each of these things being done by either congresses or courts.
The people of these United States
are the rightful masters of both congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution
, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution
To do these things we must employ instrumentalities.
We must hold conventions; we must adopt platforms, if we conform to ordinary custom; we must nominate candidates, and we must carry elections.
In all these things, I think that we ought to keep in view our real purpose, and in none do any thing that stands adverse to our purpose.
If we shall adopt a platform that fails to recognize or express our purpose, or elect a man that declares himself inimical to our purpose, we not only take nothing by our success, but we tacitly admit that we act upon no other principle than a desire to have “the loaves and fishes,” by which, in the end, our apparent success is really an injury to us.
I know that this is very desirable with me, as with every body else, that all the elements of the Opposition shall unite in the next Presidential election and in all future time.
I am anxious that that should he, but there are things seriously to be considered in relation to that matter.
If the terms can be arranged, I am in favor of the Union
But suppose we shall take up some man and put him upon one end or the other of the ticket, who declares himself against us in regard to the prevention of the spread of slavery — who turns up his nose and says he is tired of hearing any thing more about it, who is more against us than against the enemy, what will be the issue?
Why, he will get no slave States after all-he has tried that already until being beat is the rule for him. If we nominate him upon that ground, he will not carry a slave State, and not only so, but that portion of our men who are high-strung upon the principle we really fight for, will not go for him, and he wont get a single electoral vote any where, except, perhaps, in the State of Maryland
There is no use in saying to us that we are stubborn and obstinate, because we wont do some such thing as this.
We cannot do it. We cannot get our men to vote it. I speak by the card, that we cannot give the State of Illinois
in such case by fifty thousand.
We would be flatter down than the “Negro Democracy” themselves have the heart to wish to see us.
After saying this much, let me say a little on the other side.
There are plenty of men in the slave States that are altogether good enough for me to be either President
or Vice President
, provided they will profess their sympathy with our purpose, and will place themselves on the ground that our men, upon principle, can vote for them.
There are scores of them, good men in their character for intelligence and talent and integrity.
If such a one will place himself upon the right ground, I am for his occupying one place upon the next Republican or Opposition ticket.
I will heartily go for him. Rut, unless he does so place himself, I think it a matter of perfect nonsense to attempt to bring about a union upon any other basis ; that if a union be made, the elements will scatter so that there can be no success for such a ticket, nor any thing like success.
The good old maxims of the Bible
are applicable, and truly applicable, to human affairs, and in this, as in other things, we may say here that he who is not for us is against us ; he who gathereth not with us scattereth.
I should be glad to have some of the many good, and able, and noble men of the South
to place themselves where we can confer upon them the high honor of an election upon one or the other end of our ticket.
It would do my soul good to do that thing.
It would enable us to teach them that, inasmuch as we select one of their own number to carry out our principles, we are free from the charge that we mean more than we say.
But, my friends, I have detained you much longer than I expected to do. I believe I may do myself the compliment to say that you have stayed and heard me with great patience, for which I return you my most sincere thanks.