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lishment of universal freedom. All this has our nation' done before the eyes and ears of the world. What more has she done? When distant nations, encouraged by her success, have sought to be free, her cheering voice has gone across the ocean; her sympathy, prayers and contributions have rolled in tides of mighty impulse toward the strugglers; and when superior force has crushed the insurgents and doomed them to a harder bondage than before, she has opened wide her gates and bid them come, "where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest." Shall I ask again, what has our nation done? Nay, rather, what has she not done to commit herself before the world as the champion of human liberty? So she has been regarded both by despots and their subjects, and so she is proud to be regarded. Her post has been assigned her at the side of the infant cause of Human Liberty, single handed and alone, and she has gloried to stand there and defy the world in arms. As a people, not as a government, I speak of our nation, and say, she has made this cause her cause, its enemies her enemies, its conflicts her conflicts, its victories her triumphs, its defeat her ruin. This is one aspect of our nation. It is noble, and makes every American proud of his country. But take another view. Let us ask again, what has our nation done-I mean as a people? She has invited the very demon of despotism into her bosom. She has surrendered to his fierce sway two millions and a half of her own population. She has appointed as his agents, her own citizens of every grade, from the President of the United States to "the last and lowest." Mark! all these negociations have been, not with a disguised form of despotism, introducing itself under some flattering name, but they have been with the naked monster himself!-What more has our nation done? At the bidding of this monster, she has established marts in various parts of the land, for the sale of men. She has offered and pledged her services to stand sentinel around his dominions, both to keep down in surrections among his subjects, and to drag back to his elutches every hapless fugitive. She has made him as the apple of her eye;-watched him with the tenderest solicitude, guarded, shielded, and worshipped him. His name she will not allow to be taken in vain; his character cannot be investigated with impunity; his claims cannot be ques
tioned without arousing her ire and periling the lives of her citizens. Dearer to her than union and national existencemore precious than liberty and law-more sacred than human rights and religion, he sits by her permission, both upon the throne and the altar, issuing his commands as law; and with the same breath demanding for an holocaust the bodies of freemen, who dare to question his authority. This is another aspect of our nation. It is horribly base, and should make every American hide his head for shame. But let us bring these two aspects of our nation together, in order that we may see more clearly the contradictions which they present. This will be a third view. Here it is. Our nation, the champion of liberty-the devotee of despotism! Our nation, the cradle of freedom-the foster parent of oppression! The guardian angel of every people who struggle to be free-the endorser of all despots! The asylum of the oppressed-the last retreat of the monster of despotism! The land of the free-the home of the slave! Our Capitol, the Seat of liberty-and the Fortress of despotism! Our President, the Executive of a republic—and an absolute despot! Our press, the palladium of liberty-and the Ægis of slavery! This is the third aspect of our nation! It is Godprovoking, and should excite the indignation of the world. Where did the sun ever look upon such shocking paradoxes? What nation was ever involved in such shameful inconsistencies? And such a nation too! So high in its aims, so daring in its enterprises, so liberal in its principles, so expansive in its philanthropy, so confident in the advance of liberty, and so defiant of despotism! And are we the friends of human liberty? Friends! There is no nation on earth which can be so deadly a foe to liberty. We have wounded her in the house of her friends; we have cast the lie in her teeth; we have betrayed her with a kiss; we have dragged her bleeding body through our streets, until our name is a stench in every palace of despotism. Champion of liberty indeed! Where might not liberty have been this day? What new triumphs-what new trophies might she not have gained? What unfettered millions might have been raising the shout of jubilee, but for our nation's treachery? And now let me ask, what can liberty regard as her bitterest foe, if it be not that system which has thrown our nation
into such an attitude towards herself-the odious system of American slavery?
III. But the view which has most deeply impressed me, with the truth of the proposition which is the subject of this article, is this-American slavery, if it continue, must certainly and speedily destroy our free institutions. Here one might infer from what has been said above, that this would be the most desirable event which could occur for the cause of human liberty, and this inference would be just, if it were granted that slavery was to be perpetual in our government. But from the nature of the case this cannot be. Either slavery or the republic must conquer wholly, and that soon. If the former triumphs, it not only destroys what now pertains to the republic, but it blights all which might and would belong to the republic if itself had triumphed. The influence of a pure republican government -the power of her principles-the majesty of her example --these are involved in the ruin, and are of course to be taken into the estimate of the mischief done to human liberty. Viewed in this light, the destruction of our republic would be most disastrous. The cause of liberty would receive a shock from which it would probably not recover for many years-not to say centuries. It is evident that there is no way to save our government and render it permanent, but by constant resistance to the spirit of despotism-a spirit whose nature and essence is hostility to free institutions. We should repel its first approaches, reject its alliance, dread its smile, suspect it under the fairest disguises, and always, every where, and in every shape, reprobate it as the deadliest foe of republicanism. It is believed that Americans estimate these truths, so far as they relate to foreign despotisms, and are prepared to resist all anti-republican influences from abroad-excepting always those of Popery. So jealous are we about foreign interference that, let but an Englishman come amongst us, and propose to discuss publicly our own institutions, and at once the outcry is raisedhe is an emissary commissioned by despotism to fire the temple of liberty. But the same considerations which call for the exercise of vigilance towards foreign influences, apply with an hundred-fold power to that despotism which is in our midst; and yet what is the state of the public mind with regard to the latter? No concern about its existence
here no suspicion of its character-not even so much as a misgiving that it has any tendency to sap the foundations of the government-nay, it is matter of serious debate whether it be not "the corner stone of republicanism!" It is surely time that Americans should investigate the precise bearings of slavery upon our free institutions-that we should fully understand both the manner in which it endangers them and the imminency of the danger. It will not require great research to see that all the combined power of Europe's aristocracies, monarchies, and despotisms, cannot do one tenth part as much to subvert our liberties as our own system of domestic slavery. In proof of this take a few simple facts. 1, There is more of rank despotism in the latter, than in all the former together. This has already been illustrated in another connection. If the less therefore is to be dreaded, is the more altogether harmless? If that which is almost neutralized by combination with opposite principles, is still to be proscribed, shall the unadulterated essence be regarded as safe? If not, then we must draw the contrary conclusion, and infer, that our system of slavery is the most dangerous enemy which our government has in the world.
2. This most formidable enemy has all the additional advantages for ruining us, which accrue from his being in the midst of our institutions. Having effectually secured our confidence, he has free access to our most secret designs. He is thoroughly acquainted with our national plans, with the weak points of our republic, and with the instrumentalities by which we may be most easily influenced. His actual power to influence is proportionably great. He sways dominion over the fairest portions of our land. He has a seat in our Capitol. He regulates a large department of our internal commerce-called the American Slave trade. He patronizes our colleges, controls our presses, directs us in the subjects which we may talk about. He has also a supervisorship over our churches, and pulpits, and theological seminaries, and publishes the only authentic commentary upon the Bible. In addition to this, he has so wound himself about our affections that we are ready to make any sacrifice in order to secure his favor. If he complains, we annihilate law and beckon on the mob to riot over private property. If this will not satisfy him, we drag our fellow
citizens to the public square, and shamefully scourge their naked bodies. If this will not do, we demolish the press, and rifle the sanctuary of God. If all these sacrifices will not appease his wrath, we threaten to dissolve the union. Here then is our greatest enemy in our midst, possessing every advantage of position, confidence and affection, and incessantly infusing his poison into our free institutions. If my countrymen any longer allow their suspicions to sleep on this subject, while they keep up the show of vigilance towards foreign despotisms-if, I say, they suffer the serpent to lie coiled in their very bosom, while they start at a reptile's hiss coming from beyond the ocean-then indeed is there reason to fear that they are smitten with that infatuation which precedes destruction. If suspicion is not awakened speedily, our liberties are lost forever.
But 3. It is an appalling fact, that the circumstances which surround American slavery are calculated to disarm us of all suspicion! Several of these circumstances I will beg leave to mention.
1st. This system of slavery exists in a free government, and is itself one of the institutions of a free people. Why then should we suspect it? every one might exclaim. It is intimately associated with the genius of liberty-how can it be "a monster of such horrid mien ?" It is sanctioned by our laws and protected by our constitution-can it be the nullifier of all law and constitutions? It is the very cement of our union, insomuch, that if it be removed, it is said the union will be at once dissolved-can it be the enemy of our government? Incredible! If it were, it would not be harbored for a moment, much less would it be elevated to a conspicuous rank among the institutions of our land. Such is the conclusion to which the mass of minds would readily come. To this conclusion the whole nation have come, and now they cry with one acclaim, "Away with suspicion -away with suspicion"-while the monster is silently sapping the foundation of our government !
2nd. This same system of slavery existed at the time when our government was formed; and yet the formers of our government, those wise and patriotic republicans, did not denounce it; nay, they were, many of them, slaveholders themselves! The very men who declared, at the peril of "their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors," that