endlessly our commercial relations.
Now, we stand aloof from the quarrels of the rest of the world, and can devote our energies to the development of our marvellous resources and the extension of civilization and freedom over the American
continent; then we should be compelled to an attitude of perpetual self-defence to save us from constant entanglement in the web of European
Already have we had a foretaste of the sort of treatment which Europe
will accord to the severed fragments of the American Republic
To maintain the respect of the world we must maintain first the integrity of our national territory, and next the integrity of our fundamental principles.
As for the argument that if the rebellion is crushed harmony can never be restored, Canada
furnishes the refutation.
The bloody feuds of 1838 have hardly left a trace to mar the tranquil prosperity which marks the progress of that great province.
There is reason to believe that the Union
men of the South
await but the coming of the Federal
forces in sufficient strength, to show them-selves again the cordial supporters of the Federal Government
But even if this were not so, and there was reason to fear a long period of distrust and disaffection, the fact remains that the interests of the American
people imperatively demand that the integrity of the Union
shall be preserved, whether the slavery propagandists of the South
like it or like it not.
This is one of those decisive epochs that occur in the history of all great nations.
One came to our fathers in 1776.
Submission to usurped authority, or national independence, was the issue; and on the day we commemorate they chose the latter; and the force of their example on the world is yet to be determined.
To-day the imperious demand comes from slavery, “Submit or be destroyed!”
Already has a blow been struck by slavery at our Republic, the force of which reverberates through the world.
Two hundred millions of debts due from rebels to loyal citizens are repudiated, the business of the country is arrested, bankruptcy stares us in the face; worse than all, our flag has been insulted, our prestige impaired, and from foreign courts we have received treatment that our American pride can illy brook.
Honor, interest, self-respect, and the highest duty, call upon us to crush, and crush speedily, the insolent traitors whose secret and atrocious perfidy has temporarily crippled us; and while we recall the motives that combine to compel us to resistance, let us not forget the duty which this nation owes to the oppressed race who are the innocent cause of all our troubles, and who have no friends to look to but ourselves, to prevent the spreading of slavery over every foot of American territory, and the waving of the flag of the slave trader over the fearful horrors of the middle passage.
Gentlemen, as in our revolutionary struggle our fathers had to contend with the timid and the avaricious, who feared the evils of war and continually cried peace!
peace! where there was no peace, so may we expect to be constantly hampered by declaimers in favor of compromise.
I do not stop to consider the fitness of our lending an ear to such a cry until the insult to our flag has been atoned for, and until our supremacy is acknowledged, for the great mass of the people of the country will be unanimous on this point; they will regard the bare suggestion of treating with the rebels whose hands are stained with the blood of the sons of Massachusetts
, of Ellsworth
and of Winthrop
, of Greble
and of Ward
, as a personal insult, and will reply to it as did Patrick Henry
--“We must fight!
I repeat it, sir, we must
The sword is now the only pen with which we can write “peace” in enduring characters on the map of America
The day of compromise is gone; “that sort of thing,” as the Secretary
said, “ended with the Fourth of March.”
We have had devices enough for saving the Union
, devices suggested by the men who are now striving to destroy it.
There is one good old plan provided by the Constitution
that was successfully practised by Washington
; we are about to try that;
let us try it thoroughly; it is simply the due execution of the laws by whatever degree of force the exigency may require.
If our army of 300,000 men is insufficient, a million stand ready to follow them to the field.
It would be difficult, my countrymen, to exaggerate the solemn importance of our national position.
A struggle for life and death has commenced between freedom and slavery, and on the event of the struggle depends our national existence.
Let us falter, let us compromise, let us yield, and the work of our fathers and the inheritance of our children, our own honor, and the hopes of the oppressed nationalities of the world, will be buried in a common grave!
Let us be demoralized by defeat in the field, or what is infinitely worse, by submission to rebellion, and in foreign lands a man will blush and hang his head to declare himself an American citizen.
A whipped hound should be the emblem of the Northern
man who whimpers for a peace that can only be gained by dishonor.
But let us remember our fathers who, eighty-five years ago, this day, made universal freedom and equal right, the corner-stone of this republic; let us exhibit, as we have begun to do, their stern resolve and high devotion in behalf of constitutional freedom, and we shall secure for our children and our children's children, a gigantic and glorious nationality, based upon principles of Christian civilization, such as the world has never seen before.
There is nothing impossible, nothing improbable, in our speedy realization of a glorious future.
The seeds of this rebellion have long lurked in our system; for years it has been coming to a head, and simply from want of proper treatment,