|The city of New York presented an extraordinary spectacle during the week that ended with the 4th of July. It was full of the late rebels and their friends, engaged in devising some method by which to persuade the country to renounce the victory it won in the war, and to intrust the Government to those who have done their utmost to destroy it. The Convention at Tammany Hall represented every disloyal individual and class in the country. Its object was to wrest the Government from the hands of those whose patriotic fidelity has been proved in every way—from the party which as a party accepted the challenge of war thrown down by those represented in the Convention—from the party whose unfaltering faith and energy forced the rebellion to unconditional surrender, saved the Union, and vindicated the amazing power of a free popular government. Had the Republican party doubted, and parleyed, and called for surrender, and encouraged rebellion; had it quibbled, and derided, and delayed; had it done exactly what the Democratic party did, the rebellion would have triumphed, the Government and Union would have been overthrown, and the hope of popular liberty every where in the world would have been fatally dimmed.|
If, however, when the war ended, the rebel leaders in the Southern States and their political allies at the North had owned frankly that they had put their cause to the test of the sword, and having lost, honorably acquiesced in the consequences; that, assenting to the abolition of slavery, and relieved from fear of personal harm or of general confiscation, they acknowledged the right of the loyal people to decide what political guarantees the changed condition of their States required; if, in such a spirit they had united with the people of the loyal States, old party lines would have disappeared, and the dividing questions would have been of a true commercial and manufacturing and agricultural policy. But such a course was not to be expected, and such reason and generosity were too ideal. Whatever tendency there may have been toward this condition was arrested by the conduct of the Democratic party. Under the encouragement of its support the haughty, defiant, impracticable, and utterly intolerable spirit of the old slave leaders at the South awakened, and aimed to seize the political control of the late rebel States. In its old manner it harangued the loyal people of the country upon the Constitution, and still panting with the mad effort to destroy it, this spirit and its disciples claimed to be its true interpreters. Dripping with the blood shed in rebellion to perpetuate slavery they shouted that they were the real defenders of law and the only friends of the rights of the people. They were the Hessians of the Revolution of ’76 undertaking to teach patriotism to the Yankee sons of liberty.
Growing every month and every day more insolent, these men—whom mere craft, at least, should have taught to remain concealed—boldly threatening endless resistance to the Government, and bloody anarchy in the Southern States, with a standing menace of war against the Union until they have their way, come thronging to New York to dictate terms to the Democratic Convention. They did not propose nor profess acquiescence in the results of the war. At home John Forsyth, one of the most malignant of the rebels, and now one of the chief Democratic leaders in Alabama, spoke of the late rebel State governments as "overturned by revolution, tyranny, and the sword." Rhett, of the Charleston Mercury, wrote from New York, glorying in the rebel military lines as "our lines," and declaring that "Southern men" would not submit to the reconstruction proposed by Congress. A rebel Colonel from Georgia, at a meeting in New York, shouted that if "Northern Democrats will take care of the bayonet, the Southern Democrats would be responsible for the result of the ballot in November," meaning that the Ku-Klux Klan would take care of loyal voters. Mr. Langdon, a Southern delegate to the Convention, wrote that the "iniquitous legislation" of Congress "will be wiped out forever." Rebel officers—one of them the hero of the Fort Pillow massacre—were members of the Convention, and others attended as counselors. The presence of these rebels might have been a noble spectacle in the case we have supposed; but as a fact they were here to recover what they had lost in the field; they were here to serve "the lost cause" with exactly the same patriotic fidelity that sent them to Bull Run, and doomed Union soldiers to Andersonville and Salisbury.
Does any body suppose that the late rebels have changed their views of the nature of this Government? Does any thing tend to show it? If Governor Brown, of Georgia, or General Longstreet, or any conspicuous rebel, honorably confesses his honest acquiescence in the great result, he is denounced and ridiculed not alone by the leading "Democrats" or ex-rebels of the Southern States but by the Northern leaders also. The only class of the population in those States which the Northern leaders especially favor and praise is that of the unyielding, "consistent" rebels. If, on the other hand, any one of the late rebels accepts the situation in good faith and heartily seeks to aid in the speediest and most satisfactory settlement of our difficulties, then, like Governor Brown, he acts openly with the Republican party. Are such facts of no significance? Do they not help to show in what direction and with which party lies peace? Was there an honest, loyal man who had given his sympathy, his prayers, his money, his blood, his friends, his children, to maintain this Union and its Government against the rebellion, whose heart did not beat more quickly last week as he reflected upon the assembly of the enemies of the Union and those who aided their rebellion, to obtain possession of its Government and to gratify their hatred of loyal men? Was there one such man in the city, is there one in the country, who does not solemnly resolve that he will do all that lies in him to baffle at the polls this party which again enters upon a Presidential campaign as it did in 1860 and in 1864 with the threat of revolution if it does not succeed? It is the insolent old slave power contending for the Government with the loyal people of the United States.