The Differences Slavery Made: A Close Analysis of Two American Communities
Staunton Vindicator, "Untitled," March 29, 1861


The Democratic paper argued that Virginia had to decide whether it will go with the North or the South, and it saw no alternative but to protect slavery or face "degredation and ruin."


"The question is not "Union." That is irretrievably, hopelessly broken up. No compromise of right--no palliation of wrong, or denunciation of its resistance, can restore its fallen columns. Nor can past glory reconcile to a future of degradation. The only question is, where shall we go? With the North or the South? If with the North, what are we to do with our Negroes? Converted into pests and vampyres as they soon must be in such connexion, they will suck out the very lifeblood of the Commonwealth. And there will be no help for us. The North would gloat over our distresses, while the South, in self-defense, would be compelled to close her doors against us. The "irrepressible conflict" will then be upon us with all its horrors. Such must inevitably be our condition. And who will not say, give us war, give us anything, extermination itself, rather than such a consuming life of degradation and ruin.

Let us accept, then, at once, and without delay, the sad alternative thus forced upon us. Our Christian Churches are yielding to the necessity; and if bonds so sacred and endearing are rent by it, how vain is the hope that other ties, less hallowed, can hold us together in peace."

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Points of Analysis to this Data:

"Augusta's Democratic Party emphasized that slavery was the country's economic engine of success, protected in the territories by the Dred Scott decision, and they defended Stephen Douglas to the end as the best candidate to defeat Lincoln."

Citation: Key = E182
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