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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO
March and April of 1859
From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, April 5, 1859..
RESULT OF THE ELECTION.
Thrice, in three consecutive years have the Free-Soil party of St. Louis thrown down the gauge to the slavery propagandists, and thrice have they emerged from the conflict with victory and honor. Yesterday, this noble city repeated her vows of fealty to the great cause of Free Labor by a majority which satisfies every desire of the present, dispels every apprehension of the future, and atones magnanimously for the untoward event of August. The entire Free Democratic ticket has been elected by a plurality of nearly 8000. The triumph of the Emancipationists two years ago, is thus shown to have been no more ebulition of Free Soil sentiment, but the expression of profound though long suppressed conviction. The glory which shed its light on St. Louis then, was no meteor bred of political storms, but the calm reflection of the unchangeable soul light of Freedom. Thrice have we wrestled with the enemy, and thrice has he fallen face downward. Prejudice, ignorance, and corruption; the appliances of the federal, state, and county authorities; the influence of a journal which battens on plunder and trades in lies, and the railroad organizations (victualled as they are by the tax payers of St. Louis,) united in a body to elect their representative man Louis V. Bogy-towards whom we now entertain no feeling but compassion. The tempering of victory with humanity is a leading trait of heroism, and in recollection of this truth we shall say no more of the defeated candidate of the County Court, the Republican and the slavery propagandists.
We reassert the fact that the election of O. D. Filley and his associates is the reaffirmation of the principles of freedom. This statement admits of no qualification, but nevertheless we will acknowledge the victory is that of principles rather than of party. The protest against the corruption of the County Court produced hundreds of ballots for the Free Democracy. The Americans, in large numbers, manfully broke off the withes of partizan association, and "voted their sentiments." Wisely and nobly they ignored the remote issues in the presence of the immediate ones. Once they were misled. Following the standard which had passed into the hands of incompetent or treacherous leaders, they found themselves toward the close of the first Monday in August, far away from the strife; and they awoke the next day to learn that the slavery oligarchy had captured the one great fortress of free speech and free thought, which towers from slave soil. The repetition of the error were impossible to brave men and patriots, and accordingly they redeemed themselves yesterday with a spirit and generosity which can never fail to be remembered. We are proud to think it will be no temporary alliance. We regard it as the pledge of future harmony and cooperation, and as the guarantee that the two great branches of the Opposition will combine in purpose and numbers to wrest the Federal Government in 1860 from the contemptible and vicious regime of the National Democracy. This promise in not less gratifying to us than the performance just closed, for it imports a wise tolerance and large liberality among various classes and diverse opinions for the common good; and furthermore it assures us of a revolution in national affairs. All nationalities participated in the victory of yesterday. Henceforward let us recognise an inviolable fraternity, until the high places of the nation are purged of Pro-Slavery Democracy. The tide is rolled back for ever from the frontiers of this State. Last summer the Lethean flood of niggerism almost closed above our heads. Friends at home desponded, and friends abroad despaired. We showed, by incontestible proof, that the result of that election was not a fact but a fraud; but yet we experience how hard it is to reassure a dispirited host. The event of yesterday shines like a fixed star through the clouds and mists. The city of St. Louis belongs no more to the pro-slavery faction than the rock and fortress of Gibraltar to the Spaniards. Never can the principles of free soil, free speech and free labor be dislodged from the right bank of the Mississippi. Any retrospect would be sadly incomplete unless it embraced the independent daily press which differs from us in politics. The great ability, unflagging zeal and nice tact displayed by the Evening News in the controversy which commenced with the oppressions of the County Court, which reached its acme yesterday, and which must continue until the first Monday of August next, have been largely conducive to the greatness of our success. Its splendid advocacy of the principles of reform, economy and integrity represented by Filley and his coadjutors, contributed to swell the majority of these gentlemen to the large figures which the returns accord to them this morning. The Express has also been active and efficient.
Of the Free Democratic German press-powerful in influence and talent-we can only say that never before did it give more emphatic expression or more pointed direction to the sentiments of the German population of St. Louis. Were we to indite a more formal eulogy, it might be construed as an assumption on our part to exercise the office of censor, and distribute praise and blame-an assumption which good taste must condemn when equals and fellow soldiers are speaking of one another.
In conclusion, let us venture to say to all opponents of the National Democracy, be of good cheer! The voice of the people of St. Louis has pronounced final condemnation upon corruption and slavery and in all their forms-upon the Federal Government, the State Government and the County Government. It has given renewed assurance that Missouri will persevere in her work of regeneration, that free labor shall find within her borders the most profitable field of employment, that her commerce and manufacturers will be fostered, and that her chief city will assuredly impregnate her with the vital doctrine which give permanent welfare to nations.
Rejoicings at the Result
A more enthusiastic and jovial crew than that assembled in and around the DEMOCRAT office last night was never seen in this city. Returns came in pretty early, and when it was settled that Mr. Filley and the whole ticket was elected by an unprecedented majority, the jubilee began. A magnificent bonfire was kindled at the corner of Second and Locust streets. Innumerable rockets, Roman candles and fire-wheels were let off in beautiful style. A band of music was secured, and passed through various streets of the city, followed by a crowd wild with cheers and huzzas. The offices of the Evening News, Express, Anzeiger and Post were all serenaded. No lights at the Republican and Herald offices. The crowd dispersed at a very late hour.
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