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[144] towards an end, yet, under the sense of the overflow-
chap. VI.} 1754.
ing stream of unrighteousness, his life was often a life of mourning; and it was a matter fixed in his mind, that this trade of importing slaves, and way of life in keeping them, were dark gloominess hanging over the land. ‘Though many willingly ran into it, yet the consequences would be grievous to posterity.’ Therefore he went about, environed with heavenly light and consolation, persuading men that ‘the practice of continuing slavery was not right;’ and in calmest and most guarded words he endeavored, through the press,1 ‘to raise an idea of a general brotherhood, and a disposition easy to be touched with a feeling of each other's afflictions.’ The men whom he addressed on both banks of the Delaware were not agreed, in all the branches of the question, on the propriety of keeping negroes; yet generally the spirit of emancipation was prevailing, and their masters began the work of setting them free, ‘because they had no contract for their labor, and liberty was their right.’

But New-York was at this time the central point of political interest. Its position invited it to foster American union. Having the most convenient harbor on the Atlantic, with bays expanding on either hand, and a navigable river penetrating the interior, it held the keys of Canada and the Lakes. Crown Point and Niagara, monuments of French ambition, were encroachments upon its limits. Its unsurveyed inland frontier, sweeping round on the north, disputed with New Hampshire the land between Lake Champlain

1 The works of John Woolman. Part the Second. Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes. First printed in the year 1754.

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