Page images


each State, without interference by the national Government.

5. That public security is endangered, and the public prosperity arrested, by the unwise and unjust disfranchisement imposed on the people of the Southern States by recent legislation; the best guarantees of perfect peace, increasing wealth, and beneficent government in those States will be found in complete and universal amnesty, and the speediest possible removal of all civil and political disabilities.

6. That we have observed with alarm the growing tendency to the centralization and consolidation of all the powers of the national Government in the Legislative department, and are constrained to oppose to it a determined resistance. It is of the first importance that every department of the Government, whether legislative, judicial, or executive, be maintained in its full constitutional authority, without encroachment by either upon the other. Unconstitutional and usurped control of the other departments by the Legislature must result not only in the destruction of the checks and balances of the Constitution, but ultimately in the subjugation of the Senate, in the subversion of the States, and in the overthrow of the Union.

7. That we earnestly condemn the establishment and continuance of military government in the States, and especially the trial of citizens by military commissions, as unnecessary, unwise, and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of civil liberty. Neither military governments, nor military commissions for the trial of civilians in time of peace, can be tolerated by a free people resolved to maintain free


8. That the maintenance of great armies and navies in time of peace imposes heavy burdens on industry, and is dangerous to liberty. We insist, therefore, on the reduction of our army and navy to the smallest numbers consistent with due efficiency, and upon the withdrawal from the Southern States of all military force not absolutely necessary for the support of the civil authority.

9. That no fears need be entertained of evil consequences from the extension of the area of the United States; while, therefore, we have neither the purpose nor the wish to impose our institutions by force upon any people, we shall welcome the accession to the American Union of neighbor States whenever they are willing to come in and can be received without breach of international obligations. 10. That the full weight of American assertion and influence should be given to the doctrine that the citizens and subjects of all civilized States have the right to choose in what country and under what government they will live; and we especially insist that all American citizens, whether native or naturalized, shall be promptly and efficiently protected by the National Government, in every part of the world, against the oppression and injustice of all governments whatever.

11. That in our judgment the conduct of our Indian affairs has been marked by great corruption, and needs to be thoroughly reformed. To protect the remnants of the powerful tribes, which once possessed this broad land, in their decay and weakness, is the plain duty of the powerful nation which has succeeded them.

12. That labor is the true source of all wealth, and the men of labor are not only the real authors of the material well being, but the best defenders of the honor and interests of the country; it is, there fore, not less the dictate of wise policy than of sound principles that the rights of labor be fully maintained, and every possible opportunity of individual improvement secured, by just laws, to the workingmen of the country.

18. That honor and duty alike require the honest payment of the public debt and the faithful performance of all public obligations; but we do not admit that creditors, more than other men, are entitled to

special favor in the interpretation of the laws by which their rights and the public duties are determined. The interpretation of laws, in cases of conflicting interests, belongs to the courts. 14. That it is the duty of Congress to arrest all wasteful expenditures; to alleviate the burdens of taxation by wise distribution; to reduce and remove, as far as practicable, those which bear especially upon labor, and to prevent, by wise laws, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption, in the collection of the revenue; and it is equally the duty of every branch of the Government to enforce and practice the most rigid economy in the conduct of our public affairs.

15. That we invite and welcome the cooperation of all patriotic citizens who are willing to unite with us in our determination to maintain the union of the States, the rights of the States, and the rights of citizens; to arrest the progress of consolidation and the arbitrary exercise of military power; and to bring back to the Government economical, vigorous, and beneficial administration, and to the States and to the people peace, progress, and prosperity.

This platform, as will be seen, was not adopted by the convention; one was accepted by that body which differed from this in some important points. Nevertheless, the movement in favor of Mr. Chase's nomination went on, and the very morning of the actual nomination of Mr. Seymour a private caucus of the New York delegation was held, at which, on motion of Mr. Seymour, it was resolved that the delegation should present the name of Mr. Chase. This resolution was carried by a vote of thirtyseven yeas to twenty-four nays. Before an opportunity occurred to present his name formally in obedience to this resolution, the unanimous nomination of Mr. Seymour was carried at the instance of the Ohio delegates. If Mr. Seymour had not been nominated, there might still have been serious differences as to Mr. Chase, arising from the platform; for a Democratic friend of his in New York had received from the Chief Justice a letter, written for the information of members of the convention, after the platform had been telegraphed to Washington, which letter expressed dissent from the declarations concerning reconstruction, and declined commitment on any questions of constitutional law not already settled by the Supreme Court.

On August 4th, Mr. Seymour addressed a long letter to the committee of the convention, accepting the nomination. On this subject he said:

GENTLEMEN: When in the city of New York, on the 11th of July, in the presence of a vast multitude, on behalf of the National Democratic Convention, you tendered to me its unanimous nomination as their candidate for the office of President of the United States, I stated I had no words adequate to express my gratitude for the good-will and kindness which that body had shown to me. Its nomination was unsought and unexpected. It was my ambition to take an active part-from which I am now excluded -in the great struggle going on for the restoration of good government, of peace and prosperity to our country. But I have been caught up by the overwhelming tide which is bearing the country on to a great political change, and I find myself unable to resist its pressure.

You have also given me a copy of the resolutions

put forth by the convention, showing its position upon all the great questions which now agitate the country. As the presiding officer of that convention, I am familiar with their scope and import. As one of its members, I am a party to their terins. They are in accord with my views, and I stand upon them in the canvass upon which we are now entering, and I shall strive to carry them out in the future, wherever I may be placed, in political or private life.

I have stated that I would send you these words of acceptance in a letter, as is the customary form. I see no reason, upon reflection, to change or qualify the terms of my approval of the resolutions of the convention. I have delayed the mere formal act of committing to you in writing what I thus publicly said, for the purpose of seeing what light the action of Congress would throw upon the interests of the country. Its acts since the adjournment of the convention show an alarm lest a change of political power will give to the people what they ought to have a clear statement of what has been done with the money drawn from them during the past eight years.

The remainder of the letter presented forcible objections to the measures and policy of the Republican party.

Mr. Frank P. Blair, the nominee for the vice-presidency, in a letter dated July 13th, accepted the nomination. He said:

I accept without hesitation the nomination tendered in a manner so gratifying, and give you and the committee my thanks for the very kind and complimentary language in which you have conveyed to me the

decision of the convention.

I have carefully read the resolutions adopted by the convention, and most cordially concur in every principle and sentiment they announce.

My opinions upon all of the questions which discriminate the great contending parties have been freely expressed on all suitable occasions, and I do not deem it necessary at this time to reiterate them. The issues upon which the contest turns are clear, and cannot be obscured or distorted by the sophistries of our adversaries. They all resolve themselves into the old and ever-renewing struggle of a few men to absorb the political power of the nation. This effort, under every conceivable name and disguise, has always characterized the opponents of the Democratic party, but at no time has the attempt assumed a shape so open and daring as in this contest. The adversaries of free and constitutional government, in defiance of the express language of the Constitution, have erected a military despotism in ten of the States of the Union, have taken from the President the powers vested in him by the supreme law, and have deprived the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction. The right of trial by jury, and the great writ of right, the habeas corpus-shields of safety for every citizen, and which have descended to us from the earliest traditions of our ancestors, and which our Revolutionary fathers sought to secure to their posterity forever in the fundamental charter of our liberties-have been ruthlessly trampled under foot by the fragment of a Congress. Whole States and communities of people of our own race have been attainted, convicted, condemned, and deprived of their rights as citizens, without presentment, or trial, or witnesses, but by congressional enactment of ex post facto laws, and in defiance of the constitutional prohibition denying even to a full and legal Congress the authority to pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law. The same usurping authority has substituted as electors in place of the men of our own race, thus illegally attainted and disfranchised, a host of ignorant negroes, who are supported in idleness with the public money, and combined to

gether to strip the white race of their birthright, through the management of Freedmen's Bureaus and the emissaries of conspirators in other States; and, to

complete the oppression, the military power of the nation has been placed at their disposal, in order to make this barbarism supreme.

The military leader under whose prestige this usurping Congress has taken refuge since the condemnation of their schemes by the free people of the North in the elections of the last year, and whom they have selected as their candidate to shield themselves from the result of their own wickedness and crime, has announced his acceptance of the nomina tion, and his willingness to maintain their usurpations over eight millions of white people at the South, fixed to the earth with his bayonets. He exclaims: "Let us have peace." "Peace reigns in Warsaw," was the announcement which heralded the doom of the liberties of a nation. "The empire is peace," exclaimed Bonaparte, when freedom and its defenders expired under the sharp edge of his sword. The peace to which Grant invites us is the peace of despotism and death.


A convention of colored men of the States of Maryland, New Jersey, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia, assembled in Baltimore, on August 5th, and passed resolutions approving of the nomination at Chicago, and insisting that the colored men should be enfranchised in all the States.

The result of the elections for State officers, especially in the States of Maine, Ohio, and held in the months of September and October, Pennsylvania, were so unfavorable to the Democratic party, that it was openly demanded, in one of their important newspapers in New York City, that Mr. Seymour should withdraw and the committee of the convention desig nate another candidate. This proposition was met by such a storm of indignation as to arouse the party to extreme efforts. Addresses of encouragement were made by the National Democratic Committee, and by the New York State Committee. Mr. Seymour came forward to address the people in Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, O., and else where. The following dispatch from Presi dent Johnson was also made public:

WASHINGTON, October 22, 1868.

Hon. Horatio Seymour :


that you will enter the presidential canvass in person. I see it announced in the papers of this morning, trust this may be so, as the present position of public affairs justifies and demands it. It is hoped and be lieved by your friends that all enemies to constitational government, whether secret or avowed, will not be spared, and that their arbitrament and unjust usur pation, together with their wasteful, profligate, and corrupt use of the people's treasure, will be signaly exposed and rebuked. The masses of the people should be aroused and warned against the encroach ments of despotic power, now ready to enter the citadel of liberty. I trust that you may speak with an inspired tongue, and that your voice may pene trate every just and patriotic breast throughout the land. Let the living principles of the violated Constitution be proclaimed and restored, that peace, prosperity, and fraternal feeling may return to our divided and oppressed nation.


The election took place on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, which was November 3.

The result was as follows:

[blocks in formation]


44,167 12,045

47,548 15,438


218 1,969

[blocks in formation]

Electors chosen by Leg- islature

11,850 64,709 69,274

16,290 74,323 74,681

32,122 42,419 13,321 29,098 33,808 1,929 29,025 20,306 8,719 23,152 10,438 12,714 108,857 84,710 24,147 83,458 65,884 17,574 86,110 3,012,833 2,703,249 309,684||2,263,831 1,797,019 406,812|| 1.866,452 1,375,157 847,953 590,630

Three States, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas, gave no vote for President. The whole number of votes given was 5,716,082, and the majority of General U. S. Grant, 309,684.

Two amnesty proclamations were issued by President Johnson during the year. By the first, all persons were pardoned except those under presentment or indictment in any court of the United States having competent jurisdiction. It was as follows:

Whereas, in the month of July, A. D. 1861, in accepting the condition of civil war, which was brought about by insurrection and rebellion in several of the States which constitute the United States, the two Houses of Congress did solemnly declare that the war was not waged on the part of the Government in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor for any purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of the States, but only to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution of the United States, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that, so soon as these objects should be accomplished, the war on the part of the Government should


And whereas the President of the United States has heretofore, in the spirit of that declaration, and with the view of securing for it ultimate and complete effect, set forth several proclamations, offering amnesty and pardon to persons who had been or were concerned in the aforesaid rebellion, which proclamations, however, were attended with prudential reservations and exceptions then deemed necessary and proper, and which proclamations were respectively issued on the 8th day of December, 1863, on the 26th day of March, 1864, on the 29th day of May, 1865, and on the 7th day of September, 1867; VOL. VIII.-48





And whereas the said lamentable civil war has long since altogether ceased, with an acknowledged guareral Constitution and the Government thereunder; antee to all the States of the supremacy of the Fedand there no longer exists any reasonable ground to apprehend a renewal of the said civil war, or any foreign interference, or any unlawful resistance by any portion of the people of any of the States to the Constitution and laws of the United States;

And whereas, it is desirable to reduce the standing army, and to bring to a speedy termination military occupation, martial law, military tribunals, abridgment of freedom of speech and of the press, and suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, and the right of trial by jury-such encroachments upon our free institutions in times of peace being dangerous to public liberty, incompatible with the individual rights of the citizens, contrary to the genius and spirit of our republican form of government, and exhaustive of the national resources;

And whereas, it is believed that amnesty and pardon will tend to secure a complete and universal establishment and prevalence of municipal law and order, in conformity with the Constitution of the United States, and to remove all appearances or presumptions of a retaliatory or vindictive policy on the part of the Government, attended by unnecessary disqualifications, pains, penalties, confiscations, and disfranchisements; and, on the contrary, to promote and procure complete fraternal reconciliation among the whole people, with due submission to the Constitution and laws:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do, by virtue of the Constitution and in the name of the people of the United States, hereby proclaim and declare, unconditionally and without reservation, to all and to every person who directly or indirectly participated in the late insurrection or rebellion, excepting such person or persons as may be under presentment or indictment in any court of the United States having com

petent jurisdiction, upon a charge of treason or other felony, a full pardon and amnesty for the offence of treason against the United States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except also as to any property of which any person may have been legally divested under the laws of the United States.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand, and have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, the fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third. ANDREW JOHNSON. By the President:

[L. S.]

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State. The second proclamation, issued on December 25th, declared, unconditionally and without reservation, a full pardon and amnesty to all and every person who participated in the late insurrection, etc. It was as follows:

Whereas, The President of the United States has heretofore set forth several proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to persons who had been or were concerned in the late rebellion against the lawful authority of the Government of the United States, which proclamations were severally issued on the 8th day of December, 1863, on the 6th day of March, 1864, on the 29th day of May, 1865, on the 7th day of September, 1867, and on the 4th day of July in the present year; and,

Whereas, The authority of the Federal Government having been reestablished in al the States and Territories within the jurisdiction of the United States, it is believed that such prudential reservations and exceptions, as at the dates of said several proclamations were deemed necessary and proper, may now be wisely and justly relinquished, and that a universal amnesty and pardon, for participation in said rebellion, extended to all who have borne any part therein, will tend to secure permanent peace, order, and prosperity throughout the land, and to renew and fully restore confidence and fraternal feeling among the whole people, and their respect for and attachment to the national Government, designed by its patriotic founders for the general good:

Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested by the Constitution, and in the name of the sovereign people of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare unconditionally and without reservation, to all and to every person who directly or indirectly participated in the late insurrection or rebellion, a full pardon and amnesty for the offence of treason against the United States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand, and have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, the twenty-fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninetythird. ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:

F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary of State. At the approach of the trial of the impeachment of the President, Mr. Stanbery resigned his position as Attorney-General, and was succeeded by William M. Evarts, of New York.

For the financial condition of the United States, see the article FINANCES, etc. Some re

duction was made in the revenue of the Government by an act of Congress passed March 31st, which repealed sections ninety-four and ninety-five of the internal revenue act of 1864. The effect of this was to exempt certain manufactures from taxation. A proposition to issue Government notes (greenbacks), in payment of a large amount of the outstanding bonds, was extensively discussed, but without any decisive result.

Certain further amendments to the Constitution were proposed by President Johnson in a message to Congress, for which see PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.

The foreign relations of the country are presented under the title of DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE, and in the President's Message of December, 1868, for which see PUBLIC DooUMENTS. For the Military and Naval affairs of the country, see ARMY and NAVY, respectively; and for the progress of reconstruction of the Southern States, see CONGRESS, and those States, respectively.

UNIVERSALISTS. The following statistics of Universalism in the United States have been collected from the Universalist Register for 1869:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

(Tufts College, Worcester, Mass.; St. Lawrence University, Canton, N. Y., and Lombard University, Galesburg, Ill.), and eight academies and seminaries, under Universalist control.

The number of Universalist periodicals was twelve, of which one was quarterly, two monthlies, and two juvenile.

The Annual General Convention of Universalists of the United States met at Providence, Rhode Island, on the 15th of September. The Board for the Northwestern Conference reported progress in missionary work, in aid of needy societies, the support of students of the Theological School, the publication of tracts, and the prospective establishment of a Theological and of a Denominational School. The aggregate general contribution of the churches, aside from those for ordinary local purposes, were, so far as reported, $255,774.54. The reports, however, were very incomplete. Resolutions recognizing a call for a general spiritual awakening, and recommending conference and prayer meetings wherever practicable, were adopted. An expression was made of warning against receiving ministers in any of the churches from other sections of the country, without satisfactory guarantees of character and worthiness. As the year 1870 will be the centennary year of the establishment of the first Universalist Society in the United States, by the Rev. John Murray, at Gloucester, Mass., it was decided to hold the session of the convention at that place; also to honor the last Sunday of November of that year with services appropriate to the anniversary; and to raise a fund, to be called the Murray Centennary

VASSAR, MATTHEW, the founder of Vassar College, born in East Dereham, Tuddenham Parish, county of Norfolk, England, April 29, 1792; died, June 23, 1868, at the college, near Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He emigrated with his family to the United States, in 1796, and made his home at Wappinger's Creek, near Poughkeepsie. His father engaged in the brewing business and was, for a time, successful. But misfortunes soon came upon the family, the brewery was burned, and his elder and only brother accidentally killed; and, after some ineffectual efforts to recover himself, the father subsided into a small farmer in the outskirts of Poughkeepsie. Young Vassar now commenced business to aid his father's family, and beginning on a small scale the manufacture of ale, and delivering it in person to his customers, he soon found his business increase to such an extent as to warrant his going into the manufacture on a large scale. He continued in this business till 1866, more than fifty years. As his fortune began to assume great proportions, he was solicitous (having no children) to do some good with it, and finally decided upon

Fund, to be invested for missionary purposes. The convention arranged for the more complete and accurate collection of statistics.

Two societies and two meeting-houses are reported in Nova Scotia, two societies in New Brunswick, an association with three societies and two pastors in Canada West, and one minister in Canada East.

URUGUAY ("The Oriental Republic of Uruguay "), a republic in South America.* Provisional President, since March, 1868, Colonel Lorenzo Battle. Area, 66,716 square miles; population, in 1860, according to an official census, 240,965; in 1864, according to a circular from the Minister of the Interior, 350,000, ainong whom were 150,000 foreigners. The army was composed, in 1864, as follows: garrison of the capital, 1,300; garrison in the provinces, 1,500; national guard, 20,000.

On the 9th of February a revolution broke out against the administration of President Venancio Flores. It was headed by the President's own sons, Fortunato, Eduardo, and Seguado Flores. The President, with the aid of the foreign vessels at Montevideo, succeeded in suppressing the revolt, but a few days later, on the 15th of February, resigned his office. New disturbances broke out on the 19th of February, during which Venancio Flores was assassinated. The disturbances were, however, promptly suppressed, and the murderers of Flores executed. On the 1st of March, the General Assembly, by a unanimous vote, elected Colonel Lorenzo Battle, Minister of War, President for four years, with a dotation of $18,000 per annum.


founding a college for women, where they could have advantages for education fully equal to those offered to the other sex. He spent some years in perfecting his plans, and obtained in January, 1861, a charter for the Vassar College, and, in February of the same year, conveyed to a Board of Trustees bonds and securities of the cash value of $408,000 for the purposes of the college. He expressed at the same time his views and plans for its growth and development. The grounds on which it was to be built were an additional gift, and the buildings erected form a most magnificent monument to his liberality and desire for the promotion of education. He subsequently made further gifts to the college, which was opened in 1865, and after his death it was found that he had made bequests for its endowment, repair, and furnishing, which increased his previous donations to an aggregate of more than $800,000. He died very suddenly, while addressing the Trustees at the anniversary of its opening.

* For the latest commercial and shipping statistics, see AMERICAN ANNUAL CYCLOPÆDIA for 1867.

« PreviousContinue »