New York become once more markets for trade in the bodies and souls of men. It is the failure to apprehend this great truth that induces so many unsuccessful attempts at final compromise between the slave and free States; and it is the existence of this great fact that renders all such pretended compromises, when made, vain and ephemeral.
At the West
, in June, Abraham Lincoln
had embodied the same truth in the less immediately famous sentence, already quoted, depicting the “house divided against itself,” Ante, p. 420.
and prophesying that it would ultimately become wholly one thing or the other.
His successful rival for the United States Senate, Stephen A. Douglas
the dictum alike of the statesman unanimously predesignated as the Republican
candidate for President
in 1860, and of the obscure Illinois
politician who was in reality to stand and to be elected.
The logic of Lincoln
, he said2
on July 9, meant a war of extermination directed against the South
Something more than philosophical reflections on the tendency of the Union
was needed if the role of the North
in the great change in prospect was to be anything more than passive.
When Freedom could inspire the same jealousy, devotion, and unity—the same passion— as Slavery, the battle would be over.
presented this view with his customary gravity in a speech at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York in May:3
First, a word in regard to the South.4
There are those who say they do not marvel at all that slaveholders are unwilling to part with their slave property.
Well, I also think that Southern men are behaving very much according to human nature in its ordinary manifestations, in view of the fact that, inheriting an old institution, and finding it sustained by all that is deemed respectable, honorable, and religious in the South, they feel that to ask them to give up their slaves is tantamount to asking the men of the North to give up their houses and lands; and he, surely, would be regarded as a fool or a madman who should undertake to prove to the people of the North the enormity of holding horses, sheep, and swine as property, and