Sidor som bilder

constitute a more radical revolution in our Gov. Horatio Seymour followed, certainly mistake not only the age in which berating the Republicans generally, we live, but the people whom they repre- but especially those in Congress, as sent, and who sympathize in no desire to the responsible authors of the perils take a bloody revenge on those who think they can live more peacefully and prosper

now darkening the National sky. ously alone, 'than in a Union with those who Referring to the refusal of the Repubhave, for years, irritated them almost to licans in Congress to coöperate in the madness, by denouncing them as a reproach and a disgrace."

legalization of Slavery in the territoMr. Johnson concluded in these ries, he asked: words:

“What spectacle do we present to-day? “But we are asked, rather triumphantly, Already six States have withdrawn from this Have we a government?? The question is confederacy. Revolution has actually beintended to imply, that the government gun.

The term "secession' divests it of must be strong enough for self-preservation,

none of its terrors, nor do arguments to prove

secession inconsistent with our Constitution whatever may become a necessary means. The answer is, that the government is as

stay its progress, or mitigate its evils. All strong as its founders could agree to make virtue, patriotism, and intelligence, seem to it. Its weakness in emergencies like the have fled from our National Capitol; it has present was foreseen by the men that framed

been well likened to the conflagration of an the Constitution; but they soon perceived asylum for madmen-some look on with that they must take the Constitution as it idiotic imbecility; some in sullen silence; and

some scatter the firebrands which consume now stands, or no confederation could be formed. If, therefore, we now attempt to

the fabric above them, and bring upon all a strengthen the government by coërcive ac

common destruction. Is there one revolting tion, which all men know its founders would aspect in this scene which has not its paralhave rejected with scorn, we are the revo

lel at the Capitol of your country? Do you lutionists, and not the South; so jealous, in

not see there the senseless imbecility, the deed, were the States of Federal interference, garrulous idiocy, the maddened rage, disthat its protection of them against domestic played with regard to petty personal pussions violence was prohibited, till the disturbed and party purposes, while the glory, the State applied for protection by its legisla- honor, and the safety of the country are all ture, or by its chief executive when the le- forgotten? The same pervading fanaticism gislature could not be convened. If

, then, has brought evil upon all the institutions of

our land. Our churches are torn asunder the States would not accept protection from the general government till it was demand- and desecrated to partisan purposes. The ed, how much less would they have accepted wrongs of our local legislation, the growing coërcion against their own actions! The burdens of debt and taxation, the gradual government was strong enough while ce

destruction of the African in the Free States, mented by mutual good fellowship; but no

which is marked by each recurring census, government, and ours the least of all, is suffi

are all due to the neglect of our own duties, ciently strong to resist incessant aggravations. caused by the complete absorption of the Finally, if Congress and our States cannot, public mind by a senseless, unreasoning fanaor will not, win back our Southern brethren, ticism. The agitation of the question of let us, at least, part as friends; and then pos- Slavery has thus far brought greater social, sibly, if experience shall, as we suppose it moral

, and legislative evils upon the people will, show the departed States that, in leaving of the free States than it has upon the instithe Union, they have only deserted a happy tutions of those against whom it has been home, they may be willing to sue us to re

excited. The wisdom of Franklin stamped admit them; or, if they shall find a perrna

upon the first coin issued by our government, nent separation more desirable than Union, violation of this homely proverb, which lies

the wise motto, Mind your business!' The we may still exist together as useful and profitable neighbors, assisting each other when

at the foundation of the doctrines of local either is threatened by injustice from the rights, has, thus far, proved more hurtful to nations of Europe; and the two sections, in

the meddlers in the affairs of others than to stead of wasting their time and energies in those against whom this pragmatic action is quarreling with each other about Slavery,

directed.” will at least have more time to severally employ all their energies in seeking their own

Gov. Seymour proceeded to argue prosperity in their own way.”

that the North had, thus far, had



"Let us take care that we do not mistake

greatly the advantage in the division , ingenuous confession of the errors or disposition of the Federal territo- and sins of his adversaries is one of ries--that the claims put forth on be- the politician's commonest exhibihalf of the South were just and rea- tions of sincerity and patriotism. sonable--that the difference ought to Thus Gov. Seymour continues : be settled by compromise—that we have no alternative but compromise passion and prejudice and partisan purposes or civil war-adding:

for principle. The cry of 'no compromise' is

false in morals; it is treason to the spirit of “We are advised by the conservative the Constitution; it is infidelity in religion: States of Virginia and Kentucky that, if force the cross itself is a compromise, and is pleadis to be used, it must be exerted against the ed by many who refuse all charity to their united South. It would be an act of folly fellow-citizens. It is the vital principle of and madness, in entering upon this contest, | social

social existence; it unites the family circle; to underrate our opponents, and thus subject it sustains the church, and upholds nationalourselves to the disgrace of defeat in an in- ities. glorious warfare. Let us also see if successful coërcion by the North is less revolution-| ing won a victory, we ask them to surren

“But the Republicans complain that, havary than successful secession by the South.

der its fruits. We do not wish them to give Shall we prevent revolution by being fore

up any political advantage. We urge meamost in overthrowing the principles of our

sures which are demanded by the honor and government, and all that makes it valuable the safety of our Union. Can it be that they to our people, and distinguishes it among are less concerned than we are? Will they the nations of the earth ?"

admit that they have interests antagonistic Gov. Seymour proceeded to dilate to those of the whole commonwealth? Are on the valor and sagacity of the men which is required by the common welfare ?"

they making sacrifices, when they do that of the South-the extent of their coast-line, rendering its effectual

Had New England and some other blockade nearly impossible—the ruin of the Fremont States revolted, or of our own industry which must re

threatened to revolt, after the elecsult from civil war—and to urge would never recognize nor obey Mr.

tion of 1856, proclaiming that they afresh the necessity of compromise ; saying:

Buchanan as President, unless ample

guarantees were accorded them that · The question is simply this,'Shall we have compromise after war, or compromise Kansas should thenceforth be regardwithout war ????

ed and treated as a Free Territory or He urged that a compromise was State, would any prominent Demorequired, not to pacify the States crat have thus insisted that this dewhich have seceded from the Union, mand should be complied with ? but to save the Border States from Would he have urged that the quesfollowing, by strengthening the hands tion of Freedom or Slavery in Kanof their Unionists.

sas should be submitted to a direct There is no point whereon men are popular vote, as the only means of apt to evince more generosity than averting civil war? Yet Gov. Seyin the sacrifice of other men's convic- mour demanded the submission of tions. What they may consider vital the Crittenden Compromise to such principles, but which we regard as a vote, under circumstances wherein besotted prejudices or hypocritical (as Gov. Seward had so forcibly staprétenses, we are always willing to ted) “the argument of fear” was the subordinate to any end which we only one relied on, and Republicans consider beneficent. In fact, a frank, / were to be coërced into voting for that Compromise, or staying away / red, and seeks from the fragment of the

Constitution to construct a scaffolding for from the polls; not that their con

coërcion-another name for execution-we victions had changed one iota, but will reverse the order of the French Revobecause they could only thus avert lution, and save the blood of the people by the unutterable woes and horrors of of terror the first victims of a national guil

making those who would inaugurate a reign a gigantic and desperate civil war. lotine. [Enthusiastic applause.)" Mr. James S. Thayer (a Whig of

Mr. Thayer proceeded to argue other days) followed in a speech which urged the call, by the Legisla- circumstances, was justified by ur

that Southern Secession, under the ture, of a constitutional State Convention, to march abreast with simi- gent considerations of necessity and

safety. He said: lar Conventions in the Border Slave States, in quest of “some plan of ad- “ The Democratic and Union party at the justment on this great question of North made the issue at the last election

with the Republican party that, in the event difference between the North and of their success, and the establishment of the South.” He continued :

their policy, the Southern States not only

would go out of the Union, but would have “If we cannot, we can at least, in an au- adequate cause for doing so. [Applause.] thoritative


and a practical manner, arrive Who of us believed that, with the governat the basis of a peaceable separation [re- ment in the hands of a party whose avowed

we can at least by discussion policy was no more slave States, no further enlighten, settle, and concentrate the public extension of Slavery, and asserting the power sentiment in the State of New York upon and duty of Congress to prohibit it in all the this question, and save it from that fear- territories, that the Southern States would ful current, that circuitously, but certainly, remain in the Union? It seems to me, thus sweeps madly on, through the narrow gorge encompassed and menaced, they could not, of the enforcement of the laws,' to the with safety to their largest interest, and any shoreless ocean of civil war. (Cheers.] prudent consideration for their future conAgainst this, under all circumstances, in dition and welfare, continue in the confedevery place and form, we must now and at eracy. What would become, in twenty-five all times oppose a resolute and unfaltering years, of 8,000,000 of white people and resistance. The public mind will bear the 4,000,000 of slaves, with their natural inavowal, and let us make it that if a revolu- crease, walled in by Congressional prohibition of force is to begin, it shall be inaugu- tion, besieged and threatened by a party rated at home. [Cheers. And if the in- holding the seats of Federal power and patcoming Administration shall attempt to ronage, that, according to the doctrine of carry out the line of policy that has been the President elect, must “arrest the further foreshadowed, we announce that, when the spread of Slavery,' and place the institution hand of Black Republicanism turns to blood- itself where the public mind will rest satis

The Bangor (Maine) Union of about this date the Republican Administration of Michigan, and (copied approvingly into The Cincinnati Enquirer the Republican party everywhere, one thing :

that, if the refusal to repeal the Personal Liberty of February 8th), said:

laws shall be persisted in, and if there shall not "The difficulties between the North and the

be a change in the present seeming purpose to South must be compromised, or the separation yield to no accommodation of the National diffiof the States SHALL BE PEACEABLE. If the Re- | culties, and if troops shall be raised in the North publican party refuse to go the full length of the to march against the people of the South, a fire Crittenden Amendment which is the very least in the rear will be opened upon such troops, which the South can or ought to take--then, here in will either stop their march altogether, or wonderMaine, not a Democrat will be found who will

fully accelerate it. raise an arm against his brethren of the South.

"In other words, if, in the present posture of From one end of the State to the other, let the

the Republican party toward the National difficry of the Democracy be, COMPROMISE OR PEACE

culties, war shall be waged, that war will be ABLE SEPARATION."

fought in the North. We warn it that the conThe Detroit Free Press of February 3d or 4th flict, which it is precipitating, will not be with (copied into The Cincinnati Enquirer of February

the South, but with tens of thousands of people in

the North. When civil war shall come, it will be 6th), more boldly and frankly said:

here in Michigan, and here in Detroit, and in “We can tell the Republican Legislature, and every Northern State."




fied in the belief that it is in the course of "It is announced that the Republican ultimate extinction?'

Administration will enforce the laws against "This is the position I took, with 313,000 and in all the seceding States. A nice disvoters in the State of New York, on the crimination must be exercised in the per6th of November last. · I shall not recede formance of this duty: not a hair's breadth from it; having admitted that, in a certain outside the mark. You remember the story contingency, the Slave States would have of William Tell, who, when the condition was just and adequate causes for a separation. imposed upon him to shoot an apple from Now that the contingency has happened, I the head of his own child, after he had pershall not withdraw that admission, because formed the task, he let fall an arrow.

For they have been unwise or unreasonable irt what is that? said Gesler. “To kill thee, the time, mode, and measure of redress.' tyrant, had I slain my boy! [Cheers.] Let [Applause.]

one arrow winged by the Federal bow strike “ Aside from particular acts that do not the heart of an American citizen, and who admit of any justification, those who imagine can number the avenging darts that will that the Southern States do not well know cloud the heavens in the conflict that will what they are about, forget that they have ensue? [Prolonged applause.] What, then, been for fifteen years looking at this thing with is the duty of the State of New York ? all its importance to their largest interest, as What shall we say to our people whep, we well as to their safety, and mistake the deep come to meet this state of facts ? That the and deliberate movement of a revolution for Union must be preserved. But if that the mere accidents and incidents which al- cannot be, what then? Peaceable separaways accompany it. [Applause.] There are tion. [Applause.] Painful and humiliating some Democrats and Union men who, when as it is, let us temper it with all we can of the fever for a fight has subsided, will wake love and kindness, so that we may yet be up and wonder that they mistook the mad left in a comparatively prosperous condiness of passion for the glow of patriotism. tion, in friendly relations with another ConAgain: we should consider that, whatever federacy. [Cheers.]” may be our construction of the Constitution under which we live, as to any right under it

The Committee on Resolutions havfor one or more States to go out of the ing reported, the venerable ex-ChanUnion, when six States, by the deliberate, cellor, Reuben H. Walworth, apformal, authoritative action of their people, dissolve their connection with the govern- peared on the platform in support of ment, and nine others say that that dissolu- the second, which earnestly deprecation shall be final if the seceding members so choose, announcing to the North, "No ted civil war; saying: interference; we stand between you and

Civil War will not restore the Union, them. Can you bring them back? No! Enforcement of the laws in six States is a

but will defeat, forever, its reconstruction.” war with fifteen. And, after all, to speak Said the ex-Chancellor : plainly on this subject, and reveal the true secret of the utter repugnance of the people

" It would be as brutal, in my opinion, to to resort to any coërcive measures, it is

send men to butcher our own brothers of the within their plain judgment and practical | Southern States, as it would be to massacre common sense, that the very moment you

them in the Northern States. We are told, go outside the narrow circle of the written however, that it is our duty to, and we must, letter and provisions of the Constitution of

enforce the laws. But why—and what laws the United States, you are confronted with are to be enforced? There were laws that the great world of facts, and find this is not were to be enforced in the time of the Amea consolidated government; not a govern- rican Revolution, and the British Parliament ment of the whole people in the sense and

and Lord North sent armies here to enforce meaning now attached to it. [Applause.)" them.

"But what did Washington say in regard

to the enforcement of those laws? That Mr. Thayer proceeded to speak of

man-honored at home and abroad more “coërcion” in terms which go far than any other man on earth ever was honto elucidate the outcry since made ored-did he go for enforcing the laws?

No, he went to resist laws that were oppresagainst alleged usurpations and dis- sive against a free people, and against the regard of personal rights in dealing injustice of which they rebelled. [Loud

] with partisans of the Rebellion. Said cheers.)

“Did Lord Chatham go for enforcing the laws? No, he gloried in defence of the lib

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

erties of America. He made that memo- It is rebellion! rebellion against the noblest rable declaration in the British Parliament, government that man ever framed for his "If I was an American citizen instead of own benefit and for the benefit of the world." being as I am, an Englishman, I never would "[A VOICE: We are all rebels, then.]” submit to such laws--never, never, never!' “Judge CLINTON: May be so, sir. Gen[Prolonged applause.]"

tlemen, this secession doctrine is not a new

thing. The people have passed upon it. A single voice was raised in dissent They passed upon it in the last war. You from these inculcations. A Mr. El may do what you please, my friend; but I seffer having proposed to amend one

never, never can be prevailed upon to see,

by any process of reasoning, by any impulse of the reported resolutions by an as- of feeling, that the Hartford Convention was sertion that, if the Federal Govern not what the people of the Union pronounced

itment should undertake to use force,

a damnable treason. [Applause.] What

is it—this secession! I am not speaking of “ under the specious and untenable the men. I love the men, but I hate treapretense of enforcing the laws,” it the rights of the United States, and the exe

What is it, but the nullification of all would “plunge the nation into civil cution of the laws! A threat to reject them, war,” and been warmly supported in arms! It is nullification by the wholetherein by Mr. Thayer and others, JACKSON, and my blood boiled, in old time,

sale. I, for one, have venerated ANDREW Hon. Geo. W. Clinton, of Buffalo, when that brave patriot and soldier of Derose in opposition, and said:

mocracy said-The Union-it must and

shall be preserved!' (Loud applause.] Pre“We all agree in detesting the very serve it! Preserve it! Why should we thought of war. [Applause.] But is our preserve it, if it would be the thing that country gone? Is the Union dissolved ? Is

these gentlemen would make it—that this there no government binding these States | amendment would make it! Why should in peace and harmony! Why, the proposi- we love a government that has no dignity tion was before you, ten minutes ago, that and no power? [Applause.] Admit the this Union was dissolved, and you voted it doctrine, and what have you? A governdown. God grant it may for ever continue ! ment that no man who is a freeman ought [Applause.] Oh! let us conciliate our erring to be content for one day to live under. brethren who, under a strange delusion, Admit it, and any State, of its own sovereign have, as they say, seceded from us; but, for will, may retire from the Union! Look at God's sake, do not let us humble the glorious it for a moment. Congress, for just cause, — government under which we have been so for free trade or sailor's

rights-declares war. happy!—which has done, and, if we will by Oh! where is your government! Why judicious means sustain it, will yet do, so should it! What right has it to declare much for the happiness of mankind. [Ap

[Ap- war!

war! The Constitution invested that power plause.]

in it, but one State says, ' War is not for me66 Gentlemen: I hate to use a word that I secede.' And so another and another, and would offend my Southern brother, erring the government is rendered powerless. *** as he does; but we have reached a time I understand this amendment to have when, as a man-if you please, as a Demo- this point, and no other. It is perfectly nucrat-I must use plair terms. There is no gatory and useless, unless it has this point, such thing as legal secession. There is no because all the other points for which it can such thing, I say, unless it is a secession provide are already provided for in the resowhich is authorized by the original com- lution. It is this: You shall use no force to pact,--and the Constitution of these United protect the property of the United States, to States was intended to form a firm and per- retain it in your possession, or to collect your petual Union. [Cheers.] There is no war- revenue for the common benefit, and the rant for it in the Constitution. Where, then, payment of the common debt. Now, I am do

you find the warrant for it? It is in the willing to say, that the government is false unhappy delusion of our Southern brethren, | to itself

, false to us, and false to all, if it who doubt our love for them and our attach- should use more than necessary force for ment to the Constitution. Let us remove these purposes; but I am not prepared to that illusion. We will try to do it. But if humble the general government at the feet secession be not lawful, oh! what is it! I of the seceding States. [Applause.] I am use the term reluctantly but truly—it is re- unwilling to say to the government, “You bellion! [Cries of "No! No! revolution. '] must abandon your property--you


3 Son of the illustrious De Witt Clinton.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »