Why Not Vote?

September 29, 1854

Under the title (above), here is an answer to a letter from a subscriber who asks if The Liberator opposes political action.  Here is an excerpt from the answer made:  “..We must not be seduced from our course by the cry of political expediency.  It is very desirable to prevent the extension of slavery; it is more desirable to abolish it.  Abolition is our object – non-extension is but an incident, the natural fruit of the tree.  To leave the tree untouched, to nourish and protect it as it stands, and at the same time to protest against its bitter fruits, is to be given over to a fatal delusion.  Let the axe be laid at the root of the tree, and every man wield it with lusty vigor, until it be cut down and given to the consuming fire.  …Believing all war to be sinful, we shall never vote that Congress shall have power to declare war, and to provide for an army and navy,’ etc.  Believing  slaveholding to be criminal, we shall never vote to allow a slave representation in Congress, nor to suppress a slave insurrection, nor to make the whole country slave hunting-ground.  Is this to throw away the staff of accomplishment, or to wield it with moral potency?…”