Tuesday, July 5, 2016
A bad bargain..................................
Transcribing his train of thought as it cam to him, Adams wrote that the practice of slavery "taints the very sources of moral principle ... It perverts human reason, and reduces men endowed with logical powers to maintain that Slavery is sanctioned by the Christian religion .., The impression produced upon my mind by the progress of this discussion is that the bargain between Freedom and Slavery in the Constitution of the United States is morally and politically vicious."
He had said it. Adams had long comforted himself with the fact that slavery, whatever its evils, had been enshrined in the Constitution, which he revered as the secular equivalent of Holy Writ. But now he saw that he had no right to that comfort. The constitutional bargain was morally intolerable.
-James Traub, John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit