August 1, 1863

Macomb Eagle

Republican Ideas of Government.

            The majority of the republican party, says the Milwaukee News, have but one remedy for every popular discontent.  That remedy is to shoot down the offenders.  No matter whether eight millions of people in the South or eight thousand working men in New York break the law, the sole remedy proposed is the same – kill and slay the whole of them.  The political policy of the administration is not now supported by more than one-fifth of the people of the United States who lived harmoniously together under the Constitution four years ago; yet a unanimous support of that policy is demanded, and the means relied on for securing it are prisons, bayonets, and banishment.

The idea seems never to have entered the heads of these novices in the business of government, that they are themselves in any part responsible for existing troubles.  In their philosophy they never dreamed that the honest and easy way to govern a people is to respect the popular will.  They have forgotten that their duty is not to crush, but to represent, the will of the nation which they attempt to govern.  Erecting a standard of their own, devising a test of loyalty unknown to law and repulsive to the governed, they command the people to obey, hurling defiance and death at all who openly or silently, as they are pleased to term it, “oppose the government.”

The duties of the government and people are reciprocal.  The latter derive their protection from the former, but the former derives all its legitimate authority from the latter.  Morally, it is as much a crime for those who administer the government to disobey the clearly expressed will of the people as it is for the people to disobey the will of those who administer the government.  If those who represent the government attempt to consummate a policy contrary to the public will and resort to brute force for its accomplishment, by the inevitable laws of nature, the people become rebellious in heart and action.  This is the secret of all political mobs and revolutions.  Every capital in Europe will attest the fact.  Kings who have failed to appreciate this truth in power have discovered it in midnight flights from their thrones.  Ought not we to comprehend a principle which was so palpably recognized in the construction of our own organic law?

Let us put down mobs, rebellions, and revolutions.  Of course we will.  But let us also extirpate the inevitable cause of mobs, rebellions, and revolutions, by bringing the government into harmony with the people.  If the sword must be used, let its glittering and effectual blade symbolize the national will.  Let it be wielded against factions, and not by factions.  Let the blow come from the people and not be directed at them.  Then we shall have neither mobs nor rebellions, for the people are not likely to mob themselves, nor to rebel against a government which embodies their every wish and hope.

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→ While a celebration was going on at Galesburg two weeks ago, an abolitionist tied a piece of crape to the door of a Democratic house, and then notified the crowd that the owner was a secessionist, and had put it there as an emblem of mourning for the fall of Vicksburg.  A mob was immediately raised, who tore the house down.  The republican papers have had no word of condemnation for this mob.  The leading rioters have been arrested.

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→ It is the practice of vicious, malignant partizans who desire to cast odium upon those who differ with them in political views to cry out “Butternut,” “Copperhead,” &c.  This is the sum and substance of their political arguments – it is their answer to all the mistakes, the wrong policy and the corruptions of the National and State administrations.  The only way to be considered “loyal” in the estimation of political demagogues, in the pay of the administration, is to talk as they talk, and think as they think.  Every one who don’t do this is pronounced a “traitor” or a “copperhead.”  This kind of stuff has been repeated so often that it is about played out with sensible people.

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→ War cannot be carried on without men.  The union leaguers say they are in favor of the present war and want it carried on; they say their organization is for that very purpose – Why don’t they fill up the ranks – raise bounties – and get the credit of volunteering?  If they wait to be drafted what better are they than copperheads?

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→ Our republican neighbors are hard to please.  They call us copperheads, by way of nickname, and if we take it in good humor they say it is because we are “traitors.”  If we repeat it and show indignation, they say it is because we are traitors anyhow.  What shall we do to please them?

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Democratic Meetings.

            At Center school house, in Sciota township, Saturday, Aug. 8th, at 2 o’clock p.m.  Speeches by John H. Hungate and N. Abbott.

At Vermont, Fulton county, on Saturday, Aug. 15th, at 1 o’clock p.m.  Speeches by J. C. Thompson, N. Abbott, and others.

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Death of Soldiers. – Nathaniel Gay, son of Geo. G. Gay, of Emmet, died at the hospital near Vicksburg, on the 8th of July. – His remains were received on Friday last, and on Sunday buried with military ceremonies.  He was a member of the company of Capt. Roach, 124th regiment.  He was a young man of fine promise, and many wounded hearts will sorely mourn his early death.

James Harland, son of Wesley Harland, of Industry township, died in the hospital at St. Louis, sometime in July.  His remains were taken to a sorrowful home on Saturday.

Edward Piper, son of O. F. Piper of this city, died at Manchester, Tenn.  His remains reached home on Friday, and were buried in the cemetery on Saturday, with military ceremonies.

James Ellis, formerly of this city, and a member of the 2nd Illinois cavalry, died on a hospital steamer between Memphis and St. Louis.

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→ Mabie’s great show was in town last Tuesday, and was visited by an immense crowd of men, women, children, babies, etc.  The collection of animals was small, no great curiosities among them.  The two elephants were well trained, and their performances were creditable.  All the balance was a decided “bore.”

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“We’ll rally round the flag, boys, three hundred thousand more!”  Thus sang a lot of republicans of this town one night this week.  Why don’t they do it?  Their “government” calls for them – are all their professions of overflowing patriotism to end in a song? and sung by themselves at that?

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Not Dead. – Capt. Farewell returned alive, last Monday.  He was wounded, taken prisoner, paroled, and sent home to recover his health.

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