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sions and principles shall have been fully developed, and become well understood. The people at the North are attached to the principles of self-government, and you cannot convince them that that is self-government which deprives a people of the right of legislating for themselves, and compels them to receive laws which are forced upon them by a Legislature in which they are not represented. We are willing to stand upon this great principle of self-government everywhere; and it is to us a proud reflection that, in this whole discussion, no friend of the bill has urged an argument in its favor which could not be used with the same propriety in a free State as in a slave State, and vice versa. No enemy of the bill has used an argument which would bear repetition one mile across Mason and Dixon's line. Our opponents have dealt entirely in sectional appeals. The friends of the bill have discussed a great principle of universal application, which can be sustained by the same reasons, and the same arguments, in every time and in every corner of the Union.
HENRY WARD BEECHER was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1818,
and graduated from Amherst College in 1834. After studying theology at Lane's Seminary he settled in 1837 as a Presbyterian minister in Lawrenceberg, Indiana, whence he shortly removed to Indianapolis, and preached there until 1847, when he received a call to Plymouth Church, Brooklyn. Here he acquired and maintained throughout his life a reputation as a pulpit orator of the first rank. He became deeply interested in politics, discussed frequently from the platform the great political questions of the day, and in 1856 and 1860 took an active part in the campaigns. The oration here reproduced was one of a series of addresses delivered by Mr. Beecher in England during the autumn of 1863. By supporting Mr. Cleveland for the Presidency in 1884, Beecher alienated many of his former political admirers. He died in Brooklyn on March 8, 1887.
ADDRESS AT LIVERPOOL, OCTOBER 16, 1863
OR more than twenty-five years I have been made perF fectly familiar with popular assemblies in all parts of my country except the extreme South. There has not for the whole of that time been a single day of my life when it would have been safe for me to go south of Mason and Dixon's line in my own country, and all for one reason: my solemn, earnest, persistent testimony against that which I consider to be the most atrocious thing under the sun– the system of American slavery in a great free republic. (Cheers.) I have passed through that early period when right of free speech was denied to me. Again and again I have attempted to address audiences that, for no other
crime than that of free speech, visited me with all manner of contumelious epithets; and now since I have been in England, although I have met with greater kindness and courtesy on the part of most than I deserved, yet, on the other hand, I perceive that the Southern influence prevails to some extent in England. (Applause and uproar.) It is my old acquaintance; I understand it perfectly—(laughter) —and I have always held it to be an unfailing truth that where a man had a cause that would bear examination he was perfectly willing to have it spoken about. (Applause.) And when in Manchester I saw those huge placards: “Who is Henry Ward Beecher?”—(laughter, cries of “Quite right,” and applause)—and when in Liverpool I was told that there were those blood-red placards, purporting to say what Henry Ward Beecher had said, and calling upon Englishmen to suppress free speech—I tell you what I thought. I thought simply this: “I am glad of it.” (Laughter.) Why? Because if they had felt perfectly secure that you are the minions of the South and the slaves of slavery, they would have been perfectly still. (Applause and uproar.) And, therefore, when I saw so much nervous apprehension that, if I were permitted to speak—(hisses and applause)—when I found they were afraid to have me speak—(hisses, laughter, and “No, no!”)—when I found that they considered my speaking damaging to their cause—(applause)—when I found that they appealed from facts and reasonings to mob law —(applause and uproar)—I said, no man need tell me what the heart and secret counsel of these men are. They tremble and are afraid. (Applause, laughter, hisses, “No, no!” and a voice: “New York mob.”) Now, personally, it is a matter of very little consequence to me whether I speak here to-night or not. (Laughter and cheers.) But, one thing is very certain, if you do permit me to speak here to-night you will hear very plain talking. (Applause and hisses.) You will not find a man—(interruption)—you will not find me to be a man that dared to speak about Great Britain 8,000 miles off, and then is afraid to speak to Great Britain when he stands on her shores. (Immense applause and hisses.) And if I do not mistake the tone and temper of Englishmen, they had rather have a man who opposes them in a manly way—(applause from all parts of the hall)—than a sneak that agrees with them in an unmanly way. (Applause and “Bravo!”) Now, if I can carry you with me by sound convictions, I shall be immensely glad (applause); but if I cannot carry you with me by facts and sound arguments, I do not wish you to go with me at all; and all that I ask is simply fair play. (Applause, and a voice: “You shall have it, too.”) Those of you who are kind enough to wish to favor my speaking—and you will observe that my voice is slightly husky, from having spoken almost every night in succession for some time past—those who wish to hear me will do me the kindness simply to sit still, and to keep still; and I and my friends the Secessionists will make all the noise. (Laughter.) There are two dominant races in modern history—the Germanic and the Romanic races. The Germanic races tend to personal liberty, to a sturdy individualism, to civil and to political liberty. The Romanic race tends to absolutism in government; it is clannish; it loves chieftains; it develops a people that crave strong and showy governments to support and plan for them. The Anglo-Saxon race belongs to the great German family, and is a fair exponent of its peculiarities. The Anglo-Saxon carries self-government and self-development with him wherever he goes.
He has popular government and popular industry; for the effects of a generous civil liberty are not seen a whit more plain in the good order, in the intelligence, and in the virtue of a self-governing people, than in their amazing enterprise and the scope and power of their creative industry. The power to create riches is just as much a part of the Anglo-Saxon virtues as the power to create good order and social safety. The things required for prosperous labor, prosperous manufactures, and prosperous commerce are three. First, liberty; second, liberty; third, liberty. (Hear, hear!) Though these are not merely the same liberty, as I shall show you. First, there must be liberty to follow those laws of business which experience has developed, without imposts or restrictions or governmental intrusions. Business simply wants to be let alone. (Hear, hear!) Then, secondly, there must be liberty to distribute and exchange products of industry in any market without burdensome tariffs, without imposts, and without vexatious regulations. There must be these two liberties—liberty to create wealth, as the makers of it think best, according to the light and experience which business has given them; and then liberty to distribute what they have created without unnecessary vexatious burdens. The comprehensive law of the ideal industrial condition of the world is free manufacture and free trade. (Hear, hear! A voice: “The Morrill tarift.” Another voice: “Monroe.”) I have said there were three elements of liberty. The third is the necessity of an intelligent and free race of customers. There must be freedom among producers; there must be freedom among the distributors; there must be freedom among the customers. It may not have occurred to you that it makes any difference