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PREFACE. THAT the United States are involved in very great and momentous domestic difficulties, must be obvious to all. The future portends most serious commotions. The Author was insensibly led to inquire, by what means, and by what agency, had this great nation been brought into so perilous a condition Why was it that alienation had been produced between North and South; until it had become so bitter that civil war is ready to burst forth in one of the Territories lie could not fail to trace these immnense evils to the fanatical spirit of ABOLITIONIsI. To write a history of its origin, progress, and pernicious tendency, the Author felt an irresistible impulse. But he must confess, he entered upon the task with great distrust in his own abilities to do so great a subject anything like adequate justice. He dares not flatter himself that he could make the development in a style so captivating it would win its way to public notice and favor. For years he has waited, in the hope some more vigorous pen would embark in this undertaking. But he has waited in vain. The Author, therefore, throws himself upon the generosity of the public, in the fall persuasion, that it will appreciate his effort, to restore concord and harmony in our National Councils. ( iii )