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though they were neither more nor less brave or patriotic than their fellow-soldiers of the South, yet, inasmuch as the independence of our country was mainly secured by virtue of their numerical strength, we think they ought to consider it not only their right but their duty to make a firm and decisive effort to save the States which they fought to free, from falling under the yoke of a worse ty. ranny than that which overshadowed them under the reign of King George the Third. Freemen of the North! we earnestly entreat you to think of these things. Hitherto, as mere freesoilers, you have approached but half-way to the line of your duty ; now, for your own sakes and for ours, and for the purpose of perpetuating this glorious Republic, which your fathers and our fathers founded in septennial streams of blood, we ask you, in all seriousness, to organize yourselves as one man under the banners of Liberty, and to aid us in exterminating slavery, which is the only thing that militates against our complete aggrandizement as a nation.
In this extraordinary crisis of affairs, no man can be a true patriot without first becoming an abolitionist. (A freesoiler is only a tadpole in an advanced state of transformation ; an abolitionist is the full and perfectly developed frog.) And here, perhaps, we may be pardoned for the digression necessary to show the exact definition of the terms abolish, abolition and abolitionist. We have looked in vain for an explanation of the signification of these words in any Southern publication ; for no dictionary has ever yet been published in the South, nor is there the least probability that one ever will be published within her borders, until slavery is abolished; but, thanks to Heaven, a portion of this continent is what our Revolutionary Fath
ers and the Fathers of the Constitution fought and labored • and prayed to make it--a land of freedom, of power, of
progress, of prosperity, of intelligence, of religion, of literature, of commerce, of science, of arts, of agriculture, of manufactures, of ingenuity, of enterprise, of wealth, of renown, of goodness, and of grandeur. From that glorious part of our confederacy-from the North, whence, on account of slavery in the South, we are under the humiliating necessity of procuring almost everything that is useful or ornamental, from primers to Bibles, from wafers to printing-presses, from ladles to locomotives, and from portfolios to portraits and pianos—comes to us a huge volume bearing the honored name of Webster — Noah Webster, who, after thirty-five years of unremitting toil, completed a work which is, we believe, throughout Great Britain and the United States, justly regarded as the standard vocabulary of the English language--and in it the terms abolish, abolition, and abolitionist, are defined as follows:
“ Abolish, v. t. To make void ; to annul; to abrogate ; applied chiefly and appropriately to establish laws, contracts, rites, customs and institutions; as to abolish laws by a repeal, actual er ritual. To destroy or put an end to; as to abolish idols."
“ Abolition, n. The act of abolishing; or the state of being abolished; an annulling; abrogation; utter destruction; as the abolition of laws, decrees, or ordinances, rites, customs, &c. The putting an end to slavery ; emancipation." “ Abolitionist, n.
A person who favors abolition, or the immediate emancipation of slaves."
There, gentlemen of the South, you have the definitions of the transitive verb abolish and its two derivative nouns, abolition and abolitionist ; can you, with the keenest possible penetration of vision, detect in either of these words even a tittle of the opprobrium which the oligarchs, in their wily and inhuman efforts to enslave all working classes irrespective of race or color, have endeavored to attach to them? We know you cannot; abolition is but another name for patriotism, and its other special synonyms are generosity, magnanimity, reason, prudence, wisdom, religion, progress, justice, and humanity.
And here, by the way, we may as well explain whom we refer to when we speak of gentlemen of the South. We say, therefore, that, deeply impressed with the conviction that slavery is a great social and political evil, a sin and a crime, in the fullest sense, whenever we speak of gentlemen of the South, or of gentlemen anywhere, or at whatever time, or in whatever connection we may speak of gentlemen, we seldom allude to slaveholders, for the simple reason that, with few exceptions, we cannot conscientiously recognize them as gentlemen. It is only in those rare instances where the crime is mitigated by circumstances over which the slaveholder has had no control, or where he himself, convirced of the impropriety, the folly and the wickedness of the institution, is anxious to abolish it, that we can sincerely apply to him the sacred appellation in question--an appellation which we would no sooner think of applying to a pro-slavery slaveholder, or any other pro-slavery man, than we would think of applying it to a border-ruffian, a thief, or a murderer. Let it be understood, however, that the rare instances of which we speak are less rare than many persons may suppose.
We are personally acquainted with several slaveholders in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Virginia, who have unreservedly assured us that they were disgusted with the institution, and some of them went so far as to say they would be glad to acquiesce in the provision of a statute which would make it obligatory on them all to manumit their slaves, without the smallest shadow or substance of compensation. These, we believe, are the sentiments of all the respectable and patriotic slaveholders, who have eyes to see, and see-ears to hear, and hear ; who, perceiving the impoverishing and degrading effects of slavery, are unwilling to entail it on their children, and who, on account of their undeviating adherence to truth and justice, are, like the more intelligent nonslaveholders, worthy of being regarded as gentlemen in every sense of the term. Such slaveholders were Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and other illustrious Virginians, who, in the language of the great chief himself, declared it among their“ first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery, in this country, may be abolished by law.” The words embraced within this quotation were used by Washington, in a letter to John F. Mercer, dated September 9th, 1786—a letter from which we shall quote more freely hereafter ; and we think his emphatic use of the participle abolish, at that early day, is proof positive that the glorious "Father of his Country” is entitled to the first place in the calendar of primitive American abolitionists.
It is against slavery on the whole, and against slaveholders as a body, that we wage an exterminating war. Those persons who, under the infamous slave-laws of the South--laws which have been correctly spoken of as a "disgrace to civilization," and which must be annulled simultaneously with the abolition of slavery--have had the vile institution entailed on them contrary to their wills, are virtually on our side ; we may, therefore, very properly strike them off from the black list of three hundred and forty-seven thousand slaveholders, who, as a body, have shocked the civilized world with their barbarous conduct, and from whose conceited and presumptuous ranks are selected the officers who do all the legislation, town, county, state and national, for (against) five millions of poor outraged whites, and three millions of enslaved negroes.
Non-slaveholders of the South ! farmers, mechanics and workingmen, we take this occasion to assure you that the slaveholders, the arrogant demagogues whom you have elected to offices of honor and profit, have hoodwinked you, trifled with you, and used you as mere tools for the consummation of their wicked designs. They have purposely kept you in ignorance, and have, by moulding your passions and prejudices to suit themselves, induced you to act in direct opposition to your dearest rights and interests. By a system of the grossest subterfuge and misrepresentation, and in order to avert, for a season, the vengeance that will most assuredly overtake them ere long, they have taught you to hate the abolitionists, who are your best and only true friends. Now, as one of your