General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States, 7 February 1844

  • Source Note
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lation, will do more business than the army that now occupy the halls of the National Legislature. Pay them two dollars and their board per diem; (except Sundays,) that is more than the farmer gets, and he lives honestly. Ourtail [Curtail] the offices of government in pay, number and power, for the Philistine lords have shorn our of its goodly locks in the lap of Delilah.
Petition your state legislatures to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries: blessing them as they go, and saying to them in the name of the Lord, go thy way and sin no more. Advise your legislators when they make laws for larceny, burglary or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon roads, public works, or any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue; and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of man, as reason and friendship. Murder only can claim confinement or death. Let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism: Imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates with all his ferocity. “Amor vincit omnia.” Love conquers all.
Petition also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave states, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame. Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress. Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire him to labor like other human beings; for “an hour of virtuous liberty on earth, is worth a whole eternity of bondage!” Abolish the practice in the army and navy of trying men by court martial for desertion; if a soldier or marine runs away, send him his wages, with the instruction, that his country will never trust him again; he has forfeited his honor. Make HONOR the standard with all men: be sure that good is rendered for evil in all cases: and the whole , like a kingdom of kings and priests, will rise up with righteousness: and be respected as wise and worthy on earth: and as just and holy for heaven, by Jehovah the author of perfection. More economy in the national and state governments, would make less taxes among the people: more equality through the cities, towns and , would make less distinction among the people; and more honesty and familiarity in societies, would make less hypocrisy and flattery in all branches of community; and open, frank, candid, decorum to all men, in this boasted land of liberty, would beget esteem, confidence, union and love; and the neighbor from any state, or from any country, of whatever color, clime or tongue, could rejoice when he put his foot on the sacred soil of freedom, and exclaim: the very name of “American,” is fraught with friendship! Oh! then, create confidence! restore freedom! break down slavery! banish imprisonment for debt, and be in love, fellowship and peace with all the world! Remember that honesty is not subject to law: the law was made for transgressors: wherefore a Dutchman might exclaim: Ein ehrlicher name ist besser als Reichthum, (a good name is better than riches.)
For the accommodation of the people in every state and territory, let Congress shew their wisdom by granting a national bank, with branches in each state and territory, where the capital stock shall be held by the for the mother bank: and by the states and territories, for the branches: and whose officers and directors shall be elected yearly by the people with wages [p. 9]
lation, will do more business than the army that now occupy the halls of the National Legislature. Pay them two dollars and their board per diem; (except Sundays,) that is more than the farmer gets, and he lives honestly. Ourtail [Curtail] the offices of government in pay, number and power, for the Philistine lords have shorn our of its goodly locks in the lap of Delilah.
Petition your state legislatures to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries: blessing them as they go, and saying to them in the name of the Lord, go thy way and sin no more. Advise your legislators when they make laws for larceny, burglary or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon roads, public works, or any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue; and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of man, as reason and friendship. Murder only can claim confinement or death. Let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism: Imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates with all his ferocity. “Amor vincit omnia.” Love conquers all.
Petition also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave states, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame. Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress. Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire him to labor like other human beings; for “an hour of virtuous liberty on earth, is worth a whole eternity of bondage!” Abolish the practice in the army and navy of trying men by court martial for desertion; if a soldier or marine runs away, send him his wages, with the instruction, that his country will never trust him again; he has forfeited his honor. Make HONOR the standard with all men: be sure that good is rendered for evil in all cases: and the whole , like a kingdom of kings and priests, will rise up with righteousness: and be respected as wise and worthy on earth: and as just and holy for heaven, by Jehovah the author of perfection. More economy in the national and state governments, would make less taxes among the people: more equality through the cities, towns and , would make less distinction among the people; and more honesty and familiarity in societies, would make less hypocrisy and flattery in all branches of community; and open, frank, candid, decorum to all men, in this boasted land of liberty, would beget esteem, confidence, union and love; and the neighbor from any state, or from any country, of whatever color, clime or tongue, could rejoice when he put his foot on the sacred soil of freedom, and exclaim: the very name of “American,” is fraught with friendship! Oh! then, create confidence! restore freedom! break down slavery! banish imprisonment for debt, and be in love, fellowship and peace with all the world! Remember that honesty is not subject to law: the law was made for transgressors: wherefore a Dutchman might exclaim: Ein ehrlicher name ist besser als Reichthum, (a good name is better than riches.)
For the accommodation of the people in every state and territory, let Congress shew their wisdom by granting a national bank, with branches in each state and territory, where the capital stock shall be held by the for the mother bank: and by the states and territories, for the branches: and whose officers and directors shall be elected yearly by the people with wages [p. 9]
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