Anson G. Henry and Others to the Readers of The Old Soldier, 1 February 18401
To the Reader.
It is proper in the commencement of our undertaking, to announce the principles by which we shall be governed in conducting this paper. In the first place, we are thoroughly convinced of the goodness of the cause we advocate, and we shall not descend from the vantage ground of truth, and principle either to imitate or injure an adversary. As good men lose character by keeping company with bad ones, so a just cause and true reasons, may lose their power by being joined with error and mingled with falsehood.
We propose therefore, while we shall fearlessly expose corruption, and resist the usurpations of power, to employ only the weapons of truth and reason, and we rejoice while these are at our command, that the history of the country has shown, how potent they may become where the great body of the people are at once the judges of the conflict, and partakers in the strife. With this confidence and these arms, we enter the contest.
We intend to advocate the election of Gen. W. H. HARRISON to the Presidency,2 and the reasons of this choice will be presented in the columns of this paper; and these reasons are to be found in the character of the man, established during a long life of public service, in the goodness of his principles, formed in the school of Washington, and in the history of the country, illustrated and brightened by his wisdom and his valor. We rely upon him to restore the country to its former prosperity, because he is, to use Mr. Jefferson’s standard, “honest and capable.” We rely upon him to administer the government faithfully, because his life, has been a living commentary upon his devotion to the constitution. We rely upon him to maintain the glory of the Republic, because at home and abroad, in the public councils and on the battle-field, he has made that glory ours.
We have ever trusted in the calm deliberate judgment of the People. And now when the eyes of the wise and good are cast with painful anxiety upon the “signs of the times,” we desire to lay before them such facts as may enable them to form that judgment wisely and well. And while we are thus struggling for the success of principles upon which, not only the welfare, but the duration of the Union depend, our appeals to the “sober second thought” of our fellow citizens will at least not be weakened by our deep conviction of the purity of the cause we advocate, and the fearfulness of the danger we would avoid.
1Abraham Lincoln was one of the editors of the Old Soldier, so the text is attributed to him, but the extent of his participation in its composition is unknown.
2In December 1839, the Whig Party at its first national convention, nominated Harrison as its candidate for president in the presidential election of 1840.
Printed Transcription, 1 page(s), The Old Soldier (Springfield, IL), 1 February 1840, 2:2.