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German Republicanism in Central Illinois.


July/August 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, July 31, 1860.


BEARDSTOWN, ILL. July 27, 1860.

Editors of the Missouri Democrat:
Our German fellow citizens of this county, feeling that the cause of “true Republicanism” needed but to be faithfully expounded in order to insure a complete triumph in this State in November, according to notice given at a late hour, assembled in this place to listen to the Hon. Carl Schurz, on the 23d inst. The rally was made at the warehouse of Messrs. Nolte & McClure, it having been previously arranged for that purpose. The well known ability of Mr. S. is an ample guarantee that our city was thronged on that day. At one o’clock the Wide Awakes, numbering one hundred, in full uniform, under command of Capt. Tilford, marched in procession to the residence of Dr. Hoffman. Mr. S. was here, upon his appearance, enthusiastically cheered by the Wide Awakes. From here the procession proceeded in the following order to the appointed place of speaking: First the music, followed by a fine cannon drawn by four horses, under charge of the “Lincoln Artillery Company,” commanded by Capt. Gillam, then came the carriage containing Mr. S. and a reception committee of five, and then the Wide Awakes. Upon the arrival of the procession at the warehouse, the cannon belched forth in loud notes of warning to those who still cling so blindly to “My Principle.”

After an introduction to the audience by Dr. Hoffman, Mr. S. opened with some introductory remarks in English, to the effect that he had started on his tour to speak in German for a useful purpose, consequently he would leave the ornamental for some one else. He then commenced in German, reviewing in consecutive order the principal issues of the day. He spoke of the Massachusetts amendment, and conclusively demonstrated, that the Democrats had a finger in the pie, and, therefore, the Republicans were not solely to blame. Thoroughly sifting “popular sovereignty” he pointed out the inconsistency of the doctrine, arguing that its author (Douglas) had designedly torn down the Missouri Compromise, in order that he might introduce slavery into the Territories, and that by non-intervention the monarch of Ethiopia conquered New Mexico, a scope of country five times as the State of New York; also that the Dred Scott decision was in direct conflict with popular sovereignty. He showed that Northern Democracy was too weak by itself; that Southern Democracy was an open enemy to the Homestead measures; that it only favored a land aristocracy, and was, therefore, opposed to the interests of free men and free homes. In his concluding remarks he earnestly entreated his countrymen not to throw away their votes upon Douglas—that by voting for Douglas they were indirectly voting for Joe Lane. He stated that the German influence was felt in forming the Chicago platform, whilst the Germans in the Democratic party were mere footstools. After speaking in German, he made a few remarks in English, thanking the Americans for their attention during his discourse in German. While Mr. S. was speaking, a death-like silence prevailed over the assembly, only interrupted by occasional applause, those who did not understand German manifestly partaking of the general spirit of attention and interest. More profound attention could not have been given if Mr. S. had been pronouncing the day of judgment. After the adjournment of the meeting, cheer after cheer arose from an assembly of more than two thousand souls. Under the escort of the Wide Awakes, Mr. S. was reconducted to the residence of Dr. Hoffman, to make preparations for his departure for Springfield, where he was to speak next day.

“A Spontaneous Gathering.”

On the evening of the 25th inst., Judge Hassaurek, of Ohio arrived in town from Arenzville, where he had addressed his German fellow-citizens in a forcible speech, that afternoon. Judge Hassaurek was on his way to Petersburg, to fill an appointment, and it was unknown that he was to address the citizens of our city until almost the appointed hour of speaking. Notwithstanding this circumstance, the Judge having succeeded to the urgent solicitations of the Republican Club, to give the citizens a chance to hear him, the “Wide Awakes” mustered with one hundred and forty torches, and their band to escort the Judge and our candidate for Congress, Mr. Case, of Winchester, to the park. Here Mr. Case eloquently addressed the assemblage of over two thousand persons, in a speech of an hour and a half. Then Judge Hassaurek, after stating that he greatly regretted that his voice was much impaired by the frequent use he had made of it during his tour, immediately proceeded to discuss the political aspect of the present day. He is a very pleasing speaker, and reasons logically and clearly; gentlemanly in his manner, yet earnest in his advocacy of true Republicanism. He made a forcible impression upon his audience, which will count at the coming Presidential election. Our noble cause in this section of the State is steadily advancing, and never was little “Cass” as thoroughly aroused to the importance of hurling down from their throne of iniquity, “the powers that be,” and placing the reins of government in honest, capable hands.

Yours, &c., “CASS.”