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"We need not say, for the fact is well known to our readers, that no man, according to his ability and opportunity, has, since April, 1838, more strenously[sic] opposed the abolition movement in the Free States than we have; not because we loved slavery, or had any sympathy with that hateful institution, but because we loved the Constitution of the Union, and because we believed that liberty at home and throughout the world was far more interested in preserving the union of these States under the Federal constitution, than in abolishing slavery as it existed in the Southern section of our common country. But we believe, and always have believed, that liberty, the cause of free institutions, the hopes of philanthropists and Christians, both at home and abroad, are more interested in preserving the Union and the integrity of the nation, that they are or can be in maintaining negro-slavery. If we have opposed abolition heretofore because we would preserve the Union, we must, a fortiori, oppose slavery whenever, in our judgment, its continuance becomes incompatible with the maintenance of the Union, or of our nation as a free republican state...."

'The real question now before the loyal States is not , whether the Rebellion shall be suppressed by force of arms, or a peaceful division of the country into two separate and independent Republics submitted to. Any one[sic] who has any knowledge of the plans and purposes of the Rebels, knows well, that the division of the territory of the Union into two independent Republics is far short of what they are aiming at. The leaders of the Rebellion, they who planned it, they who have stirred it up, and armed it against the Union, have worked themselves into the conviction, that slavery is not to be looked upon as an evil, under certain circumstances to be tolerated, but as a good to be desired, which religion and humanity require not only to be perpetuated, but extended the farthest possible. Their doctrine is that liberty is not practicable for a whole people, that it is practicable only for a class or a race; and that republicanism can subsist and be practically beneficial, only where the laboring class is deprived of all political and civil rights, and reduced to slavery. Their plan, their purpose is, the reconstruction of the Federal government in accordance with this theory, not merely to cut themselves loose from all companionship with the non-Slaveholding States of the North and North-West. They propose to extend slavery over the whole Union, and in those Stases [sic] where negroes cannot be profitably employed as laborers, to reduce, perhaps gradually, but ultimately and effectually[sic], to the condition of slaves, the present class of free white laborers, who in the Free States are, to a great extent, Irish and Germans, by birth or immediate descent."


  1. If the author of the article was not against slavery, then why did he support the North and the continuation of the Civil War?
  2. What did the author see as the real intention behind the Rebels' actions?
  3. What effect did the author think the extension of slavery will have on the Germans and Irish?
  4. Write a paragraph evaluating the author's rationale of fighting the war and his interpretation of Southern intent

Final Assignment

As a resident of New Jersey during the Civil War, write a letter to President Lincoln analyzing the viewpoints of the North or the South. When you are writing your letter be sure to state who you are, your occupation, your core values/beliefs, and why you believe that the government should support a particular course of action. Remember that being a resident of New Jersey did not mean that you automatically supported the effort by the North, many New Jersey residents sympathized with the Southern effort. Please examine the following key areas:

  • Geography
  • Views of African-Americans by Northerners and Southerners.
  • Northern and Southern interpretations of the war.
  • Importance of religion.
  • Reasons for continuing the war.