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fraternity ; but it is needless to disclaim any ministerial influence or responsibility for our present opinions, and we therefore with less reserve venture to express our hope, that our government may have proposed something equivalent to Mr. Dargan's scheme as the basis of an arrangement of the whole difficulty, rational and equitable in itself, and which being a new expedient, consistent at once with principles which Great Britain can never abandon, and with offers which the United States have repeatedly made, may be adopted by both parties with, we believe, mutual advantage, and obviously without the slightest sacrifice of national honor."
“ Mr. Dargan's scheme" was adopted, and is now an existing treaty, ratified by the United States on the 18th June, 1846, binding the two governments in closest bonds of amity, as two great nations of the same blood and the same language, with the same principles of freedom, and the same mighty power over the world should be bound.
Perhaps if Mr. D. had been in parliamentary life for forty years, and had been backed by manufacturing interest and bank power, he might have deserved the title of the “great pacificator,” which has been awarded for less services.
The reviewer concludes: “The proposition of Mr. Dargan, or some slight modification of it, (we ourselves should not be disinclined to see it literally adopted,) appears in our view of the tempers and prospects of the two nations, the only one that can avert a war, which, to use a phrase of the distinguished American senator, would be on the part of those who provoked it, almost impious.'”
But let us return to the Oregon settlement, the credit of which, we have already shown, belongs to Mr. Dargan.
The Westminster Review, the peculiar tenets of which are well known, takes a different view of Mr. Dargan's proposition, and seems to conclude that Mr. D. was playing a game of diplomacy to outwit John Bull, and in advance admits that his proposition, which was finally adopted as the treaty between the two governments, led to a very advantageous arrangement for the United States. It says, (Art. 6, June number, 1846, Westminster Review,) “ If the proposal of Mr. Dargan, of Alabama, is thought to be worthy of consideration, namely, that the line of 49 degrees should be extended from Canada to Frazer's River, and thence through the Straits of Fuca to the sea— it should be remembered that Capt. Wilkes reports that there is no part of the coast where a settlement could be formed between Frazer's River, 49 deg. north, and the northern boundary of 54° 40 min. that would be able to supply its own wants. The liberality, therefore, of this proposal, is evident."
Whatever may be said of the liberality of Mr. D.'s proposal, and without attempting to investigate the question, whether the territory yielded up by the United States was of any value or not, it must be admitted that Mr. Dargan's scheme led to a most advantageous treaty for the United States; that in adopting that scheme as the basis of the treaty, Britain accepted and offered a proposition, which she had before at divers times rejected when offered by the United States.
It is not our intention to comment upon the arguments used by Mr. D. in his speech; the result has already been shown. It is enough to remark, that his argument has never been answered, and is unanswerable, and has been approved and confirmed by the action of both governments. Yet, this speech occupies but three pamphlet pages. The absence of all the catch-trap of ordinary politicians is a remarkable characteristic of the speech. The quietness of the calm, strong man, confident of his strength, confident of his position, of itself causes his fellows to place trust in him.
Judge Dargan, while in Congress, made a speech upon the Mexican war, and matters therewith connected, which sustained his justly earned reputation, but which we have not space here to comment upon. He expressed the same views that he afterwards expressed to his constituents, when giving an account of his stewardship.
It is needless to say that Judge Dargan's course as chief justice has met with general, we might say, with universal approbation, if it were not for the envious detractions of those who once had the presumption to think themselves his rivals. The following passage is quoted from one of his opinions upon a well settled point, simply as a contrast to the decisions of the preceding court, “ All the authorities agree that a deed procured or obtained with a view or intent to delay, hinder, or defraud creditors, is absolutely void against those who are intended to be injured by it; that the deed purports to be made by a sheriff in pursuance of a sale under execution, cannot impart to it vitality, or enable the fraudulent grantee to consummate his illegal purpose. Whether the deed be direct from the fraudulent grantor to the fraudulent grantee, or whether it be procured by means of a sale under execution, when once the fraud is established, it is null and void, and can form no impediment to creditors in subjecting the law to the payment of their debts." Forest v. Lyon and Camp, June term, 1849. Compare this with the following, pronounced by the preceding court, in June, 1841, Costello et al. v. Thompson, 9 Ala. Rep.: “We are aware that cases may be found, in which it has been held that the improper conduct of the purchaser at the sale of property under execution, amounting to fraud, vacates the sale, and that the title does not pass by the sheriff's deed; such are the cases of Smith v. Greenlee, 2 Den. 126, and Swaze v. Burke, 12 Peters, 11. But we are constrained to adhere to our own adjudications until, upon established principles of law, they can be shown to be erroneous. Under our complex system of jurisprudence, it is not to be wondered at that discordant decisions should be made ; and whilst we cheerfully admit the high character of tribunals which hold a different opinion, we think in this particular the law has been misapprehended." Decisions showing the character and justly deserved reputation of Mr. Dargan as a judge might be quoted to any extent; but as during the short time that he has been chief justice, no constitutional questions have arisen, and as this is not a proper place to comment upon legal questions, we will only remark, that as a judge he has won the esteem and confidence of the profession and of the community, and given to the reports of the state character and weight.
In conclusion we have only to say, that Judge Dargan has ever been a warm and earnest friend of his native South; that he supported the Nash. ville Convention, not as a disunion proceeding, but simply as an assembly of the people by their delegates under the rights and privileges guaranteed to them by the Constitution, to consult upon the proper measures to adopt in a time of danger, to ward off threatened injury, and to preserve the Union inviolate, by preventing designing men from cutting the strongest bonds of the Union, and from nullifying the solemn compact under which the rights of all are guaranteed.
DEMOCRATIC" STATE CONVENTION.
SPEECH OF MR. VAN BUREN.
We had supposed the Buffalo platform demolished-the Buffalo organization defunct and buried—the Buffalo creed turned over to the abolitionists proper, and the Democratic Party finally cut loose from those restless disorganizers and factious demagogues, who have sought to revenge the supposed wrongs of ex-President Van Buren on the national democracy. But it appears that the snake, though scotched, has not been killed ; the Democratic Party has not been thoroughly purged of abolitionism and abolitionists; free soilism has again “ burst its cerements,” and the sepulchre, wherein we saw it at Syracuse
- Quietly ipurned,
To cast it up again !" Our attention has been lately directed to a speech, delivered at Burlington, by Mr. John Van BUREN, to the so called Democratic State Convention of Vermont, and “Reported expressly for the Evening Post." From the wise precaution thus taken by the orator, or his friends, in having the Post's reporter on the ground, (Mr. V. B. says, in his speech, that “ until yesterday afternoon," he feared other engagements would have prevented his attendance, and the vigilant Post stenographer must have followed him that day in New York like his shadow,) we take it for granted that the speech was made for the meridian of New-York, rather than that of Vermont, and Mr. Van Buren would, of course, consider himself treated with discourtesy should we fail to pay it our compliments.
The fact that he speaks, ex cathedra, as the oracle and representative of the Van Buren interest in this state-the disingenuous assumption, on his part, that the sentiments he utters are the sentiments of the united democracy" of NewYork; and the consideration that these sentiments were uttered amid “ cheers and laughter," to a State Convention in Vermont, pretending to be democratic, and its being reported at length, "expressly for the Post," are our apologies to our readers for a few running commentaries on certain portions of a speech, which otherwise would have been dismissed with a paragraph. As to what sort of democrats composed this convention, we leave the speaker himself to describe :
“And now, democrats of Vermont, a word or two in regard to the election that is approaching, and when I say democrats of Vermont, nobody, I trust, will understand me as referring to that small band of men who denominate themselves the Old Line democracy-a corps who, at the suggestion of whigs, draw off from the democratic column into a field by themselves, and expect to be paid a certain sum per head to return to the ranks. (Cheers and laughter.) I speak of the democracy whose convention assembled here to-day."
The "old line democracy," it appears, were not there. It was the new light, higher-law, abolition • democracy," who assembled to listen to the teachings of the speaker on “human freedom ;" and received them amid " laughter and cheers." Elsewhere he remarks:
My hopes rest on the Democratic Party. I look forward anxiously to their restoration to power in the nation. There are reasons personal to myself why I should do so, I owe to them obligations which the services of my life could but poorly reqnite. One who stands to me in a near relation, has enjoyed their favor for nearly half a century."
John is certainly ingenuous in part of this confession. This is unusually frank and open. We can very readily appreciate the reasons personal to myself," why he desires the restoration of the Democratic Party (not the “old line") to power. It strikes us, however, that such services as his, will render it necessary to have his life spun out beyond the years of Methuselah, in order to requite the "obligations” he owes to that party. The “old line" democracy, whom John now abuses, conferred part of these obligations, (the hereditary" part,) and sustained, as he says, for nearly half a century, "one who stands in
relation" him. Let us see how John and the “ near relation” and friends requited this obligation. Speaking of the Presidential election of 1846,
“Important, as we all deemed it, to defeat Gen. Taylor, the defeat of his chief competitor was even more important. This result, also, may be added to the other consequences, over which the friends of freedom have a right to rejoice.”
Pluming himself upon this achievement—an achievement effected—to use his own words, applied to the "old line" democracy-by" a corps who, at the suggestion of whigs, drew off from the democratic column into a field by themselves”—John now sings Io triumphe! and tells his " friends of freedom” in Vermont, that they have a right to rejoice! Happy, complacent, and logical conclusion !
With the "old line” democracy, or, as Mr. Van Buren invidiously styles them in his speech, the “Union Hunkers," he will have no fellowship; and the Union Hunkers,” throughout the length and breadth of the country, will, doubtless, feel exceedingly chagrined and mortified by the information. Indeed, he prefers Mr. SEWARD to Mr. DICKINSON, as for example :
“We have lost, it is true, a democratic senator in place of Mr. Dickinson, whose term expired, aud who declined a re-nomination ; perhaps there may be no harm in my saying, that it does not add to the poignancy of our sorrow, that Mr. Dickinson should have been the senator whose term expired. (Laughter.)
But alas ! MR. SEWARD himself does not come up to John's idea of a model "free-soiler.” His course on the slavery question is entirely too moderate and temporizing. He has become unsound," and would never do to run for VicePresident with the “near relation," on a future Buffalo ticket. We again quote from the text:
“And on what supporter of the present national administration, can the opponents of slavery extension rely? Is it Mr. Seward, of our state? The state of New York, ever since the question first arose, has spoken in tones of the most indignant remonstrance against the aggressions of the slave power. Why is she now dumb? A bill, introduced by Mr. Coffin, intended to protect the free inhabitants of New York against the abuses of the Fugitive Slave Law, a wise, just, constitutional bill, has lain npon the table of the House since the first week of the session. Why does it not become a law? The legislature of that state, in both branches, is controlled by the supporters of Mr. Seward. A word from him would reverse the retreating movement, which now dishonors her.. Why is it pot spoken? Why does he not denounce the action of the President on this subject? Why do the presses friendly to him teem with eulo. giums upon the Secretary of State ? Why does he sit silently in his seat an entire session of Congress, without a movement to denounce or repeal the atrocious Fugitive Slave act ?"
Echo answers, why ?-we certainly cannot tell, and the partisans of Mr. Seward must solve the question. He is likely, it seems to be outstripped in the race of abolitionism. The Samson, sleeping in the lap of Delilah, Mr. V. B. looks down with contempt at his puny efforts against "human slavery." The senator is but the lisping infant of free soil,
“Muling and puking in his nurse's arms No, not in his nurse's arms, but at the maternal breast--where he lies quietly, to use John's own choice simile, "silently sucking the patronage of the government," and fearing “ the bosom will be withdrawn," while John himself has got one or two ages beyond, and has become the lover, “ sighing like furnace," and gently wooing the dark-browed, and not very coy maiden, abolitionism.
It is no longer Ego et meus rex-I and Billy' Seward. The higher law" doctrine is but milk for babes, and is spurned by the stomach that can digest strong meat and strong drink. The senator is weighed in the balance and found wanting, because he sits still an entire session, and makes no movement to "repeal the atrocious fugitive slave act."
" Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell,
And freedom sbrieked when William Seward fell!" But hope has revived again in another champion, and freedom's tears have turned to smiles. As to the ugly question propounded to Mr. Seward's friends, Mr. Van Buren observes:
“ These are questions that should be answered by those who look to him as the champion of human freedom."
In other words, Mr. Seward is no longer to be regarded as the Ajax Telemon of Constitutional abolitionism. “Gentlemen of the Vermont democracy," we think we hear the speaker adding, with characteristic modesty, “ behold in me the champion of human freedom!" Two suns cannot exist in one system, nor can two Cæsars live in one Rome. That Mr. Van Buren's zeal in the cause really does glow with a fiercer flame than that of the senator, is apparent from his own language, for he elsewhere says:
“Within the limits of the constitution, hostility to human slavery is the predominant sentiment of my heart. It is as natural to me as the air I breathe, and will perish only with my life. (Tremendous cheering.)"
Now we will venture to affirm, positively, that Mr. Seward does entertain, in his heart, several sentiments, which predominate over the sentiment of " hostility to slavery.” The sun of Seward is certainly eclipsed.
We had supposed that when Senator Seward propounded his higher law" doctrine, on the floor of the senate, he had reached a climax which it was difficult for any one professing loyalty to our institutions, to surpass. The stake thrown down on the political table was a large one, but John “raises” him. We do not know whether the senator has the pluck to " go him back.” Although it may be observed, that Mr. Seward undoubtedly has the age,” inasmuch as he was a decided “champion of human freedom,” when John was laboring to elect “one who stands in a near relation" to him, on the Baltimore Resolutions of 1840, at which time, on his own construction, hostility to human slavery was not the predominant sentiment of his heart. As both these gentlemen, however, are somewhat rash and ambitious players at the political board, we leave them to make their own ventures, and take their own chances. Time will determine which one of them shuffled his cards the best.
But, badinage aside, Mr. Senator Seward's doctrine of the higher law than the Constitution,” atrocious as it is, was but the expression of a speculative opinion, the enunciation of a theory. Mr. Van Buren goes beyond it, and directly counsels and advises resistance-open resistance, and by force, to the law. Speaking of what he said on a former occasion, he reiterates, after mature deliberation, the proposition :
“And added, that as the law was unconstitutional, I should resist it with all the means I could command, if seized under it."
If seized under it, Mr. Van Buren would resist. Why? Because, he says, the law is unconstitutional. But this is a mere evasion. Suppose he admitted the law to be constitutional, does he mean to say, in that case, he