Three questions connected with slavery.
The practical questions connected with that institution in its relations to the Federal Government
which it was supposed might be affected by the accession of Mr. Lincoln
to power were three: The rendition of fugitive slaves escaping to the Northern States
, the prohibition of slavery in the Territories
of the United States
, and interference with slaves in the States by inciting them to insurrection.
It was concerning these three matters, and the relations of the Federal Government
to them, that the angry controversy between political parties in the North and South on the subject of slavery had arisen, and the apprehension that the interests and safety of the people of the slave-holding States would be injuriously affected in these three particulars, by the election of Mr. Lincoln
, was among the reasons alleged in justification of the secession of the cotton States.
In all these matters, as I have said, the border States had a greater and more immediate interest than their Southern neighbors.
More slaves escaped annually from Virginia
than from all the cotton States combined.
Slave labor was more profitable and slave property most valuable on the cotton, rice, and sugar plantations of the extreme South
, and the emigration of slaves from those States to the remaining territories of the United States
On the other hand, many slave-holders in the border slave States who were unwilling to encounter the warmer and more enervating climate of the extreme South
might find it to their interest to remove with their slaves to the rich, new Territories of the West
, where the climate and productions resemble those to which they were accustomed.
It was by this class of emigrants that Kentucky
, and afterwards a great part of Missouri
, had been mainly settled, and many of the same class would doubtless have removed further West with the advance of population in that direction.
To these people the exclusion of slavery from the Territories
was a real grievance, while it would probably have benefitted the people of the cotton States by increasing the emigration of slaves to those States and reducing the cost of that kind of labor.
As to interference with slavery in the States and inciting them to insurrection, the border slave States served as a protection to their Southern neighbors and were much more exposed to this appalling peril than they.
had recently been the scene of an attempt to incite insurrection among her slaves; an attempt, by the