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Will Dallas join the 2017 Great Purge of American History? (Part 5 of 6)

Dallas praised Pennsylvania’s denunciation of slavery in 1835


By —— Bio and Archives--September 9, 2017

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What do the documented racial sentiments of George Mifflin Dallas tell us about the man after whom Dallas, Texas is named?

On July 4, 1835, George Mifflin Dallas spoke at the Zion Church, Easton, Pennsylvania at the request of the Washington and Franklin Literary Societies, Lafayette College.

Dallas: The Series
Part 1: Will Dallas join the 2017 Great Purge of American History?
Part 2: Who was George Mifflin Dallas in American History?
Part 3: Life of George Mifflin Dallas, Vice President of the United States
Part 4: City of Dallas is named after a Democrat Party politician whose support for the Fugitive Slave Act
Part 5: Dallas praised Pennsylvania’s denunciation of slavery in 1835
Part 6: Will Dallas join the 2017 Great Purge of American History? (Part 6)

In far eastern Pennsylvania, Easton sits on the west bank of the Delaware River across from Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  History records Easton, Trenton (New Jersey) and Philadelphia as the first three cities where the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to the populous.

In his speech, Dallas heralded Pennsylvania’s leadership in opposing slavery.  He condemned slavery as an “unchristian policy, leagued with an insatiate and remorseless spirit of gain,” initiated by several European countries.

Then, Dallas said, a voice emerged in “1683, from the bosom of a secluded German settlement in Pennsylvania, a calm protest and an earnest appeal” and spread “in time to distant nations, and to the hearts of all.” It was a voice against slavery.

“Kindred in its excellence [to the spread of religious freedom in Pennsylvania], and of almost equal merit, is the formal and impressive denunciation of domestic slavery. The injured and degraded African, fettered by the cupidity and stunned by the blows of polished Europe, was first cheered by the sound of emancipation in the sequestered wilds of America. During the two centuries which preceded the landing of William Penn, from the fatal period of the Portuguese invasion of the Gold Coast, an entire race of human beings had been doomed the victims of avarice, cruelty, and oppression. The accursed traffic rioted in the sanction of Spanish imperial letters patent, had been connived at by the Virgin Queen of England, and was openly encouraged by a monarch of France, falsely as foolishly surnamed the Just. An unchristian policy leagued with an insatiate and remorseless spirit of gain, annually loaded thousands of our fellow creatures with chains, tore them violently from their country, and consigned them in untried climates, beneath the rods of unknown masters, to unlimited and unsparing servitude. At the height of this inhuman atrocity, whose cancerous roots were transplanted hither by British traders from the West Indies, there was heard, in 1683, from the bosom of a secluded German settlement in Pennsylvania, a calm protest and an earnest appeal. It was the impulse of nature, and the lament of humanity: the air in which it was breathed proved congenial, and bore it in time to distant nations, and to the hearts of all.

From that moment, may be dated the commencement of African redemption: it slowly and steadily advanced, our noble commonwealth by her celebrated statute ‘for the gradual abolition of slavery’ perseveringly in front of the movement until now, throughout Christendom, and with the potential anathema of every government, the Slave Trade ranks among the worst, the vilest, and the meanest of crimes.” (pp. 13-14)

Dallas foresaw the “gradual abolition of slavery” as it became, he anticipated, “the potential anathema of every government.” 

His saw the motivating force for abolition as Christian morality, rather than a central government edict, against slavery, applied nationwide. Over the years, his states’ rights view on slavery would harden, and be more forcefully argued matching the increased vehemence of the abolition movement in America. 

Race-related comments in Dallas’ 1848 Letter on the Mexican Treaty

The Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, (AKA: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo), signed on February 2, 1848, ended the Mexican-American War (1846-48).

The treaty went into effect on July 4, 1848.  It set the Rio Grande as the southern border of Texas, and transferred California, plus parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, to the United States.

The document entitled “Mr. Dallas’ Letter on the Mexican Treaty” is dated October, 1848, and was directed to William White Chew, Germantown, Pennsylvania. Chew was Secretary of the U.S. Legation at St. Petersburg, Russia in 1837.  From 1837-1839, Dallas was the U.S. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia.

In the context of describing how the new territories would eventually be “incorporated into the Union,” Dallas described, in unflattering and blunt language, the possible profiles of the new residents entering the Union.  Then—as though to soften his previous comments—he added an optimistic and hopeful description (bolded below) of the inclusive nature of America—which he conveyed with sympathy and passion. 

 

Continued below...

“The adding of another member to the American Confederacy…is a matter of congressional discretion.  It may or it may not be done, as a majority should happen to esteem it wise and expedient, or the reverse. No amount of population, and no period of probation are prescribed as necessary preliminaries. The language of the Constitution is simply—’New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union.’

A State can be composed of five thousand, or five hundred thousand; of a foreign, superstitious, indolent, and many colored people, or of known, enlightened, laborious, and pale-hued Saxons; of men to whom our laws and usages are sudden novelties; or of men whose habits of thought and action have been moulded {sic}beneath their administration. The discretion of Congress must be governed by a full consideration of these various circumstances; and the hour of admission expedited, or retarded, as may seem best to that body.

The form of this stipulation for incorporation into our Union, was obviously found in the treaty purchases of Louisiana and Florida: and had there not been supposed to exist in California and New Mexico a mass of population, exercising all the rights of citizenship, and yet greatly inferior to any received with those prior cessions {sic}, perhaps that form, having been tested by time, would have escaped criticism and change. An engagement, however, to welcome into this confederacy, as equal political brethren, and as soon as possible, hordes of ignorant, degraded, tawny, black, brown, and semi-barbarous beings, was too repulsive to be directly embraced: and it was avoided by substituting for the words of hot haste, the cool phrase, ‘at the proper time, (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States.’)” (Italics in the original)

f there be, and of that I entertain no doubt, an elevating and improving principle in our admirable structure of government, these miserable Mexicans, so long the victims of all sorts of misrule, are the very objects whom we should hasten to embrace within the circle of its regenerating influence. I suppose we cannot, in the high spheres of political action, invoke, even as illustrations of the true philosophy of life, the individual examples of a [John] Howard [English prison reformer] among the suffering, or a [Dorothea Lynde] Dix [U.S. activist for the indigent insane] among the insane—governments shrink from the ridicule of propagandism or knight-errantry—but surely our sublimated excellence need fear no contamination with this other race of God’s creatures, and may fairly hope to find them, as incoming partners, speedily imitating the successful habits of the old firm.” (pp. 13-14) (bolding added)

 


Also, in his “Letter on the Mexican Treaty,” while alluding to the commercial value in the U.S. having direct access to the Pacific Ocean from the new territories, Dallas wrote:

“[F]or the purposes of an active intercourse with the rich Orientals, nothing can surpass this magnificent front upon their great highway. The world never has witnessed a commerce like that which must circulate in, from, and over the Mississippi Valley, when steam, while uniting our eastern and western seaports, shall master the stormless and boundless waves of the Pacific. American agriculture and manufactures, with wide outlets on either hand, must send food, clothing, and comfort in all directions; and our country become, as it were, a noble reservoir for streams of wealth returning from every land. Suppose, as a single illustration, that our freights of flour, corn, and pork, had as direct a pathway to three hundred millions of bug-eating and rat-relishing Chinese, as they have to the perishing Irish, we know, from a recent experience, in how salutary a manner we should be affected.” (p.28)

The exploration into the racial sentiments of George Mifflin Dallas will continue, looking into the time he was a diplomat in Britain representing a nation rapidly approaching civil war.

Coming Next in Part 6:  Dallas at the Court of St. James, where he represented the United States Government in Britain, was seen by some British officials as representing the American institution of slavery.



Lee Cary -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Since November 2007, Lee Cary has written hundreds of articles for several websites including the American Thinker, and Breitbart’s Big Journalism and Big Government (as “Archy Cary”).  His work has been quoted on national television (Sean Hannity) and on nationally syndicated radio (Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin).  He is quoted in Jerome Corsi’s book “The Obama Nation,” in Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny.”  His pieces have posted on the Drudge Report and on the website Real Clear Politics.  Cary holds a B.S. in Economics from Northern Illinois University, and a Masters and a Doctorate in Theology from the Methodist seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army in Military Intelligence. Cary lives in Texas.

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