Although this "Dialogue" was the first writing of Paine published, it was not the first written for publication. The cause that first moved his heart and pen was that of the negro slave. Dr. Rush's date of his meeting with Paine, 1773,—a year before his arrival,—is one of a number of errors in his letter, among these being his report that Paine told him the antislavery essay was the first thing he had ever published. Paine no doubt told him it was the first thing he ever wrote and offered for publication; but it was not published until March 8th. Misled by Rush's words, Paine's editors and our historians of the antislavery movement have failed to discover this early manifesto of abolitionism. It is a most remarkable article. Every argument and appeal, moral, religious, military, economic, familiar in our subsequent anti-slavery struggle, is here found stated with eloquence and clearness. Having pointed out the horrors of the slave trade and of slavery, he combats the argument that the practice was permitted to the Jews. Were such a plea allowed it would justify adoption of other Jewish practices utterly unlawful "under clearer light." The Jews indeed had no permission to enslave those who never injured them, but all such arguments are unsuitable "since the time of reformation came under Gospel light. All distinctions of nations, and privileges of one above others, are ceased. Christians are taught to account all men their neighbours; and love their neighbours as themselves; and do to all men as they would be done by; to do good to all men; and man-stealing is ranked with enormous crimes." Bradford might naturally hesitate some weeks before printing these pointed reproofs. "How just, how suitable to our crime is the punishment with which Providence threatens us? We have enslaved multitudes, and shed much innocent blood, and now are threatened with the same." In the conclusion, a practical scheme is proposed for liberating all except the infirm who need protection, and settling them on frontier lands, where they would be friendly protectors instead of internal foes ready to help any invader who may offer them freedom.
Slavery was an attractive proposition to landowners. In 1638, "" 2 A slave hadless value at the time than 40 days of labor by a European.
US History - Slavery Essay - SlideShare
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