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OBJECT OF THE REBELLION.
THE TESTIMONY OF SOUTHERN WITNESSES.
By LORING moody.
PUBLISHED BY THE EMANCIPATION LEAGUE,
Office, No. 22 Bromfield Street.
Despotism hates Freedom with " a perfect hatred," and has so
hunted her down that she has never yet found a perfect resting-
place for the sole of her foot on this planet. Moreover it has no
faith in the people. Its servants have always despised and hated
the people, especially the working people.
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Now the leaders of this Rebellion are the sworn servants of
Despotism. Their open avowals and declarations during the last
thirty years, show clearly enough that they are aiming to dis-
franchise and degrade the great mass of the people to absolute
slavery, without regard to color or race. They tell us plainly
that they never mean to stop in their wicked career until " the
capitalists own the laborers," whether " white or black ! " And
already they tell us that " slavery has become the ' chief head of
the corner ' in their new edifice ! "
The design of this work is to show, from the testimony of the
prime movers and leaders in this Rebellion, and those in sympathy
with them, that this is an open and undisguised conflict between
the opposing principles of Freedom and Despotism ; that the
leaders of the rebellion are fighting to break down and destroy
the government of Freedom which our Fathers founded, and to
establish a despotic, slaveholding aristocracy on its ruins.
Let every one then read and ponder the declarations of these
We will go back more than thirty years, and begin with the
B. Watkins Leigh, (Va.)
" In every civilized country under the sun, some there must be who labor
for their daily bread, — men who tend the herds, and dig the soil, — who
have no real nor personal capital of their own, and who earn their daily
bread by the sweat of their brow. I have as sincere feelings of regard
for that people as any man who Hves among them. But I ask gentlemen
to say, whether they believe that those who depend on their daily labor for
their daily subsistence, can, or do, ever enter into political affairs ? They
never do, never will, never can." — Speech in Virginia Convention, 1829.
Chancellor Harper, (S. C.)
" Would you do a benefit to the horse, or the ox, by giving him a culti-
vated understanding, a fine feeling ? So far as the mere laborer has the
pride, the knowledge, or the aspiration of a freeman, he is unfitted for his
situation. If there are sordid, servile, laborious offices to be performed, is
it not better that there should be sordid, servile, laborious beings to perform
them ? Odium has been cast upon our legislation on account of its forbid-
ding the elements of education being communicated to slaves. But, in truth,
what injury is done them by this ? He who worhs during the day with his
hands does not read in the intervals of leisure, for his amusement, or the
improvement of his miiid ; or the exception is so very rare as scarcely to
need the being provided foi'." — Southern Literary Messenger.
" If we look into the elements of which all political communities are
composed, it will be found that servitude in some form is one of the essen-
tial constituents. ... In the very nature of things, there must be
classes of persons to discharge all the different offices of society, from the
highest to the lowest. . . . Where these offices are performed by mem-
bers of the political community, a dangerous element is obviously introduced
by the body politic. . . . Domestic slavery, therefore, instead of being
an evil, is the corner-stone of our republican edifice." — Message
to S. G. Legislature, 1835.
John C. Calhoun.
"We regard slavery as the most safe and stable basis ^oy free institutions
in the world. It is impossible with us that the conflict should take place
between labor and capital. Every plantation is a little community, with
the master at its head, who concentrates in himself the united interests of
capital and labor, of which he is the common representative."
F. W. Pickens, (S. C.)
"All society settles down into a classification of capitalists and laborers.
The former will own the latter, either collectively through the government,
or individually in a state of domestic servitude, as exists in tlie Southern
States of this confederacy. If laborers ever obtain the political power of a
country, it is in fact in a state of revolution."
" Hence it is, that they must have a strong federal government to control
the labor of the nation. But it is precisely the reverse with us. We have
already not only a right to the proceeds of our laborers, but we own a class
of laborers themselves. But, let me say to gentlemen who represent the
great class of capitalists at the North, beware how you drive us into a sepa-
rate system, for, if you do, as certain as the decrees of Heaven, you will
be com])elled to appeal to the sword to maintain yourselves at home. It
may not come in your day; but your children's children will be covered with
the blood of dotnestic factions, and a plundering mob contending for power
and conquest." — Speech in Congress, January 21, 1837.
Here we have the testimony of five prominent Soutliern states-
men, some of which has been on record more than thirty years,
bearing directly on this point. And it will be observed that not one
of them makes any allusion whatever to color or race; but slaves
and laborers are spoken of as belonging to the same class, and
holding the same relations to society. And both are doomed to
the same state of civil and social debasement, so as to form what
another slaveholding statesman has spoken of, in language of
genuine " Southern elegance " as " the mudsills of society."
Following the lead of these statesmen, the press began to reit-
erate these anti-republican sentinaents, with much more boldness
and even arrogance. It no longer deprecated the existence of
slavery as an " evil," but assumed the ground of its inherent
rightfulness, and undertook its defence accordingly. During the
Kansas controversy, the following sentiments were boldly pro-
claimed by the " Richmond Enquirer " : —
" The South once thought her own institutions wrongful and inexpe-
dient. It thinks so no longer, and will insist that they shall be protected
and extended by the arm of the Federal government, equally with the
institutions of the North."
Again it says : —
" Repeatedly have we asked the North, * has not the experiment of uni-
versal liberty failed ? Are not the evils of free society insufferable ? And
do not most thinking men among you propose to subvert and reconstruct it.*
Still no answer. This gloomy silence is another conclusive pi'oof, added
to many other conclusive evidences we have furnished, that free society, in
the long run, is an impracticable form of society. It is everywhere,
starving, demoralized and insurrectionery. AVe repeat, then, that policy
and humanity alike forbid the extension of the evils of free society to new
people and coming generations."
The following plain speaking on this point is from the '•'■ Rich-
mond Examiner " ; —
" Until recently the defence of slavery has labored under great difBcul-
ties, because its apologists took half-way ground. They confined the
defence of slavery to mere negro slavery ; thereby giving up the slavery
principle, admitting other forms of slavery to be ivro7ig. The line of
defence, however, is now changed. The South maintains that slavery is
right, natural and necessary, and does not depend upon difference of com-
plexion. The laws of the slave States justify the holding of white men
And still more blunt and downright is the following from the
" Charleston Mercury " ; —
" Slavery is the natural and normal condition of the laboring man,
whether white or black."
DESPOTISM OPPOSED TO EDUCATION.
As learning is the friend of Freedom and the foe of Tyranny,
the despotic slave power not only ^''forbids the elements of
education being communicated to slaves," but arrays itself in
deadly hostility to the cause of education among the people gener-
It utters its maledictions against the New England common
school system, after this sort, through one of its organs, the
" Richmond Examiner,''^ Dec. 28, 1855 : —
" We have got to hating every thing with the prefix fi-ee — from free
negroes down and up, through the wliole catalogue of abominations, dema-
gogueries, lusts, philosophies, fanaticism, and follies, free farms, free labor,
free niggers, free society, free will, free thinking, free love, free wives, free
children, and free schools, all belonging to the same brood of damnable
isms, whose mother is Sin and whose daddy is the Devil.
" But the worst of all these abominations — because, when once installed,
it becomes the hot-bed propagator of all — is the modern system of free
schools. We forget who it is that has charged and proved that the New
England system of free schools has been the cause and prolific soui'ce of
all the legions of horrible infidelities and treasons that have turned her
cities into Sodoms and Gomorrahs, and her fair land into the common
nestling-place of howling bedlamites. We abominate the system because
the schools are free, and because there ought to be no mob road to learn-
The unequivocal utterances of the Southern press, of which
the above extracts are only a few samples from a large stock,
plainly foreshadow the ultimate designs of the leaders and
movers of the Rebellion. " Slavery is the natural condition of
the laboring man.'^ " The laws of the slave States justify the
holding of ivhite men in bondage."
Who are " laboring men " ? The millions in the North and
elsewhere, whose ivoi'k fills our granaries and warehouses, freights
our ships with its inestimable products, beautifies and adorns the
earth, and surrounds us with material and even spiritual bless-
That these infamous doctrines and practices have brought forth
their legitimate fruits, is seen in the astounding fact that there
are sevenlyjive thousand free while adult men and women in A^ii -
ginia, unable to read or write. Nor is this state of things con-
fined to Virginia, as will be shown by the following extract from
the Georgia " Federal Unions
"A generous patriotism is startled by the fact as it stood in 1840:
upward of 30,000 free white grown-up citizens in Georgia unable to read
or write a word of their mother tongue ! Ten years roll by, 1850 comes,
and the number in that short time has swollen to 41,000 ! Many have
looked with anxiety at these figures (and surely not without the best of
reasons) who have not noticed the most distressing feature of the case.
We refer to the rapidity with which the number of entirely uneducated
freemen in Georgia increases. It increases more rapidly than tlie entire
population does. By reference to the last census, it will be seen that
between 1840 and 1850 the rate of increase of the entire white popula-
tion was a little under 28 per cent. During the same time the rate of
increase of the number of adult citizens in the State unable to read or
write was over 34^ per cent. It is only by distinctly observing this rapid
increase that we see the facts in their appalling magnitude. This vast
army of forty-one thousand will he more than doubled in thirty years ! At
the rate of the increase shown by the census, it will have within its ranks
in the year 1900, one hundred and seventy thousand of the citizens of
Having taken away the key of knowledge from the laborers in
their midst, and surrounded thefe with the thick clouds of dark-
ness and ignorance, the Southern despots commenced the process
of " subjugating " the people of the North by arrogant assump-
tions of superiority in their daily intercourse, and even in the
halls of Congress. That the inevitable tendencies of the slave
system were such as to create a desire for universal domination
over all within reach of its influence was clearly foreseen and
stated by Jefiferson and others. " An evil tree cannot bring forth
good fruit ; " and this accursed " Upas " has brought forth its
In a letter of Thomas Jefferson to M. Warville, Paris, Feb.
1788, speaking of the intercourse between master and slave, he
says : —
" The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath,
puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to his
WORST PASSIONS ; and, thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in
tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities."
Hon. Lewis Summers, Judge of the General Court of Virginia,
and a slaveholder, said, in a speech before the Virginia Legisla-
ture, in 1832 (see " Richmond Whig;' Jan. 26, 1832) :—
" A slave population exercises the most pernicious influence upon the
manners, habits, and character of those among whom it exists. Lisping
infancy learns the vocabulary of abusive epithets, and struts the embryo
tyrant of its little domain. The consciousness of superior destiny takes
possession of his mind at its earliest dawning, and love of power and ride
' grows with his growth and strengthens with his strength.' Unless enabled
to rise above the operation of those powerful causes, he enters the world
with miserable notions of self-importance, and under the government of an
Few, indeed, have been " enabled to rise above the operation
of these powerful causes." And accordingly we find that not
only the slaveholders, but the great mass of "poor white trash"
associated with thetn, have "entered the world with miserable
notions of self-importance, and under the government of an
unbridled temper^'' the " odious peculiarities " of which have
manifested themselves under every trifling pretext.
Says the " Richmond Enquirer " ; —
" The relations between the North and South are very analogous to
those which subsisted between Greece and the Roman empire after the
subjugation of Achaia by the consul Mummius. The dignity and energy
of the Roman character, conspicuous in war and in politics, were not easily
tamed and adjusted to the arts of industry and literature. The degenerate
and pliant Greeks, on the contrary, excelled in the handicraft and polite
professions. We learn, from the vigorous invectives of Juvenal, that they
were the most useful and capable of servants, whether as pimps or pro-
fessors of rh(!toric. Obsequious, dexterous, and ready, the versatile Greeks
monopolized the business of teaching, publishing, and manufacturing in the
Roman Empire — allowing their masters ample leisure for the service of
the State, in the senate or in the field. The people of the Northern
States of this confederacy exhibit the same aptitude for the arts of indus-
try. Tliey excel as clerks, mechanics, and tradesmen, and they have
monopolized the business of teaching, publishing, and peddling."
The same paper, in its issue of June 2, 185(3, holds the follow-
ing language, in reference to the murderous assault of Preston
S. Brooks upon the Hon. Charles Sumner : —
"In the main, the press of the South applaud the conduct of Rlr.
Brooks, without condition or limitation. Our approbation at least is entire
and unreserved. We consider the act good in conce|)tion, better in execu-
tion, and best of all in consequences. These vulgar abolitioni.^ts in the
Senate are getting ahm^e themselves. They have been humored until they
forget their position. They have grown saucy, and dure to be impudent to
gentlemen. Isow they are a low, mean, scurvy set, with some little book
learning, but as utterly devoid of spirit and honor as a pack of curs.
Intrenched behind 'privilege/ they fancy they can slander the South and
its representatives with impunity.
"Tlie truth is, they have been suffered to run too long without collars.
They must be lashed into submission. Sumner, in particular, ought to
have nine-and-thirty early every morning. He is a great strapping fellow,
and could stand the cowhide beautifully. Brooks frightened him, and, at
the first blow of the cane, he bellowed like a bull-calf.
" There is the blackguard Wilson, an ignorant Natick cobbler, swaggej-
ing in excess of muscle, and absolutely dying for a beating. Will not
somebody take him in hand ? Hale is another huge, red-faced, sweating
scoundrel, whom some gentleman should kick and cuff until he abates
something of his impudent talk.
" We trust other gentlemen will follow the example of Mr. Brooks, that
so a curb may be imposed upon the truculence and audacity of abolition
speakers. If need be, let us have a caning or cowfdding every day. If
the worst comes to the worst, so much the sooner, so much the better."
Says the " Muscogee Herald,^^ (Ala.) : —
"'Free Society!' We sicken a,t the name. What is it but a con-
glomex'ation of greasy mechanics, Jilthy operat/'res, srnaU-Jisted farmers and
moonstruck theorists^ All the Northern ami especially the New England
States, are devoid of society fitted for well-bred gentlemen. The prevailing
class one meets with, is that of mechanics, struggling to be genteel, and
small farmers, who do their own drudgery, and yet who are hardly fit for
association with a Southern gentleman's body servant."
When these mechanics lose all self-respect, cease " struggling,"
and, sinking dov^n into a state of ntter hopelessness, fall under the
task-master's lash ; and when these " small farmers," doomed to
the same degraded condition, shall do the " drudgery" of genteel
"' masters " instead of " their own," they will be, in the estimation
of these despotic traitors, in their proper places.
Following these arrogant assumptions of superiority. Southern
politicians began to utter terrible threats of disunion and destruc-
tion to the whole country, unless every one of their desires and
schemes, no matter how tyrannical and devilish, were at once
gratified and carried out with alacrity by the North. The South
would accept nothing that savored of halting or hesitation. The
North must bow down and serve it with " all its might and soul
The nomination of Fremont for president in 1856 was made
the pretext for renewing with increased vigor the agitation of tiie
project of the dissolution of the Union, which for thirty years
had been the ultimate design of the Southern politicians. From
1856 to 1860 it was discussed, and its purpose avowed with great
freedom and boldness throughout the South and evQu in the halls
of Congiess. The following statements and declarations of
Southern statesmen and politicians, clearly indicate the objects
and designs of the leaders of the Rebellion. The reader will
observe that they all have the merit of clearness of statement,
and directness of purpose. " Diive the ' black Republican ' out
of the Temple of Liberty," exclaims Mr. Toombs, " or pull down
its pillars and involve him in a common ruin ! "
It will also be noticed that, in order to carry out their plots
with greater certainty of success, the conspirators had chosen to
accomplish their wicked designs in the names of " Libert// " and
" Democracy.'^ They knew well the force of names, and, that " a
lie shall keep its throne a whole age longer if it skulk baliind the
shelter of some fair seeming name." So they assumed those
names and ideas dearest to the people as the surest and readiest
way to lead them blindfolded to their ruin. And so " Demo-
cratic " statesmen and " Democratic " editors talked loudly of
Liberty, sung the praises of Liberty, shouted the sacred name of
LIBERTY, while they strangled her within her very sanctuary.
Mr. Butler, of South Carolina, a leading member of the U. S.
Senate, and chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 185G, said : —
" When Fremont is elected, we must rely upon what we have — a good
State Government. Every Governor of the South should call the Legisla-
ture of his State together, and have measures of the South decided upon.
If they did not, and submit to the degradation, they would deserve the fate of
slaves. I should advise my Legislature to go at the tap of the drum."
Mr. Keitt, of South Carolina, made a fiery speech at Lynch-
burgh, Va., in 1856, and in view of the apprehended election of
Col. Fremont, exclaimed : —
"I tell you now, that if Fremont is e\Qc\.c^(\, adherence to the Union is
treason to liberty. [Loud cheers.] I tell you now, that the Southern man
who will submit to his election is a traitor and a coward." [Enthusiastic
This speech was indorsed as " sound doctrine " by the Hon.
John B. Floyd, of Virginia, Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of War.
For his attempted (and nearly successful) assassination of
Senator Sumner, Mr. Preston S. Brooks was coinpliiuented by an
ovation at the hands of his constituents, at which Senators Butler,
of South Carolina, and Toombs, of Georgia, assisted. The hero
of the day, Mr. Brooks, made a speech on the occasion, from
which the following is an extract; —
" We have the issue upon us now ; and how are we to meet it ? I tell
you, fellow citizens, from the bottom of my heart, that the only mode which
I think available for meeting it, is just to tear the Ctnstitution of the United
States, trample it under foot, and form a Southern Confederacy, every State
of which icill be a slaveholding Slate. [Loud and pioloiiged cheers.] I
believe it, as I stand in the face of my ^laker; I believe it on my responsi-
bility to you as your honored representative, that the only hope of tlie South
is in the Sotith, and that the only available means of making tltal hope effec-
tive is to cut asunder the bonds that tie us together, and take our separate
position in the family of nations. These are my opinions. They have
always been my opinions. I hare been a disunionist from the time 1 could
" Now, fellow citizens, I have told you very frankly and undisguisedly,
that 1 believe the only hope of the South is in dissolving the bonds uhich
connect us with the Government — in separating the living body from the dead
carcass. If I was the commander of an army, I never would post a sentinel
who would not swear that slavery is rigid. * * * / « «
"I speak on my individual responsibility: If Fremont he elected Presi-
dent of the United States, lam for the people in their majesty rising above
the law and leaders, taking tJie power in their oion hands, going hy concert
or not by concert, and laying the strong arm of Southern freemen upon the
treasury and archives oj the Government." [Applause.]
The Charleston '' Mercury^'' the recognized organ of the South
Carolina Democracy, says : —
"■ Upon the policy of dissolving the Union, of separating the South from
her Northern enemies, and establishing a Southern Confederacy, parties,
presses, politicians, and people, are a U7iit. There is not a single public man
in her limits, not one of her present Representatives or Senators in Congress,
who is not pledged to the lips in favor of disunion. Indeed, we well remem-
ber that one of the most prominent leaders of the co-qperation party, when
taunted with submission, rebuked the thought by saying, '■that in opposing
secession, he only took a step backward to strike a blow more deadly against
the Union.' "
In the autumn of 1856, Henry A. Wise, then Governor of
Virginia, told the people of that State that
"The South could not, without degradation, submit to the election of a
Black Republican President. To tell me we should submit to the election
of a Black Republican, under clicunistances like these, is to tell me that
Virginia and the fourteen slave States are already subjugated and degraded
[cheers] ; that the Southern people are without spirit, and without purpose
to defend the rights they know and dare not maintain. [Cheers.] If you
submit to the election of Fremont, you will prove what Seward and Bur-
lingame said to be true — that the South cannot be kicked out of the
During the presidentitil campaign of 1856, the Washington
correspondent of the " New Orleans Delta,^^ wrote : —
" It is already arraiiged, in the event of Fremont's election, or a failure
to elect by the people, to call the legislatures of Virginia, South Carolina
and Georgia to concert measures to withdraw from the Union before Fre-
mont can get possession of the army and navy, and the purse-strings of