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But as the elections of the fall approached, the Republicans of Virginia were ceaseless in their efforts. The sequel of the contest throughout the United States, is well known. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, received a majority of electoral votes over John Adams. But as Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Burr had precisely the same number of votes, and the Constitution did not then require voters to specify which candidate they wished to be President, and which Vice-President, the election at last devolved upon the House of Representatives. Here the Federalists voted for Mr. Burr; and not until after thirty-five ballots, and imminent danger of a dissolution of the Government, did some of the less inflexible give way, and thus secure the election of Mr. Jefferson. But the popular voice had been heard; the people had declared against the Alien and Sedition Laws; the object of Virginia was accomplished without either nullifying the law, or overturning the government. Not long after the success of the new administration became apparent, these unconstitutional acts were repealed. It was decided that America might be saved without making her President at once lawgiver, judge, and executioner, upon the alien; and that sedition might be quelled without fettering the press, and proscribing opinions.

And yet, though the triumph of liberty, and that of law and order, had been achieved, and had gone hand and hand together, they had not been won without a sacrifice. Stormy passions had been

* Jefferson's Letter to Madison, Works, iii. 453; Lincoln, 122.




roused, which did not subside until they had rent asunder many ties; characters had been assailed which were once regarded with a nation's reverence. Men had learned to think lightly of past services, when covered with present obloquy; and minds once devout had been taught to listen with patience, and even with pleasure, to infidel philosophy. There had been evil in both parties, and there had been good wrought, not as the immediate object of either, but as the work of the Power that can bring light out of darkness, and order out of chaos. Virginia has little cause to wish renewed the scenes of a struggle which arrayed her noblest sons in battle against each other, and infused a bitterness into her spirit that will, perhaps, in some 'measure, endure with her existence.



Internal interests of Virginia-Slaves-Insurrection headed by Gabriel— Happily defeated-Establishment of the Public Guard-Incipient steps for the sale of the glebe lands-Act of 1799-Its character explained— Memorials asking a sale of the glebes for the benefit of the public-Act passed for the purpose-Its leading provisions considered-Its effect and abuses-Constitutionality of the act disputed by the Protestant Episcopal Church-Manchester Parish case-Death of Judge Pendleton-Argument in the Court of Appeals-Court divided-Chancellor's decision that the law was constitutional, affirmed-Subsequent case-Chancellor Tucker-Court of Appeals, unanimous in sustaining the law-Complete establishment of religious liberty-Bank of Virginia chartered-Trial of Aaron Burr-Burning of the Richmond Theatre, in 1811-Late war with England-Virginia invaded-Admiral Cockburn-Mr. Jefferson's gun-boats-Heroic defence of Craney Island-Hampton attacked and taken-Horrible outrages there committed by the enemy-Excitement in Richmond-Preparations for defence-Withdrawal of the enemyPeace in 1815-University of Virginia-Its obligations to Mr. Jefferson -Its career-Members elected to a Convention to amend the Constitu tion of the State -Their labours-Amended Constitution adopted-Vote -Conflict of sentiment between the East and West-Explained-The Southampton insurrection of slaves-Crushed—Excitement throughout the state—Legislature of 1831–32—Case of Johnson, Smith, and Gansey -Controversy between the Executive of Virginia and that of New York -Governor Seward's conduct-Virginia Inspection Law-ProtestCase of Curry-Resignation of Governor Gilmer-His death and character-Retrocession of Alexandria ratified in 1847.

WHILE the Commonwealth was watching the course of the Federal Government, her internal condition needed her care. And her true interest must always be identified with the progress of events within her own borders, for the federal




system is but the creature of state will, its object is the general good, and it is only interesting to the states so far as it enables their people to become prosperous and happy. No attention to government, either general or local, will compensate for the want of domestic peace, of diffused intelligence, of industrious habits, of virtuous dispositions, all of which elements are necessary to the real welfare of every nation.

Since the year 1620, Virginia had held a species of population which deeply affected her character, and spread its influence through every part of her society. It is believed, that at no time during the colonial period, were a majority of her white inhabitants in favour of importing negro slaves; but the English government continued to sanction the trade, and English ships continued to bring Africans to the Colony. And it is certain that in 1778, by a solemn act of lustration, Virginia cleansed herself from the guilt of her mother. She forbade that slaves should any longer be imported; and if her people had ever been responsible for their admission, they were then justified in the eyes of Him who said to the penitent, "Go and sin no more!" But now the evil was fixed upon her; it is true, the number of slaves could not be augmented by importation, but it was liable to be swollen by the "irrepressible laws of human increase;" and experience has shown that the absence of care, and the certainty of subsistence enjoyed by this class in Virginia, have made them propagate with more rapidity than the white population.

Thus slavery continued to exist within her borders, and it was attended with the dangers to which, in every age of the world, the admixture of such an ingredient has exposed society.

Not far from Richmond, at this time, lived Thomas Prosser, who owned a number of slaves, and among them a man named Gabriel, distinguished for his intelligence, and his influence with his class. He was twenty-four years old; his stature was tall, and his bodily strength very great; he had "a gloomy, insidious brow," a long, stern visage, and previous conflicts had left several scars upon his person. There was, at the same time, in the neighbourhood, a slave named Jack, who, as usual, took his master's last name, and was commonly called "Jack Bowler." He was twenty-eight years old, a perfect giant in stature and strength, being six feet five inches high, and possessed of remarkable muscular power. His hair was long, and worn in a queue, in the style of the day. These two men combined for a conspiracy. Gabriel was the leading mind, and so actively exerted himself, that in the subsequent scenes, he won the title of "General Gabriel," which was commonly given him both by whites and negroes.

With secrecy and skill a plot was organized. It is supposed to have embraced nearly one thousand slaves, yet so well was their counsel kept, that it did not escape until the very night on which their object was to be carried out. Their plan was such as might have been expected from brutal natures,

• Examiner, Sept. 30, 1800, Governor Monroe's Proclamation, Sept. 17.

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