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MARCH, 1861.    DOUGLASS' MONTHLY    419

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the present Government in refusing to execute the Laws and to punish Treason, and the tendency to compromise and concession by the victorious party, are all so marked, mean and unnatural, that had any one living in another country prophesied that the facts actually now transpiring would ever occur, he would have been deemed and denounced as a slanderer of the Republic.

The strangest feature of this eventful drama is the complete inversion of the sense of the words which has taken place.  Armed Rebellion is now simply the sovereign right of Secession, and the execution of the Laws is called 'Coercion.'  The rebels seize and hold forts that don't belong to them, to prevent bloodshed.  Preparation, by the Federal Government, to defend the execution of a plot to seize the Capitol, is regarded as a menace to the sovereign State of Virginia. -- The poor old Federal Government cannot move hand or foot a hair's breadth in any direction for its own preservation, without meeting with the alarm cry of Coercion.

Under whose fostering care has this gigantic and systematized Treason grown up and reached its present overtopping and alarming proportions?  Undoubtedly, the Chief of Sinners in this matter - and impartial history will so record it - is JAMES BUCHANAN, the Democratic President of the United States.  He has been the pliant tool in the hands of the traitors from the beginning, and since the sixth of November, has shaped his whole policy so as to give the largest latitude to lawlessness, and the most perfect impunity to traitors who, under his patronage, have robbed and then sought to destroy the Government he was sworn to defend.  Under the pretense of wishing to avoid the effusion of blood, (a praiseworthy motive) he has, by his pusillanimity, virtually encouraged war upon his own sworn defenders, and the defenders of the Government.  Mr. BUCHANAN has invented a new method for the suppression of Treason and Rebellion ; it is to let the traitors and rebels have their own way, and by no means to offer them any resistance.  Hereafter, if his prescriptions are followed, the overthrow of a Government, instead of being the most solemn and hazardous undertaking in which men can engage, will be one of the lightest and safest passtimes and sports.

Next to Mr. BUCHANAN, we are indebted to the Northern wing of the Democratic party for the success of the South in breaking up the Union.  Its presses, and its leaders, smarting under defeat, have most unpatriotically and scandalously used the disunion movement of the South to frighten the Republican party into an utter abandonment of their principles, and thus to accomplish the demoralization and destruction of the party.  The game has been admirably played, and not without a large measure of success.  Encouraged by the signs of wavering in the ranks of the Republicans, they have followed up the work with ever increasing vigor and pertinacity.  Upon all supposed weak points they have directed their force with effect.  They have urged the repeal of Personal Liberty Bills, the enforcement of the inhuman Fugitive Slave Bill, the passing of the CRITTENDEN Compromise, opposed Coercion - that is, the enforcement of the Laws of the Union - and have thus encouraged the arrogance and audacity which, as good citizens, they should have been foremost
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in frowning down.  Their policy has been not the salvation of the country, but the distraction of the Republicans.  Every fact and argument which could be pressed into this service, whether touching the pockets or the prejudices of the people have been skillfully wielded to this one malign purpose.

Happily, up to this time, within twelve days of the inauguration of the Republican President, no word has fallen from the Leader of the party which can be construed into an abandonment of the principles upon which he was elected.  So far so good ;  but how long this may remain the case, no man can tell. - The atmosphere of the Capital has hitherto been fatal to the moral health of nearly all Northern men, and may prove so to that of Mr. LINCOLN, though all our hopes are on the opposite side.

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Of one satisfaction, one ray of hope amid the darkness of the passing hour, and the reign of doubt and destraction, we may now safely begin to assure ourselves.  Before we can again speak to our respected readers through this channel, the long desired 4th of March will have come, LINCOLN will be inaugurated at Washington, and his policy declared.  Whatever that policy may be towards the seceded and confederated States; whatever it may be towards Slavery, the ruling cause of our nation's troubles, it will at least be a great relief to know it, to rejoice in and defend it, if right, and to make war upon it if wrong.  To know what it is, is now the main thing.  If he is going to abandon the principies upon which he was elected, complement the South for being wrong, and censure himself and friends [[illegible]] treason and curse [[illegible]] and cleave to his enemies, turn his back on the cause of Freedom and give new guarantees to the system of Slavery - whatever policy, whether of peace or war, or neither, it will be a vast gain at least to know what it is.  Much of the present trouble is owing to the doubt and suspense caused by the shuffling, do-nothing policy of Mr. BUCHANAN. - No man has been able to tell an hour before hand what to expect from that source.  However well disposed he may have been, the slaveholding thieves and traitors about him have had him under their thumb from the beginning until now.  Every man who wishes well to the country will rejoice at his out going, and feel that though he leaves the body politic weakened, and the nation's Constitution shattered, his out going, like the subsidence of some pestilence walking in darkness, is a cause for devout thanksgiving.  A month longer in power, and perhaps, the epitaph of the American Republic might, if it may not now, be written, and its death consigned to the mouldy tombs of once great, but now extinct nations.

While not at all too confident of the incorruptible purity of the new President, (for we remember the atmosphere of Washington, and the subtle devices of the enemies of Liberty, among whom he has now gone,) still we hope something from him.  His stately silence during these last tumultuous and stormy three months, his stern refusal thus far to commit himself to any of the much advocated schemes of compromise, his refusal to have concessions
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extorted from him under the terror instituted by thievish conspirators and traitors, the cool and circumspect character of his replies to the various speeches, some delicate, appropriate, and sensible, and some rudely curious and prying, made to him during his circuitous route to Washington, the modesty with which he has pushed aside the various compliments bestowed upon him, all prove that he has not won deceitfully the title of Honest Old Abe.  True, indeed, he has made no immoderate promises to the cause of freedom.  His party has made none.  But what were small in Chicago, will be found large at Washington, and what were moderate in the canvass, have become much augmented by the frowning difficulties since flung in the way of their accomplishment by the movement for disunion.  It was a small thing six months ago to say, as the Republican party did say, that the Union shall be preserved, but events have now transpired, which make this a very solemn matter to reduce to practice.  Most things are easier said than done, and this thing belongs to the general rule.  That declaration in the Chicago platform implied that those who uttered it, believed that this Government possesses ample power for its own preservation, and that those powers should be in their hands, faithfully wielded for that purpose.  This, then, is the first question: Will Mr. LINCOLN boldly grapple with the monster of Disunion, and bring down his proud looks?

Will he call upon the haughty slave masters, who have risen in arms, to break up the Government, to lay down those arms, and return to loyalty, or meet the doom of traitors and rebels?  He must do this, or do worse. - He must do this, or consent to be the despised representative of a defied and humbled Government.  He must do this, or own that party platforms are the merest devices of scheming politicians to cheat the people, and to enable them to crawl up to place and power.  He must do this, or compromise the fundamental principle upon which he was elected, to wit, the right and duty of Congress to prohibit the farther extension of Slavery.  Will he compromise?  Time and events will soon answer this question.  For the present, there is much reason to believe that he will not consent to any compromise which will violate the principle upon which he was elected; and since none which does not utterly trample upon that principle can be accepted by the South, we have a double assurance that there will be no compromise, and that the contest must now be decided, and decided forever, which of the two, Freedom or Slavery, shall give law to this Republic.  Let the conflict come, and God speed the Right, must be the wish of every true-hearted American, as well as of that of an onlooking world.

 ☞ Mrs. WM. Webb, of Dublin, requests us to correct a mistake we made in our January number.  In acknowledging the donation, we omitted to say that the ten pounds sent through her was from 'the Irish Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society.'

-Lucy, the negro girl who was remanded to her master from Cleveland - the rendition of whom an account will be found in our present number - has safely arrived at her old home in Virginia.  Her arrival gave great satisfaction to the Goshorn family, and the escorting party was warmly welcomed, of course.   
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