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‘ [500] and to influence the elections,’ as in the recent case of1 Abbott Lawrence. ‘How soon might you see a majority in Congress returned under the influence of [anti-slavery] associations?’ He exhorted the abolitionists to consider the consequences of their agitation already—in riots and lynch law; denounced the ‘higher law’; denied that the Scriptures were anywhere opposed to slavery; repeated that Christ, ‘was not an immediatist’; said that charity began at home; and closed by depicting the horrors of a servile insurrection, of which the result would be extermination on one side or the other.

Such was, in brief, the nature of the Whig Faneuil Hall demonstration, whose local weightiness, and impressiveness for the country at large, can now hardly be appreciated to the full. It exposed the abolitionists to public odium as disorganizers, seeking unconstitutional ends by unconstitutional means, aiming to excite a servile insurrection under pretext of enlightening the masters, and calling to their aid the hereditary foreign enemies of the republic; who were responsible for popular tumults directed against themselves, and whose further tolerance meant a speedy end of the Union between the States. Not a syllable was uttered in protest against the Charleston bonfire, or against the unconstitutional decision of the Postmaster-General, by which every postmaster was authorized to judge what publications had a ‘tendency’ to produce certain evil results, and to refuse them circulation in the mails—a censorship never surpassed in the most despotic country on earth, and, if never possible of enforcement at the North, never relaxed at the South till slavery went under in blood and fire. Not even the jealousy of party spirit warned against such Democratic autocracy.2 Neither the future

1 Ante, p. 455.

2 ‘Suppose the friends of Judge White [Hugh Lawson White, of Tennessee, a Presidential candidate of the time], at the South, should appoint committees to plunder the mail of all letters and newspapers which espoused the cause of Mr. Van Buren; how long would the partizans of the latter gentleman submit to the robbery?’ (W. L. G. in Lib. 5: 139). Both Judge White and John C. Calhoun suspected that their private correspondence was tampered with by their political opponents in the post-office (Lib. 6.64); and as early as 1830, Henry Clay, “to guard against the treachery of the post-office,” advised Webster to address him under cover, and proposed to do the same in return (Webster's “Private Correspondence,” 1.505).

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