Did Abolitionism Produce Disunion and War?
In answer to this question we will give an authority that abolitionists will hardly dispute. We quote from an electioneering tract issued by HORACE GREELEY in 1844, during the CLAY campaign. The same paper now would pronounce such arguments "treason," or at least an evidence of "sympathy with the rebels," if they were put forth by a democratic paper:
"We are not fond of alarming topics, nor disposed to excite unnecessary anxiety. But the evils of political abolition, rising up in the north, must be faced, and THE CONSEQUENCES IT TENDS TO must be considered. — However averse the people of the free states may be to slavery, (and we believe they are almost universally so,) yet they cannot but feel that remedy of political abolition is WORSE THAN THE DISEASE: first, because the rudeness and violence of the treatment only aggravate it; and next, because they fear that the medicine, if administered as proposed, will kill both the patient and the doctor. A DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION WOULD BE AS CERTAIN as any effect of a moral cause that can be reckoned on. Nor is it likely that this would be the end. The political asperities and exasperations that would grow out of such a conflict would themselves naturally be breeders of other conclusions; and it would not be strange if SOME CHIEFTAIN or chieftains would rise up in the struggle, to make slaves of all freemen, and bind in stronger chains those whom, by such means, it is proposed to set free.
We are a family of states, bound together by a covenant solemnly ratified, which prescribes THE RIGHTS of each. In this family, concord is beautiful; family quarrels are the worst of all. Civil war is the most terrible and desolating of all wars, and most difficult to be brought to an end. Look to Spain. Will any one say, that such a movement as the POLITICAL ABOLITION OF THE NORTH, does not put in jeopardy the peace of this Union, AND THE UNION ITSELF? And can any human foresight tell what scenes of strife it is likely to produce, if it should be encouraged to pass on its way towards the supreme power of the nation, which is not its avowed aim?"
Have not events proved the truth of Mr. GREELEY's prediction?