Democratic State Convention.
It is very easy to account for the failure of Illinois to honor our disreputable governor's impudent draft upon her for twenty thousand additional troops. The reasons for her refusal are many and obvious.
In the first place, all good citizens have ceased to respect Richard Yates as a man, or to pay much regard to his official authority, on account of the grossly offensive partisanship which has marked all his official actions. A man who will publicly declare that his political opponents have no rights which even a negro is bound to respect, as Yates said of the entire democratic party in a public address, recently, at Chicago, deserves the scorn and loathing not only of those he thus ostracises, but of all high-minded and honorable citizens of his own political persuasion. This miserable insult to the people of the state — for it is an insult to all of them — is the first cause of the general aversion to Richard's political machinations.
And the terms of the call, in themselves were offensive. It was addressed exclusively to the Loyal Leaguers, who are not now, nor have they ever been, in the habit of going to war. True, a few who pant for a cheap reputation for patriotism, and think they can now "go soldiering" in personal safety, have embraced this opportunity, but though "many were called," few responded.
He also, as is usual with him, violated his pledge in the appointment of officers. Instead of waiting until a thousand men had volunteered, as he promised he would do, and then allowing them to choose company and regimental officers, he has appointed a lot of ultra abolitionists — his strikers and blowers in different parts of the state — to offices in these unformed organizations, and left the men to enlist under these or not at all. Most of these appointees are men who could as well enter the three years' service as this of three months, but they are afraid of getting hurt.
But one of the strongest reasons for the failure of these hundred day recruits to come forth from the "vasty deep" at the call of this modern Glendower, is their determination to show Richard Yates that he is the servant, not the master of the people, who will not submit to such a bargain and sale at the behest of an electioneering demagogue. It is an honest independence that prevents their marching under the abolition officials the governor has endowed with shoulder straps.
They refuse to go, too, because there are crops to be planted, to be cared for and harvested. They refuse to go, because they are not disposed to wear the yoke and bear the burdens of Massachusetts forever. Let the draft be enforced until the quotas of that land and other delinquent states are full, without counting the recruits purchased in rebel states and in Europe by the profits on shoddy contracts, and credited to "Boston," and then let a call be made on all the states alike, and Illinois will respond, as she does in all the past. But her noble and free sons wish to teach the miserable trickster chance has placed in the gubernatorial chair, that the spirit of '76 still animates their hearts. They have not bartered away their liberty, that they are to be made the mere puppets of corrupt and restless intriguers here or at the Federal capital.
These are the reasons why the twenty days have expired, and not a regiment of hundred-day volunteers is yet ready to be mustered into the service of the United States. Let Richard Yates hereafter be not so forward to "tender" citizens of Illinois for military service, as though they were Russian serfs of the subjects of an Austrian principality.