principle of an action, being itself right
, the action is right, provided
other and coincident principles justify the action, or, as we usually say, provided the circumstances require it.
Let it be observed, that the conduct of individual slaveholders, in the exercise of any discretion conferred on them by the nature of their relation as masters, is still a separate question, and not here to be taken into the discussion.
We inquire as to the propriety of the institution: Is it demanded at all by the circumstances of the case?
This is eminently a practical question, and is the only one which involves the morality of the institution
itself, now that the abstract principle is shown to be legitimate.
Domestic slavery is one of the subordinate forms of civil government.
It may be defined an imperium in imperio
--a government within a government: one in which the subject of the inferior government is under the control of a master, up to a certain limit defined by the superior government, and beyond which both the master and the slave are alike subject to control by the superior government.
The question now arises, Is this a suitable government for the negro race in America
Without doubt, this question is to be settled on the same general principles by which we should settle a similar question in regard to