THE CONSERVATIVE feeling existing at the North which manifests itself in Union meetings and a submissive leaning to the South, does not meet with much favor among the ultra-slavery men. They seem to feel that conservatism is as aggressive as republicanism, only it seeks its object in a more gentle manner. The Charleston Mercury
, sneers at Robert C. Winthrop and Edward Everett for their conservative efforts, believing that it is policy
alone that governs them. To retain the southern trade, the Mercury
thinks, is the great moving spring of these Union meetings. That paper says: “The ‘conservatives’ are a very useful ‘institution’ at the North. They answer a very good purpose, and are an essential part of the Northern policy. They are the very rear guard of Abolitionism.
” * * * “They would not make the South too restive under their plucking; they would not lose their golden eggs by killing their goose. They would only gently legislate you out of all the surrounding territories, whether you will or no; but gently, still gently. They would thus only put a cordon of free states around you, and then pluck you ad libitum
, until settlers from their own states had quietly occupied by degrees, the border states; then they would push slavery still further down towards the Gulf states – then permit its continuance or not, according as it paid them.”
The Mercury gives extracts from some former speeches and votes of these northern conservative men, to show their anti-slavery views, and that they are looking forward to the gradual abolition of slavery. The Mercury might go still farther and show up some of the former anti-slavery views of the supporters of the Union meetings in this state. The old Democratic resolutions of 1849 passed by our legislature – the talk in our Locofoco papers, during the celebrated coalition of the Free Soil and Democratic parties in this state and Massachusetts, with all that the Democratic candidates then asserted or promised – the long to be remembered editorial articles in the Hartford Times in 1854 against the repeal of the Missouri Compromise – all these things would tell well for the consistency of these orators at Union Meetings. The Mercury doubts their sincerity, and says “these ‘conservatives’ are always one day after the fair, and are always in a most convenient minority.”
That paper says:
“It is not at all surprising, therefore to find the same old game being played off now. They have got into a trick of it, and can’t for the life of them, be done with it. Besides, it is of serious importance now, and some palaver should be made for the benefit of the south. It is a sugar-plum she always expects after violence or legislative robbery. The angry temper of the south must be pacified – the republicans have had their say over old John Brown – abolitionism has possession of both branches of Congress – and it is a safe and capital move to make a rousing, stunning diversion on one side to draw off the fire of the south. We accordingly hear of meetings and rumors of meetings, ‘demonstrations’ and signs of demonstrations, by the ‘conservatives’ at the north against the poor old devil, John Brown in particular, and the first cousin of the ‘conservatives,’ viz: the abolitionists in general. We are to see great things, and mighty resolutions, as of old. A general ‘glory hallelujahrum’ for the preservation of the glorious Union is to resound over the whole north. The mountain is to labor in grievous travail, and will bring forth a mole.”
What a pity it is that Gov. Seymour could not have had these remarks from our Southern masters to have read to our Union savers!
The Mercury is not very choice in its images. It says:
“The difference between the ‘conservatives’ and republicans is just the difference between Lucifer and Satan. Lucifer is a very distingue looking individual of an indescribable age, with a handsome face, brilliant black eyes, a heavy mustache, a sombrero hat, a Spanish cloak, and a rapier at his side. He is a courtly gentleman, and never indulges in loud talk, and balderdash, and violence. He would reason with you, and conduct you most politely to the mansions of the unhappy forever. Satan is a loathsome brute, with contorted features, blear eyes, a black skin, a long, forked tail, and claw feet. Satan would seize you in his claws, drive his forked tail through you, and drag you to ----, amid stenches of brimstone and sulphur [sulfur].