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the sentiments of the Fathers were sectional. It is my happiness to believe, and my hope to be able to show, that, according to the true spirit of the Constitution, and according to the sentiments of the Fathers, FREEDOM, and not Slavery, is NATIONAL, while SLAVERY, and not Freedom, is SECTIONAL.
In duty to the petitioners, and with the hope of promoting their prayer, I move the reference of their petition to the Committee on the Judiciary.
A brief debate ensued, in which Messrs. Mangum, of North Carolina, Badger, of North Carolina, Hale, of New Hampshire, Clemens, of Alabama, Dawson, of Georgia, Adams, of Mississippi, Butler, of South Carolina, and Chase, of Ohio, took part; and, on motion of Mr. Badger, the memorial was laid on the table.
THE NATIONAL FLAG THE EMBLEM OF UNION
LETTER TO THE BOSTON COMMITTEE FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE
4TH OF JULY, 1852.
WASHINGTON, July 2, 1852. EAR SIR, — It will not be in my power to unite
with my fellow-citizens of Boston in celebrating the approaching anniversary of our national independ
I venture, however, in response to the invitation with which I have been honored, to recall an incident not unworthy of remembrance, especially in our local history.
The thirteen stripes which now distinguish our national flag were first unfurled by Washington, when in command of the American forces which surrounded Boston, after the Battle of Bunker Hill, and before the Declaration of Independence. Thus early was this emblem of Union consecrated to Freedom. Our great chief at once gave to the new ensign a name which may speak to us still. In a letter, written at the time, he calls it the Union Flag, and declares why it was first displayed. His language is, that he had “hoisted the UNION FLAG in compliment to the UNITED Colonies.”l Afterwards, on the 14th of June, 1777, by a resolution of the Continental Congress, the stars and stripes were formally adopted as the flag of the United States.
1 Letter to Joseph Reed, Jan. 4, 1776: Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. III.
This piece of history suggests a sentiment which I beg leave to offer.
Our National Flag. First hoisted before Boston, as the emblem of Union for the sake of Freedom. Wherever it floats, may it never fail to inspire the sentiments in which it had its origin!
I have the honor to be, dear Sir,
Your faithful servant,
Hon. BENJAMIN SEAVER, Chairman of the Committee, &c., &c.
UNION AGAINST THE SECTIONALISM OF SLAVERY.
LETTER TO A FREE-SOIL CONVENTION AT WORCESTER,
JULY 6, 1852.
This Convention was organized with the following officers : Hon. Stephen C. Phillips, of Salem, President, William Davis, of Plymouth, Gershom B. Weston, of Duxbury, Edward L. Keyes, of Dedham, William B. Spooner, of Boston, John G. Palfrey, of Cambridge, John B. Alley, of Lynn, Samuel E. Sewall, of Stoneham, John W. Graves, of Lowell, John Milton Earle, of Worcester, William Jackson, of Newton, Rodolphus B. Hubbard, of Sunderland, Caleb Swan, of Easton, Joel Hayden, of Williamsburg, William M. Walker, of Pittsfield, VicePresidents, Robert Carter, of Cambridge, George F. Hoar, of Worcester, S. B. Howe, of Lowell, Andrew J. Aiken, of North Adams, S. L. Gere, of Northampton, Secretaries.
The resolutions were reported by Hon. Henry Wilson.
WASHINGTON CITY, July 3, 1852. EAR SIR, — The true and well-tried friends of
Freedom in Massachusetts are about to assemble at Worcester. It will not be in my power to be with them, to catch the contagion of their enthusiasm, to be strengthened by their determination, and to learn anew from eloquent lips the grandeur of our cause and the exigency of our duties. But I confidently look to them for trumpet words which shall again rally the country against the sectionalism of Slavery.
At Worcester, in 1848, commenced the first strong movement, which, gaining new force at Buffalo, and sweeping the Free States, enrolled three hundred thousand electors in constitutional opposition to a hateful wrong. The occasion now requires a similar effort. Both the old parties, with apostasy greater than that which aroused our condemnation at that time, have trampled on the Declaration of Independence, and the most cherished sentiments of the Fathers of the Republic. Even liberty of speech is threatened. It is difficult to see how any person, loyal to Freedom, and desirous of guarding it by all constitutional means, can support the national candidates of either of these parties, without surrendering the cause he professes to have at heart. Let no man expect from me any such surrender.
The two Conventions at Baltimore, by their recorded resolutions, have vied with each other in servility to Slavery. But I rejoice to believe that in both parties there are large numbers of good men who will scorn these professions. The respectable persistence in opposition to the Black Flag, which distinguished at least one of the Conventions, furnishes an earnest for the future, though Massachusetts can derive small encouragement from her delegates there. All her votes in that Convention were cast in favor of those declarations by which Slavery has received new safeguards and Freedom new restrictions.
But these efforts are doomed to disappointment. In spite of the clamors of partisans and the assumptions of the Slave Power, there is one principle which must soon prevail
. It cannot be too often declared ; for it is an all-sufficient basis for our political position, and an answer also to the cry of “Sectionalism,” by which the prejudices of the country are ignorantly and illogically directed against us. According to the true