previous next

[384] without; they relied upon its ever-present arm for the safety and security of their persons, their homes, their property, and their institutions. How wofully the confiding people were betrayed when the usurper came, let some of the Northern states answer!

Now let us proceed to notice the acts of the government of the United States, which subjugated the state governments. The details in the case of Tennessee have been already stated. In that instance, the government of the state, which derived its powers from the consent of the governed, so that they were ‘just powers,’ round, in the discharge of its duty to protect the institutions of its people, that there were no means by which it could fulfill that duty but by a withdrawal from the Union, so as to be rid of the government of the United States, and thus escape the threatened dangers of usurpation and sectional hostility. It therefore resolved to withdraw from the Union, and the people gave their assent to this resolution; the state therefore no longer considered itself a member of the Union, nor recognized the laws and authority of its government. The government of the United States, then, with a powerful military force, planted itself at Nashville, the state capital. It refused to recognize the state government, or any organization under it, as having any existence, or to recognize the people otherwise than as a hostile community. It said to them, in effect: ‘I am the sovereign and you are the subjects. If you are stronger than I am, then drive me out of the state; if I am stronger than you are, then I demand an unconditional surrender to my sovereignty.’ It is evident that the government of the United States was not there by the consent of those who were to be governed. It had not, therefore, any ‘just powers’ of government within the state of Tennessee. For, says the Declaration of Independence of our fathers, governments ‘derive their ‘just powers’ from the consent of the governed.’ It is further evident that, by this action, the government of the United States denied the fundamental principle of popular liberty —that the people are the source of all political power. In this instance it not only subverted the state government, but carried that subversion to the extent of annihilation. It therefore proceeded to establish a new order of affairs, founded, not on the principle of the sovereignty of the people, which was wholly rejected, but on the assumption of sovereignty in the United States government. It appointed its military governor the head of the new order, and recognized no civil or political existence in any man, except some of its notorious adherents, until, betraying the state, he had taken an oath of allegiance to the sovereignty of the government of the United States. Now commenced a system of denial of

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (6)
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Edgefield (Tennessee, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: