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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 3, 1864

Welcome to our archive of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers are full of interesting stories, dramatic illustrations, and thoughtful analysis of the war . . . all created by people who were there at the time. It is an incredible resource for increasing your understanding of the war.

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Sherman March

Sherman March Through Georgia

1864 Democratic Convention

Stone Mountain Raid

General McCook

General Daniel McCook

John Grigg

John Grigg

War Council

War Council

Chicago Convention

Chicago Convention

Negro Cartoon

Mobile Bay

Battle Mobile Bay

Peace Poster

Peace Poster








[SEPTEMBER 3, 1864.



ABOUT seventeen years ago Mr. HOSEA BIGLOW, of Jaalam, contributed some sprightly verses to the Boston Courier of those days (not of these). They were afterward published, with others not less lively, in a convenient volume, edited by HOMER WILBUR, A.M., which has latterly been included in the works of JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, doubtless for reasons satisfactory to Mr. BIGLOW and his editor. There is one poem in the collection called " The Debate in the Sennit," which, as Mr. CALHOUN is its hero—who was, speaking humanly, the real author of this war—we have thought might be a subject of fruitful meditation to delegates upon their way to Chicago. They will remember that General JACKSON, who used to be good Democratic authority, said that the Slavery agitation would he the next excuse of the secessionists. Nor will they forget that Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS, in his conversation with Colonel JACQUES and Mr. GILMORE, has just confirmed the General's prophecy. The younger delegates to Chicago, who are pondering compromise or reunion upon the terms of the disciples of Mr. CALHOUN, may not be unwilling to be reminded that General JACKSON was always sorry that he did not hang Mr. CALHOUN.



"Here we stan' on the Constitution, by thunder! It's a fact o' wich ther's bushils o' proofs ; Fer how could we trample on't so, I wonder, Ef 't worn't thet it's ollers under our hoofs ?" Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; "Human rights haint no more Right to come on this floor, No more'n the man in the moon," sez he.

"The North haint no kind o' bisness with nothin', An' you've no idee how much bother it saves; We aint none riled by their frettin' an' frothin', We're used to layin' the string on our slaves,"

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; Sez Mister Foote, "I should like to shoot

The holl gang, by the gret horn spoon!" sez he. "Freedom's Keystone is Slavery, thet ther's no doubt on, It's sutthin' thet's—wha' d' ye call it?—divine,—An' the slaves thet we ollers make the most out on Air them north o' Mason an' Dixon's line,"

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; " Fer all thet," sez Mangum, "'Twould be better to hang 'em, An' so git red on 'em soon," sez he.

' The mass ough' to labor an' we lay on soffies, Thet's the reason I want to spread Freedom's aree ; It puts all the cunninest on us in office, An' reelises our Maker's orig'nal idee," Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ;

"Thet's ez plain," sez Cass, " Ez thet some one's an ass, It's ez clear ez the sun is at noon," sez he. "Now don't go to say I'm the friend of oppression, But keep all your spare breath fer coolin' your broth, Fer I ollers hev strove (at least thet's ray impression) To make cussed free with the rights o' the North," Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;

" Yes, sez Davis o' Miss., "The perfection o' bliss Is in skinnin' thet same old coon," sez he. "Slavery's a thing thet depends on complexion It's God's law thet fetters on black skins don't chafe; Ef brains wuz to settle it (horrid reflection!) Wich of our onnable body'd be safe?" Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; Sez Mister Hannegan, Afore he began agin, " Thet exception is quite oppertoon," sez he.

" Gen'nle Cass, Sir, you needn't be twitchin' your collar ; Your merit's quite clear by the dut on your knees ; At the North we don't make no distinctions o' color; You can all take a lick at our shoes wen you please," Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; Sez Mister Jarnagin, "They wun't hey to larn agin, They all on 'em know the old toon," sez he.

"The slavery question ain't no ways bewilderin'. North an' South hey one int'rest, it's plain to a glance; No'thern men, like us patriarchs, don't sell their childrin, But they du sell themselves, ef they git a good chance," Sez John C. Calhoun, sez' he;--

Sez Atherton here, " This is gittin' severe, I wish I could dive like a loon," says he. "It'll break up the Union, this talk about freedom, An' your fact'ry gals (soon ez we split) 'll make head, An' gittin' some Miss chief or other to lead 'em, 'II go to work raisin' promiscoous Ned," Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; " Yes, the North," sez Colquitt, "Ef we Southerners all quit,

Would go down like a busted balloon," sez he. " Jest look wut is doin', wut annyky's brewin', In the beautiful clime o' the olive an' vine ; All the wise aristoxy is tumblin' to ruin, An' the sankylots drorin' an' drinkin' their wine," Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;—"Yes," sez Johnson, "in France They're beginnin' to dance Beelzebub's own rigadoon," sez he. " The South's safe enough, it don't feel a mite skeery, Our slaves in their darkness an' dut air tu blest Not to welcome with proud hallylugers the ery Wen our eagle kicks yourn from the naytional nest." Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; "Oh," sez Westcott o' Florida, "Wut treason is horrider Then our priv'leges tryin' to proon?" sez he.

" It's coz they're so happy, thet, wen crazy sarpints Stick their nose in our bizness, we git so darned riled We think it's our dooty to give pooty sharp hints, That the last crumb of Edin on airth shan't be spiled, Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; "Ah," sez Dixon H. Lewis, "It perfectly true is Thet slavery's airth's grettest boon," see he. The French Revolution of 1848


PEACE with the serpent's nest?

Peace with the traitor race,

Who ho have stabbed their mother's breast,

And brought our land disgrace ? Whose feet were on our necks, Whose bravos swarm our decks,

Who have drenched with blood our sod? There is no peace ! saith our God.

Come on ! ye sunburnt men,

From hay-field and from plow ! Spring up from desk and pen !

Forward ! if ever, now !

Come faces dusk and pale !

Shall whips or thews prevail ? Come, storm across the land, And win peace, hand to hand !

Remember all our dead;

Have they, then, died in vain? The blood that they have shed Calls from the ground again ! Clasp ! noble hands and true ! Those hearts that bled for you—Is this the peace they sought? The liberty they bought?

No peace while breathes a slave !

No peace while lurks a stain ! No peace with brute or knave !

No peace with love of gain ! 0 patient land, endure !

When chastened, strong, and pure, Like dew upon thy sod,

Shall fall the peace of God.



THE result of the Chicago Convention is a foregone conclusion. It matters little whether it sits a long or short time; whether Mr. DEAN RICHMOND or Mr. VALLANDIGHAM be its master spirit whether there be the brotherly peace in its deliberations which the latter gentleman prophesies, or whether the ardent delegates break each other's shins, heads, and noses ; it matters little whether it painfully constructs a platform sparkling with sham sentiment upon which the party may try to scale the glittering heights of power as poor Madame Somebody in spangled skirts tried to walk up a tight rope amidst fire-works, tumbling off and perishing by the way, or whether it builds a vessel as broad and ample as the unfortunate steamer President which sailed away and was never heard of more ; it is all the same whether it nominates General McCLELLAN and Mr. GARRETT DAVIS, or Mr. VALLANDIGHAM and the late General BUELL, or Mr. GUTHRIE and Mr. WASHINGTON HUNT, or Governor HORATIO SEYMOUR and Senator SAULSBURY, or Judge NELSON and Mr. EDSON OLDS, Or Mr. DEAN RICHMOND and Governor THOMAS SEYMOUR, or Mr. POWELL and Mr. FERNANDO WOOD--a selection of eligible combinations, especially the last—to which we respectfully invite the attention of the Convention—it will be all the same, and the Chicago nomination will wonderfully simplify the situation.

It matters little who is nominated there, because the Convention represents opposition to the war, and its candidate can not escape the fate of his position.

On one side in this election, all who stand for the unconditional maintenance of the Union and the Government, and for waging the war for that purpose, until the rebels yield and ask to be heard, will vote for LINCOLN and JOHNSON. On the other side, all who stand for the conditional maintenance of the Government ; for asking the rebels on what terms they will obey —in a word, all who wish peace upon any terms or " conciliatory" war, which is merely shameful surrender, will vote for the Chicago candidate. He will be the candidate of the enemies of the war, and whoever he may be, knowing who his supporters are, he will justly regard his election as a sign that the first wish of the people is to stop the war, not to maintain the Union.

Mr. VALLANDIGHAM was right, therefore, in saying at Dayton that there would be harmony in the Convention. For he knows that if McCLELLAN is nominated and were elected, his policy must be substantially that of VALLANDIGHAM himself. This is clear from the facts. The " Democratic party" is said to be divided into the Peace men and the War Democrats. But it is only the former who manage the party. The logic of the party policy is incarnated in Messrs. VALLANDIGHAM and WOOD. That policy has always been, as no honest Democrat will deny, to yield to the South—which is the policy of Messrs. VALLANDIGHAM and WOOD today. The efforts of Mr. DEAN RICHMOND and his friends can not successfully oppose that policy. Those gentlemen can only hope to do the same thing without saying so. They must insist that they are going to Limerick when they are really going to Cork.

Mr. WOOD declares that there is no such party as the "War Democracy." Is he not

correct? There are indeed men of the purest patriotism who are uncompromising supporters of the war, and who have always been and are now Democrats, like Mr. MOSES F. ODELL, representative in Congress from Brooklyn. But in Pennsylvania, last autumn, when Governor CURTIN was re-elected by a lean, though tough and true, majority of 15,000, was the bulk of the opposition vote cast by men like Mr. ODELL, firm and faithful for the war, or by men like the opposition candidate, Judge WOODWARD, and WILLIAM B. REED, one of the most notorious rebel sympathizers in the country? General BUTLER, like Mr. ODELL, is a War Democrat, so is DANIEL S. DICKINSON, and Secretary STANTON, and General LOGAN, and General GRANT. They have never been any thing but Democrats. Have they, or any man like them, a chance for the Chicago nomination ? The " War Democracy" is a name. There are individual Democrats who support the war with all their hearts, looking first to the Union, not to their party. But the vote for THOMAS H. SEYMOUR in Connecticut -- was that a War Democratic vote ? So in all the States, the opposition vote represents opposition to the war. Its resolutions always denounce the Government, seldom the rebellion. Its orators rage at the President, never at JEFFERSON DAVIS. Its papers do all they can to dishearten loyal men. It is upon these orators and papers that the Chicago nomination will rely. It is this vote which the Chicago nomination will command. It is this policy which the Chicago nomination will favor. Mr. VALLANDIGHAM seems to us quite correct in predicting harmony in the Convention,

Whoever is the candidate and whatever the platform at Chicago, therefore, the Convention will not propose to enforce the authority of the Government more vigorously, but to truck and dicker with rebels. The platform will state the contemplated bargain in some pretty phrase. It will call it, perhaps, a fraternal effort at reconciliation. But the American people, who are the Government of this country, will not forget that without the least injury done or threatened this rebellion began. They will not forget that the House of Representatives, in which the friends of the present Administration were largely in the majority, carried forbearance almost to weakness in endeavors to avert the overt act. By a vote of 136 to 53 it passed the Corwin conciliation resolutions. By a vote of 133 to 65 it recommended a constitutional amendment that the Constitution should never be amended so as to allow Congress to touch slavery in a State. They will not forget that the friends of the new administration in the Peace Conference proposed a national convention to consider and settle all differences before blood was spilled. So precious was the Union, so great the dread of war, that efforts to preserve peace and maintain the Government, which seem now almost abject, were made by Congress and loyal citizens and were haughtily spurned by the rebels. They counted upon the absolute degradation of the American people, and they fired at Sumter to try if that degradation were complete.

They have had their response ; and this election is to determine whether the tone of that response is to be changed. The rebels are waiting to learn whether the war they have waged has degraded us to the point of granting them their will or whether they are to discover in the defeat of those upon whom they depend in the loyal States, and the total ruin of their own mad schemes of disunion, that the will of the American people, constitutionally expressed, shall be respected by all American citizens, or the disobedient shall feel the full force of the Government until they sue to be heard.


ON the 6th of November, 1860, at a constitutional election, in which the people of all the States participated, ABRAHAM LINCOLN was chosen President of the United States. On the 20th of December a Convention of the people of South Carolina " dissolved the Union" between that State and others. No complaint of the general Government was urged. No oppression was pleaded ; no wrong alleged. At the moment of secession, and for more than two months afterward, it was under the control of the party which was predominant in South Carolina, and that party had controlled the Government for many years. The debates in the Convention show that the action was the result of a mature purpose. Mr. INGLIS said that they had been thinking of it for twenty years. Mr. KEITT said that he had been engaged in the matter ever since he entered public life. Mr. RHETT said that it was not the event of a day, and was not produced by Mr. LINCOLN'S election or the non-execution of the Fugitive Slave law. Similar statements were made by Members of Congress, as they rose in their places and resigned. The movement continued. Under the plea of the right of States to withdraw from the Union at their pleasure, State after State seceded, and the seceded States combining declared that the United States should not victual its own troops, and upon its attempting to do so began the war.

For more than three years the war has been waged, on the part of the Government to main

tain the Union and enforce the laws on that of the seceders to establish their independence, whereby the Union is destroyed and the Government overthrown. The question now presented to us is whether the effort of the Government to compel disobedient citizens to obey the law unconditionally shall be relinquished, or whether any minority of the people of the United States who are dissatisfied with the result of an election may take up arms to impose their will upon the Government. That is the only question. The Government has sought neither conquest nor any other end than the supremacy of the Constitution in South Carolina as in Maine. What is there, then, to compromise ? The moment the rebels yield to the laws that moment the war ends. What is there to compromise but the right of the Government to make the Constitution the supreme law of the land—and when that is compromised the Government is gone.

But we have been fighting for three years, says somebody why not try a Convention? Very well. Suppose a Convention were called. Suppose the rebels attend its meetings. Is it proposed to offer them more or less than the Constitution and the laws of Congress and the acts of the Executive authorized by it ? Is it proposed to ask them upon what terms they will consent for the present to obey the laws and abide by the Constitution ? Is it proposed to take their terms? But if the Constitution and the laws are to be offered them, they are offered now, and always have been, without a Convention, and it is against them the rebels have been fighting. If something less or more than the Constitution is to be offered, then we confess that the rebels are already successful, and the Convention is one in which they will dictate terms to a conquered foe.

In a convention of the kind proposed the Government must either maintain its position or recede from it. If it stands fast, the rebels will have gained a breathing spell for renewed fighting. If it recedes, the Government will have justified every defeated political party or sectional faction in flying to arms against their opponents.

That Government should be reasonable is not denied. That grievances should be redressed is true. The Government that does not hear complaints and adjust abuses will surely fall. But while the measures of Government are just, its authority most be unquestionable, or there is no security for justice. While, therefore, all complaint should be heard, all redress must be lawful. If, therefore, any citizens of the United States have any complaint against the Government, when they cease to threaten its authority they can be heard in a convention or any where else. But if, with arms in their hands, they can force it to do their bidding they are themselves the Government, and the other no longer exists. Yet in our case, as we said, no complaint was alleged. The men who up to that moment had controlled the Government said, quietly, "It is our pleasure to destroy it." If now, under any pretense, the Government which knows that they are straining their last nerve, which hears one of their victims own that the rebellion must end of sheer depletion before long, stops to ask these leaders upon what terms they will compromise, it concedes that it is vanquished, and that it has not the most essential quality of every true Government, the will and the power upon proper occasion to compel absolute obedience.


No name is more cherished by the people of this country than "Democrat."  But it must stand for a true democracy, or every true Democrat will leave the name and cleave to the thing. The party which now assumes the name and uses the organization is not a party with which unconditional Union men can easily ally themselves. " Democratic" conventions no longer speak for true Democrats, the political children of JEFFERSON. Thus the "Democratic" Convention of Maine lately resolved that " the Democratic party is, and ever has been, the true Union party of the country."

Now considering that the rebellion was plotted by a " Democratic" Cabinet, Senators, and Representatives—that every rebel leader is a "Democrat"—that the rebel papers say, with the Atlanta Register, if the "Democrats" will only "use the ballot-box against Mr. LINCOLN while we use the cartridge-box, each side will be a helper to the other"—that every State which such "Democratic" leaders controlled in 1860 has been taken out of the Union—that every form of opposition to the maintenance of the lawful authority of the Union comes from persons and parties who call themselves "Democratic"—that those who rejoice at rebel invasions of the North, who conspire against the necessary measures of the war, who maintain in speeches and papers the cause of secession and disunion, all belong to what, they call the "Democratic" party—that those who invite foreign interference are "Democrats" of the same kind—that every man who, under the name of peace, hopes and works for a bloody counter revolution at the North is a "Democrat"—that every "Knight of the Golden Circle," or open or secret foe of the integrity of the Union, is a (Next Page)




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