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[336] it is safe to say that there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton on the one side to George Clinton and George Mason on the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an experiment entered upon by the States, from which each and every State had the right peaceably to withdraw—a right which was very likely to be exercised.

And I heard Mr. James C. Carter, of New York, but a native of New England, and one of the greatest lawyers in this country, in his address recently delivered at the University of Virginia, say:

I may hazard the opinion that if the question had been made, not in 1860, but in 1788, immediately after the adoption of the Constitution, whether the Union, as formed by that instrument, could lawfully treat the secession of a State as rebellion, and suppress it by force, few of those who participated in framing that instrument would have answered in the affirmative.

These are clear and candid admissions on the part of these distinguished Northerners that the Southern States had the right to secede as they did, and were, therefore, right in regard to the real issue involved in the war between the States.

There is but one other fact to which I desire to call attention in this connection, and while it has often been referred to, it cannot be too deeply impressed upon the minds of our people, and ought, it seems to me, to be conclusive of this whole question—and that is, the refusal of the Northern people to test the question of the right of secession by a trial of President Davis; and this, notwithstanding the fact that since the cry, ‘Crucify Him! Crucify Him!’went up at Jerusalem, nearly two thousand years ago, I believe there never was a time when a whole people were more willing to punish one man than were the people of the North, who were in favor of the war, to punish Mr. Davis for his alleged crimes as the leader of our cause and people.

Mr. Davis was captured on or about the 10th of May, 1865, near Washington, Ga., and straightway taken to and confined in a casemate at Fortress Monroe. To show how eagerly these war people of the North demanded his life, they attempted first to implicate him in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln. It was even charged in a proclamation issued by the President of the United States that the evidence of Mr. Davis's connection with that atrocious crime ‘appears from evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice.’ This evidence consisted for the most part of affidavits of witnesses secured

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