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Dear Friends: — 

For the last forty years I have been an earnest and faith- 
ful voter in the Democratic party; adhering strictly to its 
usages and policy ; and uniformly casting my vote for the 
regular nominee ; and I do not remember, during the whole 
time, to have ever voted even a scratched ticket. 

On the inauguration of the Kansas policy, however, 
under James Buchanan, the then head of Democracy, I 
forsook the party, because of what I conceived to be the 
dishonesty of its. policy, although some of you, my friends, 
still adhere to it, and are seemingly unable to see anything 
especially wrong in its course. 

Immediately after the election of Mr. Lincoln, a large 
number of the Southern States broke out into open rebel- 
lion, for the avowed purpose of destroying the Govern- 

The nation was plunged into a terrible and deadly war. 
The enemies of republican institutions are aiming at the 
destruction of our noble Government, and yet, my dear 
friends, you and I view this great struggle from different 
stand points. You fail to see, as I do, that it is the duty 
of the Democratic party, not only with its utmost strength 
to aid the Government in subduing the rebellion, but to 

abstain from every word or act that shall in the slightest 
degree give aid and comfort to its enemies. You tail to 
see, as I do, that the Democratic policy has a direct ten- 
dency to aid and encourage rebellion, and to weaken and 
discourage the Government. 

In the terrible storm of civil war which is now sweeping 
over the land, we find ourselves suddenly arrnyed on op- 
posite sides of a question involving vast consequences to 
us all. We stand, as it were, face to face, gazing at the 
question lying between us. We cannot both be right, yet 
neither is able to convince the other of his error. 

"Were this a mere political question, simply a scramble 
for office, such as we have witnessed in years gone by, I 
would be content to remain silent ; but, when I see the 
enemies of republican institutions clutching at the throat 
of our Government, and that Government apparently in 
the agonies of dissolution, I cannot restrain myself from 
making an effort to show to you the consequences which are 
almost certain to follow a successful carrying out of the 
Democratic policy. To spread before your eyes the pic- 
ture which looks so terrible to mine, and if you will bear 
with me, my friends, I will endeavor, as briefly as possible, 
to show that the policy of the Democratic party, if success- 
ful, must, of necessity, lead to nothing but evil, and, per- 
haps, to the ruin of our country. 

Before proceeding further in my self-imposed task, allow 
me to premise that, in using the words "Democratic" and 
"Democracy," I refer simply to the party organization of 
that name, and not to the principles of Democracy, which I 
regard as esse'ntially different from the policy now advocated 
by that party. With this explanation I proceed. 

The policy of the Democratic party, as I understand it, 
from the addresses of its leaders, the speeches of its can- 
didates, and the catch-words of the rank-and-file, is "Com- 
promise,'" "Peace" "To put down the Administration," "The 
Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was," and 

something, uot clearly defined, about repudiation of the 
United States debt. 

I propose, my friends, to examine these parts of the 
Democratic policy in detail, in order to see the end to 
which they will lead us. We begin, then, with 


Who is to oiler " Compromise ? " Are the rebels to ask 
for it, or is the nation to succumb and beg for a compro- 
mise ? I will not affect ignorance. It is the Government 
that the Democratic party would have sue for peace. But 
what can the Government offer as a compromise to the 
Rebels that they have not always possessed, and would 
again, by simply obeying the laws which they have enacted 
themselves, and of which they have never as yet made the 
slightest complaint ? The only crime which they speak 
of at all, is the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency 
— and this, my friends, they contrived themselves, and broke 
up the Democratic party, to make sure of electing him. 

Have you reflected that no compromise that we could pos- 
sibly offer would be accepted, or even entertained by them, 
unless embracing terms disgraceful to all who offer them, 
and absolutely destructive to the Government ? Let us 
imagine for a moment that, through some self-constituted 
committee, a parley is had, in order to learn on what con- 
ditions our erring brothers can be induced to give us peace 
and the Union? And suppose that we are met by the de- 
mand for unconditional recognition of their independence, 
payment of the Confederate debt, indemnification for all 
losses sustained by the war, including destruction of rail- 
roads, burning of bridges, cities and towns, and losses of 
every description, whether by our hands or theirs. Xow, 
these conditions would be too fright/id for even the Demo- 
cratic party to advocate ; and so, my dear friends, the in- 
evitable consequence would be a renewal of the conflict, 
with ten-fold more fury, than before, with the disadvantage 
of increased strength to the rebellion, and diminished power 

of the Government. The simple truth is, the moment we 
stop to parley, that moment we are lost. The great Re- 
public will have been conquered, and republican institu- 
tions will be things of the past. 


How ardently avc all desire peace. The nation is pour- 
ing out its millions for peace, and our brave, loyal soldiers 
arc Hooding the land with their blood for peace. Indeed, 
we all wish for peace, but how is it to be obtained? The 
Democratic party say that, to obtain it, we must "com- 
promise." Ah, friends, we have just seen where compro- 
mise will lead us. There is only one party to this war 
that can make peace — and that party is the one that broke 
it. The Government has no power to make peace, for the 
simple reason that it neither commenced the war nor gave 
any cause for it. It was attacked suddenly, without pro- 
vocation, and it has no option but to defend itself against 
the would-be assassins. 

The rebels, who broke the peace, can restore it at any 
moment, and that, too, without staining themselves with 
the slightest shade of dishonor. They have simply to 
throw away their arms, hasten to, what would then be, 
their peaceful homes, and resume their duties as citizens 
of, what would then be, a great and proud republic. Were 
they to do this, the weapons would instantly drop from 
the hands of the loyal soldiers, and their faces would be 
turned joyfully towards their Northern homes. Weie 
the Northern soldiers to lay down their arms, and the ar- 
mies to be disbanded, would the same results follow? Alas, 
no, for the weapons of the rebel soldiers, instead of falling 
from their hands, would be grasped with increased vigor. 
Their armies, instead of being disbanded, would be in- 
creased and strengthened ; their faces, instead of South. 
ward, would be turned Northward, and waste and deso- 
lation would mark their track. 

Thus, my Democratic friends, I think we can see clearly 

that the compromise and peace policy of the Democratic- 
party can lead to no possible good, but, if successful, can 
result in nothing but disaster and ruin to our country. 
But what shall we say of the policy of 


Have you reflected, friends, that the Administration at the 
present time is the. Government — and, to put down one, 
is to put down the other ? Therefore, it would seem that, 
it is the policy of the Democratic party to put down the 
United States Government. I need not tell you that this 
can only be done by rebellion — precisely as the rebels are 
endeavoring to accomplish the same thing at the present 
moment. Surely, Democrats do not contemplate anything 
so hideous as this!. Yet civil war has commenced, and 
we know not where it will end. 

"We come now to the Democratic policy of 




This is a captivating policy, because of the happy memo- 
ries which cluster in such profusion around the old Consti- 
tution and the Union. But it is also delusive, because of 
the utter impossibility of a restoration of the Union as it 
was. That delusive, though happy, condition is gone, never 
more to return. Slavery has reared its horrid front, and is 
endeavoring, with demoniac power, to strike down this 
great Republic, and is daily demonstrating that a peaceful 
and permanent union of freedom and slavery, as it was, is 

But, " The Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was" 
can anything be more pleasing to the ears of a Union- 
loving man than the sound of these words ? To my mind, 
no music can be sweeter. But, my friends, the harmony 
is sadly marred, when we reflect that the shocking rebel 
discord, with which our ears are now assailed, has been 
in secret preparation for more than thirty years; conse- 

quently, while we were resting in such seeming security 
and peace, Ave were actually slumbering on a volcano. Yes, 
my fellow-Democrats, during all those years, every portion 
of ground beneath our feet was being mined, and a rebel 
Guy Fawkes stood, with lighted taper in hand, ready to 
fire the train, the explosion of which was intended to bring 
upon our beloved country the destruction which we now 
see falling around us. Now, had wc "known what fright- 
ful ruin was in preparation for us, do you think we could 
have been happy and contented under the Constitution and 
the Union as it was ? The truth is, our slumbers were 
peaceful, because we were in ignorance of the fate that 
awaited us. 

And how can we return to the Constitution and the 
Union as it was, when we know, from present experience, 
that the result of an election, or any other fancied wrong, 
would be likely, at any moment, to light up a rebellion, 
perhaps, even more terrible than that we are now passing 
through ? 

Now, without doubt, great efforts will be made to bring 
about a restoration of the Union in accordance with the 
Democratic policy of " The Constitution as it is, and the 
Union as it was," and, as these efforts may prove success- 
ful, I would like to anticipate coming events a little, in 
order to see what results may be hoped for from this policy. 
Suppose, then, that the Northern people are informed, 
through some self-constituted committee, by the aid of 
mysterious, under-ground telegraphic communications, 
that thq, rebels are willing to return to their allegiance, 
provided that all their rights under the Constitution are 
guaranteed to them, including the right to carry their slave 
property into and through any State or Territory of the 
United States, with a general amnesty to all political of- 
fenders, including rebels of every grade, from Jeff. Davis 
down to the smallest Northern sympathisers. These terms 
would be considered by the North as exceedingly liberal on 
the part of the South, and would be accepted rdmost with- 


out a dissenting voice by the North. If no better could 
be had, I think they would also be accepted by the South. 
For, with these guarantees, they could sooner or later ob- 
tain all else they might want. 

Let us now imagine everything thus satisfactorily ar- 
ranged, and that we are thenceforward living under the 
"Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was." Elec- 
tions all through the South have been held ; an extra ses- 
sion of Congress has been called ; this is the day appointed 
for its meeting, and as the hour of noon has arrived, we 
will imagine ourselves at the Capitol, and see the Southern 
members take their seats. "We are just in time — for the 
members are all here. Do you see those two gentlemen, 
arm in arm, coming through the door? They are Davis and 
Floyd — and there, too, come Toombs and Wise, together 
with a host of other rebel lions. Observe with what ami- 
able condescension they nod to Northern members! and 
with what insolent dignity they stride to their seats ! 
Hush, friends, the roll has been called, and business is 
about to commence. Southern rights, as to slavery in the 
Territories, is called, and is now under discussion. It is 
contended by those advocating slavery interests, that- the 
Divine institution, by virtue of the Constitution, exists, 
and is protected in all Territories of the United States ; 
and, therefore, whenever the people of a Territory neglect 
to pass laws for the protection of slave property — that then 
the General Government is bound by the Constitution to 
give all needful protection to the slave-holder and his 

This, my friends, is the old question of squatter sove- 
reignty revived, which has heretofore convulsed the country 
to its very centre, and which was ostensibly the cause of 
the present rebellion. Both parties now seem anxious to 
avoid lengthened debates, so the question is brought to a 
vote. The Democratic members, from five or six Northern 
States, voting with the fifteen Democratic Slave States, 
give a large majority for Southern equal rights in -the Ter- 


One plank in the Republican Platform was " No more 
Slave States." That plank will now have to he removed, 
and "No more Free States" must be inserted in the 
Democratic Platform. 

Another Kansas policy, under another James Buchanan, 
as each new State knocks for admission into the Union, 
will make short work of the Territories. And that we 
shall always have a James Buchanan as President, in all 
time to come, is just as certain as that Northern Democrats 
will, in all the coming future, cast their votes with their 
brother Democrats of the South. 

Mr. Cobb has just caught the eye of the Speaker, and 
is offering a resolution that the Confederate Debt be as- 
sumed by the United States. Mr. Cobb is a noted financier, 
especially in large moneyed transactions. His gigantic in- 
tellect will doubtless soon reach a solution of this subject, 
which bears so heavily on Southern capitalists. Mr. Cobb is 
urging, with great eloquence and feeling, that a most unjust 
and wicked "Abolition war" was waged against the South, 
for the purpose of abolishing their Divine Institution ; that 
in self-defence they incurred a large debt; that they depre- 
cated war, and only wanted their rights, and to be let alone ! 
That the Abolition Administration of Mr. Lincoln refused 
them their rights, and commenced a bloody war upon 
them, and therefore it would be nothing more than com- 
mon justice for the United States to pay their debt. 

Mr. Cobb's speech has produced great excitement. 
About twenty members are on their feet, all claiming the 
floor; in the midst of the confusion Mr. Sumner has caught 
the eye of the Speaker, and is recognized as in order. 
Cries of " Sit down in front," are heard from the Republican 
side of the House, and "Down with the Abolitionist," from 
the opposition. Mr. Sumner merely wished to correct 
some remarks of the laat speaker, as to the war being com- 
menced by the Abolition party. Immense excitement is 
now seen to prevail all over the hall. In the midst of the 
uproar the previous question is called. A vote is taken 


and five to ten Democratic States North, acting with the 
fifteen Democratic Slave States, give a large majority for 
assuming the Confederate debt. . 

The leaders of the Democratic party . were truly pro- 
phetic when they assured us, in such disheartening tones, 
that our debt would be so enormous that it would never be 

But we have no time for any thing now but to attend to 
Congressional proceedings. Fresh trouble is brewing. 

The Secretary of the House is reading a petition from 
the people of Pennsylvania asking that certain parties, 
now residing in that State contrary to law, "be removed." 
The prayer, in question, is signed by a large number of 
citizens of Pennsylvania. The case is this : About a year 
or more ago, a slave-holder, with about thirty of his pro- 
perty, came into Pennsylvania, in accordance with the 
Pe^ce Compromise and Guarantees, but he failed to go 
through the State. Now, the laws of Pennsylvania pro- 
hibit slavery in the State, yet, in the Compromise for Peace, 
the right of slave-holders to carry their property into and 
through a State was guaranteed. The owner of the slaves 
insists that he is on his way through the State, and depre- 
cates, in strong terms, the idea of living permanently among 
abolitionists. But the question is to be debated — let us 
listen. Mr. Valandigham, of Ohio, is on the floor. He 
contends that it is exceedingly uncivil in the people of 
Pennsylvania to contemplate such a rudeness, as driving a 
gentleman out of their State, especially when he has com- 
mitted no crime, but, on the other hand, has conferred an 
honor on them. 

Mr. Rhett of S. C. now has the floor, and contends that, 
as he understands the question, the Constitution of the 
United States carries protection to slavery wherever it may 
happen to exist, whether in a Territory or State; that 
whenever one or more slaves are lawfully within the pre- 
cincts of a State, that then the Constitution falls as a man- 
tle of protection over the slave-holder and his property, 


and the general government has no option hut to sustain 
the Constitution and to enforce the laws. A large number 
are now on their feet claiming the floor, but the previous 
question is called, and the same farce of voting is gone 
through with. A large majority has decided that slavery 
is the law of the land in Pennsylvania, so long as it suits 
the convenience of slave-holders to maintain it there. 
This may he regarded by some as a blessing, and by others 
as a curse, and here I leave it. My present purpose being 
merely to show some of the consequences that must inevi- 
tably flow from the Peace Compromise Policy of the Demo- 
cratic Party. 

But, my dear friends, there is yet through this detested 
policy one more calamity to befall our country, of which, 
as to good or evil, there can be but one opinion, at least 
among loyal and true hearted men. 

A leading feature of the Democratic policy, as enunci- 
ated by those who control and shape it, was repudiation 
of the United States debt. This bitter cup is yet to be 
pressed to our lips, and when this portion of Democratic 
policy is consummated, then indeed will the ruin of the 
great Republic be complete. 

It seems incredible that the idea of repudiation of the 
Uflited States debt could for a moment be entertainted by 
the Democratic Party; and yet it is part and parcel of its 

During the last political campaign it was hinted at deli- 
cately in some places, and advocated openly in others. In 
this section it was a leading issue at the Fall Election. 
Xow the South, by aid of the Democratic Party, can and 
will carry through any policy which tends to advance 
Southern interests, and as nothing would so effectually 
exalt the South and abase the ISTorth, as to hold sacred the 
Confederate debt, and repudiate that of the United States, 
of course, that policy would !><• unscrupulously adopted. 

The same machinery which we have seen used in per- 
petrating all previous mischiefs could be employed with 



equal success in giving this death-blow to the -nation. It 
would be necessary, only to offer a resolution, call the 
previous question, count the ballots, and the deed is done. 
The'fifteen slave States would, of course, be a unit, both for 
holding the Confederate bonds sacred and for repudiating 
the United States debt. These States, with from five to 
ten free States voting with them, would consummate the 
deed. The United States debt would be repudiated. The 
drama would be ended, and the curtain would fall upon 
republican institutions for ever. 

Thus, my dear friends, I have endeavored to draw your 
attention to the consequences which must inevitably 
flow from a successful carrying out of the Democratic 
policy of Compromise, Peace, or the Constitution as it 
is, and the Union as it was; although, it is quite pos- 
sible that it may undergo some changes, to suit changing 

Within a few days past I have perceived symptoms of a 
change of base in party policy. Instead of endeavoring to 
reach the Constitution as it is and the Union as it was, 
through compromise, peace, &c, the policy now seems to 
be tending in the direction of separation, to be followed at 
the proper time, by the original policy of compromise, 
peace, &c. The end, however, will be precisely the same ; 
and the Democratic leaders, both North and South, know 
well that a separation is impossible, without entailing upon 
both sections an endless war. Why, my Democratic 
friends, every question that would come up for settlement 
by negotiations would furnish material for a new war. An 
attempt to fix the boundary line would give us stock in 
trade for a hundred years' war. Nearly all the bloody 
wars of European nations have been wars for boundary 
lines. So, also, the Fugitive Slave Law, or a want of one, 
would be an inexhaustible placer of war. An attempt to 
divide the Territories would yield a rich harvest of war. 
A dissolution of the Union would be found beset by so 
many difficulties that the idea would soon be rejected as 


impracticable. We should then have no alternative but to 
ix'M'w the contest, or to adopt the degrading compromise 
and peace policy. 

A renewal of hostilities would be found impossible, for 
the simple reason that by the time we would have arrived 
at this stage of negotiation we should have no armies. 
Nothing then would be left for us but to accept the policy 
of the "Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was," with 
all the consequent evils which I have so feebly attempted 
to recite ; and to which we must now add the right of seces- 

Thus it will be seen that by the circuitous route of sep- 
aration we have arrived at the same results as if the Demo- 
cratic policy had been carried through, without an attempt 
at separation, with this difference, however, that with a 
failure to conquer the rebellion we should lose the power, 
not only to dictate a peace that might be honorable to both 
parties, but also the power to prevent a dishonorable one 
being dictated to us. 

It may be urged that if these things were attempted 
the people would rise as one man, and hurl destruction on 
those who would propose to us such degradation. Ah! my 
friends, the people could not rise higher than they did at 
the firing on Sumpter, and yet how low we stand now. 
Then we were as one man in the support of a free Govern- 
ment; now, however, it would seem, judging by recent 
elections, that the whole Democratic Party is- opposed to it. 

But, in the event of a restoration of the Union, of what- 
ever sort, being vouchsafed to us, we must remember that 
the South, as heretofore, by the aid of Northern Demo- 
crats, would always have entire control of the Government 
and its policy ; and, therefore, the people would have no 
power to rise, and no option but to submit. So long as 
the Democratic party, or any other organization, cast their 
strength into the hands of the slave power, so long will the 
fifteen Southern States be able to rule, and give laws and 
rulers to the nineteen Northern ones; and, if the element 


of slavery is left permanently in the Southern States, to 
unite the whole fifteen as one solid body, then will that 
solid body be always able to detatch sufficient strength 
from the Northern States to give a perpetual lease of power 
to the fifteen slave-holding States. 

The President would, therefore, be always chosen with 
reference to his devotion to Southern interests; and on 
his choice of Cabinet officers would depend his nomination 
and election to the Presidency. All Government officials, 
whether civil,- naval or military, would in like manner be 
pledged to carry out Southern policy. And, consequently, 
if a rising of the North against slave power should ever 
occur, the Floyds, the Cobbs, &c , instead of supplying us 
with arms and ammunition, would exercise a watchful care 
that nothing; of the sort should reach our hands. Such 
has always been their policy and such will it be in the 

So, my dear friends, a rising would be useless, and a 
rebellion impossible. . The spirit of American freedom 
would be for ever crushed, and what little fire of liberty 
might for a time be left smouldering in the general 
ruins, would be speedily extinguished. The young giant 
of the western world would be prostrate at the feet of a 
slave-holding power ; the last expiring groan of the great 
Republic would sound the death-knell of freedom on this 
Continent for ever. 

"So sleeps the pride of former days — 
So glory's thrill is o'er — 
And hearts that once beat high for praiso 
Now feel that pulse no more. 

" No more to chiefs and ladies bright 
The Harp of Tara swells ; 
The chord alone, that breaks at night, 
Its tale of ruin tells. 

" Thus, freedom, now so seldom wakes, 
The only throb she gives, 
Is when some heart indignant breaks, 
To show that still she lives." 


And now, fellow Democrats, I have endeavored to give 
you a view, as I see it, of the ruin that threatens our dear, 
native land; I have striven, also, to describe the modus 
operandi by which these terrible results are to be brought 
about. Having pointed out the danger, it is proper that I 
should endeavor to show how it may be avoided. 

First, then, let loyal Democrats stop at once their sense- 
less war against the Government, on the plea of opposing 
the Republican party. Let them instantly forsake their 
leaders, who are really so closely allied with the rebels, 
that there is no safety for themselves, except in success of 
the rebellion. Let Democrats show less sympathy with 
Fort Lafayette prisoners, and more for the sufferings of 
loyal soldiers. Let them exhibit less hatred of " Honest 
Old Abe," and less love for traitor Jeff. Davis. Let them 
fight less lustily for the Constitution, and more heartily for 
the Union. Let them assist in saving the nation, and the 
Constitution will take care of itself. If they are in truth 
Democrats, let them abstain from every word, act or deed 
that may aid the rebellion, which is nothing more nor less 
than a war for the destruction of Democracy. 

If they will do all this, and come up manfully to the 
support of the Government, then the Republic may be 
saved. If, however, the Democratic Party arrays itself 
along side of a lordly Southern aristocracy in opposition to 
Free America, then indeed is the nation doomed ; its mis- 
sion is ended, and freedom will have fled from the Western 
Continent forever. 


January, 1863. 

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