« PreviousContinue »
• An alphabetical and copious index closes this volume; and to this index the
THE NEGRO, ANTHROPOLOGICALLY CONSIDERED — AN INFERIOR
FELLOW DONE FOR.
I have never read reasoning more absurd, sophistry more gross, in proof of the Athanasian creed, or Transubstantiation, than the subtle labors of Helvetius and Rousseau, to demonstrate the natural equality of mankind. The golden rule, do as you would be done by, is all the equality that can be supported or defended by reason, or reconciled to common sense. -JOUN ADAMS.
I do not mean to deny that there are varieties in the race of man, distinguished by their powers both of body and mind. I believe there are, as I see to be the case in the races of other animals.—THOMAS JEFFERSON.
I would not dwell with any particular emphasis upon the sentiment, which I Devertheless entertain, with respect to the great diversity in the races of men. I do not know how far in that respect I might not encroach on those mysteries of Providence which, while I adore, I may not comprehend.-DANIEL WEBSTER.
What matters it that my father and mother, and brothers and sisters, and myself, were all born and reared in the good old North State? What matters it that my father, who never saw, and scarcely ever heard of, a railroad, a steamer, or a telegraph, and who, without ever traveling more than twenty miles from home, owned land and slaves, and lived and died, on the eastern bank of Bear Creek, a small tributary of the South Yadkin, in the western part of North Carolina?
What matters it that my father's name (all except the surname) was Daniel ? What matters it that my father, like certain other men,-of some of whom the reader has doubtless heard,-found a beautiful and bewitching blueeyed damsel, fell in love with her, and got married ? What matters it that my mother's maiden name (all except the surname) was Sarah ? What matters it, indeed, that my father wooed, won and wedded Sarah Brown,
ats, and to cliche Anglo-Saxon 0. apt to lose,
an endeared and honored name, which, in these degenerate days of French folly would be but too apt to lose, in some measure, at least, the Anglo-Saxon simplicity of its consonants, and to glide into the vowel-terminating appellation of Sallie Browne ?
What matters it that, at intervals, respectively, of a year, more or less, jolly-faced Dame Nature, the great colonizer of the neighborhood, brought, and placed under the guardianship of my good parents, seven children, five boys and two girls, all of whom, except the younger daughter, were named by my father, and she by my mother? What matters it that my parents' children's names (all except the surname) are thus recorded in a ponderous old Family Bible,-an excellent compilation of ancient writings, which, if a fact of this sort may be here stated, my father's youngest, and homeliest, and most mischievous son has twice read regularly through, from Genesis to Revelation, inclusive, besides having perused some of the finer poems thereof, especially those by Job, David and Solomon, at least three dozen times ?
HORACE Haston, born January 27, 1819.
What matters it if, in these names, there is something of an alliterative ampleness of the aspirate H? May & man not have pet letters as well as pet pigs, pet pups, and pet parrots? What matters it that my gentle and revered mother pleased entirely her own fancy in the nominal distinction of one of her own children ? Like some other ladies whom I have known, she was determined to have her own way,-once at least ; she just
would, and she would, and she did; and there was an end of it! And so, contrary to my father's suggestions, my second sister was not named Harriet, nor Hypatia, nor Helen.
What matters it that this alliterative characteristic of my father's mind was manifested even in the naming of his negroes, Judy, Jinsy, Joe and Jack,-all of whom were as black as jet, and as ink-like in color as the juice of Japan? I dare say, also, that my father's horses, on the one hand, and his dogs on the other,-although I am not now quite certain how they were called,-might have recognized their names in words of such affinity of frame and pronunciation as Manser, Merley and Moxon; Bender, Bouncer and Bolton. In one case only can I conceive it possible that my father would have manifested a desire to depart from his usual preference for alliterative appellations. Had he been the owner of apes, monkeys or baboons, I have no doubt it would have been his pleasure to call them by such gimcrack cognomens as Vallandigham, Foote, Wise and Buchanan.
What matters it that my father died (somewhat suddenly, of a severe and unrelievable attack of the mumps) in the fall of 1830, when his youngest son, who had then been in the world but nine months, was still a close clinger to the breast,—a source of sweet solace and sustenance, which his elder brothers banteringly allege he did not desert until he was at least six years of age!
What matters it that any of these things were as they were, or are as they are ? Little significance, indeed, have any of the intimations, or statement of facts, here advanced. In contrast with public interests and requirements, mere personal considerations are, or ought to be, of but very small moment. With heraldry, pedigrees and ancestry, I have, unlike John Chinaman, nothing to do. Ask a mandarin of Shanghai, of Canton or of Pekin, to