Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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May not an American Citizen be President of the United States.


September/October 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, October 17, 1860.

May not an American Citizen be President of the United States.

[Philadelphia Press, October 4th.]

The grave question is presently to be decided whether a citizen of the United States constitutionally elected to the Presidency, shall be permitted to perform the functions of that high office?  We notice daily signs in the Southern papers, and read frequent letters from Southern politicians, all tending to one point, viz.:  That if Mr. Lincoln should be elected it will become the duty of the Southern people to make instant preparations for a secession from the Union.  Upon the basis of this threat many interests in the Northern communities have been terrified, and many influences controlled.  So industriously has it been persisted in, that at this day hundreds of citizens of Philadelphia have allowed themselves to believe in it, and more than one man who has heretofore depended upon his own energy, enterprise and talent, to support himself and his family, had been convinced that should Mr. Lincoln be elected President he will be ruined.

We are not for Lincoln in this fight.  We cannot say that we are neither for Caesar nor for Antony, for we are for Douglas, and for him squarely and sincerely; but is not all this sort of intimidation unworthy of American citizens and sensible men?  Is it not disgraceful that mere traders in politics in the Southern States, and so vile a wretch, so unscrupulous and remorseless a knave in the free States, one so utterly debased, privately and publicly, as the editor or the New York Herald, and those affiliated with him, should be permitted to exercise a sort of terrorism over American citizens?

These are the conjoint influences that threaten, in a certain event, to destroy the Union, on the one hand, and on the other to break up the foundations of credit.  Ought we not to be ashamed of ourselves, as human beings, to allow any such arguments as these to affect us.  It will be a dark hour for this Republic when any citizen, constitutionally elected to the Presidency, cannot be inaugurated, and permitted to make a trial in that high office.  Our own belief is, that no American can be chosen Chief Magistrate without administering the duties of that office in strict justice to all sections of the Union.  The very position itself will make him conservative and just.  He could not be sectional if he would.  He could no more shut his eyes to the rights of the South than he could close his heart to the rights of the North; and we have a sufficiently good opinion even of the worst of Mr. Lincoln’s enemies (for they, too, are American citizens,)to believe that, if he should be triumphant in this fight, they themselves would be ready to consent to be sacrificed to the success of his Administration.

Fellow countrymen, there will be no disunion. Merchants and manufacturers of Philadelphia, there will be no secession.  What the enemies of this Republic in the South fear is, that the Northern people may put them to the test.  Vote your own sentiments, rely upon the love that all the people of the United States, North and South, feel for the union of these States, and the sequel will vindicate the experiment.