Last Message of the O. P. F.
Quincy Daily Whig and Republican, December 10, 1860
The O. P. F. [Ed. note: "O. P. F." was occasionally used by unfriendly editors in speaking of President Buchanan. It meant "Old Public Functionary"] has had his last "say," for which let Heaven be praised. He may, to be sure, send in a few special messages as the winter progresses, but nobody will care; his last annual message is got rid of, his last wail in behalf of the Cotton Lords is written—and printed; and may a merciful Providence soothe the unhappy old man's pathway to the tomb, and if it be possible allow him to live long enough under Republican rule to become ashamed of his own iniquitous course and truckling subserviency to his nigger-driving masters. "So mote it be."
The poor old man learns nothing good, forgets nothing bad. Devotion to slavery has become chronic with him, and had every man at the North voted for Lincoln he would probably have held out his everlasting nigger panacea and nigger compromise to quiet the "agitation" which he and such as he have brought upon the country. There is nobody in the nation with any grievances or any wrongs to be righted but his Southern masters. It is nothing to him that seventeen and four-sevenths States, by majorities without parallel in our previous history should decree the overthrow of his shameless party; he only whines like a whipped cur and begs of Congress and the people to give the Cotton Lords and incipient traitors not only all, but more than all they have asked, and precisely what the people have said should not be done. His demands are an insult to the country, but he does not see it. Politically he is blind; he knows no North, no East, no West—only a South, and his shriveled soul knows no higher manliness, no more genial labor, than to plead for the capture of negroes, and for new constitution[al] props to a demoralizing institution which has brought upon itself not only the condemnation of the nation, but of the enlightened world.
Never till now have the slave Barons asked to have the Constitution opened that new coils might be thrown about the slave. Their interpretation, except in the Dred Scott case, has been accepted by the majority North and South; the Supreme Court is still theirs, and only Death can wrest it from them; the Constitution has been their Shibboleth in all past contests; but now, it no longer serves them—it is not black enough, and must be re-baptised and soaked in nigger, or they spurn it! What patriotism, what manliness, what philanthropy is this! What an exemplification of "progress" for a Christian land when its rulers and its mighty men seek, not to lift up the down-trodden and the oppressed, not to re-assert their own doctrine that "all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights," but to make the barbarous customs of heathen Africa their model—the buying and selling of their own people the corner stone of their political temple! No wonder that prosperity departs, that gloom settles on the land, and Almighty favor seems to be withdrawn at such a spectacle. No wonder that patriots weep; and angels may well do so at the thought of what America is and what she might have been to-day but for this foul blot on her escutcheon.
True to all his double-dealing antecedents the President takes two positions on secession. First, secession is unconstitutional, illegal and peaceably impossible; and second, it is unconstitutional, illegal and impossible to stop it! His four solid columns of verbiage amount to that and nothing else. We suppose he means that if the Cotton States resolve themselves out of the Union they cannot be forced to repeal their resolves and send men to Congress as before, and we do not know that anybody proposes any such steps. If they only do withdraw their Representatives, Congress will become not only a Republican, but a decent and a harmonious body, making laws which the nigger-drivers cannot repeal when they become hungry and come back to the National crib. But as to seizing the forts and opening Southern ports to free trade he himself says that he has given orders "that the laws be faithfully executed," and there is not much reason to expect that his successor will fall behind him in courage.
It is bad enough and humiliating enough to see the Chief Magistrate of a great nation bend all his argumentative powers, such as they are, to the spread and upbuilding of an institution which degrades the country, and which the masses loathe; it is worse to see him start off in the first paragraph of his message with a brazen lie. He says "the long continued and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern States has at length produced its natural effects." The Northern people have only sought to keep slavery out of the territories, and never have raised a finger as a people against slavery in the Southern States, yet this Pharisaical old hypocrite, probably thanking God each night that he "is not as other men are," dares thus publicly and officially to bear false witness against millions of his countrymen because they do not reverence his atrocious sentiments. Let Heaven be praised that his official race is nearly run; and may it be twice ten thousand years before we shall ever see his like again.