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ed political parties: their origin, changes, and modifications some account of the popular sovereignty, or non-intervention, theory rupture of the Democratic party the John Brown raid resolutions introduced by the author into the Senate on the relations of the States, the Federal Government, and the Territories: their discussion and adoption. The strife in Kansas and the agitation of the territorial question in Congress and throughout the country continued during nearly the whole of Buchanan's administration, finally culminating in a disruption of the Union. Meantime the changes or modifications which had occurred or were occurring in the great political parties were such as may require a word of explanation to the reader not already familiar with their history. The names adopted by political parties in the United States have not always been strictly significant of their principles. The old Federal party inclined to nationalism or consolidation, rather than federalization
nees an effort in behalf of agreement declined by Douglas the election of Lincoln and Hamlin proceedings in the South evidences of calmness and deliberation Buchanan's conservatism and the weakness of his position Republican taunts the New York Tribune, etc. When, at the close of the war of the Revolution, each of the t ample time for calm consideration among the people of the South, but for due reflection by the general government and the people of the Northern states. President Buchanan was in the last year of his administration. His freedom from sectional asperity, his long life in the public service, and his peace-loving and conciliatoryf power and aggrandizement is far greater than her love of the Union. During the ten years that intervened between the date of this speech and the message of Buchanan cited above, the progress of sectional discard and the tendency of the stronger section to unconstitutional aggression had been fearfully rapid. With very rare
on, to resort to that remedy. While engaged in the consultation with the governor just referred to, a telegraphic message was handed to me from two members of Buchanan's cabinet, urging me to proceed immediately to Washington. This dispatch was laid before the governor and the members of Congress from the state who were in conngton I found, as had been anticipated, that my presence there was desired on account of the influence which it was supposed I might exercise with the President (Buchanan) in relation to his forthcoming message to Congress. On paying my respects to the President, he told me that he had finished the rough draft of his message, but the same class which have since been addressed to the Congress of the United States, the reader of presidential messages must regret that it was not accepted by Buchanan's successors as a model, and that his views of the Constitution had not been adopted as a guide in the subsequent action of the federal government. The popula
son. They became part of the accepted creed of the Republican, Democratic, State-Rights, or Conservative party, as it has been variously termed at different periods, and as such they were ratified by the people in every presidential election that took place for sixty years, with two exceptions. The last victory obtained under them, and when they were emphasized by adding the construction of them contained in the report of Madison to the Virginia legislature in 1799, was at the election of Buchanan—the last President chosen by vote of a party that could with any propriety be styled national, in contradistinction to sectional. At a critical and memorable period, that pure spirit, luminous intellect, and devoted adherent of the Constitution, the great statesman of South Carolina, invoked this remedy of state interposition against the Tariff Act of 1828, which was deemed injurious and oppressive to his state. No purpose was then declared to coerce the state, as such, but measures wer
s and correspondence relative to Fort Sumter Buchanan's rectitude in purpose and vacillation in actd necessary by the government at Washington. Buchanan's Administration, Chapt. IX, p. 165, and Chance of a design to proceed to a hostile act. Buchanan's Administration, Chapt. IX, p. 166. Thewere afterward modified—as we are informed by Buchanan—so as, instead of requiring him to defend himis resignation, which was promptly accepted. Buchanan's Administration, Chapt. X, pp. 187, 188. and political, which had long existed between Buchanan and myself, had led him occasionally, during when war between the states was inaugurated. Buchanan, the last President of the old school, would ovoke hostilities. Yet, from my knowledge of Buchanan, I do not hesitate to say that he had no such body received and entered upon its journal. Buchanan's Administration, Chapt. X, p. 184. The simpceived her. Thus, during the remainder of Buchanan's administration, matters went rapidly from b[3 more...]<
ithin a week after my inauguration—and confirmed by Congress on the same day. The commissioners appointed were A. B. Roman of Louisiana, Martin J. Crawford of Georgia, and John Forsyth of Alabama. Roman was an honored citizen and had been governor of his native state; Crawford had served with distinction in Congress for several years; Forsyth was an influential journalist, and had been minister to Mexico under appointment of Pierce near the close of his term, and continued so under that of Buchanan. These gentlemen, moreover, represented the three great parties which had ineffectually opposed the sectionalism of the so-called Republicans. Ex-Governor Roman had been a Whig in former years, and one of the Constitutional Union, or Bell-and-Everett party in the canvass of 1860; Crawford, as a state-rights Democrat, had supported Breckinridge; Forsyth had been a zealous advocate of the claims of Douglas. The composition of the commission was therefore such as should have conciliated the
The commission to Washington city arrival of Crawford Buchanan's alarm note of the commissioners to the New Administrat in Washington two or three days before the expiration of Buchanan's term of office as President of the United States. Besia part of it, should reach Washington before the close of Buchanan's term, that I had received an intimation from him, throu North and West as well as those of the South. . . . Mr. Buchanan, the President, was in a state of most thorough alarm, afety. This statement is in accord with a remark which Buchanan made to the author at an earlier period of the same sessi several years in Congress before the Administration of Mr. Buchanan, as well as during his official term, and had always be of Fort Sumter in February, during the administration of Buchanan. In a letter published in the newspapers since the war, ith the proposition I presented to General Scott, under Mr. Buchanan's Administration, sent for me to tender the same to Mr.
, of the state over which he presided. He died too soon for his country's good, and the Confederacy seriously felt the loss of his valuable services. The prompt and spirited answer he gave to the call upon North Carolina to furnish troops for the subjugation of the Southern states was the fitting complement of his earlier action in immediately restoring to the federal government Forts Johnson and Caswell, which had been seized without proper authority. In communicating his action to President Buchanan, he wrote: My information satisfies me that this popular outbreak was caused by a report, very generally credited, but which, for the sake of humanity, I hope is not true, that it was the purpose of the Administration to coerce the Southern States, and that troops were on their way to garrison the Southern ports, and to begin the work of subjugation. . . . Should I receive assurance that no troops will be sent to this State prior to the 4th of March next, then all will be peace and
uld be bound by the judicial decision, if it should sustain the validity of the claim. This course, however, was not adopted until long afterward, when the question had become complicated with political issues, which rendered the effort to obtain a settlement entirely nugatory. When I was a member of the Senate of the United States, my official influence was exerted to promote the objects of a citizen of Mississippi, who, with quasi-credentials from the United States Secretary of State, Buchanan, went to London to propose to the bondholders an arrangement by which the claim, or the greater portion of it, might be paid by private subscription, on consideration of the cancellation of the bonds. This effort failed, from a mistaken estimate on the part of some of the principal bondholders, to whom the proposition was made, of the extent to which state pride would induce our citizens to contribute, and to the belief in a power to coerce payment. The gentleman who bore the proposal, in
r themselves; because it would be in violation of the stipulations of the treaty between the United States and Spain of the 22d of February, 1819; and, also, because it would be in violation of a solemn compromise, made at a memorable and critical period in the history of this country, by which, while slavery was prohibited north, it was admitted south, of the line of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north latitude. But this resolution was not finally adopted. Upon the motion of Mr. Buchanan to amend said amendment, by striking out the second clause thereof, commencing with the word resolved, it was determined in the affirmative, and finally the resolution which here follows was substituted in place of the second clause: That the interference by the citizens of any of the States, with a view to the abolition of slavery in this District, is endangering the rights and security of the people of the District; and that any act or measure of Congress designed to abolish slavery
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