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shall be welcomed to more than its ancient supremacy. Where is national virtue, that such a surrender can be entertained? Where is national honor, that the criminal pettifoggers are not indignantly rebuked?

The proposition is specious in form as baleful in substance. It is said that Rebel slave-masters should have their "rights under the Constitution." To this plausible language is added that other phrase, "the Constitution as it is." All this means Slavery, and nothing else. For Slavery men resort to this odious duplicity. Thank God, the game is understood.

2. But any compromise recognizing Slavery in the Rebel States is impossible, even if you are disposed to accept it. Slavery, by the very act of rebellion, ceased to exist, legally or constitutionally. It ceased to exist according to principles of public law, and also according to just interpretation of the Constitution; and having once ceased to exist, it cannot be revived.1

When I say that it ceased to exist legally, I found myself on an unquestionable principle of public law, that Slavery is a peculiar local institution, without origin in natural right, and deriving support exclusively from the local government; but if this be true, and it cannot be denied, then Slavery must have fallen with that local government.

When I say that it ceased to exist constitutionally, I found myself on the principle that Slavery is of such a character that it cannot exist within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Constitution, as, for instance, in the National territories, and that therefore it died constitutionally, when, through disappearance of the local

1 See, ante, Vol. VI. pp. 303, 307, 318.

government, it fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Constitution.

The consequences of these two principles are most. important. Taken in conjunction with the rule, “Once free, always free," they establish the impossibility of any surrender to belligerent Slavery in the Union.

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3. If, in the zeal of surrender, you reject solemn principles of public law and Constitution, then let me remind you of the Proclamation of Emancipation, where the President, by virtue of the power vested in him as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, ordered that the slaves in the Rebel States are and henceforward shall be free," and the Executive Government, including the military and naval authorities, are pledged to "recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons." By the terms of this instrument, it is applicable to all slaves in the Rebel States, not merely to those within the military lines. of the United States, but to all. Even if the President were not in simple honesty bound to maintain this Proclamation according to the letter, he has not the power to undo it. The President may make a freeman, but he cannot make a slave. Therefore must he reject all surrender inconsistent with this Act of Emancipation.

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It is sometimes said that the Court will set aside the Proclamation. Do not believe it. The Court will do no such thing. It will recognize this act precisely as it recognizes other political and military acts, without presuming to interpose any unconstitutional veto, - and it will recognize this act to the full extent, as was intended, according to its letter, so that every slave in the

Rebel States will be free. Even if the Court should hesitate, there can be no hesitation with the President, or with the people, bound in sacred honor to the freedom of every slave in the Rebel States. Therefore against every effort of surrender the Proclamation presents an insuperable barrier.

4. If you are willing to descend deep down to the fathomless infamy of renouncing the Proclamation, then in the name of peace do I protest against any such surrender. So long as Slavery exists in the Union, there can be no peace. The fires which seem to be extinguished will only be covered by treacherous ashes, out of which another conflagration will spring to wrap the country in war. This must never be.

It is because Slavery is not yet understood, that any are willing to tolerate it. See it as it is, and there can be no question. Slavery is guilty of every crime. The slave-master is burglar, for by night he enters forcibly into the house of another; he is highway robber, for he stops another on the road, and compels him to deliver or die; he is pickpocket, for he picks the pocket of his slave; he is sneak, for there is no pettiness of petty larceny he does not employ; he is horsestealer, for he takes from his slave the horse that is his; he is adulterer, for he takes from the slave the wife that is his; he is receiver of stolen goods on the grandest scale, for the human being stolen from Africa he foolishly calls his own. When I describe the slave-master, it is simply as he describes himself in the code he sanctions. All crime is in Slavery, and so every criminal is reproduced in the slave-master. And yet it is proposed to bestow upon this whole class not

only new license for their crimes, but a new lease of their power. Such surrender would be only the beginning of long-continued, unutterable troubles, breaking forth in bloodshed and sorrow without end.

5. Lastly, this surrender cannot be made without surrender to the Rebellion. Already I have exhibited the identity between Slavery and the Rebellion; and yet it is proposed to recognize Slavery in the Union, when such recognition will be plain recognition of the Rebellion.

The whole thing is impossible, and not to be tolerated. Alas! too much blood has been shed, and too much treasure lavished, for this war to close with any such national stultification. The Rebellion must be crushed, whether in the guise of war or under the alias of Slavery. It must be trampled out, so that it can never show itself again, or prolong itself into another generation. Not to do this completely is not to do it at all. Others may act as they please, but I wash my hands of this great responsibility. History will not hold such surrender blameless.

"An orphan's curse would drag to hell

A spirit from on high";

but the orphans of this war must heap curses heavenhigh upon the man who consents to see its blood and treasure end in nought.

Such are the grounds for the repudiation of all surrender to Slavery in the Union. I have also shown. that there can be no surrender to Slavery out of the Union. In either alternative surrender is impossible; but even if possible, it would be most perilous and degrading.

Thus far I have said nothing of platforms or candidates. I desired to present the issue of principle, so that the patriot could choose without embarrassment from party association. Pardon me now, if for one moment I bring platforms and candidates to the touch


There is the Baltimore platform, with Abraham Lincoln as candidate. No surrender here. In one resolution it is declared that the war must be prosecuted "with the utmost possible vigor to the complete suppression of the Rebellion." In another it is declared, "that, as Slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the strength of this Rebellion, and as it must be always and everywhere hostile to the principles of republican government, justice and the national safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic." 1 There is salvation in these words, pronouncing the doom of Slavery in the name of justice and the national safety. The candidate has solemnly accepted them, not only when he accepted his nomination, but yet again, when, in the discharge of official duties, he said briefly, "to whom it may concern," that there could be no terms of peace, except on the condition of "the integrity of the whole Union and the abandonment of Slavery." In this letter of the President, unquestionably the best he ever wrote, it is practically declared, in conformity with the Baltimore platform, that there can be no surrender to Slavery in the Union or out of the Union.

Turn to the Chicago platform and its candidate, and what a contrast! There is surrender in both forms.

McPherson's Political History of the United States during the Great Rebellion, p. 406.

2 Ibid., p. 301.

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