Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"and we supposed that the Constitution really means this"

[From the New York Herald, Oct. 10, 1876.


   That there are a great many men in South Carolina who are not of the same opinion on many points as the Governor of that at State is likely; but if there is an insurrection in that State the press of the whole country must be poorly served not to have some knowledge on the subject. As no insurrection is reported it is safe to assume that none exist, and we respectfully suggest that the forces to which Gov. Chamberlain proposes to appeal, cannot be brought into operation where there is no insurrection, and were not provided to determine mere differences of opinion. Governor Chamberlain says that in a certain contingency he will avail of the powers conferred upon him by the Constitution of the United States. It is contemplated by the Constitution that the United States may protect a State against domestic violence upon the application of the Governor "when the Legislators cannot be convened. If the Legislature can be convened the United States can only listen to such an appeal from that body: the Governor has no standing in the case whatever. Are there any facts which render it impossible to convene the Legislature in South Carolina? If there is an insurrection that the State cannot deal with, then the Governor may call on the United Slates and the United States may come if it chooses. But Gov. Chamberlain proposes to furnish his occasion by declaring the existence of an insurrection. That will not answer. The insurrection must be a fact, and the evidence of the leading men of his own party is utterly against him, as will be seen from the letters of Judge Moses and tho testimony of others on this point which we print to-day. The contingency in which Governor Chamberlain proposes to use the powers which he fancies are conferred upon him by the Constitution is simply this--in case certain volunteer military organizations do not surrender their arms. Yet the Constitution of the United States, Amendment II, says that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," and we supposed that the Constitution really means this, and that it is the law in South Carolina as well as in Massachusetts. If there be no revolt, it would appear from our despatches that the Republican "managers" will leave no stone unturned to create one. There is so much danger in this course for the Republican party at large that it cannot afford to see the miserable creatures who rule in the South in its name shamelessly violate the law of the land to serve their personal ends.

- Clearfield Republican, Clearfield, PA. Wednesday, October 25, 1876. Vol. 50--Whole No. 2493. New Series--Vol. 17, No. 42. Pg. 1.

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