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[37] favored; for to complete the demonstration of the unreasonableness of her complaints, it is necessary only to add, that, by the admission of her leading public men, there never was a time when her “peculiar institution” was so stable and prosperous as at the present moment.1

Why should we not Recognize the seceding States?

And now let us rise from these disregarded appeals to the truth of history and the wretched subtilties of the Secession School of Argument, and contemplate the great issue before us, in its solemn practical reality. “Why should we not,” it is asked, “admit the claims of the seceding States, acknowledge their independence, and put an end at once to the war?” “Why should we not?” I answer the question by asking another: “Why should we?” What have we to gain, what to hope from the pursuit of that course? Peace? But we were at peace before. Why are we not at peace now? The North has not waged the war, it has been forced upon us in self-defence; and if, while they had the Constitution and the Laws, the Executive, Congress, and the Courts, all controlled by themselves, the South, dissatisfied with legal protections and Constitutional remedies, has grasped the sword, can North and South hope to live in peace, when the bonds of Union are broken, and amicable means of adjustment are repudiated? Peace is the very last thing which Secession, if recognized, will give us; it will give us nothing but a hollow truce,--time to prepare the means of new outrages. It is in its very nature a perpetual cause of hostility; an eternal never-cancelled letter of marque and reprisal, an everlasting proclamation of border-war. How can peace exist, when all the causes of dissension shall be indefinitely multiplied; when unequal revenue laws shall have led to a gigantic system of smuggling; when a general stampede of slaves shall take place along the border, with no thought of rendition, and all the thousand causes of mutual irritation shall be called into action, on a frontier of 1,500 miles not marked by natural boundaries and not subject to a common jurisdiction or a mediating power? We did believe in peace, fondly, credulously, believed that, cemented by the mild umpirage of the Federal Union, it might dwell forever beneath the folds of the Star-Spangled Banner, and the sacred shield of a common Nationality. That was the great arcanum of policy; that was the State mystery into which men and angels desired to look; hidden from ages, but revealed to us:--
Which Kings and Prophets waited for,
And sought, but never found:

a family of States independent of each other for local concerns, united under one Government for the management of common interests and the prevention of internal feuds. There was no limit to the possible extension of such a system. It had already comprehended half of North America, and it might, in the course of time, have folded the continent in its peaceful, beneficent embrace. We fondly dreamed that, in the lapse of ages, it would have been extended till half the Western hemisphere had realized the vision of universal, perpetual peace. From that dream we have been rudely startled by the array of ten thousand armed men in Charleston Harbor, and the glare of eleven batteries bursting on the torn sky of the Union, like the comet which, at this very moment, burns “In the Arctic sky, and from his ”

1 See Appendix, D.

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