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By William Henry Seward, of New York




It is true, indeed, that the national domain is ours. It is true, it was acquired by the valor and the wealth of the whole nation. But we hold, nevertheless, no arbitrary power of it. We hold no arbitrary power over anything, whether acquired by law, or seized by usurpation. The Constitution regulates our stewardship; the Constitution devotes the domain to the union, to justice, to welfare, and to liberty ... This is a State, and we are deliberating for it, just as our fathers deliberated in establishing the institutions we enjoy.


Whatever superiority there is in our condition and hopes, over those of any other "kingdom" or "state", is due to thefortunate circumstance that our ancestors did not leave things to "take their changes", but that they "added amplitude and greatness" to our Commonwealth "by introducing such ordinances, constitutions, and customs as were wise". We in our turn have succeeded to the same responsibilities, and we cannot approach the duty before us wisely or justly, except we raise ourselves to the great consideration of how we can most certainly "sow greatness to our posterity and successors".

And now the simple, bold, and awful question which presents itself to us is this: Shall we, who are founding institutions, social and political, for countless millions; shall we, who know by experience the wise and just, and are free to choose them, and to reject the erroneous and unjust; shall we establish human bondage, or permit it, by our sufferance, to be established? Sir, our forefathers would not have hesitated an hour. They found slavery existing here, and they left it, only because they could not remove it. There is not only no free State which would now establish it, but there is no slave State which, if it had had the free alternative, as we now have, would have founded slavery. Indeed, our Revolutionary predecessors had precisely the same question before them in establishing an organic law, under which the States of Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa have since come into the Union, and they solemnly repudiated and excluded slavery from those States forever.

The Union, the creation of the neeessities physical, moral, social, and political, endures by virtue of the same necessities; and these necessities are stronger than when it was produced, by the greater amplitude of territory now covered by it; stronger than the sixfold increase of the society living under its beneficient protection; stronger by the augmentation ten thousand times of the fields, the workshops, the mines, and the ships of that society, of its productions of the sea, of the plow, of the loom, and of the anvil, in their constant circle of internal and international exchanges; stronger in the long rivers penetrating regions before unknown; stronger in all the artificial roads, canals and other channels and avenues essential, not only to trade, but to defense; stronger in steam navigation, in steam locomotion


on the land, and in telegraph communications unknown when the Constitution was adopted; stronger in the freedom and in the growing empire of the seas; stronger in the element of national honor in all lands, and stronger than all in the now settled habits of veneration and affection for institutions so stupendous and useful. (Being part of a speech delivered in the United States Senate, March 11, 1850)

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BENIGHTED Editorial

A tremendous publicity campaign is being waged to extol the merits of B.B.C. 2, which starts (for London viewers only) next April.

What with classrooms of the air, occasion nights, family nights and encore nights, plus the existing Coronation Street nights, Ζ cars nights, Panorama nights, This Is Your Life nights and Emergency Ward 10 nights, the next demand will be for the week to be extended to 14 days so that we can enjoy this feast of culture, uplift and entertainment.

Unfortunately, in all the splendid new plans we detect no sign whatever that Aunty B.B.C. is going to change one of her very worst habits in the slightest degree.

The old girl may kick over the traces just a little and take an occasional glass of satirical near-beer.

But when it comes to serious political news she walks steadily on the right-hand side of the straight and narrow establishment path.

So we get news and comment slanted viciously against the Communist Party and the Socialist countries, with hardly an opportunity given for the Communists themselves to put their point of view.

More and more trade unions and other bodies are opposing the suppression of minority views. The real new look they want the B.B.C. to adopt is the ending of this political discrimination. (Daily Worker, 1963)


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