LOVE, TRUTH, PEACE, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE
The Hebrew Law
Debated in the senate on March 31, 1864 is the foundation of our process of freedom pertaining to the 13th Amendment with 20 Sections.
the following is a transcript of that debate between Mr. Harlan’s and Mr. Saulsbury
In the Senate – March 31, 1864
The Hebrew Law
Said he: “Slavery had existed under some form or other from the first period of recorded history. It dates back even beyond the period of Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, in whose seed all the Nations of the Earth were to be blessed. We find that, immediately after the Flood, the Almighty, for purposes inscrutable to us, condemned a whole race to Servitude: ” Vayomer Orur Knoan Efet Afoatim Yeahio Le-echot: “‘And he said. Cursed he Canaan; Slave of Slaves he shall be to his brethren.’
It was continued among all people until the advent of the Christian era. It was recognized in that New Dispensation which was to supersede the Old. It has the sanction of God’s own Apostle: for when Paul sent back Onesimus to Philemon, whom did he send? A Freeman? No, Sir. He sent his (doulos,) a Slave, born as such, not even his andrapodon, who was such by captivity in War. Among all people, and in all ages, has this Institution, if such it is to be called, existed, and had the
countenance of wise and good men, and even of the Christian Church itself, until these modern times, up at least to the Nineteenth Century. It exists in this Country, and has existed from the beginning.” Mr. Harlan’s reply to the position of Mr. Saulsbury that Slavery is right, is a Divine Institution, etc., was very able and interesting. He piled up authority after authority, English as well as American, to show that there is not support of Slavery and especially of the title to services of the
adult offspring of a Slave at Common Law; and, after also proving, buy the mouth of a favorite son of Virginia, that it has not legal existence by virtue of any Municipal or Statutory Law, he declared that “the only remaining Law that can be cited for its support is the Levitical Code” as follows:
“Both thy Bondmen, and they Bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy Bondmen and Bondmaids.
“”Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an Inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your Bondmen forever.“
“I remark.” said he. ” in this connection, that the Levitical Code, or the Hebrew Law, contains a provision for the Naturalization of Foreigners, whether captives of War, or voluntary emigrants. By compliance with the requirements of this law they become citizens, entitled to all the rights and privileges and immunities of native Hebrews. The Hebrew Slave Code, applicable to Enslaved Hebrews, is in these words:
“And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years, then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go Free from thee.”
“Here I request the attention of those who claim compensation for Emancipated Slaves to the text;- “‘And when thou sendest him out Free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: “Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor’-“Which means granaries–‘ “and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, thou shalt give unto him.’
‘It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away Free from thee, for he hath been worth a double-hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years.”
“These Hebrew Statutes provide that the heathen might be purchased and held as Slaves, and their posterity after them: that under their Naturalization Laws all strangers and sojourners, Bond and Free, have the privilege of acquiring the rights of citizenship; that all Hebrews, natives or naturalized, might access and maintain their right to Freedom. “At the end of six years a Hebrew Slave thus demanding his Liberty, was not to be sent away empty; the owner, so far from claiming compensation from his neighbors or from the Public Treasury for setting him Free, was bound to divide with the Freedman, of his own possession: to give him of his flocks. of his herds, of his granary, and of his winepress, of everything with which the Lord Almighty had blessed the master during the years of his Servitude; and then the owner was admonished that he was not to regard it as a hardship to be required to Liberate the Slave, and to divide with him of his substance.
“The Almighty places the Liberated Slave’s claim to a division of his former master’s property on the eternal principles of Justice, the duty to render an equivalent for an equivalent. The Slave having served six years must be paid for his Service, must be paid liberally because he had been worth even more than a hired servant during the period of his enslavement”.
“If. then.” continued Mr. Harlan. “the justice of this claim cannot be found either in reason, Natural Justice, or the principles of the Common Law, or in any positive Municipal or Statute regulation of any State, or in the Hebrew Code written by the Finger of God protruded from the flame of fire on the summit of Sinai, I ask
whence the origin of the title to the services of the adult offspring of the Slave mother?” or is it not manifest that there is no iust title? Is it not a mere usurpation without any known mode of justification, under any existing Code of Laws, human or Divine?”