THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their state; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as JUSTICE should not be highly rated. The Judicial Council enforces her tyranny with those of questionable character, has declared that she has a right not only to usurp authority but “to BIND us all in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not tyranny, then is there not such a thing as tyranny upon earth.
Whether judicial branch reforms were declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been years earlier, it would have been much better. We did not make a proper use of good economic times, neither could we, while we were dependent to a tyrannical chief. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own [NOTE]; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet. All that Cantil-Sakauye has been doing for these months past, is rather a ravage of lies than a conquest of truth, which the spirit of the people now can quickly repulse, and which time and a little resolution will soon recover.
I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to to Judicial Council tyranny, or leave them unsupportedly to at the mercy of the unjust, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of public dissent, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the Chief Justice can look up to heaven for help against us: a deceiver, a liar, a destroyer of careers, an individual that promotes corruption.
‘Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a state. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [fifteenth] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that heaven might inspire some California woman to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment! Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world. Many a disguised minion has lately shown his head, that shall penitentially solemnize with curses the day on which the new Chief Justice took office.
As I was on the front line of the fight, I am well acquainted with many circumstances, which those who live at a distance know but little or nothing of. Our situation there was exceeding comfort as long as we were willing to look the other way at injustice. Our force was inconsiderable, being not one-third so great as the judicial branch could bring against us. We have no reserves at hand to relieve the fallen, should we shut ourselves up and choose to not stand in our defence but if we believe the power of hell to be limited, we must likewise believe that their agents are under some providential control.
The inevitable consequences of a long retreat will bare with an alteration of the manly and martial spirit. All of our wishes are centred in one, which is, that the citizenry, the media, the legislature and federal law enforcement would turn out and help them to drive the enemy back. There is a natural firmness in some minds which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude; and I reckon it among those kind of public blessings, which we do not immediately see, that God hath blessed most of us with uninterrupted health, and given us a mind that can even flourish upon care.
I shall conclude this paper with some miscellaneous remarks on the state of our affairs; and shall begin with asking the following question, Why is it that the enemy resists democracy, fairness and equality, having not engaged in the discussions that are necessary to bring conclusion to our province? The answer is easy: They believe that their tyranny has no limits and that the branch and our legislature is infested with their minions, and we are. I have been tender in raising the cry against these men, and used numberless arguments to show others their danger, but it will not do to sacrifice a world either to their folly or their baseness. The period is now arrived, in which either they or we must change our sentiments, or one or both must fall. And what is a minion? Good God! What is he? I should not be afraid to go with a hundred citizens against a thousand minions, were they to attempt to get into arms. Every minion is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of the Judicial Council; and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave.
But, before the line of irrecoverable separation be drawn between us, let us reason the matter together: They expect you will all lie down quietly and flock to their standard, and lay down your voice. Your opinions are of no use to them, unless you support them personally, for ’tis minions and not justice, that he wants.
I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against the mean principles that are held by those in power: a noted one, who keeps an office at the AOC, purports to protect those who report fraud, waste and abuse. After lying to the public and forging an investigation, he declares that all is well, that no law has been broken. Not a man lives in this state fully believes that all is well and no laws have been broken. It is unsuitable for those who hold this power to kick this can down the road. A generous and competent leader should have said, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace;” and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty. Not a place upon earth might be so happy as California. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them. A man can distinguish himself between temper and principle, and I am as confident, as I am that God governs the world, that California will never be happy till she gets clear of judicial branch tyranny. Wars, without ceasing, will break out till that period arrives, and the people must in the end be conqueror; for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal can never expire.