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[109] the feud to become chronic. Those who perpetuated it would be most unlikely to share bounteously in the distribution of Federal offices and honors. Then a new Presidential contest began to loom up in the distance, and all manner of speculations were current, and hopes were buoyant, with regard to it. Yet more: the Cotton culture was rapidly expanding, and with it Southern trade, bringing the Northern seaports more and more under their sway.

There had been an effort, in 1817, to secure the passage through Congress of a more effective Fugitive Slave Law, which was defeated, after a most spirited discussion. In 1826 (March 9th), the subject of Slavery was brought before the House by Mr. Edward Everett-then a new and very young member from Massachusetts--who incidentally expressed his hostility to all projects of violent Abolition, his readiness to shoulder a musket to put down a slave insurrection, and his conviction, with regard to Slavery, that, “while it subsists, where it subsists, its duties ares presupposed and sanctioned by religion,” etc., etc. But this strange outburst, instead of being gratefully hailed and welcomed, was repelled and reprobated by the South. Mr. Mitchell, of Tennessee, though himself a slaveholder, pointedly dissented from it. Mr. C. C. Cambreleng, of New York, (a North Carolinian by birth and training), said:

The gentleman from Massachusetts has gone too far. He has expressed opinions which ought not to escape animadversion. I heard their with great surprise and regret. I was astonished to hear him declare that Slavery — domestic Slavery — say what you will, is a condition of life, as well as any other, to be justified by morality, religion, and international law, etc., etc.

And John Randolph, of Virginia--himself a life-long slaveholder and opponent of the North--saw fit to say:

Sir, I envy neither the lead nor the heart of that man from the North, who rises here to defend Slavery upon principle.

So that, so late as 1826, the doctrine of the essential righteousness and beneficence of Slavery had not yet been accepted in any quarter.1

Virginia, in 1829, assembled2 a Convention of her people to revise their Constitution. Ex-President James Monroe3 was chosen to preside, and was conducted to the chair by ex-President James Madison and Chief Justice Marshall. The first

1 Roger Brooke Taney — now Chief Justice of the United States--in defending as a lawyer, in 1818, before a Maryland court, Rev. Jacob Gruber, charged with anti-Slavery inculcations and acts, thus happily set forth the old Revolutionary idea of Slavery, and the obligations it imposes:

A hard necessity, indeed, compels us to endure the evils of Slavery for a time. It was imposed upon us by another nation, while yet we were in a state of colonial vassalage. It cannot be easily or suddenly removed. Yet, while it continues, it is a blot on our national character, and every real lover of freedom confidently hopes that it will be effectually, though it must be gradually, wiped away, and earnestly looks for the means by which this necessary object may be attained. And, until it shall be accomplished, until the time come when we can point without a blush to the language held in the Declaration of Independence, every friend of humanity will seek to lighten the galling chain of Slavery, and better, to the utmost of his power, the wretched condition of the slave.

2 At Richmond, October 5th.

3 Mr. Monroe, in a speech (November 2d), on the Basis of Representation, said, incidentally of Slavery:

No imputation can be cast on Virginia in this matter. She did all that it was in her power to do to prevent the extension of Slavery, and to mitigate its evils so far as she could.

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