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that we were regarded, by these high exponents of public opinion in England, as the most arrant hypocrites. This not being courteous was pitiful; but it gave a deep and rankling wound unworthy of those who struck the blow.
The conduct of the press, both secular and religious, with but few and honorable exceptions, has neither tended to promote brotherly kindness, nor to convince us, that the anti-slavery sentiment of Great Britain is free from all suspicion of being strangely controlled or modified by some latent, but potent cause. That sentiment has not joined generously with the North, which, in the Providence of God, has been plunged into a war, which the South commenced, for the destruction of the Union and Liberty, and for the perpetuation and extension of slavery.
That the present war was commenced by the South, for the destruction of free institutions, and the perpetuation and extension of slavery is confirmed by too many facts and declarations to admit of any doubt. Allow me to call your attention to only a few of the proofs.
1. The Nashville Patriot, (published in Tennessee, a slave state), in an Article condemning the course of Senator Douglass, says, “ But he cannot obliterate the fact, that the slavery question underlies the whole controversy, and is the true cause of the contest of arms."
2. The Charleston Mercury, (published in South Carolina, a slave state), thus states the public sentiment of that region : “Slavery is the natural and normal condition of the laboring man, whether white or black. Master and slave is a relation in society as necessary as that of parent and child.”
3. The Richmond Examiner, (printed in Virginia, a slave state), says, “The South maintain that slavery is right, natural, and necessary, and does not depend upon complexion. The laws of the slave states justify holding white men in bondage.”
These extracts show the determined attitude of slaveholders toward all the laboring class, whether white or black. They cer tainly are to be commended in not making any invidious distinction about color. They also show “that the slavery question underlies the whole controversy” and “is the true cause of the contest at arms."
4. The Rev. Dr. Palmer, a prominent Presbyterian clergyman of New Orleans, in a sermon which has been widely circulated and universally applauded at the South, thus gives shape to his convictions. “The Providential trust of the South is to perpetuate the institution of 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. It is a duty we owe to ourselves, to our slaves, to the world, 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.” This is sufficiently specific, claiming for slavery a divine right, and that to perpetuate and extend it is a most sacred religious duty.
5. The speech of Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Southern Confederacy, delivered at Savannah, Georgia, March 22, 1861, must be conclusive. I cannot do justice to his views without a somewhat extended extract:
“The new (Confederate) Constitution has put at rest forever all agitating questions respecting our peculiar institution. African slavery, as it exists among us, is the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of our late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this as 'the rock upon which the old Union would split.' He was right. What was then conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he comprehended the great truth upon which this great rock stood and stands, remains to be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old (Federal) Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of the races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a government upon it ;—when the storm came and the wind blew it fell.'
Our new government is founded upon the exactly opposite: its foundations are laid in, and its corner-stone rests upon, the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery,-subordination to the superior race,—is his natural and normal condition.
This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. It is upon this, as I have already stated, that our social fabric is firmly planted, and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized world."
This Constitution, which Vice-President Stephens says “has put at rest forever all agitating questions respecting our peculiar institution," in one of its Articles cuts off all States from the slave markets of the South, unless they join this Confederacy. This was a masterly stroke of policy. For should Virginia remain loyal to the Union, she could not send her negroes for sale to Charleston, Mobile, New Orleans, or any Southern market. But the so-called first families of Virginia, who assume to be of the same class with the nobility in England, live on slave breeding. If they raised hogs, mules, cattle or horses, they would have regarded themselves as low born and commoners, but being breeders, for the slave market, of human beings, for whom Christ died, they have regarded themselves, and expect others, including the nobility of England, to regard them as gentlemen, notwithstanding their own blood often flows in the veins of the children they sell. The annual sale of slaves for the Southern market, from Virginia alone, amounted to eight millions of dollars—more than a million and a half sterling. This accounts for the intense zeal of this slave breeding faction in Virginia to carry that State out of the Union. The same personal interest of the slave breeders of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri caused their determination to carry their States into the Southern Confederacy. Now it is a remarkable providential feature of the war thus far, that it has raged with greatest severity in the four abovenamed slave breeding States, and instead of securing to themselves the privilege of growing rich by slave breeding, the war has so uprooted the institution as to make it certain that its abolition must follow.
6. General Andrew J. Hamilton, a loyal man of Texas, in a recent speech, stated " That the slaveholders conspired and organized rebellion because they were determined to subvert free institutions on this continent. They determined not only to perpetuate black slavery, but also to establish white serfhood. The slaveholding class do not conceal their contempt for the non-slaveholding whites, nor their determination to take from them all political power,
and make them serfs, but a degree removed from the black slaves."
7. Take the testimony of your own witness, Mr. Russell, the special correspondent of the London Times. After a thorough visitation of the Southern States, with access to the feelings of the people, he says, (Times, May 27), “Their whole system rests on slavery, and as such they defend it."
I might multiply these testimonies to almost any extent, but enough is patent to the world to convince any unprejudiced mind that the true vitalizing principles in this war are Despotism, in the
form of Slavery on the one hand, and Liberty on the other. It is a war of great and fundamental principles destined to influence and involve all nations where despotism, whether civil or religious, has dominion, and liberty is struggling to arise. It is despotism and the devil on the one hand, and God and humanity on the other. We had a right to look to the masses of Great Britain to stand with us openly and without a shadow of a doubt on the side of God and humanity against every form of despotism which oppresses man. I believe, that sooner or later, Christian, liberty-loving England will wheel into line and stand with us shoulder to shoulder, but up to this hour it appears to us she has stood as though balancing between contending motives.
As the Alliance has taken high ground for Liberty and against Slavery, even excluding the slaveholder from membership, we did look for warm hearted, and generous, outspoken sympathy with the North and against the slaveholders of the South, who have inaugurated this war to perpetuate and extend slavery and to destroy the Union which our fathers formed “to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
Whatever may have been the criminal shortcomings of the North in the past, there can be no possible justification for the slaveholders of the South, plunging this country into this terrible civil war in order to secure their slavery from the extinction which the enlightened and progressive public sentiment of the North threatened it. The issue which the Rebellion has forced upon us, and which now stands supreme above all others, is this, The Union and the Constitution for Liberty, or Revolution for the sake of Slavery. This is the alternative, Liberty or Slavery. England ought to know where to stand and how to speak on an issue so vital.
Do not think it strange that we have felt amazed that with the accumulating evidence of the progress which has been made within a single year in the cause of Liberty, there have still been no words of joy nor of encouragement from the mass of British Christians. That your joy, though late, may be full, let me recall your attention to a few things which have been secured and for which I know you will be glad
THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
On the 22d day of December, 1788, the State of Maryland made an act of cession of certain territory to the United States, for the purpose of locating the seat of government. On December 3d, 1789, the State of Virginia made a similar act of cession, and for the same purpose. These two parcels, fixed upon by Congress, in accordance with these acts, comprised the District of Columbia, being ten miles square. On July 16th, 1790, Congress passed an act, accepting these cessions, and providing that the laws of the two States, over their respective portions of the District, should remain in force "until the time fixed for the removal of the government thereto, and until Congress shall otherwise by law provide.” This District is the Capital of the United States. Here Congress always meets. Here the President and all the Cabinet officers reside. This territory when ceded had slavery in it, which has grown with the growth of the city. Although many attempts have been made to abolish slavery from this District over which Congress has exclusive control, still, such was the power of the slaveholders in connection with the Democratic party, vast multitudes of whom were foreigners, that all their efforts were unavailing. But now, since this war has commenced, by a direct act of Congress, slavery was abolished from this district. Thus the American Capital, for the first time since the organization of the Government, stands on free soil. Thousands of slaves by this act became freemen. This noble act was not done without a heavy outlay of money paid from the public treasury to the loyal masters, and this too at a time when the country was involved in very heavy expenses in consequence of the slaveholders' war. This act was the triumph of anti-slavery over pro-slavery sentiment, and ought to have met with expressions of joy from all anti-slavery men in England, and especially from the Evangelical Alliance. For well do I remember that your president, Sir Culling Eardley, in his own room in Adam street, assured me in my last interview with him, that should our Government go no further than to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, over which Congress had the jurisdiction, it would be hailed with joy by all England, and would command the confidence and sympathy of all the people, because it would be a first and decided step in the right direc