Secession Era Editorials Project


Springfield, Illinois, Illinois State Register [Democratic]

(30 March 1854)

The Journal of Tuesday repeats its abolitionism in reply to our article of Monday. With another cloud of Tribuneitudes he repeats the abolition dogma that the constitution does not recognize slavery, that the Nebraska bill does, and complains that we should dub his effusions as abolitionism. We would like to be informed to what greater depth of abolitionism Garrison could demand of our cotemporary in his "progress" abolitionward? If his denial of the constitutionally of the existence of slavery in the states is not to rank him as an abolitionist, to what lower depth does he expect to reach before he graduates in that school of politico-philanthropy? An abolition absurdity - the basis of their creed - is uttered as sound doctrine, and we are called upon to disprove it - to prove that it is light when the sun shines - and when the heresy proclaimed is dubbed with its right name, the editor indignantly repudiates it!

We called upon the Journal to publish the clause of the Nebraska bill which authorizes slavery, (that paper not having yet published any part of the bill that its columns are occupied in denouncing) but we are merely treated to a repetition of the assertion that it is so, but we have no proof of it furnished. Nor does the Journal answer our queries preparatory to taking up the "main question." The editor has not accounted for his denunciation of the exclusion of the alien from the right of suffrage in Nebraska, which he has no regret for such exclusion in Illinois; he has not shown why a political inequality between whites and blacks in Nebraska is reprehensible, while it is not so in Illinois. This is all shirked, and its abolition assertion that slavery has no constitutional existence in this Union - which we cannot exalt to the "dignity of an argument" by occupying our space with a refutation - and it repeats its allegation that slavery is legislated into the new territories by the Nebraska bill, which we deny, and demand the proof. We will not take the Journal's ipse dixit that it is so, nor will its readers. Let us have the proof from the bill itself. If the Journal editor would not be classed as an abolitionist, he should not fulminate abolition doctrines. His mere opposition to the Nebraska bill does not lead us to thus characterize his effusions. In his revived zeal in free-soilism, he does not stop to mince matters. He has no half-way house, but goes the entire animal, and kneels to Garrison as his prophet. Excess of zeal is a very common error with new converts. The Journal partakes of it. Having strayed from the free toil path once, in his indorsement of the principles of non-intervention as embodied in the measures of 1850, we presume the editor is determined to make up for lost time by the utterance of ultra views even to abolitionism. So be it, but let us call things by their right names.

This document was produced as part of a document analysis project by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University. (Proofing info: Lloyd Benson.) This electronic version may not be copied, or linked to, or otherwise used for commercial purposes, (including textbook or publication-related websites) without prior written permission. The views expressed in this document are for educational, historical, and scholarly use only, and are not intended to represent the views of the project contributors or Furman University.