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Title:[Letter] London, Great Britain [to] James K. Polk, Tennessee / Thomas Clarkson : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author: Clarkson, Thomas

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: ca. 1840
Extent: 3p
Summary:This is a letter from Thomas Clarkson to Governor James K. Polk. Clarkson is writing about the Convention of the Friends of the Negroes that took place in London on June 23, 1840. He is especially adamant that slavery goes against civilized and Christian values. Clarkson includes quotes from the bible to support his argument.
Collection:Governor James K. Polk Papers
Document: sl661

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[added: From a Convention of the Friends of the Negro, assembled from various parts of the world convened for the purpose of promoting the immediate, entire and universal abolition of Slavery and the Slave trade, by these means which are of a moral, religious and pacific character; held in London on the 12th and by adjournments to the 23d of June 1840.]

To His Excellency James K Polk Governor of Tennessee

Righteousness exhalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. "Righteousness is comprehended and enforced in this precept of the Lord Jesus Christ. "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them."

"God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth," we are all of what ever nation and clime the children of Adam. with the great Creator of all things there is no respect of persons, All men are Brethren; and in this relation of Brotherhood they are all entitled to the equal enjoyment of personal and civil liberty.

Slavery and the Slave trade are violations of this great principle; the assumption by man of the right of property in man, is in open opposition to the pure and righteous law of God, and hence the perpetuation of these crimes has ever been found to obstruct the happiness of man, oppression and cruelty are their certain attendants, they have their origin in pride and avarice, and they ferment and strengthen all the evil passions of the human heart.

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In later years, the attention of the world has been increasingly directed to these enormous sins, and the Congress of the Representatives of the Sovereigns, assembled at Verona in November 1822, declared "that they considered the Slave trade as a scourge which has too long desolated Africa degraded Europe , and afflicted humanity". The Slave trade continues to exist in an aggravated form. It is estimated that upwards of three hundred thousand human beings are annually sacrificed on the continent of Africa in the prosecution of this wicked traffic, in addition, upwards of seventy thousand are annually transferred from the older, to the more newly settled Slave States in the United States of America ; Millions of the human race are also still retained in unrighteous and cruel bondage.

This convention therefore being solemnly impressed with a sense of the National sin of Slavery and the Slave trade, and under a settled conviction that the only effectual means to put an end to the Slave trade is to abolish Slavery; does most earnestly and respectfully appeal to the Governor of Tennessee, to employ all that influence and power with which divine providence has entrusted him_____ to secure immediate and unconditional liberty to the Slave.

It is high time that the Civilized world, and more especially the Nations which bear the Christian name, should purge themselves from these foul abominations; we open our mouth for the dumb, and plead for our Brethren who cannot plead for themselves; The Lord Jesus Christ died upon the Cross equally for them as for us

Great Britain has at length manumitted the Slaves

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in the West Indies , and in other Colonies it has been declared by the Law of the British Government that Slavery shall for ever cease, in those Colonies the happiest results have ensued, most gratifying reports have been now presented shewing [showing], that the Negroes have peaceably exchanged a State of Slavery for one of freedom, industry prevails, prosperity encreases [increases] and Christianity is honored and practised.

We desire reverently to commit this cause to God. We implore his blessing on this appeal. We pray that through the power of the holy Spirit, Rulers and Subjects may in all countries be brought to receive and to act upon the Gospel of our Holy Redeemer, and that the day may be hastened, when violence shall no more be heard throughout the habitable earth, wasting nor destruction within her borders____

Signed on behalf of the convention
Thomas Clarkson
[added: President][added: P.S. [Post Script] It would be highly satisfactory to the President of the Convention to be informed of the safe arrival of the accompanying Communication_ address to 27 New Broad St [Street] London__]

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