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SLAVERY AS A NATIONAL QUESTION.

The following brief essay is not intended to be an argumentative discussion of the subject upon which it treats. Discussions of that sort have abounded so much of late years, that there would be much more presumption than wisdom in any attempt to increase the number. But perhaps it may be matter of interest, now that the conflict has been going on for more than sixty years, to know something of its earlier phases, of its varied successes, and of the deeds done and the words spoken by those who fought the same battle long ago in the infancy of the republic. The region of historical research which we are about to explore, appears to be almost a terra incognita to the majority of the fiery debaters who now-a-days are prosecuting this wordy war; or if they occasionally plunge into it for a moment, it is only to hurry back in premature triumph, dragging captive some unhappy straggling passage of Jefferson or Jay, to serve as a bone of contention for a whole generation of self-constituted agitators in and out of Congress. Now if the object is merely to perpetuate the agitation, the course pursued is unquestionably a wise one; for, short as our national history is, the stock of facts which it supplies us with upon the subject is assuredly large enough, if used with but a tithe of the economy heretofore exhibited, to last till the Union and Time itself shall be no more. But there are some quiet spirits still left who get weary of this hopeless strife, and who can scarcely afford to adopt the advice of the Scotch clergyman-to wait for rest till they get to heaven; who cannot help.calling out, “ Peace, peace," however discordant the answer may be; and who, if they needs must fight, would be glad to know what they're fighting about, fight in earnest and be done with it. To answer, then, at least one of these questions, and suggest to this rapidly increasing class precisely what the present phase of the battle is, and what hopes there are of final peace, this brief historical sketch is

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02. Ashmiad, gW Ouring Speck in

the base of the United States of
Castrır Hanway, indicted for
Preason, in the Circuit Court
of

the U.S. for the Eastern District of Penny, Idivered No.

28, 185%

Phil. 1857.)

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