Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

is reported to have uttered sentiments, at a public assembly in Maryland, which I have not now before me; but by no means less violent than those of Senator Preston, Mr. Graves, and Secretary Bell. Another member of Congress, then and now quite distinguished in the Whig party, did not hesitate often and publicly to declare that he went for the peaceful remedy until November, and, if not successful, he meant to go for arms.* I do not know that any of these gentlemen have ever denied the language here attributed to them, and I advert to them as a portion of the party history of the last Presidential election; happy if I shall ever be authorized by any of them to correct any of the statements here imputed to them. I must now allude to another foul and wicked plot of recent disclosure.

Mr. Pleasants, editor of the Richmond Whig, in a letter, dated August 25, 1842, after describing the state of excitement for a few days after the election of 1840, and the conclusion amongst the Whigs that Mr. Van Buren had been elected, and in their opinion, by fraudulent voting, proceeds to state as follows:

“ In this state of feelings, three individuals, who happened to be together, interchanged opinion, found an entire concurrence of sentiment among themselves, and hastily arranged the heads of a plan for redressing the wrongs of the country, by securing the person of Mr. Van Buren previous to his inatguration. Three things were to precede putting it in execution: 1. The election of Mr. Van Buren. 2. That he could not have been returned without the vote of Virginia.* 3. Proof, carrying positive and undoubted certainty with it, that his majority in Virginia was fraudulent. These preliminaries ascertained, twenty persons (men who could depend on one another) were to be admitted into the association, under the pledge of secrecy and fidelity. Ten of the number were to proceed to Washington in a fast steamboat, giving out that their object was a jaunt of amusement, to witness the approaching inauguration. It was imagined that there would be little difficulty in finding an opportunity in conveying Mr. Van Buren on board by stratagem or force; and, this done, the boat was to ran with all despatch for Albemarle Sound, previously agreed upon as the destination. There the ten were to be met by their associates, and Mr. Van Buren to be escorted by the whole into the upper districts of North Carolina-Cornwallis's most rebellious people in America--and whom we know to be now as staunch Whigs as their fathers were in 1780. Arrived there, a manifesto was to be

* Mr. Botts.

[merged small][ocr errors]

objects of the act, and the vicinage assembled and appealed to. Mr. Van Buren himself was to be treated with the greatest po:sible respect and courtesy, compatible with sa'e custody. The manifesto was to demand a new election, and the restoration of the rights of the majority. The next Northern mail brought confirmation of a great Whig victory, and, of course, the plan of abduction and all thoughts of it were abandoned. Whether it would have been executed, if the events had fallen out, the anticipation of which led to its conception, is beyond my power to know. I believe it would have been ; for, although it was emb-aced in pa-sion, that pasion was not likely to cool by witnessing successful frauds in the enjoyment of its spoils."

I have no time or inclination to dwell on this nefarious and wicked purpose; it is submitted to the calm judgment of a people, who may sometimes be cajoled and imposed upon, but cannot be prevailed upon deliberately to sanction that violence which puts all law and order and humanity at defiance. Who does not know that, if this project had been carried out, what commenced in kidnapping and abduction, would have ended in the murder of Mr. Van Buren, in order to get rid of his testimony against the perpetrators of so foul a deed? And who can doubt the imminent peril and danger to which John Tyler is every day and every night exposed, from the same fuul and demoniac spirit? This very letter was written, in order to show that abduction was not the proper remedy in Mr. Tyler's case. But when the lawless brigands of the party shall hear from Washington that impeachment is impracticable, what may not be expected from the rejected office-secker, or the infuriated political desperado? The session closed with the charge of treason and perjury burning on the lips of nearly every proininent leader of the Clay faction, well calculated to admonish some half-crazed retainer that "it would be doing God service” to despatch him with the stiletto or pistol. The wretch who basely attempted to assassinate General Jackson on the steps of the capitol, had not half the encouragement to the perpetration of the bloody deed.

And now, my countrymen, before I close this letter-already too long--permit me to ask whether you intend any longer to attach yourselves to a party, led on by political leaders such as I have described ? Many of you, I know, joined that party

ULUI

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ог proceedings , you have, generally gone along with them, justifying some things, it is true, but apologizing for the most of what they have been doing. Who of you that marched in their processions, and united with them in raising the liberty-poles and the cabins in 1840, had the slightest suspicions that such wicked and bloody designs were entertained as have since been fully established upon them? Who, that listened to their speeches, breathing nothing but devotion to liberty, religion and law, could have been made to believe that the time was so near at hand when you might be called on by them to rear the standard of revolution? I know the great body of the Whig party never thought, never dreamed, of such results. But they are now disclosedmade manisest; and every man who respects order and good government-every man who reverences the principles of our holy religion--every man who loves his country, her freedom, her constitution, or her laws, should go no further with them.

They have determined to rule or ruin this country; to rule by fraud and bribery at elections, or by force and violence after them; to ruin by the folly and wickedness of their measures, or by a new and alarming method discovered and introduced by them within the last few years. Throughout the turbulent session of the twenty-sixth Congress, it is known to every member of it, that often, when unable to carry their point without it, they would withdraw by common concert, in order to reduce the Ilouse below a quorum; and when a call was ordered, in order to force their attendance, they would drop back into their seats and answer their names; thereby avoiding the responsibility of such revolutionary movements. For one whole night-from sunset to sunrise-have we seen this party withdrawing and returning, marching out, and then marching back again, in order to weary out and ballle the lawful and constitutional legis. lation of the Ilouse. In the Senate, on one occasion, the author and founder of this new and alarming principle of party action, in order to defeat the nomination of Judge Daniel of the Supreme Court, with a lofty (not to say insulting) air, audibly bade os

good night” to the majority, and marched out of the tagious terness have gushed out from the high places of the nation, and no one can tell the length and breadth of the poisonous inundation. What occurred in Tennessee has no analogy. The case stands widely different in all its principles. If, how.ever, anybody shall suppose that there can be the slightest resemblance, let it be remembered, that it cannot be unjust that he who poisons the cup should sometimes be compelled to quaff its deadly contents.

But I must conclude. Gladly would I have communicated all these things, and many more, by personal intercourse with you; but the indisposition of my family detaining me here for a while, some little attention to my private affairs, and the near approach of another session of Congress rendered it impossible.

Your obedient servant,

AARON V. BROWN. WASHINGTON, September 15, 1812.

ANNEXATION OF TEXAS.

}

In the IIOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

June, 1844. Mr. AARON V. BROWN said that he felt constrained to ask the indulgence of the House whilst he submitted a few observations personal to himself. The near approach of the adjournment compelled him to take this course as the only method of vindicating himself against a certain publication in yesterday's Globe. He was compelled to speak of it as a newspaper publication, because he could not, under the rules, refer to the debates in the other end of the Capitol. He begged leave to read the following paragraph from that paper:

“ The war was expiring. The armistice, and the interposition of great powers, was bringing it to a close; and the day was at hand when the reunion of Texas would have come of itself, and with peace and honor, when this insidious scheme of sudden and secret annexation, and its miserable pretexts, was fallen upon by our hapless administration. From the moment that scheme, and its pretexts, first revealed itself to public view, at a public dinner in Virginia, in the autumn of the last year, I denounced it as an intrigue, got up for the election and to end in the disgrace of its authors, and in the defeat, delay, and embarrassment o! the measure which it professed to desire. I particularly made this denunciation to the gentleman (Mr. A. V. Brown] who had got the letter from General Jackson in February, 1843, and who seemed to be vicariously charged with some enterprise on my humble self. It was at the commencement of the present session of Congress; I answered him on the spot; and, as I have no concealments, the gentleman referred to is at liberty to relate all that I said to him to the whole world.”

Now, sir, (said Mr. B.,) I mean to make no reply to any portion of that publication but what relates personally to myself. The 'insinuation as to the “ vicariouscharacter which I seemed" to sustain in the conversation alluded to, is wholly

« AnteriorContinuar »