Jacob Bond I’on, Nathaniel Heyward Sr., Ker Boyce, John S. Ashe, Edward Frost, James Rose, Henry Bailey, F. H. Elmore, William Aiken, Henry Gourdin, William Dubose, John M. Felder, John L. Manning, William M. Murray, and M. E. Carn, Circular, Charleston, Charleston Co., SC, 23 Sept. 1843; dockets in handwriting of and ; one page; JS Office Papers, CHL.
Charleston, Sept. 23, 1843
The undersigned are a Committee, appointed by the late South-Carolina Convention, and vested with the requisite powers, on behalf of the Democratic Party of this State, to advance by all proper means, the election of to the Presidency of the ; and we address you on the supposition that you heartily accord with us in feeling, and are ready to co-operate with us in the measures necessary to accomplish an end so very important to the welfare of our common country.
The events that have lately transpired in the Northern and Western portions of the Union, more particularly , cannot have escaped your attention. The course of the Syracuse Convention in peremptorily rejecting the District mode of electing Delegates to the National Convention, and adopting the opposite, show at once a consciousness on the part of of his weakness before the people, and a fixed determination to have the Convention constituted, if he can, in his own way, without regard to fairness, to the analogies of the Constitution, or to be the undoubted preferences of those by whose voices the election is to be decided. Perhaps the necessities of his position, more than deliberate choice, have brought him to this resolution; be that as it may, you cannot fail to see the unavoidable consequence of the portion of our common party, occupying this position, is that the friends of , to give him any chance of success, must as promptly and decidedly assume the opposite. To submit to the dictation of the Syracuse Convention on this point, for one moment, would be to give up the contest without a blow. On the other hand, it appears to us that we have so clearly the popular side of the point at issue, and the whole strength of the argument, that we only have to obtain a hearing of the People, and it is impossible we can fail of a verdict in our favor. And, though from the shortness of the time, and the disadvantages under which we labor in striving to reach the popular ear, we should be defeated now, the intrinsic soundness of our principles will leave us a ground to rally upon for a future struggle, on which we cannot fail to achieve, ultimately, the most signal success.
We beg leave, therefore, to press upon you, more earnestly, the necessity, of ’s friends, every where, coming out at once, in denunciation of the policy indicated by the proceedings of the Syracuse Convention, as a dangerous tendency, disrespectful to the People, dictatorial and unfair. It should be done in every form calculated to rouse the attention and excite the indignation of the People—by personal converse—by public harangues—by popular expositions and resolutions,—and, above all, by strong argumentative appeals through the Press. The ground should be distinctly taken, and resolutely and perseveringly maintained, that in all the States, where Congressional Districts exist, it is the right of the People, and they will elect Delegates, directly from themselves, to represent them in the National Convention, whatever may be done by unauthorized political managers to the contrary. Our friends, in the great State of , have already taken this position, and are most gallantly maintaining it against fearful odds. It becomes us to give them, surely, no doubtful or lukewarm support in such a struggle, especially when we know that the cause we are battling is the cause of justice, safety, liberty and truth.
If by carrying out this defensive policy, with a firmness equal to the obstinancy that may be exhibited on the other side, a rupture of the Democratic Party ensue, either before or after going into the Convention, the fault and the blame will be, not with us, but with those whose political intolerance and selfishness have made them the aggressors, and who will consent to no union, the conditions of which are not inequitable to all but themselves, and involve an abandonment of the very principles on which the Democratic Party is founded.
We shall send this communication to our confidential friends in all the States, and warmly indulge the hope that it will have some effect in rousing them to immediate exertion, so as to produce an active simultaneous popular impulse throughout the , in favor of the District system, and , as its champion, which shall result in the signal overthrow of our adversaries, and establishment of the true principles of the Democratic faith.