Dr. Burns, and RESOLVED,--"That, believing slavery--a system which dooms human beings to perpetual servitude, treats them as vendible chattels, and places the dearest personal rights and domestic ties, even the very prerogatives of conscience, at the mercy of arbitrary power--to be unscriptural, and a violation of the fundamental principles of the law of nature, this meeting holds it to be unjust to apply the designation of 'murder' to such violence as a fugitive may find necessary, to resist aggression, and defend his personal liberty."
It was moved by John Scoble, Esq., formerly, and for many years, secretary to the British and Foreign Anti-slavery Socety; seconded by M. C. Cameron, Esq., and RESOLVED,--"That in the opinion of this meeting the British Government, in negociating the Ashburton Treaty, could not have intended that a fugitive slave escaping from bondage to Canada, and charged with the commission of crime in his struggle for freedom, should be returned for trial in the slave states."
The speech of Mr. Scoble on this occasion, is so important--as a clear and conclusive exposition of the true meaning and intent of the extradition clause of the treaty referred to in the Resolution--that we deem it worthy a place in this narrative. Mr. Scoble said:--
"I understand it is expected from me that I shall give to this meeting a statement of facts with reference to the extradition treaty, as we find them in the public records. I well remember that, in the year 1843, when the first printed copy of the extradition, or Ashburton treaty with the United Sates was presented to the Provincial Parliament, we took the alarm at the probable consequences that might result from it with reference to fugitive slaves. I had the honour then of being the secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society of England, and of being associated in the Anti-Slavery cause with such men as Clarkson, and Brougham, and Lushington, and Denman, and other eminent individuals. And in our associated capacity we felt it to be our duty to submit the question of the effect the treaty might have, as it respected the fugitive slaves in Canada, to the consideration of the government. It fell to me to make the permanent record of all the transactions that then took place, and having refreshed my memory within the last few days, by a reference to those records, I am able to state most distinctly and unequivocally that in our communications with Lord Ashburton, with Lord Aberdeen, then the Foreign secretary, and with Sir Charles Metcalfe, who was then about returning to Canada as
Governor-General of this Province, it was most clearly understood that fugitive slaves were to be excepted from the operation of the treaty. (Cheers.) I well remember the agitation of the public mind in England in reference to this question, for we felt that it was just possible for the slaveholders of the United States to charge crimes upon fugitive slaves in Canada, and to produce a certain amount of evidence in relation to such alleged crimes, which might by a strict interpretation of the treaty, lead the Government here to hand over to the tender mercies of slaveholders the fugitives they might claim. We first approached Lord Ashburton on this subject. We wished to understand from him what was his impression as to the 9th Article, more particularly on its bearing on fugitive slaves. I have here the record of what that distinguished nobleman said. After we had explained to him the precise object we had in view, he replied, 'That the article in question was no more designed to touch the fugitive slave, than to affect the case of deserters, or parties charged with high treason.['] (Cheers.) Not satisfied, however, with having appealed to Lord Ashburton, as to his understanding of the treaty, or that particular clause of it which might be used against the fugitive slave, we presented a memorial to the Earl of Aberdeen, then Foreign Minister, in which we set forth the status of slaves in the United States, showing to his lordship that it was impossible for a slave to obtain justice at the hands of those who held him in their power, and that the
laws of the Slave States, in reference to the slave, were of the most sanguinary and atrocious description. We shewed that there were not less than seventy offences for which the slave might be punished with death, and for which a freeman, if he committed them, could only be fined or imprisoned, or, at the most, placed in the Penitentiary. We then pointed out to his lordship the character of the tribunals before which offending slaves were tried, and shewed that it was utterly impossible for a slave to look for justice under any circumstances that could be imagined from such courts. We concluded our memorial in these words:--'The committee enter not into the discussion of the policy or impolicy of the general principle involved in the extradition clause, they refer that to the wisdom of the Government and the Legislature; but they cannot willingly be parties to any arrangement which involves the possibility of the restoration of fugitive slaves to bondage, or which renders any part of the British dominions less an asylum of liberty than it is at present. They, therefore, earnestly beseech your lordship that, in the contemplated Act of Parliament for giving that clause effect, the Government will be pleased to provide that it shall not, under any circumstances or under any pretence whatsoever, apply to the case of fugitive slaves, but that they shall be wholly exempted from its operation.' That was the prayer of the committee of the Anti-Slavery Society, and it was sustained by the whole of England. Now, what was the answer which Lord Aberdeen gave to us?
'His lordship received the deputation with great courtesy, and intimated that he took the deepest interest in the security and welfare of the fugitive slaves who have sought refuge in Upper Canada. His lordship stated also that the greatest care should be taken to prevent, in their case, the abuse of the extradition article.' And from my own recollection I am able to state another fact in connection with that interview; it is this--that his lordship stated that, in order to prevent the possibility of the misuse of the 9th clause of the treaty, strict instructions should be forwarded to the Governor of Canada that, in the case of fugitive slaves, the greatest care should be taken that the treaty should not work the ruin of them." (Loud cheers.)
It was moved by the Rev. Mr. Topp, seconded by the Rev. Mr. King, of Buxton, and RESOLVED,--"That as it is the boast of Britain that its soil cannot be trodden by a slave, so it is the high distinction of this province that it has hitherto afforded an inviolable sanctuary for the oppressed; and, while desiring no immunity to be afforded by our law for real criminals, whether bond or free, we feel that the disposal of the pending cause, in the manner to which the decision of the court points, would be to destroy the security which many British subjects now happily enjoy within our territory."
It was moved by P. Brown, Esq, seconded by J. G. Bowes, Esq., and RESOLVED,--"That this meeting, while reposing well-merited confidence in the equitable spirit of British law, and cherishing becoming respect
for British tribunals, regard it as entirely consistent with such sentiments to seek, in due order, the most deliberate award of justice on a question respecting which our judges are divided in opinion, and resolve to leave nothing undone to have the present case submitted to the courts of last resort in the province, and, if need be, in the empire."
It was moved by the Rev. F. H. Marling, seconded by Alexander Manning, Esq., and RESOLVED,--"That the following petition be forwarded to His Excellency the Administrator of the Government, praying him to withhold his warrant for the delivery of the fugitive slave, Anderson, to the United States authorities for the reasons set forth in the preceding resolutions:--
"To His Excellency, &c.,--The memorial and petition of the undersigned most respectfully sheweth,--
"That as inhabitants of this free British province, and warmly attached to the British Constitution, we feel deeply concerned in any event, or act of civil administration, by which the reputation of our country, as one whose soil cannot be polluted with slavery, might be tarnished, or the influence of British laws given directly or indirectly to the upholding of a cruel oppression.
"That, alarmed by the manner in which the rash, and, as your petitioners believe, improper act of a local authority in Canada, in arresting and detaining, under an alleged charge of murder in the State of Missouri, the person of Anderson, now in jail in Toronto, has
been affirmed by a majority of the judges of the Queen's Bench, your petitioners gladly betake themselves to your Excellency as the acting head of the Executive Government, in the earnest hope that such a decision may not prevent your Excellency from disposing of this case in harmony with the spirit of our laws and the dictates of eternal justice.
"That your petitioners believe that a just as well as liberal interpretation of the Ashburton Treaty would exempt the accused party, Anderson, from the range of its application, and they are strengthened in this belief not only by the authority of a Judge of long experience on the Queen's Bench itself, but by the opinions of eminent practical lawyers in Canada, and by decisions in analogous cases both in Britain and the United States; also by documents, extant and accessible, illustrating the meaning of Lord Ashburton and other parties closely connected with the arrangements of said treaty.
"That were the prisoner in question remanded to a United States jury in the circumstances alleged, and in the present state of the slave law, the prisoner's opportunities of obtaining impartial judgment are so small, and so diminished beyond all that could have been foreseen by the parties to the Ashburton Treaty-- especially since the decision in what is known as the Dred Scott case, which affirms that a coloured person has no rights that he can assert or which the citizens of the Republic are bound to respect--that his rendition on
the evidence alleged would be to recognize a state of things never contemplated by those who framed the Treaty. And your memorialists submit that where so much as a doubt of the reading of the Treaty exists, the benefit should, as usual, but especially where such momentous interests are concerned, be given to the accused; and the case, so far as it happily comes for preliminary Judgment before our own Government, should be decided in a large and humane construction of the clauses of the Treaty, and the Acts of Parliament bearing upon it, rather than by mere technicalities.
"That the consequences of disposing of this cause otherwise, cannot, your memorialists hope, but appear to your Excellency and your Government most dangerous to the sacred interests of just liberty, in rendering the condition of many industrious residents in this province one of extreme peril; nothing being easier than, by means of such evidence as has been brought forward in this case, to drag them back to bondage, or subject them to the cruel pains of a law which gives no equal protection to the slave, whether as regards life, chastity, or religion, and thus to render our happily free territory a hunting ground for persons whose crime may only have been that they dared to be better than slaves, and defended at the risk of their own lives, or with possible danger to the lives of aggressors and spoilers, their inalienable rights and their dearest domestic relations.
"That reposing confidence in the generous and
British-like spirit of your Excellency, and in the belief that your memorialists plead only for what is just and right according to the law of nations, the sacred demands of religion, and the true reading of international compacts, they pray your Excellency to release the prisoner aforesaid, and hold him not liable to be rendered up to foreign authorities, as claimed.
"And your memorialists will ever pray, &c."
Such were the proceedings of one of the most numerously attended, enthusiastic, and important meetings ever held in the capital of Western Canada.
It has been already stated that, at the conclusion of the case in the Court of Queens Bench in Canada, the counsel of Anderson stated his intention to refer the judgment then delivered to the Court of Error and Appeal. Accordingly, on the 22nd of December, an application for leave to make such an appeal was heard by the court, but it was decided that no appeal would lie from its judgment upon a writ of Habeas Corpus to the court above. Mr. Freeman, the able and zealous counsel for Anderson, then said that it was in contemplation to sue for a writ of Habeas Corpus from the Court of Common Pleas, and also from the Court of Chancery, and that, if necessary, application would be made to the Legislature of Canada, and, in the last resort, to the Privy Council and Parliament of England.
First knowledge of Anderson being a Slave.--Prompt and praiseworthy conduct of the Duke of Newcastle.--Action of the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.--Memorial to the Colonial Minister.--Application to the Court of Queen's Bench, Westminster.--The Lord Chief Justice issues a Writ of Habeas Corpus.--American Minister's Despatch, describing the state of Anti-Slavery feeling in England.--Agitation throughout the Country.--Language of the Public Journals--Times, Weekly Dispatch, &c.--Exertions made by the Anti-Slavery Society and its Secretary.-- The Writ is sent to Canada.
LEAVING Anderson in jail in Canada, the attention of the reader is directed to England for the purpose of noticing the proceedings taken by the Government, the Press, and the anti-slavery portion of the community, in the novel case first made known by the contents of the American mail, at the commencement of the mouth of January, 1861.
The application made to the Court of Queen's Bench in Canada, and the decision thereon, appear to have furnished the earliest information received by the Queen's Government in London, of the fact, that John Anderson, whose extradition had been sanctioned, was a slave. On this fact becoming known at the Colonial
Office, the Duke of Newcastle addressed a despatch to the officer administering the Government of Canada, dated January 9th, 1861, stating that he had just received a report of the judgment delivered in the Court of Queen's Bench at Toronto, in the case of Anderson, a fugitive slave; and, also, information that the prisoner's counsel had given notice of appeal. His Grace directed that, "If the result of that appeal should be adverse to Anderson, it was to be borne in mind by the acting Governor of Canada that, under the treaty of extradition, Anderson could not be delivered over to the authorities of the United States by the mere action of the law, and that he could be surrendered only by a warrant under the hand and seal of the Governor." The Duke further stated, that "the case of Anderson was one of the greatest possible importance, and that Her Majesty's Government were not satisfied that the decision of the Court at Toronto had been in conformity with the view of the treaty which had hitherto guided the authorities in this country. Such being the case, the Government of Canada were to abstain, in any case, from completing the extradition, until Her Majesty's Government should have had further opportunities of considering the question, and, if necessary, conferring with the Government of the United States on the subject." In conclusion, the Duke expressed his desire to be kept fully and immediately informed in reference to any further steps which might be taken in a case at once so peculiar and so important.
About the same time, the committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery society presented a memorial to the Duke of Newcastle, urging him to interpose to prevent the extradition of Anderson, and submitting that the clause in the Treaty under which he had been claimed, was not applicable to the case, inasmuch as it provided for the surrender of a criminal to justice only upon such evidence of criminality as according to the laws of the place where the fugitive so charged shall be found would justify his apprehension and commitment for trial if the crime had been there committed. The question to be decided was, whether, according to British law, a man would be chargeable with the crime of murder, who had resorted to extreme means to preserve the liberty of which another was seeking unjustly to deprive him--which was the case with regard to Anderson. In addition to this memorial, the committee considered it advisable to take a more decided step than that of simply asking Government to issue instructions to the superior authorities in Canada not to deliver up Anderson without a direct order from Her Majesty's advisers. Accordingly, on the 10th of January, the Duke of Newcastle was notified that a motion would be made on affidavit in the Court of Queen's Bench, Westminster Hall, for a writ of Habeas Corpus to issue for the production of the person of Anderson in that Court, and on the 15th the motion was made upon the grounds stated in the memorial, and others which were most ably presented; and the writ was granted.
The following is an accurate, though abridged account of the proceedings in this most important case.
COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH WESTMINSTER,
(Sitting in Banco before Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN, and Justices CROMPTON, HILL, and BLACKBURN.)
Mr. EDWIN JAMES, Q.C. (with whom were Mr. Flood and Mr. G. Allan) moved for a writ of habeas corpus, to be directed to the Governor of the Province of Canada, to the Sheriff of Toronto, and the keeper of the gaol there, to bring up the body of one John Anderson, together with the cause of his detention.
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN asked why the name of the Governor was introduced.
Mr. JAMES said the reason was because, in the St. Helena case, to which he should have to refer, the name of the Governor was introduced, as well as that of the keeper of the gaol. The affidavit on which the learned counsel moved was made by L. A. Chamerovzow, of No. 27, New Broad-street , in the city of London, Secretary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. He stated that John Anderson, of the city of Toronto, in Her Majesty's Province of Canada, a British subject, domiciled there, was, as he verily believed, illegally detained in the criminal gaol of the said city there, against his will, not having been legally accused, or charged with, or legally tried, or sentenced for the commission of any crime, or for any offence against or recognized by the laws in force in the said Province, or in any other part of Her Majesty's dominions, or not being otherwise liable to be imprisoned or detained under, or by virtue of any such laws. The affidavit further stated, that the deponent verily believed, that unless a peremptory writ of habeas corpus should immediately issue by this honourable court, the life of the said John Anderson would be exposed to the greatest and to immediate danger. The learned counsel proceeded to observe, that in moving for this writ of habeas corpus, the persons for whom he appeared would have to satisfy the court that they
had jurisdiction to issue this writ to the Province of Canada; and if he established that proposition, their Lordships would have no doubt that, under the pressing circumstances of the case, the writ ought to be directed to issue. The proposition for which he should contend was, that the Crown had power to issue the writ of habeas corpus into any part of Her Majesty's possessions. Canada was a part of the possessions of the British crown, and, in the language which had been adopted in these cases, Her Majesty had a right to have an account of the imprisonment of all her subjects in all her dominions. He contended that the court had as much right to issue this prerogative writ into Canada, as a possession of the British crown, as into the Isle of Wight or Yorkshire. These writs had gone to Calais, when a possession of the British crown, and also to Ireland, and he should contend that Canada stood in precisely the same position, as a possession of the British crown. Canada, which was a part of the continent of America, was colonized in the reign of James I., and the first charter was granted in the 13th of James I. At that time (and the expression was material) the whole of that portion of America was called "the Plantations," and the Board of Trade was called "the Board of Trade and Plantations." Canada belonged to the British crown till the year 1633, when it was ceded to France; and it was held by the crown of France till the year 1759, when it was retaken, and ceded to the British crown. The statute 14th George III. cap. 83, treated Canada as a colony in the possession of England.
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN said that in the Lower Province of Canada the French law prevailed; but Toronto was an English colony in Upper Canada.
Mr. Justice HILL said the 8th section of the statute the 14th of George III. reserved civil matters for the old law; but, by the 11th section, the criminal law of England prevailed through the whole of Canada.
Mr. JAMES read an extract from the judgment delivered by Lord Denman in the case of the Canadian prisoners (9 A, and E., 782), where Lord Denman said--
"The difficult questions that may arise, touching the enforcement in England of foreign laws, are excluded from this case entirely; for Upper Canada is neither a foreign state nor
a colony with any peculiar customs. Here are no mala prohibita by virtue of arbitrary enactments; the relation of master and slave is not recognized as legal; but Acts of Parliament have declared that the law of England, and none other, shall there prevail."
By the 11th section of the statute the 14th of George III. cap. 34, the criminal law of England was in force through the whole of Canada, and, beyond all question, a British subject in Canada was within a portion of Her Majesty 's dominions. The learned counsel contended that it was matter of right and clear law, that as soon as a country became a portion of Her Majesty's dominions, more especially if, like Canada, it became so by conquest or cession, that the writ of habeas corpus issued into it, upon the ground that Her Majesty had a right to know what had become of every one of her subjects. No instance could be found of the writ going into Canada, and therefore it was necessary to rely upon the argument byway of analogy, which empowered the court to issue the writ. That the writ lies and runs into every part of Her Majesty's dominions was laid down in Bacon's Abridgement--tit. Habeas Corpus (B)--in these terms :
"2. To what places it may be granted. It hath been already observed that the writ of habeas corpus is a prerogative writ, and that, therefore, by the common law it lies to any part of the King's dominions; for the King ought to have an account why any of his subjects are imprisoned, and therefore no answer will satisfy the writ, but to return the cause with paratum habea corpus, &c. Hence it was holden that the writ lay to Calais at the time it was subject to the King of England."
Mr. James then referred to Cowle's case, in the 3rd vol. of Burrows' Reports, p. 834, where Lord Mansfield said:
"Writs not ministerially directed (sometimes called prerogative writs, because they are supposed to issue on the part of the King), such as writs of madamus, prohibition, habeas corpus, certiorari, are restricted by no clause in the constitution given to Berwick: upon a proper case they may issue to every dominion of the Crown of England. There is no doubt of the power of this court where the place is under the subjection of the Crown of England; the only question is as to the propriety. To foreign dominions which belong to a
Prince who succeeds to the throne of England this court has no power to send any writ of any kind. We cannot send a habeas corpus to Scotland, or to the Electorate; but to Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Plantations, and (as since the loss of the duchy of Normandy they have been considered as annexed to the Crown in some respects) to Guernsey and Jersey we may, and formerly it lay to Calais, which was a conquest, and yielded to the Crown of England by the treaty of Bretigny."
Mr. JAMES said, that by the industry of his junior (Mr. Flood), he had copies of the writs which had been issued to Calais in 1387 and 1389. They might be seen in Rymer's Foedera, p. 15. In 1389 such a writ was issued by the House of Lords, sitting as a court of justice. The learned counsel relied strongly on the authority of Lord Mansfield, who said that the writ would issue to "every dominion of the Crown of England;" and that this court could send the writ to Ireland, to the Isle of Man, and to "the Plantations." He also referred to Vattel's Law of Nations, b. 1, chap. 18, p. 210, as an authority for the position, that where a nation took possession of a distant country, and settled in it, it became a part of the parent State; and to Grotius de Jure Belli ac Pacis b. 2, c. 9. to the same effect. He also referred to Peere's Williams's Reports, b. 2, pp. 74, 65, where it was said:--
"Memorandum, the 9th of August, 1722.--It was said by the Master of the Rolls to have been determined by the Lords of the Privy Council, upon the appeal to the King in Council from the foreign Plantations, 'That if there be a new and uninhabited country found out by British subjects, as the law is the birthright of every subject, so wherever they go they carry their laws with them, and therefore such new-found country is to be governed by the laws of England.'"
Mr. JAMES then referred to the case of "Reg v. Crawford" (13 Q. B., 613), which was an application for a writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum to the Isle of Man, and in which it was held that the writ would run into that island since the 5th of George III., by which the island was vested, in the Crown, and formed part of its dominions. The learned council also cited the case of "Campbell v. Hall," in Cowper's Reports, p. 204.
Mr. Justice CROMPTON thought the question was whether the courts in Westminster Hall had now a concurrent jurisdiction with the local Courts in granting this writ.
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN said, that in the Berwick case, Berwick was not subject to the law of Scotland, and therefore there was no superior court which could send a habeas corpus to prevent an illegal imprisonment, unless this Court took upon itself jurisdiction. But was that the case in Canada?
Mr. JAMES said he did not dispute that Canada had both legislative and criminal jurisdiction; but his argument was, that the courts in England had a concurrent jurisdiction with the Courts in Canada. The present was not the case of a man who had been tried in Canada, or who was under the sentence of a court which had power to sentence him, for the affidavit shewed that he had never been tried; and he contended that the mere institution of a local jurisdiction would not oust the Queen of the right which she had to ascertain whether any of her subjects were illegally imprisoned. In the case of the Isle of Man, there were local courts which had the power to issue writs of habeas corpus, and so also in the St. Helena case ("Ex parte Lees, Ellis, Blackburn, and Ellis, 28). In this latter case a writ of habeas corpus had been very recently granted, after a writ of error had issued.
Mr. Justice CROMPTON said he issued the writ as ancillary to the writ of error.
Mr. JAMES said, that if this court refused a writ of habeas corpus, the party had a right to go in succession to each of the superior courts; and if this court should refuse their writ, he would have a right to go to every court in Westminster-hall. He thought that was a strong argument to shew that this court had a concurrent jurisdiction with the Canadian courts.
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN said the question was whether it was within the ambit of this court's jurisdiction, or whether the power of granting the writ was not vested by the Crown in another jurisdiction.
Mr. JAMES contended that the mere establishment of such a jurisdiction in a local court could not limit the rights of the Crown without the authority of an Act of Parliament.
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN said that, by the conquest or session of Canada the law of England attached, and this court had the power to issue writs of habeas corpus into that country, unless the Crown had either expressly or by implication taken away that power. The question was, whether, by the establishment of a local judicature, and committing to it the duty
of protecting the subject by issuing writs of habeas corpus, the Crown had not, by implication, taken away the jurisdiction of this court.
Mr. Justice CROMPTON said the Legislature might do that.
Mr. JAMES said it was open to a party in this country to apply for the writ of habeas corpus to any court of co-ordinate jurisdiction.
Mr. Justice HILL.--And also for a prohibition.
Mr. JAMES contended it was a common-law right of the subject to go to every tribunal for this writ, and à fortiori, the courts in this country would have a concurrent jurisdiction with Colonial courts, unless it was taken away by an Act of Parliament.
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN asked whether the right to go to every one of the courts had not arisen from the Habeas Corpus Act?
Mr. JAMES contended it was by the common law, and all this court was asked to do was, not to interfere with any judgment, but to grant a habeas corpus to liberate a man who was in illegal custody. He was not in custody under the commitment of any local court which had the power to try him; there was no judgment to set aside; but it was shewn to the court that he was detained for no crime cognizable by the law of England. The learned counsel then referred to Carus Wilson's case (7 Q. B., 984), in which the writ had issued in the Isle of Jersey; and then proceeded to argue that the case might arise when the courts in Canada might be unable to discharge their duties, as a reason why this Court should still retain the power of granting these writs.
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN inquired, supposing the writ should go, what means had the Court of enforcing it?
Mr. JAMES said the Court could enforce the writ by attachment, but it could not be assumed that the Queen's writ would not be obeyed. The court would send its own officer to execute the writ. An application had been made to the local court for a writ of habeas corpus, and refused; and it was now shewn to this court that John Anderson, a British subject, was illegally detained in prison, having been guilty of no crime cognizable by the law of England. There were precedents for this application, and he confidently submitted the mere fact that there were other courts which had a concurrent
jurisdiction would not deprive the applicant of that protection for which he now prayed the Court.
The learned counsel then handed in the affidavit upon which he moved, and which was in these terms:
"IN THE QUEEN'S BENCH.
"The affidavit of Louis Alexis Chamerovzow, of No. 27, New Broad-street, in the city of London, Secretary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.
"I say, 1. That John Anderson, of the city of Toronto, in Her Majesty's Province of Canada, a British subject domiciled there, now is, as I verily believe, illegally detained in the criminal goal of the said city there, against his will, not having been legally accused, or charged with, or legally tried, or sentenced for the commission of any crime, or for any offence against, or recognized by the laws in force in the said province, or in any other part of Her Majesty's dominions, or not being otherwise liable to be imprisoned, or detained, under or by virtue of any such laws.
"I verily believe, that unless a prematory writ of habeas corpus shall immediately issue by this honourable Court, the life of the said John Anderson is exposed to the greatest, and to immediate danger."
Their Lordships then retired to consider their decision.
During their Lordship's absence greatinterest was manifested by a large number of the bar, who were present, and their Lordship's return was waited for with the greatest anxiety. After a short absence, their Lordships returned and resumed their seats, and
Lord Chief Justice COCKBURN said: We have considered this matter, and the result of our anxious deliberation is, that we are of opinion that the writ ought to issue. We are, at the same time, sensible of the inconvenience that may result from the exercise of such a jurisdiction. We are quite sensible that it may be felt to be inconsistent with that higher degree of colonial independence, both legislative and judicial, which has happily been carried into effect in modern times. At the same time, in establishing local legislation and local judicial authority, the Legislature has not gone so far as expressly to abrogate any jurisdiction which the courts in Westminster
Hall might possess with reference to the issuing of a writ of habeas corpus to any of Her Majesty's dominions; and we find that the existence of that jurisdiction in these courts has been asserted from the earliest times, and exercised down to the latest. We have it upon the authority of my Lord Coke, we have it upon the authority of my Lord Mansfield, we have it upon the authority of Mr. Justice Blackstone, and on the authority of Bacon's Abridgement--that these writs have been issued, and are to be issued, into all the dominions of the crown of England, wherever a subject of the crown is illegally imprisoned, and kept in custody; and not only have we these authorities in the shape of dicta of most eminent judges and afterwards of text writers, but we have the practical application of the doctrine in cases from the earliest period down to modern times. The more remarkable cases are the instances in which the writ of habeas corpus has issued into the Islands of Jersey and Man, and St. Helena: all this being in very modern times. Finding that upon these authorities it has been not only asserted as matters of doctrine, but carried into effect and execution as matter of practice; that even where there were local judicatures, and local legislatures, the writ of habeas corpus has been issued into these dominions of the crown, we feel that nothing short of legislative enactment, depriving the court of such a jurisdiction, would warrant us in omitting to carry it into effect, where we are called upon to do so for the protection of the personal liberty of the subject. It may be that the Legislature has thought proper, in its wisdom, to leave a concurrent jurisdiction between these courts and the colonial courts, as there has been, as very properly pointed out by Mr. James in his argument, between the different courts in Westminster Hall. We can only act on the authorities that have been brought before us, and we feel that we should not be doing that which it is our duty to do under the authority of the precedents to which our attention has been called, by refusing this writ; therefore the writ must go.
At the conclusion of the judgment there was a very general but suppressed expression of applause, and the countenances of all in court seemed lighted up with extreme pleasure at the result.--Writ of habeas corpus granted.
Mr. Dallas, the United States Minister in London, was no unconcerned spectator of the interest manifested in the fate of Anderson, as we find from a letter addressed by that gentleman to the Secretary of State at Washington, dated January the 16th, the day after the issuing of the writ by the Lord Chief Justice. Mr. Dallas, in his despatch, informs the Secretary of State that, "The claim made by the United States upon the Government of Canada for the extradition of one, Anderson, a fugitive slave, charged with the crime of murder, had awakened, as of course, so much interest in England, and invoked so much professional astuteness to defeat the operation of the 10th article of the treaty of 1842, that he had thought it expedient to place in possession of the department, all the papers published in England relating to the subject." His Excellency then went on to say that "it was scarcely necessary for him to remark on the pungent and uncompromising hostility to social bondage, which prevailed throughout this country; that, as it had already led to giving by statute to the American slave who deserts his ship, a discriminating immunity over the freeman, so it could not be expected to shrink from another manifestation on the interpretation of an international convention for the mutual surrender of culprits. In truth it might be said, generally, that in British opinion, the status of slavery incapacitated the individual for contract or crime." His Excellency further called the special attention of the Secretary of State to the fact "that Lord Chief Justice Cockburn
had, with surprising celerity allowed a writ of Habeas Corpus, addressed to the jailer in Canada to issue, and that Anderson would thereupon be brought to England, notwithstanding the very full and deliberate decision of the Colonial Court ordering him to be delivered up."
The excitement throughout Great Britain at this time was universal, and the sympathy in behalf of Anderson, profound and ardent. The question was discussed in all the newspapers, and, with scarcely an exception, the writers were in favour of refusing to the demand of the United States Government, the surrender of the fugitive who had sought an asylum on British territory, and whose offence was no crime in the eye of British law. The following article which appeared in the Times, justly represented the public opinion. After a careful analysis of the facts in the case, as stated in the Canadian Court, it said,--
"In their hearts and consciences the Canadian authorities must have felt that Anderson slew his enemy in defence of all that man holds dear; they must have felt that to surrender him to his pursuers to be burnt alive--a fate probably reserved for him--would be a most dreadful responsibility, and yet, as judges bound to administer the law uprightly, they may have hardly seen how to evade the conclusion. We are not surprised, therefore, to find that they have taken refuge in indecision, and remitted the case successively from one court to another. First the magistrates gave up the attempt, and referred the matter to the Attorney-General;
then the Attorney-General, after two months' consideration, alleged his incompetence; and now the Court of Queen's Bench has cognizance of the question, by which tribunal it must be finally decided. Before this time, indeed, judgment has doubtless been given, though on which side it would be hard to conjecture.
"We suppose there will be hardly a man in England who will not hope for the success even of his forcible rescue if things come to that extremity. The fate, probably, in store, at this crisis of Southern fanaticism, for a slave who not only ran away but killed the white planter who attempted to arrest him, is too shocking to think of, and yet the Missouri agents may establish their case. The truth is, that such complications must for ever be contingent upon institutions like that of slavery. Wherever an institution is at variance in its very essence with the moral instincts of our nature, the antagonism thus created will pervade every question concerning it. All except slaveholders will judge this case by feelings which they will place above the law. They may not carry their convictions to the length of breaking the law, but in their hearts they will condemn it, and will sympathize with the offender. This is a conflict of laws, which can never be terminated by any political compromise or legal adjustment. It must prevail as long as slavery prevails, for slavery cannot prevail without enactments against which humanity rebels. Nature and law are therefore forced into collision, and under such conditions no peace can be reasonably expected."
In a subsequent article the same journal remarked,--
"But are we, therefore, to surrender this man to the cruel fate which awaits him in the neighbouring State? The suggestion is preposterous. That we, who look with such scorn upon the little State of Saxony for delivering up a Hungarian nobleman who had trusted to her hospitality, should, in our strength and our grandeur, deliver up a wretched slave who had run for our soil as to the ark of freedom, may be argued as logical necessity in a court of law, but is an obvious impossibility as a fact. How it will be we do not pretend to foretell. How the logical necessity will be shown to be a practical impossibility, we are by no means prepared to explain; but very confident we are that this negro is at this moment as safe, in the prison of Toronto, from ever being sent before a Missouri jury of slave owners as he would be if he were in the wilds of Central Africa. Meanwhile, as we gather from the report, there is no immediate hurry, or any danger of any steps being taken to carry out the judgment. From the decision of the Queen's Bench, there is, it appears, by the Canadian Law, an appeal to the Bench of Judges, and thence again, there is an appeal, as we understand, to the Privy Council in England. Although we may fear that upon the broad question of law, the decision of English lawyers must concur with that of the Queen's Bench of Canada; and although the ingenuity of counsel and of anxious judges may fail to discover any technical objection which may vitiate the proceedings, yet time will be
afforded for the intervention of diplomacy, within the province of which a difficulty of this character specially falls. It is not because we have heedlessly gone into an engagement which involves an unsuspected obligation to burn an innocent man, that we are therefore to burn him. It is not because we have blindly and unknowingly bound ourselves systematically to outrage all the common laws of God and humanity, that we are therefore now, as a matter of course, to do the first act and to take the first step by the same means as the Romans used to adopt when they desired to commit themselves to some nefarious enterprise--by the sacrifice of a slave. As a topic of transatlantic excitement, this slave case may have its interest, but on this side of the Atlantic we are too profoundly convinced of the unpractical character of the contest to be very anxious about it."
The following appeared in the Weekly Dispatch:--"Can any man think it possible that the English nation would submit to the rendition of Anderson? Suppose the man had escaped to London instead of Toronto; suppose the British Cabinet had been called upon to adjudicate in the matter. How long would they have waited? And even though they might think the case technically within the treaty, can any one for a moment doubt their decision? With America, above all other people, Great Britain desires to remain at peace; but treaty or no treaty, 'there he is, touch him if you dare,' would have been, if necessary, the reply to the infamous demand. No English minister, as he loves the honour
of his country, as he would be saved from universal execration, hatred, and contempt, could surrender a fugitive slave, guilty of no other crime than that of winning his liberty by the death of his oppressor."
It is justly due to the committee of the British and Foreign and Anti-Slavery Society, and more especially to the able secretary of that society, Mr. Lewis Alexis Chamerovzow, who laboured with indefatigable zeal in the cause of Anderson, and to whom the credit belongs of preparing the various documents put forth from time to time by the society, to record the measures which were adopted by that body, and to give insertion to the more important of their manifestoes.
The first notice of the case appeared in the Anti-Slavery Reporter of January, 1861, under the head of "Fugitive Slave Extradition Case." The article contained the leading particulars connected with the encounter between Anderson and the slaveholder Diggs, and quoted the following from the Toronto Globe:--
"The Ashburton Treaty was not an agreement between Canada and the State of Missouri, but between Great Britain and the United States, and is not to be interpreted by statutes either imperial or provincial, but by the law of nations. * * * The law of arrest in Missouri is not the law of the Union, but the law of the State, or the law of a municipality within the Union. * * * The Government of Canada in submitting the matter to the law courts, acted unwisely.
It should have decided for itself whether or not the case came within the meaning of the treaty."
The committee took early steps to bring the case under the notice of the friends of the anti-slavery cause throughout Great Britain, and moved them to address earnest memorials to the Duke of Newcastle, praying him to interpose to prevent the extradition of John Anderson from being carried into effect. Their appeal met with an encouraging response. The committee themselves, as we have already stated, addressed a memorial to his Grace, "earnestly, but respectfully beseeching him to interpose his influence and authority, not only to save a fellow creature from a fate horrible to contemplate, but to preserve inviolate those fundamental principles of justice and humanity, which are the foundation of all law-- and those personal rights guaranteed by the British Constitution to every man, whatever his colour, who is unconvicted of crime."
"The committee feel (says the memorial) that the issue of this most painful case involves consequences most important to the safety of the fugitives from slavery who have already found an asylum in Canada--some forty thousand in number--and also their unhappy kindred who may attempt to seek refuge and protection there. If the interpretation put upon the particular clause of the Ashburton Treaty, under which Anderson is claimed, be admitted, there is not a refugee from slavery now in Canada, who under one pretext or other may not be claimed and remanded into slavery."
In addition to this memorial, the committee, as we have shown, notified the Duke of Newcastle on the 10th of January, that a motion would be made in the Court of Queen's Bench for a writ of Habeas Corpus to issue to those having the custody of the person of Anderson, requiring them to produce him in Court.
The following are the comments of the Reporter upon the proceedings in the Court of Queen's Bench.
"Our readers will gather from a perusal of our columns, the exact position in which the case of the fugitive slave, John Anderson, at present stands. The warrant under the Habeas Corpus has been handed over for service to the solicitor, Mr. W. A. Dean, engaged by the committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society to conduct the case. It has been forwarded, in duplicate, to the Society's correspondent at Toronto, who will duly execute it. As soon as possible,--for the writ is imperative-- Anderson will be brought to England, and produced on the floor of the Court of Queen's Bench, when a return to the writ will be made in due form. The Court will then consider, upon the motion of counsel, whether Anderson is legally detained; and hereupon will be raised the great question which the demand for his extradition involves, namely, whether, under any circumstances whatsoever, a slave who has sought an asylum on British soil can be surrendered. We are, of course, most anxious for the liberation of Anderson, but we must not forget, that upon the issue of this case hang the liberty and the life of many thousands
of British subjects--refugee slaves in Canada--and that even were the Ashburton Treaty held to be protective of the person of refugees from slavery there, we should not feel satisfied unless the great principle were established that no slave will ever be surrendered who has once touched British soil. We believe the judges who decided in favour of Anderson's rendition to have been utterly in the wrong, for their decision is rendered, in the very teeth of the letter, not to say the spirit, of the treaty, and of the statutes confirming it. But if they are right, our remedy is a very simple one, for we have but to signify to the government of the dis-United States that we desire the treaty to cease in its operation, and no more fugitives nor criminals can be claimed for extradition under it. It will be seen, therefore, that we have a much loftier object in view than to secure a mere equitable interpretation of this instrument.
"The question which will be raised as to the nature of the crime with which he is charged, will at once lead to an investigation of the circumstances under which it was committed. It will be found impossible to disconnect them from a consideration of his condition at the time, and we hold that no straining of the letter of the law can justify the surrender of a man, who in his condition as a slave, has been deprived of all the rights of citizenship, and therefore stands absolved from all the responsibilities of a citizen.
"Some time is likely to elapse before Anderson reaches
this country. We shall have the opportunity, therefore, of again and again addressing our readers upon this subject, and shall submit to them certain points which have suggested themselves to us in the course of our study of this most remarkable and interesting case.
"Meanwhile we must not lose this opportunity of dwelling for a moment upon the zeal and ability displayed in conducting this case by Mr. Edwin James, Q.C., M.P., and his coadjutors, Messrs. F. S. Flood, and J. G. Allan. The thanks of the friends of humanity are fairly due to these gentlemen, and especially to Mr. F. Solly Flood, whose profound researches after precedents applicable to this instance, as illustrated in the case he conducted of the Queen v. Lees, were most generously and handsomely admitted by Mr. James to have been of the greatest value to him, and were, in fact, the grounds upon which the court declared that a writ of Habeas Corpus could issue to Canada. Mr. Flood is a learned antiquarian lawyer, is quite familiar with the laws of the Slave States, and, from a long residence in America, is equally familiar also with the legal history of inter-State extradition cases; Anderson is, therefore, likely to have the benefit of the best advice.
"To obtain the declaration of the great principle to which we have adverted is the more important, because it is erroneously supposed that it was established in the case of the slave, Somersett. Lord Mansfield, however, only declared that the slave was free who came into
this country, not that a slave could never be given up. The Scotch Courts, on the contrary, asserted the broader principle; and it is to obtain the admission of this principle as a basis of legislation in similar cases, we are now anxious that our anti-slavery friends should turn their attention."
The writ, issued by the Court of Queen's Bench, was dispatched by the first Canadian mail, and, by the same means a letter from Lord John Russell to the Government of Canada, instructing the acting Governor "To facilitate the action of any officer of the Court of Queen's Bench at Westminster sent to bring the prisoner Anderson to England." This despatch was crossed on its way to Canada by a mail bringing from Sir W. Williams, acting Governor, a reply, dated January 26th, to the Duke of Newcastle's despatch of the 9th of January,--"Being fully impressed (says Sir W. Williams) with the importance and gravity of the case, I had made up my mind to take no step in the matter without the express direction of Her Majesty's Government; and I shall not fail to follow closely your Grace's instructions."
Writ granted by the Court of Common Pleas, Canada.--The Case argued, February 1st.; Judgment delivered, February 16th.--Opinion of Mr. Justice Draper.--Comments on the termination of the Struggle.--Course taken by the Canadian Press.
WE again return to Canada to perform the grateful duty of recording the proceedings which led to the discharge of the fugitive slave after more than eight months' confinement in jail.
On the 1st of February, 1861, a new writ of Habeas Corpus was granted by Chief Justice Draper, of the Court of Common Pleas in Canada, addressed to the sheriff and keeper of the jail of the County of Brant, returnable on the 8th of the same month. On the 9th, Anderson was produced in court, and arguments at great length were heard on his behalf. It was urged,--
First. That the prisoner was entitled to the writ on which he was brought before the Court, and, upon the return to that writ, to have inquired into the matters charged against him. Second. That the evidence was not sufficient to put him upon his trial for the crime of
MURDER; assuming that he was entitled to the protection of British law. Third. That the treaty requires that a charge under it should be first laid in the States, and that the evidence did not show that any charge had been laid against the prisoner. Fourth. That even if we are bound to administer this law of Missouri, the evidence did not shew that this State of Missouri had any power to pass such a law, and it cannot be presumed that she had that power, inasmuch as she is but a municipality in relation to other Governments, and the law is against natural justice. Fifth. That the word "murder," mentioned in the treaty, means murder according to the laws of both countries; and, if not, that by the treaty itself, and our statute, the crime charged is to be determined by the laws of Canada--that is, the criminalty is to be determined by the laws of Canada.
After hearing the evidence, Chief Justice Draper said, "that the Court desired to dispose of this case as quickly as possible, so that Anderson might not be kept in custody any longer than was necessary, if the decision went in his favour; but it was questionable whether, if judgment was to be given on all the points involved, the case could be decided during the present term. At all events they would give the prisoner the benefit of a speedy discharge if they came to an opinion in his favour on the technical point as to the insufficiency of the commitment. On this question they would probably be able to give a decision that day week, the last day of term. An order would be made for the prisoner
to be brought up next Saturday, February 16th, and in the meantime he would be committed to the custody of the sheriffs of the united counties of York and Peel."
On Saturday, the 16th of February, the Court of Common Pleas, as was generally anticipated, discharged Anderson, on the ground THAT THE WARRANT OF COMMITMENT WAS NOT ISSUED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE STATUTE, because--1st. It did not contain a charge of murder, but merely of felonious homicide; whereas neither the treaty nor the statute either authorize a surrender, or a committal for the purpose of surrender, for any homicide not expressed to be murder. 2nd. That the warrant was not expressed to be "for the purpose of surrender," but only until the prisoner should be discharged by due course of law, whereas the statute requires both. Upon the merits of the question itself no judgment was given.
The following extract from Chief Justice Draper's judgment will show what he thought of the case:--"I have, so far as the limited time and the pressure of the business during the week would permit, considered some of the questions involved. I have at least been able to appreciate the difficulty of disposing of them. One doubt arises on the threshold, namely, whether the statute gives the Court power to look into the depositions and to adjudge whether they contain evidence of criminality sufficient to sustain the charge of murder. It is easy to suggest objections to the placing the power of exclusive and final adjudication on this point in the
hands of a single Justice, even although his decision is not binding on the Government, to whom he must certify the same, and the evidence, and on whom rests the ultimate responsibility of surrendering or refusing to surrender the prisoner. Still, however weighty I might deem such objections, if the statute does confer that jurisdiction on a single judge or justice of the peace, the statute must be obeyed. And I am free to confess that there is some difficulty in affirming that this Court can review the decision of the judge or justice without running counter to the opinion expressed in ex parte Besset. But conceding that we have that province, and as a necessary incident to it to bring the depositions before us by certiorari (as to which some technical objections may be suggested), I require further time before I can adopt as a principle of the law, that because a man is a slave in a country where slavery is legalized, he is legally incapable of committing a crime, that he is not to be deemed a "prisoner" who may be charged with an offence. Nor am I prepared to decide that on a charge of murder, sufficiently sustained by evidence to warrant his being committed for trial according to our law, the prisoner accused of that crime would not be within the meaning of the treaty, because, if acquitted on a trial in the country where the accusation arose, he would be detained in bondage as a slave, or because it might be feared, and even with reason feared, that because he was a slave he would not be treated in the same spirit of justice and impartiality as
a freeman before the tribunals of a foreign State where slavery is established by local law. Or, take a possible case to arise in a Free State, let it be supposed that a slave flies from a Slave State into a Free State, whose laws, nevertheless, unlike our own happy institutions, sanction and require his surrender merely as a slave-- that the fugitive kills an officer of the Free State who is endeavouring, under regular process, to arrest and detain him with a view to his surrender, and, having killed the officer, escapes into this province, I do not yet see any way to the conclusion that we could hold the case not to be within the treaty, and the act so clearly not to be murder, that there would be nothing for a jury to try, but that the Court could dispose of it as a pure question of law. For if there be a question of fact to be tried, I apprehend he must be surrendered, as such question could only be tried in the country where the fact arose. These and other similar questions are of too serious a character to be decided upon impulse, or in haste, and I do not scruple to say that, so long as the prisoner sustains no prejudice by the delay, I desire to defer pronouncing an opinion upon them. I am reluctant on the one hand where the accuser does not make it indispensable to declare that each individual of the assumed number of 4,000,000 of slaves in the Southern States may commit assassination in aid of his escape on any part of his route to this province, and find impunity and shelter on his arrival here. I am reluctant, on the other hand, to admit that Great Britain has entered into
treaty obligations to surrender a fugitive slave who, as his sole means of obtaining liberty, has shed the blood of the merciless taskmaster who held him in bondage. An occasion may arise when it will be my duty to adjudge one way or the other. But the necessity does not exist at present, and I am not afraid to avow that I rejoice at it. I am, however, glad that the discussion has taken place, that the doubts and difficulties it suggests have been brought prominently forward. The power of dealing with them is in the hands of others, and the necessity of dealing with them must, I think, be felt by those who possess the power."
We conclude this part of our narrative with the following article from the Toronto Globe, a paper to which the cause of justice and liberty is deeply indebted.
"On Saturday, February 16th, at noon, Anderson was brought before the judges of the Common Pleas, and discharged from custody on the ground of informality in the warrant on which he was committed to Brantford Jail. We publish elsewhere a full report of the decisions of the judges, from which it will be seen that the discharge has been ordered on two distinct grounds. First. The warrant of commitment recites that Anderson stands charged for that he did 'Wilfully, maliciously, and feloniously, stab and kill one Seneca T. P. Diggs, of Howard County,' which might only amount to manslaughter; whereas the judges decide, that to come within the provisions of the treaty, the charge must be one of 'murder.' Second. The warrant commits
Anderson to the jail of Brantford 'Until he shall be discharged according to law;' whereas, the judges decide, he should have been committed 'Until surrender he made, or until he shall be discharged according to law.'
"We heartily congratulate the people of Canada on the narrow escape we have thus made from what would have been a deep and indelible stain on the fair fame of our country. For ourselves, we deeply regret that Anderson's discharge has not been ordered on broader and nobler grounds; but at least we can all heartily rejoice that the poor fugitive to our shores, who dared to strike a freeman's blow for liberty, will not be surrendered by Canadian hands to be burnt at the stake by exulting traffickers in human blood!
"Anderson is now among his friends; but he is still liable to re-arrest on documents prepared more carefully than the last. The danger, however, is by no means what it was. It is to be hoped that no second Mathews is to be found in the magistracy of Canada, and if, unhappily, there was another such, good care will, we fancy, be taken that Anderson shall not be found until the intent and meaning of the Extradition Treaty in regard to slaves has been authoritatively determined.
"By the discharge of Anderson, the writ of Habeas Corpus, issued by the Court of Queen's Bench of England, has been rendered unnecessary and inoperative. Anderson is no longer in the custody of any of the parties to whom the writ was directed, and therefore
they cannot carry him to England. Moreover, the parties who applied for the intervention of the English Court have obtained the immediate end they sought, by the discharge of the prisoner. We confess that we are glad that this is so. We entirely sympathise with the feeling which induced the application for, and the granting of the writ. The peculiarity of this case of Anderson would have justified a great stretch of authority that tended to save the unfortunate man from the vengeance of his enemies; but it would be neither convenient nor consistent with the independence of the Canadian people that English judges should have the power to ignore our courts, and issue their writs to our sheriffs and jailers as if we had no provincial judges. We presume the legality of the proceeding in the view of an English lawyer is not doubtful, but assuredly it is not in harmony with the right of self-government claimed by Canada, and fully conceded to her.
"All the proceedings connected with Anderson's case show clearly that there is an urgent necessity not only for an immediate explanation between the British and American Governments as to the applicability of the Extradition Treaty to fugitives from slavery, but also for a revisal of the Canadian statutes giving effect to the treaty. It will be seen from Chief Justice Draper's decision, that a doubt is expressed whether the Court has any power to look into the depositions on which a prisoner is demanded under the treaty--whether it has any authority at all to examine the evidence so as to
judge if it sustain the charge preferred? It is unnecessary to argue whether Mr. Draper is right or wrong in this view; if a doubt exists on such a point it should be settled at once. Not one of the thousands of fugitives who have sought refuge in our country would be safe for a week were this affirmed to be the law. The slave hunter would be on the track of his victims, and affidavits of murder, perjury, arson, or anything else, concocted by the hundred, the moment it was ascertained that the facts alleged could not be enquired into, but the oath of the slave catcher held as final. We trust the friends of freedom in Great Britain will press this matter at once on the attention of the Home Government. The amendment of the Canadian statute will unquestionably be demanded immediately on the assembling of Parliament.
"Apart from the great principles at stake in this case, we confess to a feeling of no ordinary gratification at the manner in which it has terminated. But for the firm and prompt intervention of the press, it is certain that Anderson would have been given up to the slaveholders, and Canada disgraced for ever. We can afford now to recall with contempt the abuse poured upon us, because, forsooth, we dared to call in question the propriety of Chief Justice Robinson's decision. The course we took has not only been thoroughly sustained by public opinion in our own country and in Great Britain, but the continued discussion of the case has secured Anderson's discharge by Chief Justice Robinson's
brother judges. Nay, the very case--the Besset case--on which Mr. Draper mainly rests his decision was first brought into the discussion through the columns of the Globe."
Canada is not sufficiently removed from the United States to be free from that vile, unchristian prejudice against colour which is the reproach and crime of the majority of the people of the American Republic, and, consequently, there was to be found a paper in Toronto base enough to prostitute its columns to the work of villifying the Negro race, and of resisting their claims to the rights which the laws of Canada guarantee to all who seek a dwelling under their protection. This paper had its supporters or it could not have existed. Its patrons, we are compelled to believe, were in favour of the rendition of Anderson, but the people in their masses demanded his release, as did also the larger portion of the more elevated classes, who heartily wished success to the means employed for his deliverance from the meshes his enemies had cast around him.
Anderson leaves Canada for England.--Arrives in London.--Great reception meeting at Exeter Hall.--Speeches of Mr. Harper Twelvetrees; the Rev. Hugh Allen, D.D.; the Rev. Jabez Burns, D.D.; the Rev. W. H. Bonner; John Anderson; the Rev. T. M. Kinnaird; the Rev. J. G. Hewlett, D.D.; Mr. William Craft; the Rev. Edward Mathews, &c.
There were many friends of John Anderson in Canada who would have been happy to have promoted his future interests in that country, if he had been disposed to continue there; but he felt a strong inclination to visit England. He was not free from an apprehension of being again annoyed by proceedings for his extradition, for well he knew the perseverance and implacability of his enemies, and how ready to forward their designs were numerous base persons both in Upper and Lower Canada. In England, he would not only be free but secure, and might enjoy his liberty without the fear of persecution, and the ultimate loss of the blessing he had for the present obtained.
During the three months following his liberation, he received from the friends of freedom in Toronto and Montreal the utmost possible kindness. Bidding them
farewell, with a grateful heart he sailed for Liverpool, where he arrived in the middle of June, and after a short stay, and hospitable treatment there, started for London. Soon after his arrival in the Metropolis, he was introduced to a number of friends of the anti-slavery cause, who deemed his advent upon our shores a proper occasion for the holding of a great meeting, of which the following report appeared in the public journals:--
On Tuesday evening, July 2nd, one of the largest and most enthusiastic public meetings ever held in the Metropolis assembled in Exeter Hall for the purpose of expressing its sympathy with JOHN ANDERSON, the fugitive slave, and of offering him a cordial welcome on his arrival in England. Mr. HARPER TWELVETREES, of Eversley House, Bromley-by-Bow, occupied the chair; and amongst the gentlemen on the platform, were the Rev. Hugh Allen, D.D.; the Rev. Jabez Burns, D.D.; the Rev. J. G. Hewlett, D.D.; the Rev. W. H. Bonner; the Rev. W. A. Blake; the Rev. G. W. McCree; the Rev. T. J. Messer; the Rev. G. Berkeley, of Jersey; the Rev. E. Mathews; the Rev. John Sidney Hall; the Rev. P. Pocock; the Rev. Thomas Jones; the Rev. T. M. Kinnaird, (a coloured Clergyman); the Rev. G. T. Horne; Henry Hanks, Esq.; E. Burr, Esq.; William Farmer, Esq.; Thomas Hattersley, Esq.; Cooke Baines, Esq.; Joseph A. Horner, Esq.; F. L. H. Collins, Esq.; Colonel Raines; T. R. Kemp, Esq.; William
Craft, Esq.; Robert Rae, Esq.; A. W. Sanderson, Esq.; General Riley; and a considerable number of members of the Anti-Slavery Associations.
Upon John Anderson's appearance on the platform, leaning on the arm of Mr. Twelvetrees, he was received with loud and prolonged cheering, accompanied by waving of hats and handkerchiefs, and other demonstrations of enthusiasm, which he repeatedly acknowledged by bowing.
The proceedings having been opened by a brief but appropriate prayer, by the Rev. Dr. HEWLETT,
COOKE BAINES, ESQ., one of the Hon. Secretaries, informed the meeting that letters had been received from several influential persons, regretting their inability to attend. Amongst these were the Right Hon. the Earl of Shaftesbury, H. B. Sheridan, Esq., M.P., T. S. Duncombe, Esq., M.P., George Thompson, Esq., the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, &c., &c. Lord Shaftesbury stated that he was unable to preside at the meeting as requested, but added, "I desire to express the warmest interest in the case of John Anderson, and will be happy to contribute to any fund that may be raised on his behalf." Mr. Sheridan said that "he deeply sympathised with the much ill-used man, Anderson, and trusted that means would be taken to place him in a position to earn his living in this country, believing that he would show by his conduct, that a slave was capable of becoming as good a citizen as a man of another colour." Mr. Duncombe "could not be present at the meeting on account
of a promise to attend the debate in the House of Commons on the affairs of Poland, but he wished it to be understood that he warmly sympathised with the object which they were met to promote." Mr. George Thompson was absent in the North of England, but he had expressed his willingness to do all in his power to assist John Anderson. The Rev. C. H. Spurgeon had taken a lively interest in John Anderson, and would have been present that evening if he could possibly have attended. Mr. Baines proceeded to state, that "Anderson was very desirous, as were also the members of the committee, that his wife and children, who were at present in slavery, should be in this land of freedom with him. (Cheers.) The object of the meeting that evening, therefore, was to enable him to get his wife and children over as soon as possible, and he (Mr. Baines) hoped that every man and every woman would leave the hall with a sincere determination of doing all in their power to assist him in accomplishing that object." (Applause.)
The CHAIRMAN, who was enthusiastically received, said it had become customary, he believed, for those who occupied the chair at Exeter Hall to apologise for doing so, and to express regret on account of their inability to discharge the duties of their office worthily. But, although he was as conscious of his shortcomings as any of those noblemen or gentlemen who had preceded him in the occupancy of that chair, he would not weary the meeting with vain regrets, but merely say that he accepted the invitation to preside with timidity, mingled
with considerable pleasure, (Hear, hear) because he felt assured that he might rely on the kind consideration, sympathy, and forbearance of an Exeter Hall audience, assembled for a philanthropic object--not for any political or factious purpose, not for the purpose of expressing an opinion respecting the present crisis in America, nor to discuss the policy of the North or South. They had met there that night, as he understood, to do honour to their principles as philanthropists and christians--to express their earnest and unswerving belief in the great truth which spans like a rainbow the whole heavens of humanity--"God hath made of one blood all nations of men"--to assert their determination to recognise man as man all the world over, and to proclaim to the world that as Englishmen they have no sympathy with those who barbarise, oppress, and ill-treat humanity. They purposed also to render some practical assistance, as well as to give an enthusiastic welcome to a Brother-- who, hunted as a fugitive, had just finished a desperate struggle for liberty, that sweetest boon of Heaven; and having narrowly escaped the baying of the bloodhounds and the tortures of death by fire, had come while still panting with his run for life, to seek an asylum in our country--in this our happy England-- with its free soil, free institutions, and free speech--(Great applause) where the bruised, the burdened, and oppressed of every name and nation are beyond the reach of tyrants' arms--where colour is no crime--but where human rights are sacred, and freedom, liberty, and justice are secured to all who tread
our shores. (Loud cheers.) In his few opening remarks, he did not intend to dwell upon the personal history of the pitiable and trembling fugitive before them, but would leave that duty to some of the gentlemen who had consented to take part in the Meeting. He confessed, however, to a wish that Anderson could tell the story of his life upon every hearthstone in the Kingdom, for he felt assured that every husband, wife, and child would listen with strange and tearful earnestness while he told them of the loved ones whom he had left in sorrow and bondage, with no acknowledged rights; and who, though owned by God, were yet owned and bound and scarred by man, and might be mangled and butchered at the will of their owner. (Sensation and cheers.) He trusted the meeting would allow him a few moments' licence whilst he drew their attention to the strange anomaly, that a country like America--known as a Christian country--a country which had subscribed to the immortal Declaration of Independence--a country which is boasted of as "the land of the brave and the home of the free," should yet be steeped in the diabolical and accursed sin of slavery. The American people, he remarked, would listen with eagerness and interest to the wrongs endured by distant nations; but the ears of human sympathy were doggedly closed to the piteous cries and bitter wailings of the slave. (Cheers). The fugitive slave had no home in that great Republic, and was not even allowed to pass peaceably through the Free States to find a home in a more favoured country, where,
under the sway of our own emancipating Queen, he might find equal rights and privileges, and enjoy the immunities of nationality and freedom. (Loud cheers.) Did they ask, how it was that although the soil of America had been cultivated for centuries by slaves, they should themselves be strangers and foreigners--aliens in their native land--and despisedly placed beyond the pale of both secular and religious authority? The secret was to be found in "the Bond" of the Federal Union, which was "ordained to establish justice, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity;" for there, among great swelling words of liberty, it was recorded that there was not an inch of ground within the limits of the great American Republic which was not mortgaged to Slavery! (Cries of "Shame" and Applause). That anomalous instrument clearly establishes the fact that there was not a foot of soil in that Republic which does not bear the bloody endorsement in favour of slavery, for "the Bond" provides that the slave-hunter and his blood-hounds may seize his trembling victim on the holiest spot of this "land of the free!" (Loud cheers.) No wonder then that from the judicial seat of that mighty Government came the shameful, disgraceful, wicked, and diabolical decision that "no person along whose veins coursed one drop of African blood had rights that a white man need respect." No wonder that human souls and immortal destinies were there bartered for the meanest merchandize of earth, and that the wailings of
despair were ascending to God both night and day from human beings scarred, bruised, and branded within the shades of the capital of the boasting American Republic! ("Shame!" and cheers). He could not refrain from using strong, plain, and unmistakeable language when referring to this atrocious abomination. No language, to his mind, could be too strong, too vehement, or too denunciatory, for he was sure that, as Mrs. Stowe had eloquently said, "nothing could be spoken or conceived equalling the frightful reality of scenes daily and hourly acted beneath the ægis of American law, and the shadow of the cross of Christ." After all that might be said on the subject that evening, they would only be able to realize a dim picture of the despair that was at that moment riving thousands of hearts, shattering thousands of families, and driving a helpless and sensitive race to absolute frenzy and despair. The condition of the slave was that of the brute beast--a piece of property--a marketable commodity--his own good, his conscience, his intellect, and his affections, were ruthlessly set aside by his master. He was spoken of, dealt with, thought of, and treated as property. He was fed and clothed with a view to increase his value as property, and deprived of everything that tends in the slightest degree to detract from such value. The slaveholder declared that even that intellect which God had given him should not be cultivated, nor his moral perceptions exercised. Deprived by law of the right of marriage, the slave was exposed to influences which he should
blush to describe in their hearing (cheers); and if any of these pitiable objects found for themselves honest, upright, and virtuous companions, they lived in constant apprehension of being torn asunder by the merciless men-stealers who claimed them as their property ("Shame!" and loud applause). Another dark feature of the shameful system was, that no education was permitted to the slave--he was forbidden by the law, even to learn to read, and the gospel was thus shut out from the dark mind of the bondman. In Louisiana, if a slave-mother were found instructing her children, the law proclaimed that she might be hanged by the neck, and that a father attempting to give his son a knowledge of letters, might be punished or killed at the discretion of the Court. It ought also to be borne in mind, that the physical evils of slavery, the cruelties practised, and the modes of torture employed, were the most revolting that could be conceived. We could never hear of these villainous atrocities without shuddering, but still it was right that we should know that the bloody whip, the chain, the red-hot brand, the gag, the thumbscrew, the cat-o'nine-tails, the dungeon, and the blood-hound, were all in constant requisition to keep the slave in his condition as a slave in the slave states of America. (Shame!) The blood-hound was there regularly trained for hunting and running down slaves; and advertisements were constantly to be found in the Southern papers from persons styling themselves "Blood-hound Trainers." Not long ago, he (the Chairman) had himself read one of those
advertisements where a trainer was offering to "hunt down slaves at 15 dollars a-piece," and recommending his hounds as "the fleetest in the neighbourhood, never known to fail." From time to time in those papers advertisements might be seen, stating that slaves had escaped with iron collars about their necks, and some with bands of iron on their feet-- others horribly marked with the lash, or branded with red-hot irons--the initials of their master's name having been burnt in the flesh, (great sensation) and as the masters themselves advertised these facts, the charge of cruelty to the slaves could not be contradicted or denied. (Hear, hear, and cheers). Was it a "libel,"--a "trumped-up charge," --a "foul misrepresentation,"--when the slave-holder himself said what a villainous scoundrel he was--when he told us in his own advertisements what a brutal monster he had been to his slaves--when he published his own infamous acts and rascally atrocities to the world? (Cheers) No--no--whatever other allowances or exceptions the audience might be disposed, in their charitableness and kindness of heart, to make in favour of these slave-dealers, they should remember that there was no charge more capable of clear demonstration than that of the most barbarous inhumanity on the part of the slaveholders towards their slaves. (Cheers.) He did not ask them to accept that statement, on the faith of "Exeter Hall sentimentalism," but he pointed them to the proof; and he declared without fear of contradiction, that the brutal men-stealers proved to the world that it was not
regarded as discreditable or daring to set forth, by public advertisements, their soul-harrowing descriptions of brutality! (Loud and long-continued applause.) He mentioned these things that it might be known that all the horrible atrocities and dreadful results of the slave trade--the deaths from crushed affections and despair, with the awful deeds of cruelty which were constantly occurring--were all sanctioned by law, and winked at in a land professing christianity. And more than this, he said that the religion of the Southern States was, at this very time, the great supporter, the great sanctioner of these bloody doings. (Shame, shame.) And whilst America was printing tracts, distributing Bibles, sending abroad her missionaries, and expending her money in various ways for the promotion of the gospel in foreign lands, the slave remained not only forgotten and uncared for, but was trampled under foot by the very churches of the land. (Applause.) For in America, the pulpit was the great defender of the accursed evil; the ministers of religion came forward and tortured the hallowed pages of inspired wisdom to sanction the bloody deed, and they stood forth as the foremost, the strongest defenders of this "domestic institution." Instead of preaching against all this tyranny and wrong, they had sought every means of throwing into the background whatever was contained in the Bible in opposition to slavery, and endeavoured to bring forward, prominently, that which could be tortured into the support of this slave-holding,
woman-whipping, mind-darkening, soul-destroying, and atrocious system. (Cries of "Shame," and loud cheers.) To-night they had met to denounce that system as a libel on the religion taught by the Saviour; that religion which was based upon the glorious and world-loving principle of love to God and love to man; that religion, to the divine principles of which John Anderson owed his recent escape from the jaws of death--which makes its votaries free, and constrains them to "Do unto others as they would be done by." (Loud cheers.) And he (the Chairman) sincerely trusted the result of that meeting would be the enkindlement of a spirit of gratitude to God, that he had made them to differ, and a feeling of compassion and sympathy for those who were in bondage; together with a determination to assist their brother Anderson by such contributions as would provide for his education, assist him in maintaining his livelihood, and secure the freedom of those who were nearest and dearest to him. The Chairman resumed his seat amidst enthusiastic applause.
The Rev. HUGH ALLEN, D.D., on rising to move the first resolution, was received with loud cheering. He said he should have considered himself unworthy of the privileges of an Englishman, unworthy of the blessings of liberty, unworthy of the position of a British minister of the Gospel, and, indeed, unworthy of the privileges of being a man, if he had not responded to the invitation given him to be there on that occasion. (Cheers.) On a Roman stage, and in a Roman theatre,
a heathen orator was represented to have uttered the following sentiment in reply to the question put to him, "Why he should interfere with the business of others?" "I am a man--whatever is interesting to any of the human race, must be of high and deep interest to me." That sentiment had elicited thunders of applause in a Roman theatre, in heathen times, and he was quite sure he should be insulting them as well as himself by offering any other apology for standing there that night. (Cheers.) They were assembled there on the grounds of honour, on the grounds of justice, on the grounds of humanity, and on the grounds of the religion of Jesus Christ. (Cheers.) They were assembled on the grounds of honour. Had we not liberated our own slaves in the West India Islands? Had we not paid down twenty millions of money to the planters, which we had no right to do? for, in the words of the immortal Lord Brougham (whom God spare long to us), "if the money ought to have been paid to anybody it was not to the planter, who had no right to receive a single shilling, but ought rather to have been made to give compensation, but to the men and women who endured from the hands of heir masters, and by the sufferance of our country, such wrongs and such woes." (Cheers.) Well, then, if they paid twenty millions of money to the planters who had no right to it, in order that there might not be a single excuse for not liberating the slaves in our West India Islands, were they not bound in honour to welcome and sympathise with, and give the hand of fellowship to,
every movement calculated to shiver to atoms the chains of slavery and set every man free, be he black or white? (Loud applause.) Honour compelled them to do that. Did we not, as a nation, interfere with other countries as far as international laws permitted us? Was it not the policy of Great Britain to interfere by every proper means to succour and help the oppressed in every part of the world? (Hear, hear.) Had it not been the policy--was it not the policy now? And, if either the Czar of Russia, or the Emperor of Austria, were to ask what right we had to interfere with any people that were oppressed, we would tell them, that where oppression exists, the hand of England is put forward, and the heart of England sympathises with them, so as to give them the help needful to effect their full and complete emancipation. (Cheers.) If, then, our sympathies were with the oppressed of every quarter of the globe--if we sympathised with the slaves in the West India Islands to the tune of twenty millions--and that was not a bad test-- surely they ought to sympathise also with the man who has struggled with and escaped from the ignoble bonds of slavery, when the only thing that awaited him was a tyrant's death, if his tyrant masters were able again to grasp him in their hands. But they were there also on the grounds of justice. It might be pleaded that this was not the law of England. What was the law of England on this subject? Why, the law of England was well expressed by the immortal Curran, when he said, at a very important period and under
very important circumstances, for he uttered it in a court of justice, and the judge did not interfere to contradict him--the immortal Curran said, when speaking of the English law on this subject, "no matter where a man was born, nor what was the colour of his skin; no matter with what readiness his rights and liberties had been bartered away, no matter under what circumstances, no matter how long ago, or in what way brought about, the moment his foot touches the soil of Britain the manacles fall at his feet. (Cheers.) The moment he stands beneath the flag of England, that moment he is free, regenerated, transformed, emancipated--set free by the justice of British law, and the spirit of British freedom." (Loud cheers.) Then, upon the ground of sheer justice, he would take his stand and say no man had a right to sell a man, be his colour what it might--no man had a right to sell, and no man had a right to buy. (Cheers.) He denied the right of any man to plunder another. (Loud cheers.) He denied the right of the captain to convey him across the seas, the right of the auctioneer to sell him, and the right of the tyrant to buy him--he denied their right from first to last. (Loud cheers.) He declared, without fear of successful contradiction, no matter how the courts of America might talk upon the subject, that it was wholesale and abominable robbery, and that it believed all with a spark of humanity to rise up to crush and put it down. (Cheers.) They were there that night on the ground of humanity. Were the slaves not men? (A voice:
"They say they are not.") Were they not men? ("Yes," and loud applause.) Yes, they were, and that itself was argument enough. (Cheers.) If that man (pointing to Anderson) was not so well educated as those he saw before him, who was to blame? If he was not able to perform actions and earn his living as he ought, who was to blame? Who was to blame for allowing that fine form to grow up uneducated? Look at him! He is a man! And who dared to assert on the ground of humanity that he had a right to inflict any injury upon those two men (directing attention to Mr. Anderson and the Rev. Mr. Kinnaird), or any other man? (Cheers.) But there was another and far higher ground, and that was the ground of religion. He knew it was commonly asked, where was slavery put down in the Bible? Where did they read it? Give the text that puts down slavery. Ah! he would give it them in a few moments. (Loud cheers.) The spirit of the entire Bible was a spirit of freedom. It taught that every man had a responsible soul. He asserted that the entire spirit of the Bible--and the Bible taught by principles as well as by positive statements-- the great principle of the Bible--the New Testament and the Old too, were entirely at variance with the principles of slavery. (Cheers.) Look at this one text, "Honour all men." He would like to ask some of those ministers who preach in favour of slavery to discourse from that text for him. (Cheers.) "Honour all men." He should like to ask any man who talked about the authority
of the Bible, to expound that passage for him. It did not say "some" men, but "all" men--not a man of one colour, but men of every colour--not men privileged in high degree, but men privileged in a low degree. (Cheers.) "Honour all men" is the word of eternal truth, the principle of Holy Writ, the principle he himself had always preached and would preach to the day of his death. (Cheers.) He would ask that man who said he had the authority of the New Testament for slavery, to show him that authority in the life of the Apostles--could he show it in the life of primitive Christians? He had a deep feeling of horror for the judgment of the man who had the terrible and frightful audacity to stand up in a pulpit and preach in defence of slavery. (Cheers.) He was there that night on the principle of honour, on the principle of justice, on the principle of our common humanity, and, above all, on the principles of our holy religion--the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Cheers.) He was there on those principles as enumerated in the passage, "Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Not to preach a portion of the gospel as they did in some parts of America--not a few of the moral precepts only, but to preach the whole gospel to every creature. (Cheers.) Did they suppose that the moment the black man knew he had a responsible soul--when he knew that soul was immortal and responsible, as well as that of the white man--that he would be contented in slavery? Could they imagine that when the soul could escape
from the prison that immured it, shake off the chains that bound it--when that soul could traverse the world and ascend to the very stars in its conceptions--such a man would sit down content in slavery? (Cheers.) He could not. One thing he knew--they were bound to help him out of slavery, they were bound to give him the right hand of fellowship; and, if one person more than another were called upon to do this, he, as a minister of religion, was so, and, therefore, he assured them he had very great pleasure in attending here and moving the first resolution:--
"That this Meeting, recognizing the common brotherhood of mankind, and asserting the inalienable right of every man to freedom, desires to express its earnest sympathy with John Anderson; and, rejoicing at his escape from the slave-hunters, hereby gives him a hearty welcome to England."
The conclusion of Dr. Allen's remarks was received with loud and prolonged cheering.
The Rev. JABEZ BURNS, D.D., of Paddington, seconded the resolution. He said that he was sure, after the very thorough exposition of the resolution itself which they had just heard, much more concerning it could not be said, inasmuch as his friend, Dr. Allen, had taken in the realms of justice, humanity, honour, and religion; and, therefore, the whole ground, extensive as it was with respect to their views of the subject, had already been occupied. (Cheers.) He was anxious, however, to express the very great pleasure he felt at
witnessing the crowded of that evening. He was sure the friends of John Anderson had done wisely in testing the public feeling in London on this question; for the public of London, whenever properly tested on it, would always respond; and he did not care whether the Times, or the Telegraph, or anybody else engaged in literature, or on the press, tried to prevent them, there were the sound heart and common sympathy that would always come to the surface. (Loud cheers.) Then, he heartily rejoiced that his friend Mr. Twelvetrees was the Chairman of the evening. It happened that that gentleman was a master employing a great number of men, and if he had thought him (Mr. T.) capable of being a little despot in his own sphere, he would have had none of his attendance that night. (Laughter and cheers). Now, their Chairman not only sympathised with their black friends, with whom they all sympathised most heartily, but he sympathised with white people too. (Cheers.) He did not think white people ought to be oppressed any more than black, and if they had got some despot in the chair, who was in the habit of ruling with an iron hand over those he employed, at the same time that he expressed great sympathy for the blacks in America, he would not have acted with him. (Cheers.) He looked through the man. Principles did not attach themselves to colour or locality, or any period of the world history. Principles were eternal and unchangeable, suited to every place and every body, and it was just because their Chairman
was a liberal master, and one who sought the welfare and happiness of those he employed, that he was glad to be present and support him that night. (Cheers.) Then again, as they were well aware, some persons had been very much alarmed at this movement, lest it should interfere (he did not know how) with the settlement of the American crisis. (Hear, hear). All he could say was, that if the public enunciation and thorough-going exposition of the principles of Liberty would interfere, let them interfere (cheers), and let American principles and institutions settle themselves, as they would very shortly. They knew there was an old proverb, and never was proverb so applicable to the present times as that, "when rogues fall out, then honest men get their own." (Laughter and cheers.) He had great hope, being a thorough peace man, and hating all war, that God, in his good providence, would open a door of escape, and while the rogues were quarrelling, all he could say was, that the coloured people must be much more thick-headed than he had taken them to be, if they did not "cut and run." (Loud cheers and laughter.) They knew some people were very much afraid of cotton (a laugh), now, he would much rather that all the ladies of England should clothe themselves with the production of our own forests, than that slavery should be perpetuated. (Cheers). The other day he observed in the daily papers an advertisement to the effect that a certain reverend Doctor of Divinity from America would take the chair on the 4th of July, at a public
meeting in London, to commemorate the anniversary of American Independence. Now, he had taken tea with that same Doctor of Divinity in 1847, and on that occasion he was asked by the Doctor if he (the speaker), had altered his opinions on American slavery. He said to the Doctor at that time what he now said here, and what he was not afraid to say in the Slave States of America, that the foundation and base of American slavery was the professing Church of Christ. (Loud cheers.) And he then appealed to that reverend and estimable brother, and said, "Just look here; supposing every Christian minister, in every Christian pulpit, on any one Lord's Day would do their duty justly before God on the subject of slavery, it would not exist for a single hour." (Loud applause.) And he would wish that meeting to remember that while the South was most deeply imbrued in the crimes of slavery, the States of the North had not clean hands in the matter (cheers); and it seemed to him that Providence was compelling the Northern States to take up their right position. And although there was a great deal of sentimentality assumed for the slaves in the States of the North, which was frequently expressed in such forms as, "What are we to do with them?"--"How are we to employ them?" (A voice: "Send them here") yet he ventured to say that anything else taken in the war, they would find no difficulty in disposing of, according to the acknowledged principles of war. He did not say whether these principles were right or wrong, but he
did say these sympathisers might, on the principles of humanity, make suitable provision for liberated slaves. (Hear, hear.) He thought that before the war had lasted long, they would recognise the voice of God, saying to them as was said to the despot of old, "Let the people go, and let them be free." (Cheers.) Now, a great many persons have sympathy for the American slave. There was their good southern brother Anderson, who owed his presence here to that sympathy. (Cheers.) There was their Christian brother on the right (pointing to the Rev. Mr. Kinnaird), who would make two Yankees any day (laughter); absolutely divided, their good brother would make two of them. Stand up! (addressing Mr. Kinnaird, who immediately answered the call amidst a burst of applause from every part of the spacious building). They had now a great number of fugitive slaves coming to this country, and he fancied the church with which he was connected got a good many of them, for he observed two or three there every Sunday. It was not for the purpose of creating enthusiasm in the meeting that he said this, but there were peculiar circumstances in the history of John Anderson which had called forth a deep and intense love of liberty, for which we as a nation were so happily distinguished. Their brother had effected his escape, and in doing so had been placed in a very unhappy position himself. He was a member of a Christian Church, and a believer in Jesus Christ, and anxious that his moral nature should be developed as well as his physical. But he was pursued,
and whether he then acted rightly or wrongly, his own conscience would answer--he knew what the meeting thought on that point, and he himself thought that if anybody ought to die, it should not be the poor slave, but the slave-hunter. (Cheers.) He should have liked it much better, could his friend have resembled the illustrious Irishman who, when asked how he managed to bring three persons to the police-office, characteristically replied, "I' faith, y're honour, I surrounded them." (Laughter and cheers.) He should have been glad if his friend could have captured the slave-hunter and brought him to England. But it was not so. The slave-hunter fell, and John Anderson escaped. He reached the British territory, and took it for granted, that being surrounded by thousands of fugitive slaves who had escaped, he was all right, and when the danger of his being again taken back into slavery was talked about, the growl of the British Lion went across the Atlantic, saying to the American Eagle that it would have no liberty to pounce upon its prey in Canada. (Loud cheers). But there were numbers of time-serving people there--persons capable of truckling to anything, and it became apparent that his friend John Anderson might yet go back to the place where he did not want to go. (Laughter and cheers.) Now, in his estimation, the most honourable thing ever done by England since it received the principles of the gospel was, when the question was raised before the highest judicial authority in England, she sent her mandate to
Canada, and said, "Let the fugitive slave be brought to England." (Loud cheers.) Oh, yes! He loved his country, and he loved her the more that she had done that good thing. What! talented lawyers and hoary-headed judges sit in convention about a poor fugitive-- a man who would have been sold for something like a thousand dollars in Missouri or any other slave-state-- all this trouble--all this legislation--all this expense-- about him! Yes, to the honour of England, this was so: and he doubted whether in the whole civilized world another country would have been found to do this, or put itself to even half the trouble. (Cheers.) He was inclined to think John Anderson need not fear the miserable slave-hunter in London--that he might go to bed without trembling, and sleep without alarm. (Applause.) As his friend Dr. Allen had said in his speech, "Is he not a man!" Aye, and an intelligent man. (Cheers.) Look at his head! As a believer in phrenology, he might say he had an excellent head--in fact, he was altogether a nice looking man. (Laughter.) In his physique there was everything to recommend him to the meeting, and as he had asked on a previous occasion, did he look like an assassin or a murderer? ("No, no," and cheers.) He would venture to say that most men would have followed the example of his friend had they been placed in that peculiar position, which involved the necessity of killing or being killed. (Cheers.) Now, the resolution said they must sympathise with him. They did sympathise with him already if they might
judge from the noisy demonstrations of the meeting. (Cheers and laughter.) But that sympathy must assume a practical form. Their friend must be maintained-- placed in a respectable position in life--and his wife restored to him as soon as possible. (Cheers.) Now, he should deeply regret if this manifestation of sympathy should not thus result. In another fortnight, the news of their friend's reception would have sped across the Atlantic; and while his friends here rejoice, thousands in Canada will rejoice, and weep, and pray, and bless God together. (Loud cheers.) He would just say in conclusion, that he hoped the meeting would do the right thing. There appeared a disposition on the part of the Committee, their worthy Chairman, and all whom he had consulted, to do this; and he hoped the echo from this meeting would meet with a response throughout the country, and that all would be prepared to do the right thing, and do it in a proper manner. (Cheers.) Here is a man who has been in bonds, and we rejoice that he is free--here is a man who has been in imminent peril; we rejoice that he is safe--and we give him, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, a christian reception--a cordial and hearty christian reception. (Loud cheers.) And we hope the support of this meeting will be a rebuke to all slave-holders and slavery-patronizers, on the other side of the Atlantic, whether North or South: and they may depend that however much concerned we are for the settlement of their differences, we are far
more concerned for the freedom of the human species. (Loud applause, which continued for some minutes.)
The Rev. W. H. BONNER, of the London Emancipation Committee, in supporting the resolution, said that he was glad to see the meeting appreciated the importance of this question, in which he had taken considerable interest for a long period of time. He rejoiced to see his friend Mr. Twelvetrees occupying the chair, and hoped soon to see him occupy another seat, where he would be enabled to speak on a question which he knew and understood, and took so deep an interest in. (Cheers.) He felt great pleasure in being here because he considered it an event of the highest importance--of importance to their brother in the midst of them--of importance to the race to which he belongs--of importance to this country and to America, both as regards our political and religious constitution. (Cheers.) In expressing our sympathy with our brother Anderson, we could not separate the fugitive from the institution under which he has been held--could not leave the latter out of sight. They all understood their object was not to express any sympathy with the South, which had brought all the evils from which it was now suffering on itself; nor were they there to plead for the North, for he believed the latter in its quarrel with the South was merely an illustration of the pot calling the kettle black. (Laughter and cheers.) They were met for the purpose of promoting Emancipation. He welcomed John Anderson most heartily, and thanked God he was
in Exeter Hall that night--for he looked upon him in the light of a representative man. (Hear, hear.) They must regard him as the victim of a gigantic system of crime which tramples out manhood, and is an insult to God himself. (Loud cheers.) The same Almighty Being who gave the sun the power to shine, who caused the rain to fall, and holds the winds in the hollow of his hand, gave that manhood, and he who would deprive him of it aims at the gift of God himself (cheers), and questions his right to make his creatures as he thinks fit. It was a wrong to man himself, for no man can create a right in another--if he usurps or steals it, he is a thief. (Loud cheers.) Not only was it an iniquity in itself, but it denied to man all domestic and social rights and privileges, for if not owner of himself, it was impossible for him to own wife or children--in fact, this was one of the principles of American law. And what was this but subverting society, undermining social order, and producing vice of every description! (Cheers.) Therefore, every philanthropist, every friend of man, every child of God must, if he act up conscientiously to his duty, say, "Welcome to Anderson, and down with slavery." (Loud applause.) It was sometimes urged by Americans that, as England once countenanced Slavery, and was the original means of its introduction into America, she should not denounce it. Even admitting the fact, which was, however, open to dispute, he urged, that having been guilty of sin and crime, was no reason why we should not now denounce it. If it were true that we introduced
slavery into America, thanks be to God we are now free from it, and can say, "Come, follow our example." We have felt the glory of our position, and as we never intended slavery to exist upon our soil, we are amply justified in saying, "Go thou, and do likewise." (Cheers.) He was glad to see upon the platform that night his friend William Craft, who has succeeded, with his heroic wife, in effecting their escape over a thousand miles of country, in spite of the whole army and navy of the United States, proffered by Millard Fillmore to prevent his escape--thanks be to God, and to that eloquent orator and noble champion of the Anti-Slavery cause, George Thompson. (Great cheering.) Not only did the blame attach to the slave-trader and the slave-holder, but also to the pro-slavery voter, and behind all these, he was grieved to place the Northern pulpit. He firmly believed, that if the pulpit of the North had been true to the doctrines of Christ, slavery, would have ceased to exist long ere this. (Loud cheers.) There were preachers of all denominations holding shades of opinions on the question, but agreeing in the main pro-slavery feeling, and he did not hesitate to declare that the popular ministers of America were the bulwarks of slavery. ("Shame" and applause.) It was necessary to put our hand upon the evil--to speak kindly, but firmly, and say, "Brethren, have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Loud and continued applause.)
A gentleman of the name of Matthew Feilde here
came forward, and endeavoured to obtain a hearing, for the purpose of proposing an amendment to the resolution. The Chairman in vain urged the audience to hear the speaker, as they were determined not to do so. the amendment met with no seconder, and the original resolution having been put, was carried by acclamation,
The Chairman then rose, as well as John Anderson, and addressing the latter said, "JOHN ANDERSON, you have heard the rapturous voice of WELCOME from Englishmen, inducting you into the rights, privileges, and immunities of this our happy land. In the name of this vast assembly I present to you the right hand of fellowship, and congratulate you on the possession of this goodly heritage, which you now enter upon FREE AS THE AIR YOU BREATHE, so that you may really and truly say, "I thank my God that I am at last a man," and although still trembling and panting with your recent run for life, you may now strike your foot on English soil--consecrated to liberty, freedom, and religion--a portion of which, in this bottle, I now present to you, to carry in your bosom as a certificate which shall be honoured throughout the world, that you are FREE."
The Chairman then handed to Anderson a small bottle containing some of the free soil of England, on which was inscribed, "John Anderson's Certificate of Freedom, presented at Exeter Hall, London, July 2nd, 1861," and then introduced him to the meeting, as "Citizen Anderson." At this point, the whole of the
vast assemblage rose, and with the utmost enthusiasm, gave forth loud and prolonged cheers, coupled with waving of hats and handkerchiefs. This highly impressive scene lasted for several minutes, and, after it had subsided,
JOHN ANDERSON, who met with an overwhelming reception, which appeared somewhat to bewilder him, said: All honour to England. All honour to Her Majesty the Queen, for my freedom. I feel very backward, the disturbance has quite upset me, and I do not know that I can make my speech out. ("Go on"-- Cheers and laughter). My worthy friend has upset me so, that I don't know if I can get through. I feel very thankful for my escape, for I have been chased for a very long time, and have only got free about three weeks ago. I want to describe my narrow escape, but I don't know that I shall get through with it. I feel so disturbed by a great audience like this. I thank God I have at last broken the yoke. (Hear, hear.) I thought I had seven years ago, but I never did till now, and now I have to thank God and Great Britain for it. So I give all credit to Great Britain, and if I get no further in my speech, you must not blame me, for it is very hard for me to get on at all, I can tell you. (Cheers and laughter.) I will describe my escape. I remember my master, a man named Burton, selling me to a man named McDonald, with whom I stayed about a month and a half, and then asked if I could go and see my family. He said "No." I left him then and went to the Missouri
River, but they would not let me cross unless I had a pass. I said my master had gone out, so I could not get one, but they would not let me cross. I went back and laid about till night, and then they chased me away, and I crossed the river, and got to the house of my father-in-law. I told him I was going to Canada. He said, "I have got a pistol--will you take it with you?" I said, "No." Then I went on to my wife's house, but a slave-catcher named Brown chased me away from there. I then ran towards Canada, and on the third day Came across a man named Diggs. He said, "Where are you going?" I said I was making my way to some farmer's house. He said, "I will go with you, you are a runaway." I tried to escape, and he chased me for half a day. I begged of him for four hours not to follow me, and told him that if he did I should be obliged to slay him--but nothing would do but he must take me dead or alive. He came to take me, and I struck him a blow. He came again, and I struck him again on the left side, and he came no more. I thank God that I have had the fear of God in my soul, otherwise I should never have made my escape. I was very sorry to slay the man--I did not believe he was dead till they came to swear against me. A thousand dollars were offered to any one who would take me across the lines, and there are plenty of people in Canada who would do a great deal for that money. I will now state what religions my owners were. Burton was a Methodist, and McDonald was a Baptist--a member of the same
church as myself. I know I tried to be a good man-- but I doubt them very much indeed. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) Brothers and sisters, for I know I may call you so (loud cheers), I feel very much obliged to you for your attendance to-night, and for your kindness toward me, and I offer you three cheers. (Laughter.) Three cheers, then, for Her Gracious Majesty the Queen. The speaker resumed his seat amid deafening applause.
At this point of the meeting, a collection was made On behalf of the objects of the meeting as stated above.
The Rev. T. M. KINNAIRD, a coloured clergyman, then rose and said, there was some few facts which he was desirous of making publicly known. It had been generally assumed by the slave population of America, who had been tutored to that effect by their masters and others, that sooner or later Canada would be connected with the States, and that hence, all the slaves who had escaped would again be reduced to bondage. The language which had been used at this meeting--the knowledge of which would, depend upon it, reach the fugitive slaves in Canada, ere long would totally destroy that impression. (Cheers.) Again, there had been some doubts as to whether the laws of Great Britain afforded absolute and undeniable protection to the slaves in Canada, and he was glad that the result in the case of John Anderson had most triumphantly and satisfactorily settled that question. (Cheers.) With regard to the conduct of John Anderson, he himself was no murderer --his heart was too big for that--but he should be
forgetting his duty if he did not boldly and unhesitatingly state that he would, if similarly placed, have uphold his God-given right. (Cheers.) In Canada, there were numbers of persons with pro-slavery feelings, who would willingly have sold Anderson to his enemies, but the voice and the power of the great British nation went forth, the fiat of the Queen fell as a flash of lightning upon Toronto, and the fugitive was saved. (Cheers.) He appealed to them earnestly to help John Anderson. Had any of his brothers in the meeting a wife and little ones yet dwelling amongst the horrors, exposed to the cruelties and degrading influences of slavery, would they not desire with their whole heart to be enabled to release them from such a state, and be joined together in social happiness and bliss? He urged them therefore strongly to assist brother Anderson in such a high and holy aim. (Cheers.) He then adverted to an article which had recently appeared in the columns of a morning journal which he described as having so strong a pro-slavery leaning, that he could not but believe at first that it formed a portion of the contents of a Southern newspaper, rather than of a leading English journal. The writer of that article had professed to be ignorant of the existence of such a place as Hamilton, Canada West, but if he would pay the speaker a short visit, his geographical knowledge of that quarter should be improved. (Cheers and laughter.) He was rejoiced that this great meeting had given his brother Anderson his certificate of freedom, and hailed him as a man; and
he trusted and believed that he would do honour to those who had thus honoured him. (Loud cheers.) He begged to move the following resolution:--
"That this Meeting, deeply sympathising with those coloured persons who have in Canada sought the protection of the British Crown, and who are amongst the most loyal subjects of Her Majesty, pledges itself to use every endeavour to maintain their rights and liberties inviolate."
The Rev. J. G. HEWLETT, D.D., in seconding the resolution, said that the occurrences of that evening brought vividly to his remembrance the days of his youth, when Emancipation was the great question of the day, and he rejoiced in the present occasion specially, because we were now recognising a great and glorious principle which we had previously announced. (Hear, hear.) He could not avoid referring for a moment to the plausible and fallacious argument sometimes used by the advocates of slavery, in which they adverted to the kind treatment and excellent education of the slaves, and he had been shocked to hear comparisons instituted between their condition and that of the working classes of this country, to the disadvantage of the latter. He thought the best refutation of such an argument was to be found in the condition of brother Anderson, and he would recommend all such as advanced that argument to take the place of the slave for awhile and test the accuracy of their statements and deductions. (Cheers and laughter.) He had been exceedingly pleased to
find that none of the speakers had entered upon the question as a political one, and that the meeting had had the good sense to repudiate a proposed amendment, the terms of which would have implicated them in a hostile attitude to the Government of the United States. (Hear, hear.) He must say, that as he had seen John Anderson, and had been deeply interested, he should have liked to have seen also in England a veritable slave-catcher. (Cheers.) It might have been useful for the purpose of determining whether he more closely resembled man or the gorilla. (Laughter.) One other remark he desired to make, and that was how wonderfully Providence appeared to work with reference to their cause. Just as when the eloquent, silvery-voiced Wilberforce had brought before the House the evils of slavery in our West Indian possessions, in which he was ably followed by Sir T. F. Buxton, when their efforts appeared almost unavailing the missionary Smith was imprisoned in Demerara for his denunciation of slavery, and a chapel in Barbadoes was burnt to the ground which drew the attention of the House to the subject, and led to discussions which resulted in abolition--while Smith in his prison cell was oppressed with gloomy thoughts, God was working out his will--so with John Anderson, in the time of his struggle--in the hour of battle--he knew not that God was making him the humble instrument of proclaiming the advent of freedom to the coloured population of America. (Loud cheers.) He did trust that a liberal sympathy would be exercised with regard to
Anderson which would bring about the restoration of his family, and that their prayers might also rise to Heaven that he might be preserved from all temptation, and become an honoured subject and citizen of Great Britain. The speaker concluded by seconding the resolution amidst loud cheers.
Mr. WILLIAM CRAFT, the author of the celebrated book, "A Run of a Thousand Miles for Freedom," in supporting the resolution, said that as one who had been a slave, and had had the good fortune to escape from that horrible condition, he most heartily sympathised with his brother Anderson. (Cheers.) He was absent in the North of Scotland on business when intelligence of the proposed meeting reached him, but he felt it his duty to give up every engagement in order to be present. They were often told by the advocates of slavery that slaves were well treated, and if freed, would not be able to take care of themselves. If they were all freed that very night, no doubt there would be many amongst them, who would be unable to provide for their subsistence, like many who were living in this enlightened city; but he totally denied the general truth of the statement. (Hear, hear.) As to whether they desired freedom, he would appeal to 45,000 emancipated slaves in Canada, as well as to numerous coloured friends on that platform. These 45,000 men had, with only God's north star as a guide, baffled the bloodhounds of their pursuers, lay in pestilential swamps, and swam or floated over mighty rivers to reach the Canadian shore, and had earned and
deserved their freedom! (Cheers.) All honour to the Queen--honour to the British nation for their noble refusal to deliver up one of their number. (Loud cheers.) Though no blood-shedder, he firmly believed that every Englishman--every man--would have acted as Anderson had acted under the like circumstances. Referring to the religious education afforded to slaves in the Southern states, he gave a sketch of a sermon of one of the instructors most popular with the planters, and characterised it as blasphemy--blasphemy to attribute the sanction of the debasing institution to that great and beneficent Being who sent his plagues into Egypt in order to free the Israelites from their bondage, who, by the hand of his servant Moses, led them out, dividing the waters, and causing them to fall back and overwhelm the Egyptians in their pursuit--for God and his attributes were immutable and eternal. (Loud cheers.) He thought great credit was due to the Committee for the organisation of this meeting, and he seconded the resolution with unfeigned pleasure. The resolution was then put and carried nem con.
The Rev. EDWARD MATHEWS (introduced by the Chairman as the prototype of "Father Dickson" in Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's tale of "Dred,") entered upon a recital of his personal experience in the Southern States, showing that in consequence of his abolitionist views, he was ten successive times thrown into a pond of water in the depth of winter, and that it was a matter of consideration at one time whether he should be hanged
on a neighbouring tree or not. He felt some little doubt as to whether the safety of the fugitive slaves in Canada was yet properly guaranteed. In moving a resolution for the appointment of a Committee, he remarked on the good effects such a step was likely to produce. He believed it would give fresh vitality to the Anti-Slavery cause (hear, hear,) and, while rejoicing that their worthy Chairman had taken the responsibility of presiding, expressed a hope that the time was not far distant when he would be enabled to exercise a vote and influence on the question in the House of Commons. (Loud cheers.)
The Rev. T. J. MESSER, in seconding the resolution, remarked that perhaps he was one of the oldest advocates of the abolition of slavery in all its withering and Protean forms on that platform. For more than forty years had he laboured in the cause. It was his belief that slavery in all its debasing forms, with all its sin and crime must soon pass away. The grass might grow upon his grave ere the dawn of that day, but he had a firm conviction that all forms, all pressures past of slavery, were doomed to a speedy extinction. (Cheers.) From some height in the city of sunlight and of song, he should behold the the last fetter struck from the last slave! Having toiled to bring about the utter extinction of Colonial bondage and having lived to see the glorious day when all the slaves of the ebon islands of the West sang "Hosannah" because they were free, he believed that he yet should live to see--should he say it--Transatlantic bondage crushed out for ever and ever, and then, from an emancipated
people, as though touched by Ithuriel's spear, a jubilant song should rise right up from earth to the throne of the Most High in Heaven. (Loud and long-continued cheering.)
The Rev. P. POCOCK, B.A., felt assured that at that late hour he should but study the desires of those present by being exceedingly brief. One thing struck him as rather peculiar, and that was the absence of any positive evidence of the death of John Anderson's opponent. There was only, it appeared, one individual who gave evidence on the point, and he was distant some three miles from the spot where the meeting took place. (Cheers and laughter.) Aware, as they were, of the devices and schemes to which the slave-holders had resorted, it just occurred to him that this point was deserving of attention. After quoting several passages of Scripture, and showing that these were diametrically opposed to the principles and practices of slavery, Mr. Pocock concluded by supporting the resolution.
The resolution, which was as follows, was then put from the chair, and carried unanimously--
"That the following gentlemen constitute a Committee to raise a fund on behalf of John Anderson--
Harper Twelvetrees, Chairman; The Honourable Arthur Kinnaird, M.P., Treasurer; the Rev. Hugh Allen, D.D.; the Rev. Jabez Burns, D.D.; the Rev. J. G. Hewlett, D.D.; the Rev. W. H. Bonner; the Rev. Thomas Jones; the Rev. Edward Mathews; Ebenezer Burr, Esq.; F. W. Chesson, Esq.;
Mr. William Craft; Denis McDonnell, Esq.; William Farmer, Esq.; Alfred Gliddon, Esq.; Mr. G. T. Horn; John Noble, Esq.; Alfred W. Sanderson, Esq.; H. B. Sheridan, Esq., M.P.; George Thompson, Esq. Cooke Baines, Esq., Joseph A. Horner, Esq., Hon. Secretaries. With power to add to their number."
A vote of thanks to the Chairman for his kindness in presiding, and his efficient discharge of the duties, having been proposed by Mr. Benjamin Jackson (a coloured gentleman), and seconded by Thomas Hattersley, Esq., and Mr. Twelvetrees having suitably responded in a few expressive sentences, the immense audience, constituting the most influential and enthusiastic Anti-Slavery meeting ever held in Exeter Hall, dispersed.
Attends various Meetings in London and its Neighbourbood.-- Tour on the Sea Coast.--Sketches of Speeches.
IN the interval between the great meeting in Exeter Hall and the close of the month of September, Anderson attended a large number of meetings, besides frequently addressing the teachers and scholars of Sunday schools in the metropolis and its vicinity. We have not before us a complete list of these engagements, but we know that amongst the number were meetings at the Marylebone Institute; Deverell Street, Southwark; Camden Road Chapel; Rev. Mr. Spong's Chapel, De Beauvoir Town, Kingsland; Markham Square, Chelsea; Devons Road Chapel, Bromley-by-Bow; Temperance Hall, Stratford, Essex; the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Poplar; the Town Hall, Brentford; Colnbrook; the Town Hall, Brighton; the Town Hall, Worthing; Hastings; the Assembly Rooms, St. Leonards; Folkestone; Deal; Dover; Margate; Ramsgate; St. Alban's; Luton; Hemel Hempstead; &c., &c. At many of these
meetings addresses were also delivered by the Rev. J. G. Hewlett, D.D., George Thompson, Esq., (late M.P. for the Tower Hamlets), and John Noble, Esq., of the Middle Temple, as deputations from the John Anderson Committee. John Anderson was also present and spoke at the meeting commemorative of West Indian Emancipation, held under the auspices of the London Emancipation Committee in Spafields Chapel, on the 1st of August, 1861.
At all these meetings the appearance of Anderson excited deep interest, and the statements made by him were listened to with the deepest attention. A gentleman who was present at the meetings addressed by Anderson at Hastings and St. Leonard's, has furnished us with notes made on those occasions. As specimens of the way in which Anderson was at that time accustomed to tell his own story, we insert them with pleasure and gratitude, assured that our readers will excuse the repetition of certain facts, and be glad to possess examples of the early public utterances of a fugitive slave.
At Hastings, Anderson said,--"My mother was a woman of high spirit, and would not submit to harsh treatment--to abuse and blows--so she was sold to a negro trader, to be sent to the plantations of Louisiana and Texas." He (Anderson) was employed on Burton's farm in the cultivation of wheat, Indian corn, oats, rye, and tobacco. During the latter period of his service, the chief management of the farm was committed to him.
The immediate cause of his sale to McDonald was the following:--"Having offended his master, he was ordered to strip, to cross his hands, and have his wrists tied with a cord, and be flogged. He removed his jacket, but refused to be bound, or to stand still while the whipping was given. His master, in a rage went into the house and came back with a gun, and was preparing to shoot him when he was prevented by the interposition of his two daughters. He allowed Anderson, for the time, to escape punishment, but declared his determination to sell him. Anderson observed that he preferred to be sold to being flogged. The storm blew over, and matters for a short time went on as usual. At length when he had finished a day's work, he went to Burton and enquired if there was anything more for him to do that day. His master said, 'No,' and added, 'you will do no more work for me, for I have sold you.' The following day he was taken across the river to a place called Glasgow, where he saw a thousand dollars paid by McDonald to Burton, received the money and transferred Anderson to his new master, who soon after started for his farm, taking Anderson with him. The master drove himself in a gig, while Anderson followed on horse-back. The road lay through a prairie country, and Anderson was careful to observe the course taken that he might, when he desired to do so, find his way back to the river.
"Before McDonald took him away, he had asked him if he was willing to go; he had replied that he was, but he had not promised to stay, and did not mean to do so.
After McDonald got home he offered to make Anderson his coachman, but this office he declined, as its duties would have deprived him of his rest on Sunday. He was therefore sent into the field. After awhile he requested permission to return to Brown's to see his wife, and that he might obtain permission, said that she had some clothes, which he wished to bring to the plantation. His master told him he would not be allowed to visit his wife, and as for the clothes, they should be sent for. His master tried to terrify him by saying that he would cut him in pieces if he attempted to run away. As for a wife, if he wanted one, he would find him one upon the plantation. He said nothing, but waited until his master had to be absent one Sunday, in attendance some miles off, at a church meeting, for inquiring into the death of a slave, who it was alleged had been killed by one of the church members. His master started for the place of meeting on the Saturday night, and very early on the Sunday morning--a good while before daylight--he started for the river."
At St. Leonard's, Anderson said,--"My mother was sold away down to New Orleans when I was about seven years old. She had a great big spirit, something like me, and would'nt stand being beat about and knocked around. One day her mistress and she had a fight, and my mother pulled a handful of hair out of my mistress's head. For this she was sold, and went down South, and I have never seen her since. Slave women have no rights, no matter what their colour may be. Some of
them are as white as English women are, but because their mothers have been women with some negro blood in them, they are slaves, and are treated as slaves. They are without protection, and white men may do what they please with them, for there is no law for a poor slave woman. Some folks say slaveholders may be good Christians, but I can't and won't believe it, nor do I think that a slaveholder can get to heaven. He may possibly get there, I don't know; but though I wish to get there myself, I don't want to have anything more to do with slaveholders either here or in heaven. When my mother was sent away, I was brought up by my mistress, and used to call her mother; I didn't call her mistress, for I couldn't get the word into my mouth. I was raised in the house, and was a kind of nurse to the daughters of my owner. When I was fourteen or fifteen years old, I was sent into the field, and when I had learnt my work there, I was put over the other slaves and left to look after them when my master was away. I had to see the work done, and had to knock the other slaves about to make them do it. When I was about nineteen or twenty years old, I did what I suppose young men in this country do. I took the notion that I would go a courting. I did not want to marry a girl belonging to my own place, because I knew I could not bear to see her ill-treated. I had often thought of being free. An old man, who was called Jacob, had many times talked with me about Canada, and I had talked with other slaves about starting
off for that place, and we had often formed plans for the purpose, but they were always disappointed. Well, about my marriage: there was a slave girl called Maria, she belonged to a man named Brown, and had been married when she was very young, and had two children, and her husband died, and I went to his funeral; I was then about twenty. You'll think it strange that I should be thinking of courtship and marriage at a funeral, but I couldn't help it, for I felt that I should very much like to have Maria for my wife; so six months after the funeral, I went with Maria to a camp meeting. Many slaves, who have no religion, go to camp meetings that they may be merry, for there is much whisky sold at these gatherings, and the people drink and play at cards, while others attend to religion. Maria was spoken to by her friends about going with me so soon after her husband's death. After that, I kept going to see her, and at last asked her if she would marry me. She said, 'You must speak to my father, and I did speak to him; and he said, 'You had better wait awhile, and I'll see about it.' I saw him again, and he still said, 'wait awhile.' When I told Maria, she said, 'never mind, if he doesn't consent soon, we'll be married all the same.' Lewis Tomlin (Maria's father) was a free man, who had purchased himself for eight hundred dollars, and had given six or seven hundred more for his wife. He had a little property, and was well to do as a barber, in the town of Fayette. So we got married, and Maria had a child seven or eight
months old when I ran away. Maria's first husband had been dead about a year when we were married. It was during the Christmas holidays. My master allowed me to go and see my wife once a week--that is, on Saturday night, and I was ordered to be back again on Monday morning. I did not, however, care much for his orders, and I used to go almost every night. When we had been married about a year and a half, Maria fell sick, and I wanted to go more frequently to see her. My master would not permit me, but I disobeyed him, and went. On one occasion when I had been to see her, and had remained all night, my master was on the look-out for me when I returned in the morning. When he saw me, he said, 'Jackey, where have you been?' I replied, 'Oh, Iv'e been walking about.' 'I'll walk you about,' he said, and came up to me to give me a licking with a raw hide which he had in his hand. I warded off his blows with my arm. He then went and got a rope, and threw it over the branch of an old walnut tree. I knew very well that he wanted to tie me up and whip me, and I determined that I would not be whipped. He ordered me to strip and cross my hands, that I might be bound and drawn up, but I refused. He cursed and swore, and threatened, but I still refused. He then fetched his gun, and said he would shoot me, but the daughter I had nursed when in the house interposed, and got the gun away from him. He then said he only wanted to frighten me, but that he would sell me to some one who would break my
spirit. My mistress, who used to protect me, had been dead for some time, and I had now no one to save me from ill treatment. When she died, Burton made up his mind to conquer me. One day after this he came home, and not being pleased with me, ordered me to go into a barn and receive punishment, but I refused. On this occasion the daughters took part with their father, and assisted him; but I got away, and escaped the punishment intended for me. Burton, not being able to subdue me, hired me to a man of the name of Paterson. It was while I was working for this man that my owner met with McDonald, who lived thirty miles away, in Salem county, on the other side of the Missouri river. This man offered to buy me. He was already the owner of about thirty slaves. When I came back to Burton's, he came upon the farm to look at me, and to see what sort of a hand I was, and how I went about my work. He went away, and I remained with Burton about three months longer, and, during that time, my master was gradually appointing others to do the work I had been accustomed to do. He did not, however, want me to know that he had made a bargain with McDonald. It was the season for cutting tobacco. I had raised about twenty acres for Burton, and had about an acre and a half of my own, which I had planted in the neighbourhood of my wife's residence. It was on a Saturday that he told me I should do no more work for him, and that he would hand me over to McDonald on the Monday morning: so I resolved to make things square, and
accordingly went to Fayette and settled some accounts I had there, that I might be ready to start for my new home. On the Monday morning, when I saw the money paid for me, I said to Burton, 'That' s a great deal of money, and I think you ought to give me some of it;' but he made no reply. When my new master was taking me across the river, he told the ferryman to take care that he never allowed me to recross it. About half way to his plantation McDonald stopped to take up his wife, who was waiting for him. He showed me to her as the fine new slave he had just purchased. On the way he had a good deal to say to me about how he would serve me if I attempted to escape from him, and said, if I did, he would tie me up and cut me to pieces, and then send me to New Orleans. At the place where we took up McDonald's wife, I saw some slaves who appeared as if they were nearly starved, and when my dinner was sent out to me I gave it to them, in consequence of their hungry looks. Indeed, they seemed to have no strength for the work they had to do. I had never seen slaves in a worse condition. When we arrived at the plantation, McDonald told his slave-driver to let me off easy at the beginning, to coax me, and get me into the traces by degrees. I felt the separation from my wife very much, and made up my mind that, if I might not go and see her, I would run away for good; that I would get away some Sunday, and after bidding her good-bye, would start for Canada. That my master might be accustomed to miss me on a Sunday morning
without suspecting that I had left him, I used to disappear on that day, but to show myself on Monday morning; so that he came at last to think that I did not go far away. When I had been with him about six months I asked to be allowed to go and see my wife, and bring back some clothes with me. He told me I should never see my wife again; that he would not let me cross the Missouri river any more, and that I must take one of his slave girls for my wife, for that his plantation would be my future home. Here, again, you see what kind of religion it is that the slaveholders possess: he wanted me to desert my wife and child, and become the father of children who should be his property. I knew he would refuse my request to go and see my wife, but I determined to ask him, that I might have a fair excuse for leaving him. When he answered as he did, I said nothing, but resolved that the approaching Sunday should be my last in his service." Anderson then repeated, in his usual way, the account of his escape.
AFTER John Anderson had attended the various public meetings referred to in the last chapter, the committee felt it important that he should for a time devote himself exclusively to the acquisition of learning, in order to enable him to transact the ordinary business of life creditably; and, with this view, he was placed under the care of the Rev. J. G. Hewlett, D.D., in October, 1861. It was evident, however, notwithstanding the Rev. Doctor's care and vigilance, that Anderson's continuance in London was unfavourable to that close attention to his studies which was required to ensure success; and when the excitement and attractiveness of the sights and sounds of London to an untutored mind are considered, it will readily be believed that Anderson found it difficult to resist the various influences which, in the Metropolis, combined to distract his thoughts and attention. Under these circumstances, the committee decided, in the month of December following, upon placing Anderson with Mr. John Pool, of the British
Training Institution, Corby, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire, and, on the eighth of that month, Anderson was received into the household of Mr. Pool. The quiet and secluded character of this locality exerted a beneficial influence on Anderson, and it was speedily manifest that his withdrawal from the Metropolis was a desirable step, and that his progress would be as satisfactory as could be expected. The committee were favoured with periodical reports from Mr. Pool, conveying information of Anderson's studies; and in the month of July, 1862, that gentleman wrote as follows:--
"In forming an estimate of the conduct and progress of Anderson since he has been with me, it is necessary to take into consideration his former mode of life, which was spent in severe labour, occasionally relieved by outdoor sports; the trying circumstances in which he was placed in Canada, and the season of excitement through which he passed on his arrival in England, as the natural consequences of which, he manifested on his first coming here considerable restlessness, which unfitted him for close application to his studies. This difficulty is, however, now in a great measure overcome; and I may say that it has been the greatest which I have had to encounter in superintending his education. On the whole, I think he has progressed as well as could be reasonably expected. He can now write very creditably, can read with little assistance a chapter in the New Testament, and can work the first four rules of arithmetic, both simple and compound."
As a curious custom which prevails at Corby was served during Anderson's residence in the village, it may be not uninteresting to give some particulars concerning it. It appears that Queen Elizabeth granted the inhabitants of Corby a charter, to free them from town toll throughout England, Wales, and Scotland; also to exempt them from serving on juries at Northhampton, and to free the knights of the shire from the militia law. In commemoration of the granting of the charter, a festival, called the "Pole Fair," is held on Whit-Monday once every twenty years, when the inhabitants assemble at an early hour and stop all roads and byways in the parish, and demand a certain toll of every person, gentle and simple, who may have occasion to pass through the village on that day. In the case of noncompliance, a stout pole is produced, and the obstinate person is placed thereon in a riding attitude, and carried around the village, followed by the jeers and laughter of the assembled crowds; and after that, he is taken to the parish stocks and imprisoned, until the authorities choose to grant a dismissal. The following is a copy of the ancient charter referred to, which is the possession of the Rector of the parish:--
"Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c., to all to whom these present letters shall come greeting, we have inspected the enrolment of certain letters patent of confirmation of our predecessor
Elizabeth, late Queen of England, bearing date at Westminster the 2nd day of December, in the 27th year of her reign, made and granted to the men and tenants of the manor of Corbei, and remaining of record in our Court of Chancery in these words:--The Queen, &c., to all and singular sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs, constables, ministers, and all other her faithful subjects as well within liberties as without, to whom these present letters shall come greeting. Whereas, according to the custom hitherto obtained and used in our kingdom of England, the men and tenants of antient demesne of the Crown of England are and ought to be quit of toll, pannage, monage, and passage throughout our whole kingdom of England, and according to the aforesaid custom the men and tenants of antient demesne of the crown aforesaid have always hitherto from the time whereof memory runneth not to the contrary been accustomed to be quit from contribution to the expenses of knights coming to our Parliament, or that of our progenitors, formerly Kings of England for the community of the commonalty of the same kingdom. Also according to the same custom the men and tenants of the manors which are of antient demesne of the crown aforesaid ought not to be placed in any assizes, juries, or recognizances for their lands and tenements which they hold of the same demesne, unless only in those which ought to be had in the courts of the same manors, and for that whereas the manor of Corbei, in the county
Northhampton, is of antient demesne of our Crown of England, as is found by a certain certificate returned to our Chancery by the treasurer and chamberlain of our exchequer by our command thereupon. We enjoin and command you and every of you that you permit all and singular the men and tenants of the manor of Corbei aforesaid to be quit from such toll, pannage, monage, passage, to be paid on account of their goods or things throughout our whole kingdom aforesaid, & on account of the expenses of the knights aforesaid; also that you do not place the same men and tenants of the same manor in any assizes, juries, or recognizances, to be held out of the court of the manor aforesaid, but only in those which ought to be held in the court of such manor against the aforesaid custom, unless the lands and tenements be held of other tenure for which they ought to be placed in assizes, juries, or recognizances, according to the form of the statute of the Common Council of our kingdom of England therefore provided. And if on these occasions, or any of them, you should make any distress on the aforesaid men and tenants of the manor of Corbei aforesaid, you shall without delay release the same to them. In witness wereof, &c., witness the Queen at Westminster, the second day of December, in the 27th year of her reign. We moreover have by these presents caused the tenor of the enrolment aforesaid to be exemplified at the request of Robert Davis, a gentleman, and John Lee, and others, men and tenants of the aforesaid manner of Corbei. In witness
whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness ourself at Westminster, the 6th day of July, in the 22nd year of our reign.
"Examined by us,
Two masters in Chancery.
"Indorsed 'An Exemplification, at the request of
Robert Davis and others.'
The "Pole Fair" was held on Whit-Monday, June 9th, 1862, and the following description of the ceremony, as then observed, was furnished to the Stamford Mercury by Mr. Amos Bell, of Great Easton, who was throughout the day an eye-witness of what transpired:--
"According to custom the inhabitants rose at an early hour, played and sang the National Anthem and Rule Britannia in the streets, and proclaimed the fair. They then began to carry on poles and chairs all the people in the village, put them in the stocks, and gave them some ale before liberating them from durance vile. Whole families were fetched out of their houses, and escorted to the stocks with flags flying, the band playing lively airs. After all the inhabitants had gone through the ceremony, strangers began to arrive in gigs, carts, vans, and other vehicles, to witness this singular custom. They cheerfully paid the toll which was demanded of them on entering the village. Many hundred people were present, and a great many went through the ceremony.
Stalls, shooting-galleries, shows, and a large portable theatre rose up as if by magic, flags and banners floated in the air, and the greatest hilarity prevailed. Parish officers, constables, and policemen went through the ceremony, no person being excused. Two good bands of music paraded the streets during the day. All the villagers tried to vie with each other in decorating their houses with devices, &c. There was a pretty triumphal arch against the Exeter Arms inn: it exhibited the words 'God save the Queen,' and from which were suspended numerous flags, one containing the Corby cross. Altogether the decorations had an attractive appearance. Near the Cardigan Arms inn, opposite the stocks, was another large red, white, and blue flag, bearing the Corby cross. And above the stocks, on the wall, were the words 'God save the Queen' and 'Our Charter' in large characters. From the sign-post of the Cardigan Arms floated another large red, white, and blue flag, bearing the Corby cross; and from the sign to the house hung a handsome banner with a festooned wreath, bearing the motto 'Long life to Cardigan,' and on the other side 'Honour to the brave.' Against the White Horse inn was another triumphal arch, exhibiting the words 'God save the Queen' and 'Our Charter,' and several flags. Against the Black Horse inn was a pretty wreath extending across the street, with a flag, and the words 'God save the Queen' and 'Our Charter.' Against the Queen's Head inn were two beautiful scarlet flags, and these,
with other decorations, had a pleasing effect. There were several handsome flags floating from private houses, particularly one from Mr. Chapman's, and another from Mr. Saddington's. On the Kettering-road was another triumphal arch, exhibiting the words 'Our Charter' and 'God save the Queen,' surmounted with three union jacks. On the Rockingham-road was another triumphal arch, with the words 'Our Charter' and 'God save the Queen.' On this arch were the flags of England, France, Sardinia, and Turkey. The business of the day was carried out with the best of good feelings, and the greatest hilarity prevailed till night threw her sable mantle over the proceedings."
John Anderson, who was a spectator, and was greatly interested in the proceedings of the day, was treated with the greatest kindness; and, as a mark of respect, he was graciously exempted from the payment of toll.
During the remainder of the time that Anderson resided at Corby his progress in his studies was satisfactory to the Committee, and it is pleasing to remark that his conduct and deportment secured him the respect and esteem of those with whom he was brought into contact. It was intended that Anderson should reside with Mr. Pool for a period of twelve months; and as the period drew near for his removal from Corby, the Committee had many anxious consultations as to the course which his future life should take. In this emergency the Committee were indebted to F. W.
Chesson, Esq., the esteemed honorary secretary of the London Emancipation Society, for suggesting that the Negro Republic of Liberia would furnish unequalled opportunities for Anderson's prosperity and social advancement, and for kindly securing the co-operation of Gerald Ralston, Esq., the Consul-General of the Republic in England. After full consideration of the matter, it was ultimately resolved to recommend John Anderson to go out to Liberia; and Mr. Ralston having kindly made known the facts of the case to the Directors of the African Royal Mail Steam Ship Company, of 79, Great Tower-street, the Board, in the most handsome manner, announced, through their secretary, Duncan Campbell, Esq., their willingness to grant Anderson a free passage to Liberia. The recommendation of the Committee having been conveyed to Anderson, with information as to the peculiar advantages which he would possess in the Republic, he decided to act upon it, and it was arranged that he should sail in the "Armenia," on the 24th of December. It was also notified by Mr. Ralstan that the Liberian Government would make Anderson a special grant of land on his arrival in the Republic, so that he would at once become a landed proprietor and have a stake in the welfare of his adopted country--a generous concession which was highly valued.
It will be seen by the following written testimonials, which were presented to Anderson previous to his departure from Corby, that he was generally esteemed
by the inhabitants of the village, during his residence there:--
"Corby Rectory, Northamptonshire, "December 11th, 1862.
"Mr. John Anderson, the fugitive slave, has resided in my parish during the last twelve months, and during the whole of that period he has conducted himself in a highly exemplary and respectful manner. I believe him to be a sincere Christian, and his walk and conversation are in every way in agreement with his professions. I feel persuaded that he is a person who may be safely employed in any situation of trust and responsibility. On leaving my parish he carries my sincere wishes, that success and happiness may attend him in any situation that the providence of God may open the way for him to occupy.
"THOMAS BULL, M.A."
"Corby, Northamptonshire, "December 17th, 1862.
"I have now for several months had an opportunity afforded me by periodical visits to Corby of occasional conversation with Mr. John Anderson, the fugitive slave. The interest which I felt in meeting him at first has been increased by the frequent intercourse we have had, and I am glad to find that at present, when he is
about to leave the neighbourhood, he is so much esteemed by the public at large. If for him I desiderate one thing more than another it is, that his dear wife and child may be restored at once to his side, and I earnestly pray that this happiness may speedily be given to him. I sincerely hope that the providence of God may be his inheritance, and that we may meet again in the endless rest above.
"W. EXTON, "Wesleyan Minister.["]
"Weldon, Northamptonshire, "December 8th, 1862.
"John Anderson has resided for twelve months in this locality, during which time he has regularly attended upon my ministry, and communed with us at the Lord's table.
"GEORGE BULLOCK, "Independent Minister."
"Brigstock, Northamptonshire, "December 19th, 1862.
"My esteemed coloured friend, Mr. John Anderson, has been residing in my neighbourhood, and with one of my most valued Christian friends, for twelve months. In all my intercourse with him, and in all I have seen and heard of him, I have found him a worthy and consistent man, and I do most heartily and devoutly rejoice that God has opened a way to comfort in Liberia.
May God in his mercy and comfort go with him, and render his ways prosperous for this life, and grant us to meet again in the life eternal, to enjoy the holy, exalted, eternal liberty of the ransomed One in glory.
"THOMAS LORD, "Independent Minister."
"Kettering, Northamptonshire, "December, 1862.
"My personal acquaintance with Mr. John Anderson is but slight, but, in common with many others, I have felt deep interest in the story of his escape from slavery. The testimony of the gentlemen whose names precede my own, and who are well known to me, is abundantly sufficient to attest his character. I wish him every blessing in the land to which he is going, and join with all lovers of man and God in the earnest desire that his wife and family may soon be free, and that ere long the chains of every slave may be broken for ever.
"JAMES MURSELL, "Baptist Minister."
ON Monday evening, December 22nd, 1862, the members and friends of the "John Anderson Committee" held a farewell meeting at Shirley's Hotel, Queen's-square, London, previous to the departure of Anderson for the Republic of Liberia.
Amongst the gentlemen present were Harper Twelvetrees, Esq., (chairman of the Committee); Cooke Baines, Esq., and Joseph A. Horner, Esq., the Honorary Secretaries; Rev. J. G. Hewlett, D.D., F. W. Chesson, Esq.; J. Noble, Esq., jun.; W. Farmer, Esq.; Professor W. G. Allen, M.A., (a gentleman of colour); Stephen Shirley, Esq.; Messrs. Pool, Eaton, C. Bell, Ford, &c., &c.
After tea, Mr. Twelvetrees was called upon to occupy the chair, and the Rev. Dr. Hewlett having opened the meeting with prayer,
The CHAIRMAN stated that they had met for the purpose of congratulating John Anderson on the present favourable circumstances in his history, and also to assure him of their best wishes for his success in the path which Providence had opened up for him. He (the
Chairman) felt sure that he was only uttering the desires of every member of the committee and of all present when he said, that they earnestly desired for their friend and brother the enjoyment of every blessing which a bountiful and beneficent God might see fit to bestow; that he might be prosperous and successful in his new sphere of duty and labour; and be spared many years to enjoy the reward of his industry in the land of his adoption. It was somewhat more than eighteen months since John Anderson trod on English soil as a trembling fugitive. His public reception in London must have convinced him that, although he had had a run for life and liberty, he had at last distanced his oppressors, and was beyond the power of those who thirsted for his blood. Since the meeting at Exeter Hall, at which the committee was formed, he felt sure that no pains or exertion had been spared by the committee to promote his welfare and forward his interests. Their task had not been an easy one. (Hear.) It had been a matter of considerable anxiety to decide upon the best course to adopt for enabling Anderson to gain his livelihood, and become an industrious, respected and useful citizen. Many gentlemen present would remember that, at the time of Anderson's arrival in England, the country was in a state of excitement respecting the man who had been the subject of Colonial dispatches and interdicts from the Home Office, and that Anderson was, day by day, receiving temporary offers from speculators of various classes; and had it not been for the influence and
control of the committee, he would have fallen a prey to designing men, who would have bargained with him for using the sorrowful incidents of his life for trading upon the sympathies of the public. (Hear.) If the committee had done nothing else, there was cause for gratitude that they had been enabled to preserve Anderson from contributing to the gratification of sightseers, and leading a worse than useless life. (Hear, hear.) After a few public meetings had been held, which were attended by a deputation from the committee, consisting of the Rev. J. G. Hewlett, D.D.; George Thompson, Esq,; John Noble, Esq., jun.; it was deemed advisable to withdraw Anderson from public life, and decline all invitations for him to attend public meetings. The committee at that period were indebted to the Rev. Dr. Hewlett, who kindly engaged to receive Anderson under his roof, and devote his time and attention to his mental, moral, and religious cultivation. Subsequently, in order to withdraw him from the excitement occasioned by his residence in the metropolis, Anderson was placed under the care of Mr. John Pool, of the British Training Institution, Corby, where he had gradually progressed in his studies, and prepared himself for the discharge of the duties which devolved upon him as a responsible member of society. As Anderson's period of instruction drew near to its close, the anxiety of the committee was again awakened as to his future employment and mode of life; and in this emergency they accepted the kind
offer of the services of Mr. F. W. Chesson, who promised to solicit of Gerard Ralston, Esq., Consul-General of Liberia, and the African Mail Company, respectively, a grant of land, and a free passage to that important and thriving negro Republic, which, as they were aware, had been most generously granted. Liberia was a respectable commonwealth, on the Coast of Guinea, numbering about 500,000 souls, where the American flag was hoisted in the year 1822. The climate was admirably adapted to Anderson's southern constitution; and the country produced rice, Indian corn, cotton, indigo, pepper, ginger, palm-oil, arrowroot, pine-apples, tamarinds, and every species of tropical produce which afforded ample supplies for the residents, and for the demands of shipping. As Anderson had been a farmer and had the management of crops for his former masters, the experience he had gained would be serviceable to him in conducting his own affairs; and he (the Chairman) trusted some day to hear of him as a prosperous and wealthy settler in the "land of promise" to the negro. He had now an opportunity of making for himself a respectable position in life, for he was going out under the most favourable auspices--with recommendations and introductions to the principal officers of state in the Republic; and, as his present wants were provided for and his future wants guarded against, he (the Chairman) trusted that, with God's blessing on his exertions, he would rise to respectability and independence. All that remained for them was to congratulate him on
the auspicious opening that presented itself, and wish him God speed in his future career: and if he should be prosperous in his undertakings, and become a large employer of labour and acquire considerable property, he (the Chairman) trusted he would honour the Lord with his substance, and enjoy the favour and the blessing of Him who has said, "They that honour me I will honour." (Cheers.)
COOKE BAINES, Esq. (one of the Honorary Secretaries), after reading letters of apology from the Honourable Arthur Kinnaird, M.P., George Thompson, Esq., Rev. C. J. Middleditch, Rev. Thomas Jones, and other gentlemen who had been invited to the meeting, proceeded to read the following communications, which he had received from Gerard Ralston, Esq., Consul-General for Liberia:--
"Consulate-General of Liberia, "December 16th, 1862.
"Gentlemen,--I enclose you the ticket for the second-class cabin for Mr. John Anderson for the African steam ship Armenian leaving Liverpool for Cape Palmas, on the 24th inst. I hope this ticket will procure for Mr. Armenian a comfortable passage to Liberia, where, on his arrival, I trust he will find friends to receive him kindly, and to do all in their power to promote his welfare. I send also some notes of introduction to gentlemen, who will, I hope, prove useful to him. I regret that I shall be so engaged on the 22nd--being engaged in preparing for the African mail,--that it will
not be in my power to be present at the social meeting, to take leave of Mr. Anderson on the eve of his departure for Africa. l should have been glad to attend upon that occasion, for possibly I might have said a few words to Mr. Anderson to encourage him to go to Liberia in expectation that, if he should be blessed with good health, he will be sure to succeed, and become a useful citizen of the Republic, provided he exercise good sense, good conduct, and good industry. There is not a more eligible country in the world than Liberia for the negro--particularly an American negro,--where he will find his compatriots in power, and his own language, laws, religion, manners, and all the institutions he has left behind in full force. There is the greatest abundance of natural wealth in Liberia; and only capital and skilled labour are required to develope it. I have no doubt Mr. Anderson will be a most useful immigrant, and, I trust, he will be a successful one. Wishing Mr. Anderson health and prosperity,
"I remain, gentlemen, with great respect,
"Your most obedient servant,
"Cooke Baines, Esq.,
Joseph A. Horner, Esq.,Honorary Secretaries of the John Anderson Committee.
"P.S.--If Mr. Anderson should happen to be in my
neighbourhood in the city before he embarks, I should
be pleased if he will favour me with a visit. G. R."
"Consulate-General of Liberia.
"Gentlemen,--Having recommended the bearer, John Anderson, the fugitive slave, from Missouri, who lately lived in Canada, and subsequently in England, to remove to Liberia, where I hope he will succeed and become a useful citizen and a useful inhabitant of that rising and prosperous state, I beg to recommend him to the kind and useful attention of gentlemen like yourselves, and all other persons desirous of promoting the welfare of persons of the negro race.
And all other persons well disposed towards the coloured people.
"I am, with great regard and respect, Gentlemen,
"Your most obedient and faithful servant
The Rev. J. G. HEWLETT, D.D., then rose and delivered the valedictory address, as follows:--
"Allow me to assure you, John Anderson, that it is my firm conviction that the course which the Committee has adopted, in selecting Liberia as the sphere of your future action, is the best which, under all circumstances, could be adopted. I express a confident hope that, in a very short time, you will prove that you have now a broad and firm basis on which your future and temporal prosperity and happiness may be reared. You will find in Liberia a land of peace and liberty--a home where you will not be disturbed by the slave-hunter, or in any other way be in danger of losing your liberty. You go to be acknowledged as a free citizen of that Republic, where the offices of state will be open to you according to your qualifications and merits. I trust you will not forget, that the influence of your conduct and character will have great weight in either confirming the prejudices of some against men of colour, or in showing that those prejudices are false and slanderous. Let it be seen that your race are capable of becoming honourable and useful members of any community into which they may be received. You, dear friend, are now beginning life afresh. You are starting under peculiar advantages if you will turn those advantages to the best account. You are going to a country where a sphere of active exertion is marked out for you. You go neither as a pauper nor as a slave. You go with letters of introductions and recommendations, of which many European
emigrants would be proud. You go with introductions to those of the highest official station in that land of your adoption. You go with all the benefit of past experience. You know yourself a little better than you did some time ago; you know the temptations to which you are exposed; and you know those which are likely to act most powerfully for your injury, and you are, in some measure, prepared to shun or resist them. All you know you will require to bring to bear upon your daily practice. And, after all, the knowledge of the past should stimulate to greater and future exertions. Let me advise you still to persevere in the acquisition of knowledge, and the improvement of your intellect. As yet you have but the elements of knowledge. Give daily attention to your moral and spiritual nature. Spend a portion of every day in communion with God and with your own heart. If the Spirit of God has commenced his work of regeneration, you need to pray for his continued help. Combine watchfulness with prayer; for prayer without watchfulness is hyprocrisy, as watchfulness without prayer would be presumption. Be careful in choosing your friends. Do not readily think that every one who speaks to you smooth things and flattering words is your friend. He is not your friend who would say or do anything to divert you from the path of duty, though he should make great professions of friendship. He is your friend who would urge you on to higher and higher attainments, both in knowledge and holiness. He is your friend who will
kindly point out your failings, and gently administer reproof when needed, because he keeps your best interests in view. And though you are going to a far distant country, you will always have a place in the memory, and an interest in the prayers, of many in this country. I am sure I speak the sentiments of the gentlemen by whom I am surrounded, when I say, we shall keep you constantly in our remembrance. You know we have taken a deep interest in your welfare; you have often acknowledged that in my hearing; and we assure you that that interest will not be diminished but greatly increased, when we think of you in a foreign land. We shall, at all times and in all circumstances, be gratified to hear from you, and nothing would so contribute to raise that gratification to its highest height, as the knowledge that, by God's blessing, you were prospering, and that you were advancing in honour and wealth for time, and preparing for the blessedness of eternity. While I am very far from ignoring the blessing of Providence, on the contrary, desire earnestly that you may seek and obtain it; yet there is a sense in which your future must, to a great extent, depend on yourself to complete what has been begun for you. Much will depend on your own exertions. You will, on your arrival in Liberia, be put in possession of five acres of land. By bringing your experience to agricultural pursuits, and by persevering in industrious toil, you may soon make this land a source of wealth. From all I can learn, the production of Liberia being cotton,
tobacco, pimento, and others, like those of Missouri, the country from which you fled, I conclude the climate must be somewhat similar, and therefore suited to your health and constitution; and the soil similar, and therefore requiring the same culture. In your experience of the cultivation of cotton, tobacco, pepper, &c., you have a capital you may at once employ to advantage. Though it is not for any of us to look into the future, yet I do venture to predict that, if you will but attend to the good advice which you have received from many here present, you will ere long become a holder of large tracts of land, and an employer of many labourers. Should this be the case, let your remembrance of the horrors of slavery induce you ever to treat men as men, and not as goods or cattle. Remember the sacred rights of humanity, and never tyrannize over your fellow-men. I will add but one more remark, and that is, let me advise you at all times to be frank and truthful. Be careful what you say. Let your words be not only so plain that they may be understood, but so plain that they cannot be misunderstood. Let neither your words or actions be a just cause of suspicion. Maintain the high character of an honest man and a Christian. Make the position in which the letter of the Consul-General is intended to place you, a stepping-stone to one yet higher. And now may the blessing of God rest upon you, guide and protect you through all the scenes that await you, and prepare you for the happiness of the life to come. Farewell!
The Rev. Gentleman was repeatedly applauded during the delivery of his address, which he concluded by moving the following resolution:--
"That this meeting expresses its earnest desire for the prosperity and happiness of John Anderson in the Republic of Liberia, of which he is about to become a free citizen beyond the reach of the man-stealer."
JOHN NOBLE, jun., Esq., said, he had very great pleasure in seconding the resolution. When John Anderson first came to this country the committee had taken him by the hand, had maintained and educated him, and thus put him in the way of obtaining a position far above that of many of their own countrymen. He would not be a mere hewer of wood and drawer of water in the land to which he was going, he would commence his career as a landed-proprietor. (Hear, hear.) If he had fallen into other hands he would probably have become a dock-labourer, or occupied some other position equally low in the social scale. Instead of this, he was about to sail for Liberia, a land which he might call one of experiment, for it was so in reality,--a state created for the purpose of demonstrating to the world that the negro race could govern themselves and dwell in a civilized community as well as the white race--(cheers);--that, as a race, they are not distinct in nature from ourselves; but can govern and conduct themselves in a manner to show that they enjoy and appreciate the blessing of civilization. He (Mr. Noble) looked upon that experiment, in view of the fearful crime of slavery, as one of the most encouraging
and satisfactory character. It had been said that the negro race was an inferior one; that it was necessary to keep them in some kind of bondage; that they would not work, and could not exist in freedom. The Republic of Liberia is an attempt to answer such allegations; it was, so to speak, the first instance of a negro community existing under similar conditions to those of the white races. This laid a deep responsibility upon John Anderson and his future fellow-citizens,--that in this first attempt at self-government they should conclusively refute the assertions of the slave-owners. If this experiment should fail, with it the hopes of the entire negro race will fail also: if it is successful, no limit need be placed to restrict them in the enjoyment of the uttermost possible liberty. (Cheers.) He trusted that John Anderson would feel that upon his behaviour in his newly-adopted country would depend, in some degree, the future destiny of the entire negro race; and that the committee who, though separated by distance, would ever hear of his welfare with joy, would find their reward in his being a sober, prosperous, and respectable citizen of the free community of Liberia. (Hear, hear.) He went forth under the best auspices, with such introductions to the court and government of Liberia, as the son of the proudest nobleman would receive; and the committee had no doubt that, in future years, when he had become a wealthy and prosperous citizen, that John Anderson would feel that the present step was the wisest that could be taken for his permanent well-being. (Applause)
PROFESSOR W. G. ALLEN, M.A., next addressed the meeting, and said that he could only reiterate what Mr. Noble had said, for that gentleman had touched upon the very points which he intended to present to their notice. As a man of colour, he could only thank them for what they had done on behalf of John Anderson. He naturally felt, belonging as he did to the same race, a deep interest in John Anderson's welfare. Anderson might think, perhaps, that he was going to a cold and cheerless country, but it was not so; he was going to one of the finest in the world. He (Professor Allen) had often thought of the history of Old Africa; and grand and glorious as that history was, he believed her future was destined to be grander and more glorious still, because, elevated by the genius and power of Christianity. The world moves upwards--Ethiopia, Egypt, and Carthage, were great indeed, but Liberia was destined to be greater. There was one conclusion, however, that must force itself upon their minds--Africa could only become great again by the capacity of Africans to make her so. It was for the African race to vindicate themselves from the calumnies of their oppressors. (Hear, hear.) They ought not to complain of the blows they received, but gather strength to prevent them. Any race that was down would sure to be well abused. As for Liberia, from all he could gather, and he had paid much attention to the subject, he believed it to be a beautiful country. Its climate was healthy, and it was rich in natural resources. The society in Monrovia was good, and there was much that was even elegant
and refined. He recollected when he was in America, he, in common with most coloured people, imbibed a strong prejudice against the place when it was first talked of. They saw no reason why they should be deported from the places in which they were born. Entertaining the same opinion still, that the blacks have as good a right to remain in America or elsewhere as the whites, he had, nevertheless, come to look upon Liberia as established by an over-ruling Providence for good, and did not care now to go into the motive of its founders. He felt that there were strong reasons to congratulate himself, John Anderson, and his race, that there existed this green and inviting spot. Thither he hoped John Anderson would go, and carry with him all the courage and energy of his character. He had given some proofs that he possessed these attributes. (Hear, hear.) He (the Professor) hoped he would never be called upon to show them in the same way again, but in a milder and more Christian spirit. (Cheers.) Depend upon it (he reiterated) Africa has a glorious future before her. Greece was made illustrious by her arts and literature --Rome, by her jurisprudence and military spirit-- England and America, by their commercial and industrial enterprises. It remained then, for another race to illustrate the milder genius and more amiable qualities of human character, and that he believed to be the destiny of poor, down-trodden, despised Africa. He rejoiced in Liberia. In speaking of the African race, however, he must not forget to pay a passing tribute to Hayti.
Here was a nation of Africans in the western world, that had already illustrated the highest qualities of statesmanship and military genius, as the history of Toussaint L'Ouverture and his noble compeers clearly showed--a nation of men, that had not only shown that they knew their rights and were determined to maintain them, but who, under the lead of the wise and humane Geffrard, were further destined to show forth the entire capacity of the African for self-government. All honour therefore to Hayti. But, while not honouring Hayti less, he must say that he was profoundly interested in the continent of Africa, its magnificent country, its innumerable and splendid aboriginal races, and it was on this account he felt a peculiar interest in Liberia. He believed it to be the beginning of a glorious end. Ethiopia was about to stretch out her hands unto God. Jehovah who had smitten Egypt was now about to heal her. The darkness was giving way to the light. The mystery of the mysterious land was about to be solved. (Applause.) If his family relations would permit it, he did not know but what he should have gone to Liberia himself. But his wife objected to that course, and as he could not get a divorce for that, he supposed he must stay where he was. (Laughter.) Well, then, he would recommend his friend John Anderson to think of the history of Africa, and to work for her future glory, and he wished him in his new home, prosperity and happiness. (Applause. )
The resolution was then put and carried unanimously.
JOHN ANDERSON, who was received with applause, said he was sure he had to thank the Chairman, the Committee, and friends, for their kindness to him, and he hardly knew how to do so as he ought. The remarks which had been made by his coloured friend, Professor Allen, had struck him very much. He at one time felt a great prejudice against Liberia--against even the very name of it,--but what he had since heard about it, had removed that prejudice altogether. (Hear, hear.) He was sure a debt of gratitude was due to the gentlemen who formed the committee, especially the Chairman, Mr. Harper Twelvetrees, for he had done double-- (cheers and laughter),--then Mr. J. A. Horner, Mr. Cooke Baines, Mr. George Thompson, Mr. Chesson, and Mr. John Noble. (Hear, hear.) All of them had been very kind to him. He hardly knew what to say to show the gratitude he felt at what had been done for him. He regretted that his going away so soon would prevent him from calling upon many other friends whom he wanted to see before he left England. He had found many friends here who had been very kind to him. Through the kindness of the committee, he had been able to learn a little; and now he felt a desire to know more. He wished he had begun earlier, but he was glad that he had laid a good foundation for the future. (Cheers.) Some of the gentlemen had said to him that he might some day be President of Liberia. He thought he should want a little more instruction in many branches of knowledge. At any rate, he trusted that
their efforts for his improvement would not be in vain. (Hear, hear.) He did not know how he could repay them for their kindness to him; but he hoped the Lord would bless each and every one of them for what they had done for him. His privileges had been certainly very great. He had received much sympathy and assistance from the good and intelligent people of England; and that was why he regretted leaving them. He felt that he was going out to Liberia under great advantages. From all he could learn it seemed a good sort of place. When he first went to Canada he had not a friend in the world; but through God's providence he soon got plenty, and by the same aid he would try to succeed in Liberia. (Cheers.) His condition might have been much worse. As a slave he had seen much suffering and distress. He sometimes thought that no man in the world had gone through so many troubles as he had; but he supposed every man thought the same who had any troubles to bear. (Laughter.) He was sure they would admit that his afflictions had been great. (Hear.) He had left his poor wife and child in slavery--sometimes he entertained the hope of seeing them again; but the difficulties were so great that the thought vanished. God would, however, watch over them and protect them. He should have liked to have stopped at school another year, so as to have increased his stock of learning; but he was very thankful to the committee and the English people for what they had already done for him. He was happy
to say that he could now read the Scriptures, and he never imagined that they contained the glorious truths which they did. (Cheers.) In writing he could begin to put the letters together and that was something. (Hear and laughter.) For these blessings he must thank them all; Mr. Harper Twelvetrees first, and above all the rest, because he had done the most (hear hear); then the two Secretaries, Mr. Cooke Baines and Mr. Horner; the Committee; and then the English people. (Cheers.) When he arrived at Liberia he would write to them, and he hoped they would answer his letters. It would pain him if he wrote to them as well as he could and got no answer to his letters. Dr. Hewlett had advised him to speak plainly. He was afraid that was a great fault of his, (laughter) he thought he spoke exceedingly plain; but if he spoke too plainly he hoped they would pardon him. The Bible told them to go and "reason together," and he was willing to reason with any man, even a slave-dealer, provided he did not lay hands upon him. But if the slave-dealer would not keep his hands off he would warn him off; and if he still persisted in laying hands upon him he would strike for life and liberty. In conclusion he thanked them for all they had kindly done for him, which he should remember to his dying hour. (Cheers.)
F. W. CHESSON, Esq., Secretary of the Aborigines' Protection Society, proposed the following resolution:--
"That this Meeting tenders its cordial thanks to Gerard Ralston, Esq., Consul-General of Liberia, for the
trouble he has taken on John Anderson's behalf, in arranging for his passage to, and settlement in, the Republic of Liberia; that the thanks of this Meeting are due, and are hereby given to the Chairman and Directors of the West African Mail Packet Company, for their kindness in granting a passage to John Anderson at almost a nominal rate; and that this Meeting earnestly prays for the prosperity of the important Negro State, of which Mr. Ralston is the representative in this country."
He (Mr. Chesson) moved this resolution with peculiar pleasure, as he had for many years been on terms of intimacy with Mr. Ralston, and could render emphatic testimony to the great and disinterested services which that gentleman had rendered to Liberia. He knew, from what had been told him by persons high in authority, that those services were fully appreciated by both the government and people of Liberia; and, although the negro race was now necessarily, in a great measure, ignorant of Mr. Ralston's efforts for their benefit, he believed the time would come when millions of this suffering people would mention his name with gratitude, and honour him as one who rejoiced to identify himself with them in the days of their humiliation and servitude. (Cheers.) The establishment of an independent and civilized negro state on the West Coast of Africa was a fact full of hope for the people of that continent. Liberia was the one little oasis in the wilderness, but the oasis would extend, and the whole land would one day smile with fertility.
Wherever Liberian influence might extend, the evils of fetishism, sorcery, and domestic slander would speedily disappear, and their place be taken by purer customs and a higher faith. (Hear, hear.) For several years past he had anxiously watched the policy of the Liberian government, and he was bound to say, that there was nothing in that policy to which he could take exception; and that, when they were involved in difficulties with Spain and England of a character more or less grave, they acted with remarkable wisdom. He had been much gratified with one remark that had fallen from John Anderson--he said that he wished to acquire still further education; that what he had learnt made him desire to learn still more. (Hear, hear.) That was a desire worthy to be encouraged, and one of the noblest that could be implanted in the human mind. He (Mr. Chesson) was glad to say that he would find in his new home many men of his own race who were actuated by the same sentiment; and what was of equal importance, he would find the most ample opportunities for its gratification. In Monrovia, the capital of the Republic, there was a splendid college, which had its professors, who were men of learning and high attainments. At least, one of them, the Rev. Alexander Crummell, had graduated at Cambridge University, and had entered holy orders as a clergyman of the English Church. Let John Anderson, in going to Liberia, be encouraged by what individual Liberians had done for their own improvement and elevation. There was President Benson himself, a native of Maryland,
who went to the country of which he was now the chief magistrate, at the age of seven years, and who never once left the shores of Africa until he visited Europe a few months ago. He received his entire education at the grammar-school of Monrovia; and yet he (Mr. Chesson) had the privilege of hearing him address public audiences in this country, in language of the purest English, and on all occasions he proved himself to be an accomplished and well-informed gentleman, fit to take his place in any assembly in the world. (Cheers.) He might also mention Mr. ex-President Roberts, one of the pillars of the state, between whom and his successor no petty rivalry existed. Chief-Justice Drayton, who came from South Carolina--a state in which teaching a slave to read is an offence punishable with imprisonment and death. Mr. Secretary Johnson, whose letters in the Liberian Herald, describing his visit to England, were as lively and vigorous as the speeches he delivered in this country: and many other bright examples of self-made men. He did not say that John Anderson should expect or ever hope to take his place among men occupying this position. Every man was not born to rule or guide the ship of state; but the ability was given to every educated and intelligent human being to live a life of public usefulness and of private rectitude. (Hear, hear.) By all means let John Anderson aspire, but he should first lay down a basis of knowledge--devote himself sedulously to his own mental improvement and to those industrial pursuits in which he would shortly
engage. (Applause.) If, as the result of his exertions, he should only secure in acquiring a reputation as a brave and honest citizen, those in this country who had interested themselves in his welfare, and who would still continue to watch his career, would be abundantly rewarded for all their labour, and would never have cause to regret that they had been the means of giving him his new start in life. (Cheers.) He desired to say one word more on the subject of negro self-government. It should not be forgotten that there was another state besides Liberia, in which the children of Africa were exhibiting the highest capacity of civilized men. He referred to Hayti, where ex-President Geffrard was ruling with a benignity and wisdom which found few parallels in older states; and be rejoiced to know that this noble Republic and its African sister were united by a treaty of commerce and amity--a treaty which, he believed, had been first suggested by himself to a former Haytian minister in London. He was sure that this international bond would prove enduring, because it was the growth of mutual confidence, respect, and good-will. (Applause.)
WILLIAM FARMER, Esq., in seconding the resolution, said that he could endorse all that had been said by his friend, Mr. Chesson, respecting the State of Liberia. He had not the privilege of an acquaintance with Mr. President Benson, but from all he had read of him, he believed him to be fully entitled to the commendations which had been passed upon him. (Hear, hear.[)]
He (Mr. Farmer) had at one time shared in the prejudice entertained by the free-coloured people against the Republic of Liberia, but he was glad to notice an improved state of opinion on this subject, and that the experiment of forming a negro commonwealth was no longer considered a degradation, but a blessing to the coloured race. He was also gratified with the observation of John Anderson as to his desire for further instruction--it was a noble sentiment; and he had no doubt, that with his present acquirements, he would endeavour to educate himself and attain greater proficiency in knowledge. One of the most distinguished men of his race, Frederick Douglas, was a self-educated man, (cheers,) who did not even possess the advantages which John Anderson did, but by his own untiring efforts rose to his present eminent position; and some of the most remarkable men in our own country were self-educated men, who had raised themselves from a comparatively humble position, to eminence, by their own exertions. William Cobbett had taught himself to read while keeping sentry; and he (Mr. Farmer) had heard that eloquent friend of the slave, George Thompson, state from the hustings, that he had never received a day's schooling in his life. These were only a few instances of self-educated men, but the number could be multiplied at pleasure. John Anderson was about to assume a responsible position as a representative man. The Republic of Liberia would have much to do with the future history of America, inasmuch, as its progress
would exert a powerful influence upon the question of the liberty of the slave in that unhappy country. He would be put in possession of a grant of land on his arrival at the country that was to be his future home, and thus he would enjoy an advantage which he (Mr. Farmer) did not possess. John Anderson had a good physical constitution, and also a knowlege of farming in a tropical climate; and therefore he was in a better position for ensuring success than many others on their arrival in a new country. (Cheers.) The resolution was then unanimously adopted.
COOKE BAINES, Esq. next proposed the following resolution:--
"That this meeting expresses its warm approval of the manner in which the Rev. Dr. Hewlett and Mr. John Pool conducted the education of John Anderson during the time he was under the charge of those gentlemen."
Mr. Baines stated that they had only to run their eyes over the evidences that he had then before him to find abundant testimony of the value of the instruction which had been imparted to Anderson. When John Anderson first came to this country he did not feel even the desire for instruction, and if the gentlemen referred to in the resolution had only succeeded in implanting that one idea in his mind during the twelvemonths he had been with them, they had accomplished something worthy of their warmest praise. (Hear, hear.) When John Anderson arrived in Liberia
he would more fully appreciate the value of the instruction he had already received, for the little knowledge he possessed would assist him to more, if the desire for further instruction remained. In the Negro Republic he would find many friends willing to assist and encourage him, if he manifested a becoming disposition, united with perseverance and energy. He might not live to become President of Liberia, nor might he be able to attain a very exalted position in that free republic, but he could and ought to strive to become a good, useful and respectable citizen of his adopted country. (Cheers.) He was going to a country where his colour was not a mark of degradation; and he (Mr. Baines) felt bound to express the sincerest hopes of his warmest friends that his future course of life would show that he was worthy of his freedom. (Cheers.)
JOSEPH A. HORNER, Esq., in seconding the resolution said, that in his position as one of the Honorary Secretaries to the Committee he had had ample opportunities of judging of the progress that John Anderson had made, by the letters received from him, from time to time. During his sojourn in London there were circumstances known to the Committee which prevented him from making that progress in his studies, which he otherwise would have done. At Corby, however, he not only enjoyed the advantages of being under an able instructor like Mr. Pool, but also the benefit of seclusion and quiet while engaged in the acquisition of knowledge. He had also the advantage of the personal
sympathies of Mr. Pool himself, who had always been a warm friend of the Anti-Slavery movement. Mr. Pool would tell them that Anderson had conducted himself honourably, and that he should never desire a more tractable pupil; (cheers) and he was sure the Committee had reason to congratulate themselves in having secured such a guardian for John Anderson as that gentleman had proved himself during the last twelve months. John Anderson had expressed in their hearing that night his wish to become a missionary. He (Mr. Horner), regarded Liberia as one of the most promising missionary enterprises of the day, and his life could be consecrated to the service and glory of God in a republic which was itself a grand missionary field. There were half a million of coloured people among whom he might labour, where his colour instead of being a disadvantage would prove a recommendation. (Hear, hear.) The noble examples alluded to by Mr. Chesson were calculated to encourage him in his efforts, when he should become the citizen of a state which was not only free, but based upon elevating and Christian principles, and one in which the black man could attain the highest office of the Republic. (Cheers.) John Anderson had cause to rejoice in his removal to a country where a black face was more popular than a white one. He (Mr. Horner) was almost afraid that Anderson would soon imbibe a prejudice against white men. (Laughter.) In Liberia the colour of the skin was the qualification of citizenship, and not the mark of slavery. John
Anderson must endeavour to combat with that prejudice if he found it growing upon him, (increased laughter) and he also trusted that he would keep his friends acquainted with his progress by frequently writing to them. Speaking for himself he would cheerfully undertake to answer all the letters with which he might be favoured. Anderson would not be very far away from them--only twenty-one days sail, and he wished him all prosperity in his newly-adopted country. (Applause.)
The resolution was then submitted to the meeting and adopted.
MR. JOHN POOL, of Corby, in responding, expressed his thanks for their recognition of his humble services. There was always a satisfaction in doing one's duty, but the satisfaction he then experienced was increased considerably by the knowledge that his labours were appreciated by those on whose behalf they had been undertaken. When John Anderson first came to him, he (Mr. Pool) felt that he was a representative man, and that a deep responsibility rested upon him (Mr. Pool), for if he should not succeed with Anderson as he desired, he should thus be the occasion of disappointing the expectations of the Committee; and thef riends of slavery would refer to their failure, and henceforth speak in tones of contempt of the efforts of abolitionists. (Hear, hear.) Being cradled in the principles of abolition, he (Mr. Pool) was actuated by a feeling of sympathy and interest in his work, and he believed that his success
with Anderson would be destined to exert an influence upon the interests of the coloured race throughout the world. (Cheers.) He was, therefore, happy to say that the result had been of the most satisfactory character. He left the parish of Corby without a stain upon his character--a general favourite with all classes; while the testimonials of the various ministers of religion of all denominations, showed that he had gained their confidence and goodwill. (Hear, hear.) Anderson had abstained from public speaking, in accordance with the instructions of the Committee, until the previous week, when, as he was preparing to leave the neighbourhood, he was allowed to narrate the history of his escape to the rustics of the village. The excitement connected with his arrival in England greatly unfitted him for much mental progress. By degrees, however, his temperament had become subdued; and the progress he had since made was of the most satisfactory character. His last letter to Mr. Horner was indited and written entirely by himself. He could read a chapter in the New Testament without hesitating at a word, unless it should be an extraordinary long word. He could also understand the sense and meaning of what he read, and has been able to master the first four rules in arithmetic--simple and compound, and make out a simple bill of account correctly. (Cheers.) As regarded Anderson's general conduct, the longer he remained with him the more it improved; so that he could not help feeling gratified that he was leaving them under such
auspicious circumstances; and if he ever rose to an eminent position, he should recollect with pleasure the part he had taken in preparing him for his future career. Anderson's future conduct would prove whether their exertions to promote his well-being had been appreciated or not; and he hoped he would ever maintain an honourable and useful position in life that could be referred to with satisfaction by his friends. He must not be content with a character built only upon the sandy foundation of fame and notoriety, but upon the solid foundation of knowledge and Christian principles, which had been already laid. He was not deficient in mental capacity, and might reasonably be expected to exert a wide influence for good in the country to which he was going. He would be a representative man, to strengthen or weaken the position of his coloured brethren still in bondage. He would go from this country the pioneer of emancipated slavery, to demonstrate to the world that the coloured race are capable of governing themselves, and that the would be the means of hastening the hour of their redemption. (Applause.)
F. W. CHESSON, Esq., then moved the following resolution:--
"That the best thanks of this meeting be presented to the Honourable Arthur Kinnaird, M.P. for his kindness in discharging the duties of treasurer; and to Harper Twelvetrees, Esq. for his presidency upon this occasion, and also for his valuable services as Chairman
of the Committee, and for the liberal pecuniary aid which he has, from time to time, rendered on behalf of John Anderson."
He (Mr. Chesson) was sure that the Committee, who were well aware of the liberality displayed by their Chairman, would agree with him (Mr. Chesson) that that gentleman was entitled to their best thanks. In the course of some further complimentary remarks, Mr. Chesson stated that he believed for some considerable time past, in consequence of the lowness of their funds, the maintenance of John Anderson had solely depended upon Mr. Twelvetrees.
The Rev. Dr. HEWLE TT seconded the resolution in similar terms, and then submitted the resolution to the meeting.
Mr. HARPER TWELVETREES, in responding thanked them heartily for their kind expressions towards him. He had endeavoured to discharge what he felt to be his duty, and was glad to have an opportunity of acknowledging the kindness and assistance he had received from the committee, and especially for the hearty co-operation of his friends, the honorary secretaries. He could assure that meeting that the committee, who had been deeply interested in promoting Anderson's welfare, had had many an anxious meeting together. (Hear, hear.) Their path, at the commencement, appeared beset with difficulties, but he was sure they now had occasion to rejoice that HE who had guided them by his counsel, had brought their labours to so gratifying a conclusion.
He rejoiced on behalf of John Anderson himself. He had a magnificent prospect before him, and if he only exerted himself, as they trusted he would do, he might certainly attain a position which, during his previous history, he could hardly have anticipated. (Cheers.) He (the Chairman) hoped that he would not omit to write to them, and he trusted to hear a good account of him in future. His best wishes were for his prosperity both in temporal and spiritual things. He sincerely hoped that John Anderson would find Liberia all that he desired, and that there he would be permitted to spend a long, prosperous, and useful life, devoted to the promotion of the best interests of man and the glory of God. (Cheers.)
The following resolution was then proposed by W. Farmer, Esq., and seconded by F. W. Chesson, Esq:--
"That the thanks of this meeting be presented to Cooke Baines, Esq., and Joseph A. Horner, Esq., the Honorary Secretaries to the committee of John Anderson, for their indefatigable exertions to further his interests since his arrival in this country."
The resolution on being put to the meeting, was carried unanimously, after which, the gentlemen above named, responded in appropriate language, and the proceedings terminated.
On the following morning, December 23rd, John Anderson, in company with the Chairman and Honorary Secretaries of his committee, waited upon Gerard Ralston, Esq., Consul-General, to thank him for his letters of introduction to the President of the Republic of
Liberia, and other principal Officers Of State; and also for his kindness in procuring him a grant of land. The interview lasted a considerable time, and much practical and important advice was communicated to Anderson by Mr. Ralston, who, on leaving, made Anderson a present of a parcel of books. The remainder of the day was occupied in taking leave of London friends, and finally at five o'clock p.m., he was accompanied to Euston Station by Messrs. Baines and Horner, and left London for Liverpool in charge of Mr. Pool, by whom he was conducted, on the following morning, to the African Steam Ship Armenia, leaving for Cape Palmas.
HUSH! open wide your ears, I say,
All you who boast of English blood;
One of your race stands here to-day,
A suitor;--shall he be withstood?
One, freer than yourselves, is here
To twit you with "his rights of man;"
He wants his own, his claim is clear!
Refuse him justice if you can.
What asks he there across the wave?
But this, that you'll give back his slave;
He only asks that you'll rechain
The freeman whom your rights made free,
Who knew, 'mongst you, that he'd remain
The man his God made him to be.
No word of all your British stuff,
Your air makes men even of the black.
His owner claims this thing--enough,
Give back his chattel, give it back;
What if you know it has a soul
To madden, and a back to lash,
This Christian knows both black as coal,
Both made for torturing; cease your trash!
Hark to him there across the wave,
"To hang--to burn--I'll have my slave;
What are your talked-of rights to me;
What is't to me your shield is thrown
Around this wretch? You make him free?
Refetter him! I'll have my own."
His hand's not black, his hand is red,
Red with HIS blood, who, on his track,
As from his hell of chains he fled,
Stretched, to that hell, to seize him back.
Murderer? he dared, like those who made
Their Bunker's Hill their boast to-day,
When freedom against life was weighed,
The enslaver, as God bade, to slay.
You who of Garibaldi rave,
And howl at Bourbons, chain this slave!
His right arm struck the self-same blows
Italian bondsmen dealt of late;
With them, he's one of slavery's foes;
Give him to worse than Bomba's hate!
O God! that we--we here to-day,
This very hour in England, can
Be asked to scan our laws and weigh
This devil's right--this claim to man!
Talk not of laws! who does not know
No slave, a slave, can tread our soil!
No, no, we have not fallen so low,
This does not make our blood to boil;
Of rights our nature scouts, he raves;
Spit at the man! we chain his slaves?
No, be our name the whole world's scorn,--
Slave torturer's lashes seam each back,
Man's, woman's, child's, amongst us born,
If we to chains give this man back
And can a treaty bid us dare
To act this sin to man and God!
If so, the accursed writing tear,
Beneath our feet its shreds be trod!
No man-made laws, in this, shall bind
Our Christian souls hell's work to do;
The devil and his tools shall find,
In this, to God alone we're true.
Not in our judges' breath shall live
The answer that to-day we give;
For me, whatever come, I say,
If laws command us, "Let him go!"
God's will, not man's, I will obey;
Give back his slave? we thunder "No."