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 United States; but they can fully enjoy its blessings; and it is to our interest, and in full accordance with our desires, that they should do so. They can participate with safety in the electoral franchise, and when left to the guidance of their own free wills, they will do themselves and the country justice. At all events, we cannot afford to surrender the political power that depends upon their right of suffrage. These plain statements seem to dispense with further argument as to the grounds of our satisfaction with our present relations to the United States, and of our faith in the future prosperity of the South. There are still higher grounds upon which we feel that we are justly entitled to repose confidence, and to receive confidence, when we assert our intention to abide by the decisions which were the result of the war. I refer confidently to the character of the American people, which, after all, is the vital power of the government, and the foundation of every hope of the future. Our government rests on that character, and looks to it, as pledged in oaths of fidelity for the maintenance of justice towards the people and the States. If oaths are not sufficient to hold a free people to the line of duty, nothing that is consistent with liberty will ever secure this end. Without confidence and forbearance amongst the people, the government cannot be long maintained. No country can be so unhappy as that where every man feels that every other man who may oppose him in his political opinions, is a traitor to his country. Sometimes, the people acting under great excitement, seem to be controlled by such thoughts; but the moment a result is obtained, and declared by lawful authority, it is peacefully accepted, and the people assume their wonted friendship. An illustration was furnished, in the events with which this year began, of the love of the people for their country and its institutions and for each other, rising above their regard for any man or any party, or anything except the written Constitution and the law as declared by legitimate authority, that should shame into silence those who traduce the honor of the people of the country. In this great matter of the Presidential election, the Democrats of the South and the whole country felt that they had been victimized and betrayed by a false confidence reposed in the most important tribunal which has existed in this country since 1787; and while millions of them believed, and still believe, that its judgment was a mere expression of partisan injustice, yet that judgment stood for law and admitted of no appeal, and they obeyed it. They consented to look to their lawful power to correct it hereafter at the ballot-box, and to provide against its recurrence by additional laws. It was expected of the people in the South that, through the alliance of Democrats in the North and West, they would seek to avenge themselves
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