rapidly accumulating, not from the ranks of the half-freed colored
people of the free states, but from the very depths of slavery itself;
the indestructible equality of man to man is demonstrated by the
ease with which black men, scarce one remove from barbarism—if
slavery can be honored with such a distinction—vault into the high
places of the most advanced and painfully acquired civilization.
Ward and Garnett, Wells Brown and Pennington, Loguen and
Douglass, are banners on the outer wall, under which abolition
is fighting its most successful battles, because they are living ex¬
emplars of the practicability of the most radical abolitionism; for,
they were all of them born to the doom of slavery, some of them
remained slaves until adult age, yet they all have not only won
equality to their white fellow citizens, in civil, religious, political and
social rank, but they have also illustrated and adorned our com¬
mon country by their genius, learning and eloquence.
The characteristics whereby Mr. Douglass has won first rank
among these remarkable men, and is still rising toward highest
rank among living Americans, are abundantly laid bare in the book
before us. Like the autobiography of Hugh Miller, it carries us
so far back into early childhood, as to throw light upon the question,
"when positive and persistent memory begins in the human being."
And, like Hugh Miller, he must have been a shy old fashioned
child, occasionally oppressed by what he could not well account
for, peering and poking about among the layers of right and wrong,
of t}*rant and thrall, and the wonderfulness of that hopeless tide of
things which brought power to one race, and unrequited toil to
another, until, finally, he stumbled upon his "first-found Ammonite,"
hidden away down in the depths of his own nature, and which re¬
vealed to him the fact that liberty and right, for all men, were an¬
terior to slavery and wrong. When his knowledge of the world was
bounded by the visible horizon on Col. Lloyd's plantation, and
while every thing around him bore a fi>ec, 'hod stamp, as if it had
always been so, this was, for one so young, a notable discovery.
To his uncommon memory, then, we must add a keen and accu¬
rate msight into men and things; an original breadth of common
sense which enabled him to rpa nmf ^ • V j
nnoc , , . , . ° 8ee> and weigh, and compare whatever
defineft i ' "^ WhiCh kiDdled a desire to search out and
<*nne their relatxons to other things not so patent, but which never