It is very clear that the northern presses and politicians, democratic as well as black republican, overlook the true condition of affairs in and the actual public opinion of the southern states in this conjuncture. That this is so, nothing can be more conclusive than the gross errors of the former in ascribing the secession movement entirely to a universal discontent upon the slavery issue exclusively; and on the other side, the republican, the reiterated ascription to it of a strong Union party on the basis of the status quo preceding Lincoln’s election. Now the northern democracy deceive themselves by supposing that any settlement of federal affairs will or can reconcile the nullifiers of the last thirty years to a continuance in a Union they abhor and have incessantly labored to overthrow; because they, unlike the mercenaries of Buchanan, who have almost all co-operated with them, are animated by a principle, whether it be right or wrong, religiously entertained; while the latter would just as lief live under a despotism or the devil, if their subsistence were only guaranteed. No concession, no compromise, no sacrifice of feeling or of interest, on the part of the free states, which would fall short of securing to this party and its leaders a permanent control of the government, will then be satisfactory to them; and consequently it is a mere waste of effort to apply to them on the subject, and the extreme of folly to suppose that they will relinquish the success they have, through the treasonable complicity of the administration, already obtained. How, then, it may be asked, ought the free states in this emergency, which their eternal interference with and agitation of the slave issue has mainly produced, deport themselves; what propositions can they fairly make, and which the numerical majority of the people of the south, who are devotedly attached to the Union as it was, will accept to bring about a pacification of the country, to prevent its further disintegration and to bring back some at least of the seceding states to the confederation? The answer is easily given: forever exclude the slave question from Congress, determine it in accordance with the requirements of the constitution and according to the actual condition and growth of the Union, and not upon principles wholly inapplicable and not to be entertained. The Union party of the south is, we contend, a majority of the people, aye, a majority in the very states which have withdrawn themselves from the confederacy; but, as an humble exponent of their wishes and opinions, let us warn the north against the fatal error of supposing that they are Union supporters at any price. If a great majority of the people of the south value above all things the preservation of the government bequeathed to them as a heritage by the bravest, the wisest, the most unselfish and the most patriotic of men, it is because of the liberty, equality and impartial justice it has and would still secure under an unpartisan and honest administration of its affairs, to every citizen; because Washington and his compeers framed, organized and approved it; because it has made us, as a people, great, powerful and prosperous; because our freedom, our security and our happiness were the envy and the admiration of the world; and not because—let us with all emphasis repeat—there was not a profound sentiment of dissatisfaction entertained at the eternal meddling with a subject which only those interested in it need care to discuss; a feverish uneasiness engendered touching the sacredness of rights which every man who regards his obligations as a citizen, his duty as an American, and his liberty as a man, would, irrespective of abstract notions, faithfully protect and maintain. For reasons all understand, the policy of this government became one of territorial acquisitiveness; for this object a war was provoked with a neighboring power, and another contemplated with a European government, and northern and southern statesmen alike sanctioned and approved it. This war terminated in the extension of our national domain, and then arose the domestic question, the fruitful source of all our woes, of its future disposition, and whether northern or southern ideas should prevail in its government. In this controversy, which became wholly one of politicians, the supremacy of the people was overlooked, disregarded and contemned, just as it has been in the revolutionary proceedings we are now witnessing, and from which we are so severe sufferers; for had it been otherwise—had the people been left to occupy the territories after their spontaneous fashion, taking their slaves with them, if soil and climate invited, and leaving them at home, where they could be profitably employed, should the contrary be indicated—all would have been well; the extension of our frontiers would have, from time to time, been witnessed, most likely without bloodshed, trouble or expense, and our greatness, power, wealth, freedom and independence would have been uninterrupted and consolidated. This, however, was not to be; for on one side the enemies of slavery would insist in restricting its constitutional rights, and on the other the avowed enemies of the Union south and all those who were led to believe that no peace or security could be obtained from the free states, were united in demands which could be obtained only by a dissolution of the federal pact. We now stand a disunited and distracted people; but still, if reason, justice, common sense and genuine patriotism are allowed to rule, all may be made well again, and perhaps forever; and present causes of perturbation, ill blood and family estrangement upon the slavery issue be permanently extinguished. Let not the north, however, deceive itself; let it not delude itself into the belief that the people of these southern states, aye, of these southern states which have seceded from the Union in defiance of the well-understood wishes of the mass of their population, will consent to remain in or return to the Union unless, once for all, definitely and irrevocably, the slavery issue be determined, and their just rights in the country as it is or may hereafter be are amply secured. We yield to no living men in our love for the American Union; we love it for all that makes government valuable in the eyes and cherished in the affections of men, and for the liberty and equality it assures; and we loved it, God knows, more truly, sincerely and loyally, because under its protecting aegis we found in it in our youth a welcome, a home, comfort, kindness, troops of friends and that freedom of speech and of the pen, and sacredness of personal rights, of which men since the creation had dreamed but never before had been so fortunate as to realize. Millions like us would endure much, rather than sever their connection with such a government. Millions like us find their hearts filled with affliction, their spirits depressed, their hopes of liberty and equality surviving such a catastrophe blasted, as the certainty of the destruction of this great and free government appears more and more imminent; and while we cannot wholly exculpate the south, or its politicians rather, for what has occurred, we would earnestly and fraternally urge upon every upright, just and faithful citizen of the free states at this time the duty, above all other considerations, of presenting such a basis of settlement of the differences between us as the north can honorably offer, and the south honorably accept. Let no northern man, then, suppose that if the extreme issue be forced upon us, there will be any difference of opinion among us here as to our duty; we are for healing divisions before that fearful alternative is presented; but once presented, and as one man the south will stand or fall together. Once more, and finally, we implore our brethren north and south, particularly those men in power in both sections contrary to the well understood preferences of a majority of the people, to reflect well and duly weigh the terrible responsibility they will incur who destroy this form of government and array its children in irreconcilable antagonism to each other.