The Abolitionists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Abolitionists.

Although, owing to the remoteness of the islands, we have as yet but little trustworthy knowledge as to what has really occurred in this new territory, and possibly in any case have not been informed of the things which are most to be condemned, the reports that have reached us of barbarities perpetrated upon a people who never did us any harm or wrong ought certainly to awaken in American bosoms every throb of pity and every sentiment of manliness.  We have had accounts of butcheries called “battles” in which have been slaughtered hundreds of almost defenseless creatures for no offense except that of standing up for their independence.  It is said that certain districts that would not acknowledge our mastery have been turned into wildernesses, and that in these districts the number of the slain may easily have equaled the victims of massacres in Armenia and Bessarabia, massacres which we have always so strenuously condemned.  Thousands of men, women, and children have perished at our hands or in connection with operations for which we were responsible; and in addition to the taking of life there is record of the infliction of serious cruelties.  As assignees of Spain, we seem to have succeeded not only to her properties but to her policies in the treatment of subject races.  We do not know that in the greatest excesses of the bad colonial government of Spaniards they ever inflicted a torture more exquisite than that of the “water cure.”  How many of the perpetrators of these atrocities have been adequately punished, or how many have been punished at all?

It is wonderful with what complacency we have received the accounts of these horrible affairs.  Nobody has been disturbed.  The newspapers, beyond reporting the facts, have had nothing to say.  The Church has been silent—­at least that can be said of the Protestant Church.  Not one brave or manly word of protest or condemnation has the writer heard, or heard of, from a Protestant American pulpit.  Catholics, being victims and sufferers, have complained and protested.  The greatest discomfort these things have produced has been occasioned by the apprehension that, through somebody’s lack of patriotism, our flag may be withdrawn from the field of such glorious operations.  It used to be our boast that Freedom followed our flag.  Now slavery follows it.

In view of the facts stated we can understand, not only the serenity, but the favor with which the people of this country, or the great body of them, so long looked upon the workings of African slavery, and the difficulty which the Abolitionists had in arousing a sentiment of revulsion toward it.

One of the curious things in this connection is the similarity—­the practical sameness—­of the arguments used to justify the Philippine occupation and those once used to justify American slaveholding.  We are now working to civilize and Christianize the Filipinos, and were then civilizing and Christianizing the negroes with the lash and the bludgeon.

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The Abolitionists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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