This is no time for inaction. If the people of the South
mean to insist on the recognition of their rights under the
constitution, they must prepare for such a demonstration of
their will and strength as must enforce a repeal of the
unjust and odious restriction of 1820. There has never been
before and perhaps there will never occur again, a conjuncture
of circumstances so favorable for the re-conquest of
the position which the South has lost by successive
compromises of its rights.
The North is not idle. Whatever hostility exists there to the repeal of the Missouri restriction, will be brought out with the utmost emphasis and power of expression. The opponents of the Nebraska bill have set in motion every engine of popular agitation. The public press, popular meetings, the pulpit and the State Legislatures have been employed as means for kindling the passions of the mob and coercing the action of Congress.
While the Abolitionists are thus inflaming the zeal of
their followers, and marshalling the ranks of their forces,
does it become the South to await the onset with apathy and
indifference? Is it good policy to neglect the ordinary and
necessary means of success, while our adversary is displaying
the utmost energy in all his preparations for the contest?
It seems to us, that that we should give them the support of a firm
declaration of our rights, and an emphatic expression of our
That there may be no doubt or misapprehension of the position of the South on this Nebraska question, we suggest that the Southern States should speak out their feeling and purpose. New York and Rhode Island, through their Legislatures, have pronounced against the repeal of the Missouri restriction, and doubtless other States in the North will follow their example. Let Virginia and the States of the South, in the same solemn and imposing mode, make a declaration of their rights under the constitution -- not in the tone of complain or of menace, but of calm resolution and earnest remonstrance. Let them make a demand for an equal position in the confederacy, and a just participation in the benefits of the Union. Let them protest against any violation of the great principle of non-intervention in regard to slavery, which the Compromise of 1850 established and guaranteed. The South is strong in a just cause, and its voice will be heard and respected.
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