The Demonstration in New York

We notice more fully in our paper of this morning the proceedings of the immense meetings of citizens in New York city, on the subject of the arrest and sentence of Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio. The spirit and resolves of that meeting were bold and decided so far as words can make them; whether they will be sustained hereafter remains to be seen. In the language of the New York World, "the gaunt" let thrown down in Ohio has been taken up "in New York." But the taking up is the mere prelude to the contest which, if the Administration makes no concession, and those who composed this meeting are firm, must in due time be brought about. For ourselves we acknowledge we put little faith in these men; for, although they were very positive in their assertion of what they called their own civil rights, they took care to credit themselves with a large amount of patriotism and devotion to the Constitution, for furnishing liberally men and means to crush the rebellion in the South! Even Governor Seymour--who declares that if the arrest and trial of Vallandigham were approved by the Administration, and sustained by the people, it "establishes military despotism"--says, ‘"having given it (the Administration) a generous support in the conduct of "the war, we pause to see what kind of Government it is for which we are asked to pour out our blood and our treasures,"’ and he continues to say, that its action in Vallandigham's case "will determine in the minds of more than "one half the people of the loyal States whether this war is waged to put down rebellion at the South or destroy free institutions at "the North." In other words, whether it is to enslave the South or enslave the North? If it is only to enslave the South, why Governor Seymour is willing to go on — according to the Administration--"a generous support in "its conduct of the war;" but if to "destroy "the free institutions at the North," he'll none of it — there must be resistance!

So, too, with Mr. Washington Hunt. He says: ‘"It is for the perpetuation of free constitutional Government, and for this only, that the country has been so willing to exhaust its best blood and place its vast resources at the disposal of the Federal authority. God forbid that the American people should allow the strength thus imparted to be turned against themselves, and a military despotism erected on the ruins of public liberty!"’ So, so! It is all right so long as the despotism is marshalling its hosts against the liberties of the South. Mr. Hunt and his co-laborers will contribute their "best blood" and the vast resources of the country for that meritorious purpose but "God forbid!" he exclaims, that "the strength thus imparted" should be turned against the Northern people themselves!

What do these people mean? Is there one kind of liberty for them and another for us? One kind of justice for them and another for us? Or are we unworthy to be free, and they too good to be slaves? How can they coolly and unblushingly applaud the invasion of the South and reprobate the arbitrary arrests of the North? Are Yankees so much better than Southerners that it is right to imprison, slay, and persecute in all conceivable modes, the people of the South, drive their women and children from their homes, destroy and rob and steal their property, and desolate their land, while merely to deprive one Northern man of liberty is an outrage so great as to threaten the liberties of the whole North, and to demand the universal execration! Are these distinctions hypocritical, or do Governor Seymour and others think them just? If pretended, and merely thrown out to make fair weather with Lincoln, Seymour or Co. are not only dishonest, but too cowardly to resist even were he to put the rope around their necks! If they are sincere, and really think the attempt to establish a grinding despotism in the South is right, while they proclaim against any infringement of individual right at the North--then they are after all Yankees! Nothing more. Governor Seymour and Hunt are no better than Sumner and Chase and Sherman — may, not so good — not even so good as Burnside. They are consistent. They are for the despotism — for submission to its authority everywhere and all the time, and particularly for the crushing of the rebellion.

Thus viewing the inconsistency of these persons — their truly Puritan position of selfishness — utter indifference to the wrongs and outrages of others so long as they are not troubled or their rights are not invaded — thus regarding them, we should be glad to hear that Lincoln had put them promptly under arrest. They richly merit it. A coup d'elat of that sort would be a capital thing for Lincoln, and a very just commending to their own lips of the poisoned chalice which they offer to the South!

Still there were things notable in the speeches, and the running commentary upon them by the multitudes. One gentleman emulated Patrick Henry, and commended striking examples in historic retribution to the meditation of Lincoln. The interpolations of the masses were pithy. It may be that the ideas inculcated by the scene and the sayings may come to something. Time will tell. But all in the South must desire to see put to the test that bold assertion of Hunt, on the "house tops," that no New Yorker "shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without process of law." It is a sort of dare to Lincoln, uttered rather tauntingly, and calculated to provoke him. He may try the issue tendered, and then we shall see whether New York is, as Mr. Brooks said, "free"--we shall see whether a State so willing to inflict an outrage on others is brave enough to defend herself. We doubt it.

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