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concur in the repeated nominations which Ordered, That the same be entered on the he has received in various parts of the minutes of the convention. Union, as a candidate for re-election to On motion, the office which he now fills with so Resolved, That the proceedings of this conmuch honor to himself, and usefulness to vention be signed by the officers thereof and his country
published in the Baltimore Republican.
Adjourned to nine o'clock to-morrow mornOn motion of Mr. Shepherd, of Ky.
ing. Resolved, That the president and vice-presidents of this convention be a committee to inform Martin Van Buren of his nomination to the
WEDNESDAY, May 23, 1832. office of Vice-President.
Nine o'clock, A. M.–The convention met The following communication was received | pursuant to adjournment. and read:
Mr. Archer, of Virginia, from the committee On behalf of the delegation of the State on the subject of an address to the people, made
the following report: of Indiana in this convention, I am au
The committee to whom was assigned the thorised to declare to the delegates of the duty of preparing an address from this conseveral states: That the nomination of vention to the people of the United States, reMartin Van Buren as a candidate for the || port, Vice-Presidency, has their approbation, That having interchanged opinions on the and will have their cordial support; and subject submitted to them, and agreeing fully
in the principles and sentiments which they bealthough, Col. Richard M. Johnson, of lieve ought to be embodied in an address of this Kentucky, received their vote, so soon || description, if such an address were to be made, as the will of a majority of the conven nevertheless deem it advisable, under existing tion was indicated, they were disposed | circumstances, to recommend the adoption of cheerfully to yield their preference for
the following resolution : the favorite son of the west, whose claims
Resolved, That it be recommended to to the rewards of his country, they be the several delegations in this convention, lieve to be second to those of none, and in place of a general address from this unite with the elder States of the Union, body to the people of the United States, in support of Mr. Van Buren, who we
to make such explanations by address, hesitate not to say will receive the elec- | report, or otherwise, to their respective toral vote of Indiana, in pursuance of his constituents, of the objects, proceedings
and result of the meeting as they may nomination by this convention.
deem expedient. Signed in behalf of the delegates of the State of Indiana to the Baltimore convention.
Which report and resolution were read and
ROBERT LUCAS, President.
A. S. CLAYTON, 4th V. Pres.
ADDRESS, Of the Republican Delegates of the State of New-York.
In pursuance of the suggestion contained in the foregoing resolution, the delegates from this State have deemed it proper respectfully to call your attention to the course pursued by them in the discharge of their duty, and the considerations by which they were actuated in giving their vote to the distinguished citizen, on whom the choice of the convention has fallen. They consider it due to the occasion to refer also to the nature of the crisis at which we have arrived, the objects to be achieved and the dangers to be averted by the united exertions of the Republicans of the United States, and by a cursory review of the efforts and triumphs of our predecessors in similar emergencies, and the character of the contests through which they passed, to point out to you the true sources of your security and strength.
The principles involved in the approaching election are identically those, upon which the people of the United States have been divided from the earliest stage of our constitutional history. They constitute, indeed, the very essence of the division which prevailed during the deliberations, in which the foundations of the
government were laid. It is unnecessary to enter into a detailed examination of the history of that division. It is sufficient to say that the great question, on which individuals separated, was the nature and extent of the powers to be conferred on the general government. While one party saw in its patronage and power a tendency to consolidation, others fancied in the reservations of State sovereignty an extent of authority inconsistent with the execution of the general purposes, for which it was framed. In the contests, to which these divisions of opinion gave rise, the advocates of a limited delegation of power generally prevailed; and it is apparent, from the debates in Congress and the State Legislatures previous to the adoption of the constitution of the United States, that they intended to confer on the general government such powers only as were absolutely indispensable to the execution of the objects of its institution. The amendment to that instrument, which reserves to the States and the people, respectively, all powers not expressly delegated, furnishes, with regard to delegated powers, a rule of construction, which can not well be misunderstood. It is a settled principle that questions, arising under the provisions of an instrument, shall be determined by a direct reference to the spirit, in which it was framed. The contest previously to the adoption of the constitution, on the part of those who fancied causes of disunion in too large a reservation of State sovereignty, was to confer as much power as possible on the general government by express grant. Since the adoption of that intrument the contest, on the part of the same individuals and their political followers has been to enlarge as much as possible the authority of the general government by construction or implication from express grants, so far, indeed, as to include powers, which the framers of the constitution expressly refused to take from the States. Through all vicissitudes the policy of the party has remained unaltered, however their objects may at various times have been prosecuted by various measures. In the seasons of their adversity their steadfast adherence to original principles has been manifest, in the opinions which they have openly avowed, and in the persevering opposition which they have waged against the measures of the administration; and their elevation to power has been uniformly the signal of encroachment, or of attempts at encroachment, on the constitutional rights of the States and the people. The love of power would of itself be sufficient to account for the existence of such a party in any country ; but with us it depends on other principles ; it has its foundation in speculative doctrines concerning the very structure and theory of the government. It is a system of political faith proceeding upon
a doubt of the ability of the people, (to use the language of an apologist of the federal party,) to uphold the free institutions under which we live:” and it was
naturally to be expected that errors, which are merely speculative when the party is without power, should become errors in practice the moment they acquire the ability to execute their purposes.
The political history of the country is, in a word, the history of a struggle, more or less remitted as the power of the opposition has increased or declined, to maintain in their purity the original principles on which the government is founded.
The election of a President and Vice-President of the United States involves in itself, independently of the political distinctions to which we have adverted, considerations of the highest importance. The reputation of the country essentially depends on the ability and success with which the President disposes of the numerous questions affecting our relations with foreign states—its tranquillity on the impartiality with which he administers the laws, the disinterestedness with which he dispenses for the general good the patronage committed to him for that purpose, and the firmness with which he meets the various responsibilities devolved on him in the execution of his official trust. But such an election becomes doubly important when great constitutional questions are at stake, and when permanent systems of national policy depend on the issue: and to the character of the contest it matters not whether fundamental principles are to be maintained against an opposition seeking to overthrow the existing order, or whether mismanagement and usurpation are to be driven from the seats of power.
The history of the government exhibits two such contests in the elections of 1800 and 1828. In the first, the original division of parties was strongly and clearly marked. It is not doubted that the doctrines of the federal party were founded upon a sincere belief that the exigencies of the country required a greater concentration of power in the hands of the general government than that which had been confided to it by the constitution. The latitudinary construction of that instrument, which prevailed during the administration of John Adams, and passed by transmission to his political followers, was the necessary consequence of that belief. But it was at war with the whole theory and spirit of our scheme of government, and its inevitable result was, to disturb the proper adjustment of its parts, and to introduce disorder and confusion where harmony had reigned before. The consequences of the principles to which we have already adverted, were but partially disclosed in the administration of Mr. Adams, through encroachments on the sovereignty of the states, invasions of the rights of the people, and the imposition of public burdens by creating and maintaining expensive establishments. Indeed it is not easy to determine how much these evils might have been aggravated by his re-election—what changes the departure of his administration from the true interpretation of the constitution might have wrought in the character of the government-how serious the consequences to liberal institutions, but for the retribution which fell upon that party in the fullness of their prosperity and power.
The popular feeling which these abuses aroused, the efforts of the friends of the constitution to suppress them, and the triumphant success which crowned their exertions in the election of Mr. Jefferson, are all convincing illustrations of the virtue of the people, and of their ability to provide for their own injuries, by constitutional measures of redress.
It was the peculiar good fortune of Mr. Jefferson to have brought out in bold relief, as rules of action, the true principles by which the political organization of the government was originally framed. The times were not only peculiarly favorable to the accomplishment of this object, but it was imperiously demanded by the universal expectation of the republican party. The end of the political revolution, which had elevated him to power, could only have been answered by a restoration of the government, both in its theory and practice, to its original purity. He had the exalted merit of setting forth the fundamental principles of our political system, in the clearest and most impressive form, and of taking the lead, through the influence of his talents and character, in bringing back the government to the true standard from which it had departed. The policy of his administration proceeded upon the principles, that the constitution was a compact between the states as independent sovereignties; that the powers of the general government were to be strictly
construed so as not to interfere with the reserved rights of the states ; that each dem partment should be kept within its appropriate sphere of action, and maintained in full vigor; that a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles was indispensable to an administration of the system according to its original design; and that there should be an absolute acquiescence in the will of the majority, when clearly expressed. The practical administration of the government proceeded upon the principles that all unnecessary offices should be abolished, so that the patronage of those in power should be reduced to the narrowest limits consistent with the public good; that the strictest economy should prevail in the disbursement of public moneys; that specific appropriations should be faithfully applied to specific objects; that a rigid system of accountability should be enforced; and that the government should carefully abstain from ail connexion with the political transactions of foreign powers. These rules of practice have been uniformly acknowledged by the republican party as derived from a true interpretation of the constitution; they are the great land-marks, by which our policy has been directed in our prosperity; and they will continue during all future time, as during the past, the strong lights to guide us through those occasional periods of darkness, when true men, allured by false principles, have wandered for a moment from the path of their predecessors.
The political contest of 1828 was marked by the characteristic features of that of 1800, with others still more deformed, which were peculiar to itself. The speculative errors of the administration in 1828 were as obnoxious to the true spirit of republicanism as those of their predecessors in 1800, and their practical abuses were not less so It is not to be disguised that the standard of Jefferson had been sometimes disregarded by those, who came after him. The period which followed the close of his administration was peculiarly favorable to the progress of constructive power; the country was suddenly enveloped in dangers; extraordinary means were to be hastily provided to meet extraordinary necessities; and in the zeal, with which the arm of government was strengthened for the protection of our public rights, the rights of the states and the people were not always guarded with sufficient vigilance. This will ever be our great source of danger in seasons of emergency. If the nature of our political organization is such as to render false in its application to us the proverb, that “war silences the authority of the laws," it is undoubtedly true, that in war the attention is more anxiously directed to the public safety than to a rigid preservation of the constitutional limits of power; that the landmarks of authority are in danger of being overlooked amid its confusions, and the policy of the government to run into the channels of error. Hence, it is of the utmost importance, on the restoration of peace, to recur to first principles, to bring down extraordinary establishments to the standard of ordinary necessities, and to detect and rectify abuses, which steal in, when the avenues of constitutional liberty are Jess cautiously guarded than the avenues of the public safety. These changes are, from the moral constitution of men, almost necessarily gradual, and sometimes the fruit of a change of administration. The new direction, which opinion itself has taken under the pressure of danger, cannot always be suddenly changed: a violent reduction of the means of action carries with it a sense of weakness: and men of the purest political principles are liable to be swayed by the influence of these impressions, when the necessities in which they had their origin have ceased to exist.
That the policy of the government would have been gradually brought back to the standard of Jefferson but for the result of the election of 1824, is unquestionable. But the success of the principal individuals, who were elevated to power, ensured a tenacious adherence to ail that the general government had obtained by construction. It held out the prospect of still further enlarging the powers thus acquired, and of extending the establishments which minister to the patronage of the executive: and it proved the signal for rallying the scattered disciples of that political school, in which the chief himself had been prepared for the theatre of action. His first communication to Congress was strongly imbued with the spirit of the political faith, in which he had been educated. One of the fundamental errors of that faith was to aim at a magnificent instead of a simple government to consult the glory of the people rather than their tranquillity and happiness. The speculative
errors of his party in 1828 were the same as those of 1800 ; but our change of condition had rendered them, in relation to our political institutions, sins of a far deeper dye. In 1800 something might well be pardoned to political scepticism, on account of the uncertainty which attached, in the estimation of many intelligent men, to the experiment we were making in self-government. But the errors of opinion which prevailed at that early epoch, were, after the lapse of thirty years, opposed to the political lights which had, in the mean time, risen upon mankind, to the successful progress of the experiment of free government in our own country, and to the triumph of liberal principles throughout the world. The policy of the administration of 1824, as exhibited in its recommendations and measures, was literally to retrace our footsteps, while in other countries the cause of the people had been steadily advancing. It was, in a word, to strengthen the authority and enlarge the patronage of the general government by a relative diminution of the powers and influence of the states, and a direct augmentation of the burdens of the people.
The practical administration of the government from 1824 to 1828, was as deplorable as its departure in theory from the spirit of the constitution. With a high reputation for diplomatic skill, every important negotiation with a view to the adjustment of our claims on the justice of foreign countries, resulted in a disastrous, and not always an honorable failure. The nearest approach to an adjustment of a difference was the acceptance of a mediation with regard to the settlement of our northeastern boundary, which has led to a series of long-continued and vexatious embarrassments. The liberty of our citizens was left for months to the mercy of a foreign government; and the public representative, who with an honest zeal dared to assert their rights and his country's honor, was recalled in token of the dissatisfaction of his government at the want of deference, which he had shown for the outward forms of diplomacy ; thus conceding every thing to the aggression, but nothing to the virtuous indignation with which it was resented. The whole action of the government was perverted to erroneous uses, or, through misdirection and bad management, expended fruitlessly on the objects to which it was applied. We might cite numerous instances of this nature to sustain the position—but it may be confidently asserted, without a multiplication of proof—that there never has been in the history of the country so entire a failure on the part of the government to accomplish the objects, for which government was instituted. With regard to our relations with foreign powers, the people saw and felt the public degradation and their own; and this conviction was all that was necessary to call into action the elements of redress.
But the errors of theory and practice, by which that administration was marked, were of little account when compared with the dishonor visited upon representative government by the combination through which its success was secured. It is unnecessary to dwell upon the circumstances, by which the existence of that combination was substantiated. The presumptive evidence of its existence would have been conclusive in a court of justice, as to the truth of any fact depending on it. It has been so pronounced by the public judgment: and the only alleviation of the evil consequences of an attempt, crowned with a temporary success, to defeat the execution of the public will, is that the injury and the retribution stand recorded together on the same page of history.
It was naturally to be expected that an administration resting upon such a basis should be supported by measures as unscrupulous as those, by which it was ushered into life. The violence of the struggle to maintain the power thus acquired has no parallel in the history of the country. There is no other instance, in which a senator, for words not published, but merely “spoken in debate,” has been called to the field to answer for them by a member of the cabinet, which he had ventured to assail : no other instance in which a member of the cabinet, before an assembled multitude, has called on Heaven to send down upon his countrymen the united evils of só war, pestilence and famine,” rather than to visit with success the cause of a political rival, whose elevation, in spite of the imprecation, has been in an eminent degree honorable to the character of the country. But these were by no means the most disgraceful incidents of that contest: a fearless and meritorious exercise of military duty, when a want of firmness might have produced the most disastrous ef