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[194] proof that the race, taken collectively, is not fitted for self-government.

Humane individuals have, from time to time, freed their slaves. In this way a large number has been accumulated. There is not a county in any one of the older States in which there are not many, and in some a large number. In this experiment we have a full test of what the African is in the enjoyment of civil liberty, or of his capacity for self-government, at least in the midst of a people with whom he cannot amalgamate. The result is daily before our eyes, and may be known and read of all men. After a few honorable exceptions, the multitude are by no means as well fed or clothed, and otherwise provided for, as the slaves in their vicinity. They make but little provision against the inclemency of winter, and in sickness are often the objects of public charity. A disposition to live by petty depredations upon society, instead of by honest industry, and a general depravation of morals, are characteristic of the caste. Their retrograde tendency is so obvious, that no doubt is entertained among men of reflection that, but for the props and checks thrown around them by the laws and usages of civilization, they would soon relapse into the savage state. These facts are so obvious as long since to have engaged the attention of our domestics.

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