A fine letter from the former President on the evils of the slave trade and the case for its abolition. The recipient, Rev. William B. Sprague, was a pioneer autograph collector and noted clergyman, who had sent Tyler a copy of his address on William Wilberforce, the British anti-slavery advocate. "... It is undoubtedly no slight cause of gratification to us as American Citizens that out own beloved country was the first among the Nations to denounce the Slave trade as piracy—Virginia at a very early period of her colonial existance protested against that trade cum totis viribus, and one of the leading causes, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, of our severance from the mother country, is that our remonstrances upon that subject had been wholly disregarded—and may I not add without the violation of any rule of propriety, a matter in an intimate degree appertaining to my name that my venerated Father [John Tyler Sr.] being a member of the convention of this State and Vice President thereof assigned as a reason all sufficient in itself, for the rejection of the present Constitution of the U. States, that 'the infamous slave trade' was tolerated until 1808—It would be well for the cause of humanity if England had at this moment another Wilberforce to denounce the continuance of that traffik under what is called the system of apprenticeship ...."
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