This is called 'the land of the free and the home of the brave'; it is called the 'asylum of the oppressed,' and some have been foolish enough to call it the 'Cradle of Liberty.' If it is the 'Cradle of Liberty,' they have rocked the child to death.
The duty I owe to the slave, to truth, and to God, demands that I should use my pen and tongue so long as life and health are vouchsafed to me to employ them, or until the last chain shall fall from the limbs of the last slave in America and the world.
I was not only hunting for my liberty, but also hunting for my name.
Though slavery is thought, by some, to be mild in Missouri, when compared with the cotton, sugar and rice growing states, yet no part of our slave-holding country is more noted for the barbarity of its inhabitants than St. Louis.
All I demand for the black man is, that the white people shall take their heels off his neck, and let him have a chance to rise by his own efforts.
The last struggle for our rights, the battle for our civilization, is entirely with ourselves.
Someone must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen to me to do so. The awful death roll called every week is appalling, not only because of the lives taken, the cruelty and outrage to the victims, but because of the prejudice it fosters.
This is emphatically an age of discoveries; but I will venture the assertion, that none but an American slaveholder could have discovered that a man born in a country was not a citizen of it.
I would have the Constitution torn in shreds and scattered to the four winds of heaven. Let us destroy the Constitution and build on its ruins the temple of liberty. I have brothers in slavery. I have seen chains placed on their limbs and beheld them captive.
When this boy was brought to Dr. Young, his name being William, the same as mine, my mother was ordered to change mine to something else. This, at the time, I thought to be one of the most cruel acts that could be committed upon my rights.
Despotism increases in severity with the number of despots; the responsibility is more divided, and the claims are more numerous.
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