The Impending Revolution

Editorial in The Courier, Seneca Falls, NY. January 5, 1861:

The Impending Revolution

The threatening aspect of our political affairs is well calculated to alarm the most conservative. For many years, it has been evident that there was a growing element in our midst, which was becoming dangerous to the peace and harmony of our political condition. At length, this element was seized upon by ambitious politicians, and a party organized for the express purpose of preventing slavery from extending into the territories. Upon this question the public mind was agitated by inflammatory appeals, until it became evident that hostility to slavery in the States was the ulterior design of this new organization. Everywhere its leaders appealed to the passions and prejudices of the masses, by expressions of the most intemperate, insulting and abusive character, towards the citizens and institutions of the Southern States. Unprincipled men of other organizations saw in the rise and growth of the Republican party, an admirable opportunity for them to retrieve their waning fortunes, and consequently, they lost no time in identifying themselves with it, and denouncing all who would not join in the tirade against Southern men and Southern interests. Every effort has been made in Congress and out, to keep up the excitement, regardless of the consequences; and these pernicious and dangerous doctrines have been urged to a degree of fanaticism and frenzy unparalleled in the history of political organizations. The leaders of the party have declared over and over again, that there was an “irrepressible conflict” going on; that a “house divided against itself cannot stand”; that this government, which was formed in a spirit of compromise, and which has conferred so many blessings upon mankind, was a “failure”; that the States must all be devoted to freedom or slavery, and so on through the catalogue. What has been the result? We answer, the success of this organization in the Federal Government, with all its dangerous and treasonable doctrines. For the first time in the history of the Republic, a sectional party has succeeded in electing a President.

Its triumph has brought the country to the verge of revolution and civil war. Already the disintegration of the Republic has commenced, and the representatives of the party responsible for this state of things, refuses to abate one iota of their fanaticism to save the Union. Their [sic] is no safety for the Southern States, nor protection to their interests, if the more radical doctrines and views enunciated by the Republican party are carried into effect under the administration of ABRAHAM LINCOLN. The Southern States understand this, and the stoical indifference and silence of the President elect creates the most fearful apprehensions among those who would preserve the Confederacy. Mr. LINCOLN fails to comprehend the dangers and difficulties that environ the country. Unless the Republicans, by their acts in Congress and elsewhere, pursue a wise and conciliatory course, and convince the people that they do not desire the disruption of the Union, upon them must rest the responsibility of the impending revolution. It is certainly time for them to abandon their insane and revolutionary measures; to yield to the impulses of patriotism, and rise to the courage and responsibilities of the emergency.

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