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Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided | Primary Source

Defending Slavery: Comparing Factory Workers and Slaves

Excerpt from William Grayson, "The Hireling and the Slave."

"The Hireling"
Free but in name -- the slaves of endless toil...
In squalid hut -- a kennel for the poor,
Or noisome cellar, stretched upon the floor,
His clothing rags, of filthy straw his bed,
With offal from the gutter daily fed...
These are the miseries, such the wants, the cares,
The bliss that freedom for the serf prepares...

"The Slave"
Taught by the master's efforts, by his care
Fed, clothed, protected many a patient year,
From trivial numbers now to millions grown,
With all the white man's useful arts their own,
Industrious, docile, skilled in wood and field,
To guide the plow, the sturdy axe to wield...
Guarded from want, from beggary secure,
He never feels what hireling crowds endure,
Nor knows, like them, in hopeless want to crave,
For wife and child, the comforts of the slave,
Or the sad thought that, when about to die,
He leaves them to the cold world's charity...

Grayson, William John. The Hireling and the Slave. (2nd ed.) Charleston: John Russell, 1855.

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