SLAVERY AND THE HIGHER LAW
"SOUTHERN Slavery is an institution which is in earnest. Northern Freedom is an institution that is not in earnest." So said Parker, pointing the moral cowardice of the North, its insincerity, its futility, its blundering. Here was the North, with twice the population of the South and twice its wealth, celebrating every year the Declaration of Independence, and knuckling under, just as regularly, to the South. Here was the North, dedicated to freedom by Nature itself, schooled in the politics and the philosophy of freedom, but voting the slaveholders' ticket every time. New England went for slavery, the South choosing for her errand boy the favorite son of the Granite State; Massachusetts went for slavery, her greatest Senator speaking for compromise and fastening the Fugitive Slave Bill on the land; Boston went for slavery, Winthrop, Eliot, and Appleton all toeing the line spun by the fine logic of John Calhoun. Faneuil Hall went for slavery, her walls reverberating to the tumultuous applause of Mr. Webster's new doctrine, "the great object of government is the protection of property." State Street signed for slavery, and fifteen hundred merchants volunteered to send Thomas Sims back to his Georgia master. The Press pled for slavery, the Post stating, "In every point of view New England seems to have been made for the South and the South for New England. How could either live and flourish without the other?" while the Courier and the Advertiser urged the proscription of lawyers who dared to defend fugitive slaves. Society sustained slavery, Sumner and Dana and Palfrey ostracized by
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Publication information: Book title: Theodore Parker. Contributors: Henry Steele Commager - Author. Publisher: Little Brown and Company. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1936. Page number: 197.
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