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[64] brethren to the unrestrained violence and unholy passions of another.

Here, gentlemen, I might summon to my support a cloud of witnesses, a host of incontrovertible, damning facts, the legitimate results of a system whose tendency is to harden and deprave the heart. But I will not descend to particulars. I am willing to believe that the majority of the masters of your section of the country are disposed to treat their unfortunate slaves with kindness. But where the dreadful privilege of slave-holding is extended to all, in every neighborhood, there must be individuals whose cupidity is unrestrained by any principle of humanity, whose lusts are fiercely indulged, whose fearful power over the bodies, nay, may I not say the souls, of their victims is daily and hourly abused.

Will the evidence of your own Jefferson, on this point, be admissible

‘The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions; the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submission on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to the worst of passions; and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot fail to be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his morals and manners undepraved by such circumstances.’1

1 Notes on Virginia, p. 241.

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