Only Alaska excepted
alone excepted (and in some sense this, too, is no exception) all the additions to Federal territory have been made under Southern administrations; and now, as the result of the war with Mexico
, there was another not inferior to that of 1803, but which was, nevertheless, in the language of the South
's great statesman, ‘the forbidden fruit.’
At the time of the Missouri
compromise the prophetic mind of this New World had read the result of that much-vaunted business in the foundations on which it rested.
The notes of alarm fell upon his ear like a ‘fire-bell in the night,’ and with a patriot's fire he translated to his countrymen the significance of those feet, ‘part of iron and part of clay.’
‘The leaders of Federalism, defeated in their schemes of obtaining power by rallying partisans to the principles of monarchism — a principle of personal, not of local division — have changed their tack, and thrown out another barrel to the whale.
They are taking advantage of the virtuous feeling of the people to effect a division of parties by a geographical line; they expect this will insure them on local principles the majority they could never obtain on principles of Federalism. * * Are our slaves to be presented with freedom and a dagger?’
This was what Jefferson
termed ‘treason against human hope.’
Never was truer sentence written than one which has been often, but cannot be too often, quoted: ‘A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men will never be obliterated, and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.’