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of November. On October 29th, when he had been about three months in office as Commander of the Army of the Potomac, he issued the following order:-
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, WASHINGTON, October 29, 1861.-General: There is an apprehension among Union citizens in many parts of Maryland of an attempt at interference with their rights of suffrage by disunion citizens on the occasion of the election to take place on the 6th of November next. In order to prevent this the Major-General commanding directs that you send detachments of a sufficient number of men to the different points in your vicinity where the elections are to be held, to protect the Union voters, and to see that no disunionists are allowed to intimidate them, or in any way to interfere with their rights. He also desires you to arrest and hold in confinement till after the election all disunionists who are known to have returned from Virginia recently, and who show themselves at the polls, and to guard effectually against any invasion of the peace and order of the election. For the purpose of carrying out these instructions you are authorized to suspend the habeas corpus. General Stone has received similar instructions to these. You will please confer with him as to the particular points that each shall take control of. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff. Major-Gen. N. P. BANKS, Commanding Division, Muddy Branch, Md.
These Marylanders were to be arrested if they merely showed themselves at the polls; it was not that they should be armed; they need not try to vote; they were not to be arrested if they made a disturbance or committed a breach of the peace; but any man who was obnoxious to George B. McClellan's views, and who showed himself at the polls, was to be arrested and imprisoned, and the habeas corpus was to be suspended for that purpose. Yet my competitor, who denounces such conduct as illegal, unconstitutional, tyrannical, &c. &c., when he is on an electioneering trip, attempts to persuade men that it is their duty to vote for George B. McClellan, because—of something or another, I do not know exactly what. But I will venture my life, that after the war is over, General McClellan will respond to any of the people who, for showing themselves perhaps on their own steps in the neighborhood of an election poll, were cast into prison under his order and suspension of the habeas corpus. He will step freely into court to answer them, not because he is fond of going into danger, but because he knows that the American people will say that his act was done in pursuance of a general's discretion, at a time when there was great danger, and that that will be his vindication. And my friend here would walk into court, with or without a fee, and would show any court in America that such orders were constitutional, were sanctioned by the express terms of the Constitution, were legal, were based on a continued line of Democratic precedents, and that when he and other Democratic orators had been denouncing them before the meetings of the party, they only did it in a Pickwickian sense, and did not mean anything by it.
They either believe these acts to be unconstitutional, tyrannical and oppressive, or they do not. George B. McClellan either stands on that record, or he disavows it, and I ask my friend how the fact is ? There is his order, not as Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States—not as Commander-in-chief of the Army, but as Commander of the Army of the Potomac—ordering that people who may simply show themselves at the polls, shall be arrested, incarcerated, and denied the writ of habeas corpus. If you can show any act parallel to that in the conduct of Abraham Lincoln, I will say that there is a drawn-game between * You will not find among all the acts of the President any one so recklessly arbitrary as this. What do you see exhibited in the country at this time? A large portion of the party that stood by James Buchanan and his administration, and saw our forts surrounded with fortifications, manned with heavy guns stolen from the government—saw our arsenals denuded of arms, which were given to the rebels—the party who, speaking through the President's message and the Attorney General's opinion of December, 1860, notified the loyal men of the South that if they stood up for the Union they would do so at their own peril, for the government would not protect them—I say that a large part of that party which stood by that administration, and sanctioned and approved its doings, belong to a sworn association under the head of a military commander, and have hundreds of thousands of arms to drive voters away from the polls at the coming election. This is a broad and bold charge, but it is not made without full warrant. Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Gardner, of the Invalid Corps, who is well known to many of you, and who was in command at Indianapolis, and to whom was confided the order to search the premises of Dodd, the commander of the “Sons of Liberty,” in Indiana, to whose premises boxes of arms had just gone, sent me a copy of the “Constitution and Laws of the S. G. C.” I do not know exactly what those letters mean; but this copy was found along with hundreds of others in the rooms of Dodd, the chief commander. Section 8th provides that “the Supreme Commander shall take an oath to observe and maintain the principles of the Order, before entering upon the duties of his office, said oath to be prescribed by law. He shall be the presiding officer of the Supreme Council, and charged with the execution of all laws enacted by it. He shall be commander-in-chief of all military forces belonging to the order, on the various States, when called onto actual service. He shall deliver a message to each meeting of the Supreme Council, showing the condition of the order and such recommendations as its interest may demand.” Now, gentlemen, you begin to see the meaning of the inscription on those banners which are carried in the Democratic procession—“A free ballot or a free fight.” Just as the Democratic Administration stripped us of arms—just as, through President Buchanan's message and Attorney-General Black's opinion, the Democratic party of the North pledged itself to stand by the men of the South in the unholy work of sundering our country and destroying our flag—these leaders are secretly arming men, and swearing them to their secret, so that they may still do the promised work, four years later though it be. And they desire that there shall be no soldiers in the Northern States—that the habeas corpus shall have full play— that every Democratic judge of a police court may let the members of the order run when arrested, and that when the election day comes they may appear at the polls with their rifles and revolvers, and drive you and other peaceable citizens of the country away. That is part of the present conspiracy that is attempted to be executed. I say, fill the ranks of your army; stand by the President and the Administration, and the commanders of your army and navy in the exercise of all their great constitutional powers. Let us show, by the shouts we give for each new victory for the Union, whether it be achieved by Sherman, or Grant, or Sheridan, or Butler, or Farragut, or Porter, or Banks, or any other officer—let us show by the manner in which we make the very welkin ring at the news of each victory, that we mean to sustain Abraham Lincoln in maintaining the supremacy of the Constitution, the unity of the country, the beauty and perfection of the flag of America; that we mean by thus sustaining them to transmit to our posterity the blessings we inherited from our ancestors, unimpaired and undiminished; that we mean to keep this broad land, including the wide fertile fields of the sunny South, with its balmy airs and its brief winters; that we mean to keep this whole country, sweeping from the rock-bound coast of the Atlantic to the golden sands of the Pacific, from the wintry lakes of the North to that summer sea, the Gulf of Mexico, over whose surface the winter winds never howl; that we mean to keep this land, capable of maintaining a thousand millions of people of a generation—as many as there are in Europe and the elder East combined; for in Europe are 250,000,000, and in Asia and the East 750,000,000; and our country is able to feed, sustain, house, and educate another thousand millions of people; and let us send the word across the wide waste of waters to the oppressed people of England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France, and all Europe, that here in our valleys and on our hills—upon the broad savannas of the South and the rolling prairies of the West—that here they shall find wages for their labor, schools for their children, poor though they be—the highest honors of the land open to them all, to stimulate their ambition, and that while they share these blessings with us, all we ask of them will be, to be good and patriotic citizens of an undivided country, and the most beneficent republic the world has ever seen. *
Speech of Hon. Wm. D. Kelley in the Northrop- Kelley Debate,
AT SPRING GARDEN INSTITUTE, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER. 28.
PHONOGRAPHIC REPORT BY D. WOLFE BROWN.
SoME of you would probably be a little offended if I were to address you as “my fellow cats and kittens;” yet I would be justified in doing so by the language employed by my distinguished opponent on the last evening of our discussion, for he told us that we have all been used as simple cats by that cunning old monkey, New England, to take her chestnuts out of the fire—from which I infer that he regards our soldiers away off there in their distant encampments as but poor unsuspecting kittens, who are being used by that old monkey to pluck her chestnuts out of the fire. I had supposed, until I heard this suggestion, that they were there trying to re-establish the unity of our country and the supremacy of our Constitution, and to give again to our flag, in the eyes of all men and nations, the prestige that belongs to it. I had supposed, men of Pennslyvania, that when your fathers made “a more perfect union,” in order that, among other blessings, their posterity might enjoy liberty, they worked for you as well as for the people of New England; and I also supposed that the workingmen of Pennsylvania, who may have found that from their daily labor they cannot lay up capital enough to leave their families above want, have a personal interest in the public lands of this country, which, so far as they lie in Florida, Louisiana, and those States west of the Mississippi, which were carved out of the Louisiana territory, were bought by us or our ancestors with our money, or by the blood of our brothers—that they have such an interest in these public lands as to feel that it were better that the elder born boy of each family should die in the defence of this right than that the old parents and the younger children should be robbed of so beneficent a heritage. I have explained to you that those lands are yours—that you have but to pitch a canvas tent upon the given námber of acres, and occupy them for five years, when, at the mere cost of a deed, the Government must give you a written and indefeasible title to them. And yet my friend so overlooks you in his detestation of New England that he can only see her chestnuts in the great conflagration now prevailing. I believe in an offensive war. I complained of Abraham Lincoln that he did not drive on the war fast enough. I urged him from the time that McClellan's defection from our great cause became apparent to me till he left the command, to make the war aggressive. And in conducting these debates I have been better pleased to take my own field, and to put my friend upon the defensive, than to dance around in any narrow circle that he might be pleased to fashion or prescribe for me. To the question whether I “approve of any or all of the twenty-three acts of Congress, each having for its object the declared purpose of giving to the negro all the rights, immunities, and privileges which have hitherto been enjoyed by the white man only,” I give a partial answer to-night by saying that there are no such laws on the statute book, and asking my friend to point to one such, promising to make a fuller reply to the question when it comes in my way, if he shall have done so. Meanwhile, I protest that there is not such a law on our statute books. I make these preliminary remarks and add the sad reflection that my friend has at none of our three meetings had a word of condemnation for any Southern Rebel, whether civilian or soldier. Yes, having seen our flag fired upon—our fortifications, our custom houses, our postoffices, our national hospitals, our mints, our territory taken possession of-having heard from the Rebel Secretary of War on the night on which the storming of Sumter was announced at Montgomery, Alabama, that before the then coming first of May the “stars and bars” would float over the Capitol of our country in Washington—having before his view the graves of hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died in this war for the defence of our flag— the gentleman has no word of condemnation for the perpetrators of these crimes, but tells you that he has an “American repugnance to the use of bayonets and the knocking out of men's brains.” I am not very fond of it myself; but I confess I had rather put a bayonet through another man than have him put one through me; and, my fellow-citizens, we had reached such a point that we must creep and crawl, and beg from the invaders the privilege to live, or, like Americans indeed, must fight; and it will require more than one orator of the modern peace party o convince me that in a war of self defence an American has a “repugnance to knocking out the brains” of the invader of his home or country. It is not an “American repugnance.” The American people are the most martial people in the world. There is not a man in this whole assemblage, or in the district which I have the honor to represent, who, if a scoundrel should come into his house, insult his wife, and offer outrage to his daughter in his presence, would not brain the miscreant on the spot. The rebels are endeavoring to rob your wives and children of their patrimony and you of your honor; and the gentleman feels and confesses an “American repugnance to pointing a bayonet” at them. I tell you all that I am for war—war right straight forward until every rebel shall have laid down his bayonet; and if he will not lay it down until his brains are knocked out, then I am in favor of knocking them out; because we must have peace, and with that peace we must enjoy possession of every acre and every inch of our country. I do not want to see the war cease as long as there is upon our soil an armed band bearing a foreign flag. My honor and yours is involved in this issue. We are pledged by the memory of our ancestors to overcome the rebel hordes; we are bound by all the hopes of our posterity and of humanity to do it. The gentleman says he “is not the champion of a defunct administration.” Let me ask him whether he believes in the Chicago Platform 2 Mr. Northrop. Which one—Lincoln's or the last one? Judge Kelley. I mean the Fernando Wood platform. Mr. Northrop. I do not know any such platform. Judge Kelley. If it is to be regarded as the platform of any man, let it be ascribed to him who had a potent voice in making it, and not to him who was heroically struggling with the multifarious affairs of our distracted country at the time when it was making. I mean that platform which pledges the Democracy to the “Union under the Constitution in the future as * the past.” For Mr. Buchanan's Administration was part of the past of that party, and the phraseology of that resolution was adopted to delude ignorant and thoughtless men, and lead them to believe that it is a pledge to the maintenance of the Constitution and the country, while in fact it is a pledge that if that party shall come into power, the Union and the Constitution will be maintained in 1865 just as they were in 1860, when that party was in power. I have spent two evenings in showing how that was. It was by building up a foreign Confederacy, arming it and giving it a navy, and by stripping you of arms; it was finally by surrendering the public property throughout the South, and the larger part of our country to that armed Confederacy. Therefore, the man who stands up for the Chicago platform is bound by those words “as in the past” to vindicate alike the Administration of James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce. Those administrations are a portion of the Democratic party’s “past;” and they constitute the last eight years of its “past,” and that is the “past” to which the authors of the Chicago platform refer when they limit their pledge of devotion to the Union, by the phrase “in the future as in the past.” No man can defend the Chicago platform and its nominees who dissents from James Buchanan's message, which announced to the people of the South, that the loyal man who dare stand by his country and his country's flag, against the secessionists of his sovereign State, would do so at his peril, and in defiance of the Administration of James Buchanan. I shall come to the Chicago platform by and by, and discuss it fully. My purpose to-night is to go on as I have begun, and when we shall have ascertained the precise position of both parties with reference to the great question of maintaining our country and its Constitution, it will be time enough to go into details about acts of Congress, my votes on particular bills, and other such questions. I did not pronounce the gentleman's questions “metaphysical.” I simply said that, by the terms of our agreement, I was not pledged to answer any metaphysical question that he might see fit to propound. I read to you on last Monday evening an article, the 8th of the Constitution of the S. G. C.’s, a secret oath-bound association, and to-night I proceed in pursuance of my argument to show you that the Democratic party—not the masses of the party—God knows there are many honest and unsuspecting members of the party; there are many of them who believe that the party still stands by the doctrines of its fathers; there are many of them who have not had the courage to tear themselves away from the leaders who have long enjoyed their confidence, and of such I do not speak. I speak of the designing leaders, the managers of the party, and I say that it is their object now, as it was in 1860, to dismember the Union; and in this connection I will tell you why my learned friend so assails New England. It is not that he hates his old alma mater, Yale College. He took occasion to tell you that I had spent four years in New England. So did he. I happened, however, to spend those years near Bunker Hill, in the State which gave birth to Hancock and Otis, old Sam Adams and John Adams and Warren; while he spent his in the little State that gave birth to both Benedict Arnold and Isaac Toucey ! I do not mean to say that his residence there affected his political convictions. He was, as I was, a mere boy, or one just stepping over the threshold of manhood. He was there obtaining that education which so adorns his speech. I was there as an humble youth in the workshop, earning my daily bread by my daily labor. And we both came away bettered by the good influences of New England. Connecticut, though she did give birth to two traitors—one who tried to surrender our army, and one who sent twentyseven of the finest ships of our navy to a foreign enemy—is as patriotic a State as any in the Union. Why, sir, among the twelve Apostles there was a Judas; and we are not to condemn a State or a section, because it has given birth to a couple of traitors whose names will stand pre-eminent in history for their treason. The gentleman was not hurt by being in New England; he was not poisoned by breathing the air of the State that gave birth to Toucey and Arnold. And he does not hate New England; he does but echo the slang of the Southern leaders of his party when he abuses her so. They hope by this means to accomplish a certain result, after they shall have sundered the Union. They endeavor everywhere and by all means to poison the mind of the masses of people against New England. This is not done without an object. They want to grant an armistice, which would result in a surrender to the South. Now that we have fairly whipped the South they wish us to fall down on our knees and crave the slave-masters of that sacred region to give us pardon for having been so bold. Their object is to let the South go in peace, hoping that we can woo her baby-selling and womanwhipping aristocracy to associate with us again by promising that New England shall be put out in the cold or thrown over to a Canadian confederacy. That is the aim. The leaders of that party do not believe that “the laborer is worthy of his hire.” They have no word of denunciation for slavery or the slave-drivers; but for New England, which gives education and wages to every man coming into her borders by birth or emigration, for free New England with her public schools and social equality, they teem with denunciation. I shall proceed to show that their purpose is just what I have said—to dismember the Union in the hope of organizing a Union as a great slave empire, based on the sentiment proclaimed by Herschel W. Johnson, in our own Independence Square, at the great Democratic meeting, on the 17th of September, 1856. He then and there said: “The difference between us, gentlemen, is this—we think it better that capital should own its own labor, while you believe that capital should hire its labor.” I charge upon the leaders of the Democratic party a wilful design to degrade the laboring masses of this country by nationalizing slavery. They know the stubborn resistance which New England presents to this object, and therefore they are going through this land deriding New Englanders, and, as my competitor did, denouncing Plymouth Rock and its incidents as “a disgrace to any people,” poisoning the mind of the country in the hope that, by pursuing the course that McClellan pursued while he was at the head of the army—spending money and refusing to advance—they will yet so exhaust the #." and energies of the people as to induce them to consent to the arrangement I have indicated. The section of the Constitution of the S. G. C.’s which I read showed you that there is within that party a secret organization embracing five hundred thousand members, and that it is a military organization under the charge of a “supreme commander,” who “shall be commander-in-chief of all military forces belonging to the order in the various States, when called into actual service.” The S. G. C.’s are not organized like the company to which the gentlemen referred, for dress parades, but for active service as fighting men. And, by the way, I may as well refer to the gentleman's story of the volunteer who turned one way when ordered to go the other, and complained that the company he had thus left had deserted him. While you were recovering from the paroxysm produced by this bit of facetia he inquired whether I admitted that I had left the Democratic party or charged that it had left me. That does not admit of a question; it left me. The men who forced Calhoun’s fatal dogmas on the party forced all thinking and honest Democrats to choose between their good principles and evil and dangerous associations. Thus forced to elect, I chose to adhere to my principles, and let those would-be leaders and their pliant followers go where they might. Nor was my decision singular. The masses of the Democracy concurred in it. Look at Maine. The people of Maine by twenty thousand used to be with the Democratic party, but they have just rolled up a majority of nearly twenty thousand for the party with which I cooperate. New Hampshire used to be with the Democratic party by an almost unbroken vote : she was as solid as Berks County. She now as sturdily repudiates the false leaders, principles, and measures of the party. Connecticut used to be a Democratic State. Connecticut now sends to Congress three members belonging to the same party with me, and a fourth (Mr. English) who is denounced by the leaders of his party in Congress because, though nominally a member of their party, he has voted steadily against it on all questions of men and money to carry on the war; and he could not stand up a day in Connecticut unless he did so. New York was an inveterately Democratic State: but her majority against McClellan, I am told by the most knowing men of the State, will be a hundred thousand. Ohio used to be a determinedly Democratic State. Did she not give a majority of one hundred thousand against the “exiled patriot,” Wallandigham. Iowa used to be a Democratic State; but her sons stood with me by the principles of the party, and now, with an overwhelming majority, go with the party that I support. Was not Missouri a Democratic State? She kept old Tom Benton in the United States Senate for thirty consecutive years; yet she is more radical to-day than Massachusetts, and the quarrel of the leading men of the State with Mr. Lincoln was that he has not been radical and rapid enough. Have I not shown that the base element of the party sloughed off from the old platform of principles It was no mere “corporal's guard” they left behind; but the controlling men and animating principles of the old party—yes, gentle