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Great Union meeting in Philadelphia.The Union demonstration in Philadelphia, Thursday, was a very grand affair. Nearly all the business houses on the chief streets were closed, and the Courts also suspended business. The navy-yard was also closed and the hands attended the meeting. The Bulletin of Thursday afternoon says: ‘ In the early morning it was evident to the pedestrian upon Chestnut street that something of more than ordinary interest was anticipated. With the dawn the great banner was unfurled from the State House mast, and dozens of citizens and strangers paused beneath the long shadow of the steeple to watch the colors and folds fluttering in the breeze — There were some palatial stores that were not opened at all, and the movements of certain clerks in others that were unclosed indicated an early suspension of labor and relaxation at noonday. From the prevalence of cordage and flag staffs over and above the street. It was plausible that more bunting was to burns out. On the summit of buildings amateur riggers were noticed, in the act of splicing cords, and, as if the town was under martial law, all at once the national ensign streamed over the crowds below and under the sky above. Few could doubt, that saw them waving and swelling, that in Philadelphia at least, every feeling of the people, in labor, at trade and in merchandize, was enlisted for the welfare of the whole country and the perpetuity of its undivided dominions. Such was Chestnut street at dawn: when the clock in the State House tower pointed toward the hours of ten and eleven, the scenes were more marked and distinctive. New banners were unfurled. The hotels were draped in beautiful colors. The railway cars maintained the character of the day. The nodding heads of the horses were covered with miniature ensigns; from the peaks of the cars a silken flag was streaming, and the gaily painted vehicles thus attired, resembled rather triumphal cars than carriages for popular conveyance. ’ Toward mid-day the pavements of Chesnut street were thronged. Sturdy mechanics, coming from the manufactories of the upper and lower city, filed into the beautiful avenue, and the stores upon the wharves discharged their numerous operatives, who hastened at once toward the all-absorbing square Market street was half depopulated. All men were in Chestnut street, surging and pressing toward the old fame of independence, with minds single upon one day at least to forget party issues, and remember the entire Union. At noon precisely, the Committee of Councils, the selected speakers, the Mayor and aids descended from Council Chambers, amid profound silence, and were received by the reserve corps with a cap salute. They filed between two rows of broad shouldered officers, passed over the doorway, where tradition has it that the Declaration was first announced, and took places on the stand, in presence of a vast assembly. They were received with prolonged clapping of hands. On the instant large numbers of copies of resolutions were distributed. They were grasped by a hundred hands, and folded as mementoes of the day.--The crowd was tremendous. Not less than ten thousand people were assembled. The outer crowd could not distinguish a word of what was spoken from the stand, yet every individual conducted himself as if the issue of the demonstration depended upon his own good conduct. Such was the square — a living mass of people, each blade of grass a man — where the pacific exercises of a great demonstration commenced. Philadelphia had assembled to do the Union reverence. Bishop Potter opened the ceremonies with prayer. Mayor Henry, who presided, then made the following address: Citizens of Philadelphia:--You have been called together upon this momentous occasion by-request of your municipal Councils. You have been invited to assemble in this hallowed place that, divesting yourselves of every partizan emotion, discarding all sordid and self-interested views, you may intelligently consider the present unhappy condition of your country and the danger which threatens your national union. And what is that condition? But a short time has elapsed since twenty millions of American freemen rejoiced with proper pride in the widespread prosperity and full security afforded to them by the best perfected government that man has ever devised. To-day those twenty millions are wrapped in gloom — are paralyzed by the forebodings of evil, which no experience can depict, or agitated with projects which no forecast can resolve. Eighty-four years ago the jubilant shouts of new made freemen hailed the declaration of their independence as it was proclaimed from this very spot; and now thousands who have been born and reared under the rich blessings of constitutional liberty, are gathered together on the same ground in the sad stillness of coming despair. And what is the danger that hangs over your National Union? A form of government projected by the liberal sentiments of patriots, framed by the consummate skill of statesmen, which, for nearly eighty years, has attracted the admiring wonder of the world, which has fostered the growth of this people from thirteen feeble colonies to thirty-three sovereign States, has ceased to retain the confidence of a portion of its confederacy, and today is convulsed with the premonitory throes of speedy dissolution. The giant intellects that in former days have expounded and illuminated its admirable Constitution, that in times of peril have guided this nation safety through the embittered contests of opinion, have gone from us, and there live none to fill their places. In this crisis, the only remedy for existing evils must be sought for in the sovereignty of the people, in the responsive patriotism of the masses. Approved only by their firm resolve and prompt effort, can this Union be perpetuated. [Applause] Hence it is that you, the people of Philadelphia are now called upon to avow your unbroken attachment to the Union, and your steadfast determination that no honest effort shall be left untried to preserve its integrity. [Applause.] My fellow-citizens, I should be false to the position in which you have placed me; I should be recreant to my sense of duty, if I withheld an avowal of the truth which this occasion demands. If in any portion of our Confederacy sentiments have been entertained and cherished which are inimical to civil rights and social institutions of any other portion, those sentiments should be relinquished and discountenanced. The family discipline which you choose to adopt for your own fireside, whilst it does not violate the law under which you dwell, is your rightful prerogative, and you are prompt to resent the officious intermeddling of others, however well intended. The social institutions of each State in this Union are equally the rightful prerogatives of its citizens, and so long as those institutions do not contravene the principles of your Federal compact, none may justly interfere with or righteously denounce them. The efficient cause of the distracted condition of our country is to be found in the prevalent belief of the citizens of the South that their brethren of the North are, as a community, arrayed against a social institution to which they look as essential to their prosperity. You are ready to aver truthfully that such belief is mistaken and unfounded; but it becomes all who are actuated by an earnest brotherhood, to see to it that where public sentiment has been misled, it shall be restored to its stand-point of twenty-five years since. The misplaced teachings of the pulpit, the unwise rhapsodies of the lecture room, the exciting appeals of the press on the subject of slavery, must be frowned down by a just and law-abiding people. Thus and thus only may you hope to avoid the sectional discord, agitation and animosity which, at frequently recurring periods, have shaken your political fabric to its centre, and at last have undermined its very foundation, and these glorious proportions which, under more kindly influence, might have proven enduring as time, seem now to be rapidly crumbling and tottering to their fall I adjure you, citizens of Philadelphia, by the proud memory of the past; by the rich privileges of the present; by the fond hopes of the future; I call upon you by the tender endearments of your homes, by the holy influence of your altars, to send forth a voice that shall be heard throughout the length and breadth of this land, proclaiming your immutable devotion to the union of these States--your firm resolve that, by the favor of Almighty God, this Union must and shall be maintained. The speaker then retired, amid loud applause. Three cheers were proposed for Mayor Henry, and given with a will. The following resolutions were then read, and adopted by acclamation: The following are the resolutions adopted: The people of the city of Philadelphia having assembled in cheerful obedience to the proclamation of the Mayor issued by request of their Councils for the purpose of testifying their love for the Union and their devotion to its perpetuation, and to the strengthening of those houses which hold us together whether of the North of the south, the East or the West, as one great and united people, do. Resolves, 1st With one voice and united hearts we proclaim our attachment to, and reverence for, the Constitution of the United States, and our and enduring love for that great Union which it creates and protects — a love which is not sectional but national, and that greets our brother, from whatever State he comes, as partaker with us in that noblest of all inheritances, the title of a citizen of the United States. Resolved, 3d. That the usefulness and the endurance of the Union both depend upon a faithful observance, by the people of all the States of all the requirements of that sacred instrument which the wisdom and the patriotism of our fathers framed, and under whose provisions we have become a great and happy people prosperous and renowned among the nations of the earth. Resolved 3. That we do therefore most deeply deplore the fact that some of the States of this Union have placed upon their statute books enactments which evade or defeat provisions which the framers of the Constitution wisely inserted for the protection of valuable rights of citizens of other States; and that we pronounce all such acts to be violations of the solemn compact by which we are made one people. and that we earnestly appear to our brethren of those States instantly to repeal all such enactments. Resolved, 4. That the people of Philadelphia hereby pledge themselves to their brethren of the other States that the statute books of Pennsylvania shall be carefully searched by their representatives at the approaching session of the Legislature, and that every statute, if any such there be, which in the least degree invades the constitutional rights of citizens of a sister State will be at once repeated, and that Pennsylvania, ever loyal to the Union and liberal in construing her obligations to it, will be faithful always in her obedience to its requirements. Resolved, 5. That we recognize the obligations of the Act of Congress of 1850 commonly known as the Fugitive Slave law, and summit cheerfully to its faithful enforcement; and that we point with pride and satisfaction to the recent conviction and punishment, in this city of Philadelphia, of those who had broken its provisions by aiding in the attempted rescue of a slave, as proof that Philadelphia is faithful in her obedience to the laws; and furthermore, that we recommend to the Legislature of our own State the passage of a law which shall give compensation in case of the rescue of a captured slave by the county in which such rescue occurs precisely as it now done by existing laws in case of destruction of property by the violence of mobs. Resolved, 6. That as to the question of the recognition of slaves as property, and as to the question of the rights of slave owners in the Territories of the United States, the people of Philadelphia submit themselves obediently and cheerfully to the decisions of the supreme Court of the United States whether now made or hereafter to be made, and they pledge themselves faithfully to observe the Constitution in these respects, as the same has been or may be expounded by that august tribunal. And further, they recommend that whatever points of doubt exist touching these subjects, be in some judicable and lawful way forthwith submitted to the consideration of said Court and that its opinion be accepted as the final and authoritative solution of all doubts as to the meaning of the Constitution in controverted points. Resolved, 7. That all denunciations of slavery as existing in the United States, and of our fellow citizens who maintain that institution, and who hold slaves under it, are inconsistent with that spirit of brotherhood and kindness which ought to animate all who live under and profess to support the Constitution of the American Union. Resolved, 8. That we cordially approve the suggestion that a Convention or Congress of Delegates from the States contemplating secession, be hold for the purpose of consultation upon the causes that induce them to meditate such a step, and of suggesting such remedies as they would propose, and that it is the firm conviction of the citizens of Philadelphia that the propositions made by such Convention would be received by the people of the other States in a fraternal and conciliatory spirit, and with an earnest desire to remove all grounds of just complaint. Resolved, finally. That we appeal to our brethren of South Carolina of Georgia, of Alabama, of Mississippi, of Florida, and of such other States as are considering the question of seceding from the Union, with all the affectionate earnestness we can express, to forbear. That we remind them of the innumerable ties which bind us together as one people, and which seem to us so strong that no power shore of that which paralyzes all memory, and effaces all history can separate us; that the ashes of those brave men who fought with us and for us, rest beneath our soil, and that they have in their keeping the bones of our soldiers who perished in their defence; that our glorious institutions, under whose guidance and protection we have attained so great prosperity and renown, and which have made this Union of States the joy and hope of oppressed millions throughout the world, were framed by the wisdom, built by the toil and defenced by the blood of a common ancestry, and cannot perish without an eternal reproach to us, their children, if we destroy so great and so fair an inheritance. Hon. Joseph R. Ingersoll, after the adoption of the resolutions, addressed the assemblage.--The following is an extract of his speech: The great error consists in the belief that a feeling of animosity is universal, or at least general, in each extremity. Let us cherish a contrary trust. The most noisy are not the most numerous or full of influence. During the late canvass many excellent citizens were deeply affected by bad examples about them. But the surface was only materially ruffled.--In deeper water good sense lay buried, and probably prevailed. Passion was contagious, and resistance slow. In the South we have witnessed a striking proof of kindness and devotion to the good cause. Almost at the centre of initiate secession a voice has been uttered of harmony, and heard with the deepest gratification. Mr. Stevens, in the midst of Georgia, a State remarkable for quickness of feeling, has come forward, almost like a guardian angel, with a charm to still the troubled waters. His views have been reflected brightly here. A letter, full of grateful thanks, has been numerously signed and forwarded to him. It will prove the contagion of kindness to be at least as warm as that of hatred, and a thousand times more welcome, generous and amiable. A letter, too, has been received from the heart of Texas, thanking an estimable friend of ours personally unknown to the writer, as the mover of certain Union resolutions at a recent meeting of Democratic citizens at Germantown. Let out reply be made more marked than words, in an immediate repeal of our hostile fugitive slave law. Let this be a free-will offering from our central Common wealth. Let that unfriendly act be offered up a victim on the altar of our country. In all these late contentions, it is feared that the people have forgotten the sage and virtuous counsels of the Father of his Country.--His memory is embalmed in universal love — The whole world considers it foremost in every shining attribute. His posterity, after sixty years have passed over his mortal remains, unites with one accord in veneration for his saint-like character. Let his wise instruction — his parting and parental benediction — be made the universal passport of social and political intercourse. Above all, let us remember his anxious wish that our Union may be as lasting as time, and that brotherly affection may be perpetual. On the coming birthday, the 22d of February, let its language adorn every flag, and fill a column of every newspaper. Let it be read in every private family and public meeting. Let schools make it their frequent speech, and orators quote its sublime phrases. Let us almost believe ourselves standing at Mount Vernon, while we are recounting his virtues, and with heads uncovered and hearts subdued, let us vow fidelity to the country which he saved. In an assembly like this we have still one duty to perform. Our Southern friends think themselves aggrieved. Perhaps they have just cause. We are free from blame. Words of conciliation may not be unwelcome from this quarter. Let them be offered in a kind spirit, and with an ever ready disposition to follow them with corresponding actions, whenever the day and the occasion can be found. Mr. Charles E. Lex followed in an address, of which the following is an extract: However they may suppose to the contrary, our affections are not alienated from our Southern friends, and even now the rumor of any damage to them from a domestic source, would bring to their aid a legion of the young men of our State; aye, and of those more advanced in life, ready to assist them in the emergency and willing to shed their blood in their defence. I appeal to you, citizens of Philadelphia, whether I am not speaking the truth? What, then, can we say to them? What more than we have expressed in the resolutions we have offered? If they are really aggrieved by any laws upon our statute book opposed to their rights — if, upon examination, any such are found to be in conflict with the Constitution of these United States; hay, further, if they but serve to irritate our brethren of the South, whether constitutional or not, I, for one, have no objection that they should be instantly repealed. They are not necessary to our existence as a State. We have lived without them in years that are past, and we cannot, however, concede that in this respect our noble Commonwealth has done any intentional wrong, but if in our calm judgment it shall appear that our feelings in the slightest degree warped, have apparently inflicted any injury, she is noble and generous enough manfully to repair it. Let the Fugitive Slave law be executed in its full interest and spirit.--It is the law of the land, let it be implicitly obeyed. We might perhaps desire to have a few of its provisions modified, but let it remain as it is, however liable these portions may be to Southern criticism, if the South deem it necessary for the protection of their rights. Let us, too, submit as we have hitherto cheerfully done to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. It is the great bulwark of the Constitution. Its judgments should be final and conclusive and not be questioned in any quarter. Whilst the free discussion of every question is the privilege of every citizen of the Republic, let us discountenance any denunciation of slavery, or those who maintain that institution, as intemperate and wrong, whether they are promulgated in the lecture room, at the political gathering, or from the sacred desk. Several other speakers delivered addresses, which, however, are not reported in the paper from which the above account is taken.
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