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Senators such as these are the natural enemies of Kansas; and I introduce them with reluctance, simply that the country may understand the character of the hostility which must be overcome. Arrayed with them, of course, are all who unite, under any pretext or apology, in the propagandism of Human Slavery. To such, indeed, the time-honored safeguards of popular rights can be a name only, and nothing more. What are trial by jury, habeas corpus, the ballot-box, the right of petition, the liberty of Kansas, your liberty, sir, or mine, to one who lends himself not merely to the support at home, but to the propagandism abroad, of that preposterous wrong, which denies even the right of a man to himself? Such a cause can be maintained only by a practical subversion of all rights. It is, therefore, merely according to reason that its partisans should uphold the Usurpation in Kansas.
To overthrow this Usurpation is now the special, importu- . nate duty of Congress, admitting of no hesitation or postponement. To this end, it must lift itself from the cabals of candidates, the machinations of party, and the low level of vulgar strife. It must turn from that Slave Oligarchy which now controls the Republic, and refuse to be its tool. Let its power be stretched forth towards this distant Territory, not to bind, but to unbind; not for the oppression of the weak, but for the subversion of the tyrannical; not for the prop and maintenance of a revolting Usurpation, but for the confirmation of Liberty.
"These are imperial arts, and worthy thee!"
Let it now take its stand between the living and dead, and cause this plague to be stayed. All this it can do; and if the interests of Slavery did not oppose, all this it would do at once, in reverent regard for justice, law, and order, driving far away all the alarms of war; nor would it dare to brave the shame and punishment of this Great Refusal. But the Slave Power dares anything; and it can be conquered only by the united
masses of the People. From Congress to the People, I appeal.
Already Public Opinion gathers unwonted forces to scourge the aggressors. In the press, in daily conversation, wherever two or three are gathered together, there the indignant utterance finds vent. And trade, by unerring indications, attests the growing energy. Public credit in Missouri droops. The six per cents of that State, which at par should be one hundred and two, have sunk to eighty-four and one fourth — thus at once completing the evidence of Crime, and attesting its punishment. Business is now turning from the Assassins and Thugs, that infest the Missouri River on the way to Kansas, to seek some safer avenue. And this, though not unimportant in itself, is typical of greater changes. The political credit of the men who uphold the Usurpation droops even more than the stocks; and the People are turning from all those through whom the Assassins and Thugs have derived their disgraceful immunity.
It was said of old, "Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor's Landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deut. 27: 17.) Cursed, it is said, in the city, and in the field; cursed in basket and store; cursed when thou comest in, and cursed when thou goest out. These are terrible imprecations; but, if ever any Landmark were sacred, it was that by which an immense territory was guarded forever against Slavery; and if ever such imprecations could justly descend upon any one, they must descend now upon all who, not content with the removal of this sacred Landmark, have since, with criminal complicity, fostered the incursions of the great Wrong against which it was intended to guard. But I utter no imprecations. These are not my words; nor is it my part to add to or subtract from them. But, thanks be to God! they find a response in the hearts of an aroused People, making them turn from every man, whether President, or Senator, or Representative, who has been engaged in this Crime, especially
from those who, cradled in free institutions, are without the apology of education or social prejudice, until of all such those other words of the prophet shall be fulfilled — "I will set my face against that man, and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people." (Ezekiel 14: 8.) Turning thus from the authors of this Crime, the People will unite once more with the Fathers of the Republic, in a just condemnation of Slavery, -determined especially that it shall find no home in the National Territories, -while the Slave Power, in which the Crime had its beginning, and by which it is now sustained, will be swept into the charnel-house of defunct Tyrannies.
In this contest, Kansas bravely stands forth the stripling leader, clad in the panoply of American institutions. In calmly meeting and adopting a frame of Government, her people have with intuitive promptitude performed the duties of Freemen ; and when I consider the difficulties by which she was beset, I find dignity in her attitude. In offering herself for admission into the Union as a FREE STATE, she presents a single issue for the People to decide. And since the Slave Power now stakes on this issue all its ill-gotten supremacy, the People, while vindicating Kansas, will at the same time overthrow this Tyranny. Thus does the contest which she now begins involve not only Liberty for herself, but for the whole country. God be praised, that she did not bend ignobly beneath the yoke! Far away on the prairies, she is now battling for the Liberty of all, against the President, who misrepresents all. Everywhere among those who are not insensible to Right the generous struggle meets a generous response. From innumerable throbbing hearts go forth the very words of encouragement which, in the sorrowful days of our Fathers, were sent by Virginia, speaking by the pen of Richard Henry Lee, to Massachusetts, in the person of her popular tribune, Samuel Adams:
"Chantilly (Va.), June 23d, 1774. "I hope the good people of Boston will not lose their spirits under their present heavy oppression, for they will certainly be supported by the other Colonies; and the cause for which they suffer is so glorious, and so deeply interesting to the present and future generations, that all America will owe, in a great measure, their political salvation to the present virtue of Massachusetts Bay."-American Archives, 4th series, vol. 1, p. 446.
In all this sympathy there is strength. But in the cause itself there is angelic power. Unseen of men, the great spirits of History combat by the side of the people of Kansas, breathing a divine courage. Above all towers the majestic form of Washington, once more, as on the bloody field, bidding them to remember those rights of Human Nature for which the War of Independence was waged. Such a cause, thus sustained, is invincible.
The contest, which, beginning in Kansas, has reached us, will soon be transferred to a broader stage, where every citizen will be not only spectator, but actor; and to their judgment I confidently appeal. To the People, now on the eve of exercising the electoral franchise, in choosing a Chief Magistrate of the Republic, I appeal, to vindicate the electoral franchise in Kansas. Let the ballot-box of the Union, with multitudinous might, protect the ballot-box in that Territory. Let the voters everywhere, while rejoicing in their own rights, help to guard the equal rights of distant fellow-citizens; that the shrines of popular institutions, now desecrated, may be sanctified anew; that the ballot-box, now plundered, may be restored; and that the cry, "I am an American citizen," may not be sent forth in vain against outrage of every kind. In just regard for free labor in that Territory, which it is sought to blast by unwelcome association with slave labor; in Christian sympathy with the slave, whom it is proposed to task and to sell there; in stern condemnation of the Crime which has been consummated on that beautiful soil; in rescue of fellow-citizens, now subju- .
gated to a tyrannical Usurpation; in dutiful respect for the early Fathers, whose aspirations are now ignobly thwarted; in the name of the Constitution, which has been outraged — of the Laws trampled down of Justice banished—of Humanity degraded-of Peace destroyed- of Freedom crushed to earth; and in the name of the Heavenly Father, whose service is perfect Freedom, I make this last appeal.