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´╗┐Title: The Abolition Of Slavery The Right Of The Government Under The War Power
Author: Various
Language: English
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"Making of America" digital library


By William Lloyd Garrison and Others


Extracts from the speech of John Quincy Adams, delivered in the U.S.
House of Representatives, April 14 and 15, 1842, on War with Great
Britain and Mexico:--

What I say is involuntary, because the subject has been brought into
the House from another quarter, as the gentleman himself admits. I
would leave that institution to the exclusive consideration and
management of the States more peculiarly interested in it, just as
long as they can keep within their own bounds. So far, I admit that
Congress has no power to meddle with it. As long as they do not step
out of their own bounds, and do not put the question to the people of
the United States, whose peace, welfare and happiness are all at
stake, so long I will agree to leave them to themselves. But when a
member from a free State brings forward certain resolutions, for
which, instead of reasoning to disprove his positions, you vote a
censure upon him, and that without hearing, it is quite another
affair. At the time this was done, I said that, as far as I could
understand the resolutions proposed by the gentleman from Ohio, (Mr.
Giddings,) there were some of them for which I was ready to vote, and
some which I must vote against; and I will now tell this House, my
constituents, and the world of mankind, that the resolution against
which I would have voted was that in which he declares that what are
called the slave States have the exclusive right of consultation on
the subject of slavery. For that resolution I never would vote,
because I believe that it is not just, and does not contain
constitutional doctrine. I believe that, so long as the slave States
are able to sustain their institutions without going abroad or
calling upon other parts of the Union to aid them or act on the
subject, so long I will consent never to interfere. I have said this,
and I repeat it; but if they come to the free States, and say to
them, you must help us to keep down our slaves, you must aid us in an
insurrection and a civil war, then I say that with that call comes a
full and plenary power to this House and to the Senate over the whole
subject. It is a war power. I say it is a war power, and when your
country is actually in war, whether it be a war of invasion or a war
of insurrection, Congress has power to carry on the war, and must
carry it on, according to the laws of war; and by the laws of war, an
invaded country has all its laws and municipal institutions swept by
the board, and martial law takes the place of them. This power in
Congress has, perhaps, never been called into exercise under the
present Constitution of the United States. But when the laws of war
are in force, what, I ask, is one of those laws? It is this: that
when a country is invaded, and two hostile armies are set in martial
array, the commanders of both armies have power to emancipate all the
slaves in the invaded territory. Nor is this a mere theoretic
statement. The history of South America shows that the doctrine has
been carried into practical execution within the last thirty years.
Slavery was abolished in Columbia, first, by the Spanish General
Morillo, and, secondly, by the American General Bolivar. It was
abolished by virtue of a military command given at the head of the
army, and its abolition continues to be law to this day. It was
abolished by the laws of war, and not by municipal enactments; the
power was exercised by military commanders, under instructions, of
course, from their respective Governments. And here I recur again to
the example of Gen. Jackson. What are you now about in Congress? You
are about passing a grant to refund to Gen. Jackson the amount of a
certain fine imposed upon him by a Judge, under the laws of the State
of Louisiana. You are going to refund him the money, with interest;
and this you are going to do because the imposition of the fine was
unjust. And why was it unjust? Because Gen. Jackson was acting under
the laws of war, and because the moment you place a military commander
in a district which is the theatre of war, the laws of war apply to
that district.

I might furnish a thousand proofs to show that the pretensions of
gentlemen to the sanctity of their municipal institutions under a
state of actual invasion and of actual war, whether servile, civil
or foreign, is wholly unfounded, and that the laws of war do, in all
such cases, take the precedence. I lay this down as the law of
nations. I say that military authority takes, for the time, the
place of all municipal institutions, and slavery among the rest; and
that, under that state of things, so far from its being true that the
States where slavery exists have the exclusive management of the
subject, not only the President of the United States, but the
Commander of the Army, has power to order the universal emancipation
of the slaves. I have given here more in detail a principle which I
have asserted on this floor before now, and of which I have no more
doubt than that you, sir, occupy that chair. I give it in its
development, in order that any gentleman from any part of the Union
may, if he thinks proper, deny the truth of the position, and may
maintain his denial; not by indignation, not by passion and fury, but
by sound and sober reasoning from the laws of nations and the laws of
war. And if my position can be answered and refuted, I shall receive
the refutation with pleasure; I shall be glad to listen to reason,
aside, as I say, from indignation and passion. And if, by the force
of reasoning, my understanding can be convinced, I here pledge myself
to recant what I have asserted.

Let my position be answered; let me be told, let my constituents be
told, the people of my State be told--a State whose soil tolerates
not the foot of a slave--that they are bound by the Constitution to
a long and toilsome march under burning summer suns and a deadly
Southern clime for the suppression of a servile war; that they are
bound to leave their bodies to rot upon the sands of Carolina, to
leave their wives widows and their children orphans; that those who
cannot march are bound to pour out their treasures while their sons
or brothers are pouring out their blood to suppress a servile,
combined with a civil or a foreign war, and yet that there exists no
power beyond the limits of the slave State where such war is raging
to emancipate the slaves. I say, let this be proved--I am open to
conviction; but till that conviction comes, I put it forth not as a
dictate of feeling, but as a settled maxim of the laws of nations,
that, in such a case, the military supersedes the civil power; and on
this account I should have been obliged to vote, as I have said,
against one of the resolutions of my excellent friend from Ohio, (Mr.
Giddings,) or should at least have required that it be amended in
conformity with the Constitution of the United States.


We published, not long ago, an extract from a speech delivered by John
Quincy Adams in Congress in 1842, in which that eminent statesman
confidently announced the doctrine, that in a state of war, civil or
servile, in the Southern States, Congress has full and plenary power
over the whole subject of slavery; martial law takes the place of
civil laws and municipal institutions, slavery among the rest, and
"not only the President of the United States, but the Commander of the
Army, has power to order the universal emancipation of the slaves."

Mr. Adams was, in 1842, under the ban of the slaveholders, who were
trying to censure him or expel him from the House for presenting a
petition in favor of the dissolution of the Union. Lest it may be
thought that the doctrine announced at this time was thrown out
hastily and offensively, and for the purpose of annoying and
aggravating his enemies, and without due consideration, it may be
worth while to show that six years previous, in May, 1836, Mr. Adams
held the same opinions, and announced them as plainly as in 1842.
Indeed, it is quite likely that this earlier announcement of these
views was the cause of the secret hostility to the ex-President, which
broke out so rancorously in 1842. We have before us a speech by Mr.
Adams, on the joint resolution for distributing rations to the
distressed fugitives from Indian hostilities in the States of Alabama
and Georgia, delivered in the House of Representatives, May 25, 1836,
and published at the office of the National Intelligencer. We quote
from it the following classification of the powers of Congress and
the Executive:--

"There are, then, Mr. Chairman, in the authority of Congress and of
the Executive, two classes of powers, altogether different in their
nature, and often incompatible with each other--the war power and
the peace power. The peace power is limited by regulations and
restricted by provisions prescribed within the Constitution itself.
The war power is limited only by the laws and usages of nations. This
power is tremendous: it is strictly constitutional, but it breaks
down every barrier so anxiously erected for the protection of
liberty, of property, and of life. This, sir, is the power which
authorizes you to pass the resolution now before you, and, in my
opinion, no other."

After an interruption, Mr. Adams returned to this subject, and went
on to say:--

"There are, indeed, powers of peace conferred upon Congress which
also come within the scope and jurisdiction of the laws of nations,
such as the negotiation of treaties of amity and commerce, the
interchange of public ministers and consuls, and all the personal and
social intercourse between the individual inhabitants of the United
States and foreign nations, and the Indian tribes, which require the
interposition of any law. But the powers of war are all regulated by
the laws of nations, and are subject to no other limitation...It
was upon this principle that I voted against the resolution reported
by the slavery committee, 'that Congress possess no constitutional
authority to interfere, in any way, with the institution of slavery
in any of the States of this Confederacy,' to which resolution most
of those with whom I usually concur, and even my own colleagues in
this House, gave their assent. I do not admit that there is, even
among the peace powers of Congress, no such authority; but in war,
there are many ways by which Congress not only have the authority,
STATES. The existing law prohibiting the importation of slaves into
the United States from foreign countries is itself an interference
with the institution of slavery in the States. It was so considered
by the founders of the Constitution of the United States, in which it
was stipulated that Congress should not interfere, in that way, with
the institution, prior to the year 1808.

"During the late war with Great Britain, the military and naval
commanders of that nation issued proclamations, inviting the slaves
to repair to their standard, with promises of freedom and of
settlement in some of the British colonial establishments. This
surely was an interference with the institution of slavery in the
States. By the treaty of peace, Great Britain stipulated to evacuate
all the forts and places in the United States, without carrying away
any slaves. If the Government of the United States had no power to
interfere, in any way, with the institution of slavery in the States,
they would not have had the authority to require this stipulation. It
is well known that this engagement was not fulfilled by the British
naval and military commanders; that, on the contrary, they did carry
away all the slaves whom they had induced to join them, and that the
British Government inflexibly refused to restore any of them to their
masters; that a claim of indemnity was consequently instituted in
behalf of the owners of the slaves, and was successfully maintained.
All that series of transactions was an interference by Congress with
the institution of slavery in the States in one way--in the way of
protection and support. It was by the institution of slavery alone
that the restitution of slaves, enticed by proclamations into the
British service, could be claimed as property. But for the
institution of slavery, the British commanders could neither have
allured them to their standard, nor restored them otherwise than as
liberated prisoners of war. But for the institution of slavery, there
could have been no stipulation that they should not be carried away
as property, nor any claim of indemnity for the violation of that

If this speech had been made in 1860 instead of 1836, Mr. Adams
would not have been compelled to rely upon these comparatively
trivial and unimportant instances of interference by Congress and
the President for the support and protection of slavery. For the
last twenty years, the support and protection of that institution has
been, to use Mr. Adams's words at a later day, the vital and
animating spirit of the Government; and the Constitution has been
interpreted and administered as if it contained an injunction upon
all men, in power and out of power, to sustain and perpetuate
slavery. Mr. Adams goes on to state how the war power may be used:--

"But the war power of Congress over the institution of slavery in
the States is yet far more extensive. Suppose the case of a servile
war, complicated, as to some extent it is even now, with an
Indian war; suppose Congress were called to raise armies, to supply
money from the whole Union to suppress a servile insurrection: would
they have no authority to interfere with the institution of slavery?
The issue of a servile war may be disastrous; it may become
necessary for the master of the slave to recognize his emancipation
by a treaty of peace; can it for an instant be pretended that
Congress, in such a contingency, would have no authority to interfere
with the institution of slavery, in any way, in the States? Why, it
would be equivalent to saying that Congress have no constitutional
authority to make peace. I suppose a more portentous case, certainly
within the bounds of possibility--I would to God I could say, not
within the bounds of probability--"

Mr. Adams here, at considerable length, portrays the danger then
existing of a war with Mexico, involving England and the European
powers, bringing hostile armies and fleets to our own Southern
territory, and inducing not only a foreign war, but an Indian, a
civil, and a servile war, and making of the Southern States "the
battle-field upon which the last great conflict will be fought
between Slavery and Emancipation." "Do you imagine (he asks) that
your Congress will have no constitutional authority to interfere with
the institution of slavery, in any way, in the States of this
Confederacy? Sir, they must and will interfere with it--perhaps to
sustain it by war, perhaps to abolish it by treaties of peace; and
they will not only possess the constitutional power so to interfere,
but they will be bound in duty to do it, by the express provisions of
the Constitution itself. From the instant that your slaveholding
States become the theatre of a war, civil, servile, or foreign, from
that instant, the war powers of Congress extend to interference with
the institution of slavery, in every way by which it can be
interfered with, from a claim of indemnity for slaves taken or
destroyed, to the cession of States burdened with slavery to a
foreign power."--New York Tribune.



SIR,--Our country is opening up a new page in the history of
governments. The world has never witnessed such a spontaneous
uprising of any people in support of free institutions as that now
exhibited by the citizens of our Northern States. I observe that the
vexed question of slavery still has to be met, both in the Cabinet
and in the field. It has been met by former Presidents, by former
Cabinets, and by former military officers. They have established a
train of precedents that may be well followed at this day. I write
now for the purpose of inviting attention to those principles of
international law which are regarded by publicists and jurists as
proper guides in the exercise of that despotic and almost unlimited
authority called the "war power." A synopsis of these doctrines was
given by Major General Gaines, at New Orleans, in 1838.

General Jessup had captured many fugitive slaves and Indians in
Florida, and had ordered them to be sent west of the Mississippi. At
New Orleans, they were claimed by the owners, under legal process;
but Gen. Gaines, commanding that military district, refused to
deliver them to the sheriff, and appeared in court, stating his own

He declared that these people (men, women and children) were
captured in wars and held as prisoners of war: that as commander of
that military department or district, he held them subject only to
the order of the National Executive: that he could recognize no other
power in time of war, or by the laws of war, as authorized to take
prisoners from his possession.

He asserted that, in time of war, all slaves were belligerents as
much as their masters. The slave men, said he, cultivate the earth
and supply provisions. The women cook the food, nurse the wounded and
sick, and contribute to the maintenance of the war, often more than
the same number of males. The slave children equally contribute
whatever they are able to the support of the war. Indeed, he well
supported General Butler's declaration, that slaves are contraband of

The military officer, said he, can enter into no judicial
examination of the claim of one man to the bone and muscle of
another as property. Nor could he, as a military officer, know what
the laws of Florida were while engaged in maintaining the Federal
Government by force of arms. In such case, he could only be guided by
the laws of war; and whatever may be the laws of any State, they must
yield to the safety of the Federal Government. This defence of
General Gaines may be found in House Document No. 225, of the Second
Session of the 25th Congress. He sent the slaves West, where they
became free.

Louis, the slave of a man named Pacheco, betrayed Major Dade's
battalion, in 1836, and when he had witnessed their massacre, he
joined the enemy. Two years subsequently, he was captured, Pacheco
claimed him; General Jessup said if he had time, he would try him
before a court-martial and hang him, but would not deliver him to any
man. He however sent him West, and the fugitive slave became a free
man, and is now fighting the Texans. General Jessup reported his
action to the War Department, and Mr. Van Buren, then President, with
his Cabinet, approved it. Pacheco then appealed to Congress, asking
that body to pay him for the loss of his slave; and Mr. Greeley will
recollect that he and myself, and a majority of the House of
Representatives, voted against the bill, which was rejected. All
concurred in the opinion that General Jessup did right in
emancipating the slave, instead of returning him to his master.

In 1838, General Taylor captured a number of negroes said to be
fugitive slaves. Citizens of Florida, learning what had been done,
immediately gathered around his camp, intending to secure the slaves
who had escaped from them. General Taylor told them that he had no
prisoners but "prisoners of war." The claimants then desired to look
at them, in order to determine whether he was holding their slaves as
prisoners. The veteran warrior replied that no man should examine his
prisoners for such a purpose; and he ordered them to depart. This
action being reported to the War Department, was approved by the
Executive. The slaves, however, were sent West, and set free.

In 1836, General Jessup wanted guides and men to act as spies. He
therefore engaged several fugitive slaves to act as such, agreeing to
secure the freedom of themselves and families if they served the
Government faithfully. They agreed to do so, fulfilled their
agreement, were sent West, and set free. Mr. Van Buren's
Administration approved the contract, and Mr. Tyler's Administration
approved the manner in which General Jessup fulfilled it by setting
the slaves free.

In December, 1814, General Jackson impressed a large number of
slaves at and near New Orleans, and kept them at work erecting
defences, behind which his troops won such glory on the 8th of
January, 1815. The masters remonstrated. Jackson disregarded their
remonstrances, and kept the slaves at work until many of them were
killed by the enemy's shots; yet his action was approved by Mr.
Madison and Cabinet, and by Congress, which has ever refused to pay
the masters for their losses.

But in all these cases, the masters were professedly friends of the
Government; and yet our Presidents and Cabinets and Generals have
not hesitated to emancipate their slaves whenever in time of war it
was supposed to be for the interest of the country to do so. This
was done in the exercise of the "war power" to which Mr. Adams
referred in Congress, and for which he had the most abundant
authority. But I think no records of this nation, nor of any other
nation, will show an instance in which a fugitive slave has been sent
back to a master who was in rebellion against the very Government who
held his slave as captive.

From these precedents I deduce the following doctrines:--

1. That slaves belonging to an enemy are now and have ever been
regarded as belligerents; may be lawfully captured and set free,
sent out of the State, or otherwise disposed of at the will of the

2. That as slaves enable an enemy to continue and carry on the war
now waged against our Government, it becomes the duty of all
officers and loyal citizens to use every proper means to induce the
slaves to leave their masters, and cease lending aid and comfort to
the rebels.

3. That in all cases it becomes the duty of the Executive, and of all
Executive officers and loyal citizens, to aid, assist and encourage
those slaves who have escaped from rebel masters to continue their
flight and maintain their liberty.

4. That to send back a fugitive slave to a rebel master would be
lending aid and assistance to the rebellion. That those who arrest
and send back such fugitives identify themselves with the enemies of
our Government, and should be indicted as traitors.


MONTREAL, June 6, 1861.

Accordingly, let old Virginia begin to put her house in order, and
pack up for the removal of her half million of slaves, for fear of
the impending storm. She has invited it, and only a speedy repentance
will save her from being dashed to pieces among the rocks and surging
billows of this dreadful revolution.--New York Herald, April 22.


The New York Courier and Enquirer, in an editorial, apparently from
Gen. Webb's own hand, discourses as follows:--

"Most assuredly these madmen are calling down upon themselves a
fearful retribution. We are no Abolitionists, as the columns of the
Courier and Enquirer, for the whole period of its existence, now
thirty-four years, will abundantly demonstrate. And for the whole of
that period, except the first six months of its infancy, it has been
under our exclusive editorial charge.

"Never, during that long period, has an Abolition sentiment found
its way into our columns; and for the good reason, that we have
respected, honored and revered the Constitution, and recognized our
duty to obey and enforce its mandates. But Rebellion stalks through
the land. A confederacy of slave States has repudiated that
Constitution; and, placing themselves beyond its pale, openly seeks
to destroy it, and ruin all whom it, protects. They no longer profess
any obedience to its requirements; and, of course, cannot claim its
protection. By their own act, our duty to respect their rights, under
that Constitution, ceases with their repudiation of it; and our right
to liberate their slave property is as clear as would be our right to
liberate the slaves of Cuba in a war with Spain.

"A band of pirates threaten and authorize piracy upon Northern
commerce; and from the moment that threat is carried into execution,
the fetters will fall from the manacled limbs of their slaves, and
they will be encouraged and aided in the establishment of their
freedom. Suppose Cuba were to issue letters of marque against our
commerce, and, according to the Charleston Mercury, seize 'upon the
rich prizes which may be coming from foreign lands,' does any sane
man doubt that we should at once invade that island, and liberate her
slaves? Or does any statesman or jurist question our right so to do?
And why, then, should we hesitate to pursue a similar course in
respect to the so-called Southern Confederacy?

"Spain, as a well-established nation, and recognized as such by all
the powers of the world, would have the right, according to the laws
of nations, to adopt such a course of proceeding; but she would do
it at her peril, and well weighing the consequences. But the rebel
government of the slave States possesses no such right. The act would
be no more or less than piracy; and we should not only hang at the
yard-arm all persons caught in the practice, but we should be
compelled, in self-defence, to carry the war into Africa, and deal
with the slaves of the Confederacy precisely as we should, under
similar circumstances, deal with those of Cuba.

"'The richly laden ships of the North,' says the Mobile Advertiser,
'swarm on every sea, and are absolutely unprotected. The harvest is
ripe.' We admit it; but gather it if you dare. Venture upon the
capture of the poorest of those richly laden ships,' and, from that
moment, your slaves become freemen, doing battle in Freedom's cause.
'Hundreds and hundreds of millions of the property of the enemy
invite us to spoil him--to spoil these Egyptians,' says the same
paper. True, but you dare not venture upon the experiment; or, if you
should be so rash as to make the experiment, your fourteen hundred
millions of slave property will cease to exist, and you will find
four millions of liberated slaves in your midst, wreaking upon their
present masters the smothered vengeance of a servile race, who, for
generation after generation, have groaned under the lash of the negro
driver and his inhuman employer.

"'The risk of the privateer,' says the same organ of the rebel
confederacy, 'will still be trifling; but he will continue to
reap the harvest.' His risk will only be his neck, and his 'harvest'
will be a halter. But the risk, nay, the certainty of the punishment
to be visited upon the slave confederacy, will be far greater--of
infinitely greater magnitude than they can well conceive; because it
will be no more or less than the loss of all their slave property,
accompanied with the necessity of contending, hand to hand, for their
lives, with the servile race so long accustomed to the lash, and the
torture, and the branding and maiming of their inhuman masters; a
nation of robbers, who now, in the face of the civilized world,
repudiate their just debts, rob banks and mints, sell freemen
captured in an unarmed vessel into perpetual slavery, trample upon
law and order, insult our flag, capture our forts and arsenals, and,
finally, invite pirates to prey upon our commerce!

"Such a nest of pirates may do some mischief, and greatly alarm the
timid. But the men of the North know how to deal with them; and we
tell them, once for all, that, if they dare grant a solitary letter
of marque, and the person or persons acting under it venture to
assail the poorest of our vessels in the peaceful navigation of the
ocean, or the coasts and rivers of our country--from that moment
their doom is sealed, and slavery ceases to exist. We speak the
unanimous sentiment of our people; and to that sentiment all in
authority will be compelled to bow submissively. So let us hear no
more of the idle gasconade of 'the Chivalry' of a nest of robbers,
who seek to enlarge the area of their public and private virtues,

This is very plain talk, and cannot easily be misapprehended by
those whom it concerns.


There is neither reason nor justice in Massachusetts, New York, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania and the great States northwest of the Ohio
pouring out their blood and treasure for the gratification of the
slaveholding pretensions of Maryland, Kentucky or Missouri. The
citizens of these States who own slaves are as much bound, if the
preservation of the Union requires it, to give up their property in
slaves, as we at the farther North are to pour out our blood and
treasure to put down a rebellion which threatens alike them and us.
If they love their few slaves more than they do the Union, let them
go out of the Union. We are stronger to fight the battles of the
Union without them than we are with them.

But we have referred only to the slaves in the rebellious States,
and if it is, or if it becomes, a military necessity to liberate all
the slaves of the Union, and to treat the whole present slave
population as freemen and citizens, it would be no more than just
and proper that, at the conclusion of the war, the citizens of loyal
States, or the loyal citizens of loyal sections of the rebellious
States, should be indemnified at a reasonable rate for the slaves
that may have been liberated. The States and sections of States named
have not a large number of slaves, and if the Union is preserved, it
would not be a very heavy burden on it to pay their ransom; and to
paying it, no patriot or loyal citizen of the free States would raise
the slightest objection. The objection therefore urged, though grave,
need not be regarded as insuperable; and we think the advantages of
the measure, in a military point of view, would be far greater than
any disadvantage we have to apprehend from it.

Whether the time for this important measure has come or not, it is
for the President, as Commander-in-Chief of our armies, to
determine. But, in our judgment, no single measure could be adopted
by the government that would more effectually aid its military
operations, do more to weaken the rebel forces, and to strengthen our

It seems to us, then, highly important, in every possible view of
the case, that the Federal Government should avail itself of the
opportunity given it by the Southern rebellion to perform this act
of justice to the negro race; to assimilate the labor system of the
South to that of the North; to remove a great moral and political
wrong; and to wipe out the foul stain of slavery, which has hitherto
sullied the otherwise bright escutcheon of our Republic. We are no
fanatics on the subject of slavery, as is well known to our readers,
and we make no extraordinary pretensions to modern philanthropy; but
we cannot help fearing that, if the government lets slip the present
opportunity of doing justice to the negro race, and of placing our
republic throughout in harmony with modern civilization, God, who is
especially the God of the poor and the oppressed, will never give
victory to our arms, or suffer us to succeed in our efforts to
suppress rebellion and restore peace and integrity in the Union.


With the secession of Virginia, there is going to be enacted on
the banks of the Potomac one of the most terrible conflicts the world
has ever witnessed; and Virginia, with all her social systems, will
be doomed, and swept away.--New York Herald, April 19.

We must also admonish the people of Maryland that we of the North
have the common right of way through their State to our National
Capital. But let her join the revolutionists, and her substance will
be devoured by our Northern legions as by an Arabian cloud of
locusts, and her slave population will disappear in a single

A Northern invasion of Virginia and of Kentucky, if necessary,
carrying along with it the Canadian line of African freedom, as it
must do from the very nature of civil war, will produce a powerful
Union reaction. The slave population of the border States will be
moved in two directions. One branch of it, without the masters, will
be moved Northward, and the other branch, with the masters, will be
moved Southward, so that, by the time the Northern army will have
penetrated to the centre of the border slave States, they will be
relieved of the substance and abstract rights of slave property for
all time to come.

Finally, the revolted States having appealed to the sword of
revolution to redress their wrongs, may soon have to choose between
submission to the Union or the bloody extinction of slavery, from
the absence of any law, any wish, any power for its protection.--
Ibid, April 20.

By land and water, if she places herself in the attitude of
rebellion, Maryland may be overrun and subdued in a single week,
including the extinction of slavery within her own borders; for war
makes its own laws.

We are less concerned about Washington than about Maryland. Loyal to
the Union, she is perfectly safe, negroes and all; disloyal to the
Union, she may be crushed, including her institution of slavery. Let
her stand by the Union, and the Union will protect and respect her--
slavery and all.--Ibid, April 21.

Virginia, next to Maryland, will be subjected to this test. She has
seceded, and hence she will probably risk the breaking of every bone
in her body. If so, we fear that every bone in her body will be
broken, including her backbone of slavery. The day is not far off
when the Union men of the revolted States will be asked to come to
the relief of their misguided brethren, for, otherwise, the war which
they have chosen to secure their institution of slavery may result in
wiping it out of existence.--Ibid, April 23.

In advance of this movement, President Lincoln should issue his
proclamation, guaranteeing the complete protection of all loyal
Union men and their property, but warning the enemies of the
Government of the dangers of confiscation, negroes included.

If Virginia resists, the contest cannot last very long,
considering her large slave population, which will either become
fugitives or take up arms against their masters.--Ibid, April 24.

That we are to have a fight, that Virginia and Maryland will form the
battle-ground, that the Northern roughs will sweep those States with
fire and sword, is beyond peradventure. They have already been
excited to the boiling point by the rich prospect of plunder held out
by some of their leaders, and will not be satisfied unless they have
a farm and a nigger each. There is no sort of exaggeration about
these statements, as the people of the border States will shortly
ascertain to their cost. The character of the coming campaign will
be vindictive, fierce, bloody, and merciless beyond parallel in
ancient or modern history.--Ibid, April 28.

The class of population which is recruiting in our large cities, the
regiments forming for service in behalf of the Union, can never be
permanently worsted. They will pour down upon the villages and
cities of Virginia and Maryland, and leave a desolate track behind
them, and inspire terror in whatever vicinity they approach.--Ibid,
April 29.

It will be idle for Tennessee and Kentucky to attempt to escape from
the issue, and to remain at peace, while the remainder of the
country is at war. Neutrality will be considered opposition, and the
result of a general frontier war will be, that slavery, as a domestic
institution of the United States; will be utterly annihilated.--Ibid,
April 30.

The rebellion must be put down by some means or another, else it will
put us down; and if nothing else will do, even to proclaim the
abolition of slavery would be legitimate. All is fair in war...Gen.
Fremont and the other Generals must act according to circumstances,
and their own judgment, unless when otherwise ordered...If he is
acting on his own responsibility, he is only carrying out the
Confiscation Act, so far as the slaves are concerned...We have no
fear of the result.--N. Y. Herald, Sept. 3.


To our apprehension, God is fast closing every avenue to settled
peace but by emancipation. And one of the most encouraging facts is
that the eyes of the nation are becoming turned in that direction
quite as rapidly as could have been anticipated. Some men of
conservative antecedents, like Dickinson of New York, saw this
necessity from the first. But it takes time to accustom a whole
people to the thought, and to make them see the necessity. It was
impossible for Northern men to fathom the spirit and the desperate
exigencies of the slave system and its outbreak, and consequently to
comprehend the desperate nature of the struggle. We were like a
policeman endeavoring to arrest a boy-ruffian, and, for the sake of
his friends and for old acquaintance sake, doing it with all possible
tenderness for his person and his feelings--till all of a sudden he
feels the grip on his throat and the dagger's point at his breast,
and knows that it is a life-and-death grapple.

Slaveholding is simply piracy continued. Our people are beginning to
spell out that short and easy lesson in the light of perjury,
robbery, assassination, poisoning, and all the more than Algerine
atrocities of this rebellion. It cannot require many more months of
schooling like the last eight, to convince the dullest of us what are
its essence and spirit.

Our people also are rapidly finding out that no peaceful termination
of this war will be permitted now by the Slave Power, except by its
thorough overthrow. The robber has thrown off the mask, and says now
to the nation, "Your life or mine!" Even the compromising Everett
has boldly told the South, "To be let alone is not all you ask--but
you demand a great deal more." And in his late oration, he has most
powerfully portrayed the impossibility of a peaceful disunion. Many
men, some anti-slavery, were at first inclined to yield to the idea
of a separation. But every day's experience is scattering that notion
to the winds. The ferocious spirit exhibited from the first by the
Secessionists towards all dissentients, the invasion of Western
Virginia by Eastern, the threats to put down loyal Kentucky, the
foray in Missouri, the plan for capturing Washington, which was part
of the original scheme, are convincing proofs, that if by any
pacification whatever our troops were disbanded to-day, to-morrow a
Southern army would be on the march for Washington, Philadelphia, New
York, and perhaps Chicago.

The South has sufficiently declared the cause of this trouble to be
the irreconcilable conflict between their institutions and the
fundamental principles of this government. While the cause remains
in full strength, and after it has once burst forth in bloody and
final collision, nothing will ever check that strife, whether in or
out of the Union. The cause must be eradicated. Meanwhile, our own
position, both before the world and in our own struggle at home, is a
false one, so long as we blink the real issue.

Many indications are hopeful. Gen. Butler's letter to the Secretary
of War, and the Secretary's reply, look in the right direction. The
Confiscation Act is pregnant with great consequences, and may yet be
so used as to become an emancipation act in all the rebel States. It
is high time it were so used. We have serious doubts whether the
rebellion will ever be suppressed till that trenchant weapon is
wielded. We reverently doubt whether the Lord means it shall be. The
quiet passage of the Confiscation Act was an immense step of
governmental progress. Perhaps it was all that the nation as a whole
and the government were ready for. It may answer as a keen wedge. But
we trust that, in December, Congress will make clean work by the full
emancipation of all slaves in the rebel States, and by provision in
some way for the speedy and certain extinction of slavery in the
loyal States. To accomplish the latter event, we would ourselves
willingly submit to any proper amount of pecuniary burden, provided
it could be so arranged as not to recognize a right of property in
man.--Chicago Congregational Herald.


St. Louis, Aug. 30, 1861.

Circumstances; in my judgment, are of sufficient urgency to render
it necessary that the Commanding General of this Department
should assume administrative powers of the State. Its disorganized
condition, helplessness of civil authority, and the total insecurity
of life and devastation of property by bands of murderers and
marauders, who infest nearly every county in the State, and avail
themselves of public misfortunes and the vicinity of a hostile force
to gratify private and neighborhood vengeance, and who find an enemy
wherever they find plunder, finally demand the severest measures to
repress the daily increasing crimes and outrages which are driving
off the inhabitants and ruining the State. In this condition, the
public safety and the success of our arms require unity of purpose,
without let or hindrance, to the prompt administration of affairs. In
order, therefore, to suppress disorder, maintain the public peace,
and give security to the persons and property of loyal citizens, I do
hereby extend and declare martial law throughout the State of

The lines of the army occupation in this State are, for the present,
declared to extend from Leavenworth by way of posts to Jefferson
City, Rolla and Ironton, to Cape Girardeau, on the Mississippi river.
All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands, within these
lines, shall be tried by court martial, and, if found guilty, shall
be shot.

Real and personal property, owned by persons who shall take up arms
against the United States, or who shall be directly proven to have
taken an active part with the enemy in the field, is declared
confiscated to public use, and their slaves, if any they have, are
hereby declared free men. All persons who shall be proven to, have
destroyed, after the publication of this order, railroad tracks,
bridges or telegraph lines, shall suffer the extreme penalty of the
law. All persons engaged in treasonable correspondence, in giving or
procuring aid to the enemy, in fomenting turmoils and disturbing
public tranquility by creating or circulating false reports or
incendiary documents, are warned that they are exposing themselves.
All persons who have been led away from allegiance are requested to
return to their homes forthwith. Any such absence, without sufficient
cause, will be held to be presumptive evidence against them.

The object of this declaration is to place in the hands of the
military authorities power to give instantaneous effect to the
existing laws, and to supply such deficiencies as the conditions of
the war demand; but it is not intended to suspend the ordinary
tribunals of the country where law will be administered by civil
officers in the usual manner, and with their customary authority,
while the same can be peaceably administered.

The Commanding General will labor vigilantly for the public welfare,
and, by his efforts for their safety, hopes to obtain not only
acquiescence, but the active support of the people of the country.


Major General Commanding.


Let us not for one moment lose sight of this fact. We go into this
war not merely to sustain the government and defend the
Constitution. There is a moral principle involved. How came that
government in danger? What has brought this wicked war, with all its
evils and horrors, upon us? Whence comes the necessity for this
uprising of the people? To these questions, there can be but one
answer. SLAVERY HAS DONE IT. That accursed system, which has already
cost us so much, has at length culminated in this present ruin and
confusion. That system must be put down. The danger must never be
suffered to occur again. The evil must be eradicated, cost what it
may. We are for no half-way measures. So long as the slave system
kept itself within the limits of the Constitution, we were bound to
let it alone, and to respect its legal rights; but when, overleaping
those limits, it bids defiance to all law, and lays its vile hands on
the sacred altar of liberty and the sacred flag of the country, and
would overturn the Constitution itself, thenceforth slavery has no
constitutional rights. It is by its own act an outlaw. It can never
come back again into the temple, and claim a place by right among the
worshippers of truth and liberty. It has ostracised itself, and that
for ever.

Let us not be told, then, that the matter of slavery does not enter
into the present controversy--that it is merely a war to uphold the
government and put down secession. It is not so. So far from this,
slavery is the very heart and head of this whole struggle. The
conflict is between freedom on the one hand, maintaining its rights,
and slavery on the other, usurping and demanding that to which it has
no right. It is a war of principle as well as of self-preservation;
and that is but a miserable and short-sighted policy which looks
merely at the danger and overlooks the cause; which seeks merely to
put out the fire, and lets the incendiary go at large, to repeat the
experiment at his leisure. We must do both--put out the fire, and put
out the incendiary too. We meet the danger effectually only by
eradicating the disease.--Erie True American.


The total white population of the eleven States now comprising the
confederacy is six million, and, therefore, to fill up the ranks of
the proposed army (600,000) about ten percent of the entire white
population will be required. In any other country than our own, such
a draft could not be met, but the Southern States can furnish that
number of men, and still not leave the material interests of the
country in a suffering condition. Those who are incapacitated for
bearing arms can oversee the plantations, and the negroes can go on
undisturbed in their usual labors. In the North, the case is
different; the men who join the army of subjugation are the laborers,
the producers, and the factory operatives. Nearly every man from that
section, especially those from the rural districts, leaves some
branch of industry to suffer during his absence. The institution of
slavery in the South alone enables her to place in the field a force
much larger in proportion to her white population than the North, or
indeed any country which is dependent entirely on free labor. The
institution is a tower of strength to the South, particularly at the
present crisis, and our enemies will be likely to find that the
"moral cancer," about which their orators are so fond of prating, is
really one of the most effective weapons employed against the Union
by the South. Whatever number of men may be needed for this war, we
are confident our people stand ready to furnish. We are all enlisted
for the war, and there must be no holding back until the independence
of the South is fully acknowledged.--Montgomery (Ala.) Adv.


A procession of several hundred stout negro men, members of the
"domestic institution," marched through our streets yesterday in
military order, under the command of Confederate officers. They were
well armed and equipped with shovels, axes, blankets, &c. A merrier
set never were seen. They were brimful of patriotism, shouting for
Jeff. Davis and singing war songs, and each looked as if he only
wanted the privilege of shooting an Abolitionist.

An Abolitionist could not have looked upon this body of colored
recruits for the Southern army without strongly suspecting that his
intense sympathy for the "poor slave" was not appreciated, that it
was wasted on an ungrateful subject.

The arms of these colored warriors were rather mysterious. Could it
be that those gleaming axes were intended to drive into the thick
skulls of the Abolitionists the truth, to which they are wilfully
blind, that their interference in behalf of Southern slaves is
neither appreciated nor desired; or that those shovels were intended
to dig trenches for the interment of their carcasses? It may be that
the shovels are to be used in digging ditches, throwing up
breastworks, or the construction of masked batteries, those
abominations to every abolition Paul Pry who is so unlucky as to
stumble upon them.--Memphis Avalanche, Sept. 3.

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