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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 7. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), The conflict with slavery (search)
they lived. I need not say how deep and bitter was our disappointment. Western Virginia indeed spoke on that occasion, through some of her delegates, the words of truth and humanity. But their counsels and warnings were unavailing; the majority turned away to listen to the bewildering eloquence of Leigh and Upshur and Randolph, as they desecrated their great intellects to the defence of that system of oppression under which the whole land is groaning. The memorial of the citizens of Augusta County, bearing the signatures of many slave-holders, placed the evils of slavery in a strong light before the convention. Its facts and arguments could only be arbitrarily thrust aside and wantonly disregarded; they could not be disproved. In a political point of view, says the memorial, we esteem slavery an evil greater than the aggregate of all the other evils which beset us, and we are perfectly willing to bear our proportion of the burden of removing it. We ask, further, What is the ev