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Doc. 265.-letter of Gov. Call of Florida, to J. S. Littell, of Pennsylvania.

Lake Jackson, Feb. 12th, 1861.1
My dear Sir:--We live in an age of miracles and wonders. Great events are in progress, and I look with amazement and mortification at the developments of every day and hour. We are in the midst of the most extraordinary revolution, and the most stupendous ruin is now in rapid progress that the world has ever known.

A great nation has been dismembered. The bonds of the American Union, the work of Washington, of Franklin, of Madison, and other great sages and statesmen of a glorious age, have been rent and snapped like cobwebs; and the greatest fabric of human government, without complaint of wrong or injustice, has been destroyed in a few months--madly and rashly destroyed, without reflection, and without loss of life or stain of blood.

Star after star from the once glorious, but now drooping, banner has fallen, others are waning in their light, and the whole heavens are covered with the gloomy portent of universal destruction. When shall this ruin end? Where is the rock which will stand and throw back the mad destructive waves of revolution, and arrest the fearful, fatal, desolating progress of secession! Through the mist of the tempest, I think I see that rock rising in moral power and sublimity along the whole southern line of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas, supported by Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and above the mad, riotous, and exulting shout of successful secession and triumphant revolution. From that rock I hear a voice, like the voice of God, saying to the raging sea, “Thus far shalt thou go and no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” Here I trust, is the rock of safety, standing in the centre of the American Union. The extremities may become cold, and lose their sensibilities, their love for our gallant flag, their pride for our prestige and national glory, won on so many battle-fields, and consummated by so many civic achievements; they may retire to the idolatrous worship of their local and sectional divinities, but the American heart will love and worship the God of our fathers; it will continue to beat in the American bosom, in the centre of the American Union; its warm blood will continue to circulate on both sides of the line of slavery, binding together, in national bonds, the kindred affections of one race in different communities.

Here, I trust in God and in the wisdom and virtue of my countrymen, that there is and that there ever will be an American Union, bearing as the emblem of its power and glory, the broad stripes and bright stars, the banner of freedom at home, and the sign and hope of liberty to the world. Here, at least, I hope, a glorious Union of sovereign States may stand forever, to vindicate the success of the representative Republican system, to vindicate the success of the great experiment of popular government, to rebuke despotic power, to disrobe tyranny of its pomp and pride, to rebuke anarchy and riot in the sanctuary of secession; to sustain the cause of law and government, the holy cause of civil and religious liberty; to bless the living, honor the dead, justify the blood of our glorious Revolution, and vindicate the cause in which Hampden, Elliot, and Moore suffered and died; to vindicate the cause in which the hundreds and thousands of victims, through ages and generations, have been sacrificed on the altar of human liberty! May God bless and preserve this remnant of the great American Republic for all these high purposes, and permit it to stand forever as a perpetual monument to the memory and glory of the patriotic men who shall have the wisdom, virtue, and courage to [417] resist local sectional feelings, to resist the progress of a mad, desolating revolution!

Disunion, under certain contingencies, may be justified; it may become an imperative necessity, but it should be the last resort; like the rite of extreme unction, it should be reserved for the last, and administered only in the dying hour of the only remaining hope within the Union. Disunion must be fatal!--fatal to the peace, safety, and happiness of both divisions of the country — fatal to the progress of liberty and civilization — fatal to the pride and glory of the American name.

Every enlightened statesman may see, even through the mist of prejudice, that there is not room between the lakes of Canada and the Gulf of Mexico for two great nations of the same race and lineage, the same language and religion, the same pride, ambition, energy, and high courage, to live in peace and good fellow-ship together. Every one may see, from the map of our country, that there is no desert waste, no mountain bar, dividing the Northern from the Southern States. Every one may see the great rivers, with their outstretched arms, rising in the Northern States, flowing down the rich valleys through the Southern States, to the Gulf of Mexico, proclaiming the unity of a great empire, and indicating the design of the Creator, that this beautiful land should be forever one country, for one great, united, prosperous people. And why should this unity be destroyed? Why should this beautiful land be divided? Why should this one kindred people become two hostile nations, to exhaust in ruinous wars and battles between themselves, those vast resources, those great energies here-tofore so successfully united for the unequalled progress of one country, one great and happy people?

There is one disturbing, one dangerous cause,--the angry controversy arising on the institution of African slavery, and unless this controversy can be amicably adjusted there must be a perpetual end of the Union, an everlasting separation of the North from the South.

The institution of slavery, then, demands the earnest attention and the unprejudiced consideration of every American citizen. It should be viewed as it is, and not as we might wish that it should be. Not as an abstract question of right or wrong, not as a blessing or a curse, but as an existing reality, for good or evil, thrown upon us by inheritance from a past generation and another Government, and for which no man of the present day is in any manner the least responsible. It should be considered as it is, an institution interwoven and inseparably connected with our social and political system, as a domestic institution of the States, and a national institution, created by the American people and protected by the Constitution of the United States. It should be considered as an institution which cannot be disturbed in its present political relation to some of the States of the Confederacy, without great detriment to all, and without, perhaps, destruction to some one of the parties to this relation. It should be considered as an iustitution which could not now be abolished, even with the consent of all, without fatal consequences to some of the parties holding relations to it.

The history of African slavery in this country proves all the relations I claim for it, and it is as wonderful as any other portion of our wonderful history. The discovery of America, with its boundless resources, started all the maritime nations of Europe on the great enterprises of conquest and dominion in the New World. To dig the golden treasure from the mountains, to open the springs of vegetable life on the plains and in the valleys, to quarry the rocks, to fell and clear the forest, and make America the home of civilization, human labor was indispensably necessary. The climate within the tropics, where the experiment was first made, proved unfriendly to the success of European labor, and fatal to European laborers. Recourse was first had, as a substitute, to the labor of the natives. Many of them were subdued by conquest, and became slaves to the conquerers. But the brave warrior spurned the fetters of the slave, and when his bow and arrow could not defend his liberty, his proud heart broke, and he died under the degradation, and in the humility of bondage. Whole tribes became extinct,--perished and disappeared. And it was in the fatal progress of this destruction of human life, and the ill success of slavery among the native tribes, that Portugal, in 1503, sent from her possessions on the coast of Africa — the first African slaves to America. The experiment of African labor proved eminently successful. H-ere was an animal, in the form of man, possessing the greatest physical power, and the greatest capacity for labor and endurance, without one principle of his nature, one faculty of mind or feeling of heart, without spirit or pride of character, to enable him to regard slavery as a degradation. A wild barbarian, to be tamed and civilized by the discipline of slavery. Here was the discovery of an animal power almost as essential as the discovery of the new continent, to bring forth the vegetable, animal, and mineral productions of America, to supply the wants and relieve the necessities of Europe. And without this discovery, and the application of this great element of laboring power, the discovery of America, with all its boundless, uncultivated resources of wealth, would have been of little value to the civilized world. This fact, so far as it relates to the South, is fully illustrated in the great prosperity of the Spanish, French, and English provinces, during the whole time of the existence of slavery in them, and the sudden and continuous decline of every agricultural and other interest in each and every one of those provinces, from the day on which African slavery was abolished. Every colonial nation availed itself of this great element of laboring power. Spain, [418] under Charles the Fifth, France, under Louis thirteenth, and England, under Elizabeth, all granted to favorite subjects a monopoly of the slave trade, and each derived revenue from the traffic; and African slavery and the slave trade became a part of the political system of each of these great European powers. England was the last to approve and encourage this traffic. At, first its advantages were rejected by her continental provinces, but at length they engaged in it with great activity and success; and the profit to the colonist, as well as to the crown, induced England to demand from Spain, by the treaty of 1763, a monopoly in the African slave trade. It continued until suspended by our Revolution. And in 1788, when Mr. Pitt presented a petition to Parliament for its prohibition, it was estimated to amount 30,000 slaves, with an export of English goods to the amount of £ 800,000 sterling, bringing a return value of £ 1,400,000 and a revenue to the country by the tax on slaves of £ 256,000 sterling. And it is now little more than two centuries, since a few of these wild barbarians, naked, savage idolaters, black from the burning sun of their native clime, with knotted and combined locks, more like the wool of the beast than the hair of the human head, savage ill taste, manner, and disposition, were brought as slaves from the wilderness of Africa, to clear the forest and open the way for civilization in the British colonies of North America. Nobly has this race done the great work required, and in doing it they have become civilized, and they have multiplied in numbers with a rapidity far exceeding the increase of the Israelites during their bondage in Egypt, until now they number nearly 4,000,000 of people. And their improvement in personal appearance, in feeling and sympathies, in civilization and religion, is not less wonderful than their increase of population. And while they have been elevated in the scale of human beings, while they have been lifted up from the condition of the untamed, naked barbarian, from a condition of superiority only to the brute in the form of man, to a comparatively high social position, to a capacity for receiving and enjoying the blessings of the Christian faith, while they have made comfortable homes and supplied themselves abundantly with food and raiment, the surplus productions of their labor has done more for commerce, navigation, manufactories, and the general prosperity of our ,own country, has done more to give employment, has done more to feed the hungry and clothe the naked of other nations, than any other institution on earth. Under the cultivation and care of African slaves, an exotic plant, known for ages in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and America, but there comparatively of little value to commerce and the civilized world, a stranger to our soil and climate, it has been by their strong hands brought to a perfection before unknown. The fibre of this plant, filling an important place between flax and wool, next to bread has become one of the most important productions of human labor. Besides the clothing of nations, besides the employment of labor and capital, with the great profits in our own country, besides a medium of exchange between Europe and America to the annual value of near 200,000,000 of dollars, besides giving employment to more tonnage and navigation than any other article of commerce, and besides the profit and employment which it gives to people of other foreign nations, it gives employment and subsistence to nearly six millions of people in the British empire. All this is a part of the great work and results of African slavery. And though England, ever foremost in every great enterprise, has searched the globe for soil and climate, and has tried, by rigorous compulsion, with many other races, under a far worse system of bondage, she has found no other country, and she has found no other labor, to supply her great and increasing demand for cotton; and she feels and knows her dependence on us, and on our African slave labor, to supply a material constituting one of the greatest sources of her wealth, and essential to sustain her vast national power. A failure of our cotton crop for three years would be a far greater calamity to England than three years war with the greatest power on earth. And, next to the failure of the grain crops of Europe and America, she would suffer most from a failure of our cotton crop.

This race, so distinctly marked by nature with inferiority, physical, moral, and mental, as forever to forbid amalgamation, and keep it distinct from our own, has become a great class of laboring, civilized people, domesticated with the white race, and dependent on the discipline of that race for the preservation of the civilization it has acquired. It has now become a nation considerable in numbers, and justly considerable, for its usefulness to the whole civilized world. Members of this race form a part of the domestic association of almost every family in the South; and although the relation of master and slave is that of authority on one hand and obedience on the other, there is a mutual dependence, which produces mutual sympathies, mutual kindness, and mutual attachments. The African seems designed by the Creator for a slave; docile and humble, with a heart full of the kindest sensibilities, generally grateful and affectionate, and with a mind incapable of a higher elevation than that which is required to direct the machinery of his limbs to useful action. He is naturally social, cheerful, and contented; and when he has a good master, which is generally the case, he is much the happiest man. The rapid increase of numbers proves his comforts of life. All his wants are abundantly supplied, and he has no care for to-morrow, either for himself or his posterity. His spirit and pride of character wants the elevation; and his mind wants the capacity, to contemplate slavery as a degradation; and no liberty, no [419] freedom from the control of his master, can exalt him to a higher moral and intellectual condition. You may give him physical liberty, but it will be only the liberty of indulgence in sloth and indolence — the liberty of gratification in animal passions and propensities. No human power can ever liberate his mind. It is enslaved .in the despotism of superstition and ignorance, of natural imbecility and inertness. It can never be elevated to the comprehension of the dignity and sublimity of that human liberty which, with all its imperfections and inferiority, approaches nearest to the liberty and power of God. He never can be exalted to that society and regulation of liberty which gives man his high place, his proud dominion on earth. Whether physically bond or free, mentally he must ever remain in bondage. He has animal courage as high and as fierce as the energy of the beast, when driven to desperation; but he is docile and submissive, with a moral timidity arising from his instinctive knowledge of natural inferiority, which makes him ever yield passive obedience to every reasonable will of his master. He looks on his master as a superior being, depends on him for instruction and direction in all things, and looks to him for support and protection. Though naturally indolent and improvident, he works cheerfully for his master (even without compulsion) much better than he does for himself. He feels himself identified with his master; he is interested in all that belongs to his master. He participates in his master's pride of reputation, fortune, and success. He prides himself on his master's position in society, rejoices with him in prosperity and happiness, and mourns with him, deeply and feelingly, in all his sorrows and afflictions. His heart is filled with the kindest affections, and there are few friendships among men more true and faithful than those of the African slave for a kind master. Those who have seen the unfeigned sorrow of the African nurse, watching over the dying child of her mistress, with anguish little less than the heart-rending affliction of the mother, those who have heard the lamentations, and seen the tears, of the slaves around the grave of the master, can want no higher proof of their fidelity and attachment. And under the civilizing and humane influence of the Christian religion, there are few communities of people of any race or color who would be more shocked and distressed, or who would shudder and shrink with greater horror and dismay from scenes of bloodshed and human suffering, than the African slaves of this country.

I am describing African slavery, not as fiction — not from fancy — but as I see and know it to exist--at least in some places. I have marked its condition and progress for many years, while living a plantation life, and I have seen with delight the continued progress of improvement in the condition of all slaves within my knowledge. And I have seen a development of capacity as it has advanced, for a yet higher improvement, which it must and will attain, with the progress of improvement in other institutions. In the description I have here given of African slavery and the African race, may be found the true reason why this black man is a slave in Africa, Asia, Europe, and America — the reason why he has ever been a slave, and the reason why he will ever remain a slave, so long as there is a superior race, willing to be his master. This is the reason why I sleep soundly with my doors unlocked, unbarred, unbolted, when my person is accessible to the midnight approach of more than two hundred African slaves. This is the reason why I feel security in knowing that if there should be danger, every slave would be a voluntary, faithful, and vigilant sentinel over my slumbers. And this is the reason why every slaveholder may sleep in the same manner, and with equal security, if the white man will not corrupt the virtue, or seduce the fidelity, of the faithful African slave. This general security from assault and violence is fully proven by the history of the slave in this country. There have, indeed, been some few individual cases of shocking murders of masters and overseers by slaves; but they are by no means so frequent, nor have they been marked by greater treachery and ferocity, than the murders committed by white men on both races within the same time. There should be no better evidence required of the fidelity and attachment of the slaves to their masters than the results developed in the mission of John Brown. For six months, without suspicion of his fiendlike treachery, he was domesticated among the slaves, and hospitable masters of Virginia, on the very border from which, in a few hours, they might have made successful escape. And when his bloody and horrible plans were all matured; when he thought it only necessary for him to strike, and all must fall; when he thought it only necessary for him to light the torch for the slaves to rise and burn alive their masters and mistresses, men, women, and children, while they slept, to his amazement, no slave rose against his master; and when he called John at midnight, (the faithful servant of Col. Washington,) when he told him he must fight, putting a murderous pike into his hands to butcher his master, the faithful African, in the virtues of humanity, civilization, and Christian charity, far above the devil who tempted his fidelity with the promise of freedom, reproved his hell-born tempter by the earnest inquiry, “On which side will Mass John fight? I want to be with him.” Never did treachery and depravity receive a more withering rebuke; never was fidelity better vindicated; never was human virtue more triumphant over damning, insidious temptation. But besides the security arising from the fidelity and attachment of the slave to the master, there is one which will ever be found in the total incapacity of the African mind to conceive [420] the plan, and combine the elements, necessary to the success of a general revolt over any considerable district of country. The success of the murderous insurrection in St. Domingo arose from its limited territory, its isolated situation, the peculiar character of both races of the islanders, one cruel, the other savage, the vastly superior number of the slaves, and the unfriendly relations existing between the Spanish and French divisions of the island. The extent of slave territory in this country has ever constituted a great element of strength to the institution; and so long as there shall be a just correspondence between the area of slavery and the number of slaves, this security will remain. In every attempt of insurrection in the United States, the plot has been confined to very few persons; and most generally in that small number some one, shocked at the proposition of murdering a kind master, mistress, or tender nursling, has disclosed the horrible design before its maturity, and thus averted the terrible calamity. Thus it has generally been, and so it will be, so long as the slaves have room enough to work, and to live comfortably and happily with their masters.

With this brief historical sketch of the institution of slavery, and the description I have given of the slave, the relation subsisting between the master and slave, we are prepared to examine the angry controversy which has arisen on this institution, which has already caused seven States to withdraw from the Confederacy, and if not soon amicably adjusted, may cause every Southern State to retire with indignant scorn from a Union prostituted of every virtue, and proposed to be continued only for the advantage of one section, the ruin of another, and the violation of the rights of humanity.

The first point arising in this dangerous controversy is from the disregard and violation, by certain Northern States, of the law and the Constitution requiring the rendition of fugitive slaves to their masters. This alone, if continued, must be fatal to the Union. But there is another point, involving still more dangerous consequences. It has been proposed by statesmen of great ability, and a sectional party has come triumphantly into power on the proposition, to confine slavery forever within its present limits. This proposition is not the result of hasty and thoughtless determination. It has been long discussed, maturely considered, and deliberately made. And yet I could hope, for the sake of law and justice, for the sake of humanity, and the civilization of the age, I could hope that the far-sighted statesman by whom this proposition has been made, and that few of the Christian men by whom it has been successfully maintained, have yet fully contemplated, and measured, the stupendous and terrible consequences which must inevitably follow the execution of this fearful design. It is admitted by those sagacious statesmen, and by all other intelligent men, that the Government of the United States has no power to abolish slavery in any State of the Confederacy; and yet here is a proposition distinctly made, and a President of the United States has been elected on an implied pledge to carry that proposition into execution, which must destroy slavery in all the States, and may destroy 4,000,000 of slaves and their increase, or drive, the white population beyond those limits. The present population of the slaveholding States is now estimated at 12,000,000 of people; of this number, near 4,000,000 are slaves. When we look back fifty years, and see the number of slaves of that time, and consider the present number, it may not be an extravagant calculation to estimate the slave population within its present limits, at the end of the next half century, at 20,000,000 of people. The natural increase of this prolific race far exceeds the increase of the white race. But its proportion to the white race, within this area, will be augmented by another process. The black race must remain forever where it is. The white man, following the native instinct of the Anglo-Saxon, as well as obeying the impulse of necessity, must emigrate as the population becomes more dense, and the means of subsistence more limited, leaving the slaves behind. Thus producing annually a greater increase of one, and a decrease of the other. And this disproportion must continue to augment year after year, in a ratio not now to be calculated, until the black race must so far preponderate, unless destroyed by want and famine, war or pestilence, as to compel their masters to abandon their homes, and leave them to the possession of their famished slaves; who, when relieved from the authority and discipline of their masters, to which alone they are indebted for their elevation as a civilized and Christian people-when the white man shall have retired, and left them to themselves — will follow their native instincts of indolence and sloth — they will fall back to the vices and barbarism from which they have been but partially redeemed, through a succession of generations and the progress of centuries. Here another Africa, with all its loathsome depravity, would be established in the heart of America. The confinement of African slavery to its present limits must either produce this result, or it must be followed by the destruction of one of the races; they never can live together in social equality, even if there should be room enough. This is the proposition of a Christian people, in the nineteenth century of the Christian religion. There is no crime or barbarity of the present day which may not claim some precedence on the records of past ages. Thus this revolting proposition, though unequalled in the number of victims it would sacrifice, and the extent of human suffering it would inflict, may find something approximating to a parallel in the history of heathen nations. The Egyptians murdered the children of the Hebrew women to prevent the increase of numbers, and the heathen people [421] of India smothered their Christian prisoners in the loathsome dungeon of Calcutta; but here is a proposition, deliberately made by a Christian people, under the immediate influence of the Gospel of God, teaching charity and humanity, “peace on earth. good will to men” --a proposition to confine forever 4,000,000 of unoffending people within a boundary, where, from the natural increase of numbers in a few years, they must perish from famine, pestilence, and war, or drive 8,000,000 of white men into exile to avoid the same calamities. Can the philanthropist, the Christian, the civilized man, find a place in his heart, or a precept in his religion, for a sentiment which contemplates the misery or destruction of so many millions of the human race? Can the statesman find a place in his mind, or a principle in his philosophy of government, to justify a policy, which must produce ruin to so many of his countrymen, and bring desolation to so large a portion of the country? Is the design merciful? Is the intent charitable? Is the institution of slavery so shocking to humanity, so repugnant to the principles of Christianity and civilization, as to justify the destruction of the slave, and the ruin of the master, in its abolition? If so, in what new school of humanity has this sublimated refinement of the Christian charities been matured to this heaven-born perfection? In the New England school of morals, religion, and benevolence. In the same New England whose men, ships, and money, were foremost in catching the wild barbarian on the coast of Africa, and bringing the “merchandise of human flesh, and human souls and bodies,” to the colonies of Britain. The same New England that peopled America with the African race, would now commit greater barbarity by destroying millions of civilized people. The same New England whose present commercial and manufacturing wealth is founded on the rich inheritance derived from the profit of the African slave trade, and the profitable productions of African slave labor.

But if the confinement of slavery within its present limits should produce consequences less terrible and fatal, if it should be followed only by the abolition of slavery; while it would be a palpable violation of the Constitution of the United States, would it elevate the slave? would it make him more comfortable, more happy, than he is in his present condition? Would it provide him with a better home? would it give him a more elevated social position? would it make him more the equal of the white man than he now is? Let these questions be answered by New England men, with a third and fourth generation of liberated Africans among them, where the number is not so great as to crowd the humble place they fill in New England life and society. Let them say what they, with all their charitable sympathy for the African — with all their religious benevolence and humane generosity, have been able to accomplish by an experiment of half a century, in giving elevation, dignity, and social equality to the free African. Let men of Old England answer and say, what liberty has done for the African in Jamaica; let Frenchmen answer for the liberated African in Hayti. Search through the history of all time, and you will search in vain to find any portion of the African race, from its first appearance on record until the present day, in the aggregate, so elevated, intelligent, enlightened, civilized, comfortable, and happy, as that portion of this degraded race found as slaves in our country. You will not find it among the barbarian hordes of Africa. You will not find it under the Crescent, in Europe or Asia. You will not find it under the sign of the Cross, of South America. You will not find it in Hayti, Jamaica, or New England. In every country where there is an approach to equality between the races, it is in the degradation of the one, and not the elevation of the other. If then the condition of the African slave would be rendered worse by liberation, why this mad crusade against African slavery? The theory of universal human freedom is the mad offspring of delusion and passion, and not the result of enlightened reason. Liberty is the refinement of blessing to enlightened people, capable of its rational enjoyments, while it is the greatest curse which can befall a race incapable of estimating the value of freedom. History is full of proofs to illustrate this truth. History proves that the votaries of freedom of a great nation, in an enlightened age, once in their madness placed the Goddess of Liberty in their adoration above the God of nature, and the night of atheism closed upon these deluded worsippers of a false divinity, until they saw no other light, and they impiously denied the existence of a living God. New England will not go so far in her madness. There is a conservative power of wisdom and virtue among her great and enlightened people, and a moral energy, which, although it has long slumbered, is not yet dead, and it will come forth in dignified authority to rebuke fanaticism, and, with the sceptre of reason, expel the idolatrous worshippers of negro freedom from their altars, as Napoleon drove the mad votaries from the worship of their heathen divinity, and restored the worship of the true and living God. But the time has arrived when she must awake and come to the judgment — when she must aid, by her counsel, in deciding the most vital question, and one involving more stupendous considerations than any other that can arise in the relations of mankind. It is time that New England--Old England — Europe — America — and the whole civilized world, should come to the judgment bar, to consider the mission, the relations, the value of the institution of African slavery. It has too long been considered as a mere question of right in the master to property in slaves. It has so been regarded for ages, and the universal judgment of all civilized nations has confirmed [422] firmed and approved the right of the master. That right is now denied. Great and unquestionable as I regard this right, it would sink in my estimation far below its present position, if it did not involve the high considerations of humanity, the great consideration of political and domestic economy. The race is now too numerous, and it is increasing too rapidly to be confined within its present limits. Though divided into families, and domesticated with white families, it is a distinct nation of near 4,000,000 of people, and constitutes a part of the American people. The institution of African slavery forms part of our political system of government. It is entitled, then, to a higher consideration than the mere right of the master to property in the slave. The institution of slavery must now be considered in its relation to the American people, in its relation to our constitutional government, and in relation to the American Union, whose safety it has placed in jeopardy, and whose ruin it may yet accomplish. Slaves must be considered in their personal relation; they must be considered as both persons and property. Slavery never can be confined within its present limits. It is freed from that confinement by the granted freedom of the Constitution of the United States. If it were otherwise, the bonds of the Constitution are not strong enough, with all their reverenced power, to resist the energies of the imperative necessity which demands its expansion. It must expand with the extension of the white race, into every region congenial to its nature and possible for its labor Each has its sphere of action — each its place of usefulness in accomplishing the great design of Providence. The African, in the humble inferiority of his nature, must ever, as he has done, give place to the European race. They commenced their labors together in the wilderness of Massachusetts; and from time to time, as the white man, from the increase of population, has required the place, the labor, and the head of the African, it has been yielded. The African has gone with the pioneer of the forest, over rivers, mountains, hills, and valleys, from State to State, until his arrival at the present boundary. But his destiny is not yet fulfilled, his career of usefulness not yet completed. A vast unmeasured wilderness lies yet before him. He must go into that wilderness, to make room again, as ho has done before, for the white man, who will want his present place in a few years in many, and in time in most of the present slaveholding States. He must go into new territories, open new cotton, sugar, and tobacco-fields. I-e must drain other swamps, to form new rice-fields, to supply the increasing demands of commerce, and relieve the increasing necessities of nations. The productions of slave labor are carrying commerce into every land, navigation over every sea: civilization and Christianity are going hand in hand with commerce and navigation into every barbarous country. The institution of slavery is doing more in the agency of the world's great progress, more for the improvement and comfort of human life, more for the preaching of the Gospel to heathen nations, more for the fulfilment of prophecy, than any other institution on earth.

This institution cannot be stopped in its career of usefulness to the whole world. It cannot be confined to its present limits. Dire and uncontrollable necessity will impel the master and the slave to cut their way through every barrier which may be thrown around it, or perish together in the attempt. The consequences of confinement are too terrible to be borne. The attempt to confine the explosion of gunpowder, or stop the eruption of the burning volcano, would not be more perilous and unavailing. If the institution of African slavery was not already in existence, with its immediate connection with the interests and necessities of all nations, it could not now be established. I would not bring one other African to this continent. The principles and prejudices of the whole world are against it. But the entire world has helped to build up the institution, through the progress of centuries. The whole world is deriving advantages from its continuance, and the whole world has not the right to abolish it, if, by doing so, they should destroy (as I have endeavored to prove that they would) 4,000,000 of people, or render their condition far worse than it is, and destruction or ruin to the master. If the institution is beneficial to mankind; if it has elevated a part of the African race to a position in civilization, intelligence, morality, religion, and the comforts of human life, which have never been attained by any other portion of that degraded race; and if the discipline of slavery is essentially necessary to sustain this improved position, and prevent a recession to its original condition of indolence, ignorance, superstition, and depravity — the whole world should unite in sustaining it, and give every encouragement in raising it to a still higher degree of civilization, intelligence, and respectability, and a still higher degree of usefulness to mankind. It may be in the Providence of God that the American Union, which has cheered the whole world with its promises, like the star which stood for a while over the cradle of Bethlehem, may fall and lose its light forever. It may be in his dispensation of human events, that the great American family shall be divided into many nations. But divided or united, the path of destiny must lead the Anglo-Saxon race to the mastery of this whole continent. And if the whole column should not advance, the division of this race will, with the institution of African slavery, advance from the banks of the Rio Grande to the line under the sun, establishing in their march the waymarks of progress, the altars of the reformed religion, the temples of a higher civilization, a purer liberty, and a better system of human government. And when this great work shall be done, as all the [423] institutions of man must perish like man's mortality, here the institution of slavery may end. Here the day of African bondage on this continent may close. Here the slave may be free. And here, under the same burning sun which yet beams on the birthplace of his ancestors, released from the discipline of the master, (if the earth shall endure so long,) a few succeeding generations of his posterity will find the African on America the same naked, wild barbarian that his forefathers were when landed on the shores of Massachusetts, or the coast of Virginia, vindicating the truth of Scripture, and verifying the eternal curse on the children of Ham. But until this great consummation of destiny, the African slave is entitled to a comfortable home with his master. He is entitled to pure air to breathe, land to work and to live on, with the enjoyment of abundance. Although the government of the United States has no right to liberate the slave by any measure, direct or indirect, no right to interpose between the master and the slave, though the authority of the master must remain despotic, mitigated and softened in its administration by State laws, the progress of civilization, and the charities of the Christian religion, the government is bound by every principle of justice to accord to the slave every right of humanity; thus it can never confine him within limits where he must suffer and perish for the want of bread without the violation of all these sacred obligations. If the extension of slavery into yet unexplored and unpeopled regions, where the climate and soil are congenial to the. nature of the slave, and the productions profitable to his labor, be, as every one must know it must be, necessary for his abundant and comfortable subsistence, his life and happiness, I challenge the application of any principle of the Constitution of the United States to prohibit that extension; and I maintain that the denial of the government to the master the right to emigrate with his slave to such region would be as wrongful, arbitrary, unjust, and despotic, as the denial of the master's right himself to emigrate without the slave. African slaves, under the Constitution of the United States, are regarded both as persons and property. As property, the master has unquestionably the moral and legal right to carry his slave to any territory within the jurisdiction of the United States, and there is no expressed or implied constitutional power to interpose a prohibition. As persons, in what letter, of principle, of our free and beneficent Constitution, can the arbitrary and despotic power be found to prohibit the emigration of the slave with his master, more than to prohibit the emigration of the master with his apprentice, the ward with the guardian, or the child with the parent? The Constitution of the United States, in all its provisions for those persons and relations, places the apprentice and the slave in the same personal and proprietary condition. It regards the apprentice, during the term of service for which he is bound, on the same footing as the slave for life. The master of the absconding apprentice, and the master of the runaway slave, have the same right to the rendition of their property, when found in any State into which the apprentice or slave may escape. If the right of the master to carry his apprentice into any territory of the United States has never been questioned, can any sufficient reason be assigned why the master should not carry his slave into the same territory? The public domain is the property of the nation. The institution of slavery is a national institution. History proves that for more than a century the young and vigorous energies of our whole nation under the colonial government of Britain were directed to the building up of this institution. History proves that Britain during the past century demanded and received from Spain, as the price of peace and friendship, the exclusive right and monopoly of the African slave-trade. History proves that the New England States were the great reapers of this rich harvest of commerce in African slaves,--in “human flesh,” if you prefer. History proves that the foundation of the present wealth and prosperity of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, was laid in the profitable traffic and in the labor of slaves. History proves that every one of the original thirteen States of this nation were once slave States, and that New York and New England had much more to do in building up the institution of slavery in this country than all the Southern States of the Confederacy. And history proves that, for twenty years after the date of the Constitution, the whole people of the United States, and every State of the Union, either by active participation or by tacit acquiescence, gave encouragement and aid in building up the institution of African slavery. It is, therefore, essentially and emphatically, a national institution, though now only existing in the South. It is as truly national as the custom-house on the import on commerce in the city of Boston. It was created by the nation; the nation has derived wealth and power from its creation; the na. tion is responsible for it. The Constitution protects it, and the nation is bound to find a comfortable home for these 4,000,000 of the African race, with their masters.

The African is a foreign and inferior race, domesticated with and attached to the American people, doing a great work — a work which must be done — a work not degrading to the proud white man — but a work he cannot do. It is exalting to the natural degradation of the black man. These laborers are numbered in the ratio and represented in the popular branch of the American government. The nation is bound by the charities of the Christian faith, by the principles of benevolence, and the rights of civilization, to administer to the African race born on its soil, cherished in its bosom, enriched by its labor, all the rights of humanity. I do [424] not pretend that African slavery is without its evils and its objections. It has many, very many. But it has not so many, nor are they so great, as the evils which must inevitably fall on both races from the liberation of the slaves by the process of confinement to present limits. By turning loose an inferior race — amounting to one out of three in a whole population — a nation of near 4,000,000 of people — without a country, without homes, to wander as vagabonds, without social position in the land of their masters, without the care of these to make them labor for their daily bread and necessities, and without restraint of their vices, can any one imagine a greater calamity to befall master and slave? And in what way have either master or man deserved such a visitation of calamity at the hands of Northern men, who brought the African to our common country, and who sold their slaves to the South as soon as they could procure white labor cheaper than that of the black man? Every State has a right to exclude slavery, or abolish slavery, within the limits of its own jurisdiction. But no State has a right to disregard its nationality; no State has a right to secede from the moral and legal national obligations to sustain the institution of African slavery where it is, or where it may be lawfully established. I have opposed secession persistently, vehemently. I have thrown myself in the breach to oppose it. In resisting it I have stood almost alone, while, others gave way to its angry surges which dashed around. I dared to oppose it, because I thought secession, whether in the majority or the minority, whether supported by one man, or by millions of men, wrong, eminently wrong, and that the approval of multitudes can never make it right. If it has a principle in the philosophy of human government, it is a principle of destruction. The secession of a Southern State from the Union is not more disloyal to the government, not more revolutionary than the treachery, insubordination, and hostile resistance, of a Northern State to the obligations of the Constitution. They are both violations of the public law — both defiant of the public authority — with this difference in favor of the Southern State, that she is not the aggressor, that she has not stricken the first blow. She is resenting an insult, avenging a wrong. True, not where resentment is merited, not where revenge is due. She strikes not the offender, but in her madness she strikes her country, and wounds herself. At a single dash she breaks the bonds of the Union, she braves all dangers, defies all power, denies herself all advantages, and proudly disdains all protection from the Union. A proud spirit, wounded by wrongs, excited by passion, led by bold, ambitious leaders, and hurried on with the pittiful taunt of “submissionist,” indiscriminately thrown upon all who have the courage and firmness to resist the mad impulse of secession, however determined they may be to resist every aggression.

The offending Northern States act with no passionate precipitation. She deliberately meditates and coolly consummates a violation of the Constitution. While she withdraws her allegiance to the government, by denying the authority of its judicial and legislative power in special cases, while she withholds her allegiance to some of the bonds of the Constitution, she sings anthems of praise and glory to the Union she has violated, and claims all the blessings and advantages of the government to which she renders only a partial fealty, a selfish allegiance. It is thus that the two extremities are madly rending the vitals of our once great and glorious country. It is thus the American Union, once the pride of every American heart, once the admiration and wonder of the whole civilized world, has been disrupted and destroyed. It is thus the public peace has been broken, and we stand on the verge of calamitous, desolating, ruinous, civil war. But may we not hope, sir, that some propitiating power may interpose to save us, and avert this dire and fearful calamity? May we not hope that the doomsday of the great American Union has not yet dawned? I cannot believe that our nation is yet so mad as to spurn, and impiously reject, the blessings which a beneficent Providence has sown broadcast over a whole land, and given indiscriminately to a whole people. I have ever regarded our Constitutional Union as the greatest structure of human government, and I have cherished for it and for our whole country the deepest devotion. I have considered the union of the North and the South indispensable to the peace and happiness of both sections — almost as essential to each other as hands and feet to the human body. While I have shed bitter tears over the present ruin, I have been cheered with the hope that the North, reanimated with love and duty to our whole country, would return with renewed allegiance to the Constitution, that she would award cheerfully every legitimate right and privilege to the South, and that our once glorious Union might be reconstructed more permanently, and more happily, than before. But we are now approaching the culminating point in our national fortunes. The “Ides of March” is at hand; then, for the first time, a sectional party will take possession of our government. The fate of the nation may be decided by the policy that party may inaugurate. The application of any coercive measure to drive back a seceded State, will be fatal to the last remaining hope of the Union. Although I deny the right of secession, I acknowledge the right of revolution, and hold to the principles enunciated in our Declaration of Independence. And if it be the will of the majority of the people of the seceded States to form an independent government, they have the right, and it can be only a question of power. No coercive measures can reunite them with the North. It is forbidden by the genius of our free institutions, and any attempt at coercion must unite every Southern [425] State and every Southern man in the most determined and energetic resistance. I was opposed to the seizure of the fortifications, and other property, of the government in the South, but they can never be restored to the government until every constitutional right of the South shall have been fully acknowledged by the North. If it should be the determination of Mr. Lincoln and the party which has brought him into power, to confine slavery to its present limits, the day of battle need not be deferred, and, when it comes, I trust in God that every Southern man will be ready and willing to die rather than yield to a proposition so unjust, so abhorrent, and so dishonorable.

I rejoice at the noble and patriotic stand taken by the conservative Southern States, in resisting the impulse of secession, not because I am disposed to submit to wrong and injustice, not because I am willing to preserve the Union longer than it continues to be the Union of the Constitution, but because I hope they will do, what I had hoped the whole South would have done; because I hope they will with one voice demand of the North a fall and perfect recognition of every constitutional right and privilege of the South, and if this just demand should not be complied with, then with my long-cherished devotion to the Union of our fathers, I shall be reconciled to see it end forever! The North and South can never live in peace together except on terms of perfect social and political equality, therefore a separation, with war, and all its attendant calamities, will be far better than a discontented unity, with the confinement of slavery to its present limits. This I shall regard not only as the greatest indignity ani insult to the South, but the greatest calamity which could be inflicted, and rather than bear this insult, and endure this calamity, I prefer that the last Southern man should fall, on the last battle-field of the terrible war, in which we may soon be engaged.

But I trust that Mr. Lincoln may not be unmindful of his official oath, that he will not disregard the obligations of the Constitution, that he will feel the high responsibilities of his position,--a responsibility more sublime than that of the Roman senate in the last days of the republic, higher and more stupendous than the responsibility of the Roman general, on the fatal battle-field of Pharsalia. The American destiny is, under a directing Providence, in his hands! The peace, the safety, the life of a great nation, the happiness of 30,000,000 people — the hope, anxiety, and expectation of the world — depend on his wisdom, virtue, firmness, and patriotism, for a wise and peaceable adjustment of our national differences. He may save, or he may consummate the ruin of this country! If he should adhere to the false theory of government on which he has advanced to power, if he should attempt to put that theory into practice, if he should attempt the recapture of the fortifications, before the just demands of the South shall have been conceded, all is lost forever! If he, and the sectional party he leads, should recede from the hostile position they have assumed to the Constitution, and the people of the South, all may yet be well. I trust, in that event, that there would be conservative men enough, both North and South, men who remember the past happiness and prosperity of the people, the past fame and glory of our country, to reconstruct our glorious Union, with greater stability, and restore peace and tranquillity to our now divided and unhappy nation! Oh! that I had the genius to lead, the power to reach, and win the hearts of my countrymen, in every latitude, in every place, how earnestly I would plead the cause of my unhappy country! In the name of the living and the dead, in the name of unborn millions of our posterity, how fervently I would invoke the union of all hearts and minds — to reconstruct and preserve for all time the Union of our fathers I! How gladly would I hail the returning sign of peace, the gallant flag — no missing star — no rent in the stripes of the banner, which has waved so proudly over the destinies of our once united, great, and glorious country! And if the death of one man could atone for the improprieties of a whole nation, if the blood of one man could redeem the lost American glory, how freely mine should flow, how cheerfully would I hail the death that should bring regenerated life, peace, and safety to our once again united, happy country!

I have written you a very long letter, and have discussed the great issues of the day, and placed them, in some respects, in a different light from any in which they have ever yet appeared before the public.

I beg you to be assured that I am prompted by no desire to gratify either pride or ambition. My only wish is, if I can, to be serviceable to our unhappy country, and aid in restoring it once more to Union, peace, and happiness.

I expect to visit the North during the next season, even though it should be a foreign country; foreign it never can be to me; and then I shall see you again at your own hospitable home.

We are all very quiet here at present. The excitement is passing away, and I think every thing depends on the policy of Mr. Lincoln. As I have already said, any attempt at coercion must be fatal to all hopes of reunion.

Accept, dear sir, the assurance of my friendship, and high regard.

R. K. call. John S. Littell, Esq., Germantown, Penn., Chairman of the Pennsylvania Delegation to the late Baltimore National Union Convention.

Germantown, 4th March, 1861.
My dear General:--In the exercise of the discretion accorded by your accompanying note, I did not hesitate, after reading your letter of the 12th ultimo, as to the proper disposition of it. I cannot doubt that an appeal conceived in so catholic a spirit will arrest the attention [426] of the thoughtful; and I was unwilling, moreover, to suppress what is so honorable to your-self in this characteristic plea for “Unity, peace, and Concord.” The manly devotion to the Union which you have always manifested, both in the field and in executive office, entitles you to deferential hearing; and no intelligent reader will fail to acknowledge your special claim to confidence and affection, when he shall recall the distinguished services which your name will suggest, through your intimate connection, in early manhood, with the celebrated chief who proclaimed, in the evil days of his own energetic administration, that that “Union must and shall be preserved.”

Your letter is in the hands of a careful printer, who will do justice to this noble, affectionate, and touchingly patriotic appeal to the people of the North, for recognition and enforcement of Constitutional obligations, and the preservation of what is left of our once glorious Union.

I thank you for the association of my name with an appeal so able, so full of manly thought and earnest eloquence. The letter is a fresh laurel added to those which you earned in other years — for “peace hath her victories no less than war” --and which you have so long and so gracefully worn. They will not wither in “time's ungentle tide.”

With great respect and regard,

Your faithful friend,

General call.

1 This letter is out of its place in the order of time, not having been received until August. As it contains some remarkable and perhaps important suggestions, we give the letter in this place.--(Ed. R. R.)

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