February 7, 1863
To the Voters of McDonough County.
The undersigned committee of the Democratic party, of said county, in view of the present unfortunate condition of the country; and in the exercise of our Constitutional rights as citizens, do here by call a meeting of the citizens of said county to be held at Macomb, on Saturday, the 7th day of February, next, at 1 o’clock P. M., to deliberate upon the momentous questions now pressing upon the country.
A full attendance of all who are in favor of the Constitution as it is, and a restoration of the Union as it was, is desired.
The Hon. L. W. Ross and Hon. C. R. Harris have been invited to address the meeting. Other good speakers are expected to be in attendance.
F. D. Lipe,
Wm. T. Head,
S. H. Hogan,
J. C. Thompson,
J. M. Campbell,
The West and the War.
“Let us once more have peace!” – Such is the earnest prayer of the great body of the people of the great West. The madness of the hour has subsided. The excitement which so universally pervaded the minds of the people a few months ago has passed away. Flaming appeals to the people are no longer heard, and if heard would be unheeded. The equanimity of the people is no longer disturbed by startling announcements and frantic declarations in the public prints. The storm has spent its force, and a calm ensued. A re-action in public feeling has taken place. The President has defied the will, and insulted the patriotism, of the people. – The hypocritical cries of “treason,” “disloyalty,” “rebellion,” “traitor,” and like expressions, fall upon the public ear as common, unmeaning sounds. There is too much truth in the very apt declaration that “the administration sanctifies the treason it assails by the treason it commits.” – The honest, well-meaning efforts of the people to restore the Union have been prostituted to base and unworthy purposes. When Mr. Lincoln, just after he had taken a solemn oath to support and maintain the Constitution, said, in the presence of assembled thousands from every section of the country, “I declare I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists That I believe I have no lawful right to do so,” the people had confidence in his honesty and sincerity, however much they questioned his capability. But when he issued his cowardly and wicked emancipation edict he lost their confidence, and forever. And more, he provoked a feeling of distrust and contempt which is everywhere manifesting itself. The respect, which by common consent is due to the nation’s Chief Executive, Mr. Lincoln has forfeited. The people of the West responded to his call for troops, relying on his declaration above quoted and similar declarations at subsequent times. With disappointment and chagrin they now point to his subsequent treacherous acts. They were willing to fight for their government, but for the abolition of slavery never. They could, in view of Lincoln’s lamentable weakness, to some degree, overlook his usurpations, but they will not suffer themselves to be further betrayed into his infamous abolition schemes. But this is not all. The people have had time to consider the declarations and teachings of the nation’s greatest statesmen in its better days – that the Union can never be maintained by the coercive powers of the government; its foundations must be laid in the affections of the people, and the good will of each section towards the other. If proof were necessary to establish the truth of this proposition this war has furnished it in abundance. The President at first issued a proclamation commanding the rebels to disperse in twenty days. – Then sixty days was given as the time within which the rebellion was to be completely crushed. Finally ninety days was to be the extreme limit of its duration. Now nearly two years have elapsed, and the “rebellion” has grown into a revolution comprising millions of people. It is a miss-use of language to longer call it a “rebellion.” It is a revolution – such as never goes backwards. The language of Lord Chatham when he said, “My Lords, you can never conquer America,” applies with even greater force to the present revolution. Patrick Henry said “three millions of people are invincible.” – And what shalt we say of nearly three times three millions? But suppose it were possible to subjugate the South. What becomes of our theory of free government, maintained and upheld by the voluntary action of the people governed? We cannot conquer the South, without, at the same time, changing our government from a republic to a military despotism, which will put an end to the liberties of the people of both North and South. The people of the West shall have a lingering hope of a restoration of the Union; and they demand a cessation of hostilities as the first step towards the accomplishment of that most desirable end. Our sectional contentions cannot and ought not to be adjusted otherwise than by compromise. “Compromise” is the language of statesmen; “subjugation,” that of tyrants and despots. But whatever may be said of the end sought in the prosecution of this war the means resorted to by the administration are a thousand fold worse. If you had congregated together all the fiends of hell, they could not have conceived a more mean and diabolical act than that of inciting the negroes of the South to murder and rapine against the helpless women and children, at a time when their natural protectors are away from their home and engaged in war. When Mr. Lincoln looks to us for succor, it is a sufficient answer to say that the people of the West are still Americans – not barbarians. But to say nothing of the ignoble character the war has assumed by virtue of the treachery of the President, to continue our support of the war would simply be to throw obstacles in the way of restoration, which we of the West will not do. From a war to preserve the Union the administration has converted it into a war for its total and inevitable destruction. Our people, with honest intentions, supported the war by sacrifices of men and means for the Union. Our soldiers met death upon the field of battle for it, and we will not now support it to destroy the Union.
Letters from the Editor.
Springfield, Jan. 29.
The monotony of local legislation was broken up to-day, by the reading the bill to prevent the immigration of negroes into this State. Senator Mack led off in opposition to it and made a speech, in which he almost shed tears over the “barbarous and inhuman” laws heretofore enacted and likely to be re-encted. Mr. Ward of Cook thought that God made the negro equal with the white man – not socially equal, he said, but equal in right with white men to live here and enjoy the fruits of their labor, etc. – The usual changes were rung about freedom and slavery, sham Democracy, and the glorious principles of liberty.
Mr. Mason of Knox made a spirited reply to Mr. Mack, showing his inconsistencies, and that his sympathies were all for black men as against his own race. Mr. Mason would protect the laboring people against the competition of negroes, and the tax payers from being burdened with great numbers of black paupers and criminals, as will be the case unless stringent prohibitory measures be enforced.
Mr. Green of Mason made a most able and convincing argument in support of the bill. He effectually replied to the sophisms and crudities of Mack and Ward, and showed that the provisions of the pending bill were imperatively needed to protect his portion of the State from negro invasion and burden. Two years ago, he said, the republicans had a large majority in both branches of the Legislature, and had also a Governor in sympathy with them. Why then did not Mr. Mack make his effort to repeal the law which he has to-day denounced as “barbarous and inhuman”? Mr Green made an eloquent appeal to save the people of the State from negro mobs and riots – such as have occurred in other States.
Mr. Lindsay of Peoria also made a most able speech in support of the bill. He thought the sympathies of of senators Mack and Ward for the negro was only equaled by that of Lovejoy, who, in a speech at Princeton, tried to rouse the passions of the people in favor of the poor negro fleeing from chains and slavery, while at the same time the old wretch had a negro woman sawing wood barefoot in his back yard. Mr. L. would not care for the epithets of inhuman, barbarous, or infamous, with which he was threatened with, when he remembered that the people had so lately voted by more than one hundred thousand majority in favor of the very measure now under discussion. The negroes brought into this State would add nothing to its industry, to its wealth, or to its advancement in morals and religion; but on the contrary they would become a burden and the eye have no delight in them. The Democrats, in passing this law, have no desire save to carry out the will of the people. It was in accordance with the constitution of the State, it was demanded by more than two-thirds of the people – including a large majority of the people represented by Mack and Ward – and why is it objected to by the senators? This is a question for the people to consider. It is the bounden duty of Democrats and republicans also to carry out the demands of the people who have spoken in thunder-tones on this matter.
After various filibustering movements on the part of the republicans, the bill was ordered to a third reading.
The only business of importance in the House to-day was the introduction of the following resolutions by Mr. Walker of Macoupin:
WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln at the commencement of the present unhappy war, declared in every official paper that came from his hands, that the sole object of the prosecution of the war was, and should be, for the restoration of the Union and the laws as our fathers made them; and
WHEREAS, By his subsequent acts he has proven to every unbiased mind, that such now is not the intention in the further prosecution of the war, and that he has willfully deceived the soldiers, by inducing them to take up arms in (as they supposed) an honorable and just cause, which he has turned into a dishonorable and disgraceful crusade against the established rights of the States;
He has declared martial law over every loyal State in this Union.
He has, without authority of law or right, imprisoned our citizens in loathsome dungeons, and refused them the right of speedy trial;
He has sanctioned the taking of the lives of innocent, peaceable, and respected citizens of these States, to atone for the acts of others;
He has, by his proclamation of Jan. 1st, 1863, disregarded the reserved rights of the States, and attempted by that proclamation to equalize the white and black races; to excite servile insurrection in the southern States thereby involving the innocent with the guilty without reference to age or sex;
He has persisted in listening to and carrying out the counsels of men, whose avowed doctrines are inimical to free government;
He has divided a State without the consent of her legislature;
He has degraded the Union army by receiving negroes into the service of the United States;
He has forced negroes upon us against our often expressed wishes, and the Constitution and laws of our State;
He has squandered the nation’s wealth, and made us a bankrupt people;
He has suppressed the liberty of the press, and free speech – a liberty feared only by tyrants;
He has closed the doors of churches and deprived citizens of these States the right to serve God according to the dictates of their own conscience;
He proposes to involve us in a system of ruinous taxation for the purpose of purchasing negroes against our will and the interests of our people;
He has pandered to New England capitalists in not using the means at his disposal for opening the Mississippi river;
He has given sanction to a measure known as the Morrill tariff, under which the East is rapidly enriching itself at the expense of the West;
Against all of which we do enter our solemn protest; and declare it to be our firm and fixed intention to submit to these wrongs and usurpations no longer; that we will, as we have heretofore, sustain the administration in all its constitutional acts; therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring herein, That in our opinion the time has come when, in accordance with the Constitution, it becomes necessary to call a national convention of all the States for the purpose of considering our national difficulties and adjusting the same; we would, therefore, recommend to all the States, that the legislatures thereof appoint commissioners to meet in national convention, to be held in the city of Louisville, in the State of Kentucky, on the first Tuesday in the month of April, A.D., 1863; and we would memorialize the Congress of the United States to obtain an armistice and cessation of hostilities now existing between the different sections of our common country, for the purpose aforesaid.
“Treason,” “Fort Lafayette,” and similar patriotic exclamations were indulged in by certain republican members; but the purpose of the Democracy to restore the Union and save the country from further unnecessary burdens and calamities cannot be stopped by the false cries of those who are using the military power of the government to establish an eternal separation of the States. The resolutions were referred to the committee on Federal relations.
Jan. 30th. – The day has been about as good as wasted in the Senate. Half of the morning session was occupied in discussing a bill to allow school commissioners to charge one dollar before examining candidates for teachers. The afternoon was occupied in legislating for Tom, Dick, and Harry – to make new corporations with special privileges, etc. The session is fast passing away, and the real interests of the people are not yet attended to. The great duty that devolves upon the Legislature is left undischarged. – The bills to prevent negro immigration – to prohibit arbitrary arrests and punish the perpetrators of such crimes – to provide for commissioners to visit the States and take measures for a restoration of the Union – these and similar important measures are either not introduced, or by captiousness are amended and re-committed, the effect of which will be to prevent their passage, until such a time that the Governor can bury them in his breeches pocket. Members have sadly and deplorably neglected their privileges and duties.
Taxpayers Take Notice. – Mr. Samuel McCray, Collector for Emmet township, will be in Macomb on Fridays’ and Saturdays’ when and where all those having taxes to pay can do so by calling on him. He will take “greenbacks” in payment of taxes.
→ Jerry Sullivan, coroner, held an inquest on the body of Michael McDonough, found dead several miles northwest of town on the 27th ult. The jury returned a verdict that he came to his death from chilling or freezing, cause unknown to the jury. Mr. McDonough was about 32 years of age. He leaves a family.
→ The New Cash Drug House man is thriving a big “bis” from early morn till dusky night, he and his gentlemanly assistant are busy waiting on the crowd that is constantly in attendance. Keefer is a skillful and competent Druggist, and is deserving the encouragement he is receiving. We would advise all who are in want of anything in the drug line to give him a call.
Oyster Saloon. – All who are posted go to Goodrich’s when they want a good dish of oysters. Colin Randolph knows how to get up a dish to suit the palate of the epicure. – We know from experience – but don’t take our word for it, go and see for yourselves. Goodrich always keeps a good supply of game on hand. Go to Goodrich’s.
→ The rebels claim to have sunk two or three vessels of the blockading fleet at Charleston, S.C., and drove the others away.
→ We had a fine snow storm at this place on last Wednesday night.
Pursuant to notice the Democracy of New Salem township, McDonough county, met at Pilot Grove school house on Saturday evening, Jan. 31st. The house was called to order by W. C. Evans; on motion of James Harris Alvah Clark was appointed chairman, A. J. Mann secretary. After the object of the meeting had been stated, on motion a committee of five were appointed to draft resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS, We are now engaged in a civil war, which is desolating our land, destroying the happiness of our citizens, bringing upon us bankruptcy and ruin and retarding civilization:
Resolved, That we still feel devoted to the Union as handed down to us by our fathers; that we are unwilling to accept any construction that would impair or destroy the Constitution, (the great safeguard of political freedom), or that would deprive any citizen, either north or south of all the rights and privileges under that instrument;
2d. That the general government has no power under the constitution to tax the people for the purpose of raising money with which to buy the slaves of the southern States.
3d. That it is to the people that we must look for a restoration of the Union, and the blessings of peace, and to these ends, we should direct our earnest and honest efforts, and hence we are in favor of a cessation of hostilities, for such a period as may be necessary for the people of the north and south to express through a national convention their wish for peace and a maintenance of the Union as it was and the Constitution as it is.
4th. That we are opposed to all arbitrary arrests, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the denial of the right of trial by jury, and that we view with alarm the policy carried on by the present administration, and it is the democratic party alone that we look for the restoration and preservation of the Union.
5th. That we are opposed to introduction of negroes into this State, and we desire the faithful execution of all laws preventing their introduction into this State.
6th. That we recommend our Democratic friends and all lovers of peace throughout the State to hold meetings, and express their views on the questions now agitating the country.
7th. That the Secretary be instructed to send the proceedings, together with the resolutions adopted, to the Macomb Eagle and Chicago Times for publication.
Alvah Clark, Chairman.
A. J. Mann, Secretary.