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Speech of the Hon. William Allen, of Ohio, on the Enlistment of Negro Soldiers; Delivered in the House of Representatives, February 2, 1863


their Representatives here tell us that they will       turers. The people of the Northwest have ever
stand by it to the last; yet these gentlemen have       been, are now, and will remain, for the Union
appealed to this Congress to refrain from the pol-      first, last, and all the time; but when that Union
icy pursued; and again protest against the passage      is forever broken it will be their duty to take care
of this measure, which will tend to alienate the        of themselves.  That holy hatred which New
feelings and, if possible, drive those States out of    England "bigots" have attempted to infuse into
the Union.                                              the minds of our people against those of slave
  What else but separation can be expected if           States is not deep-rooted enough to prevent us
every means is resorted to which may serve to           from establishing advantageous commercial rela-
alienate the people of all the slave States from the    tions with the people of the seceded States if mu-
Government?  Is separation what is desired by           tual political relations should even be impossible.
the Administration party?  It would certainly           Neither is our love for New England so great
seem so.  The late speeches of the leaders in this      that we will sacrifice our own interests to advance
House, in addition to the policy to which I have        hers.  I hope no such contingencies as those to
referred, fastens the conviction on my mind that        which I have adverted may ever arise, but that the
separation of the States is their object.  If this      people of all sections of this country may again
party are determined to cause a perpetual sepa-         unite under one constitution and one flag.
ration of these States by pursuing a policy which         I trust, however, I will be excused for the slight
renders restoration impossible, upon them will          reference I have made to our probable future rela-
rest the responsibility. The Democrats and con-         tions, since the subject of foreign mediation has
servative men of the country yielded their support      been broached by a leading journalist of the Ad-
in every measure possible for the protection of the     ministration party, one who, from his past inti-
Constitution and maintenance of the Union, and          macy with the powers that be, might be supposed
will disclaim all responsibility for their destruc-     to speak upon authority; and since the leader of
tion.  If separation is inevitable, so far as we        the party in this House, [Mr. STEVENS,] as well
the people of the Northwest are concerned, the          as the distinguished gentleman from Kansas, [Mr.
sooner it takes place the better, as we share all       CONWAY,] has assumed the position that the se-
the disasters and none of the benefits of this war.     ceded States are already "in act and in law" out
And we have no desire to exhaust our means and          of the Union, neither owing allegiance to it nor
to bear all the burdens which it imposes on us, that    entitled to protection from it; such being once ad-
the coffers of the people of New England and their      mitted as the status of these States by the party,
coadjutors in other sections of the country may         as I have no doubt it will be-for the gentleman
be filled. We will not remain mere tributaries to       from Pennsylvania has well said that he is always
the interests of these eastern capitalists. The         in advance of his party who are sure to follow--
people of New England and their offspring along         there will nothing remain to be done by it but
the northern lakes may enter into and mature            agree upon the terms of separation. I am inclined
their schemes for ship canals, as has been jocosely     to think the position of these gentlemen will be
aid, "to drain the lakes;" but they will not much       the platform of the party upon which "to render
longer drain the pockets of our people by their         separation easy."
tariffs and abolition policy.                             But the people of the Northwest will oppose
   If separation takes place between the North           separation to the last; they are not in favor of
and South, we of the Northwest will look to our         the separation of a single State from the Union--
own interests; and if our political relations with      not even their erring sisters, Massachusetts and
the southern States should be severed, we will          South Carolina.  They have poured out their
have the free and uninterrupted navigation of the       blood and their treasure to maintain the bond
Mississippi river, for the want of which we are         which binds the States together, and they do
now suffering such great loss in the depreciation       not desire that all the sacrifces which they have
of prices; even if we should obtain this advantage      made shall result in the destruction of the Union
at the expense of losing the friendship of New          which they have been struggling to preserve.
England, we will sell where we can sell highest,        And until the fanaticism which rules the hour has
and buy where we can buy cheapest. We do not            destroyed all hope of reconciliation and reunion,
desire nor intend that the prices of our great sta-     they will cling to this Union as the unfortunate
ples shall be depreciated by transportation on rail-    mariner clings to the last wreck of the foundering
roads, nor those of the commodities which we            vessel. Until all hope of reconstruction has van-
purchase enhanced by high tariffs, which inure to       ished, their motto will be: "The Union as it
the exclusive benefit of New England manufac-           was, under the Constitution an it is."


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Speech of the Hon. William Allen, of Ohio, on the Enlistment of Negro Soldiers; Delivered in the House of Representatives, February 2, 1863


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