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grown gray in the service. He would enforce a rule which would unwhig some of the most distinguished of the Whigs in Missouri, and the most distinguished in the nation, living and dead. What are the claims of this gentleman upon the Whig party? What great services has he rendered? What sacrifices has he endured, that he should thus dominate and play the despot? Sir, I have heard it charged upon that gentleman that no later than '52 he voted, not for General Scott, but for Franklin Pierce. I desire to know the fact. Is it true, sir [turning to Mr. Goode]?
- It is true, sir.
MR. GOODEMR. ROLLINS Good God! what a Whig, to vote for Franklin Pierce, the obscure lawyer hailing from the bleak and barren hills of New Hampshire, in preference to the hero of Chippewa and Lundy's Lane, of Cerro Gordo and Churubusco, whose tall plume had waved over a hundred other victorious battlefields! What, I ask again, are the claims of this gentleman upon the Whig party of Missouri, or of the nation, that he should presume to become its adviser or its censor? Are those men to be regarded as Whigs who voted for Pierce in 1852 ?
The gentleman confesses that he refused to vote for Scott, a pillar of the Whig cause and a pillar of the State, and clothed as he was with national renown as with a garment! Ah! this gives us the key to the gentleman's conduct in this House, and determines the quality of his whiggery. Sir, I have heard of Free-soil Whigs and Southern Whigs, of Fillmore Whigs and Clay Whigs; even of Benton Whigs and anti-Benton Whigs, but this is the first time that I ever heard of a Pierce Whig. The gentleman from St. Louis is the only Pierce Whig I have ever seen. A Pierce Whig is such a monstrous production that it ought to be preserved as the strangest curiosity of political natural history; and if the distinguished Missouri artist- my excellent friend Bingham, whose honest heart I prize and whose brilliant genius I admire were to portray the hideous hybrid on his canvas, I would move to hang it in this hall opposite the picture of Missouri's Senator, not as an incentive to lofty deeds and unwavering fidelity to the party, but as a warning to my youthful friends around me, who, like my friend and colleague [pointing to Mr. Guitar], are fired by an honorable ambition and gifted with intellect and eloquence- to teach them the horror of treason, either to their party or their country. There, as in gibbet, would I desire the "counterfeit presentment" of the political malefactor to hang, as a monument of conduct not to be imitated but spurned and loathed by the youthful statesmen of our party.
A Letter from the Hon. James S. Rollins.
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI, February 2, 1861.
R. E. DUNN, Esq., Marion County:
Dear Sir: In your favor of the 21st ult. you are pleased to ask my opinions touching the present unhappy condition of the country.
With you and every other good citizen I deeply deplore the present state of things; and without inquiring especially into the causes which have brought on us our difficulties, I hold that it is the duty of every man to lend what aid he can in devising a remedy which will restore that peace, prosperity, and good order now so greatly disturbed.
I say to you without hesitation that I am in favor of preserving the Union as it is, and this purpose ought not to be abandoned until every remedy is exhausted and there is not a ray of hope left that it may be accomplished.
I may overestimate the blessings which the Union has secured to us; but when I consider the proud and elevated position which the United States holds amongst the nations of the earth,- its unparalleled advancement in population and wealth, in agriculture, in commerce, in manufactures, in education, science and art, in territorial expansion, in military power and above all when I contemplate that high degree of civil and religious liberty which our people have enjoyed above and beyond that of any other people beneath the sun, and under the ægis of the national Union, it does seem to me that it would be the extremest act of folly to countenance for one moment the idea of abandoning it.
It is said that all "government is a necessary evil," and if this be so, it is not a matter of surprise that in a country so extended as ours, embracing such a variety of interests and diversity of institutions, and withal so complex in form, we should meet at times with questions difficult of solution. But as long as we have a common Constitution in which our rights are fairly guaranteed, and an enlightened judiciary to expound it, and with the right of appealing at all times to a cultivated and patriotic public sentiment, it occurs to me that it would be far better to seek for the correction of errors and the redress of wrongs through these agencies than to break up this government and launch our vessels again on the broad ocean of doubt and experiment. We may not be able to secure promptly all that we ask or all that we are entitled to, but sooner or later I have confidence that all our rightful demands will be responded to with a spirit of justice, fraternity, and peace. And if these should fail, we have at last the inherent right of every people, when their grievances become so intolerable as no longer to be borne, to rise in the majesty of our strength, throw off the oppressor's
yoke, and establish a government better adapted to our condition and the promotion of our peace and happiness.
I hold, however, that no such causes as yet exist with us to justify the revolution of which I speak. It is an extreme remedy to meet an extreme case, and only to be resorted to when all other efforts have failed to accomplish the desired end.
But referring more particularly to the causes of complaint which exist in the Southern States, I entertain the opinion that Disunion is not a remedy for any of the evils complained of. So far from it, and I speak especially in regard to our own State, it occurs to me that Disunion will be an aggravation of all these difficulties. Will the breaking up of Government insure the repeal of the personal-liberty bills of the Northern States? What becomes of the fugitive-slave law with a broken Confederacy? Have we any longer any claim whatever on the Northern States to restore back to us our fugitive slaves? Will we not by this act bring to our very doors a Canadian frontier of eight hundred miles, inviting the escape of all the slaves in the State, and without any power whatever to reclaim them? Will not Disunion bring upon us the necessity of a standing army to protect this extended frontier, involving us in a heavy and ruinous taxation, and all the dangers of constant collision with the people of Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas? In short, is not Disunion to us at once an act to emancipate all the slaves of the State and under circumstances to keep up a constant warfare between the people of our own and neighboring free States? Will the rights
of the South be better secured in the Territories out of the Union than in it? As matters now stand, there is not a Territory belonging to the United States to which the slave-owner has not the right to carry his slaves. In the Territory north of the line 36° 30' this right is claimed under the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States.
By an act of Congress Arizona has been attached to New Mexico; and by an act of the Territorial Legislature of New Mexico slavery is established there. And these embrace all the territories of the United States save the Indian Territory, west of Arkansas, held by the Indians under treaty stipulations with the general Government, and even in this Territory I am informed that slavery actually exists. In what respects, then, are the rights of the South in the Territories likely to be better guaranteed out of the Union than in it?
Is it mere apprehension that the present laws will be repealed, and decisions overturned, and no other sufficient concessions made? But must not every man know and feel that dissolution not only cuts off the South from most of the Territories now owned by us, but most probably, even if the Southern States desire it, puts an effective check on the extension of slavery for all time to come? And this is the light in which the extreme Abolition
ists of the Northern States view the question. Not only so, but they look upon Disunion as the death-knell of slavery in the States! Being no longer upheld and protected by the strong arm of the national Government; with the prejudices of the people of the Northern States arrayed against it, without a single obligation left upon them in any way to sustain it, and, besides this, encountering a still sterner opposition than heretofore from all the governments of the world, how else than prejudicially can Disunion operate upon this institution of the Southern States? In a speech delivered a few days since at Boston, Mr. Wendell Phillips, the most able and perhaps the most zealous of all the Northern Abolitionists, rejoicing at the prospect of Disunion, said:
"The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice." "The Covenant with Death is annulled; the Agreement with Hell is broken to pieces." The chain which has held the slave system since 1787 is parted. Thirty years ago Northern leaders, sixteen years ago Northern Abolitionists announced their purpose to seek the dissolution of the American Union. Who deemed that success would come so soon? South Carolina, bankrupt, alone, with thousands more slaves than whites, four blacks to three whites within her border, flings her gauntlet at the feet of twenty-five millions of people in defense of an idea. I would New England could count one State as fearless among her six. Call it not madness of an engineer who places himself in front of his cannon at the moment of discharge; call it rather the forlorn hope of the mariner seizing a plank or spar in the fury of the storm. The mistake of South Carolina is, she fancies there is more chance of saving slavery outside of the Union than inside. Three States have followed her example. Probably the rest of the slave States, or many of them, will find themselves unable to resist the infection, and then the whole merciless conspiracy of 1787 is ended, and timid men will dare to hate slavery without trembling for bread or life.
Disunion is Abolition! That is all the value Disunion has for me. I care nothing for forms of Government. No foreign State dare touch us, united or disunited. It matters not to me whether Massachusetts is worth one thousand millions, as now, or two thousand, as she might be if she had no Carolina to feed, protect, and carry the mail for. The music of Disunion to me is, that at its touch the slave breaks into voice, shouting his jubilee.
Hear also the language of Lloyd Garrison, another noted Abolitionist: At last the covenant with death is annulled and the agreement with hell broken by the action of South Carolina herself, and ere long by all the slaveholding States, for their doom is one. Hail the approaching jubilee, ye millions who are wearing the galling chains of slavery, for assuredly the day of your redemption draws nigh, bringing liberty to you and salvation to the whole land. Justice and liberty, God and man demand the dissolution of this slaveholding Union, and the formation of a Northern confederacy in which slaveholders will stand before the laws as felons and be treated as pirates.
But again, will a dissolution of the Union change in any respect the opinions and moral sentiments or alter the conduct of the people of the Northern States? I think not; and hence I am for standing by the Union as our fathers transmitted it to us, and fighting in it, with all the weapons of argument, persuasion, and truth, and if need be with all other kinds of weapons, for those rights which are fairly guaranteed to us in the common bond of Union, the Constitution of the United States.
I am opposed to sectionalism whether it comes from the North or the South. Washington, whilst he advised the children of the Republic to love and stick to the Union, at the same time warned them against the danger of forming parties upon geographical lines. I quote from his farewell address, a document that ought to be placed now in the hands of every voter in the land:
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as a matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations-Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourself too much from the jealousies and heart-burnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affections.
From what I have said you will readily conclude that I am opposed to the action of those States which have seceded. I deny that there is any such constitutional right as secession! The framers of that inimitable instrument provided the manner of admitting new States into the Union, but they were careful not to provide how any State once admitted could get out of it, except by an amendment of the Constitution. And the very object of this omission was to give permanency to the Government which they were founding. Surely it was never contemplated by them that any State upon its own motion, and for the most trivial cause, could have the power to break up the Government by withdrawing from it. Certainly it was their design to give some sort of efficiency to the national machine. Suppose insurrection were to happen, or any of the States be attacked by a foreign foe, can the United States Government be absolved from its constitutional duty to suppress the one or repel the other? And is not the allegiance of every State in the Union, to the general Government, just as obligatory as is the duty of the general Government to protect and defend the States? These duties and obligations, it occurs to me, are reciprocal, and cannot under the Constitution be disregarded by either party.