« PreviousContinue »
Mississippi 80; but they doubted it. Now let us see how tor from Mississippi regards as hostile to the rights of the far his theory and suppositions have been verified. I South. Where did you ever get any other fruits that infer that he told the people of Mississippi so, for he were more palatable to your taste or more refreshing to makes it a charge in his bill of indictment against me, your strength? What other inch of Free Territory has been that I am hostile to southern rights because I gave those converted into Slave Territory on the American continent, votes.
since the Revolution, except in New Mexico and Arizona, Now, what has been the result? My views were under the principle of non-intervention affirmed at incorporated into the Compromise Measures of 1850, and Charleston ? If it be true that this principie of non-inter. his were rejected. Has the South been excluded from all vention has given to Slavery all New Mexico, which was the territory acquired from Mexico ? What says the bill surrounded on nearly every side by Free Territory, will from the House of Representatives now on your table, not the same principle protect you in the northern states repealing the slave code in New Mexico, established by of Mexico when they are acquired, since they are now sur
It part country that under this doctrine o non intermentithe rounded by Slave Territory, are several hundred miles
-, further degrees of ; and this doctrine that you delight to call squattor 800e- have a climate and soil adapted to Southern products ? reignty, the people of New Mexico have introduced Are you not satisfied with these practical results ? Do and protected Slavery in the whole of that Territory. you desire to appeal from the people of the Territories Under this doctrine, they have converted u traet of to the Congress of the United States to settle this quesFree Territory into Slave Territory, more than five tion in the Territories? When you distrust the people times the size of the State of Nero-York. Under this and appeal to Congress, with both houses largely against doctrine, Slavery has been extended from the Rio you on this question, what sort of protection will you get? Grande to the Gulf of California, and from the line of Whenever you ask a Slave code from Congress to protect the Republic of Mewico, not only up to 36 deg. 30 min., your institutions in a Territory where the people do not but up to 33 deg.-GIVING YOU A DEGREE AND A HALF MORE want it, you will get that sort of protection which the SLAVE TERRITORY THAN YOU EVER CLAIMED. In 1848 and wolf gives to the lamb; you will get that sort of friendly 1849 and 1850, you only asked to have the line of 36 deg. hug that the grizzly bear gives to the infant. Appealing 80 min. The Nashville convention fixed that as its ulli- to an Anti-Slavery Congress to pass laws of protection, matum. I offered it in the Senate in August, 1848 and it with a view of forcing Slavery upon an unwilling and was adopted here but rejected in the House of Represen- hostile people ! Sir, of all the mad schemes that ever tatives. You asked only up to 36 deg. 30 min., and non- could be devised by the South, or by the enemies of the intervention has given you Slave Territory up to 38 South, that which recognizes the right of Congress to deg., A DEGREE AND A HALF MORE THAN YOU ASKED ; touch the institution of Slavery either in States or Terriand yet you say that this is a sacrifice of Southern tories. beyond the single case provided in the Constiturights!
tion for the rendition of fugitive Slaves, is the mos These are the fruits of this principle which the Sena. fatal. -Appendix to Congressional Globe, page 814
THE I RREPRESSIBLE CONFLICT..
A SPEECH BY WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Delivered at Rochester, Monday, Oct. 25, 1858.
FELLOW-CITIZENS: The unmistakable outbreaks of zeal this new continent as an engine of conquest, and for the which occur all around me, show that you are earnest men establishment of monarchical power, by the Portuguese and and such a man am I. Let us, therefore, at least for a the Spaniards, and was rapidly extended by them all over time, pass by all secondary and collateral questions, South America, Central America, Louisiana, and Mexico. whether of a personal or of a general nature, and consider its legitimate fruits are seen in the
poverty, imbecility, and the main subject of the present canvass. The Democratic anarchy, which now pervade all Portuguese and Spanish party, or, to speak more accurately, the party which wears America. The free-labor system is of German extraction, that attractive name, is in possession of the Federal Go- and it was established in our country by emigrants from vernment. The Republicans propose to dislodge that Sweden, Holland, Germany, Great Britain, and Ireland. party, and dismiss it from its high trust.
We justly ascribe to its influences the strength, wealth, The main subject, then, is, whether the Democractic greatness, intelligence, and freedom which the whole party deserves to retain the confidence of the American American people now enjoy. One of the chief elements of people. In attempting to prove it unworthy, I think that the value of human life is freedom in the pursuit of happi. I am not actuated by prejudices against that party, or by ness. The slave system is not only intolerant, unjust, and prepossessions in favor of its adversary; for I have learned, inhuman toward the laborer, whom, only because he is a by some experience, that virtue and patriotism, vice and laborer, it loads down with chains and converts into mer. selfishness, are found in all parties, and that they differchandise, but is scarcely less severe upon the freeman, to less in their motives than in the policies they pursue. whom, only because he is a laborer from necessity, it de
Our country is a theatre, which exhibits in full opera- nies facilities for employment, and whom it expels from tion, two radically different political systems; the one the community because it cannot enslave and convert him resting on the basis of servile or slave labor, the other on into merchandise also. It is necessarily improvident and the basis of voluntary labor of freemen.
ruinous, because, as a general truth, communities prosper The laborers who are enslaved are all negroes, or per- and flourish or droop and decline in just the degree that sons more or less purely of African derivation. But this they practice or neglect to practice the primary duties of is only accidental, The principle of the system is, that justice and humanity. The free-labor system conforma to labor in every society, by whomsoever performed, is ne- the divine law of equality, which is written in the hearts cessarily unintellectual, groveling, and base ; and that the and consciences of men, and therefore is always and every: laborer, equally for his own good and for the welfare of where beneficent. the State, ought to be enslaved. The white laboring man, The slave system is one of constant danger, distrust, whether native or foreigner, is not enslaved, only because suspicion, and watchfulness. It debases those whose he cannot, as yet, be reduced to bondage.
toil alone can produce wealth and resources for defense, You need not be told now that the slave system is the to the lowest degree of which human nature is capable, older of the two, and that once it was universal.
to guard against mutiny and insurrection, and thus The emancipation of our own ancestors, Caucasians wastes energies which otherwise might be employed in and Europeans as they were, hardly dates beyond a national development and aggrandizement. period of five hundred years. The great melioration of The free-labor system educates all alike, and by openhuman society which modern times exhibit, is mainly due | ing all the fields of industrial employment, and all the to the incomplete substitution of the system of voluntary departments of authority, to the unchecked and equal labor for the old one of servile labor, which has already rivalry of all classes of men, at once secures universal taken place. This African slave system is one which, in contentment, and brings into the highest possible actiits origin and in its growth, has been altogether foreign vity all the physical, moral, and social energies of the from the habits of the races which colonized these States, whole State. In States where the slave system prevails,
established civilization here. It was introduced on the masters, directly or indirectly, secure all politisal
pover, and constitute a ruling aristocracy. In States whole structure of Government broadly on the principie where the free-labor system prevails, universal suffrage that all men are created equal, and therefore free-little necessarily obtains, and the State inevitably becomes, dreaming that, within the short period of one hundred sooner or later, a republic or democracy.
years, their descendants would bear to be told by any Russia yet maintains Slavery, and is a despotism. orator, however popular, that the utterance of that prinMost of the other European States have abolished ciple was merely a rhetorical rhapsody; or by any judge Slavery, and adopted the system of free labor. It was however venerated, that it was attended by mental rethe antagonistic political tendencies of the two systems servations, which rendered it hypocritical and false. By which the first Napoleon was contemplating when he | the Ordinance of 1787, they dedicated all of the national predicted that Europe would ultimately be either all domain not yet polluted by Slavery to free labor imCossack or all Republican. Never did human sagacity mediately, thenceforth and forever; while by the new utter a more pregnant truth. The two systeins are at Constitution and laws they invited foreign free labor once perceived to be incongruous. But they are more from all lands under the sun, and interdicted the imthan incongruous--they are incompatible. They never portation of African Slave Labor, at all times, in all have permanently existed together in one country, and places, and under all circumstances whatsoever. It is they never can, It would be easy to demonstrate this true that they necessarily and wisely modified this impossibility, from the irreconcilable contrast between policy of Freedom, by leaving it to the several States, their great principles and characteristics. But the expe- affected as they were by differing circumstances, to rience of mankind has conclusively established it. abolish Slavery in their own way and at their own pleaSlavery, as I have already ictimated, existed in every sure, instead of confiding that duty to Congress, and state in Europe. Free labor has supplanted it every that they secured to the Slave States, while yet retainwhere except in Russia and Turkey. State necessities ing the system of Slavery, a three-fifths representation developed in modern times, are now obliging even those of slaves in the Federal Government, until they should two nations to encourage and empl:y free labor; and find themselves able to relinquish it with safety. But already, despotic as they are, we find them engaged in the very nature of these modifications fortifies my pobiabolishing Slavery." In the United States, Slavery came tion that the fathers knew that the two systems could into collision with free labor at the close of the last cen- not endure within the Union, and expected that within tury, and fell before it in New-England, New-York, New- a short period Slavery would disappear forever. MoreJersey, and Pennsylvania, but triumphed over it effec- over, in order that these modifications might not altotually, aud excluded it for a period yet undetermined, gether defeat their grand design of a Republic maintainfrom Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. Indeed, so ing universal equality, they provided that two-thirds of incompatible are the two systems, that every new State the States mighi amend the Constitution. which is organized within our ever-extending domain It remains to say on this point only one word, to guard makes its first political act a choice of the one and an against misapprehension. If these States are to again beexclusion of the other, even at the cost of civil war, if come universally slaveholding, I do not pretend to say necessary. The Slave States, without law, at the last with what violations of the Constitution that end shall be national election, successfully' forbade, within their own accomplished. On the other hand, while I do confidently limits, even the casting of votes for a candidate for Presi- believe and hope that my country will yet become a land dent of the United States supposed to be favorable of universal Freedom, I do not expect that it will be made to the establishment of the free-labor system in new so otherwise than through the action of the several States States.
coöperating with the Federal Government, and all acting Hitherto, the two systems have existed in different in strict conformity with their respective Constitutions. States, but side by side within the American Union. The strife and contentions concerning Slavery, which This has happened because the Union is a confederation gently-disposed persons so habitually deprecate, are noof States. But in another aspect the United States con- thing more than the ripening of the conflict which the fathers stitute only one nation. Increase of population, which theinselves, not only thus regarded with favor, but which is filling the States out to their very borders, together they may be said to have instituted. with a new and extended net-work of railroads and It is not to be denied, however, that thus far the course other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily of that contest has not been according to their humane becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States anticipations and wishes. In the field of federal politics, into a higher and more perfect social unity or con- Slavery, deriving unlooked-for advantages from commersolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are con- cial changes, and energies unforeseen from the facilities of tinually coming' in:o closer contact, and collision combination between members of the slaveholding class results.
and between that class and other property classes, early Shall I tell you what this collision means ? They who rallied, and has at length made a stand, not merely to rethink that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of in- tain its original defensive position, but to extend its sway terested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, throughout the whole Union. It is certain that the slavemistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible con holding class of American citizens indulge this high ambiflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it tion, and that they derive encouragement for it from the means that the United States must and will, sooner or rapid and effective political successes which they have later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or already obtained. The plan of operation is this : By conentirely a free-labor nation. Either the cotton and ric tinued appliances of patronage and threats of disunion, fields of South Carolina and the sugar plantations of they will keep a majority favorable to these designs in the Louisiana will ultimately be tilled by free labor, and Senate, where each State has an equal representation. Charleston and New Orleans become marts for legiti- Through that majority they will defeat, as they best can, mate merchandise alone, or else the rye-fields and the admission of Free States, and secure the admission of wheat-fields of Massachusetts and New-York must again Slave States. Under the protection of the Judiciary, they be surrendered by their farmers to slave culture and to will, on the principle of the Dred Scott case, carry Slavery the production of slaves, and Boston and New-York be- into all the Territories of the United States now existing, come once more markets for trade in the bodies and and hereafter to be organized. By the action of the Presouls of men. It is the failure to apprehend this great sident and the Senate, using the treaty-making power, they truth that induces so many unsuccessful attempts at will annex foreign slaveholding States. In a favorable
final compromise between the Slave and Free States, conjuncture they will induce Congress to repeal the act of - and it is the existence of this great fact that renders all 1808, which prohibits the foreign slave-trade, and so they
buch pretended compromises, when made, vain and will import from Africa, at the cost of only $20 a head, ephemeral. Startling as this saying may appear to you, slaves enough to fill up the interior of the continent. fellow-citizens, it is by no means an original or even a Thus relatively increasing the number of Slave States, they modern one. Our forefathers knew it to be true, and will allow no amendinent to the Constitution prejudicial to unanimously acted upon it when they framed the Consti- their interest; and so, having permanently established cution of the United States. They regarded the exist their power, they expect the Federal Judiciary to nullify ence of the servile system in so many of the States with all State laws which shall interfere with internal or foreign sorrow and shame, which they openly confessed, and commerce in slaves. When the Free States shall be suffithey looked upon the collision between them, which was ciently demoralized to tolerate these designs, they reasonthen just revealing itself, and which we are now accus. ably conclude that Slavery will be accepted by those States tomed to deplore, with favor and hope. They knew that themselves. I shall not stop to show how speerly or how either the one or the other system must exclusively pre- complete would be the ruin which the accomplishment of vail.
these slaveholding schemes would bring upon the country. Unlike too many of those who in modern times invoke For one, I should not remain in the country to test the sad their authority, they had a choice between the two. experiment. Having spent my manhood, though not my They preferred the system of free labor, and they deter- whole life, in a • Free State, no aristocracy of any kind, mined to organize the Government, and so to direct its much less an aristocracy of slaveholders, shall ever make activity, that that system should surely and certainly the laws of the land in which I shall be content to live. prevail. For this purpose, and no other, they based the Having seen the society around me universally engaged in agriculture, manufactures and trade, which were innocent office had been filled by slaveholders thirty-two out of and beneficent, I shall never be a denizen of a State forty years. where nten and women are reared as cattle, and bought In 1836, Martin Van Buren—the first non-slavebolding and sold as merchandise. When that evil day shall come, citizen of a Free State to whose election the Democratic and all further effort at resistance shall be impossible, I party ever consented-signalized his inauguration into the then, if there shall be no better hope for redemption than Presidency, by a gratuitous announcement, that under no I can now foresee, I shall say with Franklin, while looking circumstances would he ever approve a bill for the aboliabroad over the whole earth for a new and more congenial tion of Slavery in the District of Columbia. From 1838 to bome, “ Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” 1844, the subject of abolishing Slavery in the District of
You will tell me that these fears are extravagant and Columbia and in the national dock-yards and arsenals, chimerical. I answer, they are so; but they are so only was brought before Congress by repeated popular appeals. because the designs of the slaveholder must and can be The Democratic party, thereupon promptly denied the right defeated. But it is only the possibility of defeat that ren- of petition, and effectually suppressed the freedom of ders them so. They cannot be defeated by inactivity. speech in Congress, so far as the institution of Slavery was There is no escape from them, compatible with non-resist- concerned. ance. How, then, and in what way, shall the necessary From 1840 to 1845, good and wise men counselled that resistance be made ? There is only one way.
The Demo. Texas should remain outside of the Union until she cratic party must be permanently dislodged from the Gov- should consent to relinquish her self-instituted slavery; ernment. The reason is, that the Democratic party is in- but the Democratic party precipitated her admission into extricably committed to the designs of the slaveholders, the Union, not only without that condition, but even which I have described. Let me be well understood. I do with a covenant that the State might be divided and not charge that the Democratic candidates for public office reorganized so as to constitute four Slave States instead Dow before the people are pledged to, much less that the of one. Democratic masses who support them really adopt, those In 1846, when the United States became involved in a atrocious and dangerous designs. Candidates may, and war with Mexico, and it was apparent that the struggle generally do, mean to act justly, wisely, and patriotically, would end in the dismemberment of that republic, which when they shall be elected; but they become the ministers was a non-slaveholding power, the Democratic party and servants, not the dictators, of the power which elects rejected a declaration that Slavery should not be estabthem. The policy which a party shall pursue at a future lished within the territory to be acquired. When, in period is only gradually developed, depending on the oc- 1850, governments were to be iustituted in the Territo currence of events never fully foreknown. The motives ries of California and New-Mexico the fruits of that war, of men, whether acting as electors, or in any other capa- the Democratic party refused to adinit New Mexico as a city, are generally purę. Nevertheless, it is not more true Free State, and only consented to admit California as a that “Hell is paved with good intentions,” than it is that Free State on the condition, as it has since explained the earth is covered with wrecks resulting from innocent and transaction, of leaving all of New-Mexico and Utah open amiable motives.
to Slavery, to which was also added the concession of The very constitution of the Democratic party commits perpetual Slavery in the District of Columbia, and the it to execute all the designs of the slaveholders, whatever passage of an unconstitutional, cruel, and humiliating they may be. It is not a party of the whole Union, of all law, for the recapture of fugitive slaves, with a further the Free States and of all the Slave States ; nor yet is it a stipulation that the subject of slavery should never again party of the Free States in the North and in the Northwest; be agitated in either chamber of Congress. When, in but it is a sectional and local party, having practically its 1854, the slaveholders were
contentedly reposing on these seat within the Slave States, and counting its constituency great advantages, then so recently won, the Democratic chiefly and almost exclusively there. Of all its represen- party, unnecessarily, ofliciously, and with superserviceatatives in Congress an in the Elect College, two-thirds ble liberality, awakened them from their slumber, to offer uniformly come from these States. Its great element of and force on their acceptance the abrogation of the law strength lies in the vote of the slaveholders, augmented by which declared that neither Slavery nor involuntary serthe representation of three-fifths of the slaves. Deprive vitude should ever exist within that part of the ancient the Democratic party of this strength, and it would be a territory of Louisiana which lay outside of the State of helpless and hopeless minority, incapable of continued or- Missouri, and north of the parallel of 36 deg. 30 min. of ganization. The Democratic party, being thus local and north latitude-a law which, with the exception of one sectional, acquires new strength from the admission of other, was the only statute of Freedom then remaining in every new Slave State, and loses relatively by the admis- the Federal code. sion of every new Free State into the Union.
In 1856, when the people of Kansas had organized a A party is, in one sense, a joint-stock association, in new State within the region thus abandoned to Slavery, which those who contribute' most direct the action and and applied to be admitted as a Free State into the Union, management of the concern. The slaveholders contribut the Democratic party contemptuously rejected their peing in an overwhelmning proportion to the capital strength tition and drove them, with menaces and intimidations, of the Democratic party, they necessarily dictate and pre- from the halls of Congress, and armed the President with scribe its policy. The inevitable caucus system enables them military power to enforce their submission to- & slave to do so with a show of fairness and justice. If it were pos- code, established over them by fraud and usurpation. sible to conceive for a moment that the Democratic party At every subsequent stage of the long contest which has should disobey the behests of the slaveholders, we should since raged in Kansas, the Democratic party has lent its then see a withdrawal of the slaveholders, which would sympathies, its aid, and all the powers of the Government leave the party to perish. The portion of the party which which it controlled, to enforce slavery upon that unwilis found in the Free States is a mere appendage, conve- ling and injured people. And now, even at this day, nient to modify its sectional character, without impairing while it mocks us with the assurance that Kansas is free, its sectional constitution, and is less effective in regulating the Democratic party keeps the State excluded from her its movement than the nebulous tail of the comet is in de- just and proper place in the Union, under the hope that termining the appointed though apparently eccentric she may be dragooned into the acceptance of Slavery. course of the fiery sphere from which it emanates.
The Democratic party, finally, has procured from a To expect the Democratic party to resist Slavery and Supreme Judiciary, sxed in its interest, a decree that favor Freedom, is as unreasonable as to look for Protestant Slavery exists by force of the Constitution in every Terri. missionaries to the Catholic Propaganda of Rome. The tory of the United States, paramount to all legislative history of the Democratic party commits it to the policy authority either within the Territo.y, or residing in Conof Slavery. It has been the Democratic party, and no gress. other agency, which has carried that policy up to its pre
Such is the Democratic party. It has no policy, State sent alarming culmination. Without stopping to ascertain, or Federal, for finance or irade, or inanufacture, or comcritically, the origin of the present Democratic party, we merce, or education, or internal improvenients, or for the may concede its claim to date from the era of good feeling protection or even the security of civil or religious libwhich occurred under the Administration of Presidenterty. It is positive and uncompromising in the interest Monroe. At that time, in this state, and about that time of Slavery--negative, compromising, and vacillating, in in many others of the Free States, the Democratic party regard to everything else. It boasts its love of equality deliberately disfranchised the free colored, or African citi. and wastes its strength, and even its life, in fortifying the sen, and it has pertinaciously continued this disfranchise- only aristocracy known in the land. It professes fraterment ever since. This was an effective aid to Slavery ; nity, and, so often as Slavery requires, allies itself with for while the slaveholder votes for his slaves against Free- proscription. It magnifies itself for conquests in foreign dom, the freed slave in the Free States is prohibited froin lands, but it sends the national eagle forth always with voting against Slavery.
chains, and not the olive branch, in his fangs. In 1824, the Democracy resisted the election of John This dark record shows you, fellow citizens, what I Quincy Adams-himself before that time an acceptable was unwilling to announce at an earlier stage of this Democrat--and in 1828, it expelled him from the Presi. argument, that of the whole nefarious schedule of slave dèncy, and put a slaveholder in his place, although the holding designs which I have submitted to you, the Demo cratic party has left only one yet to be consummated- too conservative for others. As if any party ever foresaw the abrogation of the law which forbids the African slave so clearly the course of future events as to plan a univer: t.ade.
sal scheme for future action, adapted to all possible Now, I know very well that the Democratic party bas, emergencies. Who would ever have joined even the Whig ut every stage of these proceedings, disavowed the motive party of the Revolution, if it had been obliged to answer, and the policy of fortifying and extending Slavery, and in 1775, whether it would declare for Independence in has excused them on entirely different and more plausi- 1776, and for this noble Federal Constitution of ours in ble grounds. But the inconsistency and frivolity of 1787, and not a year earlier or later ? these pleas prove still more conclusively the guilt I The people of the United States will be as wise next charge upon that party. It must, indeed, try to excuse year, and the year afterward, and even ten years hence, Buch guilt before mankind, and even to the consciences as we are now. They will oblige the Republican partý of its own adherents. There is an instinctive abhorrence to act as the public welfare and the interests of tice of Slavery, and an inborn and inhering love of Freedom and humanity shall require, through all the stages of its in the human heart, which renders palliation of such career, whether of trial or triumph. gross misconduct indispensable. It disfranchised the free Others will not venture an effort, because they fear African on the ground of a fear that, if left to enjoy the that the Union would not endure the change. Will right of suffrage, he might seduce the free white eiti- such objectors tell me how long a Constitution can bear zen into amalgamation with his wronged and despised a strain directly along the fibres of which it is comrace. The Deinocratic party condemned and deposed posed? This is a Constitution of Freedom. It is being John Quincy Adams, because he expended $12,000,000 a converted into a Constitution of Slavery. It is a repubyear, while it justifies his favored successor in spending lican Constitution. It is being made an aristocratic one. $70,000,000, $80,000,000, and even $1. 0,000,000, a year. Others wish to wait until some collateral questions conIt denies emancipation in the District of Columbia, even cerning temperance, or the exercise of the elective franwith compensation to masters and the consent of the chise are properly settled. Let me ask all such persons, people, on the ground of an implied constitutional inhi. whether time enough has not been wasted on these bition, although the Constitution expressly confers upon points already, without gaining any other than this Congress sovereign legislative power in that District, and single advantage, namely, the discovery that only one although the Democratic party is tenacious of the prin- thing can be effectually done at one time, and that the ciple of strict construction.
It violated the express pro- one thing which must and will be done at any one time visions of the Constitution in suppressing petition and is just that thing which is most urgent, and will no debate on the subject of Slavery, through fear of dis- longer admit of postponement or delay. Finally, we turbance of the public hạrniony, although it claims that are told by faint-hearted men that they despond; the the electors have a right to instruct their representatives, Democratic party, they say, is unconquerable, and the and even deinand their resignation in cares of contu. dominion of Slavery is consequently inevitable. I macy. It extended Slavery over Texas, and connived at reply to them, that the complete and universal dominion the attempt to spread it across the Mexican territories, of Slavery would be intolerable enough when it should even to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, under a plea of have come after the last possible effort to escape should enlarging the area of Freedom. It abrogated the Mexi- have been made. There would, in that case, be left to can slave law and the Missouri Compromise prohibition us the consoling reflection of fidelity to duty. of Slavery in Kansas, not to open the new Territoriss to But I reply, further, that I know-few, I think, know Blavery, but to try therein ihe new and fascinating better than I--the resources and energies of the Demotheories of Non-intervention and Popular Sovereignty; cratic party, which is identical with the Slave Power. I and, finally, it overthrew both these new and elegant do ample prestige to its traditional popularity. I know systems by the English Lecompton bill and the Dred further-few, I think, know better than 1-the ditfiScott decision, on the ground that the Free States ought culties and disadvantages of organizing a new political pot to enter the Union without a population equal to the force like the Republican party, and the obstacles it representative basis of one member of Congress, although must encounter in laboring without prestige and without Slave States might come in without inspection as to their patronage. But, notwithstanding all this, I know that numbers.
the Democratic party must go down, and that the ReWill any member of the Democratic party now here publican party must rise into its place. The Democlaim that the authorities chosen by the suffrages of the catic party derived its strength, originally, from its party transcended their partisan platforms, and so misre adoption of the principles of equal and exact justice to presented the party in the various transactions I have all men. So long as it practiced this principle faithrecited ? Then I ask him to name one Democratic fully, it was invulnerable. It became vulnerable when statesinan or legislator, from Van Buren to Walker, it renounced the principle, and since that time it has who either timidly or cautiously like them, or boldly or maintained itself, not by virtue of its own strength, or defiantly like Douglas, ever refused to execute a even of its traditional merits, but because there as yet bebest of the slaveholders, and was not therefor, and had appeared in the political field no other party that for no other cause, immediately denounced, and de had the conscience and the courage to take up, and posed from his trust, and repudiated by the Democratic avow, and practice the life-inspiring principles which party for that contumacy.
the Democratic party had surrendered. At last, the I think, fellow-citizens, that I have shown you that it Republican party has appeared. It avows now, as the is high time for the friends of Freedom to rush to the Republican party of 1800 did, in one word, its faith and rescue of the Constitution, and that their very first duty its works, “ Equal and exact justice to all men.”. Even is to dismiss the Democratic party from the administra- when it first entered the field, only half organized, it tion of the Government.
struck a blow which only just failed to secure complete Why sball it not be done! All agree that it ought to and triumphant victory. In this, its second campaign, be done. What, then, shall prevent its being done? | it has already won advantages which render that tri. Nothing but timidity or division of the opponents of the umph now both easy and certain. Democratic party.
The secret of its assured success lies in that very charSome of these opponents start one objection, and some acteristic which, in the mouth of scoffers, constitutes its another. Let us notice these objections briefly. One great and lasting imbecility and reproach. It lies in class say that they cannot trust the Republican party; the fact that it is a party of one idea; but that idea is a that it has not avowed its hostility to Slavery boldly noble on an idea that fills and expands all generous enough, or its affection for Freedom earnestly enough. souls; the idea of equality-the equality of all men be.
I ask in reply, is there any other party which can be more fore human tribunals and human laws, as they all are safely trusted ? Every one knows that it is the Republican equal before the Divine tribunal and Divine laws. party or none, that shall displace the Democratic party. I know, and you know, that a revolution has begun. But I answer further, that the character and fidelity I know, and all the world knows, that refolutions never of any party are determined, necessarily, not by its go backward. Twenty Senators and a hundred Reprepledges, programmes, and platforms, but by the public sentatives proclaim boldly in Congress to-day sentiments exigencies, and the temper of the people when they call and opinions and principles of Fieedom which hardly so it into activity. Subserviency to Slavery is a law writ. many men, even in this free State, dared to utter in the.r ten not only on the forehead of the Democratic party, own homes twenty years ago. While the Government but also in its very soul--80 resistance to Slavery, and of the United States, under the conduct of the Demodevotion to Freedom, the popular elements now ac- cratic party, has been all that time sui rendering, one tively working for the Republican party among the peo-plain and castle after another to Slavery, the people of ple, must and will be the resources for its ever-renewing the United States have been no less steadily and perso strength and constant invigoration.
veringly gathering together the forces with which to reOthers cannot support the Republican party, because it cover back again all the fields and all the castles which it has not sufficiently exposed its platform, and deter- have been lost, and to confound and overthrow, by one mined what it will do, and what it will not do, whec decisive blow, the betrayers of the Constitution and triumphant. It may prove too progressive for some, and 'Freedom forever.
"NEGRO SLAVERY NOT UNJUST."
A SPEECH BY CHARLES O'CONOR,
At the Union Meeting at the Academy of Music, New York City, Dec. 19, 1869.
MR. MAYOR AND GENTLEMEN : I cannot express to you, told in the legislative assemblies of our Northern States, the delight which I experience in beholding in this great not merely by speakers, but by distinct resolutions of the city so vast an assembly of my fellow citizens, convened whole body-we are told by gentlemen occupying seats in for the purpose stated in your resolutions. I am delight, the Congress of the Union through the votes of Northern ed beyond measure to behold at this time so vast an people that the Constitution seeks to enshrine, to protect, assembly responding to the call of a body so respectable to defend a monstrous crime against justice and humanity, as the twenty thousand New Yorkers who have convened and that it is our duty to defeat its provisions, to outwit this meeting. If anything can give assurance to those who them, if we cannot otherwise get rid of their effect, and to doubt, and confidence to those who may have had mis- trample upon the rights which it has declared shall be progivings as to the permanency of our institutions, and the tected and insured to our brethren of the South. (Apsolidity of the support which the people of the North are plause.) That is now the doctrine advocated. And I ask prepared to give them, it is that i. the queen city of the whether that doctrine, necessarily involving the destrucNew World, in the capital of North Ainerica, there is tion of our Union, shall be permitted to prevail as it has assembled a meeting so large, so respectable, and so hitherto prevailed? Gentlemen, I trust you will excuse me unanimous as this meeting has shown itself to be in re- , for deliberately coming up to and meeting this questionceiving sentiments which, if observed, must protect our not seeking to captivate your fancies by a trick of words Union from destruction, and even froin danger. (Ap- --not seeking to exalt your imaginations by declamation plause.) Gentlemen, is it not a subject of astonishment or by any effort at eloquence—but meeting this question that the idea of danger, and the still more dreadful idea gravely, sedately, and soberly, and asking you what is to of dissolution, should be heard from the lips of an Ameri. be our course in relation to it? Gentlemen, the Constitucan citizen, at this day, in reference to, or in connection tion guarantees to the people of the Southern States the with, the sacred name of this most sacred Union ? protection of their slave property. In that respect it is a (Applause.) Why gentlemen, what is our Union ? What solemn compact between the North and the South. As a are its antecedents ? What is its present condition ? If solemn compact are we at liberty to violate it? (Cries of we ward off the evils which threaten it, what its future “No, no !") Are we at liberty to seek or take any mean, hope for us and for the great family of mankind ? Why petty advantage of it? (Cries of "No, no!") Are we at gentlemen, it may well be said of this Union asa goverus liberty to con over its particular words, and to restrict and ment, that as it is the last offspring, so is it Time's inost to limit its operation, so as to acquire, under such narrow glorious and beneficent production. Gentlemen, we are construction, a pretence of right by hostile and adverse created by an Oinniscient Being. We are created by a legislation?' ("No, no!")—to interfere with the interests, Being not only All-Seeing, but All-Powerful and All-Wise. wound the feelings, and trample on the political rights of And in the benignity and the farseeing wisdom of His our Southern fellow-citizens? ("No, no, no!") No, gentlepower, He permitted the great family of mankind to live men. If it be a compact,and has anythin; sacred in it, we are on, to advance, to improve, step by step, and yet permit- bound to observe it in good faith, honestly and honorably, ted five thousand years and upward to elapse ere He laid not merely to the letter, but fully to the spirit, and not in the foundation of a truly free, a truly happy, and a truly any mincing, half-way, unfair, or illiberal construction, independent empire. It was not, gentlemen, until that seeking to satisfy the letter, to give as little as we can, and great length of time had elapsed, that the earth was thereby to defeat the spirit. (Applause.) That may be the deemed mature for laying the foundations of this mighty way that some men keep a contract about the sale of a house and prosperous State. It was then that He inspired the or of a chattel, but it is not the way honest men observe con. poble-ininded and chivalrous Genoese to set forth upon tracts, even in relation to the most trivial things. (" True," the trackless ocean and discover the empire that we now and applause.) What has been done, having a tendency enjoy, But a few years, comparatively, had elapsed to disturb harmony under this Constitution, and to break when there was raised up in this blessed land a set of men down and destroy the union now existing between these whose like had never before existed upon the face of this states? Why, gentlemen, at an early period the subject earth. Men unequalled in their perceptions of the true of Slavery, as a mere philosophical question, was discussed principles of justice, in their comprehensive benevolence, by many, and its justice or injustice made the subject of in their capacity to lay safely, justly, soundly, and with argument leading to various opinions. It mattered little all the qualities which should insure permanency, the how long this discussion should last, while it was confined foundations of an empire. It was in 1776, and in this within such limits. If it had only led to the formation of country, that there assembled the first, the very first, societies like the Shakers, who do not believe in matriassembly of rational men who ever proclaimed, in clear mony; societies like the people of Utah, destined to a and undeniable forin, the inmutable priuciples of liberty, short career, who believe in too much of it (laughter); or and consecrated, to all time I trust, in the face of tyrants, societies of people like the strong-minded women of our and in opposition to their power, the rights of nations and country, who believe that women are much better qualithe rights of men. (Applause.) These patriots, as soon fied than men to perform the functions and offices usually as the storm of war had passed away, sat down and performed by men (laughter)-and who probably would, framed that instrument upon which our Union rests, the if they had their way, simply change the order of proceedConstitution of the United States of America, (Applause.) ings, and transfer the husband to the kitchen, and them. And the question uow before us is neither more nor less selves to the field or the cabinet. (Laughter and apthan this: whether that Constitution, consecrated by the plause.) So long, I say, as this sentimentality touching blood shed in that glorious Revolution, consecrated by Slavery confined itself to the formation of parties and sothe siguature of the most illustrious mau who ever lived, cieties of this description, it certainly could do no great George Washington (applause) whether that instrument, harm, and we might satisfy ourselves with the maxim that accepted by the wisest and by the best of that day, and “Error can do little harm as long as truth is left free to comaccepted in convention, one by one, in each and every bat it.” But unfortunately gentlemen, this sentimentality State of this Union-that instrument froin which so many has found its way out of the meeting-houses—from among blessings have fown--whether that instrument was con pious people, assemblies of speculative philosophers, and ceived in crime, is a chapter of aboutinations (cries of societies formed to benefit the inhabitants of Barioboola“No, no,") is a violation of justice, is a league between gha—it has found its way into the heart of the selfish polistrong-handed but wicked-hearted white men to oppress, tician; it has been made the war-cry of party ; it has been and impoverish, and plunder their fellow-creatures, con- made the instrument whereby to elevate not merely to trary to rectitude, honor and justice. (Applause.) This personal distinction and social rank, but to political power is the question, neither more nor less. We are tol! from Throughout the non-slaveholding States of this Union, inen pulpits, we are told from the political rostrum, ye are have been thus elevated who advocate a course of con.