Diary of the American Revolution: From Newspapers and Original Documents - Vol. 2

By Frank Moore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX

JANUARY 1. -- As the manumission of slaves has become a topic of general conversation, we beg (; permission to offer a few sentiments on the subject: -- The merits of almost every case of litigation generally turns upon one or two points. In the present instance the question is, we conceive, whether law, justice, and policy, warrant the retaining our slaves in their present situation?

Manumission of Slaves.

That we became legally possessed of them, or that they were introduced into this country agreeable to its laws, no one will presume to deny, and that we cannot constitutionally be divested of them by legislative authority, is, we humbly imagine, as evident as that white is not black, or that slavery is not freedom. Our most excellent constitution admits not the subject to be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by a trial by a jury of his equals; and lest this inestimable privilege, the glory of freemen, should be infringed on, the constitution expressly requires that no member of the Legislature shall possess a seat in the House, until he has solemnly sworn that he will maintain this immunity inviolate. It becomes, therefore, one of the unalterable particulars of our rights, and cannot be relinquished by the guardians of our liberties but at the expense of perfidy, and even of perjury itself. The liberation of our slaves, therefore, without the concurrence of their possessors, we apprehend, is an object infinitely further distant from the legal attention of our assembly, than are the heavens above the earth.

Whether, as individuals, justice permits the detention of our negroes, is next to be considered. The Divine Saviour of

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Diary of the American Revolution: From Newspapers and Original Documents - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 41
  • Chapter III 93
  • Chapter IV 117
  • Chapter V 166
  • Chapter VI 215
  • Chapter VII 249
  • Chapter VIII 303
  • Chapter IX 362
  • Chapter X 434
  • Chapter XI 501
  • Index 529
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