Zephaniah Kingsley's Treatise

Excerpts from A TREATISE ON THE PATRIARCHAL, OR CO-OPERATIVE SYSTEM OF SOCIETY AS IT EXISTS IN SOME GOVERNMENTS, AND COLONIES IN AMERICA, AND IN THE UNITED STATES, UNDER THE NAME OF SLAVERY, WITH ITS NECESSITY AND ADVANTAGES (1829)

From the main text:

"In short, the greatest value of agricultural product for export, and nearly all the springs of national and individual prosperity, flow from slave labor, as is fairly demonstrated by our annual account of exports."

"Slavery is a necessary state of control from which no condition of society can be perfectly free. The term is applicable to, and fits all grades and conditions in almost every point of view, whether moral, physical or political."

From the footnotes:

"Our laws to regulate slaves are entirely founded on terror. It would be worth while to try the experiment of a small mixture of reward with the punishment--such as allowing them the free use of Sunday as a market day and jubilee, which I have observed had a good effect in all foreign countries, also in Louisiana. The laws of the southern states are exclusively constructed for the protection of whites, and vexatious tyranny over the persons and properties of every colored person, whose oath can in no case be admitted as evidence against a white person. Policy and self-preservation require, to render the co-operative system beneficial, that slaves must be kept under wholesome and just restraint, which must always create some degree of resistance more or less to Patriarchal authority; to counterbalance which the interest and co-operation of the free colored people is absolutely necessary when the white population is scanty."

"A patriarchal feeling of affection is due to every slave from his owner, who should consider the slave as a member of his family, whose happiness and protection is identified with that of his own family, of which his slave constitutes a part, according to his scale of condition. This affection creates confidence which becomes reciprocal, and is attended with the most beneficial consequences to both. It certainly is humiliating to a proud master to reflect, that he depends on his slave even for bread to eat. But such is the fact."

The Treatise is available for purchase at Kingsley Plantation.

Return to History of Kingsley Plantation.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Phone:

904-641-7155

Contact Us