Stone Collection: Volume 74 - Item 14
14. Henry Clay, Free and Friendly Remarks, on a Speech Lately Delivered to the Senate of the United States, by Henry Clay, of Kentucky, on the Subject of the Abolition of North American Slavery (New York: Mahlon Day & Co., 1839). (24 p.)
Speech advocating gradual, compensated emancipation with particular attention to the education of slaves after they had gained their freedom. “As I believe, it is simply this—that our colored brethren are regarded, in this country, even in the free states, as an inferior and degraded race of men. If we wish to elevate the character, and increase the usefulness of any class of persons, the worst proceeding which we can possibly adopt is, to cultivate a low opinion of them, and to lead them to entertain that low opinion of themselves. Let us rather lay hold of the hopeful side of the question; let us call to mind that ‘God has made of one blood all the children of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth;’ let us for ever bury and forget ‘the aristocracy of the skin;’ let us do every thing in our power, to promote the literary and religious instruction of the colored population; let them be invested with the full rights of citizenship, on the same terms as other persons; let every civil prize, every useful employment, every honorable station, be thrown open to their exertions. Let us encourage, and never depress, their natural desire to rise” (emphasis in original).