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[478] be done; an element of power which might be used; meaning thereby to intimidate or threaten our enemy with it, as a weapon of offence which they may drive us to use? Can it be possible that a Southern man — editor of a Southern journal--recognizing the right of property in slaves, admitting their inferiority in the scale of being, and also their social inferiority, would recommend the passage of a law which at one blow levels all distinctions, deprives a master of a right of property, and elevates the negro to an equality with the white man? For, disguise it as you may, those who fight together in a common sense, and by success win the same freedom, enjoy equal rights and equal position, and, in this case, are distinguished only by color. Are we prepared for this? Is it for this we are contending? Is it for this we would seek the aid of our slaves? To win their freedom with our own independence, to establish in our midst a half or quarter of a million of black freemen, familiar with the arts and discipline of war, and with large military experience? Has the bitter experience of Virginia, with regard to free negroes, already been forgotten? Has that fixed subject of legislation found its solution and remedy in the wise expedient of arming and training to arms, not only her worthless free negro population, but is this class to be multiplied ten-fold by this slave-conscription? Will ignorant, brutal free negroes be rendered less ignorant, less thievish, more humane, by this training of the camp? by the campaigns of three or four years? When President Davis said: “We are not fighting for slavery, but independence.” he meant that the question and subject of slavery was a matter to settle among ourselves, and one that admitted of no dispute; that he intended to be independent of all foreign influences on this as on all other matters; free to own slaves if we pleased; free to lay on our taxes; free to govern ourselves. He never intended to ignore the question of slavery, or to do aught else but express the determination to be independent in this as well as in other matters. What has embittered the feelings of the two sections of the old Union? What has gradually driven them to the final separation? What is it that has made two nationalities of them, if it is not slavery? It was slavery that caused them to denounce us inferiors; it was slavery that made the difference in our Congressional representatives; it was slavery that made the difference in our pursuits, in our interests, in our feelings, in our social and political life; it is slavery which now makes of us two people, as widely antagonistic and diverse as any two people can be, and it only needs a difference of language to make the Northerner and Southerner as opposite as the Frenchman and Englishman. You say, “the liberty and freedom of ourselves and children, the nationality of our country, &c., are involved in this struggle.” Yes, and of this nationality you would deprive us, for, instead of being, as we now are, a nation of freemen, holding slaves as our property,you would make us a nation of white men, with free negroes for our equals. Messrs. Editors, if you had sought in the political body of the Confederacy for some spot at which to aim and strike one blow which should at once deprive it of life, you could not have found one more vital, or have struck with more deadly certainty, than you have done by the advocacy of such a scheme; and if there is any member of Congress so lost to his sense of the duty which he owes to his country and the constitution which he has sworn to defend; if there is one who is not tired of the scenes of blood and ruin, and devastation which have stained and desolated many portions of our beloved land, but yet desires to see more, and yet a thousand fold more, of the strife and woe and misery begotten by civil revolution, let him persuade Congress to pass such a law and attempt to carry out such a system, and the things which have been will be nothing to the things which shall be — the revolution and war, born and nurtured and raging in our midst, shall be nothing when compared to that struggle in which we are now engaged, as the wild and desolating tornado, compared to the mild summer wind — as the angry fury of the ocean waves, when lashed by fierce blasts, to the smooth surface of the mountain lake.

The Yankee steals my slave, and makes a soldier and freeman of him to destroy me. You take my slave, and make a soldier and freeman of him to defend me. The difference in your intention is very great; but is not the practice of both equally pernicious to the slave and destructive to the country? and at the expiration of ten years after peace what would be the relative difference between my negro stolen and freed by the Yankee and my negro taken and freed by you? Would they not be equally worthless and vicious? How would you distinguish between them? How prevent the return of him whose hand is red with his master's blood, and his enjoyment of those privileges which you so lavishly bestow upon the faithful freedman?

Have you thought of the influence to be exerted by these half or quarter million free negroes in the midst of slaves, as you propose to leave them at the end of the war? These men constitute the bone and sinew of our slaves — the able-bodied between eighteen and forty-five. They will be men who know the value and power of combination; they will be disciplined, trained to the use of arms, with the power and ability of command; at the same time they will be grossly and miserably ignorant, without any fixed principle of life or the ability of acquiring one. The camp and the battle are not consided the best school of virtue. With habits of idleness learned in camp, with no fixed calling or business in which to engage, a class by color and circumstances proscribed and unable to rise. Then, again, these men must have their wives and children slaves, subject to all the restrictions of slavery, while they are to enjoy all

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