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Third Party Prohibition

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Editor Tribune : It Is now nearly 20 years since tlie organization of the prohibitiou party ii geveral of the states, and thirteen years since the nation:il or ganization was effected. Wliat is the present outlook? Tlie advocates of tbis movenient are wont to point to Ihe old liberty party as a historical parallel, and frora au assuined analogy, draw the most absurd aud astoundiifi conclusions. Their argument is that the liberty party led to the defeat of the whlg party, the defeat of the whijr party resulted in the orgnnizatlon of the republican party and the rapubltean party brought about the abolition of slavery Ergo, the liberty party was the political cause of the overthrow of slavery. All who have listened to their speakers or read their periodicals will recognize in tliis one of their most eflective forras of appeal to their audiences and readers. The liberty party, they say, had a feeble begin n'ing, but after slxteen years Lincoln was elected and slavery was abolished. That Is about as logical as it would be to gay tbat Methusalah was drowned in Noah's flood by an act of the parliament of England because parliament adopted Archbwuop Usher's chronolofty which fixes the death of Methuseliih in the year of the flood ! Th is is the very common fallacy of mistaken analojry. The two cases are almopt totally dissimilar. The pointe of analogy are few and ilight. Slaves stood before the law as gooils and chattels, to be bought and sold at the will of the owner. The victims of driinkeness stand before the law ou a legal equality with all other citizens. The drunkard is his own slave, not by law but by his own will. Slavery was hemmed in, bounded by Mason'sand Dixon's line. The liquor trafflc is limlted by no Unes, north or south. Congress could not touch slavery 'in the states where t existed uutil secession drew the the sword, and slavery perished by the sword. There is a vast amount of wholesale declamation and ranting about these movement8 of Garrison and the liberty party, which deuiand a eareful review. The Garrisonian party discarded church and state "as in league with heil," and refused any political action under the constitution, because, as they held, It sanctioned slavery. The leaders of tuis party were Garrison, Phillips, Burlelgh, Pillsbury, S. S. Foster, lus wife Abble, Andrew S. May, and other radical abolitiouists. Then aróse the liberty party, not formeel out of the Garrison party, nor in any sense In sympathy with it, but denounced bj' it. for actine, as they claimed, under a "proslavery co"nstitution." Stuart, Goodell, Pierpont, Holley, Gerrit Smith, Earle, and in 1841 Salmón P. Chase, wíio, disappointed at the slow progress of the party, said the liberty party contained within it the seeds of its own dissolution. Then aróse the free soil party, but not foruied out of the liberty party, nor in any sense an outgrowth of it. The hberty party disbanded and most of its members joined the tree soil party in 1848. Some, however, went to the abolition (Garrison) party; others formed what was called the liberty league; but both of these were as bitter toward the free soil party as are the third purty prohibitionists to-day against the republican party. The free soil party was lirst formed by demócrata under the name of free democracy. Many whigs unitetl with it, and a large number of Mr. Van Buren's personal friends joined it. The republican party was not formed, as many suppose, out of the free soil party, with only a chango of name. It was an entirely new organization. It grew out of a larger movement independent of anytbing done by the free soil party. It was the spontaneoii8 uprUing of the people in their brightest freedom and ultímate sover- eignty to resist the encroachments of the slave power. The first vote of the republican party, in 1850, was 1,341,204, or one-third of all the rotes cast. Conslder for a moment the differences In the platforms. The abolition party (Garrison) demanded immediate and unconditiooal abolition ; woqld hear to nothing else, and discarded all politicul action, because they claimed that the constitution upheld slavery. The liberty party upheld that slavery must be abollshed where it exisled and that the politicnl power of slavery must be met by polltical action. The free soil party maintained tliat the government sliould localized and restrlct slavery. Their motto was : "Xo more slave state?, no more slave terrltory." The republicun party was organized on the fundamental doctrine ot "non-extenslon." The abolition of slavery was never contemplated. To the standard of this new larty rallied free soldiere, antislayery whigs, antiNebraska democrats, anti-slavery knowniitlinigs, in shorf, all who were opposed to the extpnslon of slavery. The abolition party was just as hostlle to the republican party as it hail ever been to the whig or dtmocratic. The leaders of the llbertjr party, with the exception of Mr. Chase, refuscil to co-operate with the republican party. They organized the "liberty league,1' which soon disappeared altogether, many of the iuembers CilllBg back into the Garrison rauks. IIow absurd, tliprefore, to claim that emancipation was brouglit about by tha Garrison party, the liberty party, the free soil party, or even the republican party, in a politica! capaclty. Slavery was abolished by proclamation of Abraham Lincoln, as commander-in-rliief of the armies of the United States, as an extreme war mensure. The plants cnraged in the contests waged in congress, before the organizution of the republican party, where either whigs or demócrata. Not one was elected by the liberty or free soil party. David Wilmot, Hannibal BllnUo' and Thomas A. Benton spoke tor freedom as demperats; John Quincy Adama, Joshua K. Giddings, Thadeus Steyens, Wm. H. Sewarfl, Wm. P. Fessenden spoke for fieedom as whigs. Had these men joined the third party movement they could not haye been elected; their infliience with the two greater partiet,. by whlch they were enabled to lead their Constituencies into the republican party, woul'i have boeu lost.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News