Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"That the people should not be required to take up arms in defence of a Government that refuses to protect them in their rights"

The Bucyrus Platform.

   Last week we published the call for a meeting of peace-mongers in Bocyrus on Saturdny last. The meeting was largely attended. Below we give the "petition to the President" as one of the curiosities of modern Democratic literature:


   Whereas, It is the privilege of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and

   Whereas, The President of the United States has just issued his call for 500,000 more troops to fill up the now thinned ranks of the army, and has proclaimed that unless the quota be not filled by volunteers by the 6th of September next he will fill it by conscription; and

   Whereas, The quota of the State of Ohio is about 50,000, a number equal to one-half of the able bodied men of the State;

   Therefore, we the people of Crawford County in Convention assembled, respectfully make the following representations, and adopt as an expression of our opinions the following resolutions:

   All the difficulties between the two sections of the country might have been settled without shedding a single drop of blood. The war was commenced with 75,000 men, under the most solemn assurances that the rebellion should be put down and the Union restored in ninety days. When volunteers were demanded for the three years service, they were promised by the President and by resolution passed by Congress that the laws should be faithfully executed, and that the institution of slavery should not be interfered with.

   This sacred pledge to the soldiers, to the people of both sections of the country and to the world, has been grossly violated by the President in his Emancipation Proclamation, and by Congress in the confiscation act.

   The war has been carried on for more than three years with disaster and defeat to our arms and humiliation to the country, deluging the land with fraternal blood, turning every household from joy to mourning, burdening the citizens with the most oppressive taxation, and bringing bankruptcy and ruin to the people.

   During all the time the contest has been waged by the authorities at Washington, and by the officers in the field, in a spirit of bitterness and malignity amounting almost to barbarism. Persons who have differed in opinion with the President, or who have criticised acts, he has hunted down and persecuted with the most merciless rigor.

   He has denied to sovereign States their Constitutional rights.

   He has destroyed the nation in order to establish a military despotism upon the ruins of constitutional liberty.

   He has stricken down the freedom of speech and of the press.

   He has denied the people the right to bear arms for their own defense.

   He has surrounded himself with a saturnalia of officers, who have plundered the Treasury and burdened the people with taxes.

   He has destroyed the freedom of religion.

   He has annulled every Constitutional guaranty for the protection of the citizen, and subjected him to the irrepressible tyranny of military violence.

   He has rendered the military superior to the civil power.

   The people, trained to submission to the authorities, have patiently submitted to these repeated wrongs. But with all these outrages upon the right of the people, combined With the assaults of 500,000 men, who have at different times entered the service, the rebellion has not been put down, and the South stands today as determined and defiant as ever.

   The experience of the last three years prove most conclusively that war cannot restore the Union....

...We consider that every life hereafter lost in this most atrocious war will be a deliberate murder, and every dollar wrung from the pocket of the tax-payer to further its prosecution, a downright robbery.

   In view of these facts we therefore resolve--

   1. That justice and humanity demand the immediate cessation of hostilities and the adoption of peace measures, as the only hope of the people.

   2. That we remonstrate against any further draft upon the able-bodied men of the country to assist in prolonging a war that we believe uncalled for and superlatively wicked.

   3. That the people should not be required to take up arms in defence of a Government that refuses to protect them in their rights.

   4. That we pray the President of the United States lo revoke his order for a conscription; and we call upon the people throughout the State, to hold meetings and petition for peace and a redress of their grievances.

- The Tiffin Weekly Tribune, Tiffin, O.[hio], Thursday, August 04, 1864. Vol. XVI. No. 44. Pg. 3.

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