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Lecture II: the abstract principle of the institution of domestic slavery.

  • If the system be sinful, per se, the sin of it must be found in the principle
  • -- is the principle sinful? -- the principle defined -- objections to the term submission answered -- the effect of Mr. Jefferson's doctrine upon many conscientious persons in the Southern States.


I now propose to enter directly upon the inquiry, Is the institution of domestic slavery sinful? My plan will make it necessary, in this lecture, to limit the inquiry to the principle of the institution. If the institution be sinful, it must be so either in the abstract principle it involves, or in the specific form under which it embodies that principle, or in both. In either case, Mr. Jefferson's doctrine is verified; for if the abstract principle be wrong, then the institution which envelops the principle, and from which it derives its character, is of course wrong. It certainly is never right to act upon a wrong principle. Injustice,

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Thomas Jefferson (2)
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