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and to subvert the foundations of that liberty of which they have never participated, and which they have only been permitted to envy in others.

"But where slaves are manumitted by government, or in consequence of its provisions, the same motives which have attached them to tyrants, when the act of emancipation has flowed from them, would then attach them to government. They are then no longer the creatures of despotism. They are bound by gratitude, as well as by interest, to seek the welfare of that country from which they have derived the restoration of their plundered rights, and with whose prosperity their own is inseparably involved. An apostacy from these principles, which form the good citizen, would, under such circumstances, be next to impossible. When we see freed-men scrupulously faithful to a law less, abandoned villain, from whom they have received their liberty, can we suppose that they will reward the like bounty of a free government with the turbulence of faction, or the seditious plots of treason? He who best knows the value of a blessing, is generally the most assiduous in its preservation; and no man is so competent to judge of that value, as he from whom the blessing has been detained. Hence the man that has felt the yoke of bondage must for ever prove the assertor of freedom, if he is fairly admitted to the equal enjoyment of its benefits.

"To show, Sir, that my idea of the danger arising from the number of slaves in a free government is no novelty in politics, permit me once more to read a passage from Montesquieu.

"The multitude of slaves is no grievance in a despotic state, 'where the political slavery of the whole body takes away the sense of civil slavery. But in moderate states it is a point of the 'highest importance that there should not be a great number of 'slaves. The political liberty of these states adds to the value of 'civil liberty, and he who is deprived of the latter is also de'prived of the former. He sees the happiness of a society of 'which he is not so much as a member; he sees the security of others fenced by laws, himself without any protection. He sees 'his master has a soul that can enlarge itself, while his own is 'constrained to submit to a continual depression. Nothing more 'assimilates a man to a beast than living among freemen, him'self a slave. Such people as these are the natural enemies of 'society, and their numbers must be dangerous.'

"Not gradual emancipations, therefore, but the extension of civil slavery, ought to alarm us; and in truth we are the only nation upon earth that ever considered the first as a ground of apprehension, or the last as a political desideratum.

"In England, while bondage existed among that enlightened people, enfranchisements were always encouraged by Parliament, and those who were entrusted with the administration of justice; and throughout all Europe indeed, after the introduction of Christianity, the gloom of civil slavery gradually receded, as their horizon was enlightened by the dawn of political liberty. Even in India, where climate and the nature of the country have of necessity established a political despotism, their slaves are manumitted without difficulty. No legislative restrictions to observe! No tyrannic clogs to struggle with! These were reserved for that unhallowed æra when the rulers, in a republic produced by the perfection of human reason, should forget the principles of their constitution, of that religion they profess, of the eternal laws of nature, nay, the suggestions of common prudence. When Eastern despots surpass us in humanity, when India affords an evidence of justice which Maryland hesitates to exhibit, who does not lament the corruption of that generous spirit whose exertions so lately attracted the attention of an admiring universe!

"But it has also been said (and who knows but the same opinion may still have its advocates!) "that nature has black-balled these wretches out of society."

"Gracious God! can it be supposed that thy almighty Providence intended to proscribe these victims of fraud and power from the pale of society, because thou hast denied them the delicacy of an European complexion! Is this colour the mark of divine vengeance, or is it only the flimsy pretext upon which we attempt to justify our treatment of them? Arrogant and presumptuous is it thus to make the dispensations of Providence subservient to the purposes of iniquity, and every slight diversity in the works of nature the apology for oppression. Thus acts the intemperate bigot in religion. He persecutes every dissenter from his creed in the name of God, and even rears the horrid fabric of an inquisition upon heavenly foundations.

"I like not these holy arguments. They are as convenient for the tyrant, as the patriot; the enemy, as the friend of mankind. Contemplate this subject through the calm medium of philosophy,

and then to know that these shackled wretches are men as well as we are, sprung from the same common parent, and endued with equal faculties of mind and body, is to know enough to make us disdain to turn casuists on their complexions, to the destruction of their rights. The beauty of a complexion is mere matter of taste, and varies in different countries, nay, even in the same; and shall we dare to set up this vague, indeterminate standard, as the criterion by which shall be decided on what complexion the rights of human nature are conferred, and to what they are denied by the great ordinances of the Deity? As if the Ruler of the universe had made the darkness of a skin, the flatness of a nose, or the wideness of a mouth, which are only deformities or beauties, as the undulating tribunal of taste shall determine, the indicia of his wrath,

"Sir, it is pitiable to reflect on the mistaken light in which this unfortunate generation are viewed by the people in general. Hardly do they deign to rank them in the order of beings above the mere animal that grazes the field of its owner. That an humble, dusky, unlettered wretch that drags the chain of bondage through the weary round of life, with no other privilege but that of existing for another's benefit, should have been intended by heaven for their equal, they will not believe. But let me appeal to the intelligent mind, and ask in what respect are they our inferiors? Though they have never been taught to tread the paths of science, or embellish human life by literary acquirements; though they cannot soar into the regions of taste and sentiment, or explore the scenes of philosophical research, is it to be inferred that they want the power, if the yoke of slavery did not check each aspiring effort, and clog the springs of action? Let the kind hand of an assiduous care mature their powers, let the genius of freedom excite to manly thought and liberal investigation, we should not then be found to monopolize the vigour of fancy, the delicacy of taste, or the solidity of scientific endowments. Born with hearts as susceptible of virtuous impressions as our own, and with minds as capable of benefiting by improvement, they are in all respects our equals by nature; and he who thinks otherwise has never reflected, that talents, however great, may perish unnoticed and unknown, unless auspicious circumstances conspire to draw them forth, and animate their exertions in the round of knowledge. As well might you expect to see the

bubbling fountain gush from the burning sands of Arabia, as that the inspiration of genius or the enthusiastic glow of sentiment should rouse the mind which has yielded its elasticity to habitual subjection. Thus the ignorance and the vices of these wretches are solely the result of situation, and therefore no evidence of their inferiority. Like the flower whose culture has been neglected, and perishes amidst permitted weeds ere it opens its blossoms to the spring, they only prove the imbecility of human nature unassisted and oppressed. Well has Cowper said,



"'Tis liberty alone which gives the flower
"Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume,
"And we are weeds without it.'

Again, it has been urged, that manumitted slaves will be, 'as in many instances they have been, nuisances in the commu'nity.' I know not of instances of this kind in number sufficient to justify a general interference to the prejudice of the blacks but even if they exist, the argument has no weight, for it is founded on what is not peculiar to those people, but, from an imperfect administration of criminal justice, is equally applicable to their whiter neighbours. Will any one pretend that they alone merit this imputation? Extend it to your white citizens in the same proportion, and you will not censure uncharitably. I would not give a straw to choose between them. That many of them will be idle, and roguishly inclined, is certain, but they will be kept in countenance. That the majority will be honest and industrious is as probable as the contrary. I would trust them as soon as the great body of your people; in general, sooner; because the plain, simple method of life to which they have been accustomed, supersedes the necessity of much, and the little they want, their habits of labour will render it easy to supply; and because the terror of the law operates stronger upon their minds than on the minds of those who have been long hackneyed in the world. They have also the same inducement to industry with others, and I see no reason for supposing they will be lazier.

"Thus have I anticipated and answered such objections as have come to my knowledge, against manumission in general. A variety have also been started to this particular mode. These too shall be examined.

"As to such as respect superannuated slaves, and the injury to creditors, the bill may contain the remedy. Let the bequest be considered in the nature of a specific legacy, to depend on the fact of assets; and let all manumissions of slaves above fifty years old, be declared void, and the executors bound to indemnify the county.

"But another objection occurs, which may deserve a more particular reply, because against that there can be no adequate provision. Testators may impoverish their families by incon'siderate manumission in their last sickness. They may be 'frightened by preachers, refined moralists, and others, when the 'mind is easily alarmed and incapable of its usual resistance.' I answer, Sir, that if emancipations can be effected with the owner's consent, while his understanding is legally competent to the act, I care not through what medium, fraud excepted. Should he reduce his family to beggary by it, I should not be the one to repine at the deed. I should glory in the cause of their distress, while I wished them a more honest patrimony. Sir, the children have no claim to the property of the parent, except as the law casts it on them; and, therefore, you violate no rule of moral justice in allowing him to transfer it in his lifetime. You permit their claim to be barred by the will of the ancestor in every instance but this; an instance which deserves more to be within the rule than any other that can be mentioned, because the property, being founded in iniquity, cannot be too easily defeated. But I much fear that this common apprehension will not be verified in practice. Families will take care that these preachers shall have as little access as possible to the person from whom they have expectations. They will not permit him, if they can avoid it, to close his life with the noblest act of justice that can dignify the man or characterize the Christian. The importunate zealot will have less employment than is expected; less than I wish him.

"We have also been told that manumissions by last will may produce the untimely death of the maker. Slaves, knowing 'that they are provided for in the will, may destroy their master 'to prevent a revocation, and hasten the completion of the bequest.' 'Tis strange to tell, but I have known this objection relied on; and yet it is plain that it applies with equal force to

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