previous next

Servile war.

We have often referred to the fact that American abolitionism has always derived its most malignant inspirations from English abolitionism; but we were not aware until lately that even the infamous emancipation programme of Lincoln had been on one occasion recommended by high literary authority in Great Britain, as the most, and indeed the only, effectual way of carrying on war with America. A friend has put in our hands an article of Frazer's Magazine, published at the time of the Canadian troubles in 1838, when a war between the United States and England seemed imminent, under the title of "War with America a Blessing to Mankind."

The writer discusses, in the first place, the ordinary notion of levying war in the old fashioned style, by sending a military and naval expedition against the North. He contends that England cannot do this with any chance of success, and that she cannot afford a protracted contest with the United States, because France might embrace the opportunity of striking a blow at her ancient enemy. Ireland might attempt to secure her independence, and Russia make a demonstration upon Northern India, (considerations which have perhaps not lost their influence to this day upon the policy of England towards the United States) He then proceeds to point out "a short, sharp and decisive mode" of making war upon America as follows. After asserting that her bondmen are held in the most cruel thraldom known to mankind, and proving it by the confessions of the "Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, " the writer proceeds:

"It may be a doubtful point, how far another nation would be justified, in a time of peace, in embarking in a crusade of philanthropy, and endeavoring to coerce an independent people into the relinquishment of a national sin. But what possible doubt can exist as to the propriety, the expediency — nay, the absolute duty, of making a way subservient to the great and pre eminent object of freeing these three millions of cruelly oppressed human beings?

"Policy, too, not less than philanthropy, prescribes such a course of warfare. By this mode, and this only, a war with American might be brought to a speedy and inevitably triumphant close. As we have already observed, a struggle between the people of England and their descendants in America must be a fearless, a protracted, and a lamentable one. But if assailed in this quarter, a vital part is instantly and surely reached — the Union dissolved, and the war is at an end.

"Among the three millions of slaves, we may fairly calculate the adult males at nearly one million. Every man of all this multitude would eagerly rush to embrace an emancipating invader, and within a few days' sail of their coast repose the free and happy black of Jamaica. In one morning a force of ten thousand men might be raised in this quarter, for the enfranchisement of their brethren in America. Such a force, supported by two battalions of Englishmen and supplied with 20,000 muskets would establish themselves in Carolina, never to be removed. In three weeks from their appearance the entire South would be in one conflagration. The chains of a million of men would be broken, and by what power could they ever be again riveted?

"We say that this course is dictated alike by policy, by self-preservation, and by philanthropy. By policy, for nothing would render our possessions in America so secure as the dissolution of the Union.--an inevitable result of this line of action. By self- preservation for England must not venture amidst her other difficulties, to involve herself in a protracted contest a distant quarter of the globe. By philanthropy which tells us that if, contrary to our own inclinations, we are dragged into this unnatural war, it is our duty at least to endeavor to bring good out of evil. In whatever way, then, we contemplate the subject, we come to this conclusion. If we must have a war with America, let us make it a war for the emancipation of the slaves; so shall our success be certain, and our triumph the triumph of humanity."

These extracts exhibit the true animus of English litionism and the origin of the demonize policy which Lincoln has adopted for the conduct of the present war. We need not point out how preposterous were the calculations of the writer founded upon the supposed readiness of the slaves for revolt. We reproduce the article for the purpose simply of "giving the devil his due," and letting it be seen that Lincoln is not original even in his diabolism.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Abraham Lincoln (3)
Ireland (1)
Frazer (1)
English (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1838 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: