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DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION,
AT BALTIMORE, JUNE 1–5, 1852.
TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 1852.
The delegates elect to the Democratic National Convention assembled in the hall of the Maryland Institute, in Baltimore, which had been prepared for their reception by a Committee of Arrangements appointed by the democrats of Baltimore, to whom the convention were indebted, throughout the session, for their voluntary contributions and untiring exertions, through their committees and the persons employed by them, for the accommodations which were furnished, to the fullest extent, in the most liberal and convenient manner possible, for so large an assemblage. Neither pains nor expense were spared by the people of Baltimore to promote the comfort and facilitate the proceedings of the convention. The delegation of each State was attended by pages from the public schools, who had volunteered their services.
At 12 o'clock precisely, Hon. B. F. HALLETT, of Massachusetts, took the chair, and said :
Gentlemen Delegates elect to the Democratic National Convention : It has been assigned to me, as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, appointed by the last convention, to call this convention to order. Is it your pleasure that the convention do now come to order ?
Cries of " aye!"' « aye!”
Mr. HALLETT. Gentlemen, I am requested by the Committee of Arrangements, who have provided this hall for us, to state that their ne. cessities have required that they should so arrange the seats upon this platform as to correspond, for each State, to the number of its electoral members in the electoral college ; and they request, as a means of forwarding the order and deliberations of this convention, and arriving at that result of harmony and co-operation which we so earnestly desire, that those States whose delegates are here in larger numbers than their congressional votes, will have the kindness to make a selection, or designation, in such manner as to leave upon the platform the number of per. sons corresponding to their electoral votes; and those who exceed that number, whether as delegates or alternates, will be accommodated with seats below the platform. The members of the State conventions, and those who are not delegates, except those who have been assigned seats upon this platform, are also requested to take their seats below.
Gentlemen, if you will give me your attention, I will proceed, as a matter of form, to read the call which was made for this convention. It is as follows:
To the Democratic Party throughout the Union.
WASHINGTON, January 1, 1852. A concentration of opinion from all the States, as far as practicable, upon some time and place for holding the next National Democratic Con. vention, is indispensable to the union and organization of the party for the presidential canvass of 1952.
With this view the “ Democratic National Committee," consisting of one from each State, appointed by the Democratic National Convention of 1818, “to promote the democratic cause," and with the power to fill vacancies, assembled in this city, in pursuance of a well-considered call for that purpose ; at which meeting, on the 29th and 30th of December, 1851, and the 1st of January, 1852, the thirty-one States of the Union were represented. And, upon conterence with democratic members of Congress, and consulting the action of State conventions, as far as they have expressed any wishes on the subject, the committee, with entire unanimity, have arrived at a conclusion, which they respectfully submit for your ratification.
The Democratic National Committee accordingly recommend that a convention of the democratic party throughout the Union, by delegates duly appointed by the democrats of the several States, be held in the city of Baltimore, on Tuesday, the first day of June, 1852, (at 12 m.,) to nominate candidates for President and Vice President of the United States, to be supported by the democratic party at the election on Tuesday, the 24 day of November, 1852.
The national convention of 1848 adopted the following recommendation as to the number of delegates to be chosen in each State :
"Resolved That it be recommended that hereafter each State be entitled to as many delegates in future Democratic National Conventions as it has in the electoral college, and no more. By order of the Democratic National Committee.
B. F. HALLETT, Chairman. W. F. RITCHIE and R. H. STANTON, Secretar .
Gentlemen, in pursuance of this call, you are now assembled from all parts and sections of this vast country, and the organization of this convention, and the object for which it has come together, is now before you, to take such action as you may think proper. That object is to restore the democratic party to power, and, with it, to bring back concord between the different sections of the Union; and I only desire to suggest to you that, as members of this great convention, meeting one another in this spirit and for this purpose, we resolve that we will stand here together, and sustain the position that the party, whose representatives we are, now occupies hefore the people, and which the result of this convention will consummate-of the union of the democratic party throughout the Union, to preserve and maintain the Union.
It now only remains for me, in this preliminary capacity, to call for the nomination of a president, pro tem., to preside over you in your organization.
Mr. Bright, of Indiana, nominated, as chairman for the temporary organization of this convention, General Romulus M. Saunders, of North Carolina.
The question upon the nomination for chairman, pro tem., was then taken, and General Romulus M. Saunders declared to be chosen for that office.
General Saunders was then conducted to the chair by Mr. Bright, of Indiana.
Mr. SAUNDERS expressed his thanks for the honor which had been conferred upon him by the representatives of the democracy of the United States, in selecting him to preside temporarily over the convention. He was the more proud of the honor because those by whom it was conferred came from every part of this vast republic, and represented the democracy of this Union, extending from Maine to the Capes of Florida, and to the rich shores of Texas and California. He flattered himself that nothing would, or could, occur to disturb that harmony, order, and concert of action so necessary and important to the successful progress of democratic measures. He hoped that the convention would be united, that there would be no division among them, and that they might thus set an example to be followed elsewhere; for union alone was necessary for their success in the future. He was under the impression, however, that the course he had indicated would be pursued, and that that degree of order would be preserved which was absolutely necessary to the success and prosecution of the business of the convention, feeling well assured himself that if he exhibited any deficiency as presiding officer it would be supplied by the superior intelligence of the convention. He concluded by saying that he was prepared to receive any motion which might be necessary for the temporary organization of the body.
Mr. EDWARD C. West, of New York, Mr. S. C. PAVATT, of Tennessee, Mr. E. BARKSDALE, of Mississippi, and Mr. WILLIAM STEWART, of Indiana, were severally appointed temporary secretaries.
At the request of the president, pro tem., the Rev. J. CAMPBELL WHITE, rector of St. Andrew's episcopal church, Baltimore, then addressed the Throne of Grace in prayer :
Infinite and Eternal Jehovah, the father of light and the fountain of all wisdom, from whom all gifts descend—all blessings flow ; without whom no good aim or object can prosper or succeed, give unto this assembly thy countenance and support, and put into the hearts of this people a fervent desire to maintain and advance the true liberty of this our common country.
Give them a right judgment in all their actions- divorce them from all selfish ambition and sectional prejudices-take away from them all things that may prevent and hinder their perfect union-remove from them all jealousies, strifes and contentions, and unite them in the Arm and unwavering purpose of seeking only to crown the altar of our liberty with glorious blossoms of new light and power.
Grant that no unhappy discord may be harbored here, but that this assembly, gathered from the remotest points of our favored land, may convene here as a band of brothers-replete with, wisdom-humble, even on the summit of our national prosperity-dead to every voice but that of virtue, patriotism and love and seeking only to shape the lot of this bright and luminous republic in accordance with thy holy laws.
Guide and bless this council. Direct, control and prosper all their deliberations for the best good of our land. May they seek to please none but thee, and may no power divert them from their aim.
Keep before them the truth, that as Solomon took it as an evident proof that she did not bear a mother's affection to her child which yielded to have it cut in divers parts, so will the world at large question the patriotism of him who suffers the storm of passion to drown his interest in the union of our beloved country.
Grant, Sacred Father, that the plenteous streams of mercy and of love may descend upon this convention--and that the errand with which it is charged may be fulfilled and crowned