-- Political Quotations on Slavery

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aphillbilly

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"By what vote can I do most to prevent the madness of the times from working it's maddest act-the very ecstasy of its madness-the permanent formation and the actual triumph of a party which knows one half of America, only to hate and dread it?"

"If the Republican Party gives the government to the north, I turn my eyes from the consequences. To the fifteen States of the south that government will appear an alien government. It will appear worse. It will appear a hostile government."'

Rufus Choate of Maine, who had succeeded to Daniel Webster's seat in the US Senate, in a letter to the Maine State Central Committee, about the way the new anti-slavery party was conducting it's campaign
 

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"I'd rather every one of my children should be laid out on the cooling board, than to have the Yankees get my slaves."

Georgia mother of four, as recounted by "Miss Abby," an Atlanta schoolteacher, May 30, 1864.

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"You slaveholders have lived so long on your plantations with no one to gainsay you and the negroes only look up and worship you that you expect to govern everybody & have it all your own way."

Frances Edmonston to her father and brothers, noted in her sister Charlotte's diary, November 16, 1860.

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"If the South goes to war for slavery, slavery is doomed in this country. To say so is like opposing one drop to a roaring torrent."

G., a pro-Union woman from New Orleans, diary entry, December 1, 1860.

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"We are two people. We are a people of freedom and a people of slavery. Between the two, conflict is inevitable."

From the New York Tribune, April 11, 1854.

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"We are sometimes asked in the name of patriotism to forget the merits of this fearful struggle, and to remember with equal admiration those who struck at the nation's life, and those who struck to save it-those who fought for slavery and those who fought for liberty and justice. I am no minister of malice..., I would not repel the repentant, but...

may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I forget the difference between the parties to that...bloody conflict."

Frederick Douglass, Address at the grave of the Unknown Dead, Arlington, Virginia, May 30, 1871.

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"The question of slavery in the territories has been avoided. It has not been settled."

Congressman Salmon P. Chase, commenting on the 'Compromise' of 1850, Congressional Globe, 31st Congress, 1st session, pg. 1859.

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"What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man,--who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself, in vindication of his own liberty, and, in the next moment, be deaf to all those motives whose power supported him through his trial, and inflict on his fellow-men a bondage one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose!"

Thomas Jefferson, 1786.

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"The triumph of the Confederacy would be a victory of the powers of evil which would give courage to the enemies of progress and damp the spirits of friends all over the civilized world. The American Civil War is destined to be a turning point, for good or evil, of the course of human affairs."

English philosopher John Sturat Mill.

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In 1917 the British Pacifist Viscount John Morley made an astonishing avowal. Writing in the midst of a war that would create many new pacifists, Viscount Morley declared that the American Civil War had been,

"the only war in modern times as to which we can be sure, first, that no skill or patience of diplomacy would have avoided it; and second, that preservation of the American Union and abolition of negro slavery were two vast triumphs of good by which even the inferno of war was justified."

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General Robert E. Lee's aide-de-camp, Colonel Charles Marshall stated in his memoirs that,

"It is very certain that the immediate cause of the political agitation which culminated in the dissolution of the Union was the institution of slavery." "There can be no doubt," he wrote, "that the Southern people" were "fighting to maintain slavery or prevent its overthrow by the hands of their enemies."

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"When the people of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, seceded from the Union of the United States, they put forth in justification of their course, as its proximate or immediate cause, the various acts of the people of the Northern States, interfering with their institution of slavery..."

(Robert Barnwell Rhett, in a public letter to former governor of South Carolina, William Aiken, Nov. 19, 1864.)

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"It should be constantly kept in view, through all the bloody phases and terrible epochs of this relentless war, that slavery was the caus beli, that the principle of State Sovereignty, and its sequence, the right of secession, were important to the South principally, or solely, as the armor that encased her peculiar institution--and that every life that has been lost in this struggle was an offereing upon the alter of African Slavery."

(Submitted by writer "Q" in the Macon Telegraph, Jan. 6, 1865.)

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"Try and hide it as much as we may, yet the question of negro slavery was the great leading cause of this war, and but for it we would have been recognized long ago by foreign powers, but in that particular the world is against us, and so we will remain until this war shall have placed it upon a basis too firm to be questioned."

(A nonslaveholder in Georgia, writing as "Sydney," Macon Telegraph and Confederate, Nov. 19, 1864.)

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"...any man who pretends to believe that this is not a war for the emancipation of the blacks...is either a fool or a liar."

(From The Vidette, Nov. 2, 1862, unit newspaper of Morgan's Confederate Brigade, Nov. 2, 1862.)

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"...the mere agitation in the Northern States to effect the emancipation of our slaves largely contributed to our separation from them."

(Charleston Mercury, Nov. 3, 1864.)

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"Slavery, God's institution of labor, and the primary political element of our Confederation of Government, state sovereignty...must stand or fall together. To talk of maintaining our independence while we abolish slavery is simply to talk folly."

(Charleston Courier, Jan. 24, 1865.)

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