January 19, 1861

Macomb Eagle

More Stars Stricken from our Flag!

As surmised last week, the convention of Mississippi, on Wednesday, passed the ordinance of secession.  This has been followed by Alabama, on Friday, and by Florida, on Saturday – Georgia will also be in the list before the end of the week.  Here is an empire severed from the American Union!  An empire filled with brave men, possessing a fertile soil, and growing products for export to the amount of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.  This has been lost through fanaticism of abolition doctrines and the triumph of abolition principles in the election of Lincoln.  In the name of Heaven, is not this enough?  Shall we be plunged into a fratricidal war – be robbed of millions of treasure and thousands of lives – in the insane folly of subduing the South to abolitionism?  No – no!

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Who shall do the Fighting?

We have lost almost all the hopes of a peaceful solution of the troubles consequent upon the secession of the southern States.  It is evident that the incoming administration is for war – war against our own people – war against our blood and kindred.  There will be a call for volunteers; and if this means fail to secure men enough to shoot and be shot.  Those who, by their votes and speeches, and otherwise, have aided the work of compelling the South into rebellion (if they term it so), should have the glory of imbruing their hands in their own kindred’s blood.  If volunteering fail, and drafting is resorted to, we hope the operations of the measure will be confined to abolitionists and their sympathizers.  Democrats have in no way or manner aided to bring about the present troubles, and we are confident they will do nothing to hasten hostilities.  Their voice has been and still is for the Union, for peace, for harmony, for conciliation – everything for the country – nothing for men.  They regard party platforms as no more account than cobwebs – then the dust of the balance – compared to the Union of the States.  If war does come it will not be the fault of any Democrat.  Let those who shall cause it fight it out.  Let Democrats cultivate their fields, work at the benches, and pursue their usual business.  Let conservative, Union loving republicans – and there are many such – do the same thing.  Let them raise the corn and hogs and make up the goods to clothe the abolition fanatics (for money first bad and paid), who want to carry out Lincoln’s doctrine of making the States all free.  Again we say, let the abolitionists do the volunteering and be the subjects for drafting.  Democrats and Union-loving republicans can be engaged in better business than shooting their neighbors.

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The Bible and “Slavery.”

There are a great many good people whose ideas are befogged upon the word “slavery,” and the teaching of the Bible in relation to the order of things generally known by that word.  A contemporary argues, and with much force, that the Bible does not, of course, oppose negro subordination, for that would be to suppose that God would create an inferior being and then assign it a place equal to or above a superior one.  But we all know that in the ancient or dark ages, and even in the full blaze of Roman civilization, slavery of white men to white men – of equals to equals, existed.  The Bible and Christ and his apostles recognized this as an existing civil institution; but it will not be claimed by any one that then, as now, the spirit of Christianity is not distinctly opposed to white men depriving one another of their rights.  This is real slavery, which can only exist between persons of the same race, and not between persons belonging to an inferior and superior race.  The negro is just as truly free in servitude as the white man is in his liberty.  The white man is not free, except in a limited sense.  He is governed by his judgment and his conscience, and cannot safely disobey them.  They are his master, the controllers of his acts.  The negro, deficient in these, naturally acknowledges the superiority of the white man and never challenges it or questions it unless goaded to phrenzy by barbarity or incited to rebellion by white miscreants.  The word “slavery” is therefore a misnomer, and we heartily wish some philologist would invent a term to express the relation existing between the white man and the negro at the South.  The word “slavery” is of Sclavonic races when conquered by the German princes and reduced to slavery.  It was applied to a relation existing between white men, and has no connection or meaning in the form of society at the South.  Slavery is defined by lexicographers, and it is the generally received opinion at the North and the world over, to mean a condition of oppression, of wrong, of injustice.  But such is not southern society.  It is not oppressive to the negro.  It has elevated him, advanced him in civilization and Christianity, and protects and defends himself.  And though, like all existing institutions, capable of great improvement and amelioration, it has, nevertheless, actually advanced and improved the negro race more, even, in comparison, than republican institutions have advanced the white race.  Southern men use the word “slavery” to express the contented condition of the negro as they see it about them, but the northern man at once associates it with historical slavery, and it grates harshly upon his ear.  It serves to keep up the contradiction and confusion in the public mind, and one-half of the difficulties of the so-called slavery question would be solved if we had a correct term to express the real social condition of the South.  The very first step for the northern man to take in order to get his ideas right upon this subject, is to grasp the conception that the position of the negro is not that of slavery at the South; that he is not deprived of his natural rights, but in fact really protected in the enjoyment of them, and at once the clouds and fogs of anti-slaveryism begin to vanish.  Then the negro is presented to his mind, not as a white man, with the accident of a black skin, but a truly different being, with different wants and necessities, requiring of course a social system adapted to those wants and necessities.

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