acknowledging that nothing was to be hoped for from an Administration in which six out of eight members— the President
, Secretary of War
, Secretary of the Navy
, and Postmaster-General
—were from slaveholding States.
It also supported, as a candidate for the Legislature from Baltimore
, Daniel Raymond
, who was regarded as anti-slavery, but he polled less than 200 of the more than 7000 votes cast.
Further, it gave much attention to the proceedings of the Virginia Convention for the revision of the State1
constitution, a body remarkable for the number of able and distinguished men it contained; ex-Presidents Madison
, and John Randolph
, being among them.
As it has always been a favorite assertion and pretence of some Northern apologists for slavery that Virginia
were on the verge of instituting schemes for emancipation when the anti-slavery agitation broke out, but were alarmed and deterred from attempting it by the violent and abusive spirit in which that was conducted, it is worthy of note that no proposition to this end was even broached in the Convention
The most exciting topic under discussion during its sessions was the demand of the western portion of the State
that representation in the Legislature should be apportioned to the several counties on the basis of the white population, instead of on the Federal
basis, as the latter, by adding three-fifths of all the slaves, gave an undue preponderance to the eastern counties, where the slaves were far more numerous than in the mountainous western district.
This was hotly debated for many days, but Madison
threw their influence against it, and it was finally defeated by a close vote, leaving the control of the State
in the hands of the slaveholding section.
It is easy to see what fate any scheme of emancipation, however remote and gradual, would have met with in such a body; and this was more than two years before the organized anti-slavery movement began.