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Title: Virginia's Attitude Toward Slavery and Secession
Author: Munford, Beverley B.
Language: English
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                          VIRGINIA'S ATTITUDE


                         SLAVERY AND SECESSION


                          BEVERLEY B. MUNFORD


                        NEGRO UNIVERSITIES PRESS
                                NEW YORK


Originally published in 1909
by Longmans, Green, and Co.

Reprinted 1969 by
Negro Universities Press

Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 69-16579




                                MY WIFE



This work is designed as a contribution to the volume of information
from which the historian of the future will be able to prepare an
impartial and comprehensive narrative of the American Civil War, or to
speak more accurately—The American War of Secession.

No attempt has been made to present the causes which precipitated the
secession of the Cotton States, nor the states which subsequently
adopted the same policy, except Virginia. Even in regard to that
commonwealth the effort has been limited to the consideration of two
features prominent in the public mind as constituting the most potent
factors in determining her action—namely, devotion to slavery and
hostility to the Union. That the people of Virginia were moved to
secession by a selfish desire to extend or maintain the institution of
slavery, or from hostility to the Union, are propositions seemingly at
variance with their whole history and the interests which might
naturally have controlled them in the hour of separation. Yet how
widespread the impression and how frequent the suggestion from the pen
of historian and publicist that the great and compelling motives which
led Virginia to secede were a desire to extend slavery into the
territories and to safeguard the institution within her own borders,
coupled with a spirit of hostility to the Union and the ideals of
liberty proclaimed by its founders. To present the true attitude of the
dominant element of the Virginia people with respect to these subjects
is the work which the author has taken in hand.

As cognate to this purpose the effort has been made to show what was the
proximate cause which influenced the great body of the Virginia people
in the hour of final decision. There were unquestionably many and widely
severed causes—some remote in origin and some immediate to the hour,
yet it may be safely asserted that but for the adoption by the Federal
Government of the policy of coercion towards the Cotton States, Virginia
would not have seceded. That was the crucial and determining factor,
which impelled her secession. She denied the right of the Federal
Government to defeat by force of arms the aspiration of a people as
numerous and united as those of the Cotton States to achieve in peace
their independence. She believed that such a course and the exercise of
such a power on the part of the Federal Government, if not actually
beyond the scope of its powers as fixed in the constitution, were
clearly repugnant to the ideals of the Republic, and subversive of the
principles for which their Fathers had fought and won the battles of the
Revolution. Upon the question, shall the Cotton States be permitted to
withdraw in peace, or shall their aspirations be defeated by force of
arms, Virginia assumed no new position. She simply in the hour of danger
and sacrifice held faithful to the principles which she had ofttimes
declared and which have ever found sturdy defenders in every part of the

In the preparation of this volume the author has been the grateful
recipient of the labors of many historians and publicists, accredited
citations from whose works will be found throughout its pages.

In addition, he desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to the following

First and foremost, to Dr. Philip Alexander Bruce of Virginia, for his
generous sympathy and invaluable assistance, with respect to every
feature of the book; also to Edward M. Shepard, Esquire, and Reverend
Samuel H. Bishop of New York and to Colonel Archer Anderson and Henry W.
Anderson, Esquire, of Richmond, for their kindness in reading his
manuscript and making many helpful suggestions.

For none of the errors of the book, nor for any expression of opinion,
are these gentlemen responsible.

Thanks are due and tendered to Dr. Herbert Putnam, Librarian of
Congress, Dr. H. R. McIlwaine, State Librarian of Virginia, and Mr. W.
G. Stanard, Corresponding Secretary of the Virginia Historical Society,
and to their courteous assistants, for the generous use accorded the
author of the wealth of historical data in the custody of those

In addition to the foregoing, acknowledgments are gratefully made to a
great company of librarians, lawyers, antiquarians, clerks of courts,
custodians of private manuscripts and others who have assisted the
author in collecting from widely separated sections of the Union the
mass of information from which he has drawn, in the preparation of this
work. In many instances, the facts so kindly furnished do not appear,
but have been of service to the author, in enabling him to form more
accurate conclusions. The willingness exhibited by citizens of states,
other than Virginia, to furnish information with respect to the subject
under consideration, is indicative of a growing desire throughout the
Union to know the facts and appreciate the viewpoint of our once
separated but now united people. If this book, in presenting the
attitude of Virginia, shall contribute to this result, it will afford
the author the sincerest gratification.

    Richmond, Virginia, June, 1909



        Page 142, line 8, for "stately," read "noble."

        Page 142, line 10, for "over," read "above."

        Page 162, line 7, for "MacMaster," read "McMaster."

        Page 162, footnote, for "MacMaster," read "McMaster."

        Page 214, line 12, for "_Cathargo,_" read "_Carthago._"

        Page 242, footnote, for "Vol. IV." read "Vol. VI."



                          THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE

                                _Part I_

                         AND SECESSION DEFINED

        I. Introduction                                                1
       II. Virginia—Slavery and Secession                             10

                               _Part II_


      III. Virginia's Colonial Record with Respect to Slavery         15

       IV. Virginia's Statute Abolishing the African Slave Trade
           and Her Part in Enacting the Ordinance of 1787             25

        V. Slavery and the Federal Constitution—
           Virginia's Position                                        29

       VI. The Foreign Slave Trade—
           Virginia's Efforts to Abolish It                           33

      VII. Some Virginia Statutes with Respect to Slavery             41

     VIII. The Movement in the Virginia Legislature of 1832
           to Abolish Slavery in the State                            45

       IX. The Northern Abolitionists and Their Reactionary
           Influence upon Anti-Slavery Sentiment in Virginia          51

        X. Negro Colonization—State and National                      60

       XI. Instances of Colonization by Individual Slaveholders       66

      XII. Emancipation and Colonization—Views of
           Jefferson, Clay and Lincoln                                75

     XIII. Anti-Slavery Sentiments of Prominent Virginians            82

      XIV. Anti-Slavery Sentiments of Prominent Virginians.
           Continued                                                  91

       XV. Anti-Slavery Sentiments of Prominent Virginians.
           Concluded                                                  96

      XVI. Specimens of Deeds and Wills Emancipating Slaves          104

     XVII. Specimens of Deeds and Wills Emancipating Slaves.
           Concluded                                                 114

    XVIII. The Small Number of Slaveholders in Virginia,
           as Compared with Her Whole White Population               125

      XIX. The Injurious Effects of Slavery upon the
           Prosperity of Virginia                                    128

       XX. The Custom of Buying and Selling Slaves—
           Virginia's Attitude                                       139

      XXI. The Custom of Buying and Selling Slaves—
           Virginia's Attitude. Concluded                            147

     XXII. Small Proportion of Slaveholders among Virginia
           Soldiers                                                  154

    XXIII. Some of the Almost Insuperable Difficulties which
           Embarrassed Every Plan of Emancipation                    159

     XXIV. Some of the Almost Insuperable Difficulties which
           Embarrassed Every Plan of Emancipation. Continued         164

      XXV. Some of the Almost Insuperable Difficulties which
           Embarrassed Every Plan of Emancipation. Concluded         175

     XXVI. The Status of the Controversy Regarding Slavery at
           the Time Virginia Seceded from the Union                  185

    XXVII. The Status of the Controversy Regarding Slavery at
           the Time Virginia Seceded from the Union. Concluded       193

   XXVIII. The Attitude of Certain Northern States                   201

     XXIX. The Attitude of Certain Northern States. Concluded        206

      XXX. The Abolitionists                                         214

     XXXI. The Abolitionists and Disunion                            217

    XXXII. The Abolitionists and Disunion. Concluded                 225

   XXXIII. The Emancipation Proclamations and the Virginia
           People                                                    230

                               _Part III_

                         IDEALS OF ITS FOUNDERS

    XXXIV. Virginia's Part in the Revolution                         237

     XXXV. Virginia's Part in Making the Union under the
           Constitution                                              242

    XXXVI. Virginia's Efforts to Promote Reconciliation
           and Union in 1861                                         248

   XXXVII. The People of Virginia Declare for Union                  255

                               _Part IV_

                          VIRGINIA'S SECESSION

  XXXVIII. The Coercion of the Cotton States—
           Virginia's Position                                       263

    XXXIX. The Contest in the Virginia Convention for and
           against Secession                                         269

       XL. The Contest in the Virginia Convention for and
           against Secession. Concluded                              277

      XLI. The Attempted Reinforcement of Fort Sumter and
           its Significance                                          284

     XLII. The Attempt to Coerce the Cotton States Impels
           Virginia to Secede                                        290

    XLIII. Conclusion                                                301

           Bibliography                                              305

           Index                                                     313


                                _PART I_

                         AND SECESSION DEFINED




The story of the American Civil War presents a subject fraught with
interest, not destined to die with the passing years. Even the finality
of the verdict then rendered on the issues joined will not abate the
desire of men to fix with precision the political and ethical questions
involved and the motives which impelled the participants in that
deplorable tragedy. The sword may determine the boundaries of empire or
the political destinies of a people, but the great assize of the world's
thought and conscience tries again and again the merits of controversies
and brings victor and vanquished to the bar of its increasingly fair and
discriminating judgment.


What was the character of the War? Though one of the greatest wars of
modern times, having its rise and fall before the eyes of all the world,
yet men are to-day in doubt as to the true term by which to describe it.

Was it a Civil War? Such a conception omits the claim of the North that
the Federal Government as such fought to maintain its constitutional
supremacy, and the claim of the South that the seceding states but
exercised their constitutional rights in seceding, and as states fought
to maintain that principle. A civil war betokens one people, in the same
country, subjects of the same power, at war among themselves. Here,
though afore-time countrymen, when the battle was joined, there were two
rival governments, and the territories of the contending parties were
distinguished, not by shibboleths and banners, but by rivers and
mountain ranges. It was a sectional rather than a community war, a
conflict between governments rather than between citizens of the same

Was it a Rebellion? Such a conflict indicates a revolt of citizens or
subjects against their acknowledged sovereign. Whether in the United
States the citizen owed allegiance to the Federal Government as against
his State Government was a question upon which men had divided since the
birth of the Republic. The men of the North responded to the call of the
sovereign to whose allegiance they acknowledged fealty—the men of the
South did the same. It was a battle between rival conceptions of
sovereignty rather than one between a sovereign and its acknowledged

Was it a Revolution? A revolution is a successful movement of citizens
or subjects against their sovereign. Here the identity of the Sovereign
was in dispute, and the effort, though of unexampled magnitude, was
unsuccessful. In addition the parties to the conflict held
irreconcilable conceptions as to what constituted the right of
revolution—one insisting that it was a God-given right inherent in any
people sufficiently numerous to maintain a National existence; the
other, that it was a mere power to strike, dependent upon success to
prove the legitimacy of the claim.


The parties to the Conflict were not rival nations, but compatriots of
the same flag; joint inheritors of the English Common Law and the ideals
of liberty consecrated by centuries of heroic struggle; descendants of
an ancestry knit in political sympathy by their successful battle for
independence from the Mother Country, and the achievements by which they
made their new-born nation great; children of Puritan and Cavalier,
Quaker and Huguenot; Dutchman and Catholic-Frenchman; men of strong
individual and community traits, accustomed to rule and untutored in the
art of surrender.


The causes of the War were deep-seated and complex. They were Old-World
antagonisms, religious and political, antedating, and yet surviving, the
settlements at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, New Amsterdam, and New

The early development in the two great divisions of the country, of
diverse economic conditions—a land of small farms and multiplied
industrial activities confronting one of large plantations and
agricultural supremacy;—

The Protective Tariff, at first enacted to secure for American
manufactures a chance to compete successfully with those of the Old
World, but, in its results, a burdensome system, under which the
agriculturists of the South paid onerous tribute to the manufacturers of
the North;—

Slavery—an institution which specialized more and more the interests of
the South in the great exporting staples of cotton, rice and tobacco,
driving manufactures and mining into the more hospitable regions of the
North;—an institution whose life or death was within the exclusive
power of the separate states where it was legalized, and yet the
manifold incidents of whose existence were the subject of frequent
National legislation, and hence ever recurring occasions of sectional
strife;—an institution which quickened in time among the people of the
non-slaveholding states the conviction that it was a sin, with the
consequent charge that all responsible for its existence were parties to
a crime, thus arousing the bitter resentment of devout men in the
slaveholding states, who, protesting their innocence of wrong,
challenged the right of their Northern brethren to sit in judgment upon

The Annexation of Texas: A new cause and occasion for sectional
jealousy, precipitating the war with Mexico, and bringing additional
territory into the Union with fresh disputes over the powers of Congress
in regard thereto;—

The Immense Foreign Immigration into the North and West;—thus
developing in those sections the strongest sentiments of Nationalism,
while the South, unaffected by any such forces, adhered to the early
ideals of state pride and state supremacy;—

State Sovereignty versus National Supremacy;—the first, the shield
behind which aggrieved minorities sought to curb arrogant majorities and
safeguard the rights and interests of community life; the second, the
ideal by which the preservation of the Union was to be assured and its
dignity and power at home and abroad vindicated;—

The Missouri Compromise—its enactment and repeal, the controversies as
to the power of Congress to prohibit slaveholders from migrating with
their slaves into the territories, the enactment by Congress of the
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and the attitude of certain Northern States
in attempting to defeat its execution, the Underground Railroad, the
decision in the Dred Scott case, the armed conflicts in Kansas, the John
Brown Raid and the sympathy evinced at the North for the man and his
venture; and finally:

The asserted right of the Cotton States to withdraw from the Union, and
the declared purpose of the Federal Government to defeat their
aspiration by force of arms.

Add to all the foregoing the vision of mighty armies struggling for
mastery, the terrors and miseries of war—contrasted with the heroism
and devotion which it aroused, and there results a combination of causes
which will continue to make their compelling appeal to the hearts and
imaginations of men.


If the causes of the war were manifold and perplexing, the exact object
for which each of the contending parties did battle is only less
difficult of precise definition. A brief consideration of some of the
many forms in which the popular voice has sought to express the
conception will serve to illustrate the truth of this suggestion.

"The North fought to preserve the Union—the South, to destroy it."

That one great element of the Northern people took up arms at the call
of the Federal Government to prevent a dismemberment of the Union is
undoubtedly true. That another element regarded the maintenance of the
Union under the existing constitution as unworthy of effort is equally
true. The first went forth at the earliest call to preserve the Union
under the old constitution; the second came later to the battle to fight
for a Union with a constitution which should decree the abolition of
slavery. That the Southern people sought to establish the independence
of their new Confederacy and to that extent a dismemberment of the Union
is true, but that they desired the destruction of the Union and the
principles of liberty and law which its establishment was designed to
assure are conclusions not easily deducible from their aspirations or

"The North fought for empire, the South for independence."

That the North fought to keep within the limits of the Union the domain
stretching from the Potomac to the Rio Grande is true, but that the
great mass of her people were actuated by a desire to hold the land as
tributary and its people as subjects is not true. The splendid ideal of
a Republic, stretching from ocean to ocean, and securing to its growing
millions the dual blessings which spring from National integrity and
home rule, we may well believe was ever before them. That one great
element of the Southern people fought for independence and all the
inspiring ideals which the term implies is true, though it is equally
true that joined with them in the battle were states the dominant
elements of whose people cherished no primal desire for separation from
the Union, but resisted the authorities of the latter because of their
convictions that its policy of coercion was illegal and destructive of
the principle upon which the Republic had been founded.

"The North fought to destroy slavery; the South, to extend and maintain

That slavery was the most potent factor in developing the conditions
which finally precipitated war is true. That the two parties to the
conflict joined battle upon the issue of its maintenance or destruction
seems inconsistent with their solemnly declared purposes and promises,
made at the time. President Lincoln at his inauguration proclaimed: "I
have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution
of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful
right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." This pledge of the
President was but a reaffirmation of the platform of his party, and both
were, in turn, confirmed by the declaration of Congress that the war was
fought, "to defend and maintain the supremacy of the constitution and to
preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality and rights of the
several states unimpaired."

President Davis presented the attitude of his people and government when
he declared: "All we ask is to be let alone—that those who never held
power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms." And after
three years of desperate war, he declared to the representatives of
President Lincoln:—

  "We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for
  independence.... Say to Mr. Lincoln for me that I shall at any
  time be pleased to receive proposals for peace, on the basis of
  our independence. It will be useless to approach me with any

That the people of America in the nineteenth century of the Christian
era should have resorted to war in order to settle questions of
constitutional and moral right must forever constitute an impeachment of
the capacity for self-government and the ethical standards of the men
responsible for its occurrence.

The charge that the people of twenty-three states in four of which
slavery was legalized arose in arms against their fellow-citizens of the
remaining eleven and, despite the constitutional safeguards with which
the institution in the latter states was confessedly surrounded, invaded
their land, burnt thousands of their homes and killed tens of thousands
of their citizens in a desperate determination to destroy slavery, is as
compromising to American character as the counter accusation that the
people of eleven states, with no existing menace to their constitutional
rights in regard to slavery, resorted to secession and aggressive war in
order to secure new guarantees for the safety of the institution.
Charges so dishonoring to the American people should not be made and
above all should not be accepted as true—unless compelled by the
inexorable facts of history.


"The South fought for States' Rights—Home Rule; the North, for Federal
rights—National Supremacy."

In the large measure of truth contained in this declaration lay the
profound tragedy of the Civil War—a battle for the supremacy of one of
two ideals, thus brought into antagonism, upon the maintenance of both
of which, in their true proportions, depended so largely the success of
the unique experiment in government established by the Fathers. In this
union of states how were the rights of personal liberty and community
life to be harmonized with the National ideals and powers essential to
its preservation? Liberty and law—the consent of the governed and the
integrity of the Government—how were these great ends to be assured?
From the birth of the Republic, there were views radically divergent as
to the character and powers of the government then created; and there
were aspirations of devoutest patriotism alike yearning for the triumphs
of liberty and law, though seeking these ideals by policies almost
irreconcilable. Thus, upon the fair prospect of the new Republic, there
lowered from its natal hour forebodings of strife and separation. With
these warring ideals, intensified by divergent economic and political
interests, there arose the forces which drove the shuttle of discord
back and forth through the web and woof of the nation's life, and
wrought the forbidding pattern of sectionalism, division and hate. What
were the causes—what the issues—of that "strange and most unnatural"
war? What were the motives which impelled the people of the South,
utterly unprepared for battle, to risk the unequal contest, and never to
desist until the hand of destruction had paralyzed the very heart of
effort? What were the motives which impelled the people of the North to
give without stint their wealth of blood and treasure; to marshal armies
more numerous than those with which Napoleon confronted a world in arms,
and, for four years, to hurl them against the homes of their brethren?

Analysis is the foe of confusion and the friend of the light. Motives
and methods, grouped and commingled, present difficulties of right
appreciation which ofttimes vanish if separated into their component

The commonwealth of Virginia bore a not inconspicuous part in the Civil
War. It will subserve the cause of truth and assist to a clearer
understanding of the complex conditions referred to, if we endeavor to
portray the motives which impelled the people of this one state during
those fateful days of 1860-61.


Footnote 1:

  _History of the United States_, Rhodes, Vol. IV, p. 515.



It is not questioned that among the people of Virginia were men of
widely divergent views; Secessionists of the most ultra type, insisting
on the state's right to secede, and demanding her immediate withdrawal
from the Union; anti-secessionists of the strongest mould, denying the
right of secession and protesting against its attempted exercise;
Unionists who admitted the right in the state, as a desperate measure of
relief, but denying that any such occasion had arisen; advocates of
slavery who regarded the institution as approved of Heaven,—a blessing
to the blacks, and essential to the safety of the whites; apostles of
emancipation who denounced slavery and called for its abolition; men who
would make Virginia "neutral territory" between the hostile sections,
and those who would fight for her rights, but "fight within the Union."


None of these elements, separately, spoke the sentiments of the
majority, nor represented the controlling force in her citizenship. We
shall accept as the true expression of the dominant element the returns
from the ballot box, the enactments of her legislative and
constitutional assemblies, and the deliverances of her great sons. Tried
by these criteria, it may be truthfully declared that the institution of
slavery was regarded with disfavor by a majority of her people; that
they tolerated its existence as a _modus vivendi_ to meet the dangers
and difficulties of the hour, but looking forward to the time when the
increase of her white population from within and without, and the
decrease of her blacks by emigration and colonization would render
feasible its abolition, with a maximum of benefit to the slaves and
their owners, and a minimum of danger to society and the state; that
while cherishing an almost romantic love for their commonwealth, they
felt genuine loyalty to the Union, and contemplated with profound sorrow
the suggested withdrawal therefrom of any group of states; and, finally,
that they carried their state out of the Union and into the Southern
Confederacy because the authorities of the former sought by force of
arms to defeat the latter in their efforts to achieve independence, and
demanded of Virginia her quota of men to accomplish the deed.


Secession they deplored because it broke the married calm of a union
which its makers fondly hoped would endure forever, but war upon the
states seeking independence they also deplored, because subversive of
the principles upon which the Union was founded. Could the Federal
Government deny to six millions of people the boon of independence which
they were seeking by orderly and peaceful methods, and still remain true
to the principles of the great Declaration, to maintain which the
Fathers of the Republic had fought and won the battles of the
Revolution? Have people the right to determine for themselves their
political destiny? Are the just powers of governments to be measured by
the consent of the governed? These were the questions which, carrying
their own answers, impelled the Virginian opponents of coercion in 1861
to stand, as they believed, for the political and ethical principles
which the Flag symbolized, rather than for the Flag itself.

That Virginia revered the institution of slavery, and from selfish
motives fought to make more sure the muniments of its existence; that
she desired the destruction of the Union, and the degenerate abandonment
of the inspiring dreams of liberty and progress, which it was designed
to assure,—are propositions unthinkable to men acquainted with her
history and the genius and aspirations of her people. It was for no such
cause that she gave her sons to the sword, and her bosom as the
battleground for the fiercest war of modern times. Her people fought
because they felt the occasion made its imperious demand upon their duty
and their honor. Virginia had persistently declared that the right
asserted by the Cotton States was God-given and inalienable. Thus her
sense of honor, as well as the imperilled right of self-government,
impelled her to battle.

Twenty years after the surrender at Appomattox Lord Wolseley wrote: "The
Right of Self-Government which Washington won, and for which Lee fought,
was no longer to be a watchword to stir men's blood in the United

We need not accept the conclusion of this distinguished soldier that the
cause of self-government no longer commands the allegiance of the
American people, in order to believe that amid the trials and conflicts
of the Civil War Virginia stood faithful for the vindication of that
great principle.


Footnote 2:

  _R. E. Lee_, Wolseley, p. 51.


                               _PART II_

                     SLAVERY INTO THE TERRITORIES,
                      OR TO PREVENT ITS THREATENED
                         DESTRUCTION WITHIN HER
                              OWN BORDERS




President Lincoln in his inaugural address declared:—"One section of
our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while
the other believes slavery is wrong and ought not to be extended. This
is the only substantial dispute."

Other voices proclaimed that there existed an "irrepressible conflict"
between the North and the South in which the abolition or maintenance of
slavery was the gage of battle. The two assertions may be combined and
the question considered whether Virginia seceded either to extend
slavery into the territories or to perpetuate the institution within her


In considering these questions it will be well to review Virginia's
record with respect to slavery both during the period of her existence
as a colony and her career as a state;

To collate the sentiments of her great sons antagonistic to the

To show the small number of her citizens holding slaves as compared with
the great company of those who possessed no such interest;

To note the injurious effects upon her prosperity resulting from the
presence of the institution;

To summarize what were considered the almost insuperable difficulties
which embarrassed every plan of emancipation—difficulties that were
augmented and intensified by the bitterness and partizanship with which,
during the three decades immediately preceding the Civil War, the
subject had become invested;

To present the situation with respect to the controversy at the time
Virginia seceded from the Union; and finally,

To consider the effects, if any, upon her position, of President
Lincoln's Proclamations of Emancipation issued subsequent thereto.


African slaves were first brought to Virginia in 1619 by a Dutch vessel.
George W. Williams, the negro historian of his race in America, says,
"It is due to the Virginia colony to say that the slaves were forced
upon them."[3]

Though slaves were thus introduced as early as 1619, it was not until
1661 that the institution of slavery was recognized in Virginia by
statute law.[4]

For a long period after their first introduction, very few slaves were
imported. At the end of the first half-century there were only some two
thousand, and as late as the year 1715 they numbered only about
twenty-five thousand. In the sixty years, however, immediately preceding
the Revolution, they came in ever-increasing numbers, so that at the
latter date they almost equalled the white population of the colony.[5]


With the great increase of this element in the population, the colonists
were quick to realize their danger[6] and numerous acts were passed by
the Colonial Legislature designed to lessen, if not actually to stop,
further importations. Alluding to these efforts of the Virginia people,
Mr. Bancroft says:

  "Again and again they had passed laws restraining the importation of
  negroes from Africa, but their laws were disallowed. How to prevent
  them from protecting themselves against the increase of the
  overwhelming evil was debated by the King in Council; and on the 10th
  of December, 1770, he issued an instruction under his own hand
  commanding the Governor 'upon pain of the highest displeasure, to
  assent to no laws by which the importation of slaves should be in any
  respect prohibited or obstructed.'"[7]

Edmund Burke, in his speech on conciliating America, in response to the
suggestion that the slaves might be freed and used against the colonies,

  "Dull as all men are from slavery, must they not a little suspect the
  offer of freedom from the very nation which had sold them to their
  present masters—from that nation, one of whose causes of quarrel with
  those masters is their refusal to deal any more in that inhuman
  traffic. An offer of freedom from England would come rather oddly,
  shipped to them in an African vessel, which is refused an entry into
  the ports of Virginia or Carolina, with a cargo of three hundred
  Angola Negroes."[8]

In addition to legislative enactments, appeals were addressed directly
to the throne. But the great personages interested in the slave trade
proved more influential with the King than the prayers of his imperilled
people. There is something at once pathetic and prophetic in the appeals
made by these Virginians to their sovereign against the slave trade. The
petition presented by the House of Burgesses in 1772 recites:

  "We implore your Majesty's paternal assistance in averting a calamity
  of a most alarming nature. The importation of slaves into the colonies
  from the coast of Africa hath long been considered as a trade of great
  inhumanity, and under its present encouragement we have too much
  reason to fear will endanger the very existence of your Majesty's
  American dominions. We are sensible that some of your Majesty's
  subjects may reap emoluments from this sort of traffic, but when we
  consider that it greatly retards the settlement of the colonies with
  more useful inhabitants and may in time have the most destructive
  influence, we presume to hope that the interests of a few will be
  disregarded when placed in competition with the security and happiness
  of such numbers of your Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects. We,
  therefore, beseech your Majesty to remove all these restraints on your
  Majesty's Governor in this colony which inhibits their assenting to
  such laws as might check so pernicious a consequence."[9]

This petition was reported from a Committee of the House which included
Edmund Pendleton, Richard Henry Lee, Benjamin Harrison and others of
equal prominence.[10]

But the King and Ministers continued to turn deaf ears and except with
respect to more moderate measures the Royal Veto was interposed to annul
all anti-slavery laws.


Chief among the causes which aroused the opposition of the Virginia
colonists and placed them in the forefront of the Revolution was the
course of the King with respect to this momentous subject. When Thomas
Jefferson came to write the Declaration of Independence and to epitomize
the grounds of indictment which the colonists presented against the
British King, it was the latter's veto of the laws passed by Virginia to
suppress the slave trade, and the active aid lent by his Government to
force the captives of Africa upon his defenseless subjects, that evoked
the fiercest arraignment in that historic document. Mr. Jefferson

  "George the Third has waged cruel war against humanity itself,
  violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty, in the persons
  of a distant people who never offended him; captivating and carrying
  them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur a miserable death
  in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the
  opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of
  Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where men should be
  bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative by suppressing every
  legislative attempt to prohibit, or to restrain, this execrable
  commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of
  distinguished dye, he is now exciting these very people to rise in
  arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived
  them, by murdering the people on whom he obtruded them; thus paying
  off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people with
  crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of

"These words," says Mr. Bancroft, "expressed precisely what had happened
in Virginia."


That this portion of the Declaration was stricken out by Congress before
its formal presentation to the world does not negative the fact that, in
thus declaring, Mr. Jefferson proclaimed the sentiments of his native
state. It was ominous of her future experience with respect to this
baneful subject, that the voice of Virginia was then silenced in
deference to the states of the far South and certain of their Northern
sisters. Mr. Jefferson has left upon record that this clause in the
Declaration of Independence was stricken out:

  "In compliance to South Carolina and Georgia, who had never attempted
  to restrain the importation of slaves, and who, on the contrary, still
  wished to continue it. Our Northern brethren also, I believe, felt a
  little tender under these censures, for though their people had very
  few slaves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers of them to

The biographers of Abraham Lincoln, Nicolay and Hay, say:

  "The objections of South Carolina and Georgia sufficed to cause the
  erasure and suppression of the obnoxious paragraph. Nor were the
  Northern States guiltless; Newport was yet a great slave mart, and the
  commerce of New England drew more advantages from the traffic than did
  the agriculture of the South."[13]


  But the position of Virginia with respect to slavery and the vetoes of
  George III and the slave trade was not left to be determined by
  unofficial utterances though coming from one of her greatest sons. As
  early as 1774 her people registered their sentiments in the most
  varied and emphatic forms. Mass meetings in many of the counties
  adopted resolutions, the purport and tenor of which may be gathered
  from those of Fairfax County,—"We take the opportunity of declaring
  our most earnest wishes to see an entire stop forever put to such a
  wicked, cruel and unnatural trade."[14]


  In August, 1774, the Virginia Colonial Convention resolved: "We will
  neither ourselves import, nor purchase any slave or slaves imported by
  any other person, after the first day of November, next, either from
  Africa, the West Indies or any other place."[15]

  On the fifth of September, 1774, when the Continental Congress
  assembled for the first time, her delegates in that body submitted the
  memorial known in history as, "A Summary View of the Rights of British
  America," in which the course of George III was arraigned and the
  sentiments of Virginia in regard to the slave trade declared as

    "For the most trifling reasons, and sometimes for no conceivable
    reason at all, His Majesty has rejected laws of the most salutary
    tendency. The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of
    desire in those colonies, where it was, unhappily, introduced in
    their infant state. But, previous to the enfranchisement of the
    slaves we have, it is necessary to exclude all further importations
    from Africa. Yet, our repeated requests to effect this by
    prohibitions, and by imposing duties which might amount to a
    prohibition, have been hitherto defeated by His Majesty's negative;
    thus preferring the immediate advantage of a few British Corsairs to
    the lasting interests of the American States, and to the rights of
    human nature deeply wounded by this infamous practice."[16]

  The representatives from Virginia in the Continental Congress were
  active in their efforts to secure the adoption of the Non-Importation
  Agreement which included a resolve to discontinue the slave trade and
  a pledge neither to hire "our vessels nor sell our commodities or
  manufactures to those who are concerned in it."[17]

  W. E. B. DuBois declares: "Virginia gave the slave trade a special
  prominence and was in reality the leading spirit to force her views on
  the Continental Congress."[18]

  Nor were these resolves of the Virginia people idle, for numerous
  evidences can be cited of the activity of her vigilance committees. At
  Norfolk, the committees, finding that one John Brown had purchased
  slaves from Jamaica, reported that we "hold up for your just
  indignation Mr. John Brown, merchant of this place ... to the end ...
  that every person may henceforth break off all dealings with him."[19]


  Two years later, but before the proclamation of the Declaration of
  Independence, Virginia adopted a written constitution and Bill of
  Rights. In the preamble to the former there are set forth the reasons
  which influenced the colony to cast off her allegiance to the British
  King. Among the foremost was his action in "perverting his kingly
  powers," ... "into a detestable and insupportable tyranny by putting
  his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public
  good"; and again, for "prompting our negroes to rise in arms among
  us—those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative, he
  hath refused us permission to exclude by law."[20]

  Her Bill of Rights opened with the then novel and far reaching

    "That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have
    certain inherent rights, of which when they enter into a state of
    society, they cannot, by any contract deprive or divest their
    posterity; namely the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means
    of acquiring and possessing property and pursuing and obtaining
    happiness and safety."[21]

  With respect to this great document, Mr. Bancroft declares:

    "Other colonies had framed Bills of Rights in reference to their
    relations with Britain; Virginia moved from charters and customs to
    primal principles; from the altercation about facts to the
    contemplation of immutable truth. She summoned the eternal laws of
    man's being to protest against all tyranny. The English Petition of
    Right, in 1688, was historic and retrospective; the Virginia
    declaration came out of the heart of nature and announced governing
    principles for all peoples in all times. It was the voice of reason
    going forth to speak a new political world into being. At the bar of
    humanity Virginia gave the name and fame of her sons as hostages
    that her public life should show a likeness to the highest ideals of
    right and equal freedom among men."[22]


  This Bill of Rights was incorporated in every subsequent constitution
  of Virginia and is to-day a part of her organic law. Two months after
  its first adoption came the Declaration of American Independence. The
  words of Mason: "That all men are by nature equally free and
  independent," are re-echoed in the words of Jefferson, "That all men
  are created equal," and both declare that among the inalienable rights
  of man are "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

  To these principles, Virginia acknowledged allegiance; to the Bill of
  Rights, by the unanimous vote of her Constitutional Convention; and to
  the Declaration of Independence by the united voices of her delegates
  in the Continental Congress. The institution of slavery could not
  square with these great canons. Henceforth its existence in Virginia
  could be justified only by the difficulties and dangers attending its

  These recitals bring us down to the close of Virginia's life as a
  colony, and the assumption by her people of the rights and obligations
  of statehood. In the more than one hundred and fifty years of her
  colonial existence—despite protests, appeals and statutes—the
  inflowing tide from Africa had continued, so that out of a population
  of some six hundred thousand souls, over two-fifths were negro slaves.
  It was amid such conditions that Virginia met the problems incident to
  her birth into statehood, bore her part in founding the Republic,
  furnished her quota of soldiers to resist the armies of Great Britain,
  and held with fixed determination her ever advancing border line
  against the craft and courage of the Red Men.


Footnote 3:

    _History of the Negro Race in America_, Williams, Vol. 1, p. 119.

Footnote 4:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 34.

Footnote 5:

    _History of the Negro Race in America_, Williams, Vol. 1, p. 133.

Footnote 6:

    A letter from the celebrated Colonel William Byrd of "Westover" to
    Lord Egmont, under date of July 12, 1736, will serve to illustrate
    this fact. Colonel Byrd writes, "Your Lord's opinion concerning Rum
    and Negroes is certainly very just, and your excluding both of them
    from your colony of Georgia will be very happy....

    I wish, my Lord, we could be blessed with the same prohibition. They
    import so many negroes here that I fear this colony will some time
    or other be confirmed by the name of New Guinea. I am sensible of
    the many bad consequences of multiplying the Ethiopians amongst us.
    They blow up the pride and ruin the Industry of our White People,
    who seeing a Rank of poor creatures below them, detest work for fear
    it should make them look like slaves. Then that poverty which will
    ever attend upon Idleness disposes them as much to pilfer as it does
    the Portuguese....

    But these private mischiefs are nothing if compared to the publick
    danger. It were therefore worth the consideration of a British
    Parliament, my Lord, to put an end to this unchristian traffick of
    making merchandise of our Fellow Creatures. At least, the further
    importation of them into our Colony should be prohibited lest they
    prove as troublesome and dangerous elsewhere as they have been
    lately in Jamaica.... All these matters duly considered, I wonder
    the Legislature will Indulge a few ravenous traders to the danger of
    the Publick Safety." (From Unpublished Byrd Manuscripts at Lower
    Brandon, Va.)

Footnote 7:

    _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. III, p. 410.

Footnote 8:

    _Burke's Works_, Little, Brown & Co.'s. Ed., Vol. II, p. 135.

Footnote 9:

    _Journal of House of Burgesses_, p. 131, and _Tucker's Blackstone_,
    appendix, note H. Vol. II, p. 351.

Footnote 10:

    _Defense of Virginia_, Dabney, p. 48.

Footnote 11:

    _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. IV, p. 445.

Footnote 12:

    _Writings of Thomas Jefferson_, P. L. Ford, 1892, p. 28.

Footnote 13:

    _Abraham Lincoln, A History_, Nicolay & Hay, Vol. I, p. 314.

Footnote 14:

    _Suppression of the Slave Trade_, DuBois, p. 43.

Footnote 15:

    _Idem_, p. 43.

Footnote 16:

    _Writings of Thomas Jefferson_, Ford, 1892, Vol. I, p. 440.

Footnote 17:

    _Suppression of the Slave Trade_, DuBois, p. 45.

Footnote 18:

    _Idem_, p. 43.

Footnote 19:

    _Idem_, p. 47.

Footnote 20:

    _Hening's Statutes_, Vol. IX, pp. 112-113.

Footnote 21:

    _Idem_, p. 109.

Footnote 22:

    _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. IV, p. 419.


                            ORDINANCE OF 1787

  Foremost among the laws enacted by her General Assembly after
  Virginia's declaration of independence from British rule was her
  celebrated statute prohibiting the slave trade. This act was passed in
  1778—thus antedating by thirty years the like action of Great
  Britain. By this law, it was provided, "that from and after the
  passing of this act no slaves shall hereafter be imported into this
  commonwealth by sea or land, nor shall any slaves so imported be sold
  or bought by any person whatsoever." The statute imposed a fine of one
  thousand pounds upon the person importing them for each slave
  imported, and also a fine of five hundred pounds upon any person
  buying or selling any such slave for each slave so bought or sold. The
  crime of bringing in slaves is still further guarded against by a
  provision which declares that every slave "shall upon such importation
  become free."[23] Of this act, Mr. Ballagh, in his _History of Slavery
  in Virginia_, says, "Virginia thus had the honor of being the first
  political community in the civilized modern world to prohibit the
  pernicious traffic."[24]


  Next in the sequence of great events linked with this subject was the
  work of her sons in the preparation and adoption of the ordinance for
  the government of the northwest territory. This imperial domain from
  which have been created the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
  Michigan and Wisconsin had been conquered by her soldiers, led by her
  son, George Rogers Clark, acting under a commission of her Governor,
  Patrick Henry, and her Council.[25] "Virginians," says Mr. Bancroft,
  "in the service of Virginia." Virginia claimed the country as
  comprised within the limits fixed by her colonial charter.
  Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York also asserted claims, but, as
  John Fiske declares, "It was Virginia that had actually conquered the
  disputed territory."[26] And again he writes, "Virginia gave up a
  magnificent and princely territory of which she was actually in
  possession."[27] When, by the valor of her sons, Virginia had won the
  land from the English and the Indians, she silenced the murmurings of
  sister states and consummated the efforts for union by formally
  relinquishing the great domain to the common weal.

  The day that Virginia's deed of cession, March the first, 1784, was
  accepted by the Continental Congress, Mr. Jefferson reported his
  bill—the Ordinance of 1784. This measure was one of far reaching
  importance in that it provided not only for many of the governmental
  needs of this great territory, but declared that after the year 1800,
  slavery should never exist in any portion of the vast domain west of a
  line drawn north and south between Lake Erie and the Spanish dominions
  of Florida. Had this clause been retained in the ordinance, slavery
  would have been excluded not only from the five states created out of
  the northwest territory but from the country south of it and from
  which were subsequently formed the states of Kentucky, Tennessee,
  Alabama and Mississippi.

  This provision of the ordinance, however, failed of adoption—the
  votes of six states being recorded in its favor, one less than the
  requisite majority. Mr. Jefferson's colleagues present, Hardy and
  Mercer, refused to join him in voting for this novel enactment. Its
  failure was a matter of profound regret to its author. In a letter to
  M. de Munier, Mr. Jefferson wrote:

    "The voice of a single individual of the state which was divided, or
    one of those which were of the negative, would have prevented this
    abominable crime from spreading itself over the new country. Thus we
    see the fate of millions unborn hanging on the tongue of one man and
    Heaven was silent in that awful moment."[28]


  This ambition of Mr. Jefferson was not destined to complete defeat.
  Three years later, the now celebrated Ordinance of 1787 was enacted
  into law. "No one was more active," says Mr. Fiske, "in bringing about
  this result than William Grayson of Virginia, who was earnestly
  supported by Lee."[29]

  Mr. Bancroft says:

    "Thomas Jefferson first summoned Congress to prohibit slavery in all
    the territory of the United States; Rufus King lifted up the measure
    when it lay almost lifeless on the ground, and suggested the
    immediate instead of the prospective prohibition; a Congress
    composed of five Southern States to one from New England and two
    from the Middle States, headed by William Grayson, supported by
    Richard Henry Lee, and using Nathan Dane as scribe, carried the
    measure to the goal in the amended form in which King had caused it
    to be referred to a committee; and, as Jefferson had proposed,
    placed it under the sanction of an irrevocable compact."[30]


  The ordinance as passed contained many provisions in addition to those
  set out in Virginia's deed of cession. It was necessary, therefore,
  that Virginia should by proper enactment reaffirm her deed. The
  General Assembly of Virginia at its next session accordingly passed an
  act fixing for all time the validity of both deed and ordinance.[31]
  Mr. Bancroft says:

    "A powerful committee on which were Carrington, Monroe, Edmund
    Randolph and Grayson, successfully brought forward the bill by which
    Virginia confirmed the ordinance for the colonization of all the
    territory then in the possession of the United States, by freemen

  Thus the old commonwealth which had won the land from England and the
  Indians bore a foremost part in the legislative work by which slavery
  was forever excluded from the empire north of the Ohio River.


Footnote 23:

    _Hening's Statutes_, Vol. IX, p. 471.

Footnote 24:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 23.

Footnote 25:

    _Life of Patrick Henry_, W. W. Henry, Vol. I, p. 583.

Footnote 26:

    _Critical Period of American History_, Fiske, p. 191.

Footnote 27:

    _Idem_, p. 195.

Footnote 28:

    _Writings of Jefferson_, Ford, Vol. IV, p. 181.

Footnote 29:

    _Critical Period of American History_, Fiske, p. 205.

Footnote 30:

    _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. VI, p. 290.

Footnote 31:

    _Hening's Statutes_, Vol. XII, p. 780.

Footnote 32:

    _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. VI, p. 291.


                           VIRGINIA'S POSITION

  The supreme opportunity for suppressing the importation of slaves and
  thus hastening the day of emancipation came with the adoption of the
  Federal Constitution. As we have seen, with every increase in the
  number of slaves the difficulties and dangers of emancipation were
  multiplied. The hope of emancipation rested in stopping their further
  importation and dispersing throughout the land those who had already
  found a home in our midst. To put an end to "this pernicious traffic"
  was therefore the supreme duty of the hour, but despite Virginia's
  protests and appeals the foreign slave trade was legalized by the
  Federal Constitution for an additional period of twenty years. The
  nation knew not the day of its visitation—with blinded eyes and
  reckless hand it sowed the dragon's teeth from which have sprung the
  conditions and problems which even to-day tax the thought and
  conscience of the American people.

  This action of the convention is declared by Mr. Fiske, to have been
  "a bargain between New England and the far South."

  "New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut," he adds, "consented to
  the prolonging of the foreign slave trade for twenty years, or until
  1808; and in return South Carolina and Georgia consented to the clause
  empowering Congress to pass Navigation Acts and otherwise regulate
  commerce by a simple majority of votes."[33]


  George W. Williams, the negro historian, avers that,

    "Thus, by an understanding or, as Gouverneur Morris called it, 'a
    bargain' between the commercial representatives of the Northern
    States and the delegates of South Carolina and Georgia, and in spite
    of the opposition of Maryland and Virginia, the unrestricted power
    of Congress to enact Navigation Laws was conceded to the Northern
    merchants; and to the Carolina rice planters, as an equivalent,
    twenty years' continuance of the African slave trade."[34]

  Continuing, Mr. Fiske says, "This compromise was carried against the
  sturdy opposition of Virginia." George Mason spoke the sentiments of
  the Mother-Commonwealth when in a speech against this provision of the
  constitution, which reads like prophecy and judgment, he said:

    "This infernal traffic originated in the avarice of British
    merchants. The British Government constantly checked the attempts of
    Virginia to put a stop to it. The present question concerns, not the
    importing states alone, but the whole Union.... Maryland and
    Virginia, he said, had already prohibited the importation of slaves
    expressly. North Carolina had done the same in substance. All this
    would be in vain if South Carolina and Georgia be at liberty to
    import. The Western people are already calling out for slaves for
    their new lands; and will fill that country with slaves if they can
    be got through South Carolina and Georgia. Slavery discourages arts
    and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves.
    They prevent the emigration of whites, who really enrich and
    strengthen a country. They produce the most pernicious effect on
    manners. Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring
    the judgment of Heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded
    or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an
    inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes National
    sins by National calamities. He lamented that some of our Eastern
    brethren had, from a lust of gain, embarked in this nefarious
    traffic. As to the states being in possession of the right to
    import, this was the case with many other rights, now to be properly
    given up. He held it essential, in every point of view, that the
    General Government should have power to prevent the increase of

  "But these prophetic words of George Mason," adds Mr. Fiske, "were
  powerless against the combination of New England and the far

  Some seven decades later, Virginia erected under the shadow of her
  Capitol a bronze statue to commemorate the fame of this illustrious

  Governor Randolph and Mr. Madison earnestly supported their colleague,
  the former declaring that this feature rendered the constitution so
  odious as to make doubtful his ability to support it; and the latter
  asserting, "Twenty years will produce all the mischief that can be
  apprehended from the liberty to import slaves. So long a term will be
  more dishonorable to the American character than to say nothing about
  it in the constitution."[36]


  Thus it was by the votes of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
  Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, and against the
  votes of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, that the
  slave trade was legalized by the National Government for the period
  from 1787 to 1808.


  If it be argued that this provision of the constitution offered no
  menace to Virginia or to any other state not willing to admit the
  importations, the reply is obvious that this action of the National
  Government was deplorable because it placed the imprimatur of its
  supreme law upon the morality as well as legality of the slave trade;
  and further, because with the advent from abroad of every additional
  slave the difficulties and dangers of emancipating those in the
  South—their natural habitat—was increased. New England and the North
  were not menaced. Climatic and economic conditions, as well as their
  local laws, raised a protecting barrier. Beneath the hot skies of the
  South—where flourished the much sought for crops of cotton, rice and
  sugar cane—was the land to which with unerring instinct the Trader
  piloted his craft freighted with ignorance and woe. As long,
  therefore, as one port remained open and the National Government
  sanctioned the traffic, just so long would the inflowing tide
  continue, each new arrival adding to the difficulties of the

  Thus the nation, under its new charter, entered upon its career
  handicapped by the curse of slavery and further menaced by the new
  lease of life accorded the slave trade. Upon Virginia the maximum of
  burden rested. She had within her borders nearly one-third of the
  whole slave population of the Union. Hers was the ceaseless task of
  guarding against further importations from home or abroad; of devising
  some practicable plan for gradually emancipating the slaves in her
  midst, and meanwhile to continue day by day the work of teaching these
  children of the Dark Continent an intelligible language, the use of
  tools, the necessity for labor and the rudiments of morality and


Footnote 33:

    _Critical Period of American History_, Fiske, p. 264.

Footnote 34:

    _History of Negro Race in America_, Williams, Vol. I, p. 426.

Footnote 35:

    _Critical Period of American History_, Fiske, p. 264.

Footnote 36:

    _Life and Times of Madison_, Rives, Vol. II, p. 446.


                         THE FOREIGN SLAVE TRADE

  Despite Virginia's failure to secure the immediate suppression of the
  foreign slave trade, her sons were active in their efforts to restrict
  its growth and at the earliest possible moment to drive the slave
  ships from the seas.

  In the first Congress under the constitution, April, 1789, Josiah
  Parker of Virginia sought to amend the Tariff Bill under discussion by
  inserting a clause levying an import tax of ten dollars upon every
  slave brought into the country.

    "He was sorry the constitution prevented Congress from prohibiting
    the importation altogether. It was contrary to Revolution principles
    and ought not to be permitted.... He hoped Congress would do all in
    their power to restore to human nature its inherent privileges; to
    wipe off, if possible, the stigma under which America labored; to do
    away with the inconsistence in our principles justly charged upon
    us; and to show by our actions, the pure beneficence of the doctrine
    held out to the world in our Declaration of Independence."

  Mr. Parker was supported by two other Virginians, Theodoric Bland and
  James Madison, the latter declaring:

    "The clause in the constitution allowing a tax to be imposed though
    the traffic could not be prohibited for twenty years, was inserted,
    he believed, for the very purpose of enabling Congress to give some
    testimony of the sense of America with respect to the African trade.
    By expressing a national disapprobation of that trade it is to be
    hoped we may destroy it, and so save ourselves from reproaches and
    our posterity from the imbecility ever attendant on a country filled
    with slaves."[37]

  But notwithstanding these appeals the movement was defeated, though
  the discussion was evidently fruitful in bringing to the attention of
  the country that under the constitution, Congress had authority not
  only to levy a tax of ten dollars per capita on slaves imported, but
  to prohibit citizens of the United States from engaging in the traffic
  with foreign countries. These latter conclusions were formally
  embodied in a report made to Congress on the 23rd of March, 1790, by a
  committee of which Josiah Parker of Virginia was one of the leading
  members. The adoption of this report stirred the opponents of the
  slave trade to greater activity and numerous petitions were presented
  at the next session of Congress from Maryland and Virginia and almost
  every one of the Northern States. In the Virginia petition, the slave
  trade was denounced as "an outrageous violation of one of the most
  essential rights of human nature."[38]

  In his message to Congress, at its session, 1806-7, Mr. Jefferson,
  then President, brought to the attention of that body the fact that
  under the constitution the time was at hand when the African slave
  trade could be abolished, and urged the speedy enactment of such a
  law. He said:

    "I congratulate you, fellow-citizens, on the approach of a period at
    which you may interpose your authority constitutionally to withdraw
    the citizens of the United States from all further participation in
    those violations of human rights which have so long been continued
    on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality,
    the reputation and the best interests of our country have long been
    eager to proscribe."

  An act was accordingly passed prohibiting the slave trade and imposing
  forfeitures and fines upon ships and ships' crews engaged in the
  traffic. The law also forfeited slaves so illegally imported and
  provided that the disposition of such slaves should be left to the
  states wherein they were found.

  The African slave trade had flourished so long under the patronage and
  support of the leading nations of Christendom and with the
  acquiescence, at least, of the United States during the previous
  twenty years, that it was difficult by simple statutory enactment to
  put an end to the nefarious traffic. It will be seen, therefore, that
  the trade continued from time to time between the coast of Africa, the
  United States, West Indies and Brazil, despite the efforts of the
  Federal authorities to enforce the laws made for its suppression. In
  all these efforts Virginians, holding official places, were most
  earnest and energetic in their warfare against the trade.

  In his message to Congress, December 5, 1810, President Madison

    "Among the commercial abuses still committed under the American flag
    ... it appears that American citizens are instrumental in carrying
    on the traffic in enslaved Africans, equally in violation of the
    laws of humanity and in defiance of those of their own country,"

  and urges Congress to devise further means for suppressing the evil.

  Again, in his message to Congress of December 3, 1816, President
  Madison brings the subject to the attention of Congress and urges the
  enactment of such amendments as will suppress violations of the

  In the progress of time, certain slaves brought into the country in
  violation of the act were captured and sold, thus in effect defeating
  one of the prime objects of the law, which was to prevent any increase
  in the slave population. Thereupon, at the session of Congress, 1819,
  under the leadership of Charles Fenton Mercer and John Floyd of
  Virginia a bill was passed amending the existing statute, requiring
  the President to use armed cruisers off the coasts of Africa and
  America to suppress the trade, providing for the immediate return to
  Africa of any imported slaves, directing the President to appoint
  agents to receive and care for them on their return and appropriating
  One Hundred Thousand Dollars to carry out the general purposes of the

  In the House, on motion of Hugh Nelson, of Virginia, the death penalty
  was fixed as the punishment for violating the law, but this provision
  was stricken out by the Senate.[40]

  In February, 1823, Charles Fenton Mercer, a representative from
  Virginia, in the House, secured the adoption of the following joint

    "RESOLVED, That the President of the United States be requested to
    enter upon and to prosecute from time to time such negotiations with
    the maritime powers of Europe and America as he may deem expedient
    for the effectual abolition of the African slave trade and its
    ultimate denunciation as Piracy under the laws of Nations by the
    consent of the civilized world."[41]

  Mr. Mercer, in urging the adoption of this resolution, denounced the
  African slave trade "as a crime begun on a barbarous shore, claimed by
  no civilized state, and subject to no moral law; a remnant of ancient
  barbarism, a curse extended to the New World by the colonial policy of
  the Old."[42]

  Mr. Mercer supplemented his congressional action by visits made at his
  own expense to the Governments of the Old World to urge upon them the
  adoption of the policy set forth in his resolution.'[43]

  It was early appreciated that unless at least a qualified "right of
  search" was accorded the war vessels of the leading nations engaged in
  the effort to suppress the slave trade, these efforts would be
  seriously hindered. Accordingly the lower house of Congress, in May,
  1821, under the leadership of Charles Fenton Mercer, from whose
  committee the resolution was reported, adopted the recommendation that
  a "right of search" be accorded the British Government in return for a
  like privilege accorded the United States.[44] This resolution,
  however, was defeated in the Senate.

  Subsequently President Monroe submitted to Congress the draft of a
  treaty with England embodying this provision. In a special message,
  under date of May 21, 1824, he gave at length his reasons for
  approving the treaty—saying:

    "Should this convention be adopted there is every reason to believe
    that it will be the commencement of a system destined to accomplish
    the entire abolition of the slave trade."

  Unfortunately, the ratification of this treaty was defeated in the
  Senate, and not until 1862 was the "right of search" between Great
  Britain and America established.

  In his message to Congress June 1, 1841, President Tyler writes:

    "I shall also at the proper season invite your attention to the
    statutory enactments for the suppression of the slave trade which
    may require to be rendered more effective in their provisions. There
    is reason to believe that the traffic is on the increase.... The
    highest consideration of public honor as well as the strongest
    promptings of humanity require a resort to the most vigorous efforts
    to suppress the trade."

  Again, in his message of December 7, 1841, President Tyler writes:

    "I invite your attention to existing laws for the suppression of the
    African slave trade, and recommend all such alterations as may give
    to them greater force and efficiency. That the American flag is
    grossly abused by the abandoned and profligate of other nations is
    but too probable."

  In 1842, in the preparation of the Ashburton Treaty President Tyler
  secured the insertion of a clause providing for the maintenance and
  co-operation of squadrons of the United States and Great Britain off
  the coast of Africa for the suppression of the trade.[45]

  The ratification of this treaty was urged upon the Senate by the
  President in his message of August 11, 1842, as conducive to the
  abolition of what he termed the "unlawful and inhuman traffic."

  Though Brazil, by statute, prohibited the African slave trade in 1831,
  yet the traffic continued and in this trade citizens of the United
  States as ship owners, or crew, were engaged despite the Federal
  statutes against such a practice. Henry A. Wise of Virginia, Consul at
  Rio Janeiro, made frequent and earnest reports to the State Department
  calling the attention of the authorities to these violations. Under
  date of February 18th, 1845, he writes to the Secretary of State at

    "I beseech, I implore the President of the United States to take a
    decided stand on this subject. You have no conception of the bold
    effrontery and the flagrant outrages of the African slave trade, and
    of the shameless manner in which its worst crimes are licensed here,
    and every patriot in our land would blush for our country did he
    know and see, as I do, how our citizens sail and sell our flag to
    the uses and abuses of that accursed practice."[46]

  In his message to Congress, under date of December 4th, 1849,
  President Taylor writes:

    "Your attention is earnestly invited to an amendment of our existing
    laws relating to the African slave trade with a view to the
    effectual suppression of that barbarous traffic. It is not to be
    denied that this trade is still in part carried on by means of
    vessels built in the United States and owned or navigated by some of
    our citizens."

  The foregoing recitals will serve to illustrate the uncompromising
  attitude of hostility on the part of leading Virginians toward the
  African slave trade. They sought by Federal statutes and concerted
  action with foreign nations to drive the pernicious traffic from the
  seas. They denounced the trade as inhuman, because it stimulated men
  to reduce free men to slavery and then entailed upon slaves the
  horrors and dangers of the "middle passage." They resolutely opposed
  any addition to the slave population of America because profoundly
  convinced that every such importation was fraught with menace to the
  social, economic and moral well-being of the nation and rendered more
  difficult the emancipation of those who had already been brought to
  her shores. As we have seen, her representatives at the first meeting
  of the Continental Congress had defined Virginia's position in the
  notable memorial which declared:

    "The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in
    those colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant
    state. But, previous to the enfranchisement of the slaves we have,
    it is necessary to exclude all further importations from

  This was the philosophy of the situation as defined by the great
  statesmen of the Revolutionary period and to their views their ablest
  successors in Virginia adhered down to the outbreak of the Civil War.


Footnote 37:

    _Annals of Congress_, Vol. I, col. 336.

Footnote 38:

    _Suppression of the Slave Trade_, DuBois, p. 80.

Footnote 39:

    _Annals of Congress_, 15th Congress, 2nd section, part I, pp. 442-3.

Footnote 40:

    _Suppression of the Slave Trade_, DuBois, p. 120, Note 3.

Footnote 41:

    _Annals of Congress_, 17th Congress, second session, pp. 435 and

Footnote 42:

    _Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America_, Wilson, Vol. I, p.

Footnote 43:

    _The Confederate Cause and Conduct in the War Between the States_,
    McGuire and Christian, p. 17.

Footnote 44:

    _Suppression of Slave Trade_, DuBois, p. 137.

Footnote 45:

    _Letters and Times of the Tylers_, Tyler, Vol. II, p. 219.

Footnote 46:

    _American Slave Trade_, Spear, p. 81.

Footnote 47:

    _Writings of Jefferson_, Ford, Vol. I, p. 440.



  Having by her act of 1778, prohibiting the importation of slaves,
  provided against any increase in their number from without, Virginia
  at the close of the Revolution proceeded to legislate with respect to
  those already in her midst, permitting and encouraging their gradual


  Under British rule, slaveholders were forbidden to manumit their
  slaves, except with the permission of the Council.[48] In 1782, the
  General Assembly of Virginia enacted a law, under which slaveholders
  were authorized to emancipate their slaves by deed or will duly made
  and recorded.[49]

  By an act passed in 1785, it was provided that slaves brought into the
  state and remaining twelve months should be free.[50]

  In 1787, acts were passed validating certain manumissions made by
  wills prior to 1782, the General Assembly declaring that it was "just
  and proper" that "the benevolent intentions" of the testators should
  be carried into effect.[51]

  In 1788, an act was passed making the enslaving of the child of free
  blacks a crime punishable by death upon the scaffold.[52]

  In 1795, an act was passed allowing a slave to sue _in forma pauperis_
  in any court proceedings affecting his freedom. He might make
  complaint to the nearest magistrate or court and the owner was then
  required to give bond to permit the slave to attend the next term of
  the court and maintain his cause. If the owner failed or refused to
  comply, the slave was taken into the custody of the state, counsel was
  assigned to defend his cause and every process of the law allowed him
  without cost.[53] Following the adoption of the foregoing laws, the
  General Assembly, in 1803, passed an act to still further safeguard
  the rights of negroes who had secured their freedom. By this last act
  the authorities were required to keep registers in each county in
  which were to be recorded the names of all the free negroes and also
  the names of slaves whose right to manumission would accrue upon the
  death of the person having only an estate for life in such slaves.


  The effect of these acts facilitating and encouraging manumissions at
  length began to appear. At the close of the Revolution there were less
  than three thousand free negroes in Virginia.[54] In the ten years
  next succeeding, they reached thirteen thousand, and the census of
  1810 records their number at thirty thousand, five hundred and
  seventy. Here was a new problem—the presence in a state dominated by
  white men of a considerable body of negroes possessing neither the
  privileges of the whites nor amenable to the restrictions imposed upon
  the great mass of the blacks. As a result of these conditions, acts
  were passed in 1806 providing that no slaves thereafter manumitted
  should remain in Virginia. In 1819 an act was passed authorizing the
  County Courts to permit such as were "sober, peaceful, orderly and
  industrious to remain in the state."[55] Later, it was provided by
  statute that all slaves thereafter manumitted should leave the state
  within twelve months from the date of their emancipation.
  Thenceforward slaveholders were accorded the right to manumit their
  slaves, subject to the claims of their creditors and to the obligation
  upon the former slaves of going beyond the state within twelve months
  following their manumission.

  While these last mentioned statutes embarrassed the work of
  emancipation, they stimulated the sentiment in favor of colonization.
  However, despite the difficulties which confronted them, slaveholders
  still continued to emancipate their slaves and hostility to the
  institution of slavery—the conviction that it was a burden upon the
  commonwealth—became more and more widespread among the people. The
  growth of these sentiments continued until the year 1832. The Rev.
  Philip Slaughter, a writer with pro-slavery sympathies, records:

    "That was the culminating point—the flood tide of anti-slavery
    feeling which had been gradually rising for more than a century in
    Virginia was then precipitated upon us before its time by the
    Southampton convulsion."[56]

  To the disastrous effects upon public sentiment of this tragic event
  which occurred in August, 1831, must be added the reactionary
  influence of the Abolitionists, who now began their work of agitation
  and their arraignment, not simply of slavery nor of slaveholders, but
  of the morality and civilization of every community in which the
  institution existed. The failure, too, of the General Assembly of
  Virginia at its session of 1832 to adopt any plan for the gradual
  abolition of slavery or for the removal beyond the state of the free
  negroes then within her borders was also strongly reactionary. Despite
  the ability and influence of the anti-slavery leaders in that body no
  remedial legislation was adopted and thousands of the people accepted
  the result as proof of the fact that the practical difficulties in the
  way of emancipation were such as to shut out the hope of its


Footnote 48:

    _Hening's Statutes_, Vol. IV, p. 132.

Footnote 49:

    _Hening's Statutes_, Vol. XI, p. 39.

Footnote 50:

    _Hening's Statutes_, Vol. XII, p. 182.

Footnote 51:

    _Hening's Statutes_, Vol. XII, pp. 611 and 613.

Footnote 52:

    _Idem_, p. 531.

Footnote 53:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 123.

Footnote 54:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 121.

Footnote 55:

    _Idem_, p. 125.

Footnote 56:

    _The Virginian History of African Colonization_, Slaughter, p. 55.


                     TO ABOLISH SLAVERY IN THE STATE

  The Southampton Insurrection, which occurred in August, 1831, was one
  of those untoward incidents which so often marked the history of
  slavery. Under the leadership of one Nat Turner, a negro preacher, of
  some education, who felt that he had been called of God to deliver his
  race from bondage, the negroes attacked the whites at night and before
  the assault could be suppressed fifty-seven whites, principally women
  and children, had been killed. This deplorable event assumed an even
  more portentous aspect when it was realized that the leader was a
  slave to whom the privilege of education had been accorded and that
  one of his lieutenants was a free negro. In addition there existed a
  widespread belief among the whites that influences and instigations
  from without the state were responsible for the insurrection.

  The General Assembly of Virginia met in regular session in December,
  1831, and the effect upon the popular mind of this tragic occurrence
  was evidenced in the numerous petitions presented praying for the
  removal beyond the state of all free negroes, or the enactment of such
  laws as should provide for the abolition of slavery. The institution
  itself, the feasibility of its abolition, the status of the free
  negroes, the danger to the state from their presence, were thus
  brought before the Legislature. It was a body containing many able men
  but elected without reference to this great subject, and with no
  previous interchange of views or formulation of plans among the
  advocates of reform. The discussions which followed were more notable
  for the fierce arraignment of the institution than for the
  presentation of practical plans for its abolition.

  Henry Wilson, in his _Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America_,
  says of this discussion:

    "It was one of the ablest, most eloquent and brilliant debates that
    ever took place in the Legislature of any of the states. Most of
    those who participated in it were young and rising men who afterward
    achieved high positions and commanding influence."[57]

  Mr. Ballagh records that:

    "Day after day multitudes thronged the Capitol to hear the speeches.
    The Assembly in its zeal for the discussion set aside all prudential
    considerations, such as the possible effect of incendiary utterances
    that might make the slave believe his lot one of injustice and
    cruelty, and so give him the excuse of a revolt, or might encourage
    further aggressions by Northern Abolitionists."[58]


  Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Mr. Jefferson's grandson; Thomas Marshall,
  son of the Chief Justice; James McDowell, afterward Congressman and
  Governor; Charles J. Faulkner, afterward Congressman and Minister to
  France, and William Ballard Preston, afterward Congressman and
  Secretary of the Navy in President Taylor's Cabinet, were among the
  leaders of the anti-slavery men, and some idea may be formed of the
  character of their speeches from the extracts hereinafter cited.

  The principal discussion revolved around the report of a committee
  which declared "that it is inexpedient for the present Legislature to
  make any legislative enactment for the abolition of slavery," to which
  Mr. Preston moved the substitution of the word "expedient" for
  "inexpedient," and Mr. Bryce moved, as a substitute for both, that the
  commonwealth should provide for the immediate removal of the negroes
  now free and those who may hereafter become free "believing that this
  will absorb all of our present means." By a vote of 58 to 73 Mr.
  Preston's amendment was defeated,[59] and Mr. Bryce's substitute
  adopted by a vote of 65 to 58.[60] In line with this declaration, the
  House thereupon passed a bill which provided by a comprehensive and
  continuous system for the deportation and colonization of the free
  negroes of the commonwealth, and such as thereafter might become free.
  The measure carried an appropriation of Thirty-five Thousand Dollars
  for the first year (1832) and Ninety Thousand Dollars for the year
  1833 and was adopted by a vote of 79 to 41.[61] In urging its passage,
  William H. Broadnax insisted that many owners "would manumit their
  slaves if means for their removal were furnished by the state, but who
  could not if the additional burden of removal were placed upon
  them."[62] This bill, so fraught with far-reaching consequences, was
  subsequently defeated in the Senate by one vote.


  Several plans for the gradual emancipation and deportation of the
  slaves were brought forward and discussed, but all failed of
  enactment. Thomas R. Dew declares that, "no enlarged, wise or
  practical plan of operations was proposed by the Abolitionists."[63]
  And Mr. Ballagh says, that "will was not wanting but method unhappily


  The failure of this General Assembly to adopt any plan of emancipation
  or any comprehensive scheme for the deportation of the free negroes
  already in the state had a disastrous effect upon the attitude of
  thousands of Virginians towards slavery. Despairing of relief from
  either of these sources and yet facing the peril of which the Nat
  Turner Insurrection was the warning sign, her lawmakers sought in
  repressive legislation to nullify the dangers of slave insurrection.
  Many accepted the institution as permanent and busied themselves
  marshalling arguments in vindication of its rightfulness and in
  refuting with growing bitterness the assaults of its opponents.


  But in addition to the Southampton Massacre, and the failure of the
  Legislature to enact any effective legislation, the contemporary rise
  of the Abolitionists in the North came as an even more powerful factor
  to embarrass the efforts of the Virginia emancipators. Unlike the
  anti-slavery men of former years, this new school not only attacked
  the institution of slavery but the morality of slaveholders and their
  sympathizers. In their fierce arraignment, not only were the humane
  and considerate linked in infamy with the cruel and intolerant, but
  the whole population of the slave-owning states, their civilization
  and their morals were the object of unrelenting and incessant
  assaults. Thus thousands sincerely desiring the abolition of slavery
  were driven to silence or into the ranks of its apologists in the
  widespread and indignant determination of Virginians to resent these
  libels upon their character and defeat these attempts to excite
  servile insurrections.

  "What have we done to her," said the Rev. Nehemiah Adams of Boston,
  "but admonish, threaten and indict her before God, excommunicate her,
  stir up insurrection among her slaves, endanger her homes, make her
  Christians and ministers odious in other lands."[65]

  From this period, too, may be noticed the gradual increase in the
  number of pro-slavery men in Virginia. This element did not justify
  slavery simply because of the difficulties and dangers attending
  emancipation, but they asserted that the institution was good in
  itself, sanctioned by religion, a blessing to the blacks and essential
  to the well-being of the whites. The growth of this new school in its
  aggressiveness and the extreme character of its utterances kept pace
  with the like development of the Abolitionists. As the latter
  denounced slavery as "man-stealing"—and slaveholders—as "thieves,"
  the former marshalled Bible texts to show the divine origin and
  Heaven-approved character of the institution. As the Abolitionists
  portrayed the "degrading" and "brutalizing" effects of slavery upon
  the character of slaveholding communities, the pro-slavery men pointed
  to the moral and civic virtues which undoubtedly existed in such
  communities, and claimed that these very virtues were attributable to
  the institution of slavery. As Abolitionists, relying upon the
  insistence that slavery was a "monstrous oppression," justified slave
  insurrections to effect freedom, the pro-slavery men sought to drive
  into silence their fellow Virginians of anti-slavery sentiments
  because any acknowledgment that it was illegal and that the condition
  of the slave was at war with the laws of natural right warranted the
  slave in killing his master to secure his freedom.


  Thus, from 1833 on to the time of the war, the pro-slavery advocates
  grew in influence and aggressiveness, though what proportion of the
  population of Virginia they represented it is impossible to determine.
  Their extreme utterances undoubtedly gave them great prominence, as
  the march of events, in like manner, augmented their power. The
  sentiments of the anti-slavery men found little place in the turmoil
  of the times. Their position was strongly analogous to that of the
  majority of the Northern people, who, in the midst of the war cries of
  the Abolitionists, continued in silence their business pursuits.


Footnote 57:

    _Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America_, Wilson, Vol. I, p.

Footnote 58:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 138.

Footnote 59:

    _Journal of House of Delegates_, 1832, p. 109.

Footnote 60:

    _Idem_, p. 110.

Footnote 61:

    _Idem_, p. 158.

Footnote 62:

    _Virginian History of African Colonization_, Slaughter, p. 48.

Footnote 63:

    _An Essay on Slavery_, Thomas R. Dew, 1849, p. 6.

Footnote 64:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 138.

Footnote 65:

    _South Side View of Slavery_, Adams, p. 127.


                               IN VIRGINIA

  Thomas Jefferson Randolph was the foremost advocate of gradual
  emancipation in the Virginia Legislature of 1832. In a pamphlet
  printed in 1870 reviewing political conditions in Virginia he makes
  the following statement with reference to the subject of emancipation
  and the influences which hindered its accomplishment after the year

    "After the adjournment of the Legislature in 1833, the question was
    discussed before the people fairly and squarely, as one of the
    abolition of slavery. I was re-elected on that ground in my county.
    The feeling extended rapidly from that time in Virginia, Kentucky
    and Missouri until Northern abolitionism reared its head. Southern
    abolition was reform and an appeal to the master; Northern abolition
    was revolution and an appeal to the slave. One was peaceful and the
    other mutually destructive of both races by a servile insurrection.
    The Southern people feared to trust to the intervention of persons
    themselves exempt by position from the imagined dangers of the


  George Tucker, Professor of Political Economy, in the University of
  Virginia, in his work, _The Progress of the United States in
  Population and Wealth_, published in 1843, referring to the subject,

    "This is not the place for assailing or defending slavery; but it
    may be confidently asserted that the efforts of Abolitionists have
    hitherto made the people in the slaveholding states cling to it more
    tenaciously. Those efforts are viewed by them as an intermeddling in
    their domestic concerns that is equally unwarranted by the comity
    due to sister states, and to the solemn pledges of the Federal
    compact. In the general indignation which is thus excited, the
    arguments in favor of negro emancipation, once open and urgent, have
    been completely silenced, and its advocates among the slaveholders,
    who have not changed their sentiments, find it prudent to conceal
    them.... Such have been the fruits of the zeal of Northern
    Abolitionists in those states in which slavery prevails; and the
    fable of the Wind and the Sun never more forcibly illustrated the
    difference between gentle and violent means in influencing men's

  In 1847, Dr. Henry Ruffner, President of Washington College, delivered
  an address upon the subject of slavery in Virginia which attracted
  widespread attention. In this speech, made in the midst of the growing
  controversy, he refers to the reactionary influence of the
  Abolitionists as follows:

    "But this unfavorable change of sentiment is due chiefly to the
    fanatical violence of those Northern anti-slavery men usually called
    Abolitionists.... They have not, by honourable means, liberated a
    single slave, and they never will by such a course of procedure as
    they have pursued. On the contrary they have created new
    difficulties in the way of all judicious schemes of emancipation by
    prejudicing the minds of slaveholders, and by compelling us to
    combat their false principles and rash schemes in our rear; whilst
    we are facing the opposition of men and the natural difficulties of
    the case in our front."[68]

  If it be thought, that Mr. Randolph, Professor Tucker, and Dr. Ruffner
  were influenced by their environment and a desire to shift from the
  people of Virginia to the Abolitionists responsibility for the growth
  in the state of reactionary sentiments, with regard to slavery, it may
  be well to quote the contemporary views of prominent anti-slavery men
  of the North.


  Dr. William Ellery Channing, writing in 1835, said:

    "The adoption of the common system of agitation by the Abolitionists
    has not been justified by success. From the beginning it created
    alarm in the considerate and strengthened the sympathies of the free
    states with the slaveholder. It made converts of a few individuals
    but alienated multitudes.

    "Its influence at the South has been almost wholly evil. It has
    stirred up bitter passions and a fierce fanaticism which have shut
    every ear and every heart against its arguments and persuasions.
    These effects are more to be deplored because the hope of freedom to
    the slaves lies chiefly in the disposition of his master. The
    Abolitionist proposed indeed to convert the slaveholders; and for
    this reason he approached them with vituperation and exhausted upon
    them the vocabulary of reproach. And he has reaped as he sowed....
    Thus, with good purpose, nothing seems to have been gained. Perhaps
    (though I am anxious to repel the thought) something has been lost
    to the cause of freedom and humanity."[69]


  In 1837, the Legislature of Illinois adopted a series of resolutions
  of a pro-slavery character reprobating the methods of the
  Abolitionists. Against the resolutions as adopted, Abraham Lincoln
  prepared a memorandum and, together with Daniel Stone, a fellow member
  of the body, had the same spread upon its journal as a more accurate
  expression of their views. After referring to the resolutions, the
  paper declares:

    "They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both
    injustice and bad policy, but that the promulgation of abolition
    doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils."[70]

  This declaration of Mr. Lincoln was at once a protest and a prophecy.

  It is sometimes urged that because of Mr. Lincoln's youth, at this
  time, his estimate of the injuries wrought by the "promulgation of
  abolition doctrines" is not entitled to much weight. It is true that
  he was then in his twenty-ninth year. A quotation from an even more
  notable deliverance, made fifteen years later, will show that
  reflection and observation served to confirm his convictions of the
  earlier date. In his eulogy on Henry Clay, delivered in the State
  House, at Springfield, Illinois, July 16th, 1852, he said:

    "Cast into life when slavery was already widely spread and deeply
    seated, he did not perceive, as I think no wise man has perceived,
    how it could be at once eradicated without producing a greater evil
    even to the cause of human liberty itself. His feeling and his
    judgment, therefore, ever led him to oppose both extremes of opinion
    on the subject. Those who would shiver into fragments the Union of
    these states, tear to tatters its now venerated constitution, and
    even burn the last copy of the Bible, rather than slavery should
    continue a single hour, together with all their more halting
    sympathizers, have received, and are receiving their just
    execration; and the name and opinion and influence of Mr. Clay are
    fully and, as I trust, effectually and enduringly arrayed against


  This estimate of Mr. Lincoln had already been anticipated by that of
  Mr. Webster who, in his speech of March 7th, 1850, in the United
  States Senate made a special reference to the disastrous influence
  exerted by the Abolitionists upon the cause of emancipation in

    "Public opinion," he said, "which in Virginia had begun to be
    exhibited against slavery and was opening out for the discussion of
    the question, drew back and shut itself up in its castle. I would
    like to know whether anybody in Virginia can now talk openly as Mr.
    Randolph, Governor McDowell and others talked in 1832, and sent
    their remarks to the press? We all know the facts and we all know
    the cause; and everything that these agitating people have done has
    been not to enlarge but to restrain, not to set free, but to bind
    the faster the slave population of the South."[72]


  Stephen A. Douglas, speaking at Bloomington, Illinois, July 16, 1859,

    "There is but one possible way in which slavery can be abolished and
    that is by leaving the state according to the principle of the
    Kansas-Nebraska Bill, perfectly free to form and regulate its
    institutions in its own way. That was the principle upon which this
    Republic was founded.... Under its operations slavery disappeared
    from ... six of the twelve original slaveholding states; and this
    gradual system of emancipation went on quietly, peacefully and
    steadily so long as we in the free states minded our own business
    and left our neighbors alone. But the moment the abolition societies
    were organized throughout the North, preaching a violent crusade
    against slavery in the Southern States, this combination necessarily
    caused a counter-combination in the South, and a sectional line was
    drawn which was a barrier to any further emancipation. Bear in mind
    that emancipation has not taken place in any one state since the
    Free-soil Party was organized as a political party in this
    country.... The moment the North proclaimed itself the determined
    master of the South, that moment the South combined to resist the
    attack, and thus sectional parties were formed and gradual
    emancipation ceased in all the Northern slaveholding states."[73]

  In this speech, Mr. Douglas not only points out the methods by which
  slavery had been abolished in six of the twelve original slaveholding
  states, but he bears testimony, like his great contemporaries, to the
  reactionary influence resulting from the attitude of the Northern

  This estimate of Senator Douglas was reaffirmed in the frank
  declaration of Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, who, speaking in the Peace
  Conference, at Washington, February, 1861, declared: "The North has
  taken the business of abolition into its own hands and from the day
  she did so we hear no more of abolition in Virginia. This was but the
  natural effect of the cause."[74]


  If it be urged that the views of Channing, Lincoln, Webster, Douglas
  and Ewing were unfair in their estimate of the reactionary influence
  of the Abolitionists, because of the temper of the times in which they
  lived, it may be well to quote the conclusions of publicists not so
  situated. Mr. George Lunt, of Boston, writing in December, 1865, says:

    "After the years of 1820-21, during which that great struggle which
    resulted in what is called the Missouri Compromise was most active
    and came to its conclusion, the States of Virginia, Kentucky and
    Tennessee were earnestly engaged in practical movements for the
    gradual emancipation of their slaves. This movement continued until
    it was arrested by the aggressions of the Abolitionists upon their
    voluntary action."[75]

  Mr. George Ticknor Curtis, of Boston, writing in 1883, after
  describing the discussions in the General Assembly of Virginia in
  1831-32, and stating that Thomas Jefferson Randolph, the leader of the
  movement for the abolition of slavery, was re-elected in 1833 from
  Albemarle, one of the largest slaveholding counties in the state,
  because of his position, declares:

    "But in the meantime came suddenly the intelligence of what was
    doing at the North. It came in an alarming aspect for the peace and
    security for the whole South; since it could not be possible that
    strangers should combine together to assail the slaveholder as a
    sinner and to demand his instant admission of guilt, without
    arousing fears of the most dangerous consequences for the safety of
    Southern homes, as well as intense indignation against such an
    unwarrantable interference. From that time forth emancipation
    whether immediate or gradual could not be considered in Virginia or
    anywhere else in the South."[76]


  As representative of a later generation and voicing sentiments of one
  more removed from the period of controversy, the views of Theodore
  Roosevelt are of value. Writing in 1898, he says:

    "In 1833 the abolition societies of the North came into prominence;
    they had been started a couple of years previously. Black slavery
    was such a grossly anachronistic and un-American form of evil that
    it is difficult to discuss calmly the efforts to abolish it and to
    remember that many of these efforts were calculated to do and
    actually did more harm than good.... The cause of the Abolitionists
    has had such a halo shed around it by the course of events, which
    they themselves in reality did very little to shape, that it has
    been usual to speak of them with absurdly exaggerated praise. Their
    courage and, for the most part, their sincerity, cannot be too
    highly spoken of, but their share in abolishing slavery was far less
    than has commonly been represented; any single, non-abolitionist
    politician, like Lincoln or Seward, did more than all the
    professional Abolitionists combined really to bring about its

  Writing still later, Mr. William Henry Smith, of Ohio, in his book, _A
  Political History of Slavery_, alluding to the work of the
  Abolitionists, says:

    "What befell is what has always been the experience, which must
    needs be ever the experience of society when men 'encounter with
    such bitter tongues,' when full play is given to passion, prejudice
    and all uncharitableness.... After fifteen years of this commotion,
    the testimony of the judicious was 'that the tendency to general
    emancipation in the Border States had been checked, and that the
    Abolitionists had done more to rivet the chains of the slave and to
    fasten the curse of slavery upon the country than all the
    pro-slavery men in the world had done or could do in half a


  Despite, however, the growing embarrassments of the situation, there
  remained with the people of Virginia the conviction that in the
  dispersion or colonization beyond her borders, of a substantial part
  of her negro population, lay the surest road to ultimate emancipation
  and relief from the racial problems incident to slavery. The practice,
  therefore, of emancipation by deeds and wills continued, and
  individually and by concerted action, the various schemes for
  colonization were fostered and encouraged. The Legislature at its
  session, 1833, passed a bill appropriating $18,000.00 per annum, for a
  period of five years to assist in transporting and subsisting "free
  persons of color who may desire to migrate from Virginia to

  This appropriation, as we shall see, was followed by others of larger
  amounts to further colonization; and, in no state of the Union, with
  the possible exception of Maryland, did the cause receive greater
  assistance, in money and sympathy, than in Virginia.


Footnote 66:

    See printed pamphlet T. J. Randolph, September 25th, 1870, on file
    with Virginia Historical Society.

Footnote 67:

    _Progress of Population and Wealth_, Tucker, p. 108. Note—The
    author concludes his review of slavery in Virginia by saying: "As
    the same decline in the value of labor once liberated the villeins,
    or slaves, of western Europe, and will liberate the serfs of Russia,
    so must it put an end to slavery in the United States, should it be
    terminated in no other way."

Footnote 68:

    _The Ruffner Pamphlet_, Lexington, 1847.

Footnote 69:

    _The Works of William E. Channing_, 1889, American Unitarian
    Society, p. 735.

Footnote 70:

    The following is a full text of the paper:

    "Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slavery having passed both
    branches of the General Assembly at its present session, the
    undersigned hereby protest against the passing of the same.

    They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both
    injustice and bad policy, but that the promulgation of abolition
    doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils.

    They believe that the Congress of the United States has no power
    under the constitution to interfere with the institution of slavery
    in the different states.

    They believe that the Congress of the United States has the power
    under the constitution to abolish slavery in the District of
    Columbia, but that the power ought not to be exercised unless at the
    request of the people of the District.

    The difference between these opinions and those contained in the
    above resolutions, is their reason for entering this protest.

                                              (Signed)        DAN STONE,
                                                            A. LINCOLN."

    Representatives from the County of Sangamon. (_Abraham Lincoln, A
    History_, N. & H., Vol. I, p. 140.)

Footnote 71:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H, Vol.
    I, p. 174.

Footnote 72:

    _Webster's Great Speeches_, Whipple, p. 619.

Footnote 73:

    _Lincoln-Douglas Debates_, Columbus, 1860, p. 31.

Footnote 74:

    _Proceedings of Peace Convention_, Crittenden, p. 142.

Footnote 75:

    _The Origin of the Late War_, Lunt, 1865, p. 33.

Footnote 76:

    _Life of James Buchanan_, Curtis, 1883, p. 278.

Footnote 77:

    _Thomas H. Benton_, Roosevelt, p. 141.

Footnote 78:

    _A Political History of Slavery_, William Henry Smith, 1903, Vol. I,
    pp. 40-41.

Footnote 79:

    _Virginian History of African Colonization_, Slaughter, p. 67.



  The idea of colonization seems to have originated with Mr. Jefferson,
  who, in 1777, submitted a plan to a committee of the General Assembly
  of Virginia.

  In 1787, Dr. William Thornton published an address to the free negroes
  of the whole country offering to lead them in person back to Africa.

  In December, 1800, the General Assembly passed a resolution requesting
  the Governor to communicate with the President of the United States
  with the view of purchasing lands beyond the limits of Virginia for
  colonization purposes. A considerable correspondence ensued between
  Mr. Monroe, the Governor, and Mr. Jefferson, the President.

  Nothing practical, however, resulted from these negotiations, though
  on the 27th of December, 1804, Mr. Jefferson wrote Governor Page: "I
  beg you to be assured that, having the object of the House of
  Delegates sincerely at heart, I will keep it under my constant
  attention, and omit no occasion which may occur of giving it


  In January, 1805, the Legislature passed another resolution requesting
  Virginia's representatives in Congress to use every effort to secure a
  portion of the territory of Louisiana for the colonization "of such
  people of color as have been or shall be emancipated in Virginia."

  The difficulties with France and England at this time prevented
  further prosecution of the subject, but, after the termination of the
  war between the United States and England, a resolution was passed by
  the General Assembly of Virginia, in December, 1816, requesting the
  Governor to correspond with the President with a view of acquiring
  upon the coast of Africa, or at some point in the United States, an
  asylum "for such persons of color as are now free and desire the
  same," or "that may hereafter be emancipated in Virginia."


  About the time of this action of the Virginia Legislature there
  assembled at Washington on the 21st of December 1816, a body of
  prominent citizens from various states, who effected a tentative
  organization, from which resulted the American Colonization Society.
  Over this meeting Henry Clay presided, and among the notable persons
  present were Daniel Webster, Bushrod Washington and John Randolph of
  Roanoke. The Rev. Robert Finley, of New Jersey, and Mr. E. B.
  Caldwell, at that time Clerk of the Supreme Court at Washington, were
  especially active in bringing about the assemblage. Charles Fenton
  Mercer, of Virginia, and Francis Scott Key, of Maryland, were also
  among the most zealous friends of the enterprise. In addition to
  Randolph and Washington, Bishop William Meade, Rev. William H. Wilmer,
  John Taylor, Edmund I. Lee and other Virginians were also present. Mr.
  Clay has left upon record that "the original conception of the project
  is to be traced to a date long anterior," to the meeting and that "the
  State of Virginia, always prominent in works of benevolence, prior to
  the formation of the American Colonization Society ... had expressed
  her approbation of the plan of colonization."[81]

  On the first of January, 1817, the permanent organization of the
  society was effected by the selection of Mr. Justice Bushrod
  Washington, of Virginia, as President, a position which he held for
  thirteen years. Judge Washington was succeeded by Charles Carroll, of
  Carrollton, James Madison, Henry Clay and John H. B. Latrobe, the last
  named holding office until after the Civil War.


  The Society having been organized, immediate steps were taken to
  acquire land upon the coast of Africa upon which to establish the
  colony. For this purpose Samuel J. Mills, so well known and venerated
  for his missionary labors, and Ebenezer Burgess were sent to Africa,
  the money to defray their expenses being raised by Charles Fenton
  Mercer and Bishop Meade, of Virginia.[82] The report of these
  commissioners established the practicability of securing the necessary
  land on the coast of Africa and establishing the emigrants in their
  new home. The Society, however, was without sufficient means for the
  successful initiation of its great work and possessed no relation to
  the government, state or National. By a fortuitous train of
  circumstances and the zeal of certain of its members, among whom
  Virginians bore an active part, all of these objects were in a measure

  Under the terms of the Federal statute prohibiting the foreign slave
  trade it was provided that any slave whose importation was attempted
  in violation of the act should be seized by the authorities of the
  state where the importation occurred, and disposed of at its pleasure.
  The State of Georgia had, accordingly, acquired possession of a number
  of imported negroes and had advertised them for sale at Milledgeville,
  May 4, 1819. Such an event and such a policy would have defeated the
  statute, one of whose objects was to prevent the increase of the slave
  population. Learning of these facts, Bishop Meade, of Virginia, was
  sent as the representative of the Colonization Society, to Georgia,
  where he secured the release of the negroes advertised to be sold,
  upon condition that the Society would reimburse the state for the
  costs incurred in their maintenance.[83] George Washington Parke
  Custis, of Virginia, offered an island near Cape Charles, Virginia, as
  a place of refuge until they could be transported to Africa.[84]
  Knowledge of the foregoing facts induced Charles Fenton Mercer and
  John Floyd, of Virginia, to present to Congress, of which they were
  members, a bill which became a law in 1819, whereby all negroes
  imported since the passage of the act should be returned to their own
  country, appointing agents upon the coast of Africa to receive them;
  and appropriating $100,000.00 to carry this law into effect. President
  Monroe was zealous in enforcing the provisions of this law, and acted
  in cordial co-operation with the Colonization Society to effectuate
  its purposes. Under the provisions of the act, territory was acquired
  upon the coast of Africa, and there the colony of Liberia was
  established. In 1824, in recognition of Mr. Monroe's services, the
  inhabitants of the colony named their capital Monrovia.


  In the great work of the American Colonization Society, the leading
  people of Virginia took a most active and sympathetic interest. This
  was evinced in the organization of Auxiliary Societies at Richmond,
  Norfolk, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Alexandria, Lynchburg, Wheeling,
  Charlestown, Shepherdstown, Hampton and Harper's Ferry and in the
  Counties of Isle of Wight, Sussex, Albemarle, King William, Dinwiddie,
  Amherst, Berkeley, Nansemond, Buckingham, Nelson, Fluvanna, Frederick,
  Augusta, Kanawha, Powhatan, Loudoun, Rockingham, Mecklenburg,
  Campbell, and others. The officials of these Societies numbered many
  of the most prominent men of Virginia; John Marshall, then Chief
  Justice of the United States, was President of the Richmond branch.

  The Virginia Auxiliary Societies collected money by private
  subscription, and facilitated in every way the transportation of such
  free negroes as desired to emigrate. In 1826, upon the petition of the
  Societies, the Legislature of Virginia made its first appropriation to
  assist in their work. In addition to those in Virginia, Auxiliary
  Societies were organized in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New
  Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Kentucky.

  In 1828 the Colonization Society of Virginia was established and
  thereafter Virginians directed their energies largely through this
  Virginia organization. John Marshall was elected President of the
  Virginia Society, and James Madison, James Monroe, John Tyler and
  William H. Broadnax, were among its Vice-Presidents.

  By an act passed in 1850 the General Assembly of Virginia appropriated
  the sum of $30,000.00 per annum for five years for the transportation
  and sustenance of free negroes who desired to emigrate. Certain
  qualifications of the measure limited its effectiveness, and in 1853,
  the Virginia Colonization Society secured its repeal and the enactment
  of a new law appropriating $30,000.00 per annum for five years, with
  much more liberal provisions as to the method of its expenditure.
  Private benevolence supplemented the state. The reports of the Society
  show that during the years 1850-51-52 private contributions from the
  people of Virginia aggregated over $21,000.00.[85]

  The work of the Society was endorsed by the churches and more and more
  it assumed the character of a Christian enterprise. It was commended
  because it brought relief to Virginia, blessings to the ex-slaves,
  greater hope of freedom to those still in bondage, and carried
  Christianity and civilization to Africa. Among the first of many white
  men who gave their lives to the cause of colonization was Samuel J.
  Mills, who died at sea on his way home from Africa. Mills was the
  leader in the band of students at Williams College, Massachusetts, so
  well known for their missionary zeal and labours, and hence has a
  double claim upon our gratitude.


  The problems and difficulties of colonization, admittedly great, were
  seriously augmented by the active opposition of the extreme
  pro-slavery men at the South and the Abolitionists at the North. Each
  of these two antagonistic forces strenuously opposed the work of
  colonization, the first because it facilitated eventual emancipation,
  the second, among other reasons, because it rendered conditions more
  tolerable and thus postponed the day of the universal and immediate
  abolition of slavery.

  In addition to the colonizations made through the aid of the
  colonization societies, many Virginia slaveholders emancipated their
  slaves and at their own expense colonized them in some of the free
  states. A few instances will illustrate the custom and the
  difficulties often encountered by these emancipators and their


Footnote 80:

    _Virginian History of African Colonization_, Slaughter, pp. 1-6.

Footnote 81:

    _The African Repository and Colonial Journal_—Vol. VI, No. 1, p.

Footnote 82:

    _Liberia Bulletin. No. 16_—February, 1900, p. 21.

Footnote 83:

    _Memoir of Bishop Meade_, Johns, 1867, p. 120.

Footnote 84:

    _History of United States_, McMaster, Vol. IV, p. 65.

Footnote 85:

    _Virginian History of African Colonization_, Slaughter, p. 100.



  By the will of Samuel Gist, his slaves were emancipated and William F.
  Wickham and Carter B. Page, of Richmond, appointed trustees to acquire
  land in some one of the free states on which to provide homes for the
  newly manumitted freedmen. Accordingly, these trustees purchased two
  tracts of land in Brown County, Ohio, one containing one thousand and
  the other twelve hundred acres at a cost of $4400.00.[86]

  In 1819, the freedmen, consisting of one hundred and thirteen from
  Hanover County and one hundred and fifty from Goochland and Amherst
  Counties, were transported to Ohio and settled on the lands purchased,
  as above indicated, by the trustees.

  The facts are meagre with respect to the reception accorded these
  negroes and the measure of success which attended the colonization.
  From the best information obtainable, it seems that they were treated
  in no very friendly manner and that, in time, the negroes lost most of
  the lands provided for them by their former owner.

  Edward Coles, of Albemarle County, inherited from his father a large
  number of slaves. Determining to give them their freedom, he conducted
  them in April, 1819, to Illinois, where he established them in their
  own homes near the town of Edwardsville, giving to each head of a
  family a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of land.[87] Mr. Coles,
  like many other Virginians, who attempted a like emancipation, not
  only incurred the great pecuniary loss resulting from the liberation
  of his slaves and the expenses of their removal and establishment, but
  he incurred the ill will and opposition of the inhabitants of the
  state in which they settled.

  The biographers of Abraham Lincoln, Nicolay and Hay, referring to the
  attitude of the people of Illinois towards free negroes, record:

    "Even Governor Coles, the public-spirited and popular politician,
    was indicted and severely fined for having brought his own freedmen
    into this state and having assisted them in establishing themselves
    around him upon farms of their own."[88]

  Mr. Coles was a neighbor and friend of Jefferson, Madison and Monroe.
  He was Madison's private secretary and was appointed by President
  Monroe Registrar of the Land Office at Edwardsville, Ill., in March,
  1819, a position of influence and importance. Three years later he was
  elected Governor of the state and his career as such was notable for
  the great part he bore in defeating the movement to change the state
  constitution of Illinois so as to permit the introduction and
  maintenance of slavery within that state. In 1832 Governor Coles
  removed to Philadelphia where he lived until his death. When Virginia
  seceded, his son, Roberts Coles, volunteered in her service and was
  killed at the Battle of Roanoke Island.

  By his will, admitted to probate on the 20th of November, 1826, John
  Ward, Sr., of Pittsylvania, emancipated all of his slaves, giving to
  each of them over fifteen years of age twenty dollars, except to
  certain enumerated ones, to whom the sum of one hundred and fifty
  dollars each was bequeathed.[89] In April, 1827, these freedmen,
  emancipated under the will of Ward (seventy in number), were
  transported to Ohio and settled in Lawrence County.[90]

  By his will, John Randolph of Roanoke, who died in 1833, emancipated
  all of his slaves and directed his executor, Judge William Leigh, to
  transport them to some one of the free states and settle them upon
  lands which he was directed to purchase for the purpose. The will
  bequeathed the sum of thirteen thousand dollars to defray the expenses
  incident to their colonization and to pay for the land.

  Howe in his _Historical Collections of Ohio_ (Edition of 1891) says:

    "In 1846 Judge Leigh, of Virginia, purchased 3200 acres of land in
    this settlement for the freed slaves of John Randolph of Roanoke.
    These arrived in the Summer of 1846 to the number of about four
    hundred but were forcibly prevented from making a settlement by a
    portion of the inhabitants of the county. Since then acts of
    hostility have been commenced against the people of this settlement
    and threats of greater held out if they do not abandon their lands
    and homes."

    "From a statement in the county history issued in 1882 we see that a
    part of the Randolph negroes succeeded in effecting a settlement at
    Montezuma, Franklin Township, just south of the reservoir."[91]

  By his will which was probated March 23, 1848, John Warwick, of
  Amherst County, Virginia, emancipated all his slaves, and in like
  manner bequeathed his whole estate to create a fund for removing them
  to one of the free states, purchasing farms, and establishing them in
  their new homes. The testator indicated that he preferred Indiana as
  the place of residence for his slaves.[92] Dr. David Patteson, of
  Buckingham County, was appointed executor and charged with the duties
  of settling the estate and removing the freedmen to their new homes.
  Before arrangements for their removal to Indiana could be perfected,
  that state adopted its constitution of 1851, whereby free negroes and
  mulattoes were inhibited from coming into the state. Accordingly Dr.
  Patteson purchased for the ex-slaves a large tract of land in Ohio,
  near Kenton, and thither they were transported and settled in their
  new homes. The inventory of Mr. Warwick's estate shows that at the
  time of his death he owned seventy-four slaves.[93]

  By his will, admitted to probate July 9th, 1849, Sampson Sanders, of
  Cabell County, emancipated all of his slaves and directed his
  executors to provide for their colonization "in the State of Indiana,
  or some one of the free states of the United States."[94] The testator
  bequeathed to these slaves the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, out of
  which fund should be paid the amount necessary for the purchase of
  land for their homes, the balance to be distributed among them. Before
  the intentions of the testator could be carried into effect, Indiana
  enacted a law denying to freed negroes the privileges of settling in
  that state. Accordingly these freedmen were carried to Cass County,
  Mich., where they were settled in homes purchased for them under the
  provisions of the will of their former owner. This colony seems to
  have succeeded, and many of the descendants of the former slaves of
  Sanders are to-day living upon the lands purchased by his bounty.[95]


  In addition to the many difficulties already enumerated, that invested
  colonization, there were other deterrent causes only less real. Was it
  right to send these newly manumitted slaves off, upon the hazard of
  maintaining themselves in the face of difficulties for which they had
  had so little training? This was the question for the master. What of
  their future in the far away and unknown land? That was the question
  for the slave. Then too, there came to both a genuine reluctance to
  meet the pain of separation. Of the fact of the existence of a strong
  affection between masters and slaves, in a great majority of the homes
  in Virginia where the institution of slavery existed, there can be no
  question. From the great number of instances illustrating the sorrows
  of masters and servants in the hour of separation, we select two.


  David W. Barton, of Winchester, Virginia, emancipated many of his
  slaves a short time prior to the Civil War. Some of these were sent to
  Liberia, and others, who from age or youth were not regarded as equal
  to the trials of the trip, were settled in this country. Robert T.
  Barton, Esq., a son of the emancipator, in a letter to the author
  bears testimony to the fact of the affection which subsisted between
  the members of his father's family and these freedmen. "I was quite a
  small boy at the time," he writes, "but I remember the incident
  perfectly. I recall the weeping family that parted with these
  servants, who were very dear to us."[96]

  Traverse Herndon, of Fauquier, who died in 1854, by his last will
  emancipated his slaves, some fifty in number, and made provision for
  their transportation to Liberia. Two years later his brother, Thaddeus
  Herndon, emancipated his slaves, some twenty in number, and the two
  groups of freedmen, except such as were too old to bear the dangers of
  the voyage and life in the new country, were sent to Liberia in the
  fall of 1857, under the care of an agent of the American Colonization

  The Rev. Charles T. Herndon, of Salem, Virginia, has furnished the
  author with an account of the parting between these freedmen and his
  father, Thaddeus Herndon, which occurred on board of the ship
  "Euphrasia," written by the Rev. John Seys,[97] a former missionary to
  Liberia, who was present on the occasion. The subjoined extract from
  Mr. Seys' account of the separation, which was published soon
  afterwards in the _Maryland Colonization Journal_, presents in the
  most vivid manner the sorrow attending the parting of Thaddeus Herndon
  and his former slaves, and the reverence and affection with which the
  slaves of Traverse Herndon regarded their dead master.


  Not infrequently the many difficulties which embarrassed the efforts
  of Virginia slaveholders to colonize their ex-slaves at points beyond
  the state were increased by the attitude of the slaves themselves. The
  experience of John Thom, of Berry Hill, Culpeper County, as related in
  a letter to the author under date of July 15th, 1908, by his son
  Cameron E. Thom, of Los Angeles, Cal., will serve as an illustration.
  Mr. Cameron Thom is at present a man of venerable years who seems to
  retain a vivid impression of the scenes incident to the attempt at
  colonization made by his father in the later thirties. Mr. Thom, after
  narrating that his father was a soldier in the War of 1812, where he
  gained his title as commander of a Virginia regiment, and was for
  thirty years a member of the State Senate, proceeds to write with
  reference to his father's attitude towards slavery as follows:

    "He was not satisfied with it, and was restive under it. In his
    discussions of the subject he often quoted as expressive of his
    views Mr. Jefferson, who declared that 'We have the wolf by the
    ears, and it is as dangerous to let go as it is to hold on.' I
    believe they were both gradual emancipationists. The idea of
    practical and immediate emancipation through the medium of
    colonization seems to have crystallized in his mind and stimulated
    him to action. He sent my eldest brother, Catesby Thom, to
    Pennsylvania to spy out the land and to make definite arrangements
    for the location, settlement and comfort of the proposed colony.
    After an absence of several weeks, he returned and reported that he
    had selected an ideal location for the experiment. Every desideratum
    seems to have been taken into consideration, climate, wood, water,
    fertility of the soil, products, neighbors, etc.

    "To carry out my father's plan, the next step was to call for
    eighteen volunteers to make up the colony. Here came a great
    disappointment. Of the number called for only one suitable man
    responded.... The volunteer idea was abandoned and conscription was
    resorted to. When the names of the eighteen chosen ones were
    announced the plantation was indeed a house of mourning. Prayers,
    protests and petitions came up, but were of no avail. A complete
    outfit was made up of three wagons, twelve oxen, three cows, tools,
    farming utensils, provisions, clothing, &c. The expedition got off
    all right, my brother Catesby being chief in command, and Uncle
    Billy Guinn, the only volunteer, a full second. Before the
    expiration of a week from the time of departure, two of the
    colonists had deserted and were back at Berry Hill, and in less than
    a year nearly all the others had found their way back. My brother,
    after some two months' absence, got back and reported that he would
    not go through with his experience again for all the negroes in

    "I left Virginia for the South in 1848; returning in a few weeks, I
    took my final departure from the state in the early Spring of 1849
    for California where I have resided ever since, never having seen my
    father again. I believe he manumitted all or nearly all of the
    servants by deed or will."


Footnote 86:

    See _Record of Deeds_, Vol. A., p. 230, Recorder's Office, Brown
    County, Ohio.

Footnote 87:

    _Sketch of Edward Coles_, Washburne, pp. 47-52.

Footnote 88:

    _Abraham Lincoln, A History_, N. & H., Vol. I, p. 145.

    (Note. The fine imposed upon Governor Coles was subsequently
    remitted by an act of the Legislature because the law under which he
    was fined had not been published at the date of his offense.)

Footnote 89:

    See _Will Book No. 1_, p. 109, Clerk's Office, Pittsylvania County,

Footnote 90:

    See _Public Ledger of Philadelphia_, April 14, 1827.

Footnote 91:

    _Historical Collections of Ohio, History of Mercer County, Ohio_, by
    Henry Howe, 1891, Vol. II, p. 505.

Footnote 92:

    See _Will Book No. 11_, p. 575, Clerk's Office, Amherst County, Va.

Footnote 93:

    John Warwick was the great-uncle of the Hon. John Warwick Daniel,
    now (1908) and for many years past a member from Virginia in the
    United States Senate.

Footnote 94:

    See _Will Book A._, p. 391, in the Clerk's Office of Cabell County,
    West Virginia.

Footnote 95:

    See _Outlook Magazine_, N. Y., February 9th, 1903.

Footnote 96:

    Under date of March 19, 1907, Mr. Barton writes the author: "My
    father manumitted his slaves, or rather, certain of them, before the
    war. Under the law as I remember it, it was not necessary to put on
    record a deed of manumission of a slave who was sent out of the
    state.... I was quite a small boy at the time, but I remember the
    incident perfectly. I recall the weeping family that parted with
    these servants, who were very dear to us.... Many years after that I
    received a visit from one of the women who had been the assistant in
    the nursery, and to whom, as a child, I remember I was very devoted.
    I do not believe that two near relations could have had a more
    affecting greeting. She stayed in Winchester for nearly a week,
    coming to my house every day, and finally went away without bidding
    us good bye, writing back from her home that she had done so because
    she could not stand the parting. The other servants who went away
    also kept up with our family the most affectionate relations for
    many years, and the old ones, who could not get away, were supported
    by my brothers and myself after the war until they died."

Footnote 97:

    Mr. Seys records that his experience as a missionary in Liberia
    prompted him to visit these emigrants on board ship, just
    preparatory to their departure, and at the request of Mr. Herndon,
    make them a short address. He then writes: "I closed my remarks and
    Mr. Herndon followed me." The latter said: "I may not see you again,
    I may as well say all I have to say now." And then he became so
    choked for utterance, and tears fell so fast that a silence ensued
    only broken by sighs and sobs of the entire party. Again he

    "My heart is too full. I can hardly speak. You know how we have
    lived together. Servants, hear me, we have been brothers and
    sisters, we have grown up together. We have done the best for you.
    For two or three years this has been contemplated and you are now on
    the point of starting for the land of your ancestors. Besides your
    freedom, we have spent $2,000.00 in procuring everything we could
    think of to make you comfortable—clothing, bedding, implements of
    husbandry, mechanics' tools, books for the children, Bibles, a
    family Bible for each family, all these have been provided, and when
    you have been there some few months, we will send you out another
    supply of provisions and will continue to do so. And now, you three
    brethren, who formed the committee appointed by the church to watch
    over your brethren, a word to you. You are chosen to admonish,
    guide, counsel the others, not to lord it over them, but gently and
    kindly to watch over their souls; and now, may God bless you. I can
    never forget you. Write to me, Washington, you can write; I have
    provided you with paper. Keep a journal, put all of your names down,
    even the children, and write opposite to each one everything that
    happens concerning you. I shall feel much interested in hearing from
    you—especially will your Miss Frances. (Here the bare mention of
    their almost adored mistress started their grief afresh.) Now, as we
    may never meet again, let us part with prayer, let all kneel down,
    and Brother Seys will lead in prayer to Almighty God for you all."
    We knelt there, and under feelings words but poorly express, engaged
    in prayer as best we could amid cries and sobs and tears.



  If it be urged that Virginia had reached the conclusion that without
  the dispersion or colonization of the whole or a large portion of her
  slave population emancipation was impracticable, it may be
  acknowledged that to a qualified extent this was true. The position,
  however, did not involve an abandonment of the principle of
  emancipation, but rather the insistence that with emancipation should
  go the work of solving the race problem by a method which gave some
  assurance of complete success.

  That this attitude of Virginia cannot be regarded as wholly
  unreasonable or reactionary will appear when we consider the views of
  some of the leading friends of negro emancipation. From the number of
  those whose sanity kept pace with their zeal, we select Thomas
  Jefferson, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln.


  Mr. Jefferson in 1820 wrote:

    "Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that
    these people are to be free; nor is it less certain than that the
    two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature,
    habit, opinion, have drawn indelible lines of distinction between

  Writing to Jared Sparks, President of Harvard College, in 1824, he

    "In the disposition of these unfortunate people there are two
    rational objects to be distinctly kept in view. First, the
    establishment of a colony on the coast of Africa, which may
    introduce among the aborigines the arts of cultivated life and the
    blessings of liberty and science. By doing this, we may make them
    some retribution for the long course of injuries we have been
    committing on their population.... Second object, and the most
    interesting to us, as coming home to our physical and moral
    characters, to our happiness and safety, is to provide an asylum to
    which we can, by degrees, send the whole of that population from
    among us, and establish them under our patronage and protection, as
    a separate, free, and independent people, in some country and
    climate friendly to human life and happiness."[99]


  Mr. Clay's attitude with respect to the institution of slavery will
  appear from his oft-quoted declaration:

    "Those who would repress all tendencies to liberty and ultimate
    emancipation must do more than put down the benevolent efforts of
    the Colonization Society, they must go back to the era of our
    liberty and independence, and muzzle the cannon that thunders its
    annual joyous return—they must blot out the moral lights around
    us—they must penetrate the human soul, and eradicate the light of
    reason and the love of liberty."[100]

  His sentiments, however, with respect to the wisdom and necessity for
  colonizing the manumitted slaves were equally decided. In an address
  before the Colonization Society of Kentucky at Frankfort, December 17,
  1829, Mr. Clay presented at length his reasons for supporting the
  movement to colonize all ex-slaves in the Republic of Liberia. In the
  course of this address he said:

    "If the question were submitted, whether there should be either
    immediate or gradual emancipation of all the slaves in the United
    States, without their removal or colonization, painful as it is to
    express the opinion, I have no doubt that it would be unwise to
    emancipate them. For I believe, that the aggregate of the evils
    which would be engendered in society upon the supposition of such
    general emancipation, and of the liberated slaves remaining
    promiscuously among us, would be greater than all the evils of

  Continuing, he said:

    "Is there no remedy I again ask for the evils of which I have
    sketched a faint and imperfect picture? Is our posterity doomed to
    endure forever not only all the ills flowing from the state of
    slavery, but all which arise from incongruous elements of
    population, separated from each other by invincible prejudices and
    by natural causes? Whatever may be the character of the remedy
    proposed, we may confidently pronounce it inadequate, unless it
    provides efficaciously for the total and absolute separation, by an
    extensive space of water or of land, at least of the white portion
    of our population from that which is free of the colored."[102]

  In conclusion he said:

    "If we were to invoke the greatest blessing on earth, which Heaven,
    in its mercy, could now bestow on this nation, it would be the
    separation of the two most numerous races of its population and
    their comfortable establishment in distinct and different


  The biographers of Abraham Lincoln, Nicolay and Hay, declare:

    "The political creed of Abraham Lincoln embraced among other tenets,
    a belief in the value and promise of colonization as one means of
    solving the great race problem involved in the existence of slavery
    in the United States.... Without being an enthusiast, Lincoln was a
    firm believer in colonization."[104]

  Speaking at Springfield, Illinois, June 26, 1857, Mr. Lincoln said:

    "I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect
    prevention of amalgamation. I have no right to say that all the
    members of the Republican Party are in favor of this nor to say that
    as a party they are in favor of it. There is nothing in their
    platform directly on the subject. But I can say a very large
    proportion of its members are for it and that the chief plank in
    that platform—opposition to the spread of slavery—is most
    favorable to that separation. Such separation, if ever effected at
    all, must be effected by colonization.... The enterprise is a
    difficult one but where there is a will there is a way; and what
    colonization needs most is a hearty will. Will springs from the two
    elements of moral sense and self-interest. Let us be brought to
    believe it is morally right, and at the same time favorable to, or,
    at least, not against our interests, to transfer the African to his
    native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the
    task may be."[105]

  Upon his assumption of the office of President Mr. Lincoln sought to
  carry into effect his colonization views. In his first annual message
  to Congress—December, 1861—after alluding to the act "to confiscate
  property used for insurrectionary purposes," enacted by Congress at
  its extra session, under the operations of which thousands of slaves
  had come into the custody of the Federal authorities and the further
  fact that some of the states might adopt similar statutes with similar
  results, he proceeds to say:

    "In such cases I recommend that Congress provide for accepting such
    persons from such states according to some mode of valuation in lieu
    _pro tanto_ of direct taxes, or upon some other plan to be agreed on
    with such states respectively; that such persons, on such
    acceptance, by the General Government, be at once deemed free, and
    that in any event steps be taken for colonizing both classes (or the
    first mentioned if the other shall not be brought into existence) at
    some place or places in a climate congenial to them. It might be
    well to consider too whether the free colored people already in the
    United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be
    included in such colonization.

    "To carry out the plan of colonization may involve the acquiring of
    territory, and also the appropriation of money beyond that to be
    expended in the territorial acquisition. Having practised the
    acquisition of territory for nearly sixty years the question of
    constitutional power to do so is no longer an open one with us....

    "If it be said that the only legitimate object of acquiring
    territory is to furnish homes for white men this measure effects
    their object, for the emigration of colored men leaves additional
    room for white men remaining or coming here. Mr. Jefferson however
    placed the importance of procuring Louisiana more on political and
    commercial grounds than on providing room for population. On this
    whole proposition, including the appropriation of money with the
    acquisition of territory, does not expediency amount to absolute
    necessity—that without which the government itself cannot be

  As a result of these urgent representations Congress, at its session
  of 1862, placed at the disposal of the President the sum of
  $600,000.00 to be expended at his discretion in colonizing with their
  consent free persons of African descent in some country adapted to
  their condition and necessities.[107]

  Mr. Lincoln, with a view of carrying out this act of Congress, invited
  a number of prominent colored men to meet him at the White House on
  the 14th of August, 1862, and then and there urged upon them the
  wisdom of availing themselves of the opportunity thus offered to make
  for themselves a home beyond the borders of this country. Mr. Lincoln
  said that the action of Congress in placing at his disposal a sum of
  money for the purpose of aiding the colonization of the people of
  African descent made it his duty, as it had for a long time been his
  inclination, to favor that cause. Continuing, he said:

    "And why should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why
    should you leave this country? This is perhaps the first question
    for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have
    between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other
    two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss; but this
    physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both as I think.
    Your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us,
    while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each
    side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason, at least, why we
    should be separated.

    "The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free,
    but on this broad continent not a single man of your race is made
    the equal of a single man of ours. Go where you are treated the
    best, and the ban is still upon you. I do not propose to discuss
    this, but to present it as a fact with which we have to deal. I
    cannot alter it if I would."

  In conclusion he said:

    "I ask you then to consider seriously not pertaining to yourselves
    merely, nor for your race and ours for the present time but as one
    of the things if successfully managed, for the good of mankind—not
    confined to the present generation."[108]

  In his special message to Congress April 16th, 1862, after alluding to
  the passage of the bill abolishing slavery in the District of
  Columbia, he approves the same and declares: "I am grateful that the
  principles of compensation and colonization are both recognized and
  practically applied in this act."[109]


Footnote 98:

    _Jefferson Manuscript_, Raynor, p. 64.

Footnote 99:

    _Writings of Jefferson_, Ford, Vol. X, p. 290

Footnote 100:

    _Lincoln and Slavery_, Arnold, p. 124.

Footnote 101:

    _The African Repository and Colonial Journal_, Vol. II, No. 1, p. 5.

Footnote 102:

    _The African Repository and Colonial Journal_, Vol. II, p. 12.

Footnote 103:

    _Idem_, p. 23.

Footnote 104:

    _Abraham Lincoln, A History_, N. & H., Vol. VI, p. 355.

Footnote 105:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
    I, p. 235.

Footnote 106:

    _Messages and Papers of the Presidents_, Vol. VI, p. 64.

Footnote 107:

    _The Life, Public Services and State Papers of Abraham Lincoln_,
    Raymond, p. 504.

Footnote 108:

    _The Life, Public Services and State Papers of Abraham Lincoln_,
    Raymond, p. 504.

Footnote 109:

    _Messages and Papers of the Presidents_, Vol. VI, p. 73.



  No account of Virginia's record in regard to slavery would be complete
  which failed to set forth the position of her foremost men with
  respect to the institution. From a mass of data we have selected the
  following declarations as fairly expressive of their sentiments. We
  have not recorded the views of Virginians, however worthy, who were
  not by birth, training and sympathies, representative of the dominant
  element of her people.


  Richard Henry Lee, speaking in the Virginia House of Burgesses 1772,
  in support of a bill prohibiting the slave trade, said:

    "Nor, sir, are these the only reasons to be urged against the
    importation. In my opinion not the cruelties practised in the
    conquest of South America, not the savage barbarity of a Saracen,
    can be more big with atrocity than our cruel trade to Africa. There
    we encourage those poor ignorant people to wage eternal war against
    each other; ... that by war, stealth or surprise, we Christians may
    be furnished with our fellow-creatures, who are no longer to be
    considered as created in the image of God as well as ourselves and
    equally entitled to liberty and freedom by the great law of Nature,
    but they are to be deprived forever of all the comforts of life and
    to be made the most wretched of the human kind."[110]

  Patrick Henry, writing on the 18th day of January, 1773, said:

    "Is it not a little surprising that Christianity, whose chief
    excellency consists in softening the human heart, cherishing and
    improving its finer feelings, should encourage a practice so totally
    repugnant to the first impressions of right and wrong? What adds to
    the wonder is that this abominable practice has been introduced in
    the most enlightened ages....

    "Would any one believe I am the master of slaves of my own purchase!
    I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living here without
    them. I will not, I cannot justify it.... I believe the time will
    come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable
    evil. Everything we can do is to improve it, if it happens in our
    day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our
    slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence for

  At another time he wrote: "Our country will be peopled. The question
  is, shall it be with Europeans, or Africans?... Is there a man so
  degenerate as to wish to see his country the gloomy retreat of

  George Washington, writing in 1786, to Robert Morris, of Philadelphia,
  after alluding to an Anti-slavery Society of Quakers in that city and
  suggesting that unless their practices were discontinued, "None of
  those whose misfortune it is to have slaves as attendants will visit
  the city if they can possibly avoid it," continues:

    "I hope it will not be conceived from these observations that it is
    my wish to hold the unhappy people, who are the subjects of this
    letter, in slavery. I can only say that there is not a man living
    who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the
    abolition of it. But there is only one proper and effectual mode by
    which it can be accomplished, and that is by legislative authority;
    and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting."

  Writing in the same year to John F. Mercer, he said:

    "I never mean, unless some particular circumstance shall compel me
    to it, to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first
    wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country may
    be abolished by law."[113]

  George Mason, speaking in the Virginia Convention of 1788 having the
  adoption of the Federal Constitution under consideration, said:

    "Mr. Chairman, this is a fatal section (Article 1, Section 9) which
    has created more dangers than any other. The first clause allows the
    importation of slaves for twenty years. Under the royal government
    this evil was looked upon as a great oppression, and many attempts
    were made to prevent it; but the interest of the African merchants
    prevented its prohibition. No sooner did the Revolution take place
    than it was thought of. It was one of the great causes of our
    separation from Great Britain. Its exclusion has been a principal
    object of this state, and most of the states in the Union. The
    augmentation of slaves weakens the state; and such a trade is
    diabolical in itself and disgraceful to mankind; yet by this
    constitution, it is continued for twenty years. I have ever looked
    upon this as a most disgraceful thing to America. I cannot express
    my detestation of it."[114]

  John Tyler, Sr., speaking in the same Convention in condemnation of
  the clause permitting the slave trade:

    "Warmly enlarged on the impolicy, iniquity and disgracefulness of
    this wicked traffic. He thought the reasons urged by gentlemen in
    defense of it were inconclusive and ill-founded. It was one cause of
    the complaints against British tyranny that this trade was
    permitted. The Revolution had put a period to it; but now it was to
    be revived. He thought nothing could justify it.... His earnest
    desire was that it should be handed down to posterity that he had
    opposed this wicked cause."[115]

  Edmund Randolph, in 1789, wrote to Madison that he desired to go to
  Philadelphia to practise law, saying, "For if I found that I could
  live there I could emancipate my slaves, and thus end my days without
  undergoing any anxiety about the injustice of holding them."[116]

  St. George Tucker,[117] in his edition of Blackstone's Commentaries,
  reviewing the origin of slavery in Virginia, and the status of the
  institution at the time he writes, 1803, declares:

    "Among the blessings which the Almighty hath showered on these
    states, there is a large portion of the bitterest draught that ever
    flowed from the cup of affliction. Whilst America hath been the land
    of promise to Europeans and their descendants, it hath been the vale
    of death to millions of the wretched sons of Africa.... Whilst we
    adjured the God of Hosts to witness our resolution to live free, or
    die; and imprecated curses on their heads who refused to unite with
    us in establishing the empire of freedom, we were imposing upon our
    fellowmen who differ in complexion from us, a slavery ten thousand
    times more cruel than the utmost extremity of those grievances and
    oppressions of which we complained."[118]

  At the conclusion of his carefully prepared article showing the
  efforts made by the people of Virginia during the period of British
  rule to suppress the slave trade, their prompt prohibition of the
  traffic immediately upon the assertion of their independence, and the
  various statutes enacted to mitigate the hardships of the institution,
  he uses these earnest yet almost pathetic words:

    "Tedious and unentertaining as this detail may appear to all others,
    a citizen of Virginia will feel some satisfaction in reading a
    vindication of his country from the opprobrium, but too lavishly
    bestowed upon her, of fostering slavery in her bosom, whilst she
    boasts a sacred regard for the liberty of her citizens, and of
    mankind in general."[119]

  The foregoing quotations express the sentiments of the leading
  Virginians of the Revolutionary period with respect to slavery.


  The following quotations, taken from speeches and letters of the
  period between 1810 and 1831, express the sentiments of men, many of
  whom, though contemporaries of Washington and Mason and Henry, yet
  survived them by a quarter of a century.

  Jefferson, in his _Notes on Virginia_, wrote:

    "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have
    removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the
    people that these liberties are of the gift of God; that they are
    not violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country
    when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep

  Writing in 1820 to John Holmes, he said:

    "I can say with conscious truth that there is not a man on earth who
    would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy
    reproach, in any practicable way. The cession of that kind of
    property—for so it is misnamed—is a bagatelle which would not cost
    me a second thought if, in that way, a general emancipation and
    expatriation could be effected; and gradually, and with due
    sacrifice, I think it might be; but as it is, we have the wolf by
    the ears and can neither hold him nor safely let him go. Justice is
    in one scale, and self-preservation in the other."[121]

  John Tyler, in February, 1820, speaking in Congress as a
  Representative from Virginia when the bill for the admission of
  Missouri was under discussion, together with the amendment prohibiting
  the admission of slaves into the territories, said:

    "Slavery has been represented on all hands as a dark cloud and the
    candor of the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Whitman, drove him
    to the admission that it would be well to disperse this cloud. In
    this sentiment I entirely concur with him. How can you otherwise
    disarm it? Will you suffer it to increase in its darkness over one
    particular portion of this land till its horrors shall burst upon
    it?... How is the North interested in pursuing such a course? The
    man of the North is far removed from its influence; he may smile and
    experience no disquietude. But exclude this property from Missouri
    by the exercise of an arbitrary power; shut it out from the
    territories; and I maintain that you do not consult the interests of
    this Union.

    "The gentleman from Massachusetts also conceded that for which we
    contend—that by diffusing this population extensively you increase
    the prospects of emancipation. What enabled New York, Pennsylvania
    and other states to adopt the language of universal emancipation?
    Rely on it, nothing but the paucity of the number of their slaves.
    That which would have been criminal in those states not to have done
    would be an act of political suicide in Georgia or South Carolina to
    do. By this dispersion you also ameliorate the condition of the
    black man."[122]

  John Randolph of Roanoke, speaking in Congress, March 2, 1826, said:

    "My feelings and instincts were in opposition to slavery in every
    shape; to the subjugation of one man's will to that of another; and,
    from the time I read Clarkson's celebrated pamphlet, I was, I am
    afraid, as mad as Clarkson himself. I read myself into this madness,
    as I have read myself into some agricultural improvements; but, as
    with these last, I worked myself out of them.... The disease will
    run its course. It has run its course in the Northern States; it is
    beginning to run its course in Maryland. The natural death of
    slavery is the unprofitableness of its most expensive labor."[123]

  Replying to a Northern member in Congress, in 1826, he said: "Sir, I
  envy neither the head nor the heart of the man from the North who
  arises here to defend slavery upon principle."[124]

  Francis W. Gilmer, writing to William Wirt, from England in July,
  1824, said:

    "I begin to be impatient to see Virginia once more. It's more like
    England than any other part of the United States—slavery _non
    obstanti_. Remove the stain—blacker than the Ethiopian's skin, and
    annihilate our political schemers and it would be the fairest realm
    on which the sun ever shone."[125]

  John Marshall, writing in 1826, said:

    "I concur with you that nothing portends more calamity and mischief
    to the Southern States than their slave population. Yet, they seem
    to cherish the evil, and to view with immovable prejudice and
    dislike everything which may tend to diminish it. I do not wonder
    that they should resent any attempt, should one be made, to
    interfere with the rights of property, but they have a feverish
    jealousy of measures which may do good without the hazard of harm,
    that I think very unwise."[126]

  James Monroe, speaking in the Virginia Constitutional Convention on
  the 2nd of November, 1829, said:

    "What has been the leading spirit of this state ever since our
    independence was attained? She has always declared herself in favor
    of the equal rights of man. The Revolution was conducted on that
    principle. Yet there was at that time a slavish population in
    Virginia. We hold it in the condition in which the Revolution found
    it, and what can be done with this population?... As to the
    practicability of emancipating them, it can never be done by the
    state itself, nor without the aid of the Union....

    "Sir, what brought us together in the Revolutionary War? It was the
    doctrine of equal rights. Each part of the country encouraged and
    supported every other part. None took advantage of the other's
    distresses. And if we find that this evil has preyed upon the vitals
    of the Union and has been prejudicial to all the states where it has
    existed, and is likewise repugnant to their several state
    constitutions and Bills of Rights, why may we not expect that they
    will unite with us in accomplishing its removal?"[127]

  Benjamin Watkins Leigh, speaking in the Virginia Constitutional
  Convention of 1829-30, said:

    "I wish indeed that I had been born in a land where domestic and
    negro slavery is unknown—no, sir,—I misrepresent myself—I do not
    wish so. I shall never wish that I had been born out of
    Virginia—but I wish that Providence had spared my country this
    moral and political evil. It is supposed that our slave labor
    enables us to live in luxury and ease, without industry, without
    care. Sir, the evil of slavery is greater to the master than to the
    slave. He is interested in all their wants, all their distresses,
    bound to provide for them, to care for them, to labor for them,
    while they labor for him, and his labor is by no means the less
    severe of the two. The relation between master and slave imposes on
    the master a heavy and painful responsibility."[128]

  James Madison, in 1831 wrote concerning slavery and the American
  Colonization Society:

    "Many circumstances of the present moment seem to concur in
    brightening the prospects of the Society and cherishing the hope
    that the time will come when the dreadful calamity which has so long
    afflicted our country and filled so many with despair, will be
    gradually removed, and by means consistent with justice, peace, and
    general satisfaction; thus giving to our country the full enjoyment
    of the blessings of liberty, and to the world the full benefit of
    its great example."[129]


Footnote 110:

    _Life of R. H. Lee_, Lee, Vol. I, p. 18.

Footnote 111:

    _The True Patrick Henry_, Morgan, p. 246.

Footnote 112:

    _Life of Patrick Henry_, William Wirt Henry, Vol. I, p. 114.

Footnote 113:

    _The Writings of Washington_, Marshall, Vol. II, p. 159.

Footnote 114:

    _Madison Papers_, Vol. II, p. 1391.

Footnote 115:

    _Letters and Times of the Tylers_, Tyler, Vol. I, p. 154.

Footnote 116:

    _Life of Edmund Randolph_, Conway, p. 125.

Footnote 117:

    Judge Tucker, who was professor of law at William & Mary College,
    made it a part of his course of lectures to demonstrate the moral
    and economic objections to slavery.

    Mr. Roosevelt points out that Thomas H. Benton acquired his
    deep-rooted antagonism to the institution while studying Blackstone
    "as edited by the learned Virginian Judge Tucker who in an appendix
    treated of and totally condemned black slavery in the United
    States." (_Thomas H. Benton_, Roosevelt, p. 297).

Footnote 118:

    _Tucker's Blackstone_, Vol. II, Appendix, note H., p. 31.

Footnote 119:

    _Idem_, p. 53.

Footnote 120:

    _Writings of Jefferson_, Ford, Vol. III, p. 267.

Footnote 121:

    _Idem_, Vol. VII, p. 157.

Footnote 122:

    _Letters and Times of the Tylers_, Tyler, Vol. I, p. 312.

Footnote 123:

    _Abridgment of Debates in Congress 1789-1856_, Vol. VIII, p. 40.

Footnote 124:

    _American Conflict_, Greeley, Vol. I, p. 109.

Footnote 125:

    _Kennedy's Life of Wirt_, Kennedy, Vol. II, p. 188.

Footnote 126:

    _John Marshall, Life, Character and Judicial Services_, Dillon, Vol.
    I, p. 216.

Footnote 127:

    _Debates of Virginia Convention of 1829-30_, p. 149.

Footnote 128:

    _Idem_, p. 173.

Footnote 129:

    _Life of James Madison_, Hunt, p. 369.




  The anti-slavery sentiments of prominent Virginians, expressed in the
  speeches delivered in the notable debate which occurred in the
  Virginia Legislature of 1832, may well be considered in a group by
  themselves. The speakers were all young men and represented a later
  generation than those from whom quotations have already been given.
  Many of them were destined to fill important roles in the political
  life of the state and some of them, with undiminished influence,
  survived the period of the Civil War. McDowell became Governor of the
  state and a member of Congress; Preston was a member of Congress, a
  member of President Taylor's Cabinet, and one of the leading spirits
  in the Virginia Convention of 1861; Randolph was repeatedly returned
  to the Legislature and was a prominent member of the Reform Convention
  of 1850-51, and Faulkner was for years a member of Congress and also
  Minister to France.

  The position of these Virginians was significant as representative of
  the widespread anti-slavery sentiments which pervaded the state.
  Chandler, of Norfolk County, represented the largest slaveholding
  county in Tide-water Virginia; Broadnax and Bolling, two large
  slaveholding counties in the Black Belt; Randolph and Marshall,
  counties in the Piedmont section; Preston, the Southwest; McDowell,
  the Upper Valley, and Berry and Faulkner, the two counties in the
  extreme lower end of the valley.

  Thomas Marshall, of Fauquier County, speaking in the Virginia House of
  Delegates, January 14th, 1832, when the subject of the gradual
  abolition of slavery was under discussion, said:

    "Wherefore, then, object to slavery? Because it is ruinous to the
    whites, retards improvements, roots out an industrious
    population—banishes the yeomanry of the country—deprives the
    spinner, the weaver, the smith, the shoemaker, the carpenter, of
    employment and support. The evil admits of no remedy, and it is
    increasing and will continue to increase until the whole country
    will be inundated by one black wave covering its whole extent, with
    a few white faces here and there floating on the surface."[130]

  John A. Chandler, a representative from Norfolk County, speaking on
  the 17th of January in the same debate, said:

    "It will be recollected, sir, that when the memorial from Charles
    City was presented by the gentleman from Hanover, and when its
    reference was opposed, I took occasion to observe that I believed
    the people of Norfolk County would rejoice could they even in the
    vista of time see some scheme for the general removal of this
    _curse_ from our land. I should have voted, sir, for its rejection
    because I was desirous to see a report from the committee declaring
    the slave population an evil and recommending to the people of this
    commonwealth the adoption of some plan for its riddance."[131]

  William H. Broadnax, speaking as a representative from the County of
  Dinwiddie, on the 19th of January, in the same debate, said:

    "That slavery in Virginia is an evil and a transcendent evil it
    would be idle and worse than idle for any human being to doubt or
    deny. It is a mildew which has blighted in its course every region
    it has touched from the creation of the world. Illustrations from
    the history of other countries and other times might be instructive
    and profitable had we time to review them, but we have evidence
    tending to the same conviction nearer at hand in the short histories
    of the different states of this great confederacy which are
    impressive in their admonitions and conclusive in their

  Henry Berry, speaking as a representative from Jefferson County, on
  the 20th of January, in the same debate, said:

    "Sir, I believe that no cancer on the physical body was ever more
    certain, steady and fatal in its progress than is this cancer on the
    political body of the State of Virginia. It is eating into her very
    vitals. And shall we act the part of a puny patient, suffering under
    the ravages of a fatal disease, who would say the remedy is too
    painful, the dose is too nauseous, I cannot bear it; who would close
    his eyes in despair and give himself up to death? No, sir, I would
    bear the knife and the cautery, for the sake of health. I would
    never despair of the Republic. For myself, I would abandon hope on
    this subject and the state together."[133]

  Charles James Faulkner, speaking as a representative from Berkeley
  County, on the 20th of January, in the same debate, said:

    "Wherever the voice of your people has been heard since the
    agitation of this question, it has sustained your determination and
    called for the present enquiry. I have heard of county meetings,
    county petitions, and county memorials; I have heard from the North,
    the East, and the South. They are all, with one voice, against the
    continuance of slavery. None for it. The press, too, that mirror of
    public sentiment, that concentrated will of a whole community, has
    been heard from one extremity of the state to the other. Its power
    is with us, its moral force is united, efficient and encouraging. In
    this city, the capital of the Old Dominion, the heart of the
    commonwealth, which by one ventricle receives and through the other
    discharges the life blood of intelligence and public spirit
    throughout your empire, aye, and from a quarter and from many
    quarters where such a voice was least expected its tones have been
    firm, manly, and intrepid. Honor, sir, to those who dare speak the
    truth in the worst of times."

  In conclusion he said:

    "In the language of the wise and prophetic Jefferson, 'you must
    approach it, you must bear it, you must adopt some plan of
    emancipation, or worse will follow.'"[134]

  James McDowell, speaking as a representative from Rockbridge County,
  on the 21st of January, in the same debate, said:

    "Sir, you may place the slave where you please—you may dry up to
    your uttermost the fountains of his feelings, the springs of his
    thought—you may close upon his mind every avenue of knowledge and
    cloud it over with artificial night—you may yoke him to your labors
    as the ox which liveth only to work and worketh only to live—you
    may put him under any process, which, without destroying his value
    as a slave, will debase and crush him as a rational being—you may
    do this and the idea that he was born to be free will survive it
    all. It is allied to his hope of immortality—it is the ethereal
    part of his nature which oppression cannot reach; it is a torch lit
    up in his soul by the hand of the Deity and never meant to be
    extinguished by the hand of man."[135]

  Thomas Jefferson Randolph, speaking as a representative from Albemarle
  County, on the 21st of January, in the same debate, said:

    "Does slavery exist in any part of civilized Europe? No, sir, in no
    part of it. America is the only civilized Christian nation that
    bears the opprobrium. In every other country where civilization and
    Christianity have existed together they have erased it from their

  Philip A. Bolling, speaking as a representative from Buckingham
  County, on the 25th of January, in the same debate, said:

    "Mr. Speaker, it is vain for gentlemen to deny the fact that the
    feelings of society are fast becoming adverse to slavery. Moral
    causes which produce that feeling are on the march and will on until
    the groans of slavery are heard no more in this else happy country.
    Look over this world's wide page—see the rapid progress of liberal
    feelings—see the shackles falling from nations who have long
    writhed under the galling yoke of slavery. Liberty is going over the
    whole earth, hand in hand with Christianity."[137]


Footnote 130:

    _Virginia Slavery Debate_, 1832, White, Speech of Thomas Marshall,
    p. 6.

Footnote 131:

    _Idem_, Speech of J. A. Chandler, p. 3.

Footnote 132:

    _Idem_, Speech of William H. Broadnax, p. 10.

Footnote 133:

    _Idem_, Speech of Henry Berry, p. 2.

Footnote 134:

    _Idem_, Speech of C. J. Faulkner, p. 5 and p. 22.

Footnote 135:

    _Idem_, Speech of James McDowell, p. 20.

Footnote 136:

    _Idem_, Speech of T. J. Randolph, p. 15.

Footnote 137:

    _Idem_, Speech of Philip A. Bolling, p. 15.



  The period from 1833-1860 witnessed, as we have seen, the rise and
  progress of the abolition movement at the North and the growth of
  pro-slavery sentiment in Virginia and the South. These conditions are
  reflected in the deliverances of many prominent anti-slavery
  Virginians, and by a growing indisposition on the part of others of
  this element to publicly declare their sentiments or to take part in
  the discussions, which, with growing bitterness, marked the times.


  George Washington Parke Custis, speaking on the 21st of January, 1833,
  before the American Colonization Society, said:

    "Some alarmists tell us that the slave population is to be freed.
    And, sir, does any one regret that the hope is held out, that with
    our own consent, we shall one day see an end of slavery? Should this
    Society be, as I doubt not it will, the happy means of producing
    this result, it will be renowned as having done one of the greatest
    and best deeds that have blessed the world."[138]

  The following extract from a speech of William C. Rives serves not
  only to illustrate his anti-slavery sentiments, but the rise of the
  two antagonistic parties—the Abolitionists in the North and the
  Pro-slavery men in the South. The speech of Dr. Ruffner, delivered ten
  years later, also indicates the same condition and the fresh
  difficulties with which the cause of gradual emancipation in Virginia
  was thus confronted.

  William C. Rives, speaking in the United States Senate on the 6th day
  of February, 1837, after deprecating the action of Mr. Webster in
  presenting abolition petitions as precipitating controversy over a
  subject with respect to which Congress had no jurisdiction, then
  replied to the position of Mr. Calhoun, that slavery was a beneficent
  institution, as follows:

    "But, sir, while I have been thus prepared and determined to defend
    the constitutional rights of the South at every hazard, I have not
    felt myself bound to conform my understanding and conscience to the
    standard of faith that has recently been set up by some gentlemen in
    regard to the general question of slavery. I have not considered it
    a part of my duty as a representative from the South, to deny, as
    has been done by this new school, the natural freedom and equality
    of man; to contend that slavery is a positive good; that it is
    inseparable from the condition of man; that it must exist in some
    form or other in every political community; and that it is even an
    essential ingredient in Republican government. No, sir, I have not
    thought it necessary, in order to defend the rights and institutions
    of the South, to attack the great principles which lie at the
    foundation of our political system, and to revert to the dogmas of
    Sir Robert Filmer, exploded a century and a half ago by the immortal
    works of Sidney and Locke....

    "In pursuing this course I have the satisfaction of reflecting that
    I follow the example of the greatest men and purest patriots who
    have illustrated the annals of our country—of the Fathers of the
    Republic itself.

    "It never entered into their minds, while laying the foundation of
    the great and glorious fabric of our free government, to contend
    that domestic slavery was a positive good—a great good. Washington,
    Jefferson, Madison, Marshall, the brightest names of my own state,
    are known to have lamented the existence of slavery as a misfortune
    and an evil to the country, and their thoughts were often anxiously,
    however unavailingly, exercised in devising some scheme of safe and
    practical relief, proceeding always, however, from the states which
    suffered the evil....

    "In following such lights as these, I feel that I sin against no
    principle of republicanism, and against no safeguard of Southern
    rights and Southern policy when I frankly say in answer to the
    interrogatory of the gentleman from South Carolina, that I do regard
    slavery as an evil—an evil not uncompensated, I know, by collateral
    effects of high value on the social and intellectual character of my
    countrymen; but still in the eye of religion, philanthropy and
    reason, an evil."[139]

  Charles Fenton Mercer, in his work, _An Exposition of the Weakness and
  Inefficiency of the Government of the United States_, published in
  1845, said:

    "How shall we approach the horrid subject of slavery, the blackest
    of all blots, the foulest of all deformities? Here are a people
    descended from the very centre of civilization and free institutions
    of Europe, bearing with them the full tide of liberal principles,
    and the very cap and essence of liberty, and boasting not only of
    their descent, but that they are more than worthy of their
    ancestors, that have sanctioned slavery in its most abject form, and
    now, by actual enumeration, have upwards of three millions of

  R. R. Howison, the Virginia historian, in his _History of Virginia_,
  published in 1848, alluding to slavery in the state, said:

    "We apprehend that in general, the people of Virginia hold slavery
    to be an enormous evil, bearing with fatal power upon their
    prosperity. This sentiment has been gaining ground during many
    years.... Under these circumstances, we hail with pleasure any
    indications that this part of our population (the slave portion) is
    decreasing in number and that the time shall come when Virginia
    shall be a free state."[141]

  Dr. Henry Ruffner, President of Washington College, delivered in 1847
  an address which was printed in pamphlet form and widely distributed,
  dealing with the subject of slavery and emancipation. Referring to the
  attitude and efforts of the Abolitionists and the effect upon
  anti-slavery sentiment in the state, he said:

    "But, fellow-citizens, shall we suffer this meddlesome sect of
    Abolitionists to blind our eyes to the evils of slavery and to tie
    up our hands when the condition of the country, and the welfare of
    ourselves and our children, summon us to immediate action?...

    "Having failed in their first mode of action by denunciatory
    pamphlets and newspapers, and by petitions to Congress, the most
    violent class of Abolitionists have now formed themselves into a
    political party aiming to subvert the Federal Constitution which
    guarantees the rights of slaveholders, and to destroy the Federal
    Union which is the glory and safeguard of us all. Thus they have
    armed against themselves every American patriot; and what is most
    remarkable, they have met from the opposite extreme those Southern
    politicians and ultra pro-slavery men—called 'Chivalry' and
    'Nullifiers,' who so often predict and threaten a dissolution of the

  Matthew F. Maury, writing in 1851, said:

    "I am sure you would rejoice to see the people of Virginia rise up
    to-morrow and say, 'From and after a future day, say January 1st,
    1855, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in
    Virginia.' Although this would not strike the shackle from off a
    single arm nor command a single slave to go free, yet it would
    relieve our own loved Virginia of that curse."[143]

  Bishop William Meade in 1854, writing of slavery, said:

    "While we must acknowledge that the advantage of the African trade
    notwithstanding the cruelties accompanying it has been on the side
    of that people both temporally and spiritually; yet we can never be
    brought to believe that the introduction into, and the
    multiplication of slavery in Virginia has advanced either her
    religious, political, or agricultural interests. On the contrary we
    are confident that it has injured all."

  In 1857, alluding to the foregoing statement, he wrote:

    "I have been for the last fifty years, and more especially for the
    last thirty, travelling much the length and breadth of Virginia,
    making observations for myself, conversing with intelligent farmers,
    politicians, ministers of the gospel, and other Christians on the
    subjects referred to above. ... I have not only reconsidered them
    myself, but freely conversed with many sound-minded persons
    concerning the views there presented; and the result has been an
    increased conviction that they are correct and have been in time
    past, and still are held by the great body of our citizens,
    Christians, and statesmen."[144]

  The statement of Howison, made in 1848—that, "in general, the people
  of Virginia hold slavery to be an enormous evil, bearing with fatal
  power upon their prosperity," is confirmed by these conclusions of
  Bishop Meade, expressed ten years later.

  Robert E. Lee writing in December, 1856, said:

    "In this enlightened age, there are few, I believe, but will
    acknowledge that as an institution slavery is a moral and political
    evil in any country. It is useless to expatiate on its
    disadvantages. I think it, however, a greater evil to the white than
    to the black race, and while my feelings are strongly enlisted in
    behalf of the latter, my sympathies are strongly for the former...."

    "While we see the course of the final abolition of slavery is
    onward, and we give it the aid of our prayers and all justifiable
    means in our power, we must leave the progress as well as the result
    in His hands, who sees the end and chooses to work by slow


  If it be urged that despite the foregoing anti-slavery sentiments the
  institution remained intrenched in the laws of Virginia, and supported
  by a strong body of public opinion, it may be replied that the views
  of these Virginians, and others of like mind, were nevertheless
  productive of far-reaching and beneficent results. They were effective
  in robbing slavery of many of its most abhorrent and oppressive
  incidents. Under the public opinion thus generated the institution in
  Virginia assumed, as a rule, the patriarchal character—master and
  slave being bound by ties of mutual obligation and affection. Many of
  the legal hardships inseparable from the system were reduced to a
  minimum. Thus the breaking up of families, by sale of their members,
  was confined as nearly as possible to the distribution of estates and
  the collection of debts by process of law. In all the category of
  disreputable callings, there were none so despised as the
  slave-trader. The odium descended upon his children and his children's
  children. Against the legal right to buy and sell slaves for profit,
  this public sentiment lifted a strong arm, and rendered forever odious
  the name of "Negro-trader." The good results of these conditions were
  evidenced in the higher measure of character, courtesy and capacity,
  which, as a whole, distinguished the negroes of Virginia.


  The position of these Virginians was also of great importance in
  keeping before the mind of the people the conception that slavery was
  an abnormal institution, and that with her growth in wealth and white
  population, Virginia could and would free herself from what Robert E.
  Lee described as "a moral and political evil." Furthermore these
  sentiments were productive of an actual emancipation, the character
  and extent of which has been little appreciated. If devotion to the
  cause is to be measured by the actual manumissions effected, then
  Virginia's emancipators could contemplate with pride their record.
  George Wythe liberated his slaves at the close of the Revolution.
  Robert E. Lee, executor of George Washington Parke Custis, left his
  place at the front with the Army of Northern Virginia to emancipate
  the slaves of his testator as directed by the latter in his will.[146]
  Between these two there stretches a long line of emancipators, who,
  without compensation, liberated thousands of slaves. Mr. Ballagh
  estimates this number as high as one hundred thousand.[147] These
  slaveholders incurred not only the pecuniary loss of this great
  emancipation, but in many instances the expense of colonization. When,
  too, it is remembered that their communities were often thus further
  burdened by the problems incident to the presence of an increasing
  body of freedmen, the full import of the beneficence is better
  appreciated. That many of these ex-slaves, despite statutes and the
  efforts of masters and others to settle them at points beyond the
  state, remained in Virginia is attested by the Federal census, from
  which it appears that in 1860 there were still fifty-eight thousand
  and forty-two free negroes within her borders.


Footnote 138:

    See _Proceedings of Sixteenth Annual Meeting of American
    Colonization Society_, January, 1833, p. XVII.

Footnote 139:

    _Congressional Debates_, Vol. XIII, part I, p. 717.

Footnote 140:

    _An Exposition of the Weakness and Inefficiency of the Government of
    the United States_, p. 167.

Footnote 141:

    _History of Virginia_, Howison, Vol. II, p. 519.

Footnote 142:

    _The Ruffner Pamphlet_, Lexington, 1847.

Footnote 143:

    _Life of Matthew F. Maury_, Corbin, p. 131.

Footnote 144:

    _Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia_, Vol. I, pp.
    89-90, note.

Footnote 145:

    _Life of R. E. Lee_, Fitzhugh Lee, p. 64.

Footnote 146:

    _Will Book No. 4_, p. 267, Clerk's Office, Alexandria County,

Footnote 147:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 144.



  An examination of a few of the great number of deeds and wills which
  are to be found on record throughout Virginia will serve to illustrate
  the motives of her emancipators and the many difficulties which
  confronted them. These emancipations may be grouped in three
  periods,—from 1782 to 1806, from 1806 to 1833, and from 1833 to the
  outbreak of the Civil War. Each of these periods had its peculiar
  characteristics with reference to the problem of emancipation in
  Virginia. From 1782 to 1806 the law permitted emancipation without
  qualification, and public opinion, in the state, while deploring the
  existence of slavery was willing to permit the slaveholders to
  control, in large measure, the times and methods of its abolition. The
  period from 1806 to 1833 marked the years when anti-slavery sentiment
  showed increasing strength. The antipathy, however, to the presence of
  the free negro was equally pronounced and resulted in the laws which
  required his removal from the state within a year after his
  emancipation. This requirement invested emancipation with new,
  practical, as well as ethical difficulties. This period opened with
  the act which denied to slaveholders the unqualified right of
  emancipation—and it ended with the Nat Turner Insurrection and the
  futile attempts of the General Assembly to successfully meet the
  difficulties of the situation. The years from 1833 to 1860 were
  burdened with all the difficulties of the previous periods, as well as
  with the embarrassments growing out of the efforts of the
  Abolitionists beyond the state and of the pro-slavery advocates within
  her borders.

  An examination of the following extracts from the deeds and wills of
  emancipators will serve to illustrate the truth of these views.


  Extract from deed of Joseph Hill, of Isle of Wight County, dated March
  6th, 1783:

    "I, Joseph Hill, of Isle of Wight County in Virginia, after full and
    deliberate consideration, and agreeable to our Bill of Rights, am
    fully persuaded that freedom is the natural life of all mankind, and
    that no law, moral or divine, hath given me a just right or property
    in the persons of any of my fellow-creatures, and desirous to fulfil
    the injunction of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, by doing to
    all others as I would be done by in a like situation ... do hereby
    emancipate and set free all and every of the above named slaves,

  Extract from deed of Charles Moorman, of Campbell County, dated
  September 1st, 1789:

    "I, Charles Moorman, from mature consideration and the conviction of
    my own mind, being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right
    of all mankind, and that no law, moral or divine, has given me a
    right to or property in the persons of any of my fellow-creatures,
    and being desirous to fulfil the injunction of our Lord and Saviour,
    Jesus Christ, by doing to others as I would be done by—do therefore
    declare that having under my care twenty-eight slaves, (naming
    them), I do for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators,
    hereby release unto them the said slaves all my rights, interest,
    claims or pretensions of claims whatsoever to their persons or any
    estate they may acquire, &c."[149]

  Extracts from deeds of Robert Carter, of Westmoreland County, each
  dated the 1st day of January, 1793:

    "Whereas the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia did in
    the year seventeen hundred and eighty-two enact a law entitled 'An
    Act to Authorize the Manumission of Slaves,' know all men by these
    presents that I, Robert Carter, of Nomony Hall, in the County of
    Westmoreland, do under the said act for myself, my heirs, executors
    and administrators, emancipate and forever set free from slavery the
    following slaves." (Here follow the names of the slaves,
    twenty-seven in number.)[150]

  And on the same day a similar deed emancipating thirty slaves.[151]

  Extract from deed of Francis Preston, of Washington County, dated the
  20th day of September, 1793:

    "Whereas my negro man, John (alias) John Broady, claims a promise of
    freedom from his former master, General William Campbell, for his
    faithful attendance on him at all times, and more particularly while
    he was in the army in the last war, and I who claim the said negro,
    in right of my wife, daughter of said General William Campbell,
    feeling a desire to emancipate the said negro man John as well for
    the fulfilment of the above mentioned promise as the gratification
    of being instrumental of promoting a participation of liberty to a
    fellow-creature, who by nature is entitled thereto, do by these
    presents, for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, fully
    emancipate and make free, to all intents and purposes, the said
    negro man John (alias) John Brody from me and my heirs

  Extract from the will of Richard Randolph, Jr., admitted to record in
  Clerk's Office of Prince Edward County, April 8th, 1797:

    "In the first place—to make retribution as far as I am able to an
    unfortunate race of bondsmen over whom my ancestors have usurped and
    exercised the most lawless and monstrous tyranny, and in whom my
    countrymen by their iniquitous laws in contradiction of their own
    Declaration of Rights ... have vested me with absolute property; ...
    to exculpate myself to those who may perchance think or hear of me
    after death from the black crime which otherwise would be imputed to
    me of voluntarily holding the above mentioned miserable beings in
    the same state of abject slavery in which I found them on receiving
    my patrimony at lawful age; to impress my children with just horror
    at a crime so enormous and indelible, and to adjure them in the last
    words of a fond father never to participate in it ... I do declare
    that it is my will and desire, nay, most anxious wish, that my
    negroes, all of them, be liberated, and I do declare them by this
    writing free and emancipated to all intents and purposes

  Extract from the will of George Washington, dated July 9th, 1799,
  recorded in the Clerk's Office of Fairfax County:

    "Upon the decease of my wife, it is my will and desire that all the
    slaves whom I hold in my own right shall receive their freedom. To
    emancipate them during her life would, though earnestly wished by
    me, be attended with such insuperable difficulties on account of
    their intermixture by marriage with the dower negroes as to excite
    the most painful sensations, if not disagreeable consequences to the
    latter, while both descriptions are in the occupancy of the same
    proprietor; it not being in my power under the tenure by which the
    dower negroes are held to manumit them."

  The will further provides that all slaves who at the time of their
  emancipation are unable, by reason of old age, bodily infirmities, or
  youth, to support themselves shall be cared for out of his estate, the
  testator declaring:

    "I do moreover most pointedly and most solemnly enjoin it upon my
    executors hereafter named, or the survivors of them, to see that
    this clause respecting slaves and every part thereof be religiously
    fulfilled at the epoch at which it is directed to take place without
    evasion, neglect or delay, after the crops which may then be in the
    ground are harvested, particularly as it respects the aged and
    infirm; seeing that a regular and permanent fund be established for
    their support as long as there are subjects requiring it."[154]

  Extract from the will of Jesse Bonner, of Dinwiddie, dated 8th April,
  1797, and admitted to probate 17th April, 1803:

    "Item: I leave the use of the plantation whereon I now live and my
    New Survey adjoining it to my beloved wife, Rebecca Bonner, during
    her life or widowhood; also all the negroes belonging to me.

    "Item: My will and desire is that all the above negroes which I have
    lent to my beloved wife, Rebecca Bonner, namely (here the slaves,
    fifteen in number, are named), with all their increase from this
    day, be emancipated and go free at the death or marriage of my
    beloved wife, Rebecca Bonner.

    "Item: My will and desire is that if I have no child the plantation
    whereon I now live together with my New Survey, be given to my
    negroes and their heirs forever, after the death or marriage of my
    beloved wife, Rebecca Bonner." [155]

  The reader will observe, that in many of the foregoing extracts the
  anti-slavery sentiments of the emancipators are freely and vigorously
  expressed and the act of emancipation is, in many instances, based
  upon the conviction that slavery was repugnant alike to the political
  institutions of the state and the principles of the Christian


  During the time from 1806-1833 there seems to have been a diminution
  in the number of emancipations, especially in the earlier years of
  that period. This was doubtless to be accounted for by the
  difficulties, resulting from the law, which required the removal of
  the slave from the state within twelve months next succeeding his
  emancipation. However, with the increase in the facilities of travel,
  some of these practical difficulties were overcome, and during the
  latter years of the period the number of emancipations annually made
  were as large as, if not larger than, previous to the enactment of the

  Extract from the will of Charles Ewell, of Prince William County,
  dated 8th October, 1823, and admitted to probate 3rd November, 1823:

    "It is my will that all the increase of my negroes named shall be
    free at the age of twenty-five, and their increase, if any, to be
    free at the same age (those only who were born before their parents
    arrived at the age of twenty-four), those born after to be liberated
    with their mothers,"[156]

  Extract from the will of John Smith, of Sussex County, dated 9th
  November, 1825, and admitted to probate 2nd March, 1826:

    "At the death of my beloved wife, I direct that all of my negroes,
    without regard to age, sex or condition, with all their future
    increase, be, by my executor, sent to the African Colonization
    Settlement, established for the removal of free black persons of
    color from the United States; and believing freedom to be the
    natural birthright of all persons and having spent many of my best
    days in defense thereof, I do hereby declare all of my said slaves
    or negroes, with their future increase ... to be emancipated and
    free ... from and after the death of my said wife. And I do hereby
    give and grant to each of said negroes so emancipated, without
    regard to age, sex or condition, one good serviceable hat, one pair
    shoes and stockings, blanket and one year's provisions, exclusive of
    ship provisions on board, to carry with them.... I hereby direct my
    executors to pay all expenses of removing said emancipated slaves
    out of any money that may be in their hands belonging to my

  Extract from the will of John Ward, Sr., of Pittsylvania County, dated
  the 30th day of July, 1826 and recorded the 20th of November, 1826:

    "It is my will and desire that all my slaves now living or which may
    be living at the time of my death be free and I do hereby bequeath
    to each and every one of them their freedom immediately upon my
    death in as full and unlimited a manner as the laws of Virginia will
    admit of. But should any of my slaves choose not to avail themselves
    of this bequest of their freedom with the conditions which the law
    may annex, then it is my will and desire that they have the
    privilege of choosing their master who may take them at the
    valuation of two good men, to be chosen by my executors, and should
    the females thus electing choose to keep any of their children with
    them it is my will that said children be at liberty to obtain their
    freedom at the age of twenty-one years in the same manner.... I give
    to all my slaves over fifteen years at the time of my death each the
    sum of twenty dollars—excepting Davy and Nancy, having already
    given them one hundred and fifty dollars each."[158]

  Extract from the will of Martha E. Peyton, of Prince William County,
  dated the 30th June, 1831, and admitted to probate October 3rd, 1831:

    "Secondly, I do hereby will and direct that after my debts are paid
    in the manner aforesaid that all my negroes without exception shall
    be emancipated and have their freedom; they having served me during
    my life and as I am unwilling for them to be kept in slavery or
    owned by any person after my death."[159]

  Extract from the will of Aylette Hawes, of Rappahannock County, dated
  the 9th August, 1832, and admitted to probate 7th October, 1833:

    "I do hereby free and emancipate all my slaves that I may own at my
    death, that I may not hereafter dispose of; such of the said slaves
    that are old and infirm, I wish to have the liberty of choosing
    their place of residence with any of my relations, and to receive
    from my estate such assistance as, with the work they are able to
    do, will render them profitable without being an encumbrance where
    they live; and to Jack, who, besides being old and infirm, is also
    afflicted in his legs, I leave fifty dollars. Such of my said slaves
    as are so nearly white as to render it unsafe for them to go to
    Liberia I desire may be sent to the State of Ohio, or where slavery
    is not tolerated, at the expense of my estate. I desire my said
    slaves thus sent at the expense of my estate to Ohio, to be put
    under the protection and patronage of David S. Dodge and his family
    and that the said David S. may be amply compensated from my estate
    for any trouble or expense he may be at in patronizing the said
    slaves. I desire all my other slaves to be transferred to the proper
    agent of the African Colonization Society, with twenty dollars each,
    for their transportation to Liberia."[160]

  Extract from will of John Randolph of Roanoke, dated May, 1819,
  admitted to probate in 1833:

    "I give to my slaves their freedom, to which my conscience tells me
    they are justly entitled. It has a long time been a matter of
    deepest regret to me that the circumstances under which I inherited
    them and the obstacles thrown in the way by the laws of the land
    have prevented my emancipating them in my lifetime, which it is my
    full intention to do in case I can accomplish it."

  The will makes provision for the purchase of land in some one of the
  free states and for removing the ex-slaves, some three hundred and
  fifty in number, to their new homes to be provided for them thereon,
  the same to be equipped with farming utensils, etc.[161]

  Extract from will of William H. Fitzhugh of Ravensworth, Fairfax
  County, dated March 21, 1829:

    "After the year 1850 I leave all my negroes unconditionally free,
    with the privilege of having the expenses of their removal to
    whatever places of residence they may select, defrayed. And as an
    encouragement to them to emigrate to the American Colony on the
    coast of Africa, where I believe their happiness will be most
    permanently secure, I desire not only that the expense of their
    emigration may be paid but that the sum of fifty dollars shall be
    paid to each one so emigrating on his or her arrival in Africa."

  The will makes provision for a fund to carry out the foregoing


Footnote 148:

    _Deed Book No. 15_, p. 122, in Clerk's Office, Isle of Wight County,

Footnote 149:

    _Deed Book No. 2_, p. 418, in Clerk's Office, Campbell County,

Footnote 150:

    _Deed and Will Book No. 18_, p. 213, in the Clerk's Office,
    Westmoreland County, Virginia.

Footnote 151:

    _Idem_, p. 244.

Footnote 152:

    _Deed Book for Year 1793_, in Clerk's Office of Washington County,
    Abingdon, Virginia.

Footnote 153:

    See _Will Book_ for 1797, Clerk's Office, Prince Edward County,
    Farmville, Virginia.

    Note: Mr. Randolph explained in his will that he did not emancipate
    his slaves by deed because at the date his will was written they
    were still bound for certain debts of his father from whom he
    inherited them. In accordance with his will they were all, some two
    hundred in number, finally set free. Richard Randolph was the
    brother of John Randolph of Roanoke and a stepson of St. George

Footnote 154:

    _Life of Washington_, Irving, Vol. V, p. 439.

Footnote 155:

    See _Will Book for Year 1803_, Dinwiddie Court-House, Virginia.

Footnote 156:

    See _Will Book M._, p. 103, Prince William County, Virginia.

Footnote 157:

    See _Will Book K._, p. 322, Clerk's Office of Sussex County.

    Note: The inventory of Smith's estate shows that he owned
    forty-three slaves at the time of his death. Testator was a soldier
    in the Revolutionary Army.

Footnote 158:

    See _Will Book No. 1_, p. 109, Clerk's Office, Pittsylvania County,

Footnote 159:

    See _Will Book N._, p. 383, Prince William County, Virginia.

Footnote 160:

    See _Will Book A._, p. 16, Clerk's Office, Rappahannock County,

    Note: Hawes was for many years a member of Congress from Virginia
    and the inventory of his estate shows that at the time of his death,
    he owned one hundred and five slaves.

Footnote 161:

    _Life of John Randolph_, Garland, Vol. II, p. 149.

Footnote 162:

    _Will Book No. 1_, p. 57, Clerk's Office, Fairfax County, Virginia.
    Mr. Fitzhugh was the maternal uncle of Mrs. Robert E. Lee.




  The deeds and wills during the period from 1833 to the Civil War made
  increasingly large provisions for the removal and colonization of the
  freedmen. It may be also noted that arraignments of slavery became
  very rare during that period. The same influences which almost hushed
  the voice of anti-slavery orators in Virginia, were effective in
  banishing from the deeds and wills of emancipators expressions which
  might give aid and comfort to the men who were daily denouncing the
  civilization and morality of the state. Though these arraignments
  might almost stop the discussion of slavery in Virginia, yet they
  could not destroy the sentiment in favor of emancipation. The
  liberation of slaves continued without diminution down to the outbreak
  of the Civil War. It may be also noted that these instances of
  emancipation go far to disprove the charge that the Virginia friends
  of negro colonization were inspired simply by a desire to remove the
  free negroes from the state in order to make more sure the tenure by
  which they held their slaves. John Randolph of Roanoke, General
  Blackburn, Bishop Meade, William Henry Fitzhugh and George Washington
  Parke Custis were all leaders in the colonization movement, and all of
  them emancipated their slaves.

  Extract from the will of Samuel Blackburn of Bath County, dated the
  30th of October, 1834:

    "That all the slaves of which I may die seized and possessed,
    without distinction of age or sex, be, and they are hereby, declared
    free and forever emancipated, &c.... And as soon as the necessary
    arrangements can be made by my executors they shall be transported
    to the American Colony in Liberia and the expense of transportation
    be charged upon my estate, real and personal. It is, however,
    expressly and implicitly understood that if any of my slaves
    aforesaid refuse to accept this boon it will be the duty of my
    executors and they are hereby requested so to do, to sell to the
    highest bidder in terms of the sale all who thus refuse and
    persevere in refusal, as slaves for life. And here let me admonish
    and warn these people how they let slip this golden moment of
    emancipating themselves and their posterity forever from that state
    of slavery and degradation in which I found them and in which many
    of them have long served me."

  By a codicil the testator provided that with respect to any slaves who
  might refuse to accept their freedom upon condition that they be
  transported to Liberia, his executors should not sell them separately
  but in families and by private sale to considerate masters.[163]

  Extract from the will of Carter H. Edlow of Prince George County,
  dated the 20th of March, 1838, and admitted to probate the 13th of
  August, 1844:

    "I desire that my estate shall be kept together and cultivated to
    the best advantage until a sufficient sum can be raised to pay my
    debts, should there be any deficiency in the amount of money on hand
    and debts due me, and to raise a sufficient sum to pay for the
    transportation of my slaves to any free state or colony which they
    may prefer and give to each slave fifty dollars on their
    departure.... It is not my wish to force them away without their
    consent; in the event of any of them preferring to remain in slavery
    they must take the disposition hereinafter directed."

  The testator then devises the residuum of his estate to his nieces,
  along with such of his slaves as refuse to accept freedom.[164]

  Extract from deed of William Meade, of Clarke County, dated the 29th
  of April, 1843:

    "Know all men by these presents that I, William Meade, of the County
    of Clarke and State of Virginia, with a view of preparing a certain
    female mulatto slave, named Lucy, for the enjoyment of the freedom
    hereinafter bestowed upon her, have ... bound the said female, Lucy,
    now about seventeen years of age, to a certain J. W. Stockton,
    residing in the State of Pennsylvania, until the said Lucy arrives
    at the age of twenty-one years, &c. ... do give and grant unto the
    said Lucy her freedom forever and do hereby manumit her from my
    service, forever, &c."[165]

  Extract from the will of Thacker V. Webb, of Orange County, admitted
  to probate August 28th, 1843:

    "I will and direct that at and after my death, my slaves, James,
    Joseph, Kendall, Judy and all the remainder of them both old and
    young (not enumerated and specified by their respective names) and
    all the future increase of all the females be, and they are hereby
    fully and entirely liberated, and forever emancipated and set free
    from the involuntary service of all and every person or persons
    whatsoever; and that no operation of any law whatsoever shall be
    allowed, or in any wise prevent the said slaves from receiving and
    enjoying their full, entire and complete freedom and emancipation, I
    will and direct that my executor or administrator hereinafter named,
    shall procure a home for the slaves, or persons above liberated, in
    some non-slaveholding state, and for this purpose I hereby
    appropriate the sum of four thousand dollars, to be laid out in
    land, farming utensils, and bearing their expenses, and if any
    overplus shall remain, I direct it to be equally divided among them
    all, and given to the fathers and mothers for their joint use and

  Extract from will of Albert Early, of Madison County, dated the 25th
  of May, 1839, admitted to probate 25th day of November, 1847:

    "I give and bequeath unto my above named executors all the negro
    slaves that I now own or may own ... I do most solemnly and
    seriously request and exhort them to do with my said negro slaves as
    I now prescribe, that it is my wish that they ... should be
    liberated so that they may enjoy all the liberties and blessings of
    a free and independent people, and not approving the custom of
    liberating slaves to remain in the United States, I would recommend
    to my said executors to select for their residence some section of
    country which ... may supply them, the above named negro slaves,
    with all the comforts and necessaries that may render their lives as
    agreeable and easy as possible."

  The will further authorizes the executors to sell so much of the lands
  and other property of the testator as may be necessary to pay his
  debts and then to apply so much of the proceeds as the above named
  "executors may think proper for the removal and settlement of my above
  named negro slaves."

  The will concludes:

    "That it is owing to no malignity of feelings towards my relations
    that I have thus disposed of my negro slaves, but because I think
    they own enough of them without mine and I think that they are a
    general evil and withal I deprecate the principle."[167]

  Extract from the will of John Warwick, of Amherst County, admitted to
  probate March 20th, 1848:

    "I, John Warwick, of the County of Amherst, ... do make, publish and
    declare this my last true will and testament....

    "First: The future condition of my slaves has long been a subject of
    anxious concern with me, and it is my deliberate intention, wish,
    and desire that the whole of them be manumitted and set free as soon
    after my demise as the growing crops shall be safe and the annual
    hires terminated, not later than the end of the year of my death, to
    be removed, or so many of them as I do not manumit and send to a
    free state during my life, with the exception hereinafter named, and
    settled in one or more of the free states of this Union under the
    care and direction of my executors, hereinafter appointed. Indiana
    is my choice.

    "Second: To carry out the above bequest ... next to the payment of
    any debts I may owe, my funeral expenses, and the charges of
    administration of my estate, I hereby declare that it is my wish and
    intention that my slaves shall on being emancipated have the whole
    of my estate now in being, or hereafter to be acquired, ... for the
    purpose of creating a suitable fund in the hands of my executors for
    their comfortable clothing, outfit, travelling expenses and
    settlement in their new homes".[168]

  Extract from the will of Frances Eppes of Henrico County, admitted to
  probate February 7th, 1848.

    "It is my will and desire that all my slaves shall be emancipated
    and set free—and I do hereby emancipate and set free the following
    slaves, and the increase of the females among them, namely—" (Here
    follow the names of the slaves, twenty-seven in number)—"And with a
    view to accomplish this my intention in an effectual manner it is my
    will and desire that at my decease all my slaves of every
    description be committed to the special care and trust of my friends
    Joseph J. Pleasants of the County of Hanover, in this state, and
    Joseph Jones of the State of Ohio....

    "It is my will and desire that after all my just debts are paid, all
    the property of every description of which I may die seized, or the
    proceeds arising therefrom as may seem best to my executors
    hereinafter named, be divided among the said slaves so emancipated
    in such manner as the executors may deem fair and proper."[169]

  Extract from the will of Sampson Sanders, of Cabell County, admitted
  to probate July 9th, 1849:

    "It is my will and desire that all my slaves of every age and sex be
    free at the time of my death from all involuntary servitude....

    "I hereby direct my executors ... to collect so much of my estate as
    may be necessary to buy land for my said slaves in the State of
    Indiana or some one of the free states of the United States of
    America as may be necessary for their comfortable support ...
    assigning each head of a family their proper proportion of land ...
    binding the heads of families and other young men for the
    comfortable support of the old and decrepit or weakly slaves during
    their natural lives. I hereby give and bequeath to my said slaves
    $15,000.00 to be paid out of my estate by my executors

  Extract of will of Joseph Early, of Madison County, dated 22nd of
  December, 1852, and admitted to probate August 24th, 1854:

    "My will is that my executors hereinafter named send my negroes that
    I now have to Liberia—give each of the men,—three in number—fifty
    dollars each and Verindy and all her children, one hundred dollars,
    to take with them, besides getting them out, and bacon enough to
    last them six months after they get to Liberia."[171]

  Extract from the will of William D. Jennings, of Henrico County,
  admitted to probate August 1st, 1853:

    "I hereby manumit, emancipate and set free all the rest and residue
    of my slaves, viz.:" (Here follow the names of the slaves,
    thirty-four in number) "and request that they shall be sent to and
    settled in Africa, in some good location, to be approved by my
    executor, after conference with the agent of the American
    Colonization Society, at Washington City."

  The will further provides that after paying the debts of the estate
  the balance shall be applied:

    "To the expenses of removal to, and settling in Africa, of all the
    slaves hereby emancipated. After defraying the expenses of their
    said removal to Africa, it is my will and desire that the whole
    surplus of my estate then remaining (after paying debts and
    legacies) shall be divided among my said emancipated slaves as
    follows, viz.:—" (Here follow the names of the slaves).[172]

  Extract from the will of Traverse D. Herndon, of Fauquier County,
  dated the 2nd of December, 1854, and admitted to probate 25th of
  December, 1854:

    "Third: I desire that the servants formerly the property of Col.
    George Love, whose names and number have been sent on to the
    Colonization Society (The number thus designated were forty-eight,
    two have since been born) shall be sent to Liberia, so as to carry
    out the arrangements made with that society for their liberation,
    and I further wish that their expenses shall be paid to Baltimore,
    Md., and that my wife shall give them such an amount of money as she
    may think advisable."[173]

  Extract from the will of Arthur B. Davies, of Amherst County, admitted
  to probate March 21st, 1853:

    "It is my will and desire that all my slaves, fifteen in number and
    named as follows,—" (Here follow their names) "together with their
    future increase, shall be liberated and become invested with their
    freedom at my death, and for the purpose of removing them to some
    free state if that be lawful, or to Liberia if that shall become
    necessary, it is my will and desire that the debt now due to me by
    Charles S. Brown be collected and be used as a fund to effect that
    object. It is my further wish that in case any of my said slaves
    shall of their own free will and accord prefer remaining in slavery
    rather than accepting freedom under the provisions of this clause,
    then it is my desire that they shall be permitted to choose masters
    amongst any of my legatees hereinafter mentioned, and thereafter to
    become their slaves for life—the parents in such case to choose
    also for such of their infant children as may not be capable of
    making their own election."[174]

  Extract from the will of Philip Lightfoot, of Culpeper County,
  admitted to probate May 21st, 1855:

    "I hereby emancipate and set free all the slaves I may possess or be
    entitled to at the time of my decease, who are to enjoy their
    freedom as fully as if they had been born free. I give to each of my
    said slaves, without distinction of age or sex, the sum of one
    hundred dollars, to be paid to them respectively when my executor
    shall deliver to them their discharge from service. Moreover my
    executor is required to clothe each of them well, furnishing to each
    the necessary quantity of blankets and cause them to be moved to
    some place, or site, where they can enjoy their freedom, and I
    desire the clothing and expenses attending their removal to be paid
    out of my estate with the money on hand or money that can be first

    "My old and infirm negroes (if any) are to be supported in a
    suitable manner by my estate."[175]

  Extract from the will of William Smith, of Orange County, admitted to
  probate September 28th, 1857:

    "It is my will and desire that my house servant, Maria, my man,
    Paul, and my woman, Celia, be allowed to choose their masters or
    mistresses or either, and when they have made such selection, I
    hereby give and bequeath them to such person or persons as they may
    respectively select, provided the person or persons, so selected by
    them, will take them as their property, but if they cannot be thus
    disposed of, then my executors are to select suitable places for
    them where they will be well clothed and taken care of upon the most
    reasonable and best terms they can, paying out of my estate such
    sums of money as may be necessary for this purpose."[176]

  Extract from the will of George Washington Parke Custis, of Fairfax
  County, admitted to probate December 7th, 1857:

    "And upon the legacies of my four granddaughters being paid, and my
    estates that are required to pay the said legacies being free of
    debt, I give freedom to my slaves, the said slaves to be emancipated
    by my executors in such manner as to my executors may seem most
    expedient and proper, the said emancipation to be accomplished in
    not exceeding five years from the time of my decease.

    "I do constitute and appoint as my executors, Lieut.-Col. Robert
    Edward Lee, Robert Lee Randolph, of 'Eastern View', Right Rev.
    Bishop Meade and George Washington Peter."[177]

  Extract from deed of Eliza W. Cocke, of Smithfield, dated January 5th,

    "Know all men by these presents that I, Eliza W. Cocke, of the Town
    of Smithfield, in the County of Isle of Wight, in the State of
    Virginia, from motives of benevolence have manumitted and set free
    from slavery, &c."[178]

  Extract from the will of Louisa Muschett, of Prince William County,
  dated 19th March, 1856, and admitted to probate on the 12th February,

    "I will and desire all my servants to be hired out for three years,
    and at the end of that time, to be free, each grown servant to have
    fifty dollars, and each child to have twenty-five dollars."[179]

  Extract from the will of Robert Tinsley, of Amherst County, dated
  March 12, 1859, and admitted to probate January 20, 1862:

    "It is my will and desire that the residue of my slaves and future
    increase be emancipated and removed at the expense of my estate to
    one of the free states of this Union. Although there are some legal
    impediments, I suppose with the provisions I intend for them they
    can be settled in Ohio, or some other of the Western States. I wish
    them settled in families upon tracts of land to be purchased and
    secured to them to the amount of one hundred dollars a head, and
    furnished with a substantial suit of clothes suitable to the season
    and plain provisions sufficient for a year's supply, and this is to
    be done as soon as sufficient funds can be raised from collection of
    debts in aid of any money I may leave on hand....

    "If the slaves cannot be settled in Ohio, or some other free state
    of this Union, I wish them properly equipped and sent to Liberia at
    the expense of my estate."[180]

  No attempt has been made to present extracts from all the great number
  of deeds and wills which are to be found of record in the various
  clerks' offices throughout Virginia but the foregoing have been
  selected as fairly representative, both with respect to the time of
  their execution, the different sections of the state in which they are
  to be found, and the social position of the emancipators. They are
  also illustrative of the great number of emancipations and of the
  difficulties and expenses incurred by Virginia slaveholders in
  effectuating that result.


Footnote 163:

    _Will Book No. 14_, p. 263, Clerk's Office, Bath County, Virginia.

Footnote 164:

    _Will Book No. 1_, p. 90, New Records, Clerk's Office, Prince George
    County, Virginia.

Footnote 165:

    _Deed Book B._, p. 467, Clerk's Office, Clarke County, Virginia.

    Note: William Meade was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of
    Virginia from 1829 to 1862.

Footnote 166:

    _Will Book No. 10_, p. 17, Clerk's Office, Orange County, Virginia.

Footnote 167:

    See _Will Book No. 8_, p. 202, Clerk's Office, Madison County,

Footnote 168:

    See _Will Book No. 11_, p. 577, Clerk's Office, Amherst County,

    Note: The appraisement of Mr. Warwick's estate showed that he owned
    seventy-four slaves at the time of his death, and his executor, Dr.
    David Patteson, removed them to the State of Ohio.

Footnote 169:

    _Will Book No. 12_, p. 495, Clerk's Office, Henrico County,

Footnote 170:

    _Will Book A._, p. 391, Clerk's Office, Cabell County, West

Footnote 171:

    _Will Book No. 9_, p. 421, Clerk's Office, Madison County, Virginia.

Footnote 172:

    _Will Book No. 14_, p. 188, Clerk's Office, Henrico County,

Footnote 173:

    _Will Book No. 25_, p. 274, Clerk's Office, Fauquier County,

Footnote 174:

    _Will Book No. 13_, p. 51, Clerk's Office, Amherst County, Virginia.

Footnote 175:

    _Will Book F._, p. 222, Clerk's Office, Culpeper County, Virginia.

Footnote 176:

    _Will Book No. 12_, p. 267, Clerk's Office, Orange County, Virginia.

Footnote 177:

    _Will Book No. 7_, p. 267, Clerk's Office, Fairfax County, Virginia.

    Note: Robert E. Lee qualified as executor under this will and
    executed in 1862 the necessary papers emancipating the testator's
    slaves of whom there were one hundred and ninety-six.

Footnote 178:

    _Deed Book No. 39_, p. 344, Clerk's Office, Isle of Wight County,

Footnote 179:

    See _Will Book Q._, p. 433, Clerk's Office, Prince William County,

Footnote 180:

    _Will Book No. 16_, p. 106, Clerk's Office, Amherst County,



  Among the many widespread misconceptions which existed with respect to
  slavery in Virginia, was the impression that the great majority of her
  citizens were slaveholders; that the slaves were scattered throughout
  the state, enriching by their labors every community, and that thus
  their emancipation was opposed from purely pecuniary motives. A
  presentation of the actual conditions will suffice to demonstrate that
  this impression was erroneous. The facts show that the slaveholders
  constituted a small minority of the population, and that, with
  comparatively few exceptions, the great body of the slaves were to be
  found within certain well defined sections of the state.

  The United States census for 1860 fixes the white population of
  Virginia at 1,047,299 and the number of slaveholders at 52,128.[181]
  Admiral Chadwick, in his work, _Causes of the Civil War_, says: "Of
  the 52,128 slaveholders in Virginia, one-third held but one or two
  slaves; half held one to four; there were but one hundred and fourteen
  persons in the whole state who owned as many as a hundred each, and
  this out of a population of over a million whites."[182]

  Thus, out of a population of over one million, only some fifty odd
  thousand men, women and children, were slaveholders, one-third of whom
  held only one or two slaves. If to the slaveholders be added such a
  number as would fairly represent those who were indirectly interested
  in a pecuniary way in slavery, the fact remains, that the overwhelming
  majority possessed no such incentive to support the institution.


  By this same census the area of Virginia was fixed at 64,770 square
  miles, divided into one hundred and forty-eight counties. By an
  analysis of the census returns, it will appear that in the portion of
  the state lying west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, embracing eighty
  counties and 37,992 square miles, there were 596,293 whites and only
  66,766 slaves; while in the remaining sixty-eight counties containing
  26,778 square miles, there were only 451,006 whites and 424,099
  slaves. Even with respect to this last mentioned portion of the state
  the slaves were not evenly distributed but were congested in certain
  well defined localities. Thus of the 424,099 slaves in the sixty-eight
  counties lying east of the Blue Ridge, 173,109 were in twenty-two
  counties situated between James River and the North Carolina border
  known as the "Black Belt," the white population of which was only


  The foregoing facts have an important bearing upon the statement so
  often found in the writings of historians and publicists, that the
  white population of Virginia and the South was composed in large
  measure of "slaveholders, arrogant and rich," and "poor whites," and
  that in the Civil War the former fought to defend their property
  interests in slaves, and the latter from a deep-seated fear that
  emancipation would reduce them to the social level of the blacks. It
  would seem impossible for such conditions to exist in counties and
  cities where the whites largely outnumbered the blacks. "Arrogant
  slaveholders," counting their slaves by the scores and dominating the
  social and economic fortunes of their white neighbors, could be found
  only in sections where the slaves greatly outnumbered the whites.
  While agriculture was undoubtedly the pursuit in which a great
  majority of the people of Virginia was engaged, yet this majority was
  not made up of "arrogant slaveholders" and "poor whites." The United
  States census showed that the great body of her white people were
  small farmers, wage-earners, mechanics, merchants and professional
  men, with some not inconsiderable number of miners, fishermen and
  employees in manufactories. The prosperous, among this more numerous
  element of her population, had little or no pecuniary interests in
  slave property, while the poorer classes entertained as little fear
  for the preservation of their social status from the abolition of
  slavery, as they had pecuniary stake in its maintenance.


Footnote 181:

    _8th Census_, 1860, Vol. on Agriculture, p. 245.

Footnote 182:

    _Causes of the Civil War_, American Nation Series, Chadwick, p. 33.



  From the foregoing statistics it appears that the slaveholders of
  Virginia constituted a small minority of her population, and that the
  slaves themselves were so grouped that the pecuniary advantage of
  their presence to the state—if any such advantage existed—was
  limited to certain well defined portions of her territory. That the
  institution of slavery, however, was a positive disadvantage to the
  material prosperity of Virginia is proved by the fact that free
  states, not half so richly endowed with natural resources, had far
  outstripped her in wealth and population, and also that as between the
  white and the slave sections of the commonwealth, the former were more

  Mr. Bancroft, writing in 1856, affirmed the truth of this position.

    "Washington," he says, "was the director of his community of black
    people in their labor, mainly for their own subsistence. For the
    market, they produced scarcely anything but a 'little wheat'; and
    after a season of drought even their own support had to be eked out
    from other resources, so that with all his method and good judgment
    he, like Madison of a later day, and in accord with common
    experience in Virginia, found that where negroes continued on the
    same land, and they and all their increase were maintained upon it,
    their owner would become more and more embarrassed or


  Again the same author, contrasting the profitable character of slavery
  in the Cotton States, with its unprofitableness in Maryland and
  Virginia, says: "In the Northern-most of the Southern States slavery
  maintained itself, not as an element of prosperity, but as a baneful

  In no way were the injurious effects of slavery more potent or more
  manifest than in retarding the growth of the white population of the
  state. The presence of the institution not only turned the tide of
  immigration from Virginia, but, during the three decades preceding the
  Civil War, it promoted a steady exodus of the whites from the
  slaveholding sections. Admiral Chadwick records that, "Nearly 400,000
  Virginians were, in 1860, living in other states—nearly all of them
  Western, 75,874 in Ohio alone."[185]

  Not only are the foregoing recitals true but it is equally true that
  their direful import was profoundly appreciated. Not all the people of
  Virginia lived in a Fool's Paradise. They balanced the known burdens
  of slavery against the anticipated burdens of emancipation—they
  compared the dangers and losses of present conditions with the
  problems of a future in which the slaves would be free, yet still in
  their midst; but by no calculation could the continuance of slavery be
  upheld because of the pecuniary benefits derived from its existence.
  The published sentiments of Virginians during the three decades
  immediately preceding the Civil War will serve to confirm this


  Among the petitions presented to the Virgina Convention of 1829-30,
  was one from the citizens of Staunton, praying the abolition of

    "We waive," the petition recited, "at present the considerations of
    religion and humanity, which belong to this momentous subject, and
    present it as a naked question of policy, wisdom and safety.... We
    affirm that the possession and management of slaves form a source of
    endless vexation and misery within the house, and a waste and drain
    on the farm; ... that the waste of the products of the land, nay, of
    the land itself is bringing poverty upon all its inhabitants; that
    this poverty and the supineness of our population either prevent the
    institution of schools through the country or keep them in the most
    languid and inefficient condition; and that the same causes must
    obviously paralyze all our schemes and efforts for the needful
    improvement of the country....

    "It is conceded on all hands that Virginia is in a state of moral
    and political retrogression among the states of the Confederacy....
    We humbly suggest our belief, that the slavery which exists, and
    which, with gigantic strides, is gaining ground amongst us, is, in
    truth, the great efficient cause of the multiple evils which we all
    deplore. We cannot conceive that there is any other cause
    sufficiently operative to paralyze the energies of a people so
    magnanimous, to neutralize the blessings of Providence, included in
    the gift of a land so happy in its soil, its climate, its minerals
    and its waters and to annul the manifold advantages of our
    Republican freedom and geographical position. If Virginia has
    already fallen from the high estate, and if we have assigned the
    true cause of her fall, it is with utmost anxiety that we look
    forward to the future, to the fatal termination of the scene."[186]

  To show that the views here expressed by the citizens of Staunton were
  not peculiar to the people of that locality we insert extracts from
  speeches made two years later by representatives in the Virginia
  Legislature, from counties as widely separated as Fauquier and
  Rockbridge, Berkeley and Buckingham.

  Thomas Marshall, of Fauquier County, speaking in 1832, in the Virginia
  House of Delegates, said:

    "Our towns are stationary, our villages almost everywhere declining
    and the general aspect of the country marks the course of a
    wasteful, idle, reckless population, who have no interest in the
    soil, and care not how much it is impoverished. Public improvements
    are neglected, and the entire continent does not present a region
    for which Nature has done so much and art so little. If cultivated
    by free labor, the soil of Virginia is capable of sustaining a dense
    population among whom labor would be honourable, and where the busy
    hum of men would tell that all were happy and that all were


  In the same debate, Charles J. Faulkner, of Berkeley County, said:

    "Sir, if there be one who concurs with that gentleman, (Mr. Gholson,
    of Brunswick) in the harmless character of that institution, let me
    request him to compare conditions of the slaveholding portion of
    this commonwealth, barren, desolate and seared, as it were, by the
    avenging hand of Heaven, with the descriptions which we have of this
    same country from those who first broke its virgin soil. To what is
    this change ascribable? Alone to the withering, blasting effects of

  Philip A. Bolling, of Buckingham County, said:

    "If we turn our eyes to that part of the country which lies below
    the mountains, and particularly below the falls of the rivers, it
    seems as if some judgment from Heaven had poured over it and scarred
    it; fields once cultivated are now waste and desolate; the eye is no
    longer cheered by the rich verdure that decked it in other days; no,
    sir, but fatigued by an interminable wilderness of worn out,
    gullied, piney old fields."[189]


  James McDowell, in the same debate, said:

    "Sir, it is true of Virginia, not merely that she has not advanced,
    but that in many respects she has greatly declined; and what have we
    got as a compensation for this decline? As a compensation for this
    disparity between what Virginia is and what she might have been?
    Nothing but the right of property in the very beings who have
    brought this disparity upon us. This is our pay; this is what we
    have gotten to remunerate us for our delinquent prosperity; to repay
    us for our desolated fields; our torpid enterprise; and in this dark
    day of our humbled importance, to sustain our hopes and to soothe
    our pride as a people."[190]

  Jesse Burton Harrison, in an article published in the _American
  Quarterly Review_, December, 1832, sets out at length the poverty of
  Virginia, and the disastrous effects of slavery upon her industrial

    "What," says Mr. Harrison, "is now the productive value of an estate
    of lands and negroes in Virginia? We state as a result of extensive
    inquiries, embracing the last fifteen years, that a very great
    portion of the larger plantations, with from fifty to one hundred
    slaves, actually bring their proprietors in debt at the end of the
    short term of years, notwithstanding what would once, in Virginia,
    have been deemed very sheer economy; that much the larger part of
    the considerable land-owners are content if they barely meet their
    plantation expenses without a loss of capital, and that those who
    make any profit, it will, in none but rare instances, average more
    than one to one and a half per cent, on the capital invested. The
    case is not materially varied with the smaller proprietors. Mr.
    Randolph of Roanoke, whose sayings have so generally the raciness
    and truth of proverbs, has repeatedly said in Congress that the time
    was coming when the masters would run away from their slaves, and be
    advertised by them in the public papers.... Of the white emigrants
    from Virginia, at least half are hard working who carry away with
    them little beside their tools and a stout heart of hope. The
    mechanics' trades have failed to give them bread. Commerce, she has
    little, shipping none, and it is a fact that the very staple of the
    state, tobacco, is not exported by her own capital. The state does
    virtually a commission business in it. All the sources of
    prosperity, moral and economical, are deadened; there is general
    discontent with one's lot; in some of the first settled and choicest
    part of her territory symptoms are not wanting of desolate
    antiquity. And all this in youthful America, and in Virginia too,
    the fairest region of America and with a race of people inferior to
    none in the world in its capacity to constitute a prosperous


  In the address of Dr. Henry Ruffner, President of Washington College,
  delivered in 1847, heretofore quoted from, the author by a mass of
  statistics shows how slavery had injured the state by decimating its
  white population, paralyzing its agriculture and almost destroying its
  manufacturing and commercial interests.

    "We esteem it," says Dr. Ruffner, "a sad, a humiliating fact which
    should permeate the heart of every Virginian, that from the year
    1790 to this time, Virginia has lost more people by emigration than
    all the old free states together. Up to 1840, when the last census
    was taken, she had lost more by near three hundred thousand.... She
    has sent, or we should rather say, she has driven from her soil, at
    least one-third of all the emigrants who have gone from the old
    states to the new.... It is in the last period of ten years from
    1830 to 1840, that this consuming plague of slavery has shown its
    worst effects in the old Southern States.... East Virginia actually
    fell off twenty-six thousand in population; and with the exception
    of Richmond and one or two other towns, her population continues to
    decline. Old Virginia was the first to sow this land of ours with
    slavery; she was also the first to reap the full harvest of

  The author then proceeds to show from the report of Professor George
  Tucker, of the University of Virginia, that in New England agriculture
  yields an annual value averaging one hundred and eighty dollars per
  hand; and the Southern States a hundred and thirty dollars per hand;
  and proceeds: "Now it is admitted on all hands that slave labor is
  better adapted to agriculture than to any other branch of industry;
  and that, if not good for agriculture, it is really good for nothing."

  Referring to the subject of manufactures, and the blighting influence
  of slavery thereon, the author says: "Of all the states in this Union,
  not one has on the whole such various and abundant resources for
  manufacturing as our own Virginia both East and West."

  Notwithstanding these advantages, the author demonstrates from the
  census that the state has scarcely entered upon the work of
  manufacturing her raw material. Thus in four leading manufactures, the
  output in New York was twenty-one millions, New Jersey, six millions,
  and Pennsylvania, sixteen millions in value; while that of Virginia
  was two and three-fourths millions. With respect to the commerce of
  the state, the author, after pointing out her exceptional advantages
  growing out of her fine harbors and numerous rivers, declares:

    "That the commerce of our old slave-eaten commonwealth has decayed
    and dwindled away to a mere pittance in the general mass of American

    "The value of her exports, which, twenty-five or thirty years ago,
    averaged four or five millions a year shrunk by 1842 to two millions
    eight hundred and twenty thousand dollars, and by 1845 to two
    million one hundred thousand dollars."

    "Her imports from foreign countries were, in the year 1765, valued
    at upwards of four millions of dollars; in 1791 they had sunk to two
    and one-half millions; in 1821 they had fallen to a little over one
    million; in 1827 they had come down to about half this sum; and in
    1843 to the half of this again, or about one-quarter of a million;
    and here they have stood ever since—at next to nothing."...

    "Why should every commercial improvement, every wheel that speeds
    the movement of trade, serve but to carry away from the slave states
    more and more of their wealth for the benefit of the great Northern
    cities? The only cause that can be assigned is that where slavery
    prevails, commerce and navigation cannot flourish, and commercial
    towns cannot compete with those in the free states."[191]


  R. R. Howison, in his _History of Virginia_, published in 1848,
  replying to the question whether the state has prospered: "As her
  physical resources would warrant us in expecting: has she held her
  place in the great march of American States during the present
  century?" answers:

    "It has long been the sad conviction of her most enlightened
    children that these questions must be answered in the negative....
    It must, therefore, be regarded as a truth, but too fully
    established, that Virginia has fallen below her duty; that she has
    been indolent while others have been laborious; that she has been
    content to avoid a movement positively retrograde while others have
    gone rapidly forward. Her motion compared with that of Massachusetts
    and Ohio might, in familiar terms, be likened to the heavy stage
    coach of the past century, competing with the fine steam car of the

    "For this sluggishness and imbecility many causes might be assigned,
    ... but there are three sources in which, as we believe, the evil
    dispositions of our state so naturally flow that they ought to
    receive special notice."


  These were, want of popular educational facilities, lack of internal
  improvements, and the existence of slavery.[192] The author says:

    "The last and most important cause unfavorably affecting Virginia
    which we shall mention is the existence of slavery within her
    bounds. We have already seen the origin and progress of this
    institution. As to its evils, we have nothing new to offer; they
    have long been felt and acknowledged by the most sagacious minds in
    our state."[193]

  Bishop Meade, in a note to his history, _Old Churches, Ministers and
  Families in Virginia_, published in 1857, referring to the injurious
  effects of slavery upon Virginia's agricultural development, says:
  "That the agriculture of Virginia has suffered in times past from the
  use of slaves, we think most evident from the deserted fields,
  impoverished estates and emigrating population."[194]

  In 1852, the Virginia Agricultural Society was organized, having among
  its membership and founders, the foremost planters and citizens of the
  state. From an address issued at the time, we make the following
  compilations and extracts:

  After reciting that Virginia was a community of farmers—eight-tenths
  of her industry being expended upon the soil, the address proceeds to
  point out that out of thirty-nine millions of acres she tills only a
  little over ten millions; that New York, on the other hand, with
  twenty-nine and a half millions, has subdued to the plough twelve and
  a quarter; while Massachusetts has reclaimed from the forests, quarry
  and marsh, two and one-tenth out of her little territory of five
  millions of acres; that the live stock of Virginia was worth only
  $3.31 for every arable acre; the live stock of New York, $6.07; and
  the live stock of Massachusetts, $4.52; that the proportion of hay for
  the same quantity of land was eighty-one pounds for Virginia, six
  hundred and seventy-nine pounds for New York, and six hundred and
  eighty-four pounds for Massachusetts; that whilst the population of
  Virginia had increased during the previous ten years in a ratio of
  eleven to sixty-six, New York had increased twenty-seven to fifty-two,
  and Massachusetts thirty-four to eighty-one. The address then

    "In the above figures, carefully selected from the data of authentic
    documents, we find no cause for self-gratulation, but some food for
    meditation. They are not without use to those who would improve the
    future by the past. They show that we have not done our part in the
    bringing of land into cultivation; that notwithstanding natural
    advantages which greatly exceed those of the two states drawn into
    parallel with Virginia, we are yet behind them both....

    "When we contemplate our field of labor and the work we have done in
    it, we cannot but observe the sad contrast between capacity and
    achievement. With a widespread domain, with a kindly soil, with a
    climate whose sun radiates fertility and whose very dews distill
    abundance, we find our inheritance so wasted that the eye aches to
    behold the prospect."[195]

  Henry A. Wise, in the canvass of 1856, preliminary to his election to
  the office of Governor, depicted the financial and industrial
  conditions then existing in Virginia.

    "Commerce," said he, "has long ago spread her sails and sailed away
    from you. You have not, as yet, dug more than coal enough to warm
    yourselves at your own hearths; you have not yet spun more than
    coarse cotton enough in the way of manufacture to clothe your own
    slaves. You have no commerce, no mining, no manufactures. You have
    relied alone upon the single power of agriculture—and such
    agriculture! Your sedge patches outshine the sun. Your inattention
    to your only source of wealth has scarred the very bosom of mother

  It will be observed that neither the authors of the address issued by
  the Agricultural Society of Virginia, nor Governor Wise, attribute the
  poverty and backwardness of Virginia to the institution of slavery.
  Their statements, however, are none the less valuable as showing the
  status—financial and industrial—to which Virginia had been reduced.


Footnote 183:

    _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. VI, p. 179.

Footnote 184:

    _Idem_, p. 262.

Footnote 185:

    _Causes of Civil War_, Chadwick, p. 35.

Footnote 186:

    _Niles' Register_, Vol. XXXVI, No. 932, p. 356.

Footnote 187:

    _Virginia Slavery Debate_, 1832, White, Speech of Thomas Marshall,
    p. 6.

Footnote 188:

    _Idem_, Speech of Charles J. Faulkner, p. 7.

Footnote 189:

    _Virginia Slavery Debate_, 1832, White, Speech of Philip A. Bolling,
    p. 14.

Footnote 190:

    _Idem_, Speech of James McDowell, p. 18.

Footnote 191:

    _The Ruffner Pamphlet._

Footnote 192:

    _History of Virginia_, Howison, Vol. II, pp. 510-511.

Footnote 193:

    _History of Virginia_, Howison, Vol. II, p. 517.

Footnote 194:

    _Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia_, Meade, Vol. I,
    p. 90.

Footnote 195:

    _A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States_, Olmstead, Vol. I, pp.

Footnote 196:

    _The Impending Crisis in the South_, Helper, p. 90.


                           VIRGINIA'S ATTITUDE

  But it is charged that while slavery was unprofitable in Virginia, as
  a system of labor, yet the state had become a "breeding ground" where
  slaves were reared and sold for profit and that the advantages
  accruing from this traffic had destroyed all sentiment in favor of
  emancipation, and so lowered the moral standards of the people that,
  in 1861, they stood ready to fight for the maintenance of slavery and
  the inter-state slave trade.

  Mr. Fiske says:

    "The life of the anti-slavery party in Virginia was short. After the
    abolition of the African slave trade in 1808 had increased the
    demand for Virginia-bred slaves in the states farther south, the
    very idea of emancipation faded out of memory."[197]

  The biographers of Lincoln, Nicolay and Hay, say:

    "The condition of Virginia had become anomalous; it was little
    understood by the North and still less by her own citizens.... She
    still deemed she was the mother of Presidents: whereas she had
    degenerated into being like other Border States, the mother of slave
    breeders and of an annual crop of black-skinned chattels to be sold
    to the cotton, rice, and sugar planters of her neighboring
    commonwealths.... However counterfeit logic or mental reservations
    concealed it, the underlying feeling was to fight, no matter whom,
    and little matter how, for the protection of slavery and slave


  Let us apply to these charges what in lieu of a better term we will
  call the law of probabilities. Is it probable that the anti-slavery
  sentiments alluded to as being so strong in Virginia immediately
  succeeding the Revolution would have perished as early as 1808, simply
  because slaves had appreciated in value? While Washington and Henry
  and Mason died prior to 1808, yet their great compatriots Jefferson,
  Marshall, Madison and Monroe lived to dates long subsequent, filling
  the highest positions in the gift of the state and nation.

  Will it be seriously urged that these men and others, of only less
  prominence, lost their influence with their countrymen because of the
  debasing influences of the domestic slave trade?

  Again, it may be questioned whether between the date indicated, and
  the outbreak of the Civil War, the Virginians had so further
  degenerated as to stand ready to fight for slavery and property in
  slaves. While Virginia, in the period of the Civil War, presented no
  statesmen comparable to those of the Revolution, yet in all the
  elements of inspiring manhood, valor, sacrifice and devotion, her
  people were not one whit behind their ancestors. The debasing effects
  of "slave breeding" had not corrupted the great body of her people: if
  so, how can we account for the bearing of Virginians at Gettysburg,
  and on other fields of test only less heroic? Speaking of their part
  in that historic battle, Charles Francis Adams says:

    "If in all recorded warfare there is a deed of arms, the name and
    memory of which the descendants of those who participated therein
    should not wish to see obliterated from any record, be it
    historian's page or battle flag, it was the advance of Pickett's
    Virginian Division across the wide valley of death in front of
    Cemetery Ridge. I know in all recorded warfare of no finer, no more
    sustained and deadly feat of arms."[199]


  What of the Cadets at the Battle of New Market? Were those young
  heroes the sons of "slave breeders" and nurtured in homes darkened by
  such a debasing practice? What of the spirit and bearing of the great
  body of Virginia soldiers who followed Lee, and what place shall they
  and their commander take in the estimation of the world's best thought
  and conscience? President Roosevelt says:

    "The world has never seen better soldiers than those who followed
    Lee, and their leader will undoubtedly rank as, without any
    exception, the very greatest of all the great captains that the
    English-speaking peoples have brought forth."[200]

  What of Lee's character as a man, aside from his genius as a soldier?
  Lord Wolseley says:

    "I have met many of the great men of my time, but Lee alone
    impressed me with the feeling that I was in the presence of a man
    who was cast in a grander mould, and made of different and of finer
    metal than all other men. He is stamped upon my memory as a being
    apart and superior to all others in every way; a man with whom none
    I ever knew, and very few of whom I have read, are worthy to be
    classed. I have met but two men who realized my ideas of what a true
    hero should be; my friend, Charles Gordon was one, General Lee was
    the other."[201]


  James Ford Rhodes says:

    "A careful survey of his (Lee's) character and life must lead the
    student of men and affairs to see that the course he took was, from
    his point of view, and judged by his inexorable and pure conscience,
    the path of duty to which a high sense of honor called him. Could we
    share the thoughts of that high-minded man as he paced the broad
    pillared veranda of his stately Arlington house, his eyes glancing
    across the river at the flag of his country waving over the dome of
    the capitol, and then resting on the soil of his native Virginia, we
    should be willing now to recognize in him one of the finest products
    of American Life."[202]

  If such were the character of the Virginians of the Civil War period,
  is it reasonable to speak of their "degeneracy" under the debasing
  influence of "slave breeding" and "the slave trade?" "Do men gather
  grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?"

  Again, how was it possible that this system of breeding slaves for
  market could have so established itself in Virginia, and inspired the
  great body of her citizenship with a willingness to fight for its
  maintenance, in view of the existence of a public opinion which
  pursued with relentless ostracism the men who engaged in the traffic?
  For no offense was the public opinion of Virginia so merciless as for
  that of buying and selling slaves. More than for any other crime, the
  disgrace of its guilt passed beyond the offender to his innocent
  offspring. The existence of this public sentiment is an historic fact
  of unquestioned verity.


  Writing in 1854, Reverend Nehemiah Adams, of Boston, who visited
  Virginia in that year, says: "Negro traders are the abhorrence of all
  flesh. Even their descendants where they are known, and the property
  acquired in the traffic, have a blot upon them."[203]

  Abraham Lincoln, speaking on the 16th of October, 1854, at Peoria,
  Illinois, says:

    "Again, you have among you a sneaking individual of the class of
    native tyrants known as a slave-dealer. He watches your necessities
    and crawls up to buy your slaves at a speculative price. If you
    cannot help it, you sell to him, but if you can help it, you drive
    him from your door. You despise him utterly; you do not recognize
    him as a friend, or even as an honest man. Your children must not
    play with his; they may rollick freely with the little negroes, but
    not with the slave-dealer's children.... If he grows rich and
    retires from business, you still remember him, and still keep up the
    ban of non-intercourse upon him and his family."[204]

  It would seem impossible to reconcile the existence of this public
  sentiment with the idea that the state had degenerated into "the
  mother of slave breeders," and that her people, enamored of the
  profits, were given over to the work of rearing and selling slaves.


  Against the charge, however, that the abolition of the foreign slave
  trade in 1808 and the contemporaneous invention of the cotton gin so
  enhanced the market value of slaves as to destroy the sentiment
  previously existing in Virginia for their emancipation, we place the
  well-attested fact that anti-slavery sentiment did not die at the time
  and for the causes specified. The truth is just to the contrary.
  Anti-slavery sentiments among the people grew steadily during the next
  quarter of a century. The setback which occurred in 1832-33 arose, as
  we have seen, from other causes. The existence of the strongest
  anti-slavery sentiment at the latter date cannot be questioned. Said
  Charles James Faulkner in the great debate in the Virginia Legislature
  of 1832: "Sir, I am gratified to perceive that no gentleman has yet
  arisen in this hall, the avowed advocate of slavery. The day has gone
  by when such a voice could be listened to with patience or even

  George Ticknor Curtis, of Boston, writing a half century later, says:
  "It may be asserted as positively as anything in history that in the
  year 1832 there was nowhere in the world a more enlightened sense of
  the wrong and evil of slavery than there was among the public men and
  people of Virginia."[206]

  Was the anti-slavery sentiment of 1833 a reminiscence or a growth? Had
  it simply survived with diminishing strength the fervor of the
  Revolution or was it an increasing power which had its origin at that
  period? The Rev. Dr. Philip Slaughter writes: "That (1831) was the
  culminating point—the flood-tide of anti-slavery feeling which had
  been gradually rising for more than a century in Virginia."[207]

  Thomas Jefferson Randolph in his speech before the Legislature of 1832
  deplored the fact that Mr. Jefferson had not lived: "to see the
  revolution of the public mind of Virginia. He has not lived to see a
  majority of the House of Delegates in favor of abolition in the

  Washington and Jefferson have both left on record the fact that the
  people of Virginia of the Revolutionary period would not tolerate any
  proposal of emancipation. Mr. Randolph in his speech just quoted from
  said: "Sixty-two years ago when a proposition was made in the
  Legislature of Virginia by one of the oldest, ablest and most
  respected members ... to ameliorate the condition of the slaves he was
  ... denounced as an enemy of his country."

  The constitutions of the ante and post-Revolutionary periods in
  Virginia all required property qualification as a prerequisite to the
  suffrage, and apportioned representation in the General Assembly to
  the several cities and counties on the basis of property and white
  population, rather than on the latter alone. Under this system, the
  slaves being taxed as property, the slaveholders and their counties
  exercised a power far in excess of that enjoyed by their brethren in
  the non-slaveholding sections. The General Assembly elected every
  state official, including the Governor and the judges of the higher
  courts, and thus in the hands of that body was lodged complete control
  of every department of the state government.


  The constitution of 1830 admitted to the suffrage, in addition to
  property-owners, only the citizen "who for twelve months next
  preceding (the election) has been a housekeeper and head of a family
  ... and shall have been assessed with a part of the revenue of the
  commonwealth within the preceding year and actually paid the same."
  But this constitution retained in the hands of the General Assembly
  the election of all the state officials, including the Governor, and
  continued in force the "mixed basis" in apportioning representatives
  among the several cities and counties.[209] With suffrage thus
  restricted, with a General Assembly in which property in slaves
  secured for the slaveholders and their counties an additional
  representation over that of the non-slaveholders, and with every
  officer of the state government elected by the Legislature thus
  constituted, the political dominance of the slaveholding counties over
  the non-slaveholding counties will be readily appreciated. The scheme
  was alike inequitable and un-Republican, yet it was not until the
  Reform Convention of 1850-51 that white manhood suffrage was
  established, the privilege of electing all state officials accorded to
  the people, and the changes made with respect to the basis of
  representation which would have eventually accorded to all the
  counties and cities representation in the General Assembly in
  proportion to their white populations.[210] To strip the slaveholding
  counties of their political power, to admit on an equal basis to the
  suffrage every white man in the commonwealth, and to accord to the
  electorate thus constituted the privilege of electing every high state
  official did not indicate the growth of pro-slavery sentiment. These
  achievements of the Convention were confessedly the most signal
  victories for liberty and progress which had marked the history of
  Virginia since her liberation from British rule. These fundamental
  changes in the constitution and in the relative rights and powers of
  the slaveholders and the slaveholding sections, as compared with the
  non-slaveholders and non-slaveholding sections, were ratified by the
  people by a vote of 75,748 to 11,063—only five counties in the state
  out of the one hundred and forty-eight giving majorities in the


Footnote 197:

    _Old Virginia and Her Neighbors_, Fiske, Vol. II, p. 191.

Footnote 198:

    _Abraham Lincoln, A History_, N. & H., Vol. III, p. 413.

Footnote 199:

    _Lee at Appomattox and Other Papers_, Adams, p. 425.

Footnote 200:

    _Thomas H. Benton_, Roosevelt, p. 34.

Footnote 201:

    _Robert E. Lee_, Wolseley, p. 12.

Footnote 202:

    _History of the United States_, Rhodes, 1904, Vol. III, p. 413.

Footnote 203:

    _South Side View of Slavery_, Adams, p. 78.

Footnote 204:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Letters, Speeches and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
    I, p. 194.

Footnote 205:

    _Virginia Slavery Debate_, 1832, White.

Footnote 206:

    _Life of James Buchanan_, Curtis, 1883, Vol. II, p. 277.

Footnote 207:

    _Virginian History of African Colonization_, Slaughter, p. 55.

Footnote 208:

    _Slavery Debate_, 1832, White, T. J. Randolph's Speech, p. 13.

Footnote 209:

    _Code of Virginia_, 1849, pp. 35 to 45.

Footnote 210:

    Article III, Section 1, and Article IV, Section 5, Constitution of
    Virginia, 1851.

Footnote 211:

    _Representation in Virginia_, Chandler, 1896, p. 7.


                     VIRGINIA'S ATTITUDE  (Concluded)

  Approaching the subject from another side, and reviewing all the
  sources of evidence, we may reach certain fairly accurate conclusions.
  At the close of the Revolution, Virginia was the largest slaveholding
  state in the Union. There soon grew up the conviction that in the
  dispersion or colonization beyond her borders of at least a large
  portion of this population lay the only method of effectually solving
  the slavery and racial problems. In consequence of this condition,
  various movements were evolved, some designedly for the attainment of
  these objects and others, while without such purpose, yet working to
  the same end.


  As we have seen, slaves when emancipated were required to leave the
  state within one year from such date. Masters, ex-slaves and
  colonization societies were, therefore, all earnest to achieve this
  result. Hence arose the first cause for deportation—an influence and
  custom which continued up to the Civil War.

  The prospects of improving their fortunes by emigrating to the newer
  states of Kentucky, Missouri and the South impelled large numbers of
  slaveholders to leave Virginia. They carried their slaves with them
  and hence arose a second cause which operated to deport each year many
  slaves from the state.

  The ever increasing difficulty of obtaining (especially on the part of
  large slaveholders) any appreciable profit from the labor of their
  slaves in the grain and tobacco fields of Virginia induced these
  proprietors to purchase cotton and sugar plantations in the South and
  thither from time to time to transport their slaves. These
  slaveholders did not always emigrate themselves. They simply changed
  the situs of their slaves, the latter being often accompanied by the
  sons of their masters. Thus a third cause carried annually from
  Virginia many hundreds of slaves.

  The high prices which slaves commanded on the plantations of the far
  South and in the sparsely settled portions of the Southwest engendered
  the practice of buying slaves in Virginia and selling them for profit
  in those sections. Despite the opprobrium attached to this custom
  there were men willing to engage in the traffic and from choice or
  necessity there were slaveholders who supplied at least a portion of
  the demand. Hence, the fourth cause which contributed to the yearly
  deportation of slaves from Virginia.

  Neither the United States census nor any other official data avail to
  fix the number of slaves which annually went from Virginia for each of
  the four several reasons above referred to. It is evident, however,
  that, as a rule, publicists not informed as to the conditions have
  combined these exportations and attributed them all to the custom of
  selling slaves. We are safe in concluding, therefore, that the number
  of slaves _sold_ annually from Virginia has been grossly exaggerated;
  that the custom was revolting to the moral sense of her people and
  maintained against an outraged rather than a sympathetic public

  Most of the writers who have laid this damaging accusation at the door
  of the Virginia people have not attempted to fortify their position by
  authority or data of any kind. Others have and a careful analysis of
  the facts submitted will assist in determining the measure of truth
  contained in the original charge.


  The recent work, _A Political History of Slavery_, by William Henry
  Smith, will serve to illustrate the character of publications last
  referred to. The author after pointing out that the Cotton and Rice
  Producing States looked to the older commonwealth for supplies of
  laborers, proceeds:

    "Mr. Mercer, one of the ablest of the members of that remarkable
    Convention (the Virginia Convention of 1829-30) said that the tables
    of the natural growth of the slave population demonstrated ... that
    an annual revenue of not less than a million and a half of dollars
    had been derived from the exportation of a part of that increase.
    Seven years later the _Virginia Times_ published an estimate of the
    money arising from the sale of slaves exported during the year 1836
    making the aggregate $24,000,000.00, which showed the enormous
    profitableness of slave breeding."[212]

  In support of this conclusion the author appends to his text three
  notes, as follows:

    First: "The _Times_ gave the whole number exported at 120,000 of
    whom 80,000 were taken out of the state by their owners who removed
    to new states and 40,000 were sold to dealers. The average price per
    head was $600." (_Niles Register_, Vol. LI, p. 83.)

    Second: "In the Legislature of Virginia in 1832 Thomas Jefferson
    Randolph declared that Virginia had been converted into 'one grand
    menagerie where men are reared for the market like oxen for the
    shambles.' This was confirmed by Mr. Gholson, another member." (See
    Reports in the _Richmond Whig_, 1832.)

    Third: "In Virginia and other grain-growing states the blacks do not
    support themselves, and the only profit their masters derive from
    them is, repulsive as the idea may justly seem, in breeding them,
    like other live stock, for the more Southern states." (American
    Colonization Society, 1833.)


  An examination of the speech made by Mr. Mercer on the occasion
  referred to, will show that he was answering the slaveholders' charge
  that they paid upon their slaves more than their just proportion of
  taxes, when compared with the amount paid by the land-owners of the
  state; he pointed out that for the four years following 1820 the land
  tax averaged $181,000.00 per annum and the slave tax $159,000.00, but
  for the current year (1829) the land tax amounted to $175,000.00 and
  the slave tax $97,000.00. "These facts," said Mr. Mercer, "bear me out
  in the position that in the current year the capital in slaves is
  taxed less than that in land." The census showed an increase in the
  number of slaves still in the hands of their Virginia masters, while
  the "tables of the natural growth of this population" also
  demonstrated that large numbers must have been exported beyond the
  state. The portion of increase in the slave population, thus exported,
  Mr. Mercer estimated at a value of one and a half million dollars per
  annum. It will be observed that he makes no attempt to distribute this
  exportation between the various classes heretofore referred to.
  Indeed, the averment that "the tables of the natural growth of the
  slave population" demonstrated that an annual revenue of any specific
  sum had been derived from their exportation is, of course, inaccurate.
  The tables referred to simply indicate the normal rate of increase and
  the consequent number of slaves which must have been exported. Whether
  the excess had been emancipated, or carried, or sent, or sold by their
  masters did not, of course, appear. Mr. Mercer was not discussing the
  slave trade—he was pointing out the increase in the number of slaves
  which should normally accrue to their masters and the consequent
  reasonableness of the tax imposed upon them as compared with that
  assessed against the lands.

  It is believed that this explanation of the subject of Mr. Mercer's
  speech will qualify the conclusion which Mr. Smith has drawn from the
  statement cited in his text.


  The author next refers to an "estimate of the money arising from the
  sale of slaves during the year 1836—making the aggregate
  $24,000,000.00." This estimate is cited as that of the _Virginia
  Times_ and an explanation of how the figures are arrived at is set out
  by the author in the first of the three notes above quoted.

  By reference to Volume LI of _Niles' Register_, page 83, in which the
  extract from the _Virginia Times_ appears, it will be seen that the
  latter paper does not attempt any discussion of the subject, any
  marshalling of statistics or any conclusions of its own drawn
  therefrom. It simply recites in an item of ten lines—that—"We have
  heard intelligent men estimate the number of slaves exported from
  Virginia within the last twelve months at 120,000." The item further
  recites that of this number "not more than one-third have been sold,
  the others having been carried by their owners, who have removed,
  which would leave in the state the sum of $24,000,000.00 arising from
  the sale of slaves."


  "We have heard intelligent men estimate" is a somewhat different
  statement from that of the author's text in which the _Virginia Times_
  is made to fix the exportation for the year 1836 at 120,000, 40,000 of
  whom were sold to dealers. How little value, however, can be attached
  to "the estimate" will be appreciated when we recall that an
  exportation of 120,000 slaves per annum would in four years have
  depopulated the state of every single slave. The census showed that
  there were 469,758 slaves in Virginia in 1830 and 490,865 in 1860. By
  no possible process of computation can the Virginians of the period
  from 1830 to 1840 be charged with "the enormous profitableness of
  slave-breeding," arising from annual sales of 40,000 slaves, and a
  quarter of a century later their descendants be convicted of the crime
  of fighting to perpetuate the traffic. There would have been no slaves
  from which the commerce could have derived a supply.

  In his second note, Mr. Smith makes a quotation from the speech of Mr.
  Randolph in the Virginia Legislature of 1832 wherein the latter is
  made to declare "that Virginia had been converted into one grand
  menagerie where men are reared for the market like oxen for the

  By reference to the whole sentence and its exact quotation it will
  appear that Mr. Randolph's statement was not intended to warrant the
  conclusion here sought to be conveyed. Mr. Randolph said:

    "How can an honourable mind, a patriot and a lover of his country,
    bear to see this ancient Dominion, rendered illustrious by the noble
    devotion and patriotism of her sons in the cause of liberty,
    converted into one grand menagerie where men are to be reared for
    market like oxen for the shambles?"[213]

  In the third note Mr. Smith cites an extract from the report of the
  "American Colonization Society, 1833."


  A careful examination of the report of the American Colonization
  Society, submitted at its meeting 1833, fails to show any such
  statement—or any phrases or sentiments from which such an accusation
  could be inferred. The report in its whole tenor and contents is just
  to the contrary. Thus at page 16, referring to the condition of public
  sentiment in Virginia, it says:

    "That mighty evil (slavery) beneath which the minds of men had bowed
    in despair, has been looked at as no longer incurable. A remedy has
    been proposed; the sentiments of humanity, the secret wishes of the
    heart on this momentous topic have found a voice and the wide air
    has rung with it."

  Again, at page 17 it says: "Nearly half the colonists in Liberia have
  emigrated from Virginia; and many citizens of that state have sought
  aid from the Society for removing thither their liberated slaves
  during the last year."[214]

  A like inspection of the reports of the Society for the years from
  1827 to 1837 inclusive shows no such statement as that cited by Mr.
  Smith in his footnote. The leading officers of the Society were
  Virginians and its work had their cordial sympathy and co-operation.
  Mr. Smith has evidently accepted the statement of some other writer
  without examining for himself the original sources of


Footnote 212:

    _A Political History of Slavery_, William Henry Smith, 1903, Vol. I,
    p. 3.

Footnote 213:

    _Slavery Debate_, Virginia Legislature, 1833, Speech of T. J.
    Randolph, p. 13.

Footnote 214:

    _Report of American Colonization Society_ presented January 20,
    1833, pp. 16 and 17.

Footnote 215:

    Professor Hart, of Harvard University, in his recent work, _Slavery
    and Abolition_, says:

    "The fact that some thousands of negroes every year left the Border
    States for the South seemed to show that there was profit in keeping
    them alive; but recent investigation seems to establish that the
    greater number of these negroes were taken in a body by the men who
    owned them to settle in other states." (_Slavery and Abolition_,
    Hart, p. 124).



  The accusation that the people of Virginia of the Civil War period
  stood ready to fight "no matter whom and little matter how, for the
  protection of slavery and slave property," because of the profits
  derived from the inter-state slave trade, would seem to acquit those
  Virginians who derived no benefit from the traffic. We have seen, from
  the facts heretofore presented, what a small proportion of the people
  of Virginia were owners of slaves; and all available data indicate a
  still less proportion of slaveholders among the soldiers which the
  state contributed to the armies of the Southern Confederacy.

  Professor A. B. Hart, of Harvard University, says: "Out of 12,500,000
  persons, in the slave-holding communities in 1860, only about 384,000
  persons—or one in thirty-three—was a slaveholder."[216]

  The same author estimates that each slaveholder was the head of a
  family and that, therefore, 350,000 white families in the South, out
  of a total of 1,800,000, owned slaves; though 77,000 of these families
  owned only one slave each, and 200,000 of the remaining owned less
  than ten slaves each.[217]

  The author is, of course, in error in assuming that every slaveholder
  was the head of a family. Doubtless in a large majority of cases such
  was the fact. The Federal census, however, from which his first
  figures are taken, is correct in showing the exact number owning
  slaves. This number included men, women and children, and, not
  infrequently, a number of persons were part owners of the same slave
  or slaves, and yet each was enumerated as a slaveholder.

  Admiral Chadwick's analysis of the census returns for Virginia shows
  that of the 52,128 slaveholders in the state, one-third held but one
  or two slaves, half one to four, and that but one hundred and fourteen
  persons held as many as one hundred each. He also points out the fact
  that the great majority of the soldiers in the ranks of the
  Confederate Armies, from Virginia and the South, possessed no such


  From a mass of data bearing more directly upon the number of
  slaveholders in the ranks of the Virginia soldiers, we select two

  Major Robert Stiles, late a prominent member of the Richmond Bar,
  referring to the personnel of the Richmond Howitzers (of which he was
  a member) and the motives which impelled them to fight, writes:

    "Why did they volunteer? For what did they give their lives?...
    Surely, it was not for slavery they fought. The great majority of
    them had never owned a slave, and had little or no interest in the
    institution. My own father, for example, had freed his slaves long
    years before."[218]

  This command was composed of representatives of the leading families
  in the city of Richmond, at that time the largest slaveholding city in
  the state. Here one would expect to find the slaveholding soldiers.

  Dr. Hunter McGuire, the medical director of the Stonewall Brigade, has
  left on record his estimate of the number of slaveholders in the ranks
  of that command—which, being drawn from all portions of the state,
  was more representative of the citizenship of Virginia, East and West:

    "The Stonewall Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia," writes Dr.
    McGuire, "was a fighting organization. I knew every man in it, for I
    belonged to it for a long time; and I know that I am in proper
    bounds when I assert, that there was not one soldier in thirty who
    owned or ever expected to own a slave."[219]

  But it is also urged that, while men without slaves filled the ranks
  of the Virginia regiments, yet slaveholders led these soldiers into
  battle as they had led the people into revolution.


  It is obviously impracticable to present the facts with reference to
  each one of the prominent leaders which Virginia gave to the armies of
  the Confederacy. By universal accord her five most notable generals
  were, Robert E. Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, Joseph E. Johnston, A. P.
  Hill and J. E. B. Stuart—to whom may be added Fitzhugh Lee and
  Matthew F. Maury, as only less prominent but no less representative of
  her leading soldiers.

  In dealing with these men, and their relation to slavery, we pass from
  the domain of conjecture into the realm of fact.

  Robert E. Lee never owned a slave, except the few he inherited from
  his mother—all of whom he emancipated many years prior to the

  "Stonewall" Jackson never owned but two slaves, a man and a woman,
  both of whom he purchased at their own solicitation. He immediately
  accorded to them the privilege of earning their freedom, by devoting
  the wages received for their services to reimburse him for the
  purchase money. This offer was accepted by the man, who, in due time,
  earned his freedom. The woman declined the offer, preferring to remain
  a servant in General Jackson's family.[221]

  Joseph E. Johnston never owned a slave and, like General Lee, regarded
  the institution with great disfavor.[222]

  A. P. Hill never owned a slave, and regarded slavery as an evil, much
  to be deplored.[223]

  J. E. B. Stuart inherited one slave from his father's estate; and,
  while stationed as a lieutenant in the United States Army at Fort
  Leavenworth, Kansas, purchased another. Both of these he disposed of
  some years prior to the war—the first, because of her cruelty to one
  of his children, and the second, to a purchaser who undertook to
  return the slave to his former home in Kentucky.[224]

  Fitzhugh Lee never owned a slave.[225]

  Matthew F. Maury never owned but one slave, a woman who remained a
  servant and member of his family until her death, some years after the
  war.[226] As we have seen, he characterized the institution as "a


Footnote 216:

    _Slavery and Abolition_, Hart, p. 67.

Footnote 217:

    _Idem_, p. 68.

Footnote 218:

    _Four Years Under Marse Robert_, Stiles, p. 49.

Footnote 219:

    _The Confederate Cause and Conduct, in the War Between the States_,
    McGuire and Christian, p. 22.

Footnote 220:

    See letter from his eldest son, General G. W. Custis Lee, to the
    Author, dated February 4, 1907, on file in Virginia Historical

Footnote 221:

    _The Confederate Cause and Conduct in the War Between the States_,
    McGuire and Christian, p. 22.

Footnote 222:

    See letter from his nephew, Dr. George Ben Johnston, of Richmond,
    Va., dated April 17, 1907, to the Author, on file in Virginia
    Historical Society.

Footnote 223:

    See letter from his son-in-law, James Macgill, dated April 20, 1908,
    to the Author, on file in Virginia Historical Society.

Footnote 224:

    See letter from his widow, Mrs. Flora Stuart, to the Author, dated
    March 25, 1908, on file in Virginia Historical Society.

Footnote 225:

    See letter from his brother, Daniel M. Lee, to the Author, dated May
    28, 1908, on file in Virginia Historical Society.

Footnote 226:

    See letter from his son, Colonel Richard L. Maury, to the Author,
    dated June 1, 1907, on file in Virginia Historical Society.

Footnote 227:

    See _Life of Matthew F. Maury_, Corbin, p. 131.



  The problems and difficulties which beset emancipation in Virginia may
  be summarized as follows:

  First: The legal rights of the slaveholders and their creditors;

  Second: The moral and physical well-being of the slaves; and

  Third: The political and social interests of the state.

  To these inherent difficulties should be superadded the lack of free
  discussion and the growth of bitterness and reactionary sentiments
  occasioned largely by partisan and ofttimes criminal instigations
  coming from beyond the state.


  It will not be questioned that of all men, except the slaves
  themselves, the slaveholders were most deeply interested in the
  subject of emancipation. They possessed a direct pecuniary interest in
  the slaves and were usually the owners of large tracts of land
  dependent, it was believed, for cultivation, upon their labor. Thus it
  was thought that emancipation without compensation involved not only
  the loss of their slaves, but a great depreciation in the value of
  their lands. In addition to these direct losses would come the burden
  of caring for the poor, the afflicted, and the criminal classes of the
  ex-slaves, not to mention the cost of educating the rising
  generation—the major part of all of which would fall upon the
  communities where the ex-slaves lived, and thus upon the remnant of
  property left to their former owners.

  To the foregoing embarrassments must be added the rights of creditors.
  A great majority of the slaves in Virginia descended to their owners
  by the laws of inheritance, just as the plantations of which they were
  virtually part. With the slaves and the lands, came the debts of the
  ancestors, or, in the progress of time, new debts were incurred. In
  all such instances the debts of creditors must be provided for before
  any change could be made in the status of slaves bound for their
  payment. All these considerations convinced fair-minded men that some
  substantial measure of compensation must be made the slaveholders
  before they could be expected to absolve their slaves from service.
  But from what source was this great fund to be gathered? Despite the
  widespread sentiment favorable to emancipation, neither state nor
  nation gave sign of willingness to assume the burden.

  But beyond the financial difficulties mentioned was the attitude of
  that class of slaveholders who cherished no desire for emancipation
  and resented every such suggestion as a wanton invasion of their
  safety and their rights. They were satisfied with the status quo; they
  neither desired change nor discussion of its supposed advantages. They
  met every proposal with a resolute insistence upon their legal rights
  under the constitutions, State and Federal, and manifested an
  intolerance of thought and speech with respect to the institution
  which filled the friends of moderation and progress with mournful
  appreciation of the hindrances which beset their path.


  How far a conscientious regard for the moral and physical well-being
  of the slaves entered into the considerations of the time as a
  deterrent cause against their emancipation, cannot be determined.
  Undoubtedly such sentiments existed among many earnest men favorable

  From the mass of facts and medley of voices certain conclusions can be

  Thus it may be affirmed that the slaves in Virginia were better off as
  a result of their training and experience in servitude than they would
  have been had their ancestors never set foot upon her soil. It is
  equally true that theirs was but a partial development and that
  freedom was necessary to the complete man. As the time comes in the
  life of a child when the privileges and dangers of self-expression and
  self-control must supplant the restraints of the home and the
  school-room, so in the life of these children of larger growth,
  freedom with its awesome dangers and soul-inspiring possibilities was
  essential to any well-rounded and continuous advance.

  Again, freedom was a help in the development of those who had made a
  certain measure of progress in their moral, intellectual and physical
  being; yet for those who were not thus prepared, its untimely coming
  might prove the dawn of a darker day, unless accompanied by wise
  nurture and sympathetic guidance of the feet, trained only for the
  paths of dependence.

  Mr. Jefferson doubtless expressed the sentiments of a large class of
  thinkers when he said: "As far as I can judge from the experiments
  which have been made, to give liberty to, or rather to abandon,
  persons whose habits have been formed in slavery, is like abandoning

  Experience with respect to emancipations made prior to the Civil War
  strongly tended to confirm these views. The conditions, moral,
  intellectual and physical, of the free negroes of Virginia contrasted,
  as a rule, most unfavorably with that of their brethren still in


  The results of emancipation where the slaves had been carried to free
  states, were, on the whole, not much more encouraging.

  Professor MacMaster, of the University of Pennsylvania, referring to
  the condition of the free negroes in those states at the time of the
  Missouri Compromise, writes: "In spite of their freedom they were a
  despised, proscribed, and poverty-stricken class."[229]

  Mr. Clay, speaking December 17, 1829, said:

    "Of all the descriptions of our population and of either portion of
    the African race, the free people of color are by far, as a class,
    the most corrupt, depraved and abandoned. There are many honourable
    exceptions among them, and I take pleasure in bearing testimony to
    some I know. It is not so much their fault as the consequence of
    their anomalous condition."[230]

  Dr. Leonard Bacon, in a sermon before his congregation in New Haven,
  Conn., July 4, 1830, said:

    "Who are the free people of color in the United States, and what are
    they? In this city there are from eight hundred to one thousand. Of
    these, a few families are honest, sober, industrious, pious and in
    many points of view, respectable. But what are the remainder? Every
    one knows their condition to be a condition of deep and dreadful
    degradation, but few have formed any conception of the reality. The
    fact is, that as a class, they are branded with ignominy.... There
    are in this country three hundred thousand freedmen, who are free
    men only in name, degraded to the dust and forming hardly anything
    else than a mass of pauperism and crime."[231]

  The biographers of William Lloyd Garrison have recorded that at the
  North, prior to the Civil War:

    "The free colored people were looked upon as an inferior caste to
    whom their liberty was a curse, and their lot worse than that of the
    slaves, with this difference, that while the latter were to be kept
    in bondage 'for their own good' it would have been very wicked to
    enslave the former for their good."[232]


  We need not pause to consider the causes which reduced the free
  negroes of the Northern States to the conditions here described. That
  the free negroes of Virginia should have made little or no progress is
  easily accounted for by the abnormal conditions amid which they lived.
  There was confessedly scant chance for free negroes in communities
  densely populated with negro slaves. Many of the friends of
  emancipation, however, observing this same phenomenon in both slave
  and free states, came to the conclusion that freedom under existing
  conditions was hurtful rather than helpful. Others concluded that it
  was not freedom, but the lack of freedom with all its normal
  privileges, which had fettered the feet of these newly manumitted
  slaves. Let the state pay the owners and emancipate the whole body of
  slaves; let education and training for freedom go hand in hand with
  opportunity for achieving, and then emancipation would be justified of
  her children. For this immense outlay Virginia was confessedly not
  ready, and so the earnest believer in emancipation looked to
  colonization as the only door through which the slave might enter upon
  liberty with a man's chance for progress and self-respecting


Footnote 228:

    _Writings of Jefferson_, Ford, Vol. X, p. 66.

Footnote 229:

    _History of the United States_, McMaster, Vol. III, p. 558.

Footnote 230:

    _The African Repository and Colonial Journal_, Vol. VI, No. 1, p.

Footnote 231:

    _Liberia Bulletin_, No. 15, p. 7.

Footnote 232:

    _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. I, pp. 253-254.


                        EMANCIPATION  (Continued)

  Beyond all the difficulties mentioned, there loomed the more
  portentous problem of the effect upon the state's political and social
  well-being of the introduction into her free population of a great
  company of negroes, whether as citizens or suffragists, or mere
  tenants at the will of their white brethren. What should be the
  outcome of such an unparalleled experiment as universal emancipation
  under the conditions existing in Virginia? The results of emancipation
  in the free states furnished no assurance because there the number of
  negroes was so small as to constitute a negligible quantity. What were
  the voices of history which came from over-sea? In Spain, after
  centuries of conflict, the whites had finally driven the remnant of
  the Moors literally into the Mediterranean. In San Domingo, after the
  carnival of blood had spent its force, the blacks had expelled all the
  surviving whites from the island.

    "It is futile," said Mr. Jefferson, "to hope to retain and
    incorporate the blacks into the state. Deep-rooted prejudices of the
    whites, ten thousand recollections of the blacks, of injuries
    sustained, new provocations, the real distinction Nature has made,
    and many other circumstances will divide us into parties, and
    produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the
    extermination of one or the other race."[233]


  But casting aside these tragic warnings, the question of what would be
  the result of the great experiment, stood unanswered. What place in
  the life of the commonwealth were these people to fill? Should they be
  trained for the obligations of freedom and then denied its privileges?
  Should they be accorded the right of suffrage? If not, how would its
  denial comport with the genius of our institutions and the aspirations
  of our people? If entrusted with the suffrage how was the well-being
  of communities to be assured where, having the majority, they would
  become political masters? Had negroes ever, in the world's history,
  ruled in peace and order a community largely populated by whites? Was
  the race to be kept in a state of quasi-dependence—beholden for their
  social and economic privileges to the very people with whom they must
  come in competition? What provision for the pauperism, the vagrancy,
  the lunacy and the crime which would certainly follow the removal of
  the restraints of slavery? What measure and character of education for
  the young and by whom provided? These and many more like them were the
  questions, which, from the close of the Revolution, had confronted the
  people of Virginia. What should be the relations, political and
  social, of the two races after emancipation? Speaking in September,
  1850, in Congress, on the Wilmot Proviso, Gov. James McDowell, of
  Virginia, said:

    "Physical amalgamation? ... ruinous, if it were possible....
    Political and civil amalgamation just as impossible.... Emancipation
    with rights of residence and property, but exclusion from social,
    civil and political equality, would conduce, sooner or later, to a
    war of colors."[234]


  Speaking ten years later in the Peace Conference, at Washington,
  Ex-Senator William C. Rives, of Virginia, said: "It has occupied the
  attention of the wisest men of our time.... In fact, it is not a
  question of slavery at all. It is a question of race."[235]

  These two great Virginians were strong anti-slavery men, yet they
  stood appalled before the problems of immediate emancipation without
  deportation or colonization. That their views were not the product of
  their environment, will appear from expressions of eminent men not so

  M. de Tocqueville, whose work, _Democracy in America_, is the subject
  of the widest appreciation, has given to the world in his notable
  book, published in 1838, his conclusions with respect to this subject.
  "The most formidable of all the ills," he writes, "which threaten the
  future existence of the Union, arises from the presence of a black
  population upon its territory."[236]

  Again he writes: "I do not imagine that the white and black races will
  ever live in any country upon an equal footing. But I believe the
  difficulty to be still greater in the United States than

  In conclusion, he says:

    "When I contemplate the condition of the South I can only discover
    the alternative which may be adopted by the white inhabitants of
    those states, namely, either to emancipate the negroes and to
    intermingle with them; or, remaining isolated from them, to keep
    them in a state of slavery as long as possible. All intermediate
    measures seem to me likely to terminate, and that shortly, in the
    most horrible of civil wars, and perhaps in the extirpation of one
    or the other of the two races."[238]


  Stephen A. Douglas, speaking at Ottawa, Ill., August 21st, 1858, said:

    "For one I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. I
    believe this Government was made by white men, for the benefit of
    white men and their posterity forever; and I am in favor of
    confining citizenship to white men,—men of European birth and
    descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians and other
    inferior races."[239]

  General William T. Sherman, writing in July, 1860, said:

    "All the Congresses on earth can't make the negro anything else than
    what he is; he must be subject to the white man, or he must
    amalgamate or be destroyed. Two such races cannot live in harmony,
    save as master and slave. Mexico shows the result of general
    equality and amalgamation, and the Indians give a fair illustration
    of the fate of negroes if they are released from the control of the

  William H. Seward, speaking at Detroit, Michigan, September 4th, 1860,

    "The great fact is now fully realized that the African race here is
    a foreign and feeble element, like the Indians, incapable of
    assimilation, ... and that it is a pitiful exotic, unwisely and
    unnecessarily transplanted into our fields, and which it is
    unprofitable to cultivate at the cost of the desolation of the
    native vineyard."[241]


  Let us turn to the more hopeful and yet halting conclusions of Abraham
  Lincoln. In his speech at Quincy, Illinois, October 15th, 1858, in the
  Lincoln-Douglas Debate, he said:

    "I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality
    between the white and black races. There is a physical difference
    between the two which, in my judgment, would probably forever forbid
    their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and
    inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference,
    I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I
    belong having the superior position."[242]

  In the same debate at Charleston, Ill., September 18th, 1858, he had

    "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of
    bringing about, in any way, the social and political equality of the
    white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor
    of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to
    hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in
    addition to this that there is a physical difference between the
    white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two
    races living together on terms of social and political

  How unsatisfactory would be the status of the two races in a state
  where such conditions obtained, Mr. Lincoln must have appreciated, and
  so, as we have seen, he turned to the colonization of the negroes as
  the real solution of the problem.


  Throughout the North as well as in Virginia there were thoughtful men
  who knew that here was the difficulty. Slavery might be abolished, but
  the presence of two non-assimilable races, separated by centuries in
  their stages of development, endeavoring to live in peace under a
  Republican form of government—these conditions presented the problem
  which would tax to the utmost their resourcefulness and patience.

  How strong was the sense of danger among the people of the free
  states, which would result from such conditions, may be read in the
  provisions of their constitutions and laws.

  Probably in New England the laws were more favorable to free negroes
  than in any other part of the North; but, even there, conditions were
  far from normal, and certainly not such as to encourage the
  immigration of the free blacks from Maryland and Virginia—where they
  were most numerous.


  In 1833, the Legislature of Connecticut, endeavoring to prevent the
  establishment of schools in that state for non-resident negroes,
  enacted a law prohibiting such schools, except with the consent "of a
  majority of the civil authority and also of the selectmen of the town
  in which such school, &c.,"[244] is to be located. The preamble of
  this act justifies its passage by declaring that the establishment of
  such schools "would tend to the great increase of the colored
  population of the state, and thereby to the injury of the people, &c."
  The negro populations of Vermont and New Hampshire had actually
  decreased in the half century between 1810 and 1860, while that of
  Massachusetts had increased less than three thousand.

  The biographers of William Lloyd Garrison record the fact that there
  existed a—

    "Spirit which everywhere at the North, either by statute or custom,
    denied to a dark skin, civil, social and educational
    equality,—which in Boston forbade any merchant or respectable
    mechanic to take a colored apprentice; kept the colored people out
    of most public conveyances; and permitted any common carrier by land
    or sea, on the objections of a white passenger, to violate his
    contract with 'a nigger' however cultivated or refined."[245]

  The states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania had by statutes
  deprived free negroes of many of the privileges enjoyed in the period
  immediately succeeding the Revolution. Thus, New Jersey in 1807, and
  Pennsylvania in 1838, deprived them of the right of suffrage, and New
  York in 1821 required of them as a prerequisite to voting a much
  higher property qualification than was required of the white
  citizens.[246] Professor A. B. Hart declares: "These exclusions
  branded the negroes as of a different caste, even in the North, and it
  was backed up by other unfriendly legislation."[247]

  But it was chiefly in those free states on the same lines of latitude
  as Virginia and Maryland, and in which the free negroes would
  therefore be most liable to settle, that the laws obstructing or
  forbidding their immigration were most pronounced.


  Early in the century Ohio enacted laws inhibiting negroes from
  settling in that state, unless they produced certificates of their
  freedom, from a Court of Record, and executed bonds, with approved
  security, not to become charges upon the counties in which they
  settled. They were not permitted to give evidence in court in any
  cause where a white man was party to the controversy or prosecution,
  nor could they send their children to the public schools. About the
  middle of the century many of these laws were repealed, but, by the
  constitution adopted as late as 1851, they were denied the right to
  vote, and were excluded from the militia.[248]

  Indiana at first permitted free negroes to settle in the state,
  provided they gave bonds, with approved security, not to become
  charges upon the counties where they lived; but, in 1851, a new
  constitution was adopted which specifically provided (Article XIII,
  Section 1) that "no negro or mulatto shall come into or settle in the
  state after the adoption of this constitution."[249]

  This clause in the constitution was adopted by over ninety thousand
  majority of the popular vote.[250]

  In Illinois, following a series of laws of like import, an act was
  passed in 1853, "to prevent the immigration of free negroes into this
  state," the third section of which declared it a misdemeanor for a
  negro or mulatto, bond or free, to come into the state with the
  intention of residing.[251] Section four of this act provided that any
  negro coming into the state in violation of the act should be fined
  and sold for a time to pay the fine and cost.

  In 1862, in the Constitutional Convention then in session, the
  provisions of this statute were engrafted upon the organic law of the
  state. Article XVIII provided:

    Section 1. "No negro or mulatto shall immigrate or settle in this
    state after the adoption of the constitution."

  This article of the constitution was submitted to the popular vote
  separately from the body of the constitution, and, though the latter
  was rejected by over 16,000 majority, the former was made a part of
  the organic law of Illinois by a majority of 100,590. This vote was
  taken in August, 1862, and thus, barely a month before Mr. Lincoln's
  first Proclamation of Emancipation, the people of his own state, by a
  vote approaching unanimity, placed in their constitution this clause
  preventing free negroes from coming into their commonwealth.[252]

  By the constitution of Oregon, adopted on November 9th, 1857, it was
  provided that:

    "No free negro or mulatto, not residing in this state at the time of
    the adoption of this constitution, shall come, reside or be within
    this state ... and the legislative assembly shall provide by penal
    laws for the removal by public officers of all such negroes and
    mulattoes, and for their effectual exclusion from the state, and for
    the punishment of persons who shall bring them into the state or
    employ or harbor them."[253]

  This provision of the constitution was adopted by a popular vote of
  8040 to 1081 against it.


  If the people of the North thus regarded their few negroes as a
  dangerous and perplexing element, how much more should the people of
  Virginia hesitate in face of the conditions and problems which
  confronted them? If Indiana and Illinois, with populations of over
  three million whites and less than twenty thousand blacks, felt
  constrained to deny free negroes the right to enter their states, how
  much more should their sister, Virginia, with only one million whites
  and nearly a half million black slaves, fear to add to her already
  large free negro population?


  This sense of danger to their political and social well-being arising
  from the threatened presence of negroes in large numbers was felt by
  the whites of the free states even after two years of civil war had
  wrought its changes in sentiment, and Mr. Lincoln's first Proclamation
  of Emancipation had been given to the world. In his message to
  Congress in December, 1862, the President, in urging his plan for
  national aid to facilitate emancipation and deportation, endeavored to
  meet and allay these fears. He said:

    "But it is dreaded that the freed people will swarm forth and cover
    the whole land. Are they not already in the land? Will liberation
    make them more numerous? Equally distributed among the whites of the
    whole country, and there would be but one colored to seven whites.
    Could the one in any way disturb the seven?...

    "But why should emancipation South send the free people North?
    People of any color seldom run unless there be something to run
    from. Heretofore colored people to some extent have fled North from
    bondage and now perhaps from both bondage and destitution. But if
    gradual emancipation and deportation be adopted they will have
    neither to flee from.... And in any event cannot the North decide
    for itself whether to receive them?"[254]

  These appealing words of Mr. Lincoln show that in the very hour when
  the inspiring vision of emancipation was being held up before the
  people of the free states, they were balancing the satisfaction of its
  achievement with the dangers to their peace which might follow any
  substantial increase in their negro population.

  "Cannot the North decide for itself whether to receive them?" were the
  reassuring words of Mr. Lincoln. Virginia had no such alternative.


Footnote 233:

    _History of Slavery in Virginia_, Ballagh, p. 132.

Footnote 234:

    _Congressional Globe_, 31st Congress. 1st Session. App. 1678.

Footnote 235:

    _Proceedings of Peace Convention_, Crittenden, p. 139.

Footnote 236:

    _Democracy in America_, de Tocqueville, Vol. II, p. 214.

Footnote 237:

    _Idem_, p. 238.

Footnote 238:

    _Democracy in America_, de Tocqueville, Vol. II, p. 245.

Footnote 239:

    _The Negro Problem, Abraham Lincoln's Solution_, Pickett, p. 446.

Footnote 240:

    _General Sherman's Letters Home_, Howe, _Scribner's Magazine_,
    April, 1909, p. 400.

Footnote 241:

    _The Negro Problem, Abraham Lincoln's Solution_, Pickett, p. 449.

Footnote 242:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
    I, p. 458.

Footnote 243:

    _Idem_, p. 457.

Footnote 244:

    _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. I, p. 321.

Footnote 245:

    _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. I, p. 253.

Footnote 246:

    _Slavery and Abolition_, Hart, p. 83.

Footnote 247:

    _Idem_, p. 83.

Footnote 248:

    _History of Negro Race in America_, Williams, Vol. II, pp. 111-119.

Footnote 249:

    _History of Negro Race in America_, Williams, Vol. II, pp. 119-122.

Footnote 250:

    _Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America_, Wilson, Vol. II, p.

Footnote 251:

    _History of Negro Race in America_, Williams, Vol. II, p. 123.

Footnote 252:

    _Illinois Convention Journal_, 1862, p. 1098.

Footnote 253:

    _The Organic and Other General Laws of Oregon_, 1843-72, pp. 97-98.

Footnote 254:

    _Messages and Papers of the Presidents_, Vol. VI, pp. 140-141.



  "Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they
  discuss it freely." In these words Lord Macaulay fixes free discussion
  as a prime requisite to the right solution of problems, however
  difficult. It was one of the baneful features of slavery and the
  racial problems attending it that in the period just antedating the
  Civil War tolerant discussion was almost banished from the arena. As a
  rule, men of moderate views and sane counsels were driven to the rear,
  while the Fanatics of the North and the Fire-eaters of the South held
  the centre of the stage. Virginia was not wholly exempt from these
  conditions which in her case had their origin and growth in causes
  arising both within and beyond her borders.


  As we have seen, slavery in Virginia existed in certain well-defined
  localities and was confined in ownership to a small minority of her
  people. Thus the divergence of interests between the two classes of
  her white population assumed a sectional character which was, in turn,
  intensified by reason of an archaic arrangement with respect to
  representation in her General Assembly. As heretofore explained, the
  representatives in her Legislature were apportioned among the various
  cities and counties of the commonwealth not on the basis of their
  respective white populations, but upon what was known as the "mixed
  basis"—that is—the quantum of property was taken into account along
  with the number of white inhabitants. Slaves were assessed and taxed
  as property and so the white people in the slave-owning sections
  possessed a representative power in the State Legislature as against
  their brethren in the non-slave-owning sections far beyond that to
  which their numbers entitled them. Against this provision of
  Virginia's constitution the whites of the growing western section,
  with some assistance from the east, waged perpetual war. In this way
  slavery in Virginia became involved in a controversy the heat and
  conflicts of which served to intensify the feeling with respect to its
  continuance or abolition. In like manner this controversy augmented
  the power of the friends of slavery by rallying to their ranks the
  conservative opponents of simple manhood suffrage, the property
  interests and all those who, like John Randolph of Roanoke, looked, as
  of old, to the East for light and leading. It was not until the
  Convention of 1850 that this provision of Virginia's constitution was
  amended, but as the change was not to be fully effective until 1865
  the results of this augmentation of power to the people of the white
  sections were never made manifest in her laws.

  "Slavery is a cancer in your face," declared that master of epigram,
  John Randolph of Roanoke. The world saw it. The victim of the disease
  knew it was there. Between the pain of its presence and the dread lest
  the surgeon's knife might not work a cure, the patient halted and
  hesitated and, by manifold methods, sought to mitigate its pain or
  banish the thought of its existence. Thus silence for to-day and hope
  for to-morrow was his fatuous policy.


  Slavery was at war with the ideals upon which Virginians had founded
  their commonwealth. It was a burden upon her advance along every line
  of normal achievement. It was repugnant to the sensibilities of
  thousands of her most devoted sons and yet, despairing of any present
  remedy, they sternly deprecated discussion as a disloyal parading
  before the world of this skeleton in her closet.

  Slavery made its home among the great plantations spreading their
  broad acres far from the centres of population, their owners living
  distant one from the other. It required, therefore, some more
  persuasive force than bolts and bars, to protect these isolated whites
  from the fury of the blacks if ever roused to a maddened discontent
  with their lot, and a consciousness of their power. Thus the daily
  precepts of slavery,—obedience, submission and reverence for the
  white man,—must not be dissipated by public discussions in which the
  rightfulness of slavery was questioned and the glories of freedom held
  up before the eyes of the wondering blacks. San Domingo sent its
  warnings, the horrors of the Nat Turner Insurrection were still fresh
  in the minds of men, and so the imperilled slave-holders denounced as
  the enemies of their race white men who indulged in academic
  discussions as to the advantages of emancipation.

  The foregoing were some of the causes arising within the state which
  served to discourage public discussions with respect to the abolition
  of slavery, and to invest with unnatural heat and bitterness the
  sentiments of those who nevertheless essayed the task.


  From beyond came movements and voices even more destructive of the
  spirit of free discussion and which lent to the reactionary elements
  in the state an advantage which they could never have acquired except
  for this outside interference.

  As far back as 1835 John Quincy Adams noted in his diary:

    "Anti-slavery associations are formed in this country and in England
    and they are already co-operating in concerted agency together. They
    have raised funds to support and circulate inflammatory newspapers
    and pamphlets gratuitously, and they send multitudes of them into
    the Southern country into the midst of swarms of slaves."[255]

  In the same year there assembled in Faneuil Hall what the biographers
  of William Lloyd Garrison called "the social, political, religious and
  intellectual elite of Boston," who, under the leadership of Theodore
  Lyman, Jr., Abbott Lawrence, Peleg Sprague, and Harrison Gray Otis
  adopted resolutions denouncing the Northern Abolitionists for seeking
  by their inflammatory publications "to scatter among our Southern
  brethren fire-brands, arrows, and death," and pledging the meeting to
  support all constitutional laws for the suppression of all
  publications, "the natural and direct tendency of which is to incite
  the slaves of the South to revolt."[256]

  Margaret Mercer, of Maryland, whose devotion to the cause of negro
  emancipation was well attested by her act in manumitting her own
  slaves, as well as in her life of service devoted largely to their
  interests, writing to Gerrit Smith, laments the incendiary appeals of
  William Lloyd Garrison and the direful forebodings which they aroused
  among the Southern people especially in the imaginations of the women.
  She says:

    "For while the well-disposed and faithful servants of kind masters
    will suffer and die with the whites in a general insurrection, the
    lawless and vicious will have in their power to massacre men, women
    and children in their sleep. This is my apology for feeling and
    expressing the deepest indignation against the man who dares to
    throw the fire-brand into the powder magazine while all are asleep
    and stands himself at a distance to see the mangled victims of his
    barbarous fury. I pray you, dear sir, in the strength of your
    benevolence to conceive the state of families living remote from
    assistance in the country. Suppose, as I have often witnessed, an
    alarm of insurrection; think of the mother of a family startled from
    her sleep by some unusual noise and seized with a horrid
    apprehension of the scene which may await her in a few


  Rev. Nehemiah Adams, of Boston, who visited Virginia and the South in
  1854, published the results of his observations, from which we take
  the following extracts.

  After describing the activities of the Northern Anti-slavery Societies
  in scattering among the Southern negroes publications and pictures
  tending to stimulate slave insurrections and to inculcate ideas of
  racial equality, Dr. Adams writes:

    "When these amalgamation pictures were discovered, husbands and
    fathers at the South felt that whatever might be true of slavery as
    a system, self-defense, the protection of their households against
    servile insurrection, was their first duty. Who can wonder that they
    broke into the post-office and seized and burned abolition papers;
    indeed no excesses are surprising in view of the perils to which
    they saw themselves exposed."[258]

  Again he writes: "They seem to be living in a state of self-defense,
  of self-preservation against the North."[259]

    "As Northern zeal has promulgated bolder sentiments with regard to
    the right and duty of slaves to steal, burn, and kill, in effecting
    their liberty, the South has intrenched itself by more vigorous laws
    and customs.... Nothing forces itself more constantly upon the
    thoughts of a Northerner at the South who looks into the history and
    present state of slavery, than the vast injury which has resulted
    from Northern interference."[260]

  In his message to Congress, December, 1860, President Buchanan writes:

    "The incessant and violent agitation of the slavery question through
    the North for the last quarter of a century has at last produced its
    malign influence on the slaves and inspired them with vague notions
    of freedom. Hence a sense of security no longer exists around the
    family altar. The feeling of peace at home has given place to
    apprehension of servile insurrection. Many a matron throughout the
    South retires at night in dread of what may befall herself and
    children before the morning."


  Mr. George Lunt, of Boston, in his work, _The Origin of the Late War_,

    "It thus appears that an active and alarming system of aggression
    against the South was in operation at the North thirty years ago,
    threatening to excite servile insurrection, to imperil union, to
    stir up civil war. This fact rests upon testimony which cannot but
    be considered impartial and conclusive."[261]

  Again the same author, referring to the attempt of John Brown and his
  associates, writes:

    "Nothing was here wanting to insure a more widespread scene of
    horror and desolation than the world perhaps had ever before
    witnessed, except a totally different relation between the masters
    and their servants in the South than that falsely imagined by the
    conspirators and by those in sympathy with them either before or
    after the fact."[262]


  Professor John W. Burgess, of Columbia University, in his work, _The
  Civil War and the Constitution_, has portrayed the disastrous effects
  upon the sentiment in favor of emancipation in various parts of the
  South, occasioned by the virulence of these agitators and above all by
  the attempt of John Brown and his followers to precipitate servile

    "If the whole thing," writes Professor Burgess, "both as to time,
    methods, and results, had been planned by his Satanic Majesty
    himself, it could not have succeeded better in setting the sound
    conservative movements of the age at naught, and in creating a state
    of feeling which offered the most capital opportunities for the
    triumph of political insincerity, radicalism and rascality over
    their opposites. No man who is acquainted with the change of feeling
    which occurred in the South between the 16th of October 1859 and the
    16th day of November of the same year can regard the Harper's Ferry
    villainy as any other than one of the chiefest crimes of our
    history. It established and re-established the control of the great
    radical slaveholders over the non-slaveholders,—the little
    slaveholders, and the more liberal of the large slaveholders, which
    had already begun to _be_ loosened."[263]

  Professor Burgess then proceeds to show the still more disastrous
  effects upon conservative sentiment in Virginia and the South which
  resulted from the demonstrations at the North on the day of John
  Brown's execution.

    "Brown and his band," says Professor Burgess, "had murdered five men
    and wounded some eight or ten more in their criminal movement at
    Harper's Ferry.... Add to this the consideration that Brown
    certainly intended the wholesale massacre of the whites by the
    blacks in case that should be found necessary to effect his purposes
    and it was certainly natural that the tolling of the church bells,
    the holding of prayer-meetings for the soul of John Brown, the
    draping of houses, the half-masting of flags, &c., in many parts of
    the North should appear to the people of the South to be evidences
    of a wickedness which knew no bounds and which was bent upon the
    destruction of the South by any means necessary to accomplish the
    result.... Especially did terror and bitterness take possession of
    the hearts of the women of the South, who saw in slave insurrection
    not only destruction and death, but that which to feminine virtue is
    a thousand times worse than the most terrible death.

    "From the Harper's Ferry outrage onward the conviction grew among
    all classes that the white men of the South must stand together and
    must harmonize all internal differences in the presence of the
    mortal peril with which as a race they believed themselves
    threatened. Sound development in thought and feeling was arrested,
    the follies and hatreds born of fear and resentment now assumed the
    places born of common sense and common kindliness."[264]


  But, despite conflicts within and assaults from without, it must not
  be concluded that the people of Virginia had entirely abandoned the
  right of free discussion in regard to slavery, nor forfeited their
  well-earned reputation for conservatism and self-poise. There were
  still, as we have seen, many of her foremost men, who were frank to
  deplore the existence of the institution and who had never surrendered
  the faith of their fathers, that the day of abolition would surely
  dawn. Neither did the outrage at Harper's Ferry with all its sinister
  circumstances, nor the triumph of sectionalism in the National
  elections of 1860, drive the state from its position of sanity and
  conservatism. Virginia was one of three commonwealths in that
  momentous election to cast her electoral vote for the Union
  candidates, Bell and Everett, standing on the simple platform—the
  preservation of the Union, the supremacy of the constitution and the
  enforcement of the laws.

  The foregoing recitals will serve to present the almost insuperable
  difficulties with which emancipation in Virginia was invested during
  the period just antedating the Civil War. That her people took counsel
  of their fears, rather than their hopes, may be admitted. But for this
  attitude who shall arraign them?


  Abraham Lincoln, speaking at Peoria, Ill., October 16th, 1854, said:

    "When Southern people tell us that they are no more responsible for
    the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it
    is said that the institution exists and that it is very difficult to
    get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and
    appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing
    what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were
    given me, I should not know what to do as to the existing
    institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and
    send them to Liberia—their native land. But a moment's reflection
    would convince me that whatever of high hope (as I think there is)
    there may be in this in the long run, its sudden execution is
    impossible. If they were all landed there in a day they would all
    perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and
    surplus money enough in the world to carry them there in many times
    ten days. What then? Free them all and keep them among us as
    underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I
    think I would not hold one in slavery at any rate; yet the point is
    not clear enough to me to denounce people upon. What next? Free them
    and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings
    will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those
    of the great mass of white people will not. Whether this feeling
    accords with justice and sound judgment is not the sole question, if
    indeed, it is any part of it. A universal feeling whether well or
    ill founded cannot be safely disregarded. We cannot then make them
    equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation
    might be adopted; but for their tardiness in this I will not
    undertake to judge our brethren of the South."[265]

  "If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do as
  to the existing institution!" Such was the frank avowal of Mr.

  Nearly a half century later, Charles Francis Adams, the grandson of
  the "Old Man Eloquent," and himself a veteran of the Union Army,

    "The existence of an uneradicable and insurmountable race difference
    is indisputable. The white man and the black man cannot flourish
    together, the latter being considerable in number, under the same
    system of government.... The negro squats at our hearthstone. We can
    neither assimilate nor expel him."[266]

  We need not yield completely to Mr. Lincoln's perplexity, nor to Mr.
  Adams's despair in acknowledging the gravity of the situation which
  confronted the people of Virginia and the almost insuperable
  difficulties which attended its right solution.


Footnote 255:

    _Adams's Diary_, August 11, 1835. Quoted in _Life of William Lloyd
    Garrison_, by his children, Vol. I, p. 487.

Footnote 256:

    _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. I, p. 495.

Footnote 257:

    _Memoir of Margaret Mercer_, Morris, p. 126.

Footnote 258:

    _A South Side View of Slavery_, Adams, p. 108.

Footnote 259:

    _Idem_, p. 108.

Footnote 260:

    _Idem_, p. 110.

Footnote 261:

    _The Origin of the Late War_, Lunt, p. 104.

Footnote 262:

    _Idem_, p. 329.

Footnote 263:

    _The Civil War and the Constitution_, Burgess, Vol. I, p. 35.

Footnote 264:

    _The Civil War and the Constitution_, Burgess, Vol. I, pp. 42-44.

Footnote 265:

    _Lincoln-Douglass Debates_, p. 74. See also _Abraham Lincoln,
    Letters, Speeches and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol. I, p. 187.

Footnote 266:

    _Century Magazine_, March, 1906, p. 106.


                              FROM THE UNION

  In considering the status of the controversy with respect to slavery
  just prior to the Civil War, and whether Virginia in seceding was
  actuated by a desire to extend or perpetuate the institution, it will
  assist to a clearer understanding if we present in detail the several
  phases over which conflicts had arisen, and the parties to the same.

  The right and obligation of the Federal Government to prevent, by
  legislation, slaveholders from emigrating into the territories with
  their slaves; the duty of the Federal Government to provide through
  its officials for the capture and return to their owners of fugitive
  slaves; and the existence or abolition of slavery in the Southern
  States—these constituted the three principal subjects of discussion
  and points of conflict.

  Coupled with this three-fold aspect of the problem, Virginia was
  confronted by four factors, more or less potential in their relation
  to the subject—the Federal Government, the Republican Party, certain
  of the Northern States, and the Abolitionists.

  With respect to the Federal Government, neither Virginia nor her
  slaveholders could lodge any complaint.

  The compromise measures of 1850 had accorded slaveholders the right to
  carry their slaves into the territories of Utah and New Mexico (which
  embraced the present states of Nevada, Utah, a portion of Colorado,
  and the present territories of Arizona and New Mexico); while the
  Kansas-Nebraska Bill, enacted in 1854, repealed the restrictions
  imposed by the Missouri Compromise.

  Independent of these measures the Supreme Court of the United States
  had, in 1857, in the Dred Scott case, decided that slaveholders
  possessed the right under the constitution, to carry their slaves into
  the territories, and that Congress could not deprive them of it. In
  like manner, the Federal Government had enacted a fugitive slave law
  with most efficient provisions for its enforcement by Federal
  officials, and, finally, the continued existence of slavery in
  Virginia found a sure defense from illegal assaults in the Federal
  Constitution and the power and obligation of the National Government
  to maintain its provisions.


  With respect to the attitude of the Republican Party, the situation
  was not so simple. The Republican Party was organized in 1854 to
  maintain the tenet that Congress had the right, as it was its duty, to
  exclude slave owners with their slaves from the territories. The
  Supreme Court of the United States three years later decided that
  Congress possessed no such power, yet in its platform of 1860 the
  Republican Party reasserted its position and hence advanced the more
  portentous claim that Congress had a right to legislate upon the
  subject in disregard of the mandates of the highest court of the
  Republic. It must also be borne in mind that the Republican Party was
  sectional in its origin, membership and spirit. Even its National
  conventions were composed of representatives gathered practically from
  only one of the two great divisions of the Union. Its nominees for
  President and Vice-President in 1856 and 1860 were both taken from the
  same section. Electoral tickets bearing the names of its candidates
  were presented for the suffrages of the people only in the Northern
  and Border States; and, finally, by electoral votes coming exclusively
  from the North, its candidates were elected, though the majority in
  favor of their opponents aggregated nearly a million of the popular
  suffrage. These conditions may well have aroused the conviction that
  the rights and interests of Virginia and the South would receive scant
  recognition at the hands of the incoming administration, yet the fact
  remains that before the date of Virginia's secession, the Republican
  Party had, by legislative enactments and official pledges, given proof
  of its purpose to protect slaveholders in every right previously
  established by the laws of Congress and the decisions of the Federal


  It is difficult at this distance from the event to appreciate how the
  question of the right of slaveholders to introduce slaves into the
  territories could have been the subject of such profound and
  peace-destroying controversy. That few slaves would ever be carried
  into the territories was a conclusion easily deducible from the
  character of slave labor, and the climatic and soil conditions of most
  of the Western prairies—especially after Southern California, which
  would have furnished them a congenial home, had been admitted into the
  Union as part of a free state.


  In like manner while we may appreciate the position of slaveholders
  who insisted upon their constitutional right to carry slaves into the
  territories, though they might never expect to exercise the privilege,
  yet it is difficult to realize the reasonableness of objection when
  coming from friends of emancipation not themselves citizens of the
  locality which was thus to be burdened. The problem of emancipation
  was largely a question of the relative numbers of whites and blacks in
  any given state. With few blacks and many whites, there was no problem
  worthy of the name. With many blacks and few whites, the problem
  assumed its maximum of difficulty and danger. Every slave, therefore,
  who went from the congested slave centres of the South to the Western
  prairies not only ameliorated his own condition and enhanced his hopes
  of emancipation, but, in like manner, augmented the chances of
  improvement and ultimate freedom to those he left behind. Mr.
  Jefferson had, as far back as 1820, crystallized the thought in terms
  so clear and reasonable that it seems difficult to controvert.

    "Of one thing I am certain," wrote Mr. Jefferson, "that as the
    passage of slaves from one state to another would not make a slave
    of a single human being who would not be so without it, so their
    diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually
    happier and proportionately facilitate the accomplishment of their
    emancipation by dividing the burden upon a greater number of

  The force of these observations will still further appear when we
  recall that slavery might be abolished upon the adoption by a
  territory of its constitution preliminary to statehood, or the new
  state might at any time in the future so decree—a result most
  probable because of the small number of slaves and the ever increasing
  white population within its borders.

  Mr. Seward in a speech before the United States Senate, in the winter
  of 1861, pointed out that in the decade during which the territories
  of Utah and New Mexico had been open to slavery, only twenty-four
  slaves had been carried into that vast dominion.[268]

  "The whole controversy," says Mr. Blaine, "over the territories, as
  remarked by a witty representative from the South, related to an
  imaginary negro in an impossible place."[269]


  But despite these considerations, an acrimonious controversy had
  continued with growing bitterness for years. The Republican Party had
  at length been organized to maintain the tenet that Congress could and
  must exclude slaves from the territories; and, finally, its candidates
  for President and Vice-President had been elected to office. By the
  withdrawal from Congress of the Senators and Representatives from the
  Cotton States, the party found itself in January, 1861, controlling
  both branches of the National Legislature. Despite, however, the
  history and platform of the party, statutes were passed organizing the
  territories of Colorado, Dakota and Nevada, without any provision
  prohibiting slavery therein. Thus months before the date of Virginia's
  secession, the Republican Party gave this unequivocal assurance of its
  purpose to accord slaveholders the right to carry slaves into the

  The Hon. James G. Blaine, writing twenty-five years after the
  happening, thus characterizes the action of his party:

    "When the Missouri Compromise was repealed, and the territories of
    the United States north of the line 35 degrees, 30 minutes were left
    without slavery inhibition or restriction, the agitation began which
    ended in the overthrow of the Democratic Party and the election of
    Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States. It will,
    therefore, always remain as one of the singular contradictions in
    the political history of the country, that after seven years of
    almost exclusive agitation on this question, the Republicans, the
    first time they had the power as a distinctive political
    organization, to enforce the cardinal article of their political
    creed, quietly and unanimously abandoned it. And they abandoned it
    without a word of explanation."[270]

  Mr. Blaine, in asserting that the Republican Party "unanimously
  abandoned" this cardinal article of its political creed, probably
  overstates the case. There were thousands of the party, and many of
  its foremost leaders, who had not surrendered their contention. At all
  events, the abandonment had not been made in such an authoritative and
  formal way as to commend itself to men yearning for peace and desiring
  an end of the controversy over the territories. This action, however,
  of the Republican Congress, in organizing the territories of Colorado,
  Dakota and Nevada without prohibitions as to slavery, constituted such
  a recognition of the constitutional rights of the slaveholders and a
  determination to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court, as to
  render baseless the charge that Virginia seceded in order to establish
  the right of her citizens to carry their slaves into the territories.
  As we shall hereafter see, Virginia was willing to re-enact the
  Missouri Compromise; make it a part of the constitution and thus
  forever exclude slavery from all the territory north of the historic
  line established by that settlement.


  The position of the Republican Party, with reference to the Fugitive
  Slave Law, presented some striking contradictions. Thus, in those
  Northern States where statutes had been enacted to nullify the law,
  the dominant political forces constituted the controlling element in
  the membership of the party; yet the party itself, in its national
  platform, demanded neither the repeal nor amendment of the Federal
  statute. Again, there were men, prominent in its counsels, who, like
  Salmon P. Chase, frankly acknowledged that the provision of the
  constitution requiring the return of fugitive slaves, and the statute
  of the Federal Government carrying this clause into effect, would not
  be respected by one great element of the party and of the Northern
  people. On the other hand, Mr. Lincoln, who defeated him for the
  nomination to the Presidency, had counselled compliance with the
  requirements of the constitution and the law. Time and again he
  pointed out that it was the duty of citizens, and above all of public
  officials, to observe the obligations of the constitution with respect
  to this matter. "Stand with the Abolitionist in restoring the Missouri
  Compromise, and stand against him when he attempts to repeal the
  Fugitive Slave Law," was his declaration at Peoria, Illinois, October
  16th, 1858.[271]


  While a member of Congress, Mr. Lincoln had, on the 16th of January,
  1849, introduced a bill for the abolition of slavery in the District
  of Columbia, with the consent of its voters and with compensation to
  the slaveholders. The fifth section of this bill provided:

    "The municipal authorities of Washington and Georgetown, within
    their respective jurisdictional limits, are hereby empowered and
    required to provide active and efficient means to arrest and deliver
    up to their owners all fugitive slaves escaping into said

  It was because of the authorship of this proposed Fugitive Slave Law,
  that, upon his nomination to the Presidency, Wendell Philips denounced
  him, through the columns of _The Liberator_, as "the Slave Hound of

  In his inaugural address, after alluding to what he terms "the plainly
  written" clause of the constitution relating to fugitive slaves, he

    "It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those
    who made it for the reclaiming of what we call 'fugitive slaves' and
    the intention of the law giver is the law. All members of Congress
    swear their support to the whole constitution—to this provision as
    much as any other. To the proposition then that slaves whose cases
    come within the terms of this clause 'shall be delivered up' their
    oaths are unanimous....

    "There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be
    enforced by National or by state authority; but surely that
    difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be
    surrendered, it can be of little consequence to him or to others by
    which authority it is done. And should any one, in any case, be
    content that his oath should go unkept on a merely unsubstantial
    controversy as to how it shall be kept?"[274]


Footnote 267:

    _Writings of Jefferson_, Ford, Vol. VII, p. 159.

Footnote 268:

    _Life of W. H. Seward_, Lathrop, p. 220.

Footnote 269:

    _Twenty Years of Congress_, Blaine, Vol. I, p. 272.

Footnote 270:

    _Idem_, p. 270.

Footnote 271:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
    I, p. 202.

Footnote 272:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
    I, p. 148.

Footnote 273:

    _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. III, p. 503.

Footnote 274:

    _Messages and Papers of the Presidents_, Vol. VI, p. 6.


                          THE UNION (Concluded)

  With respect to the institution of slavery, itself, in the Southern
  States, the position of the Republican Party, as a party, was even
  more reassuring. The platform of the party, upon which Mr. Lincoln was
  elected President, gave the most explicit assurance of the purpose of
  the incoming Administration to refrain from any interference with
  slavery, in the states where it was recognized by law. "The
  maintenance inviolate," declared that platform, "of the rights of the
  states, and especially of each state, to order and control its own
  domestic institutions, according to its own judgment exclusively, is
  essential to the balance of power on which the perfection and
  endurance of our political fabric depend."[275]

  Mr. Lincoln was nominated chiefly because of his conservative position
  with respect to slavery, over his more conspicuous opponents, Seward
  and Chase, who were defeated because of their more radical
  anti-slavery utterances.

  While never concealing his strong antipathy to the institution, Mr.
  Lincoln always declared his regard for the constitutional rights of
  slaveholders, in the states where slavery existed. Time and again, he
  said, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with
  the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I
  have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do

  After his election, Mr. Lincoln, under date of December 22, 1860,
  wrote to Alexander H. Stephens, "Do the people of the South really
  entertain fears that a Republican administration would directly or
  indirectly interfere with the slaves, or with them about the slaves?
  If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and I still hope
  not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears."[277]


  The charge is often made that, despite the platform of the Republican
  Party and the ante-election pledges of its candidate, the people of
  the South were convinced that, with its advent to power, a movement
  for the abolition of slavery would be inaugurated; and that, because
  of this fear, the Cotton States seceded from the Union. No such charge
  can be made with respect to Virginia. Over two months before her
  secession, the Republican Party, as we have seen, acquired control of
  both branches of Congress, and immediately proceeded to allay any such
  apprehensions by the adoption of resolutions and the enactment of laws
  of the most ultra pro-slavery type.

  In January, 1861, a series of resolutions was adopted by the Senate
  and the House of Representatives, among which was one declaring that
  Congress recognized,

    "Slavery as now existing in fifteen of the United States, by the
    usages and laws of those states, and we recognize no authority,
    legal or otherwise, outside of a state where it exists, to interfere
    with slaves or slavery in such states."[278]


  In February, 1861, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution
  with but four dissenting votes wherein it was declared, "that neither
  the Federal Government, nor the people, have a purpose or a
  constitutional right to legislate upon or interfere with slavery in
  any of the states of the Union."

    "Resolved, That those persons in the North who do not subscribe to
    the foregoing propositions are too insignificant in numbers and
    influence to excite the serious attention or alarm of any portion of
    the people of the Republic."[279]

  Following these resolutions both Houses of Congress adopted by the
  necessary two-thirds vote, a joint resolution proposing an amendment
  to the Federal Constitution, as follows:

    Article 13. "No amendment shall be made to the constitution which
    shall authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish, or to
    interfere within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof,
    including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of
    said state."

  This amendment passed the House of Representatives February 28, 1861,
  by a vote of one hundred and thirty-three to sixty-five, and the
  Senate on the 2nd of March, 1861, by a vote of twenty-four to twelve.
  Ohio and Maryland promptly ratified this proposed amendment to the
  constitution, but the outbreak of the Civil War brought the movement
  to a close.[280]

  In his inaugural address, President Lincoln reiterated his previous
  pledges and expressed his approval of the movement to adopt the
  amendment to the constitution above referred to. Alluding to his oft
  quoted declaration that he had neither the legal right nor the
  inclination to interfere with slavery in the Southern States, he said:

    "I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon
    the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case
    is susceptible, that the property, peace and security of no section
    are to be any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration."


  Continuing, he said,

    "I understand a proposed amendment to the constitution—which
    amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the
    effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the
    domestic institutions of the states, including that of persons held
    to service. To avoid misconception of what I have said, I depart
    from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to
    say that, holding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional
    Law, I have no objection to its being made expressed and

  Even after the conflict of arms had occurred, the position of the
  Administration was reiterated in the most solemn form. On the 22nd of
  April, 1861, Mr. Seward, as Secretary of State, in an official
  communication to Mr. Dayton, Minister to France, wrote:

    "The territories will remain in all respects the same, whether the
    revolution shall succeed or shall fail. The condition of slavery in
    the several states will remain just the same, whether it succeed or
    fail.... The rights of the states and the condition of every being
    in them will remain subject to exactly the same laws and forms of
    administration, whether the revolution shall succeed or whether it
    shall fail. In one case the states would be federally connected with
    the new Confederacy; in the other, they would, as now, be members of
    the United States; but their constitutions and laws, customs, habits
    and institutions, in either case, will remain the same."[281]


  On the 22nd of July, 1861, both houses of Congress, with but few
  dissenting votes, adopted a joint resolution which declared:

    "This war is not waged, on our part, in any spirit of oppression,
    nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of
    overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established
    institutions of those states; but to defend and maintain the
    supremacy of the constitution, and to preserve the Union, with all
    the dignity, equality and rights of the several states unimpaired;
    that, as soon as these objects are accomplished, the war ought to

  Such were the attitude of the Republican Party, the avowals and
  pledges of President Lincoln and the enactments of Congress, with
  respect to slavery, at the time of Virginia's secession.

  It is not, however, to be concluded that the Republican Party had
  renounced its hostility to slavery. The pledges referred to were
  simply assurances of the purpose of the Federal administration to
  respect the constitutional rights of states where the institution
  existed, and of their slave-holding citizens. Nor is it claimed that
  slavery itself had acquired, in Virginia, or elsewhere, in the Union,
  an indefinite lease of life. The forces which had destroyed slavery in
  other lands were ever at work. They were dynamic, and gathered ever
  increasing influence from the economic, political and ethical
  conditions of the times.


  Care must be taken not to confound the formally declared attitude of
  the Republican Party with that of the Abolitionists. The exact
  position of many of the leading anti-slavery men of the period is not
  always easy to determine. Garrison and Phillips were, of course,
  Abolitionists. Sumner and Chase might be classed as belonging to
  either or both—Republicans and Abolitionists. "Yet," says Professor
  A. B. Hart, "two such conspicuous champions of anti-slavery as John
  Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln always said that they were not

  Alluding to the extra-constitutional measures advocated by the
  Abolitionists, Mr. Lincoln in his speech at Quincy, Ill., October 13,
  1858, said:

    "If there be any man in the Republican Party who is impatient over
    the necessity springing from its (slavery's) actual presence, and is
    impatient of the constitutional guarantees thrown around it, and
    would act in disregard of these, he too is misplaced, standing with
    us. He will find his place somewhere else; for we have a due regard,
    so far as we are capable of understanding them, for all these

  So too with respect to armed invasions and the attempt of John Brown
  and his abettors to precipitate servile insurrection.

  Mr. Lincoln, in his speech at Cooper Union, New York, February 27th,
  1860, said:

    "You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. We deny
    it; and what is your proof? Harper's Ferry! John Brown!! John Brown
    was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single
    Republican in his Harper's Ferry enterprise."[285]... Continuing, he
    said: "John Brown's effort was peculiar. It was not a slave
    insurrection. It was an attempt by white men to get up a revolt
    among slaves, in which the slaves refused to participate. In fact,
    it was so absurd that the slaves, with all their ignorance, saw
    plainly enough it could not succeed. That affair, in its philosophy,
    corresponds with the many attempts, related in history, at the
    assassination of kings and emperors."[286]


  If it be urged that Mr. Lincoln's oft-quoted words uttered before his
  nomination for the Presidency, that "The Government could not endure
  half slave and half free," were at war with his assurances and that
  Virginia was thus threatened in her "peculiar institution," yet it
  must be remembered that Mr. Lincoln, time and again before his
  election, disclaimed any such purpose and denied that his words were
  susceptible of any such construction.

  Morse, in his _Biography of Lincoln_, says: "Again and again Mr.
  Lincoln called attention to the fact that he had expressed neither 'a
  doctrine' nor an 'invitation'; nor any 'purpose,' nor 'policy'

  To quote the language of Mr. Lincoln himself in meeting the charge in
  his debate with Stephen A. Douglas:

    "In the passage I indicated no wish or purpose of my own. I simply
    expressed my expectations. Cannot the Judge perceive a distinction
    between a purpose and an expectation? I have often expressed an
    expectation to die, but I have never expressed a wish to die."[288]

  Thomas Jefferson and other Virginia opponents of slavery had often
  made similar predictions. Even as a prophecy of emancipation, it
  involved no other suggestion than that slavery was an antiquated
  institution at war with the genius of our government and the spirit of
  the age and was doomed by forces world wide in their potency to
  ultimate extinction.


Footnote 275:

    From Platform of National Republican Party, Chicago Convention, May,

Footnote 276:

    From President Lincoln's Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.

Footnote 277:

    _Causes of the Civil War_, Chadwick, p. 143.

Footnote 278:

    _Lincoln and Slavery_, Arnold, p. 695.

Footnote 279:

    _Idem_, p. 695.

Footnote 280:

    _Story on the Constitution_, Story, Vol. II, p. 670, Note 2.

Footnote 281:

    _Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government_, Davis, Vol. I, p.

Footnote 282:

    Joint Resolutions adopted by Congress, July 22, 1861.

Footnote 283:

    _Slavery and Abolition_, Hart, p. 175.

Footnote 284:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
    I., p. 463.

Footnote 285:

    _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
    I., p. 607.

Footnote 286:

    _Idem_, p. 609.

Footnote 287:

    _Abraham Lincoln_, Morse, p. 123.

Footnote 288:

    _Lincoln-Douglas Debates_, p. 59.



  The constitution of the United States provides: "2. A person charged
  in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from
  justice and be found in another state, shall, on demand of the
  executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up,
  to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.

  No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws
  thereof, escaping into another state, shall, in consequence of any law
  or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but
  shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or
  labor may be due."[289]


  The first of the foregoing clauses provides for the return of
  fugitives from justice, and the second, of fugitive slaves.

  The attitude of certain Northern States with reference to these two
  provisions of the constitution was a subject of profound importance in
  the years immediately preceding the Civil War, and constituted one of
  the greatest grievances of the people of the slaveholding states.

  At the time the constitution was adopted, slavery existed in every one
  of the thirteen states except Massachusetts, though in some others
  acts had been passed providing for its gradual abolition. It was
  deemed essential, therefore, to the peaceful relations of the several
  states as well as the legal rights of slaveholders that some provision
  should be inserted in the Federal Constitution dealing with the return
  of fugitive slaves as well as fugitives from justice. If a slave
  could, by passing from New York into Massachusetts, absolve himself
  from slavery with no remedy for the master except the grace of the
  latter state, in which the institution was not recognized, then not
  only were the rights of the slaveholding citizens of New York
  dependent upon the laws of Massachusetts, but such conditions would
  doubtless engender strife and reprisals between the different states
  of the Union.

  The necessity, as well as the justice, of fugitive slave laws was
  recognized almost contemporaneously with the introduction of slavery
  into this country. Thus, in the Article of Confederation adopted in
  1643, between the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut and
  New Haven, it was provided,

    "If any servant runn away from his master into any other of these
    Confederated Jurisdiccons, that in such case upon the Certyficate of
    one Magistrate in the Jurisdiccon out of which the said servant
    fled, or upon other due proofe, the said servant shall be delivered
    either to his master or any other that pursues and brings such
    certyficate or proofe."[290]

  Provisions of like character were incorporated in many of the treaties
  between the various colonies and the Indian tribes, and later between
  the United States Government and the Indians.

  The Ordinance of 1784, as adopted by Congress, contained no provision
  for the return of fugitive slaves escaping into the territory
  northwest of the Ohio River, and as we have seen, the provision
  prohibiting slavery therein had been stricken out before its adoption.

  On the 16th of March, 1785, Rufus King of Massachusetts presented a
  resolution amending the Ordinance of 1784, so as to prohibit slavery
  in the northwest territory, which resolution was referred to a
  committee consisting of King, William Howell and William Ellery; the
  last two members being from Rhode Island.

  On the 6th of April, 1785, a report was presented from this committee
  to Congress, providing for an amendment of the existing ordinance, so
  as to exclude slavery from the northwest territory after the year
  1800, "the resolution to be an article of compact" between the
  thirteen original states and those created out of the territory. The
  amendment so reported also made provision for the return to their
  masters of fugitive slaves escaping into the territory from any of the
  thirteen original states.[291]

  No action was taken upon this report, but at the time the Ordinance of
  1787 was under consideration, July 13th, 1787, a provision was
  inserted prohibiting slavery in the northwest territory along with a
  fugitive slave clause, by the unanimous vote of all the states


  The same year, the Constitutional Convention, in session at
  Philadelphia, inserted a like fugitive slave clause in the Federal

  On the 12th of February, 1793, Congress passed an act providing the
  method for carrying into effect the section of the constitution
  relating to fugitives from justice and fugitive slaves. Both subjects
  are treated and provided for in the same act. It passed both houses of
  Congress by practically unanimous votes—Washington approving the bill
  with his signature.


  By this statute, the authorities of the several states were charged
  with the duty of executing the law with reference to the return of
  fugitives from justice.

  With respect, however, to fugitive slaves, the authority and burden of
  dealing with their return was placed upon officers of the Federal
  Government as well as upon certain state officials. Despite the
  somewhat cumbrous character of the law, the return of fugitives from
  justice and of fugitive slaves was assured, and little controversy
  arose until some forty years after its enactment. But with the rise of
  the Abolitionists at the North difficulties in executing the law began
  to appear—especially as to fugitive slaves.


  William Lloyd Garrison began the publication of _The Liberator_ in
  1831. The American Anti-Slavery Society was organized in 1833 and soon
  thereafter the Underground Railroad commenced its operations. Under
  the influence of these forces, not only was the execution of the law
  with reference to fugitive slaves in many of the Northern States
  greatly hindered but the slaves enticed or escaping from their masters
  became much more numerous. The irritating effects of these conditions
  upon Southern slaveholders were intensified by the suggestion that the
  law was fairly enforced as long as there were slaves in the so-called
  free states. In time, however, the Legislatures of many of the
  Northern States adopted state laws which were undoubtedly designed to
  defeat the execution of the Federal statute, and thus was added the
  sanction of states through their law-making bodies to the illegal
  attitude and acts of their citizens. This political action of these
  states not only aroused the indignation of slaveholders, but enlisted
  in their behalf the sympathies of their non-slaveholding fellow
  citizens. The attitude of the Abolitionists and the action of the
  Northern States above referred to were regarded by the people of
  Virginia as a violation of the constitutional rights of their state,
  as well as a wanton injury to the property interests of her
  slaveholding citizens. The Abolitionists, by every form of suggestion
  and appeal, incited and assisted slaves to desert their masters, while
  the Underground Railroad provided increasing facilities for
  accomplishing the result.

  Professor A. B. Hart, of Harvard University, says:

    "The Underground Railroad was not a route but a network; not an
    organization, but a conspiracy of thousands of people banded
    together for the deliberate purpose of depriving their Southern
    neighbors of their property and of defying the Fugitive Slave Laws
    of the United States."[293]

  With such a system in active operation, it only became necessary, in
  order to invest the whole movement with the dignity of state
  usurpation and wrong, for states to enact the so-called Personal
  Liberty Laws.


Footnote 289:

    Constitution of the United States, Article IV, Sub-section 2.

Footnote 290:

    _Plymouth Colony Records_, IX, p. 5, and _Fugitive Slaves_, Boston,
    1891, McDougall, p. 7.

Footnote 291:

    _History of the Ordinance of 1787_, American Antiquarian Society,
    new series, Vol. V, p. 315.

Footnote 292:

    _Idem_, p. 335.

Footnote 293:

    _Slavery and Abolition_, Hart, p. 228.




  Beginning in 1837, Massachusetts adopted the first of the so-called
  Personal Liberty Laws, which were followed by others of like import
  enacted by Vermont, New York and Connecticut. The ostensible object of
  these statutes was to protect free negroes, but as no such laws were
  necessary until the rise of the Abolitionists and the operations of
  the Underground Railroad, they were generally accepted as efforts on
  the part of these states to assist these agencies and defeat the
  clause of the constitution of the United States which provided for the
  return of fugitive slaves.

  In 1842, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that so much
  of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 as authorized or required state
  officials to assist in executing the law was unconstitutional, and
  that upon Federal authorities must rest the whole burden.[294] This
  decision was followed by a new series of statutes in Massachusetts,
  Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.[295]

  On the 18th of September, 1850, Congress passed another Fugitive Slave
  Law amending the act of 1793 so as to charge Federal officials with
  the whole duty of carrying into effect the clause in the constitution
  providing for the return of fugitive slaves, and to remedy the
  difficulties resulting from the action of the Abolitionists and the
  acts passed by certain states as above referred to. This aroused fresh
  antagonism to the constitution and the efforts of the Federal
  Government to carry the same into effect. The constitutionality of the
  new law was denied and though affirmed by the Supreme Court, its
  execution in the foregoing states was much embarrassed by a new series
  of state statutes. Laws of like import, with like results, were also
  enacted by Wisconsin, Michigan, Connecticut and Maine.

  In some instances, the decision of the Supreme Court of the United
  States affirming the constitutionality of the statute was challenged
  by the legislative department of state governments, and the right of
  the former tribunal to fix the obligations of states and citizens with
  respect to the law strenuously denied.

  Thus, in Wisconsin one Sherman M. Booth had been indicted in the
  Federal Court for a violation of the Fugitive Slave Law enacted by
  Congress, and, after trial and conviction, was sentenced for the
  offense. An application for a writ of habeas corpus was presented by
  Booth to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and his release prayed for on
  the ground that the Federal statute was unconstitutional. The Supreme
  Court of Wisconsin took cognizance of the case and discharged the
  prisoner from the custody of the Federal authorities.[296]

  An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States where
  the constitutionality of the Federal statute was affirmed, the
  judgment of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin reversed and Booth remanded
  to custody.[297] Thereupon, the General Assembly of Wisconsin on the
  16th of March, 1859, adopted a series of resolutions in which, after
  denying the right of the United States Supreme Court to take
  cognizance of the above mentioned case, they declared:

    "That the government, formed by the constitution of the United
    States, was not made the exclusive or final judge of the powers
    delegated to itself: but that as in all other cases of compact among
    parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to
    judge for itself as well of infractions as of the mode and measure
    of redress.

    "That the principle and construction contended for by the party
    which now rules in the councils of the nation, that the General
    Government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers
    delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the
    discretion of those who administer the government, and not the
    constitution, would be the measure of their powers; that the several
    states which formed that instrument being sovereign and independent
    have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction and that a
    positive defiance by those sovereignties of all unauthorized acts
    done or attempted to be done under color of that instrument is the
    right remedy."[298]


  These outspoken and persistent attempts of great states to repudiate
  their obligations to the constitution and to nullify the laws of
  Congress had a most reactionary influence upon slaveholders and their
  sympathizers in Virginia and the South and filled the minds of
  thoughtful men with the gravest forebodings for the peace and
  preservation of the Union.

  President Buchanan in his message to Congress, December, 1860, refers
  to the action of the states in nullifying the Fugitive Slave Law
  enacted by Congress, as "the most palpable violation of constitutional
  duty which has yet been committed."

  Governor Banks in his address before the Legislature of Massachusetts
  which assembled on the first Wednesday in January, 1861, referring to
  the statute enacted in that state antagonistic to the act of Congress
  for the return of fugitive slaves, and the consequent imputation which
  it brought upon the loyalty of Massachusetts to the Union and its
  constitution, said:

    "It is because in the face of her just claims to high honor I do not
    love to hear unjust reproaches passed upon her fame—that I say as I
    do, in the presence of God and with a heart filled with
    responsibilities that must rest upon every American citizen in these
    distempered times, I cannot but regard the maintenance of a statute,
    although it may be within the extremest limits of constitutional
    power, which is so unnecessary to the public weal and so detrimental
    to the public peace as an inexcusable public wrong. I hope by common
    consent it may be removed from the statute book and such guarantees
    as individual freedom demands be sought in new legislation."[299]


  Congress, in February, 1861, adopted the report of the Committee of
  Thirty-three of which Thomas Corwin of Ohio was chairman, which after
  reciting "that all attempts on the part of the Legislatures of any of
  the states to obstruct or hinder the recovery," of fugitive slaves,
  "are in derogation of the constitution ... and dangerous to the peace
  of the Union," resolved

    "That the several states be respectfully requested to cause their
    statutes to be revised, with a view to ascertain if any of them are
    in conflict with or tend to embarrass or hinder the execution of the
    laws of the United States ... for the delivery up of persons held to
    labour by the laws of any state and escaping therefrom; and the
    Senate and House of Representatives earnestly request that all
    enactments having such tendency be forthwith repealed as required by
    a just sense of constitutional obligations and by a due regard for
    the peace of the Republic."[300]

  President Lincoln in his inaugural address, referring to the clause of
  the constitution providing for the return of fugitive slaves, and the
  contention as to whether the same should be executed by Federal or
  state officials, said: "If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be
  of little consequence to him or to others by which authority it is
  done. And should any one in any case be content that his oath should
  go unkept on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be


  Despite these considerations, Rhode Island alone repealed the
  obnoxious statutes, and great leaders of the Republican Party frankly
  confessed that the constitution and the law would not be respected in
  certain of the Northern States. Salmon P. Chase, speaking in the Peace
  Conference at Washington, in February, 1861, alluding to the provision
  of the constitution for the return of fugitive slaves, said: "The
  people of the free states, however, who believe that slave-holding is
  wrong cannot and will not aid in the reclamation, and the stipulation
  becomes therefore a dead letter."[301]

  Of the Personal Liberty Laws Mr. George Lunt of Boston in his work,
  _Origin of the Late War_, says: "They constitute an extreme
  exemplification of the broadest claim to state sovereignty, and put
  the states which authorized them in direct hostility to the United
  States. They were not one whit more defensible than the Rebellion
  itself to which they had such a principal part in preparing the minds
  of the seceding states."[302]


  Closely associated with the controversies growing out of the return of
  fugitive slaves and the action of certain Northern States, in
  defeating the provision of the constitution in regard thereto, was the
  attitude of many of the same states with respect to the provision for
  the return of the fugitives from justice. A few notable instances will
  suffice to illustrate the subject and its profound influence in
  arraying Southern States, as states, against certain of their Northern


  In 1837 the Governor of Georgia made requisition upon the Governor of
  Maine for the return to the former state of the captain of a ship
  charged with aiding and abetting a slave to desert his master. The
  Governor of Maine refused to comply with the requisition, alleging
  that the laws of that state did not recognize slavery or the offense
  complained of as an indictable one. Thereupon the Legislature of
  Georgia petitioned Congress to enact some law to compel state
  authorities to comply with this provision of the Federal Constitution.
  No action, however, was taken by Congress, nor was the slave or his
  abductor ever carried back to Georgia.[303]

  In 1841 the Governor of Virginia made requisition upon the Governor of
  New York for the return of two men indicted in the former state for
  aiding and enticing slaves to leave their masters. William H. Seward
  was at that time Governor of New York. He refused to honor the
  requisition, alleging that the offense for which the parties were
  indicted was not one deemed criminal by the laws of New York or the
  nations of the world. A long and peace-destroying controversy in which
  the Legislatures of the two states became involved followed; but the
  fugitives were never returned, and the people of Virginia felt that
  the highest law officer of a sister state had been recreant to his
  obligations to the Federal Constitution and reckless of the rights of
  their state.

  In 1860, the Governor of Kentucky made requisition upon the Governor
  of Ohio for the return to the former state of a fugitive from justice
  indicted for the violation of a statute imposing penalties upon
  persons aiding slaves to escape from their masters. The Governor of
  Ohio refused to honor the requisition; thereupon the State of Kentucky
  instituted a suit in the Supreme Court of the United States against
  the Governor of Ohio, to compel him to comply with the provision of
  the Federal Constitution above referred to and deliver up the fugitive
  from justice.

  The Governor of Ohio interposed as a defense the same reasons advanced
  by Governor Seward. But the Supreme Court of the United States held
  that the defense was insufficient, and that it was the constitutional
  duty of the Governor of Ohio to deliver up the fugitive. The court
  declared: "The objection made to the validity of the indictment is
  altogether untenable."[304] The court also decided that the suit was
  properly instituted, in the right forum, and that the Governor of Ohio
  was under constitutional obligations to deliver up the fugitive to the
  authorities of Kentucky, but that no judgment could be entered by the
  court granting the relief prayed for. Chief Justice Taney, speaking
  for the court, after alluding to the fact that the framers of the
  constitution confidently believed that "A sense of justice and of
  mutual interest would insure a faithful execution of the provision,"
  declared: "If the Governor of Ohio refuses to discharge this duty
  there is no power delegated to the General Government, either through
  the judicial department or any other department, to use any coercive
  means to compel him."[305]


  This decision brought home to the people of Virginia the fact that the
  authorities of certain of the Northern States were violating their
  obligations under the Federal Constitution, and yet the Federal
  Government was unable to remedy the wrong and maintain the rights of
  the injured commonwealths.

  These conditions and the attitude of the Northern States which thus
  nullified the provisions of the Federal Constitution undoubtedly moved
  thousands of Virginians and other citizens of the South to secession.
  They refused to remain members of a Union in which the rights of their
  states were thus violated by their sister commonwealths.

  But the claim that Virginia seceded in order to avert pecuniary loss
  resulting from the non-return of fugitive slaves is negatived by the
  fact that by such action she surrendered all the benefits from the
  Federal Constitution and statute. In the Union, some protection was
  secured to the state with respect to the rights thus menaced. Outside
  of the Union, every such benefit was lost, and the state stood
  absolutely without redress.


Footnote 294:

    See Decision in Case of Prigg _vs._ Pennsylvania, 16 Pet. 539.

Footnote 295:

    _Fugitive Slaves_, McDougall, p. 66.

Footnote 296:

    _In re Sherman M. Booth_, 3rd Wisconsin Rep., p. 13.

Footnote 297:

    _Ableman_ vs. _Booth_ and _United States_ vs. _Booth_, 21st Howard,
    p. 506.

Footnote 298:

    _Journal of the General Assembly of Wisconsin_, Session 1859, pp.
    463 and 865.

Footnote 299:

    _History of Massachusetts in the Civil War_, Schouler, Vol. I, p. 6.

Footnote 300:

    See _Reports of Thirty-second Congress, and Twenty Years of
    Congress_, Blaine, pp. 258-265.

Footnote 301:

    _Debates in Peace Conference Convention_, Crittenden, p. 430.

Footnote 302:

    _Origin of the Late War_, Lunt, p. 217.

Footnote 303:

    _Fugitive Slaves_, Boston, 1891, McDougall, p. 41.

Footnote 304:

    _Kentucky against Dennison_, 24th Howard, p. 107.

Footnote 305:

    _Kentucky against Dennison_, 24th Howard, p. 109.


                            THE ABOLITIONISTS

  We come now to consider the fourth force or factor with which Virginia
  had to reckon, namely, the Abolitionists. These constituted a body of
  earnest, tireless agitators—men and women who had devoted mind and
  heart to the work of destroying slavery. No consideration of the
  maintenance of law, the national peace, nor the preservation of the
  Union availed to moderate their zeal or circumscribe their efforts.
  Slavery was a sin against God—and to the King of kings they owed
  their first allegiance. To counsels of moderation, to suggestions of
  expediency, to appeals for law, they returned the oft reiterated
  answer—_Delenda est Cathargo!_ The orderly processes of time—the
  force of public opinion exerted through law, rather than against law,
  were to them but the suggestions of cowardice and a means for
  prolonging the life of an institution, the measure of whose sin cried
  unto Heaven. Fight Slavery!—now and always—wherever found and by
  every weapon known to the wit of man, was the burden of their message.
  Keep it out of the territories? Yes! and for the contest depend not
  alone upon the laws of Congress; but send armed men to the prairies of
  Kansas and hold the land against the slaveholders and their slaves by
  fire and the sword. Opposed to a Fugitive Slave Statute? Yes!—contest
  its enactment by Congress and defeat its execution when it becomes a
  law. Let the free states nullify this Federal statute by state laws;
  let mobs rescue from Federal officials the fugitives in their custody;
  and then cover the land with the conspiracy of the "Underground
  Railroad" by means of which the slave might pass to the freedom which
  awaited him beyond the Canadian border.

  But it was slavery in its citadel—the existence of the institution in
  the slave states—that aroused their fiercest antagonism and rallied
  their forces to a battle which should never end but with its complete
  destruction. From this body of militant agitators and reformers, the
  slaveholders of Virginia could expect no quarter, and the commonwealth
  no surcease from the agitations so destructive of her peace.


  William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips were the foremost leaders
  of this great fellowship, and in no year of grace were their demands
  more insistent and their assaults more aggressive than in the
  troublous days immediately preceding the Civil War. Amid all appeals
  for the maintenance of law and the preservation of peace might be
  heard their voices like fire-bells at night, denouncing the Union and
  the constitution and demanding the immediate abolition of slavery. But
  by none of these things was Virginia moved to secession. As declared
  by Henderson, the English military critic, "The wildest threats of the
  'Black Republicans,' their loudly expressed determination in defiance
  of the constitution, to abolish slavery, if necessary, by the bullet
  and the sabre, shook in no degree whatever her loyalty to the


  For none of Virginia's grievances nor those of her slaveholders
  against the Abolitionists was secession a cure. Within the Union and
  under the _Ægis_ of the constitution was to be found her surest
  defense against all their assaults. By secession she would surrender
  her interest in the territories and all claim of right to introduce
  slaves therein. By secession she would forfeit all the benefits of the
  Fugitive Slave Law. By secession she would lose the strong arm of the
  National Government to defend her against assaults, whether by lawless
  bands or the legislative enactments of hostile states. Even with
  respect to servile insurrections her withdrawal from the Union would
  in no way abate the danger but only lessen her power to cope with the
  problem. John Brown and his band were captured by United States
  soldiers and the flag of the Union carried protection to the inmates
  of every lonely manor house and cabin throughout her borders, whether
  menaced by the slaves themselves or the emissaries of those who
  plotted against her peace. Of all these facts the Abolitionists had
  the profoundest appreciation. Hence for years they advocated disunion
  as a condition precedent to the attainment of their great end—the
  abolition of slavery.


Footnote 306:

    _Stonewall Jackson_, Henderson, Vol. I, p. 122.



  The disunion sentiments and efforts of the Abolitionists may be traced
  through the declarations of their leaders and the platforms of their
  societies, enunciated from time to time, during a long series of years
  antedating the Civil War. Thus in January, 1843, the Massachusetts
  Anti-Slavery Society adopted the following resolution:

    "That the compact which exists between the North and the South is a
    covenant with Death and an agreement with Hell—involving both
    parties in atrocious criminality, and should be immediately

  These sentiments were affirmed and reiterated by the American
  Anti-Slavery Society at its tenth anniversary meeting in New York
  City, May, 1844, where among other declarations the Federal
  Constitution was denounced as "a covenant with Death and an agreement
  with Hell," and the motto adopted "No Union with Slaveholders."[308]

  In 1854, William Lloyd Garrison declared, "There is but one honest,
  straightforward course to pursue if we would see the slave power
  overthrown—the Union must be dissolved."[309] And Wendell Phillips
  re-echoed the sentiment in the no less explicit declaration, "As to
  disunion, it must and will come. Calhoun wants it at one end of the
  Union, Garrison wants it at the other. It is written in the counsel of

  Mr. Schouler, referring to the foregoing declaration of Mr. Garrison
  and the occasion, says: "And such was the general tenor of anniversary
  speeches and resolutions through the next six years, whenever and
  wherever meetings were held of our Anti-Slavery Societies."[311]


  These disunion sentiments continued with growing insistence in the
  declarations of leading Abolitionists and in the platform of their
  societies. On the 15th of January, 1857, there assembled at Worcester,
  Mass., the "Disunion Convention." This body adopted, among other
  resolutions, one demanding the immediate dissolution of the Union, and
  declaring that "The sooner the separation takes place, the more
  peaceful it will be; but that peace or war is a secondary
  consideration in view of our present perils. Slavery must be
  conquered, peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must."[312] This
  convention appointed a State Committee of seven, of which the Rev.
  Thomas Wentworth Higginson was made chairman, to direct the propaganda
  of the new movement and a general convention composed of delegates
  from all the free states was recommended. A call for the latter
  convention was accordingly issued in July, 1857, signed by Mr.
  Higginson, Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, and other leading
  Abolitionists. Cleveland, Ohio, was selected as the place for the
  convention, because a majority of the signers to the call, some seven
  hundred in number, were citizens of that state. The 28th of October
  was fixed as the date for the meeting of the convention. This body,
  however, failed to assemble because of the terrible financial panic
  which began in September of that year,—the leaders deciding to
  postpone the "projected Northern Convention until a more auspicious


  In his speech before the "Disunion Convention" at Worcester, Mass.,
  above referred to, William Lloyd Garrison said:

    "Again, I am for the speedy overthrow of the Union because, while it
    exists, I see no end to the extension of slavery. I see everything
    in the hands of the Slave Power now—all the resources of the
    country,—every dollar in the Treasury, the Navy, the Judiciary,
    everything in its grasp; and I know that with all these means and
    facilities and the disposition to use them, nothing can successfully
    contend against it.

    "I am sure of another thing—that when the North shall withdraw from
    the Union, there will be an end to Southern filibustering and
    schemes of annexation. Then the tables will be turned and we shall
    have the slaveholders at our doors crying for mercy. Rely upon it,
    there is not an intelligent slaveholder at the South who is for a
    dissolution of the Union. I do not care what the folly or insanity
    of the Southern Nullifiers may be; ... not one of them is willing to
    have the cord cut and the South permitted to try the experiment. If
    it be otherwise, God grant that she may soon take this step and see
    whether she will be able to hold a single slave one hour after the
    deed is done."[314]

  No opportunity was neglected to inculcate sentiments of disloyalty to
  the Union, hatred of the constitution, and disregard of the statutes
  enacted by the Federal Government bearing upon slavery. Sometimes the
  Abolitionists would emphasize their position and lend a touch of
  realism to their sentiments by burning before the multitudes copies of
  the constitution and obnoxious laws passed by Congress.


  Thus at Framingham, Mass., on the fourth of July, 1854, at the
  open-air celebration of the day by the Abolitionists, William Lloyd
  Garrison burned copies of the constitution, the Fugitive Slave Law,
  and the opinions of several Judges of the Federal Courts in
  Massachusetts. _The Liberator_ records that Mr. Garrison, "holding up
  the United States constitution branded it as the source and parent of
  all the other atrocities—a covenant with Death and an agreement with
  Hell—and consumed it to ashes on the spot, exclaiming, 'So perish all
  compromises with Tyranny,' and 'Let all the people say Amen,' and a
  tremendous shout of 'Amen' went up to Heaven in ratification of the

  No eminence of public station nor personal worth availed to shield
  from the assaults of these Abolition leaders. William Lloyd Garrison
  alluding to Webster's eulogies upon the constitution declared, "Let
  Daniel Webster, the greatest and meanest of his countrymen, exhaust
  his powers of eulogy upon it if he will; the effort will but render
  his character base and contemptible with posterity."[316]

  Wendell Phillips, referring to the "Defender of the Constitution,"
  said: "God gives us great scoundrels for texts to anti-slavery
  sermons. See to it, when nature has provided you a monster like
  Webster, that you exhibit him—himself a whole menagerie—throughout
  the country."[317] Subsequently in an article in _The Liberator_ on
  Mr. Lincoln—then but recently nominated for the Presidency, headed
  "Abraham Lincoln, the Slave Hound of Illinois," Wendell Phillips
  wrote: "We gibbet a Northern hound to-day side by side with the
  infamous Mason of Virginia."[318]


  Theodore Parker alluding to the Federal judges and officials in Boston
  who bore a part in the execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, addressing
  the "Spirits of Tyrants" and apostrophising Cain, Herod, Nero, and
  Torquemada, proceeds as follows: "Come up, thou heap of wickedness,
  George Jeffreys! Thy hands deep purple with the blood of thy murdered
  fellow men!... What! Dost thou shudder? Thou turn back? These not thy
  kindred? It is true, George Jeffreys. And these are not thy kin....
  Thou wouldst not send a man into bondage for two pounds. I will not
  rank thee with men who in Boston for ten dollars would enslave a negro

  Even the patriotic enthusiasm of Longfellow in his "Ode to the Union,"
  aroused Garrison's ire, who denounced it as "a eulogy dripping with
  the blood of imbruted humanity," and for the poet's conception of the
  "Ship of State" he substituted:

    ... "'Perfidious bark!
    Built i' th' eclipse and rigged with curses dark.'...

  Destined to go down full many a fathom deep, to the joy and exultation
  of all who are yearning for the deliverance of a groaning

    (_a_): Note: The author has not cited any examples of the terms
    employed by the leaders of the Abolitionists in referring to the
    Southern people. If Webster were denounced as a "monster" and
    Lincoln as a "slave-hound" because, in their devotion to the Union
    and their respect for law, they would protect the constitutional
    rights of slaveholders, the reader may readily imagine the
    denunciations poured upon the citizens of the slaveholding states.
    For twenty-five years the people of the South, their civilization
    and morality were arraigned by orators and editors, preachers and
    poets, dramatists and novelists, in terms without parallel in
    polemic literature.


But the Abolitionists did not confine their efforts to denunciations of
the constitution and its defenders, or in devising schemes for the
overthrow of the Union. They actually secured the enactment by many
Northern Legislatures of so-called Personal Liberty Laws, designed to
nullify the Fugitive Slave Law passed by Congress. In like manner many
of them were the apologists, if not the instigators, of servile
insurrections, of which John Brown's venture was at once the fell
offspring, and the dread sign of more to follow. William Lloyd Garrison
declared that Brown deserved "to be held in grateful and honorable
remembrance, to the latest posterity, by all those who glory in the
deeds of a Wallace or a Tell, a Washington or a Warren."[321] Theodore
Parker said: "No American has died in this century whose chance of
earthly immortality is worth half so much as John Brown's."[322] Wendell
Phillips speaking in Plymouth Church declared: "John Brown violated the
law. Yes. On yonder desk lie the inspired words of men who died violent
deaths for breaking the laws of Rome. Why do you listen to them so
reverently? Huss and Wycliffe violated laws. Why honor them? George
Washington, had he been caught before 1783, would have died on the
gibbet for breaking the laws of his sovereign."[323]

William Lloyd Garrison, while insisting that he himself was a "peace
man" and opposed to the use of "carnal weapons," proclaimed: "I am
prepared to say, success to every slave insurrection at the South and in
every slave country,"[324] and Theodore Parker re-affirmed the sentiment
in the declaration: "I should like, of all things, to see an
insurrection of slaves. It must be tried many times before it succeeds,
as at last it must."[325]


Wendell Phillips speaking at the grave of John Brown said: "Insurrection
was a harsh, horrid word to millions a month ago. John Brown went a
whole generation beyond it, claiming the right for white men to help the
slave to freedom by arms. And now men run up and down not disputing his

Admiral Chadwick in his recent work, _The Causes of the Civil War_, thus
presents the position of prominent Abolitionists with respect to servile
insurrections and especially the efforts to precipitate one at Harper's

  "Parker was also one who could say, 'I should like of all things to
  see an insurrection of slaves. It must be tried many times before it
  succeeds, as at last it must,' an expression which was the outcome of
  his own full knowledge of what was brewing. Of this the others of the
  Boston Secret Committee, Stearns, Higginson, Howe, and Sanborn, as
  already shown on the authority of the last, also had full information,
  as had Gerrit Smith, with the exception, perhaps, of the exact place
  at which Brown was to strike. Brown's funds were supplied by these
  men, who were accessories before the fact in the fullest meaning of
  the phrase. It is impossible to justify such actions.

  "Stearns and his fellows were not martyrs; they did not risk their
  lives; they were not in open warfare; they were simply in secret
  conspiracy to carry by bolder instruments throughout the South the
  horrors of Hayti, still vivid in the recollection of many then yet


But the Abolitionists appreciated that it was the Union and its power
that stood as the strongest barrier against the success of their
instigations to servile insurrection, and held in leash the giant form,
Slavery, with its pike and brand. Long ago Mr. Garrison had said:

  "What protects the South from instant destruction? Our physical force.
  Break the chain which binds her to the Union and the scenes of St.
  Domingo would be witnessed throughout her borders. She may affect to
  laugh at this prophecy but she knows her security lies in Northern
  bayonets. Nay, she has repeatedly taunted the free states with being
  pledged to protect her."[328]


Footnote 307:

  _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. III, p. 88.

Footnote 308:

  _Idem_, p. 100.

Footnote 309:

  _Idem_, p. 414.

Footnote 310:

  _Wendell Phillips_, Martin, p. 207.

Footnote 311:

  _History of United States_, Schouler, Vol. V, p. 319.

Footnote 312:

  _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. III, p. 457.

Footnote 313:

  _Idem_, p. 463.

Footnote 314:

  _Idem_, pp. 456-7.

Footnote 315:

  _Idem_, p. 412.

Footnote 316:

  _Idem_, p. 184.

Footnote 317:

  _Speeches, Lectures and Letters_, Wendell Phillips, Lee & Shepard,
  1892, p. 48.

Footnote 318:

  _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. III, p. 503.

Footnote 319:

  _Theodore Parker, A Biography_, Frothingham, p. 431.

Footnote 320:

  _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. III, p. 280.

Footnote 321:

  _Idem_, Vol. III, pp. 489-491.

Footnote 322:

  _Theodore Parker, A Biography_, Frothingham, p. 463.

Footnote 323:

  _Speeches, Lectures and Letters_, Wendell Phillips, Lee & Shepard,
  1892, p. 279.

Footnote 324:

  _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. III, p. 489-491.

Footnote 325:

  _Theodore Parker, A Biography_, Frothingham, p. 475.

Footnote 326:

  _Speeches, Lectures and Letters_, Wendell Phillips, Lee & Shepard,
  1892, p. 291.

Footnote 327:

  _Causes of the Civil War_, Chadwick, p. 84.

Footnote 328:

  _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. I, p. 309.


               THE ABOLITIONISTS AND DISUNION (Concluded)

These citations from the deliverances of the great leaders of the
Abolitionists will give some idea of the motives and methods which
pervaded that fellowship. With tireless insistence they went forward
with their labors for the abolition of slavery and the dissolution of
the Union, the latter being deemed a condition precedent to the complete
accomplishment of the former. Only the action of South Carolina, which
brought the nation face to face with a practical attempt at disunion,
served to suspend the efforts of the Abolitionists to effect a like
result. This momentous step on the part of South Carolina was received
with exultant satisfaction—William Lloyd Garrison declaring, "All
Union-saving efforts are simply idiotic. At last 'the covenant with
Death' is annulled, and the 'agreement with Hell' broken, at least by
the action of South Carolina, and ere long by all the slaveholding
states, for their doom is one."[329] And Wendell Phillips re-echoed the
sentiment: "Let the South march off with flags and trumpets, and we will
speed the parting guest. Let her not stand upon the order of her going,
but go at once: Give her jewels of silver and gold, and rejoice that she
has departed. All hail, Disunion!"[330]


Such was the condition of affairs with respect to the controversy over
slavery in Virginia in the fateful winter of 1860-61. For the
maintenance of the institution stood the constitution and laws of the
Union and the pledges of the Republican Party dominant in their
administration. For the destruction of the institution stood the
Abolitionists, a great fellowship, earnest and aggressive, but without
official power in the National Government and relying upon disunion or a
condition of civil war as the essential prerequisite to the
accomplishment of their plans.

James G. Blaine wrote:

  "But for the constant presence of National power and its constant
  exercise under the provisions of the constitution, the South would
  have no protection against anti-slavery assaults of the civilized
  world. Abolitionists from the very beginning of their energetic
  crusade against slavery had seen the constitution standing in their
  way, and with the unsparing severity of their logic had denounced it
  as 'a league with Hell and a covenant with Death.'"[331]


The people of Virginia in like manner appreciated the situation. "What
madness," wrote Madison, "in the South to look for greater safety in
disunion! It would be worse than jumping out of the frying pan into the
fire. It would be jumping into the fire from fear of the frying pan,
i.e., Northern meddling with slavery."[332]

Governor McDowell, referring to slavery and disunion, said:

  "If gentlemen do not see or feel the evil of slavery whilst the
  Federal Union lasts, they will see and feel it when it is gone; they
  will see and suffer it then in a magnitude of desolating power to
  which 'the pestilence that walketh in darkness' would be a blessing."

Referring to the protection afforded slavery by the Federal
Constitution, he said:

  "Withdraw but the protecting energies of that instrument and be the
  associations into which we shall be thrown what they may—whether
  directed by judgment or caprice—our distinct character as a
  slaveholding people will still be left—we shall still hold a separate
  and adversary interest but hold it under circumstances of aggravated
  evil, as the existence of it will disqualify us for defense in the
  very degree in which it will expose us to foreign hostility and

Robert E. Lee, referring to the same subject, wrote,

  "The South, in my opinion, has been aggrieved by the acts of the
  North, as you say. I feel the aggression and am willing to take every
  proper step for redress.... But I can anticipate no greater calamity
  than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all
  the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything,
  but honor, for its preservation."[334]

George W. Summers, speaking in the Virginia Convention of 1861, said:

  "What has Virginia to gain by secession and separate action? Nothing
  on the territorial question but lose everything. On the fugitive slave
  question, she could make no treaties with the North or with England.
  In relation to the institution of slavery, which I consider morally,
  socially and politically right, she will lose the present protection
  and be exposed to border incursions from a foreign government."[335]

John S. Carlile, speaking in the same convention, said:

  "I have been a slaveholder from the time I've been able to buy a
  slave. I have been a slaveholder not by inheritance but by purchase;
  and I believe that slavery is a social, political and religious
  blessing.... How long, if you were to dissolve this Union—if you were
  to separate the slaveholding from the non-slaveholding states, would
  African slavery have a foothold in this portion of the land? I venture
  the assertion that it would not exist in Virginia five years after the
  separation; and nowhere in the Southern States twenty years after. How
  could it maintain itself, with the whole civilized world, backed by
  what they call their international law, arrayed for its ultimate
  extinction with this North, which is now bound to stand by us and to
  protect slavery, opposed to us?... And now, Mr. President! in the name
  of our illustrious dead, in the name of all the living, in the name of
  millions yet unborn, I protest against this wicked effort to destroy
  the fairest and freest government on the earth."[336]


It was under the reign of law and with the forces of the Union as its
allies that the institution of slavery could meet with success, all
assaults coming from beyond the states where it existed. Amid the clash
of arms and with the Federal Government no longer protecting their
rights, slaveholders were most open to successful attack and slavery
most likely to receive its mortal blow.

Wendell Phillips expressed the idea when he declared:

  "The storm which rocked the vessel of state almost to foundering
  snapped forever the chain of the French slave. Look, too, at the
  history of the Mexican and South America emancipation and you will
  find that it was in every instance, I think, the child of convulsion.
  The hour will come—God hasten it!—when the American people shall so
  stand on the deck of their Union—'built i' th' eclipse, and rigged
  with curses dark.' If I live to see the hour I shall say to every
  slave, 'Strike now for Freedom.'"[337]


It would seem most unreasonable and illogical to suppose that the people
of Virginia turned to secession and civil war from a selfish desire to
safeguard slavery from the attacks of the Abolitionists. Such a course
augmented rather than lessened the dangers which beset the institution.

If, however, worn out with the assaults upon their constitutional rights
and wounded in their pride by the fierce arraignments of their character
and civilization, they turned to separation as a means of preserving
their self-respect and as showing a determination to live no longer in
political association with their enemies, then their action becomes
intelligible—whatever may be the judgment as to the just proportion
between the wrongs complained of and the remedy proposed.


Footnote 329:

  _William Lloyd Garrison_, by his children, Vol. III, p. 508.

Footnote 330:

  _Thurlow Weed_, Barnes, Vol. II, p. 305.

Footnote 331:

  _Twenty Years of Congress_, Blaine, Vol. I, 176.

Footnote 332:

  _Madison to Clay, Private Correspondence of Henry Clay_, Colton, p.

Footnote 333:

  _Virginia Slavery Debate_, 1832, Speech of James McDowell, pp. 23-24.

Footnote 334:

  _Memoirs of Robert E. Lee_, Long, p. 88.

Footnote 335:

  _Richmond Dispatch_, March 13, 1861.

Footnote 336:

  See _Richmond Enquirer_, March 11th, 1861.

Footnote 337:

  _Speeches, Lectures and Letters_, Wendell Phillips, Lee & Shepard,
  1892, p. 85.


                            VIRGINIA PEOPLE

Our review of the record of the Federal Government with respect to
slavery and the attitude of the Republican Party, which had just assumed
control of its Executive and Legislative Departments, in regard thereto,
is sufficient to demonstrate that, at the time Virginia seceded, she
could not have been actuated by a selfish desire to defend the
institution against the hostile power of the Nation. There was no
rallying of the people of Virginia to resist a threatened edict of
emancipation because no such proclamation had ever been suggested. As we
shall see, the proclamation which aroused them to arms was the call of
President Lincoln for seventy-five thousand men to re-establish the
authority of the National Government in the Southern Confederacy and the
demand that Virginia should furnish her quota of soldiers for the
momentous undertaking. Virginia, denying the right of the Federal
Government to enter upon this policy of armed coercion, withdrew from
the Union along with North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas. On this
great issue the battle was joined and men by the thousands gave their
lives to the rival claims of Home Rule versus National Supremacy. The
war thus precipitated went onward with its terrible fruitage of death
and destruction for nearly a year and a half when President Lincoln
issued his first Proclamation of Emancipation. Could any change or
attempted change, by the Federal Government, of the motives for the
struggle on the part of the Northern people change the motives which
actuated the people of Virginia and shift for them the gage of battle?
That the proclamations did not in fact convert the contest on the part
of the Southern States from a war waged for their independence into one
for the maintenance of slavery is manifest from the terms of the
proclamations themselves and the unchanged attitude of the Southern
people. The first proclamation threatened the emancipation of the slaves
in states, or portions of states, which might still be found in arms
against the Union one hundred days thereafter, and exempted from
emancipation slaves in states and portions of states which would
surrender their battle for independence. Had the Federal Government
offered to accord the Southern States their independence provided they
would abolish slavery then their rejection of such an offer and their
continuance to do battle might have rendered them liable to the charge
of fighting to maintain the institution. But the offer and threat
presented just the other alternative and were alike unavailing to stop
the struggle on the part of the Southern people. To quote the language
of Mr. Lincoln:

  "After the commencement of hostilities, I struggled nearly a year and
  a half to get along without touching the institution, and when finally
  I conditionally determined to touch it, I gave a hundred days fair
  notice of my purpose to all the states and people within which time
  they could have turned it wholly aside by simply again becoming good
  citizens of the United States."[338]


In neither portion of Virginia—that in which emancipation was decreed
nor that in which slavery was to remain unaffected(_a_) did President
Lincoln's proclamations produce any change in the attitude of her people
and this was so because, as they protested, slavery was neither the
interest nor the issue which had impelled them to draw the sword.

    (_a_) Note: The reader will recall that the proclamation did not
    emancipate the slaves in "the Counties of Berkeley, Accomac,
    Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne and Norfolk,
    including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth," nor those in the
    States of Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri,
    Tennessee and portions of Louisiana.


We would not, however, be understood as maintaining that slavery did not
constitute the most potential factor in developing the conditions which
finally precipitated the Civil War. The acrimonious discussions of
thirty years, the conflicts over legislation, state and Federal, the
criminations and recriminations from pulpit, press and platform, found
at length their baneful fruit in the destruction of tolerance,
confidence and fraternity between the people of the two great sections.
With hearts dissevered, the bonds of union were strained to the utmost,
and when at length a sectional propaganda inaugurated by one great
element of the Northern people scored a triumph at the polls, the people
of the Cotton States sought in secession release from a political
association which they regarded as repugnant to their feelings and
subversive of their rights. But upon the issues thus made up Virginia
refused to secede. It was after the secession of the Cotton States that
the people of Virginia at their election February 4th, 1861, by a great
majority still declared for union. Other and more fundamental causes for
secession and conflict had to arise before Virginia could be driven to
abandon the Union.

Nor would we seek to maintain that an unconstitutional assault by the
Federal Government or the Northern States upon the institution of
slavery in Virginia would not have provoked and justified resistance.
Such resistance, however, could not fairly be imputed to a sordid and
selfish desire to protect the institution. To repel invasion of
constitutional rights is the highest duty of a free people. It is the
right and principle involved, and not the incident or interest which
occasioned the invasion, that determines the motive and character of the

John Hampden and his compatriots resisted with arms what they regarded
as the unconstitutional effort of their Sovereign to collect the "Ship
Money" and yet it would be a most superficial and untruthful conception
of their position to declare that they fought for the sum involved in
the King's attempt. In the language of Edmund Burke in his great speech
on taxing the American Colonies, "Would twenty shillings have ruined Mr.
Hampden's fortune? No! But the payment of half twenty shillings on the
principle it was demanded would have made him a slave."


Footnote 338:

  Letter of Lincoln to General McClernand, January 8_th_, 1863. _Abraham
  Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol. II, p.


                               _PART III_

                     DESIRE TO DESTROY THE UNION OR
                      FROM HOSTILITY TO THE IDEALS
                            OF ITS FOUNDERS




In considering the question whether Virginia, in transferring her
allegiance to the Southern Confederacy, was animated by a wanton desire
to destroy the Union and defeat the ideals of its founders, it will
assist to a more accurate conclusion if we review her part in the making
of the Republic and the spirit which moved her people in the day of
separation. If she had been conspicuous in the work of establishing the
Union and in promoting its growth and glory, then it were more
reasonable to ascribe her desire to terminate the association to
convictions of duty than to motives capricious or selfish in their
origin. If in the day of sectional strife, she pleaded for union and
reconciliation, then her presence in the battle which followed was more
justly attributed to the inexorable logic of events than to causes of
her own initiation.

It is well within the bounds of historic truth to say that Virginia had
been pre-eminent among her sister states in fixing the ideals and
founding the Republic; that, with unsurpassed devotion, she had
contributed of men and treasure to promote its growth and enhance its
glory; and that amid the strife and conflicts which preceded the Civil
War, she stood a mediator between the hostile sections and an unwearied
advocate of reconciliation and peace.


In 1764, when the liberties of the American people were menaced by a
Stamp Tax, Virginia was among the first of the colonies to memorialize
the King in opposition, and the only one to address to the House of
Commons a remonstrance against the right of that body to enact such

The Stamp Act caused great opposition throughout America. "But," says
John Fiske, "formal defiance came first from Virginia."[340] "The
Assembly of Virginia," says J. R. Green, "was the first to formally deny
the right of the British Parliament to meddle with internal taxation and
to demand the repeal of the act."[341]

In 1765, her House of Burgesses, under the leadership of Patrick Henry,
adopted her celebrated resolutions against the Stamp Tax. Only less
important than the resolutions themselves was the thrilling arraignment
of British usurpation and assaults upon the liberties of America with
which the great orator aroused his countrymen. "Thus," says Mr.
Bancroft, "Virginia rang the alarm bell for the continent."


In 1768, Virginia applauded Massachusetts for her stand; re-affirmed the
position that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies; and directed
that these resolutions of her House of Burgesses be communicated to all
the colonies with the insistence that they should unite in opposition to
every attempt of Great Britain to levy taxes upon the American people.

In 1769, her House of Burgesses again asserted its position in a series
of resolutions which Mr. Bancroft declares were "so calm in manner and
so perfect in substance that time finds no omission to regret, no
improvement to suggest. The menace of arresting patriots lost its terror
and Virginia's declaration and action consolidated union."[342] Though
dissolved by the Royal Governor because of this action, the members of
the body immediately assembled, and under the leadership of Washington,
an agreement was entered into providing against the importation of goods
from Great Britain until all unconstitutional acts should be repealed.

Resistance to British tyranny continuing unabated, a yearning for union
sprang up among all the colonies. "Whether that great idea," says Mr.
Bancroft, "should become a reality, rested on Virginia."[343] Her House
of Burgesses assembled in March, 1773, when, under the leadership of
Dabney Carr, Richard Henry Lee, and Patrick Henry, resolutions were
adopted providing for a system of inter-colonial committees of
correspondence. "Carr's plan," says Mr. Bancroft, "included a thorough
union council throughout the land. If it should succeed and be adopted
by the other colonies, America would stand before the world as a
confederacy." Copies of these resolutions were sent to every colony,
with the request that each would appoint a committee to communicate from
time to time with that of Virginia. "In this manner," says Mr. Bancroft,
"Virginia laid the foundation of our Union."[344]

In May, 1774, the Virginia House of Burgesses by a resolution called
upon their fellow-citizens to set apart the day on which the act closing
the port of Boston was to take effect:

  "As a day of fasting and prayer, devoutly to implore the divine
  interposition for averting the dreadful calamity which threatened
  destruction to their civil rights and the evils of a civil war, and to
  give to the American people one heart and one mind firmly to oppose,
  by all just and proper means, every injury to American rights."

Upon the adoption of this resolution, the Royal Governor dissolved the
Assembly, but the members immediately met and resolved "that an attack
made on one of our sister colonies to compel submission to arbitrary
taxes is an attack made on all British America, and threatens ruin to
the rights of all unless the united wisdom of the whole be
applied."[345] These sentiments of fraternity and union were re-echoed
in the words of Washington: "I will raise one thousand men, subsist them
at my own expense, and march at their head for the relief of Boston," a
declaration soon followed by the march of Virginians under Daniel Morgan
to the succor of that besieged city.


Largely as a result of the committees of correspondence created under
the Virginia resolutions, the Continental Congress assembled in
Philadelphia in September, 1774. Virginia gave to that body its first
president, in the person of Peyton Randolph, while Patrick Henry fired
the hearts of its members with the spirit of nationalism by the
declaration: "British oppression has effaced the boundaries of the
several colonies. The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians,
New Yorkers and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an

Thus was launched the Revolution—a movement in which, Mr. Bancroft
declares: "Virginia rose with as much unanimity as Connecticut or
Massachusetts, and with more commanding resolution."[346]

It was Virginia that first, by formal resolution of her Constitutional
Convention, called on the Continental Congress to declare the colonies
"free and independent states," absolved from all allegiance to the
British crown. Richard Henry Lee submitted the motion to the Congress,
and following its adoption, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of
Independence. In the war which followed, Washington commanded the armies
of the Revolution and by his incomparable qualities of leadership
brought success to the cause.


While bearing her part in maintaining the cause of the colonies in their
struggle with the Mother Country, Virginia commissioned and equipped the
expedition which under the leadership of her son, George Rogers Clark,
conquered the empire of the northwest, an achievement the very romance
of daring and valor. Even more important to the cause of union than the
conquest was Virginia's action in dedicating the territory to the new
confederation, thus cementing the ties and interests of the separate
colonies in a vast domain, the common property of the whole.


Footnote 339:

  _History of the United States_, Bancroft, Vol. III, p. 93.

Footnote 340:

  _The American Revolution_, Fiske, Vol. I, p. 18.

Footnote 341:

  _A Short History of the English People_, J. R. Green, 1883, p. 35.

Footnote 342:

  _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. III, p. 347.

Footnote 343:

  _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. III, p. 436.

Footnote 344:

  _Idem_, p. 437.

Footnote 345:

  _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 17.

Footnote 346:

  _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. IV, p. 413.



When the Revolution had finally triumphed in the battle fought out on
her soil, Virginia statesmen were the first to realize the infirmities
of the existing government and the need of a system more National in its
ideals and powers.


In 1786, her General Assembly adopted resolutions calling for a meeting
of representatives from all the states to prepare such amendments to the
Articles of Confederation as would enlarge the powers of Congress over
commerce,—foreign and domestic. A delegation, with James Madison at its
head, was appointed and the first Monday in September, 1786, fixed as
the time, and Annapolis as the place, for the assembling of the
convention. Representatives from only five states responded to
Virginia's appeal, but they issued an address calling for a convention
to assemble in Philadelphia on the second Monday in May, 1787, to devise
such provisions as would "render the constitution of the Federal
Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union." Despite the
imminence of the dangers which threatened the country, and the manifest
need of a stronger union, the Continental Congress at first refused its
sanction to the movement; the Governor of New York denied the need of
any action; and the Legislature of Massachusetts formally declined to
appoint delegates to the convention.[347]

  "From this state of despair," says Mr. Bancroft, "the country was
  lifted by Madison and Virginia. The recommendation of a
  plenipotentiary convention was well received by the Assembly of
  Virginia.... On the motion of Madison the Assembly gave its unanimous
  sanction to the recommendation from Annapolis."[348]

Continuing, Mr. Bancroft says: "We come now upon the week glorious for
Virginia beyond any event in its annals or in the history of any former
republic."[349] Without a dissenting voice, the General Assembly adopted
a memorial approving the plan for the Philadelphia Convention, the
spirit and purpose of which will appear from the following extract:

  "The General Assembly of this commonwealth, taking into view the
  situation of the confederacy as well as reflecting on the alarming
  representations made from time to time by the United States in
  Congress, particularly in their act of the 15th day of February last,
  can no longer doubt that the crisis is arrived at which the people of
  America are to decide the solemn question whether they will by wise
  and magnanimous efforts reap the fruits of independence and of union,
  or whether by giving way to unmanly jealousies and prejudices or to
  partial and transitory interests they will renounce the blessings
  prepared for them by the Revolution. The same noble and extended
  policy, and the same fraternal and affectionate sentiments which
  originally determined the citizens of this commonwealth to unite with
  their brethren of the other states in establishing a Federal
  Government cannot but be felt with equal force now as motives to lay
  aside every inferior consideration, and to concur in such further
  concessions and provisions as may be necessary to secure the objects
  for which that Government was instituted, and render the United States
  as happy in peace as they have been glorious in war."[350]


Following the adoption of the foregoing resolution, Virginia
commissioned a delegation of her foremost men to represent her at
Philadelphia; among them, George Washington, James Madison, George
Mason, George Wythe, and Edmund Randolph. Under such inspiring
leadership, opposition was allayed, and in the convention which
followed, representatives finally gathered from every state except Rhode

Over this convention, George Washington was called to preside. Hesitancy
and weakness were banished by his words:

  "It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps
  another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the
  people, we are for what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward
  defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest
  can repair; the event is in the hand of God."[351]

To the convention, Edmund Randolph, then Governor of the commonwealth,
presented the "Virginia Plan," which, though amended in many important
particulars, was the basis of our present constitution. The scheme of
government offered by Governor Randolph was the work of James Madison,
and because of his authorship and his great labors in connection with
its final preparation and adoption by the several states, he earned the
high appellation of "Father of the Constitution."

  "The great mind of Madison," says John Fiske, "was one of the first to
  entertain distinctly the noble conception of two kinds of government,
  operating at one and the same time, upon the same individuals,
  harmonious with each other, but each supreme in its own sphere. Such
  is the fundamental conception of our partly Federal, partly National
  Government, which appears throughout the Virginia Plan, as well as in
  the constitution which grew out of it."[352]


Upon the adoption of the constitution and the creation of the office of
President, George Washington was called to the discharge of its novel
and important duties, and under his leadership, the Republic
successfully met the difficulties and dangers of its new career.

Only less important to the National life than the administration of
Washington, was that of Jefferson who demonstrated by his rule that the
ideals of liberty were not incompatible with the reign of law. Under his
leadership the empire of Louisiana extending from the Gulf to the
Canadian line was acquired, and the muniments of our title established
by the explorations of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, two more of
Virginia's sons.

Under President Madison, the second war with Great Britain was fought,
which established the independence of America upon the seas. Under
President Monroe, the territory of the Floridas was acquired, and the
Doctrine promulgated under which two continents were dedicated to
democratic development unawed by the governments of the Old World.

Virginia gave to the Union John Marshall, "second to none among the most
illustrious jurists of the English race," according to John Fiske. For
thirty-five years, the great Chief Justice presided over the Supreme
Court, and by his decisions performed a work of incomparable importance
in establishing the position and power of that tribunal, and in welding
in more indissoluble bonds the Union itself.

Under President Tyler, the empire of Texas was brought into the Union.
Scott and Taylor led the armies of the Republic in the war with Mexico,
while associated with them was a brilliant group of younger
Virginians,—Lee, Jackson, Johnston, Thomas, and others who, by their
bravery and leadership, added fresh lustre to American arms.

Where shall we look for the ideals of the Republic if not to the
Declaration of Independence, the Ordinance of 1787, and the
Constitution, great canons of liberty and union—with which the names of
Virginia statesmen are pre-eminently associated? To these may be added
Virginia's epoch-making Statute for Religious Freedom and her Bill of
Rights, which latter is declared by Mr. Bancroft to be, "the groundwork
of American institutions."[353]


While many of her sister states had surpassed Virginia in contributions
to art, literature, and science, in commercial and industrial
development, her triumphs had been in the realm of statecraft and
jurisprudence, on the field of battle, and amid the dangers of the
frontier. The achievements of her statesmen, jurists, soldiers and
pioneers marked the measure of her pride and the summit of her fame. The
making of the Union, maintaining its ideals, and extending its limits,
were the noblest monuments of their labors. By statues and memorials, by
song and story, by the lawmaker's work and the orator's appeal,
Virginians of every generation were stimulated to revere the principles
and safeguard the achievements of these illustrious men.

With such a past, and with such a part in making the Union, will it be
supposed that the Virginians of 1861 pressed forward with wanton hands
to destroy the fabric of the Republic and thwart the ideals of its
founders? May we not believe that the true sentiments of the dominant
element of the state were voiced in the words of John Janney, who, on
assuming the Presidency of the Virginia Convention, in 1861, said:

  "Causes which have passed, and are daily passing into history, which
  will set its seal upon them, but which I do not mean to review, have
  brought the constitution and the Union into imminent peril, and
  Virginia has come to the rescue. It is what the whole country expected
  of her—her pride as well as her patriotism, her interest as well as
  her honor, called upon her with an emphasis she could not disregard to
  save the monuments of her own glory."[354]


Footnote 347:

  _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. VI, p. 196.

Footnote 348:

  _Idem_, p. 197.

Footnote 349:

  _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. IV, p. 197.

Footnote 350:

  _Idem_, p. 198.

Footnote 351:

  _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. IV, p. 210.

Footnote 352:

  _Critical Period of American History_, Fiske, p. 239.

Footnote 353:

  _History of United States_, Bancroft, Vol. IV, p. 416.

Footnote 354:

  _Journal of Virginia Convention of 1861_, p. 8.



As Virginia had borne a conspicuous part in founding the Union, so, when
civil dissensions arose and its integrity was threatened, she was
foremost in mediation. At no time were her efforts more earnest than in
the troublous days of 1860-61. James Ford Rhodes says: "Virginia, whose
share in forming the Union had been greater than that of any other one
state, was loath to see that great work shattered, and now made a
supreme effort to save it."[355]

Following the announcement of Mr. Lincoln's election, South Carolina
seceded and in all the other Cotton States the manifestations of popular
sentiment foreshadowed like action. The people of Virginia, though
profoundly moved by the considerations which influenced their brethren
of the far South, were yet opposed to secession, and proceeded to put
forth every effort to avert war, and bring back the Cotton States to
their former allegiance.


On the 7th of January, 1861, her General Assembly was called in extra
session. Governor Letcher's message set forth the dangers and problems
which confronted the state and nation. "The condition of our country at
this time," he declared, "excites the most serious fears for the
perpetuation of the Union.... Surely no people have been blessed as we
have been, and it is melancholy to think that all is now about to be
sacrificed on the Altar of Passion. If the judgments of men were
consulted, if the admonitions of their consciences were respected, the
Union would yet be saved from overthrow."

While thus expressing devotion to the Union, he yet proclaimed his
belief in the legal right of secession. He deplored the precipitate
action of South Carolina, declaring that in a movement "involving
consequences so serious to all the slaveholding states, no one state
should have ventured to move without first having given timely notice to
the others of her purpose." He reviewed at length the action of that
great element of the Northern people, which, for years, had been
unceasing in their assaults upon the constitutional rights of the South
on the questions growing out of the existence of slavery. He alluded to
the recent messages of the Governors of South Carolina and Mississippi
in which the Border States were referred to in no over-friendly terms,
and with suggestions of legislative enactments hostile to their
interests. "While disavowing," he declared, "any unkind feeling toward
South Carolina and Mississippi, I must still say that I will resist the
coercion of Virginia in the adoption of a line of policy whenever the
attempt is made by Northern or Southern States." He expressed his
opposition to the plan for calling a state convention at that time,
suggesting that instead the General Assembly should appoint
commissioners to visit the Legislatures of such Northern States as had
passed laws repugnant to the Federal Constitution, and respectfully urge
their immediate repeal; and that in like manner commissioners be sent to
the Legislatures of the slaveholding states to ascertain the extent and
character of their demands and the action deemed necessary for the
protection of their rights and interests.[356]


The General Assembly thereupon adopted a series of resolutions inviting
all such states of the Union "as are willing to unite with Virginia in
an earnest effort to adjust the present unhappy controversies ... to
appoint commissioners to meet on the fourth day of February next, in the
City of Washington, similar commissioners appointed by Virginia." The
resolutions also provided for the immediate appointment of Ex-President
John Tyler as a Commissioner to the President of the United States, and
Judge John Robertson as a Commissioner to the State of South Carolina
and to any other state that had seceded or might secede, to urge upon
them to abstain from any and all acts calculated to produce a collision
of arms between such states and the government of the United States,
pending the proceedings contemplated by the General Assembly of

Ex-President John Tyler, William C. Rives, Judge John W. Brokenbrough,
George W. Summers and James A. Seddon were appointed Commissioners from
Virginia to the Washington Conference—which became known in history as
the Peace Conference.

The sentiments which prompted this movement are doubtless truly
expressed in the preamble to the resolutions which declares:

  "Whereas, it is the deliberate opinion of the General Assembly of
  Virginia that unless the unhappy controversy which now divides the
  states of this Confederacy shall be satisfactorily adjusted, a
  permanent dissolution of the Union is inevitable, and the General
  Assembly is desirous of employing every reasonable means to avert so
  dire a calamity," etc.

Both Houses of the General Assembly, however, adopted by practically
unanimous votes resolutions declaring that the Union, having been formed
by the consent of the states, it was repugnant to Republican
institutions to maintain it by force; that the government of the Union
had no right to make war upon "any of the states which had been its
constituent members"; and that with respect to states which have
withdrawn or may withdraw from the Union, "we are unalterably opposed to
any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to coerce the same
into reunion or submission and that we will resist the same by all means
in our power."[357]


To the call of Virginia, twenty states responded; and their
representatives met on the 4th day of February, 1861, in the City of
Washington. It was a notable gathering. Among the prominent members were
William P. Fessenden and Lot M. Morrill, of Maine; George S. Boutwell
and Charles Allen, of Massachusetts; David Dudley Field, Erastus
Corning, William E. Dodge and General John E. Wool, of New York; Robert
F. Stockton and Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey; David Wilmot
and A. W. Loomis of Pennsylvania; Reverdy Johnson, of Maryland; Thomas
Ruffin and J. M. Morehead, of North Carolina; James Guthrie and Charles
A. Wicliffe, of Kentucky; Salmon P. Chase, William S. Groesbeck and
Thomas Ewing, of Ohio; Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, and James Harlan, of

Mr. Rhodes says: "The historical significance of the Peace Convention
consists in the evidence it affords of the attachment of the Border
Slave States to the Union."[358]


Some evidence of the spirit which animated the people of Virginia may be
gathered from the speeches of her delegates. John Tyler, on assuming the
Presidency of the body, spoke in part as follows:

  "The voice of Virginia has invited her co-states to meet her in
  council. In the initiation of this Government that same voice was
  heard and complied with, and the resulting seventy-odd years have
  fully attested the wisdom of the decision then adopted. Is the urgency
  of her call less great than it was then? Our God-like fathers created!
  We have to preserve. They have built up through their wisdom and
  patriotism monuments which have eternized their names. You have before
  you, gentlemen, a task equally grand, equally sublime, quite as full
  of glory and immortality; you have to snatch from ruin a grand and
  glorious Confederation, to preserve the Government and to renew and
  invigorate the constitution. If you reach the height of this great
  occasion your children's children will rise up and call you

In the course of one of his speeches, Ex-Senator Rives said:

  "Mr. President, the position of Virginia must be understood and
  appreciated. She is just now the neutral ground between two embattled
  legions—between two angry, excited and hostile portions of the Union.
  Something must be done to save the country, to allay these
  apprehensions, to restore a broken confidence. Virginia steps in to
  arrest the progress of the country on its way to ruin.... Sir, I have
  had some experience in revolutions in another hemisphere, in
  revolutions produced by the same causes that are now operating among
  us.... I have seen the pavements of Paris covered and the gutters
  running with fraternal blood. God forbid I should see this horrid
  picture repeated in my own country—and yet it will be, sir! if we
  listen to the counsel urged here."[360]

George W. Summers, another of the Virginia delegates, opened his speech
to the conference in these words:

  "Mr. President! my heart is full! I cannot approach the great issues
  with which we are dealing, with becoming coolness and deliberation!
  Sir! I love this Union. The man does not live who entertains a higher
  respect for this government than I do. I know its history—I know how
  it was established. There is not an incident in its history that is
  not precious to me. I do not wish to survive its dissolution."[361]


In contrast to these pathetic appeals of Virginia's representatives were
expressions coming from many of her sister states North and South. None
of the seven Cotton States sent delegates to the convention. South
Carolina declared that "the separation of that state was final and that
she had no further interest in the constitution of the United

The well-known letter of Senator Zachariah Chandler, of Michigan,
written from Washington during the session of the convention to the
Governor of his state, is representative of the spirit which dominated
one element of the Northern people.

                      Washington, February 11, 1861.

  _My dear Governor:_

  Governor Bingham and myself telegraphed you on Saturday, at the
  request of Massachusetts and New York, to send delegates to the Peace,
  or Compromise Congress. They admit that we were right and that they
  were wrong; that no Republican state should have sent delegates; but
  they are here and cannot get away. Ohio, Indiana, Rhode Island are
  caving in and there is danger of Illinois; and now they beg us, for
  God's sake, to come to their rescue and save the Republican Party from
  rupture. The whole thing was gotten up against my judgment and advice
  and will end in thin smoke. Still, I hope as a matter of courtesy to
  some of our erring brethren that you will send the delegates.

                      Truly your friend,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

  His Excellency, Austin Blair.

  P. S. Some of the manufacturing states think that a fight would be
  awful. Without a little blood-letting this Union will not, in my
  estimation, be worth a rush."[363]

The fact that the deliberations of the Peace Conference proved
unavailing to arrest the movement towards disunion and civil war is no
indication that the motives which impelled the people of Virginia to
call their countrymen to council were not those of the highest


Footnote 355:

  _History of United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 290.

Footnote 356:

  _Journal of Virginia House of Delegates_, Extra Session, 1861,
  Document No. 1.

Footnote 357:

  These resolutions were adopted in the House of Delegates by a vote of
  one hundred and twelve ayes to five noes. See _Journal Virginia House
  of Delegates_, Extra Session, 1861, p. 10. In the Senate only one vote
  was recorded against their adoption.

Footnote 358:

  _History of United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 307.

Footnote 359:

  _Proceedings of Peace Convention_, Crittenden, p. 14.

Footnote 360:

  _Proceedings of Peace Convention_, Crittenden, p. 135.

Footnote 361:

  _Idem_, p. 15.

Footnote 362:

  _Causes of Civil War_, Chadwick, p. 270.

Footnote 363:

  _Proceedings of Peace Convention_, 1861, p. 468, Crittenden.



The General Assembly which issued the call for the Peace Conference also
adopted a joint resolution providing for a convention in Virginia to
take under consideration the problems and dangers of the hour. By the
terms of this act, the people of Virginia were to select delegates to
the convention, and were to declare by a separate vote whether the
action of that body should be binding upon the commonwealth, or whether
it should be referred back to them for ratification or rejection.


Under this call, the people of Virginia repaired to the polls on the 4th
of February, 1861. Seldom, if ever, in her history had they been
summoned to an election so fraught with importance to the state and the
Union. The seven Cotton States had already seceded, and in not one where
the question had been formally acted upon had there been a decision
against secession. Only two days before, February 2d, the great State of
Texas had withdrawn from the Union. Had Virginia at that critical moment
declared for a like policy, it is almost certain that the remaining
Southern States would have followed her example. In such an event,
President Lincoln would on the day of his inauguration have found the
Capital of the Union encompassed by the States of Virginia and Maryland,
both members of the new Confederation.

With results so important and far reaching to the Union dependent upon
her action, the election in Virginia was held. Opposing candidates
presented themselves for the suffrages of the people in each of the one
hundred and fifty-two districts; unconditional Secessionists,
unconditional Union men and men opposed to secession and favorable to
the Union, provided the authorities of the latter did not resort to
force to bring back the states which had seceded. From the Ohio River to
the sea, from North Carolina to the Pennsylvania line, the people of the
commonwealth were stirred by the fervor of the campaign and the
magnitude of the issues upon which they were called to pass.

The returns from the ballot box showed that a large majority of the
delegates elected were opposed to Virginia's secession, and by a vote of
100,536 to 45,161, the people commanded that the findings of the
Convention should be submitted to them for ratification or rejection.


The result of this election was not only of the greatest importance to
the Union, but it was a formal declaration to the world that Virginia,
on the issues as then made up, refused to secede.

  "Thus be it always remembered," says Charles Francis Adams, "Virginia
  did not take its place in the secession movement because of the
  election of an anti-slavery President. It did not raise its hand
  against the National Government from mere love of any peculiar
  institution, or a wish to protect or perpetuate it. It refused to be
  precipitated into a civil convulsion; and its refusal was of vital
  moment. The ground of Virginia's final action was of wholly another
  nature, and of a nature far more creditable."[364]

The importance of Virginia's position was well appreciated, both by the
friends of the Union and by the advocates of secession. On the day
before the election, William H. Seward wrote from Washington: "The
election to-morrow probably determines whether all the slave states will
take the attitude of disunion. Everybody around me thinks that that will
make the separation irretrievable and involve us in a flagrant civil
war. Practically everybody will despair." A day or two later, he wrote
that the result of the Virginia election had come "like a gleam of
sunshine in a storm," and that "at least the danger of conflict, here or
elsewhere, before the 4th of March has been averted."[365]

Charles Francis Adams has placed upon record the impressions of the

  "Though over forty years ago, I well remember that day—gray,
  overcast, wintry—which succeeded the Virginia election. Then living
  in Boston, a young man of twenty-five, I shared—as who did not—in
  the common deep depression and intense anxiety."

After describing the first receipt of news from the election, Mr. Adams
adds: "Virginia, speaking against secession, had emitted no uncertain
sound. It was as if a weight had been taken off the mind of every one.
The tide seemed turned at last."[366]

James Ford Rhodes says:

  "The election in Virginia for members of her State Convention had much
  significance. The one hundred and fifty-two delegates chosen were,
  with substantial correctness, classed as thirty so-called
  Secessionists, twenty Douglas men and one hundred and two Whigs, which
  proves, asserted the _Richmond Whig_, a journal which argued
  strenuously for delay, that 'the Conservative victory in Virginia is
  perfectly overwhelming,' the precipitators having sustained 'a
  Waterloo defeat.'"[367]


The Convention assembled the 13th of February, and the friends of the
Union elected to its presidency the venerable John Janney. The spirit
and purpose of this dominant element may be gathered from a few extracts
in the speech of President Janney, on assuming his position:

  "It is now seventy-three years since a convention of the people of
  Virginia was assembled in this hall to ratify the constitution of the
  United States, one of the chief objects of which was to
  consolidate—not the government but the union of the states. Causes
  which have passed, and are daily passing, into history which will set
  its seal upon them, but which I do not mean to review, have brought
  the constitution and the Union into imminent peril, and Virginia has
  come to the rescue. It is what the whole country expected of her. Her
  pride, as well as her patriotism; her interest, as well as her honor,
  called upon her with an emphasis she could not disregard, to save the
  monuments of her own glory....

  "Gentlemen, there is a flag which for nearly a century has been borne
  in triumph through the battle and the breeze and which now floats over
  this Capitol, on which there is a star representing this ancient
  commonwealth, and my earnest prayer, in which I know every member of
  this body will cordially unite, is that it may remain there forever,
  provided always that its lustre is untarnished.... Is it too much to
  hope that we, and others who are engaged in the work of peace and
  conciliation, may so solve the problems which now perplex us as to win
  back our sisters of the South, who, for what they deem sufficient
  cause, have wandered from their old orbits?"[368]

From the day of its opening session down to the 17th of April, the
advocates of secession and union confronted each other in debate.
Prominent among the Secessionists were Robert L. Montague, Lewis E.
Harvie, James P. Holcombe, John Goode and Jeremiah Morton. To this
number should be added Ex-President John Tyler, who, upon the failure of
the Peace Conference to accomplish its mission, advocated the secession
of Virginia.

Foremost among the Union men were John B. Baldwin, George W. Summers,
Jubal A. Early, Alexander H. H. Stuart, John S. Carlile, Williams C.
Wickham, and the President, John Janney. Among other prominent members
of the Convention were William Ballard Preston, Henry A. Wise, Robert Y.
Conrad, James C. Bruce, Eppa Hunton, Robert E. Scott, Allen T. Caperton,
John Echols, Waitman T. Willey, George W. Randolph and William L.


The most potent factor in determining the action of the Convention would
be the policy of the incoming Federal administration with respect to the
states which had seceded. While a large majority of the Virginia people
at the recent election had declared against the secession of their
state, yet the organization of the Southern Confederacy had precipitated
a problem of extreme delicacy and danger. What would be the attitude of
the Federal Government towards these states? If negotiations for their
return proved unavailing, would they be permitted to enjoy in peace
their new-found independence, or would the Federal Government seek to
establish its supremacy over them by force of arms?

Charles Francis Adams alluding to the crisis, says: "So now the issue
shifted. It became a question not of slavery, or of the wisdom, or even
the expediency of secession, but of the right of the National Government
to coerce a sovereign state. This, at the time, was well

No one acquainted with the historic position of Virginia could doubt
what her action would be if called to decide for or against coercion.
Would the alternative be presented? President Buchanan, while denying
the constitutional right of secession, had submitted to Congress the
problem of dealing with the states which had seceded and Congress had
taken no action. What would be President Lincoln's position? To his
forthcoming inaugural address, the country looked for a definite
declaration of his policy and by that declaration the course of Virginia
would be determined.


Footnote 364:

  _Lee at Appomattox and other Papers_, Adams, p. 403.

Footnote 365:

  _Lee at Appomattox and Other Papers_, Adams, p. 403.

Footnote 366:

  _Idem_, p. 402.

Footnote 367:

  _History of United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 309.

Footnote 368:

  _Journal of Virginia Convention_, 1861, p. 8.

Footnote 369:

  _Lee at Appomattox and Other Papers_, Adams, p. 404.


                               _PART IV_

                     PROXIMATE CAUSE OF VIRGINIA'S





President Lincoln's first inaugural address may be safely reckoned among
the most notable of American state papers, both for the purity of
diction and the earnest patriotism which pervade it. With a spirit of
fraternalism appealing and pathetic, he called upon his countrymen to
turn from discord and separation to a new lease of brotherhood and a
revival of devotion to the Republic consecrated by the sacrifices and
labors of their fathers. The address gave assurance that the Federal
Government would respect the rights of the states and individuals in
regard to slavery, and that no interest or section would be disturbed in
any constitutional right by the incoming administration. Upon the great
point, however, as to the policy of the Federal Government in regard to
coercing the states which had seceded, the address was held by many to
be fairly susceptible of different constructions. Thus the President

  "I, therefore, consider that in view of the constitution and the laws,
  the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take
  care, as the constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the
  laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states. Doing this
  I deem to be a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far
  as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American People, shall
  withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner direct
  the contrary."

It must be remembered that at the time these words were uttered the
seven Cotton States had withdrawn from the Union; had organized the
Southern Confederacy, and that in all the vast region from North
Carolina to the Rio Grande, the Confederacy's authority was recognized,
except at Fort Sumter and three or four like forts where the flag of the
Union still waved. Mr. Lincoln's declaration, therefore, that these
states were still in the Union and that he intended to enforce the
execution of its laws within their borders was accepted in many quarters
as avowing a purpose to coerce these states and their citizens into a
recognition of its jurisdiction and authority. Against this construction
should be placed other extracts from the address. Thus he said:

  "The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy and possess the
  property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the
  duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects
  there will be no invasion, no using of force, against or among the
  people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior
  locality shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent
  resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no
  attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object.
  While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce
  the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so
  irritating and so nearly impracticable withal that I deem it better to
  forego for the time the uses of such offices."


The declarations of President Lincoln were received with strongly
contrasted feelings by the three elements which constituted the
membership of the Virginia Convention. The Secessionists hailed his
position as fore-shadowing Federal coercion which in turn would compel
Virginia's withdrawal from the Union. The unconditional Union men
accepted his views as the logical and necessary avowals of his
constitutional duty. The conditional Union men, while denying in a
measure the correctness of his position, both from a constitutional and
ethical standpoint, were yet gratified by the pacific spirit of his
address. They counselled moderation on the part of the Convention and
clung tenaciously to the hope that some adjustment might be perfected
between the authorities of the Union and those of the seceded states and
thus the alternative of submitting to coercion or seceding from the
Union might never be presented to the people of Virginia. This last
element held the balance of power in the Convention. As illustrating
their position, it may be well to insert extracts from the speeches of a
few of their representative men.

James W. Sheffey, speaking five days before President Lincoln's
inauguration, said:

  "We love the Union, but we cannot see it maintained by force. They say
  the Union must be preserved—she can only be preserved through
  fraternal affection. We must take our place—we can't remain neutral.
  If it comes to this and they put the question of trying force on the
  states which have seceded, we must go out.... We are waiting to see
  what will be defined coercion. We wait to see what action the new
  President will take."[370]

George Baylor, speaking three days before President Lincoln's
inauguration, said: "Secession is not a constitutional measure; even if
it were, we should delay before using it. Let us stay in the Union where
we have always been. Yet, I am opposed to coercion."[371]

Thomas Branch, speaking the day after President Lincoln's inaugural
address, said:

  "My heart has been saddened and every patriotic heart should be
  saddened, and every Christian voice raised to heaven in this time of
  our trial. After the reception of Mr. Lincoln's inaugural, I saw some
  gentlemen rejoicing in the hotels. Rejoicing for what, sir? For
  plunging ourselves and our families, our wives and children in civil
  war? I pray that I may never rejoice at such a state of things. I pray
  that I may never have to march to battle to front my enemies. But I
  came here to defend the rights of Virginia and I mean to do it at all
  hazards; and if we must go to meet our enemies, I wish to go with the
  same deliberation, with the same solemnity that I would bend the knee
  in prayer before Almighty God."[372]

Jubal A. Early, speaking on the same day, said:

  "I do not approve of the inaugural of Mr. Lincoln and I did not expect
  to be able to endorse his policy and I did not think there was a
  member of this Convention who expected to endorse it; but, sir, I ask
  the gentleman from Halifax and the gentleman from Prince Edward, if it
  were not for the fact that six or seven states of this Confederacy
  have seceded from this Union, if the declarations of President Lincoln
  that he would execute the laws in all the states would not have been
  hailed throughout the country as a guarantee that he would perform his
  duty, and that we should have peace and protection for our property
  and that the Fugitive Slave Law would be faithfully executed? I ask
  why is it that we are placed in this perilous condition? And if it is
  not solely from the action of these states that have seceded from the
  Union without having consulted our views?"[373]

George W. Brent, speaking on the 8th of March, said:

  "Abolitionism in the North, trained in the school of Garrison and
  Phillips, and affecting to regard the constitution as 'a league with
  Hell and a covenant with Death,' has with a steady and untiring hate
  sought a disruption of this Union, as the best and surest means for
  the accomplishment of the abolition of slavery in the Southern
  States.... South Carolina and those leading statesmen of the South who
  have been educated in the philosophy of free trade have likewise with
  unwearied and constant assiduity pursued their schemes of disunion.
  Conscious of their inability to effect their schemes within the Union
  they have sought a disruption of the states....

  "In these two schools of political philosophy, Mr. President, I trace
  all the evils and disastrous troubles which now afflict and disturb
  our beloved and unhappy land.... Recognizing as I have always done,
  the right of a state to secede, to judge of the violation of its
  rights and to appeal to its own mode for redress, I could not uphold
  the Federal Government in any attempt to coerce the seceded states to
  bring them back in the Union."[374]


The foregoing extracts give some fairly accurate idea of the position of
those members of the Convention, who, though looked upon as Union men,
yet, when the final test came after President Lincoln called for troops,
voted for secession. How close in sympathy with this element were many
of the Union men will appear from the following extract from a speech of
George W. Summers, who upon the final ballot still voted against

  "Where would be the wisdom of passing an ordinance of secession in the
  face of the known sentiment of a Virginia constituency? The people do
  not mean to adopt such an ordinance until every available measure of
  adjustment has been exhausted. Come on then with your plans; and when
  all fail, the people of the commonwealth will be united from one end
  to the other.... No enlightened statesmanship can compare the
  secession of states by conventional authority with insurrectionary
  movements in former times. It is a new and unlooked for condition of
  things. I am in favor of letting the seceded states alone. The last
  news gives encouragement to the hope that the troops will soon be
  withdrawn from Fort Sumter, and time will bring back the states into
  the common family. It is the duty of Virginia to stand by the Union
  until the performance of that duty becomes impossible."[375]


Footnote 370:

  See _Richmond Enquirer_, February 28th, 1861.

Footnote 371:

  See _Richmond Enquirer_, March 2d, 1861.

Footnote 372:

  See _Richmond Enquirer_, March 7th, 1861.

Footnote 373:

  See _Richmond Enquirer_, March 7th, 1861.

Footnote 374:

  See _Richmond Enquirer_, March 9th, 1861.

Footnote 375:

  _Richmond Dispatch_, March 13th, 1861.


                           AGAINST SECESSION

For nearly a month and a half after President Lincoln's inauguration,
the struggle in the Virginia Convention between the advocates and
opponents of secession continued—a contest in which the champions of
opposing sides living beyond the state sought to make their influence
effective. Mr. Rhodes says: "It is easy to understand why both Davis and
Lincoln were so anxious for the adhesion of Virginia. Her worth was
measured by the quality as well as the number of her men."[376]


Henry Wilson records in his _Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in

  "There was no state concerning whose course there was greater doubt or
  more anxious solicitude than Virginia. Her size, position, traditional
  influence and past leadership, with the knowledge that in whichever
  side of the scale her great weight should be thrown, the fortunes of
  the threatened conflict would be seriously affected thereby,
  intensified the anxiety felt."[377]

Commissioners from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana appeared before
the Convention on different occasions, and with impassioned eloquence,
appealed to Virginia to stand with her sisters of the South.

Mr. Lincoln's efforts were directed through prominent Union members of
the Convention. His great object was to secure an adjournment _sine die_
of that body, without the adoption of an ordinance of secession, and
without the assurance on his part that no attempt would be made to
coerce the Cotton States. John B. Baldwin, a leading Union man in the
Convention, was one of its members brought into conference with Mr.
Lincoln. On the 6th of April, 1861, Mr. Baldwin went to the White House,
where, in response to the President's inquiries, he presented the
attitude of the dominant element of the Virginia Convention, and heard
the President's appeals and reasonings why that body should immediately
adjourn. Mr. Baldwin urged upon Mr. Lincoln the wisdom and necessity of
proclaiming to the world that the Federal Government had no intention of
coercing the Cotton States: "Only give this assurance," said Mr.
Baldwin, "to the country in a proclamation of five lines, and we pledge
ourselves that Virginia will stand by you as though you were our own

How pivotal was the position of the Federal Government with reference to
coercion as determining Virginia's action may be gathered not only from
the speeches of the members of her Convention, but from other utterances
made at the time by her leading men.

Matthew F. Maury, under date of March 4th, 1861, wrote: "Virginia is not
at all ready to go out of this Union; and she is not going out for
anything that is likely to occur, short of coercion—such is my

George W. Summers, under date of March 19th, 1861, wrote from Richmond:

  "The removal from Fort Sumter (alluding to the report that it would be
  evacuated) acted like a charm—it gave us great strength. A reaction
  is going on in this state. The outside pressure here has greatly
  subsided. We are masters of our position here, and can maintain it, if
  left alone."

The same day he wrote: "What delays the removal of Major Anderson (the
officer in charge of Fort Sumter)? Is there any truth in the suggestion
that the thing is not to be done after all? This would ruin us."[380]


A fairly accurate estimate of the position of the Virginia Convention
may be gathered from the report of its Committee on Federal Relations,
and the tentative action of that body with respect to the same. Soon
after the organization of the Convention, this committee, consisting of
twenty-one members, was appointed, and a rule adopted by which all
memorials and proposals relating to the secession of the state, or any
of the many questions involved in the pending controversies, should be
referred to this committee without debate.


On the 16th of March, the report of the committee was taken up for
consideration in the Committee of the Whole Convention. The majority
report embodied the views of some two-thirds of the membership of the
committee. There were several individual reports, but the views of the
minority were expressed in the report signed by Messrs. Montague, Harvie
and Williams, which simply recommended the immediate adoption of an
ordinance providing for the secession of the state.

The report of the majority consisted of fourteen sections, and with it
was submitted an amendment to the constitution of the United States,
which the states of the Union were requested to endorse and make it a
part of that instrument. The discussion with respect to this report and
the amendment so proposed, continued from the 16th of March to the 15th
of April, when before final and complete action by the Convention, the
secession of the state was precipitated, under the conditions hereafter

The report of the majority is a lengthy document setting forth the
attitude of Virginia with respect to the character of the Federal
Government—the rights and powers of the latter in the territories, and
over the forts, arsenals, etc.—in the states which had seceded, and all
the many questions growing out of the contest over slavery.

The maintenance of peace was declared to be the foremost duty of the
hour. "Above all things, at this time, they esteem it of indispensable
necessity to maintain the peace of the country, and to avoid everything
calculated or tending to produce collision and bloodshed," said the

The sixth section of the report deplored the present "distracted
condition of the country," and expressed the earnest hope, "That an
adjustment may be reached, by which the Union may be preserved in its
integrity; and peace, prosperity and fraternal feeling be restored
throughout the land."

To this section the report of the minority, providing for Virginia's
immediate secession, was offered as a substitute; and on the 4th of
April the latter was voted down by a recorded vote of forty-five "Yeas"
to eighty-nine "Nays," and the section as reported by the majority
adopted by a vote of one hundred and four "Yeas" to thirty-one

The eighth section declared:

  "The people of Virginia recognize the American principle, that
  government is founded in the consent of the governed ... and they will
  never consent that the Federal power, which is in part their power,
  shall be exerted for the purpose of subjugating the people of such
  states (the seceded states) to the Federal authority."

By the eleventh section appeal is made to the states to make response to
the position assumed in the resolutions and the proposed amendment to
the constitution of the United States, and the warning given that unless
satisfactory assurances were forthcoming, Virginia would feel compelled
to resume the powers granted by her under the constitution. Time and
again the report declares that "any action of the Federal Government
tending to produce collision of forces," or any such action on the part
of the seceded or confederated states, would be deemed offensive to the
state, and greatly to be deplored.


Accompanying this report, as above indicated, was an amendment to the
constitution of the United States, the most important features of which
dealt with the matter of slavery in the territories, and the institution
in the states where it was established by law.


With respect to the first, the amendment provided that in all the
territories north of 36 degrees and 30 minutes, slavery should be
forever prohibited, and in all the territory south of that line, slavery
was to be permitted; any territory, however, south of that line to have
the privilege to permit or deny slavery by its constitution adopted
preliminary to its admission as a state into the Union.

The amendment also provided that no territory should thereafter be
acquired by the United States except for naval and other like depots,
without the concurrence of a majority of the Senators from the states
which "allowed involuntary servitude and a majority of the Senators from
the states which prohibited that relation."

The amendment further provided that Congress should never have the power
to abolish slavery in the states where it existed, nor in the District
of Columbia without the consent of Maryland and Virginia. The slave
trade in the District of Columbia and the foreign slave trade were
forever prohibited, as was also the custom of bringing slaves into the
District of Columbia for the purpose of their sale or distribution to
other parts of the country. Congress should provide for the payment to
the owner for any fugitive slave whose return was prevented by mobs or
intimidation, after his arrest; and the elective franchise and the right
to hold office were not to be accorded persons of the African race.[382]

While no final action had been taken upon this report, with the
accompanying amendment, by the Convention at the time of Virginia's
secession, yet the votes taken in the Committee of the Whole on the
various paragraphs of the report indicated that had not Virginia's
secession been precipitated, the report would have been adopted by the
body in substantially the form in which it came from the Committee on
Federal Relations.


What would have been the attitude of the other states to the amendment
to the constitution so proposed, must, of course, be a matter of
conjecture, but the adoption by Congress, though controlled by the
Republican Party, of the joint resolution providing for an amendment
which should forever prohibit Congress from interfering with slavery in
the states where it existed, and the enactment of the statute organizing
the territories of Dakota, Colorado and Nevada without prohibition as to
slavery, would seem to indicate that the principal provisions of the
amendment proposed by Virginia would have met the approval of the
requisite number of the states.


As above indicated, the crucial point, with the group holding the
balance of power in the Convention, was the position of the Federal
Government upon the question of coercing the Cotton States. The
employment of force to compel three millions of people to submit to a
government not of their own choice, was at war with the Declaration of
Independence and repugnant to thousands of the American people North as
well as South. That the Federal Government would have been sustained in
a bald invasion of the Southern States, may well be questioned. The
situation, however, was not quite so embarrassing for the Government.
Many of these states had formally ceded to the Union jurisdiction over
parcels of land within their respective limits, upon which had been
erected forts, post offices or custom houses. These constituted coigns
of vantage, where the rights of the Federal Government were of a dignity
higher, or at least more manifest, to the popular mind, than those
rights which obtained over the whole area of the states or their
citizens. Thus in the great drama of diplomacy and play for position
which preceded the Civil War, the rights of the nation and of the states
in these forts and buildings became matters of imminent moment. When
South Carolina seceded, Fort Moultrie was occupied by Federal soldiers.
She appointed commissioners to negotiate with the authorities at
Washington for the withdrawal of the troops, and the settlement of all
questions with respect to the fort and other like properties in the
state. Later these troops were transferred by the Federal authorities to
Fort Sumter. Upon the organization of the Southern Confederacy,
commissioners from it were substituted for those appointed by South
Carolina. President Lincoln refused to recognize the Southern
Confederacy, or to treat with its representatives. Negotiations,
however, semi-official in character, were instituted, and upon the
reports which went out from these conferences men gauged the chances of
peace or war. If Fort Sumter were evacuated, the prospects of peace
would be enhanced. If the Federal Government should decide to hold the
fort, and provision and strengthen its garrison, then war would be
imminent. Upon these contingencies, stocks rose and fell, and the
friends of peace took hope or lost heart.


Footnote 376:

  _History of United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 462.

Footnote 377:

  _The Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America_, Wilson, Vol. III,
  p. 138.

Footnote 378:

  Colonel Baldwin's Interview with Mr. Lincoln, Dabney. _Southern
  Historical Papers_, Vol. 1, p. 449.

Footnote 379:

  _Life of Matthew F. Maury_, Corbin, p. 186.

Footnote 380:

  _History of United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 345.

Footnote 381:

  _Journal of the Committee of the Whole_, Virginia Convention, 1861,
  pp. 31-43.

Footnote 382:

  See Report of the Committee on Federal Relations, with accompanying
  exhibits in the Appendix of the _Journal of the Virginia Convention_,


                     AGAINST SECESSION (Concluded)

On the 8th of April, the Virginia Convention adopted the following

  "WHEREAS, in the opinion of this Convention the uncertainty which
  prevails in the public mind as to the policy which the Federal
  Executive intends to pursue towards the seceded states is extremely
  injurious to the industrial and commercial interests of the country,
  tends to keep up an excitement which is unfavorable to the adjustment
  of pending difficulties, and threatens a disturbance of the public
  peace; therefore,

  "RESOLVED, That a committee of three delegates be appointed by this
  Convention to wait upon the President of the United States and present
  to him this Preamble and Resolution, and respectfully ask him to
  communicate to this Convention the policy which the Federal Executive
  intends to pursue in regard to the Confederate States."[383]

William Ballard Preston, Alexander H. H. Stuart and George W. Randolph
were unanimously elected members of the committee thus created.

That this action of the Virginia Convention was not hypercritical, that
grave doubts actually existed as to the position of the Federal
Government, is a fact of contemporary history. Writing from Washington,
March 16, 1861, to Ex-President Buchanan, Edwin M. Stanton said:

  "Every day affords proof of the absence of any settled policy or
  harmonious concert of action in the Administration. Seward, Bates and
  Cameron form one wing; Chase, Welles, Blair, the opposite wing; Smith
  is on both sides and Lincoln sometimes on one, sometimes on the other.
  There has been agreement in nothing."[384]

W. H. Russell, the well-known correspondent of the _London Times_, notes
in his diary under date of March 23d: "The Government (of the United
States) appears to be helplessly drifting with the current of events,
having neither bow nor stern, neither keel nor deck, neither rudder,
compass, sails nor steam."[385]

On the 1st of April, Secretary Seward presented to the President his now
famous memorandum, "Some thoughts for the President's consideration,"
the opening paragraph of which recited: "First. We are at the end of a
month's administration, and yet without a policy either foreign or

On the 15th of April, the Committee of the Virginia Convention appointed
to wait on the President submitted its report. It recited that because
of violent and protracted storms they had not reached Washington until
the 12th; that agreeable to the wishes of the President they appeared
before him on the 13th and presented the resolution; and that the
President thereupon read to them a paper which embodied his response to
the Convention.


In his reply, Mr. Lincoln stated that having, in his inaugural address,
defined his intended policy, it was with deep regret and some
mortification that he now learned that there was great and injurious
uncertainty as to what that policy was; he commended a careful
consideration of the document as the best expression he could give of
his purpose. Continuing, he said:

  "As I then and therein said, I now repeat, 'The power confided to me
  will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places
  belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but
  beyond what is necessary for these objects there will be no invasion,
  no using of force against or among the people anywhere.'"


Continuing, the President said:

  "But if, as now appears to be true, in pursuance of a purpose to drive
  the United States authority from these places an unprovoked assault
  has been made upon Fort Sumter, I shall hold myself at liberty to
  repossess if I can like places which had been seized before the
  Government was devolved upon me.

  "And, in any event, I shall to the extent of my ability repel force by

  "In case it proves true that Fort Sumter has been assaulted as
  reported, I shall perhaps cause the United States mails to be
  withdrawn from all the states which claim to have seceded, believing
  that the commencement of actual war against the Government justifies
  and possibly demands it."[387]

What effect this reply of the President would have had upon the Virginia
Convention it is impossible to say, for on the day of its presentation
to that body came the news of his proclamation calling for an army of
seventy-five thousand men.

The proclamation recited that the laws of the United States were opposed
and their execution obstructed in the states of South Carolina, Georgia,
Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, "by combinations"
too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial

The militia thus called for was apportioned among the several states
(except the seven forming the Southern Confederacy) and their governors
were requested to furnish forthwith their respective quotas. Despite the
somewhat ambiguous character of this proclamation, men everywhere
believed that the attempt was now to be made to re-establish by force of
arms the supremacy of the National Government over the states of the
Southern Confederacy, and that to every commonwealth was presented the
solemn alternative of bearing a part for or against this movement.


President Lincoln justified the immediate issuance of his proclamation
because of what he termed the unprovoked attack on Fort Sumter and the
wanton insult thus offered the honor and dignity of the nation. On the
other hand, it was insisted that his action in breaking off the
negotiations, having for their object the peaceful adjustment of all
questions relating to Fort Sumter, his notice to the Governor of South
Carolina that its garrison would be provisioned, and the arrival off the
harbor of Charleston of the Relief Squadron charged with that mission,
not only precipitated the conflict, but justified the inauguration by
the Southern Confederacy of what would have been, under other
circumstances, offensive measures. Had the authorities of the
Confederacy been more thoughtful of their interests than their rights,
or taken counsel of their caution rather than of their courage, they
might have permitted the naval expedition to provision Fort Sumter and
reinforce its garrison with men and munitions of war. Such, however, was
not the temper and fibre of that people. They met what they deemed a
second invasion of their country just as they did four months before,
when they fired upon the "Star of the West" in the first attempt to
relieve the Fort.

Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, in his work
_The War Between the States_, presents the position of his Government
with respect to the matter as follows:

  "I maintain that it (the war) was inaugurated and begun though no blow
  had been struck, when the hostile fleet, styled the 'Relief Squadron,'
  with eleven ships carrying two hundred and eighty-five guns and two
  thousand four hundred men, was sent out from New York and Norfolk,
  with orders from the authorities at Washington to reinforce Fort
  Sumter, peaceably, if permitted, but forcibly, if they resist."


The action of the Virginia Convention was quick and decisive. On the
17th of April, an ordinance was adopted providing for Virginia's
secession from the Union and submitting this action of the Convention to
the people for ratification or rejection at a special election to be
held on the 23d of May. In the Convention the tentative ordinance was
passed by a vote of eighty-eight ayes to fifty-five noes (nine not
voting), and before the people a month later it was confirmed by a vote
of 128,884 against 32,134. Mr. Rhodes records that, in the concluding
hours of the Convention, strong men spoke for or against secession, with
sorrowful hearts and in voices trembling with emotion.[388]

This action of the Convention was the logical and inevitable result of
the President's proclamation. There had never been any doubt as to
Virginia's position. With all her loyalty to the Union, she had
repeatedly declared in the most authoritative manner, her opposition to
the coercion of the Cotton States and her determination to resist such a

To the requisition upon Virginia for her quota of troops Governor
Letcher made reply to the Secretary of War:

  "I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished
  to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have
  in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States and the
  requisition made upon me for such an object—an object in my judgment
  not within the purview of the constitution or the act of 1795, will
  not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; and
  having done so we will meet you in a spirit as determined as the
  Administration has exhibited toward the South."[389]

The Governors of Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and North
Carolina returned like answers to the requisitions of the Federal
authorities for troops.

Mr. Henderson, the English writer, in his work from which we have
heretofore quoted, says with reference to Virginia's position:

  "So far Virginia had given no overt sign of sympathy with the
  revolution. But she was now called upon to furnish her quota of
  regiments for the Federal Army. To have acceded to the demands would
  have been to abjure the most cherished principles of her political
  existence.... Neutrality was impossible. She was bound to furnish her
  tale of troops and thus belie her principles; or secede at once and
  reject, with a clean conscience, the President's mandate. If the
  morality of secession may be questioned, if South Carolina acted with
  undue haste and without sufficient provocation, if certain of the
  Southern politicians desired emancipation for themselves, that they
  might continue to enslave others, it can hardly be denied that the
  action of Virginia was not only fully justified, but beyond


Footnote 383:

  _Journal of Virginia Convention_, 1861, p. 143.

Footnote 384:

  _Life of James Buchanan_, Curtis, Vol. II, p. 534.

Footnote 385:

  _My Diary, North and South_, Russell, Vol. I, p. 37.

Footnote 386:

  _Speeches, Letters and State Papers of Abraham Lincoln_, N. & H., Vol.
  II, p. 29.

Footnote 387:

  _Journal of Virginia Convention_, 1861, Document No. XVII.

Footnote 388:

  _History of United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 386.

Footnote 389:

  _American Conflict_, Greeley, Vol. I, p. 459.

Footnote 390:

  _Stonewall Jackson_, Henderson, Vol. I, p. 122.


                          AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE

The relative responsibility for the collision at Fort Sumter we are not
concerned to consider except in so far as it may have affected the
action of Virginia in withdrawing from the Union. The charge is often
heard, that, despite Virginia's professed love for the Union, and her
efforts to maintain the peace, she made haste to unite her fortunes with
the Southern Confederacy because of this assault by its soldiers upon
Fort Sumter. It would seem a most illogical conclusion to all her
unquestioned efforts if she were thus led to espouse the cause of the
Confederacy and to gird herself for battle by reason of the happening of
the very event she had striven so earnestly to avert. It was not the
assault upon Fort Sumter, however momentous in its potency, which
impelled Virginia, but the proclamation of President Lincoln which
followed. The proclamation was the proximate cause of her secession,
though her action was stimulated by the previous course of the Federal
authorities with respect to the Fort. The people of Virginia regarded
the policy of the Administration as characterized by a disregard for the
peace of the country, a play for position ill-befitting a great nation
at such a solemn crisis. Much has been written in defense of that
policy. In support of Virginia's arraignment, the sentiments of Mr.
Lincoln's Cabinet ministers may be quoted. Three weeks previous to the
issuance of the orders for the relief of Fort Sumter, five of its seven
members recorded their opposition and the considerations of prudence and
patriotism which impelled them to their position.

On the 15th of March, 1861, President Lincoln submitted the following
request in writing to each member of his Cabinet:

  "_My dear Sir_:

  "Assuming it to be possible to now provision Fort Sumter, under all
  the circumstances is it wise to attempt it? Please give me your
  opinion in writing on this question.

                                                    Your obedient



Secretary Seward, in the course of an extended reply, wrote:

  "If it were possible to peaceably provision Fort Sumter, of course, I
  should answer that it would be both unwise and inhuman not to attempt
  it. But the facts of the case are known to be that the attempt must be
  made with the employment of military and marine force which would
  provoke combat and probably initiate a civil war which the Government
  of the United States would be committed to maintain, through all
  changes, to some definite conclusion."...

Continuing, Mr. Seward said:

  "Suppose the expedition successful, we have then a garrison in Fort
  Sumter that can defy assault for six months. What is it to do then? Is
  it to make war by opening its batteries to demolish the defenses of
  the Carolinians? Can it demolish them if it tries? If it cannot, what
  is the advantage we shall have gained? If it can, how will it serve to
  check or prevent disunion? In either case, it seems to me, that we
  will have inaugurated a civil war by our own act, without an adequate
  object, after which reunion will be hopeless, at least under this
  Administration or in any other way than by a popular disavowal both of
  the war and of the Administration which unnecessarily commenced it.
  Fraternity is the element of union; war the very element of disunion."

In conclusion, he said: "If this counsel seems to be impassive and even
unpatriotic, I console myself by the reflection that it is such as
Chatham gave to his country under circumstances not widely

Secretary Cameron wrote he would advise such action if he "did not
believe the attempt to carry it into effect would initiate a bloody and
protracted conflict."[393]

Secretary Welles wrote:

  "By sending or attempting to send provisions into Fort Sumter, will
  not war be precipitated? It may be impossible to escape it under any
  course of policy that may be pursued, but I am not prepared to advise
  a course that would provoke hostilities.... I do not, therefore, under
  all the circumstances, think it wise to provision Fort Sumter."[394]

Secretary Smith wrote:

  "The commencement of civil war would be a calamity greatly to be
  deplored and should be avoided if the just authority of the Government
  may be maintained without it. If such a conflict should become
  inevitable, it is much better that it should commence by the
  resistance of the authorities or the people of South Carolina to the
  legal action of the Government in enforcing the laws of the United

  "If a conflict should be provoked by the attempt to reinforce Fort
  Sumter, a divided sentiment in the North would paralyze the arm of the
  Government, while the treason in the Southern States would be openly
  encouraged in the North.... I, therefore, respectfully answer the
  inquiry of the President by saying that in my opinion it would not be
  wise, under all the circumstances, to attempt to provision Fort

Attorney General Bates wrote:

  "I am unwilling, under all the circumstances, at this moment, to do
  any act which may have the semblance before the world of beginning a
  civil war, the terrible consequence of which would, I think, find no
  parallel in modern times.... For these reasons, I am willing to
  evacuate Fort Sumter, rather than be an active party in the beginning
  of civil war.... Upon the whole I do not think it wise now to attempt
  to provision Fort Sumter."[396]

Postmaster General Blair and Secretary Chase united in the opinion that
it would be wise to make the effort to provision Fort Sumter.

Mr. Blair wrote:

  "I believe that Fort Sumter may be provisioned and relieved by Captain
  Fox with but little risk; and General Scott's opinion that, with its
  war complement, there is no force in South Carolina which can take it,
  renders it almost certain that it will not then be attempted. This
  would completely demoralize the rebellion.... No expense nor care
  should therefore be spared to achieve this success."[397]

Secretary Chase wrote:

  "A correct solution must depend, in my judgment, on the degree of
  possibility, on the combination of reinforcement with provisioning and
  on the probable effects of the measure on the relations of the
  disaffected states to the National Government.

  "I shall assume what the statements of the distinguished officers
  consulted seem to warrant, that the possibility of success amounts to
  a reasonable degree of probability; and also that the attempt to
  provision is to include an attempt to reinforce; for it seems to be
  generally agreed that the provisioning without reinforcements
  notwithstanding hostile resistance, will accomplish no substantially
  beneficial purpose.

  "The probable political effects of the measure allow room for much
  fair difference of opinion, and I have not reached my own conclusion
  without much difficulty."

The Secretary then proceded to declare, that, if such a step would
produce civil war, he could not advise in its favor, but that, in his
opinion, such a result was highly improbable, especially if accompanied
by a proclamation from the President reiterating the sentiments of his
inaugural address. "I, therefore," concluded Mr. Chase, "return an
affirmative answer to the question submitted to me."[398]

It will be seen, from the foregoing extracts, that five of the seven
members of the Cabinet concurred in the opinion that no attempt should
be made to provision or reinforce Fort Sumter, and that such an attempt
would in all probability precipitate civil war. As Mr. Seward expressed
it: "We will have inaugurated a civil war by our own act without an
adequate object"; or in the language of Secretary Welles, "By sending or
attempting to send provisions into Fort Sumter, will not war be
precipitated?... I am not prepared to advise a course that would provoke

If such were the opinions of leading members of President Lincoln's
Cabinet, expressed in confidential communications to their chief, as to
the character of the proposed action, can it be deemed unreasonable that
the people of Virginia held similar views?

Fourteen days later, the President made a verbal request to his Cabinet
for an additional expression of their views upon the same subject.
Seward and Smith adhered to their former opinions. Chase and Blair were
joined by Welles. Bates was noncommittal, and no reply was made by
Cameron, so far as the records show.


In the light of the facts and arguments presented by the members of the
President's Cabinet, men, not a few, will conclude that, if the
explosion occurred at Fort Sumter, the mine was laid at Washington.


Footnote 391:

  _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
  II, p. 11.

Footnote 392:

  _Idem_, pp. 11 and 14.

Footnote 393:

  _Idem_, p. 17.

Footnote 394:

  _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
  II, p. 18.

Footnote 395:

  _Idem_, pp. 19 and 20.

Footnote 396:

  _Idem_, p. 22.

Footnote 397:

  _Idem_, p. 21.

Footnote 398:

  _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
  II, pp. 14 and 15.


                          VIRGINIA'S SECESSION

James Ford Rhodes in his history of the United States, referring to the
eventful year of 1861, says:

  "There were at this time in the Border States of Virginia, Maryland,
  Kentucky and Missouri unconditional Secessionists and unconditional
  Union men; but the great body of the people, although believing that
  the wrongs of the South were grievous and cried for redress, deemed
  secession inexpedient.... All denied either the right or the
  feasibility of coercion."[399]

What was the pith and potency of this anti-coercion sentiment among the
people of Virginia?


There were two distinct schools of thought and yet both denied the right
of the Federal Government to coerce the people of the Cotton States.

One school believed in the constitutional right of a state to secede:
the Union was formed by the constitution—which was a compact between
independent sovereignties; the powers of the Union were those and only
those delegated to it by the states; the states never surrendered their
sovereignty, nor their right to withdraw from the Union for what they
deemed sufficient cause. This, in brief, was the position of the school
which maintained the constitutional right of a state to secede.

The other school while denying the constitutionality of secession, yet
held that the Federal Government could not reduce to submission a people
as numerous as those of the Cotton States, without doing violence to the
principles, ethical and political, upon which the Union was founded.
This in brief was the position of those who maintained the revolutionary
right of the people of the seceded states to fix their own form of
government unawed by any outside power.

It is not within the purview of our allotted task to vindicate or even
investigate the constitutional right of a state, or of the Cotton
States, to secede from the Union, or to accomplish the same end through
the right of revolution as inherent in their people. Our discussion is
here limited to a consideration of the strong anti-coercion sentiments
among the Virginia people, and how these convictions ultimately
controlled their action on the question of the secession of their state.
It will suffice to say that whether regarded as a constitutional or a
revolutionary right, or both combined, the people of Virginia held that
the Cotton States, having deliberately and with almost unexampled
unanimity, decided to dissolve the political relations which formerly
existed between them and their sister commonwealths, that with respect
to the legal and ethical character of this action there was no competent
court of review this side of the judgment seat of Heaven. The wisdom of
their secession might be denied, the morality of their action might be
questioned, the disastrous consequences to the Union might be admitted,
but still no right existed in any body of men to invade their country
and defeat their aspirations by the sword.

Had not a people as numerous and united as those of the Cotton States
the inherent right, in the language of the Declaration of Independence,
"To assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station
to which the laws of Nature and Nature's God entitled them?" Were the
just powers of governments derived from the consent of the governed? To
the Virginians of 1861 it was a solecism to accord to one body of people
a right, and yet acknowledge in another the equal right to defeat its
exercise. It was an anachronism to talk in America, after the
Declaration of Independence and the war with Great Britain, about the
right of self-government in three millions of people as being dependent
upon force. This was acknowledged before Samuel Adams and Thomas
Jefferson were born, and before the Patriots had made good their great
avowals by their heroic struggles from Concord to Yorktown. Force,
Virginia insisted, was not the method of holding great masses of
American freemen in unwilling association with their fellows; nor the
implements of war, the legitimate means for determining great questions
of legal and ethical right.


Jefferson Davis, in his farewell address to the United States Senate,
expressed the sentiments of Virginia upon this point when he said:

  "Now, sir, we are confusing language very much. Men speak of
  revolution; and when they say revolution, they mean blood. Our fathers
  meant nothing of the sort. When they spoke of revolution, they meant
  an inalienable right. When they declared as an inalienable right, the
  power of the people to abrogate and modify their form of government
  whenever it did not answer the ends for which it was established, they
  did not mean that they were to sustain that by brute force.... Are we,
  in this age of civilization and political progress ... are we to roll
  back the whole current of human thought and again to return to the
  mere brute force which prevails between beasts of prey as the only
  method of settling questions between men?...

  "Is it to be supposed that the men who fought the battles of the
  Revolution for community independence, terminated their great efforts
  by transmitting posterity to a condition in which they could only gain
  those rights by force? If so, the blood of the Revolution was shed in
  vain; no great principles were established; for force was the law of
  nature before the battles of the Revolution were fought."[400]


Such was the attitude of the great body of the Virginia people. That no
new principle was asserted to meet the exigencies of the hour, all
acquainted with the history of the state will readily appreciate. Even
men who denied the constitutional right of secession, joined with those
who believed in that right in opposing coercion.

Robert E. Lee, writing on the 23d of January, 1861, said:

  "Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our constitution
  never exhausted so much labor, wisdom and forbearance in its formation
  and surrounded it with so many guards and securities if it was
  intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will....

  "Still a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets and
  in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love
  and kindness, has no charm for me. If the Union is dissolved and the
  Government disrupted I shall return to my native state and share the
  miseries of my people—and save in defense will draw my sword on

William C. Rives, speaking on the 19th of February, 1861, in the Peace
Conference at Washington, as one of the Commissioners from Virginia,

  "I condemn the secession of states, I am not here to justify it. I
  detest it, but the fact is still before us. Seven states have gone out
  from among us and a President is actually inaugurated to govern the
  new Confederacy.... Force will never bring them together. Coercion is
  not a word to be used in this connection."[402]

George Baylor, speaking on the 1st of March 1861, in the Virginia
Convention, said:

  "I have said, Mr. President, that I did not believe in the right of
  secession. But whilst I make that assertion, I also say that I am
  opposed to coercion on the part of the Federal Government with the
  view of bringing the seceded states back into the Union.... I am
  opposed to it first because I can find no authority in the
  Constitution of the United States delegating that power to the Federal
  Government, and second because if the Federal Government had the power
  it would be wrong to use it."[403]

The foregoing sentiments were not confined to the Virginia people,
either of the Revolutionary or Civil War periods. A few deliverances by
men of international reputation made during the three decades preceding
the Civil War will serve to illustrate the truth of this suggestion:

M. de Tocqueville, in his work, _Democracy in America_, discussing the
subject, says:

  "However strong a government may be, it cannot easily escape from the
  consequences of a principle which it has once admitted as the
  foundation of its constitution. The Union was formed by the voluntary
  agreement of the states; and in uniting together they have never
  forfeited their nationality nor have they been reduced to the
  condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chose to
  withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove
  its right of doing so; and the Federal Government would have no means
  of maintaining its claims directly, either by force or by right."[404]


Lord Brougham in his _Political Philosophy_, alluding to the unique
character of the government created by the constitution of the United
States, writes:

  "There is not, as with us, a government only and its subjects to be
  regarded; but a number of governments, of states, having each a
  separate and substantive, and even independent existence, originally
  thirteen now six and twenty, and each having a Legislature of its own
  with laws differing from those of the other states. It is plainly
  impossible to consider the constitution which professes to govern this
  whole Union, this federacy of states, as anything other than a

John Quincy Adams, speaking before the New York Historical Society in
1839, on the fiftieth anniversary of Washington's inauguration as
President of the United States, said:

  "To the people alone there is reserved as well the dissolving as the
  constituent power and that power can be exercised by them only under
  the tie of conscience binding them to the retributive justice of

  "With these qualifications we may admit the right as vested in the
  people of every state of the Union with reference to the General
  Government which was exercised by the people of the United Colonies
  with reference to the supreme head of the British Empire of which they
  formed a part and under these limitations have the people of each
  state of the Union a right to secede from the Confederated Union


Mr. Lincoln, speaking on the 12th of January, 1848, in Congress, said:

  "Any people anywhere being inclined and having the power have the
  right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new
  one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, most sacred
  right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor
  is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an
  existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such
  people that can may revolutionize and make their own any or so much of
  the territory as they inhabit."[407]

Probably Mr. Gladstone expressed in the briefest possible compass the
general consensus of the Virginia people, when on the 24th of April,
1862, in his Manchester speech, referring to the attitude of the Federal
Government and the Northern people, he said: "We have no faith in the
propagation of free institutions at the point of the sword."[408]


Scarcely less pronounced were the sentiments of many prominent Americans
expressed just before the outbreak of the Civil War with reference to
the moral or political right of the Federal Government or the Northern
people to coerce the Southern States.

Horace Greeley, in the issue of the _New York Tribune_ of November 9th,
1860, discussing the contemplated secession of the Cotton States, wrote:

  "If the Cotton States shall decide that they can do better out of the
  Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace. The right to
  secede may be a revolutionary one but it exists nevertheless; and we
  do not see how one party can have a right to do what another party has
  a right to prevent."[409]

Again he wrote:

  "If it (the Declaration of Independence) justified the secession from
  the British Empire of three millions of colonists in 1776, we do not
  see why it would not justify the secession of five millions of
  Southerners from the Federal Union in 1861. If we are mistaken on this
  point why does not some one attempt to show wherein and why(?)"[410]

On the 23d of February, 1861, he wrote:

  "We have repeatedly said and we once more insist that the great
  principle embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of American
  Independence that governments derive their just powers from the
  consent of the governed is sound and just; and that if the Slave
  States, the Cotton States, or the Gulf States only, choose to form an
  independent nation they have a clear moral right to do so."[411]

President Buchanan, in his message to Congress on the 3d of December,
1860, said:

  "The fact is that our Union rests upon public opinion and can never be
  cemented by the blood of its citizens shed in civil war. If it cannot
  live in the affections of the people it must one day perish. Congress
  possesses many means of preserving it by conciliation; but the sword
  was not placed in their hands to preserve it by force."

Edward Everett, writing on the 2d of February, 1861, to the Union
Meeting called to assemble at Faneuil Hall, said:

  "To expect to hold fifteen states in the Union by force is
  preposterous. The idea of a civil war, accompanied, as it would be, by
  a servile insurrection, is too monstrous to be entertained for a
  moment. If our sister states must leave us, in the name of Heaven, let
  them go in peace."[412]

Wendell Phillips, speaking at New Bedford, Mass., on the 9th of April,
1861, said:

  "But I am sorry that a gun should be fired at Fort Sumter or that a
  gun should be fired from it for this reason: The administration at
  Washington does not know its time. Here are a series of states girding
  the Gulf who think that their peculiar institutions require that they
  should have a separate government. They have a right to decide that
  question without appealing to you or me. A large body of people,
  sufficient to make a nation, have come to the conclusion that they
  will have a government of a certain form. Who denies them the right?
  Standing with the principles of '76 behind us, who can deny them the

Abraham Lincoln, speaking on the 15th of November, 1860, said:

  "My own impression is, leaving myself room to modify the opinion, if,
  upon further investigation, I should see fit to do so, that this
  Government possesses both the authority and the power to maintain its
  own integrity. That, however, is not the ugly point of this matter.
  The ugly point is the necessity of keeping the Government together by
  force as ours should be a Government of fraternity."[414]

On the 10th of April, 1861, only five days previous to the call for
seventy-five thousand soldiers, Mr. Seward, as Secretary of State, in an
official communication to the American Minister to Great Britain, wrote:

  "For these reasons he (the President) would not be disposed to reject
  a cardinal dogma of theirs (the Secessionists), namely, that the
  Federal Government could not reduce the seceding states to obedience
  by conquest, even though he were disposed to question that
  proposition. But, in fact, the President willingly accepts it as true.
  Only an imperial or despotic government could subjugate thoroughly
  disaffected and insurrectionary members of the state. This Federal
  Republican system of ours of all forms of government is the very one
  which is most unfitted for such labor."[415]


Such were some of the deliverances of prominent Americans in the days
immediately preceding the Civil War. They expressed the sentiments of
leading Virginians of the time and explained and vindicated their
position in resisting the policy of coercion adopted by the Federal
Government. Why was it that in the supreme hour Greeley and Seward and
Lincoln, and all their notable compatriots, parted company with

Charles Francis Adams says:

  "Virginia, as I have said, made state sovereignty an article—a
  cardinal article—of its political creed. So logically and
  consistently it took the position that though it might be unwise for a
  state to secede, a state which did secede could not and should not be

  "To us now this position seems worse than illogical. It is impossible.
  So events proved it then. Yet, after all, it is based on the
  fundamental principle of the consent of the governed; and in the days
  immediately preceding the Civil War something very like it was
  accepted as an article of correct political faith by men afterwards as
  strenuous in support of a Union re-established by force as Charles
  Sumner, Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and
  Horace Greeley. The difference was that confronted by the overwhelming
  tide of events, Virginia adhered to it; they, in presence of that
  tide, tacitly abandoned it."[416]


Footnote 399:

  _History of the United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 214.

Footnote 400:

  _Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government_, Vol. I, p. 617.

Footnote 401:

  _Memoirs of Robert E. Lee_, Long, p. 88.

Footnote 402:

  _Proceedings of Peace Convention_, Crittenden, p. 136.

Footnote 403:

  See _Richmond Enquirer_, March 2d, 1908.

Footnote 404:

  _Democracy in America_, de Tocqueville, Vol. II, p. 257.

Footnote 405:

  _Political Philosophy_, Brougham, 1849, part 3, p. 336.

Footnote 406:

  _Buchanan's Administration_, Buchanan, p. 98.

Footnote 407:

  _Abraham Lincoln, Speeches, Letters and State Papers_, N. & H., Vol.
  I, p. 105.

Footnote 408:

  _History of the United States_, Rhodes, Vol. IV, p. 80.

Footnote 409:

  _History of the United States_, Rhodes, Vol. III, p. 140.

Footnote 410:

  _Life of James Buchanan_, Curtis, Vol. II, p. 430.

Footnote 411:


Footnote 412:

  _Origin of the Late War_, Lunt, 1816, p. 431.

Footnote 413:

  _History of Massachusetts in Civil War_, Schouler, Vol. I, p. 45.

Footnote 414:

  _Abraham Lincoln, A History_, N. & H., Vol. III, p. 247.

Footnote 415:

  _Diplomatic Correspondence_, 1861, p. 58.

Footnote 416:

  _Lee at Appomattox and Other Papers_, C. F. Adams, 1902, p. 403-4.



The crisis arose and thus was precipitated Virginia's secession. To many
of her people it came as a long hoped for event. They rejoiced that
Virginia was now to enter upon a more inspiring career untrammelled by
associates divergent in sentiments and hostile in interests. They hailed
the rise of the Southern Confederacy as a new nation born into the
world, and with eager hearts looked forward to a future which should
bring to the people of Virginia and the South a measure of
self-government, peace and prosperity they had never known before.

To the majority, however, of the Virginia people the event came as one
long dreaded and much to be deplored. They met it with a firm adherence
to the principles so often declared, but with profound regret that the
occasion had arisen which rendered their assertion imperative.

The pathos no less than the determination which marked the hour may be
read in the contemporary utterances of her foremost men.


Her Governor, John Letcher, in his message to the General Assembly,
January 1861, said:

  "Surely no people have been blessed as we have been, and it is
  melancholy to think that all is now about to be sacrificed on the
  Altar of Passion. If the judgments of men were consulted, if the
  admonitions of their consciences were respected, the Union would yet
  be saved from overthrow."

Three months later, however, in response to the call for Virginia's
quota of troops, he wrote to the authorities at Washington: "You have
chosen to inaugurate civil war; and, having done so, we will meet you in
a spirit as determined as the Administration has exhibited toward the

Robert E. Lee, anticipating the event, in January, 1861, wrote:

  "I shall mourn for my country and for the welfare and progress of
  mankind. If the Union is dissolved and the Government disrupted, I
  shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people,
  and, save in defense, will draw my sword on none."[417]

Three months later, in accepting the command of Virginia's army of
defense, he said: "Trusting in Almighty God, an approving conscience and
the aid of my fellow-citizens, I devote myself to the service of my
native state."

Equally significant were the sentiments of the wife of this great
Virginian. Writing to General Winfield Scott, May 5th, 1861, Mary Custis
Lee said: "No honors can reconcile us to this fratricidal war which we
would have laid down our lives freely to avert ... Oh! that you could
command peace to our distracted country. Yours in sorrow and

John Janney, on accepting the Presidency of the Virginia Convention,
February 13th, 1861, said:

  "Gentlemen, there is a flag ... which now floats over this Capitol on
  which there is a star representing this ancient commonwealth and my
  earnest prayer, in which I know every member of this body will
  cordially unite, is that it may remain there forever, provided always
  that its lustre is untarnished."

On the 23d of April, 1861, in notifying Robert E. Lee of his appointment
as chief in command of Virginia's militia, he said:

  "Virginia having taken her position, as far as the power of this
  Convention extends, we stand, animated by one impulse, governed by one
  desire and one determination—and that is, that she shall be defended;
  and that no spot of her soil shall be polluted by the foot of an

Matthew F. Maury writing on the 11th of May, 1861, said: "I grant them
(certain of his Northern friends) sincere, but I cannot but lament in
the depths of my heart and in excruciating agony that their delusion is
such as to have already allowed the establishment of a military

Again he wrote: "All of us are of one mind, very cool, very determined,
no desire for a conflict. We are on the defensive."[420]

John B. Baldwin, when asked after President Lincoln's proclamation what
would be the position of the Union men in Virginia, wrote:

  "We have no Union men in Virginia now. But those who were Union men
  will stand to their guns, and make a fight that will shine out on the
  page of history as an example of what a brave people can do after
  exhausting every means of pacification."[421]


In addition to all the considerations set forth in the foregoing pages,
the student of history must, if he would fully appreciate the forces
which controlled their action with respect to secession and the Civil
War, take into account the racial characteristics of the Virginia
people. A full portrayal of these characteristics, strongly marked and
persisting from generation to generation, must be the work of some other
pen. Suffice it here to say that as a people they exalted honor and
courage—both in the individual and in the clan; they exhibited the
strength of the idealist, combined, on the part of many, with the
limitations of the doctrinaire; they decided questions by the standards
of abstract right rather than in their relation to the duties and
interests of other peoples and other times; they were self-reliant,
content to justify the integrity of their conduct to their own
consciences rather than to the world; they were tenacious of their
rights and regarded a threatened invasion as not only justifying but
compelling resistance if the ideals and conditions which make men
patriots and freemen were to find an abiding place in their state.


"We are not contending," wrote Washington in 1774, "against paying the
duty of three pence per pound on tea as burdensome, no, it is the right
only that we have all along disputed."[422]

"It is the principle," wrote Lee in 1861, "I contend for, not individual
or private benefit."[423]

Such were some of the predominant characteristics of the people whom
President Lincoln's proclamation called to war. In the conflict thus
joined between the Federal Government and the Southern Confederacy, the
people of Virginia took a stand, predetermined by the beliefs and
avowals of successive generations, and impelled by an unswerving
idealism found their supreme incentive to action in their determination
to maintain the integrity of principle.


Footnote 417:

  _Memoirs of Robert E. Lee_, Long, p. 88.

Footnote 418:

  See letter from Mrs. R. E. Lee to General Winfield Scott, in _Life of
  Robert E. Lee_, Fitzhugh Lee, p. 93.

Footnote 419:

  _Journal of Virginia Convention_, 1861, pp. 9 and 187.

Footnote 420:

  _Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury_, Corbin, p. 96.

Footnote 421:

  _School History of the United States_, Jones, p. 239.

Footnote 422:

  _History of the United States_, Bancroft, Vol. 4, p. 29.

Footnote 423:

  _Memoirs of Robert E. Lee_, Long, p. 88.



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African Repository and Colonial Journal.

American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings of. New Series, Vol. V.

American Colonization Society, Reports of. 1817-1860.

Annals of Congress.

_Arnold, Isaac N._ Lincoln and Slavery, Chicago, 1866.

_Ballagh, J. C._ History of Slavery in Virginia, 1902.

_Bancroft, George._ History of the United States.

_Barnes, Thurlow Weed._ Thurlow Weed, 1884.

_Blaine, J. G._ Twenty years of Congress.

_Brougham, Lord._ Political Philosophy, 1849.

_Bruce, Philip Alexander._ Life of Robert E. Lee, 1907.

_Burgess, J. W._ The Civil War and The Constitution (2 Volumes).

Burke, Edmund, Works of. Little, Brown & Co's. Edition.

_Chadwick, F. E._ Causes of the Civil War, 1906. (American Nation

_Chambers, William._ American Slavery and Colour, 1857.

_Chandler, J. A. C._ Representation in Virginia.

Channing, William Ellery, Works of. American Unitarian Society.

_Colton, Calvin._ Private Correspondence of Henry Clay, 1855.

Congressional Debates. Volume XIII.

Constitution of the United States.

Constitution of Virginia, 1829-1830.

Constitution of Virginia, 1850-1851.

_Conway, Moncure D._ Life of Edmund Randolph.

_Cox, S. S._ Three Decades of Federal Legislation.

_Corbin, D. F. M._ Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, 1888.

_Crittenden, L. E._ Proceedings of Peace Convention, Washington, 1861.

_Curtis, George Ticknor._ Life of James Buchanan (2 Volumes), 1883.

_Dabney, R. L._ Defence of Virginia.

_Davis, Jefferson._ Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (2
Volumes), 1881.

_Dew, T. R._ An Essay on Slavery, 1849.

_Dillon, John F._ Life, Character and Judicial Services of John Marshall
(3 Volumes), 1903.

Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861.

_DuBois, W. E. B._ Suppression of the African Slave Trade. Harvard
Historical Studies, Vol. I, 1896.

_Dunn, Jr., J. P._ Indiana, A Redemption from Slavery, 1888.

_Earle, Thomas._ Life, Travels and Opinions of Benjamin Lundy, 1847.

_Fiske, John._ American Revolution (2 Volumes), 1891.

_Fiske, John._ Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789. Published

_Fiske, John._ Old Virginia and Her Neighbors (2 Volumes), 1897.

_Frothingham, O. B._ Gerrit Smith, A Biography, 1878.

_Frothingham, O. B._ Theodore Parker, A Biography, 1874.

_Garland, H. A._ Life of John Randolph of Roanoke (2 Volumes), 1850.

_Garrison, Wendell Phillips and Francis J._ William Lloyd Garrison, The
Story of his Life, Told by his Children (4 Volumes), 1885, 1889.

_Goodloe, Daniel R._ Southern Platform, 1855.

_Greeley, Horace._ The American Conflict (2 Volumes), 1864, 1866.

_Green, J. R._ A Short History of the English People.

_Harris, N. Dwight._ History of Negro Servitude in Illinois, and of
Slavery Agitation in that State, 1904.

_Hart, A. B._ Slavery and Abolition (The American Nation Series), 1906.

_Helper, H. R._ The Impending Crisis in the South. How to Meet it, 1857.

_Henderson, G. F. R._ Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War (2
Volumes), 1898.

Hening's Statutes at Large. (Virginia) (13 Volumes).

_Henry, William Wirt._ Life of Patrick Henry (3 Volumes).

_Howe, Henry._ Historical Collections of Ohio, 1891. Volumes I, II, and

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Abolitionists, adverse influence of, upon anti-slavery sentiment in
   Virginia, 43, 48, 51, 59;
  character of assaults of, upon slavery and Virginians, 48, 49;
  views of Thomas Jefferson Randolph upon, 51;
  views of George Tucker upon, 51, 52;
  views of Henry Ruffner upon, 53;
  views of William Ellery Channing upon, 53;
  views of Abraham Lincoln upon, 54, 55;
  views of Daniel Webster upon, 55;
  views of Stephen A. Douglas upon, 56;
  views of Thomas Ewing upon, 56;
  views of George Lunt upon, 57;
  views of George Ticknor Curtis upon, 57;
  views of Theodore Roosevelt upon, 58;
  views of William Henry Smith upon, 58;
  attitude of, contrasted with that of Republicans, 194, 195;
  efforts of, to defeat fugitive slave law, 200, 201;
  purpose and methods of, 210, 212;
  disunion sentiments of, 213;
  contended that Union alone protected slaveholders, 219;
  see John Brown, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, William Lloyd Garrison,
     Theodore Parker, Wendell Phillips.

Abolition of Slavery in Virginia, petition for, from citizens of
   Staunton, 128, 129.

Adams, Charles Francis, estimate of Virginians at Gettysburg, 139, 140;
  estimate of racial difficulties, 181;
  his analysis of Virginia's grounds of secession, 249;
  records effects of Virginia's declaration for union, 253;
  on coercion as the issue, 255;
  views as to Virginia's unchanged allegiance to state sovereignty, 294.

Adams, John Quincy, on action of anti-slavery societies, 1835, 174;
  not an Abolitionist, 195;
  views as to right of secession, 290.

Adams, Reverend Nehemiah, on assaults upon Virginia by Abolitionists,
   48, 49;
  on feeling in Virginia regarding slave traders, 141;
  on reactionary effects of Abolitionists, 176.

African Slave Trade, early opposition to, in Virginia, 16;
  letter of Colonel William Byrd against, 16;
  petition of Virginia House of Burgesses against, 1772, 18;
  arraignment of in original draft of Declaration of Independence, 19;
  Virginia Colonial Convention 1774, hostile to, 21;
  declaration against in Continental Congress, 1774, 21, 22;
  Virginia's statute abolishing, 1778, 25;
  George Mason's denunciation of, 30;
  efforts of Virginians in Congress to suppress, 33;
  President Jefferson's message, 1806-07 on suppression of, 34;
  President Madison's message, 1810, recommending more stringent laws
     against, 35;
  act of 1819 against, 36;
  joint resolution of Congress, 1823, against, 36;
  "Right of Search" in suppression of, advocated by President Monroe,
     1824, 37;
  President Tyler's message against, 1841-42, 38;
  appeal of Henry A. Wise against, 1845, 38-39;
  President Taylor's message against, 1849, 39.

Agriculture in Virginia, injurious effects of slavery upon, 127-137.

Amalgamation of blacks and whites, Governor James McDowell on, 163;
  William C. Rives on, 163-164;
  M. de Tocqueville on, 164;
  Stephen A. Douglas on, 165;
  General William T. Sherman on, 165;
  William H. Seward on, 165;
  Abraham Lincoln on, 165-166.

American Anti-Slavery Society, its organization, 1833, 200;
  disunion resolutions of, May, 1844, 213.

American Civil War, character of, 1-3;
  parties to, 2, 3;
  causes of, 3-5;
  objects for which it was waged, 5-9.

American Colonization Society, its organization, 1816, 61;
  establishes colony of Liberia, 1819, 62, 63;
  organization of auxiliary societies to, in Virginia, 63;
  work of, impeded by pro-slavery men and Abolitionists, 65.

Amendment to constitution, proposed by Congress, 1861, safeguarding
   slavery, 192;
  ratified by Ohio and Maryland, 192.

Annapolis, convention assembles at, 1786, to amend Articles of
   Confederation, 238.

Anti-Slavery sentiments, of prominent Virginians, 82-101.

Apportionment, basis of, for representation in Virginia Legislature,
   144, 172.

Arkansas, secedes because of Lincoln's call for troops, 226.

Bacon, Reverend Leonard, estimate of condition of free negroes, 1831,

Baldwin, John B., a Union leader in Virginia Convention, 1861, 255;
  urges President Lincoln to abandon coercion, 266;
  on position of Union men in Virginia after her secession, 297.

Ballagh, J. H., on Virginia's primacy in prohibiting African slave
   trade, 25;
  on slavery debate in Virginia's Legislature, 1832, 46;
  on estimate of number of slaves freed in Virginia, 102.

Bancroft, George, on Virginia's effort to prohibit importation of
   slaves, 17;
  on Virginia's Bill of Rights, 23;
  on Ordinance of 1787, 27;
  on injurious effect of slavery on Virginia, 127;
  estimate of Virginia's action in calling for intercolonial committees
     of correspondence, 239;
  estimate of Virginia's action in securing Convention at Philadelphia,
     1787, 239.

Banks, Governor N. P., addresses Legislature of Massachusetts, January,
   1861, on "personal liberty laws," 205.

Barton, D. W., emancipates slaves, 70.

Barton, Robert T., letter to author regarding above, 70, 71.

Bates, Edwin, his reply as Attorney General to President Lincoln's
   request for opinions on provisioning Fort Sumter, 282 and 284.

Baylor, George, remarks in Virginia Convention, 1861,
  on secession and coercion, 265;
  on coercing Cotton States, 289.

Berry, Henry, anti-slavery sentiments, 93.

Bill of Rights, Virginia's, on inherent rights of men, 22-23.

"Black Belt" in Virginia, its white and slave population, 125.

Blackburn, Samuel, will emancipating slaves, 113.

Blaine, James G., on slavery in the territories, 185;
  on action of Republicans in Congress, 1861, abandoning their position
     on the subject, 185;
  on protection afforded to slavery by the Union, 222.

Blair, Montgomery, replies, as Postmaster General, to President
   Lincoln's request for opinions on provisioning Fort Sumter, 282 and

Bland, Theodoric, efforts in first Congress, to tax importation of
   slaves, 33.

Bolling, Philip A., anti-slavery sentiments of, 95;
  on injurious effects of slavery, 130.

Bonner, Jesse, will emancipating slaves, 107.

Booth, Sherman M., convicted by Federal Court, and discharged by State
   Court of Wisconsin, 203.

Branch, Thomas, remarks of, in Virginia Convention, 1861, on President
   Lincoln's First Inaugural, 265.

Brent, George W., remarks of, in Virginia Convention, 1861, on
   influence of Abolitionists in North, and Free Traders in South, in
   precipitating the Civil War, 266.

Broadnax, William H., views expressed in slavery debate, 1832, 47;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 92.

Brokenbrough, John W., delegate from Virginia to Peace Conference,
   1861, 246.

Brown Co., Ohio, colonization of Samuel Gist's slaves in, 66.

Brown, John, John W. Burgess's estimate of reactionary influence of his
   Raid and of Northern sympathy, 178;
  disastrous influence of his Raid upon sentiment in the South, 178;
  Lincoln's estimate of his Raid, 195;
  captured by United States soldiers, 212;
  sympathy of leading Abolitionists with, 218;
  prominent Abolitionists, parties to his venture, 219.

Brougham, Lord, on character of Federal Government, 290.

Buchanan, James, extract from message, as President, 1860, on influence
   of Abolitionists, 177;
  message to Congress, 1860, on "personal liberty laws," 204.

Burgesses—House of, their petition, 1772, against slave trade, 18;
  their resolutions against Stamp Act, 1765, 238;
  pledging support to Massachusetts, 1768, 238;
  asserting resistance to Great Britain, 1769, 238;
  providing for intercolonial committees of correspondence, 1773, 239;
  fixing day for fasting and prayer, 1774, 239.

Burgess, J. W., on reactionary influence of John Brown's Raid, 178;
  on effect of sympathy evinced for John Brown in many parts of the
     North, 178.

Burke, Edmund, on England's participation in slave trade and Virginia's
   opposition, 17;
  on John Hampden's position, 229.

Byrd, Colonel William, anti-slavery sentiments of, 1736, 16, Note 3.

Caldwell, E. B., prominent in organizing American Colonization Society,

Cameron, Simon, his reply, as Secretary of War, to President Lincoln's
   request for opinion on provisioning Fort Sumter, 281 and 289.

Carlile, John S., on protection of slavery by the Union, 223.

Carr, Dabney, author of resolutions providing for intercolonial
   committees of correspondence, 239.

Carroll, Charles of Carrolton, President of American Colonization
   Society, 62.

Carter, Robert, deeds, emancipating slaves, 105.

Cass Co., Michigan, colonization in, of Sampson Sanders' slaves, 70.

Chadwick, F. E., analysis of census showing number of Virginia's
   slaveholders, 124;
  estimate of number of Virginians living beyond the State, 1860, 128;
  on the prominent men, parties to John Brown's Raid, 219.

Chandler, John A., anti-slavery sentiments, 92.

Chandler, Zachariah, letter regarding Peace Conference, 1861, 249.

Channing, William Ellery, on adverse influence of Abolitionists, 53.

Chase, Salmon P., on impossibility of complete enforcement of fugitive
   slave law, 187 and 206;
  replies, as Secretary of the Treasury, to President Lincoln's request
     for opinion on provisioning Fort Sumter, 283, 284.

Clark, General George Rogers, Conqueror of Northwest Territory, 26 and

Clay, Henry, presides at meeting to organize American Colonization
   Society, 1816, 61;
  President of American Colonization Society, 62;
  on emancipation and colonization of negroes, 76, 77;
  on condition of free negroes in 1829, 160.

Cleveland, Ohio, place of proposed Disunion Convention, October, 1857,

Cocke, Eliza W., deed emancipating slaves, 122.

Coercion, controlling factor in determining Virginia's secession, 252;
  Robert E. Lee denies ethical right of, 288;
  William C. Rives denies same, 289;
  George Baylor denies same, 289;
  M. de Tocqueville denies right of by Federal Government, 289;
  Lord Brougham denies same, 290.

Coles, Edward, emancipates his slaves and colonizes them in Illinois,
   66, 67;
  prosecuted and fined for this act, 67.

Coles, Roberts, killed at battle of Roanoke Island, 68.

Colonization of negroes, appropriation by Virginia Legislature in aid
   of, 59, 64;
  origin of the idea of, 60;
  resolutions of Virginia Legislature favoring, 1800, 60;
  same, 1805, 60;
  same, 1816, 61;
  organization of American Society to promote, 61;
  by individual slaveholders, 66-73;
  views of Jefferson, Clay and Lincoln on, 75-81.

Colorado, organized as a territory without prohibition as to slavery,
   1861, 186.

Commerce, decline of, in Virginia, 134 and 137.

Congress, 1789, efforts of Virginians in, to tax importation of slaves,
  resolutions adopted by, defining attitude regarding slavery, 1861,
  amendment to constitution proposed by, 1861, 192;
  resolution of, defining attitude on purpose of War, 1861, 194;
  Act of, February 12, 1793, regarding return of fugitive slaves, 199;
  Act of, September 18, 1850, regarding fugitive slaves, 202;
  resolutions adopted February, 1861, regarding fugitive slave act, 205.

Congress, Continental of 1774, Virginia's anti-slavery attitude defined
   in, 21, 22.

Congress, Continental of 1784, accepts Virginia's deed ceding Northwest
   Territory, 26.

Connecticut, Statute of, 1833, regarding establishment of schools for
   non-resident negroes, 167;
  "personal liberty laws," 202.

Constitution, Virginia's opposition to clause permitting African slave
   trade, 29;
  clauses of, regarding fugitives from justice and fugitive slaves, 197;
  copies burned by Abolitionists at burned by Abolitionists at public
     meetings, 216.

Controversy, regarding slavery, status of at time of Virginia's
   secession, 182-201.

Convention, Virginia's Colonial, 1777, resolves against slave trade, 21;
  Virginia's, 1861, majority of delegates to, Union men, 252;
  report of committee from, on reply of President Lincoln, 274.

Cotton States, effect of withdrawal of representatives of, from
   Congress, 186;
  sent no delegates to Peace Conference, 1861, 249;
  coercion of, by Federal Government, crucial factor in determining
     Virginia's secession, 266;
  coercion of, repugnant to many people both North and South, 271;
  Virginia's attitude regarding their secession, 286.

Curtis, George Ticknor, on adverse influence of Abolitionists, 57;
  attests anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia in 1832, 143.

Custis, G. W. P., furnishes asylum for Liberian colonists, 63;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 96;
  emancipates his slaves, 102;
  will, emancipating slaves, 121.

Dakota, organized as a territory, 1861, without prohibition of slavery,

Davies, Arthur B., will emancipating slaves, 120.

Davis, Jefferson, on attitude of Southern Confederacy towards the Union
   and slavery, 6;
  on the right of revolution, 287.

Declaration of Independence, clause against slavery and slave trade,
   stricken out of, 19, 20.

Deeds and wills emancipating slaves, specimens of, 103-123.

Dew, Thomas R., on slavery debate of 1832, 47.

Disunion, Abolitionists advocate, 213.

Disunion Convention, meets at Worcester, Mass., 1857, 214;
  fails to assemble at Cleveland, 1857, 214.

Douglas, Stephen A., on negro problem, 165.

Du Bois, W. E. B., on Virginia's effort to abolish slave trade, 22.

Early, Albert, will emancipating slaves, 116.

Early, Joseph, will emancipating slaves, 118.

Early, Jubal A., remarks, in Virginia Convention, 1861, on Lincoln's
   First Inaugural, 266.

Edlow, Carter H., will emancipating slaves, 114.

Emancipation, problems, social and political of, in Virginia, 161;
  Lincoln's estimate of difficulties of, 180.

Emancipation in Virginia, difficulties attending, 157-180.

Emancipation Proclamations, 226.

Emigration, of slaveholders from Virginia, 146.

Eppes, Francis, will emancipating slaves, 117.

Everett, Edward, on coercing the seceding States, 284.

Ewell, Charles, will emancipating slaves, 108.

Ewing, Thomas, on adverse influence of Abolitionists, 56, 57.

"Fanatics," Northern, their reactionary influence, 172.

Faulkner, Charles J., a leader of anti-slavery party in Virginia
   Legislature 1832, 91;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 93;
  on injurious effects of slavery upon Virginia's prosperity, 130;
  allusion to anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia, 1832, 143.

Federal Government, attitude of, regarding all questions arising out of
   slavery, 182.

"Fire Eaters," Southern, their reactionary influence, 172.

Fiske, John, on Virginia's claim upon Northwest Territory, 26;
  on her part in enacting Ordinance of 1787, 27;
  on forces which secured enactment of clause in constitution,
     permitting African slave trade, 29;
  on anti-slavery party in Virginia, 138;
  declares that Virginia made first formal defiance to Stamp Act, 238;
  on Madison's part in framing constitution, 240;
  his estimate of John Marshall, 241.

Fitzhugh, William Henry, extract from his will emancipating slaves, 111.

Floyd, John, joint author, with Mercer, of Act of 1819, in opposition
   to African slave trade, 36.

Forts, Federal jurisdiction over, in seceding states, 271.

Free discussion, lack of, in Virginia, hinders emancipation, 172;
  causes, which restrained it, in Virginia, 172-178.

Free negroes, number in Virginia at close of Revolution, 42;
  rapid increase of, under statutes permitting emancipations, 42;
  compelled to leave state within twelve months after emancipation, 43;
  their handicap in slave communities, 161;
  their treatment at the North, prior to 1860, 160;
  statutes of various Northern States restrict them from becoming
     residents thereof, 168-170;
  dread of their presence, as residents, on the part of Northern
     people, 170, 171.

Fugitives from justice, provision of constitution referring to, 195;
  decision of Supreme Court construing same, 208.

Fugitive slaves, their owners could gain nothing by Virginia's
   secession, 209.

Fugitive Slave Law, of 1850, among causes of Civil War, 209;
  attitude on, of Republican Party, 187-189;
  Lincoln, author of a, 188;
  provision of constitution referring to, 197;
  of 1793, history of its enactment, 199;
  of 1850, history of its enactment, 202;
  its execution impeded by the Underground Railroad, 200, 201;
  declared constitutional by Supreme Court, 203.

Garrison, William Lloyd, his biographer's estimate of status of free
   negroes, prior to 1860, 160, 161;
  leader of Abolitionists, 211;
  disunion sentiments of, 213-215;
  denounces Webster, 216;
  his estimate of Longfellow's Ode to the Union, 217;
  his eulogy of John Brown, 218;
  an apologist for slave insurrections, 218;
  applauds South Carolina's secession, 221.

Georgia, requisition of Governor of, upon Governor of Maine for return
   of fugitives from justice, denied, 207.

Gilmer, Francis W., anti-slavery sentiment of, 88.

Gist, Samuel, colonization of his ex-slaves in Ohio, 66.

Gladstone, William E., his estimate of the unjustifiable attitude of
   the North, 291.

Goode, John, a leader of the Secessionists in Virginia Convention,
   1861, 254.

Greeley, Horace, declares right of Cotton States to secede, 291.

Green, J. R., declares Virginia first to formally deny right of Great
   Britain to tax colonies, 238.

Harrison, Jesse Burton, his estimate of Virginia's poverty in 1832,
   induced by slavery, 131, 132.

Hart, A. B., on the practice of buying and selling slaves, note 2, 152;
  on number of slaveholders in the Southern States, 153;
  his estimate of Underground Railroad, 201.

Harvie, Lewis E., a leader of the Secessionists, Virginia Convention,
   1861, 254.

Hawes, Aylette, extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 110.

Henderson, G. F. R., on Virginia's loyalty, 211;
  on the propriety of Virginia's secession, 278.

Henry, Patrick, anti-slavery sentiments of, 83.

Herndon, Thaddeus, sends ex-slaves to Liberia, 71.

Herndon, Traverse, sends ex-slaves to Liberia, 71;
  extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 119.

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, a leader of Abolitionists, 214.

Hill, A. P., never owned a slave, 156.

Hill, Joseph, extract from deed, emancipating his slaves, 104.

Holcombe, James P., a leader of the Secessionists, Virginia Convention,
   1861, 254.

Howison, R. R., anti-slavery sentiments of, 98, 99;
  his estimate of Virginia's poverty, 1848, induced by slavery, 134.

Illinois, denies free negroes' right to become residents of, 1853, 169.

Indiana, denies free negroes' right to become residents of, 1851, 169.

Jackson, Stonewall, owned one slave at time of war, 155.

Janney, John, extract from his speech in Virginia Convention of 1861,
   243, 254;
  a leader of the Union men, Virginia Convention, 1861, 255;
  extract from his speech notifying Lee of his appointment as chief of
     Virginia's militia, 297.

Jefferson, Thomas, on arraignment of slave trade in original draft of
   Declaration of Independence, 19;
  records reason for omitting clause against slave trade in Declaration
     of Independence, 20;
  his lament at defeat of clause restricting slavery in Ordinance of
     1784, 27;
  urges Congress to prohibit importation of slaves, 34;
  originates idea of negro colonization, 60;
  efforts, as President, to promote same, 60;
  on necessity of negro colonization, 75, 76;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 86;
  on political difficulties of emancipation in Virginia, 162;
  on beneficial results of diffusing slaves through the territories,

Jennings, William D., extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 119.

Johnston, Joseph E., never owned a slave, 156.

Key, Francis Scott, prominent in organizing American Colonization
   Society, 61.

Lee, Fitzhugh, never owned a slave, 156.

Lee, Mary Custis, extract from her letter deploring the war, 296.

Lee, Richard Henry, anti-slavery sentiments of, 82.

Lee, Robert E., anti-slavery sentiments of, 100, 101;
  owned no slaves at time of war, 155;
  declares disunion an aggravation of the ills of the South, 223;
  denies constitutionality of secession, 288;
  denies ethical right of coercion, 288;
  his sorrow at disunion, 296.

Leigh, Benjamin Watkins, anti-slavery sentiments of, 89.

Letcher, John, extract from his message as Governor of Virginia,
   January, 1861, 244;
  extract from reply to requisition of Secretary of War for Virginia's
     quota of troops, 278.

Liberia, circumstances attending its establishment as a negro colony,
   62, 63.

Lightfoot, Philip, extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 120.

Lincoln, Abraham, on slavery as defined in first inaugural, 6 and 15;
  on adverse influence of Abolitionists, 53-55;
  on emancipation and colonization of negroes, 79-81;
  on amalgamation of blacks and whites and on their racial inequality,
  his reference to the dread of Northern people to receive free
     negroes, 171;
  author of bill containing fugitive slave clause, 188;
  on fugitive slaves as expressed in first inaugural, 189;
  letter to Alexander H. Stephens regarding interference with slavery,
  position as to proposed amendment of constitution regarding
     protection of slavery, 1861, 193;
  not an Abolitionist, 195;
  on John Brown's Raid, 195;
  explanation of his expression "Government cannot endure half slave
     and half free," 196;
  on the effect and character of his Emancipation Proclamations, 227;
  patriotism and literary beauty of first inaugural, 259;
  regards Union as unbroken by secession, 259;
  his declaration of policy, 260;
  reply to Virginia Commissioners, April 13, 1861, 274 and 275;
  his call for 75,000 troops, April 15, 1861, 275;
  requests, March 15, 1861, his cabinet officers' opinions, as to
     propriety of provisioning Fort Sumter, 280;
  requests their further opinion, March 29, 284;
  on right of revolution, 290;
  on legal and ethical rights of coercion, 293.

Lunt, George, on reactionary influence of Abolitionists upon
   anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia, 57;
  on John Brown's Raid, 177;
  on effect of personal liberty laws, 206.

Madison, James, opposes clause in constitution, permitting African
   slave trade, 31;
  his efforts to impose tariff tax on importation of slaves, 33;
  messages, as President, opposing African slave trade, 35;
  third President of American Colonization Society, 62;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 90;
  declares disunion a menace to slavery, 222;
  heads delegation from Virginia to Annapolis Convention, 1786, 238;
  his great part in framing constitution, 240.

Marshall, John, first President of Colonization Society of Virginia, 64;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 88.

Marshall, Thomas, a leader in anti-slavery party in Virginia
   Legislature, 1832, 46;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 92;
  his estimate of injurious effects of slavery upon prosperity of
     Virginia, 129, 130.

Maryland, ratifies proposed amendment to constitution, 1861, protecting
   slavery, 192.

Mason, George, his speech against clause in constitution permitting
   African slave trade, 30;
  Virginia's statue to his fame, 31;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 84.

Maury, Matthew F., anti-slavery sentiments of, 99;
  never owned but one slave, 156;
  his reference to coercion as cause of Virginia's secession, 266;
  extract from his letter regarding the approaching war, 297.

McDowell, James, a leader in anti-slavery party, in Virginia
   Legislature, 1832, 46;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 93;
  his estimate of injurious effects of slavery, 131;
  on racial problems, 163;
  declares disunion a menace to slavery, 222.

McGuire, Hunter, his estimate of number of slaveholders in the
   Stonewall Brigade, 155.

McMaster, J. B., his estimate of condition of free negroes, 160.

Meade, William, anti-slavery sentiments of, 100;
  extract from deed, emancipating a slave, 115;
  his estimate of injury to Virginia's prosperity, induced by slavery,

Mercer, Charles Fenton, author of law against African slave trade, 36;
  of resolution denouncing African slave trade as piracy, 36;
  his remarks in Congress, supporting resolution, 36, 37;
  his visits to the Old World, seeking co-operation, 37;
  prominent in organizing American Colonization Society, 61;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 98.

Mercer, Margaret, her letter to Gerrit Smith regarding Abolitionists,

Mills, Samuel J., his visit to Africa, regarding establishing Colony of
   Liberia, 62.

Missouri Compromise, its enactment and repeal among causes of Civil
   War, 4;
  provision of, restricting rights of slaveholders in territories, 180;
  declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, 183.

Monroe, James, message to Congress on Right of Search, 37;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 89.

Montague, Robert L., a leader of the Secessionists, Virginia
   Convention, 1861, 254.

Moorman, Charles, extract from deed emancipating his slaves, 104.

Morton, Jeremiah, a leader of the Secessionists, Virginia Convention,
   1861, 254.

Muschett, Louisa, extract from will, emancipating her slaves, 122.

Negroes, what should be their status under freedom, 162.

Negro trader, the odium attaching to, in Virginia, 101, 141, 142.

Nevada, organized as a territory, 1861, without prohibition as to
   slavery, 186.

New Jersey, deprives negroes of suffrage, 1807, 168.

New York, requires higher property qualification for suffrage of
   negroes than for whites, 1821, 168.

Nicolay and Hay, on reasons for omitting anti-slavery clause in
   Declaration of Independence, 20;
  on reasons for Virginia's secession, 138.

North Carolina, secedes because of President Lincoln's call for troops,

Northern States, hostile attitude of certain of, regarding fugitive
   slave law, 197-209;
  reactionary influence of certain of, upon sentiment in Virginia, 207.

Ohio, denies free negroes right to become residents of, 168;
  ratifies amendment proposed to constitution, 1861, protecting
     slavery, 192;
  Governor of, refuses to honor requisition of Governor of Kentucky for
     return of fugitives from justice, 208.

Ordinances, of 1784 and 1787—Virginia's part in their enactment, 26, 27.

Ordinance of Secession, adopted by Virginia Convention, April 17, 1861,
  ratified by the people May 23, 1861, 277.

Oregon, denies free negroes right to become residents of, 170.

Parker, Josiah, his efforts to impose tariff tax on importation of
   slaves, 33.

Parker, Theodore, his denunciations of Federal judges and officials,
  eulogizes John Brown, 218;
  an apologist of slave insurrection, 218.

Pennsylvania, deprives negroes of suffrage, 1838, 168.

"Personal Liberty Laws," their enactment by various Northern States,

Peyton, Martha E., extract from will, emancipating her slaves, 110.

Phillips, Wendell, leader of Abolitionists, 211;
  disunion sentiments of, 213;
  denounces Webster and Lincoln, 216;
  eulogizes John Brown, 218;
  an apologist of slave insurrection, 218;
  hails secession of Southern States, 221;
  declares emancipation child of civil convulsions, 224 and 225;
  denies the right of Federal Government to coerce Cotton States, 293.

Preston, Francis, extract from deed emancipating a slave, 105.

Preston, William Ballard, a leader of anti-slavery party in Virginia
   Legislature of 1832, 46;
  one of Committee from Virginia Convention, to wait upon Lincoln, 273.

Proclamations, President Lincoln's, for emancipation, 226 and 227;
  President Lincoln's, calling for troops, 275.

Pro-slavery, growth of sentiment for, in Virginia, 49.

Randolph, Edmund, opposes clause in constitution, permitting the
   African slave trade, 31.

Randolph, George W., one of Committee from Virginia Convention, to wait
   upon President Lincoln, 273.

Randolph, John of Roanoke, colonization of his ex-slaves in Ohio, 68;
  extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 111;
  his characterization of slavery, 173.

Randolph, Richard Jr., extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 106.

Randolph, Thomas Jefferson, a leader of anti-slavery party in Virginia
   Legislature, 1832, 46;
  on reactionary influence of Abolitionists upon anti-slavery sentiment
     in Virginia, 51;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 95;
  records the growth of anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia since the
     Revolution, 143.

Rebellion, characteristics of a, 2.

Relief Squadron, its expedition to Fort Sumter, 276.

Representation, basis of, in Virginia, 145, 172.

Republic, ideals of, 242.

Republican Party, attitude of, regarding slavery in the territories, as
   declared in their platform, 183, 186;
  abandons in Congress, 1861, their position, 186;
  position of, regarding Fugitive Slave Law, 187, 188;
  position of, regarding slavery in Southern States, 190, 193.

Revolution, characteristics of a, 2.

Rhodes, James Ford, estimate of Lee and the motives which impelled him
   to fight with Virginia, 140;
  on Virginia's effort to save the Union, 244;
  his estimate of significance of Peace Conference, 247;
  on result of Virginia election, February, 1861, 253;
  his estimate of anti-coercion sentiment in Virginia and other Border
     States, 285.

Rhode Island, alone repeals "personal liberty law," 206.

Right of Revolution, held by Virginia people, 286;
  as defined by Jefferson Davis, 287;
  as defined by Abraham Lincoln, 290.

Rives, William C., anti-slavery sentiment of, 97, 98;
  on racial problem, 163;
  a delegate from Virginia to Peace Conference, 246;
  extract from his speech in Peace Conference, 248.

Roosevelt, Theodore, on reactionary influence of Abolitionists, upon
   anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia, 58;
  estimate of Robert E. Lee and his soldiers, 140.

Ruffner, Henry, on reactionary influence of Abolitionists upon
   anti-slavery sentiments in Virginia, 52;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 99;
  his estimate of injurious effect of slavery upon Virginia's
     prosperity, 132.

Russell, W. H., his opinion as to lack of settled policy in Federal
   administration, March, 1861, 274.

Sanders, Sampson, colonization of his ex-slaves in Michigan, 69;
  extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 118.

Schouler, James, on disunion sentiments of Abolitionist leaders, 214.

Secession, advocates of, in Virginia, 10;
  status of controversy regarding slavery at time of Virginia's,
  no cure for Virginia's grievances against Abolitionists, 211;
  Virginia's would menace slavery, 227, 228;
  contests in Virginia's Convention, for and against, 265-274;
  Virginia's Convention defeats, 268;
  President Lincoln's call for troops impels Virginia to, 277;
  Robert E. Lee denies constitutional right of, 288;
  William C. Rives condemns, of States, 288;
  how Virginia regarded, 295.

Seddon, James A., a delegate from Virginia to Peace Conference, 246.

Seward, William H., on negro problem, 165;
  on election in Virginia, 1861, 252;
  his opinion as to lack of settled policy in Federal administration,
     April, 1861, 274;
  his replies as Secretary of State to President Lincoln's request for
     opinions as to provisioning Fort Sumter, 280-283;
  his official communication to American minister to Great Britain,
     April, 1861, defining position of the President, 293.

Seys, Rev. John, his account of departure of Herndon's slaves for
   Liberia, 71-73.

Sherman, William T., on the negro problem, 165.

Sheffey, James W., extract from speech in Virginia Convention, 1861, on
   coercion, 266.

Slaughter, Rev. Philip, his estimate of anti-slavery sentiment in
   Virginia, 1831, 43 and 143.

Slaves, their first importation, 16;
  rate of their importation, 16;
  their number in Virginia, 1776, 24;
  efforts of Virginians in First Congress to impose tariff tax on
     importation of, 33;
  affection of, for masters, 70-73;
  transferred from Virginia to other states, 147;
  sale of, by Virginia owners and traders, 147;
  practice of buying and selling, reviewed by William Henry Smith, 148;
  injury to certain classes of, by untimely emancipation, 159.

Slavery, foremost among the causes of the Civil War, 3;
  Virginia's colonial record regarding, 15-24;
  earliest introduction of, 1619, 16;
  opposition to, of Colonel William Byrd, 1736, 16, note 4;
  statutes restraining increase of, defeated by King George, 18;
  anti-slavery position of Virginia declared, 18-24;
  its exclusion from the Northwest Territory, 26-28;
  statutes ameliorating conditions of, 41-44;
  growth and culmination of sentiment opposing, 43, 44;
  movement in General Assembly 1832, to abolish, 45-48;
  growth in sentiment favoring, 49;
  patriarchal character of, 101;
  injurious effects of, upon prosperity of Virginia, 127-137;
  unprofitable character of, in Virginia, 127;
  difficulties of abolishing, 157-180;
  causes militating against free discussion of, in Virginia, 172-179;
  status of controversy regarding, 1860, 182-189;
  promises of President Lincoln to respect the institution of, 190, 191;
  its integrity in Southern States pledged by Republican platform,
     1861, 190;
  Virginia's secession not impelled by fear of legislation against, 191;
  amendment to constitution proposed by Congress, safeguarding the
     institution of, 192;
  resolutions of Congress, pledging protection to, 1861, 191;
  the most potent factor in precipitating the war, 228;
  an unconstitutional assault upon, would have justified Virginia's
     resistance, 228;
  Virginia's attitude towards, in territories, 269.

Slaveholders, legal rights of, embarrass emancipation, 177.

Smith, Caleb B., his replies as Secretary of Interior, to President
   Lincoln's request for opinions as to provisioning Fort Sumter, 281,

Smith, John, extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 109.

Smith, William, extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 121.

Smith, William Henry, on reactionary influence of Abolitionists upon
   anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia, 58;
  his review of the practice of buying and selling slaves, 148.

Southampton County, servile insurrection in, 45.

Stanton, Edwin M., his opinion as to lack of settled policy in Federal
   administration, March, 1861, 273.

State Sovereignty, the theory of, 285.

Stephens, Alexander H., his estimate of the significance of the Relief
   Squadron's expedition to Fort Sumter, 277.

Stiles, Robert, his estimate of the number of slaveholders among the
   members of Richmond Howitzers, 154.

Stuart, Alexander H. H., a leader of the Union men, Virginia
   Convention, 1861, 255;
  one of committee from Virginia Convention to wait upon President
     Lincoln, 273.

Stuart, J. E. B., owned no slaves at time of war, 156.

Suffrage, white manhood, first established in Virginia by constitution
   of, 1850-1851, 145.

Summers, George W., declares disunion a menace to slavery, 223;
  a delegate from Virginia to Peace Conference, 246;
  extract from his speech at same, 248;
  a leader of the Union men, Virginia Convention, 1861, 255;
  extract from speech on coercion, Virginia Convention, 1861, 263;
  extract from letter on effect of suggested evacuation of Fort Sumter,

Sumter, Fort, strategic importance of its occupancy by Federal troops,

Taylor, Zachary, urges Congress to suppress African slave trade, 39.

Tennessee, secedes because of President Lincoln's call for troops, 226.

Territories, right of slaveholders in, a serious problem, 182.

Thom, Cameron E., his account of attempt of John Thom to colonize his
   ex-slaves, 73, 74.

Tinsley, Robert, extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 122.

Tocqueville, Alexis de, on negro problem in America, 164;
  declares Federal Government, founded on consent of states, cannot be
     maintained by force, 289.

Tucker, George, his estimate of reactionary influence of Abolitionists
   upon anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia, 51, 52.

Tucker, St. George, anti-slavery sentiments of, 85;
  his influence in forming anti-slavery sentiments of Thomas H. Benton,
     85, note 117.

Turner, Nat, leads slave insurrection, 1831, 45.

Tyler, Sr., John, anti-slavery sentiments of, 84.

Tyler, John, urges Congress to enact laws suppressing African slave
   trade, 38;
  anti-slavery sentiments of, 87;
  a commissioner from Virginia to the President of the United States,
     1861, 246;
  a delegate from Virginia to the Peace Conference, 1861, 246;
  an extract from his speech, as President of Peace Conference, 248.

"Underground Railroad," The, its origin and the character of its
   operations, 200, 201.

Virginia, diversity of sentiment in, 10;
  attitude of dominant element in, regarding slavery and secession, 10,
  her opposition to coercion and grounds therefor, 11;
  right of self-government, basis of her position, 12;
  her Colonial record regarding slavery, 15-24;
  her efforts to restrain increase of slavery defeated by Great
     Britain, 17, 18;
  petition of her House of Burgesses, 1772, to King George, against
     African slave trade, 18;
  her opposition to African slave trade declared, by Mr. Jefferson, in
     the original Declaration of Independence, 19;
  her opposition to African slave trade voiced in county meetings, 21;
  resolutions of her Colonial Convention against importation of slaves,
  her anti-slavery position defined, 1774, in Continental Congress, 21,
  her efforts to enforce the agreements for the non-importation of
     slaves, 22;
  her Constitution and Bill of Rights, 1776, antagonistic to slavery,
     22, 23;
  Mr. Bancroft's estimate of her Bill of Rights, 23;
  number of slaves in, at outbreak of the Revolution, 24;
  her statute abolishing African slave trade, 1778, 25;
  her cession of Northwest Territory to Federal Government, 26, 28;
  her part in adopting Ordinance of 1787, 27, 28;
  Mr. Bancroft's estimate of, 27;
  her General Assembly confirms Deed and Ordinance, 1789, 28;
  her opposition to clause of constitution permitting foreign slave
     trade, 29, 31;
  her continued efforts to restrain African slave trade, 33-40;
  her statutes—1782,—permitting slaveholders to emancipate their
     slaves, 41;
  of 1788—punishing with death for enslavement of child of free blacks,
  of 1795—according slaves process of law without costs in proceedings
     affecting their freedom, 42;
  of 1803—requiring county authorities to keep registers, showing
     negroes entitled to liberty, 42;
  number of her free negroes, in 1810, 42;
  her Act of 1806, requiring emancipated slaves to leave state, 42;
  growth and culmination, in 1831, of her anti-slavery sentiments, 43;
  reactionary effect, upon her anti-slavery sentiment of Nat Turner
     insurrection, the Abolitionists and the failure of her General
     Assembly, 1832, to abolish slavery or to remove free negroes, 43,
  movement in her General Assembly, 1832—to abolish slavery, 45-48;
  her growth in pro-slavery sentiment, 48-56;
  reactionary influence of Abolitionists upon her anti-slavery
     sentiment, 51-59;
  her efforts in aid of negro colonization, 60-65;
  her attitude towards emancipation, 75;
  her record regarding slavery, as reviewed by St. George Tucker, 85;
  public opinion in, ameliorates hardships of slavery, 101;
  instances of emancipations in, 103;
  small number of slaveholders in, 124;
  injurious effects of slavery upon, 127-137;
  her attitude towards custom of buying and selling slaves, 138-152;
  constitutional requirements in, regarding voting and apportionment of
     representation, 144, 145;
  colonists from, to Liberia, 152;
  small number of slaveholders among her soldiers, 153-155;
  causes militating against free discussion of slavery in, 172-180;
  her electoral vote in 1860, cast for Union candidates, 179;
  her secession not impelled by fear of adverse slavery legislation,
  effect of "personal liberty laws" and "Underground Railroad" upon
     people of, 200, 201;
  requisition of Governor of, upon Governor of New York for fugitive
     from justice denied, 207;
  her people appreciated the danger to slavery resulting from
     secession, 222-224;
  attitude of her people unchanged by Emancipation Proclamations, 226,
  her part in the Revolution, 233-237;
  her part in making the Union, 238-242;
  her efforts to maintain peace and preserve the Union, 244;
  her people declare for Union, February 4, 1861, 251;
  result of election in, for delegates to State Convention, 252;
  her action on secession determined by President Lincoln's call for
     troops, 256;
  her position regarding coercion of Cotton States, 259, 260;
  effect of Lincoln's First Inaugural upon members of her Convention,
  contests in her Convention for and against secession, 265-273;
  report of Committee on Federal Relations, in her Convention, 1861,
     fairly expressive of sentiments of majority of her people, 267-269;
  her Convention defeats motion to secede April 4, 1861, 268;
  her attitude regarding slavery in territories, 269;
  proposes to re-enact inhibition as to slavery, north of 36 degrees 30
     minutes by Constitutional Amendment, 269;
  call of her Convention upon President Lincoln, for definite
     declaration regarding coercion of Cotton States, 273;
  reply of President Lincoln to her Convention, 274;
  President Lincoln's call for troops impels her to secede (April 11,
     1861), 275, 276;
  response of her Governor to call for troops, 278;
  sentiments of her people regarding coercion, 285-289;
  her people, threatened with war, still adhere to their position on
     State Sovereignty, 294;
  how her people regarded secession, 295, 296;
  predominant characteristics of her people, 298;
  her people's stand predetermined, 298.

War—Civil, Characteristics of a, 1.

Ward, Sr., John, extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 109.

Ward, John, colonization of his ex-slaves in Ohio, 68.

Warwick, John, colonization of his ex-slaves in Ohio, 69;
  extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 117.

Washington, Bushrod, First President of American Colonization Society,

Washington, George, his anti-slavery sentiments, 83;
  extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 106;
  speech as President of Philadelphia Convention, 1787, 240.

Webb, Thacker V., extract from will, emancipating his slaves, 115.

Webster, Daniel, on reactionary effect of Abolitionists upon
   anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia, 55.

Welles, Gideon E., his replies, as Secretary of the Navy, to President
   Lincoln's request for opinions as to provisioning Fort Sumter, 281.

Wickham, Williams C., a leader of Union men, Virginia Convention 1861,

Williams, George W., views of, regarding first importation of slaves,
  on forces which secured enactment of clause in constitution,
     permitting African slave trade, 30.

Wilson, Henry, estimate of debate in Virginia Legislature, 1832,
   regarding abolition of slavery, 46;
  on the effects of Virginia's action regarding secession, 265.

Wisconsin, Supreme Court of, releases prisoner convicted in Federal
   Court, 203;
  resolutions adopted by General Assembly of 1859 asserting sovereignty
     of state, 203.

Wise, Henry A., writes, as Consul, from Rio Janeiro, against African
   slave trade, 39;
  depicts Virginia's poverty, 1856, 136, 137.

Wolseley, Viscount Lord, on cause for which Lee fought, 12;
  estimate of Robert E. Lee, 140.

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:

The Errata following the Preface had already been corrected by the
publisher in the source text used.

Only obvious typographical errors were changed, including a few page
numbers in the index. Unusual or inconsistent spellings were retained.

Footnotes were consecutively numbered through the entire volume and
placed at the ends of chapters.

In the Index of the four note references the two which could be ascribed
to footnotes on those pages had those footnote numbers inserted.

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