Saturday, November 30, 2013

"which, considering that every man carries a 'gun,' seems extraordinary...."

[St. Paul Daily Globe, St. Paul, MINN., Thursday, October 30, 1884. Vol. VII No. 304. Pg. 3]

"where the sale Of revolvers, like their use, is free...."

   There is a town called Texarkana, lying partly within Arkansas and partly within Texas, with a broad street marking the boundary. It has two mayors, and the state laws governing on one side have no binding force on the ether. Arkansas made a severe enactment against the free sale of firearms, whereupon the hardware merchants moved their stores to the other side of the street, thus going into Texas, where the sale Of revolvers, like their use, is free. The Arkansas mayor issued a proclamation against the sale of liquor on Sunday, greatly to the advantage of the saloon men in Texas, until the venders on the other side moved over and regained their customers.

[Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, Lancaster, PA., Thursday, September 15, 1881. Volume XVIII--No. 12. Pg. 2]
   This is EXACTLY what we need to be doing to treasonous towns, cities and states that infringe upon our rights. STARVE THEM TO DEATH.

"On ordinary Fourths, when the best of feeling prevails . . . because firearms are at hand..."

   Yet more historical [and hysterical] shrill cries from the LIEberal press:

[The St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Mo., Saturday, June 30, 1900. Pg. 6]

Which just reminds me again of a quote from Mr. Franklin:
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."--Benjamin Franklin, "Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor", November 11, 1755; [The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 6, p. 242, Leonard W. Labaree, ed. (1963)]

"The Constitution properly guarantees to the people of this country, the right to bear arms..."

REGULATING THE USE OF ARMS.

   That is an interesting and a suggestive proposal which has been made at Albany--to legislate against the common use and even ownership of the ingenious device which has been invented for silencing the noise of firearms. That device is said to be so effective as to make the discharge of a rifle or a pistol nearly noiseless, without decreasing the lethal effectiveness of the weapon. It is easily conceivable that suck an attachment to military firearms would be of inestimable advantage in warfare, a noiseless rifle using smokeless powder giving practically no information as to the location of its user. But it is obvious that precisely the same thing would make a gun or a pistol a far more dangerous tool for the use of assassins.

   It may, indeed, be said that there is no legitimate use for the silencing device, save in military doings and in actual war. If we grant that citizens now and then need to use firearms against burglars, highwaymen and others, it should be obvious that the most desirable and most effective arm for such purpose's is not the most silent, but the most noisy. The report of the piece is almost as useful as the bullet in frightening away marauders and giving an alarm for the summoning of help. There may be those who would if they could shoot all the members of a burglarious gang, and of course for the execution, of that design a noiseless weapon would be useful; but we cannot concede that such a course should be generally pursued. Burglary and highway robbery are not, after all, capital crimes, and it is not well to kill unnecessarily those who commit them.

   The Constitution properly guarantees to the people of this country, the right to bear arms. But that is not assumed to mean that a man has a right to carry concealed deadly weapons. The only reason for which a man in this part of the world carries a pistol is that of being able at will to kill a fellow man. So the possession of A noiseless rifle would seam to indicate at least an expectation of wanting or needing to shoot somebody without being known, and that is an expectation which in law-abiding communities ought never to be fulfilled. If the device in question is as effective as it is said to be, it would probably be desirable to have all departments of the military services equipped with it. But the more effective it is the more dangerous and mischievous it would be to have it promiscuously available for the uses of evil disposed persons.

[New-York Tribune, New-York, Friday, January 28, 1910. Vol. LXIX....No. 23,084. Pg. 6]
   Oh well, at least the shrill speculating writer acknowledged we have a right to arms.

Friday, November 29, 2013

"in consequence of any State or local law, ordinance, police or other regulation, custom, or prejudice . . . including the constitutional right of bearing arms"

"...The Senate proceeded, as the Constitution provides, to reconsider the bill (S. 60) to amend an act entitled An act to establish a Bureau for the relief of Freedmen and Refugees," and for other purposes, returned by the President of the United States to the Senate, with his objections; which bill is in the following words, to wit:

"THIRTY-NINTH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,

"AT THE FIRST SESSION, BEGUN AND HELD AT THE CITY OF WASHINGTON ON MONDAY, THE FOURTH DAY OF DECEMBER, ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE.

"AN ACT to amend an act entitled 'An act to establish a Bureau for the relief of Freedmen and Refugees,' and for ether purposes.

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the act to establish a Bureau for the relief of Freedmen and Refugees, approved March three, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, shall continue in force until otherwise provided by law, and shall extend to refugees and freedmen in all parts of the United States, and the President may divide the section of country containing such refugees and freedmen into districts, each containing one or more States, not to exceed twelve in number, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint an Assistant Commissioner for each of said districts, who shall give like bond, receive the compensation, and perform the duties prescribed by this and the act to which this is an amendment; or said bureau may, in the discretion of the President, be placed under a Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners, to be detailed from the army, in which event each officer so assigned to duty shall serve without increase of pay or allowances...."

"...Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That whenever in any State or district in which the ordinary course of judicial proceedings has been interrupted by the rebellion, and wherein, in consequence of any State or local law, ordinance, police or other regulation, custom, or prejudice, any of the civil rights or immunities belonging to white persons, including the right to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold and convey real and personal property, and to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and estate, including the constitutional right of bearing arms, are refused or denied to negroes, mulattoes, freedmen, refugees, or any other persons, on account of race, color, or any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, or wherein they or any of them are subjected to any other or different punishment, pains, or penalties, for the commission of any act or offence, than are prescribed for white persons committing like acts or offences, it shall be the duty of the President of the United States, through the Commissioner, to extend military protection and jurisdiction over all cases affecting such persons so discriminated against...."

[Monday, February 19, 1866, Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873]

Those that clamor for 'gun control' and 'regulation' do so with blinders on...

   Those that clamor for 'gun control' and 'regulation' do so with blinders on. For they are utterly dismissive of the actual facts. This clouded judgement can be dispelled only by knowledge of reality. If these people would but examine the subject from an historical perspective. Then they will discover that all that ends up happening, is that liberty winds up being totally lost.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."--Benjamin Franklin, "Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor", November 11, 1755; [The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 6, p. 242, Leonard W. Labaree, ed. (1963)]
   What many of the supposed "safety" seekers are really doing, is dismissing the evil found in human nature. Especially the collective evil that comes from "power". As that which is possessed by those in government. For:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."--Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton, letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887.
   If the people have not the means to keep 'power' in check. Then 'power' only becomes more emboldened. And this due to the fact that 'power' always seeks to enlarge itself at the expense of others.

   FEAR however, is very persuasive deterrent. For even the 'power' hungry possess the instinct of self-preservation. And, if the thought of swift and sure retaliation is kept in the forefront of the potential tyrants mind. Then it tends to keep the potential tyrant in their properly designated role.

   Failure to remember and abide by these maxims, has resulted in the deaths of MILLIONS. Reputable estimates place the numbers as high as 200 MILLION in the last century alone. Which leads us to the next maxim:
"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it"--George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense.

"...exposed to be insulted and silenced by the sycophants votaries of tyranny and usurpation."

   "Let it be remembered finally, that it has ever been the pride and boast of America, that the rights for which she contended, were the rights of human nature. By the blessing of the author of these rights, on the means exerted for their defence, they have prevailed against all opposition, and form at this time the basis of thirteen independent states. No instance has heretofore occurred, nor can any instance be expected hereafter to occur, in which the unadulterated forms of Republican government can pretend to so fair an opportunity of justifying themselves by their fruits. In this view the citizens of the United States are responsible for the greatest trust ever confided to a political society. If justice, good faith, honor, gratitude and all the other virtues qualities which ennoble the character of a nation, and fulfil the ends of government, be the fruits of our establishments, the cause of liberty will acquire a dignity and lustre which it has never yet enjoyed; and an example will be set which cannot fail to but have the most favourable influence on the rights of mankind. If on the other side, our governments should be unfortunately blotted with the reverse of these cardinal and essential qualities virtues, the great cause which we have engaged to vindicate will be dishonored and betrayed; the last and fairest experiment in favour of the rights of human nature will be turned against them, and their patrons and friends exposed to be insulted and silenced by the sycophants votaries of tyranny and usurpation."--Mr. James Madison, Mr. Oliver Ellsworth and Mr. Alexander Hamilton, Saturday, April 26, 1783, Address To The States, By The United States In Congress Assembled. [This report, in the writing of James Madison, except as noted, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 24, folio 335. It is indorsed in the handwriting of Madison.] [Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Pg. 283]

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"...and to verify the anticipations of this Government being a safeguard to human rights."

"...It was now perceived that every expectation from the tenderness which had been hitherto pursued, was unavailing, and that further delay could only create an opinion of impotency or irresolution in the Government. Legal process, was, therefore, delivered to the Marshal, against the rioters and delinquent distillers. No sooner was he understood to be engaged in this duty, than the vengeance of armed men was aimed at his person, and the person and property of the Inspector of the Revenue. They fired upon the Marshal, arrested him, and detained him for some time as a prisoner. He was obliged, by the jeopardy of his life, to renounce the service of other process, on the West side of the Allegheny Mountain; and a deputation was afterwards sent to him to demand a surrender of that which he had served. A numerous body repeatedly attacked the house of the Inspector--seized his papers of office--and, finally destroyed, by fire, his buildings, and whatsoever they contained. Both of these officers, from a just regard to their safety, fled to the Seat of Government; it being avowed, that the motives to such outrages were to compel the resignation of the Inspector--to withstand, by force of arms, the authority of the United States, and thereby to extort a repeal of the laws of excise, and an alteration in the conduct of Government...."

   "...Let us unite, therefore, in imploring the Supreme Ruler of Nations to spread his holy protection over these United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our Constitution; to enable us at all times to root out internal sedition, and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that prosperity, which his goodness has already conferred, and to verify the anticipations of this Government being a safeguard to human rights."--President George Washington, Wednesday, November 19, 1794. Address to the Senate and of the House of Representatives. [Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1793-1797]

"it was no sooner known, than every citizen was ready to fly with his arms"

   "The misfortune at Detroit was not, however, without a consoling effect. It was followed by signal proofs, that the national spirit rises according to the pressure on it. The loss of an important post, and of the brave men surrendered with it, inspired every where new ardor and determination. In the states and districts least remote, it was no sooner known, than every citizen was ready to fly with his arms, at once to protect his brethren against the blood-thirsty savages let loose by the enemy on an extensive frontier, and to convert a partial calamity into a source of invigorated efforts. This patriotic zeal, which it was necessary rather to limit than excite, has embodied an ample force from the states of Kentucky and Ohio, and from parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is placed, with the addition of a few regulars, under the command of Brigadier General Harrison, who possesses the entire confidence of his fellow-soldiers, among whom are citizens, some of them volunteers in the ranks, not less distinguished by their political stations, than by their personal merits. The greater portion of this force is proceeding on its destination, towards the Michigan territory, having succeeded in relieving an important frontier post, and in several incidental operations against hostile tribes of savages, rendered indispensable by the subserviency into which they had been seduced by the enemy; a seduction the more cruel, as it could not fail to impose a necessity of precautionary severities against those who yielded to it."--President James Madison, Washington, November 4, 1812, Message to the Senate and of the House of Representatives. [Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873, Pg. 199]

"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty"

"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence ag[ain]st. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."--James Madison, Friday, June 29, 1787, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 [Farrand's Records, Volume 1, Pg. 465]

"Nothing could be more preposterous or absurd than to sacrifice the former to the latter."

   "But as states are a collection of individual men, which ought we to respect most, the rights of the people composing them, or of the artificial beings resulting from the composition? Nothing could be more preposterous or absurd than to sacrifice the former to the latter."--Alexander Hamilton, Friday, June 29, 1787, [The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Elliot's Debates, Volume 5, Pg. 258]

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"...guarantee to you the right to bear arms in self defense..."

A Word to the Wise is Sufficient.

   We had hoped that the dark night of our adversity was breaking away adversity was breaking away and that peace had dawned upon us again to gladden our hearts with the return of prosperity and happiness. We fear that these were but dreams, too soon to be dispelled. There is now a terrible, raging chasm between the hopes awakened and the enjoyment promised. It is useless to longer disguise the fact from our people, that we again stand upon the vestibule of the temple of the grim genius of war. The distant rumbling portends a storm that may sweep the last vestige of our liberties away in the vortex of revolution. The bravest hearts stand aghast at the contemplation of the horrors that may burst upon us at any time. Nowhere can we look for protection from this merciless tyranny. There is no strong arm upon which we can lean for support. No shield to guard us from the impending danger. We are, indeed, "strangers in the land of our birth." The General Government imposes duties and burdens upon us, and then refuses the reciprocal duty of protection. It leaves us at the mercy of a tyrant, whose insatiable appetite can only be appeased by the blood of our citizens. Shall we, then, quietly submit to be bound hand and foot, and turned ever to the tender mercies of those who delight in torturing a brave and proud people? We say no, never! A brave people, however much they may have been overrun and trampled open, are not altogether powerless.

   It behooves those in authority to ponder well before they take a step that may recoil upon their own heads. A people goaded on to desperation may turn and smite their persecutors. We do not wish to be understood as counseling armed resistance to law. Our voice shall ever be raised for peace. We advise our people to bear and forbear, be calm and patient under all circumstances, but be prepared. The laws of your State guarantee to you the right to bear arms in self defense. No power upon earth can gainsay this right. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

   While we believe the act organizing a State Guard is in violation of the plainest provisions of the Constitution, we do not propose to offer any resistance to its execution. But we will say that he who believes that our people will stand quietly by and see here in our midst a repetition of the outrages which have been committed in Arkansas, must be a fool or insane.

   "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God," is a maxim just as true to-day as it was when our fathers resisted British oppression. We still have that power of resistance left as, and in defense of our live and property it will crush the faction of unscrupulous men who rule our State between the upper and nether mill-stone of its power. Then let that power which rests its broad base on two millions of people be our shield and sword.

[Public Ledger, Memphis, Tennessee, Friday Evening, January 29, 1869. Vol. VII. No. 127. Pg. 2]

"no man ought to be interfered with in carrying weapons for his protection..."

IS CIVIL OR MILITARY LAW
PARAMOUNT IN TEXAS?

   "August 24th, 1803, Private Fulgham, Company D, and a deputy sheriff of Reeves county, scouting down the Pecos river in search of stolen horses, met a man carrying a pistol. They attempted to arrest him, when he resisted and drew his pistol to shoot private Fulgham fired upon him, killing him instantly."

   The above is an extract from a report of the work done by the ranger force, of the work done by the ranger force, published in The Statesman yesterday copied from the adjutant general's report to the governor. It is very unsatisfactory. The inquiry is natural, after reading this item in the report, whether military or civil law is dominant in Texas. It is very evident that this deputy sheriff and private Fulgham of the rangers had no warrant for the arrest of this man who was killed by Fulgham, nor does it appear that this man knew they were officers. It would be interesting to know whether Private Fulgham was ever tried by the civil courts for this killing, for it is homicide of one degree or another. Taking the bare report given to the adjutant general, a jury would in all probability conclude that it was murder in the first degree. It is evident that Private Fulgham had no warrant for the arrest of this wayfarer, and that they demand for his surrender was totally unwarranted. There is no evidence that the man so ruthlessly killed was a malefactor except that in a wild and dangerous country he carried a pistol to protect himself. It is true that carrying a deadly weapon is a violation of the law, but the execution of the law against it should be exercised with prudence. If the same rancor had met half a dozen armed men in some remote cross-roads grocery the probability is that he would not have attempted an arrest, but meeting this lonely traveler in a wild and dangerous country the attempt to make an arbitrary arrest without a warrant was officious. imprudent and a violation of the civil law, for which this ranger private Fulgham ought to have been tried, convicted and punished. He may have been, for all we know. If he was not, and such things are sanctioned, we must say that the ranger force of Texas has outlived in some respects its usefulness and its members ought to be relegated to private life and the civil law be given a chance to be executed in the state.

   While Texas is as safe as any other state as sparsely inhabited, no man ought to be interfered with in carrying weapons for his protection in certain sparsely inhabited portions of the state, and none but a reckless prospector would go unarmed in these localities, for it is in some localities absolutely necessary for the protection of life.

   The law against carrying deadly weapons is of doubtful consistency, with the constitutional right of every citizen to have and carry arms for self defense, and it is only recognized by sufferance as a police regulation for the protection of the citizens of thickly settled communities, where the officers of the law afford ample protection to the person and property of every citizen.

   The case we have called attention to, on its face, is a flagrant abuse of authority by a member of the ranger force of the state, and if this is a usual thing not at all out of the way, and a matter to be reported as recommending the ranger force to the consideration of the legislature for appropriations for its continued support, it is time some investigations were made as to the propriety of continuing the force in this state.

   If this ranger who killed this apparently innocent traveler without any good cause has not been tried and convicted for his illegal act, It is high time that the legislature of the state should teach the ranger force the civil law is paramount to military law in Texas.

[The Austin Weekly Statesman, Austin, Texas, Thursday, February 7, 1895. Vol. XXIV. Pg. 2]

"certainly justifies the people who are compelled to walk in the streets by night in carrying arms...."

THE EPIDEMIC OF HIGHWAY ROBBERY.

   The boldness of the footpads now infesting the towns and cities of the State calls for special vigilance on the part of the police and great watchfulness by citizens who have to traverse remote streets late at night. The exceeding number of highway robberies in the last few days proves that there is an idle and criminal gang of men in the cities who are resolved to live at the expense of others, and to exact the means at the mouth of the pistol.

   There is no doubt whatever that the low dives of the cities harbor these men, and that the closing of these places would deprive the criminal classes of resorts where they secure the liquors that inspire them with criminal courage. These rascals rob upon the highway and burglarize houses to obtain money to spend in these vile resorts, and the keepers know of the source of the revenue. The shutting up of these ante-rooms to hell, at least early in the evening, is absolutely necessary. There is no reason why they should have existence at all. They contribute nothing to the good of the communities and serve only as council chambers for the class that will cut a throat to turn a penny.

   It ought to be safe for the citizen to walk the streets of any California town at any hour, but just now the fact is that it is not discreet to venture upon unfrequented streets after nightfall. Several bold robberies have occurred in this city early in the evening recently and upon streets fully lighted and in close proximity to the business centers. If no other means can be found to cow these vicious fellows and make them seek safety in flight to other fields, the citizens will be justified in organizing aid committees to the police force to hunt out all worthless fellows who have no visible means of support and who make their homes in the dives and thieves' dens of the city and put them into the chain-gang to earn their bread.

   In San Francisco Wednesday night a citizen was waylaid on a public street and within call of a police station, by one of these murderous rascals, and stabbed because he would not yield up his purse. The citizen had pluck to resist the robber and to follow and fire upon him, wounding and putting the would-be murderer to flight. If a few of these highwaymen are killed every now and then by those they assail it will serve to put the entire gang into a state of fear. As a rule, the citizen who is "stood up," as the term goes, yields too readily. Resistance will, nine times out of ten, result in the flight of the robber, and if a few are shot down as they flee from their attempts to levy tribute, there will be no mourning.

   Mob law and Vigilance Committees cannot be advised. Our cities and towns must pursue lawful methods in enforcing order and protecting life and property, but the citizen assailed by the robber on the highway will have public approval who resorts to arms in self-defense. The unusual high tide of robberies this winter certainly justifies the people who are compelled to walk in the streets by night in carrying arms. So long as the criminal classes parade the highways, pushing pistol muzzles under the noses of citizens, and the police are unable to stop the proceeding, the people must defend themselves--the epidemic of robbery must be cut short. A first step should be to jail the vagrants and the vicious fellows who hang about dives, and the second to close up these haunts of vice.

   An essential factor in achieving the latter end, however, is to secure juries, the members of which will not cringe before the frown of the beetle-browed chiefs who run these crime shops; jurors who have the moral courage to declare the guilty guilty, and to refuse to refine distinctions down to acquittals on flimsy technicalities. The police is scarcely blameworthy for failing to regulate the dives, since it is very rare indeed that convictions of dive-keepers and inmates can be secured before juries picked up for service in the Police Courts. We need just now some panels of jurymen for service, who have some bowels of compassion for the citizen who is assailed in peace, property and life, by the murderous gangs the dives vomit forth every night upon the streets.

[Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Sacramento, Friday Morning, December 19, 1890. Volume LXXX.--No. 103. Pg. 2]

"Every American . . . too poor to purchase arms for self-defense should be supplied with the means to defend him self..."

   The settlers in exposed localities in Oregon, it is reported, have been supplied with improved arms and ammunition to protect themselves against Capt. Jack and his eighteen warriors. We are glad to hear this. Every American who is exposed to Indian barbarity and is too poor to purchase arms for self-defense should be supplied with the means to defend him self, and although there are at least 500 regular troops, with 100 friendly lndians now operating against Jack and his eighteen warriors, and one hundred and fifty Oregon volunteers and probably by this time a company of California volunteers, still we believe it is equally necessary that every settler who is exposed to danger shall be armed for self-protection, because with all the soldiers and volunteers that can be placed in the field, it is an impossibility to give ample protection to each man's house. We cannot help but contrast the difference between the action of the government in this Modoc war and its action in the Apache war. By begging and entreating we have succeeded in obtaining from the government 744 stand of arms for the use of the settlers, the most of them and perhaps all by this time, were due the Territory from a fund that is annually set apart to purchase arms for the several States and Territories to arm the militia with. Of the arms we have drawn, about one third or more are now in the hands of the Indians on reservations, having been taken by them from murdered citizens, and when treaties have been made with them they have been allowed to retain these arms as their own property. At least one half of the remainder have become unserviceable by reason of four years of usage in the open field, so that it will be seen that without any negligence or blame on our part, but a remnant of the guns that were drawn and given to the settlers is left. One third of them has gone into the hands of the enemy, but the owners sold their lives dearly trying to hold them. Far be it from our thoughts to complain of the efforts the government may put forth to protect its citizens, be the foe great or small, and no matter where the citizens may be assailed, but we think the security of every section should be alike considered. Now for this vast Territory with more or less hostile Indians roaming everywhere, with the Indians on the reservation in a constant foment, General Crook cannot to save his life put 500 soldiers in the field, and every effort we have made for volunteer assistance has been promptly negatived. The last Legislature asked for 500 improved guns to arm our poor people with, but no attention has been paid to the request, and we have hundreds of citizens who have labored industriously for years and have had all their earnings taken from them by the Apaches and are now too poor to pay for a gun to defend themselves with. We hope the same influences that have caused such ample preparations to be made for the defence of the people in the Modoc country will, when that war is ended, be brought to bear and aid in giving as ample protection to the poor settlers who are exposed to Apache barbarity.

[Arizona Citizen, Tucson, Pima County, A.T., Saturday, June 7, 1873. Vol. III. No. 35. Pg. 1]

"However, you must not discharge firearms within the city limits in a reckless manner. I will let you off with a fine of $1."

[The Kansas City Journal, Kansas City, Friday, November 4, 1898. Volume XLI. No. 147. Pg. 3]

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"No judge has a right on any pretense, to interfere with this right guaranteed by the constitution, "to keep and bear arms""

[St. Paul Daily Globe, St. Paul, Minn., Monday Morning, December 25, 1893. Vol. XV. No. 359. Pg. 2]

"that the right of the people to keep and bear arms must never be prohibited...."

PERSONAL LIBERTY UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.

   Individual liberty is very carefully guarded under the constitution. It is everywhere in that instrument treated as of paramount importance. It is guarded by every safeguard known to the law and distinctly set out as the greatest boon of mankind.

   Individual liberty Is given the first place in the preamble of the proposed constitution. Rightful government and general welfare and hapful government and welfare and happiness are the other objects set forth as a reason for making a constitution. Of these liberty is regarded as the fundamental proposition and is set forth in these words:

   "Invoking the guidance or Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty--* * * we, the people of the state of Oklahoma, do ordain and establish this constitution."

   This right to personal liberty is by the constitution declared to be one of the "inherent" rights of mankind. This means that even the constitution does not profess to grant individual liberty, but simply presents it as a rightful heritage or every man born into the world. "All persons have the inherent right to liberty," is one of the firm declarations of the bill of rights.

   Of course all individual liberty must be exercised with regard to the equal liberty, which is inherent in others. One man may not use, or rather abuse, his liberty to the injury of his neighbor. To this end and to guarantee the equal liberty of other men, government is established and laws are made and courts given power to construe and enforce those laws. Therefore the new constitution provides that. "No person shall be deprived of his liberty without due process of law "

   So careful is the constitution of this right of individual liberty that it is provided in section 10 of the bill of rights that: "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall never be suspended." There is the absolute right to personal liberty guaranteed, and no man may take it away; and if any person is restrained without due process of law the courts will at once release him. Under this, no department of the government may arbitrarily Imprison or depart any man, as was done in the case of the Colorado miners during the strike. Impeachment would be against any governor of Oklahoma for any act similar to the notion of the governor of Colorado.

   Individual liberty in religious matters is solemnly guaranteed and liberty of speech and of tho press is to remain forever inviolate.

   The inherent personal liberty of the people has only one guarantee against usurpations by unjust and ambitious government and against the midnight assassin, and therefore it is provided that the right of the people to keep and bear arms must never be prohibited.

   Equal personal liberty is guaranteed in all property matters and to that end section 32, of the bill or rights declares that: "Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free government and shall never be allowed."

   The more one studies the proposed constitution, the more clearly does it appear how much store the convention set by this matter of personal liberty. Indeed, it seems insofar as words and solemn declarations in the written fundamental law can guarantee the right of liberty, to that extent the convention found it to be its duty and privilege to go.

   To attain to such heights of individual liberty as those marked by the new constitution, humanity has plunged through rivers of blood and scaled mountains of difficulty defended by all the devilish devices of kingcraft, class privilege and imperialism.

[The Guthrie Daily Leader, Guthrie, Oklahoma, Tuesday Evening, August 6, 1907. Volume XXIX Number 81 Pg. 4]

"all of them are acting but in the assertion of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed against infringement..."

Chester, S.C., October 7, 1876.

To A. C. Haskell, Chairman State Democratic Executive Committee, Columbia, S.C.:

   In reply to your inquiry of this date, I would state that peace and order prevail throughout the limits of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, embracing the four counties of York, Chester, Fairfield and Lancaster. In this circuit no armed organizations obstruct judicial proceedings, and no resistance has been offered to the due execution of legal process. In charging the grand jury of York on last Monday, I stated that if any citizen, whatever might be his race, color or party, had been threatened with loss of employment or put in terror because of his political opinions, he should make complaint before the grand jury, or in open court, and the laws should be put in motion to sustain him in the free and untrammeled exercise of all his rights of citizenship. The grand jury, consisting of nine white and six colored citizens, reported unanimously on last Wednesday night that no organizations, either armed or otherwise, having for their object the exhibition of force to control the free exercise of the elective franchise, existed in that county, and no complaint charging the existence of such organizations had been made to them. The same is true of each and every county in this circuit. The only case of political intimidation that has transpired in this circuit was tried at York on last Thursday, the defendant being one Edward McDonald, colored, charged with threatening the life of one Henry Lowry, also colored, because he had joined a Democratic club, and had declared his purpose to vote the Democratic ticket. The jury consisted of six Republican colored citizens and six white men, one of whom is also an avowed Republican. The prisoner was ably defended by W.B. Williams, Esq., himself a candidate on the Democratic ticket. The jury were charged by me that they were the sole judges of the evidence, and that the guilt of the prisoner must be established beyond a reasonable doubt to warrant a conviction. They rendered a verdict of guilty, and I sentenced the prisoner to three months in jail--the lowest penalty prescribed by law for the offense. I have traversed many counties in the State canvassing for Hayes and Wheeler, and in favor of Chamberlain for Governor during the past sixty days, and I have nowhere seen an attempt on the part of any portion of the population to suppress the right of free speech by armed violence. I solemnly protest against the proclamation of Governor Chamberlain as absolutely false in so far as it imputes to the inhabitants within the limits of this circuit any purpose to obstruct the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or to resist in any manner the due execution of the laws tor the protection of life, property or the rights of citizenship; and I have good and sufficient reasons to believe and do believe that the said proclamation is equally false in imputing such insurrectionary purpose to the white population in the other circuits of this State. I regard the proclamation as symbolizing fitly a formidable conspiracy against the rights of the people, having for its object the carrying of this State for D.H. Chamberlain and his candidates, which conspiracy is further typified by a Board of State Canvassers, or Election Returning Board, the majority of whose members are candidates on Chamberlain's ticket, and by ninety-six Commissioners of Election in the several counties, seventy of whom are Chamberlain's declared partisans, and of which last number some forty are County Treasurers and Auditors or Trial Justices, holding lucrative offices by his appointment, and removable from office at his pleasure, or are known to him as declared candidates for office endorsing his ticket, who unseat themselves if they make a declaration of the election which seats the candidates opposed to Chamberlain and his ticket. The rifle clubs that he has ordered disbanded are in the main organizations chartered under the act of the Republican Legislature in 1874, and all of them are acting but in the assertion of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed against infringement in the second article of amendments to the constitution of the United States, and all assert their loyalty to the Union, and obedience to its laws, and respect and uphold its flag.

                                                                             T.J. MACKEY,

                                                                             Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of
                                                                             South Carolina.

[The Anderson Intelligencer, Anderson, S.C., Thursday, October 12, 1876. Vol. XII---No. 13. Pg. 2]

 Also see:

"has been the means of checking disorder and turbulence"

"'The right of te people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,' says a quiet, unimportant instrument...."

[The Dollar Weekly Bulletin, Maysville, Ky., Thursday, April 30, 1863. Volume 1 Number 46 Pg. 1]

"it is a necessity now as then, that every true American should sustain the right..."

   The Constitution of the United States expressly declares that the "right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." In the face of this Dictator Grant is sending an army into South Carolina to disarm peaceable, law-abiding citizens, and this work is now going on.
Cincinnati Enquirer.

   Yes, and when Lincoln, in 1861, did the same service for Union, Liberty and Freedom, the cry then went up as now, "this Dictator." Now as then, it is the same hellish spirit of "rule or ruin" that animates the Democratic party, and for the good order and peace of the country it is a necessity now as then, that every true American should sustain the right by voting for Hayes and Wheeler.

[Gallipolis Journal, Gallipolis, Ohio, Thursday, October 26, 1876. Volume XLI. Number 50 Pg. 2]

"The stock of "enlightened government" in the United States seems to be running very low."

[The Herald, Los Angeles, Wednesday Morning, November 23, 1898. Twenty-Sixth Year. No. 54. Pg. 6]

Monday, November 25, 2013

"They knew that the militant arm of a free people must be the people themselves...."

MASTERLY ADDBESS.

David Overmyer Eloquently Out
lines the Democratic Issues.

Republican Administration Domineered by
the Wealthy Classes and Promises Pro-
tection Only to the Rich--Nation
Is in Grasp of a Monarchy.

   Manhattan, Kan., Oct. 22. Before a large audience in this city, Hon. David Overmyer, of Topeka, delivered a great speech on the issues of the campaign from a democratic standpoint. He said:

   At the end of 110 years of constitutional life we find ourselves face to face with questions relating to the first principles of government and society and involving consideration of the origin and sources of public powers. We are confronted also with the inquiry as to whether at last ours shall be any exception to the fate of other nations in other lands whose institutions we have decried and denounced. We are face to face with the question as to whether a republic can endure the advent of great wealth; whether it can survive the corruption, the effeminacy, the avarice, the dishonor, the abandonment of high ideals, noble sentiments and human impulses which always follow in the wake of affluence and luxury.

   It has been said that the revolutionary age in this country was an age of plain living and high thinking. This suggests the possibility- of an age of high living and low thinking. That these words accurately describe the conduct of a large body of influential and powerful people in these United States at the present time, cannot be denied. The democratic national platform adopted at Kansas City on July 4 last, declares that in this campaign imperialism is the paramount issue. This the republicans deny and make light of. They declare that there is no such issue; that there can be no such issue, and that there is no room in this republic for imperialism. But imperialism does not ask for room. It makes no requests; it never says "by your leave." It takes what it wants; it makes room for Itself; it never announces its coming, but always denies it. It comes with events, unheralded and unproclaimed. It conceals its identity by every possible device; alleges its absence when it is actually present and is never avowed until long after it is actually established. Doubtless the citizens of the Greek republics in their fancied security imagined that there was no room in their systems for imperialism. But from the hour in which war-like Philip of Macedon began the organization of the Macedonian phalanx into a regular standing army the liberties of Greece were doomed, and it was his own son, Alexander who, less than a generation after, became the imperial conqueror of the entire civilized world. Doubtless the Roman citizen indulged in the fond belief that there was no room in the Roman republic for imperialism, but from the moment in which Claus Marius began the organization of the Roman legions into a regular standing army, maintained out of the public treasury, the fate of the Roman republic was sealed. And in about the space of one generation thereafter his own nephew, Julius Caesar, became imperial dictator of the Roman empire and the immediate predecessor of a long line of emperors. And thus it has ever been and it will ever be.
LARGE STANDING ARMY IS MENACE TO PUBLIC PEACE.

   A large standing army is a constant menace to the peace of any country. Its very existence is a temptation to exert its power, and the country to which it belongs is constantly tempted to engage in war upon slight provocation, or no provocation, and thus the peace of the world is imperiled. Unjust wars are engaged in and the lives and property and happiness of the human race sacrificed to satisfy the ambition of reckless, violent and wicked men who have the control of nations in their hands. At the last congress a bill was passed through the house of representatives by republican votes, the democrats voting against it, increasing the standing army of the United States to 100,000 men. It was defeated in the senate, but a few days ago word was sent out from Washington that the secretary of war would recommend to the coming congress the passage of such a bill. This shows a settled purpose on the part of the administration to increase the standing army of the United States to 100,000 men. At the outbreak of the civil war the regular army of the United 8tates consisted of 23,000 men. At its close when the volunteer army was disbanded the regular army of the United States contained but 27,000 men. The fact that we enlisted more than 2,000,000 of men in the union army during that war and that they fought the greatest war recorded in history and at its close we returned them to the ways of peace, proves beyond question that the republic is not in need of a large standing army. Our fathers, who formed our institutions understood this very well and so they made no express provision in the constitution for a standing army, and the practice of the government for more than 100 years proves conclusively that all of our statesmen in the past have construed the constitution as not authorizing a large standing army. I do not mean to say that the very small army, which we have heretofore maintained is an unlawful body.
NATION SHOULD RELY UPON CITIZEN SOLDIERS.

   While the constitution nowhere recognizes a standing or regular army. It shows distinctly that the expectation of its framers was that the reliance of the nation should be upon a citizen soldiery. Among other powers conferred upon congress is power "To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress." Sec 8 Art. 1, constitution of the United States.

   The second amendment to the constitution provides that "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." These provisions show plainly that the fatners of the republic understood well the whole theory of public powers. They knew that the republic was founded upon the principle that all power is inherent in the people, all power must, therefore, be exercised by or kept under control of the people, or it would pass out of the hands of the people. They knew that of all forms of power the military was the one which if not kept under the strictest control would itself speedily assume control of all others. They knew that the coercive arm of a free society must be society itself. They knew that the militant arm of a free people must be the people themselves. They knew that the republic must always depend upon the people to defend it. In short, the government being a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, they knew that the people could be relied upon to take care of their own government; In other words, to take care of themselves; and that, whenever the government shall be engaged in any just war it could absolutely rely upon the people to sustain it, and it was not their purpose or expectation that a government of the people should ever engage in any war that was not just. They knew that no republic ever fell except by the power of a standing army, and that every republic that ever fell, fell at the feet of a standing army. They were, therefore, opposed to a large military establishment. Washington, in his farewell address especially warned his countrymen against them. He said: "Hence likewise they wilt avoid the necessity of those over-grown military establishments which under any form of government are inauspicious to liberty and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." The whole record, the whole history, the entire procedure of the government of the United States up to the present administration is a loud, earnest and all anxious warning against a large standing army.
NO POSSIBLE EXCUSE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.

   So, naturally, the states also in their constitutions and laws have declared against standing armies. The fourth section of the bill of lights of the constitution of Kansas is as follows:

   "The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security, but standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty and shall not be tolerated, and the military should be in strict subordination to the civil power."

   In the face of such constitutional provisions and of such a long course of construction and procedure by our governments, both state and national, what possible excuse can be made now for this demand to increase the standing army of the United States to 100,000 men? That such an army is not needed is demonstrated by the experience of 120 years. That the people can be relied upon to defend and maintain their own institutions against enemies either at home or abroad whenever unjustly assailed is a proposition that needs only to be stated to be understood. As such an army is not necessary, the question at once arises, whence comes the motive and where does the purpose of organizing such a body originate? Has congress been petitioned to increase the regular army? Has labor, either organized or unorganized, asked congress to establish a large standing army? Have the farmers asked for it? Have the people asked for It? Has any one dared to petition for it? No! And yet there are those who want it. Who are they?

   They are the same class which has always demanded large military establishments in every country. They are the tyrants and oppressors of our age and generation. They are the men who, in the carrying out of their designs against free institutions and upon the people and the people's substance, who in the prosecution of their ambitious and avaricious schemes desire to be in a position to suppress summarily and despotically all opposition. They are the men who are today violating the law of the nation and the law of every state by forming themselves into gigantic combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade and to control the markets, to plunder the people and to degrade and enslave labor. They want a large standing army to shoot down strikers and to suppress the populace in times of excitement and trouble. If such an army shall be formed as it is no longer needed upon the frontier, it will be located near the large cities and great trade and industrial centers.
INJUNCTION WILL THEN NOT BE NECESSARY.

   Then, when trouble arises between employer and employe, between capitalists and wage earners, the ruling class already, as we have seen organized in defiance of law, will not be under the necessity even of a resort to the government by injunction, but can reach its end by a shorter route, through the summary process of government by the bayonet, the bullet, and when necessary, the cannon. When that time shall come the state militia will be a thing of the past, the sheriff's posse, the constable and his deputies, and even the city police will rapidly give way in every emergency to the federal army, which will be thence forth employed generally as a sort of federal police, with which to suppress the people whenever their self-constituted masters shall consider it necessary. This is militarism. This is despotism.

   The day that shall witness the increase of the standing army of the United States to 100,000 men will mark the departure of the government of the United States from the policy of a constitutional citizen soldiery to the policy of an imperial military establishment.

   Having taken this step, having sundered the salutary restraints of the constitution, having violated the sacred traditions of the past, having ignored the lessons of history and embarked upon the dark and stormy sea of imperialism, having suppressed our own better nature and given free rein to the wild, fierce, destructive and lawles impulses of the human heart, a further increase to 200,000, 300,000 or 500,000. with a crushing increase in the burden of taxation and every other evil which follows in the wake of imperialism, may be expected, and the end no man can foresee. Then local self-government will be no more and the greatest bulwark of liberty will be in the possession of the greatest enemy of liberty.

   Against this monstrous iniquity the democratic party has set its face like flint.* It pleads for law and liberty, for justice and peace, and will resist militarism with all its power to the end.
PARTY OF LINCOLN THOUGHT VERY DIFFERENT.

   Their first and greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, did not think so. He regarded the declaration of Independence, as the chief cornerstone of the republic. The republican platform of 1860 also declared:

   "That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the declaration of independence and embodied in the federal constitution, 'that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Is essential to the preservation of our republican Institutions." And the republican national platform of 1868 also declared:
"That we recognize the great principles laid down in the immortal declaration of independence as the true foundation of democratic government; and we hail with gladness every effort toward making these principles a living reality on every inch of American soil." (This plank was repeated by the republican party in 1876.)

   The declaration of independence designates, defines and declares the rule as to the origin and sources of public powers in this republic. That the definite rule of public power is a law cannot successfully be denied. The declaration of independence is law and has been so recognized by the supreme court of the United States in more than one Instance. In the case of Cruikshank vs. U.S. 52 U.S., 583, the court says; "The right of life and personal liberty are natural rights of men. To secure these rights, says the declaration of independence, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

   The man of the party that assails or despises the declaration of independence, assails or despises the basic law of the republic.
CONSTITUTION ALWAYS THERE TO GUIDE THE GOVERNMENT.

   Some two years ago a general of the army of the United States declared that this country had outgrown the constitution. This general was at the time under oath to support and maintain the constitution and was being paid out of the treasury of the United States a large salary for bis services to the country.

   Such unconcealed hostility to the government established by our fathers by one in its service tempts us to turn to the constitution and see if we can find anything therein to justify such an utterance from such a source or from any source. Did this general mean that the country has outgrown the purposes of the constitution, expressed in its immortal preamble, as follows:

   "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America."

   Did he suppose that the country had outgrown a single one of the great purposes above set forth? Did he suppose that the country had outgrown the bill of rights, that great charter of liberty fastened upon it by the American democracy during the Jeffersonian era? Has the country grown so large that we can dispense with the right of religious freedom, the right of freedom of speech and of the press, the right of peaceable assemblage, the right of the people to keep and bear arms for their defense, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable researches and seizures; the right of immunity from the issuance of any warrants, except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation? The right of exemption from accusation of felony, or other infamous crime, except by a grand jury; the right of trial by jury; the right to meet the witness face to face, to be heard in person, and by counsel, and to have compulsory process for witnesses in behalf of the accused?

NATION HAS NOT OUTGROWN THE RIGHTS OF MANKIND.

   Has the nation grown so great that it has outgrown the provision that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law? Has it outgrown the reservation of undelegated powers to the people or to the states respectively? Has it outgrown the reservation to the people of rights not enumerated in the constitution? Has it outgrown the admirable distribution of the powers of the government to three great departments, each being a check upon and a balance against the others? Has it outgrown the provision of the constitution that all revenue laws must originate in the house of representatives? Has it outgrown the provision that congress shall declare war, and that congress shall make all needful regulations with respect to the territory and property of the United States? . . .

[The Kinsley Graphic, Kinsley, Edwards County, Kansas, November 2, 1900. Vol. 24. No. 50. Pg. 6]
   (Overmyer, David, 1847-1907, Overmyer was a Republican and in 1876 a candidate for a Republican presidential elector in Indiana. In a relatively short span of time, Overmyer became a well-respected attorney and political advocate. The United States attorney for the District of Kansas appointed him in 1890 to be a special master in chancery to collect testimony relating to a suit filed in the U.S. Circuit Court, District of Kansas, by the U.S. attorney general to resolve the title to lands claimed by the Black Bob Band of Shawnee Indians. He gave his final report and recommendations to the judge five years later. Overmyer represented Democrats at four-way debates with Republicans, Populists, and Prohibitionists in Salina, Kansas, in 1891 and Topeka in 1894. It is said that he argued more cases before the Kansas Supreme Court in 1890s than any other attorney. From the Kansas Historical Society.)

   Also see:

"The people have the right to bear arms for their defence and security"

* - Democrats and war? Let's see about that, shall we?
American war casualties:

Republican wars: (Gulf War, War on Terror)
5,078 (Oct. 7, 2001 - May 29, 2012)

Democrat wars: (WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam)
636,438

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed . . . set at naught by the Democratic party..."

THREATS, AS A MEANS OF CARRYING
AN ELECTION.


   Mr. Fillmore, in his letter accepting the nomination, was the first to threaten disunion. He has been closely followed by Mr. Breckenridge, who, (the Pittsburgh Gazelle says,) went out of his way to declare that unless the Democratic ticket was elected, (and he made Vice President,) revolution would be a solemn duty. In this neighborhood, the small fry stumpers follow in the same track, and say to their hearers, you must elect our candidate, or the Union will be dissolved.

The Gazelle says:

   "The same threat appears to be the staple of all the orators of the party--an evidence, at once, that they anticipate defeat, and know of no other possible way of preventing it. The Buchanan correspondent of the organ in New Orleans, the Delta, proclaims that it is already arranged in the event of Fremont's election, to call the Legislatures of Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia to concert measures to withdraw from the Union before Fremont can get possession of the army and navy, and the purse strings of the Government; and the South he says, can rely on the President in the emergency contemplated."

   Upon this subject the following from the N.Y. Courier and Enquirer, is quite pertinent:

   "Thus it is. Argument failing, it is now to be seen what virtue there may be in intimidation. Very well, gentlemen; so be it. We are perfectly willing that, in addition to the great issues which are already before the American people, this new one should be a added--Whether that part of the Federal Constitution which prescribes the mode of electing President and Vice President is to be set at defiance and nullified by a defeated and discontented minoriy. Try it. We ask no favors. If there be any doubt whether force can overbear the will of the majority of this nation constitutionally expressed, it is high time that doubt should be settled. It is high time to know whether American freemen are to firm their opinions under duress, and express them at the ballot box sub terrorum? Either Buchanan or Fillmore--or Revolution. Proclaim it, ye "national" men. Send it out to the four winds of Heaven. Let the American people hear it. It is our opinion that the American people will tell you with an overwhelming indignation that they will have neither Buchanan, nor Fillmore--noe Revolution. The Northern people are ready to deal with this matter. They are not the fools they are taken for." They do not need to be taught, since General Jackson's day if ever they did, that it is always better to vindicate the power of Government to maintain its authority and enforce its laws; and to encourage a spirit of insubordination by yielding to demands, originating in a feeling of arrogance will be rendered more unreasonable by concessions. The sovereign power, we care not what it is that yields to dictation or compounds with arrogance, is already lost And, in this Government, the sovereign power is the will of the people working through the forms and means provided by the Constitution. There is nothing in the Constitution that makes John C. Fremont ineligible, and if the people see fit to elect him their President, our word for it, the people will make their will respected. And if Franklin Pierce dares, as the New Orleans paper intimates, to add to his present sins an attempt to thwart the operation of the will of the people by a coup 'd tat of any sort, as a traitor he will be hung on a gibbet higher than Haman's.

   The principles of the Republican party and of John C. Fremont, their leader, admit of no misconstruction. They are emblazoned to the world in the Philadelphia Platform and in the letters of the candidates accepting the nomination.--The wit of man cannot detect a single point--not even the minutest--in those principles at variance with the principles which shaped and guided the early administration of the Republic. So far from being at variance, they are essentially the same. Our fathers by the ordinance of '87, which was re enacted under the Constitution, excluded Slavery from territory already free; it is just what we intend to do. They inserted guarantees in the Constitution that American citizens should not be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law--that freedom of Speech and the Press should not be abridged--that test oaths as a condition of exercising suffrage and holding office should not be imposed--that the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed--that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, homes, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, should not be violated--that the right of an accused person to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury should not be denied; these guarantees, and others of like character have been set at naught by the Democratic party under this Administration, and it is the purpose, of the Republican party to vindicate them and reinstate them in their full pristine force. Thus they intend to ESTABLISH JUSTICE AND SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY at home; and by observing, in external relations the good faith inculcated and practiced by our fathers, and repelling the doctrines of the Ostend Circular, they intend to keep peace abroad. With such intentions, are the Northern people to be scared back by menaces?

Are thy to give way and room to their rash choler?
Shall they he frightened when a madman stares?
We tell these men they are mistaken
in their calculations.
There is no terror in your threats,
For we are armed so strong in honesty,
That they pass by us as the idle wind,
Which we respect not.

[Western Reserve Chronicle, Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, Wednesday, September 24, 1856. Vol. 41, No. 6 Pg. 1]

"Nor can it Infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms...."

SOME HOPE YET FOR BOLLN

Nebraska is Cited to Show Cause Why Writ
of Error Shall Not Be Allowed.

CITATION FROM THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

Theory is that Prosecution by In-
formation is Not Good in Law
and Constitutional Ques-
tions Involved.

   Information has just been received in Omaha that Henry Billings Brown, associate Justice of the United States supreme court, has cited the state of Nebraska to appear before the supreme court to show why a writ of error should not be allowed in the Henry Bolln embezzlement case. The citation is dated July 28 and is returnable in thirty days. This is in effect a demand for the presentation of the record, and Bolln's attorneys assert that they expect to be able to secure the writ on the showing that will be made. The effect of this would be to reverse the proceedings in the Nebraska courts and to discharge Bolln from custody.

   The contentions on which the application for the writ is based are exhaustively set forth in the brief which was submitted by Bolln's attorney, Joel W. West. They are of general interest to the public as well as attorneys in that they raise constitutional questions that if decided according to the view of the plaintiff in error would reverse large proportion of the sentences that have been passed In criminal cases in Nebraska. The main theory, and the one that is most exhaustively argued In the brief, is to the effect that all the proceedings against Bolln are void because no indictment against him was ever returned by a grand jury , and the prosecuting attorney had no legal authority to file the information.
 The Enabling Act.
   At the time of the admission of Nebraska into the union congress passed what is known as the Enabling Act. Section 4, among other things , provides as follows:

   That members of the convention thus elected shall meet at the capital of said territory on the first Monday of July next, and after organization shall declare on behalf of the people of said territory that they adopt the Constitution of the United States, where upon the said convention shall be and it is hereby authorized to form a constitution and state government; Provided, that the constitution , when formed , shall be republican, and not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

   Under the provisions of this act, it is contended on behalf of Henry Bolln, that the state of Nebraska thereby adopted not only of the constitution of the United States, but also the interpretation placed theron by the supreme court or the United States.

   Under the decisions of the supreme court of the United States it has been held that for an infamous crime, such as embezzlement, the party must be indicted by a grand jury and that an information by the prosecuting officer is illegal and void. Mr. West's contention, and the one upon which the supreme court of the United States issues the writ of error, is that the constitution of the state of Nebraska adopted in 1875, providing among other things that persons charged with crime could be informed against by the public prosecutor, is null and void and in conflict with the express provisions of the enabling act above quoted under which Nebraska became a state.

   Prior to the admission of Nebraska into the union no such requirement had over been exacted from any other state seeking admission. Carrying out the principles embodied in the question above made and applying them to the power of the people of Nebraska to amend or revise their constitution in view of the construction which is placed upon section 4 of the enabling act, then to the powers prohibited to states by the constitution, there would, with respect to Nebraska, be added other prohibitions. That is to say, the state of Nebraska can neither by constitutional nor statutory provision establish any religion or prohibit free exercise thereof; nor abridge the freedom of speech nor of the press nor the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. Nor can it infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Nor can it in time of peace quarter any soldier in any house without the consent of the owner. Nor can it interfere with the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Nor can it provide for holding any person to answer for a capital or other wise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except within the proviso of the federal constitution. Nor in any criminal prosecution can it deprive the accused of his right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury. To attempt to do any of these things, contrary to the provisions of the federal constitution within the state of Nebraska, is to proceed without due process of law.

   It is also contended that Bolln never had a preliminary examination and that the state courts erred in deciding that the showing on this point did not justify a plea of error.

Constitutional Questions.

   Briefly stated, the argument urged in the brief is that Nebraska became a member of the union after the various amendments to the federal constitution were passed and that by the terms of the enabling act the laws of the state were subject to the interpretations placed on the federal constitution by the supreme court of the United States. The supreme court has taken the ground in several cases that on indictment before a grand jury is an indispensable prerequisite to prosecution for grave offenses, and it is consequently urged that the legislative enactment that gives public prosecutors the right to inform against men charged with these offenses is unconstitutional and void.

   Mr. West quotes the section of the enabling act that provides for the organization of the state government of Nebraska and then cites section 6 of the state constitution, which provides that "the people of Nebraska hereby accepting the conditions in said act specified." Section 8 of the constitution is also quoted as follows: "No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand Jury except in cases of impeachment or in cases cognizable by justices of the peace, or arising in the army or the navy or the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger," etc.

   Continuing, the brief cites section 10 of article I of the new constitution of 1875, in which the same doctrine is repeated, with a proviso that the legislature may by law provide for holding persons to answer for criminal offenses in information of a public prosecutor and may by law abolish, limit, change, amend or otherwise regulate the grand Jury system. Under this provision the legislature, in 1885, passed Chapter LIV of the code of criminal procedure, which provides at length for the prosecution of offenses by information and dispenses with the calling of grand Juries, except by order of the district judges.

   The argumentative part of the brief is largely devoted to an effort to show that this chapter is void under the interpretation placed by the supreme court of the United States on the federal constitution. It is recited that the point was raised by Bolln's attorneys in April, 1896, in a motion to quash the information on the ground that the county attorney had no right to file an information charging the defendant with felony. This continuation was not sustained by the court and Bolln was arraigned a few days after. It is alleged that he stood mute and refused to plead and that the court entered plea of "not guilty."

   The proceedings in the supreme court, where the same point was raised, are also cited, as well as the fact that Bolln was sentenced to the penitentiary for nineteen years on several counts and also to pay a fine of over $200,000.

"Without Due Process of Law."

   The brief then proceeds to argue that the proceedings were erroneous in that Bolln was deprived of his liberty "without due process of law," the contention being that "due process of law," in the view of the United States courts, means that an indictment must be returned by a grand jury. It is asserted that the people of Nebraska have no right to adopt any constitutional provision that will take away or abridge any privilege that is secured to them by the federal constitution and that the chapter that abolishes the grand jury is void on this account. This view is supported by an able argument and by copious citations from the leading authorities on constitutional law. It is also contended that the lower court erred in refusing to permit the defendant to have a jury at his preliminary hearing.

[The Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Tuesday Morning, August 1, 1899. Pg. 7]

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"The right to bear arms implies the right, on a sufficient provocation, to use them...."

SPIRIT OF THE PRESS.

EDITORIAL OPINIONS OF THE LEADING JOURNALS
UPON CURRENT TOPICS--COMPILED EVERY
DAY FOR THE EVENING TELEGRAPH.

From the N.Y. World.

   The leading editorial in yesterday's Times was devoted to animadversions upon General Wade Hampton. We do not feel called upon to repel personal assaults upon the character of this distinguished Southerner; but his case supplies a pertinent illustration of the effect of the radical policy upon the temper of the Southern people. When the war closed, General Hampton was among the first to accept its consequences, and to recognize the great changes it had wrought in the politics of the country. He was a conspicuous representative of the intelligence, the honor, the candor, the liberality, the chivalry, in short, all the best elements ot the Southern character. He, and men like him, were the natural leaders of the Southern people; and it was of the utmost consequence that their influence should have had free scope in the restoration of good feeling. General Hampton's course was so upright and magnanimous, so superior to sectional feeling and vulgar prejudices, as to extort warm encomiums even from the radical press. But according to the representations of the Times, he has now become so embittered that he volunteers to second Gen. Blair in procuring redress by military force.

   That his feelings aud the feelings of the Whole Southern people have uudergone a change within the last three years, cannot be disputed. This change is the natural revolt of the human mind against illiberality and injustice. We arraign the Republican party for having blighted the returning kindness of the South in its spring-time. It concerns the public welfare that the wounds of the war should be speedily healed. The admirable temper of the South rendered this an easy task, if that section had received just and considerate treatment. The change wrought in the temper and sentiments of Wade Hampton is a specimen of the whole Southern people by the flagrant, scandalous, and persistent violations of the Constitution by the Republican party. To prove the magnanimous loyalty of the South in the summer and autumn which followed the war, we can cite testimony which the Republicans ought to regard as unexceptionable, namely, that of General Grant. We will pass ever his written report to the President made after a tour of inspection in the Southern States, and quote a single decisive sentence from his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, about a year ago. "At the close of the war," said General Grant, "there was a very fine feeling manifested in the South, and I thought we ought to take advantage of it as soon as possible."

   Had this submissive and magnanimous loyalty been met in a corresponding spirit, the country would have been immediately tranquilized, and have entered at once upon an era of harmony. But a partisan Congress flung in ingredients which changed the wine into vinegar. Fearing that the restored South would act with the Democratic party, the Republicans determined to keep the Union dissevered. We have had three years of rancor and turmoil because the Republicans were willing to sacrifice the Union and the public tranquility to the hope of party success.

   The passage in General Wade Hampton's speech at the Union square ratification meeting which the Times held up to reprobation, is the following:

   "We can have no relief unless this great Democratic party will come out, and pledge itself that we shall have a fair election--that the white people of the South shall vote; and I want you all to register an oath that, when they do vote, that these votes shall be counted, and if there is a majority of white votes, that you will place Seymour and Blair in the White House, in spite of all the bayonets that shall be brought against them. I only want to see the election fair, and if they do that, even with the incubus of black rule, we can carry the Southern states."

   We find nothing in this to disapprove. We should deprecate the necessity of a resort to force, but we pour scorn upon the craven, the pusillanimous notion that freemen may not vindicate their rights by arms. Courage to resist oppression is the ultimate security for good government. This, at least, was the opinion of our brave forefathers when they took care to provide in the Constitution that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The right to bear arms implies the right, on a sufficient provocation, to use them. The only debatable question relates to the sufficiency of the provocation.

   If the Democratic party should fairly elect the next President, and the Republican Congress, by miscounting or throwing out votes, should declare General Grant elected, nothing could be plainer than the right of the people to vindicate their actual choice. Suppose, to illustrate the principle, that the result of the election should depend upon the electoral votes of the newly-admitted State of Florida, that the three votes of Florida should be Democratic; and that Congress should throw them out and declare General Grant elected. Now, on the supposition of a fair election in Florida, ought the Democratic party to submit? The question answers itself; only a negative answer is possible. That the Democratic party would resist, and make its resistance effectual, we have no manner of doubt. We should have on our side the two main elements of success right and numbers. The superiority of our numbers would be the foundation of our right; for if the Republican party fairly outvoted us, it would be our duty to submit. But if the election shall show that the Democratic party are a majority, and Congress shall nevertheless declare the Republican candidates elected, our right to resist will be unquestionable, and our power to resist successfully will depend upon the same superiority in numbers which made us a majority.

   The chief advantage of republican institutions is, that they keep the preponderance of physical force always on the side or the Government. If the minority grows into a majority, they have only to await the next election to come peaceably into power; and for this reason, a resort to force is always inexcusable under republican institutions, so long as elections are fairly conducted. But if, by a change in public sentiment, the minority have control of the Government at the time of an election, and keep themselves in power by refusing to count the votes by which they are defeated, the very case arises for which the Constitution guarantees the right of all citizens to bear arms. The power of forcible resistance swindled majority is, in the last resort, the only security of republican institutions. Deny the right and you give full license to any unscrupulous minority, which happens to be in power, to render its authority perpetual.

   It is quite true that the Republicans will have the counting of the electoral votes in the coming Presidential election, and that if they dishonestly exclude those given to Mr. Seymour, the Constitution provides no peaceable method of redress. It is all in vain to say that we may wait four years and try the result of another election; for if we submit to the dishonest precedent we have no security that we shall not be again cheated and our electoral votes again thrown out. This is an evil that must be met on the frontier. It is not in the power of Congress to prevent the Democratic party from ascertaining, in November, whether it is a majority. The votes which they refuse to recognize officially they cannot prevent us from counting unofficially. No political swindling can prevent our knowing, by the middle of November, whether the preponderance of physical strength is on our side, or on their side. If they are in a majority, we shall submit, like good citizens, and swallow our chagrin as best we may. But if we fairly carry the election, and are cheated out of our victory by a dishonest counting of the votes, we shall find some other way to make the demonstrated superiority of our numbers recognized.

[The Evening Telegraph, Philadelphia, Thursday, July 16, 1868. Vol. X--No. 13. First Edition Pg. 2]
   (Wade Hampton III, (March 28, 1818 – April 11, 1902), was a Confederate General cavalry leader during the American Civil War. As well as the 77th Governor of South Carolina, (1876-79). And he was later elected as a U.S. Senator.)

"is a matter quite foreign to the broad principles of the right of keeping and bearing arms."

Right to Bear Arms.

   The words from Article II., amendments to the Constitution of the United States, "A well-related militia being necessary to the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," evidently have a community meaning; but they also carry along with them the right of the individual to safeguard himself and his house by keeping himself armed with the necessary means of defense. The law against carrying concealed weapons, now on the statute books of most of the states, is a matter quite foreign to the broad principles of the right of keeping and bearing arms.

[The Tensas Gazette, St. Joseph, Louisiana, Friday, August 14, 1914. New Series, Vol. XXIV Number 45 Pg. 6]

"the people shall have arms, and a right to bear and use them to preserve the peace and good order of society...."

"...Sec. 26. That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense.

   "Mr. Gardner said, that within a few years past, there has been a fearful and alarming increase in the number of high crimes such as murders and robberies committed by means of violence, and by the use of arms, in this State. This evil has grown into frightful proportions, and the public peace, and private security, demand the most rigorous measures o[f] repression. The members of the Legislature are impressed with the importance of this subject, but, I understand, they are restrained from providing efficient remedies, from a doubt they entertain as to the extent of their power in this direction, Under the provisions of the 26th section of the Bill of Rights. This power, I consider, is secured for the common, and not for individual defense as when the peace and safety of the people of the whole State, or of a county, or even a single neighborhood, is threatened, the people shall have arms, and a right to bear and use them to preserve the peace and good order of society. I would not, however, interfere with, or in the slightest degree abridge, the citizen's right of self-defense."--[Joshua Gardner, Thursday, Jan. 20, 1870, In [Tennessee Constitutional] Convention.] 
[Nashville Union and American, Nashville, Tenn., Friday, January 21, 1870. New Series, No. 435. Pg. 1]

"To Their Increased Variety Of New Hardware, Guns and Cutlery..."

[Nashville Patriot, Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, January 11, 1860. Vol. XXII. New Series--No. 1274. Pg. 2]

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"...of interfering with the constitutional right of black and white "to keep and bear arms," ..."

The Riot in Georgia.

[This article is a follow up to this post.]

INTERESTING STATEMENT OF THE HON. B.H. HILL:

   The Hon. B.H. Hill, of Georgia, who is now in New York, has addressed the following letter to the Tribune of that city, and which is published in that journal of Friday. It deserves a careful perusal:

To the Editor of the Tribune:

   Sir--I have read all you have said in the Tribune on the subject of the collision at Camilla, in the State of Georgia. I beg permission to make a statement which will present this whole affair in its true light to you and the Northern people.

   Early in the canvass the whites of that State (nine-tenths of whom are Democrats) received positive information that the negroes were being encouraged to arm themselves and held nightly drills in military style. They were told that the object of the Democratic party was to re-enslave them, and that they must resist its success by force, and especially all negroes who should vote the Democratic ticket. Very Soon this canard, which originated in the leagues, was openly proclaimed. White and colored speakers at public meetings advised the negroes to get ready to fight, and were reminded that they could use the torches for dwellings as well as the guns and axes against the people. A painful rumor obtained currency that the acting Governor (Bullock) was in sympathy with, if not actually aiding this movement. I do not know that this was actually so.

   This state of things naturally created alarm. Several outbreaks were attempted, and several conspiracieS to kill white people were detected, and the negroes when arrested in different portions of the State, said they had authority and orders to the effect. We also most satisfactorily obtained information that the object of the few whites who incited the negroes to their crime's was two-fold: First--To place the negroes by discipline and excitement beyond the influences which might induce them to vote with the Democrats, or not to vote at all. Second.--To provoke collisions expressly to influence the Northern people with charges of "rebel outrages." Now the interests and the policy Of the whites was just the reverse. In the first place, it was Democratic property and Democratic families which would be endangered if riots occurred. In the next place, if the negroes became demoralized by the politico-military organizations and frequent assemblages, the crops would not be well gathered and Democrats owned the crop's, and their impoverished condition made them anxious to gather as much as possible for the anticipated high prices. But lastly, we know that the result of the Presidential election depended chiefly on the vote of the Northern States, and we were exceedingly anxious to avoid every possible occurrence which could excite the passions of the Northern people. Our property, our safety, our families, our maturing crops, and our party policy all combined to make us anxious unusually anxious--to keep the peace. How could we effectually keep the peace? None but those who felt the responsibility will ever know the difficulties with which our situation invested this question. But we resolved by common concert and counsel--

   First. To bear every insult, and even outrage, possible, and never to resist or resort to force in any form, except when actually necessary to protect property, person or family.

   Second. To stop, by the constituted State authorities, all these nightly drillings, secret military organizations, and ARMED assemblages, of every character, as calculated to break the peace.

   We had no confidence that the Governor would voluntarily aid us. Therefore letters Wpro addressed to the Legislature urging action. The Legislature did act by passing resolutions requesting and urging the Governor to issue his proclamation, forbidding these armed demonstrations. The Governor issued his proclamation, but in a style and with false charges which greatly confirmed the worst fears of the whites as to his sympathy with these movements.

   But we had the proclamation, and we hoped that all threatened dangers would disappear. Now. there was not the slightest desire, as you seem to think, of interfering with the constitutional right of black and white "to keep and bear arms," or to have republican meetings--as many and as long as they desire. We only desire to prevent military drills, and organizations not authorized by law, and armed assemblages calculated to break the peace; and these we desired to prevent by legal authority, executed by the civil officer. You now have the exact reason why the sheriff met the approaching armed procession., and after exhibiting the Governor's proclamation, told the leaders they could hold the meeting peaceably, but begged them not to attempt it in Violation of that proclamation.

   Camilla is very-small village of not exceeding, I would say, three hundred inhabitants, black and white, men, women and children.

   A large assemblage of negroes gathered from surrounding counties, led by those white men, and all armed, and to be exited by inflammatory speeches, and many of them by other causes, placed the people, families and houses of that little village in danger of pillage, rape and burning, with the alternative, if prevented, of fearful "rebel outrages," to kill negroes and prevent free speech, scattered all over the North just as the State election was approaching, which, it was believed, would determine the Presidential election.

   I know both Pierce and Murphy, the two white men who conducted this whole affair. They are of the most emphatic specimens of What are termed carpet-baggers. Before the passage of the reconstruction measures, there was no complaint heard against them. These measures disfranchised every intelligent white citizen who had held office in that county. Pierce settled as a bureau agent in Lee county, and Murphy in Dougherty county adjoining the county in which Camilla is situated; and in the counties of Lee and Dougherty there are five negroes to one white. I have no idea that one dozen white Republicans could be found in the three counties.

   Thus, you see at a glance the temptations offered to Pierce and Murphy to get offices by the large negro votes. Accordingly since the passage of the reconstruction measures these men have sorted with the negroes. Pierce was for a time a candidate for Congress at the last election. He has now received the nomination for that position from a convention of negroes. Murphy was elected sheriff by the negroes at the last election, but was give the bond. He is now, I believe on the electoral tickct. We have narrowly escaped several bloody riots in that region before. Our people here believed these men, the latter, incited them. They were both distinctly in view, with others, when we counted the difficulties in the way of preserving peace, and when we sought to secure the proclamation.

   But in spite of that proclamation, and all the remonstrances of our people, and the fears of our women and children, they persisted in holding armed assemblages of negroes, and the Camilla riot is the unfortunate result.

   The Camilla riot, properly understood, will exhibit to the Northern people, more clearly than a thousand speeches could, the exact reason why the Southern whites are, at present, unwilling to extend universal indiscriminate suffrage to the negroes. It is because they can be taken possession of by a very few bad White men seeking office at their hands, and made terrors to society, and destroyers of safety for property and security for families. Many of the more intelligent understand and repudiate these influences, but the greater number do not.

   In these very counties of Lee and Dougherty, in which Prince and Murphy reside, I do personally know (for I plant in both those counties) that in 1866--after the surrender, mark you--lands were selling from S10 to $20 per acre. Immediately after the passage of the reconstruction measures these very lands commenced declining, and I do know that some of them have recently been sold (with cotton as high as it was in 1866) at one dollar per acre in gold!

   To have our families and our lives thus constantly menaced and our property depreciated, is certainly a fearful and sad condition. Let every man in the North place himself, his family and his property in this condition in his native country, and then, when he makes the most peaceable efforts possible, in a lawful way, to avert these dangers, let him hear himself denounced as "a rebel," "an enemy," and "a traitor," and guilty of "rebel outrages," and he will have some idea of the exact condition of the Southern whites, many of whom did all in their power, like the writer, to prevent secession, and who have never seen the day when they would not give their lives to preserve the constitution.

   Our people bear those evils. Is there any other people on earth who would bear them so patiently? Why do they bear them? Because they look hopefully to the Northern people to rescue them. They love every man North who is willing to rescue them. They want, above all things, peace. They will make any other sacrifice, accede to any other demand the North can make, to secure peace. But they cannot and they will not consent, by their own act, to dishonor themselves by disfranchising their wisest and best men, and agree to a scheme which must place their wives and their children and their little remnant of property under the domination of ignorant, semi-bar-barous negroes, excited and led on by a few bad white men, who have no desire but to get office at the hands of these negroes. Why should they, for peace, consent to that which must destroy all peace?

Yours, very truly,
B.H. HILL.

[The Orangeburg News, [Orangeburg, S.C.] Saturday, October 03, 1868. Volume 2. Number 33. Pg. 2]
(Benjamin Harvey Hill, (1823-1882), A presence in Georgia state politics for more than three decades, Benjamin Hill was by turns a prosperous lawyer, opponent of secession, ardent supporter of the Confederacy, apologist for Reconstruction, and, at his death, Democratic U.S. senator from Georgia. Like his personal nemesis and fellow political survivor from the era, Joseph E. Brown, Hill manifested a remarkable political flexibility that was often taken for perfidy. Ben Hill County in south central Georgia was named for him upon its creation in 1906.

Born in Jasper County on September 14, 1823, Benjamin Harvey Hill matriculated at the University of Georgia and graduated in 1843. He then promptly gained entrance to the bar and nurtured a thriving law practice in LaGrange. Although he could be a political chameleon, Hill generally worked toward sectional comity. He thus entered public life as a supporter of the Union and the Compromise of 1850.

During a one-year term as a state representative from 1851 to 1852, Hill joined the short-lived Constitutional Union Party of Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs, and Alexander Stephens. Passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act brought him back into politics as an independent in 1855, and he narrowly lost a seat in the state assembly to a Democratic stalwart in a heavily Democratic district. Two years later, the American Party nominated him as their gubernatorial candidate. He lost that race to the theretofore obscure Joseph E. Brown and retired from the political arena for another two-year interval.

John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in 1859 and the election of 1860 drew Hill once more onto the political battlefield. The events at Harpers Ferry gave fire-eaters throughout the South an unprecedented opportunity for agitation, and Hill emerged in Georgia as one of the leading voices of moderation. Following Abraham Lincoln's election as president of the United States, Hill made an eloquent appeal to hold off on immediate secession to see what kind of leader Lincoln would prove to be. Such a policy, he argued, had the added benefit of allowing the South to prepare for a war, should one become inevitable. Nevertheless, when secession came, Hill reluctantly reconciled himself to it. Even in his new circumstances, he remained a committed nationalist. As a Confederate senator from 1861 to 1865, he aligned himself with the centralizing policies of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. His stance was made the more palatable because it antagonized Brown, who as a wartime governor clashed incessantly with Davis over the prerogatives of the states.

After a brief postwar imprisonment, Hill's career entered its most controversial and ultimately most successful phase. Initially his actions followed the white Democratic Party line. He backed U.S. president Andrew Johnson's lenient plan to bring the South back into the Union and later fought against the perceived excesses of congressional Reconstruction. Then in 1870 he took on the Bourbon Democrats, who were poised to "redeem" the state, in an extraordinarily brave plea that Southern whites recognize the Reconstruction amendments as a fait accompli and move on to other matters. This unpopular stance earned Hill a stint in the political wilderness. Having spent most of his lifetime backing losing causes, however, Hill ended his career on top, winning a seat in the U.S. Congress for Georgia's Ninth District in December 1875. There he earned a national reputation as a champion of the white South by taking on such strident Radicals as James G. Blaine. Two years later he resigned from the House of Representatives to take a Senate seat, which he occupied until his death on August 16, 1882.)