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Communications: Sketch Of The Debate In The Northwestern Con...

Communications: Sketch Of The Debate In The Northwestern Con... image
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The debato upon the amendment to the 2d resol ution elicited more interest, perhops, '.han upon all the rest put together, because the passage of the resolution in its original shape, it was thought, by many, would have an important beving upon the future actiqp and interests ot the Liberty Party. The resolution as ofte red read as follows: Resolved, That while we regard the question of slavery as thegrealest political question now agitated before the country, and are determinee net to sacrifico or defer the cause of Freedom to any other political measure, we will neverthelesssustain as important and essen t in 1 principies, the equal, political and civil rightsof all men, and will ojjpose the principie nnd practico of parlial and exclusive privilege?, either in refcrence to business orsuflrage,or eligibiliy to public Mations; recognizing no legalized prerogntives on account of birth, wealih, learning or complexión. Mr. Fa mum here moved to amend the rcsilution by striking out the word "whilo" in the first line, and all after the word "measure." He wished, he said, to have tho amendment adopted, not because he was unfriendly to the objects proposedto boiccompliblied, bat because he ap■}roved"of all the principies contained in it. He feared that in its present shape, it might be misunderstood by the public.G. W. Clark of New York, said he was opposed to the amendment, and in favor ot tho original resolulion. lie hoped we wore notgiing to tuke a retrograde motion. He was not a liltle surpriseJ to hear antislavcry men oppose the passage of ihat resol ution, especially after udinitling ns they had all done over and over again, their entire concurrence withevery sentiment itcontained - with iho iruLhfuhiess of every word of it. - Ho had supposed from his extensive acquaintnnce with the antisluvery men, that thoy were the men who would follpw their principies- Umi they loved tho trulh, and were ready to walk in her light whenevor sho might lead, leaving ihe consequences with God. Abolitionists, he had bupposed, were not tho men who were afraid lo declare their sentimenta and abide by thetn. Genthitnen say they heartily approve of the principies set forth in the resolulion, but teil us it will be "misconslrued," and made to mean something beyond what it declares on its face ! Aro we toshrink back from a declaration of important truths, and from assertinpr what we believe on greattions of human rights because somebody, forsootb, may "misconstrue" or : re'sent us ? No sir. Let those who misropresent us, bear the responsibility. - For his purt he believed in speaking out on this subject faithfully andfenrlossly. Are we prepared to say, that while we regard slavery as the grealest political question now agitated before the country, and are determined not to sacrifice or defer the cause of freedom to any other poütical measure, (which is all rightj that nevertheless, we will not sustain as important and essential principies, the equal, civil, and political rights of all men ? That we we will not oppose the principie and practice of partial and exclusive privileges ? Are we prepared to say we will reoognize, or look either ndifierentJy or with complacency upon legalizod prerogatives founded on wealth, birth, learning or complexion ? Yet, so should we say if we adopted this amendment, and rejected the original resolution. He said he was a democrat. (Some one nsked if he were a locofoco ) No; he was not. He was not a cutaneous democrat - he did not believe in a skin decp democracy. His deroocracy made no distinctions on account of riches, rank, or color. A man is not to be thought the more worthy because he is wealthy, nor to be despised becauso he is poor, nor ahould the poor man think the less of hitnself because of his poverty, f he is honeslly poor. No matter whdt the classcomplexión or condition - "a man's a p man for a' that and a' that." He could I not expresa liis own views and feelings i uf the true democratie principie so well p and so happily, either in prose or poelry, L as Scotia's Bard had done in his inimitac ble song - "A man's a man for a' lliat," b which lie would sing, and whicli he preg sumed the convention would be glad to s accept as a part of his speech. Mr. c Clark then sang the followingsong, being frequently interrupted with bursts of apr pleause. í la ilicre Cor honcsi poverty, J That liangs his liead and a' that ? [ Tlie cowurd slave, ve puss liim by ; f We tlaré be oor for 'a lliat. .1 For a' ihat, ond a' ihat, Our toüs obsfurc nd a' ihat, The runk 9 bul tho uuinea'tt stamp, v The ülan's tic guicd for a' lliat. What tho' 011 liomely fare wq diñe, " Wcar hoddcn gray and a' thai, a Gie fools eilks, nnd knavea ;hoir wtnc, g A man's a man for a' tiial ; Fir a' ihat anti u' ihat, Their tinsel show and a' that. The honest man tho' k'kr öae poor, 1( h hiug o' m:nj'ur a' tkat. a Ye sec yon burkie ca'd a Lord, Wha' smits and eiares and a' that; r; Tho' hundredá worsbip at his word, j, IIc's but a coof for a' ihat. For a' lliat and a' that, f ilis ribbon, star, and a' that, , The man of independent minu, He loolis and laughd at a' that. t A princo can make a belted knight, A marquis, duke, and a' that; liut an houest nian'a above his might, Gudtí faiih he mana' lu' that. For a' that and a' ihat, Their digniiies, and a' that, Tho pith o' sense and pkide o' woith, Are hig';er ranhs tliaa a' that. Tlion let U8 pray ihat come it may, As comx it icill for a' thut ; That 8ense and wortl, o'crull ihe earlh, May bear the greo and a' that ; For a' Jiai, and a' that, Ii'u cominíj yet fora' that, Thai mn to man, the world all o'er, Slull broíhcrs be for a' that. Guld. When the Democratie principies obtain amongmen, said Mr. C. when they are carried out in all our relations in life, wo shall put a most just estímate upon man, we shall "make unto ourselves righteous rulers" - enact just laws - have no slavery - no oppression - no class legislation - no distinction on account of wealth, rank, or complex ion. A good deal has been said about the 'one idea.' An idea that is confined in its operation, said Mr. C. - an idea that is restricted to one class of men exclusively, is not a whole idea. It is, to sn'y the least, a partial idea. A 7iian's a man. That's a whole idea. That is the great Democratie idea. It is not, and it cannot be confined to a man with a white skin, nor to a man wilh a black skin. but to all men as men. We needed to understand better the natural rights of man and the legitímate business of civil government - its just pDwers and is the duty of civil government to proteol men irrespeclive of birth, riches, or color, in the enjoymeut and rightful exerc.iso ot tneír natural righls - their right to life, libcrly and the pursuit of hnppiness. Let the Liberty party take this ground - give us a government administered on such principies, and what would become of slavery % Me believed the Liberty party was to be a living, actiiig, perma?ient, party - he wished it to be a coinprehensive party - "a party of the whoïe" -sceking not only the "greatest good of the greatest number," in the common acceptation of that term - but the grcalzsl good of the whole number of all the tkople. Gentlemen teil us, we must nut lug in other questions and oiher interests but confine ourselves alone to tho business of securing to the black man his rights - the slave hia freedom. He would makc this the first and paramount object, but by no means the only object of the Liberty party, lf a party comes into power, its business is to do the duties of civil government. That was not to abolish slavery alone. Slavei y being the greatest evil - the greatest wrong - it should be the first business of government to abolish it. But thero were other duties fo r a government to do, having the care of 18,000,000 of people. There were other interests which the government were bound to look after, and without looking after which it could not cxist. The resolution simply declares on what principies we would act, and on what principies we would legislate. Itpledges U3 to no set of party tactics. Gentlemen thought they s&w a squinting towards the questions of tarifF, free trade, die, in the resolution. It says not a word about cariff or free trade. But suppose it did ? - What then ? We believe a man has tho right to Ufo, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - that he has the right to labor, nnd to eniov the fruit of lus labor- theproduce of his own toil and induslry ! - Does Jt r.ot follow as a matter of course hat he has the right to dispose of the iroducts of his lnbor where it liketh him jest? The latter right was the natural onsequent of the former. What then, )ecomes of your tariff. What right has jovernmont to say to a man, heshall not ;ell the producto of his labor when he hooses? What is a tariflT but an infringement of intural right ? It was wrong, unjusf. - 3e was opposcd to tariíTs and in favor of rreelalor and ree trade the world over. [le hoped liberty nien would not shrink 'rom a declaraior. of thcir sentiments on hese subjeets - f rom pledging themselves o the truth and the right, let it lead vhere it would. We were not aíraid to leclare ourselves in favor of laws interlicting the sale of intoxicaling liquors - tnd laws for the punishment of seduction, ' jambling, &c, &c., and why should we ] ícsitate to declare our views upon other t mportant questions of governmental 1 cy, questionsin which the whole peoyle iré deeply interested. He wanted the Lñberty party to be a perfect party, haronious in principie and aclion, no only orofessing good principies, but carrying ihem out in their npplication to all men. The other parties look after the interests of white vien, and trample on the rights of the black man. Let the Liberty party tnke a broader ground, and look afier the rights of all men. Then it will be a consistent party, and commend itsself to the common sense and consciences of mankind. The business of a common farmer, was not only to plough his ground, sow his seed, and gather his harvest ; but to take care of his "other interests" also - feed his cattle, his pigs and chickens, and bring wood and water for his wife, &c. &c. We are told of our prosperity, and advised to "let well enough alone." He did not think we had done well enough yet. We had done much tobe sure, but after all, we had bul just begun this great work. He should not be salisfied until we have abolished slavery, and eslablished a righteous, civil government, thtit would secure all men in the enjoyment of their rights. He had no fear of going too fast. Let us use all the additional faciiities we may now command, and mak e liaste to the rescue. Onward, cry the voices of God's juni verse. He did not believe that those present at the Convention who had come hundreds of miles by stages, steamboats, and railroads, woulcl be content to have every thing thrown back to the condition it was in 25 years ago, and ride in an ox cart upon a bundie of straw as he had done when á boy: No ; ho went for progresson - onward, upicard, higher, still higheb, should be our watchword. He hoped every Liberty man would adopt the inapiruing motto of theyoung man ascendÏDfr the Abs, so beautifully described byProf. Longfellow in bis admirable poem on the aspirationsof genius. This young ( man, who is introduced as a pe-sonification of gonius, is described asattempting ' the ascent of the snow covered Alps: dangers and diftkulties indescribable, andobjects, to all human ken insurmountable, present themselves in his way. - lie is warned by the oíd man, of the dangers of such an undertaking. He is tempted by the blazing fíres that gleam from the hearth-stones on either side as he passes along his upward way, to turn sin and warm his chilled and shivering limbs. Me is urged by the beautiful maiden to stay his course, and rest his weary head upon her breast. But to all alike, he turns a deaf ear, and„repeating the inoíto on his banner, 2resscs on, upward to the very summit of the mount. The highcst point of his earthly ambition attained, the triumphant spirit sends back from thedim distance, as it ascends hoine to the bosom of its God- the words that in liffi insniredand led him on to triumph-"excelsior ! "-higher, still iiighkr. Mr. Clark then sang in conclusión, the following poem with fine effect. The slindes of night wcro falling fust , As thro' an Alpino villoge past, A youtli, whubore mid sno and ice A banncr with ttiis straoge device, Excelsior ! Hisbrow was ssd, his eyes beneath, Flashed like a fulchio n froni iis bhuaih And likc a sil ver clarión rung, Tue uccoiits of that unknawu tongue - Excelsior ! In happy homes hc saw the light Of household fires, gleam warm and bright.. Above, the spectral glaziers shone, And from his lips escapod a groan - Excelsior ! Try not to pass, the old man eaid, Dark lovver ihe tempsst over head ; Tho roaring torrent is deep oud wide, But loud ihavclanon voico replied - Excelsior ! O ! stoy the maidcn eaid, tnd ret'.Thy weary heacj upon this breosl ; A leai siood in Iiis bright blue cyc, Uui still he an6wi red wítli a sigh - Lz:d:ior l Beware the pinc tree's wiihercd branch ! Beware tho awful avolanche I This was the pcasanis last good night ; A vuice replied far up ihe heiglit - Excelsior ! A travcller, by ihc faitliful hound, Half buried in the snow was found, Still grasping inhifl hand of ice, That baiincr with iliis 6trauge device - Excelsior ! There n the twilight, cold and gray, Lifelcss, bu: beauiit'ul he Iny ; And froni the sky tcrenc and (ar, A voice feil like o falling siar - Excelsior !