Against the tottering ark of the idol these strong men have placed their shoulders. That ark must fall; that idol must be cast down; what, then, will be the fate of their supporters? When the Convention of 1829 had gathered in its splendid galaxy of talents the great names of Virginia, the friends of civil liberty turned their eyes towards it in the earnest hope and confidence that it would adopt some measures in regard to slavery worthy of the high character of its members and of the age in which they lived. I need not say how deep and bitter was our disappointment. Western Virginia indeed spoke on that occasion, through some of her delegates, the words of truth and humanity. But their counsels and warnings were unavailing; the majority turned away to listen to the bewildering eloquence of Leigh and Upshur and Randolph, as they desecrated their great intellects to the defence of that system of oppression under which the whole land is groaning. The memorial of the citizens of Augusta County, bearing the signatures of many slave-holders, placed the evils of slavery in a strong light before the convention. Its facts and arguments could only be arbitrarily thrust aside and wantonly disregarded; they could not be disproved. ‘In a political point of view,’ says the memorial, ‘we esteem slavery an evil greater than the aggregate of all the other evils which beset us, and we are perfectly willing to bear our proportion of the burden of removing it. We ask, further, What is the evil of any such alarm as our proposition ’
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The conflict with slavery
Zzz Missing head
A chapter of history.
Thomas Carlyle on the slave question.
The Anti-slavery Convention of 1833 .
Reform and politics
Peculiar institutions of Massachusetts .
The inner life.
Dora Greenwell .
The Society of Friends
John Woolman 's Journal.
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