An Obsolete Idea
New-York Daily Tribune, April 25, 1861
There has been a good deal of discussion, since the Southern rebellion began, of the propriety of allowing the Slave States south of the Potomac and the Ohio, to separate themselves from the Union, and set up an independent Slave-holding Government for themselves. All the special friends and advocates of Slavery eagerly embraced this idea, while many on the other side, especially those of a reflective and philosophic turn of mind, also adopted it.
But in the face of the glorious, the sublime uprising of the unanimous and devoted people of the Free States, this idea has become obsolete.
It is now evident—and all men will do well to shape their calculations accordingly—that THE UNION CANNOT BE DISSOLVED. There cannot be two rival and competing Governments within the boundaries of the United States. The territorial integrity and the political unity of the nation are to be preserved at whatever cost. Rebellion is to be put down, not treated with. This is the meaning of the Providential, the miraculous outpouring of the People, which we behold with awe and admiration all over the land. This is the meaning of every throb in the great popular heart, now beating with noblest purposes, and animated as it were by a divine inspiration. The freemen of the country understand this well. They know the obstacles; they appreciate the difficulties in their way. They perceive that the struggle will be an arduous, a costly, a bloody one. They see their enemy, and underrate neither his resources nor his desperation. But they are determined to fight no half battle with him. They are determined to make clean work of it, now that the issue has been forced upon them. They have counted the cost, but they have estimated, too, the value of the prize. Through the vista of this war, and by means of the national regeneration which it assures, they behold, beyond, the certainty of peace, of honor, of freedom, secure and immovable forever. These things they are resolved upon, and woe be to those who attempt to check them in their course!
—The business of this nation to-day is the Annihilation of Rebellion, and the Preservation of the National Integrity.