Thursday, July 25, 2013

"the right to hold and bear arms denied; the right to life and liberty sacrilegiously outraged"

The Character of Our Struggles.

"Truth crushed to earth will rise again,
The eternal years of God are hers;
While error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies amidst her worshipers."

   The Senate and Executive of the United States, taking their cue from David Atchison and the Border Ruffians, have commenced the process of crushing out freedom in Kansas. Liberty is under foot, the tyrant is on her neck. Human rights are a hissing and a by-word.--The right of self-government is ignored. The slave power is triumphant. We are like the Poles crushed by Russia, or like Hungary ground down by the Austrian despot.

   Shareholding minions are here with their dogs of war, hunting down our peaceable citizens. Men who have committed no offences are put under arrest by an ignorant usurper, called "deputy sheriff." This fellow, who can scarcely read a writ, drags our unsuspecting citizens from their homes, and taking them to a distant town, finds no court or judge, himself requires them to give bonds of $500 to appear at some future time for a trial. These men consider themselves the same as condemned, whenever their names are mentioned in a writ. The slave power is one and indivisible. To be accused is to be condemned; to be arrested is to be punished. So well do our people understand this, that many of our enterprising men leave the State rather than fall into the hands of this slave-holding inquisition. When the sheriff was recently informed that a man had left the State, for whom he had a writ, he replied, that was all he wanted. If he could make them all leave, then they could make it a Slave State. We have no doubt but what all these writs, arrests and harassments are entered into now simultaneously over the State for the purpose of preventing improvement, and, so far as possible, of driving out Free State men. The people of the country are astounded at this state of things.--They are taken by surprise, when they see the pro-Slavery party armed and equipped at every point, and ready for war. The peaceable citizens of Kansas are equally surprised. Where they expected to find countrymen and friends, they have found enemies and ruffians.--Where they expected to spend their time in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture and improvements, they have been called to leave their homes, and assemble at central points of defence to save themselves from outrage and death. To them, the use of arms was an uncommon thing.--Most of our young men had never fired a pistol, and few had ever contemplated the necessity of resisting by arms. Our enemy, the slave-power, on the other hand, always in a state of war, is always armed, always watchful, always ready to offer up on its bloody Molock, whatever victims are necessary to secure its triumph. So, here in Kansas, the dearest rights of American citizens have been sacrificed. The elective franchise has been stricken down; the ballot box destroyed; the sanctity of private dwellings invaded; the right to hold and bear arms denied; the right to life and liberty sacrilegiously outraged by murders and imprisonment But, thank Heaven, there is a sequel.

"Patience friends! The human heart
Every where hall tale our part;
Every where for us shall pray
On our side are nature's laws,
And God's life is in the cause
That we suffer for to-day,"

   True courage will often endure, for a time, what rashness would instantly resist with blood. Coolness, in the midst of danger, firmness when assailed, and forbearance, when insulted, have so far characterized our party in Kansas. With but one exception, the firing upon Jones, we have done no indiscretion or hasty act. We do not know who did that, but we presume it was some one whose rashness had overcome his patience. We do not wish for even the beginning of strife, on our part. We dread a civil war, and shall use every means in our power to avert it; and so far as patience and endurance go, will inculcate them till they cease to be virtues. At present, we see that we must suffer yet awhile longer.--We do not yield, but rather strengthen our manhood - by this unwavering and peaceful opposition. We not only increase our own power by this patient suffering, but we do what is equally important on the other hand--we cause slavery to throw off her mask and show her true character. The people of this country do not begin to know the enemy they have been so long cherishing in their midst. States have been so long nursing fathers, and churches nursing mothers to this giant evil, that it has outgrown and overgrown all things else; and now, in its early strength, it stalks abroad with thunder voice and earthquake tread, demanding, obedience; and finding no obedience here, it selects its victim for death. Those who have been sacrificed might truly say, "We have fought a good fight, we have finished our course, we have kept the faith." And many others may also say, We are ready to be offered and the time, of Our departure is at hand."--The giant power that now rules, recognizes nothing but submission. Unbending integrity must be stricken down; upright manhood must be imprisoned; love of liberty be quenched in blood, and political freedom burried in the grave.--When all this is accomplished, then will Gov. Shannon be able to make the expressive report, "Order reigns in Kansas."

[The Kansas Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday, May 03, 1856. Number 13--Volume II. Pg. 2]

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