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For Sale bt A. C. McClurg & Co., Bookskllkrs, Chicago, Ills. 

D. J. SNIDER, 1906 




Part I. The Border War (1855-8). 

Chapter I. — The Opening Conflict 
(1855-6) 5 

The First Invasion 5 

The Second Invasion 55 

The Third Invasion 82 

Chapter II. — The Presidential Year 
(1856-7) ■ 92 

Presidential Nominations. ... 98 
Presidential Campaign . . . . 119 
Outlook 134 

Chapter III. — The Struggle Re- 
newed (1857-8) 137 

Washington 148 

Kansas 154 

The People 169 

Retrospect 179 


4 coy TENTS. 

Part II. The Union Disunited ( 1858-6 1 ) 185 

Chapter I, — The North 194 

Abraham Lincoln . . ; . . .201 

John Brown 219 

Simeon Bushnell. 244 

Chapter II. — The South 262 

The Slaveholders 290 

The Non-Slaveholders .... 303 

The Slaves 315 

Chapter III. — The Process of Seces- 
sion 3?0 

The First Alignment 337 

The Second Alignment .... 350 

The Third Alignment 365 

Ketrospect 425 

Part III. — The Union Reunited 

(1861-5) 435 

The Winning of the Unseceded 

Slave-States (1861-2) .... 485 

The Winning of the Seceded Slave- 
States (New), 1862-3 .... 499 

The Winning of the Seceded Slave- 
States (Old), 1864-5 .... 508 

Retrospect 521 




^be iTiret Ifnvasion. 

During the last days of March, 1855, a small 
army, some 5,000 men as the account runs, 
marched from the State of Missouri over its 
western boundary into the neighboring Territory 
of Kansas. There was no open proclamation of 
war, and the country generalh^ supposed itself to 
be in possession of peace at home and abroad. 
Still here was a military organization in 
semblance, belonging to no State legally nor to 
the United States, commanded by Generals and 
Colonels and Captains, and accompanied by a train 
of wagons containing supplies of food and liquor 
and ammunition. The men were armed with guns 
and pistols; many of them showed their dis- 
tinctive weapon in a unique wav : bowie-knives 



protruding froai the tops of their boots. They 
had been recruited chiefly from the western 
counties of Missouri, which also contributed the 
main expenses of the expedition, deeming them- 
selves the vanguard of Southern civilization in 
the great conflict manifestly approaching and 
ready to break out on their border. Mighty was 
the enthusiasm, overflowing into multitudinous 
streams of oratory from the leaders, who were 
mostly politicians in line of promotion, and who 
had the power of evoking in their hearers volley 
after volley of profanity discharged against the 
Abolitionists over in Kansas and in the North. 

War in peace, then, we behold on the Kansas- 
Missouri border during these fair spring days; 
what does it portend? Such a mass of men 
could not have been gathered, drilled and 
organized without money and much previous 
effort. It is now known that they were 
members of a secret oath-bound society called 
the Blue Lodge mainly, though other names of 
it were current. A fixed, persistent purpose lies 
back of it, an idea, we must believe ; it bodes 
some struggle impending, whereof this is the first 
little, distant outbreak, the harbinger of might- 
ier events coming on. So these Missourians 
march across the border, totally unconscious of 
the colossal, world-historical drama whose first 
scene they are enacting. 

No doubt could be entertained concerning 


their immediate object, for it was openly pro- 
claimed by all; they intended to vote in Kansas, 
though non-residents, and to elect a Territorial 
Leofislature, which would transform it into a 
Shive-State. Their scheme was to seize hold of 
the law-making power by violence, and then 
render their illegal acts legal. A curious mental 
condition was this of the Missourians, yet their 
leaders upheld it by argument as well as by fervid 
appeals to conscience and to eternal justice, in- 
voking even the God of battles. March 30th 
the election took place. In a voting population 
of about 3,000, according to a census taken a few 
weeks before the election, 6,300 votes were 
cast, nearly four-fifths of them by Missourians 
who took possession of most of the polling- 
places, ousted any recalcitrant judges, and pro- 
ceeded to accept their own ballots for their own 
candidates. The result was a complete triumph 
of Missourians choosing themselves for Kansas 
legislators, who were 39 in number. The Gov- 
ernor, Reeder, had to canvass the returns, and, 
though an appointee of the Democratic Adminis- 
tration, did not relish the Missouri method of 
undoing the ballot through the ballot. Still he 
gave certificates of election to all but seven, look- 
ing into the muzzles of cocked pistols, it is said, 
which had also a significant power of speech, 
saying to him : We shall spit fire if you go be- 
hind the returns. In the seven districts where 


ballots were thrown out on account of infor- 
malities too brazen, a new election took place 
which resulted in the choice of seven Kansas 
legislators for Kansas, who, however, were soon 
unseated by the Missouri members, as usurpers 
of the sacred rights of Missourians. 

Contemplating these events we have to ask 
ourselves: Is here a mere local trouble, a border 
foray of outlaws, or is this spirit getting to be 
general in the South? Is the ballot, the great 
Anglo-Saxon instrumentality for obviating vio- 
lence, to be set aside by violence? Is the ma- 
jority no longer to rule in this country? If so, 
war must come, since the means of all peaceful 
settlement between contending parties is broken 
into fragments and scattered to the winds. 
Ominous of 1861 is already 1855 in Kansas. 

The Missourians declared undisguisedly that 
their purpose was to make Kansas a Slave- 
State without any regard for the wishes of 
her people. To that end they had now 
seized the legislative power of the Territory, 
which rightfully belonged to its actual settlers. 
Already the Missourians supposed that they 
had both the executive and the judicial branches 
of the Territorial organization. The Gover- 
nor and other administrative officials were 
appointed by the President, Franklin Pierce, 
who was dominated by the slave power of 
which the head was, already Jefferson Davis, 


Secretary of "War at Washington. The Judi- 
ciary of the Territory likewise was a Presi- 
dential appointment, and would not fail to co- 
operate with the Missourians, as time showed. 
The scheme of the invaders, accordingly, was 
to get control of the Legislature, preventing the 
inhabitants from governing themselves, since 
they were manifesting a decided tendency toward 
wheeling Kansas into the company of the Free- 
States, from which most of them had come. 
Unfortunately Governor Reeder had legalized in 
form the illegal act of the invaders, through 
his certificates of election. Thus illegality was 
made legal and was enthroned not only as law, 
but as the law-making power of Kansas. Reeder 
will repent of his action, and will valiantly battle 
against the consequences of his own mistake, 
showing his deepest worth by making undone 
his own ill-doing, as far as lies in his power. 

Such is the fierce contradiction in the institu- 
tional order of Kansas, rending to pieces her 
ethical life and making her truly a perverted 
world. The established authority is used to dis- 
establish the foundation of authority, the con- 
sent of the governed ; the three powers of gov- 
ernment, legislative, executive, and judicial, are 
in the hands of those who intend to employ 
them for undermining their source, the will of 
the people. The forms of free institutions are 
turned into destroyers of freedom, and the law 


is driven to the point of stabbing itself and let- 
tino- its own heart's blood. In such a perverted 
institutional world man cannot live in peace. 
How can he be even legal when illegality makes 
the law? Still he must remain law-abiding till 
he can somehow re-make the law by which he 

Over all these occurrences gleams the ques- 
tion : Was the act of the Missourians represen- 
tative? Did it reach beyond their State even to 
the Atlantic? Did it reveal the spirit and the 
rising purpose of the South? Many and loud 
were the exultations in the newspapers from 
Westport in Missouri to Charleston in South 
Carolina; the event was hailed as the certain 
triumph of Slavery. On the whole the 
Southerners made this deed of their borderland 
their own, approving it and setting it up for 
imitation. Still there were protests, some of 
them pronounced but most of them suppressed. 
The extremists were in the saddle and were bent 
on riding at the top of their speed. The con- 
servatives were carried along in the fateful sweep 
of the time, even when they saw the stream 
plunging toward a Niagara cataract. 

We have called these invaders Missourians, 
since they were chiefly recruited from North- 
western Missouri, whose wind-lands, containing 
the finest soil in the United States accordino" to 
a competent observer, were occupied at an earlv 


day by slaveholders, who became slavery's 
strongest partisans. But Missouri is a large 
State, and as a whole hardly approved of these 
border invasions instigated from the Platte Pur- 
chase. This inference may be reasonably drawn 
from Missouri's vote for Douglas and his Popu- 
lar Sovereignty in 1860, after his breach with 
the South just on this Kansas question. More- 
over Missouri had during these years (1856-60) 
an active minority in favor of making it a Free 

The question of questions, then, looming up 
over the Border is. Shall this new Territory be 
tilled with the labor of slaves or of freemen? 
The conflict has opened on the dividing line 
between the settled and the unsettled lands of 
the national domain, on the boundary between 
States already in the Union and those which are 
hereafter to come into the Union. We may well 
regard it as the visible demarcation of the 
present from the future ; indeed we shall soon 
see it transformed into a battle-line between the 
old and the new order, between the outgoing and 
the incoming civilization. The struggle will 
reach far beyond the confines of Kansas, will 
involve the whole United States, and will have 
an abiding influence upon the destiny of both 
Americas and of the entire world. So it must 
be said that in this remote border-land is enacted 
a scene in the grand drama of Universal History, 


and that Kausas for a brief period rises to the 
point of making herself world-historical. 

Such a mighty birth lies ensconced in this 
seemingly insignificant border foray of a lawless 
horde — an event which otherwise would not be 
worthy of the record. But the years will 
speedily show it to have a meaning more than 
local or even national, and so the historic Muse, 
sitting at the inner shrine of Time's occurrences 
and watching their hidden movement, will dip 
her pen afresh for their deeper and more 
pregnant portrayal. Before the tribunal of all 
History, then, have appeared the two contestants 
with their pressing question : Shall this Kansas 
be a Slave-State or a Free-State? And under- 
neath yet along with it lurks another profounder 
interrogation : Shall this Federal Union hereafter 
bring forth Slave-States or Free-States? And 
still more deeply may we catch a gleam of the 
oracle flashing fitfully upan the night of the 
future an affirmative response to the question 
whether or not the Free-State is to be 

But limiting our vision to a smaller and more 
definite round of events, we can say that the 
American Civil War has now started, and it is not 
going to stop till the right and complete thing be 
done. On the Missouri-Kansas border durinsf 
the vernal tide of March-April, 1855, with the 
coming of the invaders the whirlwind rose, or, in 


Kansas phrase, " the blizzard broke loose," 
strangely refusing to blow itself out into noth- 
ingness and be pacified till a great historic cycle 
had evolved itself into completeness. For its con- 
clusion we must look through ten years and note 
what is taking place during these same spring 
days in 1865. Sheridan is at Five Forks, Rich- 
mond falls, the Southern Confederacy collapses, 
and on April the 9th is Lee's surrender at Ap- 
pomattox. The border blizzard has swollen up 
to an all-embracing national cyclone of war ; start- 
ing from its little spot in the distant West, it has 
swept through Missouri and down the Mississippi 
Valley, overwhelming all the new Slave-States 
and then all the old Slave-States, really the origin 
of the whole trouble, and burning up slavery root 
and branch along its furious path. Such is the 
end lurking in and unfolding out of this tiny 
starting-point, and interlinking with it in a kind 
of circular chain of events, which form one of 
the most important processes of the World's 
History. Let the reader note here at the be- 
ginning, its inner propulsion to get around to its 
primal source in the Eastern States, its cyclical 
tendency to come back to its origin and to trans- 
form that. 

A new Ten Years' War we witness on our 
Western Continent, not altogether unlike the 
far-famed Trojan one ending in the destruction 
of Ilium and the restoration of Helen. Again 


every community will muster its contingent of 
soldiers and send them forth to the war under 
its leading man or hero, to fight for the great 
cause, which meant in the olden time that Hellas 
and not Troy was to determine the civilization 
of the future. But now a restoration is to take 
place far deeper than the Grecian or that of 
Helen ; the mighty struggle is now not for the 
ideal of beauty but for the ideal of freedom, 
thou<7h its bearer be not the most beautiful 
woman of the world but the homeliest mortal of 
God's creation, the black African, most un- 
Grecian as to nose and feature and foot and 
form. No Iliad singing rhythmic harmonies and 
moving with Olympian lines into plastic shapes 
of Heroes and Gods, can ever be born of such 
an ideal. No hexametral roll attuned to the 
sweep of sea and mountain and echoing the 
subtle concordance of nature and soul in the 
thousandfold play of its cadences can be evoked 
out of the prairie-speech uttered by the chief 
actors in this conflict. And yet an Iliad we may 
call the action, deepened and widened by the 
stream of the World's History down the Ages, 
with its tale of terrible but purifying expe- 
riences sent upon the Nation by the Divine 
Order. As the Greek during his whole national 
existence never could get rid of the eternal 
pother over Helen, but had to re-enact her 
and hers in his art, in his poetry, even in his 


history and religion, with the ever-recurring con- 
flict between Greece and Asia from Troy till 
Eome, so the American seemingly cannot bring to 
an end the eternal pother over the negro after 
hundreds of trials, but has to spend his thought, 
his treasure and his blood, till this humblest and 
by nature most servile of the races of men be 
transformed and regenerated into a free being, 
capable of free institutions. Such a task, not 
willingly laid upon us by ourselves but by the 
Spirit of total Man, persists in lowering over us, 
not always to our comfort. Of this task our 
Ten Years' War is but a stage already past, and 
henceforth to be looked back at and ruminated 
upon with profit, and, it is to be hoped, with in- 
terest. For History is not merely a line of suc- 
cessive and fortuitous occurrences in Time, but 
the Soul of all Time, yea, the Soul which makes 
Time, uttering itself in the events of the past, 
voicing itself in the deeds and thoughts of men. 
To hear this voice and to commune with its 
meaning, may be regarded as the ultimate 
purpose of historic study. 

Such was the First Invasion of Kansas by the 
Missourians, the beginning of woes unnumbered 
to both the participants, and not only to them, 
but to all their countrymen connected by ties of 
sympathy and kinship ramifying through the 


whole Nation, North and South. We call it the 
first, though there was an earlier foray in the 
preceding year (November, 1854) when a band 
of Missourians crossed the border and voted for 
the Congressional delegate, Whitfield, who, how- 
ever, was not opposed by the people of the 
Territory. Thus it was a peaceful affair though 
a wrong with a nemesis lurking in it, even if for 
the present smothered. But now in 1855, the 
inhabitants of Kansas want their own Legisla- 
ture, which is their right, and get ready to 
resist, whereat Bellona unties her bag of ills, 
not to be tied up again for ten weary, desperate 

The Invasion was an attempt to steal a right, 
the majority's right of determining their insti- 
tutions, the right of all others fundamental 
and peculiar to America's government, mak- 
ing her truly self-governed, and constituting 
the very symbol of her spirit, of her self-hood. 
Such was the portentous theft committed in 
Kansas on that spring-day, really our Ameri- 
can Rape of Helen, done by those Missouri 
borderers who tried to carry off by violence 
beautiful Freedom in the shape of the ballot, 
far more beautiful to Americans than beauti- 
ful Helen of old Greece, and we believe 
more virtuous in spite of many insidious at- 
tempts at her prostitution. And yet the fact 
must be recorded that these assailants of Free- 


dom's honor were Americans, speaking English, 
peculiarly the language of Freedom, just as 
those old Trojans, the captors and detainers of 
beautiful Helen, were of Hellenic blood, and 
spoke Greek, peculiarly the language of Beauty. 
So the old and the new, the first and the last, 
the Alpha and the Omega of our Occidental 
History come together and interlink, rounding 
themselves out into that oft-noted cycle of events 
which therein are to be seen not merely moving 
forward to the end, but also going backward to the 
beginning. Only thus can we behold the present 
orbing itself with its own creative past and 
completing a great historic process, which, while 
it runs with Time on the one side, runs against 
Time on the other, returning to its starting-point 
and therein revealing that periodicity, which 
from hoary Egypt till now has been felt to be a 
manifestation of the omnipotent hand control- 
ling the World's occurrences. 

In a sense it may be said that the ideal of 
Freedom has hovered before man since the be- 
ginning of History, and that it is, accordingly, 
nothing new. Still it has been developing all 
the while and is ever taking new and more ad- 
equate forms. Tills last or American form of 
the long conliict between Freedom and Slavery 
puts its main stress upon the political institution, 
and regards the State as genetic or creative, that 
is, as productive of other States. Now this ge- 



netic State or Federal Union, through its constitu- 
tion was made to be productive of two kinds of 
States, free and slave. This dualism is what is 
threatening to break asunder the Federal Union 
when the Ten Years' War opens, whose conflict 
may, therefore, be said to lie between Free- 
Stateisni and Slave-Stateism. And the future 
problem, which the popular mind (our American 
Folk-Soul) is in deep self-communion turning 
over within itself, may be summed up in the 
question : Shall henceforth our State-creating 
Union be the parent of free States or of slave 
States, or still of both? This we might call the 
theme or argument of our American Iliad, in 
which as in the old Greek one, through countless 
ills of both sides the Will of Zeus was accom- 

It is evident that the problem turns upon 
Labor, and the two kinds of States ground them- 
selves upon the two kinds of Labor, that of the 
freeman and that of the bondman. The Free- 
State is really the Free-Labor State, and the 
Slave-State is the Slave-Labor State, though in 
the latter actual slavery was confined to the 
black race. Or, to reach down to the depths of 
the human soul, to the psychical being of man, 
we must conceive that all Labor is an act of Will, 
whose freedom it is just the function of the State 
to secure through its laws. But now we have a 
State which is to secure a Will enslaved, con- 

PA El' I.~ Til E FIRS r 7xV VA SION 1 9 

ti'iidicting therein its own essence. And the 
American Union is to continue brino^ina forth 
such States — or is not — which shall it be? 
Such a question the American Folk-Soul has 
propounded to itself, sounding its deepest 
abysses for an answer. But what oracle dwells 
there within to deliver such a response? Truly 
that Delphic voice which once spoke at rockv 
Pytho the words of the God is no longer audible 
on the outside, but has taken up its modern 
abode in the Folk-Soul, which receives the divine 
impress directly and acts from within, according 
to conviction. Such is the new Zeus, not quite 
the Homeric one, yet descended from him and 
inter-related with him through the successive 

The American Folk-Soul is, then, going to 
school and is working at its problem which it 
sees but cannot yet solve. Kansas is about to 
give the first lesson, the preliminary course 
lasting some three years or more; such was the 
discipline for the great coming task. But wlm 
prescribes this task? Again we have to go 
behind the curtain of the thronginof, tumultuous, 
distracting events of Time, and glimpse the 
Spirit busied there; call it Civilization, Progress, 
World-Spirit, or even Zeus, if you like Homer's 
poetic way of imagining the divine order v.liieh 
controls History. For the old Greek bard also 
has his two worlds; the lower one of moilals 


around mid in Troy, full of war, confusion, and 
Ciiprice; then the upper Olympian one, the 
serene abode of the Gods, above whom sits Zeus 
Supreme, voicing when at his best not only the 
soul of that little speck of Trojan Time, but of 
all Time. 

In some such way we would fain impress our 
reader with the thouo-ht that this Kansas conflict 
is not a mere bubble on the stream of the 
World's History, rising and bursting in the 
passing moment, but is that stream itself, the 
whole of it, for the present, till it flows else- 
whither on its ceaseless sweep to its goal. 


Having thus mustered the one side of the 
Kansas conflict, and caused it to pass in review, 
we must plainly do the same service for the 
other side. The assailants with their principle 
have been witnessed in their march across the 
border; but who are the assailed, and whence 
and for what purpose have they come hither to 
the untamed prairie and wilderness? Some 
account of these hardy spirits is next due. 

After the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, 
the President of the United States had declared 
the territory of Kansas open for settlement on 
May 30th, 1854. At once emigrants began to 
pour in from all parts of the countrj', for the 
purpose of occupying the land. By far the 


largest portion came from the Northern States 
of the West, which always had its pioneers 
whose nature Avas to tire of t'ne more thickl}' 
settled districts and to go forth again to the 
frontier, as they and their ancestors had done 
for generations. As we have seen in more recent 
times the large crowds ready to rush across the 
border of Oklahoma, when this territory was 
thrown open for settlement, so we may conceive 
the numbers ready to cross into Kanst.s in the 
spring and summer of 1854. 

These early emigrants were largely though not 
wholly from the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois 
and Iowa. Nearly all of them came singly, or 
in small neighborhood groups. It was in no 
sense an organized movement. Each man 
expected to enter his tract of land and start to 
work on his own account and in his own way, 
clearing the soil and putting in his crop; then 
later he intended to send for family and friends. 
It was an individual emigration, this of 
the West to Kansas. These men were the 
first on the ground, and rapidly grew in number. 
Tumbling over one another they come like a 
flock of blackbirds, the rearmost flying above the 
heads of the rest and lighting down foremost, till 
these find themselves again in the rear, when 
once more they rise in flight for the front. Such 
were the human waves which came rolling out of 
the Western States over the Kansas border when 


the barrier was remov^ed. We may deem it an- 
other manifestatii)n of that old Aiyan iustinct 
which has driven westward now for thousands of 
years, propelling its migrating peoples out of 
Asia, through Europe, across the Atlantic to 
Auicrica, in a succession of Oceanic undulations 
which have swept over the Alleghenies, and 
leaping the Mississippi, have reached the boun- 
dary of Kansas, whose plains are now to be the 
scene of their last great overflow. 

They found the land ab-eady surveyed by the 
Government and divided into sections and 
quarter sections, each of which might become a 
farm with its industrious tenant, the like of 
whom had already filled the North-West with 
a thrifty, self-reliant populati(m, all of them 
makers of their own institutions and ready to 
fight for these, if the call came. This is the 
class of men that began to settle down over 
Eastern Kansas, clustering at first along its navi- 
gable streams. Each little farm became a cell 
in an ever-increasing honeycomb, and contained 
a busy bee seeking to gather the honey of in- 
dustry, but pre[)ared to flv out and sting his foe 
if disturbed in his work or his freedom. Then 
these bees made a hive and many hives, which 
would swarm forth together against their troubler 
with wonderful celerity and undaunted courage. 
In 1854 already this mass of farms began to 
array themselves against the Missouri border in 


serried ranks one behind ttie otlier, not witliout 
many a contest over titles to the hind which the 
Missourians claimed to have pre-empted. But 
the agricultural fortification of the country went 
on till it was inexpugnable, since each of these 
small homes held one worker and fighter at 
least, and sometimes several. Such was the 
wall of living valor with its free labor which was 
built or rather built itself as a bulwark against 
the slave-bringiug invaders. 

This is, then, the first, the unorganized, in- 
dividual migration. But there is another which 
is organized, having a different source. New 
England, and a different character. The leader 
appears who establishes his Emigrant Aid So- 
ciety for the purpose of colonizing Kansas. The 
name of this leader rises into great prominence, 
so that the whole country, North and South, 
knows of Eli Thayer. His first band, 29 strong, 
left Boston July 17th, 1854, with a most lavish 
expenditure of noise. A great multitude 
gathered at the railroad station to witness their 
departure, which fact indicates that the fight was 
already expected in Kansas. The cheering crowds 
lined the tracks for several blocks. The coun- 
try through which the train passed was every- 
were roused, and ovations were tendered at 
several cities to these soldiers going to the war. 
A fortnight after leaving Boston they were in 
Kansas, and August 1st is given as the date of 


their founding of Lawrence, destined for years 
to be the storm-center of the Territory. This 
first colony w;is soon foHowed by others from the 
Eastern States. 

Such Avas the deafening flourish of trumpets 
echoing from one end of the land to the other, 
which heralded the advent into Kansas of Eli 
Thayer's New England reo;iment of 29. From 
the })r()digious hubbub made over them, people 
have supposed they were another small Mara- 
thoni in baud marching forth alone to combat 
the countless host of slavery. But the fact is 
they found already hundreds of settlers in Kan- 
sas, mostly from the West-Northern States. The 
latter differed from their East-Northern neigh- 
bors in a number of points, but both resoluteh' 
agreed on one point: Kansas must be a Free- 
State. Moreover these Westerners were fighters, 
no doubt about it; they came rather expecting 
a fight; they were chosen, by a kind of Natural 
Selection, to migrate to Kansas, every man with 
his trusty rifle in hand. At the same time they 
were farmers, and tradesmen, and artisans, de- 
voted to the works of peace, but ready for war if 
the time called for it. A strong courageous indi- 
viduality they possessed, otherwise they would not 
have ventured into this troubled borderland. 
They remained the large majority of tiie Free- 
State people of Kansas and fought her battles 
during the whole Ten Years' War. 


In such fashion we must conceive the two great 
migrations, the unorganized and organized, the 
one from the West the other from the East. 
Both of them continued their activity for years 
and were united in the one great purpose of 
making Kansas a Free-State, which purpose was 
uppermost in each. But outside of this supreme 
point of unity there were many differences. 
The ^Yesterners as a whole were hardly anti- 
sluverv, they disliked the negro, believed his 
presence to be a curse to the white man, and 
were determined to keep not only the slave but 
the free African out of the new State. In fact 
many non-slaveholders from the South who 
came to Kansas changed to Free-State men when 
they heard this view; Eli Thayer says a majority 
of them did so. However strange the expres- 
sion may seem to us now, it is probable that the 
larger number of these early emigrants were 
pro-slavery Free-State men. They were inclined 
to believe that the natural condition of the negro 
was that of a slave, but he must stay in the old 
Slave States, and not come either as freeman or 
slave into this our white man's territory. This 
consciousness we uuist understand, as it alone 
explains nmch of the political conduct of these 
early settlers. Their first constitution allowed 
no black man, bond or free, to abide within the 

The New Enghmd emigrants, though fewer in 


number, had the advantage iu education, in 
organizing power and in the ability to use all the 
modern implements of civilization. Hence they 
were the leaders from the start. In one of the 
earliest lot of colonists came Charles Eobinsou, 
whom Thayer first saw iu one of his New Eng- 
land meetings, and engaged as agent of the Emi- 
grant Aid Company. Of all the men who won 
distinction iu this Kansas epic, Rol)ins()u would 
have our vote to be pedestaled as hero. Not 
Lane, not John Brown, but Robinson was the 
savior of Kansas. He was the born leader, 
gauging aright the people whom he was to lead, 
what they would and would not do. He saw 
clearly that he could concentrate the most diverse 
followers, from North and South, from East and 
West, upon one thing and one thing only: Kan- 
sas must l)e a Free-State. Moreover Robinson 
was an institutional man, he had untold trouble 
not merely with the pro-slavery enemy, but with 
the anti-slavery revolutionists and anarchists. 
The Garrisouians denounced him and sought to 
nullify his work. But he, though an abolition- 
ist in couN'iction, knew that his prime duty was 
to pluck the fruit within his reach. This he did 
with a determination and success which we may 
fairly call heroic. 



But the chief differeuce between the unorgan- 
ized and the organized emigrants was that the 
former had no means of reachinof the great 
public of the North, of whose cause they 
were the outpost. Their sufferings and their 
deeds would have remained quite unvoiced, 
had it not been for those tonguey Yankees with 
theirunparalleledgift of making themselves heard. 
These could all write and send letters home, 
which would get into print. They were not only 
well-schooled in speech, but had a native gift for 
talking and scribbling. Herein they were true to 
their inheritance. The early Puritans have set 
down their spirit's struggles and their history 
more completely than any other recorded colony ; 
not even the Greek who certainly had a tongue, 
ever used it with such an unceasing outpour, as 
the New Englander. Moreover the Emigrant 
Aid Societ}^ had connections with the most 
important newspapers of the Eastern States. 
Eli Thayer knew Horace Greeley and could set 
that mighty fog-horn of the Atlantic, the New 
York Tribune, to blowing its very best, sending 
its reverberations to almost every hamlet of the 
North. Here lay Thayer's greatest work. He had 
a chief hand in organizing that vast reduplicating 
and often magnifying machine, the newspaper 
press, in the interest of the Kansas conflict. 


Then the New England clergymen could not be 
kept silent, but a continuous line of pulpits 
reaching across the Free States from Maine to 
California, would become resonant with vocal 
thunder over Kansas. Here again one voice was 
pre-eminent, that of Henry Ward Beecher, who 
likewise employed the printing press to redu- 
plicate his eloquence through the land. 

To be sure, there was opposition. It was said 
that preachers should not mix in politics, but 
leave that field wholly to the sinner. Much was 
made of the fact when Beecher subscribed a 
Sharpe's rifle for the defense of Lawrence, and 
specially for terrifying the Missourians, who re- 
garded it as a kind of magical, self-firing gun cap- 
able of finding its mark, which was an invader's 
bre;ist, at almost any distance. The fabulous 
qualities of this weapon played havoc with the 
imasjinations of the ignorant borderers. This 
mythical tendency of theirs was carefully nursed 
by the cunning Yankees, so that Robinson could 
say, when he obtained a consignment of Sharpe's 
rifles : Now we shall win without shedding a drop 
of blood. Indeed one cannot help thinking that 
imagination has been playing around that grand 
army of 29 whom we saw setting out from Boston 
as ordinary men, but whom the alchemy of Time 
has transformed into giants, veritable Atlases 
each capable of u[)holdi ng, if not the world, at 
least the Free State of Kansas. 


But, strange to sny, Thayer's chief enemies 
in the East were the abolitionists, especially the 
Garrisoniaus, who were thorough-going disunion- 
ists and belies^ed in revolution. Phillips, Garri- 
son and the other followers sought in every way 
to discredit the Emigrant Aid Society. But 
Thayer showed himself their superior all along 
the line, approved himself an institutional man, 
and so won the popular heart. He struck the 
deepest chord of the Folk-soul of the North in 
saying: No more Slave-States, but it must be 
done by constitutional means. Moreover he 
goes to the people direct, and enlists them in his 
cause; he has little faith in Congress and its 
politicians as a means for freeing Kansas. We 
have already had a sufficiency of resolutions, of 
enactments, of provisos. Anyhow, legislators 
go back to the people as their source, and 
this source Thayer proposed to reach directly. 
He believed in the Union, but this Union, the 
mother of States, must give birth to no more 
slave-children; it is our first duty now, in this 
age, to see that her progeny henceforth be born 

There has been some controversy over these 
two kinds of migration to Kansas. Which did 
the work and made it a Free-State? The East 
and the West hnve been inclined to lock horns 
on this and on other matters. It is evident, 
however, that both were necessary parts of one 


great process, the unorganized and the organized 
movements were complements of each other. 
The unorganized movement rested upon indi- 
vidual initiative, its irregular members were tirst 
on the ground, and that too in consi(]eraI)le 
numbers and ever-increasing. Says one of these 
earliest emigrants in an address man v years after- 
wards : "At this early day (June-July, 1854) 
emigrants from every Western State were [)our- 
ing in. We (in Kansas) had not yet heard of 
the New England Emigrant Aid Society." (S. 
N. Wood, from Ohio.) As already noted, 
Thayer's first installment of 29, reached Kansas 
in August, and they found hundreds already 
there. Such were the materials, quite leaderless 
and voiceless, for organization. This is what 
came in with the New England emigrants, the 
result of superior education. The Yankees were 
used to the town-meeting and a highly developed 
communal life, hence they organized easily, fell 
naturally into an ordered, yet throbbing civic 
activity. They started at once to found towns, 
of which the first and most famous was Lawrence 
with its schools, its newspapers, its conventions, 
its tumultuous life full of manifold fatalities. 
The town was the embodiment of the Yankee 
idea and always drew the fire of the Southerners ; 
it was the center around which the early his- 
tory of Kansas swirls and was born talking 
and writing, to fire the Northern heart, which 


was ready to thrill in response to the 
tones of the vast megaplione, the newspaper 
press of the East, set to vibrating to the 
cries of Lawrence. It is curious that Thayer, a 
tireless talker himself and doing his chief work 
through talk and through exciting talk in others, 
written, printed, as well as spoken, disparages 
talk in his book (The Kansas Crusade), and sets 
forth a curious psychology on the subject. " The 
best men in our cause," he declares, " are those 
who say little or nothing," The trouble with 
the Garrisonian abolitionists, he thinks, is that 
they spend all their feeling in speech and not in 
action. The deep sense of wrong should drive the 
arm and not the tongue. The end of emotion is 
an act, not a word, and so on. It is well for 
Thayer that he did not follow his own prescrip- 
tion. For his true work lay not in the few 
hundred colonists he sent to Kansas, but in the 
fact that he set every tongue in the North (and 
in the South also) to wagging upon this subject of 
Kansas. Undoubtedly the country was ready to 
talk and to be talked to about this matter, for the 
secretly fermenting Folk-Soul of America was 
resolving that Mother Union should bear no 
more slave-children as States. The North, now 
having the greater strength in votes, had already 
decided to enforce that princi[)]e peacefully by 
ballot. Doubtless too it was getting prepared, 
in the obscure and unconscious depths of its 


moral conviction, to follow up the ballot by the 
deed of arms, if necessary. So we may now 
say, looking backwards. 

On account of the noise made over it on the 
hustings, in the pulpit, and in the newspaper, 
the Emigrant Aid Society became for years the 
target of the batteries of the South and its sup- 
porters. President Pierce, Douglas, as well as 
the Southerners talked back at it, with a prodig- 
ious outlay of vituperative eloquence. It was 
deemed the cause of all the Kansas troubles. A 
handbill was circuhitcd in Missouri offeriuo; u 
reward for Thayer's head. But Thayer stayed 
in the East, and kept his talking mill at work, 
which was altooethor the most effective thins: he 
could do. All the talk of the South was but the 
noise of a tiny pop-gun compared to the reverbera- 
tion of the Northern columbiads echoing from 
the Atlantic over the Alleghenies through the 
Mississippi Valley and the region of the Lakes, 
and stirring the Folk-Soul to kindred thrills. 

Such is the process which has now started and 
will continue throughout this conflict in Kansas. 
Her shrieks, caused by the tortures of the in- 
vaders with the connivance and even instigation 
of the Washington government, will be reverber- 
ated from the press and made to vibrate in every 
Northern heart, which is thus getting prepared 
for the mightier task that the World-Spirit has 
laid upon the Nation. 



The reader may now see the two conflicting 
elements, Free-Stateism and Slave-Stateism, 
which, though long since enemies with threatea- 
ing mien against each other, have gone to the 
New West, even to the newest part of it, and 
have there grappled in desperate struggle. It is 
evident that the settlers who have come into the 
Territory from the North, and whose funda- 
mental right has been so defiantly violated, must 
get themselves into some kind of organization, 
semi-political and also semi-u)ilitary, which will 
hold the longitudinal line of settlements against 
the attacks from the Missouri border. F(n' the 
line between Free-State and Slave-State no longer 
is to run latitudinally from East to West, as it 
has hitherto done in the State-producing process, 
but is to make a sudden deflection and run longi- 
tudinally from Korth to South, breaking the 
westward movement of slavery just along the 
Missouri border. Here, then, the Free-State 
men of Kansas are massing themselves in a 
kind of living human battlement, as yet more 
by instinct than by conscious purpose and order. 
The Southerners on their side undertake to push 
this longitudinal line around up to Nebraska, 
making it still latitudinal, and dividing the 
country still into the two kinds of States, slave 
and free. Therein, however, they took up 


the gage of battle with the Workl-Spirit, 
with Civilization herself, or in Homeric concep- 
tion, with Olympian Zeus, who had decreed in 
the council of the Gods assembled anew for our 
American Iliad that the Federal Union must stop 
producing Slave-States : which decree was now 
being voiced thousandfold and thundered through 
the land, thereby impressing itself upon every 
Northern heart and becoming the deep aspiration 
as well as the strong resolution of the Folk-Soul. 
Very significant, therefore, is this new direction 
of the boundary-line separating North and South 
with a rampart of strong bodies and even stronger 
spirits, which we may deem a living embankment 
for stopping the further overflow of slavery into 
the Territories of the United States. 

The next thing, then, is to see these emigrants, 
coming individually or in little bands, organize 
themselves into a great totality with a common 
purpose. They lie at first scattered over Eastern 
Kansas on their farms and in their little towns 
an incoherent mass, not easy to bring into unity 
and order. Separated from one another, not 
only spatially but mentally, coming from every 
quarter of the Union, South and North, East 
and West, they were full of mutual repugnances, 
jealousies, prejudices; a collection of self-repel- 
lent atoms, quite as ready to fight one another 
as the invaders, they seemed an easy prey to the 
better organized Missouriaus. 


There was indeed oulv one thinof to be 
done. That was to form a counter-organiza- 
tion upon the one point about which they 
were all united : Kansas must be a Free-State. 
Around this center the hitherto centrifugal 
atoms could be brought to gather and to 
get into order, yea into a line of battle 
against the invaders. During the summer and 
fall (1855) after the invasion this unification 
was taking place with no little hubbub, and 
speechifying, and passion. Unquestionably the 
leader of it was Charles Robinson who saw 
distinctly the work to b3 done and how to 
do it. The position which Kansas now takes 
through his influence made her a Free-State, 
and she held it substantially till she entered the 

Ere we pass on, we may take a glance at the 
Territorial Legislature which was elected by the 
Missourians. It met and ousted all the Free- 
State men except one, who soon quit in disgust. 
It rendered itself infamous by passing an in- 
human slave-code, but this was of no practical 
account, since there were very few slaves in 
Kansas, and slaveholders could not be induced to 
risk such valuable property in the present uncer- 
tain hurly-burly. In fact the Legislature dropped 
into insignificance. It moved the capital from 
Pawnee to Shawnee close to the ^Missouri boi-der, 
where its members could be nearer home and 


surer of personal safet}'. From this act came 
the breach with Governor Reeder, the most 
important event of its life. 

Lawrence is really the center of the Kansas 
movement at this time, being for a while the 
very pivot of the conflict of the epoch between 
Free-Stateism and Slave-Stateism. It may be 
said that the World's History just now is present 
and at work in that little Kansas town, for the 
two sides of the coming struggle distinctly 
define themselves there, and arm themselves for 
the onset. The agitation was furious, and could 
not stop; the unorganized mass with its recalci- 
trant units had to be churned together till it got 
organized under an idea and could be handled by 
its leader. During these months there was such 
an incessant whirl of conventions, celebrations, 
elections, consultati(nis that the head growij dizzy 
in trying to follow all the eddies of the mael- 
strom. People would not stay apart but seemed 
unhappy if alone. The atoms were whirled in a 
kind of vortex, thereby being fused and asso- 
ciated for the grand purpose. But the outer 
scene is like the fermentation of a huge beer-vat, 
with thousands of bubbles ever rising, colliding, 
and exploding. Who can count them, not to 
speak of getting tliem into any connected scheme 
in their infinitesimal caprices? Surely a Power is 
in possession of these restless souls coalescing, 
separating, coalescing again in never-ceasing 


rouiul; the Strong Hand of the Ages is driving 
them within and without, churning them out of 
their chaos into something like a cosmical order, 
surely not without design. 

In such a seething mass where everything is 
fluid and in the process of formation, we shall 
select and hold fast to the following main events. 

1. The work of the Missourians must be coun- 
teracted by setting up the machinery of a State- 
government and applying for its admission to the 
Union. That would violate no law, yet would 
show the Territorial Legislature thoroughly dis- 
credited by the People, who now would have their 
own political organization round which they could 
rally. This scheme came from Robinson's brain, 
and must be pronounced very adroit. It acted 
iis a continuous checkmate upon the Missourians, 
who sought in various ways to destroy it, but 
never succeeded. Its supporters avoided any 
clash with the United States Government, or 
even with the Territorial Legislature, whose 
enactments it quietly let bubble off and burst in 
the air. 

This we shall call Robinson's anti-government, 
a kind of government taking the place of gov- 
ernment, a most ingenious contrivance made to 
keep alive the right which was illegal against the 
wronj; which was legal. Thus we behold two 
governments over the same people at work in 
mutual counteraction: the letter of the Law 


without the spirit made the one, {lud the spirit 
of the Law without the letter made the other, 
and the two fight and keep fighting. Strange 
contest is it for us to witness : a body without 
a soul versus a soul without a body. Desperate 
is their struggle; which will win? That is yet to 
be told. 

2. While Kobinson was harmonizing all the 
discordant elements and concentrating the People 
upon the one great object, a man appeared at 
Lawrence (summer of 1855) who was destined 
to give him much trouble by running a negative, 
counteracting thread through all his efforts and 
those of the Free-State men. This was James 
H. Lane, who, born in Kentucky, had emigrated 
to Indiana, from which State he had been ap- 
pointed Colonel of a regiment in the Mexican 
war, and afterwards had been elected Lieutenant 
Governor of the State; also he had served as a 
representative in Congress. The first note of 
opposition to the general movement initiated and 
conducted by Eobinson came from a small con- 
vention (June 27th, 1855) calling itself demo- 
cratic, of which Lane was the leading spirit, and 
which resolved that what Kansas most needed, 
was " an early organization of the Democratic 
party." Lane at this time was pro-slavery in 
sentiment, and maintained the rio^ht as well as 
the legality' of the Territorial Legislature; he 
held that Kansas was destined to become a Slave 


State. This last doctrine particularly was not 
acceptable to the mujoritj of Democrats now in 
Kansas. So Lane began to veer about, and was 
soon found in the ranks of the Free-State peo- 
ple, in which he had the most unique of all 
these Kansas careers, as he was the most 
unique character in the whole borderland. 

It is hard to tell to-day on wliich side Lane 
really was at heart, if indeed he had any heart 
for either side. Many hold that he was ready, 
as occasion offered, to support both sides and to 
betray both. Robinson suspected him to the 
last, and it would seem, with good reason. 
Already in these early days they had singled 
each other out, not only as rivals, but as irrecon- 
cilable foes, even when both of them were act- 
ing together in the same party for the same end. 
Robinson saw in him the demonic marplot, who 
might, if opportunity smiled, turn traitor and 
destroy the cause. There is no doubt that Lane 
had great gifts of a certain kind, indeed he was 
possessed of flashes of momentary genius. His 
rugged, drastic, sensuous eloquence, not always 
grammatical or free from coarseness, went home 
to the Westerners in Kansas, being in their native 
dialect. The filed, round-spoken phrases of the 
Yankee talkers were more correct rhetoric after 
the books, and certainly looked better in print; 
but they could not compare for immediate effect 
with Lane's harangues, irregular but spontane- 


ous aud flat-spoken, as if born on the spot from 
the flat prairie upon which his audience stood 
drinking down his words of fire that hissed home 
red-hot to the frontiersman's responsive lieart. 
There is no denying that Lane was a leader 
and persuader of men, though most could not 
help at the same time detecting a false note 
winding through his words and deeds, even 
through his whole character. Fascination lie 
had, but it was of the Satanic kind. His most 
illustrious victim in this line was Abraham Lin- 
coln, then President of the United States, whom 
for a while Lane held quite spell-bound in his 
personal schemes, to the incalculable injury of 
Kansas and of the Union cause, till the diabolic 
charm was broken. 

Lane, then, must be deemed the Mephistopheles 
of this Kansas drama, the s[)irit that denies, 
meaning No even when saying and acting Yes, 
having always in his affirmative a deeper nega- 
tive. Faithful neither to God nmr to God's 
enemies, not even faithful to himself in the long- 
run, unless suicide be a kind of last fidelity, for 
he, having entangled himself in a perfect network 
of villainies, winds up b}' killing himself. 

3. The Kansas cauldron had been seething 
for months and bubbling over with all sorts of 
conferences, conventions, resolutions and elo- 
quences, turning into solid fact that fantastic 
witch-work of Shakespeare with its uncanny re- 


refrain: Double, double toil and trouble. Fire 
burn and cauldron bubble. A swirliiio; agitation 
lifts the people off their feet and dashes them 
around and around helplessly in a magic circle, 
without much apparent result at first except the 
gyration and the accompanying many-sided vo- 
ciferation. But finally the undigested mass of 
struggling atoms begins to show centers of coher- 
ence ; surely it is getting itself organized. The 
first manifestation of making real the new order 
is the convention which assembles at Big 
Springs, Oct. 5th. The Free-State party is here 
definitely born after the long travail, and given a 
name and a purpose. Big Sj^rings had four or 
five log-cabins at that time; the hundred dele- 
gates and three hundred spectators took up their 
abode on the open prairie. Lawrence could 
have accommodated these people, but it was evi- 
dently shunned as too hot or too black. For 
the Convention was decidedly of an anti-negro 
complexion. Two men in it we must look at. 

The first is Re,eder, sometime Governor, but 
now deposed from office, having become mean- 
while a most violent Free State man. He makes 
a fiery speech, yea intemperate, giving once at 
least quite a revolutionary squint when he speaks 
of a possible "bloody issue." Of course his 
audience applauded tremendousl}^ there on the 
free ])rairie, being also in a warlike mood. Still 
how could they help having a little furtive 


chuckle at the ex-Governor's expense! For he 
was the man who had legalized that fraudulent 
Territorial Legislature, against which this whole 
movement was directed. They nominated him 
for Delegate, a formal recognition of his new 
zeal. But Keeder's best service was outside of 
Kansas, especially in his native Pennsylvania, 
where his listeners could not so well have in 
mind that he had once set up the very thing 
which he was now so eager to knock down. 
Those hardy frontiersmen were never without a 
sense of humor, even in their keenest distress, 
and Keeder's forced somersault landing him 
down in their midst frenzied with wrath and 
overflowing with execration, furnished them 
much amusement and more satisfaction. There 
could be, however, no question about the sin- 
cerity of Eeeder, nor about his great services to 
the cause after he got his eyes open. 

Another character who played an important 
part at Big Springs was the before-mentioned 
James H. Lane, our Kansas Mephistopheles. 
His independent Democratic raft having sunk 
out of sight, he leaps on board of the Free State 
ship with such zeal and dexteritv that he orets 
himself at once appointed helmsman. He is 
chosen chairman of the Committee of thirteen 
who are to make the platform. So he formu- 
lates the policy of the future. It is declared 
that " the best interests of Kansas require a 


population of white men," and of white men 
alone. In our new State negroes of every con- 
dition, bond and free, are to be excluded. There 
is no doubt that the majority of the Convention 
agreed with Lane in these statements and stoutly 
denied the imputation that a Free-State man was 
an abolitionist. Lane seems to have had full 
swing, Robinson not being present at this Con- 

4. The next important assemblage was the Con- 
stitutional Convention which came together at 
Topeka October 23rd, 1855. Lane was chosen 
president. The political character of the body 
is significant of early Kansas. There were 34 
members; 19 reported themselves democrats, the 
other 15 were divided up among half a dozen 
different parties, know-nothings, republicans, 
etc. The majority showed themselves friendly 
to the Kansas-Nebraska bill of Douglas, which 
they never blamed for their troubles. In fact 
the doctrine of Popular Sovereignty mightily 
appealed to these strong-bcjned, self-reliant 
Westerners ; they did not ask Congress to exclude 
slavery from Kansas, they felt perfectly able to 
do it themselves, if they were given a fair 
chance. We must recollect that the first Con- 
stitution making Kansas a Free-State was the 
work of Douglas democrats. This fact Douglas 
himself did not appreciate till it was too late to 
recover his vantage-ground. The present year 


(1855) he was still catering to the South for the 
coming nomination to the Presidency, wherein 
he is destined not to succeed. After his failure 
he will turn to support his Kansas friends, but 
the tide had gone out and left him stranded. 

Again the burning question harassed the Con- 
vention, What shall be our attitude toward the 
negro? Lane advocated their exclusion, and 
carried the Convention with him, though Eobin- 
son, who was now present, fought it, and finally 
succeeded in having the black clause specially 
referred to the vote of the People along with the 
Constitution. But the people voted by a major- 
ity of. nearly three to one for exclusion, ratify- 
at the same time the Constitution by 1731 votes 
to 4(3. Still at this election they chose Charles 
Robinson, though a })ronouuced abolitionist, for 
Governor instead of Lane, to pilot them through 
the threatening tempest of the future. Surel}^ a 
marvelous case of true instinct on the part of the 
People, who take the right man who disagrees 
and reject the wrong man who agrees, wit'h their 

5. The next important meeting was that of the 
Legislature of the new State chosen under the 
Topeka Constitution, which thus shows itself a 
working instrument (March 4, 1856). Governor 
Robinson gave his inaugural, outlining a firm, 
but cautious, law-abiding policy. The Leo-isla- 
ture elected two United States Senators — Reeder 


and Lane, and asked for admission to the Union. 
The man of the hour was clearly Robinson. 
He had to steer his ship so that it would not 
collide with the General government or with the 
Territorial government. And yet he had to out- 
wit both, and really put them down, besides 
restraining the vi(dent heads on his own side, and 
meeting the Missourians with violence, if they 
attacked unlawfully. All the unruly, revolution- 
ary, fanatical elements of the North were flocking 
into Kansas; among them appeared at Lawrence 
one d:iy John Brown, with whom also Robinson 
stands in decided contrast as an institutional 
man controlling the anarchic elements on both 
sides. South and North. 

(3. We must not fail to notice the part of our 
American Mephistopheles, who now appears at 
Washington, with the written instrument of the 
Topeka Legislature, asking for the admission of 
Kansas into the Union. The document was pre- 
sented in such a condition to the Senate that its 
genuineness was at once suspected ; for instance 
all its signatures were in the same handwriting, 
and the well-known clause excluding the negro 
was omitted. Lane sought to excuse it and then 
to amend it, but without success. Douglas 
assailed it as fraudulent, as having no date, no 
genuine signatures, as suppressing a material 
provision, namely the black clause. Lane de- 
manded an explanation of the attack upon his 


honor, but never received it from Dous^las. This 
episode, however, was the turning-point in Lane's 
democracy, his enthusiasm for the doctrines of 
the Little Giant underwent an instantaneous 
change. The House of Eepresentatives re- 
garded the instrument with more favor, using it 
as a weapon against the Administration. 

As in many other actions, the motives of Lane 
in this maneuver are not easy to fathom. Did 
he really intend to discredit the Kansas Consti- 
tution in Congress? Was he secretly schemino; 
to undo the labor of the Free-State men? He 
knew that'his special antagonist, Eobinson, who 
thoroughly believed in his duplicity, was already 
the Governor and would continue to be the fore- 
most man of the new State. Mephistopheles 
may have seen his own supremacy in the ruins of 
the work of his party. Many thought and still 
think that Lane's Free-Stateism was a mask for 
ambition, which would not hesitate at any deed 
of Satanic treachery or destruction. Robinson, 
who had to watch him and to countermine his 
plottings for years, has left this view of him : 
" Totally without principles or convictions of 
any kind, cowardly and treacherous." We doubt 
if Lane was always cowardly ; for he certainly 
did at times fight, though he had also the gift of 
disappearing opportunely from danger. 

7. At the best the Topeka Constitution was 
irregular, and from a legal point of view could 


not bold water. But it showed these Western 
settlers in a peculiar American function : State- 
making. They could construct their own State 
as distinct from Missouri, some of whose 
residents had sought to usurp that function. 
Americanism lies fundamentally in being able to 
make institutions when they are needed. In fact 
the American must make them, they are not to 
be put on him from the outside. 

The result is Kansas has two governments, 
parallel yet running in opposite directions. The 
one is legal but wrong, the other illegal but 
right. Moreover the one is slave and the other 
free. Both sides come to Congress and divide 
it, the Senate taking one side and the House the 
other. Thus the original dualism of the Federal 
Union with its slavery and its freedom goes over 
into Kansas and makes of it for a time two 
States, or rather two governments, which hence- 
forth will rasp and fight against each other, 
struggling for supremacy. Eobinson's scheme 
will hold the Free-State men together by means 
of a definite political aim, till the time comes for 
a more legal Constitution. 

Meanwhile colonists from the North keep 
pouring over the border, both individually and in 
small groups. The Emigrant Aid Society pushes 
its work, exciting an incessant roar of denuncia- 
tion and of approval from the two opposite 
parties. The New England snowball, starting 


on its Dative hills not very large, would roll 
westward, gaining successive accretions in its 
journey till it would reach the plains of Kansas 
in considerable size, and then melt into its iu- 
dividual constituents, each of them being pre- 
pared for the expected contest. Thus an army 
of volunteers was enlisted in the North whose 
Folk-Soul was stirred continually by the reports 
from Kansas, and was prompting many to mi- 

The Southerners tried to force Governor Rob- 
inson and the Free-Statementodo just that which 
they will themselves do later: to assail the Gov- 
ernment. But Robinson was too wary to be 
caught in the trap they had set for him. We 
shall hereafter see the Southerners, when voted 
out of power in the Nation, proceed to act the 
part which they had schemed for the Free-State 
men of Kansas, attem[)ting to drive the latter into 
collision with established authority. But they 
failed to force Robinson to do what they would 
have done, had they been placed iu his situation. 
Their device to throw him into antagonism to the 
Government was born of their own hearts, and 
so they utterly failed to grasp his character. If 
he had been they, thev would certainly have suc- 
ceded, since they measured him by themselves, 
having indeed no other measure. But Robinson's 
mental range lay quite beyond their conscious- 
ness, he knew them, but they did not and could 


nut kuow biiu ; hence their blows, elaborately 
})hiuued, so often went wide of the mark and even 
turned to boomerangs. 


In the spring before these events, Governor 
Keeder had gone back home, and at Easton, Pa., 
he had made a speech to his Democratic neigh- 
bors on the enormities of the Kansas invasion. 
The speech was printed in the newspapers and 
read with avidity throughout the North. The 
fact that he was the Democratic appointee of the 
Administration, and had gone to Kansas a pro- 
shivery man, imparted a convincing power to his 
words. Then he went to Washington and had 
several interviews with President Pierce whom he 
sought to gain for Kansas. But he soon found 
that he was a doomed man ; he must resign or 
be removed. After some parleyings he refused 
to resign, and returned to Kansas where on Au- 
gust 15th he received notice of his removal in the 
midst of a hot quarrel with the Territorial Legis- 
lature. He resolved to stay in Kansas, and 
became an important leader of the Free-State 
party. He was the tirst of the considerable line 
of Kansas Territorial Governors who were speed- 
ily precipitated from their seats by the Kansas 

While at Washington Reeder makes the dis- 
covery, to hiui very surprising, that the Admiu- 



istration is with the Missourians, and is secretly 
egging them on through Jefferson Davis, Secre- 
tary of War and head of the inner shwe-hokling 
circle at the Capital. To be sure the partisans 
of the Administration could show to Keeder his 
own certificates of election legalizing that Terri- 
torial Legislature which he now claimed to be 
fraudulent. Thus he was caught in that peculiar 
Kansas grind between legality which is wrong 
and illegality which is right. But Eeeder ac- 
kn®wledged his mistake and certainly tried to 
undo it with a considerable outlay of energy and 
ability. Already we have noted him as one of 
the leading men in the Free-State Convention at 
Big Springs. 

But the chief thing which is brought to the 
surface by these events connected with feeder's 
removal, is the process vrhich they reveal, and 
which generates them in order. As this will 
continue to the end of the Kansas troubles, we 
may bring out its nature more fully, by stating 
its main points in brief : 

1st. Washington. The source of the irritation 
goes back to the Administration, which had re- 
solved to make Kansas a Slave-State. It was 
soon found that the Free-State men had the 
majority, and so violence was to be employed by 
means of the Missourians. Jefferson Davis has 
always had the credit of being the main mover 
in this scheme. The minority must still rule. 


otherwise the South, being now the minority of 
the Nation, will have to give up its leaderisliip 
maintained for two generations. 

2nd. Kansas. The resistance of the Free-State 
people to Slave -Stateism led to the invasions, 
the arbitrary actions of the administrative offi_ 
eials, the abuses committed by the legislative and 
judicial powers of the Territory. Outrage, tor- 
ture, murder were the result, with outcries and 
shrieks of pain from its victim. " Bleeding 
Kansas," as the time phrased it, became the all- 
absorbing theme of the Folk-Soul, rousing sym- 
pathy or perchance satire according to the man. 

3rd. The Nation. Between the center at 
Washington and the border of Kansas lay the 
listening Nation, whose ears were filled with the 
echoes of these Kansas shrieks, reverberated in 
the North by press, pulpit, hustings. Eli Thayer 
got even the Yankee schoolmistresses to working 
for Kansas, and they too are known to have 
tongues. Of course the South also had its re- 
verberating machine at work, but it was a puny 
piping in comparison to the Northern redupli- 
cator thousand-mouthed. It is stdl amusing 
to see the Southern senators and journals curse 
the big Northern machine in a kind of helpless- 
ness. Why did not they construct a 
one? That was indeed a striking part of tlieir 
weakness; but of this more will be said later. 

Such, however, is the round of this histcniu 


process: from Wasliiiigtoii to KaiiJ^iis, then from 
Kansas back to the People lying between, who 
are tinally to determine Washington. Evidently 
here a mightv discipline of a nation is takiug 
place for some very important future task. The 
American Folk-Soul, so we may name it, is in 
great distress, which is growing greater, quite 
beyond the point of further endurance. It is 
divided within itself into two antipathetic, if not 
warring halves, which get to downright battle 
in Kansas. It is becoming a cleft Folk-Soul, 
cleft into North and South, or into Free-States 
and Slave-States. The question is burning in 
every heart: Shall this so-called Union remain 
dual, in an eternal wrangle or shall it be made 
one and a real Union? The Spirit of the Age, 
the Genius of History may be heard command- 
ing tirst in a whisper which is soon to break out 
into thunder tones : The strain of destiny woven 
into the Constitution at its birth and burdening 
it with its own deepest self-ccmtiadiction must 
now be eliminated; it can no longer remain half- 
slave, half-free, in the prophetic words of the 
coming leader. 

The cleft Folk-Soul is becoming aware of its 
cleavage, and is slowly resolving to get rid of the 
rent somehow. The whole Kansas discipline 
with its ever-recurring process is to bring the 
People to a consciousness of their halved condition. 
They wake up to find themselves not a Union, 


and tire beginning to grasp for the means of be- 
comiuo; a Union. The dissonance sound! us 
back from the plains of Kansas and stirring the 
Folk-Soul with a deep response, brings it to feel 
its own dissonance. Such is the folk-psycho- 
logical process now going on, which is the \)Vo- 
found historic purpose underlying and control- 
ling these Kansas events. 

Say the Missourians to the Kausans : We in- 
tend to drive you around up to Nebraska, where 
you belong. There you can have your Free- 
State on a line with the other Free-States. But 
this territory of Kansas is ours, and we shall 
make it a Slave-State, thus keeping the Union 
divided, half-slave and half-free. 

Say the Kansans to the Missourians : Nebraska 
is indeed a goodly land, but there we feel no soul- 
compelling principle at stake along its latitu- 
dinal bound running westward. So we pass 
down to Kansas and to conflict, forming a new 
longitudinal bound, and building along it against 
slavery our bulwark of farms, on which indeed 
Vv"^ intend to raise corn and potatoes wnth our own 
right hand, but also to try the issue of the age 
which has written upon our hearts the command : 
No more Shive-States are to be born of mother 
Union, our beloved, prolific. State-bearing 

That indeed may well be called the new Union 


or the beginning thereof, whose evolution is the 
verv soul of this Ten-Years' War. 

It was not long before the pro-slavery party 
saw that they had been thwarted. Their deed 
of violence had united the Free-State men, and 
had called forth Eobinson's scheme of an anti- 
oovernment, which quite counteracted the work 
of the Territorial Legislature. What was to be 
done? A blow must be struck, and again it 
was resolved to resort to violence. Another 
invasion of the Missourians was the plan, but 
this time its purpose was not to vote but to 
destroy. The Free-State center, Lawrence, 
home of Kobinson and supposed source of all 
agitation was to be wiped out literally ; the Free- 
State men were to be driven away; but chie% 
the anti-government was to be obliterated. 
Accordingly a new irritant or instrument of tor- 
ture was to be applied to Kansas from the out- 
side, trying to force her to be that which she is 
not and can never be. 

So we come to the Second Livasion of Kan- 
sas from Missouri, planned and carried out, 
some eight or nine months after the first one 
already narrated, which has evidently failed of 
its purpose. The Legislature then elected holds 
its sessions indeed, and passes laws, which, how- 
ever, as they never came from the People, never 
go back to the People, but remain legal phan- 
toms without the blood of life. 


^be Sccon^ Unvaeton. 

Early in December, 1855, some twelve hun- 
dred men or more were encamped in Kansas 
along a small stream which bore the name of 
Wakerusa. Nearly all of them had come across 
the border from Missouri, to which they intended 
to return when their present task was finished. 
They were a miscellaneous crowd armed with 
miscellaneous weapons — rifles, horse-pistols, 
shot-guns, and even the old rusty flint-lock is 
said to have appeared. They had straggled 
from various Missouri towns in groups which 
took what they wanted from the surrounding 
country. It was a disorderly band, swearing, 
swaggering, whisky-drinking, with small sem- 
blance of military organization. On the Waker- 
usa they lay foraging the neighboring farms, 
and discharging oaths at a town whose roofs 
and steeples were in sight, and which was the 
chief objective point of their expedition. Still 
they did not attack it, though they had come 
for that purpose. 

This town was Lawrence, the storm-center of 
the Territory, which also showed signs of war dur- 
ing these days. Its citizens were under arms and 
drilling; earth-works had been thrown up as rude 
fortifications defended by six hundred men not 


without liues of grim determination in their 
faces. Moreover one-third had that wonderful 
weapon, Sharpe's rifle, a breech-loader, rapid- 
firing, capable of sending a bullet through its 
victim at the distance of half a mile or more, to 
which real qualities were added other marvelous 
attributes terrifying to the invaders along the 

Such were the two foes that stood glaring 
fiercely at each other for many days, showing 
their teeth but never coming to an actual bite. 
Now and then, especially under the cover of 
night, a stray bullet would whiz out the camp 
toward the hated town, but nobody was ever hit 
and the shot was not returned. The one side 
seemed to have discipline and maintained a 
strictW defensive attitude, though they were 
called the outlaws; the other side was an unruly 
and unruled multitude, though they had named 
themselves the party of Law and Order, for 
whose defense they as chivalrous sons of Light 
had sallied from their castles in Missouri to the 
lawless and benighted land of Kansas. Thus 
again we hear the strident contradiction of the 
time: Disorder claims to be the maker and up- 
holder of Order, while Order is set down as the 
maker and upholder of Disorder. 

Once more the two forces of this conflict are 
lined up for battle, and seem about to grapple. 
It is not merely a neighorhood quarrel or a border 


foray, but these two contendiug sides have behind 
them the divisions of a great people and the 
future of a whole continent. We have already 
called it our American Iliad, notyetsung but cer- 
tainly acted under the supervision of the Gods, 
not now the old Homeric Olympians but still 
higher divinities, whf)m also we shall have to in- 
voke, and perchance introduce, if we are to catch 
the whole significance of this new Ten Years' 



But what brought matters to the present pass 
along the Wakerusa? A Slave-State man by the 
name of Coleman quarreled with his neighbor, a 
Free-State man called Dow, about a land-claim, 
and ended by slaying him. At once some Free- 
State settlers, friends of the nmrdered man, rose 
and burned the cabins of the other side. A 
friend of the murderer fled to Westport, a border- 
town of Missouri, and gave the alarm. The 
Sheriff of the Kansas County where the deed took 
place lived at Westport ; he crossed the border 
with a warrant for the arrest of old Jacob Bran- 
son, friend of Dow, who was accused of theaten- 
ing vengeance against the accomplice of the 

Sheriff Jones, the officer of the law, with his 
posse slips into Branson's cabin at dead of night, 
arrests liim and starts for Lecompton. But the 
morning-san >^catters the news, and soon a party 


of fifteen resolute Free-St;ite meu start in })ur- 
suit; they intercept the Sheriff who stopped too 
often along the road for refreshments, till finally 
he had to face the muzzles of squirrel guus and 
even some Sharpe's rifles. The argument was 
convincing, and Branson was given up without a 

The rescuers, knowing that they had violated 
law, hasten to Lawrence to advise with the 
people there, friendly but seeking to avoid everv 
appearance of legal violation. Eobinson, the 
leading spirit of the town, said; "lam afraid 
the affair will make mischief." The people 
assembled in town-meeting and discussed the 
situation. They concluded that they could not 
harbor the rescuers, but must avoid giving any 
pretext for invasion from Missouri, which they 
knew awaited them on the least provocation. 
So Jacob Branson and his friends pass out of 
Lawrence into some other place of hiding and 
out of view of History. 

This was the event which caused Lawrence to 
prepare for war, having heard only rumors from 
Missouri, and feeling the situation to be perilous. 
A committee of safety was appointed, the citzens 
were mustered and trained in guard dut}', and 
the town built fortifications on every side. The}^ 
knew their foe, who was armed with the law 
of the Territory, and who had the government of 
the United States on his side. Still they felt 


they were the advance guard of Civilization, of 
the coming United States, not the present, and 
so they stood in a Marathoniau struggle against 
the miglity powers directed against their little 
baud, inspired, we may sa}', by the "World-Spirit. 

In their emergency the people chose Robinson 
to be their leader with the title of major-general 
though he was not a military man. Lane was 
made the second in command, though he had 
been an officer in the Mexican War. This se- 
lection we may regard as a judgment of the two 
rivals by the people, a judgment which the fu- 
ture has pronounced [circumspect but correct, in 
view of the characters of the two men. 

With a parting glance at the rescuers hurrying 
off in one direction, we shall turn back to take a 
look at Sheriff Jones, slowly retracing his steps 
toward '^Missouri in the opposite direction without 
old Jacob Branson, whose only crime was to 
have made some threats against the assassins of 
his friend Dow. It was indeed humiliating; the 
Sheriff with his men cowed, thwarted, and wrath- 
ful, when alone, resolved at once to take revenge 
and sent to Missouri for assistance, his message 
even reaching the Capital of the State, Jefferson 
Citv, where the Legislature was in session. 
Through the Missouri towns the importunate cry 
resounded : Help, help to put down the new 
outbreak of the Abolitionists against Law and 
Order. The Sheriff estimated that 3,000 men 


would l)e required to do the work effectually. 
His heated imagination saw in the rescuers an 
arm}^ whereas they numbered just fifteen with 
eight guns in the crowd, and one human cata- 
pult, a Free-State man armed with two big 
stones in default of other weapons. 

The men whom we have seen encamped along 
the banks of the Wakerusa were those who 
responded to the Sheriff's request. At first he 
did not think of calling on the territorial execu- 
tive for aid, but somebody suggested it as the 
proper thing, and so he appealed to Shannon, the 
new Governor of Kansas, with a blood-curdling 
recital of outrages inflicted upon constituted au- 
thority. At this point is introduced into the 
present invasion a new element of which sonle 
account must be taken. 


Wilson Shannon, a well-known public man 
from Ohio, of good reputation, was appointed 
by Pierce as the successor of Beeder. He ar- 
rived September 3rd at Shawnee Mission, the 
capital, was accorded a flattering reception by 
the pro-slavery party, and was at once com- 
pletely benetted by their schemes. He took 
their view in regard to Kansas, denouncing Law- 
rence and Big Springs with their conventions, 
and Topeka with its Constitution and Legisla- 
ture, in terms which seemed to be put into his 


mouth by the Miirsouriaiis. To k)ok into the 
other side never entered his heud, till it got a 
heavy knock. " The President is behind you," 
he cried out triumphing in a speech, " the Presi- 
dent is behind you," namely you the Mis- 
sourians, who had assumed the name of the Law 
and Order Party. Particularly the anti-govern- 
ment of Robinson was declared to be treasonable. 

Such was the entrance of Wilson Shannon 
into Kansas Territory, of which he was Gov- 
ernor. In these early words of his we catch the 
echo of the President's instructions to him, or 
rather those of Jefferson Davis who was at this 
time the power behind the Presidential puppet. 
Fresh from Washington these words seem to 
come, reverberating through the mouth of Shan- 
non. But is there no power behind Pierce and 
Davis and all Washington? If not, woe be 
unto Kansas and all of us. 

The truth soon comes out that in Kansas the 
executive and legislative powers combined were 
having no success. The Free-State men got 
along without both, by one makeshift or other, 
being reduced to an atomic condition. They 
made no attack, no resistance to the authority 
which, even if legal, was fraudulent in origin. 
The Missourians had destroyed the American 
State-making principle by violently supplanting 
the independent voter and settler. But the 
American did not propose to allow the usurpation 


to pass unchullengetl since it ussuiled his deepest 
political consciousness, and deprived him of his 
first right, that of making his own institutions. 

In this time of the declining Slave-State 
cause, there occurred the events already men- 
tioned: the murder of Dow, the rescue of 
Branson, and the Sheriff's call upon the Governor 
for troops. Shannon promptly responded, but 
not more than fifty men in Kansas could be 
found ready to sacrifice themselves in such a 
cause, which seemed peculiarly that of the 
Missourians, whose numbers and zeal have been 
already celebrated in the exploits along the 
banks of the Wakerusa. 

So Lawrence remained in a state of siege for 
many days; the besiegers did not dare attack, 
and the besieged kept strictly on the defensive 
from policy. At last a Committee from the town 
got through the lines of the enemy and reached 
the Governor, who, after spending his ill- 
humor in a severe lecture, was ready to listen 
to the other side. The Committee presented 
their case, the Governor showed something of 
an inner revulsion. "I shall go to Lawrence," 
says he — a visit which he ought to have made 
long since. But first he went to the camp on 
the Wakerusa, where he found an undisciplined 
mass of men frenzied by whisky and clamoring 
to attack the town in utter ignorance of its 
strength which, however, was well known to their 


leaders. Shannon dissuaded, in fact, forbade 
by virtue of liis office any such movement. 

Then he went to Lawrence December 7th. 
He must have been struck by the contrast. Here 
was order and sobriety, doubtless coupled with 
a strong determination. His demands were 
chiefly two: deliver up 3'our Sharpe's rifles, 
that awful goblin of the Missourians, and obey 
the law. The former demand was flrmly refused 
with an appeal to the right of every American 
to bear arms, a rioht guaranteed bv the Consti- 
tution of the United States. As to the law, they 
were ready now, and always had been, to obey 
it; they would even assist the Sheriff in execut- 
ing his writ against the rescuers, but he must not 
bring with him that drunken horde of Missouri 
borderers as his posse, thus exposing their town 
to murder and rapine. As to the rescuers, it 
was shown that they were publicly warned to 
leave Lawrence, which they did at once, and had 
not been seen since. 

Shannon felt these facts and arguments to be 
irresistible; he had even called the Missourians, 
whom he had now seen with his own eyes, " a 
pack of hyenas." Evidently he undergoes a 
kind of conversion there in Lawrence. Hence- 
forth his sole object is to bring about the with- 
drawal of the Wakerusa warriors. This nmst 
be done with great tact, else there might be an 
explosion. Atchison, the Missouri Senator, who 


was present with his chin, aided the Governor in 
this work, saying, "The position of General 
Eobinson is impregnable ; his tactics have given 
him all the advantage as to the cause of quarrel." 
Atchison also saw the national import of the 
conflict: " If you attack Lawrence now," says 
he to his disgusted comrades, " you would cause 
the election of an abolition President (in 1856) 
and the ruin of the Democratic party." 

A tiuce was patched up and the disgruntled 
Missourians set out for home with the Governor's 
words riuiJ[ino: in their ears that " he had not 
called upon persons resident of any other State 
to aid in the execution of the laws," and plainly 
intimating that they were present without 
authority. Such statements were not pleasant 
to Sheriff Jones who had invoked their help, and 
he vowed that he would wreak vengeance yet 
upon the accursed town. Not an idle threat, but 
an outlook on the future, whereof time will 
furnish the ccmfirmation. Jones knew somewhat 
of the inner workings of this Kan.-^as business, 
and was well aware of his own power at the 
center in Washington, being Democratic post- 
master of Westport, conveniently situated on the 
border. But Siiannon is clearly going the way 
of Eeeder whose career and fate he so ardently 
thought to shun. One-sided he began, intensely 
so; but now he knows the other side, and has 
treated it with some degree of fairness if not of 


bVLupath}'. He c;iu never mure be what he was 
at the start; he has ex[)erienced a change of 
heart which totally unfits him, under the present 
administration, for the Governorship of Kansas. 
He can no longer be the pliant tool of the 
Missourians and he is a doomed man — a fact 
which Sheriff Jones seems to prognosticate, as 
he and his cohorts sullenly retire from their ex- 
ploits on the Wakerusa, still vowing revenge in 
the future. 

But Lawrence is safe and has won a victory 
without blood. The Sharpe's rifles were not 
given up, the Topeka Constitution was not 
renounced, the anti-government was not 
surrendered. Robinson had shown himself a 
strategist of the first rank. The citizens gave 
themselves up to rejoicings, of course with a great 
overflow of speeches. Onl}^ one of these struck 
a discordant note. A long lank form mounted 
a store-box and began to denounce a compromise 
which sullied a great cause from fear of blood- 
shed. He was soon pulled down from his perch 
by the jubilating crowd, and compelled to bide 
his time for a fairer opportunity. Who was it? 
Old John Brown: he had recently arrived in the 
Territory and had uttered there his first word, 
truly prophetic of his coming career. 


Most of our information about early Kansas 


comes from New Enghiuders, who do not fail to 
give full validity to their side and section. Mrs. 
Sara Robinson, wife of the Governor, heads the 
procession with recounting the trials of the early 
settlers in a very readable book, which helped the 
cause and gave her a name — a name which, by 
ardent admirers, was paralleled with that of Mrs. 
Stowe, and which put her prominently into the 
considerable list of Puritan women who have set 
down in writing their experiences, inner and 
outer. And the Governor himself, though 
supremely a man of action, has left us an 
account of his stewardship in a book valuable 
for its facts, but from a literary point of view 
not so orood as his wife's. And Eli Thayer, the 
great organizer of talk who disparaged talk, has 
ver}^ acceptably talked to posterity about his 
Kansas achievement in a printed volume. These 
we may deem the leaders in the procession of 
writers on Kansas, followed by many others 
vociferating with all their might to catch the 
public ear. 

Naturally we begin to ask for the report of the 
opposite side, in the interest of fair play. Let 
us now hear from the Missourians, if they have 
anything else besides that border yell for our 
instruction. But alas! they have no voice of 
the literary kind; on the whole, they do not 
write or read writing ; it is said that the majority 
could hardly read the printed page. So we have 


to take the account of them and their deeds from 
the pens of their enemies. Still of their general 
purpose no doubt can exist : they intended to 
make Kansas a Slave-State, and thereby perpet- 
uate a Union Slave-State producing. Wp have, 
therefore, to regard them as the protagonists of 
the Southern Oligarchy, which is making a 
desperate effort to keep its power, that of a 
minority, over the majority of the United States, 
the prize for which they grasp being one more 

No doubt it was a barbarous time and used a 
good deal of barbarous English, Avhich the digni- 
tied Muse of History makes a wry face at in spite 
of her dignity. Barbarians will use barbarisms 
and a barbarous time finds its corresponding 
expression in a barbarous dialect. Shocking it 
is to say the rude things of the Borderers in the 
presence of the Muse so daintily trained in these 
days at the University. 

Still we would like to catch some glimpse of 
the leaders of the Missouri movement speaking 
in their own right, and not through the lips of 
their Yankee antagonists. The best that we can 
do is to glean a few shreds of their speeches 
which have been preserved chiefly bv Kobinson 
in his book (The Kansas Conflict), and which 
were originally printed in the border newspapers. 
Atchison, Senator from Missouri and Vice- 
President of the United States after the death 


of W. R. King, seems to ha\e been the chief 
actor and spokesman in these forays. Here is a 
report of one of his utterances: " He was for 
meeting these phihiuthropic knaves peaceably 
at the ballot-box, and out- voting them. If we 
cannot do this, it is an omen that the institution 
of slavery must fall in this and other Southern 
States, but it would fall after much strife, civil 
war, and bloodshed." Such was Atchison's 
ensanguined vaticination of the coming struggle, 
very true, but possible to be made void according 
to him by out-voting the Kansas Free-State 
men through fraud. Yet this was just the way 
which brought on the bloody conflict. Note, 
too, the peculiar consciousness here: if we can 
only seize the forms of the law, the right is of 
no great consequence. 

Atchison always claimed that his method was 
"pacific," and he "would not punish a man 
who merely entertained abstract opinions," even 
about slavery. On the other hand Stringfellow, 
the second leading chieftain, seems to have been 
the fire-eater, radical in his violence, quite to the 
point of disregarding the Executive: "What 
right has Governor Reeder," he exclaims, "to 
rule Missourians in Kansas I" He scores "those 
who have qualms as to violating laws, State and 
National," and his advice is "to vote at the 
point of the bowie-knife and revolver, in de- 
fiance of Reeder and his Mvrmidons." So the 


two leaders, Atchison and Stringfellow, are evi- 
dently of an opposite cast, though both agree 
that Missourians must vote in Kansas, and make 
it a Slave-State. But the one says " peace- 
ably," while the other vociferates " at the point 
of the bowie-knife and revolver." Thus we catch 
notes of discord among the invaders ; evidently 
they have a radical and a conservative set also, 
and manifest differences of character and opin- 
ion, such as we see in the Free-State ranks. It 
is a phenomenon which repeatedly recurs : 
the anti-slavery extremist and the pro-slavery 
extremist reach, even if by opposite roads, the 
same camp of Disunion. Yancey could well 
have subscribed to Garrison's view of the Con- 
stitution as "an agreement with hell, and a 
covenant with death." 

Stringfellow exhorts: "mark every scoun- 
drel among you that is in the least tainted with 
free-soilism, and exterminate him." This has 
the true ring of the inquisition into private be- 
liefs. On the other hand Atchison would not 
punish a man " for abstract opinions," as long 
as he does not attempt to carry them out. Such 
is the difference between the leaders, the one in 
his way is institutional, the other revolutionary ; 
they are, as it were, inverted counterparts of 
what may be seen at Lawrence represented in 
Charles Robinson on the one hand and John 
Brown on the other, the latter being in this 


reo-ard Stringfellow abolitloiiized. No Mephis- 
topheles, corresponding to Lane, appears among 
the Mlssourians, unless they all be of his spawn. 

From Atchison, who had a genuine prophetic 
strain in his brooding soul, must be cited an- 
other utterance which a patient historian 
(Khodes, Hist. U. S., II., p. 100) has dug up 
from the vast mounds of the buried newspaper- 
dom of the past: " If Kansas is abolitionized, 
Missouri ceases to be a Slave-State, New Mexico 
becomes a Free-State, but if we secure Kansas 
as a Slave-State, Missouri is secure; New Mexico 
and Southern California, if not all of it, be- 
comes a Slave-State ; in a word the prosperity 
or ruin of the whole South depends on the Kan- 
sas struggle." 

This is a very suggestive prophecy, full of 
far-reaching presentiment which really antici- 
pates the doom of slavery. For Kansas is 
plainly not going to be a Slave-State even 
through violence ; not only will Missouri be lost, 
but "the ruin of the whole South " is impend- 
ins, on account of this Kansas struofgle. Atchi- 
son, however, seems to think that he can block 
the wheels of Civilization, if he can somehow 
steal the legalforms of government from the peo- 
ple of Kansas. But he is taking just the right 
wa}^ for driving slavery not merely out of Kansas^ 
:'.nd the Territories, but out of the United States, 
out of America, and finally out of the World. 


For it is becoming manifest that the World- 
Spirit has decreed another way for training the 
l)ackward peo[)les and races into civilization. 
Hitherto they have all passed through a period 
of slavery; every country in Europe has had it in 
some form, but has thrown it off. This was not 
so difficult, since the slaves were chiefly of the 
same race, often of the same nationalit3^ But 
now the racial difference enters with its prob- 
lem ; the skin, nose, eye, hair, the whole 
physique proclaims the slave. Still he also is 
to be set free, and another way besides that 
of slavery is to be taken in order to civilize 
him and to make him capable of free insti- 
tutions. The pedagogical way we may call it; 
the backward man is to be sent to school and is 
to be educated by the civilized man, who is to 
impart to his less advanced brother his own 
institutional freedom as his greatest boon. In 
fact the World-Spirit has always kept a school 
for the nations, though more or less veiled; but 
now it has become unveiled, explicit, acknowl- 
edged. And education in such a school is not so 
much academic as institutional. 


While tiie Missourians of the border were 
lying in camp along the Wakerusa, the Thirty- 
fourth Congress met at Washington, the center, 
December, 1855. The President and the Senate 


were unchanged politically, but the new House 
of Representatives was the product of the elec- 
tions of 1854 which showed in the Korth a 
strong reaction against the Kansas-Nebraska 
legislation. That year (1854) had been remark- 
able for a general dissolution of the old political 
parties, and the various attempts to unite the 
tloating fragments into new organizations. It 
was evident that a spirit was at work in the peo- 
ple, which showed them deeply dissatisfied with 
existing conditions. This spirit had been first 
roused by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill, it had been kept active and indeed irritated 
by the First Invasion of Kansas, and now it was 
going through another paroxysm on account of 
the Second Invasion. 

Such was the public feeling when the national 
representatives met and tried to organize the 
House by the election of a Speaker. At once all 
the diverse, refractory elements of the time began 
to show themselves. The members could not be 
classified on former political lines; they tv\x\y 
represented, that is, imaged the state of the 
people. The House began seething like Kansas, 
which had transferred its conflict to the Capitol, 
and tlirown it into a kind t)f Wakerusa War. 

Since the re[)eal of the iSIissouri Compromise 
a strong dissolving process had been going on in 
I'le countr}-. The Democratic, Whig, and even 
Free-Soil parties showed more or less disintegra- 


tion. Temperance entered politics, bands of 
women began to make crusades against saloons 
and destroy liquor. But the most peculiar man- 
ifestation of the great break-up was the sudden 
rise and success of the so-called Know-nothing 
party, followed by an equally sudden decline 
and evanishment. It was directed against the 
foreigner, and especially against the influence of 
the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. It also de- 
clared hostility to German free-thinking and 
French infidelity. Its main doctrine was sum- 
marized in the pithy statement: "Americans 
should rule America." In so far as the Know- 
nothing party directed attention to the defects 
of the naturalization laws, and to the fraud and 
demagogy connected with the suffrage of the 
foreign-born element, it did good. But in prin- 
ciple it was thoroughly un-American, though it 
called itself the American party. Its members 
discredited their own ancestors w^ho, not so many 
years before, had been immigrants. It ignored 
the great missionary function of the United 
States for the uplifting and enfranchising of the 
people of the old world who would come to our 
shores. Its method was even more un-American 
than its principle. It was a secret, oath-bound 
political association with grips, degrees, signs, 
and pass-words. It was more Jesuitical than the 
Jesuits. Publicity, the great American correc- 
tive of })ublic ills, it shunned and took the way 


of conspirators under a despotic government. 
The fact is suggestive tliat tlie cliief men of all 
parties, anti-slavery and pro-slaverj', Whig and 
Democratic, soon came to denounce it. The 
bloom of it hardly lasted a year; it too Avas rent 
in twain by the great coming question, both sides 
of which it sought to embody. Know-nothing- 
ism was hardly more than a transitional humor of 
the people in passing from an old to a new party. 
It was a caprice, a comic contradiction of the 
Folk-Soul, which, being soon recognized, passed 
off with a laugh. We may call it a comic inter- 
lude in the present great drama, for the very 
name of the party was a joke and productive of 
jokes everywhere. There was a stream of mys- 
tery in it which diverted the people like the trick 
of a juggler, particularly at a time when their 
minds were at sea, and puzzling over what ought 
to be done next. 

Now the people in this mood had elected a 
national House of Representatives, which is the 
aforementioned body holding its first session at 
Washington and trying to elect a Speaker. Polit- 
ically it was a chaotic mass of Know-nothings, 
Democrats, Whigs, all of whom were still further 
divided into anti-slavery and pro-slavery fac- 
tions. Besides there were a few members 
already called Republicans. It was soon seen 
that the old partv divisions were vanishing into 
a new division, which ran a line of battle 


through the entire membership on the ques- 
tion: For or against the Kansas-Nebraska bill? 
Thus the Kansas conflict had entered and was 
aliening the two sides of the House. The 
Wakerusa affair occurring contemporaneously 
and brino-ino; new and excitino^ incidents all the 
while, wrought powerfully upon the House in its 
present fluctuating condition. Many candidates 
for Speaker — and in the Speaker's election lay 
the test — were taken up and then dropped. For 
nearly two months the hurly-burly balloting 
lasted, till on the one-hundred and thirty-third 
ballot Banks of Massachusetts was chosen. He 
had been elected to Congress as a Know-nothing, 
but that issue had dropped out totally, since the 
ground of his success lay in his statement that 
he favored the restoration of Missouri Compro- 
mise line of 1820, and that Congress should 
exclude slavery from Territories. Entirely 
visible does the new alignment of parties become 
in the first victory at the Capital. The Republi- 
can Party has now distinctly risen out of its 
local into its national career. It had already 
started at several points in the West sporadically ; 
but here it is, springing up in the heart of the 
Nation. Passing from the center to the border 
we chronicle a similar victory. The Missouri 
invaders, completely baifled by Robinson's strat- 
egy, had returned to their homes for the winter. 
The new Party has then actually appeared on 


the floor of the House of Kepresentatives, having 
gone to the East from the West and nationalized 
itself at "Washington. But where is its great 
leader? Local leaders it has in abundance, 
training for the strua^ale — but a towerino: na- 
tional leader? All were soon turning: their 
ejes toward Seward as the supreme mau, crying 
out, Here we are ready, lead us. But Seward 
hung fire. The hesitation lay partly in his own 
nature, and will rise up against him hereafter, but 
also partly in the political condition of the State 
of New York, which could not move as freely as 
the Western States. Chase, next to Seward in 
importance, was precluded from the national 
leadership of his Party by certain limitations of 
character as well by reasons of political expedi- 
ency. Sumner, the brilliant rhetorician of the 
rising Party, could hardly be called a statesman, 
and had no gift of great leadership of the peo- 
ple, since his speeches often left many in doubt 
whether or not he was thoroughly an institu- 
tional man, whether or not his auti-slaveryism 
did not outweigh and even jeopard his constitu- 
tionalism. At last in the fall campaign of New 
York Seward spoke and sounded the key-note of 
the new Party. But already in the fall of 1854, 
a year before Seward, the future leader of the 
Party, then quite unknown outside of his State, 
Abraham Lincoln, had arisen and had outlined 
in strong terse expressions the leading doctrines 


of the new organization. Moreover ho appeared 
in oratorical combat with his great competitor 
Douglas, whom four years later he will meet 
again in a contest larger than national, so large 
that we must call it world-historical. But the 
time is not ready, and perhaps he is not read}^ 
for entering upon the great coming task. After 
having had two public tournaments, he and 
Douglas, at the request of the latter, agree to 
speak no more during the campaign. But his 
speech at Peoria (Oct. 16th, 1854) written out 
by him and printed in the Illinois State Journal , 
became the chief political document of the Party 
in the North-West, and prepared the way for 
Lincoln's leadership. Did Seward ever read 
Lincoln's speech? In the absence of direct tes- 
timony, who can tell? But one thing is certain: 
the coming Party had started in the West with 
its lines laid down and with its leader at the head 
a year before Seward waked up in the East. 
Thus Lincoln was getting his new house read}', 
while Seward Avas still debating whether he would 
stay in the old Whig house or move into the 
new one. As these two men are hereafter to be 
rivals for Eepublicau leadership, we must con- 
sider the record of both. 

The great Democratic statesman of the 
North, Douglas, stands in a peculiar interme- 
diate relation to the rising Party through his 
doctrine of Popular Sovereignty. He might 


have stepped forward and become its leader; 
but he stood still, or perchance stepped back- 
ward. As already indicated, he lost his first 
great opportunity of making himself the repre- 
sentative of the Spirit of the Age by not putting 
himself at the head of the Kansas Free-State 
men. The invaders violated Popular Sover- 
eignty, his s[)ecial principle. A decided 
majority of the men who made the Topeka Con- 
stitution were Douglas Democrats, though their 
leader at first had no good word for them. 
Douglas bitterly assailed the Emigrant Aid 
Society, yet its whole policy was to settle slavery 
in Kansas by vote of the people. Eli Thayer, 
its founder, in his speeches planted himself 
squarely on Popular Sovereignty, and asked 
nothing better than a fair chance through an 
honest ballot. But Douglas ignored his true sup- 
porters at the North, and thought that he must 
still bid for Southern assistance in the coming 
Presidential Convention (1856). 


In Kansas we may still see the Missouri 
borderers who took part in the Second Invasion, 
wendino; their weary way homeward in an ugly 
mood. Baffled, humiliated, but more revengeful 
than ever, they are already planning some new 
method of catching and destroying that elusive 
and even tricksy spirit which has so decidedly 


foiled tlieiii. But how can the thins; be done? 
Evidently the Free-State leaders who have shown 
themselves such consummate strategists, must be 
gotten hold of in some way, and then leader- 
less Lawrence can be destroyed. Particularly 
Robinson, whom Atchison acknowledges to 
have completely out-maneuvered the Missourians, 
including himself, has to be reached, lest " his 
tactics " again give him " all the advantage as to 
the cause of the quarrel. ' ' Such was the problem 
haunting the Missourians as they crossed the 
border in their backward march. 

The fact is, the anti-government with its 
shadowy existence but very real power perplexed 
those dazed Missouri champions. And there was 
some mystery, soul-harassing, in its subtle 
operation. For we Missourians have the actual 
government, plain and palpable, in the Territorial 
Legislature and in the LTnited States officials 
with Washington at their back ; and yet it shows 
itself wholly insubstantial compared with that 
phantom government which the arch-magician 
Eobinson has conjured up and made appear as a 
very substantial reality for rallying and inspiring 
the Free-State men. How can we catch, and 
then stab or shoot that spectral shape which cen- 
ters the opposition to our authority? 

Impossible is such a task ; being a spirit, it 
cannot well be reached by bowie-knife or bullet, 
but has a strange power of employing and direct- 


ing weapons on its own behalf. For the anti- 
government represents the spirit of Law, though 
now deprived of its body. Wrong having be- 
come formally legal, Eight rises up as its ghostly 
counterpart, though formally illegal, and makes 
the anti-government. Thus a phantom govern- 
ment which is the reality, the truth, marches 
forth in open daylight, and grapples with a real 
government which is a phantom, a fraud. No 
such encounter has hardly happened among mor- 
tals since that ancient combat on the plains of 
Troy when the Greeks and Trojans fought around 
the image of a hero in their midst when he him- 
self had been borne elsewhere by the aid of the 
favoring Goddess. And now we may see the 
valiant Kansans fighting around and for a shadow 
which is real, against a reality which is a shadow. 
And on the other side the embattled Missourians 
are hurrying over the border with a grandiose 
display of war to defend a reality which is but a 
shadow, against a shadow which is the reality. 
Such is the mixture of ghosts and corporalities 
along that Kansas-Missouri line, a veritable see- 
saw lasting for years between Spirit and Form, 
or Soul and Body: the dis-embodied Soul trying 
heroically to get possession of its own Body, and- 
the dis-souled Body trying to lay or even kill its 
own haunting and tormenting Soul. 

Thus the Missourians and the Kansans keep 
up an ever-recurring contest out there on the 


border: the one being wholly unable to get or 
even to get at the other's Soul, and the other in 
turn being equally unable to get or get into the 
one's Body, till at last on a day the hour of re- 
demption strikes and the straying Soul (of Eight) 
slips into its bodily counterpart (the Law) and 
becomes incorporate. Whereof the account is 
given in a future chapter. 

But this happy consummation cannot yet be, the 
grand Kansas discipline of Soul-wandering is still 
to continue. A cunning scheme is hatched to rob 
the Free-State men of their leaders, through a 
new device of the legal machine which has been 
so successfully made to work injustice in the 
name of justice. Then the wolves having banned 
the shepherds can easily take possession of the 
flock and wreak their savagery upon it in a fresh 
invasion of Kansas. 



Zbc ^btr^ llnvaeion. 

The winter of 1855-6 in Kansas seemed to 
sympathize with the invaders by inflicting hard- 
ship and suffering upon the ill-housed and ill- 
prepared settlers. Mrs. Robinson, a daughter 
of New England and used to icy blasts, expressed 
herself thus: "To face a Missouri mob is 
nothing to facing these winds which sweep over 
the prairies." External nature environing man 
appeared to pre-tigure his social condition and 
even his mental tumult. It is indeed a Per- 
verted World without and within; the violators 
of Law are its executors, the innocent are the vic- 
tims, the unjust not only escape but have all the 
instrumentalities of justice in their power, per- 
verting them to the purpose of injustice. The 
Judiciary is now to be dragged into conflict, and 
brought to employ the form of legality for slay- 
ing its soul. 

The pitiless winter did not wholly stop activitv 
on either side. Robinson wrote in January, 
1856, that he had knowledge of extensive 
preparations in Missouri for the destruction of 
Lawrence and all the Free-State settlements. 
He sent his information to the President, to 
Congress, but especially to the Governors of the 
Northern States, nearly all of whom were now 


sympathetic with the Free-State asi)iratiun of 
Kansas. Six meu went East to bu}' munitions of 
war and to raise an army " for the defense of 
Kansas and the Union." In the spring when the 
weather had removed its ban, a stream of emi- 
grants from the North began again to flow across 
the border and spread out over the plains of 
Kansas, each one taking his place with gun in 
hand somewhere in that longitudinal line of 
farms erected as a barrier against Missouri and 
the South. 

But Missouri and the South were not idle. 
Bands of men from the Southern States began 
to come, the largest and most notable of which 
was organized in South Carolina, Georgia and 
Alabama, by Colonel Buford, consisting of 280 
people whom we shall soon find among the in- 
vaders. Both sections. North and South, wxvc 
openly preparing for the contest. Still Robin- 
son hoped and believed that he " could con(]iier 
without bloodshed " if his suggestions were acted 
upon in the Northern States. His strategy had 
once made the invaders face about and take tlic 
back track into Missouri. He thought he could 
perform the same maneuver again with sncccss 
and avoid war. 

But a blow now descended upon him and his 
party from a source which he apparently did not 
take into account. The pro-slavery oflicials con- 
cocted a scheme of getting rid of the Free-StatL^ 


leaders who had so often baffled them. They 
utilized for this ])urpose the Judiciary of the 
Territory whose Chief Justice, Lecompte, has 
won the distinction of being called the second 
Jeffries. He instructed the grand jury that those 
who resisted the Territorial Legislature were 
guilty of treason against the United States and 
were to be proceeded against by law. This was 
a blow aimed at the entire Topeka move- 
ment, and the anti-government of Eobinson. 
The erand lury indicted at once Robinson, 
Lane, and Eeeder, with other prominent Free- 
State men, for treason. The same grand 
jury declared two newspapers of Lawrence 
and its Free-State Hotel to be public nuisances 
and recommended their abatement. In this way 
the Federal Marshal was brought into the contest, 
and opposition meant resistance to the United 
States. The result is that Lane decamps secretly, 
Reeder escapes from the Territory in disguise 
after thrilling adventures, and Robinson is 
captured on his way to the East at Lexington, 
Missouri, and is brought back the captive of his 
foes to Kansas for trial. The work of Lecompte 
succeeded in making the Free-State men leader- 
less and hence helpless. 

This was the opportunity for a new move 
against Lawrence, which, being without a head, 
can now be beheaded by the chivalrous border- 
ers. There must be a pretext for the attack. 


and this pretext Sheriff Jones was to furnish. 
He went to the town for the purpose of arrest- 
ing Wood, one of the chief rescuers of Bran- 
son. He was foiled in the attempt, and then 
tried his hand on others, one of whom gave him 
a stingino; ship in the face. That was enough. 
He demanded of the Governor a detachment of 
Federal soldiers to assist him in executing his 
writs. He succeeded in heating the enmity of 
the Free-State community to the boiling point ; 
during the excitement a frenzied youth shot him 
in the back, the wound not being very serious. 
Soon the news flew up and down the Missouri 
border that Sheriff Jones had been killed at 
Lawrence, rousing an intense feeling of ven- 
geance against the hated town. But the citizens 
of Lawrence, in town meeting assembled, dis- 
owned the act, and offered five hundred dollars 
reward for the apprehension of the culprit. 

At this juncture the United States Marshal, 
Donaldson, comes upon the stage to play his 
part. He summons a posse to arrest the traitors 
of Lawrence, and to abate the condemned nui- 
sances. This was the golden opportunity, and 
again the Missourians respoudeJ, making their 
third armed Invasion of Kansas. Lawrence, 
leaderless and utterly paralyzed, offered no re- 
sistance and yielded every point with a prayer 
for mercv. Some of the citizens charofed with 


treason were arrested, and the printing-presses 
were thrown into the river. 

The final act, however, was still to come. A 
crier announces : Marshal Donaldson is done 
with jou, Sheriff Jones now summons you for his 
posse, as he has something for you to do. Here 
was the pivot of the whole scheme, evidently 
gotten upby the Marshal and the Sheriff together. 
Jones had attained the long-sought end of wreak- 
ing vengeance upon Lawrence. The Free-State 
Hotel, already dismantled, was bombarded and 
blown up, and then the torch was applied to the 
ruins. Stores were rifled, houses were pillaged, 
the residence of Governor Robinson was given to 
the flames. In fine the town was gutted, but the 
people were left; the threats to exterminate the 
Free-State men were not yet carried out. Such 
was the deed known in History as the Sack of 
Lawrence, the outcome of the Third Invasion. 

But the victory had a number of consequences 
which wrought worse than defeat. It introduced 
dissension into the ranks of the invaders. Two 
Colonels from the distant South openly disap- 
proved of the conduct and work of the malignant 
Jones. Atchison was again present and exerted 
himself to restrain the outrages, " riding on 
horseback to the different companies and making 
speeches in the interest of peace." But Jones 
was their hero and they followed him. Gov- 
ernor Shannon condemned the Marshal's posse, 


SO did President Pierce, doubtless beholding in 
his mind's eye the Democratic Convention ready 
to meet. Even Judge Lecompte thought that 
Donaldson's action was illegal. It was evident 
that the invaders were breaking loose from the 
control of their leaders, and that this Missouri 
pltiu of making Kansas {i Slave-State must be 
abandoned. All the higher officials disclaimed 
the deed of violence, which seems to have been 
concocted by the Marshal and Sheriff in secret 
concert. The Topeka Legislature met not long 
after these events, but it was dispersed by United 
States soldiers — which act, however, was dis- 
approved even by the Administration at 

What now has become of Robinson's anti- 
government with its machinery broken, its 
capital sacked, its leader a prisoner of his foes? 
Strange to say, it has won a victory more com- 
plete than ever before. The principle of these 
Missouri invasions is now seen in its true char- 
acter and purpose, and is discredited, temporarily 
at least, even by the Administration. Though 
another invasion takes place, it will be turned 
back and thwarted by the great United States 
Government itself instead of the little outlawed 
anti-government, and a real Governor, Geary, 
will do the work of the shadowy Governor, Rob- 
inson, now more shadowy than ever in the prison 
of his enemies. 


But the chief effect aud the great historic 
purpose of the Sack of Lawrence was the mightv 
response of the Northern Folk-Soul to the woes 
of Kansas, which kept agitating it, and working 
it over and kneadino- it through and throush with 
a new conviction that not only Kansas must be a 
Free-State, but that there must be no more Slave- 
States in this Union. A little over a year has 
passed since the First Invasion, and now the 
Third has spent itself, bringing results freighted 
with the future. We may deem it the first year 
of the Ten Years' War which is the theme of 
the present book. We have seen the irritation 
going forth continuously from Washington, fol- 
lowed by the agonies of Kansas, which, echoing 
from press, pulpit and i)latform, have been the 
school of the North preparing it for the great 
task looming up ever more distinctly in the future. 

Aud that small town of Lawrence — what a 
burden has been laid upon it by the time, by the 
Spirit of the Age, which seems to have chosen 
and trained it as the bearer of the conflict ever 
getting more visible. It was born in a war of 
titles; the very land was contested; when the 
Northern settler would begin to work upon his 
property, a Missouri counter-claim would be sure 
to appear. Thus the soil, after it was bought 
and cultivated, had to be won anew and freed 
from the foreign invader. But the greater, 
universal task was the institutional one: to 


secure the Free-State. Of this task Lawrence 
was the very soul as well as the most energetic 
performer; no wonder that the encmv thought 
that if they could destroy her, the cause 
itself would be destroyed. Truly Lawrence dur- 
ing this period was the World-Spirit incarnate, 
the little town had in it the presence of Histor}-, 
yea of Universal History, at whose behest she 
seemed to be moving and suffering. 

But tell us, ye Powers, will there be no re- 
quital for these deeds of violence? Lies it not 
in the Divine Order that the Missouri towns and 
counties which have sent forth and maintained 
these men of wrong, will see an invasion coming 
the other way? Wait; a little more than half a 
decade will pass when the Kansas borderers, 
trained by these acts to rapine and murder, and 
burnins for revenue, will feel that their turn has 
come and will be let loose upon the Missouri 
side, sweeping down upon it under the command 
of the Devil himself called up from Inferno by 
these iniquities — Mcphistopheles Lane — in 
whose path the site of thriving villages will be 
marked by charred ruins and a few standing 
chimneys in the desert. 

Still further we may carry our outlook in this 
matter. Among these invaders we hear of con- 
tingents from South Carolina, Georgia, and 
Alabama, which States seem to lie far away from 
the scene of danger, quite out of the reach of 


retribution. But Nemesis has long arms, and 
can stretch them, given her time, to any point 
on this terraqueous globe. Not a decade will 
pass before Sherman \\\\\ be in Georgia at the 
head of an irresistible aimy which rips open the 
State from North-West to South-East, and then 
passes to South Carolina which also is to get a 
taste of the return of the deed upon the doer. 
Thus we again behold an interlinkino: of the 
beginning and end of the Ten Years' War, in 
a circling chain of events ; there is an inner con- 
nection between the first invasion of Kansas and 
the last counter-invasion of the South bv Sher- 
man. A great national house-cleaning has started 
on the Western border, not to be held up till 
every Slave-State, new and old, has been wiped 
out and made over into a Free-State. But just 
now what a trouble in getting Kansas free, that 
small first link in the great chain of the total 

Another result of the Sack of Lawrence may 
be here noted. John Brown has already been 
observed making a protest against the Wake- 
rusa peace. Deeming himself the divine instru- 
ment of vengeance, he has gone forth to begin 
his own war against slavery. According to 
Brown's reckoning five Free-State men had 
been murdered in his locality; God's justice de- 
mands five victims of the opposite party. The 
result is the Pottawatomie massacre of five 
Slave-State men at the hands of Brown and his 


confederates. Such was the bloody deed of per- 
sonal retaliation begotten and nursed by these 
Missouri invasions in the half-crazed soul of a 
religious fanatic, the sanguinary prelude of 
John Brown's coming drama. 

Only too plain is the fact that the Furies of the 
godless Deed are now born on the Kansas-Mis- 
souri border, rearing and hissing in vengeful 
wrath which is involving the innocent with the 
wrong-doer in a common fate. Ancient Aes- 
chylus, evoking his dreadful Erinyes from the 
abysses of the guilty soul, would himself stand 
aghast at the spectacle of retribution now enact- 
ing and still more bloodily to be enacted in this 
Ten Years' War, Already over the Sack of 
Lawrence every eye can see the face of Nemesis 
with a dark frown of vengeance turned toward 
the source of this deed of wrong and getting 
ready to pursue its perpetrators to their own 
hearthstones, which will be reddened by the 
heart-drops of the just and the unjust in that 
day of wrathful requital. 

But now we may well divert our look else- 
whither. Overlapping these Kansas events a 
Presidential year has arrived, giving very dis- 
tinctly a new turn to affairs, through the elec- 
tion of a new Chief Magistrate by the People. 
This furnishes a fresh opportunity for observing 
the throbbing occurrences of another annual 
cycle, and for seeking to find their historic 



The Kansas War has histed hardly more than 
a year, but it has ushered in a new era. It has 
brought home to the American Folii--Soul the 
supreme question of the time, which must be 
settled before anything else can be seriously 
thought of. The old Union, half slave and half 
free, is to be voted on by the entire Nation, con- 
sciously for the first time. Is it ready? Does it 
hear with distinctness the behest of the World- 
Spirit? Or must there be longer waiting and 
more discipline? This is the issue which we 
may now watch winding through the political 
events of the present year and catch the answer 
in the outcome. More particularly we may ask, 
Is Kansas to get relief, or is there to be more 
torture? Her animated longitudinal farm-wall, 
embanked against the Missouri line, is still held 
and guarded with vigilance and valor. 


But is this Border War to continue? Let 
us heur the response of the American electorate 
which has now the cause before its tribunal 
for decision. 

In 1856, an election for Pfesident was to take 
place, which event would determine whether the 
central authority of the Federal Union was to 
favor the creation of the Free-State or of the 
Slave-State out of Kansas specially, and out of 
all the Territories generally. The principle of 
the single conflict on the border with its two 
sides was rapidly making itself universal, involv- 
ing all the States and dividing them into 
Northern and Southern by a line, or rather by a 
chasm growing deeper and deeper, which ran 
from Kansas to the Atlantic. The line existed 
before, even from the adoption of the Constitu- 
tion, but now it has become a foreshadowed 
battle line along which the contending forces may 
be seen in the mind's eye to be gathering for the 

The occurrences of this year are somewhat com- 
plicated, for the whole country is seething and 
struggling with its problem, which is perpetually 
shifting about and taking unexpected shapes. 
How can we catch and fix the underlying move- 
ment of all this hurly-burl}^? Undoubtedly the 
Presidency is the central determining point round 
which everything turns. Hitherto in the Kansas 
conflict we have had mainly to fix our eye upon 


two leading elements: the government at Wash- 
ington and the strife on the border, the one being 
at the center and the other on the circumference. 
But now the whole area of the country Ij'ing 
between center and circumference has the stress, 
and is swept into the whirl of the conflict by 
having to elect a President. So we must take 
into account three main elements each of which 
has its own movement, while they all unite in 
forming one great movement characteristic of the 
Presidential year. 

The most significant and lastinsr event of the 
present fermentation is that a new party is shap- 
ing itself out of the ruins of previous parties, 
such as the Whig and Know-Nothing, with many 
a boulder breaking off and floating in from the 
still living and lively Democratic party. On the 
22nd of February a convention containing dele- 
gates from twenty-three States assembled at Pitts- 
burg and demanded in their resolutions " the 
repeal of all laws which allow the introduction of 
slavery into the territories once consecrated to 
freedom, and furthermore we demand the imme- 
diate admission of Kansas as a free and indepen- 
dent State." Very distinctly is now the Republi- 
can party born and endowed with a national ac- 
tivity, being called upon to send delegates later 
(June 17th) to Philadelphia for nominating a 
candidate for the Presidency. This party has al- 
ready given many a sign of itself sporadically, 


SO that its origin is variously timed and located. 
At Pittsburg, ho^yever, it leaps into the arena 
fully panoplied with its principles. It has a 
great destiny before it, probably greater than 
that of any other political party, since it is to 
fight the battle for the Union and win it, and to 
destroy slavery not only in Kansas but in every 
other State of the Union, new and old, giving it 
a mortal blow in both the Americas and seem- 
ingly for all futurity. Quite unconscious of any 
such far-extending destiny at present, it will 
simply insist ujion the Federal Union being 
hereafter the mother of Free-States onl}^ with- 
out disturbing shivery where it already exists. 
And after fifty stormy years this party still lives 
and works with its hand upon the helm of State, 
grappling with vast new problems and duties. 
Even its enemies will hardly fail to look upon it 
with some degree of admiration, wondering 
what has given to it such a perdurable vitality 
and governing power. 

The three elements already mentioned — Wash- 
ington (the center), Kansas (the border), and the 
entire Country lying between center and bor- 
der — are in a process together, in a perpetual 
whirl of agitation. The irritating cause has its 
seat in Washington, being the Administration 
of President Pierce, which not only supports 
but secretly encourages the invasion of the Mis- 
souriaus in the interest of slavery. Then Kan- 


5<as being struck, wronged, violated in its teu- 
derest part, would give one of her piercing 
shrieks, which, being re-echoed and redupli- 
cated tenfold from that line of sounding- 
boards great and small, the newspaper press 
with its reverberator in every village of the 
North, would send a thrill of sympathetic horror 
through all hearts from East to West. Thus 
the round kept going, wave after wave, till the 
whole People were brought to share in the 
Kansas-pain and began to cry out for relief, 
which they did not and could not get. For 
these Free-State men, as already observed, had a 
voice which bore their wrongs and sufferings on 
the wind, and repeated them in every hamlet. 

It is no wonder that the people of the North, 
tortured with their owa sympathy and shocked 
in their feeling of right, began to propound the 
question: Can we not transform that Washing- 
ton center of perpetual irritation, and let these 
Kansas people finish in peace building their 
State? More pressing does the question 
become, since the Presidential year has arrived, 
and the Convention for nominating the candidate 
draws near. Such is, then, the task of the 
time : to get possession of the source of the 
trouble and to make it over, if possible, into a 
fountain of healing. 

The nominating Conventions of the two 
parties may be regarded as the culmination of 


the yeiir. Hence we ^hall lirst look at the swirl 
of events leadiiiii; up to them, unci then followins: 
after them till the election is over. In other 
words the events of the year move in two main 
processes separated by the Conventions. Thus 
we see each side first putting itself into trim for 
the contest, and then the contest between the 
two sides. When this is over, we may well take 
a look backward and also forward, to see if we 
can measure the work which the Genius of 
History has accom})lished. 



presidential mominations. 

It had become the conviction of the North 
th:it the Washington Administration was the 
generating cause of the disorders in Kansas, 
inasmuch as this was determined not to be a 
Shive-State. Hence arose the movement of the 
Northern people to reach the seat of the mahidy 
bv changing the central Administration, for 
which the opportunity is now at hand. But there 
was also the counter movement of those in power 
for keeping their grasp on the government. 
Thus the two Parties, Republican and Demo- 
cratic, begin their preliminary maneuvers for 
the coming appeal to the final tribunal of the 
land, the People. 

Amid all sorts of eddies, currents and counter- 
currents, the one fundamental historic movement 
can aofain be seen embracing all the diversities 
of the turbulent stream of events. We shall still 
follow the round which starts from Washington, 
passes to Kansas, then returns ui)()n the People. 

Both parties began to show certain changes of 
conduct in anticipation of the approaching con- 
test before the People. Particularly among 
the Democratic leaders a new adjustment was 
noticeable. Pierce was a candidate for re-elec- 
tion. As he had favored the South, he looked 


to that sectioQ for his chief support in the 
approaching Convention. Still the South alone 
could not nominate him, so he had to conciliate 
a part of the North also. Another candidate 
was Douglas who had made his great bid for 
Southern support in his Kansas-Nebraska bill 
repealing the Missouri Compromise, which, how- 
ever, had lost the North to the Democratic Party 
in the Congressional election. The hostile House 
of Representatives was already in session at the 
beginning of 1856 and was balloting for Speaker. 
Banks, a Eepublicau, was finally elected, and a 
new source of antagonism had to be reckoned 
with by the Administration. 

The first round of events we shall summarize 
as follows : — 

1. Washington. The President in his com- 
munication to Congress takes the Southern side 
in reference to slavery generally, and in reference 
to Kansas specially. He blames the Emigrant 
Aid Societies for the troubles on the border, 
though he faintly censures "the illegal and 
reprehensible counter-movements" of the Mis- 
sourians. But when he comes to the main issue, 
he asserts the legality of the Territorial Legisla- 
ture, as its members had Reeder's certificates of 
election, while the Topeka Constitutional Con- 
vention was wholly without the warrant of law. 
And yet the former was a fraud, and the latter 
was an expression of the will of the People. 


Thus the Pre.>^iclent in the interest of slavery 
turns the formal hiw against right and uses 
established authority to destroy its own original 
fountain-head. Douolas took substantially the 
same position, assailing the Emigrant Aid Society, 
and championing the side of legality against 
equity, of a wrong which was formally legal 
against a right which was formally illegal. 
Surely it is the duty of the legislator to reconcile 
such a contradiction when it has arisen. 

As a new party was appearing and organizing 
itself, many speeches were made at this time, 
which was felt to be epoch-making. Particu- 
larly the RepubHcan Senators gave expression to 
the dawning idea and its conflict in well-phrased 
turns which were printed in the great journals 
of the North and distributed far and wide. This 
expression was the counterpart to that of Kan- 
sas with its cry of pain, appealing more to the 
reason than to the emotions. The formulation 
of the Eepublican creed was completed and made 
universal in the doctrine that in all the Terri- 
tories Congress is to prohibit slavery. It was a 
great service and prepared the minds of the 
people for the coming platform of the Eepubli- 
can Convention. Still this universal doctrine 
would hardly have found such a strong response 
in the hearts of the People, unless a particular 
and soul-harrowing illustration of it had been 
brought daily before their eyes through Kansas. 


The most famous of all these speeches was 
that of Sumner entitled the "Crime against 
Kansas." It was a furious, at times frenzied 
tirade, though carefully written out beforehand 
and committed to memory. Most readers to- 
day will condemn both its spirit and style; it is 
the work of a rhetor rather than of an orator, 
and sounds more like a rhetorical exercise of the 
later Greco-Koman schools than a Demosthenic 
philippic. But wonderful was its power over 
voung heads; in this field lay its influence which 
its very extravagance increased. But its chief 
fame s})rings from the fact that it provoked the 
brutal assault of Brooks, a Eepresentative from 
South Carolina, who thus made himself the 
counterpart of the Missouri border-ruffian at 
Washington. The parallel to Kansas came 
home mightily to all, and was recognized at once 
both in the North and South, in the one case for 
reprobation, in the other for glorification. The 
Missouri border was transferred to "Washington, 
to the very Capitol, and the armed Southerner 
smote the unarmed though stronger Northerner, 
as the latter sat at his desk occupied in writing. 
Moreover there was the same alignment of the 
sections, the North taking sides with the stricken 
man, and the South on the whole approving and 
making the act its own. Of course that husrc 
sounding-board was again set in operation, and 
the whole North " from the ice-bound coast of 


Maine to the goklou gate of- California" was 
made to shiver in sympathetic throes begetting 
horror and anger and the deeper passion of 

Ah'eady we have spoken of the means of inter- 
coninmnication extending througli all parts of 
the North and constituting a very important 
element in its present political process. Without 
the railroads rapidly bringing succor to Kansas, 
without the telegraph disseminating its news 
over the land in a day, without the press car- 
rying the words of the leaders to the millions, 
there could have been no successful conflict 
for a Free-State along the Missouri border. The 
instrumentalities of Civilization fought for Civil- 
ization. The South had not developed them, 
and could not develop them in a high degree. 
It is not too much to say that the railroad, the 
telegraph and the printing press enlisted as sol- 
diers and fought on the side of free Kansas, 
giving her at last the victory. They had already 
unified the North j'ears before the first shot fired 
at Sumter. Through them the most distant 
Northern States were closely bound together. 
Space could not separate where Time was so 
nearly obliterated. 

The Presidential campaign of 1856 pushed 
':':ese means of intercommunication to the 
! ghest intensity then possible; especially did it 
i:;!l forth the powers of the printed word in 


book, iiiiigaziiie, but above all, in the newspaper. 
Though the storehouse of imagery be ransacked, 
we seek in vain to catch an adequate illustration 
for this peculiar influence. We may go back to 
the Homeric Gods and call up Mars who, when 
hit and wounded before Troy, utters a cry like 
that of nine or ten thousand men — a divine meg- 
aphone. Or let us think of Mercury fleeting over 
sea and land with the message of the Gods — 
the Olympian telegraph, or perchance the tele- 
phone which is to come after the war. Or pass- 
ing from classic to more homely comparisons, let 
us conceive the newspaper press along the North- 
Atlantic coast as an enormous fog-horn or per- 
chance sounding-board throwing back upon the 
People and intensifying the deeds of ^vrong 
and the cries of agony transmitted to it from 
Washington and Kansas. Such is the process of 
reaching and stirring the Folk-Soul in its depths 
through these most modern instrumentalities, 
which have the power of associating men living a 
thousand miles apart, as if they dwelt in the limits 
of a single city, and listened within the range of 
the voice of their leader. 

Of all these far-sounding fog-horns the greatest 
and the loudest at this time was Greeley's Repub- 
lican Tribune, set up in New York City. It had 
a prodigious circulation throughout the Northern 
States, and became a kind of oracle which the 
farmer and the villager would consult every 


week with longing expectation and with implicit 
faith. The whole family would read it, husband, 
wife, and children, with many an interjection of 
joy or wrath ; then it would be passed to the 
neighbor who would subject it to the same 
process. Particularly would it be sent to the 
Democratic neighbor, being used as the vehicle 
for missionary work in his case. While it 
might not make him a Republican, it would lead 
him to question the doings of his party in 
Kansas. When the breach came, he was ready 
to side with Douglas against the Administration. 
Greeley was at this time in the meridian of his 
powers aud of his u'^efuluess. He probably 
addressed every week half a million of readers, 
each of whom in most cases became a little 
center of propagation. His style, his mental 
horizon, and his political attitude were just 
suited to the time and his audience. Then he 
gave the key-note to the thousand smaller news- 
papers, which echoed and re-echoed his thoughts 
and his words, till they reached the remotest 
nooks of the North. The shops, the stores, the 
street corners of every village became the arena 
of local disputants who would engage in a 
political tussle before an interested crowd of 

The South had for the most part no such 
' jans and no such system of reveuberators. South did not read as a people, could not. 


Education of the white masses was neglected and 
of the bhick masses was not permitted. Of 
course there were many highly educated men 
and Avomen in the South. But the modern 
training of the Folk-Soul through the printed 
page was not theirs to any great extent; the 
People still got their political information orally, 
or did without it. Such was their backward 
condition in this respect ; they depended on the 
spoken word and the momentary impression given 
to it by the personality of the speaker. They 
were not disciplined to read in their privacy the 
cold type, and weigh the significance of what was 
thus imparted; they were exposed to the passions 
excited by the flaming orator without the cor- 
rective which comes from the silent perusal of 
his statements. Hence there is during this 
period a passionateness in word and act, a 
thoughtless impulsiveness, a headstrong violence 
which could not have come upon a nation of 
readers. They would hear but one side on the 
slavery question, and that was their own. For 
this reason many have held and still hold that 
the South was dragged ignorautly into a conflict 
by their leaders, who used them as means for 

The assault on Sumner by Brooks introduced 
a kind of Border War into both Houses of Con- 
gress, of which the Senate was Democratic and 
Southern, and the House of Representatives Re- 


publican and Northern, in majority. The Kansas 
subterfuge again was made to do work. The 
Southerners in both Houses through the reports 
of their Committees pleaded a want of jurisdic- 
tion, and supported their views with legal techni- 
calities. Legality was put into the saddle and was 
forced to override justice. Right is illegal or at 
least powerless, while wrong is legal, or at least 
})owerful. Such seems now to be the method, 
or indeed the very consciousness of the South. 

The House of Representatives gave a majority, 
but not the requisite two-thirds, for the expul- 
sion of Brooks. He resigned, went home, and 
was immediately re-elected by his South Carolina 
district, six votes only being recorded against 
him. But in eijiht months after his assault he 
was dead; in a little over four months more, 
his uncle, Senator Butler, in vindication of 
whose honor he had made the assault, passed 
away. Meanwhile Sumner was slowly recover- 
ing. The New England religious world saw in 
these events the hand of God ; from them many 
a minister took his text for a discourse concern- 
ing Divine Judgment wreaked upon the enemies 
of the Lord's chosen people. 

The assault of Brooks made Sumner a greater 
man than he ever was before or afterwards. It 
made him the hero of the hour; it reflected the 
action of the South in Kansas far more effectively 
than his speech, which was full of bitter taunts 


and personalities repugnant to many a reader on 
his side. Sumner gives the impression of an 
athlete physically and mentally, vain of his 
prowess, with his nostrils distended, his hair 
thrown back, his herculean frame assuming the 
gladiatorial attitude. He was intrinsically a 
negative, critical spirit, not a builder, not a 
statesman, hardly institutional enough to take 
the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the 
United States. Later in his nagging and carp- 
ino- at Lincoln the true character of the man 
appears as capable of little more than negations. 
A kind of Roman rhetorical athlete set down 
upon American soil in a time needing construc- 
tive power, he showed almost no response to a 
vast opportunity for State-building. That he 
receives conspicuous mention in History to-day, 
he largely owes to the cane of Brooks, who beat 
him most cruelly and outrageously into a mo- 
mentary world-historical prominence. 

2. Kansas. Passing from the center to the 
border, we tind that the year 1856 produced a 
more plentiful crop of violence and irritation 
than ever. It was the time of the Third Inva- 
sion, already described. The Judiciary was now 
drasjged into the conflict and the Federal judge, 
Lecompte, declared the Free-State leaders, Rob- 
inson, Reeder, and Lane to be guilty of treason 
against the United Slates. This stroke was 
intended to deprive the Free-State men of guid- 


aace, and undo their work tlirouo:li the aid of 
national troops. The outcome has been already 
seen in the famous Sack of Lawrence by the pro- 
shivery borderers acting under the coh)r of law. 
This took phice May 21st, and soon the new^ 
started fresh pulsations of horror and wralh 
through the North. The result was a renewed 
determination to send men and money to Kansas. 

More emigrants began to pour in, coming 
down through Iowa when their passage throuo"h 
Missouri was stopped. From tlie East men 
came in colonies, such as were seen in the 
early settlement of New England ; from the 
West they emigrated mostly as individuals, rely- 
ing on their own personal will to meet any 
emergency. The South likewise sent some 
settlers, but they were few in comparison. For 
what slaveholder would take his slaves into a 
])lace where they were likely to be lost? Yet 
what is slavery without slaves? A S(mthern 
leader, our notable Stringfellow, called fran- 
tically for 2,000 slaves, yet, it is said, not 200 ever 
entered the Territory. It was then left to the 
poor white man of the South to fight a battle 
not his own. iSIany of them refused when they 
saw the situation, and became Free-State men, 
not from love, but rather from hate of the poor 
darkey, who was to be wholly excluded from this 
paradisaical white man's land. 

But after the Sack of Lawrence a new and 


uiofc dreadful clement begins to weave itself 
into the already complicated tangle of Kansas 
troubles. This was personal retaliation which 
appeared with all its horror in what is known as 
the Pottawatomie massacre by John Brown (see 
preceding p. 90) On May 24th five pro-slavery 
men were taken from their cabins in the night 
and murdered. It is now known, though it was 
for 51 long time denied, that this was the work 
of Brown, who through his border experience 
is getting ready for his national attempt iit Har- 
per's Ferry. Thus Kansas seems in this period 
to be germinal in everything, to be the par- 
ticular which is to make itself universal every- 
where in the Nation. 

As far as bloodshed was concerned, the Pot- 
tawatomie butchery far surpassed the Sack of 
Lawrence, where only one person was accident- 
ally killed by a brick falling from the Free- 
State Hotel, and he was a pro-slavery man. 
But what a difference in the fame of the two 
events at the time ! It is true that there rose 
in turn the cry of pain from the pro-slavery 
settlers, many of whom started back to the 
Missouri line in a hurr3\ But these people 
had no voice echoing through their own land 
in fearful reduplicated tones; the South pos- 
sessed no fog-horn on the Atlantic, only at 
most a little tin horn in comparison, which 
had small power of reverl)eration. It nmst 


be coufessed too that the Northern fog-horn 
was arranged solely for catching up and echo- 
ing the Free-State shriek of Kansas; it had no 
organ, 3'ea no heart for throbbing in res})onse 
to the pro-shivery shout of pain. Even the Re- 
publican members of the Congressional Inves- 
tigating Committee, Howard and Sherman, 
refused on a technicality to investigate the Pot- 
tawatomie Massacre, though they made a very 
voluminous report on the outrages of the Border 
Ruffians. So Congressman Oliver, the pro-shiv- 
ery member of the Committee, investigates on 
his own account and submits a minority report, 
which, however, quite lacked the power of 
awakening any resonance from the press, though 
it is now recognized to be full of important facts 
about the awful butchery. For the huge North- 
ern fog-horn is so cunningl}'^ adjusted that (ni\y 
Free-State wind can make a noise through it, 
while the sighs and groans of the other side 
seem to be swallowed up in the mighty rever- 
berations of the Sack of Lawrence, or produce 
merely some faint flurry of inarticulate air- 

Already we have seen Brown in a protest 
against the peace made in the Wakerusa affair. 
Through the study of the Old Testament he had 
become thoroughly Semitized in mind after the 
ancient Hebrew pattern ; even his face seemed 
to be of a Semitic cut. With that long beard 


of his aud lowering features, tellintr the prophet's 
world-pain, his [)icture reminds us of Michel 
Angelo's Jeremiah. 

But now we must pass from these scenes of 
violence and blood on the border to the People 
as a whole, and see what effect Kansas has pro- 
duced upon them. In two Conventions they 
meet, divided according to party, and give ex- 
pression to their views in two political platforms, 
as well as in two nominations for the Presidency. 
Kansas is really the subject-matter of both Con- 
ventions, though looked at from diverse points 
of view. We observe that the rent on the bor- 
der between Kansas and Missouri has extended 
throuo"h the whole Union and divided it into two 
political parties, which are now to declare their 
principles and test their strength against each 
other by the peaceful ballot. Clear it is that 
Kansas has nationalized its conflict in a year. 

3. The Two Conventions. The Democratic 
Convention for nominating a Presidential candi- 
date assembled at Cincinnati June 2nd. The 
delegates had been chosen and many of them 
were on their way when a double blast, one out 
of the East and one out of the West, met their 
ears, with a detonation which must have shaken 
them to the center. Within a fortnight before 
the Convention, Sumner had been assaulted and 
Lawrence had been sacked. The Eepublican 
newspaner press of the North was making the 


air resound with maledictions upon the Aduliui^- 
tration and its haughty Southern dictators, and 
particularly its truckling Northern Democratic 
supporters. It was clear from the start that no 
man from the South could be thought of for the 
Presidency; indeed, the Southerners had fwr 
years given up that ambition. Taylor was their 
last, and he rather turned away from their 
extreme views. Their present policy was to find 
a Northerner who would do their bidding. Two 
such men they had now had, Fillmore and Pierce. 
Fillmore had completely undone himself in his 
own section, and was cast aside; the same fate 
was evidently hanging over Pierce. Douglas 
also had lost the grand prize of his life through 
his part in the repeal of the Missouri Compro- 
mise, which was the beginning of all the Kansas 
woes. Both these Northerners, Pierce and 
Douglas, had been running a race for Southern 
support as the chief political boon. Meanwhile 
both of them lost the support of their own sec- 
tion, which was necessary for an election. Hence 
the South, for which they had sacrificed so much, 
threw both of them overboard at Cincinnati. 
For the Southerners knew that the Northern 
man who had shown himself most devoted to their 
cause, was justthe person whom they must reject. 
They had to punish their best friends for such 
friendship, to scourge devotees with the keenest 
agony for being devoted. They were and had to 


be the very iiistruineut (jf retribution upon their 
own followers. They could not help playing the, 
part of Satan in the Universe, who first tempts 
the sinner, and then inflicts upon him the penalty 
of sin. 

Pierce and Douglas, being human, must have 
had some such reflections as the foregoing, and 
have felt the dagger of their own deeds turned 
back upon them by their own friends. But 
both suppress their emotions and accept the 
situation. Particularly Pierce as a harmless sort 
of a man, did not and could not harbor much 
retaliation, yet he must have had a little, per- 
chance. Certain it is that he was, after the 
Convention, not so vigorously Southern in his 
policy toward Kansas, though this was also dic- 
tated by the critical situation of his party in the 
coming election. But how is it with Douglas, 
so full of vitality, and so pugnacious, and so 
capable? He is now well aware that the South 
will never take him, as its candidate, perchance 
suspects him for just what he has done in its 
favor. One may well predict that, if the oppor- 
tunity presents, he will turn upon it and settle 
with it for what he deems in his heart to be 
its treachery, ha^•ing received on the first ballot 
in the Convention only fourteen votes from the 

On the whole the Convention adopted a 
Douglas platform in affirming the repeal of the 


Missouri Compromise, and the uon-iiiterference 
of Congress in the territories. But had it ac- 
cepted at the same time, the doctrine of squat- 
ter sovereignty? To this question two answers 
could be construed, and out of this dualism 
is to unfold the party conflict of the future. 
The pivotal clause runs: " Resolved, that we 
recognize the right of the People of all the Ter- 
ritories, including Kansas and Nebraska, acting 
through the legally and fairly expressed will of 
a majority of actual residents, and whenever the 
number of their inhabitants justifies it, to form 
a Constitution with or without domestic slavery, 
and be admitted into the Union upon terms of 
perfect equality with the other States." The 
obvious meaning of this clause was violated by 
both Pierce and Buchanan, unless the Mis- 
sourians expressed "the will of a majority of 
actual residents" when they seized the legal 
machinery of the Territory by violence. Doug- 
las will defend the usurpation up to the time of 
the Convention, but after it he gets new light 
and changes his mind. The clause is not, when 
fairly interpreted, ambiguous, still out of it grew 
or continued to grow the Kansas collision 
between the wrong which is legal, and the right 
which is illegal — the one side appealing to 
legality (law and order), the other side to 
primal justice. 

The nominee of the Democratic Convention 


w;is James Buchanan of Peunsylvania, which 
was regarded as the pivotal State, and which 
had never before furnished a President, and has 
never since, and seemingly will not soon again. 
It was through and through a politic nomina- 
tion of a politician who had made many an old 
Quaker of William Penn's State believe that he 
was a Free-Soiler, and yet he had signed the 
Ostend manifesto in the interest of extending the 
slave-power to Cuba. He had been out of 
the country during the Kansas-Nebraska excite- 
ment, as Minister to England. He was getting 
old, but had ridden so dexterously two horses 
all his political life that his very expertness rec- 
ommended him in the present emergency of 
his party. It was rumored in the North that 
he was favorable to makino; Kansas a Free- 
State. But the South knew their man, and 
took care to know that they knew him. In the 
North always the uncanny question kept rising : 
How will Buchanan, if elected, carry out the 
platform, especially that plank so deftly mor- 
ticed together of two such different sorts of 
wood? This question, however, did not seem 
to trouble the South very much, its security 
being born of knowledge and buttressed by 

A fortnight after the Deriocratic Convention, 
came the turn of the Republicans to nominate a 
candidate for the Presideucv. Who shall it be? 


McLean and Chase were mentioned, but had little 
chance from the start. But how about Seward, 
the acknowledged leader and mouth-piece of the 
new party, on the whole the ablest public man in 
it, as far as could at present be seen? To this 
day Seward's attitude is problematical; it seems 
that he hardly knew himself whether he wanted 
the nomination or not. Of course he would 
have liked to be President, but he doubted 
whether he or any Republican could be elected 
in 1856. The question seems to have taken this 
shape in his mind: If I run and am beaten now, 
will it improve or injure my chances in 1860, 
when victorj'^ appears probable? It is said that 
the influence of his friend and chief adviser, 
Thurlow Weed, determined him to decline the 
present nomination in the interest of the future. 
At any rate Seward lost his opportunity. He 
refused the place of supreme generalship in his 
party's first great battle, thinking of his own 
success more than of the cause. It was a test of 
the deepest fiber of his character, and could not 
help being so regarded by the thinking heads of 
his party. He abdicated leadership in the pres- 
ence of the enemy, when the importunate call 
came to him and he heard it, not once upon 
a time but for many months. Never can he be 
President now ; the nomination will never come 
to him again, beuging; when he wants it, he can- 


uot get it, b}^ the jiulguient of his own Deed 
confirmed by the Gods. 

Who, then, shall lead us? is the crushing 
question of that half-dazed Convention, finding 
itself leaderless in its grand emergency. It 
casts about, groping blindly for the wanted man, 
and clutches in the dark yet with all its might — 
an adventurer. For such a term is not too harsh 
for John C. Fremont, when we consider his 
career and character. Can mortal sagacity 
fathom the reason why such a Convention should 
choose such a man, the most unfit ever nomi- 
nated by a great party for the Presidency, if w^e 
consider the perilous crisis threatening the land 
at that time? Yet the Convention has been de- 
clared by good authority to have contained a 
greater number of able, pure, conscientious men, 
to have had in it fewer self-seekers and office- 
seekers than any known Convention of any party 
before or since. The practical politician is at 
hand with his explanations : Too many idealists, 
theorists, dreamers, reformers, Heaven-and- 
Earth regenerators; too few of practical men 
like myself. We cannot accept this as an expla- 
nation in full of the phenomenon ; still it con- 
tains a grain, possibly two gi'ains of truth. But 
looking back through fifty years we quite invol- 
untarily bend the knee and thank the Lord for 
His providential mercy when we consider what 
might or rather must have happened, had Fre- 


mont been elected President by the callow Re- 
publican party, which showed itself then such a 
political greenhorn, so totally unable to govern 
the country. For after all, it is the successful 
Party which must rule, not so much the Presi- 


^be l|^re0i^ential Campatgn. 

Each side through its Couveutiou has now pre- 
pared itself for the political struggle which in- 
volves the whole People. That little actual war on 
the border with its two opposing principles has 
widened out into a national contest, as yet peace- 
ful, between these same principles. The two Par- 
ties, Kepublican and Democratic, have substan- 
tially taken the place of the two protagonists of 
the Kansas combat, the Free-State men and the 
Slave-State men. One Party supports the Kan- 
sans, the other the Administration ; thus the rent 
on the border is cleaving the whole Nation. As 
the majority is supposed to rule, each Party is 
seekino- to win that majority constitutionally, 
although we hear again menaces of secession 
from the South, in case of the election of 

More and more do we see that the little civil 
war of Kansas was the prediction and indeed 
the epitome of the Great Civil War, for which 
the alignment is already taking place in the poli- 
tical campaign of 1856. Kansas has nationalized 
itself in one year's time, and bids fair to univer- 
salize itself. Its sturdy pioneers are holding the 
advanced fortress of civilization with the valor of 
the old Marathonian soldiers, dimly conscious 


of doing not only a natioual, but a world-histori- 
cal deed. 

Accordingly the first part of the pivotal year 
of 1856 may be regarded as having completed 
its round or cycle with the two Conventions. 
Now follows the second part of the year, the 
Campaign, proper, with its multitutinous assem- 
blages of the folk listening to speeches and 
debates, with its noisy blowing of horns, par- 
ticularly of fog-horns, large and little, with 
that vigorous churning of the masses to make 
them realize their Constitution and Govern- 
ment — all of which a Presidential election 
brings and ought to bring. Still underneath 
this seemingly chaotic multiplicity of doings, 
there is an order, yes a process which is simple 
enough, and which has the same fundamental 
character as the one just given, though different 
in details. This underlying historic process is 
what we shall now briefly present. 

1. Washington. In view of the approaching 
Campaign, the Administration sought not only 
not to irritate but to calm the Kansas troubles, 
which had shown such a reverberating power in 
the North. It was freely said by Democrats that 
Buchanan could not be elected unless Kansas 
was pacified. Accordingly the President sent a 
new Governor of the Territory, who was to bring 
peace at all hazards. Robinson, the Free-State 
leader, after four months' imprisonment, was 


released on bail, and the legal l)aii of treason 
was removed by Judge Lecoinpte himself, its 
originator, doubtless by orders from Washington. 
The new Governor, Geary, arrived in September 
and found work enough. Still he had remark- 
able success. Before the national election he 
could send forth the statement already cited, 
that peace reigned in Kansas. But it was only 
a temporary lull in the storm, though Geary was 
honest in his opinion, and showed himself both 
a courageous and a fair-minded man. More- 
over Judge Lecompte, called the Kansas Jeffries, 
was removed. President Pierce, having lost the 
grand prize, was minded to be not quite so sub- 
servient to his masters, who on their part had 
resolved to tr}^ a new tool, this one being quite 
broken to pieces in their service. 

But the most significant attempt to get rid of 
the Kansas burden was the bill introduced by 
the Georgia Senator, Robert Toombs, a few days 
after the Republican Convention (June 24th). 
As we look at this bill now, it is eminently fair; 
in fact it seems to give up the Kansas fight, and 
to recognize the triumph of the Free-State prin- 
ciple. It provided for a census of the actual 
inhabitants who alone were to have the right to 
vote, and who were to choose delegates to a con- 
stitutional Convention. The whole was to be 
under the direction of five competent persons 
appointed by the President and confirmed by the 


Senate. The Convention was to form a Consti- 
tution preparatory to the admission of Kansas 
as a State. There was to be due protection 
against illegal voting that there might be " an 
honest expression of the opinion of the present 

There is still a question as to the motives 
which lay behind this remarkable bill. It seems 
to indicate a change of Southern attitude, a sud- 
den unaccountable transformation. Was it sim- 
ply an electioneering document to take the wind 
out of the Republican sails? So the Republicans 
deemed it, and sought in every way to keep for 
themselves the magazine whence came their best 
campaign ammunition. It will never do to let 
the Democrats, and particularly these Southern- 
ers, crowd us out of our place and make Kansas 
a Free-State. The chief stress of attack was on 
the appointment of the five commissioners by 
the President, but this objection could have been 
easily obviated. The Toombs bill was a con- 
summate political move. If the Republicans 
accepted it, the Democrats got the credit; if 
they refused it, they would go before the country 
as wishing to keep Kansas in a stew, in order 
that her screams might benefit the party. Even 
Douglas was roused to sudden emulation, and in- 
troduced a new bill rivaling that of Toombs in 
its liberal provisions for the Free-State voters. 
But let us hear the outcome : the Senate passed 


the Toombs bill by 33 to 12, the nays being 
Republican; the House, since it was Republican, 
never took the bill up. 

Accordingly we hear the charge by the Demo- 
cratic campaign speakers and newspapers that 
the Republicans did not wish to have the trouble 
settled, that they were not ready to stanch the 
wound of " Bleeding Kansas " but rather sought 
to make her bleed the more for political effect. 
Her shouts of torture, echoed from that enor- 
mous Atlantic fog-horn of journalism, and 
reiterated now from the thousand throats of 
political orators with sympathetic eloquence, were 
transmuted into a ceaseless roll of campaign 
thunder whose detonations quake us still in 
memory. No wonder that the Democrats wanted 
some offset to stay that overwhelming avalanche 
of the spoken and written w^ord, which was 
sweeping everybody in the North off their feet. 
Moreover the same implement, that marvelous 
reduplicating printing-press, is to be employed 
by the other side; so we learn that 20,000 copies 
of the Toombs bill were ordered by the Senate 
to be printed, for the purpose of being circu- 
lated as an electioneering document. But what 
a little piping sound that would make in com- 
parison with the Republican fog-horn, in whose 
sounding sea it was literally swallowed up ! 

In these calm days the historical reader is in- 
clined to look upon the Toombs bill with favor. 


Wluitevei-be his political sympathies, he will enjoy 
thecomplcte discomfiture of theEepublicaus, when 
their own thuuderbolts were deftly removed from 
the party armory, and began to be turned against 
their former custodians. No wonder Seward and 
the rest were badly upset, crying as old Dennis 
once did in the theater: You have stolen my 
thunder. Such an unblushing theft was enough 
to make grave Senators turn red with indignation, 
and to cause the Republican Representatives to 
smother the illegitimate bantling at its very 
birth. And as to the deeper motives of the 
Southerners we are left in the dark; we cannot 
help suspecting them, though we believe that 
Toombs Avas honest when he drew the bill, even if 
afterwards he was led to change his mind. For 
after the Dred Scott decision, the Southern line 
of policy indicated by the bill was wholly altered, 
if indeed it was ever seriously intended by the 
leading spirits of the Oligarchy. 

2. Kansas. Passing from the center again to 
the border, after the Sack of Lawrence we find 
that there was still trouble enough between the 
pro-slavery party and the Free-State men. 
Shannon, the Governor, fled from the Territory 
and left his authority in the hands of the 
Secretary, Daniel Woodson, who was of the 
violent pro-slavery type, and friendly to the 
Missourians. At once word was sent to the 
latter that their opportunity had come. 


For the town of Lawrence, after its Sack, hud 
revived and again had begun to be a center of 
military activity on the part of the Free-State 
men. The vicinity of the phice was guarded by 
several small forts or block-houses held hy its 
enemies for the purpose of cutting off supplies. 
Food became very scarce in the Free-State 
citadel, whose people sent out forces to capture 
these hostile places. Thus the siege of Lawrence 
began to be raised, and further warfare seemed 
to come to an end in a peace patched up by 
Governor Shannon. This was the conclusion of 
his gubernatorial careei", being succeeded by the 
above mentioned Secretary Woodson in the 
interim. The latter at once started the war 
anew by issuing a proclamation which declared 
the territory to be "in a state of open insurrec- 
tion and rebellion." He called upon all patriotic 
citizens to rally to the defense of " Law and 
Order," which was the cloak for afresh invasion, 
the fourth. 

The strongest and best equipped force which 
Missouri had ever sent out overtlie border, began 
to approach Lawrence about the middle of Sep- 
tember. Its members reached 2,500 men armed 
and organized, with infantry, cavalry and artil- 
lery. They had come not to vote but to fight, 
and their first objective point was Lawrence, and 
then Topeka. These two Free-State towns were 
to be wiped out completely, and the settlers 


driven from the country. It was to be the oraiid 
final stroke of the border conflict. 

But some days before this (Sept. 10), the new 
Governor, Geary, had arrived. Lawrence was 
in a helpless condition, though Robinson (who 
had been released) and others tried to put it into 
a state of defense. Word was sent to the Gov- 
ernor at Lecompton who at once ordered Federal 
troops to the scene. These arrived just in time 
to intercept the march of the Missourians toward 
the town. The Governor himself at once fol- 
lowed and called to a parley the leaders of the 
invasion, of whom Atchison was the chief. 
The result was that the whole force turned back 
to Missouri, Atchison stating that "he (the 
Governor) promised all we wanted." 

The conduct of Atchison in these border 
forays causes many a reflection as to his motives. 
A case might be made out that he went along 
with the extremists in order to restrain them 
from excessive violence, perchance to thwart their 
policy. Striugfellow, on the other hand, was 
the bitter partisan and revolutionist who proposed 
to destroy his enemies without mercy, and with- 
out regard to existing autlioritv. The compari- 
son again recurs that he was the John Brown on 
the Missouri side. 

Thus the Fourth Invasion, at first the most 
threatening of all, is completely nullified and 
undone, not by Robinson's phantom auti-gov- 


erument, but by Geary's actual government. 
A great step forward for the Free-State men ; 
the illegal right is getting legal, being enforced 
by constituted authority. The last Missouri in- 
vasion has taken place when it has to meet 
United States soldiers in its path. There re- 
mains, however, the fraudulent, but legitimated 
Territorial Government, w ith its legal body but 
illegal soul, having the letter of the Law with- 
out its spirit. Under these circumstances the 
anti-government has still a reason for not dying, 
and so keeps up its shadowy existence. 

What Geary said is not fully known, though 
there is no doubt he impressed upon the minds 
of those leaders the political effect of another 
Sack of Lawrence in the heat of a dubious 
Presidential contest. He must have threatened 
them with his own personal opposition as well 
as that of the Administration. Then he had at 
his back a troop of United States soldiers, the 
most convincing argument of all. 

At once the Territory became, if not quiet, at 
least quiescent, and Geary could report that he 
had brought peace to Kansas, at present sorely 
needed for the Democratic campaign. The Ee- 
publican orators could now be partially answered, 
and Lawrence, instead of sending shrieks of 
pain for reverberation through the mighty meg- 
aphone, gave forth jojful cries of deliverance, 
which sounded more joyful to Democrats than 


to Eepublicans, But it was a narrow escape. 
As sure as the suu rises to-morrow, if thcjse 
Missourians enter and sack Lawrence ao;ain, 
Fremont is elected. Let the United States 
dragoons ride at a gallop down the road 
from Lecom))ton, and the foot-soldiers fol- 
low at double-quick, to intercept the invaders 
now deploying in sight of the seemingly doomed 
town. And thou, O Geary, bestir thyself with 
all dispatch toward the same point, for the course 
of America's History, perchance of all History, 
turns on the delay of a day, possibly of an hour. 
Fremont elected ! Ride, ride with unchecked rein, 
in obedience to a mightier command than thou 
hast ever heard before, since the coming President 
of the United States is to be chosen by thee, yes 
by thee, in the next few hours. 

So Geary makes his ride to Lawrence, under 
the very pressure and urgency of the World- 
Spirit, whose behest he is fultilliug. Buchanan 
can now be elected President, and the Great War 
be deferred another four years. 

3. The Country/. We may next glance at 
the third item in the present movement along 
with Washington and Kansas, namely the 
Country as a whole. This is now undergoing 
the turmoil of a Presidential campaign, which 
echoes in an enormous volume of words the 
strife in Kansas. The two Conventions, as 


iilreMcl}' set forth, have nominated the candidates 
upon their respective phitforms. 

The campaign was profoundly educational and 
ultimately was based upon an interpretation 
of the Constitution of the United States. Did 
this give the power to Congress to control 
Slavery in the Territories? The affirmative 
was maintained by the Eepublicans. The 
People were thus thrown back to reflect upon 
their organic law. The formulated expression 
of what made them a Nation must not only 
be studied and explained, but unfolded into 
its consequences. Two different interpretations 
of the Constitution grappled and struggled for 
the possession of the future. The one as- 
serted that this genetic law of the Federal 
Union made it the generator of Free-States, 
the other of Slave-States as well, if not alto- 
gether. The prodigious advantage of the 
Northern orator was that he could appeal to the 
undying passion of freedom in the soul of his 
hearers. Vague enough was such feeling, but 
it was very real and very powerful. A famous 
philosopher has said that the great goal of 
History, of the total historic movement of the 
race, is the realization of freedom. The pursuit 
of this end is what has united all mankind from 
the beginning, and thus made humanity a unit. 
The Republican speakers and writers could justly 
a})pealto the deepest passion of the human heart. 



The Democrats had to apologize, to scoff at 
the freedom-shriekers, and to satirize the ex- 
travagances of individuals. Then came that 
pathetic theme of Bleeding Kansas, beaten, tor- 
tured, woe-laden in the cause of freedom. The 
opposition were put on the defensive, could only 
excuse or deny the facts, or promise better things 
when the new Administration came into power, 
of which an earnest might already be seen in the 
success of Governor Gearv. This was, however, 
a losing game unless the Democrats could find 
some positive ground-theme for the support of 
which they could appeal to the People. 

Fortunately for themselves, they laid hold of a 
subject which would stir the heart of the People 
quite as deeply as the note of freedom. This 
was the love of the Union. Buchanan in his 
letter of acceptance gave his adhesion to the 
Kansas policy of Douglas and Pierce ; but he 
also put special stress upon the Unionism of the 
Democratic party in contrast with the sectional- 
ism of the Republicans. Both their candidates 
for President and Vice-President were from the 
Free-States. There was in the South no Repub- 
lican vote ; this lav wholly north of Mason and 
Dixon's line. Since the Free-States had 176 
votes in the electoral College and the Slave States 
but 121 — nearly the ratio of 3 to 2 — thecharge 
lay near that the Republicans were a sectional 
party, from which fact the inference was drawn 


that their supremacy encUmgered the Uiiiou. 
This was reinforced by the open threats of 
disunion on the part of leading Southern- 
ers in the case of Fremont's election. One 
might well ask, which side contained the dis- 
unionists in view of such menaces? Still 
the appeal to love of the Union in the hearts 
of the People was very effective, and prob- 
ably decided the election. Once more the 
Northerners in sufficient numbers paid heed to 
these threats, but the next time they will not 
listen. The experience, however, will not be 
thrown away, and the logic will be relentlessly 
drawn: if the South threatens disunion when it 
cannot have its own way, being in the minority, 
then they are the disunionists. This is what the 
coming four years are to prove. The election of 
President by the legal majority is now fore- 
shadowed to end in secession. Already in 1856 
the South mentally was getting ready to go out 
of the Union. 

Such was, however, the result of the conflict 
in Kansas. That small local border between it 
and Missouri running longitudinally has now been 
extended into a dividing line from the "VA'est to 
the Atlantic, splitting open the Union between 
North and South which begins to gape wide all 
along Mason and Dixon's line. Still the rent will 
seem to close after the election. The love of the 
Union, however, now so strongly inculcated by 


the Democrats, will have its true effect when four 
years hence it will rise in the North with a mighty 
outburst against the Southern disunionists, who 
are thus helping forge thunderbolts against them- 
selves for future use. Now we may see that the 
Democratic party, especially in the North, re- 
ceives a great training in Unionism through the 
campaign for Buchanan — a training which will 
bear fruit in 18G1. 

The Democratic platform and speakers depre- 
cated the agitation of the slavery question. The 
Southerners must be let alone in their extension 
of black servitude. The ever reduplicating voice 
of the press was indeed their chief foe, to whom 
they could only cry stop ! They had no adequate 
means for counteracting it; they could not get 
at the Northern megaphone, and could not con- 
struct one of their own. So it kept sounding in 
their faces and drowning their voices. Still the 
People of the North were not yet sufficiently 
united to defeat the Southerners. Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey in the East, Indiana and Ilhnois 
in the "West, and California on the Pacific, all of 
them Free-States, joined with the sum total of 
Slave-States, except Maryland which voted for 
Fillmore, to elect Buchanan, who received 174 
electoral votes to Fremont's 114. A large major- 
ity of the Northern States chose the Republican 
candidate, yet each had a decided Democratic 
minority, so that Buchanan in the popular vote of 


the Free-States fell behind Fremout a little more 
than 100,000, On the other hand there was no 
Eepublican minority in the South except a hand- 
ful iuthe Border States, not reaching 1,200 votes 
in 1856 all told. Very distinctl}^ does the Presi- 
dential election of 1856 show a disunited North 
against a united South upon the great question of 
the time: Shall the Union continue to be Slave- 
State producing? Not yet ready is even the 
Northern Folk-Soul to face the responsibilities of 
victory. Fremont is not the man, and the Repub- 
lican party is too inexperienced for political rule. 



The Republican party which cast such an aston- 
ishing vote in 1856, was barely one year old, and 
must be sent to school. Young and vio-orous as a 
hickon^ sapling, it is very verdant and altogether 
too sappy ; the infant, though a Hercules, must be 
put under severe training, in order to conquer the 
Giants of Darkness at the next great contest. 
Four years more this new schooling must last, till 
the Folk-Soul graduate fully prepared for its 
work. Not yet sufficiently indurated and indoc- 
trinated in its principles is the North, which has 
still to take up into its very being that the Union 
must indeed be preserved, but shall produce no 
more Slave-States. The work of Kansas is, then, 
not yet finished; her throes must again be roused 
from Washington in a final supreme effort to make 
hers a polity enslaved, in opposition to her des- 
perate struggles. 

So the North has to undergo the discipline of 
defeat, painful but salutary. It has not been 
united upon the great duty of the Age ; it has 
not obeyed fully the behest of the World-Spirit. 
Olympian Zeus, or his modern representative in 
A.nerica, declares to the Northern Folk-Soul now 
e.unmoned into his presence and given an out- 
Icjk upon the far vaster coming plan in his 


bosom: <'Not only must you stop producing 
Slave-States, you must now think of undoing 
slavery in the new, and then in the old Slave- 
States, if you wish to win the favor of the Gods." 
Replies the American Folk-Soul: "I cannot 
touch slavery in the States where it is already 
established b}^ law." Whereupon Zeus frowning 
answers: "Then I shall turn against you, and 
scourge you, and humiliate you with defeat, till 
you do fulfill the decree sent from above." Such 
is the discipline of defeat often recorded in that 
old Greek as well as in our American Iliad, the 
peculiar training from the hand of Zevis himself, 
meted out even to the people whom he favors 
till they do the right thing. 

And by way of counterpart it must be added 
that the South also is in trainins: through these 
events ; indeed she shows herself trained already 
to a fixed purpose by her long possession of 
national power. We have to believe that she 
thinks she must rule in any case, rule by 
violence if necessary; though now clearly a 
minority, she deems that the government of the 
Nation is hers by a kind of hereditary right. 
She will use the Law as long- as she can ; but 
when she can no lono:;er administer it in her own 
interest, she will defy it and revolt. In Kansas 
we have seen how she employs legal forms to 
bolster her supremacy against the majoritv. 
Really this has been her study for many years 


iu ruling the NLitioii, in facL ever siuee the ]Sorlli 
began to outstrip her in numbers and wealth. 
We can now see that she put altogether too 
great faith, lawyer that she was, in formal 
legality, paying too little regard to the spirit of 
the Law, to that elemental justice which is the 
original of all Laws and gives to them even their 
forms. So the South as well as the North, in 
this bitter Kansas testing of souls, shows her 
character and her deepest consciousness, giving 
also suggestive glimpses of what she will do in 
the future. 

But the 3'ear 185(3 has given to the South 
another quadrennial lease of power, though with 
many a sharp admonition, which she would do 
well to heed. The cry of an endangered Union, 
raised by her and her supporters, has been 
listened to by a sufficient number of Northern 
States to keep her still in her national supremac3\ 
But is she really honest in her anxiety about the 
Union, or is she merely or mainly threatening? 
That is what she is now given an opportunity to 
prove. The sincerity of her love for the Union 
is already questioned just through her menaces. 
She must expect that the real lovers of the 
Union will the next time reply: The Union 
cannot let itself be threatened, particularly by 
its friends. 

NEWED. (1857-8.) 

The peace which Geary brought to Kansas in 
1856, is destined to turn out delusive. Invasion 
from Missouri has indeed shown itself unsuc- 
cessful so often, that it is given up, at least on 
its large scale ; but another method has been 
excogitated at Washinston, which is to renew 
the old struggle by applying fresh instruments 
of torture to the people of Kansas that they be 
compelled to adopt slavery. This is essentially 
a return to the beginning of the contest in 1855, 
all of which has to be fought over again. 

There was at first a cessation of political 
excitement in the North after the election, as it 
was generally thought that Buchanan would give 
to Kansas self-government, which of course 
meant that she would be a Free-State. And 
such was doubtless Buchanan's early purpose. 
But when he was fairly launched on the sea of 



Washington pro-slavery influence, he began to 
change. Moreover that dualism in the Demo- 
cratic platform starts to opening wider and 
wider, and he has to take sides. He, weak in 
himself, is borne forward by the stronger current 
of his party. 

In his inauguration address, the President 
alludes to a judicial decision soon to be given, 
A\ hich would settle "the whole territorial question 
upon the principle of popular sovereignty." 
Thus Buchanan knew beforehand of the Dred 
Scott decision, and of its interpretation of popu- 
lar sovereignty. Did he have any hand in bring- 
ing about that decision? Seward and Lincoln 
thought so; but in view of his character the 
probability is that he simply accepted the scheme 
which the Southerners had forged in their own 
inner circle. 

And now we come to the great new move of 
the slave-power to destroy the Republican party 
and to keep their domination against the ever- 
increasing majority of the North, and specially 
to make Kansas a Slave-State. The National 
Judiciary is to be dragged into the political con- 
flict, as the Territorial Judiciarj^ of Kansas had 
already been made to protect and to assist the 
Missouri invaders . Two days after Buchanan's 
inauguration Taney, the Chief Justice, gave the 
opinion of the majority of the Supreme Court in 
the case of the nesro Dred Scott. Without 


going into the many collateral points of this 
famous decision, we shall select the following: 
(1) There is no diiference, according to the 
Constitution, between slave property and any 
other kind of property; both kinds are entitled 
to the same protection. Still the Constitution, 
(we may here interpolate) did make a distinc- 
tion, when it never required the return of 
escaped horses and cattle, but did require the 
rendition of a person held to service. (2) A 
free negro whose ancestor was a slave is not a 
citizen within the meaning of the Constitution 
and cannot sue in the United States Courts. 
(3) The Missouri Compromise of 1820 is un- 
constitutional. Congress having no power to pass 
it. (4) The Declaration of Independence re- 
ceives also judicial interpretation. The famous 
clause " that all men are created equal," was 
not intended to apply to " the enslaved African 

Two members of the Court dissented, one of 
whom, Judge B. R. Curtis, made himself for a 
time the protagonist of freedom, and turned the 
Court against itself, causing it to show the dual- 
ism of the time. Curtis proved historically that 
in a number of States at the time of the adoption 
of the Constitution negroes were not only citi- 
zens, but were voters. The Judge then traversed 
the opinion that the Missouri Compromise was 
unconstitutional by citing eight distinct instances 


in which Congress excluded Slavery from the 
Territories, and six distinct instances in which 
Congress maintained Slavery in the Territories. 
He also gave it as his opinion that the Fathers 
were not liable " to the reproach of inconsistency 
when they declared that all men are created 
equal;" they did not intend to except the black 
man. Another effective blow: " Slavery being 
contrary to natural right, is created onlv by 
municipal law." This may be deemed a re 
aiErmation of Lord jNIansfield's famous doctrine 
that when a slave sets foot on the soil of En- 
gland, he is free, there being no municipal law 
supporting slavery. On the other hand it was a 
true inference from Taney's decision that in the 
Union slavery existed in every State; thus it was 
made national. When a slave set foot in a Free- 
State of the Union, it became logically a Slave- 

On this side, however, the South, as the sup- 
porter of State Eights, overstepped itself, for 
the individual State could no longer constitution- 
ally exclude slavery. This inference was not 
explicitly drawn by Taney, but remained for the 
future, enough having been done for once. But 
we shall see Lincoln drawing it and calling it in 
advance the second Dred Scott decision. Thus 
the nationalization of slavery in accord with 
the doctrine of Calhoun had been declared to be 
the highest law of land. Still that utterance 


revealed the deepest kind of a rent in the 
Supreme Court itself. 

A far weightier inference is that the Republican 
party has been decided b}' the highest Tribunal to 
be unconstitutional. What is to be done? Obey 
the law and let Slavery take all, or is the alter- 
native revolution? The new problem set many 
a Northern head to thinking. At this point the 
words of Judge Curtis again furnished light. 
The decision of "this or any court is not bind- 
ing when expressed on a cjuestion not legitimately 
before it." The negro's citizenship, as well as 
the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise 
were alien matters dragged in by extra-judicial 
considerations. Properly then, nothing has been 
decided, and the case should be dismissed " for 
want of jurisdiction." 

Again the reverberation of the press began 
making a noise equal to that of the Presidential 
campaign. The legal aspects of the decision 
were discussed and explained to the People, who 
had now to go to school again to the Constitu- 
tion, which is to be overhauled in the popular 
mind from its very foundation. This decision 
so ominous, can it not be changed? The answer 
of Lincoln was that the Supreme Court had often 
reversed itself and can do so again. But what 
about this Constitution itself — who made it? 
At the very beginning of it the People could not 
help finding this clause: " We, the People, do 


ordain and establish this Constitution." More- 
over a special Article (the Fiftii) was found 
which prescribed the manner of changing the 
Constitution itself. So the People begin their 
training, not merely toward reversing the deci- 
sion, but transforming the Court which made it, 
yea toward transforming the Constitution itself. 
Such a discipline was initiated by the Drod 
Scott case; it made the People more and more 
legal-minded through the study of their organic 
law. It compelled the Folk-Soul to take back 
into itself the Constitution, which once sprang 
from it, and to begin making this over in accord 
with the new spirit. It has been brought to 
deny that the negro is a human being with rights 
which can be vindicated by the established law. 
If that is the case, the whole Constitution must 
be re-committed to the People whence it came, 
and be wrought over and at least be amended in 
the defective portions. Such is the outlook 
upon the coming years, for this work cannot be 
done in a hurry. In a little more than a decade, 
however, the Dred Scott decision will be com- 
pletely reversed by the People (Amendments 
XIII and XIV), and the Constitution trans- 
formed according to the Constitution. 

The Dred Scott decision was a two-ed^ed 
weapon, which could certainly be turned upon 
its friends. If it undid the Republican party, it 
assailed equally the basis of the Popular Sover- 


eignty doctrine of Doiigl:i.s, The People of a 
Territory or its legislature had no right to keep 
out the slaveholder with his property, and let in 
the farmer with his horses and cattle; that would 
destroy the eqality of the States in the common 
domain of the Union. But the decision went 
further: it assailed the Southern doctrine of 
State-Rights, since any State by anti-slavery 
legislation would disturb that same equality. 
Possibly, however, State-Eights were only for 
the South, and not for the North. 

Judge Taney had a high view of his office, 
so high that he deemed that the World's His- 
tory was controlled by the decision of the Su- 
preme Court. But it is not the Supreme Tri- 
bunal of the Ages, still less is it the Supreme 
Tribunal of the United States. The People 
created it, and ultimately every decision must 
be referred back to them for confirmation, 
and perchance the Court itself may have to 
be referred back and be re-established. 
Taney's delusion belonged to his class and his 
section ; both refused to see the trend of the 
Age and sought to stop the movement by a 
Pope's bull against a comet. In its deepest 
tendency the decision nullifies itself, destroying 
instead of supporting Slavery, undermining in- 
stead of bolstering State-Rights. In the Court 
itself this self-nullification was manifested 
strongly in the dissenting opinion of Curtis, 


which traversed the judgment of the Chief Jus- 
tice at eveiy leading point, and even denied the 
Court's jurisdiction in the case as presented. 
Even as to hiw, the consensus of the best 
lawj-ers to-day seems to be that Curtis was right 
and Taney wrong. 

Douglas accepted the Dred Scott decision with 
an air of triumph, since it vindicated his repeal of 
the Missouri Compromise, for which so much ob- 
loquy had been poured upon him by the North. 
It now turns out, so he declares, that he had 
simply done away with an enactment unconsti- 
tutional from the beginning. But how was he 
going to reconcile his Popular Sovereignty with 
the decision? The right of the slaveholder to 
his negroes holds good in the Territories, says 
he, but it is worthless unless protected by the 
local legislature and its police regulations. These 
depend on the will of the people. This view 
really nullifies the decision and makes a distinc- 
tion between slave property and other property. 
Thus Douglas brings to the surface the dualism 
inherent in his repeal of the Missouri Com- 
promise, since he asserts its two conflicting sides, 
sovereignty of the People of the Territory and 
equality of the States. Curiously it may be said 
of Douglas that his negative was affirmed by the 
Supreme Court, but his affirmatixe was negated. 
The last is what will bring him into opposition 
with the South and split the Democratic partv. 


The split luy already slumbering, though 
unborn, in the Kansas-Nebraska bill of Douglas 
(1854), a clause of which declares that the 
people of Kansas and Nebraska should be left 
"perfectly free to form and regulate their 
domestic institutions in their own way, subject 
only to the Constitution of the United States'' 
The italicized words contain the comins: trouble. 
To be " subject to the Constitution" is to be 
subject to the interpretation of it by the Supreme 
Court, which might not permit the People to 
exclude slavery, or to be "perfectly free to 
form and regulate their domestic institutions 
in their own way." This was the pivotal fact 
upon which the Northern Democrats thought 
one way and the Southern Democrats thought 
the opposite way. It is said that there was an 
agreement in caucus between the two sides to 
leave the interpretation of the phrase " subject 
to the Constitution" in the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill, to the Supreme Court, which has now (in 
1857) rendered its decision hostile directly to 
the People's right of excluding slavery from the 
Territories, and indirectly to the People's right 
of excluding it from the Free-States. Tiiis 
really annihilated the People as institution- 
maker, the fundamental trait of the American. 

Here it was that Douglas missed another great 
opportunity, perhaps the greatest of his life. 
Very distinctly at this point appears a bridge 



over which he could have passed to the leader- 
ship of the North, and have carried a large 
portion of his part^y iu the Free-States along 
with him. Many of his party soon went without 
him. But Douglas lagged behind the Sprit of his 
Age, he did not commune deeply with the Folk- 
Soul of his Nation and sympathize with its 
aspirations. But now, just now steps forward 
the man who is to take the place which he 
passes by, Abraham Lincoln, whose form begins 
to rise prominently out of the obscurity of his 
humble life. In a speech at Springfield, Illinois 
(June 26th, 1857), he sets forth the grounds 
and' also the limits of opposition to the Dred 
Scott decision. 

Douglas put himself out of tune with his time 
by being indifferent whether slavery were voted 
up or down in Kansas. He dwelt upon the in- 
feriority of the negro, with the implied conclusion 
that the inferior race ought to be enslaved. This 
smote in the face the trend of the North and of 
the civilized World. The Judgment of the Tri- 
bunal of the Ages could already be heard that the 
backward race was no longer to be enslaved by 
the superior race, even if this had been the 
method of the past. Here again Lincoln far 
more truly represented his epoch. 

Such was the Dred Scott decision whose first 
and most direct effect was to renew the Kansas 
stru2o;le. It seemed as if the field must all be 


fought over again, the people being suddenly 
thrown back to the beginning of the conflict in 
1855. Though the method of attack was 
different, it was not less dangerous. Yet the 
Kansans had no notion of giving up the contest. 
The task which the World-Spirit has imposed 
upon them is still unfinished ; they have to 
vindicate their Free-State against all the power 
open and hidden, which slavery, though it be in 
authority, can summon against them. Kansas 
continues to be the protagonist of the new 
Union as producing Free-States only. The 
result is, she will again have to suffer. 

The historic process underlying the occurrences 
of this year (1857-8) will, therefore, be the 
same as before. We shall again see the irrita- 
tion coming from Washington under the new 
Administration; then the suffering and resist- 
ance of Kansas ; finally the People of the North 
responding sympathetically, and ruminating upon 
the rising crisis. 



The first year aud some months of Buchanan's 
Administration are still occupied with Kansas, 
whose troubles and duties do not end with the 
Presidential election or with the Dred Scott 
decision. The pro-slavery party centering at 
Washington evolves a new insidious scheme for 
making Kansas a Slave-State. This scheme is 
known as the Lecompton Constitution which was 
to take the place of the Missouri Invasion, the 
latter having completely failed in its purpose. A 
day (June 15th, 1857) had been appointed by 
the Territorial Legislature to elect delegates of a 
Convention for making a Constitution. The 
Free-State men refused to participate in this elec- 
tion on account of its unfairness as well as its 
fraudulent source. Pro-slavery men were of 
course chosen, and they made a pro-slavery 
Constitution. This was the instrument which 
was now to be employed, particularly at Wash- 
ington to destroy the freedom of Kansas. 

There is no doubt that this scheme was first 
suggested by the success of Kobinson's anti- 
government with its Topeka Constitution. The 
present period of Kansas history is, therefore, 
the battle of the two Constitutions, which re- 
peats in a new form the same old conflict between 


the right which is formally illegal and the wrong 
which is formally legal. Somewhat more than a 
year, from Buchanan's beginnings till August 
2ncl, 1858, this war between the two constitu- 
tional phantoms lasted, with many fluctuations. 
Finally the people of Kansas got the chance to 
vote upon the Lecompton Constitution fairly 
and legally, when they slew it with such an 
overwhelming majority that not only it but the 
whole Kansas strife came to an end. And with 
this end is coupled another end : Kansas con- 
cludes her most important chapter, and her 
events drop back into the common stream of 
local history ; her contributions to the World's 
History cease in a decidedly abrupt finale. 

Washington, the center of the country, be- 
comes now the center of irritatioji for the Peo- 
ple directly, as well as for Kansas. From the 
national Capitol goes forth the decision which 
means the nationalization of slavery. The Folk- 
Soul is not so much stirred to action as to reflec- 
tion; there is not the incentive of a political 
contest, but the appeal to the deepest instinct 
of human nature as well as to reason. The po- 
litical literature changes ; there is an enormous 
distribution of the decisions of the Supreme 
Judges, as well as of the Constitution and of the 
Declaration of Independence. These form the 
text of the speeches, articles, dissertations of the 


time. Not to Will but to Intellect is the word 
now spoken, as well as to Feeling. 

In consequence of the Dred Scott decision, the 
Southern party takes new hope of making Kansas 
a Slave-State. Both Houses of Congress are 
democratic. All the branches of the General Gov- 
ernment, executive, legislative, and judicial are 
in the one party's hands. To be sure, the North- 
ern democrats, even the President, had won 
their places by holding out the belief that Kan- 
sas would be a Free-State, in accord with the 
wishes of its inhabitants. Hence arose an omi- 
nous division : the Southerners formed an inner 
circle, a party to control the party, of which 
Jefferson Davis, now a Senator from Mississippi, 
was the leading spirit. In this way was laid 
the foundation for a division in the governing 
party, indeed for several divisions, since each 
divison will again divide, this being the ten- 
dency during Buchanan's whole administra- 
tion. In other words, the spirit of secession 
was working in the^Democratic party long before 
actual secession. 

It is now generally considered that this inner 
circle of Southerners at Washington became the 
government and determined its policy, without 
paying much regard to Buchanan. In fact, it 
seems to have acted repeatedly in administrative 
measures without his knowledge. At least two 
members of his Cabinet (Cobb and Thompson), 

PART I. — WA SHIN G TON. 1 5 1 

and perhaps more, belonged to this cabal, 
usurping his place when his total lack of will- 
power became manifest, and not even caring to 
inform him in certain cases what his own Ad- 
ministration had done or had resolved to do. 

Hence came the contradictions between what 
Buchanan said and what the Government act- 
ually did during this year, especially in its earlier 
portion. The President repeated again and again 
that the people of Kansas should have a fair 
vote upon the Lecompton Constitution ; but this 
was just what the Administration bent everj^ 
effort to thwart. The President was for Gov- 
ernor Walker, the Administration was against 
him. Thus the President and his Administra- 
tion moved in two quite differsnt spheres. 

The relation of Buchanan to this governing 
cabal necessarily fluctuated. He could not help 
findinor out that things had been done in his 
name and by his authority without even his cog- 
nizance. What would he do? Submit to such 
proceedings and even sanction them, or make 
some kind of a stand? Let us note the leading 
stao-es of his conduct in regard to this matter. 

1. We may take the first stage to be when 
Buchanan urges Walker to accept the Governor- 
ship of Kansas, and agrees to Walker's condi- 
tion, namely, an honest ballot for her people. 
At the same time the cabal must have been at 
work with the o])posite purpose. For we can- 


not think that Buchanan was lying all this while 
and trying to deceive Walker. Thus the dis- 
tinction between the President as talkinsf fiaure- 
head and the real though secret Administration 
develops itself, till the cabal is ready to force the 
President to adopt its policy in Kansas. 

2. When this took place, or what were the 
means used, it is not easy to tell. To Forney 
Buchanan once said that the Southerners threat- 
ened him with a dissolution of the Union unless 
he abandoned AA^ilker and free Kansas. At any 
rate he became the mouth-piece of the cabal in 
its most extravagant pretensions. Already 
before the meeting of Congress in December, 
1857, it had been noised abroad that the Presi- 
dent favored the Lecompton scheme. But on 
February 2nd, 1858, he completed his act of 
self-stultification by sending the Lecompton Con- 
stitution to Congress, and with it a messao-e in 
which he declares that slavery exists in Kansas 
as much as in South Carolina or Georgia, a fact 
which has been settled by " the highest judicial 
tribunal known to our laws. " Unless this were 
so, "the equality of the sovereign States com- 
posing the Union would be violated. " Further- 
more this equality demands that Kansas be a 
Slave-State, since that will restore the equilib- 
rium between North and Scuth, there beino- now 
one more Free-State than Slave-State. All of 
which means that the South will not surrender 


its domination over the Federal Union, even 
though far outstripped by the North. 

But this act of Buchanan and the cabal brings 
about the most important occurrence of the pe- 
riod : the split in the Democratic party led by 
Douglas. The division between South and North 
passing from Kansas to Washington, cuts in 
twain the very support of Buchanan. The rup- 
ture will not only last but increase, determining 
the next Presidential election and contributing 
powerfully to bring on the Great War. 

3. The Lecorapton scheme was defeated in the 
House of Representatives in spite of the eiforts 
of the Administration. But a final attempt to 
foist it upon Kansas was made in a bill intro- 
duced by William E. English, a Democratic 
member of the House from Indiana. This 
measure, known popularly as the Bill-English bill, 
proposed to submit the Lecompton Constitution 
to another vote of the people of Kansas; if they 
adopted it, they were to receive Statehood at 
once by proclamation of the President, and in 
addition a large tract of government land. If 
they rejected it, they were to remain a Territory 
without the gift of the land. Such was the 
alluring bribe held out by the Congress of the 
United States. It is amusing to this day to see 
with what indignation Kansas rejected the bribe. 


At this poiut we shall pass from the Center 
to the Border, and observe the movement of the 
events of this first year of Buchanan, in which 
starts afresh the old irritation, though not in 
the old way. Still the President at first seems 
to have cherished a good intention toward 
Kansas, which he brought from his Northern 
home. He selected two excellent men for the 
leading offices — Walker of Alabama for Gov- 
ernor and Stanton of Tennessee for Secretary. 
Both were from Slave-States and were pro- 
slavery in sentiment; it may be added that they 
went to Kansas with the prejudice of their 
section and their paity against the Free-State 
people of the Territory. About these they had 
a great lesson to learn, and a still greater one to 
learn about their own people. 

The new Governor was a fair-minded man 
and proposed to secure to the Territory an 
honest vote of its inhabitants. He did not wish 
to take the position; already he could count 
three political graves of Kansas Governors since 
1855, not to speak of one acting Governor 
officially beheaded. It was an uncanny, grew- 
some business to enter and govern in such a 
gubernatorial graveyard. Nor did his wife want 

PABT I. — KANSAS. 155 

him to go. But his and her scruples were 
finally overcome through the personal inter- 
cession of both Buchanan and Douglas. 

1. Walker reached Kansas May 26th, 1857. 
He saw a large emigration pouring in from the 
Free States, each man both a settler and a 
fighter. But he saw few, if any slave-holders 
coming: with their slaves into the Territory ; not 
two hundred slaves could be counted. Quite a 
number of non-slave-holding Southerners were 
arriving, but they had a pronounced tendency to 
turn Free-State men, since not a few of them 
had left the South because of slavery. Most of 
these men were Democrats, and they formed a 
decided majority of their party in the Terri- 
tory. Walker, looking over the situation, esti- 
mated the Free-State Democrats at 9,000, the 
Eepublicans at 8,000, pro-slavery Democrats at 
6500, pro-slavery Know-Nothings at 500 — 
17,000 Free-State men to 7,000 on the other side. 

This settled the future of Kansas in Walker's 
opinion: it would be a Free-State. Equally cer- 
tain was the fact that it was decidedly democratic. 
Walker, as partisan, sought to reconcile the two 
Democratic factions on the basis of a Free-State 
policy. Herein is the point at which he began 
to collide with the inner circle at Washington, 
who cared nothing for the Democratic party ex- 
cept as a tool of slavery. 

A scheme for a constitutional convention had 


been framed by the preceding territorial legisla- 
ture. The election (already alluded to) took place 
June 15th but was shunned by the Free-State men, 
less than one-fourth of the registered voters par- 
ticipated. The result was the Lecompton Con- 
vention with its Constitution. Thus Kansas had 
two Constitutions before it, the Topeka and the 
Lecompton. From now on we witness the strife 
of the Constitutions. Again the old trouble ap- 
pears : the one had the formal right, the legality, 
while the other had the People with it, but was 
informal, even illegal. Kansas seems unable to 
get out of that ever-recurring see-saw between 
the right which is unlawful and the wrona: which 
is lawful. Indeed we may say that this is the 
conflict going on throughout the whole nation. 
It was the spiritual conflict brought to conscious- 
ness with the keenest intensity by the Dred 
Scott decision; slavery is legal but wrong, anti- 
slavery is illegal but right. Which principle is 
to be obeyed: Conscience or the Constitution? 
Which shall rule the man, the moral or the insti- 
tutional? Both ought to rule him, each in its 
sphere harmoniously guiding him. Yet they 
have become not only discordant but bitterly 
antagonistic, and refuse to co-operate making 
every man's soul the arena of strife. 

The Invasion of Missourians being at an end, 
the inner circle at Washington saw a way of 
using the Lecompton Convention with its Con- 

PAB TI. — KAN'S A S. 157 

stitution as the chief means in a new campaign 
for Southern domination. It was known that if 
this Constitution were submitted to the People, 
it w^ould be rejected by an overwhelming majority. 
Hence it was not submitted as a whole. Still 
the voter had the alternative of declaring, " with " 
or " without slavery." But the Constitution 
" without slavery " had in it the following state- 
ment: the property in slaves is as inviolable as 
any other kind of property, and the owner of 
slaves has the same right to them everywhere and 
of course in Kansas. Again the Free-State men 
abstained from voting (Dec. 21). The Consti- 
tution with Slavery carried by 6,226, of which 
nearly one-half were shown to be fraudulent. 
Meanwhile the Free-State men succeeded in get- 
ting another ballot upon the Constitution as a 
whole (Jan. 4, 1858) when more than ten thou- 
sand votes were cast against the Lecompton instru- 
ment. Both elections were investigated, and the 
investigation brought out even more emphatically 
the overwhelming sentiment of the Territory 
against slavery. Of course this second ballot 
completely thwarted the inner circle at Washing- 
ton, and brought about the removal of acting- 
Governor Stanton who had permitted it to take 
place. This act of Stanton's, with what led up 
to it, forms the turning-point in the destiny of 
Kansas, and deserves special consideration. 
2. Many a sign indicates that we have come 


to the besiuniug of the end of this Kansas con- 
flict. Its character has been often noted: the 
forms of Law have been seized by the pro- 
slavery party, and empkjj'ed to put down the 
Will of the People. Thus the conflict has been 
concisely stated as that between the right whicii 
was illeo^al and the wrono- which was legal, 
each side taking shape in a ruling power. 
Hence a double authority arose in Kansas, which 
we have described as the government and the 
anti-government, or more fully, as the real gov- 
ernment which is the phantom, and the phantom 
government which is the reality. Between 
these two shapes has been the struggle, 
hitherto without victory on either side; the real 
government has never been able to oet hold of 
its phantom which is indeed its spirit, and the 
phantom government has never been able to 
make itself real, to clothe itself with the forms 
of Law, which have been persistently purloined 
by the other side. Thus the Free-State men 
have been compelled to see and to follow and to 
be governed by a Spirit without any Body, which 
Spirit the Slave-State men have pursued and 
fought, seeking to run it through or shoot it or 
take it prisoner, all to no purpose. Each is 
rightly the counterpart of the other, and both 
belong together ; but each as if bewitched, rejects 
the other w-ith scorn, yea with downright battle, 

PAETI. — KANSA S. 159 

and so they remain not only separated but com- 
pletely alienated and combatting each other. 

Into this struggle, however, a change is now 
to come through two acts of the United States 
officials. October 5th, 1857, a new Territorial 
Legislature was to be elected to succeed that old 
one elected two years before by the Missouri 
invaders. The Free-State men were persuaded 
to take part in it by Governor Walker, who 
promised a fair election, and who honestly 
fulfilled his promise by rejecting two gross 
frauds perpetrated by the pro-slavery party. 
The result was a Territorial Legislature with a 
decided majority of Free-State men who were 
now legally chosen, and who held their certifi- 
cates of election from the constituted authorities. 
Thus the Missouri-elected Legislature vanishes 
with its mere legal form,' and the Will of the 
People has at last gotten its body in the Law. 
Is it not plain that Right, so long flitting 
about bodiless like an unhappy ghost on the 
plains of Kansas, has reached its first stage of 
legal incarnation? 

The jubilant Kansan may now have a wedding- 
celebration of that shadowy pair, so necessary 
to each other, yet so long separated and mutually 
combative. That primal dualism, product of 
the first invasion of the Missourians more than 
two years since, and cause of so much trouble, 
is overcome, and the two warring counterparts. 


original Right and formal Legality, have rushed 
together in hearty embrace, and are actually 
married, henceforth to remain harmonious and 
inseparable after their long trial. So let Kansas 
celebrate in speeches, sermons, and in immeas- 
urable talk, for surely a new dawn has appeared. 

But the second instance is in several respects, 
though not in all, more decisive, showing an 
honest ballot upon the Lecomptou Constitution 
under the sanction of established authority, both 
National and Territorial. Governor Walker, 
having gone to Washington on leave of absence, 
the acting-Governor, Stanton, at the urgent re- 
quest of the People coming to him " in great 
masses," convoked the Territorial Legislature 
now having a majority of Free-State men, for 
the purpose of appointing an election day on 
which Kansas might fairly express by ballot her 
opinion about the Lecompton Constitution. 
January 4th, 1858, was the day appointed, 
when, in exact figures 10,226 votes were cast 
against that instrument absolutely, 138 for it 
with slavery, 24 for it without slavery. Such 
was the emphatic, indeed passionate, rejection 
of the Lecompton Constitution by the irate 

Thus two ballots had been held upon it, just 
a fortnight apart, the one being a fraud, a phan- 
tom again, the other being real and now legal. 
Still, at Washington the inner circle of the Oli- 

PAR T I. — KANSAS. 161 

garchy, wieldingthe power of the Administration, 
bolsters the fraud with its power, ckiiming still 
Legality, which, it says, is derived from its au- 
thority alone. So Legality itself gets divided 
in this Kansas strife; two Legalities appear and 
start to fighting. Hitherto we have seen the 
struggle between the Spirit and the Form, which 
twain ought to be one assuredly. But behold ! 
Now the Form separates within itself and be- 
comes twofold, one set of legal Forms uniting 
with the Spirit, the Right, the other set remain- 
ing apart and hostile. The two legal Forms, or 
Legalities, are now named Lecompton and anti- 
Lecompton, the one upheld by authority in 
Washington, the other by authority in Kansas, 
which has thus taken another great step toward 
getting her ideal right made real, toward legal- 
izing the spirit of her people. Still the tran- 
sition is not yet quite cqmplete till that new Le- 
compton phantom be banned from the Territory. 
But now for a serious counterstroke. The 
acting-Governor, Stanton, who had granted to 
the People of Kansas the foregoing opportunity 
for self-expression through a fair ballot, was at 
once removed because he had thwarted the 
Washington cabal. The Lecompton Constitution 
was to have full sweep of legality, both national 
and territorial; but here rises, through the act 
of Stanton, an anti-Lecompton legality con- 
founding the whole pro-slavery program. He 



lias honestly tried to transform legality from a 
phantom into a reality, but in the process it has 
transformed him from a reahty into a phantom, 
so that he too is thrust down into the Hades of 
disembodied Kansas Governors, now getting 
pretty crowded. And there are more to come. 
Governor Walker, being at Washington on busi- 
ness, learns of Stanton's fate, and recognizing it 
to be his own, resolves to follow him at once 
below. He sends in his resignation, seeing 
that the pledge under which he had accepted the 
office, had been violated, and that Buchanan had 
completely succumbed to the cabal which had 
determined to force the Lecompton Constitution 
upon the people of Kansas. Though both 
Stanton and Walker were pro-slavery in con- 
viction and from Slave-States, yet they were 
honest men and good Americans, who could not 
be driven or cajoled into assailing the primordial 
rio-ht of the People to self-government. Peace be 
to their ghosts. 

Strangely unique and thought-provoking is the 
appearance of this fleeting, spectral procession of 
Kansas Governors and acting-Governors, no less 
than six in three years, rising and vanishing so 
rapidly and so insubstantially before our eyes. 
What can be the matter? All were caught in 
that everlasting Kansas mill now running at high 
speed, and were ground between its upper and 
nether mill-stones, between the le^al which is not 

rAR TI.— KA NSAS. 1(53 

right and the right whicJi is not legal. Honest 
men they were, even if appointees of slavery, who 
came with a deep-seated delusion, very natural 
and true elsewhere, that legality is or ought to be 
also right and that illegality is or ought to be 
wrong. But they soon find that just the opposite 
is the peculiar case of Kansas, and, being honest, 
the}^ at once start to rectify the difficulty, seek- 
ing to unite legality with right, harmonizing it 
with the Will of the People, its true source, and 
thus making it real. But that would undo the 
Slave-State cause which they, as Democratic 
appointees and Southerners, were sent out to 
uphold, but which rested upon just that phantom 
legality which they tried to put down. This 
phantom, however, being intrenched at Wash- 
ington, is mightier than they are, and in the 
struggle puts them down. Thus the phantom, 
instead of being banned by the Governors, bans 
them, turning them into phantoms from actual 
living magistrates. For the Democratic Gover- 
nor of Kansas must be governed by the phantom, 
and not try to govern it, which is gotten up at 
Washington and is manipulated thence in the in- 
terest of Slave-Stateism. If he dares disobey its 
behest, it will turn upon him and chunge him to 
a phantom, harrying him out of Kansas in a 
hurry. So it comes that every Kansas Gover- 
nor, with the exception of Woodson, has perished 
in a fight with formal legality, which, though 


a ghost, has shown the power of making him a 
ghost, and hunting him out of his official exist- 
ence. And it may also be said of Woodson that 
he perished through a ghost, but this belonged 
to the other side, being a Free- State ghost, 
namely Robinson's anti-government, which we 
have already often seen as a phantom bodiless, 
but very real and man-compelling. 

Such was the uncanny line of gubernatorial 
ghosts which stalked forth on the plains of 
Kansas to meet the incoming Governor just 
appointed by Buchanan. How this new Gov- 
ernor, Denver by name, received their saluta- 
tion, is not recorded; but he could hardly help, 
though a brave man, feeling his flesh crawl 
during his journey through such a fresh-made 
grave-yard of his predecessors, and entertaining 
religious reflections on the transitoriness of 
earthly glory. But this is not all. He could 
likewise hear the strident cry of the counter - 
ghost, that phantom Legality, which had made 
ghosts of all these Governors, and which was 
defiantly shouting in his ear the words of Ham- 
let: "Unhand me, or by Heaven I'll make a 
ghost of him that lets me." So insolent had 
it become in view of its success in Kansas, but 
just this insolence prognosticates its approaching 
end. Mere Legality has had its ghostly day, 
and must be laid; the unholy strife between the 
law which is not justice and the justice which 

PAB TI.— EANSA S. 165 

is not law, is what must next be overcome. Law 
and Justice are not only to cease being enemies, 
but are actually going to get united again, and 
the reader, happy at the prospect, we hope, will 
be invited to attend the re-union, the first one 
of the kind in Kansas. 

3. Accordingly we now come to what must be 
considered the final act of the Kansas struggle. 
Already we have noticed at Washington the last 
scheme of the Administration known as the 
English bill, which in substance offered a bribe 
of land to Kansas if she would accept the 
Lecompton Constitution. This bill, after con- 
siderable difficulty, was gotten through Congress, 
and was presented to the voters of Kansas for 
adoption or rejection. The interesting point 
here is that the ballot was to be both fair and 
legal, under the auspices of Congress, and even 
of the Administration which now for the first 
time drops its phantom legality, employed by it 
for more than three years, and accepts as legal 
the fairly expressed will of the People. 
Certainly this looks as if we were getting to the 
end of the long Kansas see-saw already so often 
di scribed. 

But what will Miss Kansas do, the refractory 
Western beauty? She gathers up her skirts and 
turns haughtily from such a debasing proposition ; 
with scorn on her nostrils and vengeance in her 
eyes she flings the Bill-English bill from her 


Avith a hurricane of votes (vota, here vows of 
execratiou), summing up more than 11,000 
(exactly 11,300 out of 13,088). Such was her 
defiant and wrathful answer to all Washington, 
both Congress and Administration, for trying to 
buy off her honor. That was the end of their 
trifling with what she deemed her sacred virtue, 
in defense of which she gives them this slap 
which resounds through the whole land on that 
summer-day (August 2nd). 

Congress makes a sorry sight of itself in this 
business, the only redeeming circumstance beino- 
that it gives to Kansas the first real opportunity 
for self-expression. And she certainly took 
advantage of the opportunity to speak her mind. 
Possibly some members supported the bill for 
this reason. The majority of them must have 
admired her indignation at their proposal, when 
the affair was over. There is no doubt that 
many a chivalrous gentleman of the South in 
Congress secretly applauded the act of Kansas, 
even if he voted for the English measure under 
the supposed exigency of party. Senator Ham- 
mond declared publicly at home in South Caro- 
lina that in his opinion "the South herself 
should kick that Constitution (Lecompton) out 
of Congress," and not leave the kicking to Kan- 
sas, and still less attempt to bribe her not to 

The act of Kansas in this matter was received 

PART I. — KANSAS. 167 

by the North not only with a mighty shout of 
applause, but with infinite amusement, yea mer- 
riment. The Folk-Soul itself had to laugh at 
that stinging but well-deserved slap in the face 
from the irate maiden. From every village and 
farm-house, from man and woman, rose great 
roars or little cachinuations of delight, which, 
being taken up and reverberated by that long 
line of sounding-boards, large and small, from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific, caused such a univer- 
sal and overwhelming guffaw that the whole 
People rolled and shook in it as in an earthquake. 
Nor did it stop at once, for with that peculiar 
power of reproducing itself again and again 
which lurks in the laugh of the crowd, it would 
come back in repeated paroxysms and start 
afresh. Barely has there been on this planet 
such a colossal fit of merriment, surely not since 
ancient Homer set all the Gods on Olympus, and 
with them, we must suppose, the whole Universe, 
to laughing, from which divine source has rolled 
down to the present in great undulations through 
the intervening ages the Homeric laugh, most 
famous thing of the kind and still contagious 
from the poet's song. Thus the American 
Demos in its vast theater bounded by two Oceans, 
and over-canopied by the blue Heavens for three 
thousand miles and more, split its sides at the 
representation of a national comedy, quite as 
that old Athenian Demos in its little walled-up 


theater on the slope of the Acropolis roared like 
the little sea at its feet in response to the comic 
Muse of Aristophanes holding up its own picture 
to itself. 

But the pivotal fact now is that the long tribu- 
lation of Kansas, threatening for years to 
become a tragedy, has reached its end in what 
may be called a national comedy with inextin- 
guishable laughter. Thus the conclusion of the 
drama, after many a sorrowful stroke and hope 
long deferred, may be deemed happ}^ and the 
American People can tura to something else, for 
a mightier problem than the Kansas one has 
come up before them for solution. 


^be people. 

After this comic iuterlucle, the People turn 
back into their serious vein, which always at the 
present time springs from some phase of the 
slavery question. The subject becomes intoler- 
ably wearisome on account of its never-failing 
presence in talk and writ ; but it cannot be ban- 
ished, cannot be crushed out, being the verv 
theme and thought of the Folk-Soul in which 
every individual of the land participates. The 
impress of the Spirit of the Age cannot be wiped 
out of the brain of any rational man at will ; 
there is no flight from the task of the time with- 
out a self -undoing. 

1. In Kansas the moral element arose and was 
active, but it did not there reach its deepest 
tension. Her people had before them the prob- 
lem of making Kansas, this particular Territory, 
a Free-State ; beyond such immediate end the 
majority of them, being Douglas Democrats, and 
believing in Popular Sovereignty, hardly looked. 
But when the Kansas question passed outside the 
limits of Kansas and entered the Northern States, 
it deepened to the thought of making all the 
Territories into Free-States. There was no 
reason whv Kansas should be an exception; in 
fact, it was only a special instance of the general 


principle of Free-Stateism, which had now be- 
come conscious in the mind of the People. Such, 
indeed, was the chief fruit of the trainius which 
the North underwent through the grand Kansas 

The doctrine of the exclusion of slavery from 
the Territories had already been enounced in the 
platform of the Eepublican party in 1856. The 
Dred Scott decision, however, declared the doc- 
trine unconstitutional, and thus started a new 
and deeper questioning in the Folk-Soul of the 
North. What shall we do with our palladium 
of liberty, the Constitution, which we have so 
long loved and adored, if it makes slavery uni- 
versal — not only nationalizes it but universal- 
izes it, compelling the Union to be productive 
of Slave-States only? In some way that deci- 
sion must be reversed — but in what way? That 
is indeed the problem which time is to solve, and 
toward this solution the movement now starts. 
Slavery is declared to be the universal law of the 
land, all enactments and constitutions of the 
single States to the contrary notwithstanding; 
Judge Taney has made the law, usurping or at 
least supplanting the legislative function. This 
drives mightly against the moral conviction of 
the North; the result is the conflict between the 
moral and the institutional in man, a conflict 
deeper and more desperate in its outcome than 
that of Kansas. 


2. After these abstract statements, it will be 
well to glance at the great leaders of this rising 
movement, who are also aspirants for the Chief 
Magistracy of the Nation. In whom does the 
growing conviction of the Northern Folk-Soul 
most adequately incorporate itself? Now is 
the time for the hero to appear. 

It is to be marked that Douglas voted against 
the English bill with the Republicans. He was 
now at the nearest point of his sweep toward 
Republicanism, in the middle of the bridge, as it 
were. He had quit defending the formal wrong, 
though he had not yet asserted the informal right. 
Will he go over? Both sides watched him with 
most intense interest. The inner circle of the 
South had come to hate him worse than they did 
Seward ; he had divided their party and threat- 
ened their domination. Certain Republicans 
were getting their throats ready to hail him as a 
leader. Some New York newspapers began to 
forecast the new party, accepting his Popular Sov- 
ereignty and reverberating his name through the 
land as the coming Northern candidate for Presi- 
dent in 1860. But he still has a little stretch of 
bridge to cross before he can reach the Re[)ub- 
lican hosts. Will he stop, turn back, or go on? 

It is evident that Seward felt his chances for 
the coming prize to be jeoparded. He began to 
separate from his associates in the Senate, and 
voted against them on the Army bill and with the 


Administration, saying "I care nothing for 
party." He gave as his reason for his vote: 
this battle is already fought ; it is over. "We 
are fighting for a majority of Free States; they 
are already sixteen to fifteen, and before one year 
we shall be nineteen to fifteen." Here we catch 
a glimpse of Seward's view of the conflict: 
Which side shall dominate the Nation? So also 
the South conceived it. Seward likewise spoke 
favorably of Popular Sovereignty in his speech 
on the Lecorapton affair. Clearly he is leading 
off somewhither; what is his motive? Certainly 
a breach is threatening the Eepublican party as 
well as the Democratic. 

Both Douglas and Seward seem to be breaking 
from their old connections, and to be forming an 
independent following of their own. Could 
Seward be seekinoj to ino^ratiate himself with the 
Administration which so hated Douglas? There 
was maneuvering between these two astute politic- 
ians for the right position, which might be the 
key to 1860. But Douglas had a nearer motive: 
the election of an Illinois legislature this very fall 
(1858) to return him to the Senate. Illinois had 
shown a tendency recently to go Eepublican. 
His success was doubtful without Eepublican sup- 
port. He had already won influential Eepublican 
newspapers and politicians in the East to favor 
his re-election to the Senatorship. 

Seward called Douglas slippery, but Seward 


was open to the same charge. Both were patriots 
at bottom, yet both were pohticiaus, deeply versed 
in what is often called practical politics. Prob- 
ably neither was personally corrupt in the use 
of money, but they had friends who were not so 
tender-conscienced, and at whose doings the}' 
connived. Both changed, shifted positions, and 
readjusted themselves to catch the direction of 
the popular breeze. Some excuse may be found 
in the fact that their time was a time of transi- 
tion and of dissolution of parties, when every- 
body had to make a new alignment. Neither of 
them was a rigid moralist as to political means; 
both would probably say with Cassius : " In such 
a time as this it is not meet that every nice 
offense should bear his comment." 

At this point when both parties and both their 
chief leaders seem to be balancing in a kind of 
equilibrium uncertain of their w^ay, the man of 
destiny, Abraham Lincoln, appears and is soon 
to overtop both Douglas and Seward. Here we 
may emphasize by contrast his straightforward- 
ness, which the popular mind caught up first of 
all, giving to him the title of Honest Abe, which 
title men never gave to Seward or Douglas, 
though they w^ere not dishonest men, and though 
Lincoln too had his secrecies and subtleties. 

The first struggle of the new issue before the 
People is to take place in the West on the soil of 
Illinois between Lincoln and Douglas, the two 


ablest public men of the State. We may see 
Lincoln advancing to the keystone of the bridge 
where Douglas is standing and hesitating, stop 
his further advance, and indeed tuin him 
around. For the two men and their doctrines 
are quite different, and soon get to be opposite. 
Kansas may (or may not) become a Free-State 
through the doctrine of Douglas, but it must be 
a Free-State through the doctrine of Lincoln — 
and not only Kansas but all the Territories. 
(See speeches of Lincoln, at Springfield, June 
16, and at Chicago, July 10, 1858.) 

At this point the world-historical career of 
Lincoln starts, and never drops from its loftv 
position until after his death; in fact it moves 
on an ascending plane from his first leap into 
the arena with Douglas till its sudden conclu- 
sion when it had reached its highest mark. 
Lincoln bids fair to become the most interesting 
character in all History to the People. He knew 
the Folk-Soul by long study and intimate ac- 
quaintance, he went to school to it during his 
earlier years; then he became its voice, its ex- 
pounder to itself, whereby it grew conscious of 
its supreme purpose ; finally it went to school to 
him as master, who brought to it a still higher 
message than its own. 

3. We may also add, by way of contrast, 
that about this time the world-historical career 
of Kansas comes to a close, having enacted her 


final scene in the rejection of the Lecompton 
Constitution. To be sure she will continue to 
have her local history, and a good deal of it, 
bloodier than at first ; but it is not of universal 
import, it can no longer be recorded in the 
Book of the Ages, the great Presence leaves 
her when her unflinching grapple with slavery 
is over. Never since has she attracted so 
much attention, though she has sought to do 
so, nature even helping her to specks of tran- 
sient fame by drouths, grasshoppers, and 
cyclones. Struggle has indeed continued in a 
small way, political fights, temperance crusades, 
and pitched battles over county-seats; but 
the stake has not been large, beino; local, 
not even national, still less has it been world- 
historical. Desperate have been the efforts of 
Kansas to keep herself great ; but that has been 
shown to be beyond her power. Over her birth 
the World-Spirit presided, coming of its own ac- 
cord and staying three years, as a kind of super- 
nal god-mother; then the task being fulfilled, 
it passed elsewhither on its errand, and seem- 
ingly has never revisited its god-child up to date, 
almost half a century having now elapsed. 

But whither has it gone? We shall find it- 
again, that being just the function of the World's 
History to follow it up, to trace its presence, 
and to record its doings. It is not going to leave 
the country ; its hand must be seen directing the 


movement of the whole Ten Years' War. It 
takes possession of individuals and inspires whole 
peoples ; primarily it impresses itself upon the 
Folk-Soul, and impels the same to realize its far- 
reaching designs. But it is now done with 
Kansas, and so is completed the First Part of 
our American Iliad. 



It is generally agreed that a peculiar force or 
energy lies in the early Kansas conflict just 
described; what is its nature? Can we catch the 
power which seems to be lurking and working in 
these tumultuous occurrences, hold it fast and 
give to it some kind of a shape? Here is indeed 
a tanojled skein of events out of which the his- 
t(nic process must be evolved and formulated. 
And not only one but many of these processes 
must be seen unfolding, conflicting, and then 
intertwining into a supreme process which unites 
them all. Thus what may be called the historic 
organism rises into vision, defining itself in 
certain distinct outlines. 

1. The reader will probably have observed 
already that we are not trying to write an ordi- 
nary historical account of matters cotemporane- 
ous in place and successive in time, simply set- 
ting them down in their external order. Un- 
doubtedly, the facts must be given, and given 
with exactness, but these spring up more or less 
separated, disconnected, whereas the mind must 
have connection. Hence we seek for the Process 
running through and interlinking these events 
which are in api)earance consecutive merely, but 
really are rounding themselves out into a cycle 



or indeed many cycles self-returning while going 
forward. Primarily historic happenings are suc- 
cessive in time, but secondarily they are moving 
in a Process also, which Process clothes itself in 
the ever-flowing folds of these on-sweeping 

But this historic Process of happenings in time 
is by no means the end of the matter ; it has a 
deeper purpose than itself, it reaches out beyond 
its own immediate reality, and has as its object 
the training of the People, of the associated 
Whole, into the new idea or conviction. We 
have often dwelt upon the historic Process 
starting from A^ashington, passing to Kansas and 
thence impressing itself upon the People. This 
is indeed the grand discipline of the Folk-Soul 
for its approaching task. 

2. Repeatedly has there been mention of 
the I^olk-Soul whose conception must be grasped. 
Every People may be said to have a soul of its 
own, a spirit which governs it, and which con- 
stitutes its essential character. Such an idea 
undoubtedly is derived from the soul or spirit of 
the individual man. In the American Revolution 
the Folk-Soul was united upon the separation 
of the colonies from the mother-country. But 
in the present epoch we have seen it dividing 
within itself and becoming dualized into Northern 
and Southern. Still even in this state of division 


it is not without a t^trong impulse toward re- 
union, which will finally be brought about. 

The Nation feels, thinks and acts as a unit, as 
one Soul or Mind, which animates its total or- 
ganism. Many common expressions imply this. 
We often hear of Public Sentiment, or the Peo- 
ple's Feeling on certain matters ; then again, the 
Popular Will is spoken of, indicating what the 
Folk-Soul intends to do ; Public Opinion signi- 
fies what the People think. All these terms 
imply a Folk-Soul feeling, acting, knowing, 
though it be made up of many individual souls, 
each of which feels, acts and knows. 

3. But now comes the fact that there are also 
many individual Folk-Souls, many separate Peo- 
ples, each with its Folk-Soul on this globe of 
ours. These are in a process with one another, 
at least that is the case with many of them. 
They are, however, of very different values at 
different times; they rise, bloom, and decline in 
the course of Historv, which shows a line of 
ascent and descent in Nations. What is it that 
brings about these changes? Here we must 
glimpse an Energy regnant over tlie Folk-Soul 
and determining it, which we call the World- 
Spirit, the Supreme Power of History. Other 
names it has more popular, but more vague, 
such as Civilization, Progress, the Logic of 

This AVorld-Spirit is what impresses itself on 


a given people or Folk-Soul, and makes the same 
the upholder and defender of its purpose or idea, 
which usually takes an ethical form or becomes 
a moral conviction. A peculiar fact concernino- 
this World-Spirit is its moving about from 
place to place, and its selection of a State or an 
individual as its supporter. It seems to find the 
People and the man who have become prepared 
for its work through their own free development. 
The command from without comes and can only 
come when the command from within has been 
already delivered. We have before noted that 
the World-Spirit leaves Kansas for another field 
when one great stage of the Ten Years' War has 
been completed with its special task. 

4. But is there a still higher Power than the 
World-Spirit? Over it indeed must be the Su- 
preme Spirit, the Universal Self or the Self of 
the Universe. The World's History is but one 
way in which this Supreme Spirit manifests itself 
to and through man. Other ways of its mani-- 
festation are through Art, Science, Philosophy, 
but especially through Religion, which has also 
its History, that is, its varied appearances in 
Time. Ultimately, then, Universal History, the 
record of associated man in the State or in the 
political Institution, must be traced back in its 
origin to the Universe itself as Ego, Self, Spirit, 
which creates it as one form of revealing itself 
and its processes. In fact the predicate, Uiri- 


versa!, which is applied to History in its supreme 
potency, can only be derived from the Universe 
as creating the same. Thus the World-Spirit 
which presides over History, is but one form or 
phase of the One Spirit, that of the All. A 
full development of these somewhat remote and 
mind-stretching thoughts belongs, however, to 
a Psychology of History. For Psychology is 
now claiming to be the Universal Science (instead 
of Philosophy), which means also the Science 
of the Universe, of the All as Self. 

5. One of the most significant parts of 
historical study is to find the Transilion, the 
point at which one great series of events passes 
into another constituting what are usually called 
the Periods of History. These are the joints 
of the historic organism, so to speak, or the 
divisions of one great historic Process into sub- 
ordinate Processes. Using psychological terms 
which express the ultimate conception, we mav 
say that every important Period, as Ancient or 
Medieval History, is a Psychosis, which is still 
further divided into many lesser Periods, each 
of which again is a Psychosis. Thus we are to 
see that each part has a principle in common 
with its whole, else it could not be a part of that 
Whole. Still it is also different from its Whole, 
else it would not be distinctly itself. In this 
way each smaller historic Process or cycle 
becomes a link in the greater and greatest 


historic Process or cycle, imaging and indeed 
producing the Whole of which it is a member 
and which produces it. 

6. Returning to our special theme out of these 
generalities, we may study briefly the Transition 
from Kansas to Illinois, which now takes place 
and ushers in the Second Part of the great con- 
flict. This Transition may be looked at from 
various points of view, or rather it shows diifer- 
ent and deepening forms of itself. Of these we 
may note the following : 

(a) There is the Transition (already observed) 
from a particular Free-Stateisra to a universal 
Free-Stateism. Kansas struggled to make her 
special Territory a Free-State; she had enough 
to do at home in that matter. But her particu- 
lar case passing into the Northern States was 
widened into the general principle of making all 
the Territories into Free-States, which principle 
found its expression in the Republican platform 
of 1856. 

(6) The conflict in Kansas between the legal 
wrong and the illegal right has been often 
dwelt upon in the preceding account. Here it 
need only be said that this conflict also passed 
over into the Northern States, bringing to con- 
sciousness the sharp distinction between the 
Form of Law and its Spirit, and impressing upon 
the People their i)rimordial right of making their 
own Laws and Listitutions (self-government) 


of which right Kansas had been deprived. Thus 
the popuhu- mind has been thrown back upon 
itself as the original and the creator of the 
established order in which it lives. 

Still in the Kansas conflict there was a point 
upon which both sides agreed, even if this agree- 
ment were largely unconscious : that was the 
lesal right of the inhabitants to exclude slavery 
from their Territory. The Missourians when 
they seized by violence and fraud the Forms of 
Law, and used them in the interest of slavery, 
recognized the fact that the Kansans could employ 
them rightfully against slavery. Thus both sides 
acknowledged their validity and the struggle was, 
which side can get the Form and set it up as 
authority? So it came that one side exercised the 
legality without the right, and the other exercised 
the right without the legality. Both, however, 
impliedly agreed that the People of Kansas could 
vote down slavery. 

(c) But now falls like a bomb into the midst 
of the contestants the Dred Scott decision declar- 
ing that neither the People nor Congress can ex- 
clude Slavery from the Territories according to 
the Constitution of the United States. Thus the 
Missourians did not really need to take the trouble 
of making their invasions, and of stealing the 
le^al Forms ; these already secured Slavery from 
the start. According to the Supreme Law of the 
land as interpreted by its highest Tribunal and 


re-affirmed by the President of the United States, 
" slavery exists iu Kansas as much as in South 
Carohna or Georgia," from the very fact of its 
being the national domain, on which the property 
in slaves must be protected like any other 
property . 

It is plain that out of this decision a new and 
deeper conflict has arisen in the North where a 
strong moral convection of the wrongfulness of 
Slavery has taken hold of the People. But 
through the Supreme Court slavery has become 
the all-dominating institution of the land, over- 
riding every sort of enactment in opposition, be it 
of the State or of the Nation. Thus the inner 
moral world of the Northern Folk-Soul has been 
drawn into the most grating dissonance with its 
outer institutional world, of which conflict we are 
now to behold the leading phases. 



During the present period the Nation was mov- 
ing more decidedly toward Disunion tlian ever 
before or since. In the hiter Great War the 
mightier effort was in the other direction, toward 
the maintenance of the Union, even by force of 
arms. But now we are to witness an interme- 
diate epocli of an emphatically separative char- 
acter; the chasm between North and South, or 
between Free-States and Slave-States, starts to 
widening and deepening again after its apparent 
closing-up through the election of Buchanan. 
Hardly two years of his Administration had 
passed till it was everywhere felt in the land that 
a profounder disintegration had set in, which 
would end in complete dissolution unless arrested 
by an heroic remedy. 

The anxious outlook of the time was voiced bv 



one whom we now see to have been its greatest 
man, Abraham Lincohi. In a familiar adage he 
declares the situation to be this: "A house 
divided against itself cannot stand." The 
American Union is now such a house, "divided 
against itself,'' and in this condition it cannot 
last. By the lapse of years the expression seems 
trite enough, but it was a bold utterance for a 
public man when it was first spoken, and 
Douglas will fling it at him many times in the 
coming Illinois campaign for Senatorship, 
Even Lincoln's friends thought it impolitic, 
though it expresses what every thinking man 
of every party was pondering over in a kind of 
secret dread, so that nobody liked to hear it said 
outright in public. 

But Lincoln does not leave us with this gloomy 
prospect of national dissolution and death. In 
the same paragraph of the snme speech in which 
he employs the foregoing a[)othegm of separa- 
tion (Springfield, June 16th, 1858), he rises to 
a prophetic outlook and gives a forecast of the 
final overcoming of the division, which, how- 
ever, may happen in two very different ways. 
This ever-memorable passage runs as follows : 
" I believe this Government cannot endure 
permanently half slave and half free. I do 
not expect the Union to be dissolved, but I 
do expect it will cease to be divided. It will be- 
come all one thino- or all the other. Either the 


opponents of slavery will arrest the further 
spread of it, and place it where the public mind 
shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of 
ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it 
forward till it shall become alike lawful in all 
the States old as well as new. North as well as 

Such is the opening or proem of the Lincoln 
part of the Ten Years' War which has been 
already going on three years. A prophetic 
utterance to whose fultillment events are to 
whirl forward with a dizzying celerity ; Lincoln 
has this element of prophecy in him which 
Douglas has not, the latter thinking that the 
Union must remain and ought to remain still 
half slave and half free. The People feel 
the truth of these words of the seer now 
taking the form of a stump-speaker, and respond 
with an open or often with a secret assent. 
In this statement Lincoln reads the Folk-Soul 
aright, and gives a voice to what is silently 
brooding there and seeking utterance. At this 
point Douglas fails to come into rhythm with 
the deepest throb of the popular heart; his ear 
is not attuned to the Aeolian whisperings of the 
World-Spirit. He says he does not care whether 
this Union be Slave-State producing or Free- 
State i)roducing — which is the thing about 
which everybody cares most and has to care 
most, by the decree of the Gods. But Lincoln 


distinctly recognizes the World-Spirit, listening 
to it and appealing to it in words as that 
"irresistible Power," which has taken hold of 
this American People and gives it no peace till 
it performs its supreme dut3\ 

Moreover Lincoln has tersely stated in the 
above passage the fundamental fact of the whole 
situation : The Union " will become all one thino- 
or all the other" — all slave or all free. The 
present intermediate, divided condition — half 
slave and half free — cannot last. One side or 
the other will make itself universal; the crisis 
has arrived, long foreseen, when freedom and 
slavery can no longer live in the same national 
household. Already there have been deep disa- 
greements followed by temporary reconciliations 
called compromises. But the last compromise 
has been made and the current has set in stroncrlv 
toward universalizing freedom or slaverv. 

That is, the North must be transformed by the 
South, or the South must be transformed by the 
North. The South has already begun to claim 
that all Northern enactments against slaverv, 
that all Free-State Constitutions are nationally 
unconstitutional through the Dred Scott decision, 
and must be repealed. And that is by no means 
the whole of the matter. You, the North, 
must stop all agitation on slavery, you must 
put the free discussion of it under ban as we 
have; still further, as Lincoln declares, vou 


must surrender your moral couviction against it, 
and say it is right, as we do. Tlien we can stay 
with you in the Union harmonious, homogeneous, 
all acknowledging slavery to be "the corner- 
stone of our republican edifice." 

On the other hand the North is determined 
not to have any such homogeneity, and has 
shown the fact in Kansas. Thus the two sides 
are planting themselves, front to front, in an align- 
ment for the future. The North is clearly not 
2oin2 to let itself be transformed into the South 
in the matter of slavery ; but it is not yet ready 
to take the more advanced step, which is to 
transform the South into itself in the matter of 

Truly separation has entered the Folk-Soul of 
the Nation, making of it two Folk-Souls, North- 
ern and Southern, each of which is getting more 
and more alienated from the other. The Union 
is no longer a unity of spirit, but the disruption 
has penetrated to the very heart of the Nation. 
And why? Let us recall the basic thought of 
this whole process: the one portion, the South- 
ern, will produce Slave-States; the other portion, 
the Northern, will produce Free-States. Now the 
Union is State-producing as made by the Con- 
stitution ; but this deepest function of it, the 
genetic, has developed into two opposing char- 
acters — it is Free-State producing and also 
Slave-State producing. Thus the genesis of 


States, as the profoundest movement of History, 
the Constitution grasped, formulated, but also 
compromised — out of which fact has grown in 
seventy years this division with its bitter conflict. 

Accordingly the separation of the United States 
into two great and antagonistic sections, North 
and South, is the all-dominating phenomenon of 
the present historic period, the difference turn- 
ing upon the alternative : Shall slavery be 
kneaded into the one or out of the other? The 
inner Disunion is actually taking place, caused 
by the vitriolic intensity of the two sides of the 
problem. But we may also note that the counter- 
process has also begun, whose end is to elim- 
inate this cause and to restore the Union. Yet 
each of the two contending sides has its own 
separate movement, which is, however, in strong 
opposition to the other side. Thus the American 
Folk-Soul is cleft in twain, and each part com- 
mences to have an independent life of its own. 
Such is the separation which has broken up the 
oneness and harmony of the Nation internally 
and externally, and which will pass from the 
totality into every constituent portion of the 
land. The division which we saw arising; in 
Kansas has extended through the whole Union, 
and cannot be stopped while the present order 

The result is the historic process undergoes a 
change. Kansas is no longer the special object 


of imtation, the powers at Washington give up 
the attempt to coerce it into being a Shive- 
State. The whole South and the whole North 
begin to irritate each other, keeping the peace as 
yet, but having deep presentiments of the com- 
ing issue. Each side is wrestling within itself, 
in unconscious preparation for its destined work. 
Then they both come together in a preliminary 
contest, still pacific though full of menaces, — 
the Presidential election, whereupon the Great 
War breaks out, the inner strife becoming an 
outer realitv. 

Looking back to 1856, we observe that Kansas 
had divided the North into two political parties. 
Republican and Democratic; — but it had prac- 
tically united the South, as no Republican party 
with its Free-Stateism existed in that section. 
The large minorities which even in Republican 
States supported Buchanan, the Democratic can- 
didate, show a divided North which therefore 
was not yet ready internally for its task. The 
grand discipline is not complete, the Northern 
Folk-Soul must go to school four years more to 
the World-Spirit, ere it be fully panoplied within 
to march forth into action and to vindicate the 
American Union as producing Free-States only. 

Already we have seen in 1557 a new division 
taking place, this also through Kansas. The 
Democratic party, which showed a united front 
in 1856, has become separated into two wings, 


Northern and Southern. The breach which 
Doughis has made in the Democracy has rent the 
South more deeply than the North. Hisdoctriue 
of Popuhu" Sovereignty would permit Kansas to 
become a Free-State, which was the great object 
of the North. Thus his party and the Republi- 
cans reached the same end though by different 
waj's. . But this end was what the leading 
Southern element sought to thwart by every 
means, not even shunning violence. Still 
Douglas had many followers in the South, and 
so divided it, particularly in its more Northern 
portion. Thus it may be said that the North in 
1858 shows a tendency toward unity within itself, 
and hence toward the Union, while the South 
has the opposite trend, manifesting separation 
within itself, with the consequent lurch toward 
Disunion. Besides, it is getting more and more 
evident that the Dred Scott decision has failed in 
its political purpose, which was to destroy the 
legality of both the Northern parties, since it 
outlawed Popular Sovereignty as well as Republi- 

Through Kansas the North has been trained to 
assert that mother Union must be the bearer of 
Free-States exclusively, even though Slavery is 
not to be touched where it already exists by 
law. But the North is not yet ready to assume 
the vast task of transforming the whole South in 
reference to slavery; it shuns the burden, turns 


away from its call, and palters for a time with it.-= 
very destiny. But when through the attack on 
Sumter, the alternative is presented either to ac- 
cept the division of the Union or to eradicate the 
cause of this division, the country enters a new 
stage of the Ten Years' War and the present 
period closes. 

And now the historic process before mentioned 
which underlies and shapes the varied events of 
these three years (1858-61) is to be surveyed 
with due care. First we must consider the North 
and its inner character and movement; then the 
South and its inner character and movement ; 
finally there unfolds the actual deed of Secession, 
with its first stroke in South Carolina. "Where- 
upon suddenly the Nation, or a majority thereof, 
quits this period of division, and starts afresh 
toward Union, which it ultimately attains. 



Territorially the North extends from Maine to 
California and embraces the Free-States. In this 
long line of Commonwealths, the conflict which 
we have been describing hovers about the middle ; 
Kansas, for instance, is said to be the geographi- 
cal center of the United States, Alaska beins 
excepted. Still this center is now the border of 
settlement, and has generated the struogle which 
has evidently started on its march eastward, 
with Washington for its destination. Again the 
colonies sent out to the frontier, as in the old 
Greek time, begin the grand conflict of the age, 
which reaches back to their mother-states and 
involves these in the same trouble. The Kansas 
struggle passes to the rest of the country, and 
specially to Illinois where it shows itself in a new 
set of historic events, which are to be recounted 

As already seen, the Border War, even though 


continued, drops from its important ))lace, having 
brought freedom to Kansas, and having made its 
principle of Free-Stateism that of a great national 
party. The issue is no longer merely: Shall 
this individual State Kansas be free? but it runs 
now : Shall all individual States hereafter enter- 
inor the Union be free? The Folk-Soul of the 
North is still resolved to affirm, as it did affirm in 
the Presidential election of 1856, that the United 
States, in her supreme genetic function as State- 
producing, must in the future produce Free- 
States only. 

But we must recall the heavy counter-stroke 
which has been dealt to this view and to the part}' 
which held it, by the Dred Scott decision. The 
National Judiciary has entered the contest and 
really usurps legislative powers, making slavery 
constitutional everywhere, not so much by its 
direct decision of the case before it as by its ex- 
tra-judicial declarations {obiter dicta). Territo- 
ries, and States too, have no power to exclude 
slave property. The Constitution is inherently 
the protector and also the generator of Slavery; 
under it no real Free-State can be brought forth, 
and indeed no State already free can so be 

This is the new fact which the People of the 
North have to meet, producing a deeper rift 
within than was visible during the campaign of 
1856. The highest tribunal in the land, perform- 


ing its constitiitioniil duty of interpretiug the 
Constitutiou, decliU'cs that this instrument does 
not give Congress the power of excluding Slavery 
from the Territories. Thus the Supreme Court 
has put under the ban of illegality the Folk-Soul 
of the North in its vote of 1856. But its moral 
conviction in regard to slavery remains the same, 
or possibly is intensified by this attempted sup- 
pression. What is now to be done? Our con- 
science and our law have fallen into the most 
poignant contradiction, and yet both demand our 
obedience; the supreme authority within and the 
supreme authority without, both of them sacred 
and man-saving, have grappled in deadly antipa- 
thy, and are rending each human soul in their 

Such is the problem which the Northern Peo- 
ple are pondering and trying in some way to 
settle during these years after the Dred Scott 
decision. Our Constitution is made to throttle 
our moral conviction ; our organic law crushes or 
is emploj'ed to crush our sense of right. What 
shall we do? Bevolutionize, destroy our Consti- 
tution? Or shall we obliterate our Conscience? 
Neither way is possible ; the Folk-Soul must 
have both law and right, it cannot do without 
Conscience or the Constitution, these being the 
two halves of its very selfhood. There must be 
a way of reconciliation, there must be some man 
to point out this way. Such a man now steps 


forward, as if in response to the importunate 
cry of the agonized Folk-Soul : it is Abraham 
Lincoln whose early theme is, How to preserve 
the inner world of conviction alonof with the 
outer world of legality, of which two worlds the 
harmonious co-working has been so deeply con- 
vulsed by the decision of Judge Taney. 

The People, from whose spiritual depths all 
government in the United States must ultimately 
issue, is, accordingly, turning over and over this 
great new problem, making up its mind before 
proceeding to ballot in the next Presidential 
election. The impress of the coming Order, with 
its supreme decree, usually takes an ethical form 
at present, and speaks as the voice of Conscience, 
of old regarded as divinely sent. This ethical 
impress the Folk-Soul of the North had received 
in regard to slavery, but had rather naively 
united the same with its Constitution, which, it 
took for granted, gave to Congress the power of 
preventing the increase in the number of Slave- 
States. But now the Constitution is declared 
to be just the opposite from its own highest 
judgment-seat; it is adjudicated to be inher- 
ently Shive-State producing and not Free- 
State producing, except by a kind of tolerated 
exception, but soon to be no longer tolerated. 
The result is the profoundest breach that ever 
plagued the soul of a nation in all the conflicts 
ot Ilistorv durino; the tji-and march down Time. 


The moral man and the institutional man, both 
hitherto one and at peace with himself, is thrown 
into a state of inner war, which he has to wa^e 
all to himself through many a defeat and victory 
till the final triumph. Such a prototype of the 
coming outer war lies during these years in every 
human heart which deeply communes with the 
Spirit of the Age. Drinking of this Spirit, it 
becomes ethical, and feels the wrong of slavery ; 
but this ethical wrong is legally a right, yea a 
right which is seeking to propagate itself even 
by force where it has never been acknowledged, 
thus making itself universal in the outer world 
and at the same time claiming a place, and an 
absolute place, in the inner sanctuary of Con- 
science itself. For its supporters have begun 
to affirm its rightfulness also and its divinely 
ordained mission. 

This, then, was the task of the Northern Folk- 
Soul in which each individual soul more or less 
participated — a task set before it by the Dred 
Scott decision. A great training lay therein, 
truly of world-historical significance ; this was to 
throw a bridge for all future time over the chasm 
between the moral and the institutional realms of 
man. This chasm has just at present made its 
appearance, at least its most definite and epoch- 
compelling appearance in the movement of 
History, and the problem imperiously demands 


With such a harassing conflict or rather double 
conflict, that between North and South and that 
in the Northern mind between Right as ideal and 
Law as real, we enter the year 1858, in which 
there are congressional and senatorial elections, 
though it is not a Presidential year. We are to 
conceive two Tribunals, each of which has rend- 
ered a decision upon the pivotal question of the 
time: one of which is that of the World-Spirit 
which utters its decree through the moral con- 
viction of the individual ; the other is that of 
the Supreme Court of the United States, which 
is voiced by Judge Taney. The highest happi- 
ness of a man and of a people is when these two 
decisions agree and re-inforce each other; but 
most unhappy is the time when they disagree 
and each threatens to destroy the other, though 
both belong to the complete soul, individual and 
national. The behest of the Spirit of the Age 
whispered inwardly contradicts the Law's enact- 
ment proclaimed outwardly. 

The first duty of the Northern Folk- Soul is to 
bring itself into some kind of harmony with itself ; 
it must conquer an inner peace before it can ever 
conquer an outer peace. It must be able to 
triumph over its own Disunion ere it can triumph 
over the Disunion of the South. It must come 
to see how the moral can be made institutional, 
and govern the man not from within alone, but 
also from without. Hence in these years 


(1858-1861) we see a process going on in the 
North and begetting a profound inner struggle, 
which, however, is to clarify itself into recon- 

There is, then, the conviction that the produc- 
tion of Slave-States by the Union must be 
stopped. But how is this cessation to be brought 
about, particularly against the opposing decision 
of the Supreme Court? In what way can we 
preserve Law and Constitution, and yet be true 
to the behest of Conscience? Three prominent 
methods appear and are employed by different 
men, all of them having their place in this 
special History, and, as we think, also in the 
World's History. Typical men they may be 
deemed, incarnating a pivotal phase or thought 
of their epoch, more completely or at least more 
strikingly than other individuals. One of them is 
quite unknown to fame ; another has a wide but 
perhaps waning distinction ; the remaining man 
bears the greatest name which the Ten Years' 
War produced. Him we shall consider first. 


ai>rabam Xincoln. 

Several times already the name of Abraham 
Lincoln has appeared in the course of the fore- 
going account. Previous to his campaign with 
Douglas, he could hardly be called a man of 
national fame. Still on a number of points he 
had shown himself a prime mover in the new 
party now forming; as its essential principle he 
had already formulated (in 1854) the exclusion 
of slavery from all the Territories a good while 
before Seward and the Eastern States had be- 
gun to move in the same direction. Moreover 
Lincoln's statement that a Union divided into 
*' half slave and half free " cannot last, was four 
months before Seward's affirmation of the 
" irrepressible conflict" between slavery and 
freedom, both utterances forecasting thestrugole 
at hand as well as furnishing a rallying-crv for 
the rising party. Still further, Lincoln had 
not only to meet Douglas, but he had to 
conquer the great Republican newspapers of 
the East, especially the chief one, the New 
York Tribune, which openly favored Douglas 
and even proposed to accept Popular Sovereignty 
as the Republican doctrine, thus destroying its 
true universal character. This act of Greeley, 
however, is the beginning of his eclipse, he has 


shown himself au unsafe guide in the deepest 
matter, and he will never again have the same 
influence after the Illinois campaign that he had 
before. Lincoln had to brius his own partv in 
the East up to the mark — the fact which makes 
him the leader. More than any other man he 
formed and directed the political organization 
which made him President, fought the War, 
freed the Slave, and restored the Union as 
Free-State producing. 

With the instruction of time it is o-etting to 
be very plain that the hero of our American Ten 
Years' War is not the fighter, not the military 
man, but the man of political life, the man of 
the State. From the Iliad down through Europe's 
famed events, the doer of warlike deeds has 
been the towering heroic figure. The matchless 
leader or director of the battle has inspired the 
epic lav. And History dwells largely upon Alex- 
ander, Cffisar, Charlemagne, Napoleon, of whom 
we are inclined to think when the greatest his- 
toric heroes of Europe are mentioned, though 
they all had their very important civil career. 
Even our own Washington was probably more 
of a military hero than civil. 

But does it not indicate a great change in the 
Spirit of the Ages when the hero of the greatest 
war, and the confmander-in-chief of its armies, is 
political rather than military? This lies deepl}', 
we would fain think, in the American Govern- 


ment, which is now the State-producing State, not 
State-destroying or State-conquering; hence the 
pohtical element is far more dominant than in 
Europe which never had the State-producing 
State, but the State-subjecting State in one form 
or other, 

I. In 1858 the conflict passes from Kansas 
to IlHnois, and becomes an oratorical battle 
fought before the people between the two great 
protagonists of the North — Lincoln and Doug- 
las. The World's History takes wings and 
leaves the extreme Western Border, where its 
decree has been fulfilled, or where, in old 
Homer's speech, the Will of Zeus has been 
accomplished ; it moves eastward and crosses the 
Mississippi, hovering and circling over the 
prairies of Illinois, a new or derived State, not 
one of the Old Thirteen. Here is to be enacted 
the next epoch-making scene in the American 
Ten Years' War, the Olympian contest between 
the two strongest men of the land. The imme- 
diate prize is the Senatorship of the State, but 
the greater prize is the Presidency of the United 
States, and the yet far greater prize is the lead- 
ership in the approaching struggle which has to 
transform these United States, half slave and 
half free, into a wholly free Federal Union 
whose creative power is to ])e Free-State pro- 
ducing forever. 

Lincoln in 1858 was forty-nine years old and had 


received the experience of one term's service in 
the National House of Representatives during 
the Mexican War, after which he gave himself 
up to the practice of the law. Daring his earlier 
years he had tilled the soil, split rails, taken a 
trip down the river on a flat-boat, kept store, 
seen a little military service as captain of a 
company of militia during the Black Hawk War. 
This does not exhau>t the list of occupations at 
which Lincoln tried his hand during young- 
manhood. Externally he was not successful, he 
was even called shiftless if not lazy. But there 
is no doubt that he was internally at work ; he 
was communing with the People and learning 
their way of seeing and putting things, he was 
appropriating their stories, anecdotes, humor, 
and moreover getting a ]:)eep into their prob- 
lems and anxieties. For Lincoln was also in- 
trospective, self-examining, with a profoundly 
moral nature which could become at times mor- 
bid. During these years, apparently aimless 
and profitless, he was going to school, kept by a 
peculiar invisible master, the Folk-Soul, With 
this master he became better acquainted than any 
man of his time, if not of all time, and remained 
on intimate terms with him to the last. Such is 
the book, too, which Lincoln studied directly, the 
Book of the People, not printed or printable, 
but rather the source and inspiration of all print 
\V(n'thy of being read. This Book of the People 


he learned to read at first hand, and then he 
studied other books derived from this funda- 
mental Book, namel}^ the Bible and Shakespeare, 
which are really its very best productions in the 
English tongue. A mathematical book, Euclid, 
was also in his school course, partly for a pro- 
fessional purpose (Lincoln tried surveying also), 
but chieflv as a mental training to order and 
sequence of thought. Finally Lincoln absorbed 
profoundly the spirit of the Law, the established 
system of Justice among men. 

IL Turning to Douglas we see physically and 
mentally the striking counterpart of Lincoln, 
The one was short, thick, stocky, yet rather 
quick in movement; the other was thin and 
tall, long-legged and long-armed, rather slow in 
his motions. The face of Douglas was full, 
rotund, smiling, lit up with good nature and a 
deferential condescension, showing^ a conscious- 
ness of being a popular man and of liking it well ; 
Lincoln's sallow, bony, angular countenance 
was overspead with a look of melancholy out of 
which would flash unexpectedly gleams of 
fantastic humor and drollery, accompanied by 
anecdotes, jokes, keen repartees. He seemed to 
wear a tragic mask under which he played life's 
comic part, but the fact was, the tragedy was 
the reality while the comedy was the mask, 
giving him relief from the inner burden of his 


Douglas was four years younger than Lin- 
coln, had entered Congress in 1842, and had 
remained in public station rising from the stage 
of Eepresentative to that of Senator. He had 
matured more early and more superficially than 
Lincoln, who was a slow grower, probably 
reaching his highest ripeness about this time. 
But the deeper difference was that Lincoln had 
developed far more his inner life, freed from the 
trammels of office, while Douglas had led a 
l)oIitical career, keeping himself in the public 
eye and outwardly adjusting himself to an 
official life from the time that he was a young 
man under thirty. The result was that the moral 
element of Douglas was not so fully developed; 
it was subordinated in him to the political ele- 
ment, in which he lived and moved and had 
his being. Hence it comes that in the political 
atmosphere of Washington, he, though a popu- 
lar man, and indeed a man of the People, had 
lost touch with the Northern Folk-Soul in its 
deepest aspiration, which was moral. It is at this 
point that Lincoln showed his superiority from the 
start, showed himself to be in deeper communion 
with the Folk-Soul and its secret workings. Its 
response to Lincoln's words became stronger and 
stronger to the end of the campaign. The 
Democrats themselves often responded in secret 
heart-throbs, and there is reason to believe that 
Douglas, sitting on the stand near Lincoln 


speaking, felt the thrill of the moral purpose of 
the Folk-Soul which Lincoln voiced back to 
its source, the People. It came of that "irre- 
sistible Power " which was abroad iu the land 
and had entered every human soul, insisting that 
this question of Slavery cannot l)e indifferently 
dropped at will, but must be settled now for 
once and for all, before anything else can be 
done by this nation. 

The two had known each other long, some 
twenty-four years, and had met often as rivals 
at the bar, on the hustings, and, it is said, in 
love for the same woman, Douglas had far out- 
stripped Lincoln in fame and honor, and had 
roused in the latter a streak of jealousy per- 
chance, or at least a secret feeling that the 
better man was not appreciated. For Lincoln 
had unquestionably great ambition, and must 
have felt his power and his call. Still that which 
shone out of the man and transfigured his con- 
duct was his moral nature, which was early recog- 
nized and won him the title of " honest Abe." 
Now it was this moral element which brouo;ht 
him into harmony with the Folk-Soul of the 
time on tlie subject of slavery. Yet the conflict 
which sprang from it was intensely in him too, 
the conflict between the moral and the institu- 
tional man, between the right of the Conscience 
and the right of the Constitution. Lincoln felt 
both, and he had found not only for himself but 


for the People a way out of the bitter struggle 
to reconciliation. This was the message which 
he had to deliver in the forthcoming political 
campaign, and which made him the voice of his 
Nation, and indeed of his Age. 

Such was the man selected primarily by him- 
self, but also selected by the World-Spirit for 
its task. Not a beautiful plastic figure as he 
rose to speak and stood there before the surging 
multitude, not an ideal shape which the Greek 
sculptor would love to model, but ungainly, big- 
handed, raw-boned, with body trained by the 
irregular but exacting toil of the frontiersman, 
not by the proportion-seeking, form-giving pal- 
estra. But if not beauty, yet enormous 
strength he possessed, whose test was not an 
Olympic victory against hundreds of competitors 
before assembled Greeks, but the ability to pick 
up a cask of beer and drink from the bung-hole 
before the admiring villagers. Surely an un- 
Homeric hero and an un-Homeric world ; yet 
here too begins an Iliad with its burden and its 
woes sent of the Gods; yea with its modern hero 
Achilles, who if not now "the most beautiful 
of the Greeks " is by far the greatest leader of 
his People. 

III. The State of Illinois had three belts of 
population, Northern, Middle, and Southern. 
The first belt (Northern) was settled largely from 
New England and New York, and had a very 


pronounced anti-slavery sentiment. The Middle 
belt was much more conservative, having a con- 
siderable substrate of Pennsylvania Germans, who 
had moved westward on the same lines of lati- 
tude, with a strong infusion from the North as 
well as from the South. This part of the State 
was the uncertain one politically; it was now 
making up its mind, and was ready for argu- 
ment. The Southern belt, composed almost 
entirely of emigrants from the South, was 
obstinately and nearly unanimously Democratic, 
called for this reason Egypt by the Republican 
press. It was evident that the Middle belt 
furnished the best field for making converts ; the 
side which could win most votes there would be 
victorious. This fact is seen in the arrangement 
for the localities of the seven joint debates 
between Lincoln and Douglas ; one took place in 
Southern Illinois, two in Northern, four in the 
Middle belt or on its border. 

The scheme of Douglas was subtle : he sought 
to make Lincoln commit himself in Northern 
Illinois (Ottawa and Freeport) to abolition doc- 
trines which were not in favor with the Middle 
and Southern belts. But Lincoln was evidently 
on his guard, and clung closely to the one fun- 
damental principle of exclusion of slavery from 
the Territories. He held aloof from the doctrine 
of the Higher Law, and frankly declared that the 
South had a right under the Constitution to a 



fair Fugitive Slave Law. What he said was not 
alwavs pahitable to the abolitionists of the North- 
ern belt ; but they had to vote for him anyhow. 

On the other hand at Jonesboro in the 
Southern belt, he would probably not change 
many votes. Douglas nevertheless charged him 
with varying his doctrine according to the lati- 
tude, but this charge he repelled with success. 

So the voters of Illinois are witnesses and also, 
judges of a contest which has become world-his- 
torical. It is indeed a kind of Gigantomachia 
between the two mighty protagonists of opposing 
principles. Defeated for the Senatorship though 
he had a popular majoritj^ in the State, Lincoln 
really won the Presidency. This fact is often said 
to have been the result of the Freeport answer 
of Douglas to Lincoln's question : Can the Peo- 
ple of a Territory exclude slavery against the 
wish of any citizen? Douglas declared they 
could through " police regulations " and "un- 
friendly legislation." By this answer the South 
is supposed to have been alienated from Douglas, 
though Illinois may have been won for him. 

Be this as it may, Lincoln has in the present 
debate formulated with distinctness the prin- 
ciples of his party and given to it a definite 
purpose. This party is not going to perish 
through the Dred Scott decision, but rather re- 
verse the latter. Nor is there to be a slump to 
Popular Sovereignty, which Greeley and the 


East soon are brought to abandon. Nor are the 
extreme doctrines of certain abolitionists to 
be accepted. A derived State (Illinois) thus 
takes the lead, and in a manner reconstructs the 
old East-Northern States. Lincoln has proved 
himself the intellectual leader of the new move- 
ment, which fact is soon to have its practical 
fulfillment in his elevation to the Presidency. 

lY. Some four years before this contest, 
Lincoln had entered what may be deemed a new 
period of his life. He was quietly engaged in his 
law practice, thinking that slavery, as he says, 
was " in the course of ultimate extinction," and 
that the great problem of the country was slowl}^ 
solving itself, when he was roused by the Repeal 
of the Missouri Compromise in 1854. Moreover 
there was a personal side to this act : it was 
the work of Douglas, his great rival, who had so 
far outstripped him in the political race. Now 
that rival, hitherto victorious and quite unas- 
sailable, had, doubtless in pursuit of the Presi- 
dency, thrown away a part of his armor, and 
rendered himself vulnerable. Lincoln seizes his 
opportunity, and makes a strong speech at Peoria, 
October 16th, 1854, against Douglas and his 
Repeal. This speech strikes the key-note of the 
time : the spread of slavery in the Territories 
must be stopped, and the Union must become 
Free-State producing. 

This we may consider the beginning of a nev,' 

212 THE TSy TEAES' WAT?. — PART 11. 

epoch for Lincoln, but Douglas could not be 
reached yet, as his Senatorial term had still four 
years to run. In 1855 there has been preserved 
a little speech of Lincoln's which was delivered, 
it is said, to two persons only, but which is 
very suggestive. " All seems dead, but the Age is 
not yet dead . . . the World does move. And 
now let us adjourn and appeal to the People." 
These emphasized words indicate what Lincoln 
was deeply pondering over: the Spirit of the 
Age, the World's Progress, which must be em- 
bodied in the People, and through them realized. 
Lincoln's time, however, was not yet; in the 
exciting Presidential campaign of 1856 he does 
not seem to have done anything noteworthy, 
though he received in the Eepublicau convention 
of that year 110 votes for the Vice-Presidency. 
But in the following year (1857) occurred the 
Dred Scott decision which gave him the next great 
push toward his coming career. Accordingly he 
sets forth his views in a s})eech delivered at Spring- 
field, Ills., June 26th, 1857, which was an 
answer to a speech of Douglas, made two weeks 
before in the same place, while he had not yet 
broken with the Buchanan Administration. 
Lincoln declared that the Dred Scott decision 
must be reversed, not by force but legally. The 
Supreme Court had repeatedly reversed itself. 
Moreover the People who had created the Con- 


stitution and its Supreme Court, can constitu- 
tionally re-make both. 

But the real conflict opens in Chicago, July 
9th, 1858, with the speech of Douglas, who is 
now to fight for his political life with Lincoln, 
who is also on the ground and answers him the 
next day. Another preliminary tussle they have 
at Bloomington when Lincoln challenges the 
doughty Douglas to a series of seven joint de- 
bates, which have had such a Listing historical 

V. Douglas does not make the srrand tran- 
sition of his time in company with the World- 
Spirit, which we may formulate as the transition 
from special Free-Stateism to universal Free- 
Stateism. He would now have Kansas a Free- 
State, since it has so voted; but he w^ould not 
declare that in the future all Territories of the 
national domain must become .Free-States, and 
thus make the Union henceforth Free-State 
producing. He says he does not care whether 
Slavery be voted up or down in the Terri- 
tories. When we recollect that even at this 
time a majority of Free-State men in Kansas 
were Douglas Democrats, and were just in 
the act of smiting with such unanimity 
and fury that fire-breathing dragon of their 
land called the Lecompton Constitution, we 
can imagine what a chill was sent through 
their hearts, as the words of their leader were 

214 THE TSy YEABS' WAR. — PART 11. 

wafted to them on the winds from the prairies of 
Illinois : Idon'f care — don't care at all for what 
you care most. Such an icy blast soon made 
Kansas republican. And the hearts of the 
Douglas democrats in Illinois did care too, and 
felt the generous warmth of Lincoln's fervent 
appeal on this point, and many a one thawed out 
before the end of the campaign. For after all 
they likewise shared in the great movement of 
their time, and Lincoln became their voice, even 
if they were unconscious of the fact. So we 
have to say that Lincoln i-poke far more power- 
fully to the Folk-Soul of his State than Douglas, 
and knew that he was saying the epoch-making 
word of his country and age. 

As the debate advanced toward its close, Lin- 
coln became loftier in thought and expression, 
and obtained a clearer view of the mighty forces 
at work of which he had become the chosen 
mouth-piece. His last speech, which was de- 
livered at Alton, is the best of all his speeches, 
and of it the last part is the best part, in which 
he returns to and comments upon the paragraph 
of his former speech declaring that the Union 
cannot remain half slave and half free. He 
affirms that this agitation on slavery is not the 
work of the politicians seeking to get office, as 
Douglas had intimated. On the contrary there 
is " an irresistible Power " which is stirrino: the 
People and will give them no peace. It is not to 


be stilled by just saying : Let us stop talking 
about slavery, stop being agitated. The People 
are lashed into this excitement by " a mighty 
deep-seated Power that somehow operates on the 
minds of men, exciting and stirring them up in 
every avenueof society — in politics, in religion, 
in literature, in morals, in all the manifold rela- 
tions of life" (same speech). What is this 
Power irresistible, mightier than the People them- 
selves, which they have to obey, and which 
Lincoln seeks here to bring to utterance, thus 
making them conscious of the task laid upon 
them? Variously named the Spirit of the Age, 
the voice of Humanity, the World-Spirit, yea 
God Himself, it is indeed " a Power irresistible," 
compelling the nation, even though unwilling, 
to do its behest. 

There is no escaping, then, from this irresist- 
ible Power which seems to have its grip upon 
every human soul in the United States. But how 
does this Power manifest itself in the human 
soul? Through the moral conviction, through 
the sense of Right and Wrong. Here again Lin- 
coln reaches to the bottom in a deep-toned pas- 
sage: "The real issue in this controversy — the 
one pressing upon every mind — - is the sentiment 
on the part of one class that looks upon the in- 
stitution of slavery as a wrong and of another 
class that does not look upon it as a wrong." 
But even this latter class cannot avoid thinking 


about it, being agitated over it, since they too 
are in the clutch of an "irresistible Power." 

It is true that Lincoln clings simply to the 
prohibition of slavery in the Territories by Con- 
gress. He does not propose to disturb slavery 
in the States where it is already established. 
And he maintains that the South has constitu- 
tionally the right to a Fugitive Slave Law, 
much as he dislikes it. He holds himself aloof 
from any assertion of the Higher Law, as 
opposed to the Constitution. Thus he shows 
himself through and through an institutional 
man, and thereby keeps himself in tune with the 
American Folk-Soul, whose very life pulses 
through its institutions, making them and being 
made by them. At the same time Lincoln is 
profoundly moral, appealing to the sentiment of 
right and wrong, whose impress is in the con- 
science of every individual. 

Thus Lincoln aligns his party for the imme- 
diate contest. Still he has a vaster outlook, a 
larger hope, which he brings repeatedly before, 
the minds of his hearers — nothing less than 
"the ultimate extinction" of slavery itself. 
This, however, is not to take place by revolution, 
but " it will be done peacabh^; there will be no 
war, no violence." Moreover it will be a long 
time coming. In 1858 Lincoln saw the end of 
slavery and prophesied it, but it came with a rush 
ancj a crash which he never imagined. One of 


his thrusts is that Douglas " looks to no .end of 
the institution of slavery," which was the im- 
perative decree of the Spirit of the Age, as we 
all now see. 

The question of freedom in the present issue 
bottoms on the question of labor, which fact Lin- 
coln duly notes. The Free-State means the Free- 
Labor State, as distinct from the Slave-Labor 
State. The grand violation of human right lies 
in the spirit which (using Lincoln's words) says: 
" You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat 
it." The negro, though an inferior, has that 
common right of humanity to the fruit of his 
own labor. As a slave he has no Will, since it 
and its products belong to another. Thus the 
speaker set the audience to thinking upon the 
fundamental nature of man himself, and to de- 
fining his freedom — not an easy task even for 
the trained thinker. In general, however, it was 
felt that free labor was the right of every man 
of every race and that this right must be secured 
to him by the State. 

Putting these thoughts together into a kind of 
formula, we would say that Lincoln appealed to 
the moral conviction or conscience, which was 
the impress of the World-Spirit upon the Folk- 
Soul of the time. Moreover Lincoln in this 
regard was aware of what he was doing, and 
made the People aware of their participation in 
the great movement of the age. This he did in 


such simple trausparent speech, that few appre- 
ciated the depth of his thought till the Future 
with its commentary of events brought out his 
full meaning. At the same time he was well 
aware of the limitations of the moral spirit, of 
its danger of running to excess and becoming 
negative and anarchic. So he drew the line of 
justice on anti-slavervism as well as on pro- 
slaverjism, as if he held the scales of the great 

It may be said, therefore, that Lincoln has 
moralized the conflict against slavery, in contrast 
with Douglas, who does not care, and in 
contrast with the South which is its champion. 
On the other hand he has institutionalized this 
same conflict in contrast with Seward and the 
Higher Law, as well as in contrast with the New 
England extremists. Still further, Lincoln has 
shown a positive and pacific way toward the 
extinction of slavery, in contrast with a 
destructive and revolutionary way. Is there any 
representative of the latter? Who is he? 

In response to the question a man steps forth 
who during this Illinois debate has been 
secretly planning an armed attack upon the 
Slave-States, a man who has already appeared 
before us several times in Kansas — old John 
Brown of Ossawatomie. 


3obn Brown. 

It is at this point that we insert what seems 
hardly more than an episode or colossal object- 
lesson for illustrating the principles which are 
specially at work in the present Ten Years' 
War. This is the world-famous foray of John 
Brown into Virginia at the head of an army of 
eighteen men for the purpose of destroying 
slavery. The act gets its historic place and 
meaning when it is seen to be the negative side 
to Lincoln's way of treating the same question, 
as he outlines it in his debate with Douglas. 
John Brown is the antitype of Lincoln. While 
this debate was taking place in 1858, Brown 
was planning his first invasion of the South 
on a large scale, but he was thwarted by an un- 
toward disclosure of his design. A year 
later he carried out his plan, which event 
in its results gave a startling confirmation 
to Lincoln's view. For that moral element 
which he had so decisively enunciated, and so 
carefully reconciled with institutions, breaks 
loose in John Brown from its moorings, and 
starts on its mad career, landing its follower in 
anarchy and bringing him speedily to the scaf- 
fold. If Lincoln's world-historical career from 
start to finish tells all future time Hoio to do it. 


John Brown's has just the contrary tenor, warn- 
ing the ages IIoio not to do if. There is no 
doubt, nevertheless, about the exceeding force 
and sublimity of this warning, so that not a few 
men of eminence have apparently regarded it as 
more significant than the actual deed of libera- 
tion — Brown's total lack of success being the 
grand success of the epoch. His career from 
Kansas to Virginia is indeed a drama of crush- 
ing power and reality, a true tragedy we may 
regard it, rounding itself out into a complete 
cycle of retaliation. 

A retributive atmosphere hovers around John 
Brown, and gives him the breath of his spiritual 
life. This atmosphere he takes with him and is 
able to impart its influence to others who may 
be ready to absorb it. The law of Retaliation is 
his most coercive principle, often transforming 
for him the innocent into the guilty. He, a 
father, with his two sons, slew a father and 
two sons by the name of Doyle in the Potta- 
watomie butchery, not because they had com- 
mitted any crime, but because they were 
pro-slavery in sentiment, and were selected 
by him to pay a bloody penalty. The God of 
Vengeance had decreed their death in return for 
the death of others, with which they had nothing 
to do. Did Brown ever think that Retaliation 
works both ways, and that it might come back 
to him from the other side, or perchance from 


that invisible Nemesis which balances so impar- 
tially the deed of blood against the deed of 
blood, often with arithmetical exactness? The 
three slayers, father and two sons, slay them- 
selves in slaying a father and two sons, to the 
eye of Retribution. That indeed will be the 
conclusion of the tragedy. Could Brown not 
see in his own wife and the mother of his sons, 
the wife and mother of the slain Doyles, and pos- 
sibly hear her voice? That voice will hunt him 
out on the day of his doom, pursuing him even 
up to judgment, when two of his sons have fallen 
in death under his eyes, and he is about to tread 
the scaffold in bloody requital for blood. Thus 
the drama of John Brown will also have its 
Cassandra, whose tragic strain will rise up and 
float over the verv gallows on which he hangs. 

I. Already several times John Brown has 
appeared before the reader in the Kansas troubles, 
which undoubtedly nourished and brought to 
maturity the deepest element of his character, 
hitherto unrealized for want of a suitable envi- 
ronment. We have seen him protesting at 
Lawrence against the Wakerusa peace. After 
the Sack of Lawrence it has been noted how he 
starts out on his career of retaliation, whose first 
fruit is the butchery of the pro-slavery settlers 
at Pottawatomie, and whose second fruit is the 
bloody requital on the anti-slavery settlers at 
Marais des Cygnes. Revenge begets revenge, 


and so Brown next invades Missouri from Kan- 
sas, captures eleven slaves, letting some slave- 
holding blood in the process, and hinds them 
safely in Canada (March 12th, 1859), after 
eluding many attempts to take him on the way. 
This success now came to the aid of his former 
plan of freeing the slaves of Virginia, so that it 
turned to a kind of fixed idea from which his 
half -crazy soul was not to be swerved even by 
friends, to whom it seemed what it really was, 
madness. His answer was always, " If God 
be for us, who can be against us? " The Old 
Testament miracles were to be re-enacted in the 
Nineteenth Century, and he was their divinely 
chosen performer. 

Brown was a Puritan of Puritans and of 
course his ancestor, Peter Brown, had come over 
in the Mayflower. Stern and unyielding on the 
main point. Brown could compromise on minor 
matters ; indeed some of his transactions look 
as if he could play and say double in order to 
gain his supreme end. One of the most curious 
as well as obscure portions of his Kansas career 
is his dealings with J. II. Lane, who certainly 
was no Puritan, being notoriously loose in 
money matters, in private morals, and in telling 
the truth. Yet Lane and Brown agreed in one 
cardinal point: blood-revenge upon Slave-State 
men. Both were opposed to the peaceful means 
which Robinson employed. Lane proposed to 


destroy the whole Lecompton Convention and to 
assail the United States Government, in which 
purpose he was foiled by the firm stand of the 
people of Lawrence. He got hold of the militia 
and established a secret order of thugs called 
Danites, through whom he hoped to put out of 
the way all his enemies, including Kobinson. 
His ultimate motive is not clear, but it looks as 
if he aimed to precipitate a war in which he 
would be dictator. His great foe he deemed 
to be that peace which was beginning to dawn 
upon Kansas, whose troubles had attracted many 
restless spirits like him from the whole country. 
Of this element Lane was the born leader, who 
would not let the Furies of retaliation go to 
sleep on either side. Bloody carnage on the one 
hand, bloody revenge on the other, crimsoned 
the Border — the retributive outcome of those 
early Missouri invasions. It was a hideous car- 
nival of the snake-haired Erinyes, born of the 
human demon when he gets to be gore-loving, 
the instigators as well as the avengers of the 
sanguinary deeds of men. 

In these deeds there is no doubt that Brown 
participated with his own hands, and received an 
emphatic part of his training from that ensan- 
guined Border. Like Lane he did not wish for 
peace, and was ready to lock horns with Uncle 
Sam, as we shall see by his later career. So 
there came about that strange coalition between 


the Kansas Mephistopheles and the New England 
Puritan, far stranger than that other coalition 
in American History " between the Puritan and 
the blackleg," as John Randolph put it. There 
is little doubt that Lane used Brown as a cats- 
paw for stirring up trouble when things were 
getting too quiet. We can still see Mephistoph- 
eles eyeing the Puritan and taking his measure 
secretly : This is the man whose fanaticism I 
can use, even if it brings him to the gallows. 
But Brown never won Lane, Mephistopheles was 
altogether too shifty ever to get caught in such 
a scrape as that of Harper's Ferry. 

In his own circle, however, Brown was an au- 
tocrat of the first water. Nobody could be right 
except him, freedom of opinion he could as little 
tolerate as could an Oriental potentate. He be- 
lieved himself inspired of God directlv; what 
can mortal man have to say against the Divine 
mandate? He was the old Hebrew theocrat m- 
carnate; God alone rules and speaks, but of 
course through John Brown. Over a few he 
attained absolute sway, but on the whole he 
lacked power of co-operation with others. 

II. There must always be made a sharp distinc- 
tion between John Brown's method and his deter- 
mining: purpose. This purpose was the extinction 
of slavery, but his method was that of violence 
and violation of Law and Constitution. Thus 
his purpose was the same as that of Lincoln and 

THE XOB TH. — JOHy BBO fFY. 225 

of the North generally, but his method was 
completely the reverse, since it was anti-insti- 
tutional, assailing slavery in the States where 
this was established by law, and seeking to 
free all American Africa on the spot, utterly 
regardless of consequences. The whole insti- 
tutional fabric of the country he would pull 
down upon our heads, acting under the con- 
viction that slavery was wrong. This moral con- 
viction was deeply shared by Lincoln, but his 
method was to keep morality from its inevitable 
negc^tive bent by reconciling it with institutions, 
which it can come to regard as its greatest foe. 
Lincoln was a conscientious soul , if there ever was 
one, but he knew that Conscience could develop 
into the destroyer of Man and God, the terrible 
experience of which fact this age has learned 
through the anarchist, the conscientious destroyer 
of the institutional world and of himself. The 
deeply roused moral force of the North had its 
terrible danger: behold it embodied and sweep- 
ing to the deed in John Brown. A great object- 
lesson we may deem it, given ifi the school of the 
World-Spirit, of whom the Nation is now taking 
some preliminary instruction useful for its com- 
ing task. 

III. The North, as a whole, recoiled with 
bated breath in a kind of terror from the image 
of itself or of a part of itself held up before it 
in Joliu Brown. But what about the South? 



Was there any object-lessoa for it too in this 
school? John Brown's method was that of 
violence, regardless of the Union and Consti- 
tution, openly revolutionary. Is not the South 
threatening to employ the same method, though 
of course for a wholl}' different purpose? iNIany 
times have its leaders menaced the North with 
the dissolution of the Union unless their view 
of the Constitution was accepted, their will suf- 
fered to be done. John Brown is then a striking 
prefigurement of what lies deep in the Folk- 
Soul of the South; a picture, hideous she may 
well call it, yet painting in strong colors her very 
self on its negative side, yea prophetic of what 
she is going to do within two years' time. So 
soon will she turn John Browa herself employ- 
ing his method to right what she deems her 
wrongs, invoking revolution as he has invoked 
it and at last getting the return of the Deed as 
he gets it even from her. Nor can we help 
taking a special look at Virginia, more than any 
other State the mother of the Union, whose 
soil has been invaded by John Brown, and who 
has to try him for his deed. "Guilty of trea- 
son," is the verdict of the jury, and the man of 
guilt is sentenced to be hung. The trial Brown 
himself pronounced to be fair, and his act duly 
meets with justice according to the law. But 
now comes the question : Will Virginia herself 
ever be guilty of treason? Will she too be 


brought to defy and to assail with arms the 
Union and Constitution, thus becoming John 
Brown in her turn? The act is done, and the 
history of it is recorded and known to all the 
world. Virginia will herself enact the same deed 
whose doer she now hangs, and quite all the lead- 
ing men here present executing Bro wn as traitor 
will turn traitors themselves, using essentially 
the same means but with a wholly different end, 
and most of them will perish in the shock of 
the conflict they themselves have generated. 
Could Virginia but look into her own soul, as 
she gazes on the execution of Brown, and there 
behold her own possible self germinating in the 
future deed ! But that gift seems to have been 
denied to her and to the South as well; she could 
not see her negative part incorporate in John 
Brown, though the North saw its negative side 
in him and realized the danger. The South had 
no leader like Abraham Lincoln. 

Some 2,000 Virginia soldiers were present at 
the execution of Brown to prevent any attempt 
at rescue, which the prisoner himself did not wish. 
Who were some of these men? The Governor 
of the State was there. Wise, and also his son, 
who was a Colonel of a troop, and who perished 
in the war against the Union. Wilkes Booth was 
there as a private in a Richmond company, the 
future assassin of the President of the Re-united 
States. Robert E. Lee was there and was the 


military head, the future commander-in-chief of 
the armies marshaled against the United States. 
It may be said that those 2,000 men, with a few 
exceptions, have it already in their hearts to do 
what John- Brown has done, are themselves 
unconsciously John Browns in spirit and will 
soon become such in the deed. One cannot help 
querying about these troops marching and coun- 
termarching with drums beating and colors 
flying in serried lines around John Brown's scaf- 
fold : Is there a single soul of you who has any 
presentiment of what you are doing and of what 
you really are? Is there one among you who 
has faintly whispered to himself amid the tramp 
of feet and clatter of arms : I feel John Brown 
lurking in me, and see his flitting ghost entering 
my very soul and installing itself there in spite 
of myself. I on my part am getting ready to do 
what he has done, and I am to receive the 
penalty which I inflict upon him for that deed. 
Here we catch a glimpse of that approaching 
tragedy of Virginia which makes her the most 
conspicuous figure in the war, with the one 
great exception, Lincoln. Without question the 
most influential State in the Union politically, 
the most productive of Great Men as builders and 
defenders of institutions in the infancy of the 
Republic, she is now at the turning-point of her 
career, and is becomino- anti-institutional, getting 
ready to assail what she once built up. The 


truth is soon to be made manifest that she 
has ah'eady brought forth a new set of Great 
Men, not statesmen now but soldiers, the one 
seeking to tear down what the other has con- 

Nor would this thought be complete without 
mentioning the awful Nemesis which will smite 
her, slauo-hterino; her sons and renderinoj her 
desolate. Is she not now punishing with death 
the treason, that is, the anti^institutional deed of 
John Brown? Can sTie read the lesson which 
she herself has written in blazing letters on that 
scaffold : Whoever doeth thus will suffer like- 
wise? And there lies the tragic guilt of Vir- 
ginia; the law of her own deed declared herein 
the punishment of John Brown, is what she is 
going to violate, and of which she will suffer 
the penalty. The execution of John Brown 
means more to Virginia, is more deeply connected 
with her destiny than it is with that of the North. 
Her own tragic doom is foretold in the very 
justice which she so dramatically executes upon 
John Brown. And when the scene had passed 
away, and her troops had gone from the execu- 
tion to their homes, the deepest problem of her 
existence was graven upon her heart: Shall I 
ever do thus and provoke from the Eternal 
Powers my own penalty? 

It is true that many Virginians have saitl and 
still say and seek to prove that their people com- 


mitted no treason iq the act of secession and war. 
Of course they define the term treason in their 
own way. But Virginia certainly engaged " in 
levying war against" the United States, 
" adhering to their enemies, ofivino; them aid and 
comfort." (Constitution, Art. Ill, Sec. Ill, 
CI. I.) Some have even denied that the con- 
duct of Virginia and the South was revolutionary ; 
really, it is said, they were seeking to preserve 
the Union by overthrowing it. But the terrible 
penalty of their deed permits no such interpre- 

IV. There'will always be two opposing judg- 
ments, two at least and perhaps more, upon John 
Brown, that of the moral and that of the insti- 
tutional man. He will be a hero to the mind 
which is limited to itself as .the absolute 
determiner of conduct, against the established 
social and political order. On the other hand 
the man who believes in institutions can never 
believe in John Brown. Kansas would have been 
a Free-State, and the war between the North and 
the South would have been fought, if he had 
never lived. And yet he has his place in the 
movement. His fate gives its color, though not 
the direction to the events of the time. It 
clarified the Folk-Soul not simply upon what 
was to be done but upon the way in which it 
could be done with success. It compelled every 
thinking man in the North to distinguish between 


the two kinds of opposition to slavery, the one 
through and the other against the Constitution. 
Two opposite ways or methods, we may deem 
them, the positive and the negative, or the insti- 
tutional and the anarchic. The People became 
conscious of both, weighed them and emphatically 
chose the institutional way. A great training 
lay in this, an object-lesson we have called it, 
whose result was seen in the platform of the 
Republican party the following year, denouncing 
the lawless invasion of any State as "among the 
gravest of crimes." 

The South ought to have taken the same les- 
son, having the same need of it on its side. It 
punished John Brown for violation of Law and 
Constitution, which surely ought to have warned 
it against committing any such violation itself. 
And yet strangely that is just what it will do. 
Such a difference develops between the two sec- 
tions in regard to the great object-lesson of 
John Brown held up before both by the World- 
Spirit. The one will pursue its end (the delim- 
itation of slavery) constitutionally, the other will 
pursue its end (propagation of slavery) anti- 
constitutionally. The South in its method, 
though not in its purpose, takes John Brown as 
its model — a thing which the North very de- 
cidedly refuses to do. Even the prophecy has 
been uttered that the South will yet raise a 
monument to John Brown as her deliverer at 


Harper's Ferry on the spot where she once exe- 
cuted hiiu as a felon. Such a result seems not 
very likely at present; still the Southern sol- 
diers, marching on Washington and seeking to 
destroy the government of the Constitution and 
Union, could have sung with quite as much pro- 
priety as the Northern soldiers the famous 
refrain : 

"John Brown's body lies a- mouldering in the grave, 
But his soul goes marching on." 

Even the history of this song bears in it the 
tragic note of Nemesis which the song itself so 
impressively utters, and those from whose hearts 
it first gushed forth in exultant strains had the 
strangelot of giving a most striking f ulfillnient in 
their own destiny of what they sang. It is said 
to have originated in the Twelfth Massachusetts 
Eesiment, whose Colonel was Fletcher Webster, 
and to have burst out in a kind of irresistible 
spontaneousness, when these New England sol- 
diers trod the soil of Virginia at Alexandria, 
wlien the locality and the events called up the old 
Puritan in the minds of these children of the 
Puritans. But the song of Nemesis was also 
suncr on the other side, not in the same words 
but certainly with tremendous effect, as the fol- 
lowing record shows: This Regiment, which 
niiirched down the streets of Boston 1000 strong 
ffoinsf to the war, returned home at the end of 


their service with some 80 men, their Colonel, 
the son of Daniel Webster, having fallen on the 
field of battle. At the view of these survivors 
the sono; of John Brown o:ets a new meaning; in 
its universal import it is seen to embrace both 
sides, and his soul which goes marching on, be- 
comes the vengeful image of that tragic Neme- 
sis who washes out national guilt impartially in 
the blood of the Nation. 

V. The North did not wish to adopt John- 
Brownism, unless driven to it by the South, 
Lincoln certainly desired the ultimate extinction 
of slavery, but its Destroyer was to be evolution, 
not revolution. Still violence had to be met by 
violence, and war brought him at last to the point 
of saying that "measures otherwise unconsti- 
tutional might become lawful by becoming indis- 
pensable to the preservation of the Constitution 
through the preservation of the Nation." He 
was pushed to the point at which he saw that he 
had to violate the Constitution in order to save 
it — violate it in part or in a clause to save it as 
a whole with the Nation behind it. Who pushed 
him to such an extreme? The South with its 
armed resistance to Law and Constitution, with 
its John-Brownism, as we may call it in this con- 
nection, which compelled Lincoln very unwill- 
inglj^ as all now acknowledge, to resort to a 
counteracting John-Brownism. In this as in 
everything the North followed him, since he 


drew the very breath of his words from the 
Folk-Soul, which mightily responded to both his 
speech and action. So the Northern men sang 
and had to sing of John-Brown's soul marching 
on, since the great majority of them recognized 
his end to be theirs from the beofinninsr, and then 
finally recognized that they had to resort to his 
method also, in part at least, being forced there- 
to by the South's precipitate John-Brownism, 
after many shirkings and turns and attempts to 

So we have to grasp the relation of John 
Brown equally to the North and the South, and 
to their respective armies, both of which may well 
have seen his disembodied spirit stalking through 
their ranks on the field of carnage. As the 
ghost of Caesar rose up and spoke to Brutus 
before the battle of Philippi, indicating that the 
soul of mighty Julius still was marching on, 
though his body lay mouldering in the grave, and 
saying that he was an " evil spirit " to the cause 
of those who had slain him, so the bodiless spirit 
of John Brown, if not actually beheld, was heard 
singing through the voices of thousands of em- 
battled men, and in that way appeared to both 
sides in a kind of ghostly presence. 

And yet we see that the march of John 
Brown's soul is not that of a Preserver, but of a 
Destro^'er. His spirit is still like that of Shake- 
speare's Caesar "ranging for revenge" with 


the fierce Nemesis of wrong, "like Ate hot 
from Hell" also letting slip "the Dogs of 
War," which will lap the blood of both sides to 
satiety. Thus can his destroying wraith be laid. 
And thus John Brown, steeped in the Hebrew 
Prophets, becomes himself a prophecy of wrath 
for North and South. He has a world-historical 
importance as forecasting and embodying the 
destructive, tragic element of the Great War, 
in contrast with Lincoln who represents its pre- 
servative, positive element, which was at last 
to save both sides from the bloody jaws of their 
own devouring Nemesis. Since the close of 
the Great War bringing peace, reconciliation 
and a restored Union, the John Brown cult has 
sensibly diminished with the clearer insight into 
the historic meaning of his appearance and per- 
formance. Even Kansas which once saluted him 
as Liberator, and was ready to take him as its 
Hero, appears to be getting less addicted to 
John-Brownism, as it grows older and more 
rational. But who can tell? Kansas is pecu- 
liarly the stalking ground of John Brown's 
ghost, which seems to love its old haunts during 
life, rising and re-visiting the scenes of its first 
achievement on the least provocation. His soul 
begins again marching on out there quite readily 
still, though the tendency is to lay the perturbed 
spirit of the old slavery-killer, slavery itself 
being dead, and the borderer having vanished. 


VI. In Europe John Brown has stirred kin- 
dred minds to warm eulogy. Of these Victor 
Hugo is the best known, a genius Titanic but 
certainly not well-balanced. He looks upon 
Brown as a kind of Christ, prophesies the dis- 
ruption of the American Union in consequence 
of Brown's assassination, prefers the failure of 
the martyr to the success of the patriot, and 
hence takes Brown rather than Washington as 
his hero. The only thing that need be said in 
reply is that Hugo has here delivered the most 
stinging criticism upon himself, not only as 
prophet but as poet. The greatest bards of the 
ages are positive and have a positive theme ; but 
Hugo's song in its deepest phase can only be 
the apotheosis of Negation, and celebrate the 
Destroyer. He is no world-poet like Homer, 
Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe; in fact the hitter's 
Faust contains essentially all of Hugo's destruc- 
tion, with the construction in addition. So the 
famous French poet has very effectually, even if 
unintentionally, put himself down into the second 
rank of poetical genius, and his place there ma}' 
be warmly contested. His admiration is for the 
hero of Hoio not to do it, while the great man 
who succeeds in doing the great thing, suffers 
thereby an obscuration of his glory, which would 
have been complete, had he only failed. 

The leading thinkers of our land at that time 
lived in New England, and were quite confined 


to the group of Transcendentalists, who were 
opposed to slavery. These spoke of John Brown 
as the Saint, the Prophet, the Hero, an Angel 
of Light. Emerson thouo;ht he would " make 
the gallows glorious like the cross," and thus be 
a second Christ — which prediction of the seer 
of Concord still awaits fultillnient. These men 
dwelt in a peculiar dream-land about Boston, 
coiners of splendid phrases, brilliant writers and 
rhetors, having developed a greater individual 
culture than anywhere else in the country if not 
in the world. As they, like so many New En- 
glanders, were born talking and writing, they 
have left us their John Brown dressed up in a 
great variety of variegated speech, which must 
be taken as the expression of the best and most 
original minds that New England has produced. 
With all its exce Hence it has no note of nation- 
ality in it, no appreciation of institutions. It 
shows the moral spirit indeed, but in all its nar- 
row pinched-up individualism, which needs and 
seems to be calling for some great liberator who 
will lead it out of its own self-built prison walls, 
the most adamantine of all fortresses. Very dif- 
ferent were the homely words of Abraham Lincoln 
addressed to the yeomanry gathered round him 
on the prairies of Illinois. Their world-histo- 
rical import has been already set forth. But the 
fact must here be brought out that the War with 
its leader Lincoln performed a great act of 


spiritual liberation for New England. Though 
it deemed itself einancipated completely, it 
needed a new emancipation in its way as much 
as the South. When the leader gave his call for 
troops against rebellion, disunion and secession, 
New England responded at once, for her people 
were at bottom patriots and good Americans, 
even if it can be shown (as some Southern 
writers delight in doino-) that New England was 
the original home of rebellion, disunion and 
secession. But all this, if not exactly van- 
ished, could be blown off in talk, that inge- 
nious safety-valve of democracy from old 
Athens down to the present, which safety- 
valve was always at work puffing away in Massa- 
chusetts relieving itself of its inner earthquakes. 
Still it must be recognized that the call of Lin- 
coln, sounding the key-note of the Nation's crisis, 
stirred in the New-Englander a deeper strand 
than his abstract moralism, than his negative 
John-Brownism (not wholly without value, how- 
ever, we hold), a deeper strand than he was 
probably aware of, for his deed shows his spirit 
breaking out of its prison of mere moral individ- 
ualism and provincialism, and becoming national 
and institutional. That was a real emancipation 
surely much needed, and we know that its leader 
in deed and word was Lincoln. 

The Garrisonians were the one chief, but very 
noisy exception. Wendell Phillips called Lincoln 


a slave-catcher on account of his attitude toward 
the Fugitive Slave Law. Garrison declared the 
Constitution to be an agreement with Hell and a 
covenant with death. At Framingham, Mas- 
sachusetts, he, surrounded by a crowd of applaud- 
ing followers, publicly burned the Constitution 
of the United Slates. His paper (called the Lib- 
erator) opposed Eli Thayer and sneered at the 
Emigrant Aid Society, preferring disunion to the 
freedom of Kansas in the Union. These peo- 
ple always claimed that their purpose was to 
rouse the moral spirit, so that they too must be 
considered an off-shoot of Puritanic moralism. 
Their faith in words was absolute, for they advo- 
cated mere agitation, asserting non-resistance. 
They praised John Brown, for he too was a dis- 
unionist and anarchist ; still he differed from them 
as he believed in the deed. Attending a meeting 
of Abolitionists in Boston not long before his 
start for Harper's Ferry, he complained that they 
were all talk, whereas the time needed action. 
If we take Emerson as the best type of man 
which his people and section have brought forth, 
we have to think that New England could not 
have produced Lincoln, though it could and did 
give us John Brown. Lincoln belonged to the 
Derived States, not to the Original Thirteen, to 
the new not to the old. He sprang from and 
specially represented the West-Northern part of 
the Union, which at his call rose in a mighty mass 


of living valor, swept down the Mississippi and 
opened the great river to the sea, then wheeled 
eastward and pushed on to Chattanooga, to 
Atlanta, to Savannah, till it came up in the rear 
of Richmond where it found the two sides of the 
OldThirteen still facing each other, quite as they 
had been doing for four j^ears. Whereupon 
came the end, but with it the question. What 
does it all mean, this vast circular sweep of the 
Ten Years' War? Let our reader bear the ques- 
tion in mind, for an answer cannot yet be 
attempted, though he may well keep before 
himself the imao-e of the old States remainino- 
substantially on one spot during the whole con- 
test, and of the new States continually moving for- 
ward around the circumference of the Union till 
they embrace it completely. 

VII. We must cast a final look at John Brown 
during those last days when the scaffold awaits 
him in Virginia. Did he have some perception, 
even if dim, that his own law of retaliation had 
come home to him in the penalty which he was 
soon to suffer, and in the death of his two sons 
slain in the fight? That is a secret which prob- 
ably went with him to the grave, though the 
thought of it lay so near. Did he have any spe- 
cial reminder to turn such a look inwards? Here 
comes a letter addressed to him — from whom? 
It is signed by Mrs. Mahala Doyle, whose hus- 
band and two sons were called out of then* 


home at dead of night and slain by Brown and 
his two youngest sons at the Pottawatomie mas- 
sacre (evidence of Townsley, now generally ac- 
cepted as the statement of an eye-witness). Her 
words still sound like the very voice of Nemesis 
proclaiming from the skies and exulting in the 
return of the blood-stained deed upon its guilty 
doer. "I confess," says she, " that I do feel 
gratified to hear that you were stopped in your 
fiendish career at Harper's Ferry, with the loss 
of your two sons. You can now appreciate my 
distress in Kansas when you entered my house 
at midnight and arrested my husband and two 
boys, and took them out in the yard, and in cold 
blood shot them dead in my hearing." Thus 
the John Brown cycle of gory retaliation has 
completed itself, and has even been voiced in a 
strain like that of the Last Judgment by the 
bereaved wife and mother. No Greek tragedy 
imaging the sanguinary requital of the Furies 
of the wicked Deed, no Greek legend fabling a 
Thyestean banquet of blood-thirsty vengeance 
can equal the historic reality of John Brown's 
drama of retribution from its Kansas inception 
to its Virginia conclusion. (The letter of Mrs. 
Doyle, dated Chattanooga, Tennessee, whither 
she had returned from Kansas, is printed in 
Robinson's book, The Kansas Conjlict,^). 399). 
Thus the tragedy of John Brown winds up 
with its Cassandra, in her furious but exultant 



words voicing over him and his family what he 
has done to her and her family, and driving home 
to the reader, if not to John Brown, the outcome 
of retaliation. More she is than Cassandra, who 
never suffered in her own person as wife and 
mother what this woman has suffered with the 
keenest poignancy of the human heart. So that 
old song of Troy insists upon bringing back its 
deeds and characters, even if transformed, and 
repeating them in our American Iliad, also full of 

VIII. But this American Iliad of ours does 
not end with John Brown's tragedy and its voice 
of Cassandra; in fact only the beginning thereof 
has been made. A new phase of the great prob- 
lem has arisen, which neither Lincoln nor Brown 
has met — neither Lincoln's exclusion of slavery 
from the Territories nor Brown's invasion of 
the Slave-States. It is an immediate emergency to 
be faced on the spot by the man then and there 
present, without waiting for Lincoln's gradual 
extinction of the system or the result of Brown's 
distant incursion. 

What is it? Here he comes, the panting 
fugitive right across our path, having reached a 
Free-State, probably after many toils and dan- 
gers, with that deepest human instinct beating 
in his breast, the instinct of liberty. Behold, 
the bloodhounds are on his track, the slave- 
catcher is about to seize him, and take him back 


to a more bitter enslavement, supported by that 
Fugitive Slave Law to which Lincoln said the 
South had a right under the Constitution. But 
tell us, O Lincoln, sympathetic soul, what will 
you do when you see that sorely pressed fellow- 
man running past your office in Springfield to- 
ward freedom — will you run after him and help 
capture him? Certainly you will hesitate. But 
the Marshal is here and commands you, having 
this right by law. The problem in its keen in- 
tensity was never brought home to Lincoln in 
Illinois and did not rise in his great debate with 
Douglas. But it came up with an overpowering 
energy in many places of the Free-States, reach- 
ing as far north as Boston in the East and Wis- 
consin in the West. It is a new, more intense 
and more passionate phase of that same well- 
known conflict between legality and conviction, 
between the Constitution and Conscience. More- 
over, it passes to a new field, to a new State, 
out of Illinois and Virginia. The chief scene of 
this present form of the struggle was Ohio, 
though it was taking place sporadically through- 
out the North. 

And the new man appears representing the 
new problem, and embodying iu himself its fierce 
collision with authority. Also he gives to this 
problem his solution, seemingly the only one 
possible under the conditions. 


Simeon BuebnelL 

In this process of the Northern Folk-soul we 
are going to place with Abraham Lincoln and 
John Brown, most famous men of their period, 
the name of a man almost unknown hitherto in 
History, certainly not known in the World's 
History. Of him our reader has probably never 
heard. But it so came about that he, an humble 
toiler in a small town, was chosen for a brief 
moment to be the upholder and the representative 
of the grand cause pending before the Tribunal 
of the Ages. He had no far-sounding voice 
echoing through Space and down Time ; no 
splendid gift of any kind ; still in him and 
through him was embodied an act which makes 
him, more than any other man we know of dur- 
ing this particular epoch, the visible though 
momentary appearance of the World-Spirit in- 
carnate, whose presence is now to be called up 
illuminatinor and transfiguring the mortal form 
of Simeon Bushnell, an unpretentious workman 
of Oberlin, in Northern Ohio, 

His short career illustrates a new phase of 
the prevailing conflict between morality and le- 
galitj^. The individual now recognizes both 
commands, the inner and the outer, even in their 
contradiction; he feels compelled to violate one 


of them, though he acknowledges it to have 
validity, aud stands ready to take the penalty 
of his violation. The soul becomes the tragic 
arena of the mighty collision of the time ; the 
very self of man splits within and turns into 
two warring selves which reflect the struggle of 
the Nation. Such was the internal conflict 
which the execution of the Fugitive Slave Law 
called forth with greater or less intensity 
throughout the North, and was by no means 
unfelt in the South, for many a Southerner and 
Slaveholder refused to pursue runaway slaves, 
even his own. 

After the passage of a new Fugitive Slave 
Law, that of 1850, much more strict and 
offensive in its provisions that the old one of 
1793, an era of slave-hunting on the part of the 
South began in the North, and extended through 
the Fifties, rousing an ever-increasing hostility. 
It provoked the strongest inner protest, which 
often drove men to action, causing them not 
only to help their fleeing fellow-man, but to 
rescue him if he happened to get caught. These 
rescuers were not ordinary law-breakers, but 
usually conscientious citizens of the best stand- 
inar. Thus the Fugitive Slave Enactment 
became the means of pushing the two Laws, 
moral and statutory, to their sharpest point of 
contradiction. The Constitution of the United 
States undoubtedly provided for the rendition of 


Fugitive Slaves, and Congress was endowed with 
the power of making such provision effectual 
through apprppriate legislation. On the contrary, 
the Conscience of the time had risen to a state of 
strong opposition to such an enactment, and was 
ready in many places of the North not only to 
disobey passively, but to violate actively its 
injunctions. The South or rather the Oligarchy, 
however, was the more determined to force the 
odious measure upon the North, with that feeling 
of domination which had grown to be the salient 
trait of its character, and with the belief that the 
test of its long maintained supremacy lay in the 
act of compelling the North to chase down and 
return to captivity its fleeing bondmen. 

The chief scene of these attempts was Ohio. 
Two Slave-States, Kentucky and Virginia, ad- 
joined it, furnishing a very long boundary line 
over which the fugitive could easily escape into 
freedom. Then its people as a whole were 
known to be anti-slavery, and it was seamed from 
the Ohio River northward in all directions with 
the Underground Railroad, a popular name for 
that system of organized hel}) which conducted 
the fugitive from one place of safety to another. 
Here we may note the reason why the present 
phase of the time's problem appears with such 
little emphasis in the otherwise epoch-making 
contest between Lincoln and Douglas. Illinois 
had also an extended boundary line along two 


Slave-States, Kentucky and Missouri, witii 
corresponding opportunities for the escape of 
fufyitives. But Illinois was known to be uu- 
friendly to the black man, its early law not 
permitting him when free to settle within its 
borders. Then the Southern part of the State, 
which the fleeing slave would ordinarily have to 
pass through first, was rabidly anti-negro, if not 
pro-slavery. So it comes that the Fugitive Slave 
Law, lacking material for fire, never became a 
burning question in Illinois, and barely rises to 
the surface in the discussions of Lincoln, who 
held that the South had a constitutional right to 
it, though he denounced slave-catching as " a 
dirty and disagreeable business which the slave- 
holders would not do for one another. " 

But if Ohio is the chosen State, the Northern 
part of the State, called the Western Reserve, is 
the chosen part, and in this Western Reserve 
one small town is the chosen spot, where the 
fullest and most complete manifestation of both 
sides of the conflict between the two Laws, the 
moral and the enacted, is to be witnessed. 
Oberlin was primarily a religious community, 
devoted to the cultivation of the inner life and to 
revivalism; then it became strongly anti-slavery, 
and, being a college town, took a vast stride 
into the future, proclaiming that every human 
being has the right to be educated, and educated 
in the society of his fellow-beings, without re- 


gard to difference of race or sex. \Yhite men 
and women, black men and women, were all as- 
sociated together in the same classes, pursuing 
the same end of their common humanity in the 
attainment of a free spirit through education. 
In this regard Oberlin College, though not 
specially erudite, occupies a very lofty and ad- 
vanced position in the history of pedagogy, being 
the first school of national importance that ever 
took such an attitude, heroic then even in the 
North, not so difficult now. But at present it 
is her political history with which we are con- 

Oberlin was the very home of the Higher Law, 
of the deification of Conscience, which in her 
religious speech was called the voice of God, or 
more emphatically the Law of God. This Con- 
science it was which abhorred Slavery not only 
as a wrong to Man but as a sin against God. 
On the other hand Oberlin kept her citizenship, 
nay her patriotism ; she rejected Garrison, and 
did not follow the revolutionarj' method of John 
Brown. It is a curious fact that Brown was 
emploj'ed by Oberlin College in 1840 to survey 
some Virginia lands, in which it had an interest. 
These lands were situated in a county along the 
Ohio River, and it is said that Brown formed his 
first plan of invading Virginia during this tour 
of survevinff. He observed the mountains and 
their fastnesses, thinking that they would be a 


refuge and a protection for a small band of 
whites and an army of runaways. Brown im- 
agined then, as he did nineteen j^ears later 
at Harper's Ferry, that the slaves, as soon as 
the presence of a deliverer became known, 
would flock to his standard from every quarter 
of the South. This was his great delusion in 
regard to the negro's character, which delusion 
however was shared by the North. And the 
strange fact is that it was shared by the Southern 
slaveholders if we may judge from their terror of 
servile insurrection so often and so passionately 
dilated upon by their orators. Yet the slaves 
during the war never rose, never as a body even 
ran away from their slavery, when both oppor- 
tunity and incentive, one would think, were not 
wanting. It is evident that the pivotal point 
of Brown's scheme turned on an element in the 
darkey which he did not possess, even if Brown 
succeeded in getting five negroes to take part in 
his invasion, one of whom hailed from Oberlin, 
and, having been taken prisoner, was tried and 

Oberlin naturally came to have a large popu- 
lation of colored people who gathered there for 
the purpose of protection and of education. 
Accordingly it became a secret haunt of slave- 
catchers, who were watched in turn despite their 
precaution. One of these man-hunters succeeded 
in decoying a fugitive out of town, and carrying 


him off to a iieisliboriiio; railway station, where 
he was rescued by a small army of pursuers, 
chiefly Oberlinites. This took place September 
13th, 1858, while Lincoln was in the midst of 
his debate wnth Douglas, which did not broach 
the Higher Law, but turned upon the question 
of keeping slavery out of the Territories, and 
thereby of bringing it slowly to an end through 
Law and Constitution. On the other hand 
John Brown was at this time active, seeking 
to put into operation his revolutionary plan 
of destroying slavery at once by a direct inva- 
sion, he also claiming to act in obedience to the 
Higher Law, or the command of God in his own 
heart. The Territories were at a distance from 
Lincoln, and the Slave-States were at a distance 
from Brown ; but at Oberlin the fleeing slave 
has brought to every man's hearth and heart the 
battle between the two Laws, those of Conscience 
and the Constitution, and he has to take sides 
on the spot. 

December 7th, through the Grand Jury of 
the United States Court at Cleveland, Ohio, 
thirty-seven men, chiefly residents of Oberlin, 
were indicted for resisting the Fugitive Slave 
Law. The marshal put them under arrest, and 
they voluntarily went to Cleveland for trial. 
And now opens that conflict of the two sides 
both of which were represented by able and often 
passionate disputants, headed by the United 


States Judge (Willson), who in his charge to 
the Grand Jury, declared: "There is a senti- 
ment prevalent in the community which arro- 
gates to human conduct a standard of right 
above and independent of human laws; aud it 
makes the Conscience of each individual in 
society the test of his own accountability to the 
laws of the land." The Judge proceeds to 
acknowledge that such a " sentiment is semi- 
religious in its development," but he denounces 
it as " almost invariably characterized by intol- 
erance and bigotry," as well as subversive of 
human society. On the other hand the press, 
the pulpit, the hustings resounded with echoes, 
loud and continued, of the Higher Law. It 
was, however, no mere theoretical discussion. 
Here were men imprisoned, over whom hung 
the penalty for obeying that Higher Law, yet 
ready to take the legal consequences of such 
an act though imposed by an unfriendly Judi- 
ciary. Said one of the prisoners, a Professor 
in the College : " AYe mean to make patriotism a 
part of our religion, and to be behind none in 
prompt and earnest service for the honor and 
good of the Commonwealth." The Professor 
added: "Only when the Commonwealth is 
loyal to God," can we be loyal to her; and we 
intend to teach our children that " they will not 
be dutiful to the State, if they did not hold her 
to her duty to God." The reader to day asks; 


But who, \n.y dear Professor, is to be judge be- 
tween the individual aud the State when this 
conflict between Conscience and Authority 
breaks out in a fury? Are you? Is the State? 
Or is there perchance some Power, some Spirit 
over both, bringing them first into this terrible 
struggle and then leading them out of it, possi- 
bly through blood, to a new reconciliation? 
Such a road both these conflicting sides are now 
traveling and will reach at last a common goal. 

Meanwhile the case of Simeon Bushnell has 
been called for trial (April 5, 1859). Again the 
conflict seethes up in that court room, now 
between the two sets of attornej^s, one set for 
the prosecution, the other for the prisoners. 
Vituperation of each other and each other's 
cause spiced the proceedings to the point of giv- 
ing the lie, intermingled with applause and hisses 
of the audience. It was another of those pre- 
liminary battles forecasting the Great War. 
The outcome of the trial was that Bushnell was 
condemned to a flue of six hundred dollars, and to 
imprisonment in the county jail for sixty days. 

The conflict had roused the whole North, and 
particularly the Western Reserve, which as- 
sembled in a great mass-meeting at Cleveland, 
May 24th. But in that excited multitude there 
was no thought of rescuing the prisoners, or of 
anv violence. Protests against Slavery and the 
Fugitive Slave Law were indeed loud, long and 


passionate. Giddings came the nearest to a 
revolutionary note in his speech, but he toned it 
down the next morning in a card to a leading 
newspaper. Chase, the Republican Governor of 
the State, spoke soothingly. " The great 
remedy is in the people themselves at the ballot- 
box. See to it, what kind of a President you 
elect again." Whereat many a man in that 
audience had a little chuckle to himself when he 
thousht that Chase was a Presidential candidate. 
In all these discussions one is surprised at the 
stress put upon State-Rights. Over and over 
again do we hear that the Fugitive Slave Law of 
1850 violated the sovereignty of the State of 
Ohio, and was therefore unconstitutional. The 
South in its palmiest days never set forth this 
doctrine with more vigor and passion. And it 
was known that there were Southerners who 
held that the Fugitive Slave Law was unconsti- 
tutional through its violation of State-Rights. 
So the pro-slavery extremists of South Carolina 
and the anti-slavery extremists of the Western 
Reserve could meet at a common point and have 
a hearty handshake. The Attorney-General of 
Ohio (Wolcott), in an argument upon a phase 
of the present case, branded the Fugitive Shive 
Act of 1850 " as a flagrant usurpation of wholly 
undelegated powers," which sounds like South 
Carolina. To be sure, Daniel Webster and Henry 
Clay, both anti-slavery men as well as great law- 


yers, held it to be constitutional and voted for it, 
not to speak of other eminent members of the 
Congress which passed it. So State-Rights had 
hot champions in the North as well as in the 
South, though the sup})ort of such championship 
had purposes exacth' opposite. 

Governor Chase at the Cleveland mass-meeting, 
made a remark which deserves to be remembered. 
He said that the Fugitive Slave Law was in- 
tended as a symbol — " symbol of the supremacy 
of the Slave-States and subjugation of the Free- 
States." The fact is the Cotton States which 
lost few slaves, in comparison with the Northern 
tier of Slave-States, were by far the loudest, 
most exacting, and most menacing supporters of 
the Fugitive Slave Law — which fact had un- 
doubtedly its covert meaning, or was symbolic, 
as Chase puts it. 

The second trial was that of a mulatto, a man 
of education and ability, who claimed with pierc- 
ing logic and passionate eloquence that he had 
not been tried by jury of his peers, who were 
white men, in violation of the fundamental pre- 
cept of Anglo-Saxon justice. The judge seemed 
to feel the force of his plea and gave him a light 

Through a legal maneuver under the gruise of 
a State law against kidnaping, the trial was 
brought to a close, and the untried persons were 
released, and returned home in a kind of triumph 


(July 7th, 1859). It was generally agreed that 
the Oberlinites had been victorious in the pre- 
liminary struggle for their principle. The whole 
affair from its inception had lasted nearly ten 
months and had made the entire North conscious 
of the deeper condict underlying and causing the 
throes of the time. Both political parties could 
not help seeing the issue in its full bearing, and 
the best men of the land were making up their 
minds upon that issue. Every day during this 
period the newspapers thrust the matter before 
their readers. 

Such was the new stage in the grand discip- 
line of the Northern Folk-Soul for the crisis 
which is surely approaching. Higher Law is 
indeed old, it was recognized by that fertile 
Greek mind which seemed to have in it all the 
conflicts of the future erabryonically. Antigone 
(a woman, mark) following her own inner Law, 
buries her dead brother in opposition to the Law 
of the State expressed by the ruler. Even 
ancient Homer shows Hector fiojhting: for his 
country which he deems to be in the wrong, and 
hence meeting with a tragic fate. Oberlin, 
however, interpreted the Bible (not Greek Liter- 
ature) into the Higher Law, though the South 
interpreted that same Bible in the opposite 
way, and prayed as fervently to its God. The 
Bible does indeed renew Conscience, but Con- 
science must also renew the Bible. The historian 


from his point of view will say that the Spirit of 
History, the Genius of Civilization, the World- 
Spirit was working in that Oberlin Conscience, 
making it and its deed expressive of and stimu- 
lating to millions of others, and therein putting 
them all under training. So we may affirm that 
the World-Spirit, after skipping from Illinois to 
Harper's Ferry, sweeps back into Northern 
Ohio, and very distinctly to the historic eye, 
with which we now must look, may be seen 
alighting in the small town of Oberlin and 
choosing an humble citizen to be its doer and 

But the act is yet to be told. Simeon 
Bushnell's time of imprisonment had not expired 
when the other untried rescuers Avere themselves 
rescued and left the jail for home. But on the 
11th of July his sixty days were over, and after 
having suffered the full penalty of the law aud 
paid his fine he started on his triumphal march 
from Cleveland to Oberlin, to the thousand- 
throated refrain, yea if there could have been 
heard all the secret chorus of sympathetic choris- 
ters throughout the Nation, to the million- 
throated refrain of "See, the conquering Hero 
comes." The town was full of people, who 
assembled at the great church, as they were 
celebrating a supreme religious act in their con- 
viction, where speeches, aud brass bands, and 
choir-singing praised the Lord and His miraculous 


act of deliverance in a mighty tumult of jubila- 
tion. The culminating moment w;js when 
Simeon Bushnell, being called upon for a speech, 
rose to his feet in the pulpit and proclaimed in 
the hiirhest notes of his somewhat shrill voice 
that there he stood, and was again ready to give 
aid to the panting fugitive, and again ready to 
take the punishment for such deed of merciful 
help extended in the hour of need to his fellow- 
man and commanded by God's own Law. 
Whereat such a shout of approval arose in that 
crowded church, along with the blowing of brass 
horns in the gallery as if from the Heavens, and 
with the rising and singing of a solid mass of 
jubilant voices from the lofty seats of the choir, 
that no mortal man could stand out against the 
enthusiasm, or help feeling the presence of ' ' that 
Power irresistible," which Lincoln had also expe- 
rienced as moving and working in vast assem- 
blages of the People on the prairies of Illinois 
durino; his debate with Douglas. 

But with this one deed and speech, of far 
deeper import than many of greater fame and 
pretension, the humble artisan of Oberlin passes 
out of the ken of the World's History, and not 
very long afterwards out of life, since he was 
suffering all these days from the secret ravages 
of an incurable disease. Thus be was destmed 
never to witness the termination of that conflict 
for which he stood and suffered. 



Here, then , the t WO colliding elements have a new 
solution, not liual, but possible for the exigency. 
You are to obey both Laws and seek the ultimate 
remedy of their conflict, harassing though it be, 
through the peaceful ballot. That was not 
John Brown's method. But what if yonder 
fugitive, straining every nerve to escape his pur- 
suers, comes your way just now? Obey the in- 
ner Law and help him, then obey the outer Law 
and take the penalty. Endure, endure thou 
must, for the sake of Conscience ; endure, endure 
thou must, for the sake of the Institution and 
its Law. Such was the double aspect of duty 
appearing to Simeon Bushnell and many others. 
It must be endured for the present, that dilacer- 
ating contradiction between the Enacted and 
the Higher Law, or between what are called the 
human and the divine decrees, though both are 
equally divine and equally human. To this 
point of tension has the time driven the man of 
Conscience. Take me, says he, punish me, I 
have deserved it for violating Law, but I would 
have deserved worse, deserved Hell itself, if I 
had not violated Law in this case. Kill me, if 
you wish, life is nothing if I have to obey that 
Law; I would rather die than not extend help to 
the humble fellow-mortal in his sorest trial. To 
such a depth and energy has the conflict reached 
that man begins to stand face to face with his 
own tragedv. The result of the execution of 


the Fugutive Slave Law was to intensify the 
growing conviction that not only the enactment 
but the source of it must be wiped out. In such 
a land there can be no inner peace for a man of 
Conscience. Gladly would we leave slavery alone 
in the Slave States, but it will not leave us alone. 

Underneath all assertions of non-interference 
with slavery where it legally exists, is fermenting 
the Folk-Soul of the North feelins: that such a 
solution can only be temporary. It is indeed at 
bottom a negative solution, wherein the individ- 
ual with his conscience is punished, possiblj' de- 
stroyed. This is no true reconciliation of the 
moral and the institutional elements in man; each 
is still outside of the other and antagonistic. 
Wait; in about six years from this time Con- 
science will rise and transform that Constitution 
which now suppresses and punishes it, as we may 
hear in the following grand act of liberation : 
*' Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, ex- 
cept as a punishment for crime, shall exist within 
the United States, or any place subject to their 

But to this point time has not yet historically 
brought us though preparing for a rapid jour- 
ney thither. After tarrying these few months 
the World-Spirit will leave Oberlin also, having 
made it the most striking representative of a 
peculiar phase of the mighty conflict. The town 
produced no great historic character, like 


Lincoln, like John Brown. It was the commu- 
nity, substantially self-guided, that arose and 
did the deed. Some professors, some students, 
some citizens, some darkeys, some politicians 
(for these too were on hand), made up the rather 
indistinguishable throng which poured itself out 
of the town and streamed down the road, quite 
leaderless, after the slave-catcher, who was now 
hunted himself with far more desperation than 
he had ever hunted a slave. The act of the 
whole community it was with a few dissentient 
voices, one of which was that of the Village 
Blacksmith, a herculean negro, who, once a 
slave himself in the South, had bought his own 
freedom and then that of his wife and children, 
through skill and industry at his trade, and had 
landed them all in Oberlin, continuing still, iu 
his talk at least, a pro-slavery African. 

So it remains the great merit of this com- 
munity, with many like-minded ones, that in her 
the moral spirit, though so deeply cherished and 
cultivated, never became destructive of Law and 
Institutions, as it has often done ; nor, on the 
other hand, did this moral spirit renounce and 
deny its own worth and validity within its 
legitimate sphei-e, as it has often done. Con- 
science sought not to destroy the Constitution 
in its strongest self-assertion, but, waiting and 
suffering if need be, sought rather to transform 
that instrument of supreme institutional au- 


thority, even through the obedience of pain and 
martyrdom, into harmony with itself as the 
superscription and the decree of the World- 
Spirit. This transformation at last took place, 
and that furious struggle between the moral and 
institutional man, which so long and so fiercely 
rent the Folk-Soul of the North, was pacified, 
receiving a truer and deeper reconciliation of its 
contending claims than any hitherto known in 
the World's History, 

Such was the one side, the Northern with the 
mighty throes surging through its heart during 
these years (1858-61), begotten of slavery; but 
what about the other side? 


We can now turn to the South and try to find 
out what it is doing, what is going on within its 
Folk-Soul by way of prelude to the great 
struggle. As already stated, the difference 
between North and South is more pronounced 
than ever, though it existed from the beginning; 
Kansas has widened that little crack in the Union 
called Mason and Dixon's line into an open chasm : 
each side is starting to become a separate country 
with its own life and purpose. Thus the Folk- 
Soul of the Nation as whole is cleft in the 
middle, and commences to show two opposed 
and conflicting Folk-Souls, whose contest is our 
Ten Years' War. But it must not be forgotten 
that while the whole is dividing itself into these 
two halves, one of these halves shows the tend- 
ency toward Disunion and the other toward 

In the matter of land, the South in 1858 had a 


greater area than the North (851,488 square 
miles to 612,597, that is, over one-third more). 
Then the North had about twice as many inhabi- 
tants to the square mile as the South. If the 
argument turned on an equal distribution of the 
land between the two sections, the South had an 
area equal to five States of the size of New York 
more than the North. If the argument turned 
on the people's need of land as indicated by 
population, the North needed it twice as much as 
the South. But the contest really was for polit- 
ical powerthrough the new States to be made out 
of the Territories. The area of these Territories 
in 1858 equaled the area of both Northern and 
Southern States, with a little State in addition, 
larorer than Massachusetts. Such was the out- 
look upon the coming strife between the two sec- 
tions, of which Kansas would seemingly be but 
a brief prelude, provided that the movement kept 
going westward. But, strange to say, the stress 
of the conflict, as already noted, has quit Kan- 
sas, and wheeling about, is moving eastward. 
The center of the trouble must be sought for, and 
the cure must take place there. Starting from 
the Kansas border, the World-Spirit whose 
movement we are particularly watching, seems to 
be marching for the Old-Thirteen, and for their 
Capital, Washington. And when the Great War 
comes on, we shall find that it has essentially the 


same movement, its total sweep bemg taken into 
the account. 

In the North we have watched the struggle 
between the moral and institutional elements in 
its various manifestations, which have been rep- 
resented by three individuals. In the South we 
shall find that the process moves through classes 
rather than through individuals, and is aristo- 
cratic rather than democratic, its trend being 
from above downwards rather than from below 
upwards. The problem in the North is : How 
shall we make our moral convictions determine 
our Institutions? The problem in the South is: 
How shall we make our Institutions determine 
our moral convictions? Shall our rising Con- 
science transform the inherited Law, or shall 
the inherited Law transform our rising Con- 
science? There is no doubt that the North in- 
clined one way, and the South the opposite way. 
If the World-Spirit first stamps its superscription 
upon the Folk-Soul in an ethical form, then the 
South ran counter to the World-Spirit, to Prog- 
ress, to Civilization. Thus the Kansas conflict, 
as we have often noted, is typical of the con- 
flict between the two sections, and preludes the 
the Great War. 

In general it may be said that the democratic 
Individualism of the North is moving toward the 
associated whole of the Nation, while the aristo- 
cratic Classism of the South is moving toward 


the dissociated partition of the Nation. The 
origin of this Classism, so separative in its 
nature, goes back to the great gulf which di- 
vides the bhick slave from the white master, 
quite impassable on account of the differ- 
ence of race. This difference gradually per- 
meated the whole social fabric of the South, 
dividing the whites also into Classes, the slave- 
holders and the non-slaveholders, between whom 
the chasm kept widening, as the one Class em- 
braced largely the rich and educated, the 
other the poor and ignorant. Yet both the 
slaves and the non-slaveholders were in a large 
majority, so that at home the slaveholders as a 
minority had to rule two majorities. In fact so 
strono- did the spirit of Classism become, that 
their own slaveholding Class split into subordi- 
nate Classes, of which one, also a minority of 
the total Class, bore sway over the rest which 
made up the majority. 

I. At this point we can see what the slavehold- 
ers of the South, as the ruling Class, were think- 
ing about incessantly. Their political problem 
maybe summarized as the minority's government 
over the majority. How can the few and relatively 
always becoming fewer, rule the greater number, 
and always becoming relatively greater? It is 
evident that such a problem must lay an ever- 
increasing burden upon the Southern mind, which 
had to occupy itself almost exclusively with pol- 


itics, if it was goiug to retain its supremacy. 
Moreover sucii an exclusive line of thought and 
work moulded in time the character. 

In order that the reader may see the nature 
and sweep of this problem, we shall set down in 
order the four majorities which the one Southern 
minority deemed that it had to control, and 
actually did control, for many years, even with 
a continually increasing disparity in numbers and 

(1.) The Class of slaveholders within itself 
developed into several divisions, the uppermost 
and richest of which may be taken to embrace 
the owners of fifty slaves and more, while the 
lowest and poorest division would include the 
owners of one, two, three and even four slaves. 
In the latter the masters usually labored in the 
fields with their bondmen. The first division — 
less than 8,000 by the census of 1850 — gave 
tone to Southern society, and furnished its policy 
as well most of its rulers. Then came the inter- 
mediate division or divisions. The lowest di- 
vision, however, was more numerous than all 
the other divisions combined, containing over 
174,000 small slaveholders, who often showed 
discontent, and had to be skillfully handled by 
the ruling minority. 

It is this fact which makes the term Oligarchy 
applicable to the rule of the slaveholders. The 
governing Class was really a select Class (or 


Few) within the total Class, which was itself a 
minority of the entire Southern white popula- 
tion. The whole body of slaveholders formed 
an Aristocracy, but the Aristocracy was itself 
ruled by an Oligarchy with in itself. Now it was 
this Oligarchy whose counsels controlled the 
South and also the Nation, till its power was 
broken by the War. As we here see, it starts at 
home inside its own Class with minority rule, 
which becomes its strongest principle as well as 
its inmost character, causing it to send forth 
from itself as center a succession of concentric 
waves of minority rule to the limits of the land. 
(2.) The next majority to be mentioned as 
controlled by the Southern minority of slave- 
holders is that of the white non-slaveholders 
of their section. How is this accomplished? 
As the minority has the State legislatures, there 
is no adequate system of Public Schools, so that 
the poor whites are kept in ignorance. More- 
over their labor is degraded by slavery, being 
regarded as servile, and it is often driven out of 
the market, reducing those who have it for sale 
to abject poverty. The result is a bitter preju- 
dice in the impoverished and ignorant non- 
slaveholder not so much against the slaveholder, 
the real cause, as against the black slave, the 
apparent cause. This prejudice was the great 
lever which the minority used for the preserva- 
tion of its power in the South, by rousing in the 


poor whites the hate for their black competitors 
and also the fear of negro equality. 

(3.) The third majority in his own section 
which the slaveholder had to control embraced 
the blacks, numbering about three and one-half 
millions in 1850. Of course this control was 
economic and personal rather than political and 
indirect; still it was authority and the source of 
the other authorities in more ways than one. It 
gave to the slaveholder his financial power, his 
leisure for politics, his social position, and also 
his dominating character. There is little doubt 
that the appetite of the Southerner for authority 
as well as his skill in gratifying it, sprang from 
his mastership over his slaves bred in him for 
generations and starting in early infancy. This 
was his original and fundamental minority rule, 
which spread from that one relation into every 

The educational eifect of slavery has often 
been noticed. No man has spoken of this with 
greater power and sagacity than Thomas Jeffer- 
son, himself a slaveholder though anti-slavery. 
As his evidence was given long before the strife 
between North and South — in which a struggle 
for power was also mingled — we may take his 
statements as those of an impartial observer. In 
his Notes on Virginia he says: "The whole 
commerce between master and slave is a perpetual 
exercise of the most boisterous passions — the 


most unremitting despotism on one part and de- 
grading submission on the other. Our children 
see this, and learn to imitate it, for man is an 
imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all 
education in him. * * * The parent storms, 
the child looks on, catches the lineaments of 
wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of 
smaller slaves, gives loose rein to the worst of 
passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily 
exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by 
it with its odious peculiarities. * * * ^i;i^ 
with what execration must the stcitesinan be 
loaded " who does not work for the annihilation 
of this curse. No New England abolitionist in 
the noon-day of anti-slavery excitement ever 
used stronger language than this. For our 
present purpose, however, we wish to call atten- 
tion to its educational insioht which goes far to 
account for the inborn and inbred love of domi- 
nation in the Southerner, who both inherited it 
from his ancestors and was educated into it by 
his environment. A minority ruler he was by 
birth and by training. We are seeking to ac- 
count for him, not to abuse him, and herein we 
are simply following the keen psychological 
analysis of Jefferson who threw such a penetrat- 
ing glance into the hearts of those around him 
and perchance into his own heart. 

(4.) The foregoing account has shown the 
slaveholding minority — the Oligarchy — ruling 


three majorities at home in the South, that of 
its own Class, and of the non-slaveholding Class, 
and of the slaves. This very considerable work 
it has done with success. But now comes a 
srreater task, and one which isorrowino- more and 
more difficult — its minority rule over the whole 
Nation, inclusive of the North ever increasing in 
population and wealth, and also in hostility to 
slavery and its oligarchical rule. It must always 
astonish the world how long and with what po- 
litical skill this small minority of the South was 
able to dominate the four great majorities, till at 
last its power was broken in the Nation by the 
election of Lincoln in 1860, and then shivered 
to fragments in its own section by the Great 

It is probable that the Oligarchy might have 
maintained its minority rule at home in the South 
for many years, if it had accepted the majorit}^ 
rule in the Nation as determined in the Presi- 
dential election of 1860. This was the opinion 
of its greatest statesman, Alexander H. Stephens, 
who held that, while the South had the right to 
secede and also had received sufficient provoca- 
tion, such a course would be impolitic. Still the 
Oligarchy rejected this view, feeling that if it sub- 
mitted even once to the national majority, the 
whole principle of minority rule would be upset, 
and would sooner or later have to be abandoned 
even in the South. So the Oligarchs resolved to 


follow i)riuciple rather than policy. To be sure, 
this principle, the rule of the minority, was anti- 
republican and woukl break up the old Nation, 
but a new Nation could be formed with it as 
foundation. The Constitution of the Con- 
federate States, was, accordingly, based in 
explicit terms upon the foregoing form of 
minority rule. 

From the same motive sprang the prolonged 
resistance of the Oligarchy to the freedom of 
Kansas, as this would destroy the equality 
between North and South, there being already 
sixteen Free-States to fifteen Shive-States. So 
the National Union was proclaimed to be Slave- 
State producing, whereupon the Kepublican 
party made its appearance in opposition, seeking 
to stop the perpetuation of minority rule, in 
which the ownership of negroes having no votes 
conferred political power upon the master. 

II. There is no doubt that in 1858 the pre- 
ceding political, or, rather oligarchical, develop- 
ment of the South was approaching a crisis. 
A strong party (the Rej)ublican) w^as united 
against it, ever increasing in size and compact- 
ness. On the other hand its own party (the 
Democratic) was disrupted and disintegrating 
more and more, though still powerful. The Oli- 
garchy felt its supremacy threatened to the 
foundation, and had a presentiment that a fight 
for life was coming. 


In 1858, accordingly, the outlook of the 
South was not favorable. It had lost more than 
all that it had gained by the Presidential elec- 
tion of 1856, It was in a state of inner sepa- 
ration and doubt and dissension. Kansas, in 
spite of the efforts of the South combined with 
the power of the Administration, was lost. The 
Dred Scot decision, instead of destroying the 
Republican party, had inspired it with new zeal 
and deepened its purpose. The elections in the 
North were overwhelmingly adverse, and had 
sent a hostile House of Representatives to the 
Capital. Pennsylvania, the home of the President 
(Buchanan) had more than reversed her vote for 
him two years before; her great majority 
against his policy and his advisers showed not 
only disappointment but wrath. The prospect 
for. extending the empire of Slavery into the 
Spanish-American countries was not bright in 
1858; the negotiation for Cuba did not prosper, 
and Walker, the filibuster, had been driven out of 
Nicaragua. In domestic politics the Democratic 
party, the support of the South, showed decided 
sio-ns of being rent assunder; disunion had en- 
tered it and was tearing it to pieces. It had, 
moreover, become plain that not only could a 
Southern man not be elected to the Presidency, 
but there could not again be elected a Northern 
man with Southern principles, like Pierce and 


A pivotal J ear, then, for the South was this 
year 1858. It was, so to speak, thrown back 
upon itself and compelled to align itself anew 
for the future. The same fact we have already 
observed in the North. The indication was that 
the South would have to surrender its national 
power at the next Presidential election. Can it 
bring itself to perform such an act which it 
deems so humiliating? That is the chief prob- 
lem, which it is going to ponder upon and work 
over within itself for the next three years. 
Hence the division into Unionists and Disunion- 
ists begins to appear in a preponderating fashion. 
We may hear what the Southern mind is busied 
with in the question: Shall the South secede, if 
a Republican President is elected? Many shades 
of opinion rose and floated in the Southern 
Folk-Soul, but they hovered about one center; 
if we cannot rule this Union, shall we break it 

It is indeed a trying problem. For more than 
two generations the South has directed the des- 
tinies of the Nation, and has become not only 
accustomed to but ingrown with supreme au- 
thority. Can it give up its domination and be 
ruled in its turn? That is the inner struggle 


with which it is now surging, and about this it 
is making up its mind, preparatory to the outer 

III. Accordingly we have to bring before our- 



selves the character and condition of the South 
as it was half a hundred years ago in the fifties 
of the nineteenth century before the great 
changes which were brought about during and 
since the War. In such an investigation our 
first question must be : What is the deepest and 
strongest motive at this time impelling the 
South? What is it that is really driving the 
Southern Folk-Soul, in part secretly and uncon- 
sciously, to stake all upon the sword? The 
answer is, not simply the love but the necessity 
of Power to the South ; she cannot surrender the 
domination she has exercised for so long a 
period without a convulsion in her very heart, 
which means a desperate fight. To this deepest 
motive must be added others, hut more super- 
ficial, which indeed become means for realizing 
the one great end, for gratifying this one strong- 
est passion for authority 

Let it be said at the start that such a motive 
is not bad in itself, but commendable rather. 
The man or men who feel capable of leading 
their people, have not only the right but the 
duty of Power; especially at a critical time 
they ought to step forth and assume the re- 
sponsibility of leadership. Not to do so is the 
supreme sin of omission, of shirking the God- 
sent burden, of which History as well as the 
lofty World-poets have not failed to show the 
penalty. It is truly " the great refusal " which 


Dante punishes in one of the circles of his 
Inferno. The desire for power is not in itself a 
ground of reproach but of praise. The lust of 
domination is often denounced from a kind of 
jealousy, particularly by persons who have it 
themselves, but whose ambition has been 
thwarted, or whose incapacity has been illumi- 
nated. So it was not wrong but right for the 
South to rule, provided she ruled accordiuo- to 

We have, then, to consider the way or 
the means by which the South sought to 
perpetuate her authority. This means was the 
extension of slavery, for which she became the 
ardent, we might say, the maddened champion. 
Though her end was not wrong in itself, hei" 
means was wrong, as time has shown and as civili- 
zation has said, if it has ever said anythino-. 
The State-producing Union of the Fathers, or at 
least so intended bv them, the South has sought 
to transform into a Union productive of Slave- 
States, for the purpose of getting and keepino- 
her Power. She has made herself the defender 
of slavery in all its aspects, economic, social, 
moral, political, religious. This was a great 
change from her -attitude during and just 
after the formation of the Constitution, at 
least from the attitude of her greatest men, 
who were in line w 1th the movement of the aire, 
in harmony with the decree of the AVorld-Splril , 


regarding slavery as an evil which might be nec- 
essary for a time, but which ought to be abol- 
ished as soon as possible. 

The mentioned chauae in the South began to 
take place in the first generation after the Con- 
stitution. It was brought into activity when the 
territory of the Louisiana Purchase had to be cut 
up into States. . Shall these be devoted to free 
labor or slave labor? A great agitation on the 
subject of slavery arose in the Nation which was 
allayed by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. 

But through the Mexican War a vast new 
domain was acquired, and again the same ques- 
tion came to the front with fresh agitation, which 
was calmed for a time by the Compromise Meas- 
ures of 1850. In both these Compromises the 
South took the part of the propagator of slaver}-, 
yet with a decided change of view toward it. 
The Southerners themselves acknowledged this 
change. Said W. Gilmore Simms in an essay 
published in 1852: "Twenty 3'ears ago few 
persons in the South undertook to justify slav- 
ery; now very few persons in the same region 
questioned their perfect right to the labor of 
their slaves, and, more, their moral obligation to 
keep them still subject as slaves." The South 
Carolina novelist regards this change " as a 
great good," and " the fruit whollv of foreign 
pressure, " namely the pressure of the North 
against slavery. 


Still the man can be pointed out, vvho, more 
than any other, was the leader of IbJs change — 
John C. Calhoun. His career laj^ in the genera- 
tion before 1850, and ends in the Compromise of 
that 3'ear. The ^reat statesmen of Virginia, the 
founders and the early administrators of the 
Government, were slaveholders but were anti- 
slavery in sentiment. Now Virginia after her 
illustrous period turns to the new belief, which 
is even reflected in the later years of Jefferson, 
once the most ardent abolitionist of his time. 
Virginia smothers her moral protest pre- 
viously so loud, and she, the mother of Presi- 
dents, turns to slave-breeding for the Cotton 
States, and never brings forth another President 
for the United States in direct line of descent. 
From Virginia sprang the idea of the State-pro- 
ducing Union and its formulation in the 
Constitution ; still further, she at first sought to 
make this Union Free-State producing, as may 
be seen in the ordinance of 1787. But now she 
turns to the undoing of her own greatest work, 
and bends her effort to make the Union Shive- 
State producing, as if she might in that way 
clutch afresh her fleeting power. This is what 
destroyed her supremacy, sapping the deep 
foundations of character in her statesmanship, 
and causing her public men to deterioriate 
visihh' from the high standard set by Washington, 
Marshall and Jefferson. They no longer kept 


pace with the march of the age, but wheeled 
about and took the opposite road; they no longer 
heard the voice of the World-Spirit which 
whispered morally to the human heart its un- 
alterable decree against slavery. 

It is an interesting fact that intelligent 
Southerners knew that the civilized world was 
against their institution. But they defied the 
Public Opinion of other nations. Simms, in the 
essay already cited, cries out: "What are they 
that should subject us to the question? The 
Kiouthern people are a nation,'^ that is, taken by 
themselves, apart from the North, and will not 
" answer at the tribunal of any other nation." 
So the fiery novelist flings his defiance at the 
world, declaring that we shall " answer with 
weapons and in no other language than 
that of war to the knife," should our slave- 
holdinor riohtbe challenged. Out of these words 
breathes the spirit of irresponsible domination, 
begotten of the relation of master to slave. The 
stigma branded by Civilization upon slavery 
never aroused Conscience as it ought to have 
done, but an intense wrath with the offer of 
battle on the spot. 

Looking back from the present time we can 
eiisily see to what this spirit is leading — tragedy. 
South Carolina and the inner ruling circle of 
Southern slaveholders have reached that mental 
condition which the ancients deemed insolence 


toward the Gods, who proceed to wipe them off 
the face of the earth. Simms, who may be taken 
as the literary voice of his people, has become 
Zeus-defying like Capaneus and the lesser Ajax ; 
he is ready to throw down his gauntlet to the 
World-Spirit, to the presiding Genius of Civiliza- 
tion, and meet it in mortal combat. A tragic 
fatuity weaves through much of what the South 
said and did in these three Nemesis-laden years. 
The South, then, would not, we might almost 
say could not, release her hold on national Power, 
without a terrific struggle. If she wore no longer 
able to rule the whole nation, the United States, 
she would halve it, and make a nation out of her 
part, over which she would bear unqu?stioned 
sway. But to reach such a mental stage she had 
to go through a considerable evolution, which 
shows her transition from excusing slavery as a 
necessary evil, to justifying it as a positive good. 
In 1820 (let us say) the South suppressed her 
moral scruple but clung to and carried out her 
political end in extending slavery. Thus the 
political element of her character overbore the 
moral element, for the sake of Power. But this 
was not the conclusion of the process. Grad- 
ually the political element succeeded in enlisting 
the hitherto suppressed moral element in its be- 
half, and slavery was defended on moral grounds, 
enslaving its former great enemy, morality itself 
with conscience and duty, to its defence and 


justification. The question rises in these days: 
Was the South ever really convinced by its argu- 
ment, or was there a deeper depth in its convict- 
tion which remained untouched to the last, and 
which will rise up and assert itself when the great 
burden is removed from its soul? A good deal 
said by many representative Southern men since 
the War would seem to suggest an affirmative 

We can see how it came about that the South 
developed great political skill at the expense of 
the deeper moral trend of the time, Avhich she 
possessed once in her earlier statesmen, then 
suppressed, then perverted to her own purpose 
of domination. Politics became the all-absorb- 
ing study and occupation of the leading South- 
erners, along with the Law, which, however, was 
made the servant if not the slave of the errand 
political end. Nothing can be plainer than that 
Chief-Justice Taney had a political purpose 
underneath the Dred Scot decision. He was of 
the dominant Southern class and merely voiced its 
employment of the Law for promoting its rule. 
The Supreme Court was made the instrument for 
destroying both of the Northern political parties. 
Accordingly we have to say that the South in its 
own Folk-Soul subjected, or perchance enslaved, 
both the moral and the enacted Law, both 
morality and legality, to its supreme design of 
domination. These two almost incredible tasks 


were accomplislid, or seemed to be acconiplis^hed 
in that same prolific period of transition between 
1820 and 1850, wlicn the South invoked, or 
rather impressed both Laws, that of Conscience 
and that of the Constitution, to do its service. A 
great intellectual feat we have to exclaim admir- 
ingly, yet it could not persist without dethroning 
the World-Spirit and upsettingthe Divine Order, 
which the South half-consciously had challenged 
to the contest. 

IV. Another peculiar fact in this development 
was that the South kept its dominating motne 
in the background. To extend the blessings of 
slavery, and thereby to put upon a deeper and 
more lasting foundation our republican edifice, 
were the beneficent missionary motives which the 
South danced before itself and others who might 
care to listen. She was not inclined to hold up 
to public view that profoundest motive of her 
soul, though it often broke through the hedge 
of her lips. Why this tendency to keep it back? 
Primarily human nature is prone to secrete from 
vulgar gaze its deepest inner springs, and the 
South was no exception. Always playing under 
the open propagandisra of slavery was the more 
or less concealed motive of Power. For the 
South was in a minority and knew it; knew also 
that the preponderance of the North was increas- 
ing and would continue to increase. If Power 
belongs to the majority, the South had no right 


to it in morals or in law. If the fundamental 
maxim of the American political consciousness 
be, that the majority should rule, then the oli- 
garchical organism of Southern society had to 
violate that consciousness in order to retain its 
Power. Nay, more, it had to prepare and to 
keep preparing new and deeper violations in 
order to meet the increasing vote against it. 
We have seen in the history of Kansas its re- 
peated attempts to thwart the will of the major- 
ity. The democratic numbers of the North were 
pitted against aristocratic skill in organization, 
which was necessarily more secret. 

The motive of power was accordingly not so 
openlv avowed, since it meant a disregard of the 
very principle of Government by the People, the 
rule of the majority. Such a doctrine would 
not be palatable to the white non-slaveholding 
class of the South, more than two-thirds of its 
voting population. For the Southern Oligarch}^ 
had two great majorities to look after and to 
counteract, its own and the Northern. Both it 
held in subordination hy its consummate political 
strategy for many 3^ears. Finallj^ the Northern 
majority broke loose, and asserted its power and 
its principle, but only through a long and 
desperate war. The Southern non-slaveholdins: 
majority largely fought this war under the com- 
mand of the oligarchical minority, when it too 
was enfranchised through the war bv the North 


asainst which it fought. We hold that this is 
the true liberation of the South, far more im- 
portant than that of the negro, though much 
more noise is made about the latter. That which 
was the poor non-slaveholding majority of the 
South is now educating itself, is learning to work 
with effect and getting property, and above all 
is becoming conscious (»f its freedom. This may 
fairly be called the greatest boon of the war to 
the South, and it has conferred some other great 

On the whole the North did not have this 
desire for Power so strongly developed, 
never having really possessed national author- 
itv, and so never having been spoiled by it. 
Even under Northern Presidents there had been 
substantially Southern rule. The North was 
dominated more by the moral end than by the 
political ; not till these two ends fell into bitter 
conflict, did the North begin to feel the necessity 
of national supremacy for overcoming that con- 
flict. Undoubtedly there were statesmen of the 
North who sought the great prize of national 
headship, or, as the phrase goes, were stung by 
the Presidential bee. This ambition, however, 
in the generation before the War could only be 
gratified by subserviency to the South. Still 
with the increase of Free-States over Slave- 
States, the situation began to change. Seward 
seems to have been the first important states- 


miin who distinctly saw himself President with- 
out the aid of the South. He boasted in the 
Senate (Feb. 2, 1858), that "we are %htino- 
for a majority of Free States ; they are already 
sixteen to fifteen," not counting Kansas which 
is destined to be a Free-State, with two others 
soon to be added. Seward did not then say : all 
of which will elect me President — I)ut he cer- 
tainly thought it and the Southern senators also 
felt the possibility of such a result, and with it 
the end of the national rule of the Oligarchy to 
which they belonged. Seward's boast, or per- 
chance taunt must have set them all to thinkiuo- 
about the future, particularly^ about the coraino- 
election of President, who, however, will not be 

V. The South had developed a peculiar social 
system, different from, and in many respects 
opposite to the one at the North. To maintain 
and to extend this social system called out and 
developed the political skill of the Southerners. 
For the function of the State is to protect the 
Social Order, and to secure to every member 
of it his effort, his labor, his Will. Hence it 
comes that the social system of the South had to 
be defended at every point not by a trained mili- 
tary but by a trained political army officered with 
its best men from the top down. The excellence 
of the Southern Senators and Representatives and 


their long tenure of office, have often been 

The most striking social fact of the South 
has been already mentioned ; the sharp division 
into three great Classes — slaveholders, non- 
slaveholders and slaves. The first two were of 
the white race, the third of the black; hence the 
difference of race entered into this Society, and 
had a tendency to harden the distinctions of 
Class into the impassible limits of Caste. Un- 
doubtedly the three Classes merged at the edges, 
but their separation was very pronounced, and 
up to the time of the war was deepening and 
crystallizing. Any taint of negro blood threw 
the person into the third Class, while the second 
Class on the whole was sinking into a more hope- 
less poverty and ignorance. 

While the separation of Classes was becoming 
wider, their production was becoming narrower. 
The South was limited to one chief occupation, 
agriculture. There was little manufacturing on 
an extensive scale. Not the diversification of 
industries but their confinement was the eco- 
nomic law of this Society. Even the one chief 
occupation, agriculture, was not diversified, but 
had a tendency to limit itself to a few products. 
In the extreme. South, cotton, rice and sugar, 
were quite the sole products deemed worthy 
of the planter's regard; they may be 
called the aristocratic product of the South- 


ern soil, reflecting, while also moulding the 
character of their producer. Indeed these 
staples showed within their exclusive circle 
a tendency toward the domination of one — cot- 
ton. This fact was expressed before the war in 
the pithy statement: cotton is king. So the 
aristocracy of production in the South revealed 
a movement toward a monarchy of production. 
But a democracy of production through a many- 
branched industry, such as was seen in the North, 
did not and could not exist in a Society of this 
kind. The first brings a concentration of Power 
into the hands of the few and fewer, and ulti- 
mately of the one ; the second signifies a distri- 
bution of Power into the hands of the many and 
the more, and ultimately of all who will work. 
Thus the South in its social system has developed 
a kind of hierarchical order which moves from 
the top downward, descending from the highest 
to the lowest ; while the North in its social system 
moves in the opposite direction, from the bottom 
upward, the lowest having an open road to the 

The foregoing thought we may formulate in 
the following way : the South tended to homo- 
geneity of production, but to heterogeneity of 
Classes participating in this work of production; 
the North, on the contrary, tended to hetero- 
geneity of production, but homogeneity of Classes 
which diversified this production. The South: 


one product (or few) with hierarchy of unequal 
Classes ; the Korth : many different products with 
one equal Class essentially. In 1858 these two 
opposing social systems had quite fully unfolded 
their respective characters and purposes, and 
were aligning themselves for the great fight over 
the control of the destiny of the Nation. 

Social intercommunication could not be highly 
developed in the South. Eoads were poor, rail- 
ways were few, the methods of transportation 
primitive. The mansion of the great planter 
stood alone in solitary rural grandeur, or in the 
vicinity of the hovels of his slaves. It was an 
image of its lord, separate, independent, atomic, 
unassociated with other houses on an equality in 
urban fashion. The principle of human asso- 
ciation was not a universal force in the South, 
but limited chiefly to the great slaveholders, who 
organized themselves into a compact body for 
their supreme political purpose. 

The South, through its exclusive agricultural 
bent, made itself immediately dependent on 
Nature. It accepted what came with reliance on 
Providence; it was religious and conservative, 
attached to old ways, proud of its ancestral lin- 
eage, studious of the genealogical tree, unfriendly 
to new ideas, especially to the new-fangled ideas 
of New England. No manufactures trans- 
formed Nature, and therewith transformed the 
man, giving a consciousness of superiority over 


Nature. The wealth of the South came from its 
raw materials, which were sent out of it, often to 
be returned as finished products for its use. 
Thus the South with all its feeling of independ- 
ence was really very dependent, first u[>')n 
Nature then upon other nations. Self-dependent 
or self-sufficing as a whole it could not be called — 
a fact which the War brought home to it pain- 
fully. It had refused to learn to supply its own 
wants though a diversified industry. The small 
artisan and the small merch;int were indeed pres- 
ent, but limited to the limited needs of the one 
class, the agricultural. There was no multifa- 
rious communal life with its varied consumption 
and production, and with its members quite upon 
the same general level. On the contrary the 
South openly proclaimed that its society and all 
rightly constituted society had to have a 
Class for its menial duties, was in fact 
built upon a Class of this kind as its mud-sill. 
Says Senator Hammond: "Such a Class you 
must have, or you would not have that other 
Class which leads progress, civilization, refine- 
ment. Fortunately for the South, she found a 
race adapted to that purpose to her hand." Thus 
the two main Classes of the South, at least in the 
mind of the Oligarchs, were those of master and 
slave; the non-slaveholding Class though white 
and the largest, was seldom spoken of, an 1 liad, 
as Helper complains, almost no political weight; 


still it was present and was emphatically " classi- 
fied " in contrast with the two other Classes. 

This tendency of the South to Classism had 
not escaped the observation of Lincoln, who had 
inculcated that all the States and all the People 
of the States should be ultimately homogeneous 
as regards freedom. Douglas, however, main- 
tained in his Debate with Lincoln that States and 
People should continue both slave and free, 
thus producing a happy diversity in our land 
instead of the dull uniformity of liberty. Again, 
Lincoln in a letter characterizes the Southern 
tendency as "the supplanting of the principles 
of free government, and the restoring those of 
classification, caste, and legitimacy." (Cited 
in Nicolayand Hay's Life, II, 182.) 

Accordingly, the fundamental point of view 
from which we must look at the South is its 
Classism, or its distinctions of Class which have 
become so pronounced in its social organization. 
Each of these Classes has its own process within 
itself, yet also with one another, and finally all of 
them are in a decided process with the North. 
The three mentioned Classes will now be con- 
sidered separately. 



Z\)c Sla\)cbolt)er6. 

The great political function of the slaveholding 
Class was to rule majorities, and to keep from 
being ruled by them. This was carried so far 
that the slaveholder himself was not ruled by a 
majority of his own Class, but by a minority of it 
which constituted the Oligarchy. This foim of 
government we have already seen springing from 
the relation of master and slave, especially when 
the master is of a different and superior race. 
The slave-owner of black men is born and 
trained to be a minority ruler. This fact is 
manifested already in the Constitution of the 
United States, in which the ownership of negroes 
confers political power upon the master, though 
he does not cast their votes directly. He may 
own 1,000 negroes and 1,000 blooded horses, the 
values of both being equal; but the negroes mean 
600 votes in the apportionment of national 
political power to his State and to his Congres- 
sional District. He might be conceived to have 
enough slaves to make a District of his own, or 
perchance even a State. Thus he is created an 
aristocrat, if not an autocrat, by the Consti- 
tution, at whose formation he was already strong 
enough to compel such a provision, against the 
wishes of a majority of the Convention. This 


was his firstgreatmiuority triumph in the Nation, 
just at its birth, which he threatened to prevent, 
unless he were granted that minority power. 

Still further and by the same principle, in his 
own slaveholding Class the possessor of 1,000 
slaves is endowed with far more political power 
than the possessor of 100 or of 10 slaves, other 
things being equal. Hence there arises an aris- 
tocracy within an aristocracy, which has been 
already named the Oligarchy, whose objeet is 
primarily to concentrate within itself the political 
power of its Class. 

Looking at this slaveholding Class as a whole, 
we may grasp it as a series of concentric circles 
which move outward from the center of Power, 
diminishing till they vanish into the non-slave- 
holding Class. In a general way the number of 
slaves determined the rank of the owner, though 
his influence depended also on his ability. The 
central circle had a membership of 8,000 nearly, 
who were the owners of fifty slaves and more 
(census of 1850). As there were some six mil- 
lions of whites then in the South, one out of 
seven hundred and fifty would belong to this 
central circle of Power. 

The second or middle circle may be taken to 
include those who owned five or more slaves and 
less than fifty. It was much larger than the pre- 
ceding circle, as it nmst have contained in 1850 
some 165,000 slaveholders, most of whom did not 


labor with their hands, l)ut followed at a distance 
the style of the great slaveholders, whose circle 
thev were ambitious to enter and thus attain the 
highest social and political rank of their system. 
Such was the general trend though with many 
exceptions doubtless. 

The third or lowest or outermost circle of slave- 
holders embraces those who had one to four slaves.. 
In 1850 there were 68,820 owners of one slave, 
105,683 owners of two, three and four slaves, 
making together 174,503 persons who belonged 
to this circle, which was thus more than half 
of the entire number of slaveholders (reported 
at 347,525). This circle began to show consid- 
erable differences from both the preceding circles. 
It had not the means nor the servants to keep up 
the traditional splendor of the wealthy Southern- 
ers. Its members, especially those who followed 
agriculture and engaged in no profession or other 
business, had to labor with their hands; perhaps 
a majority of this class worked in the fields with 
their one slave or more, and thus became distinct 
in character and aim from the Southern gentle- 
man who occupied himself chiefly with social and 
political functions. Here, then, the break starts 
in the ranks of the slaveholders themselves, who 
in this outermost circle begin to fuse with the 
laborino; non-slaveholding Class. 

Such were the three circles which we have 
sought to look at in their descending or oligarchic 


order from the highest to the lowest, or from the 
center to the outer rim. But the leaders belono;ed 
mostly to the first two circles, though with 
leadership another principle plays in, talent. 
The South selected its ablest men and sent them 
to the seat of government continuously. Hence 
arose at Washington a new circle, that of the 
political leaders, whose head in the Fifties 
already was Jefferson Davis, and whose connec- 
tion with the Kansas troubles has been already 
narrated. So we have to think that within the 
three circles of the aristocracy ramifying the 
South everywhere was the controlling circle 
centered at Washington, whose power wielded 
every department of government, legislative, ex- 
ecutive, and judicial, and ruled the whole Nation. 
It is this ruling power based upon a certain 
social system, which the North, based upon a 
different social system, is getting ready to over- 
throw. For the one, resting on slave labor, works 
aristocratically, bearing downward from above ; 
while the other, resting on free labor, works 
democratically, bearing upward from below. 
Now it is the complete tragedy of this wonder- 
full v organized Oligarchy which the Ten Years' 
War is to show, at first b}^ ballot challenging and 
overthrowing its claim to govern the Nation, and 
then by arms destroying its rule over the non- 
slaveholding whites, over its own slaves, and 
over itself. 


The character of the Oligarchy in 1860 had 
been developing a long time, inasmuch as we 
have already seen it strong enough to assert its 
principle in the formation of the Constitution of 
the United States. The South was at the start 
more populous and more wealthy than the North. 
In the first Census (1790) Virginia had more 
than twice the }K:)pu]ation of New York, more 
than Massachusetts and New York put together. 
The commerce and wealth of Virginia were in 
1790 proportionately great; it was in fact the 
first commercial State in the Union. The city 
of Norfolk was a more important seaport than 
the city of New York. South Carolina stood 
second, and the value of foreign imports into 
Charleston was greater by one-half in 1760 
than in 1850. In general the South had at the 
beginninoj the centers of commercial distribu- 
tion, ere these changed to the North, with the 
ever-increasing majority of voters. 

Thus the South was not in the minority at 
the commencement of the Nation. The per- 
sistence of South Carolina at the Constitutional 
Convention (1787) in the three-fifths clause, 
which really confirmed the slavoholding Oligarchy 
in its national power, was directed quite as much 
against Virginia as against the North. But 
when the South as a whole sank more and more 
into a political minority, it sought to retain its 
supremacy by skill and strategy. It had to yield 


in wealth and numbers and in many other things, 
but it would not surrender its rule. This it could 
keep through the organization of the Oligarchy, 
which finally became universal in the South, 
though Virginia was at first opposed to it, and in 
fact did not need it, having the unquestioned 
primacy in population, wealth, commerce, and 
what was best of all, political intelligence. 

"What was the ground of this rise on the one 
side and decline on the other? The South itself 
would now say, as nearly all of its early great 
men said: slavery — absent there, present here. 
This caused the emigration of many of the South's 
best people to the North ; it produced a sad de- 
terioration of the non-slaveholding whites who 
remained behind; it changed for the worse 
the character of the slaveholders themselves 
with the successive generations, fostering the 
habit of domination, and of minority rule, in- 
consistent with free institutions. Over domestic 
life also it often cast its dark shadow. 

The Southerner of the upper circles, having 
leisure and inclination, cultivated specially his 
social powers, in which he attained a high degree 
of excellence. He lived in public as the leading 
man of his communit}-; his house was a place of 
generous hospitality; his bearing was usually 
full of courtesy, with a mild poise and ease very 
fascinating, except when the aristocratic haught- 
iness, alwavs lurking underneath his winning 


exterior, miofht have an eruption, which on cer- 
tain topics was not hard to provoke. Still he 
cultivated the art of being a gentleman; a vein 
of romantic chivalry ran through his character, 
and left its impress upon his deed and word, and 
often upon his attire. Even after the war the 
South had its tournaments of chivalry, in which 
the victorious knight shared his honors with the 
lady of his heart, crowning her queen of Love 
and Beauty. The Southerners of the aristocratic 
Class were generally educated men, versed in 
literature and science, not indeed for the purpose 
of practising them, but for ornament. His real 
business, like that of the old Koman, was lead- 
ership, and when he wished to say something to 
his people, he gathered them about himself and 
made a speech, which often showed both thought 
and literary excellence, not for their own sake, 
however, but for their political end. Now liter- 
ature, art, philosophy, science, refuse to be 
enslaved to some foreign purpose; they can 
hardly be made to bloom unless they be cultivated 
for their own sake and in their own free right. 
So it came that the South had almost no literary 
or artistic or scientific expression; hardly yet can 
it show an adequate historian for its great deeds, 
which still are mainly read in Northern writers, 
v.'ho, even when impartial in judgment, cannot 
help being colored by feeling. 

The spirit of lordly domination crushed out 


the free growth of man's great spiritual disci- 
pHnes, which will not be dominated from the out- 
side. There could be no science of sociology in 
the South, unless it were favorable to the system. 
It was notorious that freedom of opinion, par- 
ticularly on slavery, was not allowed in the 
South. The Oligarchy, like the Hierarchy, 
had its index expurgatorius, dictated by the 
supposed requirements of its peculiar institution. 
There was a great outcry against school-books 
originating in the North, although the Northern 
publisher showed himself exct^edingly pliable. 
It was indeed a difficult situation. Whatwouli 
a school-reader be without the gems of Anglo- 
Saxon eloquence, which were mostl}^ inspired by 
liberty, the race's deepest instinct? Homer him- 
self, the fountain of European Literature, would 
have to be tabooed or at least expurgated for 
singing " the day that makes a man a slave, 
takes half his worth away." The result was 
the sources of all artistic and literary ex- 
pression seemed to be hermetically sealed, 
even if we may note worthy and even heroic 
efforts to lift the oppressive extinguisher weigh- 
ing down and suffocating originality at its 
creative sources. There came to be almost no 
public for reading and seeing the world's great 
masterpieces. Olmsted, who rode on horseback 
from Texas to Virgina not long before the war, 
has left us a curious account of what ho did not 


see in the houses of his entertainers, evidently 
the humbler slaveholders, but representing by 
far the largest class numerically. He found no 
edition of Shakespeare, no eugraving, no good 
copy of any famous picture, no pianoforte. 
There was some music, but the negroes made it 
and perchance some low whites, who played the 
fiddle for reels, jigs and plantation dances. 

In all these matters a revolution has been 
wrought in half a century, even if a good deal 
remains still to be done. The best part of the 
old South will not be lost in the new order; it 
will retain its courtesy, its gentility, its hospital- 
ity, and even something of its old chivalry, we 
hope. The essentials of Southern character 
were native and inbred; we refuse to believe that 
they depended for their existence upon negro 
slavery or upon the negro in any necessary way. 
It needs but a small journey through the South to 
see that the Southern gentleman and Southern 
lady are still alive, even under changed outward 
circumstances. It is natural for them to look 
back to their past with a fond regret, and to 
paint it in ideal colors; but ask them if they 
would wish to see it really restored. 

Statistics, though composed of figures and 
seemingly inflexible, can nevertheless be made 
to show their subject in various aspects. If 
the reader thinks that the foregoing Oligar- 
chy, made up of the holders of fifty slaves 


and more, is too small, let him join to it the 
holders of twenty to fifty, given as 29,723 
in the census of 1850. Then he will have 
an 01igar(/hy of 37,000 and some hundreds. 
The general result, however, will be the same. 
De Bow, a Southerner, who was the super- 
intendent of the census of 1850, has given 
this classification of slaveholders according to the 
number of slaves, as if he wished to bring into 
strong relief the various gradations of the slave- 
holding Class. According to him, there were only 
two holders of 1,000 slaves and more, and nine 
holders of 500 up to 1,000. In this regard 
slavery was different in antiquity, if Athenteus 
may be believed when he says he knew many 
Romans who possessed ten or even twenty 
thousand slaves (cited by Gibbon). These, even 
if they did not confer any direct political power, 
seem to have bestowed social prestige upon the 
owner, since he is said to have held so many 
" not for use but for ostentation." It came to 
be the ambition of the imperial Roman to have 
his own estate a little Roman Empire with himself 
as Emperor, particularly when he was deprived 
of any share in the government of the state. 
The inherited domination of centuries thus found 
an outlet. 

Another statistical point may be mentioned. 
De Bow, in his list of slaveholders, includes 
both slave-owners and slave-hirers, the latter not. 


possessing any slaves and hence having no direct 
property interest in slavery. This Class was es- 
timated at nearly one-half of all the slave-hold- 
ers, to which Class it does not strictly belong, and 
from which its numbers ought to be deducted. 
If this deduction be made, with another small 
one on account of repetition. Helper esti- 
mates the number of actual slaveholders (slave- 
owners) to be 186,551, instead of DeBow's 
total of 347,525. Hence comes that statement, 
so frequent in the campaign literature and 
speeches of the Republicans in 1860, that <'less 
than 187,000 slaveholders ruled the country" 
with its millions of voters. In reality, however, 
the Oligarchy proper was much less. 

Such a state of society, in America at least, 
must be called an inverted pyramid, which re- 
quired to be held up by very skillful propping. 
Evidently its organization carries within itself 
the impulse to its own fall. It is self-contra- 
dictory and hence self -destructive. It asserts 
that property in slaves is the same as property in 
horses and cows; still the master holds the slave 
accountable and punishes him, thus regarding 
him morally as a responsible and therefore a free 
being. Also the slave was recognized as an insti- 
tutional being, with a right to have a family, 
even if this relation was often deeply violated by 
the master himself through separating the slave's 
domestic ties, and through his own passion. 


Here we are brought face to face with an 
ominous fact which History cannot neglect. 
The shiveholder commingled his blood with th:it 
of the African. His own color and his own 
character were getting inoculated upon the black 
race through illicit intercourse with his negro 
women. It was a common s-aying in Virginia 
that her noblest blood ran in the veins of slaves. 
The extent of this commingling may be esti- 
mated from two facts : the mulattos were 
one-tenth of the colored population of the 
Slave-States in 1850, and one-eighth in 18G0, 
and thus were on the road to becoming the ma- 
jority of blacks when the War intervened and 
stopped this peculiar development of the South. 
In the Northern tier of Slave-States the propor- 
tion of mulattos was greater than in the Gulf 

This process can be regarded in no other light 
than the undoing of slavery by itself, through 
the slow transformation of the black race into 
the white. Not through moral conviction but 
through immoral passion the system was under- 
mining itself. Nature had clandestinely started 
to do a work of redemption which neither ethics, 
nor religion, nor government were able to do. 
Indeed they had all forbidden any such method, 
which, however, asserted and increased its power 
in spite of prohibitions moral, religious, and 
statutory. Those brown and even ruddy faces, 


ofteu with aristocratic lineaments, were indeed 
tell-tales on the white master, but they also 
bespoke a far deeper meaning, prophetic of the 
doom of slavery. Madison, with a presentment 
of the coming judgment, wished for the power of 
turning every black skin white and thus solving 
the problem of the races by obliterating 
their difference. He did not seem to recognize 
that his neighbor Virginians were fultillino: his 
pious wish in their own fashion. And after 
more than four decades of freedom, those faces 
and their descendants are with us, still prophetic, 
not now of slavery's doom, but of some far-off 
fulfillment of racial destiny of which one at 
present may be permitted only to dream. 


ITbe 1Flon««Sla\)ebol^er0, 

We may now look at the second chief Class of 
the South, the non-slaveholding whites. What 
is their condition in such a society? First of 
all they are the great majority and have the bal- 
lot; still they are ruled and in the main led by 
the minority. The chief local problem of the 
Oligarchy was to hold well in hand this white 
majority of their owu section. They succeeded 
in fostering and keeping alive something of the 
feudal spirit of loyalty and service in their poor 
population ; for each great slaveholder was a 
kind of medieval baron in his neighborhood, 
being its educated man and its political leader. 
His mansion (or castle) was also the social 
center and dispensed a generous hospitality. 
All this came with the first settlement of the 
South, which was largely aristocratic, manorial, 
in contrast specially with that of New England. 
It was this surviving feudal spirit of loyalty to 
the lord paramount and to his cause which in- 
duced so many non-slaveholders to follow him 
to the Great War, and to fight his battles with 
such desperate valor. For certainly his cause 
was not theirs. Still this peculiar sentiment led 
the majority to pour out lavishly their blood for 


a miuority to rule over them, really combating 
their liberators. 

Another fact may be noted in the present con- 
nection. In the regular army of the Unite<! 
States at the beginning of the war, the enlisted 
men from the South were in the minority de- 
cidedly, while the officers from the South were 
in the majority, the latter being almost wholly 
of the aristocratic class of slaveholders. That 
is, the privates were largely northern and the 
officers largely southern. Herein lies the reason 
for the statement made by Lincoln, that no en- 
listed man, as far as he knew, ever quit his 
colors to enter the ranks of secession, while 
half of the officers of the regular army went 
with the South into rebellion. The non-slave- 
holder showed that his personal sentiment was 
stronger than his national, as he would follow 
his slaveholding suzerain to battle, but did not 
enlist in his country's service. The medieval 
army was made up of lords and their personal 
retainers, and the forces of the South had some- 
tbino; of the same character. 

There were certain localities of the South, 
however, which having no large slaveholders, 
did not foster this peculiar spirit of personal 
loyalty, but rather the opposite. In this class 
the mountaineers, mentioned later, are to be 
placed, with their rude but very refractory in- 
dependence, which often turned to bitter hatred 


of the slaveholding Oligarchy of the rich low- 
lands. But the non-slaveholding whites who 
were within the sphere of influence exercised 
personally by the large slaveholder, followed 
him as their leader to the War, and fought for 
him and his cause with unparalleled bravery and 
endurance, making a record for themselves of 
which even their foes, who suffered most by it, 
are proud. 

All this reveals in the non-slaveholding white 
a very beautiful trait, personal loyalty, a virtue 
we consider it, not to be dispensed with in this 
terrestrial life of ours. Still in him it was 
narrow, even if he extended it till it embraced his 
State, so that he became a warm defender of 
State-Rights. To this doctrine also, within its 
just limits, no true American will take objection. 
But why not extend loyalty till it encompasses 
the Union, the Nation? For all three loyalties, 
to Person, to State, and to Nation, ought to beat 
in the heart of the complete citizen, working 
together harmoniously in a total round of 

Next we must grasp the fact that this second 
great class of the South, composed of the white 
non-slaveholders, numbered in 1850 about four 
and one-quarter millions, which was considerably 
more than the total black population, numbering 
nearly three and one-half millions, and was a 
good deal more than twice the three circles of 


slaveholders, who with their families could not 
have numbered two millions. In fact, not one 
million, if the slave-hirers be deducted from 
them. The total population (1850) of the South 
is put at a little more than nine and a half 
millions ; thus the white non-slaveholders almost 
equal the slaveholders and their slaves together 
(more than equal them, if Helper's estimate be 
taken ) . 

Here then, are the People of the South, the 
free masses as distinct from slaveholders and 
slaves. What are their leaders doing for them? 
How is the Society of which they are members 
fulfilling its responsibility toward them? The 
record is universally admitted to be bad, in fact, 
it is the worst count in the indictment against 
the Southern Oligarchy, worse than the count 
against them on the subject of black slavery, 
though this must be regarded as the first cause 
of the evil. They allowed, and it would seem, 
hastened the relapse of their own white Anglo- 
Saxon stock to barbarism in many places ; nay, 
their own blood was permitted often to drop 
back into " ignorance, poverty and crime." For 
instance, " the descendants of the former pro- 
prietors of the land," who were to be found 
*'in extensive communities on the banks of the 
Congaree in South Carolina," were declared by 
a traveled Southerner to be more debased, more 
indolent and shiftless, more hopeless, " than the 


most degraded peons of Mexico." The sand- 
hillers of the same State have acquired a national 
reputation for having furnished visible proof 
that pure Anglo-Saxon blood, the most energetic 
and enterprising in the world, can sink back in a 
favorable environment after a few generations to 
the level of the Digger Indian. It ought to be 
added that some of the best men of South 
Carolina, though belonging to the Oligarchy, 
recognized and sought to remedy this condition 
of the wretched non-slaveholding Class. Gov- 
ernors repeatedly besought the State Legislature 
to do something. In December, 1855, Governor 
Adams urges almost frantically : " Make at least 
this effort ' ' — the appointment of a State 
Superintendent of Education — and if " the poor 
of the land are hopelessly doomed to ignorance, 
poverty and crime" — which he seemed to 
think — ' ' you will at least feel conscious of having 
done your duty, and the public anxiety on the 
subject imll be quieted.'" (Citations from Olm- 
sted, Seaboard Slave States, pp. 505-6.) 

Thus it would appear that South Carolina, the 
most oligarchic of the Oligarchv, was gettino- 
troubled over this dense mass of "ignorance, 
poverty and crime " ever growing denser and 
larger within her borders. There was "public 
anxiety on the subject," and well might there 
be. This recalls a declaration of Broderick in 
1858 to the Senate of the United States: " Two 


hundred thousand men with white skins in South 
Carolina are now degraded and despised by 
thirty thousand aristocratic slaveholders." 
What can be the ground for such a con- 
dition? And why should Governor Adams, in 
spite of his urgent recommendation, reveal an 
undercurrent of despair, feeling that " no im- 
provement can be made on the present system?" 
The truth is that the Oligarchy could not permit 
these ignorant masses to be educated without 
endangering its supremacy in its very home, in 
its most devoted State. A mighty blow must 
smite this Oligarchy from the outside and shiver 
it to fragments, ere that poor white non-slave- 
holding majority can be set free of its bonds of 
' ' ignorance , poverty and crime ' ' — an enfranchise- 
ment, we repeat, far greater and more important 
than even that of the black slave, great as that is. 
Perhaps South Carolina was the worst offender 
against its own Anglo-Saxon majority, but the 
other Slave-States through the same oligarchic 
necessity could not help sharing in the wrong. 
Hence that three-headed devil, "ignorance, 
poverty and crime," reared its monstrous shape 
every where in the South among the non-slave- 
holding class. It cannot be denied that the 
same fiend could be found at places in the North. 
But no close Oligarchy seeking to dominate with 
its minority, fed it there, fattening it to its 
colossal Southern maonitude. The motive of 


Power can also be seen lurking in. this diabolic 
business. The minority of the South shows its 
worst phase at this point, its deepest sin against 
its own citizen majority. It might and did 
govern the Nation, but it could not force upon 
the free North the portentous monster which 
grew to such fearful proportions, if not under 
its care, at least under its neglect, in South 

And now we make haste to add that by no 
means all, not one half of the four millions and 
more of non-slaveholders of the South were in 
the claws of this devil of the triple body (^tri- 
gemini corporis). There were many religious 
communities scattered through the land of sun- 
shine — Quakers, Memnonites and other organ- 
izations — refusing to hold slaves through con- 
science, and doing their own work or hiring it 
done by free laborers. There were also many 
individual farmers, prosperous, strong-boned and 
strong-brained, who declined for one reason or 
other to tamper with the dragon. Then came 
the considerable army of mechanics, artisans, 
merchants, clerks, teachers, skilled workers in 
the various enterprises of the land, who of course 
were neither slaves nor owned slaves. 

Another fact should be noted in this connec- 
tion: the continuous stream of migration of 
Southern non-slaveholders to the North. This 
began earlv from Virginia into the Northwestern 


Territory, and in particular, filled up the South- 
ern halves of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, where 
they and their descendants have been living for a 
century and more, and sending forth new colon- 
ists westward. These last were chiefly the 
people who first poured over the border into 
Kansas, constituting that early majority of anti- 
negro Free-State protagonists whose exploits 
have been already celebrated. 

Why did these Virginians migrate to the 
North? Many also came from Kentucky, the 
daughter of Virginia, as well as from North 
Carolina and other Slave States. Some dis- 
satisfaction with slavery and its Social Sys- 
tem for the most part lay at the root of 
this movement toward the new Free-States. 
Possibly some instinct of the day of reckon- 
ing wrought dumbly in them, as it troubled 
the foreboding soul of Jefferson when he 
*' trembled " for slaveholders, as he thought 
of the "justice of God." The stream kept 
flowing till the War, and there is little doubt 
that the Southern States sent as many settlers 
into the Northwest as did the Eastern States of 
the North. 

This migration likewise had its effect upon 
the South. It took, by a kind of Natural Selec- 
tion, the most aspiring and progressive part of 
the non-slaveholders, and to a certain extent, of 
the small slaveholders. The father of a larse 


family possessed of limited means but ambitious 
for his children, would bundle them together 
into a covered wagon on some bright day 
and start for the free West where he, though 
uneducated himself, had heard that Public 
Schools existed in every locality for even the 
poorest, and that the opportunities of life were 
the same for all, high and humble. Nobody 
needed there to be born in the Oligarchy to have 
a chance. Thus the South lost the most enter- 
prising portion of its less wealthy population; 
the "poor white trash" remained, not having 
energy and hope enough to try to better their 
condition. Moreover this migration benefitted 
the Oligarchy in one way ; it drained off the ris- 
ing discontent, which was producing some anxiety, 
by taking away from the non-slaveholders their 
most capable men, their born leaders, as well as 
a large per-cent of their numbers. 

Still this discontent did not die out but showed 
itself in various ways. The people who dwelt in 
the mountains of the Apalachian range which 
runs from Maryland and Virginia through 
two lines of Slave-States to Georgia and 
Alabama, were made up of non-slaveholders 
mainly and of some small slaveholders. The 
Oligarchy did not really exist in these mountain- 
ous regions, as slave labor did not pay. Hence 
these people were left without local Oligarchic 
leaders, who lived on the rich alluvial soil of the 


large valleys. Still these leaders controlled the 
State and its Legislature. With this power they 
passed laws which lightened the burden of taxa- 
tion on their slave-property. The result was a 
standing feud between them and the mountaineers 
who sided against them and with the Union when 
the War broke out. Virginia was rent in twain 
by these people when the State seceded. 

The poor whites had a strong prejudice against 
the negro and to this the Oligarchs appealed, 
saying that the North proposed negro equality. 
There was a true instinct in the horror of the 
poor white in this matter; he felt that his real 
danger was a relapse to a backward race, and it 
was; he knew himself sinking in the scale of 
civilization, and saw his future possible self in 
the negro. He could not read, he had no litera- 
lure, he believed what the leader, the Oligarch, 
told him in speeches. 

The peculiar mental condition of the non- 
slaveholdino; whites in the South still remains 
something of psychological puzzle. They were 
of the purest Anglo-Saxon blood, yet they seem 
to have largely lost the will-power supposed to 
be native to their stock. The ever-ready spring 
to take the initiative, so characteristic of the 
American, had gone out of them ; the impulse 
to self-government which so dominated their 
English ancestry, had lapsed into a kind of 
apathy or helplessness against the ruling minority. 


For they were overwhelmingly in the majority, 
but they never would or could organize them- 
selves as Class, though their interests cried out 
for it in every State of the South. Aspiration, 
quenched at home or migrating to the North, no 
longer drove them to betterment, and so they 
sank the other way into deterioration. The 
deepest need of liberation in the South lay in 
the sphere of the poor white man, whose cause 
remained quite unvoiced, seemingly swallowed 
up in the mighty hubbub over the African. 

Still the non-slaveholding Class got at last a 
voice in Hinton Rowan Helper, of North Caro- 
lina, whose book called The Impending Crisis in 
the years just before the outbreak of the Great 
War produced no small stir. The author regards 
himself as the mouth piece of his Class, yea, as 
its prophet, for the book is full of impassioned 
prophecy of the slaveholder's coming doom, 
and the title itself has a prophetic suggestion. 
Helper also employs argument which he puts 
strongly, buttressing it with a mass of statistics, 
as well as with his own personal experiences. 
The feeling of the present time condemns many 
expressions in the book, and perhaps its whole 
spirit is too denunciatory, vengeful, and savagely 
rhetorical ; still it doubtless gave utterance to a 
suppressed strain of retaliation felt in many a 
uon-slaveholding breast, and as such has its sig- 
nificance for the future. No book ever written 


by a Northern abolitionist, no speech ever 
spoken by Sumner or Seward, ever produced half 
the wrath, mingled seemingly with some anxiety, 
in the ranks of the Oligarchy. It was regarded 
as a fire in the rear, as an act of treason to the 
South, and in their sense it was. For if that 
vast non-slaveholding majority should ever break 
loose and start out for itself, what would become 
of the slaveholding minority and specially of its 
Oligarchy? No wonder that the Southern lead- 
ers denounced the book and placed it upon the 
forbidden index, feeling in it such a dire prophecy 
of the impending cataclysm. Still there was 
little danger for them from this Class, since the 
poor whites were not readers, most of them could 
not even read the printed appeal, which was, 
however, extensively circulated at the North and 
there produced its effect. The voice of Helper, 
accordingly, never reached its audience of non- 
slaveholders, who were to attain their liberation 
in a very different way. 


^be Slaves* 

The third great Class of the South embraced 
the African slaves, a vast voiceless mass which 
toiled for the Olio^archs and constituted the basis 
of their social system. The most obvious as 
well as deepest natural distinction among men,, 
the distinction of race, split the division of the 
two Classes, master and slave, to the bottom, 
making it always physically present and visible, 
as well as spiritually manifest. Ill antiquity the 
Greek slave of the Eoman master might be the 
philosopher, doctor, artist, and was often the 
superior in mind, in form, and in character. 
Hence in the South the doctrine of the inferior 
race as the ground of slavery was the favorite 
argument, and distinguished this, the modern, 
from the ancient and medieval forms of servi- 

Thus the least freedom-asserting race is sub- 
jected by and to the most freedom-asserting 
race. The enslaved blacks dimly knew that 
their liberty was at stake in the War, yet they 
never rose in their own cause. Eeally they had 
no power of organization ; they were still gre- 
garious, rather than associative. Since the war 
they have had spells of migration, which seemed 
to have little or no rational purpose, but to be 


the stirrings of some original instinct, like the 
movements of wild animals. Slavery stopped 
such wanderings and trained the African to 
steady labor — no small or unimportant task by 
the way. We cannot help thinking that those 
old Egyptian Kings disciplined the primitive 
man, the first dweller in the Nile Valley, out of 
indolence and savagery, by compelling him to 
build the Pyramids. Early Africa had the same 
problems which modern Africa is still working at. 
Prevalent in the South was the fear of servile 
insurrection. Every family in large negro dis- 
tricts, the mistress of a household especially, 
was haunted by this secret terror, which, how- 
ever, was seldom uttered except in an under- 
breath. This was indeed the damnation of the 
whole system. There w^as on great plantations 
a regular patrolling of the slave quarters by 
night. Towns and cities were often under a kind 
of military surveillance. Charleston particularly 
was always sentineled by a strict guard, as many 
observers have reported. An English visitor 
compared the situation there to Sparta never 
ceasing to fear an outbreak of its Helots, which 
indeed often came. But the outbreak of the 
African slaves in the South never really came, 
could not come seriously without an organizing 
power which they did not possess. Nat Turner's 
so-called insurrection inflicted some outrages, but 
never had any backbone. The truth is, the 


African is by nature a docile, submissive, clinging, 
parasilic race whose self is not yet fully devel- 
oped to self-dependence. 

How, then, could the Southerner, on the whole 
an excellent and usually sympathetic judge of 
negro character, make such a mistake, or at least 
have such a fear even in spite of himself? The fjict 
rests upon a psychological element common to 
all men: they see in others what they themselves 
are and ascribe their own feelings and actions to 
people in the same situation. The Anglo-Saxon 
master knew that he would rise and fight in a 
minute if anybody should attempt to enslave him. 
He knew that his white neighbor would meet 
him with pistol and bowie-knife for one-tenth of 
the humiliation to which he subjected his negro. 
His own liberty-loving spirit avenged itself by 
inflicting upon him a secretterrcrfor its violation. 
His own strong self-assertion was what made 
him anxious when he destroyed self-assertion in 
another. He could not help unconsciously judging 
the negro by himself, and putting himself in his 
place. What then would happen? Insurrec- 
tion, revenge, bloodshed ; his imagination, stimu- 
lated by the law of his own action, would call up 
the scene, which many a Southern orator elabo- 
rated with gory fullness, well knowing that he 
stirred a deep response in the souls of his 
bearers. Only he would speak the fact, but 
probably he did not think out the ground of 


this lurking terror, itself largely groundless. 
That is, its ground Wiis internal lying in the 
slave holder, not external lying in the slave, as 
time showed in the most decisive manner. It 
was indeed the ever present Nemesis of freedom 
punishing the free man for violating what was 
deepest and strongest in himself. The return 
of the deed upon the doer through himself we 
have to deem it, not through the hand of his 
victim ; a form of retaliation it is which the soul 
of the master inflicts upon itself in requital for 
its own wrongs done upon the unavenging slave. 
Here is also the grand act of liberation which 
the War brought to the larger slaveholder spe- 
cially, who was thereby freed from the inner, 
secretly consuming Fury of his social life. For 
the evidence shows that slavery begat a Gorgon 
terror-inspiring in its participators, even when 
there was little or no real cause for such terror. 
The same fact was observed in the slaveholding 
countries of antiquity, Greece and Rome, which, 
however, had far more reason for their anxiety, 
as they enslaved men of their own color and 
race, yea of their own nationality. Thus the 
race-training and the race-feeling were then 
common to both slave and master, and exerted 
themselves mightily to obliterate the distinction. 
The census of 1850 states the number of slaves 
exclusive of free blacks, to be 3,177,000; of 
these more than half, 1,800,000 were employed 


(according to De Bow) iu raising cotton. In 
this fact we again note the centralization of 
slave industry, in contrast with the free industry 
of the North. Cotton furnished more than half 
the value of the total exports of the country 
(76+miIlions of dollars out of 136+millions). 
Hence rose the cry that cotton was king, and the 
South was led to believe that the North, and 
England, and even Europe could not exist with- 
out her staple. Thereby too the feeling of 
domination, already sufficiently developed, was 
enormously inflated, and made the Cotton States 
so imperious not only over the North, but over 
Virginia and the more Northern Slave-States. 
Indeed they imagined they held the key to the 
rule of the world. Virginia was peculiarly 
threatened; she had become slave-breeder for 
the cotton fields, which always required a new 
supply of negroes. Already iu 1832 it was esti- 
mated that Virginia sent annually 6,000 negroes 
to the lower South. This most degrading crop 
of human bone and muscle had become one of 
her chief sources of wealth ; we shall see the 
extreme South threatening to cut it off if Vir- 
ginia proved refractory. From the landing of 
the first negro slaves in 1619 on the shores of 
the James, Virginia seems to have remained the 
chief center of black expansion, though also at 
the same time the center of early opposition to 


It is generally agreed at present that slave- 
labor is the most expensive of all kinds of labor. 
Human force as mechanical merely is weak and 
wasteful; man as a machine is the slave, man as 
the machine-controller is the free man. Slavery 
is thus an economic evil, and also a moral evil, 
and what is deeper still, an institutional evil. 
The self which owns itself is the sole atomic 
constituent which can make a free State. A 
self which is owned by another self introduces 
at once a jarring contradiction into the institu- 
tional world, which is to secure the free will 
and not slavery. It was said by an eminent 
Southerner that Capital must own its Labor; 
but the age saj^s that Labor must own itself and 
then Capital. A free man must go into every- 
thing made in this country, on this continent, 
and finally on this globe. The self-owning self 
must indeed labor and just through its labor 
must win its economic freedom. Then it must 
also be self-governing and win its institutional 
freedom. Such a person will raise corn and 
potatoes, and also cotton, but at the same time 
will raise another crop, that of free Institutions. 
So the great problem is to transform the Union 
into an Institution productive of Free-States, 
which transformation may be already seen reach- 
ing out beyond the Territories into the Slave- 
States themselves. Shall the toiler not be a man 
but a piece of property belonging to another? 


Shall be earn his bread by his own sweat, or 
make another sweat for him? In the long run, 
however, it has been found that the man who 
makes others sweat for him, is made to sweat 
himself even more than they, and eats not the 
best, but the costliest bread produced by human 

There is even in slavery a process toward free- 
dom for the slave, who in a manner renders his 
master unfree, dependent, determined from the 
outside. It is the slave who through his enforced 
labor makes his master a member of the Eco- 
nomic Order, giving him his wealth and to a 
degree his social position. Thus the master is 
through the slave, he cannot remain master and 
dispense with the slave, who, however, can dis- 
pense with his master when he has learned to 
labor, and thus becomes internally his own 
master. Slavery has an intrinsic tendency to do 
away with itself. The master is but the inter- 
mediate link which becomes unnecessary when 
the slave does his work through himself. 
Such was the discipline of slavery for the black 
man; it gave him slowly the power through 
industry to become a member of the Social 
Whole, -which receives his labor instead of his 
master, and pays him his reward. This is 
economic freedom which the Southern negro has 
not yet fully attained, but is attaining. Political 
freedom cannot take its place, cannot even be 



real without ecouomic freedom, which the bhick 
man must acquire by tilling the soil and taking 
hold of the trades and the industries. 

Hitherto slavery must be regarded as a condi- 
tion through which human Development passes, 
as a stage in the unfoldiuo- of the World's His- 
tory. It is significant to see how ready were the 
early European colonists in America to enslave 
the two backward races, the African and the 
Indian. Cupidity was undoubtedly a motive and 
a strong one; still another element entered, that 
of making the idle savage work and thus of 
causing him to become an integral member of 
the social organism. Our ancestors knew no 
other method of bringing the natural man out of 
indolence and barbarism than by enslaving him, 
by taking away that will of his which, if left to 
itself, w^ould not exert itself in labor. The savage 
indeed would endure fatigue and hunger, he was 
capable of strenuous effort in war and the chase ; 
but he knew not the Social Whole as the object 
of effort, till he was trained by Civilization, 
which usually enslaved him, chaining him liter- 
ally to his task. At the same time such servitude 
was necessarily self-undoing, since its end was 
attained when the slave had learned to work and 
to produce his contribution to society through 
his own will and not through that of the master. 
This period is indicated in the History of Nations 
by the servile revolt, of which Rome has fur- 


nished so many striking examples. But there 
was no servile revolt of the blacks in the South 
durinoj the War — a fact of great sio;uificance, 
indicating among other things that they were not 
yet socially ready. It was really the white man 
who was ready for the abolition of slavery and 
called for it in his own interest. And we have 
to add, the World-Spirit was ready for it, ready 
to train the backward races through some other 
and higher instrumentality than servitude. For 
they have still to be disciplined into the civilized 
order of the world, but the discipline must take 
place through education directly, as the explicit 
conscious end. Slavery was educative indirectly, 
though the master had no such purpose. But it 
always brought in its train the terrible curse of 
war and political dissolution. Civilization is 
now strong enough and humane enough to edu- 
cate the sav'age without enslaving him. The 
American Ten Years' War was the end of the 
slavery's discipline of the Race, and the begin- 
ning of a new epoch in the school of Mankind. 
Though a war too, it was wao;ed against the 
sources of war, a war it was to end at least one 
great cause of war. 

As we have often invoked the Genius of Civ- 
ilization or the World-Spirit in other matters, 
Ave may here ask ourselves : What is it trying to 
do with the blacks? Evidently slavery has been 
for them a great schooling ; they are made to 


work from the outside that they may learn to 
work from the inside, and thus become partici- 
pators in the socio-economic institution, whereby 
they get the sense of propert}' and its ownership. 
As slaves they cannot strictly own an3'thiug, not 
owning themselves, their Wills, which belong to 
the master. Yet even here the process shows 
itself. For after all, the master presupposes in 
the slave a Will self -determining within its 
sphere, and hence endows him with responsi- 
bility, even if limited. The master assigns to 
his slave a task and perchance punishes him if it 
is not done. Both the task and the punishment 
tacitly acknowledge a realm of freedom, which 
cattle and horses, not to speak of lifeless prop- 
erty, do not possess. Thus the master is secretly 
trainiuo- his slaves to freedom through holding 

O Co 

them accountable, and even through punishment. 
Here again we note that slavery is internally self- 
undoing, even if externallj^ this process be hin- 
dered and delayed in its result. The slave, or 
let us think him specially the enslaved Will, be- 
ing owned as property by another Will and laden 
with duties, however humble, is slowly getting a 
Will of his own, which in turn can own, and thus 
not simply be but have property. Then he has 
joined the Social Whole whose end is the eco- 
nomic freedom of all its members. As before said, 
this is the true condition and antecedent of any 
real political freedom, as the history of the en- 


franchisee! negro in the South has abundantly 
shown since the War. 

So we may see that the "World-Spirit through 
the discipline of slavery has taken in hand the 
Black Eace which it is training up into institu- 
tional freedom. Moreover it is the American 
negro who is to be brought into participation 
with the World's Civilization through the insti- 
tutions of his birth-land. He is not to be sent 
back to Africa, there to lose what he has here 
won, in the vast savagery of a Continent, or even 
by becoming European. Colonization in its 
present form would make undone what the 
World-Spirit has done with a purpose. This was 
the purpose which the Oligarchy unconsciously 
subserved during its day of power; and still 
more completely by its ever-memorable fight 
apparently for African slavery, but really for 
African enfranchisement. Such, then, is the 
problem before us: This most un-Aryan, and 
we can also say, this least Caucasian of all the 
races — white, yellow, red, black — this black 
race is put under training to the American 
Aryan or Caucasian, who thus has to reach 
quite back to the beginning of his human kind in 
the early man, releasing the latter from an outer 
and inner bondage, and endowing him with an 
ideal of freedom through a long, painful disci- 
pline, productive of many woes to both sides. 
But the task has to be done, being imposed by 


the World-Spirit, which knows how to Vjring 
about fulfillment of its behest even through 
the most bitter resistance and antipathy, whose 
method indeed is often to make a people do the 
very opposite of what it thinks it is doing. 

And the thought may be here added that the 
higher development of national consciousness is 
to become fully aware of this World-Spirit, and 
harmonious with its purpose. War has been 
hitherto its means because of the ignorant and 
refractory nations with which it has dealt, and 
which have had to be disciplined into knowledge 
of its plan as well as into obedience to its com- 
mand. Though in the History of the past, it has 
been largely unconscious in the people which has 
been its chosen bearer, its destiny is to become 
a conscious principle of national action, and per- 
chance to have its place or representative in 
Government itself. Then the outer spectacle 
of the rise, bloom, and fall of Nations which 
has been heretofore the course of the World's 
History will cease, being taken up into the inner 
development of the single Nation and made the 
process of its perpetuity — its decline being 
always counteracted by its new rise. And the 
World-Spirit is no longer to appear as an ex- 
ternal Power over the Nations, but their internal 
Power, organized into their very Constitution. 
Such is the end toward which History is moving, 
seeking to get its deepest process inside the 


Nation wholly, which process has been so largely 
outside of it hitherto, and hence destructive of it 
at last. 

Racial freedom is, then, what the World-Spirit 
has enjoined upon the American Folk-Soul; 
moreover this racial freedom must be elevated 
out of mere caprice and barbarism, and made 
institutional, and that too made institutional in 
the American sense. The African is to be 
trained into a political consciousness which is 
State-producing, yea productive of the Free- 
State, even if he has no such consciousness 
developed at present. Such is clearly the in- 
junction of the World-Spirit, never before laid 
upon any nation. The contest for freedom has 
indeed been perennial, springing up at the start 
of History and passing through many stages. 
But here the command is distinctively racial 
freedom, and that too of the humblest race. 
Of such freedom, moreover, the Hero has 
appeared, an Aryan Hero, the last and seemingly 
the greatest of a long line reaching back through 
the World's History, whose process may be seen 
through him to be getting more and more inside 
the Nation, thus freeing it of its own destroying 
Furies within and also without. An Aryan Hero 
we call him, yet also the Hero of another race 
different from his own, greater than Alexander 
or Caesar, military Heroes limited to their own 
race and determining it chiefly. 


Thus the former slaves of the South having 
become freedmeu and also citizens, have intro- 
duced a new world-historical problem whose 
working-out reaches far into the future. For 
the World's History as hitherto developed and 
recorded, has been chiefly confined to one race, 
we may call it imiracial. But at present many 
indications show that the World's History is 
expanding its limits to include the several races; 
hence we may call it miiltiracial. Within 
a dozen years the yellow race has joined the 
world-historical procession not merely of the 
Nations but of the Eaces, not being forced into 
it from the outside by a stronger Eace, but enter- 
ing it voluntarily through unsurpassed deeds of 
heroism. Using our nomenclature, which we 
hope our reader is beginning not only to appre- 
hend but for the nonce to accept and even to 
enjoy, we may say that the World-Spirit took a 
great new step by starting to be multiracial 
during and after the American Ten Years' War. 
The supreme political units of European History 
have mainly been tribes and nations of the same 
general ethnic character, of the same Eace, how- 
ever different they may otherwise have been. 
But at present we see the beginnings of a vast 
change ; the ultimate political units of History 
are getting to be racial, rising above and includ- 
ing Nations. It would seem, then, that the 
Eaces are to constitute together the supreme 


process of the World's History, and to attain a 
new institutional unity of total Mankind, a new 
federation of some sort evolving out of yet dif- 
ferent from the hitherto existe.nt governmental 
forms known as State, Empire, Republic. 
Nationality has been great, but raciality seems 
destined to become greater. 

So much in regard to African Slavery as racial, 
and its place and part in the world-historical 
movement of the Ages past and present, with 
tentative glimpses of the future. Coming back 
from such a far-extending journey of outlooks, 
we must recall the cleft American Folk-Soul 
with its Northern and Southern halves ever grow- 
ing more disunited externally, yet internally re- 
vealino; the miohtier looming task that one side 
must assimilate the other in this deepest matter 
of slavery. The foregoing Classism is destined 
to be smitten to fragments, whereby the three 
great Classes of the South are to be broken up, 
their crystallized limits shivered to atoms politi- 
cally, and a new organization begun. Each 
Class is to be in its own peculiar way liberated, 
though burdened with new duties. The Oli- 
garchy with its minority rule in Nation, State 
and Class, is in these years challenging its fate 
through developing to maturity the germ of 
Secession, which, implicit in the Federal Union 
since its form:ition, now becomes explicit and 
puts forth its complete flower. 


The general character of the three years be- 
fore us (1858-1861) has been already designated 
as that of Separation, Antagonism, Disunion. 
We have just witnessed the development of the 
North and South into two opposing social and 
political systems, which have become so hetero- 
geneous and mutually uncongenial that they can 
no longer live together. One must fundament- 
ally transform the other in the matter of slavery, 
which is the ever-irritating source of difference. 
There can be no compromise, no half-way stop- 
ping-place : the North must metamorphose the 
South, or the South the North; or, in the words 
of Lincoln, which we have already cited as the 
key-note or leading-motive of the present period : 
"This Government cannot permanently endure 
half-slave and half-free. It will become all one 
thing or all the other." Just now the struggle 


is: Which shall it be? Each side is resisting 
the movemeut of the other. The result is, the 
Union is visibly disuniting itself into its two 
great constituents, Northern and Southern. This 
separation passes through several stages, which 
we shall put together, calling it the Process of 
Secession. The positive act of separation springs 
from the Oligarchy, while the counter action of 
it rises out of the People. The culmination will 
be when the Slave-States, or two tiers of them, 
secede from the Union and thereby make Seces- 
sion a reality. 

The fact has been already noted that the year 
1858 changed the whole political outlook of the 
Southern Oligarchy. It had lost the North com- 
pletely, which had sent a hostile House of Rep- 
resentatives, whose character will be shown by 
the election of a Republican Speaker. It had 
failed to make Kansas a Slave-State, thus admit- 
ting a preponderance of Free-States even in 
number, not to speak of wealth and population. 
But chie% it had called up in the North a politi- 
cal Party whose cardinal doctrine was that there 
must be no more Slave-States for all future 
time. Thus the South felt itself limited, 
hampered in its maintenance of Power, yea, 
dominated in its turn by a section which it had 
always dominated. Its mightiest thunderbolt, 
launched by the Supreme Judiciary of the laud 
against this Party, had not only missed its object. 


but turned out a boomerang. It cannot extend 
even Southward if the Republican doctrine of 
prohibiting slavery in the Territories already 
acquired or hereafter to be acquired, should pre- 
vail. Thus a limit is drawn on all sides around 
the South w^hich it passionately resents. For- 
merly it drew its own limits, as well as those of 
the North, which has now become so arrogant as 
to think of governing its governors. 

This situation gives the clue to much said and 
done in the South during the present period. 
There was a passionateness in word and action 
which now seems extravagant, and which cer- 
tainly did not help its cause. But we must 
bring before us a proud and imperious people 
or rather Oligarchy, which, accustomed to rule, 
beholds suddenly the prospect of being ruled by 
those whom it has ruled. Such a condition was 
felt to be an outrage unendurable. It was al- 
most as bad as if the slaves should rise up and 
prescribe the law for Southern gentlemen. In 
the North nothing could be more natural than 
the rule of the majority; in the South nothing 
could be more natural than the rule of the 
minority, that is of the Oligarchic minority. 
The business of this minority had long been to 
rule majorities both in the States where it ex- 
isted and in the Nation. So the South boiled 
over with passion which started from its domi- 
nating center, at the restrictions put upon it by 


the majority. Now the form which this passion 
chiefly took was the menace. The angry South 
shook its finger at the Nortli and threatened and 
stormed if a Republican should be elected Presi- 
dent. This threat was universally the dissolu- 
tion of the Union. Southerners would not obey 
such a President even if constitutionally chosen. 
They were minority rulers, and were only assert- 
ing their principle in their menace against the 
majority. Moreover, this threatening manner 
was born of their relation to their slaves, who 
were cowed into obedience by an intimidating 
look or word. Jefferson has noted that such a 
manner was imitated already by children from 
the example of the parents. It is not, therefore, 
wronging the Southern slaveholder to say that 
the menace came natural to him, springing both 
from inheritance and education. In a way he 
could hardly help himself in his environment; 
his life, his character, his world was a minority 
dominating; and hence more or less intimidating 
the majority, in fact four majorities in his case, 
as we have seen. 

So the present period (1858-61) was decidedly 
tinged with the menace, of which, however, the 
North was not wholly free. Passion begets 
counter passion, and threat rouses threat in turn. 
Besides, the North had its born gasconaders and 
threateners. Still the Northern social condition 
did not engender the menace, at least not the 


minority's menace of the nmjority. The North 
was not heard to threaten the disruption of the 
Union, if a President were fairly elected, or if 
its view were not adopted by the majority of the 
Nation. Once New England States did indulge 
in such threats, but this method had long since 
migrated to the South, which some times has 
claimed to have learned it from the Old North. 
During the period now under consideration we 
may imagine the two sections in various menac- 
ing attitudes glowering at each other across 
Mason and Dixon's line, which still keeps them 
apart, though each side in its deepest, even if 
unconscious drift, is aligning itself for the com- 
ing struggle. 

It may be here noted that each side mistook 
the other. The North regarded the menace of 
the Southerners as mere bluster which they would 
not undertake to carry out by dissolving the 
Union. This threat had been used so often 
before that it was worn thread-bare and was 
scoffed at by the North, The election of 
Buchanan turned on its skillful employment, but 
it could never serve again any such purpose. 
On the other hand the South thought that the 
Northerners would yield before fighting. Such 
a view was natural. The slaveholder lived in 
a yielding world, his slaves yielded, and the non- 
slaveholders yielded ; he could hardly help be- 
lieving that the North would yield. Such was 
the delusion which lay deep in his consciousness, 


and which went far toward determining his 

Already in 1858, the question of the Presi- 
dency loomed up portentously in the Southern 
mind. The elections of that year showed that 
the Republicans might choose the chief magis- 
trate of the Nation in 1860. Enough of the 
States which voted for Buchanan in 1856 had 
deserted the Democratic column to secure a 
Presidential victory to its enemy. Moreover the 
Democrats were hopelessly divided and their 
disintegration was on the increase, while the Re- 
publicans were growing more united and com- 
pact, particularly after Lincoln's campaign 
against Douglas. Thus the executive office at 
Washington becomes the objective point toward 
which and round which the movement of the 
time mostly turns. We have already seen the 
Administration at Washington as the chief source 
of the Kansas irritation, trying to make it a Slave- 
State. Then the Oligarchy wielded the power 
of the Government, but now the power seems to 
be passing over to the hands of the North, which 
is striving to reach the center of irritation so 
productive of evil on the border. 

So Washington will remain an important part 
of the present process, but rather as the irritated 
than the irritating center. It will be the arena 
to which the combatants come for their prelim- 
inary struggle. The Buchanan Administration, 
always weak, has quite spent its aggressive 


streagtli ou Kansas, where it has failed. It also 
tried to defeat Douglas in Illinois, in which it 
scored another failure. It dallied a little with 
the hope of getting Cuba for the South. Jeffer- 
son Davis, in a speech to his Mississippi constit- 
uents spoke of new Territory to be acquired 
bej'ond the Rio Grande. But the Oligarchy 
was well aware that another and far deeper ques- 
tion must first be settled, just that of Uuion or 
Secession under the incoming dominance of the 

If the executive branch of Government, with 
its decrepit head and lukewarm cabinet had sunk 
into insignificance, the legislative branch was all 
the more active and became the scene of the first 
Alignment of the two representative parties, as 
well as of their earliest onsets. The Congress 
of 1858-9 manifests often violently in word and 
deed the separative character of the era before us. 
But the year 1860 has another Alignment, in 
which the Nation takes part, that of the Presiden- 
tial election, peaceful though ominous. After this 
election follows at once the third Alignment, 
that of Secession, upon which question all the 
States, Northern and Southern, have to take 
sides and toe the battle-line. 

These three Alignments will furnish the guid- 
ing-thread of our Exposition, since they bring- 
out and emphasize the Process of Secession no 
longer lying dormant but becoming a reality, no 
longer a menace but a deed. 


^be iflrst alignment 

Thouffh the relations between the North and 
South were continually shifting, the two sides 
were getting into a definite Alignment in the 
Congressional year of 1858-9. Each section 
was aware of the approaching struggle, and had 
selected its protagonists in the election of 1858. 
These were to meet at the center, Washington, 
where the preliminary maneuvering and skirmish- 
ing was to take place in Congress, particularly 
in the House of Representatives. The outcome 
will be what we may call the First or Congres- 
sional Alignment in the Process of Secession. 

The waning domination of the South or of its 
Oligarchy began to show itself decisively during 
the events of this Congressional Alignment. 
Kansas lost, the Democratic party beaten in the 
North, the Administration helpless, marked the 
drift of the time, which was accentuated by the 
election of a Republican Speaker of the National 
House of Representatives. The ill-luck con- 
tinued in the Presidential election and finally in 
the War itself. At Washington the political 
rent became social, and threw its cloud over the 
gayety of the Capital. The ladies divided on 
the line of North and South, and the coming 
chanse of domination was reflected in the actions 



and even in the faces of the women of the two 
contending sections. 

This first swirl in the Process of Secession 
sweeping from the circumference of the hind to 
the center at Washington, and there seething for 
a year or more till the two sides distinctly and 
permanently align themselves in Congress, is 
what the reader is now to reproduce and re-enact 
in his own brain. He must not only see an irri- 
tated South and an irritated North but also feel 
in himself these mutual and conflicting irritations 
which are getting heated to the point of break- 
ing out into open combat on the battle-iield. 

1. The irritated South. The feeling of irrita- 
tion of the South against the North in 1858, on 
account of its political reverses and the limits 
put upon it in a variety of ways, had risen to 
wrath and to a kind of defiance, which showed 
itself in the elections of that year. The men 
chosen were its Hotspurs, its extremists, who no 
doubt represented the mood of their electorate, 
which was of course determined by the Olig- 

The general result of this First Alignment may 
be here indicated : The Oligarchy makes up its 
mind not to take political defeat in the Nation at 
the coming Presidential election. The Southern 
minority has now to conclude whether or not it 
will be ruled by the National majority, which has 
so decidedly expressed itself in the North. More- 


over one such submission in the Nation would 
mean the ultimate submission of the minority to 
the majority as a principle, and that signifies the 
overthrow of the Oligarchy at home in its own 
section, not at once perhaps, but in the course of 
years. Hence it resolves at this time that it 
will not, and indeed cannot submit to a Republi- 
can President. Great is the stake ; if it will not 
take political defeat, it courts military defeat, 
which will end not only its National rule, but all 
its four supremacies. The Oligarchy, having 
good heads, could not have been unaware of the 
extreme hazard of their purpose, but they re- 
solved to take it, risking the whole sweep of 
their authority with the future thrown in. 

Thus the Southern cavaliers come up to the 
Capital from the outlying districts, ready to 
fling down the gage of battle to their Northern 
antagonists on the Congressional arena, full of a 
haughty disdain, somewhat like their medieval 
prototypes. Jefferson Davis, their leader, took 
the palm of being the most arrogant man in 
Washington, which palm, however, was con- 
ferred on him by his foes, though it seems not to 
have been challenged by his friends. But they 
all showed defiance in word, look and act, the 
defiance of the minority against the majority, as 
they stepped up to that battle-line of words on 
the floor of Congress. 

2. The irritated North. There was a feelini; 


of irritation also iu tlie North against the South, 
on account of Kansas, and the Fugitive Slave 
Law, and the repeated threats to dissolve the 
Union. But the strongest power working in the 
Folk-Soul of the North was the conviction of the 
wrong of slavery. Then there was the deep 
protest against minority rule, particularly when 
this minority not only used means but pursued 
objects reprobated by the great body of the 
Northern people. Southern leadership in itself 
was not offensive, but had been rather congenial 
to Northerners, who would still have followed 
men like Washington, Jefferson and Marshall, 
had they been in existence. Abraham Lincoln, 
the greatest leader of the North, was a born 
Southerner, and retained much of his Southern 
instinct to the last. 

The menaces of the South necessarily brought 
the North to consider the question whether or 
not it would tight for the Union iu case of the 
election of a Eepublican President. It too was 
pondering the future and making up its mind, 
though doubtless in a very vague, fluctuating 
wav. But the issue of Secession is fermenting 
within and will not catch it wholly unprepared, 
when the time of action arrives. 

The Northern Congressmen came to Washing- 
ton at this session (1858-9), in a much less 
heated condition than the Southern. The cause 
of this difference is manifest : the one side was 


the loser and felt itself to be sinking, while the 
other was the winner and felt itself to be rising. 
Thus the Northerners, besides being less impetu- 
ous by nature, had good reason for indulging in 
an even-tempered serenity or perchance quiet 
elation, which suggestively contrasted with the 
defiant and arrogant mood of the Southerners, 
who sallied into scene of action already at white 
heat. Later, however, the Northern temper 
rose through continued irritation, and became the 
aggressor in turn, after the South had begun to 
cool off. Thus the course of this Congressional 
contest was curiously analogous to the course of 
the Great War, in which the South was more 
alert and victorious at the start, till the North 
woke up to the task, increasing its effort till the 
successful end. Accordingly we shall pass to 
the central spot, along with both sides gathering 
there, to see the preliminary muster and tourna- 
ment of the combatants. 

3. The Capital. In Washington, then, the 
two clashing sections come together and show 
their antagonism, particularly iu the House of 
Representatives which is fresh from the people. 
Three days after the execution of John Brown, 
Congress met (December 5th, 1859), in a fever 
of excitement. The Southern members espe- 
cially were overflowiug with wrath and retalia- 
tion and menaces of revolution. John Brown 
had really converted them or many of them; 


they threatened to do for Slavery what he had 
done against Slavery, threatened to do essentially 
the same deed for the doing of which they had 
hung him. 

The Republicans had more members of the 
House than any other party, but not the major- 
ity of the total membership. A Speaker was to 
be chosen, and hence there had to be some kind 
of a combination of parties. The South had 
three main grievances — Brown, Seward, and 
Helper, the last being the author of The Impend- 
ing Crisis. Sherman, the Republican candidate 
for Speaker, had signed a recommendation of 
Helper's book for a campaign document, with- 
out having read it however. This recommenda- 
tion was made the basis of a furious attack upon 
him, since the book was deemed very offensive 
and indeed dangerous to the Oligarchy, as it was 
a passionate and often vengeful appeal to the 
non-slaveholding whites of the South to throw 
off minority rule. Already on the second day 
of the session there was almost a personal en- 
counter between the two sides in the area of the 
House, into which there was a common rush, 
but the cooler heads of both sections interfered 
and held back their headstrong friends. The 
Southern men did most of the talking, which 
was usually in a vem of passionate menace and 
denunciation. The mterest is to note their an- 
athemas upon John Brown followed by declara- 


tions of their own John Brownism. " We will 
never submit to the inauguration of a Black Re- 
publican President," said a representative from 
Georgia (Crawford), with the hearty applause 
of the Southern members. That is, they would 
not submit to Law and Constitution. Roger A. 
Pryor, member from Virginia, excites special in- 
terest by his heated charge that Helper's book 
" riots in rebellion, treason, and insurrection," 
though Pr_yor himself hardly did anything else 
but indulge in the same kind of rioting. When 
it was found that Sherman could not be elected, 
Pennington, a conservative Republican from New 
Jersey, was taken up and chosen February 1st, 
1860, on the forty-fourth ballot. 

Spontaneously arises in the mind a com- 
parison with the election of Banks as Speaker 
of the House in the same month of 1856. 
Though that contest lasted a little longer, and 
though the North and South were then ar- 
rayed against each other, there was good-humor 
throughout, and an optimistic feeling that all 
would turn out right in the end. It is true that 
threats of dissolving the Union were then heard, 
but not taken as serious; a member from Vir- 
ginia who indulged in a hot threat of the kind 
was laughed down by the House with a good- 
natured " Oh, no," in which most of the 
Southerners joined. The feeling was very dif- 
ferent now on their part, since they showed 


themselves ready to echo in apphause every vio- 
lent sentiment on their side and even to mani- 
fest personal hostility on the floor of the House. 
Most of them came armed to the sessions, which 
fact becoming known caused a similar pre})ara- 
tion on the part of the Northern men. Thus 
the two sides stood in a kind of battle array for 
many days with weapons ready though not yet 
openly drawn, which we may well call the First 
or Congressional Alignment, as it was the typi- 
cal thing of the time, the concentration of its 
meaning in a single act and place. 

After the election of Speaker the bow unbent 
for a while; but it was a mistake to think that 
the animosity was at an end. Another outbreak, 
the worst of all, took place in the House on 
April 5th during the speech of Owen Lovejoy of 
Illinois, whose brother had been murdered some 
years before by a pro-slavery mob at Alton. 
Lovejoy's words were violent and even venge- 
ful ; in his speech he did not disguise his personal 
feeling of retaliation: " You shed the blood of 
my brother twenty years ago on the banks of 
the Mississippi; I am here to-day, thank God, 
to vindicate his principles," and, it may be 
added, to pay you back. During his speech 
Lovejoy advanced from the Republican benches 
to the side of the Southerners, and, in the lan- 
suage of one of them, was " shaking his fist in 
our faces," when the eruption came. Again 


three or four dozen angry men from each side 
made a rush for the open space, apparently in 
order to get at one another unimpeded by the 
seats and desks; but only loud volleys of bil- 
lingsgate were discharged, in which contest the 
Southerners had the advantage, if we may judge 
from the following choice morsel of the Mis- 
sissippian Barksdale : " Order that black-hearted 
scoundrel and nigger-stealiiig thief to take his 
seat, and this side of the House will do it " — 
the words were addressed to the Speaker com- 
manding order, and referred to Lovejoy. 

On the whole the Northerners were the ag- 
gressors in this affair, and unduly provoked the 
opposition which had begun to show signs of 
greater moderation. One result must be noticed : 
the challenge to fight a duel sent by Pryor 
of Virginia to Potter of Wisconsin. Potter, 
having the choice of weapons, chose the bowie- 
knife, which Pryor' s second declined as a mode 
of combat "vulgar, barbarous and inhuman." 
And yet the bowie-knife was generally regarded 
as the South's peculiar if not emblematic weapon. 
Potter suddenly became a hero to the North, 
having made in its opinion a blustering South- 
erner quail at the gleam of his own blade. And 
the further inference was drawn that the South's 
bark was worse than its bite ; in fact many 
believed that in the end it would not bite at all. 
Such a view was reinforced by the remembrance 


of the parallel duel between Brooks and Bur- 
lingame four years before, which also turned out 
a fizzle through the back-down of the Southern 
challenger. On the other hand, the South 
believed that the North would not fight, because 
the latter was conscientiously opposed to the 
duel, and on account of its many historic yield- 
inffs to the Southern threat of the dissolution of 
the Union. Certainly the modest estimate was 
current in Dixie that one Southerner could whip 
two Northern men at least, and often his claim 
rose to being equal to four of them. Of course 
the War disabused both sides of their delusions 
on this subject and taught North and South not 
only mutual respect but admiration for their 
common American valor. 

From the House we pass to the Senate, where 
was taking place the same Alignment, though 
the proceedings were physically not so vigorous 
and mentally not so explosive. The time was 
chiefly occupied in maneuvering for the approach- 
ing Presidenc}'. The leading candidates were in 
the Senate, Douglas and Seward, both from the 
North; the fact is significant, that the South, in 
times past the furnisher of Presidents, had now 
no candidate. It had, however, a leader of its 
Oligarch}', which was working to name the can- 
didate, or, as his election seemed hopeless, to 
dissolve the Union. The head and spokesman 
of the Oligarchy was Jefferson Davis, between 


whom and Douglas lay the fight which had in 
view the coming Democratic nomination. Doug- 
las reaffirmed his Popular Sovereignty, Davis 
asserted the absolute right of property in slaves 
and its protection in the Territories by the Gov- 
ernment. By these discussions the rent in the 
Democratic party was not only widened, but 
each side took its position, aligning itself for 
the Convention soon to . be held. The effect 
upon Douglas must be noted as it determined his 
future political attitude. He became fully con- 
vinced that the Oligarchy meditated Secession, 
and he made up his mind to fight it with all his 
might. In fact Davis pushed him to take such 
a stand. In his heart he became more hostile to 
the Oligarchy, which hostility it bitterly re- 
turned, than he was to the Republicans, with 
whom he had at least Unionism in common. 

Seward, the supposed candidate of the Repub- 
licans for the Presidency, participated also in 
these Senatorial discussions. April 29th he 
made a speech which may be deemed his prepara- 
tory statement addressed to the Republican 
National Convention. As the South took for 
granted that he would be nominated, it directed 
its guns chiefly against him, indulging in un- 
measured abuse, even to the point of calling him 
a traitor. But Seward was an even-tempered 
man, and the key-note of his speech was modera- 
tion. He noticed the Southern threats of dis- 


union, but he did not believe that there would 
be any attempt to execute them. Then " it will 
be an overflowing source of shame" if the North 
and South cannot live harmoniously together, 
and " preserve our unequaled institutions." 
Where now is his "irrepressible conflict" which 
is certainly raging hotter than ever? In these 
Senatorial debates of 1860, Douglas showed him- 
self the deeper-seeing man, the greater states- 
man, the more resolute defender of his principle 
and of the Union. Seward leaves the impression 
that he would run the danger of compromising 
away the victory which his Party might win. 
His speech could not help creating distrust of his 
leadership. Far different was the tone, or we 
might say the undertone of Lincoln's speech at 
Cooper's Institute in New York City, delivered 
two days before Seward's in the Senate. That 
inspired confidence and showed firmness in the 
leading tenet of the Party, so that not a few 
Eastern Republicans began also to see that their 
true leader had appeared. Seward likewise 
dropped his doctrine of the " Higher Law," 
which Lincoln had never countenanced. Such 
are the Presidential protagonists who now step 
to the front out of the first or Congressional 
Alignment, getting ready for the second or 
that of the Presidency. 

In the discussions of the Southern Congress- 
men of this period one cannot help hearing a 
deep note of spiritual discord, of inner self-con- 


tradiction. They abused Seward for his state- 
ment of the "irrepressible conflict; " yet their 
words and often their actions were a pungent 
and overwhelming vindication of Seward's rather 
mild apothegm ; they seemed bent on proving 
that the conflict was irrepressible just in their 
denial of it. Then they denounced Helper's 
book as inciting servile insurrection, though 
Helper did not appeal to the negro at all, being 
rather unfriendly to him if anything, but to the 
non-slaveholding whites. These, constituting 
the great majority of the South, Helper called 
on to overthrow the Oligarchic minority, which 
thereupon sent up such a shout of wrath that 
they simply told on themselves throughout the 
length and breadth of the land, emphasizing as 
never before by their very outcries the weakest 
and worst spot in their system. Then as to the 
much belabored subject of John Brown already 
mentioned, it was an unconscious comedy that so 
many of them, while damning the old Puritan to 
the hottest fires of Inferno, should compass, in 
speech at 'least, their own damnation by threat- 
ening to do what he did. 

The three ground-themes of this Congress — 
Seward, Helper, and Brown — with their mani- 
fold variations tuneful and dissonant, have now 
been fairly exhausted, though echoes of them 
will be still heard during the coming campaign. 
To this with its Alignment of the whole People, 
we pass from Congress. 

350 THE TE2r TEARS' WAB, — PAUT 11. 

Zl)c Secon^ alignment. 

We have now come to another Presidential 
year (1860) which has its simiUirities to, yet 
differences from, the previous one (1856). The 
Nortli is again reaching out for the seat of 
national Power, for the executive branch of 
Government, but the South, or at least its Oli- 
garchy is inclined to recede from the center, and 
indeed to secede, forming a center of its own. 
Its character and its watchword say separation, so 
that its Party, the Democratic, shows itself sep- 
arating on every side. On the other hand the 
Eepublican Party was not only united but stood 
for the Union against Separation and Disunion. 
It is true that the North was divided into two 
main Parties ; but the Democrats followed Doug- 
las, whose Popular Sovereignty now meant prac- 
tically Free-Statehood for Kansas, and for most 
if not all the Territories. It had been shown 
that not only the Northerners but a large part of 
the uon-slaveholding Southerners emifyrating to 
the West for new homes, would make Free- 
States out of the public domain. Thus Popular 
Sovereignty meant practically, if not theoreti- 
callv, Free-Statehood, and this the Oligarchy 
well knew, so that it came to hate Douglas more 


than an outright Kepublican, deeming him a 

A still deeper ground of unanimity in the 
North between the Republicans and the Douglas 
Democrats was their common hostility to the 
Oligarchic rule of the minority. In fact the 
principle of Popular Sovereignty declares this 
hostility more explicitly than the Republican 
doctrine. By it the Will of the majority is 
made to determine slavery, a view very unpalat- 
able to the Oligarchy, whose life is minority rule. 
Here we may place the ground of the bitter 
attack upon Douglas led by Jefferson Davis in 
the Senate after the debate with Lincoln. There 
is little doubt that Douglas felt after that debate 
that he had more in common with Lincoln than 
with Davis, with the Republican North and 
Union than with the Democratic South and Dis- 
union. As he listened to Lincoln on the same 
platform, and heard the mighty response of the 
People, he too underwent something of a change 
within, and began to take a few draughts of that 
Folk-Soul, from which his Washington environ- 
ment had so long separated him. For Douglas 
was in a number of points a different man after 
his Illinois experience; he then got aligned for 
the real contest, and it was Lincoln who aligned 
him all unconscious to himself. 

The great fact of the present year (1860) is 
its conventions and the resulting campaign, end- 


ingin the election of Lincoln. These were more 
significant, fuller of destiny than those of 1856; 
also they sprang more directly from the People. 
The government at Washington had little influ- 
ence over either convention, so completely had 
Buchanan's Administration nullified itself in the 
popular mind of both sections. Still one could 
count many office-holders at Charleston, and 
even more office-seekers at Chicago. Kansas 
could no longer furnish its crop of bleeding 
horrors as campaign ammunition for the Repub- 
licans, who, nevertheless had to affirm as their 
main article of faith that the Union must hence- 
forth produce Free-States. 

The Process of Secession has thus reached its 
Second Alio^nment in the twog-reat Conventions 
of the year, Republican and Democratic. Really 
of these Conventions there were five, if not six 
or more; indeed they are not easy to count, so 
great has become the disintegration of Parties, 
particularly of the Democratic Party, each Par- 
ticle of which has a tendency to rush into a 
Convention, draw up resolutions, and make a 
platform. The spirit of Secession is already 
rampant, manifesting itself ideally, in the word, 
ere it becomes real, the fact. 

1. The Repuhlican Convention. First of all, 
it was held in Chicago, the youngest city of 
importance in the young West, the most aspiring, 
the most limit-transcending city in the Union, 


and even in the World. The place of meeting 
corresponded with the Party, both being the 
bearers of a great destiny. In 1856 the Republi- 
can organization chose Philadelphia, an old city 
of the Old-Thirteen, as the point for assembling 
its delegates and nominating its President. But 
it has moved West with the People, with the 
much-sung course of Empire, and this external 
fact of mere locality intimates, even if dimly, 
the real trend and meaning; of the Convention. 
Chicago's 100,000 population were not only in- 
creasing but doubling with marvelous rapidity. 

Compared with the Convention of 1856 that 
of 1860 had a far greater number of practical 
politicians, and of office-seekers. The good and 
bad results of such a presence did not fail. The 
idealists, the dreamers, the extremists did not 
contBol the platform or the nominations. No 
Fremont was possible with this set of men, no 
Seward even, who was found at the trying 
moment to lack that supreme political test, 
availability. At first indeed it seemed to be 
Seward against the field; but soon the contest 
was narrowed down to Seward versus Lincoln — 
the East against the West, the old against the 
new, the original States against the derived. 
Which will win in the cast for leadership of the 
Party of the Future? 

Devices and political tricks were employed by 
both sides. Tom Hyer, prize-fighter for Seward, 



was certainly out-yelled by Doc Ames, of 
Illinois, a human fog-horn capable of being 
heard shouting for Lincoln above the ten 
thousand throats of the Wigwam. Enormous 
quantities of drink stimulated the animal of the 
Convention, and money was not wanting to 
tempt the more subtle demon of cupidity. So it 
went on both sides with prodigious clatter, 
diamond cut diamond, and devil scorch devil. 
But outside and above this infernal part, there is 
no doubt that the majority of delegates and visit- 
ors were men of character and strong moral 
conviction, representing in its best phase the 
idea which called the party into existence. 

The platform was a masterstroke of both 
policy and principle, hitting the golden mean 
both in what it did and did not affirm. It gave 
validity to the moral element, but deftly steered 
clear of any statement wdiich might compromise 
the party's institutional attitude. Not a word 
about the Fugitive Slave Law, though the 
hostility to slavery was the whole drift of the 
document. The Dred Scott decision was not 
mentioned though the power of Congress to 
prohibit slavery in the Territories was affirmed. 
There was nothing about the Higher Law in it, 
though many a soul in that Convention was 
quivering wilh the inner conflict between Con- 
science and the Constitution. It was essentially 
a Lincoln platform, running chiefly on the lines 


he had laid down in his debate with Douglas. 
Greeley did not make it, as the New Yorkers 
thought; it was shaped to win the doubtful 
States, especially Indiana and Pennsylvania, as 
Illinois had been won by Lincoln in 1858. 

The platform, therefore, called for its maker, 
Lincoln. Seward was doomed from the start to 
the eye that could look into the situation ; if 
nominated, he could not carry the doubtful 
States of the North, according to the opinion of 
their delegates at Chicago. Clearer and clearer 
it became that Lincoln was the only logical 
candidate for such a platform and such a party, 
both of which he had largely moulded. Seward 
with his Higher Law had deeply offended 
the legal-mindedness of the American people 
generally, though he undoubtedly voiced the 
moral-mindedness of many conscientious men. 
The latter, however, as a rule would vote for 
Lincoln, while the former, or many of them, 
would not vote for Seward. Already we have 
dwelt much upon the conflict between the moral 
and institutional elements of the Northern Folk- 
Soul, both of which must be somehow con- 
served and harmonized. The platform was cer- 
tainly a happy solution of the deepest Republican 
dualism, even if such a solution could be but 
temporary. Lincoln had shown himself the best 
mediator of the two sides, and so he gets the 
prize, gets it soon. On the third ballot he is 


2. The Democratic Gonvention. Its place of 
meeting was Charleston, which fact also brings 
up its suggestion. This city had about 40,000 
population and was reported to be diminishing 
in numbers. A century before 1860 it ranked 
as the most imj)ortant seaport and commercial 
center in the country. In the same century its 
imports had dropped a half. Thus it was a 
losing city, the most retrograde probably in the 
country. Its people knewits decline and in their 
hearts bitterly blamed the Union for it, since 
Charleston was more prosperous in the colonial 
than in the federal period. Its character was, 
therefore, deeply separative with a passion for 
Disunion. Then it lay in the Old-Thirteen of 
the South, which showed the strongest contrast 
with the New North-West. The Republican 
Convention had gone forward from Philadelphia 
to Chicago, the Democratic Convention had gone 
backward from Cincinnati to Charleston — the 
one advancing from an old State to a new, and 
the other from a new State to an old ; the one too 
had moved further North and the other further 
South. Without putting too much stress upon 
this interplay of localities, we have to take into 
account the genius loci, which has always been 
recognized to have its mfluence and its meaninsf. 
Throbbing Chicago, backward Charleston; dem- 
ocratic Illinois, aristocratic South Carolina; the 
North-West with its freedom, the South-East 


with its slavery certainly are suggestive. The 
fact is, Republicans could not go to the one, 
and Democrats would not go to the other. 

Certain advantages should be noted. There 
was no prize-fighter, no professional yeller, at 
the Charleston Convention. It was grave, de- 
corus, even funereal. The prospective split in 
the Party was a damper upon enthusiasm. Sev- 
eral hundred of Buchanan's office-holders were 
on hand, but they counted for little. Democ- 
racy was certainly very sick; it might scream 
with pain, but could not shout for joy. There 
was a marked absence of carousing;, and a 
marked presence of praying at old St. Michael's. 
The vast outpour of the People, like that at 
Chicago, was totally wanting. It was noticed 
that even Southern hospitality was not very 
profuse to Northern delegates, nearly all of 
them Douglas men, who had become odious to 
the Oligarchy, since Douglas, with his Popular 
Sovereignty, had made it face majority rule, 
and declare itself explicitly against the same in 
the Territories. 

April 23rd the Convention met, and went 
through a peculiar and startling development, 
mirroring the full disintegrating process of the 
Democratic party and also of the Nation. The 
Douglas men had a majority of the delegates, 
which was the nominating power, but the South 
had the majority of States, seventeen out of 


thirty-three, having won the delegations from 
California and Oregon, two new States, through 
Buchanan's officials. And yet these two Free- 
States were really anti-slavery, casting a large 
vote for Douglas in the Presidential election, 
though both of them gave a still larger vote 
to Lincolu. Now it was this majority of States 
which controlled the platform through the Com- 
mittee of thirty-three, one from each State. 
Thus the old see-saw begins just in the heart of 
the party; the South, though in a minority, will 
control the platform against the power of the 
majority. Then the fight opened with a fierce- 
ness unparallelled in any previous Convention of 
any Party. It was war, which, though of 
words, pre-figured the real war, and especially 
the attitude of the Douglas Democracy in the 
real war. Note here that the South again seized 
upon a form to thwart a right; it was Kansas 
once more — mere legality versus the spirit of 
the law or of the established rule. Moreover 
the Convention gave the strongest possible proof 
of Lincoln's far-seeing apothegm : This Nation 
cannot endure half-slave, half-free. Yea, the 
Democratic Party has reached the point that 
it cannot endure half -slave, half-free. In 
1858 Douglas bitterlj^ condemned the doctrine 
of Lincoln, but in 1860 at Charleston the Doug- 
las Democracy are verifying it in deed if not 
in word. The fact is, they have pushed one 


step beyond Lincoln and are acting if not 
directly saying : Not merely this Nation, but 
this Party cannot endure half-slave, half-free. 

The Douglas platform was adopted, the 
majority of Democrats therein asserted itself 
against the Oligarchic minority. 

Then came the secession of the Cotton States, 
the whole tier from South Carolina to Texas 
(with Arkansas added) going out of the Con- 
vention as they did out of the Union less than a 
year afterwards. This Convention seems to have 
as its historical purpose to pre-enact the course 
of secession after the election of Lincoln, to 
reveal beforehand the design and conduct of the 
Oligarchy. Moreover Yancey, its most eloquent- 
orator, demands not merely political but moral 
submission, the surrender of the conviction that 
slavery is wrong. The cause of the Democracy's 
defeat in the North was that " you did not take 
the position directly that slavery was right and 
therefore ought to be." Hence it comes that 
"you have gone down before the enemy." 
Moreover "the cause of all this discord" has 
been "your admission that slavery is wrong." 
So one has to say that Yancey, too, is a sup- 
porter of Lincoln's doctrine that this Nation 
must become all one thing or the other ; he like- 
wise confirms Lincoln's statement a few months 
before (in the Cooper's Institute speech) that 
the South will be placated only by this: " Cease 


to call slavery wrong and join them in calling it 
right." Yancey also classifies " Black Repub- 
licans, Free-Soilers and Squatter- Sovereignty 
men " under the one rubric of abolitionists — "all 
representing the common sentiment that slavery 
is wrong. " 

The Convention adopted the two-thirds rule. 
Douglas had the decided majority, receiving three 
and four times more than any other candidate; 
still after many ballots it was found that he could 
not get the requisite majority. The Convention 
adjourned to meet at Baltimore, June 18th, 
when the nominee of the Republican Convention 
would be known. The seceders chose Richmond. 
But in this second Convention at Baltimore, in- 
stead of harmony, a second secession took place, 
that of Virginia who was followed by most of 
the delegates from North Carolina and Tennessee, 
with additions from Kentucky, Maryland and 
some other States. The second tier of Slave- 
States now joins the first and nominates Breck- 
enridge. The Douglas Democrats, having the 
requisite majority, proceed to nominate their 
chieftain. So in the Democratic Convention of 
1860 are pre-enacted the two great secessions 
from the Union, soon to occur. First, the 
Southern tier, the Cotton States, go out and 
unite in a body, foretelling the Confederacy; 
then after a time of attempted compromise, the 
second or middle tier follows, and the two tiers 


set up for themselves selecting their own candi- 
date for President. Is not this a great lesson 
for the Northern leaders of the Democracy, a 
preparatory discipline? Secession has certainly 
got hold of the Democratic Party and has dis- 
rupted it ere trying to disrupt the Union. More- 
over it feels that it is getting its own, the conse- 
quences of its policy toward and with the South 
for many years. 

3. The Campaign. The Eepublican plan for 
the Campaign was clear from the start. All the 
States which voted for Fremont in 1856 would 
now vote for Lincoln, probably with increased 
majorities. The same issue was before the 
People, only intensified, deepened, and clarified. 
More than ever the Folk-Soul of the North was 
resolved to make this State-producing Union the 
mother of Free-States only. Effort must then 
be concentrated upon those Northern States 
which went for Buchanan in 1856, and gave him 
the election. The three main ones were Penn- 
sylvania, Indiana, and Illinois. In addition to 
the general issue above mentioned, for these 
States special issues were invoked and used with 

Pennsylvania was torn from her Democratic 
mooring through the ap[)eal to the protective 
tariff, which was favored by the Chicago plat- 
form, but which Democrats in Congress had 
voted against, and their platform in 1856 had 


distinctly opposed. It was an outside, selfish 
issue, adapted to that one State, in which the 
tariff was declared to be " the essential plank" 
of the whole Chicago platform — not the Free- 
State, but pig-iron is the main thing. To be 
sure. New England also was looking out for her 
particular interest and saw it in a high pro- 
tective tariff; hut it must be said to her honor 
that she would have voted the Republican 
ticket on its right issue, even without its tariff 
plank, though doubtless with diminished majori- 
ties. The conscientious Yankee put principle 
first, though he has always had the remarkable 
faculty of joining thrift very closely and har- 
moniously to his principle. But this was not 
the end of Peunsvlvania's baroainino^ at Chi- 
cago; in spite of Lincoln's prohibition, she ex- 
torted the promise of a cabinet position as the 
price of her support ; the result Mas Simon 
Cameron gets the War department, a kind of 
James Buchanan in political wire-pulling coupled 
with ofiicial incapacity. The statement may seem 
harsh and possibly impolitic, but the historian 
pondering upon these and later years will think, 
if he does not say, that Pennsjdvania has clearly 
proved herself to be the most self-seeking 
State in the Union. Other States have indeed 
followed hard after, but have never overtaken 
her in this })cculiar supreniaev. Of C(Uirse she 
poured out her blood for the Union and for higher 


duties, but this very blood of hers seems to 
have been colored red in its corpuscles by pig- 
iron. And probabl}^ her greatest statesman of 
this period — though he was not oppressively 
great — was re-baptized with the surname of 
Pig-iron, for his unfailing advocacy of the one 
all-important cause. But even if we know that 
the means here employed will bear their dragon- 
crop of ills in the future, let us herald the re- 
sult: Pennsylvania gives 32,000 Republican 
majority in the October election. 

Indiana was an October State also, but of a 
different political character from Pennsylvania. 
The Southern part of the State was dominantly 
negro-hating, but this trait could be deftly 
turned to the advantage of Free-Stateism, as we 
have already noted in Kansas. The dislike of 
the blacks could also be appealed to by the art- 
ful Republican orator recounting the efforts of 
the South to restore the African slave-trade, and 
thus to bring more negroes into the country — 
horror of horrors to the Indianian, not out of 
sympathy but antipathy. The argument against 
minority rule likewise had its effect, especially 
as most of these people came from the non- 
slaveholding class of the South. It is said that 
Helper's book was extensively circulated among 
these people with telling effect, both in Indiana 
and in Illinois. The latter State, however, had 
been carried by Lincoln in 1858 against Doug- 


las, and was safe for him again. Thus the 
Campaign was colored variously in the various 
localities ; but underneath all this diverse play of 
prejudice, passion and selfishness was working 
the one deep conviction of the Northern Folk- 
Soul that the Union must henceforth not only 
exist, but exist as Free-State producing only. 

Besides the Republican Party and the two 
wings of the Democrats, a fourth Party was in 
the field calling itself the Constitutional Union 
Party, whose Presidential candidate was Bell of 
Tennessee. It had no platform except its name; 
it ignored the existing conflict, and must be 
deemed an attem[)t to revert to the start and to 
begin over again, as if the whole thing had gone 
wrong since the formation of the Union and 
Constitution. As well might the people try to 
return to Paradise, in order to get rid of the Fall 
of Man ! It is astonishing how large a vote this 
ticket received in the South, though in the 
North it lao-ged behind all the rest. 

The result toward which events had long 
been marching was now reached; Lincoln was 


^be ^btr^ alignment. 

From the ballot to the bullet History is moving 
with a hurried march of events, which are now 
to be seen in their order. The process of Seces- 
sion advances to its tinal stage, in whi<;h itsho\\s 
a new Alignment of the two sides of the divided 
Nation, the third one of the present period, and 
which may also be called Secession realized. It 
is a rapidly shifting time bubbling over with un- 
expected occurrences, whose drift lies not always 
on the surface, but has at first a bewildering 
effect upon the minds of the people as they are 
borne alono^ in it toward the sudden burst of 
light, which reveals to them in all distinctness 
their coming task. 

Accordingly we have reached that part of the 
present chapter in which the Process of Secession 
completes itself, and the States engaged in it 
align themselves against those which remain in 
the Union and are getting ready to defend the 
same. Secession thus comes to its final develop- 
ment and realization. This takes place in the 
five months and some days between the election 
of Lincoln and the firing on Fort Sumter, fol- 
lowed immediately by his call for troops to sup- 
press the rebellion into which Secession has 


Secession has indeed passed through several 
stages of evolution before this final flowering. 
It has been threatened since the formation 
of the Union hy individuals, and once by 
a State, South Carolina in 1832, which never 
seriously renounced it and is again going to start 
it in the present crisis. But now it has become 
the purpose of not merely one State but of a 
group of States in the South ; indeed the entire 
Southern section is more or less deeply tinged 
with it. Since 1858 this purpose has been pro- 
claimed, promulgated and crystallized into a fixed 
resolution on the part of certain States, especially 
in case of the election of a Republican President 
in 1860. This event has transpired, and in the 
Process of Secession the inner resolution is rap- 
idly passing into the outer deed. We are, there- 
fore, now to see Secession realizing itself in 
action, which shows the involved States seceding 
from the Union and placing themselves one by 
one in a line of battle against the States which 
maintain the Union. 

Such is the Third Alignment in which we be- 
hold Secession realized. 

The two previous Alignments, which have 
been named the Congressional and the Presi- 
dential, have been stages of the total Process 
of Secession, which rounds itself out to com- 
pletion with this Third Alignment. In Con- 
gress (1858-9) was the war of words waged by 

CHAPTER HI. — Til/-: riiniD alignment. 367 

the representatives of both sides, and prehiding 
the war of deeds, which was the grand reality 
of tlie conflict carried on by the People them- 
selves. In the Presidential Alioumeut the 
weapon was the ballot, the peaceful method of 
settling national disputes by means of the con- 
stituted majority. But there is no peace, since 
the South will not recognize the rule of the 
majority. So after the election of the Presi- 
dent, events march rapidly forward to the Third 
Alignment, when a new movement sets in, to be 
recounted hereafter. 

Actual Secession starts with South Carolina at 
Charleston, then it sweeps into the so-called 
Cotton States, which proceed to form the South- 
ern Confederacy with capital at Montgomery. 
Here there is a halt, for the purpose of bringing 
into line the rest of the Slave-States. Partic- 
ularly Virginia is angled for and is finally caught, 
when t!ie capital changes to Eichmond, and 
the \\G\\ government with its Constitution is 
brought ready-made to the State which once 
had the chief hand in making and administeriuo; 
the old government with its Constitution. The 
President, Jefferson Davis, is also accepted. 
Such is the part which Virginia is brought to 
play in the Southern Confederacy, certainly not 
a creative part, but rather an imposed one from 
the outside, even though it be disguised under 
the name of an alliance. The act, however, 


broke the old mother of States and of the Union 
itself in twain; hereafter History must know 
two Virginias. 

Very rapid and numerous and intricate are the 
movements of this stormy time, which make it 
not easy to put into order. It concentrates in 
its brief five months what otherwise the Spirit 
of the Ages scatters through many years, if not 
through centuries. Its outer appearance is that 
of a vast maelstrom which suddenly swells up 
from the depth of the Ocean, seething and 
swirling iu multitudinous eddies, each of which 
dashes madly against the others, yet belongs to 
the one great vortex of waters. What we are to 
see is this unitj^ the one main process and the 
more important subordinate processes in the 
mightily agitated concourse of occurrences jost- 
ling each other in furious energy. 

First let us grasp this last Alignment as Seces- 
sion realizino- itself in three trrand acts, beginning 
with South Carolina, then passing to the Lower 
Tier of Slave-States, and linally winning the 
Middle Tier of the South. But the Upper or 
Northern Tier of Slave-States Secession never 
succeeded iu controling. Such are the three 
grand acts c;f it unfolding in order like a drama; 
each of these acts, too, has its own process 
wdiich is quite similar iu all (;f them and consists 
of three main elements, namel}', (a) the South 
as the active secessive irritant; (7>) the Admin- 


istratiou at the Capital as the irritated point, 
passive at first jet slowly rising to resistance ; 
and lastly (c) the North looking on and ponder- 
ing over the various prescribed compromises till 
it bursts forth in a great overflow southward to 
reach the seat of all this irritation and to wipe 
out secession and with it slavery. 

This general movement and its sub-movements 
we shall seek to indicate to the outer eye by cer- 
tain marks as well as to unfold them inwardly in 
their historic significance. The period embraces 
the last four months of Buchanan, and one 
month and some days of Lincoln. Buchanan, 
however, shows two different attitudes toward 
Secession which will be considered later on. 

1. Secession of South Carolina. One State 
starts the movement of Secession, not without 
some kind of agreement that others would fol- 
low. South Carolina had already won the name 
of being the most refractory and dissatisfied 
member of the Union. Her greatest son, John 
C. Calhoun, was the chief intellectual propagator 
of the doctrine of Secession, as well as of the 
morality of Slavery. During the Presidential 
canvas of 1860 she had beguutomove, and after 
its result was announced, she started at once to 
realize Secession, and passed its ordinance in six 
weeks (December 20th). 

Thus South Carolina takes the initiative in 
dissolving; the Union. It is generallv conceded 


that the act was a true manifestation of her 
character. But how did such a character arise? 
Some have ascribed it to the large admixture of 
French blood, also of Celtic blood in her com- 
position ; others say that it has some connection 
with the exceedingly heterogeneous nature of 
her original settlers who came of very diverse 
European stocks. But the pivotal fact is that her 
deep dissatisfaction arose from the conscious- 
ness of being a sinking State as compared with 
hev sisters in the American Union, especially her 
Northern sisters. Such was the stor}^ loudly 
told by the census of 1860, and even by that of 
1850. Yet South Carolina blamed the wrong 
thing for her losing race. She believed that the 
Union was the cause of her relative decline, and 
that the North had all the profit of the federal 
association of the States. The Oligarchy, hug- 
ging the source of its power, refused to see the 
baleful effects of slavery, but claimed to find in it 
only advantage and excellence. Particularly 
the Tariff was reprobated by South Carolina as 
a leading cause of her decadence, though 
strangely her representatives in 1857 sup- 
ported it in the National Congress, and 
in 1861 voted for its re-enactment in the 
Confederate Congress. But whatever might 
be assigned as the cause, the ever-present op- 
pressive fact lowered over South Carolina that 
she was of much higher relative importance in 


17()0 than iu 1860, that she had been always 
growing greater before and less after the forma- 
tion of the Union. Already in 1800 she had be- 
gun to look back upon her colonial period as the 
good old era of highest prosperity and ])Ower, so 
that by the time of her Secession two generations 
of her people had brooded over the continued 
and ever-increasing decline of their State. In- 
deed it is highly probable that a majority of the 
people of South Carolina never wished to sepa- 
rate from Great Britain in the Eevolutiouary 
period, and regarded independence as a calamity. 
If this be so, she was a discontented State from 
the start, and was born kicking. 

In some such way we seek to account for the 
spirit of South Carolina in 1860, and the part 
which she played, revealing her passionate hate 
of the Union, which must have been inbred and 
transmitted through generations. Moreover this 
spirit was well-nigh unanimous in her people and 
gave to her a unique place as the standing pro- 
tagonist of Secession which washer deepest love. 
She developed men of talent in speech and writ- 
ing, but their voice was that of protest and dis- 
content, often of downright defiance of the ex- 
istent order. The most froward member of the 
Union we have to deem her from the bejzinniuo:, 
so that by the time of the Great War hereditv 
had repeated and confirmed this trait of her 


character till it had become the mainspring of 
all her political action. 

South Carolina, at her withdrawal in 1860, 
adopted a Declaration of Independence which 
was fondly supposed to rival that of Jefferson 
in 1776, and which proposed to give ttte grounds 
for her separation from the Union. Leaving 
out mere assertions about the legal right of Se- 
cession, and about the nature of the Constitu- 
tion as a simple compact between the States, 
we may note the two or three complaints. First 
is that the North, through her Personal Liberty 
Bills against the Fugitive Slave Law had broken 
the compact, and hence " South Carolina is 
released from her obligation." Here she makes 
herself judge of an infraction which belongs to 
the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the 
United States — a very commou disregard of 
the Constitution in the South at this time. 
Yet a South Carolina statesman had once said 
that the Fugitive Slave Law was uncon- 
stitutional through its violation of States- 
Eights. The same doctrine had been affirmed 
by the Judiciary of Wisconsin, but Wisconsin 
did not propose to secede because it thought 
that one of its rights as a State had been 
violated. This plea was only a pretext for do- 
ing something which had a deeper though un- 
spoken reason. Another comphiint was that the 
North had elected a man as President who " had 


declared that this Government cannot endure 
half slave, half free." And yet was not every 
act of South Carolina at present fulfilling the 
prediction? Indeed ever}' word was, in spite of 
her growls. Every convention, every public- 
meeting resounded with speeches: Now we shall 
have a Government all-slave, entirely homo- 
geneous. Says R. B. Rhett, a chief mouth- 
piece, in an address: " Our Confederacy must 
be a slave-holding Confederacy; we have had 
enough of a Ccmfederacy with dissimilar insti- 
tutions.'' So we see that South Carolina, while 
in the act of cursing Lincoln's prophecy, is ful- 
filling it both in word and deed far more rapidly 
and completely than Ijincoln ever dreamed to be 
possible. Still another complaint is that the 
North has " denounced as sinful the institution 
of slavery." The Northern conscience must 
surrender its conviction as to the wrongfulness 
of slavery and believe as we do, or we shall break 
up the Union. There can be no longer tolerated 
any difference of opinion upon that point, not 
only in the slaveholding South, but even in the 
non-slaveholding North. Toleration may be 
allowed in religion, but in politics its day is over. 
How the best and most liberal minds of the 
South could become so intolerant upon the sub- 
ject of slavery is still one of the staggering psy- 
chological problems of that era. We can onh' 
regard it as one of the ever-increasing spiritual 


effects of the domination resulting from relation 
of master and slave, seeking as it does to dictate 
even the moral conviction of the individual not 
only in the South but also in the North. 

Such was South Carolina's Declaration of In- 
dependence, destined never to have its Fourth of 
July, or to be a landmark of humanity's libera- 
tion. Not so much is there declared in it an 
independence of the Union as of the whole world ; 
not so much a separation from the North as from 
civilization; not so much a defiance of Lincoln 
as of the World-Spirit. It was in speeches ac- 
knowledged "that the sentiment of Europe is 
against us." A stronger declaration was that, 
"we are isolated from the whole world." It 
was also recognized that the commonwealth was 
in decay, but this decay was attributed to the 
decline of slavery in the Nation. Gleams of 
confession, though unintended and indirect, reveal 
the undercurrent of opinion that South Carolina 
is falling to the rear in the grand march of the 
States. And for this, of course, she blames not 
herself but the Union. 

Though South Carolina has seceded, her action 
involves the entire Nation, with which she neces- 
sarily begins to be in an exciting process. The 
center of irritation is her leading city, Charleston, 
in whose harbor lie three forts belonging to the 
United States, and commandnig the city with its 
approaches by sea. Hence in Charleston rises 


practically the question of Coercion, tiie supreme 
Southern question next to that of Secession. 
After seceding, South Carolina claimed the 
riffht of determinino; how she should be treated 
by the United States. Hands off, let me 
take the National property which is within my 
limits, or within what I assert to be my 
limits. Otherwise there is the Coercion of a 
Sovereign State. For, to tell the truth, I, South 
Carolina, possess not only sovereignty over my- 
self, but over the government of the United 
States, at least so far as to have the right to 
dictate what it shall do in my case. Otherwise 
I shall cry out Coercion, at which diabolic word 
all the devils in the other Slave-States will begin 
to dance and grimace and spit fire in an uncon- 
trollable frenzy. It is strange how the spirit of 
domination nestled in that little category 
Coercion, whose magic spell had the power of 
sending many a soul to Hades and even of 
thrusting whole States down into the Purgatory 
of Disunion, there to undergo a painful peniten- 
tial discipline till they be regenerated into free- 
dom and true equality. 

Accordingly we shall glance at the elements of 
this process, which are these: Charleston as the 
active, irritating center of Secession, now the 
Prime Mover; then the Government at Wash- 
ington as the irritated counterpart dealing 
with the problem of Coercion; finally The 


People of the North, the silent bearers of 
Nationality, looking anxiously at the rising 
trouble and testing the various schemes of 
conciliation and compromise. Quiescent, rather 
dazed is the North during these two months, 
brooding ofloomily over the future which threatens 
to bring forth such a furious progeny of ills. 

(a) Charleston, still the chief city of South 
Carolina, had been once the chief city of the 
South, if not of the whole Atlantic seaboard. Its 
trade extended far into the Northern States. 
Philadelphia at one time is said to have obtained 
its finest imports through Charleston instead of 
getting them through New York or through 
itself. As had befallen the whole State, Charles- 
ton was a much more important city in 1760 
than in 1860, its commerce being not only rela- 
tively but absolutely greater in the former than 
in the latter period. If South Carolina felt 
itself to be a sinking State, Charleston even 
more decidedly felt itself to be a sinking, if not 
a sunken city. Its chief bloom lay in its colonial 
epoch, before the formation of the Federal Union. 
As stated already, it came to hate that Union 
which had brought it into the baleful embraces 
of the North, and which it deemed to 
be source of its decline, to be a vampyre fast- 
ened upon its vitals and sucking its life-blood. 
Senator Hammond, of South Carolina, in a pri- 
vate letter, written early in 1860, and since 


printed, betrays the true underlying conscious- 
ness of his State and its chief city: "The 
North without us would be a motherless calf, 
bleatinof about, and die of mange and starva- 
tion." Here lies the real motive lurking in all 
this secession business, bared of its pretexts 
and its rhetoric: The South (and especially 
South Carolina) is the mother-cow which is be- 
ing milked to death by its hungry calf, the 
North. Moreover the same Senator cannot help 
" regarding this Union as cramping the South," 
particularly South Corolina — wherein we may 
well hear the cry of the Oligarchy at the limits 
put upon its extension of slavery. This is what 
it called " Northern aggression against the slave- 
holder," who, though in a minority both in his 
own section and in the nation, felt something 
like a divine right to his domination. 

Charleston was, therefore, of all Southern 
cities, the one best prepared to start the work of 
Disunion. Aside from this inner condition, the 
outer or physical situatitm of the place invited 
or perchance impelled the people to quick action. 
The harbor of Charleston had three forts be- 
longing- to the United States, Avhich guarded its 
entrance, and one of which commanded the city 
itself. Thus the Government had the place 
padlocked ; could it be made to deliver up the 
key peaceably? Or could it be hoodwinked till 
the Secessionists were ready to grasp the prize? 


That was the problem which the administration 
of Buchanan had to face, rendered doubly dilti- 
cult by the President's cataleptic terror at every 
appearance of the goblin called Coercion, which 
the South Carolinians and other Southerners did 
not fail to dance before his eyes in season and 
ont of season, for the purpose of paralyzing him 
with fright. 

Every step in the swift movement toward sep- 
aration at Charleston was made the occasion (;f 
festivity and rejoicing. But there was also the 
counterstroke in the secret throbbing of fear le^t 
the negroes, that silent majority both in the city 
and in the State, might rise and baptize the new- 
born infant. Secession, in the blood of its i)ar- 
euts. To be sure, there was small cause for 
such fear ; the blacks under far more favorable 
opportunities during the War, never revolted. 
Still the terror existed just the same, and became 
the hidden Nemesis avenging the enslaved in the 
very soul of the white master, when there was 
not and could not be any external vengeance (see 
preceding, pp. 316-8). So the record comes 
down to us that Charleston, ahvaj-s patrolled by 
a guard as a security against its negroes, feels 
secret thrills of anxiety during these days in the 
midst of its wildest exultation over the new dawn 
of the empire of slavery. 

The Convention which passed the ordinance 
of Secession is declared to have been composed 


of graj-haired men of the highest standiug 
socially and intellectually, not of hot-headed 
youths quick to precipitate revolution. What is 
the meanino' of this fact? To us it savs that 
Secession is nothing new with South Carolina 
but very old in idea, nothing sudden but long 
since deliberated, in fact transmitted through 
generations. Indeed these old men have in- 
herited from their fathers the hate of the Union, 
the belief that it is the curse which is dragging 
down their State, and which the long-expected 
opportunity has now come to smite to the dust. 
As soon as the ordinance had passed, the enthu- 
siasm was boundless, people en)braced and some- 
times wept, amid the universal exclamation: 
Thank God, deliverance has come to us at last. 
One of the peculiarities of this political jubilee 
was the religious strand which wound through 
it everywhere. Not only were the sessions of 
the Convention opened with prayer, but public 
meetings, pole-raisings and flag-unfurlings began 
by invoking the blessing of God. Probably 
nowhere in the North outside of Oberlin was 
there such an incessant outpour of divine suppli- 
cation in secular concerns. The minister would 
declare in substance that God is on our side. 
With equal fervor Oberlin sent up its petition to 
the same God, feeling sure that He was on its side, 
which was certainly opposite to that of Charles- 
ton. Or shall we again in our American Iliad 


help ourselves out with old Homer's concep- 
tion of two Gods or more, antao-onistic, 
one taking part with the Greeks and 
the other with the Trojans, each getting 
ready to join battle on Oljmpus? In this con- 
nection it should not fail to be noted that 
Charleston like Oberlin had its Higher Law too, 
which defied the Enacted Law. The crew of 
the slave-ship Echo were tried at Charleston in 
1858, for violating the United States Law against 
the slave-trade, and, though caught in the act, 
were set free by a Cluirleston jury. Such a Law 
being contrary to the sentiment of the State, 
could not be executed in South CaroHna, said 
her conscientious United States Senator. The 
same sentiment seems to have existed in all the 
Cotton States. So we behold two Higher Laws, 
a Northern and a Southern, the one refusing 
obedience to the Fugitive Slave Law, the other 
refusing obedience to the Law against the slave- 
trade. Douglas estimated that in one year 
fifteen thousand Afi'icans had been smuggled into 
the country in violation of Law, which number 
was much greater than that of the runaway 
slaves in the same time. Very impressive and 
deep-seated has become the dualism between 
North and South : two Higher Laws yet just 
opposite, the one pouring more negroes into 
slavery, the other dragging them out; yea two 
Gods, bitter enemies both and getting ready to 


clutch each other in a far mightier war than that 
old Olympian one over Greece and Troy. As 
the Statehood in our American Union is getting 
cleft in twain, so is the Godhood conceived to be 
which is presiding over it; whereby the dual- 
ism of the Nation has reached its most intense 
contradiction, being carried up by both sides to 
the judgment seat of the Almighty Himself for 
a Ijudicatiou. How will He decide? That is not 
yet to be told; gladly would each set of peti- 
tioners hear the decree noiv ; but the Supreme 
Tribunal of the Ages is not in a hurry to render 
its decision in such an important trial, at least not 
till there be the great new compliance with the 
Divine Law by both sides, Law at present hardly 
visible and certainly not realizable. 

(6). Passing to Washington the center, we 
find that the Administration is being harried far 
more by the South than it ever harried Kansas. 
Charleston is avenging Lawrence, the Southern- 
ers are bringing home to the President the re- 
taliation of the Free-State men. Those whom 
Buchanan has served most faithfully have be- 
come his punishers. The Executive at Wash- 
ington is no longer the active cause of irritation, 
but its agonized recipient, no longer the torturer 
but the tortured, and that too by those in whose 
interest he inflicted torture upon his own section. 
He was declared during these days to be in a 
pitiable plight, "spending his time between 

382 TIIl-^ TEN YEAl^r WAIt. — PAUT U. 

praying and crj'ing." Yet bis contemporaries 
had little pity for him, and posterity up to date 
is quite as unrelenting in its judgment of him, 
even if not in its feeling; 

After the election of Lincoln, Buchanan spent 
his first two months in subserviency to the South, 
yielding to its demands as he had done for four 
years. No reinforcements were sent to Charles- 
ton Harbor, though Major Anderson, the com- 
mander, called for them, and General Scott at 
first had urged the same view. Nothing was 
done, though every day brought news of the 
activity of the secessionists. Congress met in 
December, and the President sent his usual 
message, not only -a weak but contradictory doc- 
ument. He denied the right of Secession, yet 
at the same time denied the right of Coercion. 
The Government cannot rightfully put down a 
wrong against its own existence, but must in 
peace let itself be destroyed wrongfully. Such a 
doctrine of non-resistance was never before ap- 
plied to any State ancient or modern by its own 
ruler. Buchanan even called Secession revolu- 
tionary, but our American Government cannot 
meet revolution, havina: no right to assert its 
right, and would do the greatest wrong if it 
dared suppress the greatest wrong. So spoke 
the Executive Power of a great Nation; after 
such an exhibition there can be no wonder that 
contempt has been Buchanan's lot from North 


and South. The message, however, shows the 
two contending sides in the cabinet, the one 
maintaining the right of Secession and the wronff 
of Coercion, the other maintaining the wrong 
of Secession and the right of Coercion, or at 
least of what the South called Coercion. Buch- 
anan seemed to have clapped the two negatives 
together, giving a specimen of his method of 
reconciliation, by denying the right of both 
Secession and Coercion. 

Still Buchanan has his place in the grand his- 
toric evolution of the Ten Years' War. We are 
to see that the World-Spirit used him, even in 
his weakness, as its instrument to bring about 
its purpose. Suppose he had been a strong, 
firm, clear-headed man, he might at least have 
deferred the conflict. Andrew Jackson would 
probably have nipped Secession in the bud at 
Charleston by tilling Castle Pinckney with regu- 
lars whose guns would have swept the cit}^ and 
by manning fully the other two forts. But 
could even he have permanently ended Seces- 
sion in 1860, as he did NuUification in 1832? 
Not at all. The conflict had to take place, the 
question had to be settled whether this Union 
shall henceforth produce Slave-States or Free- 
States. The starting-point might have been 
elsewhere, the time might have been a little 
later, but not much, the agony might not have 
lasted so long or even have lasted longer, with 

384 THE TEyf Yl£AIt.^' WAB. — PABT II. 

less or more bloodshed ; but what boots it to 
speculate about incidentals? The essential ele- 
ment is the World-Spirit, which controls all 
these external events in Time and Place, mould- 
ing them obedient to its purpose which is to 
make the Union productive of Free-States, not 
simply out of the Territories but even out of the 
Slave-States new and old. Given the Oligarchy 
with its domination through the extension of 
slavery, given the North with its conviction 
against the extension, of slavery, the appeal to 
arms cannot be obviated. 

Buchanan, then, through his imbecility pre- 
pares the way for Secession at a given moment 
in a given locality, yielding like putty in the 
hands of the Secessionists for about two months, 
the last of the year 1860. But we are to see 
that both he and they, quite unconsciously, are 
in the clutch of a mightier Power which is usino; 
them for its end. Or, if our American Iliad 
might once more call up that Olympian world of 
the Greek bard, we should again see and hear 
Zeus in the council of the Gods uttering his 
decree prefiguring the outcome of our Ten Years' 
War, though bringing woes unnumbered both 
to the victors and vanquished. 

Meanwhile durino- these two truckling: months 
(November and December), the cabinet of 
Buchanan showed signs of separation and seces- 
sion. Early in November, Black, then Attorney- 


General, advised the President to send strons; re- 
inforcements to tiie forts in Charleston Harbor. 
Cass supported the same view, which was opposed 
by Cobb and Thompson. Thus the division of 
North and South, of Coercion and Secession, has 
split in twain Buchanan's advisers. December 
8th, Cobb leaves the cabinet — secedes we may 
say, since Buchanan in his message to Congress 
had denied the right of Secession. Three days 
later Cass resolves to quit, since Buchanan in 
that same message had denied the right of Co- 
ercion, and had refused assistance to the forts at 
Charleston. Whereupon Black becomes Secre- 
tary of State, and begins to get his grip upon the 
rudder of the helplessly drifting ship. But the 
pivotal event came when Major Anderson secretly 
removed his troops from the indefensible Fort 
Moultrie to Fort Sumter well protected against 
attack (Dec. 26). South Carolina felt itself com- 
pletely thwarted by the move, and all the South- 
ern secessionists, at Washington, blazing with in- 
dignation, pitched poor Buchanan, their wretched 
tool, into a fiery furnace during this holiday week 
of 1860. Certainly the Furies were serving up to 
him quite a little bit of his own Inferno. 

The great struggle now is, will the President 
order Major Anderson back to Fort Moultrie? 
To force him to such an act, the whole Southern 
pressure is whelmed upon him at once. But the 
counteracting power h;is now come to the front 


in the cabinet. During this same holiday week 
Joseph Holt is made Secretary of War, while 
Edwin M. Stanton has already succeeded Black 
as Attorney-General. Thus the strong Union 
Trio appears, Black, Stanton and Holt, the re- 
deeming glory of Buchanan's entire administra- 
tion. The course of Major Anderson is approved 
and he is to be reinforced. A new hope for the 
Union dawns, and the country begins to look up 
from its night of despair, the darkest in its 

But Buchanan is no longer really President, 
beino; reduced to the fio-ure-head which he in fact 
is. A strong Triumvirate has taken his place 
with his consent and governs in his name, yet 
with a wholly different spirit. Two months 
more this kind of rule is to last, till he steps out ; 
but during these two months a new whirl of 
events rises to the surface on the maelstrom. 

(c.) Ere we pass on, however, we must take 
a glance at the North, the third element in this 
movement, along with South Carolina and the 
Administration at Washington. Its people read 
the news from the South and the Capital in an 
ever-increasing state of painful suspense, and 
the gloom kept thickening from early November 
till the holidays. It saw but too plainly the total 
imbecility of the President in the face of the 
cotning danger, and trembled lest the govern- 
ment would simply go to pieces without any 


attempt to bold it together. The cabal of seces- 
sionists in the cabinet controlled him till they 
seceded, and let the Triumvirate come into power 
when a new policy began to cheer the depressed 

And now we are to consider the various atti- 
tudes which Northern leaders began to assume 
toward Secession. Undoubtedly the people of 
the North were at first taken aback that the 
Southern menace, so long flourished over their 
heads, should be carried out in the deed. They 
listened eagerly to their guides in their puzzled 
state of mind, and the first result was that they 
were more puzzled than ever on account of the 
diversity of the advice, and the lack of firmness 
in the advisers. 

First we may cite the opinion of Greeley, who 
proposed in his Tribune to let the erring sisters 
depart in peace. He took strong ground against 
Coercion early in November, when South Caro- 
lina and the Cotton States were preparing to 
secede. " We shall resist all coercive meas- 
ures," he says in his paper. That is, Greeley 
was a passive secessionist, a man after James 
Buchanan's own heart, and if he had had any con- 
sistency he would have supported the President. 
Still we must not be too severe upon poor Greelev. 
He was a journalist, editor of a daily newspaper, 
which often has to adjust itself anew every 
twenty-four hours. When the time comes he 


will make a tuiii in the other direction. This 
does not necessarily proceed fi'Om corruption 
(though it may), nor exactly from fickleness, but 
from the very nature of the journalistic con- 
sciousness, which Greeley possessed, through 
training and instinct, more completely than any 
other man in America. 

Greeley took his first adjustment from New 
England, toward which he always faced at the 
start, being a New Euglander himself. There is 
no doubt that a large element in that section was 
willing to see the Slave-States secede. The Gar- 
risonians of course rejoiced, since they were dis- 
unionists from the beginning. But the New 
England preacher, the chief influence in every 
community, seemed to lean in the same direction. 
The greatest one of this class that ever lived was 
now in the meridian of his influence and trans- 
cendent powers. Henry Ward Beecher openly 
exulted in the separation of the Free-States from 
the Slave-States. It must be confessed that New 
England leaders had little idea of or feeling for 
the Union. Their moral sense was very strong, 
but one-sided ; their institutional sense was very 
weak, even if not wholly lost. For if Secession 
be admitted as a principle what is to become of 
the North, even if we leave out the South? It 
too will go to pieces, dissolve into its constituent 
elements or States extending from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific. The dissolution of the Union 


means logically not merely separation of the 
North and South, but universal separation, in the 
North as well as in the South. This thought 
pervades many statements of Lincoln (see, for 
example, his Inauguration Address). New Eng- 
land, therefore, needs an institutional regenera- 
tion ; the original home of outspoken Secession 
and of the menace, it still holds to passive Seces- 
sion , and proclaims the same during these two 
months so deeply separative. But we must not 
forget that it will quickly change this attitude at 
the call of Lincoln. 

Passing from New England to New York we 
find a different atmosphere and observe a differ- 
ent principle at work. The great word here is 
Compromise. To be sure the same word with 
its conception was frequent in Boston and else- 
where in New England. But the commercial 
spirit of New York was terrified at the loss of 
Southern trade. The Republicans became aston- 
ishingly weak-backed, and were getting ready to 
crouch down under the South. Thurlow Weed, 
friend of Seward and editor of ih.Q Albanij Even- 
ing Journal, proposed a compromise which was 
in substance a surrender of the main plank of the 
Republican platform, that in regard to slavery in 
the Territories. Other leading Republican news- 
papers supported such a compromise. Seward 
was silent, but probably favored it till he heard 
from Lincoln through Weed, who visited the 


President-elect at Springfield. Crittenden of 
Kentucky on December 18tli introduced into the 
Senate his famous compromise measure, \vhose 
chief clause likewise sacrificed the distinctive re- 
sult of the Republican victory of 1860. 

Now comes Lincoln to the rescue. In a letter 
of December 11th he says: Entertain no propo- 
sition for a compromise in regard to slavery. 
In consequence Seward gets some backbone, the 
New York newspapers, like the Times, stiffen 
up, and even Greeley begins to change from a 
passive secessionist to an active unionist. Lin- 
coln has started to transform the Eastern States, 
one of his chief tasks at present. As he made 
them Republican in 1858, turning them from 
Popular Sovereignty, so he has to make them 
true Unionists in 1860, turning them from their 
tendency to compromise away the main purport 
of their victory. 

All can now see that Lincoln in this matter 
was the true representative of his party, and 
voiced aright its world-historical mission. The 
old Free-States, with their present leaning 
toward compromise and even separation, this 
Western man had to hold to their new duty. It is 
true that the Republicans began to stand aghast 
at the consequences of their victory. They had 
thought that the threats of the South were only 
bluster. But when South Carolina was certain 
to secede, and then actually went out, the vast 


comins task began to rise on their minds — 
nothing; less than to meet these acts with arms. 
For there was no question that Lincoln had been 
fairly and constitutionally elected. The North 
had submitted to Buchanan ; now the South 
ought to submit to Lincoln. The North began 
to feel it a point of honor to defend their prize. 

Still there was enough in the outlook to cause 
hesitation. The large vote for Douglas in the 
Presidential election showed a divided North ; it 
must first be united before any decided action 
could be taken looking toward armed mainte- 
nance of the Union, or Coercion as it was called. 
Another division in the North had begun to make 
its appearance, that between the East and the 

But South Carolina has started the blaze which 
rages furiously. Already that Commonwealth is 
getting a lesson that it is not a Social Whole 
within itself ; trade has ceased, banks have stopped 
payment, the question of the necessaries of life 
has risen at Charleston, This one State finds 
itself not self-sufficing, and so seeks to involve 
other States, which may have collected like 
materials for a political conflagration. Will it 
escape its own fire-brands? From these days of 
early 1861 we cannot help looking forward to the 
same days of 1865, when Sherman with his 
" horde of Vandals," quite unresisted and irre- 
sistible, breaks into the State from the south 


and mows a wide swath of desolation throush its 
whole length ; Charleston burns, Columbia burns, 
and the Nemesis of Historj^ celebrates one of her 
most striking festivals of retribution. Or shall 
we interpret this return of the deed to the doer 
as a mere accident of w:ir? Or that the line of 
retaliation has b^^ no means yet come to an end, 
that the turn of South Carolina is still to rise up 
in some future whirl of the cycle of the "World's 

At any rate it is manifest that South Carolina 
is bringing about just the opposite of what she 
intends — Coercion, the destruction of Slavery 
and the Primacy of the Union, She is in the 
hands of a mightier Power than herself, a Power 
which uses her as its instrument in spite of her- 
self; her effort, her wealth, her passion and 
her blood are poured out in a cause which she 
thinks her own, but which destroys every object 
which she holds dear and has sought to realize. 
To herself she is tragic enou2:h ; to the World- 
Spirit she is comic, pursuing an end which is 
absurd, nugatory, self-annihilating; while try- 
ing most to be just herself and nobody else, she 
is strangely metamorphosed into the opposite of 
herself, and is &\\ the time undoing what she is 
furiously bent upon doing. 

Such is, indeed, the bloody sport of the World- 
Spirit not only in South Carolina but elsewhere, 
yea in the whole movement of history. The 


question seriously comes up : Cannot a stop be 
put to it by the institutions of man now dawn- 
ing? We believe so; but let this matter be at 
present deferred, for the case of South Carolina 
has become contagious and is passing to other 
States of the South, which are all destined to 
catch that same madness of undoing the very 
work which they are trying hardest to do, of 
destroying the very things which they make the 
most heroic sacrifices to preserve. 

Accordingly we pass not merely to another 
State but to a whole belt of States which madly 
start to dancing the same Devil's dance to the 
tune set to playing at Charleston. 

2. Secession of the Lower Tier of Slave- 
States. These with South Carolina are usually 
called the Cotton States, after their one great 
staple, Cotton, which has become not only an 
aristocrat but a monarch in the realm of South- 
ern production, and seems to be moulding in the 
same direction the character of its producers. 
Moreover these States are all marine States, 
with their chief commercial cities lying on the 
sea and with their people cultivating separate 
river-valleys which run down into salt water. 
Thus each State of Cottonia has its own connec- 
tion with the rest of the world through the 
Oceanic highway, and is separative and inde- 
l)endent by its physical character. Here it may 
be said that Geography not only favors but 


cultivates Division, Separation, Disunion. 
Very different are the geographic situation and 
character of the States of the vast Missis- 
sippi Valley of the North, being interlinked by 
many rivers debouching into one great River, 
which fact not only suggests but produces unity 
and Union in the hearts of the inhabitants as 
well as in their outer lives. Along that seaboard 
it may be said that Nature herself contains a 
streak of Secession, and develops strongly the 
individuality of the separate State. The same 
is true of the North Atlautic States, as their 
history shows. At this point too we may catch 
a glimpse of the grand totality of the Ten Years 
War: that Western people of the great River 
Valley must first sweep down it and clear it of 
disunion, and then must pass to these separative 
States of the Atlantic coast and transform them 
into a new Union, which transformation will 
embrace not only the old Slave-States, but also 
the old Free-States, regenerating the Old-Thirteen 
from top to bottom. 

We have, then, come to the second Secession, 
continuing that of South Carolina, which is on 
fire and communicates its flames to the entire Tier 
of inflammable Cotton States, from Georgia to 
Texas. The whole Southern sky of the United 
States seems ablaze, one State after another tak- 
ing fire in the month of January, 1861. More- 
over the separation begins to get organic, the 


seceded States soou form a Confederacy and 
adopt a Constitution, electing a President (Jef- 
ferson Davis) and a Vice-President (A. H. 

We must note too that while the example of 
South Carolina is followed, there is a decided 
counter-current of reaction against her, a fear of 
her precipitancy, and possibl}' a touch of jealousy. 
Charleston, so active and so deserving, one would 
think, is not chosen as the seat of the new govern- 
ment; military control is at once taken from 
South Carolina and handed over to Beauregard ; 
the Confederate Congress hastens to re-enact 
the tariff of 1857, South Carolina's great bug- 
aboo, and one chief reason of her Secession, 
though she now votes for it; President and 
Vice-President are not of her citizens. Her 
leadership in her own movement is discredited 
and taken away, and she feels a restraining grip 
upon what she has hitherto called her freedom, 
that is, her boundless caprice. Such is her first 
lesson in the Confederacy. 

But what made this Tier of States running 
westward along the saltwater border follow her 
in such haste without waiting for their more 
Northern sisters in slavery's domain? Infatu- 
ated with cotton, and inebriated with the domi- 
nation which they thought it gave not only over 
the Morth, but over Europe, yea, over the world. 
Listen to one of their more temperate Senators 


(Hammond), who this modest view: "I 
firmly believe that the slaveholding South is now 
the controlling power of the 2uorId, that no other 
power would face us in hostility." But whence 
comes this terrestrial omnipotence? Cotton 
chiefly, with our other staples, " commands the 
world, and we have sense enough to know it," 
and what is more, we propose " to carry it out 
successfully." Evidently a world-empire hov- 
ered entrancingly before the imaginations of the 
ardent Southerners in these exciting days. They 
conceive that they have cornered not merely 
the North but the whole Earth if not the Uni- 
verse itself, winning their absolute supremacy, 
not through armies but through cotton, which 
net man alone but God Himself needs for get- 
ting along. If moderate, quite prosaic, grave 
men of affairs could take such flights into the 
Elysian fields of uncontrolled domination, what 
highly colored pictures would not be drawn by 
the mighty gasconaders of the South, gifted with 
a romantic idealizing power and luxuriating in a 
semi-tropical poetic etilorescence of speech? An 
orator like Wigfall, who was the devoted spokes- 
man of cotton in its native States at this time, 
found always a strong response in the people, 
and is still instructive for this reason, as well as 

Time has proved that there never was a greater 
delusion. But did all the people even of the 


Cotton States, share it? Perhaps not; one is 
inclined to some doubt in the matter. But the 
Oligarchy as a whole did think and talk thus, 
being the victims of their ruling passion, the 
love of domination. Value of the cotton export 
76 millions ; value of all other exports 60 mill- 
ions; these are the figures which set on tire the 
Southern imagination and made the Oligarchy 
see universal empire, having already the peculiar 
psychological aptitude for taking such a view. 
Keally, however, the South w^as dependent on 
external production for supplying many of its 
commonest wants ; it was far less self-sufficing 
than the North, having almost no system of 
diversified industries. 

Accordingly in the month of January, 1861, 
the row of the most Southern Slave-States — 
Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and 
Louisiana — pass ordinances of Secession, Texas 
following them early in February. All of them 
are salt-water States, with separate rivers cutting 
them up and pouring down into the sea, a geo- 
graphical stamp of Disunion. In the course of 
several months they succeed in dragging after 
them two fresh-water States (Tennessee and 
Arkansas), not without much protest and diffi- 

(a.) When the act of Secession was accom- 
plished, the Cotton States came together to or- 
ganize a provisional Government and to adopt a 


Constitution. In four days after the meeting of 
their Congress, the Constitution was ready and 
was accepted. The next day the President 
(Davis) and the Vice-President Stephens were 
chosen (Feb. 9th). 

The Constitution forbade the shive-trade, 
which was such an act of self-denial on the part 
of the Cotton States, that the motive is always 
looked for. It was certainly not on account of 
moral scruples, and we believe, not out of regard 
for the opinion of Civilization, as is often stated, 
which had been already defied. The prohibition 
of the slave-trade was meant for the more North- 
ern Slave-States, and particularly for Virginia, 
which as slave-breeder for Cottonia enjoyed a 
considerable annual revenue. Hence the excep- 
tion in the Constitution: " the importation of 
negroes from any foreign country, other than 
the slave-holding States and Territories of the 
United States, is forbidden." Still such a favor 
may not always continue: hence "Congress 
shall have power to prohibit the introduction of 
slaves from any State not a member of this 
Confederacy." This is clearly an admonition if 
not a threat to the other delaying Slave-States. 
Also there is in it a rebuff to South Carolinians 
and other extremists, who always maintained 
that each State should regulate the slave-trade 
and not the Constitution. Jefferson Davis had 
also proclaimed the same doctrine. 


Auotber point einpluisized is in the Preamble : 
*' We the People of the Confederate States, each 
State acting in its sovereign and independent 
character, in order to form a permanent federal 
government," is the Southern view of the old 
Constitution with the assertion of State sover- 
eignty, and with consequent right of Secession. 
Moreover the same Preamble introduces the word 
God, the lack of which had so often made the 
old Constitution a subject of reproach, in the 
phrase " invoking the favor of Almighty God." 
The President was elected for six years and could 
not succeed himself. It is also significant that 
the word delegated was substituted for the word 
granted in the first section of the Constitution, 
which speaks of the " powers herein granted." 

More fully than in the old Constitution the 
genesis of the new State is recognized as 
a fundamental function. " The Confederate 
States may acquire new Territory" out of w^hich 
new States can be formed. " In all such Terri- 
tory the institution of negro slavery, as it now 
exists in the Confederate States, shall be recog- 
nized and protected by Congress and by the 
Territorial Government." So the new federa- 
tion is also State-producing, but Slave-State pro- 
ducing. And the admission of the new State is 
so hedged about that it had to be a Slave-State 
to get admitted. The Confederacy thus is Slave- 
State producing only ; it is no longer double and 


SO has fulfilled ou its side Lincoln's prophecy : 
" This Government cannot endure permanently 
half slave and half free, it will become all one 
thing or all the other." 

In looking back at this movement of sable 
Cottonia and her leaders, an impartial judgment 
must affirm that there was not a single f ar-seeiug 
statesman among them. Their party had both 
Houses of Congress in the old Union, with every 
chance of a reaction in their favor. They held the 
Supreme Court in a firmer grip than ever, since 
Judge Curtis had resigned and Clifford had taken 
his place. The slaveholders could not by any 
enactment of Congress be excluded from the 
Territories. In substance they had quite all 
that they asked, with the two branches of Gov- 
ernment, legislative and judicial, in their hands. 
But the executive authority was not theirs, and 
that was just the pinch. So every leading South- 
ern statesman makes himself an actor in that 
colossal tragi-comedy of the World's History in 
which the South is led to root out and destroy 
with all speed that which she most sought to 

Hence rises the question : What could have 
been the motive? In looking into the psychol- 
ogy of this matter we must seek for some hid- 
den spring of action, often unuttered and in- 
deed unconscious, yet the deepest and most 
powerful. As just stated, the South really had 

CHArri:it in. - ruu third aliokment. 401 

all that it asked for, still there was something 
which it did not ask for, but which it wanted 
more than anything else — rule, authority dom- 
ination. The love of slavery was not its deepest 
love, nor even the love of State sovereignty. 
It must have control of a nation, if not of the 
whole United States, then of its Southern half. 
Jefferson Davis never mentioned slavery in his 
inaugural. His wife reports him saying just 
before the War : " lu any case I think our slave 
property will be eventually lost." This seems 
to mean that in his opinion slavery would perish 
even if the South should win her independence. 
Thus Davis went into Secession openly for the 
sake of slavery but secretly with another motive. 
Many of the leaders were quite like him in this 
respect. Hence when outvoted in the Nation, 
they flew into revolt under the pretext of 
"danger to our peculiar institution, slavery," 
but really because they, though the minority, 
would not, indeed could not give up national 
rule. Some of them, like Davis, foresaw that 
slavery was likely to perish in the appeal to 
arms, but did not expect to lose independence 
too. But they lost the whole stake, and by their 
course annihilated the very thing they went 
after. Sad and tragic enousjh on its individual 
side is the drama ; but to the eye of the World- 
Spirit these passionate leaders are comic char- 



acters rushing with vengeance to saw off from 
the tree the limb on which they are standing. 

( 5 . ) The Administration at Washington is still 
the irritated object, which this second Secession 
in the South is worrying. The action of the 
Cotton States is, however, now met by a decided 
counter-action of the Cabinet with its Triumvirate 
in control. Its power is still further secured by 
the appointment of John A. Dix as Secretary of 
the Treasury (Jan. 11th). Dix is best remem- 
bered for his stirring order which thrilled the 
North and expressed the new will in the Cabinet : 
" If any man attempts to haul down the Ameri- 
can flag, shoot him on the spot" — an order 
said to have been sent without the knowledge of 
President Buchanan, who is now really sup- 
planted by men whose function it is to tide over 
the remaining two months till the advent of Lin- 
coln. It is interesting to note that all these 
strong members of the Cabinet have had also a 
striking and rapid evolution of their own. They 
ail had been devoted followers of Buchanan, up- 
holders of the Kansas policy and of the Dred 
Scott decision, and supporters of Breckinridge. 
They seem to have gotten their eyes open in 
these two months, and to have first seen the 
Southern tendency toward Disunion. Of course 
they were Union men to the core, and had to 
undergo a great inner experience before taking 
the present attitude. And they forecast what 


attitude the majority of their party will take in 
the approaching struggle. 

One of the results of the new policy of the 
Triumvirate was the sending of the steamer Star 
of the We»t with soldiers and provisions for Fort 
Sumter. When the vessel entered Charleston 
harbor, she was fired at by a masked battery on 
Morris Island. Her officers thought it dangerous 
to proceed, as she was unarmed, and they 
backed her out, no signal from Sumter having 
been displayed. Still Anderson saw the ap- 
proaching steamer, and after getting ready did 
not fire. The whole business was badly man- 
aged, but in view of the time and situation, the 
bungling was a part of the higher control. Not 
yet, not yet, says the World-Spirit in its way of 
talking. South Carolina is indeed on fire ; but 
can we not confine the flame to it alone? Bv no 
means, is the decree ; whatever is inflammable, 
must now take fire and burn, till it burn itself 
out and the ground be made clear for a new 

Anderson in a note to Governor Pickens de- 
clared the shooting at the Star of the West to 
be " an act of war." This it was, the first act, 
still there was no uprising after it, both sides 
lapsed into their former quiescence. The time 
was not yet ready. The Administration of 
Buchanan was not the chosen means for carrviiig 
on the war. The new man must be at the helm. 


Aud the North was not yet ready, uot yet quite 
convinced that Secession would propagate itself 
outside of South Carolina. But the events of 
this month will convince it and compel it to 
make up its mind. Meanwhile a kind of truce 
prevails, during which the Peace Convention 
blows several iridescent bubbles, which, how- 
ever, explode of themselves, and various schemes 
of Compromise are cunningly devised and float 
for a brief moment before the People, but find 
no permanent lodgment. 

(c.) What of the North in these two months? 
Though Compromise be still at work, the chief 
one, that of- Crittenden, is killed by the senatorial 
vote of .Januar}^ loth, which means that no Com- 
promise is necessary. Indeed the nature of 
these Compromises, which signify that the people 
of the North must somehow recall their Presi- 
dential vote of 1860 and even apologize for it, 
is getting to be plainly perceived. 

Moreover, a distinct division begins to appear 
between the two great parts of the North — the 
East and the West, the old Free States, and the 
new Free States. The West headed by its 
Leader who is the new President is ready to say 
that there can be no Compromi-ic on the essen- 
tial matter. Also there must be Coercion in the 
right sense — the holding of the forts, the keep- 
ing of national property and the collecting of 


And now the curious fact comes to light that 
the Dred Scott decision also stands in the way of 
Compromise. Congress, according to it, has no 
power to prohibit slavery in any Territory, 
Northern or Southern, and cannot constitutionally 
make any law upon the subject. Any Compro- 
mise must therefore be in the form of an amend- 
ment to the Constitution — quite a long and 
uncertain process amid these hurrying events 
which require immediate action. Thus the 
decision of Judge Taney became the chief 
obstacle to the cause which it was intended to 
bolster, and finally rendered the Crittenden Cora- 
promise or any other like it quite impracticable. 
Davis and Toombs would have accepted it with the 
words slave and slavery intrenched in the instru- 
ment, as then the boast that "the word slave does 
not occur in the Constitution," would be no 
longer true. But the last Compromise with 
slavery has been made, and the decision of Judge 
Taney is brought to further the decree of a still 
higher Tribunal. 

Moreover slavery is showing itself more and 
more allied with the dissolution of the Union. 
The result is the Union begins to move into the 
foreground and to align its supporters, who were 
anti-slavery and pro-slavery and indifferent to 
slavery. The Triumvirate of Buchanan's cabi- 
nate had called forth powerfully the sentiment of 
Union in the country among all parties. This is 
the salient fact of these two months : the trend 


toward the unification of the Union men of every 
sort in the North and in the Border SUive-States. 
Moreover Lincoln grasps this fact fully and will 
harmonize himself with it, making^it his starting- 
point. It has become clear that the battle must 
be fought primarily for the Union and not against 
Slavery, Lincoln's home, the North-West was 
more for the Union and less against Slavery than 
the North-East, whose anti-slaveryism squinted 
toward disunion, and whose unionism squinted 
toward compromise. 

On the other hand these two months (Jan. — 
Feb., 1861) bring the Nation more closely to the 
verge of dissolution than any other time in its 
history. State after State drops out, with no 
decisive attempt to stop the breach on the part of 
the Government, and no united manifestation 
against it on the part of the People. Upon the 
razor's edge the Union stood balancing and tip- 
ping — will it fall? The Triumvirate valiantly 
try to stay the dissolving process, and succeed in 
bringing it to a temporary halt, which, however, 
seems to be but u truce, till the new Administra- 
tion steps in. 

At this lowest point of national disintegration 
Lincoln appears and takes hold. His advent, 
however, soon brings on a new Secession and the 
last. But this is just what calls forth the mighty 
reaction towards the Union, sweeps away all 
Compromise, and steels the Nation's heart to the 
point of Coercion. 


3. Secession of the Middle Tier of Slave- 
States. — This is the third act iu tlie drama of 
Secession, but it follows the second act by no 
means so rapidly as the second followed the first. 
Some two months and a half pass before Vir- 
ginia secedes (April 17th), trailing after her 
North' Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas. 
Eleven States have now gone out of the Union, 
seven belonging to the lower Tier four to the 
middle Tier. This is the end of the movement, 
which dashes in vain against the upper Tier of 
the Slave-States — Delaware, Maryland, Ken- 
lucky and Missouri, to which four West Virginia 
is soon to be added. Such then, is the final 
Aljornment of States for the Great War — 
eighteen Free-States and five Slave-States against 
cbven Slave-States. 

Hitherto we have seen the South as the irri- 
tant, the Prime Mover. But with the advent of 
Lincoln, a change occurs, the new President takes 
the initiative. The Government shows itself no 
longer as passive, letting itself be assailed. Not 
only is the doctrine of Secession denied, but the 
right of Coercion is asserted by the Executive 
Power of the land. It is in this last point that 
Virginia through her Convention grapples with 
Lincoln and ends by turning secessionist, carry- 
ing with her the middle Tier of Slave-States. 
She assumes to prescribe conditions for the con- 
tinuance of the Union, She puts up herself as 

408 THE TEN YEARS' WAR. -^ PART 11. 

sovereign, and will act regardless of the compact. 
This is the very idea which is to be taken out of 
her by war. Says she in substance : Give up your 
political victory of 1860, guarantee us against 
any similar victory, and we will remain in the 

Thus Secession begins its final realization with 
the act of Virginia, having occupied four months 
of Buchanan, and six weeks of Lincoln. Since 
the inauguration of the latter, the struggle has 
really been between the new President and Vir- 
ginia. Which of the two will yield? Neither. 
It is true that Charleston continues fortifying, 
and the problem of Fort Sumter is pressing ; also 
the Southern Conferacy with capital at Mont- 
gomery keeps organizing and preparing for war. 
But Virginia has grappled with Lincoln's idea of 
Coercion, as declared in his Inaugural and pro- 
poses to make him take it back. 

Vain is the attempt. If Virginia had pos- 
sessed a statesman like souie of her old ones, 
statesmen whose souls throbbed iu harmony with 
the movement of Civilization and communed 
deeply with the World-Spirit, she might have 
been diverted from her present tendency. She 
loves the Union in her eminently respectable, 
formal way ; but a new problem has arisen which 
brings this love to the hardest test. Which will 
you choose, O Virginia, Coercion or Disunion? 
For such is the dilemma before vou. The answer 


of her Unionist Convention sitting at Richmond 
is, Disunion. Very well, spake a voice out of 
the future, you will have to be made over, even 
your Unionism must be re-born. 

Thus Virginia, attempting to stop the confla- 
gration, takes fire herself, being inflammable 
through her passion against any Coercion of the 
Single-State, even when it is smiting the bond of 
the Union with all its might. She loves the 
Union tenderly as her very child ; but when this 
child is lying at death's door, she repels violently 
the only means by which its life can be pre- 
served. With a sincere but strangely contradic- 
tory utterance she declares : Not that I love the 
Union less but I hate Coercion more, and I am 
going to follow not my love but my hate. I 
have made my choice : Disunion without Co- 
ercion I take to my bosom and fling away the 
Union with Coercion. 

And now with a little inner adjustment we, 
every one of us, even the humblest, can hear the 
voice of the World-Spirit replying to these 
words of Virginia with a kind of ironical modula- 
tion in its note peculiar to it when it makes men. 
States, and whole Ages self -undoing through 
their own deeds: Yes, go on, Virginia, you are 
doing just what I wish you to do, and I need 
your help. My whole aim and end is to destroy 
slavery, to tear it up by the roots and to burn it 
to ;>.shes. But I also wish to reconstruct this old 


Union so uncertain of itself, actually not know- 
ing whether it is on top or underneath any re- 
fractory member of its household. Follow nio 
and revolt; do not take up with Lincoln's Ad- 
ministration and yield to your pett}' emotion for 
the Union; refuse to be placated, and force the 
tight upon the unwilling and perchance cowardly 
North. Then you are mine wholly, and I can do 
my will with you as I may. 

Virginia listens in a kind of delusive dream, 
uot unlike that of Agamemnon before Troy 
when he had a lying vision which Zeus scut him, 
since he was internally readv and even calling for 
it, that he was going to capture the Trojan city 
at once. So Virginia dreams Disunion in oider 
to be completely brought back into a new-born 
Union; she rejects Coercion and so has to be 
coerced tremendously by the decree of the Gods; 
she battles for slavery but bravely bayonets it 
to death, her weapon being strangely turned 
around and thrust into the heart of what she 
is fighting to save. 

In this way we may cast a fleeting glance for- 
ward upon the coming conclusion. 

But now returning from this outlook we shall 
watch the wrestle between Virginia and Lincoln, 
a kind of gladiatorial combat between a man 
and State, or rather between their respective 
ideas. Such is properly the first conflict of the 


incoming President, still peaceful but preluding 
the shock of armies. 

{a) On the 4th of March, 1861, a great 
change takes place at the capital city of the land, 
Washinorton — a chano;e we may call it of Pritne 
Movers, of the central directive agency of the 
government of the Union. Hitherto the South- 
ern mind has been the controlling political power 
since the Constitution first set the machinery in 
motion, some seventy years before; but hence- 
forth the North, under its chosen leader with its 
ruling idea, is to direct the destiny of the Nation. 
Accordingly this new Prime Mover in the per- 
son of its chief representative, mounts the plat- 
form in front of the Capitol and voices its pur- 
pose not only to the assembled multitude, but to 
all futurity, in a Presidential inaugural. 

It is now generally acknowledged that Lincoln 
rose equal to the occasion. The Primacy of the 
Union is the ruling idea of the address, though 
he does not elaborate this idea upon the disputed 
point of how it shall be interpreted in its details. 
He declares that the Constitution and the Laws 
will be his guide, and that he will execute the 
Fugitive Slave Law. Yet he fully recognizes the 
moral wrong of Slavery as the real cause of the 
whole trouble: " One section believes slavery is 
ricrht and ought to be extended, and the other 
believes it wrono; and ought not to be extended." 
He denies the right of Secession : " the Union is 


perpetual." He asserts the right of Coercion 
in its just limits: he will "hold, occupy and 
possess the property and places belonging to the 
Government, and collect the duties and imposts." 
Then the Law of Conscience must submit in the 
matter of the Fugitive Shive Law, to the Con- 
stitution, and bide its time. That is Lincoln as 
we have alreadv known him. Moreover the 
decision of the Supreme Court can be reversed 
by the People, though it is " binding in any 
case upon parties to a suit," till it be re- 
versed. Likewise " the central idea, of Seces- 
sion is anarchy," logically ending in the di.s- 
solution of all government. Nor does he fail 
to strike deep Avhen he says that "the rule of 
the minority is whollj' inadmissible," since 
" they make a precedent, which will in turn 
divide and ruin them," and hence are self- 
undoing. State caprice is unconstitutional: "no 
State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully 
get out of the L^'nion," and thus break up the 
same. " I consider that in view of the Consti- 
tution and Laws, the L^nion is unbroken," in spite 
of all acts of Secession, and " I shall take care 
that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed 
in all the States," in spite of the doctrine against 
Coercion. Gently but firmly, with hand of iron 
in a glove of velvet, does the new President as- 
sert the Primacy of the L^uiou. 

At once the helm of State feels the fresh lirm 


grip of the Inaugural of Lincoln, who now 
begins his brief and only period of peace during 
his entire magistracy. A little more than a 
month it lasted, and he, in feeling the most 
peaceful of men, was destined to prosecute to 
the bitter end one of the bloodiest wars in 
History. Very clearly do we hear the note of the 
new Prime Mover in contrast with Buchanan's 
last four months, or even with his whole admin- 
istration. The old dualistic Union, half -slave 
and half-free, is coming to an end through its own 
inner self-negatiuo; contradiction, and its last and 
most vacillating President, the very embodi- 
ment of it put at the head of Government, has 
stepped out of the White House into private 

But now a new scene of the drama rises : a 
State, the oldest State of all, will try to wrest 
the place of Prime Mover from Lincoln and the 
North, seeking to be this herself, and at the 
same time whirling rapidly toward a denial of the 
Primacy of the Union, which culminates in 
her Secession. 

(&) Virginia, hitherto somewhat in the back- 
ground, now steps to the front and becomes the 
main pivot of rebellion. She has to decide the 
momentous question whether she will secede 
and go with the South, or cling to the Union. 
Events have brought her to the position of 
being the center of the Secession movement. 


If she does not come to its support, it will col- 
lapse ; if she does, it will take a new lease of life. 
The Southern Confederacy is wooino^ her with 
ever}' sort of blandishment, not sparing threats ; 
but she holds back and refuses to go out on the 
inauguration of Lincoln. Four weeks after it 
(April 4th) her Convention votes down an ordi- 
nance of Secession by 89 to 45. 

Still it refuses to dissolve and send its mem- 
bers home. Why? She believes in the Union, 
but will resist Coercion in the Lincoln sense. 
Secession is wrong or at least impolitic, still the 
Government cannot put it down. Here lay the 
grand fatality in the Virginia consciousness ; we 
may deem it her tragic guilt for which she is to 
suffer more than any other State. At least this 
is the political idea which is to be washed out of 
her soul with the blood of her own children. 
Na}', the contradiction will rend her Statehood 
itself atwain, and transmit her cleavage to the 
future in two Virginias. 

During the month of March the issue becomes 
settled clearly and definitely between Lincoln and 
Virginia. He holds to the Primacy of the Union 
and says so in his Inaugural. Virginia on the 
contrary maintains the Primacy of the Single- 
State. Lincoln was a grandson of Virginia and 
sought to treat her with the sreatest res^ard. 
He waited for the Convention to dissolve, but it 
would not: he even summoned its leading union- 


ist, Summers, to Wtishinstou for consultation, 
but he would not come, though he sent a substi- 
tute who made a bad impression. Lincoln now 
saw that this Virginia Convention of Unionists 
were also employing the Southern menace : Do 
so and so or we'll secede; above all no Coercion 
of seceded States. Thus Virginia, just in her 
manifestation of Unionism, assumesto l)e dictator 
over the Union, and to prescribe to the consti- 
tutionally elected President what he must do 
not only in her case but also in regard to the 
South generall}'. Here is Lincoln's summary of 
the matter clinched with a striking metaphor: 
" Your Convention in Richmond has been sitting 
nearly two months, and all they have done is to 
shake the rod over my head." Is not this the 
very disease, the grand Southern malady, which 
Lincoln has been called to eradicate? So the 
Virginia L^nionists are going to dominate the 
Union audits President, or become Disunionists. 
Certainly theirs is not the Primacy of the L^nion, 
out of which they will soon be driven by their 
own logic as well as by passion. 

It has become plain that such Unionism must 
be transformed, after being smelted in the fiery 
furnace of war. Lincoln has to give up Vir- 
ginia and with her the middle Tier of Slave- 
States. That Convention of her L^nionists has 
struggled for four weeks to make him eat the 
words of his Inaugural which afhrmed the Pri- 

416 THE TEX YEARS' WAIi. — PAin' 11 

raac}' of the Union . He has not doue it, is not 
going to do it, and so the appeal to force nec- 
essarily results. Thus Virginia Avill not accept 
majority rule in the Nation, and is getting ready 
to assail the Union as Free-State producing, 
whereby she makes herself the chief means of 
bringing this principle down upon her own head 
with a bloody thwack, and of becoming a Free- 
State herself. This outcome she ought to have 
foreseen, but she no longer produces statesmen 
v\'ith foresight. 

Eeally the Convention of Unionists has put 
their State and themselves into the power of the 
Secessionists. Their attitude gets to be more 
and more that of the menace: if you, O Lincoln, 
dare lift vour finger to coerce South Carolina, 
out we shall go at once. Can Charleston have a 
more pressing invitation to open fire on Sumter? 
The fact is a Virginia secessionist of the first 
water now rushes down to that city and makes a 
speech to its people : "I will tell your Governor 
what will put Virginia in the Southern Confed- 
eracy in less than an hour by the Shrewsbury 
clock. Strike a blow! " For if you strike a 
blow, Lincoln will be forced to eat his Inaugural 
(which he will not), or strike back, and this 
will be Coercion, against which even Virginia 
Unionism has staked its existence. Strike a 
hloiv is the talismanic utterance of the crisis, 
expressed at the right moment by Roger A. 


PiTor of Virginia. Though INIajor Anderson 
said that in three days he would have to evacuate 
Sumter, unless he received in the meantime sup- 
plies or *' controlling instructions from my 
government," the order to fire was given by four 
aides, three South Carolinians and one Virginian, 
the mentioned Pryor, whose prophecy in refer- 
ence to his State was at once fulfilled. 

Beauregard, the commandant at Charleston, 
did not directly order the act, nor did Jefferson 
Davis, President of the Confederacy. They 
both defended the act after it was done, but 
both, if they had been consulted, would prob- 
ably have waited till Major Anderson's sup- 
plies were exhausted, and have permitted him 
peaceably to evacuate the fort. But South 
Carolina again seized the initiative, and the 
first blow of war was struck. Again she per- 
formed her function of precipitating the con- 
flict, of determining on what day and in what 
place it should begin. But the conflict itself was 
not hers alone, but that of the whole South, and 
sooner or later had to be fought out. Lincoln 
answered at once by issuing his call for 75,000 
men, and the North rose in a body. Of all the 
Southern Statesmen whose declarations have 
come down to us, Toombs showed the clearest 
foresight as well as gave -the best utterance in 
regard to the future. He was Secretary of State 
in the Confederate Cabinet, and at its session 



poured forth the following mightily-worded pro- 
test, according to his biographer: "The firing 
upon that fort will inaugurate a civil war greater 
than any the world has yet seen. * * * At 
this time it is suicide, murder, and will lose us 
every friend at the North. You will wantonly 
strike a hornet's nest which extends from moun- 
tain to ocean, and legions now quiet will swarm 
out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary, it 
puts us in the wrong, it is fatal." Just about 
the wisest words spoken in the South during 
these hot passionate days : Toombs, addicted at 
times to grandiose bluster so tempting to the 
Southern orator of this period, shows himself here 
in his best character, commingling a vein of far- 
sighted prophecy with lofty poetic expression. 

Since the War, Southern and Northern writers 
have fought over the firing on Sumter, using 
their pens as weapons, the question being, was 
this the first blow, the first act of open aggres- 
sion? Davis, Stephens and many others of the 
States-Rights school say No! that attack was 
simply resistance to aggression; the attempt of 
the United States to provision its own fort in 
Charleston Harbor was already an act of aggres- 
sion against the sovereign right of the State of 
South Carolina. The North did not regard it in 
that liffht and does not still. Of course, if one 
is hunting for grounds of quarrel, each side can 
fish up a long string of provocati(ms from the 


])e^inniDg of the Goverimieiit dowu. Still th;it 
tiliell tired ui)od Sumter :it 4 : 30 in the nioruing of 
April 12th, 18(51, from ;i mortar of the Confed- 
erate Fort John-son was the primal deed starting 
the niightj train of blazing gunpowder whieh 
kept exploding for four years all over the Scrath. 

It nuist be confessed, however, that the real 
train, the train of explosive ideas, had long been 
laid throughout those Southern lands, and was 
ready or soon would be ready to be touched off 
in a thousand localities besides Sumter and 
Charleston. The settlement had to be made, 
the first gun had to be fired, if not just now at 
Fort Johnson, then next week or possibly next 
year somewhere else. The World- Spirit has 
issued its decree for the grand arbitrament of 
arms between two desperately contending princi- 
ples ; the exact time and place of the opening 
struggle is a matter of less consequence, being 
largely the element of contingency in the move- 
ment of History. The dualism of the Union as 
productive of Free-States and Slave- States is to 
come to an end, but not Avithout a W'hirlwind of 
war enveloping the entire land. Who began it? 
Well, who did? it is going to begin anyhow, 
settle the question as you may. 

(c) The North nosv becomes the Prime Mover 
m its turn, taking the initiative under the lead of 
Lincoln and never letting it drop till the center 
of all the preceding irritation has been reached 


and thoroughly cleunsed of its irritating power 
by the abolition of slavery and its oligarchical 
rule. Such is the great new step taken by the 
Northern Folk-Soul, which has hitherto allowed 
itself to be ruled by Southerners, often with 
good reason, for they were the best statesmen. 
The South declared that it simply wished to 
be "let alone" — that is, to be given a free 
hand in dissolving the Union, and in making 
Slave States out of Territories. Undoubtedly 
against these proposals the new Administrati(m 
had to take a positive stand or ignore the prin- 
ciple which called it into being, ignore the voice 
of the Age which commanded it to make the 
Union Free-State producing, in accord with the 
vote of the People. Lincoln, forbearing to the 
last and willing to yield in non-essentials and 
accidentalities, never faltered in asserting the 
essential point. It may be truly said that in 
these days he spoke for the Genius of Civiliza- 
tion, becoming the incarnation of the World- 
Spirit. Many suppose that the People of the 
North, in their first disinclination and horror of 
Civil "War, would have voted for the Crittenden 
Compromise. But Lincoln would not let them 
surrender their own deepest principle. And we 
shall find that his main function was to hold the 
People to the War, not through external force 
but through inner sympathy, by means of which 
he could alwavs call them back afresh to their 


long laborious task. The deepest strand of his 
nature was to keep in touch with the Folk-Soul 
and to mediate it with the "World-Spirit. He 
could not be brought to compromise the Union 
as Free-State producing since this was to him 
the plain decree of the AVorld-Spirit, and was 
the distinctive thing which he had to do. Thus 
he became the guide, the leader, truly the oracle 
of the People, and was not simply guided by 
them. He knew that the work must be done 
now, otherwise it would have to be started again 
under far harder conditions. He knew that in 
the school of the Nations the schoolmaster did 
not spare the rod, and that any faltering or pal- 
tering would not go unpunished. At the same 
time he would not and could not go faster than 
the People, and he would take all along in his 
movement — all who could be persuaded to join 
the flag of the Union. He annulled the procla- 
mations of Fremont and of Hunter till the Bor- 
der States were ready to adopt his own far more 
sweeping proclamation of the doom of slavery. 
Thus we must grasp Lincoln in his deepest 
character as a mediator, mediating between the 
World-Spirit and the Folk-Soul, both of which 
he has to know, following both in a way, j'et 
controlling both to one great harmonious result. 
It is true that the Folk-Soul had already re- 
ceived the impress of the World-Spirit, as this 
book has stated more than once ; still this 


impress is as yet subjective, ethical, not actual^ 
ized in the institutions of the land. To make it 
actual and institutional is the work of the Hero 
or Genius — here Lincoln, who has to transform 
into actuality the new Union out of the old, 
bringing into active existence the Union as Free- 
State producing henceforth and forever. 

Lincoln's call for 75,000 to defend the Union, 
met with an immediate and overwhelming: re- 
spouse of the People and is the prototype of his 
part in the whole War. He hears the voice of 
the World-Spirit commanding the new idea on 
the one side, and he is also deeply communing 
with the Folk-Soul on the other. The supreme 
question with him is: Are the ]:»eople now ready 
to execute the behest which I hear from above? 
If not, then I must wait, and even restrain the 
too })recipitate spirits, for the whole people must 
back the World-Spirit with their conviction and 
will ere its purpose can be realized. Hence we 
call him the mediator between these two some- 
what shadowy but very puissant entities — the 
World-Spirit and the Folk-Soul, and he in a 
manner obeys while directing both to the one 
grand consummation — the Free-State which 
generates Free States only. So it comes that 
Lincoln's words flying from the capital through 
the nation to its outermost borders and talking 
to the People are the most significant utterances 
of the time, and seem to possess an 01}mpiau 


power, as if Zeus the Supreme God were speak- 
ing and proclaiming the final judgment of the 
Tribunal of the Ages. 

With the firing on Fort Sumter the sweep 
toward Di.'^uuion reaches its extreme point ; our 
federation in its long-continued deflection from 
the central Sun of the whole System has touched 
its very aphelion, and the pending question is: 
Shall it henceforth fly off into infinite space, each 
member wandering after its own fashion through 
the future, or shall it make or be made to make 
a quick turn back toward the source of light and 
unity? Just at this turning-point stands the 
form of Abraham Lincoln, and bids the hitherto 
victorious centrifugal movement cease, or rather 
gives ita sudden whiskand whirl, and then bowls it 
around toward the central luminary, out of the 
sphere of whose influence the entire Sjste'.n of 
States seemed about to rush into original Chaos. 
Such is the gigantic historical position of the 
man at this moment when, in answer to the 
attack on Sumter, he issues his call to the Nation, 
which gives a response equally gigantic, and gets 
ready to march. 

Accordingly from the outermost limit of our 
political World the return begins, not to stop 
from that day to the present. This is now the 
centripetal movement, sweeping sunwards till it 
reaches its perihelion, when possibly a herculean 
effort of the contrary kind will have to be made, 


namely to keep this political world of ours from 
flying into the all-consuming sun. At present, 
however, we are occupied not with the future, but 
with the past, and are to cast our look to the 
opposite side of our political orbit, and sharply 
mark that turning-point from Chaos back to 
Cosmos, from Disunion back to Union. 

It is manifest, that the Second Part of the Ten 
Years' War, which we have named the Union 
Disunited has passed its last stage and wheeled 
about into a new sweep moving in the other 
direction, which leads to the Union Re-united. 
This will give a new Part, the Third, lasting 
some four years and filling the land with the 
clash of arms. 



The facts of Hi.'story may be likened to an 
army and its organization. Primarily it is com- 
posed of individuals, of separate unordered 
atoms, which are similar to the crude unorgan- 
ized historic events of 'a period. Then must 
come their training and multifarious discipline 
till they be marshalled into companies, battal- 
ions, regiments, brigades, divisions, corps and 
armies. Each has its own leader and order, 
even if one fundamental principle runs through 
and unites the whole multitude of men and facts. 
But this is not all. Over the entire national 
army, and over the complete array of historic 
events is placed a Lord paramount who controls 
both the Army and the History of the Nation 
unto his purpose. This Supreme Lord we have 
often sought to glimpse and even to name, under 
various titles, chief of which is the World-Spirit. 
With Him it is the main function of written 
History to make the reader acquainted; at least 
such is our conception of the matter. 

Accordingly we are trying tw find the inner 
ordering of this vast multiplicity of historic de- 
tails, on the outside so elusive and evanescent, 
by arraying them in companies, regiments, 
brigades and the like, and patting them all finally 


under the command of their highest leader, the 
world-historical Generalissino already mentioned. 
We repeat that there is no attempt here to set 
down the fullness of the mere events of History 
as they bubble out to the surface of the Time- 
stream ; they are not to be left just as they ex- 
ternally appear without their inner process. On 
the contrary they are to be drilled singly first, 
then conipanied, regimented, brigaded until they 
can be seen marching in the Grand Army of the 
Supreme Orderer of the World's History. 

1. One of the best points at which to observe 
the incoming presence and authority of the 
World-Spirit is the equally firm belief of both 
North and South in the rightfulness of their re- 
spective causes. Conviction fought conviction, 
conscience was pitted against conscience, and 
in a sense it was God against God. Still one 
side had distinctly the decision of the Highest 
Arbiter in its favor. Who is this Arbiter above 
both, delivering judgment after and through 
conflict? It is the President over all History, 
governing it, and directing it toward its en«l 
unto which each important epoch is a step or 
stage, which can be or ought to be formulated 
when the historic conflict is set down in writing. 
Historiograph}^, then, is the exposition of the 
World-Spirit clothing itself in the occurrences 
of Time. These occurrences in the present con- 
nection are political, belonging to the State as 


one of the forms of human association. Ac- 
cordingly we seek to look throush these appear- 
ances called events, and to behold what controls 
them and also unto what end they are controlled. 

We may likewise consider the two sides as two 
Folk-Souls, Northern and Southern, into which 
the one national Folk-Soul is split, having 
evolved itself into a moral separation as regards 
slaver}'. Two hostile convictions we witness; 
each is still subjective, in the individual, but is 
seeking to be objective, in the institution, and 
thereby rule the land. Such are the two con- 
testants, two Folk-Souls, each appealing now 
to the World-Spirit as Supreme Judiciary of 
History for a favorable decision. 

2. The present question, then, cannot be set- 
tled at the forum of conscience; it is somethino- 
more than a moral question. Both sides are 
equally conscientious, are equally devoted to 
their duty or what they take to be such ; yet 
they are in complete opposition and antagonism. 
Each side thinks that it is right and the other 
wrong, and they appeal by arms to the Supreme 
Arbiter, called also the God of battles. 

His answer is given in the form of defeat and 
victory. Permanent defeat of a cause is a neea- 
five judgment of the Tribunal of the Ages, ren- 
dered after due trial. The lost cause means the 
condemned cause, condemned at the forum of 
History, but not necessarily at the forum of Con- 

428 THE TEX YEAR^' WAli. — PART II. 

science. Yet these two grand adjudicators of 
Time's greatest Causes must somehow be brought 
into agreement at hist, and unite in rendering- 

Hitherto in History the final decision of the 
World-Spirit has been through war — certainly 
an external decision. This may be accepted by 
the defeated side, perchance has to be accepted; 
still it retains an element of violence which is 
alien to victory itself. Accordingly there is the 
persistent search for some mediating principle 
between Conscience and the World-Spirit, which 
may eliminate war and drive it out of History, 
which it has heretofore dominated. Such a 
principle must -be embodied in an Institution 
which the conscientious individual has to be con- 
tinually re-making, that it make him conscien- 
tious. No conflict between Conscience and the 
Constitution, such as we have already seen, will 
then be possible, 

3. As we behold them at present in the North 
and in the South, one of these warring Con- 
sciences is in harmony with the Genius of Civil- 
ization, the other is not. One may be said to 
bear the impress of the World- Spirit, the other 
not. One keeps step with the movement of the 
Age, the otherrunscouuterand often says so, with 
a kind of defiance. Or call them the two Folk- 
Souls into which the soul of the once whole 
Nation has been rifted: one of them is chosen 


to realize a great stage of the World's History ; 
the other is not only not chosen but is even 
made to serve the purpose of its opponent. 

This calls up for notice the way in which the 
World-Spirit deals with the unchosen, the de- 
feated peoples of History, These are made to 
bring about, often through pouring out pro- 
fusely their own blood, the very thing which 
they have most opposed. In their mightiest 
doing they are mightily undoing themselves, and 
thus seem to be writing a comedy in their own 
gore. As already noted repeatedly, the Southern 
States are taking the very means to destroy what 
they seek to maintain and perpetuate. The de- 
lusive dream of domination it is which the World- 
Spirit sends upon those whose cause is to be 
wiped out of History. 

Herewith, however, the voice of protest begins 
to be heard against this method. The World- 
Spirit is put to the question, and its way of deal- 
ing with the Nations is cited before a new 
Tribunal. It has hitherto appeared as Fate, 
external, arbitrarv, even if rational. The World- 
Spirit is not now exempt from judgment ; it also 
is to evolve, is to be transformed; in a word 
it is to become institutionalized. Somehow it 
nmst be gotten inside the State, no longer re- 
maining outside and destroying the same. 

4. It has been repeatedly declared that the 
World-Spirit has an end, which it is seeking to 

430 THE TSy YEARS' WAB. — PART 11. 

realize in its historical movement. What is that 
end? Evidently the free man or free humanit}', 
each having to attain its ever-widening sphere of 
freedom through institutions, since these not 
only embody but secure man's freedom. It may 
be said, therefore, that the World-Spirit has a 
great interest in the present American struggle 
as it is a verv important stage in the historic 
progress of man toward institutional liberty. 

Though the United States was justly called a 
free countr}^ from the start, it has reached a 
point at which it must take a new step toward 
the goal of History. It has run upon a serious 
limit to freedom which it must transcend. It 
can no longer remain half-slave and half-free, 
and produce both Slave-States and Free-States. 
Nor can it longer rear slaves and freemen to- 
gether. Such was the behest of that Superior 
Power over the two Consciences and over the 
tw^o Folk-Souls, which Power we have often 
called the World-Spirit. 

This, in the course of Universal History hith- 
erto, has appeared an outside power, outside of 
the individual and the Slate. Evidently its 
destiny is to become inside the political process 
of Nations, determining the people still by its 
decree but also being determined by them. In 
other words the Tribunal of the Ages is to be 
instituted as a part of p()i)ular Government. 

5. In the very name of World-Spirit is indi- 


cated that it is but one form or phase of Spirit 
as universal, or of the Absolute Spirit. This has 
its manifestation in History as well as in other 
ways, such as Art, Science, Religion and Philos- 
ophy. By its very nature it has to reveal itself, 
and this self-revelation in the present cnse takes 
the form of historic events in Space and Time, 
and under this form it is called the world-histor- 
ical Spirit, or the World-Spirit for short, which 
in its spatial and temporal succession seeks after 
universal freedom, or the freedom characteristic 
of the Universe as self-conscious. 

The World-Spirit has as its end the completely 
free man in a free Universe made institutional. 
Neither of these freedoms is yet here, is yet 
realized, though we have to grasp all History as 
the ])ath-way leading to both. 

6. History has its counterpart in Biography, 
especially in political Biography, which shows us a 
great soul filled with the World-Spirit, product of 
it on the one hand, yet producing it and realizing 
it on the other. The life of the great genius as 
statesman reveals the Nation moulding him, then 
reveals him moulding the Nation. He is first to 
become the very Norm or Type of his people and 
their institutional world, then he is to unfold 
this Norm, in accord with its own inner nature, 
into its new historical stage as decreed by the 
World-Spirit. He is both the child of his age 
and its father ; begotten by it, he nevertheless 


begets it ill its new birth. Just this process of 
the individual of his epoch Biography is to set 
forth, when it gets to performing its highest 

History (political) gives the evolution of Na- 
tions into the world-historical process, as they 
appear going through a long line of rise and fall 
in Space and down Time. But the Nation has 
to be functioned by an individual 6v individuals, 
directing it so as to make it realize the World- 
Spirit in its career. Thus we have the salient 
historic phenomenon of a world-historical Nation 
and a world-historical Man uniting to produce 
events which must also be called world-historical. 
Now History puts its stress upon the side of the 
Nation and its world-historical events, while the 
Man is subordinate, though present and active. 
But Biography puts its stress upon the Man, as 
the pivotal agent who is the mediator between 
the Nation and the World-Spirit. 

There is no doubt that Abraham Lincoln 
more completely than any other man represents 
the epoch of the Ten Years' War in its world- 
historical signiiicance. Purely the product of 
the American People, and trained by their in- 
stitutions, he becomes in turn their supreme 
trainer and leader to a new institutional order. 
Step by step he breathes into the Folk-Soul 
when ready the World-Spirit giving its ultimate 
command through his voice. With it he com- 


muiies till he is schooled to speak its speech to 
the people, who feel the utterance as their own, 
as that of their highest selves, and at once obey, 
knowing this, as old Homer would say, to be the 
word of the God, who appears and appears only 
to those who are ultimately ready to hear the 
divine voice. 

7. The great pivotal events of History are, 
accordingly, to be seen and to be portrayed as 
revealing three spiritual elements in gradation. 
Primarily they take place in a given Nation, they 
are national ; secondly they are also world-his- 
torical, being of the World-Spirit, which is 
above Nations yet embraces and rules them ; 
finally they are to be carried up to the highest 
source, higher than the World-Spirit, to the 
Absolute Ego or Self (Pampsychosis), of which 
they must be seen to be one form of revelation 
in the world of Space and Time. Thus the 
events of History are a manifestation of the 
Universe as Self (pampsychical), as well as 
national and world-historical. 

It has been often recognized that History is a 
manifestation of something higher than itself as 
a simple succession of events. We have had 
many a Philosophy of History, which term at 
least indicates that History has its Philosophy, 
whatever that may be. But Philosophy itself 
with its line of systems is seen to be in its turn 
a manifestation of something lying beyond itself, 


484 THE TEN rt:Mi,S" )VAli. ~ PAIiT II. 

-of some deeper Discipline wliieli is completely 
self-defiuing and therein self-revealing. History 
likewise must be carried back to its profouuder 
sources in such a Discipline, which is surely 

8. The foregoing are some of the general 
principles underlying this present History in 
common with all History. Ultimately we have 
to see the American Ten Years' War, taking its 
place in the grand march of the supreme historic 
events of the Nations. The spiritual Totality of 
History must be viewed at last as that which is 
determininino; each of its Parts. But now we 
shall pass to the last sweep of the present theme. 


THE GREAT WAR (1861-1865). 

If the previous Part Second had as its leading 
theme the Union Disunited, and if it kept mov- 
ing more and more deeply toward separation and 
disintegration till the shot at Sumter, with the 
call of Lincoln the current sets in strongly the 
other way, namely toward Union, or rather 
toward Re-union and Redintegration. So it comes 
that a new fundamental chord is struck which 
runs through and holds together this Part Third, 
as it moves with many an up and down slowly 
but persistently toward the Union re-united. 

The statement may be made here at the start 
that this cannot be the old Union, or, in the 
speech of the time " the Union as it was."' The 
prodigious travail of the World-Spirit is for a 
new birth of the Union, a veritable palingenesis 
or regeneration of it which will no longer j)er- 



mit it to remaia half-sliive imd half-free, pro- 
ductive equally of Slave-States aud Free-States. 
This is the rending contradiction which it must 
now sloush off through the fierce ordeal of 
bloody war, just about the bloodiest in the 
World's History. That cleft Folk-Soul, whose 
cleavage has been always getting wider and more 
threatening through the cancerous growth of 
slaverj', is to undergo along and painful surgical 
operation that the Nation be once more healed 
and whole. And the Northern conflict between 
the two duties, the moral and the constitutional, 
is to be solved by getting rid not only of the 
Fugitive Slave Law, but of the slave himself 
seemingly for all time in our country. Also the 
Classism of the South with its minority rule will 
be shivered to fragments in the earthquake. 
And the decision of Judge Taney meets with a 
tremendous reversal through another and higher 
Justiciary who instead of confirming the decree 
making slavery national and universal, makes it 
zero. Thus arises a homogeneous Union as re- 
gards freedom, having gotten rid of the ever 
fighting dualism with which it came into being. 
The last compromise between the two incompati- 
ble sides has been made, seeking to reconcile 
that which is at bottom irreconcilable. The 
transformation of the Slave-State into the Free 
State begins, of course with fierce resistance and 
mighty uproar, yet there is anew harmony rising 

THE GREAT WAR (18G1-1865). 437 

out of the clash of arms and the thimder of 
cannon. The North, long doubtful and unwill- 
ing, and indeed leaderless, has at last uervtd 
itself up to the point, not of subjugating but of 
assimilating the South by a bold excision of the 
one great difference under the new leader bora 
for just this supreme work. 

Thus our Ten Years' War enters upon its 
third and final stage, still working at its grand 
problem which we have so often emphasized: 
Shall this Union continue to be the parent of 
both Slave-States and Free-States, or of Free- 
States only? The problem, however, is assum- 
ing a new phase ; it is no longer what it was in 
Kansas, which sought to make this one Territory 
free; it is no longer what it was in the North, 
whose purpose reached out to make all Territories 
free. The Union with its principle of producing 
Free-States is now on the march southward into 
the region of Slave-States themselves : Will it 
apply its principle to them also? Undoubtedly 
a principle, if it be true, must show itself 

I. In order to catch the full sweep of the 
Great War as well as to fathom its deepest 
meaning, Ave must see first its geographical 
conditions. Already the latitudinal division 
(known as Mason and Dixon's line) between 
the two opposing sections has often been men- 
tioned. But there is likewise a longitudinal 


division from North to South, which is quite as 
important as that from East to West, though 
it has not been duly noticed by historians. 
Til is division separates the old States from the 
new, the Original States from the Derived, the 
sea-board States from the river-valley States. 
The Allegheny mountains in general constitute the 
dividing-line drawn by Nature between these two 
})arts of the country, and form a physical limit 
much more pronounced and obstructive than the 
one running East and West and separating the 
Free-States from the Slave-States. Let it be 
noticed that the principle of division in each of 
these two cases is very different : in the one this 
principle is freedom and slavery, in the other it 
is origination and derivation. 

Now these two lines — North to South and East 
to West — maybe conceived as crossing each 
other (which they actually do at that peculiar 
piece of territory called the Virginia Pan-handle) 
and as dividing the entire country into four 
Groups of States which we shall designate as 
follows : 

(1) The East-Xorthern Group of States: 
these are the Free-States of the Original Thir- 
teen, seven of them, to which we shall add the 
two admitted subsequently, Maine and Vermont, 
these being simply portions of old States made 
into new ones. Of the mentioned seven States 
the characteristic u})()n which we now are to })lace 

THE ORE AT WAB (1861-1865). 439 

chief stress is that they assisted in originating 
the Union and Constitution, hence we shall often 
call them by way of contrast the Original or 
Originative Free-States. Though Rhode Island 
absented herself from the Convention (in 1787), 
she ratified the Constitution and became a mem- 
ber of the primal Union. 

( 2 ) The East-Southern Group of States : these 
are the Slave-States of the Original Thirteen, six 
of them altogether, and every one directly 
connected with the Atlantic Ocean, which is also 
the fact in reo-ard to the old Free-States. The 
present group likewise took part in forming the 
Union and Constitution. Four of them will go 
into the rebellion, the two northerly ones never 
seceding (Delaware and Maryland). 

The two preceding groups comprise the Old- 
Thirteen, the Colonies which separated from 
Great Britain during the Revolutionary War, 
won their independence, and established the new 
Government. They all have the common trait 
of being parties to that first Compact, Covenant, 
Partnership, Federation — whatever be the name 
one chooses to call it — which made the United 
States or the Nation as a Government distinct 
from yet sprung of the Single-States composing 
it. In this regard there is a strong contrast with 
the two following Groups. 

(3) The West-Southern GroujJ of States: these 
are the Slave-States derived from the Union 


made by the Old Thirteen, nine in number, three 
Tiers of them running from East to West. 
Seven will secede, two refusing. Children of 
the Union are these seceding New-States, whose 
territory in several cases had been bought by the 
parent and defended in battle. This Group dis- 
tinctly divides into two sub-Groups, inner and 
outer, or fluvial and marine States (four and five 
respectively). Passing northward we complete 
the circle of the States in the following final 

(4) The Wesl-yortheni Group of States: 
these are the Free- States derived from the Union, 
eight in number (including Kansas and leaving 
out California and Orej^on which belonsi: to the 
Pacific Group and had little to do with War 
directly). These eight lie in the Valley of the 
Great River, and are interconnected both in 
geography and in spirit. They are the free 
children of the State-producing Union, and have 
a peculiarly strong attachment to their Mother as 
the origin of their freedom, whom they long to 
liberate and make wholly Free-State producing. 

Thus we have two Groups of Derived States, 
slave and free, as we had of the Original States. 
We must note, however, that the Derived State 
is the equal of the Original State under the 
Constitution, being a full member of the Union 
and participating in its State-making function. 
That is, the originated State also originates 

TEE GEE AT WAR (1861-1865). 441 

States, havinof become both originated and origi- 
natiug through the Constitution. On the other 
hand the Old-Thirteen are simply the originating 
States (hence their title of original^ having 
originated Union and Constitution. Let the 
reader mark attentively this distinction between 
the two kinds of States, for it influences pro- 
foundly the entire movement of the approaching 
War and runs a line of transformation through 
the Union after the War. Here it may be per- 
mitted to cast one brief outlook upon the future: 
the original (or originating) States, the whole of 
them. North as well as South, are to be made 
over and to become originated also as members 
of the new Union. 

All four of these Groups, accordingly, have 
distinct characters ; each has its own decided 
individuality, being born with a special political 
bent. Four different characters, then, we be- 
hold, necessary products of the different com- 
mingling of the four political elements already 
mentioned : freedom and slavery on the one 
hand, on the other the Union-begetting and the 
Union-begotten elements. Diversely do these 
principles enter into and constitute the four pre- 
ceding Groups, which from the present point of 
view may be looked at in a kind of circle and 
characterized as the Original Free-States, the 
Original Slave-States, the Derived Slave-States, 
:iik1 the Derived Free-States. 


II. And now the question rises : Which of 
these four Groups is to take the leading, creative 
victorious part in the Great War just at hand? 
Or, to state the same meaning in a different way : 
Which of them is the chosen representative of 
the World-Spirit in the grand contest? Or, in 
a still different form : Whose character is to 
rule, whose principle is to prevail, of the four? 
Looking backward, we can definitely exclude the 
two Groups of Slave-States from the problem. 
But there are likewise two Groups of Free- 
States deeply participating in the common con- 
test, each with its own political character and 
principle. Which is to take control and to guide 
the whole movement, and finally to realize its 
own essential spirit in the completed result? 

Already the finger of History has drawn the 
preliminary outline of the answer to the forego- 
ing question in recording the political struggles 
of Kansas, of Illinois, and of Ohio, all of which 
States belong to the West-Northern Group, and 
have sounded the key-note of the Great War. 
Moreover out of this Group has risen the Leader 
of the ne^v Order, the Great Man of the Epoch, 
who has been selected to go to the Capital of the 
land, and from that center to control the collid- 
ing masses, and to evolve gradually out of the 
old Union the new one, whose creative soul is to 
be Free-State producing henceforth and foiever. 

Such is, then, the round which \\e have traced, 

THE GEE AT WAB (18G1-1865). 443 

starting in the North-East, and passing down 
the Atlantic coast to the South-East, thence 
turning to the South-West and mounting up to 
the North-West. It is the grand cycle of the 
States of the Union, through which the path of 
victory during the War moves, though in a 
reverse way, sweeping from the North-West 
Southwards down the Mississippi Valle}', then 
Eastwards to the Atlantic, and then Northwards. 
This is the geographical framework of the entire 
conflict now to take place. 

In only one of the preceding Groups of States 
has the Union hitherto shown itself as Free-State 
producing. Now this is the principal which is to 
be realized and made universal. The West-North- 
ern Group thus i;S the Norm or Type, after which 
the Union is now to be patterned. The other 
three Groups are to be more or less transformed 
in this regard, are to be assimilated to the new 
Norm of the Union. The principle upon which 
the War turns is the genesis of the State, and 
this principle it is which puts the American 
struggle in line with the greatest and deepest 
struggles of the World's History. The genetic 
act of a Nation must be its most significant act 
and test of all other acts.. What kind of a 
State can it produce out of itself? Better or 
worse than it is? The American Union as State- 
producing has produced two kinds, Free-States 
and Slave-States ; one is better and one is worse 


than it is itself. We speak the verdict of His- 
tory when we say that the Derived Free State is 
better as a political organization than the Derived 
Slave-State, yea, better than its parent the Union 
as begetter of States, half of them slave and 
half free. So it comes that the Derived Group 
of Free States furnishes in their own deepest 
character and origin the Prototype or Norm 
which is to transform the other three Groups, 
and also the Union. 

We have already noted that Lincoln had to 
hold his party to its fundamental principle, if 
not to transform it in the East-Northern States. 
In fact he has done this twice : first as to Popu- 
lar Sovereignty in 1858, and secondly as to 
Compromise in 1861. The same character he is 
soon to show upon a far wider field. 

III. Nature has sharply engraved her lines of 
difference upon the two Northern Groups of 
Free-States. The Eastern are marine States, 
bordering upon the Ocean and its bays ; each of 
them is thus connected separately with the rest 
of the world. Such a situation gives them a 
certain independence, yea particularism, whose 
evils were a prime motive for making the Con- 
stitution. Its rivers for the most part flowed 
down from the mountains in single streams with 
few affluents of any size, and emptied into the 
Ocean. Up these detached river valleys the 
people migrated and formed their early settle- 

THE GEE AT WAR (1801-1805). 445 

inents, which had their own outlet into the great 
World. Thus the Atlantic States became sepa- 
rative by nature and sharply individualized ; each 
rayed out independently from the great reservoir, 
the sea, which commercially was their main con- 
necting element. Such was the physical basis of 
the Old Thirteen, Northern and Southern, and 
formed a kind of mould for their political 

But when we cross the AUeghenies, a wholly 
different prospect, yes a different world physio- 
graphically unrolls before our eyes. We enter a 
series of great riv'er-valleys, which unite and 
form one River Valley greatest of all, or rather it 
is all of them together. The streams, ever com- 
bining and then re-combining, constitute at last 
a single vast system of rivers which produce 
finally the one supreme River, affectionatelj' 
called by its own Aboriginal people the Father 
of Waters. Truly Union is stamped upon the 
very face of this enormous territory. Very 
different is the word which the rivers and their 
adjacent valleys speak on the Atlantic coast, 
with little or no inter-connection. 

In such a land a new kind of States wall arise, 
primarily by the decree of nature herself. The 
States springing up in the River-Valley exclu- 
sively will cei'tainly present a contrast to those 
springing up along the Ocean. The fluvial 
States, inter-locked by their navigable streams 


into one mighty totality for thousands of miles 
from the Kockies to the Alleghenies, cannot be 
a series of uninterconnected Conmionwealths 
lying alongside of one another as they must 
exist on the seaboard; on the contrary they will 
form an organic whole more completely devel- 
oped than is possible under other conditions. 
The old States have indeed established the 
Union, but the new States will re-establish it, 
transformino: it and even transform! no; the old 
States which made it. Note the grand gather- 
ing of the Rivers flowing in a westerly course 
from one line of mountains, and in an easterly 
course from the other line of mountains, till 
they all join in the common stream hastening 
southward to the Gulf. In the middle months 
of 1861 the people are rising along these streams 
and following them down to their junction with 
the one great Eiver, along with whose waters 
they intend to sweep to the sea, in defense of the 
endangered Union. The mustering of the Rivers 
of the West-Northern States not only images but 
suggests and even urges the mustering of the 
inhabitants, beckoning them on to their task. 
We may also see how the East-Northern Free- 
States could show such readiness to compromise 
the new Union won by the Presidential election 
of 1860 as something not altogether their own, 
as quite alien to their political consciousness. 
In fact they were not born of the old Union, 

THE GREAT WAR (1861-1863). 447 

though they helped make it ; they could not have 
the same affection for it as the West-Northern 
States, since it was not their parent, and not 
altogether their child. The true future character 
of the Union could only be inherited by the off- 

So we have to put stress upon the mountain- 
ous watershed, so strongly emphasized by 
Nature, which separates the Oceanic from the 
River- Valley States, the physically intercon- 
nected from the physically divided Common- 
wealths. It is not said, however, that these 
physical characteristics make the new State, 
which rather finds them and is unfolded through 
them from its germ to its flowering. The seed 
of the State has to be brought to the favoring 
soil, like other seed. Man carries his institu- 
tional world with him in his migrations, and 
plants it first of all. In a propitious environ- 
ment it will flourish and come to its full matur- 
ity, otherwise it is likely to lag and wither, never 
realizing what lay potentially in the germ. 

Properly, then, it is Institutions which migrate 
and therein develop more and more toward their 
end which is freedom actualized. To be sure 
these Institutions must have reached a point at 
which they can master and utilize both the 
extent and the configuration of the territory to 
which they have come. The North-American 
Indians, the first occupants, never did and never 


could brinjr out the significance of the Miosis- 
sippi Valley in the World's History, which is 
verily its highest significance, because they had 
not the Institutions to do it. The Anglo-Saxon 
backwoodsman took with him not merely his 
ax and gun, but rude and uncouth as he was, he 
bore in his brain a new institutional order, and 
therein was likewise the bearer of the World- 
Spirit, who presides over the birth of all great 
epoch-turning States, as they have appeared in 

Thus the forthcoming State or Union of States 
finds its physical counterpart in the Mississippi 
Valley, its terrestrial abode prefigured by Nature's 
own hand. This abode, as already noted, differs 
decidedly from the Atlantic home of the old 
Colonies. The Earth's architecture, erecting 
the first edifice for man, is here of another 
style, and is adapted for another guest. Still 
we must not think that Nature makes the State ; 
this we can say just as little as that the State 
makes Nature. In the present case we can see 
that both have been evolving for each other and 
into each other for long historic and prehistoric 
aeons. Moreover, we can also see that both 
were created thus evolving toward a common 
end, in which each, for the present at least, 
attains its highest destiny. 

IV. We have, therefore, to take notice of 
the physical contrast between the two sets of 

THE GUEAT WAB (1861-1865). 449 

American States, those lying along the OceaM 
and those interconnected in the River Valley. 
But we are also to observe that this same gen- 
eral difference pervades the entire course of 
the World's History, from the Orient through 
Europe to the Occident. 

Looking back to the distant Past we see Ori- 
ental States rising and flourishing in the great 
River Valleys, the Nile and the Euphrates, for 
instance. But even when these States bordered 
on the Sea they obtained no mastery of it; their 
civilization was fluvial, not marine. Not till 
Phenicia is reached, does the sea begin deeply to 
determine man's life and history. Moreover, 
Oriental government was autocratic, despotic we 
call it, even if it sprang from the consciousness 
of the people. On the great rivers of the East 
the first cities were built by large bodies of men 
associating and thus civilizing themselves. 

But when we come to Europe we find a strik- 
insf change. Civilization moving along the North 
Mediterranean, takes possession successively of 
three peninsulas, Greece, Italy and Spain, till 
it reaches the Atlantic. Following the Ocean 
northward, it becomes modern and then ad- 
vances eastward toward Prussia and Russia of 
to-day, having completed seemingly the territo- 
rial circuit of Europe. The Mediterranean was 
indeed the trainer, the teacher of the sea's con- 
quest — an instruction which the Orient did not 



have. Th(}se were Mediterraneau sailors who 
performed the first great Oceanic feats, the dis- 
covery of America, the doubling of the Cape of 
Good Hope, and the circumnavigation of the 
Globe. Europe's civilization did not develop in 
Sreat Eiver Vallevs like that of the Orient. The 
employment and mastery of the Sea and Ocean 
play into it from beginning to end. Rome was 
indeed on the Tiber and London on the Thames, 
but each of these rivers sinks into insigni- 
ficance, when the one is compared in historic 
value with the Roman's Mediterranean and 
the other with the Englishman's Atlantic. The 
rivers of Europe as a whole radiate from the 
center, are centrifugal, and flow down into the 
seas, to the North, South, East. Thus they put 
a separative stamp upon the face of the country. 

Crossing the Ocean, we find in the United 
States both characteristics, the marine and the 
fluvial, combining in a manner Europe and the 
Orient. That is, we note the presence of a vast 
River Valley which is again to determine civili- 
zation, and also the presence of sea-coast States 
cut through by separate streams flowing down 
from a system of mountains. Such are the two 
supreme physical characteristics of the land — the 
one allying it to the Orient, the other to Europe. 
Nature herself thus suggests a new synthesis of 
man and his institutions. 

So the World's History, after starting in the 

THE GBEAT WAR (I&6I-I8G0). 451 

fluvial civilization of the Orient, and passing 
through the essentially marine civilization of 
Europe has again settled down in another River- 
Valley larger than any Oriental one, larger than 
even Europe's marine territory — Southern, 
Eastern and Northern. Such is the great Occi- 
dental Eiver-Yalley which is busied in this Ten 
Years' War with its own distinct world-histori- 
cal problem. For it has, in the first place, to 
cleanse itself of slavery ; then it must sweep 
around into the marine States, which are not 
only to be enfranchised where necessary, but 
are to be transformed and re-constituted into a 
new Union, which is to embrace both the 
hitherto dominating elements of civilization phy- 
sically considered, that of the Ocean and that 
of the River- Valley. 

Europe has indeed many River-Valleys and 
some large ones, but they are essentially diverg- 
ing, radiating mainly from a common center, as 
already suggested, if we except Russia and two 
or three other borderlands. But the Mississippi 
Valley, or rather system of valleys, is essentially 
converging, centripetal we may say; especially 
is this the case in the West-Northern Group of 
States. On the other hand the great River- 
Valleys of the Orient, such as those of the Nile 
or Euphrates, show little convergence, but are 
mainly long lines from the source of the river to 
its mouth, to which its people cling directly. 


shunning the sea and other peoples. The Mis- 
sissippi Valley is verily a federation of many 
Eiver-Valleys with their streams, and in its 
physical form calls for a corresponding form of 
Government. Therein it differs from the Orient 
as well as from Europe. Moreover this feder- 
ated River- ValW has also its line of sea-board 
Territory on the East and South, and also on the 

V. If we now turn to the spiritual or institu- 
tional origin of this West-Nojthern Group of 
States, we find a surprising parallelism with 
the physical character of the laud. If Nature 
has stamped Union upon its face, Institutious 
have written the same word upon its heart. 
These States were born united by deeper ties 
than any other Group. Thev were brought forth 
by Mother Union as Free-States, freedom being 
their peculiar endowment from her by birth. 
They accordiuglv know the Union as Free-State 
producing in their own case, and reverence her 
with the gratitude of free-born children who 
have risen to a consciousness of their inheritance. 
Moreover this is the only Group which were 
begotten free by the Union, wherein the latter 
shows its genetic soul to be productive of Free- 
States. Hence this Group had to assert its 
birthright transmitted from the Union as Free- 
State producing, which became its strongest 

THE GREAT WAR (1861-1865). 453 

principle of action, being its very character and 

The East-Northern States had no such origin 
and consequently no such institutional character. 
They were indeed free, but in the matter of 
slavery they had been freed through themselves 
individually and not through the Union. Thus 
it lay in their character to leave each Single- 
State to free itself. They made the Union 
indeed, and made it State-producing, but this 
profoundest genetic act of it had to be left 
double, indeed contradictory, in the fact that it 
was the creative source of both Slave-States and 
Free-States. Now mark the result. The Free- 
State child of this Union made dualistic by the 
Old-Thirteen is born free of its mother's contra- 
diction, being liberated therefrom by its birth. 
As far as it is concerned, the Union is Free-State 
producing — wherein lies its deep political differ- 
ence from the East-Northern Group. 

Still the Derived Free-State having become a 
member of the Union, sends its representatives 
and senators to Washington, whereby it shares 
in the State-producing process of the Union 
which still begets both kinds of States, slave and 
free. Thus it too becomes whelmed into that 
original contradition of the Constitution, till one 
day a new political party arises, saying: No 
more Slave-States out of our Territories. This 
principle we have already seen unfolding west- 


ward and eastward till it elects the President, 
and thus makes itself national. 

But it is not going to stop half way on its 
career. A principle is universal, and when it 
once gets started, its innermost necessity is to 
make itself universal. The Union as Free-State 
producing is such a principle, which is now bent 
upon universalizing itself. It may have been 
first promulgated elsewhere and even long ago, 
but it belongs creatively to the West-Northern 
Group of Free-States, which must impart their 
own deepest principle to the rest of the States 
and even to their creator, the Union itself, which 
has to be re-created in the very soul of it, namely, 
in its creativity, being made no longer creative 
of Slave-States. 

Moreover this Group must feel the original 
contradiction of the Union more keenly than any 
of the other three Groups. The West-Northern 
Free-State, born of the double Union, has to 
produce or share in producing Slave-States, when 
it becomes, as it must, a member of that Union. 
Thus it has, though born free, to beget slaves — 
from which act it must internally revolt as deeply 
repugnant to its birthright and perversive of its 
innate character. Instinctively it has to medi- 
tate about transforming such a Union, which the 
East-Northern States made or had a hand in 
making. Suoh a transformation of it is, how- 
ever, not to destroy it, but is its higher evolution. 

THE GREAT WAB (1861-18G5). 455 

Accordingly, tlie only Free-States produced 
by the old Union were the West-Northern Group, 
which will now wheel about and sweep back to 
their central source, and make it Free-State 
producing only — make it always produce Free- 
States like themselves, calling forth thereby 
the sole true Union, homogeneous in the 
matter of freedom. That being settled for 
once and for all, it can be otherwise as hete- 
rogeneous as it pleases. Each section can still 
have and assert its own special character, and 
each State can develop its individuality to the 
fullest extent, provided that it commit no wrong 
upon its neighbor or upon the common weal. 
But when any State hereafter shares in the gen- 
etic process of the Nation, it must take part in 
tyenerating a Free-State ; never again can it help 
produce a Slave-State, Thus the creative soul 
of the Union is transformed, is re-created just 
in its deepest and most essential point, namely in 
its power to create new States and thus to renew 
perpetually itself. And in this respect the old 
Free-States, as well as the old Slave-States, have 
been transformed, being made now to produce 
through the new Union, not two opposite kinds 
of States, but one concordant kind and one only. 

It may be said, therefore, that the West- 
Northern Group of States have the principle of 
political unity and of Union deeply grounded in 
their origin and character; they have it more 


decisively than any other Group of States. The 
result is they show a common spirit, which is 
not hampered by State lines to the same degree 
as elsewhere. Among them the inter-State feel- 
ing seems quite as strong as the State feeling. 

Still a dead uniformity does not prevail in 
these States; they show great differences, much 
variety, which, however, does not lie so much 
between them as within them. This fact too 
must be looked at. 

VI. We are now brought to consider the remark- 
able diversity of inhabitants who make up this 
West-Northern Group of States. The migration 
thither had its own peculiar character. It may 
be deemed a new phase of that great Wandering 
of Peoples which has accompanied the World's 
History down Time and forms its primal sub- 
strate. This migration was North European, 
it could show hardly a drop of Latin blood. The 
old Teutonic stock was again moving, and set- 
tling vast territories, in obedience to that pro- 
found migratory instinct which long ago drove it 
out of Central Asia, through Europe Northern 
and Southern, across the Ocean to America, 
where it is now lighting down in great flocks 


upon the virgin soil of the Mississippi Valley. 
Again the Norseman, the German and the Anglo- 
Saxon, hoary warlike shapes of old dominating 
Europe's History, appear in a new arena, bent 
upon a new conquest. Not now with battle-ax 

THE GREAT WAR (1861-1865). 457 

and sword but with that other kind of edgred 
weapons, the wood-ax and the ploughshare, they 
come not in massive armies, but individually for 
the most part; they have not to seize and hold 
the land by violence, but they receive it almost 
as a free gift from a new institutional order of 
which they are at once members, and which they 
feel to be their own from the start. Still they 
have not lost their old fighting qualities, which 
they are soon to show on many a bloody field, 
in another mighty world-historical contest. 

These are indeed remote outlooks into the dis- 
tant Past of historic origins. Now we shall drop 
down into our own era again, and take a srlance 
at the immediate sources of this population pour- 
ing into the West-Northern country. Three 
main streams of it may be distinguished. 

(1) The first was the foreign migration, 
coming largely from Germany and Scandinavia, 
and settling in the congenial climate of the 
North West. It was made up of hardy farmers 
and mechanics who could dare the intervenino- 
Ocean for the sake of bettering their own con- 
dition and that of their families. Their leaders 
were mostly liberals who had abandoned Europe. 
Many Germans flocked to the free West after the 
failure of the revolutions in 1830 and in 1848. 
They shunned the Slave-States with two excep- 
tions, Texas, where they could and did occupy 
whole counties, and Missouri, which had a strong 


native element hostile to slavery, and in whose 
chief city, St. Louis, they had become a con- 
trolling political power. 

This migration from Northern Europe was a 
kind of repetition and renewal of the old inva- 
sion of England from the same quarter. The 
English still show a strong infusion of Scandi- 
navian and German blood. But this second great 
migration of Teutonic peoples westward (which 
is still going on), skipped their first landing 
place. Great Britain, with good reason, and 
crossed the sea to the New World, and largely 
to the newest part of it, watered by the affluents 
of the Mississippi. 

The Teutonic element was already powerful in 
1860. It sided chiefly with the party hostile to 
the spread of slavery. It doubtless gave the 
State of Illinois to Lincoln in his contest with 
Douglas both in 1858 and 1860. It furnished to 
Lyon and Blair the regiments which held Mis- 
souri firmly in the Union at the outset of the 

(2) The next stream of migration here to 
be mentioned came from the eastern Free States, 
particularly from New England and occupied in 
the new territory a northern belt from East to 
West. These people brought the Yankee thrift, 
the democratic habit, the religious feeling of the 
Puritans, but above all the moral spirit which 
had been strongly impressed with wrongfulness 

THE GBEAT WAR (1861-1865). 459 

of slavery. Also they could get excited over the 
temperance question and the observance of the 
Sabbath, in which matters considerable friction 
was begotten between them and their Teutonic 
neighbors, though both agreed on the great over- 
shadowing question of slavery. 

Still these New England people far back were 
of the same Teutonic blood and speech, even if 
their ancestors had set out from the common 
Fatherland twelve or perchance fourteen centu- 
ries before the new migration had begun to budge 
from the original home. But both migratory 
streams had at last flowed together on the same 
distant spot of Earth, the one reaching it through 
a stretch of English History which long ante- 
dates Alfred, the other reaching it through a 
stretch of German History which long antedates 
Charlemagne. A very different historic devel- 
opment, therefore, lurks in each, and is certain 
to show itself. In both, however, lies the 
European movement out of barbarism to civiliza- 
tion, out of the old Teutonic tribe to the mod- 
ern State, though this movement proceeded on 
diverse lines going from the same general source 
to the same general end. 

Noticeable also is a native, German-American 
migration, quite distinct from the foreign one, 
that of the Pennsylvania Germans, who moved 
on a line westward from their State to and be- 
yond the Mississippi. Almost wholly agricultu- 


ral were these people, quite inaccessible to new 
ideas though religious and simple-minded, exceed- 
ingly tenacious of old habits, one of which was 
to vote the Democratic ticket, be it what it may, 
in contrast with their foreign kindred recently 
arrived. Among the latter the names of Schurz, 
Hecker and Sigel became distinguished for the 
strong support given to their adopted country. 

(3) It is, however, the third great stream of 
migration to the North-West which specially in- 
terests us at present. This came mostly from 
the old Slave-States, particularly from Virginia, 
though the new Slave-States, notably Kentucky, 
furnished a large contingent. To all these 
Southern emigrants must have been present a 
choice of future residence, that between a Slave- 
State and a Free-State, and they chose the 
latter, for one reason or other, but chiefly 
through some dissatisfaction with the svstem of 
slavery. So they filled up southern Ohio, In- 
diana and Illinois, aud even pushed across the 
Mississippi into Iowa, through which we have 
seen them pouring down into Kansas. They 
formed a distinctively Southern belt in the East 
Northern group of States, though other elements 
were not absent and sometimes dominated in 

It is not said, however, that they were all 
tinti-slavery, or even a majority of them, since 
thev were apt to bring from the South a dislike 

THE UllEAT WAR (18G1-18G5). 461 

of the negro, free or slave. The abstract hu- 
manity of the German and the New Englander 
was not theirs. Still the greater number of 
them became Free-State men, and furnished a 
large part of the early Kansas fighters. We 
have already noted the effect of this Southern 
migration upon the South itself (see preceding p. 
310). It unquestionably lost in this way many 
of its choicest people, the most progressive, 
aspiring, freedom-loving. Doubtless this migra- 
tion was the main reason why the early emanci- 
pation movement, at first very strong, gradually 
declined and finally ceased altogether in the 
States-of Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky. It 
was much the easier thing for those who were 
dissatisfied with slavery to pack up and move 
into an adjacent Free-State than to wage a 
doubtful fight in their own State. What they 
wanted lay near at hand, without any contest. 
Southern apologists have often said that emanci- 
pation was blasted by the agitation of the Abo- 
litionists in the North, who were regarded as 
trying to interfere in a matter which was none 
of their business. The argument implies that 
the Southerners, at first inclined to do the right 
thing, changed to the wrong thing from spite. 
We think too much of them to believe that this 
could have been their leading motive, even if it 
may have prevailed with some persons. 

Another important fact about this Southern 


migration to the West-Northern States is the 
large number of leaders it furnished them, herein 
surpassing decidedly the other two elements. 
The New England consciousness was more moral 
and less institutional, which fact made it the 
mother of good preachers, but not of so good 
statesmen. The truth is the Puritan never fully 
recovered from his primal revolt against the con- 
stituted authority of his English home. This 
revolt was indeed what made him, was his creat- 
ive act. On moral and religious grounds he broke 
with his State and ruler. He may have been jus- 
tified in his revolt, probably was ; still the twist 
it gave him remained ever afterwards and he bore 
it with him to the new world and to the new West. 
Virginia, largely sprung of the Cavalier, never 
had such a bent in its birth ; from the start it was 
more institutional and less moral. It produced a 
marvelous harvest of lawyers, judges, states- 
men, who organized and governed the country; 
but its crop of preachers and writers was much 
inferior in size and excellence. 

We can well ponder the fact that the greatest 
leader the North ever had was a Southerner. 
Lincoln was born in Kentucky, his family came 
from Virginia. Manv of his most prominent as- 
sociates in Illinois were from the South. The 
best gift Virginia ever had, greater than that of 
any other State, namely the gift of political 
leadership, migrated also into the North-West 

THE GBEAT WAB (1861-1865). 463 

an(f showed itself there among her children, when 
it had declined at home. 

The Southerners also were chiefly of Anglo- 
Saxon blood ; they therefore belonged to that 
same Teutonic stock of which the Puritans were 
members. In England the division between the 
two parties had taken place, 5nd this division 
they had transplanted to America, in separate 
Colonies however. But now these two diverse 
parties had come together again into the 
same State and into the same series of States, and 
were in the process of being brought to co-ope- 
rate for an end greater than either has yet had. 
Emphasize, then, we must, for the sake of 
bringing out the continuity of History, that the 
descendants of the Cavalier and the Roundhead 
are entering a new country in common after 
their bitter separation in Old England some 
two centuries before. But the stranger fact 
is that along with both of them are com- 
ing the direct descendants of their hoary 
Teutonic ancestors, from whom the separation 
took place more than a dozen centuries before, 
as if the old stock of their race had been tapped 
to get a fresh supply of its blood for the popu- 
lation of the new land. This we may deem a 
concentration and re-union of various Teutonic 
branches which had long been separated and 
even hostile. 

Our next point must be to find what unites 


these hitherto discordant elements, and gives 
them their common end. German, English, 
and even American writers appeal to the pri- 
mordial Teutonic love of freedom manifested al- 
ready against the Roman in the forests of 
Germany. But this love of freedom has shown 
the opposite tendency also : it separates quite as 
much as it unites. Hence there is need of con- 
sidering the special form which the common 
impulse of freedom has taken so that it has 
overcome the somewhat centrffugal Teutonic 
Folk-Soul, which far down in its deepest depths 
underlies nearly all the diverse strata of popula- 
tion in the West-Northern group of Free-States. 
VII. These three streams of migratory peo- 
ples — the Foreigner, the Easterner, and the 
Southerner — could be united, in spite of their 
diversity, upon one political principle, that of 
stopping the extension of slavery to the terri- 
tories. They had all chosen to migrate to a Free- 
State instead of a Slave-State. This choice 
could be made the point of their association into 
an active party. What determined their migra- 
tion could be brought to determine their politi- 
cal organization. To be sure time was necessary 
for the fruit to ripen. Still we can see that the 
West-Northern Group of Free-States simply 
organized their own principle of existence into a 
new party, which soon took possession of a 
decided majority of their people. 

THE GREAT WAR (1861-1865). 466 

Another effect of different belts of population 
located Avithin the same State, yet running across 
State boundaries into other adjacent States, was 
to join the States so belted together into a new 
sort of Union. The result was that State lines 
did not mean so much as in the old Colonial 
States, or even in the new Slave-States. For 
instance, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are more 
decidedly united by their belts of population than 
they are separated by their political limits, 
which are purely artificial. On the other hand, 
Kentucky, a new State, has substantially 
but one belt of homogeneous population from 
East to West. It has no heterogeneous belts 
of people breaking over its political limits, and 
finding their own kin and kind beyond the latter. 
Hence Kentucky has developed a unique State 
pride or State love, which cannot be found in 
Ohio, Indiana or Illinois. Of course the State 
limit is a great matter everywhere in the South 
and was emphasized by the doctrine of State 
Eights. Such a doctrine never did and never 
could flourish so prodigiously in the West-North- 
ern States, where separate political limits would 
not take deep root in the emotions of her strati- 
fied inhabitants. This State pride is found in 
the East-Northern States also, notably in Massa- 
chusetts, being there an inheritance of the col- 
onial period. Ohio, for instance, looks across 
the river at Kentucky, and sees her at this 



moment celebrating; a ofiaud reunion of her 
children from every quarter of the whole country 
and hears them singing with an enormous outlay 
of emotion " My Old Kentucky Home." — But 
Ohio has only to say : I can't do that; I haven't 
the song, and I haven't the feeling which origin- 
ally made it and sings it still with so much fervor. 

So it must be confessed that in the West- 
Northern Group State patriotism is the weaker 
and Union patriotism is the stronger force. 
This fact lies in their very genesis. The Old- 
Thirteen were children of England and of 
Europe; they are so still in many respects, being 
not yet fully made over. But the new States of 
the West are children of the Union, having no 
other parent to love ; hence their single-hearted 
devotion to that parent so strikingly manifested 
in the War. Moreover upon this West-Northern 
Group the Union had bestowed her best gift, 
freedom. As already often declared, the State- 
producing Union in their case alone produced 
Free-States, and thus imparted to them in their 
origin a peculiar character, which is destined to* 
transform all the States, new and old, and even 
the Union itself. 

VIII. When we regard the manner of settle- 
ment in this Group of West-Northern States, 
we find it to be quite different from that of the 
other three Groups. It was almost wholly an 
individual settlement of Towns, Counties and 

rilE an EAT WAK (1861-1S65"), 467 

States, all of which were built up quite con- 
sciously by the act of the settlers, each co-oper- 
ating with the rest. In New England, on the 
contrary, the original colonists came in congre- 
gations usually, and established communities 
headed bv the minister. So also larcrelv in 
Pennsylvania and other East-Northern States. 
Thus the already organized Village Community 
with its members was still the type of settle- 
ment, as it had been in Europe from time im- 
memorial. In the South the slave-holder, mi- 
grating with his slaves into the new Slave-States 
carried with him his institution and established a 
kind of aristocracy, of which he was the center. 
Nothing of the sort could exist in the free 
North- West, to which men came as individuals, 
entered their piece of land already surveyed by 
the Government, and started at once building 
their local institutions. Never before in the 
World's History was the founding of the State 
so completely bethought and prepared for by its 
people; the origin of Government was brought 
back directly to the individual who was to live 
under it. 

Thus man has become for the first time a con- 
scious institution-builder; he is no longer to be 
put into his institutional world from the outside 
but he has to make it or rather re-make it, for 
undoubtedly he has the pattern of it primarily 
in the Constitution of his country, and also in 


his own brain. He is now a self-organizer, 
which trait the armies of this Group of States 
are to show in the forthcoming contest. It might 
be supposed that the free man woukl not be 
amenable to military organization, but he will 
not only take it but make it over anew for him- 
self, since his freedom is itself organized and 
organized by him, being not an arbitrary but an 
institutional freedom. It may be added that 
these people are also used to firearms, being 
not afraid of a gun and knowing how to 
handle it effectiveh' and what it is made for. 
The European peasant cannot be supposed to 
have any such power of self-organization, and 
he as soldier has to be drilled into an intimate 
acquaintance with his nearest friend, the shoot- 
ing iron which he must carry. 

Such was the individual character of this 
Western migration, even if communities some- 
times migrated as wholes, especiallj' religious 
communities, as Shakers, Quakers, Dunkards,and 
others of the kind. The settler usually acted 
through himself, and, taking the initiative, 
moved to the new country from his old State, 
not as a member of a tribe, or congregation, or 
of any form of the Village Community — the 
old Teutonic and even Aryan way of migration. 
The self-determinating individual has become the 
unit of association, and begins to build his in- 

THE GBEAT WAB (1861-1865). 469 

stitutional home coiisciously rather than by 

The cities of the West Northern Group of 
States had their own stamp in being river-cities, 
lying mainly on the one great stream or its 
aflSuents, which became lines of commercial inter- 
connection between them. But in the East- 
Northern Group the chief cities were sea-cities, 
each lying on the Ocean independently, and being 
an outlet or inlet to and from Europe, to which 
the}" turned their face. In general we can see 
that the East-Northern Group and in fact the 
Old-Thirteen as a whole look outward, into and 
across the sea, while the Mississippi Valley States 
as a whole look inward, are introverted if not 
introspective. We can truly say that even their 
physical aspect shows a tendency to look to 
themselves and not abroad, which fact is also 
indicated and emphasized by their manner of 
settlement. Thus we note two distinct tendencies 
pertaining to this matter. In the West the indi- 
vidual starts with himself and creates his institu- 
tions from the bottom up to the General Gov- 
ernment; while in the East he did not create but 
was born into his institutional world — the com- 
munity and the State were given to him. Un- 
doubtedly he has made them over partially ; but 
not till he breaks loose from his community and 
State, is he reduced to his individual Self which 
has to make anew all his institutions. Thus he 


goes back and recreates out of himself all his 
social presuppositions. 

We are therefore, to note that the Free-States 
of the West are inhabited by a people or by their 
descendants, who left their State and its local 
feeling behind, an act not favorable to the main- 
tenance of State ties. Often these people have 
removed a second time from one State to another, 
the new generation seeking a new State further 
westward. But everj^where the emigrant found 
the Union, which had go«e before him, surveyed 
and secured his new home. So he knew and 
loved the Union better than he did any particular 
State, whereas the inhabitant of the Old-Thirteen 
knew and loved his State better that he did the 
Union and originally before the Union existed, 
Avhich was indeed made by them. 

This fact will show its significance and its 
power in a unique way during the War. The 
Northern and Southern members of the Old- 
Thirteen were the makers of the Union by mu- 
tual agreement; hence the thought lies near that 
the same parties might unmake it by mutual 
agreement. Such an opinion was largely held 
in the North as well as in the South, as we have 
seen. But the old States are no longer the sole 
parties to the compact (if compact it be), are 
no longer the sole determiners of the Union, 
which has begotten a numerous and courageous 
offspring, the new States, who do not propose to 

THE GBEAT WAR (1861-1865). 471 

let the source of their being perish without w 
struggle, or even be remodeled without regard to 
their existence. On the contrary they must do 
the remodeling, or rather it must be done in 
accord with the spirit of the new and not of the 
old States. The argument for separation might 
be valid for the old States but it cannot be 
accepted by the new States, which will return to 
the beginning and reconstruct the argument 
itself as well as the States. The genetic princi- 
ple of their existence, the State-producing 
Union, these new States cannot allow to be 
made a nullity without self-nullification. In 
fighting for the Union they are fighting for their 
principle of creation. So they have much more 
at stake than the Old-Thirteen can have, since 
the latter existed before the Union. Wherewith 
another duty rises to view : the new States nuist 
really make a new Union, and re-unite with it 
the old States, thus unionizing them anew. 

A striking, indeed a startling reflection of this 
fact will be seen in the course of the war it- 
self. The old States dividing into the Northern 
and Southern Groups and raising great armies, 
will fight each other desperately, yet neither can 
conquer the other. A line of permanent sepa- 
ration seems drawn between them, over which 
neither can pass without the penalty of defeat. 
In like nuinner the new States also dividing: into 
tile Northern and Southern Groups and raising 


great armies, will iigbt each other desperately, 
but with quite the opposite result. The line of 
separation between them keeps moving further 
southward and vanishing more and more, till it 
is quite obliterated by the soldiers of the West- 
Northern Group. These points we shall set 
forth more fully. 

IX. If we look at the military movements of 
the War — the most impressive visible manifest- 
ation of it — we observe four distinct armies, 
one for each of the above-mentioned divisions of 
the whole country. The scheme will then be as 
follows : — 

1. The East-Northern Army. 

2. The East-Southern Army. 

3. The West-Northern Army. 

4. The West-Southern Army. 

These four armies were chiefly made up of men 
from their respective sections. Each of these 
large bodies of soldiers showed a distinctive char- 
acter corresponding to their separate localities. 
The first two were arrayed against each other 
durino^ the whole War, and the scene of fighting 
was substantially one small piece of ground 
lying between the two Capitals, Washington and 
Richmond. The second two were likewise arrayed 
against each other, and the scene of their fighting 
was every seceded State of the Union but one, the 
whole of which the West-Northern Army overran, 
pursuing its defeated antagonist. Thus it re- 

THE GEE AT WAR (1861-1865). 473 

duced or neutralized ten out of the eleven States 
in rebellion — all except Virginia. We may con- 
sider its line of battle as that of a radius drawn 
from the Capital as center and circling about the 
entire revolted territory, even if Texas was left 
largely to itself, being quite isolated after the fall 
of Vicksburg. The sweep was that of a huge 
arm, the arm of Mother Union reaching out to 
the extreme border and bending around to em- 
brace her rebellious children, still dear though 
naughty. On the other hand the Eastern military 
movement seemed fixed to one little stretch of 
Territory, in which there was no vast State-em- 
bracing sweep but a kind of sea-saw between 
the two armies, with a continued equilibrium of 
defeat and victory for each side If the East- 
Northern army passed a certain line — we may 
call it a line of separation between the North 
and South — it met with a bloody repulse ; the 
same repulse came to the East-Southern army, 
if it passed that same line, whose limits cannot 
be laid out exactly to the spot, but are none the 
less real. 

Now it is this line of separation between the 
two sets of States and their armies, which is the 
most striking fact of the entire Virginia cam- 
paign. "Washington cannot take Richmond and 
Richmond cannot take Washington, though but 
little more than a hundred miles apart. The 
same fate meets the one army getting to the 


Jame.s and the other army getting to the Poto- 
mac. Or, more technically stated, if either 
army takes decidedly the offensive, it is driven 
back ; if it remains on its side of that line of 
separation, it is victorious. Each wins on the 
defensive, but loses on the offensive. Such is 
the persistent fact of that Eastern struggle, 
though exceptions occur both ways. 

We may regard Antietam and Gettysburg as 
bloody warnings to the Southern host ; more 
numerous and more sanguinary are the warnings 
to the Northern host from Manassas, Fredericks- 
burg and the Peninsular battles. Both hosts 
have transgressed, have sought to cross the for- 
bidden line, for which act each gets a blow like 
that of Fate itself. But what prescribed that 
line? Who laid down this peculiar prohibition 
and for what reason? Some Power over both 
yet of both, we have to think; it uses these two 
hosts as means for its end, which, however, is 
also the supreme national end. 

It is manifest that the OLd-Thirteen are di- 
vided into two parts, Northern and Southern, 
and each is fighting the other with the greatest 
valor and endurance; yet neither can finally and 
fully get the better of the other. Neither can 
possess itself of that strange elusive line of sepa- 
ration; the South cannot conquer it and hold it 
and thus win Disunion by fixing this line, and 
the North cannot conquer it and hold it and thus 

THE QBF.AT WAB (1861-1865). 475 

win Union by obliterating this line. Both sets of 
these States once made the Union, working 
together; one set, the Southern, wishes to with- 
draw; the other set, the Northern, seeks to pre- 
vent such withdrawal but has not succeeded. 

The result is or must be that the East-Southern 
army, being really on the defensive, has made 
good the line of separation in the Old-Thirteen. 
This can only mean, if they alone are concerned, 
that the Union is dissolved. But such is not the 
case, for not in the old but in the new States lies 
the decision of the conflict. 

X. Thirty-four States are members of the 
Union during the War, if we count the eleven 
which have seceded. Twenty-one of these are 
new or derived States, all of which are western ex- 
cept two. Thus a decided majority of the States 
are new and western. These children of the 
Union, according to the majority rule, must be 
its controlling element finally, and re-make it 
after their own highest principle, which is spec- 
ially the work of the West-Northern Group of 
Free-States as already indicated. 

At present, however, we wish to see the main 
sweep of the West-Northern army during the 
War. In the first place its military movement 
is an offensive one from beginning to end, in 
contrast with that of the East-Northern army, 
whose main act was a defensive one, that of de- 
fending Washington. The onward march of the 


western soldiers continued prticticalh' to the 
close. Of course there were reflueuces and 
regurgitations breakiuo; through the ever-ad- 
vancing line, like those of Bragg in 1862, and 
Hood in 1864, but they were temporary. 

Eepeatedly has this western military move- 
ment been designated as circular in its general 
contour, sweeping down the great valley to the 
South, then to the East, then to the North, and 
embracing both Tiers of the seceded States ex- 
cept Virginia. Such was indeed the positive 
act of the "War. When the Confederacy was no 
more, ten of its States being held by the West- 
Northern army, Richmond could no longer be 
defended, and Lee surrendered, giving up the 
Capital when it was no longer a Capital. But 
this vast circular sweep is truly signiiScant ; it 
brings before us one mightv image of the whole 
War on its offensive and positive side, with the 
West-Northern host ever pushing forward and 
wheeling on the left, till it has picked up all the 
parts of the dismembered Union and holds them 
in its embrace. 

The estimate has been made that fully one- 
half of those slain in the War, and of those 
who were wounded spilt their blood in the small 
area of Virginia soil. Here too was spent fully 
one-half of the cost of the whole conflict. 
Brave, patriotic, conscientious were these men, 
but the tragedy makes the nation shudder still. 

THE GEE AT WAF (1861-1865). 477 

That gory see-saw comes up before the imagiua- 
tiou as a blood drinking monster placed between 
the two armies and demanding from both its 
quota with surprising regularity. What had 
those two sets of old States done that each be- 
came such an awful Nemesis to the other? But 
neither is able to put an end to its antagonist ; 
when exhausted each takes breath for a time in 
order to recuperate, but new strength is only new 
food for the Furies, who seem always getting 
ready for a fresh carnival somewhere on that 
piece of insatiate earth between and around the 
two Capitals. 

The other half of the grand outlay of blood 
and treasure must be assigned to the "West- 
Northern army. Its opponent, the West-South- 
ern army, though of unquestioned bravery, does 
not persistently impede its advance. Outside of 
soldierly qualities, which were quite the same in 
both armies, and outside of any superiority of 
numbers or material, the two causes in the West 
seemed unequal from the start — the one being 
inherently the stronger and advancing, the 
other inherently the weaker and retreating. 
This is in striking contrast with the equilibrium 
of the two armies in the East, and it would also 
seem, of the two causes. Here a couple of 
problems arise : first, why such a difference 
between East and West; secondly, why such a 
difference between the West-Northern and West- 

478 THE TE\ YEARS' WAI!. ^ rAirr 11/. 

Southern armies and also their causes? The 
last question we shall consider first. 

The new Slave-States, the West-Southern 
Group, which had seceded, were also children 
of the Union. Now thev are tryino- to slnv 
their parent. Of the four Groups of States 
already mentioned, this Group alone is seeking 
to destroy the source of its being. Its act 
has accordingly a parricidal character. This 
cannot be charged upon the old Slave-States, 
the East-Southern Group, which have also se- 
ceded, for they are not the children of the 
Union, and their relation to it is different. 
Now let us turn our look to the West-North- 
ern States, also children of the Union, which 
however, they are pouring out their heart's blood 
to save. Save from whom? From that other 
group of children who are seeking to destroy 
this same parent. Which of the two groups of 
children has the higher principle, from this 
point of view — the loyal or disloyal, the defend- 
ers or the assailants of the common parent? 
Such is one ground of difference between the two 
causes, and we cannot help thinking that it en- 
ters into the spirit of the two contending armies. 
Then another ground of difference: that West- 
Northern army is fighting for a Union which 
produces Free- States, while the West-Southern 
army is fighting for a Union which produces 

THE GREAT WAR (1861-1865). 179 

Slave-States, this being the character .of the 
Southern Confederacy and their own also. 

In fact, the mentioned Group of new Slave- 
States in trying to undo the parent who brought 
them forth as Slaves-States, have become logi- 
cally self-undoing. Also they are unconsciously 
avenging upon the Union its act of producing 
Slave-States. The irony of the World-Spirit, 
very frequently one of its subtlest weapons, 
not in the word but in the deed, is serving up to 
them a draught of their own conduct. For if 
they succeed in doing that which they are trying 
with all their might to do, namely, to slay the 
Union, they are destroying that which made 
them Slave-States, and it may be added, for 
making them Slave-States. Thus the Union also 
comes in to receive its stroke of retribution for 
bringing such children into existence, which 
children are transformed into its punishers, who 
in their turn are likewise to be punished. The 
vengeance which they wreak upon their parent, 
even if guilty, is itself to be avenged. They 
turn back upon and assail the source of their 
creation for creating them what they are. That 
is, the Union-pl'oduced Slave-States are smiting 
with all their might the Shne-State producing 
Union, And yet they proclaim and honestly 
think that they are fighting for a Union pro- 
ductive of Slave-States. Self-negative they are 
in their deepest spirit, and really are taking the 


shortest road to destroy just wlmt they arc lav- 
ishly and devotedly pouring out their blood to 
save. It is this inner self-contradiction M^hich 
lames their cause, the war within cannot help 
bringing defeat to the war without. No such 
self-contradiction is felt in the cause or in the 
soul of the West-Northern army which marches 
out not to destroy but to defend its parent Union, 
and also to- perpetuate it as Free-Stale produc- 

Pondering on these two very diverse parts of 
the two Groups of new States, Northern and 
Southern, in the colossal world-drama plajang 
before us, we cannot help thinking of another 
world-drama of the literary sort, Shakespeare's 
Lear. In it likewise are the two groups of 
children, faithless and faithful to the parent, one 
grou[) of whom, the faithless, brings back to him 
his tragic violation, which act is in return avenged 
by the faithful group, who thereby restore peace 
and harmony to the deeply disturbed institutional 
order. Of its ways we catch many a glimpse 
like the following : 

I told him the revenging Gods 
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend. 

XI. We have to keep peering back of this 
struggle of armies to see what it means, what is 
its propelling principle or Idea. Quite dis- 
tinctly does this Idea have a voice during the 

THE GREAT WAR (1861-1865). 4Sl 

War. The People must hear it and thereby be- 
come aware of that for which they are spending 
their treasures of life and money ; in other words 
they must get to know the decree of the World- 
Spirit, and be brought to support it with all 
their energy. Already we have emphasized the 
fact that Lincoln is supremely the voice of the 
World-Spirit to the People as well as the execu- 
tor of its behests. He is the incarnation of the 
Idea of the Union (which is to be made over as 
producing Free-States only), while the military 
and naval forces show that Idea armed and 
realizing itself, the People furnishing the means 
in men, money, and also votes. In this way the 
inner process of the vast and intricate maze of 
events begins to manifest itself. Lincoln must 
be regarded as the vehicle of the World-Spirit, 
and he thus becomes the central figure of the 
War, keeping the People in touch with the 
supreme purpose of History, with what may also 
be called its Idea. 

At the same time this Idea has to go through 
its various stages of development, it has to evolve 
both in Lincoln and in the People. Not of a 
sudden is the great work done, or even seen; it 
starts simply with preserving the Union, then 
moves forward to emancipation, then to recon- 
struction. Such was the inner process lurking 
in the events of the War, as well as in the soul of 
the People, but obtaining its most complete 



utterance in the words of the Leader, whose 
supreme function was to harness the Nation to 
Civilization, and to keep it thus harnessed till its 
task be done. 

Overwhelming is the mass of occurrences 
during these four 3'ears of military and political 
activity, if viewed externally. The interior 
lines of their movement must be brought to the 
surface and described if we are ever to escape 
from the chaos of historic details bubbling up 
synchronously and in succession over areas ex- 
tending thousands of miles. Now as this whole 
War shows the Union re-united or re-won, we 
shall observe three chief periods in the process 
or three Winnings which may be designated in 
advance as follows : 

I. The Winning of the unseceded Slave- 
States — old and new — which gives the first 
Period of the War (1861-2). The expressed 
end is the simple preservation of the Union as it 

II. The Winning of the seceded Slave- 
States — new — which gives the Second Period 
of the War (1862-3). The expressed end is 
now the emancipation of the Union from its 
dual condition, half -slave and half -free. 

III. The Winning of the seceded Slave- 
States — old — which gives the Third and final 
Period of the War (1864-5). The expressed 
end is the reconstruction of the Union, which is 

THE GREAT WAR (18C1-1865). 483 

a return to its birth as State-producing, and 
makes it reproduce each Slave-State, new and 
old, as free. Thereby appears or begins to ap- 
pear the new Union formed of Free-States only. 

These three Periods are not each of the same 
length of Time, nor are their limits fixed to a 
a day. That upon which our thought should be 
centered is the process revealing itself in these 
stretches of Time, which is but its outermost 
garment, and which ma}' be now a little longer 
and now a little shorter. It is evident that the 
cycle of the Ten Years' War completes itself by 
making the Union Free-State producing com- 
pletely, by making it embrace not only the 
Future in the matter of Territories, but also the 
Past in the matter of States. In fact the 'Union 
itself is re-born; there is a return to its first 
birth, and a re-creating of it as creative. 

Thus the round is finished and all the seceded 
States are re-won — an external restoration at 
first, which, however, is to be made internal with 
time. But we must also notice that in each of 
the mentioned Periods is found a similar process, 
which runs in this way : first the Idea of it will 
be stated generally by the President in address or 
message, at the seat of Government, and then 
formulated in law by Congress ; second is the 
Idea armed in the military and naval powers, and 
thereby realizing itself; third is the Idea backed 
by the People who stick to their great task and 


follow the words of Lincoln, answering his re- 
peated calls for fresh troops and more money, as 
well as supporting him by their votes. Such is 
the process of the Idea of the Union directing 
each of the three designated Periods, of which it 
is the soul or formative energy. In such fashion 
we seek mentally to seize the whirl of Time's 
events, though moving with an enormously accel- 
erated velocit}' , and throwing off in a year such 
a multitude of important actions, that they would 
ordinarily require a century for their happening. 

THE FIRST WINNING — 1861-2. 485 

^be Minntno of tbe 'mnsecebe^ 
SIave«'State0 (®lt) an^ 1Rew) 


The first great problem in 1861 was to hold in 
the Union the upper Tier of Slave-States after 
the two other Tiers had seceded. Maryland 
with little Delaware belonging to the old group, 
Kentucky and Missouri belonging to the new 
group of Slave-States, had in their borders con- 
siderable bodies of active secessionists who 
sought to join these Commonwealths to the 
Southern Confederacy. But a decided majority 
of the population in each of them was favorable 
to the Union. Still this majority had to be handled 
with great circumspection. Neutrality became 
for a short time the favorite policy in these 
states, especially in Kentucky. Thus a barrier 
would be interposed between the two combatants, 
Northern and Southern, and war might be 
averted. It soon became manifest, however, 
that such a policy meant the success of rebellion, 
since the seceded States would be protected by a 
wall of neutrals, and could not be co-erced. 
In Baltimore troops hurrying from the North 
to the defence of Washington were assailed and 
stopped for a while. In both Kentucky and 
Missouri, the Governors denounced Lincoln's 

486 THE TEN YEAli'i' WAR. — PAET III. 

first call for volunteers, and refused compliance, 
but their opposition was unavailing. West Vir- 
ginia would not accept the ordinance of Seces- 
sion from Richmond, and began the making of 
itself over into a new State. Thus the gap was 
filled between Maryland and Kentucky, and the 
Tier of unseceded Slave-States reached in an un- 
interruj^ted line from the sea-board to Kansas. 

We shall seek to outline the first Period in its 
process, which embraces the events from the 
beginning of the War, in 1861, till Autumn 1862. 
Thus we can catch a view of the first round of 
occurrences, in which is seen the fundamental 
process lurking in the vast diversity of happen- 
ings before us. Such is, indeed, the movement 
of the World-Spirit itself, or we may call it the 
Idea, the stages of whose process we shall put 
together as follows: (I) The Idea for mid at ed 
by President or Congress usually; (II) The Idea 
armed by the naval and military Powers; (III) 
The Idea realized, being taken up and backed by 
the Nation. In each of the three mentioned 
Periods we shall find this same process repeating 
itself; and in each stage of this process we shall 
likewise find essentially the same movement. 

I. TJie Idea formulated. We have to look to 
the center, to Washington, for the creative Idea 
or Thought which leads to the result. Lincoln 
in his Messages and Addresses sounds the key- 
note: the Primacy of the Union. This is the 

THE FIESr WIN my G — 1861-2. 487 

doctrine which finally wins the Border States, at 
first balancing between the two opposing tend- 
encies, and somewhat uncertain which way to 
go. Sparing their feelings, Lincoln keeps in the 
background the slavery question till they are 
ready to meet it. He will at the start restore the 
Union, the old Union as double, with its States 
both slave and free. He does not take back his 
doctrine of stopping the extension of slaver}^ to 
the territories, but he does not dwell on it in the 
presence of a more pressing question. His first 
work is to lead these doubting States away from 
the Primacy of the Single-State to the Primacy 
of the Union. In this his success is emphatic. 

To be sure, they cannot stop long at such a 
point; the Union cannot remain half- slave and 
half-free. The State-producing Union has been 
productive of both sorts of States hitherto, but 
just this is what cannot continue. The contra- 
diction must work itself out to the surface and 
be eliminated. How can a Union half -slave and 
half- free produce wholly free States? For a 
time it may do so, but not permanently, accord- 
ing to Lincoln's most famous utterance. At 
present, however, the Border Slave-States can 
be brought to take this first step of maintaining 
" the Constitution as it is and the Union as it 
was," which is quite a stride for them. 

So it comes that the third or upper Tier of 
Slave-States remains in the Union, the wave of 


Secession breakino; in vain against it. Three 
sorts of States are included in it. (a) Two of 
the Original Thirteen which helped make the 
Union, remain faithful — Delaware and Mary- 
land. (6) Two of the Derived Slave-States, 
Kentucky and Missouri, refuse to go out with 
the other seven of their sort, (c) One State of 
this Tier (West Virginia) is peculiar, it may in 
a sense be considered both original and derived. 
It was a part of old Virginia, and hence assisted 
at the birth of the Union and Constitution; yet 
it becomes a new or derived State, the child of 
the Union and Constitution. It is born anew, 
being made over from a seceded into an unse- 
ceded Slave-State, which, however, is in time to 
free itself of slavery. Thus it has within itself 
the process which forecasts the Union as Free- 
State producing universally, enfranchising not 
only the Territories, but the Slave-States them- 
selves, new and old. West Virginia from this 
point of view may be said to reveal the widest 
sweep of the War, the transformation of the 
Original Thirteen into the new order, and 
specially of the old Slave-State into the new 
Free-State. The act is probably outside of the 
Constitution, which thus is made to go back to 
the start and re-make not only itself but its 
makers — the States which made it. 

11. T!ic Idea armed. This is the element of 
inaiiifestaliou in the War, its colossal spectacular 

TEE FIBST WINNING — 1861-2. 489 

element, its thought realizing itself in action over 
the vast area from the Atlantic to the Rockies. 
It is that part upon which History dwells and 
dilates with a peculiar fondness, picturing the 
deeds of armies and of individuals in all their 
diversities and fluctuations. The central Idea 
now ra3'S itself out into a multiplicity of events 
in which the mind gets lost unless it be continu- 
ally brought back from their mazes to their 
genetic clew. 

In the briefest manner we shall seek to desig- 
nate the indwelling process of the armed con- 
flicts of the War. These take place on sea and 
land; the Idea is equipped with two kinds of 
weapons, military and naval. The military is 
by far the largest and most important branch of 
the nation's service, the most impressive dis- 
play of the People's Will to defend and preserve 
their Union. So we shall divide the army into 
two parts, the Eastern and Western, each of 
which has its own special task, and also unfolds 
its own peculiar character. The one (Eastern) 
is essentially defensive, while the other (West- 
ern) is essentially offensive; the navy is essen- 
tially preventive. Yet each can and does at 
times play the part of either of the other two. 
We shall begin with the work of the navy. 

(a). As the South had almost no ships and 
not many sailors, there could be little offensive 
or defensive warfare of the naval sort. The 


chief duty of the navy was, accordingly, of a 
preventive nature, that of blockading Southern 
ports and harbors. Ships could keep the out- 
side world from supplying the wants of the 
States in rebellion, which had little diversifica- 
tion of industry, and badly needed munitions 
of war. 

In this early period of the struggle may be 
placed two famous events in which the navy took 
the offensive. Ou March 8th, 1862, the Con- 
federate iron-clad Merrimac steaming into Hamp- 
ton Roads disabled and destroyed the blockading 
ships. The next day the Monitor, also iron-clad, 
appeared on the Federal side, and succeeded in 
putting an end to the career of the Merrimac. 
On the closing days of April, Flag-officer Farra- 
gut captured New Orleans, the chief seaport and 
largest city in the South. Both these events had 
a strong deterring influence upon those nations 
of Europe which were previously inclined to 
break the blockade and recognize the Southern 

(6). Of the two great military movements, the 
defensive one around and between the capitals 
comes next in order. As soon as Washington 
was reasonably secure, there arose in the North 
theory: Forward to Richmond. Leading news- 
papers, especially the New York Tribune, be- 
came very importunate. The result was the first 
battle of Bull Run, in which the Northern army 

THE FIRST WINNING — 1861-2. 491 

fled from the field in a panic, back to the de- 
fenses of Washington, July 21st. This was the 
first important battle in the East, and was a typ- 
ical one prefiguring all which were to follow. The 
Capital was successfully defended ; but when that 
East-Northern army passed from the defensive to 
the offensive, it was defeated. It went beyond 
the line of separation between North and South 
at Bull Run and received its first penalty, re- 
peated again and again till the close of the war. 

In this same battle appears for the first time 
the employment of the Shenandoah Valley for a 
strategic purpose. A line of mountains cuts off 
this valley from Eastern Virginia whose area 
stretches between the two Capitals. Thus the 
Southerners had a flanking machine created by 
Nature herself, which they used with astonishing 
success till the last months of the War, when it 
was completely broken up by Sheridan and turned 
against Richmond, somewhat as it had been 
turned against Washington. General J. E. 
Johnston works this strategic machine at pres- 
ent, and by means of it changes the tide of battle 
at Bull Run. But the name and fame of Stone- 
wall Jackson are chiefly associated with its em- 
ployment. Its dexterous manipulation had the 
power of throwing the Federal army back upon 
the defensive from its offensive operations against 

And now let us skip a little more than a year 


till August 30tli 1862, on which day the second 
battle of Bull Run is fought. McClelhm has 
taken the offensive and has wound up his Penin- 
sular campaign ; the Seven Days Battle has been 
fought, he has retreated to Harrison's Landing 
under the protection of gunboats. His attempt 
on Richmond has failed and he has been thrown 
back on the defensive. But the worst failure is 
himself, and his army is withdrawn from the 
James to the Potomac. General Pope has 
command in front and is badly defeated by Lee. 
Thus is repeated the same result as in the first 
battle of Bull Run. The East-Northern army 
taking the offensive is overwhelmed on every side 
by a smaller array, and driven back to the de- 
fences of Washington, 

Moreover, that same strategic machine is put 
to w^ork again with marvelous success. Already 
in early May Jackson is rushing down the Shen- 
andoah Valley gathering supplies, defeating 
Federal troops, frightening Washington and 
keeping re-inforcements from McClellan. Then 
he hurries back toward Richmond and takes part 
in the Seven Days' Battle (June 25th to July 
1st). The siege being raised by McClellan's 
retreat and the recall of his army, the Confed- 
erates start toward the Potomac with Lee at their 
head, who hurls back his antagonist over that 
peculiar line of separation between the North and 

THE FIRST WINXIXG— 1S61-2. 4:i3 

South SO emphatically marked already at the tir^^t 
battle of Bull Run. 

But now rises for the first time the like prob- 
lem on the Confederate side. If Lee takes the 
offensive and transgresses that same line of sep- 
aration, will he receive impartially the blow of 
Nemesis in his turn? We shall watch. He 
crosses the Potomac, invades Maryland and pro- 
poses to sweep still further northward, when he 
is met at South Mountain and Antietam by the 
Federals. The result is Lee's army defeated re- 
crosses the Potomac and after some delay is found 
in position behind the Rappahannock. So the 
East-Southern army has had its experience of fail- 
ure uuderits greatest general, who has dared take 
the offensive and go beyond the fated line which 
divides Union and Secession. Is it not plain, as 
far as these two armies ai"e concerned, that 
neither can conquer the other, that the Union if 
it be won at all, must be won on other fields? 
The same lesson is enforced anew in December 
of this year by the battle of Fredericksburg in 
which the Federals, taking again the offensive, 
are bloodily repulsed by Lee. 

Such is the sanguinary see-saw between these 
two armies, during what we may deem the first 
Period of the Great War, lying in the main be- 
tween the first Bull Run and Antietam, and re- 
vealing the military type of the whole struggle 
in the East, which we shall see repeating itself 


again and again in the form of this terrible pen- 
dulum of the Gods oscillating victory and defeat 
impartial!}' to both sides. 

(c). We now pass to the West-Northern army 
whose military character is to take (/le ojfensive 
against its antagonist. First a battle line was 
secured, somewhat irregular to be sure, extend- 
ing from West Virginia along the Ohio river 
through Missouri to Kansas. In the latter part 
of 1861 this battle line began to move south- 
wards, and soon met the corresponding battle 
line of the enemy. The opening victory was 
won at Mill Spring in Eastern Kentucky, (Jan. 
19, 1862), by General Thomas. The fall of 
Fort Henry on the Tennessee followed (Feb. 
6th); then the surrender at Fort Donelson on 
the Cumberland, (Feb. 16th), one of the great 
victories of the war. The line, like a long radi- 
us reaching out from the center at Washington, 
moved rapidly into the State of Tennessee, which 
the Confederates abandoned, taking up a posi- 
tion at Corinth, Mississippi, from which point 
they advanced and fought with the Federals the 
indecisive battle of Shiloh (April 6-7). A chief 
obstruction in the Mississippi river was removed 
by the capture qf Island No. 10, with several 
thousand prisoners (April 7th, second day of 
Shiloh). Through the taking of New Orleans 
in the last days of this April, the great river 
might have been opened all the way to the sea. 

THE FIRST WINNING — 1861-2. 4'J5 

as Vicksburg had not yet been fortified. But 
then comes dehiy, of which Halleck bears the 
chief blame, so that another year of fierce conflict 
passed before the Mississippi is cleared of all 
hindrance to its navigation. In this campaign 
the character of the leading General (Grant) on 
the side of the Union showed itself ; also two 
other great commanders at this time manifested 
their military ability — Sherman and Thomas. 

A resurgence of the Confederates takes place, 
breaking over and around the advanced line of 
the Federals, and swelling up into Kentucky, 
almost reaches Louisville and Cincinnati. But 
it is met and the West-Southern army returns 
substantially within its old line. This resur- 
gence takes place along the whole battle-line of 
the War East and West. In September, 1862, 
the Confederates have overrun central Kentucky 
quite to the Ohio River, and Lee has crossed 
into Maryland. This month Confederate fortune 
touches its highest point during the War. Only 
in Grant's line is there no serious break, though 
two vigorous attempts are made by the enemy 
(atluka Sept. 19th and at Corinth Oct. 3). 

Thus at the end of this Period of the War the 
military situation has declared itself in the East 
and West. In both sections the strong Confed- 
erate resurgence of 1862 is met and pushed back 
to its old limits essentially. But there is also a 
decided difference between the two sections. In 


the East each side is arrayed ou the same old 
battle-liue of separation, with nothing won by 
the North ; in the West the new battle-line is 
kept, with all the gained territory behind it, 
which includes a large part of the seceded Slave- 
States, Tennessee and Arkansas, as well as the 
whole of the unseceded Slave-States, Kentucky 
and Missouri. This we shall see to be not an 
accident, but typical of what is to come. The 
outline of the military movement of the entire 
War is distinctly foredrawn in this first general 

III. The Idea realized by the Nation. We 
must not leave out of the historic process of the 
time that the War in all its great demands was 
maintained by the People. In fact the Folk- 
Soul made itself felt not only at the seat of 
Government but also in the armies, since there 
was a continuous interflow between the soldier 
and his family at home. Nearly every North- 
erner in the ranks could write, and of course did 
not fail to give the echo of his part of the army 
about commanders, politics, and things in 
general. This epistolary stream between the 
front and home was very influential, even if not 
on the surface. It often reached and revealed 
the heart of the situation better than the news- 
papers, which were inclined to have their favor- 
ites, military as well as political. The corre- 
spondents of the Press were for the most part at 

THE FIBST WINNING — 1861-2. 497 

I he lieadquurtercj of the General, and usually 
gave his version or at least his coloring to 
events, which was not always that of the soldiers. 

The People of the North in spite of reverses 
and discouragements, stood as a whole loyally by 
Lincoln. The demands made upon them were 
certainly great — they furnished the blood, the 
money and the will. 

(«). Men were called for in great numbers to 
offer their lives for the Union. They could only 
come from the People, who had to make and did 
make this living sacrifice willingly for the cause. 
By the hundreds of thousands they were -required 
and appeared. 

{b). Money, which stands for the toil and 
industry of the People, was needed in vast quan- 
tities, and was always forthcoming. Bonds 
were issued and disposed of at home and abroad; 
legal Tender was issued, a national necessity 
even if an economic foil}'. 

(c) . The People's Will, expressed at the ballot 
box, supported the measures of the Government. 
Herein was shown the unique, transcendent 
power of Lincoln. He never appealed to the 
Folk-Soul in vain, though its response varied in 
volume during the four years of War. The one 
"Will of the President was backed by the National 
Will in spite of his mistakes. So the People 
gave him unstintedly what he wanted for attain- 


498 THE TEX YBAHHS' WAli. - PAUT 11 r. 

ing his end, since that was their end as well as 
that of Civilization. 

Such is, then, the round here manifesting it- 
self continually : the People's Will returns and 
interlinks, as it were, with that of the President, 
who in his turn directs the mighty forces, the 
army and the navy, into fulfilling the purpose of 
the "World-Spirit, and then comes back to the 
original fountain of his authority', the People, 
for approval and renewed support. 

THE HECOSD WlXNiyG — 180'.'-3. 499 

^be MinnitiG of tbe 5ece^e^ 
Slave States (IRew) 


Already in the previous Period the West- 
Northern army had obtained a secure footing in 
Tennessee and Arkansas as well as in Louisiana, 
all of them new or derived Slave-States which had 
seceded from the Union. Seven of these States 
had gone out, and now the whole seven are to he 
overrun during the present Period, which we tix 
as the second of the War, including Vicksbuig 
and Gettysburg as its central military events. 
They foreshadow the end of the struggle and 
seem the mighty response to Lincoln's proclama- 
tion of emancipation, as well as its confirmation. 
Undoubtedly these seven new Slave-States, as 
children of the Union which they are trying to 
slay, have in them that parricidal strain already 
mentioned which provokes the tragic blow from 
"the revenging Gods" more speedily than tlic 
act of secession of the old Slave-States. They 
are the first of the revolted Commonwealths to 
be subdued. 

Lincoln and with him the War and the People 
move out of the preceding stage and take a gnnt 
step forward. The attempt is still to preseiw 
the Union, but notexactlv as it was; it is henci-- 


forth to be an emancipated Union, having freed 
itself of slavery. It is getting to be productive 
of Free States not merely out of territories, but 
out of Slave-States new and old. Its dualism is 
beginning to disappear, and it promises soon to 
be no longer half-slave ©r half-free. 

I. The Idea formulated. The central Idea of 
the present period of the War is now generally 
recognized to be that of Emancipation, which 
found its decisive expression in the proclamation 
of January 1st, 1863. This may well be deemed 
to be the culminating act of Lincoln as voice not 
only of the Nation but of the World-Spirit. It 
expresses the doom of slavery in the United 
States, on the Western Continent, on the Globe. 
Europe and America will extirpate it from those 
countries of Asia in which it still has a foot- 
hold. The great world-historical act of Lincoln 
was this Proclamation. 

It was not a sudden thought, but one of slow 
growth. He knew from the start that the War, 
if continued, would destroy slavery. But the 
People as a whole had to unfold till they were 
ready to take the step with him. Here again 
we see Lincoln as mediator between the Folk- 
Soul and the World-Spirit. 

On June 22d, 1862, he declared his purpose 
to his cabinet and read his first draft. As it was 
a time of depression in the North, of defeat for 
the Union armies, Seward, though believing in 

THE SECOND WINNING — \%(>2-?,. 501 

it, urged him to wait for a victory before he 
sent it forth. Lincohi acceded to this view, 
and after the battle of Antietain he published 
his preliminary Avarning to the States in reliel- 
lion that he would free their slaves unless they 
returned to their allegiance by January 1st, 
1863. They did not return, of course, so on 
that day the Proclamation went forth. He says 
that his paramount object was to save the Union, 
not to save nor to destroy slavery; that the 
proclamation was a war-measure to which he had 
been forced to resort ; that it was not the end 
but a means to the end. 

11. The Idea armed. It may be said that the 
Idea of the "War is now definitely uttered ; the 
Union is Free-State producing universally. The 
Proclamation proposes to transform the Slave- 
State into the Free-State, and thus voices the de- 
cree of the World-Spirit. The result is that the 
Idea now gets armed and fairly to work; hence 
in this period take place the decisive victories of 
the War, andthe turning-point toward the victor- 
ious outcome can be marked almost to a day 
(July 4th, 1863, bringing the victories of Vicks- 
burg and Gettysburg). 

(«). The navy is doing more and more effect- 
ually its prevenfive task in keeping foreign sup- 
plies from the Confederacy, which thus revealed 
the weakness of the former Southern policy. 

If the South had possessed a fair degree of 


economic independence, it would have had :i 
much better chance of winning political indepen- 
dence. But it had confined itself almost wholly 
to agriculture, and to a few staples of agriculture, 
cotton, sugar, rice. The Gulf States had l)cen 
largely fed from the North, and were possessed 
of no manufacturing works. The missing food 
it could supply, but not the missing mechanical 
industries. Yet the South in the beginning 
thought that it dominated the whole economic 
world of Europe and America through its cotton. 
The navy in this period has brought home to the 
Southern States the shortsightedness of their 
economic system. 

(/>). The military mo\ement of this Period is 
still essentially defensive in the East, and brings 
out the former see-saw repeating its bloody 
work. The attempts of Burnside at Fredericks- 
burg, Dec. 13th, 1862, and of Hooker at Chan- 
celorsville, May 1st to 4th, 1863, show the East- 
Northern army taking the offensive, and over- 
whelmingly repulsed. Again they sought to 
cross that invisible line drawn between the 
North and South of the Old-Thirteen, and re- 
ceived a blow more severe than ever before. 
The warning written in the blood of thousands 
seems to rise from that line of separation and 
speak in a kind of wrath the decree from above. 

It is now the turn for the East-Southern 
Army to try its fortune by crossing that same 


fateful Hue. Will Lee take the offeusive agaiu 
and invade the North? And if he does will he 
meet that same blow so impartially delivered by 
Nemesis to either when it transgresses the pro- 
hibited line? Let us see. In about a month 
after Chancelorsville Lee starts his army, sending 
into the Shenandoah Valley to work the strategic 
machine the corps of General Ewell, as Stone- 
wall Jackson had been killed. Toward the end 
of June Lee's whole army crossed the Potomac 
into Maryland and Penusylvauia. In this last 
State was fought the battle of Gettysburg (July 
1-3), the result of which was a repulse for Lee, 
and a retreat back into Virginia. Again he is 
allowed to take substantially his old position in 
front of the Federals. 

Thus is re-enacted the same general movement 
which we have already seen repeatedly in the 
East. Neither army there can conquer the 
other; more and more emphatic has become the 
line of separation dividing the Union, at least as 
far as the Old-Thirteen are concerned. 

(c.) For relief we again have to look at the 
West-Northern army which still is keeping up its 
name of taking the offensive against the enemy 
with success. It moves forward under Grant and 
captures Vicksburg, thereby opening the Mis- 
sissippi, since Port Hudson falls with Vicksburg. 
Thus the Confederacy is cut in two, and the 


we?itern liue of battle is ready to sweep east- 
ward around its circle. 

The time and the situation compel a compari- 
son between Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Pri- 
marily the one on part of the North is a defen- 
sive act in general and in particular ; the other is 
an offensive act in general and in particular. In 
the one case the North is invaded and an unse- 
ceded Free-State is the battle-ground ; in the 
other the South is invaded and a seceded Slave- 
State is the battle ground. Gettysburg says 
that Secession cannot conquer the North, but 
Vicksburg says that the North can conquer Se- 
cession. The one is at best a negative act, 
hindering another deeply negative act but not 
destroying its doer and thereby preventing repeti- 
tion ; the other is a positive act, tackling Seces- 
sion in its home and undoing its power. 

The present Period includes another offensive 
movement of the West-Northern army, which 
wheels on its pivot and sweeps to Chattanooga, 
where is the gateway to the Southern States of 
the Old Thirteen. Grant reached there Oct. 23, 
1863. The battle of Missionary Ridge (Nov. 
25th) ended in the total defeat of the Confeder- 
ates, who had now lost substantially all of the 
new (or derived) Slave-States which went into 
Secession. It is worthy of notice that the four 
greatest generals whom the North produced dur- 
ing the war, participated in this series of battles 

THE Si:COND WINNING — 1862-S. 505 

around Chuttauooga. They were Grant, Sher- 
man, Thomas, and also Sheridan, who was in 
command of a division. 

III. The Idea realized by the Nation. Here 
we must again take note of the People, that orig- 
inal protoplasm out of which everything in this 
War and every "War is to be formed. First of all 
the men to do the fighting were furnished, on the 
whole with readiness, though with opposition in 
localities. Money too was forthcoming, yet the 
financial burden was very heavy, and the fluctu- 
ations in the })rice of gold followed the ups and 
downs of the army. The most peculiar fact of 
the economic situation is that property advances, 
trade flourishes, and even population increases in 
the North along with the enormous expenditures 
of blood and treasure. The Secretary of War 
makes a strong point in his annual report which 
speaks of our former dependence on foreign 
nations for arms and munitions, whereas " now 
(1863-4) all these things are manufactured at 
home and we are independent of foreign nations 
not only for the manufactures, but also for the 
nuiterials of which they are composed." Thus 
the War is having a new and unexpected effect 
upon the North, making it self-sutficing in the 
matter of supplying its own wants, and endow- 
ing it with economic independence. 

The fullest and most pointed account which 
Lincoln renders to the People in regard to his 


stewardship, is contained in bis letter to a mass 
meeting f)f his friends at his home in Springfield. 
The letter is dated August 26th, 1863. He 
convincingly shows that o\i\\ two kinds of peace 
are possible, with or without Union. There is 
no compromise or middle way; the peace party 
is pursuing a delusion, since the South is fighting 
for absolute separation. Lincoln also defends 
his Proclamation as a war measure and buttresses 
it with some facts, declaring that it cannot be 
retracted. " For the great republic, for the 
principle which it lives by and keeps alive — for 
man's vast future — thanks to all" who have 
been willing to give their efforts, and their lives 
if need be, to bring about the grand result. To 
such an appeal with its keen-edged logic which 
at times breaks over into lofty poetic utterance^ 
the response of the people was immediate and 
overwhelming. Of this the most significant in- 
stance was the defeat of Vallandigham in Ohio 
for Governor by a majority of more than a hun- 
dred thousand. Still there were unjustifiable 
things done in this Period by some military com- 
manders, such as suppression of newspapers, 
arbitrary arrests for free speech, and suspension 
of Habeas Corpus where there was no need of 
it. Few if any of these acts can be traced di- 
rectly to Lincoln, who, however, felt that he had 
to support his subordinates, particularly in cases 

THE SECOND WINNING — 1862-3 507 

in which it seemed more necessary to uphold 
authority thjin to correct a mistake. 

In such fashion we mark off the second Period 
of the War with its process, in which the new or 
derived Shive-States which went into Secession, 
are brought back into the Union by power, not 
being permitted to stay out both for their own 
sake and for the sake of the grand totality of 
States, North and South. Moreover this idea of 
an emancipated Union has been voiced by the 
President, made victorious by arms and adopted 
by the People. A great stride, not only of the 
Nation, but of the World's History, we think; 
with high hope we can turn to the final act. 


^be MinniuQ ot tbe Scce^e^ 


The last great sweep of the War, the third 
Period of it, as we look at it, has been reached. 
General Sherman has said that the War pro- 
fessionally began after Gettysburg and Vicks- 
burg, and that military science was then for the 
first time applied in a thorough manner. Un- 
doubtedly the years had furnished their expe- 
rience, and the conduct of battles and cam- 
paigns was more scientific. Still the fact 
persists that this last Period has substantially 
the same process underlying it as the two Periods 
already considered, the same fluctuations of de- 
feat and victory, the same military character of 
the movements in the East and in the West, 
with the same general results. The East- 
Northern army fights again over that bloody 
area between the two capitals, and makes it 
more bloody than ever; the line of separation 
is drawn afresh with an emphasis which seems 
final. The West-Northern army in its turn 
starts on its customary offensive career, but in 
another sort of territory. Hitherto it has been, 
confined to the new or derived Slave-States 
which have seceded. But now it breal^s over 

THE THIRD ^yiNNiyG — 1864-5. 509 

into a different field ol' rebellion, into the old 
Slave-States which seceded, but which have not 
yet felt the presence of actual war at their doors. 
This must be the last act of the great drama. 
That circular movement, which, starting from 
the North-West, has swept victoriously down the 
Missi.ssii)pi and then eastward to Chattanooga, 
is about to enter upon its hist curve, which ir- 
regularly cuts through Georgia, South Caro- 
lina into North Carolina, when the war closes. 

Following in the track of the West-Northern 
army is a new stage of the [xtlitical develo[)ment 
of the War: Reconstruction. If the second 
Period gave us an emancipated Union, the pres- 
ent third Period is to start into existence a re- 
constructed Union. This also is the work of 
Lincoln. Emancipation having become a fact, 
the slower and more difficult task of restorino- 
these seceded States to the new Union is to fol- 
low. Thus the political process involved in the 
War will have completed itself. We recollect 
that the first stage was the preservation of the 
Union, the second was its emancipation, the third 
is now to be its regeneration and restoration, usu- 
ally called its reconstruction. This last work, 
however, Lincoln will not live to finish, though 
he makes a good beginning. 

We shall now for the third and last time out- 
line that process which we have found determin- 
ing the entire conflict. 


I. The Idea Formulated. More and more 
Lincoln becomes the voice of the Period. He is 
nominated a second time for the Presidency and 
is elected triumphantly by the People. His 
thought is now specially to bring the Slave-States 
back into the Union, emancipated and recon- 
structed. He urges unseceded Slave-States to 
make movements toward the abolition of slavery. 
Then he seeks in every way to cause the adoption 
of the Amendment to the Constitution prohibit- 
ing slavery — the Thirteenth Amendment. 

In this part of his work we see him trying to 
evoke the State-making instinct of the Scmthern 
People who are to build anew the local govern- 
ments in the seceded States occupied by the Fed- 
eral arm3^ Particularly in Louisiana, Arkansas 
and Tennessee he endeavors to bring the citizens 
to undo the work of Secession. He is careful not 
to dictate, he distinctly declines to re-make the 
State governments by an autocratic exercise of 
power. To be sure one condition is put upon 
them: the abolition of slavery. Thus even the 
Slave-State is transformed, is brought first to 
make itself free, and thus becomes Free-State 
producing. This is the essence of Lincoln's 
Reconstruction: these Slave-States, hitherto in 
rebellion, must show themselves in their own 
case productive of the Free-State ; then they can 
come back and live harmoniously in the new 
Union which is Free-State producing only. It 

THE THIRD WINyiNG — 18U-5. 511 

is Reconstruction, therefore, which is to bring 
about that inner homogeneity of the Union, 
which removesthe original ground of separation. 

At this point, however, Lincoln encountered 
opposition in his own party. Sumner in par- 
ticular insisted upon unlimited negro suffrage as 
a condition of restoring the seceded States to 
their place in the Union, Lincoln became 
afraid of Congress, of its radicals, who really 
sought to destroy the South's Statehood, which 
he would " reanimate, " and whose governments 
he would " get in successful operation before 
Congress comes together in December." Says 
he as reported by Welles: " There is too much 
of a desire on the part of our very good friends 
to be masters" — the grand fatality of the 
South, for which indeed it has received the 
penalty. Now the love of domination is getting 
hold of the North in spite of Lincoln, who sees 
the danger of his own party acquiring that same 
spirit of arrogance so fateful to the South, and 
of falling into the same transgression in turn, 
with the consequent punishment. 

So Lincoln has begun to formulate the Idea 
of Reconstruction, and to bring it before the 
People in spite of Congressional opposition. 
There is little doubt that he would have again 
won the Folk-Soul to his plan, if had lived to 
develop it fully and to carry it out. Indeed the 
probability is that he would have gained the best 


of the Southern leaders for his work, aud have 
spared the Nation the painful period of Congres- 
sional Reconstruction after the war. Still his 
Idea despite some years of obstruction wrought 
itself out to completeness, and made the Slave- 
State not only a Free-State but also Free-State 
producing, as a member of the Union. 

II. The Idea armed. This still shows the 
same general process as before, having the same 
three implements, which we have named the pre- 
ventive, the defensive, and the offensive. 

(a). The task of prevention has already been 
described as allotted to the navy, and its work 
lies on the watery element. During this Period 
however, it takes the offensive also and captures 
the defences of Mobile as its chief prize. The 
blockade was always getting more effective. 

The gun-boats of the western rivers were 
closely connected with the military department, 
co-operating chiefly with the armies in the field. 
Thus they rendered the greatest service in open- 
ing the Mississippi and its affluents and keeping 
them open. Also they took an important part 
in the battles fought on the banks of navisfable 
streams, as at Donelson, Shiloh, and many other 

(6). Now we are to witness a newphase in the 
career of the East-Northern army. General 
Grant, the successful commander in the West, 
is to try his hand on that uncanny piece of Vir- 

THE THIRD WINNING — 1804-5. 613 

giuia soil, which has been so deadly to supreme 

chieftains as well as common soldiers. The past 

compels the query : Will he be able to change 

that which has hitherto seemed the pre-destined 

course of things? Can he brino; that East- 
er o 

Northern army to take the offensive without get- 
ting the furious back-stroke already so often 

Let us see. Grant crosses the Rapidan and 
on May 5th begins the battle of the Wilderness. 
What can it be called but a sanguinary defeat? 
Still Grant hammers away at the very walls of 
Fate, and on May 11th sends his famous dis- 
patch back to Washington : " I propose to fight it 
out on this line if it takes all summer. ' ' He seems 
to have become conscious of that line of separa- 
tion in the East which he thinks he can cross as 
he did in the West. So he still keeps hammer- 
ing away at the line for three weeks longer, 
when the last attack is made at Cold Harbor 
with appalling bloodshed. The command is 
given for another assault, but the soldiers refuse 
to stir, and General Grant has found a limit 
which he never touched before, and which he 
seemed to think did not exist. He loses during 
the campaign more men than Lee had at the 
start, and neither destroys Lee's army nor cap- 
tures Richmond. It must be pronounced the 
greatest failure of the war, and from it Grant's 
military reputation has never recovered. He 



moves south of the James aud takes up the same 
general position which McClellan reached in 
1862. Thus the commander who does not fight 
and the commander who fights reach the same 
point locally, and the line of separation in the 
East is drawn more emphatically than ever. 
Even Grant the bull-dog has to let go, in spite 
of his resolution "to fight it out on this line if 
it takes all summer." The bloody see-saw has 
repeated itself, only far bloodier than ever be- 

To complete the correspondence with the two 
former Periods, the strategic machine of the Shen- 
andoah Valley is again set to work by the Con- 
federates. General Early with his army arrived 
at Winchester, July 2d ; thence he crossed into 
Maryland, putting to flight opposing forces. 
Washington had its usual scare along with Bal- 
timore and Harrisburg. But somehow again that 
old fatality smites the invaders in their turn, they 
have transgressed the limit and seem strangely 
paralyzed. Fully 20,000 Confederate veterans un- 
der Early and Breckinridge had the choice of the 
Capital or Baltimore, and, like the ass of Buridan, 
could not take either. Meantime Federal troops 
began pouring into Washington from the South, 
and the enemy retreated into Virginia. The 
same epithet can be applied to both sides in the 
affair: Utter incompetency. But now comes 
the supreme act of Grant in his Eastern career; 

THE TRIED IfAVA'AVrr' — 18G4-5. 515 

he seutls Sheridan, whom he hud called from the 
West to the comuiaud of the cavahy in the Army 
of the Potomac, to take charge of the Shenan- 
doah Valie}-, This officer, after defeating Early 
in several pitched battles, will smash to smither- 
eens the strateoric machine, doing as the last act 
what ouojht to have been done first. He will 
even use the valley as a means of approach 
toward Ri.;hmond, after having been employed 
so long just the other way. 

For the present, then, we shall again have to 
turn away from the two opposing armies of the 
East, Northern and Southern, with that invisible 
line of separation drawn between them as impas- 
sible as ever. 

(c). In the spring of 18G4 the West-Northern 
army is starting on a campaign against the old 
Slave-States which have seceded. It enters the 
upper part of Georgia, and moves victoriously 
along a line of battles to Atlanta, which it cap- 
tures (Sept. 2nd). Soon it divides; one part of 
it under Thomas remains behind to look after the 
Confederates under Hood ; the other part under 
Sherman starts November 12th for Savannah, 
and reaches this city December 10th. Thomas 
wins the battle of Nashville (December 15-16), 
routing Hood's army and pursuing its fragments 
into the far South. This has been declared the 
best-fought battle of the War, and the fame of 
Thomas has steadily increasedsince it tookplace. 


The result is that iu all the new seceded Slave- 
States there is no army capable of taking the 
field against the Federals. 

The other grand division of the West-North- 
ern army under Sherman, fulfilling its function 
of bringing the War home to the old seceded 
Slave-States, starts from Savannah and plunges 
into South Carolina, regarded as the home of 
Secession. There is no doubt that a feeling of 
retaliation vs^as perceptible in that army. Charles- 
ton was burnt, catching fire from the blazino: 
cotton which the Confederates were destroying. 
Columbia was also burnt; by whose hands the 
conflagration was kindled is a question still under 
dispute. Drunken negroes, Sherman's bum- 
mers, Wheeler's cavalrymen, who also are 
known to have done some plundering, have all 
been blamed. One thing is certain : the Furies 
from all sides, not excepting the Southern, seem 
to be lighting down on South Carolina, and flay- 
ing her in vengeful wrath. Sherman in South 
Carolina is the most impressive object-lesson of 
the War. A mighty irresistible mass is let 
loose upon the whole State with no appreciable 
power of resistance. The South itself could 
hardly help recognizing the return of the deed, 
and seeing the shot at Sumter shot back thous- 
andfold over the State . All society seems dissolv- 
ing, Nemesis is in control and appears bent on 
wreaking retribution, the cycle of human action 

THE THIRD WINNING — \m^-a. 517 

insists on rounding itself out to the full. What 
did South Carolina herself think at this awful 
apparition? She could hardly help going back 
four years and interlinking in one chain first 
and last. But let this fact be added : she was 
by no means destroyed, but rather helped by the 
visitation; her population has doubled since 
then, and her wealth much more than doubled. 
The war's vengeance upon her was really what 
saved her, destroying her destroyer, of course 
asrainst her will. 

Thus the West-Northern Army has completed 
its circular sweep and has practically assailed 
Richmond from the rear, rendering further help 
impossible, and taking away the sustenance from 
Lee's soldiers. Its offensive career has brought 
it quite to the Capital of the Confederacy, which 
now falls before the Army of the Potomac. That 
fateful line of separation from w^hich it has been 
so often driven back, is now obliterated, and is 
crossed for the first time by it in the last great 
battle of the War. So our defensive army has 
finally become offensive and is crowned with suc- 
cess ; from this point of view it has gotten a new 
character corresponding with that of the West- 
Northern host now near at hand. 

As Sherman's army moved into North Caro- 
lina there was in it a perceptible change of feel- 
ino-, since that State belonged to the second Tier 
of seceded States, and was almost forced out of 


the Union by the conduct of Virginia. But the 
great fact is that the West-Northern army in its 
various branches has marched through and 
holds in its power tea of the eleven seceded States, 
narrowing the rebellion mainly to a part of Vir- 
ginia. Then Sherman is stopped in his advance 
northward toward Richmond and goes to City 
Point for a conference with Grant and Lincoln 
(March 27-8). "One more hard battle will have 
to be fought," is the opinion of both generals. 
The silent Grant is resolved to fight that battle 
with the army of the Potomac. Two days' after 
Sheridan is at Five Forks and in ten days occurs 
the surrender at Appomattox. Nine days later, 
General Johnston, following Lee's example, 
surrenders to Sherman in North Carolina. 

III. The Idea realized by the JSTafion. The 
supreme manifestation of the People's approval 
of Lincoln and his work took place on that No- 
vember day when he was re-elected President of 
United States by an overwhelming majority. In 
the most unequivocal manner the Folk-Soul put 
its seal upon what he had done and upon his 
character. Of this indeed he was well aware. 
Says he in his message, Dec. 6th, 1864: "The 
most reliable indication of public purpose in this 
country is derived through popular elections." 
The Will of the People expressed by the ballot 
had indeed adopted his acts as their own, and 
he feltthatto be the true harmony of his life. "Well 


could he declare that the purpose of the People 
within the loj-al States to maintain the integrity 
of the Union was never more firm or more nearly 
unanimous than now, after nearly four years of 
fighting. Lincoln also noted that there were 
more votes cast in 1864 than in 1860 in spite of 
the great drain of the "War. "We have more 
meo now than we had when the "War began; 
we are not exhausted nor in the process of ex- 
haustion." Moreover the public debt, though 
great, "is held for the most part by our own 
people," and should be as nearly as possible dis- 
tributed among all. "Men readily perceive that 
they cannot be much oppressed by a debt which 
they owe to themselves." At the same time the 
President re-affirms that "I shall not attempt to 
retract or modify the Emancipation Proclama- 

At a serenade Lincoln dwelt upon the deeper 
side of the recent election, which he looked upon 
as the hardest test of free institutions. "It has 
demonstrated that a People's Government can 
sustain a national election in the midst of a great 
civil war. Until now, it has not been known 
that this was a possibility." Hitherto civil 
war has called out the strong hand of the mili- 
tary dictator who has suppressed liberty. But a 
new event has been enrolled on the pages of the 
"World's History : the free exercise of popular 
suffrage in the heat of internecine strife. It is 
probable that somebody had suggested to Lincoln 


to put off the election till a time of peace, but he 
answers, "if the rebellion could force us to fore- 
go or postpone a national election, it might fair- 
ly claim to have already conquered and ruined 
us" — which seems to carry in it an admonition 
to some headstrong military men. There is no 
doubt that Lincoln was keenly alive to the dan- 
ger-signal erected by Histor}^ ancient and mod- 
ern, and pointing warningly at the great and 
successful general. But in his conception the 
supreme act of a free Government was that the 
People should by their ballots stamp the ruler's 
Will as their own. Lincoln lived in and through 
and for the Folk-Soul, without whose confirma- 
tion and sympathy he could not think of exer- 
cising power. 

Thus Lincoln felt and saw the Idea of the 
Age, the Decree of the World-Spirit, saw it real- 
ized by the Nation, having been himself the chief 
instrument of such realization. On this height 
we behold him a few months before his death 
viewing the Promised Land to which he had led 
his People, but which heis destined not to enter. 
Still the cycle of his career is complete. That 
prophecy of his, striking so clearly and jjro- 
foundly the key-note of his whole public life 
and of the age, has been fulfilled: "I believe 
this Government cannot endure permanently 
half slave and half free. I do not expect the 
Union to be dissolved, but I do expect it will 
cease to be divided." 



There can be no true conception of History 
unless its movement in Periods is seen, and not 
only seen, but made an integral part of our 
thought, nay of our very Self-hood. Events are 
not and cannot be understood till they are be- 
held unfolding in harmony with the law of our 
own consciousness. Historiography leaves much 
to be desired, if it is satisfied simply with record- 
ing events successively in Time, or throwing them 
together into external divisions usually called 
chapters. Rightly to periodize History is the 
profoundest task of the historian. He is to 
bring out the one supreme process of his total 
theme, and interlink with it all the lesser pro- 
cesses, which not only compose it, but reflect it 
in the small and smallest. We shall according- 
ingly, in this our final retrospective act, look 
back at the periodicity which runs through the 
whole work, and orders the occurrences of the 
time into one great totality as well as into its 
many subdivisions. 

It may be said that in this way the man of 
thought, contemplating the outer events of an 
epoch, enters into and communes with the Gen- 
ius of History, with that Spirit which we have 


often sought to glimpse iu the foregoing ac- 
count, and which has been repeatedly called the 
World-Spirit, into whose workshop (so to speak) 
we have now and then peeped for the purpose of 
limning some feature of that grand Artificer 
who manifests himself in the historic acts of 
States and of their Great Men. 

1. With the surrender of the Confederates un- 
der Lee and Johnston in the spring of 1865, 
armed resistance to the restoration of the Union 
has substantially ceased, and the Idea of the 
North, enforced by the naval and militar\^ pow- 
ers, and wrestling so long and so desperately 
with its foe, has triumphed and proceeds to its 
full realization. So the Period of national War 
lasting four years comes to a close. 

The movement of this Period must be seen to 
be toward Re-union, out of the preceding Period 
of Dis-union, in which the trend was toward a 
dissolution of the federation of States ( 1858-61 ) . 
Thus the nature of the whole time is the getting 
back, even by force at first, to that from whi(di 
there has been a separation. We behold, ac- 
cordingly, a return to what had before existed, 
namely, the Union, which however, must be a 
new Union, having taken up into itself and over- 
come its own deeply separative character. 

2. We have, therefore, to emphasize that the 
Great War looked at by itself, is but a part or 
stage of a still larger process, which it indeed 


completes. This is the Ten Years' War, which 
began on the plains of Kansas in 1855 with the 
first invasion of the Missourians for the pur- 
pose of making the adjacent Territory a Slave- 
State. To such a purpose there is a strong and 
obstinate resistance on the part of the settlers, 
and we behold the first part or stage of the con- 
flict which is destined to last a decade. 

Moreover we now hear the thought or the 
theme of the whole Ten Years' War distinctly 
enounced in its simplest form : There shall be 
no more Slave-States. To be sure the hardy 
Kansans fought to keep their own Territory 
from the clutch of slavery, they had enough to 
do without thinking much about the future of 
other Territories. But the North, not being 
engaged directly in the struggle and having the 
opportunity to think the matter over, came to 
the conclusion that Congress can and should ex- 
clude slavery from the public domain of the 
United States (expressed in the vote for Fre- 
mont, 1856). Thus the popular conciousnessof 
the North begins to reach the conviction that the 
Union must henceforth be productive of Free- 
States only. The Slave-States already existent 
can remain as they are and develop as they may ; 
but hereafter their reproduction must cease in our 

The mentioned exception also will in time be 
shorn away, and the Government, in its su- 


preme genetic act supported by armies, will 
transform the already existent Slave-States, 
making them free, and thus apply its new prin- 
ciple to the past as well as to the i'uture. The 
theorem or formula of the whole Ten Years' War 
now comes to light in its fullness and may be 
stated as follows: The Union is to be made 
Free-State producing universal} y . In its deepest 
act, which is the genesis of States, such it will 
be; of course it will do other important tilings 
also. When such a Union is fairly established, 
the Ten Years' War, having fulfilled its mission 
and completed its cycle, comes to a close. It 
has its own periodic character taken by itself, 
as a whole ; but it also reveals subordinate Pe- 
riods, each of which is a part or stage of the 
grand total, yet has also its own special process. 
That is, the Ten Years' War has its own unique 
sweep and meaning; but it is divided, or we may 
say, divides itself into the stages which are desig- 
nated as the Border War in the Union (1) 
which small war has the power of unfolding and 
manifesting the Union Disunited (2), out of 
which is the movement in the Great War to the 
Union Reunited (3), and also transformed. 
Yet each of these divisions or stages has its own 
process, and therein not only mirrors the whole 
of which it is a part, but interlinks with the same 
in the one general process. 

3. Nor should we forget the thought in this 


connection that the sweep of the Ten Years' 
War is but a stage or part of a still greater move- 
ment, that of the Federal Union from its begin- 
niug till the present. Being in Time it has a be- 
fore and after. And the entire development of 
the Federal Union is itself but a portion of a 
greater historic totality. Thus we may, or in- 
deed must, goon widening our view till we reach 
the conception of Universal History, whose es- 
sential process is to be present in all its parts 
even the minutest, otherwise they could not bo 
parts of it. Ultimately History as a whole or as 
universal must be seen creatingr each of its stages 
or epochs or events; and the reader who gets its 
deepest lesson has to commune with this creative 
power of it, and re-create it in thought as it 
brings forth the pivotal occurrences of Time. 
To use the expression already often employed, 
the World- Spirit must be witnessed at last as the 
inner generating 2:)ower of all History. 

Accordingly, local or national History, if it be 
worthy of the record, must bear the impress of 
Universal History; and this impress is finally 
what the historian is to make manifest in his 
work. The American Ten Years' War cannot 
leave out of sight its originating principle, to 
which the appeal has often been made in the 
course of the foregoing narrative. 

Here it is well to note another thought which 
is sure to rise : History, even Universal History, 
is not all, or the All; it is but one form of man- 


ifestation along with others, such as Science, 
Art, Poetry These, then, are likewise to be co- 
ordinated with History into one complete process 
of the All, which process is in its turn creative 
of these special forms of manifestation. Ulti- 
mately up to this highest process History is to be 

4. The process is then what connects the low- 
est and highest, connects the little round of 
events with the creative act of the Universe. To 
be sure the reader must see this act, must indeed 
recreate it for himself in order to know it. Such 
is the true meaning of the Period when rightly 
ordered; it gives the supreme process in the par- 
ticular events, it reveals in the seeming incidents 
of Time the creative mind of the Almighty. 

The Period of the Ten Years' War has, ac- 
cordingly, a significance which rises beyond His- 
tory, if we pluck its topmost fruit. It carries us 
up to the Creator creating not only it but every- 
thing else. The Period rouudiusf itself out with 
its subordinate stages, which are also Periods, 
leads us to see not merely the movement of His- 
tory but of the Universe. Indeed unless I can 
see History as a part of the Great Whole, I can- 
not see it as the whole of itself. 

5. The American Ten Years' War has ac- 
cordingly, its distinct, predicable object: the 
elimination of the dualism introduced into the 
Union at its birth. The expression, the dual- 
ism in the Union, discloses in words the contra- 


diction which has become conscious and active 
in the Folk-Soul, and which gives it no peace 
until eliminated. Undoubtedly this dualism had 
existed for many years, and was known to exist ; 
but its opposing sides never broke forth into 
violence, organized and persistent, till that first 
invasion of Kansas, in the spring of 1855 (see 
the first chapter of this book). The war then 
begun ends with the scene at Appomattox, the 
dualism being overcome, with the Nation one 
and homogeneous in the matter of slavery, and 
with the Union Free-State producing henceforth 

Such is the historic Period now rounded out 
and lying before us, in which much stress has 
been put upon that higher presiding Spirit of 
all History as it works in the soul of the 
People, and thereby realizes itself in the occur- 
rences of Time. But this task could not be 
rightly fulfilled without the co-operation of the 
mediating Spirit embodied in the Man of the 
Period, its true Hero, whose transcendent gift 
was the ability to bring together these two ele- 
mental principles of History, the World-Spirit 
and the Folk-Soul, and to make them function 
harmoniously toward the one supreme result. 
But to give his work as it is in itself and to show 
his place adequately, we must take a new point 
of view and enter upon the task of a new 
science, passing out of Historiography into its 
counterpart, Biography. 

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3. Social Institutions, . . . 1.50 

4. Tlie State, 1.50 

5. Ancient European Philosophy, . 1.50 
G. Modern European Philosophy, . 1.50 

III. Kicdergarden. 

1. Commentary on Froebel's Mother 

Play-Songs, .... 1.25 

2. The Psychology of Froebel's Play- 

Gifts 1.25 

3. The Life of Frederick Froebel, . 1.25 

IV. Poems — in 5 vols. 

1. Homer in Chios, .... 1.00 

2. Delphic Days, . . . . l.< 

3. Agamemnon's Daughter, . . 1.00 

4. Prorsus Retrorsus, . . .1.00 

5. Johnny Appleseed's Rhymes, . 1.25 

V. Miscellaneous. 

1. A Walk in Hellas, . . . 1.25 

2. The Freeburgers (a novel), . 1.25 

3. World's Fair Studies, . . . 1.25 
For sale by A. C. M'Clurg & Co., Booksellers^ 

Chicago, Ills., to whom the trade is referred. 

Acme Library Card Pocket 

Under Pat. "Ref. Index File" 


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