This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
I am of the same opinion now as I was two years ago — that, while there remained one acre of swamp land uncleared in South Carolina, I would raise my voice against restricting the importation of negroes. * * * * The Middle States and Virginia were for an immediate and total prohibition. We endeavored to obviate the objections which were urged in the best manner we could, and assigned reasons for our insisting on the importation, which there is no occasion to repeat, as they must occur to every gentleman in the House: a committee of the States was appointed in order to accommodate this matter; and, after a great deal of difficulty, it was settled, on the footing of the Constitution. By this settlement, we have secured an unlimited importation of negroes for twenty years. Nor is it declared when that importation shall be stopped; it may be continued. We have a right to recover our slaves in whatever part of America they may take refuge. In short, considering all circumstances, we have made the best terms for the security of this species of property it was in our power to make. We would have made better if we could; but, on the whole, I do not think them bad. --Elliot's Debates, vol. IV., p. 285.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.