‘The Republic of Republics.’
We think few impartial readers will dispute the assertion that this is the most remarkable book which has been written and published in this country for the last twenty years. It is, perhaps, not extravagant to say that if it had been written in 1833, about the time of the celebrated contest between Webster
, the civil war, which subsequently rended the American
people into hostile factions and drenched the land in fraternal blood, could hardly have occurred.
And yet, it is hard to believe that it was not a predestined event.
The abolition of slavery, the concentration of power into fewer hands and in a more powerful form, would appear to have been predetermined, when we consider the number who made no effort to correct the evil.
Their earnest desire for far more potent political machinery than they had been accustomed to handle, and the zeal of those who openly pursued the path to abolition without regard to the considerations of justice, of good faith, or even of kindly feeling, seem to have inspired a settled design.
Paper restrictions upon power rarely seem to operate as restraints when the opportunity for gratification occurs.
Arguments in favor of the title of Austria
would have proved a small obstacle to Frederick
, when he stretched forth his arm to seize it from the feeble and the failing grasp of a puny neighbor.
Nor would the North
and the East
have been persuaded to forbear, by consideration of good faith or of fraternal obligation, when they were once shown that the abolition of negro slavery, and a political revolution favorable to their sectional power and to the increase of their share of Federal wealth, in its distribution amongst the people, were at last within their grasp.
The Athenian people are said once to have rejected a proposition of Themistocles
, to whom it was submitted, said of it,
that it was most advantageous, but most unjust.
Is it recorded of any other people that they have rejected such a suggestion, for such a reason, unaided by considerations of policy?
If there be a parallel case in history we cannot just now recall it. And yet, if this book had been written at the time of which we speak, it must have changed to some extent the course of events.
Daniel Webster himself had some veneration for the truth of history and much respect for vested rights.
He had, too, a consciousness of the vast sin of falsifying history, and the infinite mischief of perverting the landmarks of title.
In the face of the demonstrations of this book, he could not have uttered before the American
people the monstrous perversions of history and prevarications of right, which, after the publication of this history, will be considered to disfigure the speech upon which his fame so largely rests.
These mistakes could hardly have been repeated by Story, nor dwelt upon by Curtis
as law and history.
Indeed, the truth seemed to be breaking in upon Webster
even before his death.
In reply to Calhoun
he answered, not to the points taken by that master intellect, but addressed himself feebly, for him, to his resolutions.
The Northern Quarterly Review
, edited at Boston
, admitted that Calhoun
made good his positions, despite its partisan feelings and surroundings.
The propositions which he exerted so much ability to make good in his contest with Hayne
, he seemed even to press, or certainly maintained, with no vigor in his after life, until he finally retracted them in his speech at Capon Springs
, which admitted all that the South
When Mr. Webster
, in the closing years of his life, witnessed the growing bitterness of the contest between the sections on the negro question, when he perceived that Massachusetts
was gradually substituting such a man as Sumner
in his place of lead and precedence, willing to put in his hands the bow which he himself had hardly wielded, without knowing whether he could even bend or draw it; when, having Webster
on hand, she was willing to trump up Sumner
; when, indeed, Boston
could refuse to allow his sentiments a place of utterance, or to listen to his voice, which she ever before honored when it spoke in words of peace and forbearance, he must have felt that the day of retribution had come, and, in bitterness of spirit, declared that, ‘a bargain broken on one side, was broken on all sides,’ and virtually absolved the South
, if she should burst loose her hands from the wythes of a one sided treaty, with which it was vainly sought to bind them.
Unhonored and almost forgotten lie his ashes at Marshfield
, and neglected there repose his remains, whilst those of Sumner
sheltered by monuments of elegant and costly marble.
Will posterity absolve Massachusetts
from the shame of the comparative treatment of the two?
Is it quite certain that they will forbear to indicate it?
Peace to the ashes of Daniel Webster!
Honor, but not all honor, to his shade!
He was a great, but, in our opinion, an erring, though a repentant man. We believe he was repentant.
Because, when he retracted his positions in the speech of 1833, in his declarations at Capon, he must have been conscious of his errors, and no man could have appreciated more thoroughly than Daniel Webster the sin of mutilating the landmarks of national rights and liberties, and tampering with the contracts which regulate the obligations between sections.
But, has Massachusetts
shown any such delicacy of forbearance or equity of conscience in her dealings with her sister States under the Constitution
for the destruction of their rights in regard to slavery?
And yet, her own son, Lunt
, in his ‘Origin of the Late War
,’ page 27, says, after a train of circumstantial truths, which it would be difficult to dispute: ‘No one can doubt that if they (the South
) had deemed the guaranty (that is for slavery) insufficient, they could have obtained pledges of a still more precise character, either then or at a later period, since the object of the Union
was one of paramount interest to all. But, neither they nor their Northern compatriots entertained any question of the fidelity of their successors to engagements so solemnly undertaken, both express and implied.’
But, regardless of all this and of the sacred nature of her obligations, she chose rather to commit herself to the guidance of those who denounced the charter, solemnly conceived and recorded by an assemblage of sovereignties, of which she was one, ‘as a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.’
hope to escape, at some time or other, a trial at the bar of nations for the violation of sacred obligations and of plighted faith, entered into voluntarily by herself, and wantonly violated also by herself, after she had grown and prospered under it?
If she does not, then let her look at once to a history of the origin of the late war, by her own son, Lunt
, and this book, ‘The Republic of Republics,’ which we are now reviewing.
How can she expect to escape a consuming verdict, if the verity of either be admitted?
How she can evade the admissibility of such evidence is beyond the range of our imagination, especially of the last — the Republic
Any charge of treason on the South
or its sons after this is simply puerile.
The man who makes it is ridiculous, be he Conger
or be he Blaine
, and that is
all it is necessary to say of him. To alter and interpolate, without the consent of a nation, its title deed to its rights and liberties, to alter which is the same as to forge the contract which establishes the obligations of a people to its confederates, is undoubtedly a sin of a deep dye. Has not Massachusetts
done both recently in the late contest?
For proof we offer Lunt
and the incomparable book which we are now reviewing.
says the South
undoubtedly supposed that slavery was guaranteed to it by the Constitution
, and would not have entered into the Union
but for the supposition.
was anxious for the Union
on account of the threats of Shay
The Union was formed, Massachusetts
was secured, and if the South
was not guaranteed, it was inveigled into that belief.
When the non-slaveholding States had grown and become strong, was it honorable or clever in them to trample out of existence the institutions which they had guaranteed, and, above all, with what face could they threaten the punishment of treason and confiscation to those who endeavored to defend their chartered rights, of which it was sought to despoil them, even if that were done by force?
If any man wishes to see how false, nay, how puerile, was such a pretence on the part of the winning side, let him study this book and see how universally the old fathers of the Republic
acknowledged this Union to be one of sovereign States, and referred to secession as a remedy for intolerable breaches of the contract.
In opposition to all these, what are the voices even of Webster
and Story and Curtis
In themselves not impotent and puny, we by no means thus characterize them, except in contrast with the mighty array of those wise men whose words are brought in contrast with the teachings of these lesser lights.
Indeed, we might rely on the changed opinion of Webster
himself, the greatest, by far, of the three in opposition, to these not very well digested theories.
In relation to this very Constitution, he said towards the close of his life, that ‘a bargain broken on one side was broken on all sides.’
And yet, to an array of nations acting upon this principle, generally acknowledged by the men who wrote the Constitution
and formed the Union
, as proved by this book, the punishments of treason were denounced by those who had so plainly committed the first and most palpable sin. Are the non-slaveholding States, and especially is New England
, which benefitted so largely by the Union
, in its escape from the penalties of Shay
's rebellion and in the profits of the slave trade, ready and willing to meet the impeachment, when dragged before the bar of nations to answer for these manifold crimes and impertinencies?
Or do they, indeed, expect to escape the grand impeachment?
Let them lay no such flattering unction to their souls.
With the progress of light the retributive justice of history becomes more certain and severe.
When they seized upon Jefferson Davis
and threw him into irons, and into a felon's cell, but not to meet a felon's punishment, they insulted a whole people, whom they assumed to punish thus vicariously.
The iron which then entered into their souls, generally and particularly, will nerve them to stand by the contest until they have shown where the charge of fraud and falsehood rests.
If vows, sacred vows, were broken, they will invoke this book to show by whom it was done.
The brutal and vulgar denunciations of Chandler
, or the scarcely more respectable, but smoother and subtler, chicaneries of Blaine
, will not serve to distract public attention, or call off public pursuit, from those who were once willing to make a false promise to secure a benefit, and not ashamed afterwards to break it for a profit.
The efforts which certain Northern speakers have made to sow and keep alive the spirit of hate in the hearts of the people of the different sections, seems to us to scarcely keep it alive, but what effect it may have hereafter we undertake not to decide.
We only say, that such efforts will make it impossible for those who held the guaranteed interest which was trampled on and crushed out, by the very guarantors, in defiance of those pledges to forget the fraud and the breaches of faith under which they suffered.
It will then be for those who have thus sinned to decide what they owe to those who have kept those terrible memories alive
But, let us return to our book.
See what it has proved in regard to the elements of which our government is formed, and of the forces by which our Union was drawn together, and by which it may be cast asunder, in the event of disagreement between the parts.
In an extract from a letter of the editor of one of the leading journals of the time, it is well and truthfully said of the book: ‘It is my belief that it is the ablest work ever written in support of the right of self-government, as well as the best of all treatises on our American federal system.’
, the great New York lawyer, in a letter to the author, said: ‘If, upon the numerous points that any lawyer can see in the case, I had so admirably prepared an overwhelmingly conclusive brief as the protest, my task (in defending Davis
) would be slight indeed.’
What sort of brief Mr. O'Connor
would have prepared, we know not, but, to an impartial mind, nothing more conclusive than the demonstration in this book
would seem to be possible, even to the great intellect of Mr. O'Connor
But, it has done something more than demonstrate the legal innocence of the Confederate States
and of Davis
. It, together with Lunt
's history of ‘The Origin of the Late War
,’ place Massachusetts
, and the New England
States, in a position such as no enlightened and honorable, to say nothing of Christian communities occupy anywhere in human history.
Says the author, page 43: ‘We are necessarily dealing with facts, or inferences therefrom, when we attempt to ascertain from the Constitution
and history what the Constitution
and government under it are. When the States (or people) acted, what, in point of fact, did they make?
Was it a federation of States or was it a single State, divided into counties or provinces?
I shall duly prove herein the following facts: 1st.
That the States existed as separate and independent sovereign States before the Federal Constitution
That they, as commonwealths, alone aided in establishing that Constitution and the government under it. 3d.
That the entire existence and powers of the said government are from and under them.
That each and every federal functionary is a citizen and subject of a State, elected by and acting for such State.
That our United States
, or “Union of States,” as these phrases indicate, is a federation of sovereignties.
Now, these are facts or falsehoods.
I shall prove them to be facts beyond controversy, and show that the Federal Constitution
, the history of its formation, and all the acts and records of the States concur in proving them.
This chapter is devoted to showing that the fathers unqualifiedly asserted the Union
to be a federation of sovereign States;
and that they considered the Federal
government to be alike the creation, the agency and the subject of the States.’
In proof of this he quotes the testimony of the writers of the Federalist, Hamilton
, and many others, viz: of Washington
, John Dickenson
, Gouveneur Morris
, James Nelson
, of Pennsylvania
, Tench Coxe
and Samuel Adams
, of Roger Sherman
, of Oliver Ellsworth
, of Chancellor Pendleton
, John Marshall
, James Iredale
, Fisher Ames
, Theophilas Parsons
, Christopher Gove
, Governor James Bowdoin
and George Cabot
, to corroborate his assertions; and the pledges he gave to prove certain things, he has amply redeemed, in proof of which we refer to the book, and submit the question to any impartial mind.
Well does he say that: ‘Many more such extracts might be presented, but these will suffice; for, among the leading fathers there was no dissent.
Indeed, there could be on this subject no difference of opinion,
since the States were equal; no authority was above them; sovereignty belonged to each Commonwealth as an essential part of her nature; every organic law expressed or implied it, and the solemn league between the States declared that each retained her sovereignty.
This all-comprehensive right must have remained in her until she completed the work, and, of course, afterwards.
The established States of these commonwealths, and the law of their beings, absolutely controlled the action of the fathers’—page 50. Not a mole hill can be built up opposite to this mountain of testimony, says the author elsewhere.
He says, page 54, that: ‘The Massachusetts school
grew, under the auspices of Nathan Dane
, Joseph Story, and Daniel Webster, who were the chief expounders.’
was an original enemy of the Constitution
, and he probably wished his strictures to pass as expositions; Story, broad-minded, thought a grand nation, and power among nations, might, could, would and should grow from construction, and he was in the potential mood; and, moreover, his construction meant fabrication; while Webster
, as the advocate, aimed at the triumph and pecuniary advantage of his State and section, and directed his great intellect and luminous logic to the sophistical disproof of his own principle, viz: that ‘the original parties to the Constitution
were the thirteen Confederated States,’ and ‘that their constitutional obligations rests on compact and plighted faith.
These are his very words, which, when he approached his final account, he substantially reiterated; but, alas, too late; for he had then produced those “public convictions,” as Mr. Curtis
calls them, which brought war and woe!
As to Mr. Curtis
, he seems merely to repeat and amplify what the others have written or said,’ page 54. After stating Webster
's ideas, he says Story
's teachings were similar.
substantially repeated these ideas in 1861, as did the Philadelphia Convention
He was of the Massachusetts school
, page 55. ‘It is not entitled to be called a school of interpretation.
It asserts as a fact, that our federal instrument constitutes a State or nation, when the truth is it constitutes a union of States or federation
. Should we not call it a school of fiction or perversion?’
To prove the truth of these assertions, he heaps up testimony, piling Pelion upon Ossa
, until one would think that doubt or denial had become impossible.. To strengthen the almost unanimous assertion of nearly all the leading fathers, most of whom he quotes, he calls up the concurring opinions of the great statesmen from abroad, who are most commonly consulted in this country.
Lord Brougham, it seems, declared that, ‘It is plainly
impossible to consider the Constitution
as anything other than a treaty, forming a federacy of States,’ page 366. De Tocqueville
says: ‘The Union is a voluntary agreement of the States, which have respectively not forfeited their nationality and become one and the same people.’—Ibid
. Outraged by the perversions, and sometimes misrepresentations, of truth, in which he has detected the Massachusetts
founder, he says, with a truth which we must all acknowledge: ‘Unless we wish plain facts of history, and the sacred records of our country, to be the subjects of contention forever, we must make up distinct issues and charge either the sons or the sires with delibrate falsehood,’ page 385. He then quotes from Hamilton
, Chancellor Livingston
, John Jay
, James Madison
, General Washinton
, Dr. Franklin
, James Nelson
, John Dickerson
, Gouveneur Morris
, Roger Sherman
, Tench Coxe
, Chancellor Pendleton
, John Marshal
, Samuel Adams
, General Bowdoin
, James Iredell
, Theophilas Parsons
, Christopher Gore
, George Cabot
, to show that their views of the Constitution
concurred with his. In sharp contrast with these he places the ideas of the perverters, Webster
, Story, Curtis
, and of the ‘Acre of Wiseacres,’ who, at Philadelphia
in 1866, declared ‘that the States were unified in a nation or commonwealth of people, and were degraded into counties, and were subordinated and made allegient to the government, which was possessed of absolute supremacy,’ page 386. He somewhere expresses the wish that professors of constitutional facts in our colleges could be appointed as well as of laws.
With his view of the stupendous mischiefs which have been effected by the perverters of the constitutional history, indeed there should be. With his view of Lincoln
's opinions, derived, as he seems to think, from this perverted school, we stand aghast at the mischief which may be done by those in authority, if ignorant or mistaught.
, it seems, in a speech in Indiana
, and in his inaugural address, declared that the States are but counties, without sovereignty, and that the government is sovereign and can rightfully coerce the States to obey it. In his extra session message he said: ‘The Union is older than any of the States, and, in fact, it created them as States,’ page 223. When some of the States seceded, on account of Lincoln
's election to the Presidency, they were thought by many as premature, but, if he had been known to have entertained such opinions, perhaps it would have been thought time to go when such a man was placed at the head of the Union
The author of the ‘Republic of Republics’ says: “It seems proper to say, that after his nomination, he had no
time—even if he had been competent—to investigate for himself, and deduct proper conclusions.
Moreover, the doctrines of Dane
, Story, Webster
, were the platform, nay, the very soul of his party.
Confiding in the honor of these expounders, he unqualifiedly accepted their treasonable perversions, and they, more than he, are responsible for the bloody consequences.
From their premises and arguments he concluded that coercion of States was constitutional and proper.
It is evident that he was more sinned against than sinning.
He was a person of fair intellect, slight education, limited knowledge, no research, kind heart, jocular disposition, and credulous and confiding nature-just the man, with his inexperience in statesmanship, and his vague and hazy notions of political ethics and constitutional history and law, to be misled by the sophists of his party, and to be the instrument of crafty political Jesuits.
He was not a man to contrive wickedness, to wilfully subvert the Constitution
, and to build his greatness on his country's ruin, but he could be moved by various pleasurable and delusive pleas and pretexts to do what he would have shrunk from with horror, had he understood the designs and seen the hearts of the movers.
At any rate, upon the ground indicated by the above extracts, the Southern States
were coerced, VI et armis
, for four years, and at last brought to writhe under the heel of Federal military power.
At first, Lincoln
's above-quoted dicta sounded like a huge joke, which was laughed at, until army after army from the ‘Northern Hive’ marched down, to perpetrate it upon the South
; whereat the laugh changed, for the joke was the fiat of an irresistible mob, that had become a great party, and for many years had fanatically surged like the many-voiced sea against the barriers of the Constitution
In glancing at some of this unfortunate man's conclusions, from the arguments and assertions of his aforesaid teachers, we shall see that derision would be the fittest notice, but for the abhorrent consequences.
Acting upon their doctrines, he made this land dark with death and mourning.
But his guilt to that of his teachers, morally, is as much less as ‘homicide by misadventure is less than that with malice prepense,’ page 234. If we had time we would like to pursue his analysis of Lincoln
's opinions, and his contrast of those with the opinions of General Washington
; to see how far the former deserves the sobriquet sometimes given him of the Second Washington
—but time forbids.
Above all, we should be pleased to quote his masterly demonstration of his fourth point—‘That the Federal
government is not only without authority, but is actually prohibited to coerce the
State with arms, by legislation or even judiciary’—page 400. This is nothing less than complete, but the want of space forbids us to attempt its repetition.
It would be amusing to quote his criticism upon the term, ‘constitutional compact,’ which he shows to be correct, and for the use of which Mr. Webster
charged Mr. Calhoun
with abandoning constitutional language for a new vocabulary.
But the want of space compels us to omit this and much valuable matter.
We must pause, however, awhile on a forgery which we had supposed the very perverters would not dare to commit.
To find its parallel we must resort to the pages of fiction.
In a modern novel a cunning lawyer, Oily Gammon
, is made to meditate the forgery of a tombstone.
What shall we say to forging the definitions of a lexicon, for the purpose of falsifying the Constitution
, and still more wonderful that the proprieties are thus violated on the reputation of Noah Webster
, who, it seems, was quite a model man for learning and just principle.
Indeed, his principles, it seems, were strict enough to have shamed the whole school of ‘perverters’ from Dane
always asserted, according to the unquestionable truth which this author demonstrates, page 275, that our system is a Confederacy of States—States united, to use his own phrase—and that their government was the mere agency, or the means by which they governed themselves.
In this matter of Fact and Testimony, he is made to teach as truth the untruth that our general polity is a nation or State with counties or provinces as subdivisions, such as existed under Britain; that Congress is the chief legislative body of the nation, to enact laws and consider matters of national interest.
That the Constitution
is the supreme law of the land, for Congress to enforce over States and people, and that, in short, the government—i. e
. Congress—has absolute supremacy over allegiant States.
All the recent declarations and acts of the dominant party of the country, and the government as administered by that party, entirely conform to these forged teachings, page 225; and all this has been done by a change and forgery of Webster
's definitions in his widely-circulated lexicon, and for the manner in which it has been done, see this book from page 365 to 375.
Shade of Noah Webster
, with thy philological record, and with thy character for achievements as a lexicographer, how hast thou been kept down and quiet so long, after such a slander on thy character, and such a violation of thy reputation, as has been wrought by these vile perverters within the very precincts of thy native State and kindred?
And yet, thou hast not returned to call the authors of the outrage
to an account!
Doubtless it must be because those who leave this world depart to return no more, otherwise Massachusetts
would have heard thy voice of reproach, rebuking her acceptance of this outrage upon the reputation of one of her most distinguished sons, as an offering to herself to be used for her benefit, although it might be done at his expense.
Had he been allowed to mete out such punishment to the perverters and their tools, for their offences against him, as he might think they deserved, doubtless he would have required Webster
and Story to read alternately to each other the rebuking comments of ‘The Republic of Republics,’ page by page and time after time, until they become sick to a surfeit of the precise character and nature of their misdeeds.
How Daniel Webster would have writhed under such a damnable iteration, those who knew Daniel Webster may declare.
There would have been no more perversions to be feared from him in the great charters of history.
But, as far as we know, the great wrong to Noah Webster
is still unpunished and unatoned.
Even poetical justice, if invoked, is still sleeping unawakened and idle throughout all Massachusetts
, notwithstanding the wrongs which call so loudly for vengeance.
But, peace to their shades!
Requiescani in pace
doubtless has repented, if he ever had anything to do with the wrong to Noah
, and by this time Noah
has been convicted of so many sinful efforts to foist the new England
lingo upon a confiding public, instead of the old English tongue, that he can have no heart to avenge private griefs, even if it were in his own power to do so. This is the account of the mode in which the American
government was perverted, the American
people deluded and the Southern
section of the Union
defrauded and cheated of their rights under the Constitution
Those who sinned, instead of exhibiting signs of repentance for this ill-treatment of their confederates, to whom they were solemnly pledged to have acted better, according to Lunt
in his history of the late war, are claiming merit for having failed to hang those whom they charge with treason; but who are proved by this author to have committed none.
And yet, says this true-hearted and noble-minded writer, ‘Supposing the States to have been guilty, were they not punished enough?
Multitudes of their children were slain, and their whole people long mourned in bitter anguish.
They were reduced to unmitigated ruin and wretchedness, and, worse than all, they lost completely their freedom of will, and were degraded and humiliated as were never States before, and now, or a very short time ago, have less freedom and protection than had Southern slaves; and, monstrous
as it may seem, ‘the iron enters the soul’ of these stricken and sorrowing commonwealths insufficiently to suit the devilishness of some of their native sons.
These are even now aiding the perverters and revolutionists to place and keep the brave and noble hearts of Anglo Saxon Commonwealths under the heel of God's fore-ordained and unchangeable barbarian,’ 39-40.
And all of this was done under a false and pretended title, sustained by forgery and mutilation of the title deeds of a whole and gallant people to equal rights and freedom.
Rather a poor prospect!
For, all or anything that a free or brave people wants in a government is a union with such people as these.
Poor enough, it would seem, if we are to judge of the future by the past.
And yet, we say unhesitatingly, give us a Union like the last when it was founded, if it is to be administered upon Mr. Jefferson
's plan—that is, upon States rights principles.
It was this last failure that wrecked our past venture.
Give us all the land between Canada
, associated on a system of free republics, of associated corporate societies, with the united energies and common light of all to push them ahead.
Give to their people free thought, free action, free will cribbed, cabined and confined by nothing more than the responsibilities to just law and enlightened order.
Regulate such a people by the principles of true and enlightened States rights, and I should always be willing to embark my destinies with them.
Let the New England
States come, with the intolerance and the odium theologium, if you will, of their early days, within their own domain, on their own soil; let them train their people as they please.
There their government is supreme and complete in domestic affairs, but if they attempt to indulge the greed and selfishness, for which they have been a little remarkable, at the expense of their confederates, they shall be restrained by the true principles of Union, the doctrines of States rights, which confine them to such united action as looks to the good of all. If Pennsylvania
comes with some huge industry to quarter on the Union
, we must tell her she must support herself, and not call on others to deny their own children to feed hers.
In the beginning of our national rivalry, we started in our race with the world with a Union of free republics and corporate societies, and, taking charge of the best part of the North American Continent
and answering to our name in the roll-call of nations, took our place alongside the foremost, and boldly entered for the highest prizes of industry and progress.
The old world was not much disposed to recognize the propriety of our daring, and its supercilious critics tried to laugh us out of countenance.
experiment is not quite a century old, and, with the exception of one sad mistake, which had nearly wrecked us, we might command the attention and admiration of the world.
As it is, the English
trade is already, even now, pointing the starving laborer to the American
shores for relief.
English statesmen and statisticians are looking here for those who, at no remote time, are to lead the fleets and hosts of commerce.
Here are the hidden and the open stores of coal that are to rekindle the fires of commerce in the old world, when they shall wax faint and thin from too much use and exhaustion.
Here, too, are the secret gnomes, the hidden genii, guarding their treasures of precious metal, in their watery depths, from whose grasp nothing but American energy shall be strong enough to bear them away in sufficient quantities to steady and guide the everex-panding bulk of the credit of the world.
Shall we turn back and quit because we have met with some mishaps?
It is true, and great enough they were, but not great enough to justify us in relinquishing the mighty American idea of progress and in giving up the grandest of human ambitions.
Give us the States rights principle, which is the grand check upon sectional ambition and cruelty, and we will take up our united way. Strong in the protection of justice and equality, we will meet the difficulties of every question, as one by one they come up to be settled.
Even now there is one problem which involves high questions of human happiness.
There is one even now craving settlement under the highest penalties for mistake to the cause of human happiness and civilization.
We mean that, as to the necessity of investing the comparatively few owners of the specie of the word with the supreme control of most of the currencies of civilization.
When we remember that this means the money power of the world, and all that it involves, we see the nature of the controversy and the bitterness in which it will be contested by the parties concerned.
The nations and the sections heretofore invested with this power will not give it up without a bitter contest.
Indeed, will anything short of the prospect of a social revolution force them to yield?
And yet, may not things go that length if some accommodation is not made?
When the young American
hereafter shall read the history of his country and come to the account of the late civil war, he will trace the narrative of the frauds and forgeries, of the deceit and falsehoods, by which the stronger section sought to establish and maintain its pretended title to rule the weaker section through the machinery of government, and leaving the story of the gallant
resistance of that weaker section when assailed by arms, invaded and wasted, he will find that it was subdued, not by military skill or superior valor, not by statesmanship or magnanimity, but mainly by superior wealth and overpowering numbers; and when he finds that the power, when once obtained, was administered with neither justice nor magnanimity, but in a spirit of cruelty and persecution, he will turn from that narrative with loathing and shame; and where shall he find balm for the feelings of a patriotism thus wounded, unless it shall be in a subsequent history of the united career of sections once discordant and warring, which union was obtained by a spirit of justice and peace, of equity and equality, without reference to past differences, and signalized by an administration which accorded opportunity to energy, the rewards of discovery to intelligent enterprise, and attained an honorable primacy in the grand competition of nations even by ability and force—a force accumulated by union, education, intelligence and energy, stimulated by an honorable and wise ambition.
Then, when conscious of a power sufficient for self-defence, and so regulated by honor and honesty as to be innocuous to others, he may feel that the past is atoned for and condoned when his country in its outward seemings and inner developments is so presented to the world that to say, I am an American citizen, is enough to win the respect of any people in the civilized world.