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Democrat and sentinel. [volume] (Ebensburg, Pa.) 1853-1866, March 15, 1855, Image 1

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Col. J. T. H. Clairbome, of Mississippi,
I.' ' 7 WAsnrxoTox, D. C , Feb. G? 1855.
" DeaA Sir : My answer to your letter of
he 24th December, has been deferred, in the
expectation that a proper occasion might arise
In the House of Representatives for express
.in my opinions on the subjects to which you
directed my attentiea. Bt the pressing na--ture
of much of the curre&t bsiness of Con
egress, and the limited time within which it
must be actod upon, have inclined the House
o discourage the discussion of mere political
topics, not immediately connected witti tue
subject under consideration ;
I have, there-
fare, concluded to give you
this form . '
my opinions m
You ask me to give my Tiews upon the sub
ject of foreign immigration generally, and es
pecially you ask my views respecting the new
party with which this subject is blended in
the public mind, and whose extraordinary
course of action, and no less extraordinary
progress, have awakened an unusual degree
of interest throughout the country, and much
alarm in some quarters. " ' ' -
- The interest which this party has awakened,
m not to be ascribed to4 the evils, real or
imagined, which flow from foreign immigration,
lut to the fact that it is a secret political bro
aherhool, whose purposes names and nuin
iera are hidden from the public eye, and to
rthc further- fact that wheie they have the,
power, no exhibition of public virtue or pri
vate worth, no services, however meritorious,
-and no abilities, however commanding, are
sufficient to exempt a man from secret pro
jjcription, if he fails or refuses to unite with
u ibmm, fr to sanction tUetr proceedings, it uio
progress of this party is such as it is represen-
iled to be, we may well consider the propriety
bf waiting in quiet unconcern, or under the
benumbing influence of fear, tmtil such a party
shall have subjugated the country. I have
".no fears of this result, if any serious opposi
tion is made. But that opposition must be
-presented, not in the form of denunciation,
Dut in the forni of deliberate reasoning pub
licly addressed to the people.
Persons who judge from outward appear-
otneea, without reflecting that such appcaran
cs are often deceptive, and in the present in
stance designed to be so, are inclined to jump
to the conclusion that the Know Nothings are
irresistible. The formation of a new party, in
' this country, always produces striking effects
for the time being ; the fear of being unpop
ular, of beinr in a minority, pervades all
' classes of people. It operates as well upon
those who do not seek office as upon those who
do. So much of all that is important to usjj
tested by the ballot-box, that that bjs .become,
in a paramount degree, the standard by which
every thing is measured. . r .
The cardinal principles of our government
' is that the majority stall rde ; and theprac
. tical applie.tio bf this principle has given a
strong coloring to all ocr -social and .political
'ffaVs., to all our habits of thought and action.
This feeling of deferential awe of majorities.,
jtnd of antipathy to minorities, has been culti
vated to such a degree, and" has grown to such
.rank maturity that it may be said, without
.exaggeration, that-the desire for popular ap- j
plause is as strong in our public men as it is
jin the actor, ja whom it glows with all the in
tensity of a papsion. ' .' ' 1 '
This is an inherent tendency, and it causes
: men to regard any movement by which they
jnaj possibly be left in a minority with an
anxiety which sometimes borders on phrenzy.
Men in the sere and yellow leaf of political
life are apt to join in the movement in the hope
of being rejuvenated Neglected men, long
baffled by ejjvious exclusion, find their merits
, at -length acknowledged, and, of course, go
over. Of those who remain, . some resort to
.devious courses, and to double dealing j some
fight boldly, but often recklessly ; but all, all,
.are for a time unhinged, disturbed, anxious
and bewildetcd. ' " - ' ' - ,
The9e are the ordinary effects.- "We can
easily account, therefore, for the extraordinary
symptoms which prevail all over the country,
rhen we reflect that in these times thia natu
ral tenlecy has been aided by peculiar cir
cumstances. A general upheaving of all the
political elements m one section of the Union,
lias infused a distrust of the stability of exist
ing party organizations, and a feeling of inse
curity and uncertainty amongst politicians
The advent of a new party at such a time,
with novel features to excite the curiosity of
. the careless and unreflecting, and .the veil of
gecrecj -to screen the timid from, exposure
taking Lold upon strong social and religious
antipathies the numbers left to be magnified
by fear or by misrepresentation, is well calcu...
utcd to produce temporary indecision and con
fusion. There are sone men who think there
uo me, ix it be not public life. In times
liU these they Bee a Trojan horse in every
j""tr.uua, ana tneir tears magnify a "paper
u2'vf the Pea" of 3Iacedonian pha-
Jtemed to oppose the Know No-'
Jhmgs. &o personal rik can deter me from
this eouiw. 'The effect of their success upon
the open and manly simplicity ' of the ; repnb
licanr character, and the integrity-of the Con
stitution, has decided me to resist them.'- I do
not approve-the course of action which they
have adopted, and am satisfied .whhl my prin
ciples and the principles of. my ; party 1 This
is the ground I stand upon. --?- 'I 1 ,
There is a good deal said by Know Nothing
organs and sympathisers of the corruptions of
the two old parties, and of abuses in the con
duct of publio affairs." " I . have not "been able
to perceive the one or the other. The Whigs
may confess the-soft impeachment if they
choose, but ' for the Democratic, party I enter
a general - and nnqnalified ' deiaj. Under
'JJJsmoeratis ; guidance the ; thirteen tolonies
have expanded into a great empire, ot rppuu
lican -States-. The wins of eommercGi have
been unfettered, and the national . treasury
filled to oveiflowiog, witbout oppression to the
people. ' Every branch of industry and enter
prise, and all the great interests of the coun
try have been stimulated to a degree of pros
perity unparalleled ia the b fetor jr f nations.
All this has been' accomplished by" legitimate
means, and we are now in . the enjoyment of
the fruits of. these achievements under a Con
stitution unimpaired, and which no tempta
tion of advantage has ever induced the Dem
ocratic party to infringe. And ir that party
pauses not for a moment in its career, it is be
cause it would Beein that there are no more
triumphs for patriotism to achieve.' X' have
made up my mind to adhere to this ' time
honored party to cling to the old ship as long
as there is a single plank above the water.
It seems to me. that if a man is capable of
serving his party at all, he can serve it as a
member of the Democratic party, and that
neither his capacity nor his integrity is likely
to be improved by entering a Know Nothing
lodge The Democratic party has not pro
sumptuously assumed her title of " American
party," and yet it has fairly won that title by
an unwavering devotion to American interests,
through good and evil report, in ' war and in
peace, through a long period of years.
It was the American party in 1812, when
there were Americans amongst us who gave
aid and comfort to a foreign enemy. - It was
the American party during the war with Mex
ico, when a native-born .'American expressed
the hope that Mexico would receive the Amer
ican volunteers with ' bloody bands and hos
pitable graves."
I do not credit the exaggerated accounts of
the numbers and resources of the Know No
things. Captain Marryatt, speaking of the
military: strength of this country, said that
twenty thousand Iiritisk regulars could march
from one end of the Union to the other, wjthoul
much serious resistance, but he added a most
important hint, and it was, that he doubted
whether a single one of the twenty thousand
would ever get back. His idea was that, be
ing without a standing army, the country
taken by surprise, with no time to concert
plans of resistance, the twenty thousand regu
lars might by rapid movement traverse the
whole length of the Union ; -but in ; attempt
ing to return, they would fiud the aspect of
things materially changed. .The whole 'land
would literally bristle with bayonets. The
Know Nothings, like the JJritish regjujars, in
the midst of confusion and unconcern, may
march through the country ; but the return
trip will test the quality of their mettle. The
revocare gradum will be an Uphill business."
; . Mere numbers are not the tet of the strength
of a party, certainly not of its stability; some
thing inore is required. - Jt must be organized
on right principle. ; ic must have a . b&sLi to
rest upon, and substantial and rational objects
in view. In these respects the Know Nothings
aro deficient ; , and even as to numbers, are
weaker, by far, than is generally supposed.
The recent elections oily show, in their gen
eral results, that where other parties are. uearlv
balanced, the new party has succeeded ; in
turning the, scale. ' . .
There .is one significant feature .in these
elections., however which we of the South
ought jjot to overlook, Efforts' have been
made by persons of opposite opinions to deduce
from these elections opposite results ; but there
is one general fact eonncctcd with them, and
it is, that the liberal portion of the Democratic
party of the free btatcs has been - crushed
almost to a man. It matters not what elements
were combined to produce this result; they
were all equally at war with our institutions.
- It is with a feeling of profound regret that
I allude to the jot, hat almost every liberal
minded man of the North and West has been
overthrown, and every spark of liberal senti
ment, as respects the institution of slavery,
utterly trodden out. ' Our friends seem ; to
faro as badly at the bands of one party as of
another,? They are literally, between "hawk
and buzaard.". If they are fortunate enough
to escape the vengeance of the ' Free Soilers
and Abolitionists, they are sure to fall, by the
unseen hand the covert stab of the Know
Nothings. Thja new party, in almost every
locality where its influence was felt,' sided with
ultra anti-slavery men. I, do not know wher
ther there is any limit to human credulity. ' I
fear there is none J Certainly, those who deal
m imposture act upon the hypothesis that it is :
boundless Ther is an effort being made to
convince southern men that northern Know
Nothings are not unfriendly to slavery nay ,
that they are fighting its battles against such
men as Seward and Sumner. Seward attacked
the Know Nothings because ' he wanted no
rivals in bis peculiar vocation, and the"Know
Nothings fought in sheer self-defence ""
The only perceptible change wrought by the
Know Nothings in the free States, is a change
from bad to worse. They have imparted a
deeper shade to Abolitionism. - Can any sane
roan believe thai thA
leye that thn r.Tvu; r . -Tr
of the Know .Nothings to Seward's ejection
was on account of his opposition to the admis
sion of slave territory into the Union, or be
cause he is in favor of the repeal of the fugi
tive slaye law, and the restoration of the Mis
souri line? Is it reasonable to suppose that
ufv uiuc wiieii me people ot the North are
more tnorouguiy aroused
slavery than at any former period, when they
regard the South as attempting to encroach
uDon territory consecrated to' freedom.'" ; to
use their own language, a party could be formed ,"
that a powerful party as this new- party pro
fesses to be, could be based upon such an issue
with Seward 1 In - Massachusetts, iB Itnow
.Nothings. ba-ve complete , ascendancy. Is it
possible to conceive anything so absurd as he
idea that the dominant party in Massachusetts
is. even tolerant f slavery ?. Fortunately for
the: cause of truth, at least, tb Know Nothing
Governor and Legislature of that JState,. and
the newly elected Senator in Congress, leave
no doubt oji this pomtr ' Massachusetts, in the
hands of tLe Know Nothings," ha 3" &t-u Joned
the 'position in which Mr. Webster placed her, 4
and has taken a step backwards to (he petition
occupied by Sumner. .. Wilson, the Know
Nothing Senator elect, publicly approved -and
endorsed, the following language of. Mr. 'Bur-,
lingame, employed on the 2d instant in -the
city of Boston Mr. Burlingaroe is a Know
Nothing member of Congress elect from Mas
sashusetts . , . .. . ;. . - ;
" If asked to state specifically what I would
do,' I would answer : 1st, repeal the Nebraska
bill ; 2d, repeal the fugitive slave lay ; 3d,
abolish Blavery in the District of- Columbia ;
4th, abolish the inter-State slave trade ; next
I would declare that slavery should not spread
to one inch of the territory of the Union."
Giddings never expressed a more thoroughly
sweeping and malevolent purp ose towards the
SoUth. . - , .. ;: ...
I undertake .to say, that powerful as this
new party may be at the North, it dare not
avow its opposition to the repeal of the fugi
tive slave law, or the restoration of the Mis
souri compromise line. The announcement
of such opposition would be the signal of its
dissolution ; it would melt away like the army
of Sennacharib. '
The south has been so often -the, victim of
deceptive appearances and hollow professions
suffered so much from delusions of this kind
that it is a cruel mockery thu&io Fport with
her infirmity. Will the South abandon the
Constitution ? Will she eease to contend, in
open day, for the rights which it was intended
to secure, and take refuge in a Know Nothing
lodge, and the guide of- midnight councils t
You are right in ascribing Abolition tenden
cies to this new party at the North. It is now
evident that, so far from being a national non
intervention party, it has become the repre
sentative of the most determined, unrelenting
and aggressive anti-slavery spirit. ; The "hope
once entertained thpt, wit2t all the objections
to which their .organization was obnoxious,
the .Know: Nothings might still effect some
good by neutralizing the anti-slavery feeling
in the free States, has been completely destroy
ed. The truth is, the Democratic partj is the
only party which has the least claim to nation
ality,' Lt hjjji displayed a- devotional heroism
in defence of the constitutional rights of the
States-; and in the perilous hour when Whigs,
Abolitionists,, and Know Nothings combined
for their destruction, Democrats of the free
States ' maintained,' with ' inflexible fortitude,
those rights and fell nobly fighting in their
defence. What excuse can Southern- Demo
crats offer who, in the very hour which wit
nessed the self-sacrifice f our friends, and. the
destruction of the last barrier to anti-slavery
fanaticism, join the very party whose secret
machinations wrought their destruction. .
Let us, however, look into the origin' and
progress of this new political order, and pen
etrate jia far as possible into the mystery which
surrounds it. We ougtt to know what oppo
sition to it involves on the score of principle,
and what consequences will attach to those
who oppose it. If we are to be hanged for
refusing to join it, it is a matter of some con
cern to know what is the grade of the offence,
for I agree with the old couplet, . . , , .
rs " To be hanged for treason is a common evil,
But to be hanged for nonsense is the devil."..
Know Nothingism is not the growth of ;the
slave States, lt had its origin at the North
I do not believe that it is the effect of preju
dice which leads me to regard, this as an ob
jection to the new party ' I have conceived a
very high regard for many northern men, and
admire many of the polities .of the northern
people very' much,; and; with all the natural
feeling whieh prompts a man to prefer his na
tive land, I am still inclined to avoid compar
isons in things which - at last may be mere
matters of tas.te. At least I will say no more
than was once said by -Dan Marble, the com
edian, to a southern audience : " Ihave heard
a great deal said about the advantages of the
North and Jihe advantages of the .Souib; or
my part, I think that one country is about as
good, as another, and a great deal better?'
The northern people, : however, L introduce a
great many of these small contrivances too
many entirely ; they start a great many queer
doctrines.; . It is not long, since a very noted
man, "Mr. Hale; delivered a lecture in Boston
in .vindication of the principles of Agrarian
laWS.', . ,, ' : ; . . , .;''.-:
Now, if these things suit the northern peo
ple I am not disposed to question their right
to enjoy them ; but I am disposed to prevent
their introduction to the South. -. Their blue
buckets, bone buttons, and the like we accept
thankfully, but against the introduction of
their principles, dogmas, creeds, theories, and
platforms, in morals, religion, . and politics, I
enter my most emphatic, protest. This is not
said in any unkind spirit. . The structure of
society in the two sections of the Union 13 ra
dically different, and what may be fond for
one may be poison to the other. To shorten
the matter I would have liked Know-Nothmg-ism
better if it liad come from "some other
quarter, . ,. , - .,' . -
What first attracted f ublic .tteutio ia tbis
new party, was the startling feature, an oath
or pledge- of secrecy as to the objects of, and
the persons composing, a poUtujaf society. It
was tie iirst instance of the kind here. . In a
"country where the freedom of discussion jis se
cured by the lyg pest guarantees, anq.'waere
the wrongs of one man inflicted through 'a vi
olation of .the sacred principles of the Consti
tution, ineta;: lj bepome the wrong of the whole
nation, . wher ? amaajnay peak. write, and
publish w hatever seems to him right, and there
is no one to make him afraid, this feature in a
4 political soci. ly naturally attracted attention .
l.bave heard ot such political organizations
r in Piter cOur 'riesi and under different circuni--
stances. V -en a foreign despot, put bis foot
upon the neck of prostrate Italy, and the sur
viving friends of liberty groped at midnight
amongst tbo fallen columns of :the temples of
freedom ; when they -were watched and hunted
down with treachery and tl? bet cc"' iat
ly before tie, they e ' it t, cret
of the Italian republics. History, however,
is full of such combinations -where a virtuous
ruler was to be assassinated ' or dethroned, or
a legitimate government overthrown by trea
sonable conspiracy. Such combinations, bow
ever, are new and uncalled for in this land of
ours.1 It is not long since we had to lament
the degradation of a people, who, after long
years of odious, grinding tyranny, achieved
their.Ubcrties, and then, as if weary of their
burden voluntarily, and on bended knees laid
them down at the feet of a despot. But lib
erty to them bad been a sort of a fever dream,
fitful, agitating, and exhausting. They had
felt the touch of the scorching and desolating
lava of revolution, and fearing its recurrence,
sought refuge in the calm of a frigid despotism
whose icy bosom, like a frozen sea, is un tossed
by the tempest and ' unmoved by the tide.
This is their apology,' such as it is. We, on
the contrary; achieved our liberty, and or
ganized it by a written constitution, under
which we repose' quietly, peacefully and pros
perously. 1l o have had but one serious strug
gle about the extent to which thtj; constitution
abridged our , liberty. That struggle "grew
out of an attempt by the government to inter
fere with the freedom of discussion, the license
of speech, and the freedoni of the press, a
matter deemed vital by our republican fathers.
They resisted, and after great and earnest ef
forts, succeeded in establishing firmly these
great pririleges, so intimately interwoven with
the very spirit of liberty, and, indeed, essen
tial fo its very existence. What excuse can
we 'offer for contemptuously spurning these
privilege-! now, or for surrendering bem vol
untarily in exchange for the dictation of se
cret irresponsible councils, for attempting to
govern the country by means and by persons
unknown to the people at large ; none, none
whatever. The exaction of an oath or pledge
of secrecy and fidelity in this country by a
political party, is a conessiou that the cause
in which it is enlisted is incapable of inspiring
attachment or respect. . .
I regard the suggestion of the apprehension
of tumult and violence from foreigners as sim
ply absurd. It could have no possible appli
cation except to a very few localities. It is
not pretended that it applies to the well-or-deied
society of the South. - Indeed, I do not
know if, at last, the explanation of this strange
feature in the Know Nothing organization
does not lie nearer the surface than we have
imagined" It may be that the early founders
of the order, when they looked at their follow
ers, experienced the same feelings with which
Falstaff surveyed the results of that recruiting
service in which he said he had "niisrsed
the King's press most damnably." Jack look
ed along those ranks which were filled by
'discarded, unjust, serving men, younger
sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters,
and ostlers trade-fallen, the cankers of a calm
world and a long peace," where men of the
Btamp of Mouldy, and Bullcalf, and Feeble
Forcible Feeble shone conspicuous ; and he
said to himself, "If I be not ashamed of my
soloiers, I am a souced gurnet I will not
march through Coventry .with them, that's
flat." This may be so and it may be .hat,
finding the new recruits bat a slight improve
ment upon the earlier levies, they determined
to wait until the public eye, dazzled by the
imposing majesty of numbers, would overlook
individual imperfection. This 'is not an ac
cusation,' but a conjecture, and a party which
resorts to secrecy must submit to conjectures.
1 If we could get at ; the real origin of this
party, I am inclined to bcliene that it would
be found that at the outset it had but very
limited aims-r-that it did not contemplate a
national organization, and perhaps not a po
litical organization. It is quite probable that
opposition to foreigners was a leading feature
in it ; but it was rather a social than a politi
cal antagonism.- .Opposition to Roman Cath
olocism was resorted : to because a large por
tion of the foreign population . .were ltoman
Catholics, and opposition to tbeiu was.calcula
ted to eplisfc the "religious prejudices of .the
country in favor of the new. party. . Jt is pot
to be denied that foreign labor azjd -skill affects
the price of wages in some parts of the coun
try. Nor is it to be denied that some foreign
ers have, at times, acted in a manner to pro
voke resentment. : It is not to be denied that
certain tenets of the Roman Catholic Church
are repugnant to Protestant ideas of the right
of private judgment and free inquiry. It re
mains to be 6&owa,' however, whether these
Know Nothings have the advantage of the
Roman Catholic Church in this respect. The
new party saw at once that it might safely re
ly upon the sympathies of the Protestants,
and that it would attach to itself the fragments
of the old Native American party. The pla
cing of the emblem of our Saviour above the
6tars and stripes in a procession, was thought
sufficient to prove that the Pope of Rome had
a design ' to establish temporal supremacy in
the United States of America. An instance
here and there, of tumult and violence, on the
part of foreigners, and some foolish declara
tions, made by crazy German sentimentalists,
asseted witiu tLe idea, of a rapidly increas
ing emigration, were thought sufficient to jus
tify the apprehension that foreigners wanted
to control the country,;, and would soon be
able to do so, " , -
Incidents like these, incidents of less impor
tance in their bearing than those which insti
gated the Gordon riots iu Eugland, gave an
impulse to Know Nothingisnvjuf-t Mich -air
impulse as would give it a temporary footing
in every nook and corner of tliei-ountry where
religious prejudices prevaied"br the foreign
laborer toiled. The mechanic wa told that
bis wages was reduced by the competition of
foreigners. Tbe Protestant was told that the'
Roman Church rith all its Babylonihb-ten-dencies
and corntptions was about to acquire
supremacy, and &e Native American was told
that bow was the auspicious moment to resuscitate-
bis party,"- which - bad Ing been in a
stata of suspended animation. ' Tb; result of
this artful policy surpassed the moe izznipe -e-wnoci
-tions of i.e.Know Nctticf a. . Ihey
.v.a " Lw .- other parties were nearly
balanced, - ihey could turn: the cale and a
successful manoeuvre of this kind in some of
j the principal cities, in local elections, led them '
to nope that they might afy aspire to .su
premacy in the nation. -- It is now true that
they have got a glimpse of political, power,
and this has changed the whole face of the or- '
ganization, and is destined to lead to its disso
lution; and you will find that before very long
its members will be divided amongst them- '
selves and each separate faction in desperate 1
self-defence pandering to; the yery influences
which they at first sought to destroy , Natu
ralization and Roman Catholicum wil .soon i
become objects of minor importance in the all
engrossing desire for political elevation.. . Up !
to this time, they Jj.ave bad no settled purpose,
no . settled plans of re&rm.. ., -They clamor j
about foreigners . and Roman Catholics,' but
suggest no practical remedy. They call upon
the . people to enter their lodges, but not to 1
examine the nature of any public grievance
or to devise any plan to correc,t abuses. .. In
the contests ybich they.UaY.e fed, they seeci
to bye desired simply to make an exhibition
of a strength; which is employed in the .most
capricious manner, and what is singular, they
attack Native Americans and pot foreigners.
Protestants not Catholics, syad ,that too with
out inquiring wbether the yetira is fayprabje
or unfavorable to such reforms as theyreiend
to desire, and without acquainting him what
those meditated reforms are.
It does not require the gift of prophecy to
foretell the fate of such a party. Mere num
bers, as I said before, without sound principles
cannot sustajn .a party In what they have
proclaimed up to this time, they have commit
ted two ross bbnders. ., The first is ap at
tempt to make a religious test in politics j Jhe
second, is the promulgation of the doctrine
that the States have no right to regulate the
elective franchise as respects foreigners..
Doctrines more mischievous could not be ad
vanced. In Epeaking of the first, I desire to
say that it is 'more va .orrosr than in ajger
that I perceive in jt, evidence of the decline
of that liberal spirit which animated qur great
ancestors when they framed the Co"pstitution.
With our history open before us, with every
page adorned by our triumphs in war, and,
what is far better, our triumphs in peace ; vand
every line teaching the ' incalculable value of
our free Constitution a-ad ' the sacredncss of
the freedom of conscience, we are asked to
turn aside from our great mission to persecute
a few stray Roman Catholics who have squght
the protection of tbaj Constitution ; not oy
open legislative enactment, pot by amending
the Constitution ; but by controlling, .through
secret combination, the suffrages of , the people.
When religious bigotry and intolerance tri
umph, as they often do, over age aud weak
ness, deplorable as the spectacle is and it is
the most deplorable that poor human nature
ever offers to our contemplation our aversion
to bigotry is sometimes softened by our pity
for the infirmity whieh yields to its sway ; but
we can make no allowance for young America;
we can have no charity for the young, the en
lightened, and the vigorous, who daringly
aud presumptuously thrust themselves between
a mwCfi conscience and his God. '-
If there U anything which dignifies and ex
alts human nature, it is a liberal forbearance
towards those who differ from us ui matters
of religious faith. If there is one feature in
our Constitution which more than .any other
commends itself to the respect and veneration
of mankind, it is that which secures to every
man the right to worship God ' according to
the dictates of his own ..conscience, and der
clares that no religious test shall ever be ap
plied in determining the qualifications for of
fice. The members of this new party, though
they denounce tho Jesuits .because it is assu
med that the Jesuits- will take an oath to sup
port the Constitution and then violate the
spirit of it and though they declare that their
leading object is to purify the ballot-box. yet
with the admission ocibcir lips tha,t the Con
stitution forbids the disfranchisement of any
religious denomination by open legislation,
they declare their purposes to effect this dis
franchisement at tb ballot-lox. In other
words, .they propose to employ that sacred in
strument, placed in the hands of the freemen
of this country to enable them to secure fidel
ity in their rulers, to correct abuses in the
administration of their government, and, if
need be, to procure amendments to the Con
stitution, nd as a means to evade, nay, sub
vert the Constitution itself to employ it as
Santa Anna and Louis Napoleon employed it,
to overthrow , the Constitution. This is the
Know Nothing mode of purifying the ballot
box ; and , when it .shall be sanct ioned by the
American people, when, one after another,
the religious denominations which may chance
to incur the displeasure of this secret order
shall share tie late of the Roman Catholics,
we may well exclaim ' God cave the Repub
lic." , .
Men who promulgate such doctrines, mis
take the spirit and temper of the people of this
country. They may blacken the character of
the Roman Catholic untij he shall become the
abhorred object of uuiversal execration, and
yet the people, not entirely lost to a sense of
tho inestimable blessings, which they enjoy.
Will rise up to tho rescue of that Constitution,
the source of those blessings, and under which
even the abhorred Bomsu Catholic may find
' shelter and repose, fnc attempt to justify
this disrrimi-ationttii tb grojjpd that if jj
pinvcrsally recofrmieed aa'f jWiJi'iical bt)inions.
4 exbibits a profound ntcotc-T't4on of the na-
luirtii iuc vditwiuii.op, .uio tin? tony ana we--bjgnant
spirit j Inch pervade-! fi' - The fSce
of ibe CotJtitutio ia fp jHr)noipce reat lead;
inf principles wliieK are bindiria J-oetf eonj
s"-ien??s in all ui political rtf-itions aud a'o
-Uons, and o which vr-; are bo-snd'flolemidyto
oop form whether at tke boTlotbox pr!ewbere.
jldoc8 aos undertaie tb'-Tegulsfc tba detail
Hit- legislation, nor to prescribo. tie forms of
i political action. -: It has no"r.3ertakn to"iy
i "-"-hat constitutes proseriptk-i f jr religious o'pln-
lofis, npr ' to enftmerat Li 'various Tnodeia
i wbLS fc.Lrbt--eeiit) trlViSiJU .
titnyly said -rt of be tff-f.lted ot eu ; and
in wiying thit hat errlvded ewy motJe of rp
tfyikg if- " No one capjaMe of -ppaFpiBg tpe
"spirit and meaning of th Ct-Dj-tltatiofi. pan
read it without perOeivang that it intended tu
draw a broad and palpal Jo distinction between
a man's opinions on a question of finapec, and
bis opinions respecting bis duties and relations
to. his God. 1 ' ; : '
' As to Jhe one the Coo-lit pt ion is silent; but
as to the other, it speaks out in (hp emphatic
language of absolute prohibition- ;
; It is true the Constitution has not provided
the means of preventing the disfranchisement
of any unpopular religious denomination ! it has"
not armed itself witb penalties and forfeitures.
The great men who framed it hop.c.d. that the
people whoso liberties it guards -rould -nevcf
cease to remember what it coct and what it
protects.-'- .: a : .j.l- ..":-'! . 'i."w
The .other blunder -which I alluded, is
the attempt to depri ve the Statas of a right
essential to their overeigpty and ipdertndeiico
a. rjgbt neyer before denied, and which no
State in the Union it is hoped will ever sur-:
render. . It is quite evident, that without a
change of the Constitution, Congress cannot
deprive foreigners .cf the right fp yoi? , and the
KnoWrNothings will pe driven fa 'ask the
States to 'de.capita.tc themselves by making this
aniendment, or to further disgrace themselves
by ignobly abandoning a right at the dictation
of this secret order -
.- I propose to speak .more at length pn this
,pointri another ponnoetiou. -These, are lead
ing features in this new organization. Ami
not justified in asserting that ,it is deficient m
the main elements of strength in soundness of
principle, and .in the practicability of its sub
jects. When the honest men of this party
(and I am far from saying that there are not
many such,), who joined it in the hope that
some practical good was to be obtained, -come
to find that to attain some fancied benefit, they
must trample the Constitution "Brnder foot, they
will turn from this secret order as the deluded
devotees turned rqm .he vailed prophet of
Khorassan when they discovered that the sub;
ject of their blind devotion was hideously de
formed in soul and body. -. '
It is denied Ui at proscription for r religious
.Opinions, is the object .of this new organiza
tion ; but from its inception to the present
time, there has been an unceasing effort to
arouse the Protestant community against the
Roman (Catholic In our State, where the
evils of foreign -immigration are scarpely felt
at all, you and I know that tho anti-Catholic
feeling Jbas been operated upon almost exclur
siveiy. I am not the advocate of the Roman
.Catholic faith; Icondemn most emphatically
;the denial of the right, of eycry man. to read
the scriptures and Interpret them for himself.
I do not believe in the infallibility of the Pope,
or of the councils. - But, because it is a form
.of religion, and protected by the Constitution,
I am disposed to let it alone. At most, I
would simply turn it over to the Protestant
clergy, and cqmniendit especially to Jthe famous
three thousand iu New England, who as Judge
Douglas seems to think, are without, legiti
mate employment. I repose absolute confi-,
dence jin their ability to make head against
tlvo Roman Catholic Churcb ; and I trust the
Protestant clergy will not surrender their
rightful calling nor make the humiliating con
fession that they, are juneaqiial to the task
which they have .undertaken by divipe apr
pointment," by calling in the aid of a politieal
party and the terrors of religious persecution.
. Foreign emigration to this country has both
its evils and benefits, lt is a X&ct worthy, of
consideration, that about .the tin e, or' a very
short time before, the crusade against fortgn
era was commenced, English political writers
were attempting to show that the rapid growth
and prosperity of this country was due in : a
great measure to thU emigration ; arguing
that it brought money, skill and industry into
the country j .that our caaaLs and railroads
were made by foreign labor our merchant veer
stls were . .maned by. foreign seamen ; that
much of the skill in the mechanical arts, of
which this country boabted, was derived from
other nations; that the greater portion of the
emigrants brought mure or less of money with
them, aud in short, that our capital, and our
productivecaergi-is, were jgreatly increased by
cm'gration.; These writers were not writing
to excuse or encourage emigration but to check
it; and fbey suggested the necessity of moastirs
to prevent tho exhaustion consequent upon
the withdrawal of so much' labor, skill aod
capital from England,; '
Now, it may be that the effcttof this immi
gration upon the growth . of tho country i
bomewh.at exaggerated but still it is not to be
denied that great advantages have been de
rived from it by the country at large, in tho
manner pointed out. It n estimated that tho
German immigrants alone . bring nearly $25,
Do5 annually into the country. There are
evils attending thia immigration ; evib more
limited in their effects than is pretended by
some, adl am incliucd to believe, greatly
magnified by report. There comes, iu cou
pany with this labor, skill and- capital, idle-,
ness crime, aud pauperism. These are positive
and palpable evils, and presume there is not
a man of any party who does not admit it.
! -There are other effects of immigration of
which the Know-Xothings complain ; and one;
w..thattbisforei"rn labor and ckili if brought
i iu competition with native AmCn-jay labor an J

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