Gerrit Smith - Quotes

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Truth and mercy require the exertion - never the suppression, of man's noble rights and powers. ---->>>

I do not object to the construction of rail roads and canals. ---->>>

I need say no more, to prove that slavery is entirely unlike the servitude in the patriarchal families. ---->>>

Let the poor man count as his enemy, and his worst enemy, every invader of the right of free discussion. ---->>>

When a good man lends himself to the advocacy of slavery, he must, at least for a time, feel himself to be any where but at home, amongst his new thoughts, doctrines, and modes of reasoning. ---->>>

I am a plain man, and I care and know comparatively little about rhetoric. ---->>>

My rights all spring front an infinitely nobler source - from favor and grace of God. ---->>>

Our concern, however, is with slavery as it is, and not with any theory of it. ---->>>

I do not subscribe to the doctrine that the people are the slaves and property of their government. I believe that government is for the use of the people, and not the people for the use of the government. ---->>>

To no human charter am I indebted for my rights. ---->>>

We must continue to judge of slavery by what it is, and not by what you tell us it will, or may be. ---->>>

I trust, that your readers will not construe my words to mean, that I would not have gone to a 3 o'clock in the morning session, for the sake of defeating the Nebraska bill. ---->>>

True, permanent peace can never be restored, until slavery, the occasion of the war, has ceased. ---->>>

It is not to be disguised, that a war has broken out between the North and the South. - Political and commercial men are industriously striving to restore peace: but the peace, which they would effect, is superficial, false, and temporary. ---->>>

It, sometimes, suits the slaveholders to claim, that their slavery is an exclusively State concern; and that the North has, therefore, nothing to do with it. ---->>>

Our political and constitutional rights, so called, are but the natural and inherent rights of man, asserted, carried out, and secured by modes of human contrivance. ---->>>

The only ground on which a neutral State can claim respect at the hands of belligerents is, that, so far as she is concerned, their rights are protected. ---->>>

As this is the first time I have had the floor, it may be well for me now to confess, that I am in the habit of freely imputing errors to my fellow-men. ---->>>

God cannot approve of a system of servitude, in which the master is guilty of assuming absolute power - of assuming God's place and relation towards his fellow-men. ---->>>

But I love honesty, and, therefore; do I make great account of facts. ---->>>

The poor North has much to do with slavery. It staggers under its load and smarts under its lash. ---->>>

I believe that government is for the use of the people, and not the people for the use of the government. ---->>>

I prefer, in a word, the republican system, because it comes up more nearly to God's system. ---->>>

I welcomed the organization of the Anti-slavery Society. ---->>>

It is manifestly vital to the success of the anti-slavery cause, that the authority and influence of proslavery, especially of slaveholding, ministers should be destroyed. ---->>>

There is one class of men, whom it especially behoves to be tenacious of the right of free discussion. I mean the poor. ---->>>

There is room in our ranks for the old and decrepit, as well as the young and vigorous. ---->>>

To say, that Capt. Ingraham violated the rights of Turkey, is nonsense. ---->>>

But, although America cannot be justly charged with violating the rights of Turkey, Turkey nevertheless can be justly charged with violating the rights of America. ---->>>

Let us tell our legislators in advance, that this is a right, restraints on which, we will not, cannot bear; and that every attempt to restrain it is a palpable wrong on God and man. ---->>>

The Southern slave would obey God in respect to marriage, and also to the reading and studying of His word. But this, as we have seen, is forbidden him. ---->>>

But as well may you, when urging a man up-hill with a heavy load upon his back, and with your lash also upon his back, tell him, that be has nothing to do either with the load or the lash. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: March 6, 1797
Birthplace:
Die: December 28, 1874
Occupation: Politician
Website:

Gerrit Smith (March 6, 1797 – December 28, 1874) was a leading United States social reformer, abolitionist, politician, and philanthropist. Spouse to Ann Carroll Fitzhugh, Smith was a candidate for President of the United States in 1848, 1856, and 1860, but only served 18 months in the federal government—in Congress as a Free Soil Party Representative, in 1853–4 (wikipedia)