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to investigate the facts. Let me ask you to remember that the South had no ground of complaint against the North, of oppression or wrong done to them. Almost uninterruptedly for the last forty years the South had held sway in the government of the country, and the tariffs of which they now complain had all been created during their term of office, and, what is more, were proposed by Sonthern men and carried by Southern votes. Lincoln's election was made the one grand reason for secession, and it is worthy of note that secession was a fait accompli before the Lincoln government came into power, so that no act of
any kind had been done by the present government of which they had the slightest reason to complain. True, they had found fault that in some states the fugitive slave law was disregarded, and there was, no doubt, truth in that ; the law itself was so inhuman and monstrous that it is not to be wondered at that some of the New England states rebelled against a human law which set Divine law at defiance. But even these cases were not frequent, but exceptional. To prove that tariffs could not have been the ground of secession, I only need refer to the fact that, in 1846, when the votes were taken on this subject, there were 50 Northern votes given for protective tariffs, and 73 against ; while of Southern votes, 64 were for, and only 22 against. And as late as 1857, these tariffs were again passed by Southern votes ; the Northern representatives voting 60 for, and 65 against ; the Southerners 63 for, and 7 against ! And even the “Morril Tariff,” which I admit is a disgrace to Northern statesmen, was no doubt more passed as an act of war towards the South, and hostility to England, than on grounds of state policy. Away, then, with the statement that it is a war about tariffs. Those who say this are either entirely misinformed on the question, or intentionally trying to deceive the public. The whole and sole ground of secession is slavery. I will prove this fact both from Northern and Southern testimony. Ist. Let me call your attention to the following passage in the Ordinance of Secession of Louisiana, published in January, 1861 :
“Whereas (they say) it is manifest that Abraham Lincoln, if inaugurated as President of the United States, will keep the promises he has made to the Abolitionists of the North"; and that these promises, if kept, will inevitably lead to the
emancipation of the slaves of the South, their equality with a superior race, and before long to the irreparable ruin of this mighty Republic, the degradation of the American name, and corruption of the American blood ; fully convinced as we are that slavery is the most humane of all existing servitudes, that it is in obedience to the laws of God, &c.”
It therefore decrees that it will secede! No talk of tariffs here; the reason of secession is put clear and straightforward. “Abraham Lincoln's election will result in abolition, and that is the ground of our secession,” is their clear and unmistakeable language. Let me ask you also to note the testimony of Judge Warner, of Georgia, in reply to the Republican statement that they did not mean to attack slavery where it exists, but only resolved to prevent its extension :
“There is not a slaveholder (said the judge) in this house, or out of it, but who knows perfectly well that whenever slavery is confined within certain specified limits, its future existence is doomed; it is only a question of time as to its final destruction. You may take any single slaveholding country in the Southern States, in which the great staples of cotton and sugar are cultivated to any extent, and confine the present slave population within the limits of that county_such is the natural rapid increase of the slaves, and the rapid exhaustion of the soil in the cultivation of those crops (which add so much to the commercial wealth of the country), that in a few years it would be impossible to support them within the limits of such county. Both master and slave would be starved out; and what would be the practical effect in any one county, the same result would happen to all the slaveholding states. Slavery cannot be confined within certain limits without producing the destruction of both master and slave; it requires fresh lands, plenty of wood and water, not only for the comfort and happiness of the slave, but for the benefit of the owner."
Again : when South Carolina seceded, she gave as a reason for secession that the North “denied the right of property in slaves, pronounced the institution sinful, permitted abolition societies, aided the escape of slaves, and had elected a president whose opinions were hostile to slavery.”. The “Richmond Inquirer," one of the ablest of the Southern organs, vindicated the war on the ground that “the experiment of universal liberty has failed ; the
evils of free society are insufferable ; free society is impracticable in the long run ; it is everywhere starving, demoralised, and insurrectionary; policy and humanity alike forbid the extension of its evils to new people and coming generations ; and therefore free society must fall, and give way to slave society—a social system old as the world, and universal as man.' On another occasion the same paper, when scolding the Southern slaveholders for not being more vigorous in prosecuting the war, said “As the war originated and is carried on in great part for the defence of the slaveholder in his property, rights, and the perpetuation of slavery, he ought to be the first and foremost in aiding by every means in his power the triumph and success of our arms.” The Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy, Mr. Stephens, of Georgia, the same man who in 1859 maintained in Congress that the opening of the slave trade was a necessity, said "Our new government is founded on the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery is his natural and moral condition. Our new government is the first in the history of the world based on this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
This stone, which was rejected by the first builders, is become the chief stone of the corner in our new edifice. Negro slavery is but in its infancy. We ought to increase and expand our institutions. All nations, when they cease to grow, begin to die. We should, then, endeavour to expand and grow. Central America and Mexico are all open to us.” Dr. Palmer, a popular Southern preacher, preaching at New Orleans, said “The providential trust of the South is to perpetuate the institution of domestic slavery as now existing, with freest scope for its natural development. We should at once lift ourselves intelligently to the highest moral ground, and proclaim to all the world that we hold this trust from God, and in its occupancy are prepared to stand or fall. These slaves form part of our household, even as our children. It is a duty we owe to ourselves, to our slaves, to the world, and to Almighty God, to preserve and transmit our existing system of domestic servitude, with the right, unchallenged by man, to go and root itself wherever Providence and nature may carry it." Dr. Thornwell (one of the ablest Southern writers) also says: “The general and almost universal attitude of the
Northern mind is one of hostility to slavery.” And last, but not least, Mr. Jefferson Davis, in his first Message to the Confederate States, gives as a reason for secession, that "a great party was òrganised for the purpose of obtaining the administration of the government, with the avowed object of using its power for the total exclusion of the Slave states from all participation of the benefits of the public domain acquired by all the states in common, whether by conquest or purchase; of surrounding them entirely by states in which slavery should be prohibited ; of thus rendering the property in slaves so insecure as to be entirely worthless." It is also deserving of notice that the last effort of Mr. Davis in Congress, in 1860, was to get a series of resolutions passed that would have protected and rendered permanent slavery in the territories of the United States—that is, in those large tracts of land on the western side of the continent that are yet unpeopled, but which will eventually become, I hope, vast and flourishing states. This, after all, is the real pith of the struggle : the South hoped by war to force their way into these territories, and claim them for slavery. On this point they have been, happily, to a large extent defeated. It is quite clear to any reflective mind that all the South can by any possibility now do in opposition to the North-united as it is -is to hold its own. And I confess that if the war ends in clearing all the land west of the Mississippi of slavery, and in keeping all north of the Potomac free from the taint, I shall regard it as a glorious success, and look forward with certainty that at no very distant date the South will become so utterly impoverished and corrupted by its “domestic institution,” that it will be absorbed by its more powerful and prosperous neighbour, and consecrated afresh to liberty, civilisation, and religion. I have shown, I venture to hope, incontrovertibly, that the Southern states admit that they have seceded on the ground of slavery and that alone. Let me now ask you to listen to the Northern testimony on the same subject: and first, the declaration of the Republican party as laid down at the Chicago Convention, May 16, 1860 (when they agreed to nominate Mr. Lincoln as a candidate for the president's chair), is very explicit and clear. The decision of the party on the slavery question was expressed in these words :~"The normal condition (say they) of the territory of the United States is that of freedom; and as our Republican forefathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, it becomes our duty by legislation, wherever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this principle of the constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, as a territorial legislation, or of individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.”. Again, at a great Republican meeting at New York, February 22nd, 1860, the Hon. George Opdyke said—“The first and highest aim of the Republican party is to subordinate slavery to freedom, by confining it to its present limits.” But what is even more satisfactory, the conduct and doings of the party that carried Mr. Lincoln into power, have been in accord with the programme and the principles I have quoted. Let me ask you to notice what has been done in the direction of abolition since the accession to power of the present government.
1st. Slavery has been formally, and I hope finally, forbidden to be introduced into any of the territories of the United States; and when I remark that those territories are nearly equal in extent to the whole area of the thirty-four states of the Union, including North and South, or about one and a half millions of square milesan area fifteen times larger than Great Britain-it will, I think, be conceded that this is no small gain.
2nd. Compensation has been offered to any state that will abolish slavery ; thus paving the way for getting rid of slavery, as we did in the West Indies. This principle is still further elaborated and advocated by Mr. Lincoln in his address to Congress on the 4th of this month, and the telegraphic summary of which has reached our country today. It seems evident from that document, that the party of which Mr. Lincoln is now the head, have come at last to a clear conviction that slavery is at the bottom of all their troubles, and that there will be no possibility of Union so long as the system is allowed to remain, and he (Mr. Lincoln) therefore proposed to Congress to sanction gradual abolition, with compensation.
3rd. A treaty has been entered into with our government for the entire suppression of the slave trade; and the