Secession Era Editorials Project

The Issue Forced Upon Us.

Albany, New York, Evening Journal [Republican]

(9 March 1857)

The three hundred and forty-seven thousand five hundred and twenty-five Slaveholders in the Republic, accomplished day before yesterday a great success -- as shallow men estimate success. They converted the Supreme Court of Law and Equity of the United States of America into a propagandist of human Slavery. Fatal day for a judiciary made reputable throughout the world, and reliable to all in this nation, by the learning and the virtues of Jay, Rutledge, Ellsworth, Marshall and Story!

The conspiracy is nearly completed. The Legislation of the Republic is in the hands of this handfull of Slaveholders. The United States Senate assures it to them. The Executive power of the Government is theirs. Buchanan took the oath of fealty to them on the steps of the Capitol last Wednesday. The body which gives the supreme law of the land, has just acceded to their demands, and dared to declare that under the charter of the Nation, men of African descent are not citizens of the United States and can not be -- that the Ordinance of 1787 was void -- that human Slavery is not a local thing, but pursues its victims to free soil, clings to them wherever they go, and returns with them -- that the American Congress has no power to prevent the enslavement of men in the National Territories -- that the inhabitants themselves of the Territories have no power to exclude human bondage from their midst -- and that men of color can not be suitors for justice in the Courts of the United States! The Lemmon Case is on its way to this corrupt fountain of law. Arrived there, a new shackle for the North will be handed to the servile Supreme Court, to rivet upon us. A decision of that case is expected which shall complete the disgraceful labors of the Federal Judiciary in behalf of Slavery -- a decision that slaves can lawfully be held in free States, and Slavery be fully maintained here in New York through the sanctions of "property" contained in the Constitution. That decision will be rendered. The Slave breeders will celebrate it as the crowning success of a complete conquest. But how they will reckon without their hosts!

Beneath Courts and Congresses and Presidents is the great PEOPLE. They love liberty -- they love justice -- they love humanity. Till they affirm the decisions of Law embruting man's divine nature, and till they approve of legislation which defies God, and till they order Executives to execute iniquity, this conspiracy of the Oligarchy is wholly incomplete. That consent will forever and ever be wanting. But one thing will not be wanting -- the resolute purpose of the humane, the just and the free men of the Free States, to meet the close issue forced upon them through the decision of the case of Dred, squarely and fairly, and never to abate their efforts to recover the entire administration of the Republic away from Slavery and back again to Freedom.

All who love Republican institutions and who hate Aristocracy, compact yourselves together for the struggle which threatens your liberty and will test your manhood!


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