It is all your work, and whatever happens will be your work.
We have more right to defend our Government than you have to overturn it. Many of us are sworn to support it. Let our good Union brethren at the South stand their ground.
I know that many patriotic hearts in the seceded States still beat warmly for the old Union--the old flag.
The time will come when we shall all be together again.
The politicians are having their day. The people will yet have theirs.
I have an abiding confidence in the right, and I know this Secession movement is all wrong.
There is, in fact, not a single substantial reason for it. If there is, I should be glad to hear of it; our Government has never oppressed us with a feather's weight.
The direst oppression alone could justify what has brought all our present suffering upon us. May God, in His mercy, save our glorious Republic!
The Legislature adjourned on the 24th--the Senate having just resolved that
“Kentucky will not sever connection with the National Government, nor take up arms for either belligerent party; but arm herself for the preservation of peace within her borders;” and tendering their services as mediators to effect a just and honorable peace.
Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge
--always a devoted Unionist, because never a devotee of Slavery — in an address at Cincinnati
, one year later, declared that Kentucky
was saved from the black abyss by her proximity to loyal Ohio
, and Illinois
, whose Governors, it was known, stood pledged to send ten thousand men each to the aid of her Unionists
whenever the necessity for their presence should be indicated.
Had she been surrounded as Tennessee
and North Carolina
were, she must have fallen as they did. She would have so fallen, not because a majority of her people were disloyal, but because the traitors were better organized, more determined, more belligerent, and bent on success at any cost.
They would have succeeded, because the behests of the slaveholding caste are habitually accepted and obeyed as law in every slaveholding community.
An election for delegates to the proposed Peace Convention was held May 4th, and resulted in an immense Union majority--7,000 in Louisville
, and over 50,000 in the State
The Secessionists, ascertaining their numerical weakness, and unwilling to expose it, withdrew their tickets a few days previously, and took no part in the election.
The Peace Convention assembled May 27th; but Virginia
, at whose instance it was called, sent no delegates, and none were present but from Kentucky
, save four from Missouri
and one from Tennessee
. John J. Crittenden
Among the delegates were some who have since proved traitors; but the great majority were earnestly devoted to the Union
And yet, this Convention failed to assert the imperative duty of obedience to its constituted authority, without which the Union
is but a name for anarchy.
It deprecated civil war as abhorrent and ruinous, and exhorted the people to “hold fast to that sheet-anchor of republican liberty, the principle that the will of the majority, constitutionally and legally expressed, must govern ;” yet failed to charge those who, defying this principle, were plunging the whole land into confusion and carnage, with the full responsibility of their acts, or to call on the people to put them down.
It still harped on the wrongs of the South
, though condemning her rebellion; exhorted the North
to “discard that sectional and unfriendly spirit, which has contributed so much to inflame the ”