Secession Era Editorials Project

No Title.

New York, Tribune [Whig]

(14 January 1854)

The fact has been brought to light that in the Territorial bill of 1850, known as a part and parcel of the Compromise, there is a passage which contained in the bill is to the conclusion that anything contained in the bill is to be construed into an abrogation of the anti-Slavery clause of the Missouri Compromise. Douglas's bill would, therefore, leave the same prohibition in force, if the honor and good faith of the pro-Slavery Judges and Governors who will be appointed could be relied upon. But it is sufficient that the attempt is made to set aside this long and well established line of demarcation between Slavery and Freedom. The Representatives of the North cannot, without dishonor and treachery to their constituents, permit even a seeming abandonment of rights and interests which have been conceded for the third of a century. The Missouri Compromise should be reasserted in the Nebraska bill in the most explicit language. It should not be kept out of sight, as a thing of which we are ashamed, and its very existence staked on time-serving judicial decisions. With pro-Slavery Judges, pro-Slavery Governors, and pro-Slavery Marshals, the introduction of Slavery under Douglas's bill would be a matter of course, so far as it is consistent with the climate and soil of the territory. No country in the world abounds in men of higher honor and integrity than the South, but where the question of Slavery is involved, justice and honor must stand aside, and the worst passions of the worst part of society become the ruling principle. The tyrant's plea of public danger and public necessity on such occasions overrides all laws, higher and lower, and the demagogue who bids highest for the public favor, by avowing the most malignant hatred of Abolitionism, is sure to obtain power. The honor of the South, therefore, cannot be trusted where the interests of Slavery are involved, because on such occasions the voice of honor and truth is always silenced by the clamor of low, brutal and selfish passions.

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