of Missouri. The patriotic members still in it ought to leave a body in which the nauseating atmosphere of military tyranny stifles free debate; the others, gone over to the public enemy, either through inborn depravity or unmanly fear, should hasten to the feet of the Northern despot to seek their expected rewards, where thrift may follow fawning. To provide for this very condition of things, our General Assembly, in May last, passed an act, (which I am proud to say, originated in suggestions made by me to its proposer, Senator Johnson, of St. Louis,) by which, in view of the rebellion in St. Louis and the invasion of our State, the Governor was “authorized to take such measures as in his judgment he may deem necessary or proper to repel such invasion or put down such rebellion.” As that rebellion and invasion have been sanctioned by the Government and people of the North, one of the most proper measures to protect our interests is a dissolution of all connection with them. In the present condition of Missouri, the executive is the only constitutional authority left in the free exercise of legitimate power within her limits. Her motto, “Salus populi suprema lex esto,” should be his guide; to him “let the people's welfare be the highest law.” Under existing circumstances it is his clear duty to accept the actual situation of affairs, and simplify the real issues, by making, under the statute above mentioned, and subject to the future control of the General Assembly and the people, a provisional declaration, in the name and on behalf of the people of Missouri, that her union with the Northern States has been dissolved by their acts of war upon her, and that she is, and of right ought to be, a sovereign, free, and independent State. The conviction that the decision of this question can be safely left to the patriotism of Governor Jackson, and would more properly emanate from the regular executive of the State, is the only ground for my not exercising the powers of Governor temporarily in me invested, and at once issuing a formal declaration to that effect. But in order that my position, both as a citizen and officer of Missouri's government, may be distinctly understood, I deem it proper to declare that, disregarding forms and looking to realities, I view any ordinance for her separation from the North and union with the Confederate States as a mere outward ceremony to give notice to others of an act already consummated in the hearts of her people; and that, consequently, all persons cooperating with the expedition I accompany will expect that, in the country under its influence, no authority of the United States of America will be permitted, and that of Missouri, as a sovereign and independent State, will be exercised with a view to her speedy regular union with her Southern sisters. It is almost unnecessry to announce that the operations of the Confederate States forces and the Missouri State troops cooperating with them, will be conducted according to the most humane principles of civilized regular warfare. Without determining in advance what reparation should be exacted for the inhuman outrages perpetrated in Missouri, under the countenance of the brutal proclamations issued by the Lincoln leaders, Lyon, Curtis, Pope, and others, I will give at least this assurance, that, expecting better things from Major-General Fremont, the State authorities will doubtless afford him an early opportunity of determining whether the war is hereafter to be conducted by his forces and partisans in accordance with civilized usages. The shooting of women and children, the firing into the windows of a crowded court of justice, at St. Louis, the cowardly acts of the Lincoln soldiery towards such respectable and patriotic citizens as Alexander Kayser and A. W. Simpson, the arbitrary arrests of ex-Senator Green, Mr. Knott, Mr. Bass, and other distinguished citizens, the murder of Dr. Palmer, the summary shooting of unarmed men in North Missouri, without the form even of drum-head court-martial, and many other transactions sanctioned or left unpunished by General Fremont's predecessors, are barbarities which would disgrace even Camanches. If like acts cannot hereafter be prevented by motives of humanity, considerations of an enlightened military policy may be awakened in him by the retaliation which, in subjection to the laws of civilized warfare, but swift, sure, ample, stern, unrelenting, and, if necessary, bloody, the Missouri State authorities feel themselves both able and determined to institute. On the Lincoln Government will rest the entire responsibility, before God and in history, for the character of a war which, if continued as it has been begun by their forces in our State, will soon become one of the most bloody and calamitous on record; for the Grizzly Bear of Missouri, not a very amiable animal even when merely supporting her shield in time of peace, will be a ruthless foe when let loose on those who, having causelessly excited his ire, will be certain to get, sooner or later, within reach of his deathdealing paws. To those Missourians who desire to cooperate with this expedition, specific information will be duly given of the course they should pursue. While the military operations of the Confederate States against the common foe will most materially aid us in our struggle for freedom, yet our ultimate deliverance must of course depend upon our own exertions. Let every Missourian prepare himself to take part in our war of independence; in due season that part will be indicated to him. But above all, let us humbly invoke the aid of Almighty God, the sure refuge of the oppressed; for He has declared that “the battle is not to the strong, nor yet favor to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Citizens of Missouri: in this decisive crisis of our destiny, let us rally as one man to the standard of our State. The inscription on the border of Missouri's shield warns us against division
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Bull Run .
Doc . 4 .- N. Y. Tribune narrative.
Doc . 59 : a Virginian who is not a traitor: response of Lieut. Mayo , U. S. N. , to the proclamation of Gov. Letcher .
Doc . 65 -speech of Galusha A. Grow , on taking the Chair of the House of Representatives of the United States , July 4 .
Doc . 135 .- Virginia ordinance, prohibiting citizens of Virginia from holding office under the United States , passed July , 1861 .
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