December 10, 1864

Macomb Eagle

The Black Laws.

            The republican journals are just now making a great outcry about what they call the “black laws” of Illinois. These are the laws passed by the Legislature some fifteen years ago, to provide for enforcing that provision of our State Constitution which prohibits the immigration and settlement of negroes in Illinois. These laws have injured no citizen of the State in any manner whatever. The purpose of their enactment was simply to keep negroes out of the State, and this was successfully accomplished down to the period when the war furnished the abolition leaders with a pretext for violating the Constitution as well as the laws made under it. Seeing that these laws never worked the least harm nor hardship to any citizen of the State, but on the contrary have been of great benefit and influence, we are at a loss to imagine why this sudden cry for their repeal has been sprung. At the two sessions of the Legislature in the year 1861, the republicans had a majority in each branch, as well as the Governor. There was nothing to prevent them from repealing or amending these laws. If the statute is infamous and oppressive now, was it not equally infamous and oppressive in 1861? The secret is, the leaders of the republican party feared that the masses of their party had not reached the sublime philanthropy which they themselves occupied; they feared the people were not yet ready to invite a horde of negroes into the State, either as laborers to compete with laboring white men, or as paupers to be sustained at the expense of white men’s taxes. In 1863 the republicans were in a minority, and a few of them, like Mack and Bushnell, gave a few fierce howls about the repeal of the “black laws,” but they proposed nothing in their stead. During the late campaign nothing was said about these laws – no republican paper or speaker made their repeal a point in the good things which his party would do for the people. None of them proposed to break down the barriers which have hitherto prevented our State from being overrun with an indolent, worthless, and repulsive population. But now in the first flush of another victory they are swift to throw off the garb of conservatism, under which they have hitherto concealed their hideous purposes. The republican lambs of 1861 have no grown to be sheep in the abolition fold. Concealment is no longer necessary; negroes are to be invited to settle in the State, and the subsequent steps of making them citizens, voters, witnesses, etc., will be short ones and taken in rapid succession.

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            → An abolition paper boasts that Massachusetts rules the country, “dictating even the day the President of the United States selects for Thanksgiving.” The country is painfully conscious of the rule of Massachusetts; it has been one of terror and suffering, and has bankrupted the country and deluged it with blood.

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            → The republicans of Missouri are recommending that the right of suffrage and of witness be conferred on the negroes of that State. At the head of this movement is B. Gratz Brown – whose election to the U. S. Senate caused much rejoicing among the republicans of Illinois. What do they think of Missouri progress now? How far are the leading republicans of this State from adopting the same measures? Does a difference in longitude make a difference in principles? “Are we not all republicans?”

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            → Col. L. H. Waters, of this city, was severely wounded at the battle of Franklin, Tenn., last week. We trust the next tidings from him may announce his convalescence.

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            → Mr. J. H. Hungate took possession of the Circuit Clerk’s office last Monday. Good for that much. Had not half a dozen Democrats in Macomb acted the fool on election day, there would now be a clean white man’s board of county officers.

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            → Amos Dixon surrendered the sheriff’s office to his successor last week. Mr. D. has made a faithful and efficient officer, and will carry the good wishes of all who know him. We suppose he is now ready for a speculation in sheep, horses, or Central America.

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            → Harvey L. Ross, Esq., formerly of Vermont, Fulton county, has purchased property in our city, and moved into it. He designs to make Macomb his permanent residence. Mr. Ross is an energetic business man, and a most worthy gentleman in every respect – just the kind that we like to see filling up our city.

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            → A friend who feels like complying with our request to be informed of all matters of interest or wonder, says he saw a man coming down the street the other day with a Bible under one arm. This is certainly a matter of astonishment. When a Bible is taken anywhere in Macomb, it is the custom to tie it up in something.

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            → The success of the “Good Templar Dramatic Association” has, we understand, been the means of producing a “counter irritation.” A number of young persons of our city who think they possess dramatic talents, and no doubt correctly so think, have been taking steps to organize a theatrical company which will eclipse all rivals. We like to see competition. Macomb has several churches, several places where whisky is sold without license, several dry goods stores and grocery houses, two hardware stores and two flouring mills, two newspapers and two banks, and there is some talk of having two post offices. Then why not two theatres?

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            → An imbroglio in school matters has taken place in this city; which has resulted in the closing of the high school for the time being. The school inspectors rented the college building (the property of Mr. Westfall), for the high school and employed Mr. Vannice as teacher. The school went on, sometimes smoothly, sometimes roughly, until last week, when the inspectors requested him to resign. This he deemed to do, but the next day he read to his scholars his resignation, and thereupon the inspectors announced his removal. Dr. Westfall, who claims that the building was rented on condition that Vannice should be the teacher, took the key and locked the room. But the inspectors comprehended the situation, and with the city marshal, took off the old lock, put on a new one, locked the door, and retired in triumph. They were scarcely gone, however, when the Dr. by a flank movement, gained possession. He at once sent the stove, benches, desks, etc., beyond the lines of the house, put on another new lock, and retired with the key of the defenses in his pocket. On Tuesday the inspectors again secured a sufficient force and proceeded cautiously upon the enemy’s line and after slight skirmishing gained possession of the rifle pits, near the outhouses, and finally succeeded in gaining possession of the main building, and again installed Mr. Brewster as teacher. The inspectors have caused the building to be thoroughly fortified, the enemy, “like another foul spirit, being driven out, it will seek to tear her, but it will woo her no more.” So mote it be.

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Blandinville Items.

By Our Own Reporter.

            Burglary and Robbery. – On Thursday night, Dec. 1st, Messrs. Jones &Caiter’s tailoring establishment was burglariously entered by means of keys or picklocks, and robbed of a new suit of clothes, which had just been finished. A trunk was also broken open and several articles of clothing, together with quite a sum of money, the amount we have not learned, were taken. As yet no one has been had to the robbers.

Fistiana. – Two gents, of the “high-low-jack-and-the-game” proclivities met at one of our first class grogshops, and had a set to at fisticuffs. It resulted, however, in nothing more serious than a slight abrasion of the skin and an enlargement of the proboscis on one of the gent’s “mugs.” We did not learn names – of course not.

Dancing A la-mode. – Notwithstanding the abo’s having succeeded in electing that miserable joker to the presidency, the good citizens of Blandinville are determined to not let that stand in the way of their enjoying themselves, and go in for

“Tripping it o’er the light fantastic-toe,”

weekly. This will equal the days of a fiddling Nero and burning Rome.

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