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[196] of selfish hostility serves to crush a people who would otherwise rise at once in the scale of civilization. But this is not so. I repeat, with confidence, this is not so. The honorable exceptions, to which allusion has already been made, are universally respected. “John” (to use a general title) “is as honest a man, and has as much self-respect, as any man in the neighborhood,” is a meed of praise which is readily accorded to free blacks, by all intelligent citizens,. and with peculiar satisfaction, whenever it can be done. Such men of course enjoy the confidence and respect of their white neighbors in a high degree. But, I repeat, that examples of this kind are rare among our free colored population. No! an original cause of this general degradation is found in the fact stated, that is, that they are not prepared for self-government, and therefore can derive but little, if any, benefit from its political and social advantages. The crushing weight of ages of barbarism still presses heavily upon the intellect of the African, and in his present circumstances, to say the least, he is too feeble to rise. It is the accident of his position that he is free, and not the law of his intellectual and moral nature that makes him so. He is a slave in fact; and without the restraints of the domestic system, the tendencies of his barbarous nature are left, in a good degree, to take their

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