Staunton Vindicator: September 22, 1865Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
President Johnson's Reply to the Southern Delegation
(Column 03)Summary: The paper prints President Johnson's remarks to a delegation of leaders from the southern states. Johnson denies that he has any vindictive feelings toward the South, and announces that he wishes the speediest reconciliation possible.
Full Text of Article:
A short time since, a delegation from seven Southern States waited upon President Johnson, and addressed him through their Chairman, Mr. McFarland, of Richmond, to which the President replied as follows:
GENTLEMEN--I can only say, in reply to the remarks of your chairman, that I am highly gratified to receive the assurances he has given me. They are more than I could have expected under the circumstances. I must say I was unprepared to receive so numerous a delegation on this occasion; it was unexpected; I had no idea it was to be so large or represent so many States. When I expressed as I did my willingness to see at any time so many of you as choose to do me the honor to call upon me, and stated that I should be gratified at receiving any manifestations of regard you might think proper to make, I was totally unprepared for anything equal to the present demonstration. I am free to say it excites in my mind feelings and emotions that language is totally inadequate to express. When I look back upon my past actions and recall a period scarcely more than four short years ago, when I stood battling for principles which many of you opposed and thought were wrong, I was battling for the same principles that actuate me to-day and which principles, I thank God, you have come forward on this occasion to manifest a disposition to support. I say now, as I have said on many former occasions, that I entertain no personal resentments, enmities or animosities to any living soul South of Mason's and Dixon's line, however much he may have differed from me in principle. The stand I then took I claim to have been the only true one. I remember how I stood pleading with my Southern brethren when they stood with their hats in their hands ready to turn their backs upon the United States; how I implored them to stand with me there and maintain our rights and fight our battles under the laws and Constitution of the United States. I think now, as I thought then, and endeavored to induce them to believe, that our true position was under the laws and under the Constitution of the Union with the institution of slavery in it; but if that principle made an issue that rendered a disintegration possible--if that made an issue which should prevent us from transmitting to our children a country as bequeathed to us by our fathers--I had nothing else to do but stand by the Government, be the consequences what they might; I said then, what you all know, that I was for the institutions of the country as guaranteed by the Constitution, but above all things I was for the union of the States. I remember the taunts, the jeers, the scowls, with which I was treated. I remember the circle that stood around me, and remember the threats and intimidations that were freely uttered by the men who opposed me, and whom I wished to befriend and guide by the light that led me; but feeling conscious in my own integrity, and that I was right, I heeded not what they might say or do to me, and was inspired and encouraged to do my duty regardless of aught else, and have lived to see the realization of my predictions and the fatal error of those whom I vainly essayed to save from the results I could not but foresee. Gentlemen, we have passed through this rebellion. I say we, for it was we who are responsible for it. Yes, the South made the issue, and I know the nature of the Southern people well enough to know that when they have become convinced of an error they frankly acknowledge it in a manly, open, direct manner; and now, in the performance of that duty, or, indeed, in any act they undertake to perform, they do it heartily and frankly; and now that they come to me, I understand them as saying that "we made the issue. We set up the union of the States against the institution of slavery; we selected as arbitrator the God of Battles; the arbitrament was the sword. The issue was fairly and honorably met. Both the questions presented have been decided against us, and we are prepared to accept the issue." I find on all sides this spirit of honor and candor prevailing. It is said by all: The issue was ours, and the judgement has been given against us; and the decision having been made against us, we feel bound in honor to abide by the arbitrament. In doing this we are doing ourselves no dishonor, and should not feel humiliated or degraded, but rather that we are ennobling ourselves by our action; and we should feel that the Government has treated us magnanimously and meet the Government upon the terms it has so magnanimously proffered us. So far as I am concerned, personally, I am uninfluenced by any question, whether it affects the North or the South; the East or the West. I stand where I did of old, battling for the Constitution and the union of these United States. In doing so I know I opposed some of you gentlemen of the South when this doctrine of secession was being urged upon the country and the declaration of your right to break up the Government and disintegrate the Union was made. I stand to-day, as I have ever stood, firmly in the opinion that if a monopoly contends against this country the monopoly must go down and the country must go up. Yes, the issue was made by the South against the Government, and the Government has triumphed; and the South, true to her ancient instincts of frankness and manly honor, comes forth and expresses her willingness to abide the result of the decision in good faith. While I think that the rebellion has been arrested and subdued, and happy in the consciousness of a duty well performed, I want not only you, but the people of the world, to know that while I dreaded and feared disintegration of the States I am equally opposed to consolidation or concentration of power here, under whatever guise or name; and if the issue is forced upon us I shall still endeavor to pursue the same efforts to dissuade from this doctrine of running to extremes; but I say let the same rules be applied. Let the Constitution be our guide. Let the preservation of that and the union of the States be our principal aim. Let it be our hope that the Government may be perpetual, and that the principles of the Government, founded as they are on right and justice, may be handed down without a spot or blemish to our posterity. As I have before remarked to you, I am gratified to see so many of you here to-day. It manifests a spirit I am pleased to observe. I know it has been said of me that my asperities are so sharp, that I had vindictive feelings to gratify, and that I should not fail to avail myself of the opportunities that would present themselves to gratify such despicable feelings. Gentlemen, if my acts will not speak for me and for themselves then any professions I might now make would be equally useless. But, gentlemen, if I know myself, as I think I do, I know that I am of the Southern people, and I love them, and will do all in my power to restore them to that state of happiness and prosperity which they enjoyed before the madness of misguided men, in whom they had reposed their confidence, led them astray to their own undoing. If there is anything that can be done on my part, on correct principles, on the principles of the Constitution, to promote these ends, rest assured it shall be done. Let me assure you, also, that there is no disposition on the part of the Government to deal harshly with the Southern people. There may be speeches published from various quarters that may breathe a different spirit. Do not let them trouble or excite you, but believe that it is, as it is, the great object of the Government to make the union of these United States more complete and perfect than ever, and to maintain it on constitutional principles, if possible, more firmly than it has ever before been. Then why cannot we all come up to the work in proper spirit? In other words, let us look to the Constitution. The issue has been made and decided; then, as wise men--as men who see right and are determined to follow it, as fathers and brothers, and as men who love their country in this hour of trial and suffering--why cannot we come up and help to settle the questions of the hour and adjust them according to the principles of honor and justice? The institution of slavery is gone. The former status of the negro had to be changed, and we, as wise men, must recognize so patent a fact and adapt ourselves to circumstances as they surround us. [Voices--We are willing to do so. Yes, sir, we are willing to do so.] I believe you are. I believe when your faith is pledged, when your consent has been given as I have already said, I believe it will be maintained in good faith and every pledge or promise fully carried out. [Cries--It will.] All I ask or desire of the South or the North, the East or the West, is to be sustained in carrying out the principles of the Constitution. It is not to be denied that we have been great sufferers on both sides, and much misery is being endured as necessary results of so gigantic a contest. Why, then, can not we come together, and around the common altar of our country heal the wounds that have been made? Deep wounds have been inflicted. Our country has been scarred all over. Then why cannot we approach each other upon principles which are right in themselves and which will be productive of good to all. The day is not distant when we shall feel like some family that have had a deep and desperate feud, the various members of which have come together and compared the evils and sufferings they had inflicted upon each other. They had seen the influence of their errors and its result, and, governed by a generous spirit of conciliation, they had become mutually forbearing and forgiving, and returned to their old habits of fraternal kindness, and become better friends than ever. Then let us consider that the feud which alienated us has been settled and adjusted to our mutual satisfaction, and that we come together to be bound by firmer bonds of love, respect and confidence than ever. The North cannot get along without the South, nor the South from the North, the East from the West, nor the West from the East; and I say it is our duty to do all that in our power lies to perpetuate and make stronger the hands of our Union, seeing that it is for the common good of all that we should be united. I feel that this Union, though but the creation of a century, is to be perpetuated for all time, and that it cannot be destroyed except by the all wise God who created it. Gentlemen, I repeat, I sincerely thank you for the respect manifested on this occasion; and for the expressions of approbation and confidence please accept my sincere thanks.
(Column 01)Summary: The paper urges the southern people to support Andrew Johnson. The editors argue that his latest remarks (printed on page one) are proof of his intention to "restore the Union under the Constitution." By doing so, he will protect the South from "the malignant malice of the radicals."
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
Since our last issue, in which we called attention to an extract from the letter of President Johnson, in reference to the militia troubles of Mississippi, the President has been waited upon by a large delegation from the Southern States, and, in reply to the remarks of their Chairman, (which reply will be found our first page,) spoke plainly and candidly. While the entire address is worthy of perusal there are portions of it which can not be read without strengthening the conviction of all that President Johnson is determined to restore the Union under the Constitution.
He distinctly states his position when he says, "I stand where I did of old, battling for the Constitution and the union of these United States." But as if not satisfied that the radical element of the North would understand, that, in the preservation of the Union of the States, any attempt on their part to pervert the Constitution to selfish aims would find him an ardent opposer, he, elsewhere, expressly declares, that "I want not only you, but the people of the world to know, that, while I dreaded and feared disintegration of the States, I am equally opposed to consolidation or concentration of power here, under whatever guise or name." Thus showing that he still upholds the doctrines for which he has so long contended.
He has thrown a bomb-shell into the radical camp, and amid the confusion thereby occasioned, the conservatives of the country should rally to the support of him, who says, "All I ask or desire of the South or the North, the East or the West, is to be sustained in carrying out the principles of the Constitution." * * * * * "Let the Constitution be our guide. Let the preservation of that and the Union of the States be our principle aim." Will he be sustained? Unless the South shall, by some unwise and impolitic course, give the radicals a rallying cry, he will. It therefore behooves us to weigh well our acts, and to pursue a politic course, and thereby strengthen the hands of him who is making strenuous exertions to preserve the Union of co-equal States.
He does not believe that the South is base and deceitful but, "true to her ancient instincts of frankness and manly honor, comes forth and expresses her willingness to abide the decision in good faith," and uses the following conservative language with reference to her people, "if I know myself, as I think I do, I know that I am of the Southern people and I love them, and will do all in my power to restore them to that state of happiness and prosperity which they enjoyed before the madness of misguided men; in whom they reposed their confidence, led them astray to their own undoing." * * * * "Let me assure you, also, that there is no disposition on the part of the Government to deal harshly with the Southern people. There may be speeches published from various quarters, that may breathe a different spirit. Do not let them trouble or exite you."
"Let us consider that the feud which alienated us has been settled and adjusted, and that we come together to be bound by firmer bonds of love, respect and confidence than ever."
All that the South has to do is to so act as to strengthen and support him and all will be well--for he stands to-day the great barrier against the malignant malice of the radicals, who would, for selfish aggrandizement, utterly destroy this fair land of ours, and calls not only for the North, the East and the West to support him, but also the South. Every effort should and will be made by the South to sustain him, and the conservatives of the land will be untrue to themselves if they withhold their cordial support.
(Column 01)Summary: The paper announces the formation of the National Express Company in Richmond. The company will be run by disabled veterans of the Union and the Confederacy. Half of its $500,000 capital stock will be subscribed in the North and half in the South. Gen. Echols and Col. M. G. Harman of Staunton have already taken "an active interest in its organization."[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Gen. Echols, Col. M. G. Harman)
(Column 02)Summary: The paper applauds the progress the South has made since the war in regaining prosperity. The region still faces a grave threat in the possibility of confiscation, however. The editors argue that the President's rumored General Amnesty would go a long way to ensuring the South's recovery.
Full Text of Article:The Real Foes To A Restored Union
There is nothing, perhaps, which has more astonished our people than the energy displayed in the various walks of life among us, since the cessation of hostilities. It was at first supposed that the poor, desolated South would require years to resume her wonted prosperity.
The many obstacles to her progress being of such a character, that, unless assistance was rendered from outside and unexpected sources, it was deemed impossible that the latent energy of the Southern people would be sufficient to elevate the condition of the South to its former degree of prosperity. Greater energy has been exhibited than the most sanguine had looked for, and a more prosperous condition is ostensibly arrived at, than thought could be reached in years. We have always opposed "Old Fogyism," believing that the world still moves and advances in healthy progress, and that we are required to do things to-day as they were done yesterday. The energy already displayed is, by far, less than we expect to see. We look forward to the day when the mechanics and laboring men, not only of Staunton and Virginia, but the whole South, will be actively and lucratively employed. That will be a blessed day to the poor man and the rich.
It must be confessed, however, that there are paralyzing causes affecting our native energy and "go-aheadativeness." Not the least of these is the fear of losing by confiscation the little left from the desolations of war. We are hopeful that this great drawback to progress will be removed. Our Northern exchanges, learn through their Washington correspondents, that it is expected, on good grounds for belief, that President Johnson will shortly issue a General Amnesty. This is what we most need, and the President will add greatly to the material prosperity of the whole country by relieving the South of the greatest burden under which she labors, at present, in approximating her ancient prosperity. God speed the day when the expected General Amnesty proclamation will be issued.
(Column 02)Summary: The paper reprints an article calling the radical wing of the Republican party the true threat to Union. The Republicans have opposed President Johnson's fruitful policies of reconciliation, the article argues.
Origin of Article: Washington UnionFull Text of Article:[No Title]
Not a Republican State Convention has yet fully and fairly endorsed President Johnson's policy, while every Democratic State Convention has. One Republican State Convention (Minnesota) has directly condemned the President's policy, and the rest of them have taken exception to and by innuendo condemned his "mild and generous method of reconstruction." Not one Democratic Convention has done so. Some of the Republican Conventions have set Stanton above the President, and four others have endorsed negro suffrage, to which Johnson is opposed. No Democratic Convention has thus "opposed the Government." Taking all these facts together, we find the only true and efficient support which is accorded the President, in his arduous labors at a restoration of the Union, comes from the Democratic party! We find, also, that the only obstacle to a restoration of the Union, North or South, is the Radical wing of the Republican party.--Washington Union.
(Column 02)Summary: The paper reports that President Johnson is planning to withdraw Federal troops from the South. The southern states will then be allowed to "reorganize on the basis of civil government, precisely as they stood before the war, with the exception of slavery." The paper attributes such a possibility to "the good sense of leading Southern men themselves in accepting the position of affairs."
Full Text of Article:
From Washington.--It is understood here that it is contemplated by the President to entirely withdraw troops from the South in a short time, leaving the States lately in rebellion to reorganize on the basis of civil government, precisely as they stood before the war, with the exception of slavery. This policy is said to have arisen through the good sense of leading Southern men themselves in accepting the position of affairs, as disclosed in the interview between President Johnson and a considerable deputation of their leading men, at the White House, the other day. Thus, the late slave States will have hardly a soldier left among them, save such as may be required to garrison the several forts; and these, as in the Northern States, will be retained in active service only for the purpose of meeting any emergency that may arise from the action of foreign Powers.
(Column 01)Summary: The paper thanks Mrs. Michael A. Koiner of Augusta for a gift of apples, beets, and cabbages, "the largest and finest we have seen."Local Items
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Michael A. Koiner)
(Column 01)Summary: The paper announces that Maj. A. M. Garber, Jr. proposes to establish a new newspaper in Staunton entitled the "Valley Virginian." The Vindicator wishes him well in his endeavor.Local Items
(Names in announcement: Maj. A. M. GarberJr.)
(Column 01)Summary: The paper announces that Robert Williams has been captured and returned to jail. Williams, sentenced to prison for the attempted burglary of the store of Gabriel Hirsh, had escaped.
(Names in announcement: Robert Williams, Gabriel Hirsh)
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