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united nation, all the opposing interests of the several independent States had been continually excited and displayed; and to the wise use made by these statesmen of experience thus gained, all the stability and power possessed by the Federal government from the time of its formation are fairly to be ascribed.
The perils and storms they had so clearly foreseen soon buffeted the noble vessel they had so fairly launched. By an unceasing flood of emigration, continual additions were daily made to the population of citizens ignorant of the lessons of the past, and caring little for the real welfare of the United States, led only by some party cry of the hour. By continual incorporations of new states, the legislative power of these immigrant citizens soon overmatched the sons of the soil, often placing in their hands the balance of the highest elections. They were particularly open to the influence of wealth ; and thus the very prosperity of the country rapidly became the means of sapping the vitals of all that remained really sound in the Commonwealth. For the last thirty years, * so completely has all the machinery for bribery and corruption on the largest scale, and in every form, been organized, that its power is all but universal ; and it is difficult to say what is wholly exempt
* Dating principally from the elections to the presidency of Jackson and Van Buren. With Jackson's contest began the disgraceful practice of changing, not political appointments merely, but every official of every kind paid by the Government with each change of President. It would be superfluous to dilate upon the wholesale corruption caused by such a system--apparently devised expressly to destroy every vestige of honesty and patriotism in the electors and governing classes.
from its influence. Thus was the nation almost entirely handed over to the impulses of a mob whose character is represented by the public press and speech-makers, seeking to influence its movements, as truly as that of the Demos of Athens lives to all time photographed in the plays of Aristophanes and orations of Demosthenes. By seeking to pander to the excitement of the moment, and by gratifying and stimulating the meanest passions and propensities with flattery so gross as to pass all limits of absurdity, was the people to be led ; whilst a brutal virulence was imported into all political contests which almost wholly drove the best and worthiest of the leading men of the country from the field. Even when constrained by overwhelming calls of public duty they descended into the arena, these men were powerless to control the strife; and to gain any hearing—nay, even to keep themselves above the mass from being trodden down in the fury of the struggle—they were forced to join in party cries of which they knew the emptiness, and to emulate the frothy violence of declamation which disgusted their better sense and taste.
Thus gradually the spirit of the nation was changed from the wisdom of the great statesmen of the older times to an arrogance and mad lust of universal empire, of which the world had before rarely seen any parallel, and which exercised the worst influence upon her counsels. Meanwhile all the rival interests of the several independent States came into full collision, as the mighty Colossus of an empire stretched its giant arms west and south, folding together vast countries and terri
tories into one mighty union. Each sought some local advantage; and North and South, East and West battled with all their growing forces of wealth and population to seize and wield the Federal government, each for its own purposes. Already, more than once had these contests for power risen to a height threatening the safety of the Union, when the great question of freedom against slavery grew to a more dreadful struggle than any that had yet convulsed the United States of America.
This contest claims all our attention. Unlike all former fights for power of rival states or parties, it is a conflict of principles ; fought on both sides with a zeal and determination worthy of the great founders of the Union. Like them, the combatants, in the words of the noble Declaration of Independence, have pledged “ their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour,” in the mighty issue now vibrating in the balance. If, through the fiery waters of affliction, the Great Republic can recover her pristine virtue and patriotism, no loss of numbers or treasure would be too dear a price for such an inestimable boon. In the fervent desire to aid in some degree such a blessed conclusion, we now proceed to examine rather more in detail the charge of indifference brought by Mrs. Stowe against our country; to look into the present aspect of affairs as viewed by those removed from the mad excitement drowning all the senses of both sides engaged in the bloody fray; and to give utterance to the warm hopes and prayers of their kinsmen here that the United States may soon recover peace and freedom.
REMARKS ON MRS. H. B. STOWE'S REPLY.
All that Mrs. Stowe urges proceeds upon her assumption, that the means employed by the Republican or Abolitionist party to extinguish slavery are the best, if not the only ones, open to them, and have been nearly or almost entirely successful; that, to use her own words, women of her country feel that the great anti-slavery work to which their English sisters exhorted them is nearly done.” Were this really the case her appeal for our sympathies and all the aid we can in our position bestow would be irresistible, and would at once be answered from the heart by our whole country. Any apparent apathy hitherto seen upon our side has arisen from a deep persuasion,—too mournfully confirmed by the facts which have followed one another rapidly since Mrs. Stowe wrote,—that the whole course of the anti-slavery party in the United States is, and has been, one of fatal error, destroying all hopes of the near success of the good cause, and flooding the whole Union with calamitous ruin. Mrs. Stowe overlooks two passages in the English address, which, by the light of recent events, now read like some Sibyl's warning too long and fatally neglected.
“ We do not shut our eyes to the difficulties, nay the dangers, that might beset the immediate abolition of that long established system. We see and admit the necessity of preparation for so great an event." These memorable words point to all the caution and wisdom for which the best of our land could have earnestly prayed and fondly hoped the fairesť success; but which have been wholly overlooked, lost in the mad flood of angry passions which has bound the Republican Absolutionists to the chariot-wheels of parties seeking base aims with deep cunning, who are using them as ready tools to work the ruin of their great country. For this—merely a fresh form of slavery forcing zeal to do the work of Mephistopheles, the British nation can have no sympathy; seeing that it is rapidly destroying the progress already made, and all of what the future held in prospect for the prosperous emancipation of the slaves of America. Hence the apparent lukewarmness of our nation during this great American struggle. Their trumpet has given an uncertain sound, else would all our warmest feelings have been on their side in the battle.
Let us try to illustrate this by examining Mrs. Stowe's account of the progress of events before the conflict between the Free and Slave States reached its present stage, and dwelling awhile upon her expectations of the issue at the time of writing her reply.
How nearly the strength of the North and South is balanced, may be seen by following Mrs. Stowe's brief summary (pages 11 to 13) of their struggles for power up to the election of President