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[457] filibustering and schemes of annexation. Then the tables will be turned, and we shall have the slaveholders at our doors, crying for mercy. Rely upon it, there is not an intelligent slaveholder at the South who is for a dissolution of the Union. I do not care what the folly or insanity of the Southern nullifiers may be; I do not care how much they hate the North, and threaten to separate from us; they are contemptible numerically, and only make use of these threats to bring the North down on her knees, to do their bidding, in order to save the Union. Not one of them is willing to have the cord cut, and the South permitted to try the experiment. If it be otherwise, God grant that she may soon take this step, and see whether she will be able to hold a single slave one hour after the deed is done!

Mr. Higginson reported the resolutions of the1 Convention. The last only need be quoted:

Resolved, That the sooner the separation takes place, the2 more peaceful it will be; but that peace or war is a secondary consideration, in view of our present perils. Slavery must be conquered, peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.

It was further resolved to form a State Committee of Seven, to direct the propaganda of the new movement. Of this, Mr. Higginson was made chairman. ‘A general convention of the free States during the current year’ was recommended.

The prospect of such a convention being treated with less ridicule or less vituperation by the press seemed to3 improve as the year grew older. In Kansas, the bogus Legislature carried out a bogus census; its creature, the4 bogus Constitutional Convention, met and performed its work, submitting to the popular vote for ratification not5 the Constitution as a whole, but the instrument (a) with the pro-slavery clauses, or (b) without them. This exemplification of ‘squatter sovereignty,’ though entirely satisfactory to President Buchanan, drew an ominous6 protest from Senator Douglas, that cost the latter at once7 his standing in the Democratic Party and his favor both with the Administration and at the South.8 But the

1 Lib. 27.14.

2 Lib. 27.14.

3 Lib. 27.21, 25.

4 Lib. 27.30, 39, 63, 179, 206.

5 Lib. 27.55, 155, 190, 199.

6 Lib. 27.198.

7 Lib. 27.198, 201, 205; 28.5, 17.

8 Douglas's material identification with this section was destroyed by the sale at this time of his Mississippi plantation (Lib. 28: 11).

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