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The King denounced by Jefferson.

In the original draft of the Declaration, Jefferson had denounced the King for warring against human nature. ‘Determined to keep an open market, where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable traffic. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them.’ This denunciation was stricken out partly in deference to South Carolina and Georgia. ‘But,’ adds Jefferson, ‘our Northern, brethren also, I believe, felt a little tender under these censures; for, though their people had few slaves [270] themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers of them to others.’ The importation of slaves into the South was continued by Northern merchants and Northern ships until it was prohibited by the spontaneous action of the Southern States themselves, which preceded, or was contemporaneous with, the legislation of Congress in 1807. Antecedent to the adoption of the Constitution, South Carolina passed an act prohibiting, under severe penalties, the importation of negroes from Africa. In 1803 this act was repealed for the reason, assigned in Congress by Mr. Lowndes, that it was impossible, without aid from the general government, ‘to prevent our Eastern brethren from introducing them into the country.’ ‘Had we received,’ he said, ‘the necessary aid from Congress, the repeal would never, in my opinion, have taken place. * * I wish the time had arrived when Congress could legislate conclusively on the subject.’

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