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question returns, shall that territory remain , erable divine who was an army chaplain at free, or become bonded? And that question, Matamoras, Monterey, Buena Vista, &c., “he when Gen. Taylor shall have been elected comes up, in his life, character, and principles, President, will remain to be decided by the Peo- nearer to Washington than any other public ple and their Representatives, to whom it right. man 1 hare ever known.” fully belongs, and to which decision, when thus There are those among us who, exasperated made, whatever that decision may be, Gen. by the conduct of Tyler and Polk, and the Taylor will affix his name and seal.
miseries which have been inflicted npon the We have, in Gov. Cass, a northern can- country by the last eight years of misrule, are didate with southern principles, while in Gen. unwilling to vote for a southern President, and Taylor we have a southern candidate with who are anxious to make an open issue with national principles. In the former we see a slavery. We are among those who appreciate man who has been as sand in the hands of all the evils of slavery, and who are sure to be those who moulded him to their wishes. For a on the side of freedom when her banner, with presidential nomination, he has made merchan- sufficient provocation, shall be unfurled. But dise of all that is high, and precious, and sa we cannot, nor should others forget that only cred. In the latter, we see an honest, upright, for the conduct of Senators Cass, Buchanan, inflexible, free-thinking, out-speaking man, who Allen, Dickinson, Dix, &c., sanctioned by their would not compromise a principle, suppress a political friends at the ballot boxes, there would sentiment, nor modify an opinion to gain the have been no annexation of Texas, no war with presidency. In the hands of Gov. Cass, the Mexico, no hundred million debt, and no extengovernment, judging his future by his past, sion of slavery. If the South, without the treawould be corruptly administered, with a view, sonable participation of the Northern States, by its corrupting influences, to secure his re was alone responsible for annexation, war, debt, election. In the hands of Gen. Taylor, judg- and extended slavery, we too should have been ing his future by his past, the government will prepared to strike. But let us, before that issue be brought back to the integrity and purity is made, see that we occupy vantage ground. which distinguished the administration of Let our “cause of quarrel be just," and then WASHINGTON, for Gen. Taylor is one of “God's we shall be ready to do battle with those who noblest works ;” and in the language of a ven- enter first and farthest into the conflict.
NECESSITY OF PARTY- THE PRESS-THE
It is a very common error among the Let
national measure be offered to ignorant to cry out against party, and to the consideration of a promiscuous body disavow partialities : patriotism, according of citizens, a division will arise as to its to these disinterested persons, is neither expediency. Some will go into opposition for this nor that side, but for the country, upon grounds merely theoretic; others will
Let us agree with them for the moment; find arguments against it from policy, as as not desiring, in this easy race of protest being ill timed; others, again, will find it ation, to be left behind, and becoming quite at variance with the pecuniary or political impartial in our affections, let us propose interests of themselves or their friends; all a plan for the good of the nation : let it be these will unite against it, and form a parly a tariff, or a tax on property, or a sub-trea- to oppose it. Parties, therefore, whatever sury. Is it possible that any friend of his be our private opinion of them, are unacountry can be offended at the proposal of voidable, and it becomes us, instead of so necessary a measure ? But many are crying out against them, or affecting a offended. A division has begun, and the haughty indifference to them, to use them, yeas and nays have gone over to different rather, as the only remedy for the less sides.
endurable evils of anarchy and despotism.
Nor can the struggle for power be ducted, not only the weak and mean, but deemed discreditable, when it is seen that the men of character, of genius, and of this struggle is the most arduous and the enterprise, have to bear the dishonor and most important that men can engage in, and the punishment. Whoever, therefore, acthat the very life of liberty is maintained counts himself one of these, whoever feels only by the strife of contending parties. within himself the least spark of that genIn free states, where public questions are erosity of soul which makes men republidecided by majorities, the strife of party cans, is, so far, a POLITICIAN. Politics, the begins in the office and the market place; judging and acting for the honor and the every point of policy is agitated in private, prosperity of the nation, is properly an and the representative is chosen with the art to which all of us are born. We, the expectation that he will maintain the opin- citizens, who think we have no masters but ion, and even the prejudice, which he repre- the laws, cannot be too careful or too vigisents. When the majority are well in- lant in the exercise of the power of election, formed, and their representative is true to in which we perform the initiative art of his function, liberty and humanity will be government. observed, and the morals of private life In the exercise of the franchise we are become the guiding principles of legislation. removed alike by our character and our
When the Constitution confers the power circumstances, from any corrupting influof suffrage upon a citizen, it imposes a du- ences. We are too jealous and too proud ty; he has taken a share in the govern to be influenced by our superiors in social ment, and is a legally qualified member of rank, (if we admit that any such exist,) the great Council of the nation, from which and the greatness of our numbers renders emanate, if not particular measures, at least it impossible to buy us; neither by a bribe, the first impulses of opinion, on which the nor by a threat, can we be enticed or tercharacter and power of the nation reveals rified: only the trembling servants of a itself.
corrupt Executive, who, for an uncertain In election to public offices, the people subsistence, have resigned every merit but know, or should know, that they are merely that of an interested obedience, can be choosing one of their number in whom suspected of a corrupted vote. The mothey confide to represent the opinion, the tives which actuate us are those lawful and character, and the interests of the majority; necessary prejudices, which form so great the Constitution intrusts them with this a part of the virtue of imperfect humanity : power of choice, and in using it, they the prejudices of theory, of experience, of impress their private judgment, and their country, of family, of education, and of private will, upon the goverment of which temperament. Either, or all of these, will they thus become true and responsible give the free mind its bias, and make us of members. How unworthy, then, of this the one party or the other, on every queshigh privilege are those inert or super- tion submitted to our vote. Those who cilious citizens, who affect to disregard the mean to influence us individually, must elections, or who speak of them as a vain appeal to each or all of these sources of and interested contest of office-seekers. A opinion; and their only power is in that people who respect their institutions, and lawful superiority which is given by skill of who not only know, but feel, that govern- persuasion, or of intellectual power. They ment emanates from themselves, will not may show us that national interests are at confound the contemptible enthusiasm of stake; they may terrify us with a gloomy place-seekers, with the ardor of patriols, or prospect of the future; they may tempt --if even that most sacred appellation have us on with visions of golden prosperity : lately acquired some taint: -of men who they may appeal to our generosity, our seek for power only to avoid dishonor. shame, or our pity ;—but here their power National dishonor falls not only upon the ends; all beyond is corruption. mean and insignificant, but upon the able, If there ever was a nation, in which the the bold and the well informed ; the honor liberty of popular election was as general of the nation is an element, yes, a palpa- and as unobstructed as in our own, its hisble element, of its power and prosperity; tory has not been handed down to us; and if the affairs of the nation are badly con- 1 yet, this first privilege of freedom, believed
by the most sagacious politicians of ancient Nor is the intrinsic difficulty of the suband modern times, to be a perfect safe jects themselves, a less serious impediment guard against every internal danger that to a right judgment upon them. Quescan threaten a republic, will not always tions of political economy, to be understood protect us against even gross injustice and at all, must be seen in the light of nature oppression.
and experience ; but men look at public If it be inquired, why so simple and affairs through the microscope of theory; effectual a means of eliciting and estab their uninitiated eyes see only a distorted lishing truth has so often failed of its and discolored representation of a part of effect, and men and measures, worthy only the object. of a corrupt and ignorant age, have been The artificial eye of the editor or the inflicted upon the country, it is enough to economist, is interposed between their eye reply that the public mind is distracted and the question. The enchanter draws and discouraged by misrepresentation about them a circle of yeas and nays, false True it is, our newspapers are a great facts and false arguments; their underrestraint upon the unprincipled, and often standings are overwhelmed and darkened. hinder the execution of bad measures ; They can determine wisely in the plain but they know nothing of the press who business of
business of life, but cannot think for the
ed and maintained ; now, when the weapand their weaknesses and misfortunes ex on is freed, and every hand may grasp it, alted to the dignity of crimes. If the fox be we let it lie idle; and if ruffians seize upon biographer to the lion, he will paint him it, we raise our hands to Heaven and depreendowed with vulpine dexterity and fraud. cate the mischief, instead of wresting
In that state of servility and prostitution, it away by the far superior force of to which the undue influence of the Execu truth and knowledge. There are towns tive has reduced a portion of the press in this even in New England, where the power of country, it is not unusual to find the most education is most felt, and valued at its enormous falsehoods deliberately main highest rate, where a company of educated tained and propogated for party purposes, persons, either through indolence or pride, by men who otherwise maintain a respecta allow the community they live in to be ble appearance, and, it may be, pride daily insulted and abused by a lying and themselves upon the propriety and urban- drivelling press, without an effort to estabity of their lives. These unhappy instru- lish the only possible remedy, a sincere and ments of guile, incapable as they are, enlightened one. The power of politithrough a native imbecility of character, cal education is dropped into the hands of identifying in their minds the morality of unimportant scribblers, able at nothof public and private affairs, believe in two ing but the circulation of calumsystems of conduct, one for private men nies. While this evil remains, let no and one for politicians. Their narrow in educated man in such a community either tellects discern only a faint outline of the lament over or wonder at the growing triState, and their moral sense is far too dull viality, grossness, or viciousness of the to feel reality in any public principles. citizens : if he allows a fool or a knave to The things they seem to see, but see not, make his daily impression on the minds of they are easily led to trifle with ; and the his family and neighborhood, he may thank pressure of authority and necessity soon his own supineness and folly if both are compels them to employ their talents in corrupted in the end. trifling to some purpose.
And yet if the press is fallible, nay, vic
ious and mischievous to a great extent, it | ism, or the humble enthusiasm of the monis, notwithstanding, the great organ of archist, the retainer of Locofocoism leads a truth; and in the free press of this coun- negative existence; he is a man of negatry we find the instrument and sole defence tives, he is subject to negation, he subsists of our liberty. If the Executive organs upon vetoes and denials, his political existdisseminate the most atrocious falsehoods ence is a blank: history will not remember among the people, who thwarts and con he is a part only of the great mass, tradicts them, if not the unbribed presses or lump, of the Locofoco majority. And of the Opposition ? If the ingenious soph- yet this party, whose creed it is to sink the istries of a war-party occupy for a time citizen in the multitude, has the audacity or the minds of the people, what displaces the impertinence to charge upon the Whigs and subverts them if not those ministers of that old Federal offence of subjecting the truth and justice, the honestly conducted will of the Constituent to that of the Repnewspapers ? What may they not do, resentative. A few testy old gentlemen, what power may they not exert, moving there may be, still alive, who think that the forward and together towards great and representative is to be a nursing father to the sincere objects ? Let us then no longer “mass” of his poor ignorant constituency; complain. With the weapon in our hand, but if there be any such, their place is proand a fair field, we have ourselves to blame perly among the draughters of Democratic if we fail.
resolutions, whose ingenuity in sinking the First, then, and above all other aims, power of the citizen, and exalting that should not our care be to present a firm and of the government, commends them to the unbroken front to the enemy: to yield no courtesy of all old-fashioned Tories and inch of ground, but with a steady and vehe- Federalists. ment endeavor press home upon the public Nothing, again, is more remarkable in mind the great principles by and for which the declarations of Locofocoism than the we exist as a party ? The integrity of the facility of imitation which it discovers -party depends upon the simplicity, dis- the genius for blending contraries : for tinctness, and binding force of its first prin- while it never mentions the government of ciples : For them it exists—by them it the nation without prefixing the word exists--without them-it dissolves and federal,” calling it always the “Federal disappears.
Government,” to convey the idea of its beTo set these forth in bold contrast with ing a mere federation of the States, it has those of the enemy, let us cast an eye always manifested an extraordinary respect over the propositions of their electoral for the Central Authority, and has even “Platform,” in which they have condensed dared to question, whether it would not be their creed. Observe with what a cool better if the President were quite free of impudence they charge upon Whiggism the Senate in the appointment of civil ofthe very practice which it spurns, and ficers; a liberty which would instantly of which Locofocoism itself is properly the convert the Presidency into a monarchy inventor,--namely, the subjugation of the elective, indeed, but none the less for that will of the constituent to that of the rep reason a monarchy. resentative.* Who, pray, is the inventor It very gravely advises us, that the of packed Conventions ? and who first federal government is one of limited converted citizens into voting machines, powers derived solely from the Constituwith no
more force of will than would tion :" -a proposition quite necessary insuffice to steady a glass of liquor ? deed to be set before Locofoco Presi
Perhaps no system was ever contrived, dents, and before that small minority at least as we have seen it operate, more
of office-holders and friends who go by effectual to extinguish the individual the name of “ the People,”—but of which ity of the constituent, than so-called to remind a Whig citizen, were only to in“ Democratic organization.” Without the sult him. odor of sanctity, without the honor of These dispensers of political wisdom aristocraty, without the pride of patriot- then proceed to say, that the powers
granted by the Constitution require to be * See Washington Union, May 4th, 1818.
strictly construed by all departments and
agents of the government:—and yet it has dilate upon the growing wealth and combecame really dangerous to mention that merce of the nation, and proposes vast sometime venerable instrument in the hear- improvements in the army, the navy, the ing of a Locofoco majority in Congress, public debt, and the executive patronage, for fear you be laughed at for your simpli- to be paid for in the property and liberties city. As there is no sect so absurd but it of future generations. has a text to back it, so there is no usur Certain it is, indeed, that the Constitupation without its constitutional apology. tion does not confer upon the general govStrict construction is but an entering wedge ernment the power to commence and carry for innovation, and there is no political on wars for the acquisition of new territory heresy but has its constitutional text. Let -as certain as that it does confer the power any man set up this rule of strict con- of " commencing and carrying on a system struction, and we know what he would be of internal improvements.
Is the system at. Those only who inquire out the spirit of the post office established solely for the of the law are to be trusted for an instant uses of the government, or is its better conwith its application. The letter kills, the duct a part of a system of Internal Imspirit only can save us.
provement for the benefit of the whole And yet, a stricter construction of the people? Is the establishment of a “harConstitution might not be undesirable even bor for shelter,” or a lighthouse, or a milifor the Whigs: it might perhaps lead to the tary road, a national telegraph, forbidden impeachment of a President, who, by by the Constitution ? and if the harbor eswresting the Constitution, has involved the tablished for shelter was used also for comnation in a cruel and costly war.
merce, though no such use had been conLocofoco majorities, infected with a templated, if the military road became a horror of unnecessary, outlay, declare great emigrant route and stage road, increasagainst all projects of internal improve- | ing the value of property in all the districts ment. It were a violation of first princi- through which it ran, --if the lighthouse ples in their esteem, should the govern- benefited especially the coasters of a parment, or, as they prefer to call it, the ticular State, more than those of other federal government, of the nation, lay out States,—if the telegraph enriches coma few millions on harbors in the North, or mercial speculators and manufacturers on a canal or a railroad, to connect eastern would these incidental benefits be advanand western commerce with the South ; ced as arguments against the appropriabut we all know how readily they will vote tions for such purposes in Congress ? away a hundred millions, for the sake of Trusting in the good sense of the nation, external improvement, such as a right of we have no fear that this doctrine of In " way across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a ternal Improvement will not ultimately harbor on the coast of California, or a tract prevail over that Locofoco doctrine of Exof gold mines and Buffalo prairies in the ternal Improvement. The people will by south-west. Millions they will spend to and by consider that a hundred millions extend cotton interests, millions to the spent in the establishment of a telegraphic western hunters and borderers, millions in Post Office, a universal navigation improveTexas, millions in Mexico and Yucatan, ment, including the Mississippi, the great millions anywhere, so it be of no use to lakes, the harbors of the eastern coast,the industrious artisans of the North and in the construction of ship canals, and naWest. With EXTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS they tional railroads,-in the protection of a valare greatly in love, with internal, not at uable branch of manufacture, agriculture all. At home, the strict constructionist, or commerce,--will be far better invested full of the law, bears hard upon his family for the wealth of the nation than in the and neighbors: he is a man of principle, maintenance of invading armies. Money forsooth, a straight-backed Pharisee, a spent on Internal Improvements enriches political puritan;—but open to him a pro- first the employed operative, then the disject of foreign conquest, for the extension trict where the work lies, and lastly the of free trade, of slavery, or of the Demo- whole nation. But history shows clearly cratic privilege of occupying the lands and that of External Improvements, the most cities of a neighbor, he begins at once to fortunate are those which only do not