immortal in his descendants. There also was a companion in arms, and attached friend of incomparable genius, the yet youthful Hamilton, who, as a member of the Abolition Society of New York, had only recently united in a solemn petition for those who, ‘though free by the laws of God, are held in Slavery by the laws of the State.’ There, too, was a noble spirit, the ornament of his country, the exemplar of truth and virtue, who, like the sun, ever held an unerring course, John Jay. Filling the important post of Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Confederation, he found time to organize the Abolition Society of New York, and to act as its President, until, by the nomination of Washington, he became Chief Justice of the United States. In his sight, Slavery was an ‘iniquity,’ ‘a sin of crimson dye,’ against which ministers of the gospel should testify, and which the Government should seek in every way to abolish. ‘Were I in the Legislature,’ he wrote, ‘I would present a bill for this purpose with great care, and I would never cease moving it till it became a law, or I ceased to be a member. Till America comes into this measure, her prayers to heaven will be impious.’ But they were not alone. The convictions and earnest aspirations of the country were with them. At the North these were broad and general. At the South they found fervid utterance from slaveholders. By early and precocious efforts for ‘total emancipation,’ the author of the Declaration of Independence placed himself foremost among the Abolitionists of the land. In language now familiar to all, and which can never die, he perpetually denounced Slavery. He exposed its pernicious influences upon master as well as slave; declared that the love of justice and the love of country pleaded equally for the slave, and that the ‘abolition of domestic slavery was the greatest object of desire.’ He believed that the ‘sacred side was gaining daily recruits,’ and confidently looked to the young for the accomplishment of this good work. In fitful sympathy with Jefferson, was another honored son of Virginia, the Orator of Liberty, Patrick Henry, who, while confessing that he was a master of slaves, said: ‘I will not, I cannot justify it. However culpable my conduct, I will so far pay my devoir to virtue, as to own the excellence and rectitude of her precepts, and lament my want of conformity to them.’ At this very period, in the Legislature of Maryland, on a bill for the relief of oppressed slaves, a young man, afterwards by his consummate learning and forensic powers, the acknowledged head of the American bar, William Pinckney, in a speech of earnest, truthful eloquence—better far for his memory than his transcendent professional
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