James O. Broadhead Speaks at Opposition Party Meeting in Missouri
March 8, 1860

As the election of 1860 approached, James O. Broadhead and his allies endorsed Missouri lawyer Edward Bates for president. They also attacked the Democratic Party and called for the "preservation of the Federal Union at all hazards."


At a Mass Convention of the Opposition of the State of Missouri held in the Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Jefferson City on Wednesday, Feb. 29th 1860, James O. Broadhead, Esq., of St. Louis, called the Convention to order, and on his motion Col. W. F. Switzler of Boone was made temporary Chairman and r. C. Vaughan of Lafayette temporary Clerk…

Hon. T. P. Akers of Lafayette offered the following resolution which was adopted.

Resolved, That a committee of nine members be appointed by the President to report resolutions for the consideration of this Mass Convention, and to whom all resolutions and propositions for the action of the Convention shall be referred without debate.

The following gentlemen were appointed said committee:

THOMAS P. AKERS, of Lafayette



JOHN P. BRUCE of Buchanan

PETER D. FLOY of St. Louis

WM. B. EDWARDS of St. Charles

JAMES S. RAINS of Jasper


A. F. DICK of St. Louis

On motion, J. F. St. Gemme of Ste. Genevieve was added to the Committee.

During the retirement of the Committee, Dr. Sitton of Gascanade was called for by the audience, and he responded in a speech in advocacy of Mr. Bates for the Presidency; after which the committee on resolution through their Chairman, Mr. Akers, reported the following


Whilst we are not disposed to exaggerate the character of the evils which threaten us in the future, no one who is an attentive observer of passing events can fail to perceive that the heart of the nation is throbbing with the dread of impending calamity, arising not more from the bitterness of sectional animosity than from the corruption and lawlessness of the political party which now holds the reins of government and directs the power of official station to perpetuate its own supremacy. Its leaders are active abettors of the fell spirit of disunion; many of them openly declaring that if the people should drive them from power, they would dissolve the glorious confederacy of States. Vain and impious threat! A threat addressed to the fears of the timid and the hopes of the lawless, and which can only serve to nerve the aims of the brave and patriotic citizens who have resolved, that as loyal defenders of the Constitution and the Union, their first duty to their country is to unite in driving that party from power. And to this end that we declare that


First, The preservation of the Federal Union AT ALL HAZARDS.

Second, The Supremacy of the CONSTITUTION and the ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS of the United States.

Third, the unqualified recognition of the reserved rights of the STATES and of the PEOPLE.

Fourth, The cultivation and expansion of the resources of the country, by such PROTECTION to every useful pursuit and interest as is compatible with the general welfare and equitable to all.

Fifth, The strengthening of our National defences by the construction of RAILROAD TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

Sixth, The granting of Free Homesteads to those who will actually settle and improve the public domain.

Seventh, The elevation to office of men of unwavering firmness, incorruptible integrity, UNDOUBTED ABILITY and SOUND CONSERVATISM.


First, To the enormous corruption and profligate extravagance of the present Administration.

Second, To the practical usurpation and tyrannical exercise of absolute and unlimited power by the Chief Magistrate of the nation in dispensing Executive patronage for unworthy purposes.

Third, To the arrant heresies of the so called National Democratic party in regard to the subject of Slavery in the Territories.

Fourth, To the systematic reopening and dangerous agitation of the slavery question by ultra political leaders, for purely party purposes.

Fifth, To the inhumanity and shocking barbarity involved in the proposition to reopen the African slave trade.

Sixth, To the treasonable avowal recently made in high places that the elevation to the Presidency, in the regular and constitutional mode, of the candidate of any party, is in itself a sufficient cause for dissolving the Union.

Seventh, To the anti-Republican doctrine of secession as promulgated by ultra Southern leaders, believing the prevalence of such radical views to be at war with the spirit and genius of our Government, and subversive of the cause of constitutional liberty.

Eighth, To the systematic and studied attempts of the party now in power, by artfully arranging platforms, with their double readings and studied ambiguities, to deceive and defraud an honest and confiding people.

In view, therefore; of the principles thus enunciated, and as a means of carrying them out, and of restoring the Government to the purity of the earlier days of the Republic, we declare that, among the eminent men whose names have been mentioned in connection with the highest office in the gift of the people, we know of no man so well qualified by his talents, his statesmanship, his incorruptible integrity, and his devotion to the Union and the Constitution, to fill that important post, as EDWARD BATES of Missouri. To his guidance we are willing to confide the destinies of the Republic, and, with his name inscribed upon our banner, we this day throw it to the breeze, inviting all the friends of good government and of the Constitution and the Union to rally under its folds; determined that so far as we are concerned we will not be driven from its support by the insensate howl of abolitionism, that ready weapon of our adversaries which, alike in the hands of the weakest and wisest of them has ever been used against the best nad purest of our statesmen. The reading of this Declaration of Principles was frequently interrupted by the most rapturous applause…


Glasgow Weekly Times (Glasgow, Missouri), March 8, 1860