xt7xpn8x9t92 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7xpn8x9t92/data/mets.xml Rice, David, 1733-1816. 1792  books b92e446r48517922009 English J. Bradford : Lexington, KY This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. N\A Slavery inconsistent with justice and good policy. text Slavery inconsistent with justice and good policy. 1792 2009 true xt7xpn8x9t92 section xt7xpn8x9t92 
  
  
SLAVERY
INCONSISTENT W ITH J USTICE AND GOOD P OLICY.
'FIT-.:SLTlkSEraitr   

J g i g p H E R E is an important queftfon r o w lyipfT     before the public, w h i c h w i l l p rdbably.be c onfiderea by our approacliing Convention ; viz. W hether Slavery is c oiififlent w i i h j uflice a nd good policy? B u t before this is anfwered, i t m ay be neceffary to enquire what a Slave is? A S lave is a human c reature m ade b y law the p r o perty of a nother h uman c reature, and reduced by m ere p ower to an abfolute unconditional fubjection to his w i l l . T h i s c hfinition w ill be allowed to be juff, with only t his one exception, that the lav/ docs not leave the life a nd the limbs of the Slave entirely i n the mailers po'.ver4__aiid f rom i t may be inferred feveral melancholy t ruths, w h i c h w ii! i nclude a fufficient anfwer to the main q u e i l L r i . I n o rd :T t o a right v i e w of this fubjecf, I w oi'ld .obferve that there are ibtne cafes, where a man may j ufily be made a S lave by l a w . I ' y vicious C O I K ' U C ! he m ay forfeit his freedom ; he may foifeit his l ife. Where t his is the cafe, and the fafety of the public may be fecured by reducing the offender to a ftate o f Slavery, i t w i l l be light; it may be an act o f kindnels. In no o ther cafe, if niy conceptions are juff, c m it be v i n d i cated on principle* c f j uflice a nd humanity. A s c reatures o f G o d we are, with r ifpecl t o liberty, a ll e qual. I f one has a right to l ive a mong his f ellow' c reatures, and enjoy his freedom, fo has a nother: i f o r e has a right to e i j o y that p roperty he acquires by an Boneft i nduftry, io has a nother. I f I by -force t ake t hat f rom a nother, w hich he has a j u f l r ight to accordi n g t o the law of n ature, ( which is a divine la^v,) w h i c h hs

  
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he lias never forfeited, and to which he has never relinquifhed h is c laim, I a m certainly guilty of i i j uflice a nd robbery; and when the thing taken is the m an's l iberty, w hen it is himfelf,' it is the g reatett i i.juitice. I i njure him much more, thai; i f I robbed him of his p roperly on the high-way. In this cafe, it does n ot b elong to him to prove a negative, but to me to' proye t hat fuch forfeiture Iras been mr.de; becaufe, if it has n ot, he is certainly f till the proprietor. A l l he has to do is to fhew the insufficiency of my proofs A S lave rlaims his freedom; he pleads that he=is a m an, t hat he was by n ature free, that he has not forfeited h;s freedom, nor reiinquiihed i t . N o w unlefs h is mailer can prove that he is not a man, that he was n ot born free, or that     bg.Jias forfeited or relinquihcd h is freedom, he riiuft be judged free, the juflice of his c laim m uft be acknowledged, hjs being long deprived of this right, by force 01 f raud, does n ot annihilate i t ; -4*H-erhaii.:.j i t is ftill h is right. W h e n I rob a man of h is property, I leave him his liberty, and a capacity of a cquiring a nd poiteffihg more property; 4   tt w hen I d eprive him of his liberty, I alfo.deprive him of this c apacity; therefore I do him g reater i njury, when I d eprive him of his liberty, than when I rob him of his p roperty. It is in vain ior rne to plead t hat I have the fan ft ion of l a w ; for this makes the injury the g reater, i t a rms the community againft h i m , and makes his cafe defperate. I f m y d-.finition of a Slave is t rue, he is a rational c reature r educed by the power of L egiilation to the ftate c f a b rute, and thereby deprived of every privilege of h umanity, except as< above, that he may minifler to the eaie, luxury, l uff, p ride, or avarice of a nother, n o b etter t han hirnfeif. W e o nly want a law enacted that rio owner of a brute, n or other perfon, fhould k ill o r difmemher it, and then i n l aw the cafe c f a Slave and a b rute is in m c f l refpefts p arallel;

  
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p arallc!; a nd where they differ, the ftare of the brute i s t o be preferred. T h e brute may ftcal o r rob, to ifupply h is hanger; the l a w does not condemn him to die for his offence, it o nly p ermits his death; but the S lave, t hough in the molt i i r aving condition, dare n ot do either, on the penalty of death or fome levere p u nifhment. Is there a ny need of arguments to prove, that i t is i n a h igh degree unjuft and c ruel, t o reduce one human c reature-to"fuch an abject wretched ftate as this, t hat he may m iniftcr t o the eafe, l uxury o r avarice of a n o ther? Has not that other the fame right to have h i m r educed to this ilate, that he may m ir.iiter t o his intercft o r pleafu're? O n what is this right founded? . W h e n c e w as it derived? D i d it come f rom H eaven, f rom E a r t h , or f rom H e l l ? H as the g reat K i n g o f l ieavt-H, the ablblute fovereign difpefer of all men, g iven t his extraordinary right to white men over black m en? W h e r e is the charter? In whole hands is it l odged? L e t it be produced, and read, t hat w e may }:::..       our p rivilege. T h u s r educing men is an i ndignity, a d egradation to o ur o w n nature. H a d we not l oft a true fenfe of i t ; w orth and dignity, we f hould b lufL to fee it converted i r.to b rutes. W e f hould b lufh t o fee our houfes filled, o r Surrounded w ith c attle, i n our o w n fhapes. We f hould l ook u pon it to be a fouler, a blaker ftain, than, that w i t h w hich the vertical Suns have tinged the b lood o f A f r i c a . W h e n we plead for Slavery, we plead for the difgrace and r uin o f our o w n nature. I f we are c apable of it, we may ever after c laim k indred w ith the b rutes, and renounce our o w n fuperfof dignity. r r om our d efinition i t w i l l appear, t hat a S lave is a c reature made after the image of G o d , and accountable to him for the maintenance o f innocence and p u r i t y ; b ut by law reduced to a liablenefs to be debauched by m en, w ithout any prdfpeet or hope of redrefs. That

  
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T hat a Slave is made after the image of G o d no C hrifiian w ill d eny; that a S lave is abfolutely fubjedted t o be debauched by men, is fo apparent f rom the n ature o f S lavery, that i t needs n o proof. T h i s i s evidently t he unhappy cafe of female Slaves; a number of w h o m have been remarkable for their chaftity and modefty. I t their mailer a ttempts t heir chaftity, they dare n either ref  ft, n cr complain. I f another man f hould m ake the attempt-, t hough re fi d ance may not be fo dangerous, c omp'aints are equally v ain. T h e y cannot be heard i n t heir o wn d efence; their teftimony cannot be admitted. 1 he injurious perfon has a right to be heard, many a ccufe the innocent fuflere.r o f malicious flander, and h ave her fevtrely chadded.   .'. A v irtuous woman, and virtuous A fricans n o doubt t here a re, efteem their chaftity above every other thing; fome have preferred it even to their l ives: t hen f orcibly t o deprive her of this, is treating her w ith the greatelt i rjcfticc. T herefore, fince law leaves the chaftity of a i emale Slave entirely in the power of her mafter, and g reatly in the power of others, it permits this injuftice; n p rovides no remedy; it refutes to redrefs this infufferable grievance; it denies even the f mall p rivilege c i c omplaining. F r o m o ur d efinition i t w i l l f ollow, that a S lave is a free moral ag< nt l egally d eprived of free agency, and o bliged to act according to the w i l l o f another free p gent of the farre (pedes: and yet he is accountable to h is c reator for the ufe he makes of his o w n free agency. Vv h en a mat', though he can t xift i ndependent of a nother; cannot act independent of h i m , his agency m uff depend upon the V A i ll o f that o ther; and therefore he is deprived pf his o w n free agency; and yet, as a free a gent, he is accountable ta his maker tor all the deeds d one is the body.- I his comes to pufs through a g reat o iniflton and inconfiftency in the Legiflature. T h e y o ught further to nave enacted, i n order to have

  
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been confident, t i n t the Slave f hould n ot have bretl a ccountable for any of his actions; but that his mailer f hould have anfwered for h i m i n all things, here a nd hereafter. T h a t a Slave has the capacities of a free moral a gent w i l l be allowed by a l l . T h a t he is in many inilances, d eprived b y law of the cxercife of thefs powets, e v i dently appears front his lituath n . T h a t he is accountable to his maker for his conduct, w i l l be allowed by thofe, who do not believe that h uman Legiflatures ate o mnipotent, and can free men f i o n f l h i s a llegiance and f ubjedtion t o the K i n g o f H e a r e n . T h e p rinciples of conjugal love and fidelity i n the b read of a virtuous p^ir, of natural adedtion i n parent?, a nd a fenfe of duty i n children, are inferibed tliere by the finger o f G o d ; they are the laws o f H e a v e n ; but a n i nflaving l aw directly oppofes them, and v irtually f orbids ( b edience. T h e relation of hufband and w ife, o f p arent and c hild, are formed by divine authority, and f ounded o n the laws o f nature. B u t it is in the power o t a cruel mader, and often of a needy creditor, to b ieak thefe tender connexion?, and forever to fepcrate thefe deared relatives. T h i s i s ever done, i n fact, at the c all o f intered or humour. T h e poor fuflereis m . y c xpoitulate; t hey may plead; may plead w ith t ear;; t heir h earts m ay break; but all i n v ain. T h e laws i f n ature a ie violated, the tender ties are d ifiblved, a final f epaiation takes place, and the duties o f thefe relations c an n o longer be performed, nor their comfo;ts e n joyed. W o u d thele Slaves perform the duties of hufbands and wives, p arents a nd children? T h e law d ifabies them, it p uts i t altogether out of their power. i n thefe cafes, it is evident t hat the laws o f nature, or the taws of man, are w r o n g ; and w hich n one w i l l be at a l ols t o judge. T h e divine law fays, w h o m t ' o J i iath j oined together, let no man put afunder: the L r t iiCfiida faysj to the mader o f the Slave, though t he

  
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the divine lav/ has joined them t ogether, y ou may put t iiem afunder, when you pleafe. T h e divine law fays, t rain up your c hild i n the way he fhould g o : the l a w o f m an fays, you ( hall n ot train up your c hild, b ut as y our m atter t hinks proper. T h e divine law fays, honour your father a i d mother, and obey them i n all t hings: but the 'aw of man lays, honour and obey your m ailer i n all things, and your parents j utt as far as he { hall d irect y o u . S hould a m ailer command his Slave to fteal or rob, a'-d he mould prefkme to difobey, he is liable to fiifrer e very extremityorpunithme.it, fhort of death or a m putation, from the hand of his m atter; at the fame time he is liable to a punifhment equally fevere, i f not death i tttlf, f hould he obey. H e is bound by law, i f his m atter pleafes, to do that, for w hich the law condemns h im to death. A nother c onfequence c f our definition is, that a S lave, b eing a free moral a gent, and an accountable creature, is a c apable f ubjcdlof r eligion a nd morality ; but deprived b y l a w of the m eans o f inftruction in the doctrines and d uties of morality, any further than his m atter pleafes. I t is i n the power o f the m atter t o deprive h i m of a ll the m eans o f r eligion a nd moral inftruction, either i n p rivate or i n public. Some m atters h ave actually e xercifed t his power, and reftraincd their Slaves from t he m eans o f inftruction, by the terror of the l afh. - Slaves have not opportunity, at their o w n difpofal, f or i nftrufting c on v enation; it is put out of their power to l earn t o read; and their m atters m ay reitrain them from o ther m eans o f information. A'lafters defignedly keep t heir Slaves i n ignorance, left they i hculd b ecome too k n o w i n g to anfwer their (elfith purpofes; and too w ife t o reft eafy i n their degraded iitua.ion. In this cale the law operates fo as to anfwer an end di e<5i!y oppofed t o the proper end of all l a w . It is pointed agaimt e very thing dear to them j ffgainft the principle end of
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t heir cxiftencc. It fupports, in a land of religious l i berty, the fevereft. perfecutiohsj and may operate fo as t otally t o rob multitudes of their religious privileges, and the rights of continence. I f m y d ifinition is j u i l , a S lave is one who is bound to fpend his life i n the fervice of a nother, t o whom he o wes nothing, is under no obligation; who, is not l e gally b ound to find h int victuals, clothe?, medicine, or    any other m eans o f prefervation, fupport or comfort. T h a t a Slave is bound to fpend his l ife i n the fervice o f h is mailer no one w i l l d ifpute; and that he is not i n debted to his mafler, is under no obligation to h i m , is alfo e vident. H o w can he pofhbly be indebted to h i m , w ho deprives h i m of liberty, property, and almoft every t hing dear t o a human, c r eal tire?- A n d all he receives is the bare m eans o f fubfiilence; and this not bellowed u ntill he lias earned i t ; and t hen-net i n proportion to his h b o r ; nor cut of regard to h i m , but for felfifh p urpofes? T h i s b are fupport the mafler is not bound by l aw to g i v e ; but is left to be guided by his o w n intereft o r humour: and h ence the poor Slave often falls fhort o f w hat is necefiary for the comfortable fupport o f the b ody. T h e mafler is the enemy c f the Slave; he has m ade o pen war a g a i n f t h i m , and is daily carrying it on i n u n remitted efforts. C a n any one then imagine t hat t he S lave is indebed to his mailer, and bound to ferve him? W h e n c e can the obligation arife? W h a t is it founded u pon? W h a t is my duty to an enemy, that is carrying o n w ar againfl me? I do not deny, but, in fome c i r cumltances, it is the duty of the Slave to ferve; but it i s a d uty he owes h imfelf a nd not his mafler. T h e m a iler m ay and often does, i nflict, u pon h i m all the feyerity o f punifhment, the human body is capable o f b earing; and the law fupports h i m i n i t : i f he does but lparc his life and his limbs, he does n ot complr.in: n one c an hear a nd relieve him,; he has no redrefs under H eaven. When

  
W h e n w e duly confidcr all thefe t hings, it m uff a ppear unjuft: to the l afi d egree, to force a f ellow c reature, who has never forfeited his freedom, into this w retched fituation;' and confine him and his poftcrity i n t his bottomlefs g ulf o f wretchednefs for ever. Where is the fympathy, the t ender f eelings of humanity? W h e r e is the heart, t hat does n ot melt at this fcen; of w oe? O r that is not f ired w ith i ndignation to fee fuch i njustice a nd cruelty countenanced by c ivilized n ations, and fupported by the fanction of law? I f S lavery is not confident w ith j ufHce, it m uff be i nconfiftent w ith g ood p olicy. F o r who w ould v enture t o afTert, that i t w ould be good p olicy, f or us to e rc  t a p ublic monument o f our injuftice, and that i njuflice i s n eceflary for our profperity and happinefs? T h a t old p roverb that h onefty is the belt p olicy o ught not to be defpifed for its age. B ut t he inconfiftency of Slavery w i t h g ood p olicy w i l l f ully a ppear, i f we confider another conlequence uf o ur definition, v i z . A S lave is a member of c ivil f ociety, bound to obey t he law of the l a n d ; to w hich l aws he never confented; w hich p artially and feebly protect his perfon; w hich a l ]n v h im no property; from w hich he can receive no a dvantage * a nd w hich c hiefly, as they relate to h i m , Were m ade to puniih h i m . H e is therefore bound to f ubmit t o a g'vernment, to w hich he owes no a llegi; " i c e ; f rom w hich he receives g reat i njury; and to w hich he is under no obligations; and to perform ferijc.es t o a fociety, to w hich he owes nothing, and i n V) i(   profperity he has no intereft. hat he is under this government, and forced to f i binit t o it, appeals from his luffering the penalty o f i l aws. T h a t he receives no benefit by the laws and ; . ivernment he is under, is evident from their depriving l iioi o f his liberty and the m eans o f happinefs. Though t ucy protect his fife a nd his l imbs, t hey confine h i m i n m ifery.

  
   miferv, t hey-will n ot f uller h i m to fly f rom i t ; the grcateft favours they afford h i m c hiefly ferve to perpetuate h is wretchednefs H e is then a member o f fociety, who is, properly f peaking, i n a ftate o f war w ith his mafler, his c ivil r ulers and every free member of that f ociety. T hey are all his declared enemies, having, i n h i m , made war u pon a lmoft every t h i n g dear to a human creature. It is a perpetual war, w ith a n avowed purpofe ot never m aking p eace. T h i s w ar as it is unprovoked, is, o n the part of the Slave, properly defenfive. 1 he injury d one h i m is much greater than what is generally efteemed a juft ground of war betweendifferent nations; i t is much greater than was the caufe uf war b etween us and B i i t a i n . I t cannot be conftflent w ith the principles o f good p olicy to keep a numerous, and g r o w i n g body of people a mong'us, who add no flrength to us i n time of w a r ; w ho are under the ftrongeft temptations to j o i n an enemy, as it is fcarce p ofiible t hey can lofe, and may be g reat g ainers, by the event; w h o w i l l c ount lo many a gainft us i n an hour of danger and diftrefs. A people w hofe i ntereft it w i l l b e, when ever in their power, to f ubvert the government, and d i r o w all into c onfulion. i Can i t be fore r C a n it be good p olicy? C a n it be our i ntereft, or the intereft of pofterity, to nourifh w ithin o ur o w n bowels fuch a n injured e nveterate foe? A foe, w ith w hom we m uff be i n a ftate o f eternal war? - What h avock w ould a handful of favages, in conjunction w ith this domefiic e n t m y , make i n our country ? t f p e cially ac a period when the main body of the inhabitants w ere foftened by l uxury a nd cafe, and quite unfettled    for the hardfhips and dangers of war. L e t us turn our eyes to the W e f t - I n d i e s ; ' and t here l earn the melancholy effects of this wretched p olicy. W e may thefe -read them written w ith the b lood o f thoufands. '1 h ere y ou m ay fee the fable, let me fay, the brave fons t-f Africa

  
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A frica e ngaged in a noble c onflict w ith t heir enveterate foes. T h e r e you may fee thoufands fired w ith a g enerous refentment of the greateft i njuries, and bravely fac i i . i c i n g t heir lives on the altar ol liberty. . In A m e r i c a , a S lave is a Handing monument o f the tyranny and l iiconfiftency o f human governments. M H e is declared by the united voice of A merica, t o be by n ature free, and entitl d to the privileges of acquiring and enjoying property : and yet by laws palled I and enforced i n thtle Slates, retained i n Slavery, and d ifpoliefled o f all property and capacity of acquiring any; T h e y have fu'nifhed a f lriking iriftanee of a people carrying o n war in defence of principles, w hich t hey are a ctually and avowedly deftroying by legal force; ufeing o ne meafure for themfelves and another for their n eighbours. E v e r y State, in order to gain credit abroad, and c onfidence at home, and to give proper energy to g o vernment, fnould Itudy to be confident; their conduct { hould n ot disagree w ith t heir avowed principles, nor b e inconiiftcnt in its feveral parts. ' Confiftent'juftice is. the f olid bafis on w hich the fabriek of government w i l l re(t fecurcly; take this away, and the b uilding t otters, a nd is liable to fall b tfore every blaft. It is, I p refume, the avowed principle of each of us, that a ll men are by n ature free, and are f till e ntitled to freedom, unlefs they have forfeited it. N o w , after this is feen a nd acknowledged, to e nact that m en i hould be Slaves, a gainft w h o m we have no evidence that they have forfeited t heir r i g h t ; what w ould i t be, but evidently to fly i n o ur o w n face; to contradict ourfelves; to proc l a i m before the w orld o ur o w n inconfiftency; and w a r n a ll men to repofe no confidence in us? A fter t his, w hat credit can we ever expect? W h a t confidence can w e repofe i n each other ? I f we generally concur i n this n efarious deed, we deftroy mutual confidence, and break e very l ink o f the chain that f hould bind us t ogether. Arc

  
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A r c w e Rulers? H o w can the people confide i n us", after we have thus o penly declared t hat w e are v oid o f ' t ruth and fmcerity; and, that w e are capable of c nflaving m ankind in direct contradiction to our o w n avowed p rinciples? W h a t confidence in Legifiators, who are c apable of declaring their conftituents all free men i n one breath; and i n the next, enacting them all Slaves? I n o re b  ea  J*, d eclaring that t hey have a right to acquire and pollefs property; and in the next, t hat t hey l hall n either acq re nor pofiefs it, during their exiftencc here? C a n I truft my l ife, m y liberty, m y property, i n f uch hands as thefe? W i l l the colour o f m y f kin p rove a f uflicicnt defence againft their injuftice and cruelty? W i l l the particular circumftance of my ancefters being born i n Europe, and not in A frica, defend me? \ v t l l ftraight h air defend me againft the b low that foils fo heavy o n the w oolly head ? - I f I am a d iflioheir. m an, i f gain Is my G o d , and this m ay be acquired by fuch a n unrighteous law, I may re     j otce to find i t enacted; but I never can behave that the L egifiators were honell m e n ; or repofe the leaft c o n fidence i n them, when their o w n intereft w ould l ead t hem to betray it. I never can truft to the integrity o f that j udge, who can fit upon the feat of juftice, and pafs an unrighteous judgment, becaufe it is agreeable t o l a w ; when that l aw i tfclf is contrary to the light and l aw o f nature. W h e r e n o confidence can be put in men of public t ruft, the exercife o f government muft be very uneafy, a nd the condition of the people extremely wretched. W e m ay conclud?, w ith the utmoft certainty that i t w ould be bad p olicy t o reduce m atters t o this unhappy f ituation. S lavery n aturally tends t o Op the foundations of m o ral, a nd confequently of p olitical v i t t u e ; and virtue is a bfolutely n ecellary for the happinefs and profperity o f a free people. Slavery produces idlenefs; and iclenefs is t he

  
the nurfe of v ice. A v irtuous Commonwealth is a b uilding e rected on quick-fand, the inhabitants of w hich c an n ever abide in fafety. Y o u n g G entlemen, who ought to be the honour and f uppcrt o f the State, when they have in profpedt an independent f ortune c onfiiting i n land and Slaves, w hich t hey c an e afily d evolve on a faithful overfeer or fteward, become the moft ufelefs and i nfignificant m embers of fociety. T h e r e is no c onfining t hem to ufeful {Indies, or a ny buiincfs t hat w i l l fit them for ferving the p ublic. T h e y are employed in fcenes of pleafure and d iflipation. T h ey corrupt each other; they corrupt the morals of a ll a round them: w hile t heir Slaves, ' even i n time of p eace, are far f rom b eing equally ufeful to fociety w ith t he fame number of free m e n ; and, i n time of war, a re to be confidered as an enemy lodged w ithin o ur w alls. I L i d they were ufelefs i nfignificant m embers o f f ociety. I f hould h ave fatd m o r e ; 1 f hould h ave f aid, t hey are intolerable nuifances, pernicious pelts of i ociety. I m ean not to reproach men of fortune; I m ean o nly to point out the natural tendency o f Slavery, i n o rder to fhew, how inconiiltent it is w ith g ood p olicy. '1 he profperity o f a country depends u pon the i n duftry o f its inhabitants; idlencfs w ill p roduce poverty:: and when flavery becomes c o m m o n , induttry finks i nto d ifgrace. T o labour is to Slave; t o work, \s to Ivor/; like a Negro: a nd this is disgraceful; it levels us w ith the meansil of the Ipecies; it fits hard upon the m i n d ; i t cannot be patiently borne. Y o u t h a re hereby t empted to idlenefs, and drawn into other vices: they fee no other way to keep their credit, and acquire fome l ittle i mportance. T h i s r enders t hem l ike thofe they a pe, nuifances of fociety. It frequently t empts t hem t o gaming, theft, robbery, o r f o r g e e y ; for w hich t hey often end their days i n difgrace on the gallows. Since e very State m uft be fupported by induftry, it is exceed-

  
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* u nwife to admit what w i l l i nevitably f ink i t i n t o ' d i f grace: and that this is the tendency of Slavery is k n o w n f rom m atter o f fact. S lavery n aturnlly tends t o deftroy all fenfe of juftice and equity. It puffs up the mind with pride; teaches y outh a habit of looking down upon their f ellow c reatures w ith contempt, efteeming them as dogs or devils, and imagining themfelves beings of fuperior dignity and i mportance, to whom all are indebted. T h i s banifhes t he idea, and unqualifies the mind for the practice of c ommon j uflice. I f I have, all my days, been accuftomed to l ive at the expence of a black man, without m aking h im any compenfation, or confidermg m yfeif at all i l l his debt, I c annot think it any g reat c rime to l ive at the expence of a white man. If 1 can rob a b lack m an without guilt, I { ball c ontract no g reat g uilt b y r obbing a white man. I f I have been long accuftomed to think a black man was m ade for me, I may e alily t ake i t into my head t ~ t hink fo of a white m a n . > I f I have no fenfe of obligation to do juftice to a black m an, I can have little to do juftice to a white man. I n t his cafe, the tinge of our fkins, or the place o f our n ativity, c an make but little difference. I f I arn_.iij_ p rinciple a friend to Slavery, I cannot, to be confident, t hink it any crime to rob my country of it's property or f reedom, whenever my intereft calls, and 1 find i t i n m y power. I f I make any difference h ere, i t muft be o w i n g to a vicious education, the force of prejudice, or p ride of h eart. I f in principle a friend to Slavery, l e a n not feel m yfeif o bliged to pay the d ebt due to my neighbour. I f I can w r o n g him of all his pofleflions, and a void t o law all is w ell. T h e deflruction o f chaftity has a natural tendency to i ntroduce a number o f vices, t hat are very pernicious t o the intereft of a commonwealth ; and Slavery much c onduces to deftroy chaftity, as it puts fo g reat a n u m ber of females entirely i n the power of the other fex; a gainft

  
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a gainft w h o m the}' dare n ot complain, on p eril o f the l afh; and many of whom they dare n ot rtfut. This v ice, t his bane of fociety, has already become fo c o m mon, that i t is fcarcely efleemed a difgrace in the one f ex, a nd that the one that is generally the m o l l c r i m i nal. L e t it become as little difgraccful in the other, a nd t here is an cad to domeltic tranquility, an end to t he public profperity. I t is neceflary to our national profperity, that the eftates c f the inhabitants of the country be greatly p i o dudtivc. B u t perhaps n o eftates, poflefled in any part o f the w orld, are tafs p roductive than thofe w hich c onfifl i n g reat n umbers of Slaves. In fuch eftates there w ill be old. a nddeciiptd m en and women, breeding women, and little c hildren: a ll muft be maintained. T h e y labour only f rom f ervile principles, and therefore not to equal advantage w ith free men. ' i hey w i l l l abour as l ittle, t hey w i l l t ake as little care as they p oilibly c an. When t heir maintenance is deducted from the fruit o f their l abour, only a i 'mall p ittance remains for the owner. I i e n c e many who arc proud o f their eftates, a nd envied f or t heir wealth, are l iving i n poverty, and immerfed i n d:.bt, h e : e are large eftates t o be taxed; but f ma'l i ncomes to pay the taxes. T h i s , w hile it gives us w eight in the Scale of the U n i o n , w i l l m ake us groan u nder the burthen of our o w n importance. P ut all the above cohfiderations t ogether, a nd it e v i dently appears, t hat S lavery is neither confident w i t h j uftice n or good p olicy. T hefe are confidcrations, one w ould t hink, Sufficient to Silence every objection; but 1 forefee, notwithstanding, t hat a n umber w i l l be made, f ome o f w h i c h h ave a formidable appearance. I t w i l l be Said, N egroes were made Slaves by l a w , t hey were converted into property by an act o f the L egislature; a nd under the Sanction of that l aw I purchafed them; they therefore became m y property, I h ave a legal c laim to them. T o repeal this l a w , to a nnihilate

  
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a nnihilate S lavery, w ould be v iolently to deftroy what T. l egally purcbafed w ith m y money, or inherit f rom m y father. It w ould be equally unjuft w ith difpoffeffircg m e o f my horfes, cattle or any other fpeGtes of ptuperry. T o difpoflefs me o f their offspring w ould be i njuffice e qual t o difpdffeHing m e of the annual profits of m y eftate. T h i s is an important objection; and it c alls for a ferious anfwer. T h e nva.ter feems to ftand thus; many yrars ago, men, b eing deprived of their natural right to freedom,, a nd made Slaves, were by law converter into property. T h i s l aw, it is true, was wrong, it eftaldhhediniquity; i t w as againft the lav/ of humanity, c o m m o n fenfe, r eafon an i conicience. It was, h owever, a l a w ; and u nder the f anction c f it a number'of men, regardlefs c f i ts i niquity, purehafed thefe S laves, ana made their f ellow men t heir property. T h e q ueflion is concerning the liberty of a m a n . T h e m an h imfclf c laims it as his own property, lie pleads that i t was o riginally h is o w n , that he has never f orfeited, nor a lienated i t ; and therefore by tne c o m mon l aw of juftice and humanity, it is f tiil h is o w n . T h e p urchaier of the Slave claims the fame property. H e pleads that he purehafed it under the fandtion of a l aw, enadtcd by the L e g i f l a t u r e ; and therefore it b e came his. N o w the queflion is, who has the beft c laim? D i d the property in queflion belong to the L egillature? W a s it vetted in t hem. I f Legifiatures are poffetfed of fuch p roperty as t his, may another never e xift! N o i ndividual o f their c onitituents c ould c l a i m it as his o w n inherent r i g h t ; it was not in them c c j ledtively; a nd therefore they c ould n ot convey to t heir r eprefentatives. W a s it ever k n o w n that a people chofe r epreientatives to create and t ransfer this k ind of property? T h e Legiflature were not, t hey c ould n ot be p oiletled o f i t ; and therefore c ould not transfer i t to    another, they c ould not g ive what they tbeaifclves had * J3 net.

  
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n ot. N o w does this property belong to h i m , who re~ ce'ived i t f rom a L egislature that had it not to g ive, a nd b y a l aw they had no right to enact? O r to the o riginal o wner, who has never forfeited, nor alienated bis right? I f a l aw f hould pafs for f elling a n innocent man's head, a nd I f hould purchafe i t ; have I, in confequence of this J aw a nd this purchafe,. a b etter c laim t o-this man's head t han he has h imfelf ? T o c all o ur f ellow m en, w h o have not forfeited, nor v oluntarily r efigned their libetty, our property, is a grofs abfurdity, a contradiction to c o m m o n fenfe, and a n indignity to human nature. T h e owners of f uch S laves t hen are the licenced robbers, and not the juft p roprietors, of what they c l a i m : f reeing them is not d epriving t hem of property, but reftoring it to the right o w n e r ; it is f uff