August 20, 1864

Macomb Eagle

“To Whom it may Concern.”

            I declare that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so. * * * The right of each State to order and control its own democratic institutions according to its own judgement exclusively, is essential to the balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend. – Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861.

Any proposition that embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the Union, and the ABANDONMENT of SLAVERY, and comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war with the United States, will be received and considered by the executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on substantial and collateral points; and the bearer or bearers thereof shall have safe conduct both ways. – Abraham Lincoln, July 18, 1864.

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“The power of the Government.”

            “With abolitionists the right of property is nothing, the efficiency of the power of the general government is nothing; a civil war, a dissolution of the Union, and an overthrow of the government, in which are concentrated the hopes of a civilized world, are nothing. – He must be blind to what is passing before us who does not perceive that the inevitable tendency of their proceedings is to invoke finally the potent power of the bayonet.”

The above extract from a speech of Henry Clay, some twenty years ago, is true and as applicable to the Lincoln sympathizers of to-day, as it was to the abolitionists against whom the argument was directed. Men who probably have never read the Constitution of the United States, or given an hour’s unprejudiced study to the theory of our government, and ignorant alike of the principles and practice of the fathers who established it, are now found declaiming volubly about the powers of the government. They make the mistake of all superficial thinkers, that a government is nothing unless it is powerful to meddle with and control the affairs of the people. They think the power of a government must necessarily be unlimited, or it will go to pieces ad anarchy ensue. While the idea of a government’s power being unlimited may be true of the despotisms and absolute monarchies of Europe, it is most untrue of the United States. The power of our government is limited and defined by a written Constitution. This Constitution confers upon the Government all the power it can rightfully exercise, and when the executive or administrator attempts the use of power beyond the written limit, he then becomes a usurper. If he is unchecked and unrebuked in this, his ambition will soon make him a despot and a tyrant over the people. Our Government has all the power conferred upon it to conserve the general welfare of the people that is necessary for the accomplishment of that purpose. In peace or war no step need be taken outside of the written limit; and our own short history, vivid in every citizen’s mind, furnishes numerous illustrations of the fact. The people have met with trouble whenever their rulers, influenced more by a wicked ambition [fold] the right to regulate matters not pertinent to their jurisdiction. The government, as intimated in the quotation from Clay, is deficient in certain powers; but these are powers in which it should be deficient. Were it not so, it would not be a Republic, but a Monarchy or a Despotism, where the liberties and rights of the people would be held at the caprice or whim of the executive. No argument is needed to show that the fathers were right in creating the Government with limited powers – in making it deficient in certain powers. Time and our history have justified their wisdom. The duty of the people at this hour is to jealously guard their own rights, as reserved by the Constitution, and not to be deceived by the foolish cry that “the Government must possess absolute power or it will perish.” If it does not possess absolute power, then it deserves destruction, and those who would usurp such power, under any pretext whatever, are the enemies of popular liberty, and are knowingly or blindly seeking to establish a despotism.

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            → A little more than a year ago Mr. Lincoln seized the occasion of the meeting of the republican convention at Springfield to declare himself, still more emphatically than ever, as waging the war exclusively to save the Union. He had been charged with waging it for abolition purposes, and his reply was:

“You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you. But no matter; fight you then exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. – Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes.

President Lincoln has now justified the declaration that the northern people will not fight to free negroes. He make abolition the yoke fellow of Union and does urge the continuance of fighting for other purposes than the only one which is lawful or attainable. He thus falsifies every pledge, disregards every declaration, and violates his official oath. It is impossible now to fight in this war without fighting to free the negroes. Resistance to the Union has ceased. According to Lincoln himself it is now “apt time” for every man to keep out of this war.

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            → If niggers make as good soldiers as the abolition reporters would have us believe, why in the name of of all that’s good, don’t the “government” quit drafting white men, and take all the blacks? There is any amount of them in this State that could be spared, and although we we have no desire to see the poor fellows dragged into a war which they did nothing to bring about, yet it would save the lives of so many white men, and as abolitionists say that all who die on the battlefields in this contest go straight to Heaven, it would be such a good chance to get the “cause” of our troubles shipped off to that “better country,” where neither niggers, slavery, abolitionism or war is known.

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            That X. – Perhaps some of our subscribers have noticed, opposite their names on the margin of their paper, an X, or cross. Now we are not in the habit of dunning our subscribers, and don’t propose to but we never refuse money, and when our subscribers find any of the marks indicated, on their paper, they can understand that they are indebted to us, and that we want the money. Will they heed the request and save us further trouble in the premises? Crops are good, greenbax circulate freely, and all can pay who wish to.

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            Macomb Township. – The Democrats of Macomb Township will hold a meeting at Macomb on Firday, August 26th, at [?] o’clock p. m., for the purpose of nominating delegates to the county convention.

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            → Don’t forget the meeting in Scotland township, on Saturday 20th inst., at 3 p.m. Rally up – let us have a good meeting, and be prompt to the hour.

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            Ladies Benevolent Aid Society. – There is a movement among the ladies of the county to raise a fund for the poor, and we would like to see every lady in McDonough assist the movement. It is proposed to have contributions of every description, provisions of all kinds, clothing, fuel, and money subscribed to further this noble effort. It has no affiliation with the Soldiers Aid Society, but it is formed on an independent basis. Our poor will suffer the coming winter, unless an organization of this kind is sustained, and we call upon the ladies of the townships to contribute their mite. Contributions may be sent to Mrs. Hugh Iriwn, of Macomb, and will be exposed for public sale on the fair grounds, next month.

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            → The lovers of scandal in Macomb have been reveling in luxury the past few weeks. Reports of crim. Con., of fornication, and of adultery, sufficient to shock the dullest sensibility, have been plenty as blackberries. The details would fill a book, if drawn out after the style of tales “to be continued.” Some of the “gay Lotharios” implicated have acknowledged their peccadilloes, while others have put on a “stiff upper lip” and indignantly denied the impeachment. – There are also rumors afloat of assignations by parties who probably have flattered themselves that their sin would not find the snout. There may be and doubtless is some aggregation and some untruth in what has been told, but there is enough of fact to satisfy any man that the town is festering with lechery. Meretricious charms are more sought after and adored than homely virtue, and men whose position in society, even if they had no higher motive, should prompt them to a virtuous life.

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            → Ben. Naylor returned home on Sunday evening last, looking well and “hearty as a buck.” There is plenty of gold in the niches of the mountains, but the labor of getting it costs, in a majority of cases, more than the gold is worth.

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            → We are indebted to T. J. Pennington and Marshall Rogers each for a half-bushel of fine summer apples, and to J. P. Clark and S. H. Martin for sacks of green corn. – Thanks to all.

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            → The Democrats of Chalmers township will hold a meeting at Dunsworth’s school house, on Saturday August 27th, at 3 o’clock p. m. to appoint delegates to the county convention.

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            → A rumor reached us on Thursday morning that Col. Van Vleck of 78th regiment had been mortally wounded in one of the late engagements before Atlanta.

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            → By the last number of the Macomb Journal (miscegen) we notice that Mr. Chas. L. Sanders has assumed the editorship of that paper. We welcome him to the heavenly fold, and believe he will do the Democracy of McDonough county more good than harm. Handle the new editor gently, Mr. Eagle. – Fulton Democrat.

Mr. Sanders is a very clever young man, and wish him all the glory of leading the forlorn hope of Lincoln sympathizers in this county. He might as well attempt to make Crooked creek run up stream, as to attempt to roll back the swelling tide of Democracy in old McDonough.

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            → A “blockade runner” was caught in town last Wednesday night. It is supposed she came in with all sails set, but in scolding around the harbor “under bare pole,” she run against some “sunken rocks,” and was unable to get off before discovery by the commander of the blockading fleet. The “prize” was tied up, and was yesterday examined before the high court of admiralty and condemned as a privateer.

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