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Title: The Abolitionists - Together With Personal Memories Of The Struggle For Human Rights
Author: Hume, John F. (John Ferguson), 1830-
Language: English
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                   THE ABOLITIONISTS


           TOGETHER WITH PERSONAL MEMORIES OF
              THE STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

                       1830-1864

                           BY
                     JOHN F. HUME



                   G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS
                  NEW YORK AND LONDON
                The Knickerbocker press
                         1905



FOREWORD

The opening chapter of this work was prepared during the recent
presidential campaign. It was the idea of the author that it should
appear in one of the leading newspapers or magazines before the
election, but maturer reflection brought about a change of purpose. He
realized that its publication at that time, might, not altogether
unreasonably, be looked upon as a political move having as its object
the election or defeat of a particular candidate for office, whereas
he had no desire to play the partisan. His sole aim was to vindicate
the character of a portion of the citizens of this country--some
living, some dead--whom he had always believed to be most deserving of
popular esteem, from what he considered the unmerited aspersions of a
man who has since come into a position so conspicuous and so
influential that his condemnation necessarily carries with it a
damaging effect.

Having gone so far as the preparation of the initial chapter, he
concluded that proofs of his assumptions and assertions might at
certain points be thought desirable, if not necessary, and that he
should so prolong his work as to provide them. His first idea at this
point, as his years went back beyond the beginning of the Abolitionist
movement in this country, and as he had been from early boyhood
identified with this movement, was to contribute such information as
his recollection of events would supply. In other words, he decided to
write a narrative, the matter of which would be reminiscent, with here
and there a little history woven in among the strands of memory like a
woof in the warp. It has ended in history supplying the warp, and the
reminiscence indifferently supplying the woof.

However, the value of the production is, doubtless, greatly enhanced
by the change. A string of pearls--dropping the former simile and
adopting another--is estimated according to the gems it contains, and
not because of the cord that holds it together. The personal
experiences and recollections that are here and there interwoven, by
themselves would be of little consequence; but they will be found to
carry upon them certain historical facts and inferences--some new in
themselves and in their connections--which, as the author hopes and
believes, are of profitable quality and abounding interest.

In consequence of the change of plan just explained, the scope of the
work is materially affected. What was begun as a magazine article, and
continued as a brochure, ends in a volume.

J.F.H.

Poughkeepsie, N.Y., July, 1905.



                             CONTENTS


        CHAPTER                                          PAGE

            I.--THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND THE ABOLITIONISTS    1

           II.--THE ABOLITIONISTS--WHO AND WHAT THEY WERE  15

          III.--ONE OF THEIR TRAITS                        26

           IV.--PRO-SLAVERY PREJUDICE                      30

            V.--THE POLITICAL SITUATION                    41

           VI.--ANTI-SLAVERY PIONEERS                      49

          VII.--SALMON PORTLAND CHASE                      59

         VIII.--JOHN QUINCY ADAMS                          67

           IX.--ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES                     72

            X.--WANTED, AN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY            79

           XI.--ANTI-SLAVERY ORATORS                       88

          XII.--LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS                        94

         XIII.--ANTI-SLAVERY WOMEN                        100

          XIV.--MOBS                                      108

           XV.--ANTI-SLAVERY MARTYRS                      113

          XVI.--THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD                  121

         XVII.--COLONIZATION                              128

        XVIII.--LINCOLN AND EMANCIPATION                  136

          XIX.--THE END OF ABOLITIONISM                   150

           XX.--MISSOURI                                  157

          XXI.--MISSOURI _(Continued)_                    174

         XXII.--SOME ABOLITION LEADERS                    186

        XXIII.--ROLLS OF HONOR                            201


        APPENDIX


        EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION                         211

        BORDER SLAVE-STATE MESSAGE                        213

        "PRAYER OF TWENTY MILLIONS"                       214


        INDEX                                             217



THE ABOLITIONISTS



CHAPTER I

THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND THE ABOLITIONISTS


The following is an extract from Theodore Roosevelt's biography of
Thomas H. Benton in Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.'s American Statesmen
Series, published in 1887:

  "Owing to a variety of causes, the Abolitionists have received an
  immense amount of hysterical praise which they do not deserve, and
  have been credited with deeds done by other men whom, in reality,
  they hampered and opposed rather than aided. After 1840, the
  professed Abolitionists formed a small and comparatively
  unimportant portion of the forces that were working towards the
  restriction and ultimate destruction of slavery; and much of what
  they did was positively harmful to the cause for which they were
  fighting. Those of their number who considered the Constitution as
  a league with death and hell, and who, therefore, advocated a
  dissolution of the Union, acted as rationally as would
  anti-polygamists nowadays if, to show their disapproval of
  Mormonism, they should advocate that Utah should be allowed to
  form a separate nation. The only hope of ultimately suppressing
  slavery lay in the preservation of the Union, and every
  Abolitionist who argued or signed a petition for the dissolution
  was doing as much to perpetuate the evil he complained of, as if
  he had been a slaveholder. The Liberty party, in running Birney,
  simply committed a political crime, evil in almost all its
  consequences. They in no sense paved the way for the Republican
  party, or helped forward the Anti-Slavery cause, or hurt the
  existing organizations. Their effect on the Democracy was _nil_;
  and all they were able to accomplish with the Whigs was to make
  them put forward for the ensuing election a slaveholder from
  Louisiana, with whom they were successful. Such were the remote
  results of their conduct; the immediate evils they produced have
  already been alluded to. They bore considerable
  resemblance--except that after all they really did have a
  principle to contend for--to the political Prohibitionists of the
  present day, who go into the third party organization, and are,
  not even excepting the saloon-keepers themselves, the most
  efficient allies on whom intemperance and the liquor traffic can
  count.

  "Anti-Slavery men like Giddings, who supported Clay, were doing a
  thousandfold more effective work for the cause they had at heart
  than all the voters who supported Birney; or, to speak more
  accurately, they were doing all they could to advance the cause,
  while the others were doing all they could to hold it back.
  Lincoln in 1860 occupied more nearly the ground held by Clay than
  that held by Birney; and the men who supported the latter in 1844
  were the prototypes of those who worked to oppose Lincoln in 1860,
  and only worked less hard because they had less chance. The ultra
  Abolitionists discarded expediency, and claimed to act for
  abstract right on principle, no matter what the results might be;
  in consequence they accomplished very little, and that as much
  for harm as for good, until they ate their words, and went
  counter to their previous course, thereby acknowledging it to be
  bad, and supported in the Republican party the men and principles
  they had so fiercely condemned. The Liberty party was not in any
  sense the precursor of the Republican party, which was based as
  much on expediency as on abstract right, and was, therefore, able
  to accomplish good instead of harm. To say that extreme
  Abolitionists triumphed in Republican success and were causes of
  it, is as absurd as to call Prohibitionists successful if, after
  countless efforts totally to prohibit the liquor traffic, and
  after savage denunciations of those who try to regulate it, they
  should then turn round and form a comparatively insignificant
  portion of a victorious high-license party. The men who took a
  great and effective part in the fight against slavery were the men
  who remained with their respective parties."

No word of praise or approval has Mr. Roosevelt for the men and
women--for representatives of both sexes were active sharers in the
work performed--who inaugurated, and for a long period carried
forward, the movement that led up to the overthrow of African slavery
in this country. He has no encomiums to bestow on those same men and
women for the protracted and exhausting labors they performed, the
dangers they encountered, the insults they endured, the sacrifices
they submitted to, the discouragements they confronted in many ways
and forms in prosecuting their arduous undertaking. On the contrary,
he has only bitter words of condemnation. In his estimation, and
according to his dogmatic utterance, they were criminals--political
criminals. His words make it very manifest that, if Mr. Roosevelt had
been a voter in 1840, he would not have been an Abolitionist. He would
not have been one of that devoted little band of political
philanthropists who went out, like David of old, to do battle with one
of the giant abuses of the time, and who found in the voter's ballot a
missile that they used with deadly effect. On the contrary, he would
have enrolled himself among their adversaries and assailants, becoming
a member--because it is impossible to think of Theodore Roosevelt as a
non-partisan--of one of the leading political parties of the day.
There were but two of them--the Whigs and the Democrats. In failing to
support one or the other of these parties, and giving their votes and
influence to a new one that was founded and constructed on
Anti-Slavery lines, the Abolitionists, in Mr. Roosevelt's opinion,
"committed a political crime."

Now, for what did those parties stand in 1840? Who were their
presidential candidates in that year? Martin Van Buren was the
candidate of the Democrats. He had been for eight years in the offices
of Vice-President and President, and in that time, in the opinion of
the Anti-Slavery people of the country, had shown himself to be a
facile instrument in the hands of the slaveholders. He was what the
Abolitionists described as a "doughface"--a Northern man with Southern
principles. As presiding officer he gave the casting vote in the
Senate for the bill that excluded Anti-Slavery matter from the United
States mails, a bill justly regarded as one of the greatest outrages
ever perpetrated in a free country, and as holding a place by the
side of the Fugitive Slave Law. True, he afterwards--this was in
1848,--like Saul of Tarsus, saw a new light and announced himself as a
Free Soiler. Then the Abolitionists, with what must always be regarded
as an extraordinary concession to partisan policy, cast aside their
prejudices and gave him their support. Yet Mr. Roosevelt charges them
with being indifferent to the demands of political expediency.

General William Henry Harrison, candidate of the Whigs, was a
Virginian by birth and training, and an inveterate pro-slavery man.
When Governor of the Territory of Indiana, he presided over a
convention that met for the purpose of favoring, notwithstanding the
prohibition in the Ordinance of '87, the introduction of slavery in
that Territory.

These were the men between whom the old parties gave the Abolitionists
the privilege of pick and choice. Declining to support either of them,
they gave their votes to James G. Birney, candidate of the newly
formed Liberty party. He was a Southern man by birth and a slave-owner
by inheritance, but, becoming convinced that slavery was wrong, he
freed his negroes, giving them homes of their own, and so frankly
avowed his Anti-Slavery convictions that he was driven from his native
State. His supporters did not expect to elect him, but they hoped to
begin a movement that would lead up to victory. They were planting
seed in what they believed to be receptive soil.

After 1840, the old parties became more and more submissive to the
Slave Power. Conjointly, they enacted those measures that became
known as the compromises of 1850, the principal ones being the
Fugitive Slave Law and the act repealing the Missouri Compromise. Both
of them pronounced these acts to be "a finality," and both of them in
national convention declared there should be no further agitation of
the subject. They set out to muzzle all the Anti-Slavery voices of the
country.

By this time it was perfectly manifest that there was not only nothing
the slaveholders might demand which the old parties would not concede,
but that there was, so far as the slavery issue was involved,
absolutely no difference between them. It is a notable fact that in
the eight years following 1840, of the four presidential candidates
put in nomination by the two parties, three were slaveholders, the
fourth being a Northern "doughface," and both of the two who were
elected held slaves.

For the nomination and election of one of these men, whom he describes
as "a slaveholder from Louisiana" (General Taylor), Mr. Roosevelt is
disposed to hold the Abolitionists accountable. They forced the poor
Whigs into those proceedings, he intimates, probably by telling them
they ought to do nothing of the kind, that being what they actually
did tell them. But as the Abolitionists, four years earlier, in the
same way defeated the Whigs when they were supporting a slaveholder
from Kentucky (Clay), and a man who, in his time, did more for the
upbuilding of slavery than any other person in America, it would
appear that the score of responsibility on their part was fairly
evened up.

In citing the action of Joshua R. Giddings as an anti-third-party
man, Mr. Roosevelt is not altogether fortunate. Subsequent to the
presidential campaign of 1844, the third-party Abolitionists held a
convention in Pittsburg, in which Giddings was a leading actor. As
chairman of the committee on platform, he submitted a resolution
declaring that both of the old parties were "hopelessly corrupt and
unworthy of confidence."

The Abolitionists could not see that they were under obligation to
either of the old parties, believing they could do far better service
for the cause they championed by standing up and being counted as
candidates honestly representing their principles. They fought both of
the old parties, and finally beat them. They killed the Whig party out
and out, and so far crippled the Democrats that they have been limping
ever since. Their action, in the long run, as attested by the verdict
of results, proved itself to be not only the course of abstract right,
but of political expediency.

In 1840, the vote of the third-party Abolitionists, then for the first
time in the political field, was 7000; in 1844 it was 60,000, and in
1848 it was nearly 300,000. From that time, with occasional backsets,
Mr. Roosevelt's "political criminals" went steadily forward until they
mastered the situation. From the first, they were a power in the land,
causing the older parties to quake, Belshazzar-like, at sight of their
writing on the wall.

But according to Mr. Roosevelt, the men of the Liberty-Free-Soil party
had no share in fathering and nurturing the Republican party, to which
he assigns all the credit for crushing slavery. Says he, "The Liberty
party was not in any sense the precursor of the Republican party,
which was based as much on expediency as on abstract right." It is
very true that many Republicans, especially in the earlier days, were
neither Abolitionists nor Anti-Slavery people. A good many of them,
like Abraham Lincoln, were sentimentally adverse to slavery, but under
existing conditions did not want it disturbed. Many of them, having
broken loose from the old parties, had no other place of shelter and
cared nothing for slavery one way or the other, some being of the
opinion of one of the new party leaders whom the writer hereof heard
declare that "the niggers are just where they ought to be." All this,
however, does not prove that the third-party people were not the real
forerunners and founders of the Republican party. They certainly
helped to break up the old organizations, crushing them in whole or
part. They supplied a contingent of trained and desperately earnest
workers, their hearts being enlisted as well as their hands. And what
was of still greater consequence, they furnished an issue, and one
that was very much alive, around which the detached fragments of the
old parties could collect and unite. Their share in the composition
and development of the new party can be illustrated. Out in our great
midland valley two rivers--the Missouri and the Mississippi--meet and
mingle their waters. The Missouri, although the larger stream, after
the junction is heard of no more; but being charged with a greater
supply of sedimentary matter, gives its color to the combined flood of
the assimilated waters. Abolitionism was merged in Republicanism. It
was no longer spoken of as a separate element, but from the beginning
it gave color and character to the combination. The whole compound was
Abolitionized.

It was not, indeed, the voting strength, although this was
considerable, that the Abolitionists brought to the Republican
organization, that made them the real progenitors of that party. It is
possible that the other constituents entering into it, which were
drawn from the Anti-Slavery Whigs, the "Anti-Nebraska" Democrats, the
"Barnburner" Democrats of New York, the "Know-Nothings," etc.,
numbered more in the aggregate than the Abolitionists it included; but
it was not so much the number of votes the Abolitionists contributed
that made them the chief creators of the Republican party, as it was
their working and fighting ability. They had undergone a thorough
training. For nearly twenty years they had been in the field in active
service. For the whole of that time they had been exposed to
pro-slavery mobbing and almost every kind of persecution. They had to
conquer every foot of ground they occupied. They had done an immense
amount of invaluable preparatory work. To deny to such people a
liberal share of the credit for results accomplished, would be as
reasonable as to say that men who clear the land, plough the ground,
and sow the seed, because others may help to gather the harvest, have
nothing to do with raising the crop. But for the pioneer work of the
Abolitionists there would have been no Republican party.

There had been Anti-Slavery people in this country before the
Abolitionists--conscientious, zealous, intelligent--but somehow they
lacked the ability, in the language of the pugilists, to "put up a
winning fight." They had been brushed aside or trampled under foot.
Not so with the Abolitionists. They had learned all the tricks of the
enemy. They were not afraid of opposition. They knew how to give blows
as well as to take them. The result was that from the time they
organized for separate political action in 1840, they had made steady
progress, although this seemed for a period to be discouragingly slow.
It was only a question of time when, if there had been no Republican
party, they would have succeeded in abolishing slavery without its
assistance.

Although, as before remarked, the Republican party was made up of a
good many elements besides the Abolitionists, there was among them but
little homogeneousness. They were indifferent, if not hostile, to each
other, and, if left to themselves, would never have so far coalesced
as to make a working party. They had no settled policy, no common
ground to stand on. They would have been simply a rope of sand. But
the Abolitionists supplied a bond of union. They had a principle that
operated like a loadstone in bringing the factions together.

There was another inducement the Abolitionists had to offer. They had
an organization that was perfect in its way. It was weak but active.
It had made its way into Congress where it had such representatives as
John P. Hale and Salmon P. Chase in the Senate, and several brilliant
men in the Lower House. It had a complete outfit of party machinery.
It had an efficient force of men and women engaged in canvassing as
lecturers and stump orators. It had well managed newspapers, and the
ablest pens in the country--not excepting Harriet Beecher
Stowe's--were in its service. All this, it is hardly necessary to say,
was attractive to people without political homes. The Abolitionists
offered them not only shelter but the prospect of meat and drink in
the future. In that way their organization became the nucleus of the
Republican party, which was in no sense a new organization, but a
reorganization of an old force with new material added.

And here would seem to be the proper place for reference to the
historical fact that the Republican party, under that name, had but
four years of existence behind it when the great crisis came in the
election of Lincoln and the beginning of the Civil War--Lincoln's
election being treated by the South as a _casus belli_. The Republican
party was established under that name in 1856 and Lincoln was elected
in 1860.

Now, the work preparatory to Lincoln's election was not done in four
years. The most difficult part of it--the most arduous, the most
disagreeable, the most dangerous--had been done long before. Part of
it dated back to 1840. Indeed, the performance of the Republican party
in those four years was not remarkably brilliant. With the slogan of
"Free soil, free men, and Fremont" it made an ostentatious
demonstration in 1856--an attempted _coup de main_--which failed. It
would have failed quite as signally in 1860, but for the division of
the Democratic party into the Douglas and Breckenridge factions. That
division was pre-arranged by the slaveholders who disliked Douglas,
the regular Democratic nominee, much more than they did Lincoln, and
who hoped and plotted for Lincoln's election because it furnished them
a pretext for rebellion.

The change of name from "Free Soil" or "Liberty" to "Republican" in
1856 had very little significance. It was a matter of partisan policy
and nothing more. "Liberty" and "Free Soil," as party cognomens, had a
meaning, and were supposed to antagonize certain prejudices.
"Republican," at that juncture, meant nothing whatever. Besides, it
was sonorous; it was euphonious; it was palatable to weak political
stomachs. The ready acceptance of the new name by the Abolitionists
goes very far to contradict Mr. Roosevelt's accusation against them of
being regardless of the claims of political expediency.

The writer has shown, as he believes, that without the preparatory
work of the political Abolitionists there would have been no
Republican party. He will now go a step further. He believes that
without that preliminary service there would not only have been no
Republican party, but no Civil War in the interest of free soil, no
Emancipation Proclamation, no Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to
the Federal Constitution. There might have been and probably would
have been considerable discussion, ending in a protest, more or less
"ringing," when slavery was permitted to overstep the line marked out
by the Missouri Compromise. There might even have been another
"settlement." But no such adjustment would have seriously impeded the
northward march of the triumphant Slave Power. Indeed, in that event
it is more than probable that ere this the legal representatives of
the late Robert Toombs, of Georgia, would, if so inclined, have made
good his boast of calling the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker
Hill monument.

So far we have dealt with Mr. Roosevelt's indictment of the
Abolitionists for abandoning the old pro-slavery political parties,
and undertaking to construct a new and better one. That, in his
judgment, was a political crime. But he charges them with another
manifestation of criminality which was much more serious. He accuses
them of hostility, to the Union, which was disloyalty and treason. The
evidence offered by him in support of his accusation was the
Anti-Unionist position taken by William Lloyd Garrison, who branded
the Union as a "league with hell," and some of his associates. But
Garrison was not a leader, or even a member, of the third or Liberty
party. He denounced it almost as bitterly as Mr. Roosevelt.

Garrison was a Quaker, a non-resistant, and a non-voter. He relied on
moral suasion. He saw no salvation in politics. The formation of a new
Anti-Slavery party excited his fiery indignation. He declared that it
was "ludicrous in its folly, pernicious as a measure of policy, and
useless as a political contrivance."

Far and away the most potential member and leader of the political
Abolitionists was Salmon P. Chase. Instead of denouncing the
Constitution as "a league with death and hell," he claimed that it
was an Anti-Slavery document and should be so construed. As for the
Union, by his services in successfully managing the finances of the
country in its great crisis, he did as much to sustain the Union as
any other man of that time. To accuse him of hostility and infidelity
to the Union, is something that no one can do with impunity. In fact,
so clear and so clean, as well as so bold and striking, is the record
of Chase and his associates, beginning in 1840 and continuing down
until the last shackle was stricken from the last bondsman's limbs,
that even the shadow of the White House cannot obscure it.

Nor is Mr. Roosevelt happy in his illustration, when, in his
concluding arraignment of the Abolitionists, he seeks to discredit
them as an organization of impracticables by comparing them to the
political Prohibitionists of to-day. When the latter, if that time is
ever to be, shall become strong enough to rout one or both of the
existing main political parties, and, taking the control of the
Government in their hands, shall not only legally consign the liquor
traffic to its coffin, but nail it down with a constitutional
amendment, then Mr. Roosevelt's comparison will apply.



CHAPTER II

THE ABOLITIONISTS--WHO AND WHAT THEY WERE


In selecting those who are to receive its remembrance and its honors,
the world has always given its preference to such as have battled for
freedom. It may have been with the sword; it may have been with the
pen; or it may have been with a tongue that was inflamed with holy
rage against tyranny and wrong; but whatever the instrumentality
employed; in whatever field the battle has been fought; and by
whatsoever race, or class, or kind of men; the champions of human
liberty have been hailed as the bravest of the brave and the most
worthy to receive the acclaims of their fellows.

Now, if that estimate be not altogether inaccurate, what place in the
scale of renown must be assigned to those pioneers in the successful
movement against African slavery in this country who have commonly
been known as "Abolitionists"--a name first given in derision by their
enemies? It should, in the opinion of the writer hereof, be the very
highest. He is not afraid to challenge the whole record of human
achievements by great and good men (always save and except that which
is credited to the Saviour of mankind) for exhibitions of heroism
superior to theirs. Nay, when it is remembered that mainly through
their efforts and sacrifices was accomplished a revolution by which
four million human beings (but for the Abolitionists the number to-day
in bondage would be eight millions) were lifted from the condition in
which American slaves existed but a few years ago, to freedom and
political equality with their former masters; and, at the same time
when it is considered what qualities of heart and brain were needed
for such a task, he does not believe that history, from its earliest
chapters, furnishes examples of gods or men, except in very rare and
isolated cases, who have shown themselves to be their equals.

In the matter of physical courage they were unsurpassed,
unsurpassable. A good many of them were Quakers and non-resistants,
and a good many of them were women, but they never shrank from danger
to life and limb, when employed in their humanitarian work. Some of
them achieved the martyr's crown.

In the matter of conscience they were indomitable. Life to them was
worth less than principle.

In the matter of money they were absolutely unselfish. Those of them
who were poor, as the most of them were, toiled on without the hope of
financial recompense. They did their work not only without the promise
or prospect of material reward of any kind, but with the certainty of
pains and penalties that included the ostracism and contempt of their
fellows, and even serious risks to property and life.

All these sacrifices were in the cause of human liberty; but of
liberty for whom? That is the crucial point. In all ages there have
been plenty of men who have honorably striven for liberty for
themselves. Some there have been who have risen to higher planes. We
have an example in Lafayette. He fought to liberate a people who were
foreign in language and blood; but they were of his own color and the
peers of his compatriots.

The Abolitionists, however, espoused the cause, and it was for that
that they endured so much, of creatures that were infinitely below
them; of beings who had ceased to be recognized as belonging to
humanity, and were classed with the cattle of the field and other
species of "property." So low were they that they could neither
appreciate nor return the services rendered in their behalf. For their
condition, the Abolitionists were in no sense responsible. They had no
necessary fellowship with the unfortunates. They were under no
especial obligation to them. They were not of the same family. It was
even doubted whether the races had a common origin. And yet, to the
end of securing release for these wretched victims of an intolerable
oppression, not a few of them dedicated all they possessed--life not
excepted.

True it is that they had no monopoly of benevolence. Many noble men
and women have gone as missionaries to the poor and benighted, and
have sought through numerous hardships and perils to raise up those
who have been trodden in the dust. But, as a rule, their services have
been rendered pursuant to a secular employment that carried financial
compensation, and behind their devotion to the poor and oppressed has
been the expectation of personal reward in another world, if not in
this. But such motives barely, if at all, influenced the
Abolitionists. No element of professionalism entered into their work.
They were not particularly religious. They neither very greatly
reverenced nor feared the Church, whose leaders they often accused of
a hankering for the "flesh-pots" that induced them to lead their
followers into Egypt, rather than out of it. They were partly moved by
a hatred of slavery and its long train of abuses that was
irrepressible, and which to most persons was incomprehensible, and
partly by a love for their fellows in distress that was so insistent
as to make them forget themselves. Their impulses seemed to be largely
intuitive, if not instinctive, and if called upon for a philosophical
explanation they could not have given it.

In such a struggle for freedom and natural human rights as was carried
on by the Abolitionists against tremendous odds and through a term
covering many long years, it does seem to the writer of this essay
that mortal heroism reached its height.

Nor am I by any means alone in the opinion just expressed. As far back
as 1844, when the Abolitionists were few in number and the objects of
almost savage persecution in every part of our country, the Earl of
Carlisle, who, in his day was one of the most capable leaders of
British public opinion, declared that they were engaged "in fighting a
battle without a parallel in the history of ancient or modern
heroism."

I am moved to write the story of the Abolitionists, partly because it
is full of romantic interest, and partly because justice demands it.
Those doughty file leaders in the Anti-Slavery fight do not to-day
have an adequate acknowledgment of the obligations that the country
and humanity should recognize as belonging to them, and they never
have had it. Much of the credit that is fairly theirs has been
mis-applied. Writers of history--so called, although much of it is
simple eulogy--have been more and more inclined to attribute the
overthrow of slavery to the efforts of a few men, and particularly one
man, who, after long opposition to, or neglect of, the freedom
movement, came to its help in the closing scenes of a great conflict,
while the earlier, and certainly equally meritorious, workers and
fighters have been quite left out of the account. The writer does not
object to laborers who entered the field at the eleventh hour, sharing
with those who bore the heat and burden of the day; but when there is
a disposition to give to them all the earnings he does feel like
protesting.

The case of the Abolitionists is not overstated when it is said that,
but for their labors and struggles, this country, instead of being all
free, would to-day be all slaveholding. The relative importance of
their work in creating, by means of a persistent agitation, an
opposition to human slavery that was powerful enough to compel the
attention of the public and force the machine politicians, after long
opposition, to admit the question into practical politics, cannot well
be overestimated.

They alone and single-handed fought the opening battles of a great
war, which, although overshadowed and obscured by later and more
dramatic events, were none the less gallantly waged and nobly won. It
is customary to speak of our Civil War as a four years' conflict. It
was really a thirty years' war, beginning when the pioneer
Abolitionists entered the field and declared for a life-and-death
struggle. It was then that the hardest battles were fought.

I write the more willingly because comparatively few now living
remember the mad excitement of the slavery controversy in ante-bellum
days. The majority--the living and the working masses of to-day--will,
doubtless, be gratified to have accurate pictures of scenes and events
of which they have heard their seniors speak, that distinguished the
most tempestuous period in our national history--the one in which the
wildest passions were aroused and indulged. Then it was that the
fiercest and bitterest agitation prevailed. The war that followed did
not increase this. It rather modified it--sobered it in view of the
crisis at hand--and served as a safety-valve for its escape.

For the same reason, the general public has now but slight
comprehension of the trials endured by the Abolitionists for
principle's sake. In many ways were they persecuted. In society they
were tabooed; in business shunned. By the rabble they were hooted and
pelted. Clowns in the circus made them the subjects of their jokes.
Newspaper scribblers lampooned and libelled them. Politicians
denounced them. By the Church they were regarded as very black sheep,
and sometimes excluded from the fold. And this state of things lasted
for years, during which they kept up a steady agitation with the help
of platform lecturers, and regularly threw away their votes--so it
was charged--in a "third party" movement that seemed to be a hopeless
venture.

Another inducement to the writer to take up the cause of the
Abolitionists is the fact that he has always been proud to class
himself as one of them. He came into the world before Abolitionism, by
that name, had been heard of; before the first Abolition Society was
organized; before William Lloyd Garrison founded his _Liberator_, and
before (not the least important circumstance) John Quincy Adams
entered Congress. He cannot remember when the slavery question was not
discussed. His sympathies at an early day went out to the slave. He
informed himself on the subject as well as a farmer boy might be
expected to do in a household that received the most of its knowledge
of current events from the columns of one weekly newspaper. He cast
his first vote for the ticket of the Abolitionists while they were yet
a "third party."

The community in which he then lived, although in the free State of
Ohio, was strongly pro-slavery, being not far from the Southern
border. The population was principally from Virginia and Kentucky.
There were a few Abolitionists, and they occasionally tried to hold
public meetings, but the gatherings were always broken up by mobs.

The writer very well remembers the satisfaction with which he, as a
schoolboy, was accustomed to hear that there was to be another
Abolition "turn-out." The occasion was certain to afford considerable
excitement that was dear to the heart of a boy, and it had another
recommendation. The only room in the village--"town" we called
it--for such affairs, except the churches, which were barred against
"fanatics," was the district schoolhouse, which, by common consent,
was open to all comers, and as the windows and doors, through which
missiles were hurled during Anti-Slavery gatherings, were always more
or less damaged, "we boys" usually got a holiday or two while the
building was undergoing necessary repairs.

As might be surmised, the lessons I learned at school were not all
such as are usually acquired at such institutions. My companions were
like other children, full of spirit and mischief, and not without
their prejudices. They hated Abolitionists because they--the
Abolitionists--wanted to compel all white people to marry "niggers."
Although not naturally unkind, they did not always spare the feelings
of "the son of an old Abolitionist." We had our arguments. Some of
them were of the knock-down kind. In more than one shindy, growing out
of the discussion of the great question of the day, I suffered the
penalty of a bloody nose or a blackened eye for standing up for my
side.

The feeling against the negroes' friends--the Abolitionists--was not
confined to children in years. It was present in all classes. It
entered State and Church alike, and dominated both of them. The
Congressional Representative from the district in which I lived in
those days was an able man and generally held in high esteem. He made
a speech in our village when a candidate for re-election. In
discussing the slavery question--everybody discussed it then--he spoke
of the negroes as being "on the same footing with other cattle." I
remember the expression very well because it shocked me, boy that I
was. It did not disturb the great majority of those present, however.
They cheered the sentiment and gave their votes for the speaker, who
was re-elected by a large majority.

About the same time I happened to be present where a General Assembly
of one of our largest religious denominations was in session, and
listened to part of an address by a noted divine--the most
distinguished man in the body--which was intended to prove that
slavery was an institution existing by biblical authority. He spent
two days in a talk that was mostly made up of scriptural texts and his
commentaries upon them. This was in Ohio, and there was not a
slave-owner in the assembly, and yet a resolution commendatory of the
views that had just been declared by the learned doctor, was adopted
by an almost unanimous vote.

In the neighborhood in which I lived was an old and much respected
clergyman who was called upon to preach a sermon on a day of some
national significance. He made it the occasion for a florid panegyric
upon American institutions, which, he declared, assured freedom to all
men. Here he paused, "When I spoke of all men enjoying freedom under
our flag," he resumed, "I did not, of course, include the Ethiopians
whom Providence has brought to our shores for their own good as well
as ours. They are slaves by a divine decree. As descendants of Ham,
they are under a curse that makes them the servants of their more
fortunate white brethren." Having thus put himself right on the
record, he proceeded with his sermon. No one seemed to take exception
to what he said.

In the same neighborhood was a young preacher who had shortly before
come into it from somewhere farther North. In the course of one of his
regular services he offered up a prayer in which he expressed the hope
that the good Lord would find a way to break the bands of all who were
in bondage. That smacked of Abolitionism and at once there was a
commotion. The minister was asked to explain. This he declined to do,
saying that his petition was a matter between him and his God, and he
denied the right of others to question him. That only increased the
opposition, and in a short time the spunky young man was compelled to
resign his charge.

About that time there appeared a lecturer on slavery--which meant
against slavery--who carried credentials showing that he was a
clergyman in good standing in one of the leading Protestant
denominations. In our village was a church of that persuasion, whose
pastor was not an Abolitionist. As in duty bound, the visiting brother
called on his local fellow-laborer, and informed him that on the
following day, which happened to be Sunday, he would be pleased to
attend service at his church. On the morrow he was on hand and
occupied a seat directly in front of the pulpit; but, notwithstanding
his conspicuousness, the home minister, who should, out of courtesy,
have invited him to a seat in the pulpit, if to no other part in the
services, never saw him. He looked completely over his head, keeping
his eyes, all through the exercises, fixed upon the back pews, which
happened, on that occasion, to be chiefly unoccupied.

Such incidents, of themselves, were of no great importance. Their
significance was in the fact that they all occurred on the soil of a
free State. They showed the state of feeling that then and there
existed.



CHAPTER III

ONE OF THEIR TRAITS


The writer has spoken of the courage of the Abolitionists. There is
another trait by which they were distinguished that, in his opinion,
should not be passed over. That was their extreme hopefulness--their
untiring confidence. No matter how adverse were the conditions, they
expected to win. They never counted the odds against them. They
trusted in the right which they were firmly persuaded would prevail
some time or another. For that time they were willing to wait,
meanwhile doing what they could to hasten its coming.

Benjamin Lundy, the little Quaker mechanic, who was undeniably the
Peter-the-Hermit of the Abolitionist movement, when setting out alone
and on foot, with his printing material on his back, to begin a
crusade against the strongest and most arrogant institution in the
country, remarked with admirable naïveté, "I do not know how soon I
shall succeed in my undertaking."

William Lloyd Garrison, when the pioneer Anti-Slavery Society was
organized by only twelve men, and they people of no worldly
consequence, the meeting for lack of a better place being held in a
colored schoolroom on "Nigger Hill" in Boston, declared that in due
time they would meet to urge their principles in Faneuil Hall--a most
audacious declaration, but he was right.

The writer, when a boy, was witness to an exhibition of the same
spirit. A kinsman of his was a zealous Abolitionist, although not
particularly gifted with controversial acumen. He and his minister, as
often happened, were discussing the slavery question. The minister,
like many of his cloth at that time, was a staunch supporter of "the
institution," which, according to his contention, firmly rested on
biblical authority.

"How do you expect to destroy slavery, as it exists in Kentucky, by
talking and voting abolition up here in Ohio?" asked the clergyman.

"We will crush it through Congress when we get control of the general
government," said my kinsman.

"But Congress and the general government have, under the Constitution,
absolutely no power over slavery in the States. It is a State
institution," replied the clergyman.

It is unnecessary to follow the discussion, but, one after another,
the quicker-witted and better-informed preacher successfully combated
all the propositions advanced by my relative in trying to give a
reason for the faith that was in him, until he was completely
cornered. "Well," said he at last, "the good Lord has not taken me
into His confidence, and I don't know what His plans for upsetting
slavery are, but He will be able to manage it somehow."

My kinsman lived long enough to see the day when there was not a
slave on American soil, and the minister lived long enough to become a
roaring Abolitionist.

It was doubtless their confidence in ultimate triumph, a result of
their absolute belief in the righteousness of their cause, that, as
much as anything else, armed and armored the Abolitionists against all
opposition. It was one main element of their strength in the midst of
their weakness. Without it they could not have persisted, as they did,
in their separate or "third party" political action, that cleared the
way and finally led up to a victorious organization. Year after year,
and for many years, they voted for candidates that had no chance of
election. Their first presidential ticket got only seven thousand
votes in the whole country. The great public, which could not see the
use of acting politically for principle alone, laughed at their
simplicity in "throwing away their votes." "Voting in the air" was the
way it was often spoken of, and those who were guilty of such
incomprehensible folly were characterized as "one idea people." They,
however, cared little for denunciation or ridicule, and kept on
regularly nominating their tickets, and as regularly giving them votes
that generally appeared in the election returns among the
"scattering." They were not abashed by the insignificance of their
party.

    "They were men who dared to be
    the right with two or three,"

according to the poet Lowell.

In the county in which I lived when a boy, there was one vote polled
for the first Abolitionist presidential ticket. The man who gave it
did not try to hide his responsibility--in fact, he seemed rather
proud of his aloneness--but he was mercilessly guyed on account of the
smallness of his party. His rejoinder was that he thought that he and
God, who was, he believed, with him, made a pretty good-sized and
respectable party.



CHAPTER IV

PRO-SLAVERY PREJUDICE


The intensity--perhaps density would be a better word in this
connection--of the prejudice that confronted the Abolitionists when
they entered on their work is not describable by any expressions we
have in our language. In the South it was soon settled that no man
could preach Anti-Slaveryism and live. In the North the conditions
were not much better. Every man and woman--because the muster-roll of
the Abolition propagandists was recruited from both sexes--carried on
the work at the hazard of his or her life. Sneers, scowls, hootings,
curses, and rough handling were absolutely certain. One incident
throws light on the state of feeling at that time.

When Pennsylvania Hall, which the Abolitionists of
Philadelphia--largely Quakers--had erected for a meeting place at a
cost of forty thousand dollars was fired by a mob, the fire department
of that city threw water on surrounding property, but not one drop
would it contribute to save the property of the Abolitionists.

Why was it that this devotion to slavery and this hostility to its
opposers prevailed in the non-slaveholding States? They had not always
existed. Indeed, there was a time, not so many years before, when
slavery was generally denounced; when men like Washington and
Jefferson and Henry, although themselves slave-owners, led public
opinion in its condemnation. Everybody was anticipating the day of
universal emancipation, when suddenly--almost in the twinkling of an
eye--there was a change. If it had been a weather-cock--as to a
considerable extent it was, and is--public opinion could not have more
quickly veered about.

Slavery became the popular idol in the North as well as in the South.
Opposition to it was not only offensive, but dangerous. It was
sacrilege.

So far as the South was concerned the revolution is easily accounted
for. Slavery became profitable. A Yankee magician had touched it with
a wand of gold, and from being a languishing, struggling system, it
quickly developed into a money-maker.

Whitney, the Connecticut mechanical genius, by the invention of the
cotton-gin, made the production of cotton a highly lucrative industry.
The price of negroes to work the cotton fields at once went up, and
yet the supply was inadequate. Northernly slave States could not
produce cotton, but they could produce negroes. They shared in the
golden harvest. Such cities as Baltimore, Washington, Richmond,
Wheeling, and Louisville became centers of a flourishing traffic in
human beings. They had great warehouses, commonly spoken of as "nigger
pens," in which the "hands" that were to make the cotton were
temporarily gathered, and long coffles--that is, processions of men
and women, each with a hand attached to a common rope or
chain--marched through their streets with faces turned southward.

The slave-owners were numerically a lean minority even in the South,
but their mastery over their fellow-citizens was absolute. Nor was
there any mystery about it. As the owners of four million slaves, on
an average worth not far from five hundred dollars each, they formed
the greatest industrial combination--what at this time we would call a
trust--ever known to this or any other country. Our mighty Steel
Corporation would have been a baby beside it. If to-day all our great
financial companies were consolidated, the unit would scarcely come up
to the dimensions of that one association. It was not incorporated in
law, but its union was perfect. Bound together by a common interest
and a common feeling, its members--in the highest sense co-partners in
business and in politics, in peace and in war--were prepared to act
together as one man.

But why, I again ask, were the Northern people so infatuated with
slavery? They raised no cotton and they raised no negroes, but many of
them, and especially their political leaders, carried their adulation
almost to idolatry.

When Elijah P. Lovejoy was shot down like a dog, and William Lloyd
Garrison was dragged half naked and half lifeless through the streets
of Boston, and other outrages of like import were being perpetrated
all over the North, it was carefully given out that those deeds were
not the work of irresponsible rowdies, but of "gentlemen"--of
merchants, manufacturers, and members of the professions. They claimed
the credit for such achievements. There were reasons for such a state
of things--some very solid, because financial.

The North and the South were extensively interlaced by mutual
interests. With slave labor the Southern planters made cotton, and
with the proceeds of their cotton they bought Northern machinery and
merchandise. They sent their boys and girls to Northern schools. They
came North themselves when their pockets were full, and freely spent
their money at Northern hotels, Northern theatres, Northern
race-tracks, and other Northern places of entertainment.

Then there were other ties than those of business. The great political
parties had each a Southern wing. Religious denominations had their
Southern members. Every kind of trade and calling had its Southern
outlet.

But social connections were the strongest of all, and probably had
most to do in making Northern sentiment. Southern gentlemen were
popular in the North. They spent money lavishly. Their manners were
grandiose. They talked boastfully of the number of their "niggers,"
and told how they were accustomed to "wallop" them.

Then there were marriage ties between the sections. Many domestic
alliances strengthened the bond between slavery and the aristocracy of
the North.

In the circles in which these things were going on, it was the fashion
to denounce the Abolitionists. Women were the most bitter. The
slightest suspicion of sympathy with the "fanatics" was fatal to
social ambition. Mrs. Henry Chapman, the wife of a wealthy Boston
shipping merchant who gave orders that no slaves should be carried on
his vessels, was a brilliant woman and a leader in the highest sense
in that city. But when she consented to preside over a small
conference of Anti-Slavery women, society cut her dead, her former
associates refusing to recognize her on the street. The families of
Arthur and Lewis Tappan, the distinguished merchants of New York, were
noted for their intelligence and culture, but when the heads of the
families came to be classified as Abolitionists the doors of all
fashionable mansions were at once shut against them. They in other
ways suffered for their opinions. The home of Lewis Tappan was invaded
by a mob, and furniture, books, and _bric-a-brac_ were carried to the
street and there burned to ashes.

The masses of the Northern people were, however, led to favor slavery
by other arguments. One of them was that the slaves, if manumitted,
would at once rush to the North and overrun the free States. I have
heard that proposition warmly supported by fairly intelligent persons.

Another argument that weighed with a surprisingly large number of
people, was that civil equality would be followed by social equality.
As soon as they were free, negro men, it was said, would marry white
wives. "Do you want your son or your daughter to marry a nigger?" was
regarded as a knockout anti-Abolitionist argument. The idea, of
course, was absurd. "Is it to be inferred that because I don't want a
negro woman for a slave, I do want her for a wife?" was one of the
quaint and pithy observations attributed to Mr. Lincoln. I heard
Prof. Hudson, of Oberlin College, express the same idea in about the
same words many years before.

And yet there were plenty of Northern people to whom
"Amalgamation"--the word used to describe the apprehended union of the
races--was a veritable scarecrow. A young gentleman in a neighborhood
near where I lived when a boy was in all respects eligible for
matrimony. He became devoted to the daughter of an old farmer who had
been a Kentuckian, and asked him for her hand. "But I am told," said
the old gentleman, "that you are an Abolitionist." The young man
admitted the justice of the charge. "Then, sir," fairly roared the old
man, "you can't have my daughter; go and marry a nigger."

But what probably gave slavery its strongest hold upon the favor of
Northern people was the animosity toward the negro that prevailed
among them. Nowhere was he treated by them like a human being. The
"black laws," as those statutes in a number of free States that
regulated the treatment of the blacks were appropriately called, were
inhuman in the extreme. Ohio was in the main a liberal State. She was
called a free State, but her negroes were not free men. Under her laws
they could only remain in the State by giving bonds for good behavior.
Any one employing negroes, not so bonded, was liable to a fine of one
hundred dollars. They could not vote, of course. They could not
testify in a case in which a white man was interested. They could not
send their children to schools which they helped to support. The only
thing they could do "like a white man" was to pay taxes.

The prejudice against the poor creatures in Ohio was much stronger
than that they encountered on the other side of the Ohio River in the
slave State of Kentucky. Here--in Kentucky--they were property, and
they generally received the care and consideration that ownership
ordinarily establishes. The interest of the master was a factor in
their behalf. In many instances there was genuine affection between
owner and slave. "How much better off they would be if they only had
good masters," was a remark I very often heard in Ohio, as the negroes
would go slouching by with hanging heads and averted countenances.
There is no doubt that at this time the physical condition of the
blacks was generally much better in slavery than it was in freedom.
What stronger testimony to the innate desire for liberty--what Byron
has described as "The eternal spirit of the chainless mind"--than the
fact that slaves who were the most indulgently treated, were
constantly escaping from the easy and careless life they led to the
hostilities and barbarities of the free States, and they never went
back except under compulsion.

    "O carry me back to old Virginy,
    To old Virginy's shore,"

was the refrain of a song that was very popular in those days, and
which was much affected by what were called "negro minstrels." It was
assumed to express the feelings of colored fugitives from bondage when
they had time to realize what freedom meant in their cases, but I
never heard the words from the lips of a man who had lived in a state
of servitude.

I have elsewhere referred to the fact that women were often the most
bitter in their denunciations of the Abolitionists. In the
neighborhood in which I passed my early days was a lady who was born
and raised in the North, and who probably had no decided sentiment,
one way or the other, on the slavery question; but who about this time
spent several months in a visit to one of the slave States. She came
back thoroughly imbued with admiration for "the institution." She
could not find words to describe the good times that were enjoyed by
the wives and daughters of the slave-owners. They had nothing to do
except to take the world easy, and that, according to her account,
they did with great unanimity. The slaves, were, she declared, the
happiest people in the world, all care and responsibility being taken
from their shoulders by masters who were kind enough to look out for
their wants.

But one day she unwittingly exposed a glimpse of the reverse side of
the picture. She told the story of a young slave girl who had been
accused of larceny. She had picked up some trifling article that
ordinarily no one would have cared anything about; but at this time it
was thought well to make an example of somebody. The wrists of the
poor creature were fastened together by a cord that passed through a
ring in the side of the barn, which had been put there for that
purpose, and she was drawn up, with her face to the building, until
her toes barely touched the ground. Then, in the presence of all her
fellow-slaves, and with her clothing so detached as to expose her
naked shoulders, she was flogged until the blood trickled down her
back.

"I felt almost as bad for her," said the narrator, "as if she had been
one of my own kind."

"Thank God she was not one of your kind!" exclaimed a voice that
fairly sizzled with rage.

The speaker who happened to be present was a relative of the author
and a red-hot Abolitionist.

Then came a furious war of words, the two enraged women shouting
maledictions in each other's faces. As a boy, I enjoyed the
performance hugely until I began to see that there was danger of a
collision. As the only male present, it would be my duty to interfere
in case the combatants came to blows, or rather to scratches and
hair-pulling. I did not like the prospect, which seemed to me to be
really alarming, and was thinking of some peaceable solution, when the
two women, looking into each other's inflamed faces, suddenly realized
the ridiculousness of the situation and broke into hearty peals of
laughter. That, of course, ended the controversy, not a little to the
relief of the writer.

If the influence of a great majority of the women of that day was
thrown on the side of slavery, as was undoubtedly the case, the
minority largely made up for the disparity of numbers by the spunk and
aggressiveness of their demonstrations. A good many of the most
indomitable and effective Abolition lecturers were women--such as Mrs.
Lucretia Mott, the Grimké sisters, Abby Kelly, and others whose names
are here omitted, although they richly deserve to be mentioned. Of
all that sisterhood, the most pugnacious undoubtedly was Abby Kelly, a
little New England woman, with, as the name would indicate, an Irish
crossing of the blood. I heard her once, and it seemed to me that I
never listened to a tongue that was so sharp and merciless. Her eyes
were small and it appeared to me that they contracted, when she was
speaking, until they emitted sparks of fire. Although she went by her
maiden name, she was a married woman, being the wife of Stephen
Foster, a professional Abolitionist agitator and lecturer. Although
himself noted for the bitterness of his speech, when it came to
hard-hitting vituperation he could not begin to "hold a candle" to his
little wife.

The two traveled together and spoke from the same platforms. They were
constantly getting into hot water through the hostility of mobs, which
they seemed to enjoy most heartily. Foster's life was more than once
in serious danger, but they kept right on and never showed the
slightest fear. The only meeting addressed by them that I attended,
though held on the Sabbath, was ended by the throwing of stones and
sticks and addled eggs.

But if the current of public opinion in the North suddenly turned, and
for a long time ran with overwhelming force in favor of slavery, it
changed about almost as suddenly and ran with equal force in the
opposite direction. The county in which I lived when a boy, that
furnished only one vote for the first Abolitionist presidential
ticket, became a Republican stronghold. It was in what had been a Whig
district, and when the Whig party went to pieces, the most of its
_débris_ drifted into the Republican lines.

On the occasion of one of the pro-slavery mobs I elsewhere tell about,
when a supply of eggs with which to garnish the Abolitionists, was
wanted, and the money for their purchase was called for, the town
constable--the peace officer of the community--put his hand in his
pocket and supplied the funds.

A few years thereafter, on my return to the village after a
considerable absence, I found that I had come just in time to attend a
Republican rally which was that day to be held in a near-by grove.
When I reached the scene of operations a procession to march to the
grove was being formed. There was considerable enthusiasm and noise,
but by far the most excited individual was the Grand Marshal and
Master of Ceremonies. Seated on a high horse, he was riding up and
down the line shouting out his orders with tremendous unction. He was
the constable of the egg-buying episode.



CHAPTER V

THE POLITICAL SITUATION


In several of his addresses before his election to the Presidency, Mr.
Lincoln gave utterance to the following language: "A house divided
against itself cannot stand. I believe this Government cannot
permanently remain half slave and half free. I do not expect the house
to fall, but I do expect it to cease to be divided. It will become all
one thing or all the other thing."

The same opinion had been enunciated several years before by John
Quincy Adams on the floor of Congress, when, with his accustomed
pungency, he declared, "The Union will fall before slavery or slavery
will fall before the Union."

But before either Adams or Lincoln spoke on the subject--away back in
1838--the same idea they expressed had a more elaborate and forcible
presentation in the following words:

  "The conflict is becoming--has become--not alone of freedom for
  the blacks, but of freedom for the whites. It has now become
  absolutely necessary that slavery shall cease in order that
  freedom may be preserved in any portion of our land. The
  antagonistic principles of liberty and slavery have been roused
  into action, and one or the other must be victorious. There will
  be no cessation of the strife until slavery shall be exterminated
  or liberty destroyed."

The author of the words last above quoted was James Gillespie Birney,
who was the first Abolitionist, or "Liberty party," candidate for the
Presidency, and of whose career a brief sketch is elsewhere given.

That the slaveholders reached the same conclusion that Birney and
Adams and Lincoln announced, viz., that the country was to be all one
thing or all the other thing, is as manifest as any fact in our
history. It is equally certain that they had firmly resolved to
capture the entire commonwealth for their "institution," and had laid
their plans to that end. They were unwilling to live in a divided
house, particularly with an occupant who was stronger in population
and wealth than they were.

They saw the danger in such association. Northern sentiment toward
slavery was complacent enough, even servilely so, but it might change.
The South thought it had too much at stake to take the chances when
the opportunity for absolute safety and permanent rule was within its
reach. It resolved to make the whole country, not only pro-slavery,
but slaveholding. If, through any mischance, it failed in its
calculation, the next step would be to tear down the house and from
its ruins reconstruct so much of it as might be needed for its own
occupancy. That it would be able in time to possess itself of the
whole country, however, for and in behalf of its industrial policy, it
did not for an instant doubt. It was not empty braggadocio on the part
of the celebrated Robert Toombs, of Georgia, when he uttered his
famous boast.[1] He voiced the practically unanimous opinion of his
section.

[1] See page 13.

Nor was there anything seemingly very presumptuous in that
anticipation. So far, the South had been invariably victorious. In
what appeared to be a decisive battle in the test case of admitting
Missouri into the Union as a slave State, it had won. So pronounced
was its triumph that whatever Anti-Slavery sentiment survived the
conflict appeared to be stunned and helpless. All fight was knocked
out of it. Its spirit was broken. While the South was not only compact
and fully alive, but exultingly aggressive, the North was divided,
fully one half of its population being about as pro-slavery as the
slaveholders themselves, and the rest, with rare exceptions, being
hopelessly apathetic. The Northern leaders of both of the old
political parties--Whig and Democratic--were what the Abolitionists
called "dough-faces," being Northern men with Southern principles. The
Church was "a dumb dog," and the press simply drifted with the tide.
It was not at all strange that the slaveholders expected to go on from
conquest to conquest.

There were two policies they could adopt. One was to attack the
enemy's citadel; or rather, the several citadels it possessed in its
individual States, and force them to open their doors to the master
and his human chattels. The other was to flank and cover, approaching
the main point of attack by way of the Territories. These, once in
possession of the slaveholders, could be converted into enough slave
States to give them the control of the general government, from which
coigne of advantage they could proceed in their own time and way to
possess themselves of such other free States as they might want.

In the matter of the Territories they had a great advantage. The North
was up against a stone wall at the Canadian border. In that direction
it could not advance a step, while the South had practically an
unlimited field on its side from which to carve possessions as they
might be wanted, very much as you would cut a pie.

In pursuance of its territorial policy--being the line of action it
first resolved upon--the first movement of the South was to annex
Texas--a victory. The next was to make war on Mexico, and (a joke of
the day) conquer a "piece" from it large enough to make half a dozen
States, all expected to be slaveholding--another victory.

By a curious irony the filching of land for slavery's uses from a
neighbor, and on which the foot of a slave had never pressed, was
exultingly spoken of at the time by its supporters as "an extension of
the area of freedom." The act was justified on the ground that we
needed "land for the landless," which led Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio to
assert on the floor of the United States Senate, with as much truth as
wit, that it was not land for the landless that was wanted, but
"niggers for the niggerless."

Then came the battle over Kansas. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska
Bill in Congress, although involving a breach of good faith on the
part of the South, was hailed as another victory for that section. It
was a costly victory. It was followed by defeat not only disastrous
but fatal. The result in Kansas was really the turning-point in the
great struggle. It broke the line of Southern victories. It
neutralized the effect of the whole territorial movement up to that
point. It completely spoiled the slaveholders' well-laid plans. We
will always give Grant and his men all praise for victories leading up
to Appomatox, but, in some respects, the most important victory of the
great conflict was won on the plains of Kansas by John Brown of
Ossawattomie and his Abolition associates.

The most sagacious Southern leaders saw in that result conclusive
proof that the scale was turned. They realized that they were beaten
within the lines of the Union, and they began to arrange for going out
of it. They helped to elect a Republican President by dividing the
Democratic party in 1860 between two candidates--Douglas and
Breckenridge--in order that they might have a plausible pretext for
secession.

But the slaveholders had not abandoned the other policy to which
reference has been made--that of carrying their institution, by main
force, as it were, into some, if not all, of the free States. To that
end they had, in sporting parlance, a card up their sleeves which they
proceeded to play. That card was the decision of the United States
Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, upon which they relied to give
them the legal power to take and hold their slaves in all parts of the
land. Up to the date of that decision, the current of judicial rulings
had been that slavery, being a municipal institution, was local,
while freedom was national. Hence, when a master took his slave into a
free State, at that instant he became a free man. The Dred Scott
decision was intended to reverse the rule. Practically it held that
slave ownership, wherever the Constitution prevailed, was both a legal
and a natural right. It, as Benton forcibly expressed it, "made
slavery the organic law of the land and freedom the exception"; or, as
it was jocularly expressed at the time, it left freedom nowhere.

Although at the time of its promulgation, it was claimed by some of
the more conservative pro-slavery leaders that the Dred Scott dictum
applied only to the Territories, giving the masters the legal
authority to enter them with their slaves, that position was clearly
deceptive. The principle involved, as laid down by the Court, was
altogether too broad for that construction. In effect it put the
proprietorship of human beings upon the same footing with other
property rights, and claimed for it the same constitutional
protection. The bolder men of the South, like Toombs of Georgia, did
not hesitate to give that interpretation to the Court's pronouncement,
and to insist on it with brutal frankness. If they were wrong, the
Court was putty in their hands and they could easily have had a
supplemental ruling that would have gone to any extent.

If the Dred Scott decision had been promulgated by our highest court,
and the slaveholders had insisted upon the license it was intended to
give them for taking their slave property into free territory, at the
time that Garrison was being dragged by a mob through Boston's
streets; when Birney's printing-press in Cincinnati was being tumbled
into the Ohio River; when Pennsylvania Hall, the Quaker Abolitionists'
forty-thousand-dollar construction, was ablaze in Philadelphia; when
Lovejoy, the Abolition martyr, was bleeding out his life in one of the
streets of Alton, Illinois--when, in fact, the whole land was swayed
by a frenzied hatred of the men and women who dared to question
slavery's right to supremacy, the writer believes the movement would
have been successful. Public opinion was so inclined in States like
Indiana and Illinois, and even in Ohio, that they might have been
easily toppled over to the South. Indeed, at that time it is a problem
how Massachusetts would have voted on a proposition to "slaveryize"
her soil. The surprising thing, as we look back to that period, is
that slavery did not get a foothold in some of the free States, if not
in all of them.

But by the time the South was ready to play its trump card, it was too
late. The game was lost. Public opinion had become revolutionized
throughout the North. The leaven of Abolitionism had got in its work.
The men and women, few in number and weak in purse and worldly
position as they were, who had enlisted years before in the cause of
emancipation, and had fought for it in the face of almost every
conceivable discouragement, had at last won a great preliminary
victory. Slavery, through their exertions, had become impossible, both
in the Territories and in the free States of the North, the United
States Supreme Court and all the forces of the slave power to the
contrary notwithstanding. Then came to the South a not unanticipated,
and to many of her leaders a not unwelcome political Waterloo, in the
election of Lincoln. This gave the argument for secession that was
wanted. The South had then to yield--which she had no idea of
doing--or to go into rebellion. She went out of the Union very much as
she would have gone to a frolic. She had no thought that serious
fighting was to follow. She did not believe, as one of the Southern
leaders expressed it, that the Northern people would go to war for the
sake of the "niggers."



CHAPTER VI

ANTI-SLAVERY PIONEERS


The early Abolitionists were denounced as fanatics, or "fan-a-tics,"
according to the pronunciation of some of their detractors. They were
treated as if partially insane. The writer when a boy attended the
trial of a cause between two neighbors in a court of low grade. It was
what was called a "cow case," and involved property worth, perhaps, as
much as twenty dollars. One of the witnesses on the stand was asked by
a lawyer, who wanted to embarrass or discredit him, if he were not an
Abolitionist. Objection came from the other side on the ground that
the inquiry was irrelevant; but the learned justice-of-the-peace who
presided held that, as it related to the witness's sanity, and that
would affect his credibility, the question was admissible. It is not,
perhaps, so very strange that in those days, in view of the
disreputableness of those whose cause they espoused, and the
apparently utter hopelessness of anything ever coming out of it, the
supporters of Anti-Slaveryism should be suspected of being "out of
their heads."

Although Don Quixote, who, according to the veracious Cervantes, set
out with his unaided strong right arm to upset things, including
wind-mills and obnoxious dynasties, has long been looked upon as the
world's best specimen of a "fanatic," he would ordinarily be set down
as a very Solomon beside the man who would undertake single-handed to
overthrow such an institution as American slavery used to be. Such a
man there was, however. He really entered on the job of abolishing
that institution, and without a solitary assistant. Strange to say, he
was neither a giant nor a millionaire.

According to Horace Greeley, "Benjamin Lundy deserves the high honor
of ranking as the pioneer of direct and distinctive Anti-Slaveryism in
America."

He was slight in frame and below the medium height, and unassuming in
manner. He had, it is said, neither eloquence nor shining ability of
any sort.

At nineteen years of age he went to Wheeling, Virginia, to learn the
trade of a saddler. He learned more than that. Wheeling, as he tells
us, was then a great thoroughfare for the traffickers in human flesh.
Their coffles passed through the place frequently. "My heart," he
continues, "was grieved at the great abomination. I heard the wail of
the captive, I felt his pang of distress, and the iron entered into my
soul."

But much as Lundy loathed the business of the slave-dealers and
slave-drivers, he then had no idea of attempting its abolishment. He
married and settled down to the prosecution of his trade, and had he
been like other people generally he would have been content. But he
could not shut the pictures of those street scenes in Wheeling out of
his mind and out of his heart.

The first thing in the reformatory line he did was to organize a
local Anti-Slavery society in the village in which he was then living
in Ohio; at the first meeting of this society only five persons were
present.

About this time Lundy made some important discoveries. He learned that
he could write what the newspapers would print, and give expression to
words that the people would listen to. He was quick to realize the
fact that the best way to reach the people of this country was through
the press. He started a very small paper with a very large name. It
was ambitiously nominated _The Genius of Universal Emancipation_. He
began with only six subscribers and without a press or other
publishing material. Moreover, he had no money. He was not then a
practical printer, though later he learned the art of type-setting. At
this time he had his newspaper printed twenty miles from his home, and
carried the edition for that distance on his back.

But insignificant as Lundy's paper was, it had the high distinction of
being the only exclusively Anti-Slavery journal in the country, and
its editor and proprietor was the only professional Abolition lecturer
and agitator of that time.

Afterwards, in speaking of his journalistic undertaking, Mr. Lundy
said: "I began this work without a dollar of funds, trusting to the
sacredness of the cause." Another saying of his was that he did not
stop to calculate "how soon his efforts would be crowned with
success."

As Lundy spent the greater part of his time in traveling from place to
place, procuring subscriptions to his journal and lecturing on
slavery, he could not issue his paper regularly at any one point. In
some instances he carried the head-rules, column-rules, and
subscription-book of his journal with him, and when he came to a town
where he found a printing-press he would stop long enough to print and
mail a number of his periodical. He traveled for the most part on
foot, carrying a heavy pack. In ten years in that way he covered
twenty-five thousand miles, five thousand on foot.

He decided to invade the enemy's country by going where slavery was.
He went to Tennessee, making the journey of eight hundred miles, one
half by water, and one half on foot. That was, of course, before the
day of railroads.

He continued to issue his paper, although often threatened with
personal violence. Once two bullies locked him in a room and, with
revolvers in hand, tried to frighten him into a promise to discontinue
his work. He did not frighten to any extent.

Seeking what seemed to be the most inviting field for his operations,
he decided to move his establishment to Baltimore, going most of the
way on foot and lecturing as he went whenever he could find an
audience.

His residence in Baltimore came near proving fatal. A slave-trader,
whom he had offended, attacked and brutally beat him on the street.
The consolation he got from the court that tried the ruffian, who was
"honorably discharged," was that he (Lundy) had got "nothing more than
he deserved." Soon afterwards his printing material and other property
was burned by a mob.

He went to Mexico to select a location for a projected colony of
colored people. He traveled almost altogether afoot, observing the
strictest economy and supporting himself by occasional jobs of
saddlery and harness mending. In his journal he tells us that he often
slept in the open air, the country traversed being mostly new and
unsettled. He was in constant danger from panthers, alligators, and
rattlesnakes, while he was cruelly beset by gnats and mosquitoes. His
clothes in the morning, he tells us, would be as wet from heavy dews
as if he had fallen into the river.

Intellectually, Lundy was not a great man, but his heart was beyond
measurement. The torch that he carried in the midst of the all but
universal darkness of that period emitted but a feeble ray, but he
kept it burning, and it possessed the almost invaluable property of
being able to transmit its flame to other torches. It kindled the
brand that was wielded by William Lloyd Garrison, and which possessed
a wonderful power of illumination.

Garrison was beyond all question a remarkable man. In the qualities
that endow a successful leader in a desperate cause he has never been
surpassed. He had an iron will that was directed by an inflexible
conscience. "To him," says James Freeman Clarke, "right was right, and
wrong was wrong, and he saw no half lights or half shadows between
them." He was a natural orator. I never heard him talk, either on or
off the platform, but I have heard those who had listened to him,
speak of the singular gift he possessed in stating or combating a
proposition. One person who had heard him, often compared him, when
dealing with an adversary, to a butcher engaged in dissecting a
carcass, and who knew just where to strike every time,--a homely, but
expressive illustration. His addresses in England on a certain notable
occasion, which is dealt with somewhat at length elsewhere, were
declared by the first British orators to be models of perfect
eloquence.

Lundy and Garrison met by accident. They were boarding at the same
house in Boston, and became acquainted. Lundy's mind was full of the
subject of slavery, and Garrison's proved to be receptive soil. They
decided to join forces, and we have the singular spectacle of two poor
mechanics--a journeyman saddler and a journeyman printer--conspiring
to revolutionize the domestic institutions of half of the country.

They decided to continue the Baltimore newspaper. Garrison's
plain-spokenness, however, soon got him into trouble in that city. He
was prosecuted for libelling a shipmaster for transporting slaves, was
convicted and fined fifty dollars. The amount, so far as his ability
to pay was involved, might as well have been a million. He went to
prison, being incarcerated in a cell just vacated by a man who had
been hanged for murder, and there he remained for seven weeks. At the
end of that time Arthur Tappan, the big-hearted merchant of New York,
learning the facts of the case, advanced the money needed to set
Garrison free.

Undeterred by his experience as a martyr, Garrison--who had returned
to Boston--resolved to establish a journal of his own in that city,
which was to be devoted to the cause of the slave. _The Liberator_
appeared on the 1st of January, 1831.

In entering upon this venture, Garrison had not a subscriber nor a
dollar of money. Being a printer, he set up the type and struck off
the first issue with his own hands.

In the initial number the proprietor of the _Liberator_ outlined his
proposed policy in these words: "I will be as harsh as truth; as
uncompromising as justice. I am in earnest. I will not excuse; I will
not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard."

The first issue of the paper brought in a contribution of fifty
dollars from a colored man and twenty-five subscribers. It was not,
therefore, a failure, but its continuance involved a terrible strain.
Garrison and one co-worker occupied one room for work-shop,
dining-room, and bedroom. They cooked their own meals and slept upon
the floor. It was almost literally true, as pictured by Lowell, the
poet:

    "In a small chamber, friendless and unseen,
       Toiled o'er his types one poor unlearned young man.
    The place was dark, unfurnitured and mean,
       Yet there the freedom of a race began."

The effects produced by Garrison's unique production were simply
wonderful. In October of its first year the Vigilance Association of
South Carolina offered a reward of fifteen hundred dollars for the
apprehension and prosecution to conviction of any white person who
might be detected in distributing or circulating the _Liberator_.
Georgia went farther than that. Less than a year after Garrison had
established his paper, the Legislature of that State passed an act
offering a reward of five thousand dollars to whomsoever should
arrest, bring to trial, and prosecute its publisher to conviction. The
_Liberator_ was excluded from the United States mails in all the slave
States, illegal as such a proceeding was.

There was, however, opposition nearer home. The _Liberator_
establishment was wrecked by a mob, and Garrison, after having been
stripped of nearly all his clothing, was dragged, bareheaded, by a
rope round his body through the streets of Boston until, to save his
life, the authorities thrust him into jail.

No man in this country was so cordially hated by the slaveholders as
Garrison. Of the big men up North--the leaders of politics and
society--they had no apprehension. They knew how to manage them. It
was the little fellows like the editor of the _Liberator_ that gave
them trouble. These men had no money, but they could not be bought.
They had no fear of mobs. They cared nothing for the scoldings of the
church and the press. An adverse public sentiment never disturbed
their equanimity or caused them to turn a hair's breadth in their
course.

It is true that Lundy and Garrison had very little to lose. They had
neither property nor social position. That, however, cannot be said of
another early Abolitionist, who, in some respects, is entitled to more
consideration than any of his co-workers.

James Gillespie Birney was a Southerner by birth. He belonged to a
family of financial and social prominence. He was a gentleman of
education and culture, having graduated from a leading college and
being a lawyer of recognized ability. He was a slave-owner. For a time
he conducted a plantation with slave labor. He lived in Alabama, where
he filled several important official positions, and was talked of for
the governorship of the State. But having been led to think about the
moral, and other aspects of slaveholding, he decided that it was wrong
and he would wash his hands of it. He could not in Alabama legally
manumit his slaves. Moreover, his neighbors had risen up against him
and threatened his forcible expulsion. He removed to Kentucky, where
he thought a more liberal sentiment prevailed. There he freed his
slaves and made liberal provision for their comfortable sustenance.
But the slave power was on his track. He was warned to betake himself
out of the State. The infliction of personal violence was meditated,
and a party of his opposers came together for that purpose. They were
engaged in discussing ways and means when a young man of commanding
presence and strength, who happened to be present, announced that
while he lived Mr. Birney would not be molested. His opposition broke
up the plot. That young man became a leading clergyman and was
subsequently for a time Chaplain of the United States Senate.

Birney went with his belongings to Ohio, thinking that upon the soil
of a free State he would be safe from molestation. He established a
newspaper in Cincinnati to advocate emancipation. A mob promptly
destroyed his press and other property, and it was with difficulty
that he escaped with his life. More sagacious, although not more
zealous, than Lundy and Garrison and a good many of their followers,
Birney early saw the necessity of political action in the interest of
freedom. He was the real founder of the old "Liberty" party, of which
he was the presidential candidate in 1840 and in 1844.

Of course, there were other early laborers for emancipation that, in
this connection, ought to be mentioned and remembered. They were
pioneers in the truest sense. The writer would gladly make a record of
their services, and pay a tribute, especially, to the memories of such
as have gone to the spirit land, where the great majority are now
mustered, but space at this point forbids.



CHAPTER VII

SALMON PORTLAND CHASE


If I were asked to name the man to whom the colored people of this
country, who were slaves, or were liable to become slaves, are under
the greatest obligation for their freedom, I would unhesitatingly say
Salmon Portland Chase.

If I were asked to name the man who was the strongest and most useful
factor in the Government during the great final contest that ended in
the emancipation of the black man, I would say Salmon Portland Chase.

In expressing the opinions above given, no reproach for Abraham
Lincoln, nor for any of the distinguished members of his Cabinet, is
intended or implied. Inferiority to Salmon P. Chase was not a
disgrace. Physically he rose above all his official associates, which
was no discredit to them, and in much the same way he towered
intellectually and administratively. His was the most trying, the most
difficult position, in the entire circle of public departments. It was
easy to get men to fight the battles of the Union if there was money
to pay them. It was easy to furnish ships and arms and supplies in
sufficient quantity, notwithstanding the terrible drain of the
greatest of civil wars, as long as the funds held out. Everything
depended on the treasury. Failure there meant irretrievable disaster.
It would not answer to have any serious mistakes in that quarter, and
in fact no fatal mistakes were there made. In all other departments
there were failures and blunders, but the financial department met
every emergency and every requisition. Chase's financial policy it was
that carried the country majestically through the war, and that
afterwards paid the nation's debts.

There is a circumstance that has not been mentioned, as far as the
writer knows, by any of Mr. Chase's biographers, which seems to him to
be significant and worth referring to. During the Civil War, Walter
Bagehot was editor of the _Economist,_ the great English financial
journal. His opinion in financial matters was regarded as the highest
authority. It was accepted as infallible. He discussed the plans of
Mr. Chase with great elaborateness and great severity. He predicted
that they were all destined to failure, and proved this theoretically
to his own satisfaction and the satisfaction of many others. The
result showed that Mr. Chase was right all the time, and the great
English economist was wrong.

The entrance of such a man into the Abolitionist movement marked an
era in its history. It was the thing most needed. He gave it a leader
who, of all men then living, was most competent for leadership. From
that time he was its Moses.

The greatest service rendered to the Abolition cause by Salmon P.
Chase was in pushing it forward on political lines. There was a
contest for the mastery of the Government from the hour he took
command. The movement was to be slow, sometimes halting and apparently
falling back, in some respects insignificant, in all respects
desperate, but there was to be no permanent defeat and no compromise.

The espousal of Abolitionism by Mr. Chase was a remarkable
circumstance. He was not an enthusiast like Garrison and Lundy and
many other Anti-Slavery pioneers, but precisely the opposite. He was
cold-blooded and cool-headed, a deliberate and conservative man. His
speeches were described as giving light but no heat. His sympathies
were seemingly weak, but his sense of justice was immense. Apparently,
he opposed slavery because it was wrong rather than because it was
cruel. He had a big body, a big head, and a big conscience, the
combination making a strong man and a good fighter.

That he did, in fact, sympathize with the slaves was shown by his
professional work in their behalf, more particularly in pleading
without fee or other reward the cases of escaped fugitives in the
courts. So numerous were his engagements in this regard that his
antagonists spoke of him sneeringly as the "Attorney-General for
runaway niggers." Upon some of his Anti-Slavery cases he bestowed an
immense amount of work. His argument in the case of Van Zant--the
original of Van Tromp in Mrs. Stowe's _Uncle Tom's Cabin_,--an old man
who was prosecuted and fined until he was financially ruined for
giving a "lift" in his farm wagon to a slave family on its way to
Canada, was said at the time to have been the most able so far made
in the Supreme Court of the United States. That and other similar
utterances by Mr. Chase were published for popular reading, and were
widely distributed by friends of the cause.

It is possible that, in performing this arduous labor, Mr. Chase, who
was not without personal ambition, was able, with his great native
sagacity, to foresee, although it must have been but dimly, the
possibilities of political development and official promotion, but at
the same time, for the same reason, he could the more clearly realize
the wearisome, heart-breaking struggle that was before him.

It was an enormous sacrifice that he made. Journeymen printers and
saddlers, like Garrison and Lundy, who had never had as much as one
hundred dollars at one time in their lives, and who had no social
position and no influential kinsfolks, had little to lose. But it was
very different with Chase. He had a profession that represented great
wealth. He had distinguished and aristocratic family connections. He
had a high place in society. All these he risked and largely lost.

In speaking of his sacrifices at that time in a subsequent letter to a
friend, he wrote:

  "Having resolved on my political course, I devoted all the time
  and means I could command to the work of spreading the principles
  and building up the organization of the party of constitutional
  freedom then inaugurated. Sometimes, indeed, all I could do seemed
  insignificant, while the labors I had to perform, and the demand
  upon my very limited resources by necessary contributions, taxed
  severely all my abilities."

The writer hereof was a witness to one incident that showed something
of the loss that Mr. Chase sustained in a business way because of his
principles. While a law student in a country village he was sent down
to Cincinnati to secure certain testimony in the form of affidavits.
During his visit he called at Mr. Chase's law office, introduced
himself, and was very pleasantly received. He noticed that there was a
notary public in the office.

Among other instructions he had been directed to get the affidavit of
a leading business man in Cincinnati, a railroad president. The
document was prepared and signed, but there was no one at hand before
whom it could be sworn to. The writer remarked that he knew where
there was a notary in a near-by office. We proceeded to Mr. Chase's
chambers, and were about to enter when my companion noticed the name
on the door. He fell back as if he had been struck in the face. "The
---- Abolitionist," he exclaimed, "I wouldn't enter his place for a
hundred dollars!" We went elsewhere for our business, and on the way
my companion expressed himself about Mr. Chase. "What a pity it is,"
he said, "that that young man is ruining himself. He is a bright man,"
he went on, "and I employed him professionally until he went daft on
the subject of freeing the niggers whom the Lord made for the purpose
of serving the white people."

Like pretty much all the early Abolitionists, Mr. Chase had a taste of
mob violence. He had one singular experience. When the mob destroyed
the printing establishment of James G. Birney in Cincinnati, Chase
mingled with the crowd. He discovered that personal violence to Mr.
Birney was contemplated and that his life was in danger. He made all
haste to Birney's residence and gave him warning of his peril. Then he
took his stand in the doorway of the building and calmly awaited the
coming of the rabble. Those who knew Chase will remember that in size
he was almost a giant, and his countenance had a stern, determined
look. The multitude, finding itself thus unexpectedly confronted,
paused and entered into a parley that gave the hunted man an
opportunity to reach a place of safety.

Chase had an appointment to speak in the village in which the writer
lived, and the opposers of his cause arranged to give him a warm
reception. Something prevented his attendance, and a very mild and
amiable old clergyman from an adjoining town, who took his place,
received the shower-bath of uncooked eggs that had been intended for
the Cincinnati Abolitionist.

Chase's great work for the Anti-Slavery cause was in projecting and
directing it on independent political lines. Up to that time most
Anti-Slavery people opposed separate party action. Garrison and his
_Liberator_ violently denounced such action. Moral suasion was urged
as the panacea. Chase himself had not been a "third party" man. In
1840, when there was an Abolition ticket in the field, headed by his
personal friend, James G. Birney, he had not supported it. But soon
afterwards, becoming firmly convinced that Anti-Slavery people had
nothing to hope for from either of the old parties, he set about the
work of building a new one. The undertaking was with no mental
reservation on his part. When he put his hand to that plow there was
no looking back, notwithstanding that a rougher or more stony field,
and one less promising of returns for the laborer than that before
him, would be difficult to imagine.

In 1841 he headed a call for a convention at Columbus, the State
capital, to organize the Liberty party in the State of Ohio, and at
the same time nominate a State ticket. Less than a hundred
sympathizers responded to the call, and the ticket put in nomination
received less than one thousand votes.

Among the attendants at the Columbus meeting was a near kinsman of the
author. On his return, in describing the proceedings, he said that
pretty much everything was directed by a Mr. Chase (Salamander Chase
was his name, he said), a young Cincinnati lawyer. That young man, he
declared, would yet make a mark in the world.

From that time every important move was directed by Chase. He prepared
the calls for important meetings. He wrote their addresses and their
platforms. He made the leading speeches. He presided at the great
convention at Buffalo in 1848, which formulated the "Free-Soil"
party--successor to the Liberty party--and wrote the platform which it
adopted.

In speaking of Chase's share in the independent organization of this
time, William M. Evarts says: "He must be awarded the full credit of
having understood, resolved upon, planned, organized, and executed
this political movement."

The movement thus conducted by Mr. Chase was slow and tremendously
laborious, but it was effective. In the presidential elections of 1844
and 1848 it held the balance of power and turned the scale to further
its purposes. In 1852 it shattered and destroyed one of the old
pro-slavery parties, and became the second party in the country
instead of the third. In eight years more it was the first.

The charge has been made against Mr. Chase that, while a member of
Lincoln's Cabinet, he aspired to supersede his chief in the
Presidency. But did he not have a right to seek the higher office,
especially when the policy pursued by its incumbent did not meet his
full approval? He merely shared the sentiment that was then
entertained by nearly all the radical Anti-Slavery people of the
country. It is not unlikely that Chase felt somewhat envious of
Lincoln. After, as he stated in his letter of congratulation to Mr.
Lincoln on his first election, he had given nineteen years of
continuous and exhausting labor to the freedom movement, it would be
but natural that he should feel aggrieved when he saw that the chief
credit of that movement was likely to go to one who had, to his own
exclusion, come up slowly and reluctantly at a later day to its
support. If he were somewhat jealous, it would be hard not to
sympathize with him.



CHAPTER VIII

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS


If I were asked to name the man who, next to Salmon P. Chase, most
effectually and meritoriously contributed to the liberation of the
black man in this country, I should unhesitatingly say John Quincy
Adams.

By the great majority of those now living Mr. Adams is known only as
having once been President of the United States and as belonging to a
very distinguished family. His name is rarely mentioned. There was a
time, however, when no other name was heard so often in this country,
or which, when used, excited such violent and conflicting emotions. It
can justly be said that for many years John Quincy Adams, individually
and practically alone, by his services in Congress, sustained what
Anti-Slavery sentiment there was in the nation. It was but a spark,
but he kept it alive and gradually extended its conflagration.

When Adams entered Congress opposition to slavery was at its lowest
ebb. It was almost extinct. The victory of the slaveholders in the
Missouri contest had elated them most tremendously and had
correspondingly depressed and cowed their adversaries. As a general
thing, the latter had given up all idea of making any further fight.
Northern Presidents, Northern Congressmen, Northern editors, Northern
churchmen, were the most ready and servile supporters slavery had.
Anti-Slavery societies had been abandoned. Anti-Slavery journals had
perished. Disapprovers of the "institution," with the exception of a
few men of the Lundy stamp and the Lundy obscurity, were silent. There
was one magnificent exception.

It was at that crisis that John Quincy Adams entered Congress and
began a fight against slavery that, covering a period of seventeen
years, literally lasted to the last day of his life. He was carried
helpless and dying from the floor of Congress, where he had fallen
when in the discharge of his duties.

The position of Mr. Adams, who had been elected as an independent
candidate, was unique. He owed his official place to no political
party, and was, therefore, free from party shackles in regulating his
course. He took up the fight for the black man's freedom as one who
was himself absolutely free. Most wonderfully did he conduct that
fight. There was nothing in the eloquence of Demosthenes in Athens, of
Cicero in Rome, of Mirabeau in France, of Pitt or Gladstone in
England, that surpassed the force and grandeur of the philippics of
Adams against American slavery. Alone, for the greater part of his
service in Congress, he stood in the midst of his malignant assailants
like a rock in a stormy sea. Old man that he was, plainly showing the
in-roads of physical weakness, he was in that body of distinguished
and able men more than a match for any or all of his antagonists. He
was always "the old man eloquent." Says one of our leading historical
writers:

  "As a parliamentary debater he had few, if any, superiors. In
  knowledge and dexterity there was no one in the House that could
  be compared with him. He was literally a walking cyclopedia. He
  was terrible in invective, matchless at repartee, and insensible
  to fear. A single-handed fight against all the slaveholders in the
  House was something upon which he was always ready to enter."

Speaking of his effectiveness in congressional encounters another
Congressman writes:

  "He is, I believe, the most extraordinary man living. I have with
  my own eyes seen the slaveholders literally quake and tremble
  through every nerve and joint, when he arraigned before them their
  political and moral sins. His power of speech has exceeded any
  conception I have heretofore had of the force of words or logic."

At last his enemies in Congress decided that they would endure his
attacks no longer. They took counsel together and agreed upon a plan
of operations looking to his expulsion from that body. As one of his
biographers, also a distinguished Congressman, expressed it: "It was
the preconcerted and deliberate purpose of the slave-masters to make
an example of the ringleader of political Abolitionism. They meant to
humiliate and crush him, and this they did not doubt their power to
do."

Mr. Adams submitted a petition, without giving it his personal
endorsement, asking for a dissolution of the Union. That furnished the
pretext his enemies wanted. They accused him of treason in
countenancing an assault upon the Union, although they were at the time
engaged in laying the foundation of a movement looking to its ultimate
overthrow. The outcome of this undertaking was one of the most
thrilling scenes ever witnesssd in the American Congress; or, for that
matter, in any other deliberative assembly.

Preparations for the affair were made with great elaborateness. The
galleries were filled with the friends, male and female, of
pro-slavery Congressmen. The beauty and chivalry of the South were
there. They had come to witness the abasement of the great enemy of
their most cherished institution. They were to see him driven from the
nation's council chamber, a crushed and dishonored man. Not one
friendly face looked down upon him as he sat coolly awaiting the
attack, and upon the floor about him were few of his colleagues that
gave him their sympathies.

The two most eloquent Congressmen from the South were selected to lead
the prosecution. One was the celebrated Henry A. Wise, of Virginia;
the other "Tom" Marshall, of Kentucky. The latter opened the
proceedings by offering a resolution charging Mr. Adams with
treasonable conduct and directing his expulsion. He supported it with
a speech of much ingenuity. Wise followed in a fiery diatribe. Both
speakers imprudently indulged in personal allusions of a somewhat
scandalous nature, thus laying themselves open, with episodes in their
careers of questionable propriety, to retaliation from a man who
thoroughly knew their records. At this point we have the testimony of
an eye-witness:

  "Then uprose that bald, gray old man of seventy-five, his hands
  tremulous with constitutional infirmity and age, upon whose
  consecrated head the vials of tyrannic wrath had been outpoured.
  Unexcited he raised his voice, high-keyed, as was usual with him,
  but clear, untremulous, and firm. Almost in a moment his
  infirmities disappeared, although his shaking hand could not but
  be noted, trembling, not with fear, but with age."

His speech was absolutely crushing. He met every point that had been
urged against him and triumphantly refuted it. He handled his
oratorical antagonists with merciless severity, depicting certain
events in their lives with such vividness that the onlookers gazed
upon them with visible and unmistakable pity. Said one of these men
when he afterwards understood that a certain party was about to engage
in a controversial debate with Mr. Adams, "Then may the Lord have
mercy on him."

Mr. Adams was not expelled. His opponents frankly admitted their
discomfiture and dropped the whole business.

It cannot be denied that John Quincy Adams, almost by his unaided
efforts, preserved and sustained the life of the Anti-Slavery cause at
a time when it was almost moribund. He plowed the ground, cutting a
deep and broad furrow as he went his way, and in the upturned soil
such laborers as Birney and Garrison and Chase planted the seed that
rooted and grew until it yielded a plentiful harvest.



CHAPTER IX

ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES


The divergent characteristics of the East and the West were never more
clearly shown than in the progress of the Anti-Slavery movement.
Efforts were made to plant Abolition societies at various points
throughout the West, but they failed to take permanent root and soon
disappeared. The failure was not due to any lack of interest, but
rather to an excess of zeal on the part of the Western supporters of
the cause. Society organizations on the lines of moral suasion were
too slow and tame to suit them. They preferred the excitement of
politics. They believed in the superior efficacy of a political party,
and to its upbuilding they gave their energies and resources. In the
"long run" they were amply vindicated, but for all that, the favorite
Eastern method for organized effort had its advantages.

The East, and especially New England, always believed in societies. If
anything of a public nature was to be promoted or prevented, a society
always appealed to the New Englander as the natural instrumentality.
There is a tradition that when Boston was ravaged by a loathsome
disease, a number of its leading citizens came together and promptly
organized an anti-smallpox society.

When, therefore, it was decided that an Anti-Slavery movement should
be inaugurated in Boston, the proper thing to do, according to all the
standards of the place, was to organize a society. But the thing was
more easily resolved upon than done. It required the concurrence of
several parties of like-mindedness. Boston was a pretty large place,
but Anti-Slavery people were scarce. The number (doubtless selected
because it was Apostolic) assumed to be necessary was twelve. Fifteen
people of somewhat similar views were at last brought together. After
much discussion nine favored an organization and six opposed it. So
far the operation was a failure. But at last, after much canvassing,
twelve men were found who promised their co-operation--twelve and no
more. Although respectable people, they were not of Boston's "first
citizens" by any means. It is said that if they had been called upon
for a hundred dollars each, not over two of them could have responded
without bankruptcy.

The twelve came together at night and in the basement of an African
Baptist Church, the room being used in the daytime to accommodate a
school for colored children. It was in an obscure quarter of Boston
known as "Nigger Hill." The conference was in the month of December,
and the night is thus described by Oliver Johnson, who was one of the
twelve: "A fierce northeast storm, combining rain, snow, and hail in
about equal proportions, was raging, and the streets were full of
slush. They were dark, too, for the city of Boston in those days was
very economical of light on Nigger Hill."

Both nature and man seemed to be in league against those plucky
pioneers of an unpopular cause. They, however, were not dismayed nor
disheartened. It was as they were stepping out into the gloomy night,
that Mr. Garrison, who, it is scarcely necessary to say, was one of
the twelve, remarked to his associates: "We have met to-night in this
obscure schoolhouse; our numbers are few, and our influence limited,
but mark my prediction. Faneuil Hall shall ere long echo to the
principles we have set forth."

What those principles were is shown by the declaration adopted by that
handful of confederates, and which, in view of the time and
circumstances of its formulation, was certainly a most remarkable
document. Its essential proposition was: "We, the undersigned, hold
that every person of full age and sound mind has a right to immediate
freedom from personal bondage of whatsoever kind, unless imposed by
the sentence of the law for the commission of some crime."

The Declaration of Independence, which was produced with no little
theatrical effect amid the pomp and circumstance of a national
conclave that had met in the finest hall in the country, was
unquestionably a remarkable and memorable pronouncement. It was for
the time and situation a radical utterance. It was the precursor of a
revolution that gave political freedom to several million people.

But the platform of principles that was announced by the New England
Anti-Slavery Society (the name adopted) in that little grimy
schoolroom on "Nigger Hill" was, in at least some respects, a more
remarkable document. Its enunciation required an equal degree of
physical and moral courage. It was the precursor of a revolution that
gave both personal and political freedom to a larger number than were
benefited by the other declaration. But what chiefly distinguished it,
the time and the situation being considered, was its radical
utterance. It gave no countenance to any measure of compromise. It
offered no pabulum to the wrongdoer in the form of compensation for
stolen humanity. It demanded what was right, and demanded it at once.
And that fearless and unyielding platform became the basis for all the
Abolition societies that came after it. A goodly number of such
societies were organized. "The Anti-Slavery Society for the City of
New York" was formed by a few men who met and did their work while a
mob was pounding at the door, and who, having completed their task,
fled for their lives.

It was at first intended that a national Anti-Slavery society should
be established with headquarters in the city of New York, but its
proposed organizers discovered that there was not a public hall or
church in that city in which they would be permitted to assemble.
Philadelphia, with its Quaker contingent, offered a more inviting
field, and to that city it was decided to go. But serious obstructions
here interposed. Representatives appeared from fourteen States, which
was highly encouraging, but no prominent Philadelphian could be found
to act as chairman of the meeting. A committee was appointed to secure
the services of such a man, but, after interviewing a number of
leading citizens, it was compelled to report that it was received by
all of them with "polite frigidity."

Strange to say, the convention was permitted to meet for three days in
succession in a public assembly room without interference from a mob.
The police, however, warned the participants not to hold night
sessions, as they in that case would not promise protection. The good
behavior of Philadelphia on this occasion was noteworthy, but it was
too good to last. When another Anti-Slavery meeting, not long after,
was convened in that city, it was broken up by a mob, and the hall in
which it met was burned to the ground.

Finally came the National Anti-Slavery Society, which, in view of its
limited financial resources, certainly did a wonderful work. Its
publications, in spite of careful watching of the mails and other
precautions adopted by the slaveholders, reached all parts of the
country, and its preachers, sent out and commissioned to proclaim the
new evangel of equal manhood, were absolutely ubiquitous.

Those early Anti-Slavery lecturers were a peculiar set. Since the days
of the Apostles there have been no more earnest propagandists. They
were both male and female. That they were, as a rule, financially
poor, it is unnecessary to state. They lived largely on the country
traversed. Sympathizers with their views, having received and
entertained them--sometimes clandestinely--after a public talk or two,
would carry them on to the next stations on their routes, occasionally
contributing a few dollars to their purses. It made no particular
difference to them whether they spoke in halls, in churches, or in
the open air. Before beginning their addresses their usual course was
to challenge their opponents to debate, and to taunt them with lack of
courage or principle if they failed to respond. Of course, they were
in constant danger from mobs. They were stoned, clubbed, shot at, and
rotten-egged, and in a few extreme cases tarred and feathered; but
they were never frightened from their work.

They were by no means policy-wise. That was one of their
peculiarities. Their idea seemed to be that they could drive people
easier than they could lead them. They used no buttered phrases. They
told the plainest truths in the plainest way. They gave their
audiences hard words, and often received hard knocks in return. They
called the slaveholders robbers and man-stealers. They branded
Northern politicians with Southern principles as "dough-faces." But
their hardest and sharpest expletives were reserved for those Northern
clergymen who were either pro-slavery or non-committal. They blistered
them all over with their lashings. In speaking of one of the most
noted among them, Lowell describes him as

    "A kind of maddened John the Baptist
    To whom the hardest word came aptest."

The lecturer of whom I saw the most in those early trying days was
Professor Hudson, of Oberlin College. While in that part of the field
he made headquarters at my father's house, radiating out and filling
appointments in different directions. He was exceedingly sharp-tongued
and very fearless. Nothing seemed to please him better than a
"scrimmage" with his opponents. Often he conquered mobs by resolutely
talking them down and making them ashamed of themselves. But on one
occasion, looking through the window from the outside to see what
awaited him in a room where he was to speak, he saw a pot of boiling
tar on the stove that heated the room and a pillow-case full of
feathers conveniently near, while a half-drunken crowd was in
possession of the place, and concluded to run. He, however, had been
seen and was pursued. There was a foot race, but as some of the
pursuers were better sprinters than Hudson, and he was about to be
captured, he dashed into the first house he came to and asked for
protection. The proprietor was a kinsman of mine. He was an old man,
but hearty and vigorous. He ordered his sons to take their guns and
guard the other entrances, while he took his stand in the front door
with an axe in his hand. When the mob came up and demanded the
Abolitionist, he gave warning that he would brain the first man that
attempted to enter his house without his consent. So evidently in
earnest was he that the rowdies, after a little bluster, concluded to
give up the hunt and left in disgust.



CHAPTER X

WANTED, AN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY


The National Anti-Slavery Society--the society organized by
Garrison and his _confrères_, and which longest maintained its
organization--made one great mistake. It disbanded. It assumed that
its work was done when African slavery in this country was pronounced
defunct by law. It took it for granted that the enslavement of the
colored man--not necessarily the negro--was no longer possible under
the Stars and Stripes. Then and there it committed a grievous blunder.
Its paramount error was in assuming that a political party could for
all time be depended upon as a party of freedom. It trusted to the
assurances of politicians that they would protect the colored man in
all his natural and acquired rights, and in that belief voluntarily
gave up the ghost and cast its mantle to the winds.

Now, the fact is that the National Anti-Slavery Society was never more
needed than it is to-day. There is a mighty work to be done that was
directly in the line of its operations. First and foremost, it will
not be denied that a citizen of our Republic who is deprived of the
elective franchise is robbed of one of his most valuable
privileges--one of his most essential rights. The ballot, under a
political system like ours, is both the sword and the shield of
liberty. Without it no man is really a freeman. He does not stand on
an equality with his fellows.

Nor will it be denied that the negro, although our amended
Constitution promises him all the privileges of citizenship, is in
many parts of our country practically divested of his vote. By a
species of legerdemain in the communities in which he is most numerous
and most needs protection, he is to all intents and purposes
disfranchised. What will follow as the final outcome we do not know,
but that is the beginning of his attempted re-enslavement. It is
beyond any question that his return to involuntary servitude in some
condition or conditions, the disarming him of the ballot being the
initial step in the proceeding, is seriously contemplated, if not
deliberately planned. Indeed, under the name of "peonage" the work of
re-establishing a system of slaveholding that is barbarous in the
extreme is already begun. Men and women have been seized upon by
force, and upon the most flimsy pretexts have been subjected to a
bondage that in its inhumanities may easily equal even the slavery of
the olden time. The number of victims is undoubtedly much larger than
the general public has any idea of.

Nor are there lacking signs of studied preparation for the extension
of the system. The present time is full of them. Efforts to create a
prejudice against the colored man are visible in all directions. He is
described as a failure in the role of freeman. The idleness and
shiftlessness of certain members of his race--undoubtedly altogether
too numerous--are dwelt upon as characteristic of the entire family.
Scant praise is given to those members who are doing well, and whose
number is encouragingly large. These are as far as possible ignored.
The race problem is spoken of as full of increasing difficulties, and
as imperatively demanding a change from present conditions. The people
of the North are being especially indoctrinated with such ideas. They
are told that they must leave their brethren of the former
slaveholding States, and in which the negroes principally dwell, to
deal with the issues arising between the whites and the blacks; that
they--the Southerners--understand the questions to be settled, and
that outsiders should withhold their hands and their sympathies. It is
none of their business, they are informed, while assurances are freely
given that the people who, because of their experience with them,
understand the negroes, will take considerate care of them. What kind
of care they are taking of them in certain quarters is shown by recent
incontestable revelations.

And what has the political party which, in view of its manifold
professions, was supposed to have the interests of the negro in its
especial keeping, done about it? Nothing whatever. It has looked on
with the coolest indifference. The only concern it has shown in the
matter has related to the question of Congressional representation as
dependent upon the enumeration of electors, and, in so doing, has
plainly intimated that if, through the negro's political robbery, it
can secure an increase of partisan power, it is perfectly willing that
the cause of the injured black man should "slide."

Indifference in regard to the rights of peoples of color is
unfortunately not the only nor even the greatest charge to be laid at
the door of the Republican party. It may be asserted that this party
has become an active aggressor in trampling down the liberties of
colored peoples. As the assignee of Spain in taking over (without
consulting those who were most concerned) the control of the territory
of the Philippine Islands, it has purchased (and has paid cash for)
the right to dominate from eight to ten millions of people. These
people may, under the existing conditions, be described as being in a
state of slavery. If a foreign people, say a people coming from the
other side of the globe, should treat Americans as we have treated the
Filipinos, should deny to us the right of self-government, should send
great armies to chastise us for disobedience (or for what they might
call "rebellion"), and should do this for no better reason than that
our skin was darker or lighter than their own, we Americans would
doubtless consider ourselves to be in a state of slavery. Why in any
sense is slavery in Luzon more defensible than slavery in South
Carolina or in Alabama? If it be wrong to keep in slavery the black
man in America (as in theory at least we are all now agreed it is
wrong), what is the justice in depriving of his freedom the
brown-skinned Tagal? Can a bill of sale from Spain give to us any such
privilege, if privilege it may be called? Can an agreement with Spain
bring to naught our responsibilities under our own Declaration of
Independence?

Although, owing to the remoteness of the islands, we have as yet but
little trustworthy knowledge as to what has really occurred in this
new territory, and possibly in any case have not been informed of the
things which are most to be condemned, the reports that have reached
us of barbarities perpetrated upon a people who never did us any harm
or wrong ought certainly to awaken in American bosoms every throb of
pity and every sentiment of manliness. We have had accounts of
butcheries called "battles" in which have been slaughtered hundreds of
almost defenseless creatures for no offense except that of standing up
for their independence. It is said that certain districts that would
not acknowledge our mastery have been turned into wildernesses, and
that in these districts the number of the slain may easily have
equaled the victims of massacres in Armenia and Bessarabia, massacres
which we have always so strenuously condemned. Thousands of men,
women, and children have perished at our hands or in connection with
operations for which we were responsible; and in addition to the
taking of life there is record of the infliction of serious cruelties.
As assignees of Spain, we seem to have succeeded not only to her
properties but to her policies in the treatment of subject races. We
do not know that in the greatest excesses of the bad colonial
government of Spaniards they ever inflicted a torture more exquisite
than that of the "water cure." How many of the perpetrators of these
atrocities have been adequately punished, or how many have been
punished at all?

It is wonderful with what complacency we have received the accounts of
these horrible affairs. Nobody has been disturbed. The newspapers,
beyond reporting the facts, have had nothing to say. The Church has
been silent--at least that can be said of the Protestant Church. Not
one brave or manly word of protest or condemnation has the writer
heard, or heard of, from a Protestant American pulpit. Catholics,
being victims and sufferers, have complained and protested. The
greatest discomfort these things have produced has been occasioned by
the apprehension that, through somebody's lack of patriotism, our flag
may be withdrawn from the field of such glorious operations. It used
to be our boast that Freedom followed our flag. Now slavery follows
it.

In view of the facts stated we can understand, not only the serenity,
but the favor with which the people of this country, or the great body
of them, so long looked upon the workings of African slavery, and the
difficulty which the Abolitionists had in arousing a sentiment of
revulsion toward it.

One of the curious things in this connection is the similarity--the
practical sameness--of the arguments used to justify the Philippine
occupation and those once used to justify American slaveholding. We
are now working to civilize and Christianize the Filipinos, and were
then civilizing and Christianizing the negroes with the lash and the
bludgeon.

Of course, there are other arguments. Increase of trade and wealth, as
the result of our appropriation of other peoples' possessions, is
freely predicted. It has always been the robber's plea. That is what
it is to-day, even when employed by a professed Christian nation. Nor
is it improved by the fact that the grounds upon which it is
predicated and urged are largely fallacious. The spoliation of the
Philippines will never repay us for the blood--our own blood--and
treasure it has cost us, apart from any moral or humanitarian
consideration. There is not one aspect in this business that promises
to redound to our benefit. No, I won't say that; I would hardly be
justified in going that far. In one particular the Philippine
operation has profited a considerable part of our people. It has added
materially to our Army and our Navy. The opportunity for enlargement
in those quarters was, undoubtedly, the strongest inducement for our
entering upon a colonial policy. For a great many people, and
especially in official circles, we cannot have a standing army that is
too large, nor too many ships of war. The more powerful those
appendages of our authority the larger is the opening for the kinsmen
and retainers of those in high places, who may be seeking profitable
and agreeable employment, and the more liberal the contributions of
contractors and jobbers to the sinews of partisan warfare. Our Army
to-day is nearly three times what it was five years ago, although
outside of the Philippines we are at peace with all mankind. Nor is
that formidable advance at an end. The Far East is now certain to be
the world's great battle-ground for the near future, and since we have
entered that field as the master of the Philippines, like a knight of
the olden time who was ready to do battle with all comers, we must be
constantly increasing our preparation. We may not only have to fight
the Russians and the Japanese and the Chinese, one or all, but those
foolish Filipinos may again take it into their silly heads that they
can govern themselves as well or better than we can do it for them.
That means rebellion, and, of course, chastisement must follow. As
climatic conditions in that part of the world are such that it
requires the presence of three men in the army to supply the active
services of one, it is obvious that so long as we adhere to our
present Asiatic policy, we shall never have an army and a navy large
enough and strong enough to meet the requirements of our new
condition.

On all questions affecting human liberty, no one can fail to observe
that the attitude of the two great political parties of to-day, is
practically that of the two principal parties at the time the
Abolitionists began their operations. One of them may pass perfunctory
resolutions against the Philippine crime, but dares to say nothing
about the treatment visited upon the negro. The other may say a few
compassionate, but meaningless, words for the negro, but cannot
denounce the oppression of the Filipinos. Both are fatally handicapped
by their connections and committals. Both are, in fact, pro-slavery,
although the one in power, because of its responsibility for existing
conditions, is the more criminal of the two.

What this country now needs, in the opinion of the writer, is a
revival of Abolitionism, and to that end, as one of the
instrumentalities that would be serviceable, he holds that the old
National Anti-Slavery Society should be restored. The most of the men
and women that made that institution so useful and honorable, have
passed from the scenes of their labors, but a few of them are left,
and they and such as may feel like joining them, should meet and
unfurl the old standard once more. There may be new associations
looking to very much the same ends, but better the old guard under the
old name. It would carry a prestige that no newer organization could
command. It would create a measure of confidence that would be most
strongly felt. The principles and policies it should urge are few and
simple.

First: Let it declare that the colored man in this country must be
permitted to enjoy all his rights under the Constitution as it is,
both political and personal.

Second: Let it declare that all forms of servitude, including the
denial of political self-government, under the flag, as well as under
the Constitution, must cease.

And then let it go to work for the results thus indicated, in the
spirit and with the confidence of the old-time leaders. The Society
should be revived and re-established, not for a single campaign only,
or for the rectification of such oppressions as are now in sight, but
for all time. It ought to be made a permanent institution. It should
be so arranged that the sons would step into the ranks as the fathers
dropped out and that new recruits would be constantly enlisted. Thus
reorganized the grand old institution would be an invaluable watchman
on the walls of Freedom's stronghold. The exhortation to which it
should listen, is that of the poet Bryant when he says:

                                  "Oh not yet
    Mayst thou unloose thy corslet, nor lay by
    Thy sword, nor yet, O Freedom, close thy lids
    In slumber, for thine enemy never sleeps."



CHAPTER XI

ANTI-SLAVERY ORATORS


George William Curtis, in one of his essays, says that "three speeches
have made the places where they were delivered illustrious in our
history--three, and there is no fourth." He refers to the speech of
Patrick Henry in Williamsburg, Virginia, of Lincoln in Gettysburg, and
the first address of Wendell Phillips in Faneuil Hall.

If it was the purpose of Mr. Curtis to offer the three notable
deliverances above mentioned as the best and foremost examples of
American oratory, the author cannot agree with him. In his opinion we
shall have but little difficulty in picking out the three entitled to
that distinction, provided we go to the discussion of the slavery
question to find them. That furnished the greatest occasion, being
with its ramifications and developments, by far the greatest issue
with which Americans have had to deal.

The three speeches to which the writer refers were the more notable
because they were altogether impromptu. They were what we call "off
hand." They were delivered in the face of mobs or other bitterly
hostile audiences--a circumstance that probably contributed not a
little to their effectiveness.

John Quincy Adams, who was unquestionably one of the greatest of
American orators, made several speeches in Congress that will always
command our highest admiration; but the one to which a somewhat
extended reference is made in another chapter, when an attempt was
made by the slaveholders to expel him from that body, easily ranks
among the first three exhibitions of American eloquence.

I quite agree with Mr. Curtis in giving the Faneuil Hall speech of
Wendell Phillips a pre-eminent place. A meeting had been called to
denounce the murder of Lovejoy, the Abolitionist editor. The audience
was composed in large part of pro-slavery rowdies, who were bent on
capturing or breaking up the meeting. One of their leaders--a high
official of the State of Massachusetts, by the way--made a speech in
which he justified the murderous act. "That speech must be answered
here and now," exclaimed a young man in the audience. "Answer it
yourself," shouted those about him. "I will," was the reply, "if I can
reach the platform." To the platform he was assisted, and although an
attempt was made for a time to howl him down, he persisted, and before
long so interested and charmed his hearers that his triumph was
complete.

It did not take the country long to realize that in that young man,
who was Wendell Phillips, a new oratorical luminary had arisen. He
took up the work of lecturing as a profession, treating on other
subjects as well as slavery; but when slavery was the subject no
charge was made for his services. Said Frederic Hudson, the noted New
York editor, in 1860: "It is probable that there is not another man
in the United States who is as much heard and read as Henry Ward
Beecher, unless the other man be Wendell Phillips."

The mention of Henry Ward Beecher's name is suggestive of oratory of
the very highest order. It will not be denied by any competent and
unprejudiced person that his great speech in England--there were five
addresses, but the substance was the same--upon the American question
(which directly involved the slavery issue) during our Civil War was
far and away the finest exhibition of masterful eloquence that is to
be credited to any of our countrymen. The world has never beaten it.

Mr. Beecher found himself in England by a fortunate accident at a most
critical period in our national affairs. A crisis had there been
reached. A powerful party, including a large majority of the public
men of Great Britain, favored intervention in behalf of the South.
Southern agents were at work all over the kingdom, and were remarkably
effective in propagating their views. It looked as if the Rebel
interest was on the point of winning, when Mr. Beecher appeared on the
scene. He had not gone to England to make public speeches. He was
there for health and recreation, but, realizing the situation with his
quick perceptiveness, he took up the gage of battle. It was a fearful
resolution on his part. The chances seemed to be all against him. It
was one man against thousands. His victory, however, was complete. His
five great speeches in the business centres of England and Scotland
were not only listened to by thousands, but they went all over the
country in the public prints. They completely changed the current of
public opinion.

Mr. Beecher's first address was in Manchester, which, owing to the
interest of the leading business men of that city in the cotton trade
and the furnishing of ships and supplies for blockade running, was a
seething hot bed of Rebel sentiment. When he arrived in that place on
the day he was to speak, he was met at the depot by friends with
troubled faces, who informed him that hostile placards--significantly
printed in red colors--had been posted all over the city, and, if he
persisted in trying to speak, he would have a very uncomfortable
reception.

He was asked how he felt about trying to go on. "I am going to be
heard," was his reply.

The best description of the scene that ensued is supplied in Mr.
Beecher's own words:

  "The uproar would come in on this side, and then on that. They
  would put insulting questions and make all sorts of calls to me,
  and I would wait until the noise had subsided and then get in
  about five minutes of talk. The reporters would get that down, and
  then up would come another noise. Occasionally I would see things
  that amused me, and I would laugh outright, and the crowd would
  stop to see what I was laughing at. Then I would sail in with
  another sentence or two. A good many times the crowd threw up
  questions that I caught and threw back. I may as well at this
  point mention a thing that amused me hugely. There were baize
  doors that opened both ways into side alleys, and there was a huge
  burly Englishman standing right in front of one of these doors and
  roaring like a bull of Bashan. One of the policemen swung his
  elbow round and hit him in the belly and knocked him through the
  doorway, so that the last part of his bawl was out in the
  alleyway. It struck me so ludicrously to think how the fellow must
  have looked when he found himself 'hollering' outside, that I
  could not refrain from laughing outright. The audience immediately
  stopped its uproar, wondering what I was laughing at. That gave me
  another chance, and I caught on to it. So we kept it up for about
  an hour and a half before the people became so far calmed down
  that I could go on peaceably with my speech. My audience got to
  like the pluck I showed. Englishmen like a man that can stand on
  his feet and give and take, and so for the last hour I had pretty
  much clear sailing. The next morning every great paper in England
  had the whole speech down.

  "And when the vote came to be taken--for in England it is
  customary for audiences to express their decision on the subject
  under discussion--you would have thought it was a tropical
  thunder-storm that swept through the hall as the Ayes were
  thundered, while the Nays were an insignificant and contemptible
  minority. It had all gone on our side, and such enthusiasm I never
  saw."

It has been repeatedly stated, and to this day is generally
believed,--is so stated in several of Mr. Lincoln's biographies, I
believe,--that Mr. Beecher went to England at the President's request,
and for the purpose of making a speaking tour. The best answer is that
given by Mr. Beecher himself.

  "It has been asked," said he, "whether I was sent by the
  government. The government took no stock in me at that time. I had
  been pounding Lincoln in the earlier years of the war, and I don't
  believe there was a man down there, unless it was Mr. Chase, who
  would have trusted me with anything. At any rate, I went on my own
  responsibility."

But in referring to Abolition orators, and especially orators whose
experience it was to encounter mobs, the writer desires to pay a
tribute to one of them whose name he does not even know.

A meeting that was called to organize an Anti-Slavery society in New
York City was broken up by a mob. All of those in attendance made
their escape except one negro. He was caught and his captors thought
it would be a capital joke to make him personify one of the big
Abolitionists. He was lifted to the platform and directed to imagine
himself an Anti-Slavery leader and make an Abolition speech. The
fellow proved to be equal to the occasion. He proceeded to assert the
right of his race to the privileges of human beings with force and
eloquence. His hearers listened with amazement, and possibly with
something like admiration, until, realizing that the joke was on them,
they pulled him from the platform and kicked him from the building.



CHAPTER XII

LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS


In speaking of the orators and oratory that were evolved by the
Slavery issue, there are two names that cannot be omitted. These are
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. It was the good fortune of the
writer to be an eye and ear witness of the closing bout, at Alton,
Illinois, between those two political champions in their great debate
of 1858. The contrast between the men was remarkable. Lincoln was very
tall and spare, standing up, when speaking, straight and stiff.
Douglas was short and stumpy, a regular roly-poly man. Lincoln's face
was calm and meek, almost immobile. He referred to it in his address
as "my rather melancholy face." Although plain and somewhat rugged, I
never regarded Lincoln's face as homely. I saw him many times and
talked with him, after the occasion now referred to. It was a good
face, and had many winning lines. Douglas's countenance, on the other
hand, was leonine and full of expression. His was a handsome face.
When lighted up by the excitement of debate it could not fail to
impress an audience.

Lincoln indulged in no gesticulation. If he had been addressing a
bench of judges he would not have been more impassive in his manner.
He was an animate, but not an animated, bean-pole. He poured out a
steady flow of words--three to Douglas's two--in a simple and
semi-conversational tone. He attempted no witticisms and indulged in
no oratorical claptrap. His address was pure argument. Douglas's
manner was one of excitement, and accompanied and emphasized by almost
continuous bodily movement. His hands and his feet, and especially
that pliable face of his, were all busy talking. He said sharp things,
evidently for their immediate effect on his audience, and showed that
he was not only master of all the arts of the practical stump orator,
but was ready to employ them.

But the most noticeable difference was in the voices of the men.
Douglas spoke first, and for the first minute or two was utterly
unintelligible. His voice seemed to be all worn out by his speaking in
that long and principally open-air debate. He simply bellowed. But
gradually he got command of his organ, and pretty soon, in a somewhat
laborious and painful way, it is true, he succeeded in making himself
understood.

Lincoln's voice, on the contrary, was without a quaver or a sign of
huskiness. He had been speaking in the open air exactly as much as
Douglas, but it was perfectly fresh, not a particle strained. It was a
perfect voice.

Those who wanted to understand Douglas had to press up close to the
platform from which he was speaking, and there was collected a dense,
but not very deep, crowd. There was no crowding in front of Lincoln
when he was speaking. He could be heard without it. There was a line
of wagons and carriages on the outskirts of the audience, and I
noticed, when Lincoln was speaking, that they were filled with
comfortably seated people listening to his address. They did not need
to go any nearer to him. The most of the shouting was done by
Douglas's partisans, composing a clear majority of the crowd, but it
was very manifest that Lincoln commanded the attention of the greater
number of those who were interested in the arguments. He did not act
as if he cared for the applause of the multitude. He said nothing,
apparently, simply to tickle the ears of his hearers.

Rather strange was it that the only points on which there did not
appear to be much, if any, difference between the two men were reached
when they came to the propositions they advocated. Douglas was
avowedly pro-slavery. He was talking in southern Illinois and on the
border of Missouri, to which many of his hearers belonged, and his
audience was mostly Southern in its feelings. He was plainly trying to
please that element. He not only approved of slavery where it was, but
metaphorically jumped on the negro and trampled all over him. He
denied that the negro was a "man" within the meaning of the
Declaration of Independence. Lincoln, however, as far as slavery in
the States was involved, met Douglas on his own ground, and "went him
one better." He said, "I have on all occasions declared as strongly as
Judge Douglas against the disposition to interfere with the existing
institution of slavery."

If a stranger who knew nothing of the speakers and their party
associations had heard the two men on that occasion, he would have
concluded that one was strongly in favor of slavery and the other was
not opposed to it.

Their only disagreement was as to slavery in the Territories, and that
was more apparent than real. Lincoln contended for free soil through
the direct action of the general government. Douglas advocated a
roundabout way that led up to the same result. His proposition, which
he called "popular sovereignty," was to leave the decision to the
people of the Territories, saying he did not care whether they voted
slavery up or voted it down. That was a practical, although indirect
declaration in favor of free soil. The outcome of the contests in
Kansas and California showed that at that game the free States with
their superior resources were certain to win. The shrewder
slaveholders recognized that fact, and their antagonism to Douglas
grew accordingly. They deliberately defeated him for the Presidency in
1860, when he was the regular candidate of the Democratic party, by
running Breckenridge as an independent candidate. Otherwise Mr.
Douglas would have become President of the United States. Out of a
total of 4,680,193 votes, Mr. Lincoln had only 1,866,631. The rest
were divided between his three antagonists.

As between Lincoln and Douglas, who together held the controlling
hand, the slaveholders preferred Lincoln, against whom they had no
personal feeling, while they knew that his policy was no more
dangerous to their interests than the other man's, if faithfully
adhered to and carried out. Besides that, by this time many of them
had reached that state of mind in which they wanted a pretext for
secession from the Union. Lincoln's election would give them that
pretext while Douglas's would not.

On a boat that carried a portion of the audience, including the
writer, from Alton to St. Louis, after the debate was over, was a
prominent Missouri Democrat, afterwards a Confederate leader, who
expressed himself very freely. He declared that he would rather trust
the institutions of the South to the hands of a conservative and
honest man like "Old Abe," than to those of "a political jumping-jack
like Douglas." The most of the other Southern men and slaveholders
present seemed to concur in his views.

It is a fact that a good many of the Anti-Slavery leaders living
outside of Illinois, and a good many of those living within it, wanted
the Republicans of that State to let Douglas go back to the Senate
without a contest, believing that he would be far more useful to them
there than a Republican would be. It is not improbable that enough of
the Illinois Republicans took that view of the matter, and helped to
give Douglas the victory in what was a very close contest.

A portion of Douglas's speech was a spirited defense of his "squatter
sovereignty" doctrine against the denunciations of members of his own
political party, in the course of which he gave President Buchanan a
savage overhauling. It showed him to be a master of invective.

"Go it, husband; go it, bear," was Mr. Lincoln's comment on that part
of Douglas's address. I went to the debate with a very strong
prejudice against Douglas, looking upon him as one of the most
time-serving of those Northern men whom the Abolitionists called
"dough-faces." I confess that my views of the man were considerably
modified. I admired the pluck he showed in speaking when his voice was
in tatters. Still more did I like the resolution he displayed in
defying those leaders of his own party, including the President, who
wanted him to retreat from the ground he had taken, seeing that it had
become practically Anti-Slavery.

At the same time I had an almost worshipful admiration for Lincoln,
whom I had not before seen or heard. I expected a great deal from him.
I thought his closing appeal in that great debate would contain some
ringing words for freedom. He had, as I supposed, a great opportunity
for telling eloquence. He stood almost on the ground that had drunk
the blood of Lovejoy, the Anti-Slavery martyr. I felt that that fact
ought to inspire him. I was disappointed. Mr. Lincoln's speech was
altogether colorless. It was an argument, able but perfectly cold. It
was largely technical. There was no sentiment in it. Lovejoy had died
in vain so far as that address was concerned. I am free to say that I
was led to doubt whether Mr. Lincoln was then in hearty sympathy with
any movement looking to the freedom of the slave, and this impression
was not afterwards wholly removed from my mind.



CHAPTER XIII

ANTI-SLAVERY WOMEN


My father was a subscriber to the _National Era_, the Anti-Slavery
weekly that was published in Washington City before the war by Dr.
Gamaliel Bailey. Being the youngest member of the family, I usually
went to the post-office for the paper on the day of its weekly
arrival. One day I brought it home and handed it to my father, who, as
the day was warm, was seated outside of the house. He was soon
apparently very much absorbed in his reading. A call for dinner was
sounded, but he paid no attention to it. The meal was delayed a little
while and then the call was repeated, but with the same result. At
last the meal proceeded without my father's presence, he coming in at
the close and swinging the paper in his hand. His explanation, by way
of apology, was that he had become very much interested in the opening
installment of a story that was begun in the _Era_, and which he
declared would make a sensation. "It will make a renovation," he
repeated several times.

That story, it is almost needless to say, was _Uncle Tom's Cabin_, and
it is altogether needless to say that it fully accomplished my
father's prediction as to its sensational effects. Since the
appearance of the Bible in a form that brought it home to the common
people, there has been no work in the English language so extensively
read. The author's name became at once a cynosure the world over. When
Henry Ward Beecher, the writer's distinguished brother, delivered his
first lecture in England, he was introduced to the audience by the
chairman as the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher Stowe.

The way in which the idea of writing the book came to the author was
significant of the will that produced it. A lady friend wrote Mrs.
Stowe a letter in which she said, "If I could use a pen as you can, I
would write something that would make the whole nation feel what an
accursed thing slavery is." When the letter reached its destination,
and Mrs. Stowe came to the passage above quoted, as the story is told
by a friend who was present, she sprang to her feet, crushed the
letter in her hand in the intensity of her feeling, and with an
expression on her face of the utmost determination, exclaimed, "If I
live, I will write something that will do that thing."

The circumstances under which she executed her great task would
ordinarily be looked upon as altogether prohibitory. She was the wife
of a poor minister and school-teacher. To eke out the family income
she took boarders. She had five children of her own, who were too
young to be of any material assistance, and, in addition, she
occasionally harbored a waif that besought her protection when fleeing
from slavery. Necessarily the most of her time was spent in the
kitchen. There, surrounded by meats and vegetables and cooking
appliances, with just enough of the common deal table cleared away to
give space for her writing materials, she composed and made ready for
the publisher by far the most remarkable work of fiction this country
has produced. Slavery is dead, but Mrs. Stowe's masterpiece lives, and
is likely to live with growing luster as long as our free institutions
survive, which it is to be hoped will be forever.

One of the most remarkable early workers in the Abolition cause was
Mrs. Lucretia Mott, a little Quaker woman of Pennsylvania. The writer
saw her for the last time shortly before her death. She was then
acting as presiding officer of an "Equal Rights"--meaning equal
suffrage--meeting. Sitting on one hand was Susan B. Anthony, and on
the other Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and next to one of them sat a
stately negro.

She was then an aged woman, but her eye seemed to be as bright and her
movements as alert as they had ever been. Framed by her becoming
Quaker bonnet, which she retained in her official position, the face
of the handsome old lady would have been a splendid subject for an
artist.

Mrs. Mott gave much of her time and all the means she could control to
the cause of the slave. She was an exceedingly spirited and eloquent
speaker. On one lecturing tour she traveled twenty-four hundred miles,
the most of the way in old-fashioned stage-coaches. By a number of
taverns she was denied entertainment.

Like other pioneers in the same movement, Mrs. Mott was the victim of
numerous mobbings. One incident shows her courage and resourcefulness.
An Anti-Slavery meeting she was attending was broken up by rowdies,
and some of the ladies present were greatly frightened. Seeing this
Mrs. Mott asked the gentleman who was escorting her, to leave her and
assist some of the others who were more timid. "But who will take care
of you?" he asked. "This man," she answered, lightly laying her hand
on the arm of one of the roughest of the mob. The man, completely
surprised, responded by respectfully conducting her through the tumult
to a place of safety.

But before Mrs. Stowe and Mrs. Mott had taken up the work for the
bondman, two other remarkable women had become interested in his
cause. Their history has some features that the most accomplished
novel-writer could not improve upon. They were sisters, known as the
Grimké sisters, Sarah and Angelina, the latter becoming the wife of
Theodore W. Weld, a noted Abolition lecturer. They were daughters of a
Judge of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, their early home being
in Charleston.

The family was of the highest pretension, being related to the Rhetts,
the Barnwells, the Pickenses, and other famous representatives of the
Palmetto aristocracy. It was wealthy, and of course had many slaves.
The girls had their colored attendants, whose only service was to wait
upon them and do their bidding. That circumstance finally led to
trouble.

At that time there was a statute in South Carolina against teaching
slaves to read and write. The penalties were fine and imprisonment.
The Grimké girls, however, had little respect for or fear of that
law. The story of their offending is told by Sarah.

Her attendant, when she was little more than a child, was a colored
girl of about the same age. She says,

  "I took an almost malicious satisfaction in teaching my little
  waiting maid at night, when she was supposed to be occupied in
  combing and brushing my long hair. The light was put out, the
  key-hole screened, and flat on our stomachs before the fire, with
  the spelling-book under our eyes, we defied the law of South
  Carolina."

South Carolina was long noted for its rebels, but it never had a more
interesting one than the author of the above narrative; nor a braver
one.

As the sisters grew up, they more and more showed their dislike of
slavery and their disposition to aid such colored people as were
within their circle. Such conduct could not escape observation, and
the result was their banishment from their Southern home. They were
given the alternative of "behaving themselves" or going North to live.
They were not long in deciding, and they became residents of
Philadelphia. Here they joined the Quakers, because of their
coincidence of views on the slavery question. They had before been
Presbyterians, having been raised as such. They became industrious and
noted Anti-Slavery lecturers. To one of them is to be credited a
notable oratorical achievement.

Being no longer able to ignore the growing Anti-Slavery sentiment of
its constituency, the Massachusetts Legislature in 1838 appointed a
committee to consider the part that that State had in the subject of
slavery, and especially in connection with slavery in the District of
Columbia. The committee asked an expression of their views from those
entertaining different sentiments on the subject. The Anti-Slavery
people invited Angelina Grimké to represent them. The sessions of the
committee were to be held in the great hall of the Legislature in the
State House, where, up to that time, no woman had ever spoken. The
chairman of the committee, however, consented that Miss Grimké should
be heard, and the fact that she was a woman probably helped to bring
out an immense audience.

She spoke for two hours, and then, being asked to speak again, at the
next meeting, she spoke for two hours more. The impression she
produced may be inferred from the fact that the chairman of the
committee was in tears nearly the whole time she was speaking. The
effect upon all who heard her was admitted to be very great.

The sincerity of these women was put to an unusual test. They had a
brother who remained in South Carolina, where he was a prominent
citizen and a large slave-owner. Like many sharing the privileges of
"the institution," he led a double life. He was married to a white
woman by whom he had children. He also had a family by a colored woman
who was one of his slaves. In his will he bequeathed his slave family
to a son by his lawful wife, with the stipulation that they should not
be sold or unkindly treated.

Of these things the Grimké sisters knew nothing until after the war
which had freed their illegitimate relatives. Then all the facts came
to their knowledge. What should they do about it? was the question
that immediately confronted them. Should they--"Carolina's high-souled
daughters," as Whittier describes them, and not without some part in
the pride of the family to which they belonged--acknowledge such a
disreputable relationship? Not a day nor an hour did they hesitate.
They sent for their unfortunate kinspeople, accepted them as blood
connections, and took upon themselves the duty of promoting their
interests as far as it was in their power to do so.

Although a quiet and retiring person, and, moreover, so much of an
invalid that the greater part of her time was necessarily passed in a
bed of sickness, a New England woman had much to do with publishing
the doctrines of Abolitionism, through the lips of the most eloquent
man in the country. She was the wife of Wendell Phillips, the noted
Anti-Slavery lecturer.

"My wife made me an Abolitionist," said Phillips. How the work was
done is not without its romantic interest.

It was several years before he made his meteoric appearance before the
public as a platform talker, and while yet a law student, that
Phillips met the lady in question. The interview, as described by one
of the parties, certainly had its comical aspect. "I talked
Abolitionism to him all the time we were together," said Mrs.
Phillips, as she afterwards related the affair. Phillips listened, and
that he was not surfeited nor disgusted appears from the fact that he
went again and again for that sort of entertainment.

When Phillips asked for her hand, as the story goes, she asked him if
he was fully persuaded to be a friend of the slave, leaving him to
infer that their union was otherwise impossible.

"My life shall attest the sincerity of my conversion," was his gallant
reply.



CHAPTER XIV

MOBS


In his _Recollections_, the Rev. Samuel T. May, who was one of the
most faithful and zealous of the Anti-Slavery pioneers, and belonged
to that band of devoted workers who were known as Abolition lecturers,
tells of his experience in delivering an Anti-Slavery address in the
sober New England city of Haverhill.

  "It was a Sabbath evening," he says. "I had spoken about fifteen
  minutes when the most hideous outcries--yells and screeches--from
  a crowd of men and boys, who had surrounded the house, startled
  us, and then came heavy missiles against the doors and the blinds
  of the windows. I persisted in speaking for a few minutes, hoping
  the doors and blinds were strong enough to withstand the attack.
  But presently a heavy stone broke through one of the blinds,
  scattered a pane of glass, and fell upon the head of a lady
  sitting near the center of the hall. She uttered a shriek and fell
  bleeding on the floor."

There was a panic, of course, and the Abolition lecturer would have
been roughly handled by the mob if a young lady, a sister of the poet
Whittier, had not taken him by the arm, and walked with him through
the astonished crowd. They did not feel like attacking a woman.

There was nothing unusual, except the part performed by the young
lady, in the affair described in the foregoing narrative. Mobs were of
constant occurrence in the period of which we are speaking. It was not
in the slave States that they were most frequent. Northern communities
that were regarded as absolutely peaceable and perfectly moral thought
nothing of an anti-Abolitionist riot now and then. They occurred "away
up North" and "away down East." Even sleepy old Nantucket, in its
sedentary repose by the sea, woke up long enough to mob a couple of
Abolition lecturers, a man and a woman.

The community in which the writer resided when a boy, was fully up to
the pacific standard of most Northern neighborhoods. Yet it was the
scene of many turmoils growing out of Anti-Slavery meetings. The
district schoolhouse, which was the only public building in the
village that was open for such gatherings, called for frequent repairs
on account of damages done by mobs. Broken windows and doors were
often in evidence, and stains from mud-balls, decayed vegetables, and
antiquated eggs, which nobody took the trouble to remove, were nearly
always visible.

On one occasion, at an evening meeting, the lecturer was a young
professor, who was "down" from Oberlin College, against which, as "an
Abolition hole," there was a very strong prejudice. He had not got
more than well started, when rocks, bricks, and other missiles began
to crash through the windows. The mob was resolved to punish that
young man, and had come prepared to give him a coating of unsavory
mixture. He was a preacher as well as a teacher, and his "store
clothes" were likely to betray him; but some thoughtful person had
brought an old drab overcoat and a rough workman's cap, and arrayed in
these garments he walked through the crowd without his identity being
suspected.

But another party was not so fortunate. He was a respected citizen of
the village, an elder in the Presbyterian church, and a strong
pro-slavery man. He dressed in black and his appearance was not unlike
that of the lecturer. By some hard luck he happened to be passing that
way when the crowd was looking for the Abolitionist, and was
discovered. "There he goes," was the cry that was raised, and a fire
of eggs and other things was opened upon him. He reached his home in
an awful plight, and it was charged that his conversation was not
unmixed with profanity.

On another occasion the writer was present when the friends of the
lecturer undertook to convey him to a place of safety. They formed a
circle about him and moved away while the mob followed, hurling eggs
and clods and sticks and whatever else came handy. We kept quietly on
our way until we reached a place in the road that had been freshly
graveled, and where the surface was covered with stones just suited to
our use. Here we halted, and, with rocks in hand, formed a line of
battle. It took only one volley to put the enemy to rout, and we had
no further trouble.

At last, after several men had been prevented from speaking in our
village, the services of a female lecturer were secured. The question
then was, whether the mob would be so ungallant as to disturb a woman.
The matter was settled by the rowdies on that occasion being more than
usually demonstrative. The lecturer showed great courage and presence
of mind. She closed the meeting in due form, and then walked calmly
through the noisy throng that gave her no personal molestation or
insult. Deliberately she proceeded to a place of safety--and then went
into hysterics.

Finding that it was impossible to hold undisturbed public meetings,
the Abolitionists adopted a plan of operations that was altogether
successful. They met in their several homes, taking them in order, and
there the subject they were interested in was uninterruptedly
discussed. Intelligent opponents of their views were invited to
attend, and frequently did so. So warm were the discussions that arose
that the meetings sometimes lasted for entire days, and conversions
were not unusual.

It was in one of these neighborhood gatherings that the writer first
became an active Anti-Slavery worker. He had memorized one of Daniel
O'Connell's philippics against American slavery, and, being given the
opportunity, declaimed it with much earnestness. After that he was
invited to all the meetings, and had on hand a stock of selections for
delivery, his favorite being Whittier's _Slave Mother's Lament over
the Loss of Her Daughters_:

      "Gone, gone--sold and gone
       To the rice swamp dank and lone,
    Where the slave whip ceaseless swings,
    Where the noisome insect stings;
    Where the fever demon strews
    Poison with the falling dews;
    Where the sickly sunbeams glare
    Through the hot and misty air.
       Gone, gone--sold and gone
       To the rice swamp dank and lone,
       From Virginia's hills and waters--
       Woe is me my stolen daughters!"

It was marvelous how little damage all the mobs effected. Lovejoy of
Illinois was killed--a great loss--and occasionally an Abolitionist
lecturer got a bloody nose or a sore shin. Professor Hudson, of
Oberlin College, used to say that the injury he most feared was to his
clothes. He carried with him what he called "a storm suit," which he
wore at evening meetings. It showed many marks of battle.

Among those who suffered real physical injury was Fred. Douglass, the
runaway slave. While in bondage he was often severely punished, but he
encountered rougher treatment in the North than in the South. He was
attacked by a mob while lecturing in the State of Indiana; was struck
to the earth and rendered senseless by blows on the head and body, and
for a time his life was supposed to be in danger. Although in the main
he recovered, his right hand was always crippled in consequence of
some of its bones having been broken.



CHAPTER XV

ANTI-SLAVERY MARTYRS


If any one is desirous of estimating the extent of the sacrifice of
life, of treasure, of home and family comforts, and of innumerable
fair hopes that the institution of slavery, in its struggle, not
merely for existence, but for supremacy, cost this country, let him
visit a government cemetery in the neighborhood of one of the great
battle-fields of the Rebellion, and there, while looking down the long
avenues lined with memorial stones that a grateful country has set up,
make inquiry as to the number of those that are there bivouacked "in
fame's eternal camping ground." Some idea--a faint one it is
true--will then be had of the multitudes that gave up all they
possessed that liberty might live and rule in this fair land of ours.
They were martyrs in the very highest sense to Freedom's immeasurable
cause. The war was the product of slavery. It was the natural outcome
of the great moral conflict that had so long raged in this country. It
was simply the development of an agitation that had begun on other
lines.

But there were martyrs to the cause of freedom before the war.
Everybody knows more or less of the story of John Brown, of
Ossawatomie, whose soul kept "marching on," although his body was
"a-mouldering in the grave."

There was another case involving the surrender of life to that cause,
which has always struck me as having stronger claims to our sympathies
than that of John Brown and his comrades in self-sacrifice.

I have already referred to Elijah P. Lovejoy who was a young
Congregational clergyman, who went from the State of Maine to St.
Louis, Missouri, in 1839. He became the editor of a religious journal
in which he expressed, in very moderate terms, an opinion that was not
favorable to slave-holding. The supporters of the institution were
aroused at once. They demanded a retraction. "I have sworn eternal
hostility to slavery, and by the blessing of God I will never go
back," was his reply. He also declared, "We have slaves here, but I am
not one of them."

It was deemed advisable by Mr. Lovejoy and his friends to move his
printing establishment to Alton, opposite Missouri, in the free State
of Illinois. There, however, a pro-slavery antagonism immediately
developed. His press was seized and thrown into the Mississippi River.
The same fate awaited two others that were procured. But, undismayed,
Mr. Lovejoy and his friends once more decided that their rights and
liberties should not be surrendered without a further effort. Another
press was sent for. But in the meanwhile a violent public agitation
had arisen. At the instance of certain pro-slavery leaders in the
community a public meeting had been called to denounce the
Abolitionists. Mr. Lovejoy was invited to attend it and declare what
he would do.

"Gentlemen," said he, "as long as I am an American citizen; as long as
American blood runs in my veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to
speak, to write, and to publish whatever I please on any subject,
being amenable to the laws of my country for the same."

The fourth press arrived. It was landed from a passing boat in the
small hours of the morning, and was safely conveyed to a warehouse
where Mr. Lovejoy and several of his friends assembled with a view to
its protection. What followed is thus described:

  "An hour or two afterwards there came from the grog-shops a crowd
  of people who knocked at the door and demanded the press. One of
  the owners of the warehouse informed them it would not be given
  up. Presenting a pistol, the leader of the mob announced that they
  were resolved to have the press at any cost. Stones were thrown,
  windows broken, and shots were fired at the building. The cry of
  'burn them out' was raised. Ladders were procured, and some of the
  rioters mounted to the roof of the building and set it on fire.
  Mr. Lovejoy at this point stepped out of the building for the
  purpose of having a talk with his enemies, when he was fired upon.
  He received five balls, three in his breast. He was killed almost
  instantly."

The animosity of his enemies was such that they followed his remains
with scoffings and insults on its way to the grave.

But the most cruel and brutal persecutions by the slave power were
not always those that involved the sacrifice of life.

In Canterbury, in the State of Connecticut, lived a Quaker lady of the
name of Prudence Crandall. She conducted a school for young ladies.
Among those she admitted was a colored girl. The fact becoming known,
objection was raised by the citizens of the place. The position in
which Miss Crandall was placed was a most trying one. Having invested
all her means in the school building and its equipment, she was
confronted with the alternative of losing her business and her
property, or dismissing the colored student who had done no wrong. She
chose to stand by her principles.

A public meeting was called, and a resolution to prevent the
maintenance of the school, if colored students were admitted, was
adopted by the citizens. Nevertheless, that brave Quakeress opened her
doors to several colored young women. That brought the issue to a
head, and then began a system of most remarkable persecutions. The
school building was bombarded with clubs and stones, the proprietress
found the stores of the village closed against her, and the young lady
students were grossly insulted when they appeared upon the streets.
Even the well from which drinking water was obtained was polluted.

Finding that there was no law in Connecticut under which the
instruction of colored people could be prohibited and punished, the
enemies of Miss Crandall went to the Legislature of the State and
asked for such an enactment, and, to the eternal disgrace of that
body, their request was complied with. It was made a crime in
Connecticut to instruct colored people in the rudiments of an ordinary
education.

Miss Crandall, as she made no change in her course of action, was
arrested, brought before a committing magistrate, and sent to jail. A
man had shortly before been confined in the same prison for the murder
of his wife, and therefrom had gone to execution. Miss Crandall was
confined in the cell this man had occupied. Other indignities were
heaped upon this devoted and courageous lady. Physicians refused to
attend the sick of her household, and the trustees of the church she
was accustomed to attend notified her that she and the members of her
family were denied admission to that sanctuary.

Miss Crandall was finally convicted of the crime with which she was
charged, but the case, being carried to the highest court of the
State, was dismissed on a technicality. But, although the legal
prosecution of this poor woman reached an end, her enemies did not
cease their opposition. The mob made an attack upon her dwelling,
which was also her schoolhouse. Doors and windows were broken in, and
the building was so thoroughly wrecked as to be uninhabitable. Having
no money with which to make repairs, she was forced to abandon the
structure and her educational business at the same time.

The Crandall family became noted for its martyrs. A brother of
Prudence Crandall was Dr. Reuben Crandall, of Washington City. He was
a man of high attainments, being a lecturer in a public scientific
institution. While engaged in his office he received some packages
that had been wrapped in newspapers, among which happened to be a copy
or two of Abolition journals. At the request of a gentleman who was
present at the unpacking he gave him one of the publications. Having
looked it over the gentleman dropped it, where it was picked up by
some one who was on the lookout for incendiary publications. No little
excitement followed its discovery. The community was aroused. Indeed,
so great was the agitation occasioned that Dr. Crandall, to whom the
inhibited paper had been traced, was in great physical danger from mob
violence. He was arrested, and, partly to save his life, was thrust
into jail, where he remained for eight months. He was tried and,
although acquitted, was really made the subject of capital punishment.
Tuberculosis developed as the result of his incarceration, and death
soon followed.

Of many cases of the kind that might be cited, perhaps none is more
strikingly illustrative than that of Charles Turner Torrey, a New
England man. He was accused of helping a slave to escape from the city
of Baltimore, and being convicted on what was said to be perjured
testimony, was sent to the penitentiary for a long term of years. The
confinement was fatal, a galloping consumption mercifully putting a
speedy end to his confinement. And then a remarkable incident
occurred. Torrey was a minister in good standing of the Congregational
denomination, and also a member of the Park Avenue Church of Boston.
Arrangements were made for funeral exercises in that church, but its
managers, taking alarm at the threats of certain pro-slavery men,
withdrew their permission and locked the sanctuary's doors. Slavery
punished the dead as well as the living.

The case of Amos Dresser, a young Southerner, may not improperly be
mentioned here. He had gone to a Northern school, and had become a
convert to Abolitionism. He went to Nashville, Tennessee, to canvass
for a book called the _Cottage Bible_ which would not ordinarily be
supposed to be dangerous to well regulated public institutions. While
peaceably attending to his business he was accused of Anti-Slaveryism.
He did not deny the charge and was arrested, his trunk being broken
open and its contents searched and scattered. He was taken before a
vigilance committee and by it was condemned to receive twenty lashes
on his bare back, "well laid on," and then to be driven out of town.
The sentence was carried out, we are told, in the presence of
thousands of people of both sexes.

Of the many somewhat similar instances that might here be referred to
the writer will make room for only one more.

A seafaring man of the name of Jonathan Walker undertook to convey in
a sloop of which he was the owner seven colored fugitives to the
Bahama Islands, where they would be free. Owing to an accident to his
boat, he and his companions were captured. He was sentenced, among
other things, to have his hand branded with the letters S.S.,
signifying "Slave Stealer."

The incident just referred to inspired one of the finest productions
of Whittier's pen. Singing of that "bold plowman of the wave" he
proceeds:

    "Why, that hand is highest honor,
      Than its traces never yet
    Upon old memorial hatchments was
      A prouder blazon set;
    And the unborn generations, as they
      Tread our rocky strand,
    Shall tell with pride the story of
      Their father's branded hand."



CHAPTER XVI

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD


The prescribed penalties for assisting in the escape of fugitive
slaves were severe. By the terms of the Fugitive Slave Act, as it was
called, any one convicted of that offense, besides a liability for one
thousand dollars damages recoverable in a civil action, was subject to
a five-hundred-dollars fine and imprisonment in a penitentiary for one
year. As the writer has not "done time" for participation in certain
transactions dating back to his earlier days, in which the legal
rights of slave-owners were indifferently respected, he thinks it
advisable to be somewhat reserved in his recital of personal
experiences when taking the public into his confidence. The Fugitive
Slave Law--and for that fact we should give "most hearty thanks"--is
about as dead as any statute can be, but as in the case of a snake
that has been killed, it may be the wiser course not to trifle with
its fangs. Therefore, instead of telling my own story in the first
person singular, I offer as a substitute the confession of one John
Smith, whose existence no one will presume to dispute. Here is his
statement:

  "There was an old barn on my father's farm. It was almost a ruin.
  One end of the roof had fallen in, pretty much all the windows
  were gone, and there was a general air of dilapidation about the
  place. A dwelling-house, to which it was an appendage, had been
  burned and not rebuilt, and the barn had been left to fight a
  battle with the elements and other foes in pretty much its own
  way.

  "Not that it was wholly abandoned. There was one mow that was kept
  pretty well supplied with grass, and there were two or three horse
  stalls that were in tolerable order, although but rarely used.
  There were a number of excellent hiding-places about the old
  rookery. In the basement all sorts of rubbish, including unused
  vehicles and machinery, had been stored away, and so wedged and
  packed was it that it would have taken hours to uncover man or
  beast seeking concealment there.

  "One of the curious features of the situation was that the
  building was in sight of none of the roads in the neighborhood,
  while less than a hundred feet from it was a strip of woods in
  which the removal of the larger trees had stimulated a sturdy and
  densely matted undergrowth that was penetrable only by means of
  paths that had been made by the cattle. It was what was called a
  'woods pasture.' With this cover for his movements any one could
  approach or leave the old barn with little danger of discovery.

  "Naturally enough, such a ramshackle was in ill-repute. There were
  tales about it in the neighborhood. Some children had gone there
  to play on one occasion, and had been badly frightened by a
  big--as big as a half-bushel, they asserted--black face that was
  seen to be watching them. They fled from the premises in great
  alarm, and for a time there was talk of an investigation by their
  friends. The incident, however, was soon forgotten.

  "That old barn was a regular station on one of the underground
  railroads that extended from the Ohio River to Canada. To but few
  persons was its true character known, and they were very
  close-mouthed about it. I was one of the few that were in the
  secret. Being the youngest member of the family, it fell to my lot
  to drive the horses and cows to and from the pasture in which the
  old barrack was located, and while there it was an easy matter to
  visit that establishment and ascertain if it sheltered any fresh
  arrivals.

  "One day I had to report that two fugitives were in the barn,
  being a mother and child. Then came the question--which in that
  instance was a difficult one to answer--as to who should convey
  them to the next station on the line, twenty miles away. A
  brother, between five and six years older than I was, and who was
  something of a dare-devil, did the most of the work of
  transportation, but he was in bed with typhoid fever. A hired man,
  who was employed partly because he was in hearty accord with the
  humanitarian views of the household, and who on several occasions
  had taken my brother's place, was absent. There was nobody but
  myself who was ready to undertake the job, and I was only eleven
  years old. There was no help for it, however. The slaves had to be
  moved on, and I was greatly rejoiced in the prospect of adventure
  that was opened up to me. The journey had to be made at night, but
  for that I cared nothing, as I had repeatedly gone over the route
  by daylight, and thought I knew the road perfectly.

  "Midnight found me on the highway, and on the driver's seat of one
  of our farm wagons, to which was attached a span of horses moving
  in the direction of the north star. That luminary was not on this
  occasion visible. The sky was heavily overcast and the night was
  very dark. A light rain was falling. With all the confidence I had
  in my own ability, more than once would I have lost the way, but
  for the sagacity of the horses, which had gone over that route a
  number of times under similar circumstances. They acted as if
  altogether familiar with it. Those horses proved themselves to be
  excellent Abolitionists.

  "The inclemency of the night was in one respect a great advantage.
  It kept at home those who might incline to be too inquisitive. The
  few travelers we met passed on with a word of greeting, while I
  whistled unconcernedly.

  "Over the bottom of the wagon was scattered some hay that might be
  used either as feed for the horses or as a bed for weary
  travelers. There was also an old-fashioned buffalo-robe, somewhat
  dilapidated, that could serve for concealment or as shelter from
  the elements. Two or three empty baskets suggested a return from
  the market. There was another article that one would hardly have
  looked for. This was a smoke-cured ham loosely wrapped in some old
  sacking. It had gone over that route a number of times. Its odor
  neutralized the smell by which the presence, immediate or recent,
  of negroes might be detected.

  "My fellow-travelers, as my passengers might be called, were
  interesting companions. Both, in one sense, were children, the
  mother certainly not being over seventeen years old. She was a
  comely half-breed mulatto. Her baby--a pretty boy of two
  years--was one degree nearer white.

  "The girl was inclined to be confidential and talkative. She said
  she was 'old mas'r's' daughter. Her mother had been one of 'old
  mas'r's' people. She had grown up with the other slave children on
  the place, being in no way favored because of her relationship to
  her owner. The baby's father was 'young mas'r'--old master's son,
  as it appeared--and who, consequently, was a half-brother of the
  youthful mother. Slavery sometimes created singular relationships.

  "As the story ran, all the people, including the narrator and her
  baby, when 'ole mas'r' died were 'leveled' on by the Sheriff's
  man. She did not quite understand the meaning of it all, but it
  was doubtless a case of bankruptcy.

  "'Young mas'r,' she said, 'tole' her she had to run away, taking
  the baby of course. 'Oh, yes," she said very emphatically, 'I
  never would have left Kentuck without Thomas Jefferson'--meaning
  her little boy. 'Young mas'r,' according to her account, arranged
  the whole proceeding, telling her what course to take by night,
  where to stop and conceal herself by day, and what signal to give
  when she reached the 'big river.'

  "When the Ohio had been crossed her young master met her,
  evidently to the great delight of the poor creature. He gave her
  some money, and told her that when she reached her destination he
  would send her some 'mo.' After putting her in charge of some kind
  people, evidently representatives of the underground line, they
  had parted, according to her description of the incident, in an
  affecting way. 'He kissed me and I cried,' was her simple
  statement. Notwithstanding the boasted superiority of one race
  over another, human nature seems to be very much the same, whether
  we read it in a white face or in a black one.

  "The little girlish mother was very much alarmed for the safety of
  her boy and herself when we began our journey, wanting to get out
  and conceal herself whenever we heard any one on the road. After
  several detentions from that cause, the weary creature stretched
  herself upon the hay beside her sleeping infant and almost
  immediately fell into a heavy slumber. She could stand the strain
  no longer. I drew the buffalo-robe over the two sleepers, and
  there they rested in blissful unconsciousness until the journey
  was ended.

  "Half-way between the termini of my route was a village in which
  lived a constable who was suspected of being in the employ of the
  slave-owners. It was thought advisable that I should avoid that
  village by taking a roundabout road. That I did, although it added
  an extra half to my trip. The result was that the sun was just
  peeping over the eastern hills, as I reached a set of bars showing
  an entrance into a pasture lot on one side of the highway.
  Removing the bars, I drove into the field, and passing over a
  ridge that hid it from the road, I stopped in front of a log cabin
  that had every appearance of being an abandoned and neglected
  homestead. That was the station I was looking for. Arousing my
  sleeping passengers, I saw them enter the old domicile, where I
  bade them good-by, and received the tearful and repeated thanks of
  the youthful slave mother, speaking for herself and her offspring.
  I never saw them again, but in due time the news came back, over
  what was jocularly called the 'grape-vine telegraph,' that they
  had safely reached their destination.

  "At the home of the station agent I was enthusiastically received.
  That a boy of eleven should accomplish what I had done was thought
  to be quite wonderful. I was given an excellent breakfast, and
  then shown to a room with a bed, where I had a good sleep. On my
  awakening I set out on the return journey, this time taking the
  most direct route, as I had then no fear of that hireling
  constable.

  "Subsequently I passed through several experiences of a similar
  kind, some of them involving greater risks and more exciting
  incidents, but the recollection of none of them brings me greater
  satisfaction than the memory of my first conductorship on the
  Underground.

  "All of which is respectfully submitted by

  "JOHN SMITH."



CHAPTER XVII

COLONIZATION


I have had a good deal to say about Anti-Slavery societies. There was
another society which was called into existence by the slavery
situation. Whether it was pro-slavery or anti-slavery was a question
that long puzzled a good many people. It was the Colonization Society.
A good many Anti-Slavery people believed in it for a time and gave it
their support. "I am opposed to slavery, but I am not an Abolitionist:
I am a Colonizationist," was a declaration that, when I was a boy, I
heard many and many times, and from the lips of well-intending people.

It did not take the sharp-sighted leaders of the Abolition movement
very long to discover that one of the uses its managers expected to
make of the Colonization Society was as a shield for slavery. It kept
a number of excellent people from joining in an aggressive movement
against it, took their money, and made them believe that they were at
work for the freedom of the negro.

Strangely as it might appear, the negroes, who were assumed to be the
beneficiaries of the colonization scheme, were opposed to it. Quicker
than the white people generally did, they saw through its false
pretense, and, besides, they could not understand why they should be
taken from the land of their nativity, and sent to the country from
which their progenitors had come, any more than the descendants of
Scotch, English, and German immigrants should be deported to the lands
of their ancestors.

Equally strange was it that the Colonization Society, if really
friendly to the negro, should find its most zealous supporters among
slaveholders. Its first president, who was a nephew of George
Washington, upon learning that his slaves had got the idea that they
were to be set at liberty, sent over fifty of them to be sold from the
auction block at New Orleans. That was intended as a warning to the
rest. One of its presidents was said to be the owner of a thousand
slaves and had never manumitted one of them. The principal service
that the colonization movement was expected to do for the slave-owners
was to relieve them of the presence of free negroes. These were always
regarded as a menace by slave-masters. They disseminated ideas of
freedom and manhood among their unfortunate brethren. They were
object-lessons to those in bondage. The slave-owners were only too
glad to have them sent away. They looked to Liberia as a safety-valve.
It did not take long for intelligent people who were really
well-wishers of the black man to perceive these facts.

The severest blow that the Colonization Society received in America
was from the pen of William Lloyd Garrison, who, under the title of
_Thoughts on African Colonisation_, published a pamphlet that had
wide distribution. It completely unmasked the pretended friendship of
the Colonizationists for the negroes, free or slave. From that time
they lost all support from real Anti-Slavery people. There was,
however, to be a battle fought, in which the Colonization Society
figured as a party, that furnished one of the most interesting
episodes of the slavery conflict.

England, at the time of which we are speaking, was full of
Anti-Slavery sentiment. Slavery, at the end of a long and bitter
contest, had been abolished in all her colonies. Her philanthropists
were rejoicing in their victory. The managers of the Colonization
Society resolved, if possible, to capture that sentiment, and with it
the pecuniary aid the British Abolitionists might render. It was
always a tremendous beggar. They, accordingly, selected a
fluent-tongued agent and sent him to England to advocate their cause.
He did not hesitate to represent that the Colonization Society was the
especial friend of the negro, working for his deliverance from
bondage, and, in addition, that it had the support of "the wealth, the
respectability, and the piety of the American people."

When these facts came to the knowledge of the members of the newly
formed New England Anti-Slavery Society, they were naturally excited,
and resolved to meet the enemy in this new field of operations. This
they decided to do by sending a representative to England, who would
be able to meet the colonization agent in discussion, and otherwise
proclaim and champion their particular views. For this service the man
selected was William Lloyd Garrison, who was then but twenty-eight
years old.

Remarkable it was that one who was not only so young, but imperfectly
educated, being a poor mechanic, daily toiling as a compositor at his
printer's case, should be chosen to meet the most polished people in
the British Empire, and hold himself ready to debate the most serious
question of the time. That such a person should be willing to enter
upon such an undertaking was almost as remarkable. But Garrison showed
no hesitation in accepting the task for which he was selected.

On his arrival in England, Garrison sent a challenge to the
colonization agent for a public debate. This the Colonizationist
refused to receive. Two more challenges were sent and were treated in
the same way. Then Garrison, at a cost of thirty dollars, which he
could ill afford to pay, published the challenge in the London
_Times_, with a statement of the manner in which it had been so far
treated. Of course, public interest was aroused, and when Garrison
appeared upon the public platform, as he at once proceeded to do, he
was greeted with the attendance of multitudes of interested hearers.
Exeter Hall in London was crowded. The most distinguished men in
England sat upon the stage when he spoke, and applauded his addresses.
Daniel O'Connell, the great Irish orator, paid them a most florid
compliment. They were, unquestionably, most remarkable samples of
effective eloquence--plain in statement, simple in style, but
exceedingly logical and forcible. They were widely published
throughout England at the time of their delivery.

One of the results was that the leading emancipationists of Great
Britain signed and published a warning against the colonization
scheme, denouncing it as having its roots in "a cruel prejudice," and
declaring that it was calculated to "increase the spirit of caste so
unhappily predominant," and that it "exposed the colored people to
great practical persecution in order to force them to emigrate."

As for the poor agent of the Colonizationists, seeing how the battle
was tending, he left England in a hurry, and was nevermore heard of in
that part of the world.

Garrison's personal triumph was very striking, and it was splendidly
earned. He was made the recipient of many compliments and
testimonials. A curious incident resulted from this great popularity.
He was invited to breakfast by Sir Thomas Buxton, the noted English
philanthropist, with a view to making the acquaintance of a number of
distinguished persons who were to be present. When Mr. Garrison
presented himself, his entertainer, who had not before met or seen
him, looked at him in great astonishment.

"Are you William Lloyd Garrison?" he inquired.

"That is who I am," replied Mr. Garrison, "and I am here on your
invitation."

"But you are a white man," said Buxton, "and from your zeal and labors
in behalf of the colored people, I assumed that you were one of them."

Garrison left England in what, metaphorically, might be described as
"a blaze of glory." Hundreds attended him when he went to embark on
his homeward voyage, and he was followed by their cheers and
benedictions. Wonderfully different was the treatment he received on
his arrival in his own country. Not long afterwards he was dragged
through Boston streets by a hempen rope about his body, and was
assigned to a prison cell, as affording the most available protection
from the mob.

Nevertheless, we have had some excellent people--not
slave-owners--who, out of compassion for the black man, or from
prejudice against his color, and, perhaps, from a little of both, have
favored a policy of colonization in this country. Mr. Lincoln was one
of them. "If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what
to do with the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free
the slaves and send them to Liberia." So said Mr. Lincoln in one of
his debates with Douglas.

"I cannot make it better known than it already is," said Mr. Lincoln
in a message to Congress, dated December 1, 1862, "that I strongly
favor colonization."

At Lincoln's instance Congress appropriated several large sums of
money--then much needed in warlike operations--for colonizing
experiments. One of these has a curious and somewhat pathetic history.
A sharper by the name of Koch, having worked himself into the
confidence of the President and some other good people, got them to
buy from him an island in the West Indies, called Ile a'Vache, which
he represented to be a veritable earthly paradise. Strangely enough,
it was wholly uninhabited, and therefore ready for the uses of a
colony. Several hundred people--colored, of course--were collected,
put aboard a ship, and dumped upon this unknown land. It will
surprise no one to learn that pretty soon these people, poisoned by
malaria, stung by venomous insects and reptiles, and having scarcely
anything to eat, were dying like cattle with the murrain. In the end a
ship was sent to bring back the survivors.

Nevertheless, the kind-hearted President did not give up the idea. At
his request a delegation of Washington negroes called upon him. He
made them quite a long speech, telling them that Congress had given
him money with which to found a colony of colored people, and that he
had found what seemed to be a suitable location in Central America. He
appealed to them to supply the colonists. The negroes, not anxious for
exile, diplomatically said they would think the matter over. In the
end it was discovered that Central America did not want the negroes,
and that the negroes did not want Central America.

A story that is curiously illustrative of Mr. Lincoln's attachment to
the policy of removing the colored people is told by L.E. Chittenden
in his _Recollections of President Lincoln_. Mr. Chittenden was a
citizen of Vermont and Register of the Treasury under Lincoln, with
whom he was in intimate and confidential relations:

  "During one of his welcome visits to my office," says Mr.
  Chittenden, "the President seemed to be buried in thought over
  some subject of great interest. After long reflection he abruptly
  exclaimed that he wanted to ask me a question.

  "'Do you know any energetic contractor?' he inquired; 'one who
  would be willing to take a large contract attended with some
  risk?'

  "'I know New England contractors," I replied, 'who would not be
  frightened by the magnitude or risk of any contract. The element
  of prospective profit is the only one that would interest them. If
  there was a fair prospect of profit, they would not hesitate to
  contract to suppress the Rebellion in ninety days."

  "'There will be profit and reputation in the contract I may
  propose,' said the President. 'It is to remove the whole colored
  race of the slave States into Texas. If you have any acquaintance
  who would take that contract, I would like to see him.'

  "'I know a man who would take that contract and perform it,' I
  replied. 'I would be willing to put you into communication with
  him, so that you might form your own opinion about him.'

  "By the President's direction I requested John Bradley, a
  well-known Vermonter, to come to Washington. He was at my office
  the morning after I sent the telegram to him. I declined to give
  him any hint of the purpose of my invitation, but took him
  directly to the President. When I presented him I said: 'Here, Mr.
  President, is the contractor whom I named to you yesterday.'

  "I left them together. Two hours later Mr. Bradley returned to my
  office overflowing with admiration for the President and
  enthusiasm for his proposed work. 'The proposition is,' he said,
  'to remove the whole colored race into Texas, there to establish a
  republic of their own. The subject has political bearings of which
  I am no judge, and upon which the President has not yet made up
  his mind. But I have shown him that it is practicable. I will
  undertake to remove them all within a year.'"

It is unnecessary to state that the Black Republic of Texas was a
dream that never materialized.



CHAPTER XVIII

LINCOLN AND EMANCIPATION


Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, who were Mr. Lincoln's private secretaries
during the time he was President, and afterwards the authors of his
most elaborate biography, say: "The blessings of an enfranchised race
must forever hail him as their liberator."

Says Francis Curtis in his _History of the Republican Party_, in
speaking of the President's Emancipation Proclamation: "On the 1st day
of January, 1863, the final proclamation of freedom was issued, and
every negro slave within the confines of the United States was at last
made free."

Other writers of what is claimed to be history, almost without number,
speak of the President's pronouncement as if it caused the bulwarks of
slavery to fall down very much as the walls of Jericho are said to
have done, at one blast, overwhelming the whole institution and
setting every bondman free. Indeed, there are multitudes of fairly
intelligent people who believe that slaveholding in this country
ceased the very day and hour the proclamation appeared. In a recent
magazine article, so intelligent a man as Booker Washington speaks of
a Kentucky slave family as being emancipated by Mr. Lincoln's
proclamation, when, in fact, the proclamation never applied to
Kentucky at all.

The emancipationists of Missouri were working hard to free their State
from slavery, and they would have been only too glad to have Mr.
Lincoln do the work for them. They appealed to him to extend his edict
to their State, but got no satisfaction. The emancipationists of
Maryland had much the same experience. Both Missouri and Maryland were
left out of the proclamation, as were Tennessee and Kentucky and
Delaware, and parts of Virginia and Louisiana and the Carolinas. (See
Appendix.) The explanation is that the proclamation was not intended
to cover all slaveholding territory. All of it that belonged to States
that had not been in rebellion, or had been subdued, was excluded. The
President's idea was to reach only such sections as were then in
revolt. If the proclamation had been immediately operative, and had
liberated every bondman in the jurisdiction to which it applied, it
would have left over a million slaves in actual thraldom. Indeed, Earl
Russell, the British premier, was quite correct when, in speaking of
the proclamation, he said: "It does not more than profess to
emancipate slaves where the United States authorities cannot make
emancipation a reality, and emancipates no one where the decree can be
carried into effect."

For the failure of the proclamation to cover all slaveholding
territory there was a plausible reason. Freedom under it was not
decreed as a boon, but as a penalty. It was not, in theory at least,
intended to help the slave, but to chastise the master. It was to be
in punishment of treason, and, of course, could not consistently be
made to apply to loyal communities, or to such as were under
government control. The proclamation, it will be recollected, was
issued in two parts separated by one hundred days. The first part gave
the Rebels warning that the second would follow if, in the meanwhile,
they did not give up their rebellion. All they had to do to save
slavery was to cease from their treasonable practices. Had the Rebels
been shrewd enough, within the hundred days, to take the President at
his word, he would have stood pledged to maintain their institution,
and his proclamation, instead of being a charter of freedom, would
have been a license for slaveholding.

The proclamation did not, in fact, whatever it may have otherwise
accomplished at the time it was issued, liberate a single slave. What
is more, slavery as an institution was altogether too securely rooted
in our system to be abolished by proclamation. The talk of such a
thing greatly belittles the magnitude of the task that was performed.
Its removal required a long preliminary work, involving, as is made to
appear in previous chapters of this work, almost incalculable toil and
sacrifice, to be followed by an enormous expenditure of blood and
treasure. Its practical extinguishment was the work of the army, while
its legal extirpation was accomplished by Congress and the
Legislatures of the States in adopting the Thirteenth Amendment to the
Federal Constitution, which forbids all slaveholding. That amendment
was a production of Congress and not of the Executive, whose official
approval was not even required to make it legally effective.

The story of the proclamation, with not a few variations, has often
been told; but the writer fancies that the altogether correct account
has not always been given. It may be presumptuous on his part, but he
will submit his version.

To understand the motive underlying the proclamation we must take into
account its author's feeling toward slavery. Notwithstanding various
unfriendly references of an academic sort to that institution, he was
not at the time the proclamation appeared, and never had been, an
Abolitionist.

Not very long before the time referred to the writer heard Mr.
Lincoln, in his debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Alton, Illinois,
declare--laying unusual emphasis on his words: "I have on all
occasions declared as strongly as Judge Douglas against the
disposition to interfere with the existing institution of slavery."

Judge Douglas was what was then called a "dough-face" by the
Abolitionists--being a Northern man with Southern principles, or
"proclivities," as he called them.

Only a little earlier, and several years after Mr. Lincoln had claimed
to be a Republican, and a leader of the Republicans, he had, in a
speech at Bloomington, Illinois, asserted that, "the conclusion of it
all is that we must restore the Missouri Compromise."

Now the adoption of the Missouri Compromise was the hardest blow ever
inflicted on the cause of free soil in America. It did more to
encourage the supporters of slavery and to discourage its opponents
than anything else that ever happened. Its restoration would
undoubtedly have produced a similar effect. Although he is not to be
credited with any philanthropic motive, Stephen A. Douglas did an
effective work for freedom when he helped to overthrow that measure.
Leading Abolitionists have accorded him that meed of praise.

But there was that proposition which Mr. Lincoln was so fond of
repeating, that the nation could not remain half free and half
slave--"a divided house"--but the remedy he had to propose was not
manumission at any proximate or certain time, but the adoption of a
policy that, to use his own words, would cause "the public mind to
rest in the belief that it [slavery] was in the course of ultimate
extinction." Practically that meant very little or nothing. What the
public mind then needed was not "rest," but properly directed
activity.

But the declarations above quoted were all before Mr. Lincoln had
become President or had probably thought of such a thing. Did the
change of position lead to a change of opinion on his part? We are not
left in uncertainty on this point. His official views were declared in
what might be called a State paper. Soon after his inauguration, his
Secretary of State sent Minister Dayton, at Paris, a dispatch that he
might use with foreign officials, in which, in speaking of the
Rebellion, he said: "The condition of slavery in the several States
will remain just the same whether it succeeds or fails.... It is
hardly necessary to add to this incontrovertible statement the further
fact that the new President has always repudiated all designs,
whenever and wherever imputed to him, of disturbing the system of
slavery as it has existed under the Constitution and laws."

About the same time Mr. Lincoln stated to a party of Southern
Congressmen, who called upon him, that he "recognized the rights of
property that had grown out of it [slavery] and would respect those
rights as fully as he would similar rights in any other property."

No steps were taken by Mr. Lincoln to recall or repudiate the
foregoing announcements. On the contrary, he confirmed them in his
official action. He annulled the freedom proclamations of Frémont and
Hunter. He did not interfere when some of his military officers were
so busy returning fugitive slaves that they had no time to fight the
masters. He approved Hallock's order Number Three excluding fugitives
from the lines. He even permitted the poor old Hutchinsons to be sent
away from the army very much as if they had been colored people, when
trying to rouse "the boys" with their freedom songs. In many ways Mr.
Lincoln showed that in the beginning and throughout the earlier part
of his Administration he hoped to re-establish the Union without
disturbing slavery. In effect he so declared in his introduction to
his freedom proclamation. He gave the rebel slaveholders one hundred
days in which to abandon their rebellion and save their institution.
In view of such things it is no wonder that Henry Wilson, so long a
leading Republican Senator from Massachusetts, in his _Rise and Fall
of the Slave Power_, in speaking of emancipation, said "it was a
policy, indeed, which he [the President] did not personally favor
except in connection with his favorite idea of colonization."

It is needless to say that the President's attitude was a great
surprise and a sore disappointment to the more radical Anti-Slavery
people of the country, who had supported him with much enthusiasm and
high hopes. They felt that they had been deceived. They said so very
plainly, for the Abolitionists were not the sort of people to keep
quiet under provocation. Horace Greeley published his signed attack
(see Appendix) entitled, _The Prayer of Twenty Millions_, which is,
without doubt, the most scathing denunciation in the English language.
Henry Ward Beecher "pounded" Mr. Lincoln, as he expressed it. Wendell
Phillips fairly thundered his denunciations. There was a general
under-swell of indignation.

Now, Mr. Lincoln was not a man who was incapable of reading the signs
of the times. He saw that he was drifting towards an irreparable
breach with an element that had previously furnished his staunchest
supporters. As a politician of great native shrewdness, as well as the
head of the Government, he could not afford to let the quarrel go on
and widen. There was need of conciliation. Something had to be done.
We know what he did. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation.

As far as freeing any slaves was concerned, he knew it amounted to
very little, if anything. He said so. Less than two weeks before the
preliminary section of the proclamation appeared, Mr. Lincoln was
waited on by a delegation of over one hundred Chicago clergymen, who
urged him to issue a proclamation of freedom for the slaves. "What
good would a proclamation from me do, especially as we are now
situated?" asked Mr. Lincoln by way of reply. "I do not want to issue
a document that the whole world would see must necessarily be
inoperative, like the Pope's bull against the comet. Would my word
free the slaves, when I cannot even enforce the Constitution in the
rebel States?"

In contemplating a proclamation applicable to the rebel States, it is
hardly to be supposed that Mr. Lincoln did not understand the
situation two weeks earlier quite as well as when the document
appeared.

If Mr. Lincoln had been told, when he entered on the Presidency, that
before his term of office would expire he would be hailed as "The
Great Emancipator," he would have treated the statement as equal to
one of his own best jokes. Slavery was a thing he did not then want to
have disturbed. He discountenanced all radical agitators of the
subject, and especially in the border slave States, where he was able
to hold them pretty well in check, except in Missouri. There they
stood up and fought him, and in the end beat him. One of the rather
curious results of this condition of things was that, when the States
came to action on the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment, the one
absolutely abolishing slavery, the three border slave States of
Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, over which the President's influence
was practically supreme, gave an adverse vote of four to one, while
Missouri, with whose radical emancipationists he had continuously been
at loggerheads, ratified the amendment by a legislative vote of one
hundred and eleven ayes to forty nays.

Nevertheless, notwithstanding the President, at the beginning of his
official term, opposed Anti-Slavery agitation and Anti-Slavery action
with all his might, he promptly faced about as soon as he discovered
that the subject was one that would not "down." No one ever worked
harder to find a solution of a difficult problem than he did of the
slavery question. He began to formulate plans to that end, the most
distinguishing feature, however, being the spirit of compromise by
which they were pervaded. All of them stopped before an ultimatum was
reached. Besides his proclamation, which, as we have seen, applied to
only a part of the slaves, he devised a measure that would have been
applicable to all of them. In his special message of December, 1863,
he proposed to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment
that would work universal liberation. There were conditions, however.
One was that the slaves should be paid for by the Government; another
that the masters might retain their uncompensated services until
January 1, 1900; that is, for a period of thirty-seven years, unless
they were sooner emancipated by the grave, as the most of them would
be. (See Appendix.)

The President's somewhat fantastic proposition was not claimed by him
to be for the bondman's benefit. He urged it as a measure of public
economy, holding that, as slavery was the admitted cause of the
Rebellion, the quickest and surest way to remove that cause would be
by purchase of all the slaves, which, he insisted, "would shorten the
war, and thus lessen the expenditure of money and blood."

The public did not take to the President's plan at all, especially the
Abolitionists did not. They no more favored the buying of men by the
Government than by anybody else. They held that if the master had no
right to the person of his bondman, he had no right to payment for
him. And as for an arrangement that might prolong slaveholding for
thirty-seven years, they saw in it not only a measure of injustice to
the men, women, and children then in servitude, the most of whom would
be doomed to bondage for the rest of their natural lives, but a
possible plan for side-tracking a genuine freedom movement.

In the proposition just considered we have not only the core of the
President's policy during much of his official tenure, but an
explanation of his mental operations. He was sentimentally opposed to
slavery, but he was afraid of freedom. He dreaded its effect on both
races. He was opposed to slavery more because it was a public nuisance
than because of its injustice to the oppressed black man, whose
condition, he did not believe, would be greatly, if at all, benefited
by freedom. Hence he wanted manumission put off as long as possible.
It was "ultimate extinction" he wanted, to be attended with payment to
the master for his lost property. Another thing he favored--and which
he seems to have thought entirely practicable--as a condition to
liberation, was the black man's removal to a place or places out of
contact with our white population.

But in entire fairness to Mr. Lincoln, it should be said that,
although his proclamation was inoperative for the immediate release of
any slaves, it was by no means wholly ineffectual. Its moral influence
was considerable. It helped to hasten a movement that had, however, by
that time become practically irresistible. Its political results were
far more marked and important. If it did not fully restore cordiality
between the President and the Abolition leaders, it prevented an open
rupture. It served as a bridge between them. Although they never took
Mr. Lincoln fully into their confidence again, the Abolitionists
interpreted his proclamation as a concession and an abandonment of his
previous policy, which it was much more in appearance than actually.
At all events, it was splendid politics. The somewhat theatrical
manner in which it was worked up and promulgated in installments, thus
arousing in advance a widespread interest and curiosity, showed no
little strategic ability. No more skillful move is recorded in the
history of our parties and partisans than this act of Mr. Lincoln, by
which he disarmed his Anti-Slavery critics without giving them any
material advantage or changing the actual situation. I am not now
speaking of the motive underlying the proclamation of the President,
but of its effect. Without it he could not have been renominated and
re-elected.

Another observation, in order to be entirely just to Mr. Lincoln,
after what has been stated, would at this point seem to be called for.
There is no doubt that from the first he was at heart an Anti-Slavery
man, which is saying a good deal for one born in Kentucky, raised in
southern Indiana and southern Illinois, and who was naturally of a
conservative turn of mind. Nevertheless, he was never an Abolitionist.
He was opposed to immediate--what he called "sudden"--emancipation. He
recognized the "right"--his own word--of the slave-owner to his pound
of flesh, either in the person of his bondman or a cash equivalent. He
was strongly prejudiced against the negro. Of that fact we have the
evidence in his colonization ideas. He favored the banishment of our
American-born black people from their native land. It was a cruel
proposition. True, the President did move from his first position,
which, as we have seen, was far from that occupied by the
Abolitionists, but from first to last he was more of a follower than
leader in the procession.

And here the author wishes to add, in justice to himself, that if, by
reason of anything he has said in this chapter, or elsewhere in this
work, in criticism of Mr. Lincoln's dealings with the slavery issue,
he should be accused of unfriendliness toward the great martyr
President, he enters a full and strong denial. He holds that, in view
of all the difficulties besetting him, Mr. Lincoln did well, although
he might have done better. Much allowance, must be made to one
situated as he was. He undoubtedly deserves the most of the encomiums
that have been lavished upon him. At the same time, the conclusion is
inevitable that his fame as a statesman will ultimately depend less
upon his treatment of the slavery issue than upon any other part of
his public administration. The fact will always appear that it was
the policy of Salmon P. Chase, Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens,
Horace Greeley, Henry Ward Beecher, and other advocates of the radical
cure, with whom the President was in constant opposition, that
prevailed in the end, and with a decisiveness that proves it to have
been feasible and sound from the beginning. Mr. Lincoln's most ultra
prescription--his Emancipation Proclamation--was ineffective. If it
was intended to eradicate slavery altogether, it was too narrow; if to
free the slaves of Rebels only, it was too broad. So with his other
propositions. His thirty-seven-year-liberation scheme, his "tinkering
off" policy (as he called it) for Missouri, his reconstruction
proposals, and his colonization projects, all failed. Indeed, if we
take his official action from first to last, it is a question whether
the President, owing to his extreme conservatism, was not more of an
obstructionist than a promoter of the Anti-Slavery cause.

Not that any change of opinion on the point just stated will
materially affect the general estimate in which Mr. Lincoln is held.
Although his popularity, due, in part at least, to the extravagance of
over-zealous admirers, has without much doubt already passed its
perihelion, it can never disappear or greatly diminish. His untiring
and exhaustive labors for the Union, the many lovable traits of his
unique personality, his unquestionable honesty, his courage, his
patriotism, and, above all, his tragic taking off, have unalterably
determined his place in the regard of his countrymen. Indeed, so
strong is the admiration in which he is held, that it would be vain to
attempt to disabuse many, by any amount of proof and argument, of the
opinion that African slavery in this country was actually and
exclusively killed by a presidential edict. So firmly fixed in the
popular belief is that historical myth that it will undoubtedly live
for many years, if not generations, although history in the end will
right it like all other misunderstandings.

Mr. Lincoln had his weaknesses and limitations, like other men. All
must admit that his treatment of the slavery question was not without
its mistakes. It has always seemed to the writer that his most ardent
admirers seriously blunder in claiming superlativeness for him in that
regard, and more especially in giving him credit for results that were
due to the efforts of other men. His fame is secure without such
misappropriation. He would not ask it if living, and it will in due
time be condemned by history.



CHAPTER XIX

THE END OF ABOLITIONISM


The original and distinctive Abolition movement that was directed
against slavery in all parts of the land without regard to State or
territorial lines, and because it was assumed to be wrong in principle
and practice, may be said, as far as the country at large was
concerned, to have culminated at the advent of the Republican party.
To a considerable extent it disappeared, but its disappearance was
that of one stream flowing into or uniting with another. The union of
the two currents extended, but did not intensify, the Anti-Slavery
sentiment of the country. It diluted it and really weakened
it. It brought about a crisis of great peril to the cause of
Anti-Slaveryism--in some respects the most critical through which it
was called upon to pass. Many of those attaching themselves to the
Republican party, as the new political organization was called, were
not in sympathy with Abolitionism. They were utterly opposed to
immediate emancipation; or, for that matter, to emancipation of any
kind. They wanted slavery to remain where it was, and were perfectly
willing that it should be undisturbed. They disliked the blacks, and
did not want to have them freed, fearing that if set at liberty they
would overrun what was then free soil.

The writer recollects hearing a prominent man in the new party, who
about that time was making a public speech, declare with great
emphasis that, "as for the niggers, they are where they ought to be."
The speaker on that occasion was one of many who belonged to the
_débris_ of the broken-up Whig party, and who drifted into
Republicanism because there was no other more attractive harbor to go
to. One of these men was Abraham Lincoln, whom I heard declare in his
debate with Douglas at Alton, Illinois: "I was with the old-line Whigs
from the origin to the end of their party." The Whigs were never an
Anti-Slavery party. The recruits to Republicanism from that quarter
were generally very tender on "the nigger question," and the most they
were prepared to admit was that they were opposed to slavery's
extension. These men largely dominated the new party. They generally
dictated its platforms, which, compared with earlier Abolition
utterances, were extremely timid, and they had much to do with making
party nominations. Their favorite candidates were not those whose
opinions on the slavery question were positive and well understood,
but those whose views were unsettled if not altogether unknown. When
General Frémont was nominated for the Presidency, not one in ten of
those supporting him knew what his opinions on that subject were, and
a good many of them did not care. Mr. Lincoln was accepted in much the
same way.

It is true that, from certain expressions about the danger to our
national house from being "half free" and "half slave," and other
generalizations of a more or less academic sort, it was known that
Mr. Lincoln was antagonistic to slavery; but as to whether he favored
that institution's immediate or speedy extinguishment, and, if so, by
what measures, was altogether unknown. We now know, from what has been
set forth in another chapter, that at the time of his first nomination
and election, he had very few things in common with the Abolitionists.
He then evidently had no thought of being hailed as the "liberator of
a race." He preferred, for the time at least, that the race in
question should remain where it was, and as it was, unless it could be
bodily transported to some other country and be put under the
protection of some other flag.

He did not break with the Abolitionists, although he kept on the edge
of a quarrel with them, and especially with what he called the
"Greeley faction," a good part of the time. He never liked them, but
he was a shrewd man--a born politician--and was too sagacious to
discard the principal round in the ladder by which he had climbed to
eminence. He managed to keep in touch with the Anti-Slavery movement
through all its steady advancement, but, as elsewhere stated, it was
as a follower rather than as a leader.

While a resident of the slave State of Missouri, I twice voted for Mr.
Lincoln, which was some evidence of my personal feeling toward him.
Both times I did it somewhat reluctantly. On the first occasion there
were four candidates. Breckenridge and Bell were Southern men--both by
residence and principle--and had no claim on Anti-Slavery support. But
with Douglas the case was different. He had quarreled with the
pro-slavery leaders, although of his own party. He had defied
President Buchanan in denouncing border-ruffianism in Kansas. He had
refused to give up his "popular sovereignty" dogma, although it
clearly meant ultimate free soil. The slave-masters hated him far more
than they did Lincoln. I heard them freely discuss the matter. They
were more afraid of the vindictiveness of the fiery Douglas than of
the opposition of good-hearted, conservative Lincoln. In my opinion
there was good reason for that feeling. Douglas, as President, would
undoubtedly have pushed the war for the Union with superior energy,
and slavery would have suffered rougher treatment from his hands than
it did from Mr. Lincoln's. There was another reason why the
slaveholders preferred the election of Lincoln to that of Douglas.
Lincoln's election would furnish the better pretext for the rebellion
on which they were bent, and which they had already largely planned.
They were resolved to defeat Douglas at all hazards, and they
succeeded.

Douglas had been very distasteful to the Abolitionists. They called
him a "dough-face." Nevertheless, quite a number of them where I lived
in Missouri voted for him. Missouri was the only State he carried, and
there he had less than five hundred majority. He got more than that
many free-soil votes. I was strongly tempted to give him mine. Chiefly
on account of political associations, I voted for Lincoln.

When it came to the second election, I again voted for Mr. Lincoln
with reluctance. The principal reason for my hesitancy was his
treatment of the Anti-Slavery people of the border slave States, and
especially of Missouri. The grounds for my objection on that score
will appear in the next chapter, which deals with the Missouri
embroglio, as it was called.

From what has just been stated, it will be seen that the cause of
Anti-Slaveryism had, at the formation of the Republican party, reached
a most perilous crisis. It was in danger of being submerged and
suffocated by unsympathetic, if not positively unfriendly,
associations. It ran the risk, after so many years of toil and
conflict, of being undone by those in whose support it was forced to
confide. Such would undoubtedly have been its fate if, owing to
circumstances over which no political party or other organization of
men had control, the current of Anti-Slavery sentiment had not risen
to a flood that swept all before it.

It is rather a curious circumstance that, at the crisis just alluded
to, the nearest approach to original Abolitionism that was to be
found, was in a slave State. In Missouri there was an organized
opposition to slavery that had been maintained for several years, and
which was never abandoned. The vitality displayed by this movement was
undoubtedly due in large measure to the inspiration of the man who was
its originator, if not its leader. That man was Thomas H. Benton.
Whether Benton was ever an Abolitionist or not, has been a
much-disputed question, but one thing is certain, and that is that the
men who sat at his feet, who were his closest disciples and imbibed
the most of his spirit--such as B. Gratz Brown, John How, the Blairs,
the Filleys, and other influential Missourians,--were Abolitionists.
Some of them weakened under the influence of the national
administration, but not a few of them maintained their integrity. Even
in the first days of the Civil War, when all was chaos there, an
organization was maintained, although at one time its only working and
visible representatives consisted of the members of a committee of
four men--a fifth having withdrawn--who were B. Gratz Brown,
afterwards a United States Senator; Thomas C. Fletcher, afterwards
Governor of the State; Hon. Benjamin R. Bonner, of St. Louis, and the
writer of this narrative. They issued an appeal that was distributed
all over the State, asking those in sympathy with their views to hold
fast to their principles, and to keep up the contest for unconditional
freedom. To that appeal there was an encouraging number of favorable
responses.

And thus it was that when Abolitionism may be said to have been lost
by merger elsewhere, it remained in its independence and integrity in
slaveholding Missouri, where it kept up a struggle for free soil, and
in four years so far made itself master of the situation that a
constitutional State convention, chosen by popular vote, adopted an
ordinance under which an emancipationist Governor issued his
proclamation, declaring that "hence and forever no person within the
jurisdiction of the State shall be subject to any abridgment of
liberty, except such as the law shall prescribe for the common good,
or know any master but God."

The writer entered on this work with no purpose of relating or
discussing the story of the Republican party, in whole or in any part.
His subject was Abolitionism, and his task would now be completed but
for the movement in the State of Missouri, to which reference has just
been made. That manifestation, he thinks, is deserving of recognition,
both on its own account and as a continuation of the original
movement, and he is the more inclined to contribute to its discussion
because he was then a Missourian by residence, and had something to do
with its successful prosecution.



CHAPTER XX

MISSOURI


In his interesting, though rather melodramatic, romance, _The Crisis_,
Winston Churchill tells the imaginary story of a young lawyer who went
from New England to St. Louis, and settled there shortly before the
outbreak of the Civil War. Having an abundance of leisure, and being
an Abolitionist, he devoted a portion of the time that was not
absorbed by his profession to writing articles on slavery for the
_Missouri Democrat_, which, notwithstanding its name, was the organ of
the Missouri emancipationists, and lived in part on the money he
received as compensation for that work. That in part describes the
author's experience. He was at that time a young lawyer in St. Louis,
to which place he had come from the North, and those who have read the
earlier chapters of this work are aware that he was an Abolitionist.
Having a good deal of time that was not taken up by his professional
employments, he occupied a portion of it in writing Anti-Slavery
contributions to the _Democrat_, and, so far as he knows, he was the
only person who to any extent did so. A collection was made of a
portion of his articles, and with money contributed by friends of the
cause, they were published in pamphlet form under the title of _Hints
toward Emancipation in Missouri_, and distributed throughout the
State.

There the parallelism of the cases ceases. The writer got no pecuniary
compensation for his labor. He asked for none and expected none. The
_Democrat_ was then in no condition to pay for volunteer services,
having a hard struggle for existence. He was able to do it a service
that, possibly, saved it from at least a temporary suspension. One of
its chief difficulties was in getting printing paper, the manufacturer
it had been patronizing declining to furnish it except for cash, while
the _Democrat_ needed partial credit. At that time Louis Snyder, of
Hamilton, Ohio, a large paper-maker, visited St. Louis on business
that called for legal assistance, and I was employed by him. When the
work in hand was finished, I remarked that there was something else he
might do in St. Louis that would pay him. I explained the situation of
the _Democrat_, and assured him that, in my opinion, he would be
perfectly safe in giving trust to its proprietors, who were honest
men.

"Will you indorse their paper?" he asked.

Mr. Snyder was a crafty as well as a thrifty German.

I replied that, as I was not a wealthy man, the question did not seem
to be pertinent.

"Will you indorse their paper for one thousand dollars?" was his next
question.

Being by this time somewhat "spunked up," I replied that I would.

"Then I shall be pleased to meet your friends," said Mr. Snyder.

The result of the interview that followed was such that the
_Democrat_ was materially assisted in continuing its publication.

It is hardly necessary to state that I never heard anything more of
the one-thousand-dollar indorsement, the sole purpose of which was,
doubtless, to test my sincerity.

Soon afterwards I was offered the political editorship of the
_Democrat_, which I accepted on the one condition that there was to be
"no let-up on emancipation." I held the position until Missouri was a
free State.

In a surprisingly short time after the question of Missouri's status
in reference to the Union was decided, the issue between
Pro-Slaveryism and Anti-Slaveryism came up. Political parties ranged
themselves upon it. Those who favored slavery's immediate or speedy
abolishment became known as Radicals, while those advocating its
prolongation were called Conservatives. Those descriptives, however,
were too mild for such a time, and they were quickly superseded by a
more expressive local nomenclature. The Radicals, because of their
alleged sympathy with the negro, were branded as "Charcoals," and
their opponents, made up of Republicans, Democrats, and
Semi-Unionists, because of the variegated complexion of the mixture,
were set down as "Claybanks." Mulattoes are Claybanks.

The Claybanks, or Conservatives, at the outset enjoyed a decided
advantage in having the State government on their side. This was not
the regularly elected administration, which was driven out because of
its open support of secession, but its provisional successor. In
trying to take the State out of the Union with a show of legality, the
lawful Governor and his official associates made provision for a State
convention to be chosen by the people, which they expected to control,
but which, having a Unionist majority, played the boomerang on them by
sending them adrift and taking the affairs of the State into its own
hands. In this it had opposition. The most progressive men of the
State insisted that, after it had settled the question of Missouri's
relations to the Union, with reference to which it was specially
chosen, it was _functus officio_. They held that there should be a new
and up-to-date convention, especially as the old one, owing to the
desertion of many of its treasonably inclined members, including
General Sterling Price, of the Confederate Army, who was its first
president, had become "a rump," and so there were old-conventionists
and new-conventionists. The old-convention men, however, were in the
saddle. They had the governmental machinery, and were resolved to hold
on to it. In that spirit the convention proceeded to fill the vacant
offices. It was in sentiment strongly pro-slavery, as was shown by the
fact that a proposal looking to the very gradual extinguishment of
slavery was rejected by it in an almost unanimous vote, a circumstance
that led the leading pro-slavery journal of the State to boast that
the convention had killed emancipation "at the first pop." Very
naturally such a body selected pro-slavery officials. Hamilton R.
Gamble, whom it made Governor, was a bigoted supporter of "the
institution." He had not long before been mixed up in the proceedings
that compelled Elijah P. Lovejoy to leave Missouri for Alton,
Illinois, where he was murdered by a pro-slavery mob. Gamble was an
able and ambitious man.

The Conservatives, likewise, had the backing of the Federal
Administration--a statement that to a good many people nowadays will
be surprising. There were reasons why such should be the case. Judge
Bates, of Missouri, who was Attorney-General in Lincoln's Cabinet, had
long been Gamble's law partner and most intimate friend. He never was
more than nominally a Republican. Another member of the Cabinet was
Montgomery Blair, of Maryland, who had been a resident of Missouri,
and was a brother of General Francis P. Blair, Jr., of St. Louis.
General Blair had been the leader of the Missouri emancipationists,
but had turned against them. For his face-about there were, at least,
two intelligible reasons. One was that in the quarrel between him and
Frémont the most of his former followers had sided with Frémont. That
was enough to sour him against them. The other was a very natural
desire to be solid with the administration at Washington, which, as
elsewhere shown, was not then actively Anti-Slavery. It did not want
the question of slavery agitated, especially in the border slave
States.

The Blairs were a clan as well as a family. The quarrel of one was the
quarrel of all, and the Missouri Radicals had no more effective
antagonist than the old Washington editor and politician, Francis P.
Blair, Sr., the family's head, who was so intimate with the President
that it was understood he could at any time enter the White House by
the kitchen door.

The writer was once a member of a delegation of Missouri "Charcoals"
that went to Washington to see the President. An hour was set for the
interview, and we were promptly at the door of the President's
chamber, where we were kept waiting for a considerable time. At last
the door opened, but before we could enter, out stepped a little old
man who tripped away very lightly for one of his years. That little
old man was Francis P. Blair, Sr., and we knew that we had been
forestalled. The President received us politely and patiently listened
to what we had to say, but our mission was fruitless.

The Radicals of Missouri sent deputation after deputation to the White
House, and got nothing they wanted. The Conservatives never sent a
deputation, and got all they wanted. They had advocates at the
President's elbows all the time.

With both State and Federal administrations against them, the Missouri
Charcoals may be regarded as foolhardy in persisting in the fight they
made for the deliverance of their State from slavery. They did
persist, however, and with such success in propagating their views
that Governor Gamble and the other Conservative leaders decided that
heroic measures to hold them in check were necessary. He undertook to
cut the ground from under their feet. The old convention that had
killed emancipation "at the first pop," or as much of it as was in
existence, was called together by the Governor, who appealed to it to
take such action as would quiet agitation on the slavery question.
Accordingly, it proceeded to enact what was called an emancipation
ordinance. The trouble with it was that it emancipated nobody. It
provided for the liberation of part of the slaves at a distant future
day, allowing the rest to remain as they were. The Radicals simply
laughed at the measure. They pronounced it a snare and a fraud, and
went right on with their work for unconditional freedom, and the
slave-owners continued to hold their human property the same as
before.

The Conservatives, however, had not exhausted their resources. They
sought to secure the military as well as the civil control. On the
assurance that he could maintain peace and order, Governor Gamble was
given authority by the President to recruit an army of State troops,
which, although equipped and paid out of the national treasury, he was
to officer and direct. The organization was entrusted to General John
M. Scofield, a resident of Missouri, and one of the Governor's
friends.

The political advantage to the Conservatives of exercising military
control at such a time is obvious enough. But at first there was an
obstruction in the person of General Samuel R. Curtis, the Federal
commander of the district, who was not a man to waive his superior
prerogative at a time when martial law prevailed, and who was,
besides, openly in sympathy with the Radicals. They got not only
protection from him, but about all the patronage he had to give.
Pretty soon it was discovered that active efforts for the removal of
Curtis were in progress. Charges of irregularities--afterwards shown
to be without any foundation--were circulated against him. Indignant
because of such injustice to their friend, the Radicals were further
incensed when they learned that the scheme was to make Scofield his
successor.

Against General Scofield, as a gentleman and soldier, they had nothing
to say; but his affiliation with their opponents made him obnoxious to
them, and they sent a vigorous protest against his appointment to the
President. The proposed change, however, was made, and the inevitable
disagreement between the new commander and the Radicals quickly
developed.

Scofield's administration was not successful. The principal cause of
failure was the adoption of Governor Gamble's policy of trying to run
the State without the help of Federal troops. They were pretty much
all sent away, and an elaborate plan for substituting an "enrolled
militia" was put in operation. Here was an opportunity of which the
Rebels were quick to take advantage. They had a wholesome regard for
United States soldiers, particularly under Curtis, who at Pea Ridge
had given them the worst drubbing they ever received west of the
Mississippi, but they cared little for "Gamble's militia," into which
a good many of their friends were mustered, and when the pressure of
Curtis's strong hand was removed they at once aroused to pernicious
activity.

At this time it can be safely said that nowhere, outside of hell, was
there such a horrible condition as prevailed in Missouri. Singly and
in squads a good many of Price's men returned from the South, and
with local sympathizers forming guerrilla bands under such leaders as
"Bill" Anderson, Poindexter, Jackson, and Quantrell, soon had
practical possession of the greater part of the State. The Radicals
were the principal sufferers. Conservatives, except by the occasional
loss of property, were rarely molested. Between them and the Rebels
there was often an agreement for mutual protection--in fact, it was
not always easy to draw the line between them,--but the Charcoals,
especially if they were "Dutchmen," could look for no compassion. They
were shot down in their fields. They were called to their doors at
night and there dispatched. Their houses were burned and their stock
stolen. Many families of comparative wealth and refinement, including
women and children, because of the insecurity of their homes, slept in
the woods for weeks and months. The Radicals were not always fortunate
enough to escape bodily torture. Having captured one of the best known
among them, an old man and a civilian, some of "Bill" Anderson's men
set him up against the wall of his house as a target for pistol
practice. Their play consisted in seeing how near they could put their
shots without hitting, and this amusement they kept up while his wife
was running about in an effort to raise the amount of money that was
demanded for his ransom.

So successful were the Rebel bands at this time that Missouri was not
large enough to hold them. One of them, led by Quantrell, crossed the
Kansas line, captured the city of Lawrence, and butchered two hundred
of its peaceable inhabitants, while the border towns and cities of
Iowa and Illinois were greatly alarmed for their safety.

So intolerable did the situation become, that the Radicals from all
parts of the State met in conference and decided to send a delegation
to ask Mr. Lincoln to change the department commander, in the hope
that it would bring a change of policy.

It is to be presumed that no President was ever confronted with such a
motley crowd of visitors as the members of that delegation--between
seventy and eighty in number--as they formed in line around three
sides of the East Room in the White House. Their garments were a
sight! Some of the men were in full military dress and some in
civilian clothes, but the costumes of a majority were a mixture of
both kinds, just as accident had arranged it, and pretty much all
showed evidences of hard usage. One of the most forward of the
delegates had neither cuffs nor collar, and his shirt had manifestly
not been near a laundry for a long time. He apologized to the
President for his appearance, saying that he had been sleeping in the
woods where toilet accommodations were very indifferent. Two or three
of the men bore marks of battle with the guerrillas, in patched-up
faces, and one of them carried an arm that had been disabled by a gun
shot in a red handkerchief sling. In speaking of these visitors, the
President afterwards jocularly referred to them as "those crackerjacks
from Missouri."

A formal address was presented, the principal point being that, as the
Missouri Unionists had furnished many thousand recruits to the Federal
Army, they had a right to look to the Government for soldiers to
assist in protecting their families and their property. And here it
will do no harm to state that, notwithstanding the heavy drain made by
the Confederacy, Missouri, during the war, furnished 109,000 men to
the national army.

After their formal address had been presented to the President, the
members of the delegation tackled him, one after the other, as the
spirit moved them, and it can truthfully be said that in some of the
bouts that ensued he did not come out "first best." He admitted as
much when, afterwards referring to this meeting, he spoke of the
Missouri Radicals as "the unhandiest fellows in the world to deal with
in a discussion."

The conclusion of the interview was attended with an unexpected
incident. The recognized leading spokesman of the Missourians was the
Hon. Charles D. Drake, of St. Louis, who was made Chief Justice of the
Court of Claims at Washington by Grant, when he became President. He
was a very forcible speaker. As Mr. Lincoln indicated by rising from
his seat that the conference was at an end, Mr. Drake stepped forward
and in well-chosen words thanked him for the lengthy and courteous
hearing he had given his visitors, and in their names bade him
good-by. Then he started for the door, but something seemed to arrest
him. Turning sharply to Mr. Lincoln, he said: "Mr. President, we are
about to return to our homes. Many of these men before you live where
rebel sentiments prevail and where they are surrounded by deadly
enemies. They return at the risk of their lives, and let me tell you
that if any of their lives are sacrificed by reason of the military
administration you maintain in Missouri, their blood will be upon your
garments and not upon ours."

The President, evidently greatly surprised, made no oral reply.
Instead of speaking he raised his handkerchief to his eyes. Seeing
that he was weeping, the delegates quietly and quickly filed out,
leaving Mr. Lincoln with his face still concealed.

The President denied the delegation's request, although his formal
decision was not announced for several days, and its members returned
to their homes, when fortunate enough to have them, sorely
disappointed.

It is here well enough to state that two or three months later the
President relieved Scofield from his Missouri command and sent him to
the front in the South, much to the betterment of his military
reputation, and doubtless to his own personal gratification. Rosecrans
was made his successor. Among the earliest things he did was the
bringing into the State of a considerable force of Federal troops
under Generals Pleasanton and A.J. Smith. These were sent through the
State. The effect was almost magical. Some of the guerrilla bands went
South to join Price, but the most of them dissolved and disappeared.
Their members, doubtless, went back to their former occupations, and
that was the last of them. Missouri was pacified.

But were the Missouri Radicals so far disheartened by their rebuffs
from the President that they gave up the fight? Not a bit of it. There
was a tribunal in some respects higher than the President, and to that
they resolved to go. The National Republican Convention to nominate a
successor to Mr. Lincoln was approaching, and they decided to appeal
to it in a way that would compel a decision between them and the
President. They appointed a delegation to the convention, which they
instructed for General Grant. The Claybanks also appointed a
delegation, which they instructed for Mr. Lincoln, and thus the issue
was made. The convention, although nominating Mr. Lincoln by a vote
that, outside of Missouri's, was unanimous, admitted the Charcoals and
excluded the Claybanks by the remarkable vote of four hundred and
forty to four.

While of no special consequence, some rather humorous experiences in
connection with the events just spoken of may not be lacking in
interest or altogether out of place in a work like this.

Before leaving Missouri for the National Republican Convention, which
was held in Baltimore, June 8, 1864, the Radical delegates, including
the writer, decided to go by way of Washington and call upon the
President, thinking that, as there was a contest ahead with his
professed Missouri supporters, a better understanding with him might
be of advantage. As they were pledged to vote for another man, such a
proceeding on their part was certainly somewhat audacious;
nevertheless, Mr. Lincoln received us graciously and listened
patiently to what we had to say.

"Mr. President," said one of the delegates, "if you were to go out to
Missouri you would find your best friends as well as practically all
the good Republicans of the State on our side of the dividing line."

"Well," remarked the President very deliberately, "in speaking of
dividing lines, the situation in Missouri recalls the story of the old
man who had an unruly sow and pigs. One day, when they escaped from
their enclosure and disappeared, he called his boys and started out to
hunt the runaways. Up one side of the creek they went; but while they
discovered plenty of tracks and rootings, they found no hogs. 'Now let
us go over to the other side of the creek,' said the old gentleman;
but the result was the same--many signs but no pigs. 'Confound those
swine!' exclaimed the old man, 'they root and root on both sides, but
it's mighty hard to find them on either.'"

We, of course, were left to make the application to ourselves, and
that was all the satisfaction we got.

Being greatly elated over our victory in the convention, and thinking
it settled some, if not all, disputed points, we decided to return by
way of Washington and again call on the President. We wanted to come
to some sort of understanding with him. As we had just voted against
his nomination such a step may have been more audacious than our
previous action. But, for all that, a pretty late hour on the night of
the convention found us at the door of the President's room, seeking
an interview that had been promised us in answer to a telegram.

Now, we had in our delegation a gentleman who was accustomed to imbibe
somewhat freely on occasions like that. He had pushed himself to the
front, and, when the door opened for us, in he rushed shouting: "Mr.
President! Mr. President! Mr. President! we have found that old sow
and pigs for you!"

The President, who was standing on the opposite side of the room,
looked somewhat startled at first; but as he evidently recalled the
illustration he had given to us, and which was being returned to him,
a broad grin went over his face, although nothing further was said
about the swine. But the incident was disastrous to our business. We
were relying on a prominent St. Louis lawyer, who was with us, to
present our case in a calm and impressive way; but he, taking offense
at being so unceremoniously forestalled, kept his intended speech to
himself. His dignity was hurt, and he had nothing to say. In fact, he
walked away and left us. The result was that our claims were rather
lamely presented, except by the first speaker, and we left the
official presence not a little chagrined and with no favorable
assurance having been obtained.

By all recognized party rules, when the nominating convention had
given the Missouri Radicals the stamp of regularity, the President was
bound to prefer them in the bestowal of patronage. He did nothing of
the kind. At his death, practically all of the offices in Missouri
that were under his control were held by Claybanks. These men became
enthusiastic supporters of Andrew Johnson, and, at the end of his
term, to a man went over to the Democratic party, of which their
leader, General Blair, was soon made, on the ticket with Horatio
Seymour, the Vice-Presidential candidate. At Lincoln's death, the
Claybanks, as an organization, went out of business.

Very different was the treatment the Charcoals received at the hands
of General Grant when he became President. He made the leader of the
anti-Scofield delegation to Washington Chief Justice of the Court of
Claims. He made two or three other leading Missouri Radicals foreign
ministers and officially remembered many of the rest of them. He had
been a Missourian, and it was well known that he was in sympathy with
the Radicals in their fight with Lincoln.

Although the Missouri Radicals did not favor Mr. Lincoln's
candidature, with the exception of a few supporters of Frémont, they
gave him their loyal support at the polls, and through this a large
majority in the State. They acted towards him much more cordially than
he ever acted toward them.

That Mr. Lincoln, in antagonizing the Missouri Free Soilers, acted
otherwise than from the most conscientious impulses the writer does
not for a moment believe. He opposed them because he disapproved of
their views and policy. He said so most distinctly on one occasion.
Certain German societies of St. Louis, having adopted a set of
resolutions, entrusted them to James Taussig, a leading lawyer of that
city, to present to the President in person. Mr. Taussig's report of
the results of a two hours' interview can be found in several of Mr.
Lincoln's biographies. One passage from the report is here given
because it clearly shows Mr. Lincoln's attitude toward the Missouri
problem.

  "The President," says Mr. Taussig, "said that the Union men in
  Missouri who are in favor of gradual emancipation, represented
  his views better than those who are in favor of immediate
  emancipation. In explanation of his views on this subject the
  President said that in his speeches he had frequently used as an
  illustration the case of a man who had an excrescence on the back
  of his neck, the removal of which in one operation would result in
  the death of the patient, while tinkering it off by degrees would
  preserve life."

  "Although sorely tempted," continues Mr. Taussig, "I did not reply
  with the illustration of the dog whose tail was amputated by
  inches, but confined myself to arguments. The President announced
  clearly that, so far as he was at present advised, the Radicals in
  Missouri had no right to consider themselves the representatives
  of his views on the subject of emancipation in that State."

The foregoing interview, it is well enough to state, was long after
the issuance of Mr. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

In addition to carrying the State for Mr. Lincoln, the Missouri
Radicals carried it for themselves. They elected a constitutional
convention that promptly passed an unconditional freedom ordinance.
And thus terminated what is certainly one of the most notable contests
in our political history, bringing about, as it did, the triumph of a
reform of unquestionable value to civilization and humanity, which was
accomplished by men working without patronage or other outside help,
with no pecuniary interest at stake, and no incentive beyond the
principle involved.



CHAPTER XXI

MISSOURI--_Continued_


Here follows an extract from the published proceedings of the National
Republican Convention of 1864, in which Mr. Lincoln was renominated.

  "When that State [Missouri] was called, Mr. J.F. Hume addressed
  the convention as follows:

  "'It is a matter of great regret that we differ from the majority
  of the convention that has been so kind to the Radicals of
  Missouri, but we came here instructed. We represent those who are
  behind us at home, and we recognize the right of instruction and
  intend to obey our instruction; but, in doing so, we declare
  emphatically that we are with the Union party of the nation, and
  we intend to fight the battle through to the end with it, and
  assist in carrying it to victory. We will support your nominees be
  they whom they may. I will read the resolution adopted by the
  convention that sent us here.'"

  [Here resolution of instruction was read.]

  "'Mr. President, in the spirit of that resolution I cast the
  twenty-two votes of Missouri for them an who stands at the head of
  the fighting Radicals of the nation--General U.S. Grant.'"

The contention between the Missouri Radical and Conservative
delegations was thrashed out before the committee on delegates, at an
evening session. Judge Samuel M. Breckenridge, of St. Louis, sustained
the cause of the Conservatives in a very ingenious argument, while the
writer spoke for the Radicals. The result was very satisfactory to the
latter, being, with the exception of one vote for compromise, a
unanimous decision in their favor. That decision was sustained by the
convention in its next day's session by a vote of four hundred and
forty to four.

Anticipating that the subject would be discussed on the floor of the
convention,--which was not the case, however,--I asked a very eloquent
St. Louis lawyer to take my place as chairman of the Radical
delegation and conduct the debate on the Radical side. He declined. I
then went to three or four Congressmen who were members of the Radical
delegation and made the same appeal to each one of them. All declined.
I suspected at the time that apprehension that a vote for anybody else
would be hissed by Lincoln's friends, had something to do with their
reticence. I had no such apprehension. I did not believe there was
anybody in that convention who would dare to hiss the name of Grant.
If Grant had been a candidate before the convention he would have been
nominated.

When, as chairman of my delegation, I pronounced his name as
Missouri's choice I remained on my feet for fully a minute while a
dead silence prevailed. Meanwhile all eyes were turned upon me. Then
came a clap from a single pair of hands, being the expression of a
Missouri delegate. Others followed, both inside and outside of the
delegation, increasing until there was quite a demonstration. When
the clamor had subsided I made the next move according to the
programme agreed upon, and the incident was closed.

And here it can do no harm to state that General Grant knew that he
was to receive the vote of the Missouri Radicals if they were admitted
to the convention--the newspapers having generally published the
fact--and did not decline the intended compliment. Grant lived in
Missouri for a considerable period, married there, and was on most
friendly terms with the Radical leaders, many of whom he generously
remembered when he got to be President. For their action in voting for
Grant, the Missouri Radical delegates were sharply criticised at the
time, on the alleged ground that they secured admission to the
convention from Lincoln's supporters by concealing the fact--or at
least not revealing it--that they intended to vote for somebody else.
The fact, however, is that there was not a person in the convention
who did not from the first understand where they stood, and exactly
what they intended to do. Their Conservative contestants had
distributed a leaflet, intended as an appeal to the Lincoln men,
setting forth the instructions to both delegations. Instead of the
openly avowed opposition of the Radicals to Mr. Lincoln's nomination
being an impediment in their way, it strengthened them with the
convention, which, notwithstanding its seeming harmony in his support,
contained many delegates who would very much have preferred nominating
somebody else; but who, for lack of organized opposition, were
compelled to vote for him. A sufficient evidence of that fact was the
presence in the convention of a large number of Congressmen whose
antagonism to the President was notorious. An incident that strikingly
illustrated Congressional sentiment toward the President at that time,
is given in the _Life of Lincoln_, by Isaac N. Arnold, then a member
of Congress from Illinois. A Pennsylvanian asked Thaddeus Stevens, the
Republican Congressional leader, to introduce him to "a member of
Congress who was friendly to Mr. Lincoln's renomination." Thereupon
Stevens took him to Arnold, saying: "Here is a man who wants to find a
Lincoln member of Congress, and as you are the only one I know of I
bring him to you."

The same feeling largely prevailed among leading Republicans outside
of Congress. Henry J. Raymond, of the New York _Times_, in his _Life
of Lincoln_, says that at that time "nearly all the original
Abolitionists and many of the more decidedly Anti-Slavery members of
the Republican party were dissatisfied with the President." More
explicit testimony is the statement, in his _Political Recollections_,
of George W. Julian, for many years a leading member of Congress from
Indiana. He says:

  "The nomination of Mr. Lincoln was nearly unanimous, only the
  State of Missouri opposing him, but of the more earnest and
  thoroughgoing Republicans in both Houses of Congress, probably not
  more than one in ten really favored it. It was not only very
  distasteful to a large majority of Congress, but to many of the
  more prominent men of the party throughout the country."

The writer had an opportunity of witnessing a peculiar manifestation
of the feeling that has just been spoken of. He attended a conference
of radical Anti-Slavery people that was held in a parlor of one of the
old Pennsylvania Avenue hotels in Washington, a few months before the
nominating convention. A number of well-known politicians were
present, but probably the most prominent was Horace Greeley. The
writer had never before seen the great editor, and was considerably
amused by his unconventional independence on that occasion. He
occupied an easy chair with a high back. Having given his views at
considerable length, he laid his head back on its support and
peacefully went to sleep; but the half-hour lost in slumber did not
prevent him from joining vigorously in the discussion that was going
on as soon as he awoke.

There seemed to be but one sentiment on that occasion. All entertained
the opinion that, owing to Mr. Lincoln's peculiar views on
reconstruction, and especially his manifest inclination to postpone
actual freedom for the negro to remote periods, and other "unhappy
idiosyncrasies," as one of the speakers expressed it, his re-election
involved the danger of a compromise that would leave the root of
slavery in the soil, and hence his nomination by the Republicans
should be opposed. Chase was clearly the choice of those present, but
no one had a plan to propose, and, while some committees were
appointed, I never heard anything more of the matter. Two or three of
those present on that occasion were in the nominating convention and
quietly voted with the majority for Mr. Lincoln. The writer was the
only one in both gatherings that maintained his consistency.

All this, it is well enough to remember, was long after the
President's Emancipation Proclamation had appeared.

There was, however, another manifestation of the antagonism spoken of
which the public, for some reason, never seemed to "get on to," that
at one time threatened very serious consequences, and which, if it had
gone a little farther, might have materially changed the history of
the country. That was a movement, after Mr. Lincoln's nomination, to
compel him to retire from the ticket, or to confront him with a strong
independent Republican candidate. According to Messrs. Nicolay and
Hay, Mr. Lincoln's private secretaries and his biographers, the
movement started in New York City and had its ramifications in many
parts of the country. One meeting was held at the residence of David
Dudley Field, and was attended by such men as George William Curtis,
Noyes, Wilkes, Opdyke, Horace Greeley, and some twenty-five others. In
the movement were such prominent people as Charles Sumner, of
Massachusetts, and Benjamin F. Wade, of Ohio. One of the men favorable
to the proposition was Governor Andrew of Massachusetts. "He," says
his biographer, Peleg W. Chandler, "was very busy in the movement in
1864 to displace the President." "The secrecy," he adds, "with which
this branch of the Republican politics of that year has been ever
since enveloped is something marvelous; there were so many concerned
in it. When it all comes out, if it ever does, it will make a curious
page in the history of the time." The signal for the abandonment of
the movement, according to Mr. Chandler, was given by Mr. Chase.

Almost at the beginning of the movement the _Missouri Democrat_,
doubtless because of its supposed opposition to Mr. Lincoln, was
approached on the subject. If the statements made to it were anywhere
near correct, the conspiracy, as it might be called, had the
countenance of a surprisingly great number of weighty Republicans. The
_Democrat_ declined to become a party to the proposed insurrection. It
held that after what had occurred in the Baltimore convention, it
could not consistently and honorably do so.

There was another reason why it stood aloof. Before the nomination it
was, naturally enough, looking out for some one who might be urged as
a suitable competitor for Mr. Lincoln's place. Andrew Johnson, of
Tennessee, was then quite popular with a good many people of radical
views. The writer prepared an article discussing his availability as
presidential timber and suggested him as a good man for the
nomination. The article appeared as a leader in the _Democrat_, and
was followed by others in the same vein. The suggestion attracted
attention and led to a good deal of newspaper discussion. Herein we
have, according to the writer's opinion, the leading cause of
Johnson's nomination for the Vice-Presidency. At all events, he was on
the ticket with Lincoln, and the _Democrat_ could not very well go
back on its own man.

The new departure, as the proposition for another Republican
candidate in case Mr. Lincoln resolved to stick might be called, that
appeared so formidable at one time, faded away without the public
knowing anything of its existence. The reason was that it had no
candidate. It had relied on Chase, knowing the unfriendliness there
was between him and the President, but Chase said "No," and that was
the end of it.

The nomination of Mr. Chase for the Chief Justiceship has always been
regarded as an act of great magnanimity on Mr. Lincoln's part, as well
as a clear perception of merit. It was doubtless all that, but the
actions of the two men at this time certainly make out a case of
striking coincidence. Such things rarely come by accident.

From what has been stated, it will be seen that the Missouri Radicals
were by no means alone in their opposition to the President's
nomination, for which they are so sharply taken to task by some of his
biographers and eulogists. They had plenty of company, the only
difference being that they stood out in the open while the others
acted covertly.

The Missouri Germans, who mostly approved the candidature of Frémont,
and some of whom refused to vote for Lincoln, have been particularly
assailed. Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, in their Lincoln biography, even go
so far as to attack them on the ground of their religious, or rather
anti-religious, beliefs, calling them "materialist Missourians,"
"Missouri agnostics," etc., etc.

Now, after having lived among the Missouri Germans at the time of our
civil troubles, the writer is impelled to say a few words in their
behalf. He does not hesitate to say that, in his opinion, there was
no body of men of equal numerical strength in this country to whom, at
that crisis, the Government and country had cause to feel under
greater obligation, and justice would require its acknowledgment at
this time. But for them the enemies of the Union would have captured
the city of St. Louis with its great Government arsenal, and with the
arms and ammunition thus secured would have overrun both the States of
Missouri and Kansas. A large preponderance of the American-born
citizens of St. Louis were Rebels. The Union people of that city who
saved the day, were principally the "Dutch," as they were called.

A large army was needed at that point to protect the Government's
interests, when it had practically no available forces. There was no
law under which it could be organized on the spot. No man could be
made to serve. No pay for service was assured, or even promised. The
army, however, was created by the voluntary and patriotic action of
its members. Nearly a dozen full regiments were organized and
equipped. Nine tenths of their members were Germans. They did not wait
for hostilities to begin. Foreseeing the emergency near at hand, they
organized into companies and regiments, and put themselves on a war
footing before a blow had been struck or a shot had been fired. They
met by night to drill in factory lofts, in recreation halls, and in
whatever other places were most available, the words of command being
generally delivered in German. The writer has a lively recollection of
the difficulties involved in trying to learn military evolutions from
instructors speaking a language he did not understand.

Many of the Germans of Missouri had seen service in the Old World.
They had served under Sigel in the struggle of 1848. They found
themselves under Sigel again. It was with the step and bearing of
veterans that they marched (the writer was an eye-witness) in May of
1861, only a few days after Sumter had been fired on, to open the
military ball in the West at Camp Jackson, near St. Louis.

The same people went with Lyon to the State capital, from which the
Rebel officials were driven, never to return. They were with Lyon at
Wilson's Creek, and with him many of them laid down their lives on
that bloody field. They were wherever hard fighting was to be done in
that part of the country. The writer believes he is correct in saying
they furnished more men to the Government's service than any other
numerically equal body of citizens. So large was their representation
in the Union's forces in that region, that the Rebels were accustomed
to speak of the Union soldiers as "the Dutch."

The fact that the Germans were fighting for an adopted government
makes their loyalty more conspicuous. What they did was not from a
love of war, but because they were Abolitionists. They were opposed to
slavery. They owned no slaves. They wanted the Government sustained,
because they believed that meant the end of slaveholding. They
supported Frémont largely because of his freedom proclamation.

And here the writer, before closing his work, wants to say something
about Frémont. He believes no man in this country was made the victim
of greater injustice than he was.

It has always been the opinion of the writer that, if Frémont had been
permitted to take his own way in his Western command a little longer,
he would have achieved a brilliant military success. He was a weak man
in some respects, being over fond of dress parade. The financial
management of his department was bad, or, rather, very careless. Of
these shortcomings, which were considerably misrepresented and
exaggerated, Frémont's enemies took advantage, and succeeded in
effecting his overthrow in the Western Department. But,
notwithstanding his admitted failings, he gave evidence of military
ability. He showed that he possessed both physical and moral courage,
and he knew how to plan a campaign. He undoubtedly formulated the
movement that resulted in the capture of Forts Donelson and Henry in
Tennessee, taking the initial steps, but of which Halleck got the
credit. He was removed from command when in the field, and almost on
the eve of battle. He had an enthusiastic army and the prospect of a
decisive victory. His recall gave up nearly the whole of Missouri to
the enemy, and was one of the causes of complaint that the Missouri
Unionists had against the National Administration.

Not long afterwards, with no more than even chances, Frémont defeated
Stonewall Jackson in Virginia--at Cross Keys--which was more than any
of the other Union generals then in that department could do. His
prompt removal made it sure that he should not do it again.

It was the misfortune of Frémont that his independence caused him to
clash with selfish interests, and he was sacrificed. He was selected
for the Trans-Mississippi command by the Blairs, evidently with the
expectation that he would bend to their wishes. He soon showed that he
was his own master, and the trouble began. The Union people of his
department were mostly with him, but the Blairs had control of the
administration in Washington.

As for his freedom proclamation, it was, to a certain extent, an act
of insubordination, but it was right in principle and sound in policy.
Its adoption by the General Government would have saved four years of
contention and turmoil in Missouri, spent in upholding a tottering
institution that was doomed from the first shot of the Rebellion. The
President, however, for reasons elsewhere explained, did not at that
time want slavery interfered with.

The story of Frémont's fall is best told by Whittier in four lines:

    "Thy error, Frémont, simply was to act
    A brave man's part without the statesman's tact,
    And, taking counsel but of common-sense,
    To strike at cause as well as consequence."



CHAPTER XXII

SOME ABOLITION LEADERS


The references that have been made to General Frank P. Blair of
Missouri have not been complimentary to that individual. They would
indicate on the part of the writer no very exalted admiration for or
estimate of the man. In that particular they are not altogether just.
The stormy period of the Rebellion brought out few more picturesque
figures than his, or in some respects more admirable characters. There
is no question that, but for the efforts of Blair, the Rebels would
have effected the capture of St. Louis at the beginning of the war, to
be followed by the at least temporary control of the entire State of
Missouri, and possibly of Kansas as well. To that end preparations had
been carefully and skillfully made. The leader in the movement was
none other than Missouri's Governor, Claiborne F. Jackson, who was
justly looked upon as one of the most consummate and accomplished
schemers of the time. He was a Rebel from head to foot. He had taken
office with the deliberate purpose of swinging his State into the
Confederate column, and without regard to the wishes of the majority
of the people whom he officially represented. He was supported by a
sympathetic corps of official assistants, including a majority of the
Legislature of his State, who gave him whatever legislation he wanted.
Every advantage seemed to be on his side. He would undoubtedly have
succeeded but for the opposition of Blair. In him he encountered an
equal in cunning, and more than a match in courage and energy.

When the Governor and his helpers were busy raising an army pursuant
to the conditions of a law that had been enacted for the purpose, and
which hampered their operations, Blair went ahead in raising and
equipping an army on the other side without the slightest regard to
law. The presence or absence of a statute did not trouble him in the
least. He called on the Unionists to organize and arm, and when a
sufficient force, composed in greater part of loyal Germans, had
responded he struck the first blow. In a legal aspect the whole
proceeding was irregular, but it was none the less effective.

When the Governor's army was quietly encamped on the outskirts of St.
Louis, for the capture and occupancy of which it was getting ready, it
found itself unexpectedly surrounded by a superior force, and its
surrender was demanded in a way that admitted of no denial. The writer
was present on the occasion. From a convenient eminence he witnessed
the whole proceeding. When Jackson's men--the rendezvous had in honor
of his Excellency the Governor been named Camp Jackson--were enjoying
themselves on a pleasant summer's day, sleeping on the grass, playing
cards, or escorting their lady friends and other visitors about the
grounds, suddenly they realized that their position was commanded by
hostile guns. Pointing downward from higher ground not far off were
nearly a score of frowning cannons, behind which stood men with
burning fuses. I had watched the Union forces as they approached. At
the foot of the hill that hid them from the camp they paused for a few
moments, and then up the hill went the horses that were dragging the
cannons at a run. They were wheeled when the summit was reached, and
the guns thrown into position. Everything was ready for action. At the
same time large bodies of armed men, their arms glittering in the
sunlight, were seen approaching from all sides on the double quick.
The Rebels were completely entrapped, and their immediate capitulation
was a thing of course. The credit for the manoeuvres of the day was
given to Captain--afterwards General--Nathaniel Lyon, who was in
immediate command of the Unionists, but everybody understood that the
real leader, as well as instigator, of the movement was Blair.

Blair had been the admitted leader of the Missouri Abolitionists. He
was as radical as any man among them. One day he stopped me on the
street for the purpose of thanking me for a paper I had contributed to
the _Missouri Democrat_, in which I had favored what was practically
immediate emancipation in Missouri. He said that was the right kind of
talk, and what we had to come to. I felt greatly flattered, because
there was nothing in the article that disclosed its authorship, and
Mr. Blair had taken the trouble to inquire about it.

Blair turned against the Missouri Abolitionists when a decided
majority of them turned against him in his quarrel with Frémont. They
indorsed Frémont's emancipation proclamation, which the President, at
Blair's instigation, it was charged at the time, revoked.

Blair was a man not only of strong ambition but of arbitrary
temperament. He could not tolerate the idea of a newcomer pre-empting
what he had considered his premises. If he could not rule he was ready
to ruin. That disposition accorded with both his mental and physical
make-up. Bodily he was a bundle of bones and nerves without a particle
of surplus flesh. His hair was red, his complexion was sandy, and his
eyes, when he was excited and angry, had a baleful expression that led
some one in my presence on a certain occasion to speak of them as
"brush-heaps afire."

He was not an eloquent man, although a ready and frequent public
speaker. His voice was not musical. His strong forte was invective. He
was nearly always denouncing somebody. Apparently, he was never so
happy as when making another miserable. Sometimes his personal
allusions were very broad. He was accustomed in his speeches to refer
to one of Missouri's United States Senators as "that lop-eared
vulgarian." That he was not almost all the time in personal
difficulties was due to the fact that he was known to be a man of
exceptional courage. He was a born fighter. Physically I think he was
the bravest man I ever knew. I witnessed several manifestations of his
fearlessness, but one particularly impressed me.

I have spoken of the Camp Jackson affair. Although the people in the
Rebel encampment surrendered without a blow, the incident was
attended with considerable bloodshed. A mob of Rebel sympathizers,
consisting largely of half-grown boys--I was in the midst of the
throng at the time--with their pistols opened fire on a German Union
regiment and killed several of its men. The troops, in return, poured
a volley into the crowd of spectators from which the shots had come,
killing or wounding over forty persons, the most of them, as is usual
in such cases, being inoffensive onlookers. A man standing beside me
and, like myself, a spectator, had the top of one ear clipped off by a
Minié ball as cleanly as if it had been done with a knife. I found
when, soon afterwards, I reached the business center of the city,
where the Rebel element then largely predominated, that the story of
the tragedy had swelled the number of the victims to one thousand.
Intense excitement and the most furious indignation prevailed.
Hundreds of men, with flaming faces, were swearing the most dreadful
oaths that they would shoot Frank Blair, whom they seemed to regard as
wholly responsible, on sight. Many of them were flourishing pistols in
confirmation of their bloody purpose. Just then the attention of the
crowd was drawn to an unusual spectacle. Down Fourth Street, which was
then the leading business avenue of St. Louis, and at that time
densely packed with the excited people, came the Union soldiers with
the prisoners from Camp Jackson on their way to the United States
Arsenal grounds. At the head of the procession marched the men of the
First Missouri volunteer regiment, their guns "aport" and ready for
immediate service, and at their head--the only mounted man in the
regiment, according to my recollection--rode their Colonel, who was
Frank Blair. He was in full uniform, which made him still more
conspicuous. No better target could have been offered. I watched the
audacious man, expecting to hear a shot at any moment from the
sidewalk, or from a window of one of the high buildings lining the
street, and to see him topple from his saddle. He understood very well
the danger he was braving. He knew that in that throng, where
everybody was armed, there were hundreds toying with the triggers of
their guns, and trying to muster sufficient courage to shoot him down.
Slowly, and as calmly as if on ordinary dress parade, he led the way
until he passed out of sight. I thought then, and still think, it was
the pluckiest thing I ever witnessed.

The effect of the breaking up and capture of Camp Jackson was
something wonderful. Up to that time, the Rebels of St. Louis and
their sympathizers had been very demonstrative. In portions of the
city the Rebel cockade, which was a red rosette pinned to the side of
the hat, was conspicuous, and any one not displaying that decoration
was in danger of having his hat smashed upon his head. After Camp
Jackson's surrender, I never saw a Rebel cockade openly worn in St.
Louis.

At the same time there was an extensive shifting of positions. A good
many men of prominence and wealth, who had been leaning over towards
the South, suddenly straightened up, and not a few of them showed a
strong inclination the other way. Some of the evolutions they executed
were amusing. One of the first to discuss with the writer the Union
defeat at Bull Run was a former United States Government official. He
was tremendously excited and correspondingly exultant. After
describing how the Southerners had vanquished the Government's men,
and particularly how the South Carolina "black horse" had ridden them
down in deadly slaughter, he cried out, "That's the way we will give
it to you fellows all the time."

Not very long afterwards General Grant, having entered Tennessee, and
captured Fort Donelson, and many prisoners, was about to visit St.
Louis, and the leading Unionists there decided to give him a grand
reception and an elaborate dinner. Money had to be raised, and among
those I met who were soliciting it was my ex-Government-official
friend. He was fully as happy as he had been before, when the Fort
Donelson affair was alluded to. "Didn't we give it to those fellows
down there?" he exclaimed.

Out in western Missouri was a young lawyer of great ambition and
considerable promise. He was afterwards a member of Congress. Like a
good many others he was at first puzzled to know what course to take.
In his dilemma he concluded to consult an old politician in that
section who was much famed for his sagacity, and who bore the military
title of General.

"If you contemplate remaining in Missouri," said the older man to the
junior, "you should take the Southern side. Missouri is a slave State
and a Southern State, and she will naturally go with her section."

The young man availed himself of an opportunity to make a public
address, in which he aligned himself in the strongest terms with those
who had gone into rebellion. But scarcely had this been done when
Lincoln issued his first call for troops, and among those nominated to
command them was the old Missouri General. It was announced that he
had accepted the appointment. The younger man was amazed. He went in
hot haste for an explanation.

"It's all true," said the General. "The fact is, when I talked with
you before, I did not think the Northern people would fight for the
Union, but I now see that I was mistaken; and when the Northern
people, being the stronger and richer, do decide to go to war, they
are almost certain to win. You had better take the Northern side."

"But it is too late," said the youngster. "I have committed myself in
that speech I made."

"Oh! as for that matter," was the reply, "it's of very little
consequence if you have committed yourself. It's easy to make a speech
on the other side and take the first one back. Nobody looks for
consistency in times like these."

Many Missourians, as well as many citizens of other border slave
States, at the beginning of the trouble advocated a policy of
neutrality. They saw no necessity for taking sides. I was at a meeting
out in the interior of Missouri, where many citizens had come together
to consult as to the policy they had better pursue. Among them was an
old gentleman who seemed to be looked upon by his neighbors as a
regular Nestor. He was called upon for his views. "Gentlemen," said
he, "we have got to take sides and maintain our neutrality."

In that section of the country was another distinguished and unique
personage who conspicuously figured in the events that are here being
dealt with.

I knew him intimately. I now refer to James H. Lane, who was better
known as "Jim Lane," of Kansas. Like Blair, Lane was a born leader of
men, and a leader under exceptional conditions. He was generally
credited with being a fighter--a dare-devil, in fact--and a desperado;
but in the writer's opinion he was by no means Blair's equal in
personal courage. He had a great deal to do in raising troops and
organizing military movements, but he did not go to the front. His
fighting was chiefly in "private scraps," in one of which he killed
his adversary.

His paramount ability was as a talker rather than as a fighter. He was
an orator, and his oratory was of a kind that was exactly suited to
his surroundings. No man could more readily adapt himself to the humor
of his hearers. He knew precisely how to put himself on their level. I
have seen him face an audience that was distinctly unfriendly, that
would scarcely give him a hearing; and in less than half an hour every
man in the crowd would be shouting his approval. He could go to his
hearers if he could not bring them to him. I witnessed one of his
performances in that line.

He was a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate. There
was one rival that he particularly feared. The man was the late
General Thomas Ewing, then a resident of Kansas. At that particular
time he was in the Army and the commandant of the St. Louis District
in Missouri. Lane came to St. Louis and had a talk with the writer,
freely admitting his dread of Ewing and asking for the _Missouri
Democrat's_ support. Having a considerable admiration for Lane as well
as a liking for the man, I promised him such assistance as I could
reasonably give. It happened to be at the time when General Sterling
Price, in making his last raid into Missouri, was threatening St.
Louis with an army of nearly twenty thousand men, and there was no
adequate opposing force at hand. Ewing, with barely a tenth as many
troops, went to the front and heroically engaged the enemy. With no
protection but the walls of a little mud fort he succeeded in
repelling the attack of his powerful adversary. That timely action
probably saved St. Louis.

At this particular time it was arranged that there should be a meeting
of the Republicans of St. Louis--it was in the midst of an exciting
presidential campaign--at which Lane was to be the principal speaker.
The meeting was held and Lane was addressing a large audience with
great acceptance when the news of Ewing's achievement was received.

It was then customary, when war intelligence arrived in the course of
any political gathering, and sometimes of religious gatherings, to
suspend all other proceedings until it had been announced and the
audience had time enough to manifest its feeling on the subject.

Lane was in the midst of an eloquent passage when he was interrupted
by the arrival of the news referred to. He stepped back, and the
news-bearer, taking his place, proceeded to give a graphic
description of Ewing's performance, concluding with a glowing eulogy
on that personage, and which was received with tremendous cheering.
Understanding Lane's feelings towards Ewing, I watched his face while
these events were passing. It plainly showed his vexation. It was
almost livid with suppressed emotion. But the time for him to resume
his address had come. What would he do was the question I asked
myself. He answered it very promptly. Jauntily stepping forward with
his countenance fairly wreathed in smiles, he exclaimed, "Ladies and
gentlemen, that is glo-o-orious news for us, but it 's ter-r-r-ible
for the other fellows."

Lane's enemies were confident they had him beaten as a candidate for
the Senate. He had done certain things that rendered him unpopular
with his constituents. So certain were they that they did not think it
necessary to make an effort, and, in consequence, remained inactive.
Not so with Lane. He quietly waited until a few days before the
choosing of the Legislature that was to decide on his case, and then
he entered on a lightning canvass. Arranging for relays of fast
horses--it was before the days of railroads in Kansas--he began a tour
that would bring him practically face to face with every voter in the
State. He traveled and spoke both by day and by night. Sometimes he
addressed as many as a dozen audiences in twenty-four hours. The
excitement attending his progress was great. Men came many miles to
hear him, sometimes bringing their families with them. He succeeded in
completely revolutionizing public opinion. It was too late for his
adversaries to attempt a counter-movement, and the result was that
Lane was re-elected by an almost unanimous vote.

There was no doubt about Lane's attitude on the slavery question. He
was not only a radical Abolitionist, but the acknowledged leader of
the Free-State men of Kansas. He recognized no right of property in
man, as many Missouri slaveholders learned to their sorrow. I was
present when he congratulated a Kansas regiment that had just returned
from a raid into Missouri, bringing many black people with it. "Fellow
soldiers," he shouted, "you entered Missouri a white body, but you
have returned surrounded by a great black cloud. It is the work of the
Lord."

There was another man whose name, the author thinks, properly belongs
under the heading of this chapter, and to whom, on account of pleasant
personal recollections, he would like to refer. He was not a fighter
like Blair and Lane, with whom his life was in striking contrast. He
was essentially a man of peace. He was a Quaker. Although born in
Kentucky he was an Abolitionist. I now refer to Levi Coffin of
Cincinnati, who was credited with successfully assisting over three
thousand runaway slaves on their way to freedom, and, in consequence,
became distinguished among both friends and foes as the "President of
'The Underground Railroad.'" The most remarkable thing in his case was
his immunity from legal punishment. The slaveholders knew very well
what he was doing, but so expert was he in hiding his tracks that they
could never get their clutches upon him.

I had rather an amusing experience with Coffin. Having when a boy
heard so much about him, I was anxious to see him and make his
acquaintance. On the occasion of a visit to Cincinnati, with a letter
of introduction from an acquaintance of Coffin, I went to his office,
but not without trepidation. I found the great man engaged in a
conversation with some one, his back being toward me, as I took my
stand just inside of his door. How he became aware of my presence I
don't know--I certainly made no noise to attract him--but he certainly
knew I was there. Suspending the conversation in which he was
engaged--he was seated in a revolving chair--he suddenly turned so as
to confront me, and silently looked me over. At last he arose, and,
stepping up to me, lifted my hat with one hand, and laid the other
upon my head. I understood very well what his movements meant. He was
looking for outward evidences of negro blood. So far as my complexion
went a suspicion of African taint might very well have been
entertained. I had been assisting my father in harvesting his wheat
crop, and my face and hands had a heavy coating of tan, but my hair
was straight and stiff. I could see that the old gentleman was
puzzled. Not a word, so far, had been spoken on either side.

"Where is thee from?" was the question that broke the silence.

I answered that I was from Clark County, meaning Clark County, Ohio.

Coffin, however, evidently thought I referred to Clark County,
Kentucky, from which there had been many fugitives, and that settled
the matter in his mind. "But, my boy, thee seems to have had a good
home," continued the old gentleman as he looked over my clothes and
general appearance. "Why is thee running away?"

Then came the explanation and the solemn Quaker indulged in a hearty
laugh. He remarked that he knew my family very well by reputation, and
that he had met my father in Abolitionist conventions--meetings he
called them.

Then he invited me to go to his home and break bread with him. I
vainly tried to decline. The old man would accept no excuse.

"Thy father would not refuse my hospitality."

That settled the matter, and I accompanied my entertainer to his
domicile. I was glad that I did so, as it gave me the opportunity to
see and greet Coffin's wife, who was a charming elderly Quaker lady.
She had gained a reputation as a helper of the slave almost equal to
that of her husband.

When runaways set out on their venturesome journeys, they were
generally very indifferently equipped. Ordinarily they had only the
working garments they wore on the plantations, and these furnished but
slight relief for a condition very near to nudity. Mrs. Coffin set
apart a working room in her house, and there sympathizers of both
races joined her in garment-making, the result being that very few
fugitives left Cincinnati without being decently clothed.

At the Coffin table were several guests beside myself. One was a
colored man. He had been a slave, I learned, but his freedom had been
purchased, largely through the Coffins' efforts.

After I left the Coffin mansion, I remembered my unused letter of
introduction, which I had altogether forgotten. It was no longer
called for.



CHAPTER XXIII

ROLLS OF HONOR


The first honors of Abolitionism unquestionably belong to the
organizers of the first societies formed for its promotion. The first
of these in the order of time was the New England Anti-Slavery
Society, which came into being on the first day of January, 1832.
William Lloyd Garrison was chief promoter and master spirit. It
consisted at the outset of twelve men, and that was not the only
evidence of its apostolic mission. It was to be the forerunner in an
ever-memorable revolution. The names of the twelve subscribers to its
declaration of views and aims will always have a place in American
history. They were William Lloyd Garrison, Oliver Johnson, William J.
Snelling, John E. Fuller, Moses Thatcher, Stillman E. Newcomb, Arnold
Buffum, John B. Hall, Joshua Coffin, Isaac Knapp, Henry K. Stockton,
and Benjamin C. Bacon.

As a suggestion from, if not an offshoot of, the New England
organization, came the National Anti-Slavery Society, which was
organized in Philadelphia in 1834. It was intended that the meeting of
its promoters should be held in New York, but so intense was the
feeling against the Abolitionists in that city that no suitable room
could there be found, and the "conspirators," as they were called by
their enemies, were compelled to seek for accommodation and protection
among the Philadelphia Quakers.

In that circumstance there was considerable significance. Two great
declarations of independence have issued from Philadelphia. One was
for political freedom; the other was for personal freedom. One was for
the benefit of its authors as well as of others. The other one was
wholly unselfish. Which had the loftier motive?

Ten States were represented in the Philadelphia meeting, which,
considering the difficulties incident to travel at that time, was a
very creditable showing. One man rode six hundred miles on horseback
to attend it.

The following is the list of those in attendance, who became
subscribers to the declaration that was promulgated:


_Maine_

David Thurston, Nathan Winslow, Joseph Southwick, James F. Otis, Isaac
Winslow.


_New Hampshire_

David Campbell.


_Massachusetts_

Daniel Southmayd, Effingham C. Capron, Amos Phelps, John G. Whittier,
Horace P. Wakefield, James Barbadoes, David T. Kimball, Jr., Daniel E.
Jewitt, John R. Campbell, Nathaniel Southard, Arnold Buffum, William
Lloyd Garrison.


_Rhode Island_

John Prentice, George W. Benson.


_Connecticut_

Samuel J. May, Alpheus Kingsley, Edwin A. Stillman, Simeon Joselyn,
Robert B. Hall.


_New York_

Beriah Green, Lewis Tappan, John Rankin, William Green, Jr., Abram T.
Cox, William Goodell, Elizur Wright, Jr., Charles W. Denison, John
Frost.


_New Jersey_

Jonathan Parkhurst, Chalkly Gillinghamm, John McCullough, James White.


_Pennsylvania_

Evan Lewis, Edwin A. Altee, Robert Purviss, James McCrummill, Thomas
Shipley, Bartholomew Fussell, David Jones, Enoch Mace, John McKim,
Anson Vickers, Joseph Loughead, Edward P. Altee, Thomas Whitson, John
R. Sleeper, John Sharp, Jr., James Mott.


_Ohio_

Milton Sutliff, Levi Sutliff, John M. Sterling.

       *       *       *       *       *

The writer finds it quite impossible to carry out the idea with which
this chapter was begun, which was to furnish a catalogue embracing all
active Anti-Slavery workers who were Abolitionists. Space does not
permit. He will therefore condense by giving a portion of the list,
the selections being dictated partly by claims of superior merit, and
partly by accident.

As representative men and women of the East--chiefly of New England
and New York--he gives the following:

David Lee Child, of Boston, for some time editor of the _National
Anti-Slavery Advocate_. He was the husband of Lydia Maria Child, who
wrote the first bound volume published in this country in condemnation
of the enslavement of "those people called Africans"; Samuel E.
Sewell, another Bostonian and a lawyer who volunteered his services in
cases of fugitive slaves; Ellis Gray Lowell, another Boston lawyer of
eminence; Amos Augustus Phelps, a preacher and lecturer, for whose
arrest the slaveholders of New Orleans offered a reward of ten
thousand dollars; Parker Pillsbury, another preacher and lecturer, who
at twenty years of age was the driver of an express wagon, and with no
literary education, but who, in order that he might better plead the
cause of the slave, went to school and became a noted orator; Theodore
Weld, who married Angelina Grimke, the South Carolina Abolitionist,
and who as an Anti-Slavery advocate was excelled, if he was excelled,
only by Henry Ward Beecher and Wendell Phillips; Henry Brewster
Stanton, a very vigorous Anti-Slavery editor and the husband of
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the champion of women's rights; Theodore
Parker, the great Boston divine; O.B. Frothingham, another famous
preacher; Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the writer; Samuel Johnson,
C.L. Redmond, James Monroe, A.T. Foss, William Wells Brown, Henry C.
Wright, G.D. Hudson, Sallie Holley, Anna E. Dickinson, Aaron M.
Powell, George Brodburn, Lucy Stone, Edwin Thompson, Nathaniel W.
Whitney, Sumner Lincoln, James Boyle, Giles B. Stebbins, Thomas T.
Stone, George M. Putnam, Joseph A. Howland, Susan B. Anthony, Frances
E. Watkins, Loring Moody, Adin Ballou, W.H. Fish, Daniel Foster, A.J.
Conover, James N. Buffum, Charles C. Burleigh, William Goodell, Joshua
Leavitt, Charles M. Denison, Isaac Hopper, Abraham L. Cox.

To the above should be added the names of Alvin Stewart of New York,
who issued the call for the convention that projected the Liberty
party, and of John Kendrick, who executed the first will including a
bequest in aid of the Abolition cause.

And here must not be omitted the name of John P. Hale, of New
Hampshire, who was a candidate for the Presidency on the Liberty party
ticket, and also a conspicuous member of the U.S. Senate.

Going westward, we come to Ohio, which became, early in the movement,
the dominating center of Abolitionist influence. Salmon P. Chase was
there. James G. Birney, after being forced out of Kentucky, was there.
Ex-United States Senator Thomas Morris, a candidate for the
Vice-Presidency on the Liberty party ticket, was there. Leicester King
and Samuel Lewis, Abolition candidates for the governorship of the
State, were there. Joshua R. Giddings and United States Senator Ben.
Wade were there.

One great advantage the Ohio Abolitionists enjoyed was that they were
harmonious and united. In the East that was not the case. There was a
bitter feud between the Garrisonians, who relied on moral suasion, and
the advocates of political action. All Ohio Abolitionists were ready
and eager to employ the ballot.

There is another name, in speaking of Ohio, that must not be omitted.
Dr. Townsend was the man who made Salmon P. Chase a United States
Senator, and at a time when the Abolition voting strength in
Ohio was a meager fraction in comparison with that of the old
parties--numbering not over one in twenty. It happened to be a time
when the old parties--the Whigs and the Democrats--had so nearly an
equal representation in the State Legislature that Townsend, who was a
State Senator, and two co-operating members, held a balance of power.
Both parties were exceedingly anxious to control the Legislature, as
that body, under the State constitution then in force, had the
distribution of a great deal of patronage. The consideration for the
deciding vote demanded by Townsend and his associates was the election
of Chase to the Senate. They and the Democrats made the deal.
Naturally enough, the Whigs expressed great indignation until it was
shown that they had offered to enter into very much the same
arrangement.

Some years before the events just spoken of, Townsend had been a
medical student in Cincinnati. One day he stepped into the courthouse,
where a fugitive-slave case was being tried. There he listened to an
argument from Salmon P. Chase, the negro's defender, that made an
Abolitionist of him. The senatorial incident naturally followed.

There was another Ohioan--not an individual this time, but an
institution--that will always hold a high place in the annals of
Abolitionism. Oberlin College was a power in the land. It had a corps
of very able professors who were, without exception, active
Anti-Slavery workers. They regarded themselves as public instructors
as well as private teachers. There was scarcely a township in Ohio
that they did not visit, either personally or through their disciples.
They were as ready to talk in country schoolhouses as in their own
college halls. Of course, they were violently opposed. Mobs broke up
their meetings very frequently, but that only made them more
persistent. Their teachings were viciously misrepresented. They were
accused of favoring the intermarriage of the races, and parents were
warned, if they sent their children to Oberlin, to look out for
colored sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. For such slanders, however,
the men and women of Oberlin--for both sexes were admitted to faculty
and classes--seemed to care no more than they did for pro-slavery
mobs.

There is another name which, although it belongs exclusively neither
to the East nor to the West, to the North nor to the South, should not
be omitted from a record like this. Doctor Gamaliel Bailey resided in
the District of Columbia, and issued the _National Era_ from
Washington city.

Although a journal of small folio measurement and issued but once a
week, it was for a considerable time the most influential organ of the
Abolitionists. Its circulation was large and its management very
able. Of course, it took no little courage and judgment to conduct
such a publication in the very center of slaveholding influence, and
more than once it barely escaped destruction by mobs.

If there was nothing else to his credit there was one thing
accomplished by the _Era's_ owner that entitles him to lasting
remembrance. He was the introducer, if not the real producer, of
_Uncle Tom's Cabin._ It first appeared in the _Era_ in serial numbers.
It is perfectly safe to say that no other newspaper in the country, of
any standing, would have touched it. Without Dr. Bailey's
encouragement the work would not have been written. This was admitted
by Mrs. Stowe.

Up to this point the people whose names have been mentioned in these
pages have, to a certain extent, been public characters and leaders.
They were generals, and colonels, and captains, and orderly sergeants,
in the army of emancipation. There were, also, privates in the ranks
whose services richly deserve to be commemorated, showing, as they do,
the character of the works they performed. The writer cannot resist
the temptation to refer to two of them in particular, although,
doubtless, there were many others of equal merit. A reason for the
preference he shows in this case, that will not be misunderstood, is
the fact that one of the men was his uncle and the other his father.

James Kedzie and John Hume were plain country farmers residing in
southwestern Ohio, neither very rich nor very poor. They were natives
of Scotland, and stating that fact is almost equivalent to saying
they were Abolitionists. None of the Scotch of the writer's personal
knowledge, at the period referred to, were otherwise than strongly
Anti-Slavery. There are said to be exceptions to all rules, and there
was one in this instance. He was a kinsman of the author, and a "braw"
young Scotchman who came over to this country with the expectation of
picking up a fortune in short order. Finding the North too slow, he
went South. There he met a lady who owned a valuable plantation well
stocked with healthy negroes. He married the woman, and became
something of a local nabob, with the reputation of great severity as a
master. One day, with his own hand, he inflicted a cruel flogging on a
slave who had the name of a "bad nigger." That night, when the master
was playing chess with a neighbor by candlelight on the ground floor
of his dwelling, all the windows being open, the negro crept up with a
loaded gun and shot him dead.

The sad affair was regretfully commented on by the dead man's
relatives, who, I remember, referred to his untimely ending as "his
judgment," and as a punishment he had brought upon "himself."

My uncle and father did not conceal their unpopular views. They openly
voted the Abolition ticket. In eight years, beginning with their two
ballots, they raised the third party vote in their immediate vicinity
to eight, and they boasted of the progress they had made.

They did not make public addresses, but they faithfully listened to
those made by others in support of the cause. They attended all
Abolition meetings that were within reach. They took the _National
Era_. Not only that, but they got up clubs for it. The first club I
recollect my father's securing consisted of half a dozen subscribers,
for one half of which he paid. The next year's was double in size, and
so was my father's contribution. There was no fund for the promotion
of the Abolitionist cause, for which they were called upon, to which
they did not cheerfully pay according to their means.

All Abolition lecturers and colporteurs were gratuitously entertained,
although their presence was sometimes a cause of abuse, and even of
danger. There were other travelers who sometimes applied for help.
Their faces were of dusky hue, and their great whitish eyes were like
those of hunted beasts of the forest. They went on their way
strengthened and rejoicing--always in the direction of the North Star.

The men are dead, but Slavery is dead also, partly through their
labors and sacrifices. Their unpretentious, patient, earnest lives
were not in vain. They contributed to the final triumph of Freedom's
holy cause.



APPENDIX


EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION


January 1, 1863.--Whereas, on the 22d day of September, 1862, a
proclamation was issued by the President of the United States,
containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

That on the 1st day of January, 1863, all persons held as slaves
within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof
shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then,
thenceforward and forever free, and the Executive government of the
United States, including the naval and military authority thereof,
will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do
no act or acts to repress such persons or any of them in any efforts
they may make for their actual freedom.

That the Executive will on the first day of January aforesaid, by
proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in
which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion
against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people
thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the
Congress of the United States, by members chosen thereto at elections,
wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States have
participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing
testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the
people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-chief of the Army
and Navy of the United States, in time of actual armed rebellion
against the authority and government of the United States, and as a
fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do on
this first day of January, 1863, and in accordance with my purpose so
to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days
from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States
and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively are this
day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the Parishes of St. Bernard,
Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension,
Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans,
including the City of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the
forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the
counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York,
Princess Ann, and Norfolk and Portsmouth) and which excepted parts are
for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not
issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order
and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated
States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free, and
that the Executive government of the United States, including the
military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of such persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain
from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend
to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for
reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable
condition, will be received into the armed service of the United
States, to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and
to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty
God.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this first day of January, 1863, and of
the independence of the United States the Eighty-seventh.

                                                 ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.



BORDER SLAVE-STATE MESSAGE


Amendment to the National Constitution recommended by President
Lincoln in his Message to Congress of December I, 1862.

_Resolved_ by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled: that the following articles
be proposed to the Legislatures (or conventions) of the several States
as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of
which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said
Legislatures (or conventions) to be valid as parts of the said
Constitution, namely:

Article.--Every State wherein Slavery now exists, which shall abolish
the same therein, at any time or times before the 1st day of January
in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred, shall receive
compensation from the United States as follows, to wit:

(Then follows a provision to issue bonds of the United States
Government, which shall be delivered to the States in amounts
sufficient to compensate the owners of slaves within their
jurisdictions for the loss of their slave property.)

Article.--All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual freedom by the
chances of the war, at any time before the end of the rebellion, shall
be forever free; but all owners of such, who shall not have been
disloyal, shall be compensated for them at the same rates as is
provided for States adopting abolishment of slavery, but in such way
that no slave shall be twice accounted for.

Article.--Congress may appropriate money and otherwise provide for
colonizing free colored persons, with their own consent, at any place
or places without the United States.



"PRAYER OF TWENTY MILLIONS"


On the 19th of August, 1862, Horace Greeley, under the above heading,
addressed a letter to the President, which appeared over his signature
in the New York _Tribune_ of that date. The conclusion of Mr.
Greeley's epistle was as follows:

"On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one
disinterested, determined, intelligent champion of the Union cause who
does not feel that all attempts to put down the rebellion, and at the
same time uphold its inciting cause, are preposterous and futile--that
the rebellion, if crushed out to-morrow, would be renewed within a
year if Slavery were left in full vigor--that army officers who
remain to this day devoted to Slavery can at best be but halfway loyal
to the Union--and that every hour of deference to Slavery is an hour
of added and deepened peril to the Union. I appeal to the testimony of
your embassadors in Europe. Ask them to tell you candidly whether the
seeming subserviency of your policy to the slaveholding,
slavery-upholding interest is not the perplexity, the despair of
statesmen of all parties, and be admonished by the general answer."



INDEX

Abolitionism, and Republicanism, 8, 9;
  end of, 150-156.

Abolitionist movement, v.

Abolitionists, hysterical praise of, 1;
  and dissolution of the Union, 1, 2;
  effect, 2;
  struggles, 3;
  and political expediency, 5;
  convention at Pittsburgh, 7;
  third-party, 7;
  vote of, 7;
  founders of Republican party, 8;
  pro-slavery mobbing, 9;
  voting strength, 9;
  organization, 10;
  lecturers, 11;
  stump orators, 11;
  newspapers, 11;
  preparatory work, 12;
  hostility to Union, 13;
  disloyalty, 13;
  treason, 13;
  place in history, 15;
  Quakers, 16;
  physical courage, 16;
  unselfishness of, 16;
  motives, 18;
  persecution of, 20;
  feelings against, 22;
  hopefulness of, 26;
  first presidential ticket, 28;
  prejudice against, 30;
  abuse by "gentlemen," 32;
  women, 38;
  preliminary victory of, 47;
  denunciation of early, 49;
  leaders, 186-198.

Adams, John Quincy, 21, 41;
  attempted expulsion of, from Congress, 69-71;
  speech in his own defense in Congress, 89.

Altee, Edward P., 203.

Altee, Edwin A., 203.

"Amalgamation," 35.

Anderson "Bill," 165.

Andrew, Governor, of Massachusetts, Peleg's _Life of_, 179.

Anthony, Susan B., 102, 205.

Anti-Slavery, causes, 2;
  matter excluded from United States mails, 4;
  formation of party, 13;
  pioneers, 49-58;
  lecturers, 76-78;
  orators, 88-93;
  women, 100-107;
  mobs, 108-112;
  in Haverhill, 108;
  in Nantucket, 109;
  martyrs, 113-120;
  sentiment, in England, 130.

Anti-Slavery societies, organization, 26;
  in New England, 72, 74, 75, 130, 201;
  National, 76, 79, 87, 201.

Anti-Unionist, 13.

       *       *       *       *       *

Bacon, Benjamin C., 201.

Bailey, Dr. Gamaliel, 100, 207.

Ballou, Adin, 205.

Barbadoes, James, 202.

Bates, Judge, 161.

Beecher, Henry Ward, 90, 142, 148;
 speech in England, 90-93;
 and Lincoln, 92.

Bell, 152.

Benson, George W., 203.

Benton, Thomas H., 154.

Birney, Jas. G., 2, 5, 42, 56-58, 205.

"Black laws" 35;
  in Ohio, 35.

Black Republic of Texas, 135.

Blair, Gen. Prank P., 158, 186-191;
  and Missouri emancipationists, 161;
  and Missouri Abolitionists, 188;
  appearance of, 189;
  fearlessness, 189;
  quarrel with Frémont, 189;
  and capture of Camp Jackson, 189-191;
  threats against, 190.

Blair, Montgomery, 158, 161.

Bonner, Hon. Benjamin R., 155.

Border-ruffianism, 153.

Border Slave-State message, text of, 213-214.

Boyle, James, 205.

Bradley, John, 135.

Breckenridge, 152;
  factions, 11.

Breckenridge, Judge Samuel M., 175.

Brodburn, George, 205.

Brown, B. Gratz, 155.

Brown, John, 45, 113.

Brown, William Wells, 205.

Buchanan, James 153.

Buffum, Arnold, 201, 203.

Buffum, James N., 205.

Bull Run, 192.

Burleigh, Charles C., 205.

Buxton, Sir Thomas, 132.

       *       *       *       *       *

Camp Jackson (St. Louis), 183;
  "affair" at, 186-188;
  effect of capture, 191-194.

Campbell, David, 202.

Campbell, John R., 202.

Capron, Effingham C., 202.

Carlisle, Earl of, 18.

Chapman, Mrs. Henry, 33.

"Charcoals," Missouri, 159;
  delegation to President, 162, 166;
  fight for "Free Missouri," 162;
  appeal to President for protection, 166-168.

Chase, Salmon P., 10, 13, 14, 59-61, 148, 205;
  financial policy, 60;
  espousal of Abolitionism, 61;
  and "third party," 64;
  election to United States Senate, 206.

Child, David Lee, 204.

Child, Lydia Maria, 204.

Chittenden, L.E., 134.

Churchill's _Crisis_, 157.

Civil War, 11;
  due to Abolitionists, 12.

Clay, Henry, 2, 6.

"Claybanks," 159;
  exclusion from National Convention, 169.

Coffin, Joshua, 201.

Coffin, Levi, 197-198;
  "President of 'The Underground Railroad,'" 197.

Colonization, 128-135;
  Society, 128;
  and England, 130-132;
  Lincoln's opinion, 133;
  experiments, 133-134.

Colonizationists, pretended friendship for negroes, 130.

Compromise of 1850, 6.

Conover, A.J., 205.

Cotton-gin, invention of, 31.

Cox, Abram L., 203, 205.

Crandall, Prudence, persecution of, 116-117.

Crandall, Dr. Reuben, 117-118.

_Crisis, The_, 157.

Cross Keys, battle of, 184.

Curtis, Geo. William, 88, 179.

Curtis, Gen. Samuel R., and military control of Missouri, 163-164;
  charges against, 163.

       *       *       *       *       *

Democratic party, division of, 11.

Democrats, 4, 7;
  Anti-Nebraska, 9;
  of New York, 9.

Denison, Charles M., 203, 205.

Dickinson, Anna E., 205.

Dissolution of Union, petition for, 2.

"Doughface," 4.

Douglas, Stephen A., 12;
  dislike of, by slaveholders' factions, 11;
  defeated for President, 94-99;
  and Abolitionists, 153;
  hated by slave-owners, 153.

Douglass, Fred., 112.

Drake, Hon. Charles D., 167.

Dred Scott decision, 45-46;
  too late for South's purpose, 47.

Dresser, Amos, whipped, 119.

       *       *       *       *       *

Emancipation proclamation, 137-138;
  due to Abolitionists, 12;
  story of, 139;
  moral influence of, 146;
  Lincoln's reasons for, 146;
  ineffective, 148;
  text of, 211-213.

Ewing, Gen. Thomas, 194;
  repulsion of General Price, 195.

       *       *       *       *       *

Field, David Dudley, 179.

Fish, W.H., 205.

Fletcher, Thomas C., 155.

Fort Donelson, capture of, 184, 192.

Fort Henry, capture of, 184.

Foss, A.T., 205.

Foster, Daniel, 205.

Foster, Stephen, 39.

"Free-Soil" party, 65.

Frémont, General, 151;
  and western command, 184-185;
  financial bad management, 184;
  defeats Stonewall Jackson, 184;
  removal, 185;
  freedom proclamation, 185.

Frost, John, 203.

Frothingham, O.B., 204.

Fugitive Slave Law, 5, 121.

Fuller, John E., 201.

Fussell, Bartholomew, 203.

       *       *       *       *       *

Gamble, Hamilton R., 160;
  and emancipation ordinance of, 163;
  and military control of Missouri, 163.

Garrison, William Lloyd, 13, 21, 26, 201, 202;
  Dragged through streets of Boston, 32;
  imprisonment for libel, 54;
  reception in England, 131-132;
  speech at Exeter Hall, 131.

_Genius of Universal Emancipation, The,_ 51.

Giddings, Joshua R., 2, 6, 205.

Gillinghamm, Chalkly, 203.

Goodell, William, 203, 205.

Grant, General, 44;
  And "Charcoals," 172;
  Nomination by Missouri Radicals, 174-176;
  capture of Fort Donelson, 192.

Greeley, Horace, 142, 148, 178, 179.

Green, Beriah, 203.

Green, William, Jr., 203.

Grimké sisters, 38, 103-106, 204.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hale, John P., 10, 205.

Hall, John B., 201.

Hall, Robert B., 203.

Hallock's Order Number Three, 141.

Harrison, Wm. Henry, 5.

Hay, John, 136.

Henry, Patrick, Williamsburg speech, 88.

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 204.

_Hints toward Emancipation in Missouri_, 158.

Hollie, Sally, 205.

Hopper, Isaac, 205.

How, John, 155.

Howland, Joseph A., 205.

Hudson, Professor, 35, 112, 205.

Hudson, Frederic, 89.

Hume, John, 208-210.

Hutchinsons, the, 141.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ile a'Vache, 133.

Indiana, introduction of slavery into, 5.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jackson, Claiborne F., 186;
  attempt to make Missouri secede, 186-188;
  outwitted by Nathaniel Lyon, 188.

Jackson, Stonewall, defeat of, 184.

Jewitt, Daniel E., 202.

Johnson, Andrew, 171, 180.

Johnson, Oliver, 73, 201.

Johnson, Samuel, 205.

Jones, David, 203.

Joselyn, Simeon, 203.

Julian, Geo. W., _Political Recollections_, 177.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 44.

Kedzie, James, 208-210.

Kelly, Abby, 38-39.

Kendrick, John, 205.

Kentucky, 21.

Kimball, David T., Jr., 202.

King, Leicester, 205.

Kingsley, Alpheus, 203.

Knapp, Isaac, 201.

"Know-Nothings," 9.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lafayette, 17.

Lane, James H., 194-197;
  canvas for U.S. Senator, 196-197;
  attitude on slavery, 197.

Lawrence, city of, capture by Quantrell, 165;
  butchery of inhabitants, 165.

Leavitt, Joshua, 205.

Lewis, Evan, 203.

Lewis, Samuel, 205.

Liberal party, 2, 3, 7, 8, 65.

_Liberator_, 21;
  first issue, 55;
  South Carolina and Georgia offers reward for its circulation, 55-56;
  excluded from U.S. mails, 56;
  office wrecked by mob, 56;
  opposed to separate party action, 64.

Lincoln, Abraham, 2, 8, 11, 41;
  election of, 11, 48;
  Gettysburg speech, 88;
  and Douglas, 94-99;
  debate of 1858, 94;
  and slavery, 96, 97;
  preferred by slaveholders, 98;
  _Recollections of_, 134-135;
  and emancipation, 136-149;
  and Missouri Compromise, 139;
  message to Minister Dayton of Paris, 140;
  proposed constitutional amendment, 144;
  special message to Congress, December, 1863, 144;
  emancipation policy, 145;
  and Abolitionists, 147;
  and Free-Soilers, 172;
  Congressional sentiment toward, 177;
  antagonism to, 177-180;
  _Life of_, by I.N. Arnold, 177.

Lincoln, Sumner, 205.

Longhead, Joseph, 203.

Lovejoy, Elijah P., shooting of, 32, 89, 114-115, 161.

Lowell, Ellis Gray, 204.

Lundy, Benjamin, 27, 50-54;
  meeting with Garrison, 54.

Lyon, Nathaniel, 188.

       *       *       *       *       *

McCrummil, James, 203.

McCullough, John, 203.

McKim, John, 203.

Mace, Enoch, 203.

Manumittal, arguments against, 34-35.

Marshall, "Tom," 70.

Massachusetts Legislature and slavery, 105.

May, Samuel J., 203.

May, Rev. S.T., _Recollections_, 108.

Mexican War, 44.

Missouri, 157-185;
  Compromise, 6, 12, 139-140;
  admission to Union as slave State, 43;
  slavery contest, 67;
  and the Union, 159-160;
  Radicals, 159;
  Conservatives, 159;
  "Charcoals," 159;
  "Claybanks," 159;
  military control of, 163-166;
  guerrilla bands, 165;
  pacification of, 168;
  Radicals, opposition to Lincoln, in National Convention, 168-169;
  delegation to Lincoln, 169-171;
  Germans, attacks on, 181-182;
  loyalty of, 182-183. _Missouri Democrat, The_, 157-158;
  and Louis Snyder, 158-159;
  opposition to Lincoln, 180;
  support of Johnson, 180.

Monroe, James, 205.

Moody, Loring, 205.

Morris, Senator, 205.

Mott, Mrs. Lucretia, 38, 102-103.

Mott, James, 203.

       *       *       *       *       *

_National Anti-Slavery Advocate_, 204.

_National Era, The_, 100, 207-208.

Negroes, prejudice against,
  in North, 35;
  in Ohio, 36;
  stronger in North than in South, 36;
  suffrage, 80;
  failure as freemen, 80-81.

Newcomb, Stillman E., 201.

Nicolay, J.C., 136.

"Nigger Hill," 26, 73.

"Nigger-pens," 31.

Noyes, 179.

       *       *       *       *       *

Oberlin College, 207.

O'Connell, Daniel, 131.

Ohio, pro-slavery, 21;
  Abolitionists of, 21.

Opdyke, 179.

Ordinance of '87, 5.

Otis, James F., 202.

       *       *       *       *       *

Parker, Theodore, 204.

Parkhurst, Jonathan, 203.

Pennsylvania Hall, firing of, 30.

"Peonage," 80.

Phelps, Amos, 202, 204.

Philippine Islands, 82-87;
  slavery in, 82;
  massacres in, 83;
  abuses in, 82-84;
  spoliation of, 85.

Phillips, Wendell, 142;
  speech in Faneuil Hall, 88-89.

Phillips, Mrs., 106-107.

Pillsbury, Parker, 204.

Pleasanton, General, 168.

Pointdexter, 165.

"Popular sovereignty," 153.

Powell, Aaron M., 205.

_Prayer of Twenty Millions, The_, 142; text of, 214-215.

Prentice, John, 203.

Presidential campaign of 1844, 7.

Price, General Sterling, 160, 195.

Prohibitionists, 2, 3, 14.

Purviss, Robert, 203.

Putnam, George M., 203.

       *       *       *       *       *

Quantrell, 165.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rankin, John, 203.

Raymond, Henry J., _Life of Lincoln,_ 177.

Redmond, C.L., 205.

Republican party, 2, 3, 7, 8;
  elements of, 10;
  lack of policy, 10;
  and election of Lincoln, 11;
  existence due to Abolitionists, 12;
  and negro rights, 81;
  and Philippine Islands, 82;
  and Abolitionism, 150-151.

_Republican Party, History of the_, Curtis, 136.

_Rise and Fall of the Slave Power_, 142.

Roosevelt, Theodore, and Abolitionists, 1-14.

Rosecrans, General, 168.

Russell, Earl 137.

       *       *       *       *       *

Schofield, Gen. John M., and military control of Missouri, 163-164;
  charges against, 164;
  relieved from command, 168.

Secession, pretext for, 48.

Sewell, Samuel E., 204.

Sharp, John, Jr., 203.

Shipley, Thomas, 203.

Sigel, General, 183.

Slave-owners, mastery of, 32.

Slave power, submission to, 5;
  northward march, 13.

Slave production in Northern States, 31.

Slavery, destruction of, 1;
  overthrow of, 3;
  in ante-bellum days, 20;
  and Biblical authority, 22;
  a State institution, 27;
  condemned by Washington, Jefferson, and Henry, 31;
  Northern support, 33-35, 68;
  spread of, 42;
  introduction into Territories, 43-44;
  practical extirpation, 138.

Sleeper, John R., 203.

Smith, Gen. A.J., 168.

Snelling, William J., 201.

Southard, Nathaniel, 202.

South Carolina "black horse," 192.

Southmayd, Daniel, 202.

Southwick, Joseph, 202.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 102, 204.

Stanton, Henry Brewster, 204.

Stebbins, Giles B., 205.

Sterling, John M., 203.

Stevens, Thaddeus, 148, 177.

Stewart, Alvin, 205.

Stillman, Edwin A., 203.

Stockton, Henry K., 201

Stone, Lucy, 205.

Stone, Thomas T., 205.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher 11, 101, 102.

Sumner, Charles, 148, 179.

Sutliff, Levi, 203

Sutliff, Milton, 203.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tappan, Arthur, 34.

Tappan, Lewis, 34, 203.

Taussig, James, 172.

Taylor, Gen. Z., 6.

Texas, annexation of, 44.

Thatcher, Moses, 201.

Thirteenth Amendment, 138;
  vote on, 143-144.

Thompson, Edwin, 205.

_Thoughts on African Colonization_, 129.

Thurston, David, 202.

Toombs, Robert, 13.

Torrey, Charles Turner, 118-119.

Townsend, Dr., 205.

_Uncle Tom's Cabin_, 100, 208.

Underground railroad, 121-127;
  confession of John Smith, 121-127.

United States in Far East, 85;
  Army increase of, 85;
  Navy increase of, 85.

Van Buren, Martin, 4; a
  "doughface," 4;
  Free Soiler, 5.

Van Zant case, 61.

Vickers, Anson, 203.

Virginia, 21.

       *       *       *       *       *

Wade, Benjamin F., 44, 179, 205.

Wakefield, Horace P., 202.

Walker, Jonathan, branded, 119.

Washington, Booker, 136.

Watkins, Frances E., 205.

Weld, Theodore W., 103, 204.

Wheeling, Va., slavery traffic in, 50.

Whigs, 2, 5-7, 9.

White, James, 203.

Whitney, Eli, 31.

Whitney, Nathaniel, 205.

Whitson, Thomas, 203.

Whittier, John G., 202.

Wilkes, 179.

Winslow, Isaac, 202.

Winslow, Nathan, 202.

Wise, Henry A., 70.

Wright, Elizur, Jr., 203.

Wright, Henry C., 205.





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