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Has not plead like a culprit.

Virginia then took her stand against the prostration of every guaranty of the Federal compact and the complete overthrow of the terms upon which alone she had acceded to it. That she honestly thought this her enemies concede; that she justly thought, and, so far as the argument of reason is concerned, incontrovertibly thought, it, history will finally determine. The South has not to plead like a culprit before the world. It was the name and not the truth of freedom which was victorious against us. I await with confidence the final verdict, because of an abiding faith that every appearance is to reality as the gourd to the oak.

Virginia stood for the liberation of trade, for free association with the world. Far better than all anti-slavery agitation was this agency [287] to unbind the fetters of mankind. She took her stand against the blind egotism of the narrow self-sufficiency which would isolate each community from every other and tear asunder all the bands of sympathy wherewith nature joins the populations of the earth; wherewith and whereby nature fortifies that mind of man which is never strong by its single strength. I will not confine this idea by my own poor words, but give it rather in the words of New England, speaking through the lips of the purest champion of her cause—one might say its conscience: ‘Free trade!’ exclaimed Dr. Channing; ‘this is the plain duty and plain interest of the human race. To level all barriers to free exchange; to cut up the system of restriction, root and branch; to open every court on earth to every province—this is the office of enlightened humanity. To this a free nation should especially pledge itself. Freedom of the seas; freedom of harbors; and intercourse of nations free as the winds—this is not a dream of philanthropists. We are tending towards it, and let us hasten it. Under a wiser and more Christian civilization we shall look back on our present restrictions as we do on the swaddling bands by which in darker times the human body was compressed. The growing freedom of trade is another and glorious illustration of the tendency of our age to universality.’

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