previous next

To John Kenyon, Eeq., London.

March 30, 1845.
. . . . With the February packet came a codicil to your kindness, again most delightful, for which we owe you more thanks. How can we render them? Come and see. Here are the Lyells coming a second time, nothing daunted by their first experiment. The steam packets will bring you almost to our door; and when you are once here, you can judge of the soundness of your American investments, a great deal better than you can even through Bates's wide correspondence and painstaking judgment, for the whole depends upon the character of the people. This you may think is a bold remark in me just now, when you are thinking so ill of us, for electing Polk President, and taking measures to annex Texas. But it is true, nevertheless. You have nothing else to depend upon, as far as you are a holder of American funds, but the moral sense of the people who are indebted to you. The only question is, have they enough of this wisdom and honesty, to do what is wise and right? I think they have; that is, I think, in the long run, the popular sovereign may be depended upon. No doubt he has made great mistakes; no doubt he will make more. But those mistakes have been neither half so numerous, nor half so grave as the wisest and best men amongst us thought they would be, seventy years ago, when we were beginning the world; and I verily believe we have gained wisdom from all of them.

The matter of slavery, of which Texas is only a subdivision, is one full of embarrassment both for the present and the future. But I think we shall come safely out of it, if we can only persuade ourselves to wait. . . . .

It is inevitable, I conceive, in the nature of things, that slaves should become unprofitable, at some time or other, in the United States,—probably as soon as it is for the interest of the slaves themselves that emancipation should take place,—and by the slow and gentle process which will alone permit the emancipation of two or three millions of human beings to be a benefit to them. The great difficulty is, to make all interested in the matter willing to wait. Ten or a dozen years ago the South became very much alarmed, by the conduct of the unwise abolitionists of the free States, and finding themselves growing weak, have now contrived, or are likely to contrive, by unjustifiable means, to add Texas to their end of the confederacy, not perceiving that slavery is their weakness; and that to

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Polk President (1)
John Kenyon (1)
Joshua Bates (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 30th, 1845 AD (1)
February (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: