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[285] found, and its troops, by fraud or force, captured in the State of Texas in violation of a solemn compact with its authorities that they should be permitted to embark without molestation. This was the requital which the lone star State made to brave men who, through long years of peril and privation, had guarded its frontiers against the incursions of the savages. In the midst of the most active and extended warlike preparations in the South, the announcement was made by the Secretary of War of the seceded States, and echoed with taunts and insolent bravadoes by the Southern press, that Washington City was to be invaded and captured, and that the flag of the Confederate States would soon float over the dome of its Capitol. Soon thereafter there followed an invitation to all the world — embracing necessarily the outcasts and desperadoes of every sea — to accept letters of marque and reprisal, to prey upon the rich and unprotected commerce of the United States.

In view of these events and threatenings, what was the duty of the Chief Magistrate of the Republic? He might have taken counsel of the revolutionists and trembled under the menaces; he might, upon the fall of Sumter, have directed that Fort Pickens should be surrendered without firing a gun in its defence, and proceeding yet further, and meeting fully the requirements of the “let-us-alone” policy insisted on in the South, he might have ordered that the Stars and Stripes should be laid in the dust in the presence of every bit of rebel bunting that might appear. But he did none of these things, or could he have done them without forgetting his oath and betraying the most sublime trust that has ever been confided to the hands of man. With a heroic fidelity to his constitutional obligations, feeling justly that these obligations charged him with the protection of the Republic and its Capital against the assaults alike of foreign and domestic enemies, he threw himself on the loyalty of the country for support in the struggle upon which he was about to enter, and nobly has that appeal been responded to. States containing an aggregate population of nineteen millions have answered to the appeal as with the voice of one man, offering soldiers without number, and treasure without limitation, for the service of the Government. In these States fifteen hundred thousand freemen cast their votes in favor of candidates supporting the rights of the South, at the last Presidential election, and yet everywhere, alike in popular assemblies and upon the tented field, this million and a half of voters are found yielding to none in the zeal with which they rally to their country's flag. They are not less the friends of the South than before; but they realize that the question now presented is not one of administrative policy, or of the claims of the North, the South, the East, or the West; but is, simply, whether nineteen millions of people shall tamely or ignobly permit five or six millions to overthrow and destroy institutions which are the common property, and have been the common blessings and glory of all. The great thoroughfares of the North, the East, and the West, are luminous with the banners and glistening with the bayonets of citizen soldiers marching to the Capital, or to other points of rendezvous; but they come in no hostile spirit to the South. If called to press her soil, they will not ruffle a flower of her gardens, nor a blade of grass of her field in unkindness. No excesses will mark the footsteps of the armies of the Republic; no institution of the States will be invaded or tampered with, no rights of persons or of property will be violated. The known purposes of the Administration, and the high character of the troops employed, alike guarantee the truthfulness of this statement. When an insurrection was apprehended a few weeks since in Maryland, the Massachusetts regiment at once offered their services to suppress it. These volunteers have been denounced by the press of the South as “knaves and vagrants,” “the dregs and offscourings of the populace,” who would “rather filch a handkerchief than fight an enemy in manly combat;” yet we know: here, that their discipline and bearing are most admirable, and, I presume, it may be safely affirmed, that a larger amount of social position, culture, fortune, and elevation of character, has never been found in so large an army in any age or country. If they go to the South, it will be as friends and protectors, to relieve the Union sentiment of the seceded States from the cruel domination by which it is oppressed and silenced, to unfurl the Stars and Stripes in the midst of those who long to look upon them, and to restore the flag that bears them to the forts and arsenals from which disloyal hands have torn it. Their mission will be one of peace, unless wicked and blood-thirsty men shall unsheath the sword across their pathway.

It is in vain for the revolutionists to exclaim that this is “subjugation.” It is so, precisely, in the sense in which you and I and all the law-abiding citizens are subjugated. The people of the South are our brethren, and while we obey the laws enacted by our joint authority, and keep a compact to which we are all parties, we only ask that they shall be required to do the same. We believe that their safety demands this: we know that ours does. We impose no burden which we ourselves do not bear; we claim no privilege or blessing which our breathren of the South shall not equally share. Their country is our country, and ours is theirs; and that unity both of country and Government which the providence of God and the compacts of men have created, we could not ourselves, without self-immolation, destroy, nor can we permit it to be destroyed by others.

Equally vain is it for them to declare that they only wish “to be let alone,” and that, in establishing the independence of the seceded States, they do those which remain in the old Confederacy no harm. The free States, if

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