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[200] these, but precipitate us into irreparable ruin. In this ruin all would more or less participate, but our geographical position would make it to us immediate and total. A peaceable disseverance the good and great men who have heretofore guided our public councils ever predicted to be impossible. The proclamations now trumpeted through the land, the marshalling of hosts by thousands and tens of thousands, the whitening of our waters with an immense naval marine, the blockade of ports, the prostration of commerce, the destruction of almost, all civil employment, the heated tone of the public press of all sections, belching forth the most bitter enmity, all, all testify to the truth of the prediction. How this is to result, Heaven alone knows.

But to my mind one thing is certain. The Government by no single act of its own, has given cause for resistance to its rightful authority. The powers which it was exercising at the moment when rebellion began to muster its “armies of pestilence,” were clearly conferred upon it by the Constitution. And if the Executive, then just legally chosen, had meditated any illegal policy, the friends of constitutional rights were numerous enough in Congress, had they remained at their posts, as they were bound to do by their oaths and their duty to the holy cause of Constitutional Government, successfully and peacefully to have thwarted it.

The professed especial friends of Southern rights, instead of this, rudely shot from their spheres, and, under the utterly ridiculous claim of constitutional right, advised State secession. Madmen — if not worse — they desecrated, too, in support of this dogma, the name of Calhoun. He may have committed political errors — who has not? His doctrine of nullification was certainly one, in the judgment of all his great compeers, sanctioned by almost the entire country, but he never maintained the nonsensical heresy of rightful secession. On the contrary, long after that of the short-lived nullification, in February, 1844, writing to his “political friends and supporters” refusing to permit his name to be presented before the then approaching Baltimore Convention, he said:

That each State has the right to act as it pleases in whatever relates to itself exclusively no one will deny; but it is a perfectly novel doctrine that any State has such a right when she comes to act in concert with others in reference to what concerns the whole. In such cases it is the plainest dictate of common sense that whatever affects the whole should be regulated by the mutual consent of all, and not by the discretion of each.

That great philosophical statesman understood, as in another letter of the 3d of July, 1843, he invites his countrymen to understand “in all its great and beautiful proportions, the noble political structure reared by the wisdom and patriotism of our ancestors, and to have the virtue and the sense to preserve and protect it,” and declared it the “duty of the Federal Government, under the guarantees of the Constitution, promptly to suppress physical force as an element of change, and to keep wide open the door for the free and full action of all the moral elements in its power.”

The truth is, and I regret sincerely to believe it, that fear of a violation of Southern rights was with the prompters of the rebellion but a pretence.

What they have done and arc still doing at the sacrifice of the nation's welfare, and of the welfare of their own section, exerting every nerve to accomplish, was and is but to retain official power, which they fancied was passing from them. Look at the usurped government at Montgomery. The mention of names is unnecessary — they are destined to an unhappy immortality. Those who plotted the seizure of forts, arsenals, mints, navy-yards, customhouses, the admitted property of the United States, seducing soldiers and sailors from their sworn allegiance — using the very Senate chamber, dedicated and sacred to duty, as a spot from which to issue their treacherous telegrams — are there to be seen all in power, actual or prospective. The fact too clearly tells the revolting story. Men long enjoying public honors, earning through many years of service a national fame, owning their renown because of the world-wide fame of a glorious Government, are striving, day and night, to reduce it to dishonor and destruction. Thank God, our consolation is that the effort, however pregnant with the present calamity, will fall short of its horrid aim. They may “as well strike at the heavens with their arms” as lift them against the “American Union.”

That the end must fail, who can doubt? The recent census furnishes pregnant proof of this. It shows that the Free States have a population of males between eighteen and forty-five of 3,778,000, and all the Slave States only 1,655,000, and the seceding States, excluding Virginia, but 631,000; and if to this vast difference of men is added that of wealth, inventive skill, habits of industry, and the absence of any element of domestic danger, the disparity is infinitely greater. In a struggle between such hosts — which may God in his mercy avert — who can fail to see what must be the end?

But to our State these facts teach a lesson that all can understand. If mad and wicked enough to attempt it, what could we do to resist this immense power on our borders? Call on the South? Make our State the battle-field? How long could the entire South, if flying to our succor, remain with and aid us? They might assist in drenching our land with blood; they might witness with us our desolation, but that doom in such a contest it would be. They would be driven back within their own limits and we left alone in our calamity, to be rendered the more acute when, as we should, we awoke to the insanity and crime which occasioned it. Looking, therefore, to interest alone, adherence to the Government is our clear policy. But

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