The Abolitionists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Abolitionists.
be; in consequence they accomplished very little, and that as much for harm as for good, until they ate their words, and went counter to their previous course, thereby acknowledging it to be bad, and supported in the Republican party the men and principles they had so fiercely condemned.  The Liberty party was not in any sense the precursor of the Republican party, which was based as much on expediency as on abstract right, and was, therefore, able to accomplish good instead of harm.  To say that extreme Abolitionists triumphed in Republican success and were causes of it, is as absurd as to call Prohibitionists successful if, after countless efforts totally to prohibit the liquor traffic, and after savage denunciations of those who try to regulate it, they should then turn round and form a comparatively insignificant portion of a victorious high-license party.  The men who took a great and effective part in the fight against slavery were the men who remained with their respective parties.”

No word of praise or approval has Mr. Roosevelt for the men and women—­for representatives of both sexes were active sharers in the work performed—­who inaugurated, and for a long period carried forward, the movement that led up to the overthrow of African slavery in this country.  He has no encomiums to bestow on those same men and women for the protracted and exhausting labors they performed, the dangers they encountered, the insults they endured, the sacrifices they submitted to, the discouragements they confronted in many ways and forms in prosecuting their arduous undertaking.  On the contrary, he has only bitter words of condemnation.  In his estimation, and according to his dogmatic utterance, they were criminals—­political criminals.  His words make it very manifest that, if Mr. Roosevelt had been a voter in 1840, he would not have been an Abolitionist.  He would not have been one of that devoted little band of political philanthropists who went out, like David of old, to do battle with one of the giant abuses of the time, and who found in the voter’s ballot a missile that they used with deadly effect.  On the contrary, he would have enrolled himself among their adversaries and assailants, becoming a member—­because it is impossible to think of Theodore Roosevelt as a non-partisan—­of one of the leading political parties of the day.  There were but two of them—­the Whigs and the Democrats.  In failing to support one or the other of these parties, and giving their votes and influence to a new one that was founded and constructed on Anti-Slavery lines, the Abolitionists, in Mr. Roosevelt’s opinion, “committed a political crime.”

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The Abolitionists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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