« 이전계속 »
Mr. Bates severely reviews the present Administration, with no malice against Mr. Buchanan, but because “ of the dangerous change which is now obviously sought to be made in the practical working of the Government,—the concentration of power in the hands of the President, and the dangerous policy, now almost established, of looking abroad for temporary glory and aggrandizement, instead of looking at home for all the purposes of good government."
The rapid increase of public expenditure presented to him an alarming sign of corruption and decay, as he did not see that it bore any fair proportion to the growth of the country, but looked rather like wanton waste or criminal negligence :
“The ordinary objects of great expense are not materially augmented; the army and navy remain on a low peace-establishment; the military defences are little, if at all, enlarged; the improvement of harbors, lakes, and rivers is abandoned; and the Pacific Railroad is not only not begun, but its very location is scrambled for by angry sections, which succeed in nothing but mutual defeat. In short, the money, to an enormous amount, (I am told at the rate of $80,000,000 to $100,000,000 a year,) is gone, and we have little or nothing to show for it. In profound peace with foreign nations, and surrounded with the proofs of national growth and individual prosperity, the Treasury, by less than two years of mismanagement, is made bankrupt, and the Government itself is living from hand to mouth on bills of credit and borrowed money!”
In conclusion, Mr. Bates felt there was reason to fear that some of his ideas were iso antiquated and out of fashion as to make it very improbable that they will ever again be put to the test of actual practice.” This personal platform, and the policy indicated, were received with much enthusiasm by those who hope to reconstruct on them the old Whig party.
The passages in this letter which express the writer's regret at the existing agitation of the Slavery question have been construed by the pro-slavery party to reflect on their opponents, and some of the Republican journals have admitted this construction; but such obviously was not intended. He could not reflect upon the Republican party without stultifying himself; for he openly advocates every principle of the Philadelphia platform, and the restoration of the Government to the policy of its founders with respect to slavery.
The agitators denounced by Mr. Bates are those who repealed the Missouri Compromise and "inaugurated the new policy of slavery-extension.” This appears also by his letter, dated St. Louis, August 20, 1859, to the Memphis Convention, wherein he urges the Opposition in the South to co-operate with the Republicans, which is as follows :
“It pleased me very much, gentlemen, to find that you designate the band of patriots who have lately done the good work in Tennessee as the • Opposition Party.' The name implies that the party is made up of the good men of other parties,-Democrats, Whigs, Americans, Republicans,-all who can no longer brook the wild extravagance and wanton disregard of principle in an Administration and a party which, emboldened by former unmerited success, vainly imagine that they can afford to disregard the censures of the world,' and to despise the judgment of history. The party in office (I will not say in power) is of itself a weak and helpless minority. It has no chance of renewed success but the hope (I trust a vain and fallacious hope) that we will be so unwise and unpatriotic as to waste our strength in party bickerings about old party names and subordinate questions of policy and convenience, and to split up our forces into sections, as if for the very purpose of enabling our inferior enemy to beat us all in detail. If we be so unwise as that, if we allow the adversary to form the plan of our campaign, to marshal our troops, to tell us when to march, where to camp, and how to fight,of course we shall get what we earn and deserve,-defeat; and we shall add to the humiliation of defeat the sting of shame, in the consciousness that we had in our hands the means of victory and the assurance of the peace and prosperity of the nation, but wantonly threw them away. Your recent victory, (in Tennessee,) and similar successes in other Southern and Western States, embolden me to hope for the like good result all over the Union. The spirit of conservative patriotism is aroused throughout the nation by the dangerous misgovernment and bold innovations of the last few years; and, in view of the great national interests now in peril, a better feeling—a feeling of harmony and mutual confidence, of kind forbearance on minor points, of generous concession in favor of peace and unity--is visibly increasing in all the elements of the Opposition. Those who foster and advance that good feeling, and ripen it into cordial union, will be great public benefactors. Such union alone will constitute the victory without the necessity for another blow; for the Democracy, as now enervated and demoralized, will be no match for the united Opposition. And such a victory!-in which all, even the vanquished, will have cause to rejoice, because it will restore peace and harmony to the excited sections, law and order to the disturbed Territories, moderation and justice to the Government, and prosperity and
honor to the nation. Such, at least, is the earnest hope of your obliged friend and fellow-citizen,
EDWARD BATES." One of Mr. Bates's latest appearances in public was in the shape of a short letter, which has met with much commendation from those who are in favor of enforcing the Sunday-laws. Many of our chief cities have been agitated by the question, among others, St. Louis. To a meeting recently held there on the subject, he addressed the following letter :
“I am very sorry to hear that there is any occasion for a popular demonstration to uphold an institution so ancient, so sacred, so lawful, and so necessary to the peace, the comfort, and the respectability of society. Its religious character, as a holy day, ought alone to be sufficient for its protection in a Christian community; but, that failing, surely the laws of the land, made for its security, ought to be as strictly enforced as the laws made for the protection of persons and property. Vice and crime are always progressive and cumulative. If the Sunday. laws be neglected or despised, the laws of persons and property will soon share their fate and be equally disregarded.”
Mr. Bates has acquired a wide reputation in his State and the West as a ready, forcible, and eloquent speaker; yet, although he has been a public speaker for nearly forty years, there are none of his speeches in print. A few notes and sketches have been published; but he never wrote out a speech for the press. He has attempted it once or twice, upon solicitation, but never could satisfactorily recall the spirit that animated the oral delivery.
An authoritative exposition of Mr. Bates's views on the Slavery question has just been issued in his home organ,—the St. Louis News His position, as thus expressed, embraces the views originally set forth by the Republican party at the Pittsburg and Philadelphia Conventions. It completely discountenances the more extreme characteristics of that party as at present known. It approves the Fugitive-Slave Law, and announces Mr. Bates as desirous of framing a new one if the present is unequal to the intention of its framers,—one which will have the desired effect. He would also enforce—if Congress passed—a law protecting slavery in the Territories : though he does not believe that the Constitution carries it into Federal territory. He does not believe slavery a blessing; is glad that Missouri is becoming free; and thinks the National Government ought to encourage
the colonization of free negroes, for the purpose of aiding such States as may desire to get rid of them. This document, it is thought, will strengthen Mr. Bates's position with the conservative men of the country, as being more broad and general in its character than the views propounded by the recognised leaders of either the Republican or the American party.
It has been observed by a writer in Tennessee, that, in consequence of the distractions which it is feared or hoped will nullify the efforts of both the leading parties, the political indications from all parts tend to the formation of a united Opposition ; that “the conservative, Union-loving, law-abiding, and Constitutionobserving people of the country are being fully aroused to the importance of a united and thorough effort to crush out sectionalism everywhere.” At the head of this party it is proposed to place Mr. Bell, Senator from Tennessee, and long known as a public man, a ready and at times powerful debater, his mind stored with the resources acquired in official position, as well as much practical knowledge of political economy gleaned in the course of a prominent and active public career.
John Bell was born near Nashville, Tennessee, February 18, 1797, of parents who, though in moderate circumstances, bestowed upon him the benefits of a sound education at Cumberland College,—the present Nashville University. He chose the law as a profession, went through the usual studies, and at the
of nineteen-in 1816—was admitted to the bar. He was no sooner before the people in the practice of his business than public life opened to him; and his political influence was acquired and recognised at a period of life when the majority of youths are but entering college. Settling at Franklin, Williamson County, he was elected a State Senator in 1817, when only twenty years old. A brief experience, however, enabled him to estimate properly this flattering testimonial to his youthful talents; and, after the first term of service, he judiciously declined a re-election, and retired to his profession, in the active practice of which he remained for the next nine years.
Entering the field against Felix Grundy for Congress, in 1826,