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But I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power, the greater it will be.The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents.I congratulate you, fellow citizens, on the approach of the 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 been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best of our country have long been eager to proscribe.
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.
We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretentions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation ...
But by information received yesterday I learn that on the 22d of December, Mr.
Burr descended the Cumberland with two boats merely of accommodation, carrying with him from that State no quota toward his unlawful enterprise.
We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
It is this preposterous idea which has lately deluged Europe in blood.
I congratulate you, my dear frend, on the law of your state for suspending the importation of slaves, and for the glory you have justly acquired by endeavoring to prevent it forever.
This abomination must have an end, and there is a superior bench reserved in heaven for those who hasten it.
The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet; that it was written in their Koran; that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners; that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could.
The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm.