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[221] and discouraging all willingness to do so, you create other asylums north of us, immediately contiguous to the border Slave States--the inevitable consequence of which will be, not only that those States will lose a much larger number of slaves than heretofore, but that in a few years slavery will disappear from them altogether.

The truth is, there is but one safety for the slave interests of the border States, and that is in having friendly neighbors on the north of them, and not only friendly neighbors, but friendly, stringent, coercive, penal legislation. With Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and Indiana, and Illinois, and Iowa, made enemies of — as enemies, and bitter enemies, secession will surely make them — no human power can prevent the extinction of slavery in the States of Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Fire will not more effectually reduce the fagot to cinders, or water extinguish flame, than secession will bring slavery in those States to annihilation.

To bring the matter home, if with a stringent fugitive slave law, executed (as I think) with all reasonable fidelity and success, and with friends north of us acknowledging the obligation to execute its provisions, and reasonably willing to do so — I say, if under these favorable circumstances we now lose slaves enough to make us feel the loss, and excite alarm, how infinitely greater will be the loss and the danger when the facilities of escape shall be infinitely multiplied, when we shall have no law to enforce our rights, and none to help us but embittered and spiteful enemies.

Shall we, by secession and war, get clear of the personal liberty bills? Quite the contrary. Not half the Free States have as yet enacted personal liberty laws. All of them will pass them if you break up the Union. Revenge will do its work, and the enactments it will dictate will be far more inimical to the interests of the slaveholders than any that now blot the statute-books of the North. Besides, time, reflection, and better understanding may lead to the repeal of all these offensive statutes.

So far from strengthening the institution of slavery by secession, we shall weaken, if not destroy it. If the war which disunion is to bring with it shall continue for a few years, England and France, cut off from their supplies of American cotton, will seek them from other sources; and as it is well ascertained that cotton can be grown to any extent in India, Australia, South America, Central America, the West Indies, and other parts of the globe, the new sources of supply will be found. India already furnishes to England, per annum, 600,000 bales. And the high prices which the article will command during the continuance of the war, and the opening of railroads to transport it to the sea, will so stimulate the production that, before the lapse of many years, England and France will not be dependent on the Southern States for their supplies and the Southern cotton monopoly being thus gone, what will slavery be worth? And what will the Cotton States be worth without slavery?

In my judgment, there is no safety for this institution save in the Constitution of the United States. There it is recognized and protected. No other property is specially protected. Slaves are represented; no other property is. This Union of ours is the great bulwark of slavery. Nowhere else has it flourished; and break up the Union when you will, you knock away its strongest prop. A Southern Confederacy will be to it its deadliest blast, if not its grave. The whole civilized world is intensely hostile to slavery; and the moment a new confederacy is formed, based on the single idea of slavery, numerous and malignant antagonisms will be provoked, which may endanger the institution. Buit under the shield of the Constitution of the United States, these antagonisms, whether foreign or domestic, are, and ever will be, harmless. In that blessed instrument it is a recognized institution — part and parcel of our frame of government, and of our social and industrial system — to the protection of which the entire power of the great Government of the United States stands pledged before the entire world. Thus secure under the wing of the Union, why shall we risk its security by rushing on untried experiments?

Then we gain nothing for our peculiar institution by secession. For what, then, are we plunging into the dark abyss of disunion? In God's name tell me. I vow I do not know, nor have I ever heard one sensible or respectable reason assigned for this harsh resort. We shall lose every thing; gain nothing but war, blood, carnage, famine, starvation, social desolation, wretchedness in all its aspects, ruin in all its forms. We shall gain a taxation, to be levied by the new government, that will eat out the substance of the people, and “make them poor indeed.” We shall gain alienation and distrust in all the dear relations of life. We shall gain ill blood between father and son, and brother and brother, and neighbor and neighbor. Bereaved widowhood and helpless orphanage we shall gain to our hearts' content. Lamentation, and mourning, and agonized hearts we shall gain in every corner where “wild war's deadly blast” shall blow. We shall gain the prostration — most lamentable calamity will it be — of that great system of internal development, which the statesmen of Virginia have looked to as the basis of all her future progress and grandeur, and the great hope of her speedy regeneration and redemption. We shall gain repudiation; not that Virginia will ever be reluctant to redeem her engagements, but that she will be disabled by the heavy burdens of secession and war. We shall gain the blockade of our ports and entire exclusion from the commerce, and markets, and storehouses of the world. We shall gain the hardest times the people of this once happy country have known this side the War of Independence. I know not, indeed, of

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