Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Just because one voted against admitting slave states and territories into the Union did not mean they had any moral motive of concern for the liberty and well being of the slave.
One such man was, Senator James DeWolff of Rhode Island who vehemently opposed the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave state in 1820. DeWolff was one of the richest men in the country and had gained his wealth through the New England slave trade.
His company had made some eighty voyages to Africa until the trade became illegal for Americans in 1808. He would however continue trading slaves in a foreign market. What was the purpose of his anti-slavery position? Simply to continue New England’s policies of weakening Southern interests and not in the least a moral concern for the slave.
Another Rhode Islander John Brown (of Brown University in Providence fame), when criticized about his travels to Africa to buy slaves said, “there was no more crime in bringing off a cargo of slaves than in bringing off a cargo of jackasses.”