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“All men,” said the founders of the American Republic, “are created free and equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” “Let it ever be remembered,” said the Continental Congress, “that the rights for which we have contended were the rights of human nature,” and on that foundation arose the fair fabric of our liberties.

The dark shadow arises of another confederacy which Davis, and Keitt, and Floyd, and Toombs, are striving to establish on the ruins of the republic erected by Washington and Franklin, and Hamilton and Jefferson, and the one great plea with which this new power seeks to recommend itself to the Christian world is, the assumption that the white man was born to be the master and the black man was created to be his slave.

The attempt of the slavery insurrectionists to bring into contempt the great principle of theo Declaration of Independence, and their characterizing the men who uttered it and the men who believe in it as “fancy politicians,” shows how absolutely antagonist in their principles were those who rebelled in ‘76 against unconstitutional acts of parliament, and those who in ‘61 are rebelling against the Constitution of the United States. Even in the august year which we are met to celebrate, the principles and reasonings of our fathers commanded the admiration of Europe, and called forth in the House of Lords that magnificent eulogy of Chatham, when he said that for himself he must declare that he had studied and admired the free states of antiquity, the master states of the world; but that for solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion, no body of men could stand in preference to the Congress of Philadelphia.

Whatever may be the future of America the past is safe.

The confederates of the slave republic, unrivalled as may be their skill in robbing us of material wealth and power, cannot rob the founders of our Union of their glory — cannot filch from us the treasures we possess in their great principles, cannot lessen by the tithe of a hair, the truth and force of their example.

On the contrary, the formation of the Southern Confederacy adds new proof to their farsighted and prophetic sagacity. Look at the rebel States, plunged into anarchy and war by Jefferson Davis, with a fettered press, free speech silenced, forced loans, and an army enlarged by conscription, and then listen to a single passage from William Pinkney, the great orator of Maryland, which occurs in a speech made in the Maryland House of Delegates, in 1789: and remember as you listen to it the proof I have already given you that the so-called Southern confederacy is a military despotism, extemporized and precipitated on the people of the South, who have never been allowed to express their will in regard to the substitution of the Montgomery constitution, for the ancient Constitution and Government which the confederates are striving to destroy.

Said Mr. Pinkney:

That the dangerous consequences of the system of bondage have not as yet been felt does not prove that they never will be. * * * To me, sir, nothing for which I have not the evidence of my senses is more clear than that it. will one day destroy that reverence for liberty which is the vital principle of a republic.

While a majority of your citizens are accustomed to rule with the authority of despots within particular limits, while your youth are reared in the habit of thinking that the great rights of human nature are not so sacred but they may with innocence be trampled on, can it be expected that the public mind should glow with that generous ardor in the cause of freedom which alone can save a government like ours from the lurking demon of usurpation? Do you not dread contamination of principle? Have you no alarms for the continuance of that spirit which once conducted us to victory and independence when the talons of power were unclasped for our destruction? Have you no apprehension that when the votaries of freedom sacrifice also at the gloomy altars of slavery, they will at length become apostates from the former? For my own part, I have no hope that the stream of general liberty will flow forever unpolluted through the foul mire of partial bondage, or that they who have been habituated to lord it over others, will not in time be base enough to let others lord it over them. If they resist, it will be the struggle of pride and selfishness, not of principle.

The hour so philosophically predicted seventy-two years ago has come. The usurping hand is lifted against the most benignant government the world has ever seen. The usurpation is unresisted, the country is precipitated into war, and popular government overthrown, and a military rule established: the people, it would seem, have cast to the world the historic memories we this day meet to celebrate. Mr. Russell, the correspondent of the London Times, now travelling at the South, treated with every attention, charmed with their courtesy, and evidently inclined to regard their rebel movement with a favorable eye, writes from South Carolina on the 30th April, and makes this sad disclosure: “From all quarters have come to my ears the echoes of the same voice; it may be feigned, but there is no discord in the note, and it sounds in wonderful strength and monotony all over the country. Shades of George III., of North, of Johnson, of all who contended against the great rebellion which tore these colonies from England, can you hear the chorus which rings through the State of Marion, Sumter, and Pinckney, and not clash your ghostly hands in triumph? that voice says, ‘ If we could only get one of the royal race of England to rule over us we should be content.’ ”

Let me say next a word of the means by which a conspiracy so contemptible in its origin,

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