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[354] in one section, and a reckless and defiant spirit in another, both equally threatening destruction to the country; and tried earnestly to arrest them, but in vain. We will not stop to trace the causes of the unhappy condition in which we are now placed, or to criminate either of the sections to the dishonor of the other, but can say that we believed both to have been wrong, and, in their madness and folly, to have inaugurated a war that the Christian world looks upon with amazement and sorrow; and that Liberty, Christianity, and Civilization stand appalled at the horrors to which it will give rise.

It is a proud and grand thing for Kentucky to stand up and say, as she can, truthfully, in the face of the world, “We had no hand in this thing; our skirts are clear.” And, in looking at the terrorism that prevails elsewhere — beholding freedom of speech denied to American citizens, their homesteads subjected to lawless visitation, their property confiscated, and their persons liable to incarceration and search — how grandly does she not loom up, as she proclaims to the oppressed and miserable, We offer you a refuge! Here, constitutional law, and respect for individual rights, still exist! Here is an asylum where loyalty to the name, nation, and Flag of the Union predominates; and here is the only place, in this lately great Republic, where true freedom remains — that freedom for which our fathers fought — the citizen being free to speak, write, or publish any thing he may wish, responsible only to the laws, and not controlled by the violence of the mob.

Is not this an attitude worthy of a great people, and do not her position and safety require her to maintain it? If she deviates from it; if she suffers herself in a moment of excitement to be led off by sympathy with one side or the other — to ally herself with either section — inevitable and speedy ruin must fall upon her. What reason can be urged to incline her to such a fatal step? She is still, thank God, a member of the Union, owing constitutional allegiance to it — an allegiance voluntarily given, long maintained, and from which she has derived countless benefits. Can she, by her own act, forfeit this allegiance, and by the exercise of any constitutional power sever herself from that Government? In our opinion the statement of the proposition insures its rejection. It is of no more rational force than the argument of the suicide to commit self-slaughter. Secession is not a right. That the right of revolution exists, is as true in States as the right of self-defence is true of individuals. It does not exist by virtue of legal enactment or constitutional provision, but is founded in the nature of things — is inalienable and indestructible, and ought to be resorted to only when all peaceable remedies fail. Revolution is an extreme remedy, finds its justification alone in an escape from intolerable oppression, and hazarding the consequences of failure, as success or defeat makes the movement one of rightful resistance or rebellion, it becomes the stern duty of Kentucky to look not only to the motives that might impel her to revolt, but to the probable results. She must contemplate her condition in a complex character — National and State--and see what must be her fate in the event of a separation.

Under the National Government, she has a right to the protection of thirty-three great States, and with them, thus protected, can defy the world in arms. Under it, she becomes prosperous and happy. Deprived of it, she finds herself exposed to imminent danger. She has a border front on the Ohio River of near seven hundred miles, with three powerful States on that border. She has four hundred miles on the South by which she is separated from Tennessee by a merely conventional line. Her eastern front is on Virginia, and part of her western on Missouri--thus making her antagonistic, in the event of collision, to Virginia, which is our mother, and to Missouri, which is our daughter. Hemmed in thus on every side by powers — each one of which is equal to her own — her situation, and her sense of loyalty to the Union, imperatively demand of her to insist on the integrity of the Union, its Constitution, and Government. Peace is of vital consequence to her, and can only be secured to her by preserving the Union inviolate. Kentucky has no cause of quarrel with the Constitution, and no wish to quarrel with her neighbors; but abundant reason to love both. Of the great West she was the pioneer, and became the starting point of emigration to all around her. There is not a western or a south-western State in which Kentucky families are not settled, and she is bound to all by ties of interest and brotherhood. She has ever been loyal to the Government, answering to its requisitions, and sharing its burthens. At the command of that Government, when war was declared to protect the rights of sailors, although she had no vessels to float on the ocean, yet she offered up her blood freely in the common defence from the Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Again, when war, growing out of a territorial controversy, far from her own borders, was proclaimed, she was amongst the foremost in the fight, and Monterey and Buena Vista were made famous in history by the valor of Kentuckians. Never has she faltered in her duty to the Union.

In declining to respond to a call made by the present Administration of the Government, and one that we have reason to believe would not have been made if the Administration had been fully advised of the circumstances by which we were surrounded, Kentucky did not put herself in factious opposition to her legitimate obligations; she did not choose to throw herself in hostile collision with the slave States of Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware, which have not seceded on the one hand, nor the slave States which have and are in process of secession on the other, and shed the blood of brethren and

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