The suggestions, in a recent number of The Journal, of a basis of settlement of differences between the North and the South, have, in awakening attention and discussion, accomplished their purpose. We knew that in no quarter would these suggestions be more distasteful than with our own most valued friends. We knew that the occasion would be regarded as inopportune. We knew also the provocations in the controversy were with our opponents. Nothing is easier, certainly, than to demonstrate the rightfulness of the position of the Republican party--a party that was created by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and owes its recent triumph to the determination of Slavery to extend and perpetuate its political dominion, aided by two successive and besotted Federal Administrations. But, unfortunately, the pending issue is to be decided irrespective of its merits. The election of Mr. Lincoln is the pretext for, and not the cause of, Disunion. The design originated with Mr. Calhoun; who, when he failed to be chosen President of the whole Union, formed the scheme of dividing it, and devoted the remainder of his life in training the South up to the treason now impending. Mr. Calhoun had, in McDuffie, Hayne, and other statesmen, eloquent auxiliaries. The contagion extended to other Southern States; and, by diligence, activity, discipline, and organization, the whole people of the Gulf States have come to sympathize with their leaders. The masses are, in their readiness for civil war, in advance of their leaders. They have been educated to believe us their enemies. This has been effected by systematic misrepresentations of the sentiments and feelings of the North. The result of all this is, that, while the Southern people, with a unanimity not generally understood, are impatient for Disunion, more than one half of them are acting in utter ignorance of the intentions, views, and feelings, of the North. Nor will the leaders permit them to be disabused. Those leaders know that Mr. Lincoln will administer the Government in strict and impartial obedience to the Constitution and laws, seeking only the safety and welfare of the whole people, through the prosperity and glory of the Union. For this reason, they precipitate the conflict; fearing that, if they wait for a provocation, none will be furnished, and that, without fuel, their fires must be extinguished. This question, involving the integrity of the Union and the experiment of self-government, we repeat, will be decided irrespective of its merits. Three miserable months of a miserable Administration must “drag its slow length along” before the Republican Administration can act or be heard. During these three months, its baleful influences will be seen and felt in the demoralization of popular sentiment. Its functionaries and its journals will continue to malign the North and inflame the South; leaving, on the 4th of March, to their successors an estate as wretchedly encumbered and dilapidated as imbecile or spendthrift ever bequeathed. Mismanaged as that estate has been, and wretched as its present condition is, we regard it as an inestimable, priceless, and precious inheritance — an inheritance which we are unwilling to see wholly squandered before we come into possession. To our dissenting friends, who will not question our devotion to freedom, however much they may mistrust our judgment, we submit a few earnest admonitions: 1. There is imminent danger of a dissolution of the Union. 2. This danger originated in the ambition and cupidity of men who desire a Southern despotism; and in the fanatic zeal of Northern Abolitionists, who seek the emancipation of slaves regardless of consequences. 3. The danger can only be averted by such moderation and forbearance us will
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1 November 30, 1860.
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