The Abolitionist Modus Operandi
Questioning the actions of fanatic abolitionists the author below asks: “What measures have they taken to persuade or win

[planters] to their views?  They have trampled upon his rights . . . denounced him in the vilest billingsgate the language can afford – excited his slaves to discontent, and endangered his life [and his family].  Are not these most winning persuasive to abolition!”  The abolitionists offered no practical and peaceful solutions to slavery, only fire, sword, and desolation.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
The Abolitionist Modus Operandi
“The great engine by which the abolitionists expect to effect their designs, is agitation – not reason – not argument – not candid appeals to the patriotism and common sense of our people – but agitation of popular prejudices and passions.
The first effort is to raise a party in the North.  They admit, for they cannot deny, that the North can, under the present Constitution, have no control over the institutions of the South.  Why then agitate it? Why seek to excite in the North feelings of aversion and hostility against the South?
No good motive can prompt a course so indirect and unnecessary. This policy is pursued for the purpose of perverting the sentiments and feelings of the North, souring its affection for the South, cooling its attachment to the Union, and urging it into a course designed to force the South into emancipation.
The North also . . . does not apprehend the fiery indignation of a people whose lives are endangered by their reckless agitation. [They] mix and prepare their poisons; may arrange their magazine of incendiary weapons; and send forth their publications through the South, on their errand of [slave] insurrections and death.
They are heroic men, — but not sufficiently heroic to perpetrate their offences in person. They are philanthropic, — but dare not visit the slaves and minister to their alleged wants upon the spot. They are determined to “war until death with the tyrants of the South,” – but it is not part of their philosophy to meet their foe in the face of day; they war with poison or in the dark.
They are vastly pious, they quote scripture with peculiar unction, and repeat incessantly divine command – “go unto all nations.” But they take the liberty of modifying the command, and read it, “SEND unto all nations.”
In attempting to operate on the South, they tell us that their object is to [a]waken the conscience of the slave-holder. How they can expect, by endangering the life of the slave-holder, and the security of his family, by exciting his indignation and fears, and irritating him to madness, to gain his confidence and sway his convictions, it is impossible for us to imagine.
Their operations are prosecuted through the medium of the post-office.  They thus avoid expense, and make the nation pay for the transportation of their incendiary pamphlets. The arteries of the body politic are thus made to disseminate those poisons which are designed to destroy it.  The propriety of such a course has never been doubted by the abolitionists – honesty being a virtue altogether beneath the consideration of such exalted philanthropists.
They, conscientious men, do not violate the laws in person; but throw the offence upon the unconscious carrier of the mail. This might disturb the ethics of some people, but the violation of law is, with the fanatics, a praiseworthy act, where the motives of the offender are so pure and lofty.
The abolitionists have disclaimed a desire to excite insurrection among the slaves. If a man should thrust a lighted torch into a powder magazine, he would find it difficult to convince the world that he did not design to produce an explosion.  We have presented sufficient [examples] to satisfy the candid reader, that the abolitionists, so far from entertaining a repugnance to insurrection, have directed their efforts to that object, and pursued a course which has, and can have, no other motive.”
(The South Vindicated from the Treason and Fanaticism of the Northern Abolitionists, William Drayton, H. Manly, 1836, pp. 172-174; 186; 188)