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Liberty and Man

Slaves and Blacks


The Philomathesian Society


Slaves and Blacks
            The majority of debates on racial relations in the Philomathesian society occur in this section, as many of these resolutions cover the same problems that faced America in the years leading up to the Civil War. In just fourteen years, questions revolving around slavery and the perception of blacks arose eight times. Nearly every resolution outlined the society’s sympathy with the plight of Blacks. The following resolutions show that the Philomathesians were adamant in backing any insurrections and believed the issue of slavery was a cause worth fighting for.

1. June 24, 1818
“Ought the government of the United States assist the South American Patriots in their struggle for liberty?”
Decided in the Negative.
2. March 24, 1819
“Is it politic in our government to plant a colony of Blacks in Africa?”
Decided in the Affirmative.[commentary]
3. September 27, 1820
“Ought Congress to have restricted slavery in Louisiana?”
Decided in the Affirmative.
4. April 3, 1822
“Are the northern superior to the southern States?
Decided in the Affirmative.
5. September 29, 1824
“Should the negroes in the southern states make an insurrection, would it be just for the northern states to assist in quelling it?”
Decided in the Affirmative.
6. April 1, 1829
“Ought the non-slave holding states to assist the slave holding in case of an insurrection of the blacks, on the principles of justice?”
Decided in the Affirmative.[commentary]
7. October 7, 1829
“If any European power should assist their slaves in gaining their liberty would it a sufficient cause for the United States to proclaim war against that power?”
Decided in the Affirmative.
8. November 7, 1832
“Ought efforts to be made to raise the condition of our colored population to an equality of the whites?”
Decided in the Affirmative.[commentary]