PENSION upon him for life.
" Ahhough many were known to have been concerned in the In-
surrection, none but the chiefs of the revolt were executed. As well
as I can recollect, the whole number hung was six."
We have no account in the history of the country
of any other Insurrection from the year 1816 until
the present year (1822.) The particulars of this are
too fresh in the memory of all to need any repetition.
It was a subject of deep and breathless anxiety, and
its features are preserved with the most scrupulous
accuracy in the memory of those who were to have
been the victims of its diabolical brutality. Thirty-
five of the detestable miscreants, who were the ring-
leaders of the meditated rebellion, have expiated
their crime on the gallows — and have been hung up
as an awful warning to those who remain. The
humanity of our laws has spared others who were
implicated in the plot — but driven (hem into perpet-
ual exile, to suffer death in the event of their return-
ing to our shores.
Thus has perished, and thus will forever perish, the
hopes of all misguided and deluded incendiaries.
It is utterly impossible for them to affect any revolu-
tion in the state and condition of society in which
they stand, nor can all their stratagems avail them in
such a design. Their treachery, though it walks
only in the gloom and shadow of midnight, and shows
its " dark and dangerous brow," at that dead hour,
so suited to its evil machinations, icill always be detect-
ed ; nor can the most elaborate ingenuity " hide it
from prevention." There is no secrecy profound
enough to conceal such a Heaven-offending sin.
The utter impracticability of succeeding in any
roedifated Insurrection on the part of our black
population is sufficiently demonstrable, we think,
from the evidence we have collected and pro-
duced. Their general inferiority in the gifts of
nature — the imbecility of spirit, necessarily superin-
duced by their condition — the fidelity and attachnient
of some — want of confidence among themselves —
a principle of duty on the part of many, and reason
among the more reflecting — coupled with other aux-
illiary causes — will forever bafllc all prospects of
successful rebellion. The facts and observations
which follow, strengthen the proposition we have
discussed, and present a luminous arrangement of
arguments fully conclusive upon the subject. The
article at the same lime comprehends, in a condensed
form, most of the views of which the subject is capa-
ble of being illustrated. It is iiom the pen of Beaja-
MiN Elliott, Esq. a gentlemen, well known and
estimated for his general information, as well as for
his intimate and accurate knowledge of the partic-
ular history of our country. We have been greatly
indebted to him in the prosecution of our design, and
have frequently drawn our information, upon some
interesting topics, from the fountain of his own
memory and reflection.
TO OUR NORTHERN BRETHREN.
Fellow Citizens —
Were we to misjudge you from the vile paragraphs of some of your
editors, we should almost believe that you would delight to see
Charleston another Wyoming, and could behold without emotion,
Virginia and Kentucky smoking like the first Isle of the Antilles.
We, however, hold no such unworthy opinion of you. It is the lot of
all countries to produce beings, who, like the depredators in the diseas-
ed district of the City of New-York, would prosper on the affliction
of their fellow creatures. But, while we must expect to find charac-
ters who would foment connnotion to advance themselves, vve should
be satisfied that the American people are too sound to inculcate
treachery and justify assassination. It is, therefore, I would suppose,
that you werenot aware of the deep atrocity of the late machinations
in our city, or you would declare that we have felt as you would have
feh, and "in our proceedings have but obeyed the dictates of nature
and of wisdom. We would, therefore, invite you temperately to
survey the various circumstances of this event.
This description of our population had been allowed to assemble
for religious instruction. — The designing leaders in the scheme of vil-
lainy, availed themselves of these occasions to instill sentiments of
krocity,hyfalsifi/ing the Bible. All the severe penal laws of the
Israelites were quoted to mislead them, and the denunciations in the
prophecies, whir h were intended to deter men from evil, were declar-
ed to be divine cominands which they were to execute. To conOrm
this doctrine, they were told that Heshbon, that Bashan with its sixty
cities had been destroyed, man, woman and child ; that in the deso-
lation of Midian, only the males were destroyed, at which Moses was
displeased, and deliberately ordered the death of the boys and their
mothers. That Joshua levelled the walls of Jericho, and regarded
neither age nor sex; and that David vanquished empires and left not
man, woman or infant alive. Not content with this execrable per-
vertion— with exhibhing the God of Mercy as another Jaggernaut,
they were informed of what their color had perpetrated abroad.
Such was their re/Z^/ort — such the examples to be imitated.
After having rendered them fiends in principle, they were prepared
to be fiends in action. A regular plan was formed to annihilate us
and our abodes ; the arsenals and strong holds were to have been
seized, and the leaders were nominated for each attack. Besides the
instruments which many of them possessed as mechanics, villains
were engaged in nianufacturing arms; several pike-handles were dis-
covered; Pharoah and Peter had swords; Ned Bennett had a sword
to kill ivolves, but which he designed first to try upon his master, of
whom he had received every indulgence. The places of rendezvous,
the night, the hour were determined — and the imps of rebellion were
to have made Chasleston one scene of flames and carnage, had they
been able. It is no diminution of their crime to say they were not
able; — guilt is in the intention and not in the act.
'' Under such circumstances of just exaspiration, what did the citi-
zens of Charleston ? Did they yield to their passions and commit an
indiscriminate massacre, as would have been done, in many places,
under less excitement? Nothing like it. A court was organized of
distinguished integrity, respectability and intelligence ; the members
of which felt their own high reputation involved with the untarnished
reputation of their State and Country. So far from being precipitate,
they were occupied several days in investigating the nature of the con-
spiracy, before they put the individuals accused upon their trials. —
The cases of the criminals were conducted with that liberality,
justice and impartiality, which characterise American jurisprudence,
which is no where more conspicuous than in South-Carolina, and was
never more pure than on this painful occasion. Their guilt was de-
monstrated, and what ought to have been done ? Disregard the law —
unleash them upon society, and encourage a repitition of their projects?
No one, 1 hope, in our extensive empire, would intimate such a wish.
What was done? — That which duty enjoined and precedent justified.
These culprits meditated against us, fire, pillage, treason, treachery
to their masters, with outrages not to be named. Thus they blended
four capital ojfcncts in one crime. Ought not capital punishment
then to lia\-(; been awarded? It is certainly not unexampled. — In
the Spanish conspiracy against V^enice, which partakes of the character
of this, tliree hiinrlred and ffty were put to death. George II. execu-
Jiftif-fonr oi the first men in Britain for the rebellion of 1745. Nor
are we without domestic precedent. An insurrection occurred in the
city of New-York in l7l'-' As soon as the alarm-gun was fired, and
a detachment of the guards appeared, the insurgents fled to the woods ,
where they were surrounded ; several through desparation shot them-
selves, the rest wen; raptured, and nineteen executed.
"Another was meditated in 1741, ivlien there were two thousand
Negroes and twelve thousand whites in the city of New-York. It
was then found neressary to iu.trn thirteen mid to hang eighteen ne-
-Troes with four whites, to tran.sj)ort eighty negroes and five whites.
Jn New-York. In Charleston.
Executed, ."5 - - - - i?.')
TruHHportcd, sr> - - - - '37
l-'O - - - - 72
*' Now— a short period before the negro plot was discovered in
Newt York, an insurrection broke out in Carolina. Many of the
ring-leaders were shot or hanged, but none punished in amj other
mode. There can then be no ground to imagine that we ever, under
the same circumstances, would be more severe than our Northern
brethren. Every measure essential to our self-protection, will be,
and, I think , you will not dispute, ought to be adopted. It would,
therefore, be philanthrophy to impress upon the more intelligent
portion of this population the wisdom of good conduct. Schemes
of insurrection, such as the present, cannot succeed. The white
population of each State alone, is adequate to suppress iJiem. From
the first settlement of Carolina, we have been accustomed to these
abortive efforts. Under our Proprietary government, there was a
notorious out-law by the name of Sebastian ; Governor Gibbs issued
his proclamation, and the Indians soon entitled themselves to the
" In 1730, a plan was conceived against Charleston. They were
allowed to assemble, were then taken, and proper examples made.
Some years afterwards, what we dominate the Gullah war, occurred.
This was more general — In St. Paul's Parish they appeared in arras ;
the greater part were killed, and not more than two or three escaped.
In St. John's Parish they were discovered by Major Cordes' faithful
driver, Peter, and in Charleston, they were also discovered, suppres-
sed and punished. The negro law of 1740, was enacted in conse-
quence of the last, and has proved our security from that period,
notwithstanding the occasional t?fferve5cences of insubordination.
The history of South-Carolina, in this particular, has been the history
of every State in the Union.
" Another impediment to the progress of conspiracy will ever be
found in the fidelity of some of our negroes. The servant who is
false to his master, would be false to his God. One act of perfidy is
but the first step in the road of corruption and of baseness ; and those
who on this occasion, have proved ungrateful to their owners, have
also been hyprocrites in religion. But it is a reputable truth, that
on every such occasion, servants have been found who were worthy
the kindness and confidence oi their Masters.
" Besides, when the moment of trial comes, among large bodies of
men, some will tremble, some will be shocked at what they are about
to perpetrate, and others will remember that by disclosure, may be
obtained more than they seek through perils. Jaffier saved Venice,
and most conspiracies own men inferior to Jaffier. We must also
remember that the majority of mankind would avoid dangerous en-
terprizes. — Therefore f'..e great body of these people would prefer
safety and quiet with their present comforts, to a hazardous commo-
tion with an issue so fearful as it always has been, and ever will be.
" Superadded to these intrinsic securities, we have the proportion
of two to one in the aggregate population of States situated like our-
selves. Our sister and neighbor, Tennessee, has four to one, and the
lieroes of Orleans have but to know that we aie in danger to be with
Hs ht the first tap of the drum.
"The National Government, also can preserve the peace of the
country. It was established expressly to ensure domestic tranc^iillity
and suppress insurrection. It has laeen tried, and found efficient.
The Piesident may summrui upwards o^Jive to one. Tlie old French
government with three thousand regulars, protected their largest
colony, and a small military force is found adequate in the British
West Indies. Surely the American government could, and would do
as much, were it necessary. A change cannot then be effected by
force, nor would it be beneficial to jhe United States. Our roads
would swarm with paupers, and every wood be infested with banditti.
But, under the existing regulations, they contribute to general wealih,
and are preserved from want, misery and crime. The States in
which they are located have been fully as instrumental in originating
and defending our political independence as those without them; ani
at every crisis have equally illustrated the valor and power of our
common country. During the Revolution, we frustrated arid repelled
the enemy for four years, from 1776 to 'SO; during which period our
Northern brethren were over-run and under their feet. W'hat nation
— wXvAi portion of this great nation has surpassed in spleiulor and in
conduct, the victories of Moultrie and of Jackson ? In civil ta-
lents — in devotion to the Republic — in the most ennobling sentiments
of the heart — in charity — in hospitality — when has the South or the
West been deficient ? Never — you will voluntarily acknowledge.
"From these observations, then, I trust you will feel that our
Court have done their duty, and merit the gratitude not only of their
immediate fellow citizens, but of then- fellow citizens throughout the
Union. You will also, I think, perceive that the happiness oi this
population will be'^measured and decided by their own goodcnnJuct,
and, that to support subordhmtion, is a duty enjoined by philanthro-
phy, patriotism, aiid the best interests of x-Vmerica.
" I submit the above facts and observations to my fellow citizens
generally; and trust that the voice of animadversion will be forever
hushed, in the universal good feeling of our sister States."
Although the utter impracticability of effecting any
permanent change in their coiulition, by an insurrec-
tion among our Slaves, has been, we think, fully de-
monstrated, it is nevertheless indispensible to our
safety to watch all their motions with a careful and
scrutinising eye — and to pursue such a system of po-
licy, in relation to them, as will effectually prevent all
secret combinations among them, hostile to our peace.
Every possible precaution should be adopted, that is cal-
cul ted, in the remotest degree, to save us from a catas-
trophe which at all limes threatens us, and of the horrors
of which, the imaghiation can form no definite idea.
The Crisis through which we have so recently and pro-
videntially passed, had long been anticipated by those
who were^ minute observers of the passing events of
the times. A general spirit of insubordination among
our slaves and free negroes — springing from the relax-
ation of discipline on the part of the whites — had been
long discernable — norpje the other auxiliary causes so
occuh that they cannot be easily pointed out.
We look upon the existence of our Free Blacks
among us, as the greatest and most deplorable evil
w ith which we are unhappily afflicted. They arc, ge-
nerally speaking, an idle, lazy, insolent set of vagabonds,
who live by theft or gambling, or other means equal-
ly vicious and demoralising. And who, from
their general carriage and insolent behaviour in the
community, are a perpetual source of irritation to our-
selves, and a fruitful cause of dissatisfaction to our
slaves. Our slaves, when they look around them and
see persons of their oivn color enjoying a comparative
degree oi' freedom, and assuming privileges beyond
their own condition, naturally become dissatisfied with
their lot, until the feverish restlessness of this disposi-
tion foments itself into insurrection, and the " black
flood of long-retained spleen" breaks down every prin-
ciple of duty p.nd obedience. We would respectfully
recommend to the Legislature, therefore, the expedi-
ency of removing this evil, and of rooting it out of the
land. A law, banishing them, male and female, from
the State, under the penalty of death, or of perpetual
servitude, upon their return — or placing such a tax
upon them, as, from its severity, would render it im-
practicable for them to remain among us — is desirable.
Either of tiiese modes presents a feasible and <^asy
method of clearing the country of this detestable caste.
The example of a sister State* in this latter particular,
gives us a wholesome lesson of instruction. Our phi-
lanthrophic brethren at the North and East, will, no
doubt, afford them an asylum, and ite have every dis-
position to get rid of them — Under such a dispensation,
therefore, all parlies might be satisfied. Should the
necessity of such an expedient appear obvious to the
Legislature, we ought, in common humanity, to see
that their departure from our shores should be attend-
ed with every necessary comfort and convenience. —
An appropriation of funds, therefore, to meet the exi-
gencies of such an event, and to provide for those who
might be incapable of providing for themselves, would
be necessary. If we are compelled, from our situ ation,
to pass over some of the more rigid and fundamental
principles of abstract justice, let the enoroachment be
made with as little individual distress as possible.
There are many enlightened and intelligent men
who are of opinion, that the same measures should be
adopted in relation to our Free MulAttoes — and that
they are as serious an affliction, both to the morals and
security of the State, as the Free Blacks themselves.
We are, however, of an opinion, directly the reverse,
and arc decidedly opposed to any system of legislation
that would end in banishing theyn. They are, in our
estimation, (but perhaps we have viewed the subject
in ui improper light) a harrier between our own color
and that of the black — and, in cases of insurrection, are
more likely to enlist themselves under the banners of
the whites. Most of them are industrious, sober, hard-
working mechanics, who have large families and con-
siderable property : and as far as we are acquainted
with their temper, and disposition of their feelings,
abhor the idea of an association with the blacks in any
enterprise that may have for its object the revolution of
their condition. It must be recollected also, that the
greater part of them own slaves themselves, and are,
therefore, so far interested in this species of property,
as to keep them on the watch, and induce them to dis-
close any plans that may be injurious to our peace. —
Experience justifies this conclusion. The important
discoveries, in most instances of insurrection, particu-
larly in the last, have been made through the imme-
diate instrumentahty and advice of this class. Would
it be generous then to drive them from the comforts of
their present situation, and exile them from our shores,
when we at the same time acknowledge the value of
the services they have performed ? We think not. —
But it is for wiser and better heads to determine — We
feel satisfied that whatever will be done in this respect,
will be dictated by a sound and wholesome judgment.
It'^is politic and proper at the same time, however, to
preserve such a system of discipline in relation to
them as w ill effectually mark their distinctive condi-
tion in society, and regulate their degree, when placed
in opposition to that of our own. If this principle of
prudent Legislation be once lost sight of, the barriers
between us must necessarily become nothing more
than a mere rope of sand.
" Take but dkgeee — away uuUnie that siring,
And, hark, what discord follows, eacli thing meets
In mere oppugnancy. Siiakspeark.
We had projected a further discussion of several
other topics intimately connected with our present
design, but the length to which our remarks
have already been extended, renders it impracticable
at present. We may, perhaps, at some future period,
not far distant, renew our speculations, and gather
from other authorities than those we have already
used, additional evidences of the propriety of the
views we have taken. The subject is so vitally im-
portant that it cannot be too often agitated or discus-
sed. Every one who has a home amongst us — and
more particularly those whose happiness is ren-
dered still more felicitious by the endearing con-
nexions that spring from the relations of domestic
life— ^who have wives that look up to them for protec-
tion — and children who cling to them for safety and
security — feel that it is one tliat visits their hearts with
the utmost intensity of interest — There are no pulses
in such bosoms that palpitate with more active viva-
city — We ought not to circumscribe our prospects
to the present, or limit it to the contracted period
when the hour-glasses of our own existence run out.
Our thoughts should be more expanded — We ought to
legislate for our children — we ought to legislate for
POSTERITY. Let it never be forgotten, that " our Ne-
'"[ (jRoi!^ are ti'uely the Jacobins of the country; that
they are the anarchisis and the domestic enemy ; the
common enemy of civilized society, and the barbarians
.,Vvh0 would, IF THEY COULD, bcCOme the DESTROYERS
of our race.^^
\* The rapidity with which the foregoing pages have been put to press,
obliges us to reijuest the reader to correct a few Errata that have beea
Page 10 line IS for "probabity'" read "probability."
"principle" •• '^principal."
" extensive" • • " exclusive."
"tho" . "the."
"concerning" •• "censuring."
" althougk is not fixed by law" read " although
it is not fixed by law."
" the of justice" read " of the justice."
'^siu genus" •• '^ sui generis."
'■'■ acutes ensens" •• " acute senses."
" affect" . . « effect."
"ofichick" •• "intvhich"