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Leders to Dorr and Peyton-Speeches in Ohio, and Cincinnati Platform

Charleston Convention-Presidental Aspirants—The Harper ArticleBlack's Reply-Appendix of Attorney General-Rejoinder of Senator Douglas-The Chase and Trumbull Amendments--Consistency of Senator Douglas.

DURING the spring and summer of 1859, Mr. Douglas received many letters from his personal friends, soliciting the use of his name as a candidate for the Presidency before the Charleston Convention, to one of which he replied as folJows:

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, June 22, 1859. MY DEAR SIR: I have received your letter inquiring whether my friends are at liberty to present my name in the Charleston Convention for the Presidential nomination.

Before the question can be finally determined, it will be necessary to understand distinctly upon what issue the canvass is to be conducted. If, as I have full faith they will, the Democratic party shall determine, in the Presidential election of 1860, to adhere to the principles embodied in the Compromise measures of 1850, and ratified by the people in the Presidential election of 1852, and re-affirmed in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and incorporated into the Cincinnati platform in 1856, as expounded by Mr. Buchanan in his letter accepting the nomination, and approved by the people-in that event my friends will be at liberty to present my name to the Convention, if they see proper to do so. If, on the contrary, it shall become the policy of the Democratic party—which I cannot anticipate—to repudiate these, their time-honored principles, on which we have achieved so many patriotic triumphs, and if, in lieu of them, the Convention shall interpolate into the creed of the party such new issues as the revival of the African slave-trade, or a Congresuional slave code for the Territories, or the doctrine that the Constitution of the United States either establishes or prohibits slavery in the Territories, beyond the power of the people legally to control it as other property, it is due to candor to say that, in such an event, I could not accept the nomination if tendered to me. Trusting that this answer will be deemed sufficiently explicit, I am, very respectfully, your friend,

S. A. Douglas. To J. B. Dorx, Esq., Dubuque, Iowa.

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The publication of this letter produced immense enthusiasm among Mr. Douglas' friends all over the country, and particularly throughout the Northwest, and was followed by a pressing invitation from the Democratic State Central Committee of Ohio to visit that State and address the people in their pending canvass.

In consequence of the ill-health of Mr. Douglas and his family, he was only able to make three speeches in Ohio—at Columbus, Cincinnati and Wooster, in each of which places the Democracy made immense gains at the fall election, averaging one thousand votes in each county. He was met in Cincinnati by large numbers of Democrats from Kentucky, Indiana, and other adjacent States, and wherever he went was greeted with the wildest enthusiasm.

We omit to insert extracts from these speeches, which are among the ablest and best of his political life, for the reason that they relate chiefly to the line of argument which has been so fully illustrated in the previous pages of this work, These speeches appeared in the columns of the New York press the morning after their delivery, having been deemed of sufficient consequence to be telegraphed entire. A marked feature of these addresses was his solemn protest against the incorporation of any new tests of faith into the Democratic creed which would tend to divide and defeat the party, insisting upon “the re-adoption of the Cincinnati platform without the addition of a word or the subtraction of a letter."

We omitted to state, that on his way to Ohio, Mr. Douglas was induced, by the earnest entreaties of the Democrats of Pittsburg, to remain a day and address the people of that city in behalf of the regularly nominated State ticket, with a view to the pending election.

It was in this speech that Mr. Douglas, in kind but firm language, rebuked those Democrats who had permitted their passions to array them in opposition to the regular organization of their party, and thus contribute to the success of the common enemy.

Notwithstandivg these speeches which had been so recently published throughout the country, the attorney-general of the United States did not hesitate, a few weeks afterward, in an anonymous pamphlet, the authorship of which he subsequently assumed, to call in question Mr. Douglas' fidelity to the party and the principles of the Cincinnati platform. In reply, after arrạigning Judge Black and his confederates for their unnatural coalition with the Black Republicans in the memorable Illinois campaign, Mr. Douglas thus meets and crushes his assailant in his allegation that the former intended to insist on the Charleston Convention adopting his interpretation of the Cincinnati platform :

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The administration claimed the right to "change and interpolate the Cincinnati platform, and prescribe new and different tests;" while the gallant Democracy of that noble State denied “the right of any power on earth, except a like body,” to change the Cincinnati platform or prescribe new tests; and declared that “they will neither do it themselves, nor permit it to be done by others, but will recognize all men as Democrats who stand by and uphold Democratic principles.”

We were assailed and proscribed because we did stand by the Cincinnati platform ; because we would not recognize the right of any power on earth except a regularly constituted convention of the party to change the platform and interpolate new articles into the creed; because we would not sanction the new issues and submit to the new tests; because we wouli not proscribe any Democrat, nor permit the proscription of Democrats in con

sequence of difference of opinion upon questions which had arisen subse. quently to the adoption of the platform; and because we recognized all men as Democrats who supported the nominees and upheld the principles of the party as defined by the last National Convention. It was upon this issue and for these reasons that the power and patronage of the Federal Government were wielded in concert with the Black Republicans for the election of their candidates in preference to the regular nominees of the Democratic party. This system of proscription still continues in Illinois, and is being extended throughout the Union, with the view of controlling the Charleston nomination. Fidelity to the Cincinnati platform and opposition to the new issues and tests prescribed by men in power, in direct conflict with the professions upon which they were elected, are deemed disqualifications for office and cause of removal.

THE CHARLESTON

CONVENTION-PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS.

The reasons for singling me out as the especial object for anathema will be found in the first page of the attorney-general's pamphlet, where

he says:

“ He (Douglas) has been for years a working, struggling candidate for the Presidancy !"

Suppose it were true, that I am a Presidential aspirant ; does that fact justify a combination by a host of other Presidential aspirants, each of whom may imagine that his success depends upon my destruction, and the preaching a crusade against me for boldly avowing now the same principles to which they and I were pledged at the last Presidential election? Is this a susficient excuse for devising a new test of political orthodoxy; and, under pretext of fidelity to it, getting up a set of bolting delegates to the Charleston Convention in those States where they are unable to control the regular organization? The time is not far distant when the Democracy of the whole Union will be called upon to consider and pronounce judgment upon this question.

What authority has the attorney-general, aside from his fears and hopes, for saying that I am "a working, struggling candidate for the Presidency ?” My best friends know that I have positively and peremptorily refused to have anything to do with the machinery of the conventions in the several States by which the delegates to the Charleston Convention are to be appointed. They know that personally I do not desire the Presidency at this time-that I prefer a seat in the Senate for the next six years, with the chance of a reëlection, to being President for four years, at my period of life. They know that I will take no steps to obtain the Charleston nomi. nation, that I will make no sacrifice of principle, no concealment of opinions, no concession to power for the purpose of getting it. They know, also, that I only consented to the use of my name upon their earnest representations that the good of the Democratic party required it, and even then, upon the express condition that the Democratic party shall determine in the Presidential election of 1860, as I have full faith they will; to adhere to the principles embodied in the Compromise measures of 1850, and approved by the people in the Presidential election of 1852, and incorporated into the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and confirmed by the Cincinnati platform, and ratified by the people, in the Presidential election of 1856. Nor can the attorney-general pretend to be ignorant of the fact that the public were informed long since, that, “If, on the contrary, it shall become the policy of the Democratic party, which I cannot anticipate, to repudiate these their time-honored principles, on which we have achieved so many patriotic triumphs, and in lieu of them the convention shall interpolate into the creed of the party such new issues as the revival of the African slave trade, or a Congressional slave code for the Territories, or the doctrine that the Constitution of the United States either establishes or prohibits slavery in the Territories beyond the power of the people legally to control it, as other property, it is due to candor to say that in such an event I could not accept the nomination if tendered to me.” Is this the language of a man who is working and struggling for the Presidency upon whatever terms, and by the use of whatever means it could be obtained? Or does this language justify that other charge, that I am making new issues and prescribing new tests in violation of the Cincinnati platform?

WOULD VOTE FOR DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE, THOUGH NOT

STANDING ON HIS PLATFORM

While I could have no hesitation in voting for the nominee of my own party, with whom I might differ on certain points, in preference to the can. didate of the Black Republican party, whose whole creed is subversive of the Constitution and destructive of the Union, I am under no obligation to become a candidate upon a platform that I would not be willing to carry out in good faith, nor to accept the Presidency on the implied pledge to carry into effect certain principles, and then administer the government in direct conflict with them. In other words, I prefer tho

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