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HOW IT WAS CHEATED HOW DESTROYED HOW IT
MAY BE RESTORED.
"And therefore it is ever good to relie upon the books at large, for many times
JAMES WOODHOUSE & CO.
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1860,
By JAMES WOODHOUSE & CO.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Eastern District of Virginia.
C. R WYNNE, PRINTER,
I wish to dedicate this little volume to the memory of the Hon. John Macpherson Berrien, late Senator in Congress from the State of Georgia; not for his eminent abilities, his private worth, nor yet for his great public character, but as an humble tribute of gratitude for an important service which he rendered to me.
It chanced some years ago that I was introduced to that distinguished statesman at one of the public tables in Washington city. The conversation turned on the question of slavery, then vexing Congress, and in terms stronger than good manners would warrant, I expressed my aversion to that form of labor. The sentiment which I uttered elicited no response, and the conversation glided on to other topics. When I was about to depart, Judge Berrien, in the most polite and obliging manner, invited me to remain and take wine with him, an invitation which I gladly accepted, for already I felt strongly attracted to him.
With some abruptness, he turned to me and expressed his surprise that I, a young man from Virginia, should entertain sentiments of so remarkable a character about slavery. I attempted to defend them, and he listened to me with respectful attention. In the ablest manner, the Senator then explained the whole subject to me, in its social, political and economical connexions, and after illustrating its conservative and ameliorating influences on the Federal Government, demonstrated its absolute necessity, in a democratic society, to preserve the empire of law, of virtue and of religion, and predicted that for the want of that restraining power the Northern Republics, so soon as they should be disconnected with the Slave States, even if not sooner, would fall into anarchy, and, treading the old circle, would, to escape the despotism of the mob, seek refuge in the despotism of a single will.
His discourse produced on me the most profound impression; and when I arose to withdraw, I grasped his hand cordially and thanked him for redeeming me from so weak and dangerous an error. I had never seen Judge Berrien before; I never saw him again. A few years later I heard that the Hunter Death had struck him down, and sure he never struck a nobler quarry.