Monday, September 27, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO Bell, Everett Rally

Campaign banner for Constitutional Union party presidential and vice presidential candidates Bell and Everett. The two men stand before a large curtain, their hands resting on the Constitution. Behind the Constitution, the curtains part to show a rising sun. Above, a large eagle stands on a shield holding a banderole with the motto, "Liberty and Union Now and Forever One and Inseperable. No North, No South, No East, No West, Nothing but the Union." Below the figures are streamers with the candidates' names.  (Library of Congress)
[Below: Excerpt from UT Tyler Digital Archives]
THE CONSTITUTIONAL [ALEXANDRIA, LA], September 29, 1860, p. 2, c. 4

Make Way for the "Old
Rapides Opposed to Dis-
"Silence That Awful
700 Union Men on the
Great Enthusiasm!!!!!!

In accordance with the request of the Executive Committee, the friends of Bell and Everett rallied in large numbers on Saturday evening last, at the rooms of the Constitutional Union Club of Rapides, to take part in the grand torch-light procession, announced for that evening.

It was a success in the fullest sense of the word, realizing our most sanguine expectations, showing that even here in the very hot bed of "Fugitive" Democracy, the Union cause has a strong hold upon the hearts of the people; that it is a power full of life, vigor and energy, marching onward silently, keeping its own counsels, but like the resistless waves of the ocean, advancing with constant increasing force, and arriving at victory over the prostrate forms of secession and disunion.

The procession started from the Hall at an early hour, headed by a wagon carying [sic] a huge bell, with a transparency at each of the four corners, bearing the motto, "THE UNION IS OUR WATCH WORD." Throughout the procession were distributed something over three hundred and fifty flaming torches, thirty-four tri-colored transparencies representing the thirty three States and District of Columbia, and a number of larger transparencies with appropriate devices and mottoes. One represented the glorious old ship "Constitution," about to be dashed upon the rocks, but fortunately the sound of the fog "bell" is heard in time to rescue her. Another represented John Bell's negro man with a bell requesting the defaulting post-masters and office holders to "walk up and settle," and another portrayed Douglas and Breckinridge busily engaged in sawing the platform apart, while Lincoln coming up with a rail under his arm, remarks, "I always split 'em." Bringing up the rear was another wagon containing the members of "The Union Glee Club," who enlivened us occasionally with their spirit stirring songs.

As the procession paraded through the various streets, with their huge bell pealing out its long loud notes, the long imposing array of flaming lights and transparencies, the glorious song and cheer after cheer ascending up. Democracy sank away abashed, disheartened, while aloft was borne another note to the grand old song of the Union, which will chime in with the great National symphony on the sixth of November next.
After completing the circuit of the town, the crowd repaired to the Court House square and were addressed by Col. A. N. Ogden, and Major John Kelso. . .

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