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[405] of national faith, and mouthed feebly. When it came to measures of solid resistance, men of this class instinctively felt released from the obligation to return fugitive slaves, and legislatures began to throw fresh obstacles in the1 way of kidnappers. More practical was the incorporation, first in Massachusetts, of ‘Emigrant Aid’2 associations to pour free-State settlers into Kansas and Nebraska, slavery having the shortest cut to the scene of competition. Yet, as the Rev. T. W. Higginson asked, in a sermon to3 his Worcester flock announcing a Revolution begun, of what use was it to make of Nebraska a transplanted Massachusetts, when Massachusetts herself had been miserably wanting to the cause of freedom?

In comparing the Nebraska with the Texas excitement, one feels that the Fugitive Slave Law was a weakener of resistance in 1854, since it afforded a satisfying scapegoat to outraged Northern feeling. ‘Add an unlimited number of slave States to the Union, and we will not return your runaways (or at least such is our intention)!’ In 1845, it ran: ‘Admit another slave State, and the Union is ipso facto dissolved!’ The best of the Free Soil leaders4 in Congress were still denying all thought of interfering with slavery in the States; Giddings and Sumner were5 dodging the plain inquiry whether they admitted any Constitutional obligation with respect to fugitive slaves. Seward, discounting the present triumph of slavery in the case of Kansas and Nebraska, and anticipating yet greater,—“slavery not only luxuriating in all new Territories, but stealthily creeping into the free States themselves,” Greeley's Struggle for Slavery Extension, p. 81. and the country ‘no longer a land of freedom and constitutional liberty,’—could still proclaim his acquiescence in the Compromise of 1850 (of which he had never ‘spoken irreverently’), and could declare: ‘I have always heard, with equal pity and disgust, threats of disunion in the free States and similar threats in the slaveholding States.’ Well did Gerrit Smith write to6 Mr. Garrison: ‘I have acquired no new hope of the peaceful termination of slavery by coming to Washington. ’

1 Lib. 24.103, 110, 198.

2 Lib. 24.62, 74, 115.

3 Lib. 24.95.

4 Lib. 24.13, 33.

5 Lib. 24.105, 121, 149.

6 Ms. July 18, 1854.

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