Scriptural and Statistical arguments for Slavery

Am I not a man and a brotherLet me introduce you to Dr. Thornton Stringfellow, D.D., and his work Scriptural and Statistical views in favor of Slavery, the fourth edition of 1856, made available by the University of North Carolina. After explaining how liberal American slave laws are, granting ownership only of the labour, not the person, of the slave, which is no more than indentured servants owe, Dr Stringfellow shows how the letter of the Apostle Peter clearly condemns the Abolitionist cause:

“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busy-body in other men’s matters.” Our citizens have been murdered–our property has been stolen, (if the receiver is as bad as the thief,)–our lives have been put in jeopardy–our characters traduced– and attempts made to force political slavery upon us in the place of domestic, by strangers who have no right to meddle with our matters. Instead of meditating generous things to our slaves, as a return for gospel subordination, we have to put on our armor to suppress a rebellious spirit, engendered by “false doctrine,” propagated by men “of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth,” who teach them that the gain of freedom to the slave, is the only proof of godliness in the master. From such, Paul says we must withdraw ourselves; and if we fail to do it, and to rebuke them with all the authority which “the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ” confer, we shall be wanting in duty to them, to ourselves, and to the world.

TStrange Fruithat is, the slave-owners are the victims, and the true Christians, here.

Dr Stringfellow also finds Answers in Genesis: 9:25: Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan [alleged ancestor of Africans] shall be his servant.

Then there are his statistical arguments. New England was colonised by Puritans, and the old Slave states of the South by Cavaliers, with a, well, cavalier attitude to faith; yet with similar population numbers, the South had almost twice as many churches! Further, the New England churches, which seat far fewer worshippers, cost much more. The Doctor questions the expenditure: Does it exhibit the evidence of humility, and a desire to glorify God, by a provision that shall enable all the people to hear the gospel? or does it exhibit the evidence of pride, that seeks to glorify the wealthy contributors, who occupy these costly temples to the exclusion of the humble poor? We must all draw our own conclusions.

No, Doctor, we must not. State plainly what you wish to say.

Everyone despises Dr Stringfellow now, and his  arguments are easily ridiculed. I loathe him: his victimhood was still spilling blood a hundred years later, and he has no Christian love for anyone outside his interest. So my exercise is to find something to admire in him. He has a wide knowledge of Scripture, and a careful way of layering point upon point: exemplary Evangelical argument. If you wanted to believe him, you could find him persuasive. He is standing up for his despised, suffering people: I hear his pain and hurt.

Human kind cannot bear very much reality.

8 thoughts on “Scriptural and Statistical arguments for Slavery

  1. Interesting piece, of course we dannot condone slavery of any sort modern or ancient. But the UK government allows children to rise at 5am, to make sure a disabled parent is washed, dressed and fed before the said child does the same for themselves before going to school, many return home at lunch to make sure that the parent is fed, then when the child returns home, the clean, do laundry, make food not only for a parent but for siblings. This goes on day after day, week, month and yearly and majority of this children forfeit so much and the governments excuse is that there is not the resources or the money, but of course these childrens parents are not multimillionaires or the children do not have trust funds. I know these children are looking after their parents out of love but I have met these children and one thing they wish is that their parents were not disabled, but deep down they just wish they were a normal child, not this governments unpaid slave.

    As a ‘slave footnote’ a direct decendent married and brought back to Grimsby a slave wife. from the west indies The skin colour has stayed on my grandfathers side right up to my uncles, leaving them with olive skin, the females had fair skin including my mother and so do I and my siblings.


      • That is true Clare, there are days were I am so:much:in pain I can virtually do nothing for myself and I would not want my child if I had one at home to look after me, when I worked in social work I met quite a few of these very loyal, brave and super caring children, they always carry a smile:inbpunlic but I have been with them when not in public and they cry, sob their little hearts out. They should be learning to become an adult nothaving adulthood thrust on them. Its disgusting, but tbe government allows it.


  2. I know about him, of course … he’s now part of our curriculum, up there with those who forced the Cherokee Nation to walk 2,000 miles, without caring that most of them died, and the many other murdering monsters who created this modern Republic … that desires to tell the rest of the world how to “nation build.” Sorry … these things get me on a roll, Clare.


    • You will also know of John Woolman, who in Colonial times campaigned against slavery: one of the first to do so. I have dipped into the Federalist Papers: America was a great leap forward in human freedom, one of the first Republics of modern times, the glory, jest, and riddle of the World.


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