Defence of Edwin M. Stanton (Classic Reprint)
The stern old soldier took a very different view of those proceedings and of his authority and duty from that taken by James Buchanan, and his Secretary of State, when the same course was renewed in 1860. He sent a military force to Charleston on his own responsibility and issued a proclamation of warning, drawn up in the nervous and majestic language of Daniel Webster, who was very appropriately called into council on that occasion. I recommend to Judge Black to read that proclamation once more, and never again to invoke the name of Andrew Jackson or Edwin M. Stanton as a passport for that false Democracy of the Calhoun school, which had tainted Mr. Buchanan's whole cabinet, except Holt and Stanton, and which Stanton denounced the moment the folly of a member of the cabinet disclosed to him, presuming upon his complicity, the fact that the cabinet was the centre of a conspiracy almost ready to explode in treason and blood. The country has not yet forgotten the celerity with which Floyd, Cobb and Thompson, went out of the cabinet and hastened to their associates in treason, as Mr. Stanton entered it. What sent them off in such hot haste? Judge Black does not believe any of them committed or planned treason while in office. Does he still hold that the authority of their States justified their action? It looks like it. Mr. Stanton did not so believe. No wonder he was astonished at finding himself with such bed-fellows: no wonder that his stern integrity expressed itself in coarse language - sarscnet words were not adapted to the occasion. No one here was surprised when they heard of the sudden revolution in the cabinet and of Stanton's agency in it.
That treason had been in nursing for thirty years. If they thought to lure Stanton into it they mistook their man. He was not the stuff traitors are made of. On one other matter Judge Black is strangely ignorant or purposely uncandid. That of the general sentiment in the free States respecting slavery. Judge Black writes as if he knew in the free States only abolitionists and the pro-slavery men. The first would assist a slave, in defiance of law, in escaping from his master. The other claimed for the slave holder the same authority to carry his slaves into Kansas or Nebraska, for example, that he had to carry his horses there. Judge Black would fain have it believed that Mr. Stanton, there being no middle ground, belonged to one or the other of these extremes. In fact both these extreme parties - both equally irrational and illegal - did not compose five percent, of the people of the free States. Wendell Phillips and John Brown were types of one: Franklin Pierce, Jas. Buchanan and J. S. Black of the other. Edwin M. Stanton, and ninety-five percent, of his countrymen in the free States, and many in the slave States, disapproving of slavery, acquiesced in the laws on the subject and obeyed them in good faith.
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D. Justiniani Institutionum liber primus. = The first book of Justinian's Institutes, with an English version, and notes.