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[524] United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The first section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States is in these words:

No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.

The intelligent reader will observe that the words of this section, ‘in consequence of any law or regulation therein,’ embrace a President's emancipation proclamation, as well as any other regulation therein. Thus the Constitution itself nullified Lincoln's proclamation, and made it of no force whatever. Yet he assumed and maintained, with all the military force he could command, that it set every slave free. Which is the higher authority, Lincoln and his emancipation proclamation or the Constitution? If the former, then what are constitutions worth for the protection of rights?

Again he says:

Nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation or by an act of Congress.

But the Constitution says he shall return them—

but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service is due.

Who shall decide? Which is sovereign, Lincoln and his proclamation or the Constitution? The Constitution says:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the land.

Was it thus obeyed by Lincoln as the supreme law of the land? It was not obeyed, but set aside, subverted, overturned by him. But he said in his oath:

I do solemnly swear that I will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Did he do it? Is such treatment of the Constitution the manner to preserve, protect, and defend it? Of what value, then, are paper constitutions and oaths binding officers to their preservation, if there is not intelligence enough in the people to discern the violations, and virtue enough to resist the violators?

Again the report says:

We understood from him that no terms or proposals of any treaty or agreement looking to an ultimate settlement would be entertained or made by him with the authorities of the Confederate States, because that would be a

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