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249. Hereditary Bondage; Slavery
"It must be agreed that in most ages many countries have had part
of their inhabitants in a state of slavery; yet it may be
doubted whether slavery can ever be supposed the natural
condition of man. It is impossible not to conceive that men in
their original state were equal; and very difficult to imagine
how one would be subjected to another but by violent compulsion.
An individual may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by a crime; but
he cannot by that crime forfeit the liberty of his children.
What is true of a criminal seems true likewise of a captive. A
man may accept life from a conquering enemy on condition of
perpetual servitude; but it is very doubtful whether he can
entail that servitude on his descendants; for o man can
stipulate without commission for another. The condition which he
himself accepts, his son or grandson would have rejected."