New York Daily News, January 9, 1861
The “no compromise” policy of the Republican party, which at first had only a few ultramontane advocates, is now the watchword of that entire organization. Senator Crittenden and the border States are scoffed at for their milk and water recommendations. “We won the battle fairly and we will have the spoils;” “let the worst come now while we expect it;” “slavery must be settled this time or never,” are the cries which echo from every Republican journal, from all Republican speakers,. and from, we regret to say, those whose Republican sentiments have hitherto been avowed in sensible terms. In short, Senator Seward’s dogma that slavery cannot coexist with union in these States is the sole platform on which “Northern policy” stands to-day. All the subterfuges used by it to conceal its nature, all its publicly promulgated doctrines have been met, discussed, and are abandoned one by one, until its whole faith, the vital evidence of its life, the prompter of “no compromise,” looms out clearly as the irrepressible conflict. Horace Greeley is now more than ever the mouthpiece of Republicanism. More timid men have sunk into oblivion in the storm of Northern bigotry; and he only, who spits compromise in the face, and stands boldly up for all or nothing, is made the exponent of Republican ideas. If any one imagines, for a moment, that the South’s rashness has had no mitigating, no justifying cause, let him take an impartial look at the aspect of Republicans, and his erroneous impressions will be removed. There is no mental telescope required to see behind the glittering proclamation of no compromise—the Abolition mania hourly rising into importance. The liberation of the negro is the sole object of Greeley, Seward and the party which put the reins of power into Lincoln’s hands. Further concealment is impossible; there can be no peace, as the North will hear of no concessions until the South is either conquered by fire and sword, or driven out of the Union. The fanatics, who are hourly gaining such influence among us, actually fear that the Southern States on any terms will remain in the Union, or be quieted in it by peaceable means. Either of these contingencies would defeat, to a certain extent, the speedy accomplishment of anti-slavery intentions. If the South be forced to secede, then slaves may escape—be cajoled and coaxed into the North, where no owner could hope to recover them. If, on the other hand, matters are precipitated, war must come on, and the army and navy be employed to crush our Southern brethren, whose servants would be kidnapped, excited and roused into rebellion by the crowd of dangerous miscreants who would follow the incendiary forces below Mason and Dixon’s line. Thus, everything seems to make Abolition interests depend on war. Hence, “no compromise.” Peace mould now be more fatal than ever to the preachers of so called liberty, and they appeal to the God of War, to extreme issues, to the last argument of madmen.
It is to be feared that they will attain their ends. Things look like it at present. The army and navy are gradually being brought within arm’s reach of Washington. The pressure of rabid abuse has been too great on the President, whose heart is in the right place, and he has, unwisely in our opinion, concluded to use the military and naval strength to devastate a part of the country that always contributed its mite to the common weal. These soldiers, these ships and these guns that are to be brought into the field against the South, were and are paid for by Southern as well as Northern money. Eight millions of people, in a nation of less than thirty, could not, in any case, properly be called rebels, much less so when their lawfully designated property is threatened and their legalized institutions are in danger. “Woe be to that ruler,” says Macaulay, “who cannot distinguish the cry of a people from the indignation of a mob.” If, before November, there were any doubts as to the determination of Republicans to interfere with slavery, they can hardly exist in the mind of any observing man now. The whole system is violently inveighed against, in every form, by the same individuals, who, a few weeks since, denied having any idea to interfere with it.
As “no compromise” will be listened to by the Lincoln party, why does it advocate coercion? Why not tell the South to go quietly out of the Union? Why oppose all and every measure brought forward to relieve the Southern States from their embarrassing position? The South has declared its fears and asks formal proofs that they are unfounded. By opposing all attempts to furnish these, the North bears evidence to the well founded apprehensions of the Secessionists. The truth is that coercion and abolition are the direct ends aimed at by the incoming power, and embodied in the motto “no compromise.” The apparent desire of The Tribune to oppose coercion while it evidently works for it, is too shallow not to be seen through by a schoolboy. It proclaimed Mr. Buchanan crazy, because he refused to fight, and then made a weak attempt to imitate his madness by opposing hostile action. Was there ever a more inconsistent position for a paper to be placed in?
Self-protection is now the only security left the South and other portions of the country which do not choose to be domineered over by a Republican mob. Since the sentiment of the nation cannot again be heard at the ballot box, let it be known otherwise. The South has need of all its young men to fight for their homes. It is not wonderful that they should flock to arms unanimously. The question next to be solved is, whether Lincoln will be the authorized President of the millions of Northern men who opposed him at the polls. New Jersey ought to have a say in this matter, and other places likewise.