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Newspaper Clippings for

May, 1861

Waukegan Gazette4 May 1861

A Card
To the Citizens of Milburn

I am informed that certain persons in the vicinity of Milburn, from motives which I am unable to ascertain are endeavoring to defame and blacken my character, and to produce unfavorable impressions against me, by circulating reports that I am at heart and in sentiment a traitor to my country, and that I favor the movements of the Secessionists of the South.

So far as the public at large are concerned. I have not the vanity to suppose that my views on public matters are of any more importance than the views of any other of my neighbors; but the preservation of my own character is a matter in which I may be presumed to feel a deep interest; and he who would filch from his neighbor his reputation as a citizen and a patriot deserves no more credit for honesty than he who would steal his neighbor's horse.

For the protection of my own character, and for the information of such of my neighbors as, honestly desire to know my position, I will really define it.

First, I am a Union man: and do now, and always have, cared more for the preservation of the Union than for the extinction of African slavery, or any other merely local question.

It ill becomes those neo-born patriots, who have, until quite lately, denounced the Union and the Constitution as "a covenant with hell and a league with the devil," to turn round so suddenly and cry stop thief at me.

I have an oath registered in the Clerk's office in New Haven, Conn., and recorded in "Heaven's high chancery," also, by which I have abjured fealty to all other governments, potentates and sovereignties on earth, and sworn to support the Constitution of the United States. I took this oath voluntarily and freely, and even paid for the privilege of taking it. I took it because I was attached at heart to the Union, the Constitution, and the Government. Outside of my fealty to the Government, I claim the right to judge for myself on questions of national policy. I have honestly differed, and still continue to differ from the Republican party on the leading points of the Chicago Platform. I differ still, more widely from the Breckenridge or Secession Platform. I was in favor of the Popular Sovereignty Platform of Douglas; and because of this am I to be denounced as a traitor? Has Douglas deserted the Union? At the risk of being called a man-worshipper, by negro-worshippers? I am free to state that my views on the present crisis correspond with those of Mr. Douglas, so far as I have read his published views.

It did seem to me that the Southern States should I have waited until some direct act of the Administration had interfered with or trampled upon their rights, before taking a stand against the General Government. It seems to me that, at the present time, the South is clearly the aggressor. The Republican party had extended towards them the olive-branch of peace, in their recent act organizing the three new Territories, with perfect silence on the subject of slavery, "leaving the people thereof" perfectly free to form and regulate their own institutions in their own way", neither excluding nor admitting slavery. Every Southern slave- holder should have been content with this.

I consider that in the present exigency of affairs, Mr. Lincoln is perfectly correct in his position of enforcing the laws. I am unable to conceive what else he should do. When our national existence and unity is assailed; while we are really fighting in self-defense, all minor differences should be buried-the cause of the President should be our cause; and the most violent partisan should, for the time being, sink the politician in the patriot. The overthrow of the government would danger Democrats as much as Republicans. No man who loves liberty, law and order can desire the overthrow of his Government, unless his Government is arbitrary and despotic. Every good patriot in time of danger, is bound to stand by the administration of his government, whether he likes or dislikes the President or the party that elected him; nor should he be over cautious about the particular manner in which the Administration supports the supremacy of the laws.

These are the sentiments of your fellow citizen.

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