If Gen. M. had been asked to reconcile the precepts of this letter regarding Slavery — how “the relations of servitude,” for example, could be preserved in a district subject to “military power,” without a distinct recognition and support of those “relations” by the military authority there dominant; or in what manner he would have “disorder” repressed, when it was caused by the slave's asserting his right to control his own actions and the master's resisting it — he might have answered ingeniously, but to what purpose? Manifestly, the ruling authority, whether civil or military, must either support the slaveholder's claim of property in and power over his slaves, or it will be seriously impaired — nay, utterly defied and overthrown. In “repressing” the “disorder” certain to arise in the premises, the commander must inevitably decide which to support — the master's assertion of authority, or the slave's claim to liberty. “Political rights” can receive “protection” only when it has been determined where the right lies. The manumission, which Gen. M. fore-shadowed in Missouri, West Virginia, and Maryland, was not merely “a question of time.” It was a question of power as well; since he plainly contemplated its achievement, not by popular action, but by military force. Paying the “owner” might, indeed, modify his wrath; but could not affect the fundamental question of authority and right. A letter addressed1 to the President some weeks after this, entitled “The prayer of twenty Millions,” and exhorting Mr. Lincoln--not to proclaim all the slaves in our country free, but to execute the laws of the land which operated to free large classes of the slaves of Rebels--concludes as follows:
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1 Aug. 19 1862.
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