their national instincts, will not employ the labor of a slave.”
And in fine, as if to show how little he is convinced by his own arguments, Mr. Simons
says of this same volume (Helper
's “Impending crisis” ), “This book had a most remarkable circulation in the years immediately preceding the war, and probably if the truth — as to the real factors which made public opinion could be determined, it had far more to do with bringing on the Civil War
than did Uncle Tom's Cabin
” --which involves an admission as to the latter book as well as to the former.
Books and arguments and ideals had their leading part to play in the abolition of slavery, and the very adversaries of the belief cannot get away from it. “Public opinion” is and always has been a determining element in history, and it is swayed by novels and agitators and poets.
still has his place in history.
Another class of critic minimizes the work of the Abolitionists upon the ground that they did more harm than good, and that slavery would have been abolished much more easily without them.
To refute this argument we must appeal to the entire history of the times, which has been so briefly summarized in these pages.
We cannot read it impartially without being conscious throughout of the constant presence, behind statesmen and politician,