The people of the Gulf States need have no apprehensions; they might go on with their planting and their other business as usual; the war would not come to their section; its theatre would be along the borders of the Ohio River and in Virginia.Virginia ought to congratulate herself upon that position, for she has got the war. Now they want to advance. Their plans and designs are to get across into Maryland, and carry on a war of subjugation. There is wonderful alarm among certain gentlemen here at the term “subjugate.” They are alarmed at the idea of making citizens who have violated the law simply conform to it by enforcing their obedience. If a majority of the citizens in a State have violated the Constitution, have trampled it under foot and violated the law, is it subjugation to assert the supremacy of the Constitution and the law? Is it any more than a simple enforcement of the law? It would be one of the best subjugations that could take place if some of them were subjugated and brought back to the Constitutional position that they occupied before. I would to God that Tennessee stood to-day were she did three months ago. Mr. President, it is provided in the Constitution of the United States that “no State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.” The State authorities of Tennessee, before her people had even voted upon an ordinance to separate her from the Union, formed a league by which they transferred 55,000 men, the whole army, over to the Confederate States for the purpose of prosecuting their war. Is it not strange that such a palpable violation of the Constitution should not be referred to and condemned by any one? Here is a member of the Union, without even having the vote taken upon an ordinance of separation or secession, forming a league, by its commissioners or ministers, and handing over 55,000 men to make war upon the Government of the United States, though they were themselves then within the Union. No one seems to find fault with that. The fact is, that in the whole progress of secession, the Constitution and the law have been violated at every step from its incipiency to the present point. How have the people of my State been treated? I know that this may not interest the Senate to any very great extent; but I must briefly refer to it. The people of a portion of that State, having devotion and attachment to the Constitution and the Government as framed by the sires of the Revolution, still adhering to it, gave a majority of more than twenty thousand
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.