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A PASSAGE OF THE SECRET HISTORY OF AMERICAN POLITICS, ILLUS
TRATED BY A VIEW OF METROPOLITAN SOCIETY. THE MYSTERIES of political history, occasioned by the imperfect presentation of the facts which are the essential causes of great public movements and events, are always numerous, not only in the annals of the past, but in the cotemporaneous records of the present. The journals of the day furnish little more than the actual results ; of the secret causes and agencies they give little information. In European history, this more valuable instruction is generally given in the "secret memoirs” of the various courts, and in the private correspondence of statesinen, princes, courtiers and intriguers. In the American Republic, this field is to be occupied by facts from sources less accessible. It is a department which may yet be filled. For the present, a single chapter may suffice, on one branch of the subject.
THE MACHINERY OF ELECTION FRAUDS guilty part. Those who alone know all, in the city of New York, is a matter so or enough to show the extent and charimportant to the fate and history of the acter of the operation, are so prominent republican system, and yet so remote from in position and in the profits of the inithe knowledge of even the most intelli- quity, as to be above the reach of ordinary gent politicians, as to be worthy of special inducements to betray the facts of which and elaborate notice in an - AMERICAN they themselves were the chief authors. Review," on whose pages may be sought, The investigation is, therefore, beset in other times, portions of the history of with difficulties, tending to produce desthe age, as evidences of the success or pair of success on the part of any who, failure of this first experiment in practical believing the general fact, seek the partidemocracy-actual popular self-govern- culars and the proofs. It requires sinment. That such frauds exist has long gular gifts,-courage, energy and pertibeen notorious. No New York politician nacity, of a peculiar order, sustained by would risk his reputation for veracity and enthusiastic devotion to the cause of truth intelligence so far as to deny it. But of and justice, and by the hope and prosthe details, the system, the extent of these pect of results mighty beyond prudent operations, much remains to be commu- expectation. It demands, also, an exclunicated, even to those best informed and sive appropriation of time, study, pamost active in the political movements of tience, observation and reflection, and the last few years. The subject, how- 'forces the encounter of many annoyances ever, is one not easily investigated. The and dangers, incurred by the necessary success of these frauds was of course association with abandoned and desperate insured only by profound secresy, and by men, in whose experience the truth is subordination and obedience among the contained. Money, too, as well as costly inferior agents, excluding each from a time and labor, is wanted, in amount beknowledge of any more than his own yond ordinary means, for uses which are
essential to the main purpose. Other re. natorial and Congressional honors and its quirements, all that can be imagined, are influence on the National mind. The included in the conditions of success or period between this and any future imeven progress.
portant action by popular suffrage will be Guarded by these difficulties against so long, that no “effect” or temporary exthe perils of inquiry and detection, the citement could be produced, and no sucauthors of diese frauds have hardened in cessful perversion or permanent mis-reconfidence, cool determination and impu- presentation of facts hoped for. Whatnity. After an election, the defeated ever may be put forth seeming to any partisans soon forget the inquiry into worthy of denial, confutation or condemcauses; and it is impossible to arouse them nation, the date and circumstances “leave to the painful labor of searching for the ample room and verge enough” to enmode and means of their own irretrievable lighten and correct public opinion, and calamity. The fruitless contest once fully vindicate all claiming a hearing or redress, past, disappointment vents itself in vain before the judgment of the people has been curses; and wrath soon evaporates in pronounced in its only effective formthreats as idle as the wind. The combi- THE BALLOT. nation of force kept up in hope of success, Equally is discarded every pretense of vanishes in defeat; and the recently asso- impressing the public mind anywhere ciated agents of the defeated party meet with the sense of implied injustice done again only as strangers, until a new to any individual candidate or party or movement inspires new hope in another cause, by a decision wrongfully obtained contest-while the victorious leaders of or erroneously recorded. For the vindifaction divide the spoils, with a security cation either of the man or the people, which can tolerate no feeling towards such a demonstration would be valueless. their baffled foes but indifference or con Both are already placed on higher grounds. tempt.
The character and principles of those who The great and manifold difficulties thus by their votes maintained the right, are shown, as besetting such an investigation, enough, and are well enough known by have, in this instance, been met, by the all Christendom, to vindicate them beyond possession of the means and qualifications suspicion—and to maintain them in as enumerated, to an extent which can be much honor as ever accrued to wronged better demonstrated by the results attain- patriotism. ed than by preliminary statements, which This investigation, its purposes, its posmight seem prematurely boastful or ego- sible consequences, have no designed relatistical. It is enough now to say, that tion to the advantage or prospects of any the unremitting labor of many months person. It is no appeal, no writ of error has been given to this task, in total ex. against the judgment of that tribunal clusion of all other interests and occupa- which, right or wrong, renders the last and tions; and the facts are therefore present- highest of human decisions. The whole ed, from the outset, with a confidence in inquiry is simply a post-mortem examinathe full mastery of the whole subject and tion, with the purpose of ascertaining the its necessary proofs, which will be shared cause of death and the manner and instruby all, as the development progresses.
ment of the crime, for the instruction and THE TIME selected for this revelation is security of all who shall come after, that peculiarly adapted to the accomplishment those who distrust the people's sense of its best purposes, and to the acquire- and despair of justice from the public judg. ment of the public confidence in its truth, ment, may derive encouragement from and its independence of personal or tem- these evidences of a fraud in the mere porary advantages. The great contest on means of declaring and manifesting that which so many public and private interests judgment. depended, and which bore so many away Ås a contribution to the history of man, from the control of moral principle by its it will be valuable; and its worst develpowerful excitements—is now closed; opments will but elevate the character and its momentous, irreversible results of the great whole, while they display has been registered. Not even a local the abominations of a few. Men of this object now remains to be promoted, either and other countries, enslaved or free, will in the shape of a Charter Election, with be the wiser for this unfolding of truths. its corporation patronage in view of the All that was desired by the patriotic, the contestants, or a State election, with its wise, the good, as to the MORAL SIGNIFIhigher gifts and dignities, with its guber- CANCE of the late great trial of principles