- Jun 2022
O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? You read of a riot act in a country which is called one of the freest in the world, where a few neighbors cannot assemble without the risk of being shot by a hired soldiery, the engines of despotism. We may see such an act in America.
Oh the ironies of this as he was talking about a small proportion of the population at the time, a large swath of which (namely enslaved persons with no power) had no arms to protect themselves against him.
His definition of "freemen" was painfully limiting for someone speaking about freedom in such lofty terms.