2

Are the Illinois Democracy United?

Some days since the St. Louis Republican read the democracy of Illinois a homily on their duty as Union men. The Republican assumed that there was a difference among them in this regard — that while one portion of them was right another was wrong — that there was a division, and so serious that it called for its own oracular advice on the subject. Unconscious of this difference, this dispute among those who have ever stood shoulder to shoulder for the right, we took occasion to suggest that no such difference existed, and that if it did, the St. Louis Republican, the self-constituted advocate of one wing of negroism in Missouri, frowning upon any DEMOCRATIC organization in that state, was not exactly the source from whence should emanate advice to Illinois democrats, as to their principles, policy or democratic tactics. In response, that prominent metropolitan journal, published in Missouri, under the "pressure" of abolition bayonets, without an opinion permitted to be expressed which can conflict with the interests of "the powers that be," gravely undertakes to enlighten the white men of Illinois as to their duty as citizens. We have denied that the difference of opinion exists which the Republican claims. In reply, it only points us to the fact that there is clashing between two journals at Chicago — the Times and Post; which antagonism has about as much to do, in fact, with the rebellion as it has with the late war in the Crimea. Their local differences we have nothing to do with. We read its daily issue with little understanding, if we do not know that the Times, in the main, reflects the sentiment of the Illinois democracy on the general question. It requires no elaboration to define this. It was plain, last year, when we went to the polls and routed disunion abolitionism. It was plain, when the representatives of the people, chosen at that election, presented to the two houses of the legislature, in a series of resolutions, their views of the national crisis. That they truthfully represented the democracy, the responses of the democratic people, in almost every county and township of the state, during the present spring, is ample confirmation. By townships and by counties, the unterrified, unflinching democracy of Illinois declare their HOSTILITY TO THE POLICY OF THE WAR, AS NOW PROSECUTED BY THE NATIONAL ADMINISTRATION!

The Illinois democracy feel that they have been cheated and defrauded by a corrupt and designing administration. In good faith, they "went in" for the prosecution of the war, on the pledges of the Crittenden resolutions. In numbers far exceeding those of their opponents, they furnished the men to combat the rebellion, but, at the end of two years, they find that the war is more vigorously prosecuted against constitutional rights — against themselves, than it is prosecuted against the armed forces in open rebellion. We repeat the remarks which the St. Louis Republican deems, in us, "unkind;" it may be convenient for that concern to pursue the course it does, but it will never prove convenient, or acceptable, to the Illinois democracy. It cites the Chicago Post, in proof that it has backing in Illinois! Will it cite one other democratic journal? Will it show one single meeting of the democratic people whereat the opinion is expressed that the democratic representative in the last legislature did not, by their "federal relations" resolutions, speak the sentiment of the democratic and conservative men of the state? The democratic people of Illinois approve those resolutions, and now DEMAND that they shall be passed at the coming June session.

We repeat again, that the St. Louis Republican, having no word of counsel or advice to the democracy of St. Louis and Missouri for a democratic organization, is not the proper mentor of Illinois democrats. It is most unfortunate, indeed, in its suggestion, that, taking home things as they are, it chooses to support one wing of abolitionism at home, and citing the case of the republicans in the New York legislature, shows that they, being in a minority, supported a democrat. They did support a democrat for speaker, but investigation has proven that they bought him with money, and his acts, subsequently, proved that he co-operated with them in all of their PARTY measures. The Republican, making the argument and the parallel good, may show, that by its own course, it has bought one wing of the abolition party in St. Louis, but it remains to be seen, when it gets its men into place, whether abolitionism or the St. Louis Republican is Calicoed!

There may be an individual of the democracy, here and there, who holds different views but as a whole the Illinois democracy is solid, compact, and determined in their opposition to the war prosecuted for the purposes sought by Lincoln and his manipulators. It is disunion inevitably, and a northern centralism more odious and vicious than was ever dreamed of by the Essex Junta. The Illinois democracy have proven that they are for the Union — have proven that they would war for that, but they are not of the stuff to submit to have that war made, not only for disunion but for the maintenance of a tyranny more odious in fact than any known to European legitimacy. They feel that they have been deceived — that their Union is not only endangered but that their liberties are at stake. In this connection we cannot forbear quoting the eloquent language of a cotemporary (the N. Y. World) on the point we are making:

The people ask for the Union. What has the administration to answer to them? It has to show them the armies of the nation wasted for two consecutive years upon the outskirts, the hem and fringe, of the rebellious states; it has to show them a knot of factitious military governors and hypothetical members of congress through the sacrified constitution out of the commonwealth which gave us Washington and Jefferson and Madison and Clay; a proclamation sweeping down the social institutions of half the country, in defiance alike of vested rights, of hereditary law, and of practical statesmanship; it has to show them exasperated populations systematically alienated, and a faction triumphantly proclaiming in the halls of the national legislature that the Union as it was is not worth preserving; it has to show them Wendell Phillips browbeating the president, and Horace Greeley insulting their love for the constitution with the vulgar sneer, "don't you wish you may get it?" The people ask for liberty. What has the administration to answer to them?

It has to show them the fortresses of the nation's honor degraded into the bastiles of arbitrary power; it has to show them the "light outspreading telegraph" prostituted to the uses of medieval despotism; it has to show them the freedom of speech trampled under foot, the freedom of the person despised; it has to show them judges dragged from the bench by a corporal's guard, and loyal cities of the Union administered, as Baltimore is now administered by General Schenck, in the worst spirit of the most petty and intolerant Austrian tyranny. It is by such answers, of which no oratory can evade the point, no clamors drown the eloquence, that the administration is condemning itself while the people are bringing it to judgment.

At once an eloquent and faithful picture of things as they are, yet the St. Louis Republican chides the Illinois democracy for repudiating the abuse of power which can only add to the chances of permanent disunion, and which, every day proves, is intended, by those who control governmental affairs, to have that effect.

The democracy of Illinois are for the Union and for the constitution and all its guaranties. They combat the opponents of either, whether they appear with arms in their hands or with lies upon their tongues and hypocrisy in their hearts. As true-hearted, honest men they cannot but have more respect for the first than they have for last; but, opposed to the designs of both, they are on the alert to oppose both alike. We think we know whereof we write. There is no difference among the Illinois democracy on the issue as the national administration is making it. They were, and are still, for the precepts of the Crittenden resolution. These have been abandoned by Lincoln and his advisers, and to extent almost beyond remedy, and Illinois democrats never can and never will indorse that abandonment — never will support or countenance the policy of those who approve or wink at it.

The war, as prosecuted, is not for Union but for disunion. Results prove this every day, if we had not the avowals of leading administration men in proof. The democratic people of Illinois see it, feel it, know it, and they are not for that war. It is but a waste of blood and treasure, to result in disunion and a northern despotism, in which the northwest is to dwindle into provincial subserviency to a seaboard money oligarchy. In that fight the Illinois democracy battle for their "own hand."