condition, adapting them to social equality
, will be prepared to occupy and wisely improve, the privileges of civil liberty.
It is on this principle that the laws of all civilized States confer the privilege of political freedom on the descendants of their free citizens.
At the age of twenty-one, they are made politically free.
The law assumes, what is found generally to be true, that previously to this period they are incapable of using this privilege to the advantage of themselves and of the community; but that, at this age, their capacities are sufficiently developed to make a proper use of this privilege; and as ,neither their physical condition nor any accidents of their position operate as a bar to their social equality with other free citizens, it is conferred on them.
By analogy, therefore, we may infer, that when the African in America
shall have reached a similar moral state, and when his physical condition and the accidents of his position shall lit him for social equality with other free citizens, a similar right of political freedom will inure to him. It will be to him the right
--that is, the good
--which ought to be allowed him. To withhold it would be despotism.
Now, the former condition of this problem, his moral state in this country at some future day may fulfil; but that the latter can never be fulfilled in this country is