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In the Virginia Senate, Senator R. R. Collier opens debate on the centrality of slavery to the South

Confederate Capitol, Richmond, Virginia, 1865, zoomable image
Senator Robert Ruffin Collier, representing Petersburg, introduced a joint resolution in the Virginia Senate suggesting that slavery was "a fundamental doctrine of Southern civilization" and a 240 year-old institution that can only be ended when the bondsman is educated and prepared for freedom, and then only as decided upon by slaveholders.  The issue was debated over many months and Collier gave lengthy remarks, later published in pamphlet form, in its support on the Virginia Senate floor on October 12, 1863.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Robert R. Collier, Remarks on the Subject of the Ownership of Slaves Delivered by R.R. Collier of Petersburg in the Senate of Virginia, October 12, 1863 (Richmond, VA: James E. Goode, 1863), 3.
"Slavery Fundamental," New York Times, May 26, 1862.
Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1863), V: 11.