DEAR FRIENDS: – You are at a great distance from your native land! A wide expanse of water separates you from the beloved country of your birth – from us and from the kindred whom you love, and who love you, and pray for your happiness and prosperity in the land of your adoption.
We regard America with feelings of admiration; we do not look upon her as a strange land, nor upon her people as aliens from our affections. The power of steam has brought us nearer together; it will increase the intercourse between us, so that the character of the Irish people and of the American people must in future be acted upon by the feelings and disposition of each.
The object of this address is to call your attention to the subject of SLAVERY IN AMERICA – that foul blot upon the noble institution, and the fair fame of your adopted country. But for this one stain, America, would indeed be a land worthy your adoption; but she will never be the glorious country that her free constitution designed her to be, so as long her soil is polluted by the footprint of a single slave.
Slavery is the most tremendous invasion of the natural, inalienable rights of man, and of some of the noblest gifts of God, ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ What a spectacle does America present to the people of the earth! A land of professing Christian republicans, uniting their energies for the oppression and degradation of three millions of innocent human beings, the children of one common Father, who suffer the most grievous wrongs and the utmost degradation for no crime of their ancestors or their own! Slavery is a sin against God and man. All who are not for it must be against it. NONE CAN BE NEUTRAL. We entreat you to take the part of justice, religion, and liberty.
It is in vain that American citizens attempt to conceal their own and their country’s degradation under this withering curse. America is cursed by slavery! We CALL UPON YOU TO UNITE WITH THE ABOLITIONISTS, and never to cease your efforts, until perfect liberty be granted to every one of her inhabitants, the black man as well as the white man. We are all children of the same gracious God; all equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We are told that you possess great power, both moral and political, in America. We entreat you to exercise that power and that influence for the sake of humanity.
You will not witness the horrors of slavery in all the States of America. Thirteen of them are free, and thirteen are Slave states. But in all, the pro-slavery feeling, though rapidly decreasing, is still strong. Do not unite with it; on the contrary, OPPOSE IT BY ALL THE PEACEFUL MEANS IN YOUR POWER. JOIN WITH THE ABOLITIONISTS EVERYWHERE. They are the only consistent advocates of liberty. Tell every man, that you do not understand liberty for the white man, and slavery for the black man; that you are for LIBERTY FOR ALL, of every colour, creed, and country.
The American citizen proudly points to the National Declaration of Independence, which declares that ‘All mankind are born free and equal, and are alike entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Aid him to carry out this noble declaration, by obtaining freedom for the slave.
Irishmen and Irishwomen! Treat the coloured people as your equals, as brethren. By all your memories of Ireland, continue to love liberty – hate slavery – CLING BY THE ABOLITIONISTS – and in America, you will do honour to the name of Ireland.
And SIXTY THOUSAND other Inhabitants of Ireland.