« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
it as my belief that whatever may be the present purpose of the people, they will not consent to any such action, if it shall be apparent that the catastrophe has been brought upon us by the folly or division of the South. It behooves those who would band the South as one man in resistance to so deplorable a calamity, to beware how they throw obstacles in the way of our success at the ballot-box, for if the election should be lost through their errors or machinations, no power on earth can move the South to resistance.
I was reared and have spent my manhood thus far in the Democratic party. I have seen it do wrong more than once; and more than once I have seen it temporarily succumb before its adversaries. The chastisements inflicted upon it by the pleople have always been merited, and it has risen from these blows more potent than ever, because more entitled to the confidence of patriots. With these occasional exceptions it has administered the government for fifty-six years, and whilst with a steady hand it has upheld the Constitution, and maintained order throughout our extended borders, it has proved to the unbelieving statesmen and philosophers of the Old World that hostile races, diverse interests, rival religions, and apparently incompatible interests, can all coexist without collisions, and prosper under the federative republican system, administered by the Anglo-Saxon race.
Without entangling alliances or unjust wars we have absorbed almost all the nations around us, and, after teaching them how to govern themselves, have adopted them as members into the great Republic.
Without large standing armies, we have spread our people, laws, and institutions over a vast continent; watching over and protecting them in the wilderness, and, at the same time, succoring and protecting the helpless savages whom we supplant; advancing like a giant, but not crushing even the worm in our path.
Infidelity and atheism, radicalism and socialism, false philosophy and foul religions, have poured in from every part of the world. We have not attempted to exclude them, nor to crush them; but Democradic principles, like the healthful secretions of the human stomach, have corrected what was poisonous, and assimilated what was foreigo, and made them all contribute to the growth and strength of the nation.
Whilst German and French statesmen and philosophers have been speculating about civilization, we have raised here on this continent political and civil institutions so perfect, and achieved results, by the application of industry and art, so grand, and established moral and social systems so pure and beautiful, that the Old World cannot exhibit a civilization surpassing our own. Annually, Europe is traversed by almost countless armed hosts, eating out the substance of the toiling masses; and decennially it is devastated by bloody wars, waged to aggrandize kings or settle their disputes. Under our wise and peaceful policy "wars and rumors of wars" rarely reach us, and the nation's might is left to slumber in the arms of freemen.
I do not deny that all this might have been accomplished under the rule of other parties; but I do say, it has not been. It has been accomplished under Democratic rule; and during all the time it has been in progress, our adversaries have been vociferating that we were ruining the country.
What party or association, in all the history of the world, save only that of the Christian Church, has contributed so much to the welfare and happiness of the human race?
Are you willing to see it broken and destroyed, so that it can never again know victory, for the sake of an abstract declaration of right, which no one pretends is of present importance? If you are not, speak out before the 18th of June. Add your voice to that of the Democracy of the Union, in urging that every district and county in the United States shall be represented at Baltimore, and in demanding that a nomination shall be made. When an aspirant has been tried, and it has been satisfactorily ascertained that he cannot be nominated according to the usages and customs of the party, let him be dropped and another tried. In this way a nomination can be made; IN THIS WALA NOMINATION WILL BE MADE; and then a victory for the Constitution and the Union will crown our efforts.
Compared to this, how insignificant are the personal predilections that draw men together, or the animosities that sunder them! He who will thus lay his preference or his enmity on the common altar for the benefit of the country, is as much better than the intriguer or the bigot who would compel him by unfair means to do so, as patriotism is purer than selfishness.
L, O'B. BRANCH WASHINGTON CITY, May 15, 1860.
Extract from speech of L. O'B. Branch, in House of Representatives, July 24, 1856. But it is said the bill allows the people resident there to prohibit the introduction of slavery before their admission into the Union. It contains no such feature. The 32d section declares its intent to be to leave the people thereof perfectly
free to form and regulate their domestic, institutions in their own.way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.” If the Constitution allows them to prohibit slavery, then the bill permits it; if the Constitution does not allow them to prohibit slavery, then the bill does not permit it. The the courts, if a case should ever arise involving the question. vernment is a judicial question to be settled by bill, it could not have altered the Constitution, nor taken the question out of the hands of the courts. Whatever mi be die decision of the courts,
I will be content; for I regard the great, main feature of the bill as infintely transcending in importance the question to the
people of the Territory than to such a Congress as we now have, and are liable to have’at any time in the future.
Extracts from speech of L. O'B. Branch, in House of Representatives, December 18, 1856. Mr. Speaker, when, in 1854, we accepted the Kansas and Nebraska bill, we accepted it with a perfect understanding of all its provtsions. We knew that it referred the question I have been examining to the courts of the country. We aimed to refer it to that tribunal, because it was a question appropriate to the courts. We had confidence in them, and were willing to abide by their decision. We knew the act repealed the stigma upon us and our institutions which had been standing on the statute-book for more than thirty years, That commended it to our favor. But above all, we embraced it because it contained the great doctrine of non intervention by Congress; because, under the fair and full operation of that principle, the question of slavery.could no more get into Congress to furnish fuel for the fires of agitation, and to make the main element in elections; because under it we and our institutions would cease to be a football in the political arena, and because we might expect peace and security instead of the insubordination and insurrection which northern fanaticism is beginning to produce in our midst. We knew that the great evil under which we are suffering is the domestic disquiet caused by congressional agitation, and we embraced that bill cordially; not because it established slavery in the Territories, for we knew it did not, nor yet because we thought it insured the establishment of slavery; for leading southern statemen declared their great doubt whether slavery would ever be desired by the people there, and none thought the stability of the institution in the southern States depended in any degree on the decision of the people of Kansas. We embraced it because it removed an odious and unconstitutional discrimination against us, and promised to arrest congressional agitation on the subject.
Mr. Speaker, I advocated the Kansas and Nebraska bill at the time it was enacted. I have advocated it throughout the long and trying ordeal through which it has passed. I stand upon the bill as it is in all its features. I will make no new issue on it, for a new issue involves renewed agitation, and a surrender of the great points already gained. Give us a faithful execution of that law, and my constituents will be satisfied. If squarter sovereignty is in it, it gets there, and can only get there by being in accordance with the Constitution of the United States; and whatever is in that instrument is right.