District of Columbia

What do many of the professed enemies of slavery mean, by heaping all their reproaches upon the South, and asserting that the crime of oppression is not national? What power but Congress—and Congress by the authority of the American people—has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia? That District is rotten with the plague, and stinks in the nostrils of the world. though it is the Seat of our National Government,—open to the daily inspection of foreign ambassadors,—and ostensibly opulent with the congregated wisdom, virtue and intelligence of the land,—yet a fouler spot scarcely exists on earth. In it the worst features of slavery are exhibited; and as a mart for slave-traders, it is unequalled. These facts are well known to our two or three hundred representatives, but no remedy is proposed; they are known, if not minutely at least generally, to our whole opulation,—but who calls for redress? (¶ 1)

Hitherto a few straggling petitions, relative to this subject, have gone into Congress; but they have been too few to denote much public anxiety, or to command a deferential notice. It is certainly time that a vigorous and systematic effort should be made, from one end of the country to the other, to pull down that national monument of oppression which towers up in the District. We do hope that the earthquake voice of the people will this session shake the black fabric to its foundation. (¶ 2)

The following petition is now circulating in this city, and has obtained several valuable signatures. A copy may be found at the bookstore of Lincoln & Edmands, No. 59 Washington-st., for a few days longer, where all the friends of the cause are earnestly invited to go and subscribe. (¶ 3)

Petition to Congress for the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, the petition of the undersigned citizens of Boston in Massachusetts and its vicinity respectfully represents— (¶ 4)

That your petitioners are deeply impressed with the evils arising from the existence of slavery in the District of Colubmia. While our Declaration of Independence boldly proclaims self-evident truths, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,—at the very seat of government human beings are born, almost daily, whom the laws pronounce to be from their birth, not equal to other men, and who are, for life, deprived of liberty and the free pursuit of happiness. The inconsistency of the conduct of our nation with its political creed, has brought down upon it the just and severe reprehension of foreign nations. (¶ 5)

In addition to the other evils flowing from slavery, both moral and political, which it is needless to specify, circumstances have rendered this District a common resort for traders in human flesh, who bring into it their captives in chains and lodge them in places of confinement, previously to their being carried into the markets of the south and west. (¶ 6)

From the smll number of slaves in the District of Columbia, and the moderate proportion which they bear to the free population there, the difficulties, which in most of the slaveholding States oppose the restoration of this degraded class of men to their natural rights, do not exist. (¶ 7)

Your petitioners therefore pray that Congress will without delay, take such measures for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia; and for the preventing of bringing slaves into that District for purposes of traffic, in such mode, as may be thought advisable; and that suitable provision be made for the education of all free black and colored children in the District, thus to preserve them from continuing, even as free men, an unenlightened and degraded caste. (¶ 8)

If any individual should be unmoved, either by the petition or the introductory remarks, the following article will startle his apathy, unless he be morally dead—dead-dead. Read it—read it! The language of the editors in remarkable for its energy considering the quarter whence it emanates. After all, we are not the only fanatics in the land! (¶ 9)