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[668] would have been at least a desperate attempt to execute the bloody programme — are facts which rest on testimony too positive, and drawn from too many independent sources, to be distrusted. But Sweet had mastered their secret, through the treachery of one or more who were trusted by the leaders, and had accumulated such an array of force that, when the time came for striking the blow, its failure was so plainly inevitable that a postponement was ordered.1

A strong Committee of one from each State, whereof Hon. James Guthrie, of Kentucky, was chairman, but C. L. Vallandigham, recently returned from Canada, a master-spirit, having been chosen to construct a party platform for the canvass, that Committee in due time reported the following:--

Resolved, That in the future, as in the past, we will adhere with unswerving fidelity to the Union under the Constitution, as the only solid foundation of our strength, security, and happiness as a people, and las a framework of government equally conducive to the welfare and prosperity of all the States, both Northern and Southern.

Resolved, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that, after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of a military necessity of a war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate Convention of all the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States.

Resolved, That the direct interference of the military authority of the United States in the recent elections held in Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware, was a shameful violation of the Constitution ; and the repetition of such acts in the approaching election will be held as revolutionary, and resisted with all the means and power under our control.

Resolred, That the aim and object of the Democratic party is to preserve the Federal Union and the rights of the States uni<*>paired; and they hereby declare that they consider the Administrative usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers not granted by the Constitution, the subversion of the civil by military law in States not in insurrection, the arbitrary military arrest, imprisonment, trial, and sentence, of American citizens in States where civil law exists in full force, the suppression of freedom of speech and of the press, the denial of the right of asylum, the open and avowed disregard of State rights, the employment of unusual test-oaths, and the interference with and denial of the right of the people to bear arms, as calculated to prevent a restoration of the Union and the perpetuation of a government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.

Resolved, That the shameful disregard of the Administration to its duty, in respect to our fellow-citizens who now and long have been prisoners of war in a suffering condition, deserve the severest reprobation, on the score alike of public interest and common humanity.

Resolved, That the sympathy of the Democratic party is heartily and earnestly extended to the soldiery of our army, who are and have been in the field under the flag of our country; and, in the event of our attaining power, they will receive all the care and protection, regard and kindness, that the brave soldiers of the Republic have so nobly earned.

There were men in that Convention whose judgment did not approve this platform; but these were intent on the nomination of McClellan for President, and feared to injure his chances

1 Weeks later, with larger means and a better organization, the conspirators had prepared for an outbreak on the day of the Presidential Election; but Sweet, fully apprised of their designs, pounced upon them on the night of Nov. 6, making prisoners of Col. G. St. Leger Grenfell, who had been John Morgan's Adjutant, Col. Vincent [brother of Gen. M. M.] Marmaduke, Capt. Cantrill, of Morgan's old command, and several Illinois traitors, thus completely crushing out the conspiracy, just as it was on the point of inaugurating civil war in the North.

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