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DEMOCRATIC (DOUGLAS) PLATFORM,
1. Resolved, That we, the Democracy of the Union, in Convention assembled, hereby declare our affirmance of the resolutions unanimously adopted and declared as a platform of principles by the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, in the year 1856, believing that Democratic principles are unchangeable in their nature, when applied to the same subject matters ; and we recommend, as the only further resolutions, the following:
Inasmuch as differences of opinion exist in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the Powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of Slavery within the territories :
2. Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on the questions of Constitutional law. .
3. Resolved, That it is the duty of the United States to afford ample and complete protection to all its citizens, whether at home or abroad, and whether native or foreign.
4. Resolved, That one of the necessities of the age, in a military, commercial, and postal point of view, is speedy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific States; and the Democratic party pledge such constitutional Government aid'as will insure the construction of a railroad to the Pacific coast, at the earliest practicable period.
5. Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favour of the acquisition of the island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honourable to ourselves and just to Spain.
6. Resolved, That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.
7. Resolved, That it is in accordance with the true interpretation of the Cincinnati Platform, that, during the existence of the Territorial Government, the measure of restriction, whatever it may be, imposed by the Federal Constitution on the power of the Territorial Legislature over the subject of the domestic relations, as the same has been, or shall hereafter be, finally determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, shall be respected by all good
citizens, and enforced with promptness and fidelity by every branch of the General Government.
DEMOCRATIC (BRECKINRIDGE) PLATFORM
ADOPTED AT CHARLESTON AND BALTIMORE, 1860.
Resolved, That the Platform adopted by the Democratic party in Cincinnati be affirmed, with the following explanatory resolutions :
1. That the Government of a Territory organized by an Act of Congress, is provisional and temporary; and during its existence, all citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the Territory, without their rights, either of person or property, being destroyed or impaired by Congressional or Territorial legislation.
2. That it is the duty of the Federal Government, in all its departments, to protect, when necessary, the rights of persons and property in the Territories, and wherever else its Constitutional authority extends.
3. That when the settlers in a Territory having an adequate population, form a State Constitution, in pur. suance of law, the right of sovereignty commences, and, being consummated by admission into the Union, they stand on an equal footing with the people of other States; and the State thus organized ought to be admitted into the Federal Union, whether its Constitution prohibits or recognizes the institution of Slavery.
4. That the Democratic party are in favour of the acquisition of the island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honourable to ourselves and just to Spain, at the earliest practicable moment.
5. That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.
6. That the democracy of the United States recognize it as the imperative duty of this Government to protect the naturalized citizen in all his rights, whether at home or in foreign lands, to the same extent as its native-born citizens.
Whereas, one of the greatest necessities of the age in a political, commercial, postal, and military point of view, is a
speedy communication between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Democratic party do hereby pledge themselves to use every means in their power to secure the passage of some Bill to the extent of the Constitutional authority of Congress for the Construction of a Pacific railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, at the earliest practicable moment.
As both the Douglas and Breckinridge Conventions readopted the Democratic Platform of 1856, the republication of that docuinent seems necessary to an understanding of the present position of the “National Democracy.”
ORDINANCES OF SECESSION, AND THE VOTES
Of these documents we give only one as a specimenthat of Alabama. Its perusal will do away with that false impression in regard to the causes and origin of the American war, which, even yet, is greatly prevalent in Europe. It will be seen that, whatever partisan-emissaries may aver, now that their declaration at the time of secession -the res gestae of their case-points only to one dispute, viz., that in regard to slavery. As regards the votes on the passage of the different ordinances, all of which are given, the reader must bear in mind that they convey an erroneous idea of unanimity, the popular vote being very different from the electoral. This is explained by the fact, that many of the electors who swelled the secession vote were themselves chosen by a bare majority.
ALABAMA ORDINANCE. (Passed in Secret Session of Convention at Montgomery, 11th
January, 1861, by a vote of 61 ayes to 39 nays.) Whereas the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States of America by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security: Therefore,
Be it declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama, in convention assembled, That the State of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn, from the Union known as “the United States of America," and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and independent State.
SEC. 2. Be it further declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama, in convention assembled, That all the powers over the territory of said State, and over the people thereof, heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America be, and they are hereby, withdrawn from said Government, and are hereby resumed and vested in the people of the State of Alabama.
And as it is the desire and purpose of the State of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as permanent government, upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States,
Be it resolved by the people of Alabama, in convention assembled, That the people of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, be, and are hereby, invited to meet the people of the State of Alabama, by their delegates, in convention, on the 4th day of February, A.D. 1861, at the city of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama, for the purpose of consulting with each other as to the most effectual mode of securing concerted and harmonious action in whatever measures may be deemed most desirable for our common peace and security.
And be it further resolved, That the president of this convention be, and is hereby, instructed to transmit forthwith a copy of the foregoing preamble, ordinance, and resolution, to the Governors of the several States named in said resolution.
The ordinance of the State of Arkansas was adopted in Convention at Little Rock, 6th May, 1861, by a vote of 69 ayes to 1 nay; that of Florida, at Tallahasse, 7th January, 1861, by a vote of 62 ayes to 7 nays; that of Georgia, at Milledgeville, 19th January, 1861, by a vote of 208 ayes to 89 nays; of Louisiana, at Baton Rouge, 26th January, 1861, by a vote of 113 ayes to 17 nays; of Mississippi, at Jackson, 9th January, 1861, by a vote of 84 ayes to 15 nays; of North Carolina, in Raleigh, 21st May, 1861, by a unanimous vote-yet this State was really one of the most reluctant; of South Carolina, at Charleston, 20th December, 1860, by a unanimous vote. In Tennessee, the ordinance passed the Legislature, subject to ratification by the people at Nashville, on 6th May, 1861, by a vote in the senate of 20 ayes to 4 nays, in the House, 46 ayes to 21 nays. The ordinance of Virginia was passed at Richmond on the 17th April, 1861, by a vote of 88 ayes io 55 nays.
Of these ordinances, four-to wit, those of the border States of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas-succeeded the bombardment of Fort Sumter, which was determined upon chiefly with the object of compelling them to take sides with the South.
SPEECH AT SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS,
JUNE 17, 1858.
“ MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN OF THE CONVENTION, -If we could first know where we are, and whether we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as newNorth as well as South.
“ Have we no tendency to the latter condition ?