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The country unified by natural laws.

The United States have been unified by natural laws, kindred to those which unified the South in secession, but greater because wider spread. Its physical constitution, in 1861, answered to the Northern mind the written Constitution and the traditions of our origin to which the South appealed. The Mississippi river, the natural outlet of a new-born empire to the sea, was a greater interpreter to it than the opinions of statesmen who lived when the great new commonwealths were yet in the wilderness, and before the great republic spanned the father of waters.

The river, seeking its bed as it rolls oceanward, pauses not to consider whose are the boundaries of the estates through which it flows. If a mountain barrier stands in the way, it forms a lake until the accumulated waters break through the impeding wall or dash over it in impetuous torrents. So nations in their great movements seem to be swept out of the grooves defined by the laws of man, and are oftentimes propelled to destinies greater than those conjured in their dreams.

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