Editorial warning that Republicans were waging a war against slavery
Editorial in the Charlottesville Jeffersonian, November 11, 1858
The Republican Party, founded in the mid-1850s, made major gains in the congressional elections of 1858. Senator William H. Seward, of New York, was one of the party's foremost leaders and a leading candidate for president. "Senator Seward," editor James Alexander, of the Charlottesville Jeffersonian, wrote, "has come out with a platform which contains the true doctrines of Black Republicanism. Slavery is not only to be kept out of all new States, but war is to be made on it in those States where it exists, until it is finally exterminated from every State in the Union, and the sunny South brought down to a level with Jamaica." Alexander denounced Seward's party as "Black Republicans," a commonplace phrase that condemned the party as too favorable toward the interests of slaves and hostile toward the interests of slaveowners.