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EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH OF PATRICK HENRY IN THE LEGISLATURE OF VIRGINIA, IN FAVOUR OF PERMITTING THE BRITISH REFUGEES TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES.
THE personal feelings of a politician ought not to be permitted to enter these walls. The question before us is a national one, and in deciding it, if we act wisely, nothing will be regarded but the interest of the nation. On the altar of my country's good, I, for one, am willing to sacrifice all personal resentments, all private wrongs; and I flatter myself that I am not the only man in this house, who is capable of making such a sacrifice.
We have, Sir, an extensive country, without population. What can be a more obvious policy than that this country ought to be peopled? People form the strength and constitute the wealth of a nation. I want to see our vast forests filled up, by some process a little more speedy than the ordinary course of nature. I wish to see these states rapidly ascending to that rank, which their natural advantages authorize them to hold among the nations of the earth.
Cast your eyes, Sir, over this extensive country. Observe the salubrity of your climate; the variety and fertility of your soil; and see that soil intersected, in every quarter, by bold navigable streams, flowing to the East and to the West, as if the finger of Heaven were marking out the course of your settlements, inviting you to enterprise, and pointing the way to wealth.
Sir, you are destined, at some period or other, to become a great agricultural and commercial people: the only question is, whether you choose to reach this point by slow