Newspaper Clippings for
4 May 1861A 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
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.