The edict has gone forth; the leaders of the Vallandigham Democratic party in Iowa, have called upon the debris of the secesh element in this State, to assemble in Convention at Des Moines on the 17th of July, for the purpose of nominating candidates of their own kidney for State officers. The Democrat, of this city says, “the call purports to be authoritative, and that being the case there is no other course for Democrats to pursue, but to commence the work of the campaign.” Democrats will take notice and act accordingly, there is no alternative left to them. The question arises, who are Democrats? Our neighbor seems to be slightly exercised in mind in respect to this question, and wishes to “know at the outset whether the Democracy of the State feel inclined to work together or not.”
That the old Democratic party is dead, we have the authority of some of its leaders for asserting, and the political history of the nation for declaring. The attempt of Vallandingham [sic] and others of that stripe to resurrect it, has virtually proven a failure. How it will succeed in Iowa remains to be seen. In the language of a cotemporary, it is impossible to restore the Democratic party to power upon a platform disconnected from slavery. The party relies upon its devotion to slavery for all its success in the future, for it very well knows that success depends on its ability to rally the extremists in the south to its aid, with the help of Vallandigham, on a pro-slavery platform. It has already been declared to them, through Vallandigham, who is an extreme pro-slavery man, that if they will join forces with the conspirators, all projects for emancipation shall be opposed, and not even the plan suggested by the President shall be entertained. – The Union men in the South who may think well of the project for the emancipation of slaves, by the States in which slavery exists, are to be put down by this Great National, Conservative, Union, Democratic party, and slavery established forever. It is not this what the Washington conference declared through Vallandigham when it made opposition to the President’s plan a doctrine of the proposed creed?
Can this dead body live again, clothed in its old garb? Let those who fought at Pea Ridge, at Donelson and at Pittsburg answer. Shall we again place slavery in power? Not until the memory of the great rebellion fades from the memories of men.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Thursday Morning, May 15, 1862, p. 2