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[167] long period of its inception, formation, and maturity, and to them alone. This being the true origin and foundation of the system, if it had its foundation in robbery and violence, it was because public opinion, through that long period, was so eminently corrupt as to set itself, deliberately and of full purpose, to work to perpetrate robbery and violence, without any redeeming virtue; for such crimes admit of none. Was this so? Can we be prepared to believe it? In default of all history at this point to detail the origin and progress of public opinion on this subject, we are left to form our judgment from our knowledge of the men whom we know to have participated more largely than any others in directing public opinion in their day, and to the history of the times in which they lived.

In the seventeenth century, African slaves were first introduced into this country, and the practice was continued, under the sanction of law, until the years 1778 and 1808, inclusive. At an early period, public opinion was matured on this subject both in England and in the colonies, and we see that for a long period it sustained the practice of introducing slaves directly from Africa into this country. Now, we affirm that the position postulated in regard to this case is among the most palpable absurdities that can be conceived.

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