of this Government upon the principles of the Chicago Platform — a condition of our country, most likely, near at hand — what attitude will Kentucky hold.
and by virtue of what authority shall her external relations be determined?
Herein are involved issues of momentous consequence to the people.
It is of vital importance to our own safety and domestic peace that these questions be solved in accordance with the will of a majority of our people. * * * The ordinary departments of the Government are vested with no power to conduct the State through such a revolution.
Any attempt, by either of these departments, to change our present external relations, would involve a usurpation of power, and might not command that confidence and secure the unanimity so essential to our internal safety.
The Legislature heard him patiently, but refused to follow him. It declined to call a State Convention, but proposed instead a National Convention to revise the Federal
pact, and a Peace Conference at Washington
; which latter was duly held, as we have already seen.
No action looking to Disunion could be extracted from that Legislature, which adjourned soon afterward.
And, though the Secessionists sought to atone for their paucity of numbers by preternatural activity, especially through their secret organizations, as “Knights of the Golden circle,” etc., and called a ‘State Rights’ Convention, to meet at Frankfort
on the 22d of March, by a secret circular, wherein they assumed that Disunion was an accomplished fact, nothing of importance had been effected by them when the roar of the batteries encircling Fort Sumter
called the nation to arms.
, having refused, with insult, to respond to the President
's call for Militia to maintain the Union
, summoned the Legislature to meet once more, in extra session, assigning, as one reason therefor, the necessity of promptly putting the State
in a complete position for defense.
His call was issued April 18th; and, on the evening of that day, an immense Union meeting was held at Louisville
, whereof James Guthrie
, Archibald Dixon
, and other “conservatives,” were the master-spirits.
This meeting resolved against Secession, and against any forcible resistance thereto — in favor of arming the State
, and against using her arms to put down the rampant treason at that moment ruling in Baltimore
as well as in Richmond
, and ostentatiously preparing for a speedy rush upon Washington
Two of its resolves will sufficiently exhibit the inconsequence and unreason of this species of conservatism: viz:
Resolved, First: That, as the Confederate States have, by overt acts, commenced war against the United States, without consultation with Kentucky and their sister Southern States, Kentucky reserves to herself the right to choose her own position; and that, while her natural sympathies are with those who have a common interest in the protection of Slavery, she still acknowledges her loyalty and fealty to the Government of the United States, which she will cheerfully render until that Government becomes aggressive, tyrannical, and regardless of our rights in slave property.
Second: That the National Government should be tried by its acts; and that the several States, as its peers in their appropriate spheres, will hold it to a rigid account-ability, and require that its acts should be fraternal in their efforts to bring back the seceded States, and not sanguinary or coercive.
The red-hot balls fired into Sumter
by the traitors had hardly cooled, when Kentucky
Unionism insulted the common-sense and nauseated the loyal stomach of the Nation by this astounding drivel.
The consequences may well be imagined.
Not a single Rebel in all the State
was induced by it to relax his efforts in behalf of slaveholding treason; and men, munitions, and supplies were openly, and