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Sentiment in the North.

But this ‘Massachusetts heresy,’ as the writer before quoted from calls the right of secession, was not only entertained, as we have shown, at the North before the war, but has been expressed in the same section in no uncertain terms long since the war. In an article by Benjamin J. Williams, Esq., a distinguished writer of Massachusetts, entitled ‘Died for Their State,’ and published in the Lowell Sun on June 5th, 1886, he says, among other things: [179]

When the original thirteen Colonies threw off their allegiance to Great Britain, they became independent States, independent of her and of each other. * * * The recognition was of the States separately, each by name, in the treaty of peace which terminated the war of the Revolution. And that this separate recognition was deliberate and intentional, with the distinct object of recognizing the States as separate sovereignties, and not as one nation, will sufficiently appear by reference to the sixth volume of Bancroft's History of the United States. The Articles of Confederation between the States declared, that “each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence.” And the Constitution of the United States, which immediately followed, was first adopted by the States in convention, each State acting for itself, in its sovereign and independent capacity, through a convention of its people. And it was by this ratification that the Constitution was established, to use its own words, “between the States so ratifying the same.” It is, then, a compact between the States as sovereigns, and the Union created by it is a federal partnership of States, the Federal Government being their common agent for the transaction of the Federal business within the limits of the delegated powers.


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