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[439] Francis W. Hughes,1 of Pennsylvania, Rodman M. Price,2 of New Jersey, etc., etc.

Kindred in idea, though diverse in its mode of operations, was an association organized at New York during this month, naming itself the “American Society for promoting National Unity,” whereof Prof. Samuel F. B. Morse (of telegraphic fame and fortune) was made President, while The Journal of Commerce became its accredited organ. The cardinal idea of this fraternity was the restoration and conservation of National Unity through the conversion of all dissidents to the faith that African Slavery is ordained by God, for the improvement and blessing of both the Whites and the Blacks. The programme of this society thus illustrates the bland, benignant piety wherein the movement was grounded:--

We believe that the time has come when such evil teachings [Abolitionism] should be firmly and boldly confronted, not by the antagonisms of doubtful and perishable weapons, but by “the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,” as expounded by a broad and faithful recognition of His moral and providential government over the world. It is with this view that we propose an organized effort, etc., etc.

Our attention will not be confined to Slavery; but this will be, at present, our main topic. Four millions of immortal beings, incapable of self-care, and indisposed to industry and foresight, are providentially committed to the hands of our Southern

1 For many years, Chairman of the Democratic State Committee.

2 Formerly Representative in Congress from California; since, Democratic Governor of New Jersey. Gov. Price's letter to L. W. Burnett, Esq., of Newark, N. J., appeared in The Newark Mercury of April 4, 1861. lie says:

If we find that to remain with the North, separated from those who have, heretofore, consumed our manufactures, and given employment to a large portion of our labor, deprived of that reciprocity of trade which we have hitherto enjoyed, our Commerce will cease, European competition will be invited to Southern markets, our people be compelled to seek employment else-where, our State becoming depopulated and impoverished, thereby affecting our agricultural interest, which has not yet felt the crisis-commerce and manufactures being always first to feel political and financial embarrassments. But at last the blow will be felt by all; even now, the farmers' products are at ruinous prices at the West. These are the prospective results of remaining with the present Northern confederacy. Whereas, to join our destiny with the South will be to continue our trade and intercourse, our prosperity, progress, and happiness, uninterrupted, and perhaps in an augmented degree. Who is he that would advise New Jersey to pursue the path of desolation when one of prosperity is open before her, without any sacrifice of principle or honor, and without difficulty or danger; besides being the course and policy, in my judgment, most likely to reunite all the States under the glorious “Stars and Stripes?”

The action of our State will prove influential and, perhaps, potential, from our geographical position, upon the adjoining great States of Pennsylvania and New York; and I am confident that the people of those States, whose interests are identical with our own to a considerable degree, will, when they elect, choose also to cast their lot with the South. And, after them, the Western and North-Western States will be found in the same balance, which would be, essentially, a reconstruction of the old Government. What is the difference whether we go to the South, or they come to us? I would rather be the magnanimous brother or friend, to hold out the hand of reconciliation, than he who, as magnanimously, receives the proffer.

It takes little discernment to see that one policy will enrich us, and the other impoverish us. Knowing our rights and interests, we dare maintain them. The Delaware River only separates us from the State of Delaware for more than one hundred miles. A portion of our State extends south of Mason and Dixon's line, and south of Washington city. The Constitution made at Montgomery has many modifications and amendments desired by the people of this State, and none they would not prefer to disunion. We believe that Slavery is no sin; “that the negro is not equal to the white man; that Slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition;” still, we might desire some change in the Constitution, which time may effect; but, as a whole, it is, in my opinion, the only basis upon which the country can be saved; and, as the issue between the North and the South has been a practical one (the question of territorial rights was immaterial, and, practically, nothing to us), let us, then, save the country — let us do that which is most likely to reunite the States, speedily and peacefully.

Arguments nearly identical with the foregoing were used to like purpose by Gov. Seymour, of New York, but in private conversations only.

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Rodman M. Price (2)
Horatio Seymour (1)
Samuel F. B. Morse (1)
Francis W. Hughes (1)
L. W. Burnett (1)
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April 4th, 1861 AD (1)
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