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their internal money market; while there is every indication that the abundant harvest which may in all human probability be expected, precludes all fear of the necessity which would compel submission. .
A London paper, the most independent as it is unquestionably the ablest of our press, has lately entered its protest against the argument which the North has been trying to force against our better judgment. “In the ungrammatical chaos of President Lincoln's message, only a few insignificant sentences appear to relate to his illegal enforcement of martial law, while he passes over in sublime silence his unauthorised recognition of revolutionary government in Virginia. It is time to discontinue the affectation of regarding the Confederate States as mere violators of law. No impartial politician has disputed the right of the Federal, or any other government, to reclaim seceding sections of their subjects if it can. The question whether it is ex pedient or morally justifiable, must depend on the circumstances arising out of each particular case."* . The North has been concentrating wealth and cheap labour, thus strengthening its position as manufacturer for the Union, and paving the way for the export of a large surplus of manufactures, when the South and West shall have made further progress in supplying themselves. It has enjoyed the entire markets of the Union as a means, so to speak, of learning its trade. It has retained the whole carrying trade of the country for its shipping. It has received a bounty in high tariffs during its weakness, to defend it from importation, and it has gradually acquired strength in experience, capital, and skill. It had before it a most brilliant future,
* There is extant a pamphlet, written by a very respectable but rather damaged spinster, whose millennium arguments I have not found necessary to notice, as she adheres strictly to the moral ground where I could not follow her, as elderly cærulean maidens both demand and deserve more delicate handling than the stern nature of this inquiry allows ; besides, I cannot disguise from myself that
most of it is in the style of what vulgar boys call “My eye and Betty Martin 0.” One of such ladies, peradventure the reverend prophetess herself, inasmuch as the only authority she condescends to quote is this very pamphlet, has written this month, in the “ Cornhill Magazine," a short philosophical notice of the crisis, in which she assumes that the South had no provocation to secede, that the rules laid down and acted on by known and fixed governments are applicable to that shadowy constitution which is the basis of the union of the United States. Also, that the Northern States are the legal holders of the constitutional powers under such Union, therefore they are bound, morally and socially, to coerce the South into obedience — but concludes that it would be the height of folly to attempt it, as they could not possibly keep them if they succeeded ; and the height of wickedness to persevere, as the frightful expenditure of treasure and blood necessary does not justify any such madness. I heartily concur.
but it has wantonly disturbed that future by encouraging the growth of a political party based wholly upon sectional aggression, a party which proposes no issues of statesmanship for the benefit of the whole country. It advances nothing of a domestic or foreign policy tending to national profit or protection, or to promote the general welfare in any way. It simply denounces the system of labour which has conferred such prosperity upon the North, as a “moral wrong.” While it disavows any intention of interfering with servitude at the South, it encourages, in every possible way, all that tends to undermine it. It enters the common national dwelling, and scatters firebrands amid the most solemn protestation of harmless intentions. It claims the right to explode mines, without being answerable for the mischief that may result. If questioned as to the object of such conduct, it replies that it is one of its “inalienable rights” so to act, and that certain persons who have combustible materials have had the effrontery to express fears of the consequences, and therefore it is the more bound to persist. It is for such reasoning as this that the North has, for more than ten years, constantly allowed itself to be irritated by incendiary speakers and writers, whose sole stock in trade is the unreasoning hate against the South that may be engendered by long-continued irritating misrepresentation.
From time to time in the history of the country, the attempt has been made to acquire party strength by stirring up slumbering passions, and these attempts have always been made under the cloak of philanthropy. These attempts have generally failed, but their repetition with greater violence, from time to time, has warped the truth in relation to the real position of the Federal Government in regard to the blacks, until the doctrine has acquired strength, that one species of property, recognised by the Federal constitution, is without protection on Federal soil. Thus, in the speech of William H. Seward, in the national Senate, on the 29th of February, laying down the platform of the party of which he is the chief, he remarked :
“Our fathers authorised Congress to make all needful rules and regulations concerning the management and disposition of the public lands, and to admit new States. So the constitution, while it does not disturb or affect the system of capital in slaves existing in any State under its own laws, does, at the same time, recognise every human being
when within any exclusive sphere of Federal jurisdiction, not as capital, but as a person.”
The spirit of this is contradicted in the succeeding lines, which claim that Congress conferred slavery upon six States, and prohibited it in seven, in a part of which it had existed before the territory became the property of the Union. Since the only powers possessed by the constitution are those especially delegated to it, the exercise of the power on the part of Congress to “ confer," involves that of “exclusion.” If it has power over any subject at all, it has the affirmative as well as the negative.
At the time of the formation of the Federal constitution, the law of nations recognised lawful property in African slaves throughout the civilised world. In that country they had been so held in every part of it from its earliest settlement. No colony was without owners of black property, and none doubted the legality of the holding.
It was not surprising that the generous-hearted of our own statesmen should have adopted the seductive but untried theory, and hesitate about the rightfulness of “holding property in man.” Nevertheless the fact of the property in negroes existed, and the constitution was framed in the recognition of it. It has since been attempted to dispute