Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 11.djvu/23

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9
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Seward. The newspapers were teeming with it from day to day. Mr. Sumner said in the Senate in 1854, "To the overthrow of the slave power we are summoned by a double call, one political and the other philanthropic: First, to remove an oppressive tyranny from the national government; and secondly, to open the gates of emancipation in the slave States. Such sentiments continued to be publicly uttered during the year 1858. Senator Seward, in his speeches at Rochester and at Rome, N.Y., presented what he deemed to be the true issue in the political controversy then pending in the United States. That issue he discussed under the following question: "Shall the social organization of the North supplant that of the South?" and asserted that "free labor and slave labor cannot exist together in the Union. This doubtless reflected the real sentiments of his party, of which he was known to be one of the most prominent lead ers, as he had been one of its most efficient originators.

Notwithstanding all this, there was a large body of the citizens of Texas who still had confidence that the general government would be administered so as to protect the constitutional rights of the Southern people. These were classed politically as Union men; they generally objected to the action of the governor and legislature, as prematurely encouraging the sentiment of disunion among the people of Texas. Thus was raised the questions of the right and expediency of secession, which, during 1858 and 1859, up to the time of the general State election, brought out those great debates and discussions by the leading statesmen of Texas, by which the people were thoroughly aroused, although many held aloof, believing the agitation premature and that it was unnecessary at that time to submit the questions to ballot.

Unfortunately, there was another disturbing subject thrust before the public view during that period in Texas. That was the African slave trade. It was advocated in a popular periodical in New Orleans, De Bow s Re-