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[48] hoped, will be but temporary, and must be borne with patience and forbearance.

As to whether we shall have war with our late confederates, or whether all matters of difference between us shall be amicably settled, I can only say, that the prospect for a peaceful adjustment is better, so far as I am informed, than it has been.

The prospect of war, is at least not so threatening as it had been. The idea of coercion shadowed forth in President Lincoln's inaugural, seems not to be followed up thus far so vigorously as was expected. Fort Sumter, it is believed, will soon be evacuated. What course will be pursued towards Fort Pickens, and the other forts on the Gulf, is not so well understood. It is to be greatly desired that all of them should be surrendered. Our object is Peace, not only with the North, but with the world. All matters relating to the public property, public liabilities of the Union when we were members of it, we are ready and willing to adjust and settle, upon the principles of right, equality, and good faith. War can be of no more benefit to the North, than to us. The idea of coercing us, or subjugating us, is utterly preposterous. Whether the intention of evacuating Fort Sumter, is to be received as an evidence of a desire for a peaceful solution of our difficulties with the United States, or the result of necessity, I will not undertake to say. I would fain hope the former. Rumors are afloat, however, that it is the result of necessity. All I can say to you, therefore, on that point is, keep your armor bright, and your powder dry. [Enthusiastic applause.]

The surest way to secure peace, is to show your ability to maintain your rights. The principles and position of the present Administration of the United States--the Republican Party--present some puzzling questions. While it is a fixed principle with them, never to allow the increase of a foot of Slave Territory, they seem to be equally determined not to part with an inch “of the accursed soil.” Notwithstanding their clamor against the institution, they seem to be equally opposed to getting more, or letting go what they have got. They were ready to fight on the accession of Texas, and are equally ready to fight now on her secession. Why is this? How can this strange paradox be accounted for? There seems to be but one rational solution — and that is, notwithstanding their professions of humanity, they are disinclined to give up the benefits they derive from slave labor. Their philanthropy yields to their interest. The idea of enforcing the laws, has but one object, and that is a collection of the taxes, raised by slave labor to swell the fund necessary to meet their heavy appropriations. The spoils is what they are after — though they come from the labor of the slave. [Continued applause.]

Mr. Stephens reviewed at some length the extravagance and profligacy of appropriations by the Congress of the United States for several years past, and in this connection took occasion to allude to another one of the great improvements in our new Constitution, which is a clause prohibiting Congress from appropriating any money from the Treasury except by a two-thirds vote, unless it be for some object which the Executive may say is necessary to carry on the Government.

When it is thus asked for and estimated, he continued, the majority may appropriate. This was a new feature.

Our fathers have guarded the assessment of taxes, by insisting that representation and taxation should go together. This was inherited from the mother country, England. It was one of the principles upon which the Revolution had been fought. Our fathers also provided in the old Constitution that all appropriation bills should originate in the Representative branch of Congress; but our new Constitution went a step further, and guarded not only the pockets of the people, but also the public money, after it was taken from their pockets.

He alluded to the difficulties and embarrassments which seemed to surround the question of a peaceful solution of the controversy with the old Government. How can it be done? is perplexing many minds. The President seems to think that he cannot recognize our independence, nor can he, with and by the advice of the Senate, do so. The Constitution makes no such provision. A general Convention of all the States has been suggested by some.

Without proposing to solve the difficulty, he barely made the following suggestion:

That as the admission of States by Congress under the Constitution was an act of legislation, and in the nature of a contract or compact between the States admitted and the others admitting, why should not this contract or compact be regarded as of like character with all other civil contracts — liable to be rescinded by mutual agreement of both parties? The seceding States have rescinded it on their part. Why cannot the whole question be settled, if the North desire peace, simply by the Congress, in both branches, with the concurrence of the President, giving their consent to the separation, and a recognition of independence? This he merely offered as a suggestion, as one of the ways in which it might be done with much less violence to constructions of the Constitution than many other acts of that Government. [Applause.] The difficulty has to be solved in some way or other — this may be regarded as a fixed fact.

Several other points were alluded to by Mr. S., particularly as to the policy of the new Government towards foreign nations, and our commercial relations with them. Free trade, as far as practicable, would be the policy of this Government. No higher duties would be imposed on foreign importations than would be necessary to support the Government upon the strictest economy.

In olden times the olive branch was considered the emblem of peace, we will send to the nations of the earth another and far more potential emblem of the same, the Cotton Plant. The present duties were levied with a view of meeting the present necessities and exigencies, in preparation for war, if need be; but if we have peace, and he hoped we might, and trade should resume its proper course, a duty of ten per cent. upon foreign importations, it was thought, might be sufficient to meet the expenditures of the Government. If some articles should be left on the free list, as they now are, such as breadstuffs, &c., then, of course, duties upon others would have to be higher — but in no event to an extent to embarrass trade and commerce. He concluded in an earnest appeal for union and harmony, on the part of all the people in support of the common cause, in which we were all enlisted, and upon the issues of which such great consequences depend.

If, said he, we are true to ourselves, true to our cause, true to our destiny, true to our high mission,

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