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‘ [426] us; and we find, in our case, according to the general
chap. XXIII.} 1766. Feb.
perceptible workings of Providence, where the crime most commonly, though slowly, yet surely, draws down a similar and suitable punishment, that slavery begets slavery. Jamaica and our West India islands demonstrate this observation, which I hope will not be our case now, whatever might have been the consequence had the fatal attempt been delayed a few years longer, when we had drank deeper of the Circaean draught, and the measures of our iniquities were filled up. I am persuaded, with God's blessing, we shall not fall, or disgrace our sister colonies at this time.’

Still more bold, if that were possible, was the spirit in North Carolina. The associated freeholders and inhabitants of several of its counties, mutually and solemnly plighted their faith and honor, that they would, at any risk whatever, and whenever called upon, unite, and truly and faithfully assist each other to the best of their power in preventing entirely the operation of the Stamp Act.

In the Ancient Dominion, men pledged themselves to one another for the same purpose, with equal ardor; and in case an attempt should be made to arrest an associate, they bound themselves at the utmost risk of their lives and fortunes, to restore such associate to liberty.1 The magistrates composing the court for Northampton, unanimously decided that the Stamp Act did not bind or concern the inhabitants of Virginia, and that no penalties would be in-2

1 Asssociation, Virginia, 27 Feb. 1766, in Holt. 1214. 2. 1 of 10 April.

2 North Carolina Association, 18 Feb. 66.

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