Repeal of the personal Liberty laws.
The Philadelphia Bulletin (Republican) says:
But the men of the South
who are not frenzied, are asking the people of the North
to do something else, by way of restoring confidence and harmony.
They ask that the Northern States
repeal all such enactments as in any way interfere with the operation of the Federal
laws in reference to fugitives from labor.--This is not an unreasonable request, and it should be cheerfully and frankly complied with.
The tenor of most of these State laws has been much misrepresented.
But this matters little.
Even if the laws were meaningless and inoperative, yet if their titles or phraseology are offensive to our Southern fellow-citizens, if by any forced construction they could be made to appear hostile to them, let them be blotted out of the statute books.
This is no time for punctilio.
The Union is in danger, and the people of the free States can afford to make many sacrifices to save it. They should promptly and cheerfully comply with the demand made by the South
to repeal every law that can possibly be construed into an interference with the Federal
laws or a design upon the property of Southern citizens.
We think we can safely promise that the Pennsylvania Legislature
, which is to meet in January next, will, without delay, repeal the statute of 1847, which, although having no reference to the present Fugitive Slave law, is still an offence to the people of the South
.--It is almost a dead letter as it is, and its continuance is not needed.
But even if it were, we could readily give it up, for the sake of restoring peace to the country.
The same may be said of the laws passed by other States, some of which are far more severe than ours, and were enacted with special reference to the Fugitive Slave
It is doubtful whether the repeal of these laws will satisfy all the South
Still, as it is demanded by many Southern people as the only thing that can tend to abate the present excitement, we should yield to the demand.--Those who advocated the election of Mr. Lincoln
, should advocate such repeals.
They owe it to the man whom they have called to a place of such mighty responsibility, that they should, as far as is possible, remove all obstacles in the way of a peaceful and successful administration.
If these offensive statutes remain unrepealed --supposing even that there be no secession — they would still be causes of disagreement and quarreling during his whole term of office, and would seriously interfere with his efforts to govern the country properly and peacefully.