ABOLITION AND GOVERNMENT
THE abolitionist leaders did not depend on a moral agitation alone; they began at once to use the ordinary methods of appeals to their state governments, secured the early personal liberty laws,1 and agitated with some success against the black codes. Though eventually some extremists arrived at the point of denying that any process of law could make a man another man's chattel, most of the abolitionists accepted the principle laid down in their declaration of 1833--"the sovereignty of each state to legislate exclusively on the subject of the slavery which is tolerated within its limits."2 Any other principle would limit the right of the northern states to maintain their freedom.
To their own state governments the abolitionists looked also for the protection which "causes" of every kind received. Prison reformers, prohibitionists, and Mormons argued, published, and declaimed; why not abolitionists? But as soon as they attracted the attention of the south, they found en____________________