exactly understand what.
Coming a stranger as I do to the Astor House
[laughter] I am put under duresse
as soon as I get here, and am brought down from my own private room to this place.
That is all I know about myself or you either [laughter]; but I find you here, and Mr. Evarts
with his mallet in his hand.
I suppose it means that he is something like a presiding officer or speaker, or something of that kind.
has intimated to me that you're all Yankees, [A voice--“Yes, we are,” ] and I thought it as likely as not that you were.
Therefore, I suppose that I might as well set all doubt about myself at rest at once, and anticipate all your inquiries.
I left Auburn
this morning at 9 o'clock, after breakfast; I got here at rather a late hour, for rather a late dinner.
[A voice--“Did you come by the express train?” ] I came by the express train.
Nothing particular happened me on the way [roars of laughter] except that I might as well anticipate the Express
on Monday morning, as I did not anticipate the Express
last Monday morning, by saying that I met Thurlow Weed
in the cars.
A voice--“What did he say?”
--There the Yankee
comes out at once.
A gentleman asks me what hoe said.
Now I am not a Yankee.
There is no New England
blood in me, and I do not answer impertinent questions.
[Laughter.] I will not tell what he said to me. I will only tell what I said to him, and that was that I repudiated — all compromises whatsoever, which New York, Pennsylvania
, and New England
could not stand upon.
I learned from him that he had been in Springfield
, in the State of Illinois
I suppose you would all like to know what he told me he learned there.
[Laughter, and shouts of “Yes.” ] I will give you the best satisfaction I can. He prints a newspaper called the Evening Journal
. He is a man of truth, I believe ; and if he is, and wants to tell what he learned, you can get it in his newspaper.
[Laughter.] But I have somehow got off from the direct course of my argument.
I began to tell you about myself, and, somehow or other, I have got to telling about Mr. Weed
and his journey to Springfield
I may as well go on in this indirect way till I get back to my direct road.
I met the Governor
going up to Albany
He did not tell me exactly, but I had a strong suspicion, from his appearance generally, and from some hints which he dropped, that Charles Stetson
, of the Astor House
, would probably be Inspector General
of the State of New York
[Laughter.] I judge so because the Governor
asked me my opinion about Mr. Stetson
I told him that, as a tavern keeper, I did not know a great deal in his favor, but that as a military officer, I thought he had no superior [roars of laughter], and that if it should turn out that the State of Florida
should invade the State of New York
in these troubles of ours, I did not know any better man to send out to meet them than Charles Stetson
[uproarious laughter], who would disarm them of all hostility by bringing them in to a supper like this at the Astor House
Fellow-citizens — he continued, in a more serious tone — these are extraordinary things that are happening in our day. I remember that it was the men of New England
, who lived only two or three times as long ago as I have lived, and as my friend Mr. Joseph Grinnell
has lived, whom I am glad to see here.
I hope he is sounder in his politics than he was the last time I heard of him. [Laughter.] I hope he is as sound as his brother Moses.
It is only twice as long ago as we have lived, I say, since these men of New England
invented the greatest political discovery in the world — the confederation of republican states.
The first confederation of republican states in America
was the invention of New England
I have always admired and respected the people of New England
for that great discovery, which, after having been put into successful operation in the colonies of Massachusetts Bay
, and Connecticut
and NeW Haven
, came ultimately, after having been sanctioned by the wisdom and experience of Dr. Franklin
, to be adopted by the people of the thirteen British colonies on this continent, south of the St. Lawrence
It has been reserved for our day, and for this very hour, to see an innovation of another kind, of an opposite nature, by a portion of our countrymen residing south of the Potomac
The people of South Carolina
have invented secession.
The wisdom of the latter is now to be tried in comparison with the experience of the former.
At the first glance it exhibits this singular anomaly — that of a state which has in the Senate of the United States two seats, and in the House of Representatives six members, each of them paid $3,000 a year out of a treasury to which they contribute only a small part — a state consisting of 700,000 people of all conditions, and of whom 274,000 are white, going out of the Union
, to stand by itself, and sending to the Congress of the United States three commissioners to stand outside of the bar to negotiate for their interests, and to be paid by herself, instead of having two senators and six representatives in Congress, on an equality with all the other states.
This is the experiment that is to be tried by states on this continent — whether they will find it wiser to occupy seats within the Congress of the United States, and to have their representatives paid by the United States
for coming there; or, in lieu of that, to send Commissioners to present their claims and their rights at the bar of the United States
, without the privilege of voting on their own claims, and to be paid for by the states themselves.
This is the last political invention of the times.
I need not say to you that I do not think it is likely to be followed by many other states on this continent, or to be persevered in long, because it is manifestly very much inferior to the system that already exists.
The State of South Carolina
desires to go out. Just at this moment I am going back to Washington
for the purpose of admitting the State of Kansas
in; and I venture to say that for every state on this continent that will go out of the Union
, there stand already waiting at least two states that will be glad to come in and take their place.
[Loud cheers.] They will do so for this simple reason — that every state on the continent of North America
will be a democratic or republican state.
You, gentlemen of New England
, do not like always to hear the word democratic.
I will, therefore, use the word republican.
No republican state on this continent or any other can stand alone.
That is an impossibility.
And the reason is a simple one.
So much liberty, so much personal independence, such scope to emulation and ambition, as a free republic gives, where universal suffrage exists, are too much for any one state, standing alone, to maintain.