Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dec. 21, 1861

Dec. 21, 1861: In the Harper’s Weekly issue of this date, an editorial offers this view of slavery’s relationship to the cause of the Union:

"It is likely that, in the course of the contest which is being waged, various existing interests, including the institution of slavery, may suffer severely. With that the United States have nothing to do. As soon as the authority of the United States Government is acknowledged throughout the revolted section the war will cease, whatever be the condition of the slaves and the slave-owners; but until that authority is acknowledged the war will go on, and, whatever may be the views of individual generals, it will be waged in the most thorough manner, and every rebel interest, including the institution of slavery, will be assailed as vigorously as possible. If we are forced to free the slaves in order to restore the Union, we shall do so. But no one in authority would desire to carry on the conflict for one hour after the authority of the Government was acknowledged at the South, for the sake of abolishing slavery."

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