Is the true issue of the rebellion before the people? I say, No. The people are arrayed against each other by false issues. Factions and parties have their idea of the rebellion. One set contends that it is a war to emancipate the blacks, another that it is for the constitution and the laws. The North is divided as they always were for the benefit of the South; the North have no real national idea as a body. The Southern feeling runs through the North and there is a subservient obedience to aristocracy and a sort of servile admiration of a Southern gentleman as though he was superior to a Northern man.
Now the South have one idea that is outside of all the Northern party's feeling, that is, Aristocracy or Slavery. To them the true issue of the rebellion is the extension of slavery. To accomplish this is their sole aim, and for this the North is at loggerheads with each other. So false issues are started by the sympathizers at the North. One is that the South want nothing but their rights, and the abolitionists want to get away their slaves. This splits up the North and at this time there are at the North two parties: one that sustains the administration and the other that opposes it for the South, while the administration are really carrying out the measures of its opponents.
The opponents of the administration say they are in favor of the constitution as it is, and the union as it was, and accuse the President of going contrary to the constitution. This is the Southern party. Now, where do they two differ? One party sustains the President in putting down the rebellion outside of slavery and want nothing at all to do with it. Then there is another party that sustains the President but at the same time sees that its personal sympathy is to sustain the institution of slavery. This creates a sort of irritation, for this class sees that the true issue of the war is the extension of slavery. Now this is the true issue, and how stands the country?
The administration goes to put down the rebellion. Now the rebellion contains two issues: one at the North and the other at the South; therefore it requires two parties. The Northern soldiers are employed to put down the rebellion without having anything to do with slavery, but the Southern sympathizers at the North try to instill the false idea that the war is to free the blacks, thus affecting the prejudices of the officers and soldiers. They neutralize their feeling and demoralize their order. This party are exclusively under the power of the government. The other element, the blacks, are arrayed against the true issue, the extension of perpetual bondage of their race.
As the one idea dies out of the administration, of crushing the rebellion and saving slavery, the people get disheartened and say this course can never bring about a peace. Then the element of freedom sets itself against that of slavery, and at last every other side issue will be out of sight and the true issue that was first started by the South will stand out. Then every person must choose between slavery and death or freedom, for there never was any other issue at the South.
Now if the reader will stop and pause a few moments, he will see that the true issue is the extension of slavery. Slavery is the true issue at the South. The party that made war with it is like a little cloud, black, but increasing till the whole heavens are black. Then the lightning will flash and the fire of revenge will fly from one section to another till the whole heavens will be one vast element of freedom. Then those who are in favor of slavery will flee into the mountains and caves to hide themselves from the light that sets the world free. Those that sit in darkness will see the light spring up and those that sit in the shadow of death will be set free from the cursed evil, African slavery.
P. P. Quimby