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[427] for communities unanimously hostile to the authority of the Union. A surgeon who should volunteer a pledge not to disturb or meddle with any proud flesh lie might find in his patient's wounds, would hardly expect to augment thereby that patient's confidence in his skill; nor could a priest who should stipulate never to assail any other than unpopular and repudiated sins, expect to win a high regard either for his authority or his sanctity. The fact that the sovereignty of the Union is coextensive, and, at least, coordinate with that of the States, is here clearly lost sight of. To say, in effect, to rebels against the National authority, “You may expel that authority wholly from your vicinage by killing a few of its leading upholders, and thus terrifying the residue into mute servility to your will,” is not the way to suppress a rebellion.

The strong point of this Inaugural is its frank and plump denial of the fundamental Secession dogma that our Union is a league,1 formed in 1787. “The Union is much older than the Constitution,” says Mr. Lincoln, truly and pertinently. Had the Constitution been rejected by the States, the Union would nevertheless have subsisted. Ours is “one country” --made so by God and His Providence, revealed through the whole of its recorded history; its “more perfect Union” is but a step in its development — not the cause of its existence. Hence, Secession is not “the dissolution of a league,” as Mr. Jefferson Davis asserts, but a treasonable, though futile, effort to disorganize and destroy a nation.

Mr. Lincoln's rejection of Disunion as physically impossible — as forbidden by the geography and topography of our country — is a statesmanlike conception that had not before been so clearly apprehended or so forcibly set forth. And, in truth, not one-tenth of the then active Secessionists ever meditated or intended Disunion as permanent. They proposed to destroy the Union in order to reconstitute it according to their own ideas, with Slavery as its corner-stone. To kick out the New England States, rural New York, and that “ fanatical” section of the West that is drained by the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence — such was the constant inculcation of pro-Slavery journalists and politicians throughout that eventful Winter and Spring. Free States were to be admitted into the Confederacy, on condition of their fully

1 The New York Herald of November 9th, contained an instructive letter dated Charleston, November 5th, 1860, from which the following is an extract:

It must be understood that there is a radical difference in the patriotism of a Northerner and a Southerner. The Northerner invariably considers himself as a citizen of the Union; he regards the Federal army and navy as his country's army and navy, and looks upon the Government at Washington as a great consolidated organization, of which he forms an integral part, and to which whatever love of country he may possess is directed. Beyond paying the State taxes, voting for State officers, and seeking redress primarily in the State courts, he has very little idea of any special fealty being due to his own particular State.

The Southerner, on the other hand, generally (and the South Carolinian always) repudiates this theory of consolidation. lie feels that he owes allegiance to his own State, and to her alone; lie is jealous of her rights and honor, and will never admit that any step taken in obedience to her mandate can involve the idea of treason. The Federal Government is, in his eyes, but the embodiment of certain powers delegated by the States from motives of policy. Let those motives be once removed or counterbalanced, and he holds that the State has no longer any reason for maintaining a connection which it was her right, at any time, to have dissolved. These being the views of the people of South Carolina, the threats of Douglas and the Black Republicans have only served to confirm the wavering and knit together the citizens of the various sections of the State.

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