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[246]

So unobserved is the influence of this element, that I find but few, even among intelligent and practical men, who, before their attention is particularly called to the subject, are aware of what it has already effected. But in numerous public addresses in the States of Virginia and North Carolina, I have appealed to the oldest and most observant men in large assemblies, and in no instance have I met with a single individual who did not concur in my statement that the present race of Africans were very materially improved. both in their moral and physical condition, above what they were some twenty or forty years ago, and that the change has been much greater with the slaves than with the free colored population. Now, it is obvious that this improvement will continue to go on, and in an increasing ratio. On the same principle that labor applied to capital is productive in an increasing ratio, the means in operation for the improvement of the African will greatly accelerate his progress. Hence, some future period will present a generation of Africans highly improved above what they are now. Consequently, there will arrive, at some distant day, a period at which this people will have reached that point of moral progress at which they will be capable of appreciating, and, in a suitable physical

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