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The New York Elections and their Meaning.
Charleston, South Carolina, Mercury [Democratic]
(24 November 1859)
A short time previous to the New York elections for members of Congress, November 9, 1858, Senator SEWARD delivered and published his Rochester speech, in which, abandoning all disguise, war to extermination was declared, against the institutions of slavery in the southern States. Many, who deluded themselves with the belief that abolitionism and sectionalism had not possession of the northern hearts and who predicted and expected a recoil of the masses from the policy distinctly set before them by this distinguished leader, were amazed to find themselves mistaken. The State was, notwithstanding, swept by Mr. SEWARD'S anti- slavery party, which, returned to Washington out of thirty-two members of Congress the pitiful number of four Democrats only.
Again, recently, after Black Republicanism had borne its natural fruit in the Harper's Ferry invasion, the Democratic Press in the North, with one accord, appealed to the State elections, then about to ensue in New York, as a grand turning point of the destinies of the Union. They argued, and argued justly, that, if the people of this great State did not, under such circumstances, repudiate and overthrow the Black Republican party in these elections, it would be proof conclusive that the South could not safely remain in the present confederacy of the United States, and would have to turn to a Southern Confederacy for security and independence. The political character of the election existed in the election of the members of the Legislature. Mr. SEWARD'S term of service in the Senate was about to expire, and the question of his re-election by the Legislature of New York necessarily involved the aggressive anti-slavery doctrines and policy he had avowed, with the practical endorsement or repudiation of them, in their late bloody developments at Harper's Ferry, against the State of Virginia. The Cabinet Ministers at Washington, and the Southern Democratic Press also, endeavored to press upon the public mind the vast significance of this election. The election is held. The Black Republicans carry both branches of the Legislature of New York by increased majorities, and Wm. H. SEWARD is certain to be returned as a Senator from New York by a most triumphant vote.
One would suppose the argument exhausted and the proof of the hostile temper
and purpose of the northern people conclusive.
But politicians are wonderfully fertile in finding reasons and facts to
suit their views.
Yet we already perceive indications that the invincibly Union press, North and South, begin to look about for consolations and possible doubts upon ascertaining the result of the New York elections. The Native Americans formed a mixed ticket, and had taken up for their support some of the Democratic and some of the Black Republican party. A few Democrats, for some inferior State offices, were thus elected. And then, the vote at the polls was very small. A large portion of the voters declined voting. Now, here is mighty comfort! Who knows but that, as some Democrats for very inferior State offices were elected, the party might have elected more? and then the refusal of the people to vote may be itself a stinging condemnation of Black Republicanism!
We suppose apologies for crimes will never cease, and that