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[165] their cargoes, some by robbery and violence, and some by purchase. The sufferings of what is called the “middle passage” are, no doubt, correctly stated in history. We have no motive to controvert these statements, nor indeed to inquire into their authenticity. We are not even the apologists of any of the actors in these scenes, much less their defenders. There may have been cruel wrongs, and under circumstances of even greater aggravation than those recorded in history. Be it so! The actors have long since gone to their account, and we may safely leave them to Him who judgeth righteously. The conduct of these agents, whether cruel or kind, is not an element in this discussion. Our inquiry goes to the foundation of this matter — the true producing cause for the introduction of the African into this country, and his position as a salve. What was this? It will not be maintained that these agents, whether humane or not, can in any proper sense be said to be the cause or foundation of African slavery in this country. With much greater propriety it may be said that the artisans of Boston were the founders and builders of the city. They were necessary agents. They might have done their part well. They might have done it dishonestly, cruelly. Neither hypothesis will entitle them to rank as the true and proper founders

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