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Doc. 92.--speech of Hon. Robert J. Walker, April 23.

This is a sublime spectacle upon which our country and the world are now gazing. Deplorable as is this rebellion, it has solved the disputed question, that the people of this Republic are competent for self-government; that we can not only administer our affairs in peace, and bring foreign wars to a successful conclusion, but that we are able also to perform the far more difficult task of suppressing rebellion within our limits. (Loud cheers.) On this question we are a united people, from the southern boundary of my native State of Pennsylvania, to the lakes of the North, and within these latitudes from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

There are no two parties here to-day. There is but one party — the party for the Union, which proclaims with one voice its stern determination to sustain the flag of our country, to replace it upon every fort within our limits, to carry it back into every harbor, and compel it to float by the arms of freemen in each and every one of our thirty-four States. (Loud and long-continued applause.) Mr. Walker said this was the third campaign in which he had been engaged in fighting the hydra of secession and disunion, and contended for the maintenance and perpetuation of the Union. The first was when South Carolina proceeded to nullify the laws of Congress in 1832, and secede from the Union. A native of Pennsylvania, he had emigrated to the State of Mississippi, and during three years le fought in that contest against nullification and secession, until (on the 8th of January, 1836) he was elected by the Union Jackson Democratic Party of Mississippi to the Senate of the United States. In that contest, which continued during three years with extreme violence, he addressed more than one hundred meetings with the flag of the Union unfolded over him, and wearing another similar flag of the Stars and Stripes around him as a sash, presented to him by the Union ladies of Mississippi. (Great cheering.) To show that the principles of that contest were the same as those now involved, he would read a few short extracts from his first speech at the opening of this campaign, delivered at Natchez, Mississippi, on the first Monday of January, 1833, as printed in the Mississippi Journal of that date.

Here Mr. Walker read the following extracts from an old and tattered and torn newspaper:

Never, fellow-citizens, did I rise to address you with such deep and abiding impressions of the awful character of that crisis which involves the existence of the American Union. No mortal eye can pierce the veil which covers the events of the next few months, but we do know that the scales are now balancing in fearful equipoise — Liberty and Union in the one hand, Anarchy and Despotism in the other. Which shall preponderate is the startling question, to which we must all now answer. Already one bright, one kindred star is sinking from the banner of the American Union--the very fabric of our Government is rocking on its foundations; one of its proudest pillars is now moving from beneath the glorious arch, and soon may we all stand amid the broken columns and upon the scattered fragments of the Constitution of our once united and happy country.

Whilst, then, we may yet recede from the brink of that precipice on which we now stand, whilst we are once more convened as citizens of the American Union, and have still a common country; whilst we are yet fondly gazing, perhaps for the last time, upon that banner which floated over the army of Washington, and living beneath that Constitution which bears his sacred name, let us at least endeavor to transmit to posterity, unimpaired, that Union cemented by the blood of our forefathers.

Gov. Hayne, of Carolina, in his late proclamation, inquires if that State was linked to the [140] Union, “ in the iron bonds of a perpetual Union.”

These bonds were not of iron, or Carolina would never have worn them, but they are the enduring chains of peace and union. One link could not be severed from this chain, united in all its parts, without an entire dissolution of all the bonds of Union; and one State cannot dissolve the Union among all the States. Yet Carolina admits this to be the inevitable consequence of the separation of that State, for in the address of her Convention she declares that “the separation of South Carolina would inevitably produce a general dissolution of the Union.” Has the Government of the Union no power to preserve itself from destruction, or must we submit to “a general dissolution of the Union,” whenever any one State thinks proper to issue the despotic mandate? It was the declared object of our ancestors, the hope of their children, that they had formed “ a perpetual Union.” The original compact of Carolina with her sister States, by which the Confederacy was erected, is called “Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union.”

In the 13th article of this Confederacy it is expressly declared that “the Union shall be perpetual,” and in the ratification of this compact, South Carolina united with her sister States in declaring, “and we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents” “that the Union shall be perpetual ;” and may she now withdraw the pledge, without a violation of the compact? By the old Confederacy, then, the Union was perpetual, and the declared object of the Constitution was, “ to form a more perfect union” than that existing under the former Confederacy. Now, would this union be more perfect under the new than the old Confederacy, if, by the latter, the union was perpetual, but under the former limited in its duration at the will of a single State.

My hope is in the people; I believe they are not “tyrants” by choice or “ necessity,” and that in every State they would sustain their representatives in preserving the Union; from the poor man's cottage they would come forward and say, you did well to prefer Union and liberty to dollars and cents — they are the only inheritance we received from our fathers, the only legacy we can bequeath to our children, and you have saved the priceless heritage — and if any by their vote should say, dissolve the Union rather than reduce the revenue, and this last, fairest fabric of human liberty should crumble in the dust, the withering curses of unnumbered millions would blast his peace and blacken his memory, and his only epitaph would be, here lies a destroyer of the American Union. Let not Carolina's ordinance delay your action, The Union party in Caroline, cheered by the voice of the nation, may become the majority, and sweep that ordinance from the records of the State. Repealed or not, it must not repeal the Union, or prevent the execution of its laws. Let Congress, let every State Legislature, and the people of every county, fix the seal of reprobation upon the doctrines of nullification and secession, and doom them never more to disturb the harmony of the people, and shake the pillars of the American Union. Let the present Congress adjust the tariff, and they will stand next in the grateful recollection of the American people to the Congress of ‘76, that gave us Liberty and Union, and this preserved them. They will return in triumph to their constituents; not the triumph of party, but of the Union. The day this act of peace and concord shall be passed, should be celebrated as a national jubilee. Tyrants will cease to predict the downfall of the American Union, for it will stand firm and unbroken, a rock of adamant, imperishable though faction's storms have beat upon its brow, though mad ambition's volcanic fires have burnt around it, yet no human power could move it from the ever-during basis of the affections of a free, united, and a happy people.

Mr. Walker said so important was it to sustain these great principles, that he begged leave to quote much higher authority than his own in favor of these great doctrines. On the 2d of May, 1836, Hon. Charles J. Ingersoll, member of Congress from Philadelphia, visited the venerable James Madison, then Ex-President of the United States. On his return to the Federal city, Mr. Ingersoll published the result of this interview in the Daily Washington Globe. On reference to that publication, it will be found that Mr. Madison fully indorsed this speech of mine against nullification and secession; and further declared that it contained the only true representation, not only of his own opinions, but those of Mr. Jefferson, on these great questions. (Enthusiastic applause.) Mr. Walker said, this is a death struggle in which we are engaged. If the doctrine of secession prevails, we never can have any Government, any Union, any flag, or any country, but anarchy will be inaugurated, to be succeeded by despotism. If, however, as he (Mr. Walker) said he fully believed, this doctrine of secession shall be forever suppressed by our success in this contest, we will emerge stronger than ever from the trial, and our Government more respected than ever, at home or abroad, and retaining every State and Territory intact. (Loud applause.)

Mr. Walker said his second campaign in the defence of the Union was in Kansas, as the Governor of that Territory. He said that he went there upon the urgent and oft-repeated solicitation of the President, upon the express condition that the Lecompton Constitution, so called, should be submitted to the prior vote of the people for ratification or rejection. But for that pledge which he (Mr. Walker) gave to the people of Kansas, civil war would have been inaugurated in Kansas early in June, 1857. This principle was right in itself in all cases; but it was indispensably necessary in [141] Kansas, because a large majority of the counties of the Territory had been actually disfranchised in electing delegates to the Convention assembled to frame the Constitution, not one of which counties had given or could give a single ballot in the election of delegates. This vital defect in the organization of the Convention, could be secured only by submitting their action to the ratification or rejection of the people of Kansas in every county of the Territory. And it was the rejection of that principle, the great principle of popular liberty, that has caused our present disasters. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. Walker said that all previous elections in Kansas before his arrival there had been wretched mockeries. Large armies from an adjacent State had marched into the Territory, and seized the polls and the ballot boxes, displaced the regular judges, placed their sergeants and corporals in their stead, and elected their satellites to the Legislature. They intended to accomplish the same result in the election in October, 1857, by military force. But he, (Mr. Walker,) as Governor of the Territory, had then assembled a large army composed of the forces of the United States in Kansas. He (Mr. Walker) had accompanied this army to the frontiers. He posted it at all important points on the line dividing Kansas from Missouri, and announced his determination to defend the ballot boxes of Kansas from external aggression by the whole force of the army of the United States. This movement was successful. The ballot box was thus defended from aggression, and the first peaceable election was held in Kansas. But those who had thus been defeated by the voice of the people, were not satisfied with the result. Having failed to seize the polls again by force, they resorted to frauds and forgeries unparalleled in the history of the world. You have seen, fellow-citizens, the substituted Cincinnati Directory for the returns of the vote of the people. You have seen the pretended returns at Oxford, where the names of the clerks and judges were forged, substituting 1,900 votes, where nineteen only were given. You have seen the pretended returns from McGee County, a vile forgery upon their face, where no election was holden, and not a vote given; and yet where more than 1,200 fictitious ballots were returned to me. These forgeries were all transparent. They were clear upon their face. They were not returned; they were not sworn to by the judges and clerks of the election, as required by law. They were as perfect a nullity as if a mere newspaper had been thrown at me for my adoption. These forgeries were rejected by me; and the result was that the party opposed to Slavery in Kansas, constituting nine-tenths of the people, succeeded, and elected their Territorial legislature--the first which ever represented the voice of the people of Kansas. (Loud cheers.)

For thus insisting that the Lecompton Constitution, so called, should be submitted to the prior vote of the people, and for thus rejecting those forged and simulated, so called, returns, I was bitterly denounced in the South by the very men who have organized the present rebellion. But, fellow-citizens, though the President and Cabinet fell from their positions, and deserted the pledges which they had given — though the South was apparently united to a unit against me, and recreant cravens from the North were united with them, I maintained my position to the last, and never ceased to denounce this unparalleled outrage upon the rights of a free people. I felt, gentlemen, and so declared, that the promulgation of such doctrines was calculated to destroy the Union, and opposed them at all times to the utmost extent of my humble abilities. If the course then adopted by me in Kansas had been pursued, this disunion project could never have been successfully inaugurated. (Loud cheers.) Thus ended my second campaign in defence of the Constitution and the Union.

And, now, gentlemen, I have entered upon the third campaign in defence of the same great principles. This campaign, gentlemen, I feel, will be the last, for the people are united as one man, and are all prepared to pour out their life-blood as freely as water from a goblet in defence of the flag of our country. This contest, I believe, will be of short duration; but, whether of long continuance or not, it will never terminate until the flag of the Union waves in triumph over Fort Sumter, and all our other fortifications and harbors, and over every other acre of our soil and every drop of all our waters from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the lakes of the North and the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, throughout every State and Territory of the Union.--N. Y. Times.

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