Abbott Lawrence criticized

(Liberator, January 30, 1846, pg 3)  “We have copied from the Richmond Whig, a letter from this gentleman to the Honorable William C. Rives, suggesting that Virginia has many fine natural advantages that she has quite a number of valuable water privileges, which might be profitably turned to manufacturing purposes, and that it would subserve her interests to establish the common school system of education among her people, in imitation of Massachusetts.   There is nothing very new or sagacious in all this, although it is very true, and appears to be very disinterested; but the gravity with which the suggestion is made by Mr. Lawrence, while, (to borrow the language of one of our exchange papers), ‘he  purposely and carefully avoids allusion to slavery as an obstacle in the way of prosperity’), is extremely ludicrous.  … Why is not Virginia a thriving manufacturing State?  Because of slavery.  Why are not her extraordinary natural advantages made sources of wealth?  Because of slavery.  …The removal of slavery, then, is THE VERY FIRST THING TO BE DONE,  before any of these gifts and privileges can be enjoyed.  …  But the oracular Mr. Lawrence wither from judicial blindness or from criminal timidity, says nothing about slavery, the grand cause of all the poverty, idleness, desolation, and want of enterprise, which are seen in the ‘Ancient Dominion’ …..”

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