The Douglas Press in Illinois.
August 13, 1858.
Of the many comments made by the press of the United States upon the result of the late Missouri election; we confess that none have taken us more by surprise than those the Douglas wing of the Illinois Democracy. We were prepared for anything but their hosannas at a Lecompton victory. Other papers were consistent in their hostility, and we therefore did not quarrel with their rejoicings, but the Douglas press alone has treated of the matter in a base, cowardly and short-sighted spirit. That press was noncommittal before the election. Now, it hails the result of the election (which was won for Buchanan by Buchaneers) as a Douglas demonstration. Did Barret venture to indorse Douglas? Did any Barret man utter one word of sympathy with the cause of the Illinois Senator except Green, who ventured to name Douglas from the stump? It is true that Green (the unkempt, unhewn, unwashed Senator) showed a letter from Douglas; but the manner in which he spoke of the writer was like that in which Dives exclaimed aloud to Lazarus, and if such a letter was written -- if the chief opponent of the Lecompton Constitution, then the former has sounded the lowest depths of humiliation. We are adequately informed of the relations which subsisted between the Democratic wing of the Republican party in Congress, and Senator Douglas during the winter. We know they generously yielded to him leadership and support. When the administration turned upon him, it was in the power of the Republican party to crush him forever. They not only forbore they were not merely passive. Without exacting conditions, and willfully forgetful of the past, they gave him opportunity, sympathy and support. Their presses daily spoke in his favor. Every honorable point of his argument was impressed on the public mind. Every sentiment that could contribute to his success, was appealed to by the Republican press, and the Democrat, through its Washington correspondence, was not the most lukewarm in his support. Not one of his crying sins was remembered against him, and we happen to know that the Republicans of Illinois, whose hostility to him was deep seated, were regarded with dislike because they would not abate their hostility.
These facts being undeniable, generous acknowledgment of them might be possibly expected from the newspapers in the interest of Senator Douglas, and if political considerations forbade open expression, the decency of silence in all cases in which Lecomptonism triumphed might be anticipated with assurance. Popular sovereignty is the shibboleth of this press. Blair appealed to his constituents against slavery, and in behalf of popular sovereignty. He was defeated, and the Douglas press exults in his defeat. The inference to be drawn is that they are slavery propagandists and perpetuators; that they dislike to see any attempts made by the Missourians to abolish slavery in Missouri, and consequently that they would rejoice to see it established in Kansas and Illinois. As they are the same party that indorsed the border ruffian legislature in Kansas, that sent forth their approbation of the black laws, and that said no word in behalf of popular sovereignty, when their leader squelched it in the Toombs bill -- a bill which provided for forming a constitution for Kansas, but which took care not to provide for submitting the constitution to the vote of the people -- a bill for which Douglas spoke and voted.