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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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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 22, 1861A Proscription List (Editorial)
An article from a newspaper published in Hannibal, Missouri was sent to us, and from it we infer that mob rule is gaining ground in regions near the boundaries of the free states. The article contains nothing less than a "list of Republicans, Black Republicans, and Abolitionists". It is evidently a proscription list, which is preceded by the following introduction:
"Following is a list of the names of the men of this city and county who voted for Abraham Lincoln in the last presidential election. We have divided them into three classes, according to the information which we were able to obtain concerning them. All those whose names are marked by an asterisk we believe to be respectable, law-abiding citizens who would not be guilty of an act unworthy of a gentleman or a liberty-loving 2citizen. Those whose names are marked with a double-bar cross are, in our opinion, still a step away from the abolitionists, while those whose names are marked with a single-bar cross are most certainly full-fledged abolitionists. The persons whose names bear no mark are not known to us."
This infamous item lists the names of about two hundred men. Here are a few: J. W. Teichmann, J. M. Fritz, Albert Eisle. [Translator's note: The names of thirty-six other persons are given. With three exceptions they are all Germans. Among them are seven merchants, and alderman, and a doctor.] A Mr. W. C. Doane is listed with the remark: "This man says that a Negro would be justified in killing his master in order to gain freedom. He left the city this morning."
Citizens of this Republic are thus denounced to the mob because they dared to exercise their constitutional rights. It is high time that the friends of liberty and the Constitution unite and prevent the despotism of slave-holders from making further headway. Will any German Democratic newspaper 3be so shameless as to defend mob rule, and write about violations of the Constitution by the North, after being reliably informed of actions like the foregoing committed by the defenders of slavery?
An article from a newspaper published in Hannibal, Missouri was sent to us, and from it we infer that mob rule is gaining ground in regions near the boundaries of ...
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 23, 1861No Concessions! (Editorial)
"The time for compromising is past," said brave Ben Wade in Congress, and no doubt he voiced the conviction of every liberty-loving citizen of this great country. The Republican press, through its most prominent organs, also declared most emphatically that the principles which were sanctioned by the people on November 6, 1860 should be upheld. Let us hope that the leaders of the Republican Party will not surrender a victory upon which the greatest and fondest hopes of the nation are based. May they who have the power to perform acts which are decisive in the history of the country remember the responsibility which was placed upon them through the sovereign act of the people in the last presidential election. The responsibility of refusing to sacrifice (through "concessions" and the like) one inch of the ground which was gained after many years of resistance to Southern aggression. We derive special satisfaction from an authentic report of the New York Tribune which states that it has reliable information that Lincoln will make no concessions whatever to the slave powers, 2regardless of the pretext under which the concessions are requested. Like the great majority of independent and free men, be they Republicans, Democrats, or Bellites, he regards it as his foremost duty to ascertain whether or not we have a Government--whether the Union is merely a bubble which will burst at the first contact with the enemy, or whether it is a great, vital force, qualified and able to defend itself against foes within and from without.
So no compromises will be made! No vain, useless concessions! No surrender of principles! No subversion of the great decision rendered by the people on November 6! The great issue must be settled now, once and for all. We want to know if the power of slavery is stronger than the Union. It must be determined whether or not the Mexican system of rebellion has gained sufficient footing among us to achieve a victory by force for a party which was legally defeated at the polls. When this question has been decided, there will be ample time to investigate sectional complaints.
And the issue should be settled soon, or rather at once, for there is great danger ahead, as we can readily see when we consider the location, the strength, 3and the [strategic] value of the facts in Louisiana which were taken by the Insurgents. Forts St. Philipp and Jackson lie nearly opposite one another on the Mississippi, a few miles above its mouth. The former has one hundred and twenty-four cannon, the latter one hundred and fifty, and six hundred men are required to garrison each. Our Government paid $1,096,342 to have them erected. Fort Pike and Fort Macomb are located on Lake Ponchartrain. Each has forty-nine cannon and is manned by a garrison of three hundred, and their combined cost was about one million dollars. Says the Tribune: "Such is the present situation in Louisiana and on nearly all of the Southern coast. How long will we have to wait before the Government takes the steps necessary to maintain its dignity, its character, and its reputation? Will we have to wait until the Capitol itself is in possession of the Insurgents, and until they have acquired sufficient power to hang as traitors all those who resist the rebellion? We need no longer wonder at the boldness of the rebels, for the Government seems to have lost its mental equilibrium. Must the country lapse into a military despotism founded on slavery, without one manly effort being made in behalf of liberty?"4
This question should be answered by voting down every dishonorable concession and suppressing the rebellion.
"The time for compromising is past," said brave Ben Wade in Congress, and no doubt he voiced the conviction of every liberty-loving citizen of this great country. The Republican press, ...
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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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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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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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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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 06, 1861Instructions to Illinois Delegates (Editorial)
The following resolutions were passed by the Illinois Legislature in the session which was held on Friday night:
Whereas, The people of the state of Illinois desire no change in our Federal Constitution, but several of our sister states have declared that an amendment is necessary; and
Whereas, The Fifth Article of the Constitution of the United States contains provisions making it possible to change that instrument, either through action by Congress or by a convention; and
Whereas, a desire has been expressed in various parts of the United States to hold a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution; therefore be it2
Resolved by the General Assembly, That if any of the other states which believe they have reason to complain appeal to Congress to call a convention in accordance with the manner prescribed by the Constitution of the United States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States, that the Legislature of the state of Illinois will assent, and hereby does assent; further
That until the people of the United States decree otherwise, the Federal Union must be preserved in its present state, and that the present Constitution and laws must be executed as they are, and to this end all the resources of the state of Illinois are pledged to the Federal Government of the United States, in conformity with the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
All the Democrats of the House voted against the last resolution, in line with the resolutions of the last Democratic convention, which was ready to surrender every Democratic principle (even those of the Northern 3Democrats) rather than use all legal means, including military force to enforce the laws of the United States in the South as well as in the North.
The following resolutions were passed by the Illinois Legislature in the session which was held on Friday night: Whereas, The people of the state of Illinois desire no change in ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 14, 1861Reform in Handling of Tax Money (Editorial)
The current Auditor's report contains complaints of a very grave nature about the Treasurer of Cook County. These charges point to the necessity of revising the laws which govern the delivery of money collected by county treasurers. From page seventy-seven of the Auditor's report we note that although they have collected it the treasurers of forty-two counties have not yet turned over $521,093 in tax money. And the Treasurer of Cook County is among them; he is $225,102 in arrears.
According to a telegraphic report published in the Chicago Democrat, the authorities at Springfield received money from the Treasurer of Cook County during the latter part of December; in other words, part of the tax money of 1860 was used to cover a part of the deficit of 1859.2
It is important that the people of Cook County know whether or not their Treasurer has covered the above deficit of $225,102, which had not reached the State Auditor December 1, 1860, as required by law.
We do not claim that there will be a similar deficit on December 1, 1861, but it cannot be denied that the County Treasurer directs a personal interest against delaying the collection of taxes, while half the taxpayers are interested in delaying collection. The state, as is indicated in this instance, does not receive the money within a specified time anyway. The collections, the property of the people, remain in the possession of the County Treasurer for months. He deposits the money in banks and draws interest.
The taxes for the year 1859 need not have been collected in the spring of 1860, since the money was not sent to the State Treasurer until the latter part of December.
Now we can understand why the County Treasurer objected to postponing the 3collection of the taxes for 1860 (due this year). As far as he is concerned, it is not only a matter of keeping the money in his possession and for his personal gain, but also of using the taxes of 1860 to cover the deficit caused by not delivering the tax money collected for the year 1859. .The fact that so many county treasurers are guilty of the same neglect of duty does not excuse the Treasurer of Cook County; most assuredly it does not excuse the enormous deficit of December 1, 1860.
In his report the State Auditor declared that changes in the law are necessary to prevent treasurers from using tax collections of later years to cover the deficits of previous years, and he recommends that county authorities refuse to permit treasurers to collect current taxes unless they show satisfactory evidence that they have delivered previous collections. Apparently, however, further steps must be taken. The County Supervisors have often audited the books of our County Treasurer and always reported them in good order. A law is necessary which makes it impossible for the county treasurer to use the money of the people for usurious purposes; a bill, making it mandatory that 4tax money be forwarded to the state at least once a month, is before the Legislature, and we urge that it be adopted immediately. This bill is in the interest of the people as well as the collectors, who will thus be freed from temptation.
The current Auditor's report contains complaints of a very grave nature about the Treasurer of Cook County. These charges point to the necessity of revising the laws which govern the ...
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