Abolitionists and Secession

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#1
Is it true that almost all of the abolitionists were against the war and favored secession. William Lloyd Garrison denounced war talk in the North and ended up heading the anti-draft movement. Horace Greeley supported letting the South secede until it was pointed out that 80% of federal revenue came from the South through tariffs on goods purchased by Southerners. Indeed, the abolitionists had proposed that the North secede, and Massachusetts passed a resolution to secede if other anti-slavery states would join them.

These is a comment made by a libertarian that I was having a conversation with and just wanted more accurate information from people here.
 

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#3
Is it true that almost all of the abolitionists were against the war and favored secession.
No. Many were quite the opposite.

William Lloyd Garrison denounced war talk in the North and ended up heading the anti-draft movement.
Not clear that this was so.

Horace Greeley supported letting the South secede until it was pointed out that 80% of federal revenue came from the South through tariffs on goods purchased by Southerners.
The assertion about revenue is factually false.
Whether there was the effect claimed on Greeley seems suspect to me.


Massachusetts passed a resolution to secede if other anti-slavery states would join them.
Never heard of this one.
 
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#4
The claim that Horace Greeley supported letting the South secede is presumably based on his Nov. 9, 1860 editorial which he reproduces starting on page 358 of his book The American Conflict (Volume 1). The claim that he changed his views because, "it was pointed out that 80% of federal revenue came from the South through tariffs on goods purchased by Southerners," appears to be a complete fabrication. I doubt you will find any evidence to support any of the following propositions:

1) That 80% of federal revenue came from tariffs on goods purchased by Southerners
2) That this alleged "fact" was pointed out in 1860/1861.
3) That Greeley changed his views as the result of this alleged fact being pointed out.
4) That Greeley ever disavowed the positions he took in his Nov. 9 editorial.
 

John Hartwell

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#5
The abolitionist movement was terribly fragmented. Many different factions. Most abolitionists welcomed and supported the war. Garrison (who quarreled with all the others) thought the Union was not worth saving -- it was discredited for ever having tolerated slavery at all -- he wanted a new Union. a new Constitution, without the slave states. Few other abolitionists would go that far. He did not support the war until the Emancipation Proclamation was announced -- after that he, like most other Abolitionists came round to backing Lincoln's leadership (with occasional reservations).

If the pro-slavery people had had a wit of sense, they could have found some way to play the anti-slavery factions off against each other. But, the whole secessionist leadership was congenitally dunderheaded**, and painted all slavery opponents with the same big black brush.


**almost every political move they made was a blunder.
 

BlueandGrayl

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#6
The abolitionist movement was terribly fragmented. Many different factions. Most abolitionists welcomed and supported the war. Garrison (who quarreled with all the others) thought the Union was not worth saving -- it was discredited for ever having tolerated slavery at all -- he wanted a new Union. a new Constitution, without the slave states. Few other abolitionists would go that far. He did not support the war until the Emancipation Proclamation was announced -- after that he, like most other Abolitionists came round to backing Lincoln's leadership (with occasional reservations).

If the pro-slavery people had had a wit of sense, they could have found some way to play the anti-slavery factions off against each other. But, the whole secessionist leadership was congenitally dunderheaded**, and painted all slavery opponents with the same big black brush.


**almost every political move they made was a blunder.
Well dating back to the early 1800s, Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts threatened secession among the New England/Northern states regarding Louisiana's admission into the Union stating “to declare it as my deliberate opinion that, if the bill passes, the bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved,…as it will be the right of all the States, so it will be the duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation, - amicably if they can, violently if they must".
 

John Hartwell

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#7
Well dating back to the early 1800s, Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts threatened secession among the New England/Northern states regarding Louisiana's admission into the Union stating “to declare it as my deliberate opinion that, if the bill passes, the bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved,…as it will be the right of all the States, so it will be the duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation, - amicably if they can, violently if they must".
Talk is cheap. There was talk of disunion a number of times. But, the idea was always rejected ... until 1860-61. Talking about unilateral secession, even of revolution, is fine -- we call it freedom of speech. Actually doing it runs the risk of ... complications.
 

BlueandGrayl

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#8
Talk is cheap. There was talk of disunion a number of times. But, the idea was always rejected ... until 1860-61. Talking about unilateral secession, even of revolution, is fine -- we call it freedom of speech. Actually doing it runs the risk of ... complications.
Well how about 1849-1850 also brought the threat of civil war between the months of October 1849 until September 1850 regarding the Western territories, slavery in Washington, D.C., fugitive slaves and most importantly the Texas-New New Mexico boundary dispute which the former went as far as sending troops under Robert S. Neighbors to seize portions of it and various contemporaries warned that if there was no compromise or if the U.S. military garrison led by Colonel John Munroe ever got into fight with Texas militia it would lead to civil war and the Southern states would join in.
 

Pat Young

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#9
Talk is cheap. There was talk of disunion a number of times. But, the idea was always rejected ... until 1860-61. Talking about unilateral secession, even of revolution, is fine -- we call it freedom of speech. Actually doing it runs the risk of ... complications.
Yeah, people have been talking about secession from 1790 to 2018. If wishes were kisses I’d be pregnant.
 



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