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all the territories, that the matter is to be settled in each territory by the local population, and that slavery should be excluded by national authority from all the territories. For this last view we have argued, pleaded, waited, until at last the supreme tribunal of all—the American people in a national election-has given judgment in our favor.
"You cite the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court as establishing slavery in the territories. But you wrest from that decision a force which it does not legally carry. The best lawyers are with us as to this. The court at the outset dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction, because Dred Scott, being a negro, could not be an American citizen, and therefore had no standing before the court. This being said, the court by its own decision could go no farther with the case. When a majority of the judges went on to discuss the status of slavery in the territories,-as it might have come up if they had gone on to try the case on its meritsthey were uttering a mere obiter dictum,-a personal opinion carrying no judicial authority. The attempt to make these side-remarks a decisive pronouncement on the supreme political question of the time is beyond law or reason. It is preposterous that the court's incidental opinion, on a case which it had disclaimed the power to try, should invalidate that exclusion of slavery by national authority which had been affirmed by the great acts of 1787 and 1820, and had been exercised for seventy years.
“As to fugitive slaves, the Personal Liberty laws are designed to safeguard by the State's authority its free black citizens from the kidnapping which the Federal statute, with its refusal of a jury trial, renders easy. If they sometimes make difficulty in the rendition of actual fugitives, you must not expect a whole-hearted acceptance of the rôle of slave-catchers by the Northern people. You have the Federal statute, and may take what you can under it,—but if
under the bond Shylock gets only his pound of flesh, there is no help for him.
“Come now to your broader complaint, that the spirit of the Union has been sacrificed by Northern hostility toward your peculiar institution. True, you have had to put up with harsh words, but we have had to put up with a harsh fact. You have had to tolerate criticism, but we have had to tolerate slavery under our national flag. It is an institution abhorrent to our sense of right. We believe it contrary to the law of God and the spirit of humanity. We consider it unjust in its essential principle, and full of crying abuses in its actual administration. Its existence in one section of the Union is a reproach to us among the nations of the earth, and a blot on the flag. Yet we so thoroughly recognize that our national principle allows each State to shape its own institutions that we have not attempted and shall not attempt to hinder you from cherishing slavery among yourselves as long as you please. If, for the vast and vital interests bound up with the unity of this nation, we can tolerate the presence within it of a system we so disapprove, cannot you on your part tolerate the inevitable criticism which it calls out among us?
“If mutual grievances are to be rehearsed, we have our full share. What has become of the constitutional provision which guarantees to the citizens of every State their rights in all the States? When black seamen, citizens of our commonwealths, enter South Carolina ports, they are thrown into jail or sold into slavery. If we send a lawyer and statesman to remonstrate, he is driven out.
Our newspapers are excluded from your mails. You have extinguished free speech among your own citizens. If the Republican party is sectional, it is because any man who supports it, south of the Ohio, is liable to abuse and exile. You have shaped our national policy in lines of dishonor.
With your Northern allies you have forced war on a weak neighbor and dispoiled her of territory. You have poured thousands of fraudulent voters into Kansas, have supported their usurping government by Federal judges and troops, and have tolerated the ruffians who harried peaceful settlers. One of your congressional leaders has answered a senator's arguments by beating him into insensibility, and you have honored and reëlected the assailant. And now, when we have fairly won the day in a national election, and for purposes peaceful, constitutional, and beneficent,- you propose to break up the nation, and reorganize your part of it expressly for the maintenance and promotion of slavery.
“With such complaints on your part, and such complaints on ours, what is the manly, the patriotic, the sufficient recourse? That which we offer is that you and we, the whole American people, go forward loyally and patiently with the familiar duties of American citizens. Let Time and Providence arbitrate our controversies. Let us trust the institutions under which for seventy years our nation has grown great; let us, now and hereafter, acquiesce in that deliberate voice of the people which our fathers established as the sovereign authority. For thirty years you have had in the Presidency either a Southerner or a Northern man with Southern principles,—and we acquiesced. Now we have chosen a genuine Northerner,—will not you acquiesce? Four years ago the Presidential contest was held on the same lines as this year; you won, and we cheerfully submitted,—now we have won, will not you loyally submit? We disclaim any attack on your domestic institutions. The invasion by John Brown was repudiated by practically the entire North. Honor for a brave, misguided man meant no approval of his criminal act. For the advance of our distinctive principles,-inimical, we own, to your system of slave labor,—we look only to the
gradual conversion of individual opinion, and to the ultimate acceptance by your own people of the principles of universal liberty. We believe that civilization and Christianity must steadily work to establish freedom for all men. On that ground, and in that sense, do we believe that 'this government cannot permanently endure half slave and half free.' Pending that advance, we propose only to exclude slavery from the common domain; to tolerate slavery as sectional, while upholding freedom as national. If you are still dissatisfied, yet is it not better to bear the evils that we have than fly to others that we know not of? Nay, do we not too well know, and surely if dimly foresee, the terrific evils which must attend the attempted disruption of this nation?
“A nation it is, and not a partnership. A nation, one and inseparable, we propose that it shall continue.
We deny that the founders and fathers ever contemplated a mere temporary alliance dissoluble at the caprice of any member. To the Union, established under the Constitution, just as earnestly as to the cause of independence, they virtually pledged 'their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.' With every year the nation has knitted its texture closer, as its benefits increased and its associations grew. A nation is something other than a pleasure party, or a mutual admiration society,—it includes a principle of rightful authority and necessary submission. The harmony vital to national unity is not merely a mutual complacence of the members, -at its root is a habitual, disciplined obedience to the central authority, which in a democracy is the orderly expressed will of the majority. You cannot leave us and we cannot let you go. And if you attempt to break the bond, it is at your peril.”
HOW THEY DIFFERED
If the typical Secessionist and the typical Unionist, as just described, could rally a united South and a united North to their respective views, there was no escape from a violent clash. Whether the two sections could be so united each in itself appeared extremely doubtful. But below these special questions of political creed were underlying divergences of sentiment and character between North and South, which fanned the immediate strife as a strong wind fans a starting flame. There was first a long-growing alienation of feeling, a mutual dislike, rooted in the slavery 'controversy, and fed partly by real and partly by imaginary differences. Different personal and social ideals were fostered by the two industrial systems. The Southerner of the dominant class looked on manual labor as fit only for slaves and low-class whites. His ideal of society was a pyramid, the lower courses representing the physical toilers, the intermediate strata supplying a higher quality of social service, while the crown was a class refined by leisure and cultivation and free to give themselves to generous and hospitable private life, with public affairs for their serious pursuit. He regarded the prominence of the laboring class in Northern communities as marking the inferiority of their society, and in the absorption of the wealthier class in trade he read a further disadvantage. The virtues he most honored were courage, courtesy, magnanimity,_all that he delighted to characterize as chivalry." He was inclined to consider the North as materialistic and mer