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RIFLING THE MAILS.
city attended in a body, "lending,” in a grave Democratic State paper, says The Courier of next morning, fifteen years before he uttered it. " their sanction to the proceedings, And it is yet far older than this. and adding, by their presence, to the impressive character of the scene." General Jackson's recommendation This meeting unanimously resolved of repression by law of the circulathat all the mail matter in question tion of "incendiary” matter through should be burnt, and it was burnt the mails, was referred by the Senate accordingly--the mails being search- to a Select Committee, whereof John ed and rifled for the purpose ; "al- C. Calhoun was Chairman. The though,” (says The Courier), “ar- perilous scope of any such legislation rangements had previously been was at once clear to the keen intelmade at the Post-office to arrest the lect of that statesman, who had by circulation of incendiary matter, until this time learned to dread “Consoliinstructions could be received from dation" as intensely as he detested the Department at Washington;" “ Abolition." He reported (Februand " it might have been better, per- ary 4, 1836), that the measure prohaps, to have awaited the answer be- posed by the President would violate fore proceeding to extremities.” But the Constitution, and imperil public Mr. Amos Kendall, then Postmaster- liberty. General, was not the man to “hint a
"Nothing is more clear,” says the Report, fault, or hesitate dislike,” with regard than that the admission of the right of to such mail robbery, though obliged cendiary, and, as such, to prohibit their cir
Congress to determine what papers are into confess that it was not strictly ac- culation through the mail, necessarily in
volves the RIGHT to determine what are not cording to act of Congress.
incendiary, and ENFORCE their circulation.
* * * "I am satisfied,” he replied to the Post- what incendiary publications are, they may,
If Congress may this year decide master's application, that the Postinaster- next year, decide what they are not, and General has no legal authority to exclude thus laden their mails with real or covert newspapers from the mail, nor to prohibit abolitionism. their carriage or delivery on account of their States, and not to Congress, to determine
It belongs to the character or tendency, real or supposed." what is or is not calculated to disturb their “But I am not prepared to direct you to
security.” forward or deliver the papers of which you speak." “ By no act or direction of mine, He proposed, therefore, that each official or private, could I be induced to aid, State should determine for itself what knowingly, in giving circulation to papers of this description, directly or indirectly. kind of reading it would deem “inWe owe an obligation to the laws, but a cendiary,” and that Congress should higher one to the communities in which we live; and, if the former be permitted to de- thereupon prohibit the transmission stroy the latter, it is patriotism to disregard by mail of such matter to that State, them. Entertaining these views, I cannot He concluded with a bill, which consanction, and will not condemn, the step you tained this provision : have taken. Your justification must be looked for in the character of the papers “Be it enacted, etc., That it shall not be detained, and the circumstances by which lawful for any deputy postmaster, in any you are surrounded.”
State, Territory, or District, of the United Governor Seward has been widely whatsoever, any pamphlet, newspaper, hand
States, knowingly, to deliver to any person charged and credited with the author- bill, or other printed paper or pictorial repship of the “higher law” doctrine; resentation, touching the subject of Sla
very, where, by the laws of the said State, but here we find it clearly set forth Territory, or District, their circulation is
prohibited; and any deputy postmaster who | list in Newport, R. I., and in New shall be guilty thereof, shall be forthwith York. He left the last-named city removed from office."
in the autumn of that year, and reThis bill was ordered to a third turned to St. Louis, at the urgent inreading by 18 Yeas to 18 Nays—Mr. vitation of a circle of fellow-ChrisVan Buren, then Vice-President, giv- tians, who desired him to establish ing the casting vote in the affirma- and edit a religious newspaper in that tive. It failed, however, to pass; and city-furnishing a capital of twelve that ended the matter.
hundred dollars for the purpose, and
guaranteeing him, in writing, the enElijah P. LOVEJOY, son of Rev. tire control of the concern. The St. Daniel Lovejoy, and the eldest of Louis Observer, weekly, was accordseven children, was born at Albion, ingly first issued on the 22d of NoMaine, November 9, 1802. His an- vember. It was of the “Evangelicestors, partly English and partly cal” or Orthodox Protestant school, Scotch, all of the industrious middle but had no controversy, save with class, had been citizens of New Hamp- wickedness, and no purpose, but to shire and of Maine for several genera- quicken the zeal and enlarge the usetions. He was distinguished, from fulness of professing Christians, while early youth, alike for diligence in adding, if possible, to their number. labor and for zeal and success in the There is no evidence that it was comacquisition of knowledge. He grad- menced with any intent to war on uated with high honors at Water- Slavery, or with any expectation of ville College, Maine, in September, exciting the special hostility of any 1826. In May following, he turned interest but that of Satan. Its first his face westward, and in the autumn exhibition of a combative or belligerof that year found employment as a ent tendency had for its object the teacher in St. Louis. In 1828, he Roman Catholics and their dogmas; became editor of a political journal, but this, though it naturally provokof the “ National Republican” faith, ed some resentment in a city so and was thence actively engaged in largely Catholic as St. Louis, excited politics of the Clay and Webster no tumult or violence. Its first artischool, until January, 1832, when cles concerning Slavery were exceedhe was brought under deep religious ingly moderate in their tone, and faimpressions, and the next month vorable rather to Colonization than united with the Presbyterian Church. to immediate Abolition. Even when Relinquishing his political pursuits the editor first took decided ground and prospects, he engaged in a course against Slavery,'' he still affirmed his of study preparatory for the ministry, hostility to immediate, unconditional entering the Theological Seminary emancipation. This article was, in at Princeton, New Jersey, on the part, based on an editorial in The St. 24th of March. He received, next Louis Republican, of the preceding Spring, a license to preach from the week, which—discussing a proposed second Presbytery of Philadelphia, Convention to revise the Constitution and spent the Summer as an evange- of that State-said: '
ATTEMPT TO GAG A RELIGIOUS JOURNAL.
"We look to the Convention as a happy | amongst us, is already moving in this great means of relieving the State, at some future matter -it now wants to be directed in some day, of an evil which is destroying all our defined channel, to some definite end. wholesome energies, and leaving us, in “ Taken all in all, there is not a State in morals, in enterprise, and in wealth, behind this Union possessing superior natural adthe neighboring States. We mean, of vantages to our own. At present, Slavery, course, the curse of Slavery. We are not like an incubus, is paralyzing our energies, about to make any attack upon the rights and, like a cloud of evil portent, darkening of those who at present hold this description all our prospects. Let this be removed, and of property. They ought to be respected to Missouri would at once start forward in the the letter. We only propose that measures råce of improvement, with an energy and shall now be taken for the Abolition of rapidity of movement that would soon place Slavery, at such distant period of time as her in the front rank along with the most may be thought expedient, and eventually favored of her sister States." for ridding the country altogether of a color He continued to speak of Slavery ed population."
at intervals, through that summer, Mr. Lovejoy, commenting on the foregoing, wished that some South leaving his post in October to attend
a regular meeting of the Presbyterian. ern-born man, of high character, de
Synod. cided ability, and fervent piety,
Directly after his departure, an exwould take up the subject of Slavery citement commenced with regard to in a proper spirit, and, being fami- his strictures on Slavery; and the liar, experimentally, with all its evils and its difficulties, would show the proprietors of The Observer, alarmed
by threats of mob-violence, issued a people, practically, what they ought card, promising that nothing should to do with regard to it.
be said on the exciting subject until tinued :
the editor's return; and, this not “To such a man, a golden opportunity of doing good is offered. We believe the minds proving satisfactory, they issued a furof the good people of this state are fully ther card on the 21st, declaring themprepared to listen to hiin—to give a dispas- selves, “one and all,” opposed to the sionate consideration to the facts and rea: mad schemes of the Abolitionists. sonings he might present connected with the subject of Slavery. Public sentiment, Before this, a letter" had been written
St. Louis, October 5, 1835. silence everything connected with the subject To the Rev. E. P. Lovejoy, Editor of The Observer :
of Slavery. We would like that you announce Sir:-The undersigned, friends and support
in your paper, your intention so to do.
We shall be glad to be informed of your deers of the “Observer," beg leave to suggest,
termination in relation to this matter. that the present temper of the times requires a
Respectfully, your obedient servants, change in the manner of conducting that print ARCHIBALD GAMBLE, G. W. CALL, in relation to the subject of domestic Slavery. NATHAN RANNEY, H. R. GAMBLE The public mind is greatly excited, and, owing
WILLIAM S. Ports, HEZEKIAH KING, to the unjustitiable interference of our Northern
JNO. KERR. brethren with our social relations, the communits are, perhaps, not in a situation to endure
I concur in the object intended by this comsound doctrine in relation to this subject. In
munication. deed, we have reason to believe, that violence
BEVERLY ALLEN. is even now meditated against the “Observer
I concur in the foregoing. 09;" and we do believe that true policy and
J. B. BRYANT. the interests of religion require that the discus
This document is indorsed as follows: sion of this exciting question should be at least "I did not yield to the wishes here expressed, postponed in this State.
and in consequence have been persecuted ever Although we do not claim the right to pre since. But I have kept a good conscience in scribe your course as an Editor, we hope that the matter, and that more than repays me for all the concurring opinions of so many persons, I have suffered, or can suffer. I have sworn having the interest of your paper and of reli eternal opposition to Slavery, and, by the blesspion both at heart, may induce you to distrusting of God, I will never go back. Amen. Four own judgment, and so far change the char
"E. P. L acter of the ** Observer," as to pass over in “ October 24, 1837."
to the editor by nine eminent citizens and science, as it is degrading to the feelings of St. Louis (including H. R. Gam- of all sensitive minds—as destructive to the
intellect of after generations, as the advance ble, her present provisional Gover- of science and literature has contributed to nor), urging him “to pass over in the improvement of our own. In short, its silence everything connected with standard of the American mind to a level with
practice would reduce the high intellectual the subject of Slavery;" which, in the Hottentot ; and the United States, now due time, he respectfully declined.
second to no nation on earth, would, in a
few years, be what Europe was in the darkThe immediate cause of the excitement here alleged was the illegal and “4. Resolved, That the Sacred Writings
furnish abundant evidence of the existence violent seizure, in Illinois, of two
of Slavery from the earliest periods. The white men suspected of having de patriarchs and prophets possessed slavescoyed slaves away from Saint Louis. our Saviour recognized the relation between The suspected persons, having been hence, we know that He did not condemn
master and slave, and deprecated it not: forcibly brought to St. Louis, and that relation; on the contrary, His discithere tried and convicted by a mob, ples, in all countries
, designated their rewhich voted, 40 to 20, to whip, *** Therefore, Resolved, That we consider rather than hang them, were accord- Slavery, as it now exists in the United States,
as sanctioned by the sacred Scriptures." ingly taken two miles back of the city, and there whipped between one Mr. Lovejoy, on his return to the and two hundred lashes—the sixty city, put forth an address to “My wealthy and respectable citizens tak- Fellow-Citizens,” wherein he said: ing turns in applying the lash. A “Of the first resolution passed at the public meeting was thereupon held, meeting of the 24th October, I have nothing wherein it was gravely
to say, except that I perfectly agree with
the sentiment, that the citizens of the non.“2. Resolved, That the right of free dis- slaveholding States have no right to intercussion and freedom of speech exists under fere with the domestic relations between the Constitution ; but that, being a conven- master and slave. tional reservation made by the people in - The second resolution, strictly speaking, their sovereign capacity, does not imply a neither affirms nor denies anything in refermoral right, on the part of the Abolitionists, ence to the matter in hand. No man has a to freely discuss the subject of Slavery, moral right to do anything improper. Wheeither orally or through the medium of the ther, therefore, he has the moral right to press. It is the agitation of a question too discuss the question of Slavery, is a point nearly allied to the vital interests of the with which human legislation or resolutions slaveholding States to admit of public dispu- have nothing to do. The true issue to be tation ; and so far from the fact, that the decided is, whether he has the civil, the movements of the Abolitionists are constitu- political right, to discuss it, or not. And tional, they are in the greatest degree sedi- this is a mere question of fact. In Russia, tious, and calculated to excite insurrection in Turkey, in Austria, nay, even in France, and anarchy, and, ultimately, a dissever this right most certainly does not exist. But ment of our prosperous Union.
does it exist in Missouri? We decide this "3. Resolved, That we consider the course question by turning to the Constitution of pursued by the Abolitionists, as one calcu the State. The sixteenth section, article lated to paralyze every social tie by which thirteenth, of the Constitution of Missouri, we are now united to our fellow-man, and reads as follows: that, if persisted in, it must eventually be • • That the free communication of thoughts the cause of the disseverment of these United ' and opinions is one of the invaluable rights States; and that the doctrine of amalgama- 'of man, and that every person may freely tion is peculiarly baneful to the interests speak, write, and print on ANY SUBJECT, and happiness of society. The union of being responsible for the abuse of that liberblack and white, in a moral point of view, we consider as the most preposterous and Here, then, I find my warrant for using, impudent doctrine advanced by the infatua as Paul did, all freedom of speech. If I ted Abolitionists—as repugnant to judgment abuse that right, I freely acknowledge my
MR. LOVEJOY IN ST. LOUIS.
self amenable to the laws. But it is said | Puritans on the rugged soil of New Engthat the right to hold slaves is a constitu- land. It flowed as freely on the plains of tional one, and therefore not to be called in Lexington, the hights of Bunker Hill, and question. I admit the premise, but deny the fields of Saratoga. And freely, too, shall the conclusion.
mine flow-yea, as freely as if it were so
much water--ere I surrender my right to Mr. Lovejoy proceeded to set forth plead the cause of truth and righteousness, that Robert Dale Owen and Frances all their opposers.”
before my fellow-citizens, and in the face of Wright had recently landed on our
He continued in this strain to reshores from Great Britain, and had view and refute all the positions and traversed our country, publicly prop-doctrines of these resolutions, and, agating doctrines respecting Divorce
toward the close of his appeal, said: which were generally regarded as utterly destructive to the institution the laws of my country, or its Constitution,
“If in anything I have offended against of Marriage, yet they were nowhere I stand ready to answer. If I have not, mobbed nor assaulted for so doing. tation, and those who revere them, to pro
then I call upon those laws and that Consti“ And yet, most surely, the institutions tect me. “ of Slavery are not more interwoven .“I do, therefore, as an American citizen, “ with the structure of our society Liberty, and Law, and Religion, solemnly
and Christian patriot, and in the name of “than those of Marriage.” He con PROTEST against all these attempts, howsotinued :
ever or by whomsoever made, to frown down the liberty of the press, and forbid
the free expression of opinion. Under a "See the danger, and the natural and in- deep sense of my obligations to my country, evitable result, to which the first step here the Church, and my God, I declare it to be will lead. To-day, a public meeting declares my fixed purpose to submit to no such dicthat you shall not discuss the subject of
tation. And I am prepared to abide the conSlavery in any of its bearings, civil or re
sequences. I have appealed to the Constituligious. Right or wrong, the press must be tion and laws of my country; if they fail to silent. To-morrow, another meeting de protect me, I APPEAL TO God, and with cides that it is against the peace of society Him I cheerfully rest my cause.' that the principles of Popery shall be discussed, and the edict goes forth to muzzle The Observer failed for one week the press. The next day it is, in a similar to appear, but was issued regularly manner, declared that not a word must be said against distilleries, dram-shops, or thereafter. On the request of its drunkenness: and so on to the end of the proprietors, Mr. Lovejoy gave up the chapter. The truth is, my fellow-citizens, establishment to them, intending to if you give ground a single inch, there is no stopping-place. I deem it, therefore, my leave St. Louis; but they handed it daty to take my stand upon the Constitu
over in payment of a debt of five tion. Here is firm ground-I feel it to be such. And I do, most respectfully, yet de hundred dollars, and the new owner cidedly, declare to you my fixed determina- immediately presented it to Mr. tion to maintain this ground. We have Lovejoy, telling him to go on with slaves, it is true; but I am not one. I am a citizen of these United States, a citizen of the paper as before. He had gone Missouri, free-born; and, having never for- to Alton, Illinois, expecting to refeited the inestimable privileges attached to such a condition, I cannot consent to sur
move it to that city; but, while render them. But, while I maintain them, there, a letter reached him from St. I hope to do it with all
that meekness and Louis, urging him to return and rehumility that become a Christian, and especially a Christian minister. I am ready, not main, which he did. to fight, but to suffer, and, if need be, to die On the 28th of April, 1836, a for them. Kindred blood to that which flows in my veins flowed freely to water the quarrel occurred between two sailors, tree of Christian liberty, planted by the or boatmen, at the steamboat landing