Table of Contents:
We gave yesterday a historical sketch of the rise and progress of the Abolition party in the United States, and of the anti-slavery agitation in Congress. A brief review of the platforms, adopted at various times by that party, and expressions of sentiments from its leading members, may not be without interest: The first national platform of ⅔ the Abolition party, 1840, favored the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and territories, the inter-State slave trade, and a general opposition to slavery to the full extent of constitutional power. In 1848, that portion of the party which did not support the Buffalo nominees affirmed the constitutional authority and duty of the General Government to abolish slavery in the States. --The Buffalo Convention, which nominated Van Buren for President, and C. F. Adams (present United States Minister in England) for Vice-President, proposed no interference by Congress with slavery within the limits of any State, but opposed its extension into the territories, and declared that it was the settled policy of the nation to limit, localize and discourage slavery. In 1852, the "Independent Democrats," who supported John P. Hale for President, had for their motto: "No more slave States, no slave territory, no nationalized slavery, and no national legislation for the extradition of slaves." The National Anti-Slavery Standard of June 21, 1856, said of the then new Republican party: "It has sprung from the anti-slavery movement, and whatever of strength and hope it has, lies in the anti-slavery feeling of the Northern mind. It is vain that servile men-pleasers seek to separate this effect from its anti- slavery origin. The slaveholders stamp it with its real character, and describe it better than it likes to do itself. It is true that the differing sagacities of the Slaveholders and the Abolitionists both discern that this must be the ultimate result." In a debate in the New England Anti-Slavery Convention, May 20th, 1856, Mr. Wm. Lloyd Garrison contended that the Abolition party did not always accord to the Republican party all that justice demands. He maintained that, in its attitude towards "the slave power," it gave a sign of progress which Abolitionists had no cause to lament.--"I hope," he said, "to see many of them take their position under the banner of disunion. I have said, again and again, that in proportion to the growth of disunionism will be the growth of Republicanism or Freesoilism." On the 16th January, 1855, Rev. Mr. Beecher advocated a fight, for the purpose of settling the question between North and South. He believed that the Sharpe rifle was truly moral agency. Mr. W. O. Duval said: ‘"I sincerely hope a civil war may soon burst upon the country. I want to see American slavery abolished in my time."’ "When the time arrives for the streets of our cities to run with blood to the horses' bridles, if the writer of this be living, there will be one heart to rejoice at the retributive justice of Heaven." We have not heard whether this amiable gentleman is "living." If he is, like most of his class, he keeps out of the war, and contents himself with "rejoicing at the retributive justice." At the American Anti-Slavery meeting, May 13, 1857, Rev. A. T. Foss said: ‘"If the Angel Gabriel had done what their fathers did (made a constitutional provision for the rendition of fugitive slaves), he would be a scoundrel for it. There never was an hour when this blasphemous and infamous Government should be made, and now the hour was to be prayed for when that disgrace to humanity should be dashed to pieces forever."’ Rev. A. B. Frothingham, at some meeting, demanded disunion: ‘"If we would abolish the ignorance and gloom in which the crime of slavery shadows itself, we must withdraw from it. In no temper of malignity or animosity toward the slaveholders need this be done."’ "So long as this blood-stained Union existed there was but little hope for the slave. "--Garrison at some meeting. "Mark! how stands Massachusetts at this hour in reference to the Union? Just where she ought to be — in an attitude of open hostility. A Northern Confederacy, with no union with slaveholders. To all this is fast tending, and to this all must soon come."-- Liberator, September 18, 1851. "It was as inevitable that this Union should be dissolved as that water and oil must separate, no matter how much they may be shaken. They could not tell how it was to be done, but done it must be."--Edmund Quincy, of Massachusetts. A convention, held in Boston, 1855, adopted, by a unanimous vote, a resolution "that the one great issue before the country is the dissolution of the Union," and pledging itself to the work of annulling this "covenant with death." "Freedom and Fremont and Dayton" was the watchwords of that election. "The attempt by the Government (to extend slavery to the territories) has aroused constitutional resistance, which will not cease until the effort shall be relinquished." --Seward, April 5, 1851. "If I did not believe that the election of Fremont and Dayton would be a step in that direction (abolition of slavery), the movement would receive little sympathy from me.-- John P. Hale. "The United States Constitution is a covenant with Death and an agreement with Hell. "--Garrison's Liberator, June 20, 1856. "Until we cease to strike hands religiously, politically and governmentally, with the South, and declare the Union to be at an end, I believe we can do nothing even against the encroachments of the slave power upon our rights. Let the Union be accursed."-- Liberator. "Better disunion — better a civil war or a servile war — better anything that God, in His Providence, shall send, than an extension of the bounds of slavery."-- Horace Mann in the House of Representatives, Thirty first Congress. "Daniel Webster says of New England: 'You are a law-abiding people.' Shame on it, if this be true; if ever the religion of New England sinks as low as its statute book. But I say we are not a law-abiding community. God be thanked for it."-- Wendell Phillips. "We are disunionist, not from any love of separate confederacies, but we would get rid of this Union."--Wendell Phillips. "There is a higher law than the Constitution which regulates our authority over the domain, and devotes it to the same noble purposes."--Seward. "Slavery can be, and must be, abolished, and you and I can and must do it." --Seward. "In the case of the alternative being presented of the continuance of slavery or a dissolution of the Union, I am for dissolution, and I care not how quick it comes." --Judge Spaulding, of Ohio, in Republican Convention. "God forbid that for the sake of the Union we should sacrifice the very thing for which the Union was made."--Senator Sumner, 1855. "I go for a Union where all men are equal, or for no Union at all, and I go for right. "--Senator Wade, of Ohio, 1855. "I recognize no power under Heaven that can make a man a slave. Suppose New York takes that ground; what then? Some talk of revolution as if that were to be the dreaded result. Sir, I love the word."--Speaker of the New York House of Delegates on the Dred Scott case. Quotations might be multiplied indefinitely illustrating the growing power and lawlessness of that Abolition sentiment which has now in its hand the reins of the United States Government, and is transferred into an isolation of the Union and the Law.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.