170 years ago today - Jan 23, 1852

[Brigham Young]

I have this section in my hand, headed '"An Act in relation to African Slavery.'" I have read it over and made a few alterations. I will remark with regard to Slavery, inasmuch as we believe in the Bible, inasmuch as we believe in the Ordinances of God, in the Priesthood and order and decrees of God, we must believe in Slavery. This colored race have been subjected to severe curses, which they have in their families and their classes and in their various capacities brought upon themselves. And until the curse is removed by Him who placed it upon them, they must suffer under its consequences; I am not authorized to remove it. I am a firm believer in Slavery. ...

The African enjoys the right of receiving the first principles of the Gospel, ... But they cannot hold the Priesthood, and inasmuch as they cannot bear any share in the Priesthood, they cannot bear rule, they cannot bear rule in any place until the curse is removed from them, they are a '"servant of servants.'" ...

There are a many brethren in the South, a great amount of whose means is vested in slaves. Those servants want to come here with their masters; when they come here the Devil is raised. This one is talking, and that one is wondering. A strong abolitionist feeling has power over them, and they commence to whisper round their views upon the subject, saying, '"Do you think it's right? I am afraid it is not right.'" I know it is right, and there should be a law made to have the slaves serve their masters, because they are not capable of ruling themselves. When the Lord God cursed old Cain, He said, '"Until the last drop of Abel's blood receives the Priesthood, and enjoys the blessings of the same, Cain shall bear the curse,'" then Cain is calculated to have his share next, and not until then; consequently, I am firm in the belief that they ought to dwell in servitude. The caption of this bill I don't like, I have therefore taken the liberty to alter it. I have said, '"An Act in Relation to Manual service,'" instead of '"African Slavery.'" ...

I would like masters to behave well to their servants, and to see that every person in this Territory is well used. When a master has a Negro, and uses him well, he is much better off than if he was free. As for masters knocking them down and whipping them and breaking the limbs of their servants, I have as little opinion of that as any person can have, but good wholesome servitude, I know there is nothing better than that. ... Sermons and Writings of the Restoration. 4 Vols. Ogden Kraut, ed. Pioneer Press, 1994. 2:144-146]

[Sermons and Writings of the Restoration. 4 Vols. Ogden Kraut, ed. Pioneer Press, 1994. 2:144-146, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

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