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Progress Of Antislavery Principles--past, Present And Prospective

Progress Of Antislavery Principles--past, Present And Prospective image
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It is cheering to the veteran antislavery rarn to look l)iic! to the state of public opinión that existed thirteen years ago and compare it with tlie present. It is also cheering to compare its present state with its prospectivo, a few yoars hellet1 nssuniiiig fot its future progresa the sanie ratio that bas maiked it9 advancement for a few years past. In 1S35 tho Aliolitionists were obliged to cnii end afifainst mohs and for the ixcscrvation of their own pers..;,.;! !:!;i.'i"!y nd ibe ] liberly of the prest. Ninv largi' hodirs of citizensofall pnrtiéi publicly eppfaud the very sentiment! that then conslituted the most ultra ubolilioiróm. In 1835 an abolition con venlion was broken up by a raoh in Utica, and adjournod to ano'lier town. In the same year, the pullishers of Aboliiion papers were de nnunced by the Governor of Mataachusetti as fiiilty of crimes that were putuihable üt common law. The governor of NeW Vork ooticed the abulitinuitt in li is mossiige to the Legislatura in terms no less bevere, The President of the United States also embodied a deniincic.lion against thein in liisannual message. In the same year, Garrison was h-d by the mob in the streets of Boston, with a halter aronnd Kid neck. Mobs, and almost universal denunciation aeainst the iboliliofltstg, were the order of the day frtim 1S34 to 1S37. In Philadelphia the hall in whicli the abolitionists ittt'm)ted to holil tlioir meeting was Imriied down, while the firetnen took care to save the surrounding buildings. In New Hampshirt!, a school-house in which an aboliiion meeting was apponited, was drawn into a swamp. In Boston in 1S35, the aboütionists were obliged to meet in a stable-loft, as no public house could be procured. Many printinr presses were destroyed by mobs, and Lovejoy was murdered in attempiing to defend his. Now let us look at the present state of public opinión ; in 1847 the principie of the Wiltnot Proviso was sustained by a vote in the House of Representativos of ihe United States. In New H impsliire. Hule was elected to the U. S. Senate and Tuck to the Ho'ise oTReprc6entaiives. Most of the non ilave-holding pas;"J re-olulioní agi:ï tl x.ensiun of slavcry. The ilvaoci'?"'0 n3 in l'w' Vork, rnisi'd a relu'llioii ngiitnst tlit; slave puw pr, and thus far mnintains lts position. At a public meeting in Utiea wlisne the mol) drove out the Abolitionists in 1S35 ; the people in 184S responded to John Van Buren in acclainations of applause, when lie said if he believed the Government designed to estabüsh slavery in Mexico, he would join the cans, and raise armies in New York fur his aasistunce. A portion of the Whigs of Ohio, have resolved never igain to assist in the election of a President who is in favor of extending slavery. Our own Democratie Legislatura passed resolutions nlmost unanimously against the extensión of slavery, notwithstandü:g tha late expesition of Jtlie views oí Gen. Cass to the conlrary. In the great Dumncratic meeting lield lately at Chicago, the non exlensioiiists of iShivery gained a ilecided victory. llundrt'ds of tlionsiinds of yomig men who have been trainee) pp in tltn midst ol'the aniislavery discussinns of tho lust twclve years, are now liccorning voters ; a formidable army indeed to array tliemselvps agiiinst the half worn out and disheartened poluicians of the slavery propagandist party. All these things willi hundreds of otlier incideiits tlmt mighl he nutned, show a wide diflTerence in the public opinión of 1835, and that of 1848. Now Iet us look at thu prospeetive progresa of anti slavery principios l every liody knows ihat cvery moiai aiul political movemsnt, p.-ogresses n proporlion to tlie rnsistimce to be overeóme, mparel wiili the power ilmt propels it. The power of tlio miti slavery party in 1835, we all know wai very Hmiled - it consisted of luit few uien, and they mostly without fuiids, fortune or fame ; yet it has produced the miglity change ui the pulilio mind svhich we now behold. The reeisianc cd be nvercome was The powei of the Grnvernrnpnt, the p( wer of the press, thepower of the chtirth, the power of the cRpitalists, the prejiwlk-es of the people, and the power f 'hte tnob formed one united phalanx of reMfctance to the aniislavery enlerprise. Against this niiglity power whicli at one time seemed to have detrrmined on the annihilation of the nntislavery influence, tlie handful of AboK liotiisis of 1S35 contended, and made proEress by retnoving prejudices and converting one at a time, until the public mind of tho North is on the point of diclating to the South t'iat slavery shall not extend its limits or strengthen its power. Few will deny that this great chonge has heen effected almost emirely by the Ahnliiion ists. This being the case, it may lie well to examine and analyze the charncter of an Abolilionist, and see whatheis, and wherein, and to what extent he differs from other men, and from what he was before he was an Abolilionist. I snppose that the feeling in the mind of any man against the instilution of slavery, with a desire either to prevent ils exlension, to curta il its power or annihilate its existence, cvnsiitutes an Aholitinnist ; provided thal this freling is sufficienily strong to induce him to et in conformity therewith. The Abolitionist muy act. from selfish or phUanthropic motives, lio is si i 11 an AbolitionUt while he acts against slavery, and the acts of a selfish man who hopea to obtain an office, or gain fiiends, or gratify his love of approbotion, may be as ef('ectual as those of the philatuhropist, who acts from the highest and noblest dosires of betteling the condilion of men, and promoting the glory of God. Henee we see that all classes incluiling the very extremes of society, may become Abolitionists and act harmoniously together fur the overthrow of slavery ; and why should they not, for slavery is injurious tcp all. Every Wilmot Proviso man is an Aboliiionist. The fuct that he opposes the extensión of slaverv is primiifacia evidence thal lu? consiJers it a bad insiitution, and the fact that he considers it bad, is prirnafacia evidence that ho is in tavor of its abolition, where it can bo done wilhout proilucing what his judgment might assnme to Ie greater evila than the ono to be remédied ; but whethep he desiros ihe aboliiion of Slavery or not, tn prevent its exïL-nsiim, : 1" 'ay t-liti foundation of its deslruction. Now let lis compare the present power tn propel the Antislavery enterprise with tlie powers tlmt existeil in 1835. Then the Abolitionists were composed almost entirely of a few philanthropic individuáis who desirüd the iiboütion of slavery because it oppressed and chattelized a sixlh pnrt of the r.ation. Tlu1 ab(ilition power nnw includes 80,000 Afujliticm Liliertv party votes, i majority of the volesof New Hdmpshire, a mnjoiity of tlie Democratie party in New Vork ; sevcn thnusund Wliigs in Oliio, and seven thousand Wliig.s in Masstichusetts, who are united in snrne form of orgnnizotion against the slnve power. To these may be added nearly the entire massrs of populiilion of the (tea Otates, with large iiiimlier at the sonth, wliere feöHngi are strong ngainst slaverv, umi now on the eve of ïrrayng themselves under sume form of organization for elficient aclinn. These various grades of Abnlitionists may have various fortn of organizution. and may aim ín different ways at the accomplishment of their desired object. All willendeavor to prevent the extensión of slavery ; some will go further and ask Congress to exert its power to the virge of its limits, and abolish slavery ihroughouc all itsjurisdiction, and prohibit the slave trade between the States ; otliers will go still farther and seek to elévate lo the bench Off the Supreme Co'Jrt, men who will carry out the great principies of nature as writteniii Blackstone, that " all laws contrary to justice, are nuil and void." Others may try to induce Conoressto pasf a doolaratory act, embodying the principies avowed by Gov. Seward in his controversy with the Gnv. of' Virginia; tliat " min ca i mot be the property óf man." OtliI ers may be in favor of extendinga system of raoalsuáí'11" throaghout the Southern States, to induce the sUve-hoiu'ei l( berate the alavés by State Legislation. Others may be in favoi' of trying to alter the Gonstilujion of the United States, and prohibit the continuance of slavery. Hero then we have tlie great body of the poople of tlie States, arrunged uncler some furm of organizntion or other against 250,000 slave holdors; all aiming to exiinguish llieir power; and actnated by feelings that grow more and more intense every dny. Can slaveliolders read their fate in coming events ; do ihey expect that a Constitution that could not preserve tlie liberty of the press to those whn wislied to discugs this subject a few years ago, md vvhicli could not preserve tlie sanclity of thu mnils ('mm tlifir own ruffian hands, will preserve llieir inslitulion of slavery agiiinst the will. of tlie mass f ihc penple goaded to action by the gallingrrfleclion, tlial sluvery luis iisuipi'd and used tlie powers of tlie Govermni'iil Cor a long series of years, lo extend and strengt!. en itse.lf, with llie intention of elevaing ilsulf in tlie councils of iho Nalion, and permunently controlling the government without consulting the wishes of the fiee States. The reat fundamentnl principie on which our governmpnt is based, is, that the people have a riglit to miike h form of government. and to iinmake it, whenever they clioose to do so. The people luive as good a rijht to niake a new constitution as to make a iiew law, and as Jfood a riglit to repeal ihe constitulion as to repeal tlie laws. Tho conipromises of the constution in favor of Slavery , that are o rauch ta'.keil about, are of no avail to the slave-holder, (even admitting that they wero bonafidely a part of the irwtitution) whon they are contra ry to the public Wlll, for ihe peoplt? never ngreed with ihfi Sluve-holders, tlmt tliey wo'd not alter or abolish the Curistitution as often as they miglit choose to do sr from any cause. Slave-liolders themselves will not deny those posirioiis. Tlien Slavery rests for Is ecurity on the will of tho people only, and eonsequently all that 3 necessary to aholisli it. is, to induce the people to hale it, and this liatred is ■ilready fast spieadiiu in the community, tlie sulijcct has passed entirely out of tho reach of' the original Abolitionists, thcy can neilher control or direct it. The}' placed the great trulhs bofore the public mind, which is now pressing them forward to a focus upon the devoted lieads of the Slave-hohlers. ]f tliey are wise thev will emancipate their slaves.