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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 08, 1861Great Massmeeting of German Republicans to Be Held in the Hall of the German House
All German Republicans, who, in these times of intended compromise and "great concessions," still adhere to the principles of the Republican party as embodied in the Chicago platform, are requested to meet Tuesday, January 8, the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, in the hall of the German House. This meeting is being held in order to give the German Republicans an opportunity to express their opinions on the present national crisis.
Caspar Butz, Anthony C. Hesing, Ernst Pruessing....
All German Republicans, who, in these times of intended compromise and "great concessions," still adhere to the principles of the Republican party as embodied in the Chicago platform, are requested ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Interpretation of American History (I J) ?
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 08, 1861The Union Meeting in Bryan Hall (Editorial)
Many Republicans believed that a demonstration should be held for the Union and for the enforcement of the law, and in order to make this demonstration very impressive, they called all Chicago citizens, irrespective of party affiliation, to a meeting at Bryan Hall. The proposed resolutions were to be presented to the world as the sentiments of all the people in Chicago. There was nothing objectionable about that. However, the Republicans committed the error of making concessions to the Democrats in the interest of unity. Of course the Committee on Resolutions would not admit this, but the statement made by Democratic Chairman S. S. Hayes shortly before the vote was taken, to the effect that the words "great concessions" must be retained if he and the other Democrats were to approve of the resolutions, proves conclusively that the objectionable expression was merely to serve as a loophole by which the Democrats intended to evade "enforcing the law at any price, and 2by the entire power of the nation".
We admit that the words of the last resolution to the effect that the men of all political parties in both sections of the country should be ready to make great concessions in order to restore harmony between the various sections of the country are, to say the least, ambiguous, and can easily be misinterpreted.
J. N. Arnold, who was elected a member of Congress from this district, took note of the strong Republican opposition to the above passage, and he advised that the objectionable part be omitted.
However, he was not insistent enough, and the President was careful not to regard Mr. Arnold's advice as an amendment, or to inquire whether this advice was meant to be an attempt to improve upon the report of the Committee.
The result was that the desired unanimity was not attained, and that the report of the Committee was adopted by a small majority. There is some doubt 3that a majority really voted in favor of adoption, but the President insisted upon exercising his authority and declared that the proposed resolutions had been accepted.
The report of the Committee was written by C. C. Learned, a well-known Republican, and it was good in every respect except that it was too long. But in Learned's original draft it was provided that only such concessions should be made which did not involve the sacrifice of a principle. The Committee did not think that these last words were definite enough, and they were deleted; but this deletion merely served to make the resolution in question even more indefinite, and a contradiction was inserted into the otherwise definte wording. Thus, by attempting to be fair, by trying to please the Democrats and obtain their approval, the votes of the true Republican were lost. Through the attempt to "cover the whole ground" the mistake of saying too much and of including opposite opinions was made, and thus the effect was weakened. Everyone will adhere to the resolutions which he favors, and while the Republicans may justly point to the definite language of most the resolutions, the Democrats 4will cling to the expression "great concessions," and will justify their reluctance to approve "the enforcement of the law" by saying that the Republicans are too slow in making "great concessions".
We believe that those present at this meeting who advocated a more definite wording of the resolution in question would have won, if Forrest had not permitted the "hand of Wentworth to be visible," and thus changed the whole matter into a fight between various factions to make political capital.
The proposals of Forrest, Bradely, and Swift could have been a bit more moderate and should have included "the exhaustion of peaceful means".
The conduct of the President obstructed the endeavors of those who advocated the insertion of the above phrase. His introduction of the proposals was correct from the viewpoint of parliamentary law, it is true, but the majority of those who were present at the meeting did not always understand the import of the proposals; and finally, he permitted men like "Edgar" and the 5Kentuckian, Waller, to speak, although the public voiced strenuous opposition. Only a few supported Waller's recommendations, which included the Crittenden Compromise.
Thus much time was lost, and at eleven o'clock the crowd demanded that the vote be taken, although the resolutions had not been thoroughly discussed, and, accordingly, were not fully understood.
In general, it is difficult to conduct these meetings" without respect to party," and, generally, the results are not satisfactory. This is evident from the so-called "currency meeting". The party system has made people one-sided. They are so accustomed to being led by publications and speakers that they attend the meetings somewhat like nonparticipating spectators, and do such little thinking that they are not able to make independent decisions. They take their directions from "prominent persons," vote for those whom they like personally, and are offended by the opinions of the opposing party. This is less true of Republicans than of Democrats, and we even admit that the leading 6Republicans of the Committee were well aware of the danger to which they were exposing themselves by being too obliging to the Democrats. But they were bent on a unanimous decision for Chicago, and in their zeal to insure it, they went too far. We are convinced that they could have attained unanimity without the insertion of the expression "great concessions".
Finally, it must be observed that the local organs of Democracy, the German as well as the American, do not regard themselves or their party as bound by the adopted resolutions, and, as the Times points out, the majority of the members of the Democratic party refused to participate because they looked upon the meeting as a means of trapping the Democrats. Thus the Republican Committee members who yearned for unanimity wasted their endeavors and their "concessions" upon ingrates, and are offended because the uncompromising Republicans accuse them of being "poor diplomats," while the Democratic newspapers are happy on account of the victory of the "Conservatives" in the Republican party. Of course there is really no reason for their joy, but during trying times like the present even appearances are sufficient to 7decrease the effect of otherwise definite resolutions.
Saturday's meeting was a failure because it was poorly organized and because the "great concessions" resolution was passed. Anyone who wishes to rejoice may do so in view of the fact that the Democrats indorsed resolutions to preserve the Union and enforce the laws, but we did not think that Northern Democrats would be so low as to side openly with the Rebels. The point in question was the declaration of the Republicans that they would abide by their previous stand, and that although they were willing to exercise patience, they could not relinquish any of their principles, since all arguments had been exhausted during the presidential campaign, and the verdict of the people had placed the stamp of approval and authority upon the Republican interpretation of the Constitution.
Since a meeting of German Republicans will be held this evening at the German House, and since they will express their opinion, we consider it unnecessary to repeat either the long resolutions of the Committee or the brief proposals 8of Bradely, Forrest, and Swift. The difference between the two is simply this: The proposals of Bradely, Forrest, and Swift are opposed to any compromise or concessions, while the adopted resolutions refer at least to "great concessions," even though the Committee gave assurances that only such "concessions" were meant which would not involve the relinquishment of a principle. In these turbulent times ambiguity is the death of effectiveness.
Many Republicans believed that a demonstration should be held for the Union and for the enforcement of the law, and in order to make this demonstration very impressive, they called ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 08, 1861The Nationalen's Knowledge of History (Editorial)
Anyone who wishes to ascertain how well the Nationalen, a German Democratic publication, is edited, may read the following bold but, unfortunately, untrue statement which appeared in the Saturday issue: "The Missouri Compromise was not mentioned in the bill which provided that the people themselves should have the power to decide the slavery question."
The Nebraska-Kansas Bill is the one referred to. Now compare the above statement with Section 14 of the bill: "All laws of the United States which are not applicable locally shall be in force in the Territory of Nebraska, with the exception of Section 8, which preceded the admission of Missouri into the Union, and which was passed March 6, 1820." It is generally known that this act was the Missouri Compromise.
One need not wonder at the short memory of the Nationalen, considering that 2Douglas, too, now suffers from the malady. For, six years ago this "statesman" claimed that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional, that it would lead to the formation of geographical and sectional factions, that he had discovered a "higher principle," according to which the slavery question could be finally settled, that the sovereignty of the people is, in fact, "Supreme Court" sovereignty. For six years he has been telling the nation that this "new principle" is the pride of his life, and that he would devote his whole life to its enforcement against the two existing "extremes"; but now he chews his words again, swallows his "great principle" as a magician swallows his "fire," and recommends the restoration of the same Missouri Compromise which for six years he has denounced as an unconstitutional and inadequate measure. Under no circumstances should such a proposal have come from Douglas, but since it does, it merely proves that his cowardice is just as great as the inconsistency which has marked his entire career.
Anyone who wishes to ascertain how well the Nationalen, a German Democratic publication, is edited, may read the following bold but, unfortunately, untrue statement which appeared in the Saturday issue: ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 19, 1861Resolutions of Chicago Turngemeinde
In the meeting which the Chicago Turngemeinde held on Thursday evening, the speaker proposed the following resolutions, which were accepted by the members:
Whereas, Rebellion and treachery against the Union and against all law and order have boldly arisen, and
Whereas, It is the duty of every true and loyal citizen to arm himself and defend the Union against internal or external enemies, and
Whereas, A German company of soldiers in Charleston voluntarily offered to fight against the Union and for slavery, and thereby caused us to hang our heads in shame; therefore be it
Resolved, That we, American citizens of German descent, shall remove this stain from our honorable name as well as we can, and that we therefore intend to form 2a free, independent rifle company, and are willing, if it should become necessary, to defend the Union with our lives and our property, and to fight against the expansion of slavery;
That a committee consisting of three members be elected to find out where and how our society may obtain weapons free of charge, since we are financially unable to purchase them;
That our secretary be hereby ordered to invite all the Turnvereine in the state to take similar action, and to at least arm themselves and be ready to join other military organizations in case their membership is too small to form an independent company;
That these resolutions be published in the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, The Tribune, Democrat, and The Post.
David Huth, First Speaker,
Charles Lotz, Secretary.
In the meeting which the Chicago Turngemeinde held on Thursday evening, the speaker proposed the following resolutions, which were accepted by the members: Whereas, Rebellion and treachery against the Union ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Assimilation > Participation in United States Service (III D) ?
German // Attitudes > War (I G) ?
German // Attitudes > Interpretation of American History (I J) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 19, 1861South Side Union Club Organized
A well attended meeting was held in the Archer Road Hall, the owner of which is Mr. Adam Sohn.
Mr. John Koch called the meeting to order. Mr. F. Schlund addressed the assembly and pointed out that in serious times like the present it is necessary to forget all local and party differences or interests and to keep in view that which is most important to America, namely, the preservation of the Union.
"History teaches us that victories have been won only by concentrating the united efforts of patriots upon one and the same object," declared Mr. Schlund. "Thus Germany once accomplished great things, and only thus did Garibaldi recently attain the unity of Italy.
"The Union of our adopted country will also be preserved if all men, regardless of their political, social, or religious affiliations, unite in defending our 2United States."
He recommended that the resolutions accepted January 14, at the organization of a Union Club at the Metropolitan Hall, be adopted by those present as fundamental paragraphs of the constitution of a club. A committee was then elected to frame a constitution and to submit it to prospective members for adoption.
The report of the committee was accepted after some minor details had been altered.
Then the constitution of the Union Club of the South Side was submitted for signatures, and the following persons were elected officers: F. Schlund, president; John F. Koch, secretary; Ludwig Bachale, treasurer.....
A well attended meeting was held in the Archer Road Hall, the owner of which is Mr. Adam Sohn. Mr. John Koch called the meeting to order. Mr. F. Schlund ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 23, 1861Resolutions of the Seward Club of the Seventh Ward
The following resolutions were adopted by the Seward Club in a meeting which Was held Saturday evening:
Whereas, We American citizens, members of the Seward Club will do all in our power to help maintain the unity and concord of the United States, in view of the difficult and dangerous situation in which our adopted fatherland now finds itself, and
whereas, We offer to the just Government of the United States our assistance and every means at our disposal; for since the Democrats of Illinois blame the Republicans for the present disturbances in the country, and have openly and emphatically stated that they will place every possible obstacle in the way of the Republican Administration; therefore be it
Resolved, That we shall fearlessly oppose the Democratic party and shall not 2permit ourselves to be intimidated in any way or by any means,
That we appeal to all citizens of German descent to unite with us and aid in maintaining our constitutional rights,
That these resolutions shall be published in all local newspapers.
H. Hett, President,
G. Scheef, Secretary.
The following resolutions were adopted by the Seward Club in a meeting which Was held Saturday evening: Whereas, We American citizens, members of the Seward Club will do all in ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Politics > Programs and Purposes (I F 3) ?
German // Attitudes > Interpretation of American History (I J) ?
German // Attitudes > War (I G) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 24, 1861For the Union and against Treason (Editorial)
It is a fact that the South not only abolished freedom of speech and freedom of the press long ago, but has also become guilty of high treason. It is not necessary to point out again that this situation is merely the result of a policy which has been consistently followed for eight years by the leaders of the slave states, who have made the National Government their tool. This policy consists of continually demanding new concessions from the North and attempting to force the North to accede to these demands by repeated threats to secede.
The South, as has been mentioned before, has abolished all liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, and has applied violent and treasonable measures against the Union. Hence, it cannot be denied that the Union has the right and the duty to oppose these rebellious violators of the 2Constitution, and to force them to do their duty toward the Union.
On this matter there can be but one opinion among all those who respect the Constitution and love the Union, and the Northern Democratic press, with a few exceptions, is working hand in hand with the Republican press. The Union must be preserved, and if this cannot be accomplished by peaceful means, force must be used.
The South claims that it was driven to secession by the election of Lincoln; but how can an act that is authorized by and is in conformance with the Constitution, be advanced as an excuse for high treason? And the election of Lincoln was a constitutional act. After the Democratic party had administered the affairs of the country in a most shameful manner for eight years, and had been guilty of corruption worse than any that our history has ever known, the people have applied the means of relief provided by the Constitution, and have cast their votes for a candidate whom they trust and whom they expect to put an end to thievery, corruption, 3and treason. The majority of the people have declared themselves in favor of a different system, and have thereby merely employed their constitutional rights. Who will dare to deny this?
The facts have thus been clearly established. The majority of the people disapproved of the corrupt Democratic administration and its hostile attitude toward liberty, and, in conformance with the Constitution, they have elected a president. But now the minority declares that it will not abide by the will of the majority, that it will not respect the Constitution, and that it will use forceful measures to enforce its will.
No citizen who is loyal to the Constitution and friendly to the Union can waver in his judgment in cases of this kind; he will have to side with the party which bases its rights upon the Constitution and upon the decision made by the majority in accordance with the Constitution, and which will not tolerate the destruction of the Constitution and the Union. We are happy to state that we have read this same opinion in many other Democratic 4newspapers, and we shall leave it to them to cast light on the disgraceful attitude which the local National-Demokrat assumes when it levels the charge of oppression against all who condemn the mob rule of the South and advise that stern measures be taken against the traitors in order to maintain the Union; and when it denounces as cowardly rascals those who, in agreement with Democratic newspapers like the Seebote, Cincinnati Volksfreund, etc., express themselves in favor of an energetic defense of the Union. Such language, by the way, condemns itself, and anyone who uses it against the Union, can be only a traitor or a maniac.
It is a fact that the South not only abolished freedom of speech and freedom of the press long ago, but has also become guilty of high treason. It is ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Politics > Graft and Corruption (I F 6) ?
German // Attitudes > Interpretation of American History (I J) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 01, 1861The Registration Law (Editorial)
A bill to ascertain the qualifications of voters and prevent fraudulent voting is before the Illinois Legislature and will undoubtedly be passed after some minor changes have been made.
The main provisions of the bill are that every voter must be registered or that his right to vote must be certified at the polls by two voters who are registered. The lists of voters will be prepared by the assessors who estimate the value of property for the purpose of taxation. They will deliver the lists to the clerks of the towns or cities, and the clerks will arrange the names in alphabetical order. Registration boards will be established and meet each year, on the first Monday in November, to complete the lists. The sessions of the boards will be public and will be held two weeks before each special election, as before each municipal election.2
Although the provisions of the bill are very strict, they will in no way hinder the free exercise of the right to vote.
However, one of the provisions in Section twenty-eight does not appear to be suitable to the purpose. It provides that a person may not vote in a precinct unless he has lived in it for sixty days prior to the election. Heretofore only ten days' residence was required, and no specified length of residence was required in county elections. The matter would be of no importance, were it not for the fact that at the time immediately preceding the November elections a great many people move from the suburbs into the city, or from one precinct to another, and according to the proposed law, they would be deprived of their vote. Only sixty days residence in the city should be required, but not sixty days residence in the precinct in which the voter wishes to cast his ballot. The other provisions of the bill are sufficient to prevent fraudulent voting.
A bill to ascertain the qualifications of voters and prevent fraudulent voting is before the Illinois Legislature and will undoubtedly be passed after some minor changes have been made. The ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Social Problems and Social Legislation (I H) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 01, 1861For the German-Republican Press of the United States (Editorial)
With reference to yesterday's article entitled "The Duty of the German-Republican Press During the Present Crisis," we are submitting a few resolutions which may be sent to the congressmen of the respective states. Of course, every editorial staff may add to, or detract from, these resolutions, but all are asked not to alter or remove the last one; we must include it, because this resolution is absolutely necessary if we are not to leave our Republican representatives in the dark regarding the attitude of the German Republicans.
We trust that the whole German press is in essential agreement with the spirit of the resolutions submitted, and, since no time may be lost, we request that these resolutions be signed by the editors and immediately forwarded to the representatives of their respective states, who are at Washington. We also 2believe that the German press should follow the example which we set yesterday, and do everything possible to prevent the free states from sending delegates to the conference of the boundary states, which is to be held on February 4. At present we can see no greater danger than that found in leading the North to think that there is any hope of avoiding the crisis; rather it should be brought home to the North that the danger is very great, indeed, that the very existence of the nation is at stake. Only in this way can the North be persuaded to take adequate steps toward saving our institutions.
Resolutions of the German-Republican Press on the Present National Crisis
Whereas, The Union and its existence are not a matter of bargain, but of law, and
Whereas, Affairs have taken such a shape as to render any concessions on the Republican side incompatible with honor and self-respect; therefore be it 3Resolved, That we condemn all efforts made in or out of Congress, to condone or to dodge the real issue by any compromises or concessions, that issue being simply, whether these United States and their Government are a shadowy phantom or a living and active reality; further
That the only safe way through the present crisis is the path of the sworn duty of United States citizens, to sustain the Federal Government, the Constitution, and the laws by all means, and by every sacrifice; further
That we are fully convinced that a Republican representative in Congress will never again be supported by the votes of true Republicans, if he, by his vote or action, sacrifices to slavery any territory of the United States of America, or violates any of the cardinal principles of the Republican faith as expressed by the Chicago platform.
With reference to yesterday's article entitled "The Duty of the German-Republican Press During the Present Crisis," we are submitting a few resolutions which may be sent to the congressmen of ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 04, 1861The Conference of State Commissioners at Washington (Editorial)
In another column we are publishing the resolutions by which the Illinois Legislature has limited the authority of the Commissioners invited by Virginia to attend a conference at Washington to deliberate on a peaceful settlement of the present difficulties. Similar resolutions were passed by the legislatures of Ohio, Indiana, and New York. They all declare that by sending delegates to the Conference they do not obligate themselves to negotiate on the basis suggested in the invitation; they also accord the delegates only conditional authority, reserving their approval and the right to give the delegates further instructions before they may indorse any action of the Conference. The Indiana resolutions expressly provide that no action of the Conference shall be binding on the state of Indiana unless nineteen states are represented, and that the Conference must recess 2until all states have had opportunity to take action on the invitation.
The granting of only conditional power and the reservations referred to clearly indicate that the Republican legislatures were very reluctant to take the degrading step of acceding to the wish of a state like Virginia, which declares with remarkable calmness and insolence that the Crittenden Compromise is a good basis on which the controversy may be settled.
In our last issue we described the dangers connected with sending a deputation to an extra-constitutional convention. Even the information that Illinois sent only Republican delegates, and Ohio all Republican delegates with the exception of one, cannot allay our anxiety.
There are only two possibilities. One is that this Conference will adopt a sort of Crittenden Compromise and insist that Congress embody it into the 3Constitution, which would require that two thirds of our congressmen and three fourths of the state legislatures favor the procedure.
In this case, demoralization, not only of the Republican Party, but also of the whole country, would be the inevitable result. That would be too high a price to pay for freedom. A compromise of this sort would buy the right to continue the Government, and would rob the Government of its internal stability as well as of the honor and dignity it has in the sight of the world in general. And what would be gained thereby? We would have several very unreliable boundary-slave states in the Union, and their loyalty would endure only as long as they were satisfied with the concessions granted in the compromise. If the Government of the Union can be maintained only under permission of a threatening minority and by submitting to the demands of that minority, the Union is not worth preserving.
The other alternative (and we hope they choose it) is that the Washington 4Conference will not accept a compromise. And what will be the result? Rejection of Virginia's ultimatum will become a means whereby the Virginia Disunionists, Wise, Floyd Hunter, etc., will incite the masses in Virginia and throughout the South to seize all forts and make an attack upon Washington. The plan of Floyd, Cobb, and others--to take possession of the Federal Government and to proclaim from the steps of the capital a Southern Government to be the de facto government--was revealed when Major Anderson took Fort Sumter and the traitors resigned from Buchanan's cabinet; but the plan was not cast aside. At present Governor Wise is quiet, but he will spring forth suddenly, like a tiger when it rushes upon its prey; for even small communities in East Virginia have invested thousands of dollars in weapons and munitions. In the meantime, Washington only has about six or seven hundred soldiers under General Scott to defend itself.
The Cincinnati Press gives the following description of the danger arising from the situtaion:5
"The Commissioners from the free states will be harassed in the convention on February 4; sessions will be held in the shadow of a revolution which may break out at any moment in the boundary states and spread throughout the entire South. Deliberations will go on amid fear and panic. The delegates come at the call of Virginia, and strictly speaking, the invitation makes attendance conditional upon accession to certain demands.
"If the delegates from the free states submit to the conditions, then it will be demanded that their legislatures immediately acknowledge that these conditions are amendments to the Constitution, under the pretext that immediate action is necessary to save the Union. If they refuse, the northern Democrats will call constitutional conventions which will approve of the amendments, whether the legislatures consent or not. According to their calculations, the secession panic will leave the people no time to consider what the concessions granted really imply; they expect to force the concessions under some well-sounding name, like Missouri Compromise.6
"The better informed among the Secessionists do not intend to subdue the northern delegates; they will make the demands of the South as humiliating as possible, in order to prevent their acceptance; and their plan to scare the northeners into taking any course to preserve the Union will be so arranged that everything will occur before February 13, when Congress meets to count the presidential votes and to proclaim the result of the election.
"As soon as the Commissioners refuse to accede to the requested conditions, telegrams will be sent to the entire South, informing the people that the North has refused to make any compromise, and therefore is to blame for the inevitable conflict, the purpose of which is to crush the South. The people of the South will be told that the only means of saving the South, the Constitution, and the Union, will lie in the immediate secession of all the slave states, after which they must take possession of the Capitol and the Government, and denounce as rebels the inhabitants of all the free states. And though the movement may not be begun by force, since General Scott has made 7preparations to meet these eventualities, still, as soon as the Northern delegates refuse to accept the required conditions, the boundary states will recall their delegates from Congress and leave that body without the quorum necessary to do business and proclaim the election of Lincoln.
"Preparations to this end have already been made; so many fighting forces have been assembled in Virginia, Maryland, and their neighboring states, that any resistance by the few troops of General Scott would merely involve the useless destruction of life and property. That is the program which our Illinois Legislature is helping carry out, and which is disguised as 'conservatism which changes partisans into patriots, and meets the patriotic Unionists of the South in the patriotic spirit of reconciliation! In the drama of secession this 'conservatism' plays the same role that Yancy's secret societies played in the cotton states, and later in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and Maryland. They plunged the cotton states into a revolution, and now the northern states are being used to plunge the 8boundary-slave states into a revolution."
We wish that we and the Cincinnati Press were in error, but we cannot conceal our fear that even the Republicans are not aware of the grave danger which may suddenly strike our country unless measures other than holding peace conferences with semi-rebels are taken to defend Washington.
In another column we are publishing the resolutions by which the Illinois Legislature has limited the authority of the Commissioners invited by Virginia to attend a conference at Washington to ...
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