Monday, March 10, 2014

"Were the muskets of the freemen of this country indicted as nuisances?"

Excerpted from the article; "ABSURDITIES OF DOUGLASISM. Speech Of Mr. Trumbull* Of Ill., In the Senate on June 9, on the Bill to Annex Kansas to Nebraska."
"...What more has the party calling itself the law and order party done? They went into Lawrence and required the citizens there , within a certain time, to deliver up their arms, and it was done. Was that by virtue of an indictment for carrying arms? Were the muskets of the freemen of this country indicted as nuisances? I have not heard that they were I read in the highest law of the land that the right to bear and keep arms shall not be infringed. There is no pretense of any law for this outrage. No law exists or can exist in these United States which will authorize a Sheriff--admitting now that he is the valid Sheriff--or a Marshal, to go to a town and demand from its citizens their arms. I should like to know from my colleague whether he justifies this in the name of law and order? Many citizens have been shot down in Kansas; others have been set afloat on the river; others have been tarred and feathered, and all sorts of indignicies have been heaped upon the people in that Territory. These things cannot be unknown to my colleague. Can it be that it gives him pleasure to see them enacted, or to see printing presses destroyed, and hotels burned down in the name of law and order? Why, Sir, it is under the color of law that outrages are nearly always perpetrated. It is in the sacred name of Liberty that the rights of men have ever been trampled under foot. Oppressors call themselves the Law and Order party; they seek for a color of law for all their illegal acts, and all their outrages; but so far from sanctifying the illegal deeds, it adds to their infamy. It is calculated to bring all law into disrepute, when the officer pretending to be clothed with its authority make it a cover for their illegal acts...."

[New-York Daily Tribune, New-York, Saturday, June 14, 1856. Vol. XVI......No. 4,729. Pgs. 9 & 10]
* - TRUMBULL, Lyman, a Senator from Illinois; born in Colchester, Conn., October 12, 1813; attended Bacon Academy; taught school in Connecticut 1829-1833; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Greenville, Ga.; moved to Belleville, Ill., 1837; member, State house of representatives 1840-1841; secretary of State of Illinois in 1841 and 1843; justice of the supreme court of Illinois 1848-1853; elected to the Thirty-fourth Congress in 1854, but before the beginning of the Congress was elected to the United States Senate; reelected in 1861 and again in 1867, and served from March 4, 1855, to March 3, 1873; was at various times a Democrat, then Republican, then Liberal Republican, then Democrat; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Thirty-seventh through Forty-second Congresses); resumed the practice of law in Chicago, Ill.; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Illinois in 1880; died in Chicago, Ill., June 25, 1896; interment in Oakwoods Cemetery. 

No comments: