A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which induce and justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union. In the momentous step which our State has taken, of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course. Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—e greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and, by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few unquestionable facts will sufficiently prove. The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well known ordinance of 1787 in regard to the Northwestern Territory. The feeling increased until, in 1819 and 1820, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France. The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico. It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States has jurisdiction. It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within
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