Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Charlotte Democrat

We had intended to reply to and thoroughly expose the Charlotte Democrat, but really, on reflection, we do not perceive that it is worth while to do so. That paper of the 1st instant indulges in nearly a column in reply to the Standard, in which it very grossly, and, we fear, deliberately misrepresents us. The whole purport of the Democrat’s article is unfounded and unjust, while its tone is petulant, ill-natured, and offensive.

The Democrat asks us why we have “dragged Judge Osborne’s name into the matter.” We have done no such thing. The Judge was in the meeting on whose proceeding we offered some comments, but those comments were not unkind, and under the circumstances, they were legitimate. But we are reminded, on reviewing the proceedings, that Judge Osborne addressed the meeting on the war, and not on the Governorship. His remarks were not political, and no doubt they were of service in stimulating his hearers, some of whom must have been, just then, depressed by the reverses which had befallen our arms; but the meeting nevertheless assumed a political aspect towards its close, by the nomination of Mr. Johnston for Governor. The Democrat will not succeed in making us do injustice to Judge Osborne by its injustice towards us. As a general rule Judge O. has shown as little of the partisan as any Judge on the bench, and much less of it, in deed, than one Superior Court Judge, whom we might name, if we chose to do so. We are satisfied that Judge O. did not regard the meeting referred to as political, and that he is not disposed to drag the judicial ermine in the muddy streams of party strife. It is natural that, under the circumstances, the Judge should have taken part in the meeting referred to, and that he should have remained in the meeting and acquiesced in or approved the nomination of his neighbor and former colleague in the Convention for Governor, whether he was his first choice for that office or not.

Nor have we assailed Mr. Johnston. We simply objected to his nomination because of its partisan character, and because of his manifest unfitness in this crisis, for the office.

We stated recently, that in our opinion the Charlotte Democrat and Wilmington Journal would not in any event, support any man for Governor who was for the old Union up to Lincoln’s proclamation. If these papers have replied to this statement, and attempted to clear themselves of the imputation of partyism, we have not seen their replies. Every one who goes with them in supporting their candidates is a no-party man; but those who differ with them are party men. This is a specimen of their fairness, and of their no-party views.

The Democrat is evidently alarmed at the idea of canvassing the State. That paper knows that Mr. Johnston is thoroughly identified with the administration at Raleigh, and that the conduct of the former and present administrations will not bear investigation and discussion. But discussion is the life of a free State. Honest men, and such as have done well as the servants of the people, do not fear it. Besides, discussion at this time will do good, by informing the people fully and accurately of their condition, and by encouraging unity of feeling on the basis of patriotism, and on the basis also of a constant and abiding respect for Constitutions and laws. In achieving our independence, we must not lose sight of, nor suffer to be trampled down, those safeguards to property and persons which are secured to us by our Constitutions, and without which independence itself would be but an empty name. The Democrat and those with whom it acts, are “at ease in their possessions,” and do not wish to be disturbed. It is their revolution, and they wish to conduct it in their won way, knowing that, in conducting it, they will enjoy the patronage and honors. The People will see about this, both in the campaign and at the polls. We repeat, honest men do not fear discussion before the people; and if the people cannot bear discussion, then have they ceased to be competent to govern themselves. It is only the selfish, the venal, and the guilty, who fear a fully and fair discussion of public affairs.

– Published in The North Carolina Weekly Standard, Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday, April 16, 1862, p. 1

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