purpose to do wrong, who would not “pause upon the brink of this Rubicon
,” when assured that the Southern
people generally believed that extermination would, in all probability, be the result of his priceless experiment.
But it is extremely idle to suppose that all the Southern States
would simultaneously pass such a law; nor does the scheme assume that they would do so. No: the plan advocated is, that the District of Columbia, and the States of Delaware
, should first emancipate their slaves; then Virginia
, then Kentucky
, then Missouri
, and so on, until the work should be consummated by a gradual process, requiring several years in each State.
Let us now inquire what this plan promises.
If the owners of slaves in the States which first in order passed such a law, did not anticipate the time of its taking effect, (as in the case before referred to,) and sell them in the States where no such law had, as yet, been passed, the result would be, as already stated, an accumulation of free colored population, with its inevitable consequences.
But this would certainly not be the general operation of such a law. For if cupidity should not prompt a different course, the owners, foreseeing the results of such an accumulation of free colored population, both to the whites and