Wright on 77 “returned to slavery”

June 23, 1848

A letter from Henry C. Wright to James Haughton, Dublin, Ireland.  It refers to Sayers, Drayton, and English, of the schooner Pearl, who tried to help 77 slaves to freedom.  “There is nothing on the records of the world more shocking to humanity, than is this transaction, from beginning to end. The facts touching their arrest, their return to WASHINGTON, fettered and bound, and guarded like felons; their mock trial; their incarceration; the cruelty practiced on them by the officers of the United States; the sale of the recaptured slaves, especially some of the young females  — one of the victims being a slave of the widow of President Madison; the sundering of domestic ties;  children sold from parents, and parents sold from children; all this done in the capital of this  Republic, and through the instrumentality of the federal Union……And there are men and women in Britain and Ireland, who are lending their direct influence to sustain these horrors among us.  God forgive them!”  That letter asks that the Anti-Slavery Society send a statement respecting the case to all of Europe, that Garrison and Phillips be sent to Europe, “laying these facts before the people”.

“Could not the people of  Europe hold mass meetings, to remonstrate with their government concerning its treatment of Drayton, Sayres and English?  They will be consigned to a dungeon for life….. There is not a man in Europe who may not consistently rebuke this slaveholding republic. And the voice of Europe would be heard.  …”