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Nigger Worship and Its Consequences

New York Herald, March 7, 1861

In the midst of a momentous crisis like the present, when there is no knowing what calamity a day may bring forth, or how soon the grand fabric of our constitution will be swept away, and the arm of brother be raised against brother in deadly strife, it becomes us to ponder gravely over the dangers that surround us, and, as men and patriots, to combine in the endeavor to avert the worst of those evils by which our country is menaced. To the anti-slavery propagandism which forty years ago swayed so violently the people of England, and thence found its way into New England and the Congress of the United States, and was years afterwards nurtured so warmly by societies and a portion of the press, we may trace all the causes that distract the United States. It has ever been a prolific source of disturbances, riots, family feuds and national discord. It has led to scenes which have disgraced our halls of Congress. It has caused the proper objects of legislation to be neglected, and the general interests of the country to be injured and mismanaged, and by its pernicious agitation has engrossed the public mind to an extent that is positively lamentable.

From its inception to the present time the question has undergone three phases. In the first instance it was a moral one; provoked by discussion and prejudice in England; in the next it was a social one, induced by the Northern States finding slave labor unprofitable, and, therefore, wishing to abolish it; and, in the third, it was a politico-religious one, which we may call "nigger worship." In this last phase we find it now. It has become a pulpit theme, and diverted the stream of religion from its course heavenward to the stormy sea of politics. We have a prominent example of it in the case of Ward Beecher. It has ruined churches, ruined parties, and now it is ruining the whole country. Anti-slavery fanaticism has stamped its character upon our Northern literature, and led away the minds of those who had not philosophy enough to withstand its subtle influence, which, for the thirty years of the forty it has been in agitation, has been gradually undermining the constitution of the republic and the best interests and liberties of our people.

With the secession of seven States, and the prospect of the eight Border States adding to the number, it may be said to have reached its culminating point. What will follow is uncertain as the wind, and it would be rash to hazard a conjecture on the subject. It may be the secession of the remaining slave States, and mayhap civil war. But the worst consequences staring abolitionists in the face would not turn one out of a thousand of them from their fatal purpose; for fanatics are deaf to reason, and, like the English Crusaders to the Holy Land, have only a single object to accomplish, and that whatever may be the sacrifice. The disruption of the Union is not enough for these men; they want blood, and they would callously exterminate every slaveholder, from Virginia to Florida, in order to realize their favorite, and we may add fiendish, purpose. And what is the actual condition of the slaves over which these rampant abolitionists are howling so insanely? Let them go down to the Southern States and look at the four millions of negroes they will find there, and see whether they are the ill cared for, abject creatures that they would make the Northerners believe. Let them remember that, at the time of the Revolution, the colored population of the same States amounted to less than an eighth part of what it is at present. The very fact of the immense increase of numbers within so short a time speaks for the good treatment and happy, contented lot of the slaves. They are comfortably fed, housed and clothed, and seldom or never overworked. They present in their condition a favorable contrast to the white slaves of Europe, who live in the utmost squalor, and are at once half-starved and overworked, and who only find rest in premature graves. Their condition is a far happier one than that of many of the white poor of the North, who are driven to seek refuge from want in the workhouses, or yet of many even outside of their walls, who vegetate in filth and hunger in the obscure parts of our cities. The heartrending accounts which are occasionally given to the English public of the miseries endured by the London poor show a far more deplorable state of things than could ever exist under slavery in America; and English travellers who have taken the trouble of inquiring, by personal observation, into the state of the slaves in the South, have acknowledged in print the superior comforts enjoyed by the latter over the white slaves of England. What the Garrisons and Phillipses, who pronounce the constitution "an agreement with death and a covenant with hell," may do next is more than man can tell; but they may rest assured that their fanaticism, although it may destroy the Union, will also destroy them. All that we pray for is that we may be spared the horrors of civil war.