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Slavery Quotes

Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master's commands when, in fact, he is obliged to. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers, enslaved by an all too "personal" style.

Author: W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

Profession: Anglo-American Poet

Men would rather be starving and free than fed in bonds.

Author: Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973)

Profession: American Novelist

Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.

Author: Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Profession: British Political Writer, Statesman

Captivity is the greatest of all evils that can befall one.

Author: Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616)

Profession: Spanish Novelist, Dramatist, Poet

Slavery can only be abolished by raising the character of the people who compose the nation; and that can be done only by showing them a higher one.

Author: Maria Weston Chapman


It cannot in the opinion of His Majesty's Government be classified as slavery in the extreme acceptance of the word without some risk of terminological inexactitude.

Author: Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Profession: British Statesman, Prime Minister

Slavery is no more sinful, by the Christian code, than it is sinful to wear a whole coat, while another is in tatters, to eat a better meal than a neighbor, or otherwise to enjoy ease and plenty, while our fellow creatures are suffering and in want.

Author: James F. Cooper (1789-1851)

Profession: American Novelist

Forced from home, and all its pleasures, afric coast I left forlorn; to increase a stranger's treasures, o the raging billows borne. Men from England bought and sold me, paid my price in paltry gold; but, though theirs they have enroll'd me, minds are never to be sold.

Author: William Cowper (1731-1800)

Profession: British Poet

I pity them greatly, but I must be mum, for how could we do without sugar and rum?

Author: William Cowper (1731-1800)

Profession: British Poet

The art of being a slave is to rule one's master.

Author: Diogenes of Sinope

Profession: Cynic Philosopher

The genius of any slave system is found in the dynamics which isolate slaves from each other, obscure the reality of a common condition, and make united rebellion against the oppressor inconceivable.

Author: Andrea Dworkin (1946)

Profession: American Feminist Critic

If you are living out of a sense of obligation you are slave.

Author: Wayne Dyer (1940)

Profession: American Psychotherapist, Author, Lecturer

Most people seek after what they do not possess and are enslaved by the very things they want to acquire.

Author: Anwar El-Sadat


Slavery is an institution for converting men into monkeys.

Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Profession: American Poet, Essayist

Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.

Author: Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Profession: Dutch Painter