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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS,

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

HE period through which we are now passing, may properly be said to comprise one of the three great epochs which, according to Voltaire, mark the history of every nation. Nay more. Have not the providential developments of the rebellion revealed a new goal in

our national progress? Instead of being a dire calamity, may we not rather consider the present civil war as a means, in the hand of Divine Providence, for the solution of a great moral problem

- the overthrow of slavery? So completely had the South become wedded to her peculiar institution, that no other instrumentality save the sword was adequate to effect their separation. The shock of battle would-alone loosen the bonds of the captive. If this were the design of Providence in inflicting this war upon us, no one can deny that events are slowly though surely working for its accomplishment. Every acre of territory gained possession of by our soldiers is an acre gained for freedom, and already entire States have been Wrested from the grasp of the usurper. Such a design precluded the possibility of success on the part of the

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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

rebels; for, as the death of one of the Siamese twins necessarily terminates the existence of the other, so will the destruction of slavery ensure the downfall of the Southern Oligarchy.

Alexander Stephens has styled it “The Corner-stone of the New Confederacy.” The corner-stone demolished, how can the superstructure remain ? If, then, the blood which has flowed on so many battle-fields, will wash out the foul stain from our national escutcheon, will it have been shed in vain ?

Yet this war, though it may result, under Providence, in the destruction of slavery, is waged, on our part, for a different object, for our national existence; and who so unjust as to deny to the nation the same right which is freely accorded to the individual — that of self-preservation? The motives which prompted the instigators of this revolution allow of no misconstruction. Envious of the growing North ; imbittered through disappointed ambition; forgetful of our memories as a people, and recreant to the sacred trust handed down by our fathers, they deliberately plotted the common ruin of our country. Nor is it owing to any lack of exertion on their part that the government is not now overthrown; our capitol and national archives in their possession; Toombs calling the roll of his slaves on Bunker Hill, and grass-growing in, the streets of New York and Philadelphia. It was against men prompted by such motives and their infatuated followers that the sword was unsheathed, and is now wielded.

Admitting, however, which was not the case, that they aimed simply at a peaceful withdrawal from the Union, we could not have consented to this, without ensuring the ultimate, if not speedy, downfall of our own government.

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