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[192] millions of dollars, which are said to be at stake. But these things can furnish no motive or apology for indifference, or for any folding of the hands. Surely the wrong is not less wrong because it is gigantic; the evil is not less evil because it is immeasurable; nor can the duty of perpetual warfare with wrong or evil be in this instance suspended. Nay, because Slavery is powerful—because the Enterprise is difficult—therefore is the duty of all more exigent. The well-tempered soul does not yield to difficulties, but presses onward forever with increased resolution.

And here the question occurs, which is so often pressed in argument, or in taunt, What have we at the North to do with Slavery? In answer, I might content myself by saying that as members of the human family, bound together by the cords of a common manhood, there is no human wrong to which we can justly be insensible, nor is there any human sorrow which we should not seek to relieve; but I prefer to say, on this occasion, that, as citizens of the United States, anxious for the good name, the repose and the prosperity of the Republic—that it may be a blessing and not a curse to mankind—there is nothing among all its diversified interests, under the National Constitution, with which, at this moment, we have so much to do; nor is there anything with regard to which our duties are so irresistibly clear. I do not dwell on the scandal of Slavery in the national capital–of Slavery in the national territories—of the coast-wise slave-trade on the high seas beneath the national flag,—all of which are outside of State limits, and within the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress, where you and I, sir, and every freeman of the North, are compelled to share the responsibility and help to bind the chain. To dislodge Slavery from these usurped footholds under the Constitution, and thus at once to relieve ourselves from a grievous responsibility, and to begin the great work of emancipation, were an object worthy of an exalted ambition. But before even this can be commenced, there is a great work, more than any other important and urgent, which must be consummated in the domain of national politics, and also here at home in the Free States. The National Government itself must be emancipated, so that it shall no longer wear the yoke of servitude; and Slavery in all its pretensions must be dislodged from its usurped foothold, in the Free States themselves, thus relieving ourselves from a grievous responsibility at our own door, and emancipating the North. Emancipation, even within the national jurisdiction, can be achieved only through the emancipation of the Free States, accompanied by the complete emancipation of the National Government.

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