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early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation ; but the current of Anti-Slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own laws and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States; and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation. The ends for which this Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Thes
e Union, and in said proclamation threatens to exert this unusual force to compel obedience to his mandates; And whereas the General Assembly of Virginia, by a majority approaching to entire unanimity, declared at its last session, that the State of Virginia would consider such exertion of force as a virtual declaration of war, to be resisted by all the power at the command of Virginia; and subsequently, the convention now in session, representing the sovereignty of this State, has reaffirmed in substance the same policy, with equal unanimity; And whereas the State of Virginia deeply sympathizes with the Southern States, in the wrongs they have suffered, and in the position they have assumed; and having made earnest efforts peaceably to compose the differences which have severed the Union, and having failed in that attempt, through this unwarranted act on the part of the President; and it is believed that the influences which operate to produce this proclamation against the seceded S
rginia's Ordinance of secession. The following is the ordinance to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said constitution, which passed the State Convention on the 17th of April, 1861: The people of Virgts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying or adopting amendments to said constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the Union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the constitution aforesaid is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rState of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that said Constitution of the United States of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State. This ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day, when ratified by a majority of the votes of th
m it is our interest and earnest wish to maintain the most cordial and friendly relations, I suggest the expediency of making the necessary appropriations for that purpose. Having been officially notified by the public authorities of the State of Virginia that she had withdrawn from the Union and desired to maintain the closest political relations with us which it was possible at this time to establish, I commissioned the Hon. Alex. II. Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederate States, to represent this government at Richmond. I am happy to inform you that he has concluded a convention with the State of Virginia, by which that honored Commonwealth, so long and justly distinguished among her sister States, and so dear to the hearts of thousands of her children in the Confederate States, has united her power and her fortunes with ours and become one of us. This convention, together with the ordinance of Virginia adopting the Provisional Constitution of the Confederacy will be
Doc. 125.--General Harney's letter. Washington, May 1, 1861. My dear Sir:--The report of my arrest at Harper's Ferry, by persons assuming to act under authority of the State of Virginia, has no doubt reached you. Upon my arrival at Richmond, under military escort, Governor Letcher immediately directed my release, with assurances disavowing the act of his subordinates, and expressing regret at their mistake or abuse of his authority. The kind attention and civility received from him,a sense of duty requires to be promptly corrected. No better mode occurs to me than by a letter addressed to yourself, as an esteemed personal friend. It has been represented through the public press that I was a willing prisoner to the State of Virginia; that I designed to resign my commission in the United States army, throw off my allegiance to the Federal Government, and join the forces of the Confederate States. Forty-two years I have been in the military service of the United State
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 1. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 129.--proclamation by Governor Letcher, May 3, 1861. (search)
ent that foreigners and naturalized citizens who, but a few years ago, were denounced by the North and deprived of essential rights, have now been induced to enlist into regiments for the purpose of invading this State, which then vindicated those rights and effectually resisted encroachments which threatened their destruction. Against such a policy and against a force which the Government at Washington, relying upon its numerical strength, is now rapidly concentrating, it becomes the State of Virginia to prepare proper safeguards. To this end and for these purposes, and with a determination to repel invasion, I, John Letcher, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, by authority of the Convention, do hereby authorize the commanding-general of the military forces of this State, to call out, and to cause to be mustered into the service of Virginia, from time to time, as the public exigencies may require, such additional number of volunteers as he may deem necessary. To facilita
men, for the purpose as therein indicated of capturing forts, and other strongholds within the jurisdiction of, and belonging to, the Confederate States of America, and has detailed naval armaments upon the coasts of the Confederate States of America, and raised, organized, and equipped a large military force to execute the purpose aforesaid, and has issued his other Proclamation, announcing his purpose to set on foot a blockade of the ports of the Confederate States; and whereas, the State of Virginia has seceded from the Federal Union, and entered into a convention of alliance, offensive and defensive, with the Confederate States, and has adopted the Provisional Constitution of the said States, and the States of Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri have refused, and it is believed that the State of Delaware and the inhabitants of the Territories of Arizona and New Mexico, and the Indian Territory south of Kansas, will refuse to cooperate with the Go
ill Virginia occupy, should the ordinance of secession be rejected by the people at the approaching election? And the frequency of the question may be an excuse for giving publicity to the answer. The ordinance of secession withdrew the State of Virginia from the Union, with all the consequences resulting from the separation. It annulled the Constitution and the laws of the United States within the limits of this State, and absolved the citizens of Virginia from all obligations and obedience to them. Hence it follows, if this ordinance be rejected by the people, the State of Virginia will remain in the Union, and the people of the State will remain bound by the Constitution of the United States, and obedience to the Government and the laws of the United States will be fully and rightfully enforced against them. It follows, of course, that in this war now carried on by the Government of the United States against the seceding States, Virginia must immediately change sides, a
If the positions already taken are held, an important advantage has been gained. Our capital has been freed from the possibility of an attack. Up to yesterday the enemy, from Arlington Heights, might have shelled every part of the city. Northern Virginia has been completely cut off from the Southern portion of it. Such advantages should be instantly followed up. We need, if we can achieve it, an early success. The rebellion takes its character from the future fortune it meets. If successfch bind poor Baltimore to the car of the Federal despotism? We congratulate the people of Virginia that the last flimsy pretext of the Rump Government at Washington, of regard for constitutional laws, has been thrown aside. The sovreign State of Virginia has been invaded by the Federal hirelings, without authority of Congress, which alone has the war-making power. Heretofore, the pretence that it was the duty of the Federal Government to repossess itself of the forts and arsenals in the se
Wheeling, Va., May 28. I, George W. Thompson, one of the Judges of the Circuit Court, acting under the Constitution and the laws of Virginia, and under the Constitution of the United States, and by my oath of office, imposed on me by the State of Virginia, in virtue of the obligation voluntarily and solemnly assumed by the State in her ratification of the Constitution of the Union, to declare the Constitution of the United States, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, the supreme law of thof those laws, and in a higher appeal of justice and the cry, depart, depart in peace, and give not up West Virginia, which otherwise will remain in safety, if not repose, to the horrors of a terrible war. With such a large majority, neither Eastern Virginia nor the South will be disposed to coerce us to their own local and peculiar policy. With such a position as West Virginia occupies, separated by vast mountain ranges from old Virginia, accessible to the whole West, and the wholo North, theo
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