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cil, it addressed itself to the work of ward- or not, regarded the peril as imminent. ing off or mitigating the consequences which Meetings were held, speeches made, and it had foretold. Its great champion and resolutions adopted, in various parts of the leader, he who now declines to his setting, country, that seemed to show that it would flushed though burthened with the toils of be impossible for the old parties to come a beneficent life-day, and radiant with the together again on common ground for that glory which his own light and heat have necessary national action which was apspread around, and which irradiate even proaching—the nomination of candidates the clouds that attend his departure — he, for the Presidency. Congress in the mean our unrewarded Aristides, addressed himself, time adjourned, and gradually the pacific as the last task of his beneficent career, to measures it had passed began to produce the godlike work of bringing good out of their legitimate effects. The incessant atevil. Nerved by the inspiration of that tacks of the extremists of Massachusetts and patriotism which has ever animated his South Carolina awakened men's minds to career, he shook off the infirmities of disease the equality and justice of the measures and age, and, as in the prime of his man- against which they were directed. A genhood, framed and advocated that series of eral acquiescence became obvious throughwise measures which, whilst sacrificing or out the country. The whole force of the compromising no principle, conceded to each Administration was brought to bear to party the rights they claimed under the recommend the measures to the free assent Constitution; on the one hand admitting of the country ; and the provisions of to the Union a large free State that had such as the President was required to act suddenly sprung into existence on the west- upon were rigidly executed without fear ern shore of the continent, and on the other or favor. Thus was the country brought purchasing from Texas her unjust claim back to a condition of harmony and peace. upon New-Mexico, and erecting it into In illustration and confirmation of the common territory without any act excluding conclusion to which we have thus far arrivthe introduction of slaves; to this side ed, we may refer to the operation of these granting the abolition of the slave-trade in matters in the State of New-York, which the District of Columbia, long an eye-sore presents a fair epitome of the general condito the North, and to the other giving a law tion of the question throughout the country. which, though stringent, was required by the At the Whig State Convention held shortly exigencies of the time and the obstacles after the adjournment of the Congress thrown in the way, to give efficacy to a which passed the measures in question, so plain and undenied requirement of the Con- hostile were the feelings manifested upon stitution.
them that a division took place, and a part The discussion of these measures arous- of the body seceded, and two Whig State ed all the elements of sectional strife that Central Committees were formed holding exist among us.
The North and South hostile opinions upon them. The discusstood in fierce hostility. A Southern cau- sions that followed were bitter, and the cus was held, and the members of it threat- j breach seemed irreparable; but the causes ened a secession from Congress. So bitter we have mentioned operated so effectually had been the contest, that the hostility and that a committee of the Legislature, conexcitement was by no means put at rest by the fiding in the effect of reflection and the passage of the laws in question. Extremists patriotism of the party, confidently invited North and South kept up the clamor. Both the two Committees to meet in Albany, these factions contended that their respec- with a view to harmonize the Whig party tive sections had been sacrificed. Long-tried of the State. The invitation was accepted. and faithful Whigs on both sides threat- A conference was held, and a statement of ened to give up all those principles to which principles and measures was made, which their whole political life had been devoted, was agreed to with great unanimity. for the views they entertained on this one We wish at this time to call particular subject, so great seemed to them the dan- attention to that statement, as being espeger of the dissolution of the Union of cially instructive and suggestive for the the States. The gravest and best men in future. Its preamble was worded as folall parts of the country, whether politicians lows: "Believing that an expression of the views and principles of the Whigs of this New York, for the eminent ability and patriotism State, as they are understood by us, in rela- which have characterized its measures; for its
successful management of our foreign affairs; the tion particularly to questions which now agitate the country, should be made, in order generous, sympathy it has exhibited toward an
oppressed people struggling for freedom; the to induce an intelligent, cordial and honest force and dignity with which it bas maintained the coöperation among ourselves, and with the right to indulge such sympathy, and with which it Whigs of the other States of the Union, has rebuked the threats of an imperious Governthe State Committees appointed have agreed public agent; and the determination it has evinced upon the following, as presenting what to repress and defeat all movements tending to - they believe to be the sentiments of the impair the public faith, and all unlawful entergreat body of the Whigs of the State of prises calculated to disturb the public peace and New-York.” After setting forth the well provoke civil war, or to sever or weaken the rela
tions of any State with the Union." established and distinctive features of the party, such as are every where assented to, On the doctrines thus set forth, we made, they lay down the following as the doc- at the time, the following observations : trines agreed to upon the questions before us ::
" It will be seen that reflection and patriotism
have combined to produce a reconciliation of the “That the Whigs of the State, as a body, are conflicting elements. There must in all questions inflexibly opposed to the subjection of any terri- be some absolute principles, wbich are ascertaintory of the United States, now free, to laws im- able by reason and candor combining to discover posing involuntary servitude, except as a punish them. In this case we believe these principles ment for crime, and they rejoice that no proposi- bave been ascertained and set forth." In this tion to that effect is now pending, or is likely to be statement we conceive each division has conceded presented; while, at the same time, they unquali to the other the abstract principles that lay at fiedly acknowledge the right of every soverign the foundation of their opinions. The right of obState to regulate its own municipal institutions, in jection and constitutional resistance has been consuch manner as its people may deem most conceded, whilst on the other hand the policy and neducive to their safety and happiness, without cessity of acquiescence, submission to and mainteinterference, directly or indirectly, by citizens of Dance of existing law, has been admitted and enother States, or subjects of other countries : forced. This is in perfect accordance with the very
“That the Whigs of this State will abide by the genius of our political institutions, and must comConstitution of the United States, in all its parts, mand the approval of all candid minds. and that they will receive its true meaning and There has undoubtedly been, as we have al construction from the judicial tribunals it has ready intimated, a reaction in the public mind; created for that pưrpose, and will always sustain and it has become generally apparent to all, that and defend such decisions, as the law of the land, no practical good can result from the agitation of until they are reversed by the same tribunals : any of those questions which were intended to be
“That the laws of Congress and of the State settled by the compromise measures. Parties, it Legislatures, pronounced constitutional by the has at last become perfectly plain, can accomplish judicial tribunals
, must be enforced, and implicitly nothing towards their ascendency as such, by inobeyed; and that while this is cheerfully recog. corporating into their legitimate creeds any thing nized as the duty of all
, as subjects of the laws, sectional. Very properly, therefore, these comyet that the right of citizens, as voters, is equally mittees have repudiated for the Whigs any such undeniable to discuss, with a full and mutual re- idea, and have prominently set forth those docgard for the rights and interests of all parts of the trines which have distingnished them heretofore, confederacy, (which is as necessary now to main and which have animated those known by this tain, as it was indispensable to achieve the blessed name in every part of the Union, North and Union of these States,) the expediency of such South. laws, and the propriety of any of their povisions, " Responding to the call of these Committees of and to seek by constitutional means their repeal the Whigs of the great State of New York, we or modification :
have thus endeavored to present in bold, though “That all who are animated by a sincere desire rude outlines the principles and measures that to preserve the Union unimpaired, and the free have heretofore bound together the great constitu. institutions which it sustains and guarantees, by tional party of the Union and the laws. We have which alone individual security and national peace done this that we may show the imperative reaand prosperity can be perpetuated, must condemn sons for a universal acquiescence in the principles all attempts to resist, defeat, or render ineffectual upon which they have agreed to forego all action any laws passed by constitutional majorities of upon sectional issues; holding each to their own legislative bodies, in either the Federal or State opinions and rights, yielding only, but implicitly, Governments ; and that the Whigs of New York to the Constitution and the laws, respecting the will ever be found prompt to render a patriotic ac- rights and opinions of others, but demanding the quiescence in all such laws :
like obedience. “That the National Administration is entitled "The opinions that divided the party were upon to the confidence and support of the Whigs of I matters that have been settled after the most
thorough discussion. These Committees express political arena, by resisting those projects no desire to disturb that settlement, but, on the which it saw would inevitably lead to this. contrary, yield an unqualified submission to the laws that have been passed to effect it. They re- That failing in this, it addressed itself to an cognize the right. without any reservation, of every amicable arrangement of the difficulties State to regulate its own municipal institutions entailed, and that to its great champion and without any interference, directly or indirectly. leader are we mainly indebted for the wisAny action tending to resist, or defeat, or render dom upon which the final adjustment was ineffectual any laws passed by Congress, they unqualifiedly condemn. They have unreservedly made. And now we ask whether the counexpressed their confidence in, and demanded the try, which we know as a whole desires support of the party for, the administration of Pre that this question should no more impede sident Fillmore; an administration whose princi; legislation and excite internal hostility and ples in reference to that subject are emphatically sectional bitterness
, requires any more as summed up in the following sentiments:
« « The series of measures to which I have alluded surances from this party than it has in are regarded by me as a settlement, in principle these its acts? It surely may be trusted not and substance--a final settlement-of ihe dan to reopen a subject which it sacrificed so gerous and exciting subjects which they em much to prevent the introduction of; a subbraced.'
** By that adjustment we have been rescued ject that has separated it into geographical from the wide and boundless agitation that sur. divisions, rendering utterly inoperative and rounded us, and have a firm, distinct and legal dormant all the great principles for which ground to rest upon. And the occasion, I trust
, it has heretofore existed; so that during will justify me IN EXHORTING MY COUNTRYMEN TO BALLY UPON and MAINTAIN THAT GROUND as the a Whig administration the ascendency of best, if not the only means, of restoring peace and false principles of economy and finance quiet to the country, and maintaining inviolate the have been maintained by the opposition, to integrity of the Union.'— President Fillmore's the destruction of the manufactures, and Message.
" The President's Message, at the opening of the great injury to the general industry, of the present session of Congress, expresses fully and country. plainly his own and the unanimous opinion of all We that a party which has this histhose associated with bim in the executive ad. i tory and these motives can surely be ministration of the Government, in regard to what trusted without any further pledges, to not are called the adjustment or Compromise measures of last session. That opinion is that those reopen a subject from which no possible measures should be regarded in principle as a final practical good can come. Certainly no settlement of the dangerous and exciting subjects party purpose can be served thereby; but, free from imperfections
, in their mutual de must inevitably ensue therefrom, to the dethey embrace; that though they were not on the contrary, a breaking up of parties compromise the most conciliatory and best for the triment of every interest and the leaving in entire country that could be obtained from con- abeyance of every principle of governmental flicting sectional interests and opinions, and that policy and action. therefore they should be adhered to, until time and
The sensitiveness of the South on the experience should demonstrate the necessity of further legislation to guard against evasion or question we can fully understand and apabuse. That opinion, so far as I know, remains preciate, and we would have the North entirely unchanged, and will be acted upon never to lose sight of its reasonableness. It steadily and decisively. The peace of the country is cruel and unjust to do so. The danger requires this; the security of the Constitution re: to them is not merely, as they conceive, poquires this; and very consideration of the public good demands this. If the Administration cannot litical, but social and vital. If an opening stand upon the principles of the message, it does is made in the political walls which pronot expect to stand at all.?- Daniel Webster's tect them, they feel that an element would Letter to the Union Meeting at Westchester."
break in upon them that would desolate This brings up the history of the ques- and destroy, drenching the country perhaps tion as near to the present time as is essen- in blood, and covering it with ruin. On the tial to our purpose.
other hand, opposition to human bondage in From the points we have brought out, it any form is a principle of conscience in the has been our purpose to exhibit the cha- northern mind; one of those things for which racter and temper and the action of the men sacrifice every thing else, even life itself, Whig party upon the vexed questions if individual responsibility for it is forced involved. We have shown how it strove upon them. It stands in this country in to avoid their introduction at all on the that position where this is not the case to
them, and the great duty of all to every in- upheld, by almost the entire body of its interest or right involved is to leave it in this dividual members. This being the case, we position. It has become plain to every ra- can conceive of no reason drawn from the tional person that it is as it were fighting subject itself that renders any resolutions by against Providence to attempt to change this the Convention on it at all necessary. Those relation by political action, and that every men who, although generally acting with attempt made to do so by either section the party, most opposed, and endeavored to reacts directly upon themselves, either by keep up prejudice to these measures, do not aggravating the evils complained of or even offer a candidate to the Convention arresting the national progress in other who they will dare to say represents their matters.
views upon the subject. One of the three The political barriers, which on the one distinguished men from whom the choice hand guard the firesides of the South from will be made, whose name has been for so desolation and blood, and on the other the many years in a position to be suggested to conscience of the North from violation, being any national nominating convention, is by disturbed and shaken by the causes we have the common voice named with the other referred to, it became necessary to readjust two. The men we have referred to conclude them precisely upon the ground on which to give their support to him. Why? Not they were originally built. This was done in because he is an exponent of their views the adjustment, or as they are called, Compro- upon this question; not even because they mise measures of 1850, by which California expect, or probably even desire, to sway him was admitted into the Union; the disputed to their purpose; but solely because, the region was purchased from Texas ; New-Mex- other two having been in the thick of the ico and Utah were erected into territories; fight, although the victory they achieved the sale of slaves was prohibited in the Dis- was a beneficent one to all alike, the pertrict of Columbia; and a law was passed to sonal enmities engendered remain, and the render effectual the provision of the Consti- aim is to displace them rather than to distution giving to the master the right to turb their measures. Besides which, politirecover his runaway slave in all the States of cal positions are to be regained, which, being the Union.
a personal matter, requires attachment to Thus the whole field of controversy, some man, even at the sacrifice of some opened up by the acquisition of this new principle; or probably, as we should rather territory forced upon us, was covered by the say, the relinquishment of a position which adjustment; and at the same time, the oppor- they find to be mistaken and untenable. tunity was taken to grant the demands of That this is the fact of the case we think the two sections upon each other, in refer- will be obvious upon the slightest reflection. ence to the slave-trade in the District of For who is the man they are willing to Columbia, and the constitutional provision support ? He is one who, so far as we know, for the recovery of fugitives in the non-is in no quarter suspected of holding or of slaveholding States.
having held their former views. There is With this cursory view before us of the no evidence that, on any occasion, he has whole matter, which we have endeavored ever opposed any of the adjustment meafairly to present, let us come to the direct sures. On the contrary, Southern gentlequestion as to the action which should be men themselves, of the highest standing, taken by the National Convention upon it. assert and maintain his entire soundness in In the first place, it would be entirely legiti- this respect; and state that he used his mate and in accordance with the great ma- influence to obtain the passage of those meajority of sentiment in the party, for the Con- sures. The recent letter of Mr. Botts, of vention to pass resolutions directly approving Virginia, is positive and conclusive upon of the settlement made; but at the same his present opinions, and in other respects time it is perfectly obvious, from the view of sustains the view we are now illustrating. the history of the matter we have given, We present the following from it in conthat this would be only adding a verbal ap- firmation: proval to what has been more legitimately and forcibly approved by the acts of the
"General Scott occupies no doubtful or equivocal party, and really acquiesced in, if not warmly position on the Compromise, nor does he desire to do so; and if he did, I would not support him, dicates a want of candor that is without a parallel, even if nominated. His views are freely expressed or it betrays a want of reason that amounts to to every man who approaches him, no matter to foolery. It can only serve to create prejudices, what party or section he may belong. He is ac- that we ourselves may be called on in a few weeks cessible to every respectable man in the country, to remove, when, in the meantime, we have put the who chooses to approach him; and he has never weapon in the hands of our adversaries to be used hesitated to say that he is in favor of the Compro- against us. The truth is, all the Democratic canmise measures in all their parts, and opposed to didates, and all their friends, want the vote, and any disturbance, agitation, or alteration of the Fu- because they can't get it, they unite in a complaint gitive Slave Law; and he enjoins confidence and against Scott, because he can. They know that secrecy on no man to whom he makes this commu- none of them can be elected without it. These nication.
same gentlemen could do a great deal to get it for “For my own part, I cannot perceive the wisdom Mr. Fillmore, and the Democrats would move the of the South agitating this question at all, and very stones of Rome” to carry it for their candiespecially of our agitating for ihe benefit of those date, shocked as they profess to be, that the Whigs we have labored for more than twenty years to should trust any man for whom they would vote. defeat. I think the Compromise has no business For my part, I hope Mr. Fillmore, General Scott, in either the Whig or Democratic National Con- or Mr. Webster, whichever may be the candidate, vention. The fugitive law has passed; it remains may get every Free-soil and Abolition vote in the not only unrepealed, but no proposition is made, country, with a small sprinkling of the Democracy; nor, as I believe, ever will be made to repeal it; and I should not apprehend that either of them and if it is, it cannot succeed. It is acquiesced in would thereby become either Abolitionists or Deby the North more and more every day, and if the mocrats. But so far from Mr. Seward's leading South will let it alone, all opposition to it will and managing this matter, he is only following a cease in two years. It has already been reaffirmed current of public sentiment that he has not the by the representative body that has been elected power to resist, and he is striving by this means to since its passage, and since the 'appeal to the get back himself into the Whig ranks. higher law; and I see no more propriety in press- "By the way, let me ask, who are the agitators ing the North to the wall on this subject, when now? No matter which section presents this they are subnitting to the quiet and peaceable question, the other must and will oppose it. Now execution of the law, than there would be in suppose those in favor of the repeal of the law requiring them to reaffirm the principles of the were to omit no opportunity, when Northern and Missouri Compromise, which is quite as likely to be Southern men were collected together, to introrepealed as the Fugitive Slave Law. In point of duce resolutions declaring the Fugitive Slave Law fact, I question if in a few years the fugitive law unconstitutional and unsatisfactory, and that it will not have fulfilled its work and become inope- ought to be repealed; would they not be derative, as it will have been enforced against all nounced by the South as agitators and disturbers those slaves that are now settled in the North ; of the public peace? And if, on every like occaand it is only as to those that have been long set. sion, the South will persist in presenting resolutled and have made friends that we can bave any tions of an opposite character, do they not themserious trouble; and already the practice of slaves selves become agitators and disturbers of public leaving their masters for the North has been repose! As long as we have the law, and it is greatly arrested.
executed, we should be satisfied. What more “If we know that our candidate is sound, what should we ask? What more have we a right to do we care for the abstract opinions of Mr. Sew-demand ?” ard and his associates upon the general principles of the Compromise? If the law was not already Thus, we conceive, is it plain that the seton the statute-book, there might be some show of tlement of the question is a fixed fact, and reason and good sense in requiring the North to yield their idiosyncrasies before we would coöperate even so regarded by those who apparently with them; but when before was it known that think otherwise. This action of theirs, in our party, or any other party, objected to Aboli. favor of a man who does not represent their tionists, Free-soilers, Native Americans, Democrats, professed views, is stronger confirmation of or Whigs, helping them to elect their own candi: this than any words they could be required dates in a presidential or other election! What party or candidate ever yet complained that those to endorse. Why, then, need any portion of another party would help them to success ? If of the South or of the North (for it is only Mr. Clay were now before the people, I do not a portion of either) require the introducdoubt he could get a large Free-soil, Abolition, tion of resolutions upon this subject into and Democratic vote; and would he or his friends complain of it or make it an objection to him the National Convention ? Such resolutions, And why should we object to their support of as we have said, we do not conceive would General Scott, if he should be the nominee of the be at all wrong in themselves, as they would party! For myself I can say, (however it may only reassert what we maintain is a fixed be with others,) that when I have been a candidate, fact; but the danger is that they would any good vote I could get. This absurd cry in disturb the harmony of the Convention and the South against the Abolition vote for Scott in. of the party. They would throw those in