single law which recognizes the rightfulness of slavery
in the abstract.
Every province favored freedom as such.
The real question at issue was, from the first, not one of slavery and freedom generally, but of the relations to each other of the Ethiopian and American races.
tolerated and enforced not the slavery of man, but the slavery of the man who was
guilty of a skin
Not colored like his own.
In the skin lay unexpiated, and, as it was held, inexpiable, guilt.
The negro, whom the benevolence of his master enfranchised, was not absorbed into the mass of the free population: his color adhered to him, and still constituted him a separate element in society.
Hence arose laws restricting the right of emancipation.
The indelible mark of his species remained unfaded and unchanged; and, in the state of opinion, for him to rise by single merit was impracticable; the path to
social equality was not open to him; he could not raise himself from humiliation without elevating his race.
Our country might well have shrunk from assuming the guardianship of the negro.
Hence the question of tolerating the slave trade and the question of abolishing slavery rested on different grounds.
The one related to a refusal of a trust; the other, to the manner of its exercise.
The English continental colonies, in the aggregate, were always opposed to the African slave trade.
, even Carolina,— alarmed at the excessive production and the consequent low price of their staples, at the heavy debts incurred by the purchase of slaves on credit, and at the dangerous increase of the colored population,—each showed an anxious preference for the introduction of