previous next

To Miss Lucy Osgood.

Wayland, October 28, 1856.
Did you take note of T. W. Higginson's sermon to the people of Lawrence, in Kansas? His text was from the Prophet Nehemiah, commanding the people “to fight for their wives, their children, and their homes.” What a convenient book that Old Testament is, whenever there is any fighting to be done. Many people seem to be greatly shocked by Higginson's course; but if they admit that war is ever justifiable, I think they are inconsistent to blame him. If the heroes of ‘76 were praiseworthy, the heroes of Kansas will be more praiseworthy for maintaining their rights, even unto death. But, “It is treason; it is revolution,” they exclaim. They seem to forget that the war of ‘71G was precisely that. It was a contest with our own government, not with a foreign foe; and the wrongs to be redressed were not worthy of a thought in comparison with the accumulation of outrages upon the free settlers in Kansas. This battle with the overgrown slave power is verily the great battle of Armageddon. I suppose you know that the Supreme Court of the United States has settled everything according to the requisitions of the [85] South? It has decided that slaves may be brought into the free States, like any other property. Such a decision is in direct opposition to the decision of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. If the old Commonwealth don't rise in her moral strength at this attempt to lay the yoke on her, why, then, indeed, the spirit of the Puritans and of '76 has died out; and we must all drift together toward a military despotism, with slave-holders for officers and foreigners for soldiers.

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 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.
Lucy Osgood (1)
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1)
T. W. Higginson (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.
October 28th, 1856 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: