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 advising them to “crush the rebellion,” and, if need be, to drown the whole South in one indiscriminate sea of blood. This giving way of the Democratic party to the worst fanaticism of tile North, proved beyond doubt that it was wholly unreliable, entirely untrustworthy as the friend of the South, and, as Senator Brown of Mississippi had designated it in the last Congress, hopelessly “rotten.” But it proved something more than this. It proved that remarkable want of virtue in American politics, common in a certain degree, to all parts of the country. It was another illustration of the fact which runs through the whole of the political history of America, that in every election where one party greatly preponderates, or in every decisive exhibition of a majority, the minority is absorbed and disappears; principle is exchanged for expediency; public opinion becomes the slave of the larger party ; and public men desert the standards of conviction to follow the dispensations of patronage, and serve the changes of the times. President Lincoln did not hesitate to take immediate advantage of the “reaction” in the North. Two days after the bloodless battle of Sumter, he issued his proclamation to raise seventy-five thousand troops, usurping the power and discretion of Congress to declare war by a shallow, verbal pretence of calling them out under the act of 1795, which only contemplated the raising of armed posses “in aid of the civil authorities.” 1 Even in this conjuncture, the President still hesitated to unmask his real intentions of a war of subjugation, still embracing the hope of keeping the Border States “loyal” to his Government. On the very day of the
1 The following is a full copy of this important paper:
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