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The North did not care to soil her spotless hands in the
slave traffic, did not care to be partaker of the sins of the
South; but from her heart she indorsed the terrible crime,
and by her laws and armed forces drove the fugitive back
to the hell of slavery. Let no one here think that I am
come to fan the flame of sectional animosity, or that I am
willingly or viciously reproducing the troublesome times
and struggles, which are now, happily, in the process of
time, consigned to the sepulchre of the past.
I am not to lift from the grave of the past the dead
monster--slavery; not to carry your minds back to the
haunts of oppressed innocence and truth led into captivity;
where millions groaned; where hope and piety, love and
fear, watched and labored, wept and prayed; but I am to
pay a just tribute to the negro soldier.
The prophetic voices of Lincoln and Seward had an-
nounced the awful truth, that "Slavery and Union" could
not exist together. Freedom and bondage were diametri-
cally opposed to each other. They could not be friends;
one only could exist at the sacrifice of the other.
The antagonism of these two ideas was apparent, but
who would acknowlege it? For a time slavery seemed to
recede; the air was filled with a death-like silence, and the
elements were charged with the thunders of secession.
Then the monster came creeping back to avenge old and
inveterate grudges, with all their long arrears of hate; to
revive and exaggerate obsolete abuses; to trample down,
not only the negro, but the rights of puritanic sons, and if
possible to call the slave-roll under the shadow of Bunker
Hill Monument, venerable shaft that marks a period in
American Independence, and the spot where rests the dust
of Massachusett's liberty-loving sons!
At length the lightning flashed the news from State
to State. The bloody struggle began. The North declared