henceforth, to be the lord of the highway, and the poor, plundered traveler to have no property which he may defend at the risk of the life of the highwayman? On July 12, 1862, the President of the United States, persistent in his determination to destroy the institution of slavery, invited the Senators and Representatives of the border slave-holding states to the Executive Mansion, and addressed them on emancipation in their respective states. He said:
I intend no reproach or complaint when I assure you that, in my opinion, if you all had voted for the resolution in the gradual emancipation message of last March, the war would now be substantially ended. And the plan therein proposed is yet one of the most potent and swift means of ending it. Let the States which are in rebellion see definitely and certainly that in no event will the States you represent ever join their proposed confederacy, and they can not much longer maintain the contest. But you can not divest them of their hope to ultimately have you with them so long as you show a determination to perpetuate the institution within your own States. Beat them at elections as you have overwhelmingly done, and, nothing daunted, they still claim you as their own. You and I know what the lever of their power is. Break that lever before their faces, and they can shake you no more for ever.He further said that the incidents of the war might extinguish the institution in their states, and added:
How much better for you as seller and the nation as buyer to sell out and buy out that without which the war could never have been, than to sink both the thing to be sold and the price of it in cutting one another's throats!The reply of the majority, consisting of twenty of the twenty-nine Senators and Representatives, subsequently made to the President, is worthy of notice. They said that they were not of the belief that funds would be provided for the object, or that their constituents would reap the fruits of the promise held out, and added:
The right to hold slaves is a right appertaining to all the States of the Union. They have the right to cherish or abolish the institution, as their tastes or their interests may prompt, and no one is authorized to question the right, or limit its enjoyment. And no one has more clearly affirmed that right than you have. Your inaugural address does you great honor in this respect, and inspired the country with confidence in your fairness and respect for law.After asserting that a large portion of our people were fighting because they believed the administration was hostile to their rights, and was making war on their domestic institutions, they further said:
Remove their apprehensions; satisfy them that no harm is intended to them and their institutions; that this Government is not making war on their rights of property, but is simply defending its legitimate authority, and they will gladly return to their allegiance.