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Who are our “hireling manual laborers" of the North? I can tell the Senator they are not the mudsills of our community. They are the men who clear away our forests. They are the men who make the green hill-sides blossom. They are the men who build our ships, and who navigate them. They are the men who build our towns, and who inhabit them. They are the men who constitute the great mass of our community. Sir, they are not only the pillars that support our government, but they are the capitals that adorn the very pillars. They are not to be classed with the slave. Our laboring men have homes; they have wives; they have little ones, dependent upon them for support and maintenance; and they are just so many incentives, and so much stimulus, to action. The laboring man, with us, knows for whom he toils; and when he toils, he knows he is to return to that home, where comfort and pleasure, and all the domestic associations, cluster around the social hearth-stone. Northern laborers are "hirelings," and are to be classed with the negro slave!
Besides that, the men who labor in our communities are the men whom we clothe with power. They are the men who exercise the prerogatives of the State. They are the men who, after having been clothed with power there, are sent abroad to represent us elsewhere. They do our legislation at home. They support the State. They are the State. They are men, high-minded men. They read; they watch you in these halls every day; and, through all our community, the doings of this branch, and of the other, are as well understood, and perhaps even better, than we understand them ourselves. I affirm that, throughout our community, the proceedings of Congress are more extensively and accurately read than even by ourselves. These are the men who are to be classed by the side of the slave! I think it is true that in about every three generations, at most, the wheel entirely performs its revolutions. You rarely find a fortune continuing beyond three generations, in this country, in the same family.
That class of our community, constituting a very large majority, has been designated here as hireling laborers, white slaves. Why, sir, does labor imply slavery ? Because they toil, because they pursue a course which enables them to support their wives and their families, even if it be by daily manual labor, does that necessarily imply servitude? Far from it. I affirm that the great portion of our laborers at the North own their homes, and they
labor to adorn them. They own their homes, and if you will visit them, you will find in many of them a portion, at least, of the literature of the times, which shows that they read; you will find there evidences to satisfy you, beyond all doubt, that they are intelligent, and that they are, in truth and in fact, precisely what I have described them to be, the pillars of the State, the State itself, and the very ornaments and capitals that adorn the columns. With them the acquisition of knowledge is not a crime.
I have quoted all that the Senator from South Carolina has said on this point, for the purpose of giving the widest circulation I can to the declarations he has made. He has mistaken, I doubt not, the character of our laborers by judging them from what he has seen in his own vicinity, and what, in my judgment, is produced by that very state of servitude which is there existing. It is my duty to vindicate our laborers. My only regret is that I can do it no more efficiently.
Mr. Hamlin proceeds to review the history of the Democratic party down from its formation, and the relations the South stood in regard to its principles and action. He contrasted, in a forcible manner, the sentiments of the Jefferson Democracy, and those freedom-hating organizations which has usurped the honored name.
The remainder of the speech is mostly occupied by a statistical statement, forcibly put, of the difference of products, exports, and imports between the two great sections of the Union. These statements are conclusive on the effects of slave institutions to deteriorate the material wealth and social progress of any community adopting them.
The closing periods are filled with eloquent denunciation of the tyranny sought to be practised on Kansas. Alluding to the argument that the Lecompton swindle was made under the forms. of law, Mr. Hamlin forcibly said:
Forms of law! God knows there is nothing but form in it, forms of law! Long years ago the mother country undertook to oppress these colonies by forms of law, but not as unjustly as we have ruled the people of Kansas; and she persecuted that great and noble patriot, John Hampden, under the forms of law, and for his love of liberty. There is one other act which has been perpe
trated under the forms of law, to which I will allude, and then I shall have done.
Under the forms of law, despotism is created. Under the forms of law, all the wrongs of which the mind of man can conceive have been perpetrated. Under the forms of law, and in the name of liberty, liberty itself has been stricken down. In the name and under the forms of law, the Son of man was arraigned and stretched upon the cross. Under the forms of law, you are about to do an act here, unequalled in turpitude by anything that has been recorded in all the progress of time, save that event to which I have just alluded. In all history, save the crucifixion of Christ, there is no act that will stand upon the record of its pages in after time, of equal turpitude with this act. The purpose of it is to extend human slavery; and I may well inquire
"Is this the day for us to sow
The soil of a virgin empire with slavery's seeds of woe;
To feed with our fresh life-blood the old world's cast off crime,
Nomination as Vice-President- Mr. Hamlin's experience fits him for the posi sition-Acceptance of Nomination-Public Serenade at Washington - Disturbance, &c.
MR. HAMLIN has still three years of his term in the Senate He is a member of the Committee on Commerce and on the District of Columbia. His long legislative experience renders him a most valuable colleague, and has admirably fitted him to preside over the body of which for nine years he has been a member. He is not a man of brilliant oratorical powers, but possesses decided executive and administrative faculties, which combined with ripe experience, will make him an important member of Mr. Lincoln's administration.
The reception on Friday, the 18th of May, of the news of Mr. Hamlin's nomination, at Washington, created much feeling among his friends. His rooms were thronged on Saturday, and in the evening a public serenade was given him. He occupies rooms at the Washington House, which on this occasion was illuminated from garret to cellar. The following report of the proceedings is taken from the special despatches to the New York Herald:
At half-past nine o'clock, the procession arrived in front of the hotel, and was greeted with three lusty cheers. After the inspiring air," Hail to the Chief," so familiar on similar occasions, had been performed by the band, loud calls were made for Mr. Hamlin.
Mr. B. B. French then came forward on the balcony, amid a number of ladies and gentlemen, and said : -
My friends, I have the pleasure of introducing Senator Hamlin, who has been nominated at the Chicago Convention to be one of
the standard-bearers of the Republican party. (Loud cheers.) We all know how well he will bear that standard. He has become almost a citizen among us. He has been here a number of years, and my friends, we mean to keep him here four years from the 4th of March next. I now introduce him to you.
SPEECH OF HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.
Mr. Hamlin then came forward, amid great cheering, and spoke as follows:
Fellow-Citizens: Sympathizing with you in principles which have united us, I am happy to greet you on this occasion. I ain pleased to mingle my thoughts with yours in that tribute which you pay to a common cause. You have come, my friends, for the purpose of congratulating each other upon the result of the action of our friends who have met in council at Chicago, the communication of whose decision has come to us over the telegraphic wires. Unsolicited, unexpected, and undesired, the nomination has been conferred upon me. Unsolicited as it was, I accept it, with the responsibilities which attach to it,—(applause,)—in the earnest and ardent hope that the cause, which is superior to men, shall receive no detriment at my hands. (Cheers, and a voice, (Cheers, and a voice, "some more applause.") You are here to pay a tribute to that man who is to bear your standard on to what we hope and believe a triumphant victory. (Applause.) You are here to pay a tribute to that young giant of the West, who comes from that region where the star of empire has already culminated. You come to pay a tribute to that man who is not only the representative man of your principles, but the representative man of the people-(cheers)-that man who is identified in all your interests by his early associations in life, who sympathizes justly and truly with the labor of all this broad land, himself inured to toil. (Applause.)
Capacious, comprehensive, a statesman incorruptible, a man over whom the shade of suspicion has never cast a reproach. (Continued applause.) But what is the mission, my friends, that is committed to our hands? It is to bring back your government to the position, to bring back the principles and practices of its fathers and founders, and administer in the light of their wisdom. It is to purge the government of its corruptions,-of its corruptions, compared with which those in any other administration pale into utter insignificance. (Cheers, and a voice, "three cheers for the stick