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placing himself at the head of the movement, made his way on foot to the City Hall, through streets impassable to carriages, filled with barricades, and strewn with wrecks of war. Moving along with a thin attendance, he was unexpectedly joined by a gallant Bostonian, who, though young in life, was already eminent by seven years of disinterested service in the struggle for Grecian independence against the Turks, who had listened to the whizzing of bullets, and narrowly escaped the descending scimitar. Lafayette, considerate as brave, turned to his faithful friend, and said, "Do not join me; this is a danger for Frenchmen only; reserve yourself for your own country, where you will be needed." Our fellow-citizen heeded him not, but continued by his side, sharing his perils. That Bostonian was Dr. Howe. And now the words of Lafayette are verified. He is needed by his country. At the present crisis, in our Revolution of "Three Days," he comes forward to the post of danger.
I do not disguise the satisfaction I shall feel in voting for him, beyond even the gratification of personal friendship, because he is not a politician. His life is thickly studded with labors in the best of all causes, the good of man. He is the friend of the poor, the blind, the prisoner, the slave. Wherever there is suffering, there his friendship is manifest. Generosity, disinterestedness, self-sacrifice, and courage have been his inspiring sentiments, directed by rare sagacity and intelligence; and now, wherever Humanity is regarded, wherever bosoms beat responsive to philanthropic effort, his name is cherished. Such a character reflects lustre upon the place of his birth, far more than if he had excelled only in the strife of politics or the servitude of party.
He has qualities which especially commend him at this time. He is firm, ever true, honest, determined, a lover of the Right. With a courage that charms opposition, he would not fear to stand alone against a fervid majority. Knowing war by fearful familiarity, he is an earnest defender of peace. With a singular experience of life in other countries, he now brings the stores he has garnered up, and his noble spirit, to the service of his fellow-citizens.
But we are assembled to-night less to consider his praises grateful as these would be to me, who claim him as friend- than to examine the principles now in issue. Not names, but principles, are now in issue. Proud as we may be of our candidate, we feel, and he too feels, that his principles on the grave questions now pending are his truest recommendation.
In examining these questions, I shall regard those only which are put in issue by the Whigs. It is with the Whigs that I have heretofore acted, and may hereafter act, always confessing loyalty to principles
above any party.
The Resolutions of the recent Whig State Convention present five different questions, with the opinions of the party thereupon. These are the Veto of the President, the Sub-Treasury, the Tariff, Slavery, and the Mexican War. Now, of these five questions, it will not be disguised that the last two are the most important. Slavery is a wrong which justice and humanity alike condemn. The Mexican War is an enormity born of Slavery. Viewed as a question of dollars and cents, it overshadows the others; while the blackness of its guilt compels them to the darkness of a total eclipse. Base in object, atrocious in beginning, immoral in all its
influences, vainly prodigal of treasure and life; it is a war of infamy, which must blot the pages of our history. No success, no bravery, no victory can change its character. Vainly will our flag wave in triumph over twenty fields. Shame, and not glory, will attend our footsteps, while, in the spirit of a bully, we employ superior resources of wealth and numbers in carrying death and devastation to a poor, distracted, long afflicted sister republic. Without disparaging the other questions, every just and humane person will recognize Slavery and the Mexican War as paramount to all else,
so much so, that whoever is wrong on these must be so entirely wrong as not to deserve the votes of Massachusetts men.
The Whig Convention has furnished a rule or measure of opinion. It has expressly pledged the Whigs "to promote all constitutional measures for the overthrow of Slavery, and to oppose at all times, with uncompromising zeal and firmness, any further addition of slaveholding States to this Union, out of whatever territory formed." The Mexican War it has denounced as having its origin in an invasion of Mexico by our troops.
Now on these subjects Dr. Howe's opinions are clear and explicit. He is an earnest, hearty, conscientious opponent of Slavery, and in his speech at your former meeting he denounced the injustice of the Mexican War, and, as a natural consequence, demanded the instant retreat of General Taylor's troops to the Nueces.
And this brings me to Mr. Winthrop. Here let me carefully disclaim any sentiment except of kindness towards him as a citizen. It is of Mr. Winthrop the politician that I speak, and not of Mr. Winthrop the honorable gentleman.
And, first, what may we expect from him against Slavery? Will he promote all constitutional measures for its overthrow? Clearly one of these is the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia. This is within the constitutional powers of Congress, and has been called for expressly by our State. It has sometimes occurred to me that Slavery in our country is like the image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, whose feet of clay are in the District of Columbia, where they may be shivered by Congressional legislation, directed by an enlightened Northern sentiment, so that the whole image shall tumble to the earth. Other measures against Slavery are sanctioned by the Massachusetts Whigs, and by the Legislature of our State, in formal resolutions, duly transmitted to Washington. I have never heard of Mr. Winthrop's voice for any of these, nor, judging by the past, have I any reason to believe that he will support them earnestly. On these important points he fails, if tried by Whig standards.
Will he oppose, at all times, without compromise, any further addition of slaveholding States? Here again, if we judge him by the past, he is wanting. None can forget that in 1845, on the Fourth of July, a day ever sacred to memories of Freedom, in a speech at Faneuil Hall, he volunteered, in advance of any other Northern Whig, to receive Texas with a welcome into the family of States, although on that very day she was preparing a Constitution placing Slavery beyond the reach of legislative change.
The conclusion is irresistible, that Mr. Winthrop cannot fitly represent the feeling palpitating in Massachusetts bosoms, and so often expressed by our Legislature, with regard to Slavery.
What may we expect from him as to the Mexican War? This brings me to a melancholy inquiry, on which I am the less disposed to dwell because it has already been so fully considered. Will he ascend to the heights of a true civilization, and, while branding the war as unjust, call at once for its cessation, and the withdrawal of our forces? There is no reason to believe that he will. He voted for the Act of Congress under which it is now waged, and by that disastrous vote made his constituents partakers in a wicked and bloody war. At a later day, in an elaborate speech,' he vindicated his action, and promised "not to withhold his vote from any reasonable supplies which may be called for" in the prosecution of the war, adding, that he should vote for them "to enable the President to achieve that honorable peace which he has solemnly promised to bring about at the earliest possible moment" by the sword. And, pray, what is Mr. Winthrop's idea of an "honorable peace"? Is it peace imposed upon a weak neighbor by brute force, the successful consummation of unrighteous war? Is it the triumph of wrong? Is it the Saturnalia of Slavery? Is it the fruit of sin? Is it a baptism of blood unjustly shed? In the same speech, with grievous insensibility to the sordid character of the suggestion, he pleads for the maintenance of the old Tariff, as necessary to meet "the exigencies" of the Mexican War. "In a time of war, like the present, more especially," he says, "an ample revenue should be the primary aim and end of all our custom-house duties." Perish manufactures, let me rather say, if the duties by which they seem to be protected are swollen to feed "the exigencies" of unjust war! Afterwards, at Faneuil Hall, before the Whig Conven1 Speech on the Tariff, June 25, 1846.