received back again into our councils, that Northern men will
be ready, on account of any constitutional requirement, to
rush to the South to put down servile insurrections ? If a
slave flees to the North, will our people henceforth rally,
unitedly and harmoniously, to send him back to slavery ?
Shall we be willing to retain forever, as part of our inheri¬
tance, the balancing of free state against slave ; the strife,
the hatred, the antagonism between the systems of free and
slave labor ? Shall free speech be violently prohibited at the
South, as heretofore, leaving the safety of Northern men, who
may be casually there, at the mere caprice of an infuriate
mob ? Shall continual collisions exist as to the right of the
South to extend slavery at their pleasure into the territories ?
And shall new efforts and raids be made against friendly gov¬
ernments, to acquire slave territory to be annexed to the
Union, involving us in continual difficulties both at home
and abroad ? In fine, shall we have for ever reenacted the
same disturbances, divisions, and animosities, that have char¬
acterized our position, arising from our connection with slav¬
ery, and which have culminated in the fearful controversy in
which we are now involved ?
These questions demand the earnest consideration and fair
ansiver of all who are desirous of peace. They are not ques¬
tions for the North to consider merely, but for the South, and
for every reflecting man throughout the country.
If in time past these things were barely tolerated ; if peace
was then uncertain, and for ever trembling in the balance, can
we expect anything better in the future ? Is it possible that
our excited, suffering people will endure again, willingly, all
these tribulations ? and is this endurance peace ?
Besides, the question of peace with slavery appeals directly
to the South on account of the bearing of the Rebellion on
the character of the slave on his own soil—the home aspect
of slavery—to which I have before adverted, but to which I
will again recur.
The armies of the Union have penetrated in various direc¬
tions -far into the Confederate territory ; have sundered its
states into two sections, and have either shut up its promi-