The Temporary Suspension of the Negro Hegira.
On the appearance of Secretary Stanton's order to Gen. Tuttle, to send no more negroes into Illinois, "until further orders," the abolition press heralded it as a brilliant partisan achievement. The Illinois Journal claimed it, not as a measure of public policy, adopted in deference to the Illinois constitution and laws, and to an avowed popular sentiment, of near four to one of the people of the state, given but four months ago, but as a shrewd electioneering trick, "taking away their [the democracy's] only excuse for an issue in the PRESENT CONTEST! This grand administrative effort, characteristic of government doings generally, at Washington, was landed, not for its justice, or its honesty, but for its supposed clever cunning and dishonesty. So shallow is the trick and so dishonest the purpose, that the former is met with universal derision, and the latter with almost universal indignation and contempt. None are so stupid as to be blind to the object of the order of suspension, and all sensible men see in it only further evidence of the intention of the administration of continue the work of over-riding the constitution of our state and filling it with a horde of worthless negroes.
Some days ago we mentioned the immediate cause of Secretary Stanton's order: Popular indignation in McLean county, at the avowed design of the abolition candidate for the state senate in that district, to bring a hundred negroes from Cairo, to work upon his immense farm in McLean. We have noted the popular indignation excited in Livingston, by the importation of a car load of negroes into that county, and a public meeting in Logan, protesting against such violations of our laws, and such contempt for the known, overwhelmingly expressed, popular opinion of the state. These counties are all in the 8th congressional district, which Mr. Leonard Swett is seeking to represent in congress. The excitement produced by the administration's policy of flooding our state with negro paupers, set that gentleman to thinking. The people were being pressed too fast & the abolition, negro-equality game was being played with too strong a hand. It was becoming dangerous, absolutely ruinous, to Mr. Swett's congressional aspirations, and a messenger was dispatched to Springfield to have the abolition magnates here make a demand upon the powers at Washington to dam up the negro tide rolling through the sluice-gate at Cairo, or that Mr. Swett, and all other abolition candidates, would be damned by the people. Secretary Stanton's insulting order was the result of the maneuver, with a flourish of abolition trumpets that the democracy were deprived of "an issue in the present contest!"
Not so. In addition to the general issue against abolitionism, that in regard to negro importations to our state stands as before. It stands thus: Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, president of the United States, in defiance of the will of the people of his state, and in contempt of their constitution and laws, has resolved that Illinois shall be an asylum for freed negroes from the south. Through his subordinates, he has directed that they shall be brought to Cairo, and supported from the government stores, until they can be sent forward through the state, to compete with and deprive white men of their means of bread, or to put his worthless, degraded proteges upon the various county treasuries for support. This is Lincoln's policy for his own state & his own county and town, both of which have received his first installment of negro pets. Popular indignation was excited at it, and, in unmistakable tones, was being heard at Washington. Elections for members of congress, and for members of the legislature, who are to choose a senator, were pending, and the transparent trick is essayed to stop further importations, not to Cairo, but from thence to the interior of the state, "until further orders" & until after the election, that the popular indignation may be temporarily allayed, and the people lulled into the belief that their laws and their wishes are to be respected. This is Mr. Lincoln's tactics for Illinois & for his own state.
The people cannot be duped with the administration's shallow artifice, in this behalf. The negro tide is held back only temporarily. As soon as the election is over it will be renewed, if the people of the state do not again so demonstrate their will as to further work upon the fears of the men in power. Let this be done. Let us elect a legislature that will choose a senator who will demand that the national and state constitutions shall be respected, and their mandates obeyed. Let us send members to the lower house of congress who will aid in this work, and in other reforms which will tend to bring the country back to its condition of unity and prosperity. Let us have a legislature which will enacts laws which our executive officers will be bound to respect; and as some of these officers are to be elected, let those be chosen who know no law higher than the constitution of the country, and who will recognize the behests of our state constitution and laws, which are keeping with it.
Never before have the white laboring men of Illinois had more at stake in the result of an election. Never before have such deadly stabs been made at their constitutional rights and their individual interests. Their remedy is as we have stated. In the coming election vote for congressmen, members of the legislature, and state officers, who are opposed to the negro policy of destructive abolitionism. Vote for Union-loving, constitution-abiding men, who will stand by the rights of the people and maintain the constitutional guarantees, state and national.