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(1783.) The State of Virginia passes an act securing the freedom

of all slaves who had served in the army, 152, 153.

I.

NEGROES AS SLAVES AND AS CITIZENS.

"We cannot put the negro out. This remark serves as a complete stopper to all the crimination and recrimination so freely indulged in between parties on the solemn point, -which of the two first brought the negro in. Let them rest quiet hereafter on this topic. The negro was in before they began to talk about him at all. He will stay in, whether they choose to talk about him or not. He will grow in more and more, even while they are sleeping. To deprecate the misfortune is as idle as to complain of the force of the waters of Niagara. The subject is before us; and it is our duty to face the consideration of its proportions like statesmen, and not to imagine, that, if we will only shut our eyes to it, it is not there; still less to suppose that either lamentation or anger, agitation or silence, will in any respect materially change the nature of the great problem which North America is inevitably doomed to solve. From the decree of Divine Providence there is no appeal.” — Speech of the Hon. Charles Francis Adams, May 31, 1860, in the U. S. House of Representatives.

AN

HISTORICAL RESEARCH.

I.

NEGROES AS SLAVES AND AS CITIZENS.

In this time of our country's trial, when its Constitution, and even its continued national existence, is in peril, and the people are beginning to be aroused to the magnitude of the work to be done, all other subjects dwindle into comparative insignificance. Loyal men, of every calling in life, are laying aside their chosen and accustomed private pursuits, and devoting themselves, heart and hand, to the common cause. As true patriots, then, we, members of the MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY, should do something more than comply, as good citizens, with all the requirements of the Constitution and the laws: we must study, in the light of history, and by the traditions of those who originally founded and at first administered the Government, the fundamental principles on which it was based, and the paramount objects for which it was established. Having done this, it may not be amiss for us to offer the results of our historical researches to others not having the leisure or the opportunity to investigate for themselves. All partisan and personal prejudice should now be abjured, and all sectional sentiments and views should yield to the broad and patriotic purpose of ascertaining, as

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