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|HOME > Dred Scott Decision>Concord, New Hampshire, New Hampshire Patriot [Democratic] (18 March 1857)|
The Question Settled. -- Black Republicanism vs. the Constitution.
Concord, New Hampshire, New Hampshire Patriot [Democratic]
(18 March 1857)
We give in this paper an abstract of the
decision of the U S. Supreme Court in the Dred
Scott case, in which it is solemnly adjudged
and decided, by the highest judicial tribunal
of the Union, that the Missouri Compromise
was unconstitutional, and that Congress has
no constitutional power or authority to
legislate upon the subject of slavery in the Territories.
It will be seen that other incidental
questions were decided in this case, but this is
the one of the most political importance, and
But what is the course and talk of the black republican organs upon this subject? Why, one would suppose, from their talk, that the decision of the highest judicial tribunal of the Union is of no binding force! The N Y. Tribune even declares that their decision in this case is entitled to "no more weight than would be the judgment of a majority in a Washington bar-room," and other black papers declare the judges to be "scoundrels," and Benedict Arnolds, and the black press and pulpit unite in reviling the court and denouncing their decision!
Now this only goes prove, what we have
heretofore alleged, that the black republican
creed and purposes are at war with the
constitution, are treasonable, and contemplate the
overthrow of the Union. It only goes to show
that their leaders stand precisely upon
Garrison's platform, and that the road to the
attainment of their objects lies over the ruins of
the constitution and the Union. There is no
escape from this; they preach resistance to
law, to the supreme law -- resistance to what is
authoritatively adjudged to be the constitution.
Such resistance, if carried into practical effect,
would be treason; and all who preach it,
preach treason, and all who seek to make a
practical thing of it, seek to overthrow the
constitution. This is the sum and substance
of the matter; and all patriotic citizens -- all
who have a regard for the continued existence,
peace and prosperity of the country, will
This decision effects a legal and constitutional settlement of the sectional issue which has so long agitated the country and endangered the very existence of the government. Of course, no one expects it will stop the mouths or check the efforts of the professional agitators; for, as Daniel Webster well and truly said in his Buffalo speech in 1851, "their livelihood consists in agitating; their freehold, their copyhold, their capital, their all in all, depend on the excitement of the public mind." These men will agitate still; the noise and rant and howl of interested fanaticism will still resound. But it will be without substantial foundation, without plausible object, and with the palpable certainty that no good can come from it, but that it is an agitation and a warfare against the constitution itself. With this fact before the eyes of all men, such agitation must be up-hill work, however industriously it may be prosecuted.
The Washington Union, in view of this decision, well and truly says that "the Democratic party is now enjoying the greatest triumph -- not merely that they have elected their candidates and secured four more years of party ascendency in the executive branch of the government, but that their victory has been won on the most momentous issue that ever divided the public mind, and that political triumph has been confirmed and endorsed by the highest judicial tribunal known to the constitution.
If the sectional question be not now settled, then we may despair of the republic. We believe it is settled, and that henceforth sectionalism will cease to be a dangerous element in our political contests. No issue was ever more directly and squarely made than that on which Mr. Buchanan was elected. The result was an unmistakable popular judgment against sectionalism, and in favor of a broad, conservative, constitutional nationalism. The questions involved in the canvass could not have been more fairly and directly made and maintained, and if the success of the democratic nominees did not settle those questions as fully as a popular decision could settle any question, then it is idle to rely on popular elections as tests of political principles.
There was but one thing needed to give to the result in the Presidential contest the force of an absolute and final settlement of the sectional issue. That thing was the judgment of the Supreme Court in confirmation of the Democratic doctrines which had received the popular endorsement. The decision in the Dred Scott case has furnished the closing and clinching confirmation needed, and henceforth sectional fanaticism cannot maintain its warfare without arraying itself distinctly against the constitution. The people have decided that sectional agitation must cease, and the highest judicial authority has declared that the people have decided in accordance with the constitution.
Whoever now seeks to revive sectionalism, arrays himself against the constitution, and consequently, against the Union. Of course, it is to be expected that fanaticism will rave and clamor against the decision of the Supreme Court. But fanaticism ceases to be a formidable enemy when it seeks to measure strength with the Union-loving spirit of the people, sustained and confirmed by the great arbiter of constitutional questions. Fanaticism becomes powerless against such a combination, and hence we may smile at the madness with which the organs of black republicanism assail the late decision of the Supreme Court. It is the last dying fit of fanatical sectionalism. It will have the effect of fixing public attention upon the reckless wickedness which has heretofore impelled the sectional agitators to force the republic to the very verge of disruption.
We feel, therefore, that the danger is for the present over; that sectionalism is virtually dead -- that it has been crushed out by the popular verdict in the presidential election; and that the decision of the Supreme Court had left nothing vital in republicanism, and has placed the Democratic party beyond and above all competition as the constitutional, national, Union party of the country. Mr. Buchanan takes the helm under these auspicious circumstances, and his acts thus far give token of a successful and prosperous administration.[<<Previous Editorial][Next Editorial>>]