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[12] feeling the want of representation in Congress. They could have the protection of the flag of the Union such as the Territories enjoyed; they were entitled to exemption from taxation as the Indians are, because they had no representation in Congress; they had the sympathy and respect of their sister States, and could trust to their interested guardianship of the equal rights of all the States. What more could they really need, besides the power of local self-government, to make their people safe and prosperous?

Such a condition would not, of course, meet the demands of a great and proud people, but it would be preferable to that low condition in which a despised minority should be compelled to submit to insult and injustice continually at the hands of those in power.

It was this demonstration of the great fact that the States are the real repositories of the essential powers of the Federal Government in money, in men, and in military resources, in the election of Presdents and Representatives in Congress in both Houses; and that, by withholding these things, the States can at any moment paralyze the Federal Government; that alarmed the higher law people, and they struck home, at the root of the tree, when they, in the war of reconstruction, struck at the great rights of home rule. The struggle for these rights has been long and painful. We could only meet military force with patient suffering. In the beginning, a vast number of men in the South were disfranchised who had given long and attentive study to our peculiar and nicely adjusted system of government. In their places, those were put who were in no sense qualified for free and independent suffrage, to say nothing of the intelligent exercise of this important privilege.

Then came military intimidation, arrests, imprisonments, the espionage of brutal spies and detectives in the private and sacred sanctuaries of home. Then hired “traitors to the blood that coursed in their veins” were licensed, by nominal elections to office, to steal and plunder at will. But no one pen will ever enumerate these crimes, and no tongue will ever be able to portray them in their horrid enormity.

This struggle has ended, I believe, forever. The revolution of 1867 has at last failed of its purpose; ballot after ballot has expressed the decree of the popular will against the revolution; there seems to be no remaining cause which can lead to a renewal of the struggle, and it is ended. In this struggle the people of the South have won a great moral victory. It was the cherished and abiding hope of the peace-breakers that we should be goaded into armed resistance. They sought this occasion against us to destroy us. Our friends in the North, who witnessed with the deepest concern the whole movement, stood close at our sides and bade us be still and to quietly endure every persecution until a recurring sense of justice amongst the people should deprive the destructives of power.

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