Inspired by the same ideas and emotions which commanded the fraternization of Jackson and Webster on another great occasion of public danger, the people of Massachusetts, confiding in the patriotism of their brethren in other States, accept this issue, and respond, in the words of Jackson, “The Federal Union: it must be preserved!” Until we complete the work of rolling back this wave of rebellion, which threatens to engulf the Government, overthrow democratic institutions, subject the people to the rule of a minority, if not of mere military despotism, and, in some communities, to endanger the very existence of civilized society, we cannot turn aside, and we will not turn back. It is to those of our brethren in the disaffected States, whose mouths are closed by a temporary reign of terror, not less than to ourselves, that we owe this labor, which, with the help of Providence, it is our duty to perform. I need not add, that whatever rights pertain to any person under the Constitution of the Union are secure in Massachusetts while the Union shall endure; and whatever authority or function pertains to the Federal Government for the maintenance of any such right is an authority or function which neither the Government nor the people of this Commonwealth can or would usurp, evade, or overthrow; and Massachusetts demands, and has a right to demand, that her sister States shall likewise respect the constitutional rights of her citizens within their limits.I have given these extracts from the addresses of Governors Banks and Andrew, that their official opinions in regard to important national questions, expressed on the eve of a great war, might be made fresh in the memories of men. Both gentlemen expressed the true sentiment of Massachusetts. I have taken their words as a base or starting-point to begin the long, grand story of Massachusetts in the Rebellion. As Governor Andrew was at the head of the State Government during the entire period of the war, he of course was and ever will be the prominent, central figure in the galaxy of gentlemen, civil and military, who, by their services and sacrifices, gave renown to the Commonwealth, and carried her with imperishable honor through the conflict.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.