- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
148

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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of view, and use or misuse them at pleasure. The
second consider themselves responsible for their
office; consider that they cannot and ought not
to surrender the property which they have inherited
from their fathers, and which, perhaps, is all
that they possess for themselves and their children;
and they regard it as an imperative duty to
preserve these inherited servants, to provide for their
old age, to make their present life as happy as
possible by means of instruction and Christianity, and
to allow them as much freedom and as much innocent
pleasure as possible. The third, highest class,
advances the well-being of the slaves with reference
to their emancipation; and this is done by
means of education and such practical aids. They
advance both people and country on the path of
human cultivation. I have heard mention made of
some persons even in Carolina as belonging to this
latter class, and in particular of two wealthy ladies
who have lately liberated their slaves. This is forbidden
by law; but here also public opinion has
begun to go ahead of the law; and the lawyers
themselves aid by passing statutes to this end, and
when they are reproached with this, they laugh, and
seem untroubled by conscience.

I have heard some very beautiful traits of the
patriarchs as well as of their slaves, and of the
devotion on both sides. I believe them, because

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