Wednesday, December 19, 2007

McClellan Accepts


Just a small footnote to Scott Johnson's post at Power Line that touches on the 1864 Democratic platform.

I'm no fan of George McClellan, but to his credit he tactfully but firmly repudiated the most offensive portions of the platform when he accepted the Democratic nomination that year. Here's the key portion of McClellan's letter of acceptance (emphasis added):
The Union was originally formed by the exercise of a spirit of conciliation and compromise. To restore and preserve it, the same spirit must prevail in our councils and in the hearts of the people. The reestablishment of the Union, in all its integrity, is and must continue to be the indispensable condition in any settlement. So soon as it is clear, or even probable, that our present adversaries are ready for peace upon the basis of the Union, we should exhaust all the resources of statesmanship practiced by civilized nations, and taught by the traditions of the American people, consistent with the honor and interests of the country, to secure such peace, reestablish the Union, and guarantee for the future the constitutional rights of every State. The Union is the one condition of peace. We ask no more.

Let me add what I doubt not was, although unexpressed, the sentiment of the convention, as it is of the people they represent, that when any one State is willing to return to the Union it should be received at once with a full guarantee of all its constitutional rights. If a frank, earnest, and persistent effort to obtain these objects should fail, the responsibility for ulterior consequences will fall upon those who remain in arms against the Union, but the Union must be preserved at all hazards. I could not look in the face my gallant comrades of the army and navy who have survived so many bloody battles, and tell them that their labors, and the sacrifices of so many of our slain and wounded brethren, had been in vain, that we had abandoned that Union for which we have so often perilled our lives. A vast majority of our people, whether in the army and navy or at home, would, as I would, hail with unbounded joy the permanent restoration of peace on the basis of the Union under the Constitution, without the effusion of another drop of blood, but no peace can be permanent without Union.

Mercifully, Sherman having already taken Atlanta, McClellan's candidacy was dead on arrival.

1 comment:

  1. Leave it to Power Line to attempt to rehabilitate George McClellan. Its like trying to bring

    ReplyDelete

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