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the subject of slavery, and abolish it, if they like, in any State of the Union, and if they have no such right, then we prefer separation, and, in fact, secession. Politically, therefore, the secession doctrine of South Carolina, taught them by Calhoun, and the disunion doctrine held by abolitionists, and taught them by Mr. Lloyd Garrison, were identical : morally, I admit they were wide as the poles asunder—but politically, they were one: and it is worth noticing that up to the election of Mr. Lincoln, the party who talked most seriously about secession, was the Abolition party of the North. So long, however, as the South held the reins of government, they denied the legality of the abolition doctrine of secession ; which brought great odium upon, and prejudice against, that party, because of their supposed Anti-national feelings. The Republican party, who date back to the year 1848, on the other hand, held that slavery was an evil, but one that could not be dealt with by the Tederal government, except for the purpose of preventing its extension, and the bringing of moral influence to bear upon the slaveholders, and trying to induce them to consent to some plan of gradual abolition that would give them a fair equivalent for their loss. The idea of the
Republican party was compensated emancipation-similar, in fact, to our own plan of abolition in the West Indies. The Republican party contended that, under the constitution, slavery was local and not national, and their object was to keep it local ; while the Southern party were always trying, and almost succeeded in making it national, and thus securing permanent support for it. Never let us forget that the constitution of the United States never recognised slavery as a doctrine. It recognised it, I admit, as a fact, and permitted its existence. It was recognised by the American constitution, the same as polygamy was in the Jewish religionpermitted, but not engrafted on the system. It was like the lungi that sometimes grows upon a tree; it fastens itself upon the tree and sucks life from it, but never becomes part and parcel of the tree itself.
The word slave, or slavery, does not occur in the American constitution; they have it “persons held to service: this was not an accident or an oversight. The Fathers of the Republic held the truth that slavery must die in presence of a Republican government and popular liberty, and hence they adopted a form of expression that would as much refer
to the condition of an apprentice, or a person hired for a term, as to that of a slave. The great men who laid the foundation of the American government, saw the rock; they had not the courage or the power at that time boldly to uproot the system of slavery, and they therefore tried to steer round the rock by using an expression when speaking of slavery that should not make the system perpetual; so that the different States of America were, under the constitution, able to deal with the question of slavery as they thought best. Hence, many of the Northern States that once held slaves abolished the system, and they were able to do so because slavery was no part of the constitution. But what has the South done in framing their new constitution ? They have made the institution of slavery perpetual, and actually made it part of their constitution, that no law impairing or denying the right of property in slaves shall be passed. This is the great, and I may almost say the only material difference between the old constitution of the United States and that adopted by the Confederate States. It is clear, therefore, that the ground of secession and the reason for separation, is slavery, and slavery alone.
But it is time I should refer to a few of the fallacies that have been attempted to be palmed upon the people of this country during the struggle. And 1st. We have been constantly told that “the South are fighting for freedom and independence." A little reflection will, I think, show this to be a fallacy. What liberty had they ever been denied by the Union ? Had they not liberty to speak, write, and vote as they liked ? Is it not a fact, that for years they held the reins of government of the Union ? Were not most of the Presidents of the Union chosen from the South ? And those who were elected from the North, were they not the tools and instruments in the hands of Southern slaveholders? What liberty, I ask again, was denied the South ? They not only voted themselves, but for their slaves, in the proportion of 3 votes for 5 slaves. Prior to secession, in what part of the country was there most liberty ? Was it in the North or in the South ? In the North, there was a free press, & free platform, free education, and a free pulpit ; but in the South, no man's life was worth 24 hours' purchase, who dared to denounce slavery. In which section
of the country are there free schools, and an educated working population ?
I grant you, that in the South the wealthy classes have been educated, but I also assert that there the masses have been doomed to ignorance and neglect. The white population, “mean whites," as they are arrogantly styled by the slaveocracy, were cheated of intelligence, and the blacks
were robbed of their rights; and yet, in face of these facts, we are told that the South is fighting for liberty and independence. Yes, they are fighting for the same liberty that highwaymen and robbers would fight for—the right to rob those who are less powerful than themselves. The liberty for which the South are fighting, is the liberty to live by the labour of others. They hate labour, and despise those who work : while in the North, industry is honoured, labour is recognised and rewarded. The North live by their own labour—the South by the labour of unpaid, brutalised, and ill-used slaves.
This aspect of the question appeals to the workingclasses in all countries. If the South had succeeded in establishing and extending their accursed system of human bondage, they would have placed a brand upon industry, and helped to degrade labour in every part of the world. Our own working men of the North have seen this from the beginning; and hence they have, from the first, nobly said-We would rather suffer, than that labour should be degraded. I repeat, the liberty for which the South are fighting is the liberty to tyrannise over, to brutalise, and to degrade those who labour: and yet this is the cause, and these are the objects that a large number of our public men and a still larger number of our public writers--ask us to sympathise with and support. The liberty that the South want, is the same that King Bomba wanted, and the same that the Pope and Russia want to-day—the liberty to oppress and to degrade. Away with such liberty! and away, too, with such teaching; and in its place let us help to plant the tree of liberty brought from heaven by the Divine founder of our holy religion, and embodied in that glorious charter of human rights“As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
2nd. I am told by some that the only objects for which the North are fighting are dominion and the Union ; that they are not fighting to put down slavery. I admii, without reserve, that the abolition of slavery was not the avoued object of the
war ; it could not be, it would have been illegal, and I
believe would have been immoral, to try to abolish slavery by war. I have no idea that we ought to attempt to do good by using means that are in themselves evil; but I do contend that every government is bound to protect its laws and to maintain its authority. No government has a right to allow armed resistanre to its laws, and especially when those laws are the result of popular opinion. There may be some disadvantages connected with republican government and universal suffrage; but at any rate it has one advantage. No man can say that he is not at liberty to give practical effect to his opinion, and exert all i!le influence to which he is entitled over the laws and institutions of his country.
If the South held the doctrine of secession as a fixed principle, how is it that they did not apply the principle prior to Mr Lincoln's election? Why did they, in November 1860, use their utmost power, and put out all their strength, to elect a Southern President ? Does any man in his senses believe there would have been any secession if either of the Southern candidates had been elected ? No--let the truth he told, that the South did not secede till they were beaten by a popular vote; that they used all the powers that the constitution gave them to secure an executive favourable to slavery; and failing in that resolve, they resisted by force a government elected by the people that had done them no wrong; for secession was a fait accompli before the Republican party were in power, or had done a single act or passed a single law. No oppression, no injustice, no wrong can be alleged ; all the South can urge in justification of the crime they committed against their country, and humanity, is that they failed in the attempt to elect a president favourable to the extension of slavery.
Was the North justified in trying to uphold the constitution and laws of their country? Mind, I am not now asking whether it would have been better for them to try and make some arrangement, and allow the South to go": that may be a point worthy of enquiry, and such is my love of peace, that had I been a citizen of the States, I think I should have counselled peaceful secession rather than war. But that is not the point: I have no right to expect the American government to do what I know our own woula not do.
Will you tell me what poríion of the British empire you woud allow to secede peaceably? Would you
| allowy India to escale? The war of 1857, vith ail its bloody atrocities and cruelties, is an answer to that. Would you allow Jreland to secede ? She has repeatedly wanted to do so ; she has, at any rate, serious grounds of complaint, With an absent proprietary, a starving and gradually diminishing population, a siаie church forced upon the people contrary to the will of the great majority, these are real grievances and wrongs. But
suppose Ireland on the ground of these wrongs, aşks to secede, what is your reply? Why, that Ireland is an integral part of this country; that if it wants any alterations made in its laws and institutions, it must take the constitutional course of obtaining those alterations; and that any attempt to secede will be met with the whole armed force of the country. Would you allow the counties south of the Thames to secede ? and if they attempted to do so, do you think our government would use no force to prevent it? Now, I contend that India or Ireland, or the Southern Counties of England, have just as much legal right to secede, as the Southern States of America. I am sure I am not misinterpreting the feeling and sentiment of the English government and people in saying this : and further, I would assist the government in its determination to put down this rebellion. I would do all I could to counsel conciliation, by the removal of all proved grievances and wrongs; but I believe it to be for the interest of all, that there should be no armed resistance to the authority of government, or the supremacy of law and order. Though I am, as you are aware, opposed to the union of Church and State, if there was any atteinpt to break that uion by force, I would oppose it to the utmost of my power and should uphold the government in their efforts to suppress such a rebellion.
On this ground I stand here to-night to maintain the right of the American government to uphold their authority, and to maintain in its integrity their country. They are, you say, fighting for the Union : but what does the Union mean? It means the right of selfgovernment, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the exaltation of labour, and I rejoice to add, the liberation and recognition of the manhood of 4 millions of degraded slaves. In the maintenance of such a Union I rejoice, and pray that God may prosper it.
3r. But I inay be told that it is impossible that there can "he Union for the future, seeing that such a state of antago