Secession Era Editorials Project

Who Encourage Insurrections?

Albany, New York, Evening Journal [Republican]

(20 October 1859)

"Curses, like chickens, come home to roost," and lies return to plague their inventors. The Slaveholders and the Democratic Party are proving these trite truths by their experience.

Ever since the Republican organization began, they have deliberately and persistently misrepresented its character. All its platforms and declarations, and the life-long action of its members, show that it contemplates only legal, peaceful and constitutional measures -- neither interfering with Slavery in the States, nor countenancing mob violence anywhere. Yet its Democratic opponents have have pertinaciously insisted that it was an Abolition Party, seeking to liberate the Slaves by fire and sword; have trumpeted this lie through their newspapers, shouted it in their public meetings, inserted it in their resolutions, reiterated it in their conversation, at home and abroad, in the streets, at the table and by the fireside, until ignorant, uneducated negro slaves at the South, having it thus dinned daily into their ears, by their masters, have come to believe it! Slaveholders themselves created the insurrection of 1857, by their lying stories about Fremont, which encouraged their Slaves to expect and and prepare for the coming of a liberator. The Slaveholders themselves are continually putting the idea of insurrection into the heads of their chattels by these absurd fictions, which the latter accept as true. If they will thus sow the wind, who can be surprised that they reap, every year or two, the whirlwind? If there is now, as they assert, any wide spread conspiracy among the Slaves, Slaveholders themselves are its creators and fomentors. They madly and blindly endanger the safety of their own homes by their persistent political falsehoods!

Nor is it the blacks alone whom the Democratic Party encourages to deeds of violence. Within the past few years it has lent its sanction to lawless enterprises of every sort, Border Invasions, Filibuster Expeditions, Lynch Law to suppress discussion, brutality and bloodshed among Congressmen, violence at Elections, &c., thus ministering to the vilest passions, encouraging contempt for law, and resort to the bludgeon, the pistol and the bowie-knife. Here are the madman Brown, and his crazy crew, endangering the lives and property of innocent people by an insane outbreak. But who made Brown a madman by murdering his sons? Who taught that crazy crew to band together with arms in their hands, as the most effective way to accomplish political purposes? The Border Ruffians of Kansas and the Democratic Administration at Washington!

The classic fable relates that he who went out and sowed dragon's teeth suddenly found himself surrounded by a crop of armed men. Buchanan and Pierce have been sowing dragon's teeth seven years. Their encouragement of lawlessness and violence is hurrying one locality after another into scenes of anarchy, for which the only sure, speedy and permanent cure is the peaceful transfer, at the next election, of the reins of Government, from the imbecile hands that hold them, into the grasp of men who neither deal in mob violence themselves, nor will permit it to be attempted by others.

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