Causes of Secession.
We had a lengthy conversation a day or two since with a very intelligent gentleman from the South, who conversed freely upon the subjects that now occupy the minds of all the citizens of this Republic. This gentleman had called upon Mr. Lincoln, and he says that the idea of "raw head and bloody bones" — beast with "seven heads and ten horns" at once passed from his mind. He says "Would to God that all of his people could see him! The mere sight of him," said he, "would drive secession out of the heart of every honest Southerner. It is true," said he, "that if he were in Washington to-day, and talk as frankly and as candidly as he does here, it probably would do no good, for those who would see him, would not be convinced of their error, and the lack of justice in their movements of treason, under any circumstances."
This conversation naturally tended to convince us that an opinion we have long entertained was correct. The people of the South do not know us. They are not allowed to read Republican papers down there, they learn nothing of the true principles of the Republican party. A large proportion of them do not read, while a larger proportion of them read nothing but secession papers. We have serious doubts whether a true edition of the Chicago platform was ever read by one tenth of the people of the Southern States. They never see an article in their papers quoted from a Republican paper in the North, unless it be the breathings of some fanatic; then they dish it out with all the gravy that they can pile upon it, as an exposition of the principles of the Republican party. Anything that meets their sight that does reflect the true purposes and principles of the Republican party is at once suppressed. The papers that contain it are declared incendiary, and withheld from circulation. This is one of the means by which such a state of feeling has been produced in the South, and it only remains for them to know the truth, and we feel sure that the revolutionary sentiment that prevails there will soon be quieted.
We believe with our Southern friend that any honest Southerner who will but for a moment see and converse with Mr. Lincoln, will go home disarmed of all fears of oppression at his hands, and all feelings of secession will be at once banished from his heart.
But we cannot close this article without a word more. Our Northern Democratic papers have pursued a course that has been more detrimental to the perpetuity of the Union than, if possible, the most ultra secession papers in the South. They are here, where they know better; they mix with us every day, and they know that we have no sentiments that look to any aggression upon the institutions of the South. Yet day after day they have ever studiously endeavored to misrepresent us for partisan purposes, and they still persist in it, when the only legitimate result can but be to higher inflate the Southern feeling in their monstrous designs. It is done in this way; the Southern papers never copy anything from our papers, and rarely exchange with them, but the Democratic papers of the North are copied from extensively, and of course when they contain nothing but misrepresentations of the party which is soon to come into power, they cannot expect that any effort on their part can avail in the way of saving the Union. Let our Northern Democratic contemporaries begin to tell the truth and give Southern allies a fair indication of the policy and purposes of Mr. Lincoln and his party, and then they will begin to undo the mischief they have done.
Under such circumstances, the South is less to blame than the Northern editors and politicians who first cried fire and still keep it up.
Finally, we ask of our Northern Democratic editors, is the Union of less value to you than the destruction of the Republican party? The first you have helped to destroy, while the latter you are powerless to injure. Do you feel that you would rather see the "Union slide," than to see the Republicans have the power they have fairly won? If this is the feeling you entertain, go ahead, but never let us hear of your preaching Union sentiments, and in the same breath believing the party that soon will control the Government, thus still heating Southern sentiment to a higher pitch, and rendering doubly sure the destruction of the Union.