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[153] right of sovereignty over their domestic institutions while the state of Missouri would cease to have such right. The whole system of the United States government would be abrogated by such legislation. Again, it is a cardinal principle of the system that the people in their sovereign capacity may, from time to time, change and alter their organic law; a provision incorporated in the Constitution of Missouri that slavery should never thereafter exist in that state could not prevent a future sovereign convention of its people from reestablishing slavery within its limits.

It will be observed, from what has been said in the preceding pages, that the usurpations by the government of the United States, both by the legislative and executive departments, had not only been tolerated but approved. Feeling itself, therefore, fortified in its unlimited power from ‘necessity,’ the wheels of the revolution were now to move with accelerated velocity in their destructive work. Accordingly, a manifesto soon comes from the Executive on universal emancipation. On April 25, 1862, the United States Major General Hunter, occupying a position at Hilton Head, South Carolina, issued an order declaring the states of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina under martial law. On May 9th the same officer issued another order, declaring ‘the persons held as slaves in those States to be for ever free.’ The Executive of the United States, on May 19th, issued a proclamation declaring the order to be void, and said:

I further make known that, whether it be competent for me as commanderin-chief of the army and navy to declare the slaves of any State or States free, and whether at any time or in any case it shall have become a necessity indispensable to the maintenance of the Government to examine such supposed power, are questions which under my responsibility, I reserve to myself, and which I can not feel justified in leaving to the decision of commanders in the field.

Speaking of this order of Major General Hunter soon afterward, President Lincoln, in remarks on July 12, 1862, to the border states representatives, said:

In repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offense, to many whose support the country can not afford to lose. And this is not the end of it. The pressure in this direction is still upon me, and is increasing.

This pressure consisted in the demanding of his extreme partisans that the whole authority of the government should be exerted for the immediate and universal emancipation of the slaves.

By a reference to the statement of the causes of our withdrawal from the Union of the United States, it will be seen that one of them consisted in the conviction that the newly-elected officers of the government would

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