previous next


Against Freedom both the old parties are now banded. Opposed to each other in the contest for power, they concur in opposing every effort for the establishment of Freedom under the National Constitution. Divided as parties, they are one as supporters of slavery. On this question we can have no sympathy with either; but must necessarily be against both. They sustain slavery in the District of Columbia; we are against it. They sustain the coastwise slave trade under the National Flag; we abhor it. They sustain the policy of silence on Slavery in the territories; we urge the voice of positive prohibition. They sustain that paragon of legislative monsters—unconstitutional, un-unchristian and infamous—the Fugitive Slave Bill; we insist on its repeal. They concede to the Slave Power new life and protection; we cannot be content except with its total destruction. Such, fellowciti-zens, is the difference between us.

And now, if here in Massachusetts, there be any persons, who, on grounds of policy or conscience, feel impelled to support slavery, let them go and sink in the embrace of the old parties. There they belong. But, on the other hand, all who are sincerely opposed to slavery —who desire to act against it—who seek to bear their testimony for Freedom,—who long to carry into public affairs those principles of morality and Christian duty which are the rule of private life,—let them come out from both the old parties, and join us. In our third party, with the declared friends of Freedom, they will find a place in harmony with their aspirations.

But there is one apology, which is common to the supporters of both the old parties, and which is often in their mouths when pressed for their inconsistent persistence in adhering to these parties. It is dogmatically asserted that there can be but two parties; that a third party is impossible, particularly in our country, and that, therefore, all persons, however opposed to Slavery, must be content in one of the old parties. This assumption, which is without any foundation in reason, has been so often put forth, that it has acquired a certain currency; and many, who reason hastily, or who implicitly follow others, have adopted it as the all-sufficient excuse for their conduct. Confessing their own opposition to slavery, they yet yield to the domination of party, and become dumb. All this is wrong morally, and, therefore, must be wrong practically.

Party, in its true estate, is the natural expression and agency of different forms of opinion on important public questions; and itself assumes different forms precisely according to the prevalence of different

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: