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Where Are We--and Where Drifting?

Where Are We--and Where Drifting? image
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From the Albany Evening Journal, Jan. 12. Ia 18G0, when only distant mutteriags of rebellion were hcard, wo were among the few wlio reoognized, n those tlireats, the eertaioty of war, and who, ia a mensure, comprehouded both ts magnitude and its horrors. It s always an offense, ia an individual, to foresee evils, and especially so to attempt to avert, or even to be prepared for Ihem. For an ariicle then written, asking the President, Congress, aad our readers, to raise their eyes and thoughts above the horizon of party, and contémplate a crisis which would tax the energies of the people, and test the strength of our government, we ineurred tlie denuneiations of many, and the friendly censure of most of the llepublican journals. Subsequently, when rebellion was ram pant in tho extreme Southern States, a queation whether North Carolina and Tennessee should remain in the Union or go out of it, aroso. We all remember the "border State proposition,"upon the adoption of vvhieh, by Congress, rebellion, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, would have been bounded by the southern line of Tennessee and North Carolina. With a tnodification which the border State represen tati vea offered to accept, we advociited that " compromise." And for this, also, we wero severely denouueed. In the " l'eace Gongress," where the Legislature honored us witll a seat which we resigned in favor of a distiuguished citizen, the " border State proposition " was again rejected, and consequently two States, a majority of whose ciliz3cs yearned to remaiu in the Union, were lost. With North Carolina and Tennessee in the Union, Virginia could not have gone out of it. We should, therefore, instead of sacrificing hundreds of millions of treasure in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentuclcy, have reserved those troopa and that treasure to crash out rebellion in the cotton States. The rebellion - as wanton and wicked as any that staius the pages of history - thus embracing more States than was uecessary - bas been nearly two years iu progresa, with what measure of suecess and with what proinise of a termination we can judge, one as well as another. lts lessons teaeh us tliat it requires all the strength of a United North to preserve the Union and uphold the government. We had at the eorntnencement of the war, a united North. The culinination of treaaon, in its attaok on Fort tíumter, kindled a blaze of indignant patriotism over the whole North, East, and West. All merely partisau feeling was merged in higher and nobler impulses. All good and true men, in imitation of their ancestors at Concord and Lexington, in ■1776, rushed to arms, or contributed ïiioney. Then we were, in the language of Mr. Jefferson, "all Kepublicaus - all Federalists," or, in other íanguage, "all Eepublieans - all Democrats.a' For the first year the war had, with few exeeptions, the hearty support of both and al' politieal parties. It was proseeuted earnestly, but with indifferent suecess- with more heart than head - more zeal than knowledgè. We had gallant troops coni manded by incapable General.?, made so, probably by newspaper and other interference. At any rate the ill suecess of our armies caused popular impatience, of which tliose whose ultra anti slavery views enabled the secession leaders to mass the sentiment of the cotton States, availed themselves to impart an abolition character to the war. Tlie evidence before us - in the rivers of bloodshed and the millions of treasure expended - that the preservation of our Uuion and government demand tho best and united energies and efforts of the whole people, is valueless. What all united have so far failed to accomplish, the abolition chiefs and journals insist upon undertaking as a party. They de mi:d that the war shall be proseeuted under their auspices and for their purposes. Meu's opinions on the slavery question must be leriffthened or shortened in accordance with Procrustean example. These impracticable, oi.e-idea lecturers and journalists, aided by tho unfortunate 'On to Eichmond " military disasters, have already withdrawn New York, New I Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, from the politieal support of the administration. Too rcany of the democratie leaders in these States - espeeially in Ohio and Indiana - -are of the Vallandigliam school. This false, disloyal man, with shame be it Confessed, fouud sympathiz ing friends to welcome and feast him at a secession hotel in the city of New York ! Still the masses of the democracy, and most of their prominent men are truly devoted to the Union, and remain willing to contribute their money and peril their lives to sustain the govornmeut. But in : this thcro is uo ment, unless they adopt tlie auti-slavery platform and accept the dogmas of the New York Tribune. VVill those of, our old whig fïiends, now so impatient with, and differing so widely from us, turn their ïninds a few yeare baokwards and remembur what thoy then thought of abolition ; and what its courso and actionwas? Was it not narrow, perverse, ind mischievous ? Did it not ' cxert a vicious:nd malign political influeuce ? J.)id it not, for twenty years, at our olections, Slate and uational, ever play into tho hands of pro slavery demócrata? While wo were la boring for tlie right, doing all we could for the Union and the country, wi-re we not. (mib:inassed and thwBrted by t bis fuotious, impraoticablo " tliird party 'i ' Who were its loaders tlien ? Messrs. Garrison, I : lips, fSuuiner, Ui.'1'iit Buiith, etc, etc ' Did we trust to thoir judgment, or follow their lead, or vote with tliem then? Are not tho sarae men, with Mr. Greeley,fully developed as a disciple, the abolition leaders now ?. Have iliey grown wiser, or is your own iutellect dwarfed, or has your comraon seuso collapsed P If the North rejected abolition as a merely political test, will it be acoepted wbcn tho lives of our sons and brothers and the preservation of our country are nvolved ? If we refuse to follow " one-idea men,' when it only cost us votes, shall we commit all that is saercd and prccious to their leadership ? We ask these questions now in view of the concerted effort to narrow this mighty strugglc for national existeuca down to an abolition crusade. Wc a,sk them iu the hope of arresting a popular delusion whioh is drawing tens of thousauds of patriotic, devoted men, into a vortex whioh bodes inevitable ruin and destruction to themselves and their country. We ask them, at this moment, iu view of the studied attempt to claesify all who do not work up to their standard as enemies. And, finally, we ask earnestly whether the experience of the first year and a half of war, with all parties heartily ena;aged in'it, justifies the hope that the rebellion can be crushed and the Union preserved with aaniied South and a divided North?


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