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The Convention insisted on applauding nearly every sentence, and several times refused to let him finish a sentence. It was worse than the applause given by an Irish audience at an Archbishop's lecture. The Americans must never laugh at the Irish for their irrepresssble disposition to applaud. As the committee on Permanent Officers was being appointed, nearly every name received a round of applause. During the first hour and a half of the session, I presume at least one hundred rounds of applause were were given, and the more the "spreads" applauded, the greater became their zeal. I have stated, in letters from Charleston, I believe, that the Douglas men were the most noisy fellows in the world, in proportion to their dimensions. I take it back. The "Plugs" can beat them at their own game.
The committee on Permanent Officers, consisting of one from each State, was constituted as follows:
Alabama-N. W. Shelley.
Arkansas-C. C. Danley.
Mississippi--John K. Yerger.
Connecticut-Hon. John A. Rockwell. New Hampshire
No delegates appearing from the States of California, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
Several of the Southern States are very strongly represented here. Virginia and Tennessee have exceedingly able delegations on the floor. A great portion of the delegates are of the "eminently respectable" class of gentlemen-and most of them are somewhat stale in politics. The Convention took a recess until four o'clock in the afternoon, when A. J. Donelson, from the committee on Organization, reported the following names for permanent officers of the Convention :
SECRETARIES-S. C. Long, Maryland; A. Payton, New Jersey; Ezra Clark, Connecticut; Snow, Illinois; L. Saltonstall, Massachusetts; John W. Lynn, Massachusetts; Samuel Davis, Kentucky; J. P. Early, Indiana; Adolphus Musser, Maine; Richard Bell, Mississippi; John H. Callender, Tennessee.
The report was unanimously adopted. Mr. Hunt made another speech, and several other gentlemen followed "ably and eloquently." Mr. Coombs of Kentucky, the subject of platforms being introduced, made a hit as follows:
So deeply have I been impressed with the necessity of a platform to a great political party, that I have taken upon myself the labor of preparing three [laughter], one for the harmonious Democracy, who have lately agreed together so beautifully at Charleston [laughter]; one for the "irrepressible conflict" gentlemen, who are about to assemble at Chicago, and another for the National Unionists now before and around me. [Laughter]. And as all are brief and perfectly intelligible, I shall take the liberty here to repeat them.
First, for the harmonious Democracy; the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798-9 [laughter], without preamble or comment, followed by two upon the slave question, one in favor of excluding slavery from the Territories of the United States, and the other in favor of forcing it into them [applause]; both to be adopted unanimously by the Convention under the previous question, and no questions asked afterward. [Laughter].
For the irrepressible conflict" philanthropists about to assemble at Chicago, I suggest the blue laws of Connecticut [laughter]; with a slight modification upon two points; first in reference to the right of a man to kiss his wife on Sunday, and the second in reference to burning witches, providing that the young wife shall have the privilege to be kissed and the old witches to be burned. [Great applause.]
In reference to this Convention I have provided a still shorter platform-The Constitution of the United States as it is ["Good! good! and applause]; the Constitution as it is, and the Union under it now and forever. [Great applause.] I will not speak in reference to the first at large, but I venture to say that it will be as intelligible hereaf ter to the wide-spread Democracy, as it has been heretofore; and being thus intelligible, I venture to stake all I am worth-not very much— that not one in five hundred have read those resolutions, and not one in five hundred who have read them understand them.
In reference of our platform-the Constitution as it is the Legisla tive, Judicial and Executive departments, each in its separate department supreme. I think that will be platform enough for the Union party to stand upon [applause]-the Congress of the United States to enact the laws, the Judicial department to interpret, and the Executive to have them executed.
This is all we want; that is all we need. Were I an assemblage of Christians about to establish a creed for Christians, do you think I would take dipping or sprinkling? I would take the Bible as it is, leaving all to construe it, they being responsible for its construction. [Immense applause, and three cheers for Mr. Coombs, the Convention rising in their places.]
Erastus Brooks said:
Sir, we misjudge the people of the country, if any of us suppose that they are not heart-sick and head-sick of what are called, technically, party platforms. We know it; what we have seen at Charleston is but illustrating the fable of Saturn, for they literally devoured their own progeny. [Applause]. What we see elsewhere in regard to the great Republican party is equally true-they are composed in one State of various classes of men; a conservative class in favor of the Fugitive Slave law and the Constitution of the United States, and that class addresses themselves to the commercial community and to the manufacturing community. There is another class of men who follow in the wake of these, leaving the city and going into the rural districts, and there they preach as the great architect of that party preached at Cleveland, for a higher law than the Constitution of the United States. A committee on Resolutions and Business was constituted as follows:
Alabama-A. F. Alexander.
Mississippi-John W. C. Watson.
SPIRIT OF THE FIRST DAY'S PROCEEDINGS.
BALTIMORE May 9th (at night).
The Convention organized in this city to-day does not furnish a very animating theme. Not that it was not animated in itself. There were the same furious demonstrations of enthusiasm that we had occasion to remark in the Fillmore performances in 1856. A hundred of the Fillmore men would make more noise than three times as many Democrats or ten times the number of Republicans. There is too much unanimity here, however, to be interesting. Every body is eminently respectable, intensely virtuous, devotedly patriotic, and fully resolved to save the country. They propose to accomplish that political salvation so devoutly to be wished, by ignoring all the rugged issues of the day. The expression against platforms was universal and enthusiastic. Instead of proceeding to make a platform, the worthies here in Convention assembled all fell to abusing platforms. There was probably as much discretion as virtue in this, for the delegates would find it impossible to agree on an expression of principles formally laid down, and the intention is, to make the canvass simply upon an assumption that this body represents the "Conservative American Constitutional Union element. What this element proposes to do, can be stated in one way in the South and another way in the North, and thus our excellent friends will have all the advantages of an ambiguous platform, and will not encounter any of the disabilities attendant upon a written standard of ortho
doxy. Mayor Swann stated that, when John J. Crittenden took the stand, he saw platform enough for him, and the "plugs " who were in the galleries, cheered him tremendously. I have heard a great deal of virtuous twaddle in public speeches within a few weeks, but the essence of the article was uncorked to-day. Erastus Brooks gave his idea of a platform. It was the Constitution and laws. The Constitution as interpreted by the constituted authorities-the highest judicial authorities— and the enforcement of the laws. Now, Erastus is the editor of the New York Express, and therefore a great man. He was consequently applauded throughout with even unusual vigor. He is in favor of the nomination of Gen. Sam. Houston, a rather good old soul, as we all know, but the most shallow of the shallow politicians who have been engaged for some years in attending to the affairs of our beloved country. He probably has a very brilliant understanding of that Constitution and law which is to be the platform. His appreciation of and respect for the constituted authorities was exemplified in his recent proposition to invade Mexico. While speeches were being made, the chair announced that the delegation from Texas was at the door. [Tremendous applause.] The chair directed the door-keeper to admit the delegation from Texas. [Tremendous applause.] The delegation from Texas was admitted. [More tremendous applause.] The delegation, headed by a man with a beard half a yard long, who was dressed in home-spun and bore a great buck-horn-handle cane, made its way to a front seat, amid "tremendous applause." An officious delegate said that the long-haired man had agreed at one time not to have his hair cut until Henry Clay was elected President. [Still more tremendous applause.]
During both sessions of the Convention this day, every speech was received in this tremendous style. The moment a speaker would say Constitution; law; Union; American; conservative element; glorious victory; our fathers; our flag; our country; or any thing of the sort, he had to pause for some time, until the general rapture would discharge itself by stamping, clapping hands, rattling canes, etc., etc. I have likened the enthusiasm to that of an Irish audience at an archbishop's lecture. It was so, with some additional peculiarities of extravagance. The noise and confusion of applause became a disgusting bore to all but the patriotic "plugs."
If I had not known otherwise, I should have thought sometimes that the incessant rage of approbation was factious; but the "plugs" by whom the galleries were loaded, meant only to emit their pent-up ecstasy. So vivid were their perceptions of patriotic sentiments, that they could not in dozens of cases await the conclusion of a sentence, before shouting and stamping like Yahoos on a spree. When a speaker would put off something about the Constitution and laws of our beloved country, he would be obliged to suspend his remarks, until the tempest of approbation subsided." And if he should, in order to make himself intelligible, so far as he might, commence the broken sentence over again, ten to one, when he arrived at the patriotic point, where the fracture commenced, the storm would break out again, with redoubled fury. As a matter of necessity, a committee to report business was constituted
It was necessary to present some business to the Convention. About every other committee man's name was received with outrageous yells of admiration from the galleries, and stamping so desperate that the mortar rattled down, and there were apprehensions that the galleries themselves might tumble under the weight of rampant patriotism heaped into them.
It is presumed that a nomination will take place to-morrow, and that several cheers will go up, and that a determination to elect the nominee and save our sweet country, will be expressed by a large number of "able and eloquent" gentlemen, who will cause the skies to be rent with roars of American enthusiasm.
The turn out of delegates is larger than was expected. I believe there are really as many people in attendance here, as there were at Charleston. The hotels are full, and the narrow Baltimorean sidewalks can hardly contain the groups of exuberant and vociferous patriots. John Bell stock was high to-day, and is tolerably well high up yet, but there are many who are anxious to avail themselves of the battle of San Jacinto. The persuasion that presses John Bell is, that he is strong in the North. But nearly every body ought to know, that he could not carry a single Northern State. The pressure for Houston is upon the presumption that he is powerful in the South. I am very seriously told that he could sweep every State in the South with perfect ease, and New York also, thereby securing his election in the Electoral College. And, I am further informed, that if by some unforeseen accident or most illogical turn of affairs, he should not be triumphantly elected according to the first form made and provided by the Constitution, and the election should be thrown into Congress, the Republicans there would prevent the election of an ultra-Southern man by the Senate, by joining in the House with the men who have taken the Constitution, Union, and salvation of the country into special consideration; and by elevating their champion to the Presidency, give the nation another lease of life. I have been obliged to say to some of our Constitution-loving friends, that I did not think the nominee of this Convention, even with the naked Constitution for a platform, would be certain to carry the State of Ohio. I have gone so far as to indicate an apprehension that the chances were, the electoral vote of the State would be thrown for somebody else.
BALTIMORE, May 8th.
When the President of the Couvention, Washington Hunt, Esq., appeared upon the platform this morning he was received with the usual joyous cries and stamping. The Convention being called to order, we had a fervent prayer for the Union. The minister did not, like his brethren in some cases at Charleston, pray directly for the triumph of the ticket that might be put forward. The Union being prayed for, however, it was inferred that as this body had the confederacy in charge,