The candidate for the Whig Party for the Office of Vice President,
TO BE AN ABOLITIONIST,
by a Review of His Course in the 25th, 26th, and 27th Congress:
SHOWING GEN. TAYLOR TO BE IN FAVOR OR EXTENDING THE ORDINANCE
OF 1787 OVER THE CONTINENT BEYOND THE RIO GRANDE; IN OTHER
WORDS, TO BE IN FAVOR OF THE WILMOT PROVISO.
Tuesday, December 11, 1838.
Mr. Atherton rose and asked leave to submit the following resolutions:
Resolved, That this Government is a Government of limited powers, and that, by the Constitution of the United States, Congress has no jurisdiction whatever over the institutions of slavery in the several States or the Confederacy.
Resolved, That petitions for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and the Territories of the United States, and against the removal of slaves from one State to another, are a part of a plan of operations set on foot to affect the institution of slavery in the several States, and thus indirectly to destroy that institution within their limits.
Resolved, That Congress has no right to do that indirectly which it cannot do directly; and that the agitation of the subject of slavery in the District of Columbia, or the Territories, as a means, and with the view, of disturbing or overthrowing that institution in the several States, is against the true spirit and meaning of the Constitution, an infringement of the rights of the States effected, and a breach of the public faith upon which they entered into the Confederacy.
Resolved, That the Constitution rests on the broad principle of equality among the members of this Confederacy, and that Congress, in the exercise of its acknowledged powers, has no right to discriminate between the institutions of one portion of the States and another with a view of abolishing the one and promoting the other.
Resolved, therefore. That all attempts on the part of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia or the Territories, or to prohibit the removal of slaves from State to State, or to discriminate between the institutions of one portion of the Confederacy and another, with the views aforesaid, are in violation of the Constitution, destructive of the fundamental principle on which the Union of these Slates rests, and beyond the jurisdiction of Congress; and that every petition, memorial, resolution, proposition, or paper, touching or relating in any way, or to any extent whatever, to slavery as aforesaid, or the abolition thereof, shall, on the presentation thereof, without any further action thereon, be laid upon the table, without being debated, printed, or inferred.
The introduction of the resolutions being objected to at this time —
2Mr. Atherton thereupon moved a suspension of the rules.
Mr. Adams and Mr. Cushman simultaneously demanded the yeas and nays; which, being ordered, were — yeas 137, nays 66, as follows:
Yeas. — Messrs. Anderson, Andrews, Atherton, Banks, Beatty, Beers, Belrne, Bell, Bicknell, Birdcall, Brodhead, Buchanan, Bynum, John Calhoon, Cambreleng, William B. Campbell, John Campbell, Carter, Chambers, Chapman, Cheatham, Clowney, Coles, Connor, Crabb, Craig, Crary, Crockett, Cushman, Dawson, Deberry, De Graff, Dromgoole, Elmore, Farrington, Fairfield, Foster, Fry, Gallop, James Garland, Rice Garland, Glascock, James Graham, Grantland, Grant, Gray, Griffin, Hammond, Hamer, Harlan, Harrison, Hawes, Hawkins, Haynes, Holt, Hopkins, Howard, Hubley, Wm. H. Hunter, Robert M. T. Hunter, Thomas B. Jackson, Jabez Jackson, Henry Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Wm. Cost Johnson, Nathaniel Jones, John W. Jones, Keim, Kemble, Klingensmith, Lewis, Logan, Loomis, Lyon, Mallory, Martin, May, McKay, Robert MrClellan, Abraham MeClellan, McClure, McKennan, Menefee, Mercer, Miller, Montgomery, Moore, Morgan, Samuel W. Morris, Murray, Noble, Palmer, Parker, Paynter, Pearce, Pennybacker, Petrikin, Phelps, Pickens, Plumer, Pope, Pratt, Reily, Rencher, Rhett, Rives, Robertson, Rumsey, Augustine H. Shepperd, Charles Shepard, Shields, Sheplor, Snyder, Southgate, Spencer, Stanly, Stuart, Stone, Swearingen, Taliaferro, Taylor, Thomas, Titus, Toucey, Towns, Turney, Underwood, Vait, Wagener, Webster, Weeks, John White, Whittlesey, Sherrod Williams, Jared W. Williams, Joseph L. Williams, Christopher H. Williams, Wise, Word, and Yell — 137.
Nays. — Messrs. Adams, Alexander, Heman Allen, John W. Allen, Ayerigg, Bouldin, Briggs, William B. Calhoun, Casey, Childs, Clark, Coffin, Corwin, Cranston, Curtis, Cushing, Darlington, Davee, Davies, Dunn, Edwards, Evans, Everett, Ewing, Richard Fletcher, lsaac Fletcher, FILLMORE, Giddings, Goode, Wm. Graham, Grennell, Haley, Hall, Harper, Hastings, Herod, Ingham, Lincoln, Marvin, Samson Mason, Mitchell, Calvary Morris, Naylor, Noyes, Parmenter, Peck, Potts, Putnam, Rariden, Randolph, Reed, Ridgway, Robinson, Russell, Saltonatall, Sergeant, Sibley, Slade, Smith, Stratton, Tillinghast, Toland, Albert S. White, and Yorke — 66.
So the rules were suspended.
The question was taken on the first resolution, and it was adopted — yeas 198, nays 6.
The question on the second resolution was then taken, and it was adopted — yeas 136, nays 65 — Fillmore voting in the negative.
The third resolution was then read; when Mr. Bond called for a division of the question, so as to take the vote first on the following branch only:
Resolved, That Congress has no right to do that indirectly which it cannot do directly.
The vote being so taken resulted in the affirmative — yeas 173, nays 30 — Fillmore in the negative.
So the first branch of the third resolution was adopted.
The second branch being read, The question was then taken, and resulted also in the affirmative — yeas 164, nays 40 — Fillmore again in the negative.
So the third resolution was adopted, and the fourth was taken up.
Mr. Lincoln called for a division of the question on this resolution, so as to take it first on the following branch:
Resolved, That the Constitution rests on the broad principle of equality among the members of this confederacy.
Such a division being accordingly ordered, the vote thereon resulted affirmatively — yeas 180, nays 26 — Fillmore in the affirmative.
The second branch of this resolution was also agreed to — yeas 174, nays 24 — Fillmore in the negative.
Mr. Randolph called for a division at the word "Congress," in the fifth line of the fifth resolution; which was ordered.
The first branch of the proposition was adopted — yeas 146, nays 52 — Fillmore in the negative.
Mr. Potts moved to lay the second branch on the table; on which motion Mr. Craig demanded the yeas and nays; which being ordered, were — yeas 85, nays 129 — Fillmore in the affirmative.
So the motion to lay on the table was decided in the negative.
The second breach of the last proposition was then agreed to — yeas 126, nays 78 — Fillmore in the negative. See Congressional Globe, pages 27, 28; House Journal, page 51 to 64 inclusive.
Mr. Bynum, the champion of democracy from North Carolina, in defending the above resolutions, said, "I pray every Southern man to examine these resolutions; read them over and over again, one by one, and to say if they were not sufficiently strong to secure every Southern interest; while they particularly forebore to encroach on the rights of any other portion of the Union." Yet Mr. Fillmore voted against all these resolutions except the first, and the first branch of the fourth.
On the 13th December Mr. Wise asked leave to submit the following resolutions, as propositions containing his sentiments, and what he believed to be the real sentiments of the whole South.
1. Resolved, That Congress has no power to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, or in the Territories of the United States; whether such power in the said District or Territories be exercised "as a means, or with the view, of disturbing and overthrowing slavery in the States" or not.
2. Resolved, That Congress has no power to abolish the slave trade, or prohibit the removal of slaves between the States, or between the States and the District of Columbia or Territories of the United States.
3. Resolved, That Congress cannot receive or consider petitions for the exercise of any powers whatever over the subject of slavery which Congress does not possess.
4. Resolved, That the laws of Congress alone govern in prescribing and regulating the mode and manner in which fugitive slaves shall be apprehended, and their rights to freedom held in the non-slaveholding States, District of Columbia and Territories; and the mode and manner in which they shall be restored or delivered to their owners in the slave States.
6. Resolved, That Congress has no power to impose upon any State the abolition of slavery in its limits, as a condition of admission into this Union.
6. Resolved, That the citizens of the slaveholding States of this Union have the constitutional right voluntarily to take their slaves to or through a non-slaveholding State, and to sojourn or remain temporarily with such slaves in the same, and the slaves are not thereby ipso facto emancipated; and the General Government is constitutionally bound to protect the rights of slaveholding States; and that laws of non-slaveholding States in conflict with the laws of Congress providing for such protection, are null and void.
Several members said, "object to them."
Mr. Rives did so, and Mr. Wise moved a suspension of the rules, calling for the yeas and nays; which, being ordered, were — yeas 113, nays 96 — Fillmore in the negative. — See Congressional Globe, page 33, House Journal, 74.
So the motion to suspend was decided in the negative.
On the same day, Mr. Slade asked leave to submit the following:
Whereas there exists, and is carried on between the ports in the District of Columbia and other ports of the United States, and under the sanction of the laws thereof, a trade in human beings, whereby thousands of them are annually sold and transported from said District to distant parts of the country, in vessels belonging to citizens of the United States; and whereas, such trade involves an outrageous violation of human rights, is a disgrace to the country by whose laws it is sanctioned, and calls for the immediate interposition of legislative authority for its supression; therefore, to the end that all obstacles to the consideration of this subject may be removed, and a remedy for the evil speedily provided,
Resolved, That so much of the fifth of the resolutions on the subject of slavery, passed by this House on the 11th and 12th of the present month, as relates to the "removal of slaves from State to State," and prohibits the action of this House on "every petition, memorial, resolution, proposition, or paper touching" the same, be, and hereby is recinded.
Objections being made, Mr. S. moved a suspension of the rules, and demanded the yeas and nays; which, being ordered, were — yeas 55, nays 167 — Fillmore voting in the affirmative.
So the House refused to suspend the rules. See Congressional Globe, page 33; House Journal, page 75.
On the 31st December, 1839, first session 26th Congress, Mr. Coles moved a suspension of the rules, for the purpose of offering the following resolution:
Resolved, That every petition, memorial, resolution, proposition, or papers, touching or relating in any way, or to any extent whatever, to the abolition of slavery in the States of this
4Union, or either of them, or in the District of Columbia, or in the Teritories — of the U. States, or either of them, or the removal of slaves from one State to another, shall, on the presentation thereof, without any further action thereon, be laid upon the table without being debated, printed or reterred.
Upon which the yeas and nays were called; and were — yeas 87, nays 84 — Mr. Fillmore in the negative, — See Cong. Globe page 93; House Jr. page 153.
On the 13th January, 1840, Mr. Lincoln, of Massachusetts, presented petitions praying for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and in the Territories of the United States.
Mr. Cave Johnson moved to say the question of reception on the table; which was decided in the affirmative — yeas 131, nays 68 — Mr. Fillmore voting in the negative. See Congressional Globe, page 119; House Journal, page 204.
In relation to the presentation of such petitions, Mr. Bynum, of North Carolina, in a speech made by him, referred the Southern men to the source from whence those Abolition petitions came; nine-tenths of which, by reference to the Clerk's files, bad been presented to that House by Whigs of the North.
Mr. B. said, if there was any doubts in the minds of the Southern people as to who were and who were not Abolitionists in that House, they need only refer to the speeches and the votes of its members, if they wanted further evidence, he would refer them to the remarks of a certain member of this House who characterised the Northern Democrats — who usually vote for preserving the constitutional obligations imposed on them, and who are opposed to an interference with the rights of the South — as "Southern slaves." He would refer them to the remark made by a certain Abolitionist of the House, [Mr. Peck,] when the vote was about being taken on laying Mr. Coles's resolution on the table, "now come up you Southern slaves, and show yourselves." Yes, sir, this was the language applied to these patriotic, high-minded men, who regard their constitutional obligations to the South, who are for giving quiet to the North on this exciting subject, and for preventing a servile and desolating war,
On all occasions upon this subject, we find Mr. Fillmore voting with Mr. Peck.
On the 14th, Mr. Thompson, of South Carolina, moved a suspension of the rules, to enable him to offer the following resolution:
Resolved, That upon the presentation of any memorial or petition praying for the abolition of slavery or the slave trade in any District, Territory, or State of the Union, and upon the presentation of any resolution or other paper touching that subject, the reception of such memorial, petition, resolution, or paper, shall be considered as objected to, and the question of its reception shall be laid upon the table, without debate, or further action thereon.
The question was taken on the motion to suspend the rules, and decided in the negative — yeas 128, nays 77 — there not being two-thirds voting in the affirmative. Fillmore in the negative. See Cong. Globe, page 121; House Journal, page 206.
On the 28th, the famous 21st rule was adopted, as follows:
"That no petition, memorial, resolution, or other paper praying the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, or any State or Territory, or the slave trade between the States or Territories of the United States in which it now exists, shall be received by this House, or entertained in any way whatever."
During the discussion upon it, the Hon. Mr. Vanderpoel, of Kinderock New York, (Mr. Van Buren's residence,) made the following eloquent and highly patriotic remarks, at the conclusion of which the question was taken on its adoption and decided in the affirmative — yeas 114, nays 108 — Fillmore in the negative. — See Congressional Globe, page 151, House Journal, page 241.
"Mr. Vanderpoel said it was "not his talent to conceal his thoughts," and his bold and early expression of them here and at home, had, at a very early period, brought him Into marked disfavor with the Abolitionists. He had never wooed them, he had never won them, as many Northern politicians had done. To show the estimation in which they had held him, he need only say, that though he had always had Abolitionists in his district, they had never
5sent to him one of their petitions; had never trusted him with the presentations of them here. It had fallen to the lot of other gentlemen, his colleagues, who were in greater favor with them, to present their petitions. He well recollected that his "Whig" colleague [Mr. Granger,] who some day since eulogised the Abolitionists, by telling us that so many of them had poured out their blood at Lundy's Lane and Chippewa, and here, some three or four years ago, presented an Abolition petition from his (Mr. V.'s ) district. He (Mr. V.) had always been well understood by them. He had always believed, and always so expressed himself, that all their movements were mischievous, incendiary, insulting to our Southern brethren, and against the letter and spirit of the solemn compact into which we had entered with them. He had here always voted to receive their petitions; but the moment they were presented, he had voted, and would again vote, for the strongest possible measure to reject their prayer, nail them to the table, mingle them with the rubbish of your garret, and in the strongest mode mark our disapprobation of their object. He would not vote for the proposition that the petitions should not be received, because he believed that it would be creating a new issue, if we adopted such a proposition — an issue which would have the effect of re-enforcing the Abolitionists. He had always risen, he trusted he would ever rise, above the miserable attempts that had here been made to connect this great and vital question with the pitiful, ephemeral party conflicts of the day. He had also risen, and would ever rise above the idea of opposing the mad schemes of Northern Abolitionists from the narrow consideration of sustaining "Southern interests and Southern institutions." He had taken this stand against them, for higher and holier purposes. It was to maintain the interests of the Union, to fufil our part of the compact, which formed this confederacy of States. No, it was not as a Northern man, or as a Southern man, that he had so long, here and at home, struggled to defeat the mad efforts of Northern Abolitionists. It was as an American citizen, determined, at all hazards, to discharge a great and paramount duty. As I once before remarked on this floor, I tell you, my Southern brethren, the great mass of the North will fulfil the compact to the letter and spirit. We recognized your property in slaves when we entered into solemn convenant and union with you. We solemnly agreed that they should form part of the basis of representation on this floor; and until we become wretches, and wholly insensible to the obligations of covenant and duty, we will faithfully fufil the compact."
Early after the meeting of the 2d Session, 26th Congress, December 9, 1940, Mr. Adams offered the following resolution.
Resolved, That the standing rule of this House, No 21, adopted on the 28th January last, be and the same is hereby rescinded.
Mr. Jenifer of Maryland, moved to lay the resolution on the table.
After some conversation on the subject, the yeas and nays on the motion to lay on the table were then ordered, and being taken resulted as follows: — yeas 82.
Nays — Messrs Adams, Baker, Barnard, Beatty, Boardman, Brewater, Brigga, Calhoun, Casey, Critteden, Clark, James Cooper, Cranston, Edward Davies, Doe, Delg. Everett, FILLMORE, Fletcher, Gates, Goode, Granger, Hiland, Hall, Augustus C. Hand, Thomas Henry, Hopkins, Jackson, Charles Johnston, Lane, Lincoln, McCulloch, Mallory, Marvin, Mases, Mitchell, Calvary Morris, Naylor, Osborne, Parmenter, Peck, Randall, Randolph, Rariden, Ridgway, Edward Rogers, Russell, Sergeant, Simonton, Slade, John Smith, Truman Smith, Tillinghast, Toland, Trumbull, Underwood, Peter J. Wagener, Henry, Williams, and Winthrop, — 58.
So the resolution was laid upon the table. — See Cong. Globe; page 12, House Journal, page 8.
On the 21st January, 1841, Mr. Adams presented and moved the reference of a petition, asking the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and in the Territories; also, that no new Territory tolerating slavery, may be admitted into the Union.
Mr. Conner moved to lay that portion of the petition which came under the standing rule on the table.
Mr. Adams asked how that was to be done, for the petition must then necessarily be cut in two.
Mr. Warren of Georgia observed that, if the petitioners thought proper to attach objectionable matter, not receivable by the House, to their petition, they ought not to complain if the whole was rejected. He therefore moved the rejection of the whole.
That portion of the petition coming under the rule, having been laid on the table sub silentio,
Mr. Black of Georgia moved to reconsider the vote, for the purpose, in case it should be reconsidered, of moving the rejection of the whole, as he contended that no part of it ought to have been received.
On that motion, Mr. Adams demanded the yeas and nay, which were ordered, and decided by yeas and nays as follows: yeas 103, nays 51. Fillmore in the negative. See Cong. Globe, page 116; House Journal, page 202.
So the vote was reconsidered. After some further conversation, the hour having expired, the house proceeded to the orders of the day.
On the 7th January, 1842, 2d Session, 27th Congress, Mr. Giddings of Ohio presented a memorial from certain legal voters of Lenox, in the county of Ashtabula, and State of Ohio, praying Congress to repeal the laws regulating or sanctioning the holding or transportation of persons as slaves in vessels of the United States sailing coastwise from one State to another; and to pass laws protecting the rights of all persons claimed or held as slaves who may be constitutionally entitled to their freedom by going to sea, with the consent of their masters, beyond the jurisdiction of the State in which they are legally held to be slaves.
Mr. W. Cost Johnson objected to the reception of the petition, as prohibited by a rule of the House in relation to petitions for the abolition of slavery.
Mr. Wise supported the objection, strenuously insisting that the memorial amounted to a prayer for the abolition of slavery on board any American vessel, whether public or private, in which a slave was carried three leagues out to sea — a new shape of the Abolition question, and one that went beyond any thing heretofore attempted. He held that the deck of an American ship was a portion of the territory of the United States, let her be in what part of the world she might.
Mr. Campbell of S. C., moved to lay the question of reception, raised by Mr. Johnson, on the table, which also carries the petition with it.
On this motion the yeas and nays were taken, and resulted as follow: — yeas 104, nays 86. FILLMORE in the negative. — See Congressional Globe, page 105; House Journal, 134.
On the 21st January, Mr. Adams presented a petition from a number of citizens of Massachusetts, stating, that by law no foreigner of color can now become a citizen of the United States, and hold real estate therein, and praying that the naturalization laws may be so amended as to permit free colored foreigners to become citizens of the United States, and to hold real estate.
Mr. Wise raised the question of reception on the above petition, and moved to lay that question on the table.
Mr. Calhoun of Massachusetts asked the yeas and nays, which were ordered, and being taken, resulted as follows: yeas 115, nays 68. FILLMORE in the negative. See Congressional Globe, page 158, House Journal, 259.
On the 12th December, '42, 3d Session, 27th Congress, Mr. Adams called up his resolution, rescinding the 21st rule.
Mr. Wm. Cost Johnson said, if the resolution of the gentleman from Massachusetts
7was thus to obstruct the public business, he would move that it be laid upon the table.
The yeas and nays being ordered, resulted as follows: yeas 106, nays 102. FILLMORE in the negative. See Congressional Globe, page 42; House Journal, page 38.
On the 3d January 1843, Mr. Morgan presented a resolution instructing the Committee on the Territories to inquire into the expediency of repealing an act passed by the Territorial Legislature of Florida, entitled "An act to prevent the future migration or emigration of free negroes and mulattoes into said Territory," or so much thereof as imposes a capitation tax on such of them as may enter said Territory, & authorizes their sale for ninety-nine years for non-payment of said tax.
Mr. Black moved to lay the resolution on the table.
Mr. James called for the yeas and nays, which were ordered, and being taken, resulted in yeas 113, nays 80. FILLMORE in the negative. — See Congressional Globe, page 107; House Journal, page 131.
On the 23d February, Mr. Briggs of Massachusetts asked leave to submit the following resolution.
Whereas, all laws passed by the Governor and Legislative Council of Florida are in full force, until disapproved by Congress: therefore
Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be instructed, forthwith, to report the following bill:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That an act passed by the Governor and Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, approved by the said Governor on the 5th day of March, 1842, entitled "An act to prevent the future migration of free negroes or mulattoes to this Territory, and for other purposes," be and the same is hereby disapproved, and shall henceforth be of no force.
Mr. Meriwether, of Georgia, objected to the reception of the resolution.
Mr. Briggs moved a suspension of the rules.
Mr. Fillmore believed that the subject had been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and he wished to know whether they had reported on it.
The speaker said they had not. This resolution was to direct them to report forthwith.
The yeas and nays were ordered on the suspension of the rules.
The question was then taken on the motion of Mr. Briggs to suspend the rules; and it was decided in the negative — yeas 66, nays 104.
Yeas — Messrs. Adams, Allen, Sherlock J. Andrews, Baker, Barnard, Birdseye, Blair, Boardman, Borden, Brewster, Briggs, Brockway, Bronson Jeremiah Brown, Childs, Chittenden, Staley N. Clarke, Cowen, Cranston, Cravens, Richard D. Davis, John Edwards, Everett, FILLMORE, Gates, Patrick G. Goode, Hall, Hallstead, Henry, Hudson, Hunt, Joseph R. Ingersoll, James Irvin, James, Andrew Kennedy, Linn, McKennan, Marchand, Mathiot, Mattocks, Maxwell, Maynard, Morris, Osborne, Ramsey, Benjamin Randall, Randolph, Read, Ridgway, Wm. Russell, James M. Russell, Saltenstall, Sanford, Slade, Stokely, Stratton, Tillinghast, Toland, Tomlinson, Trumbull, Wallace, Joseph L. White, Thomas W. Williams, Winthrop, Yorke, and Augustus Young — 66. — See Congressional Globe, page 337, House Journal, page 439.
By an examination of the above record, it must be admitted by every candid and unprejudiced mind, that Millard Fillmore, the candidate of the Whig party, for the Vice Presidency, is an Abolitionist of the straitest sect, and an enemy to the domestic institutions of the South, and to the dearest rights of the Southern people. And what is to be expected from their candidate for the Presidency, should he unfortunately be elected. Read with care the following extract taken from the Signal's editorial, an Abolition paper published in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"The old political issues may be postponed under the pressure of circumstances; and as for the new — those coming events which cast their shadows before — let it be understood that the only path of safety for those who may hereafter fill the presidential office is to rest in the discharge of executive functions, and let the legislative will of the people find utterance and enactment. The American people are about to assume the responsibility of framing the institutions of the Pacific States. We have no fears for the issue, if the arena of the high debate is the assemblies of the people and their representative halls. The extension over the continent
beyond the Rio Grande of the ordinance of 1787 is an object too high and permanent to be baffled by presidential vetoes. All that we ask of the incumbent of the higher office under the constitution, is to hold his hand, to bow to the will of the people as promulgated in legislative forms, and restrain the executive action in its appropriate channels! Give us an honest administration of the government, and an end to all cabals of a cabinet — all interference from the White House — designed to sway or thwart the action of the American people."
In answer to the above editorial, General Taylor addressed to the editor the following letter. Mark well the words, "high opinion and decided approval."
"Headquarters, Army of Occupation.
"Camp near Monterey, May 18, 1847.
"SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, with the enclosure of your editorial, extracted from the "Signal" of the 13th April.
"At this time, my public duties command so fully my attention, that it is impossible to answer your letter in the terms demanded by its courtesy, and the importance of the sentiments to which it alludes; neither, indeed, have I the time, should I feel myself at liberty, to enter into the few and most general subjects of public policy suggested by the article in question. My own personal views were better withheld till the end of the war, when, my usefulness as a military chief, serving in the field against the common enemy, shall no longer be compromised by their expression or discussion in any manner.
"From many sources I have been addressed on the subject of the presidency and I do violence neither to myself, nor to my position as an officer of the army, by acknowledging to you, as I have done to all who have alluded to the use of my name in this exalted connexion, that my services ever at the will and call of the country, and that I am not prepared to say that I shall refuse if the country calls me to the presidential office, but that I can and shall yield to no call that does not come from the spontaneous action and free will of the nation at large, and void of the slightest agency of my own.
"For the high honor and responsibilities of such an office, I take this occasion to say, that I have not the slightest aspiration; a much more tranquil and satisfactory life, after the termination of my present duties, awaits me, I trust, in the society of my family and particular friends, and in the occupations most congenial to my wishes. In no case can I permit myself to be the candidate of any party, or yield myself to party schemes.
"With these remarks, I trust you will pardon me for thus briefly replying to you, which I do with a high opinion and decided approval of the sentiments and views embraced in your editorial.
"With many wishes for your prosperity in life, and great usefulness in the sphere in which your talents and exertions are embarked, I beg to acknowledge myself, most truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,
"Major General, U. S. A.
"JAS. W. Taylor, Esq., Cincinnati, Ohio."
Now read what he says in his Allison letter, on the subject of "the veto power."
"The veto power. The power given by the constitution to the Executive to interpose his veto, is a high conservative power; but, in my opinion, should never be exercised except in cases of clear violation of the constitution, or manifest haste and want of consideration by Congress. Indeed, I have thought that, for many years past, the known opinions and wishes of the Executive have exercised undue and injurious influence upon the legislative department of the government; and for this cause I have thought our system was in danger of undergoing a great change from its true theory. The personal opinions of the individual who may happen to occupy the Executive chair, ought not to control the action of Congress upon questions of domestic policy; nor ought his objections to be interposed where questions of constitutional power have been settled by the various departments of government, and acquiesced in by the people."
Gen. Taylor says, in his letter to the Signal, that, "in no case can I permit myself to be the candidate of any party, or yield myself to party schemes." — Notwithstanding, he has permitted himself to be the candidate of almost all parties, and has yielded himself in toto to "party schemes" — even the "party schemes" of the Philadelphia "slaughter-house."
Let every man of the South consider well before he votes, and ask himself seriously the question, what security for my dearest rights have I in elevating to the highest offices within the gift of a free people such a ticket as Taylor and Fillmore? Echo answers — none, none. Then vote without hesitation for the distinguished statesmen and citizen soldiers Cass and Butler, under whose administration your rights will be respected and continued, and in whose hands our glorious Republic is safe.