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Your petitioners deem it unnecessary to attempt to maintain, by elaborate arguments, that the existence of slavery is highly detrimental to the happiness, peace and prosperity of that nation in whose bosom and under whose auspices it is nourished; and especially, that it is inconsistent with the spirit of our government and laws. All this is readily admitted by every patriot and Christian. But the time has come when the sincerity of our professions should be evinced not by words merely.

The toleration of slavery in the District of Columbia, it is conceived, can be justified on no tenable grounds. On the contrary, so long as it continues, just so long will it be a reproach to our national character. This District is the property of the nation; its internal government, therefore, is a matter that concerns every individual. We are ashamed, when we know that the manacled slave is driven to market by the doors of our Capitol, and sold like a beast in the very place where are assembled the representatives of a free and Christian people.

On this subject, it is conceived, there can be no collision of. sentiment. The proposed abolition will interfere with no State rights. Beyond this District, Congress has no power to legislate—so far, at least, as slavery is concerned; but it can, by one act, efface this foul stain from our national reputation. It is gratifying to believe, that a large majority of the inhabitants residing in the District, and also of our more Southern brethren, are earnest for the abolition.

Your petitioners ask of your honorable bodies to liberate the slave as soon as his interest and welfare shall demand it. Your own wisdom and humanity will best suggest the manner in which his bonds may be safely broken.

Your petitioners deem it preposterous, that, while there is one half of the States in which slavery does not exist, and while a large majority of our white population are desirous of seeing it extirpated, this evil is suffered to canker in the vitals of the republic. We humbly pray your honorable bodies, therefore, not to let the present session of Congress pass, without giving this subject a serious and deliberate consideration.

And, as in duty bound, we will ever pray.

As all postmasters at that time enjoyed the franking privilege, and mail-matter could be sent to or by them free of postage, it involved no pecuniary burden

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