Utterly deprived of that protection and of those immunities2 which belong to them as citizens, and given up to be the prey of ruffians and assassins, the popular theory of self-defence and the example of worldly patriotism in all ages authorize them to resist unto blood—to proclaim a war of extermination—to light up the fires of a new revolution—and to rally together upon the “tented field,” armed and equipped for mortal combat. As a body, moreover, they are numerous. In physical strength and courage, as well as moral, they are powerful. The causes which induced our revolutionary fathers to rush to the strife of blood, were as dust in the balance, compared with the anguish, outrage and peril to which abolitionists are subjected. Now, then, in view of this epitome of facts, let the inquiry be made, How have the abolitionists behaved under all these provocations, and exposed to all imaginable suffering? Have they, in a single instance, returned evil for evil? Who,
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1 Instantly confirmed by the comments of the Richmond papers on the meeting (Lib. 5.146). Thus, the Whig, of Aug. 27: ‘The people of the North must go to hanging these fanatical wretches if they would not lose the benefit of Southern trade; and they will do it.’ The Enquirer declared that the failure of Northern legislatures to restrain abolitionists from acts of aggression would be regarded as acquiescence, and the South would take decisive measures of defence, beginning with no fellowship, social or political.
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