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voted in Congress on almost every question that tion,
Was Joseph Ritner (then running for Governor) an has ever arisen in regard to the institution of
Abolitionist? This was a most interesting question. If he
was, then no friend to the existence of our glorious Union slavery; and never, until it became necessary for ought to vote in favor of bis election as Governor." * the Know Nothings of the South to frame an * Before the spirit of abolitionism had been conjured np excuse for dividing the South, did any southern from its dark abode by political fanatics and hot-headed man charge him with being unsound on the
enthusiasts, all was comparatively peaceful and tranquil in
the southeru States. Slavery had been most unfortunately slavery question.
introduced into these States by our British forefathers. It If further proof were needed of the high posi- was there at the adoption of the Federal Constitution; and tion he occupies on this question, it will be found
this Constitution did not merely leave it there, but expressly in his letter to the Democratic State convention | Slaves, and the exclusive dominion over the question of
guarantied to the slaveholding States their property in of Pennsylvania, written shortly before his nom slavery within their respective borders. Such is the clear ination, and in his letter accepting the nomina- language of the Constitution itself, and such was the con
struction the first Congress placed upon it. Without this tion for the Presidency, and pledging himself to
solemn constitutional compact the southern States would carry out the principles set forth in the Demo
never have been parties to the Union ; and the blessings cratic platform
and benefits which it has conferred, and will conter, not The Lancaster resolutions date back thirty- i only upon our own country, but the whole human race,
would never have been realized. Those in the free States seven years, whilst Mr. Buchanan was a mere
who determine to violate this compact must determine to youth, and before the slavery agitation had as dissolve the Union. The one is the necessary consequence sumed anything like its present form. In 1838, of the other." nearly twenty years afterwards, when in the
“ At the session of 1835–36, (the Congress immediately prime of life, and a candidate for Congress, and preceding Mr. Fillmore's Erie letter,) the question of aboli
tion had occupied much of the time and attention of Conwhen the abolition societies at the North were at
It had been discussed in every possible aspect. the very height of their treasonable efforts against | Petitions for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columthe South, Mr. Fillmore deliberately wrote as
bia, got up and circulated by the anti slavery societies, follows to an abolition society:
poured into Congress from the free States. This was the
only mode in which the Abolitionists could agitate the ques BUFFALO, October 17, 1838. tion in Congress, because no fanatic, to Mr. B.'s knowlSIR: Your communication of the 15th instant, as chair
edge, had been so mad as to contend that Congress had any man of a committee appointed by “ The Anti Slavery So
power over slavery within the slave States themselves. ciety of the coun'y of Erie,” has just come to hand. You
Petitions to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia solicit my answer to the following interrogatories:
formed part of the grand scheine of agitation by which 1. Do you believe that petitions to Congress on the sub
the Abolitionists expected to accomplish their purposes. ject of slavery and the slave trade ought to be received,
Throughout the spring, summer, and autumn of 1835, a read, and respectfully considered by the representatives of
combined attempt was made upon the southern States, not the people ?
only by agitation in the North, but by scattering over the 2. Are you opposed to the annexation of Texas to this
Soutlı, through the post office, and by traveling agents, the Union, under any circumstances, so long as slaves are held
viiest publications and pictorial representations. He had therein ?
himself seen many of them. Their natural effect was to 3. Are you in favor of Congress exercising all the consti
produce dissatisfaction and revolt among the slaves, and to tutional power it possesses to abolish the interual slave trade,
incite their wild passions to vengeance." between the States?
He then goes on to depict the horrors of ser4. Are you in favor of immediate legislation for the abolition of slavery in the Districi of Columbia ?
vile insurrection, and to denounce the AbolitionI am much engaged, and have no time to enter into an
ists: argument, or to explain at length my reasons for my opin « Under the influence of the feelings excited by these iva. I shall therefore content myself, for the present, by causes, the southern ineinbers of Congress reached Wasbanswering all your interrogatories in the affirmative, and
ington in December, 1835. Many of them, with sorrow leave for some future occasion a more extended discussion
and anguish of heart, declared that if the southern States on the subject. MILLARD FILLMORE.
could not remain in the Union without having their do He was elected to Congress, and throughout Abolitionists, the great law of
mestic peace continually disturbed by the attempts of the
If-preservation would comhis whole career there uniformly voted with pel them to separate from the North. Immediately after Giddings, Slade, Adams, and the worst enemies the commencement of the session, and throughout its conof the South.
tinuance, the Abolitionists, intent upon their object, sent Whilst Mr. Fillmore was thus cordially endors- of slavery in the District of Columbia, couched in lan
iminense number of petitions to Congress for the abolition ing the doctrines of the extreme Abolitionists, and, guage calculated to exasperate the southern members.” (!t as a member of Congress, was on all occasions was under these circumstances that Mr. Fillmore wrote his voting with Adams, Giddings, and Slade, Mr.
Erie letter.) 6. What did they ask? That in the District,
ten miles square, ceded to Congress by two slaveholding Buchanan, both in Congress and at home in the States, and surrounded by them, slavery should be abok midst of his constituents, was contending against ished.), these doctrines, and in favor of the constitutional
He then goes on to denounce in strong lanrights of the South. On the 18th of August, 1838, Mr. Buchanan addressed his fellow-citizens at Columbia, and concludes this branch of the sub
guage the abolition of slavery in the District of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on the political ques-ject, as follows: tions in issue in the State elections then pending. It will be observed that this speech was almost tion, after the petitions had been received, rejected the
“Impelled by these motives, the Senate, upon his mocotemporaneous with Mr. Fillmore's Erie letter; || prayer of the petitioners by a vote of thirty-four to six, and and the contrast is most striking between the refused to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.” broad and comprehensive views of the statesman,
“ Thus stood the question on the 4th of July, 1836, and the narrow and illiberal dogmas of the aboli- || from the slaveholding States and their constituents had a
when Congress adjourned. The members of Congress tion candidate for Congress. The whole speech right to expect peace. The question had been fully dis will be found in Niles's Register, volume 55, page cussed, and deliberately decided by overwhelming majori90. Mr. Buchanan said:
ties, and the South had reason to hope that the minority
would acquiesce, at least for a season, in the will of a ma“ There was one subject of vital importance to the peace | jority.” and prosperity of the Union, which had not occupied inuch
But Mr. Fillmore and the abolition societies at of the attention of the former speakers, and therefore he would make a few reinarks upon it. He referred to aboli- || the North would not allow peace and quiet to the
South, but persisted in an agitation of the ques- || pendent Treasury, Mr. Buchanan contended that tion which has repeatedly brought the Union to ten cents per day was sufficient wages for a laborthe brink of destruction.' Where is the friend of ing man. It is a sufficient reply to this to say, Mr. Fillmore who will ever again charge Mr. that no such thing is in that or any other speech Buchanan with unsoundness on this question? of Mr. Buchanan; and his enemies, having been
4. It is said Mr. Buchanan is favorable to filli- repeatedly challenged to point it out, have not bustering; and the manifesto of the Ostend con been able to do so. The whole basis of the charge ference is cited as proving that he favors attempts that he advocated the independent Treasury. to acquire the Island of Cuba by that means. Mr. The enemies of that measure contended that it Buchanan's letter accepting the nomination ut- i would reduce the wages of labor; Mr. Buchanan terly refutes any such charge. In it he says: denied it. The measure has been the law of the • Should I be placed in the executive chair, I shall use
land for ten years, and experience has shown that. my best exertions to cultivate peace and friendship with Mr. Buchanan was correct. The wages of labor ali nations, believing this to be our highest policy as well and prices of produce have never been so high, as qur most imperative duty."
nor the country so exempt from disastrous comFrom a statesman of his conservative eharacter, mercial revulsions, as they have been under the whose experience in the conduct of our foreign | operation of the independent Treasury. affairs is unequaled, and whose prudence is pro 6. The charge of bargain and intrigue against verbial, no such declaration would be needed to Mr. Clay. Mr. Clay, in his lifetime, and his satisfy the country that in his hands its peace friends, including Prentice, his biographer, havand honor would be equally safe.
ing exonerated Mr. Buchanan from all that was The manifesto of the Ostend conference de- improper in that matter, it is too late to found on clared that the possession of the Island of Cuba it a new charge, at least without some new eviwas of great importance to the commerce and the dence. security of this country; that our Government These frivolous charges are only intended, as I ought to acquire it by purchase, if possible, and remarked just now, to excuse the Know Nothings could afford to give for it a very high price; that for dividing the South, and to draw off public atif Spain should refuse to sell it to us, it ought to tention at the South from exposure brought upon become the fixed policy of this Government, that the Know Nothing party by the proceedings of in no event would we permit it to pass into the this Congress, and the verification of every charge hands of a maritime Power, commanding, as it made by us against it last summer. does, the whole of our southern coasts on the But I do not intend to be placed on the defensAtlantic and the Gulf, and shutting up the whole | ive, nor, by any such clatter of small-arms, to of our Gulf States, including the mouth of the be drawn off from the exposure of the misdeeds Mississippi, in the event of war between us and of the order” of this Congress. Let us briefly the Power possessing it. Such were the senti- trace its origin and history. ments I avowed to my own constituents. And I In the presidential election of 1852, the friends go further and say, that if Spain should attempt of General Scott made the most desperate efforts to pursue such a course with the island as to to secure the votes of the Roman Catholic and render it a dangerous neighbor to us, the great foreign-born population of the country. General law of self-preservation would imperatively de- || Scott himself wrote letters, and made speeches mand of us to interpose and prevent it. If ihere throughout that portion of the country in which is a party in this country entertaining different they are numerous, abounding in fulsome flattery sentiments, I would like to hear them avowed. and disgusting adulation of those classes, and
Whilst Mr. Fillmore was President, the best | affected a fondness for “ the rich Irish brogue" appointed and most formidable fillibustering ex- and “sweet German accent,” which no pelting pedition that was ever fitted out from our shores storm nor howling wind could ever prevent him left the Mississippi river almost, if not quite, from distinguishing from the coarse and vulgar without opposition from the Government. It was | English of the native-born American. In a that led by Lopez for the conquest of the Island | speech at Cleveland he said: of Cuba. I do not censure Mr. Fillmore for it. " Fellow-citizens-when I say fellow-citizens I mean He no doubt did all he felt justified in doing to native and adopted citizens as well as all who intend arrest it. He issued his proclamation warning the
to become citizens of this great and glorious country
I thank you for the enthusiastic reception you have given adventurers that they need not expect the aid of me. [Cheers.) But there is one thing I regret in visiting their Government if they met the fate they might this beautiful city, and that is the rain. I was pained that, reasonably expect. That was doing no more than while I was comfortably sheltered in a covered carriage, it was strictly his duty to do, both as a faithful you should have been exposed to rain and mud. President and a benevolent individual. But the himself a citizen of this great country without passing over
“ Fellow-citizens, I have thought a man could hardly call then editor of the Union, Andrew J. Donelson, these great lakes, of which this is justly celebrated as one now the candidate for Vice President on the of the most beautiful of the whole West. [ You are welticket with Mr. Fillmore, thought otherwise, and
come here,' from an Irishman.) I hear that rich brogue
I love to hear it; it makes me rernember noble deeds of day after day, through the columns of the Irishmen, many of whom I have led 10 battle and to vicUnion, denounced Mr. Fillmore for “trucklingtory. [Great cheering.)” subserviency" to Spain, and for pusillanimously If in his ardor he did not actually vituperate abandoning American citizens to Spanish ven- the natives of the country, their exploits as solgeance. Indeed, of all the violent abuse heaped diers, their virtues as citizens, and the simple on Mr. Fillmore by Mr. Donelson, through the vigor of their language; were overlooked and deUnion, none was more unqualified and more bitter spised, and the Irishman or German who had than that founded on Mr. Fillmore's attempt to “passed over these great lakes” was, in his estisuppress fillibustering.
mation, a better citizen than a native of my State 5. It is charged that in his speech on the inde- ll who had never seen them.
scorn to wear.
In that celebrated letter in which he accepted address signed by Governor Graham and others, the nomination," with the resolutions annexed," dated January, 1834, as follows: he declared that, if-elected to the Presidency, he “The thirty-second article of the constitution etcludes would favor such a change in the naturalization from civil office all who may deny the truth of the Protestant laws as would "give to all foreigners the right of religion. This has no practical effect, for the plain reason citizenship who shall faithfully
serve, in time of determine a man's faith. It is an odious badge of prejudice, war, one year on board of our public ships or in which the enlightened liberality of the present day should our land forces, thus proposing to give to a for
It is an unjust imputation against the eigner, who had served one year in the Mediter-1 Catholics of this State to attach to them any such disqualiranean, or on the coast of Africa, or in Mexico, the disinterested public services of a single individual in the who had never been in this country, nor attended State, brand with falsehood the idle fears that are implied an election, and who of course had no opportu- | by this paper restriction. How far it is consistent with the nity to learn anything of our laws and customs, spirit of Protestantism itself, how far it is compatible with
the bill of rights, which declares that all men have a natthe full rights of citizenship. He proposed to ural and inalienable right to worship God according to the let such a foreigner vote the very first day his dictates of their own conscience,' we leave to that bigotry foot ever trod on American soil. Nine tenths of which would perpetuate this stigma." those who are now so clamorous for Americans Up to this period Catholics and foreigners were to rule America” were the warm friends of Gen-I in high favor. In two years from that time we eral Scott, defended this letter from the attacks find these same persons swearing voters, on the of the Democrats, and gave to the people as Holy Bible, to exclude from all offices all Roman many assurances of his soundness as they now Catholics, and even those having Roman Cathgive of the soundness of Mr. Fillmore. So mucholic wives or parents; inflicting on the rebellious for the foreigners in 1852.
member who should vote for a Catholic, or conThe Roman Catholics were equally courted.tinue one in office under him, “cruel and unusual One of the reasons urged by those who are now punishments," such as the Constitution forbids Know Nothings against the election of General the courts to inflict, and such as no humane juryPierce was, that the State in which he lived (Newman would prescribe for a thief or a robber; postHampshire) excluded them from office. The ing him from council to council as a liar and a Louisville Journal, then one of the leading Scott traitor, as a dangerous and outlawed runaway papers, and now one of the leading Know Nothing negro would be posted from cross-road to cross
road; demanding of every true and faithful
• brother" to shun and despise him, and to use “They (the American people) will not consent that the New Hampshire Democracy, who recently voted, by an every possible effort to reduce him and his family overwhelming majority, in favor of Catholic disability to to beggary and starvation. The foreigners and hold office, shall have the honor to give a President to the Roman Catholics refused to take the bait held out nation. They would greatly prefer that this honor shall be accorded to some State not disgraced by such abominable
to them, and, as was alleged by, General Scott's bigotry,"
friends, generally voted for General Pierce-thus General Pierce's friends proved that he was op- || duped by politicians and misled by demagogues
proving that, as a class, they are not so easily posed to excluding Roman Catholics from office
as the Know Nothings allege. on account of their religion, and that he had done all he could to get the disability removed; there- || hated intensely the classes who had thus, inno
Having wooed warmly, General Scott's friends upon the same editor said:
cently on their part, been made the object of so “ If that was all that General Pierce could say or do much lust. The same individuals who had endeavtowards relieving New Hampshire of a disgrace that causes ored, two years before, to bring about such a the United States and in the world, we ask if he is fit to be change in the naturalization law as to permit a President?"
foreigner to be naturalized on one year's service The constitution of North Carolina had, at one
in the Army or Navy, proposed, in 1854, that no time, like that of New Hampshire, contained a
foreigner should ever be permitted to vote. And clause excluding Catholics from holding office. those who, in 1852, had contended that General I find in the National Intelligencer of 4th Septem- | Pierce ought not to be elected President, because ber, 1852, a defense of Governor Graham, the his State retained in its constitution à clause candidate for Vice President, against what was excluding Catholics from office, endeavored, in then considered by his friends a most heinous | 1854, with just as much appearance of sincerity, charge-a suspicion that he was in favor of ex
to convince the people that to permit Catholics
to hold office was in effect to place the country cluding Catholics from office. I read from it as follows:
under the dominion of the Pope of Rome,
Such was the origin of the party; and there is " GOVERNOR GRAHAM AND Religious Tests.--Several too much reason to believe that it arose more of the Democratic presses, perceiving that their candidate for the Presidency is likely to be prejudiced by the odious
from spite and disappointment, than from solicireligious test in the constitution of New Hampshire, affect tude about our institutions or our religion. to believe that Governor Graham, the Whig candidate for The party sprang up in the North just pret Vice President, is not as tolerant as he should be, and one
vious to the passage of the Kansas and Nebraska of them has even gone so far as to declare that Mr. Graham was opposed to the reform in the constitution of North
bill in May, 1854. In the midst of the exciteCarolina, by which a similar restriction was abrogated.” ment produced by the passage of that bill, the
“ In an address to the people, dated June, l elections for members of the present House took 1833, while the election of Governor Grahain was pending, | place; and availing itself thereof, it defeated the free people to tyrannize over the consciences of others, Democratic party in every northern State. Of and pronounced the obnoxious provision an odious restrić the one hundred and forty-three members of this tion upon conscience.'»
House from the North, ninety-one were elected The article quotes, in his further defense, an as Know Nothings; and of these ninety-one,
seventy-five voted for Mr. Banks, also a Know Know Nothingism at the North was the triumph Nothing, for Speaker. Every Black Republican of Abolitionism, fully proven by every test vote voted with them; not a single Democrat voted yet taken in this House? And “ the end is not for him. A list of the names having been read yet.” Day by day the country is being precipon this floor in April last, by my friend from itated towards revolution by the blind and frenzied Tennessee, (Mr. Smith,) and properly corrected, Free-Soil fanaticism of the Know Nothing maI will append it to my printed speech as authentic. jority of this House. Even now we are threat
On the 26th January, the gentleman from In-ened with a consummation of the fell purpose to diana, (Mr. Dunn,] now at the head of the Fill- i paralyze the Government of the country by remore electoral ticket in that State, introduced into fusing supplies to carry it on, unless the Demthis House the following resolution, which, itocratic Senate and Democratic President will will be observed, goes further than the Black permit this House to dictata legislation incomRepublican platform:
patible with the peace of the country, if not
destructive of the Union. The gentleman from 6 Resolved, That said restriction (the Missouri compromise) ought to be restored, as an act of justice to all the Indiana, [Mr. Dunn,] who stands at the head of people of the United States, as a proper vindication of the the Fillmore electoral ticket of his State, openly wisdom, patriotism, and plighted honor of the great states-proclaims that he will never agree to appropriate men who imposed it, and as a necessary and certain means of reviving that concord and harmony among the States of
a dollar to carry on the Government, unless it is the American Union which are essential to the welfare of coupled with the restoration of the Missouri our people, and the perpetuity of our institutions." restriction. It will not be forgotten how boldly
On this resolution, every Democrat in the it was denied last summer, and with what assurHouse voted “No." Only three northern Knowance it was declared by the initiated, that a third Nothings voted against it-eighty-eight of them, degree Know Nothing could not be an Aboliwith all the Black Republicans, voting for it, or
" The order" having proved so potent a lever On the bill to admit Kansas into the Union on at the North for raising into power the brokenthe revolutionary Topeka constitution, got up by down politicians of a defeated party, it was seized the Free-Soil party in that Territory, the vote
on at the South as a means of performing the was about the same. All the Black Republicans, same office for a large number of aspirants, who, and all the northern Know Nothings, except | under every other name, had been rejected by the seven, voting for its admission; and all the Dem- people of that section. It came silently and seocrats, except one, voting against it.
cretly; and until long after its establishment, and It was known to well-informed persons at the its lodges had been organized in every county, South, at the time these individuals were elected and in almost every neighborhood, we were ignoto Congress, that they were Free-Soilers, and rant of its existence among us. I, myself, at the that on Free-Soil principles they had defeated moment it was achieving, and until long after it sound national Democrats. But the elections had achieved the exploits at the North which were pending in the South; and the fact was
filled this House with Abolitionists, entertained boldly and unblushingly denied by the Know no more suspicion of its existence in our midst Nothings, in the full trust that the rottenness of than I have at this moment that Massachusetts their associates could not be exposed until it was emigrant aid societies are established in the city too late to affect our elections. 'I happen to have of my residence. It not only came secretly, but before me the North Carolina Star, the news
it came under the guise of an association, no way paper organ of "the order” in my State, for interfering in politics, except to preventa repetiMarch 17, 1855, in which I find the following tion of the discreditable scenes to which I have editorial:
alluded, as having occurred in 1852. Its friends “New HAMPSHIRE Election.- An election was held in themselves; denounced “ the wild hunt after of
professed to eschew all offices and promotion for New Hampshire, on the 13th, for Governor, meinbers of the Legislature, Congress, &c., and, from the returns already | fice, which characterizes the age,” and bewailed received, there is no doubt of the entire success of the " the purer days of the Republic, when office
sought the man, and not man the office.” Such “Of the members of the Legislature, the knew things professions of noderation and disinterestedness twenty-nine, and the Whigs three, so far as heard from. disarmed suspicion. Thousands joined it who All the Know Nothing members ofCongress are said to be withdrew on ascertaining that, whilst the pretext elected. Remember this is Mr. Pierce's State, and may, was to keep foreigners and Roman Catholics out therefore, be regarded as an abandonment of the firm of Pierce, Forney, Seward, & Co. This American victory of office, the real object was to keep out Demooccurred on the same day the Virginia American candidate crats; and that whilst ostensibly declining all of was nominated. The former may be taken as a precursor | fices for themselves, their main fundamental prin
ciple—the one which could never be violated by The members of this House whose election a brother” with impunity-was a preference of was thus greeted in a southern State, are among themselves and one another, not only for every the most unwavering of the Free-Soil majority; | office, but for every employment in the country. and the next thing we heard of that glorious The elections at the North had been carried on Know Nothing Legislature was, that it had elect- extreme Free-Soil principles, as I have shown. ed John P. HALE, and another like him, to the They had taken place in the fall of 1854. The United States Senate.
elections at the South were to come on in the Such were the means resorted to to blind the summer of 1855. The northern Know Nothings people of the South to the appalling dangers into | had had a “good time of it" in 1854, running on which Know Nothingism was precipitating the an extreme Free-Soil platform; and the southern country, and the South in particular. Is not the Know Nothings claimed, and had accorded to charge, made last summer, that the triumph of them, a platform that it was thought would give
of the result of the latter."
them an equally good time of it” in 1855. As | by the Black Republican convention, and spurned no elections were pending at the North, the thing from their doors, have tamely fallen into the ranks was easily arranged; and in June, 1855, the Phil- of Frémont, and will no doubt labor the harder adelphia convention passed a set of resolutions for the kicks they have received. Hear what embracing, among others, the celebrated twelfth Ford, one of the leading seceders from the Philasection. I, for one, made no issue on that delphia Know Nothing convention, said when twelfth section. I told the people that if it was admitted to the Black Republican convention: the doctrine of the party, and the party would “ The American party has a great work to do, and that abide by it, and we could be so assured, they work is to spread Americanism and resist slavery. [Apmight be safely trusted, as far as the slavery plause.] The power of the Pope and domestic slavery are question was concerned. But I toll them it was
linked together, [applause,) and they have upon earth but
one mission-the extinction of human liberty. The power not the doctrine of the party—that it was only of oppression is the same, whether it be foreign or domestic. put forth to affect the southern elections; and as Can we not combine for the overthrow of these powers of soon as they were over it would be repealed, as
darkness? [Applause.) Is it possible that the people of the it had already been repudiated by the whole monster-Popery and slavery? [Applause.) I tell you that
North cannot unite for the overthrow of that hydra-headed northern wing of the party. That, like every we can. [Great applause.) I tell you we will unité. [Upthing else militating against their success, was
roarious cheering.] Let us inscribe upon our banners, and broadly and boldly contradicted.
proclaim it to the enemies of liberty everywhere, that the
American party was the first which proclaimed the princiAs soon as the southern elections were over,
ples of freedom-[tremendous applause)--the first, anythe newspaper organ of the party in this city where to hold that it has inalienable rights, among which commenced to agitate in favor of striking out the are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Whig twelfth section. A feeble echo came from the party has bidden high for southern support. The Democrats
have made bids for it. Every other party has bidden for it, county town of one of the most patriotic counties till the American party sprang up. That party has said to in the district I have the honor to represent. the South,“ We can no longer serve you :” and it was the From every part of the country, in a few in- first party that ever said this thing. [Applause.]" stances even in those portions of the South in This is the same individual who figured conwhich "an intensely American feeling” pre- spicuously in the Know Nothing convention of vailed, the cry was taken up. The national June, 1855, and who entertained and proclaimed Know Nothing council met at Philadelphia in there the same sentiments. After having been February, 1856. The North demanded the re called to the confessional by Mr. Ford, in that peal. Mr. Sheets, of Indiana, said:
convention, in regard to the repeal of the Mis“ He would assure the South, that the twelfth section
souri restriction, southern gentlemen returned must be got rid of. He was willing to accept a compro- | home, and proclaimed to my people that the mise, but the section must be got rid of. He was willing to Know Nothing party of the North was sound, accept the Washington platform, for, if there was any reliable, and patriotic. thing in it, it was so covered up with verbiage that a President would be elected before the people would find out
Thus ended, as predicted it would end, the atwhat it was all about. [Tumultuous laughter.] Three tempt to forin a national Know Nothing party. southern States had been carried on the twelfth section. The Democratic party is the only party in the Repeal it, and we will give you the entire North. [Ap-country standing upon the Constitution, and plause.”)
maintaining all its provisions, regardless of secThe twelfth section was stricken out against tions or of sectional prejudices. It has existed the unanimous vote of the South, and the "ver- since the foundation of the Government, mainbiage" platform alluded to by Mr. Sheets was taining itself through all the mutations of parties, adopted. Thereupon a large portion of the south- of men, and of political issues. To say that it ern members seceded from the convention. They has occasionally done wrong is only to attribute say now the verbiage platform is as good as the to it the character which the Almighty has stamped twelfth section. Then why did they secede when it was on all his works. Nothing is infallible but the adopted? After Mr. Fillmore was nominated, or all-wise and unseen God. I claim not for the rather when they saw that by returning they could | Democratic party any greater perfection than effect that much-desired object, they returned to belongs to the fallíble men of whom it is composed. the convention, and Mr. Fillmore was nominated. But it has always maintained its strength equally Then it became the turn of the northern members over the whole Union, because its principles have to bolt, and they went off, carrying very nearly always been the principles of the Constitution, all the presidential strength of the party. Such | which was intended to guard, and protect, and is the great and harmonious national party which foster the whole Union alike. Whatever party is to save the Union from sectional strife. Unable undertakes to supplant it must necessarily become to save itself from strife and dissolution through sectional, or one-ideaed, because it already occuforty-eight hours-its whole history is but a long | pies all the ground the Constitution affords for tale of bolters and seceders, sub-bolters and new any party to stand on.
The Know Nothing seceders. It affects to be national, and claims that party has only suffered the fate of all its predein its embrace the Union would be secure. Their cessors; and it has only met its fate more sudembrace must be more powerful than the feeble denly, and more disastrously than its predecesand relaxed ligaments that bind together the sors, because it started as a sectional party, whilst members of their own body. As well might the all others have started as national, and have only unhappy parents who wrangle and fight at every become sectional after long years of defeat and meeting around the domestic board, claim that disappointment. they are teaching their children fraternal harmony In the disastrous wreck at Philadelphia, in and concord. Their example is more potent for February last, the southern Know Nothings evil than their precepts for good.
clung to the platform, (though they had bolted The northern members who bolted when Fill- when it was adopted,) and floated off, with Mr. more was nominated, after having been insulted || Fillmore for pilot, and a few northern friends of