American colonies before the American Revolution drew from Burke one of the most gorgeous bursts of eloquence in our language,--in any language.
They were all but annihilated by the Revolution, but they furnished the men who followed Manly, and Tucker, and Biddle, and Paul Jones to the jaws of death.
Reviving after the war, they attracted the notice of the First Congress, and were recommended to their favor by Mr. Jefferson, then Secretary of State.
This favor was at first extended to them i fearful import.
In the same year the Constitution was framed.
It recognized the existence of Slavery, but the word was carefully excluded from the instrument, and Congress was authorized to abolish the traffic in twenty years. In 1796, Mr. St. George Tucker, law professor in William and Mary College in Virginia, published a treatise entitled, a Dissertation on Slavery, with a proposal for the gradual abolition of it in the State of Virginia.
In the preface to the essay, he speaks of the abo