sympathy with the adjacent States of Ohio
than with the rest of Virginia
These people, by mere act of Congress and without her consent, deprived Virginia
of over one-third of her territory and nearly one-fourth of her population.
The humane and kindly character of African
slavery in Virginia
was eloquently attested by the fact that during the war, almost without exception, the slaves remained faithful and loyal to their masters; that none rose in insurrection, and that but few, if any, were guilty of crimes against person or property when, owing to the absence of a large portion of the white male population of the State
in the Confederate armies, the country and the helpless portion of its population were entirely at their mercy.
The kindly relations of the two races in Virginia
are forcibly illustrated by the large numbers of free negroes, descendants of former slaves, that were allowed to live peacefully and contentedly, prior to 1860, in every part of the commonwealth.
In the winter of 1857-58, John Brown
, who had been a leader in and a promoter of lawlessness during the troubles in Kansas
—undertaken, as he himself confessed, for the purpose of inflaming the public mind on the subject of slavery, that he might perfect organizations to bring about servile insurrections in the slave States—collected a number of young men in that territory, including several of his sons, and, with the use of funds.
and arms that had been furnished for his Kansas
operations, placed these men under military instruction, by one of their number, at Springdale, in Iowa
In the spring of 1858 he. took these men to Chatham, in Canada West
, where, on the 8th of May, he assembled a ‘provisional constitutional convention,’ made up of those he brought with him and a number of resident free negroes.
On the day of its assembling, this convention adopted a ‘provisional constitution and ordinances for the people of the United States
,’ the preamble of which began: ‘Whereas slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United States
, is none other than a most barbarous, unprovoked, and unjustifiable war of one portion of its citizens upon another portion. . . . Therefore, we, citizens of the United States
and the oppressed people who . . . are declared to have no rights which the white man is bound to respect. . . ordain and establish for ourselves ’