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[259] to the same ‘privileges and immunities’ as in his own State. If the State to which he goes declines to respect this provision of the Constitution, our Commonwealth should address a reclamation to it, in order to protect its citizen.

It is idle to reply that free blacks, natives of South Carolina, are treated to imprisonment and bondage. The Constitution of the United States does not prohibit a State from inflicting injustice upon its own citizens. As the Duke of Newcastle said, with regard to his rotten boroughs, ‘Shall we not do what we will with our own?’ But a State must not extend its injustice to the citizens of another State. Unfortunately, the poor slave of South Carolina and the free blacks, natives of that State, are citizens thereof: they owe it allegiance, if a slave can owe allegiance. Of course, they have no other power under heaven, from whom to invoke protection. But the free negro, born in Massachusetts and still retaining his domicile there, wherever he finds himself, may invoke the protection of his native State.

I have been betrayed beyond my intention into this very hasty and discursive view of the question about which you inquire. I cannot flatter myself that any thing of mine can aid your elaborate studies. The matter does not seem to me to rise to the dignity of a debatable question. All reasoning under the Constitution is on our side, and all the instincts of justice, too.

All the learning on the subject of alienage is collected and arranged by Kent in his ‘Lecture on Aliens,’ Vol. II.; and Mr. Wirt, in his masterly argument on the impeachment of Judge Peck (the greatest published juridical argument in English or American history), has thrown great light upon the influence of the common law over the Constitution and laws of the United States,—a topic that may not be unimportant in determining the meaning of the word citizen.

Believe me, my dear sir, very faithfully yours,

P. S. There was a company of blacks during our Revolution, and, I think, some of them have drawn pensions.


To his brother George he wrote, March 31, 1843:—

Lord Brougham's speech on the Address must have pleased you, if not by its magic eloquence, at least by the effective protest against the massacres and devastations in Afghanistan.

I have received your paper on “The Pilgrims.” So far as I have read it, it seems carefully prepared, elaborate, and learned, and I think among the antiquarians of New England will do you great credit when published.

‘We are all hoping that you have given up your chateaux en Espagne, and that we may have the pleasure of greeting you soon.’

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