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Resistance Of The North To Slavery

Resistance Of The North To Slavery image
Parent Issue
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Letter to the Editor
OCR Text

Mr. Editor : - I will mention some of those great principles of human nature on which we may rely for the energetic and successful action of the North against Slavery. 1. The principle of Justice. or the principle that induces a man to do by his neighbor as he would have his neighbor do by him. 2. Self Interest. 3. NATIONAL HONOR, or NATIONAL PRIDE. The first of these was chiefly instrumental in destroying the African slave trade throughout the British dominions and afterwards Slavery itself. It has taken such deep hold upon the feelings of the British nation, that they have induced their government to proclaim their determination to all the world, to exert their influence in every peaceable and justifiable way to abolish Slavery the world over. It has abolished Slavery throughout almost the whole of Europe, and in the Northern States of this Union, and has been thus far almost the sole principle that has moved the Abolitionists of this country to action in the great undertaking in which they are now engaged. This principle will operate powerfully in the Halls of Congress in the coming contest, and it will be greatly assited by the SELF INTEREST of the people of the North: the threats of Mr. McDuffle and others attended a few years ago, that within a quarter of a century Slavery would be extended over the Northern States, have sunk deep into the hearts of many a Northern voter, and every Southern breeze that wafts the groans of the slave over their free homes, burns them deeper, by reminding them that their children if not themselves, have been threatened with a similar doom, by Southern insolence and power. The strength of these principles in this contest will be greatly augmented by National HONOR, or wounded National Pride. Every intelligent Northerner, if he crosses the Atlantic, or reads a foreign journal, finds himself taunted with the hypocritical professions and his mock republicanism ; he examines the charges brought against his national character, and swears eternal vengeance against the wicked institution which has caused him to be personally disgraced m the estimation of all good men throughout Christendom. Hundreds of thousands already possess this feeling, and are waiting the first favorable opportunity to strike the fatal blow upon the great curse of their country. All these feelings are stronger to day than they were yesterday and will be stronger tomorrow than to-day, and will continue to increase with an accelerating force, like a falling weight through the unmeasured distances of space. That these principles EXIST in Human Nature, is undeniable -- that they have PRODUCED THE RESULTS herE attributed to them, both in England and this country, will not be denied by any intelligent man North or South. Then, if these results have been produced be the causes described, or by any combination of causes, they afford evidence that more and greater results will be produced by the same causes provided they continue to exist and increase in power to produce such results. That causes have existed and have produced such results as to cause tho slaveholders to fear the speedy overthrow of their institution, is abundantly proved by their own sayings and writings. They have shown that a disturbing force exists: I have shown its nature and its origins. They have proposed the remedy which they purpose to apply to prevent the results which they so much dread and fear : which is that Slavery shall walk unto the Halls of Congress, and seduce the Representatives of the North and West to take her by the hand as a twin sister of love and beauty, and place her upon the highest seats of honor and power, with the guarantee that she shall rise still higher as the nation may progress in greatness and splendor. Whether this plan will or will not succecd for the present, I will not say, but that it will be of no permanent benefit to the Slaveholders in sustaining their institution, in case it should succeed, I am prepared to prove. The disturbing force -- the CAUSE itself, of their dread and fears, consists of principles of Human Nature that are in themselves strenuously opposed to Slavery, and are deeply rooted in the North and West beyond the power of any national compact to remove them or arrest the effects of their onward progress. A compact of Congress for this purpose would have the effect of a dam made of sand across a rapid stream -- enable it to accumulate its waters for a time, that it might move forward with redoubled fury. -- This is proved by tho history of the past. Twelve or fifteen years ago, when Abolitionists began to speak and print in earnest, against Slavery, they were hooted and mobbed by the people, denounced by Governors of States and condemned by Presidents of the United States - they have steadily pursued the same course of action they did in the beginning, presenting truths to the public mind concerning the evils of Slavery. And now, according southern testiimony, which in this case is true, the public mind is almost saturated with antislavery feeling. When the petitions of tho Abolitionists were treated with contempt in Congress, they were not disheartened by such treatment but resorted with increased energy to the ballot box and other efficient modes of accomplishing their objects. So it will be in future, if they are thwarted in their designs in one direction they will work with increased energy in another. The North already begin to feel that the power of Slavery shall extend no further. When this feeling becomes permnnent in the public mind, it will of itself be permanent and efficient action ; the national energies, which are now wasting in war for the interest of Slavery, will then be retained for the defence of the rights of tho North and West against the aggressions of the Slave Power. Slaveholders cannot avert this state of things unless they can tear out and eradicate from the human breast those feelings of humanity, self interest, and self respect which have been strengthened at the North by the taunts and jeers, and usurpations of tho Slave Power, and especially by the disgrace it has brought upon the national character in foreign countries. This they cannot do short of extending Slavery over the whole country. No degree of madness will tempt them to undertake this. Consequently, when the coming conflict shall commence, Slavery must begin to give up her claims to power, or must eventually fall by the strong arm of LIBERTY. S. W. Foster Scio, Dec. 1846