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The New Test Of Democracy

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Last week we sliowed that a new cnterion of Democracy was established at the Baltirnore National Convention, which was to beenforced, if possible, upon all the members of the party. This test was the Annexation of Texas toifh Savenj - for without Slavery its admission to (he Union would have been slrenuously opposcd by the Slave States, and wonld never have been proposed by the Free States. It will be remembered that a "two thirds rule" was established by that Convention, by which the control of the whole party passed into the hands of a minority, in violation of a leadingarticle oí faith wilh the party, which declares that a majoriiy ought togovern.- The very first act of this minority was to thrów Van Buren, who had doubted on this subject, iïom the high eminence he had hilherto occupiedin the party with as little ceremony as Satan, according to the poet, was hurled from the battlements ofheaven. The next move was to nomínate national candidates who were orthodox on this subject, and "Texas" was made the party watchword, which was to pass undisputed from head quarters to the post of the remotestsentinel, and he who "could not frame to pronounce aright" this Shibboleth was to be watched as an enemy, or executed as a traitor. It may not be unlnteresting or unprofitable to notice how this new watchword was received in the Democratie camp. The northern portion of the party - a majority of the whole - cared little or nolhing about Texas, but they did care about defeating CÍay and the "federal Whigs." For tkis purpose, they would havesupported almost any men or measures by which their adversarles could be overeóme. The Democratie press of the whole South, as far as we remember, were unanimous for the measure, because it was in accordance with the feeling of the Slaveholders. The northern press generally supporled it, because the question was identified with the ascendency of the party, by which the pecuniary interestsof the publishers would be more or less affected. The only Ieading party paper that has refused its sanction to the measure is the New York Evening Post. That paper advocated the election of Polk, but protested at the same timeagainst annextion, which was to be the prominent measure of his administraron. The southern Democratie politicians were fully agreed uponthe measure; but a like unanimity was unattainable at the North. The greater part of themed nominally to the measure, because ii had been adopted by their party, and the party could not triumph without it. But some of them undoubtedly looked into the future far enough to see the folly of unnecessarily committing themselves in favor of a measure of slaveholding policy which rnight ultimately fail, and which would then become bighly unpopular at the North. Much aid was expected by the Southern Annexationists from the great State of New York, and when Silas Wright wrole an annual message to the Legislature ot fourteen columns without saying a word about Texas, his mere silence was keenly feit by them, as an indication that hisfriendo and those of Van Buren would keep aloof from the project. Aecording]y, when the vote was taken in the House of Representatives, fourteen New York Democrats voted rgainst it. Their reasons we have not seen but there is no doubt that they expected to be sustained by their constituents. The following extract from a letter of Jucige Hammond of this State, to John C. Calhoun, on this subject, will doubtless show in what light a pcrtion of the New York Democracy regard this question. - Judge Hammond is known as the author of the political History of New York, and is represented as being in high standing as a lawyer and a member of the party. He says:"Taking it thpn for granfed, that wlien Texas becomes settled there wilt be five slavee to three freemen, ihe present offer of Texos amounts simply to tbis. 'If you, New Vorken?,' eay the Texans, 'wijl pay our debts, detend u againr-t our enemies, (ns you have donei the ca6e of Florida) and you willailow one cilizen in Texas to possess and exercise as much political power as tvvo citizens of the State of New York, we will consent to be come partners and unite with you.' Without one word more of comment, I ask, what rep resentnlives from New York, or nny other 'ree State, will vote to accept such an offer, and after thus barlering away the political power of his constituent, daretolook Ihem in the face1? Bnt before closing I will add, that the principie of property representation is ín direct collision with the spirit of all the northern state gfvernments, and utterly repugnant to our feelings. So mucli higher do we value the rights of persons than of property, that the vote of John Jacob Astor is balanceo by the vote of the pauper in the alms house; and y ei. the offer now grayely rnde, is to admit Texas on tb.e condición tíiat inquence of a species of property held by lts citizens, the vote of one Texnn pnmbler or freebooter t-lmll be eqnal to the vote of Jonn Jjcob Asior and the Patioon of Albany." In Maine, the Democracy had a clear majority over all other parties. But the four Democratie Representatives from that State voted against the Joint Resolution for Annexation, and by way of apology issued the followingdough-faced manifestó to their constituents: "We were all desirous and anxious to have Texas re-annexed to the Union. - The terms and conditions were what we could not assent to. We believed, upon -just and honorable terms," that the territory should have been divided into equnl or nearly equal, portions of ree and slave lerritory - or at Jeast that that question should remain open, to be settled hereafter; while, in fact the terms were such as, in our opinión, to secure the institution of slavery in nearly all the territory. Wilh a fair división of theterritory, or with the qnestion of slavery as an open question, to be settled and determined by Congress, we shotild have cheerfully given our votes for said resohdion. Such terms are fully believed to bejust and honorable, and what the free States had a right to expect; but without which we feit compelled, though with reluctance, to vote against the measure."The sum of tbis complaint is, ihat the slaveholding taskmasters were n little too hard upon the northern serviles: they would have cheerfully given their votes to make haflhe temtory into slave States, but when Slavery took "nearly all of it," they could not quite go it! Making several more slaves States is represented by these Maine Democrats as a "jttst, fair and honorable" transaction for the party of "the largest liberty!" But in the New Hampshire delegation a rebellion ogainst the authority of the party took place, which was deemed too serious to be passed over without visiting the ofíender with condign punishment. - John P. Hale was Member of Congress from that State & had been nominated for re-election by his party. But having not only voted against the Joint Resolution of the House, but issued an appeal to the people of his State, containing clear and forcible reasons against Annexation with Slavery, his case was reviewed by a grand State convention of 150 members, which assembled at Concord, Feb. 12. - On this occasion, in which the serviles of New Hampshire were about to show to their southern masters how submissive they could be, all due formality was observed. Col. Pierce, Chairmnn of the State Committee, called the meeting to order, in a speech in which he admonished the members of the necessity of strict obedience to the party, and the awful consequences of disregarding its commands. On taking his seat, one gentleman, wishingto add to thesolemnity of Mr. Hale's execution, proposed that a chaplain should be called, and Prayer should be offered. But this mockery of Heaven was voted down. The resolutions, setting forth the enormity of the offences perpetrated by the culprit, were then read. They charged that he had written an appeal to"the whole people" of his State, requmng them to waive the issues presented by the Democratie State Convention, and vote for or against him on a single, isolated issue - that he assumed to dictate that issue to his constituents - that he assumed to be a volunteer candidate, thus virtually discarding his Democratie nomination in June last, which he had accepted - all of whichofFences were declaredto becontrary "to the time honored usages and Iaws of the organization of the Democratie party of this State;" - therefore, his previous nomination was declared "nuil &nd void." The resolutions passed with only a single negative, and another candidate, John Woodbury, was nominated in his place. Thus by this political execution, was northern'Democracy made honorablein the eyes of the slaveholders. But the party were not unanimous in condemnation of Mr. Hale. ín several places meetings have been held approving his course, and he has returned to his constituents to canvass the District, and present his defence tothe electors in person. In Massochusetts, the anti-slavery feeling is stronger than in the other States, and the course of Parmenter, the only Massachusetts Democrat in the House, who voted for the Joint Resolution, is very severely condemned by the Press of that State. A vote for Annexation rmght be passed over; but a vote to make a large number of Slave States from foreign territory wasdirectly contrary to the feelincrs of the people generally, and weshall be much mistaken if it bo not requited by the politica! discredit and disgrace of the Representative. Many of the Democrats of this State would have no objections to Annexation, provided it should be unaccompanied by Slavery: but it is fair to presume that not a few of the party wijl coincide in the sentiments advanced recently by one of the number in a Boston paper, as follows: On my arrival at Boston, I learnt that the bill for annexation had passed the House, end the democrats of Boston had, in honor thereof, fiied ono hundred guns. - Sir, if a self-styled derpocrat can fire one hundred gons in honor of forging chains for millioiis of oor human raceyet unborn, I must say that I must look 6omewhere elsc to. exorcice my democracy. My hunible prayer is that any party or set of men who are fou'id ready lo perpetúate slavery, v;ill sink as far bdovj slavery as slavery is belovv hberty. -Look into all the democratie pnpeis, sir, and yen reay eee the same spirit manifested throughout the whole press. lam ín consrquence of aitending that convention, held np to public scorn nnd contempt, bo Car as the self-slyled democrucy cun do ir, ond dubbed a ferie 1 tory diéüniomat. I went there with r.o intentions to dissolve the Union with slave holdere, or ony party thnt will fire one hunriied guns in honor of the-perpetuntion of slaverv. I, sir, washcd my hands clean from that debased business befare 1 lei't the city, nnd Iknowofmnny more honest demoernts thut wül. if Tuxas is annexed thrnugh the means ofdemocrats, Jeave the party." ín Michigan, the vote of the Democrat ie party is about equal to that of both the other parties. yet two out of three of her Representativos voted agaivst the Joint Resolution. In so doing they complied with the wishes of at least one half of the people of their respective Districts. Of their motives we knovv nuthing; but their course was wise. They are novin a posi ion where they can ad vanee or recede, as circumstances may require. Should the Annexation project fail, they can say, "We were nhvays opposed to annexation with Slaven, and we voted against it!" Should it succeed, they can say, "We were alvvays in favor of Annexation, and have supported it, and should have voted for the Joint Resolution by which it was annexed, had we not preferred one of the other bilis." Thus they can be sure to stand well with the successful party. From this brief notice of the rnanner which the New Test of Democracy - Annexation with Slavery - has been received in the dinerent sections, we find that it is far from being unanimously approved by the party. A nominal assent to it was deemed requisite to ensure the defeat of the Whigs; yet by far the greater portion of the northern Democrats have no real, heartfelt interest in it. Should Annexation succeed, it will greatly hasten the organization of two great parties whose issues shall be Freedom and Slavery, by which we trust we shall finally overthrow the institution and its allies; and should the measure fail, in our judgment it will bring such a load of odium upon the Northern Democracy that they will regret that they ever suffered themselves to be made the mere instruments of the Slaveholders in attempting to uphold a project so abhorrent to the sentiments of the civilized world.


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