Our enemies, like the Grecian hero, have one vulnerable point. You have not touched it yet. What should have been their element of weakness has been suffered to remain an element of strength.
You are the first President to whom the opportunity was ever offered constitutionally to inaugurate such a day. If you fail us now, you may be the last.
We can constitutionally extirpate slavery at this time. But if we fail to do this, then unless we intend hereafter to violate the Constitution, we shall have a fugitive slave law in operation whenever the war is over.
It has always been a great wrong that these men and their families should be held in bondage. We of the North have hitherto acquiesced in it, lest, in the endeavor to redress it in violation of the Constitution, greater evils might ensue.
I do not mean that you could continue to do this with propriety or even with safety I merely assert that the power is, in point of fact, in your hands. And for such a power, what a responsibility to God and man
But he tempts Providence who suffers that spirit of anarchy to grow and gather strength before striking a blow for its destruction.
You would violate usage only if you should act without the advice, or even contrary to the opinions, of your constitutional advisers.