Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 28.djvu/254
248 SoiillitTH Historical s'or/<7//
quietly and peaceably, as she did. This right was clearly recognized by Mr. Webster, who was a statesman of much larger caliber than Harriet Beecher Stowe. He did not hesitate to say, at the same time that Uncle Tom's Cabin made its appearance, that if the north- ern States willfully and deliberately refused to carry into effect that part of the constitution which protected the southern people in the possession of their property, and Congress refused to provide a remedy, the South would no longer be bound to observe the com- pact. " A bargain," he said, " cannot be broken on one side and bind the other side."
These words were not heeded at the North, but the false and scandalous utterances of Mrs. Stowe were allowed to drown them, and a flood of fanaticism swept over that section of our country which culminated in the crime of 1860, and the terrible tragedy ol the Civil War. There are men in the North who know this now, and there will be more of them as the years go by; and the verdict of posterity will be that if the sober and statesmanlike utterances of Daniel Webster had been allowed to prevail at the North, instead of the fanatical words of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was no more worthy of comparison with that broad-minded and patriotic Ameri- can than a rushlight to the sun; the horrors of the war might have been averted, and the problem of being rid of the evil of slavery, which bound the white man to one end of the chain and the black man to the other, would have been wrought out by the consent ot the South itself, on peaceful lines, under the constitution and not in violation of it. That this would have been done before the close of the nineteenth century, if antagonisms had not been roused and kept alive by the fostering of the abolition sentiment at the North, and that the condition of the black man would be much better to-day than it is, can 'Scarcely admit of a doubt. Abolition should have been the result of growth, not of revolution; and might have been wrought out patiently by means of the constitution, and should not have been brought about in bitter spite of it.
In the second series of Appletori 's Popular Library, published in 1852, is an essay published from The London Times, in which the author reviews Uncle Tom' s Cabin and predicts the evils that were liable to result from the book. He is no sympathizer with slavery, but shows that he was opposed to it with all his might. I will close this review by quoting a part of what he says. Let us re- member that these words were written by an Englishman nearly fifty years ago: