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 When the cause of war is removed, it is a crime in any people to refuse to make peace. It is due to the President of the United States, who has inaugurated this restoration of the Constitution, and to the people of the North who support him in this policy, and it is but justice to ourselves, that we should be able to assure them, that on our part, we intend to keep this peace inviolate. This is sufficiently established by the fact that we have no motive for any other line of conduct. And this fact is demonstrated when we turn to the Constitution of the United States, and find that it protects every right that we claim; that it is now recognized as the supreme law, and that those in power respect their oaths to support and obey it. What further have we to ask or desire? But our claims upon the confidence of the country rest on higher grounds than our personal interests. It is not a very pleasing duty to argue with your brother, or a stranger, the facts and deductions which should justify or encourage him in the confidence that you mean to deal honestly and justly with him. But our sectional estrangement has so long existed, and has been attended with such unseemly vituperation in all quarters, that those who desire that a better feeling should be encouraged, ought carefully to remove any possible distrust which may retard the restoration of mutual confidence and good will. In doing this, nothing is gained by uncandid protestations of affectionate regard, or by concealing the opinions and sentiments which we honestly entertain. It is probable that we shall live together a great many years — I trust it may be centuries, and that as time advances, we shall become more strongly attached by ties of common interests. It would seem to be impossible to misconceive the precise effects of the war of 1861 upon the Constitution of the country, and it is absurd to assume that any change in the organic law was effected beyond that set forth in those amendments that have been added to it. So that we know fully the results of the war upon our Government. The States of the South have adopted the thirteenth amendment, and have accepted the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. These are a part of the Constitution. We did not like them or approve them, but we have bound ourselves collectively as States, and in our State Constitutions, as well as by multiplied oaths taken on all possible occasions, by our people individually, to support and obey those amendments as parts of the Constitution of the United States. We can do no more except to live up to our pledges. We yielded, in some of our State Constitutions, the right of secession. This was not required of us, and we surrendered it, because we supposed the Northern States would demand it. That was claimed to be an issue involved in the war. Some of those who fought the hardest and longest
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