The Columbian. (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1866-1910, August 25, 1866, Image 1

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1 OF l'ltlM-ll'liltt.
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i -r- a r- s- rs-r- rx -t-i I r-
ii;i uur i o i nt
to tiii: itjiim.k op nti: i'Niii:n hi'wt.s.
t 1 1 .Wl Nt! met in Convention, at Hip
tff'itv of Philadelphia, in the Stitlc of
,lPonnsvivnnin, this sixteenth tiny ol'
August, isiiti, as tin1 representatives of
tho people in till sections, and from till
L the States mitt Territories nf Hie L'nion,
to consult upon tint condition untl the
wants of our coniiiion country, we wi
ld ress to you thlsPeelaratlnn of our Prin
ciples, and of the political purposes we
seek to promote.
Since the mootingof the last National
. Convention, in the year l.Vitl, events
have occurred which have changed the
v character of our internal polities, am
v; given the I'nitcil States a new place
union'' the nations of the earth. Our
' Ciovernniont has passed through tin
' vicissitudes and the perils of civil war
a war which, though inainly sectional
' in its character, has, nevertheless, do
" eided political (inferences that I'roni the
very beginning of the (iovernnient liail
' threatened the unity of our national ex
igence, and has left its impress deci)
and ineiraeeahle upon all the interests,
the seiiliinents, and the destiny of the
Kepuhlie. While it has. inflicted upon
i tlie whole country severe losses in life,
ami in property, and has imposed bur
- dens which niiiU weigh on its iv.our-
ces for generations to ct mo, it has dovol
'. oped a decree of national c iiirago in the
presence of national dangers a capacity
for military organization and achieve
ment, and a devotion on Hie part of the
people to the form of government which
tliev have ordained, and to the princi
ples of liberty which that government
was designed to promote, which mu-t
confirm the confidence of the nation in
the perpetuity of its republican institu
tions, and command the respect of the
civilized world.
Like all great contents which rouse
the passions and test the endurance of
nations, this war has given new scope to
the ambition of political parties, and
i fresh Impulse to plans of Innovation and
reform. Amid the chaos of coullieting
'(. sentiments in.-eparablo from suchnn era ;
v while the public heart is keenly alive to
nil the paions that can sway the public
judgment and allect the public action ;
while the wounds of war are still fre-h
and bleeding on either Ide, and fear
for tlie future take unjii-t proportion
from the memories and resentments of
the, past, it is a dillicult but an impera
tive duty which, on your behalf, we,
who are here as.-enibled, have under
taken to perform.
, ,' For the first time after six long yearn
of alienation and of conflict, we have
,J" como together from every State and
every section of our laud, tw citizen-, of
' ' ti common country, under that Hag, the
' symbol again of a conmiun glory, to
con-tilt together how best to cement and
x perpetuate, that l'nion which Is again
' the object of our common love, and thus
.secure the blessings of liberty to our
selves and our po-terity.
i I. In the llr.-t place, we Invoke you to
remember always and everywhere, that
the war Is ended and tho nation is again
lit peace. The shock of coiitendlngarnis
no longer a-salls the shuddering heart of
the Republic. The in.iiirrectlon against
the supreme authority of the nation ha
been suppre ed, and that authority has
been again acknowledged, by word and
act, in every Statu and by every citien
within Its Jurisdiction. eare no Ion
or required or permitted to regard or
treat each other as enemies. Not only
have tho acts of war been discontinued,
mid Hie weapons of war laid aside, but
tliestato of war no longer exl-ls,iind the
sentiments, the paions, tho relations
of war have no longer lawful or right fill
place anywhere, throughout our broad
domain. o are again peoplo of the
united Slates, lellow-cltlzens ol one
country, bound by tho duties and obli
gallons of a common patriotism, and
having neither rights nor Interests apart
from a common dc-tlny. I lie dutle
that devolve upon in now are again the
duties of peace, and no longer tne duties
of war. Wo luivo a -enibled here
take counsel concerning the intere.-h of
peace to decide how wo may nio-
wluly and eU'ectually heal tho wound
tho war has iniide, and perfect ami
v.uriHHu.Ue, tho benullts It, has secur
ed, and the blessings which, uudtir
w!ki and benign I'rovldeive, hav
'lining up In it I Wry track. This is the
work, not of passion, but of calm anil
sober Judgment, not of resentment for
past ollences prolonged beyond tbellinlfs
which Justice and reason prescribe, but
of a liberal statesmanship which toler
ates what it cannot prevent, and builds
its plans and Its hopes for the future
rather upon n community of Interest and
ambition than upon distrust and the'
weapons of force.
II. In the next place, we call upon you
to recognize In their full significance,
and to accept with all their legitimate
oii-eqiicncos, the political results ol the
war just closed. In two mo-t Import
ant particulars the victory achieved by
the National Government has been llnal
tint dccMve. I'ii'nl. It has established
beyond all further controversy, anil by
the highest of all htinihli sanctions, the
nb-olute supremacy of the National iov-
rninent, as dellned and limited by the
Constitution of the I'nited States, and
the permanent Integrity and indis-olii-
illity ofliie Federal I n ion as a necessary
on-equence j ami, chii.i, it lias pin an
end llnally and forever lo the existence
of slavery upon the soil or within the
urisdiction of the Cnit ed States, Itoth
these points became directly Involved in
the contest, and controversy upon both
was ended ab-olutely and finally by the
III. In the third place, we deem it of
theutmo-t importance that the real char-
icter of the w annul the victory by which
it was clncd should be accurately under
stood. Tlie war was carried on by the
(iovernnient ofHiernitedStntesin main
tenance of its own authority and in de-
fenceof its own existence, both of which
were menaced by the insurrection which
it sought to suppress, Tlie suppression
of that in-urreclion acconipli-hed that
result. The Government of the I'nited
States maintained by force ol arms the
supreme authority over all the territory,
and over all the States and people with
in its jurisdiction, which the Constitu
tion confers upon it; but it acquired
thereby no new power, no enlarged Ju
risdiction, no rights either of territorial
possfs.-ion or of civil authority which it
did not pos-iss before the lt"bell!on
broke out. All the rightful power it
can ever possess is that which is confer
red upon it, either in express terms or
by fairand nece ary implication, by the
Constitution of the I'nited States. It
was that power and that authority which
the Rebellion sought to overthrow, and
the victory of the Federal aruu was
simply the defeat of that attempt. The
(iovernnient of the I'nited States acted
throughout the war on tliedefensive. It
sought only lo hold po-.-c.-ion of what
was already its own. Neither the war,
nor the victory by which it was closed,
changed in any way the Constitution of
the I'nited Slates. The war was carried
on bv virtue of its urovi-ioii-, and un
der tlie limitations which they prescribe;
and the result of the war did not either
enlarge, abridge, or in any way change
orab'ect the powers it colliers upon the
Federal Government, or relca-e that'
(iovernnient from tlie restrictions which
it has imposed.
The Coii-titution of the United States
is to-day precisely as it was before the
war, the "supreme law of the land, any
thing in (lie Constitution or laws of any
State to the contrary notwithstanding;"
and to-day also, precisely as before the
war," all the powers not conferred by the
Constitution upon tlie General Govern
ment, nor prohibited by it to the State-,
are reserved to the several States, or to
the people thereof."
This position is vindicated not only
by the essential nature of our (iovern
nient, anil the language and spirit of the
Constitution, but by all the acts and the
tnguugu ol our iiovcriiiiitui, m an us
enforced nt the present lime. Nor does and the validity of the Uoverninent it-
It Hud any support In the theory that self i iirotint in qucsiion. i.m uu-
thu States thus excluded are in rebel-: gross at tne present moineoi imn e.x
lion against the Government, ami are I eludes from representation, ' I'oth
therefore prceludiil from sharing Its nit- brandies oi i ongrcss, iuii mines m me
lartmeiits, and at all times from the
mtbroak of the Rebellion to its llnal
overthrow. 1 u every me.-sage and proc
lamation of the Fxecutive it was implic
itly declared that tho sole oljeit and . power, in theadmlnistralioii of govern-
thoilty. They are not thus in rebellion.
Tliev are one and all In an attitude of
loyalty toward tho Government, and of
sworn allegiance to the Constitution of
the Cnlted States. In no one ol' them
Is there tho slightest Indication of resist
ance to tills authority, or the slightest
protest against Its Just and binding ob
ligation. This condition of renewed
loyalty has been otUciaily recognized by
solemn proclamation of the Kxecttttvo
Department. The laws of Hie Failed
States have been extended by Congress
over all these States and the people
thereof. Federal courts lime been re
opened, and Federal taxes liiipo-cd and
levied. And in every respect, except
that they are denied representation in
Congrc.-s anil the Klcctoral College, tho
States once in rebellion are recognized
as holding the same position, as owing
tlie same obligations, and subject to the
same duties as the other States of our
common Fnlon.
Jt seems to us, in tlie exoivNo of the
calnie-t and mo-t candid Judgment we
can bring to the stibjecl, that such a
claim, so enforced, Involves as fatal an
overthrow of tho authority of the Con
stitution, and as complete a destruction
of the ( iovernnient and l'nion, a-that
which was sought to be ell'ected by the
States and people in armed Insurrection
against them both. Jt cannot escape
observation that the power thus assort
ed to exclude certain Slates from repre
sentation is made to rest wholly in the
will and discretion of the Congress that
as-erts it. It i not made to depend
upon anyspoeilled conditions or circum
stances, nor to besubioct to any rules or
regulations whatever. The right assert
ed and oxerci. ed Is absolute, without
qualification or restriction, not confined
to Stales in rebellion, nor to Stales that
have rebelled ; it is the right of any Con-
gre-s, in lormai pos-e.-.-ionoi legi-niuve
authority, looxcludeany Statoor States,
and any portion of the people thereof,
at any time, from representation In
Congiv.-s and in the Klectoral College, at
its own discretion, and until they shall
perform such acts and comply with
such conditions as it may dictate. Ob
viously, Hie reasons for such exclusion
la ing wholly within the discretion of
Congress, may change as Congress itsilf
shall change. One Congress may ex
clude a Vitato from all .-bares in the
(iovernnient for one reason, and, that
rea-on removed, the next Congress may
exclude it for another. One Slate may
bo excluded on one ground to-day,
and another may be excluded on the
oppo-itu ground to-morrow. Northern
ascendancy may exclude Southern States
from one Congress; the a-iendancy of
Western or of Southern yitcri.-ts, or of
both combined, may exclude the North
ern or the Fa-torn States from the next.
Improbable as such usurpations may
seem, the establishment of the principle
now a ertoil and aciou upon y con
gress will render ihcni by no means ini
ioIble. The character, indeed the very
existence of Congress and the l'nion, is
thus made dependent solely and entirely
upon the party and sectional exigencies
or forbearance of the hour.
Wo need not stop lo show that such
an action not only finds no warrant in
the Constitution, but is at war witli
every principle of ourGovo . anient, and
with Hie very oxi-tence of free institu
tions. It I-, indeed, the identical prac
tice which ha- rendered lrultloss all at
tempts hithi rto to o-tabli-h and main
tain free (iovernnient in Mexico and the
States of South America. Party neces
sities a-scrt thoni-elvos a- superior to
the fundamental law, which i- set a-Ide
in reckle-s obedience to their behests.
Stability, whether in the o.crci-e of
Fnlon. dcnvliiL' them all share In the
enactment of laws by which they are
to be governed, and all paitlclpaflon In
the election of thcrulunf by whom tho-e
laws are to be enforced. In other words,
a Congress in which only twenty-six
State- are represented assorts tlie right
to govern; absolutely and In its own dis
cretion, all the thlrly-stx State," which
compo-e the Fnlon to make their laws
and choo-e their rulers, and to exclude
the ofher ten from all share In their
own Government until It sees tit to ail-
mlt tbeiii thereto. What Is there lo
di-tiiv'iiish the nower thus asserted and
I'voicised from the most absolute and
Intolerable tyranny?
IV. Nor do these extravagant and un-jtt-t
claims on the part of Congress to
powers and authority never conferred
upon the Government by the Constitu
tion find any warrant in tlie arguments!
nr evc'iises uri'od on their behalf. It Is
That these States, by the act of
rebellion and by voluntarily withdraw
ing their members, from Congress, for
feited their rigid of representation, and
that they can only receive it again at
the hands of the supremo legislative
authority of the (iovernnient, on its
own terms and at its own tn-crouou. ji
representation in Congress nnd partici
natioii in the Government wore -imply
amendment of the Constitution Ithiir,
nnd such amendment can bo made only
In the modes which the Constitution It
self proscribes. Tho claim that tho sup
pression of an insurrection ngalnst the
Government gives additional authority
and power to that Government, espe
cially that It enlarges tho Jurisdiction of
Congress and glved that, body the right
to exclude States from representation in
the national councils, without which
the nation Itself can have no authority
and no existence, seems to us at variance
alike with the principles of the Constl
tution nml with tho public safety.
ThtnL Hut It Is alleged that in certain
particulars thoCotistittition of the Fni
led States fails to secure the .absolute
Justice and impartial equality which
tho principles of our Government n:
quire; that It wa-i In these respects the
result of compromises and concessions
to which, however necessary when tlie
Constitution was formed, we are no
longer compelled to submit, and that
now, having the power through success
ful war and just warrant for Its exercise
In the hostile conduct of tlie insurgent
section, the actual Government of tho
Fnited States may impo-o Its own con
ditions, and make the Constitution con
form in all Its provisions to its own ideas
of equality and tlie rights of man. Con
grossat its last section propo-ed amend
ments to the Constitution, enlarging in
some very Important particulars the
authority of the General Government
apprehension or nn unjust perversion of
existing facts.
Wo do not hesitate, to nfllrm thai
there is nn section of the country whero
the Constitution and laws of the United
Slates find a more prompt anil cntho
obedience than In those States and
among those, peoplo who wero lately in
arms against thctn; or where there is
less purpose or danger of any future at
tempt to overthrow their authority. It
would seem to bo both natural and In
evitable that, in States and sections so
recently swept by the whirlwind of
war, where all the ordinary modes and
methods of organized Industry have
been broken up, and tho bonds nnd In
fluences that guarantee social order have
been destroyed where thousands and
tens of thousands of turbulent spirits
have been suddenly loo-eucd from the
discipline of war, and thrown without
resources or restraint upon a disorgan
ized and chaotic society, and where the
keen ollso, of defeat is added to the
overthrow of ambition and hope, scenes
of violence should defy for aflnio the
Imperfect discipline of law, and excite
anew the foara and forebodings of tho
patriotic and well disposed. It Is un
questionably true that social disturban
ces of this kind, accompanied by more
or loss of violence, do still occur. Rut
they are confined entirely to the cities
and larger towns of the Southern States,
where different races and interests are
brought most closely in contact, and
over that of tho several States, and re- where passions and resentments are al-
ducing, by Indirect disfranchisement, the
privileges coliierreu mm nem m.n iot" i representative power .11 ine marcs in
which slavery formerly existed; anil it
this statement might have the merit of
plausibility. Rut representation l-undcr
the Coii-titution not only oxpro-Iy rec
ognized as a right, but It is inipo-ed as
a duty; and it is es-ontial in both aspects
lo the exi-tonce of the Government and
to the maintenance of its authority. In
free governments fundamental and es
sential rights cannot be forfeited, except
.,., linllvldiials bvdtie proce-s of
law ;
purpo-e of the war was lo maintain the
authority of the ( 'oiistltution and to pre-
erve the inti ..rity of the l nion ; and
Congress more than once reiterated this
solemn declaration, and added the as-
urance that whenever Hie object should
be attained the war should cease, and all
tho States should retain their equal
glitr; and dignity unimpaired.
ft is only since the war has clo-ed that
other rights have been iis-ortcd on be
half of one department of the General
iovernnient. it has been proclaimed
bv Congress that, In addition to the
powers conferred upon it by the Consti
tlon, the Federal (iovernnient may now
claim over the States, the territory, and
the peoplo Involved in the Insurrection,
the rights of war the right of conquest
iiulof conllscation, the right to abrogate
all existing governments, Institutions,
and laws, and to mhjoet the territory
conquered and Its Inhabitant to nidi
laws, regulations, and deprivations as
tho legislative department of the Gov
ernment may seo fit to Impose. Under
this broad nnd sweeping claim, that
claii-o of the Constitution which pro
vides that " no State shall without its
consent be deprived of It- equal sttll'rage
In the Senate of the I'nited Stales," ba
boon annulled, and ten Slates have been
li'fu-ed, and are still refu.-ed, represen
ti.tlon altogether lu both branches) of the
Federal Congress. And a Congress in
which only a part of tho Slates and of
thu people of the Fnlon are ropresonti d
has incited the rl J it Huts to exclude
the re-t from representation, and from
all share lu making their own laws or
choosing their own rulers until they
shall comply with such conditions and
porforni eitcli lugsusthls Congress thus
composed may It-elf proscribe. That
light has not only been asserted, but it
litis been c.eivl-ed, and Is practically
moot, or lnt been oyiuent ol lights, lie
conies lninossliiie ; aim uie coiinicis oi
.i i
nor call con-muiioiiai uuiu- nni
obligations be discarded or lam aside.
The enjoyment of rights may be for a
time suspended by the failure to claim
tin m, and duties may be evaded by the
refu-al to perforin them. Tlie with
drawal of their member-) from Congros
by the State.- v.liicli resisted the ieneral
(iovernnient was among thciraetsof in.
surrcction was one of the i tcans and
agencies by which they sought to impair
the authority and defeat the action of
the Government; and that act was an
nulled and rendered V'-'d wli'-n the in-..iii-1-eclIonit.selfwassur.pressed.
the right of representation nor the duty
(,. i. ...!. vnjontnl was in the least im
paired by the fact of Insurrection ; but
it may have been that by reason of the
in-iirreotion the conditions on which
the enjoyment ol Unit rigm ami
nerlori'iiiinceof that duty for the time
depended could not be ftillllled. This
was, in fact, the ca-e. An in-urgent
power, in Hie exorcise of n-nrped and
unlawful authority, had prohibited
within the territory under its control,
that alleuianco to the Con-Hlutinn and
law-of Hie I'nited States which is made
by that fundamental law the os-eutial
condition of representation In Us (iov
ernnient. No man within tlie insur
gent States was allowed to take the
oath to support the Constitution of the
I'nited Slate-, and, asancccs-ary conse
quence, no man could lawfully represent
Uio-eState- in Hie councils of the Union.
Rut tiii- wa-only an obstacle tot hoenjiiy
niont m" the right nnd to the di-charge
ol' a duty it did not annul the one nor
abrogate the other, audit cea-ed toexi-t
when' the usurpation by which It was
(ivitcil lia 1 been overthrown and the
States hail again resumed their alle
giance lo the Constitution and laws of
the I'nited States.
Xrmitl. Rut it i- inserted, in support
of the authority claimed by tho Con
gress now in pos-o-lnu of power, that
it llows directly from the laws of war;
.i. t :. tin. ilt. lit.! which
I l.ll il. IS UIIO'llM ... ,-
is claimed that these amendments may
be made valid as parts of tlie original
Constitution without the concurrence of
the States to be mo-t seriously affected
by them, or may be imposed upon those
States by three-lbui-His of the remaining
Slates, as conditions of tiioirreadnii-sion
to representation in Congress nnd in the
Klcctoral College.
It is the unquestionable right of Hip
people of the United States to make
such changes in the Constitution us they,
upon due deliberation, may deem expe
dient. Rut we insist that they shall be
made in the mode which the Constitu
tion it.-elf points out in conformity
with the letter and the spirit of that In
strument, and with the principles of
self-government and of equal right
which lie at tlieba-isof our republican
institutions. Wo deny tho rigid of Con-
gross to make the-e changes in the funda
mental law without the concurrence of
three fourths of all the States, including
especially tho-e to be mo-t seriously tif
looted by them, or to iinpo-e them upon
State- or people, a- conditions ol reprc
sontntion or of adiniioii to any of the
ri.dits, duties, or obligations which be
long under the Constitution to all the
States alike. And with still greater
emphasis do we deny the right of any
portion of the States, excluding Hie rest
partv, which, under constitutional gov-1 victorious war always coiH'ers upon the
erni.'ients, are the conditions and means conquerors, and which the conqueror
of political pi-ogre-", are merged In the
conflicts of anus to which they directly
and inevitably tend.
Jt was against this poill, -n conspic
uous and so fatal to all free govern
ments, that our ( 'oiistltution was intend
ed especially to provide. Not only the
stability but the very existence of the
(iovernnient Is made by Its provi-lon-to
depend upon the right and the fact
of ropro-oiitullon. The Congr -s upon
which is conferred all the legislative
power of tho National Government, con--1-ts
of two branches, the Senate and
llou-o ot Representative.-;, v, lime joint
concurrence or assent is es-onilal to the
validity of any law. of those the Iou-o
of Jtopi'e.-oiitativos.says the Constitution
tartlcle l., section -j, "niiiiu !)' coiupo-cu
of members chosen every second year
by tho people of the several States."
Not only is tho right of representation
thus recognized as possessed by all the
States and by every State without re
striction, qualification, or condition of
any kind, but tho duty of ehoo-lng rep-lo.-eiitalivos
Is imposed upon Hie peoplo
of eaeli and every State alike, without
distinction, or Hie authority to make
distinctions among them, forany rea-on
or upon any grounds whatever. And
In the Senate, so careful Is the Constitu
tion to si cure to every State this right
jof lopn -cutatluii, It Is on pro-sly pro
vided that " no State shall, without It-con-cut,
bo deprived of its equal siif
frage" In that body, even by an amend
ment of tho Constitution Itself. When,
therefore, any Statu Is excluded from
such repiescntalion, not only la it right
of thoSltttodenlcdibut Ihoeonstltutlon
ttl Integrity of thy .ivnalo U liiiahvil,
!.... t.:
niav exerel-o or waive in iw m
eretlon. To this wo reply that the laws
in question relate solely, so far as the
rights tliey confer ate concerned, to wars
waged between alien and Independent
nations, and can have no place or force,
In tills regard, inn war waged bytiGov
oriimenl to siippre-- an liistirrivHon or
Its own people, ii poll Its own soil, again-t
its authority. If w hail carried on suc
cessful war against any foreign nation
we luiyht thereby have acquired po-so.-.-Ioii
and Jurisdiction of their soil, with
tlie light to eiilorce our laws upon their
people, ami to impose upon them such
laws and such obligations a.- we might
choose. Rut we had before the warcoin-
ploto Jurisdiction over the soil of the
Southern State-, llllliteil only lv our
own Constitution. Our laws wore tin
onlv national laws In force upon it. The
(iovernnient of Hie United States was the
only Government through which those
Statesai.dtheirpeoplohad relations with
foreign nations, and Its Hag vastheonly
iliiL? bv which they wero recognized or
known anywhere oil the face of Hi
earth. In all tho-e le.-peels.'-aiid In all
other respects Involving national Inter
ests and lights, our possession was per
feet and complete. Jtdldltot need to hi
acquired, but only to bo maintained
and victorious waragaln-t the Rebellion
could do nothing more than maintain It
It could only vindieatoand re-esl.ibll
tho disputed supremacy of tlie Coiisil
tution. It could neither enlarge ivr
diminish the authority which that Con
stitullim confers upon tho Government
bv which it was achieved. Mich an
enlnriicment or abridgement of coti.-tl
tullunal power can bo cllVvtvil only by
of Hie States from any share m their
councils, to propo-e or sanction changes
in the Constitution which are to affect
permanently their political relationsand
control or coerce the legitimate action of
the several members of tho common
l'nion. Such an oxcrci-e of power i
simplya usurpation; ju-t as unwarrant
able when exercised by Northern States
as it would be ifoxorci.-ed by Southern,
and not to bo fortified or palliated by
anything in the past hi-lory either of
tho-e by whom it is attempted or of
tho-e upon who-e rights and liberties it
is to take affect. It finds no warrant
in the Constitution. It is at war with
the fundamental principles of our form
of (iovernnient. If tolerated lu one
in-tance, it becomes the precedent for
future Invasions of all liberty and con
stitutional right dependent solely upon
the will of the paity in pos-i ion of
powir, aim mils loan--, ny ittrect nun
necessary consequence, lo the most
fatal and intolerable of all tyrannies
the tvranny of shifting and irrespon-
iblo polltictl faction-, it I.- agaln.-t
this, the mo-t formidable ot all the
dangers which menace the stability ot
free government, that the Constitution
of the Fnited States was intended most
ireful v to provide. Wo demand a
liiei and steadfast adherence to Us pro
vllons. In this, and in this alone, can
we find a ba-lsof permanent union and
Ihnrih. Rut it Is alleged, in JlisUlica
Hon of the usurpation which we con-
lenin, that the condition of the South
crn States and people is not such a
renders safe their readini-slou to a share
in Hie ( iovernnient of the country ; that
tliev are still disloyal In sentiment and
purpose, and that neither the honor, tlie
credit, nor the interests of the nation
would be Mile It they were readmit!
ton share in Us counsels. Wo might
reply to this:
1. That wo have no right, lor such
. , , i
reasons, lo deny in any poinou oi me
States or people rights expressly eon
ferrod upon them by tho Constitution
of the Fulled States.
, That so long as their acts are tlio-c
of ovnllv so onir a- uiey comorni in
all their public conduct to the require
incut,; of the Const ttttiotl and law Wl
novo no rl"bt to exact from them con
forudty in their sentiments and opln
Ions to our own.
il. That we have no right lo distru-
the purpo-e or the ability of Hie peoph
of the I nam lo proieei aim iieieini, un
dor all contingencies and by whatov
means may be required, Us honor and
The.-e would, In our Judgment, bo full
and coiuiii-lvoaiiswers to the plea thu
advanced for the exclusion or flic
s.ntes from tho Fnlon. We say further
that this I'l-'a i'wh l''i- H complete ml
ways most easily fed and fanned into
outbreak ; and even there, they are quite
as much the fruit of untimely and hurt
ful political agitation as of any hos
tility on lie- v,,rt (lt' the peoplo to the
authority or the National (iovernnient.
Rut the concurrent testimony of tho-e
best acquainted with thocondUion of so
ciety and the state of public sentiment
in the South Including that or It rep
resentatives in this Convention estab
lishes the fict that the groat mass or the
Southern people accept, with as rail
and sincere submission as do the people
or the other States, re-established su
premacy of tho national authority, and
are prepared, in tho most loyal spirit,
and with a zeal qtnekencdalikeby their
interest and their pride, to co-operato I
with other States and sections in what
ever may be nece-sary to defend the
rights, maintain tho honor, nnd proinote
the welfare of our common country.
History alfords no instance where a
people, so powerful in numbers, in resource-,
and in public spirit, after n war
so long in Us duration, so destructive In
its progrc.-s, and so adverse in its issue,
have accepted defeat and it- coiiquen
ces with so much of good faith as has
marked the conduct of the people lately
in insurrection agiiin-t the United
States, Revond all question tills has
been largely due to the wise generosity
with which their enforced surrender
was accepted by the President of the
United States and the generals in im
mediate command of their armies, and
to the liberal measures which wore af
terward taken to restore order, tran
quility, and law to the States where all
had for the time been overthrown. No
steps could have been bettor calculated
to command the re-pect, win the eonll-
dence, revive the patrioti-ni, and secure
the permanent and atlectionate allegi
ance of the people of the South to the
'oiistltution and laws of the l'nion
than tho-e which have been so firmly
taken and so steadfastly pursued by the
Pre-idont of the Fulled States. And
If that confidence and loyalty have
been since impaired ; if the peo
ple of the South are to-day loss cor
dial in their allegiance tlian they were
Immediately upon the clo-e of the
war, wo believe it is due to the changed
tone of the legislallvedepartiiiont of the
General Government toward them; to
the action by which Congress has en-
leavorod to supplant and defeat the
resident's wise and benetlcont policy
of restoration ; lo their exclusion from
ill participation in our common Gov-
rument; to the withdrawal Iromtlieni
of rights conferred and guaranteed oy
the Constitution ; and to the evident
purpose of Congress, in the exerci-eof a
usurped and unlaw hit authority, to re
duce them from Hie rank ol free and
equal members of a republic of States,
with rights and dignities unimpaired,
to the condition of conquered provinces
and a conquered people, in all things and subject to the will of
their conquerors; lree only lo obey
laws in making which they tiro not al
lowed to share.
No people lias ever yet oxi-ted who-e
loyalty and faith -mil treatment long
continued would not alienate and im-
pair. And the ten millions of Ameri
cans who live In the South would be
unworthy citizens of a free country,
degenerate sons of a heroic unco-try.
unlit ever to become guardians of tin
lights and liberties bequeathed to its
by the fathers and founders of this Re
public, if they could accept, with un
complaining siibnil iveno'-, the hu
miliations thus sought to bo imposed
upon tlieni, Ri-entiiiont or injustice is
always and everywhere os-ontinl to free
dom; and Hie spirit which prompts tlie
states and people lately in insurrection,
but insurgent now no longer, lo protest
against the Imposition of unjust and de
grading conditions, makes them all
the more worthy lo share in tho Gov
iranieut of a free ( oiiinlonwoalth, and
glvis still firmer assurance of the future
power and freedom of the llopublie.
For wiialovor responsibility tlie South
ern people may Jiavo inclined in resist
ing tho authority of the National Gov
ernment and In taking up vu Un its
overthrow, they uiny be held lo muwer,
as individual!!, before th Judicial tribu
nals of tho innd, and for that conduct,
r.s soclotiw and organised communities,
they have nl ready jiuhl the most fearful
penalties that ran fall on olfeudliig
Stated In tho looses, the sulforings, and
humiliation of unsuccessful war. Hut
whatever uiny bo thu guilt or tho pun
ishment of tlio conscious aiithoni of tho
insurrection, candor and common Jus
tice demand tho concession that ha
great nuns of those who became in
volved In Its responsibility acted Upon
what they belloved to bo their duly,
in defense of what they had been taught
to believe their rights, or under ti com
pulsion, physical and moral, which they
wero powerless to resist. Nor can it bo
tiinlss to remember that, terrible nshavo
been thu bereavements and the los.-;cs of
this war, they havo fallen exclusively
upon neither section and upon neither
party that they havo fallen, Indeed,
with far greater weight npontlio-o with
whom the war began ; that in tliedeatli
of relatives and friends ; tlie dispersion
of families; the disruption of social sys
tems and social ties; tho overthrow of
governments; of Jaw and order; tho
destruction of property and of forms
and modes and means of industry;
the loss of political, commercial, and
moral influence, in every shape and
form which great calamities can as
sume, the States and peoplo which
engaged in tlie war against the Gov
ernment of thu United States havo
suffered tenfold more than those who
remained in allegiance to its Consti
tution and laws.
These considerations may not, as they
certainly do not, Justify Hie action of
the people of Hie insurgent States; but
no ju-t or generous mind will refuse to
them very considerable weight in de
termining the line of conduct which
the Government of tho United States
should pursue toward them.
They accept, if not with alacrity, cer
tainly without sullen resentment, tho
defeat and overthrow they havesitstain
ed. They acknowledge and acqule-co
in tho results, to, themselves and tho
country, which that defeat involves.
They no longer claim for any State tiio
right to secede from the Union ; they no
longer assert for any State ail allegiance
paramount to that which is due to tho
(ieneral Government. They have ac
cepted the destruction of slavery, abol
ished it by their State constitutions,
and concurred with tlie States and peo
ple of the whole Union in prohibiting
its existence forever upon tho soil or
within the Jiirl-dlctlon of the Vnited
States. They indicate and evince their
purpose jti.-t .-o fast as may bo po-siblo
and safe to adapt their domestic laws to
Uiochangetl condition of their society,
and to secure by law and its tribu
nals equal and Impartial justice to all
cla-.-os of their inhabitants. They ad
mit the invalidity of all acts of resist
ance to the national authority, and of
all debts incurred in attempting its
overthrow. They avow their willing
ness to -hare the burdens and di-ehargo
all the duties and obligations which rest
upon them, in common witli oilier
States and other sections of the Union;
and they renew, through their represen
tatives in this Convention, by all their
public conduct, in every way and by
the mo-t solemn acts by which States
and societies ran pledge their faith,
their engagement to bear true faith and
allegiance, through all time to come, to
the Constitution of the United States,
and to all laws that may be made in
pursuance thereof.
Fellow countrymen : "We call upon
you, in full reliance upon your intel
ligence and your patrioti-m, to ac
cept, witli generous and ungrudging
confidence, this full surrender on the
part of tho-e lately In arms again-t
your authority, and to share with tln-m
the honor and renown that await tho.-n
who bring back peace and concord to
jarring States. Tlie war ju-t elo-cd,
with all its sorrows and disasters, lias
opened a new career of glory to the na
tion it lias saved, it has swept away
the hostilities of sentiment nml of Inter
est which wero a standing menace to
Its ponce, it has destroyed the Institu
tion of slavery, always a cause of sec
tional agitation and strife, and hasopeii
ed for our country Hie way to unity of
interest, of principle, and of iii'tion,
through all time to come. It has devel
oped in both sections a military capacity
an aptitude for achievement - of war,
both by sea and land before unknown
oven to our-olves, and destined to exer-ci-o
hereafter, under united counsels, an
Important hillticneo upon Hie character
and detlny of the continent and (ho
world. And w hile it has thus revealed,
disciplined, and compacted our power,
it ha- proved to us, beyond controversy
or doubt, by the course pursued toward
both contending sections by foreign
powers, that wo must no uie guardians
of our own Independence, and that tho
principles of republican freedom wo
represent can find among tlie nations of
the earth no friends or defenders but
Wo call upon you, therefore, by every
con-lderatlon of your own dignity and
safety, and In the name of liberty
throughout the world, to complete tho
work of restoration and peace which
the Pre-idont of the United Slates has
so well begun, and which tin policy
adopted and the principles assorted by
tho present Congress alone obstruct,
Tho time is do-eat hand when iiirmbers
of a now Congro- are to bo elected. If
that Congress shall perpetuate tin- poli
cy, and, by excluding loyal stairs mid
people from ropie-cnlalloii lu Its halls
shall continue tlie ti-urpatioii by w hlch
llto kgWlutivo power of tju Govuu