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lic office ; for the pre-eminence of one class of men must be founded and erected upon the depression of another ; and the measure of exaltation in the former, is that of the slavery of the latter. In all governments, however constituted, or by what description foever denominated, wherever the distinction of rank prevails, or is admitted by the constitution, this species of slavery exists. It existed in every nation, and in every government in Europe before the French revolution. It existed in the American colonies be-fore they became independent states ; and notwithstanding the Maximus of equality which have been adopted in their several constitutions, it exists in most, if not all, of them, at this day, in the persons of our free Negroes and mulattoes ; whose civil incapacities are almost as numerous as the civil rights of our free citizens. A brief enumeration of them, may not be impro-per before we proceed to the third head. Free Negroes and mulattoes are by our constitution excluded from the right of suffrage, (f) and by consequence, I appre-

(f) The Constitution of Virginia, art. 7. declares, that the right of suffrage shall remain as then exercised : the act of 1723, c. 4 (edit. 1733,), sect. 23, declared, that no Negroe, mulattoe, or Indian, shall have any

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