Slavery and the War.

There are a certain class of conservatives who, taking their cue and deriving their prejudices from the utterances of the N. Y. Herald, are trying to make it appear that the N. Y. Tribune is, at the head of a large party, endeavoring to turn the war into an abolition crusade, and is advocating the arming of the slaves for the purpose of indiscriminate slaughter of men, women and children at the South. If these weak patriots, instead of being carried away by such misrepresentations, would stop to read what the Tribune does say, they would discover, that the latter sheet is not in favor of arming the slaves at all. In order to show what the Tribune's views really are, we quote from a long and carefully considered article on the subject of "slaves and slavery in the war for the Union," which appeared in a recent issue. In stating its position, it says:

The great majority of the Republicans who accord in sentiment with the Tribune have never demanded, nor expected, nor desired, that the Administration or its commanding Generals and Commodores should make this "a war for the abolition of slavery," or pervert it in any manner or degree from its one sole purpose of preserving the integrity of the Union and vindicate the rightful authority of its Government. Darkened as the political sky is with the antagonist falsehood, this is the eternal truth. We cannot repeat it so often as the contrary is asserted or assumed, but the public will please remember and note the correction.

"What we do demand and insist on is, that as the efforts and sacrifices of the Nation are to be perverted to the overthrow of Slavery, so they shall not be rendered ineffective or fruitless by anxiety to uphold and perpetuate Slavery. In other words: The Rebellion being purely and palpably of slaveholding origin — an attempt to shatter and destroy the Republic in the interest and for the aggrandizement of Slavery — the Republic shall look primarily and mainly to its own safety, and let Slavery, the fountain and impulse of this most unnatural, suicidal strife, take its chances with the tornado it has conjured up. Whatever obligations to Slavery are imposed on the Government by the Federal Constitution and Union, we insist, are strictly confined to and operate in favor of loyal slaveholders alone. To rebel slaveholders and slaveholding, Government and the Union are under no obligations whatever.

We pass over because we have not room for its other points, and come to the following:

"VII. As to any systematic and general arming of fugitive slaves and enlisting them to fight for the National cause, we fully concur in the remark of Gen. Lane of Indiana, that it will be quite time to put arms into the hands of negroes after we shall have been able to arm effectually our white volunteers ready and eager to fight for the Union. We lack evidence that the material exists for Black regiments of Unionists, any more than of Indians, that would be worth their cost. But, thus far, we have perceived no necessity for and no good policy in putting a single negro into uniform on our side of the nation. When we run short of whites, as the rebels have already done, it will be soon enough to enlist the blacks. But digging trenches, constructing forts, making roads and bridges, pitching tents, cutting fuel, making fire etc., etc., involves a large amount of hard, rough work, from which soldiers who have marched or fought all day would like to be excused; and, though they must do it when they must, they ought, especially at this harsh season, to have as little of it laid upon them as will answer. Fifty thousand sturdy negroes enlisted and employed to do the drudgery of our camp, under proper regulations, would add nearly or quite that number to the efficient force of our armies — making military service far easier and more attractive; and we see not why every escaped slave, able and willing to do the work, should not thus be employed. As to the propriety of enlisting men of this class to fight, in case we should run short white volunteers, we will decide that question (as the Speaker says) when it arises. At present it is clearly not in order."

This is the sum and substance — the whole extent of the Tribune's offending; and its views, we are sure, accord with those of nineteen-twentieths of the people of Illinois. The loyal masses, who in their zeal for the Union, do not care to split hairs about the policy of this or that political question, do demand that, as the rebels began the war without necessity or provocation, they ought to be made to feel the full weight and responsibility of their crime against the best Government which ever was framed; that to this end, the Government would be unjust to itself and faithless to the people, if it fails to employ all the means at its command within the scope of the Constitution and the laws of war, to overcome its foes; and that, as the property of rebels, including their slaves, is the strength of the rebellion, it should not only be confiscated, but should be made to subserve the uses of loyalty. For what uses such property shall be employed, must depend upon particular exigencies, and be determined by circumstances. They leave these questions for the Government to determine; but as "digging trenches, constructing fortifications, making roads, pitching tents, cutting fuel," etc., involves a large amount of hard work, there is a peculiar fitness in having the contraband slaves of rebel masters do this particular kind of service. It will be time enough to talk about enlisting and arming them, when we run short of white soldiers. When that time comes, and all other "indispensible means" for the preservation of the Government fails, we shall not be slow in advocating that policy. And, we believe, none but those who are afraid the rebels may get hurt, will be against it.