Judas at the Head
Paterson Daily Guardian, February 19, 1861
John Tyler sits as President of the Peace Congress in Washington. Peace Congress, indeed! 'Tis a Convention of old Fossils and half-fledged secessionists who want to coerce the people into some falsely-called compromise whereby their traitor brethren in [the] Cotton States may be enabled to recover from the consequences of their rebellion and dictate terms to those before whom they should humbly kneel for sentence of condemnation.
And at the head of this nest of worn-out hacks and quacks is John Tyler. It must be agreeable to the respectable silver grey whips—the old-line Henry Clay whips to sit in a Convention presided over by the most contemptible traitor known in the history of American politics. John Tyler is a fitting head for this Judas Convention which arrogates to itself the name of Peace Congress.
Can any patriotic measure emanate from this convention of old grannies with that man at its head who betrayed the old Whig Party? Judas betrayed his master with a kiss, and John Tyler obtained the nomination for Vice-President in 1840, because he shed tears and refused to be comforted when Henry Clay lost the nomination. At that convention John Tyler wept like a child, and Henry Clay's friends melted before his inconsolable grief and asked that as Clay was defeated, his devoted friend should be named for Vice President. Those tears of Tyler's were successful, and he was chosen under cover of the old hero, and at Harrison's death, stepped into the Presidential chair. Ambition was his god and devil, and as Henry Clay was to succeed him, he who had cried so bitterly because Clay could not be President in 1840, betrayed his party for the sake of killing off one whom he looked upon as his rival in the succession. He formed a cabinet for the sole object of ruining Clay in 1844, and filled the offices all over the country with the enemies of the great Kentuckian. And thus John Tyler defeated Clay and elected Polk in 1844, sending his son "Bob" out as a missionary in the work.
Sunken within the depths of public contempt, he retired to Virginia and was never heard of more until now. People thought him dead and buried and the devil picking his bones; but now he is resurrected and turned once more upon the top of the ground to fester in the Surrender Convention. 'Tis said old age is fastening its grapples on the wretched hypocrite who was so ready to "shed tears for Henry Clay," and that deafness is come upon him. It is fitting that the god-forsaken old man if deaf, should sit beside the secretary of that misnamed peace congress, who is said to be getting blind. The deaf and the blind at the head of the Peace Congress! If this is so, fit instruments are they to lead the poor fools who will confer with traitors in open rebellion.
And how exhausted is American soil if the people of this country must fall back upon such a crying, sniveling, puling old politician as this tricky and despicable knave, John Tyler? Is John Tyler the only statesman who can re-construct the Government? A late despatch says Mr. Tyler declares "the action of the Convention must be prompt—he will admit of no delay!" Well, now, what do you suppose he will do about it? Is he the Lord High Chamberlain and Keeper of the great Union Seal? Is this man who for fourteen years has been buried in a vault of infamy—is he, coming from his grave like a foul spirit, a proper agent to breathe peace and to re-establish public confidence? Why, we should as soon expect to see the devil incarnate settling splits in churches and healing troubles in Sunday Schools. John Tyler, a powerless, brainless old office-seeking curmudgeon whole all parties and all peoples abhor, going to save the country and redeem the National honor!