New Orleans Bee, June 25, 1860
The counsels of Black Republicanism are guided by two distinct sets of spirits. A portion, and probably the larger, studiously seek to keep ultraism in the background, affect a temperate assertion of their tenets, profess kindness and fraternal attachment to the Union, and talk lovingly of the misguided and deluded South. Their object is clearly to enlist the sympathies and the votes of that numerous body of Northern citizens who, while cherishing an inherent dislike of slavery as an institution, have no idea whatever of committing themselves to an organized crusade against the South. Mr. SUMNER's speech plays the mischief with the calculations of these politic and wary leaders. Its broad assertions of the barbarism of slavery; of its pernicious effects on the morals and intellect of the South; of the duty of all men to co-operate in endeavoring to extirpate italbeit sophistical, one-sided and fallacious to the last degree, constitute dogmas and tenets of as radical and revolutionary a character as any professed by WENDELL PHILLIPS or GARRISON. All who accept the conclusions proclaimed by SUMNER must cease to be classed as Black Republicans, and can be considered hereafter simply as rabid Abolitionists. Now this is precisely what the politicians we have referred to wish to avoid. Mr. SUMNER's speech is to them distasteful and unseasonable; and accordingly we find that presses such as the New York Courier and Enquirer, the Times and the Tribune say as little as possible of it, allude to it in reticent and gingerly language, and strive to induce their readers to forget that CHARLES SUMNER has returned to the Senate, and has delivered the most ultra, uncompromising abolition speech ever uttered in that body.
Perhaps the efforts to cover up and conceal this premature exposition of Black Republican doctrine might have succeeded but for the existence of another faction in the same party, which has no notion whatever of suffering SUMNER's resplendent light to be hid beneath a bushel.
The Black Republican party are sorely perplexed with Senator SUMNER's recent terrific onslaught on slavery. He has given them more than they bargained for, and especially at a time when they were solicitous of assuming an appearance of extraordinary moderation and conservatism. The leaders of Black Republicanism were foremost in greeting Mr. SUMNER's return to the United States Senate, and hailed that auspicious event as the harbinger of an eloquent and elaborate effort in behalf of their principles. They did not, however, anticipate, and were consequently unprepared for the virulent, unconditional and intensely abolition attack upon the institution of slavery itself with which their favorite regaled the Senate on the first suitable opportunity. The Black Republicans had forgotten that Mr. SUMNER believed he had a debt to pay; that as he was unable or unwilling to requite in kind the treatment he had received from a Southern man, he was determined to ventilate his resentment in the only practicable way, by unpacking his heart with words, and by a fell catalogue of curses upon slavery, its promoters and upholders almost equal in comprehensiveness of imprecation to the Papal bull against VICTOR EMANUEL. Mr. SUMNER, it seems, sacrificed policy to the burning thirst of revenge. He did not regard the interests of Black Republicanism half as much as the vehement and irresistible desire to abuse the South and slavery. Hence his speech, which, as the painfully concocted product of years of research, of much meditation quickened and stimulated by a revengeful spirit, and of a predetermined intention to regard the subject from but one point of view, was necessarily specious and at times eloquent, went far beyond the wishes or expectations of the Freesoil party.
Massachusetts, the fanatical element of Black Republicanism, is particularly prolific. Consequently no sooner had SUMNER's effusion seen the light than resolutions were submitted to the Legislature of Massachusetts, then in session, extolling it to the skies, and declaring emphatically that it embodied and expressed the genuine principles of Republicanism. These resolutions were passed after some debate, and now stand forth as the deliberate endorsement of the rankest and foulest abolition doctrines by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We notice, too, that in other States, such as Illinois; New Hampshire and Ohio, the Black Republican sheets, in their paroxysms of delight at SUMNER's wrathful diatribes, accept the speech and hail it as a truthful representation of the opinions of the party. Thus it happens that the enthusiasm of the small fry defeats the profoundly crafty tactics of the leaders, and has led to an untimely acknowledgment of the real objects and designs of anti-slavery.
We are not sorry for this. It may be hereafter discovered that Mr. SUMNER has quite unconsciously rendered a service to the South. He has planted the Black Republican faith upon the only true platformhostility to slavery in all its forms. By stripping it of false pretenses and hypocritical assurances; by enabling all men of all parties to discern its character, and its necessary and inevitable tendencies, he has furnished an opportunity rarely enjoyed by the thoughtful and patriotic people of the North to examine dispassionately into the principles avowed by leading politicians of that section, and now laid bare and made visible by one of their most prominent champions. The people of the slaveholding States will henceforth act with their eyes wide open. They can now have no excuse for further affiliation with Black Republicanism. Mr. SUMNER has told them it means abolition.
Last Updated: July 10, 2007 3:44 PM