To the Editor of the Dispatch.
--Sirs: In the Dispatch
of Monday last there is a long letter from the Hon. John Minor Botts
, accepting from several hundred citizens of Richmond
a nomination to a seat in the Convention
, soon to be held this city, which would pass by me unnoticed, as just so much of Mr. Botts
' usual declamation against the South
, if it were not for the new-born sympathy manifested therein for the adopted citizens of the Southern States
, as one of the latter class, humble though I am, may I be permitted, through the columns of the Dispatch,
to relieve Mr. Botts
of any uneasiness he may entertain on my account as an adopted citizen.
Hear Mr. Botts
"What is to become of that vast multitude of naturalized citizens scattered through the Southern States
, who owe a sworn allegiance
to the United States Government, which is bound to protect them in every land, whether at home or abroad?
Are they to be asked to commit a willful perjury, by taking up arms against the Constitution
and the Government
they have solemnly sworn to support, or are they to be driven from the South
as aliens and enemies to the new-fangled government that is to be erected?"
I would remind Mr. Botts
that when the fifteen Southern States, or any portion of them, Virginia
included, dissolve the political bands which connect them to the free States, and assume among the Powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God.
entitle them, where, then, will be the Union
, the Constitution
, or the United States Government that I have sworn allegiance to?
Where am I to find it?
Shall I hasten off to the District of Columbia, and from there to Independence Hall, in Philadelphia
Oh, no, Mr. Botts
, no; my wandering days are ended.
In the bosom of old Virginia
I have found a resting place for my weary limbs, and to my renowned old step- mother, in weal or in woe, shall I cling with all the love, respect, and submission of a dutiful son. But in that genuine sympathy, so natural to Mr. Botts
, for the ‘ "Furiner,"’ he asks, am I to be driven from the South
as an alien and an enemy to the new-fangled government that is to be erected?
If Mr. Botts
means the Southern States
federated, united, and adopting, as they will, a similar form of government to that of the late United States
, I expect to enter into all the rights, privileges, and protection that native born citizens of Virginia
become entitled to at once and immediately, always excepting the office of President.
But let me ask again, why this new-born interest manifested by Mr. Botts
for the Southern
In all his letters that I have read for the last two or three years, not one single word occurs concerning them.
But I do recollect reading, some years ago, his great speech at the African Church, wherein he advocated a change in the naturalization laws, to the effect that every foreigner coming into these United States
after the adoption of the change recommended by him, should be entitled to all the rights and privileges of other citizens, except that of voting or holding any office whatever during his life!
In other words, all the emigrants arriving in these States, (then united,) should have the privilege of cutting down the woods, clearing up the swamps, building railroads, digging canals, and such like liberties; but that whole-souled patriot, John M. Botts
, would deny them the right to vote — a right accorded to free negroes in some of the Northern States
.--Now, when a patriot of that stamp interests himself about my status,
I begin to suspect something wrong.
Can it be possible these several hundred citizens inviting Mr. Botts
to come out, have not yet secured a seat for him in the Convention
, and that a few votes from my fellow adopted citizens would not be objected to?
Ah! that is the secret, is it? Mr. Botts
has a tact peculiarly his own. Those he would use, he would first alarm.
My fellow adopted citizens should be alarmed about their status
in a Southern Republican, and should vote in a body for Mr. Botts
, and thus secure the services of such a powerful mediator, such a thundering advocate in their behalf!
I trust and hope every adopted citizen in Richmond
knows what he owes to the interests and honor of Virginia
, and will therefore say with me: Paralyzed be my hand whenever it extends from my body to put in a vote for John M. Botts
, or any other man who would keep the old Commonwealth of Virginia
— that beloved ark of liberty — the birthplace of Henry — in the attitude of a mendicant at the hall of a Black Republican Congress, begging, praying and beseeching a single crumb of comfort!
And now, Mr. Editor
, as the feelings of Mr. Botts
may be quieted about my status,
allow me to make a few remarks on as many points of Mr. Botts
says a single vote in the Convention
may save or destroy an empire in the future such as the world never has and never will behold again.
I say to Mr. Botts
, if the Southern States
are true and loyal to one another, they have within themselves all the elements of greatness more evenly distributed and in greater abundance than any other country upon which the sun ever shone; and a Republic erected upon such material as the South
posses, would become an empire, rich, great, prosperous, powerful, and so independent in itself that not only Mr. Botts
would bow down in humble acknowledgment, but the proudest nations of the earth would become tributaries thereto.
says one State to separate herself from the other thirty-two, when no pretence is set up that there is a co-relative right on the part of the other thirty-two to separate themselves from the one, is, to his mind, an incomprehensible and logical absurdity.
I say, if the sovereign people of Virginia
voted themselves, their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors, into a union with twelve other States that might become a consolidated government, which might tyrannize over them and jeopardize their dearest interests — as some of her inspired sons, and among them Patrick Henry
, foresaw — if, I say, she did this, without reserving to themselves any other means of resuming their independent sovereignty, but by begging and praying like the people of Ireland
supplicating the British Parliament--to my mind, they were guilty of an incomprehensible act of voluntary enslavement.
will not take upon trust the work of Yancey, Rhett, Pickens, Toombs,
I say to Mr. Botts
, that he has called over the names of true Southern men, who do not go about extolling, magnifying the wealth, greatness and power of their enemies, with a view to intimidate and frighten their fellow- citizens into submission to Black Republican domination.
They are men, sir, with bold hearts and strong arms, who have not only demanded, but are ready and willing to fight for their rights.
Men, sir, whom posterity will immortalize.
If the Virginia
people will not take upon trust a government from these patriots, I suppose they will hardly accept one from John M. Botts
, Shephard Clemens
, and Henry Winter Davis
, a trio that will go down to posterity with a fame which no true patriot can envy.
, while I would like to give my opinion upon a few more points of Mr. Botts
' logic, I have already trespassed upon my original bounds, and subscribe myself.
[fe 1--2t] A Southern adopted citizen.