Slaveholder's War
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MANCHESTER:
JOHN HEYWOOD, PRINTER BY STEAM POWER. 163, DEANSGATE.



 

CONTENTS
――◊――
 

INTRODUCTION (by HUGH MASON).

THE ORIGIN AND OBJECT OF THE WAR.

THE RIGHT TO SECEDE.

THE RESULTS OF THE WAR AND THE
     INTERESTS OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE.

[Ed. — see also W. E. Adams, "The Slaveholder's War."]



 
THE SLAVE-HOLDERS' WAR.
――♦――


THE following address was delivered in the ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE Town Hall, on Monday, November 16, 1863, by ERNEST JONES, Esq., and has been printed by the Union and Emancipation Committee of Ashton, at the desire of the friends of freedom in that town, and of those in Halifax, Huddersfield, Manchester, and many other places.

    The meeting was most numerously attended, the large hall being densely crowded in every part.

    HUGH MASON, Esq., occupied the chair—and during the addresses he and Mr. Ernest Jones. delivered, both those gentlemen were most enthusiastically applauded.

    THE CHAIRMAN, on coming forward, remarked that in that crowded meeting, and in that heated atmosphere, he was sure they would agree with him that it was important for all of them, for the comfort of the lecturer, and for the comfort of themselves, that they should maintain good order.  He knew that in making that appeal, he was making an appeal to men who, on former occasions, when they had assembled to discuss a great and important subject, had been quite equal to the occasion.  He was called upon that night to take the chair on an occasion when the placard was headed "The Slave-holders' War."  He was also called upon to preside when the lecturer was his learnèd friend Mr. Ernest Jones—a name which was not strange to the working people of Lancashire.  There was at his right hand a man who was a most accomplished scholar—who was most sound as a politician, and who was second to none in this country as a philanthropist.  The name of Ernest Jones had been uttered in times past with affection and reverence by the working people of Lancashire.  Ernest Jones, in times past, was recognised as one of the great leaders of the working people of England when they were struggling for political rights—and therefore he (the chairman) felt proud that night to stand by his side, and to be identified with a man who had come forward to uphold a cause which, in his opinion, was one of the holiest which could be pleaded in this country or in any other.  This was the first time in the course of a war in the United States of America which had now been carried on for upwards of two years, that he had taken the chair on such an occasion as the present.  He was not a member of the Southern Club.  He was not a member of the Union and Emancipation Society.  He wished to be distinctly understood.  He was one of the earliest members of the Emancipation Society of London.  He was one of its first subscribers, and he had the honour to be one of its vice-presidents, and he continued a member of the Emancipation Society to the present day; but he had not felt it to be his duty, and he had not felt it to be sound policy to identify himself with the society termed the Union and Emancipation Society, though that society included in its ranks a considerable number of men with whom he had the pleasure to work on many important subjects.  He must tell them that he was a strong admirer and an ardent advocate of that policy of neutrality which had characterised the proceedings of the British cabinet and the British parliament; and it was because he wished that policy to be continued, and because he saw there was an attempt made in various parts of this country to influence the government to departs from that policy of neutrality, that he had felt it his duty to come forward, and to take the opportunity of saying that the policy of neutrality which had characterised the government of this country was one which he most ardently hoped would be continued; and he hoped, and believed, and felt convinced that the voice of the people, and especially the voice of the people of Lancashire, would warmly support the policy of neutrality of the British government.  With regard to the question of union, his own individual opinion was that it was secondary to the question of the emancipation of the slaves.  If they asked him what his individual opinion was with regard to the union being maintained, he did not hesitate to tell them frankly and after the fullest consideration, that in his humble opinion it would be a calamity to civilisation, and it would be a calamity to religion, if that hitherto great and united republic should be split into fragments.  But with regard to the opinion of the people of America on the question of the union, he would say that it was entirely in the hands of the people of America to settle; and that it was not a question for us to entertain in any active way either on one side or the other.  They had heard it stated in various parts of the country—and it had been emphatically told to the cotton operatives of Lancashire—that so long as the war in America continued, so long would the distress prevail in the manufacturing districts.  Now, he claimed to have an opinion upon that subject as well as some other people, and he declared it to be his opinion, at all events—and he had given no little attention to the matter—that whether the war in America continued or not, the question of distress in the manufacturing districts, as connected with an imperfect and insufficient supply of cotton, was a question altogether independent of that war; and he would tell them, as a purchaser and a consumer of cotton, that he had taken a course—and he believed it had been the right course—that in all his calculations, and in all his actions as a buyer of cotton and as a seller of yarn, the question of the war had not exercised the slightest influence whatever upon his conduct.  He had had the opinion from the first, that come what would as regarded secession, or as regarded re-union, the emancipation of the black was an accomplished fact, and that for a time at least, and for years to come, with the great staple industry of that country disorganised, the production of cotton in America would be reduced comparatively to a nonentity; and he believed it would be, in the end, one of the happiest things that ever came to the cotton trade of Lancashire that it had been set free from dependence upon a supply of slave-grown cotton.  With respect to the continuance of the distress, he would tell them that he had seen figures that day reported in the Central Relief Committee from the highest authorities that could be found in Lancashire, that the distress in the country was considerably diminishing, and had been immensely diminished within the last nine months—that whereas in January last the pauperism—and he did not use that word in an offensive sense, but he used it as it was used colloquially—that whereas nine months ago the pauperism of the cotton districts was 25 per cent of the population, the pauperism of these districts was now only 9 per cent. of the population.  And if the distress had diminished to that extent during the continuance of the war, it was a groundless and baseless statement for any man to get up and say that so long as the American war continued the distress in the cotton districts of Lancashire would also continue.  He had no doubt whatever that in a time before very long, they would have the spindles and looms of Lancashire working as actively as ever they did work, with free-grown cotton, irrespective of the slave-grown cotton of the Southern States of America.  Now, with respect to the emancipation of the slaves, he found some people getting up and stating that they were for the emancipation of the negro.  And wherever they went, they found that though there were many people strongly in favour of the success of the Southerners they were at the same time friends to the freedom of the black.  But they heard the statement made from time to time that it would be the worst calamity that could happen to the blacks if they were to be emancipated before they were Christianised.— Now, he demurred entirely to the blacks, in this country at all events, being treated as goods and chattels.  The blacks—the men to whom God had given a never-dying soul—he demurred to the statement that these men were not to be consulted as to whether they were fit or not for emancipation.  "But," says somebody, "we will very gladly give them emancipation when they have been Christianised."  Were they not Christianised?  Perhaps not.  And whose fault was it that they were not Christianised?  Who had kept from them the Bible?  He had the pleasure of having in his family five little children, and he was quite sure that he was addressing at that moment not only fathers, but mothers of families in Ashton-under-Lyne, and he would say to them, if they brought up their children in ignorance of Christianity, in ignorance of education, and with an utter disregard to all the attainments and ornaments of life, were their children to be blamed and reproached for the faults of their parent?  So he would say with reference to those people who claimed to have the control of the black man.  Should the black man, who was the goods and the chattels of certain individuals in the Southern States of America, be reproached because his master had kept him in ignorance?  But were they not Christianised?  What said the Confederate clergy of America?  He would read to them an extract from an extraordinary document, signed by doctors of divinity, and masters of art, and almost all the Confederate clergy in the Southern States; and let those men be the judges upon this question.  It was said in this country that the blacks were not Christianised.  Hear what the Confederate clergy of America said as to the blacks:―


    "Most of us have grown up from childhood among the slaves.  All of us have preached to and taught them the word of life, have administered to them the ordinances of the Christian church, and sincerely love them as souls for whom Christ died.  We go among them freely, we know them in health and in sickness, in labour and in rest, from infancy to old age.  There are hundreds of thousands, both of white men and coloured, who are not strangers to the blood that bought them."

 

Abraham Lincoln (1809-65),
sixteenth President of the United States.

    In opposition to that, men stood up there and elsewhere to assert that the blacks were not Christianised.  He, however, had quoted the recorded words of the clergy of the Confederate States of America.  They had heard it stated that the blacks in the South were much better treated than the blacks in the North.  That had been said a thousand times.  Then, he would ask: How was it that the blacks in the North who were so badly treated, never ran away to the slaveholder of the South, but the blacks of the South were continually attempting to run away to the more oppressed region of the North?  Hence the fugitive slave law.  Now, they had been told that the colonies of America were once in allegiance to this country—that those colonies seceded—therefore the Southern States had a right to secede from the union.  There was no doubt that the colonies of America did secede from the mother country of Great Britain.  The colonists appealed to the sword, and the sword was the arbiter of their destinies.  The colonists of America, numbering short of four millions of people, on their own ground, and with a good cause vanquished the disciplined hosts of Great Britain.  They won their freedom, and they had maintained it ever since.  Then, he would say, by parity of reasoning, that as the Southern States of America had appealed to the sword, let the sword decide.—As the inhabitants of the Southern States of America had waged war, or had rebelled against their allegiance to the government of the country, let them abide by the conditions which they themselves had adopted, but let us in this country by all means keep aloof.  If the Southern people of America could conquer their independence, let them have their independence; but if the Southern people of America could not conquer their independence, let them submit to the conditions to which they had appealed.  But this had been termed a war; he would rather say it was a rebellion.  Most assuredly it was a rebellion of the minority against the majority.  Most assuredly it was the attempt to establish a new government against the government already in existence; and if the Southern States of America felt it to be their interest and duty to secede, why did they not take the occasion when they had a slave-holding president, and a slaveholding majority in the senate?  How was it that so long as they were in the majority, so long as their president was a slaveholding president—as nearly every president had been until the time of Abraham Lincoln—so long as they had a majority in the senate and in the congress, so long as they not only had a vote—white man in the South against white man in the North, but even the people that were termed goods and chattels were counted also as votes for the southern people, every five slaves counting three votes—so long they appeared to be content with the union, but when the Abolition party became so strong as to influence the return of an abolitionist president, then, and then only did the southern people think it right to secede.  But some people say, "Have they not a right to secede?  Does not the constitution provide for it?  Are they not sovereign states, with sovereign rights?"  Why, then, did they not appeal to the constitution for secession?  How was it they fired the first shot and drew the first sword before making an appeal to the constitution?  And it was only when they had been worsted on the field of battle—it was only when the circle in which they moved had gradually been circumscribed smaller and smaller—it was only when their fortunes were becoming adverse—it was only when they had given up all hopes of recognition from Great Britain, and all hopes of intervention from France—then and then only did they appeal to the sympathies and to the humanity of the people of Europe.  The time, however, had gone by when the southern people, with any grounds of reason, could make such an appeal.  God grant that this devastating war might shortly be brought to a close.  There was not a man in this room—not a man in the country—who did not bewail the devastation, and the misery, and the orphanage, and the loss of life caused by this sad and desolating war.  But there was a great principle at stake when we were appealed to.  We said to the southern people, "Do you intend to perpetuate slavery as the corner stone of your new constitution?"  "Well," say some people, "we believe that if the Southerners were made independent, slavery would be the sooner abolished."  He could only say that this was a very strange mode of reasoning.  He knew that in the Northern States of America there was an intelligent, and an active and enlightened, and a greatly increasing party of Abolitionists; but he had yet to learn that in the Southern States there was an Abolitionist party, however small.  Tell him the man in the Southern States of America who was for promoting the abolition of slavery.  What said Jefferson Davis, the so-called President of the Southern States?  Listen to his words before the time of secession, in the senate of the United States of America, in December, 1860.


    "The belief existing in the northern mind that negroes are, under our government, entitled to political equality with white men, must be dispelled, and northern men and northern states must cease to disturb our domestic tranquillity, or assail our rights of property, and so impair our national interests, or a dissolution of the union must be inevitable."


    These were the words of Jefferson Davis; very frank, and clear, and distinct; there was no mistake about them.  And what said Vice-President Stevens at the same time?  He said,


    "Our new government is founded upon—its foundations are laid—its corner stone rests upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition.  Thus our new government is the first in the history of the world, (God grant it might be the last)—based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.  It is upon this our social fabrics is firmly planted, and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of the full recognition of this principle throughout the civilised and enlightened world. This stone"—listen to the blasphemous expression—"this stone, which was rejected by the first builders, has become the chief stone of the corner of our new edifice.  It is the Lord's doing, and marvellous in our eyes."

 

Jefferson Davis (1808-89),
President of the Confederate States, 1861-5.

    Such was the language of Mr. Vice-President Stevens.  Now, it was impossible to have been an indifferent spectator of the public action, and an indifferent listener to the public opinion of our own country upon this great question, and he found that day, as he had found on former occasions, that the men who battled for free trade in corn, who battled for free trade in knowledge, who battled to remove the political disabilities, and the civil and religious disabilities of the people of this country—he found they were the self-same men who were battling in behalf of the emancipation of the slave.  He also found what he did not find on a former occasion.  He had no hesitation in saying, that the great mass of the intellect of this country was in favour of the emancipation of the slaves, and against the rebellion of the South.  He was aware that he could point to individuals whom he regretted to see identifying themselves with a cause which, in his humble opinion, was an unjust one; but, in the main, the intellect of this country, the great orators of this country, were in favour of the slave being emancipated, and against the success of the rebellion of the South; and he could not doubt that, sustained by the voice of the people of England, the efforts of those men to whom he had alluded, battling as they were doing in the public journals and upon the public platforms—he had no doubt whatever of the ultimate success of the cause they had espoused.

    He had now great pleasure in introducing the lecturer.

    ERNEST JONES, Esq., then spoke as follows:—

    THE important subject submitted to our consideration appears to me to divide itself naturally under three heads,—1st, The origin and object of the war; 2nd, The right of the Confederate States to secede; 3rd, The probable results of the struggle to North America and to ourselves, and our own duty under the circumstances.  In discussing this matter, I purpose giving you, not my own opinions merely, but the declarations of the South's own lips, and facts which will be accepted as such on all hands.  I will bring the South itself into this hall, let it plead its own cause, and you shall be its judges.


 
1. THE ORIGIN AND OBJECT OF THE WAR.


    That you may the better understand the origin and object of the war, I must remind you of the nature of the struggle that had been progressing for a long time in the United States.

    In the North, an abolition party had sprung into existence, and from small beginnings gradually obtained great strength and influence.  Its object was, the extinction of slavery throughout the Union.  The South, on the contrary, was seeking to increase its power, and for this purpose, to extend the institution of domestic slavery.  The means by which this was to be accomplished were as follows:—

    The entire Union consisted of states and territories, the territories being tracts of land that had not yet attained a population sufficient to enable them to be admitted to the sisterhood of states.  As soon as the requisite population (124,000) was then obtained, a territory might claim to become a state.  The question arose: should the territories thus created into states, be slave or free?  The South contended for the formers, because every state sends two Senators to Congress, irrespective of population; and each new slave state would thus give the South two additional votes, to swell its majority above the North.  In 1850, the admission of California as a free state, endangered Southern supremacy, and from this moment the struggle assumed a peculiar intensity.  It was the desire for the creation of new slave states that caused the South to attempt the re-opening of the slave trade, for which it made the most strenuous efforts.  If the new territories could be filled with slaves, the requisite population might be attained for the formation of new states on the basis of slavery.  Therefore James Williams, U.S. minister to Turkey of a Southern Executive, declared in his "South Vindicated," that


    "Slavery demands new territories, which territories would be cheaply earned by war."


    Therefore the Hon. L. W. Spratt, of South Carolina, said:


    "The revival of the slave trade will give political power to the South—imported slaves will give increase of representation to the national legislature—more slaves will give us more states, and it is therefore within the power of the untutored savages we bring from Africa to restore to the South the influence she has lost by the suppression of the slave trade."


    Therefore Vice-President Stevens said in 1857:


    "We can divide Texas into five slave states, and it is plain that, unless the number of the African stock be increased we have not the population and might as well abandon the race with our brothers of the North in the colonisation of the territories."


    Therefore Governor Adams, of South Carolina, in 1857, in his address denounced the prohibition against trading in slavery, and said it interfered with the essential interests of the South.

    Therefore the "Chief Press" of South Carolina said:—


    "We propose, as a leading principle of southern policy, to re-open and legitimise the slave trade."


    In 1858, the convention at Baltimore openly discussed the re-opening of this trade.  The convention of 1859, held at Vicksburg, voted by a large majority publicly to restore the African slave trade in defiance of law.  An African Labour Supply Association was formed, under the presidency of Mr. De Bow, of the "Southern Review;" the State of Georgia offered a premium of 25 dollars for the best specimen of a live African imported within 12 months; Louisiana propounded a kindred policy; Alabama formed a league of United Southerners to re-open the prohibited trade, and the same year 1859, Arkansas State Legislature voted such re-opening by a large majority.

    It is true that since the secession the Confederates disclaim the importation of more negroes from Africa, but the reasons for this are manifest enough: any unlimited increase of slave population would be dangerous in an empire whose area is circumscribed—the disproportion between white and black must not be too apparent.  It was proposed in Ancient Rome to give a distinctive dress to the servile population.  "Beware!" said a veteran statesman, "lest they should see how numerous they are!"  Again, the slave-holders know that a large importation of negroes would lower the price of slaves, and depreciate their "property," and the wily monopolists thus keep up the value of their chattels.  But while the struggle was one of votes between the North and South, then the slave-trade was a stepping stone to power, and no means were too horrible to be employed.  For this the South plunged the Union into the Mexican war,—for this the Texas annexation,—for this the irruption of the "border ruffians,"—for this the Cuban raids and the filibustering of Walker.  As soon as the Confederate States should be independent, and have room to expand, so soon the slave-trade would once more become a leading object.

    The struggle therefore virtually was:—Shall the new territories be slave states or free?  Shall the curse of slavery expand without a limit?  Shall the freedom of the Northern States themselves be crushed before the ever growing colossus of the South, or shall every new state that rises on the continent of America be baptised in the light of liberty, and help to drive the night of slavery from the South itself?

    To meet this issue the republican platforms of Fremont and Lincoln were constructed.  I will give three of the principal clauses from the latter:—


§ 7. The new dogma that the constitution, by its own force, carries slavery into any or all the territories, is a dangerous heresy.

§ 8. The normal condition of all the territories of the U S is freedom.  As our republican fathers, when they abolished slavery in all our national territories ordained that "no person should be depraved of life liberty, or property, without due course of law," it becomes our duty to maintain this principle inviolate; and we deny the authority of Congress, of the territorial legislatures, or of individuals, to give existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.

§ 9. That we brand the recent re-opening of the African slave-trade under cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity, and a burning shame to our country and our age; and we call on Congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic.


    Having now endeavoured to shew you the exact nature of the struggle between North and South, let us see what is said of it by the South itself.  Some gentlemen here tell you that the Confederates do not urge the war for slavery, but for free-trade, for altered tariffs, or for independence.  Surely, the leaders of the Southern Government, the Southern Senates, Presidents, Conventions, pulpit, press, and platform, know the South's own meaning better than a few amateur politicians here in England, 3000 miles removed from the scene of conflict!  I'll take the word of the South in preference to theirs.  Then listen to its utterance: what does it say before the sword is drawn?

    In 1856, when the contest was between the republican abolitionist Fremont, and the pro-slavery democrat Buchanan, the Richmond Enquirer (which may be called the Moniteur of the South) wrote thus:—


   "If Fremont is elected, the Union will not last an hour after Pierce's (the then President's) term of office expires."


    Preston Brooks, who represented South Carolina, and assaulted that eminent man, Sumner, in the Congress House, said in the same year:—


    "The only mode available for meeting it [the issue between slavery and freedom] is just to tear the constitution of the United States, [thus admitting that the constitution did not provide for slavery] trample it under foot and form a Southern Confederacy, every state of which shall be a slave-holding state."


    Jefferson Davis, the Confederate President, spoke thus at Jackson, Mississippi, in 1858:
 

     "If an abolitionist be chosen President, you will have to consider whether you will permit the government to pass into the hands of your enemies.  In that event, in such manner as should be most expedient, I should deem it your duty to provide for your safety outside the union "


    Buchanan, the Southern President, in his message of December 3rd, 1860, proclaimed that:


    "The long-continued and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern States, has at length produced its natural effects.  The immediate peril arises from the incessant and violent agitation of the slavery question throughout the North for the last quarter of a century, which has at length produced its malign influence on the slaves, and inspired them with vague notions of freedom."


    Iverson, representative of Georgia, explained that the rebellion was made


    "To avoid universal emancipation by the federal government, and to obtain nothing short of congressional protection to slavery in the territories."


    Benjamin, representative of Louisiana, observed:


    "We are prepared to await the issue that slaves are property and entitled to the protection of the government in the territories."


    Toombs, representative of Georgia, was


    "Determined to fight for the protection of slave property in the territories," and exclaimed that "Georgia was on the war path."


    Chingman, representative for North Carolina, said


    "The issue which North Carolina and Kentucky have to determine, is, whether there shall be a manly resistance now, or whether our states shall become free negro communities."


    Clay, representing Alabama, declared


    "The Republican platform is a declaration of war, for it asserts that our negroes are entitled to liberty and equality with white men.  Must we live by choice or compulsion under those who present us with the alternative of an irrepressible conflict in defence of our firesides, or the freedom of our slaves, and their admission to social equality ?"


    Wigfall, on behalf of Texas, maintained that


    "Man has a right to property in man, and we say our slaves are our properly."


    Then, to the North he made the following offer:—


    "If you wish to settle this matter, declare that slaves are property and, like other property, entitled to be protected in every quarter of the globe.  Say this, and the difficulty is settled."


    These were the utterances of the South,—that was what its representatives said before the sword was drawn—thus they heralded the conflict,—thus they announced its cause.  Shall I believe them, or the gentlemen here, who say that the very leaders of the movement uttered falsehoods, when they stated for what the movement was commenced?

    But they did not merely tell us for what they would draw the sword,—they also said on what terms they would leave it in the scabbard.  The CRITTENDEN COMPROMISE was offered.  The following were the terms of adjustment it proposed:—


1. That by amendment of the constitution, [thus admitting the constitution did not provide for slavery, but required to be amended to permits it] Slavery should be allowed in all territories south of latitude 36° 30'!

2. That Congress should have no power to abolish slavery in the States permitting it.

3. That slavery should be sanctioned in the district of Columbia, while it existed in Virginia and Maryland, and that the officers of Government and members of Congress should not be prohibited from bringing their slaves there, and holding them there as such.

4. That Congress should have no power to hinder the transportation of slaves from state to state.

5. That Congress should have full power to pay the owners of fugitive slaves their full value, where the national officer was prevented from arresting the fugitive.

6. That Congress should NEVER have the power of interfering with slavery in the States where it was then permitted.

7. That the right to have property in man should be legal not only in the territories then in possession, but in all territories to be thereafter acquired.

 

John Jordan Crittenden (1786 –1863),
American statesman from Kentucky.

    But the evidence does not stop here.  Not merely has the South told us for what it was about to draw the sword, not only has it stated on what terms it would leave that sword indrawn, but, when waving it in its red right hand, it has issued the ultimatum, the last condition on which it would restore it to the scabbard.  The following is JEFFERSON DAVIS'S ULTIMATUM to the Congress of the United States:—


    "That it shall be resolved by amendment of the Constitution [again that word "amendment"] that property in slaves, recognised as such by the local law of any state, shall stand on the same footing in all CONSTITUTIONAL AND FEDERAL relations as any other property so recognised, and, like other property, not be subject to be divested or impaired by the local law of any other State, either in escape thereto, or transit, or sojourn of the owner therein, and, in no case whatever, shall such property be subject to be divested or impaired by any legislative act of the United States, or any of the territories thereof."

    Nay! more than this. Mr. Cobden has informed us that


    "Whilst Congress was sitting, and when the country was in the agony of suspense, fearing the impending rupture, congress appointed a committee of their body, comprising thirty-three members, being one representative from every state then in the Union.  That Committee, called the Committee of Thirty-three, sat from December 14th, 1860, to Januarys 14th, 1861.  They where instructed by congress to inquire into the perilous state of the Union, and try to devise some means by which the catastrophe of a secession could be averted.  They issued a report of their proceedings which contains 43 pages.

    "The members from the Southern States, the representatives of the Slave States, were invited by the representatives of the Free States to state candidly and frankly what were the terms they required in order that they might continue peaceably in the Union.  In every page you see their propositions brought forward, and from beginning to end there is not one syllable said about tariff or taxation.  From the beginning to end there is not a grievance alleged but that which was connected with the maintenance of slavery.  There are propositions calling on the North to give increased security for the maintenance of that institution; they are invited to extend the area of slavery, to make laws by which fugitive slaves might be given up; they are pressed to make treaties with foreign powers by which foreign powers shall give up fugitive slaves but, from beginning to end, no grievance is mentioned except connected with slavery,—it is slavery, slavery, slavery, from the beginning to the end "


    But the tide of evidence flows onward still.  The leading confederate states published formal "Secession Ordinances," in which they set forth the causes that, as they maintained, justified their separation.  What did the states themselves say was the cause of their secession?

    SOUTH CAROLINA issued its ordinance on the 20th of December, 1860, after Lincoln's election, but before his inauguration, so eager was it to secede.  This ordinance gives the following reasons as the cause of South Carolina's secession:—


    That the fugitive slaves had not been recovered from the free states.  That the slave hunter had not been assisted in re-capturing the slaves.

    That the free states had not caused their officers to become slave-catchers in pursuance of the fugitive slave law.

    That the right of property in man had been denounced as sinful.

    That societies for teaching abolition principles had been openly allowed for twenty-five years.

    That by Lincoln's election this anti-slavery agitation had received the aid of the President, and that Lincoln had said "Government cannot endure half slave, half free," and "Slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction."


    ALABAMA on the 11th January, 1861, TEXAS on the 1st of February, 1861, VIRGINIA on the 17th April, 1861, issued secession ordinances to similar effect.

    Then, when victory crowned its earliest efforts, when, after having like a midnight burglar stolen on the ships and arsenals of the Union, after having, under Buchanan, a Southern President, (and having had Jefferson Davis, the present Confederate President, as federal minister at war,) placed southern officers in command of federal forts, of federal regiments and of federal dockyards, after having during a long conspiracy of four years drawn the best trained soldiers of the Union within its ranks, and created and disciplined a formidable force,—when after this it met and conquered in one bloody field the raw and sudden levies of the too confiding and unwary north—then it issued its loud notes of triumph, and, as before battle it announced for what it meant to draw the sword, so after victory it told us for what the sword was drawn.

    Then, STEPHENS, the Vice-President of the Confederate States proclaimed, at the great seceding convention at Montgomery:


    "Our new Government is founded on the great truth, its foundations are laid, its corner stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white,—that slavery is his natural and normal condition.  Our Government is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical and moral truth.  This stone, which was rejected by the first builders, is become the chief stone of the corner in our new edifice.  It is the Lord's doing, and marvellous in our eyes."


    Then JAMES WILLIAMS in his "South Vindicated" said:—


"For the institution of slavery pure and simple, the South drew the sword."


    Then the RICHMOND ENQUIRER, of May 28th, 1863, wrote:—


    "For liberty, equality and fraternity, we have distinctly substituted slavery, subordination and government.  There are slave races born to serve—master races born to govern.  Our Confederacy is a God-sent missionary to the nations."


    Then DR. PALMER, the popular Southern divine, preached:—


    "The providential Southern trust is to perpetuate the institution of Domestic Slavery as at present existing, with freest scope for its natural development.  We should at once lift ourselves intelligently to the highest moral ground, and proclaim to all the world that we hold this trust from God, and in its occupancy are prepared to stand or fall.  It is a duty we owe to ourselves, to our slaves, and to Almighty God (! !) to preserve and transmit our existing system of domestic Servitude, with the right unchallenged by man to go and root itself wherever Providence and nature may carry it."


    Then one hundred MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL and theological professors of the Confederate States, in an address to Christians throughout the world, adopted at a conference in the city of Richmond, issued their blasphemous manifesto upon slavery:—


    "The practical plan for benefiting the African race must be the Providential, the Scriptural plan—We adopt that plan in the south—We regard abolitionism as an interference with the plans of Divine Providence."


    Thus the South attunes its notes of triumph in its first days of short-lived victory; and the seal is set on its professions by the Constitution that it frames.  What is the distinctive feature of that new Constitution as distinguished from the old?  Slavery.

    The Federal Constitution does not provide for slavery—the Southern enacts it.  Judge the South by its crowning work, that Constitution, to obtain which it opened the veins of America, and deluged all its soil with blood.


    Section 2 § 1, enacts:—All citizens may travel about the Confederacy with their slaves, and the right of property in such slaves shall not thereby be impaired.

    § 3. No slaves escaping to another State, shall in consequence of any State law become free, but shall be delivered up to the owner.

Section 3. § 3. The Confederacy may acquire new territories.  In all such territories slavery SHALL be.


    Yes; this is the object of the deadly struggle: the new empire to be one vast prison; not on one of its chambers shall the foot of freedom fall, no hope shall beckon through its dungeon bars, and wherever its accursed flag shall wave, there slavery "SHALL BE."

    Who now says slavery was not the cause, the origin, the aim, the object of this war?  The South has spoken,—are we to believe it?  For slavery it said it would draw the sword.  For slavery, it proposed its compromise.  For slavery, it proclaimed its ultimatum.  For slavery, it issued its ordinances; and for slavery, it framed its constitution.  Can tongue of man speak plainer?  Does the poor innocent swear it is a sinner, while all the time it is a saint ?  Have its press, its pulpit, and its platform lied?  Are its compromises and ultimatums, its ordinances and constitutions, all enormous falsehoods?  Does it know its own meaning, and does it speak its own mind?  Or do gentlemen here, 3,000 miles from the scene of action, whose feet have never trodden American soil, whose ears have never heard the groan of the negro, and whose eyes have never seen the blood of the slave, know more about the objects of the war than the very men who started it, the Senates that decreed it, the President who proclaimed it, and the States that justified it?  Shall we believe the great criminal himself, who cries "Guilty" before the tribunal of History,—"guilty," not in a bated voice, but glorying in his crime.  Or are we to believe the quibbling lawyer, who, bribed with his cotton fee, is yet ashamed of his own client, and makes himself the apologist of a liar, that he may not appear the confederate of a knave?

    They have another cry, however, our English Southerners.  They say, "We, too, are as much against slavery as you are; but the best way to put an end to it is to help the South to secede: as soon as it is independent, the South itself will extinguish slavery."  Then why did it not extinguish it years ago, when it had its majorities in Congress?  Why did it lash, and tar, and maim every apostle of liberty who dared to set his foot on Southern soil?  Why did it levy war to maintain slavery, if it only desired to abolish it?  Why did it rise against the North for wanting the very thing they say the South itself is seeking?  Why did it make slavery the corner-stone of its new temple, if it is to be pulled down as soon as it is built?

    Then, when they fail in this false argument, when they cannot vindicate their own character, they try to blacken their opponents, I suppose, on the principle that two blacks will make a white.  They say: "The North, too, holds slaves, as there are slave-holding states on the northern side.  Why should you oppose the South for having that which the North has also?"  Yes, there are two or three slave states on the side of the North—and what does this prove?  That every slave state, bad as it might be, was not quite bad enough to secede and plunge the Union into a sea of blood even for the sake of preserving its domestic institution,—that infamy was reserved for the seceders only!   Honour to those slave states, that, even with a certainty of the abolition of slavery, support the abolitionist against their own notion of self-interest.  And what would these men have the North do?  Go to war with the loyal Slave States to abolish their slavery! throw so many more millions into the tanks of their opponents; lengthen the struggle by so many more months of battle—deepen the sea of slaughter, by so many more rivers of blood?  Why these are the very men who inveigh against the armed resistance of the North, even for self-defence!  These are the men who say you should let the South go, with all its slavery, with all its infamy, with all its blasphemy, sooner than shed a drop of human blood—and yet these consistent reasoners ask the North to alienate its allies, to confiscate their slave property, which means war, desperate and internecine war, and by driving them into antagonism, firmly root slavery for ever in the border states.  No! the North enacts a nobler and holier part.  The sword for those who have drawn the sword; but our moral example for those who, though erring brethren, have maintained the peace.  Honour to the North, that has not allowed any wild passions to drive it from the path of equity and brotherhood.  With physical force in the one hand and moral force in the other, it knows equally where to strike, and when to guide.  The border states lie between the two great scenes of conflict—the battle fields of the South and the morale victories of the North.  Our armies on the one side, our example on the other,—and can you doubt that slavery is doomed in the loyal border states?  Can you doubt that the North is pursuing the wisest, the noblest, and the most Christian course?  Is it the course best calculated to extinguish slavery along the borders?  If it is, then the North has nobly done its duty.

    We are, however, told that the war is made not for that which every Southern voice proclaims its origin and object,—but for Tariffs—for Free Trade—for Independence!  Let us analyse these assertions.

    The South was predominant for a long series of years, until Lincoln's election—it was, as is well known, all-powerful in the Union, powerful enough to elect its own Presidents, to return majorities to Congress, to obtain the Missouri compromise; to plunge into the Seminole war, in which 40 millions of Federal dollars were expended, that 200 or 300 southern slaves might be re-captured; to drag the Union into the Mexican war; to annex Texas; to pass the fugitive slave law; to wrest the Dred Scott decision.

    Did it then urge Free Trade measures?  Nay! that free-trading South assisted to pass the tariff of 1842, more protective than any other except the Morill Tariff.  And what for?  Because these Free-Traders got protection by it for their own products: it was a protection tariff for the sugar of Louisiana, for the hemp of Kentucky, for the lead of Missouri, for the rice of Carolina!  These are the Free-Trader's with whom you are asked to sympathise.

    If Free-Trade was the object of the war, why did the South submit under the tariffs of 1842 and 1846, and rise under that of 1857—which it passed itself—nay! which was the second tariff in succession that was passed by Southern votes?  Yes! yes! these Free-Traders can vote Protection Tariffs too.  Those two last-named tariffs were carried by the South against the opposition of the North.  For the tariff of 1846 these were 50 Northern votes, to 73 against it, being a Northern majority of 23 against the measure; but there were 64 Southern votes for it, to 22 against it, being a Southern majority of 42 in its favour.  For the tariff of 1857 there were 60 Northern votes, against it 65, being a Northern majority of 5 against, it; but there were 63 Southern votes for it, to 7 against, being a Southern majority of 56 in its favour.  This tariff, as I have said, taxed foreign rice 15 p : c : to the benefit of the South Carolina rice growers, and made similar protective provisions for sugar, and other southern products.  Are not these Southerners exemplary Free-traders?  But some of their apologists here will tell you that, as these last-named tariffs were less prohibitive than former ones, the South voted for them on a Free-trade principle, and the North against them on protective grounds.  It is rather peculiar, then, that these tariffs were, specially protective of southern products!  Oh! they are excellent Free-traders.  But if these tariffs were free-trade measures, and the secession was for free-trade and not for slavery, why did the South secede when it was passing free-trade laws, and never stir a finger when protection ruled the day?  Oh! its apologists are most consistent reasoners!

    Nay! if Free-trade is the object of secession, why is it confined to Southern States?  Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, produce nothing which European competition can endanger.  An artificial enhancement of European produce is to them as great an injury as it is to South Carolina or Alabama; yet, all these States are arrayed on the side of the North.  Again: if Free-trade is the object of secession, why did the South never apply to the President to veto the Protection tariffs!  They had Southern Administrations, Southern Presidents, for many years.  What Southern voice asked them to use their power and stop the obnoxious laws?  Oh! the South is a model for Free-trade,

    But we are directed specially to the Morill tariff, undoubtedly a most protective measure, and we are told, that was passed by the North.  So it was; but why?  Because the Southern Senators withdrew en masse before it was voted—the men who might have prevented it all went away, and their English apologists coolly complain of the measure they did not choose to hinder.  No! I am wrong; they did not all leave,—one remained: Toombs, the man who represented Georgia—Toombs, the violent war man, now holding a command in Jefferson Davis's army, and he voted for it!  This departure of the Southern men before the vote was taken, was a secession trick, that they might be able to complain of the tariff, should they find it necessary to use this as a secession cry.  But they did not use it, and for a very good reason.  The Southern people are not fools, and would have said to them, "Why did you abandon your posts, and allow that law to pass, if you come to us complaining of it now?"

    Oh, Englishmen sympathise with the Free-trading South!  What was the first commercial law it passed after secession.  The imposition of a heavy duty on the export of all cotton, and they are actually seeking to raise a large part of their revenue by a protective law.  That is their first act.  Oh! they are excellent Free-traders!

    But you are further told that, irrespective of slavery and free-trade you should put an end to the war, because war is such a horrible and unchristian thing, and, therefore, you should given succour to the South.  War is a great crime, but those who first make it are the criminals. If they abhor the carnage let them tell those, who commenced it, to lay down their arms.  The house of the State is broken into by burglars, the master of the house is attacked, and he defends himself, and you are asked, forsooth, to call on him to lay down his arms before the burglar, instead of the burglar being ordered to lay down his arms to him!  War is a great crime, but war in self-defence is a great duty, and the North never struck till it was stricken.  If the North was in fault, its fault was unwise, uncalled for long-suffering and forbearance.  It was not the first shot fired on Fort Sumter by the South that was the beginning of Southern aggression.  For years it had been preparing, for years it had taken virtually the field, and the cannon of Charleston was but the signal of onset for an army that had long been ranged in arms against the North.  Yes! war is a great crime—war for tyranny, for oppression, for injustice—but war for freedom is a holy thing—above all, war for the freedom of another—war for the freedom of the weak—war for the rights of humanity and the laws of God!  Oh! the Italians were great criminals at Magenta and Palestro!  Oh the Hungarians were great criminals at Szolnok and Komorn!  Such criminals at this moment are the Circassians and the Poles.  But give us more such criminals, Oh God!  Crown their arms with victory, and slavery both white and black will soon be banished from this earth.

    But they have another cry, these men of the pro-Southern platforms here.  They tell us that the South is fighting for independence, and ask your sympathy because it fights so well.

    For independence!  Then why did they offer the Crittenden Compromise to remain in the Union if slavery was conceded?  Independence!  Then why did they offer Jefferson Davis's ultimatum?  Was that for independence or for slavery?  It was for fetters, not for freedom, that they made their offer—it was for the lash, not for liberty, that their ultimatum issued.  Independence! aye! independence to maim the slave—independence to renew the slave trade—independence to spread slavery over the earth that God made free,—the independence of Satan to create a hell and spread its confines to the gates of heaven.  "But they fight well."  They do.  So does the wolf when it rends the lamb; so does the tiger when it tears the hind; so—but too often—does crowned tyranny against despairing justice.  So did the Austrians in Italy;—yet I'm for the Italians.  So do the Russians in Poland;—yet I'm for the Poles!  But they are not the only gallant fighters.  I believe the North can fight a little too.  Aye! thank Heaven! for once the might is with the right,—yet strange it is some men can see the bravery only on the evil side, and never cheer save when the devil makes a hit.


 
2. THE RIGHT TO SECEDE.


    The Southern apologists say, however, that irrespective of slavery or free-trade, their clients had a right to secede.  On what ground?  "Oh," say they, "the states are sovereign and can do as they like"—The constitution gives them no such right.  On the contrary, it takes all such power away.  By the first constitution of November, 1777, the States preserved their sovereignty, and such rights as were not delegated to the general congress—(in itself an important reservation); but this was found to work badly.  Washington wrote the celebrated letter of 1783, pointing out the evil, and the present constitution of the United States was passed on the 4th of March, 1789 for the especial purpose of putting an end to the independent sovereignty of the States.  This it does most effectually.  The Preamble says: "we, the people of the United States, ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America"—a constitution established by the whole people for all the States; and that constitution specially and succinctly takes away every attribute of sovereignty from each individual State.

    ART. 1 prohibits all taxes and duties between States, all treaties and alliances by States, all coining of money, all emission of bills of credit, all duties on exports and imports, all duty on tonnage, all keeping of troops or ships of war in time of peace, all agreements with a foreign power, all acts of war (unless actually invaded and no time existing for delay) on the part of any State, and all agreements or compacts of one State with another, without the consent of Congress.

    ART. 6 says: This constitution shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

    ART. 5 provides for the amendment of the constitution on the sole condition that three-fourths of the States of the entire Union, after long and great formalities, consent to such amendment,—thus clearly taking away the power of any individual State to separate from the bonds of union the constitution imposed.

    Who will now maintain that the States were individually sovereign, and could by right secede of their own will?

    How did the South itself construe this Constitution?  What do the slave States themselves say of it?

    VIRGINIA was the first to set about altering this evil of State-sovereignty.  In the Virginia Convention, assembled to ratify the Constitution, Patrick Henry opposed it because it took State-sovereignty away!  Yet, hearing this, Virginia voted for it on that very ground!

    What did SOUTH CAROLINA, the State that inaugurated secession, say?  It declared in 1828, in a document drawn up by John C. Calhoun, the great secessionist, that


    "By the adoption of the Federal Constitution, the State had modified its original right of sovereignty, whereby its individual consent was necessary to any change in its political condition, and by becoming a member of the Union had placed that power in the hands of three-fourths of the States, in whom the highest power known to the Constitution actually resides."


    Chancellor Kent, one of American's greatest lawyers, writes as follows:—


    "The great and fundamental defect of the Confederation of 1777, which led to its eventual overthrow, was that, in imitation of all former Confederacies, it carried the decrees of the Federal Council: to the States in their sovereign capacity.  The past and incurable defect of all former federal governments, is that they were sovereignties over sovereignties. The first efforts to relieve the people of the country from this state of national degradation and ruin came from Virginia."


    Judge Story, says:—


    "There was no reservation of right on the part of any State to dissolve its connection or to suspend the operation of the Constitution as to itself."


    Mr. Benton, a southern man, one of the fathers of the democratic party, and for thirty years a representative in Congress, tells us that:—


    "At the time of its first appearance the right of secession was repulsed and repudiated by the democracy generally, and in a large degree by the federal party, the difference between a Union and a League being better understood at the time when so many of the fathers of the new governments where alive. The leading language in respect to it, South of the Potomac was, that no State had a right to withdraw from the Union, and that any attempt to dissolve it, or obstruct the action of Constitutional laws was treason."


    The same views were propounded by Presidents Madison, Jefferson, Jackson, by the representatives of the secession and slave States, Randolph, Millson, and Teake, of Virginia Nicholson of Maryland; Kennedy of the same State; Rousseau of Kentucky; Hamilton of Texas; Etheredge of Tennessee; and by many other leading southern men, including Stephens himself, the Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy.

    Thus much for the right of secession.  The States are, in fact, municipally independent, but politically provincial.  The Constitution speaks for itself, and needs no further comment, but I have quoted the utterances of leading Southern men and States, that it may be seen how it was expounded by the South itself.

    Did these men understand it?—Did its framers know the constitution they themselves made?—Did the men who were born under it, and lived under its provisions—did the Chancellors and Judges, the Presidents, and Senators, who administered and applied its laws, comprehend its meaning—or was it left to them all to be enlightened by the superior sagacity of pro-South amateurs in England, who are now kind enough to explain to the shades of Washington and his compeers, the meaning of their own Constitution.

    But the right of secession may be urged from a higher stand.  I fully endorse the "sacred right of insurrection."  It is not to be lightly used—but on good and adequate ground insurrection is morle than a right—it is a duty.  In some cases rebellion to man is obedience to God.  But to justify rebellion, two conditions are indispensible,—firstly: there must be an intolerable grievance; and, secondly, every moral, legal, and constitutional means for obtaining redress, must have been exhausted before the sword is drawn.  Then a people has a right to rebel, and God defend the rebels.

    Is this the case with the South?  Did it use the Constitutional means at its disposal?  The Constitution gives, as I have already stated, the right of the veto to the President.  Southern Presidents held office—did the South make an appeal for the veto?  The Constitution gives, as I have said before, a power of amendment, by its 5th Article: did the South seek redress by the means of that power?  No: the veto was the surprise of Norfolk navy-yard—its petition was the bombardment of Fort Sumter!  Even before the Crittenden Compromise was offered, it was maturing insurrection; when the Jefferson Davis Ultimatum was issued, it was an armed insurgent.

    Even if it suffered under grievances, the South as we have seen, was bound to seek relief from them by Constitutional means; but had it any grievances? Let the South itself answer.

    The Governor of Florida declared:—


"The rebellion was made without complaint of wrong or injustice."


    Rousseau, of Kentucky, asserted:


    "Our government has oppressed no man, neither has it burdened us a feather's weight."


    Kennedy, of Maryland, said, in May 1861:—


    "Maryland has no cause for revolution; no man can lay his hand on his heart and say 'this government of ours has ever done him wrong.'"


    Holman, of Indiana, a democrat, told his hearers:—


    "No intolerable oppression exists.  Therefore, if the government is overturned, it will be without justification or excuse."


    Millson, of Virginia, Hamilton of Texas, and Etheredge all maintained that


"There was no just cause for rebellion, no oppression, no tyranny."


    The People of Virginia, in convention at Wheelhouse, spoke to the same effect

    The Convention of the Border States, at Frankfort, uttered the same sentiment in the face of the United South, and

    Mr. Stephens himself, the present Vice-President of the Confederate States, on the 14th November, 1860, made the following memorable statement in the Georgia State convention:—


    "This government of our fathers, with all its defects, comes nearer the object of all good government than any other on the face of the earth.  Have we not at the South, as well as the North, grown great, prosperous and happy under its operation?  Has any part of the world ever shewn such rapid progress in the development of wealth and all the material resources of national power and greatness as the Southern States have undr the general government?"


    In the Georgia State Convention, held in January, 1861, to decide on secession, Mr Stephens said further:


    "What right has the north assailed?  What interest of the South has been invaded?  What justice has been denied?  What claim founded in Justice and right has been withheld?  Can anyone name one governmental act of wrong deliberately and purposely done by the government of Washington of which the South has a right to complain?  I challenge the answer.  Now for you to attempt to overthrow such a government as this, under which we have lived for more than three quarters of a century, in which we have gained our wealth, our stand as a nation, our domestic safety while the elements of perils are around us, with peace and prosperity accompanied with unbounded prosperity and rights unassailed, is the height of madness, folly and wickedness."


    Thus much for the right of secession.  Insurrection without warranty of law, insurrection without legal attempt at redress, insurrection without grievance, is rebellion.

    But this rebellion of the South is worse than any that history has recorded—for not only is it a rebellion without cause, but a rebellion for impunity to commit the blackest crime.

    Nay! it had not, to start with, the sanction of its own majority.  It is a rebellion not of the South against the North alone, but a rebellion of the South against itself.  The Presidential vote of 1860 was cast virtually on the question of Union or Secession.  The Unionist candidates were Lincoln, Douglas, and Bell.  The votes, taking the whole Union, were as follows:—

For Lincoln, Republican, Anti-Slavery Unionist

 1,857,610

    Douglas, Squatter Sovereignty, Unionist

1,365,976

    Bell, Union-saving Whig

590,631

Total Union Votes

3,814,217

For Breckenridge, Secessionist

847,953

    Majority against Secession

 2,966,264

 
    But in the Secession States themselves, how stood the votes?  In those very States the votes were divided between Douglas and Bell, the Unionists, on the one side, and Breckenridge on the other.
 

The Votes for the two former were . . . .

679,498

For the Secessionist, Breckenridge . . . .

540,871

Shewing in the Seceding States themselves a clear

 

                 majority against Secession of. . . . .

138,627

 
 
3.—THE RESULTS OF THE WAR AND THE
 INTERESTS OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE.


   Failing on all other ground, the apologists of the South tray to enlist our sympathies by saying,—1st, that the North is giving way, that it is overwhelmed with debt, exhausted in men, money and resources, and cannot hold out much longer.  2nd, that the struggle is so frightful and so hopeless for the North, that it ought to be stopped; and 3rdly, that to "stop the war" is the way to "get the cotton."

    We will successively consider these propositions.

    Is the North overwhelmed with debt? On the 1st of September, 1863, its debt was 1,200,000,000 dollars, less than one-fourth of the debt of England.  This American debt however, we are reminded, was incurred in two years, while England's took forty to accumulate.  True.  I accept the comparison—but during that time England raised 63 per cent. of its total outlay by taxation, while America has so raised only 14 p.c.  True, but America, (I mean the loyal Northern States alone) have over Great Britain as during that period an advantage of 28 per cent. in property, 30 per cent. in population, and 110 per cent. in annual produce.  True, but with their ordinary resources, without raising an extraordinary tax, or burdening the people one feather's weight, the Northern States could pay off this debt in less than 16 years!  Yes! the North is still practically untaxed, untouched, undrained.  Such it is actually.  But what is its rate of progress?  The increase of wealth in the loyal States alone was from


1840 to 1850 .. 64 p c
1850 to 1860... 126 pc


    What was the increase of the wealth of Great Britain during the same period?  Only 37 p.c.

    What was the increase of the Southern States?  Only 3 p.c. and in that they reckon the increase of slave property, which is in fact their weakness, not their strength—their poverty, not their riches, as you will see hereafter.

    But you may say this increase was before the war.  So it was—and what has it been since the war?  Take the great war year 1861-1862.  The North has never before been so prosperous.  Its material well-being has grown with unparalleled rapidity.  From beef to books, from books to beef, the progress has been alike remarkable.  In that year, the booksellers' circulars show an unprecedented rise in the demand for literature.  In that year, besides supporting all its armies in the field, the North exported 80,000,000 dollars' worth of breadstuffs more than it ever exported in any one year before.  In that year, the depositors in the Savings' Banks exceeded by 28,842 the number of depositors that had ever been annually recorded.  In that year the amounts deposited were 5,618,235 dollars more than other year had ever witnessed.

    Does that look like being overwhelmed with debt?  Nay the very debt is a guarantee of Northern strength and a bond of union between North and West.  The money borrowed, is borrowed not from foreigners, but by the government from the people: it is a national vote of confidence in the administration; every dollar subscribed is a pledge of loyalty from the subscriber; it is a link connecting West and North.  From Mexico to Maine the loan has been subscribed for, and while the South seeks to separate West and North by an iron sword, West and North are sealing their eternal union with a ring of gold

    If you reflect, you will see that the capital of the North is inexhaustible, alike in land, in men, in bullion.  In land:—one thousand million acres of public lands are still at the disposal of the government.  In men:—24 millions of people inhabit the Loyal States—increasing at the rate of 50 p.c. in every decade.  In bullion:—the gold regions of the North extend 1,100 miles in length, 1,100 miles in breadth,—1,000 square miles of gold-enshrining soil—land fruitful to support a teeming population, leaving its surplus labour to the golden harvest.  Such is the power of the North—such is its wealth.  The granite mountains are its treasure chests, whose ingots illimitable labour coins in the sparkling gold of the waving wheatfield, and the silvery tissues of the untiring loom.

    What has the South to array against this?  An average of 3 p.c. of wealth against 126 p.c., seven million whites and four million blacks, against 24 millions.  Nay! not four million blacks.  The negroes are its weakness.  The slaves require an army to watch them, taking away from the rebel numbers in the field.  Nay! not seven million whites.  They had seven millions, while their confines still remained untouched.  But county after county, state after state, with all their population, white and black, have been wrested from the southern grasp,—leaving diminished numbers with perishing resources to meet the ever-growing power of their foe.  Where are the gold regions—where are the public lands of the South?  Nay! while the riches of Northern soil become greater every year, the South is decaying beneath the curse of slavery.  Slavery exhausts the soil.  The slave system is practicable only where labour is carried on in masses.  The slaves are trained to one especial kind of toil.  Under this system, the rotation of crops is impracticable, and therefore the planter tries to make as much out of the land in as short a time as possible.  Therefore sugar follows sugar, rice succeeds rice, and cotton cotton—and the soil rapidly becomes impoverished.  The South teems with worn-out plantations and exhausted soil.

    Such being the relative strength of the combatants, is the perseverance of the North equal to its resources?  Let the last vote tell; the republican majority, the Union Party, the party determined to enforce Union and Emancipation in America, has carried the last election by majorities such as it has never known before, and where democratic falterers were hitherto in the ascendant, abolitionists and unionists have been elected by overwhelming.

    The Southern advocates in England farther say, "Stop the War," that we may "get the cotton"—and they back their words by pointing to the horrors of the struggle, and urging that it is to the interest of English working-men to recognise the South.

    "Stop the War!"—so say I—would to heaven it could be stopped on a just basis!—and therefore I say, leave the North alone to stop it.

    "Stop the war?"—Will those gentlemen be kind enough to tell us how they propose to do this?  I have never heard that yet.  Is it by the "recognition" which they advocate?  What does this recognition mean?  How will it stop the war?  They must intend one of two things; either bare recognition on paper, or recognition backed by arms.  If the former, will recognition alone dismount a single battery, sink one monitor, or silence a solitary gun?  A clever way, certainly, "to stop the war!"  It won't do that, but I'll tell you what it will do—disgrace the English people for ever—make them the abettors of the vilest criminals that ever stained the page of history,—and bring down on the heads of those base allies the hatred of the noblest republic the world has ever known.  No! gentlemen! if we needs must sell ourselves to the devil, let us, at least, get something for our bargain!  "Stop the war!"  No! it would create another.  Do you think America would ever forgive that recognition?  England undoubtedly can hold its own—but, if we are to plunge into a conflict—do let us, at least, be on the right side, not the wrong.  On the side of freedom, not of slavery; on the side of a good government, not on that of unjustified rebellion.

    But, if their recognition means anything, it means armed intervention.  If it don't it means worse than nothing.  "Break the blockade and get the cotton," that is what it means.  Do you know what that would cost?  England's commerce—swept by privateers from off the seas.  Debt, taxation, and misery for all time to come.  You know the price of the Crimean war; an American war would cost three times as much.  Who would pay that?  You the people; you the shopkeeping and working classes of this country; you and your children's children through all posterity burdened with a crushing load of taxes—and for what?  Perhaps that the subscribers to the cotton loan may save the guilty guineas they have invested in the devil's bank of slavery in the South.

    Which do you think the most profitable course, to wait a little longer for the cotton, or to buy it at such a cost?  And these are the men who cry out against the horrors of war with forty parson power, who enveigh against the bloodshed and would plunge us into a war and slaughter ten times more horrible than that which they denounce!  Are these safe councillors?  They would give us carnage instead of cotton, taxation instead of trade, and want instead of wages.

    But would you get the cotton even by these means?  If we are to have it, we want our supply to rest on a safe basis.  If so, I say separation of the South from the North destroys our cotton manufacture—union alone can save it.  Two rival States, parted against the will of the more powerful and parted through foreign interference—would never be long at peace.  Every steamer might bring us tidings of a fresh rupture; we should look forward to every mail with fear, not with hope—lest each new telegram should announce to us another conflict—another war—a new blockade—a fresh panic for our cotton mills—and the old battle of misery and destitution have to be fought once more.

    And yet you are told, it is to the interest of working-men to recognise the South!

    Working-men!  I say the South is your enemy—the enemy of your trade, the foe of your freedom—a standing threat to your prosperity.

    Is it for the slaveholders to appeal to working-men for sympathy?  Slave labour is a direct aggression on the free labour of the world.  It competes with you in the world's market, and you must crush it, or it will ruin you.  Not yet, perhaps, but ere long.  Free scope for the development of slave labour would produce such a labour surplus in the North that immigration would become impossible.  Is not America the chief hope and home of the emigrant?  Who emigrates to the Southern States?  Slave labour has closed its portals in your faces—yet it embraces one of the fairest portions of the habitable globe.  But that slave power has shown itself not content with its old dominion.  It has sought to invade the North, it has sought to overrun the West with slavery.  Nay!  "Mexico and central America are open to us," cry the Southern leaders—they publicly avow their intention of spreading slavery among the nations—they are "God-sent missionaries" they say—and their mission is to "extend slavery wherever God and nature carry it."  Help them, workingmen! help them to close the great continent of America before the army of emigration—help them to roll back the escaping tide upon our surcharged shores—and to meet it all the better, cripple your commerce by war and destroy your resources by taxation.

    Oh! sympathise with the South by all means—for listen how it sympathises with you—listen how it understands the labour-question!  Cobb, one of the greatest of the Southern advocates, says:—


    "There is, perhaps, no solution of the great problem of reconciling the interests of labour and capital, so as to protect each from the encroachments and oppressions of the other, so simple and effective, as negro slavery.  By making the labourer herself capital, the conflict ceases, and the interests become identical."


    Oh! sympathise with the South, one of the first acts of which was an aggression upon you.  It taxed cotton, and accompanied the tax with these words:—


"Its will make the English people pay out revenue."


    Aye, sympathise with the South!  Its first voice was an insult to the working men of England.  It said:—


    We have four million black slaves here, but we have a million white slaves in Lancashire.  Stop the cotton and they will starve, and force their government to interfere, by riot and insurrection.


    Those base planters did not know what English working men were made of.  They deemed we should never enquire about the justness of their cause, but that cotton was our God, and we should obey his mandates.  Therefore, they sent their agents over to us, appealing to our lowest instincts—to our most sordid self-interests.  But woe to a people that puts its interests before its duties.  It will find, when the day of reckoning comes, that its real interests and duties are identical, and that it sacrificed the one when it deserted the other.  But you have not done so.   You have said, "Shew me who is in the right, and I will tell you who is my friend"—and you will meet your reward—for the key that shall re-open our closed factories is the sword of the victorious North.  By your conduct in this time of trial, you have laid one more laurel on the time honoured brows of our county.  Two of the greatest spectacles of moderns ages, it has been given to the Anglo-Saxon race to shew: there, in America, its aimed resistance to insurgent crime; here in England its morale endurances of unmerited privation; here, the battle of patience against suffering; there the conflict of patriotism against rebellion.  On different fields, and with far different weapons, we are both fighting the self-same fight, and in the self-same cause—there with the blare of trumpet and the sound of cannon—there, in the sad silence by the fireless hearth;—there, showing what the Saxon man can dare and do—here, proving how much he can bear and never murmurs.  Hold on, brave combatants, on either side.  History may perhaps record in louder tones the deeds of the victorious soldier, but her rewards are even-handed notwithstanding:—while the ashes of the dead will cloud the brightness of his laurels—and while he shall mourn his triumph over the wounds of his country, you will be restoring, on a foundation of unbroken peace and order, the prosperity that has so cruelly been interrupted—with no regrets to dim your smiles, no reproach upon your past, and no remorse upon your future.  Do not darken that coming hour of happiness—do not tarnish the noble character you have won—by any base connivance with a criminal, by any foul condoning of a crime.


――――♦――――


Published by:

THE UNION AND EMANCIPATION SOCIETY, Ashton-under-Lyne.  The Committee meet every Thursday evening, at 47, Charles-street, at Eight o'clock, for the transaction of business; and as this Society is composed of Working Men, any subscription or donation from their more wealthy friends will be thankfully received.  Working Men out of employment Enrolled Free. Application to be made to MR. JOHN TURNER, Gen. Sec, Bradgate-street, Ashton-under-Lyne.

 



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