Tom's Cabin," she sounded
the note of doom for slavery in the United States. After that, slavery
became intolerable. Many have remarked on the fact that the book
should have so stirred the conscience of the Christian world, when
there are depicted in it so many even engaging features and admirable
persons, woven into the story of wrong. Her pen did not seem to make
slavery appear always and altogether black. But there was the fate of
"Uncle Tom," and the picture of "Cassie," captive of "Legree." It was
not what slavery always was, but _what it might be_--the terrible
possibilities, that aroused the conscience of Christendom, and made
the perpetuation of African slavery an impossibility to Americans.
The master _might_ choose to use his power over the slave for the
indulgence of his own basest propensities.
Almost at the same time of these stirring events connected with
slavery in the United States, Mr. Labouchere penned the above words,
admitting that slavery at Hong Kong had descended to that lowest
level. Infamy instead of industry was the lot of these, engaged in the
"prosecution of their employment," through "no choice of their own."
Can we anticipate what legal measures would be asked for at Hong Kong,
and granted in London in order to relieve this horrible condition.
It seems at once obvious that the following would be some of them at
1st, A clear announcement that this slavery was prohibited by
the Queen's Anti-Slavery Proclamation of 1845, and would not be
2nd, Women who "supposed themselves to belong" to masters would be
at once told that they were free agents and belonged to no one.
3rd, The master who dared claim the ownership of a former slave
would be prosecuted and suitably punished.
4th, Any slave perishing miserably from disease would not only be