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‘  effect their safety and happiness.’1 This principle of the sovereignty of the people was now rejected, and the sovereignty of fleets and armies was substituted. ‘Now, therefore,’ says the commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, and the chief civil executive officer of the United States, ‘in obedience to the high and solemn duties imposed upon me by the Constitution of the United States, and for the purpose of enabling the loyal people of said state (or states) to organize a State government, whereby justice may be established, domestic tranquillity restored, and loyal citizens protected in all their rights of life, liberty, and property, I do hereby appoint —— —— provisional governor of the state.’ It will be here noticed that all the proceedings are undertaken for the sake of the ‘loyal’ persons in the state. Who is to decide what persons are ‘loyal’? He who issues the military order—the President and his agent the provisional governor; they naturally will decide those to be loyal who support and obey their orders. The free assent and dissent which are the basis of the validity of every political action under our system, are unknown in this case. The duty of the provisional governor is declared in the proclamation to be ‘to prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper for convening a convention composed of delegates to be chosen by that portion of the people of the state who are “loyal” to the United States, and no others, for the purpose of altering and amending the Constitution thereof.’ In the third of the four propositions laid down as the basis of authority for the President's proceedings, above mentioned, it is declared that the so-called rebellion ‘deprived the people of the state of all civil government’; but here it is made the first duty of the provisional governor to procure a convention of ‘loyal’ persons ‘to alter and amend the Constitution’ of the state. Thus it seems that there was a state in existence, and a Constitution in full vigor, notwithstanding the above declaration of the President to the contrary. This was that Constitution of the state which was in force during that long and peaceful period through which the Constitution of the United States was observed, and constitutional laws enacted. Now it was to be altered and amended from what the sovereign people of those days had ordained it to be, at the command, and to conform to the views, of another sovereign. The nature of those alterations and amendments will be stated hereafter. This convention was to possess the authority to exercise all the
1 Declaration of Independence.
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