Slavery and the War--Part II

Part II of II

2. A nation to be great, to be strong and what the true patriot desires it, must have a solid foundation in truth and virtue, and aim at something higher, nobler, more spiritual, than mere material conquest, or material wealth and prosperity. Whatever Southern slaveholders or North­ern merchants and manufacturers may think, there is a Moral Governor of this world, and the nation that constitu­tionally and habitually violates the great law of right and wrong, and contemplates only material grandeur and mate­rial goods, either will not long subsist, or subsist only as the scourge of the nations. We want not that paganized Republic of which the Southern leaders dream, and with which they seek to allure us to union with them, even were it to become as great, as powerful, and as magnificent as was ancient Rome, once the haughty mistress of the world. Such a republic would contribute nothing to modern civili­zation, nothing to the intelligence, the virtue, or the happiness of mankind. It would be at war with all Christian principles and tendencies, and could only prepare the world for a return of heathen darkness and barbarism. It would be anachronous; It would be out of place in modern soci­ety, and out of time in the progress of civilization. It would be a retrograde movement, and therefore a movement against the laws of Providence, as well as against the true interests of mankind.

3. There are some among us who still retain a conscience, and are foolish enough, if you will, to believe that all men are created equal, and have certain inalienable rights, of which civil society cannot divest them, except in punish­ment for crime. There are people who believe in the prac­ticability of republican institutions, which, though not secu­ring to all men equality of rank or condition, shall yet secure to all their native and inherent rights as men. Such people are honestly opposed to slavery, and can never, without the last struggle, submit to the formation of an aristocratic state with slavery for its corner-stone. It might have been wise and prudent to acquiesce in the institution of slavery as a local institution in some of the States of the Union, where it existed prior to the Union itself, or had since been suf­fered to acquire, a legal, or quasi-legal existence, so long as it could not be reached without doing violence to the Consti­tution; but it would be something very different to consent to the reconstruction of the Union on the basis of slavery, and to give it through the Constitution a legal 8tatu8.­Slavery, say what we will of it, is a great moral, social, and political wrong, and that, too, whatever be the complexion of the slave. If there be any truth in Christianity, if there be any truth in the teachings of the great Fathers and Doctors of the Church, God never gave to man the dominion of man; and hence St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, and others, tell us that the first rulers of mankind were called pastors or shepherds, not lords or dominators; and that God gave to mankind dominion· over the irrational creation, but not over the rational. The Church has toler­ated slavery, where she lacked the power to abolish it; but her whole history proves that she sets her face against it, and uses all the means at her disposal, without shocking the public peace, or creating tumults and disorder, to pre­pare the slave for freedom, and to secure his ultimate emancipation. The negro is a man-is a human being-a mem­ber of the human race; and, whether naturally inferior or not, to the boasted Caucasian variety, he has the same natu­ral and inherent right to liberty that has the white man, and the wrong of enslaving him is just as great as it would be if he where white. The laboring man, whether white or black, may be a poor man, but God has given him the right to be a free man, to be his own man, not another's.

As to the argument of our Southern slaveholders, and apologists for slavery, that the slave is better cared for, better fed, and better clothed than our poor laborers at the North, they weigh nothing with us; because they relate only to the human animal, and not to the man. If the slave were a mere animal, had no rational soul or moral nature, if he were indeed an ox, a horse, or a dog, we should not complain of his condition, or offer any objection to slavery. We believe that the animal in the slave is often better provided for than the animal in the poor white laboring man; but the man is and must be neglected. It is the man that is wronged and outraged, the man that is debased and en­slaved; and the slaveholders know very well that, in order to keep their slaves ill subjection, they must close to them, as far as possible, all the avenues to intelligence, debar them from all intellectual and moral culture, and keep them as near the level of brutes as they are able; they must stifle in them the man, and prevent the development in them of that "image and likeness" of God in which they were crea­ted. It is this that renders slavery an outrage upon hu­manity, and has excited against it the indignation of the whole Christian world.

We cannot, therefore, consent to the reconstruction of the Union on the basis of slavery. We believe in the rights of man; we believe in liberty; we would secure to all others that liberty which we demand for ourselves and we believe slavery a great wrong, a sin against humanity, which is sure, sooner or later, to bring down the vengeance of God upon every people that adopts and insists on per­petuating it. The nations of antiquity had slaves; where are those nations now? Pagan Greece and Rome had their slaves; and where are Greece and Rome today? The Ot­tomans have had their slaves, and the Ottoman empire is now in its agony. Spain became a great slave power through her colonies. Most of those colonies has she lost, and she herself has fallen from the first power, below the rank of a second-class power of Europe. The same may be said of Portugal. Only those nations in Europe, which have emancipated their slaves, freed, or are freeing their serfs, show any signs of longevity. Let the fate of all slaveholding nations be a warning to all those weak, cow­ardly, or traitorous men at the North, who would consent to the reconstruction of the Union on the basis of slavery. Let them reflect that "the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God ;" and every slavehold­ing nation, whatever its spasmodic piety, or its hypocritical professions, does forget God, who never refuses to heal and ultimately to avenge the slave.

4. Finally, passing over all thus far adduced, we cannot consent to such a reconstructed Union, because it would contain in it no element of strength and durability, but the seeds of its own dissolution. It would be based not only on slavery- as its corner-stone, but on the right of any or every State to secede, whenever it should choose, without the other States having any right to call it to an account for its secession. This recognized right of secession will work no great harm today, while the Confederate States are united in a grand struggle for separate existence, or na­tional reconstruction; but the moment that struggle is over and peace is restored, it would begin to operate, and render the Confederate bond a mere rope of sand. State jealousies would spring up, and new secessions would commence; the Union would hardly be reconstructed before it would be re­dissolved into its original elements, and there be as many separate and independent governments as there are individual States. We tried confederation before constructing the Union, and found that it would not work; and the Union itself, if it has any defect, is in the fact that it leaves the Federal power too weak for an effective central power, or " to constitute the people of the several States really and practically one political people. The new Confederacy would be still weaker, exaggerate this defect, inasmuch as it would recognize the right of every individual State to secede whenever it judge it for its own interest, convenience, or pleasure to do so. Is it to be hoped that the Confederacy would be conducted with so much wisdom and propriety as never to give umbrage to any State, or that disappointed and ambitious politicians in any State would never find or make a cause for dissatisfaction, and, like the politicians of South Carolina, whirl their State out of the reconstructed Union? Even now, we are told, South Carolina and Georgia are beginning to manifest symptoms of dissatisfaction with the Confederate government, and we can readily believe that, if the pressure of a common danger were removed, each of them would lose no time in raising the "lone star" of independence, and seceding from secession.

However attractive, then, might be the dream of a re­constructed Union on the basis of slavery, we could never hope to realize it; for we could never hope to preserve it for any considerable length of time in its integrity. There would soon be disaffection at the South; there would be disaffection at the North; and there would always be dis­affection in the consciences of all good men, of all true Christians in all sections, created and sustained by the moral and social plague of slavery. Here are reasons amply sufficient why we should not discontinue our efforts to preserve the Union as it is, and why we should not make peace with the Rebels on their own terms, or accept their propo­sition of substituting the Constitution of the Confederated States for the Constitution of the United States.

The government, we insist, had no alternative in the out­set but to abdicate itself, or to resist the rebellious move­ments with all the forces at its command. It has no other alternative now, and the men who would urge upon it any other policy can be commended for their loyalty only at the expense of their intelligence. The only fault of the government has been in having too long pursued a con­ciliatory policy, in having delayed too long the necessary measures to vindicate its own dignity and authority, in adopting timid and half-way measures, and in having pros­ecuted the war with too little vigor, and with too great ten­derness toward the Rebels. But it is no time now to call up its past delinquencies, and parade them before it. Nothing remains for it but to let the past go, and hence­forth treat secession as rebellion, and the seceders and their aiders and abettors as traitors. We wish it to prove that it has the courage and the disposition to treat them as traitors, wherever it meets them, or is able to seize them. We desire it to understand that there is war, real war, downright earnest war, and a war to be conducted not on the principle of respecting the feelings of the enemy, and of doing him no harm, but on the principle of striking him where he is weakest and sorest, and availing ourselves of every advantage against him allowed by the laws of civi­lized warfare. The Rebels offer no advantage to us; they avail themselves of every advantage against us in their power, respect none of our susceptibilities, and take no pains not to wound our feelings; we must mete them the measure they mete. They allow in their States, where they have the power, the utterance of no Union sentiments, of no Union speeches, or Union harangues, and they hang, imprison, or banish every Union man they can lay their hands on, who keeps not his Union sentiments to himself. We must mete out a like measure to every rebel seces­sionist we find in the loyal States, and silence every voice raised against the right of the government to vindicate and preserve the Union by force of arms. It is madness to send our sons and brothers to fight rebels in Virginia, Ten­nessee, or Missouri, while we suffer their friends, aiders, and abettors to spout their treason and disloyal sentiments here at home. It is not only madness; it is a moral wrong; it is, as some would say, Worse still,-it is a blunder.

Do not tell us that this would be contrary to the Consti­tution and the free expression of opinion. Traitors and friends of traitors have no Constitutional rights, for they are in rebellion against the Constitution itself, and no man can stand on his own wrong. Free expression of opinion! Just as if the question between lawful authority and rebels were a question on which there could be two honest opinions! Is it a question of opinion, when a nation is engaged in a struggle for its very existence, whether its children shall support it or not? Is it a matter of opinion whether the nation shall be preserved or not? Is it a matter of opinion, when I am assaulted by an assassin, whether I have the right to resist him or not; whether I shall quietly submit to be assassinated, or snatch the dagger from his hand, and plunge it into his own heart? Have men lost their senses? Are we to argue the question whether the sun shines in the heavens or not, when we see it with our own eyes? Down with such intolerable cant about "Constitutional liberty," and" freedom of speech or opinion!" How, if the Constitution is gone, trampled underfoot by rebels, do you ex­pect to maintain constitutional liberty , or any other kind of liberty worth having ? Understand at once that we are in war, and in a war for the preservation of the Constitution, for the preservation of liberty, political, moral, mental, civil, and social, and that it is never permitted to plead the Constitution and liberty against the measures necessary for their maintenance. Do understand, if understanding you have, that we are in war for the very existence of the na­tion, and that, if the nation goes, constitutions and liberty go with it, It is only by preserving the nation in its integ­rity and its majesty that the Constitution can be main­tained, and the liberty it secures enjoyed. Neither the na­tion nor the Constitution can afford protection to those who would only use their liberty and the Constitution to destroy them.

The measure we suggest may be severe, and such as in ordinary cases of rebellion ought not to be resorted to by a free government. But we are engaged in suppressing no ordinary rebellion; we are engaged in suppressing a rebel­lion of vast proportions, of vast resources, and of strength hardly inferior to that of the loyal States themselves. We can put it down; and, God helping, we shall put it down; but not without exerting all our strength, and availing our­selves of all the means to suppress it authorized, we will not say by the Constitution, but by the recognized laws of war. War has its own laws; and, while it lasts, it over­rides all other laws, and, if need be, places the Constitution itself, so far as it would be a barrier to its success, in abey­ance. Salus populem Suprema lex is a universally re­ceived maxim, and the safety of the nation is the only law which can control military operations, or determine the measures necessary or proper in the preservation of the war.

It is all very well for your Breckenridges, your Burnetts, your Blights, and your Vallandighams, et id omne genus, to prate in Congress and elsewhere about the unconstitu­tionality of the acts of the President; we know not, and care not, whether those acts were Constitutional or not, so long as we know that they were necessary to the mainten­ance of the Union, the majesty of law, and our national ex­istence itself. How long must it take the petty political attorneys to learn that the nation is above the Constitution, since it makes the Constitution, and its preservation is more than the preservation of the Constitution, and there­fore that all acts necessary to maintain the integrity of the nation and its authority are always lawful, authorized by the highest of all laws? Only they who uphold the Con­stitution, sustain the Union, and labor to save the Constitu­tion, can plead the Constitution and laws in their favor. They who rebel, or aid and abet rebels, by their very act of rebellion put themselves out of the protection of the Con­stitution and laws, and cannot demand their protection, and should not be permitted to expect that it will be extended over them. The Constitution and the laws are for loyal citizens,-not for rebels and traitors. Let, then, the meas­ures suggested or recommended be severe, let them be such as in peaceful times, when the Constitution and laws are unresisted and everywhere cheerfully and respectfully obeyed, would be unconstitutional and indefensible, that, in times like these, when the very existence of the nation is at stake, is no objection to them. The first law of na­tions, as well as of individuals, is self-preservation. It is unconstitutional and illegal to hang innocent and peaceful men; but it is neither illegal nor unconstitutional to hang murderers. It is unconstitutional and illegal to shoot down innocent and peaceful men arrayed in the field before you, even though they have arms in their hands; but it is not unconstitutional or illegal to shoot them down in self­ defence, or in defence of the Constitution and laws. Let us, then, hear no more about the constitutionality of this or that measure clearly necessary to the safety of the nation, and the preservation of the Union under the existing Con­stitution.

In a state of war every thing has to give way to military necessity, private property, liberty and even life itself. The state may take, if its necessities demand it, the private prop­erty of its citizens to the last cent, and it can command any citizen it sees proper, to march to meet the enemy, and, if need be, and the fate of war so decide, to lay down his life and, what is dearer than life, his liberty, for his country. On this principle the Federal Government now calls for troops, and imposes heavy taxes on our property for the support of the war; and loyal citizens cheerfully respond to its call, because they know it has the right to do it, and because they know that, if the country be lost, all is lost, life, liberty, and property themselves.

A heavy tax is imposed by the present war on the citi­zens of the loyal States, although the war has been brought about without any fault of theirs, or any act of theirs having rendered it necessary. Are they to bear the whole burden it imposes, without any indemnification, or without any attempt, at least, to make the rebellious States, whose treachery has created the necessity for it, bear any portion of it? Shall not they who dance pay the piper? In pre­serving the Union, do we not do it for the benefit of the disloyal, no less than for the benefit of the loyal States; and must we, because we are loyal, bear the whole burden of preserving it? The Union has as much right to tax disloyal as loyal citizens, and to collect the tax from the disloyal in the most ready and practicable way possible. Hence Congress, at its last Session, passed an Act confis­cating the property of disloyal citizens of the States now in rebellion, and authorizing its seizure wherever it can be found. This is only simple justice. They whose misconduct has created the war, should be made, as far as possible, to bear its burden, or to indemnify the loyal States for the ex­penses it compels them to incur.

But military necessity may require us to go even farther than this late Act of Congress. The laws of war and military prudence authorize us to strike the enemy where he is most vulnerable, and where the blow will inflict on him the greatest damage. No just war is ever prosecuted for the sake of war, War, for the sake of war, is in all cases un­justifiable. War is justifiable, and can be engaged in by a Christian people, only when it looks to peace for its end, or, which is the same thing, the removal of the causes which have rendered it necessary. If it may be justly resorted to, it is always lawful so to conduct it as in the speediest and most effectual manner possible to remove those causes, to redress the wrongs for which it is waged, and to bring about the desired peace. We are never morally obliged to meet the enemy on his own chosen ground, or to fight him with an equality of forces or weapons. We have the right to choose our own time, place, and mode of attack, and to choose such time, place, and mode as will be the most inconvenient or distressing to him, and the most effec­tually cripple his resources, crush his power, and compel him to surrender. If he has a weak spot, one weaker than an­other, we have not only the right, but in common prudence and common humanity are bound to seek out that spot, and there strike our heaviest and deadliest blow. Thus, if there is a disaffected party in the enemy's country, we have the right to encourage and strengthen that party. Hence the Government has labored to strengthen and en­courage the Union men in western Virginia, eastern Ten­nessee, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, and by so doing has prevented these States and parts of States from joining openly in the Rebellion. On the same principle it has a right to go farther, and make friends and allies of all classes of the population of the rebellious States that it can influ­ence, and that, too, without reference to the condition in which they have heretofore been placed by the laws or us­ages of those States themselves.

This brings us to the question of the slave population in the rebellious States. In these States there are over three mil­lions of the population held by the laws or usages of those states as slaves. These people are an integral portion of the people of the United States, owe allegiance to the Federal government, and are entitled to the protection of that Gov­ernment. The Government has the same right to make friends and allies of them, and to enroll and arm them against the Rebellion, that it has to make friends and allies, or to en­roll and arm the white population of Western Virginia or of Eastern Tennessee. It makes nothing against this that these people have heretofore been slaves by the laws or the usages of the States in which they reside; for those laws or usages are deprived of all force against the Union by the very act of re­bellion. Rebellion dissolves all laws for the protection of the life or property of the rebels. By the very act of rebellion, the rebel forfeits to the government against which he rebels both his property and his life, and holds henceforth neither, save at its mercy or discretion. If it were not so, the government would have no right to confiscate the property of rebels, or to attempt to suppress a rebellion by force of arms. If the slaves held in the rebellious States are property, they are forfeited to the government, and the government may confiscate them, as cotton, rice, tobacco, or any other species of property found in the hands of the Rebels. The same principle that gives to the government the right to confiscate a bale of cotton owned by a Rebel, gives it a right to confiscate every negro slave claimed by a rebel master. This is perfectly clear, and is implied in the recent Act of Congress on the subject. But if these people held as slaves are not property, they are and should be regarded as citizens of the United States, owing allegiance to the Federal government, liable to be called into the service of the Union in the way and manner it deems most advisable, and, if loyal, entitled to the same protection from the government as any other class of loyal citizens. Nobody can pretend that the Federal government is obliged, by virtue of the laws or usages heretofore existing in the Slave States, to treat these people as property. Whatever might have been its obligation before the rebellious acts of those States, that obligation is now no longer in force.

But if it be required to treat them as free and as citizens by the military operations for the preservation of the Union, or even to remove the causes of the present rebellion, then the government is bound so to treat them. The only doubt that can arise is as to the fact, whether it would or would not prove useful to this end. It may be objected to such a measure that it would deprive us of the aid of Western Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, and drive into open hostility to the Union Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. This objection deserves grave consideration. But it is in substance the objection that has embarrassed the government from the outset, and compelled it to take only half-way measures to suppress the Rebellion. For ourselves, we cannot respect the fear to which this obligation appeals. Fear is the worst possible counsellor in the world, and the government that hesitates to adopt the best policy for fear of alienating its friends, is lost. Let the lines be at once sharply drawn be­tween our friends and our enemies. In a crisis like the present, lukewarm friends, or friends who will be our friends only by virtue of certain concessions to their interests or prejudices, are more embarrassing than open ene­mies, and do more to weaken our forces than if arrayed in open hostility against us. If these States are for the Union they will insist on no conditions incompatible with the preservation of the Union; they will make sacrifices for the Union, as well as the other loyal States, and there is no rea­son why they should not. There is neither reason or justice in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the great States north-west of the Ohio, pouring out their blood and treasure for the gratification of the slaveholding pretensions of Maryland, Kentucky, or Missouri. The cit­izens of these States who own slaves, are as much bound, if the preservation of the Union requires it, to give up their property in slaves, as we at the farther North are to pour out our blood and treasure to put down a rebellion which threatens alike them and us. If they love their few slaves more than they do the Union, let them go out of the Union. We are stronger to fight the battles of the Union without them, than we are with them.

But we have referred only to the slaves in the rebellious States, and, if it is, or if it becomes a military necessity to liberate all the slaves of the Union, and to treat the whole present slave population as freemen and citizens, it would be no more than just and proper that, at the conclusion of the war, the citizens of loyal States, or the loyal citizens of loyal sections of the rebellious States, should be indemnified at a reasonable rate for the slaves that may have been liberated. The States and sections of States named have not a large number of slaves, and, if the Union is preserv­ed, it would not be a very heavy burden on it to pay their ransom; and to paying it no patriot, or loyal citizen of the Free States would raise the slightest objection. The objection, therefore, waged, though grave, need not be regarded as insuperable; and we think the advantages of the meas­ure in a military point of view, would be far greater than any disadvantage we have to apprehend from it.

Whether the time for this important measure has come or not, it is for the President, as Commander-in-Chief of our ar­mies, to determine. But, in our judgment, no single measure could be adopted by the government that would more effectually aid its military operations, do more to weaken the Rebel forces, and to strengthen our own. Four millions of people in the Slave States, feeling that the suppression of the Rebellion and the triumph of the Union secures to them and their children forever the status of free citizens, are more than a hundred thousand men taken from the forces of the enemy, and twice that number added to our own; for they would not only compel the Rebels to keep a large force, that might otherwise be employed, at home, to protect their own wives and children, but would deprive them of the greater portion of that labor by which they now subsist their armies. Now slavery is to them a source of strength; it would then be to them a source of weakness. Its abolition would, in our judgment, be striking the enemy at his most vulnerable point, precisely where we can best sunder the sinews of his strength, and deal him the most fatal blow.

Moreover, it would not only bring to the assistance of the Federal arms the co-operation of the whole colored race in the Union, but would secure us, what we now lack, the sympathy and the moral aid of the whole civilized world, and remove all danger of our coming into conflict with either France or England. The war would be seen then likely to effect a result with which Englishmen and French­men could sympathize, and, instead of wishing for the suc­cess of the Southern Confederacy, they would wish with all their hearts for the success of the federal arms. It would do more than this. It would bring to the aid of our volunteer force from one hundred to two hundred thousand brave and stalwart volunteers from the Free States, aye, and even many from the Slave States themselves, who will not, and cannot be induced to volunteer their services in a war which, even if successful, promises to leave the in­stitution of slavery not only existing, but more firmly estab­lished than ever. Everybody knows that slavery is at the bottom of the whole controversy, and that the real object of the Southern leaders is not simply to protect slavery against Abolition movements where it exists, but to extend it over the whole Union, and make the American Republic a great Slaveholding Republic. And there are men in large numbers amongst us, men who have had no sympathy with Abolitionists, who see and understand very well that, even were we successful in putting down the present rebellion, no real union between the North and the South could be restored, and that no durable peace between them could be re-established, if slavery continued to exist. These men enter not and will not enter heartily into the war, unless they see clearly and feel fully assured that it will result in the final and total extinction of slavery throughout the Union and all the territory it may now possess or hereafter acquire.

The present rebellion proves, what thoughtful and far­seeing men in all sections of the Union have long seen and said, that the preservation of the Union with the Slave Sys­tem of labor extending over one half of it, and the Free­Labor System over the other half, is, in the ordinary course of human affairs, an impossibility. Senator Seward, or rather Mein Herr Diefenbach in our Review before him, was right in saying there is an" irrepressible conflict" be­tween the two systems. They cannot long coexist together in peace and harmony; there is an irrepressible tendency in each to exclude the other; and no possible wisdom or prudence, on the part of any administration, can harmo­nize their coexistence under one and the same government. You must make your election between the Systems, and adopt for the whole country either the Slave System, or the Free-Labor System; and the real significance of the contest in which we are now engaged, is as to which of these Sys­tems shall be the American system.

However homogeneous in race or character, habits or manners, may be the people of a country in the outset, they separate, and grow gradually into two distinct peo­ples, with almost entirely different ideas, habits and cus­toms, if one half of them in the one section adopt the Slave System, and the other half in the other the Free-Labor Sys­tem. We have already in the United States, notwithstand­ing our common origin, our common language, the similarity of our laws, and our habitual intercourse, grown almost into two distinct nations. The Confederates are Americans in­deed, for they have been born and bred on American soil; but they no longer retain the original American character; while in the Free States, bating the alterations effected by foreign immigration, that character is substantially preserved. We of the North are the same people that made the Revolution, won American Independence, and estab­lished the Federal government. This divergence showed itself even at the time of the Revolution; and it has been growing greater and greater from the beginning of the present century; and if the two systems of labor are con­tinued on American soil, must continue to grow still greater and greater, till the people of the two sections grow up into two absolutely distinct and mutually hostile nations, no longer capable, but by the subjugation of the one by the other, of existing under one and the same government. The only way this divergence can be checked, the unity and homogeneousness of the whole American people re­covered and preserved, is by the assimilation of the Labor Systems of the North and the South.

We of the North cannot and ought not to accept the Labor system of the South. But the Slave States, by their unprovoked rebellion, have given us an opportunity of performing an act of long delayed justice to the negro population of the Union, and of assimilating the Southern Labor system to ours. This assimilation is at the bottom of the Southern Rebellion, and the South has risen in arms against the Union, chiefly for the purpose of extending her Labor system over all the Free States. In doing so, she gives us the right, in our own self-defence, to extend our Free-Labor System over all the Slave States,-a right which, but for her rebellion, we should not have had under the Constitution.

If this prove a disadvantage to the Southern States, owing to the peculiar character of their laboring popula­tion, they have no right to complain, for it is a disadvan­tage they have brought upon themselves. But this will be a disadvantage only as compared with us of the North; for it will be better for the South herself to have her negro population free laborers, than it is to have them slaves. In counting the population of the South, we must count not merely her white, but also her black and colored popula­tion. The moral, spiritual, and material well-being of her four millions of black and colored people must be consid­ered, as well as the moral, spiritual, and material well­being of her eight millions of whites. These black and colored people are as much human beings, whose welfare is as important and as necessary to be consulted by the statesman, the political economist, the moralist, and the Christian, as that of any other portion of her population; and what they would gain by their emancipation should be thrown into the balance against what might be lost by their former owners. But even the three hundred and forty-seven thousand slave proprietors would, in reality, lose nothing, or gain in moral more than they would lose in material prosperity. We do not believe Southern soci­ety would, in case of emancipation, be equal to what it would if the whole population were of the white race. The negro element would remain in that society, and, wherever it remains, it will be an inferior element; but far less so as free, than as enslaved. ,The white population of the South must always suffer this drawback for having collected, or submitted to the collection of a large African population on their soil, and they have no right to com­plain if obliged to make expiation, as long as the world stands, for having introduced and sustained the institution of negro slavery. But aside from the disadvantage of having its laboring population of a race with which the white race will not mingle, the South would gain by the assimilation of her Labor system to that of the North.

M. Augustin Cochin has proved, in the work before us, that slavery can be abolished, and the slaves converted into free laborers, without any serious detriment, even to the former slave proprietors. We all know that free labor is more economical than slave labor, and therefore that a freeman is worth more, under the point of national wealth, than a slave. The conversion of the four millions of slaves now in the Southern States into freemen, would very much increase, instead of diminishing, the ag­gregate wealth of those States; and if a' portion of this increased aggregate wealth should pass from the hands of a few slave proprietors, and into the hands of those who have heretofore been allowed to hold no property, the aggregate well-being of the whole community would also be augmented instead of diminished, and therefore the South, regarded as a whole, or looking to her whole popu­lation, would be unquestionably a great gainer by the change, It would not in any respect be depopulated or impoverished, but would be in the way of a very rapid increase of its population, and of that wealth which con­stitutes the real strength and prosperity of a state. What we propose, then, would in no respect be ruinous, or even injurious, to the southern states themselves, but would be a real advantage to them, and secure them after the peace all the real greatness, strength, and prosperity states with a mixed population of white and black are capable of. The proposition, then, involves no wrong, no injustice, no inju­ry to the white population of the southern states; while it would be an act of justice, though tardy justice, to the negro race so long held in bondage, and forced to forego all their own rights and interests for the pride, wealth, and pleasure of their white masters.    

It seems to us, then, highly important, in every possible view of the case, that the federal government should avail itself of the opportunity given it by the Southern Rebellion to perform this act of justice to the negro race; to assimi­late the Labor system of the South to that of the North; to remove a great moral and political wrong; and to wipe out the foul stain of slavery, which has hitherto sullied the otherwise bright escutcheon of our republic. We are no fa­natics on the subject of slavery, as is well-known to all read­ers, and we make no extraordinary pretensions to modern philanthropy; but we cannot help fearing that, if the Government lets slip the present opportunity of doing justice to the negro race, and of placing our Republic in harmony with modern civilization; God, who is officially the God of the poor and the oppressed, will never give victory to our arms, or suffer us to succeed in our efforts to suppress rebellion, and restore peace and integ­rity to the Union. We have too long turned a deaf ear to the cry of the enslaved; we have too long suffered our hearts to grow callous to the wrongs of the down-trodden in our own country; we have too long been willing to grow rich, to erect our palaces, and gather luxuries around us by the toil, the sweat, and the blood of our enslaved brethren. May it not be that the cry of these brethren has already entered the ear of Heaven, and that He has taken up their cause, and determined that, if we refuse any longer to break their chains, to set them free, and to treat them as our brothers and fellow-citizens, we shall no longer exist as a nation ~ May it not be that, in this matter, we have Him to reckon with, and that the first step toward success is, justice to the wronged. We confess that we fear, and deeply fear, if we let slip the opportunity which the South­ern Rebellion gives us to do justice to the slave, or to make his cause ours, in vain shall we have gathered our forces and gone forth to battle. We fear God may be using the Rebels as instruments of our punishment - instruments themselves to be destroyed, when through them our own destruction has been effected. We speak solemnly and in deep earnest; for he fights at terrible odds who has the infinite and just God against him. It may be that an all-wise Providence has suffered this rebellion for the very pur­pose of giving us an opportunity of emancipating right­fully, without destroying, but as a means of preserving, the Union, the men, women and children now held in bondage, and of redeeming our past offences. If so, most fearful will be His judgments upon us, if we neglect the opportu­nity, and fail to avail ourselves of the right. Now is our day of grace. This opportunity neglected, our day of grace may be over, and our Republic follow the fate of all others, and become a hissing and a by-word in all the earth. Which may God in His infinite mercy avert.