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[203]

We have Mr. Calhoun's own warrant for attacking his position with all the fervor which a high sense of duty can give, for we do hold, from the bottom of our soul, that slavery is an evil,— a deep, detestable, damnable evil; evil in all its aspects to the blacks, and a greater evil to the whites; an evil moral, social, and political; an evil which shows itself in the languishing condition of agriculture where it exists, in paralyzed commerce, and in the prostration of the mechanic arts; an evil which stares you in the face from uncultivated fields, and howls in your ears through tangled swamps and morasses. Slavery is such an evil that it withers what it touches. Where it is once securely established the land becomes desolate, as the tree inevitably perishes which the sea-hawk chooses for its nest; while freedom, on the contrary, flourishes like the tannen, on the loftiest and least sheltered rocks, and clothes with its refreshing verdure what, without it, would frown in naked and incurable sterility.

If any one desires an illustration of the opposite influences of slavery and freedom, let him look at the two sister States of Kentucky and Ohio. Alike in soil and climate, and divided only by a river, whose translucent waters reveal, through nearly the whole breadth, the sandy bottom over which they sparkle, how different are they in all the respects over which man has control! On the one hand the air is vocal with the mingled tumult of a vast and prosperous population. Every hillside smiles with an abundant harvest, every valley shelters a thriving village, the click of a busy mill

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John C. Calhoun (1)
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