MVB et al. to Republican electors of New York, 20 February 1816
MVB et al to the Republican electors of the state of New York, 20 February 1816
TO THE REPUBLICAN ELECTORS
OF THE STATE OF NEW-YORK.
At a period when we have just emerged from a bloody but succe[ss]ful and glorious struggle for national hono[r] and existence, an opportunity presents itself to express our gratitude for services rendered in that contest; and to proclaim to the world by our suffrages, that is the calm of peace we are not unmindful of the Statesman who was the shield of his country in the storm of war. In
DANIEL D. TOMPKINS,
we possess a citizen who, as the Executive Magistrate of this State, has stood foremost in the path of duty and of danger, during the late momentous crisis. His zeal and devotion we have all witnessed; we have all beheld the steady firmness, the unshaken integrity, with which he opposed himself to internal faction, and the prompt alacrity which he evinced, on all occasions, to animate our gallant defenders by his presence on our frontiers, where scenes of real danger, had Divine Providence so ordered, might have enabled him to give the highest evidence of his patriotism, by risking his life for the honour and glory of his beloved country.
Such are the merits of the candidate, fellow-citizens, for whom we solicit your suffrages once more for the office of Chief Magistrate of this state: And we feel happy in the reflection, that the man who has served us so long and so faithfully, has grown in our confidence, and become the more firmly rooted in our affections, at every step of his civil, political and military career.
The venerable JOHN TAYLER is again recommended for the office of Lieutenant-Governor, from a conviction that his services in the revolutionary war, and his uniform patriotism since, together with his native good sense, his acquired talents, and his long experience in public affairs, will readily command your suffrages, and replace him in a station which he has filled with credit to himself, and utility to his country.
On this occasion, fellow-citizens, we are well aware, that our Candidates will have to contend with every species of calumny that falsehood can engender, and faction bring forth. But as your ears have been long accustomed to hear the best men of your country abused by the worst; as the Chief Magistrate of the Union is every day assailed by the venom of slander, notwithstanding a life devoted to the best interests of his country, both in state and confederative councils; as the shades of Monticello, the favorite retreats of virtue, liberty, philanthropy and science, do not shield the venerable Jefferson from the rude assaults of factious pens and hireling presses; as not even the sanctity of the tomb has protected the ashes of our immortal Franklin from insult; it cannot be expected that our candidates, who have so long mingled in the affairs of the state; who have so long breasted themselves to the shock of opposition; and who have done so much to maintain and perpetuate the cause to which it has been, and we trust still is, your pride to be devoted: It cannot, we repeat it, be expected, when the venerable names of Madison and Jefferson, and the sainted memory of Franklin, are not exempt from reproach, that the candidates whom we recommend for your suffrages, can go through the ordeal of a popular election, without encountering the pestiferous breath of calumny, the rude invective, the foul accusation, and the odious suspicion, which the voice of faction never fails to fix upon the favorites of freedom, and the friends of the people.
The Republican Administrations of the Union, and of those states in which the principles of the revolution of 1776 have likewise prevailed, have carried you triumphantly through the recent war, waged on the part of the enemy, against your national existence: We say, against your national existence, because the principles of impressment and of search, of blockade and of seizure, as asserted and exercised by the power with whom we have successfully measured swords, could not have been submitted to without a surrender of national sovereignty and independence. The ocean long witnessed the wrongs of your country, and was long the scene of her degradation and disgrace. But the genius of liberty finally rose, like a giant from his slumbers, and directing her march across the mountain wave, vindicated the right of her favorite America to the undisturbed enjoyment of the highway of nations. The lightning of her long-slumbering wrath flashed upon the billowy deep, and the thunderbolts of her extorted indignation rived the floating bulwarks of her tyrant foe, and scattered to the winds of Heaven, that proud flag which had so long insulted the world by waving in triumph over feats of injustice, rapine, and oppression. Nor was the military less glorious than the naval career of your country, in her late contest. The laurels which your naval heroes won upon the mountain-wave, were so many signals for the defenders of your altars and your firesides to emulate their glorious example. They did emulate it, and on many a well-fought field the disciplined, the boasted Wellingtonian legions, were made to feel,
"——Through peril and alarm,
The might that slumbers in a peasant's
Thus, fellow-citizens, under the auspices of your republican rulers, has your country emerged from the second war of Independence, crowned with victory and peace.— She has commanded the respect of her enemies, attracted the admiration of mankind, and established beyond all doubt or dispute, her title to a sovereign and independent rank among the nations of the earth. With fame abroad, she enjoys felicity at home; the felicity which flows from the freedom of her civil and political institutions; the abundance of her physical resources, and the excellence of her moral and religious maxims, sentiments and habits. To the God of Nature she is indebted for her prolific soil; her salubrious climate, and her numerous navigable and fertilizing streams. But to the Genius of Republicanism, under the guidance of the same Eternal Power, she owes the beneficent improvement of her natural advantages, the expansion of her moral faculties, and the freedom which so happily and so eminently distinguishes her government from that of every other nation on the face of the globe.
From this elevated and brilliant view of the past and present, which affords ground to cherish the most delightful and sublime anticipations of her future glory, we cannot prostitute this Address by descending into the arena of electioneering. We cannot stoop to specify and refute in detail, all the flimsy and thread-bare criminations against your republican systems and rulers in general, as well as against the candidates we recommend, which will be brought forward by our opponents, in the vain hope, as we trust, of diverting your suffrages from those who merit them, to clothe with the honours of office the candidates of a party, which as all its cunning was exerted to paralyze our energies in a period of war and adversity, has justly forfeited all claim to our confidence in the days of peace, and returning prosperity.
Dismissing, therefore, all fear, fellow-citizens, that you will suffer the clamours of federalism to divert your suffrages from their wonted republican course; we have still to guard you against yielding to suggestions of apathy, or feelings of resentment, growing out of the unfortunate collisions which have heretofore sprung up in the republican ranks. Every individual cannot be suited in a candidate; and mutual forbearance must pave the way to mutual exertion and final success. Let us, therefore, as brethren of the same principle, discard all minor considerations; and we shall not only move together to the polls, but victory will crown our exertions, and our country will reap the fruits of our generous and magnanimous union, our active and disinterested zeal.
FRANCIS A. BLOODGOOD,
MOSES I. CANTINE,
ARCHIBALD S. CLARK,
PETER R. LIVINGSTON,
JOHN I. PRENDERGAST,
MARTIN VAN BEUREN,
SAMUEL G. VERBRYCK,
BENJAMIN F. THOMPSON,
NATHANIEL P. HILL,
HENRY B. LEE,
ASA C BARNEY,
HARMANUS A. VAN SLUCYK,
PETER A. HILTON,
WILLIAM C. BOUCK,
WILLIAM D. FORD,
GAMALIEL H. BARSTOW,
JOHN H. BEACH,
JOHN BROWN, Junr.
TIMOTHY H. PORTER,
JACOB L. LARZELERE,