The oath of allegiance.
The attempt to impose the oath of allegiance to the United States
on the citizens of the South
who may fall under their military power is one of the most cruel of those instrumentalities of despotism which are now brought to bear upon the Southern
But, fortunately, it cannot be forced upon a community who are true to themselves and to the great cause in which they are engaged.
A contemporary has justly observed, "If our citizens in every community will hang together in solid body, and every man refuse, under whatever extremity, to take the hated oath, they will find in this course their best security.
It will be impossible to arrest or imprison, or place under surveillance a whole community.
The lelity of all will thus prove the safety of each.
But it some yield under the influence of threats or persecutions — If a single man in a neighborhood shows himself false in the hour of trial — it will excite hope and stimulate efforts that will prove of much annoyance to the rest.--Additional appliances will be brought to bear to force others to do what one or two have done."
Our contemporary remarks that the citizen who to save his own property, or to secure any privilege, takes the oath of allegiance to the United States
, is a traitor not only to his own State and country generally, but is a traitor to his own neighbors. "They have a right to hold him as their personal foe; for he separates himself from them, and stimulates against them the malice of their enemies.
We have heard of come who without bad design, but under a terrible mistake of judgments decided to take the oath of allegiance to the enemy.
They are now of all men the most miserable and they show it in their sad countenances and hanging heads.
They have lost their self respect.
They have lost the esteem of their neighbors.
And we are happy to add that in almost every instance they have failed to get the price for which they sold themselves." Our contemporary urges that this Government should adopt the same policy to wards citizens who swear allegiance to the enemy as was pursued by Governor Jefferson
in similar circumstances, in 1781, towards those who come forward, in compliance with British requisitions and gave their parole.
issued his proclamation to the people of Virginia
, declaring the nullity of such parole, in point of fact, but requiring those who considered it binding "forthwith to repair to some of the posts, encampments, or vessels of the forces of his Britannic Majesty, and by surrender of their parsons to causal such engagements; and not to rejoin the Commonwealth
but in a state of perfect emancipation from its enemies and of freedom to act as it becomes good and zeal our citizens."
A similar course would purge the South
of all who are pable of performing the duties of good We are all embarked in one vessel, and must make up our minds to ink or swim, survive or persons together.
As to the "mental reservation," If one may make it a pretext for the crime of taking the oath of all so may all, and it is simply adding hyplcy to There can be no security for any thing as truth or honor, where a principle is adopted.
We trust that it will not be in the South
, where truth and honor have been ever valued above life and every earthly consideration, that any man that really loves his country will take the oath of allegiances.