Primary tabs


Lovejoy Making Mischief.

[From the Chicago Times.]

Lovejoy, republican member of congress, and the man who didn't fight Roger A. Pryor, but allowed Potter, of Wisconsin, to be involved with the long-haired gentleman upon his account, has offered the following in the house:

"Resolved, That, in the judgement of this house, it is no part of the duty of the soldiers of the United States to capture or return fugitive slaves.

Resolved, That the committee on judiciary be instructed to inquire into the expediency of repealing the law commonly called the fugitive slave law."

We await, with great anxiety, the official proceedings of congress upon these resolutions. If any considerable number, even a minority, vote for them, the cause of the Union is irretrievably lost, for all the southern states will be made a unit for secession.

The first of these resolutions affirms a fact circumstances of each case of rendition of a fugitive. Slaves actually used for warlike purposes ought not to be returned to be used against the country. This is all which can be said upon the subject, but the federal army ought not to be made a grand nucleus for the concentration of runaways, or, in other words, a standing inducement to them to desert their masters. Their mission should be one of law and order, — of law [unknown] exists under the constitution, in the states they occupy, and a refusal to return slaves would soon be understood as an invitation to them to decamp. Does the country desire their consummation? Do northern people wish their cities flooded with idle negroes, or are they prepared to pay for the support of them as hangers-on of the camp?

Again, how do these resolutions affect the Union sentiments of the south? Suppose them to pass, or to be supported by any large number of republican representatives, what will be their effect among either loyal or disloyal slaveholders? Observe that Lovejoy makes no distinction between patriots and rebels — recognizes no legal relation to slavery, but boldly pushes forward the abolition idea in its full, naked proportions. Not only does he object to soldiers returning slaves who flee to their camps in expectation of protection, but he proposes to blot the fugitive slave law from the statute book; in fact, to refuse performance of our constitutional duty to the south.

We have seen, since writing the above, that sixty-two republicans voted for Lovejoy's resolutions — the Illinois republicans among the number. What, we ask the citizens of Illinois, do these men mean? Is this decisive abolition position of their representatives a fulfillment of the hope of "no party" during the war? A strange fulfillment say we. Nothing can be more intensely partisan. It assumes, and that as a governing principle in the hostilities, the extremest ground of the extreme wing of the republican party. It is therefore, calculated to alarm democratic sentiment throughout the north, and especially in this state, whose representatives (save the democrats) voted for it.

But in what attidude does the action of these gentlemen place the state? Kentucky and Missouri, both slave communities, and non-seceders, are upon our borders. To us it is of vital importance to maintain friendly relations with their citizens. Everybody understands and knows this; yet representatives of this state assume the position that neither the nation nor the army hold any relations to slavery — that the first must refuse to render fugitives under the constitution, and that the last shall be a standing invitation to negroes to desert their masters. This is "no party" with a vengeance. It is a species of pacification, and of support of Union sentiment, which we were unprepared for even at the hands of crazy Lovejoy, much less of other republican representatives from this state.

An anti-slavery crusade would be abhorrent to the northern people. All that they desire is the perpetuity of the Union. To secure this it is necessary that all irritating and especially partisan policies shall be kept out of the war. This is essential to success. For ourselves, when we believe the war is waged with abolition is as much rebellion against the constitution as secession, and whenever or wherever men vote, as the republican representatives of Illinois are represented to have done, for resolutions so wicked in import as Lovejoy's, we shall mark those men as enemies of the country, and hold their act up to the popular indignation.