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[109] neither of the contracting parties understood, and which would frustrate the very design of their alliance–to wit, union at the expense of the colored population of the country. Moreover, nothing is more certain than that the preamble alluded to never included, in the minds of those who framed it, those who were then pining in bondage —for, in that case, a general emancipation of the slaves would have instantly been proclaimed throughout the United States. The words, “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” assuredly meant only the white population. “To promote the general welfare,” referred to their own welfare exclusively. “To establish justice,” was understood to be for their sole benefit as slaveholders and the guilty abettors of slavery. This is demonstrated by other parts of the same instrument, and by their own practice under it.

We would not detract aught from what is justly their due; but it is as reprehensible to give them credit for what they did not possess, as it is to rob them of what is theirs. It is absurd, it is false, it is an insult to the common sense of mankind, to pretend that the Constitution was intended to embrace the entire population of the country under its sheltering wings; or that the parties to it were actuated by a sense of justice and the spirit of impartial liberty; or that it needs no alteration, but only a new interpretation, to make it harmonize with the object aimed at by its adoption. As truly might it be argued, that because it is asserted in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, and endowed with an inalienable right to liberty, therefore none of its signers were slaveholders, and, since its adoption, slavery has been banished from the American soil! The truth is, our fathers were intent on securing liberty to themselves, without being very scrupulous as to the means they used to accomplish their purpose. They were not actuated by the spirit of universal philanthropy; and though in words they recognized occasionally the brotherhood of the human race, in practice they continually denied it. They did not blush to enslave a portion of their fellow-men, and to buy and sell them as cattle in the market, while they were fighting against the oppression of the mother country, and boasting of their regard for the rights of man. Why, then, concede to them virtues which they did not possess? Why cling to the falsehood, that they were no respecters of persons in the formation of the Government? Alas! that they had no more fear of God, no more regard for man, in their hearts! “ The iniquity of the house of1

1 Ezek. 9.9.

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