William D. (William Darrah) Kelley.

Speeches of Hon. William D. Kelley. Replies of the Hon. William D. Kelley to George Northrop, Esq., in the joint debate in the Fourth Congressional District online

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Online LibraryWilliam D. (William Darrah) KelleySpeeches of Hon. William D. Kelley. Replies of the Hon. William D. Kelley to George Northrop, Esq., in the joint debate in the Fourth Congressional District → online text (page 5 of 20)
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of all laws enacted by it. He shall be commander-in-chief of all military forces belonging

to the order, in the various States, wht n called into actual service. He shall deliver a mes-
sage to each meeting of the Supreme Council, showing the condition of the order and such
recommendations as its interest may demand."

Now, gentlemen, you begin to see the meaning of the inscription on those banners which
are carried in the Democratic procession — " A free ballot or a free fight." Just as the Demo-
cratic Administration stripped us of arms — just as. through President Buchanan's message
and Attorney-General Black's opinion, the Democratic party of the North pledged itself to
stand by the men of the South in the unholy work of sundering our country and destroying
our flag — these leaders are secretly arming men, and swearing them to their secret, so that
they may still do the promised work, four years later though it be. And they desire that there
shall be no soldiers in the Northern States — that the habeas corpus shall have full play —
that every Democratic judge of a police court may let the members of the order run when
arrested, and that when the election day comes they may appear at the polls with their rifles
and revolvers, and drive you and other peaceable citizens of the country away. That is part
of the present conspiracy that is attempted to be executed.

I say. fill the ranks of your army; stand by the President and the Administration, and
the commanders of your army and navy in the exercise of all their great constitutional
powers. Let us show, by the shouts we give for each new victory for the Union, whether
it lie achieved by Sherman, or Grant, or Sheridan, or Butler, or Parragut, or Porter, or Banks.
or any other officer — let us show by the manner in which we make the very welkin ring at the
news of each victory, that we mean to sustain Abraham Lincoln in maintaining the supremacy
of the Constitution, the unity of the country, the beauty and perfection of the flag of America ;
that we mean by thus sustaining them to transmit to our posterity the blessings we in-
herited from our ancestors, unimpaired and undiminished; that we mean to keep this broad
laud, including the wide fertile fields of the sunny South, with its balmy airs and its brief
winters ; that we mean to keep this whole country, sweeping from the rock-l>ound coast of the
Atlantic to the golden sands of the Pacific, from the wintry lakes of the North to that sum-
mer sea, the Gulf of Mexico, over whose surface the winter winds never howl; that we mean
to keep this land, capable of maintaining a thousand millions of people of a generation — as
many as there are in Europe and the elder East combined; for in Europe are 250,000,000,
and in Asia and the East 750,000,000 ; and our country is able to feed, sustain, house, and
educate another thousand millions of people; and let us send the word across the wide waste
of waters to the oppressed people of England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France, and all
Europe, that here in our valleys and on our hills — upon the broad savannas of the South and
the rolling' prairies of the West — that here they shall find wages for their labor, schools for
their children, poor though they be — the highest honors of the land open to them all, to
stimulate their ambition, and that while they share these blessings with us, all we ask of
them will be, to be good and patriotic citizens of an undivided country, and the most beneficent
republic the world has ever seen.

Speech of Hon. Wm. D. Kelley in the Northrop-
Kelley Debate,



Some of you would probably be a little offended if I were to address you as "my fellow cats
and kittens;" yet I would be justified in doing so by the language employed by my distin-
guished opponent on the last evening of our discussion, for lie told us that we have all been
used as simple cats by that cunning old monkey, New England, to take her chestnuts out of
the fire — from which 1 infer that he regards our soldiers away off there in their distant encamp-
ments as but poor unsuspecting kittens, who are being used by that old monkey to pluck her
chestnuts out of the fire. I had supposed, until I heard this suggestion, that they were there
trying to re-establish the unity of our country and the supremacy of our Constitution, and to give
again to our flag, in the eyes of all men and nations, the prestige that belongs to it. 1 had
supposed, men ofPennslyvania, that when your fathers made "a more perfect union.'' in order
that, among other blessings, their posterity might enjoy liberty, they worked for you as well
as for the people of New England; and T also supposed that, the workingmen of Pennsylvania,
who may have found that from their daily labor they cannot lay up capital enough to leave
their families above want, have a personal interest in the public lands of this country, which,
so far as they lie in Florida, Louisiana, and those States west of the Mississippi, which were
carved out of the Louisiana territory, were bought by us or our ancestors with our money, or
by the blood of our brothers — that they have such an interest in these public lands as to feel
that it were better that the elder born boy of each family should die in the defence of this
right than that the old parents and the younger children should be robbed of so beneficent a
heritage. I have explained to you that those lands are yours — that you have but to pitch a
canvas tent upon the given number of acres, and occupy them for five years, when, at the
mere cost of a, deed, the Government must give you a written and indefeasible title to them.
And yet my friend so overlooks you in his detestation of New England that he can only see
her chestnuts in the great conflagration now prevailing.'

I believe in an offensive war. I complained of Abraham Lincoln that he did not drive on
the war fast enough. I urged him from the time that McClellan's defection from our great
cause became apparent to me till he left the command, to make the war aggressive. And in
conducting these debates I have been better pleased to take my own field, and to put my
friend upon the defensive, than to dance around in any narrow circle that he might be pleased
to fashion or prescribe for me.

To the question whether I " approve of any or all of the twenty-three acts of Congress, each
having for its object the declared purpose of giving to the negro all the rights, immunities,
and privileges which have hitherto been enjoyed by the white man only," I give a partial
answer to-night by saying that there are no such laws on the statute book, and asking my
friend to point to one such, promising to make a fuller reply to the question when it conies in
my way, if he shall have done so. Meanwhile, 1 protest that there is not such a law on our
statute books.

J make these preliminary remarks and add the sad reflection that my friend has at none of
our three meetings had a word of condemnation for any Southern Rebel, whether civilian or
soldier. Yes, having seen tun' Hag tired upon — our fortifications, our custom houses, our post-
offices, our national hospitals, our mints, our territory taken possession of— having heard from
the Rebel Secretary of War on the night on which the storming of Sumter was announced at.
Montgomery, Alabama, that before the then coming first of May the ' - s!ars and bars" would
float over the Capitol of our country in Washington— having before his view the graves of
hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died in this war for the defence of our flag —
the gentleman has no word of condemnation for the perpetrators of these crimes, but tells you
that he has an " American repugnance to the use of bayonets and the knocking- out of men's
brains." I am not very fond of it myself; but I confess I had rather put a bayonet through
another man than have, him put one through me; and, my fellow-citizens, we had reached
such a poinl that we must creep and crawl, and beg from the invaders the privilege to live, or,
like Americans indeed, must fight ; and it will require more than one orator of the modern

peace party o convince me thai in a war of self defence an American has a "repugnance to
Kecking out the brains" of the invader of his home or country. It is not an "American
repugnance " The American people arc the mosl martial people in the world. I here is not
a man in this whole assemblage or in the distrid which I have the honor to represent who,
if a scoundrel should come into his house, insult his wife, and offer outrage to Ins daughter in
his presence, would not brain the miscreanl on the spot. The rebels are endeavoring to rob
your wives and children of their patrimony and you of your honor; and the gentleman feels
and confesses an " American repugnance to pointing a bayonet at them I tell you all that
I am for war-war right straight forward until every rebel shall have laid down his bayonel ;
and if he will not lay it down until his 1. rains are knocked out, then I am in favor ol knocking
them out; because we must have peace, and with that peace we must enjoy possession o
every acre and every inch of our country. I do not want to see the war cease as long as there
is upon our soil an armed band bearing a foreign flag. My honor and yours is involved m
this issue We are pledged by the memory of our ancestors to overcome the rebel hordes ;
W c are hound by all the hopes of our posterity ami of humanity to do it.

Tic gentleman says he "is not the champion of a defunct administration. Let me ask
him whether he believes in the Chicago Platform?

Mr. Northrop. Which one— Lincoln's or tin' last one?
Judge Kelley. 1 mean the Fernando Wood platform.
Mr.^Northrop. [ do not know any such platform.

JmFe Kelley. If it is to be regarded as the platform of any man, lei it be ascribed to him
who had a potent voice in making it, and not to him who was heroically struggling wit i
multifarious affairs of our distracted country a1 the time when it was making. mean that
platform which pledges the Democracy to the - Union under the ( onstitution in the future as
in the mis/'' For Mr. Buchanan's Administration was part of the past ol that party, and the
phraseology of that resolution was adopted to delude ignorant and thoughtless men and
lead them to believe that it is a pledge to the maintenance of .the Constitution and the
country, while in fact it is a pledge that if that party shad come into power, the 1 Uion am.
the Constitution will he maintained in In;;, just as they were m L860, when that party was
in power 1 have spent two evenings in showing how that was. It was by building up a
foreign Confederacy, arming it and giving it a navy, and by stripping you ol arms; .was
finally bv surrender,..- the puhhe property throughout the South, and the larger part of oni
country to that armed Confederacy. Therefore, the man who stands ut >for the Cbica|0 plat
form is hound by those words - as in the past" to vindicate alike the Administration Jamej
Buchanan and Franklin Pierce. Those administrations are a portion of the Democratic
party's - pasl ;" and they constitute the last eight years of its "past, and thai is the past
?o which the authors of the Chicago platform reter when they limil their pledge ol devotion
to the Union, bv the phrase "in the future as in the past." No man can defend the < hicago
platform and its nominees who dissents from James Buchanan's message, which announced
to the people of the South, that the loyal man who dare stand by b IS country and his
counties flag, against the secessionists of his sovereign State, would do so at his peril, and
in defiance of the Administration of James Buchanan. _

I shall come to the Chicago platform by and by, and discuss it fully. My purpose to-night
is to o-o on as J have begun, and when we shall have ascertained tie- precise position o bo
parties with reference to the .ureal question of maintaining our country and its Constitute
11 will be time enough to go into details aboul acts of Congress, my votes on particular bills,
and other such questions. I did not pronounce the gentleman's questions - mmapln -,ca
] simply said that, by the terms of our agreement, 1 was not pledged to answer ain meta-
nhvsical question that he might see fit to propound. , ,

1 I read to you on last Monday evening an article, the 8th of the Constitution ol the S G-
C.'s, a secret oath-bound association, and to-night 1 proceed in pursuance ol my argument to
sl.owvou that the Democratic party-nol the masses o the party - ( .ml J^ • •
many honest and unsuspecting members of the party; then, are many o i he 1 <

that' the party still stands bv the doctrines of its lathers ; there arc many ol them who have
not had the courage to tear themselves away from the leaders who have long enjoyed their
confidence, and of such I do not speak. 1 speak of the designing leaders the manageie o fthe
party, and 1 say that it is their object now. as it was m L8b0, to dismember he Union and
in this connection I will tell you why my learned friend so assails New England I t is no
that he hates his old alma mater, Yale College. He took occasion to tell >ou thai [had ^spent
four years in New England. So did he. J happened, however, to sp< nd those years near
Bunker 11.11. in the State which gave birth to Hancock and Otis, old pun Adams > and John
Adams and Warren ; while he spent Ins in the little State that gave birth to both B, nedlC
Arnold and Isaac Toucey! 1 do not mean to say thai his residence there aff acted to polibcal
convictions. He was, as I was. a mere boy, or one just stepping over the threshold ot man-
hood. He was there obtaining that education winch so adorns his speech 1 was there as
an humble youth in the workshop, earning my daily bread by my daily abor And w
came away bettered by the good influences of New England. ( onnec.cut. though sh did
give birth' to two traitors-one who tried to surrender our army, and one who sent twenty-

seven of the finest ships of our navy to a foreign enemy— is as patriotic a State as any in the P,
Union Why, sir. among the twelve Apostles there was a Judas; and we are nol to condemn I™
a State or a section, because it has given birth to a couple of traitors whose names will stand p

1 .eminent in history for their treason. The gentleman was not hurt by being in New Eng- Iff

land- he was not poisoned by breathing the air of the State that gave birth to Toncey and P>
•Vrnold And he does not hate New England ; he does but echo the slang- of the Southern ny a
leaders of his party when he abuses her so. They hope by this moans to accomplish a certain P
after they shall have sundered the Union. They endeavor everywhere and by all means «
to poison tic- mind of the masses of people against New England. This is not done without
an object. They want to grant an armistice, which would result in a surrender to the South.
Now that we have fairly whipped the South they wish us to fall down on our knees and crave
the slave-masters of that sacred region to give us pardon for having been so bold. Their
object is to let the South go in peace, hoping that we can woo her baby-selling and woman-
whipping aristocracy to associate with us again by promising that New England shall be put
out in the cold or thrown over to a Canadian confederacy. That is the aim. The leaders ot
that party do not believe that "the laborer is worthy of his hire." They have no word of
denunciation for slavery or the slave-drivers; but for New England, which gives education
and wages to every man coming into her borders by birth or emigration, for free New Eng-
land with her public schools and social equality, they teem with denunciation.

1 shall proc 1 to show that their purpose is just what 1 have said— to dismember the

Union in the hope of organizing a Union as a great slave empire, based on the sentiment
proclaimed by Herschel V.Johnson, in our own Independence Square, at the great Demo-
cratic meeting, on the 17th of September, 185G. He then and there said: "The difference
between us, gentlemen, is this— we think it better that capital should own its own labor, while
you believe that capital should hire its labor." I charge upon the leaders of the Democratic
party a wilful design to degrade the laboring masses of this country by nationalizmir slavery.
They know the stubborn resistance which New England presents to this object, and therefore
thev are going through this land deriding New Englanders, and, as my competitor did, denounc-
ing Plymouth Bock and its incidents as "a disgrace to any people," poisoning the mmd ot the
country in the hope that, by pursuing the course that McClellan pursued while he was at the
head of the army— spending money and refusing to advance— they will yet so exhaust the
patriotism and energies of the people as to induce them to consent to the arrangement I have

The section of the Constitution of the S. C. C.'s which! read showed you that there is
within that party a secrel organization embracing five hundred thousand members, and thai
it is a military organization under the charge of a " supreme commander," who '"shall be
commander-in-chief of all military forces belonging to the order in the various States, when
, -ailed into actual -rue s." Tlie" S. (i. O.'s are not organized like the company to which the
gentlemen referred, for dress parades, but for active service as lighting men.

And. b\ the way, 1 may as well refer to the gent Ionian's story of the volunteer who turned
one way when ordered to go the other, and complained that the company he had thus left had
deserted him. While you were recovering from the paroxysm produced by this bit of facetia
he inquired whether 1 admitted that 1 had left the Democratic party or charged that it had
left me. That does not admit of a question; it left me. The men who forced Calhoun's fatal
dogmas on the party forced all thinking and honest Democrats to choose between their good
principles and evil and dangerous associations. Thus forced to elect, I chose to adhere to
my principles, and let those would-be leaders and their pliant followers go where they might.
Nor was my decision singular. The masses of the Democracy concurred in it. Look at
Maine. The people of Maine by twenty thousand used to be with the Democratic party, but
they have just rolled up a majority of nearly twenty thousand for the party with which I co-
operate. New Bampshire used to' be with the Democratic party by an almost unbroken vote:
she was as solid as Berks County. She now as sturdily repudiates the false leaders, principles,
and measures of the party. Connecticut used to be "a Democratic State. Connecticut now
sends to Congress three members belonging to the same party with me. and a fourth (Mr.

English) who is den iced by the leaders of his party in Congress because, though nominally

a member of their party, he 'has voted steadily against it on all questions of men and money
to carry on the war: and he could not stand lip a day in Connecticut unless he did so. New
York was an inveterately Democratic State: but her majority against McClellan, I am told
by the most knowing men of the State, will be a hundred thousand. Ohio used to be a deter-
minedly Democratic' State. Did she not give a majority of one hundred thousand against the
"exiled patriot," Yallandigham. Iowa used to boa Democratic State: but her sous stood
with me by the principles of the party, and now. with an overwhelming majority, go with the
party that' I support. Was not Missouri a Democratic State ? She kept old Tom Benton in
the United States Senate for thirty consecutive years; yet she is more radical to-day than Mas-
sachusetts, and the quarrel of the leading men of the State with Mr. Lincoln was that he has
not been radical and rapid enough. Have I not shown that the base element of the party
sloughed off from the old platform of principles? It was no mere " corporal's guard" they
left behind ; but the controlling men and animating principles of the old party— yes, gentle-

neri, I again assert that the present corrupt leaders of the Democratic party — left me stand-
Dg on the principles of Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson.

I will take another test and prove my assertion. Who arc the Democratic leaders to-day
11 over the country? Let us look at our own city. Do you not all know that I have battled
politically with my friends Wm. B. Reed, and Josiah Randall, ami George M. Wharton, all
ny life, and with my distinguished friend here, when he was a Whig member of our City
Jouncils? The leaders are not the same; the principles are not the same Gen. Lewis
lass lives, at least so the newspapers inform me, to give his vigorous dissent to the Chicago
ilatform. Preston King-. George Bancroft, Daniel S. Dickinson, and the greal Democrats of
sew York, Hannibal Hamlin, George S Boutwell, and scores of the greal leaders of the 1 ><>-
nocracy of New England— John A. Dix, Benjamin Butler, Grant, Sherman. Farragut — are
.11 Democrats of the old school, but all stand by their country and its flag, and the Adminis-
ration that is striving to maintain that country and flag. Gentlemen, if my "company" is
mall, it has, to say the least, some very good soldiers in it. You will not tell me that I need
e ashamed of it !

I now turn to the proceedings of the Grand Council of the State of Indians, at their nv ri-
ng held on the 16th and 17th of February. 1864. The session (dosed with a resolution "That
he Grand Secretary prepare and publish, in pamphlet form, the address of the Grand Com-
nander, with such part of the proceedings of the Grand Council as may be necessary for the
aformation of the County Temples, and send one copy of said publication to each County

The Grand Commander begins by addressing his hearers as "Councillors," and in the course
if his remarks, says : —

"We are organized for a high and noble purpose, the erection and consecration of Temples
e the service of true Republicanism; altars upon which we may lay our hands and hearts
vith the invocation of the ' God of our Fathers.'" (That is the beginning of one of their
>aths.) ■• Well may we call upon the God of truth, justice, and human rights, in our efforts
o preserve what the great wisdom and heroic acts of our Fathers achieved.

"This, my friends, is no small undertaking — requiring patience, fortitude, patriotism, and a
ielf-sacri (icing disposition from each and all, and may require us to hazard lift itself, in sup-
)ort and defence of those great cardinal principles which are the foundation stones of the
state and Federal Government."

'To hazard life itself, eh ?" Some of the revolvers with which they were to be armed while
naking the hazard, were seized just as they had got them from New York, into the room of
Commander Dodd. at the same time this pamphlet was found.

"The creation of an empire or republic," the Commander continues. " or the reconstruction
if the old Union, by brute force, is simply impossible. The liberation of four million blacks
ind putting them upon an equality with the whites, is a scheme which can only bring its
luthors into shame, contempt, and confusion ; no results of this enterprise will ever be realized
beyond the army of occupation."

Is not this, let me ask, precisely the doctrines that my friend has been teaching you : That
t is a war to free the blacks, and that We can never do anything in that war — -that we cannot
ioerce the States, or conquer the people of the South ?

But let the Commander go on : —

" There n< • d be no appri hension that a war of co< rcion will be continued by a Democratic
idministration, if placed in control of public ajfairs, for with the experience of the present
3ne, which has for three years, with the unlimited resources of eighteen millions of people, in
nen, money, and ships, won nothing but its own disgrace, and probable downfall, it is not
ikely that another, if it values public estimation, will repeat the experiment."

You, gentlemen, have not known that when you were cheering for victories, you were
jheering for the "disgrace" of your country or the administration that presides over it.

But still again to the commander : "If these men be prolonged in power, they must either
onsent to be content to exercise the power delegated by the people, or, by the gods, they
must prove themselves physically the stronger." (They must fight.) "This position is de-
manded by every true member of this fraternity ; honor, life — ay, more than life, the virtue of

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Online LibraryWilliam D. (William Darrah) KelleySpeeches of Hon. William D. Kelley. Replies of the Hon. William D. Kelley to George Northrop, Esq., in the joint debate in the Fourth Congressional District → online text (page 5 of 20)