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How Can Slavery Be Peacefully Abolished?

How Can Slavery Be Peacefully Abolished? image
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In answering tliis question, we will fol]ow the example of certain preachers, and treat of the subject first negatively, and then affirmatively. Before we can see eraancipation, two things must be previously done : The control of the National and State Governments must be takea from the hands of the Slaveholders : The Slave Laws must be repealed. Now concerning these prerequisites to Emanci pation, we remark, 1. Abolilion cannot be attained by moral suasion on7y. Somebod} must vote for the repeal of the Slave Laws, and the election to office of antislavery men. - This is a clear case. Every abolitionist who stays from the polls helps to augment the relative power of the slaveholders. Were half the voters of the nation to turn abolitionists, and j-et not vote, the Government would be still more exclusively in the hands of Slaveholders than it now is. The more antislavery voters, the sooner will Slavery be removed. Without any antislavery voters their sway will be undisputed. 2. It cannot be done merely by the aciion of rcligioxts bodies. Antislavery action, in all denominations, is deseable; but, of itself, without being accompanied by political votes, the strongest resol utions will never repeal a, single slave law. Such resolutions at best, are merely expressive ofright principies and purposes. They need to be executed to make them truly serviceable to the cause of the slavo.3. It cannot be done by advocating the Dissolution of the Union. We do not say that a dissoluüon might not be the cause of subsequent aboütion : but wc see not how a peaceable Dissolution could possibly be efFected. It Will do to talk about, both at the North and the South : but it cannot be brought about only but by the joint action of many millions of people. Every additional mile of turnpike, canal, railroad, and telegraph lines, binds each portion of the country still stronger to the whole, and renders a división more difficult. Besides, the spirit of the people in the different sections makes them harmonize well together. - The Southerners are ambitions, insolent, and overbearing, bom to rule : while the Northern political men are usually servile, avaricious, and ready to pay any price for poLtical distinction. This admirable adaptation will prevent the two sections from splitting asunder. But if' the North should really become antislavery, it would be quite as easy and much less risky to abolish slavery by exercising their constitutional povvers, than it would be to bring about the same result by a disunion of the States. 4. It cannot be done by elevating SlavcJiolders of any party to power. - Satan will not cast out Satan. They lie, or are grossly deceived, who pretend that he will. Slaveholders will notrepeal the slavelaws. The other portions of the community must act first. All acts of emancipation in Northern States were effected by the influence of non-slaveholding portions of the people. So it wil! be in reference to existing slavery. If peaceably abolished at all, it will be by the exertions oí the sound portions of community acting on the unsound. AU reforrns proceed in this way.5. It cannot bc done by concenlrathig all the antislavcry men inlo one permanent national party, which will act only on the One Idea of Negro Slavery. A national party, to get general support, must take the appropriate grounds of a national party on questions of general interest. The requisite numbers cannot be otherwise bad. Our readers are familiar with our views on this matter, anc we need not repeat themhere. Dr. Bailey of the Philanthropist, Birney, Goodell, Jackson, and others of our best writers, are of the same opinión. The philanthropic portion of community,who make the welfare of their country their paramount object, by the greatest eflbrts, to the extent of a tenth part of the whole, might perhaps, be induced to join such a party : but the majority of the people never would. If rigidly persevered in,its numbers after a while woulc dwindle away, and its members would unite with other political combinations. - Observe, that our remarks apply only to a permanent One Idea party that shall have no fellowshipor connection with the candidatos of any other party. An attempt has been made to constitute the Liberty party on this basis : but the disposition of its members to vote for other party candidates has been so strong as hitherto to be at times insuperable. Observe alsOjthat we do not say such a party might not do much for the cause of the slave, by enlightening public opinión, and calling attenlion to his wrongs. Whatwe say i?, that if its principies be strictly folJowed out, although it might be an auxiliary to emancipation, it would never of itelf abolish slavery by its own action, nor by its influence on other parttes.Neitber do our remarks apply to a party avowecily tempor ary in its character, which acts merely as a balance-ofpower party - sometimes voling fwr its separate candidatos, and sometimes unitingwith other political combinations, as it can best make its influence feit upon ihem. A pnrtyof itiVcharacter, which combines only to influence other combinations, may be instrumental of groat results. That the present tendcncy of the Liberty party is to become such an one, we will show hereaftor. The propriety of re-organizing the Liberty party on the basis proposed by Mr. Goodell and others, we will consider next weck.