The National Era
Unsigned Article
Washington, D.C.: 7 July 1853


  The Richmond Examiner, noticing the fact that the emigrant arrivals at the port of New York alone amounted to 310,498 persons in the year 1852, draws the probable inference that scarcely a family in Europe, out of Russia, and Turkey, is without a representative and correspondent in this country, and asserts that a more effective system of propagandism could not be devised or imagined, than that which is embodied in "the immigrant correspondence." Writes home of his experience of life in the new as compared with what it was in the old country; of his encouraging prospects for comfort and happiness; of the Government and laws of which he is a part and joint enactor; of his equality of position, politically and socially, with the proudest and wealthiest; of his own home, his own lands, and his own property. The effect cannot be measured, but it is felt; and while it operates upon the popular mind of Europe, it is as well understood by the men concerned to resist its influence.

  The Examiner believes that the privileged and titled classes are alarmed at the progress of this silent, pervading, universal propagandism of the republican sentiment, and believes that they are playing off "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and Mrs. Stowe against the force of the popular sentiment which is thus growing up against them.

  Our opinion is, that there is a proper Anti-Slavery efficiency in the sentiment of Europe, which Mrs. Stowe has so remarkably promoted, that our Southern friends will not be able to nullify by charging it upon anti-republican feeling and policy. Very likely, foreign tyranny will use the evil report of our own to abate the reputation of our republican system, and to weaken the force of its example upon the nations. Whatever mischief the system of slavery works in this way against the common weal of the wide world, is its sin and shame. This has always been among our chiefest charges against it, and one of our strongest objections to it. And so the Examiner should feel it. On his own showing, it is the sole hindrance to good that our prosperity and glory should work among our fellow-men. It is no matter with what motive the aristocracy wields it against us, the fact remains that we furnish the weapon. So far as Mrs. Stowe's book has such influences, its mission is a hapless one, and it must be decided by events whether it is for the better or worse that the work is making the tour of the civilized world. But the simple fact that it is so distributed in the monarchies of the old world, is not conclusive that it gets allowance for the mischief it may do to the doctrine of popular sovereignty. It is as generally circulated in the Southern states of this Union as in any despotism abroad; and whatever it is that gives it currency south of Mason and Dixon, may be the reason of its introduction anywhere else. . . .