Weld_1839

Weld_1839 - Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History...

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Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History Center Sources of Freedom: Theodore Weld's "Slavery As It Is" (1839) Theodore Weld was a abolitionist preacher trained by the revivalist evangelical preacher Charles G. Finney. Other abolitionists, including William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglas were the movement's leading propagandists, but Weld's charismatic preaching and his direct appeals requesting that listeners imagine life in slavery helped to turn abolitionism into a mass movement. In this excerpt from the introduction to his pamphlet entitles "Slavery As It Is," Weld promised to prove that mistreatment of slaves was an essential and common aspect of an immoral system. In the rest of the pamphlet, Weld recounted terrible atrocities committed against slaves. By including only episodes that were reported in the southern press, he made it difficult for his opponents to dismiss the charges as exaggerations. READER , you are empannelled as a juror to try a plain case and bring in an honest verdict. The question at issue is not one of law, but of fact--"What is the actual condition of the slaves in the United States ?" A plainer case never went to a jury. Look at it. T WENTY-SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND PERSONS in this country, men, women, and children, are in SLAVERY . Is slavery, as a condition for human beings, good, bad, or indifferent? We submit the question without argument. You have common sense, and conscience, and a human heart;--pronounce upon it. You have a wife, or a husband, a child, a father, a mother, a brother or a sister-- make the case your own, make it theirs, and bring in your verdict. The case of Human Rights against Slavery has been adjudicated in the court of conscience times innumerable. The same verdict has always been rendered--"Guilty;" the same sentence has always been pronounced, "Let it be accursed;" and human nature, with her million echoes, has rung it round the world in every language under heaven, "Let it be accursed. Let it be accursed." His heart is false to human nature, who will not say "Amen." There is not a man on earth who does not believe that slavery is a curse. Human beings may be inconsistent, but human nature is true to herself. She has uttered her testimony against slavery with a shriek ever since the monster was begotten; and till it perishes amidst the execrations of the universe, she will
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Weld_1839 - Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History...

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