“Nor have these principles been merely inert or speculative. For the last ten or twelve years slavery has altered her tactics, and from a defensive she has become an aggressive power. Every compromise which the moderation of former times had erected to stem the course of this monster evil has been swept away, and that not by the encroachments of the North, but by the aggressive ambition of the South. With a majority in Congress and in the Supreme Court of the United States, the advocates of slavery have entered on a career the object of which would seem to be to make their favourite institution conterminous with the limits of the Republic. They have swept away the Missouri compromise, which limited slavery to the tract south of 36 degrees of north latitude. They have forced upon the North, in the Fugitive Slave Bill, a measure which compels them to lend their assistance to the South in the recovery of their bondmen. In the case of Kansas they have sought by force of arms to assert the right of bringing slaves into a free territory, and in the Dred Scott case they obtained an extrajudicial opinion from the Supreme Court, which would have placed all the territories at their disposal. All this while the North has been resisting, feebly and ineffectually, this succession of Southern aggressions. All that was desired was peace, and that peace could not be obtained.
“While these things were done the South continued violently to upbraid the Abolitionists of the North as the cause of all their troubles, and the ladies of South Carolina showered presents and caresses on the brutal assailant of Mr. Sumner. In 1856 the North endeavoured to elect a President who though fully recognising the right of the South to its slave property, was opposed to its extension in the territories. The North were defeated, and submitted almost without a murmur to the result. On the present occasion the South has submitted to the same ordeal, but not with the same success. They have taken their chance of electing a President of their own views, but they have failed. Mr. Lincoln, like Colonel Freemont, fully recognises the right of the South to the institution of slavery, but, like him, he is opposed to its extension. This cannot be endured. With a majority in both houses of Congress and in the Supreme Court of the United States, the South cannot submit to a President who is not their devoted servant. Unless every power in the constitution is to be strained in order to promote the progress of slavery, they will not remain in the Union; they will not wait to see whether they are injured, but resent the first check to their onward progress as an intolerable injury. This, then, is the result of the history of slavery. It began as a tolerated, it has ended as an aggressive institution, and if it now threatens to dissolve the Union, it is not because it has anything to fear for that which it possesses already, but because it has received a check to its hopes of future acquisition.”