the civilized world, should, in their circumstances of proximity to the African race, and long-continued personal acquaintance with their habits and character, their capabilities and their liabilities, be of the settled and almost undisputed opinion that they are not competent to self-government; and that, in their present circumstances, both the law of reciprocity and the law of benevolence to the African forbid that the rights of political freedom be accorded to them, does appear to me to afford the most conclusive settlement of this question of fact that the subject is capable of receiving.
For, although a question of fact, it is capable of no more conclusive settlement than an enlightened public opinion can afford; and who are so well situated to form an opinion as the free and intelligent communities of the South
and who can be more honest in its expression?
As we cannot suppose the agitators of the country on this subject to be ignorant of the fact that such is the opinion of the Southern
people, and as we cannot allow that they are incapable of appreciating the weight of this testimony, we reach the conclusion that they are the victims of a fanaticism resulting from a mistaken religious opinion and feeling, which hurries them madly forward, as regardless of the extent to which they implicate their own good sense as they are of the