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[235] as a response to this offer. They had pressed upon the President the support of nearly a million of votes and the influence of the great majority of the people of the whole South in aid of a policy of peace and conciliation. They found that offer rejected and the support of 75,000 armed men preferred. They had importuned the President to employ the American method of dealing with political questions, and he had chosen the Russian. They had appealed to him for peace, and he had proclaimed war.

But, more than all this, they found themselves required to submit to the exercise by the President of the United States of powers unwarranted by the Constitution and the laws and absolutely subversive of the existence of free government.

This sacrifice they were required to make to enable Mr. Lincoln to accomplish the objects of his proclamation, one of which, as I have shown, had been declared to be unlawful by the Supreme Court of the United States, and the others were so vague that the border States themselves might be embraced within their scope.

Their resolution was quickly taken upon the question thus suddenly forced upon them.

The convention of Arkansas, which on the 18th of March had refused to adopt an ordinance of secession by a vote of 35 to 39, assembled again on the 6th of May and passed that ordinance by a vote of 69 to 1.

In North Carolina, which had refused in February to call a convention, one was called immediately upon the appearance of the proclamation, which met on the 20th of May and passed an ordinance of secession the following day. In Tennessee, which had refused to call a convention in February, the people ratified an ordinance of secession on the 24th of June by a vote of 104,019 to 47,238, as announced by the Governor. In the Virginia convention, which had refused to adopt an ordinance of secession on the 4th of April, 1861, by a vote of 89 to 45, and which as late as the 11th of April had refused to adopt a conditional declaration in favor of secession, on the 17th of April an ordinance of secession was adopted by a vote of 88 to 55, and the majority vote was afterwards increased to 91.

The change in the feeling of the people of Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland was equally marked, although its free expression was prevented by force, and the action of the Federal Government was resented where the ability to resist was wanting.

The differences to which I have referred as existing among the people of the cotton States themselves upon the subject of secession

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