Who are Americans?

It was a very easy thing a few years ago to say who were and who were not Americans. In those days, when the admonition of Gen. Washington, ‘"P none but Americans on guard to-night,"’ was the watch word of a formidable political party, the only ‘ "Americans"’ were members of the Know-Nothing order. They did not, however, long maintain the monopoly of that comprehensive and patriotic title, and after their early decease it reverted to its original proprietors, the United States at large. Since the secession of the Southern States the Yankees, with their accustomed modesty, have appropriated the old national name of Americans. Having previously appropriated the territories, the army and navy, the military stores, the flag, the common Capitol, Hail Columbia, and the public Exchequer, it is not to be wondered at that they assume also a monopoly of the American, name, and that foreign nations, with their customary discrimination, have accorded to them that title. What justice there is in appropriation of the name of Americans, it would be hard to show; nor is there any equity or in the South surrendering her claim to at least some share of Americanism.

In the first place, it was in accordance with the swelling and beautiful spirit of Yankee to assume such a name even for the United States at large. When, in point of A constituted so small a part, territorially and numerically, of the continent of America. Still more ridinlons is its assumption by the fragment of Yankee States broken off by recent political convulsions. As a description of race, the term is vastly more approvable to the people of the Southern than the Northern States. The former are, with le exception, of pure English descent, a mogeneons people, identified in interests, institutions, and descent, and never having reserved more than a local visitation from the nds of immigration, except the hostile elements which have visited us in the lightnings and thunders of war. The North and the West, on the contrary, have been the vortex into which enormous sides of all the populations of the earth have been pouring for the last fifty years. The principal cities of the free States contain a population in many cases of one-fourth, and in others, almost half, of foreign immigrants. In the cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, one may hear each a jargon of foreign tongues as has not been paralleled since the dispersion at the wer of Babel. Nor is it the cities alone, but some rural districts, comprising large portions of the best land in the country, are inhabited by colonies of Europeans who still retain their old language and customs, have no knowledge of constitutional liberty, and sympathy with anything American except that which is connected with their means of living. The Northern army now invading the South is not an American army, but contains at least a hundred and fifty thousand Irish and Germans, whilst not a few even of the officers are men of foreign birth. For such a conglomeration as this to monopolize the name of American, is the most barefaced piece of impudence and dishonesty which that shameless pack has ever exhibited. When, a few years ago, the Thames was gorged and almost driven from its bed by the sewerage of London, it was about as near the once pure and classic river of a former age as that which is now called America is to the America of 1776.

In other and even more important respects, the United States have no longer a claim to the name of America; still less to the monopoly of that name. What liberty won by our fathers; what right, franchise, or prerogative of freemen is now left that unhappy people? They have shivered to atoms the Union which gave America all its glory; they have trampled the Constitution, which was the bond and life of that Union, in a perfect tempest of passion under their feet, and dansed upon its torn fragments like so many howling dervishes; they have erected a colossal military despotism upon the ruins of republican liberty. They do not seem to be the same men, intellectually and morally, any more than politically. Not a single statesman is left within their whole borders. Instead of the Clintons, Spencers, Grosvenor, Livingston, Van Nesses, and Van Renselaers, of New York, there is that miserable scrub, Seward, combining a Gilbert Glossin and Oily Gammon, an educated blackguard — of all blackguards, the most disgusting — a fellow without birth, reeding, or any of the ideas or feelings of a gentleman, and whose whole career has never exhibited one single example of sagacious and comprehensive statesmanship. Instead of the spirit of Americanism which many years ago animated the Northern masses, there has risen that vile spirit of section which, in the choice of Abraham Lincoln, declared that the North should be master of the South; an infamous declaration, which the South, with her drawn sword and her stout right arm, has made null and void. Even those men of the North who once claimed to be Americans and conservatives — the Events of the Whig and the Dickinson of the Democratic party--have thrown themselves into the very front of the sectional crusade, and stripped themselves of every attribute of the American, as well as every quality of the gentleman. What magnificent assurance, then, in the Yankee nation to monopolize the once proud name of American! As well might the brigands who infest the mountains and plunder the villages of modern Greece kindred with the demigods who have made the name of Greece immortal, or the tteroni who beg and steal under the shades of the eternal city, claim to be Romans, and the noblest Romans of them all.

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