C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Corrupted freemen are the worst of slaves.

David Garrick.

Base is the slave that pays.


Nothing in the world is lawless except a slave.

J. C. and A. W. Hare.

How great would be our peril if our slaves began to number us!


It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces.

William H. Seward.

Good kings are slaves, and their people are free.

Marie Leszczinski.

Not the Christian religion only, but nature herself, cries out against the state of slavery.

Leo X.

  • Thou art a slave, whom fortune’s tender arm
  • With favour never clasp’d; but bred a dog.
  • Shakespeare.

    Slavery tolerates no freedom of the press, no freedom of speech, no freedom of opinion.

    Hinton Rowan Helper.

    Freedom and slavery! the one is the name of virtue, and the other of vice, and both are acts of the will.


    They (the blacks) had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.

    Roger B. Taney.

    Where slavery is there liberty cannot be, and where liberty is there slavery cannot be.

    Charles Sumner.

    A soil whose air is deemed too pure for slaves to breathe in.


  • Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still,
  • Slavery! said I—still thou art a bitter draught.
  • Sterne.

  • Where bastard Freedom waves
  • Her fustian flag in mockery over slaves.
  • Moore.

    I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

    Abraham Lincoln.

  • Whatever day
  • Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.
  • Homer.

    No more slave states and no more slave territory.

    Simon P. Chase.

    That execrable sum of all villainies commonly called the slave-trade.

    John Wesley.

    Slavery is also as ancient as war, and war as human nature.


    In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

    Abraham Lincoln.

    The man who gives me employment which I must have or suffer, that man is my master, let me call him what I will.

    Henry George.

    By the law of slavery, man, created in the image of God, is divested of the human character, and declared to be a mere chattel.

    Chas. Sumner.

  • Mechanic slaves
  • With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
  • Uplift us to the view.
  • Shakespeare.

    The slave power dares anything, and it can be conquered only by the united masses of the people. From Congress to the people, I appeal.

    Charles Sumner.

    Slavery is the parent of ignorance, and ignorance begets a whole brood of follies and vices; and every one of these is inevitably hostile to literary culture.

    Hinton Rowan Helper.

    Slavery it is that makes slavery; freedom, freedom. The slavery of women happened when the men were slaves of kings.


  • Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
  • Receive our air, that moment they are free:
  • They touch our country and their shackles fall.
  • Cowper.

    There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.


  • And ne’er shall the sons of Columbia be slaves,
  • While the earth bears a plant, or the sea rolls its waves.
  • Robert Paine.

  • They are slaves who fear to speak
  • For the fallen and the weak;
  • *****
  • They are slaves who dare not be
  • In the right with two or three.
  • Lowell.

  • I would not have a slave to till my ground,
  • To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
  • And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
  • That sinews bought and sold have ever earn’d.
  • Cowper.

  • What! mothers from their children riven!
  • What! God’s own image bought and sold!
  • Americans to market driven,
  • And bartered as the brute for gold!
  • Whittier.

  • Our fellow-countrymen in chains!
  • Slaves—in a land of light and law!
  • Slaves—crouching on the very plains
  • Where rolled the storm of Freedom’s war!
  • Whittier.

  • He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
  • Not color’d like his own, and having pow’r
  • T’ enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
  • Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
  • Cowper.

  • A Christian! going, gone!
  • Who bids for God’s own image?—for His grace,
  • Which that poor victim of the market-place
  • Hath in her suffering won?
  • Whittier.

    This is a world of compensations, and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, they cannot long retain it.


  • Sharp penury afflicts these wretched isles!
  • There hope ne’er dawns, and pleasure never smiles.
  • The vassal wretch contented drags his chain,
  • And hears his famish’d babes lament in vain.
  • Falconer.

    Measure slavery by the golden rule, and where is it?***It stands in the way of that automatic instinct of progress which is eternal in the human race and irresistible in human history.

    Theodore Parker.

    Enslave a man and you destroy his ambition, his enterprise, his capacity. In the constitution of human nature, the desire of bettering one’s condition is the mainspring of effort. The first touch of slavery snaps this spring.

    Horace Mann.

  • You have among you many a purchas’d slave,
  • Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,
  • You use in abject and in slavish parts
  • Because you bought them.
  • Shakespeare.

    The very mudsills of society.***We call them slaves.***But I will not characterize that class at the north with that term; but you have it. It is there, it is everywhere, it is eternal.

    James H. Hammond.

    Resolved, That the compact which exists between the North and the South is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell; involving both parties in atrocious criminality, and should be immediately annulled.

    Wm. Lloyd Garrison.

  • The hearts within thy valleys bred,
  • The fiery souls that might have led
  • Thy sons to deeds sublime,
  • Now crawl from cradle to the grave,
  • Slaves—nay, the bondsmen of a slave,
  • And callous, save to crime.
  • Byron.

    I never mean, unless some particular circumstances should compel me to do it, to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law.

    George Washington.

    Slavery destroys, or vitiates, or pollutes, whatever it touches. No interest of society escapes the influence of its clinging curse. It makes Southern religion a stench in the nostrils of Christendom; it makes Southern politics a libel upon all the principles of republicanism; it makes Southern literature a travesty upon the honorable profession of letters.

    Hinton Rowan Helper.

  • O execrable son! so to aspire
  • Above his brethren, to himself assuming
  • Authority usurp’d, from God not given.
  • He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
  • Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  • By his donation; but man over men
  • He made not lord; such title to himself
  • Reserving, human left from human free.
  • Milton.

  • A crowd of shivering slaves of every nation,
  • And age, and sex, were in the market rang’d;
  • Each bevy with the merchant in his station:
  • Poor creatures! their good looks were sadly chang’d;
  • All save the blacks seem’d jaded with vexation,
  • From friends, and home, and freedom far estrang’d.
  • The negroes more philosophy display’d,—
  • Used to it, no doubt, as eels are to be flay’d.
  • Byron.

  • Ill-fated race! the softening arts of peace,
  • Whate’er the humanizing muses teach;
  • The godlike wisdom of the tempered breast;
  • Progressive truth, the patient force of thought;
  • Investigation calm, whose silent powers
  • Command the world; the light that leads to heaven;
  • Kind equal rule, the government of laws,
  • And all-protecting freedom, which alone
  • Sustains the name and dignity of man:
  • These are not theirs.
  • Thomson.

    Slavery is no scholar, no improver; it does not love the whistle of the railroad; it does not love the newspaper, the mailbag, a college, a book or a preacher who has the absurd whim of saying what he thinks; it does not increase the white population; it does not improve the soil; everything goes to decay.