Qu[estion] 1. Whether 'tis lawful to trade with Negroes, and to buy 'em of one another?, 1690s. Moral discussion justifying slavery, written in the form of an advice column in The Athenian Mercury. The Mercury was a periodical published by The Athenian Society and published in London twice weekly 1690-1697. John Dunton was the editor in chief, and scholars credit him with initiating the advice column format. 'Answ[er]. It's undoubtedly Lawful to Deal and Traffick with 'em, for how should we else convert 'em? As for buying 'em for Slaves, how hard soever they work afterwards, 'tis the greatest Kindness we can do 'em, otherwise they must either be Killed or Eaten, or both, by their barbarous conquering Enemy - Besides, it might be a means to save their Souls as well as Lives, were that care taken of 'em that ought to be...'.
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