Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02.
the affection of slaves for their masters and mistresses; and a part of it, at least, is true.  A plot for an uprising could scarcely be devised and communicated to twenty individuals before some one of them, to save the life of a favorite master or mistress, would divulge it.  This is the rule; and the slave revolution in Hayti was not an exception to it, but a case occurring under peculiar circumstances.  The gunpowder plot of British history, though not connected with slaves, was more in point.  In that ease, only about twenty were admitted to the secret; and yet one of them, in his anxiety to save a friend, betrayed the plot to that friend, and, by consequence, averted the calamity.  Occasional poisonings from the kitchen, and open or stealthy assassinations in the field, and local revolts extending to a score or so, will continue to occur as the natural results of slavery; but no general insurrection of slaves, as I think, can happen in this country for a long time.  Whoever much fears or much hopes for such an event will be alike disappointed....
John Brown’s effort was peculiar.  It was not a slave insurrection.  It was an attempt by white men to get up a revolt among slaves, in which the slaves refused to participate.  In fact, it was so absurd that the slaves, with all their ignorance, saw plainly enough it could not succeed.  That affair, in its philosophy, corresponds with the many attempts related in history, at the assassination of kings and emperors.  An enthusiast broods over the oppression of a people till he fancies himself commissioned by Heaven to liberate them.  He ventures the attempt, which ends in little else than his own execution.  Orsini’s attempt on Louis Napoleon, and John Brown’s attempt at Harper’s Ferry were, in their philosophy, precisely the same.  The eagerness to cast blame on old England in the one ease, and on New England in the other, does not disprove the sameness of the two things.

  [Sidenote] “Tribune Almanac,” 1860.

The aggravation of partisan temper over the Harper’s Ferry incident found a manifestation in a contest over the Speakership in the House of Representatives as prolonged and bitter as that which attended the election of Banks.  In the Congressional elections of 1858, following the Lecompton controversy, the Democrats had once more lost control of the House of Representatives; there having been chosen 113 Republicans, 93 Administration Democrats, 8 anti-Lecompton Democrats, and 23 South Americans, as they were called; that is, members, mainly from the slave-States, opposed to the Administration.

  [Sidenote] “Globe,” December 5, 1859, p. 3.

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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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