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tion which Mr. Mason would have shared to the full had he been alive. The inference that Virginians of the two periods were not of one mind, both as to the slave trade and Yankee interference, is absolutely false, and should not be suggested to Southern children.


On that same 191st page Virginians are told that there was once "a short-lived emancipation party" in their State, but that "after the final suppression of the slave-trade in 1808 and the consequent increased demand for Virginia-bred slaves, the thought of emancipation vanished from the memory of man." The same offensive suggestion is made in almost the same language, "the breeding of slaves *** such a profitable occupation in Virginia" in his "Critical Period," etc., page 73, and again on page 266, where we are told that when the inventions of Arkwright, Cartwright, and Whitney so greatly increased the value of cotton, there resulted a great demand for slaves "from Virginia as a breeding ground, and the Abolitionist Party in that State thereupon disappeared, leaving her to join in the odious struggle for introducing slavery into the national domain." In both passages we quote him, perhaps, a little roughly; in his pages all this is handsomely expressed, for Mr. Fiske's style is very fine, as you may learn from some of his friends. It would, however, be difficult to discover anywhere, pen pictures so advantageously incomplete-advantageously incomplete, because a statement of the facts would not have represented, as do these most slanderous sentences, a mere race of slave-breeders easily sacrificing their convictions for the value of slave property and ready to fight for it when occasion should arise.


It is impossible to consider these passages without becoming convinced of the utter unreliability of this historian when speaking of slavery, the causes of the war, or the rights asserted by the South. It was to be supposed that in writing Virginia history he would at least consult Virginia documents. He should not assume that all Virginians are equally careless, or as ignorant of

Virginia history as the record proves him to be, or as charity compels us to assume that he is. Eighteen hundred and eight is his date for the disappearance of all thought of emancipation in Virginia. Selecting from a mass of documents, he might have read two of Mr. Jefferson's letters-one to Mr. Coles, another to Mr. Jared Sparks-urging his views, and plans for emancipation and deportation to Sierre Leone, etc., one dated August 25, 1814; the other February 4, 1824. (See Volume IV., Jefferson's Correspondence.) But chiefly, and utterly overthrowing all title he may have to credit when writing of these subjects, we have, and he might have had, Mr. Thomas W. White's volume, published in 1832, containing the great Deportation and Emancipation Debate in the Virginia Legislature in January and February of that year; the debate enlisting the strongest speakers of the State and consuming a great part of those two months. A debate pending, which, as will be remembered, the Virginia House of Delegates under date of January 25, 1832, passed its resolution declaring it "expedient to adopt some legislative enactments for the abolition of slavery"; and made in that behalf a most vigorous movement, which was finally defeated by a very small majority, and that only because no man could say where the necessary means to deport the free blacks could be found, and none could suggest any other wise and safe disposition to be made of the slaves when set free. The recent Southampton insurrection had strengthened the hands, and added to the number of those who wished to get rid of the negroes altogether. It is to be observed that the Virginia arguments were not of the hypocritical, sentimental variety, nor were they the vehicles to covert hatred for anybody. They expressed the views long held by the leaders of public opinion here as to the best social and economic conditions for Virginia and Virginians. It is further to be said, and that with great emphasis, that the character and conduct of free State populations as exhibited in our subsequent history, and the strongly contrasted character and conduct of our Southern people, bring into the very gravest doubt the wisdom of our fathers in these opinions, which opinions we admit, and (as against Mr. Fiske's statements) claim that they held and acted upon long after his date of 1808.

We return to say that when our fathers tried to find out how to get rid of the blacks, it did not occur to them to solve the question as our Northern friends had done by sales to the South. Nor could we further imitate them in contemplating with indifference such consequences of abolition as now confront us. The fact that all this history, of date subsequent to 1808, is omitted in both of the books quoted proves that it is not an accidental result of Mr. Fiske's misleading love for a rounded period. Our teachers should not allow our children to think of this venerable State as a mere negro "breeding ground," or of her people as won from other thoughts while gloating over the money value of the blacks.

Mr. Fiske apparently does not know that during these very years the African Colonization Society, laboring to effect these very objects, had among its vice-presidents General John Mason, of Virginia, son of George Mason, and father of Senator James M. Mason; also General Charles Fenton Mercer, of Virginia, who, about the year 1825, introduced in Congress the resolution declaring the slave trade "piratical warfare," and, at his own expense, visited various European countries, seeking to have them reach the same decision. These gentlemen should hardly be denounced as mere slave-breeders. In Mr. Fiske's country he is not very familiar with individual acts of emancipation; nor does he know how many Virginians, long after 1808, manumitted their slaves-among them John Randolph of Roanoke, whose executor, Bishop Meade, located them in the beautiful region where now stands the town of Xenia, Ohio; giving them good homes, of which the neighboring whites shortly dispossessed them. Many, many such cases marked the time to "the fifties," when, as all men know, the end of emancipation in Virginia came about through the "pious" interference of the Northern Abolitionist. In consequence of which a Virginian, manumitting his slaves, in effect, gave the weight of his influence to the sentiment represented by the destroyers of our peace, and so felt that he must at least suspend his purpose lest he should become an ally of the enemies of the State. This is the exact truth of the situation with respect to that matter. Mr. Fiske's writings teach us the opposite. Our children, taught by him, would neither learn


it nor readily believe it. Our conviction is that this half page, though taken from his "Old Virginia," to say nothing of his yet more objectionable "Critical Period," is enough to banish from Southern schools Mr. Fiske's history and everything else that he ever wrote. We quote indifferently from other books than the history, as we are merely engaged in proving Mr. Fiske's unfitness as a guide for Southern readers, even if the North is content to follow him. We, therefore, turn again to the "Critical Period of American History." He is speaking of the successive ratifications of the Constitution of 1787. Page 330, speaking of "amendments offered by Massachusetts," he says: "It was not intended that the ratification should be conditional." Pages 336-7-8, he is telling us of the triumph of Madison and Marshall in securing Virginia's ratification by a narrow majority of 89 against 79. He goes on to use these words: "Amendments were offered after the example of Massachusetts." We appear from his statement to have acted after that example. It is perfectly true that both States, after ratifying the Constitution, did recommend certain notable amendments. Not one word is there to indicate any different action at all. We necessarily suppose that here, too, "it was not intended that the ratification should be conditional." Would any uninformed or unsuspicious reader imagine that while the Massachusetts act was a simple acceptance, there occurred in the body of the Virginia act of ratification the following emphatic declaration? "We, the delegates of the people of Virginia, do, in the name and behalf of the people of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will," etc. Mr. Fiske evidently did not think this worth mentioning. The effect of the point of view upon the historic perception is simply wonderful.


In speaking of the New York ratification (page 344), he says that Hamilton, fighting over the question whether New York could ratify the Constitution conditionally, reinforced himself with the advice of Madison. The question was, "Could a State once adopt the Constitution and then withdraw from the Union if not satisfied?" "Madison's reply," he says, was prompt and decisive." 66 There could be no How much of


Such a thing could never be done. * * such thing as a constitutional right of secession." this he intends to give as direct quotation from Madison's lips does not appear.

The letter itself our readers will find in Hamilton's works, volume I., or more conveniently in Henry's "Patrick Henry," volume II., page 368, where will also be found some interesting comments thereupon. It (the letter) does not contain Mr. Fiske's exact words, but it cannot be said that he overdraws that individual paper. It loses none of its force in his hands. Our author, however, thus presenting Mr. Madison to his readers, deals unfairly in failing to avail himself of the opportunity to give certain very important counter utterances of that statesman. We think that in fairness to him and in order that readers might be more truly informed, a few lines might have been added setting forth the fact that Mr. Madison (with Marshall and Nicholas) procured the passage of the Virginia act that we have quoted, and was himself the reputed author of the "Resolutions of 1798." That being done, Mr. Madison's absolute concurrence with Mr. Fiske as to the whole question, might not have been so clear. The quotation actually given would have at least lost much of its force, as an unbiased reader would have thought Mr. Madison singularly at variance with himself, if not with Mr. Fiske. Let teachers, at least, tell the whole story.

It is enough to say, further, that Mr. Fiske, writing Virginia history, makes no allusion to the Virginia resolution, joining the Union in language which the concurrent debate (Elliott, volume II., pages 625 and 626) proves to have been understood as a condition of right to withdraw. Not universally, of course (nor, perhaps, by extreme Federalists), but so far as to secure its adoption. And so far, be

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