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Extract from DeWitt Clinton's gubernatorial message, c4 January 1820

"Nor can I conceal on this occasion the deep anxiety which I feel in a subject now under the consideration of the General Government and which is unfortunately calculated to produce geographical distinctions. Highly important as it is to allay feelings so inauspicious & to cultivate the most friendly relations communion with every member of the confederacy, yet I consider the interdiction of the extension of Slavery a paramount consideration. Morally and politically speaking slavery is an evil of the first magnitude and whatever may be the consequences it is our duty to prohibit its progress in all cases where such prohibition is allowed by the constitution. No evil can result from its inhibition more pernicious than its toleration, and I earnestly recommend the expression of your sense on this occasion as equally due to the character of the State and the prosperity of the empire."

Copy in the hand of MVB

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 3 (17 February 1815-2 December 1821)