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inviolable. Nations may agree with each other to change their boundaries. But the change must not be forced upon them. All families must leave each family to live: and all nations must leave each nation to live. The family and the nation-or, as I might say, the literal and the national family—are the two institutions of earth whose permanence all families in the one case and all nations in the other should foster and rejoice in. These institutions are too precious to be violated or neglected. Far too large a share of human happiness and human hopes is indissolubly connected with them to allow such violation or neglect. For ninety years the Poles have been without a nation. What arithmetic can compute their sufferings during these ninety years! As I was gazing, the other day, upon the picture of the beautiful and sublime face of an eminent Polish exile, I fancied that the sorrows of a whole nation were expressed in that one face of utter sadness. How murderous was the cruelty, which robbed the Poles of nationality! How far worse than every other form of ophanage was that to which it reduced them! And they still suffer as in the freshness of their suffering. Italy too still bleeds under her dismemberment. And would you, or any of you, in order to gratify a handful of slaveholders, who are compelling their poor, ignorant, and know-not-what-they-do neighbors to fight for Slavery-and would you,
say, for this miserable and guilty purpose, have the hearts of my countrymen also wrung with the agonies of a broken-up nation--of a nation, whose physical features show that her North and her South, whatever you may say of her East and West, can never be parted from each other but by a war upon nature as well as upon nationality? Oh! when will nations cease from the meanness and wickedness of wronging each other? How mean and wicked to fall upon the peace and rights of a family! Immeasurably more so to fall upon the peace and rights of a nation. Nations must cease to be jealous of each other. They must stand by each other, and never sympathize with an assault upon nationality, unless it be in that rare case where the assault is for the redress of wrongs so flagrant and unendurable, that nothing can be sacred enough to stand in the way of their redress. And then every nation should remember, that it behooves her, for her own safety, to be true to other nations. If England shall, in this hour of my country's calamity, go to the side of my country's enemies, is there not great danger that she will thereby provoke my country to go to the side of England's enemies when England shall in her turn be overtaken by the like calamity ?
If I know myself, I would deeply sympathize with England, should a part of her Counties take up arms to dismember her. I would call it right in that case to fight for “empire”: and indeed I know no nation that would in such case fight more earnestly for it. Wouldn't you call it right ? Nay, wouldn't even the eminent statesman, who reproached my country with fighting for “empire,” call it right for England, if in the circumstances of my country, to fight for "empire"? But if England would be entitled to sympathy in her endeavors to reduce to loyalty her revolting Counties, why is not my country entitled to it in her struggle with revolting States ? It is true that the States, which make up my nation, are more important political divisions than the Counties of England-for they are larger, have more administrative power, and have legislative power also. Nevertheless an American State no more than an English County is a nation ; and has no more right than an English County to set up for itself.
Britain, France, America, and all the nations of the earth should be faithful to each other, and should spare their sympathies for objects worthier than piracies and slaveholding ambition and slaveholding greed. The Rebellion in my country is nothing more nor less than Slavery in arms.
The monster had for many years tried to accomplish his infernal objects through the ballot-box and through all sorts of intrigue and corruption. Failing of entire success by these means, he took up arms. But, thank God, the Rebellion is fast going down. Slavery, being identical with it, of course goes down with it. The ending of the Rebellion will necessarily be the ending of Slavery. Not one shred of Slavery will survive the utter extinction of the Rebellion. And let none fear that it will be anywhere reëstablished. The people, who have once thrown off Slavery, will never recall it. They will have no desire to exchange the blessings of Liberty for the curse of Slavery. Your West-India planters
continued, after the Decree of Emancipation, to ask for more money and more favors: but none of them wanted the restoration of Slavery. They had all had enough of that.
Yes, its self-inflicted wound is mortal, and American Slavery must soon die. When it is dead, then, as I trust, will my countrymen, North and South, East and West, having through this war worked out in tears and blood the heavy and Heaven-appointed penalty of their crimes against the black man, penitently and unitedly engage in redressing his matchless wrongs, healing the deep gashes in his spirit, and opening the way wide and generous for his bodily, mental and moral improvement. If this shall come to pass, then will a nation grow up in my land grander and more beautiful than any other nation. This will not be because we are better than other people—for we are not. It will be because nature has dealt more bountifully with us than with any other land. And then will my nation, because it shall have become just to its own people of all classes, conditions, and complexions, be relied on, the earth over, to be just to all nations. For, with the change of but one word, we can say to a nation with all the confidence and emphasis with which your greatest of all poets said to an individual :
« To thine own self be true:
ON THE COUNTRY.
LETTER TO HON. D. C. LITTLEJOHN.
PETERBORO, January 14th, 1864. Hon. Mr. LITTLEJOHN, M. C.:
DEAR SIR: In common with your other constituents, I lament your sickness. May you soon regain your health, and the country soon regain your services! This is emphatically a time when the country needs to have every one of her true and intelligent friends at his post.
July 22d, 1861, the House of Representatives adopted with but two dissenting voices, Mr. Crittenden's Resolution, a part of which is that: “ This war is waged but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired ; and that as soon as those objects are accomplished the war ought
This resolution is in my judgment the greatest and most pernicious of all our mistakes in carrying on the war. From the day of its passage it has never ceased to furnish the Seymours and other enemies of the Administration with their most plausible and effective arguments against the Administration, and with their mightiest influences to obstruct and pervert the war. The resolution declares war for the Constitution and Union-Which it should not have done; and it fails to declare war against the rebels--which alone it should have done. No wonder that with so bad a beginning the nation has not even yet carried on an unconditional war against them ! -- and no wonder therefore that the war has been so protracted! Should a portion of her people revolt, England would feel that here was something to declare war against. She would find no time and feel no disposition to declare war for any thing--not even for her chosen form of government-no, nor even for her existence. She would address herself to the one work of subduing the revolt, cost however much it might to what she most cherished. She would go forward to conquer or perish. Very precious, indeed, the interests she would leave behind her. But she would no more suffer them to interfere with the absorbing object before her than would Cortes have suffered his ships to tempt his little army with the possibilities of a safe retreat. He burnt his ships; and she would call for no stipulations in behalf of those interests. To save our Constitution and Union has been our chief object (real and pretended) in this war. Whereas our sole object in it should have been to crush the Rebellion--and this too at whatever needful expense even to the Constitution or the Union. In saying this, I surely do not expose myself to the charge of undervaluing either Constitution or Union. For who has written and spoken more than I have for the Constitution, just as it is ?-- and who has accepted more constantly and cordially all the terms of the Union ?
A wise and firm father resolves, uncalculatingly and unconditionally, to put down his rebellious child. If reminded that his family may thereby be broken up, his reply is, that, family or no family, the young rebel shall go down. So too the brave household whom the burglar awakes, will, if told by him to see to their safety, prefer, at whatever hazard to their safety, to see to his capture.
And why a nation act upon a different principle? No other pation, in the circumstances of ours, ever did. No other nation, ancient or modern, ever furnished a parallel at this point to the conduct of our own. A Rebellion, the most gigantic the world ever saw—the most guilty too, since its only real plea was that under the Constitution there were not sufficient scope and provision for the safety, extension, and perpetuity of Slaverybroke out against us. Our one and unconditional work was to put it down. No part of this work was it to save Constitution, Union, or Nation. Nay, if, in our struggle to put it down, all these shall perish, their never-to-perish monument would be worth infinitely more to the glory of God and the good of man, than could their salvation if achieved by compromise or indirection. Very sacred is nationality. But our sense of its sacredness is shown far less in trying to save a nation than in trying to punish, though at whatever hazard to the nation, the miscreants, who are at work to destroy it.
And now whence comes it that our nation has, at this point, behaved so unlike every other nation? Whence comes it that when heaven and earth bade it crush the Rebellion, and at whatever cost and without any condition or calculation-whence comes it, I ask, that it turned away from the one and only work it had to do to listen to the traitorous cry: “ Save the Constitution : Save the Union !” It comes, I reply, from the simple fact that, from the first, the American people have been artfully, industriously, constantly trained to worship the Constitution and the Union. And what is it that has so successfully called for this training? It is Slavery. By day and by night Slavery has worked to make the American people worshipers of the Constitution and the Union-urging, all the time, its lying claim that the Constitution and the Union were made to uphold, extend, and perpetuate Slavery. Only a short and entirely natural step was it to their becoming worshipers of Slavery itself. And, because they took that step, the American people have not yet been able to stand up to a square fight against the Rebellion. For the Rebellion is simply Slavery in arms; and to their deluded minds Slavery, whether armed or unarmed, being the very pet and cosset of the Constitution and Union, is as much to be cherished and protected as the Constitution and Union. The enemy paralyzed the Egyptians when he succeeded in placing between them and himself on the battlefield their sacred animals. And why our people could not strike promply and unreservedly at the Rebellion, was simply because sacred Slavery stood between it and them. You well remember that the first concern of our early Commanders in this war was to provide for the safety of Slavery. Nothing had been seen more insane or ridiculous since the days when an Egyptian army made more account of saving the worshiped cat or crocodile than of conquering the enemy.
Let me refer to some of the evil results of this Congressional Resolution of July 22d, 1861, which, as its first and unquoted part shows, was intended to be a resolution of safety to Slavery instead of destruction to the Rebellion. It estops Congress from complaining of the over-zealous and one-idea Abolitionist, who withholds his hand from the work of putting down the Rebellion unconditionally. It licenses him to substitute for that work the upholding of the Constitution and Union. Moreover, as it virtually licenses him to take his own Abolition way for upholding them, it must not complain if that shall prove an unwise and even wild way. It also estops Congress from complaining of the Pro-Slavery Democrats for their incessant clogging of the wheels of war with their affected cautions for the safety of the Constitution and the Union. For it has itself supplanted the only true issue—the sole and stern issue of the nation with the Rebellion-by a paramount concern for the Constitution and the Union. It is in the name of this very concern that the Seymours and Woods are at work to consummate the ruin of our Republic, and to build up a slaveholding oligarchy which will be grateful to all, North as well as South, who, like themselves, love the distinctions of Aristocracy and hate the level of Democracy.
Would that Congress had not taken a ground, which allows certain men to pretend to be against the rebels, when they are not ! Would that Congress had declared war against the rebels, and so compelled these certain men to stand forth openly for or against the war! Nay, would that Congress might now, even at this late day, summon the courage to make a clean, unconditional, uncompromising declaration of war-a declaration which shall be for nothing; and which shall be against the rebels, and against noth
6. The Reconstruction of the Government !” For one I am sorry that the public mind should be prematurely occupied with the subject. From the day when the Rebellion began, the nation should have been concerned about nothing else than to put it down; and I add, that until it is put down the nation should be concerned