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Title: The Abolition Crusade and Its Consequences - Four Periods of American History
Author: Herbert, Hilary Abner
Language: English
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Four Periods of American History



New York
Charles Scribner's Sons

Copyright, 1912, by
Charles Scribner's Sons

Published April, 1912

               TO MY GRANDCHILDREN

                OF THEIR COUNTRY


"Livy extolled Pompey in such a panegyric that Augustus called him
Pompeian, and yet this was no obstacle to their friendship." That we
find in Tacitus. We may therefore picture to ourselves Augustus reading
Livy's "History of the Civil Wars" (in which the historian's republican
sympathies were freely expressed), and learning therefrom that there
were two sides to the strife which rent Rome. As we are more than
forty-six years distant from our own Civil War, is it not incumbent on
Northerners to endeavor to see the Southern side? We may be certain that
the historian a hundred years hence, when he contemplates the lining-up
of five and one-half million people against twenty-two millions, their
equal in religion, morals, regard for law, and devotion to the common
Constitution, will, as matter of course, aver that the question over
which they fought for four years had two sides; that all the right was
not on one side and all the wrong on the other. The North should
welcome, therefore, accounts of the conflict written by candid Southern

Mr. Herbert, reared and educated in the South, believing in the moral
and economical right of slavery, served as a Confederate soldier during
the war, but after Appomattox, when thirty-one years old, he told his
father he had arrived at the conviction that slavery was wrong. Twelve
years later, when home-rule was completely restored to the South (1877),
he went into public life as a Member of Congress, sitting in the House
for sixteen years. At the end of his last term, in 1893, he was
appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Cleveland, whom he
faithfully served during his second administration.

Such an experience is an excellent training for the treatment of any
aspect of the Civil War. Mr. Herbert's devotion to the Constitution, the
Union, and the flag now equals that of any soldier of the North who
fought against him. We should expect therefore that his work would be
pervaded by practical knowledge and candor.

After a careful reading of the manuscript I have no hesitation in saying
that the expectation is realized. Naturally unable to agree entirely
with his presentation of the subject, I believe that his work exhibits a
side that entitles it to a large hearing. I hope that it will be placed
before the younger generation, who, unaffected by any memory of the heat
of the conflict, may truly say:

     Tros Tyriusve, mihi nullo discrimine agetur.

                                                    JAMES FORD RHODES.

BOSTON, _November_, 1911.


In 1890 Mr. L. E. Chittenden, who had been United States Treasurer under
President Lincoln, published an interesting account of $10,000,000
United States bonds secretly sent to England, as he said, in 1862, and
he told all about what thereupon took place across the water. It was a
reminiscence. General Charles Francis Adams in his recent instructive
volume, "Studies Military and Diplomatic," takes up this narrative and,
in a chapter entitled "An Historical Residuum," conclusively shows from
contemporaneous evidence that the bonds were sent, not in 1862, but in
1863, but that, as for the rest of the story, the residuum of truth in
it was about like the speck of moisture that is left when a soap bubble
is pricked by a needle.

General Adams did not mean that Mr. Chittenden knew he was drawing on
his imagination. He was only demonstrating that one who intends to
write history cannot rely on his memory.

The author, in the following pages, is undertaking to write a connected
story of events that happened, most of them, in his lifetime, and as to
many of the most important of which he has vivid recollections; but,
save in one respect, he has not relied upon his own memory for any
important fact. The picture he has drawn of the relations between the
slave-holder and non-slave-holder in the South is, much of it, given as
he recollects it. His opportunities for observation were somewhat
extensive, and here he is willing to be considered in part as a witness.
Elsewhere he has relied almost entirely upon contemporaneous written
evidence, memory, however, often indicating to him sources of

Nowhere are there so many valuable lessons for the student of American
history as in the story of the great sectional movement of 1831, and of
its results, which have profoundly affected American conditions through
generation after generation.

An effort is here made to tell that story succinctly, tracing it, step
after step, from cause to effect. The subject divides itself naturally
into four historic periods:

1. The anti-slavery crusade, 1831 to 1860.

2. Secession and four years of war, 1861 to 1865.

3. Reconstruction under the Lincoln-Johnson plan, with the overthrow by
Congress of that plan and the rule of the negro and carpet-bagger, from
1865 to 1876.

4. Restoration of self-government in the South, and the results that
have followed.

The greater part of the book is devoted to the first period--1831 to
1860, the period of causation. The sequences running through the three
remaining periods are more briefly sketched.

Italics, throughout the book, it may be mentioned here, are the

Now that the country is happily reunited in a Union which all agree is
indissoluble, the South wants the true history of the times here treated
of spread before its children; so does the North. The mistakes that were
committed on both sides during that lamentable and prolonged sectional
quarrel (and they were many) should be known of all, in order that like
mistakes may not be committed in the future. The writer has, with
diffidence, attempted to lay the facts before his readers, and so to
condense the story that it may be within the reach of the ordinary
student. How far he has succeeded will be for his readers to say. The
verdict he ventures to hope for is that he has made an honest effort to
be fair.

The author takes this occasion to thank that accomplished young teacher
of history, Mr. Paul Micou, for valuable suggestions, and his friend,
Mr. Thomas H. Clark, who with his varied attainments has aided him in
many ways.

                                                    HILARY A. HERBERT.

WASHINGTON, D. C., _March_, 1912.


  CHAPTER                                                      PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                                                    3

  I. SECESSION AND ITS DOCTRINE                                  15

  II. EMANCIPATION PRIOR TO 1831                                 37

  III. THE NEW ABOLITIONISTS                                     56

  IV. FEELING IN THE SOUTH--1835                                 77

  V. ANTI-ABOLITION AT THE NORTH                                 84

  VI. A CRISIS AND A COMPROMISE                                  93

  VII. EFFORTS FOR PEACE                                        128


  IX. FOUR YEARS OF WAR                                         180


  XI. THE SOUTH UNDER SELF-GOVERNMENT                           229

  INDEX                                                         245



The Constitution of the United States attempts to define and limit the
power of our Federal Government.

Lord Brougham somewhere said that such an instrument was not worth the
parchment it was written on; people would pay no regard to self-imposed
limitations on their own will.

When our fathers by that written Constitution established a government
that was partly national and partly federal, and that had no precedent,
they knew it was an experiment. To-day that government has been in
existence one hundred and twenty-three years, and we proudly claim that
the experiment of 1789 has been the success of the ages.

Happy should we be if we could boast that, during all this period, the
Constitution had never been violated in any respect!

The first palpable infringement of its provisions occurred in the
enactment of the alien and sedition laws of 1798. The people at the
polls indignantly condemned these enactments, and for years thereafter
the government proceeded peacefully; the people were prosperous, and the
Union and the Constitution grew in favor.

Later, there grew up a rancorous sectional controversy about slavery
that lasted many years; that quarrel was followed by a bloody sectional
war; after that war came the reconstruction of the Southern States.
During each of these three trying eras it did sometimes seem as if that
old piece of "parchment," derided by Lord Brougham, had been utterly
forgotten. Nevertheless, and despite all these trying experiences, we
have in the meantime advanced to the very front rank of nations, and our
people have long since turned, not only to the Union, but, we are happy
to think, to the Constitution as well, with more devotion than ever.

It may be further said that, notwithstanding all the bitter animosities
that for long divided our country into two hostile sections, that
wonderful old Constitution, handed down to us by our fathers, was
always, and in all seasons, in the hearts of our people, and that never
for a moment was it out of mind. Even in our sectional war Confederates
and Federals were both fighting for it--one side to maintain it over
themselves as an independent nation; the other to maintain it over the
whole of the old Union. In the very madness of reconstruction the
fundamental idea of the Constitution, the equality of the States,
ultimately prevailed--this idea it was that imperatively demanded the
final restoration of the seceded States, with the right of
self-government unimpaired.

The future is now bright before us. The complex civilization of the
present is, we do not forget, continually presenting new and complex
problems of government, and we are mindful, too, that, for the people
who must deal with these problems, a higher culture is required, but to
all this our national and State governments seem to be fully alive. We
are everywhere erecting memorials to our patriotic dead, we have our
"flag day" and many ceremonies to stimulate patriotism, and, throughout
our whole country, young Americans are being taught more and more of
American history and American traditions.

The essence of these teachings presumably is that time has hallowed our
Constitution, and that experience has fully shown the wisdom of its
provisions. In this land of ours, where there are so much property and
so many voters who want it, and where the honor and emoluments of high
place are so tempting to the demagogue, there can be no such security
for either life, liberty, or property as those safeguards which our
fathers devised in the Constitution of the United States.

Our teachers of history must therefore expose fearlessly every violation
in the past of our Constitution, and point out the penalties that
followed; and, above all, they cannot afford to condone, or to pass by
in silence, the conduct of those who have heretofore advocated, or acted
on, any law which to them was _higher than the American Constitution_.

One of the most serious troubles in the past, many think our greatest,
was our terrible war among ourselves. Perhaps, after the lapse of nearly
fifty years, we can all now agree that if our people and our States had
always, between 1830 and 1860, faithfully observed the Federal
Constitution we should have not had that war. However that may be, the
crusade of the Abolitionists, which began in 1831, was the beginning of
an agitation in the North against the existence of slavery in the South,
which continued, in one form or another, until the outbreak of that war.

The negro is now located, geographically, much as he was then. If
another attempt shall be made to project his personal status into
national politics, the voters of the country ought to know and consider
the mistakes that occurred, North and South, during the unhappy era of
that sectional warfare. This little book is a study of that period of
our history. It concludes with a glance at the war between the North and
South, and the reconstruction that followed.

The story of Cromwell and the Great Revolution it was impossible for any
Englishman to tell correctly for nearly or quite two centuries. The
changes that had been wrought were too profound, too far-reaching; and
English writers were too human. The changes--economic, political, and
social--wrought in our country by the great controversy over slavery and
State-rights, and by the war that ended it, have been quite as profound,
and the revolution in men's ideas and ways of looking at their past
history has been quite as complete as those which followed the downfall
of the government founded by Cromwell. But we are now in the twentieth
century; history is becoming a science, and we ought to succeed better
in writing our past than the Englishmen did.

The culture of this day is very exacting in its demands, and if one is
writing about our own past the need of fairness is all the more
imperative. And why not? The masses of the people, who clashed on the
battlefields of a war in which one side fought for the supremacy of the
Union and the other for the sovereignty of the States, had honest
convictions; they differed in their convictions; they had made honest
mistakes about each other; now they would like their histories to tell
just where those mistakes were; they do not wish these mistakes to be
repeated hereafter. Nor is there any reason why the whole history of
that great controversy should not now be written with absolute fairness;
the two sections of our country have come together in a most wonderful
way. There has been reunion after reunion of the blue and the gray. The
survivors of a New Jersey regiment, forty-four years after the bloody
battle of Salem Church, put up on its site a monument to their dead, on
one side of which was a tablet to the memory of the "brave Alabama
boys," who were their opponents in that fight. One of those "Alabama
boys" wrote the story of that battle for the archives of his own State,
and the State of New Jersey has published it in her archives, as a fair
account of the battle.

The author has attempted to approach his subject in a spirit like this,
and while he hopes to be absolutely fair, he is perfectly aware that he
sees things from a Southern view-point. For this, however, no apology is
needed. Truth is many-sided and must be seen from every direction.

Nearly all the school-books dealing with the period here treated of, and
now considered as authority, have been written from a Northern
stand-point; and many of the extended histories that are most widely
read seem to the writer to be more or less partisan, although the
authors were apparently quite unconscious of it. Attempts made here to
point out some of the errors in these books are, as is conceived, in the
interests of history.

Of course it is important that readers should know the stand-point of an
author who writes at this day of events as recent as those here treated
of. Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, professor of history in Harvard
University, in the preface to his "Slavery and Abolition" (Harper
Brothers, 1906), says of himself: "It is hard for a son and grandson of
abolitionists to approach so explosive a question with impartiality."
Following this example, the writer must tell that he was born in the
South, of slave-holding parents, three years after the Abolition crusade
began in 1831. Growing up in the South under the stress of that crusade,
he maintained all through the war, in which he was a loyal Confederate
soldier, the belief in which he had been educated--that slavery was
right, morally and economically.

One day, not long after Appomattox, he told his father he had reached
the conclusion that slavery was wrong. The reply was, to the writer's
surprise, that his mother in early life had been an avowed
emancipationist; that she (who had lived until the writer was sixteen
years old) had never felt at liberty to discuss slavery after the rise
of the new abolitionists and the Nat Turner insurrection; and then
followed the further information that when, in 1846, the family removed
from South Carolina to Alabama, Greenville, Ala., was chosen for a home
because it was thought that the danger from slave insurrections would be
less there than in one of the richer "black counties."

What a creature of circumstances man is! The writer's belief about a
great moral question, his home, his school-mates, and the companions of
his youth, were all determined by a movement begun in Boston,
Massachusetts, before he was born in the far South!

With a vivid personal recollection of the closing years of the great
anti-slavery crusade always in his mind, the writer has studied closely
many of the histories dealing with that movement, and he has found quite
a consensus of opinion among Northern writers--a view that has even been
sometimes accepted in the South--that it was not so much the fear of
insurrections, created by Abolition agitation, that shut off discussion
in the South about the rightfulness of slavery as it was the invention
of the cotton-gin, that made cotton growing and slavery profitable. The
cotton-gin was invented in 1792, and was in common use years before the
writer's mother was born. A native of, she grew to maturity entirely in,
the South, and in 1830 was an avowed emancipationist. The subject was
then being freely discussed.

The author has ventured to relate in the pages that follow this
introduction two or three incidents that were more or less personal, in
the hope that their significance may be his sufficient excuse.

And now, having spoken of himself as a Southerner, the author thinks it
but fair, when invoking for the following pages fair consideration, to
add that, since 1865, he has never ceased to rejoice that slavery is no
more, and that secession is now only an academic question; and, further,
that he has, since Appomattox, served the government of the United
States for twenty years as loyally as he ever served the Confederacy. He
therefore respectfully submits that his experiences ought to render him
quite as well qualified for an impartial consideration of the
anti-slavery crusade and its consequences as are those who have never,
either themselves or through the eyes of their ancestors, seen more than
one side of those questions. Certain he is, in his own mind, that this
Union has now no better friend than is he who submits this little study,
conscious of its many shortcomings, claiming for it nothing except that
it is the result of an honest effort to be fair in every statement of
facts and in the conclusions reached.

Not much effort has been made in the direction of original research.
Facts deemed sufficient to illustrate salient points, which alone can be
treated of in a short story, have been found in published documents,
and other facts have been purposely taken, most of them, from Northern
writers; and the authorities have been duly cited. These facts have been
compressed into a small compass, so that the book may be available to
such students as have not time for a more extended examination.

Of the results of the crusade of the Abolitionists, and the consequent
sectional war, George Ticknor Curtis, one of New England's distinguished
biographers, says in his "Life of Buchanan," vol. II, p. 283:

"It is cause for exultation that slavery no longer exists in the broad
domain of this republic--that our theory of government and practice are
now in complete accord. But it is no cause for national pride that we
did not accomplish this result without the cost of a million of precious
lives and untold millions of money."



John Fiske has said in his school history: "Under the government of
England before the Revolution the thirteen commonwealths were
independent of one another, and were held together juxtaposed, rather
than united, only through their allegiance to the British Crown. Had
that allegiance been maintained there is no telling how long they might
have gone on thus disunited."

They won their independence under a very imperfect union, a government
improvised for the occasion. The "Articles of Confederation," the first
formal constitution of the United States of America, were not ratified
by Maryland, the last to ratify, until in 1781, shortly before Yorktown.
In 1787 the thirteen States, each claiming to be still sovereign, came
together in convention at Philadelphia and formed the present
Constitution, looking to "a more perfect union." The Constitution that
created this new government has been rightly said to be "the most
wonderful work ever struck off, at a given time, by the brain and
purpose of man."[1] And so it was, but it left unsettled the great
question whether a State, if it believed that its rights were denied to
it by the general government, could peaceably withdraw from the Union.

  [1] Gladstone, "Kin Beyond the Sea."

The Federal Government was given by the Constitution only limited
powers, powers that it could not transcend. Nowhere on the face of that
Constitution was any right expressly conferred on the general government
to decide exclusively and finally upon the extent of the powers granted
to it. If any such right had been clearly given, it is certain that many
of the States would not have entered into the Union. As it was, the
Constitution was only adopted by eleven of the States after months of
discussion. Then the new government was inaugurated, with two of the
States, Rhode Island and North Carolina, still out of the Union. They
remained outside, one of them for eighteen months and the other for a

The States were reluctant to adopt the Constitution, because they were
jealous of, and did not mean to give up, the right of self-government.

The framers of the Constitution knew that the question of the right of a
State to secede was thus left unsettled. They knew, too, that this might
give trouble in the future. Their hope was that, as the advantages of
the Union became, in process of time, more and more apparent, the Union
would grow in favor and come to be regarded in the minds and hearts of
the people as indissoluble.

From the beginning of the government there were many, including
statesmen of great influence, who continued to be jealous of the right
of self-government, and insisted that no powers should be exercised by
the Federal Government except such as were very clearly granted in the
Constitution. These soon became a party and called themselves
Republicans. Some thirty years later they called themselves Democrats.
Those, on the other hand, who believed in construing the grants of
power in the Constitution liberally or broadly, called themselves

Washington was a Federalist, but such was his influence that the dispute
between the Republicans and the Federalists about the meaning of the
Constitution did not, during his administration, assume a serious
aspect; but when a new president, John Adams, also a Federalist, came in
with a congress in harmony with him, the Republicans made bitter war
upon them. France, then at war with England, was even waging what has
been denominated a "quasi war" upon us, to compel the United States,
under the old treaty of the Revolution, to take her part against
England; and England was also threatening us. Plots to force the
government into the war as an ally of France were in the air.

Adams and his followers believed in a strong and spirited government. To
strike a fatal blow at the plotters against the public peace, and to
crush the Republicans at the same time, Congress now passed the famous
alien and sedition laws.

One of the alien laws, June 25, 1798, gave the President, for two years
from its passage, power to order out of the country, _at his own will,
and without "trial by jury" or other "process of law," any alien he
deemed dangerous_ to the peace and safety of the United States.

The sedition law, July 14, 1798, made criminal any unlawful conspiracy
to oppose any measure of the government of the United States "which was
directed by proper authority," as well as also any "false and scandalous
accusations against the Government, the President, or the Congress."

The opportunity of the Republicans had come. They determined to call
upon the country to condemn the alien and sedition laws, and at the
presidential election in 1800 the Federalists received their death-blow.
The party as an organization survived that election only a few years,
and in localities the very name, Federalist, later became a reproach.

The Republicans began their campaign against the alien and sedition laws
by a series of resolutions, which, drawn by Jefferson, were passed by
the Kentucky legislature in November, 1798. Other quite similar
resolutions, drawn by Madison, passed the Virginia assembly the next
year; and these together became the celebrated Kentucky and Virginia
resolutions of 1798-9.[2] The alien and sedition laws were denounced in
these resolutions for the exercise of powers not delegated to the
general government. Adverting to the sedition law, it was declared that
no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of
the press had been given. On the contrary, it had been expressly
provided by the Constitution that "Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,
_or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press_."

  [2] Warfield, in his "Kentucky Resolutions of 1798," relates that John
  Breckenridge introduced the Kentucky and John Taylor, of Caroline, moved
  the Virginia resolutions. In 1814 Taylor made it known that Madison was
  the author of the Virginia resolves, but not till 1821 did Jefferson
  admit his authorship of the Kentucky resolutions. Jefferson was
  Vice-President when they were drawn, and it would have been thought
  unseemly for him to appear openly in a canvass against the President,
  but by correspondence with his friends he "gradually drew out a program
  of action" (Warfield, p. 17). The Kentucky Resolutions were sent by the
  Governor to the Legislatures of the other States, ten of which, being
  controlled by the Federalists, are known to have declared against them
  (Warfield, p. 115). But of course the resolutions were canvassed by the
  public before the presidential election of 1800.

The first of the Kentucky resolutions was as follows:

     "_Resolved_, That the several States composing the United States of
     America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to
     their general government, _but that by compact_, under the style
     and title of a constitution for the United States, and of
     amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for
     specific purposes, delegated to that Government certain definite
     powers, _reserving, each State to itself_, the residuary mass of
     right to their own self-government; and _that whensoever the
     general government assumes undelegated powers its acts are
     unauthoritative, void, and of no effect_: That to this _compact
     each State acceded as a State_, and is an integral party, its
     co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: That the
     government created by _this compact, was not made the exclusive or
     final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself_, since
     that would have made its direction, and not the Constitution, the
     measure of its powers; but that, _as in all other cases of compact
     among parties having no common judge, each party has a right to
     judge for itself as well of infractions as of the mode and measure
     of redress._"

Undoubtedly it is from the famous resolutions of 1798-9 that the
secessionists of a later date drew their arguments. The authors of these
celebrated resolutions were, both of them, devoted friends of the Union
they had helped to construct. Why should they announce a theory of the
Constitution that was so full of dangerous possibilities?

The answer is, they were announcing the theory upon which the States, or
at least many of the States, had ten years before ratified the
Constitution. A crisis in the life of the new government had now come.
Congress had usurped powers not given; it had exercised powers that had
been prohibited, and the government was enforcing the obnoxious statutes
with a high hand. Dissatisfaction was intense.

Jefferson and Madison were undoubtedly Republican partisans, Jefferson
especially; but it is equally certain that they were both friends of the
Union, and as such they concluded, with the lights before them, that the
wise course would be to submit to the people, in ample time for full
consideration, before the then coming presidential election, a full,
clear, and comprehensive exposition of the Constitution precisely as
they, and as the people, then understood it. This they did in the
resolutions of 1798 and 1799, and the very same voters who had created
the Constitution of 1789, now, with their sons to aid them, endorsed
these resolutions in the election of 1800, which had been laid before
them by the legislatures of two Republican States as a correct
construction of that instrument.

The Republicans under Jefferson came into power with an immense
majority. The people were satisfied with the Constitution as it had been
construed in the election of 1800, and the country under control of the
Republicans was happy and prosperous for three decades. Then the party
in power began to split into National Republicans and Democratic
Republicans. The National Republicans favored a liberal construction of
the Constitution and became Whigs; the Democratic Republicans dropped
the name Republican and became Democrats.

The foregoing sketch has been given with no intent to write a political
history, but only to show with what emphasis the American people
condemned all violations of the Constitution up to the time when, in
1831, our story of the Abolitionists is to begin. The sketch has also
served to explain the theory of State-rights, as it was held in early
days, and later, by the Southern people.

Whether the union of the States under the Constitution as expounded by
the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions would survive every trial that was
to come, remained to be seen. The question was destined to perplex Mr.
Jefferson himself, more than once.

Indeed, even while Washington was President there had been disunion
sentiment in Congress. In 1794 the celebrated Virginian, John Taylor, of
Caroline, shortly after he had expressed an intention of publicly
resigning from the United States Senate, was approached in the privacy
of a committee room by Rufus King, senator from New York, and Oliver
Ellsworth, a senator from Massachusetts, both Federalists, with a
proposition for a dissolution of the Union by mutual consent, the line
of division to be somewhere from the Potomac to the Hudson. This was on
the ground "that it was utterly impossible for the Union to continue.
That the Southern and the Eastern people thought quite differently,"
etc. Taylor contended for the Union, and nothing came of the
conference, the story of which remained a secret for over a hundred

  [3] Taylor was so deeply impressed by the conference, which was
  protracted, that two days later, May 11, 1794, he made an extended note
  of it which he sent to Mr. Madison. At the foot of his note Taylor says,
  among other things: "He (T.) is thoroughly convinced that the design to
  break up the Union is contemplated. The assurance, the manner, the
  earnestness, and the countenances with which the idea was uttered, all
  disclosed the most serious intention. It is also probable that K. (King)
  and E. (Ellsworth) having heard that T. (Taylor) was against the
  (adoption of) the Constitution have hence imbibed a mistaken opinion
  that he was secretly an enemy of the Union, and conceived that he was a
  fit instrument (as he was about retiring) to infuse notions into the
  anti-federal temper of Virginia, consonant to their views."--"Disunion
  Sentiment in the Congress in 1794" (with fac-simile of Taylor
  memorandum), by Gaillard Hunt, Editor of Writings of James Madison.
  Lowdermilk Co., Washington, D. C., 1905.

"In the winter of 1803-4, immediately after, and as a consequence of,
the acquisition of Louisiana, certain leaders of the Federal party
conceived the project of the dissolution of the Union and the
establishment of a Northern Confederacy, the justifying causes to those
who entertained it, that the acquisition of Louisiana to the Union
transcended the constitutional powers of the government of the United
States; that it created, in fact, a new confederacy to which the States,
united by the former compact, were not bound to adhere; that it was
oppressive of the interests and destructive of the influence of the
northern section of the Confederacy, whose right and duty it was
therefore to secede from the new body politic, and to constitute one of
their own."[4]

  [4] C. F. Robertson, "The Louisiana Purchase," etc. "Papers of the
  American Association," vol. I, pp. 262, 263.

This project did not assume serious proportions.

John Fiske in his school history says: "John Quincy Adams, a supporter
of the embargo act of 1807, privately informed President Jefferson (in
February, 1809) that further attempts to enforce it in the New England
States would be likely to drive them to secession. Accordingly, the
embargo was repealed, and the non-intercourse act substituted for it."

The spirit of nationality was yet in its infancy, threats of secession
were common, and they came then mostly from New England. These threats
were in no wise connected with slavery; agitators had not then made
slavery a national issue; the idea of separation was prompted by the
fear that power in the councils of the Union would pass into the hands
of other sections.

Massachusetts was heard from again in 1811, when the State of Louisiana,
the first to be carved from the Louisiana purchase, asked to come into
the Union. In discussing the bill for her admission, Josiah Quincy said:
"Why, sir, I have already heard of six States, and some say there will
be at no great distance of time more. I have also heard that the mouth
of the Ohio will be far to the east of the contemplated empire.... It
is impossible that such a power could be granted. It was not for these
men that our fathers fought. It was not for them this Constitution
was adopted. You have no authority to throw the rights and liberties
and property of this people into hotchpot with the wild men on
the Missouri, or with the mixed, though more respectable, race of
Anglo-Hispano-Gallo-Americans who bask in the sands in the mouth of the
Mississippi.... _I am compelled to declare it as my deliberate opinion
that, if this bill passes, the bonds of the Union are virtually
dissolved; that the States which compose it are free from their moral
obligations; and that, as it will be the right of all, so it will be
the duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation--amicably, if
they can; violently, if they must._"

June 15, 1813, the Massachusetts legislature endorsed the position taken
in this speech.[5]

  [5] "American State Documents and Federal Relations," p. 21.

Later, in 1814, a convention of representative New England statesmen met
at Hartford, to consider of secession unless the non-intercourse act,
which also bore hard on New England, should be repealed; but the war
then pending was soon to close, and the danger from that quarter was

But secession was not exclusively a New England doctrine. "When the
Constitution was adopted by the votes of States in popular conventions,
it is safe to say there was not a man in the country, from Washington
and Hamilton, on the one side, to George Clinton and George Mason, on
the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an experiment,
entered into by the States, and from which each and every State had the
right to withdraw, a right which was very likely to be exercised."[6]

  [6] Henry Cabot Lodge's "Webster," p. 176.

As late as 1844 the threat of secession was to come again from
Massachusetts. The great State of Texas was applying for admission to
the Union. But Texas was a slave State; Abolitionists had now for
thirteen years been arousing in the old Bay State a spirit of hostility
against the existence of slavery in her sister States of the South, and
in 1844 the Massachusetts legislature resolved that "the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, faithful to the _compact_ between the people of the
United States, according to the plain meaning and intent in which it was
understood by them, is sincerely anxious for its preservation; but that
it is determined, as it _doubts not other States are, to submit to
undelegated powers in no body of men on earth_," and that "the project
of the annexation of Texas, unless arrested at the threshold, may tend
to drive _these States into a dissolution of the Union_."

This was _just seventeen years before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
began to arm her sons to put down secession in the South_!

The Southern reader must not, however, conclude from this startling
about-face on the question of secession, that the people of
Massachusetts, and of the North, did not, _in 1861_, honestly believe
that under the Constitution the Union was indissoluble, or that the
North went to war simply for the purpose of perpetuating its power over
the South. Such a conclusion would be grossly unjust. The spirit of
nationality, veneration of the Union, was a growth, and, after it had
fairly begun, a rapid growth. It grew, as our country grew in prestige
and power. The splendid triumphs of our ships at sea, in the War of
1812, and our victory at New Orleans over British regulars, added to it;
the masterful decisions of our great Chief Justice John Marshall,
pointing out how beneficently our Federal Constitution was adapted to
the preservation not only of local self-government but of the liberties
of the citizen as well; peace with, and the respect of, foreign nations;
free trade between the people of all sections, and abounding
prosperity--all these things created a deep impression, and Americans
began to hark back to the words of Washington in his farewell address:
"The unity of our government, which now constitutes you one people, is
also dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the
edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at
home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that
very liberty which you so highly prize."

But far and away above every other single element contributing to the
development of Union sentiment was the wonderful speech of Daniel
Webster, January 26, 1830, in his debate in the United States Senate
with Hayne, of South Carolina. Hayne was eloquently defending States'
rights, and his argument was unanswerable if his premise was admitted,
that, as had been theretofore conceded, the Constitution was _a compact
between the States_. Webster saw this and he took new ground; the
Constitution was, he contended, not a compact, but the formation of a
government. His arguments were like fruitful seed sown upon a soil
prepared for their reception. No speech delivered in this country ever
created so profound an impression. It was the foundation of a new school
of political thought. It concluded with this eloquent peroration: "When
my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven,
may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a
once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a
land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood!
Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gracious
ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth,
still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their
original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, not a single star
obscured, bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as 'What
is all this worth?' nor those other words of delusion and folly,
'Liberty first and Union afterwards,' but everywhere, spread all over
with living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over
the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens,
that other sentiment, dear to every American heart--'Liberty _and_
Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.'"

For many years every school-house in the land resounded with these
words. By 1861 they had been imprinted on the minds and had sunk into
the hearts of a whole generation. Their effect was incalculable.

It is perfectly true that the secession resolution of the Massachusetts
legislature of 1844 was passed fourteen years after Webster's speech,
but the Garrisonians had then been agitating the slavery question within
her borders for fourteen years, and the old State was now beside herself
with excitement.

There was another great factor in the rapid manufacture of Union
sentiment at the North that had practically no existence at the South.
It was immigration.

The new-comers from over the sea knew nothing, and cared less, about the
history of the Constitution or the dialectics of secession. They had
sought a land of liberty that to them was one nation, with one flag
flying over it, and in their eyes secession was rebellion. Immigrants to
America, practically all settling in Northern States, were during the
thirty years, 1831-1860, 4,910,590; and these must, with their natural
increase, have numbered at least six millions in 1860. In other words,
far more than one-fourth of the people of the North in 1860 were not,
themselves or their fathers, in the country in the early days when the
doctrine of States' rights had been in the ascendant; and, as a rule, to
these new people that old doctrine was folly.

In the South the situation was reversed. Slavery had kept immigrants
away. The whites were nearly all of the old revolutionary stock, and had
inherited the old ideas. Still, love of and pride in the Union had grown
in them too. Nor were the Southerners all followers of Jefferson. From
the earliest days much of the wealth and intelligence of the country,
North and South, had opposed the Democracy, first as Federalists and
later as Whigs. In the South the Whigs have been described as "a fine
upstanding old party, a party of blue broadcloth, silver buttons, and a
coach and four." It was not until anti-slavery sentiment had begun to
array the North, as a section, against the South, that Southern Whigs
began to look for protection to the doctrine of States' rights.

Woodrow Wilson says, in "Division and Reunion," p. 47, of Daniel
Webster's great speech in 1830: "The North was now beginning to insist
upon a national government; the South was continuing to insist upon the
original understanding of the Constitution; that was all."

And in those attitudes the two sections stood in 1860-61, one upon the
modern theory of an indestructible Union; the other upon the old idea
that States had the right to secede from the Union.

In 1848 there occurred in Ireland the "Rebellion of the Young Irishmen."
Among the leaders of that rebellion were Thomas F. Meagher and John
Mitchel. Both were banished to Great Britain's penal colony. Both made
their way, a few years later, to America. Both were devotees of liberty,
both men of brilliant intellect and high culture. Meagher settled in the
North, Mitchel in the South. This was about 1855. Each from his new
stand-point studied the history and the Constitution of his adopted
country. Meagher, when the war between the North and South came on,
became a general in the Union army. Mitchel entered the civil service of
the Confederacy and his son died a Confederate soldier.

The Union or Confederate partisan who has been taught that his side was
"eternally right, and the other side eternally wrong," should consider
the story of these two "Young Irishmen."

How fortunate it is that the ugly question of secession has been
settled, and will never again divide Americans, or those who come to



In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Dutch, French, Portuguese,
Spanish, English, and American vessels brought many thousands of negroes
from Africa, and sold them as slaves in the British West Indies and in
the British-American colonies. William Goodell, a distinguished
Abolitionist writer, tells us[7] that "in the importation of slaves for
the Southern colonies the merchants of New England competed with those
of New York and the South" (which never had much shipping). "They appear
indeed to have outstripped them, and to have _almost monopolized_ at one
time the profits of this detestable trade. Boston, Salem, and
Newburyport in Massachusetts, and Newport and Bristol in Rhode Island,
amassed, in the persons of a few of their citizens, vast sums of this
rapidly acquired and ill-gotten wealth."[7]

  [7] "Slavery and Anti-Slavery," 3d ed., 1885.

The slaves coming to America went chiefly to the Southern colonies,
because there only was slave labor profitable. The laws and conditions
under which these negroes were sold in the American colonies were
precisely the same as in the West Indies, except that the whites in the
islands, so far as is known, never objected, whereas the records show
that earnest protests came from Virginia[8] and also from Georgia[9] and
North Carolina.[10] The King of England was interested in the profits of
the iniquitous trade and all protests were in vain.

  [8] _Am. Archives_, 4th series, vol. I, p. 696.

  [9] _Ib._, p. 1136.

  [10] _Ib._, p. 735.

Of the rightfulness, however, of slavery itself there was but little
question in the minds of Christian peoples until the closing years of
the eighteenth century. Then the cruelties practised by ship-masters in
the Middle Passage attracted attention, and then came gradually a
revolution in public opinion. This revolution, in which the churches
took a prominent part, originated in England, but it soon swept over
America also, both North and South.

England abolished the slave trade in 1807. The United States followed
in 1808; the Netherlands in 1814; France in 1818; Spain in 1820;
Portugal in 1830. The great Wilberforce, Buxton, and others, who had
brought about the abolition of the slave trade in England, continued
their exertions in favor of the slave until finally, in 1833, Parliament
abolished slavery in the British West Indies, appropriating twenty
millions sterling ($100,000,000) as compensation to owners--this because
investments in slave property had been made under the sanction of
existing law.

"Great Britain, loaded with an unprecedented debt and with a grinding
taxation, contracted a new debt of a hundred millions of dollars to give
freedom, not to Englishmen, but to the degraded African. This was not an
act of policy, but the work of statesmen. Parliament but registered the
edict of the people. The English nation, with one heart and one voice,
under a strong Christian impulse and without distinction of rank, sex,
party, or religious names, decreed freedom to the slave. I know not that
history records a national act so disinterested, so sublime."

So wrote Dr. Channing, the great New England pulpit orator, in his
celebrated letter on Texas annexation, to Henry Clay, in 1837.

While the rightfulness of slavery was being discussed in England, the
American conscience had also been aroused, and emancipation was making
progress on this side of the water.

Emancipation was an easy task in the Northern States, where slaves were
few, their labor never having been profitable, and by 1804 the last of
these States had provided for the ultimate abolition of slavery within
its borders. But the problem was more difficult in the Southern States,
where the climate was adapted to slave labor. There slaves were
numerous, and slavery was interwoven, economically and socially, with
the very fabric of existence. Naturally, it occurred to thoughtful men
that there ought to be some such solution as that which was subsequently
adopted in England, and which, as we have seen, was so highly extolled
by Dr. Channing--emancipation of the slaves with compensation to the
owners by the general government. The difficulty in our country was
that the Federal Constitution conferred upon the Federal Government no
power over slavery in the States--no power to emancipate slaves or
compensate owners; and that for the individual States where the negroes
were numerous the problem seemed too big. Free negroes and whites in
great numbers, it was thought, could not live together. To get rid of
the negroes, if they should be freed, was for the States a very serious,
if not an unsurmountable task.

On the seventeenth of January, 1824, the following resolutions, proposed
as a solution of the problem, were passed by the legislature of

  [11] "State Documents on Federal Relations," Ames, pp. 203-4.

     _Resolved_, That the consideration of a system providing for the
     gradual emancipation of the people of color, held in servitude in
     the United States, be recommended to the legislatures of the
     several States of the American Union, and to the Congress of the
     United States.

     _Resolved_, That, in the opinion of the general assembly, a system
     of foreign colonization, with correspondent measures, might be
     adopted that would in due time effect the entire emancipation of
     the slaves of our country without any violation of the national
     compact, or infringement of the rights of individuals; by the
     passage of a law by the general government (with the consent of the
     slave-holding States) which would provide that all children of
     persons now held in slavery, born after the passage of the law,
     should be free at the age of twenty-one years (being supported
     during their minority by the persons claiming the service of their
     parents), provided they then consent to be transported to the
     intended place of colonization. Also:

     _Resolved_, That it is expedient that such a system should be
     predicated upon the principle that the evil of slavery is a
     national one, and that the people and the States of the Union ought
     mutually to participate in the duties and burthens of removing it.

     _Resolved_, That His Excellency the Governor be requested to
     forward a copy of the foregoing resolutions to His Excellency the
     Governor of each of the United States, requesting him to lay the
     same before the legislature thereof; and that His Excellency will
     also forward a like copy to each of our senators and
     representatives in Congress, requesting their co-operation in all
     national measures having a tendency to effect the grave object
     embraced therein.

By June of 1825 eight other Northern States had endorsed the
proposition, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut,
Massachusetts. Six of the slave-holding States emphatically disapproved
of the suggestion, _viz._, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri,
Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.[12]

  [12] Ames, p. 203.

Reasons which in great part influenced all the Southern States thus
rejecting the proposition may be gathered from the following words of
Governor Wilson, of South Carolina, in submitting the resolutions: "A
firm determination to resist, at the threshold, every _invasion of our
domestic tranquillity_, and to _preserve our sovereignty and
independence as a State_, is earnestly recommended."[13]

  [13] _Ib._, p. 206.

The resolutions required of the Southern States a complete surrender in
this regard of their reserved rights; they feared what Governor Wilson
called "the overwhelming powers of the general government," and were
unwilling to make the admission required, that the slavery in the South
was a question for the nation.

Another reason was that, although there was a quite common desire in the
Southern States to get rid of slavery, the majority sentiment doubtless
was not yet ready for the step.

Basing this plan on the "consent of the slave-holding States," as the
Ohio legislature did, was an acknowledgment that the North had no power
over the matter; while the proposition to share in the expense of
transporting the negroes, after they were manumitted, seems to be a
recognition of the joint responsibility of both sections for the
existence of slavery in the South. However that may be, the generous
concurrence of nine of the thirteen Northern States indicates how kindly
the temper of the North toward the South was before the rise of the "New
Abolitionism" in 1831. Had emancipation been, under the Federal
Constitution, a national and not a local question, it is possible that
slavery might have been abolished in America, as it was in the mother
country, peacefully and with compensation to owners.

The Ohio idea of freeing and at the same time colonizing the slaves, was
no doubt suggested by the scheme of the African Colonization Society.
This Colonization Society grew out of a resolution passed by the General
Assembly of Virginia, December 23, 1816. Its purpose was to rid the
country of such free negroes and subsequently manumitted slaves as
should be willing to go to Liberia, where a home was secured for them,
and a government set up that was to be eventually controlled by the
negro from America. The plan was endorsed by Georgia in 1817, Maryland
in 1818, Tennessee in 1818, and Vermont in 1819.[14]

  [14] Ames, 195.

The Colonization Society was composed of Southern and Northern
philanthropists and statesmen of the most exalted character. Among its
presidents were, at times, President Monroe and ex-President Madison.
Chief Justice Marshall was one of its presidents. Colonization, while
relieving America, was also to give the negro an opportunity for
self-government and self-development in his native country, aided at the
outset by experienced white men, and Abraham Lincoln, when he was
eulogizing the dead Henry Clay, one of the eloquent advocates of the
scheme, seemed to be in love with the idea of restoring the poor African
to that land from which he had been rudely snatched by the rapacious
white man. The society, with much aid from philanthropists and some from
the Federal Government, was making progress when, from 1831 to 1835,
the Abolitionists halted it.[15] They got the ears of the negro and
persuaded him not to go to Liberia. Its friends thought the enterprise
would stimulate emancipation by furnishing a home for such negroes as
their owners were willing to manumit; but the new friends of the negro
told him it was a trick of the slave-holder, and intended to perpetuate
slavery--it was banishment. And Dr. Hart now, in his "Abolition and
Slavery," calls it a move for the "expatriation of the negro."

  [15] See Garrison's "Garrison."

All together only a few thousand negroes went to Liberia. The enterprise
lagged, and finally failed, partly because of opposition, but chiefly
because the negroes were slothful and incapable of self-government. The
word came back that they were not prospering. For a time, while white
men were helping them in their government, the outlook for Liberia had
more or less promise in it. When the whites, to give the negroes their
opportunity for self-development withdrew their case was hopeless.[16]

  [16] See article in _Independent_, 1906, Miss Mahony.

In 1828, while emancipation was still being freely canvassed North and
South, Benjamin Lundy, an Abolition editor in charge of _The Genius of
Emancipation_, then being published at Baltimore, in a slave State, went
to Boston to "stir up" the Northern people "to the work of abolishing
slavery in the South." Dr. Channing, who has been previously quoted,
wrote a letter to Daniel Webster on the 28th of May, 1828, in which,
after reciting the purpose of Lundy, and saying that he was "aware how
cautiously exertions are to be made for it in this part of the country,"
it being a local question, he said: "It seems to me that, before moving
in this matter, we ought to say to them (our Southern brethren)
distinctly, 'We consider slavery _as your calamity, not your crime_, and
_we will share with you the burden_ of putting an end to it. We will
consent that the public lands shall be appropriated to this object; or
that the general government shall be _clothed with the power to apply a
portion of revenue to it_.'

"I throw out these suggestions merely to illustrate my views. We must
first let the Southern States see that we are their _friends_ in this
affair; that we sympathize with them and, from principles _of patriotism
and philanthropy, are willing to share the toil and expense_ of
abolishing slavery, or, I fear, our interference will avail
nothing."[17] Mr. Webster never gave out this letter until February 15,

  [17] "Webster's Works," vol. V, pp. 366-67, 1851.

  [18] _Ib._, ed. 1851, vol. V, pp. 266-67.

In less than three years after that letter was written, Lundy's friend,
William Lloyd Garrison, started in Boston a crusade against slavery in
the South, on the ground that instead of being the "_calamity_," as Dr.
Channing deemed it to be, it was the "_crime_" of the South. Had no such
exasperating sectional cry as this ever been raised, the story told in
this little book would have been very different from that which is to
follow. Even Spain, the laggard of nations, since that day has abolished
slavery in her colonies. Brazil long ago fell into line, and it is
impossible for one not blinded by the sectional strife of the past, now
to conceive that the Southern States of this Union, whose people in 1830
were among the foremost of the world in all the elements of Christian
civilization, would not long, long ago, if left to themselves, have
found some means by which to rid themselves of an institution condemned
by the public sentiment of the world and even then deplored by the
Southerners themselves.

The crime, if crime it was, of slavery in the South in 1830 was one for
which the two sections of the Union were equally to blame. Abraham
Lincoln said in his debate with Douglas at Peoria, Illinois, October 15,
1858: "When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for
slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the
institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in
any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I
surely do not blame them for not doing what I would not know how to do

  [19] "The Negro Problem," Pickett, 1809.

Prior to the rise of the Abolitionists in 1831, emancipationists in the
South had been free to grapple with conditions as they found them. What
they and what the people of the North had accomplished we may gather
from the United States census reports. The tables following are taken
from "Larned's History of Ready Reference," vol. V. The classifications
are his. We have numbered three of his tables, for the sake of
reference, and have added columns 4 and 5, calculated from Larned's
figures, to show "excess of free blacks" and "increase of free blacks,

Let the reader assume as a fact, which will perhaps not be questioned,
that "free blacks" in the census means freedmen and their increase, and
these tables tell their own story, a story to which must be added the
statement that slaves in the South had been freed only by voluntary
sacrifices of owners.

It will be noted that in 1790 the total "blacks" in the North was
67,479, and, although emancipation in these States had begun some years
before, the excess of "free blacks" in the South was over 5,000. Also
that at every succeeding census, down to and including that of 1830, the
"excess of free blacks" increased with considerable regularity until
1830, when that excess is 44,547.

  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |                      |          |       |         | TOTAL |EXCESS |INCREASE|
  |                      |  WHITES  |  FREE |  SLAVES |BLACKS,|OF FREE|IN FREE |
  |                      |          | BLACKS|         | NORTH |BLACKS,|BLACKS, |
  |                      |          |       |         |       | SOUTH | SOUTH  |
  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1790: North, 9 States | 1,900,976| 27,109|   40,370| 67,479|  .... |   .... |
  |      South, 8 States | 1,271,488| 32,357|  657,527|  .... | 5,248 |   .... |
  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1800: North, 11 States| 2,601,521| 47,154|   35,946| 83,100|  .... | 20,045 |
  |      South,  9 States| 1,702,980| 61,241|  857,095|  .... |14,087 | 28,884 |
  |      and D.C.        |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1810: North, 13 States| 3,653,219| 78,181|   27,510|105,691|  .... | 31,027 |
  |      South, 11 States| 2,208,785|108,265|1,163,854|  .... |30,084 | 47,024 |
  |            and D. C. |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1820: North, 13 States| 5,030,371| 99,281|   19,108|118,359|  .... | 21,100 |
  |      South, 13 States| 2,831,560|134,223|1,519,017|  .... |34,942 | 25,958 |
  |            and D. C. |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1830: North, 13 States| 6,871,302|137,529|    3,568|141,097|  .... | 38,248 |
  |      South, 13 States| 3,660,758|182,070|2,005,475|  .... |44,541 | 47,747 |
  |        D. C. and Ter.|          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1840: North, etc.     | 9,577,065|170,728|    1,728|171,857|  .... | 33,199 |
  |      South, etc.     | 4,632,530|215,575|2,486,326|  .... |44,547 | 33,505 |
  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1850: North, etc.     |13,269,149|196,262|      262|196,524|  .... | 25,534 |
  |      South, etc.     | 6,283,965|238,187|3,204,051|  .... | 1,925 | 22,612 |
  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |
  |1860: North, etc.     |18,791,159|225,967|       64|226,031|  .... | 29,705 |
  |      South, etc.     | 8,162,684|262,003|3,953,696|  .... |36,036 | 23,816 |
  |                      |          |       |         |       |       |        |

There was always in the South, prior to 1831, an active and freely
expressed emancipation sentiment. But there was not enough of it to
influence legislation. In all but three or four of these States,
emancipation was made difficult by laws which, among other conditions,
required that slaves after being freed should leave the State.

Emancipation in the North had not been completed in 1830. Professor
Ingram, president of the Royal Irish Academy, says in his "History of
Slavery," London, 1895, p. 184: "The Northern States--beginning with
Vermont in 1777 and ending with New Jersey in 1804--either abolished
slavery or adopted measures to effect its gradual abolition within their
boundaries. But the principal operation of (at least) the latter change
was to transfer Northern slaves to Southern markets."

There had been in 1820 an angry discussion in Congress about the
admission of Missouri--with or without slavery--which was finally
settled by the Missouri Compromise. This dispute over the admission of
Missouri is often said to have been the beginning of the sectional
quarrel that finally ended in secession; but the controversy over
Missouri and that begun by the "New Abolitionists" in 1831 were
entirely distinct. They were conducted on different plans.

In the Missouri controversy the only questions were as to the expediency
and constitutionality of denying to a new State the right to enter the
Union, with or without slavery, as she might choose. The entire dispute
was settled to the satisfaction of both sections by an agreement that
States thereafter, south of 36° 30', might enter the Union with or
without slavery; _and nobody denied, during all that discussion about
Missouri, or at any time previous to_ 1831, _that every citizen was
bound to maintain the Constitution and all laws passed in pursuance of
it, including the fugitive slave law_.

"The North submitted at that time (1828) to the obligations imposed upon
it by the fugitive slave-catching clause of the Constitution and the
fugitive slave law of 1793."[20] So say the biographers of William Lloyd
Garrison for the purpose of establishing, as they afterwards do, their
claim that Garrison conducted a successful revolt against that provision
of the Constitution. What strengthens the statement that the North in
1828 submitted without protest to the "fugitive slave-catching clause of
the Constitution," is that the Compromise Act of 1820 contained a
provision extending the fugitive slave law over the territory made free
by the act, while it should continue to be territory, and until there
should be formed from it States, to which the existing law would
automatically apply. Every subsequent _nullification of the fugitive
slave laws_ of the United States, whether by governors or state
legislatures, was therefore a palpable _violation of a provision that
was of the essence of the Missouri Compromise_.

  [20] Garrison's "Garrison," vol. I, p. 113.

The South was content with the Missouri Compromise, and from that date,
1820, until the rise of the "New Abolitionists," slavery was in all that
region an open question. Judge Temple says in his "Covenanter, Cavalier,
and Puritan," p. 208: "In 1826, of the 143 emancipation societies in the
United States, 103 were in the South."

The questions for Southern emancipationists were: How could the slaves
be freed, and in what time? How about compensation to owners? Where
could the freed slaves be sent, and how? And, if deportation should
prove impossible, what system could be devised whereby the two races
could dwell together peacefully? These were indeed serious problems, and
required time and grave consideration.

"Who can doubt," says Mr. Curtis, to quote once more his "Life of
Buchanan," "that all such questions could have been satisfactorily
answered, if the Christianity of the South had been left to its own time
and mode of answering them, and without any external force but the force
of kindly, respectful consideration and forebearing Christian

  [21] George Ticknor Curtis's "Life of Buchanan," vol. II, p. 283.

But this was not to be.



On the first day of January, 1831, there came out in Boston a new paper,
_The Liberator_, William Lloyd Garrison, editor. That was the beginning,
historians now generally agree, of "New Abolitionism." The editor of the
new paper was the founder of the new sect.

Benjamin Lundy was a predecessor of Garrison, on much the same lines as
those pursued by the latter. Lundy had previously formed many Abolition
societies. _The Philanthropist_ of March, 1828, estimated the number of
anti-slavery societies as "upwards of 130, and most of them in the slave
States, and of Lundy's formation, among the Quakers."[22] But Garrison
became the leader and Lundy the disciple.

  [22] Garrison's "Garrison," vol. I.

Garrison was a man of pleasing personal appearance, abstemious in
habits, and of remarkable energy and will power. He was a vigorous and
forceful writer. Denunciation was his chief weapon, and he had "a genius
for infuriating his antagonists." The following is a fair specimen of
his style. Speaking of himself and his fellow-workers as the "soldiers
of God," he said: "Their feet are shod with the preparation of the
_gospel of peace_.... Hence, when smitten on one cheek they turn the
other also, being defamed they entreat, being reviled they bless," etc.
And on that same page,[23] and in the same prospectus, showing how he
"blesses" those who, as he understands, are outside of the "Kingdom of
God," he says: "All without are dogs and sorcerers, and ... and
murderers, and idolaters, and whatsoever loveth a lie."

  [23] _Ib._, Vol. II, p. 202.

Mr. Garrison had no perspective, no sense of relation or proportion. In
his eye the most humane slave-holder was a wicked monster. He had a
genius for organization, and a year after the first issue of _The
Liberator_ he and his little body of brother fanatics had grown into the
New England Anti-Slavery Society.

The new sect called themselves for a time the "New Abolitionists,"
because their doctrines were new. The principles upon which this
organization was to be based were not all formulated at once. The
key-note was sounded in Garrison's "Address to the Public" in the first
number of _The Liberator_:

     I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of
     our slave population. I shall be as harsh as truth and as
     uncompromising as justice on this subject. _I do not wish to think
     or speak or write with moderation._

In an earlier issue, after denouncing slavery as a "damning crime," the
editor said: "Therefore my efforts shall be directed to _the exposure of
those who practise it_."

The substance of Garrison's teachings was that slavery, anywhere in the
United States, was the concern of all, and that it was to be put down by
making not only slavery but also the slave-holder odious. And, further,
it was the slave, not the slave-owner, who was entitled to compensation.

Thus the distinctive features of the new crusade were to be warfare upon
the personal character of every slave-holder and the confiscation of
his property. It was, too, the beginning of that sectional war by people
of the North against the existence of slavery in the South, which, as we
have seen, was deprecated by Dr. Channing in his letter three years
before to Mr. Webster.

The new sect began by assailing slavery in States other than their own,
and very soon they were openly denouncing the Constitution of their
country because under it slavery in those sections was none of their
business; and of course they repudiated the Missouri Compromise
absolutely, the essence of that compromise being that slavery was the
business of the States in which it existed.

It was a part of their scheme to send circulars depicting the evils of
slavery broadcast through the South; and they were sent especially to
the free negroes of that section.

"In 1820," says Dr. Hart in his "Slavery and Abolition," "at Charleston
(South Carolina), Denmark Vesey, a free negro, made an elaborate plot to
rise, massacre the white population, seize the shipping in the harbor,
and, if hard pressed, to sail away to the West Indies. One of the
negroes gave evidence, Vesey was seized, duly tried, and with
thirty-four others was hanged."[24]

  [24] Hart's "Slavery and Abolition," p. 163.

This plot, so nearly successful, was fresh in the minds of Southerners
when the Abolitionists began their programme, and naturally, the South
at once took the alarm--an alarm that was increased by the massacre, in
the Nat Turner insurrection, of sixty-one men, women, and children,
which took place in Virginia seven months after the first issue of _The
Liberator_. One of Turner's lieutenants is stated to have been a free
negro. This insurrection the South attributed to _The Liberator_.
Professor Hart says a free negro named Walker had previously sent out to
the South, from Boston, a pamphlet, "the tone of which was
unmistakable," and that "this pamphlet is known to have reached
Virginia, and may possibly have influenced the Nat Turner

  [25] _Ib._, pp. 217-20.

If this surmise be correct, knowledge that Walker, a free negro, had
been responsible for the Turner insurrection, would have lessened
neither the guilt of the Abolitionists nor the fears of the Southerners.

But in 1832 Abolition agitation and the fears of insurrection had not
as yet entirely stifled the discussion of slavery in the South. A debate
on slavery took place that year in the Virginia Assembly, the immediate
cause of which was no doubt the Turner insurrection. The members of that
body had not been elected on any issue of that character. The discussion
thus precipitated shows, therefore, the state of public opinion in
Virginia on slavery. Of this debate a distinguished Northern writer

  [26] "Life of James Buchanan," George Ticknor Curtis, vol. II, pp.

"In the year 1832 there was, nowhere in the world, a more enlightened
sense of the wrong and evil of slavery than there was among the public
men and people of Virginia."

In the Assembly of that year Mr. Randolph brought forward a bill _to
accomplish gradual emancipation_. Mr. Curtis continues:

"No member of the House defended slavery.... There could be nothing said
anywhere, there had been nothing said out of Virginia, stronger and
truer in deprecating the evils of slavery, than was said in that
discussion, by Virginia gentlemen, debating in their own legislature, a
matter that concerned themselves and their people."

The bill was not pressed to a vote, but the House, by a vote of 65 to
38, declared "that they were profoundly sensible of the great evils
arising from the condition of the colored population of the Commonwealth
and were induced by policy, as well as humanity, to attempt the
immediate removal of the free negroes; but that further action for the
_removal of the slaves should await a more definite development of
public opinion_."

Mr. Randolph, who was from the large slave-holding county of Albemarle,
was re-elected to the next assembly.

But when the early summer of 1835 had come the fear of insurrection had
created such wide-spread terror throughout the whole South that every
emancipation society in that region had long since closed its doors; and
now the Abolitionists were sending South their circulars in numbers.
Many were sent to Charleston, South Carolina,[27] where fifteen years
before[28] the free negro, Denmark Vesey, had laid the plot to massacre
the whites, that had been discovered just in time to prevent its

  [27] Referred to in "Life of Andrew Jackson," W. G. Sumner, p. 350.

  [28] Hart, _supra._

The President, Andrew Jackson, in his next message to Congress,
December, 1835, called their "attention to the painful excitement
produced in the South by attempts to circulate through the mails
_inflammatory appeals addressed to the passions of the slaves, in prints
and in various sorts of publications calculated to stimulate them to
insurrection and produce all the horrors of a servile war_."

The good people of Boston were now thoroughly aroused. They had from the
first frowned on the Abolition movement. Garrison was complaining that
in all the city his society could not "hire a hall or a meeting-house."
The Abolition idea had been for a time thought chimerical and therefore
negligible. Later, civic, business, social, and religious organizations
had all of them in their several spheres been earnest and active in
their opposition; now it seemed to be time for concerted action.

In Garrison's "Garrison" (vol. I, p. 495), we read that "the _social_,
_political_, _religious and intellectual élite_ of Boston filled
Faneuil Hall on the afternoon of Friday, August 3, 1835, to frame an
indictment against their fellow-citizens."

This "indictment" the _Boston Transcript_ reported as follows:

     _Resolved_, That the people of the United States by the
     Constitution under which, by the Divine blessing, they hold their
     most valuable political privileges, have solemnly agreed with each
     other to leave to their respective States the jurisdiction
     pertaining to the relation of master and slave within their
     boundaries, and that no man or body of men, except the people of
     the governments of those States, can of right do any act to
     dissolve or impair the obligations of that contract.

     _Resolved_, That we hold in reprobation all attempts, in whatever
     guise they may appear, to coerce any of the United States to
     abolish slavery by _appeals to the terror of the master or the
     passions of the slave_.

     _Resolved_, That we disapprove of all associations instituted in
     the non-slave-holding States with the intent to act, within the
     slave-holding States, on the subject of slavery in those States
     without their consent. For the purpose of securing freedom of
     individual thought they are needless--and they afford to those
     persons in the Southern States, whose object is to effect a
     dissolution of the Union (if any such there may be now or
     hereafter), a pretext for the furtherance of their schemes.

     _Resolved_, That all measures adopted, _the natural and direct
     tendency of which is to excite the slaves of the South to revolt,
     or of spreading among them a spirit of insubordination_, are
     repugnant to the duties of the man and the citizen, and that where
     such measures become manifest by overt acts, which are recognizable
     by constitutional laws, we will aid by all means in our power in
     the support of those laws.

     _Resolved_, That while we recommend to others the duty of
     sacrificing their opinions, passions and sympathies upon the altar
     of the laws, we are bound to show that a regard to the supremacy of
     those laws is the rule of our conduct--and consequently to
     deprecate all tumultuous assemblies, all riotous or violent
     proceedings, all outrages on person and property, and all illegal
     notions of the right or duty of executing summary and vindictive
     justice in any mode unsanctioned by law.

The allusion in the last resolution is to a then recent lynching of
negroes in Mississippi charged with insurrection.

In speaking to these resolutions, Harrison Gray Otis, a great
conservative leader, denounced the Abolition agitators, accusing them of
"wishing to 'scatter among our Southern brethren _firebrands_, _arrows_,
and _death_,' and of attempting to force Abolition by appeals to the
terror of the masters and the passions of the slaves," and decrying
their "measures, the natural and direct tendency of which is to excite
the slaves of the South to revolt," etc.

Another of the speakers, ex-Senator Peleg Sprague, said (p. 496,
Garrison's "Garrison") that "if their sentiments prevailed it would be
all over with the Union, which would give place to two hostile
confederacies, with forts and standing armies."

These resolutions and speeches, viewed in the light of what followed,
read now like prophecy.

It is a familiar rule of law that a contemporaneous exposition of a
statute is to be given extraordinary weight by the courts, the reason
being that the judge then sitting knows the surrounding circumstances.
That Boston meeting pronounced the deliberate judgment of the most
intelligent men of Boston on the situation, as they knew it to be that
day; it was in their midst that _The Liberator_ was being published;
there the new sect had its head-quarters, and there it was doing its

Quite as strong as the evidence furnished by that great Faneuil Hall
meeting is the testimony of the churches.

The churches and religious bodies in America had heartily favored the
general anti-slavery movement that was sweeping over all America between
1770 and 1831, while it was proceeding in an orderly manner and with due
regard to law.

In 1812 the Methodist General Conference voted that no slave-holder
could continue as a local elder. The Presbyterian General Assembly in
1818 unanimously resolved that "slavery was a gross violation of the
most precious and moral rights of human nature," etc.

These bodies represented both the North and the South, and this
paragraph shows what was, and continued to be, the general attitude of
American churches until after the Abolitionists had begun their assault
on both slavery in the South and the Constitution of the United States,
which protected it. Then, in view of the awful social and political
cataclysm that seemed to be threatened, there occurred a stupendous
change. We learn from Hart that Garrison "soon found that neither
minister _nor church anywhere in the lower South continued_ (as before)
to protest against slavery; _that the cloth in the North was arrayed
against him_; and that many Northern divines vigorously opposed him."
Also that Moses Stuart, professor of Hebrew in Andover Theological
Seminary; President Lord, of Dartmouth College, and Hopkins, the
Episcopal bishop of Vermont, now became defenders of slavery. "The
positive opposition of churches soon followed."

And then we have cited, condemnations of Abolitionism by the Methodist
Conference of 1836, by the New York Methodist Conference of 1838, by the
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, by the American
Home Missionary Society, the American Bible Society, the Protestant
Episcopal Church, and the Baptists. See for these statements, Hart, pp.

The import of all this is unmistakable; and this "about-face" of
religious organizations on the question of the morality of slavery has
no parallel in all the history of Christian churches. Its significance
cannot be overstated. It took place North and South. It meant opposition
to a movement that was outside the church _and with which religion could
have no concern, except in so far as it was a vital assault upon the
State, and the peace of the State_. To make their opposition effective
the Christians of that day did this remarkable thing. _They reversed
their religious views on slavery, which the Abolitionists were now
assailing, and which they themselves had previously opposed._ They
re-examined their Bibles and found arguments that favored slavery. These
arguments they used in an attempt to stem an agitation that, as they saw
it, was arraying section against section and threatening the perpetuity
of the Union.

United testimony from all these Christian bodies is more conclusive
contemporaneous evidence against the agitators and their methods than
even the proceedings of all conservative Boston at Faneuil Hall in
August, 1835.

This new attitude of the church toward slavery meant perhaps also
something further--it meant that slavery, as it actually existed, was
not then as horrible to Northerners, who could go across the line and
see it, which many of them did, as it is now to those whose ideas of it
come chiefly from "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

In view of this phenomenal movement of Northern Christians it is not
strange that Southern churches adhered, throughout the deadly struggle
that was now on, to the position into which they had been driven--that
slavery was sanctioned by the Bible--nor is it matter of wonder that, as
Professor Hart makes prominent on p. 137, "not a single Southern man of
large reputation and influence failed to stand by slavery."

Historians of to-day usually narrate without comment that nearly all the
American churches and divines at first opposed the Abolitionists. It
illustrates the courage with which the Abolitionists stood, as Dr. Hart
delights to point out, "for a despised cause." They assuredly did stand
by their guns.

Later, another change came about in the attitude of the churches. In
1844 the Abolitionists were to achieve their first victory in the great
religious world. The Methodist Church was then disrupted, "squarely on
the question whether a bishop could own slaves, and all the Southern
members withdrew and organized the Methodist Episcopal Church, South."
Professor Hart, p. 214, says of this: "Clearly, the impassioned
agitation of the Abolitionists had made it impossible for a great number
of Northern anti-slavery men _to remain on terms of friendship with
their Southern brethren_."

That great Faneuil Hall meeting of August 31, 1835, was followed some
weeks later by a lamentable anti-Garrison mob, which did not stand
alone. In the years 1835, 1836, and 1837 a great wave of anti-Abolition
excitement swept over the North. In New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati,
Alton (Illinois), and many other places, there were anti-Abolition
riots, sometimes resulting in arson and bloodshed.

The heart of the great, peace-loving, patriotic, and theretofore happy
and contented North, was at that time stirred with the profoundest
indignation against the Abolitionists. Northern opinion then was that
the Abolitionists, by their unpatriotic course and their nefarious
methods, were driving the South to desperation and endangering the
Union. If the North at that time saw the situation as it really was, the
historian of the present day should say so. If, on the other hand, the
people of both the North and South were then laboring under delusions,
as to the facts that were occurring among them, those of this
generation, who are wiser than their ancestors, should give us the
sources of their information. To know the lessons of history we must
have the facts.[29]

  [29] The late Professor William Graham Sumner, of Yale, in his "Life of
  Andrew Jackson," 1888, treats of the excitement at Charleston, South
  Carolina, in 1835, during Jackson's administration, over Abolition
  circulars, etc. Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, Professor of History at
  Harvard, in his "Abolition and Slavery," 1906, treats of the same
  subject. The following extracts from these books will show how these
  authors picture that exciting period, and our italics will emphasize the
  _sang-froid_ with which they touch off what so profoundly affected
  public sentiment, both North and South, _when the events were
  occurring_. Professor Sumner has this to say:

  "The Abolition Society adopted the policy of sending documents, papers,
  and pictures against slavery to the Southern States.

  "_If the intention was_, as charged, to excite the slaves to revolt,
  _the device, as it seems to us now_, must have fallen short of its
  object, for the chance that anything could get into the hands of the
  black man must _have been poor indeed_.

  "These publications, however, caused _a panic_ and _a wild indignation_
  in the South."--Sumner's "Jackson," p. 350.

  Why should the Southerners of that day go _wild_ over conduct for which
  the professor of this era has no word of condemnation?

  Dr. Hart follows Professor Sumner's treatment. These are his words:

  "The free negroes of the South, the Abolitionists could not reach except
  by _mailing publications to them_, a process which _fearfully
  exasperated_ the South _without reaching the persons
  addressed_."--Hart's "Abolition and Slavery," p. 216.

  Why should Southerners be "fearful" when they were intercepting all the
  dangerous circulars, etc., they could find? And why should they be
  exasperated at all?

  Dr. Hart's chair at Harvard is within gunshot of Faneuil Hall, yet the
  great meeting there of August 31, 1835, is not mentioned in either his
  or Professor Sumner's book, nor is there to be found in either of them
  _any explanation of the reasons underlying the general and emphatic
  condemnation throughout the North at that period of the Abolitionists
  and their methods_.

In 1854, at Framingham, Massachusetts, the Abolitionists celebrated the
Fourth of July thus: Their leader, William Lloyd Garrison, held up and
burned to ashes, before the applauding multitude, one after another,
copies of

1st. The fugitive slave law.

2d. The decision of Commissioner Loring in the case of Burns, a fugitive

3d. The charge to the Grand Jury of Judge Benjamin R. Curtis in
reference to the effort of a mob to secure a fugitive slave.

4th. "Then, holding up the United States Constitution, he branded it as
the source and parent of all other atrocities, 'a covenant with death
and an agreement with hell,' and consumed it to ashes on the spot,
exclaiming, 'So perish all compromises with tyranny! And let all the
people say, Amen!' A tremendous shout of 'Amen!' went up to heaven in
ratification of the deed, mingled with a few hisses and wrathful
exclamations from some, who evidently were in a _rowdyish_ state of
mind, but who were at once cowed by the popular feeling."[30]

  [30] Garrison's "Garrison," vol. III, p. 412.

The Abolitionist movement was radical; it was revolutionary. When an
accredited teacher of history, in one of the greatest of our
universities, writes a volume on "Abolition and Slavery," why should he
restrict himself in comment, as Dr. Hart thus does in his preface? The
book is "intended to show that there was more than one side to the
controversy, and that both the milder form of opposition called
anti-slavery and _the extreme form called Abolition_, were _confronted
by practical difficulties_ which to many public men seemed

Why should not the historian, in addition to pointing out the
"difficulties" encountered by these extremists, _show how and why the
people of that day condemned their conduct_?

Condonation of the Abolitionists, and a proper regard for the
Constitution of the United States, cannot be taught to the youth of
America at one and the same time.

The writer has been unable to find any of the incendiary pamphlets that
had proved so inflammatory. He has, however, before him a little
anonymous publication entitled "Slavery Illustrated in its Effects upon
Woman," Isaac Knapp, Boston, 1837. It was for circulation in the North,
being "Affectionately Inscribed to all the Members of Female
Anti-Slavery Societies," and it is only cited here as an illustration of
the almost inconceivable venom with which the crusade was carried on to
_embitter the North against the South_. It is a vicious attack upon the
morality of Southern men and women, and upon Southern churches. None of
its charges does it claim to authenticate, and it gives no names or
dates. One incident, related as typical, is of two white women, all the
time in full communion with their church, under pretence of a
boarding-house, keeping a brothel, negro women being the inmates.

In the chapter entitled "Impurity of the Christian Churches" is this
sentence: "At present the Southern Churches are only one vast
consociation of hypocrites and sinners."

The booklet was published anonymously, but at that time any prurient
story about slavery in the South would circulate, no matter whether
vouched for or not.



Not stronger than the proceedings of a great non-partisan public
meeting, or than the action of religious bodies, but going more into
detail as to public opinion in the South and the effect upon it of
Abolition agitation, is the evidence of a quiet observer, Professor E.
A. Andrews, who, in July, 1835, had been sent out as the agent of "The
Boston Union for the Relief and Improvement of the Colored Race." His
reports from both Northern and Southern States, consisting of letters
from various points, constitute a book, "Slavery and the Domestic Slave
Trade," Boston, 1836.

July 17, 1835, from Baltimore, Professor Andrews reports that a resident
clergyman, who appears to have his entire confidence, says, among other
things, "that a disposition to emancipate their slaves is very prevalent
among the slave-holders of this State, could they see any way to do so
consistently with the true interest of the slave, but that it is their
universal belief that no means of doing this is now presented except
that of colonizing them in Africa."

From the same city, July 17, 1835, he writes, p. 53: "In this city there
appears to be no strong attachment to slavery and no wish to perpetuate

Again, on p. 95: "There is but one sentiment amongst those with whom I
have conversed in this city, respecting the possibility of the white and
colored races living peaceably together in freedom, nor during my
residence at the South and my subsequent intercourse with the Southern
people, _did I ever meet with one who believed it possible for the two
races to continue together after emancipation_.... When the slaves of
the South are liberated they form an integral part of the population of
the country, and must influence its destiny for ages--perhaps forever."

From Fredericksburg, Virginia, Professor Andrews writes:

     Since I entered the slave-holding country I have seen but one man
     who did not deprecate wholly and absolutely the direct interference
     of Northern Abolitionists with the institutions of the South. "I
     was an Abolitionist," has been the language of numbers of those
     with whom I have conversed; "I was an Abolitionist, _and was
     laboring earnestly to bring about a prospective system of
     emancipation. I even saw, as I believed, the certain and complete
     success of the friends of the colored race at no distant period,
     when these Northern Abolitionists interfered, and by their
     extravagant and impracticable schemes frustrated all our hopes....
     Our people have become exasperated, the friends of the slaves
     alarmed_, etc....[31] Equally united are they in the opinion that
     the servitude of the slaves is far more rigorous now than it would
     have been had there been no interference with them. _In proportion
     to the danger of revolt and insurrection, have been_ the severity
     of the enactments for controlling them and the diligence with which
     the laws have been executed."

  [31] "Slavery and the Domestic Slave Trade," Andrews, pp. 156-57.

From a private letter, written at Greenville, Alabama, August 30, 1835,
by a distinguished lawyer, John W. Womack, to his brother, we quote:

     The anti-slavery societies in the Northern and Middle States are
     doing all they can to destroy our domestic harmony by sending among
     us pamphlets, tracts, and newspapers--for the purpose of exciting
     dissatisfaction and insurrection among our slaves.... Meetings have
     been held in Mobile, in Montgomery, in Greensboro, and in
     Tuscaloosa, and in different parts of all the Southern States. At
     these meetings resolutions have been adopted, disclaiming (_sic_)
     and denying the right of the Northern people to interfere in any
     manner in our internal domestic concerns.... It is my solemn
     opinion that this question (to wit, slavery) will ultimately bring
     about a dissolution of the Union of the States.

It should be remembered that in 1832 the massacre in Santo Domingo of
all the whites by the blacks was fresh in mind. It had occurred in
1814--after manumission--and had produced, especially in the minds of
statesmen and of all observers of the many signs of antagonism between
the two races, a profound and lasting impression.

The fear that the races, both free, could not live together was in the
mind of Thomas Jefferson, of Henry Clay, and of every other Southern
emancipationist. And deportation, its expense, and the want of a home to
which to send the negro--here was a stumbling-block in the way of
Southern emancipation.

Indeed, the incompatibility of the races was an appalling thought in the
minds of Southerners for the whole thirty years of anti-slavery
agitation. It was even with Abraham Lincoln, and weighed upon his mind
when, at last, in 1862, military necessity placed upon his shoulders the
responsibility of emancipating the Southern slaves. Serious as was the
responsibility, the question was not new to him. When Mr. Lincoln said,
in his celebrated Springfield speech in 1858, "I believe this government
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free," and added that he
did not expect the government to fail, he certainly expected that
emancipation in the South was coming; and, of course, he thought over
what the consequences might be.

In that same debate with Douglas, in his speech at Charleston, Illinois,
Mr. Lincoln said: "There is a physical difference between the white and
black races, which, I believe, will forever forbid the two races living
together on terms of social and political equality."

In his memorial address on Henry Clay, in 1852, he had said: "If, as the
friends of colonization hope, the present and coming generations of our
countrymen shall by some means succeed in freeing our land from the
dangerous presence of slavery, and at the same time in restoring a
captive people to their long lost father-land, ... it will, indeed, be a
glorious consummation. And if to such a contribution the efforts of Mr.
Clay shall have contributed ... none of his labors will have been more
valuable to his country and his kind."

In his famous emancipation proclamation he promised "that the effort to
colonize persons of African descent upon this continent or elsewhere,
with the consent of the government existing there, will be continued."

It must have been with a heavy heart that the great President announced
the failure of all his efforts to find a home outside of America for the
freedmen, _when he informed Congress in his December message, 1862, that
all in vain he had asked permission to send the negroes, when freed, to
the British, the Danish, and the French West Indies; and that the
Spanish-American countries in Central America had also refused his
request_. He could find no places except Hayti and Liberia. He even made
the futile experiment of sending a ship-load to a little island off
Hayti.[32] Hume, in "The Abolitionists," tells us that Mr. Lincoln for a
time _considered setting Texas apart as a home for the negroes_--so much
was he disturbed by this trouble.

  [32] Within perhaps a year Mr. Lincoln was compelled to bring these
  negroes home; they were starving.



Southerners, save perhaps a few who were wise enough to foresee what the
consequences might be, were deeply gratified when they read (1835-1838)
of the violent opposition in the North to the desperate schemes of the
Abolitionists. Surely these mobs fairly represented public opinion, and
that public opinion certainly was a strong guaranty to the South of
future peace and security.

But the Abolitionists themselves were not dismayed. They may have
misread, indeed it is certain they did misunderstand, the signs of the
times. Garrison in his _Liberator_ took the ground--as do his children
in their life of him, written fifty years later--that the great Faneuil
Hall meeting of August 31, 1835, which they themselves declare
represented "the intelligence, the wealth, the culture, and the religion
of Boston," was but an indication of the "pro-slavery" sentiment then
existing. In reality it was just what it purported to be--an
authoritative condemnation, not of the anti-slavery opinions, but of the
avowed purposes and methods of the new sect. The mobbing of Garrison and
the sacking of his printing office in Boston on September 26th, however,
and the lawless violence to Abolitionists that followed the
denunciations of that despised sect by speakers, and by the public
press, in New York, in Philadelphia, in Cincinnati, and elsewhere in the
North, proved disastrous in the extreme.

While that great wave of anti-Abolition feeling was sweeping over that
whole region from East to West, there were many good people who deluded
themselves with the idea that this new sect with its visionary and
impracticable ideas was being consigned to oblivion, but in what
followed we have a lesson that unfortunately some of our people have not
yet fully learned. Mob law in any portion of our free country, where
there is law with officers to enforce it, is a mistake, a mistake that
is likely to be followed sooner or later by most disastrous results. The
mobs that marked the beginning of our Revolution in 1774 were
legitimate; they meant revolt, revolt against constituted authorities.
But where a mob does not mean the overthrow of government, where it only
means to substitute its own blind will for the arm of the law, not good
but evil--it may be long deferred, but evil eventually--is sure to
follow. When mobs assailed Abolitionists because they threatened the
peace and tranquillity of the country, evil followed swiftly.

Violent and harsh treatment of these mischievous agitators almost
everywhere in the North, and the heroism with which they endured
ignominy and insult, brought about a revulsion of public sentiment. To
understand the philosophy of this, read two extracts from the writings
of that great, and universally admired, pulpit orator, Dr. William E.
Channing of Boston, the first written sometime prior to that August

     The adoption of the common system of agitation by the Abolitionists
     has not been justified by success. From the beginning it has
     created alarm in the considerate, and strengthened the sympathies
     of the Free States with the slave-holder. It has made converts of
     a few individuals, but alienated multitudes. _Its influence at the
     South has been almost wholly evil. It has stirred up bitter
     passions, and a fierce fanaticism, which have shut every ear and
     every heart against its arguments and persuasions._ These efforts
     are more to be deplored, because the hope of freedom to the slave
     lies chiefly in the dispositions of his master. The Abolitionist
     proposed indeed to convert the slave-holder; and for this end he
     _approached them with vituperation, and exhausted upon them the
     vocabulary of reproach_. And he has reaped as he sowed.... Perhaps
     (though I am anxious to repel the thought) something has been lost
     to the cause of freedom and humanity.[33]

  [33] "Channing's Works," vol. II, ed. 1837, pp. 131-32.

These were Dr. Channing's opinions of the Abolitionists prior to August,
1835, and he seems to have kept silent for a time after the mobbing that
followed that great Faneuil Hall meeting; but a year later, when many
other things had happened along the same line, he spoke out in an open
letter to James G. Birney, an Abolitionist editor who had been driven
from Cincinnati, and whose press, on which _The Philanthropist_ was
printed, had been broken up. In that letter, p. 157, _supra_, speaking
of course not for himself alone, Dr. Channing says:

     I think it best ... to extend my remarks to the spirit of violence
     and persecution which has broken out against the Abolitionists
     throughout the whole country. Of their merits and demerits as
     Abolitionists I have formerly spoken.... I have expressed my
     fervent attachment to the great end to which they are pledged and
     at the same time _my disapprobation, to a certain extent, of their
     spirit and measures_.... Deliberate, systematic efforts have been
     made, _not here and there, but far and wide_, to wrest from its
     adherents that _liberty of speech and the press_, which our fathers
     asserted in blood, and which our National and State Governments are
     pledged to protect as our most sacred right. Its most conspicuous
     advocates have been hunted and stoned, its meetings scattered, its
     presses broken up, and nothing but the patience, constancy and
     intrepidity of its members has saved it from extinction.... They
     are _sufferers for the liberty of thought, speech and press; and in
     maintaining this liberty, amidst insult and violence, they deserve
     a place among its honorable defenders_.

Still admitting that "their writings have been blemished by a spirit of
intolerance, sweeping censure, and rash, injurious judgment," this great
man now threw all the weight of his influence on the side of the
Abolitionists, because they were _the champions of free speech_. Their
moral worth and steady adherence to their ideas of non-resistance he
pointed to admiringly, and it must always be remembered to their credit
that the private lives of Garrison and his leading co-workers were
irreproachable. Indeed, the unselfish devotion of these agitators and
their high moral character were in themselves a serious misfortune. They
soon attracted a lot of zealots, male and female, who became as reckless
as they were. And these out-and-out fanatics were not themselves
office-seekers. What they feared, they said, was that a "lot of soulless
scamps would jump on to their shoulders to ride into office";[34] and
there really was the great danger, as appeared later.

  [34] Garrison's "Garrison," vol. III, p. 214.

In the results that followed the mobbing of Abolitionists in the North,
from 1834 to 1836, is to be found another lesson for those voters of
this day who can profit by the teachings of history. The violent
assaults on the Abolitionists by the friends of the Constitution and the
Union constituted an epoch in the lives of these people. It gave them a
footing and a hearing and many converts.

We have already noted some wonderful and instructive changes in the tide
of events set in motion by the radical teachings of the New
Abolitionists. The churches, as has been shown, to save the country,
North and South, changed their attitude on slavery itself. Dr. Channing,
who had opposed the methods of the Abolitionists, became, as many others
did with him, when mobs had assailed these people, their defender and
eulogist, because they were martyrs for the sake of free speech; and now
we are to see in John Quincy Adams another change, equally notable, a
change that was to make Mr. Adams thenceforward the most momentous
figure, at least during its earlier stages, in the tragic drama that is
the subject of our story.

Elected to the House of Representatives after the expiration of his term
as President, Mr. Adams was not in sympathy with the methods of the
Abolitionists. Indeed, prior to December 31, 1831, he had shown as
little interest in slavery as he did when on that day in presenting to
the House fifteen petitions against slavery he "deprecated a discussion
which would lead to ill-will, to heart-burning, to mutual hatred ...
without accomplishing anything else."[35]

  [35] Hart's "Slavery and Abolition," p. 256.

The petitions presented by Mr. Adams were referred to a committee.

The Southerners had not then become so exasperated as to insist on
Congress refusing to receive Abolition petitions. But multiplying these
petitions was a ready means of provoking the slave-holders, and soon
petitions poured in from many quarters, couched, most of them, in
language, not disrespectful to Congress but provoking to slave-holders.

Unfortunately, the lower house of Congress on May 26, 1836, which was
while mobs in the North were still trying to put down the Abolitionists,
passed a resolution that all such petitions, etc., should thereafter be
laid upon the table, _without further action_. Adams voted against it as
"a direct violation of the Constitution of the United States." The
Constitution forbids any law "abridging the freedom of speech ... or the
right ... to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The
resolution to lay all anti-slavery petitions on the table without
further action was passed, "with the hope that it might put a stop to
the agitation that seemed to endanger the existence of the Union." But
it had the opposite effect. It soon became known as the "gag
resolution," and was, for years, the centre of the most aggravating
discussions that had, up to that time, ever occurred in Congress. Mr.
Adams in these debates became, without, it seems, ever having been in
full sympathy with the agitators, thenceforward their champion in
Congress, and so continued until the day of his death in 1848.

The Abolitionists were happy. They were succeeding in their
programme--making the Southern slave-holder odious by exasperating him
into offending Northern sentiment.



In 1840 there were 200 Abolition societies, with a membership of over
200,000. Agitation had created all over the North a spirit of hostility
to slavery as it existed in the South, and especially to the admission
of new slave States into the Union. In 1840 the struggle over the
application of Texas for admission into the Union had already, for three
years, been mooted. Objections to the admission of the new State were
many, such as: American adventurers had wrongfully wrested control of
the new State from Mexico; boundary lines were unsettled; war with
Mexico would follow, etc.; but chiefly, Texas was a slave State, which
was, in the South, a strong reason for annexation. There were, however,
many sound and unanswerable arguments for the admission of the new
State, just such as had influenced Jefferson in purchasing the
Louisiana territory: Texas was contiguous, her territory and resources

On the issue thus joined the first great gun had been fired by Dr.
Channing, who, though still more moderate than some, might now be
classed as an Abolitionist. August 1, 1837, he wrote a long open letter
to Henry Clay against annexation, and in that letter he said:

     To me it seems not only the right but the duty of the Free States,
     in case of the annexation of Texas, to say to the slave-holding
     States, "We regard this act as the dissolution of the Union; the
     essential conditions of the National Compact are violated."[36]

  [36] "Channing's Works," vol. II, ed. 1847, p. 237.

This was very like the pronunciamento already made by Garrison--"no
union with slavery."

The underlying reasons that controlled Southern statesmen in this
contest over Texas, and the motives that animated them in the fierce
battles they fought later for new slave States, are thus stated by Mr.
George Ticknor Curtis, of New England.[37]

  [37] "Life of Buchanan," vol. II, p. 280.

     It should in justice be remembered that the effort _at that period
     to enlarge the area of slavery was an effort on the part of the
     South, dictated by a desire to remain in the Union, and not to
     accept the issue of an inherent incompatibility of a political
     union between slave-holding and non-slave-holding States_.

In 1840 the first effort for the annexation of Texas, by treaty, was
defeated in the Senate.

If the Southerners had been as ready to accept the doctrine of an
inherent incompatibility between slave and free States as were Dr.
Channing and those other Abolitionists who were now declaring for "no
union with slave-holders," they would at once have seceded and joined
Texas; but the South still loved the Union, and strove, down to 1860,
persistently, and often passionately, for power that would enable it to
remain safely in its folds.

Texas was finally admitted in 1845, after annexation had been passed on
by the people in the presidential election of 1844. In that election
Clay was defeated by the Abolitionists. Because Clay was not
unreservedly against annexation the Abolitionists drew from the Whigs in
New York State enough votes, casting them for Birney, to defeat Clay and
elect Polk; and now Abolitionism was a factor in national politics.

The two great national parties were the Democrats and the Whigs, the
voters somewhat equally divided between them. For years both parties had
regarded the Abolitionists precisely as did the non-partisan meeting at
Faneuil Hall, in August, 1835--as a band of agitators, organized for the
purpose of interfering with slavery where it was none of their business;
and both parties had meted out to this new and, as they deemed it,
pestilent sect, unstinted condemnation. But at last the voters of this
despised cult had turned a presidential election and were making inroads
in both parties. Half a dozen Northern States, in which in 1835 "no
protest had been made against the fugitive slave law of 1793," had
already passed "personal liberty laws" intended to obstruct and nullify
that law. And now it was "slave-catchers" and not Abolitionists who were
being mobbed in the North.

Boston had reversed its attitude toward the Abolitionists. On May 31,
1849, the New England Anti-Slavery Society was holding its annual
convention in that very Faneuil Hall where, in 1835, Abolitionism had
been so roundly condemned; and now Wendell Phillips, pointing to one of
two fugitive slaves, who then sat triumphantly on the platform, said,
"amid great applause, ... 'We say that they may make their little laws
in Washington, but that _Faneuil Hall repeals them_, in the name of the
humanity of Massachusetts.'"[38]

  [38] Garrison's "Garrison," vol. III, p. 247.

Poets headed by Whittier and Longfellow, authors like Emerson and
Lowell, and orators like Theodore Parker and Wendell Phillips, had
joined the agitators, and all united in assaulting the fugitive slave
law. The following, from James Russell Lowell's "Biglow Papers," No. 1,
June, 1840, is a specimen of the literature that was stirring up
hostility against slavery and the "slave-catcher" in the breasts of many
thousands, who were joining in an anti-slavery crusade while disdaining
companionship with the Abolitionists:

  "Ain't it cute to see a Yankee
  Take such everlastin' pains
  All to get the Devil's Thankee
  Helpin' on 'em weld their chains?"
  W'y it's jest es clear es figgers,
  Clear es one and one makes two,
  Chaps that makes black slaves of niggers
  Want to make w'ite slaves o' you.

In the meantime the people of the South, much excited, were resorting to
repression, passing laws to prevent slaves from being taught to read,
and laws, in some States, inhibiting assemblages of slaves above given
numbers, unless some white person were present--all as safeguards
against insurrection. Thus, in 1835, an indictment was found in
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, against one Williams, who had never been in
Alabama, for circulating there an alleged incendiary document, and
Governor Gayle made requisition on Governor Marcy, of New York, for the
extradition of Williams. Governor Marcy denied the request. The case was
the same as that more recently decided by the Supreme Court of the
United States, when it held that editors of New York and Indiana papers
could not be brought to the District of Columbia for trial.

The South, all the while clamoring to have the agitators put down, had
by still other means than these contributed to the ever-increasing
excitement in the North. Southerners had mobbed Abolitionists, and
whipped and driven out of the country persons found in possession of
_The Liberator_ or suspected of circulating other incendiary literature.
And violence in the South against the Abolitionists had precisely the
same effect on the Northern mind as the violence against them in the
North had from 1835 to 1838, but there was this difference: the refugee
from the distant South, whether he were an escaped slave or a fleeing
Abolitionist, could color and exaggerate the wrongs he had suffered and
so parade himself as a martyr. While this was true, it was also quite
often true that the outrage committed in the South against the suspect
was real enough--a mob had whipped and expelled him without any trial.
_And this is another of the lessons as to the evil effects of mob law
that crop out all through the history of the anti-slavery crusade. No
good can come from violating the law._

In 1848 another presidential election turned on the anti-slavery vote,
this time again in New York State. Anti-slavery Democrats bolted the
Democratic ticket, thus electing General Taylor, the Whig candidate.

In the canvass preceding this election originated, we are told, the
catch-phrase applied to Cass, the Democratic candidate--"a Northern man
with Southern principles." The phrase soon became quite common, South
and North--"a Southern man with Northern principles," and _vice versa_.

The invention and use of it in 1848 shows the progress that had been
made in arraying one section of the Union against the other. Later, a
telling piece of doggerel in Southern canvasses, and it must also have
been used North, was

  He wired in and wired out,
  Leaving the people all in doubt,
  Whether the snake that made the track
  Was going North, or coming back.

Over the admission of California in 1849 there was another battle.
California, 734 miles long, with about 50,000 people (less than the
usual number), and with a constitution improvised under military
government, applied for admission as a State. Southerners insisted on
extending the line of the Missouri Compromise to the Pacific, thereby
making of the new territory two States. The South had been much
embittered by the opposition to the admission of Texas. Texas was,
nearly all of it, below the Missouri Compromise line, and the South
thought it was equitably entitled to come in under that agreement. Its
case, too, differed from that of Missouri, which already belonged to the
United States when it applied for admission as a State. Texas, with all
its vast wealth, was asking to come in without price.

Another continuing and increasing cause of distraction had been the use
made by Abolitionists of the right of petition. As already shown,
petitions to Congress against slavery had been received without question
till 1836, when Northern conservatives and Southern members, hoping to
abate this source of agitation, had combined to pass a resolution to lay
them on the table, which meant that they were to be no further noticed.
The Abolitionists were so delighted over the indefensible position into
which they had driven the conservatives--the "gag law"--that they
continued, up to the crisis of 1850, with unflagging zeal to hurry in
monster petitions, one after another. The debates provoked by the
presentation of these petitions, and the more and more heated
discussions in Congress of _slavery in the States_, which was properly
_a local and not a national question_, now attracted still wider public
attention. The Abolitionists had almost succeeded in arraying the entire
sections against each other, in making of the South and North two
hostile nations. Professor John W. Burgess, dean of the Faculty of
Political Science in Columbia University, says: "It would not be
extravagant to say that the whole course of the internal history of the
United States from 1836 to 1861 was more largely determined by the
struggle in Congress, over the _Abolition petitions_ and the use of the
mails for the Abolition literature, than anything else."[39]

  [39] "The Middle Period," John W. Burgess, p. 274.

The South had its full share in the hot debates that took place over
these matters in Congress. Its congressmen were quite as aggressive as
those from the North, and they were accused of being imperious in
manner, when demanding that a stop should be put to Abolition petitions,
and Abolition literature going South in the mails.

There was another cause of complaint from the South, and this was grave.
By the "two underground railroads" that had been established, slaves,
estimated at 2,000 annually, abducted or voluntarily escaping, were
secretly escorted into or through the free States to Canada. To show how
all this was then regarded by those who sympathized with the
Abolitionists, and how it is still looked upon by some modern
historians, the following is given from Hart's "Abolition and Slavery":

"The underground railroad was manned chiefly by orderly citizens,
members of churches, and philanthropical citizens. _To law-abiding folk_
what could be more delightful than the sensation of aiding an oppressed
slave, _exasperating_ a cruel master, and at the same time incurring the
penalties of _defying an unrighteous law_?"

Southerners at that time thought that conductors on that line were
practising, and readers of the above paragraph will probably think that
Dr. Hart in his attractive rhetoric is now extolling in his history,
"higher law doctrines."

It is undoubtedly true that, in 1850, a large majority of the Northern
people strongly disapproved of the Abolitionists and their methods.
Modern historians carefully point out the difference between the great
body of Northern anti-slavery people and the Abolitionists.
Nevertheless, here were majorities in eleven Northern States voting for,
and sustaining, the legislators who passed and kept upon the statute
books laws which were intended to enable Southern slaves to escape from
their masters. The enactment and the support of these laws was an attack
upon the constitutional rights of slave-holders; and Southern people
looked upon all the voters who sustained these laws, and all the
anti-slavery lecturers, speakers, pulpit orators, and writers of the
North, as engaged with the Abolitionists in one common crusade against
slavery. From the Southern stand-point a difference between them could
only be made by a Hudibras:

  He was in logic a great critic
  Profoundly skilled in analytic,
  He could distinguish and divide
  A hair 'twixt South and South West side.

As to how much of the formidable anti-slavery sentiment of that day had
been created by the Abolitionists, we have this opinion of a
distinguished English traveller and observer. Mr. L. W. A. Johnston was
in Washington, in 1850, studying America. He says:

"Extreme men like Garrison seldom have justice done to them. It is true
they may be impracticable, both as to their measures and their men, but
that unmixed evil is the result of their exertions, all history of
opinion in every country, I think, contradicts. Such ultra men are as
necessary as the more moderate and reasonable advocates of any growing
opinion; and, as _an impartial person_, who never happened to fall in
with one of the party in the course of my tour, I must express my belief
that the present wide diffusion of anti-slavery sentiment in the United
States is, in no small degree, owing to their exertions."[40]

  [40] "Notes on North America," London, 1851, vol. II, p. 486.

And Professor Smith, of Williams College, speaking of the anti-slavery
feeling in the North in 1850, says:

"This sentiment of the free States regarding slavery was to a large
degree the result of an agitation for its abolition which had been
active for a score of years (1831-1850) without any positive

  [41] "Parties and Slavery," Smith, pp. 3, 4.

But no matter what had produced it, the anti-slavery sentiment that
pervaded the North in 1850 boded ill to slavery and to the Constitution,
and the South was bitterly complaining. Congress met in December, 1849,
and was to sit until October, 1850. Lovers of the Union, North and
South, watched its proceedings with the deepest anxiety. The South was
much excited. The continual torrent of abuse to which it was subjected,
the refusal to allow slavery in States to be created from territory in
the South-west that was below the parallel of the Missouri Compromise,
and the complete nullification of the fugitive slave law, seemed to many
to be no longer tolerable, and from sundry sources in that section came
threats of secession.

In 1849-50 the South was demanding a division of California, an
efficient fugitive slave law, and that the territories of New Mexico and
Arizona should be organized with no restrictions as to slavery. Other
minor demands were unimportant.

Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Stephen A. Douglas, Lewis Cass, and other
conservative leaders came forward and, after long and heated debates in
Congress, the Compromise of 1850 was agreed on. To satisfy the North,
California, as a whole, came in as a free State, and the slave trade was
abolished in the District of Columbia. To satisfy the South, a new and
stringent fugitive slave law was agreed on, and the territories of New
Mexico and Arizona were organized with no restrictions as to slavery.

In bringing about this compromise, Daniel Webster was, next to Clay, the
most conspicuous figure. He was the favorite son of New England and the
greatest statesman in all the North. On the 7th of March, 1850, Mr.
Webster made one of the greatest speeches of his life on the Compromise
measures. Rising above the sectional prejudices of the hour, he spoke
for the Constitution and the Union. The manner in which he and his
reputation were treated by popular historians in the North, for half a
century afterward, on account of this speech, is the most pathetic and,
at the same time, the most instructive story in the whole history of the
anti-slavery crusade.

Mr. Webster was under the ban of Northern public opinion for all this
half a century, not because of inconsistency between that speech and his
former avowals, an averment often made and never proven, but because he
was consistent. He stood squarely upon his record, and the venom of the
assaults that were afterward made upon him was just in proportion to the
love and veneration which had been his before he offended. His offence
was that he would not move with the anti-slavery movement.[42] He did
not stand with his section in a sectional dispute.

  [42] McMaster says: "The great statesman was behind the
  times."--"Webster," p. 19.

Henry Clay, old and feeble, had come back into the Senate to render his
last service to his country. He was the author of the Compromise. Daniel
Webster was everywhere known as the champion of the Union. Henry Clay
was known as the "Old Man Eloquent," and he now spoke with all his
old-time fire; but Webster's great speech probably had more influence on
the result.

Before taking up Mr. Webster's speech his previous attitude toward
slavery must be noted. The purpose of the friends of the Union was, of
course, to effect a compromise that would, if possible, put an end to
sectional strife. Compromise means concession, and a compromise of
political differences, made by statesmen, may involve some concession of
view previously held by those who advocate as well as by those who
accept it. Webster thought his section of the Union should now make

Fanaticism, however, concedes nothing; it never compromises, although
statesmanship does. One of the most notable utterances of Edmund Burke

"_All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue
and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter._"

Great statesmen, on great occasions, speak not only to their countrymen
and for the time being, but they speak to all mankind and for all time.
So spoke Burke in that famous sentence when advocating, in the British
Parliament in 1776, "conciliation with America"; and so did Daniel
Webster speak, in the Senate of the United States, on the 7th of March,
1850, for "the Constitution and the Union." If George III and Lord North
had heeded Burke, and if the British government and people, from that
day forth, had followed the wise counsels given in that speech by their
greatest statesman, all the English-speaking peoples of the world, now
numbering over 170,000,000, might have been to-day under one government,
that government commanding the peace of the world. And if all the people
of the United States in 1850 and from that time on, had heeded the words
of Daniel Webster, we should have been spared the bloodiest war in the
book of time; every State of the Union would have been left free to
solve its own domestic problems, and it is not too much to say that
these problems would have been solved in full accord with the advancing
civilization of the age.

The sole charge of inconsistency against Webster that has in it a shadow
of truth relates to the proposition he made in his speech as to the
"Wilmot proviso." That celebrated proviso was named for David Wilmot, of
Pennsylvania, its author. It provided against slavery in all the
territory acquired from Mexico. The South had opposed the Wilmot proviso
because the territory in question, much of it, was south of the Missouri
Compromise line extended. Mr. Webster had often voted for the Wilmot
proviso, as all knew. In his speech for the Compromise, by which the
South was urged to and did give up its contentions as to the admission
of California, and its contentions as to the slave trade in the District
of Columbia, Webster argued that _the North might forego_ the proviso as
to New Mexico and Arizona for the reason that the proviso was, as to
these territories, _immaterial_. Those territories, he argued, would
never come in as slave States, because the God of nature had so
determined. Climate and soil would forbid. Time vindicated this
argument. In 1861 Charles Francis Adams said, in Congress, that New
Mexico, open to slave-holders and their slaves for more than ten years,
then had only twelve slaves domiciled on the surface of over 200,000
square miles of her extent.[43]

  [43] "Vindication of Webster," William C. Wilkinson, p. 69.

Daniel Webster's services to the cause of the Union, the preservation of
which had been the passion of his life, had been absolutely
unparalleled. It is perhaps true that without him Abraham Lincoln and
the armies of the Union in 1861-65 would have been impossible. The sole
and, as he then stated and as time proved, immaterial concession this
champion of the Union now (1850) made for the sake of preserving the
Union was his proposition as to New Mexico and Arizona.

Henry Clay spoke before Webster. These words were the key-note of Clay's
great speech: "In my opinion the body politic cannot be preserved unless
this agitation, this distraction, this exasperation, which is going on
between the two sections of the country, shall cease."

The country waited with anxiety to hear from Webster. Hundreds of
suggestions and appeals went to him. Both sides were hopeful.[44]
Anti-slavery people knew his aversion to slavery. He had never
countenanced anti-slavery agitation, but he had voted for the Wilmot
proviso. They knew, too, that he had long been ambitious to be
President, and, carried away by their enthusiasm, they hoped that
Webster would swim along with the tide that was sweeping over the
majority section of the Union. In view of Mr. Webster's past record,
however, it would be difficult to believe that Abolitionists were really
disappointed in him had we not many such proofs as the following stanza
from Whittier's ode, published after the speech:

  Oh! dumb be passing, stormy rage
    When he who might
  Have lighted up and led his age
    Falls back in night!

  [44] McMaster's "Webster."

The conservatives also were hopeful. They knew that, though Webster had
always been, as an individual, opposed to slavery, he had at all times
stood by the Constitution, as well as the Union. At no time had he ever
qualified or retracted these words in his speech at Niblo's Garden in
1839: "Slavery, as it exists in the States, is beyond the reach of
Congress. It is a concern of the States themselves. They have never
submitted it to Congress, and Congress has no rightful power over it. I
shall concur therefore in _no act_, _no measure_, _no menace_, no
indication of purpose which _shall interfere or threaten to interfere
with the exclusive authority_ of the several States over the subject of
slavery, as it exists within their respective limits. All this appears
to me to be matter of plain imperative duty."

Nullifying the fugitive slave law was a plain "interference" with the
rights of the slave States.

Mr. Webster's intent, when he spoke on the Compromise measures, is best
explained by his own words, on June 17, while these measures were still
pending: "Sir, my object is peace. My object is reconciliation. My
purpose is not to make up a case _for the North_ or a case _for the
South_. My object is not to continue useless and irritating
controversies. I am against agitators, North and South, and all narrow
local contests. I am an American, and I know no locality but America."

In his speech made on the 7th of March he dwelt at length on existing
conditions, on the attitude of the North toward the fugitive slave law,
and argued fully the questions involved in the "personal liberty" laws
passed by Northern States. Referring to the complaints of the South
about these, he said: "In that respect _the South, in my judgment, is
right and the North is wrong_. Every member of every Northern
legislature is bound by oath, like every other officer in the country,
to support the Constitution of the United States; and the article of the
Constitution which says to these States that they shall deliver up
fugitives from service _is as binding in honor and conscience as any
other article_. _No man fulfils his duty in any legislature who sets
himself to find excuses, evasions, escapes, from this constitutional

And further on he said: "Then, sir, there are the Abolition societies,
of which I am unwilling to speak, but in regard to which I have very
clear notions and opinions. I do not think them useful. _I think their
operations for the last twenty years have produced nothing good or
valuable.... I cannot but see what mischief their interference with the
South has produced._"

In these statements is the substance of Webster's offending.

Webster's speech was followed, on the 11th of March, by the speech of
Senator Seward, of New York, in the same debate. Quoting the fugitive
slave provision of the Federal Constitution, Mr. Seward said: "This is
from the Constitution of the United States in 1787, and the parties were
the Republican States of the Union. The law of nations _disavows such
compacts; the law of nature, written on the hearts and consciences of
freemen, repudiates them_."[45] The people of the North, instead of
following Webster, chose to follow Seward, the apostle of a _law higher
than the Constitution_; and when, ten years later, it appeared to them
that the whole North had given in its adhesion to the "higher law"
doctrine, the people of eleven Southern States seceded, and put over
themselves in very substance the Constitution that Seward had flouted
and Webster had pleaded for in vain.

  [45] _Congressional Globe_, 31st Congress, 1st session, Appendix, p.

Anti-slavery enthusiasts in the North generally, and Abolitionists
especially, in their comments on Webster's speech scouted the idea that
the preservation of the Union depended upon the faithful execution of
the fugitive slave law or the cessation of anti-slavery agitation.
"What," said Theodore Parker, "cast off the North! They set up for
themselves! Tush! Tush! Fear boys with bugs!... I think Mr. Webster knew
there was no danger of a dissolution of the Union."[46]

  [46] "Vindication of Webster," William C. Wilkinson, p. 191.

The immediate effect of the speech was wonderful; congratulations poured
in upon Mr. Webster from conservative classes in every quarter, and he
must have felt gratified to know that he had contributed greatly to the
enactment of measures that, for a time, had some effect in allaying
sectional strife. But the revilings of the Abolitionists prevailed, and
it turned out that Daniel Webster, great as he was, had undertaken a
task that was too much even for him. His enemies struck out boldly at
once: and years afterward, when the anti-slavery movement that Webster's
appeals could not arrest had culminated in secession, and when the
Union had been saved by arms, the triumphant hosts of the anti-slavery
crusade all but succeeded in writing Daniel Webster down permanently in
the history of his country as an apostate from principle for the sake of
an office he did not get. Here is their verdict, which Mr. Lodge, a
biographer of Webster, passes on into history:

"The _popular verdict_ has been given against the 7th of March speech,
_and that verdict has passed into history_. Nothing can be said or done
which will alter the fact that the people of this country, _who
maintained and saved the Union, have passed judgment on Mr. Webster_,
and condemned what he said on the 7th of March as _wrong in principle
and mistaken in policy_."

Here are specimens of the assaults that were made on Webster after his
speech. They are selected from among many given by one of his

  [47] McMaster's "Webster," p. 316 _et seq._

"'Webster,' said Horace Mann, 'is a fallen star! Lucifer descended from
Heaven.'... 'Webster,' said Sumner, 'has placed himself in the dark
list of apostates.' When Whittier named him Ichabod, and mourned for him
in verse as one dead, he did but express the feeling of half New

  'Let not the land once proud of him
      Mourn for him now,
  Nor brand with deeper shame his dim
      Dishonored brow.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Then pay the reverence of old days
      To his dead fame!
  Walk backward with averted gaze
      And hide his shame.'"

After much more to the same effect, Professor McMaster proceeds: "The
attack by the press, the _expressions of horror_ that rose from New
England, Webster felt keenly, but the absolute isolation in which he was
left by his New England colleagues cut him to the quick."[48]

  [48] Professor McMaster in the chapter preceding that containing these
  extracts, has collected much evidence to show that Webster aspired to be
  President, and the biographer entitles the chapter, "Longing for the
  Presidency," apparently the author's clod on the grave of a buried

On Mr. Webster's speech, its purpose and effect, we have this opinion
from Mr. Lodge:

"The speech, if exactly defined, is in reality a powerful effort, not
for a compromise, or for the fugitive slave law, or for any other one
thing, _but to arrest the whole anti-slavery movement_, and in that way
_put an end to the danger which threatened the Union and restore harmony
to the jarring sections_."

And then he adds:

"_It was a mad project. Mr. Webster might as well have attempted to stay
the incoming tide at Marshfield with a rampart of sand, as to check the
anti-slavery movement with a speech._"

To undertake at this time to arrest the whole anti-slavery movement by
holding up the Constitution was indeed useless.

Seward, who had spoken for the "higher law," was riding on the tide of
anti-slavery sentiment that was submerging "the Sage of Marshfield," who
had stood for the Constitution. Seward's reputation, in the years
following, went steadily up, while Webster's was going down. Webster
died, in dejection, in 1852.

Seward, at Rochester, in 1854, later on in the same crusade, made
another famous declaration--there was an "irrepressible conflict between
slavery and freedom." The conflict was "irrepressible," as Seward well
knew; and this was simply and solely because the anti-slavery crusade
could not be suppressed. Clay and Webster, now both dead and gone, had
tried it in vain. Every one knew that if, in 1850, or at any other time,
the anti-slavery hosts had halted, and asked for, or consented to,
peace, they could have had it at once.

Mr. Lodge, in the following paragraph, seems to have almost made up his
mind to defend Webster. He says: "What most shocked the North were his
utterances in regard to the fugitive slave law. There can be no doubt
that, _under the Constitution_, the South had a _perfect right_ to claim
the extradition of fugitive slaves. The legal _argument to support that
right was excellent_." This would seem to justify the speech in that
regard. "But," Mr. Lodge adds, "the Northern people could not feel that
it was _necessary_ for _Daniel Webster_ to make it." They wanted him to
be sectional or to hold his tongue. Then Mr. Lodge goes on to say: "The
fugitive slave law was in _absolute conflict with the awakened
conscience and moral sentiment of the North_."

The conscience of _the North_ at that time, Mr. Lodge means, was a
_higher law_ than the _Constitution_; and Webster's "excellent
argument," therefore, fell on deaf ears.

No American historian stands higher as an authority than Mr. Rhodes. He
says on page 161, vol. I, of his "History of the United States,"
published in 1892: "_Until the closing years of our century a
dispassionate judgment could not be made of Webster_; but we see now
that in the war of secession his principles were mightier than those of
Garrison. It was not 'No Union with slave-holders,' but _Liberty and
Union_ that won."

This tribute to services Webster had rendered to the Union in his great
speech in 1850, in which he advocated "Liberty and Union, now and
forever," exactly as he was advocating it in 1830, is just. How pathetic
that the historian was impelled also to record the fact, in the same
sentence, that for nearly half a century partisan prejudice had rendered
it impossible to form a dispassionate judgment of him who had pleaded in
vain for the Union without war!

After an able analysis of his "7th of March speech," and a discussion of
his record, in which he paralleled Webster and Edmund Burke, Mr. Rhodes
declares: "His dislike of slavery was strong, but his love of the Union
was stronger, and the more powerful motive outweighed the other, for he
believed that _the crusade against slavery had arrived at a point where
its further prosecution was hurtful to the Union_. As has been said of
Burke, 'He changed his front but he never changed his ground.'"[49]

  [49] _Ib._, p. 160.

Daniel Webster's name and its place in history may be likened to a giant
oak, a monarch of the forest, that, while towering high above all
others, was stripped of its branches; for a time it stood, a rugged
trunk, robbed of its glory by a cyclone; but its roots were deep down in
the rich earth; the storm is passing away; the tree has put out buds
again; now its branches are stretching out once more into the clear
reaches of the upper air.

Mr. Rhodes seems to be the first historian of note to do justice to
Daniel Webster and the great speech which, McMaster takes pains to
inform us, historians have written down as his "7th of March speech," in
spite of the fact that Mr. Webster himself entitled it "The
Constitution and the Union."

Other historians besides Mr. Rhodes have come to the rescue of Webster's
speech for "the Constitution and the Union." Mr. John Fiske says of it
in a volume (posthumous) published in 1907: "So far as Mr. Webster's
moral attitude was concerned, although he was not prepared for the
bitter hostility that his speech provoked in many quarters, he must
nevertheless have known it was quite as likely to injure him at the
North as to gain support for him in the South, and his resolute adoption
of a policy that he regarded as national rather than sectional was
really an instance of high moral courage."[50]

  [50] "Daniel Webster and the Sentiment of Union," John Fiske, "Essays
  Historical and Literary," pp. 408-9.

Mr. William C. Wilkinson has recently written an able "Vindication of
Daniel Webster," and, after a conclusive argument on that branch of his
subject, he says: "Webster's consistency stands like a rock on the shore
after the fretful waves are tired with beating upon it in vain."[51]

  [51] "Daniel Webster: A Vindication," p. 47.

Mr. E. P. Wheeler, concluding a masterly sketch of Daniel Webster,
setting forth his services as statesman and expounder of the
Constitution, and not deigning to notice the partisan charges against
him, concludes with these words:

"Great men elevate and ennoble their countrymen. In the glory of Webster
we find the glory of our whole country."

The story of Daniel Webster and his great speech in 1850 has been told
at some length because it is instructive. The historians who had set
themselves to the task of upholding the idea that it was the
aggressiveness of the South, during the controversy over slavery, and
not that of the North, that brought on secession and war, could not make
good their contention while Daniel Webster and his speech for "the
Constitution and the Union" stood in their way. They, therefore, wrote
the great statesman "down and out," as they conceived. But Webster and
that speech still stand as beacon lights in the history of that crusade.
The attack came from the North. The South, standing for its
constitutional rights in the Union, was the conservative party.
Southern leaders, it is true, were, during the controversy over
slavery, often aggressive, but they were on the defensive-aggressive,
just as Lee was when he made his campaign into Pennsylvania for the
purpose of stopping the invasion of his own land; and the South lost in
her political campaign just for the same reason that Lee lost in his
Gettysburg campaign: numbers and resources were against her. "The stars
in their courses fought against Sisera."

Mr. Webster in his great speech for "the Constitution and the Union," as
became a great statesman pleading for conciliation, measured the terms
in which he condemned "personal liberty" laws and Abolitionism. But
afterward, irritated by the attacks made upon him, he naturally spoke
out more emphatically. McMaster quotes several expressions from his
speeches and letters replying to these assaults, and says: "His hatred
of Abolitionists and Free-soilers grew stronger and stronger. To him
these men were a 'band of sectionalists, narrow of mind, wanting in
patriotism, without a spark of national feeling, and quite ready to see
the Union go to pieces if their own selfish ends were gained.'" Such,
if this is a fair summing up of his views, was Webster's final opinion
of those who were carrying on the great anti-slavery crusade.[52]

  [52] McMaster's "Webster," p. 340.



The desire for peace in 1850 was wide-spread. Union loving people, North
and South, hoped that the Compromise would result in a cessation of the
strife that had so long divided the section; and the election of
Franklin Pierce, in 1852, as President, on a platform strongly approving
that Compromise, was promising. But anti-slavery leaders, instead of
being convinced by such arguments as those of Webster, were deeply
offended by the contention that legislators, in passing personal liberty
laws, had violated their oaths to support the Constitution. They were
angered also by the presumptuous attempt to "arrest the whole
anti-slavery movement."

The new fugitive slave law was stringent; it did not give jury trial; it
required bystanders to assist the officers in "slave-catching," etc. For
these and other reasons the law was assailed as unconstitutional. All
these contentions were overruled by the Supreme Court when a case
eventually came before it. The court decided that the act was, in all
its provisions, fully authorized by the Constitution.[53] But in their
present mood, no law that was efficient would have been satisfactory to
the multitudes of people, by no means all "Abolitionists," who had
already made up their minds against the "wicked" provision of the
Constitution that required the delivery of fugitive slaves. This
deep-seated feeling of opposition to the return to their masters of
escaping slaves was soon to be wrought up to a high pitch by a novel
that went into nearly every household throughout the North--"Uncle Tom's
Cabin." On its appearance the poet Whittier, who had so ferociously
attacked Webster in the verses quoted in the last chapter, "offered up
thanks for the fugitive slave law, for it gave us 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.'"

  [53] Ableman _v._ Boothe, 21 How., 506.

Rufus Choate, a celebrated lawyer and Whig leader, is reported to have
said of "Uncle Tom's Cabin": "That book will make two millions of
Abolitionists." Drawing, as it did, a very dark picture of slavery, it
aroused sympathy for the escaping slave and pictured in glowing colors
the dear, sweet men and women who dared, for his sake, the perils of the
road in the darkness of night and all the dangers of the law. Mrs. Stowe
was _making heroes of law-breakers, preaching the higher law_.

Mrs. Stowe declared she had not written the book for political effect;
she certainly did not anticipate the marvellous results that followed
it. That book made vast multitudes of its readers ready for the new
sectional and anti-slavery party that was to be organized two years
after its appearance. It was the most famous and successful novel ever
written. It was translated into every language that has a literature,
and has been more read by American people than any other book except the
Bible. As a picture of what was conceivable under the laws relating to
slavery there was a basis for it. Though there were laws limiting the
master's power, cruelty was nevertheless possible.

Here, then, Mrs. Stowe's imagination had full scope. Her book, however,
has in it none of the strident harshness, none of the purblind ferocity
of Garrison, in whose eyes every slave-holder was a fiend. "Uncle Tom's
Cabin" assailed a system; it did not assault personally, as the
arch-agitator did, every man and woman to whom slaves had come, whether
by choice or chance. Light and shadow and the play of human nature made
Mrs. Stowe's picture as attractive in many of its pages as it was
repulsive and unfair in others. Mrs. Shelby was a type of many a noble
mistress, a Christian woman, and when financial misfortunes compelled
the sale of the Shelby slaves and the separation of families, we have
not only what might have been, but what sometimes was, one of the evils
of slavery, which, by reason of the prevailing agitation, the humanity
of the age could not remedy. But Mrs. Stowe's slave-master, Legree, was
impossible. The theory was inconceivable that it was cheaper to work to
death in seven years a slave costing a thousand dollars, than to work
him for forty years. Millions of our people, however, have accepted
"Uncle Tom" as a fact, and have wept over him; they have accepted also
as a fact the monster Legree.

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" lives to-day as a classic on book shelves and as a
popular play. The present generation get most of their opinions about
slavery as it was in the South from its pages, and not one in ten
thousand of those who read it ever thinks of the inconsistency between
the picture of slavery drawn there and that other picture, which all the
world now knows of--the Confederate soldier away in the army, his wife
and children at home faithfully protected by slaves--not a case of
violence, not even a single established case, during four years,
although there were four millions of negroes in the South, of that crime
against white women that, after the reconstruction had demoralized the
freedmen, became so common in that section.

The unwavering fidelity during the four years of war of so many slaves
to the families of their absent masters, and the fact that those who,
during that war, left their homes to seek their freedom invariably went
without doing any vengeful act, is a phenomenon that speaks for itself.
It tells of kindly relations between master and slave. It is not to be
denied that where the law gave so much power to the master there were
individual instances of cruelty, nor is it supposable that there were
not many slaves who were revengeful; but at the same time there was,
quite naturally, among slaves who were all in like case, a more clannish
and all-pervading public opinion than could have been found elsewhere.
It was that all-pervading and rigid standard of kindly feeling among the
slaves to their masters that made the rule universal--fidelity toward
the master's family, at least to the extent of inflicting no injury.

What a surprise to many this conduct of the slave was may be gathered
from a telling Republican speech made by Carl Schurz during the campaign
of 1860.[54] A devotee of liberty, recently a revolutionist in his
native land, and, like other foreigners, disregarding all constitutional
obstacles, Mr. Schurz had naturally espoused the cause of anti-slavery
in this country. He had absorbed the views of his political associates
and now contended that secession was an empty threat and that secession
was impossible. "The mere anticipation of a negro insurrection," he
said, "will paralyze the whole South." And, after ridiculing the alarm
created by the John Brown invasion, the orator said that in case of a
war between the South and the North, "they will not have men enough to
quiet their friends at home; what will they have to oppose to the enemy?
Every township will want its home regiment; every plantation its
garrison; and what will be left for its field army?"

  [54] Fite, "Presidential Campaign of 1860," p. 243.

Slavery in the South eventually proved to be, instead of a weakness, an
element of strength to the Confederates, and Mr. Lincoln finally felt
himself compelled to issue his proclamation of emancipation as a
military necessity--the avowed purpose being to deprive the Confederates
of the slaves who were by their labor supporting their armies in the

The faithfulness during the war of the slave to his master has been a
lesson to the Northerner, and it has been a lesson, too, to the
Southerner. It argues that the danger of bloody insurrections was
perhaps not as great as had been apprehended where incendiary
publications were sent among them. That danger, however, did exist, and
if the fear of it was exaggerated, it was nevertheless real, and was
traceable to the Abolitionists.

The rights of the South in the territories had now been discussed for
years and Stephen A. Douglas, a Democratic senator from Illinois, had
reached the conclusion that under the Constitution Southerner and
Northerner had exactly the same right to carry their property, whatever
it might be, into the territories, which had been purchased with the
common blood and treasure of both sections, a view afterward sustained
by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott case.
Douglas, "entirely of his own motion,"[55] introduced, and Congress
passed, such a bill--the Kansas-Nebraska act. The new act replaced the
Missouri Compromise. This the Southerners considered had been a dead
letter for years. Every "personal liberty" law passed by a Northern
State was a violation of it.

  [55] "Parties and Slavery," Theodore Clarke Smith, professor of history
  in Williams College, p. 96.

Ambition was now playing its part in the sectional controversy. Douglas
was a Democrat looking to the presidency and had here made a bid for
Southern support. On the other hand was Seward, an "old line Whig,"
aspiring to the same office. The South had been the dominant element in
national politics and the North was getting tired of it. Seward's idea
was to organize all the anti-slavery voters and to appeal at the same
time to the pride and jealousy of the North as a section.

The immediate effect of the Kansas-Nebraska act was to aggravate
sectionalism. It opened up the territory of Kansas, allowing it to come
into the Union with or without slavery, as it might choose. Slave State
and free State adventurers rushed into the new territory and struggled,
and even fought, for supremacy. The Southerners lost. Their resources
could not match the means of organized anti-slavery societies, and the
result was an increase, North and South, of sectional animosity.

The overwhelming defeat of the old Whig party in 1852 presaged its
dissolution. Until that election, both the Whig and Democratic parties
had been national, each endeavoring to hold and acquire strength, North
and South, and each combating, as best it could, the spirit of
sectionalism that had been steadily growing in the North, and South as
well, ever since the rise of Abolitionism. Both these old parties had
watched with anxiety the increase of anti-slavery sentiment in the
North. Both parties feared it. Alliance with the anti-slavery North
would deprive a party of support South and denationalize it. For years
prior to 1852 the drift of Northern voters who were opposed to slavery
had been as to the two national parties toward the Whigs, and the
tendency of conservative Northerners had been toward the Democratic
party. Thus the great body of the Whig voters in the North had become
imbued with anti-slavery sentiments, and now, with no hope of victory as
a national party and left in a hopeless minority, the majority of that
old party in that section were ready to join a sectional party when it
should be formed two years later. William H. Seward was still a Whig
when he made in the United States Senate his anti-slavery "higher law"
speech of 1850.

The Kansas-Nebraska act was a political blunder. The South, on any
dispassionate consideration, could not have expected to make Kansas a
slave State. The act was a blunder, too, because it gave the opponents
of the Democratic party a plausible pretext for the contention, which
they put forth then and which has been persisted in till this day, that
the new Republican party, immediately thereafter organized, was called
into existence by, and only by, the Kansas-Nebraska act.

As far back as 1850 it was clear that a new party, based on the
anti-slavery sentiment that had been created by twenty years of
agitation, was inevitable. Mr. Rhodes, speaking of conditions then,
says: "It was, moreover, obvious to an astute politician like Seward,
and probably to others, that a dissolution of parties was imminent; that
to oppose the extension of slavery, _the different anti-slavery elements
must be organized as a whole_; it might be called Whig or some other
name, but it would be based on the principle of the Wilmot
proviso"[56]--the meaning of which was, no more slave States.

  [56] "Rhodes," vol. I, p. 192.

Between 1850 and the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act in 1854, new
impulse had been given anti-slavery sentiment by fierce assaults on the
new fugitive slave law and, as has been seen, by "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
The Kansas-Nebraska act did serve as a cry for the rallying of all
anti-slavery voters. That was all. It was a drum-call, in answer to
which soldiers already enlisted fell into ranks, under a new banner. Any
other drum-call--the application of another slave State for admission
into the Union--would have served quite as well. Thus the Republican
party came into existence in 1854. Mr. Rhodes sums up the reason for the
existence of the new party and what it subsequently accomplished in the
following pregnant sentence, "The moral agitation had accomplished its
work, the cause (of anti-slavery) ... was to be consigned to a political
party that brought to a successful conclusion the movement begun by the
moral sentiment of the community,"[57]--which successful conclusion was,
of course, _the freeing of the slaves by a successful war_.

  [57] Vol. I, p. 66.

For a time the new Republican party had a powerful competitor in another
new organization. This was the American or Know-Nothing party. This
other aspirant for power made an honest effort to revitalize the old
Whig party under a new name and, by gathering in all the conservatives
North and South, to put an end to sectionalism. Its signal failure
conveys an instructive lesson. After many and wide-spread rumors of its
coming, the birth of the American party was formally announced in 1854.
It had been organized in secret and was bound together with oaths and
passwords; its members delighted to mystify inquirers by refusing to
answer questions, and soon they got the name of "Know-Nothings." The
party had grown out of the "Order of the Star Spangled Banner,"
organized in 1850 to oppose the spread of Catholicism and indiscriminate
immigration--the two dangers that were said to threaten American

The American party made its appeal: For the Union and against
sectionalism; for Protestantism, the faith of the Fathers, against
Catholicism that was being imported by foreigners; its shibboleth was
"America for the Americans."

The Americans or Know-Nothings everywhere put out in 1854 full tickets
and showed at once surprising strength. In the fall elections of that
year they polled over one-fourth of all the votes in New York,
two-fifths in Pennsylvania, and over two-thirds in Massachusetts, where
they made a clean sweep of the State and Federal offices.[58]

  [58] Smith, "Parties and Slavery," pp. 118-20.

They struck directly at sectionalism by exacting of their adherents the
following oath:

"You do further swear that you will not vote for any one ... whom you
know or believe to be in favor of a dissolution of the Union ... or who
is endeavoring to produce that result."

The effect of this oath at the South was almost magical. The Whig party
there was speedily absorbed by the Americans, and Southern Democrats by
thousands joined the new party that promised to save the Union.[59] But
the attitude of the Northern and Southern members of the American party
soon became fundamentally different. Southerners saw their Northern
allies in Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts passing "personal liberty"

  [59] The writer's father, who had been a nullifier and a lifelong
  follower of Calhoun, joined the Know-Nothings in the hope of saving the
  Union, but withdrew when he found that in the North the party was not
  true to its Union pledges. Here was a typical case of Southern
  unwillingness to resort to secession.

  [60] _Ib._, pp. 138-9.

The Know-Nothings were strong enough in the elections of 1855 to
directly check the progress of the new Republican party; but the
American party, though it succeeded in electing a Speaker of the
national House of Representatives in February, 1856, soon afterward went
down to defeat. Even though led by such patriots as John Bell, of
Tennessee, and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, it could not stand
against the storm of passion that had been aroused by the crusade
against slavery.

There was a fierce and protracted struggle between the pro-slavery and
anti-slavery men in Kansas for possession of the territorial government.
Rival constitutions were submitted to Congress, and the debates over
these were extremely bitter. In their excitement the Democrats again
delighted their adversaries by committing what now seems to have been
another blunder. They advocated the admission of Kansas under the
"Lecompton Constitution." A review of the conflicting evidence appears
to show that the Southerners were fairly outnumbered in Kansas and that
the Lecompton Constitution did not express the will of the people.[61]

  [61] Theodore Clarke Smith, "Parties and Slavery."

While "the war in Kansas" was going on, Charles Sumner, an Abolitionist
from Massachusetts, delivered in the Senate a speech of which he wrote
his friends beforehand: "I shall pronounce the most thorough Philippic
ever delivered in a legislative body." He was a classical scholar. _His
purpose was to stir up in the North a greater fury against the South
than Demosthenes had aroused in Athens against its enemies, the
Macedonians._ His speech occupied two days, May 28 and 29, 1855. At its
conclusion, Senator Cass, of Michigan, arose at once and pronounced it
"the most un-American and unpatriotic that ever grated on the ears of
this high body." The speech attacked, without any sufficient excuse, the
personal character of an absent senator, Butler of South Carolina, a
gentleman of high character and older than Sumner. Among other
unfounded charges, it accused him of falsehood. Preston Brooks, a
representative from South Carolina, attacked Sumner in the Senate
chamber during a recess of that body and beat him unmercifully with a
cane. The provocation was bitter, indeed, but Brooks's assault was
unjustifiable. Nevertheless, the exasperated South applauded it, while
the North glorified Sumner as a martyr for free speech.

       *       *       *       *       *

In less than two years the new Republican party had absorbed all the
Abolition voters, and in the election of 1856 was in the field with its
candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency--Fremont and
Dayton--upon a platform declaring it the duty of Congress to abolish in
the territories "those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery."

Excitement during that election was intense. Rufus Choate, the great
Massachusetts lawyer, theretofore a Whig, voiced the sentiment of
conservatives when he said it was the "duty of every one to prevent the
madness of the times from working its maddest act--the permanent
formation and the actual present triumph of a party which knows one-half
of America only to hate it," etc.

Senator Toombs, of Georgia, said: "The object of Fremont's friends is
the conquest of the South. I am content that they shall own us when they
conquer us."

The Democrats elected Buchanan; Democrats 174 electoral votes;
Republicans 74, all Northern; and the Know-Nothings, combined with a
remnant of Whigs, 8.

The work of sectionalism was nearly completed.

The extremes to which some of the Southern people now resorted show the
madness of the times. They encouraged filibustering expeditions to
capture Cuba and Nicaragua. These wild ventures were absolutely
indefensible. They had no official sanction and were only spontaneous
movements, but they met with favor from the Southern public, the
outgrowth of a feeling that, if these countries should be captured and
annexed as slave States, the South could the better, by their aid,
defend its rights in the Union. _The Wanderer_ and one or two other
vessels, contrary to the laws of the United States, imported slaves
from Africa, and when the participants were, some of them, indicted,
Southern juries absolutely refused to convict.

  "Judgment had fled to brutish beasts,
    And men had lost their reason."

When later the Southern States had seceded and formed a government of
their own their constitution absolutely prohibited the slave traffic.



That it was possible for slave States and free States to coexist under
our Federal Constitution was the belief of its framers and of most of
our people down to 1861. The first to announce the absolute
impossibility of such coexistence seems to have been William Lloyd
Garrison. In 1840, at Lynn, Massachusetts, the Essex County Anti-Slavery
Society adopted this resolution, offered by him:

"That freedom and slavery are natural and irreconcilable enemies; that
it is morally impossible for them to endure together in the same nation,
and that the existence of the one can only be secured by the destruction
of the other."[62]

  [62] Garrison's "Garrison."

Garrison's remedy was disunion. Near that time his paper's motto was "No
Union with Slave-Holders."

The next to announce the idea of the incompatibility of slave States and
free States seems to have been one who did not dream of disunion. No
such thought was in the mind of Abraham Lincoln when, in a speech at
Springfield, Illinois, June 15, 1858, he said:

"_A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the
Union to be divided. It will become one thing or the other._ Either the
opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it
where the public mind will rest in the belief that _it is in the course
of ultimate extinction_; or its advocates will push it forward until it
shall become alike lawful in all the States--old as well as new--North
as well as South."

When the Southerners read that statement they concluded that, as Mr.
Lincoln knew very well that the South could not, if it would, force
slavery on the North, he was announcing the intention of his party to
place slavery "in course of ultimate extinction," constitution or no

Senator Seward, at Rochester, New York, some weeks later, reannounced
the doctrine, declaring that the contest was "an irrepressible conflict
between opposing and enduring forces; and it means that the United
States _must and will_, sooner or later, become either an entirely
slave-holding nation or entirely a free labor nation."

The utterances of Lincoln and Seward were distinctly radical. The
question was, would this radical idea ultimately dominate the Republican

Less than eighteen months after the announcement in 1858 of the doctrine
of the "irrepressible conflict," John Brown raided Virginia to incite
insurrections. With a few followers and 1,300 stands of arms for the
slaves who were to join him, he captured the United States arsenal at
Harper's Ferry. Only a few slaves came to him and, after a brief
struggle, with some bloodshed, Brown was captured, tried by a jury, and

In the South the excitement was intense; the horror and indignation in
that section it is impossible to describe. Brown was already well known
to the public. He was not a lunatic. Not long before this, in Kansas,
"at the head of a small group of men, including two of his sons and a
son-in-law, he went at night down Pottowattamie Creek, stopping at three
houses. The men who lived in them were well known pro-slavery men; they
seem to have been rough characters; their most specific offence
(according to Sanborn, Brown's biographer and eulogist) was the driving
from his home, by violent threats, of an inoffensive old man. John Brown
and his party went down the creek, called at one after the other of
three houses, took five men away from their wives and children, and
deliberately shot one and hacked the others to death with swords."[63]

  [63] "The Negro and the Nation," George Spring Merriam, p. 120.

Quite a number of people, some of them men of eminence in the North,
aided Brown in his enterprise. Among the men of repute were Gerrit
Smith, a former candidate for the presidency; and Theodore Parker, Dr.
Howe, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, of Boston, who were all members of
a "secret committee to collect money and arms for the expedition." With
them was F. S. Sanborn, who has since the war vauntingly revealed the
scheme in his "Life of John Brown."[64]

  [64] Sanborn's "Life of John Brown," p. 466.

Sanborn intimates that Henry Wilson, subsequently vice-president, was
more or less privy to the design.[65] At various places in the North
church bells were tolled on the day of John Brown's execution; meetings
were held and orators extolled him as a martyr. Emerson, the greatest
thinker in all that region, declared that if John Brown was hanged he
would glorify the gallows as Jesus glorified the cross; and now many
Southern men who loved the Union reluctantly concluded that separation
was inevitable. John Bell, of Tennessee, Union candidate for President
in 1860, is said to have cried like a child when he heard of Brown's

  [65] _Ib._, p. 515.

The great body of the Northern people condemned John Brown's expedition
without stint. Edward Everett, voicing the opinion of all who were
really conservative, said of Brown's raid, in a speech at Faneuil Hall,
that its design was to "let loose the hell hounds of a servile
insurrection, and to bring on a struggle which, for magnitude,
atrocity, and horror, would have stood alone in the history of the

But they who had been preaching the "irrepressible conflict," they whom
public opinion might hold responsible, did not feel precisely as Mr.
Everett did. They were concerned about political consequences, as
appears from a letter written somewhat later during the State canvass in
New York by Horace Greeley to Schuyler Colfax. Horace Greeley afterward
proved himself in many ways a broad-minded, magnanimous man, but now he
wrote: "Do not be downhearted about the old John Brown business. Its
present effect is bad and throws a heavy load on us in this State ...
_but the ultimate effect is to be good.... It will drive the slave power
to new outrages.... It presses on the irrepressible conflict_."[66]

  [66] "History of United States," Rhodes, vol. I.

The fact that such a man as Horace Greeley was taking comfort because
that outrage would "drive the slave power to new outrages"[67] throws a
strong side-light on the tactics of the anti-slavery leaders. They were
following Garrison. Garrison, the father of the Abolitionists, had
begun his campaign against slave-holders by "exhausting upon them the
vocabulary of abuse," and he had shown "a genius for infuriating his
antagonists."[68] The new party--his successor and beneficiary, was now
felicitating itself that ultimate good would come, even from the John
Brown raid. It would further their policy of "_driving the slave power
to new outrages_."

  [67] Channing.

  [68] Hart.

People at the North, conservatives and all, held their breath for a time
after Harper's Ferry. Then the crusade went on, in the press, on the
rostrum, and from the pulpit, with as much virulence as ever. No
assertion was too extravagant for belief, provided only its tendency was
to disparage the Southern white man or win sympathy for the negro. From
the noted "Brownlow and Pryne's Debate," Philadelphia (_Lippincott_), we
take the following as a specimen of the abuse a portion of the Northern
press was then heaping on the Southern people. Brownlow quotes from the
_New York Independent_ of November, 1856:

"The mass of the population of the Atlantic Coast of the slave region
of the South are descended from the transported convicts and outcasts of
Great Britain.... Oh, glorious chivalry and hereditary aristocracy of
the South! Peerless first families of Virginia and Carolina!... Progeny
of the highwaymen, and horse-thieves and sheep-stealers, and
pick-pockets of Old England!"

The South was not to be outdone, and here was a retort from _De Bow's
Review_, July, 1858:

"The basis, framework, and controlling influence of Northern sentiment
is Puritanism--the old Roundhead, rebel refuse of England, which ... has
ever been an unruly sect of Pharisees ... the worst bigots on earth and
the meanest of tyrants when they have the power to exercise it."[69]

  [69] Theodore Clarke Smith, "Parties and Slavery," p. 303.

And the non-slave-holder of the South did not escape from the pitiless
pelting of the storm. He was sustaining the slave-holder, and this was
not only an offence but a puzzle.

It became quite common in the North for anti-slavery writers to classify
the non-slave-holding agricultural classes of the South as "poor
whites," thus distinguishing them from the slave-holders; and the idea
is current even now in that section that as a class the lordly
slave-holder despised his poor white fellow-citizen. The average
non-slave-holding Southern agriculturist, whether farming for himself or
for others, was a type of man that no one who knew him, least of all the
Southern slave-holder, his neighbor and political ally, could despise.
Educated and uneducated, these people were independent voters and honest
jurors, the very backbone of Southern State governments that always will
be notable in history for efficiency, purity, and economy.

This class of voters, however, came in for much abuse in the literature
of the crusade. They were all lumped together as "poor whites,"
sometimes as "poor white trash," and the belief was inculcated that
their imperious slave-holding neighbors applied that term to them. "Poor
white trash," on its face, is "nigger talk," caught up, doubtless, from
Southern negro barbers and bootblacks, and used by writers who, from
information thus derived, pictured Southern society.

This is a sample of the numerous errors that crept into the literature
of one section of our Union about social conditions in the other during
that memorable sectional controversy. It is on a par with the idea that
prevailed, in some quarters in the South, that the Yankee cared for
nothing but money, and would not fight even for that.

Southerners were practically all of the old British stock. Homogeneity,
common memories of the wars of the Revolution, of 1812, and with Mexico,
and Fourth of July celebrations, all tended to bind together strongly
the Southern slave-holder and non-slave-holder.

There were, of course, many classes of non-slave-holders--the thrifty
farmer, the unthrifty, and the laborer who worked for hire, but more
frequently for "shares of the crop." Then there were others--the
inhabitants of the "sand-hills" and the mountain regions. These people
were, as a rule, very shiftless; too lazy to work, they were still too
proud to beg, as the very poor usually do in other countries. The
mountaineers were hardier than the sand-hillers, and it was from the
mountains of Tennessee, Alabama, etc., that the Union armies gathered
many recruits. This was not, as is often stated, because mountaineers
love liberty better than others, but because these mountaineers never
came into contact with either master or slave. The crusade against
slavery, therefore, did not threaten to affect their personal status.

There were very few public schools in the South, but in the cities and
towns there were academies and high-schools, and the country was dotted
with "old field schools," most of them not good, but sufficient to train
those who became efficient leaders in social, religious, and political

The wonderful progress made by the Southern white man during the last
thirty-five years is by no means all due to the abolition of slavery.
Labor, it is true, is held in higher esteem. This is a great gain, but
still more is due to improved transportation, to better prices for
timber and cotton, to commercial fertilizers, and an awakening interest
in education. The South is also developing its mineral resources and is
now rapidly forging to the front. The white man is making more cotton
than the negro.

But the very strongest bond that bound together the Southern
slave-holder and non-slave-holder was the pride of caste. Every white
man was a freeman; he belonged to the superior, the dominant race.

Edmund Burke, England's philosopher-statesman, in his speech on
"Conciliation with America" at the beginning of our Revolution,
complimented in high terms the spirit of liberty among the dissenting
protestants of New England. Then, alluding to the hopes indulged in by
some gentlemen, that the Southern colonies would be loyal to Great
Britain because the Church of England had there a large establishment,
he said: "It is certainly true. There is, however, a circumstance
attending these colonies which in my opinion fully counter-balances this
difference, and makes the spirit of liberty still more high and haughty
than in those to the Northward. It is, that in Virginia and Carolina
they have a vast multitude of slaves. Where this is the case, in any
part of the world, _those who are free are by far the most proud and
jealous of their freedom_. Freedom with them is not only an enjoyment,
but a kind of _rank and privilege_."

The privilege of belonging to the superior race and of being free was a
bond that tied all Southern whites together, and it was infinitely
strengthened by a crusade that seemed, from a Southern stand-point, to
have for its purpose the levelling of all distinctions between the white
man and the slave hard by.

Socially, there were classes in the South as there are everywhere. The
controlling class consisted of professional men, lawyers, physicians,
teachers, and high-class merchants (though the merchant prince was
unknown), and slave-holders. Slave-holders were, of course, divided into
classes, chiefly two: those who had acquired culture and breeding from
slave-holding ancestors, and those who had little culture or breeding,
principally the newly rich. It was the former class that gave tone to
Southern society. The performance of duty always ennobles, and this is
especially true of duty done by superiors to inferiors. The master and
mistress of a slave establishment were responsible for the moral and
material welfare of their dependents. When they appreciated and
fulfilled their responsibilities, as the best families usually did,
there was found what was called the Southern aristocracy. The habit of
command, assured position, and high ideals, coming down, as these often
did, with family traditions, gave these favored people ease and grace,
and they were social favorites, both in the North and Europe. At home
they dispensed a hospitality that made the South famous. They were
exemplars, giving tone to society, and it was notable that breeding and
culture, and not wealth, gave tone to Southern society. There was
perhaps in Virginia and South Carolina an aristocracy that was somewhat
more exclusive than elsewhere.

Slavery was at its worst when masters were not equal to their
responsibilities, for want of either culture or Christian feeling, or
both, as also when, as was now and then the case, a brutal overseer was
in charge of a plantation far away from the eye of the owner.

The influence of the slave-holder and his lavish hospitality did not
make for thrift among his less fortunate brethren; it made perhaps for
prodigality, but it also made for a high sense of honor among
slave-holders and non-slave-holders as well. Both slave-holders and
non-slave-holders were extremely punctilious. Money did not count where
honor was concerned, and Southerners do well to be proud of the record
in this respect that has been made by their statesmen.

Among the more cultured classes in the period here treated of, the duel
prevailed, a practice now very properly condemned. But it made for a
high sense of honor. Demagogues were not common when a false statement
on "the stump" was apt to result in a mortal combat.

Among the less cultured classes insult was answered with a blow of the
fist. Fisticuffs, too, were quite common to ascertain who was the "best
man" in a community or county. The rules were not according to the
Marquis of Queensbury, but they always secured "fair play."[70]

  [70] For the humorous side of life in the South in the old day, see
  "Simon Suggs," J. J. Hooper; "Georgia Scenes," Judge Longstreet; and
  "Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi," by Baldwin.

This combative spirit of Southerners was undoubtedly a result of the
spirit of caste that came from slavery. Sometimes it was unduly
exhibited in Congress during the controversy over slavery and State's
rights, and excited Southerners occasionally subjected themselves to the
charge of arrogance.

One of the great evils of slavery was that, as a rule, neither the
slave-holder nor the non-slave-holder properly appreciated the dignity
of labor. A witty student at a Southern university said that his chief
objection to college life was that he could not have a negro to learn
his lessons for him. The slave-holder quite generally disdained manual
labor, and the non-slave-holder was also inclined to deprecate the
necessity that compelled him to work.

The sudden abolition of slavery was the ruin of thousands of innocent
families--a loss for which there was no recompense. But for the South at
large, and especially to this generation, it is a blessing that all
classes have come to see, that to labor and to be useful is not only a
duty, but a privilege.

Political conditions, North and South, differed widely. The North was
the majority section. Its majority could protect its rights; recourse to
the limitations of the Federal Constitution was seldom necessary. The
South, a minority section, with a devotion that never failed, held high
the "Constitution of the fathers, the palladium" of its rights. To one
section the Constitution was the bond of a Federal Union that was the
security for interstate commerce and national prosperity; to the other
it was a guaranty of peace abroad and local self-government at home. In
the one section the brightest minds were for the most part engaged in
business or in literary pursuits; in the other, politics absorbed much
of its talent. In the North the staple of political discussion was
usually some business or moral question, while in the South the
political arena was a great school in which the masses were not only
educated in the history of the formation of the Constitution, but taught
an affectionate regard for that instrument as a revered "gift from the
fathers" and the only safeguard of American liberty. Joint political
discussions, which were common between the ablest men of opposing
parties, were always numerously attended, and the Federal Constitution
was an unfailing topic. The result was, an amount of political
information in the average Confederate soldier that the average Union
soldier in his business training had never acquired, and a devotion of
the Southerner to the Constitution of his country which even the ablest
historians of to-day have failed to comprehend.

It is often stated, as if it were an important fact in the consideration
of the great anti-slavery crusade, that not many of the Abolitionists
were as radical as Garrison, and that of the anti-slavery voters very
few favored social equality between whites and blacks. Southerners did
not stop to make distinctions like these. They saw the Abolitionists
advocating mixed schools and favoring laws authorizing mixed marriages;
saw them practising social equality; saw the general trend in that
direction; and so from its very beginning the Republican party, which
had absorbed the Abolitionists, was dubbed, North and South, the "Black
Republican" party.

The whites of the South believed that the triumph of the "Black
Republican" party, as they called it, would be ultimately the triumph of
its most radical elements. Judge Reagan, of Texas, United States
congressman in 1860-61, Confederate Postmaster-General, later United
States senator, and always until 1860 an avowed friend of the Union, in
his farewell speech to the Congress of the United States in January,
1861, gave expression to this idea when he said:

"And now you tender to us the inhuman alternative of unconditional
submission to _Republican rule on abolition principles, and ultimately
to free negro equality, and a government of mongrels_, or a war of races
on the one hand, and on the other, secession and a bloody and desolating
civil war."[71]

  [71] "Memoirs of John H. Reagan," p. 261.

Judge Reagan was expressing in Congress the opinion that animated the
Confederate soldier in the war that was to follow secession, an opinion
the ex-Confederate did not see much reason to change when the era of
Reconstruction had been reached, and the ballot had been given to every
negro, while the leading whites were disfranchised.

In 1857 Hinton Rowan Helper, of North Carolina, wrote a notable book to
show that slavery was a curse to the South, and especially to the
non-slave-holders. It was an appeal to the latter to become
Abolitionists. His arguments availed nothing; back of his book was the
Republican party, now planting itself, as Garrison had planted himself,
on an extract from the first sentence of the Declaration of
Independence, "all men are created equal." The Republican contention
was, in platforms and speeches, that the Declaration of Independence
covered negroes as well as whites,[72] and Southern whites, nearly all
of Revolutionary stock, resented the idea. They rebelled at the
suggestion that the signers, every one of whom, save possibly those from
Massachusetts, represented slave-holding constituents, intended to say
that the negroes then in the colonies were the equals of the whites. If
so, why were these negroes kept in slavery, and why were they not
immediately given the right to vote, to sit on juries, to be educated,
and to intermarry with the whites?

  [72] Mr. Lincoln took that position in his great speech at Chicago, in
  1858, when beginning his campaign for the senatorship.

All this, the Southerners said, as, indeed, did many Northerners also,
was to be the logical outcome of the Republican doctrine, that negroes
and whites were equals. It is passing strange that modern historians so
often have failed to note that this thought was in the minds of all the
opponents of the Republican party from the day of its birth--North and
South it was called the "Black Republican" party. Douglas, in his debate
with Lincoln, gave it that name and stood by it. In his speech at
Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858, he charges the Republicans with
advocating "negro citizenship and negro equality, putting the white man
and the negro on the same basis under the law."[73]

  [73] Lincoln, "Complete Works," vol. IV, p. 9.

John C. Calhoun, in a memorial to the Southern people in 1849, signed by
many other congressmen, had said that Northern fanaticism would not stop
at emancipation. "Another step would be taken to raise them [the
negroes] to a political and social equality with their former owners, by
giving them the right of voting and holding public office under the
Federal Government.... But when raised to an equality they would become
the fast political associates of the North, acting and voting with them
on all questions, and by this perfect union between them holding the
South in complete subjection. _The blacks and the profligate whites that
might unite with them_ would become the principal recipients of Federal
patronage, and would, in consequence, be raised above the whites of the
South in the social and political scale. We would, in a word, change
conditions with them, _a degradation greater than has as yet fallen to
the lot of a free and enlightened people_."[74]

  [74] "Calhoun's Works," vol. VI, p. 311.

In the light of Reconstruction, this was prophecy.

These words, once heard by a Southern white man, of course sank into his
heart. They could never have been forgotten. The argument of Helper fell
on deaf ears. If Helper had come with the promise (and an assurance of
its fulfilment) that the negroes, when emancipated, would be sent to
Liberia, or elsewhere _out of the country_, the South would have become
Republicanized at once. Even if the slave-holder had been unwilling, the
Southern non-slave-holder, with his three, and often five, to one
majority, would have seen to it.

And it is not too much to say that if the negro had been, as the
Abolitionists and ultimately many Republicans contended he was, the
equal of the white man, Liberia would have been a success. What a
glorious consummation of the dreams of statesmen and philanthropists
that would have been! Abolitionists, unable to frustrate their scheme,
and the American negro, profiting by the civilization here received from
contact with the white man, building by his own energy happy homes for
himself and his kinsmen, and enjoying the blessings of a great
government of his own, in his own great continent!

Africa with its vast resources is a prize that all Europe is now
contending for. It is believed to be adapted even to white men. Most
assuredly, for the negro Liberia offered far better opportunities than
did the rocky coast of New England to the white men who settled it.
Liberia had been carefully selected as a desirable part of Africa. It
was an unequalled group of statesmen and philanthropists that had
planted the colony; they provided for it and set it on its feet. But it
failed; failed just for the same reason that prevented the aboriginal
African from catching on to the civilization that began to develop
thousands of years ago, close by his side on the borders of the
Mediterranean; failed for the same reason that Hayti, now free for a
century, has failed. The failure of the plan of the American
Colonization Society to repatriate the American negro in Africa was due
_primarily to the incapacity of the negro_.

A very complete and convincing story will be found in an article
entitled "Liberia, an Example of Negro Self-Government,"[75] by Miss
Agnes P. Mahony, for five years a missionary in that country. The author
of the article was a sympathizing friend. She says: "In 1847 the colony
was considered healthy enough to stand alone.... So our flag was lowered
on the African continent, and the protectors of the colony retired,
leaving the people to govern the country in their own way." Then she
recites that in order to test their capacity for self-government their
constitution (1847) provided that no white man should hold property in
the country; and to this Miss Mahony traces the failure that followed.
When she wrote, the Liberian negroes, for fifty-nine years under the
protectorship of the United States, had been troubled by no foreign
enemy; yet their failure was complete--not a foot of railroad, no cable
communication with foreign countries, no telegraphic communication with
the interior, etc. Still the devoted missionary thinks that Liberia
might prosper, if it could but have "_the encouraging example of and
contact with the right kind of white men_."

  [75] _Independent_, 1906.

       *       *       *       *       *

The presidential campaign of 1860 was very exciting. There were four
tickets in the field, Douglas and Johnson, Democrats; Breckenridge and
Lane, Democrats; Lincoln and Hamlin, Republicans, and Bell and Everett
representing the "Constitutional Union" party. As the election
approached it became apparent that the Republicans were leading, and
far-seeing men, like Samuel J. Tilden, of New York, became much alarmed
for fear that the election of Lincoln would bring about secession in the
South. Mr. Tilden, in view of the danger that to him was apparent,
wrote, shortly before the election, to William Kent, of New York City,
an open letter in which he earnestly urged a combination in New York
State of the supporters of other candidates, in order to defeat Abraham
Lincoln. The letter was so alarming that some of Tilden's friends
thought he had lost his balance; but now that letter is regarded as a
remarkable proof of his sagacity. In the first volume of Mr. Tilden's
"Life and Letters," by Bigelow, appears an "Appreciation" by James C.
Carter and an analysis of this letter. Of this the following is a brief
abstract: Mr. Tilden first argued that two strictly sectional parties,
arrayed upon the question of destroying an institution which one of
them, not unnaturally, regarded as essential to self-existence, would
bring war.

Then Mr. Tilden further said that if the Republican party should be
successful in establishing its dominion over the South, the national
government in the Southern States would cease to be self-government and
become a government of one people over a distinct people, a thing
impossible with our race, except as a consequence of a successful war,
and even then incompatible with our democratic institutions. He also
said: "I assert that a controversy between powerful communities,
organized into governments, of a nature like that which now divides the
North and South, can be settled only by convention or by war."

And again: "A condition of parties in which the Federative Government
shall be carried on by a party, having no affiliations in the Southern
States, is impossible to continue. Such a government would be out of all
relations to those States. It would have neither the nerves of
sensation, which convey intelligence to the intellect of the body
politic, nor the ligaments and muscles, which hold its parts together
and move them in harmony. It would be in substance the government of one
people by another people. That system will not do for our race."

Mr. Tilden, when he spoke of "two sectional parties arrayed upon the
question of destroying an institution," _viz._, slavery, saw the
situation exactly as the South did. To prove that the Republican party
was looking to the ultimate destruction of the institution, Mr. Tilden
cited the leadership of Chase and his speeches in which he was
propounding the higher law theory; asserting that the conflict was
"irrepressible"; suggesting the power of the North to amend the
Constitution, etc.

The South noted this, and it regarded, not the platform, but the record
of the Republican party and of the statesmen the party was following.

Long before 1860, that great American scholar, George Ticknor, saw the
dilemma in which the North was involving itself by its concern over
slavery in the South, and he thus stated it, in a letter to his friend,
William Ellery Channing, April 30, 1842:[76]

  [76] Life and Letters and Journals of George Ticknor.

"On the subject of our relations with the South and its slavery, we
must--as I have always thought--do one of two things; either keep
honestly the bargain of the Constitution as it shall be interpreted by
the authorities--of which the Supreme Court of the United States is the
chief and safest--or declare honestly that we can no longer in our
conscience consent to keep it, and break it."

The North had failed to "keep honestly the bargain of the Constitution"
by faithfully delivering fugitive slaves and leaving the question of
slavery to be dealt with by the States in which it existed, and was now,
in 1860, upon the other horn of the dilemma--repudiating and denouncing
a decision of the Supreme Court, which, as Mr. Ticknor had said, was the
"chief and safest authority." But during that campaign of 1860 very
many, perhaps a majority of the Republican voters, failed to realize
what their party was standing for. Indeed, down to this day the members
of that organization, taught as they have been, indignantly deny that a
vote for Lincoln and Hamlin in 1860 looked to an interference with
slavery in the States.

But now Professor Emerson David Fite, of Yale University, sees in 1911
what was the underlying hope, and consequently the ultimate aim, of the
Republican party in 1860, exactly as the South saw it then. In a
powerful summing up of more evidence than there is room to recite here,
he says: "The testimony of the Democracy and of the leaders of the
Republican party accords well with the evidence of daily events in
_revealing Republican aggression_. _The party hoped to destroy slavery,
and this was something new in a large political organization._"[77]

  [77] "The Presidential Campaign of 1860," p. 195, Fite, 1911.

That this party, when it should ultimately come into full power, would,
to carry out the purpose which Professor Fite now sees, ignore the
Federal Constitution was, in 1860, evident to Southerners from the
following facts:

In 1841 the governor of Virginia demanded of the governor of New York
the extradition of two men indicted in Virginia for enticing away slaves
from their masters. Governor Seward, of New York, refused the demand, on
the ground that no such offence existed in New York. This case did not
go to the courts, but in 1860 the governor of Kentucky made a similar
demand in a like case on the governor of Ohio, who placed his refusal on
the same grounds as had Governor Seward in the former case. The Supreme
Court of the United States in this case decided that the governor of
Ohio, in refusing to deliver up the fugitive, was violating the
Constitution. The court further said:

"If the governor of Ohio refuses to _discharge this duty there is no
power delegated to the general government_, either through the judicial
department or any other department, to use any coercive means to compel

  [78] "Virginia's Attitude on Slavery and Secession," Mumford, pp.

If these two governors had defied the Federal Constitution, so had
eleven State legislatures. From 1854 to 1860, inclusive, Vermont, Rhode
Island, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas,
Ohio, and Pennsylvania, had all passed new "personal liberty laws" to
abrogate the new fugitive slave law of 1850.

Of these laws Professor Alexander Johnston said:

"There is absolutely no excuse for the personal liberty laws. If the
rendition of fugitive slaves was a federal obligation, the personal
liberty laws were flat disobedience to the law; if the obligation was
upon the States, they were a gross breach of good faith, for they were
intended and operated to prevent rendition; and, in either case, they
were in violation of the Constitution."[79]

  [79] Alexander Johnston, "Lalor's Encyclopædia," vol. III, p. 163.

And now came the State of Wisconsin. Its Supreme Court intervened and
took from the hands of the federal authorities an alleged fugitive
slave. The Supreme Court of the United States reversed the case and
ordered the slave back into the custody of the United States
marshal;[80] and thereupon the General Assembly of Wisconsin expressly
repudiated the authority of the United States Supreme Court. The
Wisconsin assembly asserted its right to nullify the Federal law, basing
its action on the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798--a recrudescence of a
doctrine long since abandoned even in the South.

  [80] Ableman _v._ Booth, 21 How.

In reality all this defiance of the Constitution of the United States by
State executives, State legislatures, and a State court, was on the
ground that whatever was dictated by conscience to these officials was a
"higher law than the Constitution of the United States"; and modern
historians recognize, as Tilden did, the leadership of the statesman who
in 1850 announced that startling doctrine. It is Alexander Johnston who
says, "Seward's speeches in the Senate made him the leader of the
Republican party from its first organization."[81]

  [81] Alexander Johnston, "Lalor's Encyclopædia," vol. III, p. 707.

To the minds of Southerners it seemed clear that _if the Southern States
desired to preserve for themselves the Constitution of the fathers, they
must secede and set it up over a government of their own_. This eleven
of these States did. Many of them were reluctant to take the step; all
their people had loved the old Union, but they passed their ordinances
of secession, united as the Confederate States of America, and their
officials took an oath to maintain inviolate the old Constitution,
which, with unimportant changes in it, they had adopted.

The new government sent delegates to ask that the separation should be
peaceful. The application was denied and the war followed. Attempts to
secede were made in Kentucky and Missouri. In neither of these States
did the seceders get full control. They were represented, however, in
the Confederate Congress by senators and representatives elected by the
troops from those States that were serving in the Confederate army.



The bitter fruits of anti-slavery agitation were secession and four
years of bloody war. The Federal Government waged war to coerce the
seceding States to remain in the Union. With the North it was a war for
the Union; the South was fighting for independence--denominated by
Northern writers as "the Civil War." It was in reality a war between the
eleven States which had seceded, as autonomous States, and were fighting
for independence, as the Confederate States of America, against the
other twenty-two States, which, as the United States of America, fought
against secession and for the Union of all the States. It is true the
States remaining in the Union had with them the army and the navy and
the old government, but that government could not, and did not, exercise
its functions within the borders of the seceded States until by force of
arms in the war that was now waged it had conquered a control. It was a
war between the States for such control; for independence on the one
hand, and for the Union on the other. It was not, save in exceptional
cases, a war between neighbor and neighbor; it was a war between States
as entities, and therefore not properly a civil war. The result of the
war did not change the principles upon which it was fought, though it
did decide finally the issues that were involved, the right of secession
primarily, and slavery incidentally.

Jefferson Davis, afterward the much-loved President of the Confederacy,
in his farewell speech in the United States Senate, March 21, 1861, thus
stated the case of the South: "Then, senators, we recur to the compact
which binds us together. We recur to the principles upon which this
government was founded, and _when you deny them_, and when you deny to
us the right to withdraw from a Union which thus perverted _threatens to
be destructive of our rights, we but tread in the path of our fathers
when we proclaim our independence and take the hazard_. This is done not
in hostility to others, not to injure any section of our country, _not
even for our own pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solemn motive
of defending and protecting the rights we inherited and which it is our
duty to transmit unshorn to our children_."

Southerners were, as Mr. Davis understood it, treading in the path of
their fathers when they proclaimed their independence and fought for the
right of self-government.

Professor Fite, of Yale, justifies secession on the following ground:

"In the last analysis the one complete justification of secession was
the necessity of saving the vast property of slavery from destruction;
secession was a commercial necessity designed to make those billions
secure from outside interference. Viewed in this light, secession was
right, for any people, prompted by the commonest motives of self-defence
and with no moral scruples against slavery, would have followed the same
course. The present generation of Northerners, born and reared after the
war, must shake off their inherited political passions and prejudices
and pronounce the verdict of justification for the South. Believing
slavery to be right, it was the duty of the South to defend it. It is
time that the words 'traitors,' 'conspirators,' 'rebels,' and
'rebellion' be discarded."[82]

  [82] "The Presidential Campaign of 1860," Emerson David Fite, 1911,
  introductory chapter.

These words of Professor Fite will waken a responsive echo in the hearts
of Southerners, but Southerners place, and their fathers planted,
themselves on higher ground than commercial considerations. The
Confederates were defending their inherited right of local
self-government and the Federal Constitution that secured it. It was for
these rights that, as Mr. Davis had said, they were willing to _follow
the path their fathers trod_.

The preservation of the Union the North was fighting for, was a noble
motive; it looked to the future greatness and glory of the republic; but
devotion to the Union had been a growth, the product largely of a single
generation; the devotion of the South to the right of local
self-government was an older and deeper conviction; it had been bred in
the bone for three generations; it dated from Bunker Hill and Valley
Forge and Yorktown. Close as the non-slave-holders of the South were to
the slave-holders, of the same British stock, and with the same
traditions, blood kinsmen as they were, they might not have been willing
to dare all and do all for the protection of property in which they were
not interested; but they were ready to, and they did, wage a death
struggle to maintain against a hostile sectional majority, their
inherited right to govern themselves in their own way. Added to this was
the ever-present conviction of Southerners all, that they were battling
not only for the supremacy of their race but for the preservation of
their homes. There was a little ditty quite prevalent in the Army of
Northern Virginia, of which nothing is now remembered except the
refrain, but that of itself speaks volumes. It ran:

  "Do you belong to the rebel band
  Fighting for your home?"

Northerners had, most of them, convinced themselves that the South would
never dare to secede. The danger of servile insurrections, if nothing
else, would prevent it.[83] Many Southerners, on the other hand, could
not see how, under the Constitution, the North could venture on coercion.

  [83] See Fite, "Campaign of 1860," passim, and especially speech of
  Schurz, p. 244 _et seq._

But to the South the greatest surprise furnished by the events of that
era has been Abraham Lincoln--as he appears now in the light of history.
What, in the minds of Southerners, fixed his status personally, during
the canvass of 1860, was the statement he had made in his speech at
Chicago, preliminary to his great debate with Douglas in 1858, that the
Union could not "continue to exist half slave and half free." And he was
now the candidate of the "Black Republican" party, a party that was
denouncing a decision of the Supreme Court; that, in nearly every State
in the North, had nullified the fugitive slave law, and that stood for
"negro equality," as the South termed it.

There were other statements by Mr. Lincoln in that debate with Douglas
that the South has had especial reason to take note of since the period
of Reconstruction. At Springfield, Illinois, September 18, 1858, he
said: "There is a physical difference between the white and black races
which, I believe, will forever forbid the two races living together on
terms of social and political equality, and, _inasmuch as they can not
so live, while they do live together there must be the position of
superior and inferior; and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of
having that position assigned to the white man_."

The new Confederacy took the Constitution of the United States, so
modified as to make it read plainly as Jefferson had expounded it in the
Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. Other changes were slight. The
presidential term was extended to six years and the President was not to
be re-eligible. The slave trade was prohibited and Congress was
authorized to forbid the introduction of slaves from the old Union.

Abraham Lincoln became President, with a fixed resolve to preserve the
Union but with no intent to abolish slavery. Had the war for the Union
been as successful as he hoped it would be, slavery would not have been
abolished by any act of his. It is clear that, when inaugurated, he had
not changed his opinions expressed at Springfield, nor those others,
which, at Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, he had stated thus:
"When our Southern brethren tell us they are no more responsible for
slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said the
institution exists and it is very difficult to get rid of it in any
satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I will
surely not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do
myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do
as to the institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves
and send them to Liberia, their native land."

This, he said, it was impracticable to do, at least suddenly, and then
proceeded: "To free them all and keep them among us as underlings--is it
quite certain that this would better their condition?... What next? Free
them and make them politically and socially our equals?" This question
he answered in the negative, and continued: "It does seem to me that
systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted, but for their
tardiness I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the South."

In these extracts from his speeches we find a central thread that runs
through the history of his whole administration. We see it again when,
pressed by extremists, Mr. Lincoln said in an open letter to Horace
Greeley, August 22, 1862: "My paramount object in this struggle is to
save the Union, and it is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I
could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I
could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could
save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."

Indeed, Congress had, in 1861, by joint resolution declared that the
sole purpose of the war was the preservation of the Union. In no other
way, and for no other purpose, could the North at that time have been
induced to wage war against the South.

Abraham Lincoln, the President of the United States, and Jefferson
Davis, the President of the Confederate States, were both Kentuckians by
birth, both Americans. In the purity of their lives, public and private,
in patriotic devotion to the preservation of American institutions as
understood by each of them, they were alike; but they represented
different phases of American thought, and each was the creature more or
less of his environment. Both were men of commanding ability, but the
destiny of each was shaped by agencies that now seem to have been
directed by the hand of Fate. Mr. Lincoln, by nature a political genius,
was carried to Illinois when a child, reared in the North-west among
those to whom, with the Mississippi River as their only outlet to the
markets of the world, disunion, with its loss of their highway to the
sea, was unthinkable. Lincoln became a Whig, with the Union of the
States the passion of his life, and finally, by forces he had not
himself put in motion, he was placed at the head of the Federal
Government at a time when sectionalism had decided that the question of
the permanence of the Union was to be tried out, once and forever.

Mr. Davis went from Kentucky further South. He was a Democrat, and
environment also moulded his opinions. During the long sectional
controversy between the North and the South, "State-rights" became the
passion of his life, and when the clash between the sections came, he
found himself, without his seeking, at the head of the Confederacy. He
had been prominent among the Southerners at Washington, who had hoped
that the South, by threats of secession, might obtain its rights in the
Union, as had been done in Jefferson's days by New England. In the
movement (1860-61) that resulted in secession, the people at home had
been ahead of their congressmen. William L. Yancey, then in Alabama, not
Jefferson Davis at Washington, was the actual leader of the
secessionists. Mr. Davis feared a long and bloody war and, unlike
Yancey, he had doubts as to its result.[84]

  [84] Mrs. Chestnut, wife of the Confederate general, James Chestnut,
  writes in her "Diary from Dixie," under date of 1861, at Montgomery,
  Alabama, then the Confederate capital: "In Mrs. Davis's drawing-room
  last night, the President took a seat by me on the sofa where I sat. He
  talked for nearly an hour. He laughed at our faith in our own powers. We
  are like the British. We think every Southerner equal to three Yankees
  at least. We will have to be equivalent to a dozen now. After his
  experience of the fighting qualities of Southerners in Mexico, he
  believes that we will do all that can be done by pluck and muscle,
  endurance and dogged courage, dash, and red-hot patriotism. And yet his
  tone was not sanguine. _There was a sad refrain running through it all._
  For one thing, either way, he thinks it will be a long war. That floored
  me at once. It has been too long for me already. Then he said, before
  the end came we would have many bitter experiences. He said only fools
  doubted the courage of the Yankees, or their willingness to fight when
  they saw fit. And now that we have stung their pride, we have roused
  them till they will fight like devils."

Mr. Lincoln, standing for the Union, succeeded in the war, but just as
he was on the threshold of his great work of Reconstruction he fell,
the victim of a crazy assassin. Martyrdom to his cause has naturally
added some cubits to the just measure of his wonderful reputation.

Jefferson Davis and his cause failed; and the triumphant forces that
swept the Confederacy out of existence have long (and quite naturally)
sought to bury the cause of the South and its chosen leader in ignominy.
But the days of hate and passion are past; reason is reasserting her
sway; and history will do justice to both the Confederacy and its great
leader, whose ability, patriotism, and courage were conspicuous to the

Mr. Davis was also a martyr--his long imprisonment, the manacles he
wore, the sentinel gazing on him in the bright light that day and night
disturbed his rest; the heroism with which he endured all this, and the
quiet dignity of his after life--these have doubly endeared his memory
to those for whose cause he suffered.

Mr. Lincoln had remarkable political tact--he seemed to know how long to
wait and when to act, and, if we may credit Mr. Welles,[85] his
inflexibly honest Secretary of the Navy, he was, with the members of his
cabinet, wonderfully patient and even long-suffering. And although he
was the subject of much abuse, especially at the hands of Southerners
who then totally misunderstood him, he was animated always by the
philosophy of his own famous words, "With malice towards none, with
charity for all." Never for one moment did he forget, amidst even the
bitterest of his trials, that the Confederates, then in arms against
him, were, as he regarded them, his misguided fellow-citizens; and the
supreme purpose of his life was to bring them back into the Union, not
as conquered foes, but as happy and contented citizens of the great

  [85] "Diary of Gideon Welles," 3 vols., passim.

The resources of the Confederacy and the United States were very
unequal. The Confederacy had no army, no navy, no factories, save here
and there a flour mill or cotton factory, and practically no machine
shops that could furnish engines for its railroads. It had one cannon
foundry. The Tredegar Iron Works, at Richmond, Virginia, was a fully
equipped cannon foundry. The Confederacy's arms and munitions of war
were not sufficient to supply the troops that volunteered during the
first six months of military operations. Its further supplies, except
such as the Tredegar works furnished, depended on importations through
the blockade soon to be established and such as might be captured.

The North had the army and navy, factories of every description, food in
abundance, and free access to the ports of the world.

The population of the North was 22,339,978.

The population of the South was 9,103,332, of which 3,653,870 were
colored. The total white male population of the Confederacy, of all
ages, was 2,799,818.

The reports of the Adjutant-General of the United States, November 9,
1880, show 2,859,132 men mustered into the service of the United States
in 1861-65. General Marcus J. Wright, of the United States War Records
Office, in his latest estimate of Confederate enlistments, places the
outside number at 700,000. The estimate of Colonel Henderson, of the
staff of the British army, in his "Life of Stonewall Jackson," is
900,000. Colonel Thomas J. Livermore, of Boston, estimates the
number of Confederates at about 1,000,000, and insists that in the
Adjutant-General's reports of the Union enlistments there are errors
that would bring down the number of Union soldiers to about 2,000,000.
Colonel Livermore's estimates are earnestly combated by Confederate

General Charles Francis Adams has, in a recently published volume,[86]
cited figures given mostly by different Confederate authorities, which
aggregate 1,052,000 Confederate enlistments. What authority these
Confederate writers have relied on is not clear. The enlistments were
for the most part directly in the Confederate army and not through State
officials. The captured Confederate records should furnish the highest
evidence. But it is earnestly insisted that these records are
incomplete, and there is no purpose here to discuss a disputed point.

  [86] "Studies, Military and Diplomatic," p. 282 _et seq._ These studies
  make a volume of rare historic value.

The call to arms was answered enthusiastically in both sections, but
the South was more united in its convictions, and practically all her
young manhood fell into line, the rich and the poor, the cultured and
uncultured serving in the ranks side by side.

The devotion of the noble women of the North, and of its humanitarian
associations, to the welfare of the Federal soldiers was remarkable, but
there was nothing in the situation in that section that could evoke such
a wonderful exhibition of heroism and self-sacrifice as was exhibited by
the devoted women of the South, who made willingly every possible
sacrifice to the cause of the Confederacy.

Both sides fought bravely. Excluding from the Union armies negroes,
foreigners, and the descendants of recent immigrants, the Confederates
and the Union soldiers were mainly of British stock. The Confederates
had some notable advantages. Excepting a few Union regiments from the
West, the Southerners were better shots and better horsemen, especially
in the beginning of the war, than the Northerners; and the Southerners
were fighting not only for the Constitution of their fathers and the
defence of their homes, but for the supremacy of their race. They had
also another military advantage, that would probably have been decisive
but for the United States navy: they had interior lines of communication
which would have enabled them to readily concentrate their forces. But
the United States navy, hovering around their coast-line, not only
neutralized but turned this advantage into a weakness, thus compelling
the Confederates to scatter their armies. Every port had to be guarded.

In the West the Federals were almost uniformly successful in the greater
battles, the Confederates winning in these but two decisive victories,
Chickamauga and Sabine Cross Roads, in Louisiana. Estimating, according
to the method of military experts, the percentage of losses of the
victor only, Chickamauga was the bloodiest battle of the world, from and
including Waterloo down to the present time. Gettysburg and Sharpsburg
also rank as high in losses as any battle fought elsewhere in this long
period, which takes in the Franco-German and the Russo-Japanese wars. At
Sharpsburg or Antietam the losses exceeded those in any other one day's

  [87] According to that standard work, E. P. Alexander's "Memoirs," pp.
  244, 245, and 274, the Confederates, who stood their ground at
  Sharpsburg on the day of battle and the day after, lost in killed and
  wounded thirty-two per cent. The French army at Waterloo entirely
  dissolved, with a loss in killed and wounded of only thirty-one per
  cent. (See figures in Henderson's "Stonewall Jackson.")

The Confederates were successful, excepting Antietam or Sharpsburg and
Gettysburg, and perhaps Seven Pines or Fair Oaks, in all the great
battles in the East, down to the time when the shattered remnant of
Lee's army was overwhelmed at Petersburg and surrendered at Appomattox.
The _élan_ the Southerners acquired in the many victories they won
fighting for their homes is not to be overlooked. But the failure of the
North with its overwhelming numbers and resources, to overcome the
resistance of the half-famished Confederates until nearly four years had
elapsed, can only be fully accounted for, in fairness to the undoubted
courage of the Union armies, by the fact, on which foreign military
critics are agreed, that the North had no such generals as Lee and
Stonewall Jackson. Only by the superior generalship of their leaders
could the Confederates have won as many battles as they did against
vastly superior numbers.

But against the United States navy the brilliant generalship of the
Confederates and their marvellous courage were powerless.

Accepted histories of the war have been written largely by the army and
its friends, and, strangely enough, the general historians have been so
attracted by the gallantry displayed in great land battles, and the
immediate results, that they have utterly failed to appreciate the
services of the United States navy.

The Southerners accomplished remarkable results with torpedoes with the
_Merrimac_ or _Virginia_ and their little fleet of commerce destroyers;
but the United States navy, by its effective blockade, starved the
Confederacy to death. The Southern government could not market its
cotton, nor could it import or manufacture enough military supplies.
Among its extremest needs were rails and rolling stock to refit its
lines of communication. For want of transportation it was unable to
concentrate its armies, and for the same reason its troops were not half

In addition to its services on the blockade, which, in Lord Wolseley's
opinion, decided the war, the navy, with General Grant's help, cut the
Confederacy in twain by way of the Mississippi. It penetrated every
Southern river, severing Confederate communications and destroying
depots of supplies. It assisted in the capture, early in the war, of
Forts Henry and Donelson, and it conducted Union troops along the
Tennessee River into east Tennessee and north Alabama. It furnished
objective points and supplies at Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington,
to Sherman on his march from Atlanta; and finally Grant, the great Union
general, who had failed to reach Richmond by way of the Wilderness,
Spottsylvania, and Cold Harbor, achieved success only when the navy was
at his back, holding his base, while he laid a nine months' siege to

That distinguished author, Charles Francis Adams, himself a Union
general in the Army of the Potomac, says that the United States navy was
the deciding factor in the Civil War. He even says that every single
successful operation of the Union forces "hinged and depended on naval

The following is from the preface to "The Crisis of the Confederacy," in
which, published in 1905, a foreign expert, Captain Cecil Battine, of
the King's Hussars, condenses all that needs further to be said here
about the purely military side of the Civil War:

     The history of the American Civil War still remains the most
     important theme for the student and the statesman because it was
     waged between adversaries of the highest intelligence and courage,
     who fought by land and sea over an enormous area with every device
     within the reach of human ingenuity, and who had to create every
     organization needed for the purpose after the struggle had begun.
     The admiration which the valor of the Confederate soldiers,
     fighting against superior numbers and resources, excited in Europe;
     the dazzling genius of some of the Confederate generals, and in
     some measure jealousy at the power of the United States, have
     ranged the sympathies of the world during the war and ever since to
     a large degree on the side of the vanquished. Justice has hardly
     been done to the armies which arose time and again from sanguinary
     repulses, and from disasters more demoralizing than any repulse in
     the field, because they were caused by political and military
     incapacity in high places, to redeem which the soldiers freely shed
     their blood as it seemed in vain. If the heroic endurance of the
     Southern people and the fiery valor of the Southern armies thrill
     us to-day with wonder and admiration, the stubborn tenacity and
     courage which succeeded in preserving intact the heritage of the
     American nation, and which triumphed over foes so formidable, are
     not less worthy of praise and imitation. The Americans still hold
     the world's record for hard fighting.

The great majority of the Union soldiers enlisted for the preservation
of the Union and not for the abolition of slavery. But among these
soldiers there was an abolition element, and very soon the tramp of
federal regiments was keeping time to

  "John Brown's body lies a mouldering in the ground,
              As we go marching on."

Early in the war Generals Frémont and Butler issued orders declaring
free the slaves within the Union lines; these orders President Lincoln
rescinded. But Abolition sentiment was growing in the army and at the
North, and the pressure upon the President to strike at slavery was
increasing. The Union forces were suffering repeated defeats; slaves at
home were growing food crops and caring for the families of Confederates
who were fighting at the front, and in September, 1862, President
Lincoln issued his preliminary proclamation of emancipation, basing it
on the ground of military necessity. It was to become effective January
1, 1863.

And here was the same Lincoln who had declared in 1858 his opinion that
whites and blacks could not live together as equals, socially and
politically; and it was the very same Lincoln who had repeatedly said he
cherished no ill-will against his Southern brethren. If the slaves were
to be freed, they and the whites should not be left together. He
therefore _sought diligently to find some home for the freedmen in a
foreign country_. But unfortunately, as already seen, the American
negro, a bone of contention at home, was now a pariah to other peoples.
Most nations welcome immigrants, but no country was willing to shelter
the American freedman, save only Liberia, long before a proven failure,
and Hayti, where, under the blacks, anarchy had already been chronic for
half a century. Hume tells us, in "The Abolitionists," that for a time
Mr. Lincoln even considered setting Texas apart as a home for the negro.

Later the surrender of the Confederate armies, together with the
adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, consummated
emancipation, foreseeing which President Lincoln formulated his plan of
Reconstruction. Suffrage in the reconstructed States under his plan was
to be limited to those who were qualified to vote at the date of
secession, which meant the whites. The sole exception he ever made to
this rule was a suggestion to Governor Hahn, of Louisiana, that it might
be well for the whites (of Louisiana) to give the ballot to a few of the
most intelligent of the negroes and to such as had served in the army.

The part the soldiers played, Federal and Confederate, in restoring the
Union, is a short story. The clash between them settled without reserve
the only question that was really in issue--secession; slavery, that had
been the origin of sectional dissensions, was eliminated because it
obstructed the success of the Union armies. By their gallantry in battle
and conduct toward each other the men in blue and the men in gray
restored between the North and the South the mutual respect that had
been lost in the bitterness of sectional strife, and without which
there could be no fraternal Union.

Mr. Gladstone, when the war was on, said that the North was endeavoring
to "propagate free institutions at the point of the sword." The North
was not seeking to propagate in the South any new institution whatever.
Mr. Gladstone's paradox loses its point because both sections were
fighting for the preservation of the same system of government.

The time has now happily come when, to use the language of Senator Hoar,
as Americans, we can, North and South, discuss the causes that brought
about our terrible war "in a friendly and quiet spirit, without
recrimination and without heat, each understanding the other, each
striving to help the other, as men who are bearing a common burden and
looking forward with a common hope."

The country, it is believed, has already reached the conclusions that
the South was absolutely honest in maintaining the right of secession
and absolutely unswerving in its devotion to its ideas of the
Constitution, and that the North was equally honest and patriotic in
its fidelity to the Union. We need to advance one step further. Somebody
was to blame for starting a quarrel between brethren who were dwelling
together in amity. If Americans can agree in fixing that blame, the
knowledge thus acquired should help them to avoid such troubles

It seems to be a fair conclusion that the _initial cause of all our
troubles was the formation by Garrison of those Abolition societies_
which the Boston people in their resolutions of August 1, 1835,
"disapproved of" and described as "associations instituted in the
non-slave-holding States, with the intent to act, within the
slave-holding States, on the subject of slavery in those States, without
their consent." And further, that it was the creation of these
societies, the methods they resorted to, and their explicit defiance of
the Constitution that roused the fears and passions of the South and
caused that section to take up the quarrel that, afterward became
sectional; and that, after much hot dispute and many regrettable
incidents, North and South, resulted in secession and war.

In every dispute about slavery prior to 1831, the Constitution was
always regarded by every disputant as supreme. _The quarrel that was
fatal to the peace of the Union began when the New Abolitionists put in
the new claim, that slavery in the South was the concern of the North,
as well as of the South, and that there was a higher law than the
Constitution. If the conscience of the individual, instead of human law,
is to prescribe rules of conduct, society is at the mercy of anarchists.
Czolgosz was conscientious when he murdered McKinley._

Had all Americans continued to agree, after 1831, as they did before
that time, that the Constitution of the United States was the supreme
law of the land, there would have been no fatal sectional quarrel, no
secession, and no war between the North and South.

       *       *       *       *       *

The immediate surrender everywhere of the Confederates in obedience to
the orders of their generals was an imposing spectacle. There was no
guerilla warfare. The Confederates accepted their defeat in good faith
and have ever since been absolutely loyal to the United States
Government, but they have never changed their minds as to the justice of
the cause they fought for. They fought for liberty regulated by law, and
against the idea that there can be, under our system, any higher law
than the Constitution of our country. That the Constitution should
always be the supreme law of the land, they still believe, and the
philosophic student of past and current history should be gratified to
see the tenacity with which Southern people still cling to that idea. It
suggests that not only will the Southerners be always ready to stand for
our country against a foreign foe, but that whenever our institutions
shall be assailed, as they will often be hereafter by visionaries who
are impatient of restraints, the cause of liberty, regulated by law,
will find staunch defenders in the Southern section of our country.



President Lincoln's theory was that acts of secession were void, and
that when the seceded States came back into the Union those who were
entitled to vote, by the laws existing at the date of the attempted
secession, and had been pardoned, should have, and should control, the
right of suffrage. Mr. Lincoln had acted on this theory in Tennessee,
Louisiana, and Texas, and he further advised Congress, in his message of
December, 1863, that this was his plan. Congress, after a long debate,
responded in July, 1864, by an act claiming for itself power over
Reconstruction. The President answered by a pocket veto, and after that
veto Mr. Lincoln was, in November, 1864, re-elected on a platform
extolling his "practical wisdom," etc. Congress, during the session that
began in December, 1864, did not attempt to reassert its authority but
adjourned, March 4, 1865, in sight of the collapse of the Confederacy,
leaving the President an open field for his declared policy.

But unhappily, on the 14th of April, 1865, Mr. Lincoln was assassinated,
and his death just at this time was the most appalling calamity that
ever befell the American people. The blow fell chiefly upon the South,
and it was the South the assassin had thought to benefit.

Had the great statesman lived he might, and it is fully believed he
would, like Washington, have achieved a double success. Washington,
successful in war, was successful in guiding his country through the
first eight stormy years of its existence under a new constitution.
Lincoln had guided the country through four years of war, and the Union
was now safe. With Lee's surrender the war was practically at an end.

Gideon Welles says that on the 10th of April, 1865, Mr. Lincoln, "while
I was with him at the White House, was informed that his fellow-citizens
would call to congratulate him on the fall of Richmond and surrender of
Lee; but he requested their visit should be delayed that he might have
time to put his thoughts on paper, for he desired that his utterances on
such an occasion should be deliberate and not liable to misapprehension,
misinterpretation, or misconstruction. He therefore addressed the people
on the following evening, Tuesday the 11th, in a carefully prepared
speech intended to promote harmony and union.

"In this remarkable speech, delivered three days before his
assassination, he stated he had prepared a plan for the reinauguration
of the sectional authority and reconstruction in 1863, which would be
acceptable to the executive government, and that every member of the
cabinet fully approved the plan," etc.[88]

  [88] Gideon Welles in an essay, "Lincoln and Johnson," _The Galaxy_,
  April, 1872.

In view of his death three days later, this, his last and deliberate
public utterance, may be regarded as Abraham Lincoln's will, devising as
a legacy to his countrymen his plan of reconstruction. That plan in the
hands of his successor was defeated by a partisan and radical Congress.
That it was a wise plan the world now knows.

Senator John Sherman, of Ohio, was one of the most influential of those
who succeeded in defeating it, and yet he lived to say, in his book
published in 1895,[89] Andrew Johnson "adopted substantially the plan
proposed and acted on by Mr. Lincoln. After this long lapse of time I am
convinced that Mr. Johnson's scheme of reorganization was wise and
judicious. It was unfortunate that it had not the sanction of Congress
and that events soon brought the President and Congress into hostility."

  [89] "John Sherman's Recollections," vol. I, p. 361.

And the present senator, Shelby Cullom, of Illinois, who as a member of
the House of Representatives voted to overthrow the Lincoln-Johnson plan
of Reconstruction, has furnished us further testimony. He says in his
book, published in 1911:[90]

  [90] "Fifty Years of Public Service," Cullom, p. 146.

"To express it in a word, the motive of the opposition to the Johnson
plan of Reconstruction was a firm conviction that its success would
wreck the Republican party and, by restoring the Democracy to power,
bring back Southern supremacy and Northern vassalage."

The Republican party, then dominant in Congress, felt when confronting
Reconstruction that it was facing a crisis in its existence. The
Democratic party, unitedly opposed to negro suffrage, was still in
Northern States a power to be reckoned with. Allied with the Southern
whites, that old party might again control the government unless, by
giving the negro the ballot, the Republicans could gain, as Senator
Sumner said, the "allies it needed." But the masses at the North were
opposed to negro suffrage, and only two or three State constitutions
sanctioned it. Indeed, it may be safely said that when Congress convened
in December, 1865, a majority of the people of the North were ready to
follow Johnson and approve the Lincoln plan of Reconstruction. But the
extremists in both branches of the Congress had already determined to
defeat the plan and to give the ballot to the ex-slave. To prepare the
mind of the Northern people for their programme, they had resolved to
rekindle the passions of the war, which were now smouldering, and
utilize all the machinery, military and civilian, that Congress could
make effective.

Andrew Johnson,[91] who as vice-president now succeeded to the
presidency, though a man of ability, had little personal influence and
none of Lincoln's tact. Johnson retained Lincoln's cabinet, and
McCullough, who was Secretary of the Treasury under both presidents,
says in his "Men and Measures of Half a Century," p. 378:

  [91] The final estimate of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy under
  both Lincoln and Johnson, is this: "He (Johnson) has been faithful to
  the Constitution, although his administrative capabilities and
  management may not equal some of his predecessors. Of measures he was a
  good judge but not always of men."--"Diary of Gideon Welles," vol. III,
  p. 556.

"The very same instrument for restoring the national authority over
North Carolina and placing her where she stood before her secession,
which had been approved by Mr. Lincoln, was, by Mr. Stanton, presented
at the first cabinet which was held at the executive mansion after Mr.
Lincoln's death, and, having been carefully considered at two or three
meetings, was adopted as the Reconstruction policy of the

Johnson carried out this plan. All the eleven seceding States repealed
their ordinances of secession. Their voters, from which class many
leaders had been excluded by the presidential proclamation, all took
the oath of allegiance, and reconstructed their State governments. From
most of the reconstructed States, senators and representatives were in
Washington asking to be seated when Congress convened, December 4, 1865.

The presidential plan of Reconstruction had been promptly accepted by
the people of the prostrate States. Almost without exception they had,
when permitted, taken the oath and returned to their allegiance.

The wretchedness of these people in the spring of 1865 was
indescribable. The labor system on which they depended for most of their
money-producing crops was destroyed. Including the disabled, twenty per
cent of the whites, who would now have been bread-winners, were gone.
The credit system had been universal, and credit was gone. Banks were
bankrupt. Confederate currency and bonds were worthless. Provisions were
scarce and money even scarcer. Many landholders had not even plough
stock with which to make a crop.

There was some cotton, however, that had escaped the ravages of war, and
a large part of this also escaped the rapacious United States agents,
who were seizing it as Confederate property. This cotton was a godsend.
There was another supply of money that came from an unexpected source.
The old anti-slavery controversy had made it seem perfectly clear to
many moneyed men, North, that free labor was always superior to slave
labor; and now, when cotton was bringing a good price, enterprising men
carried their money, altogether some hundreds of thousands of dollars,
into the several cotton States, to buy plantations and make cotton with
free negro labor. Free negro labor was not a success. Those who had
reckoned on it lost their money; but this money went into circulation
and was helpful.

Above all else loomed the negro problem. Five millions of whites and
three and a half millions of blacks were to live together. Thomas
Jefferson had said, "Nothing is more certainly written in the Book of
Fate than that these people are to be free; _nor is it less certain that
the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government_.
_Nature, habit, opinion have drawn indelible lines between them._"[92]
And it may truly be said of Jefferson that he was, as quite recently he
was declared to be by Dr. Schurman, President of Cornell University, the
"apostle of reason, and reason alone."

  [92] "Jefferson's Works," vol. I, p. 48.

What system of laws could Southern conventions and legislatures frame,
that would enable them to accomplish what Jefferson had declared was
impossible? This was the question before these bodies when called
together in 1865-66 by Johnson to rehabilitate their States. Two dangers
confronted them. One was, armed bands of negroes, headed by returning
negro soldiers. Mr. Lincoln had feared this. Early in April of that very
year, 1865, he said to General Butler: "I can hardly believe that the
South and North can live in peace unless we can get rid of the negroes,
whom we have armed and disciplined, and who have fought with us, to the
amount, I believe, of one hundred and fifty thousand." Mississippi, and
perhaps one other State, to guard against the danger from this source,
enacted that negroes were only to bear arms when licensed. This law was
to be fiercely attacked.

The other chief danger was that idleness among the negroes would lead to
crime. It soon became apparent that the negro idea was that freedom
meant freedom from work. They would not work steadily, even for their
Northern friends, who were offering ready money for labor in their
cotton fields, and multitudes were loitering in towns and around
Freedmen's Bureau offices. Nothing seemed better than the old-time
remedies, apprenticeship and vagrancy laws, then found in every body of
British or American statutes. These laws Southern legislatures copied,
with what appeared to be necessary modifications, and these laws were
soon assailed as evidence of an intent to reduce the negro again to
slavery. Mr. James G. Blaine, in his "Twenty Years," selected the
Alabama statutes for his attack. In the writer's book, "Why the Solid
South," pp. 31-36, the Alabama statutes cited by Mr. Blaine are shown to
be very similar to and largely copied from the statutes of Vermont,
Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Had Mr. Lincoln been living he would have sympathized with these
Southern law-makers in their difficult task. But to the radicals in
Congress nothing could have been satisfactory that did not give Mr.
Sumner's party the "allies it needed."

The first important step of the Congress that convened December 4, 1865,
was to refuse admission to the congressmen from the States reconstructed
under the Lincoln-Johnson plan, and pass a joint resolution for the
appointment of a Committee of Fifteen to inquire into conditions in
those States.

The temper of that Congress may be gauged by the following extract from
the speech of Mr. Shellabarger, of Ohio, on the passage of the joint

"They framed iniquity and universal murder into law.... Their pirates
burned your unarmed commerce on the sea. They carved the bones of your
dead heroes into ornaments, and drank from goblets made out of their
skulls. They poisoned your fountains; put mines under your soldiers'
prisons; organized bands, whose leaders were concealed in your homes;
and commissions ordered the torch and yellow fever to be carried to your
cities and to your women and children. They planned one universal
bonfire of the North from Lake Ontario to the Missouri," etc.

Congress, while refusing admission to senators elected by the
legislatures of the reconstructed States, was permitting these very
bodies to pass on amendments to the Federal Constitution; and such votes
were counted. Congress now proposed the Fourteenth Amendment, Section
III of which provided that no person should hold office under the United
States who, having taken an oath, as a Federal or State officer, to
support the Constitution, had subsequently engaged in the war against
the Union. The Southerners would not vote for a provision that would
disfranchise their leaders; they refused to ratify the Fourteenth
Amendment, and this helped further to inflame the radicals of the North.

After the Committee of Fifteen had been appointed, Congress proceeded to
put the reconstructed States under military control. In the debate on
the measure, February 18, 1867, James A. Garfield, who was, at a later
date, to become generous and conservative, said exultingly: "This bill
sets out by laying its hands on the rebel governments and taking the
very breath of life out of them; in the next place, it puts the bayonet
at the breast of every rebel in the South; in the next place, it leaves
in the hands of Congress utterly and absolutely the work of

And Congress did its work. Lincoln was in his grave, and Johnson, even
with his vetoes, was powerless. By the acts of March 2 and March 23,
1867, the reconstructed governments were swept away. Universal suffrage
was given to the negro and most of the prominent whites were

The first suffrage bill was for the District of Columbia, during the
debate on which Senator Sumner said: "Now, to my mind, nothing is
clearer than the absolute necessity of suffrage for all colored persons
in the disorganized States. It will not be enough, if you give it to
those who can read and write; you will not in this way acquire the
voting force you need there for the protection of Unionists, whether
white or black. You will not acquire the new allies who are essential to
the national cause."

In the forty-first Congress, beginning March 4, 1871, the twelve
reconstructed States, including West Virginia, were represented by
twenty-two Republicans and two Democrats in the Senate, and forty-eight
Republicans and twelve Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Sumner's "new allies" were ready to answer to the roll-call.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Congress had convened in December, 1865, its radical leaders were
already bent on universal suffrage for the negro, but the Northern mind
was not yet prepared for so radical a measure. The "Committee of
Fifteen" was the first step in the programme, which was to hold the
Southern States out of the Union and make an appeal to the passions and
prejudices of Northern voters in the congressional elections of
November, 1866. Valuable material for the coming campaign was already
being furnished by the agents of the Freedmen's Bureau. These
"adventurers, broken down preachers, and politicians," as Senator
Fessenden, of Maine, called them, were, and had been for some time,
reporting "outrages," swearing negroes into midnight leagues, and
selecting the offices they hoped to fill.

But the chief source of the material relied upon in the congressional
campaign of 1866 to exasperate the North, and prod voters to the point
of sanctioning negro suffrage in the South, was the official information
from the Committee of Fifteen. Its subcommittee of three, to take
testimony as to Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,
Mississippi, and Arkansas, were _all Republicans_. The doings of this
subcommittee in Alabama illustrate their methods. Only five persons, who
claimed to be citizens, were examined. These were all Republican
politicians. The testimony of each was bitterly partisan. "Under the
government of the State as it then existed, no one of these witnesses
could hope for official preferment. When this Reconstruction plan had
been completed the first of these five witnesses became governor of his
State; the second became a senator in Congress; the third secured a life
position in one of the departments in Washington; the fourth became a
circuit judge in Alabama, and the fifth a judge of the Supreme Court of
the District of Columbia--all as Republicans. There was no Democrat in
the subcommittee which examined these gentlemen, to cross-examine them;
and not a citizen of Alabama was called before that subcommittee to
confute or explain their evidence."[93]

  [93] "Why the Solid South," p. 20.

With the material gathered by these means and from these sources, the
honest voters of the North were deluded into the election of a Congress
that went to Washington, in December, 1866, armed with authority to pass
the Reconstruction laws of March, 1867.

Southern counsels were now much divided. Many good men, like Governor
Brown, of Georgia; General Longstreet and ex-Senator Albert Gallatin
Brown, of Mississippi, advised acquiescence and assistance, "not because
we approve the policy of Reconstruction, but because it is the best we
can do." These advisers hoped that good men, well known to the negroes,
might control them for the country's good; and zealous efforts were made
along this line in every State, but they were futile. The blacks had
already, before they got the suffrage, accepted the leadership of those
claiming to be the "men who had freed them." These leaders were not only
bureau agents but army camp-followers; and there was still another
brood, who espied from afar a political Eden in the prostrate States
and forthwith journeyed to it. All these Northern adventurers were
called "carpet-baggers"--they carried their worldly goods in their
hand-bags. The Southerners who entered into a joint-stock business with
them became "scalawags." These people mustered the negroes into leagues,
and everywhere whispered it into their ears that the aim of the Southern
whites was to reënslave them.

Politics in the South in the days before the war had always been more or
less intense, partly because there were so many who had leisure, and
partly because the general rule was joint political discussions. The
seams that had divided Whigs and Democrats, Secessionists and Union men,
had not been entirely closed up, even by the melting fires of the Civil
War. Old feuds for a time played their part in Southern politics, even
after March, 1867. These old feuds made it difficult for Southern whites
to get together as a race; and, in fact, conservative men dreaded the
idea. It tended toward an actual race war which, for many years, had
been a nightmare; but in every reconstructed State the negro and his
allies finally forced the race issue.

The new rulers not only increased taxes and misappropriated the revenues
of counties, cities, and States; they bartered away the credit of State
after State. Some of the States, after they were redeemed, scaled their
debts by compromising with creditors; others have struggled along with
their increased burdens.

There were hundreds of negro policemen, constables, justices of the
peace, and legislators who could not write their names. Justice was in
many localities a farce. Ex-slaves became judges, representatives in
Congress, and United States senators. The eleven Confederate States had
been divided into military districts. Many of the officers and men who
were scattered over the country to uphold negro rule sympathized with
the whites and evidenced their sympathy in various ways. Others, either
because they were radicals at heart, or to commend themselves to their
superiors, who were some of them aspiring to political places, were
super-serviceable; and it was not uncommon for a military officer, in a
case where a negro was a party, to order a judge to leave the bench and
himself take the place. In communities where negro majorities were
overwhelming there were usually two factions, and when political
campaigns were on agents for these clans often scoured the fields clear
of laborers to recruit their marching bands. In cities these bands made
night hideous with shouts and the noise of fifes and drums. The negro
would tolerate no defection from his ranks to the whites, and negro
women were more intolerant than the men. It sometimes happened that a
bloody clash between the races was imminent when white men sought to
protect a negro who had dared to speak in favor of the Democratic and
Conservative party. In truth, the civilization of the South was being
changed from white to negroid.

The final triumph of good government in all the States was at last
accomplished by accepting the race issue, as in Alabama in 1874. The
first resolution in the platform of the "Democratic and Conservative
party" in that State then was, "The radical and dominant faction of the
Republican party in this State persistently, and by fraudulent
representations, have inflamed the passions and prejudices of the
negroes, as a race, against the white people, and have thereby made it
necessary for the white people to unite and act together in self-defence
and for the preservation of white civilization."

The people of North Carolina recovered the right of self-government in
1870. Other States followed from time to time, the last two being
Louisiana and South Carolina in 1877.

Edwin L. Godkin, who was for long at the head of the _Nation_ and the
_Evening Post_, of New York, is thought by some competent judges to have
been the ablest editor this country has ever had. After the last of the
negro governments set up in the South had passed away, looking back over
the whole bad business, Mr. Godkin, in a letter to his friend Charles
Eliot Norton, written from Sweet Springs, West Virginia, September 3,
1877, said: "I do not see in short how the negro is ever to be worked
into a system of government for which you and I could have much

  [94] Ogden's "Life and Letters of Edwin Lawrence Godkin," vol. II, p.

Garrison is dead. At the centenary of his birth, December 12, 1904, an
effort was made to arouse enthusiasm. There was only a feeble response;
but we still have extremists. Professor Josiah Royce, of Harvard, in
"Race Questions" (1906), speaking of race antipathies as "trained
hatred," says, pp. 48-49: "We can remember that they are childish
phenomena in our lives, phenomena on a level with the dread of snakes or
of mice, phenomena that we share with the cats and with the dogs, not
noble phenomena, but caprices of our complex nature."



For now more than thirty years, whites and blacks, both free, have lived
together in the reconstructed States. In some of them there have been
local clashes, but in none of them has there been race war, predicted by
Jefferson and feared by Lincoln; and there probably never will be such a
war, unless it shall come through the intervention of such an outside
force as produced in the South the conflict between the races at the
polls in 1868-76.

Every State government set up under the plan of Congress had wrought
ruin, and the ruin was always more complete where the negroes were most
numerous, as in South Carolina and Louisiana.

The rule of the carpet-bagger and the negro was now superseded by
governments based on Abraham Lincoln's idea, the idea he expressed in
the debate with Douglas in 1858, when he said: "While they [the two
races] do remain together _there must be the position of inferior and
superior_, and I, as much as any other man, _am in favor of having the
superior position assigned to the white man_."

Conducted on this basis, the present governments in the reconstructed
States have endured now for periods varying from thirty-six to forty-two
years, and in every State, without any exception, the prosperity of both
whites and blacks has been wonderful, and this in spite of the still
existent abnormal animosities engendered by congressional

In the present State governments the race problem seems to have reached,
in its larger lines, its only practicable solution. There is still,
however, much friction between whites and blacks. Higher culture among
the masses, especially of the dominant race, and wise leadership in both
races, will in time minimize this, but it is not to be expected, nor is
it ever to be desired, that racial antipathies should entirely cease to
exist. The result of such cessation would be amalgamation, a solution
that American whites will never tolerate.

Deportation, as a solution of the negro problem, is impracticable. Mr.
Lincoln, much as he desired the separation of the races, could not
accomplish it, even when he had all the war power of the government in
his hands. He was, as we have seen, unable to find a country that would
take the 3,500,000 of blacks then in the seceded States. Now, there are
in the South, including Delaware, according to the census of 1910,
8,749,390, and, quite naturally, the American negro is more unwilling
than ever to leave America.

Another solution sometimes suggested in the South is the repeal of the
Fifteenth Amendment, which declares that the negro shall not be deprived
of the ballot because of his race, but agitation for this would appear
to be worse than useless.

The negro vote in the reconstructed States is, and has for years been,
quite small, not large enough to be considered a factor in any of them.
One cause of this is that the whites enforce against the blacks rigidly
the tests required by law, but the chief reason is, that the negro, who
is qualified, does not often apply for registration. He finds work now
more profitable than voting. He can not, he knows, control, nor can he,
if disposed to do so, sell his ballot as he once did. One of the most
signal and durable evils of Congressional Reconstruction was the utter
debasement of the suffrage in eleven States where the ballot had
formerly been notably pure. Gideon Welles saw clearly when he said in
his diary, June 23, 1867 (p. 102, vol. III): "Under the pretence of
elevating the negro the radicals are degrading the whites and debasing
the elective franchise, bringing elections into contempt." During the
rule of the negro and the alien, in every black county, where the negro
majority was as two to one, there were, as a rule, two Republican
candidates for every fat office, and an election meant, for the negro, a
golden harvest. Rival candidates were mercilessly fleeced by their black
constituencies, and the belief South is that as a rule the
carpet-baggers, in their hegira, returned North as poor as when they

In the Reconstruction era the whites fought fraud with fraud; and even
after recovering control they, the whites, felt justified in continuing
to defraud the negro of his vote. To restore the purity of the
ballot-box was the chief reason for the amendments to State
constitutions, by means of which amendments, having in view the
limitations of the Federal Constitution, as many negroes and as few
whites as was practicable were excluded.

This accounts in part for the smallness of the negro vote South. A more
potent reason is that the Democratic party, dominated by whites, selects
its candidates in primaries; and the negro, seeing no chance to win,
does not care to pay a poll tax or otherwise qualify for registration.

Southern whites have now for more than three decades been governing the
blacks in their midst. It is the most difficult task that has ever been
undertaken in all the history of popular government, but sad experience
has demonstrated that legal restriction of the negro vote in the South
there must be.

Party spirit tends always to blind the vision, and, as we have seen in
this review of the past, it often stifles conscience; and this even
where the masses of the people are approximately homogeneous. Southern
statesmen are now dealing not only with party spirit, but with
perpetual race friction manifesting itself in various forms. Failure
there must be in minor matters and in certain localities; the progress
that has been made can only be fairly estimated by considering general
results. Those who sympathize with the South think they see there among
the whites a growing spirit of altruism, begotten of responsibility, and
this promises much for the amelioration of race friction.

Since obtaining control of their State governments the whites in the
Southern States have as a rule increased appropriations for common
schools by at least four hundred per cent, and though paying themselves
by far the greater proportion of these taxes, they have continued to
divide revenues pro rata between the white and colored schools.

Industrial results have been amazing. The following figures, taken from
the Annual Blue Book, 1911 edition, of the _Manufacturers' Record_,
Baltimore, Maryland, include West Virginia among the reconstructed

The population of these States was, in 1880, 13,608,703; in 1910,

Manufacturing capital, 1880, $147,156,624. In 1900--twenty years--it was

Cotton crop, whole South, 1880, 5,761,252 bales. In 1911 it was about

Of this cotton crop Southern mills took, in 1880, 321,337 bales, and in
1910, 2,344,343 bales.

In 1880 the twelve reconstructed States cut, of lumber, board measure,
2,981,274,000 feet; and in 1909 22,445,000,000 feet.

Their output of pig-iron was, in 1880, 264,991 long tons; in 1910,
3,048,000 tons. The assessed value of taxable property was, in 1880,
$2,106,971,271; in 1910, $6,522,195,139.

The negro, though the white man, with his superior energy and capacity,
far outstrips him, has shared in this material prosperity. His property
in these States has been estimated as high as $500,000,000.

During the last decade, 1900-1910, the white population of the South
increased by 24.4 per cent, while the negro population in the same
States increased only 10.4 per cent. There has been a very considerable
gain of whites over blacks since 1880, the result largely of a greater
natural increase of whites over blacks, immigrants not counted. All
this indicates that the negro problem is gradually being minimized.

Taken in the aggregate, the shortcomings of the negro are numerous and
regrettable, but not greater than was to be expected. The general
advance of an inferior race will never equal that of one which is
superior by nature and already centuries ahead. The laggard and
thriftless among the inferior people will naturally be more, and it is
from these classes that prison houses are filled.

There is a very considerable class of negroes who are improving mentally
and morally, but improvidence is a characteristic of the race, and very
many of them, even though they labor more or less steadily, will never
accumulate. The third class, much larger than among the whites, is
composed of those who are idle, dissipated, and criminal. Taken
altogether, however, what Booker Washington says is true: "There cannot
be found, in the civilized or uncivilized world, a like number of
negroes whose economic, educational, and religious life is so far
advanced as that of the ten millions within this country."[95] This
advancement is one of the results of slavery. When the negroes come to
recognize this, as some of their leaders already do,[96] and come to
appreciate the advantages for further improvement they have had since
their emancipation, they will cease to repine over the bondage of their
ancestors. There were undoubtedly evils in slavery, but, after all,
there was some reason in the advice given by the good Spanish Bishop Las
Casas to the King of Spain--that it would be rightful to enslave and
thus Christianize and civilize the African savage. Herbert Spencer,
"Illustrations of Universal Progress" (p. 444), says: "Hateful though it
is to us, and injurious as it would be now, slavery was once beneficial,
was one of the _necessary phases of human progress_."

  [95] Pickett, pp. 399-400.

  [96] "The Negro Problem," Pickett, 1909, pp. 399-400.

Sir Harry Johnston, African explorer and student of the negro race, in
both the old and the new world, and perhaps the most eminent authority
on a question he has, in a fashion, made his own, says: "Intellectually,
and perhaps physically, he (the negro) has attained the highest degree
of advancement as yet in the United States."[97]

  [97] "The Negro in the New World," Sir Harry Johnston, p. 478.

"In Alabama (most of all) the American negro is seen at his best, as
peasant, peasant proprietor, artisan, professional man, and member of

  [98] _Ib._, p. 470.

Race animosities are now abnormal, both South and North. The prime
reasons for this are two:

1. The bitter conflict during reconstruction for race supremacy and the
false hopes once held out to the negro of ultimate social equality with
the whites. Among the early measures of congressional reconstruction was
a "civil rights" enactment which the negroes regarded as giving to them
all the rights of the white man. Their Supreme Court in Alabama decided,
in "Burns vs. The State," that the "civil rights" laws conferred the
right to intermarriage. Negroes, North, no doubt also believed in this
construction. But the Supreme Court of the United States later held that
the States, and not Congress, had jurisdiction over the marriage
relation within the States. All the Southern and a number of the
Northern States have since forbidden the intermarriage of whites and
blacks, and so the negro's hopes of equal rights in this regard have

This disappointment and his utter failure to secure the social equality
that once seemed his, have tended to embitter the negro against the
white man.

2. Whites have been embittered against blacks by the frequency in later
years of the crime of the negro against white women. This horrible
offence began to be common in the South some thirty-two or three years
since, or perhaps a little earlier, and somewhat later it appeared in
the North, where it seems to have been as common, negro population
considered, as in the South. The crime was almost invariably followed by
lynching, which, however, was not always for the same crime. The
following is the list of lynchings in the sections, as kept by the
_Chicago Tribune_ since it began to compile them:

1885          184

1886          138

1887          122

1888          142

1889          176

1890          127

1891          192

1892          205

1893          200

1894          190

1895          171

1896          181

1897          166

1898          127

1899          107

1900          107

1901          185

1902           96

1903          104

1904           87

1905           66

1906           66

1907           68

1908          100

1909           87

1910           74

The general decrease, while population is increasing, is encouraging;
but lynching itself is a horrible crime; and lynching for one crime
begets lynching for another. Of the total number lynched last year, nine
were whites; sixty-five were negroes, among them three women; and only
twenty-two were for crimes of negroes against white women. The other
crimes were murder, attempts to murder, robbery, arson, etc.

Census returns indicate that in the country at large the criminality of
the negro, as compared with that of the white man, is nearly three times
greater, and that the ratio of negro criminality is much higher North
than South. Such returns also indicate that so far education has not
lessened negro criminality,[99] but it is not known that any
well-educated negro has been guilty of the crime against white women.

  [99] "The Negro Problem," William Pickett, pp. 136-38. Rare Traits,
  etc., of the Negro, Statistician, Prudential Ins. Co. of America, p. 219
  _et seq._

In the South the negro is excluded from many occupations for which the
best of them are fitted, but in the North his industrial conditions are
worse. Fewer occupations are open to him and the wisest members of his
race are counselling him to remain in the more favorable industrial
atmosphere of the South.

The dislike of negroes for whites has been increased South by the laws
which separate them from whites in schools, public conveyances, etc. But
it is to be remembered that these laws were intended to prevent
intermarriage; they are in part the result of race antipathies. But the
sound reason for them is that they tend to prevent intimacies which, at
the points where the races are in closest touch with each other, might
result in intermarriage. Professor E. D. Cope, of the University of
Pennsylvania, one of the very highest of American authorities on the
race question, in a powerful article published in 1890,[100] advocated
the deportation of the negroes from the South, no matter at what cost.
Otherwise he predicted eventual amalgamation, which would be the
destruction of a large portion of the finest race in the world.

  [100] "Two Perils of the Indo-European," _The Open Court_, January 23,
  1890, p. 2052.

       *       *       *       *       *

This little study now comes to a close. An effort has been made to
sketch briefly in this chapter the difficulties the South has
encountered in dealing with the negro problem, and to outline the
measure of success it has achieved. However imperfectly the author may
have performed his task, it must be clear to the reader that no such
problem as the present was ever before presented to a self-governing
people. Never was there so much need of that culture from which alone
can come a high sense of duty to others. The negro must be encouraged to
be self-helpful and useful to the community. If he is to do all this and
remain a separate race, he must have leadership among his own people. In
the Mississippi Black Belt there is now a town of some 4,000 negroes,
Mound Bayou, completely organized and prospering. It may be that in the
future negroes seeking among themselves the amenities of life may
congregate into communities of their own, cultivating adjacent lands, as
the French do in their agricultural villages. Wherever they may be,
they must practise the civic virtues, honesty, and obedience to law. W.
H. Councill, a negro teacher, of Huntsville, Alabama, said some years
since in a magazine article: "When the gray-haired veterans who followed
Lee and Jackson pass away, the negro will have lost his best friends."
This is true, but it is hoped that time and culture, while not producing
social equality, will allay race animosities and bring the negro other
friends to take the place of the departing veterans.

The white man, with his pride of race, must more and more be made to
feel that _noblesse oblige_. His sense of duty to others must measure up
to his responsibilities and opportunities. He must accord to the negro
all his rights under the laws as they exist.

The South is exerting itself to better its common schools, but it cannot
compete in this regard with the North. Northern philanthropists are
quite properly contributing to education in the South. They should
consider well the needs of both races. Any attempt to give to the
negroes advantages superior to those of the whites, who are now
treating the negro fairly in this respect, might look like another
attempt to put, in negro language, "the bottom rail on top."

Looking over the whole field covered by this sketch, it is wonderful to
note how the chain of causation stretches back into the past.
Reconstruction was a result of the war; secession and war resulted from
a movement in the North, in 1831, against conditions then existing in
the South. The negro, the cause of the old quarrel between the sections,
is located now much as he was then. How full of lessons, for both the
South and the North, is the history of the last eighty years!

There is even a chord that connects the burning of a negro at
Coatesville, Pennsylvania, by an excited mob on the 13th of August,
1911, with the burning of the Federal Constitution at Framingham,
Massachusetts, by that other excited mob of madmen, under Garrison, on
the fourth day of July, 1854. One body of outlaws was defying the laws
of Pennsylvania; the other was defying the fundamental laws of the


  Abolitionists, mobbed, 71;
    burn U. S. Constitution, 72;
    private lives of leaders irreproachable, 89;
    become factor in national politics; Boston captured by;
          "slave-catchers" now mobbed; national election turns on
          vote, 95-6;
    anti-slavery in Faneuil Hall, 97;
    election again turns on vote of, 99;
    impartial observer on influence of, 105;
    Professor Smith on, 106

  Abolition petitions in Congress, influence of, 102

  Abolition societies, in 1840, 93

  Adams, John Quincy, becomes champion of Abolitionists, 90;
    defends right of petition, 91

  Alien and Sedition laws, 1798, 18;
    nature of, 19

  Americans, world's record for hard fighting, 201

  Andrews, Prof. E. A., slavery conditions South, 79

  Anti-slavery people and Abolitionists grouped, 104;
    Douglas charged "Black Republican" party with favoring "negro
    citizenship and negro equality," 167

  Aristocracy in South, 159, 160, 161

  Articles of Confederation, 15

  Author, antecedents, explanation of, 10-11

  Author's conclusions, 242-3-4

  Biglow Papers, 97-8

  Birney, James G., mobbed, 87

  Boston meeting, Dr. Hart overlooks, 73

  Boston Resolutions, 64

  Burke, Edmund, on conciliation, 109;
    spirit of liberty in slave-holding communities, 158

  Calhoun, John C., prophecy of, 167-8

  Cause of sectional conflict, Abolition societies and their methods, 205

  Channing, Dr. Wm. E., encomium on Great Britain, 39;
    letter to Webster, 47;
    opinion of Abolitionists, 87;
    his change, 88

  Characters and careers, of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, 188-192

  Churches, North and South, opposition to slavery; a stupendous
        change, 67;
    "whole cloth arrayed against" Garrison, 68;
    Southern churches still defend slavery; Northern changed; Methodist
          church disrupted, 70

  Coatesville lynching, 224

  Colonies, juxtaposed, not united, 15

  Colonization Society, origin of and purposes, 44;
    its supporters, 45;
    making progress; Abolitionists halted it, 46

  Compromise of 1850; excitement in Congress, 106;
    great leaders in; Webster on 7th of March, 107;
    Clay's speech, 112;
    new fugitive slave law gave offence, 128

  Confederate States with old Constitution--changes slight, 186

  Constitution, Alien and Sedition Laws first palpable infringement, 3;
    powers conferred by discussed, 16;
    as supreme law Southerners still cling to, 207

  Cope, Prof. E. D., advocated deportation to prevent amalgamation, 241

  Cotton gin, accepted theory as to denied, 12

  Courage of, and losses in, both armies, 195

  Criminality, of negroes greater than of whites, 240

  Cromwell and the Great Revolution, analogy to, 8

  Curtis, George Ticknor, quotation from "Life of Buchanan," 14

  Davis, Jefferson, farewell speech, 181;
    doubts about success--sadness, 190

  Democrats, North, opposed negro suffrage, 212

  Deportation, no country ready to take negro, 82

  Disunion, project among Federalist leaders, 1803-4, 25;
    sentiment in Congress, 1794, 24

  Emancipation, easy North; difficult South, 40;
    Federal government, no power over, 41;
    status North in 1830, 52

  Emancipations, South, what accomplished in 1831, 50;
    census tables, 51

  Embargo of 1807, why repealed, 26

  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, eulogizes John Brown, 15

  Everett, Edward, denunciation of John Brown expedition, 152

  Extradition, refused, of abductors of slaves, Supreme Court
        powerless, 176

  Federalists, construed Constitution liberally, 17

  Fite, Professor at Yale, declares Republicans in 1860 hoped to destroy
        slavery, 175;
    justification of secession, 182

  Freedman's Bureau, its composition, 221

  Free speech, Channing defends Abolitionists as champions of, 87;
    John Quincy Adams becomes advocate, 90

  Fugitive slave law, North not opposing in 1828, 53;
    Missouri Compromise provided for, 54

  Garrison, William Lloyd, began _Liberator_; personality and
        characteristics, 56;
    key-note, slavery the concern of all; slave-holders to be made
          odious, 58

  Godkin, E. L., on negro as factor in politics, 237

  Greeley, Horace, draws comfort from John Brown's raid, 153

  Hartford Convention, 28

  Helper, Hinton Rowan, his book, 165

  Higher law idea, prompted Abolition Crusade--and Czolgosz to murder
        McKinley, 206

  Immigration and Union sentiment; number of immigrants, 33;
    few South, 34

  Incendiary literature, sent South, 62;
    North aroused; Andrew Jackson's message, 63;
    Boston Resolutions, 64;
    indictment in Alabama; requisition on Governor of New York, 98

  Incompatibility of slavery and freedom; Lincoln's Springfield
          speech, 81;
    Garrison first to announce doctrine; Abraham Lincoln next;
          then Seward, 147-8

  Insurrections, Denmark Vesey plot at Charleston, 59;
    Nat Turner in Virginia; Walker's pamphlet, 60

  Irish patriots, Mitchel and Meagher, divide on secession, 35

  John Brown's raid, 149;
    his secret committee, 151

  Johnson, Andrew, succeeding Lincoln, carried out plan, 213

  Johnston, Sir Harry, on negro in South, highest degree of
        advancement, 237

  Kansas, fierce struggles in; Sumner's bitter speech, 142-3

  Kansas-Nebraska Act, Douglas originated, 135;
    aggravated sectionalism, 136

  Kentucky Resolutions, 1798, 19;
    Jefferson the author, 20;
    copy of first of, 21

  Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798-9;
    Secessionists relied on, 21;
    Jefferson and Madison's reasons for, 22

  Know-Nothing party, its origin; purposes; appeal for the Union,

  Las Casas, Bishop, advice to King of Spain, 237

  Liberia, sending negroes to, called "expatriation"; enterprise a
        failure, 46;
    Lincoln's hopes of, 81;
    why it failed--Miss Mahoney's account, 169-70-71

  Lincoln, South no more responsible for slavery than North, 49;
    speech at Charleston, Ill., 81;
    finds no country ready to take American negro, 82;
    South in 1860 thought him radical; had favored white supremacy
          in 1858, 185;
    speech at Peoria, 186;
    assassination of, 209

  Lodge, Henry Cabot, declares popular verdict against Webster, 118;
    he had undertaken the impossible, 120;
    his argument good, he not man to make it, 121

  Lundy, Benjamin, attempts to stir up North against slavery South, 47

  Lynchings, tables, 239;
    comments on, 240

  McMaster, affirms Webster behind the times (note), 100

  Missouri, controversy over slavery, 52;
    distinct from that begun later by "New Abolitionists," 53

  Mobs, Garrison mobbed; many anti-slavery riots North, 71;
    violence toward Abolitionists in North reacted, 85;
    opponents became defenders, 86

  Mound Bayou, a negro town, 242

  Nationality, spirit of; causes of, development of, 30;
    grows, North; South on old lines, 35

  Navy, U. S., deciding factor in war, 198-9

  Negro, the, located now much as in 1860, 7;
    Lincoln could find no home abroad for, 206;
    reasons for smallness of vote South, 233;
    improvement; Booker Washington's opinion, 236;
    benefited by slavery; attained South highest degree of
          advancement, 237;
    best opportunities South, 241;
    Confederate veterans best friends there, 243

  Ohio, Resolutions looking to co-operative emancipation; responses
        of other States to, 42;
    Southern reason for, 43;
    Northern, kindly temper of, 44

  Otis, Harrison Gray, on Boston Resolutions, 65

  Pamphlets, venomous one cited, 75

  Personal liberty laws, eleven States passed; Alexander Johnston
        says absolutely without excuse, 177

  Petition, right of, in Congress, 90;
    "gag resolution," 92

  Political conditions, North and South compared, 162-3-4

  "Poor whites," discussion of, and of social conditions South, 155-6-7

  Presidential campaign 1860, excitement, 171

  Press, Northern slandering South, 153;
    Southern slandering North, 154

  Race animosities, negro's aspirations to social equality; legal
        enactments, 238;
    whites embittered by crime against white women, 239

  Reagan, "Republican rule on Abolition principles," 105

  Reconstruction, Lincoln's theory; veto of resolution asserting power
        of Congress over, 208;
    last speech, adhering to plan, 210

  Reconstruction by Johnson under Lincoln plan; wisdom of Lincoln-Johnson
        plan, John Sherman; opposition to it partisan, Senator Cullom, 211;
    South accepts plan; senators and representatives, 214;
    negro problem and Jefferson's prediction, 215;
    apprenticeship and vagrancy laws, Blaine's attack on, 217

  Reconstruction, Congressional, extremists bent on negro suffrage when
        Congress convened in 1865, 212;
    preparations for; committee of fifteen; Shellabarger's appeal to war
          passions, 215;
    South denied representation; Southerners reject Fourteenth Amendment;
          Garfield denounces rebel government, 219;
    Johnson's reconstructed State governments swept away; universal
          suffrage for negro; South sends Republicans to Congress, 220;
    witnesses before "Committee of Fifteen" rewarded; Southern counsels
          divided, 223;
    carpet-baggers and scalawags, 224;
    intolerable political conditions; race issue forced upon whites, 226;
    whites recover self-government, 227

  Republican party, the modern; its origin; Mr. Rhodes on, 138-139;
    nominates Frémont and Dayton; denounces slavery; excitement;
          defeated, 144

  Resources, war, North and South compared, 191-2-3

  Salem Church monument, 9

  Santo Domingo, memory of massacre in, 80

  Seceded States, wretched conditions in 1865, 214

  Seceding States, desire to preserve Constitution, 179

  Secession, early threats of not connected with slavery, 26;
    Josiah Quincy threatens, 1811; Massachusetts legislature endorses
          him, 28;
    in early days belief in general, 28;
    Massachusetts legislature threatens, 1844, 29;
    eleven States seceded, 179;
    Prof. Fite justifies, his ground, 182;
    motives for in 1860-1, 183

  Self-government restored; local clashes, no race war; based on Lincoln's
        idea, superiority of white man, 229;
    constitutional amendments to restore purity of ballot, 233;
    industrial results amazing, 234-5;
    negro vote small--reasons, 231

  Seward, leader of Republican party, 178

  Situation in Alabama in 1835--letter of John W. Womack, 79

  Slavery, Great Britain abolishes, compensates owners, 39;
    South's "calamity not crime," 48;
    debate in Virginia Assembly, 61

  Slaves, protect masters' families during war, 132-3;
    a surprise to North, 133-4

  Slave-trade, New England's part in, 37;
    South protests against; sentiment against arises in England, sweeps
          over America, 38

  Social conditions South, 155-60

  South unwilling to accept idea of incompatibility of slave and free
        States, 94-5;
    bitterness in, 101;
    on defensive-aggressive, 126;
    excited; filibustering; importation of slaves, 145

  Spencer, Herbert, slavery once a necessary phase of human progress, 237

  Sprague, Peleg, on Boston Resolutions, 66

  Suffrage, Lincoln thought Southerners themselves should control, 203

  Sumner, Charles, philippic against South; Brooks's attack on, 143-4;
    negro suffrage to give "Unionists" new allies, 220

  Texas, application for admission, 93;
    Channing threatens secession if admitted, 94

  Tilden, Samuel J., letter to Kent, secession inevitable if Lincoln
        elected, 172-3-4

  Underground railroads, Professor Hart's picture of, 103

  Union, the, Webster's great speech for in 1830, 31;
    effect of, 32

  Union sentiment South; Whigs, 34

  "Uncle Tom's Cabin," influence on Northern sentiment, 129-133

  War, the, nature of, 180

  Washington, a Federalist, 18;
    his appeal for Union, 30

  Webster, on 7th of March, 107;
    his sole concession, 111;
    condemns personal liberty laws and Abolitionists, 115;
    congratulated and denounced, 117;
    "Ichabod," 119;
    Rhodes's estimate of, 122;
    his speech for "The Constitution and the Union"; Wilkinson's estimate
          of, 122;
    E. P. Wheeler's estimate of, 125;
    Webster's opinion of Abolitionists and Free-soilers, 126

  Welles, Gideon, opinion in 1867 as to debasing elective franchise, 232

  Whites, South, fought fraud with fraud during Reconstruction, till
        Constitution amended continued it, 232;
    difficulties of their task, 233;
    growing spirit of altruism; school taxes divided pro rata, 234

  Wilmot proviso, 111

  Wisconsin nullifies fugitive slave law, 178

  Women, devotion of during war, North and South, 195

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Page 49: 'Prior to the rise of the Abolitionists in 1831,
emancipationists in the South had been free to grapple with conditions
as they found them.'

The words "in the" have been supplied by the transcriber.

Hyphenation is inconsistent.

Obvious printer's errors have been corrected.

Index reference to Johnston, Sir Harry: the transcriber has changed
page 257 to read 237.

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