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[217] States. They are the conservative portion—always have been the conservative portion—always will be the conservative portion; and, with a due balance on their part, may, for generations to come, uphold this glorious Union of ours. But if this policy should be carried out—if we are to be reduced to a handful—if we are to become a mere ball to play the Presidential game with—to count something in the Baltimore caucus —if this is to be the result—wo! wo! I say, to this Union!

The Territories, he declared, were the common property of both sections. Every State coming into the Union had a right to determine whether it would be slave or free. ‘There is,’ he added, with that lack of humor which topsy-turvy morality begets, ‘but one qualification, and that is, that the Government shall be republican.’ He would have consented to an extension of the Missouri Compromise line, which had, however, twice been voted down. But he did not believe in such settlements. Prophetically he remarked, on this head: ‘A compromise is but an act of Congress. It may be overruled at any time. It gives us no security. But the Constitution is stable. . . . Let us go back and stand upon the Constitution!’ So, for the sake of that institution which he pronounced ‘indispensable for the good of both races,’1 he offered what Benton denominated, with good reason, a string of abstractions and firebrands.

‘There is,’ wrote Mr. Garrison on March 1, 1847, to Richard2 Webb,

no other question so universally discussed as that of slavery, and within the last six months a most surprising change in public sentiment has undeniably taken place. The cowardly pro-slavery war which our national Administration is waging with Mexico, is producing a mighty reaction against the Slave Power, and, out of the slave States, is generally regarded with abhorrence. Mr. Calhoun, who is the Napoleon of slavery, is evidently anticipating a “Waterloo defeat,” in due season. You will see his speech in the last number of the Liberator. He does not attempt to hide his fears as to the future. Unless slave States can be added to the Union as fast as free States, his cherished system of diabolism must ultimately be overturned. Mark his language. He is a man who means what he says, and who never blusters. He is no demagogue.

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