found their hopes of future peace on the expectation that a fugitive slave law will be more stringently enforced in the future than in the past-one the vain dream that Northern spirit, whether flushed with victory or maddened by defeat, will find no occupation more noble than to pursue and secure poor fugitives deluded by a national promise basely broken and who had been urged to flight by belief in our humanity and confidence in our truth!
In such a state of feeling, under such a state of things, can we doubt the inevitable results? Shall we escape border raids after fleeing fugitives? No sane man will expect it. Are we to suffer these? We are disgraced! Are we to repel them? It is renewal of hostilities!
Turn which way we will, slavery is war. There, is in the very nature of things there can be, no security for peace or loyalty from a slave State. The only practicable road to domestic tranquility open to us now is through emancipation.
But in deciding a matter of such vast gravity as this it behooves us to look to our relations with foreign nations as well as to those between our own States.
That slavery is an element of weakness in war was denied three years ago by those Northern men who were in the habit of regarding it as a sacred thing, which to touch, even in our enemy's hands, was profane. No statesman will deny it now. The rebellion will be put down; through the clouds of war we seed already the beginning of the end. But if the 3,000,000 of slaves gradually coming over to us, and swelling the ranks of our liberating armies, had been 3,000,000 of free men, loyal to the South-if the population of the Southern States, without regard to color, had been a unit in this struggle-should we have defeated them in their effort for recognition? If history speak truth, we should not. Never, since the world began, did 9,000,000 people band together, resolutely inspired by the one idea of achieving their independence, yet fail to obtain it. It is not a century since one-third of the number successfully defied Great Britain.
The present is teaching, and the future will teach more clearly still, that slavery is an element of military weakness. We have taught that lesson to Europe. In case of foreign war, with slavery still existing among us, will she fail to remember and to apply it? In such a case will England, will France, will any European power, save, perhaps, lagging Spain, respect an institution which they all regard as a national crime-a crime for which many of them have atoned by repentance and at heavy cost? In the case of foreign hostilities would not Lord Dunmore's proclamation a be reproduced in a far more dangerous form, with a far more fatal effect?
It is certain that it would. But this is the least of our dangers in such a contingency. In case of a foreign war, with master and slave still constituting a portion of our population with whom will the master side? With us, the detested Yankees, or with those European potentates, all but publicly invited already to forgive the undutiful doings of 1776, and to send a royal scion to reign over them? b Like causes continued produce like results. If we subdue the slave-
a In this well-known document, after declaring against all persons failed to resort to His Majesty's standard, "forfeiture of life and confiscation of lands," Lord Dunmore proceeds: "And I do hereby further declare al indentured servants, negroes or others (appertaining to rebels) free, that are able and willing to bear arms, they joining His Majesty's troops as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing this colony to a proper sense of their duty to His Majesty's crown and dignity." The proclamation was dated November 7, 1775.
b See note on page 194  (chapter on slavery), ante, being the testimony as to this matter of William Howard Russell.