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[16] it, the inevitable effect of which would be to fill the present slaveholding States with an ever increasing negro population, resulting in the banishment of our own non-slaveholding population in the first instance and the eventual surrender of our country to a barbarous race, or, what seems to be desired, an amalgamation with the African.

And it has at last culminated in the election, by a sectional majority of the free States alone, to the first office in the republic, of the author of the sentiment that there is an “irrepressible conflict” between free and slave labor and that there must be universal freedom or universal slavery; a sentiment which inculcates, as a necessity of our situation, warfare between the two sections of our country without cessation or intermission until the weaker is reduced to subjection.

In view of this state of things, we are not inclined to rebuke or censure the people of any of our sister States in the South, suffering from injury, goaded by insults, and threatened with such outrages and wrongs, for their bold determination to relieve themselves from such injustice and oppression, by resorting to their ultimate and sovereign right to dissolve the compact which they had formed and to provide new guards for their future security.

Nor have we any doubt of the right of any State, there being no common umpire between coequal sovereign States, to judge for itself on its own responsibility, as to the mode and measure of redress.

The States, each for itself, exercised this sovereign power when they dissolved their connection with the British Empire.

They exercised the same power when nine of the States seceded from. the confederation and adopted the present constitution, though two States at first rejected it.

The articles of confederation stipulated that those articles should be inviolably observed by every State, and that the Union should be perpetual, and that no alteration should be made unless agreed to by Congress and confirmed by every State.

Notwithstanding this solemn compact, a portion of the States did, without the consent of the others, form a new compact; and there is nothing to show, or by which it can be shown, that this right has been, or can be, diminished so long as the States continue sovereign.

The confederation was assented to by the Legislature for each State; the constitution by the people of each State for such State alone. One is as binding as the other, and no more so.

The constitution, it is true, established a government, and it operates

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