previous next

[170] ancient parties seemed to be effaced, and many were returned, not as Whigs and Tories, but as Protectionists and anti-Protectionists.

Thus, by example in our own day we may confirm the principle of political philosophy, that parties must naturally adapt themselves in character and number to the prevailing public opinion.

Now at the present time in our country, there exists a deep controlling conscientious feeling against Slavery. You and I, sir, and all of us confess it. While recognizing the Constitution, we desire to do everything in our power to relieve ourselves of responsibility for this terrible wrong. We would vindicate the Constitution and the National Government which it has established, from all participation in this outrage. Both the old political parties, forgetful of the sentiments of the Fathers and of the spirit of the Constitution, not only refuse to be in any degree the agents or representatives of our convictions, but expressly discourage and denounce them. Thus baffled in their efforts for utterance, these convictions naturally seek expression in a new agency, the party of Freedom. Such is the party, which, representing the great doctrines of Human Rights, as enunciated in our Declaration of Independence, and inspired truly by the Democratic sentiment, is now assembled here under the name of the Free Democracy.

The rising public opinion against Slavery cannot now flow in the old political channels. It is strangled, clogged, and dammed back. But if not through the old parties, then over the old parties, this irresistible current shall find its way. It cannot be permanently stopped. If the old parties will not become its organ, they must become its victim. The party of Freedom will certainly prevail. It may be by entering into, and possessing one of the old parties, filling it with our own strong life; or it may be by drawing from both to itself the good and true who are unwilling to continue members of any political combination when it ceases to represent their convictions. But, in one way or the other, its ultimate triumph is sure. Of this let no man doubt.

At this moment we are in a minority. At the last popular election in Massachusetts, there were twenty-eight thousand Free-Soilers, forty-three thousand Democrats, and sixty-four thousand Whigs. But this is no reason for discouragement. According to recent estimates, the population of the whole world amounts to about eight hundred millions. Of these only two hundred and sixty millions are Christians, while the remaining five hundred and forty millions are mainly Mahometans, Brahmins and Idolaters. Because the Christians are in this minority, that is no reason for renouncing Christianity and for surrendering to the false

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 People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Human Rights (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: