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been sent home, and the whole of their legislative action should have been annulled, as the acts of a legislature which had no right to sit.”
This is good sound Whig doctrine. But see what immediately follows:–
“The difficulty about Kansas is that it is a card in the hands of politicians during the coming campaign. When the truth about Kansas is known, you will find that some of the men who have been most loud in denouncing the Kansas outrages, have been the most vigorous in preventing the measures which are calculated to give peace to that territory.”
This sounds very much as if the Republicans, who have certainly been most loud in denouncing the Kansas outrages, have prevented the adoption of such measures as the speaker had just said ought to have been taken. But he will hardly assert that. The Republicans held the card, if there was a card of that sort to be played. Why did not the Administration trump that card? They held the trump, in the shape of the admission of Kansas under the Topeka constitution. That would not only have taken the card, but would have ended the game, so far as Kansas was concerned. But that was just what the slave-holding partners of the Democracy would not consent to do.
What measures have the Republican party prevented, which were calculated to give peace to Kansas Why, they have prevented the passage of Toombs's bill; and they have most vigorously refused to compromise in such a manner that slavery will make sure of Kansas.
The presiding officer, referring to the possible success of the Democratic party, identified as it is with the overthrow of the Missouri Compromise and the unjustifiable foreign policy disclosed and avowed in the Ostend Conference, says: —
“I can see before us no promise, and but little prospect, of either domestic or foreign peace. There is no alterative here. On the contrary, such a result presents to my mind nothing but an indefinite continuance and prolongation of that wretched state of things which has distressed the heart of every true patriot for the last six or seven months, -fears without and fightings within, the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not, fresh conflicts upon our own soil springing from the squatter sovereignty doctrines which have been so disastrously inaugurated in Kansas, and fresh panics of war with soreign powers, disturbing our trade and finances, and followed, perhaps, by the dread catastrophe itself.”
But he adds : —
“If I turn, on the other hand, to a contemplation of the triumph of the Republican party, I perceive clouds and darkness, by no means less dense or threatening, resting upon the future of our domestic peace.”
Now, the main purpose of the Republican party is to prevent the accomplishment by the Democratic party of what it is here said is the very “abomination of desolation.” So it seems that it is just about as dangerous to prevent iniquity as it is to commit it.
The Convention resolves that the fierce and dangerous elements of discord let loose by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, “can never be put to rest until that healing measure shall be practically reënacted, and the territory once solemnly dedicated to freedom be received into the Union as a free State.” And then they cannot refrain from expressing their preference for Mr. Fillmore. That is, in other words, a recommendation to vote for him. What, and Donelson, too? Yes, and Donelson, too ! You cannot scratch that ticket, because you vote for electors, who, if they vote for Fillmore, will vote for Donelson, too. Well, what kind of a Whig is Mr. Donelson, “I should very much like to know!” A Democratic slaveholder of Tennessee, on the South American ticket, editor of the Washington Union during Mr. Fillmore's administration, and an “uncompromising opponent of Whig men and measures, – condemning indiscriminately ’’ all of it that was Whig. How far is Mr. Donelson likely to promote the admission of Kansas as a free State, or to oppose the acquisition of Cuba for the express purpose of adding more slave territory !
But is there any expectation on the part of the Convention, that Mr. Fillmore can be elected ? Hardly. The presiding officer is “prepared, if need be, to try how it feels to vote without any State at all,” although he hopes better things. Rather faint, that. But my eloquent friend is more explicit:
“Only stand firm,” he says, “only let us weather this next point, and depend upon it, we shall have smoother seas, and more favoring gales the next year. I only ask you, while you are firm, while you are zealous, to be also patient and forbearing to one another. The duty that is at this moment laid upon the Whig party is one that most tries the temper and the soul of man. It is that which calls for the exercise of the passive virtues, and they are always harder to bring out than the active virtues. It is an easy thing, when the trumpet sounds, when the air rings and burns with exhilarating shouts, when the pulse beats high, and the blood in the veins seems turned into liquid fire, —it is easy then to fling one's self into the face of the enemy, and meet victory or death. But to stand still, and have your ranks mowed down by the enemy's artillery, - to see your friends and brothers falling on each side, – to hear no word but the calm grave voice of the commander, “Close up your ranks, boys, and show a firm front to the foe,’ that is hard; but we are of the stuff that can do it.”
So it appears that at a time of great excitement in the country, while there are fears without and fightings within ; while the abomination of desolation stands where it ought not; while there is no promise and but little prospect of either foreign or domestic peace in the success of the Democratic party, which has originated all the troubles, while a great battle is to be fought between slavery and freedom, the Whig party is to denounce the Republican party, which does battle for freedom, as one upon whose success clouds and darkness rest, and to be brought into the field, standing shoulder to shoulder, — to fire at a target. myself in the ranks and do a yeoman's service. I cannot be brought into the field in the heat of the battle, under any leaders, – to shoot at a mark. But I have other reasons why I cannot vote for Mr. Fillmore. Mr. Fillmore in the Presidential chair was not the same Whig Mr. Fillmore who was previously a representative in Congress. And Mr. Fillmore deserting the Whig party upon its defeat in 1852, and joining a party whose distinguishing principle, be it good or bad, is not a Whig principle, -is no kind of $ Whig. Moreover, Mr. Fillmore, On his return from Europe this summer, made a speech at Albany, I could not find it in one of his Boston organs the other day, where his speeches at Newburg and Rochester and other places on his route seemed to be stereotyped; but copies of it are extant, and these are extracts: —
If this is done, it is thought that the party will live to fight another day.
“Depend upon it, Mr. President,” (says the last speaker,) “the time will come when the tide of battle will turn; when ‘either night or the Prussians will come,’ as Wellington said at Waterloo; when along our ranks will ring, as did there, the stirring words, ‘Up, Guards, and at
“We see a political party, presenting candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency, selected for the first time from the free States alone, with the avowed purpose of electing these candidates by suffrages of one part of the Union only, to rule over the whole United States. Can it be possible that those who are engaged in such a measure can have seriously reflected upon the consequences which must inevitably follow, in case of success? (Cheers) Can they have the madness or the folly to believe that our Southern brethren would submit to be governed by such a Chief Magistrate?
“Suppose that the South, having a majority of the electoral votes, should declare that they would only have slave-holders for President and Vice-President, and should elect such by their exclusive suffrages to rule over us at the North? Do you think we would submit to it? No, not for a moment. (Applause.) And do you believe that your Southern brethren are less sensitive on this subject than you are, or less jealous of their rights? (Tremendous cheering.) If you do, let me tell you that you are mistaken. And, therefore, you must see that if this sectional party succeeds, it leads inevitably to the destruction of this beautiful fabric reared by our forefathers, cemented by their blood, and bequeathed to us as a priceless inheritance.”