War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0357 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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of that line the constitutional provision touching the liberty of speech and of the press will remain inoperative. A felon's death will await every resident or traveler in the South who prints or who utters in public or in private any denial that slavery is just and moral, any assertion that religion does not sanction it. The Constitution guarantees the right thus, to print, thus to speak. The Federal Government is bound to maintain that constitutional right. But it cannot maintain it in a republic half slave, half free. What then? Can a free Government sustain itself, can a free nation continue to exist under such a state of things as that? Certainly not. The North, now that her spirit is up, would not endure it for a moment. It would inevitably result in war.

Let us pass to another matter. In South Carolina's "declaration of causes" for secession one of the chief (set forth as justifying and necessitating separation) is "the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery." This, it is declared, the slave-holding States cannot permit, because whenever it shall occur "the Federal Government will have become their enemy."

To satisfy a slave-holding South, so that she shall permit us again to unite with her, it is evident that we must do one of two things- either to consent so to amend the Constitution that no man shall be eligible as President "whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery," or else make up our minds to a second insurrection the first time a President with such opinions happens to be elected. The constitutional amendment, our first alternative would be an infamy, if it were a possibility; the second alternative is renewed war.

But the very head and front of our former offending against the South remains yet untouched-the loose manner, to wit, in which she alleges that the fugitive slave law has heretofore been enforced. This, our offense was so grievous in the eyes of South Carolina that she put it forth in her declaration as the first, and in itself the all-sufficient cause for separation; adding,"Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken and South Carolina is released from her obligation." a

What chance even the remotest, is there that, with slavery and freedom in political partnership, this rock of offense will be avoided hereafter? Let us for a moment imagine that the emancipation proclamation had no force in law. Nevertheless, it has been promulgated; its glad tidings have penetrated to the remotest haunts of Southern slavery. To the slave it is a reality. In his heart it has called up the assurance-the fervent hope,, at least-that if he can but once elude the vigilance of his master there is yet freedom for him on this side of the grave. That hope once awakened throughout the length and breadth of the insurrectionary States, can it ever again be put to rest? Is it not certain that under its prompting-no matter how firmly we might re-establish slavery by law-these bondmen would cross the border by thousands, for hundreds that have sought refuge among us till now? And when they do pass into that land whose President proclaimed them freemen and where twenty abolitionists are to be found now for every one who was there on the day Fort Sumter fell, will there be increased cheerfulness, greater willingness to aid in their rendition than there was before the war began? What a mockery is the question! On what a foundation of quicksand do they build who


a Declaration of Causes, already quoted (Rebellion Record, Vol. I, documents, p. 4.)