Lyman Trumbull.

The campaign in Illinois online

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the administration of General Pierce he used up the
;r;2,450,000 per annum and every dollar of the $1,600,-
000 remaining over from the Fillmore administration
besides. After Mr. Buchanan came into power, Mr.
Secretary Cobb, in his first report, asked Congress to
appropriate $3,700,000 annually to collect the reve-
nue in the same district of countiy where only about
$2,000,000 had been required five years before.
What was the reason for this vast increase of ex-
pense ? None was given. Congress did not appro-
pi'iate the $3,700,000 asked for, but it did appropriate
$3,300,000 for collecting the revenue east of the
Rocky Mountains. The amount of the revenue col-
lected is less than during Fillmore's administration,
when it was collected for $2,000,000. The reason of
this increase is partly because supernumerary offi-
cers have been employed. Gen. Pierce added more
than threehundred clerks to the Custom House in New
York, and I suppose they were paid over $1,000 apiece
— that alone would make $300,000 ; and so it was that
the average annual expense of collecting the revenue
this side of California during the Pierce administra-
tion was nearly a million more than during Fill-
more's ; and during the first year of Buchanan's
administration they want $1,300,000 more to col-
lect the revenue for a single year than it
took four years before. Fellow-citizens, are
you for continuing this state of things ? Does
it meet your approbation ? [" No, no, no."] Do
you not think it would be better to take some of this
monej', thus squandered upon partisan favorites, to

Erotect your immense commerce, to improve your
arbors, and save the lives of your citizens on these

great lakes? [Cries of " Yes, yes."] I suppose
that would be luiconstitiitional in the opinion of the
I'uliiiff dynasty [laughter], but it is not unconstitu-
tionalto pay a man hve hundred dollars to collect
one. [Laughter.] I could detain you, fellow citi-
zens, for hours in pointing out the extravagances
of the past and present administrations, with all
their professions of econom}-. liut I have said
enough, I trust, to call your attention to the mat-
ter. I have stated the gross amount which the go-
vernment is using per annum, and you will find tliat
for the last five years more money was expended
than for the first thirty-five years of the govern-
ment. The increase of expenditures is many times
as great as the increase of population, or the extent
of country, and there is no reason for this. But there
is not oniy extiavagance in the collection of the rev-
enue, but in all branches of the public service. They
are in the habit at Washington of multiplying oflices.
Judicial districts are divided when there is no cause
for it, and when the public service does not require
it ; and then judges, and marshals and attorneys are
appointed, and the expense of courts is incurred.
Ports of entry are established when there is no oc-
casion for them, and immense sums of mouej' are
lavashed upon favorite places in the construction of
magnificent palaces. I verily believe that this gov-
ernment can be carried on, and properly carried on,
for less than one-half the money now used by this ad-
ministration professing economy [cheers and loud
applause] ; and I ask you now if I have not made good
the charge that the professions of this party are all
false with legard to economy as to freedom.* [Cries
of " Yes ! yes !"] Then I ask you, is it to be sus-
tained ? r am satisfied that the people of this coun-
try cannot approve of these things. You cannot
believe in the professions of men who practice
directly the reverse of what they profess. You
cannot" believe that men are sincerely for eoouomy,
when they are plundering the public treasury ; and
if you don't hurl from power such a party the first
opportunity you have, it must be because you fear
that those who arc to succeed them will do no better.
Now, is that so ? [Cries of " No ! no !" 1


What does the Republican party propose ? I shall
detain you but a few minutes upon that point. We
propose, upon the slavery question, to leave it ex-
actly where the men who framed the constitution
left "it. We are for leaving the question of slavery,
where it exists in the states, to be regulated by the
states as they think proper ; and we are for keeping
the territories which belong to the United States free
from the invasion of slavery so long as they remain
territories — [cheers] — leaving them when they be-
come states, of course, to deal with their black popu-
lation as they shall think best; for we have no pow-
er then to interfere with the subject. There is no
question what the result will be. If there is no
slavery in the territory, there will be none when the
people come to make a state. I want to appeal to
the candor of those who are honoring me with
their attention, whether they be democrats or
Republicans — for there are but two parties — it is
idle to talk about a third part}' — a Douglas party, or
anything of that kind. There is no middle ground ;
veil must take one side or the other. If 3-011 sustain
the measures of this self-styled democratic Jiarty, :
you are one of them; if you sustain the measures of j
the Republican i>arty, you must go M'ith them, and ,
there is no third party" to unite with. We wish to !
ask you, men of all parties, if von are opposed to the
introduction of slavery into Illinois. I apjirehend
that you are — that all this audience will respond
with " We are opposed to it." If that is so, yuu liave j

your reasons for it. You think it better for the
white race that there should be no slavery here; en-
tertaining that view, you will exclude it. Now, is
there a father who would do less in the formation
of a government for his children and his posterity
than he will for himself Is there an honest man
here who can say, " I will exclude slavery from the
state and locality where I live, because I believe
it an evil ; but I will suflfer it to go in where
my children are to go." Here is a common terri-
t(jry. You are the Congress of the United States.
The constitution of the United States says that Con-
gress shall make all needful rules and regulations re-
specting the territories of the United States. Here
is a territoiy about to be settled; you are called
upon to frame a government for the people who are
to go there, which is to last so long, and only so
long, as the territorial condition continues. Now
what sort of government is it your duty to frame ?
You willreadily admit that it is your duty to form
such a government as will be for the best interests of
the people who are to go there. Is not that so ?
[Cries of " Yes, yes, that's so."] You believe it to
be for your best interests to exclude it from Illinois,
where you live. Is it not then for the best interests
of your child, and sister, and brother, and neighbor,
who are going to the territory, that slavery should
not go with them ? Will you "do less for them than
for yourselves y A man is not deserving the name
of man who is so selfish that he will protect him-
self from an evil, yet will not raise his arm, when
he has the power, to protect his child and his
friend from the same evil. [Great cheers.] Then
it is your duty to exclude slavery from that territory
until there are people enough there to come to act
for themselves. That is exactly what we propose to
do, and nothing more. That was what the fathers
of the republic did. Is there anything wrong in
that V I think if you will look at this matter can-
didly, you will see that it is right, and that it is j-our
duty to insist upon it. The charge that we want to
have anything to do with negroes is utterly untrue.
It is a false clamor raised to mislead the public
mind. Our policy is to have nothing to do with
them ; and I, myself, am very nuich inclined to
favor the project suggested by Jlr. Blair, of Jlissouri,
at the last session of Congress. lie suggested a
plan for colonizing our free negroes who are willing
to go somewhere in Central America, where an
arrangement could be made by which their rights
may De secured to them. The policy now is
such as to prevent emancipation ; and although
we do not want to interfere with the domestic insti-
tution of slaverv in the states, still we wish to inter-
pose no obstacle to the people of those states in
getting rid of their slaves whenever the\' think
fit to do so. We know that may of the free states
have passed laws prohibiting the emancipation of
slaves by their masters, unless they are taken out of
the state. The result of this legislation is that eman-
cipation must cease; there are thousands of free ne-
groes in Virginia ; but that policy is now stopped,
because it is impracticable, there being no way of
disposing of the negroe when emancipated. Many
masters in the South desu'c to emancipate their
slaves, and especially is this the case as they ap-
proach death ; for, however they may reason while
in health, and thoughtless of that' event which
levels all alike, they are very apt, in making up
their last account and disposing of their property,
to think of the wrong and injustice they have done
by holding some of their fellow-men in bondage,
and they are quite willing to emancipate them.
Thousands would be emancipated if there was any
place to which they could go. /, for one, am xerif
much dUp'jsul to ' facor the colon izdt ion of ifm^,

suffer them to qo off in a country htj the
Centred Amencaii country geems to he o

'rtr negroes as are ivillivg to go to Centred Ameri-
ca. I want to have nothing to do either iintJi. the fne
mgro or the slave negro. We, the Kepullican paiiy,
are the white man's party. [Great applause.] We
are for free white men, and for making white
labor respectable and honorable, which it never
can be when negro slave labor is brought into com-
petition with it. [Great applause.] AVe wish to set-
tle the territoiies with free white men, and we are
willing that this negro race should go anywhere that
it can to better its condition, wishing them God
speed wherever they go. We believe it is better for
us that they should not be among us. I believe it
will be better for them to go elsewhere.

A Voice — Where to ?

Mr. Trumbull — / would say to any Central Ame-
rican, state that will make an. arrangement by tvhich
they can he secure in their rights vntil they arrive at
a time when they can protect and take care of them-

A Voice — But if yon can't protect them here, how
can they be protected in Central America ?

Mr. Trumbull — I would voloiiizi- than. We colo-
nize Indians on oar n''.''tirn truiilifr ; why dorct we
cohnize the negro «s n'cll «v the Indian? We can

\emselves. Thit
ry seems to be adapted to the
■negro race. It is unhealthy and enervating to the
wliite man. Let the negroes go there if the.\' wish ;
and I understand there is no objection on the part
of the people of portions of Central America to the
negroes coming there and enjoying an equality of
rights — [applause] — and this would give them an
opportunity to improve their condition. I would be
glad to see this couutiy relieved of them, believing
it better both for them and for us that we should not
mingle together. Besides, such an outlet, were it
provided, would be the means of freeing thousands
who would otherwise be continued in slavery.


I will say a word in regard to the argument, or
lather perversion it should be called, I have seen
going the rounds of the papers, that if such a state
of things should take place — that the states should
think proper to emancipate and send their slaves oft"
— it could not be done without producing a unifor-
mity between the institutions of the diSerent states;
and that would lead to despotism. It is said that our
free institutions rest upon the diversity of laws and
institutions in the dift'erent states, and it is argued
that if there is a uniformity on the subject of free-
dom there must be uniformity upon every other
subject — uniformity of laws for the granite hills of
New Hampshire, the rice fields of South Carolina,
the mines of California, and the prairies of Illinois.
It is difficult to treat so illogical an inference se-
riously; but if it be true that uniformity on the
subject of freedom in all the states requires iniifor-
mity of laws upon all subjects in the several states,
then diversity upon the one subject would require
diversity upon all. On this principle I caii prove
that the men who advocate it, and who say that di-
versity is the basis of our free institutions, are them-
selves in favor of licensing robbei's, and burglars,
and thieves, and murderers, and repealing all laws
for punishing such offenders. And why ? Because
all the states of the Union have laws for preventing
the commission of such crimes ; and as diversity of
laws is the basis of our free institutions, we must re-
peal our criminal code in order to bring it about,
lest, by having laws in all the states punishing such
criminals, we fall into despotism. Now, you
who are for diversity of laws and institutions in
the different states, must sanction murder, robbery,

burglary and theft, according to your own mode of
reasoning. The application of such reasoning is as
good one way as the other, and this shows the utter
absurdity of charging upon the Republicans — who
would wish that in the providence of God, not a
human being trod his footstool in the capacity of
slave — [loud applause] — a desire to have a uniformiiy
of laws and institutions in all the states on all sub-
jects. I say this, simply turning the argument used
against us upon those who make it, and showing that
they are just as obnoxious to the charge of advocat-
ing diversity of laws and institutions upon all sub-
jects as we are of advocating uniformity upon all.


Having given the views of the Republican party,
as I under.stand them, in regard to slavery, I de-
signed to have said something upon the unwarrant-
able assumption of power by the federal executive,
but am already so nuich exhausted as to be unable
to do so. I intended to have pointed out to you the
nature of the assumptions of power on the part of
the federal goveinment tending to consolidation and
to break down the sovereignty of the states ; to have
shown, as it can be shown and demonstrated, that
this party, now calling itself democratic, is the old
federal party in di.sguise. [" Go on," " Good,
good," "Goon," and applause.] It is true, and
it can be demonstrated to be true. The powers
which have been usurped by Pierce and Buchanan
would have led to the impeachment, I believe, of
Washington himself. [Applause.] Why, the Presi-
dent of the United States now assumes to raise armies
without calling upon Congress. He has enlisted
volunteers without the least authority from Con-
gress. He has marched an army away to the Rockj-
Mountains, and encamped it there during the winter
at an expense of millions and millions of dollars,
without the least authority of law. But all that a
democratic Congress does is to raise the money to
pay for the expedition. I say nothing here of the
impolicy of that expedition ; I speak of the want of
power in the President to send it there. It
is done, I know, under the pretended name of
a possii comitatns to accompany the Governor.
It IS the .same sort of subterfuge under which
troops were employed in Kansas to compel
submission to its invaders. You know what a
pos.-ie coniitatas is. It is the power of the count)',
called out by a civil officer to assist in the execution
of process when resisted, and the President of the
United States, who has no authority to summon a
2)o.%-<e for any purpose, calls the army from Florida,
thousands of miles ofl', and sends it as a posse comita-
^^/.v first to Kansas, afterwards to the Rocky Moun-
tains to accompany the governor. Why, a governor
has no right to have a possv comitatas for an escort,
and it is a perversion of terms to give such a name
to an army. The authority to make war is vested
by the constitution in the Congress of the United
States. It is expressly declared that Congress shall
have power to declare war, to raise armies, and pre-
scribe rules for their government.

A Voice. — How will you put down rebellion ?

Mr. Trumbull — I will put down rebellion under
the authority of Congress, and in no other way.
[Applause.] ' The President of the United States is
the commander-in-chief, when Congress raises the
troops and directs him what to do, but he has no
power to raise an army ; and if you sanction his
usurpations of power in raising armies and using
them at his discretion, the time is not distant when
some Bonaparte or Cfesar will assume to con-
trol your rights and mine. [Great cheers.] The
Republican party is opposed to this assumption of



power, and all those unnecessary offices and unneces-
sary expenses, and they are for bringing the gov-
ernment back, not only in regard to this slavery
question, but in regard to all questions, to its origi-
nal policy under Washington and Jefferson.
We are for an economical administration of the
government, for sha])ing the legislation of the coun-
try to serve the best interests of the countrv, and the
whole countiy— oi)i)ressing no section and' no inter-
est, but doing justice to all; [cries of "good, good "
and loud applause:] not interferinsi with slaverv
where it is, but sliaping the policy of the country so

as to prevent its expansion, and leaving it as the
constitution has left it-for the states wfere it ex
ists to manage it shall seem to them best. TAp- j That I understand to be the policv of the
Republican party. [n..,all that party in power, and

pio.spenty, for a free, a united and a happV people.
Li-.oud and long continued cheering. | '^f^- ^ i"

As Mr. Trumbull retired, three cheers were called
tor by a voice m the crowd, and responded to bv
thousands of voices with great enthusiasm


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Online LibraryLyman TrumbullThe campaign in Illinois → online text (page 3 of 3)