« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
mense applause.) Illinois now stands as she has ever stood, faithful to the Constitution and the Union ; Illinois now stands as she has ever stood, imniovable, upon Democratic principles, maintaining the Democratic organization. (Six cheers.) Every other free State in this Union at some time has wheeled out of line, except gallant Illinois. (Tremendous applause.) From the day that Illinois entered this confederacy, up to this hour, she has cast her vote for Democratic candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency at every succeeding election. (Renewed applause.) And yet you have been told that the only State that has never failed to stand by the Democratic organization, and vote for the Democratic candidates for President, is now to be read out of that party by the politicians of those States which have all gone Abolition. When this dark cloud of fanaticism, which has spread over the New England States, rolled over New York, completely overwhelmed Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and reached in its course the Wabash River, it was there met by the invincible Democracy of Illinois, who turned back the tide and kept the flag of the Constitution and the Union floating over their beloved State. (Cheers.)
The victory you are now celebrating is one never to be forgotten, for it is the triumph of Union, constitutional men over fanaticism, sectionalism, and disunion. Illinois now occupies the proud position of having fought the good fight; Illinois is now greeted all over the Union-north and south, east and west-as the only northern State that was not overwhelmed in the recent elections. (Cheers.) To what cause do the Democracy of Illinois owe this triumph ? It is due to fidelity to principle. (Applause.) In Illinois the true principle of popular sovereignty has been sustained; in Illinois the Cincinnati platform has been strictly adhered to ; in Illinois the Democratic organization has been maintained. (Six cheers, and long continued enthusiasm.) In Illinois there have been no new tests interpolated into the Democratic platform (applause) ; in Illinois Democrats have never been persecuted because of differences of opinion, provided they remained inside of the Democratic party and abided the usages of its organization. (Cheers.) In Illinois, a liberal, tolerant, just and generous policy has prevailed, and in Illinois a glorious triumph has rewarded that policy. (Applause.)
Now, my friends, the result in this State contrasted with the disasters in others, furnishes a lesson. Let the bitterness that has been excited, let the angry passions that have been aroused, be buried with the contest out of which they arose. (Good, and cheers.) Let us meet our fellow-citizens who differed with us in politics the same as if there had been no angry
feeling engendered. It is our duty now to consolidate the party, to begin to combine our forces for the future, in order that we may present a full, united, invincible front to Abolitionism and all of its allied forces. (Cheers.) If wise and patriotic counsels now prevail, the great battle of Popular Sovereignty has been fought and the victory won forever. (Cheers.) If we expect to maintain our liberties as our fathers transmitted them to us, we must be vigilant and watchful, preserving our organization, and ever ready to present a united and irresistible front to the common enemy wherever he makes his appearance. (Cheers.)
My friends, I will now renew to you my grateful and profound acknowledgments for the magnificent demonstrations which you have made, to-night.
Mr. Douglas leaves Chicago for New Orleans-Received at St. Louis and
Memphis-Brilliant Reception at New Orleans-Speech at Odd Fellows Hall—Departs for New York-Received by Corporate Authorities—Voted Independence Hall in Philadelphia-Speaks at Baltimore --Receives news of his Reëlection as Senator on point of starting for Washington.
Soon after the close of the Illinois campaign, in November, 1858, Mr. Douglas, with his family, left Chicago for the purpose of making a brief visit to New Orleans, to attend to some pressing private matters which his public duties had constrained him too long to neglect. He gave no notice of his intention to make the trip, desiring to perform the journey as speedily and quietly as possible. Remaining in St. Louis a day, for a boat to convey him down the river, the news of his presence soon spread through the city, and that night he was honored with a serenade by a large concourse of citizens, who assembled around the hotel and insisted on a speech. Mr. Douglas acknowledged the compliment in a few appropriate remarks, and expressed his gratification that the people of Missouri, who were so deeply interested in the institution of slavery, so justly appreciated the nature and importance of the contest through which he had recently passed in Illinois.
Proceeding down the river without giving any public notice of his destination, Mr. Douglas was surprised when, nearly a hundred miles above Memphis, he was notified that
the Democracy of that city had learned by telegraph of his intended visit to New Orleans, and had appointed a commit. tee of one hundred persons and chartered a steamer to pro
the river and meet him, for the purpose of inducing him to stop a day at Memphis and accept of the hospitalities of that city. Not feeling at liberty to decline so flattering an invitation, Mr. Douglas placed himself in the hands of the committee, and on the following day addressed a large meeting of the citizens of Memphis on the political topics of the day. In this speech Mr. Douglas confined himself mainly to a discussion of the points presented in the Illinois campaign, prefacing it with the declaration, that no political creed was sound which could not be proclaimed equally as well in one State of the Union as in the other. On a comparison of the published report of this speech, as it appeared in the newspapers of the day, we find that he asserted the same views on the Territorial question in Memphis as he had done in Illinois.
The cordial and enthusiastic approbation with which his audience received his speech, must have satisfied Mr. Douglas that Democracy was the same in Tennessee as in Illinois.
At New Orleans, Mr. Douglas' reception was truly grand and magnificent. Approaching the Crescent at 9 o'clock at night, he was received by the city authorities, the military and the citizens, amidst the firing of cannon and in the glare of a brilliant illumination. He was escorted to the St. Charles Hotel, where he was lodged as the guest of the city, and addressed by the mayor on behalf of the municipal authorities, and by Hon. Pierre Soulé on behalf of the citizens, in eloquent speeches of congratulation on his brilliant victory in Illinois over the enemies of the Constitution and the Union, to each of which he made an appropriate response.
On the 6th Deoember, he addressed the people of New
Orleans at Odd Fellows Hall, on the political topics of the day, at the request of a large number of citizens, embracing all shades of political opinions. We deem this speech of sufficient importance to the reader to justify us in giving one or two extracts:
MR. PRESIDENT AND CITIZENS OF NEW ORLEANS: It was with much hesita. tion and no small degree of reluctance that I was induced to give my consent to address you on this occasion. I have just passed through a fierce conflict in my own State, which required me to perform more speaking than was either agreeable to my wishes or consistent with my strength. When I determined to visit New Orleans, it was only on private business of an imperative character; and it was my desire to arrive and depart as quietly as possible, and without in any way connecting myself with politics. I approached your city, as I supposed, unheralded and unknown, and I was amazed at the magnificent reception extended to me on the Levee by so vast a concourse of people, embracing the municipal authorities, the citizens in their individual capacity, my own political friends, and men of all political parties. This was a compliment which filled my heart with gratitude, and did not leave me at liberty to decline the first request you might make of me in return. I have, therefore, yielded to your solicitations, to make a few remarks on the political topics which now agitate the public mind throughout the length and breadth of our glorious Republic, and I have done so the more readily as I desire to know whether the principles which are admitted to be sound and orthodox in the free States can pass current in the slave States.
So long as we live under a common Constitution, binding on the people of all the States, any political creed which cannot be proclaimed in Louisiana as boldly as in Illinois, must be unsound and unsafe. I shall not attempt to enter upon any new views, or propound any original ideas, with the view of testing the truth of this proposition, but shall simply discuss these questions now at issue in the country, in the same manner that I am in the habit of doing before an Illinois audience. The tendency of events during the past fifteen years has been to force the organization of political parties on a geographical basis, to array the North against the South, embittering the one against the other, under the misapprehension that there is some irreconcilable antagonism in their interests which prevents harmony between them. For the last twenty-five years I have been in public life; fifteen years have been spent in the Congress of the United States,