The mass of the northern people were not privy to, and sympathized in no such design.
They loved the Union
and wished to preserve it. To rally the people to the support of the war, its object was proclaimed to be “a restoration of the Union
,” as if that which implied voluntary assent, of which agreement was an indispensable element and condition, could be preserved by coercion.
It is absurd to pretend that a government, really desirous of restoring the Union
, would adopt such measures as the confiscation of private property, the emancipation of slaves, systematic efforts to invite them to insurrection, forcible abduction from their homes, and compulsory enlistment in the army, the division of a sovereign State without its consent, and the proclamation that one-tenth of the population of a State, and that tenth under military rule, should control the will of the remaining nine-tenths.
The only relation possible between the two sections, under such a policy, is that of conqueror and conquered, superior and dependent.
Rest assured, fellow-citizens, that although restoration may still be used as a war-cry by the Northern Government
, it is only to delude and betray.
Fanaticism has summoned to its aid cupidity and vengeance; and nothing short of your utter subjugation, the destruction of your State governments, the overthrow of your social and political fabric, your personal and public degradation and ruin, will satisfy the demands of the North
Can there be a man so vile, so debased, so unworthy of liberty as to accept peace on such humiliating terms?
It would hardly be fair to assert that all the northern people participate in these designs.
On the contrary, there exists a powerful political party which openly condemns them.
The administration has, however, been able thus far, by its enormous patronage and its lavish expenditures to seduce, or by its legions of “Hessian” mercenaries to overawe the masses, to control the elections and to establish an arbitrary despotism.
It cannot be possible that this state of things can continue.
The people of the United States
, accustomed to freedom, cannot consent to be ruined and enslaved in order to ruin and enslave us. Moral, like physical, epidemics, have their allotted periods, and must, sooner or later, be exhausted and disappear.
When reason returns, our enemies will probably reflect that a people like ours, who have exhibited such capabilities and extemporized such resources, can never be subdued; that a vast expanse of territory, with such a population, cannot be governed as an obedient colony.
Victory would not be conquest.
The inextinguishable quarrel would be transmitted “from bleeding sire to son,”