Thomas Houston on the abolition of British slavery

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
The abolition of the slave trade and of slavery was effected by the vigorous and persevering efforts of noble-minded philanthropists; and the awakened conscience of a Christian people, and the generous sacrifice of twenty-millions of pounds of the public treasury, testified to the earnest desire of Britain to wipe away the last foul stain of the accursed system from the national escutcheon.

The measures proposed for the termination of slavery were at first vehemently denounced by those whose vested rights were interfered with, and were ultimately carried, on the principle of establishing what humanity and justice equally demanded, whatever should become of private or class interests.

For the reference, see Thomas Houston on the abolition of British slavery.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Liberals are always willing to spend someone else's money to solve a problem.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
In what fashion is this germane to the topic at hand?

Edward actually does have a point here, which is why many abolitionists were not entirely happy with the Abolition Bill. They thought that it was unfair that the tax-payer was being asked to pay compensation to the slave-holders. Still, I regard the Abolition Bill as the lesser of two goods, as it was better than black slavery continuing in the British West Indies any longer.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's at the heart of the matter. It's easy to be a 'do-gooder' when you can transfer the costs to others while virtue signaling.

So, the abolition of slavery wasn't worth spending public monies on, eh?

Interesting take. Horrible take, to be sure, but certainly interesting.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
So, the abolition of slavery wasn't worth spending public monies on, eh?
They spent public money a different way in America to free them. But you didn't see many preachers spending their own money to buy slaves and set them free. Steal them, perhaps.

And how much public money was spent to free the slaves in Haiti?
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
They spent public money a different way in America to free them. But you didn't see many preachers spending their own money to buy slaves and set them free. Steal them, perhaps.

Were slaves expensive? I don't follow your reasoning. Slavery was a practice that was promoted and sanctioned by the nation as a whole. Why shouldn't public monies have been used to fund the dismantling of such a horrible system?

And how much public money was spent to free the slaves in Haiti?

What does that matter?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Were slaves expensive?
Depends on the location. In the US, they were very expensive.

The number I've seen was an average of about $800 in 1860 dollars - say $23388.70 in 2020 dollars. Now that averages across skillsets and abilities. But the average would be about the equivalent of the price of a 25 hp tractor. I would guess cheaper where Kamala Harris's family owned theirs.

such a horrible system?
Someone looked after them paternalistically, seeing that they had food, medical care, and housing as long as they behaved and did what they were told. Sort of like the modern welfare state.

Sure, some folks abused their slaves - some folks won't change the oil on their tractors - but folks tend to look out for and maintain valuable assets. Not like they were sharecroppers with a low replacement cost, which is what the anti-slavery activists contributed to society.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Depends on the location. In the US, they were very expensive.

The number I've seen was an average of about $800 in 1860 dollars - say $23388.70 in 2020 dollars. Now that averages across skillsets and abilities. But the average would be about the equivalent of the price of a 25 hp tractor. I would guess cheaper where Kamala Harris's family owned theirs.


Someone looked after them paternalistically, seeing that they had food, medical care, and housing as long as they behaved and did what they were told. Sort of like the modern welfare state.

Sure, some folks abused their slaves - some folks won't change the oil on their tractors - but folks tend to look out for and maintain valuable assets. Not like they were sharecroppers with a low replacement cost, which is what the anti-slavery activists contributed to society.
Abuse and neglect of slaves in the American context was more widespread and institutionalized than this comment lets on. In many states it was illegal to teach slaves to read. Forbidding education (and thus keeping them from even studying the bible) hardly strikes me as paternal. And the fugitive slave law was federal law, even though the bible explicitly forbids the returning of a runaway slaves.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Forbidding education (and thus keeping them from even studying the bible) hardly strikes me as paterna

Independent Black Baptist Congregations in Antebellum Alabama


African American Christianity, Pt. I: To the Civil War

Slave Missions and the Black Church in the Antebellum South


And let's not forget the Baptist preacher, John Jasper
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore

Independent Black Baptist Congregations in Antebellum Alabama


African American Christianity, Pt. I: To the Civil War

Slave Missions and the Black Church in the Antebellum South


And let's not forget the Baptist preacher, John Jasper
That some black men did study the bible de facto doesn't void anti-literacy laws de jure. Moreover, does the existence of black churches really prove that white slaveowners by and large took an interest in the education of their slaves? It is my understanding that a large factor in the genesis of black churches is that black men were not trained, ordained, and called by white churches as ministers, and so they entered into the ministry by another way. Is there any example of southern churches ordaining a black man before the war? It certainly wasn't common either before or after.
 
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