Page:The Bible Against Slavery (Weld, 1838).djvu/22

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(gotten.) Jer. xiii. 4. "Take the girdle that thou hast got" (bought.) Neh. v. 8. "We of our ability have redeemed (bought) our brethren that were sold to the heathen." Here "bought" is not applied to persons reduced to servitude, but to those taken out of it. Prov. 8. 22. "The Lord possessed (bought) me in the beginning of his way," Prov. xix. 8. "He that getteth (buyeth) wisdom loveth his own soul." Finally, to buy, is a secondary meaning of the Hebrew word Kānā.

Even at this day the word buy is used to describe the procuring of servants, where slavery is abolished. In the British West Indies, where slaves became apprentices in 1834, they are still "bought." This is the current word in West India newspapers. Ten years since servants were "bought" in New-York, as really as in Virginia, yet the different senses in which the word was used in the two states, put no man in a quandary. Under the system of legal indenture in Illinois, servants now are "bought"[1] Until recently immigrants to this country were "bought" in great numbers. By voluntary contract they engaged to work a given time to pay for their passage. This class of persons called "redemptioners," consisted at one time of thousands. Multitudes are "bought" out of slavery by themselves or others. Under the same roof with the writer is a "servant bought with money." A few weeks since, she was a slave; when "bought" she was a slave no longer. Alas! for our leading politicians if "buying" men makes them "chattels." The Whigs say that Benton and Rives are "bought " by the administration; and the other party, that Clay and Webster are "bought" by the Bank. The histories of the revolution tell us that Benedict Arnold was "bought" by British gold. When a northern clergyman marries a rich southern widow, country gossip thus hits off the indecency, "The cotton bags bought him." Sir Robert Walpole said, "Every man has his price, and whoever will pay it, can buy him," and John Randolph said, "The northern delegation is in the market; give me money enough, and I can buy them;" both meant just what they said. The temperance publications tell us that candidates for office buy men with whiskey; and the oracles of street tattle, that the court, district attorney, and jury, in the


  1. The following statute is now in force in the free state of Illinois—"No negro, mulatto, or Indian, shall at any time purchase any servant other than of their own complexion: and if any of the persons aforesaid shall presume to purchase a white servant, such servant shall immediately become free, and shall be so held, deemed and taken."