and excites the ignorant and the thoughtless in our midst to hate and persecute them?
Be not deceived.
Let me not prophesy smooth things, and cry Peace, when there is no peace.
Let the truth be spoken, be heard, be pondered, if we mean to save the Union.
concluded his address to this non-partisan Union meeting after this fashion:
Have I not a right to say that a Government which was all-sufficient for the country fifty years ago, when soil and climate and State sovereignty were trusted to regulate the spread of Slavery, is insufficient to-day, when every upstart politician can stir the people to mutiny against the domestic institutions of our Southern neighbors — when the ribald jests of seditious editors like Greeley and Beecher can sway legislatures and popular votes against the handiwork of Washington or Madison — when the scurrilous libels of such a book as Helper's become a favorite campaign document, and are accepted by thousands as law and gospel both — when jealousy and hate have extinguished all our fraternal feelings for those who were born our brethren, and who have done us no harm?
Mr. Charles E. Lex
(who had voted for Lincoln
) made an apologetic and deprecatory speech, wherein he said:
However they may suppose the contrary, our affections are not alienated from our Southern friends; and, even now, the rumor of any damage to them from a domestic source would bring to their aid a legion of young men from this State--ay, and of those more advanced in life — ready to assist them in the emergency, and willing to shed their blood in their defense.
I appeal to you, citizens of Philadelphia, whether I am not speaking the truth.
What, then, can we say to them?
What more than we have expressed in the resolutions we have offered?
If they are really aggrieved by any laws upon our statute-books opposed to their rights — if, upon examination, any such are found to be in conflict with the Constitution of these United States--nay, further: if they but serve to irritate our brethren of the South, whether constitutional or not, I, for one, have no objection that they should instantly be repealed.
They are not necessary to our existence as a State.
We have lived without them in years that are past, and we can live without them again.
I am not here, however, to concede that, in this respect, our noble commonwealth has lone any intentional wrong; but if, in our calm judgment, it shall appear that our feelings, in the slightest degree warped, have apparently inflicted any injury, she is noble and generous enough manfully to repair it. Let the Fugitive Slave Law be executed in its full intent and spirit.
It is the law of the land; let it be implicitly obeyed.
We might, perhaps, have desired to have a few of its provisions modified; but let it remain as it is, however liable these portions may be to Northern criticism, if the South deem it necessary for the protection of her rights.
Let us, too, submit, as we have hitherto cheerfully done, to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States.
It is the great bulwark of the Constitution.
Its judgments should be final and conclusive, and not be questioned in any quarter.
Whilst the free discussion of every question is the privilege of every citizen of the Republic, let us discountenance any denunciation of Slavery, or of those who maintain that institution, as intemperate and wrong, whether they are promulgated in the lecture-room, at the political gathering, or from the sacred desk.
Mr. Theodore Cuyler
followed in a kindred strain, illustrating his notion of what was required to bring back the seceders and restore fraternal concord to the Union
, as follows:
Let us of the North get back to our true position.
Let us first set the example of perfect obedience to the Constitution and the laws; and then, when we shall have pulled the beam from our own eye, we may talk to our brother of the mote in his. Let us return the fugitive from labor, as we are bound to do; or, if we permit his rescue by unlawful violence, compensate his owner for the loss.
Let us repeal our obnoxious Personal Liberty bills — those mean evasions of the plainest duty; let us receive our brother of the South, if he will come among us for a little time, attended by his servant, and permit him thus to come.
We are bound by a sacred compact not to interfere or meddle with the institution of Slavery as it exists in many of our sister States; and yet the pulpit and the press, and many of our public halls, are eloquent with violent and inflammatory appeals touching this subject, whose mischief, extending far beyond the boundary of our own Commonwealth, extends into the very heart of neighboring States.
Who shall say, fellow-citizens, how much of our present peril springs from this very cause?
Can we wonder that our Southern brother feels that the heart of his Northern fellow-citizen is shut against him?
Can we forget that these appeals have reached the Slaves