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The voice of freedom. [volume] (Montpelier, Vt.) 1839-1848, March 09, 1839, Image 2

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From tho Liberator.
Letter from George Thompson.
8 Duncan-street, Newington
Edindukgii, January 5, 1839.
JUr Dear r hiend :
I was truly delighted to recognise, once more,
your hand-writing, annexed to Mr Burleigh's let
ter, of the 24th November. Most entirely do I
reciprocate your sentiments of unalterable attach
ment. I sometimes feel very culpable in not keep
ing up a regular correspondence ; while, at other
limes, I feel to some exu-.H exonerated by my cir
cumstances. Let me tell you the plain truth. . In
addition to my natural dislike to letter-writing, I
have, for the last two years, been in a very ill state
of health, my indisposition increasing progressive-
v down to the present time. Hard work, in the
way of public speaking, constant high excitement,
and considerable anxietv occasioned bv the pos.
tore nf nnr Wpxt-Tnrlin ntiestinn. have wrought
their eflnrts minn me. and reduced me to a condi
tion of great and distressing physical disorder and
debilitv. Hence I have taken up my pen
when nhsnliitfU' mmm-dlpd. The slate ol my iee
iugs has induced me to put off whatever admitted
of procrastination, so that my debts nave, oeeu con
tinually increasing, and I am at last obliged to de
clare myself insolvent, and ask my friends freely
to forgive me, having nothing to pay. Can you
thus remit the heavy debt I owe you ?
I am now taking strong medicine, and resting
for a short time from my public labors, m the hope
of recovery. Already I feel myself better, though
unfit for any intellectual occupation. Pardon,
therefore, the imperfections of this miserable scrawl.
Your friend is an invalid, with a weak stomach
and a weak head. If permitted, in the good prov
idence of God, again to go iorth and plead the
cause of the oppressed, I trust I shall be able to
exercise some degree of restraint over myself.
To preserve my health, it will be necessary to act
by rule. I must speak neither so often, so loud,
nor so long, as I have been accustomed to do.
It grieves me, as it will grieve all your friends
in this country, to learn that you are suffering
from bodilv affliction. It is, however, matter of
joy, my dear brother, to behold the now resistless
progress of those great truths which you were, un
der God, so instrumental in propagating and ap
plying when your countrymen were almost uni
versally indifferen', or disaflected to the claims of
the slave. How great the reward of your sacrifi
ces, a.id labors, and perils ! The little one has
become a thousand, and the small one a strong
nation. There is now lying open before me, the
first volume of the Liberator, dated January 1st,
1831. On the first page you say, 'Aid me, New
England '.' New-England has aided you. Your
native State is 'politically and morally regenera
ted upon the question of slavery.' What hath
God wrought ! Well may you be hopeful. 'The
kind God of your fathers make you a thousand
times so many as ye are, and bless you as he hath
promised you I'
Dj not think, because I do not write to Ameri
ca, that I do not think of America. I devour with
eagerness every thing in the shape of information
respecting your anti-slavery movements. I am
disposed to believe that I am as familiar with the
details of the question, as it is possible to be on
this side of the Atlantic. The education I ob
tained, during my short residence in the United
States, enables me to understand pretty well the
bearing and comparative importance of the events
recorded in your anti-slavery periodical, and by
constant and regular reading, I keep up with you
in your glorious career, and complete from time to
time my historical knowledge.
You express a wish to have me by your side.
O, with what sincerity and fulness of desire I could
exclaim 'Amen, with all my heart !' To keep on
this side the water is an act of daily self-denial.
I am only reconciled to my painful separation by
the consideration that the little I can do for the
cause of universal freedom is, for the present, bet
ter done here than it could bo with you. I cher
ish, nevertheless, a strong and confident hope that
I shall see you again, and be allowed to do and I
sutler sometning more in me neiu oi wimuie,
which is endeared to nie not less by the insults
and injuries I received, than by the kindnesses and
proofs of affection so abundan tly furnished me by
iny fellow-soldiers.
Since the abolition of the apprenticeship in the
West Indies, I have been engaged, as my health
allowed me, in bringing before the public the
claims of the London Aborigines Protection Soci
ety a most praiseworthy and valuable institu
tion, founded by Mr Buxton and other philan
thropic individuals, with a view to the improve
ment of tho condition of the native inhabitants of
our Colonies, and tho world at large. I have
sent you several newspapers containing a pretty
full exposition of the principles and plans of this
new society. While advocating its claims to pub
He support, I am by no means precluded from
pleading the cause of the slave. On the contra
ry, the slavery of India, the slave-trade of Africa,
and the freedom and welfare of the Nero wher
ever found, are matters of special and legitimate
interest. It is likely, however, that the present
Hate of British India will be that part of the great
subject which we shall feel it our duty to prees
upon the immediate attention of the people and
parliament, . In consequence, my recent public ad
dresses have had a particular reference to the op
pressions practised by British rulers upon one hun
dred millions of our fellow-subjects in our Eastern
empire. We hope by a vigorous effort to effect
an early alteration in the administration of public
affairs in India such. an alteration as will relieve
the bulk of the natives (the cultivators of the soil)
from the existing evils of the revenue system, and
lead to the abolition of slavery throughout the
country. This will be another glorious achieve
ment. Remember me to all friends in Boston, and evor
b3lievc me with growing affection,
Your devoted friend,
Moral Condition of the South. Extract of a
letter from a highly intelligent friend at the
South :
'You may expect me in Boston early in the
spring. I am sick of the South. The more I see
of it, the more I dislike it. There is nothing here
worth living for. There is nothing but wrong,
and oppression, and depravity, which must be wit
nessed in silence, or extolled as virtues ! The most
awful judgments of Heaven hang over this land !
These people have, ere long, a dread account to
settle for their violations of the righteous laws of
God ! I will tell you all when I jet back. I have
been obliged to burn roy journal, and have noth
ing but memory to depend upon for retaining such
facts as are worth preserving.' Liberator,
From the Philanthropist.
Slave Trade at Washington.
Extract of a Letter to the Editor, from Washing
ton, dated 31s January, 1S39.
"Blow the trumpet upon every house-top. Run
to and fro in the land. Let every man tell it to his
neighbor, and women to their children," that on
30th January, 1S39, in the capital of the Lnited
Stales, in sight of the halls of Congress; upwards
oi forty human creatures men, women, and chil
dren, persons of color slaves, were taken from
the slave prison in this city, (or rather the city hell,
as it is sometimes not inaptly called,) and march
ed off as property, to be shipped at Baltimore, for
the Southern market.
The order of inurch was, first, the baggage-wagon,
with half-a-dozen negroes immediately behind,
some apparently hanging upon it for support.
Next came ten or a dozen women, apparently with
arms lashed two and two, but probably fastened to
gether with irons. Then followed the men, about
thirty in number, chained together, two and two,
by the wrists. Both women rmd men marched
two. abreast; but whether a leading chain passed
through the middle or not, could not well be seen.
By the side o(this mournful group, rode on horse
back, a white man (or monster,) with a large load
ed riding-whip in his hand, in the same manner in
which drovers drive horses, mules, or hogs to mar
ket. The procession passed in view of the halls
of Congress, as if in defiance of the power of that
body, the constitution and laws, and as if to insult
and outrage the feelings of members from the free
states; master-spirit of the scene, (power of
slavery,) proudly saying, in language not to be mis
understood, and in scoff of the constituted author
ities of the nation, 'All your boasted rights, powers,
and privileges, are under my feet; see the hand
cuffs upon my fettered slaves. They are the bond
of your Union. Touch them, and your Union
will be dissolved as with a charm. ' Great God!
is this the condition of our o-.intrv ? Is the Bond
of our Uuion the iron that enters into the soul of
the slave? Are the forging of his manacles, the
breeding of his children, like the breeding of hogs
for the market, to be made a staple business in the
operations of the country? and is silence to be im
posed on all, that this horrible and infernal traffic
may be carried on without hindrance ? Yes ! si
lence is imposed. Even members of Congress
seem afraid to speak their thoughts on this shame
ful affair. Slimy politicians! who have crawled
into power over the putrescence and stench of
slavery, can these things continue? Will not this
accursed traffic bring down upon our otherwise be
loved country, the righteousjudgements ot heaven f
It is the slaveholder, the slave breeder, the slave
trader, who arc working the dissolution of our
Union. The groans, the blood of the slave, like
a continual dropping, are wearing away the very
foundation-stones on which our temple of liberty
Why not go to the South ?
Because we can better affect our object by re
maining where we are, than by going southward.
We can. bring our arguments to bear on their
minds now if we should go among them our
mouths would be stopped before we could utter
three sentences. We stay at the north, then, be
cause we can do more here to influence sotunern
mind, than bv coins to the south.
I have seen before now, as I have passed along
the road, a man at work by the road side digging
stones, lie was holding a long iron bar, one end
placed under a huge fragment of rock, and on the
other, as far from the stone as he could possibly
get, was the man, heaving with all his might, and
straining every muscle to accomplish his purpose
What if I had stopped and accosted him "Yv hat
are you doing there ?" " Trying to get this stone
out of the ground. " Why, you simpleton ! why
don't you throw away that long lever and go to
the stone?" He would probably laugh at my folly,
and still heave away at the far end ol the lever.
We have the Jever of truth, ot argument, ot cor
rect public sentiment, with which to overthrow
I slavery. Its end is fixed under the black and pon
derous walls of the old Bastile, and all we ask-
now is, that the whole north will throw itself up
en the farther end, and with one united heave
tumble into irrecovable ruin its blood stained walls
Dont't be frightened at the loud cracking and
clattering ol stones and mortar, and the crashing
and splintering of timbers ; at the clouds of smoke
and dust which curl up towards heaven, as the
cap stones come thundering down these nrc but
the indications of success. Take courage when,
you see them, and renew your efibrts. Soon vic
tory complete shall crown them. Burleigh.
Senator Morris. This fearless champion of
liberty snd genuine friend of humanity deserves
something better than a statue of gold at the hands
of his countrymen. We have received his speech
in reply to Mr Clay, on the subject of slavery in
the District of Columbia, and shall lay it before
our readers next week. It occupies ten columns
of the Washington Globe, and will of course be
circulated through all the southern states. It is
an able and most triumphant rejoinder, and puts
Mr. Clay to open shame. Liberator.
A good DEED. About two years since, George
Storrs and other abolitionists were disturbed by u
mob at Mt. Morris, in the western part of New
York. Mr. Storrs wrote a letter detailing the af
fair, and the active part taken in it by a Mr. Miller,
the post master and a member of the Episcopal
church. This letter was published by La Roy
Sunderland in Zion's Watchman, the Methodist
abolition paper in New York city. Mr. Miller
caused Mr. Sunderland to be indicted for a libel
in publishing the letter. At the late court in Gen
esee, Livingston county, the trial came on, not
withstanding the efforts of Miller to postpone it.
Two eminent lawyers conducted the prosecution.
Mr. Sunderland proved the truth of the letter, and
defended himself without the aid of counsel. His
speech was pronounced by Mr. Young, one of the
counsel for the prosecution, to be one of the ablest
defences ever made at that bar. The jury returned
a verdict of not guilty. Penn. freeman.
A gentleman speaking of Mr. Clay's recent
speech on slavery, said it reminded him of an ob
servation, made, prehaps by Mr. Sheridan, in ref
erence to a speecn which had just bean uttered in
the British parliament, " Tho member, said he,
is indebted to his imagination for his facts, nnd
to his memory for his arguments. " Penn. Free
man. Knowledge will not be acquired without pains
and application. It is troublesome and deep dig
ging for pure waters; but when once you come to
the spring, 'hey rise up and meet you.
The Doctrine of Instruction.
The Woodstock Mercury, of Feb. 15, has an
other article on the subject of instructing Senators.
In a previous number, the Mercury characterized
all such instructions as extra-legislative, and as
transcending the legitimate business of legislation:
in short, it was urged that such instructions should
be regarded only in the light of advice. In dis
senting from this doctrine of the Mercury, we in
sisted that the right of instruction was a necessary
incident of sovereignty : that wherever the sover
eign power resided, there existed the unsurrender
ed right of instruction upon all legitimate subjects
of legislation.
In the rejoinder of the editor of the Mercury
now before us, we are rather surprised to meet
with some admissions which furnish very good
arguments in support of our position, but, in spite
of which, the Mercury still clings to his ' light of
advice' doctrine. Ths editor says,
Our servants, the officers of government in the
different departments, are frequently charging each
other with assumptions of authority and gross
usurpations. In settling these squabbles, it be
comes us, and might occasionally become them, to
recollect a few first principles, which would much
aid in the result. One of the most ordinary and
well acknowledged of these principles is this, that
the sovereign political power is in the people, who
still retain all of that power, which they have not,
by the constitution, delegated to their servants, the
officers of the government.
It is admitted, then, that ' the sovereign politi
cal power is in the people, who still retain all of
that power, which they have not, by the constitu
tion, delegated to their servants, the officers of the
government.' This accords with the 5th article of
the Bill of Rights, which is itself a part of our state
constitution, and which declares ' that the people
of this state, by their legal representatives, have
the sole, inherent, and exclusive right of govern-
ng and regulating the internal police of the same.'
This article has reference to state legislation, it is
true, but it shows with what jealousy the framers
of the constitution guarded the doctrine of the peo
ple's sovereignty. In Art. 6, Bill of Rights, it is
further declared, ' That all power, being originally
inherent in, and consequently derived from the
people, therefore all officers of government, wheth
er legislative or executive, are their trustees and
servants, and at all times, in a legal way, account
able to them.' The same important principle is
again recognized in the constitution, Sec. 23, ' All
commissions shall be in the name of the Free
men of the slate of Vermont,' &c. In the first en
acting clauses of the statutes for several years af
ter the adoption of the constitution," 1 The Free
men of the state of Vermont' were placed in the
first rank. So, also, in all the town charters, the
People are invariably recognized as sovereign.
On the naked doctrine of sovereignty, or sover
eignty in the abstract, then, we have no dispute
with the Mercury.
The editor further says,
All officers of the government are, within their
jurisdiction and power, the representatives of the
people. It is entirely immaterial whether these
officers are appointed directly by our own votes or
by the votes of others, to whom .we, for our con
venience, have delegated the power of appoint
ment. Whenever and however appointed, they
are the servants of the people and to perform their
duties by the constitution and laws.
To this we make no objection, only it is to be
remarked, that in the event of a conflict between
the constitution and laws, the inferior must yield
to the superior the constitutional law, being su
preme, may not be superseded or nullified by leg
islative enactment.
It is not pretended that the power of instructing
Senators has been, in form, delegated to the Jegis
lature. It is to be regarded as an original, unsur
rendered right of the people coeval and co-ex
isteiit with their sovereignty. In the absence of
any prescribed constitutional moaa ior us exercise,
it may at least be asked, whether the sovereign
may not elect its own mode of declaring its will,
and whether an avowal of that will is not, of itself,
a tacit delegation of power. A right to command
implies a.corresponding duty to obey. Rights and
duties do not war with each other. 1 he consti
tution regards all officers of government, whether
legislative or executive, as 1 trustees' and ' ser
ants' of the people. These relations, in effect,
cease to exist at that moment when the trustee or
servant ' assumes the responsibility' of disregarding
the known will of his constituents.
The people are not infallible. They may mis
take their true interests ; but that is their affair.
Fair Warning !
Doct. Haynes, a Representative in Congress
from Georgia, recently made the following avow
al at a dinner table in Washington in the presence
of three citizens of Vermont : OCT" That " if the
Democi'acy of the country was able to hold on, a
vote would be carried at the next session to prevent
the reception of abolition petitions at all in Con
gress :
This will be making a true issue. Let the doors
of Congress be closed and bolted against the peo
ple in a manly style. Leave your shuffling, cow
ardly work of laying out petitions on the table
unread, and hurl them back in the faces of free
men at once. Try that experiment boldly, and if
you don't hear thunder, we will guess again. j
Scenes in Washington.
An anti-slavery friend who spent several weeks
in Washington during the session just closed, re
lates to us tho following facts :
When the Han. William Slade rose in his place
to offer his resolutions relating to the coflle of slaves
driven by the captitol, a member from South Car
olina stepped forward in front of Mr. Slade, and
brandishing his fist menacingly, cried out, " Offer
those resolutions if you dare with your State at
your back !"
What has the North to do with slavery ?
Our informant chanced to be passing in Penn
sylvania Avenue just after the gang of slaves above
referred to had gone by. An active colored young
man, who it seems, had just passed them, called
out to his friend in the street, "Tom they've just
driv along thirty black men in chains to Baltimore !
and I told the captain that God would fetch him
to judgment for that ! and the captain said, ' Hold
your tongue you d d black rascal or I'll plit.
your brains out !' and I told him to come on!"
" Hail Columbia happy land,
Land of every land the pride !"
O" Daring Outrage! We understand from
the Democratic Republican, published"at Haver
hill, in New Hampshire, that a person calling
himself Jonathan P. Miller, said to be a resident of
Montpelier, in Vermont, was lately discovered on
the eastern side of Connecticut river : and,incred
ible as it may appear, said Miller found his way
into a meeting-house in the town of Haverhill, and
then and there proclaimed the notion that it is
wrong for men to cheat, steal and enslave their
fellow men. Not only so, but Miller proceeded to
quote sundry scandalous, incendiary and insurrec
tionary sayings of the notorious Thomas Jeffer
son, wherein it is declared that human being3 have
rights ! ! It further appears that Miller afterwards
made his appearance in Canaan not the promised
land but the Canaan where they pulled off a
school house because colored boys were taught to
read and write and cipher in it in Canaan the
same audacious conduct was repeated ! ! Where
are the officers of justice in our sister state that
the insulted majesty of the laws remains unaveng
ed ? What i3 to become of our glorious institu
tions if such men are suffered to go unhung? '
Windsor County. Rev. Benja. Shaw, lately
employed for a few weeks as an agent of the Wind
sor County Anti-Slavery Society, has furnished us
with a brief statement of his operations in that
county, from which we select the following items :
Andover. A society organized, Jan. 30. El
der Myers, President.
Plymouth. Society organized, Feb. 1. Israel
C. Brewer, President. Members, 33.
Sherburne. Society organized with 20 mem
bers. Joseph Anthony, President.
Bridgewater. Some opposition, but no vio
lence. Lectured in three places and organized
society of 24 members. Lyman Raymond, Pres
Queeche Village. Society formed of 46 mem
bers. James Udall, President.
Pomfret. Lectured and formed a society of 70
members. Stephen Bugbee, President pro tern.
Sharon. Formed a society of 25. Charles
Baxter, Esq. President.
Bethel Gilead. Formed a society of 33.
Rochester. Lectured three times and obtained
50 names.
Weston. Society jbrmed, 142 members. El
der Pollard, President.
Landgrove. Society formed, 42 members.
Windham and Londonderry. Societies.
C7 The following details of the adventures of
a man 'in pursuit of happiness,' is full of interest,
and needs no comment. As the hero of the story
is supposed to be a little north of the 45th degree
of north latitude about these days, we have con
cluded to give the letter to our readers without
omitting names of places and dates:
Chester, March, 1, 1839.
C. L. Knapp, Esq. :
Dear Sir One of those sons of Ethiopia who
cannot 'change his skin,' (a difficulty however ea
sily overcome by a process well known and in sue
cessful operation among slave-holders, as'in his
case,) has recently escaped from the great south
ern Bastile of republican despotism called on the
friends of human liberty in this place for counse
and pecuniary aid, both of which he received.
The history he gives of himself is very interes
ting. Like thousands of others of this ill-fated
portion of the human family, he carries on his body
the indelible marks of injustice, cruelty and des
potism. He is a native of Maysville, Kentucky;
I should think about 30 years old, (he does not
know his age) has a wife and two children liv
ing on another plantation, owned by another man,
in the same place, whom he has not seen for five
years. Being a little tainted with 'yankee blood'
he was not so easily managed as some of the
'original stock,' which induced the owner to sell
him to one of those human-flesh dealers so com
mon in this land of charters and chains, who car
ried him to New Orleans market, where he was
sold and remained 5 years. About 2 or 3 months
ago, (he cannot tell the exact time, -but says it was
after cotton picking,) he escaped by steam-boat to
Cincinnati, Ohio. From thence he followed the
star of liberty till near the middle of the State,
when he was followed and overtaken by two kid-
- . ...... I s
nappers greedy of the reward or iniquity oouna
and carried back some distance, till rescued by
some 20 or 30 of the colored people who got wind
of the transaction.
From this time he became more cautious.
Passing through Ohio, part of Pennsylvania and
New York, to this place, he experienced no fur
ther misfortune, save the hardships and privations
incident to one in his circumstances, in a strange
land, and for the most part among an inhospitable
people, frequently subsisting on rotten apples, or
any other vegetable he could find often suffering
much from hunger and cold often being driven
from the door of the 'Priest and the Levite,' where
he had applied for shelter during the night.
In one instance, on a very cold day, he applied
for lodging from house to house, till the lateness
of the hour compelled him to take lodging in a
barn, where he froze both his feet.
He did, indeed, find some who could sympathize
with the oppressed, and showed him every kind--ness
by administering to his wants. He brought
many letters from the friends of humanity in
Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, one from
Mrs. Gerrit Smith, Mr. Smith being absent.
He says he had heard much about abolitionists
while in New Orleans, and from the representa
tions of slave-holders, thought them the worst
wretches ever suffered to' live, and could hardly
believe the evidence of his own senses when he
found his mistake.
Thus we see a human being, with no friend to
counsel or direct ; no knowledge of the country
he wished to find ; no learning to aid in the search,
(for he could neither read nor write,) with the
chances ten to one against him of being retaken and
carried back into slavery to suffer the punishment
always inflicted on those who prefer liberty to sla
very ; with the still more fearful risk, if he esca
ped the vigilance of the master and those who seek
for the reward of iniquity, of falling into the hands
of the abolitionists, whom he was taught to dread
much worse, willing to encounier perils so fear
ful for the chance of enjoying liberty ! What a
comment on that oft-repeated, that stereotyped
falsehood, that "slaves are happy and contented
don't want to be free love their masters," Sec.
Let the friends of humanity rejoice over one
victim of oppression escaped from the great south
ern prison-house. Let none be discouraged. Soon
we shall have the key that will unlock the prison
and let all the oppressed go out together.
Very truly yours,
Extract of a letter from Rev. Benj. Shaw to tha
Editor, March 1 :
" I feel that there is a great work to do, and
ca nnot wait for fair weather and good travelling.
The sigh of the slave on every breeze cries,
Haste ! haste!' and their groans roll upon my ear
like muttering thunder, urging me to
" Speak ai the tempest docs,
Sterner and stronger."
My design is to lecture once in a place : briefly
give, 1st, principles ; za, objects ; dd, measures ;
4th, probable results ; then read a constitution, cir
culate it, choose president and secretary pro tern,
present the claims of the Voice of Freedom, take
up a contribution, and sell anti-slavery books. I
work hard for the slave, but thank God I am free.
I have lectured once on Woodstock Green, had
a peaceful, heavenly time have obtained above
40 names for society, and expect to lecture in two
other places in town. Thanks be to God who
Letter from N. Southard.
Boston, March 2, 1S39.
Brother Knapp : Late as it is, I send you a
bundle of the ' Plea for the Slave,'' and have to say,
as an apology for not having sent it before, that
my time has been almost exclusively occupied in
labors in New York city, where I have been em
ployed by the Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society
there, and I have been constantly expecting to be
released from my engagement with them, that 1
might attend to matters claiming my attention in
New England. I have just arrived here, and has
ten to forward the Plea to you, and would request
that " Notice" might be given in the Voice of Free
dom that it is received and ready for distribution.
On my arrival here, I found a letter from a treas
urer in this city which enclosed $50 as the result
of the efforts of a few devoted females, for a few
months past.. I hope our fellow laborers in Ver
mont may be stimulated to activity. I have been
cheered by the reception of several letters from N.
H. and Vt. enclosing very acceptable proofs of the
zeal and fidelity of our self-sacrificing friends in
those states. Yours for the slave,
C7'The bundle mentioned by Mr. Southard has
come to hand. ' The Plea for the Slave,' is a
spirited little monthly, designed for gratuitous dis
tribution to the contributors of Cent-a-week So
cieties. Y e subioin a few paragraphs from the
number just received :
The Executive Committee, cheered by what
you have done, the past year, amidst all your dis
couragements, have voted to recommend a cumin-
uance of the system.
Spveral causes have delayed the Plea for the
Slave a few weeks, but you need not be told that
the slaves continue to suffer, whether you hear of
it or not.
Let the contributors be urged to be prompt and
punctual in making their payments, and let the
money be forwarded with as little delay as possible.
Do not think the amount so small, that it will do
no harm to delay or withhold it, A few morn
ings since, the Publishing Agent enme into the

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