The Usurpations of the Convention.
The Alton Telegraph thus notices the movements of the body of men now assembled in the State House:
The action of our State Constitutional Convention is most strange and unaccountable, if we are to look at them as a body of loyal and patriotic men. It appears to be their constant aim in every move they make, to stir up the most bitter and unrelenting party strife. No other motive could have induced them to attack the State officers, and endeavor to cripple and weaken them in their efforts to aid in suppressing the rebellion. But in this they will be disappointed. Gov. Yates' report in reply to their inquiries will satisfy every well meaning man in the State, that the Governor has done nothing but what he was called upon to do, by the highest considerations of duty to the State and the General Government. It will take a stronger influence than the members of the Convention can bring to him to convince the loyal man of this State and our brave soldiers in the field, that in his efforts to provide for their comfort and health to transcend his power. We regret that we have not room to publish this admirable report of Gov. Yates, but our limits will not permit.
If the men who constitute the majority of the Convention are sincere in their professions of loyalty, why do they not attend strictly to the duties for which they were elected? No one voted for them with the expectation that they were to usurp the place of the Legislature. Their commission is single and definite — to revise, amend or make a new constitution, and every step they take beyond this is a usurpation of power on their part, for which the people will hold them accountable.
Every sincere friend of the Government feels at this time that we need unity, concord and harmony in the loyal States. But the members of this Convention could not act more disastrously in this respect, were it their avowed object to weaken and break up this Government. Take for example the resolution offered by Mr. Brooks, of Quincy, what possible result but an evil one could any man of common honesty and common sense expect. Every one must know that the United States Senate would never recognize a man elected by a body like the Convention in a loyal State, with all the function of a State government in full force. It is an insult to the people of Illinois to place her people and State government on a level with the distracted and traitorous people of the State of Missouri, and yet this is the only plea the Convention has for her revolutionary acts.
But let them go on in their mad and reckless career, there will soon be a day of reckoning. They cannot get around submitting their work to the people, for their approval or rejection. Then they will find that the people of Illinois are sound to the core on a vigorous prosecution of the war and that they will set their seal of condemnation upon the work of men whose only aim appears to be to stir up party strife; and to play into the hands of the rebels, by dividing the strength and influence of loyal men.