- Further attempts of the United States government to overthrow States -- election of members of Congress under the military governor of Louisiana -- the voters required to take an oath to support the United States government -- the state law violated -- the President's plan for making Union States out of a fragment of a Confederate state -- the oath required -- ‘the war-power our main reliance’ -- who had a right to Institute a government for Louisiana? -- under what principles could the government of the United States do it? -- effrontery and wickedness of the administration -- attempt to make falsehood as good as truth -- proclamation for election of state officers -- proclamation for state convention -- the Monster crime against the liberties of mankind -- proceedings in Arkansas -- novel method adopted to amend the state Constitution -- perversion of republican principles in Virginia -- proceedings to create the state of West Virginia -- acts sustained by the United States government -- assertions of Thaddeus Stevens -- east Virginia government.
But to resume our narration: on December 3d, in compliance with an order of the military governor, Shepley, a so-called election was held for members of the United States Congress in the first and second state districts, each composed of about half the city of New Orleans and portions of the surrounding parishes. Those who had taken the oath of allegiance were allowed to vote. In the first district, Benjamin F. Flanders received 2,370 votes, and all others 273. In the second district, Michael Hahn received 2,799 votes, and all others 2,318. These persons presented themselves at Washington, and resolutions to admit them to seats were reported by the Committee on Elections in the House of Representatives. It was urged that the military governor had conformed in every particular to the constitution and laws of Louisiana, so that the election had every essential of a regular election in a time of most profound peace, with the exception of the fact that the proclamation for the election was issued by the military instead of the civil governor of the state. The law required the proclamation to be issued by the civil governor, so that, if these persons were admitted to seats after an election called by a military  governor, Congress thereby recognized as valid a military order of a socalled executive that unceremoniously set aside a provision of the state civil law, and was antirepublican and a positive usurpation. Again, all the departments of the United States government had acted on the theory that the Confederate States were in a state of insurrection, and that the Union was unbroken; under this theory, they could come back to the Union only with all the laws unimpaired which they themselves had made for their own government. Congress was as much bound to uphold the laws of Louisiana, in all their extent and in all their parts, as it was to uphold the laws of New York, or any other state whose civil policy had not been disturbed. Both those persons, however, were admitted to seats—yeas, 92; nays, 44. The work of constituting the state of Louisiana out of the small portion of her population and of her territory held by the forces of the United States still went on. The proposition now was to hold a so-called state convention and frame a new constitution, but its advocates were so few that nothing was accomplished during the year 1863. The object of the military power was to secure such civil authority as to enforce the abolition of slavery; until the way was clear to that result, every method of organization was held in abeyance. Meanwhile, on December 8, 1863, the President of the United States issued a proclamation which contained his plan for making a Union state out of a fragment of a Confederate state, and also granting an amnesty to the general mass of the people on taking an oath of allegiance. His plan was in these words:
And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that, whenever, in any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one tenth in number of the votes cast in such State at the Presidential election of 1860, each having taken the following oath and not having since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election laws of the State existing immediately before the so-called act of secession, and excluding all others, shall reestablish a State government which shall be republican, and in nowise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized as the true government of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the constitutional provision which declares that ‘the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the Legislature or the Executive (when the Legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence.’The oath required to be taken was as follows:
I, —— ——, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will in like manner abide by and  faithfully support all acts of Congress, passed during the existing rebellion, with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of the Supreme Court, and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President, made during the existing rebellion, having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme Court. So help me God!In a message to Congress, of the same date with the preceding proclamation, the President of the United States, after explaining the objects of the proclamation, says:
In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not lose sight of the fact that the war-power is still our main reliance. To that power alone can we look, for a time, to give confidence to the people in the contested regions that the insurgent power will not again overrun them.The intelligent reader will observe that this plan of the President of the United States to restore states to the Union, to occupy the places of those which he had been attempting to destroy, does not contain a single feature to secure a republican form of government, nor a single provision authorized by the Constitution of the United States. With his usurped war power to sustain him in the work of destruction, he found it easy to destroy; he was powerless, however, to create or to restore. In the former case, he had gone imperiously forward, trampling under foot every American political principle, and breaking through every constitutional limitation. In the latter case, he could not advance one step without recognizing sound political principles and complying with their dictates. On such foundation he must construct, or his work would be like the house founded on the sand. It will now be shown what the true principles are, and then that the President of the United States perverted them, misstated them, and sought to reach his ends by groundless fabrications—as if he would enforce a fiction or establish a fallacy to be as good as truth. It might be still further shown, if it had not already become self-evident, that this method was pursued with such a perversity and wickedness as to render it a characteristic feature of that war administration on whose skirts is the blood of more than a million of human beings. The whole science of a republican government is to be found in this sentence of the Declaration of Independence, made by the representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, on July 4, 1776. It says:
That, to secure these rights [certain unalienable rights], 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.Thus it will be seen that civil and political sovereignty was held to be implanted by our Creator in the individual, and no human government has any original, inherent, just sovereignty whatever, and no acquired sovereignty either, beyond that which may be granted to it by the individuals as ‘most likely to effect their safety and happiness.’ ‘Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,’ says the Declaration of Independence. All other powers than those thus derived are not ‘just powers.’ Any government exercising powers ‘not just’ has no right to survive. ‘It is the right of the people to alter or abolish it,’ says the Declaration of Independence, ‘and to institute a new government.’ Who, then, had a right to ‘institute’ a republican government for Louisiana? No human beings whatever but the people of Louisiana; not the strangers, not the slaves, but the manhood that knew its rights and dared to maintain them. Under what principles, then, could a citizen of Massachusetts, whether clothed in regimental or a civilian's dress, come into Louisiana and attempt to set up a state government? Under no principles, but only by the power of the invader and the usurper. If the true principles of a republican government had prevailed and could have been enforced when Major General Butler appeared at New Orleans, he would have been hanged on the first lamppost, and his successor, Major General Banks, would have been hanged on the second. Under what principles, then, could the government of the United States appear in Louisiana and attempt to institute a state government? As has been said above, it was the act of an invader and a usurper. Yet it proposed to ‘institute’ a republican state government. The absurdity of such intention is too manifest to need argument. How could an invader attempt to ‘institute’ a republican state government—an act which can be done only by the free and unconstrained action of the people themselves? It has been charged that this and every similar act of the President of the Unitd States was in violation of his duty to maintain and observe the requiremens and restrictions of the Constitution, and to uphold in each state a republican form of government. To specify, the following is offered as an example. He did
proclaim, declare, and make known— that, whenever any number of persons, not less than one tenth of the number of voters at the last Presidential election, shall reestablish a State government,  which shall be republican [!] and in no wise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized as the true government of the State.One tenth of the voters can not establish a republican state government, which requires the consent of the people of the state to make its powers just, as has been shown above. Therefore, such a government had not one element of republicanism in it. But what is astonishingly remarkable is the stultification of requiring the one-tenth of the people to ‘reestablish a State gofernment, which shall be republican and in no wise contravening said oath.’ Either he did not know how a republican state government was ‘instituted,’ or, if he knew, then he was a participant in that perversity and wickedness which was above charged to be the characteristic of his war administration. It will now be shown how he sought ‘to enforce a fiction or establish a fallacy to be as good as truth.’ Of the government thus established by one-tenth of the voters, he says:
Such shall be recognized as the true government of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the constitutional provision which declares that ‘the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.’It is proper here to inquire who and what was the tenth to whom this power to rule the state was to be given. It will be seen, by reference to the proclamation, that each voter of the one-tenth, in order to be qualified, is required to take an oath with certain promises in it which are prescribed by an outside or foreign authority. This condition of itself is fatal to a republican state government, that ‘derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.’ Free consent—not cheerful consent, but unconstrained and unconditioned consent—is required that ‘just powers’ may be derived from it. In this instance, the invader prescribes the requisite qualifications of the voter, and makes it a condition that the government established shall ‘in no wise contravene’ certain stipulations expressed in the oath taken to give the qualification. A state government thus formed derives its powers from the consent of the invader, and not ‘from the consent of the governed.’ It has no ‘just powers’ whatever. It is a groundless fabrication. Yet the President of the United States declared, ‘The State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the constitutional provision which declares that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.” ’ Is not this an attempt, while pretending to establish, to destroy true republicanism? Now, let the reader bear in mind that these remarks relate to Louisiana alone, of which more remains to be told; that there were eleven  states that withdrew from the Union, whose restoration was to be effected on this rotten system, in addition to several constitutional amendments, the adoption of which was to be effected and secured by the votes of these groundless fabrications, in which a fiction was to be considered as good as the truth. Having attained all these facts which are yet to be stated, he may begin to form some estimate of the remnants of the Constitution, and of the probable existence of any true union of the states. To proceed with the narration: under the above-mentioned proclamation of the President of the United States, Major General Banks issued at New Orleans, on January 11, 1864, a proclamation for an election of state officers, and for members of a state constitutional convention. The state officers, when elected, were to constitute, as the proclamation said, ‘the civil government of the State under the Constitution and laws of Louisiana, except so much of the said Constitution and laws as recognize, regulate, or relate to slavery, which, being inconsistent with the present condition of public affairs, and plainly inapplicable to any class of persons now existing within its limits, must be suspended.’ The number of votes given for state officers was 10,270. The population of the state in 1860 was 708,902. The so-called governor-elect was inaugurated on March 4th, and on March 11th he was invested with the powers hitherto exercised by the military governor for the President of the United States. On the same day Major General Banks issued an order relative to the election of delegates to a so-called state convention. The most important provisions of it defined the qualifications of voters. The delegates were elected entirely within the army lines of the forces of the United States. The so-called convention assembled and adopted a so-called constitution, declaring ‘instantaneous, universal, uncompensated, unconditional emancipation of slaves.’ The meager vote on the constitution was, for its adoption, 6,836; for its rejection, 1,566. The vote of New Orleans was, yeas 4,664, nays 789. This state of affairs continued after the close of the war. Violent disputes arose as to the validity of the so-called constitution. The so-called legislature elected under it adopted Article XIII as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting the existence of slavery in the United States. It will be seen from these facts that the state of Louisiana was not a republican state instituted by the consent of the governed; that its legislature was an unconstitutional body, without any ‘just powers,’ and that the vote which it gave for the amendment of the Constitution of the United States was no vote at all, for it was given by a body that had no authority to give it, because it had no ‘just powers’ whatever. Yet  this vote was counted among those necessary to secure the passage of the constitutional amendment. Was this an attempt to enforce a fiction or to establish the truth? Such are the deeds which go to make up the record of crime against the liberties of mankind. The proceedings in Arkansas to ‘institute’ a republican state government were inaugurated by an order from the President of the United States to Major General Steele, commanding the United States forces in Arkansas. At this time the regular government of the state, established by the consent of the people, was in full operation outside the lines of the United States army. The military order of the President, dated January 20, 1864, said:
Sundry citizens of the State of Arkansas petitioned me that an election may be held in that State, in which to elect a Governor; that it be assumed at that election, and thenceforward, that the Constitution and laws of the State, as before the rebellion, are in full force, except that the Constitution is so modified as to declare that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude . . .The order then directs the election to be held for state officers, prescribes the qualifications of voters and the oath to be taken, and directs the general to administer to the officers thus chosen an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and the ‘modified Constitution of the state of Arkansas,’ when they shall be declared qualified and empowered immediately to enter upon the duties of their offices. The reader can scarcely fail to notice the novel method here adopted to modify or amend the state constitution. It should be called the process by ‘assumption’—that is, assume it to be modified, and it is so modified. Then the President orders the officers-elect to be required to swear, on their oath, to support ‘the modified Constitution of the State of Arkansas.’ Now, unless the constitution was thus modified by assuming it to be modified, these state officers were required by oath to support that which did not exist. But it was not so modified. No constitution or other instrument in the world containing a grant of powers can be modified by assumption, unless it be the Constitution of the United States, as shown by recent experience. Yet the chief object for which these officers were elected and qualified was to carry out these so-called modifications of the state constitution. This adds another to the deeds of darkness done in the name of republicanism. Meantime some persons in the northern part of Arkansas, acting under the proclamation of December 8, 1863, got together a so-called state convention on January 8, 1864, and adopted a revised constitution containing the slavery prohibition, etc. This was ordered to be submitted to a popular vote, and at the same state officers were to be elected.  President Lincoln acceded to these proceedings after they had been placed under the direction of the military commander, General Steele. The election was held, the constitution received twelve thousand votes, and the state officers were declared to be elected. Then Arkansas came forth a so-called republican state, ‘instituted’ by military authority, and, of course, received the benefit of the constitutional provision which declares that ‘the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.’ It should be added that Arkansas, thus ‘instituted’ a state, was regarded by the government of the United States as competent to give as valid a vote as New York, Massachusetts, or any other Northern state, for the ratification of Article XIII, as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting the existence of slavery in the United States. The vote was thus given; it was counted, and served to make up the exact number deemed by the managers to be necessary. Thus was fraud and falsehood triumphant over popular rights and fundamental law. The perversion of true republican principles was greater in Virginia than in any other state, through the cooperation of the government of the United States. In the winter of 1860-‘61 a special session of the legislature of the state convened at Richmond and passed an act directing the people to elect delegates to a state convention to be held on February 14, 1861. The convention assembled, and was occupied with the subject of Federal relations and the adjustment of difficulties until the call for troops by President Lincoln was made, when an ordinance of secession was passed. The contiguity of the northwestern counties of the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania led to the manifestation of much opposition to the withdrawal of the state from the Union, and the determination to reorganize that portion into a separate state. This resulted in the assembling of a so-called convention of delegates at Wheeling on June 11th. One of its first acts was to provide for a reorganization of the state government of Virginia by declaring its offices vacant, and the appointment of new officers throughout. This new organization assumed to be the true representative of the state of Virginia, and after various fortunes was recognized as such by President Lincoln, as will be presently seen. The next act of the convention was ‘to provide for the formation of a new State out of a portion of the territory of this State.’ Under this act delegates were elected to a so-called constitutional convention which framed a so-called constitution for the new state of West Virginia, which was submitted to a vote of the people in April, 1862, and carried by a large majority of that section. Meantime the governor  of the reorganized government of Virginia, above mentioned, issued his proclamation calling for an election of members and the assembling of an extra session of the so-called legislature. This body assembled on May 6, 1862, and, adopting the new Federal process of assumption, it assumed to be the legislature of the state of Virginia. This body, or legislature, immediately passed an act giving its consent to the formation of a new state out of the territory of Virginia. The formal act of consent and the draft of the new constitution of West Virginia above mentioned were ordered by this so-called legislature to be sent to the Congress of the United States, then in session, with the request that ‘the said new State be admitted into the Union.’ On December 31, 1862, the President of the United States approved an act of Congress entitled ‘An act for the admission of the State of West Virginia into the Union,’ etc. The act recited as follows:
Whereas, The Legislature of Virginia, by an act passed May 13, 1862, did give its consent to the formation of a new State within the jurisdiction of the said State of Virginia, to be known by the name of West Virginia . . .Again it recites:
And whereas both the Convention and the Legislature aforesaid have requested that the new State should be admitted into the Union, and the Constitution aforesaid being republican in form, Congress doth hereby consent that the said fortyeight counties may be formed into a separate and independent State.It were well to pause for a moment and consider these proceedings in the light of fundamental republican principles. The state of Virginia was not a confederation, but a republic, or nation. Its government was instituted with the consent of the governed, and its powers, therefore, were ‘just powers.’ When the state convention at Richmond passed an ordinance of secession, which was subsequently ratified by sixty thousand majority, it was as valid an act for the people of Virginia as was ever passed by a representative body. The legally expressed decision of the majority was the true voice of the state. When, therefore, disorderly persons in the northwestern counties of the state assembled and declared the ordinance of secession ‘to be null and void,’ they rose up against the authority of the state. When they proceeded to elect delegates to a convention to resist the act of the state, and that convention assembled and organized and proceeded to action, an insurrection against the government of Virginia was begun. When the convention next declared the state offices to be vacant, and proceeded to fill them by the choice of Francis H. Pierpont for governor, and other state officers, assuming itself to be the true state convention of Virginia, it not only declared what notoriously did not exist, but it committed an act of  revolution. And when the so-called state officers elected by it entered upon their duties, they inaugurated a revolution. The subsequent organization of the state of West Virginia and its separation from the state of Virginia were acts of secession. Thus we have, in these movements, insurrection, revolution, and secession. The reader, in his simplicity, may naturally expect to find the government of the United States arrayed, with all its military forces, against these illegitimate proceedings. Oh, no! It made all the difference in the world, with the ministers of that government, ‘whose ox it was that gored by the bull.’ She was the nursing mother to the whole thing, and to insure its vitality fed it; not, like the fabled bird, with her own blood, but by the butchery of the mother of states. The words of the Constitution of the United States applicable to this case are these:
No new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.1Will any intelligent person assert that the consent of the state of Virginia was given to the formation of this new state, or that the government of Francis H. Pierpont held the true and lawful jurisdiction of the state of Virginia? Yet the Congress of the United States asserted in the act above quoted that ‘the Legislature of Virginia did give its consent to the formation of a new State within the jurisdiction of the State of Virginia.’ This was not true, but was an attempt, by an act of Congress, to aid a fraud and perpetuate a monstrous usurpation. For there is no grant of power to Congress in the Constitution nor in the American theory of government to justify it. If it is said that the government of Francis H. Pierpont was the only one recognized by Congress as the government of the state of Virginia, that does not alter the fact. The recognition of Congress cannot make a state of an organization which is not a state. There is no grant of power to Congress in the Constitution for that purpose. If it is said that the government of Francis H. Pierpont was established by the only qualified voters in the state of Virginia, that is as equally unfounded as the other assertions. Neither the Congress of the United States nor the government of the United States can determine the qualifications of voters at an election for delegates to a state constitional convention, or for the choice of state officers. There was no grant of power either to the President or to Congress for that purpose. All these efforts were usurpations, by which it was sought, through groundless  fabrications, to reach certain ends, and they add to the multitude of deeds which constitute the crime committed against states and the liberties of the people. When the question of the admission of West Virginia was before the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania declared, with expiatory frankness, that he would not stultify himself by claiming the act to be constitutional. He said, ‘We know that it is not constitutional, but it is necessary.’ It now became necessary for the government of Virginia, represented by Francis H. Pierpont, to emigrate, for the new State of West Virginia embraced the territory in which he was located. He therefore departed with his carpetbag, and located at Alexandria on the Potomac, which became the seat of government of so-called East Virginia. On February 13, 1864, a convention, consisting of a representative from each of the ten counties in part or wholly under the control of the United States forces, assembled at Alexandria to amend the constitution of the state of Virginia. Some sections providing for the abolition of slavery were declared to be added to the constitution, and the so-called convention adjourned. Nothing of importance occurred until after the occupation of Richmond by the United States forces. On May 9, 1865, President Johnson issued an ‘Executive order to reestablish the authority of the United States, and execute the laws within the geographical limits known as the State of Virginia.’ The order closed in these words:
That, to carry into effect the guarantee of the Federal Constitution of a republican form of State government, and afford the advantage of the security of domestic laws, as well as to complete the reestablishment of the authority of the laws of the United States and the full and complete restoration of peace within the limits aforesaid, Francis H. Pierpont, Governor of the State of Virginia, will be aided by the Federal Government, so far as may be necessary, in the lawful measures which he may take for the extension and administration of the State government throughout the geographical limits of said State.This order recognized the factitious organization, begun in West Virginia and then transplanted to Alexandria, as the true government of the state of Virginia. By the aid of the United States government, it was now removed to Richmond and set up there. No person was allowed to take any part in this government or to vote under it unless he had previously taken the purgatorial oath above mentioned, and had not held office under the Confederate or any state government. Thus, the taking of this oath which was prescribed by the President of the United States became the most important of the qualifications of a voter. Here was a condition prescribed by a foreign authority as necessary to be  fulfilled before the first act could be done by a citizen relative to his state government. Such a government was not republican, for its powers were not derived from the consent of the governed. Its powers were derived from voters who had, under oath, said:
I will abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress, passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress or by decision of the Supreme Court; and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of of the President, made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme Court.Such a state government was not in the interest of the people, but in the interest of the United States government. The true republican organization, which had been ‘instituted’ by the free ‘consent of the governed to effect their safety and happiness,’ had been repudiated by the government of the United States as in rebellion to it; this fiction had been set up, not by the free consent of the people, which alone could give to it any ‘just powers,’ not ‘to effect their safety and happiness,’ for which alone a republican state government can be instituted, but solely to secure the safety and supremacy of the government of the United States. The qualification of the voter was prescribed by the United States government, and the oath required him to recognize allegiance to the Union as supreme over that to the state of which he was a citizen. Thus the voters under the state government of Virginia were required first to protect the government of the United States, and then they were at liberty to look after their own interests through the state government. Now, it is charged that such acts on the part of the United States government were not only entirely unconstitutional, but they caused the complete subversion of the states. The Constitution of the United States knows states in the Union only as they are republican states. The government of the United States was conscious of this fact, and publicly recognized it when it promised to guarantee a republican form of government to each one that it sought to reconstruct. But it violated the Constitution when it sought to place in the Union mere fictions which had not the first element of a republic, which were groundless fabrications of its own minions that could not have existed a day without the military support which they received. Further, it is to be remembered that it does not come within the grants of the Constitution, consequently not within the powers of the government of the United States, to institute a republican form of government at any time or in any place. Such an act is neither  contemplated nor known in the Constitution, as such a government can be instituted only by the free consent of those who are to be governed by it. Any interference on the part of the United States to limit, modify, or control this consent goes directly to the nature and objects of the state government, and it ceases to be republican. To admit a state under such a government is entirely unauthorized, revolutionary, subversive of the Constitution, and destructive of the Union of states.