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« The leaders of this pro-slavery party, perceiving, at an early day, that they should play a losing game, if they attempted to stand alone, trusting to the ordinary means of success to the natural
of talent, to the growth of numbers, and to the rectitude of their causehit upon the available expedient of identifying themselves with the popular party of the North ; and then, having accomplished that, of gradually directing that party to the defence and spread of their peculiar doctrines. Not satisfied with the concession, which every intelligent and judicious Northerner was then glad to make—that slavery was a system exclusively within the control of the States—it first insinuated and then insisted that slavery was not to be discussed at all at the North, because a moral interference was quite as intolerable, they said, as a direct political interference. This pretension, which was just the same as if Russia or Turkey should insist that the principles of absolutism should not be discussed in the United States, because Russia and Turkey had commercial treaties with the United States, yet found merchants sordid enough to instigate mobs against those who questioned it, and politicians wicked enough to entrench it behind the laws. Yet the labor of sanctity did not stop there, but was drawn around regions in which all the States were clearly and equally interested
as the District of Columbia and the public lands; while the Post Office, common to all, was forbidden to carry 'incendiary documents, as every argument or appeal against the system was called, and petitions to Congress, referring in the remotest manner to it, were treated with contumely and the utmost disdain. It was reserved, however, for an eminent leader of the South—for Mr. J. C. Calhoun, while acting as Secretary of State-to engage in an official defence of it before the tribunal of the world, and to disgrace the nation (we do not use too strong a term) by representing the Federal Republic as the apologist and defender of the most mean and most offensive species of despotism.
“ This point once reached, it was easy to take a bolder stand, and to clamor, with all the vehemence of partizan heat, for the introduction of slavery into those new and virgin territories which Providence had opened on our Western borders, as we had fondly hoped, for the reception of the outcast republicans of Europe, and for a new and grander display of the beneficent influence of republicanism. And this impudent claim—a claim which had no validity in law nor sanction in humanity—the pretence that a local institution, existing entirely by municipal usage, and without an iota of validity beyond that, should override all considerations of justice and policy, under a threat of civil war, of its disallowance —was not too much (not to put too fine a point upon it, as Mr. Snagsby says in Bleak House) for the forbearance of the North, in its ardent devotion to the peace and the Union! Ah! how one submission begets another, until the chains of a crushing servitude are riveted around the necks of the victim! The Southern party, thus triumphing in the territories, demanded, in the next place, that the free States should be made a hunting-ground for slaves; that every man at the North should be compelled by law to do what no gentleman of the South would do for himself, or could be, under any circumstances, forced
to do for others, i. e., put himself on a level with bloodhounds, and become a slave-catcher; and the law was passed !” &c., &c.
We might give also his concluding paragraphs; but enough has been here inserted to show the scurrilous tone of the article, and we could do no more by giving the manner in which he rings the changes upon the “hateful domination,” “ the dirt of adherence to slavery,” “the shameless debasement and depths of infamy" into which, according to his enlightened and complimentary view, the country in general with the South in particular, is almost hopelessly plunged. Shame upon the writer, and double shame upon the publisher who suffered him thus to traduce, insult and injure those who, to the work in question, had been liberal and unsuspicious patrons !
Now we ask the people of the South how long this state of affairs is to continue, how long do we intend to give thousands to Northern publications to defame us and undermine our institutions, when it is notorious that our periodicals are languishing for the want of hundreds ? We need not fear our enemy, but let us at least not give him free admission to our quarters. The necessity of checking these things cannot be undervalued; no writer of the present day, on politics, society and religion can slight the fact that the proof is the most important and powerful lever afforded by civilization for any moral purpose, and certainly the most potent of all agents for affecting hardy results. Although the visits of a monthly journal are few compared with those of a daily or weekly, yet there is a weight and influence about the contents of the first which, other things being equal, neither of the others can sustain. There is presumed to be a greater degree of deliberation of maturity and of dignity in any article, appearing where it will probably be bound and preserved by many, than if it appeared on a flying sheet, printed to be glanced over and destroyed, or filed by not more than one in a hundred of those who peruse it. We have often complained that Northern publications circulated at the North gross misrepresentations of men and things with us; but is it not a far more dangerous evil that the two most popular publications in the country, having obtained a foothold among us, are
made the agents for circulating throughout our own section, in a form which renders them acccessible to all, sentiments which must in time, if not counteracted, produce a deleterious effect upon many who read them? There is ever a modicum of truth mingled with misrepresentation and error, and it is not every mind which can, on all occasions, separate the one from the other. There are many men, of very moderate pretensions to literature, who yet read Harper and Putnam, and perhaps nothing else except their newspapers. Such men are apt to be influenced by articles like those we have quoted. They imagine that their local editors write in accordance with Southern sentiment, as a matter of interest, or of pride, if nothing else; while a quiet, dignified, metropolitan, literary monthly, with an infinite variety of subjects from which to select, must have a good and powerful cause to tempt it into the arena of politics.
But apart from the evil it must produce—apart from the urgent necessity of protecting our own interests, do we owe nothing to pride, nothing to dignity, nothing to self-respect, nothing to the cause of Southern literary progress and independence? Are we ready to yield to the North the palm of superiority in every
in any department of human exertion, mental, moral or physical? Can we not, by adopting the proper means, achieve results equal, and even superior, to theirs ? Is the modern Tyre to be our only source of literary as well as commercial advancement ? Are we to draw our intellectual sustenance from the bosom of a distant and imperious relative, instead of from a mother? Are we always to import the means of a reputation and profit to others, instead of bending our energies to the development of native talent and enterprise ?
If we examine the circumstances of Southern periodicals of past and of the present time, we will find that their value has increased with their patronage, but the former always in more rapid progression than the latter. Talent we have and energy, but a periodical of any merit cannot be sustained upon small paying returns. Harper boasts of the monthly sales of one hundred thousand copies, which must yield him nearly one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to defray expenses for contributions, (?)
illustrations, paper and printing. Now we say fearlessly that onethird of that sum, centered annually on almost any Southern monthly or quarterly, would insure a better work than Harper and Putnam together—a work which would combine more amusement with more dignity and more instruction, with a perfect assurance to the South of freedom from insult and denunciation.
ART. X.-CRITICAL NOTICES.
Chesney's Russo-Turkish Campaign of 1828 and 1829. Redfield.— To those who desire to understand the true relations between Russia and Turkey, the aims of the former and the resources of the latter power, there can be no more admirable volume than this of Col. Chesney. It bears every mark of the writer's candor, and declare's equally for his ability to explain, decide and conjecture. The history of the war between the two powers, twenty-five years ago, will be found very
much the parallel of the present between the same powers, with little difference in the relative conduct of the belligerents—no change in the motives of the one, and but slight in the forbearing and inoffensive deportment of the other. The complaints of Russia, and the replies of Turkey, find their most perfect illustration in the old fable of the wolf and lamb. But, according to Col. Chesney, there is a wide difference between the resources of Turkey under the present Sultan, and under his father, Mahmoud. The latter was unpopular with a large portion of his subjects, had destroyed the janizaries, and had not yet organized an army in their place, when Russia took advantage of the confusion in his affairs to invade the country. Even then, however, under all disadvantages, the Turks compelled the respect of their powerful assailants, by the constancy and valor with which they maintained the conflict, fighting as it were hopelessly. No where on equal terms, yet frequently with great successes, Mahmoud's defence of his empire was continued through two campaigns, in which his people were discontents, his pachas treacherous and hostile, his army totally disorganized, his fleet destroyed by that brutal blunder of France and Britain at Navarino. But the present Sultan finds his people rising spontaneously as one man; a sacred enthusiasm pervades the ranks; his people clamor for the war; his enlisting organization is effective, if not thorough, and France and Britain are his allies, and not his foes. We have seen, thus far, how bravely his troops have borne themselves, and but for the blunders of France and Britain, he would probably not have suffered a single disaster, either by sea or lands. The Western powers have tied his hand, without using their own, while his unprincipled enemy continued to smite him in this position. It is hoped that their future energies will make amends for their past imbecility. The reader will find in this volume all that he desires to know of the morale, the argument, the personnel, the materiel, of the hostile powers; and, from its well-detailed history of former campaigns,