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Corpus Act and trial by jury-creates a tribunal unknown to the constitution in the persons of commissioners, offers a bribe to send men into slavery, and requires all citizens, under the heaviest penalties, to doff their manhood, don the bloodhound, and go yelping on the track of the weary, wayworn fugitive, in order to secure his arrest, although they may feel that the above law is opposed to every noble impulse of humanity, the express command of Jehovah, and that the code of Draco, which was written in blood, was white-robed innocence when compared with it.
What a glimpse our written constitution and laws give of our highly eulogised country. Our free representative government so called, gives us a further and deeper insight into the “wonders and glories of our republic."
And first of all, there is our elective franchise, to which all citizens are entitled, and can therefore vote for the election of president, governors of States, mayors and members of city corporations; and those who are not citizens can be made so to subserve party purposes, whilst Indians sometimes are made to help to turn the tide of electioneering in favour of favourite partizans ; and if these manæuvres are not sufficient to accomplish party purposes, men who have no regard to an oath, are induced by bribery to perjure themselves ; " plug uglies” are also called in to block up every avenue to the ballot box to keep out opposing parties; and, recently, for the first time in the history of the world, whole regiments have had furloughs granted them to leave the battlefield that they might vote in the interests of their military dictators.
Need we wonder, therefore, that by the use of such means, and from the force of contending parties who make a virtue of necessity, we should have had a succession of presidents who have violated the great charters of freedom, which they were sworn to uphold? so that if they had been dealt with as the law of the case demanded, many, if not all of them, would have had to expiate their crimes on the gallows! And such has been the corruption, peculation, and fraud which have filled every department of the Government and States, that our representative form of government, with its “unbalanced”democracy—which ought to be called “mobocracy”—has been brought into almost universal disrepute. Instead of winning favoúr, it has created dark withering frowns and shrugged-up shoulders amongst men! In the place of hosannas, it is bringing down upon itself a world's thundering anathemas! Instead of being a blessing, it has become the pesthouse of fraud, the lazar house of corruption-a great world nuisance !
The provision made for the education of the people gives us another manifestation of our republic. This provision is plentiful, for no country in the world has more schools, colleges, or churches; but the education is corrupt in quantity, and defective in quality. This is obvious from the fact, that if the simplest elements of justice, feeblest deductions of reason, or the first and easiest lessons of Christianity, had been taught, a succession of ever-increasing victims could not have passed through the fires to the Moloch of slavery—the free negroes would not have so long continued underthe ban of proscription. Northern schools, colleges, and churches would not have been filled with pro-slavery teachers, professors, and divines; the sons and daughters of slaveowners who have received their education almost exclusively in the North, would not have been so far inducted into the so-called humanity and divinity of slavery, as to have their moral sense extinguished-shown in their attempt to found a new republic based on slavery ; all liberty sentiments would not have been expunged from tracts, pamphlets, and books written by authors in this country, before they have been put into circulation by our tract committees and publishers ; men who have had the taint or smell of abolition about them would not have been isolated, ostracised, caricatured, abhorred, maltreated, or endangered in their position, prospects, or property ; our best friend and ally, England, would not have been regarded and treated as our greatest foe; the fires of the volcano which is now sending forth its burning lava to ruin and devastate our land, would not have been so long concealed from the view of men, or allowed to gather its forces to produce such vast and extended mischief both in America and Europe ; those who profess to hold in trust the enlightened principles of Christianity, which lie at the basis of a sound education, and to have a providential mission
to supply the antidote to those boundless elements of mischief, in the persons of Cheever, Beecher, Sloane, Conway, Mrs Stowe, and others, would not have abandoned moral for military issues, and have been running to and fro in our land with the Robespierre cry of liberty, fraternity, and equality on their lips to rouse the war passions and to let out deluges of blood. Captains and chaplains would not have been selected and appointed to go on a crusade to this country armed with “sacks of flour” and “butteries to possess and obsess you in favour of our imaginary liberties, by making speeches and reading homilies on civil and religious liberty, and gravely reading Psalms in public which commence, “ Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, O Lord, but unto Thy name be all the glory," in homage of the greatness and glory of our republic now in ruins, and of our illustrious race of philanthropists, patriots, and Christians, who have accelerated its destruction. An all-pervading press and the wonderful powers of the telegraph would not have been controlled by military despotism, covered ignominous defeats with imaginary glorious victories. to enlist new recruits, to make more food for powder, or contract new loans, to prop up our doomed republic, or ambassadors sent to the Old World to astonish the nations by the assumption of extraordinary powers in connection with “ tickets of leave." And yet, forsooth, we have philosophers, poets, statesmen, and divines, who point to the glory that dwells in our land, and strangely misguided pro-Federal advocates here who reciprocate the sentiment of John Bright in his avowal that “there would be a wild shriek of freedom to startle all the world if our republic in America was overthrown," and that Privilege here would shudder at what would happen. I have still a few more points of interest to comment upon.—Yours respectfully, for truth as well as liberty,