December 6, 1861
The Teachings of Modern Democracy.
The evidences are abundant that there has been for some years a strong and powerful element in the Democratic party, both North and South, which sought to make slavery a national institution, lawful alike in Northern as well Southern States. That element [?] made itself manifest in various ways. There are some, more honest in their character, who have maintained openly and candidly that the spread of human slavery over every inch of territory where the Federal constitution had jurisdiction, was their end and aim. Of this class was Toombs, who boasted that he would yet call the role of his slaves in the shadow of Bunker Hill. There are others who have contrived to bring about certain judicial decisions, and have labored to educate the public mind to accept certain interpretations of the constitution, all with the view of establishing principles which would give a slaveholder the right to hold his slave as property in every State of the Union as well as the Territories.
The editor of the Eagle ranks among those who desire that the institution of slavery shall have all the guarantees which it seeks. He is opposed to a free [African-American] treading the soil of Illinois, but only make him a slave and he will hug him to his bosom in huge delight. In his last issue he is bold enough to avow his desire that slavery shall be recognized and protected as a national institution. He does this by proposing that the Government open a slave market for the purpose of selling the men, women and children whom the fortunes of war have made free. He would have the Government sell these persons to the highest bidder, and thus put into practical operation those peculiar interpretations of the constitution which pro-slavery Democrats have so zealously advocated, viz: That a slave was property by virtue of the constitution, and could therefore be held as property any where under its jurisdiction, in all the States and Territories. A slave sold as property by the Federal Government could of course be held as property as well in Illinois as in Georgia or any other Southern state. This is the doctrine the pro-slavery zealot of the Eagle desires so heartily to see in practical operation. He tells us if the government will only make merchandise of the negroes it will “remove all doubt and uncertainty from the public mind,” – that is, it settles the question at once and gives us the right to hold and work just as many [African-Americans] as we can afford to buy of the government or any other slaveholder.
Thus does the Democracy prove itself thoroughly debauched and demoralized by slavery. They are saisfied with nothing but that which can be turned to the benefit of the peculiar institution. With them, human freedom is a humbug, but human slavery is a mark of civilization and progress. Let us rejoice that in this important crisis the Government is in the hands of those who can properly estimate and appreciate the glorious principles contained in that old declaration which says that all men are by nature entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
We are requested to announce that Rev. Mr. McCool will deliver a lecture in the M.E. Church in this place, on Monday evening next, for the benefit of the Ladies’ Society for the relief of the sick and wounded soldiers. The subject will be announced from the pulpit on Sunday.
Rev. T. J. Conley, of Galesburg, will preach in the Universalist Church in this place on next Sunday, at half-past 10 o’clock A. M.
If you want a good dish of oysters, cooked up in the highest style of the art, give Lane a call, at the south-west corner of the square.
The Bakers. – Our citizens will remember that this popular troupe of singers will give one of their excellent entertainments at Campbell’s Hall in this city, on Friday evening. They are everywhere greeted with large and respectable audiences, and those who fail to hear them will miss a rare treat.
A Serious Stabbing Affray. – Two persons named Jacob Humberd and John Huff, living out on Spring Creek, were in town on Monday last, and visiting one of the low groggeries which disgrace our city, they were soon in good fighting condition. Some high words passed between them, when Huff stealthily drew his knife and at a favorable opportunity stabbed Humberd in the side, inflicting a dangerous wound. – Dr. T. M. Jordan attended the wounded man, and Huff was arrested and taken before Justice Franklin, who bound him over in the sum of $700 to await the action of the Grand Jury.
Sudden Death. – Jason M. Bass, a highly respected citizen of Canton, Fulton county, died suddenly on Friday last, at his residence.
For the Children. – Christmas is coming, and so is New Years, but Lane at the American House is amply prepared with candies, toys, &c., for the children.
December 7, 1861
The President’s message is just now the engrossing topic of discussion. We confess to a feeling of disappointment. The negro question is the absorbing topic, both in Congress and among the people. The President is not explicit; he leaves room for doubt. He does not plant himself upon the Constitution as on a rock, from which he should not be moved. He should have expressed himself in terms that would not have left room for the possibility of a doubt. As it is, he will not receive the cordial support of the loyal people, unless they infer that the abolitionists have greater reason to dread his inexplicitness than the friends of the Union have. Time will determine this. His re-indorsement of that unconstitutional and sectional contrivance, the Chicago Platform, will not be considered a step in the right direction. We fear that too many good men will associate it with his former declarations that the country “must become all slave or all free,” and that it is the “duty of the government to lift the artificial weights from all shoulders.” Still, the practical administration of the government may be more conservative than the non-committalism of the message would indicate. But we can scarcely say that we believe it will so turn out.
Stabbing Affair. – On Monday last Jacob Humbert was severely cut by a knife in the hands of John Huff. The two had been playing at cards for “the drinks,” and at last from high words they came to blows. They were separated, but still stayed in the drinking house. Huff was seen to open a pocket knife, and they again got to quarreling when Huff repeatedly called Humbert a liar, and as the latter attempted to resist, Huff cut him across the stomach, just below the ribs, the knife penetrating the pericardium and cutting the spleen, perhaps half an inch in depth. – Humbert, although severely hurt, will recover. Huff was immediately arrested and bound over to take his trial at the circuit court in Mar