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to arms with the promptitude of Roman citizens, when the hand of oppression was lifted up against themselves; who could behold their country desolated and their citizens slaughtered; who could brave with unshaken firmness every calamity of war before they would submit to the smallest infringement of their rights-that this very people could yet see thousands of their fellow-creatures, within the limits of their territory, bending beneath an unnatural yoke; and, instead of being assiduous to destroy their shackles, anxious to immortalize their duration, so that a nation of slaves might for ever exist in a country where freedom is its boast.

"Sir, it is really matter of astonishment to me, that the people of Maryland do not blush at the very name of Freedom. I admire that modesty does not keep them silent in her cause. That they who have, by the deliberate acts of their legislature, treated her most obvious dictates with contempt; who have exhibited, for a long series of years, a spectacle of slavery which they still are solicitous to perpetuate; who, not content with exposing to the world for near a century, a speaking picture of abominable oppression, are still ingenious to prevent the hand of generosity from robbing it of half its horrors; that they should step forward as the zealous partizans of freedom, cannot but astonish a person who is not casuist enough to reconcile antipathies.

"For shame, Sir! let us throw off the mask, 'tis a cobweb one at best, and the world will see through it. It will not do thus to talk like philosophers, and act like unrelenting tyrants; to be perpetually sermonizing it with liberty for our text, and actual oppression for our commentary.

"But, Sir, is it impossible that this body should feel for the reputation of Maryland? Is national honour unworthy of consideration? Is the censure of an enlightened universe insufficient to alarm us? It may proceed from the ardour of youth perhaps, but the character of my country among the nations of the world is as dear to me as that country itself. What a motley appearance must Maryland at this moment make in the eyes of those who view her with deliberation! Is she not at once the fair temple of freedom, and the abominable nursery of slaves; the school for patriots, and the foster-mother of petty despots; the assertor of human rights, and the patron of wanton oppression ? Here have emigrants from a land of tyranny found an asylum

from persecution, and here also have those who came as rightfully free as the winds of heaven, found an eternal grave for the liberties of themselves and their posterity!

"In the name of God, should we not attempt to wipe away this stigma, as far as the impressions of the times will allow? If we dare not strain legislative authority so as to root up the evil at once, let us do all we dare, and lop the exuberance of its branches. I would sooner temporize than do nothing. At least we should show our wishes by it.

"But lest character should have no more than its usual weight with us, let us examine into the policy of thus perpetuating slavery among us, and also consider this regulation in particular, with the objections applicable to each. That the result will be favourable to us I have no doubt.

"That the dangerous consequences of this system of bondage have not as yet been felt, does not prove they never will be. At least the experiment has not been sufficiently made to preclude speculation and conjecture. To me, Sir, nothing for which I have not the evidence of my senses is more clear, than that it will one day destroy that reverence for liberty which is the vital principle of a republic.

"While a majority of your citizens are accustomed to rule with the authority of despots, within particular limits; while your youth are reared in the habits of thinking that the great rights of human nature are not so sacred but they may with innocence be trampled on, can it be expected that the public mind should glow with that generous ardour in the cause of freedom, which can alone save a government like ours from the lurking dæmon of usurpation? Do you not dread the contamination of principle? Have you no alarms for the continuance of that spirit which once conducted us to victory and independence, when the talons of power were unclasped for our destruction? Have you no apprehensions left, that when the votaries of freedom sacrifice. also at the gloomy altars of slavery, they will at length become apostates from the former? For my own part, I have no hope that the stream of general liberty will flow for ever, unpolluted, through the foul mire of partial bondage, or that they who have been habituated to lord it over others, will not in time be base enough to

let others lord it over them. If they resist, it will be the struggle of pride and selfishness, not of principle.

"There is no maxim in politics more evidently just, than that laws should be relative to the principle of government. But is the encouragement of civil slavery, by legislative acts, correspondent with the principle of a democracy? Call that principle what you will, the love of equality, as defined by some; of liberty, as understood by others; such conduct is manifestly in violation of it.

"To leave the principle of a government to its own operation, without attempting either to favour or undermine it, is often dangerous; but to make such direct attacks upon it by striking at the very root, is the perfection of crooked policy Hear what has been said on this point, by the noblest instructor that ever informed a statesman.

"In despotic countries,' says Montesquieu, where they are ' already in a state of political slavery, civil slavery is more to'lerable than in other governments. Every one ought there to be <contented with necessaries and with life. Hence the con'dition of a slave is hardly more burthensome than that of a sub'ject. But in a monarchical government, where it is of the ut'most consequence that human nature should not be debased or 'dispirited; there ought to be no slavery. In democracies, where 'they are all upon an equality, and in aristocracies, where the 'laws ought to endeavour to make them so, as far as the nature of 'the government will permit, slavery is contrary to the spirit of 'the constitution; it only contributes to give a power and luxury 'to the citizens which they ought not to possess.'

"Such must have been the idea in England, when the general voice of the nation demanded the repeal of the statute of Edward VI. two years after its passage, by which their rogues and vagabonds were to be enslaved for their punishment. It could not have been compassion for the culprits that excited this aversion. to the law, for they deserved none. But the spirit of the people could not brook the idea of bondage, even as a penalty judicially inflicted. They dreaded its consequences; they abhorred the example in a word, they reverenced public liberty, and hence detested every species of slavery.

"Sir, the thing is impolitic in another respect. Never will your country be productive; never will its agriculture, its commerce,

or its manufactures flourish, so long as they depend on reluctant bondsmen for their progress.

"Even the very earth itself,' (says the same celebrated author) which teems profusion under the cultivating hand of the free'born labourer, shrinks into barrenness from the contaminating 'sweat of a slave.' This sentiment is not more figuratively beautiful than substantially just.

"Survey the countries, Sir, where the hand of freedom conducts the ploughshare, and compare their produce with yours. Your granaries in this view appear like the store-houses of emmets, though not supplied with equal industry. To trace the cause of this disparity between the fruits of a freeman's voluntary labours, animated by the hope of profit, and the slow-paced efforts of a slave, who acts from compulsion only; who has no incitement to exertion but fear; no prospect of remuneration to encourage, would be insulting the understanding. The cause and the effect are too obvious to escape observation.

"Hence, Mr. Speaker, instead of throwing obstacles and discouragements in the way of manumissions, prudence and policy dictate that no opportunity should be lost of multiplying them, with the consent of the owner.

"But objections have heretofore been made, and I suppose will be reiterated now, against the doctrine I am contending for. "I will consider them. It has been said that freed-men are 'the convenient tools of usurpation;' and I have heard allusions made to history for the confirmation of this opinion. Let, however, the records of ancient and modern events be scrutinized, and I will venture my belief, that no instance can be found to give sanction to any such idea.

"In Rome it was clearly otherwise. We have the evidence of Tiberius Gracchus, confirmed by Cicero, and approved by Montesquieu, that the incorporation of the freed-men into the city tribes, re-animated the drooping spirit of democracy in that republic, and checked the career of Patrician influence.

"So far, therefore, were properly-made emancipations from contributing to the downfal of Rome, that they clearly served to procrastinate her existence, by restoring that equipoise in the constitution which an ambitious aristocracy were perpetually labouring to destroy.

"How much more rational, Mr. Speaker, would it be to argue that slaves are the fit machines by which an usurper might effect his purposes and there is, therefore, nothing which a free government ought more to dread than a diffusive private bondage within its territory.

"A promise of manumission might rouse every bondsman to arms, under the conduct of an aspiring leader; and invited by the fascinating prospect of freedom, they might raise such a storm in Maryland as it would be difficult to appease. Survey the conduct of the slaves who fought against Hannibal in the second Punic war. Relying on the assurances of the Senate, who had embodied them with the Roman legions, that conquest should give them liberty, not a man disgraced himself by flight; but though new, perhaps, to the field of battle, they contended. with the resolution of veterans. With the same promptitude and intrepidity would they have turned their arms against the Senate themselves, if the same assurances had been given them by enterprising citizens, who sought their destruction from motives. of ambition or revenge. The love of liberty is inherent in human nature. To stifle or annihilate it, though not impossible, is yet difficult to be accomplished. Easy to be wrought upon, as 1 well as powerful and active in its exertions, wherever it is not gratified there is danger. Gratify it, and you ensure your safety. Thus did Sylla think, who, before he abdicated the dictatorship, gave freedom to ten thousand slaves, and lands to a number of legions. By these means was he enabled, notwithstanding all his preceding enormities, to live unmolested as a private citizen in the bosom of that very country where he had acted the most hateful deeds of cruelty and usurpation. For, by manumitting these slaves, the usurper secured their fidelity and attachment for ever, and disposed them to support and revenge his cause at every possible hazard. Rome knew this, and therefore Sylla was secure in his retirement.

"This example shows that slaves are the proper, natural implements of usurpation, and therefore a serious and alarming evil in every free community. With much to hope for by a change, and nothing to lose, they have no fears of consequences. Despoiled of their rights by the acts of government and its citizens, they have no checks of pity or of conscience, but are stimulated by the desire of revenge, to spread wide the horrors of desolation,

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