But we have referred only to the slaves in the rebellious States, and if it is, or if it becomes, a military necessity to liberate all the slaves of the Union, and to treat the whole present slave population as freemen and citizens, it would be no more than just and proper that, at the conclusion of the war, the citizens of loyal States, or the loyal citizens of loyal sections of the rebellious States, should be indemnified at a reasonable rate for the slaves that may have been liberated. The States and sections of States named have not a large number of slaves, and if the Union is preserved, it would not be a very heavy burden on it to pay their ransom; and to paying it, no patriot or loyal citizen of the free States would raise the slightest objection. The objection therefore urged, though grave, need not be regarded as insuperable; and we think the advantages of the measure, in a military point of view, would be far greater than any disadvantage we have to apprehend from it.
Whether the time for this important measure has come or not, it is for the President, as Commander-in-Chief of our armies, to determine. But, in our judgment, no single measure could be adopted by the government that would more effectually aid its military operations, do more to weaken the rebel forces, and to strengthen our own.
It seems to us, then, highly important, in every possible view of the case, that the Federal Government should avail itself of the opportunity given it by the Southern rebellion to perform this act of justice to the negro race; to assimilate the labor system of the South to that of the North; to remove a great moral and political wrong; and to wipe out the foul stain of slavery, which has hitherto sullied the otherwise bright escutcheon of our Republic. We are no fanatics on the subject of slavery, as is well known to our readers, and we make no extraordinary pretensions to modern philanthropy; but we cannot help fearing that, if the government lets slip the present opportunity of doing justice to the negro race, and of placing our republic throughout in harmony with modern civilization, God, who is especially the God of the poor and the oppressed, will never give victory to our arms, or suffer us to succeed in our efforts to suppress rebellion and restore peace and integrity in the Union.
THE NEW YORK HERALD ON THE WAR.
With the secession of Virginia, there is going to be enacted on the banks of the Potomac one of the most terrible conflicts the world has ever witnessed; and Virginia, with all her social systems, will be doomed, and swept away.—New York Herald, April 19.
We must also admonish the people of Maryland that we of the North have the common right of way through their State to our National Capital. But let her join the revolutionists, and her substance will be devoured by our Northern legions as by an Arabian cloud of locusts, and her slave population will disappear in a single campaign.