« AnteriorContinuar »
into the depths from which it has been lifted. The plague spot has been removed from the nation, and that man, be he ‘President, rebel, or conservative,' who dares to conspire against the progress of freedom, equal and exact justice, must eventually incur the just indignation of an outraged people, and be crushed by those "eternal forces' which have decreed that this shall be a land of free, republican institutions.
“Connected with the events of the past five years are two names that will ever stand out boldly upon the records of the Second American Revolution. These are, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. The one, the great leader of the Republican party, the leader of that party which, during the past four years, won so many victories for humanity.' Abraham Lincoln was the champion of liberty, the embodiment of the principles and policy of the Republican party. He was ever the friend of patriots, of men loyal to our country, and steadily maintained the principles which honored republicanism and protected loyalty. With mercy he blended justice. Abraham Lincoln was never known to compromise with traitors. None dared approach the man who, by every act of his life, had proved himself invulnerable to the flattery of the enemies of his country, and who never granted favors which would injure the cause of republican liberty. The friends of emancipation, of the Union-men of republican ideas, of true democratic principles-were the men with whom he sympathized and whom he selected to fill places of trust in this Government. Abraham Lincoln never dreamed of a policy that could place traitors in power to crush loyal men who had suffered for the cause of liberty and the Union. This name, which was made immortal because it stood at the head of that party, whose policy has ever been to extirpate slavery from the land and restore the country according to the laws of right and justice, will ever appear in bright contrast with that of Andrew Johnson.
“A mourning nation turned from the grave of a martyred President to repose confidence in one they believed to be a true patriot, in one whose past acts and noble sayings had marked him as a friend to loyalty, an enemy to treason. The oppressed looked up to Andrew Johnson with confidence, as he told them'he would be their Moses, and take them through the dark waters which surrounded them.' Loyal men who had suffered by fighting for their country in her peril, for which they were persecuted by traitors, trusted the ‘Moses' of the wronged, and confidently believed that his policy would be to protect the friends of the Government against the tyranny of those who had sought to destroy it. Had Andrew Johnson not said, when Governor of Tennessee, 'Rebellion shall no more pollute our State. Loyal men, whether black or white, shall govern the State ?' Had Andrew Johnson not said from his exalted position of President, 'Treason must be made odious, and traitors must be punished and impoverished. Their great plantations must be seized and divided into small farms and sold to honest and industrious men ?'
“Traitors were appointed to fill places of trust, but none were willing to believe that the patriotic Andrew Johnson had adopted a policy that would place men in power who had labored for years to destroy the most beneficent form of government. Were not his past acts and words in direct antagonism to this suicidal policy ? Had not he said that 'in the work of restoration, that work should be put into the hands of friends, not smothered by its enemies ? That 'if there were but five thousand men loyal to freedom, loyal to justice, these true and faithful men should control the work of re-organization and reformation absolutely ? Such was the confidence reposed in Andrew Johnson by the loyal Union men of the South that they suffered in silence the persecutions of traitors, believing that when their patriotic President had experimented sufficiently in his restoration policy, he certainly would discover that such a policy sustained traitors and crushed loyal men. They waited hopefully and patiently, believing that when their loyal President should discern the true character of his appointees, they would receive their just reward--that traitors would be punished according to his solemn promises.
“ Alas! that Andrew Johnson should have stultified his history, abandoned his party, and fallen from that position where a confiding liberty-loving people had placed him, expecting him to carry out the great principles the lamented Lincoln had pointed out as necessary to save the Republic. Alas! that the Chief Executive should descend from that exalted position so recently occupied by the Great Martyr of Liberty, to denounce the principles of that party, of that Congress who are struggling to maintain the immortal cause for which the leader of Republicanism—the noble Lincoln-had died.
“Liberty bowed her head and wept, methinks, on the night of February 22d, 1866, when the Chief Magistrate of the nation mingled with the traitors of the land to insult a Republican Congress, to strike at the vitals of Liberty, to treat with contempt the memory of Washington and Lincoln. It was not strange that the nation stood aghast and loyal hearts were filled with shame and humiliation, while traitors shouted and fired guns in honor of their avowed leader.
“ President Johnson declares that he is but carrying out the policy of Abraham Lincoln. If he had reconstructed and restored States according to his promises, he would have carried out Mr. Lincoln's policy. Has this been his course ? Has he adhered to the principles for which he was elected to restore the States? Has not Andrew Johnson said "The leaders of the rebellion have decided eternal separation between you and them. These leaders must be conquered and a new set of men brought forward, who are to vitalize and develope the Union feeling in the South ?' This was the policy of Abraham Lincoln; this was the promulgated policy of Andrew Johnson, as an avowed Republican. This is not his present policy. His policy is to arm the rebels, to veto Liberty Bills designed to give protection to the loyal against traitors, to denounce patriots as traitors and fraternize with the red-handed monsters of the land.
“Listen to what Governor Brownlow says of Andrew Johnson's policy: “When I put the President in nomination at Baltimore for the Vice Presidency, I felt that he had so thoroughly committed himself to the Union cause, and had been so badly treated by tha rebels, it was impossible for him ever to get around to them again; but I give him up as lost to the Union party, and as the man who is to head the rebels and Democrats. Every rebel in this country, every McClellan man, and every ex-guerrilla chief are loud and enthusiastic in praise of the President. The men who but a few months since were cursing him for an abolitionist and traitor and wishing him executed, are now for executing all who dare oppose his policy, or even doubt its success. In the eleven rebellious States, can any one point out the 'new set of men ? No. The leaders of the rebellion, through the influence and power of Andrew Johnson, to-day hold the offices and places throughout these States, and openly declare that Andrew Johnson, whom the loyal millions trusted, is the friend and supporter of the leaders of the rebellion, while they know that the loyal Union people are unprotected and subject to the tyranny of the instigators of the rebellion. Andrew Johnson is shamefully guilty of displacing men who have lavishly spilt their blood and expended their treasure to secure an undivided country, and given those places to men distinguished for their treason. The policy of Abraham Lincoln was in bright contrast with this policy. During Lincoln's life, were men known to have been partisans of secession, appointed to govern the States? Were its instigators allowed to hold offices or positions of honor or trust ? Did traitors dream of asking such favors from the just and honest Lincoln ? They knew that the great object of that noble life was to put down treason and restore the Union. In contrast to Johnson's proceedings, Lincoln acted according to his convictions of right and justice. His acts were in harmony with his words. Andrew Johnson declared that influential and wealthy traitors ought to suffer the penalties and terrors of the law,' and now seeks to conciliate them, honors them by placing them in Government employ, and giving them