could be consummed, be the signal for a violent disruption of the Union
The election of Lincoln
in 1860 did not touch the Constitution
, nor did it avowedly or necessarily involve any amendment of that instrument; yet the Slave Power
refused to live for a single hour under a regime pledged only to the Constitutional restriction of the area of slavery.
In this very year, 1844, toasts1
were drunk on the Fourth of July in South Carolina
or Disunion’; and there and in Alabama
a convention of the slaveholding States was demanded, “to count the cost and value of the Federal Union.”
Lib. 14: 129, 142. Thomas H. Benton
openly denounced annexation, not per se
as being an actual cover for a disunion conspiracy.
The policy of seeking anti-slavery amendments to the Constitution Mr. Garrison
had relegated to the limbo to which he had long ago consigned that of3
addressing moral appeals to slaveholders.
His Liberator call
for the tenth anniversary of the American Society now unhesitatingly made the repeal of the Union
object of rallying to New York.
The results of this5
meeting, which lasted three days, were tersely summed up by Francis Jackson
in a letter to N. P. Rogers
: “The principal things we did were to mend up the Constitution
of our Society, and do what we could to break down the Constitution
of the Union
. . . . The Executive Committee was located in Boston
, and this afternoon we shall muster our crew, and hoist anchor for another voyage.”
Ms. May 12, 1844. Wendell Phillips
led off with resolutions affirming “that the only exodus of the slave to freedom, unless it be one of blood, must be over the ruins of the present American Church and the grave of the present Union;” Lib.
14: ; N. Y. Independent, May 29, 1884, p. 3.
‘that the abolitionists of this country should make it one of the primary objects of their agitation, to dissolve the American Union;’ and again, ‘that secession from the present United States Government is the duty of every abolitionist; since no one can take office, or throw a vote for another to hold office, under the U. S. Constitution
, without violating his anti-slavery principles, and rendering himself an abettor of the slaveholder in his sin.’