slaves within the lines of our armies to be free, and accept their services in defence of the Union
, compensating all loyal owners for slaves thus emancipated, and thus carrying liberty for all human beings wherever the stars and stripes shall float.’
It is plain, that the Republican party of Massachusetts
at this time, so far as its opinions were foreshadowed by the convention, did not favor the abolition of or interference with slavery.
When charged with favoring such doctrines by the press of the opposition, the Boston Daily Advertiser of Oct. 4, three days after the convention was held, utterly disclaimed them.
In its leading editorial it said,—
The convention certainly disavowed any intention of indorsing the fatal doctrines announced by Mr. Sumner, with a distinctness that can be hardly flattering to that gentleman's conception of his own influence in Massachusetts.
The resolutions offered by Rev. Mr. Clarke, as a crucial test of the readiness of the convention to adopt open abolitionism as its creed, went to the table, and were buried, never to rise.
Further on, it says,—
It may not appear so to Mr. Sumner and his supporters, and it may be forgotten by some who oppose him; but we hold it for an incontestable truth, that neither men nor money will be forthcoming for this war, if once the people are impressed with the belief, that the abolition of slavery, and not the defence of the Union, is its object, or that its original purpose is converted into a cloak for some new design of seizing this opportunity for the destruction of the social system of the South.
The people are heart and soul with their Government in support of any constitutional undertaking.
We do not believe that they will follow it, if they are made to suspect that they are being decoyed into the support of any unconstitutional and revolutionary designs.
It would be easy to add similar extracts from the Republican
papers in the Commonwealth
; but they would only add weight to an accepted truth.
At this time, the importance of saving the border slave States from being engulfed in the current of rebellion was immediate and paramount.
The Union men of those States excited our sympathy and admiration.