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William H. Seward quotes
But assuming the same premises, to wit, that all men are equal by the law of nature and of nations, the right of property in slaves falls to the ground; for one who is equal to another cannot be the owner or property of that other.
But you answer, that the Constitution recognizes property in slaves. It would be sufficient, then, to reply, that this constitutional recognition must be void, because it is repugnant to the law of nature and of nations.
If slavery, limited as it yet is, now threatens to subvert the Constitution, how can we as wise and prudent statesmen, enlarge its boundaries and increase its influence, and thus increase already impending dangers?
The proposition of an established classification of states as slave states and free states, as insisted on by some, and into northern and southern, as maintained by others, seems to me purely imaginary, and of course the supposed equilibrium of those classes a mere conceit.