The Union--Its Danger
Cleveland Daily National Democrat, November 19, 1860
That the Republic has fallen upon evil times, the most common observer of passing events must admit. The Union is now in its hour of travail, but whether it will give birth to new hopes, or go the way of all flesh, is the sad problem now about to be solved. If it survives now, it may bid defiance to any future shock, for truly the crisis through which we are now passing, is the most imminently dangerous one the Republic has ever felt. Heaven grant the storm may subside and reason and patriotism again resume their empire.
While many of those who, we trust, without knowing what they were doing, have labored with the fell spirit of Abolitionism to bring about the state of things which has brought the Republic to the verge of dissolution, feel most keenly that they have been guilty of wrong doing, there is another class who "mock at the calamity and laugh when fear cometh," over the patriotic of the nation.
To maudlin philanthropy, the idea of elevating the negro race to terms of social and political equality, commends itself. In it the idea is a fine one, that the sun shall set on no master and rise on no slave, but as this Utopian scheme cannot be realized, it is far better for us to "bear the ills we have than to fly to those we know not of." The Union of these States is a landmark to the struggling of other nations. As long as it exists they will have hope—when it sinks the hopes of the oppressed of other lands now struggling for a recognition of the right of man to govern himself, go down in blackness and in night.
Valuable as are the supposed rights of the negro race to morbid philanthropy—painful as to Abolitionism may appear the enslavement of a race that since tradition exists have ever been "hewers of wood and drawers of water"—whose normal condition here, and whose normal condition in their own land, was slavery, they must indeed be blind to the benefits of the Republic who think that liberty to the black race is worth more than the unnumbered blessings of the Union?
For our own part, bearing in mind the fact that the negroes of the United States are further progressed in the scale of humanity than in any [other] part of the world—that here they are more christianized, more humanized than anywhere else, and that in comparison to the situation of the blacks of Africa, the most degraded of slaves in the South is far, very far above the best of the masses in Africa, yet, far better would it be for mankind that they all be sent back to their own original barbarism—again made slaves in Africa, with the power of life and death in the hands of the master, as was the case when first, by English and New England cupidity, brought, against the entreaties of the South, to the United States, than that the smallest and most insignificant of the States of the Republic be forced, by oppression and by having their Constitutional rights denied them, from the Union—that a single star which has its place upon our flag be rent therefrom, or its lustre dimmed. Of all the evils which can befal our people, that of disunion—secession, is the greatest. In comparison with it, other evils are of small moment. Rent into factions—formed into small Republics, with a bitter feeling, which must of necessity spring up—torn as they must be by intestine broils and lighted up with the horrors of civil war, Disunion presents an alternative too dreadful to contemplate, and yet to this complexion must we come at last, unless justice and the Constitution is soon made to take the place of the excited and unjust feeling which now pervades the Abolition States.