The Democratic party of Cambria county, in County Convention assembled, with a full representation from the people of every Township Borough and Ward in the County, do publish to the country the following declaration of their principles; appealing to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the rectitude of our intentions.Hey! Do I hear snickering? You promised!
We hold the Constitution of our country, in the language of Daniel Webster, to be "The Bond and the only Bond of the Union of those States;" and that in the language of that sacred Instrument, it was adopted to "secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and their posterity."
We hold further, that our national safety, nay, our very national existence depends on a strict and faithful adherence to its provisions; a just recognition of all its powers; and an equal respect for all the branches of our Government, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, established by its provisions; and that the encroachments now made and suffered by the Legislative and Executive departments, upon the Judiciary, must if persisted in. end in the subversion of the liberties of the people.
We hold that no State or States have the Constitutional right, to secede from the Union; and that our Government has ample power under the Constitution to quell insurrection and put down rebellion; to punish rebellion. where it exists, and at the same time to preserve the rights of the citizen where no rebellion exists.
We hold also, that the Constitution as it came from the hands of its framers, and was adopted by the respective States, was intended for the Government of the Union, through all time, in prosperity and in adversity, in peace and in war ; and that if in times of peace it was regarded as the cheet-anchor of our liberties; for a far stronger reason should we recur to it tried and sacred authority, in the present fearful crisis of our affairs.
So holding, it is by this convention unanimously Resolved:
That we, as a portion cf the Sovereign People are unwilling to concede to any power, military or civil, the rights and immunities we have heretofore enjoyed under the Constitution of our country; but have assembled as of old to express in fearless, but respectful terms, our sentiments in regard, to our once happy country, in this hour of her distress and humiliation.
Resolved, That we believe that that these States to be sovereign except in so far as they have conferred power on the general Government, by the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Resolved, That "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;" and that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved respectively, or to the people.
Resolved: That "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus [should] not be suspended, unless when in crises of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it;" and, therefore, the arrest of Hon. Clement L. Vallandigham, a citizen of the sovereign State of Ohio, where neither rebellion nor invasion existed, is a flagrant violation of the Constitution.
Resolved; That "Congress (should) make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the Freedom of speech, or of the Press: or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble;" Therefore, the act of Congress known as the indemnity act, authorizing the President to do these illegal and unconstitutional acts, and indemnifying him for those heretofore done, is in contravention of the Constitution.
Resolved, That the Constitution provides, that, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed;" and any order contravening this provision is unconstitutional.
Resolved, That we appeal to that clause of our Constitution which provides that, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation;" and deny to any power the right to make arrests, otherwise than as provided by the Constitution, in any at the States of this Union, not now in rebellion.
Resolved, That the Constitution has wisely provided, that, No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war and public danger." "nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law;" and hence the arrest of citizens, in States in which there is no rebellion, contrary to the forms of law, and without process of any kind, are clearly violations of the Constitution.
Resolved; That the Constitution further provides that, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by a impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall previously have been ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him;" and all arrests and proceedings, in peaceable States, contrary to these provisions are in derogation of the constitutional rights of the citizens and fatal to constitutional liberty.
Resolved, That we hold the Constitution not to be a "fair weather" instrument; but the Magna Charta of the citizen, his chart in sunshine and in storm--in war and in peace;--and anything that cannot be preserved under its provisions, is not worth preserving. . .
Resolved, That we, in Common with the Democratic masses of the North, implore the authorities of the nation, to cease their assaults upon the rights of the free people of the North, to bring their war measures back to that condition which fanaticism compelled them to depart from; and in the future, to prosecute it for the restoration of the Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was."
Resolved, That nothing less will satisfy the Democrats than a Union of the thirty four States, under the Constitution, as they were before the rebellion commenced.
Resolved, That in the language of our fellow citizens, of Syracuse, New York we protest against the seizure, trial, and sentence pronounced upon Clement L. Vallandigham, and against all similar seizures, trials, and decrees, as subversive of the fundamental principles of American liberty; as tending to universal anarchy and disorder; as inaugurating a reign of terror and despotism forbidden by the very charter by which government here exists; as a public declaration and example on the part of the federal authorities, that the Constitution having ceased to bind them, has ceased to hold allegiance to them; and, as leading necessarily, to the disturbance of our peace and to probable collisions, involving ruin alike to our country, our institutions, ourselves and our posterity; and in this belief we but discharge our duty as citizens in demanding that the federal authorities revoke the sentence so unwarrantly pronounced against Vallandigham; that it restore him to his family and home, and to the freemen of Ohio, and that it refrain from all similar proceedings in future, to the end that alike the people and the Government may be preserved from farther injury.
Resolved, That we deem the only salvation of our country to depend on a restoration of the Democratic party to power; a party whose principles had conducted our country to the summit of greatness; and to whose past history we proudly refer, as containing all that is proud and glorious as the career of a once happy country.
Resolved; That the Democratic party are now, as they ever have been, opposed to all secret political organizations, no matter by what specious name they may have been known, as dangerous to the liberties of the people; and are unalterably opposed to all such whether known as' Knights of the Golden circle, Union Leagues. Know-Nothing or Jacobin Clubs.
Resolved; That our sincerest thanks are tendered to our gallant soldiers who have distinguished themselves on the battle field of the nation; and no opinions ours on the manner in which the war has been conducted, or the purposes for which it is which it is now prosecuted, shall ever prevent the Democracy of Cambria county from awarding them the meed of praise which is so justly their due.
Resolved; That we welcome home, with the sincerest feelings of regard for their patriotism and bravery, the gallant Cambrians now returning from the field of strife; and sympathize with those whose friends have fallen in defence of the flag of our common country.
Resolved; That the course cf William A. Wallace, our Senator; and Cyrus L Pershing our Representative, merits and receives earnest commendation.
Resolved; That the wanton destruction of the Monitor Press at Huntingdon, is but another evidence of the madness and folly inaugurated in high places; and we tender the Democracy of Huntingdon our sympathy for the outrage to which they have been subjected.
On motion the Convention adjourned to meet no more.
- Democrat and Sentinel, Ebensburg, PA. Wednesday, May 27, 1863. Vol. 10---No. 25. Pg. 2.