« AnteriorContinuar »
Butler and Fillmore; both in Congress for years together. Butler true as steel to the south on every occasion; Fillmore recording, on many occasions, the most fatal votes to her safety and her interest. I do not hesitate this day to declare that neither Adams, nor Slade, nor Giddings, have ever recorded stronger votes against you. Out of a multitude, I will give you one that stamps him indelibly as one of your worst and greatest enemies. You may vote for him if you choose, but you shall not do so without knowing that you place in your Senate Chamber a man that may have to give the casting vote on your nearest and dearest interests, and who would as surely give it against you as you place him in the office.
In 1838, Mr. Fillmore, with Mr. Adams and others, voted against the following resolution : “ Congress, in the exercise of its acknowledged powers, has no right to discriminate between the institutions of one portion of the States and another, with the view of abolishing the one and promoting the other.” Here is a vote, (among many others,) about which there can be no mistake. He expressly declares, that Congress has the right to discriminate against your slave property, and that too, with the view of abolishing it. It is the very essence or marrow of abolition itself. No sophistry can explain it away--no argument can justify or defend it. It stands out in bold and monstrous relief; it looks every man of the south right in the face, and bids him with a defiance to vote for Millard Fillmore at his peril! And peril it you may, but you shall not have it to say that I did not warn you against the murderous deed. When this man shall have been elected; when he shall have given the casting vote against you in the Senate ; when the news shall fall upon you like the sound of a fire-bell at night; when the fires of fanaticism and of insurrection shall have united their hellish blaze; when your hearthstones shall be blackened, and your altars stained with the blood of your own household, say not that Aaron V. Brown was an unfaithful sentinel on the watchtowers of liberty.
But I am admonished that my allotted time has nearly expired. I can only appeal to you to pause, and to pause long, before you call a mere military man—with no experience, with no opinions yet formed or matured, or if matured, who has not
and will not make a disclosure of them-to the Presidency of this great republic. There can be no necessity for so rash and, until now, so unprecedented an attempt. For more than twenty years our government, with but a single exception, has been in democratic hands, and has advanced in all the elements of national greatness with the most astonishing rapidity. There can be no necessity to turn out the old and long tried democratic pilots who have steered the great vessel of State. The new ones proposed are untried and unpractised—they never looked on her compass nor touched her helm in all their lives. Four years ago, when the good old ship sailed out, you were confidently told that she never would return-that she would be driven upon the rocks, and shoals, and quicksands, and finally be
“In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.” But, thank God! yonder she comes, with all her sails set, riding gallantly into port! All I ask of you before you make this great change is, to go down with me and examine the state and condition of the good old vessel of State. Look at her capacious and noble hull—her towering masts, peering upward toward the clouds-her everlasting timbers, bidding defiance to the waves and the tempest. Walk about her mighty bulwarks-turn toward her mast-head, and gaze upon the stars and stripes that have carried your name, your fame, your power, over all the habitable globe--four more stars than you ever saw shine there before. But all these relate to the outside, the mere exterior of the noble vessel : what of her cargo? It is precious and priceless. Our commerce ? Under the influence of revenue duties only, it is larger than it ever was before. Our agriculture? It has fed half the starving nations of Europe. Our navigation ? Boundless as the oceans of the earth. Our mechanical arts and sciences ? They have filled the world with astonishment. But tell us tell us, what of the Union, the ark of our political salvation ? Safely brought home to you, brighter and stronger than ever. What of the constitution ? Brought back, too, sound and unbroken. Our civil and religious liberties, what of them? Here they are, pure and inviolate as when they were first baptised in the blood of the revolution. What patriotic voice is not ready to exclaim, then all is well! all is well!
Of Gov. Aaron V. Brown, on the issues of the Presidential
Canvass, delivered at Columbia, August, 6, 1852.
Fellow Citizens :- If the departed spirits of that noble race of men who first settled this country were permitted to revisit the earth, with what astonishment would they behold what is now transpiring amongst us! They lived in the days of Jefferson and Madison; they saw them, heard them, and fought with them the great battle against federalism in 1798 and 1801. From their hallowed lips they had received the sacred doctrines of the Constitution, that every State should be equal, and every individual protected in life, liberty and property.
With what amazement would they now learn that since their departure, some strange and undefined power had been discovered in our government higher than the Constitution that in fact abrogates that instrument, with all its compromises and guarantees! A power that claims the right to demolish nine hundred millions of southern property at a single blow, and thus to reduce at once a whole people to beggary and want.
With what further amazement would they behold the fact, that a party holding such dangerous doctrines, had grown from a mere speck, a cloud no bigger than a man's hand, now to be so strong as to lay hold on one of the political parties of the country, and dictate to it both a creed and a candidate! I repeat, both a creed and a candidate! It is to demonstrate this great fact, that I am here to-day. To demonstrate it, not to the whigs, not to the democrats, but to candid and impartial men of all parties.
That dark power, whose deadly influences I propose to trace,
is neither whig nor democratic. It has risen up in spite of them both, and would plant its iron heel on the neck of the one as soon as of the other. The abolition party is exotic in its origin, and took its rise in the bigotry and fanaticism of the old world. In the short period of a single generation, it overawed the British Parliament, and demolished the whole system of West India slavery. It compelled the provisional government of France, no later than 1848, to abolish it in her colonies, giving to her outraged owners only two months for preparation. Denmark and Sweden have followed in the same career. Nearly one million and a half of slaves have been liberated against the will of their owners under European agitation. Sir Robert Peel, the greatest of England's modern statesmen, looking at these great and speedy results, has expressed the belief “ that the doom of slavery is sealed ; that it cannot long survive; that it must, at no remote period, be extinguished.” Such are the signs and warnings of the old world—what are they in our own country?
Innumerable societies are scatterred over the States of the North. The great basis on which they are founded is this: “ We hold slavery to be an evil now, and of course must be emancipated now. If the thief (say they) be found with stolen property, he must relinquish it at once. To hold the colored man in vassalage, must ere long break up the fountains of the great deep, and unsheath the sword of vengeance, revolution and death.” Such is the fundamental creed and foundation of the abolition party : universal emancipation, or vengeance, revolution and death! Such is their creed: what has been their progress? They have overawed most of the public men of the North, and cut off the heads of such as Fillmore and Webster, who ventured to demur to their unconstitutional demands. They have entered the legislatures of nearly every northern State, and tied up the hands of their senators by the most positive instructions. They have forced their way into the halls of Congress, breaking down the 21st rule, the only barrier that could be erected by the wise men of the South. They have broken the churches asunder, because they would not walk with the slaveholder even in the road to heaven. They have measured arms with the government itself on the fugitive slave bill, bidding defiance to its marshals, imprisoning the master who claimed his slave, or closing the scene, as at Christiana, in murder and blood.
It was at a period when the abolitionists had achieved so many triumphs, and were flushed with so many victories, that the whig and democratic parties assembled at Baltimore. The selection of candidates was a matter of no peculiar interest to either, so far as it related to the old issues which had originally divided them. They were considered either as obsolete, or were permitted to slumber beneath the intense and all-absorbing question of slavery. Not a whig, nor a democratic delegate was known of, who left the South, but with the great master-passion of his soul, not to nominate any candidate who was not true to the rights of the South-true to the Constitution, and true to the fugitive slave bill founded on the Constitution. The democratic party knew no better mode of ascertaining the sentiments of their candidates than to address letters to them, asking for a full public declaration of their views. They all declared that they would veto any bill proposing a repeal of the fugitive slave law. General Pierce was not a candidate. He had refused to permit his friends, either in New Hampshire or in the convention, to present his name in that light. He was not at home when the letter of Captain Scott was received. He was absent with a sick family, and never expected his name to be used in that connection. But he had letters there addressed to his New Hampshire friends, declaring that “if the compromise measures are not to be substantially and firmly maintained, the plain rights secured by the Constitution will be trampled in the dust.”. The moment he said the fugitive slave bill was founded on the Constitution, and secured rights under it, there is no tyro in America who does not know that, under the democratic creed, that is equivalent to a declaration that he would veto its repeal. So that it may be safely averred, that every body who had been spoken of as likely to be presented, was there either by letter expressly, or by necessary and obvious consequence, declaring that they would veto all attempts at its repeal. With all their candidates breathing such noble sentiments, no difficulty could be experienced in the selection. Cass, Buchanan, Douglass,