New York Herald, "Political Agitation in this Metropolis," Febraury 26, 1858

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    "Political Agitation in this Metropolis -- Movements in Favor of the Administration," New York Herald, February 26, 1858, p. 4: 2-3.
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    New York Herald
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    Political Agitation in this Metropolis -- Movements in Favor of the Administration
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    Michael Blake, Dickinson College
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    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    Political Agitation in this Metropolis -- Movements in Favor of the Administration.

    The difficultly which at this time attends every effort of any party to get up in this metropolis a political agitation of any sort is something very remarkable.  Outside of the little knots and cliques of scheming and agitating politicians, the people of all parties here appear to be perfectly satisfied of the justice, honesty, good sense and success of Mr. Buchanan's administration.  In this connection we may truly say that if there be any general anxiety whatever existing in this community in regard to Kansas, it is in favor of her earliest possible admission as a State, in order that this bone of sectional agitation may cease to distract and embarrass the practical business affairs of the country. 

    We have lately had a very satisfactory bit of testimony upon this subject in the troubles and embarrassments which attended the efforts of the Douglas-Walker clique in the matte of their late anti-Lecompton demonstration.  The doors of the Academy of Music were thrust in their faces.  They could hardly get a place, of all the numerous places in this city, in which to hold their meeting.  At last that dark and contracted establishment known as the Chinese Assembly Rooms, heretofore devoted almost exclusively to negro minstrelsy, was secured.  Here it was that Mr. ex-Secretary Stanton, of Kansas, made known his official grievances to a gathering of some five or six hundred black republicans, Know Nothings and disappointed democratic office beggars - very much, no doubt, to the edification of the Rev. George Bancroft, the distinguished godfather of the movement.

    Meantime, be it remembered, that will all the shrieking and howling of our republican and Know Nothing newspapers over "the infamous Lecompton swindle," neither the republican party nor the Know Nothing function of this city has dared upon its own account to try the experiment of a public anti-Lecompton demonstration.  And why not?  Because the republican and Know Nothing leaders here are well convinced that the masses of this community are sick and disgusted with this Kansas squabble, and entirely resigned to leave its solution to the action of Congress upon the President’s recommendations.

    But how stands the matte among our sublime democracy?  They are cut up into various cliques and coteries, and a spirit of rivalry for the spoils and of jealousy, distrust and backwardness exists among their several leaders, utterly inexplicable; and yet there has been something done in the Old Tammany for the Lecompton Programme, and a great deal more may shortly be expected.  Two or Three general democratic committees are at work, each claiming to hold the front seat in the synagogue.  The Independent Committee, as it calls itself, whose head is Mr. Witter, has had a consultation down in the Tammany coal hole, and has resolved upon a grand public meeting in Mozart Hall, Broadway, near Bond street, next Tuesday evening.  The celebrated Caleb Cushing is expected as the chief orator on the occasion.  Should he be present and make one of those splendid speeches which he can make, if he will, to the point and the purpose, we may, among other things, anticipate such a setting down of the great historian turned small politician as the Rev. George Bancroft will remember for the rest of his days.

    Another general committee of the Old Wigwam , the head of which is Mr. Sweeney, and the tail Mr. Fowler, is also preparing to get up a sort of Lecompton meeting, and in the sanctum sanctorum of old Tammany itself.  To this end the necessary bill heads have been put in circulation for the signatures of our down town merchants and traders, so as to make the call for this assemblage as imposing as possible. The Committee concerned claim to be, par excellence, the General Democratic Committee, but his is the weak point in the movement; for the leaders thereof are among those pure and sanctimonious democrats who recently bolted the regular democratic city ticket and joined all the odds and ends of the opposition in the election of Mayor Tiemann.

    But still another committee, known as the Central Democratic Club, are preparing for a Lecompton manifestation - from all which it appears that, although divided into cliques and factions upon the spoils and plunder, there is a pretty general sentiment of co-operation among the several branches of the party here in support of the Kansas policy of the administration.  Another fact is thus developed, to wit: - that Kansas is but a secondary question among these democratic committees; for if it were the overruling issue between them, a common concurrence upon the Lecompton policy would be equivalent to a cordial reunion of these party cliques and factions.   Of another thing, however, we are well assure, that the masses of the New York democracy here, of all factions, will hail with satisfaction and a sense of great relief the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton constitution, and without a why or wherefore.

    The great and most impressive fact of all, however, in this connection, remains unshaken- the fact that all the efforts of all sorts of politicians to get up a Kansas agitation in the city, have utterly failed.  With the election of Mr. Buchanan the Kansas agitation went down to the freezing point, and there it has remained among the body of the people throughout the country to this day.  After the tremendous excitement of the Fremont campaign, the people required a resting spell from this nigger epidemic, and they have been taking it, and are still resting from their exhausting fever of 1856.

    For  example: at our last November election 150,000 voters remained at home, toasting their shins and trusting to luck in our State affairs, and satisfied that the new federal administration was doing well enough, at all events, to be let alone.  This sentiment, we believe, has been expanding until the popular mind is convinced of the stability, consistency, sagacity and honesty of Mr. Buchanan's policy, and of his capability to make it good upon all essentials great and small, including Kansas, "Popular rights" and "popular sovereignty," Central American affairs, and everything else.

    Let Kansas shriekers, black republicans, democratic Presidential demagogues and disappointed office beggars rail on while yet they may, for their time is short.  The American people have settled down into the belief that the game of the Kansas agitators is nearly "played out" -  that her immediate admission as a State will give peace to Kansas herself, and that the policy of "Old Buck" is the true policy.  The sentiment of the people of this metropolis is decidedly in favor of the admission of Kansas as soon as possible - the sooner the better.  Political demagogues and sectional agitators have been using Kansas difficulty, to the embarrassment of all our practical business operations, long enough.  Our people want this stumbling block removed out of the way, so that they may proceed again to reopen the channels of trade, to extend their gambling operations in stocks and speculative enterprises, and to enlarge their dealings in cotton, sugar, molasses, codfish, lumber, dry goods, railroads and ocean steamers.

    Pass the Lecompton constitution.  The masses of this community, of all parties, and the masses of the American people, of all sections, have no fear of the consequences - none whatever; but they want this Kansas apple of discord out of the way, so that Congress may proceed to some measures of practical legislation.  The Kansas shriekers have done their worst, and the success of the Lecompton constitution will be but the beginning of an administration as successful as that of Gen. Jackson.  

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