As for the
Union--where is it and what is it?
of it no man can exercise freedom of speech or the press--no man
can utter the words of Washington, of Jefferson, of Patrick Henry--except
at the peril of his life; and Northern men are everywhere hunted
and driven from the South if they are supposed to cherish the
sentiment of freedom in their bosoms.
We are living
under an awful despotism--that of a brutal slave oligarchy. And
they threaten to leave us if we do not continue to do their evil
work, as we have hitherto done it, and go down in the dust before
Would to heaven
they would go! It would only be the paupers clearing out from
the town, would it not? But, no, they do not mean to go; they
mean to cling to you, and they mean to subdue you. But will you
I tell you
our work is the dissolution of this slavery-cursed Union, if we
would have a fragment of our liberties left to us! Surely between
freemen, who believe in exact justice and impartial liberty, and
slaveholders, who are for cleaning down all human rights at a
blow, it is not possible there should be any Union whatever. "How
can two walk together except they be agreed?"
with his hands dripping in blood--will I make a compact with him?
The man who plunders cradles--will I say to him, "Brother,
let us walk together in unity?" The man who, to gratify his
lust or his anger, scourges woman with the lash till the soil
is red with her blood--will I say to him: "Give me your hand;
let us form a glorious Union?" No, never--never! There can
be no union between us: "What concord hath Christ with Belial?"
What union has freedom with slavery? Let us tell the inexorable
and remorseless tyrants of the South that their conditions hitherto
imposed upon us, whereby we are morally responsible for the existence
of slavery, are horribly inhuman and wicked, and we cannot carry
them out for the sake of their evil company.
By the dissolution
of the Union we shall give the finishing blow to the slave system;
and then God will make it possible for us to form a true, vital,
enduring, all-embracing Union, from the Atlantic to the Pacific--one
God to be worshipped, one Saviour to be revered, one policy to
be carried out--freedom everywhere to all the people, without
regard to complexion or race--and the blessing of God resting
upon us all! I want to see that glorious day!
Now the South
is full of tribulation and terror and despair, going down to irretrievable
bankruptcy, and fearing each bush an officer! Would to God it
might all pass away like a hideous dream! And how easily it might
What is it
that God requires of the South to remove every root of bitterness,
to allay every fear, to fill her borders with prosperity? But
one simple act of justice, without violence and convulsion, without
danger and hazard. It is this: "Undo the heavy burdens, break
every yoke, and let the oppressed go free!" Then shall thy
light break forth as the morning, and thy darkness shall be as
the noonday. Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer; thou
shalt cry, and he shall say: "Here I am."
they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou
shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt
be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to
and how glorious! It is the complete solution of all the difficulties
in the case. Oh, that the South may be wise before it is too late,
and give heed to the word of the Lord! But, whether she will hear
or forbear, let us renew our pledges to the cause of bleeding
humanity, and spare no effort to make this truly the land of the
free and the refuge of the oppressed!
then, ye fearless band,
Heart to heart, and hand to hand;
Yours shall be the Christian's stand,
Or the martyr's grave."