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[179] the largest number of men in bonds. She was the supreme Slave State. Georgia, Louisiana, and Alabama had some shadow of excuse. They wanted labour on their land-white labour, as they fancied, was impossible; and they could only get black labour by purchasing the Negro. If it was bad to own slaves, it was odious to breed them for the market. In Virginia there was no pretence that White men could not till the soil and reap the harvest, for the country is one of the healthiest on the American Continent. The air is dry. No marshes, and few stagnant pools exist. Ague, the plague of Georgia and Louisiana, is hardly known in Virginia. The rainfall corresponds to that of France, the sunshine to that of Sicily and Andaluz. A man accustomed to no greater change from heat to cold than he may feel in Surrey, finds the climate of Richmond and Winchester suit him. Winter is so mild that sheep are left out all the year with no more food and shelter than they get on hill-sides and in ravines.

This salubrity of the climate tempted the Virginians to convert their pleasant homesteads into breeding-grounds; into nurseries from which the

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