Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/338
322 Southern Historical Society Papers.
In those days, where was the citizen of Illinois so renowned for the wish to put slavery "in the course of ultimate extinction?" Where the thunders against the Black Code of Illinois? Herndon says: "The sentiment of the majority of Springfield tended in the opposite direction, and, thus environed, Lincoln lay down like a sleeping lion!'" The lion heart, the coucr de lion of romance, is not one of profound slumber when danger is abroad, but of fear- less onset on the foe against whatever odds. Surely there must have been as much "environment" for Jefferson. The hero is brave in his own environment, not in some other man's far-off environment. Whether girt by friend or foes, the flame that warms his heart burns on his lip. He sees in the evil that is nearest the duty that is nearest. Here was the bill of attainder of a race. Who rose in Congress to call for an investigation? Who grew hysterical over that? "The misery before their eyes,"' said Randolph ; "they cannot see — their philanthrophy acts only at a distance."
In the Taylor and Cass campaign of 1848, Lincoln spoke in Boston. Herndon says: "Referring to the anti-slavery men, he said they were better treated in Massachusetts than in the West, and, turning to William S. Lincoln, of Worchester, who had lived in Illinois, he remarked, that 'in the State they had recently killed one of them.' This allusion to Lovejoy's murder at Alton was thought by the Free Soilers to be heartless, and it was noted that Mr. Lincoln did not repeat it in other speeches." Had some Southern man in Boston made the same speech it would have been cited, as an instance of the "barbarism of slavery." As the case, in point of fact, stands, perhaps "expressive silence" may be becoming.
JUSTICE TANEY'S DECISION.
The press and pulpits of the North have joined to denounce Chief Justice Taney for deciding (as alleged) at December term, 1856, that "the negro had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." It is the kind of candor one would evince who should claim "the Bible says, 'there is no God ;' " because the Bible does say, "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." What Taney did say was that at the time of the Declaration of Independence and when the constitution was adopted, such was