TO THE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF BUCKINGHAM
DELIVERED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING
OCTOBER 20, 1836
BY CHARLES YANCEY
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An excerpt from the Speech:
"I consider slavery an evil of great magnitude, yet I am not in favor of abolition -- far from it. No remedy for the evil has presented itself to my mind, but would produce a greater evilto society, than a continuance of servitude in the mild and humane form in which it at present exists. The philanthropist, fanatics, and those who really entertain religious scruples, who have a knowledge of the relative duties of master and servant, as practiced in Virginia, must all admit that the situation of our servants is greatly preferable, as to all essential comforts of life, compared with the situation and condition of the poorer order of white people, in the non-slave holding states; and certainly much better than the condition of the free people of color residing among us, or their savage ancestors, naked and starved, roaming through the wilds of Africa like the wild beasts of the forest, deprived of the light of revelation, and all the social and endearing relations of civilized life. Slavery was introduced in this country, by the sordid policy of the British Government, for which we of the present generation cannot be held accountable; but we are accountable for a just discharge of our duty as masters, in extending to them mild humane treatment, with a due regard to their morals. Abolition can never be forced by the clamor of fanatics, which can only make the situation of slaves less tolerable, and delay the process of public opinion, in devising some plan for commencing a system of abolition, which, commence when it may, must take its origin in some of the slave holding states."