“Never, during that long period, has an Abolition sentiment found its way into our columns; and for the good reason, that we have respected, honored and revered the Constitution, and recognized our duty to obey and enforce its mandates. But Rebellion stalks through the land. A confederacy of slave States has repudiated that Constitution; and, placing themselves beyond its pale, openly seeks to destroy it, and ruin all whom it, protects. They no longer profess any obedience to its requirements; and, of course, cannot claim its protection. By their own act, our duty to respect their rights, under that Constitution, ceases with their repudiation of it; and our right to liberate their slave property is as clear as would be our right to liberate the slaves of Cuba in a war with Spain.
“A band of pirates threaten and authorize piracy upon Northern commerce; and from the moment that threat is carried into execution, the fetters will fall from the manacled limbs of their slaves, and they will be encouraged and aided in the establishment of their freedom. Suppose Cuba were to issue letters of marque against our commerce, and, according to the Charleston Mercury, seize ’upon the rich prizes which may be coming from foreign lands,’ does any sane man doubt that we should at once invade that island, and liberate her slaves? Or does any statesman or jurist question our right so to do? And why, then, should we hesitate to pursue a similar course in respect to the so-called Southern Confederacy?
“Spain, as a well-established nation, and recognized as such by all the powers of the world, would have the right, according to the laws of nations, to adopt such a course of proceeding; but she would do it at her peril, and well weighing the consequences. But the rebel government of the slave States possesses no such right. The act would be no more or less than piracy; and we should not only hang at the yard-arm all persons caught in the practice, but we should be compelled, in self-defence, to carry the war into Africa, and deal with the slaves of the Confederacy precisely as we should, under similar circumstances, deal with those of Cuba.
“‘The richly laden ships of the North,’ says the Mobile Advertiser, ’swarm on every sea, and are absolutely unprotected. The harvest is ripe.’ We admit it; but gather it if you dare. Venture upon the capture of the poorest of those richly laden ships,’ and, from that moment, your slaves become freemen, doing battle in Freedom’s cause. ’Hundreds and hundreds of millions of the property of the enemy invite us to spoil him—to spoil these Egyptians,’ says the same paper. True, but you dare not venture upon the experiment; or, if you should be so rash as to make the experiment, your fourteen hundred millions of slave property will cease to exist, and you will find four millions of liberated slaves in your midst, wreaking upon their present masters the smothered vengeance of a servile race, who, for generation after generation, have groaned under the lash of the negro driver and his inhuman employer.