By Thomas Clarkson
Because the topic of the next paintings has thankfully develop into of overdue a topick of dialog i will not start the preface in a way extra passable to the sentiments of the benevolent reader than through giving an account of these humane and important people who've endeavoured to attract upon it that percentage of the publick cognizance which it has got.
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Additional info for An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species Particularly the African: Translated from a Latin Dissertation Which Was Honoured With the First Prize in the University of Cambridge, for the Year 1785, With Additions
Thus then did the Romans make that distinction between private and publick war, which was necessary to be made, and which the argument is fallacious in not supposing. The treasury of the vanquished was marked as the means of reparation; and as this treasury was supplied, in a great measure, by the imposition of taxes, and was, wholly, the property of the publick, so the publick made the reparation that was due. The elephants also, and ships of war, which were marked as the means of punishment, were publick property; and as they were considerable instruments of security and defence to their possessors, and of annoyance to an enemy, so their loss, added to the restrictions of the treaty, operated as a great and publick punishment.
It appears first, that liberty is a natural, and government an adventitious right, because all men were originally free. It appears secondly, that government is a _contract because, in these primeval subordinate societies, we have seen it voluntarily conferred on the one hand, and accepted on the other. We have seen it subject to various restrictions. We have seen its articles, which could then only be written by tradition and use, as perfect and binding as those, which are now committed to letters.
Here then the voice of nature and justice is against him. ” But if kings then, to whom their own people have granted dominion and power, are unable to invade the liberties of their harmless subjects, without the highest injustice; how can those private persons be justified, who treacherously lie in wait for their fellowcreatures, and sell them into slavery? What arguments can they possibly bring in their defence? What treaty of empire can they produce, by which their innocent victims ever resigned to them the least portion of their liberty?