Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/51

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Europe became moved. She thought a new crusade was springing up and branding as pro-slavery all those who, for various reasons, kept aside from the movement to which she was letting herself go, she held no other wish than abolition. Will this brief sketch be sufficient to make the situation understandable ? We hardly dare hope so. The following letter by Colonel Lee will illustrate the state of minds in 1856.

“The steamer also brought the President′s Message… I was much pleased with the President′s Message. His views of the systematic and progressive efforts of certain people at the North to interfere with and change the domestic institutions of the South are truthfully and faithfully expressed. The consequences of their plans and purposes are also clearly set forth. These people must be aware that their object is both unlawful and foreign to them and to their duty, and that this institution for which they are irresponsible and unaccountable, can only be changed by them through the agency of a civil and servile war…

“There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil in any country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it a greater evil to the white than to the black race… Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storms and tempests of fiery controversy…”