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Democratic National Convention.
The War a Failure.
the sense of the American people, that, after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of a military necessity or war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate Convention of all the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that at the earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States."
This accomplished, the Convention adjourned, having provided for its indefinite existence by empowering its chairman to reconvene it, whenever, in his judgment, it should be thought necessary.
McClellan accepted the nomination, happy to know that when it was made, the record of his public life was kept in view. In bis letter of acceptance, he talked all around the peace proposition, ignored the idea of a cessation of hostilities, and went for the whole Union. The document, though sufficiently general and indefinite to answer the purpose, failed to satisfy the ultra-peace men of his party.
Thus, in the midst of a civil war, unparalleled in the world's history, the extraordinary spectacle was presented of & great people entering with earnestness upon a political campaign, one of whose issues—indeed, the main one—was as to the continuance of that war, with all its hardships and burdens.
Just after the adjournment of the Chicago Convention, Sherman's occupation of Atlanta and the capture of the forts in the harbor of Mobile, were announced, seeming to intimate that the war bad not been, up to that time, wholly a failure. The thanks of the Nation were tendered by the President to
Capture of Atlanta.
Negroes as Soldiers.
the officers and men connected with these operations, national salutes ordered, and the following proclamation issued, dated September 3d, 1864.
“The signal success that Divine Providence has recently voucbsafed to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under Major-General Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment of the Supreme Being in whose bands are the destinies of nations.
“It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places of worship in the United States, thanksgiving be offered to Him for His mercy in preserving our national existence against the insurgent rebels who have been waging a cruel war against the Government of the United States for its overthrow, and also that prayer be made for Diviņe protection to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field, who bave so often and so gallantly perilled their lives in battling with the enemy, and for blessing and comfort from the Father of Mercies to the sick, wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who have fallen in the service of their country, and that He will continue to uphold the Government of the United States against all the efforts of public enemies and secret foes.
“ABRAHAM LINCOLN." Mr. Lincoln's views relative to the employment of negroes as soldiers were again and fully expressed about this time in a conversation with leading gentlemen from the West. On that occasion he said :
"The slightest knowledge of arithmetic will prove to any man that the rebel armies cannot be destroyed by Democratic strategy. It would sacrifice all the white men of the North to do it. There are now in the service of the United States
The President on Deinocratic Strategy.
Blackmen Essential to the Union,
nearly two hundred thousand able-bodied colored men, most of them under arms, defending and acquiring Union territory. The Democratic strategy demands that these forces be disbanded, and that the masters be conciliated by restoring them to slavery. The black men, who now assist Union prisoners to escape, are to be converted into our enemies, in the vain hope of gaining the good-will of their masters. We shall bave to fight two nations instead of one.
You can not conciliate the South, if you guarantee to them ultimate success; and the experience of the present war proves their success is inevitable, if you fling the compulsory labor of millions of black men into their side of the scale. Will you give our enemies such military advantages as insure success, and then depend upon coaxing, flattery, and concession to get them back into the Union ? Abandon ali the forts now garrisoned by black men, take two hundred ibuusand men from our side and put them in the battle-field or corn-field against us, and we would be compelled to abandon the war in three weeks.
“We have to hold territory in inclement and sickly places; where are the Democrats to do this? It was a free fight; and the field was open to the War Democrats to put down this rebellion by fighting against both master and slave, long before the present policy was inaugurated.
“ There have been men base enough to propose to me to return to slavery our black warriors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they fought. Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned in time and eternity. Come what will, I will keep my faith with friend und foe. My enemies pretend I am now carrying on this war for the sole purpose of abolition. So long as I am President, it shall be carried on for the sole purpose of restoring the Union. But no human power can subdue this rebellion without the use of the Emancipation policy, and every
What Freedom gives us.
How it weakens the Rebellion.
ther policy calculated to weaken the moral and physical forces of the rebellion.
“Freedom has given us two hundred thousand men raised on Southern soil. It will give us more yet. Just so much it has subtracted from the enemy; and, instead of checking the South, there are now evidences of a fraternal feeling growing up between our men and the rank and file of the rebel soldiers. Let my enemies prove to the country that the destruction of slavery is not necessary to the restoration of the Union. I will abide the issue."
On the 19th of October, the President having been serenaded by the loyal Marylanders of the District of Columbia, said :
“I am notified that this is a compliment paid me by the loyal Marylanders resident in this district. I infer that the adoption of the new Constitution for the State furnishes the occasion, and that in your view the extirpation of slavery constitutes the chief merit of the new Constitution.
"Most heartily do I congratulate you, and Maryland, and the Nation, and the world upon the event. I regret that it did not occur two years sooner, which, I am sure, would bave saved to the nation more money than would have met all the private loss incident to the measure ; but it has come at last, and I sincerely hope its friends may fully realize all their anticipations of good from it, and that its opponents may, by its effects, be agreeably and profitably disappointed.
"1 word upon another subject : Something said by the Secretary of State, in his recent speech at Auburn, has been construed by some into a threat that, if I shall be beaten at the election, I will between then and the end of my constitutional term do what I may be able to ruin the Government. Others regard the fact that the Chicago Convention adjourned, not sine die, but to meet again, if called to do so by a particular individual, as the ultimatum of a purpose that, if the
Speech to Loyal Marylanders.
The Country and its Liberties.
nominee shall be elected, he will at once seize control of the Government.
“I hope the good people will permit themselves to suffer no uneasiness on either point. I am struggling to maintain the Government, not to overthrow it. I therefore say that, if I shall live, I shall remain President until the fourth of March. And whoever shall be constitutionally elected, therefore, in November, shall be duly installed as President on the fourth of March ; and that, in the interval, I shall do my utmost that whoever is to hold the helm for the next voyage, shall start with the best possible chance to save the ship.
“This is due to our people, both on principle and under the Constitution. Their will, constitutionally expressed, is the ultimate law for all. If they should deliberately resolve to have immediate peace, even at the loss of their country and their liberties, I know not the power or the right to resist them. It is their own business, and they must do as they please with their own.
“I believe, however, that they are all resolved to preserve their country and their liberty; and in this, in office or out of it, I am resolved to stand by them. I may add, that in this purpose—to save the country and its liberties-no class of people seem so nearly unanimous as the soldiers in the field and the seamen afloat. Do they not have the bardest of it? Who shall quail, when they do not ? God bless the soldicra and seamen and all their brave commanders !"