cessation of the strife until slavery shall be exterminated or liberty destroyed.The author of the words last above quoted was James Gillespie Birney, who was the first Abolitionist, or “Liberty party,” candidate for the Presidency, and of whose career a brief sketch is elsewhere given. That the slaveholders reached the same conclusion that Birney and Adams and Lincoln announced, viz., that the country was to be all one thing or all the other thing, is as manifest as any fact in our history. It is equally certain that they had firmly resolved to capture the entire commonwealth for their “institution,” and had laid their plans to that end. They were unwilling to live in a divided house, particularly with an occupant who was stronger in population and wealth than they were. They saw the danger in such association. Northern sentiment toward slavery was complacent enough, even servilely so, but it might change. The South thought it had too much at stake to take the chances when the opportunity for absolute safety and permanent rule was within its reach. It resolved to make the whole country, not only pro-slavery, but slaveholding. If, through any mischance, it failed in its calculation, the next step would be to tear down the house and from its ruins reconstruct so much of it as might be needed for its own occupancy. That it would be able in time to possess itself of the whole country, however, for and in behalf of its industrial policy, it did not for an instant doubt. It was not empty braggadocio on the part
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