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This letter was published in the Charleston Mercury on the 13th of February, and copied into the National Intelligencer on the 19th, with the following remarks: the philosophy of secession.--We surrender a considerable portion of our paper to the reproduction of a letter addressed by the Hon. L. W. Spratt, of South Carolina, to the Hon. Mr. Perkins, of Louisiana, in criticism on the Provisional Constitution recently adopted by the Southern Congress at Montgomery, Alabama. In giving so large a space to such a document we are governed by the same considerations which have hitherto induced us to publish so largely the proceedings of the Conventions held in South Carolina and elsewhere — a desire to place conspicuously before our readers in the South (from whom the Intelligencer receives much the larger portion of that generous patronage with which it has so long been honored) a clear and comprehensive statement of the grounds on which the secession movement has been based by its advoccates. If any “Union man” at the South may have been tempted to doubt the propriety of giving so much space as we have awarded to such exciting developments of public disaffection, at a time when the air seemed full of political infection, we have only to say that the chronicle belonged to the current history of the times, and was demanded of us as impartial public journalists. If, on the other hand, any of our subscribers, in their zeal for a cause assuming to represent “Southern rights,” may have dissented from the course we have pursued in opposing, as we have felt it our duty to do, the whole theory and policy of secession, as now urged upon the acceptance of the Southern people, they will at least do us the justice to admit that if that cause has not been sufficiently vindicated in other than our editorial columns, it must be because its peculiar champions have been unable to substantiate its high pretensions, with all the advantages given them in the prominence assigned to discussions and proceedings which were suited to attract by their novelty, to allure by their boldness, and to captivate by the sectional sensibilities upon which they sought to play. In giving to-day the elaborate paper of Mr. Spratt, we need not say that we entirely dissent from the political philosophy which he inculcates in the name and on behalf of the secession movement. Yet the prominent part he has taken in the steps by which that movement was initiated, the confidence bestowed upon him by the people of Charleston in electing him, with such unanimity, to a seat in the South Carolina Convention, and the marked honor conferred upon him by that Convention in deputing him as one of the commissioners appointed to interpret the action of the Palmetto State before the Convention of Florida, (the first which met after that of South Carolina,) are all so many titles by which he may assume to speak with authority in expounding the purport and bearing of the civil revolution to which he has so largely contributed. It will be seen that Mr. Spratt distinctly and unequivocally heralds a new crusade for the “emancipation of the South,” if the features engrafted on the Provisional Constitution framed at Montgomery should be so far incorporated in the permanent organic law of the new Confederation as to fix a “stigma” on slavery by prohibiting the foreign slave trade. Writing to his correspondent, (who, we may add, is a leading member of the Southern Congress from the State of Louisiana,) he proclaims that it was the great object of the movement which has resulted in the disruption of the Union in the Gulf States, to protect the system of slavery in those States, as well in its internal as external relations, from the antagonism of free society; and to this end the revival of the foreign slave trade is seen to be necessary. He contends that in order to realize the normal
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