The Utica Morning Herald, in a calm
article, reviewing the suggestions of adjustment between the South
and North, says:
Nor is it the simple restoration of the Missouri
Compromise that is anywhere proposed. The Albany Journal does not
suppose that anybody would regard that as of any significance as a
measure of conciliation. The extension of the Missouri Compromise
line to the Pacific is the intent and purpose of the Journal, as it
has frankly said.
The position of the Albany Journal in the Republican Party
and in the State, demands that its deliberate arguments on a matter
so important should be respectfully weighed and considered. We
dissent most vigorously from its proposal for extending the Missouri
Now that the suggestions of this Journal are the occasion of
more attention than was anticipated, it is not strange that their
plain import should be misunderstood, especially as in some quarters
they have been intentionally misrepresented. The following is what we
With a mutual desire to harmonize differences,
let us suppose that, in place of a vindictive Fugitive Slave
law -- a law repugnant to manhood and honor -- one should be enacted
which arms the Federal authorities with all needful power for its
execution, together with a provision making Counties where
fugitives are rescued by violence, from officers who have them in
charge, liable for the value of the Slaves so rescued.
And in regard to the other vexed question, viz: the right of
going into the Territories with Slaves, why not restore the
Missouri Compromise line? That secured to the South all Territory
adapted, by soil and climate, to its 'peculiar institution.'"
The "Herald" will see that the point we made had reference
only to the "simple restoration of the Missouri Compromise
Line." Is it fair, then, to say that "the extension o that
line to the Pacific is the intent and purpose of the Journal?" Is it
fair to attribute to us an "intent" and "purpose" which we never
dreamed of? Is it fair to substitute the word "extend" for the word
"restore," and then "dissent most vigorously from a proposal" that we
have not either made, or suggested, or that never entered our
We do not attribute intentional unfairness to the "Herald."
It took up the question after others had perverted it. When it reads
what we did say, it will probably find less to dissent from
Our first suggestion, viz: the substitution of an efficient,
but proper Fugitive Slave Law, for the existing vindictive and
obnoxious Law, is not generally regarded with disfavor. Nor, truly
stated, could Republicans who opposed the Repeal of the Missouri
Compromise Law, threat an inquiry (for that is the form of our
suggestions) as to its restoration, as the "unpardonable sin."
The Editor of the N.Y. Courier and Enquirer has an answer to
this feature of the controversy, from which we make an
Mr. Weed's other suggestion, not proposition,
was, to "restore the Missouri Compromise line."
Well, what honest man opposed to the extension of Slavery,
can be opposed to this measure? When, in 1854, the Missouri
Compromise was repealed, we pledged ourselves to our readers , never
to cease agitation until it was actually or virtually restored. And
we demand its restoration now, not as an act of concession to the
South, but as the acknowledgment of wrong to the North by the South.
Its repeal was a gross outrage upon the plighted faith of the South,
and an insult to the whole North. By that repeal Slavery sought to
make its way into Kansas; but, thank God, it has been driven
back. In settling, then, by Compromise, let the Missouri Compromise
line be restored as an act of grace to the North; and it would lead
to a repeal of the personal liberty laws upon the modification as
suggested of the present "vindictive fugitive slave law."
Why then, if the Albany Evening Journal and ourselves, have
asked nothing but what is right and just, and which may be conceded
by both the North and South with honor -- why does the Tribune in the
face of facts and in total disregard to the slightest respect for
truth, charge us with proposing to nullify the election of Lincoln
and the disbandment of the Republican Party?
And now, that fighting on that Platform an under the Banner
of the Constitution, we have achieved a triumph for Republican
principles, we can afford to be magnanimous as well as just. There
have been errors both by the North and the South; but the greatest
error of all, was the repeal of the Missouri Compromise line. We know
very well, that in as much as that line only extended to the west
line of the Louisiana purchase, its restoration would accomplish
nothing substantial. But that is not the point. It was wrongfully
repealed; and when friends are ready to wipe out old sores and resume
their kind, friendly, and fraternal relations, let this which at the
time, was the gravest of sores, be healed also.