Virginia, as I said on the shores of Lake Erie and in the city of Boston, as I may say again in that city or elsewhere in the North, that you of the South have as much right to receive your fugitive slaves as the North has to any of its rights and privileges of navigation and commerce. Mr. Webster also said: I am as ready to fight and to fall for the constitutional rights of Virginia as I am for those of Massachusetts.
Horace Greeley, the noted abolitionist, one of the foster-fathers, if not the parent of free-soilism, perhaps the most widely popular and best informed of the Northern journalists, who must be regarded as an able exponent of the sentiments of the people, was outspoken even to rashness in upholding the doctrine of the right of secession. Indeed his course would seem to prove that he did all in his power to hasten the Southern States into secession. We give extracts from the New York Tribune, Mr. Greeley's paper, beginning with the date when it was first known that Mr. Lincoln was certainly elected.
New York Tribune, November 9, 1860. — If the cotton States shall become satisfied that they can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace. The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nevertheless. [And again in the same issue of his widely-circulated and influential paper, Mr. Greeley said:] We must ever resist the asserted right of any State to remain in the Union and nullify or defy the laws thereof. To withdraw from the Union is quite another matter; and whenever a considerable section of our Union shall deliberately resolve to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep it in. We hope never to live in a republic whereof one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets. Let them have both sides of the question fully presented. Let them reflect, deliberate, then vote; and let the action of secession be the echo of an unmistakable popular fiat. A judgment thus rendered, a demand for separation thus backed, would either be acquiesced in without the effusion of blood, or those who rushed upon carnage to defy and defeat it would place themselves clearly in the wrong.