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Selections: Condition And Policy Of The Whig Party

Selections: Condition And Policy Of The Whig Party image
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Tothc Editor of the Èoston Couriérf In my iast connnunication. I endeavored (o dispose of ihe 'Liberty' objrctrons to the pioposa) I made thnt Whig paftyshould take antis! avery ground. I promiscd in that to notiee n another communies lion the 'Whtg' obj.'ciions ta the samo cr?nrsp. I ebcwld Ime cioiio thJ3 sooner; althmigh I do not much regret the dëfoy, nasmuch as the evertta of the past few wt'ks have msi'e thr tnith r.n'J irnpoitance of ihc proposition süll tnoie obvimi?. In my !asf, t iniimated tliat I should examine the posiiion assuined by D'idley Sri en, the x condid;se Tor lite mnyoralry of New Vork. 7'fie hpso of time, hou ever, and the 6gnal defeat thatgenilemon encuunléred, see'n to hare dirtiinished son;evriiut Uic jnip.qrta.riCf (o Ie aUbchcd to any thing1 liemiylit have odvnnred. Resides., others, wliosc opifiiona will Iravo {jreatcr weight, huve advacced the same sentiment s, and are cqunlly wortrry of a reply. I will, however, fjuote a singíe pnssnge: 'íf, frrm finy cnuse,' said Mr. Selden, roferringf to Abo litio, t should manifest itself ngoin in this country, those who apprehtnd dungcr from it ttould fmd me 8hoiilder to 6houl(]cr with them, out their eGorts lor ha final e.xtin guishrr.ent.' Similur sentimenfs have been urged npaiii and ngain, in the New York Courier nnd En}uirer. Wiih less violence and brutality, very nèarly tiie same ground' has been mken by ihe United States Gazette. And even ihe New York Tribune, with all its kindnt'3s of ffteling nnd philanthTopy of its editor, uses the followmg lunguage: "Wbile, thcrefore, we ever expect to be, as we ever have been, openly lmsiile to slavery, and anxiously desiroua of its extinction, wecannot ettgage in ary pol'uical crusade against if, which shnll involve or reqnire the concurrent r.cüoil ot' the feJeral government." The plain and simple menning of Í! this I Éfip'pöhe !o bo, tliatf in all Intnre Ipgislation, so ftr as it fihnl! depend npon ï)o Whir prly, notliing is to fof the tlave. Texas ehall be ppposej bcCaiK.c it liaa bccome n party mensure, and marry al the South wül unite with them n so doing. But no new mode of aclio is conternpiaten, noteven such as is permiued by ofrr constitutioria! ii-WUs.- According to them, tho connecüon of the general governnwnt with slavery ruust ntit bc istnrbed; nnd so far as that existe, ws'at the North must be content to bear our proportion of the guilt and odium of the ncciirsod and cruel eystem. The ?nme pnny lines are to be drawn; tho same party continued, Our platform is to Be suflïciently broad to embrace both the Nurth and the South, &on which may stand the most ultra prosiavery men iu the land . This I supposc tobe the real idea which they entertain, nnd which they wish lo convey; and supposin so, 1 wish to fiuggest two consideratiens that convtnee me that such a courso i-a entirely inconsisteut with the best interest of the party.-I waive the queeiion of the right or wrong of i euch a conree, and wieh to epeak asa party [ rnr.n, who 3 sincerely anxious to nsccitain e tliat conree which shall best promote tlio j cess of ihat cause, whicli, os Whig?. we huve e near at hcart. 5 1. Such a course of policy ís enhrehj f oonsistent wiík true s f If. .résped. J belicve f ií is genernlly ulruilled hereatthe Nonh, n ihat ihe action of the South has been t !y charncteriied by an entire and wanton c ret-nrd oft!e rightsniíd íeelings of the 'free r States. Ccmbined n:;d ever ieady to f getlier on the subjt-ctif tlavery, they have f coutrived to mointaiii a paromount control c over ihe legialatinn of the country for the c lnst half a century. i This islhe testimony of some of our most o eniinrnt and able public men, and I shall { not stop to dduce evjcence in flippert of the t proposition. Even the Uiuted States GmaVt ppeoks of 'hcir 'higli-hnnded measures,' a:)d t iheir 'insulling tone,' n the very nrticlein ( which he gives uttcmnce to líie sentitnent to i which I have alluded. ín every thihg ' tuin'.ng to slnvcry, they havo, indeed, pursaed 'hig'j-hahded measuros,' and spoken in a' most I insuking tone.' TheV have trnmpled on the i right of petition - grossly insultcd onr Adams and Giddings, and'every oiher Northern man, that dáred to faise his voicë in favor of f dom, until, mf.ddened by lust of power npd i qrain, tluy have prostrated the Constitution, i banishing our official agenls from their territory, nnd forcing upon us i foreign State, wilh the avovved desien cif streng hening their domcstic institutions, end rendering more secare the eystem of slavery; so that onr Efovèrnment 5s made to stond forlh bb legislafng anno for slavery, instead of simply abidiüg by the 'compromises of the Ccnstilution,' which wö'C mnde in days ofdangcr and dorkne.s. Such has been tíirir coursp; one of tt;oni, insult, ond oulrage; and ín th3 respect, Sou:hern Whigs liuve been little bettcr than iheir brethren in the opposito party. - .inny of them did, indeed, vote against Tesa?, hut it was on paity and proí'essed Cütistitutional gronr.J., and their bujport hnd to be honght by silenre on the part of Norihern m'inbers r.pon tlie subject of slavery. And tho singnlor'-pectacle was exhibiled of a three 'veeks' debate in the U. States Señalo, upon ore of the most importan?, the most (èaïful moral quesíions ever brought bel';re lliat body, without hardly a single nllusion to llie moral beorings of the point at issue; and all tliis silince was necessary to Jcccp Soiithiin And immediateiy after the question of Texas tvflfl pet led, !tnd thcy '.veré culled to vote upon the Constilution of Flori dn, these samo Southern Whigs were the m st forward and the most violent in their defence of the c'auso wblch gues pcwer to the new Stdte toincarcerale the Jice colorcd c'Uzcus oj the JYurlh, who sluuld en'.er Uieir porls. Such has been htrir course. Fos'aviry thcy are willing to snenfice evsry thing-i-Cofiï'tïloiion, psriee, the obvious dcmands of friondship, nnd even the common courtesics of life. Andrnow flinll we hold t!ieir political alíiarce and a.sistnnce, thus rendnod, as dcirer than ovr rigide, our vir lue, a"d the common prospa i ly oj our covnt-y7 Such ptisillaniniity is too Rank, 'ü smclls to Ueaven. Whigs of the Ñorth, will you never have d( ne with this truckling subserviency? Are you willing, for less than a nu-ss of pottHge, to feil ih'e birthright your fathers lefl vom? It was slat-cry inkt hör'cd j'our Adams Trom the Chajr of Stnte, and it has f laiined and held iis spat Ihere ever since. Did your fat hers fight the bnttlia of the Rcvolution? And do you broathe the pure air of a land of hberty? And will you ttoop so knv? Tijen complain not if the high-minded and the freo-born sons of i tonored feires leavc your rauks, and refuse to join in political nctioo with o party, when so i much is to be borne, and o little to be , gaincd. 2'. 8uci a course is pvrfutly stn'culul, and Cannot Le adopfrrf tcith any hpe ofsveerss. - At least, such is my opinión. As I rem irked 1 in iny fonner comnir-nication, fhe Democratie ' party hnve mn a race for the favor of the slctvocrary, wilh which we can r.êver 6ticcew; fully compete. T'ieir oympathies harmonize much more nesirly than oura can. Êcsides, the Whig party has done too much for frecdom ever to be received cordiaüy into thearms of the 250,000 slaveholders that havve so long i ruled the country. Thcy have voted for the ■ right of prtition - ugaint Texas; whle the , stounch Whig States of Vermont and Ma.-sachusetts hac said and dono tob marjy tliingf for Fiberty to be reüshed by the South. They wül tii)t cast us injorm from their fellowship. They are too shrewd for that. They will toy and daüy with us - throw out a sop here and , there--vioid on 6omö poinlF, where yielding will exhihit a show of magtumimity; hut . whifh will not compromise in the least, the gri ml point of interest and importoncc; nor , will fli.ejr ever extend theliond of cordial ."oliowship to ihe Whig party. We con then have little encourngement to make any great sacrifice of principie or voters at the North, for ihe sake of gainmg or keep ing in with the Soath. But that we sholl lose rofers, as well as sacrifico principie, by the adoption of such a Coüfse as will cpneiüato nnd keep our strengtli at the Soutb, I thiük, is most evident. By so doing, we ehall cut ourselves offfrom all the anti slavery feeling of the North. That thiá is beginning to pervodc the free States, and becoming an important element of feehng and clion, uil must admit. Tts ertistencedefeated us in the last campaigñond the events of tho last six months have done nothing to diminish iL 'There is some litilo humanity, some little sensoof right, and some linio respect remainin,--and all tliut is ari$yod againstiñe 6ysíem and fiipp.-rl of tJuvcry - and tliat e party that holds an equivocal position, sucli c as we musí occupy if we will etill continue our g pnrly relations with the South, must iiot only 1 sacrifico ihe strcngtli that ihat feeüng wotild r ïcenre, bul it rrnift find lliut feeling arraycd in í ipposition to ir. And thal it wiü find that n eclinrr nrrnycd agoint it, we may aeöirodiy p mticipale, ifvve so continue. The organiza - ion of the Whig party never was, and nevur :an be, as stringent as that of the Democratie J mty. There i? too much conpcience nnd irinciplc. And where it has been measurably ?trong in times pnst, in tlds respect, it is ti :omiicr wer.her and weaker every yeur. We n iré beginning to lenrn the tacties of the 1] ny, nnd it would nut bestnfige if we ehould a ipply them to our own course of aclion. A i few 6laveholdera have not only governed f lI'o politics oftheir own Stctes, but those cf h ihe ntional governmenf, by tiieir single devo ( tion to the m'eresis of sluvery. Tho friends t oflibeity will thanlt them i'or that léssón, i i mnke iheir own applicotion. The Gü,000 'liberty' votes of '14, much as we mr.y doplore the result they indirec'hj occa&ioned, have taught usa lesson wo will do vell to remember. To disregard it, is es little creditable to our stateemanship as to our honeaty and humanity. For I I hink wo may be sure that the same power will be ueed with more and tfiore effect, until roturning panity raakes us see our true policy and cdoptit. And wiiyehould we disregard it? What has tlic South ever done for os, ihat we&re willing to sacrifice so much for her? And what is there in anlislavery that we so much dread? Admit thut Abolitionists havo done somc ivrong Ih'ngs; admit that in their combinations they hnve exhibtted folly instead of wisdom - t is onworthy the dignity ofa party ihat n.unberp nearly a r.úllion and ahalj of voters, lo reruse to talce a position to which atrioiiem, humpoity, virti.c, and even their own party interests invite them, because a very inconsiderable portion of iheir followcitizens made mistakes and pursued a rig'ut object in a wror.g way. But, however we mny foei, f hold it lo be a fact of wliich there eah be no rnasonable doubt, th&t unless the whig party will take ground that Abolitionists can contistent'y occvipy, they caniiot succeed. - The encroachmenfa of the slave power are be corning more fcarful every yoar, and noihhig can prevent the formation of a free party to resist the.-e encroacl.ments. And evory thing betokens that that day is not far removed from the present moment. The events of the past year havo quickent-d the movemenls that before were more gradual. The amazemrnt and alarm which the annexalion of Texas haa occasioned, siill continue, ond they will continue and increase as ner developements of that terrible transac tion titifold thtmselves. Othcr evenfs are thickly clustered around us. The mustering squadrons of Liberty and Slavery are rnpidly taking their positions. The great rtligious seds of oür country afe dividiüg on thUquestion. The powerful denominations of the MethndUts and the Baptists have already uone it. The Presbytorian Church, fat íeast the new school división.) tvü! soon foüow lliia exampie. Ifnow the religioos sects feel com - pelled, for conscience sake, to e under ties so eacred and bindiijfr, break from associations go much enriearcd as are thosc that roügion secures, can you expect that poï'tical ties wifl held ilicm long to the car of slavery, to Jo the b-dding of those whó gevild eell iheir votes for Southern influence? You may expect it, but you will be disapn,-)inted. Tliis is a somewhat new feature 'm the aspect of the time-. But I ean assuro politicians that it is a feature it will be madno&s n thefn to diregorJ. . With the weuk hold whioh the VVhigparly has upan the rotcdyism of the country, if they arrny against thenjselve.c the rehgiovs tnttintent of the land, thsir cause is wdVse than desperate. Ñor are the events which are oceurring out of the country if a tendene;1 to nmke ns hesitate. Engl.ind's great power s arrayed against' fUvery. France has just taken an incipient but impórtartt step in the same direction.- VVfcere now fhall tho Whig paily be fonnd? - Shall it not fall in with the natural tendeney of the spirit and events of the day, a:ul thus lay the deep fonndaliou of future and permanent succes? Il is an important question.- Let those w.o would guide the Whig parly l;eed well the answer ihey give. I know thero are obstucles in the way of such a conr&e. And what great nnd good object ever was accoinpüshed without encountering obstacles? There are sïaveholders here al the There are olhers thal sympathiz wilh them. The commercial inlmst mny, as a whoíe, p'erh'aps, be regard'id ogainsi my proposilich. As a nPce-sary consequence, t!ie city press Tiiy be expccteil to oppo?e if, ol lenst as a general ihii'sj. Cliques may be agíiinst it. And theec combinod influenccsaic stronj, but they ure rio't omnipottnt. They may control conventions and secure nonnrmtions- as tliey did;n '44- but they cannol control votes. The' rank and file of ihe party, (at least at the North) would hnve mi:ch prei'ered the ticket, I nominatcd in -i2, of lMcLean and Frelinghuyscn" - but the proles?ei politiciuns had the power to thw.irt tiisir sviahes, hut not enough to elcct their candidatos. If ihe samo nfluences afo to öuccecd in '43, you muy count pon a similar rerüit. - There nré storci if not hutidrcds of thousunds that will never vote for slavery nor tvifh s';ivery ag'ain. They have 'sworn off' fum all funher partic'-pation with ihe nccursed thipg. True, tiiey are not ti'ie men who are acq'u;iinted with the wire-pulling of party nwchiner} - they are not prominent in your caucases und Cunventionf; but they are aien of common sense anu common honesty, and they re centreti of influence, ond that, too, in circlea scattered all over the North- the thcatre of ouretrengtli und ths place whtnce our votes mugí come The queslion for thosc who would gimlc. the Wliior party to answer, is tlne: Will you have tbeee increafinp: thouuiiitls nrrnycd ogaiust yo or for you? Let ihe elecíions cf :hc lae{ mx weeks aid you in deter. mining your tea', cojíímtkkí and your true


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