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[159] that we need not be so unwise as to imitate their folly.

But this presumption is still further strengthened by the fact that the basis argument upon which the abolitionists usually rest the claims of the African, is entirely sophistical. It is this: Slave property was originally acquired by robbery and violence, and therefore can never become lawful property. Hence we should confer upon them political freedom, regardless of whatever consequences may follow; seeing that an act of robbery can never extinguish the original right of the person robbed, or confer original title upon the robber.

The doctrine assumed in this argument is, that possessions unjustly acquired originally, can never become legal possessions; or that a state of things originally resulting from won, can never, by lapse of time, or the force of any circumstances, become right. The fact assumed as the basis of this doctrine in its application to the African is, that they were stolen while in a state of freedom, and reduced to a state of slavery. But we deny both the doctrine and the hypothetical assumption on which it is based.

1. If the doctrine be true, it will follow that all wrong is without any remedy, except in the few cases in which things may be restored to their original

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