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PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
Little by way of introduction's needed for an American edition of the present volume. The object of the work is stated clearly and concisely in the author's preface. Considering Slavery as the true origin of the civil war now existing, lie treats of its economic basis, of the organization, tendencies, development, and external policy of slave societies, and of the career and designs of the slave power, with the calmness of an impartial and philosophic observer, and in a popular and practical manner. Democratic institutions, territorial extension, tariff questions, state rights, secession, and all other subjects, which either at home or abroad have been made use of to complicate the quarrel, are here put aside as irrelevant; and the philosophic observer concentrates the attention of his readers on the simple issue at stake—" whether the Power which derives its strength from slavery shall be set up \yith enlarged resources and increased prestige, or be now once for all effectually broken." Similar views and arguments relating to this all-absorbing topic may no doubt be found scattered through the current literature of the day, expressed with all the warmth natural to those whose feelings and interests are immediately affected. Earnest and thoughtful books have also been written here by men whose testimony may be relied upon, and wThich have had more or less influence upon public opinion. But the present volume has an advantage over any work written on this side of the Atlantic, that it is free from any imputation of party or sectional bias; that it has something of the tone of a historic analysis of a grand social drama which has been acted, rather than of one of which the curtain of the fifth act has just risen; and it will on that account be acceptable to men of all shades of political opinion, while its clear style and systematic arrangement of subject will be grateful to all, young as well as old. The chapter relating to the career of the Slave Power is particuvia PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
larly distinguished for the compact and clear summary of its operations in important political crises, from the date of the Missouri Compromise Act to that of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. In the concluding pages the author ventures to foretell how the drama will end. As prophecy nowadays is not an irreversible fiat, but simply an impressive form of admonition, those who do not like its intimations can easily take precautions against their fulfilment, but it must be by the argument of acts, not by that of words.
From the present date to the first of January next, the project of Emancipation proposed in the .recent Proclamation by the President will engross the minds of all. This proclamation, which has been added to the American edition, will be found on the next page. It marks an important crisis in the war. The whole question of Slavery will for the next three months be canvassed with renewed energy: and the American publisher conceives that in issuing this work he will furnish a hand-book which contains a well digested survey of the political and social problems involved. Though .the position of affairs has changed since these pages were originally written, they will be none the less a timely aid and guide to thought.
BY THE JrxiJ&lDKNT Oi? THE UNITED STATES.
I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare, that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States and the people thereof, in which States that relation is or may be suspended or disturbed.
That it is my purpose at the next meeting of Congress to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure, tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all the Slave States, so called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which States may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits, and that the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent, or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the governments existing there, will be continued.
That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or any designated part of a State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and for ever, free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognise and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States, or parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not in rebellion against the United States.
That attention is hereby called to an Act of Congress, entitled, "An Act to make an additional article of war," approved March 13, 1862, and which Act is in the words and figures following :—
x PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S PRO CLAM A TION
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional article of war for the government of the army of the United States, and shall be obeyed and observed as such:—
Article —. All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any person to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due, and any officer who shall be found guilty by court-martial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.
Section 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.
Also to the 9th and 10th sections of an Act entitled "An Act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes," approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following :—
Section 9. And be it further enacted, That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the Government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons, and taking refuge within the lines of the army, and all slaves captured from such persons, or deserted by them, and coming under the control of the government of the United States, and all slaves of such persons found on or being within any place occupied by rebel forces, and afterwards occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captures of war, and shall be for ever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves.
Section 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave, escaping into any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, from any of the States, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime, or some offence against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due is his lawful owner, and has not been in arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid and comfort thereto; and no person engaged in the military or naval service of the United States shall, under any pretence whatever, assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person, or surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain of being dismissed from the service.
And I do hereby enjoin and order all persons engaged in the military and naval service of the United States to observe, obey, and enforce within their respective spheres of service, the acts and sections above recited; and the Executive will in due time recommend that all citizens of the United States who shall have remained loyal thereto throughout the rebellion, shall, upon the restoration of the constitutional relations between the United States and their respective States and people, if the relations shall have been suspended or disturbed, be compensated for all losses by acts of the United States, including the loss of slaves.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this 22d day of September, in the year of our Lord 1862, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President, Abraham Lincoln.
Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State.
It is proper that I should state the circumstances under which the present volume is offered to the public The substance of it formed the matter of a course of lectures delivered about a year since in the University of Dublin, In selecting the subject of North American slavery I was influenced in the first instance by considerations of a purely speculative kind—my object being to show that the course of history is largely determined by the action of economic causes. To causes of this description, it seemed to me, the fortunes of slavery in North America—its establishment in one half -of the Union and its disappearance from the other—were directly to be ascribed; while to that institution, in turn, the leading differences in the character of the Northern and Southern people, as well as that antagonism of interests between the two sections which has issued in a series of political conflicts extending over half a century, were no less distinctly traceable. The course of events, however, since I first took up the subject, has given to it an interest far other than speculative, and has rendered conclusions, of which the value (if they possessed any) was little more than scientific, directly applicable to problems of immediate and momentous interest. Under these circumstances I have been induced to extend considerably the original plan of my investigations, and to give the whole subject a popular and practical treatment, in the hope of contributing something to the elucidation of a question of vast importance, not only to America, but to the whole civilized world.
The rapid movement of events, accompanied by no less rapid fluctuations in public opinion, during the progress of the work, w7ill explain, and, it is hoped, will procure indulgence for, some obvious imperfections. Sorcte topics, it is probable, will be found to be treated with greater fulness, and some arguments to be urged with greater vehemence, than the present position of affairs or the present state of public feeling may appear to require. For example, I have been at some pains to show that the question at issue between North and South is not one of tariffs— a thesis prescribed to me by the state of the discussion six months ago, when the affirmative of this view was pertinaciously put forward by writers in the interest of the South, but which, at the present time, when this explanation of the war appears to have been tacitly abandoned, cannot but appear a rather gratuitous task.