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Fourth. We reassert that the paramount obligation of the various works of internal improvement is to the people of the State, by whose authority they were created, by whose money they were constructed and by whose grace they live; and it is enjoined upon our representative and executive officers to enforce the discharge of that duty; to insure to our people such rates, facilities and connections as will protect every industry and interest against discrimination, tend to the development of our agricultural and mineral resources, encourage the investment of active capital in manufactures and the profitable employment of labor in industrial enterprises, grasp for our city and our whole State those advantages to which by their geographical position they are entitled, and fulfil all the great public ends for which they were designed.
Fifth. The Readjusters hold the right to a free ballot to be the right preservative of all rights, and that it should be maintained in every State in the Union. We believe the capitation tax restriction upon the sufirage in Virginia to be in conflict with the XIVth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. We believe that it is a violation of that condition of reconstruction wherein the pledge was given not so to amend our State Constitution as to deprive any citizen or class of citizens of a right to vote, except as punishment for such crimes as are felony at common law. We believe such a prerequisite to voting to be contrary to the genius of our institutions, the very foundation of which is representation as antecedent to taxation. We know that it has been a failure as a measure for the collection of revenue, the pretended reason for its invention in 1876, and we know the base, demoralizing and dangerous uses to which it has been prostituted. We know it contributes to the increase of monopoly power, and to corrupting the voter. For these and other reasons we adhere to the purpose hitherto expressed to provide more effectual legislation for the collection of this tax, dedicated by the Constitution to the public free schools, and to abolish it as a qualification for and restriction upon suffrage.
Sixth. The Readjusters congratulate the whole people of Virginia on the progress of the last few years in developing mineral resources and promoting manufacturing enterprises in the State, and they declare heir purpose to aid these great and growing industries by all proper and essential legislation, State and Federal. To this end they will continue their efforts in behalf of more cordial and fraternal relations between the sections and States, and especially for that concord and harmony which will make the country to know how earnestly and sincerely Virginia invites all men
into her borders as visitors or to become citizens without fear of social or political ostracism; that every man, from whatever section of country, shall enjoy the fullest freedom of thought, speech, politics and religion, and that the State which first formulated these principles as fundamental in free government is yet the citadel for their exercise and protection.
The Conservative Democratic party of Virginia-Democratic in its Federal relations and Conservative in its State policyassembled in convention, in view of the present condition of the Union and of this Commonwealth, for the clear and distinct assertion of its political principles, doth declare that we adopt the following articles of political faith:
First. Equality of right and exact justice to all men, special privileges to none; freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of the person under the protection of the habeas corpus; of trial by juries impartially selected, and of a pure, upright and non-partisan judiciary; elections by the people, free from force or fraud of citizens or of the military and civil officers of Government; and the selection for public offices of those who are honest and best fitted to fill them; the support of the State governments in all their rights as the most competent administrations of our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; and the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor as the best sheet-anchor of our peace at home and our safety abroad.
Second. That the maintenance of the public credit of Virginia is an essential means to the promotion of her prosperity. We condemn repudiation in every shape and form as a blot upon her honor, a blow at her permanent welfare, and an obstacle to her progress in wealth, influence and power; and that we will make every effort to secure a settlement of the public debt, with the consent of her creditors, which is consistent with her honor and dictated by justice and sound public policy; that it is eminently desirable and proper that the several classes of the debt now existing should be unified, so that equality, which is equity, may control in the annual payment of interest and the ultimate redemption of principal; that, with a view of securing such equality, we pledge our party to use all lawful authority to secure a settlement of the State debt so that there shall be but one class of the public debt; that we will use all lawful and constitutional means in our power to secure a settlement
of the State debt upon the basis of a 3 per DEMOCRATIC.
cent. bond, and that the Conservative- the land of liberty to the preservation Democratic party pledges itself, as a part and the asylum of of our Republican of its policy, not to increase the present
rate of taxation.
Third. That we will uphold, in its full constitutional integrity and efficiency, our public-school system for the education of both white and colored children-a system inaugurated by the Constitution of the State and established by the action of the Conservative party years before it was required by the Constitution; and will take the most effectual means for the faithful execution of the same by applying to its support all the revenues set apart for that object by the Constitution or otherwise. Fourth. Upon this declaration of principles we cordially invite the co-operation of all Conservative Democrats, whatever may have been or now are their views upon the public debt, in the election of the nominees of this Convention and in the maintenance of the supremacy of the Democratic party in this State.
Resolved, further, That any intimation, coming from any quarter, that the Conservative-Democratic party of Virginia has been, is now, or proposes to be, opposed to an honest ballot and a fair count, is a calumny upon the State of Virginia as unfounded in fact as it is dishonorable to its authors.
That special efforts be made to foster and encourage the agricultural, mechanical, mining, manufacturing and other industrial interests of the State.
That, in common with all good citizens of the Union, we reflect with deep abhorrence upon the crime of the man who aimed a blow at the life of the eminent citizen who was called by the constitutional voice of fifty millions of people to be the President of the United States; and we tender to him and to his friends the sympathy and respect of this Convention and of those we represent, in this great calamity, and our hearty desire for his complete restoration to health and return to the disch urge of his important duties, for the welfare and honor of our common country.
the oppressed of
1872-We recognize the equality of all men before the law, and hold that
institutions, and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and the union of the States shall be preserved; that with our Republican fathers,
we hold it to be a
that all men are en
dowed with the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that the primary object and ulterior design of our Federal Government were to secure
these rights to all persons within its exclusive jurisdiction. [Plank 1.
1860-That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution. That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," is essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and the Union of the States must and shall be preserved. [Plank 2.
1872-Complete liberty and exact equality in the erjoyment of all civii,
it is the duty of Gov-
1880-Opposition to centralizationism, and to that dangerous spirit of encroachment which tends to con
solidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever be the form of Government, a real deanotism.
political and public periment of war,
DEMOCRATIC. 1864 That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the ex
1864 That it is the highest duty of every American citizen to maintain against all their enemies the integrity of the Union
may be restored on
authority of the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that laying aside all differences of political opinions, we pledge ourselves as Union men, animated by a common senti
ment, and aiming at a common object, to do everything in our power to aid the Government, in quelling by force of arms the rebellion now raging against its authority, and in bringing to the punishment due to their crimes the rebels and traitors arrayed against it.
That we approve the determination of the Government of the United States not to compromise with rebels, or to offer them any terms of peace, except such as may be based upon an unconditional surrender of their hostility and a return to their just allegiance to the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that we call upon the Government to maintain this position and to prosecute the war with the utmost possible vigor to the complete suppression of the rebellion, in full reliance upon the self-sacrificing patriotism, the heroic valor, and the undying devotion of the American people to the country and its free institutions.
[1st and 2d resolutions.]
1856-That we 1856- *
and the paramount I recognize the right The dearest consti
tutional rights of the people of Kansas have been fraudulently and violently taken from them; their territory has been invaded by an armed force; spurious and pretended legislative, judicial, and executive of ficers have been set over them, by whose usurped authority, sustained by the military power of the Government, tyrannical and unconstitutional laws have been enacted and enforced; the right of the people to keep and bear arms has been infringed; test-oaths of an extraordinary and entangling nature have been im- 1860-That when posed as a condition the settlers in a Terof exercising the ritory, having an adright of suffrage equate population, and holding office; form a State Constithe right of an ac- tution, the right of cused person to a sovereignty comspeedy and public mences, and, being trial by an impartial consummated by adjury has been de- mission into the Unnied; the right of ion, they stand on the people to be se- an equal footing with cure in their per- the people of other sons, houses, papers, States; and the State and effects against thus organized ought unreasonable to be admitted into searches and seiz- the Federal Union, ures, has been vio- whether its constilated; they have been deprived oflife, liberty, and property without due process of law; that the freedom of speech and of the press has been abridged; the right 1868- After the to choose their rep- most solemn and resentatives has unanimous pledge of been made of no both Houses of Coneffect; murders, rob-gress to prosecute the beries, and arsons war exclusively for have been instigated the maintenance of encouraged, the Government and and the offenders the preservation of have been allowed the Union under the to go unpunished; Constitution, it [the that all these things Republican party] have been donel has repeatedly vio
tution prohibits or recognizees the institution of slavery. [Plank 3, Breckinridge, Dem.
with the knowledge,
sanction, and pro
curement of the present Administration, and that for this high crime against the Constitution, the Union, and humanity, we arraign the Administration, the President, his advisers, agents, supporters, apologists, and accessories, either before or after the fact, before the country and before the world; and that it is our fixed purpose to bring the actual perpetrators of these atrocious outrages and their accomplices to a sure and condign punishment. (Plank 3.
1860 That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes. [Plank 4.
18641868-We congratulate the country on the assured success of the reconstruction policy of Congress, as evinced by the adoption, in the majority of the States lately in rebellion, of constitutions securing equal civil and political rights to all; and it
lated that most sacred pledge under which alone was rallied that noble volunteer army which carried our flag to victory. Instead of restoring the Union, it has, so far as in its power, dissolved it, and subjected ten States, in time of profound peace. to military despotism and negro supremacy. It has nullified there the right of trial by jury; it has abolished the habeas corpus, that most sacred writ of liberty; it has overthrown the freedom of speech and the press; it has sub-tituted arbitrary seizures and arrests, and military trials and secret star-chamber inquisitions for the constitutional tribunal; it has disregarded in time of peace the right of the people to be free from searches and seizures; it has entered the post and telegraph offices, and even the private rooms of individuals, and seized their private papers and letters without any specific charge or notice of affidavit, as required by the organic law; it has converted the Amercan Capitol into a bastile; it has established a system of spies and official espionage to which no constitutional monarchy of Europe would now dare to resort; it has abolished the right of appeal on important constitutional questions to the supreme judicial tribunals, and threatens to curtail or destroy its original jurisdiction, which is irrevocably
Under its repeated assaults the pillars of the Government are rocking on their base, and should it succeed in Novemher next and inaugurate its President, we will meet as a subjected and conquered people, amid the ruins of liberty and the scattered fragments of the Constitution.
1872-Local selfgovernment, with impartial suffrage, will guard the rights of all citizens more securely than any centralized power. The public welfare requires the supremacy of the civil over the military authority, and freedom of persons under the protection of the habeas corpus. We demand for the individual the largest liberty consistent with public order; for the State selfgovernment, and for the nation a return to the methods of peace and the constitutional limitations of power. Plank 4. 1880 **"Home Rule." [Plank 3.
1872-We hold that Congress and the President have only fulfilled an imperative duty in their measures for the suppression of violent and treasonable organizations in certain lately rebellious regions, and for the protection of the ballot-box; and, therefore, they are entitled to the thanks of the nation.