The "Union" Mass Meeting.
The grand "Union mass meeting" of the 3d of September has come and gone, much to the relief of the managers of the "institution." It had well-nigh proven a failure — up to noon of yesterday the abolition leaders were in despair at the results of their unparalleled efforts to secure a crowd, and had unanimously arrived at the conclusion that the thing was a pitiable flash-in-the-pan. Some considerable delegations, however, arrived by railroad, putting a somewhat better face upon the affair, and, after mature deliberation, it was resolved to make the best they could of the matter, and herald it to the world as a triumphant success. Those who were not here would know no better, and if democratic journals should assert that the crowd was not what had been expected, was, in short, a slim gathering, it could be set down as a contemptible copperhead lie, and so passed quietly off. This is the course agreed upon, and we shall not be surprised to hear the abolition journals and letter-writers claiming an attenance of fifty or seventy-five thousand. The feat would not be a difficult one for persons of their vigorous imagination and hereditary contempt for truth. If they are satisfied with the "display" — of women and children, with a small sprinkling of voters, the democracy certainly are.
We have no disposition to devote a great deal of space to describing the affair. Democrats who read the Register, by recalling their last county meeting, can obtain a fair idea of the size and appearance of the crowd. The "monster procession" from town to the fair grounds numbered by actual count 312 vehicles of all descriptions — no more — though some stragglers came in alone. This does not include the city hacks and omnibuses, which conveyed the railroad delegations. Crowded into the narrow ampitheatre of the fair ground, the crowd made a respectable enough appearance, but there was a woful sparcity of voters for so many people. Out of the six or seven thousand voice assembled, not more than one-third have a sand in the direction of national affairs at the ballot-box.
The conduct of the assemblage, or a large portion of them, was disorderly and discreditable. Several fights took place, and numbers of persons were robbed of their purses and watches. They would enter saloons and stores call for what they desired, then raise a row, under cover of which they would sneak off without paying. Their actions were in striking and disgraceful contrast with the orderly and quiet conduct of the democrats in June last.
Speaking took place from two stands inside the amphitheatre, and we believe some rustic orator would occasionally be moved by the spirit to address a squad from extemporized platforms in other portions of the grounds. Among the speakers we observed Boolittle, of Wisconsin; Chandler, of Michigan; Lane of Indiana; Emil Pretorius and Chas. P. Johnson, of St. Louis; Yates, McClernand, Prentiss, Trumbull, Turner, and other smaller lights of Illinois. The people generally did not seem to care much about the speakers or the speeches, being occupied with rambling over the grounds, surrounding the huckster's stands, or assembling in groups under the trees.
Giving this meeting a liberal estimate, we may say that there were not more than from eight to ten thousand persons present, and the affair was emphatically and positively a dead failure. The managers called forth a hundred thousand people to come to Springfield and "inaugurate the presidential campaign," and but few came. The meeting was made up of purely local delegations, (and small ones at that) form Sangamon, Morgan, Logan, and the adjacent counties, with a few others from a distance who could afford to come to Springfield by rail at half fare. No companies were seen, as were frequently met on the 17th of June, who had come two hundred miles by wagon to take part in the councils upon the state of the country. The numbers, character and temper of the crowd gave unmistakable evidence that the heart of the people is not with the administration party, and that they will not show by outward forms their devotion to a cause their reason condemns.
Of course the administration leaders will not publicly acknowledge their discomfiture. They will put a bold face upon the matter, and attempt to make the people believe that they are satisfied with the result, yet to all who were in Springfield yesterday, the fact is most apparent that the failure was most mortifying and discouraging. The "presidential campaign" has begun most unfortunately in Illinois. With the most lavish expenditure of money, they procured everything they could desire, but the presence of the masses, this their greenbacks could not buy.
Let the democracy everywhere take renewed courage from the discomfiture of their enemies, and remember that a party which cannot rally voters at its political mass meetings, cannot bring them to the polls on the day of election.
The following are the resolutions adopted:
Resolved, That this unholy rebellion was commenced without any justifiable cause; that it has been maintained in violation of every principle of justice and humanity, and that it is the duty of the government to suppress it, by the use of every constitutional means within its power.
Resolved, That we will lay aside all party questions, and forget all party prejudices, and devote ourselves, unreservedly, to the support of the government, until the rebellion shall be finally and forever crushed.
Resolved, That whatever else may die, the Union shall live to perpetuate civil liberty; whatever else may perish, the government shall survive in all its constitutional integrity; whatever else may be destroyed, the nation shall be preserved in its territorial unity; and to this end we pledge anew our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Resolved, That the strength of our government consists in the respect of the people for the law and its constituted authorities, and whoever opposes the execution of the laws, whether by open rebellion, as in the disloyal states, or by secret combinations, as in the loyal states, or teaches others to do so, is an enemy to republican liberty.
Resolved, That the recent successes of our army and navy form a glorious record upon the page of history; that our gallant soldiers have won for themselves imperishable renown; that their victories indicate a speedy overthrow of the rebellion and strengthens our confidence in the wisdom and efficiency of the government.
Resolved, That the course of that portion of the democratic party who have not forgotten the dying injunction of Stephen A. Douglas, and who have, in the hour of our country's trouble, nobly rallied to its standard, and who have placed their country and its destiny above and beyond mere partisan success, meets our hearty and patriotic admiration, and their services will live in the memory of a grateful people so long as constitutional liberty shall remain.
Resolved, That we tender our heartfelt sympathies to the thousands of wounded heroes, to the multitude of widows and orphans who are scattered over the land in consequence of this unholy rebellion, and we assure them that a grateful country will remember them in the hour of their necessity and disaster, as well as cherish the memory of the gallant dead.
Resolved, That in view of the extraordinary difficulties and embarrassments which have environed our national and state affairs during the present atrocious rebellion, the efforts of the constituted authorities of our national and state governments commend themselves to our highest respect for the zeal, ability and fidelity with which they have been marked.