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[352] mentioned by such constitutional guarantees as shall render them secure against future legislation in times of excitement. Our distinguished fellow-citizen, the lion. John J. Crittenden, for the purpose of securing by constitutional guarantees rights already possessed, presented to Congress certain propositions to amend the Constitution, which met with general approval, and were satisfactory to us and to our people, and those propositions, as originally offered, or any that are equivalent, would be now satisfactory and would quiet apprehensions that exist to some extent in the minds of real friends of the Union, and which are industriously excited by those who are enemies of the Union and of the people. Whether any such constitutional guarantees would have the effect of reconciling any of the seceded States to the Government from which they have torn themselves away we cannot say, but we allow ourselves to hope that the masses in those States will, in time, learn that the dangers they were made to fear were greatly exaggerated, and that they will then be disposed to listen to the calls of interest and of patriotism, and return to the family from which they have gone out. One effect of giving such guarantees, certainly will be to prove to the world, by the frank recognition of the rights of the few slave States adhering to the Union, that the States which have seceded have abandoned the best Government in the world, without any good or sufficient cause.

It may be urged that there are not now a sufficient number of States acting in the Union to ratify any such constitutional amendments as will furnish the guarantees we require. But it is to be remembered that there is no time fixed by the Constitution for such ratification, and if they should be ratified by the free States, then at the end of the present civil war, terminate as it may, either in the restoration of the seceded States to the Union, or in the establishment of their separate national existence, there will be the number of States required for the ratification.

Fellow-citizens of the United States, you are about to be engaged in a war in which the horrors that ordinarily attend that state are likely to be aggravated by the fact that you are of the same family, and have long lived together in intimate intercourse and in friendly relations. The kind feelings that once existed have been changed to bitterness, soon to degenerate, it may be, into deadly animosity. We desire to remind you that you are contending about a question of principle upon which we would fain believe that you are on each side convinced that you are right. It is no longer a question of party politics, no longer a question about the right to hold slaves in territories, or to retake them when they escape; the question now to be settled is, Whether we shall live in the same Union as formerly, or whether our fathers formed a government upon such principles that any one State may, at her own pleasure, without the consent of the others, and without responsibility to any human power, withdraw from her connection with the Government and claim to be sovereign as a separate nation. It will be readily seen that this, as a question of principle, is not affected by the number of States that have withdrawn. It would have been well if this question could have been solved in some other mode than by a resort to war; but it may be that nothing but a divine interposition now can determine it by other means. A war upon such a question ought not to produce any higher exasperation or excite any greater degree of animosity than is incident to all wars. In the mean time let the spirit of humanity and of the high civilization of the age, strip this war of the horrors that generally attend such civil strife.

Our States desire, and have indicated a purpose to take no part in this war, and we believe, that in this course we will ultimately best serve the interests of our common country. It is impossible that we should be indifferent spectators; we consider that our interests would be irretrievably ruined by taking part in the conflict on the side where the strongest sympathies of our people are, and that our sense of honor and of duty requires that we should not allow ourselves to be drawn or driven into a war in which other States, without consulting us, have deliberately chosen to involve themselves. Our safety and our dignity as among the most powerful of the slave States demand of us that we take this position. If the time shall come when our friendly mediation may arrest the further progress of the strife, our most earnest and strenuous efforts shall not be wanting to bring about peace, and it is by such efforts that we hope to serve the interests of our country.

And now, in conclusion, we make our solemn appeal to the people of the United States. This is your Government — its preservation is your preservation — its overthrow is your ruin, and you are the rightful arbiters of its fate.

We hope you will take the subject of this address to your own consideration. Act with the energy and decision of a free people. In you and you alone we have confidence. You have the intelligence and the power to rule this fearful crisis. Make known your will in some emphatic form, that shall give it authority with your representatives everywhere.

May we not earnestly hope that you, the people, the whole people, without regard to parties or sections, will be able to command a settlement of the national difficulties, and will see the propriety and necessity of having a cessation of present hostilities, so that the measures of pacification which your wisdom may devise, can be calmly considered by your constitutional authorities.

We venture to suggest for your consideration and action, two specific propositions as most likely to lead to pacification:

1st. That Congress shall at once propose

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