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FROM HON. JOHN CONNESS, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.
SENATE CHAMBER, Washington, Dec. 12, 1865.
DEAR SIR: Your note inviting me to attend a meeting to be held in New York, for the purpose of giving expression to American opinion on the subject of the "Monroe Doctrine," is just received.
It will not be in my power to be present on the occasion; but I can assure you fully of my concurrence in the movement.
No more opportune time could be selected for a protest of the American people against the interference of European monarchists with republican institutions on this continent than the present.
The constant menace of the baser tyrannies of the old world during the recent rebellion will remain fresh in the memories of our people for many a day. The advantage taken by the Emperor of France of our direst troubles and needs in the invasion of Mexico, and the attempts of that usurper and traitor to liberty to establish an empire there by force of arms, has no parallel in history. Undertaken by him upon the double pretence of a defence of French interests, and in behalf of "order," he has become the author of wrong and disorder, which must continue until he shall withdraw his hirelings and pretenders to the place whence they came.
Spain, following the bad example, has assaulted the Republic of Perú, and exacted terms which the people of that noble country have contemptuously rejected. Upon the most shallow and baseless excuses and allegations, Spain has followed up her attack upon Perú by an assault upon the independence of Chili, which republic was menaced by war, or presented the alternative of degradation. To the everlasting credit of that gallant, free, and peaceful people, the guage of war has been accepted, and now it is for a just world, but particularly for the American people, to decide whether these constant interferences and assaults on republican institutions and the public peace shall continue. For one, I am in favor of plain language to European Powers. We are for peace and good will on earth. We do not claim the right of forcible propagation of our political principles; but we believe in them and in the advantage to mankind of their extension.
You shall not suppress them by force. You have not been appointed by the world as masters, neither as pacificators according to your practice. We speak in our own behalf, and in behalf of the independence of nations and peoples.
Let this be our diplomacy, not diluted until dissolved, and my opinion is that we will soon enter upon an era in which the practice of each nation of the world will be to mind their own business.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
To Hon. E. G. Squier, Chairman, &c.
FROM HON. ROBERT DALE OWEN, OF INDIANA. NEW YORK, Jan. 1, 1866. GENTLEMEN: Your kind invitation finds my time so engrossed that I am unable to prepare anything worth giving to the public at your meeting next Saturday.
I take a deep interest, however, in the subject. It is not now a theory of which we may safely put off the solution for years. It knocks at the door. It involves the fate of our nearest neighbor.
I do not regard the twenty-year-long dissensions of Mexico as the mere result of individual ambitions, or as the national brawls of a people incapable of self-government. I see in these the great struggle through which all nations must pass the contest between privilege and oppression on the one hand, and liberal principles and institutions on the other. They had their iucubus as well as we. Ours was slavery; theirs the overshadowing temporal power of a church which held in fee one-fourth-some estimate, one-third-of all lands and houses in the Republic.
Like us, they brought their contest of long years to a successful termination. Like us, they might look forward, as the reward of victory, to a prosperous and peaceful future.
Their hopes were blasted by foreign interference. The excuse was that they must be governed by others since they could not govern themselves. But despotism is not the remedy for internal commotions; least of all, despotism in America under European protection.
National peace is, of all national blessings, the greatest. Therefore, it behoves us to avoid not only the immediate but the more remote causes of war. I do not believe that we can maintain permanent peace with a European despotism next door to us; but neither do I think that war will ensue, in this case, if resolution, with good temper, mark our policy now.
We must be bold in the present, if we would avoid war in the future. The "Monroe Doctrine," temperately asserted, is peace.
I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,
ROBERT DALE OWEN. To the Hon. E. Geo. Squier and others, Committee:
FROM HON. DANIEL S. DICKENSON, OF NEW YORK.
NEW YORK, Jan. 5, 1866.
GENTLEMEN: Your note inviting me to address a meeting at the Cooper Institute to-morrow evening, called to indicate the popular sentiment on the subject of the "Monroe Doctrine," has been received, and my thanks are returned for the complimentary remembrance.
There is, perhaps, no question of national policy, either foreign or domestic, upon which the American people of all sections and parties are so firmly united and so resolutely determined, as upon that of resistance to the encroachments of monarchy upon this continent. In short, so often and so unanimously has this sentiment been asserted and repeated that the world knows it by heart.
The world knows, too, that it is one of the most cherished principles of republican institutions; that it is deemed essential to their safety and exemption from the conflicts which are wont to spring up and flourish in the pestilent atmosphere of monarchy; and the world should know, that it is the last point to be yielded to force or be circumvented by fraud.
Entertaining, as I do to their fullest extent, these convictions, I am aware that the subject is at this time somewhat interwoven with our foreign relations, always a deli
cate subject, and especially so at this time, when we are surrounded by jealousies and irritations; and having full confidence in the wisdom and patriotism of the President, his Cabinet and Congress in the premises, I have deemed it proper, in view of an official relation with the Federal Government, not to mingle in popular demonstrations upon the subject at this time, lest such action might be misconstrued or misunderstood to the prejudice of others I have the honor to be, gentlemen, Your obedient servant,
D. S. DICKINSON. Hon. E. GEO. SQUIER and others, Committee.
FROM HON. R. T. VAN HORN, OF MISSOURI.
GENTLEMEN: I have delayed an answer to your invitation to attend a meeting on the 6th with the hope that it would be possible to be present, but I am compelled to forego that pleasure.
Let me say a word. The air is full of strange rumors, which are well calculated to alarm every patriotic American. We must appeal to the people at once, and arouse the country to the danger.
If a monarchy be established in Mexico, we shall be untrue to our duty, and will receive the execrations of the lovers of Freedom throughout the world.
The talk that Napoleon will withdraw his troops, if let alone, may be true; but they will be withdrawn when the liberties of the Mexican people shall have been trampled under his feet.
There is but one way to secure their withdrawal-and that is, the open, manly one, of a notice to quit, backed by a demonstration on the frontier to enforce it if declined.
The great West is ready-it is a unit, and will not be silenced,
Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Colorado will drive out the foreign troops, without a man being taken from other States.
All they are waiting for is the word, and they will answer for the result.
¡Very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. T. VAN HORN. Messrs. E. GEO. SQUIER, E. L. VIELE, CHARLES D. PASTON, A. H. DUGANNE, J. A. WHEELOCK, Committee.
FROM HON. J. BAKER, OF ILLINOIS.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 1865.
Hon. E. G. Squier and others, Commmittee :
GENTLEMEN My duties here as a member of Congress will preclude my attending the meeting on the 8th of next month, to which you invite me. I will add, however, a few words on the particular subject which you have in hand.
The present French Emperor has somewhere said, in substance, that one of the Napoleonic ideas is, to keep step with the movement of one's age; and that if a man fails to do this, by standing still or going backwards, he is apt to get run over-a first-rate idea, by the way-but the Mexican scheme of the Emperor is a flat violation of it. The idea will prove itself true in this as in hundreds of other instances; the scheme will fail. The movement of the age is progressive, not retrograde, or even stationary. The tendency is to larger liberty, in fact, in form, and among all men, and will not allow the founding of a throne, at the point of foreign bayonets, upon the ruins of an American Republic. The idea of being flanked by such a monarchy upon our southwestern border, presided over by an offshoot of the House of Hapsburg, is perfectly preposterous, and not for a moment to be entertained by any friend of liberty in America or Europe. The thing is morally, politically, historically impossible, and never would have entered the head of Louis Napoleon, had he not been entrapped, by his want of sympathy with freedom, into the shallow supposition that this country was going to be done for by the rebellion. In my judgment, this Republic should stand for liberty on the con tinent,