Political Tornado of Fanaticism
 
From: bernhard1848@att.net
 
Antebellum Senator Stephen Douglas saw the abolition-agitation threat to the Union, and like most Americans, thought that the people in the sovereign States would eventually solve the riddle of African slavery in the United States, one their own and without interference from a federal agent which had no authority to intervene. In the early 1800’s some Northern States were known as “slave trading States,” rather than “free,” due to their involvement in the transatlantic trade, and none offered a practical or peaceful solution to slavery.
 
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
www.cfhi.net
 
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Political Tornado of Fanaticism:

 
“Absently he took a cigar from the mantle, lit it, and began to walk back and forth before the fire. He went on that he thought slavery “a curse beyond computation to both white and black.” But the only power that could destroy slavery was the sword, and if that were once drawn no one could see the end. “I am not willing to violate the constitution to put and end to slavery,” he said; “to violate it for one purpose will lead to violating it for other purposes. To “do evil that good may come” is false morality and worse policy, and I regard the integrity of this political Union as worth more to humanity than the whole black race. Some time, without a doubt, slavery will be destroyed, but he was not ready to set fire to the ship in order to smoke out the rats.
 
When the colonies became free twelve of the thirteen were slave-holding. Since then six had become free. Had they done so in response to Abolition agitation in Congress or under the edict of the Federal Government? “Not at all. They have become free States under the silent but sure and irresistible working of that great principle of self-government, which teaches every people to do that which the interests of themselves and their posterity, morally and pecuniarily, may require.”  This [antislavery] tornado has been raised by Abolitionists, and Abolitionists alone. Why, then, should we gratify the Abolition party in their effort to get up another political tornado of fanaticism, and put the country again in peril, merely for the purpose of electing a few agitators to the Congress of the United States?”
 
(The Eve of Conflict, Stephen A. Douglas and the Needless War, George Fort Milton, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934, pp. 121-127)