« PreviousContinue »
tinguished statesman of Massachusetts, Edward Everett, / ing a single eye to that meritorious object. As far as the a gentlemen held by general consent to be altogether purchase of Mount Vernon is concerned, that object has worthy of the first.
been effected, under the judicious and efficient man. Tendering my grateful acknowledgments for the kind | agement of the Regent and Vice-Regents of the Assoand complimentary manner in which you were pleased ciation, with the aid of their intelligent and active assistto accompany the communication of my nomination, I ants throughout the Union. But a sum of money equal am, dear sir, with the highest respect,
to that already raised is still wanting for the repair of Your obedient servant,
JOHN BELL. the Mansion, the inclosure of the land purchased, the To the Hon. WASHINGTON HUNT.
restoration of the house and grounds, as far as practi
cable, to their condition in 1800, and the establishment MR. EVERETT'S ACCEPTANCE.
of a permanent fund for their conservation, I own
that I am desirous still to enjoy the privilege of coöpeBoston, May 29, 1860.
rating in this noble work, which, however, it will be in MY DRAR SIR: I have duly received your letter of the possible for me to do to any advantage, whatever may 11th, in which you inform me officially, that the National be the result of the present canvass, if I am drawn into Union Convention, recently in session at Baltimore, had the vortex of a strenuously contested election. There done me the honor to nominate me as its candidate for are many parts of the country which I have not yet the office of Vice-President of the United States.
visited. I had promised myself a rich harvest from the I am deeply impressed with this manifestation of the patriotic liberality of the States on the Gulf of Mexico, favorable opinion of the Convention, comprising as it did and of those on the Mississippi River (which I have not among its members so many persons distinguished for yet been able to visit, with the exception of Missouri, public service, patriotism and intelligence; and fairly through often kindly invited), and I confess that it is representing a considerable portion of the conservative very painful to me to withdraw from that broad field feeling of the country. For the great cordiality with of congenial labor to tread the thorny and thankless which, as you inform me, my name was proposed and paths of politics. received, my warmest thanks are due.
Apart from the pecuniary aspects of the case, which, The grateful acceptance of such a nomination would, however, are of considerable importance, I will candidly under ordinary circumstances, be a matter of course; say that in holding up to the admiring veneration of the but it has unavoidably been with me the subject long American people the peerless name of Washington, and anxious hesitation. The grounds of this hesitation I (almost the only bond of fraternal sentiment which the owe it to the Convention which has honored me with bitterness of our sectional controversies has left us), I this mark of its confidence, and to myself, to explain ; feel as if I was doing more good, as far as I am able to Toath as I am to dwell on matters of personal interest do any good, and contributing more to revive the kindly of no importance to the public.
feeling which once existed between North and South, It is generally known that I have, for some years and which is now, I grieve to say, nearly extinct, than I past, retired from active participation in political life, could possibly do by engaging in the wretched scramble not, as I hope I have shown, from indolence or want of for office-which is one great source of the dangers that sympathy with my fellow-citizens in the pursuit of the threaten the country. great objects of social life. The reasons of my retire- These considerations, and others of a still more personal ment have been more than once publicly stated, and I nature, have necessarily occasioned me to reflect long and beg to repeat them here from my speech at the Union anxiously, before accepting the nomination with which meeting in Faneuil Hall last December:
the Union. Convention has honored me. In yielding at "I did not suppose that anything could occur which length to the earnest solicitations which have been adwould make me think it my duty to appear again on this dressed to me, from the most respectable sources in almost platform, on any occasion of a political character; and every part of the Union, I make a painful sacrifice of had this meeting been of a party nature, or designed to inclination to what I am led to believe a public duty. It promote any party purposes, I should not have been has been urged upon me, and I cannot deny that such is here. When compelled, by the prostration of my health, my own feelings, that we have fallen upon times that call five years ago, to resign the distinguished place which I upon all good citizens, at whatever cost of personal conthen filled in the public service, it was with no expectation, venience, to contribute their share, however humble, to no wish, and no intention of ever again mingling in the the public service. scenes of public life. I have, accordingly, with the par- I suppose it to be the almost universal impression—it is tial restoration of my health, abstained from all partici- certainly mine-that the existing state of affairs is expation in political action of any kind; partly because I tremely critical. Our political controversies have subhave found a more congenial, and, as I venture to think, stantially assumed an almost purely sectional charactera more useful occupation, in seeking to rally the affec- that of a fearful struggle between the North and the tions of my countrymen, North and South, to that great South. It would not be difficult to show at length the name and precious memory which are left almost alone perilous nature and tendency of this struggle, but I can of all the numerous kindly associations which once only say, on this occasion, that, in my opinion, it cannot bound the different sections of the country together, and be much longer kept up, without rending the Union. 1 also because, between the extremes of opinion that have do not mean that either of the great parties in the country long distracted and now threaten to convulse the coun- desires or aims at a separation of the States as a final try, I find no middle ground of practical usefulness, on object, although there are extremists in considerable which a friend of moderate counsels can stand.”
numbers who have that object in view. While a potent 't having been suggested to me, notwithstanding these and a baleful influence is exercised by men of this class, avowals, that I might be thought of, at the Union Con- in both sections of the Union, a portion of the conservavention, as a candidate for the Presidency, I requested, tive masses are insensibly and gradually goaded into con
I by telegraphic message and by letter, that my name, if currence with opinions and sentiments with which, in the brought forward, might be withdrawn. It is true that in outset, they had no sympathy. Meantime, almost wholly these communications I had only in view a nomination neglecting the main public interests, our political controto the Presidency, none other having been suggested to versies turn more and more on questions, in reference to me; but all the reasons above indicated, which led me which, as abstract formulæ, the great sections of the in advance to decline such a nomination, apply with country differ irreconcilably, though there is nothing equal force to the Vice-Presidency. These reasons, of practically important at stake which requires the discuscourse, still exist in unimpaired force, and I cannot now sion to be kept up. These controversies are carried on take an active part in politics without abandoning a with steadily increasing bitterness and exasperation. The deliberately formed purpose, and even exposing myself passiops thus kindled have already led to acts of violence to the suspicion of insincerity in its persistent avowal. and bloodshed, approaching to civil war in the Territories, Without dwelling upon these considerations, of which, and attempted servile insurrection in the States.
The however, I am sure the weight will be admitted, I beg | great religious and philanthropic associations of the counleave to advert for a moment to my connection with the try are sundered, and the kindly social relations of North movement for the purchase of Mount Vernon, to which and South seriously impaired. The national House of your letter alludes in such obliging terms. The favor Representatives, hovering on the verge of anarchy, rewhich has attended my exertions in that cause (if I may quires weeks to effect an organization, which ought to be without indelicacy say anything on that subject) has been the work of an hour, and it holds its sessions (many of its mainly the result of my known and recognized discon- members, I am told, armed with concealed weapons), on nection from party politics. If it could have been even the crust of a volcano. The candidates for the Presidency plausibly insinuated that I was, or intended to become, representing respectively the dominant sectional ideas, a candidate for high political 'honors, I should, in my will
, at the ensuing election, in all probability, be sapvarious excursions in aid of that fund, have laid myself ported by a purely geographical vote. In other words, open to the imputation of speaking one word for Mount we are already brought to a pass, at which North and Vernon and two for myself. As it is, the people through South cannot and will not coöperate in the perio lical out the Union have generously given me credit for hav. I reorganization of the Government.
Can such a state of things long continue, especially blood of an unarmed, defenceless man, and he a Senator with the ever-present risk of new causes of exasperation of Massachusetts : if by laying down my life this hour, I I own it seems to me impossible, unless some healing could undo what has been done the last two years (begincourse is adopted, that the catastrophe, which the mass of ning with the disastrous repeal of the Missouri Comprogood citizens deprecate, should be much longer delayed. | mise) to embitter the different parts of the country against Å spirit of patriotic moderation must be called into action each other, and weaken the ties which unite them, I would throughout the Union, or it will assuredly be broken up. willingly, cheerfully, make the sacrifice. Unless the warfare of inflammatory speeches and incen
In a letter, written subsequently, in explanadiary publications is abandoned, and good citizens, as in 1776 and 1787, North and South, will agree to deal with tion of these remarks, Mr. Everett saidthe same elements of discord (for they existed then as now),
I have condemned from the outset, and still most as our Fathers dealt with them, we shall but for a very decidedly condemn the policy of the late Administration few years longer be even nominally brethren of one family. towards Kansas.
I opposed the Kansas-Nebraska bill in The suggestion that the Union can be maintained by the the Territorial Committee, of which I was a member. numerical predominance and military prowess of one voted against the amendment to the bill by which the section, exerted to coerce the other into submission, is, in Missouri Compromise was repealed. I opposed the bill to my judgment, as self-contradictory as it is dangerous. It the best of my ability, in a speech delivered in the Senate comes loaded with the death smell from fields wet with on the 8th of February, 1854, of which I send you a copy; brothers' blood. If the vital principle of all republican and I should have voted against it on its passage (as I government “is the consent of the governed," much more stated in my place at the next meeting of the Senate) had does a union of coequal sovereign States require, as its not severe illness compelled me, at 31 o'clock in the morn. basis, the harmony of its members and their voluntary ing, to leave the Senate chamber before the vote was coöperation in its organic functions.
taken. I informed my Southern political friends, when Believing, for these reasons, that healing counsels must the bill was brought in, that it ought to be entitled a bill be listened to, if we are much longer to remain one people, to “ annihilate all conservative feeling in the non-slaveI regard the late National Union Convention as a move holding States." With these views of the subject, though, ment in the right direction. I could wish that it had been as I trust, for reasons higher than any effect on party earlier assembled; with less exclusive reference to official politics, I fully concurred in the main line of argument nominations, and with a more comprehensive representa in M. Sumner's speech. Abstaining, however, habitution, if possible, of the conflicting opinions of the country. ally myself from all personalities in debate, and believing On general principles and in ordinary times, I admit that that they always irritate and never persuade nor convince third parties are objectionable, but in the existing state I could not of course bestow my“ unqualified approbation" of affairs, if there is to be any escape from the present ill
on the manner in which he treated the subject. omened conflict, it would seem that a commencement must be made with such a meeting as that of the 9th and
GEORGIA ON EVERETT. 10th, at Baltimore. It was a fair representation of the conservative opinion of the country, and the calmness,
On the accession of Gen. Harrison to the gravity and good feeling with which its proceedings were Presidency, in 1840, he nominated the Hon. conducted, cannot be too highly praised.
Edward Everett as minister to England, and In adopting as its platform the Constitution without note or comment, the Convention, as it seems to me, pur
this nomination was resisted with great perti. sued a wise and patriotic course. No other course was nacity by the entire force of the Democratic thought of in the earlier days of the Republic. Elec- party in the Senate, on the ground of Mr. tioneering platforms are almost without exception equivocal and delusive. It is objected that men differ as to the Everett's Anti-Slavery sentiments, already quomeaning of the fundamental law; but they differ not less ted. The Whigs having a majority in the as to any gloss or commentary. The Constitution, in its Senate, the nomination, after a severe struggle. fair and natural interpretation, is the only basis on which
was confirmed. good citizins in every part of the country can now unite;
Among those voting for the and any attempt to go further will usually have no other Confirmation was the Hon. James McPherson efect than to cause those who agree on great practical Berrien, of Georgia ; but his vote on this occaprinciples to differ on metaphysical subtleties, or to bring sion was so distasteful to the people of Georgia together, by artfully constructed phrases and from selfish motives, those who have nothing else in coinmon.
that the legislature of that State adopted the The candidate for the Presidency, presented by the following resolve: Union Convention, is every winy worthy of confidence and
Resoloed, That the opinions publicly proclaimed by support. I speak from personal knowledge and long association with him in the public service. His distinguished Edward Everett, now minister to England of the power talent, large experience in public affairs, proved integ- and obligation of Congress to abolish Slavery in the Disrity and sterling patriotism furnish the amplest pledge for trict of Columbia, to interdict the slave-trade between the an honest and efficient administration of the government States, and to refuse the admission into the Union of any at home and abroad. A citizen of the South, and loyal character, subversive of the rights of the South, and if
Territory tolerating Slavery, are unconstitutional in their to her constitutional rights, his impartial and
conciliatory carried out, will destroy this Union; and that the Hon. course as a public man affords a ground on which he can John McPherson Berrien, in sustaining for an important be supported in either section of the country, without dereliction of principle, and by men of all parties, without appointment, an individual holding such obnoxious senti. a painful sacrifice of former preferences.
ments, has omitted a proper occasion to give an efficient Deeply regretting that the Convention has not put it in check to such sentiments, and in so doing has not truly my power to pay an equally cordial and emphatic tribute represented the opinions or wishes of the people of to some worthy candidate for the Vice-Presidency, but Georgia, of either political party. feeling it a duty to give the desired proof of sympathy with their patriotic efforts to restore the happy days of of this resolve was:
The vote of the legislature on the adoption
In the Senate, Ayes 40 ; brotherly concord between the different sections of our beloved country.
Nays 0. In the House, Ayes 101 ; Nays 40.
JUDGE DOUGLAS ON THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE.
In a speech_delivered at Springfield, Ill., in MR. EVERETT ON SUMNER.
1849, Senator Douglas, in speaking of the Min Soon after the brutal assault on Charles Sum- souri Compromise, said: ner, in 1856, Mr. Everett, in some remarks It has received the sanction of all parties in every sec. delivered at Taunton, Mass., referred to the tion of the Union. It had its origin in the hearts of all subject as follows:
patriotic men who desired to preserve and perpetuate
the blessings of our glorious Union-an origin akin to The civil war, with its horrid train of pillage, fire, and that of the Constitution of the United States, conceivel slaughter, carried on, without the slightest provocation, in the same spirit of fraternal affection, and calculated to against the infant settlements of our brethren on the fron- remove forever the only danger which seemed to threaten tier of the Union; the worse than civil war which has for at some distant day to sever the sacred bond of Union. months raged unrebuked at the Capital of the Union, and all the evidences of public opinion seem to indicate that has at length, by an act of lawless violence, of which I this Compromise has become canonized in the hearts of know no parallel in the history of Constitutional Govern the American people as a sacred thing, which no ruthless ment. stained the floor of the Senate chamber with the hand would be reckless enough to disturb.
Fremont over Buchanan, 28,299; Pierce over Scott, 9,066; Cass over Taylor, 4,755; Polk over Clay, 11,841; Harrison over Van Buren, 411. Mr. James G. Birney received 194 votes in this State, in 1840.
Fremont over Buchanan, 5,556; Pierce over Scott, 13,850; Cass over Taylor, 12,982 ; Polk over Clay, 9,294; Van Buren over Harrison, 6,598. Mr. Birney received 126 votes in 1840.
Bristol... Kent.. Newport Providence Washington
1260 1258 6903 1443
750 4432 595
15 659 331 452
628 839 1249 8888 1022
367 743 1005 5529 2086
2. 83 48 431 80
590 690 1207 8542 750
191 818 232 2515 450
18 52 113 898 149
786 1229 8751
109 881 473 8192 712
476 669 914 2452 787
186 872 417 1711 665
Fremont over Buchanan, 4,787 ; Pierce over Scott, 1,109; Taylor over Cass, 3,133 ; Clay over Polk, 2,455;
Harrison over Van Buren, 1,977. Mr. Birney receive t 42 votes in 1840.
Whig. Dem. F. Soil. Whig. Dem. Free D. Whig. Dem. Abo Whig. Dem.
108190 39240 1962652683 41569 28023 61070 85281 2805867418, 52846 :0860 | 12874 51944
Fremont over Buchanan, 69,950 ; Scott over Pierce, 8,114; Taylor over Cass, 25,789 ; Clay over Polk, 14,572 ; Harrison over Van Buren, 20,930. Mr. Birney received 1,621 votes in 1840.
Fremont over Buchanan, 28,992 ; Scott over Pierce, 9,129; Taylor over Cass, 12,174; Clay over Polk, 8,729 ; Harrison over Van Buren, 14,422. Mr. Birney received 319 votes in 1840.
Am. Whig. Dem. F. Soil. Whig. Dem. Free D. Whig. Dem.
425 846 977 1346 3417 2405 Unorganized
696 194 1497 1190 4636 2832 2388 1773
732 501 1830 2733 2022 1494 2014 1683 2953 2880 2509
1602 1775 2139 1295 1645
819|| 38318 37495
131 33851 31034
Buchanan over Fremont, 18,605; Pierce over Scott, 5,749 : Taylor over Cass, 3,114; Clay over Polk, 823; Hanison over Van Buren, 2,317. Mr. Birnes received 69 votes in 1840.
88 1753 428 296)
87 320 169
31 233 126 218 298
1407 1790 1415 1508 1912 2059 5108 975 2299 1350
912 1604 1817 2810 1785 2700 2301 3509 1750 1255 1995 1711 2641
587 655 1810 2140 1092 1454 1285 2103 8168 1709
935 1383 2424 1991 2735 2437 2371 628
743 1150 3027 3371 2093 13:28 3604
1966 997 656 2323 1937 1367 1275 2635
1572 1998 1603
629 1159 3171 1988 1016 2812 4038 4285 2125 1669 2031 1667 3172 8391 1608 1837 454 477 497 170 1885 1917 1724 2066 523 1175 2983
2072 2249 1561
790 1116 2726 2909 2436
2691 1548 1599 546 634 2565 2605 1356 1446 8770 3633 3185
1746 4049 1920 8007 2656 1431 1055
755 789 932 1174 26881 1776
240 96 56 32 296 209
75 711 378 574
58 214 210 5680
37 82 110
22 894 115
5 54 416 259 124
1213 1736 233 1259 1690 196
958) 1536 23 728 1070 2 1365 2434 297 Un organized. 2174 1075 2502 1124 878 2467 1751 1383 864
1846 1500 820 588 1480 24 Un organized. 2786 2694 454
2723 2892 513
1171 2557 403
206 1878 1505 330
1814 2422 137
1776 2368 2594
5541 896 43 Un organized. 2013 1591 891 1866 1574 268 1559 1404 275 1409 999 681 2117 3311 10 2438 3515
42 1221 893 166 1157 946 128 8495 3652 242
3199 3029 284 557 7:27 71
Un organi zed. 1567 1103 135
1630 1081 951 1147 664 1459 872
1373 2430 1490 500 2085 1256 644 1941 1809 504 2375 2504 489 9252 13435 684 9018) 10834 1986 1076 1617 35 1016 1501 22
SS2 847 74 596 605 51 1723 1462 422 1564 1658 543
325 536 14 217 297 17 1952 2290 231
2114 2224 842 865 1552 21 856) 1319 23 1066 2100 42 1118 2224 45 2242 1819 893 1950 1769 876 1069 1093 19 987 1108 50 1995 2169 843 2147 2231 455 1874 2692
626 1910 2890 539
11111 777 716 904
15 116+ 745 53
327 1400 655 61 1329 712 80 955 1873
Un organized. 914 1270 79
1001 1193 55 1579
1754 1008 1440 1836 1098 1573 1399 297 1827 1014 305
500 831 11 860 641 16 2754 2004 235 2542 1822 272
997 2422 180 999 2574 330 8886 8744 177 3561 33301 804 2081 1708 220 2320 2448 314 1030 1710 748
Un organi zed.
2 190 231 45
16 843 909 33
1296 1270 2149 1127
2106 1519 314
209 2087 3177 188
54 1021 1129 49
570 2336 1965 660 1892 1815 1058) 1968 2039 1789 1364 1951
229 245 2148 2164
719 1289 1142 2317 2564 2186
908 1046 2385 2354 2746 3324 1818 901 1140 658 8500 3840 1625 1015 1956 1793 1167 881 1269 643
5 133 13 95 184 109
93 473 12 8
54 456 475 29
4 28 344 114 159 413 391 201 101 1092 154
4 53 589
45 1321 103 127 29
18 18 263 82 51 844