« AnteriorContinuar »
tempt was made to put secession down blood would flow in the streets of New York;' that' coercion was unconstitutional, illegal?' Are not these the men who opposed the measures for the suppression of the rebellion, opposed the suspension of the habeas corpus, opposed emancipation, conscription, loans, legal tender, money and taxation? Such are the men who opposed the policy of Abraham Lincoln, but who to-day embrace the doctrines of the betrayer of the Republican party.
"Andrew Johnson is now the upholder of that party who said of the Martyr of Liberty, 'that the fate of Charles I, should be his doom," that he ought to be put down by the bullet, and found their Booth to carry out their hell-born desire. These admiring friends of Andrew Johnson threatened to hang the military commission that condemned to death the assassins of Abraham Lincoln. These same friends proposed to divide this Union into four quarters, Northern, Western, Pacific and Southern; but now do not object to Union, provided that the country can be ruled by the policy of Andrew Johnson, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, General Humphries, and other 'loyal' Southerners—provided our Congress can be made up of the leaders of the great secession movement. Are not these men ' Southern patriots,'' honorable men,' 'Christian warriors,' 'chivalrous gentlemen,' the men who have a right, acquired by their devotion to ' Southern institutions,' and their adherence to the ' white man's government,' to bid defiance to a Republican Congress and a loyal people. Have not these men acquired a right to denounce that parti/ which has determined, with the help of Eternal Justice, to establish equal rights and equitable laws in this Republic.
"My friends—we, who are in sympathy with the National Republican party, are called upon to meet the issues that are presented in this contest between human liberty and despotic oppression. The great questions before the nation are of vital importance to us all, involving as they do the moral and political ruin of the country, or the triumph of the principles upon which human rights are based. In the progress of events we can but mark a series of antagonisms which must impress all thoughtful men who are interested in the welfare of our country with the fact that in this terrible conflict, free government and the rights of humanity must be established and respected in this Republic and the Union maintained in its integrity, or the false and dangerous doctrines which the enemies of our National Government have vindicated before, during and since the rebellion, will triumph and overthrow the democratic, republican institutions now the glory of the American Nation. In this case, will not the loyal element, North and South, sustain a truly Republican Congress, which, as a body, is devoted to liberty and loyalty, which is struggling to vindicate the immutable principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and 'to continue the Government in loyal hands, and none other;' which has determined that none 'but men loyal to the Constitution, loyal to freedom, loyal to justice,' shall participate in the National Councils, to frame laws for the country or control the work of reorganization? This body of earnest patriots is governed by the fundamental principle that'th) exercise of political power should be confined to the loyal.' One of the noble men of that body, Senator Wilson, forcibly says: 'A loyal people, with the clear instincts of intelligent patriotism, saw amid all the excitements of the present that this was not a struggle for the restoration of the rebel States into the Union; but a struggle for the admission of rebels into the Union; a struggle for the admission of rebels into the legislative branches of the Government of the United States; not a struggle to put rebels under the laws, but to enable rebels to frame, the laws of the country. Politicians might deceive themselves, but the people, who had given two and a half millions of men, the blood of 600,000 heroes, and $3,000,000,000, comprehend the issues. The Republican or great Union party of the country, embracing in its ranks more of moral and intellectual worth than was ever organized in any political party on the globe, proclaims as its living faith the creed of the equal rights of man, and the brotherhood of all humanity embodied in the New Testament and in the Declaration of Independence. The best interests of the regenerated Nation, the rights of man, the elevation of an emancipated race alike demand that the leaders of that great Union party that restored a broken Union and gave liberty to four millions of men, shall continue to administer the Government and preserve and frame the laws for the nation.'
"The great Liberty party will sustain this Congress in its efforts to establish in the rebellious States republican governments based upon the fundamental principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Until these governments are established the rights of loyal citizens will not be protected—Liberty, peace and permanent Union cannot be secured to the Nation—the natural, civil and political rights of man will not be achieved. The two great elements of republican government are justice and equality. These two elements are wanting in the present governments of the rebellious States. They only contain those elements which, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, 'make the States half slave—half free,' and are, therefore, established upon a basis which cannot permanently endure. They do not secure freedom to all, do not protect the rights of four millions of human beings, who claim and are entitled to the just rights of citizens. They do not, in the language of Andrew Johnson, 'secure exact justice to all men, special privilege to none,' do not provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, establish justice and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. These governments, I repeat, are wanting in the great principles upon which must be based republican government. These fundamental doctrines the Fathers sought to establish—Liberty to all, and Equal Rights to all. No State constitution can be republican in form which disfranchises the loyal citizens of the United States. Millions of human beings, within the past four years, have been emancipated from the bondage of slavery, and are now citizens of the United States, loyal patriotic defenders of their country and the firm friends of republican State governments, which will recognize their moral, civil and political rights. These governments will never be established through the influence of traitors, rebels, or any class of men whose lives have been spent in political opposition to republican institutions, and who continue to fight against destiny and the forces which are moving the nations of the world to extend equal rights to all men; the men whom treason has made * odious? the men in command of the rebel goverments, who c grant protection to the rich traitor, while the poor Union man stands out in the cold, often unable to get a receipt or a voucher for his losses.' These men might legislate forever and they would never establish just laws for all, would never advocate measures by which the rights of all would be secured, would never recognize the great principles of republican government, which comprehend universal liberty, universal justice and universal suffrage, without which this nation will never attain to that grandeur and power which the voice of liberty proclaims the destiny of a united Republic. During the administration of Abraham Lincoln an attempt was made to establish governments in Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas, based upon republican principles. These were in harmony with the policy of that Martyr of Liberty, and met the approbation of him who ever desired to promote liberty and popularize progressive principles. It is true an important political element was wanting in these forms of government, which President Lincoln himself more than once hinted at as necessary to enter into truly republican governments. They did not embrace the political rights of all loyal citizens. Alas! Lincoln did not live to carry out that policy which promised universal suffrage; did not live to carry out his pledge that 'the freedom of the enfranchised should be maintained,' and that he should be not only a 'soldier in war, but a citizen in peace.' In the Constitution of Louisiana of 1864, provisions were made for the Legislature of the State to extend the right of suffrage to the enfranchised, to educate them,