It would be useless to undertake the enumeration of these cases. The Southern papers are full of them. Every Northern man now in the South is an object of suspicion; many have already been driven off; others have received notice to quit; and the rest are to be harassed with prosecutions for using "seditious language" in giving vent to their natural feelings, doubtless under strong provocation. It is a complete reign of terror. Every man is liable to be an object of suspicion; and he who expects to retain his foothold upon that soil must put a padlock upon his lips, lest some incautious word slip out and thereby endanger "the institution." It is enforced silence, instant departure, or imprisonment; and he who tarries among the hospitable citizens of that chivalrous clime has his choice of those pleasant predicaments. Over the gate at the entrance to the South is written -- "He who enters here leaves all liberty behind."
We do not write to find fault with this state of things. It is the legitimate fruit of Slavery, and it affords an unanswerable argument against the extension of an institution, over free territory, which exacts such submission from its victims. It is impossible for us to free such States as Virginia from her bondage; but we can, at least, save the embryo States from a curse which would reduce them to the level of Virginia.
There is another view of this subject which it behooves the South to take note of -- every man who is thus suspected, driven off or punished for his free speech will become, in the North, a proselyter for free sentiments. They will become, in 1860, the most efficient laborers in the cause of Republicanism. The South had better be careful, or it may send home too many of them.
This document was produced as part of a document analysis project by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University. (Proofing info: Entered by 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.