tainted spoil in their own hands, which one failed to close upon it a tenacious grip, ‘with the face which good men wear when they have done a virtuous action?’
An old maxim tells us: ‘the receiver is as bad as the thief.’
None, with which I am acquainted, makes him worse.
Old England and New England
handed the forbidden fruit to the South
—themselves blind and deaf to the torments of the middle passage (to the negro) in their zeal to do so. Then rolling up the whites of their eyes, they join to upbraid the South
for retaining property sold for each still unreturned by the vendors.
They retained the approving conscience of well-filled pockets.
That was a wonderful built of sale, having no parallel, which assured to one side excommunication and anathema and to the other ‘prevenient grace.’
The excommunicated were the same who with all their strength had protested against the wrong.
They who hurled the curse were the same, who, over protest, had inflicted the wrong.
What created the difference between States with negro slaves and States without them?
Difference of climate, soil, production.
Parallels of latitude voted for or against the negro.
The southern man said, ‘where we are, there is your home.’
The logic which defined the chasm between convictions was the pitiless logic of a line.
Right and wrong were geographical.
My friend, as I esteem it a privilege to call him, Major John W. Daniel
, in an address at the University of Virginia, quotes Mr. Hoar
, late senator
as saying of Jefferson
, ‘he stands in human history as the foremost man of all whose influence has led men to govern themselves by spiritual laws.’
Of all emancipationists, Jefferson
was by far the greatest.
As early as 1778 he sought to begin the work of emancipation in his own Commonwealth.
His words of sympathy for the slave are often quoted at the North
He was, however, an emancipationist, not because of ill will to the master, but because of good will to the slave.
He was the friend, powerful and sincere, of the great struggling masses.
It was as the sincere democrat that he was hated.
That part of the constitutional compact which could lend itself to forward the views of this man and his school (i. e. the three-fifths representation of slaves in States, which cast votes for his school) was obnoxious to them to whom his views were visions, not desired to be realized.