1838 New York Democratic Republican meeting.

Proceedings of the great Democratic Republican meeting in the city of New York, January 2, 1838 online

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Glass _£L52l^







JAN VARY a, 1838.







AT a meeting of the Democratic Republican Electors of the City
and County of New York, held at the City Hall, January 2d, 1838, pur-
suant to public notice, the call having been read, the meeting was organ-
ized by the appointment of the following officers : —

M. M. QUACKENBOS, President.


Preserved Fish,
James N. Wells,
John Delamater,
Heiirv P. Robertson,
Gideon Lee,
Andrew C. Wheeler,
Ezra S. Conner,
John R. Rhinelonder,
Frederick A. Gay,
Effintrham H. Warner,
William H. Tyack,
Daniel Jackson,
George Greer,
William Timpson,
George Mills,
Wm. B. Van Nortwick,
John C. Beroh,
Cornelius C. Jacobus,
John Harlow,
Isaac H. Underhill,
Henry Anderson,
Edward Jenkin?,
George Sharpe,
John Harris,
Amos Palmer,
Peter S. Titus,
Stuart F. Randdph,
John R. Peters,

Judah Hammond,
Joseph Mceks,
Samuel Swartwout,
Benjamin C. Gale,
William L. Morris,
Levi Cook,
Uzal P. Ward,
Benjamin Birdsall,
Isaac Adiiancc,
Daniel Howell,
Elijah W. NichoUs,
Isaac Lucas,
Burr Wake man,
John G. Piohr,
John J. Cisco,
James Harriott,
Willet Seaman,
Richard H. Winslow,
James B. Murray,
Andrew Lockwo«d,
James D. Oliver,
ARthony W'oodward,
James C. Stoneall,
James B. Douglass,
James Dusenberry,
Henry D. Gale,
William H. Peck, and
Isaac Townsend.


Charles O'Connor,
A. B. Haxtum,
S. Jones Mumford,
Elbridge G. Stacy,
A. O. Millard,
George W. Soule,
Mortimer De Mott,

William A. Smith,
Luther R. Marsh,
Edwin Townsend,
Jacob V. Carmer,
Caleb W. Lindsley,
William Wycoff,
Jacob S. Baker.

The following resolutions were presented and unanimously adopted :

1. Resolved, Thai the present crisis calls upon the Democratic Republican party to erect
the standard of Jefferson and Madison, and to proclaim and reinstate the principles of '98 ; to
frown upon every efl'ort to engraft novel doctrints upon the great " essential principles" esta-
blished by those patriarchs of democracy, and to maintain uncompromising hostility against all
disturbing financial measures of government and against all radical and destructive doctrine and

2. Resolved, That in a republic, it is essential to the liberty, safety and happiness of the citi-
zen, that the government and its officers should receive their rule of action Iroin the people;
that when this vital principle ceases to operate, when the convenience of the many is disre-
garded or made subservient to political ambition and self-interest, it becomes a public duty to
bring the administration back to first principles, to guard against future encroachments, and by
cherishing the spirit of liberty and curbing that of licentiousness to secure at once the stabihty
of the government, and the prosperity of the people.

3. Resolved, That the past history of our country strikingly illustrates the truth of the
declarations of Washington " that the foundations of our national policy ought to be laid in the
pure and immutable principle of private morality." That "there is no truth more thoroughly
established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble connec-
tion between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards
of public prosperity."

4. Resolved, That the course of the administration which has so deeply and suddenly affected
the financial condition of the nation, and placed the general government in an attitude of open
hostility to the institutions of the States and the business interests of the people, and which is
now coupled with an effort to unite in effect the sword and the purse, evinces the existence and
predominating influence in our national councils, of a spirit which has greatly endangered and
threatens to subvert our republican form of government, our social institutions, and individual

5. Resolved, That the scheme of destroying all state mstitutions which has been deliberately
formed and which is now distinctly and boldly avowed as an " ulterior object" which is so
systematically and perseveringly followed in despite of popular suffrage, will, if successful,
virtually annihilate the State sovereignties, cast the whole power over the institutions and busi-
ness of the country, into the hanos of the national government, and accomi,ili.->h the
ultra federal design of consolidation, thereby practically establishing an absolute tyranny over
these States.

6. Resolved, That the Sub-treasury scheme is an important feature in the accomplishment
of these " ulterior objects." That we, have seen no reason to dissent from the declaration of
the government press in 1834, stigmatizing it as a measure "disorganizing and revoliiuonary ;
subversive of the principles of our government, and of its entire practice from 1789 to this day,
and which will incalculably enlarge the powers of the Executive and expose the public treasure
to be plundered by an hundred hands where one cannot now reach it."

7. Resolved, That we cannoi regard with greater favor the proposed substitution of a special
deposite for the sub-treasury scheme, both contemplate the same odious principle of hoarding
the precious metals, and shutting them out from circulation among the community to whom they
rightfully belong, — producing violent fluctuations in the price of labor and value of property,
making an invidious distinction between the currency of the people and that of their servants, to
the prejudice of the former, and we believe that the disapprobation of these measures just ex-
pressed by the democratic State of Georgia, will be followed by an immense majority of the
great republican family in the Union.

8. Resolved, That any system of national finance which leaves the public treasure under
"the liberal supervisory powers of" any individual, or which has for its foundation "the volun-
tary principle" recommended by the Executive, is unwise and inexpedient, and greatly hanassing
and vexatious to the people.

9. Resolved, That since the " ulterior object" of annihilating the State Institutions and des-
troying the paper currency of the people, has been avowed, we look upon the late recouimcn-
dation of a Bankrupt Law applicable to " Corporations and other Bankers" as an eflbrt to bring
the business interests, and of the people under the control of the Federal Government. That
on this subject we fully concur in the declarations made by the Honorable Martin Van Biuen, in
the Senate of the United States, in the year 1826, when opposing the adoption of a simihir pro-
ject ; — that " now the attempt is to be made, if not in an open and unequivocal manner, at least
in an indirect way, to strip the States of the power of chartering Banks. That it interferes with
the regulations which the States may have adopted for the government of these institutions, and
is an odious exercise of power not granted by the constitution, and that this was never done and
never attempted in any country on the face of the globe."

10. Resolved, That we distinctly trace the war upon our State institutions to the doctrines
promulgated in this city in 1829, by a faction, of which Robert Dale Owen, a disciple of Fanny
Wright was leader, among the most prominent of which were the necessity of " a civil rcvolu-

tion which would leave hchiml it no trace of any government thai had not ■provided for every human
being, aiL equal amount of property on arriving at the age of inaturily, and during ininorily,
equal food, clothing aiid education at the public ex/)CH«<;," and which would totally subvert the exist-
ing '■^unequal appropriation and transmission toposlerity of the soil of the State and banking insti-
tutions, as the great cause of the existing unhappy condition of society" and that the proper
means of relief was "the election of men who from their own sufferings knoio how to j eel, and
from consanguinity of feeling would be disposed to afford the remedy."

11. Resolved, That the Democratic Republican party, organized by our Fathers, and as we '
maintain it, has no principles in common with these Destructives, whether pursuing their " ulte-
rior objects" under their various names of " working mens' party," " anti-monopoly party,"
"equal rights party," or " loco foco party.'' — That their dangerous designs were held in merited
contempt, until some leading portions of their policy were declared governing principles of the
federal administration, and some "consanguinity of feeling" was exhibited from high official sta-

12. Resolved, That we observed with pain and regret that portion of the late message of
the President which refers to the recent elections and attempts to explain the result. That we
deem it due to the character of the citizens of this State, and to the great cause of self govern-
ment to declare that the President has been in that respect grossly mistaken, and in his delusion
has cast an unfounded reproach u]")on the citizens of his native State, and unwarrantably impeach-
ed the intelligence and integrity of an enlightened and incorruptible people.

13. Resolved, That we highly approve of the firm and independent stand taken by the Ho-
norable N. P. Tallmadgc and his compatriots in the Senate in defending the rights and prospe-
rity of our citizens against the ruinous experiments of those " new lights" in government finance
and political orthodoxy whose brief sway of the party organization has produced such general em-
barrassment in the business concerns of the people, and involved the administration in pecuniary
and political bankruptcy.

14. Resolved, That those representatives in Congress who have been officially denounced
for daring to vindicate the sanctity of the public faith, and advocate the protection of private pro-
perty, who deeming absolute acquiescence in the will of the Executive, or of his counsellors, to
be a rule of despotic government, and not a portion of the Democratic Republican creed, have
preferred the dictates of justice and conscience in coincidence with the manifest interests and
plainly e.xpressed will of the people, to the smiles of executive favor and the encomiums of the
Loco-focos, are entitled to the highest confidence and enduring gratitude of the people.

15. Resolved, That we approve the talent, zeal and fidelity which has marked the course of
the Madisonian, and recommend it to the support of our republican fellow citizens through the
Union. .

16. Resolved, That the various experiments made during the last few years to imj)rove our
currency and enlarge our specie circulation, have ended in the derangement of the one, and the
total disappearance of the other. That the present suflerings of the people demand the application
of practical sense, and the lessons of experience to our financial legislation, and the retraction of
steps hastily taken or which experience has shown to have been unwisely ado])ted.

- 17. Resohcd, That the attempt to stifle discussion, and prevent the heresies of those in power
from being exposed to the public view, by excluding the meeting of Democratic Republicans from
Tammany Hall, notwithstanding the consent of the proprietor, and the approbation of the officers
of the Democratic Pi-epublican General Committee was first obtained, is an additional evidence
(if the audacious and prescriptive spirit which characterises the destructives, and of their deter-
mination to prostrate liberty of speech and thought.

18. Resolved, That the act of excluding this meeting from a place where most of us have spent
our political lives, receives additional and fearful importance from the fact, that it has been pro^
duced by the unwarrantable interference of Custom House Officers, in the pay of the Treasury
Department, and portrays the dangers which are justly apprehended from a farther extension of
Executive patronage, in colors stronger than language can express.

19. Resolved, That we call upon our fellow citizens throughout the State, to sever all con-
nection with the Loco focos, and to rally under the old banner of Democratic Republican principles.

20. Resolved, That a General Committee of vigilance and correspondence, consisting of
three members from each Ward, be forthwith appointed, with power to confer with our brethren
in the country, to call future meetings, to aid in procuring an organization in the several wards,
and to adopt such other measures as may tend most effectually to arrest the progress of radicalism,
and maintain the ascendancy, and perpetuate the principles of the Democratic Republican party.

The following persons were appointed to form the said Committee.


1st Ward— Benjamin C. Gale, Thomas W. Wells, John R. Peters.
2d Ward — Willett Seaman, George C. Baldwin, Henry D. Gale.
3d Ward — John W. Degraw, William Tyack, W'm. Timpson.

4tli Ward — Elijah W. Nicholls, Mortimer De Mott, Abraham 11. Van Nest.

5th Ward — Joseph Mccks. John G. Rohr, John Harlow.

6th Ward — Oliver Woodruti", Isaac Adriance, Jacob S. Baker.

7th Ward — Levi Cook, John J. Cisco, James C. Sioneall.

8th Ward — Ezra S. Conner, C. C. Jacobus, Albert G. Stacey.

9th Ward — Richard B. Fosdick, William L. iMorris, Garrett Gilbert.
10th Ward— M. M Qiiackenbos, William H. Peck, Peter S. Titus.
11th Ward — Jeremiah Dodge, George Willis, John Heeney.
12th Ward — John Harris. Andrew Sitcher, Charles H. Hall.
13th Ward— E. D. Comstock, George^W. Youle, Andrew Mills.
14th Ward— Alfred Stoutenburg, John R. Rhinelander, Edwin Townsend.
15th Ward — Frederick A. Gay, E. H. Warner, Isaac Lucas.
16th Ward — James N. Wells, John Delamater, Jas. Flanagan.
17th Ward — James B. Murray, Edward Sanford, Isaac H. Undcrhill.

Resolved, That the officers of this meeting be a committee to prepare forthwith and publish an
Address to the Democratic Republican Electors of the State of New York, in conformity with
the resolutions just adopted.

Resolved, That Messrs. Winslow, Saiiford, Gay, and Jenkins be a committee to publish the
proceedings of this meeting, together with the Address and Resolutions.

The officers of the meeting adopted the following Address.




Fellow-Citizens : —

On ordinary occasions the Democratic Republican Electors of the City and County of New
York would not take the liberty of addressing you upon the deeply interesting questions of our
party politics and public government. The events of the last three years have placed the Demo-
cratic Republican party, to which we are attached, in a situation highly perilous and critical ;
involved the commerce, navigation, manufactures, and internal trade of the country, in the
deepest embarrassments, and inflicted the most unparralleled suffering and protracted distress
throughout our once prosperous and happy land.

In the midst of a profound and universal peace among nations, in the possession of all our
former resources, and surroundedby all the elements of our former enjoyment, we have been
thrown into convulsions violent and unnatural, precipitated through long suffering into an abyss
of ruin, from which issues forth nothing but a long train of evils and misery. In conjunction with
these affecting calamities, and deeply connected with them as a primary and aggravating cause.,
the spirit of radicalism made its open appearance, elevating its voice of destruction over the awful
ruin, and demanding sudden and extensive changes of public policy in matters vitally concerning
all members of society. The farther manifestations of the same spirit has led to an organization
of a new jjarly, and the' publication of rules of faith and practice, not known to the old Democratic
Republican principles and usages, has endangered the Republican principle-^— threatened the
destruction of institutions demanded by the exigencies of civilized society, and alarmed our
citizens for the safety of " that state of property, whether equal or unequal, which results to every
man from his own industry, or that of his fathers." During the early part of the period to which
we have referred, these dangerous feelings and sentiments were confined to a comparatively few
individuals in the city of New York, who have maintained for several years a species of separate
organization, and acted politically with or against the Democratic Republican party, as the
means of best subserving their own interests dictated. Previously to the year 1834 they had
been known as the workingmen's party, and in the autumn of that year, through the organiza-
tion of a Trades' Union, they procured a partial share in the honors of representation, at the
hands of the Democratic Republican party.

Our fellow citizens entertained but little apprehension of the general prevalence of radical and
destructive sentiments in the community at large, and the confident belief that these dangerous
doctrines could never reach the elevated places in the government of the nation, until individuals
distinguished for their hostility to many of our civil institutions and the sacred rites of religion,
were chosen and installed as public legislators in our State and National councils. Thus

honored, and receiving character through the errors committed by the Democratic RepubHcan
party, and deriving subsequently some countenance for a portion of their sentiments from the
State and National administrations, " the equal rights" iparty openly endeavored to assume the
lead and make their dogmas the creed of the Democratic Republican faith. That our fellow
citizens may understand whither we are tending, while being drawn into this new vortex of revo-
lution, we deem it our duty to place briefly before them the declared designs of radicalism, that
the " ulterior objects" of the present movements may be foreseen, and circumvented by the
people. In the year 1829 the radicals of this city, organizing then as " the workingmen's party,"
declared themselves " against Banks, Auctions, Charters, Exemptions of Church and Priests^
properly from taxation," and, In their published report at that time, call for the abolition ot
Banks, and furnish a plan which may have been the basis of the sub-treasury scheme of our own
day. They declare against the existence of wealth, against the laws of inheritance by which
property is to be transmitted to posterity, and demand a civil revolution, that no trace may be
left of a go.vernment which has denied to every human being an equal amoiint of property


INSTRUCTION AT THE PUBLIC EXPENSE. They call our citizens "robbers and plunderers,"
who deny to them the equal enjoyment of the " materials of nature, which," they declare to be
'• the common and equal right of all." They propose to accomplish this " civil revolution,"
by electing men, who, from consanguinity of feeling will be disposed to do all they can to
afford a remedy."

These were no secret proceedings of a band of conspirators against liberty and happiness, but
the open sentiments of a public meeting, composed of many of the men afterwards forming the
"equal rights," and now the -'loco foe o "( party, and having entire "consanguinity of feehng,"
with the loco foco party of the present day !

Fellow citizens ! we have maintained a faithful, vigorous and for a time, we hoped, a successfnl
war aaainst these innovations. The Democratic Republicans met them hand to hand, and over-
threw them on the memorable occasion of their lighting their torches, and obtaining their dis-
tinctive name of loco foco, and triumphed in the election of an unpledged Democratic Republican
ticket. Entertaining a generoirs disposition at all times to conciliate without sacrificing our
principles, to |)romote the success of our political party, we have since at times endeavored to
bring the loco focos to the principles and usages of the Democratic republican party, and without
surrendering our principles or betraying our cause to maintain its political ascendancy. These
various efforts have established the conviction on our minds of the utter and irreconcileable
difference between Democratic Republicanism and Loco Focoism I We have uniformly found
them acting in bad faith towards us, and our candidates, when professing union and concord,
promoting the election of their own candidates, and striking off the names of the Democratic
Republicans on the same ticket, and presenting the extraordinary spectacle of a state of war
atrainst us, while we were under a treaty of peace with them.

While this contest between the antagonist principles of Democratic Republicanism and Loco
Focoism has continued unabated, but by our efforts to conciliate, occasional advantages have
been gained by the Loco Focos, and their numbers have become enlarged by the addition of
those who are studious of the current of executive favor, from the similarity traced between
some executive communications and portions of their declared sentiments.

These occasional coincidences have been greeted by the Loco Focos, as evidences of " con-
sanguinity of feeling" on the part of the distinguished authors, but not credited as such by the
great body of our fellow citizens until the past autumn.

When the first message of the President was conlmunicated to Congress, and published
through the land, that document was hailed by the Loco Focos as the mirror of their doctruies
and feelings, they hastened to assemble at their established place of meeting in this city to
express the approbation "of the whole genuine democracy" " of a governmental system of finance
founded exclusivcbj upon the constitutional currency, gold and silver," and pledged themselves to
rally round and uphold the present administration " in the speedy restoration of a gold and silver
currency." The journal published in this city which was looked to, as the fountain of ultra loco-
-focoism recognised in the avowal of principles and recommendation of measures of that message,
the principles which that paper had uniformly and zealously asserted, and honored the President
by expressing great joy to find them repented from the representative of the American people.
And yet this journal claiming to be the original source of the "principles and measures" of the first
message had never claimed to be a supporter of, or been recognized by the Democratic Republi-
can party !

Had the President in the first message expressly designed to secure the favor and support of
the loco focos, instead of presenting himself " in the attributes which can win the affections of
the American people and command the respect of the world," he could not probably have gained
more applause from the loco focos, or more surprised the great mass of his fellow citizens!

We have been active and zealous in effecting the advancement of the chief magistrate of the
nation to his present elevated station. Many of us have been devoted to his political interests
and entertained personal regard and attachment towards him in less prosperous political seasons,


and in early days of little promise. — We entertained the hope and expectation that the Presi-
dent would come to the administration of the general government in a magnanimous spirit ;
that he would check the tendency to depart from the old established principles and land marks of
the republican party, that he would adhere to the republican principles avowed by Jefferson and
Madison as the basis of their respective administrations, and m so far as we might have " deviat-
ed in concessions to the loco focos would hasten to regain the road which alone leads to peace,
liberty and safety."

We participated in the general surprise and disappointment with which the first message was
received. We found measures recommended for the special and immediate action of Congress,
which in our judgment were not calculated to aid the country in its distress, but on the contrary
to increase the difficulties, and aggravate the existing disorders. Those measures had not been
demanded except by the loco focos, these comprising a very small part of the great body of our
fellow citizens, and we availed ourselves of the recommendation of the President, and gave the
subject a ^^ fall and free discussion.'" At an early period after the publication of the 'first
message, we assembled in public meeting and made known the results of " our dispassionate

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