The Constitutional Convention.
The people of Illinois will do well to watch the operations of a body known to comprise many actual sympathizers with the rebellion, rank secessionists at heart, who would be best pleased to carry with them all Egypt into the southern confederacy. When members of the constitutional convention go so far as to ask "in the event of recognition how shall Illinois go?" a file of soldiers and Fort Lafayette will come in excellent play to remove the interrogators to a place favorable for calm and uninterrupted contemplation. We warn these gentlemen that they are treading on dangerous ground. As long as they keep in the course marked out for them by the people, and irrespective of party ties, consult and act for the good of the people at large, so long they will be sustained, but any revolutionary scheme attempted, and especially in the direction of aiding the enemies of the government, will bring swift destruction upon the authors. We have too much at stake to allow Lecomptonism in Illinois. We hope there is no reason to believe that the designs of some of the managers in the convention will be accepted as the rule for that body. We wish we could say there is no fear of it.
As the foregoing is from the Chicago Tribune, we suppose the members thus stigmatized and threatened are democrats. Periodically that rabid abolition sheet plays the blustering role, of which such threats form a part.
The latter-day experience of the "little Tribune" has taught it nothing. It has alternately threatened and patted gently the Illinois democracy, meeting with the same success on either tack. Its ridiculous assumptions, either in bluster or cajoling, have alike been treated with contempt. Its very latest outgiving above, however, caps the climax of its immense arrogance and impotent effrontery. But it simply lies when it asserts that there are among the democrats of the convention many, or a single "sympathizer with the rebellion." Its imputation and accompanying threat are only contemptible and ridiculous. Contemptible, because, as the Tribune knows, there is not the shadow of foundation for its charge; and ridiculous, because of its threat to molest the representatives of the people of this state with a military force, when they are engaged in a duty devolved upon them by an overwhelming majority of the people, and especially ridiculous is a threat coming from one of the "footiest" of the republican Bull Runners. When the Tribune concludes that the convention needs "cleaning out" we suggest that Charley Ray shall head a regiment of Chicago "wide-awakes" and undertake the job, and we will promise that the convention's pages will give them the necessary reception, and an opportunity to beat Ray's Bull Run time.
The public cannot fail to detect in the system of traduction of the democratic members of the convention which seems to have been generally adopted by the republican press in the Tribune's lead, an attempt to forestall public opinion, and, in advance of any definite action by the convention, to bring it into popular disfavor. In the zenith of its ill gotten power, flushed with but recent triumphs over the democracy, the latter's overwhelming success in the late November election, has made abolition madmen more furious. They feel in that popular verdict withering condemnation by the people of the results of republican rule, state and national. They see in it the starting of the ball which, gathering momentum from day to day, will hunt from power the unworthy men whose fanaticism and unscrupulous demagogism have brought the country to the verge of ruin, and even if it is not toppled into the yawning abyss, is to be ground down with debt, taxation, and untold ills for generations to come.
The puerile slanders which the Tribune and its fellows are now daily throwing out to discredit the convention with the people, that the reforms it will adopt may be repudiated at the polls, will fail of their mark — first, in not deterring the democrats in the convention from pursuing the even tenor of their way — from framing a new fundamental law based upon democratic principles, protecting the people in their rights, and guarding against the continuance of long existing abuses; and second, they will not humbug the people of the state, either by their threats or their lying clamor. The non-fulfillment of republican party promise — the long train of evils which have followed its accession to power, now surrounding and crushing people and country, and degrading it in the eyes of the world, are not calculated, we take it, to give much credit to present threats or promises of republican organs.
Let the Tribune and its tail be assured that the majority in the convention can but laugh at its threats, and spit upon its teachings, and in this they have the sympathy of the entire democracy of the state, and, as we verily believe, the great body of conservative republicans.