SEVERAL FATHERS.- The Commonwealth, a Boston free soil paper,
has lately charged Henry Clay with being the author of the fugitive slave law.
During the Fall campaign, Daniel Webster was decried, denounced, cursed
and damned for being the author of the fugitive slave law. Every free soil
press, and every free soil stump-speaker, vied with its fellow laborer in manufacturing
condemnatory epithets to be applied to the present Secretary of State for originating
the fugitive slave law. Soon after said law passed Congress and received the
signature of the President, Millard Fillmore was charged with being the author
of it, by many free soilers, and an attempt was made to create a prejudice against
the whig party, by trumpeting about the country the falsehood that the President
was the author of the odious law. Taking free soilers for authority, the
fugitive slave law has several fathers, to say nothing about democratic
Mr. Mason of Virginia, who, as every honest man will admit, devised said law
and introduced it into the Senate. The late U. S. census will not suffer us
to doubt that the same parent may be blessed with a numerous offspring, but
it was reserved for a free soil census to disclose the fact that the
same child may lay claim to a numerous parentage. Should any quarrel
arise between the reputed parents of this fugitive child, respecting
the rightful possession of it, we doubt not that a free soil Solomon will be
ready to quarter the animal, and divide it among the claimants.
The charge that the fugitive law was devised by Webster or Fillmore, and passed
by the whig party, has been so often asserted by the free soilers, and so often
refuted by the whig press, that nothing but willful blindness can keep one ignorant
of the truth. He whose eyes are still shut against the light, is not worth the
cost of enlightening him.
The free soilers of Massachusetts find themselves in such a 'smash up' with
the party that has the peculiar honor of devising and passing the fugitive law,
that their leading organs are constrained to attempt to divert the public gaze
from their unwarrantable and detestable union, or rather attempted
union with the locos, by still persisting in their attempts to cast the odium
of the parentage of the fugitive law upon the whigs. The fugitive child of which
we have been speaking is a nephew or niece (doubtful which) to the free soil
party, being locofoco in its lineal? descent, and there being brotherly
ties, at present, between the free soil and democratic parties, we see
no legal or political impediment why this fugitive child may not claim
the free soil party as its own uncle. The uncle may repudiate the relation,
or the nephew may be ashamed of its uncle, but the world knows the relationship
It is a singular circumstance that these same individuals who have been successively
pronounced father of the fugitive law by the free soil press, have likewise
been charged with bidding for Southern votes in 1852. They say Daniel Webster
originated the fugitive law for the purpose of conciliating the South and securing
their votes for the next Presidency. They charge the same upon Millard Fillmore.
Now, since each of the above named gentlemen could not originate the
fugitive law, the free soilers stand contradicted and condemned by their own
mouths. When they charge each of several individuals with being the author of
the execrable law, for the purpose of making political capital, may we not safely
conclude that they have the same object in view, when charging them with "bidding
for Southern votes?" When Millard Fillmore, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay
are alternately declared father of the fugitive law, is it not manifest that
the free soil organs publish such contradictions and falsehoods for the purpose
of defaming the whig party? They fondly hope that by attacking each distinguished
members of the whig party, they shall succeed in demolishing the whole party.
But they will sooner or later learn their mistake.
We do not propose to defend Fillmore, Webster or Clay in their relation to
the fugitive law; they may possibly survive their Lilliputian calumniators.
We only wish to call the attention of our readers to the contradictory charges
of the free soilers, who, in their political aberrations, betray motives very
similar to those so freely charge upon whigs.