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[426] the powers of the Government. Taking the whole argument through, and that is the plain meaning of it. Mr. Spratt says that sooner or later it will be done; and if the present revolution will not accomplish it, it must be brought about even if another revolution has to take place. We see, therefore, that it is most clearly contemplated to change the character and nature of the Government so far as they are concerned. They have lost confidence in the integrity, in the capability, in the virtue and intelligence of the great mass of the people to govern. Sir, in the section of the country where I live, notwithstanding we reside in a slave State, we believe that freemen are capable of self-government. We care not in what shape their property exists; whether it is in the shape of slaves or otherwise. We hold that it is upon the intelligent free white people of the country that all governments should rest, and by them all governments should be controlled.

I think, therefore, sir, that the President and the Senator from Kentucky have stated the question aright. This is a struggle between two forms of government. It is a struggle for the existence of the Government we have. The issue is now fairly made up. All who favor free government must stand with the Constitution, and in favor of the Union of the States as it is. That Union being once restored, the Constitution again becoming supreme and paramount, when peace, law, and order shall be restored, when the Government shall be restored to its pristine position, then, if necessary, we can come forward under proper and favorable circumstances to amend, change, alter, and modify the Constitution, as pointed out by the fifth article of the instrument, and thereby perpetuate the Government. This can be done, and this should be done.

We have heard a great deal said in reference to the violation of the Constitution. The Senator from Kentucky seems exceedingly sensitive about violations of the Constitution. Sir, it seems to me, admitting that his apprehensions are well founded, that a violation of the Constitution for the preservation of the Government is more tolerable than one for its destruction. In all these complaints, in all these arraignments of the present Government for violation of law and disregard of the Constitution, have you heard, as was forcibly and eloquently said by the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Browning) before me, one word uttered against violations of the Constitution and the trampling under foot of law by the States or the party now making war upon the Government of the United States? Not a word, sir.

The Senator enumerates what he calls violations of the Constitution — the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the proclaiming of martial law, the increase of the army and navy, and the existing war; and then he. asks, “Why all this?” The answer must be apparent to all.

But first, let me supply a chronological table of events on the other side:

December 27. The revenue cutter William Aiken surrendered by her commander, and taken possession of by South Carolina.

December 28. Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney, at Charleston, seized.

December 30. The United States arsenal at Charleston seized.

January 2. Fort Macon and the United States arsenal at Fayetteville seized by North Carolina.

January 3. Forts Pulaski and Jackson, and the United States arsenal at Savannah, seized by Georgia troops.

January 4. Fort Morgan and the United States arsenal at Mobile seized by Alabama.

January 8. Forts Johnson and Caswell, at Smithville, seized by North Carolina; restored by order of Gov. Ellis.

January 9. The Star of the West, bearing reinforcements to Major Anderson, fired at in Charleston harbor.

January 10. The steamer Marion seized by South Carolina; restored on the 11th.

January 11. The United States arsenal at Baton Rouge, and Forts Pike, St. Philip, and Jackson, seized by Louisiana.

January 12. Fort Barrancas and the navy-yard at Pensacola seized by Florida.

January 12. Fort McRae, at Pensacola, seized by Florida.

These forts cost $5,947,000, are pierced for 1,099 guns, and are adapted for a war garrison of 5,430 men.

We find, as was shown here the other day, and as has been shown on former occasions, that the State of South Carolina seceded, or attempted to secede, from this confederacy of States without cause. In seceding, her first step was a violation of the Constitution. She seceded on the 20th of last December, making the first innovation and violation of the law and the Constitution of the country. On the 28th day of December what did she do? She seized Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney, and caused your little band of sixty or seventy men under the command of Major Anderson to retire to a little pen in the ocean--Fort Sumter. She commenced erecting batteries, arraying cannon, preparing for war; in effect, proclaiming herself at once our enemy. Seceding from the Union, taking Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney, driving your men, in fact, into Fort Sumter, I say were piratical acts of war. You need not talk to me about technicalities, and the distinction that you have got no war till Congress declares it. Congress could legalize it, or could make war, it is true; but that was practical war. Who began it? Then, sir, if South Carolina secedes, withdraws from the Union, becomes our common enemy, is it not the duty, the constitutional duty, of the Government and of the President of the United States to make war, or to resist the attacks and assaults made by an enemy? Is she not as much our enemy as Great Britain was in the revolutionary struggle? Is she not to-day as much our enemy

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