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viduals, owning none of this property themselves, were patrolling under a compulsory process, for a pittance of seventy-five cents per twelve hours, the very curtilage of my house, and guarding that property, which was alike dangerous to them and myself. After all, this is but an expedient. As this population becomes more numerous, it becomes less productive. Your guard must be increased, until finally its profits will not pay for the expense of its subjection. Slavery has the effect of lessening the free population of a country.

The gentlemen has spoken of the increase of the female slaves being a part of the profit; it is admitted; but no great evil can be averted, no good attained, without some inconvenience. It may be questioned, how far it is desirable to foster and encourage this branch of profit. It is a practice, and an increasing practice in parts of Virginia, to rear slaves for market. How can an honorable mind, a patriot, and a lover of his country, bear to see this ancient dominior, rendered illustrious by the noble devotion and patriotism of her sons in the cause of liberty, converted in one grand menagerie, where men are to be reared for the market, like oxen for the shambles. Is it better, is it not worse, than the slave-trade; that trade which enlisted the labor of the good and wise of every creed, and every clime, to abolish it? The trader receives the slave, a stranger in language, aspect and manner, from the merchant who has brought him from the interior. The ties of father, mother, husband and child, have all been rent in twain; before he receives him, his soul has become callous. But here, sir, individuals, whom the master has known from infancy, whom he has seen sporting in the innocent gambols of childhood, who have been accustomed to look to him for protection, he tears from the mother's arms, and sells into a strange country, among strange people, subject to cruel taskmasters.

He has attempted to justify slavery here, because it exists in Africa, and has stated that it exists all over the world. Upon the same principle, he could justify Mahometism, with its plurality of wives, petty wars for plunder, robbery and murder, or any other of the abominations and enormities of savage tribes. Does slavery exist in any part of civilized Europe? No sir, in no part of it.—Speech in the Virginia Legislature.


The deplorable error of our ancestors in copying a civil institution from savage Africa, has affixed upon their posterity a depressing burden, which nothing but the extraordinary benefits conferred by our happy climate, could have enabled us to support. We have been far outstripped by states, to whom nature has been far less bountiful. It is painful to consider what might have been, under other circumstances, the amount of general wealth in Virginia, or the whole sum of comfortable subsistence and happiness possessed by all her inhabitants.— Address to the Legislature of Virginia, in 1820.


By the freehold qualification now affixed to the right of voting by colored citizens of the state of New-York, a large number of the people of the state, who, from 1777, when the old constitution was formed, for forty-five years had enjoyed the right of voting, on the same terms as white citizens, were disfranchised. The odious principle of making discriminations among men, on the ground of color, was established; and, by engrafting it into the fundamental law of the state, a monument of injustice has been reared, which will take. years to demolish.


The convention of 1821, contained as large a number of men of the first order of mind and attainments, as any similar body ever assembled in the United States. And it is a trait worthy of notice, inthe members of that assembly, that the most respectable, the purest and best, were found on the side of the colored people. It would be invidious, perhaps, to discriminate among the living, though we could point to such men as a Chancellor Kent, a Jay, and Van Rens selaer. But in regard to the dead, many of the worthiest and ablest in that body are now of that number. And of these are Jonas Platt, and Wm. W. Van Ness, both, when living, Justices of the Supreme Court, Rufus King, long a senator of the United States, and Abraham Van Vechten, in life the well known patriarch of the New-York Bar, all of whom, and others who might be named, advocated the rights of the people of color. The first vote was 63 to 59 for preserving their rights.-Rights of Colored Men.


Here there is, but one estate-the people. And, to me, the only qualification seems to be, their virtue and morality. If they may be safely trusted to vote for one class of rulers, why not for all? The principle of the scheme now presented, is, that those who bear the burdens of the state shall choose those that rule it; and we wish to carry it almost as far as our male population. It is the scheme which has been proposed by a majority of the committee, and they think it safe and beneficial.


It was not expected that this right of suffrage was in any instance to be restricted, much less was it anticipated, or desired, that a single person was to be disfranchised. Why, sir, are these men to be excluded from rights which they possess in common with their countrymen? What crime have they committed for which they are to be punished? Why are they, who were born as free as ourselves, natives of the same country, and deriving from nature and our po litical institutions the same rights and privileges which we have, now to be deprived of all those rights, and doomed to remain for ever as aliens among us? We are told, in reply, that other states have set us the example. It is true that other states treat this race of men with cruelty and injustice, and that we have hitherto manifested towards them a disposition to be just and liberal. Yet even in Vir

ginia and North Carolina, free people of color are permitted to vote, and if I am correctly informed, exercise that privilege. In Penn. sylvania, they are much more numerous than they are here, and there they are not disfranchised, [altered in 1838,] nor has any incon venience been felt from extending to all men the rights which ought to be common to all.


Free people of color are included in the number which regulates your representation in congress, and I wish to know how freemen can be represented when they are deprived of the privilege of voting for representatives. The constitution says, "representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the different states, according to the inhabitants thereof, including all free persons," &c. All colors and complexions are here included. It is not free "white" persons. No sir, our venerable fathers entertained too strong a sense of justice to countenance such an odious distinction. Now, sir, taking this in connexion with the declaration of independence, I think you cannot exclude them without being guilty of a palpable violation of every principle of justice. We are usurping to ourselves a power which we do not possess: and by so doing, deprive them of a privilege to which they are, and always have been, justly entitled-an invaluable right -a right in which we have prided ourselves as constituting our su periority over every other people on earth-a right which they have enjoyed ever since the formation of our government-the right of suf frage. And why do we do this? Instead of visiting the iniquities of these people upon them and their children, we are visiting their misfortunes upon them and their posterity unto the latest generation.

In this very house, in the fall of 1814, a bill passed, receiving the approbation of all the branches of your government, authorizing the governor to accept the services of a corps of 2000 free people of color. Sir, these were times which tried men's souls. In these times it was no sporting matter to bear arms. These were times when a man who shouldered his musket, did not know but he bared his bosom to receive a death wound from the enemy ere he laid it aside; and in these times, these people were found as ready and as willing to volunteer in your service as any other. They were not compelled to go, they were not drafted. No, your pride had placed them beyond your com pulsory power. But there was no necessity for its exercise; they were volunteers; yes sir, volunteers to defend from the inroads and ravages of a ruthless and vindictive foe, that very country which had treated them with insult, degradation, and slavery. Volunteers are the best of soldiers; give me the men, whatever be their complexion, that willingly volunteer, and not those who are compelled to turn out; such men do not fight from necessity, nor from mercenary mo tives, but from principle. Such men formed the most efficient corps for your country's defence in the late war; and of such consisted the crews of your squadrons on Erie and Champlain, who largely con tributed to the safety and peace of your country, and the renown of her arms. Yet, strange to tell. such are the men whom you seek to degrade and oppress.


There was much difficulty in the practical operation of the principle involved in the use of the word white. What shall be the crite rion in deciding upon the different shades of color. The Hindoo and Chinese are called yellow--the Indian red-shall these be excluded, should they come and reside among us? Great efforts were now making in the christian world to enlighten and improve their condition, and he thought it inexpedient to erect a barrier that should ex. clude them for ever from the enjoyment of this important right.

He was disposed, however, to annex such qualifications and conditions as should prevent them from coming in bodies from other states to vote at elections.

Slavery existed in this state at the time of the revolution, and yet it was not recognized in the constitution. There was no such thing known in the constitution of the non-slave-holding states, with the exception of Connecticut, as a denial to the blacks of those electoral privileges that were enjoyed by the whites. In Europe, the distinc tion of color was unknown. The judges of England said, even so long ago as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, that the air of England was too pure for a slave to breathe in. The same law prevails in Scot land, Holland, France, and most of the other kingdoms of Europe.


We are precluded from denying their citizenship, by our uniform recognition for more than forty years-nay some of them were citizens when this state came into political existence-partook in our struggle for freedom and independence, and were incorporated into the body politic at its creation. As to their degradation, that had been produced by the injustice of white men, and it does not be come those who have acted so unjustly towards them, to urge the result of that injustice as a reason for perpetuating their degradation The period has elapsed when they were considered and treated as the lawful property of their masters. Our legislature has duly re cognised their unalienable right to freedom as rational and accounta ble beings. This recognition, and the provision made by law for the gradual melioration of their condition, by necessary implication, admit their title to the native and acquired rights of citizenship.

Do our prejudices against their color destroy their rights as citizens? Whence do those prejudices proceed? Are they founded in impartial reason, or in the benevolent principles of our holy religion Nay, are they indulged in cases where the services of men of color are desirable? Do we not daily see them working side by side with white citizens on our farms, and on our public highways? Is it more derogatory to a white citizen to stand by the side of a citizen of color in the ranks of the militia, than in repairing a highway, or in labor- . ing on a farm? Again, are not people of color permitted to participate in our most solemn religious exercises-to sit down with us at the same table to commemorate the dying love of the Saviour of sinners? This will not be denied by any one who has been in the habit of attending those exercises, and those religious solemni

ties. And what is the conclusion to which this fact directs us? Is it not that people of color are our fellow candidates for immortality, and that the same path of future happiness is appointed for them and us-and that in the final judgment the artificial distinction of color will not be regarded? How then can that distinction justify us in taking from them any of the common rights which every other free citizen enjoys?

There is another, and to my mind, an insuperable objection to the exclusion of free citizens of color from the right of suffrage, arising from the provision in the constitution of the United States, "that the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immu. nities of citizens in the several states." The effect of this provision is, to secure to the citizens of the other states, when they come to reside here, equal privileges and immunities with our native citizens. Suppose, then, that a free citizen of color should remove from the state of Connecticut into this state, could we deny him the right of suffrage when he obtained the legal qualification of an elector? Is not the constitution of the United States paramount to ours on the subject?

It was expected by a considerable portion of the people of this state, that the right of suffrage would be extended, but he had not heard that it was expected or desired (except by some of the citizens of New-York,) that any of the present electors of this state should be disfranchised. He should, therefore, vote for striking out the word white in the amendment before the committee, in order to reserve inviolate the present constitutional rights of the electors.


Our republican text is, that all men are born equal, in civil and political rights; and if this freehold proviso be ingrafted into our constitution, the practical commentary will be, that a portion of our fiee citizens shall not enjoy equal rights with their fellow citi. zens. All freemen, of African parentage, are to be constitutionally degraded no matter how virtuous or intelligent. Test the principle, sir, by another example. Suppose the proposition were, to make a discrimination, so as to exclude the descendants of German, or Low Dutch, or Irish ancestors; would not every man be shocked at the horrid injustice of the principle? It is in vain to disguise the fact, we shall violate a sacred principle, without any necessity, if we retain this discrimination. We say to this unfortunate race of men, purchase a freehold estate of $250 value, and you shall then be equal to the white man, who parades one day in the militia, or performs a day's work on the highway. Sir, it is adding mockery to injustice. We know that, with rare exceptions, they have not the means of purchasing a freehold; and it would be unworthy of this grave convention to do, indirectly, an act of injustice, which we are unwil ling openly to avow. The real object is, to exclude the oppressed and degraded sons of Africa; and, in my humble judgment, it would better comport with the dignity of this convention to speak out, and to pronounce the sentence of perpetual degradation on negroes and

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