Secession Era Editorials Project

No Title.

Portland, Maine, Advertiser [Republican]

(4 June 1856)

The Argus, as might have been anticipated, does not like the meeting of our citizens which was called to express the feelings of our community upon the assault made upon Mr. Sumner. It says "the assault was rendered subordinate to party purposes." We have only to say that the arrangements for the meeting did not originate in the least degree from this office, and that the responsibility, therefore, whatever it is, does not belong to us. But we understood that the meeting would be conducted, as called, "without distinction of party." Mayor McCobb was invited to preside, and we were told he had consented so to do, which we stated. We have since Monday's issue learned that he did not give unequivocal assent, although he was understood as consenting, and it was generally understood that he would preside. Some delay in organizing the meeting was occasioned by the absence of the Mayor, and another gentleman was selected from the floor in his place. But it is certain that Mr. Holden was put down as one of the vice presidents and his name called at the meeting -- but he did not appear. Several leading democrats who were present, were also called upon to address the meeting, but declined. The enquiry, then, of one of the speakers "why some of the democrats who were expected to be there and take part in the meeting were not present?" seems to have been perfectly appropriate. Had they been there and active, the meeting could not have had a party bias -- and they should not now complain of the fruits of their own delinquency. Had Mr. Brooks's democratic friends at Washington also not stood between him and justice, there would have been no remarks which could be construed into attacks upon the administration. The fault was not with our citizens, but with those who directly and indirectly lent their countenance to the ruffianly conduct of Brooks. It would have been very difficult to have conducted the meeting so that some would not have complained. When a man is covered all over with sore spots -- sores on his head and body and corns on his feet -- it is difficult to touch him without hurting -- and so is it in relation to the present Administration and the party that sustains it, with reference to any matter growing out of the slavery question. It is literally covered with tender spots and putrifying sores, and no wonder it desires either not to be touched or to be handled gently.


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