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they go? who will receive them? Will the north? Never! Notified of their approach, the north would meet them on the border, drive them back, or strew the earth with their dead bodies. Would the north ever consent to pay for them and thus secure their final and certain emancipation? Never! Would she consent to pay even the expenses of their transportation to the shores of their native country? Never! Would she even allot to them a home and a resting place on the banks of the distant Oregon or the plains of the Sacramento? No never-especially now, when gold is washed in every river and sparkles on the summit of every mountain. I again ask, what is to become of them? Excited to rebellion but too weak to conquer; encouraged to fly and yet find no people, no country willing to receive them! Would to God that I could send my voice to-night into every town and village and farm house of the north. I would say, let this people alone. They are now comparatively contented and happy. They are well clothed, well housed, and well fed. In sickness, the best physicians are called to their bed sides and in health they are not compelled to work as hard as the day-laborers of your own region. You cannot, you do not know how to better their condition. Let them alone, until God in His mercy to the master as well as the slave shall point out the way of their deliverance.
If then even the slave is to become loser by your injudicious if not officious benevolence, look a little further and see if you may not become a loser yourselves by it. Look to the following estimates of your annual profits growing out of your connection with the south; estimates founded on the most reliable data:*
Freights of Northern shipping on Southern produce,
Profits derived on imports at the North on Southern account,
Profits of exchange operations,
*See the January Number of The Democratic Review for 1850.
Eighty-eight millions of profits annually poured into the lap of the north by its connection with the south! How much of these may you not lose, nay, must you not lose by dissolving your connection with us. With the annexation of Texas, the last acre of the cotton growing region passed beneath the wing of the Eagle, and changed for all time to come the destinies of the southern States.
England, France, and the northern States, have all become competitors and rivals for her great staple, which in the language of an able and eloquent writer in one of our periodicals has been spun into a web that binds the commercial world to southern interests. The cotton growing experiments in India have failed, the blundering emancipation policy of England in her West Indies has failed, and the southern States are now sole possessors of a staple on which half the manufacturing and commercial interests of the world depend.
But whilst the south is conscious of the vantage ground which she occupies, she is neither insensible nor indifferent to the great interests of the north. She turns not a spindle, she weaves not a woof, she sails not a ship in which the south does not feel that she has a just degree of national pride and exultation. Her navigation and manufacturing interest can never become antagonistic to the south. Antagonism must come from England; the north already manufactures more than half a million of our cotton bales; England the greater portion of the balance. Her proximity to the place of production; the abundance and cheapness of her provisions, and above all her fraternal and national connection with the south, will enable her to achieve successive victories over her transatlantic rival, at which none will more heartily rejoice than her southern brethren.
But that connection must be fraternal. What is the Union worth, when the spirit of amity and concord has departed from it? This agitation of the slavery question is so unfraternal that the south has never seen the day when she would not rather have had a foreign enemy thundering on her border, than to have this slavery question under annual discussion in Congress. To the north it brought no danger; your families were safely housed and slumbering in peace and security, far
away from the storm that was howling in the distance. Not so the south. For the last few years not a fire-bell has been rung at midnight in our cities, which did not strike a pang to the heart and make the mother clasp the sleeping infant closer to her bosom.
I have yet another question to submit to the north on this great subject, the counterpart of the question of loss which we have just been considering. What do you expect to gain for yourselves by pressing these measures upon the south? Not political power and ascendency. You have acquired these already. That was the high stake, for which some of your ambitious statesmen have been playing for nearly half a century. I do not say they have had no southern competitors. But the game has been played out and the south has lost it. The government is yours; all its vast patronage is yours; the President and all the high offices of State belong to you, whenever you choose to have them. The south knows that the sceptre has departed from her; nay, that she handed it over to you herself, when Virginia ceded to you with a noble and patriotic generosity her northwestern possessions. Without Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and I believe a portion of Michigan, where would be now, and for all time to come, the preponderance of political power? The sun in one entire revolution around this earth, no where shines on a finer region than was freely surrendered to you by "the mother of Presidents and of States." It was the gift of the south to the north. The magnificence of that gift, if it shall generate no arrogance in the possessor, can never bring regret to the generous bosom of the munificent donor. If ambition and power and patronage be no longer the objects of your pursuit, what can you expect to gain by further agitations? Nothing. I repeat nothing but alienated affections; a violated Constitution; a broken, shattered Union, and with these the taunts and jeers of exulting monarchy, and the indignant frowns of the friends of liberty all over the world. Dream not that the odium of dissolving this glorious Union, still stretching like the rainbow of hope and of promise over the continent, shall ever be cast on the States of the south. That shall be your work, not theirs. The dissolution of the Union is nothing but the destruction of the Consti
tution. The destruction of the Constitution is completed, when your measures of aggression are accomplished. The south loves the Union. She will cling to it to the last, and when one violation of the Constitution after another shall have destroyed it, she may well exclaim, "It was not I that did it." When the great crisis shall come and crash after crash shall announce the downfall of the republic, the world will be at no loss to know what barbarian hand struck the fatal blow. Calm, erect, but sorrowful, the south will be seen standing amid the ruins, holding to her bosom the farewell address of the sainted Washington, and appealing to Heaven to attest her fidelity to its sacred injunctions.
In this dark hour of peril and danger, what does it become the duty of the south to do for the preservation of her rights? If the humblest of her sons were permitted to advise, he would say to her, prepare, by all the means that wisdom can devise and patriotism approve, prepare for the coming tempest. Its low mutterings are no longer to be heard in the distance. It is already upon you and its thunders are bursting peal after peal over your head. Every gale that sweeps to you from the capital, bears upon its wings the news of renewed agitation and increasing excitement. You cannot tell on what day nor in what hour that glorious flag which waves over the deliberations of Congress, the proud emblem of our Union and our power, may be stricken down, in token that fanaticism and ambition have accomplished their work, and that the days of the republic have been numbered. What then! what then? Go ask the sainted spirit of Washington; go ask the genius of Liberty as she stretches her wings to take her everlasting flight from our country. Not yet, not yet-stay! stay! all is not lost. See! our noble flag again re-appears! Some bold and patriotic hand has lifted up and restored it, and the light of hope is once more beaming from the dome of our capitol.
Let us never despair of the republic. God never conducted our fathers through so many trials and dangers; he never inspired them to build up so great and so excellent a system of government, to permit their degenerate sons so soon to destroy it. The north will yet recede; a voice which she has long known and so often followed, has already proclaimed that she
can and ought to recede. When she shall further hear, as hear she must, that the south can never submit; that come what may, she never can and never will submit, that her peace, her safety, her honor, her very existence, all forbid it: when the north shall moreover remember that all the evils of which she complains were inherited by us from her and from our British ancestors, without our consent and against our earnest entreaties, she must pause, she must recede. Let us cherish this hope of returning magnanimity and justice. We have seen the noble vessel of state outride many a storm. Despair. can only increase her danger in the present one. Let us hope and cheer her to the last.