Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands - Volume 2 - By Harriet Beecher Stowe

 -  It was supposed that all the sugar,
molasses, and rum in the world were dependent on stealing men, women,
and - Page 70
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It Was Supposed That All The Sugar, Molasses, And Rum In The World Were Dependent On Stealing Men, Women, And

Children, and could be got in no other way; and as to consume sugar, molasses, and rum, were evidently the

Chief ends of human existence, it followed that men, women, and children must be stolen to the end of time.

Some good people, when they now and then heard an appalling story of the cruelties practised in the slave ship, declared that it was really too bad, sympathetically remarked, "What a sorrowful world we live in!" stirred their sugar into their tea, and went on as before, because, what was there to do? - "Hadn't every body always done it? and if they didn't do it, wouldn't somebody else?"

It is true that for many years individuals at different times had remonstrated, written treatises, poems, stories, and movements had been made by some religious bodies, particularly the Quakers, but the opposition had amounted to nothing practically efficient.

The attention of Clarkson was first turned to the subject by having it given out as the theme for a prize composition in his college class, he being at that time a sprightly young man, about twenty-four years of age. He entered into the investigation with no other purpose than to see what he could make of it as a college theme.

He says of himself, "I had expected pleasure from the invention of arguments, from the arrangement of them, from the putting of them together, and from the thought, in the interim, that I was engaged in an innocent contest for literary honor; but all my pleasures were damped by the facts which were now continually before me."

"It was but one gloomy subject from morning till night; in the daytime I was uneasy, in the night I had little rest; I sometimes never closed my eyelids for grief."

It became not now so much a trial for academical reputation as to write a work which should be useful to Africa.

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