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through the judiciary; some for the" gur-reat pur-rinciple "that
if one man would enslave another, no third man should object," fantastically called
popular sovereignty”; but never a man among you is in favor of Federal prohibition of slavery in Federal Territories, according to the practice of
our fathers who framed the government under which we live." Not one of all your various plans can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within which our government originated.
Consider, then, whether your claim for conservatism for yourselves, and your charge of destructiveness against us, are based on the most clear and stable foundations.
Again, you say we have made the slavery question more prominent than it formerly was.
We deny it. We admit that it is more prominent, but we deny that we made it so. It was not we, but you,
who discarded the old policy of the fathers. resisted, and still resist, your innovation; and thence comes the greater prominence of the question. Would
have that question reduced to its former proportions? Go back to that old policy.
What has been will be again, under the same conditions. If
you would have the peace of the old times, readopt the precepts and policy of the old times.
You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. We deny it; and what is your proof? Harper's Ferry! John Brown!! John Brown was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single Republican in his Harper's Ferry enterprise. If any mem
ber of our party is guilty in that matter, you know it, or you do not know it. do know it, you are inexcusable for not designating the man and proving the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable for asserting it, and especially for persisting in the assertion after you have tried and failed to make the proof. You need not be told that persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true is simply malicious slander.
Some of you admit that no Republican designedly aided or encouraged the Harper's Ferry affair, but still insist that our doctrines and declarations necessarily lead to such results. We do not believe it. We know we hold no doctrine, and make no declaration, which were not held to and made by
our fathers who framed the
government under which we live.” You never dealt fairly by us in relation to this affair. When it occurred, some important State elections were near at hand, and you were in evi. dent glee with the belief that, by charging the blame upon us, you could get an advantage of us in those elections. The elections came, and your expectations were not quite fulfilled. Every Republican man knew that, as to himself at least, your charge was a slander, and he was not much inclined by it to cast his vote in your favor. Republican doctrines and declarations are accompanied with a continual protest against any interference whatever with your slaves, or with you about your slaves. Surely this does not encourage them to revolt. True, we do, in common with
our fathers who framed the
government under which we live," declare our belief that slavery is wrong; but the slaves do not hear us declare even this.
For anything we say or do, the slaves would scarcely know there is a Republican party I believe they would not, in fact, generally know it but for your misrepresentations of us in their hearing. In your political contests among yourselves, each faction charges the other with sympathy with Black Republicanism; and then, to give point to the charge, defines Black Republicanism to simply be insurrection, blood, and thunder among the slaves.
Slave insurrections are more common now than they were before the Republican party was organized. What induced the Southampton insurrection, twenty-eight years