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of the Rebel House were Democrats, that James M. Mason and John Slidell, the Rebel emissaries in Europe, were Democrats, — that the officers, who, after obtaining their education at West Point at the public expense, threw up their commissions and lifted parricidal hands against their country, Hood, Beauregard, Johnston, Lee, were all Democrats.
Naturally, the Northern associates and allies of these Rebels are engaged in devising apologies for Rebellion. Naturally, they are against all energetic measures for its suppression; they call for a “cessation of hostilities," and seek to throw over their companions of other days every possible protection, especially seeking by all means to save their darling Slavery. But they ought not to find sympathy with patriot citizens, — especially against the Republican party, which, in its open and unconditional patriotism, and in all its manifold works, is in marked contrast with the Democracy.
Fellow-citizens, in all this vast Union, whether as it was or as it is, there is not a single Republican in arms against the Government, or sympathizing with those who are.
There is not a traitor among them. Here is a distinction between the two parties broad as the space between earth and heaven. [Great applause.]
I would not confound the innocent with the guilty. I know full well that among the honest masses there are many, once Democrats, who have given their lives to their country, and there are some of the old leaders at the North who have spurned all the traditions of the party. All honor and gratitude to them! There, also, are our generals, - Grant, Sherman, Hooker, Butler, a goodly cluster, - once Democrats, but now forgetting
party and dedicating themselves completely to their country. But the patriotism of Democrats like these is not an apology for the Democrat Jefferson Davis, or for his Democratic sympathizers among us, seeking to arrest the strong blows under which Rebellion reels. I do not forget, also, that there are good men, who, under misapprehension of some kind, and without seeing all the bearings of their conduct, have allowed themselves to be swept into the Democratic ranks. But such as these can be no cloak to that Democratic party which at Chicago openly struck hands with Jefferson Davis, and undertook to do for him what he cannot do for himself.
It is because the Democratic party is at this moment so utterly mischievous and disloyal, so really dangerous to our country, and so bitterly hostile to Liberty, that I speak thus plainly. Soft words will not do in exposing that combination at Chicago, where the two factions commingled into one. Call them, if you please, Pharisees and Sadducees. [Laughter.] They are something more, and something worse, if possible. They are the unarmed guerrilla bands of Jefferson Davis, who have stolen into the Free States. I have used this language before. If I repeat it now, it is because I wish to put you on your guard against criminal marauders, who, at this moment of peril, are ready to prey upon their country. If you
would see the difference between the two parties, read the speeches and resolutions at Baltimore, and then the speeches and resolutions at Chicago. I have no time for details, even if the transactions at these two Conventions were not still fresh in the memory. Suffice it to say that the Convention at Baltimore openly
and frankly pledged all its energies to the suppression of the Rebellion, and to the utter and complete extirpation of Slavery from the soil of the Republic, without compromise or hesitation of any kind. This was noble and patriotic. But nothing of this kind was done at Chicago.
The Chicago platform may be seen in two aspects, – first, in what it does say, and, secondly, in what it does not say. There are two things it does say: first, that the war for the suppression of the Rebellion is a failure; and, secondly, that there should be a cessation of hostilities. There are two things it does not say: first, it does not say anything against the Rebellion; and, secondly, it does not say anything against Slavery. And candidates are nominated on this platform. In voting for them, you affirm that the war has failed and that it ought to be stopped, while you decline to say anything against the Rebellion or against Slavery. You declare that our recent triumphs were all failures, that Grant failed at Vicksburg, that Sherman failed at Atlanta, that Farragut failed at New Orleans and Mobile, that Winslow failed against the Alabama, and that Sheridan failed in the Valley of the Shenandoah ; and you further declare that all these heroes should be arrested in mid-career, while Democratic agencies take their place, and rose-water is substituted for cannon-balls. And you declare, also, that the Rebellion shall prevail, and that Slavery shall continue to degrade our country and be the seed of interminable war. All this you affirm and declare by your votes.
If anything were needed to illustrate the offensive character of this platform, it would be found in the
efforts made to get away from it, at least in this latitude. Nobody here is willing to trust it. The cry of the railroad conductor is transferred to politics,-“It is dangerous to stand on the platform.” [Laughter.] Nobody has made greater efforts to get away from it than the Presidential candidate of the Democracy, who forgets, that, as a candidate, he is born with the platform, and united to it, as the Siamese twins are united together, so that the two cannot be separated. As well cut apart Chang and Eng as cut apart McClellan and Chicago. [Laughter.] The two must go together.
The letter of McClellan is a specimen of “how not to do it." This is the prevailing idea, - how not to stand on the platform, how not to offend the Rebels, and how not to touch Slavery. It is an ingenious wriggle and twist; but so far as the writer succeeds in getting off the platform, it is only to run upon other difficulties, - as from Scylla to Charybdis. The platform surrenders to the Rebellion; the letter surrenders to Slavery. But the Rebellion is nothing but belligerent Slavery; so that surrender to Slavery is surrender to the Rebellion. The platform discards the Union ; but the letter, while professing a desire for union, discards Emancipation, without which union is impossible; and while professing a desire for peace, it discards Liberty, through which alone peace can be secured. The letter says: The Union is the one condition of peace: we ask no more.” The Democratic candidate may ask no more; but others do. I ask more, because without more the Union is but a name. I ask more for the sake of justice and humanity, and that this terrible war may be vindicated in history. The Baltimore Convention, in its resolutions, asks more.
Abraham Lincoln asks more. The country
takes up the demand of the Baltimore Convention and of Abraham Lincoln, and asks more. [Applause.]
I have said that Abraham Lincoln asks more. He has asked it again and again. "He asked it in his Proclamation of the 1st January, 1863, when, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, he ordered and declared that the slaves in the Rebel States “are and henceforward shall be free, and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.” And he asked it again, when, in his notice “ To whom it may concern,” he announced that all terms of peace must begin with "the abandonment of Slavery."1 But, in face of these declarations, the candidate of the Democrats mumbles forth, "The Union is the one condition of peace: we ask no more.”
It is a strange infatuation which imagines that the Rebellion can be closed without the entire abolition of Slavery. The Rebellion began with Slavery, and it will end with Slavery. As it began in no other way, so it can end in no other way. Born from Slavery, it must die with Slavery. Therefore do I insist that Slavery shall not be spared; for, in sparing Slavery, you spare the Rebellion itself. [Applause.]
But even if reason and the necessity of the case did not require the sacrifice, it is now too late, thank God! By the Proclamation of the President the freedom of all slaves in the Rebel region is secured beyond recall. That gift cannot be taken back. It was a saying of Antiquity, repeated by an exquisite poet of our own day,
1 Note in reference to Peace Overtures at Niagara Falls, July 18, 1864. See Raymond's Life of Lincoln, p. 580.