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Proceedings and Debates of the 1867 Constitutional Convention
Volume 74, Volume 1, Debates 30   View pdf image (33K)
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of the government and calculated to destroy the fair fabric
of American liberty. The old abolition party, which in the
days of peace and union was considered a disunion party,
and whose sole purpose, as declared by their leaders, was
to overturn all the compromises of the national compact,
has gained such accessions of strength, since and during
the late war, as to have virtually taken possession of the
government. Under the name of "radical" this party has
assumed the existence of a revolution in our form of gov-
ernment, and by a series of acts and laws, at variance with
all experience and precedent, have absorbed the power of
the executive and threatened to destroy that of the su-
preme judiciary. Leaders of that party do not blush to ap-
peal to expediency and policy in legislation, those argu-
ments of tyrants, as sufficient to dictate the rights of the
people under the guise of the law. States of the original
thirteen, never in rebellion, have been put under ban and
charged with treason to the government for the attempted
exercise of rights inalienable from the citizen. Foremost
in the ranks of the defamers of true Americans are the
so-called "radicals" of the State of Maryland. This local
junto, composed of disappointed politicians, office holders
and their satelites, and a few honest but misguided fan-
atics, are making open war upon your rights. It is not
sufficient that. Maryland has been staunch for the Union;
that she has emancipated her slaves; that many of her
sons have died in battle; that she has registered and sworn
her legal voters under the most stringent laws of a radical
Legislature; but because she has chosen to regulate her
affairs under the sanction of those laws; to elect conserva-
tive and Union-loving men to her General Assembly; to
forget and forgive; and above all, because she has chosen
to inaugurate a peaceable revolution by the ballot, these
men have by open menaces threatened to deprive her citi-
zens of the rights of American freemen. But for the con-
nection of these men with the ruling party in the country,
those threats would be but "the tale of an idiot. " Com-
posing less than one-fourth of our voting population, they
are harmless at the polls. Besides, the antecedents of
many of them are notoriously such as to deprive them of
either the confidence or respect of any party. Some of
them were openly hostile to the government at the be-
ginning of the war, and all were so conservative since the
war that they openly repudiated the policy of negro suf-
frage at the Philadelphia Convention of the Southern dis-
loyalists.
But since, by the patriotic efforts of the Governor of
Maryland, the system of fraud and violence practiced by
this minority to exclude the legal and loyal voter from the
ballot, was defeated, and the people have rejected their
rule, they have dropped their mask, and appear in their
true colors of mere placemen and demagogues, who would
sell their birthright "for a mess of pottage; " they are
fully understood, and there need be no fear that they will
ever "rule or ruin" the free State of Maryland. The
thoughtful men of their party in other States know them
well, and have no true sympathy for them, for while
"they may love the treason they hate the traitors. "
The object of the Conservatives and Democrats of Bal-
30


 
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Proceedings and Debates of the 1867 Constitutional Convention
Volume 74, Volume 1, Debates 30   View pdf image (33K)
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