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‘ [57] the dis-United States to part in friendship from each other than to be held together by constraint.’ ‘Then,’ said he, ‘will be the time for reverting to the precedents which occurred at the formation and adoption of the Constitution, to form again a more perfect Union, by dissolving that which could no longer bind, and to leave the separate parts to be re-united by the law of political gravitation to the centre.’

There must be limits to quotation, or it would be easy to cite utterances of prominent Northern politicians and leading Northern journals down to the very eve of the actual conflict, protesting in the strongest terms against the coercion which Virginia was thus peremtorily called upon to take part in. Coolly and impartially considered, indeed, the doctrine of State-sovereignty will be found, logically speaking, absolutely irrefragable, since sovereignty must of course reside somewhere, and it will be admitted by all that, according to the fundamental principle of American polity, it cannot reside in any government whatsoever, Federal or State, governments, under this system, being viewed as simply the creatures and agents of the people, wholly without original power or authority in themselves. Obviously, then, in the United States, sovereignty resides in the people alone. The sole question remaining is, in what people? This admits of but one answer, since there exists no such body politic as the people of the United States, considered as a single consolidated whole, the conclusive proof being that it has never, as is easy to verify historically, performed one solitary act in that character, and indeed cannot, having no organ through which it could so speak or act. There is no representative body, standing to it in the relation in which a Convention stands to the people of a State, by means of which sovereignty might be exercised, nor is there even any possible mode of taking its sense as a whole. In the United States, therefore, the ultimate seat of sovereignty is to be found in the peoples of the several States, acting as political communities, through such bodies (in the nomenclature of politics called Conventions) as they may empower to act in their name and behalf.

Men are not apt to be cool and logical in a crisis like that which preceded the great conflict of 1861, yet it would seem, whatever their constitutional views, that the dominant party might have better recollected, not only the traditional American doctrine so closely interwoven with the life and history of the country, but the comparatively recent declarations of the man whom they had just placed at the head of the Government. ‘Any people anywhere,’ Mr. Lincoin

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