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By the Agitators,
THE CAUSES WHICH LED THERETO.
THE COURT OF
AND IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
G. TRACY, UTICA.
[Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by William Thomas, in the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.]
In the following treatise, plainness and simplicity have been my constant and undeviating aim. If I have been liberal and unsparing in censures, I can appeal to an approving conscience for the rectitude of my intentions—for the evidence that in every sentence which has been uttered I have been guided by a scrupulous adherence to truth and justice. If any whose conduct has been called in question should have occasion to complain of neglect, they may be well assured that the true cause is, the want of information—that the bounds within which I was obliged to be confined would not permit, or that the place they occupy in the ranks of the “ Enemies of the Constitution does not render them sufficiently formidable to require that they should receive more particular notice. It has been necessary frequently to bring into view the abolitionists and the agitators,*--the movements and measures of each. But I have carefully avoided touching upon the peculiar sentiments of the Anti-slavery Society. I am neither a member of that society, nor have any connexion with its movements. I am indeed opposed to slavery; but what particular mode of emancipation would be most expedient, is a question involving consequences too grave to approach in a treatise like the following, where it has no necessary connexion with the subject. To present a well-digested scheme would be inconsistent with the design and limits of this work, even if I were blessed with the wisdom and research necessary for the task. Upon a question so important, therefore, I have neither the inclination nor confidence to attempt to forestall the reader's opinion.
* The agitators are those who are endeavouring, by deception and fraud, to subvert the constitution, and change the settled policy of this country. These fanatics, by means of their incendiary meetings and publications, have long been labouring to inflame the public mind against the abolitionists, by misrepresenting their sentiments and designs. They have industriously circulated throughout the southern states publications of the most inflammatory and incendiary character, calculated to produce an insurrection among the slave-holders, and a dissolution of the union. With such assiduous and untiring zeal have their disorganizing schemes been pursued, that they have agitated the country to its utmost bounds with excitement and alarm, which threaten to sunder the most endearing relations and most sacred ties.