* * *. Let Mr. Lincoln perpetuate this war, and hand it down to his successors in anything like his present guise, and in the canvass that begins eighteen months hence you will see a candidate on the other side of the mountain, one plank in whose platform will be that the West desert the East and join her natural ally who holds the mouth of the Mississippi. If the Democratic politicians of Albany have their way, there is more danger of an alliance among twenty States leaving New England out in the cold, than there is of an alliance among twenty States leaving the Cotton States out of the Union****
Commenting upon this extract the New York Mercury says:
"Just so, Mr. Phillips. You and your friends are beginning to see in what an awkward dilemma you have placed New England. You made the war for the negro. You were willing to let the Union slide," in order to free the slaves of the South, under the cover of "military necessity." You could not produce that "necessity" without first getting up a civil war, and you got up that war so ingeniously as to make it seem not your act, but the act of the South. Now you discover that the work of "wiping out" the South is not so easy a job as you supposed it would be. Your only remaining hope is in inciting the slaves to revolt. Your panacea for all the terrible evils of this so called rebellion, is a servile insurrection. And you tell Mr. Lincoln, poor old man, that if he does not help you to set the negroes of the South to cutting the throats of the women and children in that section, you will not only fail in your emancipation scheme, but that the war will end by a separation of the Union which will leave all Yankeedoodledom "out in the cold!" That is just what we have expected from the beginning, and that is just what will certainly occur, if the States which Yankee fanaticism and injustice have driven into secession cannot be forced back again. That they can or will be is hardly probable, if we may judge from the small progress that has yet been made in the enterprise, after nearly two years of prodigious effort.
We believe that the North has already put forth the greatest strength she will ever exert in this struggle. She is capable of more; but she has lost heart in the cause, and she has lost it only because of the gross manner in which the radical Abolition partisans of the Administration have misused both the armies and the treasures of a loyal, but conservative people. We believe that the last army that the North will ever raise and put in the field in this war, is now in the field, and that it must conquer the rebellion or fail. If it fails, then the dissolution of the old Union will be un fail accompli, and in that event the six States of New England, which together are not much, if any, bigger than Virginia, will find themselves "left alone in their glory."--And they will have no right to complain. They will really have earned that guerdon of isolation. Like arrogant partners, representing a very small proportion of joint capital, they have striven to bend the views, wishes, and interests of the firm to their special benefit, and are likely, in the end, to be kicked out of a concern in which they have sought to enjoy a disproportionate control and advantage against all the plain stipulations and equities of the original contract.
In our opinion, events show that the great mistake made in forming the Union, in the outset, was in taking New England into the partnership on any terms whatever. And we are quite as sure that no confederation of States of which she is a part can ever exist in peace, harmony, and property on this Continent. She is too selfish for any association founded in mutual compromise of opposed interests; too intellectually conceited to subordinate her insane ideas of "higher law" to the collected wisdom of a great commonwealth, and too meddling in other people's business for a political system which allows no one State in the Union to entrench on the reserved rights of any other. New England, therefore, should be abandoned to her egoism."
From an opinion article in the New York Mercury, December, 1862.