Valley of the Shadow
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The Great Question.

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Full Text of Article

By reference to the proceedings of Congress, it will be seen that the question of the emancipation of the slaves of those in rebellion against the Government, has already been sprung on Congress, and the temper of the members upon the important question, and its ultimate disposition, may readily be foretold by the decisive vote upon the question of laying upon the table the resolution of Mr. Elliott, of Massachusetts, which was negatived, 56 members favoring the tabling of the resolution, and 70 opposing it. Mr. McPherson, the representative of this District, voted with the minority.

Our own views upon this question we can give in a few words. With the Republican party, from motives of policy we have every been opposed to interfering with Slavery in the South. We regarded it as a compromise--as one of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution--as local in its bearings and influences, and which could not exist anywhere else in our country but by local law. Where it was we were content to tolerate it; but when at last it was to be made the dominant feature of the Republic, and like a black cloud to obscure the sun of Freedom, yet, having been balked in the attempt, has madly rushed into revolution, and convulsed our country with civil war and bloodshed, we are for striking the monster down! No one who is conversant with the history of this country, for the last thirty years, will question that the war had its origin in Slavery; and if the war should close without witnessing the rising of the sun upon a Free Country, the same cause that has brought the present trouble will be left to produce the same effect in the future. The rebellion must be crushed, and the Union saved at all and every hazard, and the emancipation of the slaves would be the heaviest blow that could be dealt upon the head of rebellion. The loyal men of the South, who would suffer by such a policy, could be indemnified by the Government.

If it be deemed impolitic to pass a law proclaiming the indiscriminate manumition [sic] of all the slaves, there should be no hesitation about the liberation of those of the disloyal. If it is right to confiscate one species of rebel property, it is right to confiscate every other, which would surely include slave property. Let the people and the Government determine, before God and the world, that our Constitution and Union shall be preserved intact, cost what it may, and if Slavery be in the way of their preservation, let this hateful source of all our trouble be destroyed. The act would be received by the nation as just, and the world would resound with one universal acclaim of Amen and Amen!

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