These reflections bring to mind a discussion on this point, between the writer and a slaveholding friend in Kentucky, on Christmas morning, 1846. We had asserted, that until mankind were far in advance of what they now are, irresponsible power over our fellow beings would be, as it is, abused. Our friend declared it his conviction, that the cruelties of slavery existed chiefly in imagination, and that no person in D__ County, where we then were, but would be above ill-treating a helpless slave. We answered, that if his belief was well-founded, the people of Kentucky were greatly in advance of the people of New England--for we would not dare say as much as that of any school district there, letting alone counties. No, we would not answer for our own conduct even on so delicate a point.
Olive Gilbert, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1850, Dover 1997, p. 48).

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