We copy from the Memphis Appeal
, as a part of the history of the times, the speech recently delivered at Nashville
by Andy Johnson
, the tool of the Federal Government
, in which he adroitly seeks to threw all the blame for the present condition of affairs upon the South
Ladies and Fellow Citizens:
I am here to day under; extraordinary circumstances.
It is not my habit to make long exordiums, nor will I make a long one to-day.
I might begin by calling your attention to what I said long ago, when I made my valedictory in this hall, when retiring from the duties imposed upon me, and passed them to other hands. --When I made that address, I feel sure my fellow citizens will testify to the truth that the affairs of the Gubernatorial office
had been faithfully administered, and that I yielded its honors when all was in a state of undisturbed repose upon the bosom of peace — peace, with all its attendant happiness, pervaded the Commonwealth
How is it now?
What condition do we find the country in now?
Look out and see what is to be found.
When you extend your vision over the vast boundary of this beloved country; what do you find?
You see men armed in all the appointments of war; marching columns of infantry, cavalry and artillery; you look upon battle fields, and see fellow-countrymen bleeding.
Why all this?
And may I not inquire what it has been for?
Why do we behold weeping fathers, disconsolate sisters, and broken-hearted mothers?
Why is the nation clothed in black, and bathed in tears?
Why is this disaster brought upon a contacted and happy people?
Why is our beautiful land — the asylum of the oppressed of every clime — bathed in human bleed?
I hope you will keep up the inquiry.
Why all this?
Four years ago I left my beloved State quiet and happy — her free sons and lovely daughters had not a dream of disorder.
I return to day in the midst of civil war and the camp — in the sound of the cannon's roar, and in the view of glittering bayonets.
Again I ask, why all this?
Sisters, mothers, fathers — I intend to ask you something, and call upon you to hold the guilty responsible for shedding innocent blood.
You know that it has been said, and said to me, that this is an unjust war — that the United States
is unjustifiably prosecuting war against the South
It is said the South
is carrying on the war for rights--Southern rights.
Who ever sought to abridge their rights?
The Government has never ceased to respect and foster its national structure.
This, our mother, knows no East, no West, no North, no South--it is purely national in its character.
The inquiry runs along, and what is the conclusion reached?
They complain of lost rights, and say they have been deprived of their just and constitutional rights in the Territories
Permit me to make an inquiry, in no offensive sense, out simply that I may be understood — another inquiry.
What right has been denied, what privilege withhold, what prerogatives lest, under the Constitution
and laws of the United States
by any citizen thereof, and particularly a citizen of Tennessee
Can you tell?
Can you point it cut?
Can you take up the Constitution
and call attention to any fight there guaranteed which you have lest?
Can you see it — smell it — taste it — feel it?
You may tax all your faculties and cannot tell what right has been lost.
What excuse, then, is there for all this turmoil of war?
What has the South
lost, under the Constitution
, that palladium of our liberties framed by the patriotic fathers of another century?--Slavery is the reply.
Where has the institution of slavery been invaded?
Can any one tell?
(Here Gov. Johnson
alluded to the fact, that he and others, who had determined to stand firm by the principles of self-government, had been denominated as traitors, and read the constitutional definition of treason.) If continued he, it be treason to stand by one's country, I am here to-day a traitor in your presence.
I was making the inquiry.
Why all this?
I direct your attention to some facts in our history.
In the fall of 1860 you remember the memorable contest for the Presidency.
Three candidates were put before the people — Bell
, and Douglas
A fourth was nominated--Mr. Lincoln
, but he had no ticket in this State.
I ask of Mr. Bell
's friends, what position do you take?
‘"The Union, the Constitution
, and the enforcement of the laws."’ What did the Douglad men propose for your approval?--the Union
, the Constitution
, and the enforcement of the law. How did Breckinridge
I voted for Breckinridge
because I thought him a better Union man and a stronger candidate than either Douglas
; and here let me ask those Bell
, or Breckinridge
men present, if they did not cast their votes under the impression that they were trying to elect the strongest Union candidate?
My belief was that Breckinridge
was a more eligible man than Bell
; that from his well known position in the eyes of the nation, he could defeat and put down secession.
He was a stronger man in the South
, while it was agreed that Douglas
was strongest at the North
We had reason to hope that, by a combination of their strength, Lincoln
might be defeated.
If all were defeated but Mr. Lincoln
, he would give him a trial.
If he administered the affairs of State wisely and constitutionally, he would be thankfully supported — if he attempted to encourage sectional legislation and administered the affairs disparagingly to any part of the country, turn him out. I was not for breaking up this Government because, forsooth, the aims of any set of politicians had miscarried.
If we are to have a revolution upon such a pitiful pretext, what stability of Government do we possess?
To yield to the displeasure of a certain set or party, so far as to partition a political structure of such grandeur as ours, would be to follow in the footsteps of distracted Mexico
I told my countrymen to give Lincoln
a fair chance; if he sought to invade their rights, or compress their freedom, elect another — the ballot-box, and not the sword, was the instrument to wield.
In the support of Breckinridge
for the Presidency, I had labored through a fatiguing canvass, exposing myself to all the unpleasantness of travel and the exhaustion of declamation.
I was enlisted in his fortunes for the sake of my country.
I believed him to be the safest for the crisis; and I can produce evidence from many sources to justify the belief.
Threats were boldly made to destroy the country if Breckinridge
should not be elected.
To avoid this calamity I would make the sacrifice of my health — nay, my life, my all.
men, how can you justify yourselves for the part you are enacting in this bloody drama?
Let me ask, Douglas
supporters, how could you go off into the disunion camp?
I was a witness of the reign of terror which followed the defeat of Bell
, and Douglas
, and when the election was over, I repaired to Washington
It was there that Breckinridge
showed the cloven foot.
was basely and adroitly attempting to dissolve the Union
I saw Breckinridge
and conversed with him; told him the people were all disappointed; that we had been caught in a snap; Secessionists would break up the Union
What was his reply?
‘"Can we coerce a State?
"’ I remarked, ‘"It is our duty to save the Government
."’ ‘"Will you coerce?
"’ he again demanded.
I told him not to deal in technicalities — the laws must be enforced.
If one man in South Carolina
should roe the mint, counterfeit money, or commit any other crime against the laws of the United States
, he would be punished, and it mattered not whether the law was broken by one man or twenty, or an hundred, or even by the State
itself, the Government
must be vindicated.
The soul of liberty is the love of law. If this be so, and you have no authority to enforce it, you have no law to protect the weak and defy the strong.
My interview with Breckinridge
was like an iceberg in my bosom.
I was deceived in him, and discovered that Breckinridge
had no hope of being elected — no hope but for Kentucky
and the Southern States
I asked him if he was willing to disunite the States because of Mr. Lincoln
's success, and because discontented South Carolina
agitates the subject?--To this question Breckinridge
replied in adcaptandum
slang about subjugation and the horrors of a civil conflict, convincing me that he had gone into the arms of disunion.
As he could not be President
of all the States, he was willing to divide them, and become President
of part of them.
We separated, I turned my back on him and said: ‘"You deceived me then; that was your fault; but when you deceive me again, it will be mine."’
Let me ask Bell
, and Douglas
men, what duty is left for you to perform?
Only one; if you cannot find out what rights
you heavy lost, come forward like a band of brothers, gather around the altar of your country, and say the Constitution
shall be preserved.
In returning to my native State, I offer the olive branch in one hand and the Constitution
in the other.
With and for it, I have come to perish, if need be — to pour out my blood a free libation for its preservation.--The Federal Government is made responsible for this war by the men who have entailed its horrors upon the country, by crying out their pretended rights
Let us forget all parties and former associations and see the question as it is.
I tell you, the slavery question has been made the pretext for breaking up this Government.
In 1862 an attempt was made to break up the Government
, and I well remember to have heard read, by a man named Russell
, while seated on my shop board in that memorable year, the proclamation of President Jackson
, and felt then, as I do now, that it contained the only doctrine to secure the preservation of the Government
It was sustained by those master statement, Webster
, and Jackson
I stand now as they stood in the first storm of State; and for this I am persecuted.
Do not blame me, but yourselves who have gone wrong; come up, show your manhood, acknowledge the error of your purposes, and resolve to support the United States
Govern- ment of greatest and best fabrication of God and men.
In 1862 (the year of nullification) Jackson
wrote a letter to Mr. Crawford
, of Georgia
I invite our attention to it. What did he say?
‘"There existed an effort to break up the Government
."’ It is now 29 years since, few differed from Jackson
then, as in the preservation of the Union
; none can differ now. Were impossible for Old Hickery to return among us, and see what is going on, what would be the treatment of Southern traitors is illustrated in the answer of an old man who knew and loved him well.
He came to see me to a short time age, and is reply to my question, if any had been impious enough to plant to Stars and Ears
over the old hero's grave?
he said: ‘"Yes; and I'll be d — d if I didn't expect to see the old man jump from his grave and order the last traitor to be isotonically hanged!"’ If it were possible for the dead to know what is passing have upon earth and leave their lonely tabernacle to mingle again in the busy scenes of life, I would long since have expected to see Jackson
at the seat of Government, and heard him exclaim with that extraordinary finger elevated, ‘ "by the eternal, the Union
, and shall be preserved!"’
Tariff was the pretext for disunion in 1862 and the slavery or negro question is the pretext now. How do the facts stand which come to examine them?
Let us go back to the proceedings of the last Congress.
What was the true phase of the times?
I compromise, you remember — the Crittenden proposition — was introduced.
The Southern Senators
, including Benjamin
, and a list of others, pretended that the measure passed the South
would be satisfied; but they desired everything else in compromise.
offered an amendment which he believed would be acceptable to the South
I had critically pace with the pretenders.
Their pretext was only to disguise their real intention.
When the vote was put on Clark
's amendment — mark will — only 55 ballots were recorded.
The amendment was adopted by to votes, thus defeating the original compromise.
Who is responsible for this work destruction?
Six Southern Senators
standing and refusing to record their votes.
If a Crittenden compromise had been adopted they would have been deprived of a pretext for their treason.
, is speaking this and perjurer, and in unconscionable traitor, was sealed me while the vote was being taken.
I told him it was his duty to come the relief of the country by voting upon the important proposition.
He sneeringly to swerved that ‘"when he wanted my advice he would make the request."’ I said, you are Senator
, and I demand that your vote be recorded.
With six others, he contrived to defeat the measure by slipping out. They wanted no compromise.
This, then, has caused the present difficulties.
These six Senators
destroyed the compromise, upon which they based revolutions.
Let us examine ourselves, gentlemen, and females, too, that we may arraign the gallant ones at the shrine of public suffering Mr. Lincoln
or the Republicans dissolve in Union?
No. Who, then, are to blame.
Men, who in themselves were capable of averting the storm and yet cried there was no help for the South
--no escape from separation.
You know the clamor has been raised to the non-slaveholding States would amendment Constitution so as to legislate upon the unjust of slavery.
On the 29th of December South Carolina
passed an Ordinance of Secession, took Fort Moultrie
, and the revolutions commensed.
Soon after South Carolina
were out, seven other States followed.
Their amendment was that the free States would interfere with their peculiar institution by legislation.
By the withdrawal of these States, the North
had over three-fourths of the votes in Congress, and consequently had the power to legislate.
Having the power, did they so amend the Constitution
No, they did not. They came forward with an amendment to the affect that ‘ "Congress, in all future time, shall have no power to legislate upon the subject of slavery."’ The amendment was passed by a vote of two-thirds.
Why did you not accept it instead of being governed by a petty tyrant? * * * * *
Who commenced this war?
went out on the 22d of February.
(What misfortune to the country that Andrew Jackson
was not in the Presidential chair in place of James Buchanan
, who sat still, and allowed the traitors to go on consummated their unholy schemes.) What did South Carolina
Attacked Fort Moultrie
and Castle Pinckney, drove the gallant Anderson
into Fort Sumter
, and thus, under the direction of Beauregard
, who is some time styled No regard, commenced erecting the long line of batteries and forts.
continued erecting his forts, until on the 11th of April, he had a conference with the gallant Anderson
, who told him that he would be out of provisions on the 15th, and would then, unless relief was sent, be compelled to surrender.
, of Virginia
(that then loyal State,) was in Charleston
the time, and maintained that a blow must be struck, or Virginia
would be lost.
An unarmed vessel, laden with provisions, was sent to the relief of Fort Sumter
, but was fired upon by the rebels, and turned back.
On the 12th, Beauregard
followed the advice of Pryor
, in order to help Virginia
side of the Union
I need not tell you of the many long and weary hours of suffering endured within the walls of Fort Sumter
by the brave and patriotic Anderson
, and his band of faithful soldiers — you have all, doubtless, read of them.
Here, for the first time the nation's history, was the national flag of the United States
Soon after the fall of Sumter
, Secretary Walker
publicly boasted that on the 1st of May the Confederate
flag should float on the Capitol
, and preparation was made by the Provisional Government
of the Confederate States
to raise an army of 105,600 men. All this was done before the proclamation of President Lincoln
commenced the war, and you was called upon to assist the Southern Confederacy, to join in taking back Washington
which already belongs to you. You all called upon to join a band of robbers and abolitionists, to get back what already belong to you. The North
is carrying on this was to maintain the law and the Constitution
When I look around, and see those gentlemen covered in the uniform of their country, my heart beats, and I welcome the soldier as the protector and savior of his country.
They are not your enemies, but friends who come here to protect those sacred right and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution
, and to restore peace to our distress country.
There are more abolitionists to your own State than in the army of the United States--all deny any hostility to you or your property and institutions.
The assertion that they have any other motive, but only a contrivance to delude and deceive.
When your own people see that they are about to be punished — when they feel the rope about their necks, they want you to destroy your city, while they burn your bridge and rob you of your substance, that they must be saved.
Will you do it?
The brave soldiers who are now among you are your friends — they come to save, not to destroy.
I hastily welcome them, officers and privates.
You have already seen many, but there are legions more ready when needed.
Those who have been deceived and delted into a feeling of hostility to the Government
shall be treated as leniently as possible, unconscious, intelligent treason must
be punished; and when that is done, your Government will be stronger than ever.
It is Government made and sustained by the vote of the people, which is the voice of God himself.
I love to hear our national airs, who have no doubt sent a thrill of joy to man heart after being subjected so long to a right of terror — Hall Columbia
, Star Spangle Banner, Yankee Doodle
Again I ask — what is this war for?
As you not see that they are in the wrong, all must lose, while we are right and must triumph?
There can be no protection for slavery but in the United States