Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Affected With A Sincere Concern For The Essential Good Of Our Country
Last October I'd noted that some silly Quakers had petitioned the Articles Congress:
We have long beheld with sorrow the complicated evils produced by an unrighteous commerce which subjects many thousands of the human species to the deplorable State of Slavery.
The Restoration of Peace and restraint to the effusion of human Blood we are persuaded excite in the minds of many of all Christian denominations gratitude and thankfulness to the all wise controller of human events; but we have grounds to fear, that some forgetfulness of the days of Distress are prompted from avaricious motives to renew the iniquitous trade for slaves to the African Coasts, contrary to every humane and righteous consideration, and in opposition to the solemn declarations often repeated in favour of universal liberty, thereby increasing the too general torrent of corruption and licentiousness, and laying a foundation for future calamities.
We therefore earnestly solicit your Christian interposition to discourage and prevent so obvious an Evil, in such manner as under the influence of Divine Wisdom you shall see meet.
Took Congress about 3 months to get around to considering the Friends' address:
The Committee, consisting of [Mr. David Howell, Mr. Arthur Lee and Mr. Samuel Osgood] to whom was referred the address of the people called Quakers, presented to Congress on the 8th. day of October, 1783, by a deputation on behalf of the yearly meeting held in Philadelphia, for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the western parts of Maryland and Virginia, submit the following Report.
Resolved, That Congress consider this address from so respectable a part of the people called Quakers as a testimony of their sincere concern for the essential good of their Country the rights of mankind, and of their respect for those with whom the powers of Government are entrusted.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the legislature of the several States to enact such laws as to their wisdom may appear best calculated to compass the object of the second article in the association entered into, and subscribed by the Delegates of the United Colonies in Congress assembled on the 20th. Day of October 1774.
Sadly, even such a bland resolution skirting the actual mention of slavery couldn't carry the day. Human rights were always trumped by "states' rights" from the beginning. I'm sure Scalia will make a faux originalist claim based on this when helping strike down the Voting Rights Act...
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