A Douglas Victory.
August 9, 1858.
From the Chicago Press and Tribune.
A party has grown up in Missouri within a few years past favorable to the extinction of slavery within that State. It counts among its members some of the noblest and largest hearted men in the State -- men who are now and have been all their lives identified with the institution of slavery but who both on economic and moral grounds desire its extirpation. To accomplish this result they have constantly to contumely and misrepresentations from the minions of "National Democracy" and have worked with more than Spartan heroism against odds that would have appalled and paralyzed any less courageous men than they. -- Throughout the free States, whoever possessed the slightest affection for freedom, the slightest interest in behalf of the right when that principle comes in conflict with wrong, whoever desired to see a State, blessed by bounteous nature but cursed with a baleful domestic institution, throw off the incubus that oppressed here and wheel into line with the prosperous and growing free States of the West, gave to that noble emancipation party of Missouri his fullest and most cordial sympathies. While the Calhoun Conspiracy to Africanize America, seemed, through the aid of traitorous Senators and Representatives from the North and through the Dred Scott decision in a fair way of proving ultimately successful, this movement in Missouri revived the drooping hopes of despondent patriots, and gave evidence that all of the spirit of the framers of our institutions had not yet dried out in the land. The eyes of good men, every where, were riveted upon the Missouri Emancipationists, and from thousands of hearthstones ascended morning and night earnest petitions in their behalf to the Power that rules over all.
In St. Louis this party has been in the ascendent for two or three years. In the St. Louis Congressional District it elected its candidate for Congress, the lion hearted Blair, two years ago, by a very handsome majority. Another Congressional election occurred there on Monday last, and Blair was again the chosen standard bearer of the emancipationists. The fight was one of unusual bitterness and fierceness, and Blair was defeated by a small majority. To all men in the free States in which it exists, no sadder tidings have ever been born over the wires. It was as if a great light had suddenly gone out in their hearts. They had hoped the movement in Missouri would turn back the tide of Africanization threatening to engulf them all and now the movement itself was for the present crushed. -- We have never, in all our lives, witnessed a more marked effect upon a community than this intelligence produced here in depressing the hearts and hopes of the people generally, and the same effect has undoubtedly been experienced in every community in the free States to which the news has been borne.
But amid the general sorrow, there is, even here in Chicago, a party which exults and rejoices at the result. The Times of yesterday morning claims the defeat of Blair and the Emancipationists as a Douglas Democratic triumph. Speaking of Mr. Blair's defeat, and of the election of Mr. Barret, the Times says:
"At the time we write this, we have private information which indicates the election of Mr. Barret. He is a Democrat of the very first order. He has been heretofore and is now a firm friend of Senator Douglas, and heartily and cheerfully applauds his course in the present contest. He is, within the Democratic party, a ‘Douglas man.’ Should he be elected, it will indeed be a glorious triumph of true democracy."
Henceforth let it be understood that Douglas is opposed to the gradual extirpation of slavery by the action of the people of the States in which it exists. He had said as much in his Chicago speech, three weeks ago, when he declared that slavery must be maintained to prevent our government from becoming a despotism. Now, through his organ and mouth piece, the Times, he expresses his gratification that the Missouri Emancipationists have been defeated, and claims the result as a triumph of his own principles and of himself personally.
We call upon the freemen of Illinois, of whatever political party, to note well the position of Douglas. We have established by the records of the nation his complicity in the Calhoun conspiracy to Africanize the country. He has been instrumental in breaking down the barriers erected against the spread of slavery and in planting it upon all our remaining territory,, in defiance of the people of the slave States freeing themselves from its curse by peaceful and lawful means.
There is but one more step in infamy left for him to take, viz: to legalize slavery in the free States and reopen the African slave trade. Reelect him to the Senate for six years more, and he will not hesitate to favor this. Shall such a man receive the suffrages of freedom? Will the people of Illinois back up this "Douglas victory" over the Emancipationists of St. Louis, by giving their votes to secure a like "Douglas victory" at home?