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[375] Constitution of our fathers, under which we have grown and prospered, as never people grew and prospered before. Let us maintain our position under that tree of Liberty, watered by the blood and tears of the patriots of the Revolution — planted by them, its roots having taken deep and firm hold in the hearts of a great people, and having, from a little spot on earth, spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific, embracing, I might say, a continent, and spreading its branches of protection over the whole unbounded land.

Let us organize a Legislature, swearing allegiance to that Government, and let that Legislature be recognized by the United States Government, as the Legislature of Virginia.

Then we have still a direct recognition of the protecting care of our ancient Government, and then we will effect this separation. But now, with no Legislature recognized as owing allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, we could not do it. But with the Legislature. recognized as still the Legislature of the State; with Virginia in the Union; with a Legislature recognized by the Government of the United States, and with its assent to our separation, our way is clear. And if the Southern Confederacy dares to interpose, we have the strong arm of that same old Government to be thrown around us, and to shelter us from harm.

Let us then go on as we propose. Let us be recognized as the true and lawful authorities, speaking for and on behalf of the loyal people of the whole State of Virginia. Give us that recognition, and then the separation will come. And I here say that one of the first acts I shall perform, if no one else does it — and I believe it a duty I owe to the people who have honored me with a seat in Congress, will be to obtain from that body a legislative declaration recognizing this Legislature you will assemble here, as the Legislature of the State; and then let my friends, the representatives, assent to it, and my word for it, we will be the State of New Virginia.

It is a mere question now whether we shall wait until we are solemnly recognized as the true, legal, constitutional representatives of the people of Virginia, or whether we shall now attempt an impossibility; for every man who will reflect a moment will know that, until rebellion is crushed, no assent will be attained for our separation from the rebellious portion of this State.

But, sir, there is another object which I have at heart. Two great objects influence and govern my actions. The first, I am free to say the dearest, the highest, and the nearest my heart, is, the perpetuity of the Union.

Keeping forever undimmed the thirty-four stars that now deck the constellation of our national ensign, adding to them, as we have done, star after star — when that is done — when safety and perpetuity are again secured to that flag — then we can consider our own State interests; then we can consider the interests of our own immediate section of this State; but until then, we owe it to our loyal brothers throughout the length and breadth of this great land, to stand by them and aid them in resisting a crime, the greatest that has ever been attempted to be perpetrated on humanity. Let us do this, succeed in this, and we will succeed in all we desire in a very short time. Let us. bring peace again to our Loudon, Alexandria, and Hampshire friends. Let our brothers over the mountains, through our aid and assistance, and that of this great and good Government of ours, again see harmony throughout the land; again sit around their hearthstones with their families, and again instil, in the quiet hours of peace, the lessons the Father of his Country has bequeathed to us in his Farewell Address. Then we may say to them: “We love you still as brothers, but your interests and ways and ours are diverse. Let this line be drawn between us. We will have two separate and distinct sovereign States; but, brethren, we will be American citizens!” --N. Y. Tribute, June 20.

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