Page:The Writings of Thomas Paine (1894), vol. 1.djvu/18

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I.
African Slavery in America.

Messrs. Bradford,

Please to insert the following, and oblige yours

A. B.

To Americans.

That some desperate wretches should be willing to steal and enslave men by violence and murder for gain, is rather lamentable than strange. But that many civilized, nay, christianized people should approve, and be concerned in the savage practice, is surprising; and still persist, though it has been so often proved contrary to the light of nature, to every principle of Justice and Humanity, and even good policy, by a succession of eminent men,* and several late publications.

Our Traders in Men (an unnatural commodity!) must know the wickedness of that Slave-Trade, if they attend to reasoning, or the dictates of their own hearts; and such as shun and stiffle all these, wilfully sacrifice Conscience, and the character of integrity to that golden Idol.

The Managers of that Trade themselves, and others, testify, that many of these African nations inhabit fertile

^  Dr. Ames, Baxter, Durham, Locke, Carmichael, Hutcheson, Montesquieu, and Blackstone, Wallace, etc., etc. Bishop of Gloucester.—Author.

[What work of Dr. (? William) Ames is referred to I have not found. The others are Baxter’s “Christian Directory” ; James Durham’s “Law Unsealed” ; John Locke's “Of Government” ; Gerschomus Carmichael’s “Puffendorf” ; Francis Hutcheson’s “System of Moral Philosophy” ; Montesquieu’s “Spirit of the Laws”; Blackstone’s “Commentaries” ; Dr. George Wallace on the ancient peerages of Scotland ; “Sermon before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 21 February 1766,” by the Bishop of Gloucester (Warburton). —Editor.]