the great heart of the more distant States. And no reasonable doubt can be entertained by the most hopeful and sanguine that this excitement in public sentiment will extend and increase and intensify until all the States that are now known as the slaveholding States will withdraw their political connection from the non-slaveholding States, unite themselves in a common destiny and establish another constitution. Why all this? The story is soon told. In the formation of the government of our fathers, the Constitution of 1787, the institution of domestic slavery is recognized and the right of property in slaves is expressly guaranteed. The people of a portion of the States who were parties in the government were early opposed to the institution. The feeling of opposition to it has been cherished and fostered and inflamed until it has taken possession of the public mind at the North to such an extent that it overwhelms every other influence. It has seized the political power, and now threatens annihilation to slavery throughout the Union. At the South and with our people, of course, slavery is the element of all value, and a destruction of that destroys all that is property. This party, now soon to take possession of the powers of government, is sectional, irresponsible to us, and, driven on by an infuriated, fanatical madness that defies all opposition, must inevitably destroy every vestige of right growing out of property in slaves. The State of Florida is now a member of the Union, under the power of the government soon to go into the hands of this party. As we stand, our doom is decreed; and realizing an imperative necessity thus forced upon them to take measures for their safety, the people of Florida have clothed you with supreme power and sent you here with the high and solemn duty to devise the best possible means to insure their safety, and have given you the charge to see that their commonwealth suffers no detriment. Your presence at this capitol is the highest proof that
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