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[368] flaw can be detected; between their principles and their practice, no discrepancy exists. They act as though they believe what they say; and in this are to be strongly commended and closely imitated.

The Northern disunionists affirm that every human being has an inalienable right to liberty; consequently, that no man can be held in slavery without guilt; and, therefore, that no truce is to be made with the slaveholder. They declare slavery to be morally and politically wrong, and its extinction essential to the general welfare; hence, that neither sanction nor toleration is to be extended to it. They are not less tenacious, not less inexorable, and certainly not less consistent, than the Southern disunionists. The issue, therefore, which these parties make, separates them as widely from each other as heaven from hell: do such “extremes” meet? What is there extreme about it, absurdly? “If the Lord be God, serve him; if Baal, then serve him.” Is it a case for conciliation, for “ truck and dicker,” for insisting upon a quid pro quo? To yield anything, on either side, is to yield everything.

But how can the dissolution of the Union at once strengthen and perpetuate slavery, as the Carolinians contend—and also tend to the speedy overthrow of slavery, as the ‘Garrisonians’ maintain? It cannot. There is infatuation somewhere—on which side, what clear-sighted man can doubt? And we retort by asking, How can the Union exist without injury to slavery, on the one hand, or detriment to liberty, on the other? For— to propitiate the South—it must be clearly shown that the Union and Slavery are perfectly compatible together; or—to satisfy the troubled conscience of the North—it must be just as plainly shown that the Union is antagonistical to Slavery. The former has been demonstrated ever since the Union was formed, by the multiplication of five hundred thousand slaves into three millions three hundred thousand—the addition of nine new slave States to the original six—the purchase and conquest of Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and other Mexican territory, for slaveholding purposes—and by the glaring fact that, for the last sixty years (in the language of John Quincy ADAMS1), “the preservation, Propagation, and perpetuation of slavery has been the vital and animating principle of the National Government.” The latter, therefore, admits of no proof whatever; and hence the ground on which we stand cannot be shaken. To

1 From a powerful passage on the pro-slavery compromises of the Constitution, kept standing at the head of the Liberator.

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