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1 The number of troops employed by the Colonies during the entire Revolutionary war, as well as the number furnished by each, is shown by the following, which is compiled from statistics contained in a work published by Jacob Moore, Concord, entitled, “Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society for the year 1824,” vol. i., p. 236.
2 Massachusetts adopted a new State Constitution in 1780, to which a bill of rights was prefixed, which her Supreme Court soon after decided was inconsistent with the maintenance of Slavery, which had been thus abolished.
4 Henry Laurens of South Carolina, two years President of the Continental Congress, appointed Minister to Holland, and captured on his way thither by a British cruiser, finally Commissioner with Franklin and Jay for negotiating peace with Great Britain, on the 14th of August, 1776, wrote from Charleston, S. C., to his son, then in England, a letter explaining and justifying his resolution to stand or fall with the cause of American Independence, in which he said:
You know, my dear son, I abhor Slavery. I was born in a country where Slavery had been established by British kings and parliaments, as by the laws of that country, ages before my existence. I found the Christian religion and Slavery growing under the same authority and cultivation. I nevertheless disliked it. In former days, there was no combating tile prejudices of men supported by interest: the day, I hope, is approaching, when from principles of gratitude, as well as justice, every man shall strive to be foremost in showing his readiness to comply with the golden rule. Not less than twenty thousand pounds sterling would all my negroes produce, if sold at public auction tomorrow. I am not the man who enslaved them; they are indebted to Englishmen for that favor: nevertheless, I am devising means for manumitting many of them, and for cutting off tile entail of slavery. Great powers oppose me,--the laws and customs of my country, my own and the avarice of my countrymen. What will my children say if I deprive them of so much estate? These are difficulties, but not insuperable. I will do as much as I can in my time, and leave the rest to a better hand.I am not one of those who arrogate the peculiar care of Providence in each fortunate event; nor one of those who dare trust in Providence for defense and security of their own liberty, while they enslave, and wish to continue in slavery, thousands who are as well entitled to freedom as themselves. I perceive the work before me is great. I shall appear to many as a promoter not only of strange, but of dangerous doctrines: it will therefore be necessary to proceed with caution. You are apparently deeply interested in this affair; but, as I have no doubts concerning your concurrence and approbation, I most sincerely wish for your advice and assistance, and hope to receive both in good time.--Collection of the Zenger Club, pp. 20, 21.
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