The Old Guard/Volume 1/Issue 2/Governor Parker's Inaugural Address

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The Old Guard
Volume 1, Issue 2 (February, 1863): Governor Parker's Inaugural Address

The Inaugural Address of Governor Parker, of New Jersey, is received throughout the country with the strongest expressions of approval by all true friends of the constitution and laws. The abuse it receives from the abolition papers is another evidence that it is a statesman-like and patriotic document. In some respects it is a bolder and an abler paper than the message of Gov. Seymour, and places Gov. Parker in the front ranks of the strong, true men who are to stay the destructive sweep or revolution, and restore to the people the reign of constitutional and statute laws. We have seen no public document that goes more thoroughly to the root of the Executive usurpation and tyranny that have disgraced and justly alarmed the nation for the last two years. It is almost the first full and clear announcement of the time-honored principles of State-rights, which have been held as the palladium of liberty from the foundation of our government, that we have listened to since the dark hour that placed this abolition federal administration in power. Gov. Olden, although not the most rabid type of abolitionist, has permitted the Federal Government to override the Constitution and laws of the State of New Jersey. And even men who were elected to the last legislature as Democrats, officially reported that there was "no cause for action" in cases where the State laws had been stricken down, and the most sacred rights of our citizens trampled upon by the heel of federal power. Gov. Parker’s address sets the seal of condemnation upon these dangerous and insulting wrongs. Under his administration New Jersey is to be a State again—it is to have rights, and her people are to enjoy the security and protection which the laws and the Constitution throw around every citizen. With this return of law and order Gov. Parker will identify his name. His position as Governor of the only Northern State that did not cast its electoral vote for Lincoln will draw the attention of the nation to his administration, and will enable him to bear a leading part in the grand work of snatching the nation from the consuming fires of anarchy and revolution, in which Lincoln and his party are engulphing it. If his courage and firmness are equal to the great work before him, and which he has so happily begun, he will leave a name which will occupy one of the brightest pages in American history. The fame of saving one’s country in the time of peril is often greater than the glory of establishing it. The deeds of Washington and the heroes of the Revolution will slip into comparative oblivion, unless the ship of State can be safely guided out of this all-devouring mælstrom of abolitionism. If this lawless and destructive spirit is not arrested, we shall break, not into one, but a dozen governments. No nation can long hold together with a dominant party teaching that there is a higher law than the constitution, and that compacts and laws are to be disregarded when they come in the way of their fancies and prejudices.