organization, to bring out and enforce the will of a majority.
This theory may be harm-less in a small community having an identity of interests and pursuits, but over a vast State--still more over a vast Confederacy, having various and conflicting interests and pursuits — it is a remorseless despotism.
In resisting it, as applicable to ourselves, we are vindicating the great cause of free government, more important perhaps to the world than the existence of all the United States
Nor, in resisting it, do we intend to depart from the safe instrumentality the system of government we have established with them requires.
In separating from them we invade no rights — no interest of theirs.
We violate no obligation or duty to them.
As separate, independent States in convention, we made the Constitution of the United States
with them; and, as separate independent States, each State acting for itself, we adopted it. South Carolina
, acting in her sovereign capacity, now thinks proper to secede from the Union
She did not part with her sovereignty in adopting the Constitution
The last thing a State can be presumed to have surrendered is her sovereignty.
Her sovereignty is her life.
Nothing but a clear, express grant can alienate it. Inference should be dumb.
Yet it is not at all surprising that those who have construed away all the limitations of the Constitution
, should also by construction claim the annihilation of the sovereignty of the States.
Having abolished all barriers to their omnipotence by their faithless constructions in the operations of the General Government
, it is most natural that they should endeavor to do the same towards us in the States.
The truth is, they having violated the express provisions of the Constitution
, it is at an end as a compact.
It is morally obligatory only on those who choose to accept its perverted terms.
, deeming the compact not only violated in particular features, but virtually abolished by her Northern confederates, withdraws herself as a party from its obligations.
The right to do so is denied by her Northern confederates.
They desire to establish a despotism, not only omnipotent in Congress, but omnipotent over the States; and as if to manifest the imperious necessity of our secession, they threaten us with the sword, to coerce submission to their rule.
Citizens of the slaveholding States of the United States
, circumstances beyond our control have placed us in the van of the great controversy between the Northern
and Southern States.
We would have preferred that other States should have assumed the position we now occupy.
Independent ourselves, we disclaim any design or desire to lead the counsels of the other Southern States.
has cast our lot together, by extending over us an identity of pursuits, interests, and institutions.
desires no destiny separated from yours.
To be one of a great slaveholding confederacy, stretching its arms over a territory larger than any power in Europe
possesses — with a population four times greater than that of the whole United States
, when they achieved their independence of the British
empire — with productions which make our existence more important to the world than that of any other people inhabiting it — with common institutions to defend, and common dangers to encounter — we ask your sympathy and confederation.
Whilst constituting a portion of the United States
, it has been your statesmanship which has guided it in its mighty strides to power and expansion.
In the field, as in the cabinet, you have led the way to its renown and grandeur.
You have loved the Union
, in whose service your great statesmen have labored, and your great soldiers have fought and conquered — not for the material benefits it conferred, but with the faith of a generous and devoted chivalry.
You have long lingered and hoped over the shattered remains of a broken Constitution.
Compromise after compromise, formed by your concessions, has been trampled under foot by your Northern confederates.
All fraternity of feeling between the North
and the South
is lost, or has been converted into hate, and we of the South
are at last driven together by the stern destiny which controls the existence of nations.
Your bitter experience of the faithlessness and rapacity of your Northern confederates may have been necessary to evolve those great principles of free government, upon which the liberties of the world depend, and to prepare you for the grand mission of vindicating and re-establishing them.
We rejoice that other nations should be satisfied with their institutions.
Self-complacency is a great element of happiness with nations as with individuals.
We are satisfied with ours.
If they prefer a system of industry, in which capital and labor are in perpetual conflict — and chronic starvation keeps down the natural increase of population — and a man is worked out in eight years--and the law ordains that children shall be worked only ten hours a day — and the sabre and bayonet are the instruments of order — be it so. It is their affair, not ours.
We prefer, however, our system of industry, by which labor and capital are identified in interest, and capital, therefore, protects labor, by which our population doubles every twenty years; by which starvation is unknown, and abundance crowns the land; by which order is preserved by an unpaid police, and the most fertile regions of the world where the Caucasian cannot labor are brought into usefulness by the labor of the African, and the whole world is blessed by our own productions.
All we demand of other peoples is to be let alone to work out our own high destinies.
United together, and we must be the most independent, as we are the most important amongst the nations of the world.
United together, and we require no other instrument to conquer peace than our beneficent