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by a Southern man his letter reminded one of Jefferson's arraignment of George the Third, and through its extensive publication in the newspapers it must have done excellent service in guiding and inspiring the great party then about to be created.
As chairman of the committee on national organization, George W. Julian then submitted the report of that committee, which embodied the following recommendations :
1. The appointment of a national executive committee consisting of one from each state and constituted as follows: E. D. Morgan, New York, chairman; George G. Fogg, New Hampshire; N. P. Banks, Massachusetts; Lawrence Brainerd, Vermont; John M. Niles, Connecticut; William Chase, Jr., Rhode Island; C. M. K, Pollison, New Jersey; David Wilmot, Pennsylvania; F. P. Blair, Jr., Missouri; Rev. J. G. Fee, Kentucky; A. J. Stevens, Iowa; A. P. Stone, Ohio; William Grose, Indiana; E. D. Leland, Illinois; Charles Dickey, Michigan; Wyman Spooner, Wisconsin; Lewis Clephane, District of Columbia; ex-Governor Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota.
2. That the National Executive Committee be authorized to add to their number from each state not now represented in said committee, and to fill vacancies.
3. The committee further recommend the holding of a Republican National Convention for the nomination of candidates for President and Vice-President at Philadelphia, on Tuesday, the 17th day of June next, to be composed of delegates from the several states equal in number to twice the representation in Congress to which each state is entitled.
4. That the Republicans of the different states be recommended to complete their organization at the earliest practicable moment by the appointment of state, county and district committees; and the state and county committees are requested to organize the respective counties by Republican clubs in every town or township throughout the land.
On motion of S. N. Wood, of Kansas, Gen. Charles Robinson of that territory was made an additional member of the National Executive Committee; and the third recommendation, on the motion of Mr. Lovejoy, was amended so as to make the delegates to the national convention consist of three from each congressional district. The report of the committee on organization as thus amended was adopted, and the national Republican Party became a fact.
Mr. Mann, of New York, from the Committee on Address and Resolutions, now made his report. His address was very lengthy, occupying two hours in the reading, and was a pretty thorough
over-hauling of the slavery question in general, and particularly of the overthrow of the Missouri Compromise and the outrages in Kansas which followed. Its authorship was credited to Henry J. Raymond, of the New York Times, and it concluded as follows:
"We therefore declare to the people of the United States as the objects for which we unite in political action :
"I. That we demand and shall attempt to secure the repeal of all laws which allow the introduction of slavery into territory now consecrated to freedom, and will resist by every constitutional means the existence of slavery in any of the territories of the United States;
"2. We will support by every lawful means our brethren in Kansas in their constitutional and manly resistance to the usurped authority of their lawless invaders; and we will give the full weight of our political power in favor of the immediate admission of Kansas to the Union as a free, sovereign and independent state;
"3. Believing the present national administration has shown itself to be weak and faithless, and as its continuance in power is identified with the progress of the slave power to national supremacy, with the exclusion of freedom from the territories, and with unceasing civil discord, it is a leading purpose of our organization to oppose and overthrow it."
These declarations might have gone farther, but they were substantially sufficient. They demanded the freedom of Kansas and all our national territories, which meant, of course, the restriction of slavery to the states in which it existed. Such restriction, the slaveholders believed, would pave the way for its destruction. It was because they believed that the Wilmot Proviso threatened slavery with gradual suffocation and ultimate death that they demanded the abrogation of the Missouri Compromise and organized their bloody raid into Kansas. Their policy was the expansion of slavery as the chosen means of saving its life and perpetuating its rule, while the Republican policy was the restriction of slavery as the chosen means of saving the life of the nation and preserving the principles of democracy. No issue could have been more vital, and on this issue a great national party now planted itself and entered upon its stormy career.
This convention represented all of the sixteen northern and eight of the southern states. Its members came together in the dead of winter, when no candidates were to be nominated and no offices were to be divided. Probably a majority of them had passed the meridian of life, but all seemed equally in earnest and absorbed in their work. A few of them were already known to political fame,
such as Joshua R. Giddings, Preston King and David Wilmot, while others, like Zachariah Chandler, Edwin D. Morgan, and Oliver P. Morton, were afterwards to become honorably conspicuous. The great body of the members had never devoted themselves to the business of politics, and this was indicated by the composition of the several committees selected by the convention for the execution of its work. It was a season of unparallelled political chaos, in which doubt and apprehension largely ruled the hour. Good men sometimes lost their way, or saw but dimly the path of safety. Politic statesmen took counsel of their fears. A number of notable men in the convention took little or no part in its proceedings. Many undoubtedly failed to attend because they thought it wiser to wait upon the teaching of events. It was the element of uncalculating radicalism which baffled the policy of timidity and hesitation and saved the cause. Of the nine Free Soilers who held the balance of power in the lower branch of the Congress of 1849, five were in this convention and among its active workers. The convention stood by them. Only five of the northern states had taken the initiative in calling it; but its members, most fortunately, had the courage of their convictions. Their devotion to the cause and singleness of purpose kept them steadfast. They could have had no conception of the magnitude of the work which they were beginning. They did not dream of the civil war which was to result from the splendid courage of the new party in standing by its principles, nor of the magnificent part it was to play in crushing a great slave-holders' rebellion. As little did they dream of the total extirpation of slavery in the United States in less than nine years, and its abolition throughout the civilized world which was to follow. They were building better than they knew. This was strikingly illustrated by Mr. Greeley's account of the convention in the Tribune, in which he said, "its moral and political effect will be felt for a quarter of a century." He did not see the greatness of the work which had been inaugurated, because the angle of his vision left it outside of his horizon; but he lived to see the curtain lifted, and to realize that the movement in which he had shared involved the life of the Republic, the emancipation of a race, and the grand march of democratic government towards its world-wide triumph.
GEORGE W. JULIAN.
1. Santiago, and the Freeing of Spanish America, 1741.
AFTER Admiral Vernon and General Wentworth had failed in their attack on Carthagena, they left that place, at the end of April and the beginning of May, 1741, and sailed to Jamaica. There on May 26 a council of war was held, consisting of Admiral Vernon and Sir Chaloner Ogle on the part of the naval forces and Generals Wentworth and Guise on the part of the army, together with the governor of the island, Edward Trelawny. The council, held at Santiago de la Vega (Spanish Town) is mentioned in Vernon's letter of May 30 to the Duke of Newcastle, printed in his Original Papers relating to the Expedition to 'Carthagena, London, 1744. (See pp. 126-128, 141.) But it is believed that the following minute of its determinations has never been printed. It is derived, by the courtesy of Dr. Herbert Friedenwald, Superintendent of the Manuscript Department in the Library of Congress, from the series of the "Vernon-Wager Navy Papers," in that library. This collection, bound in twelve large folio volumes, comprises many papers of great interest to students of colonial history.
It is perhaps unnecessary to recount the history of the expedition against Santiago de Cuba, resolved upon by this council of war. The military landed without opposition in the bay of Guantanamo, to which they gave the name of Cumberland, in honor of the royal duke. But on sending out parties to reconnoitre, Wentworth received such accounts of the difficulty of taking Santiago, that he judged it most prudent to withdraw. Vernon unwillingly acquiesced, and the expedition came to nothing.
It is believed
The other paper is derived from the same source. that it has never been printed, and that it will be thought to be of present interest. The endorsement indicates it as not the work of Vernon, but of Stephen DeVere or Devereux. The two manuscripts are designated as Nos. 12 and 19, respectively, in Vol. VI. of the Vernon-Wager Papers.
I. COUNCIL OF WAR AT SANTIAGO DE LA VEGA, MAY 26, 1741. At a General Council of War held at His Excellency Governour Trelawny's at S' Iago de la Vega, on the 26th day of May 1741.
M Vernon having communicated to us, together with His Majesty's Instructions of the 10th July 1740, and the additional Instructions from my Lords Justices of the 25th September 1740, the Letters and Orders since receiv'd from His Grace the Duke of Newcastle of the 4th December, and the two of the 28th Febr'y last, and likewise, all the intercepted Letters (so providentially fallen into his hands, by Cap Warren's destroying of Valladon the Privateer from S' Iago)' and the Intelligence sent him by Cap: Lee, and what was further observ'd of the motions of the Ships from Cadiz, by Captain Peyton of the Kennington, who was sent here by Cap! Lee, with these Advices of the nine Sail Men of War putting to Sea from Cadiz.
And Governour Trelawny having communicated to us, the favourable Disposition of the Gentlemen of this Island, to contributing to the Success of any Expedition that might be judg'd proper to be undertaken.
Your Council of War after maturely deliberating on the said Instructions, Orders, Letters, intercepted Intelligences, and Advices, and having regard to the great reduction of our Forces ;
It was the Opinion of the Council of War, that in regard to the Diminution of the Forces, the Security of this Island and our Trade, the Security of all Supplies coming to us, and preserving a Comunication with this Island, for our Supplies; the only Expedition that could be thought advisable to be undertaken, was against S Iago de Cuba, a Port of great Importance to the Security of our Trade, and cutting off the baneful Correspondence between them and Hispaniola.
And tho in regard to the general Sickness, that had spread itself thro' Fleet and Army, we were not in very good condition for undertaking any new Expedition; yet on the assurance given us by the Governour Trelawny, that we might rely on a Supply from the Island, of a thousand of the most serviceable of their Blacks, they could raise in the Island, to be all chosen Men, and to have proper Officers, and through a sincere Zeal for doing the utmost in our power, to answer the expectations of Our Royal Master, from the great Expence of this Expedition;
It was the Resolution of Your Council of War, to undertake this Expedition against St Iago, and to push it forward with all the dispatch, the Situation of our Affairs would admit of.
And M Vernon having desir'd our Opinions, on that part of his Instructions of the 25th September, in regard to dispatching a proportionable number of his Ships home on those of the Enemies being return'd home, or destroyed, and represented to us the hazard, the unsheath'd eighty Gun Ships, and others of the most crazy of the Ships, would run, if they were not sent home to save a Summer's passage; We concur'd with him in Opinion such ought to be dispatch'd home, so as a sufficient Force was reserv'd, in regard to the Spanish Squadron under Rodrigo de Torrez at the Havanna, and those mention'd to be under M. de Rochefeuil at Hispaniola.
1 See Vernon's Original Papers, pp. 136, 137.