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This was
what alarmed them. They saw that if the National Government
should take one such step, it never would stop there; that this
principle had never before been acknowledged by those who had any
power in the nation.

God be praised. Abolitionists never sought place or power. All
they asked was freedom; all they wanted was that the white man
should take his foot off the negro's neck. The South determined
to resist the election of Mr. Lincoln. They determined if Fremont
was elected, they would rebel. And this rebellion is like their
own Republic, as they call it; it is founded upon slavery. As I
asked one of my friends one day, "What are you rebelling for? The
North never made any laws for you that they have not cheerfully
obeyed themselves. What is the trouble between us?" Slavery,
slavery is the trouble. Slavery is a "divine institution." My
friends, it is a fact that the South has incorporated slavery
into her religion; that is the most fearful thing in this
rebellion. They are fighting, verily believing that they are
doing God service. Most of them have never seen the North. They
understand very little of the working of our institutions; but
their politicians are stung to the quick by the prosperity of the
North. They see that the institution which they have established
can not make them wealthy, can not make them happy, can not make
them respected in the world at large, and their motto is, "Rule
or ruin."

Before I close, I would like, however strange it may seem, to
utter a protest against what Mrs. Stanton said of colonizing the
aristocrats in Liberia. I can not consent to such a thing. Do you
know that Liberia has never let a slave tread her soil?--that
when, from the interior of the country, the slaves came there to
seek shelter, and their heathen masters pursued them, she never
surrendered one? She stands firmly on the platform of freedom to
all. I am deeply interested in this colony of Liberia. I do not
want it to be cursed with the aristocracy of the South, or any
other aristocracy, and far less with the Copperheadism of the
North. (Laughter). If these Southern aristocrats are to be
colonized, Mrs. President, don't you think England is the best
place for them? England is the country which has sympathized most
deeply with them. She has allowed vessels to be built to prey
upon our commerce; she has sent them arms and ammunition, and
everything she could send through the West India Islands. Shall
we send men to Liberia who are ready to tread the black man under
their feet? No. God bless Liberia for what she has done, and what
she is destined to do. (Applause).

I am very glad to say here, that last summer I had the pleasure
of entertaining several times, in our house, a Liberian who was
well educated in England. He had graduated at Oxford College, and
had a high position there. His health broke down, and he went to
Liberia. "When I went to Liberia," said he, "I had a first-rate
education, and I supposed, of course, I would be a very superior
man there; but I soon found that, though I knew a great deal more
Greek and Latin and mathematics than most of the men there, I was
a child to them in the science of government and history. Why,"
said he, "you have no idea of the progress of Liberia. The men
who go there are freemen--citizens; the burdens of society are
upon them; and they feel that they must begin to educate
themselves, and they are self-educated men. The President of
Liberia, Mr. Benson, was a slave about seven years ago on a
plantation in this country. He went to Liberia. He was a man of
uncommon talents. He educated himself to the duties which he
found himself called upon to perform as a citizen. And when Mr.
Benson visited England a year ago, he had a perfect ovation. The
white ladies and gentlemen of England, those who were really
anti-slavery in their feelings--who love liberty--followed him
wherever he went. They opened their houses, they had their
_soirees_, and they welcomed him by every kind of demonstration
of their good wishes for Liberia."

Now, Mrs. President, the great object that I had in view in
rising, was to give you a representative from South Carolina.
(Applause). I mourn exceedingly that she has taken the position
she has. I once had a brother who, had he been there, would have
stood by Judge Pettigrew in his protest against the action of the
South. He, many years ago, during the time of nullification in
1832, was in the Senate of South Carolina, and delivered an able
address, in which he discussed these very points, and showed that
the South had no right of secession; that, in becoming an
integral part of the United States, they had themselves
voluntarily surrendered that right. And he remarked, "If you
persist in this contest, you will be like a girdled tree, which
must perish and die. You can not stand." (Applause).

THE PRESIDENT (Lucy Stone): Mrs. Weld thinks it would be too bad
to send the Southern aristocrats and Northern copperheads to
Liberia: I do not know but it would. I am equally sure that it
would be too bad to send them among the laboring people of
England, who are thoroughly, heartily, and wholly on the side of
the loyal North. They ought not to be sent there. I would
suggest, when they are fairly subdued, that we should send them
to London to make a part of the staff of the London _Times_. I
think they would do better there than anywhere else. (Laughter).

The Hutchinson Family being present, varied the proceedings with their
inspiring songs. Lucy Stone, in introducing them, said Gen. McClellan
was not willing they should sing on the other side of the Potomac, but
we are glad to hear them everywhere. Susan B. Anthony presented a
series of resolutions,[43] and said:

There is great fear expressed on all sides lest this war shall be
made a war for the negro. I am willing that it shall be. It is a
war to found an empire on the negro in slavery, and shame on us
if we do not make it a war to establish the negro in
freedom--against whom the whole nation, North and South, East and
West, in one mighty conspiracy, has combined from the beginning.

Instead of suppressing the real cause of the war, it should have
been proclaimed, not only by the people, but by the President,
Congress, Cabinet, and every military commander. Instead of
President Lincoln's waiting two long years before calling to the
side of the Government the four millions of allies whom we have
had within the territory of rebeldom, it should have been the
first decree he sent forth. Every hour's delay, every life
sacrificed up to the proclamation that called the slave to
freedom and to arms, was nothing less than downright murder by
the Government. For by all the laws of common-sense--to say
nothing of laws military or national--if the President, as
Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, could have devised any
possible means whereby he might hope to suppress the rebellion,
without the sacrifice of the life of one loyal citizen, without
the sacrifice of one dollar of the loyal North, it was clearly
his duty to have done so. Every interest of the insurgents, every
dollar of their property, every institution, however peculiar,
every life in every rebel State, even, if necessary, should have
been sacrificed, before one dollar or one man should have been
drawn from the free States. How much more, then, was it the
President's duty to confer freedom on the four million slaves,
transform them into a peaceful army for the Union, cripple the
rebellion, and establish justice, the only sure foundation of
peace! I therefore hail the day when the Government shall
recognize that it is a war for freedom. We talk about returning
to the old Union--"the Union as it was," and "the Constitution as
it is"--about "restoring our country to peace and prosperity--to
the blessed conditions that existed before the war!" I ask you
what sort of peace, what sort of prosperity, have we had? Since
the first slave-ship sailed up the James River with its human
cargo, and there, on the soil of the _Old_ Dominion, sold it to
the highest bidder, we have had nothing but war. When that pirate
captain landed on the shores of Africa, and there kidnapped the
first stalwart negro, and fastened the first manacle, the
struggle between that captain and that negro was the commencement
of the terrible war in the midst of which we are to-day. Between
the slave and the master there has been war, and war only. This
is only a new form of it. No, no; we ask for no return to the
_old_ conditions. We ask for something better. We want a Union
that is a Union in fact, a Union in spirit, not a sham.
(Applause).

By the Constitution as it is, the North has stood pledged to
protect slavery in the States where it existed. We have been
bound, in case of insurrections, to go to the aid, not of those
struggling for liberty, but of the oppressors. It was politicians
who made this pledge at the beginning, and who have renewed it
from year to year to this day. These same men have had control of
the churches, the Sabbath-schools, and all religious influences;
and the women have been a party in complicity with slavery. They
have made the large majority in all the different religious
organizations throughout the country, and have without protest,
fellowshiped the slave-holder as a Christian; accepted
pro-slavery preaching from their pulpits; suffered the words
"slavery a crime" to be expurgated from all the lessons taught
their children, in defiance of the Golden Rule, "Do unto others
as you would that others should do unto you." They have had no
right to vote in their churches, and, like slaves, have meekly
accepted whatever morals and religion the selfish interest of
politics and trade dictated.

Woman must now assume her God-given responsibilities, and make
herself what she is clearly designed to be, the educator of the
race.



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