LETTER FROM DE TOCQUEVILLE.
LETTER FROM ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE.
I do not think it is for me, a foreigner, to indicate to the
United States the time, the measures, or the men by whom
Slavery shall be abolished.
Still, as the persevering enemy of despotism everywhere,
and under all its forms, I am pained and astonished by the
fact that the freest people in the world is, at the present time,
almost the only one among civilized and Christian nations
which yet maintains personal servitude; and this, while serf¬
dom itself is about disappearing, where it has not already dis¬
appeared, from the most degraded nations of Europe.
An old and sincere friend of Ameriea, I am uneasy at see¬
ing Slavery retard her progress, tarnish her glory, furnish
arms to her detractors, compromise the future career of the
Union which is the guaranty of her safety and greatness, and
point our beforehand to her, to all her enemies, the spot where
they are to strike. As a man, too, I am moved at the spec¬
tacle of man's degradation by man, and I hope to see the day
when the law will grant equal civil liberty to all the inhabi¬
tants of the same empire, as God accords the freedom of the
will, without distinction, to the dwellers upon earth.
LETTER FROM EM1LE DE GIRARDIN.
I seize the occasion now offered me to accuse myself of hav¬
ing too long believed, on the faith of American citizens and
French travellers, that the slavery of the blacks neither could
nor ought, for their own sakcs, to be abolished, without a
previous initiation to liberty, by labor, instruction, economy,
and redemption — an individual purchase of each one by
But this belief I end by classing among those inveterate
errors, which are like the rings of a chain, that even the