Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/141

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The Colonial Virginian. 135

interests of Alliance would thus be solved. In striking confirmation of the old saw that "Blood will tell," a worthy, enterprising and intelligent Virginia settler of the seventeenth century was the ancestor in common of three of the most eminent men that America has pro- duced in quite a century and a half. William Randolph, of " Tur- key Island," was the grandfather, in varying degrees, of Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall and Robert Edward Lee. This may be ac- counted by the enthusiastic disciple of Gallon as a confirmation in three-fold exemplification of the law of heredity when it is recalled that William Randolph was of that resolution of character that brooked not obstacle; that he was county lieutenant by title colonel, and by authority commander-in-chief of the county in which he resided this Henrico; that he served in turn as clerk of the county and as its presiding magistrate; as clerk and as a member of the House of Burgesses, and as a member of the Colonial Council, sometimes termed the King's Council the elect of those of the highest social worth in the Colony and its highest judicial tribunal.

The institution of slavery (which with us has been attended with its penalties as well as with its profits, may-hap), inaugurated fortui- tously and fostered and fixed in the greed of Old England and of New England, was one, whatever its alleged enormity, highly provi- dential in its effects. With the master, regard and solicitude for the welfare of the inherited servitor companion of his youth and habit- ual ministrant of his comfort was inseparable, and the reflection of such possession carried with it a sense of superiority as well as of responsibility. The beneficence of the relation with the slave has been pithily epitomized by a distinguished Virginian ; 28

" Had the African been left, like the Indian, in his native freedom, his would have been the fate of the Indian. But in the mysterious providence of God, the African was ' bound to the car of the Anglo- American,' who has borne him along with him in his upward career, protecting his weakness and-providing for his wants. Accordingly, he has grown with our growth and strengthened with our strength, until he is numbered by millions instead of scores. In the meantime, the black man has been trained in the habits, manners, and arts of civil- ized life ; been taught the Christian religion, and been gradually rising in the intellectual and moral order, until he is far above his race in their native seats."

In these facts we see traces of an all-wise Providence in permitting

28 Henry A. Wise.