Front Page Titles (by Subject) : A Constant Customer: Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in the Country to His Friend - American Political Writing During the Founding Era: 1760-1805, vol. 1
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: A Constant Customer: Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in the Country to His Friend - Charles S. Hyneman, American Political Writing During the Founding Era: 1760-1805, vol. 1 
American Political Writing During the Founding Era: 1760-1805, ed. Charles S. Hyneman and Donald Lutz (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1983). 2 vols. Volume 1.
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A Constant Customer
Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in the Country to His Friend
This short piece, showing a resonance with the theory in longer essays on the same subject, is typical of much found in the newspapers of the era. It appeared in the Massachusetts Spy on February 18, 1773.
It gives me joy to hear something is now before the General Court concerning the emancipation of the blacks among us. It has long been a surprise to me and many others, that a people who profess to be so fond of freedom, and are taking every method to preserve the same themselves, and transmit it to their posterity, can see such numbers of their fellow men, made of the same blood, not only in bondage, but kept so even by them. Can such a conduct be reconcilable with the love of freedom? I freely confess, to one who is a stranger to the true character of this people, it has the appearance rather of temper and resentment against the rulers, than a hearty regard to that best of heaven’s temporal blessings.
Men may talk and write as they please, but I must be excused from judging of any man or body of men, otherwise than by their works. The patriots in every town throughout the province, are weekly telling us how highly they value freedom, and that every temporal blessing without it is scarce worth enjoying; yet at the same time, they are stopping their ears to the cries of multitudes of their poor unhappy suffering brethren.
I readily grant there are difficulties which attend the freeing of them. It is no more than might justly be expected. Every community as well as every individual acting wrong, must suffer; and shall that be an excuse for not altering his or their conduct? No, they but encrease the evil by withholding the remedy; for either ruin or the remedy, which will be painful in the operation, must take place.
I pretend not to say what remedy is best to be taken by our rulers, but this one thing I may venture to say, that if a deaf ear is still turned to the complaint of those unhappy men—this people have no just reason to expect the righteous Governor of the earth, who punishes communities in this world, will afford his blessing to your endeavors to save a sinking country; but may say unto them as he did to Israel of old, “Ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming liberty every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: Behold I will proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed to all the kingdoms of the Earth.”