If those who believed this doctrine were ruthless fanatics — ultra abolitionists in the strictest sense — if those who oppose it were really “pro-slavery” men, in the bad sense in which certain persons understand this phrase, that is, men who, on the subject of slavery, wickedly do what they know and feel to be wrong: on either hypothesis we could account for the phenomenon in question.
But these are not the men with whom I deal in these lectures.
I lay all such out of the account.
They are men not to be reasoned with.
No: the men of whom I speak, both North and South, are candid, honest men. I personally know many of them at the North
I have met them on great battle-fields, where more than blood was shed!
I know them to be good men and true, and I believe the same of the large class they represent.
With many of those at the South
who affiliate with them in opinion as firm believers in Jefferson
's doctrine, or whose embryo opinions excite painful misgivings of mind, I have often communed freely, and have equal confidence in their integrity and honesty.
The whole taken together form a very numerous class, and may be safely regarded as embodying the national belief and feeling on the subject of slavery.
And yet we find that slavery is a great practical truth, a fixed fact in the country.
Now, can it be true