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[42]

The inauguration address of the Provisional President of the South was intended to produce just such an effect as it seems to have produced on Mr. Gregory's mind. This audacious parody on the Declaration of Independence might, it was evidently thought, catch the ear of Americans, to whom that Declaration is as familiar as the Lord's Prayer; and it might entrap the imagination of foreigners who might not have paid sufficient attention to the course of American affairs to detect its inapplicability. One does not look for extreme accuracy or for any impartiality in political manifestoes issued by revolutionary officials, on their first attempt to rule the people they have raised; but it may be doubted whether in any European conflict within this revolutionary century any document has appeared more impudently false than Mfr. Jefferson Davis's Address. It is so incredible that he and any hearers qualified for political action can be self-deceived to such a point as to believe what he was saying, that we can only suppose the object to be to lead the ignorant people about them by the sound of familiar and venerated words, trusting to their inability to perceive the baselessness of the thoughts. If the poor whites of the Southern section, who constitute nearly three-fourths of the white population, can really be led by such an address as this to fancy themselves resisting oppression, and establishing free government under the special blessing of Heaven, in imitation of their fathers ninety years ago, they are indeed fit only for such subjection to oligarchical government as has long been, and still will be, required of them.

In citing the familiar and venerable statement of the Declaration of Independence, as to the causes which justify rebellion, and the principles on which the resulting polity should be framed and organized, Mr. Jefferson Davis pronounced the most crushing condemnation of his own case, in terms of the keenest irony. The staunchest Republican of the North might have taken up the same parable as the aptest speech he could make. The Philadelphia patriots exhibited the long course of oppressions the colonies had endured before they lost patience, and the actual extremities of injury they underwent before they raised a hostile flag. In the present case the Southern party has enjoyed thirty years possession of the Federal Government--thirty years of domination over the whole Union--during which they have altered the laws, undermined the Constitution, carved out territory, restricted liberty and created license, for their own sectional objects and interests. So much for the long oppression which has driven them to resistance. And what outrage roused the reluctant men of peace at last? What was the Stamp Act of the present occasion? It was the loss of an election, a constitutional election, conducted in a regular and orderly way.--London News, March 12.

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