January 21, 1861 South Carolina Secedes. The London Times.

SCROLL DOWN FRO A CLEAN READ  I REPEATED THE POSTING OF THE ARTICLE BELOW.
January 21, 1861

THE SECESSION OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

From the London Times, Jan. 7.

The State of South Carolina has seceded from the Union by an unanimous vote of her Legislature, and it now remains to be seen whether any of the other Southern States will follow her example, and what course the Federal authorities will pursue under the circumstances. While we wait for further information on these points, it may be well to consider once again the cause of quarrel which has thus begun to rend asunder the mightiest. Confederation which the world has yet beheld. One of the prevalent delusions of the age in which we live is to regard democracy as equivalent to liberty, and the attribution of power to the poorest and worst educated citizens of the State as a certain way to promote the purest liberality of thought and the most beneficial course of action. Let those who hold this opinion examine the quarrel at present raging in the United States, and they will be aware that Democracy, like other forms of Government, may coexist with any course of action or any set of principles Between North and South there is at this moment raging a controversy which goes as deep as any controversy can into the elementary principles of human nature, and the sympathies and antipathies which in so many men supply the place of reason and reflection. The North is for freedom, the South is for Slavery. The North is for freedom of discussion, the South represses freedom of discussion with the tar-brush and the pine fagot. Yet North and South are both Democracies — nay, possess almost exactly similar institutions, with this enormous divergence in theory and practice. It is not Democracy that has made the North the advocate of freedom, or the South the advocate of Slavery. Democracy is a quantity which appears on both sides, and may therefore be rejected, as having no influence over the result. From the sketch of the history of Slavery which was furnished us by our correspondent from New-York last week, we learn that at the time of the American Revolution Slavery existed in every State of the Unton, except in Massachusetts; but we also learn that the great men who directed that Revolution — WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, MADISON, PATRICK HENRY and HAMILTON, were unanimous in execrating the practice of Slavery, and looked forward to the time when it would cease to contaminate the soil of free America. The abolition of the Slave-trade, which subsequently followed, was regarded by its warmest advocates as not only beneficial in itself, but as a long step towards the extinction of Slavery altogether. It was not foreseen that certain free and democratic communities would arise which would apply themselves to the honorable office of breeding slaves, to be consumed on the free and democratic plantations of the South, and of thus replacing the African Slave Trade by an internal traffic in human flesh, carried on under circumstances of almost equal atrocity through the heart of a free and democratic nation. Democracy has verily a strong digestion, and one not to be interfered with by trifles.

But the most melancholy part of the matter is, that during the seventy years for which the American Confederacy has existed, the whole tone of sentiment with regard to Slavery has, in the Southern States at least undergone a remarkable change. Slavery used to be treated as a thoroughly exceptional institution — as the evil legacy of evil times — as a disgrace to a Constitution founded on the natural freedom and independence of mankind. There was hardly a political leader of any note who had not some plan for its abolition. JEFFERSON himself, the greatest chief of the Democracy, had in the early part of this century, speculated deeply on this subject; but the United States became possessed of Louisiana and Florida they have conquered Texas, they have made Arkansas and Missouri into States, and these successive acquisitions have altered entirely the view with which Slavery is regarded. Perhaps as much as anything, from the long license enjoyed by the editors of the South of writing what they pleased in favor of Slavery, with the absolute certainty that no one would be found bold enough to write anything on the other side, and thus make himself a mark for popular vengeance, the subject has come to be written on in a tone of ferocious and cynical extravagance which is to an European eye absolutely appalling. The South has become enamored of her shame. Free labor is denounced as degrading and disgraceful; the honest triumphs of the poor man who works his way to independence are treated with scorn and contempt. It is asserted that what we are in the habit of regarding as the honorable pursuits of industry incapacitate a nation for civilization and refinement, and that no institutions can be really free and democratic which do not rest, like those of Athens and of Rome, on a broad substratum of Slavery. So far from treating Slavery as an exceptional institution, it is regarded by these democratic philosophers as the natural state of a great portion of the human race; and, so far from admitting that America ought to look forward to its extinction, it is contended that the property in human creatures ought to be as universal as the property in land or in tame animals.

Nor have these principles been merely inert or speculative. For the last 10 or 12 years Slavery has altered her tactics, and from a defensive she has become an aggressive power. Every compromise which the moderation of former times had erected to stem the course of this monster evil has been swept away, and that not by the encroachments of the North, but by the aggressive ambition of the South. With a majority in Congress and in the Supreme Court of the United States, the advocates of Slavery have entered on a career the object of which would seem to be to make their favorite institution conterminous with the limits of the Republic. They have swept away the Missouri Compromise, which limited Slavery to the tract south of 30 degrees of north latitude. They have forced upon the North — in the Fugitive Slave bill — a measure which compels them to lend their assistance to the South in the recovery of their escaped bondmen. In the case of Kansas they have sought by force of arms to assert the right of bringing slaves into a free Territory, and in the Dred Scott case they obtained an extra-judicial opinion from the Supreme Court which would have placed all the Territories at their disposal. All this while the North has been resisting, feebly and ineffectually, this succession of Southern aggressions. All that was desired was peace, and that peace could not be obtained. While these things were done the South continued violently to upbraid the Abolitionists of the North as the cause of all their troubles, and the ladies of South Carolina showered presents and caresses on the brutal assailant of Mr. SUMNER. In 1856 the North endeavored to elect a President who, though fully recognizing the right of the South to its slave property, was opposed to its extension in the Territories. The North were defeated, and submitted almost without a murmur to the result. On the present occasion the South has submitted to the same ordeal, but not with the same success. They have taken their chance of electing a President of their own views, but they have failed. Mr. LINCOLN, like Col. FREMONT, fully recognizes the right of the South to the institution of Slavery; but, like him, he is opposed to its extension. This cannot be endured. With a majority in both Houses of Congress and in the Supreme Court of the United States, the South cannot submit to a President who is not their devoted servant. Unless every power in the Constitution is to be strained in order to promote the progress of Slavery, they will not remain in the Union; they will not wait to see whether they are injured, but resent the first check to their onward progress as an intolerable injury. This, then, is the result of the history of Slavery. It began as a tolerated, it has ended as an aggressive institution; and, if it now threatens to dissolve the Union, it is not because it has anything to fear for that which it possesses already, but because it has received a check to its hopes of future acquisition.

Posted by Louis Sheehan

January 21, 1861

THE SECESSION OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

From the London Times, Jan. 7.

The State of South Carolina has seceded from the Union by an unanimous vote of her Legislature, and it now remains to be seen whether any of the other Southern States will follow her example, and what course the Federal authorities will pursue under the circumstances. While we wait for further information on these points, it may be well to consider once again the cause of quarrel which has thus begun to rend asunder the mightiest. Confederation which the world has yet beheld. One of the prevalent delusions of the age in which we live is to regard democracy as equivalent to liberty, and the attribution of power to the poorest and worst educated citizens of the State as a certain way to promote the purest liberality of thought and the most beneficial course of action. Let those who hold this opinion examine the quarrel at present raging in the United States, and they will be aware that Democracy, like other forms of Government, may coexist with any course of action or any set of principles Between North and South there is at this moment raging a controversy which goes as deep as any controversy can into the elementary principles of human nature, and the sympathies and antipathies which in so many men supply the place of reason and reflection. The North is for freedom, the South is for Slavery. The North is for freedom of discussion, the South represses freedom of discussion with the tar-brush and the pine fagot. Yet North and South are both Democracies — nay, possess almost exactly similar institutions, with this enormous divergence in theory and practice. It is not Democracy that has made the North the advocate of freedom, or the South the advocate of Slavery. Democracy is a quantity which appears on both sides, and may therefore be rejected, as having no influence over the result. From the sketch of the history of Slavery which was furnished us by our correspondent from New-York last week, we learn that at the time of the American Revolution Slavery existed in every State of the Unton, except in Massachusetts; but we also learn that the great men who directed that Revolution — WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, MADISON, PATRICK HENRY and HAMILTON, were unanimous in execrating the practice of Slavery, and looked forward to the time when it would cease to contaminate the soil of free America. The abolition of the Slave-trade, which subsequently followed, was regarded by its warmest advocates as not only beneficial in itself, but as a long step towards the extinction of Slavery altogether. It was not foreseen that certain free and democratic communities would arise which would apply themselves to the honorable office of breeding slaves, to be consumed on the free and democratic plantations of the South, and of thus replacing the African Slave Trade by an internal traffic in human flesh, carried on under circumstances of almost equal atrocity through the heart of a free and democratic nation. Democracy has verily a strong digestion, and one not to be interfered with by trifles.

But the most melancholy part of the matter is, that during the seventy years for which the American Confederacy has existed, the whole tone of sentiment with regard to Slavery has, in the Southern States at least undergone a remarkable change. Slavery used to be treated as a thoroughly exceptional institution — as the evil legacy of evil times — as a disgrace to a Constitution founded on the natural freedom and independence of mankind. There was hardly a political leader of any note who had not some plan for its abolition. JEFFERSON himself, the greatest chief of the Democracy, had in the early part of this century, speculated deeply on this subject; but the United States became possessed of Louisiana and Florida they have conquered Texas, they have made Arkansas and Missouri into States, and these successive acquisitions have altered entirely the view with which Slavery is regarded. Perhaps as much as anything, from the long license enjoyed by the editors of the South of writing what they pleased in favor of Slavery, with the absolute certainty that no one would be found bold enough to write anything on the other side, and thus make himself a mark for popular vengeance, the subject has come to be written on in a tone of ferocious and cynical extravagance which is to an European eye absolutely appalling. The South has become enamored of her shame. Free labor is denounced as degrading and disgraceful; the honest triumphs of the poor man who works his way to independence are treated with scorn and contempt. It is asserted that what we are in the habit of regarding as the honorable pursuits of industry incapacitate a nation for civilization and refinement, and that no institutions can be really free and democratic which do not rest, like those of Athens and of Rome, on a broad substratum of Slavery. So far from treating Slavery as an exceptional institution, it is regarded by these democratic philosophers as the natural state of a great portion of the human race; and, so far from admitting that America ought to look forward to its extinction, it is contended that the property in human creatures ought to be as universal as the property in land or in tame animals.

Nor have these principles been merely inert or speculative. For the last 10 or 12 years Slavery has altered her tactics, and from a defensive she has become an aggressive power. Every compromise which the moderation of former times had erected to stem the course of this monster evil has been swept away, and that not by the encroachments of the North, but by the aggressive ambition of the South. With a majority in Congress and in the Supreme Court of the United States, the advocates of Slavery have entered on a career the object of which would seem to be to make their favorite institution conterminous with the limits of the Republic. They have swept away the Missouri Compromise, which limited Slavery to the tract south of 30 degrees of north latitude. They have forced upon the North — in the Fugitive Slave bill — a measure which compels them to lend their assistance to the South in the recovery of their escaped bondmen. In the case of Kansas they have sought by force of arms to assert the right of bringing slaves into a free Territory, and in the Dred Scott case they obtained an extra-judicial opinion from the Supreme Court which would have placed all the Territories at their disposal. All this while the North has been resisting, feebly and ineffectually, this succession of Southern aggressions. All that was desired was peace, and that peace could not be obtained. While these things were done the South continued violently to upbraid the Abolitionists of the North as the cause of all their troubles, and the ladies of South Carolina showered presents and caresses on the brutal assailant of Mr. SUMNER. In 1856 the North endeavored to elect a President who, though fully recognizing the right of the South to its slave property, was opposed to its extension in the Territories. The North were defeated, and submitted almost without a murmur to the result. On the present occasion the South has submitted to the same ordeal, but not with the same success. They have taken their chance of electing a President of their own views, but they have failed. Mr. LINCOLN, like Col. FREMONT, fully recognizes the right of the South to the institution of Slavery; but, like him, he is opposed to its extension. This cannot be endured. With a majority in both Houses of Congress and in the Supreme Court of the United States, the South cannot submit to a President who is not their devoted servant. Unless every power in the Constitution is to be strained in order to promote the progress of Slavery, they will not remain in the Union; they will not wait to see whether they are injured, but resent the first check to their onward progress as an intolerable injury. This, then, is the result of the history of Slavery. It began as a tolerated, it has ended as an aggressive institution; and, if it now threatens to dissolve the Union, it is not because it has anything to fear for that which it possesses already, but because it has received a check to its hopes of future acquisition.

Posted by Louis Sheehan

Advertisements

About masterkan

Louis Sheehan
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: