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The destinies of the country at this moment hang trembling in a fearful balance, and a brief and earnest word, addressed to the great body of the people, will not be inopportune at a juncture so important, not only to our institutions, but to the cause of humanity and civil liberty at large. Identified with no partial division of our collective and universal Democracy, whether from the influence of sectional or other interests-removed, equally from participation, and from disposition to participate, in any of the internal quarrels by which the harmony of our counsels has been of late so unhappily distracted—and animated solely by an engrossing zeal in the maintenance of the benign principles and wise policy of our party-we may certainly, if any one, be allowed to claim a position entiiling us to the candid and friendly attention of all of its temporarily disordered sections.

From all quarters of the United States, inquiries have constantly reached us, touching the unhappy dissension which has broken out in our ranks. We have deliberately forborne replying to the latest moment, in the earnest hope that personal bickerings and local interests, when brought by their noisy clamor before the eyes of the whole country, would shrink back from scrutiny, and digest in silence and retirement their spleen and discontent. But to our regret time has not brought reflection with it, and the family quarrel which for some months past has occasionally betrayed angry symptoms of its pent-up fury, has at last broken out into open and resolute rebellion. In such an emergency, notions of prudence, of delicacy, or of sorrow, should no longer restrain us; and we think it due to our position as the sole national expositor of the great principles of the Democratic party-to our character for a disinterested and consistent support of those principles, and lastly, to the numberless and anxious inquiries which we have alluded to above-we think it due, we repeat, to enter upon a calm investigation of this domestic dispute, and to give our impartial judgment upon it

. The chief point to be ascertained is simply this, the motives of the parties who have become such conspicuous actors in the matter; who have taken upon themselves the serious responsibility of a schism, which, if it fail, involve them necessarily in political ruin and personal discredit, and which, should it succeed-God forbid !--would plunge our great and happy country into the

fiery furnace of a desolating feud, whose entire consequences it is impossible to foresee, and the patriotic mind forbears to regard. What are the motives, then, of the leaders of the seceding fragment of the Democratic party, known under the slang term of “ Barnburners ?” What is the meaning of all this " fuss and pother” which frights the state from her propriety? Is it an honest protestation founded on principle, or is it an artful manoeuvre suggested by personal interest; is it a bold and virtuous resistance to party tyranny, or is it an insidious and unprincipled pursuit of selfish projects; is it an enlightened stand for principle, or is it a slavish devotion to men ? These are grave questions, and we should deem ourselves altogether unworthy to approach them, if we could allow ourselves to be guided for a moment by an unfair spirit of personal or party animosity in their consideration. We disdain with indignation so ungenerous a suspicion ; but let our words and tone be the test of our truth. Martin Van Buren is a well-known name, such as we have delighted in the past to honor. We can scarce believe our eyes when we behold it inscribed on the banner of revolt, and flaunted about as a watchword of rebellion. We are inclined to doubt our senses, and believe rather that we are the victim of some frightful hallucination—the prey of a disordered fancy. Is it a “goblin damned" that haunts us, or, alas ! can it be true, that the war-worn veterans of the Democratic ranks have at last turned round, deserted their faith, and abandoned their allegiance? We are instinctively disposed from habit to speak with due respect of so distinguished a man, and would that, under the painful circumstances of the case, we could avoid speaking of him at all. But on him, not us, be the blame of our language; the fault is his, if any other than habitual sentiments of respect escape our lips. In illustration of the present schism, we may inquire what has been the course of Mr. Van Buren in relation to the matter he now sets forth as a principle ?

Of all the public men who have risen to high honors, Mr. Van Buren has been indebted the least to merit and the most to party management. In 1812, Mr. Madison was presented by the Democracy of the Union as the antagonist of Great Britain and the supporter of the war. He was opposed by Mr. Van Buren, who went with the Federalism of New-England for another candidate. Mr. Van Buren went with a New-York faction, as he does now. The result showed how abortive his efforts were, for Mr. Madison was sustained without the vote of New York.

The scheme of state politics devised by him in 1821, through which he controlled New-York, and holding in his hands the electoral votes of this state, dictated to the Union, is still a subject of admiration and theme of praise to those followers who look upon party trickery as statesmanship, and who regard skill in legerdemain as praiseworthy as great learning in the sciences. Party centralization at Albany, controlling offices as well as safety-fund bank charters, presidents, cashiers and directors, in all the counties, formed machinery which set every man's face towards Albany like a political Mecca, and working this machinery gave Mr. Van Buren his title to national honors. When before the people of the Union in a national capacity, no man was more solicitous to preserve the integrity of the Democratic party, or more subservient to slavery, in order to propitiate to the votes of the south, than was Mr. Van Buren. The interests of the regency, with its large influence in the national party, was to preserve harmony, and all discussion that in any way jeopardised that harmony was instantly frowned down. In 1826, during the contest between Spain and her provinces, Mexico and Colombia meditated the invasion of Cuba, with the view of emancipating the slaves of that island. This naturally alarmed the south, and Mr. Van Buren put himself forward as their champion. He addressed

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the United States Minister at the Spanish Court, urging him to counsel peace with the southern republics of America, lest they should aid in freeing Cuba from slavery. Considerations, said Mr. Van Buren, connected with a certain class of our population, made it the interest of the southern section of the Union that no attempt should be made in that island (Cuba) to throw off the yoke of Spanish dependence the first efforts of which would be the emancipation of a numerous slave population, which result could not but be very sensibly. felt upon the adjacent shores of the United States. Again Mr. Van Buren, in writing to A. Butler, the agent of the United States in Mexico, cautioned him to oppose “the baneful spirit of emancipation, designed to be introduced and propagated in the island of Cuba."

He thus took ground as the friend of slavery, not only here where the Constitution permits it, but elsewhere, for fear of the indirect influences of foreign emancipation upon the south, the votes of which he was then courting. Anxious to be identified as the " northern man with southern principles," when, in 1835-6 he was spoken of as a candidate for the presidency, the whole country being then agitated with the question of the right of petition for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, Mr. Van Buren opposed the right of petition, although he admitted the right of Congress to abolish slavery in that District if it chose. The same evil spirit which demanded abolition of slavery in the District, was attempting to excite insurrection in the south by the circulation of incendiary papers. To suppress this evil a bill was, just prior to the election of 1836, introduced into the Senate, while Mr. Van Buren, as Vice-President, was the presiding officer, to authorise postmasters to open the mails and take out any matter relating to abolition, which in their opinion should be of an incendiary character. At the moment of the passage of the bill the Vice-President was not in his seat. The vote was a lie, and Mr. Van Buren, on taking his seat, gave the casting vote in favor of the bill ! to establish a censorship of the press in this enlightened country. And why did he do it? Because southern votes were required to make him President, and the south must be propitiated. The votes of the south were secured, and Mr. Van Buren became President of the United States, and in his inaugural followed up his southern principles in a manner which drew from William Leggett, then publishing the Plaindealer, the following reproof :

"We wish we could be convinced that it (the inaugural address) is not a cautious, timid, time-serving document, composed at the instance of a cringing spirit, willing TO PROPITIATE THE SLAVEHOLDERS at the expense oF JUSTICE AND. HUMANITY."

The general conduct of Mr. Van Buren, including his subserviency to England in his official acts, which was the cause of his non-confirmation as minister to that power, followed by his sacrifice of the citizens of NewYork in the Canadian affair, raised a storm of indignation, which resulted, when he came before the people for re-election in 1840, in leaving him the votes of but seven states, of which five whereslave states. When, in 1844, Mr. Van Buren, regardless of the fact that the north had rejected hiin in 1840, of the sixty electoral votes he then received, forty-eight being from slave states, came before the Democratic convention for re-nomination, he thought proper to give indications of a federalist leaning in opposing the territorial march of the country, thus exciting further distrust. His renomination became impossible, and the nominee of that convention received a larger popular vote than did Mr. Van Buren in 1836, when a united party bore him into power.

The friends of Mr. Van Buren 1*

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