Your Negro Neighbor

Your Negro Neighbor

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Your Negro Neighbor by Benjamin Griffith Brawley

Published:

1918

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Your Negro Neighbor

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Book Excerpt

, and both principles were exerting a profound influence on English literature and life. In 1772 Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of England, thrilled all English-speaking people by handing down from the Court of King's Bench the decision that as soon as a slave set foot upon the soil of England he became free. The logic of the position of the patriots, Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson, naturally forced them to defend liberty at all times; and by the time the convention for the framing of the Constitution of the United States met in Philadelphia, at least two of the original thirteen states (Massachusetts and New Hampshire) had positively prohibited slavery, while in three others (Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) gradual abolition was in progress. Under the influence of commercialism and industrialism, however, great convictions gradually declined; and at least two of the three great compromises that entered into the Constitution were a concession to the slave-holding South. Then across the page of his