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would not resist, if seized under it? Is it only upon the ground of the unconstitutionality of the law that he would resist, or does he not, in reality, place his resistance upon the assumption that the law is what he calls “an atrocious law ?" And therefore, not only he, but all others, a mob as well as an individual— friends of freedom," white and black, may set the public authorities at defiance, and resist with all the means they can command ?" A more direct appeal to the worst passions of ignorant or wicked men, a more reckless incentive to mob outrage and violence, has rarely been made by any one who professes to regard and respect our constitutional compact. That the inference we have drawn from this language is true, who can doubt ? Indeed, he reiterates and attempts to fortify his position :
“ All writers upon law agree, that an unconstitutional act is no law; it is a nullity, and is to be treated as such, alike by citizens as by courts. But it is said that an individual has no right to judge whether a law is constitutional or not. This I deny. Ho should and must judge. He judges at his risk, to be punished, if he errs."
Therefore, mob outrage, violence, and even bloodshed, are not only to be justified, but even cheered and applauded, because this law is pronounced by Mr. Van Buren and the abolitionists, to be unconstitutional, in opposition to the expressed opinions of some of the ablest jurists on the bench of the federal courts; and mobs of blacks, and other " friends of freedom," are to be encouraged- and even, we presume, to have arms put in their hands ; for they are "to resist by all the means they can command"-urged on to trample down the authorities of the law, and to rescue fugitive slaves, even over the dead bodies of their owners! These doctrines are monstrous, and appalling; but we are happy to say, we do not believe they are tolerated among any considerable portion of the people of the North. It is only the fanatics, the demagogues and the agitators, who dare publicly to avow them.
We dismiss the subject with a single other quotation from this harangue, which clearly defines the aims, the objects, and the hopes, of these disorganizers, and proves, if any proof is needed, that they have nothing in common with the Democratic Party.
" Having thus considered the present aspects of the slavery question, let us briefly consult as to the present duties of the friends of freedom. In my judgment, they ought to unite in uncompromising hostility to the present national administration.”
Here we have it. The “ friends of freedom,” the abolitionists, the freesoilers, the Buffalo-platform men, the Seward Whigs, (without Mr. Seward, whom John thinks a supernumerary,) "ought to unite," and form a great northern, or abolitionist party. The uncompromising hostility is not so much to the " present national administration," as to the position which the present national administration is supposed to occupy on the compromise measures !
That the anti-slavery • union," of which Mr. John Van Buren speaks, is to be composed of the elements above mentioned—the abolitionists, the “ higher law” disciples of Seward, and the friends of freedom” whom Jobn can persuade to follow him from the democratic ranks—“black spirits and white, blue spirits and gray"—is plainly evident from his own language. The Democratic Party with us, he says, have already united-and, of course, there is no necessity of any further “union" among them. The first fruits of this union, we are further told, is the election of seventeen democratic members to Congress-and, " whilst I have no authority to speak their sentiments on any subject, (unquestionably true,) yet, I think, I may safely affirm that sixieen of them would, to-morrow, vote for a repeal of the fugitive slave act!”
Stand forth, Messrs. Hart, MURRAY, SUTHERLAND, SEYMOUR, and such others, of the New-York delegation, as are known to have repudiated Mr. Van Buren's Buffalo platform, and say which of you are willing to submit to the imputation. We think we know the characters and opinions of some of these gentlemen, at least sufficiently well to inform Mr. V. B.'s " friends of freedom" in the Vermont Convention, that he was either grossly deceived himself, or was wilfully hoaxing them. Indeed, his assertion cannot be true, unless some one or more of his own free soil friends on the delegation, whose names we might mention, have wilfully belied, not only their professions before election, but their writlen pledges. No. The “first fruits of the union" are not the election of sixteen abolitionists to Congress. If it be, then we repudiate such an union, and, for one, we raise the cry of repeal !
But further criticism upon this incongruous harangue would be fruitless and an idle waste of words. In what we have said we have designed merely to show, (in certain quarters where, perhaps, an erroneous impression may have been produced,) that Mr. Van Buren speaks the sentiments of no portion, not even a fraction, of the Democratic Party ; that the speech is but another of the author's vagaries, and that he alone is responsible for it.
Our object is thus accomplished. Our remarks are made in no feeling of unfriendliness to the speaker himself; we rather like John, and (not extravagantly) admire his speeches-or, rather, his speech ; for we may remark of it, as the simple-minded layman did of the last and newest homily of his spiritual shepherd, “ I always liked that sermon. He may, therefore, set us down certain as not one of the three Union Hunkers,” whom he thinks would kill him, if a law were passed authorizing such a summary proceeding. We would not kill him if we could, even with ink and types; for, were 'Thersites dead, who would so potently provoke the laughter (and cheers of the camp) or tickle the fancies of the “friends of human freedom?"
We have certainly no objection to Mr. Van Buren's making that speech "on his own hook," as Harry of the Wynde fought, wherever and whenever he may see fit so to do—and send as many Thersites-shafts at the Agamemnons and Achilles of both parties-Cass and Dickinson, and Marcy and Webster, as he pleases; but we do object to his speaking in the name of the New-York democracy, without having any authority to speak their sentiments," and we wish to be distinctly understood as entering a protest thereto. We hereby duly advertise the public against him. We desire it, therefore, once for all to be understood, that when he goes abroad, itinerating through Vermont and elsewhere, he goes without any commission of ours in his pocket. Indeed, we are sorry to say, that when he represents himself as connected with the Democratic Party, he is trading on borrowed respectability. The ingenious rogue at Washington, who borrowed money by representing himself the near relation of Silas Wright, was, as a financier, what Mr. Van Buren is in a political way. We, of the "old line,” feel mortified at the assumption, and scandalized that an individual of so equivocal a political character, should presume to claim even a distant relationship. It is all well enough at home, where we understand the joke, but we don't like the thing to go abroad among strangers. On this point we are sensitive, for we regard John, politically, as altogether a disreputable associate. He is, if you please, a poor relation, or every-day acquaintance, out of credit, out of pocket, and out at the elbows, who is constantly bringing his former associates into disgrace, by boasting among strangers of his intimacy with them, and their high respectability. Gentlemen of the Vermont Convention, he may be a distant connection though very distant of the Democratic Party, on which his " hopes rest," and for “ reasons personal” to himself; but unless he patches up that old, threadbare political coat, and gives himself altogether a more decent exterior, and reforms some of his lately acquired bad habits, a decent regard to our own standing and character will render it necessary " to cut him," and assign him, without remorse, to the very bad associates whom he has, for the past few years, found to be such congenial company.
And now a word in conclusion. The sentiments advanced by Mr. Van Buren in this speech point directly to the subversion of the Constitution, and a violation of its compromises. If entertained by any controlling portion of the people of the free states the Union could not last for a day. With such sentiments the Democratic Party have no sympathy, and will hold no fellowship with those who utter them. The true democratic creed upon this subject has been emphatically expressed in the resolutions adopted by the late State Convention of the democracy of New Hampshire, and to which we call Mr. Van Buren's attention, and the attention of all such as are striving to abolitionize the North :
" That the Democratic' Party is the party of the Union—that it will ever remain true to the Union, in whole and in part—that the recent adjustmeut' of
estion of the day is the best for the peace and honor of the country-that the Convention coincides with the sentiments of the Governor's Message respecting he. Compromise measures'—that unconditional obedience to the law is the constitutional duty of every good citizen, and the cause of national distinction and prospertty."
This is the language of reason, of soberness, and of patriotism. It is directly the reverse of the doctrines of " resistance" and the higher law," taught by Mr. Van Buren to the Vermont abolitionists-doctrines, which the Democratic Party, North and South, repudiate, and which it will ever continue, we trust, to abhor and detest.
SENATOR R. M. T. HUNTER, OF VA. The recent slavery agitation, if it has been fraught with great evils, has not been without its advantages, inasmuch as that it has brought into prominent relief the great statesmen of the country as distinguished from the mere demagogues. It is the moment of national danger, when evils of great magnitude threaten the permanency of our institutions, jeopardize the very principle of self-government, and even threaten the liberties of the people, by precipitating that state of anarchy which gives the citizen and the Christian no choice but between military despotism on the one hand, and retrogression towards barbarism on the other, that “ tries men's souls.” In a season of quiet and peaceful progression, it is difficult to detect true merit amidst the clamorous profession of patriotism and piety which the demagogue finds a “good hand to win on," but which seeks only the aggrandizement of the individuals who would as readily cringe before the footstool of an autocrat as bow to the majesty of the people, when the latter cause offers least personal profit. The first French revolution affords the most marked examples of those who were ranked amongst the most radical democrats, but who became the most subservient tools of the great soldier whose empire they prepared by the anarchy they had helped to create. What more unscrupulous agent had the eniperor than Fouché ?—the old Jacobin, whose exertions in favor of the emancipation of the blacks of St. Domingo first gave him importance at the clubs. The zeal with which he prosecuted the awful massacre at Lyons, where he rioted in blood, gave him ascendancy with the party in power, which he betrayed when the occasion suited, only to become a spy in the service of the reactionary party, and ultimately the tool of Napoleon, whom he betrayed in his turn to Wellington. Alison describes this man thus:
" An old member of the Jacobin club, and thoroughly acquainted with all tbeir designs ; steeped in the atrocities of Lyons; a regicide and an atheist; bound neither by affection nor principle to their cause, and seeking only in the shipwreck of parties to make his own fortune, he was eminently qualified to act as a spy upon his former friends. He perceived at this critical juncture that the ascendant of the revolutionists was on the wane, and having raised himself to eminence by their passions, he now resolved to attach himself to that conservative party who were striving to reconstruct the elements of society, and establish regular authority by their subversion."
The reader can readily put his finger on many men among us, to whom this description applies as accurately as to Fouché. If we substitute New England abolition societies for the Jacobin clubs, we see many men, now getting into notice, as amis du noirs, who, if disunion, civil war, bloodshed and anarchy are to afflict the Union, will run the same course as did Fouché, ending by betraying, for gold, some military despot, to whose power they will cringe, after having sold to him their country. It is a mistake to suppose that those horrors are of a past age, and cannot be renewed. No man who looks around him, and sees the bad passions which, by the malign agency of such men as Messrs. Seward and Van Buren, have been excited in men's minds, can doubt the possibility of strife; and, a blow once struck, will be the signal for a train of horrors, for which even the French Revolution can afford no parallel. Three millions of raging blacks, guided and officered by such monsters as now urge them to strife and supply them with arms, and lured by the wealth of northern cities, loom up in the horizon as a terrible tragedy, to which the experience of St. Domingo is but a prelude. The men who now agitate the North are those who coolly contemplate the probabilities of such a state of affairs, and of their position in relation to it. Whether our free Union sinks in anarchy and strife, amid the jeers of foreign despots, only to rise in bloodstained fragments under barbarous chiefs, whose occupation is war and whose will is law, or whether it retains its place among the nations of the earth, leading the march of popular progress, followed by all nations and species of men, is matter of indifference to the brawling demagogues, if they can have no share in the control of affairs. These men have betrayed their colors, but the agitation they have created has brought out the pure patriots and true statesmen. These, like Douglas at Chicago, Webster in Boston, Dickinson in New-York, Cass in Michigan, Buchanan in Pennsylvania, Foote in Mississippi, Cobb in Georgia, Downs and Soulé in Louisiana, and a host of other great men, rallied for the Union, and although, for the moment, they may be borne down by the storm which sweeps by, they have the benefit of the returning reason of the people, whose veneration, love, and respect will cling to them, as to the good and great, long after contempt for the foiled demagogues shall have subsided into forgetfulness. Senator Hunter, of Virginia, stands prominently among those gentlemen who have so nobly distinguished themselves for that nationality of character which comprehensively grasps the future and the present—which divests itself of local and sectional prejudices—sees, in a prosperous whole, the true welfare of all the parts-comprehends the position which the country holds among the nations of the earth—feels an American pride in the lead it assumes—and justly estimates the true means of enlarging and promoting its influence, with the view not only to the permanence of our institutions, but for the proportionate improvement of each section of the Union, and the advancement of every race of men within its expansive borders. It is, therefore, matter of congratulation, that a large body of our most patriotic citizens have sought to express the estimation in which they hold his services, as in the following correspondence :
City of New-York, 10th May, 1851. Hon. R. M. T. HUNTER, Chairman Finance Committee,
Senate United States. Dear Sir,-We, your fellow-citizens of New York, feeling a lively sense of your active intelligence and unsectional spirit as Chairman of the Committee of Finance, and particularly as regards your liberal advocacy of the establishment of a branch mint in our city, so important to the financial and commercial interests of the country at large, trust that you will allow us to express our sentiments to you more freely in person, by aniting with us in a social dinner in our city, on the 26th June, or at such other time as you may prefer.
With a high appreciation of your abilities as a statesman, and your qualities as a man,
W B Maclay
NL & Geo Griswold & Co. G A Worth
Caleb O Halsted
B R Winthrop
Thos Addis Emmet
Jas Van Nostrand
CW A Rodgers
Amos F Hatfield
PR Van Rensselaer J Campbell Jr
Joshua L Henry
Wadsworth & Sheldon
Thos C Fields
E M Brown
Smith & Dimond
Stillman, Allen & Co.
Isaac V Fowler
Westervelt & Mackey Ward & Co.
Daniel D Westervelt
Oscar W Sturtevant Joseph Cornell
CP Van Ness
Geo H Franklin
LS Jones & Co.
James Lee & Co.
Gilbert & Johoson
Therion, Maitlan & Co.
J Stanley Milford & Co.