The Trial of Crandall presents the first case of a man charged with endeavoring to excite insurrection among slaves and the free colored population that was ever brought before a judicial tribunal. It lasted ten days before the whole Court, and was as closely contested as any trial on record, by the counsel on both sides. Every point of law was fully and strenuously argued, and carefully considered by the Court; and where no statutes have been enacted, this case may be considered as settling the legal questions touching the rights of the slaveholding population, on the one hand, to protect themselves from foreign influence; and the circumstances, on the other hand, which may bring people from the nonslaveholding States into danger of the law, by having in their possession, showing, or circulating, papers and tracts which advocate the abolition of slavery in such a way as to excite slaves and free people of color to revolt and violate the existing laws and customs of the slaveholding States. No trial has ever occurred more important to travellers from the North, or to the domestic peace of the inhabitants of the Southern States.
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