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[484] desires, in the way of extending and eternizing slavery! How was it in the last Presidential election? Was it nothing to the credit of the Republican Party that no representative of John C. Fremont could stand upon Southern soil, except in peril of his life–when the whole party was outlawed in all the Southern States—when no electoral ticket bearing his name could have been tolerated in Georgia, or Alabama, or Carolina, or any Southern State—and when, if Henry Wilson had dared to go down South and advocate his election to the Presidency, he would have gone there as a man goes to the grave, and never would have come back to Massachusetts alive? When a party stands in that attitude to slavery, and slavery stands in that relation to it, I hold it is unfair and unjust to say that, after all, it is as bad as the party that goes all lengths for the extension and eternization of slavery. . . .

And yet, this being conceded, it does not follow that I may not here, as I do everywhere, say that the Republican Party, being a compromising party, never will succeed in heading off the Slave Power, and preventing what it is laboring to prevent; and I think it does not preclude me from saying, that to attempt to make a geographical distinction in regard to the law of God and the rights of man, is a great moral absurdity, or from saying to the party that it cannot maintain its position against the inexorable logic of the South; for, granting that it is right, constitutional, and proper to hold slaves in fifteen States of the Union, the argument is irresistible that it is right, constitutional, and proper to hold them in the Territories also, and in any additional States that may be brought into the Union.

My hope is in the great Republican Party——not where it stands, but it has materials for growth. The men who have gone into it are men who have suffered, or lost caste, to some extent, because they would not go with the Whig Party or the Democratic Party, in their wickedness, on the side of the Slave Power. They have something of self-respect and manhood left; and they have said: “We are not prepared for disunion yet; we trust it will not be necessary to divide; we will endeavor to prevent the extension of slavery, and that, in process of time, will bring slavery to an end.” I believe this is a delusion; but to their minds it does not appear so. It is an experiment, and they have got to learn, as we have had to learn, that all compromising expedients are hopeless as against the domineering Slave Power; for we ourselves have had to change our position again and again. Twenty years ago, I thought I was an abolitionist,

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