Call for a State Convention of the National Union Party. To the Citizens of New Jersey. Charles G. McChesney.
Call for a State Convention of the National Union Party. To the Citizens of New Jersey.
Call for a State Convention of the National Union Party. To the Citizens of New Jersey.

Call for a State Convention of the National Union Party. To the Citizens of New Jersey.

Jersey City, New Jersey: John H. Lyon & Co., Steam Printers, 23 Montgomery St., [1860]. Broadside, 48 x 24 cm.

A rare broadside appealing to the people of New Jersey to form a National Union Party, published just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War by a committee of the NUP.

The text begins by noting that the call for the National Republican nominating Convention to meet in Chicago next June has been so worded as to embrace the “politically foreign” New Jersey supporters of Fillmore & Donelson (i.e., the Know Nothings), despite the fact that four years prior in 1856 they opposed the Republican Party. Thus, the Fillmore and Donelson Presidential Executive Committee held a meeting to initiate the formation of a Union Party in New Jersey. The broadside offered here was issued by a committee formed at that meeting.

The authors note that it is “needless to remind you that at this time the heart of the Nation is deeply stirred with the dread of evils threatening the future … Congress no longer meets to discuss measures for the good of the whole country; but sectionalism runs so high that the dissolution of the Union is freely discussed.” The sectionalism is said to be felt in the “disruption of religious institutions” and “in the destruction of the confidence of the people in each other.” Noting that the stability of America’s institutions is currently threatened, the committee calls for harmony to be speedily restored; otherwise, “it is impossible to estimate the disasters the country will suffer.” The “warning words” of George Washington in his Farewell Address are quoted at length.

The repeal of the Missouri Compromise is invoked—here dubbed “a compact of peace between the North and South”—which furnished an “excuse” for the Republican party’s formation. The authors contend that “experience has shown that emigration will settle” the issue opened up by this repeal: “No doubt can exist that the whole Territory north of the line then indicated will come into the Union as free States. Slavery is not extended, and there is no danger of its extension in any Territory, so that the mission of the Republican party is fulfilled.” The Democratic party is characterized in stark terms: “The leaders of these parties, actuated by an inordinate thirst of official power and plunder, are urging on a conflict without regard to consequences, which can only be repressed by a powerful and united effort of the conservative men of all parties in the Union.”

An exhortation follows:

For once be aroused to action by the dark clouds that seem about to burst with all their fury over the Republic. New Jersey is the bond of union between the free and slave States. Upon her soil was the battle fought which turned the tide that led to the establishment of our liberty and the formation of the Union. On it, also, must the struggle be made which shall rebuke the sectionalism that threatens our Union, and thus once more restore the comity of our sister States.

The broadside concludes with an appeal to like-minded citizens to send delegates to a State Convention, to be held in Trenton, New Jersey on 22 February 1860, followed by a list of those who support “the objects of the National Union Party.”

OCLC records just one copy, in the New Jersey State Library.

A founding document of the National Union Party in New Jersey.

CONDITION: Some losses to the margins, creasing, some separation along old folds, one repaired with document repair tape on verso; no losses to the text.

Item #5312

Price: $1,250.00

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