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we should say to the South was this : “We.consider slavery as your calamity, not your crime; and we will share with you the burden of putting an end to it.” 1
263. Insurrection of Slaves in Virginia; Mr. Garrison mobbed in Boston. — It so happened that in the summer following the publication of the Liberator, a terrible negro insurrection broke out in Virginia. The slaves engaged in it massacred over sixty white men, women, and children. Many Southern people believed that Mr. Garrison's object was to stir up the negroes to rise and murder their masters. There was not a grain of truth in the belief, but it spread at the South and powerfully increased the excitement.
In the North, Mr. Garrison's appeals in behalf of the freedom of the blacks roused almost equal excitement. Gangs of “roughs" broke up meetings held to discuss emancipation, and on one occasion a howling mob dragged the editor of the Liberator through the streets of Boston with a rope round his body. It was with great difficulty that the police saved his life.
These violent outbreaks were not made out of hatred to the negro, but out of fear that Mr. Garrison was putting the country in peril. Many thoughtful men who were opposed to slavery believed that, on the whole, it was better to save the Union with slavery than to deliberately destroy it for the sake of liberating the negro. Daniel Webster held that idea, and so, as we shall see later, did Abraham Lincoln.
264. Formation of Abolition Societies; Petition to Congress for Emancipation; what John Quincy Adams did. Mr. Garrison believed that he was right, and persisted in demand
1 See Dr. W. E. Channing's letter to Daniel Webster (Webster's Works), May 14, 1828. Dr. Channing proposed that the United States should appropriate the money from the sale of the public land, buy the slaves from their owners, and set them free. Could that have been done, it would have saved us from four years of civil war. England bought her West India slaves, and freed them, in 1833, at a cost of one hundred million dollars.
END OF THE UNITED STATES BANK.
ing the emancipation of the slaves, Union or no Union. His influence spread. In a few years nearly two thousand societies had been formed in the North for the abolition of slavery.
Then a flood of petitions began to pour into Congress, praying that the slaves held in the District of Columbia might be set free, and that the trade in slaves between the different Southern states might be stopped.
Congress finally passed resolutions refusing to receive such petitions. John Quincy Adams, then a member of the House of Representatives, denounced these resolutions as "gag-rules" which forbade debate and were contrary to the Constitution. He insisted on presenting every petition that was sent to him, and sometimes offered two hundred or more in a single day, amid cries of “Treason!” and yells of “Put him out !” From this period the discussion of slavery never ceased until the North and the South took up arms to settle it on the battle-field.
265. The President puts an End to the United States Bank.- While the great question of emancipation was being hotly debated, the President was attacking the United States Bank. He believed, as did Senator Benton of Missouri,s that it was badly managed and unsafe. For these reasons he refused to sign a bill* (1832) to renew the right of the bank to continue business. This refusal put an end to its existence in a short time. The year following this action the President removed nearly ten million dollars of the
1 On the right of the people to petition the government, see Amendment to the Constitution, No. I., page xvi; but compare the right of Congress to make rules for its proceedings, - Constitution, page viii, Section 5.
? See Paragraph 202. The United States Bank obtained a new charter (or right to do business) in 1816, good for twenty years. Jackson refused to grant it a charter to go on after 1836.
8 Colonel Thomas H. Benton was one of the most decided opponents of the bank. He thought paper money was unsafe, and urged Congress to adopt gold and silver currency instead of bank bills. His able speeches on this subject of " hard money" got for him the nickname of “Old Bullion."
4 Bill: a law proposed by Congress; it requires the President's signature to make it complete. When he refuses to sign a bill, he is said to veto it.
public money which the government had kept in the bank. This amount, with about thirty million dollars more, was deposited later (1836) in a number of small banks in the different states. Speculators borrowed large sums of this government money and used it to buy land ; their course excited others, and soon people all over the country were crazy with wild schemes for getting suddenly rich.
266. South Carolina resists the Duty or Tax on Imported Goods. The South was at this time strongly opposed to having heavy duties or taxes imposed on goods brought into the United States. The reason for this opposition was that the people of the South had never established manufactories in any number, and therefore had to buy their woollen and cotton cloth either from the Northern states, where large quantities were made, or from Europe. As labor was cheaper in Europe than in this country, the wealthy mill-owners in England could afford to make cloth, send it to the United States, and sell it at a much lower price than it could be made here. In order to prevent this, the manufacturers in the Northern states had obtained the passage of a law establishing a protective tariff; that is, a heavy duty or tax levied on imported goods to protect the American manufacturer, and enable him to sell the same articles cheaper than a merchant bringing in the foreign goods could afford to sell them for after paying the duty.
1 For example, let us suppose that English cotton manufacturers can make cotton cloth at so low a rate that our merchants could import and sell it here for five cents a yard, while American manufacturers could not afford to se!l their own make at less than eight cents a yard. Now, if Congress should pass a law imposing a duty or tax of five cents a yard on imported cotton cloth, then our manufacturers could readily get eight or nine cents for theirs, since most people would prefer to buy the cheaper article, especially if the quality was about the same. Such a law would be called a Protective Tariff.
The tariff originated in this way: When the Constitution was adopted (1789), England and other European countries refused to let our wool and other products enter their markets except on payment of a duty or tax. We, therefore, passed a law (1790) compelling them to pay a similar duty on the goods they sent us. The object of our first tariff was twofold: it was 1. To compel foreign countries, like