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[422] by the people, it is not merely a step toward revolution, it is revolution; it will not only lead to military despotism, it establishes military despotism. If it is upheld, our liberties are overthrown. The safety of our persons, the security of our property, will hereafter depend upon the arbitrary wills of such military rulers as may be placed over us, while our constitutional guarantees will be broken down. Even now the Governors and the courts of some of the great Western States have sunk into insignificance before the despotic powers claimed and exercised by military men who have been sent into their borders.

A large number of such arrests were made in Ohio, newspapers were suspended, and editors imprisoned. Like scenes were very numerous in Indiana and Illinois. In Pennsylvania arrests were made, newspapers suspended, editors imprisoned, and offices destroyed. In New Hampshire, Vermont, and Wisconsin many similar scenes occurred. The provost-marshal system was used as a weapon of vindictiveness against influential citizens of opposite political views throughout all the Northern states. No one of such persons knew when he was safe. A complaint of his neighbors, supported by affidavit of ‘disloyal’ words spoken or ‘disloyal’ acts approved, received prompt attention from all marshals. Everything was brought into subjection to the will of the government of the United States and its military officers.

In view of all the facts here presented relative to the Northern states, let the reader answer where the sovereignty de facto resided. Most clearly in the government of the United States. That presided over the ballot box, held the keys of the prisons, arrested all citizens at its pleasure, suspended or suppressed newspapers, and did whatever it pleased under the declaration that the public welfare required it. But under the principles of American liberty the sovereignty is inherent in the people as an unalienable right; for the preservation and protection of this and other rights, the state governments were instituted. If, therefore, the people have lost this inherent sovereignty, it is evident that the state governments have failed to afford that protection for which they were instituted. If they have thus failed, it has been in consequence of their subversion and loss of power to fulfill the object for which they were established. This subversion was achieved when the general government, under the pretext of preserving the Union, made war on its creators the states, thus changing the nature of the federal Union, which could rightfully be done only by the sovereign, the people of the states, in like manner as it was originally formed. If they should permit their sovereignty to be usurped and themselves to be subjugated, individuals might remain, states could not. Of their wreck a nation might be built, but there could not be a Union, for that implies entities united, and of a state which has lost its sovereignty there may only be written, ‘It was.’

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