Lincoln and nullification.
The nearest approach to any exposition of the President
's views upon the momentous questions which now agitate the country, has just been vouchsafed by the Springfield
which is considered the home organ of the President elect
According to that journal, of the 13th inst., the business of Mr. Lincoln
will be to see that ‘"the Union
is preserved at all hazards, and from all assaults,"’ and "that those who would destroy the law would be dealt with by the strong arm of the law." That journal does not state whether this applies to nullification at the North
, as well as secession at the South
It refers to Mr. Lincoln
speech, in which he said:
"You Democrats greatly fear that the success of the Republicans will destroy the Union
Why? Do the Republicans declare against the Union
?--Nothing like it. Your own statement of it is, that if the Black Republicans
elect a President, you won't stand it. You will break up the Union
That will be your act, not ours.
To justify it, you must show that our policy gives you just cause for such desperate action.
Can you deny that?-- When you attempt it, you will find our policy is exactly the policy of the men who made the Union
--nothing more, nor nothing less.
Do you think you are justified to break up the government rather than to have it administered by Washington
, and other great and good men who made it and administered it?
If you do, you are very unreasonable, and more reasonable men cannot, and will not submit to you. While we elect a President, it will be our duty to see that you submit.
Old John Brown
has been hung for treason against a State.
We cannot object, even though slavery is wrong.
That cannot excuse violence, bloodshed and treason.
It could avail him nothing that he might think himself right.
So, if constitutionally we elect a President, and there fore you undertake to destroy the Union
, it will be our duty to deal with you as old John Brown
was dealt with.
We can only do our duty.
We hope and believe that in no section will a majority so set as to render such extreme measures necessary."
According to a Springfield telegraphic dispatch of Nov. 17, published in the New York Herald
, Mr. Lincoln
remarked on that day to a visitor, in regard to an expected public definition of his policy in advance of his inaugural, as follows:
"During the last six years I have placed my views on all public questions so fully and frequently on record, that all those desiring may learn them by simply referring to it. If my past associations obtain no credit, present ones will be treated no better."
Whatever may be the variety of opinions in the South
upon the right of secession, there is no interruption of the mutual regards and affections of the people of the Southern States
If it is the calculation in any quarter, that nine of the Northern States
shall be permitted to nullify the laws with impunity, but that if a single Southern State imitates their bad example she is to be visited with the pains and penalties of treason, and that the South
itself, as intimated by the Republican,
is to perform that duty, we imagine they are calculating without their host.
The subjoined table shows the penalties imposed in the several Northern disunion States on those officers or citizens who may aid in preserving the Constitution
in fact by enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law
It will be seen from the above that the Northern States
are nearly all in a position of practical disunion; that is, they have refused to sustain the Constitution
which their fathers adopted.
Is the Federal Government
going to put down nullification there, and will the North
stand with drawn sword at its back, ready to sustain the laws, even if it has to desolate its own firesides and spill the blood of its own children — as the South
is expected to do?
That is the question.
Let us have even-handed justice all round.