There is many a democrat who is convinced that the party with which he has long been associated is seriously, if not incurably, at fault, and who is half disposed to vote with the republicans at least this once. To such we offer a few plain suggestions, in no offensive spirit, and respectfully ask for them a thoughtful consideration.

1. A change of administration is necessary. Parties are mere temporary associations for temporary purposes. It is inevitable that, in the long course of time and by the long possession of power, they should become corrupt. They should then be dissolved and new associations formed. The old issues upon which the democratic party was formed have been disposed of finally. The party which now defends the rights of man and contends against monopolies and aristocratic and federal tendencies is the republican party. The spirit of radical democracy will always exist and work in the country. That spirit has passed out of the old democracy into the new. To many the republican party looks radical, but it cannot look more so than the old democratic party did twenty five years ago when it had a life, a soul and a purpose. And the time was when the old republican party of 1800 was reproached with the name “democrat,” just as the modern republican party is with the term “abolitionist!”

It is quite time that the democratic party should acknowledge itself dead, as it really is. Its corruptions are countless and undeniable. But it is not necessary to the point we are now making to claim that the republican party is better, except in consequence of its being younger; it is better because any young party is better than any old one. The chances are beyond computation and amount to an absolute moral certainty that it will for a time at least, if successful next month, conduct the government, not in an ideally perfect manner, but, comparatively speaking, with honesty, economy and justice.

2. The chief question at issue is one of conscience, involving high moral obligations. It is this: Shall human slavery be extended into all the territories? The Slave Power demands that it shall be considered as already legally existing in them all, and entitled to the favor and protection of the Federal Government. It quibbles about the word “property,” and assumes that the body and mind of a man can be “property,” just as a horse or an ox is property. And they cry out against any discrimination, even in territory that is now free, between an ordinary title to the beasts of the field and an assumed title to another man with an immortal soul. Just as well might a Mormon, if he should establish himself in Hartford with a dozen wives, cry out against a prosecution for bigamy or adultery, as being under oppressive and partial legislation;—as interfering with his “domestic relations and destroying the happiness of his family.” Calling a concubine a wife does not make her such, nor does calling a man “property” make him, in the language of slave law, a “chattel, a thing personal.”

If the slave states, by their local laws, enforce the practical recognition of a title to human beings, we are not politically responsible and have no right to interfere politically. But we do all own a share in the territories and take part by our congressmen in laying in the west the foundations of states that will yet control a mighty nation. And when the Slave Power, through the democratic party, demands that we shall recognize and protect in those territories a system which our forefathers condemned as cruel, shameful and at war with the obligations of man to man and man to God, and which we see clearly retards the growth of communities, discourages industry and education and degrades labor—or when it even only demands that we shall acquiesce in the introduction of that system into those territories, then it does become, directly and emphatically, our business and duty to act with speed and energy. We must neither enact injustice nor fail to prevent it. We apologize for slaveholders by saying that they were born and brought up in the midst of the system: how can we, educated in free society, dare to establish the institution in boundless territories now free? Jefferson, a slaveholder, “trembled for his country when he remembered that God is just,” and declared that if the slaves should become numerous and intelligent and should fight for their freedom, “the Almighty had no attribute which could take sides with us (the slaveholders) in such a contest!” And you remember with what solemnity and intense indignation Henry Clay, a slaveholder, declared that he “never, never, NEVER,” would vote to extend slavery into free territories. And yet you, our democratic friend, born in old Connecticut, would vote (to state it very mildly) to permit the extension of slavery!

There is nothing in the constitution against our policy of slavery restriction. The words “slavery,” “slave” and even “servitude” were carefully excluded. If slaves were referred [to] they were spoken of as “persons” and not as “property.” Mr. Madison, in the convention, “thought it wrong to admit into the constitution the idea that there could be property in men,” and in that spirit was the instrument made. Slavery was left as they found it, sustained only by local, state legislation, and a large majority of the framers of the constitution have left on record, either by votes, speeches or letters, their hostility to slavery extension. They expected, hoped and prayed that slavery might soon come to an end.

3. The national revenues from duties on imports should be raised in the manner best calculated to promote the interests of the workingmen of the nation. The duties laid upon goods imported should be so adjusted as to afford assistance to departments of industry not yet firmly established among us and to give reasonable encouragement to the introduction of new ones. The history of American industry plainly shows that the rivalry of foreign manufacturers and artificers can often prevent the introduction of new branches of industry amongst us or can stifle their first feeble results; for it is well worth their while to sell goods at a loss during a short period if they can thus ruin competitors here and retain the monopoly of our market. And it is equally certain that if protected either by the power of a large capital or by such encouragement as a judicious tariff can easily give, the unrivalled shrewdness, enterprise, activity, inventiveness and industry of our people will within a reasonable period establish such new branches of industry upon a basis too firm to be disturbed by foreign interference, and which will ensure them the full control of the home market and a full share of the profit of foreign ones. Such for instance has been the case with the cotton manufacture, with many departments of the iron manufacture and others. And it is evidently for the advantage of the nation to have its own trading and manufacturing population consume the products of its own agriculture; it is evidently better for the farmer, the artisan and the operative to save for themselves all the profit of the foreign manufacture and as much as possible of the expense of transporting property to and fro over land or water. The republican party does not claim that any money should be raised expressly for protection, but only that the money which must be raised for the support of the government shall be collected in such a manner as to promote the prosperity of the people.

These principles are just, and nine-tenths of the people of the free states would naturally carry them into legislation. But slavery has altogether different interests: it cannot engage extensively in manufactures; it has not the skill, the inventive faculty nor the energy; it must depend upon a few great staples which it must carry to a distance and exchange for the countless productions of some free people. Therefore the Slave Power has always disliked, opposed, and defeated or embarrassed such tariffs as free labor desired. Now free labor has an immense preponderance of numbers and wealth; why then should it not have such national legislation as it prefers? Why should not Free Labor be the national, and Slave Labor the local, sectional, and exceptional interest? So the Republican party would have it.

4. A homestead should be granted from the public domain, free of cost—except for surveying—to every poor man who needs it, desires it, and will cultivate it.

It is true in a certain limited and qualified sense that every man has a right to own a piece of land. That is to say, it was never intended that every man should [not?] possess the means of gaining a fair living and bringing up his family respectably. This means might be either a portion of land or some other property or possession.

Accordingly we find that during the whole history of the world, an instinctive sense of injustice has always been felt whenever an excessive share of land has been accumulated in the hands of any person or class of persons. It was unjust and oppressive, and was felt to be so, when a few proprietors owned almost all the lands of Italy in the days of ancient Rome. An obscure but well founded and instinctive sense of injustice at this day pervades the whole poorer class of the English nation, founded upon the enormous accumulation of the lands of England in the hands of a wealthy and titled aristocracy. Precisely the same sense of injustice arises in every honest and intelligent mind in contemplating the engrossment of government lands in our own western states by unscrupulous speculators or ravenous corporations, who hold it with the express design of extorting an enormous profit from the necessities of the poor.

No scheme could be better calculated to promote the wealth and prosperity of our country than the gift of a piece of land to every one who will live on it and cultivate it. The poor citizen owns his share of the public domain. The homestead policy of the republican party would only measure off by metes and bounds his undivided interest in the national wealth of unoccupied land. The transaction would be almost as strictly legal as the division of the farm of an intestate in Connecticut among his heirs. With this part of the policy of the republicans we believe that the great majority of northern democrats substantially agree. Yet a democratic Senate prevented the passage of a thorough homestead bill which passed the House of Representatives last winter, and a democratic president vetoed even the modified bill which the Senate suffered to pass, and which the House accepted as the best they could get. The explanation is this: the land policy of the Slave Power is one of accumulation in the hands of a few great proprietors; the small landholders who are the bone and sinew of the North, the strength and substance of its prosperity, and the rapid builders of new free states, are the pest and poison of the southern planter. And besides this natural hatred to the class, the settled policy of the southern leaders to prevent, if possible, any increase in the number of free states, naturally leads them to oppose the westward spread of small freeholds.

5. The federal government should at proper times give reasonable aid to a system of river and harbor improvements.

The oceans, the great lakes, and the rivers of our country, are the chief natural highways of our commerce. The same species of powers which authorizes Congress to expend money for the military defence of rivers and harbors, will authorize it to spend money for their improvement in time of peace. If the development of navigation and commerce, and the facilitation of intercourse, were not sufficient reasons for such expenditure, abundant ones may be found in the direct bearing of such improvements on the federal revenue. The better our rivers and harbors are adapted to the purposes of navigation, the greater our wealth and commerce will be, and the greater the revenue thus accruing to the federal treasury. Such, within reasonable limits, would be the policy of the republican party.

6. A Pacific Railroad should be built as speedily as possible, with reasonable aid and encouragement from the Federal Government.

The Chicago platform, and both the democratic platforms, all agree that this road should be built, and on this point nothing more can be necessary than to express the pleasure which every right-minded citizen must naturally feel, at finding that there is one measure which all parties and sections join in recommending. But the Slave Power has stubbornly resisted any preparatory measures which seemed to recognize the necessity of starting it from the centre of population and wealth, and has always schemed to run it far to the southward, where it expected to make slave territory.

7. The disunion question, if it must be met, had better be met now—the sooner the better.

It seems almost absurd to lay down definite principles on the subject of disunion. Disunion is a threat, not an argument. When a man begins to threaten, he gives up the argument; he confesses that his reasons are worthless, and that he has no mode left of accomplishing his purpose except brute force. When, therefore, northern democrats tell us that disunion is to be the consequence of the election of a republican president, we need not suppose that they desire or recommend it, but merely that they are afraid that southern politicians will bring it to pass. How much, then, is it best to be frightened?

We say, not at all; the threat is an empty sham; those who make it have not the remotest intention of fulfilling it; or if a few of them have, their enterprise has about as good a chance of succeeding as the lunatics in the Retreat at Hartford would have of capsizing the state of Connecticut into Long Island Sound. They are too few and too crazy.

If the threat is worth regarding; if the purpose is earnest, the meaning of such a state of things is serious indeed. In that case, it means that the great political experiment of these United States is a great failure; that the will of a peaceful voting majority can no longer govern the nation; that any minority wicked enough and desperate enough can govern us on the great principle of a pirate in a powder magazine, who will blow the ship to atoms if his orders are not complied with. Now, of all the hateful despotisms in the world, none is so infernally hateful as an oligarchy; even Nero was not so bad as the thirty tyrants; and if an attempt is to be made to subject our thirty millions of people to the arbitrary will of three hundred thousand tyrants—for that is about the number of slave-holders—every independent, honest northern mind must desire that this issue be made NOW, met promptly, and decided once for all. We are ready for the decision. And we fully believe that when given, while it would result in the annihilation of the shallow traitorous fools, it would only consolidate more firmly the national power. These men say to us, acquiesce in one wickedness or we will commit another. If the Union has arrived at such a state of moral imbecility that its voters can be frightened into a course of action by such a choice of wickedness as this, it is high time that the fact were fully proved.

But, it may be urged, disunion is threatened in consequence of the unconstitutional measures proposed by the Republicans. We answer that we defy any man to point out any measure proposed by any Republican leader which is not constitutional.

To conclude: —pray tell us, democratic friend, what there is wrong or incorrect in anything that we have said. If we are right, how is it possible for you to give your vote honestly for either Breckinridge or Douglas? We have said nothing about the candidates—men of all parties have highly complimented ours for their great integrity and ability; to say the very least, they are equal to any of the others. We claim that their political creed is infinitely better: Come with us then, at least once; let us make the popular voice so overwhelmingly powerful that slavery propagandism and disunion shall forever hide their diminished heads, and Freedom and Free Labor resume their undisputed sway over the destinies of our idolized country.