546 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
as you have said to me, I might mingle in the circles of the whites, in this country, my shade of color is so slight, and that of my wife and family scarce perceptible. Well, perhaps, on sufferance, I might. But, to tell you the truth, I have no wish to.
" My sympathies are not for my father's race, but for my mother's. To him I was no more than a fine dog or horse ; to my poor heart-broken mother I was a child; and, though I never saw her, after the cruel sale that separated us, till she died, yet I know she always loved me dearly. I know it by my own heart. When I think of all she suffered, of my own early sufferings, of the distresses and struggles of my heroic wife, of my sister, sold in the New Orleans stave-market, — though I hope to have no unchristian sentiments, yet I may be excused for saying, I have no wish to pass for an American, or to identify myself with them.
" It is with the oppressed, enslaved African race that I cast in my lot; and, if I wished anything, I would wish myself two shades darker, rather than one lighter.
" The desire and yearning of my soul is for an African nationality. I want a people that shall have a tangible, separate existence of its own ; and where am I to look for it ? Not in Hayti; for in Hayti they had nothing to start with. A stream cannot rise above its fountain. The race that formed the character of the Haytiens was a worn-out, effeminate one ; and, of course, the subject race will be centuries in rising to anything.
" Where, then, shall I look ? On the shores of Africa I see a republic, — a republic formed of picked men, who, by energy and self-educating force, have, in many cases, individually, raised themselves above a condition of slavery. Having gone through a preparatory stage of feebleness, this republic has, at last, become an acknowledged nation on the face of the earth, — acknowledged by both France and England. There it is my wish to go, and find myself a people.
" I am aware, now, that I shall have you all against me ; but, before you strike, hear me. During my stay in France, I have followed up, with intense interest, the history of my people in America. I have noted the struggle between^boli-tionist and colonizationist, and have received some impressions, as a distant spectator, which could never have occurred to me as a participator.