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October, 1860. DOUGLASS' MONTHLY. 345 [[line]] [[three columns separated by vertical lines]] [[column 1]] the other class deny the existence of any constitutional power to legislate directly against slavery, and seek the same ultimate result through the longer and slower process of general unfriendly legislation. The question between them comes down, therefore, to one of [[italics]]powers[[/italics]] and [[italics]]measures[[/italics]], instead of one of [[italics]]principle[[/italics]] and [[italics]]moral right[[/italics]], and, therefore, comes under the general scope of our friend's barn-raising comparison. Mr. LINCOLN and Mr. SEWARD both insist that the conflict is 'irrepressible' so long as slavery exists; but that the army of freedom must be content to cut off the outposts and conquer the outlying provinces of the enemy, and then surround him and starve him out by general unfriendly legislation and administration, until he shall accept the principles of freedom as a guide to the State Government. The question is, therefore, pre-eminently one of measures rather than principle, and being such, so long as their measures are of present value and will help on the general result, the inconsiderable minority must submit in judgment to the overwhelming majority. Nor is it correct to say that the Republican party pledges the whole force of the Government to put down a slave-rising. They regard the Government as having been so pledged by the Constitution long before their existence as a party, and when they could not control the matter; and believing that all such risings retard rather than advance the cause of freedom, they seek what they regard as a more safe and speedy exodus for the slave through peaceful channels. We do not agree with the Republicans on this point; but we desire to do them justice. Our friend is mistaken again in saying that the Republicans hold that slaves are property under the Constitution. They deny that proposition, and hold that slavery is the creature of municipal law only, and that slaves can only be held under local or State laws. Hence their denial of the Dred Scott decision. Do them justice, friend H. There is no need that we go over the ground of our first argument to show that God sanctioned the practice of demanding no more at the hands of a people than they were able to understand and appreciate. We act upon that rule with our children, our neighbors, and especially in the limits we set to the obligations of the poor ignorant slave. The Bible teaches us not to cast pearls before swine, and that men shall be judged by what capacity they have. For one, twenty-five years experiment has convinced us that the American people cannot be moved by the sublime philosophy of Radical Abolitionists. The case is beyond argument, and has been settled by a long experiment under the guidance of the loftiest manifestations of human genius and philanthropy, and has utterly and hopelessly failed. So these 30,000,000 of great overgrown 'babes' must be fed on 'milk,' in the hope that they will grow strong enough someday to bear 'strong meat.' Our friend thinks that this doctrine is not very complimentary to the people. It is not our mission to flatter the people, but to tell them the truth. Our friend puts the case of staying in a corrupt church. We do cling to [[italics]]God's church[[/italics]], made up of the weak as well as the strong, of the short-sighted, mistaken and faulty, as well as the clear-sighted and faultless. All honest Christians, however weak or faulty, [[/column 1]] [[column 2]] however mistaken in doctrine or crooked in practice, are our brothers in God's church, and we co-operate with them and all we deem right, and stop just where they go wrong. – As to the sects, our friend well knows that we do not regard them as churches at all, and cannot know them as such in the argument. 'J. C. H.' cannot mean to institute a comparison between pirates and Republicans, we think; but nevertheless we shall probably shock him by saying that whenever we catch a pirate doing good, we shall go away confoundedly ashamed of our honest bringing-up, if we do not find it in our heart to help him, and all the more because he is a pirate. If we should find the Devil starting out some cold morning, really intent on feeding the poor, although he was not willing to go over more than half of the parish, we should throw our biggest loaf of bread into his basket, and tell him that we were very glad to see him engaged in such a work, and that next time he called, we would go over the other half of the parish with him. We believe we have reached all the important points made by 'J. C. H.,' as fully as we can consistently do so in a single article. We have no disposition to prolong this discussion. We are quite willing that the few voters who desire to support the Syracuse nominations should be permitted to do so in peace. Their character is such as to command our entire respect; and as they evidently intended that their ticket should be 'still born,' we have no wish to disturb its quiet. Whatever moral power they can exert against slavery, we have no desire to diminish. But we can hardly consent to take the advice of their candidate, conveyed in his fifty dollar letter to the Convention, and do nothing; nor can we see how moral power is to be retained under that extremely frank confession that all exertion is useless. It looks to us a little like a farce, for seventy-five men and women to get together and make a Presidential nomination, and then publish to the world their determination to go home and do nothing for the ticket. We do not quite see the use of 'going thru the motions,' and then practically declaring we don't mean anything. However, it is a favorite amusement of the American people to 'play politics,' and the Radicals have as good a right to join in innocent amusements as the rest of mankind. A. P. [[line]] [[bold]] THE SUFFRAGE QUESTION. [[/bold]] ----- ELECTIVE FRANCHISE AGITATION IN ITHACA. [[italics]]Friend Douglass:[[/italics]]-In accordance with the desire of the Elective Franchise Club of Ithaca, I send you the subjoined report for publication: On Monday evening, August 13th, agreeable to a published call, the colored citizens of Ithaca met at Stannard Hall for the purpose of organizing an Elective Franchise Club. Rev. Basil Mackall was called to the Chair, and Geo. A. Johnson was chosen Secretary. Mr. Henry Moore then briefly stated that the object of the meeting was to organize a club of [[italics]]working colored men[[/italics]], who would leave no stone unturned in their efforts to secure for their brethren the right of [[italics]]free[[/italics]] suffrage. Geo. A. Johnson then followed in a short speech, in which he portrayed the injustice of the Property Qualification restriction upon the colored man, and urged every colored [/column 2]] [[column 3]] man to use all justifiable means to bring their brethren from this grievous wrong. On motion, Messrs. Henry Moore, Geo. A. Johnson, Henry Jackson, Levi Smith and Zachariah Tyler, were appointed a committee to draft resolutions for the meeting. They retired, whereupon Mr. James Collins addressed the meeting upon the suffrage question. The committee returned and reported the following resolutions, which were adopted unanimously: Whereas, The time is now near at hand when people of the State of New York ought to decide at the ballot box whether or colored citizens shall be wholly freemen, with the right of franchise, as others are of whatever class or clime; or nominal freemen, with meagre political privileges, in which their manhood is entirely ignored, in the presumption that a certain quantity of dirt is necessary to constitute them MEN and VOTERS; – therefore, Resolved, That we, the colored citizens of Ithaca, do most earnestly call on the citizens of Thompkins County, and the State, irrespective of party, to award to us the privilege of Free Suffrage, which is our rightful heritage, in view of the heroic efforts made by our forefathers to secure the independence of this country, and free her people from the galling yoke of British tyranny – as shown in the person of Crispus Attucks, the first patriot martyr of the Revolution, and in the heroic conduct of hundreds of other colored Americans, on 'ship and shore,' both in the first and in the struggle of America with the mother country. Resolved, That the Property Qualification clause of the State Constitution is monstrous and atrocious, and is full of wrong and injustice, denying to us, natives of the soil, privileges that it gives to foreigners, even those who fought against the liberties of the American people; and in view of these facts, we ask the people of the Empire State, who believe with Jefferson that 'all men are created free and equal, and are endowed with certain inalienable rights,' to strike from the statute this glaring outrage upon the rights of native citizens which now dishonors it. Resolved, That the law as it now exists is a blot upon the escutcheon of the State, and is disgraceful alike those who devised, and to those who sustain it, and is unfair, humiliating and degrading to the class to whom it applies, by drawing an unjust line of distinction between the fortunate and the unfortunate, by throwing aside intelligence and moral worth as qualities of no value, and by making the complexion God has given us a plea for injustice and oppression. After the resolutions were adopted the club books were open for membership, and twenty-five enrolled their names. The following gentlemen were chosen to act as the officers of the 'Ithaca Elective Franchise Club:' President – Rev. Basil Mackall. Vice-President – G. A. Hayborn. Secretary – Geo. A. Johnson. Treasurer – Henry Moore. Geo. A. Johnson, Sec'y. ----- ADDRESS OF THE NEW YORK CITY SUFFRAGE COMMITTEE TO THE COLORED PEOPLE OF NEW YORK. We have organized into a Committee for the purpose of furthering the cause of justice and right so long denied to the colored man in this State, and hope, with your aid and co-operation, to accomplish much toward this end. The laws of this State do not permit any man having African blood in his veins to vote – though he may have been born here – unless he is possessed of real estate property to the value of $250, making us an unjust exception; while foreigners, after a temporary residence, may not only vote, but may even make the laws which govern us. The New York State Legislature, at its recent session, passed a law permitting the people of the State to vote, at the coming election in November, for or against granting to every colored man the same right to vote. We call upon you, friends, to arouse yourselves to the importance of the occasion. – Those of us now denied the right to vote may do much, however, towards carrying the coming [[/column 3]]
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