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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO
From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, August 8, 1860.
The Election-A Glorious Republican Triumph.
The most severely contested of elections has resulted in the most decisive of victories for the Free Democracy of St. Louis. The campaign has no parallel in the history of our politics. The returns show the largest vote ever polled in the county, and the result is the election of Frank Blair and our whole ticket by about fourteen hundred majority. Two years ago the vote of the county was 19,356; this time it is between five and six thousand more. Each party was successful in bringing out its whole strength notwithstanding the falling off in the Union vote from the American vote two years ago. That falling off is accounted for by a corresponding increase in the Democratic vote. Barret, who was beaten by Breckinridge in the Eastern Precinct of the Fifth Ward-the stronghold of the Opposition-three hundred and ninety-five votes, beats Todd in that precinct a hundred votes; and in the Eastern Precinct of Sixth Ward, in which Breckinridge beat Barret two hundred and fifty-seven votes, Todd only beats him sixty. This tells the whole tale. We have also had to contend with the Douglas and Breckinridge factions combined, each of which supported Barret.
It is true we have lost the short term for Congress, but how could it be otherwise when the great body of the Union party intervened in favor of Barret? The Union Convention refused to make a nomination for that term, in order to maintain-so it was said-the neutrality of the party. The figures show what kind of neutrality it was which our Union friends maintained. While the Republicans voted for Orr and the Union State ticket, giving that ticket twice as many votes in this county as it got from the Union men themselves, the latter are proved by the infallible figures to have elected Barret for the short term. We content ourselves with stating the fact. After such a victory as we have won, magnanimity is becoming. Besides we know the Union men who voted for Barret are thoroughly ashamed of themselves, and if the election were to be held over again, that Blair would get three thousand majority for the short term. The News, the organ of the party, tells some wholesome truths, and administers a just rebuke to the members of that party who voted for Barret. We quote the following from that paper as conclusive of the fact of how we were beaten for the short term, and as an explanation to our friends abroad.
“From the returns it appears that, in the race for the vacancy in Congress, in which the Union men had no candidate, about 2,400 of them voted for Dick Barret and about 900 for Frank Blair. We confess that this interference in behalf of Barret is shameful and without any sort of apology; and is most ungrateful, considered in view of the vote thrown by Blair's friends for Judge Orr.”
We repeat we are too well pleased with the general result to indulge in any reproaches, but we would call the attention of the Union men who voted for Barret to the extent of the cheat which has been practiced upon them. They got not a solitary vote in return for the 2,400 which they gave the Douglas candidate for Congress! Well, we leave them to their own reflections.
Our victory has been won without a trade or coalition of any kind. It is a straight-out Republican triumph. True, we gave our votes as a general thing to the Union State ticket, but this we did from high motives of public duty, and without asking or receiving any return. St. Louis is, therefore, a Republican city. We had to withstand the unpleasant sentiment occasioned by the "Impending Crisis," a work which, now that election is over, we will say that we do not indorse. The contest has been fought by the Republican party on the Chicago platform and on the emancipation principle. The one was our National, and the other our State platform, throughout the campaign. We took no backward step. We lowered not the flag. On the contrary, it was advanced higher, and further forward than ever before. We even refused to disclaim any position, however extreme, on the slavery question, which the enemy attributed to us. We acted uniformly on the offensive-never on the defensive. The apologetic tone could not be discovered in anything said or written on the part of the Republican party. We dared to invite the most radical exponents of our doctrines from abroad, and to publish their speeches in the very storm and whirlwind of the canvass. If we erred at all, we erred on the side of boldness.
It is therefore with feelings of just pride, that we send this message, greeting to our Republican brethren throughout the country. We have fought and won the Montebello of the Presidential campaign. We even give assurance that St. Louis county will go for Lincoln and Hamlin in November by two thousand majority, and that the two candidates will receive at least thirty-five thousand votes in Missouri. We have satisfied both ourselves and the pro-slavery party that the Free Labor cause can never be crushed out in this State. The struggle for a mere footing is closed, and the redemption of the State is now but a question of time. St. Louis is indeed the Gibraltar-the impregnable fortress of freedom-in the slave States.
In justice to Mayor Filley and the police, it is but proper to state that the election was a peaceable and orderly one-perhaps the most peaceable and orderly we have ever had.
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