August 1860

Homer H Stuart
146 Broadway N.Y.

In the political contest, now impending, all have doubtless taken sides.
I have not the vanity to suppose that I can induce any one to change his opinions.
But the same reasons have different force and effect at different times. The temper of the public mind - some passing need of action - a resolve to confront a difficulty which cannot be (?), & settle it finally & absolutely - may impart a degree of interest to arguments of no great weight & of no particular novelty.
We are now in the midst of one national struggle. A presidential election is at hand. We must settle the policy of our nation for the next four years. Thirty millions of our race will be directly affected by our actions & be governed by it.
The influences & consequences of our measures shall not be confined to one (?) - they will extend to a large portion of the human family. We stand midway between Europe and Asia having a constant & increasing intercourse & commerce with nations most remote to themselves but neighbors to us. We establish the spectacle of a government that excites great curiosity & interest - even more to the Asiatic than to the western nations. Our country is the Great Republic. The people are the Sovereigns.
The present election presents us, in a somewhat new form, the old question in which has acted upon & declared ended so many times.
It now assumes dimensions which make it necessary for us to deal promptly with it.
It grows out of our systems of labor. We have had in most of our states the two systems of labor known as free & slave labor & while they exist together there was nothing which indicated that they were to become sectional. Some time (?) the State in which they exist at the North (?) and this preference for free labor, & (?) permission to abolish slave labor - so that finally the north forms itself a gallery of free states, while the south remains the domain of slavery. Even then, it was many years before it became obvious that these two systems of labor want again a positively sectional character. There is no doubt of that fact however now. Every man who studies this discovers that they contain within themselves natural elements & causes of strife & discord. They are completely opposite to each other in every aspect and it is useless to deny that they are hostile and discordant.
They are about to measure strength with each other in a contest such as our laws & constitution authorize. Nothing is gained or lost by calling this an impossible conflict - it is a battle between two systems of opinions, & the false one, the (?) one, the rotten one will go down.
We do not (raise?) a (ruckus?) & rush into the street to fight or build (up?) the barricades, but our Revolutions however (?) and desperate they may be the struggles are bloodless. The brain the tongue and the ballot are the only weapons.
Many well meaning men profess great alarm foe the nation when one of these struggles becomes hot. They proclaim that they are willing to give up an opinion if it is very objectionable & they beseech their fellow citizens to be very careful of running into extremes. Esop probably had this close in mind when he gave the adventure of the man & boy who endeavor to (?) with a jackass in such a manner as to (?) an entire community. After trying various plans to sooth the agitation he finally took the jackass upon his shoulders and led the boy by the hand.
Those gentlemen among us who are so nervous about the Union, and who are willing to do so many things to save it, now give themselves little trouble. (?) (?) not try too hard to carry it. It has survived many close fought elections; and will survive the coming one.
The Republican Party enters upon this contest under most auspicious circumstances. Four years ago we made a desperate struggle and encountered defeat. But it was only a defeat. It was not a rout. A powerful body of neutrals, who refused to take sides upon the great question,; and who maintained a separate organization, threw away their votes upon an impossible candidate, gave the victory to our adversaries.
We lost the battle, but we lost no honor. Our rank remained firm, and the New York division of this Republican host won a substantial victory.
During that canvas the most frequent charge made against us was sectionalism. We were stigmatized as a merely sectional party.
The South used all the means in its power to make us sectional.
We were not permitted to hold a public meting - to (address?) our opinions in any form, to organize as a party or to have any visible political existence there.
Although the Constitution & Bill of Rights, and all of the instincts and traditions of our law made the outrage an intolerable one we had no recourse.
Our libraries were ransacked to discover books for their bonfires. Our cities were rifled, our newspapers withheld; spies were put on us to (?) our inmost thoughts. No one can give utterance to any sentiment which a community of slaveholders, blinded by (prejudices?) & inflamed by partisan misrepresentations, (?) to prescribe.
Even (silence?) itself (?) (?) protect a Republican from the (?) fury of the pro slavery party.
We had no electoral (?) then. No press - no assemblies - the whole South seemed of one mind.
For the first time in the history of opinion, a great community, or rather fifteen great communities, having apparently the most ample rights of free thoughts & free speech, fully recognized & guaranteed to them in all of the laws, had formed opinions upon a debatable question in which every one thought alike. Nearly all of the cultivated minds in the most enlightened nations of the times after examining the question had condemned the doctrine which the slaveholder proclaimed and yet the South presented the astonishing spectacle of a community having perfect freedom of opinion & no difference of opinion. They differed, it is true, from the whole civilized world, but they did not differ with themselves.
The South was unanimous, and it pointed to that unanimity as proof that the Republicans were a mere sectional party.
It finally silenced us, and then made our silence our crime. It it (sic) laid waste the whole legion of political opinion & turned debate upon such matters into a voiceless (?) and this desolate silence it called peace.
In the history of other countries, even in the days of darkest oppression, we seek in vain for a sign of (?) more outrageous. It is (doubtless?), had enough for a (slave?) to be silent when false charges are brought against him. We were silent & we were (human?) & stood upon our native soil.
In fifteen states every organ of public opinion accused us of sectionalism and denounced us as deadly enemies. We were arraigned before a tribunal which would not suffer us to defend ourselves. Our mouths were closed and we were condemned without a hearing.
We lost the election. It seemed as if the freedom of speech and thought in one half of our country had perished & that the tyranny which had gained this victory had destroyed all our means of future resistance. That thenceforth the majority who had won this triumph could sit securely upon their throne & enforce silent obedience to their will.
"But there is a Divinity that shapes our ends - rough hew them as we may" & the very Excess and Extremity of this wrong brought a remedy. (Editor's note: the above quote from Hamlet).
Southern Democrats exhibited in our national legislature a spirit that fairly (?) the North, & helps to consolidate the Republicans - they became bold & outspoken & the South was compelled to hear them. The whole question was flung open to debate & the oppressed minority in the slave states who had been voiceless till then now vindicated themselves before the nation. They obtained the trial which had been denied them at (?).
It was the beginning of the end of this despotism. The solid phalanx which bore us down in 1856 wavers. Men born in Maryland & Kentucky & Missouri and having all of them interests identified with the welfare of those states, pledges to good behavior by the bonds of family & property, refuse to listen in silence to charges of treason.
Clay & Blair come before the citizens of those states and demand as a matter of right & not of favor free speech & to be confronted with those who accuse them of disloyalty to their chosen states (editor's note: Clay and Blair were prominent politicians from Kentucky and Missouri respectively who tried to sought a peaceful resolution of the slavery question).

Henry Clay Francis Blair, Jr.

They are having this trial new, and make themselves heard, in spite of frantic efforts to silence them. Missouri has once already rendered (this?) buried by giving her suffrage to Blair.

Cassius Clay was (primed?) in his long contest with the hereditary rulers of Kentucky. His life of strife & danger & thankless labor for a law which can give him no (honor?) will finally bring its reward, even in this (?) (editor's note: Clay was an abolitionist from Kentucky).
The state which has so long oppressed, (?) & proscribed him will crown him with laurels as the nobles & most chivalrous knights of the nineteenth century - the pride & the darling of Kentucky.

Cassius Clay

Fremont was defeated & Buchanan made President - The Republicans had lost the battle. And the cause was lost!
Far from it. The manner of the contest - the whole plan of the campaign & the tactics of the Democrats gave proof that they were dispirited & desperate. They sacrificed themselves to win a temporary advantage. They gained the Battle & they lost the cause.
Parties had become sharply defined against each other before that time, and all of their leaders were fully committed upon the great question which divided the nation.
Towering above them all and concentrating & absorbing public though stood the great question of the age - the terrible problem of our country - shall slavery go into our common territories?
The interest & excitement of this new issue had swept away all the old landmarks of parties. Nothing was said of banks or tariffs or finances of the Union. Many measures which once formed the whole staple of what was called politics we dismissed such disputes as trivial & insignificant, & fixed our attention upon the startling & formidable (point?) that stood in our (path?). We saw only that we had (backed?) the (peculiar?) & perhaps the (?)difficulty which would result from the collision of an incongruous institution.
The two great systems of labor which distinguished the opposite sections of our country met upon our (?) (?) as rivals & enemies. They confronted each other with a determined air that expressed the inmate & irreconcilable of their natures. They were then as they have always been , antagonistic systems, and one or the other must yield. Light & darkness heat & cold right and wrong are not more unlike than human and slave labor.
Neither of them would relinquish their claim to that region, & they appealed to the people to render judgment between them.
The slave holder asserted that he had an absolute right to plant his peculiar institution upon the public domains & demand that the Fedl. Govt. recognize & defend that right.
He denied that slavery was a mere creature of the (states?), artificial unnatural & wholly local - that the laws which inflict this condition were like the walls of a prison and only constrained the victims who were within their precincts. He claimed that it was a national institution. That he can force it upon any one of our territories & then require the Fedl. Govt. to sustain him against all protests and resistance within or without the territory upon which he had thus seized.
No matter what the will of all the other inhabitants of that territory might be. No matter that they deemed such a system of labor a curse to the country & had left their native states to escape from it. No matter that they deprecated it as a flagrant disgrace to their civilization - an enemy to all their most important interests - he claims the right to inflict upon them this great evil. If they resisted his assault he invokes the whole power of the nation to coerce them.
It was not a question affecting (?) (?) (plain?) or (mountain?) and of little consequence to the people at large. It was the great & vital question upon which hung the fate of regions equal in extent to nearly all Europe & destined perhaps to contain a greater population than our whole county now has.
On the threshold of this broad realm stood slavery, demanding entrance & haughtily summoning the Genl. Govt. to sustain its pretentions. Congress has rung with the speeches of Democratic chiefs who have hung the ensign of that party at the head of their columns. All men knew the opinions of their leaders. Douglass, (Cass.?), (Lamb?) Wise each a representative man and each an organ of his party - having an avowed a well known (?) & line of policy.
The demands took none of their (?) from their candidate. Why did they shrink from such an open & direct trial of the popular will? Why did they select a man who had been absent from the country while the question was taking shape & gathering strength & who has remained silent upon the only subject involved in (?) election? The South (?) (shrewd?) politician (?) distrust northern men how happens it that they were willing to take the risk of supporting this non resident & silent candidate?
The South made that nomination as they have made all others for that party. And it chose Buchanan hence he was precisely the man for this purpose. Born at the North but with the instincts and moral nature of a slave trader. Sly intriguing cruel treacherous & timid he yet wore an air of cultured refinement & had the (?) & (?) of a gentleman.
The gray haired old public functionary, as he chooses to call himself has a form & manner very (unlikely?) to impose upon a careless observer, and which fitted him to play his part in the swindle with complete success.

(Editor's note: James Buchanan (above) was stationed in London as Minister to the Court of St. James prior to the 1856 election and thus removed from much of the debate over the slavery question)

No one could readily suppose that this old man - with his quiet & even placid face; his staid & gentle manners; his (?) and (?) of self control & decorum, had all of the little (?) & important passions of a political eunuch - that he was a national office (beggar?) - that he (?) (?) to his masters with the same fawning & obsequious (senility?) which he exacts from his wretched dependents in the custom house & post office - that he would lick the hand that beat him, if it also fed him.
He seems a model man - a very patron of prosperity & they called upon all the old ladies of both (?) to see what a safe man they offered to preside in this emergency. It is true that he confessed a human weakness toward old Bourbon whiskey but this seemed his only weak spot, & many suspected that the admission was a public (plea?) of hypocrisy, to conciliate the roughs, and that such a fine looking (?) (?) old gentleman opposed to all kinds of excitement, doubtless disliked whiskey.
The demands (?) not nominate Douglass or Cass (editor's note: Lewis Cass) or any one of he well known leaders & fling out their (?) to the winds inscribed with the crys (sic) which had sounded in Congress. Slavery is national. Slavery is the natural condition of the inferior race. Slavery is (?). The law must protect Southern property in our territories. The South will (?) his slaves upon (all?) of our common lands & hold them there & the North shall help her (?) them there.
None of these men - None of these war cries!
But in this stead an old foreign minister brought back for this occasion. Nobody could say that he thought as Cass & Douglass spoke that he had taken sides in this controversy. All we knew of him was simply that he ate his public dinner in London with much (?) & (?) good breeding - that he dressed himself very carefully every day. Said as little as might be and retained the Hon. Daniel E. Sickles as his private secretary (editor's note: Daniel Sickles was Secretary of the U.S. legation in London under Buchanan and later a noted and controversial Union general during the Civil War. His deeds include leaving his pregnant wife at home when he went to London, taking instead a known prostitute and presenting her to Queen Victoria under a false name. He later shot to death the district attorney of the District of Columbia in a park across from the White House. The victim, the grandson of Francis Scott Key, was having an affair with Sickles' wife. Sickles used the temporary insanity plea for the first time in U.S. history, and was acquitted and proclaimed a hero. At Gettysburg he disobeyed an order of his commanding officer and had his leg shot off by a cannonball. He had the leg presented to a museum and would periodically visit it).

Daniel E. Sickles

If we did not know him, the South did. They put him forward proclaiming to all nervous people that he was a safe man & would quiet matters.
He was safe for them & they could trust him for they knew how to govern him. He had not changed his nature since he made himself a tale (?) to defame Henry Clay & swallowed his words when detected as their author. He had the temper to assassinate but not the courage to fight. He was a fit instrument to be (?) against the (?) (?) of (?) in that contest for the occupation of our territorys (sic).
So the campaign was opened with Buchanan for the man & the Cincinnati platform for the doctrine (editor's note: The 1856 Democratic Convention was held in Cincinnati. The platform included a statement in support of the Fugitive Slave Law, which required the arrest of runaway slaves and made it illegal to assist runaways).
It was carefully and adroitly ambiguous. It meant much & it meant nothing. It meant one thing North & its opposite South.
It was an utterance like that of the ancient (?) in which words had a double meaning & could take either sense. The (poets?) said the demons framed (?) annunciation (?) (?) to (ensnare?) & lure their victims into ruin. Of such kind were the predictions which the witches made to Macbeth & which tempted him into murder & cheated him of all its promised fruits.
The proud old Democratic Party, bold & outspoken in former contests, & having known & positive opinions, which it should it showed in the face of its foes, skulked behind a silent candidate and a puzzling form of words which it called its platform.
Under such a man for leader, & with such a standard the democrats joined battle with us in that (?).
This standing accusation?) (?) sectionalism. Many (?) behind it; and it had a large influence in defeating us.
That struggle has now become a matter of history, as the machinery of the Democratic causes has been exposed to public view.
We can (?) the charge of sectionalism by asking who found it necessary to have a (Northern?) Southern face? Who traversed the North giving pledges that Buchanan (?) (?) freedom in Kansas and yet (denounced?) (us?) at the South for precisely that cause.
The (vote?) of Pennsylvania was (won?) by such double dealing & (instead?) these promises & pledges the (many?) which was (?) into (?) to corrupt it (vote?) - would have failed in its purpose.
We stood upon a broad and national (creed?) such as Washington & Jefferson & Clay (?) have sustained and as adversaries who accused us of sectionalism & (?) (?) the sectional party. They sought to give a national character to a mere local institution.
They had no question but the slavery question & of (?) (?) (?) for opposing by what (?) of logic (?) (?) not sectional for supporting. All their aims & motives were sectional. They sought to spread & confirm this peculiar institution over the country & carry (everywhere?) (?) sectional (?). They (labored?) to create prejudices against us, such as they had done at home, that (?) condemn us unheard. They appealed to the most dissimilar passions & sentiments, to conquer our resistance to the northern loss of Union & to the Southern loss of power.
(?) they talked of the danger of mere geographic parties - of the duty of concession & (conservatism?), and uttered platitudes about the laws of nature, the American eagle, and our glorious Union. They said that climate & soil would settle all questions of labor & that man need not trouble himself about a matter which God would arrange & which we cannot alter. The falsely accused us of loving our country less than those peace seekers loved it.
At the (?) they firmly denounced as a sectional - as incendiary - and if we attempted to answer the charge, they (?) us into silence and then pointed to our silence as a proof of the unanimity of the (South?). We were not permitted to have an electoral ticket, or to issue of paper, or to hold a political meeting in this region.
It was in vain to appeal to any of the legal tribunals to protect us in rights proclaimed in all our laws.
It was in vain even to appeal to the sense of natural justice in the mind of our adversaries that they should give us what they (?) the liberty of free speech.
Because we were a minority they stripped us of every political right & refused to even to (hear?) a protest against these outrages.
Such was out last presidential election - Buchanan was its result.
The (creed?) was a play upon words, the canvass a swindle, & the men who elected Buchanan the very men who now denounce him as treacherous & vindictive.
They doubtless charge him truly. But is he more treacherous than the Cincinnati platform? Is the man vindictive to those who oppose him than those men, his supporters themselves less to those who resisted their will in that canvass? Does he (wound?) his enemies with a keen (?) & a sharp fang than his friends use against the man they prescribe as (lame?).
In the very element of treachery & vindictiveness - in all the qualities for which they (indict?) him he shows himself the ripe friend if their principles.
They claim the right to silence men who utter thoughts which they do not choose to hear. They take upon themselves to say what books & papers I had to read & which I had burnt & how men shall vote & what men shall think throughout the region. When they (?) established this despotism do they complain that their chosen man (?) (unfit?) to imitate their example & (silence?) remonstrance to his measures by such means as they prefer to use. That he did not stop to reason with those who differ from him, but compelled them to give a blind obedience to his will.
Is not this their own code?
The result of that election goes far to show that honesty is the best policy. Even in politics. We were accused of sectionalism & not permitted to answer the charge in those states (?) it was most injurious to us. By a kind of poetic justice the Democrats drank to poison which they had prepared for us. The sectional prejudices & (?) which they (wished?) against us they (had?) turned against themselves.
And we stand upon our old ground. We dislike slavery & deplore its existence in our country. We demand the full & ample power of free speech upon this & upon all public question upon every (fact?) (?) laws which (lies?) under the (shadow?) of our national flag. Liberty is a (?) sham & (?) of it means simply that a local majority may utter their opinions & that those who differ must be silent. Such liberty is the liberty of despotism.
But while we declare our disapprobation of slavery we admit that we have (no?) power to abolish it in such states as see fit to to retain.
Virginia is lawfully a (?) state. It will remain to (?) her own citizens make her a free state. The Republican Party will leave her to settle that matter for herself.
It is for this very inaction, this declaration that we cannot strike down slavery throughout our country that we encounter the attacks of the abolitionists here. What Southern pro slavery man has shown more hostility to us than Wendell Phillips utters. He launches his keenest shafts at our party. And (it's?) because we are national & not sectional that the extreme men of both sections oppose us.
All that remains of the Democratic Party are two wings as factions both entirely & intensely sectional - in fact separated because sectional questions are the only question which they recognize.
They denied the right to discuss the slave question and (affected?) to be shocked at the proposition that an impossible conflict was raging between the two labor systems. They proclaimed that the country needed nothing but silence & they (?) for silence.
But at the first meeting of Congress & even before the House was organized Southern Democrats brought forward the slavery question - demanding opinions upon it. Calling for votes & denouncing the Republicans for agitating the matter while the whole Republican side sat patiently listening to this storm of misrepresentation.
At the last session of Congress about six weeks were consumed in speeches upon the slavery question to a house which had not chosen a Speaker or obtained powers to act except as a mere debating society.
Those curious on such enquiries were (?) that a Southern Democrat (?) into that assembly the (?) of discord & that the pro slavery men for several days persisted in speaking upon a subject which no Republican would discuss at the time deeming it (inopportune?) & (no help?).
And yet while we sat silent under the tempest we were accused of having raised it.
It was a significant commentary upon the duplicity of the Cincinnati platform that the same election which made Buchanan president sent to Washington a House of Rep opposed to him.
Indeed the party at their recent convention in Charleston admitted that the last election was not a fair expression of the popular will because the platform was ambiguous.
To that cause they attributed the fact that no measure could command the support of all of the branches of the Legislature, and that therefore the seeming victory won by the Democrats in 1856 was a delusion.
They demanded of the convention explicit & unmistakable (avowals?) upon all the points of the slave question. They would take no half answer, no quibble. But a plain & positive declaration of the Democratic doctrine.
The Northern men (besought?) them to accept the Cincinnati platform, braced up new (?) a occasion might require by a decision of the Supreme Court. They warned the Convention that public sentiment (?) the North would not tolerate this doctrine & that the only hope of success lay in a repetition of the last canvas - (?) (?) of words that would mean whatever a person said they meant like the phrase equal sovereignty.
The south refused to permit (?) party to equivocate. A very singular, and if we may credit the pro slavery orators, a very dangerous thing happened at once - a slavery debate broke out. The place, the occasion, the speakers made the whole matter most remarkable.
In a Democratic Convention held in the very Mecca of (Negroism?) questions were openly & fairly discussed which we had been forbidden to touch & which we were told always tended to create insurrections. In fact men have been lynched for such matters.
Then a delegate from Georgia taunts Virginia with selling Christians & yet affecting a (?) of selling heathen negroes, with selling his own flesh & blood. (?) (?) which children & yet affecting a pious disapproval of selling aliens & strangers. It was a very free & easy debate & the Democrats saw no improprieties in doing what they warn us never to do - discuss slavery upon slave soil.
After days of acrimonious controversy the Democrats failed to agree. The hereditary masters of that party wanted nothing from the North but entire submission - no compromise - no mulatto.
In the whole proceeding the country had fresh proof of the arrogant & aggressive charade of the slave power. Step by step they had advanced & taken possession of every point which could aid their purpose. They held the keys of the positions - the various organizations, the offices. The usual organs by which partys (sic) act were in their hands. They felt prepared for a final struggle and they would accept no half measures - no divided victory. The North must (?) - If the South could not rule it could (?) & the North might choose between such alternatives.
The conflict lasted several weeks. I was even permitted to witness it, but had nothing to do with it except a spectator.
They have always affected to consider the slavery question a dangerous one, & to that particularity what is called the impossible conflict.
We have two sectional parties in the field, both claiming to be a democratic party, & both founded mainly upon the Negro question.
Douglas & Breckinridge stand as representatives of the two faces which the Democrats carried in 1856 & still carry.
Both (favor?) slavery - are willing to spread it & differ only in manner or means. One asks action, the other inaction - one demands positive support the other negative support - In short it is Northern & Southern democracy.
The Southern (faction?) insists upon affirmative laws planting & fortifying slavery in the territories. The other protests that no laws are needed & asks the country to let this question be managed by the Supreme Court.
The Breckenridge party can & must claim the merit of stating distinctly what they intend to do. If they succeed no one can be in doubt as to their measures.
They demand laws by Congress giving the master a full right to his slave in all of our territories. They will not suffer the territory to settle such matters by himself. Slavery shall go there whether its inhabitants choose it or detest it. The whole power of the Fedl Govt shall be given to uphold slavery wherever it sees fir to go - on the ocean - in foreign countrys (sic), in our territories & perhaps finally in the free states themselves.
These are bold claims - boldly stated - and they are new claims as well.
Hereafter the Statesmen & Publicists of the country insisted that slavery was a local institution - so much so that Calhoun designated it a peculiar institution - this institution & (?) (?). It existed by virtue of certain laws & not without those laws. If the slave escaped from the section which had slave laws he became free. So much this (?) fact the South asked that our National Constitution provide for (?) (?) (?) of the escaped slave calling him a fugitive (?) labor. If he got to England we do not regain him at all. If he goes out of the slave states but remains in the United States he may be taken back to his slave state.
But this right to take him back is merely because the positive laws (?) (?) (?) law or common law give no such right.
The fugitives who escape (?) (?) slavery to the (?) as Indians do not (take?) back. Even on the strength of St. Paul's epistle to (?) we let them go free.
The Democratic party till recently held that slavery was strictly local, existing solely by state laws & they proclaimed states rights mainly to exclude Congress from acting upon slavery.
They did not then ask to carry slavery out of these states but merely that Congress would not meddle with that matter & that each state have the entire control of such questions within its own territory.
They not only proclaimed the doctrine that Congress had no control over slavery but they declared that it was contempt of Congress to petition it upon a matter palpably & not entirely beyond its power.
We all remember that John Q. Adams refused to submit to such a rule & that Henry A. Wise offered a resolution to expel Adams from the House because Adams presented on the these forbidden petitions.
There was a standing rule that these petitions (?) (?) had as acted upon. They were (?) upon the (?) with silent contempt.
All this is changed now. The Breckinridge Party insists that Congress has power & shall use it to support & sustain slavery in our territories. They refuse to let the question rest upon the existing laws and to what the people of a territory determine this matter for themselves.
They demand of us peremptorily that the National Congress legislate on this matter.
They ask, they challenge, they compel us to legislate over slavery.
Well how shall we legislate? Shall we call upon the Supreme Court to inform us as what laws it will suffer to make? What laws it will enforce & what it will nullify?
The Supreme Court is no Congress. It consists of nine gentlemen whose mode of selection and whose habits & prejudices may perhaps be alluded (sic) to before I close these remarks.
That Court cannot make laws. Its office in our Government is merely to utter the voice of the laws - expand and judge. It cannot even enforce the laws of its own (motion?). It only answers questions - some claimant or suitor before it & gives foundations for its actions and (?) each party the Court must remain silent. For good & sufficient reasons we have chosen to divide the several powers of government & confine them within prescribed limits - making of laws Expanding them & Executing them are put in separate hands so that (no?) (one?) person shall be at once the lawmaker the judge & the executioner - which is a (?) (?) full definition of a pure despotism.
I repeat how shall we legislate? If we must enact statutes in regard to slavery - if our power to do so is not only admitted but thrust upon us - we will legislate but we will do so completely. We can have no half-jurisdiction of this subject. We either control it or we have nothing to do with it.
They require of us a statute establishing slavery in all of our territories.
It is thus that they do not use such terms but these demands are equivalent to this.
If the existing laws have established slavery in these territories they don't need laws from Congress for the Supreme Court has shown a great willingness to do anything in the (?) (?) which slavery might ask & it will expand the laws in a very favorable sense to the slaveholder.
There is no escaping the conclusion that we are asked to make laws establishing confirming consolidating perpetuating slavery in that vast region which we hold as our pubic territories, the very heart of the continent, & the common property of the nation.
Well, suppose now that you are the next Congress. (?) (have?) organized thereof is in order.
The Southern member uses and asks for a statute giving the slave owner the same powers over his slaves in all of our territories - in our forts our vessels, our lighthouses, our public buildings warehouses stores which that master may have in any one of the (slave?) states.
You are startled at this sudden call to help build up what you have deliberately overthrown in your own state - to welcome back again an uninvited guest the decripted (sic) & (?) & loathsome institution which you thrust away more than fifty years ago - to plant it upon the public lands. Such as on all the public public (sic) (?) used by our Genl. Government & of course on all of the streets throughout any state.
You hesitate & ask to be excused from voting - He refuses to permit you to remain neutral or silent. He demands your vote. Yes or no.
This vote must stand upon the pages of our nations (sic) history for your children to read, for the great family of man to read for all time to come.
Northern man, laboring man, (?) man. You are commanded to say yes or no upon this question whether you will make all our territory slave (regions?).
England France Russia have abolished the System as a blot upon their civilization & a
(cancer?) upon their industry - and you are required to establish it in your own country. Spread it, nourish it, perpetuate it.
Take a look at the subject before you give your vote.
First be not deceived with the (?) that the master has the same right to take his kind of property (?) which you have to take yours.
He really confesses that he has no such right by asking for laws to give the right. If the laws did exist he would never (?) you to create them. The Supreme Court wants to be a (?) (?) & a pillar of rights to him.
Our property - everything which civilized nations regard as property finds the present laws ample for its protection in our public territories.
If these laws (?) do not allow a man to own another man as he might own a horse & he must (?) his man (?) he can get some new law on that subject it is sofistry (sic) & (?) of effrontery for him to (?) that has a full legal right to his man, equal to your right to own a horse. While in the same breath he is asking for a law to give him such right.
The right is not a natural right but the creation of (?) enactment - and by asking for it he admits it does not exist.
Before you pas the statute to establish slavery, give a little consideration to some of the consequences like to ensue.
Something might be said of the right & the wrong of the matter. Political questions are not mere questions of expediency having no moral character - no right or wrong. God does not shut his eyes to all of the combined or associated acts of men & see only the conduct of the individual acting on his private affairs.
Great political crimes have so often been followed by as great public calamities that it is not easy to believe no relation existed between them - that they happened by mere accident. There is a (?), a nemesis for communities as for men & we (?) that God laughs at such calamities.
But waiving the most (?) of the questions let us look at it in a mere financial & social point to examine its effect upon population (?) education & the material prosperity of a people.
No argument would be as clear as figures make this matter & I will therefore turn to the census tables of 1850 & make some comparisons.
Suppose we take Pa. & Va. for our states. Such a comparison would certainly be a fair one for the south.
They lie next to each other & Va. has great natural advantages over Pa.
At the time of the revolution Va. was the Empire State. Her noble harbor lying at the mouth of bays & rivers which stretched far inland, fitted her to (entreat?) the commerce of the continent. Her mountains were full of coal & metals & her soil inexhaustible fertility.
She has the same harbor & rivers, the same mountains & plains & they lie in the same genial climate which made her charming then, & seem to crown her as queen of the colonies.
She has all she ever had & she has also has (sic) chosen system of labor. Measure her with Pa. for the past 80 years & mark the (start ling?) result of the comparison.
For instance see the unequal progress of population & how Va. in 1790 had 442,115 & in 1850 but 894,800 only doubling in sixty years while Pa. had in 1790 224,099 & in 1860 2,258,160 or in other words her population had become more than four times greater than it was 60 years before.
It is not merely in men that Pa. has outgained Va. but in wealth also. Pa. has $500,275,850 Va. 382,304,253 & even with this great disparity Va. counts in her property her whole body of slaves a purely fictious (sic) artificial & (?) property which like wild birds, ceases to be property the moment is escapes from the land which holds it.
If we place Va. & N York together & compare them then the result is much more startling & yet 80 years ago Va. was the first state in the union in pop. & wealth & NY the fifth. We find a like disparity in the growth of the new states - indeed there is no exception for any cause, & we see this throughout the Union. The slave states fail to keep pace with the free states. Population & wealth increase rapidly in the free states & slowly in the slave states.
What (?) as speculation is ingenious enough to account for this fixed & universal fact by some cause having no connection with the suffering labor by slaves of those states.
All those states are under the (same?) (Genl?) Government (?) by the same laws & having a right to make the same laws - how happens it that in every case the state which adopts as (?) slave labor falls behind its neighbor who doesn't use that system - that the free labor states grow rich & prosper & the slave states remain stationary.
If the extremely different systems of labor employed in these states have nothing to do with this fact tell me what has.
In modern times wealth is the (?) of national power & the creation of wealth depends mainly upon the labor system employed. Va. uses slave labor & N.Y. free & both of these states have had very dissimilar systems of industry long enough to make the comparison a fair one.
The world can judge for itself which of these states now wields the most power - which has the greatest means of attacking others or defending herself.
In all of the great results of labor in its first offices, which is the simple production of surpluses s wealth, we see this constant fact that population & wealth in the free labor states increase more rapidly than in the slave states. And therefore for all the purposes of peace as of war the free state is superior. For instance - the organized militia of the free states number 2,097, 864 & of the slave states 962,298 & the (?) prosperity of the free states is $4,002,162,098 slave is 2,936,090,737. Double the number of soldiers & double the means of keeping them in the field & yet 80 years ago the two systems were equal - in fact the slave system the stronger of the two.
If slave labor is labor which like free labor let its advocates explain why the slave labor states are not as rich as the free labor states.
If it does not exhaust the soil, criple (sic) the growth of a state & blight its prosperity then the census tables are all wrong.
But there are other peculiarities which we find always attaching themselves to the slave states & seeming to be the outgrowth as fruit of their system - education languishes, commons schools - free schools as we call them do not flourish.
This is (?) by comparison with the north in that matter - for instance the pupils in school are in the free states 2,769,901 & in the slave 581,861.
Also the same disparity in the supply of books for the people in the public libraries of the free states contain 3,888,234 while the slave states have 649,577 volumes.
The free schools do not merely give the northern boy book knowledge. He is taught to think & his faculties are sharpened & strengthened by contact with his fellows; all equals & all having to win their way for themselves.
Can anyone say that the free schools have nothing to do with the fact that in the free states the citizens add daily to the general stock of inventions - fruit of study & thought & deemed useful & (?) (?). The patents issued to the citizens of free states were 4054 while the slave states took only 625.
We see the disparity continuing in all the matters which seem to relate to education - in the number of pupils at school. In the number of books read by the public -- & in the number of inventions contributed to the world.
And it is to the fact that the laborer in the free states is educated that those states (?) (?) (?). Their schools are open to all & they make a class of laboring man who can think & invent & the whole community has the benefit of intelligent & educated labor.
All these advantages are lost to the state which refuses to teach its laborers. They remain mere animals - bundles of muscles -- & their labor is course & of the quality of brute labor. They can only make raw materials all the (finer?) (?) (?) (?) in which labor determines the quality (came?) from (?) labor states - the slave raises the cotton plant but spin or (?) or (print?) it. His pound of cotton may be worth ten cents but when the free laborer has finished his work upon that cotton it is worth 50 cents.
But waiving the dollar view of the value of education it has higher claims upon us. We cannot safely neglect any means of fitting us for self government - education is probably the most essential of all those means.
Now education is not merely what is taught in books & schools, but it is the whole process by which a man's mind & temperament are formed. Associates, circumstances, (relations?) have much to do with this, through life, and particularly in infancy & youth.
The relation of master & slave is not fitted to develop the better qualities of either party. Absolute power & abject submission are not conditions which give the two persons thus related the best use of their faculties. One is strongly tempted to become a tyrant, the other an idler & a (beggar?).
This malign influence upon the (?) will act with unrestrained power if he is a child in youth. He will become despotic, impetuous, capricious, & hotheaded. Habits thus formed will influence all his after life.
We have more than once seen exhibitions of this temper, and it is sometimes called "Plantation manners." It has broken out, now & then, in Congress, & no man would desire to see it become the prevalent mode of answering an argument, or of removing an objection. (?) (?) (?) a man to discharge the duties of self government, & he is not qualified to make (?) for (freemen?).
In any aspect of the matter we see only objections, disadvantages, difficulties & no possible gain. Negro labor has been a burden & a curse to the Earth. The (?) had their birth in the desert & they make every (?) they touch a desert. We did not win the country from England to the Negro - It is not Africa. It is the property of white men. It belongs to us.
If we send slavery into these (?) we shall (?) them & ruin them. We shall fill them with working men who (?) are mere brutes & shall (?) the free working men of the North.
Does the slave owner own all of our common lands - must we (give?) them to him.
It is vain & even insulting for him to tell us that he does not close these territories to free labor by taking his slaves there.
Free labor & slave labor cannot exist together. Slavery puts a (?) a brand upon the brow of all labor.
See how carefully the laboring man who is a freeman shows (?) these states. The emigrant votes for the slave party but they take especial pains to keep out of the slave states. They do not choose to work by the side of a slave as in a region where manual labor is a (?) of slavery.
The Irishman or German who votes to admit slavery into these territories absolutely deprives himself of that prosperity. He surrenders it to the African.
If this territory be given to up to slave labor now it cannot be regained. Wherever slavery gains a foot hold the laws constantly become more unfriendly to free labor. A cabal of slave owners governs the states for their combined & concerted actions (?) the resulting attempt of laborers to obtain political power.
All the laws will favor the peculiar interests of those who own slaves & favor slave at the expense of free labor.
Little by little the white laborer sinks under such a system till he becomes scarcely superior to the Negro. Indeed in some of the slave states the Negro looks down upon the white laborer as even lower than himself & call him "white trash."
Let this institution be (?) in this (?) & the poor white man will suffer even more injustice than (?) the slave.
A haughty (?) will govern him. He will be kept at the bottom. Denied the privileges of free schools & prevented from rising above his station. He will have to take the wages of a slave for his labor & work by the side of a slave. If he should speak to this slave the (laws?) will make such intercourse full of danger to him. The white laborer will be watched by jealous eyes - (/) work picked up & made to take a criminal meaning. His position in that community will be that of a suspect & enemy & be kept under supervision & be got rid of in the most summary way.
If he can read & write it will be all the worse for him. For he will not be permitted to choose his books or papers or to (?) letters which the (figures?) in his region see fit to proscribe.
A tyranny will reign (?) most intolerable to the poor white man - the (?) laborer whose only means of livelihood is some occupation which the rich man puts upon a slave.
Now this is the (?) to which (?) are invited.
You are required to give your vote yes or no upon the question of legislating slavery into our territories.
If you hesitate to express a doubt which it is absolutely clear that slavery has a right to go there the Breckenridge party declares that the Supreme Court has fully settled that matter and that you have no jurisdiction over the question of whether slavery shall go there. That you are simply to give laws to it - and such laws as the South says it needs.
Yes, the slaveholders (?) the Supreme Court has settled this question & do you intend to resist that tribunal?
By no means. But it must be made to utter the lines of the nation & not of a party. We will enlarge in & make it equal to its duties.
It shall not disqualify an eminent man every way for to sit upon the bench that he rises above this narrow sectional prejudices of slavery. That he has the instinct of freedom and holds to the (creed?) which the good & great men of our (?) have always proclaimed.
Let that Court keep within the limits placed upon it. It is not our government of sovereign or our master. The People made the court for their own use & when it needs a change to make it discharge its proper functions we will make such changes. If we desire to have our judges make our laws & govern our legislature we will alter our constitution.
A strange state of things truly! Asked to make laws & then told that the Supreme Court has cut out a law & we must (?) in (it?).
If that court can make laws why do the slaveholders not (?) it for their laws.
The history of that court shows the subtlety & energy & persuasion of the slave powers in their attack upon free labor. For the last thirty years no man has (been?) (?) (?) a judge of that court unless his prejudices in favor of the slave system were open & (avowed?).
Five of the nine judges are from the slave states and doubtless own slaves. The other four are carefully culled from the North by the South.
At the time of their appointment they were violent & unscrupulous partisans & sold their services as lawyers to the best market. We have no evidence that God wrought a miracle at the time each of these lawyers became a judge. (It?) changed the (nature?) of the man.
I do not assert that these judges are dishonest. But I claim that they have violent prejudices like all other partisans & many of them have a strong pecuniary interest in the questions which they decide.
We suffer no judge in our state courts & no jury man to act upon a question in which he has any pecuniary interest or even when he is a kindred to one of the parties.
If he is dishonest he is not to be trusted. If he is honest we will not lead him into temptation & therefore we forbid him to judge in such a case.
Charles O'Connor's opinion upon the slavery question is well known & he is precisely such a man as the south will choose for judge of the Supreme Court when a vacancy occurs.
They will choose him because they know in advance how he will decide.
Now his opinion is nothing but an opinion & nine men out of ten think it a very unsound & dangerous opinion. When he became a judge the same opinion will become a decision as law & the nine men who now deny it must adopt it.
The South has settled upon this Court & made it their Citadel from which they sally forth to attack free labor.
We will make that Court National & not Sectional. It shall become the bulwark of our liberties.
How a vote this fall may settle all these questions-
It is right time to end this controversy for the pretenses of the slave power have become formidable to the laboring man throughout the whole country.
Men now boldly avow that slavery is right in itself & put it entirely upon the ground that the slave is a natural inferior of the master.
Because of this inferiority slavery is right - In other words might makes right.
Charles O'Connor argues this & doubtless thinks so. He is a logical man. Why does he not seize the first man he thinks inferior to him & make the man his slave. Color has nothing to do with the question. It is purely a question of strength & weakness. The strong man may rule the weak one. And this is the doctrine of a party professing to be democratic!
Now Northern man's a working man. Native is adopted citizen - how can you have this?
Can you afford to shut your (?) & your children out of the territories? Will you give them up to the Negro?
The South demands your answer - yes or no. If you vote for this you will deserve what you will get.
You will consign that region to slavery & make yourself an outcast from it.
You will lose even more than that - You will lose the right to shelter & defend freedom in the great central regions of your continent.

Brief for Speech Nov 1864 (editor's note: Homer made some notes apparently for a speech he intended to give but they are difficult to read or place into a coherent form).

July 1865

Another noted birthday - Four years our air has been filled with the noises of battle, our land has been drenched with blood, our houses have been hung with black. In these dark & horrible years how often has the heart (?). Is it (?) this shocking (?) & the cry arises "How long. Oh Lord how long!
At last peace has come. The fierce & terrible struggle which gives us nationality has terminated & we stand before the world one of its family of nations, the youngest of all, unlike any of the others & although in our mere infancy gigantic in power full of the principle of growth.
The creation of our nationality has been progressive & with no backward (shifts?). A number of little communities settled along the Atlantic coast had no (connection?) with each other except that they acknowledge the same foreign government as their sovereign. A common peril from the savage tribes upon the continent (?) these colonies to form a treaty with each other for mutual assistance in their war with the Indians. They (?) (?) (?) (?) having no (connection?) except under the express (convention?) of the alliance. This was the 1st step toward consolidation.
About 90 years ago these colonies made another & a bolder stride. The confederation (?) together & proclaimed their independence of the English government. Instead of a temporary treaty of alliance they made a (?) of sovereign states & called themselves the United States intending to form a perpetual confederacy which was a confederacy of states & not a union of the people of those states.
The War of the Revolution (?) the (?) defects of such system & during the latter years of that war the leading men who had in the beginning been content with such a union as the Articles of Confederation made became convinced that it was not suitable to the present or future conditions of this country. One of their first (?) after obtaining from England a recognition of our Independence was (commence?) proceedings to obtain a (simpler?) & stronger form of union. They had listed the radical defects of the Confederacy & knew the wants of the country.
Our present national Constitution is the fruit of their labor. It was framed by men who had been subjects of a foreign king. Each of them had been the citizen of one of the (confederate?) states. (They?) (to the?) full the (?) pride which made the founders of our union so (?) of a national government. Burke had been taught by the War of the Revolution that this confederacy was a broken (?) a (?) of (?) which (?) the national (?) (?) (?) (?) the rights of the states. They had (?) such a union & knew its )?) & (?) defects. They wanted no (mere?) (league?) nor confederacy of (?) states. They had tried both. They aimed to create a nation.
Our present Constitution was planned by these men. The fathers of our Independence they expressed their sentiment in its preamble "We the People of the United States in order to form a more perfect union."
It is the Constitution of the People, their covenant with each other, their solemn pledge to become a nation. (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?). The alliance of the colonies, their confederation as states, the "more perfect union under our present constitution as a nation: We have grown (?) (?) (?) have (?) created.
Such a result is in harmony with (?) nationalities. The little tribes & classes who occupy a country in its earlier stages become little by little consolidated into nations.
If our transformation into a great nation had been accomplished without internal war we should have been an exception to all history. The fire that melts tribes into a common state must be strong & (firm?). The birth of a nation has never been bloodless. Providence has ordained that we must wade through a sea of blood & suffering to win our nationality.
Small states & tribes have always been natural enemies & resist consolidation with desperate resolution. (Their?) (?) (men?) comprehend this union would be fatal to (their?) power - all of them cannot be rulers & they prefer to be chief of a small tribe rather than (?) to some ruler in a great nation. (Then the jealousy?) & ambitions of these sectional leaders (?) (?) (?) nationality. (?) the leaders of (?) is the (?) of a (?) ( ?) of (?) can at her pleasure obey or defy the national government (?) of the (?) conceded to the United States the (sovereignty?) of (this?) (states?) (and?) Andrew Jackson can command & John C. Calhoun must obey. The pride & ambition of all these sectional leaders is permanently arranged against Unions & pledged to weaken & (?) it. It has been the uniform history all nations that such internal struggles will last till these petty leaders had been crushed under the hoof of war & their discredited ambition quenched in their blood. The progress of modern times is towards the union into one nation of all who form the same common (stock?) & the local leaders who stand in the way of such union & (strive?) to prevent it oppose this spirit of the age & belong to the past. They will perish in the struggle.
We have had at all times since the adoption of our present Constitution a body of ambitious & scheming men who (?) the (full?) sovereignty of our nation. Who proclaimed that we were not a nation but a mere league of nations in which the real sovereignty remained in the states & the nation was a kind of myth or (?) having no right to act against the will of any of the states.
About thirty two years ago this (?) took the form of open defiance to the General government and in the name of nullification & South Carolina called (on?) his (?) (?) resist the Execution of our national laws within his State limits. Fortunately for the country we had Andrew Jackson instead of James Buchanan for President & this rebellion did not (?) to (?) (?) dignity of a (riot?). He nipped it in the bud.
But the great final struggle was reserved until our day. For four years we have battled with this heresy & it no longer exists. We have (?) the only (?) (?) (?) & can now begin in our (concern?). The world has seen more than one government calling itself a popular government & professing to be founded upon the people but all have proven to be failures. They have perished by (?) & not by external attacks. They fall prey to the conflicting interests of their own citizens for each of them stood upon a false foundation. They were (communities?) consisting of separate classes of citizens. We have not the time to (?) these examples before us on this present occasion. But we may sum them up in the brief dispute of (?) & (?) for we shall find in all of them that there are (?) of upper & lower class having no political equality with each other. One class born to labor & the other to have the fruit of that labor. (?) (?) (?) though in name Republics (?) in fact aristocracy. The Dutch Republic was a nation of princely families (?) authority & (?) (?). (?) was a (?) (despotism?) called a Republic for a few years but in fact ruled by a mob in Paris at whose hand a (?) of bold & able men were in turn the king of that nation in everything but name.
Our country is the finest instance of a (?) & real Republic of a great nation where every citizen (lives?) in truth the full political equal of every other citizen. Our local (?) are dissimilar as personal (?) & possessed by (?) as (?) almost (?) an (?) ages & strength & (?) (?) the political equality of all of our citizens is absolutely & (?) the same with these fundamental (?) one so (?) to the (?). So seemingly (?) we have stood for ninety years refusing to yield to the (passion?) of either side. We deny that political equality implies any (?) equality (or?) compels us to live in common & have all property in common. We refuse to concede (?) though we acknowledge liberty & equality. On this basis we stand & (?) (fall?) because she did not understand that the only real blessing of a (?) (?) is that shall leave all its citizens political equals & let them settle their local affairs & follow (this) (?) occupation of life with such results as may chance to come & (?) and as (interference?) of any kind.
On the other side we resist the effort (sic) take any political equality for those whose (local?) (station?) & occupations place them in the (?) (?) of our population.
This (?) in (?) its citizens in such a matter as this. It was a renewal of the old struggle between the man who labored with his hands & the person who sought to compel that laborer to (become?) a mere machine.
It has been a war of great bitterness for it was the death struggle of two systems of (?) (?). Systems that are natural enemies & have been such since the earliest time known to history.
(Thus?) the misfortune of this country for (?) slavery as one of the (evil?) taints running in the blood of our (race?). When we shook off the English yoke we had the institution of domestic slavery & we retained it though (?) (?) as a constant denial of our proclaimed independence. W e determined to leave that matter with the states & let them do with it as they pleased. It was false in policy & false in logic & this mistake of our fathers has cost us a (?) of victims & a grievous public debt.
We began our national life with this system of labor opposite in all those of our history & (sectional?) in (?). We were a body with (?) (soul?) as well as the free spirit of modern labor, of education progressiveness & democracy. The other the (temper?) of the dark ages, (?) of idleness, contempt for manual labor (?) & tyranny over the laboring man. Free labor slave labor were the opposites of each other in all their relations & consequences. Slave labor belonged to the dark ages & was the highest proof of a (?) (?) (?) of society. It belongs to times when brute (?) ruled the world & (?) (?) came from (?) of blood & not for (?) in the (?) of (peace?). The (?) of the people who were cursed with the false system of labor was made like the (?) of the dark ages - It barbarized them.
The conflict between these systems might be postponed but it was (irresistible?). Men (?) the storm gathering & our most (sagacious?) statesmen declared it to be inevitable.
We sought to avoid it by paliatives (sic) & temporary expedients but at length it burst forth & for four years our land has been drenched in blood. We have at length come forth from this gigantic struggle a free nation. The (?) white man may claim this victory as the great triumph of his social order. It (removes?) from his occupation the (?) (?) which made it in all the states a dishonor to earn ones bread by the work of our hands. Henceforth our whole country is open to him & in every state he can offer his labor in open markets without having the (?) of a slave to compete in the sale of wages & without degrading his self respect by the thought that his labor is one of the badges of slavery.
Here begins the (?) birth of our nation. We are logically a nation of working men. This country was meant for the free man. Those vast regions were kept for him & assigned to be his home. Europe had (grown old?) in governmental abuses & false systems of social order & (?) (?) with (?) has (?) the (?) might make a (?) to suit himself & he had no (edifice?) to put down before he (enriched?) his chosen (?).
It has been the poor man's war & he was (?) its richest fruits. The whole South is now open to him. The haughty contempt for labor (this?) (boast?) of (?) & (violent?) men that they (were?) (born?) to (?) & that the labor (was?) (born?) to (obey?) will never again be the law in these states. The poor man who begins life with no capital but his hands & head will now have a fair start (?) such as he (?) (?) (?) & those states will (start?) forward & keep step with the other states in the grand forward march of our nation.
The foreign emigrant, the poor white man who abandoned Europe because an oppressor (?) (?) (?) & (?) in this country a (?) where he may rise to the full dignity of his manhood may hereafter county those states a part of his (?). They are open now to him & he may go there & look a man in the face as boldly as he once did in the northern & (?) states. If he had nothing but his hands he would no longer work by the side of a slave & be treated as an inferior made to feel that there are two classes & that he belongs to the vile one.
The (former?) slave (?) will be filled with (same?) population (who hunt for work to?) the west. Young men (?) (?) the North & (?) to labor & (?) (?) labor. Hardy (?) who have chosen this country for their country & who (?) mostly with their (?) (?) (?) (?). Such men will pour into the (?) like a great flood. And these men will be the (?) (?) of those (?). They will carry (?) the institutions of the North. (Our major forms?) of (?) & (labor?) (?) implements. Our system of (?) (schools?). our habits of (sacred?) equality. Of free speech free labor. (?) (?). (Must open?) the (?) of the North (?). The haughty (?) who owned half of a country & who (?) and (?) (?) for labor to whom he paid no wages & whom he (?) (?) (?) (?) will find his (?) cut into a (?) of (?) & occupied by (?) men who (?) him at the (?) & look him square in the face when he meets them. Men who insist upon having school houses so near that all the children can attend them & who compel him to pay for those houses of (?) (?) (?) (?) property in the (?).
The (free?) whites of the south will find in these men elements (?) (?)of this (?). They have been (?) & only the great slaveholders (?) made to grow brutal & debased because (?). The children of these poor whites will be educated in these common schools & made to understand the (great?) (?) (?) lands open before them & that honest labor is the high road to the (?) (?) in (?) (?).
These poor whites which the great slaveholders (?) (?) oppressed & which (he?) (?) (?) (?) (?) to call white trash will have more cause than any other (deserves?) all this (?) (?) (?) (?) as his final (?) of free labor.
These men brutalized by two (?) of (?) & (?) all of the (?) (?) with (?), blood of our blood, bone of our bone. Out of this (disgruntled?) class come the (?) (men?) who were placed at the head of our government. The martyred President has been in the lowest rank among the (?) & can (?) (?) (?) in the same class - (North?) (?) (?). (It?) would be folly to say that a class of men who in the same generation gave birth to such men (?) an inferior (?) (?) (even?) the lack of education & (?)

(editor's note: the writings seem to end in mid-sentence).