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given to the world, or before even the truth will be ascertained with regard to many important facts, and the springs of action of many of the most distinguished actors on either side. A perfect history was probably never written. The greatest of English historians, Macaulay, said: “There are poems which we should be inclined to designate as faultless, or as disfigured only by blemishes which pass unnoticed in the general blaze of excellence. There are speeches, some speeches of Demosthenes particularly, in which it would be impossible to alter a word without altering it for the worse. But we are acquainted with no history which approaches to our notion of what a history ought to be ; with no history which does not widely depart, either on the right hand or on the left, from the exact line." If this is true with regard to history in general, how great must be the difficulty attendant on the task of eliminating the truth from documents and reports, the authors of which, belonging to one or the other party, are almost certain to be interested in concealing one set of facts and giving excessive prominence to another! It is believed, however, that this task, difficult as it was, has been accomplished with a great degree of success, and that the impartiality which should characterize the records of the historian has been in this work freely exercised.
In conclusion, let the hope be expressed that, dreadful as was the fratricidal contest, it will not be the task of posterity to record that it was without beneficial results, but rather that as it was like a destructive tropical tempest in its approach and during its continuance, the times which succeeded it resembled the calm which settles upon the face of nature when the storm has passed, and that the subsequent career of the Great Republic was one of uninterrupted prosperity and peaceful progress.
THE WAR WITH THE SOUTH:
A HISTORY OF THE
GREAT AMERICAN REBELLION.
State Sovereignty : its Honest and Dishonest Advocates.--Northern Conciliation.-Southern Domination.-Northern
Independence.-Increased Power of the North.-Alarm at the Encroachments of the South.—The Kansas Struggle.---
MANY of the political leaders of the | a faction from which they hoped to obextreme Southern States of the Ameri- tain favors they had failed in extorting can Union had long since boldly as from the country. In the mean time serted that each individual State pos- the people of the Southern States, with essed a sovereignty paramount to that the exception perhaps of those of South of the united commonwealth of the Re- Carolina, who had been misled by the public of the United States of America. persuasive plausibilities of their favorite Some of these men, deluded by the Calhoun, continued to cherish a patriartful sophistries of the subtle Calhoun, otic sentiment of attachment to the the apostle of the doctrine of “State Union. Rights,” in avowing their political her. While the partisan leaders of the esy, gave expression, it is believed, to South were enabled, through the concilan honest conviction. Others, however, iatory concessions of Northern politi- . influenced by personal interests, sought cians, to wield the political power of the only to gratify their ambition or to country to their own purposes of persoothe their disappointment by creating sonal and sectional advantage, they
shrewdly disguised their selfish designs States. The Northern people became beneath a mask of traditional regard alarmed by these continued encroachfor the Constitution of the United ments of the South, and resolutely preStates. When, however, the North pared to check them. In spite of the began to grow restless under its subser- virtual abrogation of the Missouri Comvience to Southern domination, and to promise act, by which the new Territory manifest a desire for emancipation, the was thrown open to slavery, Kansas, partisan leaders of the South became through the efforts of the advocates of anxious lest they should lose the polit- free soil, was filled with Northern setical mastery by which they had so long tlers, and became by the votes of its ingoverned a nation in the interests of habitants a free State. This, however, a faction. Alarmed by these evidences was not effected without a struggle. The of Northern independence, the Southern neighboring slave States had sent in leaders asserted their theory of State armed bands to resist the Northern sovereignty with increased audacity, and immigration, and a bloody strife enthreatened to evoke its exercise to the sued, which greatly stirred the antagodestruction of the Union. They thus nistic interests and sentiments of the hoped to frighten the Northern people, Northern and Southern States. who were known to be fondly devoted. It was in the course of this bitter to the united country, into renewed contention that the Republican party submission to Southern control.
was formed, to resist the further extenThe North had, in the mean time, been sion of slavery. It soon gathered to its rapidly gaining in power through the standard such a force as to threaten a natural increase of population and an successful opposition to the oldest and immense European immigration. The most powerful political combinations. South had striven to balance this growing Fully organized, the Republican party ascendency by an increase of slave met in convention at PhiladelStates. By artful party combinations, phia on the 17th of June, and 1856. and skillful management of Northern nominated John C. Fremont, the emipoliticians, the partisan leaders of the nent explorer, for President. Though South for awhile succeeded in their a native of South Carolina, he was purpose. Texas was annexed at the known to be strongly opposed to the expense of a war with Mexico, and extension of slavery, and in favor of established a slave State ; an intrigue, free labor. He, however, objected to though it proved abortive, was set on any interference with the rights of the foot to force Spain into the sale of Southern States secured to them by the servile Cuba ; and finally the Missouri Constitution of the United States, as Compromise act was abrogated, for the he thus declared in a letter addressed purpose of admitting the Territories of to some leading members of the RepubNebraska and Kansas as slaveholding lican party: “I heartily concur," he
DISCONTENT OF SOUTHERN LEADERS.
wrote, “in all movements which have candidate, the slave States would exfor their object to repair the mischiefs ercise their self-asserted sovereignty, arising from the violation of good faith and secede from the Union. This in the repeal of the Missouri Compro- threat, however, deemed but the angry mise. I am opposed to slavery in the effusion of political contention, or a abstract and upon principle, sustained mere electioneering ruse, was little and made habitual by long-settled con-heeded. victions. While I feel inflexible in the Though exulting in the triumph of belief that it ought not to be interfered the election of their favorite, Buchanan, with where it exists under the shield of of whose sympathy with their political State sovereignty, I am as inflexibly op- views they did not seem to doubt, and by posed to its extension on this continent whose elevation to power they had appabeyond its present limits.” This is rently established the security of their probably not only a fair exposition of own, the political leaders of the South his individual opinion, on the exciting soon began to show evident symptoms question of slavery, but of that of the of restless discontent. The already acgreat mass of the Republican party. I quired and growing strength of the Re
The political contest for the Presi- publican party darkened their prospect dency which ensued upon the nomina- of continued domination ; the issue of tion of Fremont was one of the most the Kansas struggle had resulted in the stirring of our periodical excitements. defeat of their hope of securing another The result was the triumph of the can slave State ; freer expositions* of the didate of the Democratic party, James evils of their cherished institution, and Buchanan, for whom the whole South, the insurrectionary attempt at Harper's with the exception of Maryland, whose Ferry, aroused their fears; and the audachoice was for Fillmore, had cast its cious prophecies of Republican leaders, vote. Fremont, however, had received who foretold an “irrepressible conflict,” the large suffrage of one hundred and threatened them with a resolute oppofourteen out of the whole electoral vote sition. They now began to be hopeless of three hundred and six. New York, of future triumphs, and prepared, some Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and by open appeals to sectional prejudice, the six New England States were array- and others by secret means, to dissolve ed in favor of the Republican candidate. the Union. More than two years since, By the election of their favorite, Mr. Jefferson Davis, then a senator of
1858. Buchanan, the Southern leaders were the United States, now the Presapparently soothed, and they settled into ident of the self-styled Confederate a temporary political contentment. In States, boldly avowed, in a speech at the course of the electoral contest, some Jackson, Mississippi, these insurrectionhad audaciously declared that in case
| For example, the publication of Helper's "Impendof the election of the Republican / ing Crisis."
ary sentiments, which prove that the plish, at any hazard to the lives and present rebellion, of which he is the mas- property of the Southern people. The ter spirit, had been with him for a long inhabitants of the sea-ports were detime a “foregone conclusion.” “If an luded with the magnificent prospects of abolitionist," he said, “ be chosen Pres- a direct trade with Europe, by which ident of the United States, you will the dwindling cities of the South would have presented to you the question of be swollen into the importance of Tyre whether you will permit the Govern- and Carthage, and enriched with the ment to pass into the hands of your wealth of the whole commercial world. avowed and implacable enemies? With The cupidity, too, and pride of the out pausing for an answer, I will state poorer population, the “mean whites," my own position to be that such a re- thé Pariahs of the South, who, withsult would be a species of revolution by out property and without enterprise to which the purposes of the Government acquire it, had nothing to fear from the would be destroyed and the observance abolition of slavery, or to hope from the of its mere forms entitled to no respect. promotion of commerce, were aroused In that event, in such a manner as by the promise of the re-establishment should be most expedient, I should of the slave-trade, by which the Lazdeem it your duty to provide for your arus of the pine barren would be safety outside of the Union, with those enabled to count his negroes with the who have already shown the will, and Dives of the rice jungle. The hazards, would have acquired the power, to de moreover, of casting off the protection prive you of your birthright, and to of the powerful Government of the reduce you to worse than the colonial United States and incurring the interpodependence of your fathers."
sition of its contemned authority were The Southern press, too, began to urge conjured away by the confident assuremphatically the right of secession, and ances that Great Britain and France the advantage to the States of the would eagerly embrace the cause and South of separation from the Union. seek the alliance of the “Cotton. kingTo gain the sympathy of the people, dom," to which European trade would who had yet a traditional reverence for | be forced to do homage. the Government founded by Washing- The people of the South were thus ton and the patriots of the Revolution, artfully being seduced from their alleincessant appeals were made alternately giance to the Union while their leaders to their fears, their passions, and their were conspiring to destroy it. The cupidity. The principles of the Repub- President, Buchanan, bound in close ties lican party and its leaders were studi- of political sympathy with the promiously perverted. Their objects were nent partisans of the Southern States, declared to be the abolition of slavery, had selected from among them the chief which they were determined to accom- members of his cabinet, to whose guid