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[480] have been quartered in houses without the consent of the owners thereof, and without any authority of law. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, has been habitually and grossly violated by his officers, acting under his orders. He has utterly ignored the binding force of our constitutional State laws, and carried his insolence to such an extent as to introduce, from other States, free negroes into our midst, and place them in positions of authority over our white citizens.

He has encouraged the stealing of our slave property. In these and other proceedings the Government and people of the Northern States have unmistakably shown their intention to overturn the social institutions of Missouri, and reduce her white citizens to an equality with the blacks. In the execution of his despotic wishes his agents, without even rebuke from him, have exhibited a brutality scarcely credible of a nation pretending to civilization. Even women and children of tender age have fallen victims to the unbridled license of his unfeeling soldiery. He has avowedly undertaken to make the civil power subordinate to the military; and with the despicable and cowardly design of thus protecting himself and his accomplices, by binding the consciences of the unhappy victims of his tyranny, he has exacted from peaceful citizens, guilty of no crime, an oath to support his detestable government. To crush out even peaceful and lawful opposition to it, he has forcibly and unconstitutionally suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and abridged the freedom of speech and of the press by subjecting innocent citizens to punishment for mere opinion's sake, and by preventing the publication of newspapers independent enough to expose his treason to liberty.

These manifold and inhuman wrongs were long submitted to in patience, and almost in humility, by the people of Missouri and their authorities. Even when the conduct of the Lincoln Government had culminated in an open war upon us, those authorities offered to its military commander in Missouri to refer to the people of the State for decision of the question of our separation from a government and nation thus openly hostile to us. Those authorities relied on the principles consecrated in the Declaration of Independence of the United States, that, to secure the rights of citizens, “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Missouri having an admitted equality with the original States which had made this Declaration, it was hoped that the rights therein asserted would not be denied to her people.

Her authorities also relied on the clause in the very Constitution with which she was admitted into the Union, asserting as one of the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government, “that the people of this State have the inherent, sole, and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof, and of altering and abolishing their Constitution and form of Government whenever it may be necessary to their safety and happiness.” But this military commander haughtily refused the consent of his Government to the exercise by us of these rights, which our ancestors in the last century endured an eight years war to vindicate. He but expressed, however, the deliberate purpose of his masters at Washington and the people over which they rule; for his predecessor at St. Louis had, a few weeks before, formally proclaimed to our people that our equality with the other States would be ignored; that we should be held in subjection to the North, even though the independence of our Southern sister States might be acknowledged; that, to use his own words, “whatever may be the termination of the unfortunate condition of things in respect to the so-called cotton States, Missouri must share the destiny of the Union;” that the free will of her people shall not decide her future, but that “the whole power of the Government of the United States, if necessary, will be exerted to maintain Missouri in the Union,” in subjection to the tyranny of the North.

The acts of President Lincoln have been endorsed by the Congress and people of the Northern States, and the war thus commenced by him has been made the act of the Government and nation over which he rules. They have not only adopted this war, but they have gone to the extreme of inciting portions of our people to revolt against the State authorities; by intimidation they have obtained control of the remnant left of a Convention deriving its powers from those authorities, and using it as a tool, they have through it set up an insurrectionary government in open rebellion against the State. No alternative is left us; we must draw the sword and defend our sacred rights.

By the recognized universal public law of all the earth, war dissolves all political compacts. Our forefathers gave as one of their grounds for asserting their independence, that the King of Great Britain had “abdicated government here by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war upon us.” The people and Government of the Northern States of the late Union have acted in the same manner toward Missouri, and have dissolved, by war, the connection heretofore existing between her and them.

The General Assembly of Missouri, the recognized political department of her government,

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