February 4, 1832
Our oldest readers will do us justice to say, that we had forborne to touch the subject of colored population, for 27 years. We felt that none is more delicate and none more beset with difficulties. But at length the outbreaking in Southampton spreads horror through the Commonwealth. We saw the floodgates of discuttion for the first time raised in consequence of this unparalleled event.--We saw meetings of citizens held. Memorials were addressed to the Legislature.--And the Press, too, broke the silence of fifty years. And we have seen the whole subject refrred [sic] to a Committee of the House of Delegates for their best consideration. And what is more remarkable in the History of Legislature, we now see the whole subject ripped up and discussed with open doors, and in the presence of a crowded gallery and lobby--Even the press itself hesitating to publish the Debates of the body. All these things were indeed new in our history. And nothing else could have prompted them, but the bloody massacre in the month of August.
Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 153.