I understand this convention to be the freest and broadest invitation to all men who agree with you and me in this dark hour, when we have arrived at the very brink of that abyss which the “Defender of the Constitution” prayed he might never behold,—the abyss of disunion, when States have been torn asunder, and the land drenched with fraternal blood. I mean to be true to the Union, by, through, and under the Constitution,—nothing more nor less. That Constitution, in my judgment, is the only chart by which we can steer in this bottomless abyss, the only anchor that will hold us, and the only guide to our steps. . . . Mr. Lincoln has said that silence on matters pertaining to our country, though not a crime, is an offence. I propose, for once, to be obedient to the commands of His Excellency the President of the United States. I will agree to be imprisoned or banished, if I do keep silence; and, if I am, I'll speak, so help me, God.Dr. George B. Loring, of Salem, was the next speaker.
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