- The Washington Times - Friday, July 1, 2011

“There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it.”

- George Washington, letter to Robert Morris, April 12, 1786

“Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. … I have, throughout my whole life, held the practice of slavery in … abhorrence.”

- John Adams, letter to Robert Evans, June 8, 1819

“It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honour of the States, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused.”

- John Jay, letter to R. Lushington, March 15, 1786

“I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil.”

- Patrick Henry, letter to Robert Pleasants, Jan. 18, 1773

“Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.”

- Thomas Jefferson, “Autobiography,” 1821

“[The Convention] thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men.”

- James Madison, Records of the Constitutional Convention, Aug. 25, 1787

“We have seen the mere distinction of color made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man.”

- James Madison, speech at the Constitutional Convention, June 6, 1787

“It were doubtless to be wished, that the power of prohibiting the importation of slaves had not been postponed until the year 1808, or rather that it had been suffered to have immediate operation. But it is not difficult to account, either for this restriction on the general government, or for the manner in which the whole clause is expressed. It ought to be considered as a great point gained in favor of humanity, that a period of twenty years may terminate forever, within these States, a traffic which has so long and so loudly upbraided the barbarism of modern policy; that within that period, it will receive a considerable discouragement from the federal government, and may be totally abolished, by a concurrence of the few States which continue the unnatural traffic, in the prohibitory example which has been given by so great a majority of the Union. Happy would it be for the unfortunate Africans, if an equal prospect lay before them of being redeemed from the oppressions of their European brethren!”

Story Continues →